100 Days of Moods

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Let’s face it. Life without sugar can be a very difficult thing. (Sugar is in literally EVERYTHING) Life without ice cream is just sad, because where money can’t buy happiness, it can buy cows and cows make milk and milk makes ice cream and ice cream makes you happy. 😉😂

But in all honesty. This has been by far the hardest 100 days of no white or cane sugar of my life. Literally. It’s been tough. My mood swings have been through the roof. Just ask my husband…no, on second thought, don’t ask my husband. Please. Just don’t. 😁😭 It hasn’t been pretty on him at all. Poor man he has had to deal with horrible mood swings and just plain childish behaviors. Hopefully I’m past all that, now. 🙄

It’s crazy how much we rely on sugar to “make us happy”. I don’t know what it feels like to “get high” on drugs, or getting off of drugs. But I have watched other people get off of them and some of the symptoms seem similar to what I’ve been through getting off sugar. Yes, I’m probably exaggerating just a wee bit, but maybe not.

I had lots and lots of headaches from withdrawals. I would dream about sugary treats all day and night. Smelling said treats was what helped me stay sane. I gorged myself on other means of junk food so I wouldn’t eat sugar. Which looking back, I would have to ask myself, which is worst? Now that I’m taking gluten out of the picture it’s helping me come to grips with reality, just how much of the world relies on sugar and gluten. It’s in literally everything. Even things that “trick” your mind that say “organic” on the label. Cereals, breads, chocolates, sandwich meats, bacon…yeah, bacon is loaded with sugar, hence the reason it tastes so good. It’s used as a preservative so it has a longer shelf life. Which if you think about it, is rather…um..gross.

I had to kinda laugh out loud the other day when I was browsing on Instagram, an add for Mac & Cheese popped up it said it was gluten free and had bits of cauliflower mixed in the noodles. Then I went on Amazon to look at the nutrition labels and it had over 70 carbs and 40 something sugars in it per serving, which was like 1/4 cup??!!! I was shocked. So just because it says gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Or any add ins like cauliflower. Not always a good choice. Especially if you’re limiting your carb intake. Always, always, always, read the labels. They are there for a reason. 😁

I know I promised, before and after photos but really there doesn’t seem like a lot of change yet to my body. So I’m gonna have to make a rain check on that. Especially after trying no gluten for 3 months. It can be done y’all. And as always, I love a good challenge. I really don’t want to become a diabetic like the majority of the people on my dad side. I’ve enjoyed sugar for 33 years, it’s time to say goodbye to the addiction and say hello to a healthy lifestyle. ☺️❤️

I saw this on Instagram today which led me to believe why I should wait about posting before and after photos of myself. You all might not see a change, but I most definitely feel it. I’ve lost over 16 inches in my mid (pear shaped) section of my body, (I.e. hips, waist, thighs; the places I’ve tried losing for years!) and I’m finally in a size 6 jeans! Y’all!!! This is huge!! I haven’t been a size 6 since I was in High School! So yeah! I’m pretty well pumped! I didn’t think I would ever make it this far! But thanks to working out everyday and the Keto/low carb life style I’ve made it this far in my journey. It’s taken a whole lot of grace, strength that can only come from my Savior and egging on/cheers from my wonderful husband. It helps when your man is on your side. I couldn’t have done it without him. Though I’m not done yet. I have about 5 other goals I want to meet and trigger.

And a lot of thanks goes to my followers. I didn’t know anyone was even listening out there in the world, so I appreciate the comments and likes from you all. It really means a lot. ♥️

So, with that said. I will write again in a few weeks when I finish my 12 week workout program I’m currently doing. (Mine is actually shorter than 12 weeks, (60 days to be exact, I currently just did day 32) because I workout 7 days a week and the app only allows you to workout 5 days a week. 😜 So naturally mine will be a bit shorter, though I plan to do it all over again on the advanced version when I’m finished with the intermediate. That should be fun.

Sincerely,

Katie♥️

P.S. if you’re looking for a good workout system that actually works and costs a fraction of the price of a one month gym membership (you get a yearlong membership for $49.99!!) Runtastic Results app, is the app for you. You can do them anywhere at anytime, and zero equipment. You don’t even have to use a mat if you don’t want to. You just need the will to train and some water, because you will sweat buckets! 💦💦

I did CrossFit for a short couple months and I didn’t think I would ever sweat like that again. Um, I sweat that much and sometimes more and that’s in air conditioning! So keep yourself hydrated. Drink water before and after your workouts, and small sips during if you can) And you don’t have to go as extreme as me, that’s just what works for me. You can workout as little as 2 days a week or as much as 5 unless you do like me and just do it consistently, daily. 😎

But so far. Y’all. I have abs. I have muscles in my arms, I have only seen on extreme athletes. I never would have thought after 32 days of workouts, I would see this much progress! But I’m only halfway there! What will I look like after this is over?! 😲😱 I’m gonna push myself harder so I can see just how far I can go!! Wanna join me?!

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21 Day Fixer Upper

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Ok so that was seriously a play on two famous titles. But seriously starting tomorrow I have 21 days until my deadline ends! That’s right Saturday will be 70 days total of the 90 days of no sugar and sweeteners, and with that, I must finish strong and I mean, literally. I’m going to kick myself to the max, workout everyday for 21 days, including Sundays because let’s face it, it’s only 21 days?! And I mean full 20-40min of working out. I really do need to stop being lazy and actually work hard to achieve the goals I set out for. I tried finding some apps for my phone to help me with a good solid workout plan but they all pretty much had either sad reviews or they didn’t work for my extremely slow data since we don’t have internet at home (I know we are so old school). But I’m having to make do with what I have and for that I will have a new workout everyday so it doesn’t get boring since I have a plethora of workout DVD’s, I am certain I have enough for 21 days worth.

And my nutrition is pretty much going to be lean chicken or chicken or fish. 😆 I need to stay away from red meats for this 21 day fixer upper. And snack on the Keto fruits and veggies I’m allowed to eat. Basically eating rabbit food and my Keto low carb coconut protein shake. You can find that here. I found this shake for half the price at my favorite place to shop here in Decatur, at Bargain Hunt. They always seem to have great finds (cast offs/returns from Target and Amazon). And of course all the coffee I need to stay awake at work.

I’m gonna write up my meal plan for the next 21 days, today as well as my workout plan. I hope to run at least once possibly twice a week. I’ll be sure to share my before and after photos of my 90 day challenge as well as the 21 day fixer upper. 😉

I think that’s about it. Here’s a great quote I try to live by, by Ben Franklin:

Failure to plan, is planning to fail.”

So if you too, have some great goals of your own, make up your plan and go out and conquer them! You can do it! What are some goals you hope to achieve in 2018? Let me know in the comments.

Sincerely,

Katie❤️

This Crazy Wonderful Life!

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Hey y’all!

It’s been a little while since my last post. I just got done organizing my art room. A project sorely neglected for a long time. But I said, before I start painting a ton of new paintings again, I’m going to first organize my art room so it’s decent for painting in. I think I’ll be putting up my jewelry stuff for awhile and focus on just a few things I want to get done, those things on my vision board.

First thing is first:

1.) Spend more time with Hubby. And those I love.

I love a LOT of people, mostly the ones I spend a lot of time talking to, over the phone, texting and in the everyday. And now that I have a job, time with my tribe is limited. Saturdays are pretty much my tribe time and Sundays are my church tribe and my family time. But I’m thankful more and more for each moment. Thanks to this job, I really am starting to appreciate every moment I spend with everyone I possibly can. And having a new church family, is such a blessing. Each person in our church we’ve grown so close in such a short time. Love it. ❤️

2.) This one may seem silly to some of you, but I have had this project going on now for about 15 years maybe more. I have an obsession of patches, you know the patches you buy for ironing on shirts and jackets and such? Well I have collected them for about 15ish years now and have cumulated quite a few in my travels. Just about every park I have visited I bought a patch. Every national park I’ve visited, unique restaurant that sell them, etc. I’ve always been fascinated with the old 1800’s-1900’s fashion of putting stickers on your luggage/trunks of places you’ve been, and wonder why they don’t do that anymore? So I decided I would buy a patch every place I went that was unique and if they sold them. I’ve had friends buy some for me, and have given me some. Which I find funny. They must think I’m crazy. But I appreciate it. 😎 The patches will be added to a bag I made in middle school, that I have saved for years and years. 😋 I would like to get all the ones I currently have onto the bag, asap. So I can continue my collecting without feeling too overwhelmed with how many I need to sew on.

3.) I would like to do more photography. Some of just my own inventions and pleasure. Not necessarily paid ones. More practice. Which I just started lessons with my new Pastor who is an excellent photographer so I think I’m in good hands. I’ve had two lessons so far and have really come to appreciate it even more.

4.) I would also like to try to paint at least 10 more paintings before the new year. I have one landscape I hope to start on in the morning now that my art room is fairly organized. I just need to make a list of all the ones I want to try and do. I’ll elaborate more on those later.

5.) I have a plethora of photos I would like to turn into another scrapbook before the new year. In a perfect world I will crank out 3 in a year. But we’ll see if next year will hold more true to that.

6.) I just started bullet Journaling and absolutely love it! Well I did until I got a job, and that went out of the window for now. So I have to figure out how to keep that in line and keep at it. We’ll see how it goes.

7.) I really want to squeeze my workouts back into my schedule even if it’s just for a short 10min. Or what have you. I can tell I get tired easily and feeling a little flabby. So I need to get back into it. I would like to get back into running but it may just be a once a week thing again, which would be fine with me.

8.) I know, I’m a nut, but I’be been keeping my eyes open for a Star Wars phone case. I had an R2-D2 phone case with my old iPhone 4s, I have an iPhone SE and have been on the lookout for something Star Wars. Because I’m a nerd like that. 🤓😜

9.) I have about two or three paintings I really need to finish, but haven’t. So they maybe part of the ten I do, they maybe extra. We’ll see.

10.) Like always I plan to blog more. Probably FB less because frankly, too much drama lately. No offense but there really is. And I miss writing. So I’m gonna try and do more blogging and less FB.

11.) So, thanks to family members, I finally found an OB-GYN that is not only a Christian but also one who really CARES! Yes!! He really, really does! When we went last month for my consultation he continued to say how sorry he was for our losses! And how he acknowledges God created our bodies to do amazing things just confirmed that I knew I was in good hands. That he acknowledged that our babies were babies and REAL LOSSES, not just an “oh well,” thing that happened like our last doctor put it. I had been praying so very much that we would find a doctor who really, genuinely cared, and I believe he does!

Anyway he told me, my issue was indeed an incompetent cervix and noticed my cervix opening was a lot smaller than most. He also said, there is a very promising procedure I can have done, a TAC (Trans Abdominal Cerclage). There are only two doctors in the US that perform this surgery and the one I will be going to, is in Chicago and has an individual success rate of 99%, as oppose to all the others (95%!). So we are extremely hopeful! We went from having a 50/50 chance of being able to have a full term baby to a 99% chance! Isn’t God good? How amazing is that? His plans are ALWAYS perfect. We are very hopeful and know He knows best, whatever the outcome.

And lastly,

12.) I would love it, if I had the surgery next month (November) and Lord willing get pregnant in December. I think that would be so cool! Either get pregnant around Christmas or New Years! Either way, it would be a great gift!

Anyway, I’ll write soon about our upcoming trip as I find out more details! Hopefully I’ll know more next week sometime.

Sincerely,

Katie

The Homestead Artist

Finding Joy! (Part 2) (or John Spencer’s Birth Story, Part 1)

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  John Spencer’s, one year birthday is coming up early next month, and sadly I still haven’t had the strength to write his amazing story! I think, every child is deserving of their birth story, to be told.  I never tire of telling his story in person. Its time to write it out, to those of you that don’t live close. or don’t know me. I pray God uses it to bless your heart, who knows, you maybe going through the same losses as my husband and I are.  This is for you!.

Its amazing what God did for us during that very difficult time in our life. He gave us so much joy, it was almost too overwhelming.  He answered so many of our prayers in times of much suffering.

Grab a box of tissues.  I know I will be. Many prayers go up while I type… so hard, but yet, I know ’twill be rewarding if it touches at least one person. God is good.

Where to begin?  I think I shall start with the ultrasound.  It was Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014.  We walked into the ultrasound room, Hubby and I. Super thrilled and excited, it was the day we were to find out if baby #1 was a boy or girl! 🙂 Being our first as you can imagine we were beyond excited… although, in spite of what everyone was saying (except my dad), I knew it was going to be a boy.  You know how you just have that feeling? Yeah, I did. But I would have been fine with a girl, I just knew I wanted what my hubby wanted, and I had prayed a ton for a boy.  Just like Hannah in the Bible. Those verses were giving me hope.

Sure enough as soon as the nurse turned on the screen, there “it” was, our assumptions had been final! Yay!! It’s a beautiful baby boy! Wow, God is so good to answer our hearts desires, isn’t He?

Watching him roll about on the screen was truly miraculous. I think every first mom should get an ultrasound. Truly. It is one of the best decisions we ever made! Since we never got to see our boys, roll about in person, to see them jumping about on the screen, was truly breath taking! (No, we didn’t have twins, we had Isaac, another time. His story, later).

I am so thankful for those times in the Ultrasound room. It was truly amazing.. I did have to cry a little, just watching on the screen, “That’s my baby! That’s MY baby!! We made this!! God made this!! Wow!!” Happy tears! 🙂 If you haven’t felt the awe and awesomeness of it, you will, trust me, it’s an incredible experience, like no other!

We got to the car with a load of pictures from the ultrasound. We were going to do something cool on how to tell our parents, but we were just too excited, so I called my mom on the way home, and Spencer overheard her cries of “OH!!! I’m SO HAPPY for y’all!!” “I KNEW it had to be a boy!!” (well, she went back and forth, but who cares?” lol!) 😉

Then after telling all my siblings that live at home and my Dad, Spencer called his parents and they were super excited as well!

Everything was going great, until it happened.  That moment when everything changed, from good to traumatic.  For me, its always been, “When it rains, it pours.” no sprinkles… always pours. But when things like this happen, the pouring rain comes, it teaches me so much about what it means to be patient and to let go, and let God, to trust God fully, no matter what. Psalm 27:14 is truly a life verse for me, “Wait on the Lord and be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.”

I was tired one afternoon around 2 o’clock Saturday, September 6th, 2014. So I took a nap.  Spencer was out dove hunting with a friend, so I was alone, at home. Around 4 o’clock I woke up with a start, and hurriedly jolted up and soon as that happened, something felt as though it popped, like a thick bubble, “down there” and liquid, gushed out.  All I could think was, “Oh Lord Jesus, please don’t let it be that!” I grabbed my cell phone as I ran to the bathroom and called Spencer and told him what had happened, I was shaking from head to toe and so scared, I didn’t know what else to do. I sat in the bathroom as water continuously gushed out every few seconds.  Spencer told me to call my midwife, for whom I was planning on using for my birth.  *I was 21 weeks that day, btw*.

To make a long story short, I started bleeding down there, and Spencer got home to rush me to the ER at the Huntsville Hospital.  That’s where we had planned to give birth if there were any complications. That was just a precaution, I didn’t think that would actually happen to me. My family doesn’t have much of a history for losing children, except for my grandmother, I later found out.

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This drawing tells it all. We waited in the Woman’s Center for nearly 2 hours, waiting and praying, crying and scared, not knowing what to expect? The nurse came in with a portable ultrasound, rolling the big machine into the room, blocking the screen view from my sight. A worrisome mother, like I was, wondering why they do that sort of thing? Keeping me in suspense is not going to help me right now.

Spencer watched the screen with tears in his eyes, but trying to be strong for me, watched while our baby barely moved.  All the amino acid was gone, he was not floating around, but laying flat on his back, I managed to sit up so I could see the screen, too.

About 30 minutes later our OB/GYN wheeled himself into the room on a little tricycle thingy. Poor man, had broken his leg falling into an Orchestra Pit. I know right? Bless his heart.

He told me, our baby was doing ok, his heart rate was slowly going down, but he was breathing and alive. He told us our options. We could either stay in the hospital and do everything we could to keep our John Spencer, alive by putting me on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy (about 19 weeks), and keeping me on strong medication and fluid to help heal the sac by adding fluid to it in hopes it will seal back up and baby, will be ok.  Although, the doctor said, he would most likely have lung issues and be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Or…

We could go home and try the above from home.

He let us go home to talk about it and pray about it. So we did.

That’s when I got your beautiful text, Lacey! That you and Nathan had gotten engaged! God knew, I needed more than anything to hear good news that horrible trying night! Yes, its the little things that are truly the Big things. I thank you again, for that, girl! 🙂

We both got home with heavy hearts, and it was so hard to keep the tears from flowing. It’s so hard, even now. All my hopes and dreams were crushed all in one single blow. “Why, Lord? Why me? Please, what have I done? Did I really mess up somewhere? Did I not love you, enough?” Was all that was running through my feeble mind.

What I couldn’t understand at the time was, God does not in anyway, form or fashion, does NOT punish His people for whom He loves. No amount of neglecting Him or His word, or not loving Him like we should when we have backslidden from Him, does He love us any less. NO, He loves us, no matter what.  He took our punishment on the cross.  He does chastise us from time to time, to get our attention away from ourselves, and onto Him. But He won’t punish us, He has already paid for that punishment, it is finished!  Everything that happens is for His mysterious plan and purpose. Nothing escapes Him, not even the death of a sparrow.

He loves me, no matter what!

When we got home, it was 3 in the morning (Sunday, September 7th, 2014) Spencer went on to bed, and I couldn’t sleep, a mommy can never sleep when they know their baby is in danger. I kissed hubby goodnight (good morning), and took my Sword (Bible) in hand and knelt down beside the couch to plead with my Heavenly Father. Tears streaming down my face I asked God for healing. That God would do a miracle for my baby, and through his testimony, people would be saved!  I also prayed, if God already decided to take my baby home early, that He would give Spencer and I much grace, hope and peace through it all, that He would give us the peace that passeth all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) That hope and promise that God was going to work everything out for our good,(Romans 8:28) for we loved Him and believe we are called according to HIS purposes.

I asked God, if this is what He willed for us, that He would not make us bitter and angry, or depressed. I had seen this in others and I didn’t want that for me. I didn’t want to be that way. I wanted to show people, that I still love the Lord, and I glorify Him even in the bad times. Though, I’m not perfect by any means, I know I  fail in that area, and I know I have many times.

I also didn’t want to be found envying other women for having children, like I had seen in others who had gone through baby losses.  I didn’t want to be angry at anyone who was joyed in having a little one. Every life is precious and should be celebrated! I didn’t want to be like the norm.  I wanted to stand out and be different, to glorify God by being happy for all my lovely gifted friends.  But I confess, I am not perfect, I have felt this way, I have hurt in this way, that’s when I know I need to keep my hands busy and not worry about everything that is going on around me. To focus on the true and real, what I need to do now.  Congratulate them, and pray for them.

I had literally prayed those things over and over again to, Jesus, until about 8am, I went to the bedroom where my hubby was sleeping, and woke him up. We prayed together and cried large heavy tears.  Spencer told me, he cried himself to sleep. That man, never cries. I had only seen him cry twice, before all this happened. When he gave his first hug to me, after he asked me to marry him and when we said, “I do” on our wedding day.

We both decided it best to call our parents first. I called my mom, it was around 9am, when I called. That was seriously the hardest phone call of my life.  I have never heard my mother cry like that, its hard for me, so hard. The memories flood in. I remember her pleading with God as I told her everything. Spencer couldn’t listen anymore, He had to go outside. He called his mom and told her.

I took a nap, for I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to go to church today. At around 1:30pm I started having indigestion, or at least I thought it was. I didn’t think anything of it at first, it just felt like the indigestion I had had all week. They started to get closer together and more in number. I called for Spencer and he came and he called my midwife and she told us to get to the hospital as soon as possible, that wasn’t indigestion, I was in labor!

I need a break, so forgive me. This is a lot to rehash. I will have to take it in strides, as it comes to me. Thank you for reading.  I hope its a blessing to you, though, I know it’s not finished.

In Christian Love,

Katie

The Day I Married My Best Friend (Part 2 of Our Wedding Story)

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Today marks two full months of when my sweet baby John Spencer, left this world as soon as he entered it, now, he is whole and complete and safe in the Arms of Jesus. Its hard to believe it has been two months, since I held my lil 1lb 1oz baby boy in my arms. I’m thankful for those sweet and precious 21 weeks and one day he was in my womb and the two days we got to sit and hold his precious frail body. Not many mothers have that privilege and I find myself truly grateful for that short time of holding him and know even while holding him and kissing his sweet face and holding his cold lil hands and feet, that he is not here but in an oh so much better place!

I thought I would share a lil bit of him with you, there, and share this precious picture also.

10698669_10154553719530364_7830725576921966268_nOkay, so now back to my story! After the last three weeks of planning and engagement, came the gloriously wonderful day of our wedding.  And like I said before, that day was COLD!! It was freezing, but I don’t think I even noticed it being so cold, I know some of my bridesmaids said, because I had much more clothing on, but really, all that clothing didn’t warm me in the least, only the Love of my Heavenly Father, the legacy of my grandparents, and the love I had for this man, truly warmed my heart and permeated through my very being!
Okay, so the very beginning of that day! Ohhhhh!! SOooo excited to tell you! (Seriously some of my most favorite remembrances!! Truly made up for some of the things I forgot to do on that big day, we will get to those later!)

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Got my Hair and Makeup done to go get ready for pictures early that morning! We had to meet my beloved at the Rose Garden in Decatur, where I would see him for the very first time that day! And, he… wait for it!! Would be blindfolded and see me in my dream gown for the very first time!! YAY!!!

Let me give you the entry I wrote in my journal, It explains a bit more of my excitement!

“I will never forget that day, all my dreams came true.  You were there, my dear, you remember it? How excited we all were, as we approached the gardens.  The screams and giggles and chills from the morning air in November.  Y’all speaking so loudly at the sight of the tall handsome figure in the midst of the gardens, standing, waiting with the red blind fold wrapped about his head.  Like a dream or aspiration we whirled the vehicle about the gardens and came to a halt.  Everyone quickly and carefully hurrying about, as my calm heart skipped several beats here and there.The sight of my love, my life, took my breath away!

There he stood so calmly waiting for my entrance, to see me, his bride for the first time that day. To get a glimpse or two before we took pictures.”

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“Remember? As you all left me standing about 20 feet from my beloved?”

11232012_katie&spencer_ak38“Waiting, watching, y’all hid yourselves behind a bush.”

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“Waiting and watching while my love turned to take off the blindfold about his eyes…”

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“That smile, that look of surprise! Wow! So amazed and so in love! The background with the arrow through the sphere is truly how I felt, cupids arrow was penetrating deep in my heart!”

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“The look of love on my man’s face here is so sweet! Its as if he were thinking those words from the Scriptures, When Adam first beheld his wife, Eve. “This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” Seeing that handsome gaze staring right back at me, not a word did utter his lips nor did they mine. perhaps he was simply soaking in the moment, as was I.”

Here’s to you, my love

After meeting in the garden we were able to have some time alone, or so we thought…

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Yeah, I know a good photographer when I see one. 🙂 Photo Credit: Joseph Frank (My lil Bro).

After our “private” time, we did our wedding photos. They were so fun! The girls looked gorgeous and the guys were handsome!

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(And my amazing, wedding decorator!!)

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So thankful to the Lord for a great group of bridesmaids! I love each of them for being there for me and Spencer! And I thank all the guys who were there to help us celebrate!

I do want to thank my wonderful parents and in laws for helping this day happen!

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I thank my families and the Lord Jesus for this wonderful day! God be glorified!

Look for Part 3, next week. Thanks y’all!

 

A Tribute to a Godly Man (Part 1 of our Wedding Story)

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Wow!! I can’t believe November is finally here!! Two years and counting! Yeah, My hubs and I would have said “I do”, yesterday, two years ago! Hard to believe!  You may ask… we may have said I do yesterday two years ago? Yeah, well, long story…Oh? You have time? You sure? Oh, well, ok… where to begin?!

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Well after we got engaged then came the loooooong 4 months of waiting for the big day to arrive! (And of course a lil wedding planning, duh?!) 😉 (I know, I know, four months isn’t long at all… but it is for someone who has been waiting since she was 5 for this big day to happen and you are 28… yeah, sounds like a long time now, doesn’t it? heehee). 😉

Okay so we did our wedding planning and I got my GORGEOUS dream (Kate Middleton) wedding gown! Yes, it was indeed a wedding gown patterned after Princess Kate’s gown, but I did have some alterations done to make it… well… more… modest?! 🙂

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Spencer and I even got to take a trip during those 4 months of our long waiting… it was great! Some of the awesome guys in our church were doing a Ragnar Relay Race in Nashville, well actually they ran from Chattanooga to Nashville.  It was kinda a big deal, I mean, 200 miles of running… how could it not be? Well, we went to cheer them back to the finish line but the problem we had was finding the finish line and by the time we found it, everyone had skedaddled on home! Well, silly us for missing it… Well, maybe it wasn’t such a horrible disappointment I mean after all we were together and in love and thankful we had this sweet time together.  Ahnd my dad had basically given Spencer and I more time to spend together now that life was official for us!  No turning back!

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I’m glad we had that entire day together! One of my favorite engagement memories. Some of the other great memories were our walks we had in the neighborhood I lived in at the time. We walked down to my Pawpaw’s house and visited him often, for he was actually doing very poorly at the time of our engagement. But I am so thankful he got to meet Spencer, my sweet man before he passed on to Glory!

Yes, that is why we had to postpone our wedding date to a later date, my sweet Grandfather, or Pawpaw as we called him, went home to be with his Father in Heaven and to be reunited with his beloved wife, Sweet Nanny! So thankful for them and love and miss them dearly!

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It was really hard loosing my sweet Pawpaw. Hard.  But I believe even in the midst of trials good things come out of them.  I’m so thankful Spencer was there during that loss. Yes, we had to push our wedding date to a later date, and yes, many were bothered by that decision, but I have no regrets. Yes, I had to wait an additional 3 extra weeks before I said I do, but oh, my! How God blessed us that day, I will never forget it!

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I believe there is a time to listen to your friends and there is a time to listen to those who are in authority over you. But listening to God is always better. We thank the Lord for the friends and family that were so encouraging during that time. There were some confused friends who didn’t understand why we needed to wait.

Well, I don’t blame them for not understanding. It was hard to wait, I didn’t understand myself why we had to wait. But God made it so beautifully clear later on, when we exchanged our vows… the day of our wedding…Wow! I cannot tell any of you what a blessed day that was… Everything about that day was beautiful. That legacy of love i was talking about… who couldn’t feel the peace and love he shared with us that day? It was more than I could have ever imagined. Yeah, it was cold that day…okay, so it was REALLY cold that day… but I don’t see how anyone could not see the blessings I saw and felt by others that day.  God gave me a sense of peace and warmth that even through the chilliness of the day, I was warmed in my heart that day.  He gave me a sense of peace those three weeks, knowing this was the right and honorable thing we were doing for my Grandfather.  I don’t expect anyone to truly understand that until they too have experienced something similar.  It was hard loosing a loved one, one that lived just down the street from you, one you grew up with and set such a Godly example, a leader, a role model. No, I wasn’t as close to Pawpaw as I was to my Nanny, but that didn’t make me love him any less. I loved him with my whole heart cause we shared a common love, for Jesus. Its amazing, that love, that passeth all understanding. That peace, too. So thankful for this man, and the legacy he gave to us all. His testimony is incredible. And I loved hearing him tell it. It never grew old, because it was real and genuine!

He was real and genuine, and enjoyed life! He waited for the day when he could go play golf again! He was excited to live, but ready to go home. You ask me why we decided to wait? Well. Because, we all wanted to honor him, he was a big man and made a huge impact on peoples lives. Was it hard? Yeah, it was hard, but not nearly as hard as it was loosing a friend, a grandfather, a loved one, who loved the Lord, and still does, a story teller, the one who always read the Bible story at Christmas every year, the one who told jokes and amazing stories of when we was a boy growing up in the great depression years. The man who fought for our country in WWII, the man who couldn’t watch war pictures because it reminded him of the real days. the man who sat praying on the couch while life was going on, the one who baptized me when i was seven, the man who preached every sunday he got the chance, the man that knew scripture from front to back and could quote chapters at a time. The man who preached Christ crucified and risen again! The man who kept notes from all his sermons, the man that never used a computer, but used an old typewriter to write out all his sermons.  The man that Loved God with everything that was in him, who said, “Amen” more than ten times daily. Who was an amazing father to his children and husband to his beloved wife. A Grandfather, Great-Grandfather.  Who was a southerner through and through, I could tell you more, but would end up being a 20 parter.

I am so thankful for this man, more than any words can express. I’m thankful for the love; that contagious love he had for his Saviour.

Thank you, Pawpaw. Thank you for shining Christ’ love on us all! I miss you and love you forever!

Katie

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Joe Hoover

July 31st, 1921-November 1st, 2012

There’s A First Time For Everything! (Part 3, And Continued from “Me and Mister Right”).

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I must apologize for my “forgetfulness”.  Like I mentioned on the Facebook Page, I didn’t forget to post like I said I would on Friday.  Its just that I had SO much going on, on Friday that I simply didn’t have time to get out and do my normal routinely things. 😦 Oh well, at least I am getting it up today, Lord willing). 😉

Ok… so I left off at…. let me check…Oh yes,…  Every year my church gets involved with the War of Decatur, Civil War Reenactment, you dress up like a southern belle and gentleman or a solider and fight in the battle, if you choose too. So I was dressed up in this pale baby blue gingham Southern Belle dress complete with hoop and my man hadn’t gotten there, and no he wasn’t one to dress up for these things but he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see me in my hoop dress…he was late getting there and of course I was worried.. he got there and I had already started soaking wet with sweat for it was fearfully hot outside and my curls were beginning to stick to my face and neck. I am sure I looked dreadful. But he didn’t seem to mind it. He kinda chuckled when he saw me but it was a cute chuckle. 😉 At least we got a photo together.

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Well, the next week he came over and used up two of his days and I was lil distraught cause I wanted to be there for his birthday which was Saturday and he wanted to take me out on Thursday evening for our last night for the week. He said he would talk to my dad and ask for an additional day.  Well, he was able to get permission to get that extra day.  My dad is so sweet, I am telling ya!

Well, I will say I had my suspicions that Spencer was going to ask me to marry him that night (Thursday). I even texted one of my good friends and told her, I thought it was going to be that night.  She told me to keep her updated… I mean really he had two months to “Look me over”. How much more time do you need? Three months? I mean people in the Bible just said, he took him a wife and viola!  We already knew him for years and years and my brothers all liked him even after the 4th of 5th meeting. 😉 And that’s more than I can say for any of the other guys I went out with.

Well Thursday evening my man came up in his very loud obnoxious red Chevy truck! 🙂 As always.. I greeted him at the door… no flowers… red roses… nothing…ok maybe he’s not going to pop the question tonight.  We get to the truck and I get in… no… not any red roses stashed away in here… Well, that is the norm for when you are to ask a girl to marry you? Isn’t it?

Well, we get to the restaurant….Ok, let me pause here for a minute… this is a BIG deal for us… we NEVER ate out together by OURSELVES, EVER! We were courting, courtships don’t allow for you to be alone unless there are people around you… yeah there are people at restaurants just as much as Starbucks, but my dad only allowed Starbucks, maybe he wanted our first alone outing to be special like this one.

Ok so we get to the restaurant and order our food…Spencer doesn’t say much while waiting for the food…nervous perhaps? 😉 Ok so we get our food and he eats all of it…that’s right… ALL OF IT!! Not even left a crumb… Maybe I was being overly suspicious… maybe he’s not going to ask me to marry him. Most people can’t eat like that when they are nervous.

Well we go and get our regulars at Starbucks, his Tall Mocha and my Tall Chai Latte.  And instead of going in to get it he takes us to the Park…but which one? We drive past Wilson Morgan…good.. I mean its ok, but nothing like my favorite… we drive past Delano… yay! And then he drives to my ALL TIME FAVORITE! The River Park! How did he know that was my favorite park, ever?! I have so, so many memories playing there as a kid and watching the barges go from one end of the river to the next.  So many memories of seeing gorgeous sunsets on the TN river at dusk. Love it! We walked over to the railroad tracks to the porch like thing they made for us romantics or photographers could take pictures of their models with a beautiful backdrop overlooking the Marina in one corner, the 565 Bridge in one and the Train Bridge in another view.

We watched a small tug boat go across the water and then a barge and then wouldn’t you know it… I started to get one of those pesky migraines… I got them quite a bit back then. I let out “Oh man! I’m getting a migraine”.   Just as Spencer was turning towards me to say something… but silenced himself when I said, “Can I go back to your truck and get my medicine?” So we walked back and as we walked back I stepped into a large mud puddle and got squishy mud all over my “Bob’s” (Kinda like Toms but an Academy Brand, same idea though, for every pair sold they give a pair of shoes to a needy child).  I get all upset over it cause I couldn’t see the puddle, the migraines I get are rather blinding.

Spencer kinda grinned and told me not to worry about it, that we would get me another pair… “We?” Hm…. So after I got the medicine in me, we walked over to one of the beautiful red benches along a winding walkway. We sat down and as we were sitting a couple passed us on the side walk, they were an older couple and were quite sweet and affectionate.  Well I look out across the water and then Spencer cleared his throat as if he had something to say, he asked me some questions… three to be exact and we talked about the different questions and then as I was still talking or blabbing on he started to get up from his chair and move to a kneeling down on one knee position and pulled out a ring from his blue jean pocket…. And said, “I have one more question to ask, Will you marry me, Katie Frank?” (Was my head spinning or was that the side effects from the migraine medication?) I was so stunned but yet, so excited, I thought surely my jaw had dropped down to my lap!! Something in me wanted to get up and shout “FINALLY!!” but I calmed myself with a sweet silent but excited, “Yes!”

He did it!! We are actually engaged!! I wanted to cry and laugh and do it all over again all at the same time! He then got back on the chair and instead of sitting what seemed like a mile away from me he moved in closer and put his arm around me (EEEHHHH!!!! Yeah, first time he has done this!!) And placed his hand in mine.  Again, a first and then, wait for it…. He said, “I love you” in my ear with a calm whisper, the very first time I heard those words utter from his lips.  And then, wait for it… yes, I returned to him, an, “I love you, too!” Awwwwweeee!!!!! I know, right??!! FIRST TIME EVER!!  I know what you are thinking… y’all kissed right, your first time?? NO…. we didn’t kiss… though I know he wanted to very much, but it would have been spoiled… well, maybe not spoiled but you have no idea how long I have waited to kiss, my mister right! I had never given my kiss away to ANYONE, including him, except on our wedding day.  Yep, you read that right, I gave my first kiss away after 27 LONG years of waiting for my man, I waited and saved my kiss for him!  So very glad I did… the first kiss was AMAZING!!! It was way better than I could have ever imagined!!

But enough about the first kiss… Remember that sweet older couple we saw at the park?! They came over after Spencer popped the question and congratulated us!! Sooooo sweet!!! They even were nice enough to take our picture!

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We were so excited we went and called a couple of our friends and I texted my sweet friend Lacey again, to keep her updated and we went back to my house.

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And that was the very beginning of our Love Story that God amazingly orchestrated for us. 🙂 Look forward to telling you many more stories in the future. God be glorified!

Thanks for reading,

Katie

P.S. The reason Spencer was late for the reenactment was because he had just gone to buy the ring and went and spent an hour taking out his excitement at the shooting range… I guess kinda didn’t want to show that he was excited about something… like a ring that was stashed under the seat of his truck!! 🙂