What is #Mamagrief? 

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A friend of mine shared a post with me on Instagram recently of a brave young woman who lost her precious firstborn daughter, Florence. You can read all about her beautiful story here, #mamagrief.

She started a hashtag called #mamagrief a place where other grieving mothers who have lost children to death can go and share their stories and be encouraged by others. 

  
I never knew losing a child could be so rewarding yet so hard. It’s a world I never knew existed. A world I never knew was here! After losing our first son, people I had known all my life told me of the losses I never knew they endured! When they told me, I thought, “If they’ve lost a child or two, how do they seem so happy? How can they seem so joyful? Some of the most joyful people in the world are people who have suffered so much heartache. 

  
I read once “behind the happiest faces lay once the saddest of circumstances”. That has stuck to me like a bure. I want and long to be that kind of person. With God’s ever sustaining hand, He can help me be one of those many happy and loving people. 

  
All the while a big part of the world enjoys a life full of beauty and grace. Beauty, not etched with pain, beauty etched with joy and things that only look to be a dream to us who hurt. 

But a huge part of the world surprisingly enough, hurts and cries out in pain. Somedays, it’s too hard to trace the rainbow through the rain. Those days drag on like weights of heavy metal tying us down.

  
But there is hope! Yes, there is ALWAYS hope and like a superhero, our Father comes to the rescue with His chain breaker called, Grace! No more weight to tie us down. Believer, acquiesce all your saddness, all your pain, all you grief and lay it on his shoulders. Its ok to cry, its ok to be sad, its ok to grieve! But there is hope for everyone who hurts! 

 

No. More children will never replace them, I could have a half dozen more children and I would still have these hard days. Cause they matter. They. Matter. To. Me. And to Him. Every life matters, no matter how long they have lived. They matter. And more children, though my mama heart longs to have more, as much as I will love and cherrish them if God should grant this petition. They will never, could ever, replace my boys but they will help fill the void with more loving and kissing. (:

People are forever telling me, “God, I believe will bless you with children.” I’m grateful for those nice thoughts and prayers but what they don’t seem to realize is, this is my mama grief, and according to God, it’s ok. What they don’t seem to see is, God has already blessed me with children. No, they aren’t here for me to enjoy and love on, but they are alive and they do matter. And if God chooses to bless us with more, then praise God! But this mamagrief will never go away. It’s ok.
I’m so thankful I’m not alone in my grief. God has put me on this path of #mamagrief, and it’s ok. I have accepted it and I’m thankful for it. You cannot know how much. But that doesn’t mean, I won’t have bad days, really, really hard ones. But it’s ok. Just like we all have super amazing days, some of us have a lot of crapy days. But it’s ok. I will be ok. God has not abandoned me and He wont. He is walking down this path with me. He is strengthening me and stretching me. My grief is laid bare on the table for all to see. I cannot hide or bottle my grief up inside just like you shouldn’t bottle your happiness up inside just because one of us is grieving and hurting. 

Let it out! Your happiness and blessings are giving us who grieve, hope for the future! Will we run and cry at times if we see or hear to much? Yes! But don’t take it to heart. Don’t wish you had kept your mouth shut. Our hearts are tender. But please never act like our children never existed. Talk about them around us. Say their names. You have no idea how it feels to a mamagrief heart when we hear our babies names mentioned even in passing. 

   
So you ask what is #mamagrief? They are! My boys! Our Heaven kissed babies! But really. It’s ok. (:

Thank you for reading my heart tonight, God bless you, 

Katie

A chance to love. A chance to heal. 

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I have been so blessed lately. I really do feel blessed, now that I have finally gotten off of Facebook. Technically you could say I am “still on” but I never get on except to see if people have tried to contact me through my Photography/blog or jewelry pages. All three are still up and running just not as active as they were when I was “on”. I have a new fb account but I dont choose to have friends, at least not at present. I am kinda over Facebook for many reasons. But for one, it has given me a chance to love people again, and two, it has given me a chance to heal from our recent circumstances.

  

1). A chance to love again! 

Facebook as you may have already gathered brings out the very worst in a lot of people. It really does. I have seen a mean part of me, I never wanted anyone to see. It has ruined my chances for me to many people to be considered a respectable, kind and considerate kind of person. I really have been ashamed and wonder how anyone could love me or want to be my friend after seeing my bad side. Trust me, if you haven’t seen it, yet, you don’t want too. But I have seen other people’s bad sides too, because the affect Facebook can have on certain people. Especially us, who are very passionate about what we believe are true and real in this life. We tend to show all of our sides pretty regularly on FB, the place we feel at home pouring out our hearts to. But like the Bible says our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it?! So pouring out our hearts isn’t always the best thing on FB. 

  

 
Now that I am off of this form of social media, can I just tell you, how free I feel? I feel like FB had me under a sort of spell, an enchantment, if you will, and now that I’m off, I feel so much more free! Like a bird escaped from the ensnared cage. I tell my God all my sorrows, joys, hopes and irritating moments that beset me from time to time. I’m no longer talking to a wall but talking to my Father. And isn’t that better or how it should be? 

  

 
I have been given the chance to love people again, truly love them and being with them, talking to them face to face and not screen to screen. Even voice to voice, when phone call is more convenient. I can love them like we were meant too. And I’m sure Facebook can be used for good too. I have used it for good, even when people misjudged me for using it for bad. But oh well. No matter. Its over and done with. Facebook is just not for everyone. 

  
2). A chance to heal! 

After much prayer and thought and when I finally disconnected myself and hit the delete button, after time, I have finally begun to heal.

  

 
 It wasnt an easy choice, I did have withdrawals and wondered what people were up to, but lately, if I wanted to know, I simply shot an email or a text or left a message on their phone, what they are up to? 

  

 
I found friends for accountability for exercising and more joined in wanting the same. I got back on My Fitness Pal and began getting serious about taking care of my health and body. Worked out consistently for two weeks the longest and most Ive ever taken interest in at one time. This past week I got sick…. And feeling better again. Can’t wait to get back to my daily exercise regimen. 

  
So many things to keep me busy, so many things to keep my mind occupied, to keep me keeping busy, not being idle, but keeping me busy to stay focused on the true and real. I have a photoshoot today where I hope to meet new people and a painting class tonight again, where I can meet new people. Facebook as you can see isn’t the only place to meet new people. Face to face, handshake to handshake, tangible people. I am so blessed! So very blessed! So thankful! God is so good! 

   

 
My healing is so much more easier, so much easier to bear. The everyday burdens are lighter, the grief not so deep as it was before. My hope is in my Lord who made me and formed me in my mothers womb. I have no reason to be fearful of the future, its planted in the palms of His hands. 

  
When I had a Facebook I was not given a chance to heal my broken heart. I was daily bombarded with thoughts and wishes that were crushed on a day to day basis, I was constantly reminded of my little ones who were no longer in my womb, no more to be wrapped in my aching arms, no more kisses from mama and daddy. Forever in my heart, forever wet, on my cheeks. I couldn’t get on without seeing something or someone talking about babies and their mamas and daddies, announcements and boy or girl this or that, baby camo, overalls, cowboy boots and hats, John Deere tractors, guns and hunting, black bear teddy bears, diapers and burp cloths galore. Things we will never get to do with our boys, places we’ll never get to take them, things we’ll never get to see them do… So many things that I couldn’t get away from, people I couldn’t stop talking too, I didn’t want to be bitter or rude. I was so happy for them, truly, but how do you tell people you’re happy for them when you’re choking back tears that are running down your face?

  

  
How can you say you’re happy for them when in reality you wish you could die a thousand deaths just so you could have a chance to hold and kiss your baby one last time? When they have it so easy, they can pick up their baby and cuddle them whenever they wish? 

  
You cant heal properly when you’re bombarded with all of this daily. It goes too deep, too hard to bear and still try to muster up a smile for them? It was too hard for me. I’m too weak. I have too big of a heart for my boys. They were part of my whole world! 

  
Finally, now that my Facebook account ceases to exist, no longer to be looked at or saught after. Finally my aching Mama heart is healing. I don’t daily have to be  bombarded with questions from people that have to know everything that is going on. I’m not bombarded with baby stuff day in and day out. Just on occasion seeing the little ones at church. Or the occasional photo I look forward to seeing of my neices and nephews on Instagram or those I keep in contact with. I don’t want to be cut off completely just not so heavily like FB has become. Instagram you can only share so much, Facebook is like a blog of ones entire daily life. 

   

 

I haven’t healed completely, but I cry less and less. And I rarely ever hold back tears. I try not too, but sometimes you don’t want to make a scene, ya know? I try not too. But sometimes its hard. 

  

 I’m thankful God gave me the courage to delete my FB. I am so thankful I am off. I only miss my workout accountability groups. They were something I got on for, everyday. But My Fitness Pal does a good job with that. And I have friends on there that are encouraging and hope I can be that for them as well.  

  
There are many more reasons I could share with you why I am off, but these are the main reasons, I am so thankful its working. 

   
Like, Smike, in his contentment (from Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby), “I can finally say it. I am happy!”

Thank you for reading and God bless you, 

Katie

 

 

October Goals

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I can’t believe October is finally upon us!! It seems like yesterday September was here and our familes, Spencer and I were gathered around celebrating seven or eight birthdays at Hubby’s grandparents house. Including our precious first born, John Spencer. 😀

I am actually excited about this month. I have a few goals I would like to share with you! 

1. I am excited to finally buckle down hard on my weight loss journey. Its been a constant battle for 2 years! But I am sick of myself and tired of my clothes not fitting and so, no more excuses. Just so it actually happens I will “report” my progress each week on Friday or Saturday of this month, to tell you how I did, food and exercise wise.  What recipes that stood out to me, and which ones I enjoyed better, etc. I am hoping to cook my way through the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, from now on. I am using Pinterest until I can get the book (maybe for Christmas)! But Pinterest has a ton of the recipes thanks to bloggers for sharing their favorites! 😃

2. Find more reasons to be Thankful! I have always struggled with this and I need to work on it, and stop whinning and complaining about how hard life is. I want to have a happier lifestyle, one my hubby can enjoy being around. There is something so unnerving about a complaining spirit, and something so Beautiful about a thankful, one. 🌺 

3. Pray for my husband, more. I do pray for him, but not like I used too, when we first got married. I really want to pray hard for him, and pray hard for me, that I would be better wife to him. I know I need to work on this so much! So these are big desires of my heart. 🙏🏼

4. Spend more time talking to God in general. Before I got married, I used to talk to God like a best friend, I would say, “Thank you, Lord!” Everytime something great happened or prayed loudly often. People often looked at me strangly, but I desire to be like that again. To stop being stagnet and draw closer to my Father. He can help me.

5. Start writing my cookbook. Yeah, this has been a goal/dream of mine for a long time, ever since I started cooking on a serious level. When I worked at a resturant called Curry’s or Johntson Street Cafe’, reading their “secret” recipes, I wanted to come up with my very own set of recipes, which later turned into a desire to write a cookbook. But it won’t just be cooking, it will also be other things as well. Mostly cooking though. And some survival tips. 😀 with a name like the Homestead artist, gotta have a lil bit of everything…will it be published? Ha! We will see what the bank account says. 😉 (which is one reason my children’s book never got published…too much $$$ Maybe some day, though)! 

6. Along with doing THM, this month I won’t be allowed any sugar. You know, the no in-between bit in one of my lasts posts, that applies for this kinda situation as well. I am either gonna allow myself sweets or not. What I mean is, if I do, all that hard work will go down the drain, so its either sweets or no sweets, its either start the lifestyle or don’t. I can’t eat just one piece of dark chocolate, I will eat the whole thing. So no sugar this month! Next month may be different, I may allow myself a lil here and there if I do a good job this month. 💪🏻✊🏻

I think those are simple enough goals! I hope I succede!

Do you have any big or small goals you want to achieve this month? What are they? Would love to hear about them! 😀 

Thanks for reading,

Katie

5 Reasons I deactivated my Facebook account 

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Hi my fellow fans! I’m sorry its been awhile since I’ve written. I have been super busy doing my annual “spring cleaning” but at the beginning of fall {Autumn}. 

  

I try do a thorough job every six months, simply because it takes awhile usually a couple weeks to throw away stuff we dont use or we bought for whatever reason, we still are unsure of? Lol! So I apologize on my lack of writing. 

This week, hubby is starting new work hours and will have to work Saturdays, so our planned wedding anniversary trip to the mountains looks like it wont happen. Sadly. I was looking forward to it, but we may go hunting together down in south Alabama instead, which if I get a deer this year, will be extra-ordinary! It’s kinda on my bucket list to get one! I almost got an 8 point last year but his rear was in my scope view, so that wouldn’t have made a very clean cut, but at least I could have said I got one! 😊 I’m hoping this year to actually get one, and save the antlers for a project. 
But anyway, enough about hunting. Many of  my friends asked me why I chose to deactivate my Facebook account. There are several reasons why, but I will just share five. 

  
1. It’s become an obsession or an idol.

When I get involved in stuff, if I don’t watch it enough it later becomes an obsession for me. This can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing, depending on its purpose. 

If it has to do with your health, obviously its a good thing to be obsessed with wanting to stay healthy, after all our bodies are God’s temples, we should strive to take care of them. But having a Facebook is not always healthy. Especially if it hinders you from spending time with the one who created you. 

The Lord tells us to tear such things from our view, these idols that take over our lives. Like my first Instagram picture on my Instagram account, the very first one I ever posted said something like, “if it takes you away from God, then it needs to go.” That is so true. Anything that takes you away from your duties as a Christian, then it needs to go. And Facebook has become a hinderance from things that are true and real. Things that are simply important. 

  
2. I’ve become lazy.

Ever since the loss of our second son, Isaac, I have noticed I’ve become lazy in most areas where I should be growing. 

Along with growth in grace and daily devotions, I have been shirking my duties of being a “keeper of the home”. I have grown lazy in keeping up my house. Women of old, regardless of times of the day, their husbands would bring visitors over for supper or what have you and since they were keepers of the home, their houses were in entertaining mode, always. 

I remember a quote I read by Elisabeth Elliot once, that said, “Always leave your home, as if it were your last time to see it.” That is so convicting. Never leave your home looking like a pigsty, it maybe the last time you see it. You dont want your neighbors coming in after you’re gone seeing the state its in, how embarrassing that would be! What would they think of you then? These are things I have been neglecting as a wife, Facebook isnt helping me grow, but hindering me. 

  
3. Seasons of Life are changing for everyone. 

One of my best friends awhile back told me before either of us were married, she said, “Katie, my grandmother told me, there will come a day when it seems engagements and weddings are the fashion. Then everyone will be getting pregnant. Then, busy homeschooling or raising their kids. Then, the day will come the kids are grown and hobbies and traveling will be the trend and then, you’ll hear of your friends dying… Thats the hardest of all.” Not to be morbid or grim, but she has such a good point. Dont waste time dreaming of what could be, do what only needs to be done now. Take time to enjoy life and its wonderful pleasures. Whatever season of life you are in, just know the God who sees and knows all things, has a great plan for you! Just wait! You’ll see. 

I used to use Facebook as a means to keep up with everyone in my life. But since the death of our boys, its starting to get harder for me to look on Facebook when countless others are sharing the joys of the plus signs on their pregnancy tests. I am more than happy for each one of them, every child is a blessing and should be celebrated, but when you’ve lost two in childbirth it really gets hard to stay focused on the positive. It’s hard to keep your hurting heart and thoughts bottled up inside, without spilling them out for all the world to see. Especially, when the whole world is rejoicing over that plus sign. I am aquainted with that thrill, too, followed by twice in sorrow. So its hard to stay focused on things that are true and real. Simply, good. 

Facebook served its purpose in bringing hubby and I together, its time to move on because the crying fests after every posts that I read, its only going to get harder. 

I need more time to heal. And hubby does, too.

  
4. Lost communication…

People {including myself} rely far too much on fb for communication purposes. I am a guilty resident of this known factor. There was a day and age when people wrote letters to communicate, then there was phone calls… Now its the FB age. 
Maybe I’m just old school but I still enjoy talking on the phone. I love hearing peoples voices. I don’t understand why this is becoming a dead trend with many of my own friends. Its so sad, everything has to be in text. I do like the Facetime feature thats now on my phone. I have never actually done it but I would love to someday!  
Meeting with people is almost impossible now a days. Everyone is so busy. But I reckon, thats everyones life these days. But then again, I wonder if people unplugged more, how busy would they actually be? Hmmm? Might be a good challenge for us all. 

   
5. I miss my blog. 

I have been having major blogging withdrawals. I miss it. And if I have too, then my phone will become my avenue, my source. From which all juices flow. Normally, I write from my computer but in order to get this post up, {in which I posted too soon, one other reason I hate doing it from my phone}, I used my phone, because I didn’t think i could let another day go by without posting. I’m loosing sleep over it, but like a dear friend used to say, you can sleep when you’re dead. 😜 

I miss my encouraging fans, and hearing from you all! 

I believe that about wraps it up! 

From my phone to yours!

Goodnight! 
Katie

{P.S. I may get back on Facebook someday, never say never, but for now, I’m actually enjoying my freedom and getting so much done!} ❤️

To Ask or Not To Ask? (What to say or not to say to those who’ve been through a Stillbirth or Baby Loss)…

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Hi! I’m sure most of you have figured I have fallen off the face of the planet! Ha! Not quite! I’ve just been super busy with painting and life! 🙂 I have decided that posting each week on the paintings is just not working out, I’m not done or through with my challenge, shoot no! But I have been missing blogging in general, not just about art.  I have had other things on my heart to share. This in particular has been on my heart to share. There are so many hurting hearts out there who have lost sweet children. These are just from my own experience, that I want to share with you, that you might be a shinning light to someone who you may know personally who is hurting.

We all need help on knowing what to say to people who are hurting, and what not to say, we are human, after all and we are inquisitive when it comes to baby deaths.  Sometimes we overstep our bounds, and say/ask too much.  I truly wish that I had known these things back before we had our stillbirth.

…Things You Should Never Say/Ask/Do to a Couple Who Have Been Through a Stillbirth (My Own Thoughts From My Own Experience)

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1.   Never say, “Oh you’re still young, you can still have many more.”

You have no idea how tragic that sounds to a mother or father who have witnessed losing a child they never got to know, and to tell them, they can have many more is like, trying to excuse the fact this was a child and he was loved very much. To dismiss that he was human and that we cared for his lil life and that we can quickly dismiss that and go onto trying to fill up that void with another child as if the first never existed.

2.  Never ask, “What happened?” Unless you know for a fact they are strong people and they have shared their story with others.

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Be aware that when you ask those two words “What happened?” what most people don’t realize they are asking more of them, maybe things they don’t wish to share. You are asking to open up to a subject that has been a nightmare to them, a dream they can never awaken from.  You are asking them to reveal a painful subject that they may not be ready to share with you, especially if you are not a close friend.  A friend that is present on a weekly/monthly basis, maybe. If they are willing to share you their story, they may tell you without hesitation or they may pause and say, I’m not ready to go down that road just yet. It’s too fresh in their mind and sometimes it’s best to keep those thoughts to their self. Everyone grieves differently.

3.  Never, I say NEVER joke about getting pregnant, like say on April Fools day, a popular day for such pranks.

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Never ever joke about being pregnant, or pretend with a (Just Kidding) on a pregnancy stick.  I know this has nothing to do with a Still Birth but it must be said, too many people out there hurt people as it is, some people after going through a traumatic time with stillbirth, its hard on your body and it takes a bit more time to heal and possibly get pregnant again.  Someone who has lost a baby doesn’t need to see on social media that someone is joking about getting pregnant. It’s not funny and you’re hurting yourself far more than those who can’t conceive again.  It hurts enough that we lost a true love baby, don’t make it worse by making light of something so deep. Something you can’t understand unless you’ve been there or know of someone who has been there. Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.

4.  Never say, “Maybe you should look into this further.”

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First off, that’s a pretty personal question, not many people feel comfortable sharing.  Who knows, they maybe looking into it already, you just don’t know it. Especially if it happened more than once.  If so, let them figure it out. But most likely, they are trusting in the Lord and how much more should we do the same, if they are?

5.  Never talk about the baby and then turn around and say, “on a lighter note…”

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Who knows? Maybe talking about their baby-loss is a comfort to them and to say this can result in tears. Be cautious with newly wounded creatures. They are frail and hurting, try to be considerate of their feelings.

6.  Never say, “I’m so sorry you had to go through this.”

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I had so many people tell me this and I would try to tell them, “It’s ok. The Lord is in control.”  And He is.  For me, these words were discouraging and I wished more than anything people would have said, “Im sorry for your LOSS”, because he was, a loss, to acknowledge that my baby was a person and great loss; not that I had to go through this? Truly, it’s a painful experience, and I too, would never wish it on anyone, but if God is trying to get ahold of someone’s heart and mind, then sometimes losing a baby is a way to bring people to the cross, to trusting Him again, to finding peace and comfort in and through, Him.  Remember we serve a jealous God who wants ALL of our love, not just a little bit here and there.  If a baby loss is all that it takes to bring people back to Jesus, then I say, its God’s will and best for them.  If they are trusting the Lord to see them through and they are finding peace, this phrase is not a comfort to the sojourner who is seeking and finding their peace and comfort in God’s love, but rather a hindrance, telling them you’re sorry, they had to go through it when they know, it was God’s will. Telling them I’m sorry for your loss, is far better to hear than saying God’s will is not best and I’m sorry God chose the wrong way for you. That’s why its so discouraging when people couldn’t except that it was God’s will for us to go through this.  If we are finding peace and comfort in our loss, shouldn’t you who haven’t lost a baby or maybe you have, but haven’t found that peace that passeth all understanding, how much more should you trust God too, if those that have, do. Plus, after going through this loss, I am closer to the Lord than I ever have been in my whole Christian Life!  I am thankful, but it still hurts. **

…Things You Should Say/Ask/Do to a Couple Who Have Had a Stillbirth

  1. Please say, “I am praying for you and your husband.” Not only say, but do!

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You’re not being nosey but rather being a comfort, you’re not asking a lot of complicated personal questions but rather taking initiative to encourage and lift them up when they feel so down.  You have no idea how comforting it is to know people are praying for you and love you tenderly and dearly! They would never wish to hurt you in this trying time, and I know no one ever meant to hurt me with their questions, but when people put aside the questions and simply told me they have been praying, it is such a HUGE comfort and you don’t have to rehash the painful experiences all over again.

**For me, I do share my story, from time to time, mainly because I have accepted it as God’s will and have found true peace and comfort, because of God’s love and strength, (I am weak, and He is strong!) if I can help someone else with my story, and encourage them, then by God’s grace He will sustain me and help me tell my story, the way He sees fit. Though I will admit I’m not quite ready to type it out for my blog, I may never be fully ready for that, cause I don’t want people to see it as a “good story” but rather an encouragement to those hurting and those that haven’t found that peace yet.**

2.  If you have had a child loss in the past and you are ready to share with others, I say, share it.

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I don’t know how many people, young women and older women alike, even men, came to me and told me their stories, boldly.  One by one, they came and shared story after story, some even wrote me handwritten letters, snail mail and some called me on the phone. You have no idea what a blessing sharing your story can mean to those hurting and to see, you too, trusting in our Saviour’s love and strength! It is so refreshing to know, you are not alone, but you have friends who have been there or close, or have lost through miscarriage or other baby deaths. A baby loss is hard to go through, but if you have friends who have been through it also, then the loss doesn’t seem as hard to go through cause you have friends backing you up in prayer, daily even!

3.   Be Present!

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You have no idea what it means to us who have lost to have faithful friends that daily encourage us and remind us of God’s love through just being present, whether it’s a simple card in the mail to let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them. (Something I wish very much to do for others, who have lost). Call them on the phone if you have their number if you don’t live close. You have no idea what a phone call can do to a person, an art not many use anymore, except to pay bills.  Texting and private messages are the in thing, not that that’s bad, just not very emotional and personal. Listening to someone’s voice is more pleasant than a simple text message or private message. And of course if you live close, be present, in person is far better than any of them!

4.  Along with being present, Ask them if you can do anything for them!

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I had so many friends from church and family come over to “check on me” which was a blessing and I guess I admit I miss very much! I don’t get to spend time with people that much so anytime I get to see friends or spend time with them I try to snatch up any opportunity I can!  I enjoyed having families come do my laundry, watch a movie with me, give me Starbucks, send me flowers and SHOWER me with cards of encouragement! I have no idea how many cards I got and flowers! Wow! What a blessing indeed!!  People from church showered me and Spencer with wonderful things to eat! We are so blessed to have so many that care and love us! I am still overwhelmed at the thought of it all!

5.  Give them a hug.

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Have you ever felt depressed or down and someone whom you love grabs you and gives you the biggest hug and lets you cry on their shoulder?! Wow!! I seriously have some of the sweetest friends! Give them a hug, cause it is the best form of telling someone you love them and that they are in your prayers! It’s a gesture that means more than just “Hi how are you?” I’ve even had strangers come up to me and hug me and thank me for being so strong! (It’s not me! It’s all the Lord!)

6.   Be an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry upon and a hand to hold, someone once said.

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No need for words, just listen.  Share your shoulder and make your arms feel welcoming and safe, sometimes they need to hold a hand, a great opportunity for you to pray for them right there, out loud.

And lastly, “…just LOVE them like Jesus, carry them to Him, this will get easy, this burden is light, you don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions…Just love them like Jesus!” –Casting Crowns

Have you had a baby-loss? Recently, or in the past? Do you have things to add to this list? Please share so others can know that haven’t been through this, can know what not to say, and what to say. Thank you for reading! God bless!

Week 2 of A Year of Art (the artist challenge).

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Wow! I had a great weekend. And I must inform you, that this may occur more often than not in the future. My weekends are normally jammed packed with living life and enjoying every moment of it, so the blog is put on hold so I can do just that. So I won’t always be posting on Saturdays, but if I can I will. If not just expect it for Monday.

I went hunting with my hubby and some friends this weekend and it was my first time! Talk about SO FUN! I enjoyed every moment of it! I am definitely going back and next time hopefully getting a deer! I didn’t get one this time, but came SO CLOSE to getting one. Oh well, next time I will get one! I am very determined to until I get one! 🙂

Ok, so back to my painting. Unfortunately I didn’t have hardly any time to get this one done. This week I was super busy, with, well, enjoying and making memories and enjoying life. So I didn’t get it done, this week. But I do have a HUGE surprise! I am very excited about it! And hope you will be too!

I had a friend message me this past week and ask if I would illustrate 8 books for her in the not so distant future! Basically each book would be children’s book for ages 2-5 years old and each book would have roughly 6 paintings with a cover photo/illustration.

My Husband thought it would be best if I tried doing one and seeing how long it took me, cause I have to create the illustrations myself and that’s not an easy job since I am used to being commissioned to do paintings from pictures, portraits of animals and people. As well as landscapes, and cartooning isn’t one of my strong points, but I am willing to try anything to earn a buck here and there. What starving artist wouldn’t? So this is a great opportunity to learn new things and still stick to my blog, for yes, I will be posting each painting I get done each week, instead of the artist challenge curriculum I was going to use. But if I can do commissioned work instead of the stuff I was going to do, hey! That’s at least a painting a week and that will work just as well, for me! As long as I get 52 paintings done in a course of a year, that is my goal And if I get paid to get there, I would be totally fine with that!

I’m excited. This week, I am planning on finishing the painting I didn’t get done last week and starting the new paintings the following week. So those others for the blog will be put on hold. My apologies to those who were looking forward to purchasing some originals. I just don’t have the time to do both. If I was a hermit who had no life, I could do it. But being a wife, cousin, sister, daughter, friend, etc. I just have too many people I love spending time with.  Hope you understand.

Step 1: Drawing

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I used an HB pencil since it is easier work on mistakes with Watercolor paper.

Step 2: Washing your base coat

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I used Burnt Sienna (BS) and lots of water.

Step 3: Glazing or adding more color

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The left side I used Ultramarine Blue (UMB) and Titanium White (TW) wash, I used BS in the middle and UMB and TW with some Alizarian Crimson (AC).

Step 4: Glazing more color

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I added BS to create the background trees in the picture above.

Step 5: Glazing Titanium White

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When glazing with the TW, you just brush it over with lots of water over the BS trees. Add some UMB and Jet Black to the darker areas with lots of water.

Step 6: Straw effect

007When doing this step, add a watery row of Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine and a bit of Jet Black with lots of water, take your drinking straw and blow the paint along your paper to create a tree limb/grass/brush effect. (Sorry the painting is dark).

Step 7: Glazing over the straw effect, add trees and green leaves.

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This is why it is so important you start the background first in any painting medium. Then it gives a bit of a 3D look to your paintings. Plus with watercolors you ALWAYS want to start with your background. ALWAYS.

I used Sap Green (SG) and added Jet Black to get the darker green. I also used a sponge to create the leaves.

I will add the next steps later as I get them done! 😉

Merry Christmas Everyone! Thanks for reading.

What painting or drawing are you working on? Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Comment below and let me know! 🙂 Would love to hear from you! Until next week!

The Day I said “I Do”. (Part 3 of Our Wedding Story)

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I know this is normally a day I don’t post, but unfortunately I had a super busy week and was rearranging the house to and fro and finally got it back to normal. Finally! And I have been doing lots of “Spring Cleaning” in my kitchen thanks to Hubby who bought me some awesome new shelves! So thankful! I did managed to place a huge box of stuff together to donate to the Hannah House. Stuff I never use.

Anyhoo, now back to the day I said ‘I do’.

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Okay, so the above picture? I must comment, (No, my hubby isn’t a nerd, he held his pants up like I held my skirt up). But the search for the perfect Red Shoes and the Perfect White dress is OVER! All my life I had looked for these two things!! And I found them in like a week of each other! So thankful!

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So, That moment everyone was waiting for, was quickly approaching…

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I love photographs, don’t you?

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My two amazing brothers and the other guys did such a beautiful job on the music! It was PERFECT. 🙂

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Eagerly waiting for his bride, the bridegroom and our Pastor.

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I am so glad my brother was able to capture this face! Love him!

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Yay!! Here I is, with my Daddy!

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My Dad gave me away with a “goodbye” kiss after pulling way the veil from my face! Goodbye to my childhood and upbringing, to my single womanhood, goodbye to his “lil girl”.

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We had a friend read The Marriage Prayer.

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When we both said, “I Do”.

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The importance of the sand being poured into the jar is, not just two people coming together with vows of this and that, but being married means for life, putting on those rings, saying I do, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, means, for real, we will stay together no matter what. Just as this glass of tiny pieces of different colored sand cannot be separated, neither can we, because we are one, just as we are one in Christ, we are one in Holy Matrimony, forever, till death do us part. Literally.

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And there ya have it! Our First Kiss! Wow!! Talk about AMAZING!! Closing your eyes is the best, because when you share it with a crowd, they seem to magically disappear! My head felt as though it was spinning out of control, not sure if it was hunger affects or simple bliss from my first kiss! All I know, is it was all worth the 28 year wait!

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“May I now introduce you to, the new, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Miller”.

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One of my favorite “kisses”. I sure do love him.

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Then we signed our lives to be officially, official.

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Never Be Shaken.

With Christ in the Middle our marriage cannot be shaken.

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I love Autumn!

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I love food, too! Lol! No, seriously, I can remember being SO HUNGRY!

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And boom, like that, we were ready to greet and eat! 😉

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Isn’t that one of the most impressive grooms cakes you ever saw? And I heard it was delicious, too! Sadly, we didn’t get a taste, but it sure looked amazing! (Sarah Bearden, is amazing!!)

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This was delicious! Pumpkin Spice with cream cheese frosting always is!

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Yeah, I couldn’t resist… “nice” lil me can be mean. 😉

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But then again he can, too. 😉

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Silly us!

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I will admit this is an awesome photo, but I forgot one thing in this photo, I forgot to assign someone to my bouquet to toss! Yes!! I forgot toss my bouquet to strategically toss towards my lil  sister! lol Oh well!

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I guess no one got the memo that Spencer likes Sundrop over Mtn Dew.

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And we are living happily ever after…

Hope y’all enjoyed Our Wedding Story.

Thanks for reading.

Katie

Wedding Date: November 24th, 2012, and December 8th, 2012…

Wait…what??!!

heehee