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Blessings in the Waiting: 143

1. Anthro sweater on sale to feel like it's really fall when I go home
2. Having some girl talk in my room, at the kitchen table and on the couch before I head to Texas
3. Fitting a massive amount of stuff in my suitcase....I think I can, I think I can....
4. Trader Joes Salads
5. The way prayer quiets my heart and fills me with His peace.


Blessings in the Waiting: 144

1. Shopping for a holiday wish list for a little girl whom I've never met
2. Pretending I was on vacation when listening to the music playing at Rumbi
3. An amazing workout - pushing myself to new physical limits
4. Hanging with Jen and enjoying our last few nights together :( tear.
5. Having a couple people tell me that I looked "festive" today hahaha


Blessings in the Waiting: 147-145

1. Having work be slow enough that it's okay to be home sick when I need to
2. Staying in my PJs all day
3. Technology that allows me to work from my phone when I'm home sick on the couch and make sure my inbox is not overloaded when I get back
4. Cleaning out Jen's fridge with a yummy dinner with the girls
5. A no pressure Friday evening in our sweats

6. Meeting with designers for invites and coming up with some great ideas!
7. Getting a much overdue haircut....and catching up with Kora
8. A hilarious goofy food fight....we felt like middle schoolers again!
9. Running errands in the pretty AZ weather!
10. A couple catch up phone calls with mom....much needed!

11. A pretty fall themed table at church
12. The joy I get out of serving where I'm gifted
13. Seeing a heart warming movie that makes you think....why not?
14. Visiting with Grandma over soup and pizza
15. Chatting with my future mother in law and anticpating our Thanksgiving together. So excited about having everyone under one roof!!!!


Blessings in the Waiting: 148

1. Celebrating the lovely Hannah K with Pei Wei and Funfetti (Rainbow Chip) cake
2. Repeating themes that the Lord keeps showing me
3. Working outside on the patio....refreshing change of scenery from my windowless cube
4. Getting some much needed customer service after speaking to a manager....lesson for self: go straight to the top!
5. The creative wonderland that is Etsy!


Blessings in the Waiting: 149

1. Lovely phone chat with Dad
2. How refreshing the Word is. No matter how many times I've read a verse, it still feels applicable, relevant and new
3. Getting a TON checked off my to-do list yesterday!
4. A holiday potluck at work to make money for kids and families in need!
5. Party in the USA jam session on the way to work.


Blessings in the Waiting: 150

1. Seeing a hot air balloon on my way to work.
2. Making a yummy dinner at home for the first time in a while!
3. Thankfulness that God never changes....
4. A big pot of soup waiting for me at the end of this chilly day!
5. Being only 7 days away from TEXAS and FRIENDS and FAMILY!


Blessings in the Waiting: 154-151

1. Queso and ritas with the ladies!
2. Reconnecting with Julie in AZ!
3. Getting fro-yo instead of going to a piano bar an being totally fine with it
4. An awesome lunch that encouraged my heart!
5. The fact that it actually feels like summer is OVER!

6. Sweaty, intense yoga session alone
7. Texas Football and being surrounded by UT Alums and one really cute Aggie (who is the best sport ever!)
8. Friendgiving 2009! Delish food and fabulous friends!
9. Having Jen's photo book turn out so great and getting to have friends write sweet things in it for her
10. A sign in Blake's neighborhood that said, "Found: Necklace" and someone with the heart to return it! AMAZING!

11. Listening to Blake pray with 31 friends around us.....and watching him become an awesome leader :)
12. Rediscovering my love to draw....during the sermon on Sunday...uh oh
13. Watching Hudson with Blake and seeing even more how much he loves kids and how great of a dad he will be someday!
14. A fun evening with the Konrads over some take-out and French Horn concerts
15. Snuggling and taking a load off my feet after a busy weekend!


Blessings in the Waiting: 155

1. Getting to see Blake during a work-day - even if we were both pounding away, just nice to sit next to each other
2. Blake's willingness to ensure our big day is just how we envisioned it
3. Getting to hang with Joey and Jen and laughing really hard
4. A night ride to the Big Pour, complete with VIP access
5. Jen's potential cooking show premiere!


Blessings in the Waiting: 156

1. Having a jam packed day of meetings, but enjoying being out from behind the desk
2. Letting out a little emotion about Jen leaving.....
3. Cherishing some one on one time with her.
4. Connecting with my mom over some career possibilities
5. New body wash


Blessings in the Waiting: 157

1. Taking some alone time to recharge a bit
2. Blake's guidance and wisdom - working through priorities
3. Getting to bed early all week so far
4. Not taking my computer home with me
5. Clean sheets and hospital corners (thanks Lex)


Blessings in the Waiting: 158

1. Being back in the office for a low key week....thank the Lord!
2. Wearing my new sassy boots :)
3. Fall food when it doesn't feel like fall outside
4. Dinner w/ the Kersey's
5. Desire to be in the Word


Blessings in the Waiting: 161-159

1. What a blessing the new gathering place is at SOLA. It's so exciting to know you can come and hang out with the body of OTBC!
2. Mid day friend visit - happy work day!
3. Wisdom from Heath and Lisa. Love their honesty and their heart to share it with us. So thankful for their generosity in time to pour into us!
4. Silly play time with Kate and Natalie.....never a dull moment
5. Booking our honeymoon plane tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. Dreaming of our new house together via bike ride in Scottsdale
7. Sunny day, perfect for some outdoor exercise
8. Delish greek fest food and dancing!
9. College football relax day....
10. Having no plans and just taking the weekend one thing at a time....just becuase we felt like it

11. Consistantly beautiful AZ weather
12. Crock pot easy and yummy!
13. Grandparent time
14. Getting to chat with Don and Jill - can't wait to see them this holiday season!
15. New outfits for the engagement shots :)


Blessings in the Waiting: 164-162

1. Finding a sweet pair of boots at last chance
2. Very quick flight to Texas - some time to get organized
3. Driving different rental cars each week....I like to change it up
4. Roaring Fork Green Chille Stew
5. An encouraging conversation with my new manager

6. Feeling challenged
7. The convenience of the so dependant, but it makes my life so easy
8 Delish Riverwalk dinner
9. Not feeling intimidated by people that I should probably be intimidated by....
10. Connecting with co-workers

11. An engaging and collabortive meeting
12. Beautiful Texas weather - the turning of the seasons is the perfect time!
13. Alignment
14. A sweet fiance waiting at the bottom of my stairs with cheery sunflowers at the end of a long long day
15. Managing to get an aisle seat on Southwest after nearly missing my flight!


Blessings in the Waiting: 165

1. Grabbing dinner at AJs - gourmet meal without cooking! Fab idea!
2. Breaking in some new flats....I'm thinking about having all my work pants altered for flats so I can skip the heels everyday
3. Seeing my cousin at a YL event!
4. Making heaps of salty buttery popcorn with Mandy
5. Deep sleep


Blessings in the Waiting: 166

1. Not paying for one meal out this entire weekend!
2. Holding baby Hudson for a long time - he's the sweetest and happiest baby I know!
3. A sweet sweet gift from the roomie back from Boston
4. Getting lots checked off the wedding to do list via email today
5. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel from a crazy month of big meetings at work: Thursday is D Day!


Wedding Website!

Blake is one of the most humble people I know, so I have to brag on him a little bit!

He has been the most amazing groom through this process and I'm really lucky to have him on my side. His involvement is so appreciated and he's really done a great job of helping me out in so many ways. From getting our AWESOME save-the-dates designed to working on finding a great band for the reception, he's all over it! The thing that I might be the most proud of is this great website that he designed by himself and created (the man has never taken a web design class). It has all the important details for our wedding day from hotels to logisitics....

Check it out!

Blessings in the Waiting: 169-167

1. Watching kiddos walk to school in their halloween costumes this morning. Too cute!
2. Having B come and see me at my house after a long travel day. I love a little cuddling in the chilly weather!
3. Being energized to be back in the office after a long stint on the road
4. Getting errands run after work before the weekend begins!
5. Enjoying some delish TX BBQ compliments of RUDY's with some great company

6. A relaxing evening with pressure to do anything or go anywhere...just hanging out
7. Mandy's creativity and energy for some hilarious costumes! (winners!)
8. Cleaning my apartment and room up a bit with a cup of coffee in hand and football on the TV
9. Seeing SOLA start to come together and already seeing the community of shop owners, etc. drift in! So exciting!
10. Not walking while running our Spooky Run!

11. Doing something a little out of the norm on halloween.....including FREE boo-ritos!
12. Mac and B's growing relationship :)
13. Hearing the Word in full force this morning. The sweetness and goodness of reconciliation when I don't deserve it from the Lord
14. Easy soup
15. Having a decorating vision for our new place and finishing a few items up on our registry!


Blessings in the Waiting: 170

1. A wonderful catch up happy hour with my dear friend Aleigh. I miss that girl!
2. Sweet, giving parents who spent their evening making address labels for us
3. A night to just relax, read and watch some TV from my hotel room
4. A morning of working alone, first from my hotel room, walking stores and then a great meeting at the customer
5. Anticipating a hug when I get home :)


Blessings in the Waiting: 171

1. Willing and helpful co-workers
2. News of new life!
3. Meetings that went better than expected regardless of my stress level :)
4. Having the whole Sephora store scream Happy Birthday when I recieved my b-day gift!
5. Looking down at my hand and still being excited about the newness of having a ring on my finger and the fact that it means i'm marrying Blake!


Blessings in the Waiting: 172

1. Connecting with a work friend over lunch on a sunny day
2. Forgiveness when I need it, and when I don't deserve it
3. Having a man that knows when to hug me when I need it
4. Practicing our first dance moves in the living room
5. Cool nights


Blessings in the Waiting: 175-173

1. Date night with my man!
2. Dressing up for an night on the town - he looked so handsome!
3. Change of scenery, heading into Phoenix
4. Enjoying a fabulous birthday gift with tickets to Grease!
5. Having Blake enjoy something that I love so much ....or at least fake it for me :)

6. Not setting an alarm and sleeping in
7. A pretty day for the zoo - seeing co-workers and their familes (many new additions) outside of work
8. White bean chicken chili
9. College football and cuddling
10. Relaxing most of the day and not feeling guility about it

11. Seeing the new coffee shop start to come together....I can't wait to see what God has in store for it!
12. Feeling like we accomplished a lot of stuff for the wedding
13. Making my own marinades
14. Kisses.
15. Playing with kids that aren't ours :)



I think I just need to stop and take a moment to publicly say thank you.

I will be the first to admit that this engagement phase of my life has been quite a whirlwind. There is ALWAYS something on my to do list. I don't think it will end until I walk down the aisle.....wait maybe after the house is organized, thank yous are sent and my name is officially changed....ok probably not. I would not be holding it together (that's a subjective phrase) without some very very KEY people in my life who are GIVING so much of themselves to make our say as SPECIAL as can be. It's good and right to say thank you.

First, Mom and Dad....
You two are incredible. From the countless work days you have given up to the endless phone calls, emails and contacts you have made, you have worked tirelessly on the wedding since day 1. All of your efforts are so so so meaningful to me and I'm super grateful for your help and selfless hearts. I know you want to make the day as special for me as you can and your generosity is humbling. Thanks is not enough.

You amaze me. It's so obvious that you are so focused on making this a wonderful season in my life. You are always so willing to do what you can, make every detail important and step out of the spotlight to let me have the moment. Your humility speaks volumes about the woman you are. Thanks for serving and loving me so well.

I know that you probably wish for just one night free of wedding talk, but your tender way of answering my questions, following up on things and allowing me to always talk about it shows me how much you love me. I am so very grateful for the way you have served me in helping me plan, care about the details and help me tick off things on the do list that might not be very fun or glamorous. I promise our lives will be wedding talk free on April 17th. :)

To everyone else who has called, offered help, loved me, shared know who you are. I know who you are. From planning showers to make me feel loved and special, to calling to ask about details and being excited for me, to making tags for my lingerie months before I leave for my honeymoon or just sharing in my joy, from bringing me wedding magazines, to opening up your homes for bachelorette parties, from doing research for me or crafting somethign special with your talents....


Blessings in the Waiting: 176

1. A relaxing happy hour with Kristi and hearing her wisdom and experience as a married woman
2. Solo shopping for the perfect outfit for my engagement pics
3. Being silly with Blake, I love just being me with him
4. Being called out as a leader twice in one day....scary truth, scary responsibility
5. MOH pulling through for us! She's so on top of it and I'm so lucky!


Blessings in the Waiting: 177

1. A lunchtime date with myself. A small dose of solitude.
2. Feelings some relief from the chiropractor....I actually think it's working
3. Dinner over some fajitas with Jen - it's about time we connected our crazy travel schedules
4. A call to understand rather than be understood. What a challenge
5. A few extra minutes of sleep.


Blessings in the Waiting: 178

1. Sneaking out of work a little early to get some grocery shopping done
2. Making a yummy and healthy dinner!
3. Getting to bed early and sleeping really well through the night
4. Watching another great counseling video and a great discussion that came out of it in thinking about our future
5. Hearing from a dear college friend - we don't connect often but it's always wonderful when we do!


Blessings in the Waiting: 179

1. A beautiful bouquet of orange tulips, "just because"
2. Actually sticking to a few health challenge goals I steps....motivation to keep going!
3. An evening walk getting lost in the neighborhoods around my condo and imagining ourselves in every house we pass with a "For Rent" sign
4. Mandy's sweet guesture to tag all my gifts for the honeymoon!
5. Bringing back an old hair-do today....switching it up :)


Blessings in the Waiting: 182-180

I was in Texas all week for recruiting at UT. I got to take Friday off to do a little wedding planning and then headed to Houston (courtesy of my mama) for a weekend with the fam. Blessings overflowing!

1. The open door policy of Mindy and Nathan's home and hosptiality
2. Girl time with mom
3. Productive florist and coordinator appointments filled with creativity, vision and energy
4. Incredible weather - clear skies, low humidity! ahhhhh
5. Dinner with the entire fam lakeside, so good to be back together!

6. New Longhorn running shorts
7. Parents who get a "W" regardless of the football game outcome :) House divided
8. Screaming at the TV during the TX/OU game. Good sportsmanship all around
9. Girl talk
10. Seeing Mac's new apartment & taking a run through Herman Park

11. Creativity through worship
12. Lunch with merging families
13. Willing family to help with wedding planning
14. Home sweet home
15. Laughing with Blake


Blessings in the Waiting: 183

1. Starting my workday with my laptop in bed
2. Bottomless cups of fair trade coffee
3. Laughing in my head at a hilarious conversation at the coffee shop between a planner and a Bridezilla - ohhh the wedding drama
4. Migas
5. The Austin vibe....i need to soak it up and take it home with me.....


Blessings in the Waiting: 184

1. Being on campus even on a rainy day!
2. Chuys for dinner. Queso is not the same outside of TX!
3. Catching up with Greta - so great to pick up where we left off
4. Seeing my Goddaughter, Avery, Mindy and Nathan
5. Remembering to wear flats to walk around campus today :)


Blessings in the Waiting: 185

1. Getting a ride from my man to the airport
2. Connecting with students on campus
3. Dining at Moonshine! So delish!
4. A wonderful bday gift from Mandy and Shey. super excited!
5. Companion Pass X2!


Blessings in the Waiting: 188-186

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! I added a few extra blessings since it was such a special few days! ENJOY!

1. Walking in to a cube covered in streamers!
2. Birthday love via email and lots of funny "best wishes"
3. A lovely girls lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots
4. Serenades and Sprinkles! What a combo!
5. Picking up LB from the airport! What a great bday present!

6. Cowboys, Tush-Push and Burgers at Greasewood Flat
7. Campfire smell on my sweater
8. Late night dessert!
9. Perfect weather for a fabulous hike on Pinnacle
10. Pool time with Bloody Marys

11. Lots of calls, texts and birthday love from friends, family and Facebook :)
12. A not-so-sappy but VERY sweet card
13. My mom's expected birthday tears - reflecting back on the
14. A delish dinner with so many wonderful friends
15. A little Bocci ball competition!

16. Racing for the cure....a sea of inspiring pink!
17. A cuddle nap on a Sunday afternoon....
18. Dinner with family from near and far
19. Texas Football Victory!
20. Feeling loved and celebrated all weekend!!! What a blessing!


Blessings in the Waiting: 189

1. Feeling like I was a stay-at-home mom going to the grocery store over lunch in my work out clothes....kind of an out of body experience
2. Long 1 hr convo with the mamma....we never run out of things to say
3. Sushi with some pals.....starring at some Cardinal players and good convo
4. A new birthday shirt and some fun gifts for Lauren at Anthro!
5. DOWN TIME - for the first time in a LONG TIME! I watched a movie, can you believe it?!


Blessings in the Waiting: 190

1. Delish Pita Jungle lunch....hummus and chicken hit the spot every time
2. New faces at Bible study!
3. Praying for my sisters in Christ and knowing I'm upheld in that way when I'm not there each week
4. God's persistance and patience with me....repeating themes of teaching over and over until I get it
5. A solo run and good time with Jesus in the sweaty process


Blessings in the Waiting: 191

1. Getting some closure/confirmation
2. Support, concern, love and comfort dispite the outcome
3. Chicken and White Bean Chili with the Taylors
3. Chicken Bock-Bock.....ohhh Natalie
4. Another great session with the Taylors; truth communicated, sin revealed....


Blessings in the Waiting: 192

1. Seeing Dr. Julia over Lettuce Wraps and Sliders...I missed her dearly!
2. Realizing how blessed I am to have such a large, amazing group of friends at this point in my life
3. A great catch up lunch with co-workers and the blessing of having friends in the office.
4. Boot season begins :)
5. Seeing the roomie for the first time in a few days! I missed our catch ups on the stairs!


Blessings in the Waiting: 195-193

1. Fun socks and sweatpants
2. Driving only 1.5 hrs and being in the mountains and pine trees
3. The smell of a campfire (even when you can't get it out of your hair)
4. Golden brown mallows
5. Watching men be men: chopping wood, building fires...

6. Breath taking views of God's creation
7. Dutch oven dinners....incredibly delish!
8. A chilly sleep curled up in a sleeping bag
9. Blue skies and fresh air
10. The sound of rain on the tent roof

11. A 2 hour nap
12. A fall evening complete with awesome testimonies of people who have walked with God for a lifetime
13. A low stress Monday
14. Getting to see Julia tonight! YAY!
15. More registry fun!


Blessings in the Waiting: 198-196

1. The feeling of fall - you can't really see it here yet - not even on a thermometer but it's coming!
2. Breaking out the fall/winter season perfume. Am I the only one that does that?
3. Having my US Airways flight on a 737 instead of my tiny plane and getting upgraded!
4. A lovely italian dinner
5. Comfy beds and charming botique hotels.....I'm spoiled.

1. Collaboration, momentum and motivation spurred from engaging dialog
2. Two story Starbucks on the Riverwalk with Pumpkin Spice Latte and Greek Yogurt
3. Spa DAY!!!
4. Airport Sillyness
5. Coming home to my love and singing him songs to make him laugh....really hard

1. A sweet, compassionate man to hold my hand
2. Sleeping with the windows open and AC off for the first time all season!
3. The delish smell of homemade cookies
4. Coming home to a house full of people and actually loving it!
5. Being in love and reminded of how lucky I am, over and over again.


Blessings in the Waiting: 199

1. Lunch date picnic complete with Goldfish, pebble ice and my LOVE!
2. Wedding Blogs for inspiration.
3. The joy of gift giving.
4. Lovely dinner date with Jen
5. Waking up to pumpkin spice coffee from the roomie!

Blessings in the Waiting: 200

1. Hitting the 200 mark yesterday!
2. Knowing and believing that He is totally in control no matter the circumstances
3. Some overdue family time - a generous uncle and some cousin-catch-up time
4. A restful nights sleep
5. Humility.


Blessings in the Waiting: 201-203

1. Dressing up and hearing from B that I look pretty in his eyes :)
2. Trying a new restaurant that's been on my list for a long time
3. Endless loose-track-of-time type conversation across from the one I love
4. Cuddling and falling asleep in his arms on the couch
5. The begining feeling of being a pair....forever

6. Starting our registry - the scanner was so much fun!
7. Blake's patience and good-itude during the whole process
8. An out-of-office hang out time with some co-workers and her pretty new house!
9. Celebrating Kristin and Kelly
10. Playing dress-up with friends in my closet!

11. A church that earnestly prays for the people of the congregation
12. Celebrating Krislyn and watching her be suprised and excited! We love you!
13. Breaking out the fall decor around the house
14. The smell of Pumpkin Spice candles
15. Speaking truth out of experiences that have shaped us


Blessings in the Waiting: 204

1. Forgiveness and Understanding.
2. No cavity check-up at the dentist and the feeling of very clean teeth!
3. "Talking Pillows" and the imagination and playfulness of little ones
4. A restful night's sleep
5. Work/life balance: getting some personal things accomplished while working from home


Blessings in the Waiting: 205

1. Being back in a room filled with the ladies I've missed so much for the past 3 weeks
2. Friends that just really get me
3. Letting out some pent up stress via a run
4. A quick response from the cops when there was a 'dispute' next door and a roomie to be with in the middle of it! I feel safe!
5. A meeting that gave direction and clarity...


Blessings in the Waiting: 206

1. A cool fall morning....I love the changing of the seasons
2. Seeing the bridesmaids dresses live and in the flesh! Ohhh so cute!
3. Good roomie time laying on our nicely vaccumed carpet :)
4. Catching up with Lizzie
5. 2 fun packages in the mail!


Everyday Italian

Giada is clearly the hottest thing on the Food Network right now. Maybe it's because of her cleavage, maybe it's her perfectly polished (Bubble Bath OPI- I have it on now) nails or maybe it's just because everytime I watch her, I can't wait to cook up some delish homemade Italian Meal. Last night I made a good one. It was perfect with a good glass of red wine, my favorite dining companion and some candlelight. This one was inspired by the very talented Jen Weaver, but I will put it out there for all to try! This is my "I don't like recipes" recipe. It might not be pefect - but a pinch here, a splash there and some good ole fashioned tasting and you will be well on your way! I'll keep sharing as I make some good ones here and there. Let me know if you end up being inspired by it or making it yourself. I would love to hear about it! Enjoy!

The Chicken:
-Marinate 2 or 3 chicken breasts (or bonless skinless thighs) in a store-bought sun dried tomato pesto overnight and a little bit of sea salt.
-Cook chicken covered in a skillet until browned on outside and not pink in the center

The Sauce:
-Dice 1/2 onion and saute with olive oil in pan
-Add a heaping spoonful of minced garlic, basil paste and some dried oregano & sea salt
-Once onions start to carmelize, add in 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 2 diced roma tomatoes and some red wine and let reduce until thick
-Optional: add mushrooms, fresh parsley or basil or spinach

Serve over sliced rounds of polenta that you baked/browned in the oven with sea salt and garlic powder. Top with chicken and sauce and dig in!


Blessings in the Waiting: 207

1. Love note email to wake up to
2. How kindness breeds kindness
3. Acts of service that overwhelmed me with how blessed I am and how much I don't deserve to be loved like I am
4. Dinner by candlelight
5. 9pm bedtimes


Blessings in the Waiting: 209-208

What a great weekend! ENJOY!

1. The gift of touch….ahhh what a massage!
2. An incredibly blessing time with my favorite ladies of AZ- their generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness made me feel so loved!
3. Opening some uncomfortably awesome gifts (Beyonce)!
4. Giddy, girly laughter
5. Longhorn victory – sweet redemption over TECH!

6. A gospel centered sermon devoid of any sugar coating
7. A lovely lunch date at a new favorite spot with my favorite person
8. Checking a tedious task off the to do list
9. Dinner with a few of the Allison ladies (+ B) and a new recipe
10. Laughing at myself while trying on some of my new gifts! :)


Blessings in the Waiting: 210

1. Having an at-home work companion and dancing to Beyonce while he was on conference calls
2. An unexpected knock on the door from my sweet friend Mandy
3. Another mind opening sermon from Voddie and awesome conversation that resulted from it
4. A challenging, challenging, frusterating run that showed me how kind, prayerful and patient Blake is once again
5. Long distance g-chats from Puerto Rico


Blessings in the Waiting: 213-211

Some how I ended up getting really behind on my postings for Blessings in the Waiting. I'm really not as diligent about this as I would like to be.....oh well. I started from the beginning of this blog saying that this was not about perfection. For my few readers out there...thanks for the grace.

I've been on the road quite a bit for work these days. It's keeping me really really busy, but the blessings keep coming. My travel should quiet for a couple weeks now, that is something to look forward to!

1. An energetic group of travel buddies, with me as the team minivan driver!
2. Prayerful friends, despite a challenging situation for our sweet friend. I'm so thankful for our community that loves each other well.
3. A fabulous dinner on the Riverwalk filled with laughter, sarcasm and story telling. I'm blessed by talented, intelligent and just amazing people as co-workers
4. A night at the Watermark.....I could move in if I could afford it!
5. Cooler Texas weather and lunch outside

6. Room service
7. A collaborative, energizing meeting with great results. Hard work payed off!
8. Connecting conversation
9. Making faces at people on the airplane and creating a scene in our delirium
10. A cuddle/catch up visit by B after I got home from the airport.

11. A love note left in my kitchen for me this morning. A perfect way to start the day
12. Catching up with the roomie over coffee at the kitchen table
13. Working from home with no make up on
14. Moms and Mother-in-laws to be that will stop at nothing to make sure you aren't stressing and that every detail is right. They are simply wonderful and love me no matter how tired, grouchy and stressed I am!
15. Hearing I was missed last night and a phone call that made me feel loved and pursued.


Blessings in the Waiting: 214

1. Checking off a number of things off the to do list during my lunch hour
2. A chiropractor appointment that gave me some relief, finally.
3. Excellent insurance coverage, I'm so thankful
4. A good, sweaty run with the man I love encouraging me the whole time
5. An eye opening, paradigm changing sermon by Voddie


Yummy (and Healthy!) New Recipe

In college I tried the South Beach Diet for a while. I definitely put on the Freshman 15 (or maybe 20). I really loved the diet and I feel like it changed the way I eat in a big way. I tend to be a bit of a carbo-holic. So it was good for me to stay full longer from lean proteins and veggies instead of carbs that made me crash later on.

Long story short, I cracked open the SBD book yesterday after being inspired by a head of cauliflower at the grocery store. I remember reading about this mashed potato-like side made from cauliflower. I decided to give it a go. I knew Blake would be a little reluctant - but he loved it! It was super flavorful and really good for you (as the roomie would say "more nutrient dense")! I modified the recipe below to make it even a little better for you (subbed out the half and half for yogurt) and added a few of my own twists! Give it a try and tell me what you think!

4 cups cauliflower florets
2 tbsp margarine or yogurt spread
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt (add additional until creamy)
1 tbsp of minced garlic
A dash of Siracha paste
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Steam or microwave the cauliflower until soft. Puree in a food processor, adding the spread, yogurt and seasonings to taste until creamy. Serve immediately!

Bon Apetit!

Blessings in the Waiting (Weekend Update): 216-215

1. Morning workout and a cup of coffee in solitude
2. Dinner with good friends (who happen to be from TX!!)
3. Endless energy, laughter and joy that comes from little ones!
4. A caring and compassionate fiance when I wasn't feeling 100%
5. Making some great headway on the wedding and feeling like my vision is coming together!

6. Experimenting with new recipes that worked!
7. An afternoon nap - it felt like college all over again
8. A long overdue phone call that blessed me. Thanks Ash for your genuine heart and vulnerability
9. An evening walk - you can feel Fall on the heels of Summer
10. Alexis' pesto.


Blessings in the Waiting: 217

1. A long overdue cuddle session
2. Longhorn lunch over Mexican Food
3. Finding the bridesmaids dresses and a great sale this weekend!
4. A sin revealing, humbling conversation last night - oh the purification
5. A thankful heart for the men and women who have served this country to protect us from things like 9/11 8 years ago today


Blessings in the Waiting: 218

1. Though I could learn to do it myself, a willing fiance to jump my car battery when it was dead
2. A really really productive day at the office and a now manageable to do list
3. Compassion and a Christ-like heart giving witness in front of my entire office today at lunch
4. Coming over to Blake's after work and having dinner ready for me :)
5. An awesome draft of our save-the -dates! I'm so excited!

PF Changs Rock and Roll 1/2

What am I getting myself into? For some reason I’ve committed myself to running in the half marathon in Phoenix in January. I’m not sure that I’m ready for this or if my knees will even hold up (I’ve had 7 knee surgeries), but I’m ready to give this a go and give training my all. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do! A half marathon is something that’s on my “bucket list” of life experiences. I’ve trained for one in the past but the knees didn’t last long enough and I ended up having to go in for surgery a few weeks beforehand. Not that I have enough to do these days, but for some reason, I think committing to a regular training schedule will really be great for me. An awesome way to put stress at bay and increase those endorphins! Right?

My cousin Jessie who is more of an experienced half-marathoner is going to come out for the race in January. I’m most excited about spending some time with her with 2 hours of catch up while we run. I’m not sure I will be able to hang with her on the course– but the exciting news is that she is coming out to Arizona to visit! My sister might also make the trip out to run with us. She has terrible knees as well (runs in the family) so she’s a little bit on the fence, but is going to make her best effort at it! Watch out for the 3 crazy redheads! Blake’s great friend (and one of our groomsmen) is going to come as well. He is a regular marathon racer so we won’t even try to keep up with him. Blake is going to be training with me and a bunch of our friends from AZ are thinking they will join in the fun! Who’s with me????!

Training starts on Monday for me. I’m doing a Hal-Higdon training program spread out over a couple weeks per my sister’s suggestion (she’s completed a couple halfs already!). If anyone has any tips or advice on training and sticking to it, I’m all ears!

Looks like I’m doing this for real. No backing out now. It’s out there. It’s on paper. I’ve committed. And you’re my accountability. Here we go!

Blessings in the Waiting: 219

I was stuck on a plane last night so I couldn't submit my post....the last thing I wanted to do after a long day was open my computer, so here is yesterday's top 5!

1. Gaining 2 hours on my flight home and watching the already dark sky turn into a beautiful burnt orange sunset
2. Being back on campus today
3. Not being in a place where I’m searching for a job in a tough economy– unlike all of the students I talked to at the Career Fair today
4. Becoming re- energized about my work by talking about how great I really have it each day and how well General Mills takes care of their people
5. Making an awesome spreadsheet on my flight home that made me feel super organized about wedding stuff


Blessings in the Waiting: 223-220

Since I'm not really a weekend blogger...I think I'm going to need to make up for the days of blessings that I do not record in a marathon-style post covering the last days of weekends and holidays :). Enjoy!

1. Actually flying the SAME direction as Blake on an airplane (and happening to sit next to him with a row to ourselves!)
2. Walking off the plane and not feeling 100+ degree temps
3. Having a HOT tub actually feel good on a chilly evening
4. Chex Mix from the Back to School sale satisfying my mid-airport craving
5. Blake's new car! It's perfect and JUST what we were praying for!

6. Being disconnected from my phone almost an entire day
7. A fantastic hike with an amazing view at the top
8. Farmers Markets...need I say more?
9. Reuniting with our "glue" and my sorority sister from the good ole days!
10. A delish home cooked meal that I didn't cook!

11. Longhorn victory, Sooner defeat
12. Fire pits.
13. Wine, buses, 15 partners in crime
14. Loud worship music that allowed me to sing it out....loud
15. Doing homework with Blake on the patio - quality converstation and thought provoking ideas

16. An early meeting that went better than expected after just a few hours of rest
17. A peaceful drive through the Texas hillcountry
18. Having one of my favorite sandwiches in Austin
19. Bringing home a suprise gift for B!
20. Connecting with Mindy, Nathan, Avery and Emerson


Blessings in the Waiting: 224

1. Savoring the last half-day friday of the summer with a delightful trip to Cali
2. Friday Funday traditions continue in the office
3. A sweet video that came in the mail with an exciting question included! YES is my answer!
4. College football season. Period. The End.
5. Booking our photographer for the wedding today! We are making progress!!!


Blessings in the Waiting: 225

1. Flexible work days on the road: coffee shop preparation before a meeting
2. A successful meeting, engaging dialog and positive relationships being built
3. A network of prayer warriors and watching God come through again and again
4. Delish Texan wine at the airport at a genius spot
5. Texan Pride via email


Blessings in the Waiting: 226

1. Monsoons outside that cool everything down at night
2. Racking up the frequent flyer miles due to business travel
3. Encouraging convo on the way out the door this morning with the roomie
4. Mix tape CD #2 suprise!
5. Taking time to listen to what God is teaching me and seeing themes pop up again and again: affirmation


Blessings in the Waiting: 227

1. Eager friends that can sew.
2. Iced toddy made with love from the roomie.
3. Blake's endless patience
4. A mix tape CD as my soundtrack to the day
5. Planning a dinner with the ladies (+Blake) of The Allison and Redfield Park.


In my efforts to continue to be more real with others, show some vulnerability and even expose my mess and weakness I let it out more times than not this week. I let it out in a teary mess at Bible study, felt like it came out in word vomit during counseling this week and found myself really telling people about the feeling of mess in my life when they asked, “how are you?”
A woman at my church is one of those people who is clearly living out what she believes in her faith. She is such a provider of encouragement and is a woman who tells you she has and will be diligently praying for you – you believe every word and I absolutely know that she is. I think sometimes we have a tendency to say I’ll pray and then forget and get lost in time and just don’t remember unless the issue or friend is on the top of our minds. This woman prays. This woman is wise. This woman knows the word and this woman speaks truth.

In my messiness, she shared something with me on Sunday that really gave me a ton of peace and clarity as I have been wrestling with being spread too thin, prioritizing my life and being intentional about what I do with all that is on my plate. I am usually very consumed by it – as I have a high stress personality by nature- but these words of wisdom gave m y soul some much needed rest. She told me…

“Jesus had the same number of hours in his day that we do today. He didn’t magically create more daylight, he was fully human, while he was also fully God. He was so in touch with the spirit and listening to the father’s will that he simply did what He asked day after day. He was sensitive to his callings, clearly seeking after the things in the Father’s will. He didn’t visit every city, he passed people in the streets without connecting with every person. He was wise in whom he spent the majority of his time with – 12 individuals that he equipped, guided, taught and shared intimate details with. Our Jesus had the exact time constraints that we feel each and every day.”

Oh how I love how Jesus knows exactly how I feel each day. I love that he has felt the pressures of this world and understands – he’s been there, done that. I love how He is the perfect example of seeking God’s will one day at a time, day after day with only 24 hours to do just what He asks. Let peace flood in.


Blessings in the Waiting: 228

Inspired by my sweet friend Jordan and her fabulous blog, I'm going to make note of the small, yet daily blessings that I encounter as I wait to be Mrs. Parrish. Jordan has "Grace in the Small Things" as her title of this section of her blog. I somehow imagine turning this blog into something for the two of us once we are married, but in the meantime, I will countdown to zero and count my Blessings in the Waiting....

1. Mid day doodeling
2. The transformational power of prayer
3. Pebble Ice
4. G chat from Puerto Rico and words that speak to my heart
5. A Mother's call of concern: no matter how old I get, I'm still her daugher and she gets me

Details for THE Day....

I'd like to think that we're making a ton of progress on the wedding now and are getting to the details of our big day. You probably are starting to realize what a perfectionist I am and how I want everything to come together, down to the last little detail! From artistic reply cards to a ring bearer pillow - I want it to all scream my vision! The problem is, I'm not exactly sure what my vision looks like in total. I have this Anthropolgie look in my head full of unique and interesting accents but not overly casual, "indie" or even too vintage set in our beautiful outdoor setting. Maybe the best vision is Anthropologie meets J Crew. I am a very very visual person so it's been challenging to not pull every image together in my mind and see how it all ties together.

Regardless of what we pick and choose, I'm so excited about the setting we are having it in. Both our ceremony and reception will be held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. I fell in love with the site as soon as we saw it! It is really very "Austiny" feeling and also has just beautiful scenery on the property. Blake and I even wedding crashed on our own and peeked into a wedding being held there while we were making our decision. My parents waited for us as our get away car! I'm starting to pray for nice weather that day already. Feel free to join me in praying for this- one less thing to stress about on the day of!

I have loved hunting through Etsy or Blogs for fun ideas, concepts or even things to buy....Check out these fun ring bearer pillows. I wish I could sew so I could make one myself. (I plan to register for a sewing machine so I can learn!) Anyone out there want to make something similar for me for less?


True Sisterhood - Part II

Last night we had our first night of Bible study since we took a "Summer Break" back in May. After stepping off the plane after a full day of working with my boss and meetings with my customer I was wiped out. I nearly didn't go, but I made myself walk inside. The minute I saw Kathy, I just burst into tears. I was feeling just so overwhelmed by life and simply exhausted. It felt so safe, it was such a good place to let it out. Sweet friends, sweet blessings.

Despite my resistance to going, it was so good to be back with all of the girls, in one room, and sharing and catching up on all that had happened in the past couple months. 1 marriage, 2 engagements, several foreign countries, leading multiple YL kids to Christ, 2 marriage ceremonies given, a summer full of camps, new learnings, new love, difficult challenges, visiting families at home, obedience and blessings. God is doing so much in all of our lives. Just hearing a simple highlight of the summer shows me how he is so active, so living and so engaged in the details of his children.

After sharing, Kathy let us in on what we were going to be studying for the next "semester." We are going to be doing an in-depth study on Philippians with a focus on Community. Understanding God's love, understanding how to love ourselves and love each other. As soon as she started sharing what God had lead her to, I had this funny smile on my face. Ahhh God is so in control! If you read back a couple of posts you can see my thoughts on our group of friends and the community we live in. I have been feeling like God is going to do something huge with our friends (all of which attend this study) and it is so amazing that we are going to study how to live in God-intended community with each other in the process. I'm praying for Satan to stay out of this growth and time of learning for all of us. I feel like we are going to be attacked during this journey - let's be ready with the Armor of God...

Ephesians 6
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.


Take A Picture, It Will Last Longer

There appears to be an age old tradition of the bride and groom exchanging gifts on their wedding day. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this tradition yet. It feels like there is a ton of pressure behind it - I can just hear it now, "what did you get Blake?" and feeling like nothing would be good enough. There I go again, worrying about what what others think so much. To avoid this pressure and not conform to the traditional norms of wedding expectations, Blake and I have decided to get eachother one big gift - together.

We both have an interest in developing our photography skills. We have thought about taking a class or two. I feel like becoming a decent photographer at least requires decent to nice equipment. Therefore, we are going to buy ourselves a nice camera to take on all of our adventures of becoming a newly married couple!

What's even better about this is that my work generously gave me a large gift card to Best Buy from a contest my region won. This will really help us pay for our gift to ourselves- yay! I'm not sure if the kind of camera we want is found at Best Buy - but we will find out! Does anyone have any suggestions? We are thinking in the realm of an DSLR. Any thoughts or reccomendations are welcomed!


Welcome home, Blake!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I always thought this was a silly phrase - in our relationship the more time we spent together the closer and closer I felt to Blake. I finally understand that phrase after this week.

Blake spent several days on the East Coast this past week. He left on Wednesday morning and just returned yesterday night. It was crazy how much I missed him! That almost sounds strange to me since we spent so much time during our relationship doing the long distance thing. I guess we've become really spoiled lately. We are so blessed to live just 15 or so minutes a part, spend most nights cooking dinner together and enjoying each other's company on the weekends.

It was so great being back together yesterday. I went and had lunch with Blake during my lunch hour. It was so refreshing to just talk in person and connect. I feel like we have a really hard time running out of things to say when we are in person. We had so much to catch up on! I came home and we made a yummy dinner at my apartment- baked citrus salmon, sauteed veggies and sweet potato and then went for a walk and a night swim to cool down from the heat. I'm simply so thankful for him. He truly is my best friend. I'm so glad he is back home....The bad news is that I left this AM for a business trip. Life of a working girl at it's best!


Amen Y'all

I really miss Texas. I was having one of those days last night where all I wanted to do was go home and hang around in my PJs at my parents house, help my mom make dinner and watch TV on the couch with my dad while he eats Popsicles and popcorn. Ohhh I miss those days and really took the opportunity to have my parents nearby for granted. I miss girl talk on my mom's bed, I miss my dad's willingness to fix anything and offer his help in any way possible, I even miss sharing a bathroom with my sister and catching up in our Jack and Jill mirrors.

Shey asked me over for dinner last night to go to her mom's house. Meredith (her mom) truly has the gift of hospitality. Every time I go over to her house for dinner or an event she has a perfectly themed spread with decorations and has thought of every detail. She has such a layed back home and makes everyone feel welcome and special. Last night Meredith cooked a Southern meal! It was perfect timing for my slight bout of homesickness. She made pulled BBQ pork, little corn cake/tortillas (from scratch), coleslaw, corn salad and even had fried pickles and homemade BBQ sauce! Such a treat!!!

The best part of the evening was when Meredith asked Shey to say a blessing - instead of going for it, Shey deferred to me - asking me to say it in my most Texan accent complete with Y'alls, Fixins and a thick drawl. I nearly started crying from laughing so hard during my prayer. I'm sure God got a good kick out of it. Good thing He has a sense of humor. God Bless Texas!

True Sisterhood.

I love authenticity. I think it's really one of the most attractive things about people. I love when people can just be them. Be real about what is going on in their lives, without over dramatizing it, making it something it's not or even just telling me what I want to hear.

I had a great weekend filled with some awesome conversation and really intentional time with girlfriends. It was so great really connecting with my sweet friends and having time to hear the hurts, pains, concerns, joys, anxieties and excitement going on in their lives. Ohhh so much going on. I felt like my prayer list was extremely long last night in reflecting on all of our conversations this weekend. But even in those hurts and concerns it's so good to know that we can open up, be vulnerable with each other and see the mess in each other's lives yet really love and draw near to each other. So sweet.

I feel like this is going to be a big year for our girl friends. I told the girls this last night. We are going on our third year of close friendship (for most of us). We are over the getting-to-know-you stuff and getting into the deep and meaty material. There really isn't a "what's up?" or "what's new" anymore it's more like - "how are you really" or "I see something is digging at you, what's really going on." I feel like God is going to do something big. There is absolutely no coincidence why we are all living in such close proximity to one another. It could be really messy, it could be uncomfortable - but I feel some major life change coming on. I have no idea what it looks like - in all honesty it's kind of petrifying. In the same breath i'm so excited. I'm excited for continued walls to be broken down, for each of us to let each other into the junk of our lives. To bring things to light and GROW. Growing pains can really hurt....oh but they bring such incredible outcomes and results.

I'm shaking a little just thinking about all of this....but I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. Get ready....


Sorority Lane.

Recently the 9200 block on Redfield Road has turned into the coolest place in Scottsdale to be. Not only have 3 wonderful friends moved into my complex and into my building, my sweet friend Alexis has decided to become my short-term roomie until the wedding! It's actually kind of amazing that 6 of my closest friends (Jen and Tracy live down the street) live all within walking distance to me! Talk about living in community! It actually feels quite a bit like living in the sorority house back in the good ole days of DG land. I love that we can all just pop over to eachother's condos and say hello, go for late night walks or grab dinner together at the spur of the moment. There is really no need to do anything alone if you don't want to!

Who's up for a pool party at the Allison?


Domestic Godess.

Today I went to Target after work in search of a few household items including paper towels, TP, new sponges and Press and Seal. While on the cleaning supplies aisle, I stumbled onto a great sale on a Swiffer Wet Jet! A complete starter kit for only $19. I've been thinking about getting one for a while. I really dislike mopping and love the idea of being able to throw away the yucky stuff you pick up off your floor. As some of you know that may have been in my kitchen before during a meal, I am not a clean and tidy cook. I love to make it good and make it fast which usually turns into quite a large mess to clean up.

It seems a little strange to me how excited I am about this new "appliance". Why is it that all of the sudden domestic gifts or things around the house seem fun and exciting? Maybe it's the wife- to-be instinct kicking in. Who knows. Watch out Blake, i'm going to be a cooking and cleaning machine. As long as I have his help to do the dishes (which he always does so diligently), handle the yard (if we have things), fix things that are broken and keep me organized, we are set! Wow that was a long list for Blake!

Needless to say that hilarious comerical, "Baby Come Back" has been runing through my mind all day. Not sure when my old mop will put a trail of rose petals and be waiting for me in the hot tub, but I'm not going to wait for it. I'm hooked on the Swiffer! It smells so good in here!

Oops! I'm late for dinner! Have a good Friday!


Our firstborn...

I've been dog sitting this week for a family from our church. I'm watching this awesome dog named Wrigley. He's a lab/golden mix, about 100 pounds and just a lover. I'm obsessed. He loves to play fetch and is so good about dropping the ball/rope for you so you don't have to pry it out of his mouth, he waits for you to tell him to eat before he starts and really listens well. I realize not all dogs are like this - but he's great. He's so well trained. I'm loving having him around.

Naturally when you get married you should get a dog, a house, then that order, right? Certainly seems like that's the expectation anyway. I thought that I would want to hold off for a while on all 3 but I feel like I'm changing my mind after this week. Woah now... don't go thinking that I want a baby! I'm talking about a dog here.

Blake and I have both agreed that we want to wait a little while before we add an addition to our new family (I love the sound of that word!), but it's just so tempting to want to go find a dog right now! Blake would like to adopt one from the pound or SPCA - I'm a little bit more picky about what I want. My family used to have a great Golden named Barkley. He had the best personality ever. I've got my eyes set on a Labradoodle, Goldendoodle or maybe a lab/golden mix like Wrigley even! For some crazy reason, I really just want a dog to match our golden type hair, haha. They say dogs tend to look like their owners, maybe this is why! We even already have a name picked out already: Fitz, short for Fitzgerald. Blake wanted to name one of our future children that name - I told him the closest he was going to get was naming our first dog that name.

The wedding is still less than 8 months away and I don't think we will be running out to find a puppy right away. In the mean time, I guess I will just keep dog sitting to get my kicks.


Ouch II

Migrane I think I need to go home from work.


Good Pizza, Good Talk

Last night we went to LGO - one of my favorite spots in Arcadia - for some yummy pizza and wonderful company! We met our friends Dave and Brittani for dinner. We have been trying to set this double date up for the longest time. But between their international travels with FH to our crazy schedules of racing, HEB and wedding planning it's been quite difficult. Thanks to our sweet boys, we set something up for Monday night.

I was so blessed by our time together. They are really a special couple. Met through their jobs, work closely together and really are just awesome together. They are both so wise spiritually, care about others in a huge way and have an amazing view of God's plan for the world and are doing his work daily! We had an awesome conversation during the night while sipping on some delish White Sangria and watching Dave try fennel for the first time.

The boys are super similar in so many ways. We laughed a lot during the night at the girl's attention to remembering details of dates, etc. while the boys "just saw the big picture." I loved hearing about their adventure, the current challenges of their jobs and even all of the fun restaurants they have tried in the city (they seem to be on the same hunt we are!).

SO thankful for a fun evening. Can't wait to do it again soon!


RIP Mini

Today Blake found out that his Mini was deemed officially totaled. Such a bummer for him. It's so hard to see that happen to him when I know it's something that he loves so much! The most important thing is that he was fine. The accident shook him up a bit, but he came out without a scratch. So blessed! Blake's trying so hard to make the best decision possible as it comes to a new car. Should he buy new, used, something super cheap or maybe something more stable but more expensive. So difficult! I really admire his desire to not put his worth into this materialistic "thing" and simply just get something to get him from A to Z and to view it as just that. I can't say that I would have handled it all the same way. I found myself getting emotional just watching him process and go through the motions in his head.

I guess that's another learning for me lately -- loving someone so much that their hurts are really your hurts and their joys are your joys. I've experienced that in the past with family - but knowing that Blake and I will be partners for life and share all of it's blessings and valleys together takes it to a new level for me.

It's so hard to understand why God allows certain events to happen. Just when Blake had felt like he was getting his feet back on the ground with a new job and a new fiance (me!) boom....a kiddo comes out of no where and accidentally smashes up the mini. I'm really not sure what God wants with this situation....only time will tell. Or maybe not. I think sometimes God allows things to happen and allows us to really not understand. It's the mystery of faith. Sometimes it feels like insanity, sometimes it feels like you've got all your ducks in a row. Trusting even in confusion can be so difficult - but so stretching and so good. I pray God would strengthen Blake - even in uncertainty, confusion or in his boldness to strive toward Jesus in the situation.

Flood in your peace, Lord.

Double date at LGO tonight! Ciao!



Boo Migrane.


The best part of waking up....

I usually have my morning routine of making some coffee while I get ready in the morning. I take a mug to work or just sip on it a little as I get ready. My treat comes on Friday where I treat myself to coffee at a local joint called Jolta Java. My favorite thing about this place is that they know my name and say, “Hi Katelin!” the minute I walk in. They know my order by heart and have it out to me fast. It’s such a treat. Talk about customer service, it’s what keeps me coming back again and again. I honestly feel special - it makes the experience seem personal and just so much more enjoyable then standing in a mile long line at Starbucks where the traffic is so nuts that you would have to go daily to be remembered. Plus, they cold brew their iced coffee! So much better than making it hot and then letting it cool down – it really removes that bitter taste that coffee can get when it changes temps. I’m a big “local” coffee shop kind of girl. There is something just quirky, unique and fun about non-chain establishments. I highly recommend this place for all you Phoenicians.

I usually just do it on Friday, but I’ve been treating myself to my Friday indulgence quite a bit more lately. I’ve just been so tired and it’s the best thing to jumpstart my day (well, probably not the best thing…). I’m not sure why I’ve been so pooped, but I’ve really needed a quick jolt from my java in the AM! I’m getting plenty of sleep and going to bed at a good time….maybe it’s the heat….tends to make me lethargic.

I’ve also really been trying to spend time in the Word in the morning while my computer warms up and really reflect. It’s my whole challenge for introspection coming to life. I’m going through the One Year Bible again. I did it once before in college, but it’s really a great way to stay on track to stay in the Word and have something to digest each day in truth. I’m going to really push to stick with it. Blake is in on it too- so that really helps out. Even yesterday was so timely – It talked about the challenges of marriage, after our session on Tuesday it felt really well-timed and pertinent. God is so good like that.

Tomorrow is Friday….you know what that means! Coffee treat!


The Nitty Gritty!

Blake and I have started marriage counseling in the last couple weeks. We are being taught and led by the Pastor of our Church, Heath, and his wife Lisa. We had a great session last night. They were so generous to open their home up to us…spent hours on the couch talking through things, pouring our wisdom and asking the hard questions. Their sweet little girls we so good and stayed in the play room and watched a movie almost the whole time. They are adorable. Looking at them makes me so excited to have a family someday (but not toooo soon!) I love having both Heath and Lisa involved in this as Lisa can impart such awesome insight as a woman and Heath truly speaks with authority in Christ and conviction as a husband that is loving his wife well and doing it through the guidance of the Lord. They are an amazing example for us. I’m really happy to look to other wise and Godly couples, especially through OTBC, to help guide us into the unknown of marriage!

After 3 hours of homework on Sunday, Blake and I talked through a wide range of things in preparation for Tuesday night. I am so so so excited about this journey! Already it is spurring on some amazing conversation and dialog. I know it’s going to be hard, uncomfortable, maybe even painful at times but I am loving learning more about myself and about how that will shape our marriage as 2 lives begin to merge into 1. (I totally just had that Spice Girls song pop into my head – yikes!)

A few weeks back I had a big realization that I am not a very introspective person. I tend to just fly through life, from one event or task to the next. Many times, I don’t even process what is going on – from what I’m learning to what’s impacting me or shaping me. It's not that I don't like to think about myself or even get down to the hard details, it's just that I don't do it. It's a hard disciple for me. I’m not much of a journaler at all (this blog is the closest thing to it) but I really want to find ways to challenge myself to be more of a processor about myself. The funny part is, I tend to over analyze EVERYTHING about EVERYONE else! I want to make sure I’m truly stopping to see what the Lord has to teach me. I desire to look at each of life’s events as clear and intentional ways God is present in my life and molding and shaping me in the process. Most times that I am the most introspective is actually in conversation, discovering things about myself as it comes out of my mouth. Maybe I just need to be talking more? I think this whole counseling thing is really going to help me get there. Pray for my journey of some self discovery and figuring out who I am in Christ.

Off for some sushi and a bike ride with the fiancé tonight!


And I'm Back!!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. It’s one of those things: once you stop and lose momentum it’s really hard to get back on the horse. Well I’m making a run for it…and I’m back. I can’t commit to everyday or really even once a week. We will just take it a day at a time and see how this goes. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit inspired to start writing again after I saw Julie and Julia. I also got a sweet note from a high school friend who enjoyed my writing. Comments are motivating!

Well since I’ve been away, life has been a bit of a whirlwind. Since getting engaged I feel like I’ve been flying at about 500 miles an hour. From pre martial counseling, lots of travel ( work and fun), wedding planning and Gen Mills I think I have a couple full time jobs! Despite a crazy schedule, wedding planning is off to a great start! We have a date set – April 16th in Austin at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I’m so excited and wish it was tomorrow! After setting the date, I really started to enjoy wedding planning. One of my favorite things to do is look at wedding blogs. They are so inspiring and it is so fun to see all of the creative and unique ideas that people come up with to make their day one-of-a-kind. My parents have been a huge help during the whole process. I think they are truly saints! They have given up so much time and energy to help make our day as special as possible. I hope they are having fun in the process too! I also have THE DRESS!! My mom came in for the weekend to Phoenix and we explored a couple of boutiques here. We had a great time and picked after 3 days of shopping. I’m going to keep the details to myself because I really want it to be a surprise for Blake, but if any of you ladies are interested, I will send you a link! She didn’t cry the whole time (I was so proud) – I shed a couple tears thinking about Blake seeing me for the first time. Ahhh I can’t wait to be his wife!

Blake has also been a huge help. I’m so glad he’s not totally adverse to the idea of planning the wedding! He’s working on helping us choose a band as we speak. He actually has quite a few opinions about things…that’s my stylish husband-to-be for ya. We also have a couple photographers in the works and are narrowing down our catering options. I’m starting to work on invitations with my lovely friend Jordan and also have some leads on Florists. Any and all suggestions welcomed for any Austin resources! I’d like to think we are ahead – but really I don’t want to get complacent about it. I have a list about a mile long of DIY ideas that I can’t wait to start working on! Oh so fun!

I’m absolutely loving being engaged. It’s just such a wonderful season of life. So much to look forward to, to plan (I’m such a planner) and just happy to be in love and be certain that I am going to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. So so so fun!

Off to pre-marriage counseling tonight….can’t wait to learn more about each other and myself. (I’m trying this new introspective thing…more to come!)


More Blessings.

I’m about to book a flight to Austin for August and I’m so excited! My sweet cousin Mindy, has asked me to be her daughter’s Godmother! My sister and I will share the duty together. I’m really blessed by this and looking forward to our trip this summer to be with friends and family and celebrate sweet Emerson!

Emerson Patricia Hopkins,

You don’t know me yet, but I’m your God Mother. What an amazing honor it was when your Mom and Dad called me to ask me and my sister, McKenna, to be your God Mothers. In all honesty, I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do or what it means to be a God Mother in it’s entirety. But I can tell you that I will do my best and figure it out as God leads us both on a new journey! I’ve never been a God Mother before and I’ve never had one myself, but I will take my job seriously and commit to loving you well and upholding you spiritually as you grow up. Your mom taught me a lot about living out my faith when we both lived in Kingwood. I was blessed by God to have her as an older mentor for me in the early years of my faith in Christ. I hope I can be that same person for you as you, Emerson.

Know that I prayed for you while you were even in your Mommy’s tummy. I prayed for you to be strong and healthy and even for you to turn around so you could come out safely. God listened to our prayers and answered them! It’s the first of many He will answer for you. Today I pray that you can grow up to know Him and have a real and meaningful relationship with Jesus, his son. I pray that you would fall in love with Him as your savior and know the need for Him in your life.

I can’t wait to meet you in person and be there on the day of your baptism as an outward sign of your parent’s inner commitment to raise you in Christ! I love you very much!

3>, Katelin


Love is in the air....

I feel loved.

Over the course of the last week, I can’t tell you how loved and honored I feel. Not only because the man of my dreams has asked me to marry him, but even more my sweet friends and family have continued to send encouraging messages of congratulations, best wishes and excitement to us both. It is an overwhelming feeling! Thank you so much to all who have reached out to us and let us know how excited you are for us. We are so very happy and so glad to share our excitement with you! So in honor of all of our sweet friends and family I toast to you….

Some ships are big,
Some ships are small,
But the best ships are friendships,
So here’s to us all!

My friends in Arizona laugh at me because I say that toast all the time. I think my friend Loren taught it to me in the first place in college and it has stuck. Some of my guy friends even roll their eyes when I do it over and over again….but I just love it! I suggest you toast to your friends using these short but sweet verses whenever you get the chance. :) If anyone has another toast that seems to go over well for them…let me know!

Thanks again to all that love us both. This season of life will be so special for us in part becuase of you!


Going to the Chapel...

I wrote this on Friday night, but haven't had a spare moment to catch my breath and stop crying happy tears to post. Pics are on Facebook as well! :)

What an incredibly suprising and unforgettable evening!

Blake picked me up tonight at about 5:30 because we had a reservation at the Farm at South Mountain for dinner tonight. We had a ‘date night’ on the calendar for a few weeks now (with our crazy schedules we tend to have to carve it out) and I even argued that this place was too expensive and suggested some other options via email. We were supposed to be celebrating his new job and just enjoying a nice date after months of being very frugal! I had taken a nap that afternoon so I hurriedly got ready – not showering – just freshening up and throwing on a dress to be comfortable in the heat. We got to the restaurant a lot faster than we both thought we would with rush hour traffic (I insisted on leaving early to beat the rush hour). Instead we drove through the houses nearby and then eventually parked. We walked up to the hostess and Blake said that he had a reservation for Parrish. The woman’s face lit up a bit and then took us to a very special, private table. We sat in the brick oven area with a covered terrace, overlooking the lawn complete with fire pits and lights in the trees. We took our time glancing at the drink menu and then Blake decided it a good time to pray. I thought this was a little strange at first to pray before our food arrived, but at the same time was thinking this is why I love Blake. His prayer was very long but so heartfelt and honest, like he always prays– praying about God’s faithfulness in bringing us both together, aligning the timing of his job and just his providence overall. I was already teary after that and had no idea what was coming next!

Then Blake began to talk about our future together and how he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together as best friends and as husband and wife. Getting down on one knee he held out a beautiful solitaire diamond ring. I had no idea he already had a ring to give me to ask for my hand! I had a hunch over the weekend that he might have asked my parents for their permission as my mom was being a little funny about his visit. (mostly vauge) I did not expect for him to propose this quickly by any means! I think I just said yes, yes, yes before he could even get words out – and of course was a crying mess!

Our sweet friend Scotty came and secretly snapped pictures of the event as well. They are so beautiful and we are so lucky to have such a gifted, generous friend!

We then called out parents who were having dinner together at the Parrish’s and shared with them our exciting news. It was so special for me to have both families already together. It really meant a lot to see them sharing in our joy as one family. The rest of the evening we shared an incredible 7 course meal made especially for us! We came back to Scottsdale to Jen’s house where our friends were there waiting for us to celebrate. The girls had brought me wedding magazines and even an adorable bride headband complete with my soon to be initials. Thanks Hairsay! I recapped the story for all of our friends and enjoyed their excitement and support as we sipped on champagne and listened to, “going to the chapel.”

I am so blessed to be marrying my best friend. He is truly the perfect man for me. His heart is so good and he loves the Lord so much which makes me fall in love with him more and more. He treats me better than I deserve and holds me up. He is an encourager, a passionate servant and a loyal friend. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life. I’m so excited to share my life with him and partner in our new adventure.

Wow Lord, thank you for all you have done! I would have never guessed this would have all fallen into place the way it did tonight. You are amazing – thank you for preparing the path for us. You are so good. All the glory to You!


The Grand Canyon State.

My list of reasons why I love Arizona is a little more personal than my Texas list. It’s not that I don’t like the state, it’s just that what makes it wonderful and special to me are the things that I have experienced and memories that have been created here, maybe instead of the state itself. I can’t believe I’ve almost lived here for two years now. Time certainly flies as you get a little older. Somehow that’s a little terrifying to me! Welcome to Arizona….

1. The awe moment at the Grand Canyon
2. Kathy’s Bible Study
3. Arizona family – Lossmans, Middles, Konrads, Stocks
4. Aztec Elementary and Intercessions during the holiday breaks
5. Lake days
6. The Redfield Road from 92nd to FLW and all the lovely ladies contained (or will be) inside
7. The railroad park at Christmas time
8. Lake Powell – I need to go back – might be one of the most beautiful places on earth
9. Sedona Red Rocks….magical
10. 10166 Aster Drive
11. Never ending sunshine
12. Old Town Bible Church
13. Postino Wine Café & LGO & Pita Jungle
14. Amazing hikes including: Camelback, Squaw Peak, Pinnacle Peak
15. Winter, Spring and Fall weather
16. Citrus Trees & the smell in the springtime
17. Spring Training games
18. Cutting down Christmas Trees in the National Forrest
19. FBR
20. People watching the Scottsdale crazies, gotta love the cougars & the bros
21. Incredible sushi without an ocean nearby
22. No humidity and great hair days
23. My other family away from home … my wonderful friends
24. Having Blake in AZ with me
25. The greenbelt bike paths through McCormick Ranch
26. The rubberized asphalt on the highways and lack of billboards
27. Being able to drive 2 hours and be in snow, at a lake, or up in the mountains
28. Proximity to so many fun roadtrips: San Diego, LA, Vegas…where to next friends?

Bonus Round!!!

29. Monsoon seasons
30. The way the mountains change color with the different times of day/weather
31. Incredible sunsets
32. Natural sun highlights in my hair from the intense AZ rays
33. Barret Jackson
34. Seeing hot air balloons all the time
35. Backyard BBQs without any mosquitos
36. Sundresses…it’s the only thing that really works in the heat
37. Mister systems
38. Pools in every backyard


The Lone Star State

I’m on the plane as we speak headed back from San Antonio, Texas – my usual work route. I’m lucky to go back to Texas (yes, like the song) so frequently because of my job. I can’t tell you how much I miss the Lone Star State. I know lots of people think Texans are just crazy when we talk about how much we love it, but there is something really quite special and one-of-a-kind about our state.

Don’t get me wrong, life in Arizona is wonderful. After all, it is my birthplace. I’m very blessed with wonderful friends, have family nearby, a great job and an awesome church….plus the state neckwear is the bolo tie. But, I get this crazy feeling of nostalgia whenever I’m in Texas. Sometimes it makes me want to move back, mostly because my family is there, but I’m content where life has me right now. Plus I can call myself a TexZoni.

There are about a thousand reasons why I love Texas, but since Texas is the 28th state (though we could be our own country at any point) I thought I would share 28 highlights in random order….

1. The Texas Longhorns
2. Floating the river
3. Boys with manners! (well really anyone with manners )
4. It’s appropriate to wear cowboy boots with anything, including your favorite dress
5. “Yes ma’ams” and “no sirs” – though when I first moved there we thought that people were joking!
6. The diverse landscape from end to end of the state….desert to piney woods; hill country to the gulf it’s all beautiful!
7. The fact that you are forced to take Texas History for an entire year in 7th grade
8. Austin Stone Community Church
9. The insanely beautiful state capitol building (did you know that the building is taller than the nation’s capital building and it’s the only state where the flag can fly at the same height as the US flag?) + the view from the UT tower to the Capitol building…nice city planning!
10. Football insanity starting in middle school
11. The San Marcos outlet malls….Texas’ most popular tourist attraction behind the Alamo
12. The gorgeous hill country oak trees – that’s why I fell in love with the UT campus
13. Shiner Beer
14. Texas country music, yes there is a difference
15. People’s willingness to just strum up a conversation or just be friendly in line at the grocery store
16. Yard signs for high school sports
17. The Whole Foods headquarters- a culinary heaven on earth
18. The phrase: “Don’t Mess with Texas”
19. The fact that Blake is from Texas too
20. Austin City Limits
21. Continental Airlines
22. Mums at homecoming (I’m not talking about the flower)
23. The Astros
24. The Red River Shootout/Lone Star Cup
25. HEB- I know I might be a little biased, I really just wish I could shop there in AZ!
26. TexMex & BBQ….Trudys , Rudys, Salt Lick
27. Massive Texas high school drill teams
28. 21017 Williams Creek Drive

I was on a roll and couldn’t stop at just 28….here are 10 more bonus reasons!

30. Keeping Austin Wierd
31. Mumus are not just for Cinco de Mayo
32. The simple pride of everyone who is from/or has lived there
33. The repeated drive from Austin to Houston – sometimes filled with tears, stress, anxiousness (good or bad), excitement, nerves and plenty of great catch- up phone conversations!
34. How Texans outside of the state instantly have a bond just because they are from Texas – Mandy, Jordan, The Kerseys, Julia….
35. Pearl earrings and Nike running shorts
36. Bluebonnets in the springtime
37. Breakfast tacos – seems to be the only place where they get it right. I have yet to find a yummy alternative in the valley
38. The familiar sound of, “yall” rolling off someone’s lips (I’m not a fan of the phrase “fixin” though!)

Just so Arizona doesn’t feel left out….there might just be a sequel for the Grand Canyon State. Stay tuned and Hook ‘em Horns.

Dr. Barclay would not approve.

I strongly dislike headphones where you can still hear the music when they are in your ears….even on a plane. Please Mr. Headphone Man, sitting across the aisle from me, for the sake of your ears and my sanity, get some new headphones or simply just turn it down. Thank you.


REM. (Mom, this one is for you)

There are very few things I would say I’m obsessed with. Some of my friends would say I’m obsessed with Sunscreen, Anthropologie or Texas. While they are probably right, the thing I have a near-obsession with is a good night’s sleep. This all goes back to my drug-dealing mom....

OK, my mom really isn’t a drug dealer, she used to sell pharmaceuticals. That would be my running joke all through school when my friends would ask what my mom did for a living. One of the many drugs she has worked with have involved sleep. Therefore, my mom knows quite a bit about sleep and always was willing to share her findings with our family. Maybe the medical news she told me scared me to the point that I have become obsessed with sleep, but I also remember her telling me that I was very difficult to get up in the morning as a young child. I don’t like to sleep all day or even sleep-in on weekends that often. I actually really love to get up early and enjoy mornings. I just simply love getting a full 8 hour night of sleep. In college I never pulled an all nighter and sometimes would actually go to bed early, just to wake up at 4 or 5am to study in the mornings. Maybe I cut my studying short – but it seemed to work for me! (Your brain needs to sleep to regenerate cells for memory and recall during the REM cycle – right mom?) Now my friends give me a hard time (all in good fun) about always being the first to go home on a Saturday night or if I make it past midnight I practically get a standing ovation! During a girls weekend in San Diego, my sweet friend Shey even took my picture and a picture of her watch to prove that I stayed up almost until 2am! (I'll see if I can find it and post it to prove it!) It’s not that I’m anti-social -I think my body just needs it more than most, I can really feel the benefits that it creates for me. As soon as I shortchange myself I seem to get sick or just feel icky. I know it helps me feel so much more productive at work and just a feeling of being healthier overall. On days that I don’t get enough – working out or being productive is the last thing I want to do. Feel free to contact Linda for even more reasons why you should sleep. :) I’ve even started to influence of a few of my girl friends in to changing their sleep schedules from being late night owls to early to bed early to rise gals! I guess I’m rubbing off on them.

The only downside of this near-obsession is that I tend to get a little anxious if I think I’m not going to get enough sleep. Any time someone suggests going on a road-trip or get away weekend, one of my first thoughts is, “ will I get some rest?”. I know…I’m a mess. I’m working on holding this with an open hand and in the spirit of remembering promises, I know that God will give me rest and restore me.

I can’t wait for my head to hit the pillow again tonight. There is nothing like a day of hardwork or fun finished off with a great night of sleep. Cheers to 8 hours of the REM cycle!

12 Stones

I wouldn’t say one of my biggest strengths is taking time to stop and reflect during my week. The busyness of the week, jumping from the office to one activity after another usually keeps my brain on the “now” instead of reflecting on the past. My mom usually laughs at me when I give her a rundown of my schedule for the week, giving me a hard time for my go-go-go lifestyle when I’m usually telling her how I am need of downtime. :)

Timely enough, Heath, my pastor at Old Town Bible Church, stopped to touch on remembrance on Sunday. Fitting that this was Memorial Day weekend, It seemed appropriate to remember and reflect. Heath’s focus was on remembering what God has done for us and how his promises are true, pertinent and lasting though time. I loved the humanness of Moses and the Israelites in the story in Joshua 4. After just witnessing and be involved in something incredibly miraculous, only caused by God, in the parting of the Red sea, their fleshliness creeps in and they seem to lose sight of what God promised to them and what He has done for them in the past. I love the visual reminder of the 12 stones and what they mean, "so that peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."

You would think that after seeing something so life-changing that you might not forget - but doesn't seem to be our humanly way. Even the disciples who were physically there with Jesus still seemed to forget and just not always get it. I so relate to this as I tend to not remember that God has my best interests at hand and how he knows and deeply understands every detail of my life despite what I remember to be true. He’s brought me though some amazing things…changed my family, continued to provide in times of need, yet I somehow play mind games with myself and with God and think He doesn’t hear me or maybe that I’ve already met my ‘quota’ of goodness that He offers. I forget the power of God in my life as the worries of the world seem to dull me. Yet again, His Word is so refreshing. The generations of promises are overwhelming to me. They show me how HUGE God is and how his plan is so strategic, so thoughtfully crafted, so intricate, so perfect. What a great day to sit and remember God’s faithfulness to me - even when I’m not faithful. It’s a true discipline to stop and remember – but how awesome it is to look back and see ALL God has done for me and listen to his promises that He can do it all again. I need to see those 12 stones daily.

Thank you Lord, for your overflowing goodness in my life. You are there when I forget you are present or can’t see you at work. You promise to never leave or forsake me. Those words are so sweet to my ears. Today I praise you for your steadfastness. You are a God of integrity. Thank you for remembering what you say and for loving me enough to continue to draw my eyes and heart back to you.



Today I start a new journey as I enter into the blogging world. For some reason I'm very nervous about it. I sit here with a lot of white on the page, not really sure how I will fill it up. Lots of ideas come to mind, but somehow I'm feeling confined by expectations. What will people think of what I write? Will it be clever enough, cute enough or even worth reading? As you will quickly learn about me, I am a perfectionist at heart. I'm not sure how to just halfway do things and tend to care more about what other people think than I truly need to. (I'm sure we will get to that later). How do I put something out there for everyone to see that's real and authentic and doesn't have to be polished? Is there even a "perfect" in blogging?

Instead, I'm going to do my best to let all of that go and just let this be a real representation of me. I hope that this will serve as a real, genuine way for me to communicate what's going on in my life during the 5 to 9 - or all of the hours I'm not at work. While my work is something meaningful and important to me, I hope this can be an outlet where I focus on the rest of my day where I enjoy spending time with the people I care about deeply and do the things I love. I'm excited to share my journey with you. Welcome to my life: perfectly....imperfect.
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