Friday, March 30, 2012

DIY: Coffee Can Bag Holder

We have some sort of weird obsession with re-using things. It stems from both of our pack rat tendencies and my Seattle roots. We just don't like to throw things away if we feel like they can be used again!

We save paper bags. You know, like from the grocery store and stuff? We use them for little trash can liners, lunch bags, used kitty litter, etc. It's recycling, and it saves us money. Score!

We also love Trader Joe's coffee, and save the cans that it comes in. They're cool and they can hold stuff. Double score.

I got sick of seeing a variety of coffee blends on our shelf holding the plastic bags, so last weekend while it was pouring outside, I got a little crafty! And I would just be rude not to share with y'all. :)

Hope you likey!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kitty Love: Norman & Hadley

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that I never formally introduced our kitties! Part of it was forgetfulness but another part of it was me feeling guilty for getting kittens only a month after we gave away our precious pup. I didn't want to feel like we were replacing him (we were not) with two little kitties (who could never measure up to the pup!).

I love animals. A little obsessed, some might say. Ever since moving out of my parents house, Zach had told me we could get a kitten when we got married. We ended up adopting Hugo instead, which is cool because lets face it, dogs are better than cats. But anyways.

When we moved to California, we decided we would get kittens after Christmas since we would be gone for a week and that would be the responsible thing do to. So of course, after living here an entire two weeks, I slyly suggested we "just look" at kittens after church on Sunday. For some reason, Zach obliged and we found the most timid little grey kitty. We decided we'd better take her home with us, because who knew if there would even BE kittens after Christmas, right!? So we told the Humane Society we were heading to Petco to get  all the kitten essentials, and we would be back that afternoon to pick her up.

We drove to the other side of town where Petco is, and when we pulled up to the door, would you believe what they had there?! Kitten adoptions! Instantly I spotted the most adorable white and grey kitty I'd ever seen! I asked to hold him and fell in love. We had already decided we wanted a girl kitty though, so I moped to the kitten aisle to pick out a collar, litter box, and food for our little grey kitten waiting for us. As we were looking at collars (I picked out the cutest white collar with a rhinestone bow) Zach happened to spot a tiny camo print collar. When he saw that, he didn't want to put it down - I reminded him we wanted the grey kitty at the Humane Society, not the white one here - and that's when he said those magical three little words,

"Let's get both".

To which I responded, "I love being married."

And that's just how the story goes :) Meet our children.

This is "Princess" Hadley. She likes to be around us all the time, but you can only pet her on her terms.  She is spunky, playful, and full of energy. She keeps us on our toes (mainly because we are always tripping over her!) and we love our little girl. Plus she has the silkiest fur of any kitty in the world! Her favorite perch is sitting on top of the couch looking out the window at the horsies.

 Meet Norman! "Stormin" Norman is kind of, how do I say this, special. He's pretty slow on the up-take, is really floppy, and spooks himself pretty easily. He is a total lovebug which captured my heart from day one. If he isn't cuddling with his sister, he's usually on one of our laps. He will play with Hadley about once a day, and he sleeps the rest of the time. He lets me pick him up and hold him whenever I want (well, for the most part) and oh gosh, how could I forget this, he purrs as loud as a lion! I swear! I am such a deep sleeper, and the dang cat wakes me up in the middle of the night. Hey, atleast he is happy. 

Best Friends :) We are so glad they have each other!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Life Lately

Life around these parts has been pretty lowkey. 

We've had lots of snow, lots of sunshine, and more snow. 
Can you even believe this is where we live, and is (again) an unedited iPhone picture?!

this is what I found when I opened our front door. dayum!

We attended a conference for CCCA this week at a beautiful camp called Forest Home. They have no wifi and no cell service there, which I didn't know til we arrived. Boo. It was nice to be unplugged for 3 days but I would have liked to know beforehand.. oh well :)

We've been hanging around the house and I've been reading Confessions of a Counterfeit Farmgirl, SO GOOD. Its about a big city girl that moves to the sticks... so I can relate pretty well. Plus the author is hil-arious; which I always appreciate.

I made Zach build me a flower box to plant my pretty flowers, but then it snowed. So I'll plant them tomorrow since it's forecasted to be 65 & sunny :)
he did an awesome job, dontcha think?!
just waiting to be planted...

Most importantly, I've become completely addicted to Draw Something (find me. misskatieh.) and spend all my time playing it.
My favorite game is with my brother in law, Trey. All his drawings are extremely precise and he draws so slowly; so much thought into every curve. Z & I watch his drawings together because they're so entertaining :)

Other than that, not much going on around here! I've got a couple of projects to share this week, yippee! Hope you all got some rest this weekend.. happy Monday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is This Real Life?

Sit in that six-lane backed up traffic
Horns are honking, I've about had it
I'm looking for an exit sign
Gotta get out of here, get it all off my mind
And like a memory from your grandpa's attic
A song comes slippin' through the radio static
Changing my mood
A little George Strait 1982

And it makes me wanna take a back road
Makes me wanna take the long way home
Put a little gravel in my travel
Unwind, unravel all night long
Makes me wanna grab my honey
Tear down some two-lane country
Who knows
Get lost and get right with my soul
Makes me wanna take
Makes me wanna take a back road.

I've been cooped up, tied down, 'bout forgotten
What a field looks like, full of corn and cotton
If I'm gonna hit a traffic jam,
Well it better be a tractor man
So sick and tired of this interstate system
I need a curve and wind-a-twistin'
Dusty path to nowhere
With the wind blowing through my baby's hair
Take a Backroad - Rodney Atkins

Six months ago, whenever this song came on the radio, I would cry. I was commuting an hour or more each way to a job I didn't like; I had somewhere to be every single night after work; I didn't get enough sleep; I didn't exercise; I had no time to do anything I wanted. All of my commitments were things I didn't want to cut out though, so I felt stuck. I was leading Young Life, and the coordinator for that school, I was part of a bible study, I wanted a social life, and to spend time with my extended family. None of those things are anything to get rid of, but they all take up time, and in my case it was taking all of my time.


Today as I drove to the post office, I literally got teary eyed thinking, "WOW.. this is real life!". I had country music blasting, the windows down, sun shining, breeze blowing, not a car in sight as I overlooked the valley and saw the ocean in the distance. All I could do was tell myself - I actually live here. This is my real life. I am sooooooo happy!

So I took some pictures to share :) And, I love visitors. 

All photos from my iPhone; all photos unedited - if you can believe that.

See the grocery store way down there?!

Just imagine what this looked like in person. Breathtaking.
Weeeee! [ok maybe this one is a little edited]

Bottom Line: I am BLESSED!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Are You Spending Your Time?

If you are new here, welcome! I get excited every time I see a new GFC friend, and I like to get to know y'all :)

My husband Zach and I are blessed to be able to call "work" living and serving at a Christian camp in the mountains of San Diego. One of the many amazing parts of this being our jobs, is that once a week we get together as a staff and have devotions & prayer. It is so incredible to work somewhere that people can stop their busy days and sit together to worship our amazing God.

Last week's message really spoke to me. Well actually a few of them lately have really spoken to me and I hope I can get them into words on here soon. 

Teach us to number our days,
   that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

First we broke down how many seconds in a minute, to how many minute a day, to how many hours in a year. I liked that since I am such a visual, literal person. Then we filled out a pie chart with 24 slices, 1 hour in each, and filled in where we spent our days. Sleep 11-7, get ready 7-7:45, work 8-4:30... then what? This is where it got convicting. 

I will be the first to admit I really put the important things on the backburner first. I hate that about myself and it'd be the first thing I would change if I could. I have 5-7 hours of "me time" each afternoon. To do whatever I please with! And that's just on work days!

Next we did a little comparison.. these are based on if you lived for 75 years. My friend Mike calculated if you spent 3 hours a day on the computer [especially for us bloggers], in a lifespan of 75 years you would have spent 9.4 years of your life on the computer! If you have a hobby you spend 1 hour per day on, thats a little over 3 years of your life doing just that activity. 

Here's what gets me... most people spend less than 2 hours a week with God. Thats 1 hour for church and 1 hour spread throughout the rest of the week. Two hours a week for 75 years = 225 days which is less than a year of your life with God. 

Now people brought up the argument that everything you do should be for God's glory so then you would be giving all of your time to God. This IS a a valid point, but not really the point of the exercise.

I couldn't believe these numbers [ again being the literal person I am, I take this very seriously, haha!]. I spend how many hours a week reading blogs? How many hours reading tweets? How many hours watching TV? And.. how many hours do I spend with God?

Not enough.

That's the simple truth. I often think, "I should do my bible study" and then pick up my phone instead. And then I wonder why I do this. I hate it. When I do have a quiet time, I am so refreshed and left yearning for so much more. If I feel that way, then WHY do I resist it so much? 

I reached out to my friend Ashley and she made a really funny but really great comparison [which I wont post here but Ill email you if you want to know :)] and basically boiled down to this:

 It doesn't matter how I feel. God deserves my time, every day. He deserves my praise. He deserves my priority. He is worthy. He is faithful. And He is always waiting for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Logan's Quilt

If you follow me on twitter or instagram (misskatieh), you saw that I made a quilt last month! I couldn't post to facebook because I wanted it to be a surprise when my sister in law nephew opened it. I went on a total limb picking out fabric without her, which was super scary because I was afraid she wouldn't like it! My SIL is like the sweetest most accepting woman in the world, but for some reason I am afraid she will wake up one morning and decide she doesn't like me anymore. Ha! Anyways, enough about my insecurities.. love you, Melissa.

I knew Logan's "big boy" room had a transportation theme, so I went to and picked the cutest coordinating transportation fabric I could find. I proceeded making my quilt and, let me tell you, I fell in love with quilting. When I say that, I feel like I'm a middle aged/old lady but seriously - I love it! Recently I've learned how much I love all things sewing [kindred hearts with Lauren].

Anyways, when Melissa posted pictures on FB of Logan's new room, I was PUMPED because I knew the quilt would fit in perfectly! Here is Logan's room..

Here is the quilt!

trains, planes, and automobiles!

super cute polka dot back.. I love polka dots :)

And here's the Logan-man in his quilt!! Cutest nephew ever? Yup! I can only say that for a few more days :)
I love that kid.

Can't wait to show you what I made baby Will -- as soon as Melissa sees, I'll post it!

PS: Baby Will, if you can read this, we are all waiting for your sweet arrival! Come out and play! I know your mama especially would appreciate that.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beautiful Weekend With My Fwiend

I have been very blessed since making our big move in November. Both of my best friends and my parents have been down to visit already, and one of our closest "couple" friends are coming in April!

This weekend, I got to spend four days with one of my very favorite people in the world. Elise flew down for training at a YL camp for her summer assignment, and extended her trip in order to spend some time at the Harris house! We had so much fun together.

I make a lot of silly voices, and when I am around Elise, it just gets worse. Like all we do is talk to each other in weird voices without noticing.

We talked a few times about how when you try to describe why you're friends with someone, you just cant. We just are. We've been friends for almost six years now and pretty much don't know how I'd ever live with out her. We just get eachother.

Love you Elisey!! My life is better because you're in it. See you in June :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

No Signal

So we haven't had Internet since Friday night. Poop. Miss y'all.. tweet me :) @_katielately since I can get that thru 3G!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

She Went Home

To start out this post, I just need to admit that I literally have the most amazing family in the world. Both my parents have lots of siblings; I have five uncles, and seven aunts. And tons of cousins. The best part is that at our wedding, you couldn't tell who was from which side of the family, everyone was dancing and laughing together. This weekend reminded me just how blessed I am to be a part of a family like this, where all 5 of my grandparent's kids jumped on planes to be with my grandpa in the days after my grandma's passing.

My High School Graduation. June 2006

Anger is a funny emotion. It sneaks up even when you don't understand why you are feeling angry. That's kind of where I am with my grieving right now. When I see things around my house that remind me of her, get a sweet text, or a sympathy card in the mail [don't get me wrong -- I so appreciate these] I simply feel anger that I am receiving these. I don't want to have to receive these. I just want my Mana back.

My Mana & Uncle Mark at our wedding. July 2011

My parents were already scheduled to visit us Friday night til Tuesday afternoon. We had plans to hang out at camp and down in San Diego as well. Obviously, things changed and we headed to Yuma bright & early (5 am) Saturday morning. When we drove into the RV Resort that my grandparents live at, it was so painful. We had just spent Thanksgiving down there staying in my grandparents' fifth wheel and I just can't quite swallow the fact that my energetic, seemingly healthy grandmother would not be there, that day or ever again. I still am just grasping to memories, wondering how this could have happened so quickly, missing her so much.

We brought our kittens to Yuma; Thanksgiving, 2011.

I am incredibly blessed that my grandma was so immersed in my life. Although she wasn't one to call often, I always knew that she cared about the details. I am the oldest grandchild on my mom's side, and for some reason this always gave me special privileges. The fact that I always included her in little things helped too. I know my grandma wanted to be a part of all the things in our life, but I don't think she knew how to reach out to us grandkids. Maybe fear of rejection, maybe just uncomfortable. It doesn't matter though. One of my first memories of this was in the 7th grade, my grandparents had come down during Halloween weekend and my mom and grandma came with us trick or treating. I'm an affection girl, always have been; and after 5 or so houses running with my friends, I turned around and gave my Mana a big hug and said, "I'm so glad you came with us!" and ran back up with my friends. The next day Mana could not stop talking about how special that was to her; even though I was having fun with all my friends I still let her know I was so glad she was there too. That's just how I am though. I was 12 then, and ever since, I have made a point to let her know how special she is to me.

Our Wedding, July 2011

At my bachelorette party last spring, some friends and I went wine tasting and then back to my parents' house for gifts and appetizers. [side note, I didn't even know we did gifts at bachelorette parties until my own! score! good thing mine was first, or I'd be really embarrassed when I showed up empty handed to friends'] So we get home and start opening gifts - which, by the way, is very uncomfortable for modest little Katie over here - and when I opened a floral ruffly backless top, my grandma says, in front of all my friends, "OOOH!! Can I borrow that for our cruise?!", and the room exploded with laughter!

Mana & Papa on their 50th anniversary cruise. October 2011.

Looking around my house I just can't stop thinking about her. She loved to spoil me, which is great, but now it is breaking my heart. From ruby earrings, to pink pajama pants & make up brushes, down to the marinade in my fridge, all her little gifts are making it impossible not to think of her. Last summer, I found a sweatshirt at Costco that I had to have. They didn't have my size in purple, so Zach and I were going to check three other Costco's in the area. Mana jumped in the backseat and drove around all afternoon with us, looking for that darn sweatshirt, totally content, just happy to spend time with us. Gosh I miss her already.

I've been told that just by being around us you can tell how close we are. My Mana was a special lady, that's for sure. I honestly considered her a friend, and I don't know how many people feel that way about their grandparents. I love her dearly. I will always love her & I look forward to the day we meet in heaven again. I know she'll be waiting for me with a big hug - arms open wide :)

Now that both my grandmas are in heaven, I've never been prouder to have my middle name. Suzanne Helen & Helen Jane -- I am Katherine Helen. I love my middle name, I wear it like a badge of honor. I pray I become half the woman that both these ladies were.

I love you, Mana.