I wrote this blog post before I read the most recent one I wrote and it was all about how much I wanted this year to be over and here, on this final day of 2018, I still feel that way. However, I am trying my hardest to find the bright spots…the positives in this year…because I could not have survived another year without SOMETHING good happening. I just may have to look a little harder this year.

As 2018 comes to an end, I must admit I’m incredibly grateful for this year to be over. I won’t lie, it has been one of the hardest years I’ve experienced in a really long time. I won’t rehash it all because…well…most people know what has happened. This year has tried my trust, my patience, and my own struggle with depression. This year has pushed me to limits and to places I did not know I could survive. I feel like I cried more than I have ever before…felt like I may give up and give into the darkness. Simply put, it was hard. A lot of it was dark and hard.

I also feel like I relied on my faith and my relationship with God more this year than I have before. I would not have survived everything that happened, good and bad, without God. If nothing else, this year has strengthened my faith…in happy and sad times, in light and dark times, in EVERYTHING, God was there. God was there, holding my hand, carrying me through it all. And while I need to always give credit to God, I am giving Him all the credit for me surviving this year. Surviving Di’s death, my Mom’s breast cancer, grad school declines and acceptances, moving 1800 miles from home, starting my life over….He gets the credit because he had a hand in it all and in the bad, he was right there with me. God saved me this year and I’m thankful because I feel that I have more to do and give this world. This year became about survival and starting over and next year? Next year is about hope. Hope that I can continue on this path God has set before me…to make Him proud…to show Him that I can and will show His love to everyone I come in contact with. That I can be happy, that I will be happy. That with everything that has happened in my life, things I can control & things I can’t…that I can rise above them and try to be my best self, my happiest self, showing God’s love to everyone. 2019 is about hope and I am going to hold onto the hope that even if 2019 goes like 2018 has, God will be right there with me, every step of the way.

Normally, I have goals for myself for the new year and for 2019, I really don’t. I want to continue to trust and put my hope in God. Trust in His love and have hope in His plan for me. As cheesy and cliché as it may sound, that is the absolutely ONLY way I will continue to find the light in the midst of all the darkness.

So am I glad this year is over? Yes, I am. I found some good though…I found my faith and my strength and that even when the darkness became almost too much, I found hope and that is what will carry me on into this new year.

Cheers to 2019 and all that is to come…


the journey

2018: please be over with already.

In the last five years, I have not felt this incredible need to express how much I have hated an entire year or desperately wanting it to be over, but this year? this year, could be over tomorrow and I would not feel sad in the least. I am pretty certain I have expressed this in the past years, but this one? This one has had too many painful moments and heartbreaking seasons. It is bringing back memories of the other really awful year of 2006 where I lost both of my Grandmas within two months of each other. At 16, I was really unsure how I was ever going to get through that year and I have found myself wondering that this year as well.

honestly, 2017 wasn’t so great in a lot of ways either but it was also a year of growth and strength for me. Looking back I can see how much I grew and that even though things were hard and ugly, I saw how strong I became. And I believe I will say that again when reflecting on this year but sometimes it’s so damn hard to see it when you’re in the middle of it. I believe and trust in God to turn these horrible moments and seasons into something amazing and inspiring growth. I know when we are at our weakest, He is right there, reminding us that He is carrying us and will always stay by us. That promise and hope is what I have held onto this year as well in the midst of some incredibly challenging times.

Two of my dear friends have lost very important people in their lives in the last two days and their losses have forced me to think about my loss and the fear of another loss I have experienced this year. One friend suddenly lost probably one of the most important people in her life and that has triggered me into realizing I have not fully mourned the loss of Di. When Di passed away in April, I felt so at peace with the whole thing. It was sudden, I did not expect it, but somehow and someway I felt peace. I felt sad, obviously, but felt that everyone else in my family was so in shock that I needed to take care of and be strong for them. I don’t think I was consciously feeling that at the time but that’s the mode I went into. I cried some but I never felt like I mourned her loss. In so many ways it felt so surreal that I couldn’t even believe it was happening so I think that’s a huge part of it. Plus I had things to look forward to–starting this new journey in Montana and I had to get ready for that. But when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a month after Di passed away FROM breast cancer, I really struggled. I couldn’t even fathom that both my mom and my aunt, two of THE most important people in my life, had breast cancer and we lost one of them to it….I just….I couldn’t deal. It was too much for me. The sheer fleeting thought of losing my mom too was a place I could not go. I could not lose the most important person in my life this year. I could not. I wrote more about my mom’s journey with breast cancer a few weeks ago but I practically was begging God not to take her yet…I was and am still not ready for that. And even the thought of it now makes me cry.

I know death is a part of life and that is what I’ve been saying out loud all morning. I know death is just apart of this life and I can accept that but it just feels so unfair sometimes. We all experience death in our lives and all handle it in different ways. And they are all right and OK. But death sucks, no way around that, and I can talk to God as much or as long as I want about my most important people but in reality, it won’t change the plan. For all I know, this could be my last year on this earth and here I am whining about how horrible it’s been!

I am trying to remember that these dark and painful moments make one stronger…even me…because 5 years ago I would not have been strong enough to move 1400 miles away and be living on my own. Yes, I would have moved with someone but not by myself. And that is because even in the darkest times, I became strong. I feel strong…stronger than I ever have before. Everyone has their tough stuff they experience and go through, it’s a part of life. No one is immune to it but it’s how you come through it that tells you who you are and what you’re made of. And I have had my fair share of dark seasons….broken heart, losing friends, losing loved ones….and in them, I truly wondered if I would ever be OK again. I am no different than anyone else on this earth…but we have to be there to support and love one another through it all. We only have this one life and I do not want to waste anymore of it carrying around pain that does not serve me anymore. I may wonder and question what is the point of it all is while I’m struggling through the dark seasons but I want to hold onto the hope that God rescues us in those times and He uses them to make us stronger and more faithful people. I know that I would not be who I am or where I am without the loss or pain I’ve experienced.

and back to 2018, oh 2018. I am ready for a new chapter and a new season and God willing He will give me that. I feel I have so much to give this world and the people I find along my way. Even with the tough stuff, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had in my life this year. I am living in a place I NEVER thought I would live in or even heard of 5 years ago…which by the way, has been the best decision I have ever made in my adult life. AND on top of that, my dreams changed last year and I am living those out right now. I am pursuing a career I never dreamed of would be a right fit for me and I’m doing it. Not without it’s challenges too but they are worth it. I remind myself when talking how blessed I am and how grateful I am in my life. And life will continue to throw me curveballs and seasons of pain and hurt and I just have to trust in what it will bring you and how you will grow from it.


two months in, two months away.

I have been wanting to blog for quite a while but haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and really write. Last time I wrote, life was upside down and I didn’t know what direction I was going or what way was up. I know life is life and bad things happen, it’s natural and well, it’s just life. Nothing I can do to change or control that. It doesn’t make life things any less tough. And as life does, it kept going, and kept us on our toes.

In May….after I sold my house & while I began packing up my house and life to move to Bozeman for my new adventure…our family got some more unexpected and tough news. My mom was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. CANCER. AGAIN. BREAST CANCER, AGAIN. We had literally just lost Di a few weeks before we learned about my mom. Yes, it’s stage one. Yes, she caught it VERY early. But it’s still cancer and it’s still very scary…especially when we just lost Di to it, my mom’s sister no less.

I was shocked and terrified when she told me and immediately thought better of moving…even though it was all under way. I couldn’t imagine leaving her and my dad here to deal with it all without supporting them. It felt extremely selfish to me. I was her kid and I needed to be here for her….to support her….and let her know she wasn’t alone. The idea of potentially losing my mom, my person, right after losing such a hugely important person in my life, Di, was absolutely terrifying to me….and still is.

I felt like God was really putting our faith to the test this year. In my life, school was a HUGE unknown for the early part of 2018, then we lost Di suddenly, and now my mom has to fight breast cancer. I struggled if I could stay strong through all life was throwing at me but I made a decision to anchor myself in my faith. I knew that I would ONLY make it through the move, changing my career, and not get so bogged down with worry about my mom by putting my faith and trust in God. I could only control what I could and that is my response to all the change at my feet. I chose to move, to start a new path, and I had to choose to trust God in those choices and those things I had no say in, like my mom now having to fight breast cancer.

Fast forward some time….my mom & dad helped me move to Bozeman (which I absolutely love by the way…more on that later) and I’m SO thankful they were able to come and help me. I think it was good for all of us honestly…helped take our minds off everything my mom was going to face. When she got home, she began her treatment process. She had surgery on August 13th and while it was deemed successful…all cancer gone…it did move to one lymph node and was about 4 times bigger than originally believed on the ultrasound. And that is where we are at right now. We don’t know what will come next…originally it was just going to be radiation but now we have heard it may be a form of chemo too. It shocked all of us it was that big and that it was in a lymph node…but because my mom’s faith is so strong and well my mom is so strong, we know it will be ok. She will be OK because God will make sure of it (not putting words in his mouth or his promises of course, just my ideas 🙂 )

I have told a few people that God and I have made a deal. I know I’m probably not supposed to be making deals with God but I like to think he smiles down on me and obliges my need to make deals every now and again. To be completely honest, 2018 has really sucked. Parts have been incredibly fantastic and amazing and I try really hard to hold onto those but so much of this year has sucked. And in being even more honest, I can’t imagine losing my mom. Yes, I do know one day it will happen, but I’m not ready for that yet. She is my person. She helps me see the good in these terrible situations that we have dealt with this year and in times passed. She holds our family together. She supports me in all my crazy dreams…like changing my career and moving to Montana. She has shown me how to be strong in life’s tough times. I can only hope to be half as strong as she is. I wouldn’t survive this life without her and so I have made a deal with God that I’m not ready for her to leave us yet and I like to think He knows this already. I like to believe that He smiles kindly on my poor worried heart and reminds me His plan is awesome and no matter what happens, He’s got this. He’s got us. He’s got me. And He’s going to make sure we’re all ok.

Without being terribly preachy, I have to share that without my faith, I would be in some hole in the fetal position with everything that’s happened this year. I hate change (ironic) but He has made me strong. He made my mom so incredibly strong and I’m finally seeing and experiencing that for myself. I know without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am in this moment without my faith and my belief in God. I can pick specific moments where I can see how He worked in and through others to make life OK for me and for our family. And so I know He will continue to do that for my mom and all of us.

I also want to take a moment and say that my mom gave me permission to write about this. It’s something I have been wanting to do for a while but putting it into words made it so real and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to deal with it all yet. Another EXTREMELY important piece of this is self-care. My mom is the one who found her lump….the mammogram she had a month earlier didn’t even detect it…she found it and started having it monitored right away. Unfortunately that was in February and she wasn’t diagnosed until May, but that is another story for another day. The important point is that she was doing her monthly self-check and felt it and if she hadn’t, who knows when it would have shown up and how far it may have progressed by then. It’s an extremely important lesson for me and for anyone who reads this. Don’t wait…be an advocate for yourself and your health…you know your body best…and while I did my own self-exams often, I have done it regularly twice a month…just for good measure. Also, if you know my mom, she is reminding me 🙂

I write all this to share her story…our story…my story. We believe it’s important to share our stories and experiences because they may help someone else out there reading this in ways we don’t know.

I want to thank our family and friends who have reached out, sent their prayers & well wishes, and who have been such a strong support system for us always and especially in 2018. I know my mom appreciates it and I do as well…more than we can say. God blessed us with some great people in our lives and we love you all so much.

All my love…


Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.

Trust in myself? No. Trust in others? Not really. Trust in God? That’s the one!

As cliche as it may sound, when I say trust over and over again it gives me peace. I can breathe again. And I have decided that the only way I’m making it through all the change is to trust in God. This year has really been anything but easy for me and yet, I’m still here and that is ONLY because of God. ONLY because of Him. And so I will simply trust.

Some may wonder why I’m jetting off to Montana of all places? Am I running away from something here? Am I running to something there? I have come to fully realize and believe with my own eyes, running away from something or running to the next big thing does not solve things and it does not bring happiness. It simply does not and I have experienced how it does not. I ran away to college….that didn’t fix things…ran back home…that didn’t bring the happiness I was looking for either. So while a few months ago, I thought I was running away again, I looked deep down and saw I’m not running away or running to the next big thing this time. So what am I doing you may wonder? Well I’m more than happy to share that with you.

A little background…over the last couple of years, I have tried to live by “be where your feet are”. Being present in the moment, not constantly on my phone scrolling through my insta feeds or facebook newsfeed (even though I’m totally guilty of that still…I said “have tried”)…but for big moments or moments with those I cherish most, I have tried to be right where I am, just as I am. And I have found tremendous peace with trying to approach life that way. I have ALWAYS struggled with being too excited about the next big thing or doing something exciting and fun to forget something bad that happened. Always forgetting the present moment. And after all, the present is all we ever have. So when I ran away to North Carolina for college and ran back home, I wasn’t being AS present in those places and times in my life. I was wishing my life away or too stuck in the past.

I have always wanted to keep this being where I am at the forefront as I move on to my next adventure. However, I thought I was running away from different things here and going to Montana would save me. I believed it would fix things I’ve done wrong and give me this happiness I’ve been desperately trying to find in my adult life. And as I was listening to my favorite chapter of Uninvited, I heard God loud and clear. Going to Montana was not going to save me or be the miracle fix I was looking for. I have to be willing to change how I think and see things. I have to get rid of these old patterns of thinking and beliefs and if I change that? THAT has the potential to change things for me. Looking to God. Trusting God. THAT will fix things. That will give me the space to find who I really am and what I’m really made of. And those things? That’s what I want. To find who I really am and learning to love and be happy with who I am. I don’t expect the state of Montana, the graduate school program, or even the new career to fill a void, bring me happiness, or fix what I’ve left behind. No. I don’t want those things to bring me happiness, I want ME to bring me happiness. I want to know God, know Him deeply, and TRUST that NO MATTER WHAT life throws my way…good or bad…that He is going to take care of me and use me for His purpose for my life and those I have the opportunity to meet and hopefully touch. It just so happens, I’m picking a different state to do that in. So now you know.

I am looking forward to what is to come but that is up to God. I trust Him with everything I am and so while there is fear and trepidation, I trust He has it under control. I know who I want to be and how I want to be that and I can only trust He will give me opportunities to make that happen.

Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.


closing out twenty seventeen

2017. what a year. a year of growth, changes, adventures, heartache, the starts of things, the end of things, also a lot of the same things too. what a year.

I like to recap and think back on my years. particularly this year. this year I have taken steps in a real way to change things for myself. change how I interact with others, change how I talk to myself, change how I see myself, and even go so far as to start the steps to change my career.

I had the privilege to travel in every month except March & July. I got to go to 3 new states…all in the Northwest…got to see lots of friends and make some really wonderful memories. I let go of a lot that I’ve been carrying around for a very long time and mourned some people no longer apart of my journey.

The length of time we have to live out full years has been on my mind recently. I have had the opportunity to see the majority of 27 years…..27 years of learning, adventures, forming relationships…27 years to live. And I was reflecting how I’ve wasted a lot of them….wasted them being upset and worrying about what’s coming next or upset with myself instead of enjoying each moment I get to live. Life’s too short to be upset with others, upset with yourself, or not living life how you want.

During this year it was brought to my attention (more than once) about self talk. My self talk, in full disclosure, is pretty damn terrible. I would NEVER talk to other people the way I talk to myself. I am so hard on myself about nearly everything. It’s loud and it’s negative and nothing silences it. I struggle with not letting it get to me and I’ve had to face it a lot more this year in different ways. For some reason this year I have felt very unworthy of anything good. I’ve allowed the thoughts and actions of others define my worth. I HAVE allowed it. And so by realizing that I am the one allowing, I get more upset with myself. And the nasty cycle of negative self talk became more frequent and more detrimental honestly. How am I supposed to form relationships with others or find myself being open to dating or a real and true romantic relationships if I talk to myself that way? I can’t expect someone else to respect me or care about me when I don’t feel that way about myself. I have spent PLENTY of my years in this space of awful self talk and I am making a promise to myself here & now to change that. Change how I talk to myself and stop others’ opinions of me define how I see myself. Those are conscious choices and choices I need to make if I want to continue down the path I want to be on.

Truth be told I have not done a very good job of being open with others this year. I think it’s partly due to this head space I’ve been living in & the other part is me trying to be different and better (which I guess I could attribute to the head space). Regardless, I’ve become much more closed off and keeping my thoughts & feelings to myself. I’ve been doing a lot of internal evaluating and reflecting and there have been changes that have come with doing those things. I haven’t wanted to share and share and share the ways I used to. Sharing can lend to pity & misunderstanding & sometimes, unhelpful opinions. I do not want pity for sure & sometimes the more I share, the more misunderstood and alone I’ve felt so if I don’t share, I can’t be misunderstood right? Sure, in theory. On top of that, I allow others’ opinions to make my decisions. I gave that decision making power away and I needed to take it back. It has been challenging to have to honestly look inside and ask myself what I want. But I believe within this new approach, I’ve become more selfish and definitely have pushed people away. It is not my intent in anyway but I believe it’s become the reality. I have become content with myself enough that I don’t need other people like I did and instead of being a friend to others, I’ve become selfish and incredibly closed off. Plus I know that so much of what I always communicated with to others I have to deal with and move past on my own. Another piece to this is that in all honesty, I haven’t wanted to let people in. When I’ve let people in in the past, it’s caused pain and hurt. So in many ways I have been scared to open that door again. But I am who I am and I don’t need to hide things I’ve felt shame about anymore. Those who love me most don’t and won’t care and that’s what I have been trying to hold onto in the struggle of this opening up business.

As I’m writing all this out I realize it’s confusing. It’s confusing because they almost seem conflicting ideas. I want to be more internal so I don’t rely on other opinions but I also talk super negatively to myself and allow others’ feelings about me define myself? It doesn’t make sense in many ways but it also makes a lot of sense. I believe there is a fine line between opening up and letting others in and remaining true to yourself and making choices that are best for you. Oh and sticking to those decisions and allowing yourself some grace and a little love. In the end, you only have yourself so if you don’t speak kindly to yourself or love yourself, how miserable a life are you going to have? Well a little advice as someone who has been there for a long time, it can lead to the the most miserable life. Love yourself, seriously. Haven’t mastered it yet but working my way there.

Back to my original thought of LIVING life, living life includes being open to letting others in. Sharing stories of success, failures, annoyances, joys, challenges, triumphs is what makes life doable. It makes it worth it when you share and you celebrate with your closest people or you are having a tough day and you need an ear and someone to tell you it’s going to be OK. And loving yourself is part of your job description.  THAT is what living life is about. We’re all in this together and I forgot that in the midst of my journey this year.

SO as I do….I want to thank those who have remained present and there for me when you may have felt that I shut you out. I want to apologize to those where I put all my “worth” eggs. That’s a huge responsibility to feel you have and an unfair one at that. I love and value those so much but it’s not fair at all. For those I pushed away and seemed so self involved, I am sorry. It was truly never my intent. There was a lot of work that had to be done this year and I did the best I could. But I never meant to push away or hurt anyone.

Life is tough you know? We face so many awful and debilitating situations and circumstances and it’s clear to me it’s not going to get any better. But I am starting with loving who I am, giving myself and others much more grace, deserved grace. We have to stick together. Sticking together, relying & loving on one another other makes all the other crap doable, livable, survivable, and OKAY. It’s not necessary to walk through the tough stuff alone and I see that now.

in terms of my plans you may wonder? I’m working on it. I’m doing the things that need to be done to determine where my next steps in 2018 will lead me. Not to sound so vague, but in truth, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know where I’m going to land. I want to go to school in the fall…I want to move somewhere amazingly beautiful where I can continue to grow into this new version of myself. I want to get this master’s degree and maybe even my doctorate some day. I want that accomplishment. And THEN, I want to help people. I want to make a difference. THOSE things have not wavered. I feel called and driven in that and so I’m doing what I need to do now to make that happen. God has a plan you know? God will guide and place me where I need to be and when I need to be there. It’s been challenging but it’s going to be worth it when I am where I know I need to be. Portland? Utah? Colorado? Wisconsin? California? Arizona? STL? Where will I go? I have no idea. But God does and so I’m ok with not knowing today.

2017, what a year. these are without a doubt the biggest takeaways and things I want to share mostly to remind myself and hope to bring a little light and peace to someone else’s life. We aren’t alone and shouldn’t have to walk this journey by ourselves. Give people a chance. I have a feeling it will be worth it when I can change how I look at things.

2018: I’m ready for whatever God has in store for me.


shedding the old

on this final Friday in October, I feel a strong desire to speak my truth. I feel it’s important to shed the final layer of the old by being honest with the world. It’s scary to be this honest on such a format but I hope by my sharing I can help someone else. Most may see my life as wonderful….I travel often, I have amazing friends, family who loves and takes care of me, yet I always found myself looking and searching for something more. I was never content with my life and never content with myself.I wasn’t striving to have a picture perfect life but I wanted to feel happier than I felt. Unknowingly, I had been fighting severe anxiety for a very long time which caused much of the discontentment. I couldn’t turn my brain off. I couldn’t make the racing thoughts stop. And at times, the anxiety paralyzed me 100%. A lot of the time, I didn’t even know what was happening as I didn’t know what I was dealing with. My anxiety peaked it’s ugly head a few years ago and I literally spiraled out of control. I couldn’t get out of the awful cycle (not to mention, a heartbreak was thrown in there that made it much worse). I would avoid social activities and just go home and sit by myself, get mad at myself for feeling this way and then just cry. I was so consumed by my own hate self talk that I was ruining my own life and my relationships with those I cherish most. I was paralyzed and no matter what fun thing I was doing or cool place I went, it didn’t stop. Nothing I did helped. Even when I learned I had anxiety I still did not know how to fight it or cope with it. No matter what I did, the “I’m not good enough” thoughts and worry about every little choice and decision just would not stop.

Over the last few months, my self discovery lead me to really take control of the anxiety. I accepted what I had been fighting for years and decided I did not want to waste any more of my life. I went to counseling, worked with a life coach, and even went to an energy healer. I took up running, started praying….even did a prayer challenge, began openly talking about my challenges with others. I was able to let go of the past and the matters of the heart and in the process of all this, grew to love myself. I came to understand that I’m the only one who can change and truly the only one I can always count on, so I should be kinder to myself. Just because I have anxiety, does not mean I’m not a good person or a contributing member to those I cherish most. I realized that hiding it and being ashamed was not benefiting me at all. It was making it worse. Since starting these things, the self love has grown tremendously. Loving myself has been the biggest contributing factor to beating the anxiety. I see hope for myself for the future and I’m enjoying the little things about my day…and honestly, I feel like the Katie before all this took me under.
Perhaps I’m making this sound more dramatic than it is or it may be challenging for you to identify with this, but let me just say, it’s no joke. Granted, I haven’t suffered the way many others have or to the same extents that some have but it still was very real for me. And if you haven’t dealt with this debilitating way of life, then you count yourself very blessed. I believe we all deal with things like this at one point or another in our lives because of situations or circumstances but talking about it and owning it makes me feel less alone and more proud of myself for all I’ve learned and grown into. Not to mention, I feel a release of the shame and embarrassment I had felt for so long. The old is gone and the new is here to stay. And I’m grateful, so very grateful. As I end my long novel, I encourage you to be kind to others, be loving to yourself, and enjoy every moment no matter what.
a big thank you to my family and friends who unknowingly helped me along the way.