Thankful for the Unexpected: A Little Life Update

It’s been a while, and a lot has happened in that while.

In January Brent and I hosted a Chinese high school boy for 10 days as part of a student immersion program through LMH. Oh the stories we could tell from that adventure...Day one I was convinced we had been paired with the sweetest, most helpful and genuine 16-year old male human on this planet. By day four he was mad that I misinformed him on the weather therefore ruining one of six new pairs of Nikes he had purchased since Day One. Nothing like living it up when you find yourself on a different continent with house parents that could be mistaken for your classmates.

 


In all seriousness, we are so thankful for that adventure, and the impact (I really hope) that we got to make on his life. WE MISS GRIFFIN. (Although I’m not ready to parent a 16-year-old quite yet.)

In February we jetted off on my first tropical vacation with some of our best friends. To be honest, it was difficult for me to keep our trip from being clouded with fear over this whole zika virus thing that is on every news outlet in the US. I am so glad I pushed through it, and we traveled to St. Croix. We had the most wonderful week, I legitimately DID NOT want to leave AT ALL, and a month later I am in the zika clear. (Which really was not a big deal on this island at all). Highlights of this trip included all the delicious food we ate, literally every meal was good, all the beaches we visited, traveling with dear friends, and of course experiencing sunshine and warm weather during the month of February.


In March (Ok so this technically happened in February, but really took off in March, and I needed something for March) I launched A BUSINESS with my good friend Heidi! I still can hardly believe that this happened...and really it was such a whirlwind. Moss + Vine is a floral and event styling business, and our ultimate goal is to help people throw really great parties. Heidi has years of experience with florals, and I just love decor/design/style. Working together has been so much fun, and I am really excited for the things that I know we will create! There has been SO much momentum with our business already, and more exciting opportunities than I would have expected this early in it all.

 

This spring feels so full it's already gone. Countdown till our first beach vacation (June 1) has officially commenced. Four events for Moss + Vine in the month of April alone. And channeling my inner Joanna Gains as I get to design and decorate the 2016 parade home for Brentwood Builders (Brent’s family business). I am loving this even more ever since I jumped on the Fixer Upper bandwagon and decided I want us to be them.


I am so thankful for where the unexpected has brought me. I have cried numerous times as I replay the past year in my head. It is just so crazy tracing where I was last year to where I am now. The opportunities I have worked toward, and the ones that have landed in my lap. I can actually say that while certain life circumstances haven’t necessarily gotten easier, and my prayers haven’t always been answered the way I planned, I have grown. The moments I’ve so deeply struggled with who God is, and the times I have spiraled in a lack of control, are countered by those when I have experienced grace I didn’t know was possible, and peace that definitely is not my own.

There is a sweet sense of anticipation in the realization that I can trust whatever is coming, even though I’m not in control.

 

xoxo Katie

 

home.

No other word describes quite so perfectly how I feel so often. I love our physical home, our house. I love to decorate our home, and keep a home, and create a home for my family. I love when people feel like home, memories feel like home, sights and smells feel like home.

home. it is the nicest word there is.
— Laura Ingalls Wilder

There is a sense of comfort in the word "home." It brings up the nostalgia of growing up in my parents' home with my sisters, learning what home means to them. It is new traditions and trademarks that Brent and I create as we build our home and family. It is the reason that my dream job, to be a "homemaker," is even possible.

I feel privileged to have the responsibility of setting the tone for those who enter our home, and setting the table for those to stay. It really is, in a way, like a life-size dollhouse, and although there is responsibility beyond the "fun stuff" like painting and decorating, each task complements another. So today I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that help make our home. Books and products and shops that I love!

Highlights of our Home:

(left to right)

1. the chalkboard in my kitchen is forever changing, 2. this little vignette of my joy cookbook and dried wheat from a field, 3. a tin feather I purchased in Philadelphia this weekend, and the PSL card my sister got me at Anthropologie, 4. Our mantle is the perfect backdrop for all kinds of arrangements. (Bottom, L-R) 5. My two favorite fall catalogs so far, 6. the hanging shelf Brent helped me make, 7. the glass globe & air plant hanging in our room, 8. This little thrifted plate with a sweet quote.

Favorite Books about Home:

The Nesting Place, by Myquillin Smith

Bread & Wine, by Shauna Niequist

Happy Handmade Home, by Emma Chapman & Elsie Larson

Design Bloggers at Home, by Ellie Tennant

Favorite "Helpful" Household Products:

Glade Jar Candles (They are cheap and they make the house smell so good! Fall and winter scents are my favorite)

Mrs. Myers Multi-Surface Cleaner, Basil (I use this for everything. Bathroom, kitchen, coffee table, everything.)


Lavender Essential Oil (I diffuse this for the scent and to help us sleep, but also apply it topically for burns and for cramps.)

Norwex Dusting Mitt (One of the best bridal shower gifts. It works so well, and is extremely convenient.)

Horsehair Dust Brush (I never realized the importance of a good dust pan and brush until I bought one for .99 cents at Ikea. We got a horsehair brush at a local Amish store and the difference is amazing.)

Favorite Home Decor Shops:

Pottery Barn, Rockvale Outlets (look for good sales!)

West Elm, Rockvale Outlets

Goodwill

Michael's Craft Store

Cost Plus World Market

HomeGoods

Marshalls

Terrain

and of course, Target.