Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Best Memorial Day Ever

By Claire

On Memorial Day, we usually have a family reunion with some family members I don't know and some of my besties. But this time, we had fun going to my grandmothers' side of the family.

My favorite part was seeing the people grandma has told me so much about. She told me who made all these historic quilts and pillows I found. I got to put roses on almost all of our family members there.

My second favorite part was when we got out of the car at the cemetery, their dog Chloe jumped on me. My grandma also was happy when she saw me finding loose flowers and putting them on people's graves that didn't have any flowers.

The cool part was my great great aunt and uncles grave had flowers on it even though they died a long time ago and nobody in our family we think puts flowers on there graves. That means that random people put flowers on them.

Another fun part was we got to sweep all the dirt off of Aunt Molly's grave.


Life right now

By Grace

Ok, so life right now isn't the best, but we're making it through. I mean, we are one of those lucky families. I mean, we don't have coronavirus. I mean, we don't think.

We wear our masks ... well, most of the time. It's so hard.

Today, we went to our grandma's. She broke her bone under her knee, so we had to go get her stuff for it. And we stayed there for awhile and we had our masks on, but at they very end, we just couldn't  any longer. So, we took them off.

And we had to go to the store to go get her that stuff, with our masks on, of course. Everything was different there. There were things to telling you to be 6 feet apart. And all the workers were wearing masks. I felt bad for those people who have to where those things all day. I had to take it off for a second to breath. It was terrible! I would like to say something to all of those hardworking people right now. Thank you so much!

Bye for now!

Happy Memorial Day

By: Grace

Ok, I know it's 3 days after it, but I had to write about something.

So for memorial day I had to do a family tree my mom made me. I did it on both sides my dad's and my mom's, and at first I thought it would be hard, but then it was easy and fun!

On my dad's side, we went to my grandma's family graves. And then we went to go have lunch with them and Betsy. And we got to see 2 car parades, which was pretty cool. My dad, my brother and my grandpa loved it. We loved it too, but they LOVED it, if you know what I mean.

Then, to add on top of the great day, we got ice cream and it was delicious! And then we went home, but before I go, I would like to say a special thanks for helping me with my family tree:

Grandma Nancy
Grandma Sue
Grandpa Rod
Aunt Pam
Aunt Mary

Thank you guys so much for helping. I would not know what I would have done with out your guys' help. Thank you!

Bye for now!

my outdoor kid life

By: Claire
Henry and I love building castles in the sand. It's like our job. Sometimes we put water in the sand box and pretend its flooding. When it gets close to our castle, we build a dam or we make towers, castles, flooded areas, oceans, beaches -- all that kind of stuff.

One time, we were in our pajamas and we flooded the sandbox. Then we sat in it. Awesome, huh?

Sometimes, we go over to my friend's house and swing -- distantly from each other -- on her swings and we talk and talk about the corona virus life. Sometimes, we go over to my other friend's house and jump on the trampoline and sometimes we go over to the cul-de-sac and play.
Best neighborhood ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!😃

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lucky #13: Love, Marriage and Finding Ourselves

When I was about 30 years old, I started to become aware of the bars of my cage. Up until that point, and much to my shock, I had lived inside that cage without really knowing it. 

Around that time, songs, books and movies with themes of rebellion or breaking societal norms started speaking to me on a deep level. I felt drawn to the characters who were unapologetically themselves. 

Those bars of my cage — societal expectations and pressure to fit in — became more clear each year that passed. If you listen for them, you’ll hear them whispering to you all day long. I call them the “shouldas.” I should be prettier. I should be smarter. I should be more successful. I should be thinner. I should be curvier. I should be funnier. I should be more adventurous. I should be a better housekeeper. I should be, I should be, I should be. All day long, these whispers of “you’re not enough” surround us and suffocate us, and we are often completely unaware. We just silently nod our head and shame ourselves for not being enough of any of those things. 

Although the bars of my cage were becoming apparent, I was pretty unaware of these nearly constant whispers. I just felt this general discomfort with the feeling that I had to be anything other than who I already was. 

Until 2018. I was coming up on my 36th birthday when my Dad got sick and so very sadly, died. I was sitting next to him as he took his final breath, and I watched him make the transition from living to dead. 

The months following were full of such deep grief. I felt like I was drowning in sorrow. And then something beautiful happened. One day, I was walking through the woods with tears streaming down my face and a bit of perspective landed in my head as if it was dropped from above. I was thinking about my Dad and how painful it must have been for him to know he would be leaving this world and how little he would care about all the “shouldas” if he was given the chance to live. If, by some miracle, he was brought back to life, he wouldn’t care about his graying hair or his farmer’s tan or the size of his belly. He’d just be grateful he was alive. 

None of the (excuse my language) bullshit that we think matters actually matters. It doesn’t matter what shape your body is. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. It doesn’t matter what your hair looks like or if you’re wearing a holey pair of yoga pants on a trip to Target. It doesn’t matter if you’re blue collar or white collar. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short or have an extra toe.  

This is not revolutionary thinking — just revolutionary to me. Here’s what I whittled out of the many hours spent thinking about all of this: the only thing that matters in life is kindness. Kindness to ourselves, to others, to animals and to our world. I’ve worked this theory over and over trying to disprove it. I still haven’t found something that truly matters that doesn’t fit into one of those buckets. 

When I first started thinking like this, I stumbled again and again. One day, I remember I was driving Grace to dance class across town, and we were running late. I was already shaky hungry, but didn’t have time to eat dinner at home. So, I grabbed a slice of pizza on the way out the door. At the stoplight, I went to take a huge bite and then froze. The whispers started, “Katie, don’t eat that in the car. You should be more graceful and ladylike. Ladies don’t chomp on pizza. They nibble like they’re not really hungry.” 

I was hungry. I wasn’t endangering anyone while I was stopped. But here I was, shaming myself for daring to break a societal norm (or at least a perceived one). I kept eating that pizza and told those whispers they were not needed today. 

To help guide myself on what things are actually important for me to care about, I started using two different strategies. They’re pretty interchangeable, but sometimes one is more effective depending on the circumstance. These strategies were — and continue to be — so helpful in staying true to myself and remembering what truly matters to me. 

1. When I’m laying on my deathbed, will I care about this? If the answer is yes, then I give it my full attention. If the answer is no (and most of the time it is), I push through the shame whispers and do the opposite of what they’re telling me. 

2. If I lived alone on a deserted island, would I care? I use this one a lot when I try to shame myself about how I look. It might be what I’m wearing or how I’ve done my hair (or more likely, not done it). The first few times I went to a social gathering without makeup, I’d use this strategy. I’d ask myself, Katie, if you were having dinner by yourself on an island, would you care that you weren’t wearing makeup? My answer was a big ol’ no. So, it stands to reason that the only reason I was considering the makeup was for other people. And I’m so, so tired of doing things just for other people. I just refuse to do that anymore. 

Every time I rebelled against my whispers (my shouldas) another bar of my cage would dissolve. Now, about two years later, I can say with a good degree of certainty that I’m no longer caged. I still have the whispers, and likely always will, but the rejection of the whispers is coming stronger and faster each time I do it. 

I would give almost anything to have my Dad back. I would trade all the enlightenment I have found for him to be happy and healthy and laughing his beautiful laugh. But since that’s not an option, I’m choosing to be grateful for the gifts his death gave me. 

He didn’t know it was happening, but I like to imagine how proud he would be that he helped set me free from my cage. 


You might wonder how the enlightenment I found during my grief at all relates to my anniversary. Well, you see, it turns out when you crack yourself wide open and examine what’s been happening inside you all those years and then determine how you want to put yourself back together going forward, it has an impact on who you are. 

We lovingly call her Katie2.0. 

During all of this, I realized I hadn’t been living a very authentic life. I was living each day in various states of shouldas, and once I discovered this, I decided I was never, ever going back to that life. It changed me as a daughter, a sister, a mother, a friend and a wife. 

I restarted therapy, which I had stopped while my Dad was sick and in addition to dealing with my grief, I unearthed some pretty big truths about myself. A lot of those truths had to do with my relationship with Scott. 

Scott started going to therapy, too, and discovering his own truths. We both worked (and are still working) toward becoming the best versions of ourselves. 

This process led us down a very winding path. Sometimes we felt hopeless, that we would never find our way to a better place. Other times, we found hope in a renewed connection with each other. It was a bit of a roller coaster for a while, honestly. 

It’s never been about the love for each other. We have a deep, unwavering love for one another. It is really about trying to figure out how we fit together now that Katie2.0 has arrived. We’re still working on how our puzzle fits, but we are both committed to finding our way to a new, beautiful and authentic place. 

Today, as we celebrate our lucky 13th anniversary, I can honestly say we have never (ever) been closer than we are right now. Unlike anytime before this, we are being intentional about the energy between us. We have started carving out time each day for just us and using that time for more than just watching TV together (our previous approach). We do something fun like a puzzle or playing a board game. And we take a nightly walk around the neighborhood after the kids are in bed. On those walks, we open up about everything going on inside us — not just a laundry list of what happened to us that day — and the other person is gentle and attentive to that vulnerability. 

I won’t even try to predict where the next 13 years will take us, but I know when we get there, it will be honest and beautiful and full of deep love. 

Happy anniversary, Scott. I’ll leave you with a quote from my vows. It feels very appropriate today.

“I know that we will face challenges that threaten to swallow us, but I have faith that our love will be our strength.”

Monday, May 25, 2020


Hi, it's me again. I know I haven't written in a while. I was just thinking about what to say, so here it is. Hope you like it. 

I've always wrote about stuff that happens, not who is there with me — someone that's been there for me my whole life, and thats my daddy. 

He's funny, nice and kind — sometimes strict, but always lovable. He works almost all day everyday selling houses and putting food on our table. He's really smart and will never miss a chance to play chess with me whenever he can. 

He's the best daddy in the world. I wouldn't switch with anyone in the entire world. Never in a million years. 

He's strict and sometimes a volcano about to explode, but sometimes his volcano goes extinct for a little bit, but it always comes back. [no offense, dad] 

Dad always tells me stuff he knows like when I found the biggest worm ever today he told me it was a night crawler. Best dad ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is what happens when christmas time rolls around 

sincerely claire 

Bloggers Competition

Hey guys, I'm back. OK, so you are probably wondering "why is the title called Bloggers Competition?" As you might know, me and my mom are bloggers. And we talked about it and we're going in to competition. And not for all the time my mom has been a blogger because she wrote way more than me. Just this year she wrote 7. I've written 3. This is my 4th. And I have way more time because, well, I'm not a mom. But don't tell her this. I have to ask her and only get a few min to write a blog. So, she could just always say no blog, "no no no. not right now." But don't tell her please. Thanks. I know I could count on you. The competition ends at the end of the month. I'm sooo going to win.

Bye for now!

P.S. mom, I'm on your tail

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Annoying little brothers and sisters

Hey guys guess what this is my 3rd post today!

Wow, right? I love this. Why did my mom ever stop?

So, I'm going to talk about my brother and sister. They're so annoying. My brother is a BUTT FACE! And my sister is sometimes, not a lot. Kidding. She can be a butt face a lot.

My bro can be really mean, but he's got a good heart. I mean, probably. JK. When he's mad he will kick or hit or throw. He can be mean. I hope he doesn't do that in kindergarten.

And Claire doesn't  kick or throw. She just talks or lies. Or, well, what a ten year old would do to be a butt face. (Or sometimes even a four year old.) Poor mom and dad — they have to deal with them.

You probably think, "Wait, what about me?" Let me let you in on a secret ... I'm the good child.

But let's be real. I love them so much. I would never trade them for anything else in the world. Well, maybe ... JK.

I love you Claire and Henry.

Little brothers and sisters can be annoying, but we will always still love you guys.

Bye for now!

to: Claire and Henry
from: Grace, your best sister

All about me

Hey guys, it's Grace again.

OK, so you might be getting a little bored with me and say, "Hey, where's Katie?"


I mean this is my 2nd blog. I really like writing on this blog. Maybe i'll be like my mom and write my own blog?

I just wanted to tell you guys a little about me. Now some of you might already know me, but for those that don't, get ready.

I'm in 4th grade going to be in 5th. I do competition for dance at Bates. I do a lot of sports: softball, basketball, volleyball and I do swimming in the summer. I have a twin sister named Claire, a brother named Henry, and 2 parents. But you probably already know that. I have red hair blue eyes  and I'm ten.

And I have the best family in the world!

Thats all I have for today. Bye for now!

Mom, I love you

Hi, my name is Grace. I'm Katie/Mom's daughter and I just started to read my mom's blog and it is amazing.

And this is a surprise for her, so she knows how amazing she is. Mom, I hope you hear this: I love over the moon and back.

You are always there when I need you. You're funny and amazing and caring and most of all, you're an amazing mother I love.

You are what i need right now to help me get through this.

In all of this you always know when i'm fake sleeping when you come in to my room. You know what's best for me. I love you for ever I will never stop even when I yell at you that I hate you.

Love, your best daughter right? Love Grace

P.S. I'm your favorite, right? Right?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Not every Mother’s Day

Not every Mother’s Day starts with your kids bringing you breakfast in bed. 

Not every Mother’s Day includes a sweet picnic in the park. 

Not every Mother’s Day contains an idyllic bike ride through town. 

Not every Mother’s Day ends with couch cuddles, eating ice cream and watching a favorite movie. 

Some Mother’s Days just sorta stink. 

Sometimes there are stubborn refusals to wear closed-toed shoes on a hike. 

Sometimes there are tantrums about the proposal to walk in “those” woods instead of “our” woods. 

Sometimes there’s an explosion of frustration from a parent who's been at home with their kids 24-hours a day for nine weeks straight and can’t take another minute of the complaints. 

Sometimes all of those moments are so draining, that the mother desperately seeks the reset button. 

Why is that idyllic Mother’s Day so elusive sometimes? 

This afternoon, as I was sitting alone in my room trying to figure out how our day managed to get so off track, Grace arrived with a Mother’s Day card. It was decorated with pink, purple and yellow and said:

Happy Mother’s Day. I know today has not been the best, but if this day were the best, you wouldn’t be a mother!

I hope this letter will cheer you up. I spent 15 minutes on the cover, so you better like it.

I love you 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,001. 

*Pink stands for how much I love you
*Purple stands for how much we love K-State
*Yellow stands for how you brighten my day even if it’s bad. You are my sunshine. 

My heart immediately warmed. I smiled and thought “touché, little one.” 

Sometimes, despite all desires for something picture-perfect, life and kids do their own things and you do the best you can to make it through your day. Being a mom is one of the most brutal and beautiful roles and I am honestly so grateful for all the days — even the ones that sorta stink. Even the ones that really stink. 

Happy mother’s day to ALL the mothers out there: those that are no longer with us, those who have experienced the loss no mother should, those who have chosen to nurture something other than humans, those who are yearning for motherhood and those who spend your days arguing with your kids over which type of shoe to wear. 

No pictures were snapped today, so I’ll include some from our idyllic bike ride last weekend.