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Friday, August 29, 2014

Birthday Weekend

Life has been pretty hectic lately but equally wonderful. For my birthday weekend, a full week ago now, my mom and I had a spa day and relaxed at Lake Las Vegas.

It's so crazy because I see so much of who I am in my mom. I catch myself saying things she always says/said. We finish each other's sentences, we pick up the same pair of shoes at the store without knowing, and we laugh. My goodness, we laugh about anything and everything.

My family and I celebrated my birthday at Cheesecake Factory, with lots of good fun and company. There is something so wonderful about having family around you. People who love and understand, people who make up a small or very large part of who you are.

Here are some photos from my birthday weekend. Wishing I could go back, and hold onto those moments a little longer. Also, I'd love another massage and pedicure, too.
the spa, it was dreamy. (Hilton, Lake Las Vegas.)


view from our hotel room (The Westin, Lake Las Vegas)
Buffet style desert aka heaven
The cupcake had a lot of frosting, so this was the result. Chocolate on our teeth and hilarious selflies.

exploring Lake Las Vegas with my beautiful mama

the view, the shadows, all of it.




anddd to end the weekend with cheesecake, it was all perfect.


 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On Bad Days

written yesterday after a tough, tough day.




Today has not been an easy day. One of those days where you have to remind yourself, it only has 24 hours, even though each hour seems to hold a little more time.

One of those days where you are stunned by how crappy a tough series of events can really be.

My day started with working at the Las Vegas Sun. Writing and being surrounded by great people? I love it, truly. Breaking news and listening to police reports? Not so much.

And here is the hard part, my “tough” day would be someone’s dream day. Seeing your name published all over a news site, being the first to get some serious information, having cops, firefighters, and coroners, answer your calls and answer your questions?!  It could be a dream for some, right?

But when you are who I am, breaking news just breaks you. Every accident, every injury, every set of “bad news”, I feel for.

I’ve said it before: I’ve got a heart that can be molded, shaped, and left with people before I give it a say-so. I don’t half-way feel things, and I certainly like silver linings, happy endings, and hearing that despite the madness, the world is in good spirits.

I am the grand optimist. Pairing me with breaking news, is like telling me my best friend is going to be the darkest, most cynical, pessimistic individual. We don’t fit. I am definitely not buying that friend a charm bracelet for Christmas, or letting her braid my hair at sleepovers.

If you are like me, you avoid the news. I hear a few words and I continue on with my day, while my heart hurts for people I don’t even know. I have gotten past the point of worrying whether bad things will happen to me, instead I am permanently concerned about others. I just want people to know that darkness only last so long. That for some reason, we have all got to get hurt at some point. Wounds will heal, scars remind us we can survive.

Today, I reported on a toddler drowning in his family pool. A man found stabbed in North Vegas. A man shot in the back of the head for stealing a beer from 7-11. I went on my lunch break and found myself carefully staring at strangers. Wanting to save them from bad things that could possibly happen, wishing my job was being more of a superwoman than a journalist.

It’s not the bad news that gets to me, it’s the people. It’s knowing someone had to experience some pain. It’s knowing that despite the toddler that drowned, and people want to blame a parent, terrible accidents happen in the blink of an eye. It’s knowing that that mother, despite her fault, is irrecoverably wrecked. It’s knowing that these people, whether good or bad, whether others may say they “deserved” it or not, these people are brothers, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. These people had hopes, dreams, belief that they would see the next sunrise. Receive another hug, another day, another chance.

And it breaks my heart. It wrecks me, because I am not helping these people. I am simply giving people something to talk about.

You pay your dues as a journalist, I get that. There are crappy things happening, and sometimes you are on the other side of the keyboard writing it. I told my mom on the phone, “I’m not okay with people searching my name, and seeing that I wrote that.”

But I am okay with people searching my name and seeing this. My blog, my love, my life. I am okay with people knowing that while I have a hard time reporting that breaking news, it is only part of my job one day a week. What I need people to know about me is I don’t judge a single person. I know how easily blurred the line between “good” and “bad” can be. I know everyone’ story is so different, I know some people don’t know how to deal with hurt and confusion. I know that the world can be a cruel place, and bad things happen that just don’t make sense to anyone. Things happen that cause you to cry, cry until you are gasping for air, and grasping for something, anything to prove to you that this life is worth it.

And maybe that is why this is part of my job right now. Because you can bet I cried in my car after work. That I prayed hard for every family I had to write about today. You can bet that I am still emotionally raw from the things I heard.

But you know what? Life is still worth living. People are still worth trusting. Days are still worth rising with, and my heart is still hopeful for the future ahead.


We must remember everything, absolute everything is temporary. You’ve got to fight and love like you’ve never been hurt or heard the troubles of the world. People don’t need me to save them, or feel terrible for doing my job. They need me to love them. And if you are reading this, know that I do.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guest Post: Lizzie, sweet sister

As you all know by now, I am obsessed with my sister. She's my greatest friend and a source of true inspiration. I've actually had a few people ask me, "Will you sister ever write a blog post about you?" Today, I am so happy to share that Lizzie wrote a post for you all to read.
Thank you, Liz. Of all the things I get to be, being your big sister is and will always be my absolute favorite.


Meet Lizzie
 
I’m not much of a writer so please bear with me as I work out some kinks to my writing. Most things I write I make for my eyes only, a little notebook that I bury in the bottom of my junk bin, so this is very different for me.

 

I hold passion and love for very few things, some of them are my love for CafĂ© Rio pork tacos that by now I have made a weekly ritual, my passion for the medical field so much that I am now watching for the second time, Grey’s Anatomy (yes, all 10 seasons). One thing I have an unbelievable amount of love for is my sister, Katie. All of you have probably read the countless post she has written about me and now, with very, very big shoes to fill, it’s my turn to write about her.

 

From what I can remember I have always looked up to Katie, so much that when I was 5 years old I cut my hair into the exact same bowl cut she had, to no surprise it didn’t look as good on me as it did her. I envy everything Katie portrays, she is smarter than smart- not in the way where she would glide through a college Calculus 3 course but in the way where she knows a little bit about everything, she is beyond hilarious- I don’t think I could laugh so hard with anyone else, and she screams talent in every form.

 

Only 11 months older and I look up to her as if she is 11 years older.

 

With a rocky medical history, I feel like Katie has been there for me more than I could ever be there for her. During every trip to the hospital (which we have a lot of by now), she has always been the one I reach out to hold my hand. It’s now just a reflex, when I’m sick, she is by my side and I reach out my hand she is there waiting to hold it. On our trip to California last month I had fainted in Claire’s (so embarrassing and ended with a severe black eye), but in the moment that I woke up laid out on the ground with a circle of people around me and a doctor holding my head, all I could really see was Katie knelt down in front of me and as I have done numerous times now, I zoned out on the chaos going on around me and reached my hand out to Katie. By her wrapping her five fingers around mine, she is not only holding my hand but the parts of me that need holding on to. She has helped put me back together in more ways than one- helping me deal with heartbreak, being home sick, sicknesses, and so much more. With endless advice, laughs that will last a life time, and love that I will be eternally grateful for, she is now an essential part of me. A part I would not be able to glide so easily through my day without. I am blessed.

 

To my sweet sister, you are my rock. A true blessing and someone I couldn’t live without. I love you to the moon and back.
If you want to read more about our sisterhood, head over to my page, A Love like Sisters.
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Simplicity/Nothing days


 

The days we do nothing, are the days we get to appreciate all the little wonders in our lives. The days we lie too long in our beds, tangled in our covers. The days we drink an extra cup of coffee, and give extra hugs and kisses to the ones we love. The days we spend cuddled up with a book, lost in the words, all the pages dog-eared and worn. Those are the days I never wish to forget.

My sister and I had a day like this on Saturday. I had laundry to do, I needed to go workout, and things needed cleaning. But I made us coffee for her, tea for me. We sat and talked, we laughed, did our own things in the same space. That is how you recognize your friends. When you can be in the same room, doing different things, a word doesn’t need to be said to know you are just thankful. For the silence, for the nothing time, for each other.


I notice things differently when I am not rushing. Like how the sun is so gently tugging me awake, how it peers through my blinds, its rays warming me, its light challenging me to shine for the day.

I notice that my green tea smells slightly minty, that the string on the bag is a little warn, that the mug that holds it has been invited to countless nothing morning like these.

I notice that my room is a reflection of who I am. There are piles of notebooks and pens. Warm candles fill the room with a cinnamon scent.

Lizzie lies on my bed. She reads her book. She sinks into the sheets. I sit at my desk writing this. I close my eyes and can feel the gratitude in the room. And while there are interesting things happening outside, while it is a beautiful day to go explore, I am content with this nothing day. This nothing day is everything.
 

 

I’m grateful for the days where I live in nothing but the present moment. The days where I spend no time reflecting on my past, or wishing for my future, my mind is just happy to be exactly where it is. There is no place I’d rather be.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Monday xoxo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Being (Almost) Twenty



 
Next week, I will be 20 years old. I know that it is still young, but I have to admit, I really can’t believe I will be entering my 20’s. I mean, the last time I thought about what I would do with a decade, I was turning 10. And I can tell you that your 10’s are full of awkward haircuts, puberty, training bras, braces, first kisses that we can never forget (I told the first guy I kissed, “that is so easy!! And not so bad!” why, oh, why did I do that), 10’s are filled with middle school, high school, finding yourself, and then there are 2 mere years where you feel invincible: 18 and 19, and then suddenly you are sitting at your desk writing about what it feels like to enter your 20’s.


Because I think ahead, I keep telling myself, in ten years time, I will be 30. Which I know is infinitely cool, because Jennifer Gardner taught me to believe so. I think every girl who watched 13 Going On 30 knows that the best years are going to be thirty, flirty and thriving. But the point of this post is that I know these next ten years will be filled with new, beautiful adventures. I know there will be new opportunities, love, heartbreak, wonder, and discovery. I know I traded in a set of ten years, to get to this point, and I am so excited.

I was thinking about how every year that we get older, we get to figure out a little bit more of who we are. But we also get to reflect on a whole year of life. Here’s what 19 has been filled with, by the numbers.

13: The number of inches I cut off of my hair.

7: The amount of writing journals I bought  (for all of 19’s adventures of course).

4: Trips I’ve taken, twice to Laguna Beach (I am addicted to this sweet getaway spot), New York, and Bali, Indonesia.

5: The number of IPhones I’ve gone through. They are either defective, or I just happen to drop them in things like lentil soup.

11: The number of kids I’ve gotten to babysit for, the number of little loves that keep me curious and laughing.

2: Semesters of school I have finished.

1: The single internship I had, that turned into a dream job at the Las Vegas Sun.

7: The number of month’s I have had this wonderful, uplifting blog that keeps my love for writing on fire.

1: Lease I signed to share an apartment with my sister. Which has been the greatest, silliest, best adventure yet.

478: Or something like that, but the number of phone calls I have made to my mom, just to hear her voice, her words of encouragement, and her jokes that may never be all that funny, but her charming laugh keeps me laughing with her.

20: The number of Bikram Yoga classes I made it through.

4: The number of times I’ve gone to get photos developed.

2: The number of runs that have ended in a rainstorm.

Every time: The number of times my “runs” have turned into what I so cleverly renamed, wogs. Walk/Jogs where I just look miserable.

6: The number of times I’ve locked myself out of my car. Thank you, AAA.

365: Cups of coffee I’ve had, and it’s probably even more, but you can bet that each morning I have my fix. Every. Single. Morning.

14: The number of books I’ve received as presents.

2: Weeks in Bali, Indonesia that forever shaped a bit of my heart.

Infinite: the amount of love and support I have felt this year. The number of times I have smiled, laughed, and completely lost myself in the power of good company. Infinite, the amount of love and gratitude I have for all of my readers, seriously, you guys keep me going. The number of times I have cried tears of absolute utter joy because of all my constant blessings.

Infinite, the number of times this year I have had to physically stop, and just take a moment to realize that this life, my life, is so overwhelmingly good. Life is this. It’s the memories, the people, the times we stop just to thank whatever it is we believe in. 19, you were pretty wonderful.

My wish for my 20’s is to take it all in, capture the moments with my heart instead of a camera, spend more time being present. Say hello to more strangers. Travel to more places. Love a bit more deeply. Love myself fearlessly. Take chances. Be brave. Stay true to myself. Go after every single dream that girl in her 10’s wanted. Remind myself that each day, each step in these twenties is a gift.

 

Happy Wednesday xoxox
Stop by Anne's blog, Love the Here and Now, to share what you are wishing for.

Monday, August 11, 2014

10 things

A while ago I wrote a post about the things I wish I had never figured out here. And now I am writing about things I haven't figured out and have given up trying...

1. Why it rains after I wash my car.


2. Why are Oreos, Target, and getting my hair done so addicting?
3. Why does ice cream taste so good and the treadmill feels so bad?
4. Why is it that when you really really really need to be somewhere on time, your car doesn't start or your alarm doesn't go off.
5. Why are pimples even a thing?
6. Warm, clean sheets are the best, but why can't beds just make themselves?
7. I would like to know why Tevo fails when I really must watch a show.
8. Why do I get all red lights when I am running late?
9. Stubbing toes, burning your tongue on the first bite of food, and accidently biting your tongue or cheek. All of these are terrible and I stopped trying to figure out why the continually happen.
10. Last but definitely not least, why do clothing stores decide to have "huge, you must go our you will never get these deals again and regret it for the rest of time" sales the moment I decide I need to start saving and stop spending money on unnecessary things.

I read somewhere that you know you are in a good place when the things that used to frustrate you can now just make you laugh. I am definitely grateful that this season of my life is full of laughs as I ponder over the ten things I stopped trying to figure out.

What is something you haven't figured out and gave up trying?

Stop by Emily's blog, Ember Grey, to share what you are grateful for today.

Happy Monday!! xoxo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New Job/ A piece of advice



I got a new job and I am ridiculously excited and happy. I was interning at the Las Vegas Sun, and I was asked to stay apart of the team as a writer. Just writing this makes me feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I have not yet taken any journalism classes because I had just switched my major, but when you follow your purpose, things just unravel just as they should.
the new office.
But now it is so much more than an internship, it is a job, a career. Why is it that we doubt ourselves when we get the opportunities we deserve and are meant to do? I spent a good six hours trying to tell myself, this may not be for you.. to good to be true.. we all know what the famous words are of self-doubt. But then I realized something, I love writing. Writing is my home. And if given an opportunity to get paid to come home every time my pen hits the paper, well, I am taking it and I will succeed.


This week at work I was given an assignment I felt slightly uncomfortable with. Like, I wasn’t really sure how I would make it work, and sometimes my lack of journalism experiences creeps up and taps me on the shoulder, and whispers, “Hey Katie, pssst, you know you have like, no actual training right?!” My little journalism nemesis can sometimes give me serious butterflies and writers block. And then this came to mind: If a ball was being thrown straight to you, and it was either going to hit you in the face, or you were going to catch, you would put up your hands and catch that ball like a pro. And that is what this job is for me sometimes. I don’t know what is coming my way, but I’ve got my mit up, and there is no way I am leaving this office with a shiner.

When you have no idea what is being thrown to you, catch it and wow them. Catch it, and throw it right back, harder, faster, and stronger. Don’t allow any type of self-doubt to sneak into your life, you are given opportunities because people believe in you. And if they believe in you, why aren’t you believing in yourself?

So, when I get thrown a curveball, I don’t stop at dodging it or even catching it. I am in the game. I will research, ask questions, spend extra time, say some affirmations, and turn in something that is sure to wow them. I want people to know me as someone who works hard, but mainly someone who enjoys the process and get something meaningful and new turned in. I want people to see that I am the girl that is fearless. The girl that never gives up, but instead gets up and tries again.

The world has no idea what you are capable of. And the amazing thing is, we can literally do anything we want to do. We can achieve anything we can possibly imagine. We can live in fear of striking out, or we can play our hearts out.
 
Happy Wednesday. xoxox
Stop by Anne's Wednesday Wishes and share what you're wishing for.
 
 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bethany May

Sweet, sweet, Bethany has held a piece of my heart since she was a teeny toddler. I used to watch Bethany a few times a week, and just treasure each second. She is one of those little souls who just loves and enjoys each bit of life. She has a contagious laugh. A perfect smile. A crazy good sense of humor for a little one, and she is constantly reminding me that life is so sweet.

Bethany had moved to England for 8 months and it was a weird adjustment. For any of you who have been a nanny or babysat, sometimes you just meet awesome kids that can't be replicated. I look at Bethany and just know she is going to be a beautiful person. I know her personality isn't fleeting, but instead a treasure she will carry with her forever.

Her family is so incredible, a unity of absolute and unconditional love, a love that just oozes out of all of them. It makes you just feel blessed, you know? People just loving people. People actually appreciating all that they have (even through toddler and baby screams.)

Bethany, and her family are now moving back with a new addition, sweet baby Grayson who is only 3 months old. I am thrilled to have little Bethany back. We were reunited yesterday and I am so grateful for her and her family.


her sideways stare, literally the funniest thing ever.

Bethany is a selfie-lover.

and I am a Bethany-lover.


 






Saturday, August 2, 2014

DIY Twine Instagram Photo Wall

I would love to say I'm super crafty but the truth is, I am impatient when it comes to DIY and I rarely follow every step. I also have pinned a thousand DIY's on my Pinterest and never do them. This past week I became determined to do something artsy. So, I picked this DIY because it is sooo easy and I love the look of it. Instagram has become such a wonderful way to share snapshots of life, and this craft allows you to freeze that memory and display it on a cute twine string.
 


What you do first is develop your photos. I got mine directly from Instagram so they are the 4x4 size. If you download the Walgreens app, (it's free), and then hit Photo, you will see a tab that says "Upload from Facebook, Instagram, etc..." I clicked on Instagram, and then selected the photos I wanted. Because I think every photo I have ever taken is vital to my well-being I choose 75 photos, most of which are pictures of flowers, scenery, and coffee mugs.

Once I had my photos, I went to Paper Source and got mini clothes pin. Have any of you ever been to Paper Source?! It is the cutest craft store, and it offers classes for typography, stenciling, and different craft skills. It's like Zooey Deschanel, mod podge, sunshine, and glitter rolled into one adorable store. Needless to say, I became obsessed with it.
 I then went to Michael's and got tiny hooks, and twine. Michael's is like Paper Source's less trendy cousin, but it always has the necessary craft supplies.


Then I decided to hurry home and open everything, and then stop mid project because that I how I work. But today, it is super cloudy outside and perfect craft weather, so I finished my DIY.

First step is choosing a wall. My wall is kind of small, you could do a large wall but I wanted it to be more subtle. Next, you place the hooks in the wall, and tie the twine around it. Then decide how much twine you want, if you want the string hanging lower or tighter, install another hook and tie the opposite end of the twine to it.



I decided to just have three twine photo strings. I used an Aussie hairspray bottle to measure in between the strings, but if you are a professional, you'll probably want measuring tape. My strategy for anything that doesn't come out quite right, is to just say, "It adds character!" and move on.

But in reality, my photo wall turned out adorable and I absolutely love it. What's your favorite DIY you've done?

Happy Saturday! xoxo
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