The Best "Two" Years

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

So-- I've been pretty sentimental the last few days about my mission. I miss it. I miss it with every fiber of my being. If I had a (third) chance to get back out there and put my nametag on.... you bet I would do it.

There is something so different about being a missionary. So difficult at times, but so rewarding. So exhausting, but so spiritually strengthening. So trying at times, but ultimately some of the happiest moments you'll remember in your life.

I wouldn't trade my experiences during my service for anything in the world. And I would give anything to have them all over again. If someone asked me if I would go tomorrow, you had better bet I would say yes in a heartbeat. 

I've finally gotten around to compiling the majority of my mission pictures. I was inspired in this video by another sister missionary, to whom I owe a lot of my excitement towards my mission. I hope as- and if- you watch it, you'll feel the love that I have towards my time as a missionary and know how much it meant to me.

And if you were a part of it- thank you for making it the best experience of my life. 

xx   katie

Big Surprises

Friday, April 17, 2015

So... back story.

I consider myself to be a pretty good gift giver. I seriously plan things weeks or months in advance because I love love LOVE sentimental gifts, especially for my parents. Every year, I make a calendar for them on iPhoto for Christmas with pictures from the last year. This has been a tradition of mine for the past seven years. 

This year is an interesting year because three out us four kids will be moving out of the state in the next two months. Cody and Rachelle are headed to Mississippi after he graduates from the U and is commissioned as a pilot in the Air Force. Carrie recently was offered and accepted a job in Virginia, and Cassidy is heading out to go to BYU-Idaho for college. 

I'm moving too, but I'm just moving fifteen minutes away, so it's not exactly the same... 

I knew my mom had mentioned wanting to do family pictures before Cody and Rachelle left. I had been brainstorming some stuff that I wanted to do for Mother's Day and her birthday, which are very very close (both are the first week in May). 

So I started plotting.... 

I searched and searched for several days to find an affordable photographer when I finally remembered about Chelsey Searle, who had done a friend's family and mission photos a year and a half before. She was absolutely perfect, and I was super excited to work with her.

Because we didn't know when Carrie would be moving for work, we decided to do the photos well before graduation (and incidentally, Mother's Day), so we got that all set up and picked the color scheme. Then, I knew that Mom would kill me if she had to do family photos without getting her hair done, so shoutout to my pseudo-cousin Robert Moody at Hero Hair for squeezing her in the day before to get her hair cut and colored. Birthday gift and Mother's Day gift all in one weekend.

The day started out a little (ok a LOT) windy, but by the time we were ready to do photos, it died down (thank goodness... wind + long hair = nightmare).  We just got the photos back today and they are AMAZING! I think I'll let them speak for themselves. 

(p.s. our nametag photo made the lds sister missionaries' page) 

New Etsy goodies

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sometimes I just get in these "modes". Cleaning mode, writing mode, blogging mode, spending mode....

Blogging mode doesn't happen too often, but speaking of spending mode, I bought a new DSLR on Monday.... whoops! I guess it's technically in celebration for my fabulous new job... and in anticipation of my awesome trip to Poland and the Ukraine that's coming up in the next few months.

Lately, I've been in creative mode. Which is both fun and frustrating....  I've been working a lot in the past month on expanding my Etsy shop, and creating new products and new art to hopefully bring a little more business revenue in. It's AWESOME to see the final product, but sooooo frustrating when things don't look quite like I envisioned them.

I've learned that I should have gone to school for digital design or something haha. But everything I've done, I taught myself, so I still think that's pretty cool. 

Anyway! Thanks to Pinterest inspirational quotes, floral downloads and watercolors, I've been pretty pleased at how my latest prints have turned out.

Happy happy days! I wish I had more to share with you, (maybe next week when I get my new camera!) but this will have to do for now! 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

So I've been home for about six weeks, and coming home the second time around meant (you guessed it), the great job search. I'd been pretty stressed because I did graduate in special and elementary education, but I just wasn't sure I wanted to jump into teaching right away. I was still recovering physically, mentally and emotionally from two bouts of mission difficulties and I just didn't know if I was ready for the commitment level that comes with being a full time teacher.

It's pretty intimidating, coming back and instantly having to look for something to support you through the next few months or even years. Especially because I've been thinking more and more about grad school, and what I want to do to expand my horizons and potential jobs. I was one of those people who didn't change their major in college- not even once (unless you count changing from general studies to my real major, which everyone has to do). 

In retrospect, it might have been better to really truly figure out what I wanted to do for work, rather than jump into my major because I didn't want to lose or waste any credits. Not that I don't love teaching-- I do. I'm just not one hundred percent sure it's something I want to do right at this time.

For grad school, I'm looking into a few options. Possibly speech-language pathology, but I'm also looking into something humanitarian-services related, as well as possibly wildlife conservation. I haven't figured out exactly what I plan on doing, but since I want to pay off my undergraduate student loans before I apply for grad school, I know I have at least a little bit of time before I really need to worry about the GRE and applications.

So when it came to figuring out a job situation, I started looking in the education spectre. I had two interviews at two different preschools. One I had to turn down because it was downtown and a bit too far away to drive on a daily basis. The other, I accepted, but after a week and a half, it wasn't working out (for personal reasons). The week that I left that job, I started applying to a bunch of positions on KSL jobs. Again, I was blessed to have two different interviews by two different locations. 

One of these interviews took place last Thursday morning. That afternoon, I got a call offering me the position. I was so happy to be able to accept the job at the Salt Lake Board of Realtors! The pay was exponentially better than my previous jobs, and the benefits and environment were just unbelievably amazing.  

I started this past week, and it's been such an amazing experience. Every day, I learn new things about the job and the company, and every day I go home to my parents and spend ten minutes telling them how amazing this position is, the awesome benefits of working there, how wonderful the people I get to work with are, and how much I am loving everything about this job. 

Following a weekend of General Conference, I just feel so incredibly blessed to be where I am right now in my life. Sometimes, I still fight some bitter feelings about being home from my mission and seeing others out serving and having the most amazing experiences. I'm human, and I'm trying to adjust to the trials I've been given in this life. 

But having this job, having this time with my family before everyone goes off in their different directions (Virginia, Mississippi and Idaho)-- I'm so grateful. Because if I didn't have these trials, I wouldn't have these amazing blessings. 

And I wouldn't trade those blessings for anything in the world.