Do

“Actions speak louder than words.” It’s an okay quote. There’s truth to it. But how about this: “actions do more than words.” That one makes more sense to me. 

When I think about what I want to become when I’m older, it freaks me out. Originally, when I was about six, I wanted to be a librarian. I love to read, so naturally I just thought the job would fit. Then, when I was thirteen, I wanted to be a missionary. I went on a mission trip to Mexico that was, as any cliché description of a mission trip would say, “eye-opening.” I loved it. Now, I don’t know what I’ll be. I don’t even know what I want to be. But I do know what I definitely don’t want to be. 

I don’t want to sit at a desk doing something that I don’t care about. I don’t want to invest years and years into a job that I only have for the money. Money scares me. It really, really does. People do so much just to get it, and it always disappoints them afterwards. So no…I would never want to have a job just so I could have more of it. 

I want to do something that changes people. I want to do. I don’t want to talk about how I can change the world, I don’t want to map out my vision, I don’t want to write an awesome speech that a bunch of people here once, get inspired by, and then forget.

I need to find something that connects me to people that need change. I want to dive right into that place. I want to spend every day with the people I meet there. I don’t want to become a figurehead that pops into someone’s life for five minutes just to give a speech that dreams about what could be if we could just change. I want to sit here and love people and work with them. I want to fight for them. 

Here is a quote I heard: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.”

There are too many people sitting there, waiting for something good to happen. I want to do something with my life that lets me fight for what I love. My biggest fear is that I will settle into a comfortable place, and watch all the action. 

So, I hope I find some sort of job that fits this description. Or that job finds me somehow. I’m not too worried about it. I just can’t wait to see what will end up happening for me. 🙂

Thanks, Emma

I just finished reading the Harry Potter series for the first time ever. I was one of those people who was proud that somehow, they were never exposed to the brilliant movies or novels that are so popular to pretty much the whole world. I was proud that I missed out on it because it was so rare that anyone, by now, would not have read or seen them. Which now makes no sense to me. How could I have gone this long without those books??

Anyway, there’s a character in there that I really like. No, not Harry. (Although secretly I want to marry him.) It was Hermione. I freakin loved Hermione. Here’s how I realized that I really liked her: my mom came into our den while I was watching the fifth movie of the series. She asked me about Hermione; just a simple question that wanted a short summary of who Hermione was. As I was giving her that answer, I described her like this: Hermione was a poor little Mudblood, constantly mocked for her “impure” heritage. She was shamed for not being from a long line of wizards. She went to Hogwartz determined and positive about who she was, and worked so hard that she was better than the majority of her class. She never bragged about her success, though.

Hermione is great because she resembles someone who didn’t mind that she wasn’t the accepted, respected standard. But, instead of fighting against all of her haters and throwing back mean insults at them, she remained a humble, bright person who helped Harry SAVE THE WIZARDING WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Same, by the way.)

This is one of the many characters that Emma Watson has played so far in her career as an actress. As I thought more on what other movies Emma was in, I realized she’s in a lot of my favorites. Harry Potter, of course. Beauty and the Beast. Perks of Being a Wallflower. And then, I stood there and thought on this for a while: Emma represents women really, really well. It seems to me that she was very intentional and wise in playing each of those roles.

In Perks, Emma is a beautiful, broken teenager who symbolizes one of the most accurate statements that I have ever come across: we accept the love we think we deserve.

maxresdefault

In Beauty and the Beast, Emma is a kind, intelligent girl who falls in love with someone not because of what they could offer her, but because of what they held in their heart.

emmawatsonbelle

In Harry Potter, Emma is known to support herself and her ambitions by taking actions to improve. And when Hermione was ridiculed for being half-wizard, half-normal, she never tried to fight against it in anger or sorrow. She chose to believe that her label would not be included in the things that determined who she was- and when that decision was made, the label immediately withered away. When people made fun of her pursuit to free the house-elves from obeying their masters unconditionally, she poured even more work into her dream of freedom for them.

0ab939007e5bb8cbf2589364ec949dcc

Emma Watson plays characters who stir something up inside of me. She played someone who was broken, someone who looked beyond the surface, and someone who changed things. Good for you, Emma.

One thing I’ve noticed after watching a few of her speeches about feminism on Youtube: Emma gets it. She understands the negative connotation that the word “feminism” brings up, and she explains to the people something that I really respect: it’s not all about the women, and it’s not all about the men-hating. It’s a goal to create a world where, as she puts it herself, “both men and women feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead of two opposing sets of ideals.”

Isn’t that so true? Really soak in her words. Emma has this gift of being able to say so much with only a few sentences. I want to leave you with one more thing about Emma. Martin Luther King, Jr. said something similar when he was writing his infamous later from a Birmingham Jail. She says this quote: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.” Emma realized “if not me, who? If not now, when? All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.”

It inspires me that Emma chose to pursue things that make an impact, simply because she cares about them.

Link to her mentioned speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9SUAcNlVQ4

That’s all. Love, Katie

what a year it was

Welcome to my world of random Katie thoughts. I am so excited to write, because this year is a very large and fulfilling topic that I think a lot about.

This year has been so changing. I feel really different, in good ways. I feel older and wiser and happier. Throughout this year I’ve thought to myself “How do I do this”. Honestly…sometimes I wonder how I can (and how we all can) push through so much of our schedule. There were moments this year, whether it be from school or other responsibilities, that really tired me out. I’m sure that you can relate. But after all the studying, all the planning, and all the experiences, I’m really glad that I was able to leave this year feeling accomplished. Isn’t it so good to be able to look back at everything you did and feel like you made it. I did it.

Here is a list of things I’ve learned/pictures to show you what I’ve been up to. Some deep, some not. Here we go

  1. I need to do things that make me happy. Saying yes to everything removes me from being able to develop dreams that I truly want to reach. I don’t have time for doing things just to do them. Eventually, I have to realize that some things just don’t stick around forever. And they weren’t really meant to anyways…so it’s okay. For me, this meant no longer pursuing a sport. It also meant spending more time alone with myself to step back and breathe. Before this, I always thought I could do everything with everyone and come out strong and successful. But the hamartia is that I am a human (who needs sleep). By narrowing down what I do every day, I believe it will help me see my passions more clearly.
  2. I have got to take breaks. And not just once a month, or whenever I have time. No. I mean making time to (like I said before) step back and rest. Towards the end of this year, I’ve started to pay more attention to myself and the fact that I need some good ole me time. In 2017, I’m going to keep that up. I’m going to continue to make time for myself to just sit and recharge and think over things.
  3. I need to accept my flaws instead of refusing to have them. And I’m not really talking about my body here, more like my flaws as a person. I have this terrible issue  of misplacing things, forgetting things, or planning things out badly. I know that it’s always been such an inconvenience for other people, not only me, so I always try my hardest to not be so forgetful and scatter-brained. But the other day, I ended up leaving my wallet in Zaxby’s, and I didn’t realize it until I was about to leave and go get dinner with friends. So….after thoroughly searching the house, I had to drive to Zaxby’s, sheepishly ask if they had a gray wallet, and drive back late to dinner with my friends. I know it’s a dumb situation that was fixed, but for some reason I was just so hard on myself. I forgot that I make mistakes, and it’s okay that I make mistakes. Now, I know that whenever things like that happen, I need to forgive myself immediately and realize that it is what it is. This is just a mistake, and I’m going to fix it and keep on moving.
  4. You are most happy when you give your life away. My friend Clark told me that. A few weeks ago, I got to be a part of a weekend work crew that helps put on retreats for YoungLife. I totally love going on trips or retreats with people to hear sermons or experience cool things. But the quote I said at the beginning is so true. By getting up early, serving people their meals, and spending hours setting and cleaning up for them, I got to know a very new perspective of service and fulfillment. I’ve never had to do the dirty, behind-the-scenes stuff. I didn’t earn much recognition. I was never rewarded for doing the things I did. But I felt so happy to be so unnoticed. I felt like through my work, I was able to point directly to God without people looking at me, first. I realized who was really doing the Big Stuff. And that for me was so incredibly fulfilling. I loved each and every kid I served, even though I didn’t know much about them and they didn’t know much about me. Here are some pics from that:
    IMG_5019.JPG

    My girl Gini and I waiting for the campers so we could serve and get to work.


    img_5018

    Behind the scenes in the kitchen…BEFORE WE SERVED THE FOOD!!!!!!


    img_5004

    We were so excited to bring ’em out.

  5. I love feeling like I’ve made someone feel better…like I touched them or changed them somehow. I bet you’ve heard that phrase a million times, and since you have, it’s become an insincere, cliché group of words. But I just want to let you know that I think that about myself now because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve always wanted to help people and love them somehow in my life, and I thought that if I was kind to people and spent time with them, I could begin to do that. After this year, I knew I was right. I’m just really happy to know that I don’t have to take on the whole world and change it. I don’t have to create this huge organization that fixes everything. I do a lot by showing up and living for God. Here are some examples of people I have an impact on:
    img_4844

    The FCA life


    img_8654

    IMG_4763.JPG
    Being a co-small group leader for some crazy seventh grade girls…


    img_1882

    Spending Sundays with my own group 🙂

    All in all, I’ve been lead to be a part of such good things. I hope these pieces of life that I’ve learned will help me as we hit 2017! Bring it on.

Love, Katie

Why was Haiti so Beautiful

Hello reader.

This post is all about why my mission trip is something that I will never forget. Why I will always love it, and why a piece of my heart is still there. Here goes.

God is really good at breaking hearts.

He certainly  broke mine. In half. This is because I had to leave Haiti, my new home. Whenever I get back from a mission trip, I struggle with what to say to people when they ask me the question: “How was your trip?? Tell me all about it.” Here is the issue that I come across:I cannot express to you the feelings I had in Haiti. They are those feelings that take your breath away and fill your heart and paralyze your body from noticing anything else. ANYTHING ELSE. Someone told me the other day that we are uncomfortable here on this earth because we are not meant to be here; our real home is in heaven.

I agree. I second that fact.

Those feelings that I stink at describing made me feel like I was in heaven. IT WAS SO GREAT. My biggest fear is to be ignorant and unaware…so you can imagine how much I let Haiti wash over me and expose me to real love, real poverty, real pain, and real people. There, I felt no worry about the first world problems that circle me at home. Those problems seemed very dumb and small, actually.

Here is the answer to my title, “Why was Haiti so Beautiful”:

Because of them: boy squad of the week and our leader, Frantzou. (It’s like Fronzu.)

And them: waiting to meet their new American friends.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/G-r8E5sEaqSyDxnNlm3D2r51IIJHWk18VXNKp9Tz17DABJ5U-dWg3DiVOvlj2x0ggjZrjiARgpSDvRLo0Y9eA00G8N1eRJegaGZ_NVKjjiFpqZF_Ws5uj6Ch7CH6Q9gCKPBC68Uc3vvFhtct9iJvbyVvHY7KE342V3fQQllgW_d2_evMc7OUszcWq0-_SVKUY9fRYJeVFMvvK3B5iOMGwW5Na42Y2yDGSfk-ORlY7VjeOlK4xdrqSIe0oi2xImfiEXT350kC1OSA93xIiIqDQVichWJqiNVIFuG6R3-CMVTwm-WpS7oMmaWQFsrjIilo6lH3jZFf9ASyso2j4H96DJdn-i4v71mmGKylZ6YAIFHhTqE8neFr24KO7maf_pwbt6YX3loqjgChCMwcRMegSVxkOsnhfXrYrfOk533YWFlaD3HKFL6HBMBYuKP6-wLWZd6mPA1nM-LDJ-qDSOa78DHCIkL9T9E7HVDbXywbt7qcqxziIc7D5Zd727ogPH3leSRODABT0z7q9ErTXqIWAZMU6pQJyTE53J_W_RPcJrSB8fC9KNsq-KGZs62ZQDN-S_VhDaHJtlHQIAi3X4E0AEVbb9ueETA=w1063-h797-no

And him.

And them.

And them: Village kids that are totally copying the way I’m standing.

And HIM: Working through our totally unqualified, but totally willing selves. (Which is all he needs.)

And this: Our new relationships full of curiosity, companionship, and love. (And the occasional mockery.)

 

And those: the smiles.

And this: true friendship that’s all about trying new things ❤

The dance parties were also a plus.

 

And us: Tired with full hearts and open mouths.

NOT PICTURED BUT TOTALLY WORTH MENTIONING: Our dance circle with our Haitian friends and trip leaders. I saw some things that will never be erased from my memory, which I’m not sure is good or bad.

In Haiti I saw God very differently. He wrapped me up in His arms through each little Haitian kiddie hug. He washed away every drop of worry and doubt about Him as soon as I saw that little girl that we sang to. He brought me really good friends that I got to go back home with. And He spoke to me through Dee on those early mornings of devotion.

I will never, ever be the same.

And that is why Haiti was so beautiful.

(I like to space out sentences that I want to emphasize, in case you didn’t notice.)

So, there is my answer for you. If you donated to my mission trip you really should feel amazing right now, because that ^^ is what you brought me. An experience that changed my life. Also, all these pictures are from a bunch of people on the team, so thanks to them for letting me use these. My last sentence is this: Go on a mission trip. Then you will understand all of the Instagram posts, blog posts, and incredibly long paragraphs from people who came back home.

LOVE, KATIE.

Crooked Creek Ranch

Welcome.

I really, really love traveling with my friends to new places that are full of good times (as we all do). Recently, I had this opportunity at a camp in Colorado. I want to tell you all about my experience up there. So, here we go.

First of all, this trip starts with a 33-35 hour bus ride full of people. I didn’t know anyone that well that went on this trip in the beginning, so I was a little nervous. You don’t always come out best friends when you’re being placed in closed corners with new people. But, everything was good.
We actually ended being REALLY good friends with people from Columbus, GA. We had a quick stop in Denver, which was a little shocking. It reminded me a little bit of Vegas because there were all types of people and all types of places.

Exploring city streets.

That man seems to be the focal point of this photo.

There was one spot though that was full of Christian music, and we all danced away.

The actual camp was packed full of stuff to do. No phones and no knowledge of what we were doing also made everything a lot of fun. Here’s a look at what we did:

CABIN ACTIVITIES:

Volleyball tournament huddles.

Tacky leader contests.

Go-karting.

When bae is always there to catch you if you fall.

I had no idea that a cute little ropes course overlooking such a good view would make me want to pee myself in fear.

The camp itself was so beautiful. Every day there was some sort of new activity to do. Our view of the Colorado Rockies was really calming, and was a good back drop for all the things we did. Even if they were scarring, like the swing. Here are some of my favorite pictures from that:

If we weren’t doing stuff like that, we were either in club, eating, or having free time. Free time was where I’d say I got really close to a lot of people.

RANDOM FREE TIME:

This picture is sort of irrelevant. I just like our faces.

Rap battles: “My name is Kenzz (yeah!) I drive a Benzz (yeah!!) I have lots of frenzz (yeah!!!) and I steal your menzz (YEAHHHHHHHHH)

The hot tub was a good spot to meet people (and possible camp crushes), but I’d also have to say that our cabins were fun places to go, too.

GROUP STUFF:

Getting volunteered to ride on a blow up whale while being pulled by fellow teammates was life changing .

We were the Green Team: a rag tag group of misfits that somehow won the rodeo games.

JC group pic from the volley tourney. Our team uniforms say it all 😉

Got some good bread on bread tomato based soup action here.

WESTERN WEDNESDAY’s got it goin on.

Good ole 6 mile hike. Why not?

I’ll never forget this victory.

I think my favorite part about the trip was the big group activities. I had SOO much fun. We all got along really well, and moments when we were volunteered for random competitions were good opportunities to laugh at people and cheer them on.

Towards the end of camp, we all dressed up and took a bunch of pictures with each other.

Here are pictures from the fancy night that I like a lot.

Love memory making with my BFFLs.

Camp crush for the first 2 days lol

Candiddddds ❤

I lost and gained friends because of this move.

Suspicious.

MONT(GOMER)Y.

“Hotty Toddy!” “Ehe…”

Mah girl LG.

Hey Boobrey. Rooting for you in life.

WE GOT A GOOD PICTURE, AFTER ALL.

Glad that I met ya.

Classic relationship pic that captures my impatience and Mackenzie’s confusion (and terror).

Someone had to post it…

These aren’t even my eyes.

JESUS:

Of course, Jesus was a big part of this week. Here is why:

I get mad at God a lot, and instead of trying to get my questions answered and clinging to Him, I like to think I can do everything on my own and pretend that I know exactly what God is doing.

At CCR I realized that I have no idea what I am doing with my life. But accepting God means that I have something blooming inside of me from my relationship with Jesus, and this new me is connected to a good plan that I can trust. I don’t have to be afraid of God when I sin, because the punishment I deserve has already been taken, when He died on he cross for me.

I love this truth and I think it’s a big step for me and my faith. So thanks a lot, CCR,  for showing me a glimpse of how I might live in Heaven. I made a lot of new friends and got to share a lot of fun times with them. Sounds simple, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A week in Colorado was amazing, and I miss it a lot. I’ll leave you with my favorite journal entry (the pages don’t all go together so ignore cut off sentences):

Israel, The Holy Land!!!

So. Usually when I’m told that I will be going on vacation, it’s usually a “Guess what? We’re going to Disney!” sort of thing, or a “Nana and Papa invited us to the beach for the week!” deal. But this time things were a little different. Yes, I was still an awkward tourist in this certain place and yes the whole family got to go, but this time, it was all the way across the globe. ISRAEL. The Holy Land! My grandma wanted the whole family to go in honor of her and my grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary. So of course, we were eager to leave and adventure with them! Here are the photos I took along the way. 

FOOD

   
    
    
    
 
I love Meditteranean food. The fish is really good, and so was the falafel! Falafel is a bunch of chipeas grinded up into a ball and fried. (The pic above) apparently the bananas are a big deal in Israel too! Our tour guide, Jimmy, bought us all one. Oh- and you can probably tell I have a mild obsession with pomegranates…those were everywhere. They had a bunch of fruit, and it was all sold in tiny little shops that are so different from America. Publix is not a thing there, which is kind of weird and nice. They even had places where they would squeeze out juice from a pomegranate and give it to you right there on the spot for like a dollar. The pomegrantes they sold usually cost about 3$, but I bargained it down to 2$. Some say it’s a gift. So you can see me happy as a clam with my 2$ pomegranate. They also had rice at every meal, which I thought was really really good. I put it in all my soups, which were either chicken or plain broth. And you can’t forget pita bread! We had that at every meal too. 

CHURCHES

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

The churches in Israel were plentiful and absolutely beautiful. And a little overwhelming. More is more for them, I guess. A lot of them dated back to the Byzantines, (a really old 4th century Roman empire) and each commemorates an important mark in the Christian Faith. Such as, the place where Jesus was born, or where they think he died on the cross, or where Mary was born. There’s a church called the Wedding Church of Cana that we visited, too. It was all just so breathtaking. There is nothing like that in America. To summarize the looks of the churches, you could say they all had mosaic tile, stained glass, ornate wood details, and high ceilings. The picture above is the exact spot where people thought Jesus was born, so they marked a place where people can touch and feel the presence of Him. There are places like that for a lot of major Bible people, like John the Baptist. Here’s a selfie of me touching where he was born  
 Legit, right? 
COOL EXPERIENCES 

   
Being baptized (renewal baptism) in the Jordan River sort of speaks for itself. The water was freezing, but it was really memorable to do something like that right where Jesus  did. 

 
   
This is Marvin the camel. Riding him in the middle of a parking lot in Jericho was also something I don’t think many people can say they did. Trust me, I would do it again. 

These are my cousins and me just chillin with mud all over ourselves. Dead Sea mud, to be specific.     
This was a garden that could be the place where Jesus was buried and then rose again. 

 

This is called Qumran, which is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. These scrolls were pieces to the Bible, and the earliest manuscripts of the Bible ever. 
   

Seeing the view of the Old City, and the Dome of the Rock. I’ve seen it in so many pictures, but being there was even better. 
  I’ve been to the lowest point on earth! 

  

Here is another (sideways) pic of that Garden where some people think Jesus could’ve been buried and then risen. 

A picture of 20 young Christians being killed by ISIS. This was is the Armenian corner of the Old City, which is a Christian sect. So moving and crazy and sad. People actually do that stuff to people. I couldn’t believe that those men were willing to die for God, and it really made me question myself. That really spoke to me.   

My note on the Western Wall. People before me stood right where I was and cried out to God, just like me. We all came from different homes and places, and we all have a different story, but we all stood there serving the same God. 

My cousin and I taking a selfie at one of the gates to the Old City called the Dung Gate. Apparently in the olden times (like 2000 years ago) people dumped all their trash and debris out that gate, giving it the name Dung gate.   

  

Here is Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle. 
  


 My favorite experience was walking down the markets of Israel, especially the Old City. 

PEOPLE

  
This is Will, and he laughed at me all time, and the reason we are friends is because the first thing he said to me was making a joke about me. Which I’m okay with, I mean he and his bro aren’t that bad 🙂 

 
HOW CUTE IS THIS GIRL? Meeting people who don’t even speak my language yet were totally okay with me taking pictures with them was kind of awesome. 

 
Don’t really have a caption for this one, it’s more of an inside joke. 🙂  

My sweet, sweet Nana. She somehow manages to take us on this trip, make sure we all are okay, and be the best grandma ever. It’s harder than it looks, and it looks CRAZY hard. I love this picture, it’s a precious moment between her and my cousin Courtney (in previous pic) right before we went to the Western Wall.   

  

These are my cousins, sister, and Nana at Megiddo, which is the oldest civilization ever. Courtney and Madison are my cousins, and Conoly is my sister (the one to the left of Nana) and on the end there is Nana. I already miss them soooo much, being with them for the trip was so fun and I always enjoy spending time with them. They make me laugh so hard and we get along so well, and I don’t see them enough! 
  

Flattering shot of Maddie. Love her. I am so proud of watching her become so overwhelmed with Jesus’s love, and I know this trip will always be so special to her. Her laugh is so pretty and her voice could make someone cry, which it did when she sang for us in a church with reallllly good acoustics. I really admire the way she works so hard in life, and all that she’s accomplished. Everyone loved getting to meet her, her and Courtney are both really good with people.   

Kind of glad Dad photo bombed this pic. He does that a lot, and it’s all by accident. Funny dude I’ll tell ya. He was the only guy out of our whole family to go, and having him there was so much fun. We Kimbell girls always need a man to balance us out. 

Me, Courtney, and soldier bae! We got a pic with an Israeli soldier during a tour of where the tribe of Dan lived, and he was the nicest and cutest thing ever!   

  

Just thought I should include the time we put on turbans…
  

This is Courtney, she’s in a lot of my pics because she follows me around everywhere 😉 just kidding I love her so much. She is beautiful. I mean look ^^^^. And she is a huge impact on my walk with Jesus. We sat together and underlined the places we’ve been in the Bible, and just talking through everything that we’ve done in Israel with her was so amazing. I hope I can be like her when I’m older. And I absolutely love her laugh, too. 

And who could forget Jimmy.  Jimmy was the kindest, cutest, funniest person we met in Israel. He was so good with people, and we all grew close to him by the time the trip was over. He cracked jokes, he worshipped with us, he bought us bananas, and he even showed us where he was born and grew up! I’m gonna miss that guy.  This is a pic of him showing us where he was born in The Old City. 

 
Not pictured: Allison. Ally was probably the most magnetic person I’ve ever met. When I was getting on the bus I saw her and said to my cousin courtney, “I like her. Let’s be friends with her. She’s so pretty and sweet.” And ever since then we were able to become really good friends. We pulled an all nighter the night before we had to leave in order to prevent jet lag, but only Allison, Will, courtney, and I stayed up. That was suchhhh a fun night! I loved hanging out with her. 

Overall, Israel was really special. It gave me a whole new perspective of God and who He is, and it gave me the desire to really delve into my Bible. I saw how Christianity is not a 10 minute per day thing, but a lifestyle. And God has the most perfect plan ever that I want to be a part of. You should go sometime. Israel, you will be missed! 

MOM. 

To begin my happy-birthday-mom post, I would like to say a few words about my INCREDIBLE, UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING, BEAUTIFUL, FUNNY, and TALENTED mother. Mom, I love you so so so so so much. You are my best friend, my mentor, the person I laugh with, the person I cry with, and the person I hope to be. You’re relationship with the Lord is amazing, and thank you for helping me grow closer to Him and become a person that is founded on a strong faith. You have some A1 mom skills, if ya know what I mean. (That means you’re really good at being a mom.) Somehow, you know all the teenage language I use, like swag, baller, ball is LYFE, fam, bae, Bruh, etc. You are so good at keeping up with my life and caring about me and Conoly. You help me through all the hard things I’ve delt with in life, and you’ve pushed me to become the best version of myself. Which, I think, is a pretty huge accomplishment and all I hope to be when I am a mother. So, thank you for that. Thank you for being a real, genuine, imperfectly perfect human that doesn’t judge me, but loves me. And without further ado, here comes the collage…

Thank you for being such a comforting, strong mother to me, Conoly, and the hurricane Katrina fam.  

   
Thanks for showing me how to be a great friend… (You’re welcome for uncovering some classic 80’s and 90’s pics of you) 

    
 Thank you for encouraging me to try new things, cheering me on, and telling me how proud you are of me. 

    
   
Thanks for putting up with me, my stitches, and my habit of breaking down crying every time you tried to get a cute pic of me 🙂 (lol) 

    
   
Thanks for being a beautiful person who taught me “the higher the hair, the closer to Jesus” 🙂  


  Thank you for your hugs and kisses, and for fitting into my friend group like you’re one of us hahaha…

 
  

  

  

Thank you for showing me what a healthy, happy, and loving marriage looks like…  

  
And for being a part of our happy, messy, full-of-love family.   
  

So there you have it. Happy birthday, mom. I love you more than words. Thanks for inspiring me.

Love always, KK

HONEST.

I’ve always wanted to write about something like this, but whenever I start I can’t think of what I want to say, and when that happens I start thinking about food or how much I want a boyfriend or all the homework I should be doing. But TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY PEOPLE. Today, I want to share with you (and share with myself) whats going on with me. My problems, my insecurities, my worries, and my fears. Read if you want, but this one is a little different than my other posts. Here we go…

Pressure sucks. It really does. I’ve got a lot of that in my life- doing well in sports, getting good grades academically, being involved in a bunch of clubs, getting people to like me, all of that stuff. My mom told me one time that I’m really good at getting really good. Like, if I want to be good at something, I work really hard until I am. I like this about me because I know I can do anything, but it also makes receiving help and being rejected that much harder to accept (because I feel like I should be able to do everything on my own successfully).

And that really has come to light in these past few weeks of school. I’ve tried out a few new things and been put under pressure, and most of the time I’ve failed. I had a terrible volleyball game last week that really shook my confidence. I tried out to be a host for my school’s morning news show and I didn’t make it. I don’t feel successful right now in a few of my classes.

I’m not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me when I share this kind of stuff. It’s life. Everyone deals with stuff like this.

I just know that my confidence has decreased a lot because of all those issues. I don’t feel athletic, I don’t love my body, I don’t feel smart in some of my classes, and I feel like everyone looks at me like I am weak and untalented. Don’t worry, I am totally okay and happy, I’m just going through some stuff.

At first, I didn’t make the connection that maybe God is using this to make me stronger. Instead, I felt really bad about myself and questioned God all-together. But I realized something.

GOD LET RUTHLESS SINNERS PIERCE THROUGH HIS PERFECT SIN, BREAK HIS BONES, WHIP HIS BACK, TEAR HIS HEAD, AND SUFFOCATE HIM SLOWLY. ALL BECAUSE HE LOVES ME.

GOD WATCHES ME DO THINGS THAT PROBABLY MAKE HIM CRY BECAUSE IT SEPARATES ME FROM HIS LOVE. BUT HE STILL LOVES ME.

GOD CARRIES ME THROUGH EVERYTHING AND COMFORTS ME CONSTANTLY WITH AN INDESCRIBABLE PEACE. ALL BECAUSE HE LOVES ME.

And hear I am bitter about petty problems in my life and pouting at God. Seems really crazy. I’m just happy that it hit me now so that I can go through all this stuff with God not against Him. God tells me that everything is going to be okay. Nothing can touch Him or me when I continue to trust Him. El Salvador taught me that I can trust God. Actually, more like I WOULD BE FOOLISH NOT TO TRUST GOD. Coming back home I didn’t have a problem doing this. Now is when things get a little tougher, but I know that I am not making a mistake.

A real struggle though is what people think of me. This has really come up in my life recently, now that I’ve got new friends and people that I want to impress. And failing makes me feel so, so worthless. The people I try to impress aren’t, and it is just so embarrassing. Or, I disappoint myself, which is even worse, because I am my own worst enemy. To try and get these thoughts and feelings out of me, I try and get words out of people that make me feel better. But sometimes you can’t mask tough things. You accept them and you shake it off. I am too FUNNY to feel boring. I am too AWESOME to think I am lame. I am too much of a HARDWORKER to feel useless. I am too SMART to feel dumb. Other people are too focused on their own insecurities too pick at mine, or if they do, it’s their own problem. What matters is what you think of you.

All I can do is work hard, do my best, and let God do the rest. I also really wanna try and have fun instead of being hard on myself and putting pressure on myself. Ya feel????

So I hope to remember this whenever I get insecure or feel like God is nowhere. And I hope you do, too.

Love, KK

EL SALVADOR

Wow…if you didn’t know, I went to El Salvador for a mission trip! We left on July 11th and got back the 18th. The trip was so amazing. Our purpose was to help with the construction of the new and improved La Casa de Mi Padre. La Casa is a home for kids who have been abused or abandoned by their families and who need a place to heal. They receive schooling, food, home, clothes, and people who love them. Right now, La Casa is in the city of San Salvador (the capital of El Salvador). The homes they use are being rented, and although they are good homes, they don’t suite every need for the kids. So, the founder of this whole thing, Gary Powell, found a 30 acre lot out of the suburbs of San Salvador to build these homes on. Gary is seriously incredible. The money he uses for doing things like this are only based on donations from others. God has provided for him every moment to make sure His will is sought through. It’s awesome. One of his kids, Whitey, hung out with us a lot throughout the trip. She is so kind and you can see God using her through everything she does. Gary also is a pastor of the Union Church in San Salvador. This is the only English speaking church in the entire country. I went with a team of high schoolers who are now some of my best friends. I love our team so much because we got to experience some incredible things together. Parting from them was so sad.

I think this week taught me to learn to trust in God. Trusting in God isn’t a risk, either. It is the best decision you can make in life. Look what it did for Gary! God is an incredible god. The ways he uses people like Gary are so cool. I loved getting to see Him hands on this week, whether it was during construction, when we handed out food to the poor, in the eyes of the kids, or in my heart.

Also: thank you so much for donating. This is what you sent me on, a trip I will never forget!

THE GRAND CANYON

One of the many perks of having grandparents who model what a healthy marriage is: going to the Grand Canyon for their 50th wedding anniversary. For about 5 days, my family packed our bags and went to Arizona. Here is a big photo gallery of our awesome adventure. Hope you love it!

The plane ride to the Arizona was very exciting. I couldn’t wait to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon. We were picked up by our grandparents in the morning and swept away to get to the airport!

Nice view of Arizona, happy to safely land and begin the week!

After landing, we were driven 4 hours to get to our hotel. We were only going to stay for the night, and tomorrow we would leave for the drive to the actual Grand Canyon. This hotel was on Route 66. The next few pics are of the cute little town!

Route 66 swag 🙂

Artsy painted wall by a yummy restaurant.

By our hotel there were several dormant trains that made for really cute pics. And, of course, we had to take advantage. This photo was taken by mom, she is really proud of her Panorama skills.

Posing for Mom. This was one of the busiest restaurants in Route 66 that night. The cute artsy wall is in the back, if you look close enough.

Acting natural against a brick wall.

Fun little cowboy show we watched before we boarded the train to the actual Grand Canyon .

A really cute horse and myself.

This is the actual train we rode to the Grand Canyon in. I liked it’s sign.

The happy couple who brought us along to their 50th anniversary celebration! So thankful for them.

View of the train that took us from our hotel near the train station to the new one on the Canyon. The views were pretty scenic, it didn’t look too much like Georgia. The wildlife here consisted of elk, antelope, and California condors. These were the birds with really big wingspans that lived in the Canyon.

In one of the many gift shops along the Canyon’s edge, they have Navajo Indian jewelry. This necklace looks just like the one from the movie Pocahontas, so I had to show you!

Selfie #1 of the Grand Canyon in the back ground and me in the front. We stayed on the South Rim.

Selfie #2

Antelope outside our hotel window, it was so fun to see them! They are like cute little dogs.

#pittardfam50 group selfie.

This is another group pic of the Pittard kids. We were just beginning a 3 mile hike down the canyon when we took this. We had no idea the hike would be so hard! But the views were so worth it.

Just one of the views we got to see. The Grand Canyon seems endless and humongous. Which, it really is. There is no way you can get the same reaction looking at pictures than seeing it in real life.

Just one of the views we got to see. The Grand Canyon seems endless and humongous. Which, it really is. There is no way you can get the same reaction looking at pictures than seeing it in real life.

Cute picture of my grand parents walking to the edge of the Canyon to get some good views. This was during our sunset tour. It was a point we stopped at because if you look, you can see a watch tower to the right of my grandpa’s head. We climbed that thing all the way to the top.

Close up view of the watch tower.

It looks like God is literally shining down the Canyon.

If you walked away from the watch tower, you would end up walking past this point on the road. We all saw this elk as we walked away from the tower, and it was at least twice the size of a deer. I got really close and took a picture, I can’t believe it didn’t mind all the people around it!

One day, we went rafting down the Colorado river. This picture is one I took of another boat near us. It was so pretty and the water was crystal clear, but it was also 46 degrees!

This is proof that I swam in the Colorado river! It was so cold I couldn’t breathe…but it felt so good to cool off.

We also went hiking around the rim. This is a pic of me hugging the Canyon.

Our view.

This is a Panorama of the 3 mile hike down the canyon. It was quite the hike. We were scared to fall off of the side because the width of the trail was 3 or 4 feet. When we were there, one person died of heat stroke and someone almost died at a suicide attempt.

These are what the view points looked like. You can see how easy it is to fall off or climb over the edge.

BEAUTIFUL AND BIG

Our fam hiking the South Rim. My sister and I didn’t want to finish the seven mile hike, so we decided to get a bus back to the park. Long story short, we tried to get off the bus and meet back up with them, but we got sort of lost so we had to find another bus and get back home. It was very stressful because we didn’t have any cell service to reach them!

Conoly and I.