Trying something new…

A few blog posts back, I made mention of how I had been struggling with faith and looking for something “more” to be a part of.  I have been to several churches over time, and the ones I have always felt the most comfortable in have been Catholic churches, so I thought I’d give it a whirl and look into it, to see if it’s where I would like be.

Last night was my first “Catholic Class”…which is what I’m calling it.  Basically, it’s the classes that you take to learn about Catholicism and to decide if it’s for you, and then you go through the conversion process.  In the church I’m attending, they start in September and run through April (to Easter), and then during Holy Week (Easter), they do the Baptism and First Communion for those who choose to go through the process of Converting. 

It was interesting, but in a good way!  The classes are Thursdays, from 7:00-9:00pm, which seems like a long time, but it really flew by.  The speaker for most of the time was Father Doug, who is fairly newly ordained (a few years ago).  He was really engaging and down to earth, and really made the scriptures and lecture easily understood and available to everyone.  I really enjoyed it, overall!  Then, we had dinner together (which I didn’t know about, so I had eaten prior), and then came back for a bit more lecture/questions, before going home. 

And that was it.  It wasn’t scary, it wasn’t “hard” and it definitely wasn’t uncomfortable like my previous church experiences (in my Mom’s church) had been.  It was fun, and I laughed, and I learned, and I felt really good afterwards.  And I guess that’s what it’s all about.  Learning, and feeling better about life and yourself, and striving to be a better person.  And that’s cool. 

So…I’m pretty sure I’ll go back next week.  And I’ll let you all know how the journey goes.  I’m still not 100% sure if I’ll end up converting, but so far it’s been a very good experience.  I’m hopeful, which is more than I have been in a long time.

Much love,
K.

Homemade Christmas

This year, I have decided that I want to do a homemade Christmas.  I normally make a few homemade gifts each year, but this year I’m challenging myself to giving everyone gifts that are homemade.  I might break down and get J something from the store, if something catches my eye, but otherwise it’s going to be homemade all the way!

My mother will be receiving a homemade afghan in turquoise, browns and creams.  I’m not sure what pattern I’m going to use yet, but will probably incorporate the granny square somehow.  I already have the yarn sorted, but I need to finish another baby blanket first.  I made Mother-in-Law one last year and she seemed to like it, so I figured I’d continue with the theme. 

I’m also usually involved in an ornament exchange with some of my international friends, so I’ll probably crochet something for that as well…though I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do, since I did a crocheted star garland last year.  Maybe another garland, this time with Christmas trees?

Other gifts I’m thinking about making are:  Marinated Feta, Bourbon Cherries, Pomegranate Syrup, Caramel Apple Jam, Vanilla Bean Sugar, Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Marinated Olives, Homemade Frozen Cookie Dough Balls, and Sesame Herb Crackers.  I’m sure there’s more I’ll come across in the meantime, but that’s what I’ve managed to collect so far and put on my list.  I figure I’ll give out miniature gift baskets to people, so 2-3 of those items will go into each basket, depending on personal tastes.  So, for instance, one box would have the crackers, the feta, and either a jam or the olives.  Another box might have the Hot Chocolate, the cookie dough, and maybe the sugar (or also covered pretzels would be nice).  So yeah…just in the idea phase.

I really like making things for others, so I hope this is something that others would appreciate.  What do you think…would you like to get a gift box like this from a good friend, for the holidays?

Much love,
K.

Bathroom Remodel

J and I have been talking more about what we want out of our bathroom remodel.  I think we’ve decided to do the majority of the work (minus the actual construction piece) ourselves, so I figure it will either solidify our marriage beyond belief, or I’ll be shopping for a divorce attorney.  You know, either one.

We worked with a designer to actually put together a concept of what we wanted for the bathroom remodel.  Some of our “wants” were: a bigger shower (I’m sick of hitting my elbows on the walls when I wash my hair), better use of space, smaller vanity while maintaining two sinks, and creating a good flow from the bathroom to the closet (instead of making it into a separate room for the closet, keeping them incorporated).  She came back with six designs, which were all good, but one really jumped out at us.  I’ll try to take a photo and put into this post later, but for now you’ll have to take my word on it.  It created a larger shower, a separate toilet room (basically put in a wall with a sliding door to create a “room” for the toilet), and took our french doors down to a single door in order to move the vanity down the wall and make it smaller.  Plus, it incorporated the closet into the bathroom so that it has a better flow between the two rooms.  The shower isn’t an insert shower, it’s fully custom, so I’m very excited about that (much larger than what we had)!

So, with that piece of it done, it has now come down to the actual aesthetic piece of the puzzle.  Originally, I wanted a Moroccan feel, with dark woods and marble, but after thinking on it a bit, I realized that wouldn’t really fit in with the rest of the house.  Our house is a Cape Cod style, and our personal style leans towards the more modern/contemporary with lots of clean lines, little to no clutter/knickknacks, and earthy tones.  So…we wanted to keep that in mind as well.

So, after a lot of looking around on Pinterest and Houzz, plus visiting some tile stores and the typical Lowe’s / Home Depot, I think we’ve settled on a few key items.  We’re looking to install ceramic tile floors that are made to look like a wood floor (I love wood flooring, but don’t want to put it in the bathroom where you run the risk of a burst pipe or lots of water damage from shower/bathtub), along with white furniture.  I’m thinking either a muted blue/grey wall, or just a lighter shade of the grey we have in our bedroom as the wall color, and then we’ll tile in the shower up to waist level, with glass walls from the waist up. 

Here are some photos of the type of style I’m looking at!  The first few photos are actual components we’re considering, and the bathroom photos are just for the feel of the overall remodel.

Wood Tile:  Cinnamon Timber

Wood Tile

 

Bathroom Furniture:  Restoration Hardware, Hutton Collection

Hutton Hutch       Hutton Washstand with mirror

Hutton Washstand Restoration Hardware

Overall “Feel”:  White furniture, wood floors, blue or grey walls

bathroom         wood floors

wood floor white cabinets 

 

What do you think??  Any ideas you think would work well with this type of style for a bathroom?

Much love,
K.

Birthday

Sunday is my birthday, and for some reason, I’m struggling with it.  It’s not a big milestone or anything…I turn 31.  It’s not that I feel old, or aging…none of that!  But for some reason, I just feel a bit down about it.

Part of it might be that I always felt that, by this time, I’d be a mother.  I know that you can’t really have a timeline for these sorts of things, so it’s no use getting bummed about…it is what it is.  Another part might be that I’m gearing up for my knee surgery in a few weeks, which is hopefully going to solve a lot of my knee pain and movement limitations.  I basically missed an entire summer of outdoor activities due to my knee, so that has really sucked as well.

J. is, as always, being wonderful.  He sent me a text this morning outlining the birthday weekend activities.  I have a few choices in there, so we’ll see.  Plus, tomorrow, I’m doing another wine and canvas event with a few friends…I’ll be sure to post photos of my two paintings once I’m finished up! 

Hopefully my lack of excitement over my birthday is just some leftover exhaustion after being sick all this past week, coupled with the drain of work, and I can leave it all behind once we’re finished for the day.  Sorry I’ve been lacking in posts lately…hopefully I can jumpstart Monday with some new stuff!

Much love,
K.

Searching…

As a child, I was raised in church.  My mom went every Sunday morning, and often times Sunday evening and Wednesday nights.  I was taken with her to every church service she went to, so going to church was pretty “everyday” for me.  As I got older, there were some teachings that were brought up that I didn’t necessarily agree with, and as time passed, I became more and more disillusioned with the church we went to, and with organized religion overall.

As time passed, and I’d been away from our church for a number of years, I began to feel as though something was missing from my life.  I’d hear friends talk about their relationship with God and feel as though I wanted that as well.  I wanted the sense of community that a lot of people have with the other members in their church, as well as the sense of peace that came along with knowing what you believed in.  But, the timing never felt right, and I never really took it beyond thinking about how having that relationship would be nice.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the pull more.  I’ve been talking with some of my friends who already have found this place in their lives and are comfortable discussing religion with me (and answering my six billion questions), and I’ve been really appreciative.  I’ve been to a few Catholic churches before, and I’ve always felt very comfortable there, so I think I am going to go “check it out” (so to speak).  I’ve emailed the church to ask if they have any sessions for people who are interested in learning more, and I was told they hold sessions on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm.  Unfortunately, I can’t go this week, as I’ll be returning from travel in North Carolina, but I’m hoping to make next week’s meeting to sort of test the waters.

Any of you out there experience this in your life?  I’m always curios to hear more!

Much love,
K.