Archive for January, 2009

January 31, 2009

a sense of accomplishment

harper has FINALLY learned how to keep the volume at a minimum when she goes to bed at night.  about a month ago, we started a sticker chart for which (after 10 stickers) the prize was a Cinderella dress.  today was the day.  she got it and she loves it.  now, instead of having to earn stickers at night, she has to stay quiet to keep her dress.  this dress has meant so much to her…and it shows.  look how proud she is!


here is how my t0-do list has evolved this week.  i wish it had things like “laundry” or “dishes” or “change diapers” on it, but that may be just a little greedy on my part.  i just LOVE crossing things off the list. 


(good luck squinting to figure out what it says.)

January 31, 2009

kt photography

i’m trying to re-vamp my business a little bit so i decided to start a blog.  it is pretty…um…BASIC right now, to say the least, but i am planning on updating it at least once a week (and i will make it prettier very soon).  nothing really nice to look at right now, but feel free to add me to your blog roll anyway.

January 29, 2009

oh man.

i feel like i drunk-called someone last night.  i’ve never done that in real life before, but i’m sure this is what i would feel like if i had (+ a headache).  yes, i do feel overwhelmed, but now i’m overwhelmed and embarrassed and remembering why i never use this blog as a “feelings journal”.   🙂  thanks so much to everyone who read my previous post and prayed for me or commented or just plain felt sorry for me.  i’m fine, i promise i am.  nothing really has changed overnight, i guess i just always feel a sense of new possibilities when i wake up in the morning.  layne was up twice last night (i am SO hoping her tooth finally broke through), so, YES, i’m tired, but i feel motivated, so hopefully that’ll help me accomplish some things today.  like i said in the beginning of last night’s post:  i really just want to remember how i’m feeling in this season of my life.  that’s why i wrote the post.  it wasn’t a cry for help or an appeal for people to feel sorry for me.  i really do LOVE my life…i’m just overwhelmed these days.  love you all!

January 28, 2009

wednesday, 9:34 pm

throughout my life i haven’t been much of a journal-keeper, but sometimes it does me good to get things on paper.  my posts on this blog so far haven’t usually been super personal, just because i don’t feel it’s appropriate to write about certain situations (involving friends or family members) or because it’s not something i would ordinarily share (a fight with my husband or something of that nature).  tonight is an exception.  i was just lying on the couch in the dark, crying and thinking and praying and decided that it would be a good thing for me to get my feelings out on “paper”.  i debated for a minute or two, but actually writing the post won because i’d like to be able to look back on this time later and know exactly what was going on.

in short:  i am SPENT.  i am utterly exhausted in pretty much every area of my life.  if it weren’t for my sweet husband and friends who keep me laughing/grounded, i would be in a really tough spot.

i am physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted.  i don’t know how much of it is due to lack of sleep, but i do know that being up a few times a night for half an hour or so with a crying baby for SIX MONTHS has seriously taken a toll on what seems to be every area of my life (i really hope it’s lack of sleep).  my house is constantly a mess (to give myself some slack, i do know that it’s much harder to keep a small house tidy than a larger one).  i have the memory of a fish named Dory.  my to-do list has items on it that have been there since before Christmas.  i haven’t had a quiet time yet this month/year.

as i’m sure many full-time caregivers can attest, life with a two-year old is tough.  i have honestly had several instances when i had to walk away because i could feel myself becoming violently angry.  i never knew i had a temper.  i have snapped/yelled at harper more times than i’d like to say and the fact that i can never get those times back is a hard pill to swallow.  it’s like living with someone who is severely bi-polar, or feeling bi-polar yourself.  when i walk away after having an outburst, i feel sick…like it was someone else.  part of this i know is due to the fact that my spirit is depleted.  i’m not spending time with the Lord like i should.  yes, He’s definitely a part of my days and i talk to him throughout, but i haven’t been devoting time alone to spend with Him.

i guess what i’m lacking is discipline.  but, I AM TIRED.  discipline takes energy, and i have none most of the time.  i am embarrassed sitting in my own home right now, knowing my husband is about to walk in the door from soccer practice.  there are groceries on the counters not put away, dirty dishes in the sink, christmas cards spread across the table, laundry piled against the wall, and toys covering the floor.  i had plenty of time to pick up before he got home, but all i could do was sit on the couch and immerse myself in american idol.  harper was a little weasel about going to bed tonight and woke up layne who ended up crying for almost an hour.  it is so hard for me to listen to her cry (especially for NO reason), so all i could do was turn up the volume on the tv.  UGH.

i have great intentions.  i have a schedule in my head of how i’d like each day to go.  i’ve wanted so badly so many morning to go for a run after i feed layne at 5 a.m.  i have projects around the house that i know exactly how i’ll do once i get to them…if i EVER get to them!  i have a few ideas for my photography website and for my blog.  i just can’t figure out how to make everything work.  i told ryan a few weeks ago that i wanted to hire someone to come and follow me around and write down every single thing that i do and when i do it so that i know what i’m doing with my time.  i think part of it is that i get sidetracked SO easily that i go from one task to another without ever remembering and finishing the first task.  like i said before, i don’t know if my mind just isn’t working right because i haven’t slept longer than 4 hours in the past 2 months or if i’m just really flighty anyway…either way, it’s annoying.  i’m sure this post is starting to seem the same way, so i’ll sign off here. 

i am feeling better and a little energized after typing for a little while.  i guess i’ll try to pick up a little before i get some sleep.  sorry if anyone reads this and gets a negative vibe or feels like i hate my life or something…it’s totally not true, i’m just in a rut right now.  also, if layne sleeps for awhile tonight, i may be a completely different girl tomorrow.

please pray that i can make the Lord more of a priority and that when i do He will reward me with sanity.  🙂

January 27, 2009

what we’ve been up to…

i’m really really trying to be more consistent with my blogging, but it is hard these days.  i’ve accepted the fact that sometime it’s either 1) have a quality blog or 2) sleep.  right now i’m choosing the former.  at least i hope it’s helping the quality of my blog to stay up past 11:00, because i’m sure it’s not going to boost the quality of my life around 3 pm tomorrow afternoon.

anyway, just wanted to write a little about what we’ve been up to the past few days.  on saturday there was a beer fest here in the towncenter.  it’s a very tasteful gathering hosted by local micro-brewers for people who enjoy good quality, interesting beers (i know that sounded sarcastic coming from me, but it wasn’t).  ryan and some of his buddies went and had a great time.  before it started i took harper down to see them unload the budweiser clydesdales.  she was very excited to see the horses…and couldn’t believe that they’d been riding in a truck.  she sat very patiently for about 15 minutes while we waited to see them unload.  the only time we took a break from sitting was when i explained that the big green things had potties in them and she had to go try one out (EW).  [luckily the beer fest hadn’t started yet, so we were the first to enter them.]  here are a few pictures from that:


potty training has gone pretty well.  i don’t know why i resisted so long…  accidents are down to a minimum now and her pooping habits have actually improved since getting out of diapers.  here is a shot of her and one of her accomplishments (i saved you a horrific sight by censoring this picture)…i’ve taken a picture of a few of them so that ryan could see it and be proud, too.


harper’s shirts have been getting a little short and layne doesn’t really have any good layering pieces, so last week at wal-mart i picked up some matching garanimals t-shirts.  man, the combination of cuteness + $3.50 a shirt is dangerous!  i don’t want them to always be matchy-matchy or anything, but i’m loving it every now and then.  i am seriously going to have to steer clear of the baby department for awhile.  also, harper is in a 4T which makes me want to cry!  this picture isn’t the best of either of them, but it’s the best shot i got of them in their matching shirts…i love the birdies, but the other set are rainbows and those are cute too…


next up, on monday i braved the laundry-mat.  our favorite throw blanket is covered in spit-up from layne’s pre-sitting up days.  i’ve had it in my car for over a week to take to wash it and also the quilt on our bed hadn’t been washed in like a year and a half and i’m pretty sure it had a bunch of baby poop and spit-up on it as well (my washer is way too small).  as i had suspected, harper loved it.  one great thing about having kids is that the simplest things (or sometimes formerly annoying) can be fun.  she was very patient and curious and helpful.  she even sat and played nicely with layne.  it was also her first time to experience a vending machine.  i bought her a bag of cheetos because she was so good (i’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of the adorable orange fingers/face).



does anyone feel like you’re not caught up from Christmas?!  my t0-do list feels like it’s only growing lately…pretty frustrating.  anyway, it’s 11:30 and i can barely see the screen anymore, so i’m done.

January 26, 2009

pay it forward

a few weeks ago, we had our family pictures taken by a fantastic photographer for free.  not only was this great because rebekah is extremely talented and sought after, but the fact that we got them done for free was even more awesome.  we’ve never had family shots taken and they turned out so special.  however, there was a catch.   i had to find another photographer’s family to photograph.  (to find out more about this project, read here.)

i put a post on my blog, advertised on facebook, and spread the word around as best i could.  i had no bites.  i was getting a little worried, and then i got an e-mail from my longtime friend hannah.  they live in michigan, but were coming into town for the weekend.  she’s 5 months pregnant and was a little hesitant to have photos done, but luckily i talked her into it.  she and her husband and i all taught together at berean several years back.  they’ve moved all over the place in the past 5 years because kevin decided to go back to school to become a doctor (he was the athletic director at berean and did a really good job, but just knew that’s not what he was meant to do).  just before they left west palm, hannah started getting into photography.  she really REALLY likes to paint, but painting is very time-consuming if you do it well, and hannah just didn’t have alot of free time.  she figured out pretty quick that photography is a great creative outlet, and that you can make some pretty good money if you’re good enough.  SHE’S GOOD ENOUGH. 

hannah is the type of person who does everything with her whole heart.  she has thrown herself into photography and pursues it with a passion that i can only stand back and admire.  her pursuit has kept her very busy and has made her a really good photographer.  she is extremely generous with all of her knowledge and ideas and i so appreciate that about her.  we give each other feedback often and i don’t hesitate to ask her how she does things.  she even let me borrow a really expensive lens to do this session!
their daughter, lily, is 2 1/2 and one of harper’s buddies.  she wasn’t really in the mood to have her picture taken, but she managed to look pretty darn cute anyway.  here are several of my favorite images from the session:









the little logo thing is new…can i get some (honest) feedback???

January 22, 2009

who knows why i like doing these…

1. i just did this on facebook, and i figured why waste the typing time…so, here it is on wordpress.
2. layne is teething and is not sleeping well at all. i’m pretty sure the tooth will break through tomorrow.
3. i really wanted to name one of our girls “ryan”, but my husband ryan said he hated it. ugh.
4. i’m already sick of hearing aobut barack obama and he’s only been the president for one day.
5. i was watching american idol earlier. i LOVE it when people audition who are really good…i get chills. my favorites are the white guys who don’t sing like they are (white).
6. we’re watching a show about air force one. a little ridiculous if you ask me (all the fanfare).
7. i’ve been on 5 cruises in my life.
8. our first game of the winter soccer season is tomorrow night. i’m so excited but really out of shape.
9. when i was little i lied alot. my dad put a door poster in my room of a huge ice cream cone to remind me how lies stack upon one another and get bigger and bigger.
10. i know embarrassingly little about the technical side of photography. i’m trying to learn more… pretty sure i’ve gone as far as i can go on creativity.
11. i’ve had excema on my thumbs for about 2 years. i have not idea where it came from…i’m thinking it’s an allergy or something. i hate it. it’s really painful, ugly, and annoying.
12. i have a crush on mike rowe. (my husband knows.)
13. i played flute in the band. i still have it in a trunk in my house. i got it out a few months ago and harper looked at it like it was the coolest thing she’d ever seen, but then got really annoyed when she couldn’t make it work.
14. i have always wanted to take stunt driving lessons. (italian job, anyone?)
15. my hands and feet are really cold right now.
16. i think we’re going to the fair this weekend.
17. we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight (with garlic bread and carrot sticks).
18. i LOVE the new darius rucker song. it makes me cry every time i hear it.
19. i really loved teaching PE.
20. michael jordan is my favorite athlete.
21. layne is named after a pro-surfer.
22. harper likes to pretend she’s cinderella…she runs around the house saying “it’s midnight! i must go! goodbye!”
23. two things i’ve only done once but really loved: rock wall climbing and paintball
24. i still really miss Opie.
25. i am weary of watching Lost. i don’t know if i can persevere through another uninformative season.

January 21, 2009

Katie is thinking this internet thing is pretty cool.

i have no idea why this post had spacing/font issues, but i can’t figure out how to fix it, so…whatever.

over the course of the past 10 years or so, the internet has slowly become an integral part of most people’s lives.  the majority of the population (with access) has become computer-savvy, and i believe the internet is largely to thank for that.  for the past several months, i’ve had a battle going on in my mind about the pros/cons of the unbelievably huge, never-ending resource we call the world wide web.  of course it provides obvious tools when it comes to research and learning and cooking and shopping and pretty much anything you’ve ever wanted to know or learn about.  but, because of the internet, i am petrified of my children learning to use a computer.  i know that it is inevitable, completely necessary, and might even add to their quality of life, but that doesn’t erase the fact that there are hundreds of perverts, scammers, and wierdos out there who would love to take advantage of my children in any number of ways.  SCARY.

however, in the past month or so, i’ve decided that internet lends us many more positives than negatives, at least to someone in my situation (stay-at-home mom who is a former social butterfly).  facebook has been a large part of this decision.  for those of you who’ve been under a rock (or hiding out on myspace like i was) for the past few years, facebook is a networking tool that connects you to people you know…or knew a long time ago….or know through someone else.  once you sign up, you can recieve friend requests from others and you’re able to look around to find people that you would like to send a request to .  they have several tools that make it easier to find people you’d like to “befriend”.  my group of “friends” is made of people from literally every stage and area of my life (every school i ever went to, both schools i taught at, students from both schools i taught at, different churches i’ve gone to, siblings of my good friends from many of the preceding areas, ETC).  it is SO much fun to pick out a random “friend” and check on their profile, say hello on their wall, or comment on a photo.  my favorite feature (along with, i’m sure, many other facebook fans) is “status updates”.  your status update is simply a statement beginning with your name that tells everyone else on facebook what you’re doing or thinking or feeling or eating or whatever you want it to say (the title of this post is an example).  the status section is updated everytime one of your friends posts a new status, so, if you have alot of friends it’s updated pretty frequently (for me, probably every 3 minutes).  below are 3 examples.  i pulled them off of FB as i was typing this post:

Leyka Degran is whatever….
January 19, 2009


we are having bedtime issues around here.  we’ve been trying for about 2 1/2 months to get the girls both to sleep in the “nursery”.  out of probably 20 tries, we’ve had, i think, 3 successful nights.  these were nights where layne went right to sleep and stayed asleep for at least an hour, and harper laid in her bed quietly.  most nights, we put layne down in the girls’ room at 7:00.  at 7:30, we take harper in and put her in bed.  when we first started the routine, she was really good about being quiet and would even whisper to herself singing or something, but after about a week, she refused to be quiet.  we’ve had nights where harper had to have THREE spankings (we spank her pretty hard with a wooden spoon…it’s not a mamby-pamby spanking) before she screamed and cried herself to sleep.  we have a chart set up in the kitchen.  every time she has a nice quiet night, the next morning she gets a sticker.  if she gets 10 stickers, she gets a cinderella dress.  we started this 3 weeks ago.  so far she has 5 stickers…and we were being generous on the 4th and 5th.  i am 2 weeks behind on a photography editing right now because i can’t use the computer in our room when layne is sleeping in there (that’s what we do with her when harper is screaming and wakes her up). 

so, the purpose of this post is a cry for help.  if you are reading this and you, or anyone you know, might have a suggestion for us (to correct harper’s bedtime behavior), PLEASE comment (and/or tell someone helpful to do the same).  if this is just harper being a 2 year old, then i can deal with that, but i need to know that it’s a phase and that “this too will pass”.

January 15, 2009

sledding in florida

img_6714-bfor anyone who was in south or central florida this Christmas, you know that it was pretty typical:  warm.  actually, it may have even been a little warmer than average.  not sure what inspired the idea, but my sister-in-law had a stroke of genius of creating a slip n slide in the yard (my in-laws’).  my f.i.l. just happened to have two brand new tarps (along with the 30 old ones i’m certain are hiding somewhere in the garage).  we laid them in the grass and added a bucket or two of hot soapy water.  fun ensued.  erin (my s.i.l.) definitely had the most speed becuase she was in a bikini (i told you it was warm).  harper had on a one-piece that got pretty soapy and she probably would’ve been going pretty fast if it weren’t for the fact that she’s 2 1/2 and weighs 30 lbs.  the rest of us, who opted to go in our clothes, discovered that we’d go alot faster if no item of clothing touched the tarp.  so, we went on our hands and knees or standing up (just begging for a trip to the ER on Christmas Day).

i’ve been dying to post these pictures.  i have alot of great video, too, but i’m too lazy right now.


speedy gonzales  so glad she's not a scaredy cat about this kind of stuff
if you look really closely in the next one, both ryan and my feet are in the air…
here’s ryan “surfing”…
this is what happened when i tried it…
the above picture of my sister-in-law isn’t the best (basically, she’ll kill me when she sees it on my blog), so i thought i’d post one where she looks like herself (gorgeous!):