Friday, August 5, 2011


There’s something tapping. There’s a knock; each time I attempt to greet the hammering echo, I can only grasp emptiness. I am certain something vast is lingering, I just do not know what it is. It’s creating a mystery and curiosity that is flowing through me similar to a rushing river. I can’t find the beginning or the end, but I hear it, and it’s alive. 

I believe this river of mine has been flowing for years. The ebb and flow is similar to the ocean tide. It’s clean, then dirty, cloudy, then clear. It’s traveling over smooth and rough terrain shifting speeds and turning corners. It’s got a hunger to trek through mountains and meadows leaving heavy rocks behind yet pushing tiny pebbles forward. This river of mine is like an itch I can’t scratch. I know it exists I just can’t reach it. 

Quite the dramatic intro, I know, but it’s sincere. Of course, there is no river flowing through me, (besides the occasional times I’ve peed my pants), but there is something brewing and growing within my head, heart, and soul. There are things I want to do and places I want to see that move beyond where I am right now. The most frustrating part is that I’m the only one aware, and still feeling clueless.

Let’s dissect what I do know and search for truth and evidence. This authentic feeling directly relates to my profession and hobbies. Although I am still new, I’m learning to love to teach and get pleasure from feeling proud, needed, and productive. I enjoy the diverse community, I savor the warm tender feelings of watching a kid understand fractions for the first time, and I find the constant sound of little laughs irresistible. I envision myself teaching for quite some time. However, I see teacher and _______ defining me. I have this ache. This hammering echo. This rushing river. This desperate volcano. Whatever THIS is, is beginning to surface;  I’m vulnerably grasping to find the safe doorway in the midst of an earthquake. My adrenalin is pumping and I’m LOVING the rush.

Come and get me. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Dear great wives,

Wifeliness. Webster says it's not a word—he’s crazy. Allow me to explain. Being a schoolteacher allows me to spend hours upon hours in the summertime doing what ever I please.  Sounds great, right? It is, however, I’ve been overtaken but this thing called, hmmm a wife! Considering I’ve only been a wife for a short 18 days, I’m exhausted. For those of you that know me closely, I’ve been very blessed. Here’s why- I married a man whose very good-looking, athletic, loves God, and he’s witty, but I also married a man who cooks, cleans, does laundry, cleans my car, takes out the garbage, scrubs the toilets, sweeps the floors, irons, gets the mail, locks the door at night, helps with the groceries, and kisses me ever so softly on the nose when he’s finished. Yeah, I know, dream come true! It seems wonderful, (and it is), but it’s left me quizzical. What do I possibly contribute to this marriage?

So, as I was prepping for my wedding day, I was also trying to prepare for becoming a wife. Most normal women seem to transition so smoothly, but I’m anything but normal, so they say. Let’s face it, I knew being a wife (for me) would be a lot of burnt dinners, shrunken clothes, and unpaid bills. I also knew that Luke would sit back, relax, and admire my struggle while thinking it’s cute. I’m here to tell you, that is exactly what’s happening in the Gum’s residence.

Nonetheless, since we’ve been married, I’ve been a cooking, cleaning, and laundry-doing fanatic! I love being Luke’s wife because there is no pressure, but I’ve exhausted myself; it’s a hard job! I’ve looked at more cook books and cooking blogs than I ever have in my life. I sweep our floors every day and still manage to find crumbs. I’ve learned which clothes of his need to be hand washed, hang dried, and washed on a delicate cycle. I’ve made our bed everyday, hung pictures, killed ants, and even bought his favorite beer! When I hear the keys outside the door, I do a few jumping jacks (no joke) to seem alert and wide awake to greet him after a long day of work. Of course, a great wife can’t slave all day and be tired!

Great wives, how do you do it?!

Throughout all my tiresome trying to find my wifeliness, I’ve learned so much about unconditional love. The other day Luke and I were getting ready and he said, “Katie, can I tell you something”? My palms grew sweaty, and I got a lump in my throat because I was terrified that he was going to admit to not liking my dinners. My voice quivered and I said, “Yeah…” He walked closer towards me and softly worded, “I want to say that I love you, and you have been doing an amazing job around the house. Nothing has gone unnoticed.” In that moment, I let my guard down, hugged my husband, and said with a large smile, “Thanks.” He knew, and I knew, how much that token of kindness meant to me.

Marriage is awesome. I highly recommend it.

Blissfully exhausted,

A not-so-perfect new wife

soon to come. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The now.

I’m getting married. I’m getting married. Yes, I am getting MARRIED. We’re less than three weeks away and the emotions and feelings are effortless; they flow so freely. Happy, sad, overwhelmed, and overjoyed, they come frequent and quickly. Every married person I have spoken to has said to sit back, and ENJOY this time. Everything is moving so quickly around me, it’s hard to just marvel. However, this quiet Sunday afternoon has allowed me to just sit, think, pray, and cry.
            As my glasses fogged over a steamy cup of hazelnut coffee, I re-read my own words. My tippy toes pressed heavily on the stepladder as I reached for my dusty old journals. I flipped through the pages laughing, crying, admiring, and wondering. Some pages felt mysterious, some pages felt painful, and some pages felt foreign. My own writing served as a witness shouting evidence of who I was, am, and will be. The flashback was a still moment; just what I needed, right married people?
            I don’t think looking in the past is what most married people meant when they said to enjoy this time. But friends listen closely, THE PAST IS WHAT GOT ME HERE. The HERE is three weeks away from becoming a wife, marrying Luke, and starting new chapters. I just can’t, and won’t, only bring the current Katie into my marriage. The best part of marrying Luke is bringing ALL of Katie, the past and present. With greasy hair and un-brushed teeth (ewww) I’ve re-read my intricate testimony filled with so many surrendering prayers and wishes. Being still has allowed me to realize how many prayers have been answered over the years, and how many times I failed to recognize the answer.
            Now, I’m noticing and oh so thankful. Now, I’m reminded of the old, and thankful for the new. Isn’t that cool?! I mean life is always one big fat adventure. We’re constantly exploring, learning, and growing. Miraculously, it will never stop because we have a God who adores us and wants us to have the adventure. It’s just so awesome. I think it is wise to re-visit the good and enjoy the bad. It’s refreshing to see where I was, and gives me hope to where I am going. I’m a thrill-seeker. Bring it on, baby!
            So much of my writing, talks about my “future husband”. It’s so amazing to fill in all the blanks! The journey started long ago, and it’s one that will never end. Re-reading the beginning of my engagement story on my blog allowed me to once again recharge.  

As a little girl with a theatrical imagination, my love story began long ago in a far away land. I still treasure my innocent memories of embracing my stuffed monkey dreaming, hopelessly romanticizing, that he was my prince charming who longed to rescue me from the wicked castle (which was really my wooden loft that my dad built for me). My childish artistry of playing house and baby dolls came naturally; the deep seeded passion to love and be loved existed not only as a 6 year old in an enchanted land, but followed me to this very moment. The moment I said YES.”

         My next very moment, is the moment I say “I DO”. But, that moment is not here yet. Thank you married people, for the advice and encouragement. I am enjoying the now and soaking in every delicate detail. I’m enjoying the planning, crafting, song-choosing experience. I woke up with butterflies just thinking about walking down the aisle with my Dad. I’m still a little girl dreaming, except now I’m romanticizing hopefully. AMEN to that. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

French fries.

Ever cleaned out your car and found a rock hard McDonalds French fry underneath the drivers seat wedged in between the seat and the center console? You suddenly remember dropping it months ago greasy fingered thinking, “I really should try to find that”, but you don’t. Instead, you let it sit, harden, and collect fuzz. All along you know it’s there across every high way, dirt road, and parking lot your wheels have turned on. You’re conscience self is aware that when you finally take time to clean, you’ll capture that stinkin’ French fry that you abandoned months prior. Then alas when you finally clean the contamination from beneath the sunken driver’s seat, your life feels slightly clearer, purer, and free. All because of a fry.

Well folks, I’m taking time to clean, taking time to capture something that I’ve dropped long ago. Writing, blogging, thinking. So my analogy may have stunk like a skunk, and my writing ability may not have required greasy fingers and plummeting French fries, it did however, require time and cleaning that I couldn’t or didn’t offer myself. Now, it’s time. Time to clean. Time to search for my fries.

So here I sit. 29 days away from making the biggest decision of my life. Committing myself before God, family, and friends, to my very best friend, Luke. WOW! Getting married is possibly the most fun, exciting, nerve-wracking shin-dig ever to exist. Brides, how did you keep it together?!

I must be honest. Those who have read and followed my thoughts moons ago know that my writing requires emotion. It lacks serious zest if forced; which I why I should have been writing the last 7 months. I haven’t been able to find the energy! Why? Why have I allowed myself to be stretched so thin that my one escape is shoved deep inside my own Pandora’s box. I’ve been scared to open it. There you go, I said it. I’ve been scared.

I can almost hear the gasps as your eyes read the text. Let’s clarify, am I scared to marry Luke? No way, Jose. I’m eager. However, fear has once again revealed itself full force, and it’s time I expose it. It’s time I take the power away from Satan and surrender it to God.

Fear is so…commanding. In my existence, fear has been suffocating. It’s ironic that I have “fear not” delicately tattooed on my upper shoulder; it just goes to show that having fear is seems to be habitual for me, a constant struggle. Every time life becomes overwhelming, fear seems to knock at my door, and eventually it busts right in and robs me of all vivacity.

Lately I’m afraid of a lot of things. I’m afraid of failing as a good wife, I’m afraid of feeling beautiful on my wedding day, I’m afraid of Luke driving home after work in case he gets in an accident, I’m afraid of hurting friendships just by being busy, I’m afraid of forgetting to lock the car door or the front door, I’m afraid of messing up at work, and most of all, I’M AFRIAD OF BEING AFRAID. What a terrible way to live, right?!

After months of venting, exploding, and brutal honesty to my mother, she recently surprised me with the book “Battlefield of the Mind”, by Joyce Meyer. With in the first chapter the pages reveal the normalcy of negative thoughts and strongholds we are up against. Meyers uncovers Satan’s deceit and strategy to place on the battlefield and beat you down. She discusses our enemy’s slow and deliberate plan that causes a war; a war that no one wants to confess but rather shove deep away and pretend it’s not there.

Although I’ve just started the book, it was a revelation that woke me. I’m not crazy! I do indeed have a Lord that is crazy about me. The more I slow down, pray, and rely on him, the less French fries I have stuffed underneath my driver’s seat. Can I hear an AMEN?!

So friends, I urge you to open your own Pandora’s box. The book of Isaiah says, "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you” -Isaiah 35:4. The book of Joel says, "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things” -Joel 2:21. Why live another minute in fear? My white flag is the only thing flying freely on the battlefield. I have surrendered, and so should you. Now go, and find your French fries.

<3 Katie

ps: Stay tuned! Wedding goodies soon to come!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

pink and roll. SPORTS EDITION.

Current tunes: ESPN Radio The Scott Van Pelt Show

It's obvious I live with a man. Not just a man but a sports fanatic man. Sports, sports, did I mention sports? I've learned that there is a trade off; he makes my eggs, if he gets to listen to sports while standing over the skillet. It's all about the compromise, right?

When I think maybe he burnt the toast, really he's just upset that the Chiefs are down, or excited that the Rebels are still 8-0. It could be good, or bad, it's still this deep down Tim Allen sort of growl or belch or yelp. When I think he's listening, he's really just staring at me counting stats, and, I sound like Charlie Brown to his ears. He thinks he's cute when he mumbles, "Yes, Love, I understand." HA. I'm no fool, dude, I know your tactics all too well.

I mean, I like sports, I do! I like to look at Erin Andrews apparel, and I have to brag I do know what a pink and roll is, opps, I mean a pick and roll. And, I must confess, I do stand up from time to time, pound my chest, and yell, "Get big son!!!", when I see a nice tackle. (I learned that from Luke). I've learned to mock the sportscasters (especially Dick Vitale, "Awesome baby, with a capital A!"), laugh with Mike and Mike in the morning, or get rowdy watching PTI.

However, no joke, first thing in the morning, or the last thing before bed, it's SPORTS. The computer automatically opens ESPN when I start my safari. Our conversation Tuesday morning begins with the winning spread or the BSC bowl predictions. I'm jealous of Lebron James; not because of his mad talent, but my fiance has a major man crush. I mean really, you know there is a problem when Luke said we weren't allowed to get married in March because the reception could interfere with the March Madness mayhem.

When we lived in the states, I thought basketball, football, baseball, UFC, golf, soccer, and any olympic sport was enough to keep him occupied. NOW, my dear love has a new interest in hurling, rugby, gaelic football, and soccer, in addition to the American sports. HELP!

I really can't complain though; he doesn't get upset when I blush over Tom Brady or drool when David Beckham removes his jersey. We enjoy drinking beer and eating brats (especially cheesy spicy ones!). He makes me feel like I'm "one of the guys", even if I don't know what a two-minute drill is. We enjoy creating touch down dances and watching the ESPN Make a Wish Foundation videos. We buy jerseys for each other at Christmas, and get giddy when we know we are attending a sporting event. I have a confession: I pretend like I'm not interested, but sometimes I yell louder than he does on the couch, or as of late, while watching game cast.

Fun Fact: Luke just informed me that Lebron makes 35,ooo bills in 8 minutes of play. I will make that in one year of teaching. REALLY?!

Oh my, this was fun. As much as I make fun of his obsession, it's one of my favorite things about him. Luke, thanks for teaching me, being patient, and thinking I'm cute when I'm clueless. You're as cool as the other side of the pillow.

Ps: Chiefs haven't locked up their division yet; I guess we'll have to keep wearing our rally caps.

-ka ka ka KATIE.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

playing ketchup.

slide. slip. boom. crack. ouch.

That was the sound of me slipping on the ice. Twice. It's cold in Ireland and everything is frozen; my toes, and the sidewalk. I fell twice and nearly 100 other times. Luckily, Luke was holding me for one of the occurrences but the other, I was ALL alone on my way to work. It was one of those tumbles that you cannot recover, although, I still tried. Have you ever had one of those that you are so embarrassed that you try and immediately stand up and play it cool? Well, it's not so simple on ICE. The slip happened so fast, but the recovery felt eternal. Of course, it had to be when people were around! Why!? The poor mom walking her dog did a double take when she heard me shriek, "aahhhhhhhhhhhhh", as I was trying to prevent a bellyflop. Did I mention she was across the road and apparently still heard my boots shifting on the road like ice skates? She kindly eased her way the the other sidewalk and managed to shout across traffic, "Sweetie, are you okay?". I was as red as a ripe tomato, my ears grew hot, and I embarrassingly enough felt the lump in my throat and petite tears were starting to surface. I waved from the ground to signal I was okay. What I really wanted to say was, "Yes LADY, I'm fine! Now keep walking like you never saw it!" And, I wanted to give her a different hand gesture, but I refrained. It wasn't her fault, but at that moment, she annoyed me. Sorry nice lady...

Anyway, I stood up, and gathered my composure. I attempted to neglect the throb in my tailbone, the sharp pain in my shoulder, and most of all, the pure embarrassment that made me hot. Then I was off to teach pimply teenagers.


Thanksgiving: Ireland Style

Thanksgiving was eventful and abundant. We were delighted to share this special day with Luke's parents who so generously flew out here to visit, and Amy (the other student teacher). The entire time Luke's parents were here felt like a vacation for us, too! I wonder how many times I said thank you? A LOT.

While Luke's parents were here we did so much chatting, guinness gulping, and card playing. It was 10 perfect days; adventurous, relaxing, and most of all, loving. Hugging them this time was different; it was permanent and parental. THANKS MARK AND ROXY FOR LOVING ME.
(and Luke, too)

I hope everyone had a perky day of thanks, as well.


Transitions: hmmmph.

Okay, here's the gist. We've been characters in a fairy tale and the fable is almost coming to an end. Except, this is no fiction. It's been pure reality; a real dream come true. I wish I could say I don't want to wake up, but I'm already awake, alive, and alert, to my surroundings; it's simple, I don't want it to end. The expiration date it approaching and I'm flooded with internal commotion. hmmmph.

I'll do my best to help you understand but, I'm having difficulty even verbalizing it. I've got one foot in and one foot out. I'm living in the past, and in the future. I'm happy and sad. I'm anxious and calm. I'm just one big fat oxymoron. Hmmmph.

We left Las Vegas August 5th. December 21st we arrive again. We leave Galway, Ireland December 12th. One week, and one day. I say goodbye to my students and staff on the 10th. I graduate college on the 14th. Then we're off to London and Berlin. Then we get married July 15, 2011. Jobs, accommodation, birthdays, weddings, babies, and goodbyes. I'm struggling to digest the commotion. Hmmmph.

This classic short story has been a fantasy; it's created a melodramatic cliffhanger for the rest of our adventures to come.

Stick around for the next 80 years to read the whole saga!


A quick visual recap of our travels thus far.

One last week. One London Trip. One Berlin trip.
More to come.


wrap it up.

I had full intentions of writing much much more but I want to keep some discreet. Today, after eating our usual curry at the market, Luke went to work. I picked up some goodies for our last week at the store, and set sail for home. The day was beautiful: brisk, clear, and peaceful. I took the oceanside walk and turned up my IPOD. I didn't want to choose who to listen to, so I let shuffle decide for me. As I was walking, I was so happy and so sad. It goes back to my transition post (you know, the whole oxymoron thing). I was feeling; feeling all sorts of things. But for the most part, I was feeling happy. I approached "the rock", the spot Luke proposed at. It's a beautiful spot and seemed so fitting to my mood to go sit on the bench. So, groceries in hand, I sat on the bench, let shuffle make my decisions for me,
and I wept.

My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude and Jesus knew it.
It was my savior and me, and so much more.


my treasure!

Ok. We weren't going to buy my ring in Ireland because the exchange rate sucks booty. However, I stumbled upon this beauty unexpectantely at a darling vintage store and I just knew I couldn't leave with out it. I sadly parted with my temporary ring but excitedly bonded with my new vintage treasure. Thank you thank you love!

I took these on the bench today.


peace and love from the Galway Bay,