Diving Back In

It seems like such a long time ago that I just logged on to this space and just chatted – not about the heavy stuff because lawd knows I’ve done plenty of that – but about stuff.

Because every time I think about writing about stuff it seems so insignificant. So trivial. I mean, I know life isn’t trivial. It’s just when something rocks your world, you feel when you talk about the normalness of life you’re somehow doing a disservice to those you love. Does that even make sense? I hope it does. Sometimes my brain isn’t operating on all cylinders.

That would be September.

So, here I sit and it’s finally October. Praise Jesus. I’ve been looking on the calendar at all the goodness life has to offer this month. There is so much good. And so much God. Please know that as you read my words in the coming weeks and months, that post about holiday decor, or a birthday party or a DIY project may not convey what’s truly going on in my heart. But all the feels? They’re still there.

Okay, deep breaths.

Time to dive back in.

Chicago? We’re comin’ for ya. The resident 10-year-old, Anna-Laura, and I are heading to the Windy City in exactly two weeks to celebrate her birthday, albeit a little belated. The 10yo trip is quite the tradition at our house and I’m so happy I’m finally the chosen parent. Yeehaw! Whatever great Chicago tips you have, I’d love to hear them. My knee is still not 100%. In fact, my surgeon says I won’t be 100% until the end of the year. Yikes. Whoever the patron saint is of knees, let me know. I’m gonna need him.

4-H is in full swing. The kids have been cooking up a storm preparing for the county food show next week. Clare has a killer homemade pimiento cheese recipe (I love it and I am not a fan of the pimiento!), Anna-Laura, John Paul and Will are all making a bread. Details and pics to come next week. All in all, very proud of them and their efforts. Last weekend, the littlest crew helped plant trees for National 4-H Week. The cuteness overload is too much, I know.4H, blog_3745

4H, blog_3749

Who knew a 15th birthday could be so fancy? Will was invited to be part of the court for a friend’s Quinceañara. I can’t believe I’m in my 40s and just now attending one. I’ve heard that some can be way, way over the top, but this one was done beautifully. You could really see the love this family had for their daughter. And, Will learned to salsa since the court does a choreographed dance during the party. I call that a win.

My knee is kicking me in the knee cap. Oh how I wish my surgeon had shot really straight with me back in July and said, “Kathryn, breaking your knee bites. You won’t be 100% until 2016.” I needed a rip the bandaid off moment. Oh well, at least I love my physical therapist. Pray for me, y’all. This recovery is a lesson in patience which I clearly have loads of these days {sarcasm font}.

Run, baby, run. The big three have been running cross country all fall and man, are they fast. They’ve all been hitting PRs (personal records). I know, the lingo makes me feel fancy. But, mostly, I love that they are enjoying taking care of their physical bodies. Here’s hoping that sticks as they grow older.

cc, blog_3665

Client work has kept me crazy busy, and for that, I’m thankful. This is always my busiest season of the year and it is such a gift to pay for Catholic school tuition, bills and Christmas. It’s been nice to have a distraction and to see all the good there is in the world. A majority of my clients are Catholic campus ministry programs, schools and religious orders. My newest? This guy.

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t share a sincere thank you for all your prayers, sweet e-mails, kind blog comments and just general awesomeness. We have to be Christ to each other. We have to. So, thanks for being you. Mwah!


  1. Jennifer Farace on October 14, 2015 at 8:18 am

    St. Roch is the patron saint of knee problems. They year I had a partial knee replacement my son picked St. Roch as his saint for the all Saints parade at our Catholic school!! I understand your frustration. Prayers for complete healing soon.

    • Kathryn on October 14, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Oh thank you! A partial knee replacement sounds brutal. So comforting to know someone else really feels my pain 😉

  2. Madeline on October 14, 2015 at 8:35 am

    You would be remiss to visit Chicago and not go to Portillo’s. The best. The chocolate cake/chocolate cake shake is amazing. As are the hot dogs, Italian beef and pretty much everything.

  3. Emily Barnes on October 14, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I chatted with St. Roch quite a bit when my husband had knee surgery last year. He came through for us! Great guy 😉

  4. Whitney H on October 14, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I was curious if you and Anna-Laura were still headed to Chicago this year — with the whole knee incident.

    I am about 90 miles away from Chicago. A trip into the city used to be a fun, regular weekend occurrence before the hubby and I had kids, but with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old — it’s been a few years since we’ve been downtown:)

    My suggestion would be to take one of the architectural boat tours. I know it sounds lame, but it really is fun. Michigan Avenue is SO busy and loud and it’s hard to really appreciate your surroundings when you’re getting hustled and jostled with the crowds. Being on a boat on the river is the opposite experience — it’s relaxing and easy. You glide past enormous skyscrapers, beautiful historic buildings. It’s a nice respite. And probably good for your knee — it’s a sitting down activity:) Some tours take you through the locks out onto Lake Michigan. I would recommend paying the few extra bucks and going onto the big lake. It’s cool to see how the locks work and from Lake Michigan you can take beautiful postcard-like shots of the Chicago skyline. Going on a nice sunshine filled afternoon is great for pictures, just in general. Going at night is beautiful as well… although I think some companies charge more for evening cruises because they have a bar service available.

    There are tons of companies available that offer tours. I don’t have one in particular that I recommend over another. I would check out Trip Advisor for more specifics about dock information and obtaining tickets and what might work best for you.

    I’m sure you’ve seen this link as I know you LOVE planning family trips (Can I just hire you in a few years to plan our family Disney vacation?:), but here it is just in case you missed it:


    It’s “What to Do Your First Time in Chicago.” I think there’s a link to a boat tour company in that article. If you click through to the website, there’s a coupon code for $7.00 off per person for a Tuesday or Wednesday cruise. That’s just what I found typing it into Google this morning. I’m sure there’s lots of others out there.

    Another recommendation is to do the Sears Tower. I know, I know, it’s the “Willis Tower” now, but whatever you call it, it is pretty spectacular to view the city and Lake Michigan from the top. I know it’s touristy, but it’s awesome. Get there as close to opening as you can to avoid the lines, especially on a nice, clear sunny day. On the Skydeck, there are four glass enclosed ledges that you can stand out on and take a look straight down. It’s no extra cost and it is slightly terrifying (You are over 1,300 feet up in the air) — but worth it. DO IT!

    A few other thoughts… try to ride the L at least somewhere downtown. The L is gritty and dirty and LOUD, but so Chicago. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone at the ticket stations for help. I’ve had many CTA employees give me lots of good advice about how not just to get to my destination, but helpful restaurant tips and several times, they’ve just waved me through the gate without charging me a fare. They all just smile and say “Enjoy the Windy City!” or something similar. Midwesterners and their charm:)

  5. Natalie on October 14, 2015 at 10:52 am

    How wonderful that you are able to do something you love while getting paid for it!
    Hope you enjoy my favorite city. Maybe you’ll be in town when the Cubs win the World Series!

    • Maureen on October 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Kathryn.

      We have a new adopted grandbaby
      Nicolas Aurora Waters.
      Came on September 23 feast day of St Padre Pio
      8#11oz. 21 in.
      I really like to read your posts God bless all. Maureen

  6. Megan on October 14, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Love Father Mike! He’s a local favorite and friend of ours up here in Minnesota! He is such an amazing blessing to the church and the priesthood. So so glad you got connected with him!

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