Since December

A lot has happened in our lives since my last post in December (yes it's been 7 months exactly since I updated this thing)! Good and bad, challenges and blessings alike. So, just to recap... a noteworthy event from each month-

January- I was able to go to the Middle East with my work, through the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding. We helped out with trainings for a non-profit out there that my boss is affiliated with called PeacePlayers International. It really was an eye opening experience for me to actually be in a conflict area after studying conflict so long. I want to go back more than anything, I feel a draw to the people over there and want to know more about their culture and beliefs. Of course I can do that from home too, reading books and papers. Alas, nothing compares to it in the flesh.

February- I cut my hair! 13 inches! I've had long hair ever since being in Hawaii, so this was a big deal. I'm diggin the short look for now, so we'll see how I end up keeping it.

March- Kinfolk Magazine project initiated. Many of you know that Nate likes to always be involved in some sort of creative endeavor. In March, Nate got a group of friends together and began planning for what is now an online magazine (launching tomorrow) and also in print! This collaborative project has kept Nate busy all summer and has really brought a great group of people together. We are so grateful for all the support and encouragement that has been given in behalf Kinfolk.

April- GRADUATION! Nate and I graduated from Brigham Young University Hawaii. A bittersweet moment, for sure. Hawaii is very special to us. It's where we met, fell in love, had our first home. Knowing that we'd have to leave is just part of the deal going over there in the first place, but it really does sneak up on ya! It was great to have some family out there to celebrate with us. We made amazing friends in Hawaii that we will never forget and will always stay in touch with. I wouldn't trade my four years of life in Hawaii for anything.

May- Job offer. We had our life planned out for us... Nate would start a grad program in England in the fall, we'd be doing another internship at Caux, Switzerland with Initiatives of Change like we did last year prior to school. And wouldn't you know it, when you think you've got things figured out a curve ball is thrown full force. Nate was offered a job in Salt Lake City with a well known firm. After much consideration we decided to take the job and work for a year or two prior to grad school- you know, get the work experience in. We were up in Canada when the news came- 6 months after the interview! So, the following week... we did it, we hopped in the car and moved to Salt Lake! And it's really growing on us.

June- Paul, my brother, got married to the sweetest girl alive. Their wedding was in Oregon, on a beautiful June afternoon. Paul and Kelly are a perfect match and I just adore them! I've noticed that Kelly is very concerned with other peoples' welfare and takes special notice of others. She seems to be fully aware and present, a very genuine person. I am so pleased to have such a wonderful new sister and can't wait to someday hopefully live closer to be able to spend more time with them.

July- TWO year anniversary. Last weekend was our two year mark. It has gone by fast, but all I can say is that it seems like I've known Nate my whole life- and maybe even before. I am one lucky girl, and I couldn't be happier. Marriage takes a lot of work and adjustments, but boy is it worth it. I also just heard that I got a job as well... I've been looking since early June and we've been crossing our fingers for work to come... I start Monday! Development Specialist for a non-profit called the Work Activity Center.

Next post... coming December 2011! (We'll see)


Even in Hawaii...

It's Christmas

We've had to play a little extra Christmas music in our apartment, and in our car, and on our ipod this season to make it feel like the holidays have arrived in Hawaii. It's strange to see all the lights and decorations and not be bundled up sipping cider. Yet, even though it takes a little bit more effort to get the 'Christmas Spirit' into our lives here, we're really feeling it!

This Christmas will be our first Christmas away from home. Which is bittersweet- we'll miss being around family so much but we're excited to begin our own family traditions and be 'us'. The other night Nate and I got to talking about Christmases growing up and the traditions we had with our families. Here are a few we are planning on incorporating into our own (granted some will work better when there's more of us...)

-Throw carrots on the roof Christmas eve for the reindeer
-Incorporate a service tradition into the Holidays (still working on the exact service)
-Have a Christmas lights tour... drive around gazing and drinking cocoa/eggnog
-Watch THE Christmas movie. We want a specific one, but again that's a work in progress
-Have two trees: a nicely decorated one and another for the 'fun' ornaments and a little more eclectic in a separate place
-Have a traditional Christmas Eve dinner with signature dishes (yum)
-Christmas Breakfast (same every year... we're thinking crepes)

It's quite exciting to be starting out and planning these things that we will someday be doing with our family. For now, we're going to be quite busy trying to get all this done...


I have unintentionally taken a break from social networking... I've never been very good at it or keeping in touch, even though technology makes it quite easy! So here I am, trying to make up for 'lost time.'

We have been back in Hawaii since mid August, and started our lives back up again... work, school, the whole bit. I have a heavy load this semester (and knowing my track record with blogging) you may not see me too frequently. Good news is, Nathan is a superhuman and keeps hearblack nice and updated for us. We're also still maintaining our etsy and enjoying that joint hobby.

Just wanted to share a quick recap of our summer travels. What a blessing it was to be able to go and meet so many amazing people, eat incredible food, and see, hear, smell some awesome beauties.

Switzerland- Internship

I miss our friends from Caux. I have never been in such a diverse group of people (and BYUH is up there in the diversity factor!), and it was great to hear the perspectives and learn from brilliant and energetic youth from around the world.

Berlin- visiting family, soaking in the beauty

We stayed with a cousin of Nate's in Berlin. It was wonderful to meet her because she hadn't met any of her cousins before. We looked at old pictures of Nate's Grandpa and shared stories. We loved the quaint street where we stayed... amazing food, shopping, sites. A real treat.

Sweden- great friends, eats, cobble stone streets... lovely times


The Swiss have it good, let me tell you... castles in the water... sheep wandering with cheery little bells ringing from around their necks... chocolate so dreamy and creamy, I can't even explain...

Loving it here, enjoying the internship, the people. We've made a lot of friends... it'll be sad to leave it all. After this we'll be visiting family in Berlin, friend in Stockholm, then back home to Hawaii. No matter how amazing we're finding everything, we're really looking forward to going back home. Not homesick, we just miss our little apartment, friends, and life there.

Over the last month of being here, I've had a lot of time to reflect and think. I've come to the realization that I take a lot for granted. It's hard to explain exactly what I've noticed... so I'll give it a go...

Most of the time 'the life of Katie' is all giggles and tickles and I am in an almost surreal-floaty-dream world, unconscious... verge forgetting that I am ALIVE. "Ironically" it takes a trial or a stressful period to pinch me to wake up and then not too long after, I naturally sink back into the blissful floaty world I'm (dis)engaging in. I don't want to keep sleep-walking. I want to become more aware of my surroundings, people who I encounter, and the circumstances I find myself. I want to be present.

Because of this realization, I've started on a personal regime to "smack," not just pinch, the reality back into me. More than being present personally, I want to be present for others...

From meeting people from all over while here, hearing and seeing that there is a lot of hardships going on all over the world, I have nothing to complain about, nothing to hold grudges against, no reason to fixate on the past. God has given me so much, allowed me to grow in nearly-magical circumstances.

So what do I have to give?

I will start by being present now and in the future, so to truly be in touch with those around me. I will appreciate life, mine, and all others'.



One year.

ONE YEAR today. Wow.

I'm excited to take on the future, an eternity ahead of us.
Man, I'm seriously the luckiest. Nate is such a super husband. He is ever caring, ever helpful, ever loving. I can't even explain how lucky I am to have someone who'll put up with my crazy hyper spasms and {frequent} tweek-outs. Seriously.
... And he still loves me!

I couldn't be happier. I'm especially grateful to be married to my best friend and my inspiration.

Thanks for being mine Nate.


An update, and tribute (a little late) to my fathers

Oh my.

It's been far too long and we've had far too many adventures since I've posted last. There's no way to catch up. So a brief overview... we left for Oregon early June to visit my family. We were there for my little brothers' graduation. My have they grown. It blows my mind to think... they are d-o-n-e with high school! What good brothers they are! They have so much potential and I can't wait to see where there futures take them. My mother did a lovely little ode to my brother Jacob here.

I loved being able to see friends and family. We spent our free time hitting up estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. My am I lucky to have a husband who enjoys that as much as I do (or maybe more... yes, perhaps.) We even were able to get out to the coast! Though the sun finally came out, it was freeezzzingg!

I left early the week before father's day, and was sad I didn't get to see my dad on father's day. But I called him, and he was visiting family in Idaho. He is so great. I couldn't have a better dad. He taught me many things, and I owe him so much. At heart, I will always be a daddy's girl. I remember when I was little following him around to hold his tools while he went around fixing things on the house. He taught me how to work and be self-motivated. A skill that is greatly needed and appreciated! Love you forever dad!

Came up to Canada to visit with Nate's family and hang out for a little while. Canada is beautiful, though it's been almost as rainy as Oregon! It is greener than I've ever seen it. We went canoeing out in a giant puddle turned lake the other night even. It's been fun to see our friends and family up here! Our nephew is getting so big and is quite a bundle of joy! It seems that skype helped him familiarize him with us. He wasn't shy at all!

We celebrated my father-in-law on Sunday with a BBQ. Makes sense... manly meal. It was a sunny day (shock!) and we were able to eat outside on the porch. Ron is such a great guy, always making people smile and laugh. He doesn't have an antagonizing bone in his body. So optimistic, clever, witty, and full of compassion. I am so lucky to be in his family. He helped raise me one good husband! Thanks for everything Ron, love you.

Hope Father's day and the start of summer has been great all around.

We are excited to leave for Switzerland FRIDAY!


I'm so excited to visit family and explore Oregon and Canada soon. This is our last week in Hawaii for awhile. Which is sad. We will really miss our friends, our plants, our lives here. But two months isn't TOO long, and we're sure to come back with a great load of adventures trailing behind.

Oregon Coast here we come!