Saturday, October 26, 2019

Birthday Memories


Does your family have birthday traditions? Mine does! My sister just had a birthday, and thus the idea for this post was born.

So, when I was little, it used to always be the same thing every year: No school, a special breakfast (in my family, a 'special breakfast' is when Mom buys sugared cereal!) that usually consisted of a peanut butter/marshmallow/Cheerios bar, or coffee cake, or puffed pancake, or muffins . . . whatever the birthday child wanted—within reason, of course. ;)

Then we'd eat the special lunch picked out by the birthday kid. Then, in the afternoon, we'd go over to our grandpa & grandma's house so mom could bake and decorate the cake! Now, the cake was a big deal. Like, we'd pick out the flavor and how we wanted it decorated, and Mom would spend the longest time decorating it just the way the birthday boy/girl wanted it. (When we were little, Kordell and I actually got our own separate cakes! Spoiled, weren't we? *grins*)

Then, we all ate a special birthday supper (can you see a pattern going here?), and afterward, all the grandparents would come over for cake and ice cream (also specially picked out, of course) and presents.

However, everything changed on my 11th birthday. Kordell and I *gasp* had our very first sleepover! I'll never forget that birthday. We each got to choose one of our church friends to have over for the night. (Kordell, remember that huge pillow fight the four of us had? I quit early because your guest hit me in the head with his heavy feather pillow. *shakes head*)

I remember one hear, I had a tea party and invited some friends and cousins over for the fun. We went bowling once. But my two favorite birthday parties were my 6th and my 17th. For our 6th birthday party, Mom went all out—invitations we handed out at church, a theme, everything. (Y'know those themed birthday parties? Yeah, we don't do those.) It was our cowboy birthday party. Everyone wore cowboy boots and hats, and some even wore bandanas! (Our grandma had actually made us kids cloth chaps awhile before that, so I felt so special wearing mine with the princess knee patches!)

Our 17th birthday, however, was much different. By then, two of our brothers were married. So there we were, all eleven of us sitting around the table eating supper (Our grandma had joined us), laughing, joking. Angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Then, when Mom and Dad left to take Grandma home, the kids all split into two groups and played the Farming Game. Now, if you don't know what The Farming Game is, I'm so, so sorry. You are seriously missing out! Comparable to Monopoly, I suppose, only about five times better. We played for, like, 2 hours. It was so fabulous.

Anymore, we don't really do gifts. (My mom gave me a coat like 6 months late last year, haha!) The married siblings might give the others a bag of candy or something. Grandparents give some money. Nowadays, I listen to my friends talk about the gifts they get at their birthdays, and I'm just like, "wait, you get presents?!" But really . . . I don't necessarily miss it.

It's the memories that make birthdays special.

What are your favorite birthday memories?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Help Me Revive the Blog


In case you didn't notice (I won't blame you if you didn't . . . my posts have been so lame lately), my poor blog has been rather neglected. Ever since I took books away and created my author blog, I feel a severe lack of inspiration.

So. That, my dear readers, is where you come in.

I don't want to give up on the blog (though some would probably say I already did). But, as I said, I have no inspiration for posts. So. I need your ideas. What are some posts you'd like to see on the blog? If you've got some (non-bookish) ideas, comment below!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Support a Veteran {Buy a Book}


As (most of) you know, I just recently published my book. What you may not know is that I co-released with my fabulous friend Faith Potts. (Don't you love that alliteration?)

Faith published Freedom, her best work yet, with me on September 10th—World Suicide Prevention Day. This story is powerful, y'all. Plus, if you want a barrel of laughs and snarky-ness and fabulous romance (I actually liked this one, go figure), You'll definitely want to order yourself a copy. (You want my full opinion on this baby? You can read my review HERE).

So why am I going on about this? Well, Freedom deals with the tough topic of suicide—and not just suicide in general, but aiming more toward veteran suicide. So in honor of this, and the fact that September is suicide prevention month, Faith is selling signed paperbacks of Freedom, and through the month of September, all proceeds go to Cover Me Veteran, an organization dedicated to the prevention of veteran suicide. (If you want to learn more about CMV, just click on that link.)

So. That means you've only got a couple days left to order your own signed copy and make a difference! 



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

My Book is Published {Say What?!}


So, yeah. Yesterday, World Suicide Prevention Day, Faith Potts and I released our novels to the world.

Wow.

You can find out more HERE.

(Oh, there's also a giveaway . . . )


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Diy Scrunchies {A Guest Post by Kara}


Hey Y'all! Since Kaitlyn has been so busy getting ready for her blog tour, I decided to take it upon myself to revive the blog. That way you guys won't get bored not having anything new to look at on here!;P So, without further explanation, SCRUNCHIES!!!!!!

For this project you'll need: fabric, a needle and thread, scissors, fabric chalk, a safety pin, elastic, and a ruler.


To start out, use your ruler and chalk to measure out fabric 17 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. Cut  out your rectangle.


Fold your fabric inside-out and sew along the edge, longways. I used a sewing machine but you can always hand sew it. (To keep it from coming apart, knot it securely every time you sew it.)You should now have a 17 inch long, inside-out tube.



Flip it so it is right-side out. Take a length of elastic, (about the size of your wrist or a little smaller) attach it to the safety pin and thread it through the tube. The safety pin makes it easier to slip the elastic through the cloth.


Sew the ends of the elastic together. Okay, here comes the tricky part--match up the seam on each end of the tube, and stick your needle out from the inside so your knot is on the inside of your tube. Sew directly across to the other end. Staying on the same end make a stitch to the side, and sew back to the other end of the cloth. It should look something like this:


 Once you've done that all the way around the tube, pull it so you can't see the thread. (If any fray pieces are sticking out just tuck them in best you can.)


And there ya go, you've got an adorable scrunchy! The first time or two making them they might turn out a little messy or harder than you thought, but after a few tries, you'll be making them like a pro!

Have any questions? Do you love scrunchies? What's your favorite? Tell me in the comments!


Totally adorable pic Kait!:P Nice pose without your face... again. ;D

In my defense, you told me to pose, and I did. I happened to be reading.

As usual.... :D
Hope y'all enjoyed!
~Kara

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Bare Feet & Cheez-Its


Bare feet & Cheez-Its.

Infrequent cloudy days.

Sister using blankets as a dress.

Cheesy puns.

Hair blowing gently in the breeze.

Messy buns.

T-shirts.

Waterjugs & ice.

Flip-flops.

It's the little things that make summers whimsical & special. Don't take 'em for granted. Sometimes we don't realize how much they mean to us until we lose them.


P.S. blog tour & ARC signups are OPEN for the 13 Reasons Why Blog Tour! Go HERE to sign up!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Just Do It


No, this is not a Nike commercial. Just sayin'.

If you'd told me a year ago that by the time July rolled around again, I'd be going to camp as a counselor, well . . . I probably wouldn't have believed you. I'm an introvert—we don't like stepping out and doing new things, especially where there's people involved.

So when my sister asked me a couple months ago (okay, no, begged is more like it) to be a counselor at camp, well . . . my initial reaction was no way. No way was I going to go ride herd on a bunch of kids. No way was I going to sleep in a room with 10 other people (not to mention share one bathroom with that many). No way was I going to put that much responsibility on myself when the only remotely similar thing I'd done before was vacation Bible school at church with about 20 kids total.

But something kept me from outright telling her no. I put it off: "You know that's not my thing." "I don't want to." "What's it worth to ya?" "I'd need more information about it first." And I was convinced that stalling long enough would eventually put me past the deadline and it'd be too late to send in my form. Smart, right? I wickedly kept her hopes up (or we could say I was polite and didn't tell her no right away), and impatiently waited for that deadline to arrive.

And then I prayed about it.

You know when sometimes, God tells you to do things that you really don't wanna do? Yeah. The more I prayed about it, the more I felt Him telling me to go to camp. And I wasn't really thrilled with Him at the moment.

So I talked to someone about it, asked questions, and was given the form.

And I went to camp this past week.

I was slightly freaked out; I didn't know what I was doing; what if I did something completely wrong? I was the only counselor for 10 junior high girls; what if they would constantly try to bend the rules? I hated being around crowds; what if all the people freaked me out? I was a picky eater; what if we always had food that I didn't like? (Yes, that last one is totally a legit fear)

So, I'm not going to go into detail and describe every detail about the week. Because that would take forever. BUT. Let's just say that it was both worst and better than I expected. But I will give you some  highlights.

-My first night there, I met a lady who happened to be the sister-in-law of a pastor in our area.
-Said lady (Sara) happened to be a counselor in the cabin adjoining mine, along with another lady, and they both kinda took me under their wings.
-I became super homesick and overwhelmed (I've never even been to camp as a camper before, y'all!) and Sara sweetly offered to trade places with one of my campers.
-The food was amazing. Like, no complaints.
-All the girls in my cabin were epic. I never had to worry about any of them trying to sneak one past me, or about them being anywhere they weren't supposed to be.
-There were so many things to keep all the kids occupied, we were rarely all grouped together at the same time.

What are some things I learned this week? Well . . .
-Going for a week without social media is completely doable. Don't freak out about it, peeps.
-Energizers (Star Trekking, anyone?) are so. much. FUN.
-Counselors learn just as much during chapel as the kids.
-Checking your emails after a week can be overwhelming.
-Carpet ball is actually addictive.
-I like bananas . . . I know that mangos are sweet . . . (c'mon, ya'll, if you know what I'm talking about, let me know!!)
-I never want to go another week without reading more that three pages.
-There's nothing like praising the Creator through amazing music with a hundred other people.

MORAL OF THE STORY: When God tells you to do something, just do it. Even if you don't know why, and you're still not sure why it happened after it's over. Because everything is for a purpose, even if you don't know what that purpose is. He will work through your fear, and He'll work through your happiness. He will work through your tears, and He will work through your smiles. He will work through the rain, and He will work through the sunshine.

Trust Him. In the right conditions, mustard seeds grow to be trees that withstand anything. Water your faith, surround yourself with the right conditions, and watch it grow. (I can't take credit for those lines, though . . . Pastor Bob's messages were pretty epic.)

Do it even when you don't want to, even when it's painful. Because your trust and faith in Him grow best when you're not in your comfort zone.

Do I know why God called me to go to camp? Not really. Maybe it was so I could give hugs to homesick girls. Maybe it was simply to stretch myself. Maybe it was for a reason that I'll never know about. But whatever the reason—I'm glad I went. It was an experience I won't soon forget.

Will I go back next year? God only knows. I have to admit that camp wasn't really my thing. But sometimes God calls us to do things that we aren't comfortable doing.

And that's when we need to take that leap of faith and just do it.