January 30, 2015

Katie + Tim: Breakfast Engagement

When Tim and I announced to our families at Christmas time that we were planning to get engaged in the New Year, we were also mulling over ideas about what we wanted to do for our engagement. Every the egalitarians (and yet, the romantics), we wanted something special, intentional, and something that honored our values. It was important to Tim and me that we both asked each other and we set about to figure out what else it would entail. Since we both love cooking meals together and breakfast is our favorite, we decided to cook breakfast together and then spend the rest of the day calling friends and family.
We decided to make waffles, of course! Tim received Blueberry syrup and Blueberry waffle/pancake mix for Christmas. From the picture above it looks as if Tim did the cooking...and he did. I set the table, snapped a few pictures, and stirred the waffle mix. Before beginning to make breakfast, we hadn't decided who was going to ask first or at what time in our breakfast prep or eating someone would propose--we just went with it!
Once our meal was ready, we sat down to eat. A few minutes into our breakfast, our Land Lady and Maintenance Man rang the doorbell. They wanted to let us know that they were updating the lighting in the backyard. A representative from the local power company was going to come by soon, if we wanted to come out and chat with them after breakfast! We thanked them for the invite and they left to continue surveying the backyard.
Once we returned to the table after that fun interlude, I turned to Tim, took his hands and asked him if he would marry me. He said, "Yes!" Then, asked me if I would marry him. And I said, "Yes, gladly!"
And here's an engagement photo for good measure! My talented sister, Lillie, took engagement photos for us in Staunton during Christmas break. I wanted Lillie to take our pictures, but knew she wouldn't be able to come to Richmond and we don't have many opportunities to see each other. It was a really special, chilly afternoon running around with two of my favorite people!

January 13, 2015

Plant Babies

I love fresh food. I love eating food right out of the garden--that I picked myself! It just tastes better! Now that Winter has hit (and Winter in Indiana has hit full blast!) having an outdoor garden is a bit difficult. But...an indoor garden IS possible! 

This fall, I was walking through Meijer, grocery shopping, when I stumbled upon little mint and basil plants right next to the organic potatoes. I had been wanting an indoor plant for a long time. I wanted some form of life in the house. I picked them up and studied them. "Could I care for an indoor plant?" I wondered. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they were from a nursery called "Shenandoah Growers." SHENANDOAH!? Like Shenandoah Valley!? These plants were grown in the very valley that I am missing so much right now!? Yep. They were grown in Harrisonburg, VA. Plus they were organic! Excited Katie? Understatement. 
Then this past weekend, I spotted a cilantro plant and had to scoop it up and add it to our herb table! My little herb plants live by our bay windows to optimize sun time. They have been so resilient, easy to care for, and so delicious! I have enjoyed fresh mint tea, fresh basil in pasta sauce, and now garnishing my lentil soup with fresh cilantro! 
These little plants have added so much life to our kitchen and to our taste buds! For organic plants, I thought they were inexpensive, too! Only about $2.50 per plant! Once warmer weather hits, I am debating planting them outside or leaving them inside. They are thriving and growing bigger too! I will have to get some pots for them to live in. 

Now that I have kept these precious herb plants alive, I am hoping to add another plant or two to my bedroom. It faces East and has four windows. I don't think I'll add herbs this time--any suggestions or favorite indoor plants?

January 11, 2015

I am still here.

Well, a whole semester has gone by without so much as a little post to this blog! I have been longing to update it!

The first semester of seminary was rough. Honestly, I think the first season after coordinating NYC would have been rough anywhere. Coordinating NYC was likely one of the greatest things I'll do in my lifetime. I believe, God-willing, that I still have many adventures ahead, but that was a unique, grand blessing on my life. How do you follow that? I wasn't trying to follow it up, but transition in any season is hard. This one was particularly hard.

This season of moving, starting seminary, starting a part-time job, and learning how to survive (is that over-dramatic, I don't think so) was intense. I cried every week of the fall semester. Every. Week. It was an anomaly if I went 7 days straight without crying. Why was I crying all of the time? I was learning how to be just  Katie. I was learning how to be a good seminary student. I was navigating a new city. I was working a new emotionally demanding job. I was figuring out a new relationship. The rawness of the new grated against me month after month as leaf upon leaf fell from the trees outside my window. Seminary is where I am supposed to be, I reassured myself. I knew that much at least, even if I couldn't remember if I took 9th street or 11th street to get to Aldi. (Aldi: an exceptionally inexpensive, grocery store.)

Planning worship for the seminary community was one thing that kept me going this semester. It was the Patterns of Worship class that reassured me that this is where I am supposed to be, where my passion lies. It required the most from me, but it was also the class that made my heart dance listening to lectures about the liturgical calendar and hospitality in worship. It was in writing prayers for this class, that I found myself uplifting prayers for what I was struggling with (patience for trying children, a swift end to the violence in Nigeria.) It gave voice to what my heart couldn't speak eloquently to herself.
I am still here. If all goes according to plan, I am 1/6th of the way through seminary. A new season of seminary is starting: my second semester. With this semester, comes choosing my year-long placement, another history of Christianity class, securing a summer job, and hopefully a chapel service for which I'll worship lead. I am here. My purpose for being here is not yet completely clear to me. In a broad sense, intentional preparation for ministry, but what form will that take is not clear to me, yet. I can now easily find my way to Aldi: may the path before me become more familiar with each step I take.