Life’s Tough, Get A Helmet

I typically watch a lot of my TV shows on my iPad, while I’m cooking supper at night. Just ask Derek! I have a whole set up. My iPad with the Gilmore Girls streaming in the background and my iPhone displaying the current recipe I’m working on right next to it. It’s part of my wind down time. I love cooking and baking. It keeps my hands and mind busy, and lets me be creative in my own way. I rarely follow the recipe, letting my creative, designer side run wild! It’s usually just what I need after a long day.

As I was watching a special sitcom, that remains close to my heart, I heard the following line… “Life’s tough, get a helmet”. Do you know where this quote comes from? The 90’s TV show, Boy Meets World, of course. Yes, I was one of those people that fell into the Disney+ trap and purchased my $7.99 membership. I had ONE reason I wanted to download the app…yup, you guessed it…Boy Meets World. I needed to relive my childhood for a few weeks as I re-watched the familiar sitcom. All the memories of the 90’s came flooding back to me. The times seemed more simple, there were no cell phones in hands at all times, and you had to go across the street to chat with your friends and neighbors. And let me tell you, it was a good place to be, my friends.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating on today’s technology. I’m a graphic designer, for goodness sake. I couldn’t do my job without our ever changing technology, and I find it fascinating as my Adobe programs change and continue to shape the way I design. I love technology and all that it brings, but….sometimes…I wish I could go back for a week and live without it. Cleanse myself of it, if even for a day.

As I continued cooking and watching my show, I related so much to that iconic line. Life is tough…(hmm…maybe I should invest in a helmet myself…)! Even though this show is 27 years old, the lessons from it still feel so applicable to me in this moment. Let me give you a run down of a few key points I noticed.

  1. Laugh at yourself. If I had a dollar for every time I did or said something stupid I could pay for that dream house that Derek and I want. My brother, Aaron, would tell you I laugh at pretty much everything. Yup, that’s me. Apologize if it warrants one, and then smile and laugh. We all make mistakes, it’s how we move on and correct them that really matters. There is always more than one solution to a problem, find it and move on.
  2. Your parents always want what is best for you. Now, I realize there are exceptions to this statement. But if you had loving, caring, and generous parents (Hi mom and dad!) like both Derek and I do, then I can say with 100% certainty that they ALWAYS want you to succeed. They may not agree with all our choices all of the time, but their love is unconditional. And I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help along the way.
  3. Work hard for what you want. Sitting around wishing and hoping isn’t going to get you very far in life. As Alan Matthews says to his young son, Cory, “This is your life. Deal with your life”. It’s okay to accept help, but don’t expect or feel entitled to handouts.
  4. “You don’t have to be blood, to be family”. A memorable quote from the beloved teacher, Mr. Feeeeeeheeeny, (Que the Feeny call for all you Eric fans out there…). Do I need to expand more on this? Don’t take them for granted…my friends are my family. End. Of. Story.
  5. Just be a good person. Let me reiterate that life is tough. Everyone is going through something. Being a decent person doesn’t take a lot of effort, but often means the world. It’s okay to disagree and have different opinions, but be humble and good. Admit when you’re wrong, and apologize. Mr. Feeny’s parting words to the entire series pretty much sum this up, “Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good”.

Wow…this post was intended to come out a lot more funny, but hey, as I write this I realize that right now, I too, am going through a trying period in my life, that I’m sure I will share more on at a later date. So, you get the sappy version of this post – you’re welcome!

I’ll leave you with one last thought. Sometimes life knocks you down, kicks, screams, and stomps on you. Stand back up. (I admit I stole these next three words from my favorite talk show host, Bobby Bones, out of Nashville.) Fight. Grind. Repeat. And DON’T EVER LET THAT ESKIMO STAND IN YOUR WAY!…watch the video I posted if you have no clue what I’m talking about! (wink!) Here’s the video link if you need it…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKIYBP8lPlQ

Also, you should just watch the whole series…

Until next time…I’ll be living the dream! Katie. K

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

Ready to dive in with me on my most vulnerable post yet?!

***ONE YEAR AGO***

“This is not a viable pregnancy.” After those words were muttered by our doctor I didn’t really hear a lot else. So many thoughts raced through my head. You mean we are going to miscarry? Miscarriage – why did that feel like such a dirty word? It shouldn’t, right? Was it my fault? Did I do something wrong? Why do I feel guilty? Why do I feel ashamed…like I shouldn’t talk about it?…thoughts continued to race through my head… *** ***

I’ve debated for some time now how to put this post into words. How to describe those feelings that many have felt, but are not often discussed. I’ve debated how vulnerable I wanted to be. How will people react? How do you write about something that is so sensitive, yet needs to be talked about more frequently? How many people would care? How many would feel sorry for me, when that isn’t what I want? Who would relate? Would it seem like I am trying to make people feel sorry for me? Why do I feel guilty about this? Would….how….when…who….where…what if….???…Then my next thought was NO! STOP! I am not feeling guilty for sharing about this topic, or the things I’ve felt, experienced, or thought. My intention for this post is to educate, help, or just simply relate to others who have gone through it, and it is NEVER my intent to make people feel sorry for me, because what Derek and I have experienced together only made us stronger, more conscious about our health, and appreciate the things that we learned along the journey.

Even though it’s been a year since our first miscarriage, and 7 months since our second we still carry that weight with us each day. And yes, I do mean WE and OUR, because Derek grieved along with me, and felt that loss too. So many times we were asked how I was doing. Very rarely did they ask how WE were doing. I know that everyone meant well, but if you think I was the only one experiencing pain, you’d be wrong. Derek was just as affected as I was. Not only was he grieving with me, but he also worried FOR me. He watched closely as I emotionally deteriorated at times, and worried about my physical pain too. He told me, “As a husband it is really hard to watch your wife go through all the physical and emotional ups and downs [that miscarriage brings].”

A couple of months ago I came across across a post on Facebook and I couldn’t have put this part of it into better words myself. So let me tell you a few of things this journey has taught me. “…Loss makes you love harder, love more, love selflessly. Loss teaches you that life is never promised. Loss teaches you ANXIETY. Loss gives you ANXIETY. But loss also makes you stronger. It teaches you that you can go on to be okay, to cope. Some days are easier than others. Better days will come…” **Credit: Darian Janae** And yes, I capitalized and italicized the word anxiety, because for the ones of you that know me well, know that I am a go with the flow person and had NEVER DEALT WITH ANXIETY prior to this experience! Let me tell you, it changes you in ways you wouldn’t think!

Want to know what some of the best advice I got from Megan was? She said, “You do know that it’s okay to not be okay, right?” I sat there and thought…IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY? And you know what? She was right…why did I not know this? Why did this never occur to me? Because, I needed someone outside of our circumstances to tell me this, to let me know that feeling NOT OKAY is a totally VALID EMOTION. Bottom line – whatever you are feeling during this journey is VALID. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, anxious, and it’s even okay to smile through it, even when it’s hard, it’s okay to imagine what could have been.

My hope is that we continue to share and communicate widely and openly about miscarriage, because it is often overlooked. It’s easy to talk about a happy and exciting new birth, and it’s amazing, but it’s often awkward and hard to talk about loss, so ultimately we avoid it. So, talk about it for the ones who don’t know, for the ones who have experienced it personally, and for the ones supporting others through it.

Until next time, I’ll be living the dream! Katie. K (Yes…I purposefully put the period after Katie. Why? That’s a story for another time).

My Better Half

Last week Megan and I were talking about our writing styles and she said “you know, you usually figure out what you’re going to write as you’re writing. You start in one place and end up somewhere different”. After she said it I realized how right she was! I’ve been struggling all week to try and plan what I was going to write, or how to say it. Then I thought to myself, what am I doing?! Just sit down and start writing and it will all come to me. So, here I go…I’m beginning by introducing you to my husband, Derek, but who knows where this post will end up! 😂

I could tell you ALL the things about Derek and everything I love about him, but I think the most important parts are in the WHY.

  1. Wanna know one of the first, and WEIRDEST questions he asked me on our first date? Get ready for this one…”Do you like horses”?! I replied “no, my dad always called them hay burners”. And he replied back, and very loudly “THANK GOODNESS!” Lucky for him I’m not a horse lover, in fact, they scare the crap out of me. I later found out the real reasons Derek doesn’t care for horses, but that’s a story for a different time. The real thing I’m getting at here is WHY was he asking me this and WHY was it so funny and important to me the more I thought about it? Well…because… Derek is pretty blatantly honest and I found that out QUICKLY here. If he doesn’t like something, he’s going to tell you, and have 10 reasons to back up his theory! Just try and argue with him…you won’t get anywhere without concrete proof. Which makes for some pretty fun banter in our home…we have a lot of laughs, and a lot of silly smiles trying to get the other to back down first. Don’t worry…it’s all in fun…we’re both stubborn Germans! Bottom line, I’ve come to appreciate his honesty and integrity, not a lot of people have it.
  2. How about one of our saddest moments together? We were in my Ford Escape, on our way back from our doctor appointment where we were told that we were miscarrying for the first time. About half way home Derek pulled over on a gravel and said “It feels like a punch in the gut, and the air knocked out of you”. We cried together in our vehicle on that road. WHY was this important? Because Derek is strong, yet vulnerable when he needs to be, (I probably just ruined his street cred there 😂.) the best of both worlds.
  3. If you know Derek, you know he will probably have a quippy comment or remark to make at just about anything you say. He has a cheesy joke for just about any moment, and if you know me…I laugh…at everything…see why I love those quippy comments he makes?! And no joke…as I am writing this he is sending me ridiculous texts…When it comes down to it, he makes me laugh…pretty much constantly!
  4. Wanna know what his super power would be if he could have one? To be impervious to hot and cold. The first time he told me this we were canning tomato sauce and he says “I just wish I could reach in and grab the jars and be done with it!” He now tells me this on a weekly basis and applies it to whatever he’s working with…ie: the smoker, the grill, the hot or cold temperatures, fire, boiling water…basically everything. I’m pretty sure he’d walk around with no pants most of the time if he had no sensitivity to the cold (you think I’m kidding, but I assure you I’m not…). It makes me laugh because it is an answer that fits only HIM! It’s so practical, yet so randomly funny like he is!
  5. One last thing…if you plan on playing against him in any kind of trivia game…well DON’T. He’s good at it, and he knows it. He’s so dang smart, and he has a smart mouth! He will win. He will show no remorse. He hates to lose. He will taunt you. He will laugh and smile because he knows you’re wrong (insert eye roll)! And it’s ten times worse when we are both competitive…but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Hey look at that, I actually stayed on topic! Well, I could keep going for pages and pages, but this at least gives you a snap shot of Derek. More to come in future posts…that I am sure! Until next time, I’ll be living the dream…

-Katie K

A Friend Will Help You Move, A True Friend Will Help You Move a Body

Oh hey there! Katie here! I thought for my first solo post I would tell you about how Megan and I became friends. I thought I’d tell you the whole story, A-Z, beginning to end. Then I realized, if I told you everything all at ONCE…uhhh…we’d be here for years…and I DO mean YEARS. We’ve shared countless laughs, tears, smiles, giggles, frustrations, and basically every emotion under the sun. If you can think of an emotion, we’ve been through it together. I think our time, mine and yours, would be better spent telling you the things I’ve learned from our 24 years of friendship.

Number 1: Just because you are best friends, doesn’t mean you will agree on everything. And you know what?! That’s a good thing. You will argue and be mad (sometimes for longer than you should), but those diversities that each one brings to the relationship is what ultimately brings you closer. It’s those differences that spawn GREAT ideas..sometimes ideas that got us in trouble (Who?! Us?! Megan and I in trouble?! Nah!), but they made for the best memories! Stay tuned, and I’m sure you will hear plenty of the trouble we got into.

Number 2: The house don’t fall if the bones are good. I’ve been listening to Maren Morris’s latest song, The Bones. Basically if you have a good foundation for any relationship it’s going to remain solid no matter what storms it goes through. Be truthful, be open, communicate, laugh, cry, FORGIVE.

Number 3: It is okay to have more than one best friend (Hi JENNA! MISS YOU!). How does the saying go?…Two is better than one? – ah yes! Having multiple best friends doesn’t make the other one less important or better than the other. It just means that each friend brings a different, relevant quality to your life. Each one brings out a different side of you, and acts as a crash pad when you just need somewhere to land. And seriously, making TRUE friends is damn HARD! So when you find good ones, hold on to them!

Number 4: FORGIVE. It’s ok to be mad. It’s not ok to hold a grudge. Be mad, do what you need to do, but then talk, communicate, forgive, and continue on. If Megan and I or Jenna and I would still be holding a grudge from some of the stupid things we’ve fought about, I wouldn’t have anyone to help me move and hide a body (refer to title of this post) and wouldn’t that just be a tragedy?! We wouldn’t have made it past the first year of friendship, and look how many years we would have missed out on!

There are so many other things I have learned from my friendships and relationships, but I want you all to actually read this…not open it, see that it’s 15 pages long, and then hit the X button. Until my next post, I’ll just be living the dream…

Much love! Katie K