Spring Things.

Spring has been a whirlwind, folks.

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I’m not sure when the official first day of spring was, but I’m going to say it kicked off for me when I traveled to Nassau, Bahamas with 12 high school seniors for a spring break missions trip.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking there is no such thing as a mission trip to the Bahamas. But I assure you: the majority of the Bahamian Islands do not reflect the Atlantis resort in your mind. Nassau is beautiful and tropical, but it’s also a very broken, sad place that desperately needs the hope of the Gospel. So, we went and we worked!

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While we were there, we worked with two elementary schools, tutoring and leading after school assemblies.

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It was an exhausting and wonderful week! And as a fun bonus, we had a “free day” at the end of the trip to experience the more touristy side of the island.

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Your’s truly on a boat. A shabby Friday, it was not.
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The beauty of Bahamian water 100% lived up to the hype.

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Am I the only chicken who is mildly scared of open water? Needless to say, my first snorkeling experience was equal parts terrifying and thrilling.
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Oh, just a 29 year old trying to fit in with two senior girls. Hoping my usage of a giant T and Lululemon shorts had them fooled about my age…

It truly was a wonderful week. I was so impressed by the maturity and poise of our students on the trip. It’s not always easy to give up your time and energy to serve other people, but those kiddos did it with flying colors. I absolutely loved my time with them.

(…they did wear me out, though.)

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Another spring thing that needs special note was the 30th birthday of my dear friend, Kaelee. In true Kaelee fashion, she celebrated with a theme party (Never have I known Kaelee to not have a theme party, by the way. She reigns supreme as my “most fun” friend.). This year’s party was 90s themed, and listen: I know the 90s are having a fashion moment right now, but after wearing the butterfly clips, the choker, + the tight cropped T for a night…I think it’s best if we leave the past in the past. That being said,   the party was a blast and the birthday girl turned 30 in true spice girl style.

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Pictures of Kaelee from the 90s were all around the party. This was a personal favorite.
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I want you to know that my shirt says “party like it’s 1999.”
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Kaelee made sure we received our fill of 90s foods, such as the wildly mysterious (what the heck is inside those things?) fruit gushers.

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Next up this spring: a fun trip to Austin! My boyfriend Creighton and I have both been crazy busy at work, so we took full advantage of a chance to get out of Dallas for a few days.

While we were there, we went to the Dell Match Play golf tournament, the Austin Rodeo, and also celebrated a few important birthdays. It was one of those trips I didn’t even know how much I needed until I was there. Aren’t those the best?

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That would be Tiger Woods, ladies and gents. He’s not much of a personality, but HOLY COW the boy can swing a golf club. 

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Our second day of the golf tournament, the winds showed up loud and proud…which made a plinko game at the Kendra Scott booth near impossible. See above and below for further proof. 

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Welp, the wind got the best of me and all I won in my plinko attempts was nail polish, but my boyfriend’s sweet mom Linda was WAY more plinko savvy than me and won a fun Kendra Scott bracelet—which she kindly gifted to me! Three cheers for Linda!

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Our final day of the golf tournament and we were freezing. Not an adjective that typically describes Austin, Texas, huh?
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Fun story with this picture. We were minding our own business, sitting up in a tent (not even facing the green that we were technically at) when all of a sudden a ball appears out of nowhere, bounces off a little boy’s leg, and lands right smack dab in front of us! One of the golfers had a terrible swing…which is rough for him, but was awesome for us. Everyone around us suddenly envied our extreme proximity to the ball! I even had a man reach between the gap in my legs to take a picture of the ball below us. (Now that I type that out, it sounds wildly inappropriate/weird, but I promise it was funny in the moment.)
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And let us not forget about our two nights at the Austin Rodeo. Creighton has made me into an appreciator of such western ways, and I’ve officially decided my favorite rodeo events are as follows: 1) bull wrangling; 2) team steer wrestling; 3) kiss cam. Because let’s be honest: sometimes the kiss cam is the most entertaining event to watch.
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You can thank Creighton’s mom for my very rodeo appropriate denim duster. With that jacket on, I definitely felt “the part.”

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We’ll now throw in a picture from a wedding this spring for no reason other than Creighton and I don’t usually look this fresh.

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And the final way I spent most of this Spring? With my students, of course! My very favorite people in the world.

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KAT
Currently listening to “Slow Burn” by Kacey Musgraves

Songs to Love from People I Love.

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Sometimes there’s just nuthin like a love song, am I right?

A few years ago I came up with a list of my very favorite love songs (as well as some of the saddest) …and ya know what? I think I’d stand behind that list to this day. When it comes to giving me all the feels, nothing hits the spot like Love Me Tender or The Luckiest. 

In the spirit of Valentines Day, I decided to ask some people in my life to share their favorite love songs and give a little explanation why. So here you go: songs to love from people I love…

Sarah, 31, sister + big fan of classic movies

Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder

“My first thought was Signed, Sealed, Delivered, but I was looking at the lyrics and realized that the song is…mmm…probably about a guy asking for his girl to take him back? Still, it’s a song that’s technically about love and it’s one of my faves.”

Claire, 15, high schooler + most likely to be a famous fashion blogger one day

Speechless by Dan + Shay

“It makes you feel so happy and it describes a good, wholesome, happy relationship. It really makes you want to be in love.”

Creighton, 32, boyfriend + collector of fun socks

What Do You Say to That by George Strait

“To start, the melody and chord progression is the very sound of romance. In the lyrics our narrator is understanding the depth of his love. The story told in the lyrics depict the narrator having a realization of that depth for the first time, and recognizing not only the distinction, but the uniqueness of it, then turning to the object of his affection, to ask with anticipation and a smile, the line: What do you say to that?”

Katie, 14, middle schooler + lover of PetLand

Love Story by Taylor Swift

“It’s so fun to sing to.”

Derek, 27, co-worker + podcast extraordinaire

Refuge by John Legend

“I like that it talks about how your girl is a refuge when you’re going through stuff.”

Shiloe, 24, friend + fellow Bachelor fan

Alps by Novo Armoire

“I walked down the aisle to this song. It’s the prettiest song in the world.”

Happy Valentines Day, friends!

KAT
Currently listening to Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by Sleeping At Last

Always be Yourself. (Unless You Can be Shiloe…then Always be Shiloe.)

Today is my dear friend Shiloe’s birthday.

IMG_0892To know Shiloe is to love Shiloe. One of the things that most drew me to her as a friend was her realness. She’s genuine and honest; kind and sincere. Plus, there’s a whole lotta fun wrapped up in that tiny, feisty soul. Long story short, I adore her.

Obviously, I think everyone needs a friend like Shiloe in their lives, but if you don’t have the honor of knowing her personally, you can at least know her through her B.A. photography business, Camera Shi Photography.

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A pretty screenshot from her lovely website.

Check out her photos (because they’re ridiculously cool), as well as her blog (because your’s truly wrote a guest post on it!).

The title of the blog post I wrote is “Always be Yourself. Unless You Can be Beyonce, Then Always be Beyonce.” But honestly, if I could give you any advice, it would be to swap out Beyonce’s name with Shiloe Osborne, because homegirl is truly one to emulate. (No offense, Queen B.)

KAT
Currently listening to “Broken” by lovelytheband

This Summer.

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For me, summers will forever be measured by the academic calendar. And as school officially started for my students yesterday, I guess that means the summer is over.

Summer 2018 was absolutely crazy for me (hence the lack of bloggin’ the past few months). I took a new job, moved to a new home, traveled to new places…among a lot of other new things. And while “new” is always an adventure, it also means a lack of comfortable familiarity and, often, a sense of unrest.

That’s how my summer has been—exciting, while also a little exhausting. I can’t help but long for some normalcy and structure in my life, but thankfully, I have a feeling that more patterned days are right around the corner.

But before we move forward, let’s take a few minutes to look back. Here’s what I’ve been up to this summer…

Florida Trip.
Kicked off this summer—and a brand spankin’ new job—with a little trip to Florida. May sound relaxing to you, but did I mention that 250 of my favorite high school students came with me?

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Shiloe’s Wedding.
I flew back from the Florida trip and went directly to one of my dearest friend’s weddings. I was honored to be a bridesmaid and see this supa chill, kind, godly lady marry her dude. Shiloe + Chris 4 eva.

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Lots of time with students (but what’s new?).
Remember that new job I mentioned? It’s still at the same church and in the same department. So, the youth group love is definitely not coming to an end anytime soon.
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China.
Well guys, I went to China. It was quite the experience. I’m not even quite sure how to best explain my two weeks in East Asia, so I’ll just leave you with some pictures…

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Baby Maddox.
My first nephew is making his appearance in the world very soon, and Aunt Kat could not be more excited. It’s been a summer of googling weird pregnancy related things that I don’t understand + resisting the urge to buy baby clothes at every store I enter.

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I mean, C’MON. Doesn’t get cuter than a pregnant Rebecca Maddox.

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That’s just a glimpse into some of the stuff that’s been going on deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas this summer, but the rest will have to be another story for another time. Enjoy your weekend!

KAT
Currently listening to “Shotgun” by George Ezra

Weekly Rundown.

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Here’s a brief pop culture moment for ya: the oh-so-adorable Aidy Bryant got married this past week. Now, I’ve never been the type of gal to daydream about my hypothetical wedding, but when I saw the above picture, I found myself thinking “yeah, that’d be good.”  Short dress, small crowd, wild flowers…I applaud your style, Aidy!
  1. Remember last year when I raved about a planner. (Sidetone: I kind of hate that I just typed out that sentence. Who wants to rave about planners? Missing the days when I raved about fun things, like the glories of oatmeal cream pies and Lizzie McGuire’s intricate hair styles.) Anyhow, Erin Condren planners are pricy, but great. I used mine every single day this past year and if organization isn’t your thing (or heck, even if it is), you would benefit from one as well. Planners begin in July and run through the next year, so order soon! Also, how cute are these designs below?
  2. This article was beautiful, but sad. Really enjoyed this comment: “I once saw an Annie Leibovitz exhibit where she had hung photos of her dying love and then her dying father and her grieving family, alongside these gorgeous vibrant photos of her babies with spaghetti all over their faces and splashing in wading pools… That’s how grief works. For a while, it takes over your whole field of vision, but then it becomes a part of the whole exhibit.”
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  3. And now a happy article to lift the spirits! Three cheers for good people!
  4. How have I not mentioned this book yet? My wonderful sister gave me this book that is full of illustrations and essays from author Mari Andrew. I haven’t made it through the whole thing yet, but I can tell you this for certain: it is fun.
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KAT
Currently listening to “Psycho” by Post Malone