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I Feel Like A Fraud

I Feel Like A Fraud

I feel like a fraud, and I hate admitting that – out loud, and online.  A fraud – sounds sooo awful, but I really do feel like a fraud – and a fraud not only in mommy hood, but with my friends, and at church, and with my spouse and with my family.   I’ve really been struggling this summer with a lot of my inner emotions – not sure what’s up with the summer, but I’ve spentOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a lot of time deep thinking (don’t laugh, a lot of people will assume all I do giggle and smile and that I couldn’t possibly ever have a bad day, or think a deep thought…WRONG….it’s those people that I guess I can say I have faked out the most).

While at church this past weekend our awesome pastor was talking about hope.  It struck me that hope it exactly what I’m missing right now.  Big time.  In my limited world view, at this time in my life, I feel like hope is a total pipe dream – and would describe my heart at feeling completely hopeless – but part of the problem is that I’m not even sure why.  Call it mid-life crisis, or boredom, or being 35, I’m not sure, but hope is totally not there.

My pastor described hope this way: hope is a confident expectation – not just wishful thinking.  Have you ever actually thought about this though?  There are some things in life right now that I’m wishfully hoping will get better, like, I wish I could lose another 15lbs, and I wish I could go on a vacation, and I wish my business would grow faster.  Deep down though, those things really resonate with me as well and when they don’t come true, somewhere in the back of my brain I chalk them up as failures.  Then there is a whole other side of hope that runs so much deeper – all the way back to my childhood.  I grew up with parents that were amazing and they told me constantly just how amazing I was.  I grew up hearing on a very frequent basis that I was “special” and that God had very “special” plans for my life someday.  Now I feel like I’m still waiting for that something “special” to happen, and every day that goes by and I’ve not accomplished that something “special” I feel like my hope dwindles and my failure rate increases.  Quite honestly, it’s a terrible place to be living.

Have you ever watched yourself from the other side of the room?  I feel like I do this all the time…like I’m watching myself have an experience that I’m not really part of.  Almost like I’m on autopilot and my body is off doing something that I’ve not told it to do…I’m going through all the motions of my daily life as a mom and there are moments during the day when I stop myself and I wonder, why am I doing that?  I heard a great quote, “Try less and give more to God.”  How hard is that to really do though?  It’s like I feel so many things in life are no-brainers, total common sense, but why are they so hard to actually do?  Partly because I’m a total control freak.  I’m living that right now, and again it’s one more thing that I tend to chalk up to my failures.

I feel like I’m buried in just being.  I have no idea anymore what to even hope for.  But, for a bunch of you out there, I know you are going to say, “But, Katrina, aren’t you a believer in Christ? He should be your hope.”  You are right.  I’m absolutely a Christ believer, but the reality of how I feel right now is that I’m lost and feeling totally hopeless.

Do any of you listen to Thousand Foot Krutch?  Seriously one of my favorite bands and I love the message of one specific song called, “Lift It.”  I was driving to Target yesterday and this song was on – the lyric says:

In my temptation to walk away
And through the endless troubled days
There’s a hundred million ways
For me to release Your praise
And by and by, through the tears
And things You’ve taught me through the years
My whole life was designed by You
I’ll never know anyone half as true

The line that really resonated with me was “My whole life was designed by You” – even this un-special life that I feel like I’m living right now.  He’s designed this turmoil that I feel by just being me, He’s designed my days where I’m a referee and taxi driver all day long, He’s designed my body and how it looks and knows how incredibly frustrated it is when parts stay one size and don’t function like they should, and He’s designed my business and only He knows when it will succeed.  You know what?  I’m so glad that I’m not God and I don’t have to know the outcome or the lessons that lie in store for me.  Goodness can you imagine the stress of that job?

The key to hope is perspective.  I was so relieved to know that hope is not something that I can create for myself – it’s all from Christ.  Just take a moment to read Psalm 62:6-8.

“God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.  How long will you gang up on me? How long will you run with the bullies? There’s nothing to you, any of you— rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters, Anthills plotting to bring down mountains, far gone in make-believe. You talk a good line, but every “blessing” breathes a curse.  God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.  My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” – The Message

Christ is where you will find your hope, He’s a safe place to be and for me that is all I need to hear.  If I’m in Christ, then I’m exactly where I need to be and hope will be found, even if it takes me a hard to find it. If your hope lost, ask Him for it, especially if you can’t see it on your own.


Photo credit to : Pol Sifter
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July 17, 20150 commentsRead More
How To Throw 2 Birthday Parties For Only $65

How To Throw 2 Birthday Parties For Only $65

HowToThrow2BdayPartiesThis post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

True story – two weeks ago, I threw two birthday parties for less than $65 total.  Not kidding!  My two older kids both have birthdays in June, only weeks apart.  For some silly reason, this year I decided to have both of their parties on the same day!  Yes, I’m crazy, and I know what you are thinking – oh Katrina, that’s not a big deal – I’m sure you just had a joint party at a park with both sets of their friends and you just served cake and let the kids all play…right?  Um, no…that’s not what I did, I’m not that type of mom.  I’m the super crazy type of mom that loves to throw at-home parties that are creative, fun, active, and have a unique theme!  Cue the theme music…yep, I’m certified crazy!  :)   But, the cool thing about their parties this year was that I did them both, on the same day, hours apart for less than $65 total and I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it!

20150606_142434My oldest son, Coen, turns 9 on June 25th.  We started planning his birthday party at the end of his party last year (yep, more crazy) and the theme he chose this year was Minute-To-Win-It.  Have you ever seen this game show?  If you haven’t you should watch it sometime – it’s a great show where contestants have 1 minute to complete silly tasks for money.  We had debated doing this theme the year before, but changed our minds at the last minute.  After attending a Minute-To-Win-It party, Coen was determined to do the same thing for his party this year.

My daughter, Makenzie, turned 6 on June 10th.  We started planning her party Mak_frontDoortheme last November when she quit her gymnastics class and decided she was a cheerleader instead.  :)  She fell in love with cheerleading and so her theme this year was..can you guess? Yep, cheerleading!  Picking a theme early is key, that way you can start planning, and picking up items that are on sale when you are out and about already.  And in fact, the colors for their parties was picked based off the fact that in December I just so happened to be at the Dollar Store buying stuff for Christmas and I came across cheerleader pom poms that were red, blue, and silver.  I bought 11 sets of pom poms and her party theme was decided!

When we picked Makenzie’s color scheme I honestly didn’t realize that Minute-To-Win-It’s logo was red, blue, and silver – I got super lucky!  The colors just worked out to be the same!

So here is how I planned, decorated, and threw their parties for under $50 total.  Let’s start with Makenzie’s Cheerleading party…

Cheerleading Party

Invitations: Her invitations were megaphones that we cut out and tied a ribbon around.  We M_inviteadded some glitter to the end and were good to go!  They were adorable, we made them ourselves and spent an afternoon decorating them.  I just googled megaphone clipart – picked one I liked and printed it out to fit inside the cute silver envelopes I had at home.  To make these, we used stuff we had at home – and were only making 12 invites, so it didn’t take very long, and was FREE.  We tend to use a lot of red stuff for our home parties so we always have a lot of red paper, red ribbon, etc.

Don’t Feel Like Making Your Own Invitations?  I will!

If you love the idea of these Megaphone invites and don’t want to make them yourself, I will!  I will customize the invite with your child’s name, age and party location.  I’ll assemble and send them with matching envelopes ready for you to hand out.  Price is $3/per invite fully assembled + shipping/handling of $8.95.  I need about a week to make and get them to you, so try to plan ahead!  ORDER NOW!

Decorations:  Going along with our blue, red, and silver color scheme, I made a very simple and cute birthday banner that I found on Pintrest here from Chicfetti Parties.  This was really adorable!  I picked red 20150605_193834and blue for the colors, and after I printed and cut it out, I reinforced it by mounting it to blue poster board (that I actually found at the grocery store in the clearance section in March when I was doing my regular grocery shopping for the week – total score since they had a ton of them for $0.19 each).  I then punched holes in the top corners and laced a red ribbon through it that I picked up at the Dollar Store.  This was really cute!  The great t20150605_222515hing about it is that I can save it for another year as well!

I also used the rest of the poster board that I found in clearance to make posters for the decorations.  I simply printed out cheerleading clip art and sayings like “Go Team!”, “Happy Birthday Makenzie”, “Go, Fight, Win!”, etc. and glued them to the poster board.  I made several signs to hang around the house, as well as the front door for when guests arrived.  I made different sizes by cutting the poster board in half and even in fourths.  I also made one extra special sign that said “Happy Birthday Makenzie” that I p20150605_222625lanned to have the girls use in their group photo!  Besides the poster board, I didn’t have to buy anything else to make these decorations and they came out super cute!

I also used red and blue streamers that we found at a garage sale the day before the party for $.05, a blue table cloth that I got at the Dollar Store, 9 helium balloons (from the Dollar Store) and some of the pom poms.

Food and Supplies:  We served some simple snack foods of popcorn and pretzels and I made a big batch of strawberry water for my big drink dispenser.  I used only 3 sliced strawberries that I had purchased with my groceries for the week (I didn’t include these in my cost breakdown because I purchased them for my weekly groceries).  Great way to serve a lot of drinks and keeping the cost to a minimum.  All my paper products were leftovers from previous parties – again FREE!

Activities: I’ve learned over the years that the best way to do a party is to keep your guests busy from the second they walk in the door – I like to plan every minute of my party and keep them kind of short – usually only 90 minutes.  When guests arrived they were given their special set of pom poms, which had their name printed on the handles and these were their ‘thank you-take home gift’ as well.  Then we had them immediately  get their faces painted by a friend of mine.  She had very simple choices (megaphone, heart with the word ‘Cheer’ in it, star, etc) and of course these all included glitter!  I even got my face painted!

After they all got their faces painted we had them color and decorate their own megaphones.  I made my own flat megaphone template and traced them on to pieces of the poster board we found in clearance.  I was able to get 2 megaphones per poster board.   The girls were able to color and decorate their own megaphone and then we stapled them together to form a megaphone.  These came out great and were super cute!  They got to use them when they learned their cheer!

Next, we made hair ties out of the ribbon I found at the Dollar Store.  I picked up 3 20150605_222700different colors and for the final color I used some ribbon that came with the treat bags for my son’s party that we didn’t plan to use for his party. Once they all had their hair ties finished, we put their hair in ponytails, applied some hair and body glitter that I already had to get them all pretty and ready to learn their cheer!  Some of the girls said the glitter was their favorite part!  I love glitter – I like to think I sweat glitter…but that’s another story!
Next, we took a group photo with one of the poster board signs I made and then we headed outside to teach the girls a cheer!  My friend’s daughter, who was a little bit older than all the other girls, very sweetly offered to create a cheer and teach it to the girls.  It was adorable!  She created a “birthday cheer” complete with arm motions and kicks and included the use of their pom poms and megaphones! cake She did such a great job and kept it simple and easy!  The girls all did a great job and it was very special to Makenzie!

After they worked up an appetite, we opened presents and ate cake!  Makenzie’s cake was awesome!  Was a Pinterest fail, but I think it came out even better than the original idea!  Every year it’s tradition for my momK_cake to make cakes for my kids, and she always does an amazing job.  This year we made white chocolate dipped sugar cones to look like megaphones along with cupcakes topped with pom poms.
These came out great and were really yummy!  The megaphones were supposed to be sideways on top of a cupcake, but after we dipped the cones in chocolate they were just way to heavy that they smooshed the cupcakes!  So, we had to serve them on the side along with the cupcake and pom poms.  They were a big hit and the cones were super yummy! Plus girls always love getting something with their name on it!

Her party was a huge success and I’m so glad we picked this theme!

Price Breakdown – Cheerleading Party: 

Here is a list and price breakdown of things we used for her party.  I realize not everyone has access to a Dollar Store, so I’ve also included links to Amazon for similar items that you could order and have shipped right to your door.

  • 12 red and blue posterboard sheets (found in clearance) - $2.28 – or order now online now
  • Stickers (Dollar Store) - $2 – or order now online now
  • 3 spools of red and blue ribbon (Dollar Store) – $3.00 – or order now online now
  • 9 helium balloons (Dollar Store) - $9 – or order now online now
  • Blue tablecloth (Dollar Store) - $1 – or order now online now
  • Sugar cones – $1.49 – or order now online now
  • Cake mix – $1 – or order now online now
  • Frosting – $2 0 or order now online now
  • Chocolate candy melts – $8 – or order now online now
  • 11 Pom poms sets (Dollar Store) – or order now online now
  • Popcorn – $3 – or order now online now
  • Pretzels – $2 – or order now online now
  • Total $45.77

Minute-To-Win-It PartyC_invite

Invitations: His invitations were super simple as well, we just googled the Minute-To-Win-It logo and made up a simple invitation that I printed out on my own printer.  We only needed to make about 12, so it was quick.  I mounted them to postcards that I already had and we handed them out at school.

Decorations:  The cool part about the decorations is that I just used all th20150606_135926e same stuff from Makenzie’s party just hours earlier.  All the poster board signs that we used for Makenzie’s party we just flipped over and had made clip art signs for Coen’s party.  I used the Minute-To-Win-It logo for all the signs that had sayings like:  “Your Time Begins Now!”, “60 Seconds”, “Happy Birthday Coen!”  I made a giant scoreboard on one of the extra poster boards and hung it so we could keep score of how the kids did coen_decorationswith each activity.  I did have prizes for the winner and the loser! We also reused the birthday banner, the balloons, and streamers.  Since the party was just a couple hours after Makenzie’s all we really did was run the vacuum, and flip over the signs.  Was EASY!

Activities: Now this was the fun part!  I had a blast planning this party and all my ideas came from watching the actual show or Pinterest.  We played so many fun games and with my 90 minute time line, we actually scrapped the last game, but we kept all the kids busy and occupied from beginning to end!  Some of the games we did as a whole group, some we did head to head and some we did individually.  I had a friend keep track of the time and another friend was keeping track of scores on the giant scoreboard.andrew_noodle

  • Noodling Around – with your hands behind your back you had to get 5 penne pasta noodles onto a long spaghetti pasta noodle in one minute.  This game was a lot harder than I thought it would be and out of 11 kids, only 1 was able to do it.  The pasta I had in my pantry – another FREE game!  We did this game as a big group because I had plenty of pasta!


  • Baby Rattle – Take empty 2 liter soda bottles and fill one with marbles (about 40), 20150606_135642then you tape another empty bottle on top.  The object is to shake all the marbles from one bottle to the other.  It’s more fun to have a set of bottles for each person so they can shake in both hands, but I didn’t want to assemble that many! I just made 2 sets and that worked out.  I found the 2 liter bottles on a FREE Facebook group we have in my local area and I also got some of the marbles from the same free site.  I purchased some marbles, because I just didn’t have enough, but it was awesome to find some free stuff.  This game was fairly easy and everyone was successful, was also VERY LOUD! :)


  • A Bit Dicey – Object of the game was to stick a craft stick in your mouth and stack 5Coen_dicey dice on top of each other on the end of the craft stick and hold for 3 seconds.   I had the kids go head to head for this game because I only had 10 dice.  This one was hard, but quite a few kids were successful!  I actually picked up a box of 10 dice at garage sale for $0.25 and I already had the craft sticks.  I tried to find the larger craft sticks to make this a bit easier, but never was able to find them, so I went with the small craft sticks I already had on hand.


  • Cup Stack-O – Object of this game is to stack 11 cups of one color on top of the others until you have stacked them all one by one on top of the other until the 12th cup of a different color20150606_145414 reaches the top again.  Sounds a bit complicated, but was a good game of skill to put kids head to head.  All kids passed this game, but a few were super close to 60 seconds!  A good game to keep the scores up for everyone.  I already had all these cups from other parties that I’d had in the past.  We did this game head to head – but you could do more if you had more cups!


  • Sticky Situation – This was hands down the favorite game of the day!  With this 20150606_151552game you take a slice of bread slathered in peanut butter and place it on a small table.  Then you take a bowl of ping pong balls (that I found at the Dollar Store) and place them in a bowl on another table about 5 feet apart.  Object is to bounce a ping pong ball on the first table and get it to bounce from the first table to the second and stick to the peanut butter.  This was really tricky, but a handful of kids were able to get it!  Such a fun game!  We did this as an individual game – they all had a great time collecting the ping pong balls that missed the peanut butter.


  • Face The Cookie – This game made us all giggle!  Object of the game was to take a 20150606_145035cookie and place it on your forehead and with your hands tied behind your back you have to wiggle and jiggle your face just enough to get the cookie to slide down your face into your mouth.  Was hard, but fun to watch – it really took some serious concentration and body wiggle!   I picked up the cookies for $1.29 at the grocery store.  We did this game as big group.


  • Tortilla Flip – This was a hilarious game!  Object of this game was to put a tortilla onCoen_tortillaFlip the end of diving flipper and to flip the tortilla into a pan on top of your head!  I found the diving flippers at the Salvation Army for $3.   Then we made the other part by taking an old baseball hat that my son had and we hot glued a plastic dish on top of it that would collect the tortilla.  This game was a bit hard as well, but a bunch of the kids were successful.  I already had the tortillas on hand, and we only really used about 4 for the whole group.  The neighbors got a kick out of watching the kids do this game since we took them out front – they sure can flip those tortillas pretty high, so watch out! W20150606_140357e did this an individual game because I only had one 1 hat to catch the tortillas in.

When the games were all done, we crowned a winner and handed out a prize to both the winner and the loser!  Next, we opened gifts and then my son requested ice cream sundaes instead of cake for his birthday!  Was super easy – and the kids got to load up on more sugar!  I bought one big tub of vanilla ice cream and then used chocolate sauce and caramel sauce that I already had, along with a bunch of leftover Easter candy that I had saved.  Worked out great and my son loved it! We also served the rest of the popcorn and pretzels we bought for my daughter’s party.  Overall it was a wonderful, LONG day, but was super successful and we had so much fun!


Price Breakdown – Minute-To-Win-It Party: 

  • Candy prizes – $1.79
  • Ping Pong Balls (Dollar Store) – $3
  • Marbles (Dollar Store) – $2
  • Cookies – $1.29
  • Ice Cream – $5
  • Caramel Sauce – $1.79
  • Flippers – $3 (Salvation Army)
  • Dice – $0.25 (garage sale)
  • Total $18.12

Total Price for both parties and a ton of good fun = $63.89


  • Start planning early - I usually start planning my ideas 6 months in advance
  • Pick a unique theme, instead of a branded theme – I like to pick unique themes like cooking, art, messy, firetrucks, tea, etc – this tends to make your decorations cheaper since you are not having to buy branded items
  • I use simple, solid colors to decorate that I can pick up at the Dollar Store
  • Make as much of your supplies and decorations as you can
  • Use what you have around the house to keep costs down
  • Reuse as much as you can
  • Use coupons to to purchase supplies that you need
  • Ask your friends for help
  • Pay attention to sales flyers and buy supplies that you need when it goes on sale – even if it’s months in advance
  • Find a local “FREE” site on Facebook in your area and ask for things that you need for your party – you never know what someone has around their house that they may want to give away – for FREE
  • Share decorations  - even with a friend
  • Pinterest is your friend!  You can follow my Pinterest Page here
  • Follow my Facebook page, I’m always posting fun tips!

This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.







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June 18, 20150 commentsRead More
How Being a Mom Can Change the World!

How Being a Mom Can Change the World!

BeingAMomCanChangeWorldI was at my Community Bible Study group yesterday and was hit by amazing thought as I was listening to the lecture –  God uses every type of mom to do amazing things – you may not be a strong woman (although I’m sure you are stronger than you think you are), but God uses you regardless of how strong you or how strong you think you are.  I actually do consider myself to be a pretty strong woman – do you?  I like to think that I can handle most things, both physically, and emotionally – but ya know what?  I was struck by the fact that it’s not just me handling those things – God is right there along with me, carrying me through stuff that I would tend to think I’m doing all on my own.  I know now that I don’t want to be just a strong woman, but instead a weak woman in the hands of a strong God!

This carries over into everyday life.  Are you ever just fed up?  Tired?  Annoyed at your kids for just being kids?  Tired of the everyday chores of cooking, cleaning, making lunches, giving baths, changing countless diapers and then knowing that you have to do it all over again tomorrow?  I know I get stuck in that rut a lot – everyday seems to blend with the next and my eyes are so heavy I can barely remember what time to pick my kids up from school (and yes, you would think after 4 years of taking kids to school everyday that I would finally have the times down to a science, but not this mom – blame it on having 3 kids with totally different schedules)!

I’ve been studying Romans lately, and I’ve learned so much about Paul.  He lived every moment of everyday as an act of worship – down to the smallest details.  It’s a great way to live life – every moment of your “mom” day can be an act of worship to God and it all comes down to your attitude and perception.  You can worship God in the way you treat your kids, the way you talk to your kids (especially when they are driving you crazy), by not only teaching a Sunday School class at your local church – but how you teach that class, by how you react to everyday situations – for example: when your child spills a cup of milk or if they drop a glass and it breaks.  All of these situations and examples are acts of worship and just changing your perspective on these can totally change your attitude and the attitude of your children.  See what I mean – you, MOM, can change the world!

My prayer today is to laugh.  My life verse is Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can LAUGH at the days to come!”  I love this verse for so many reasons, but mostly because when I am in a stressful situation I have the hardest time controlling my attitude.  A perfect example is right after we get home from school in the afternoons.  All 3 of my kids are coming at me at the same time for different reasons – Rylyn wants a snack and will ask for it at least 10 times in the next minute, Makenzie wants to color and tell me all about her day at school (even though I picked her up from half day kindergarten a couple hours earlier) and then Coen will drop his backpack and shoes in the middle of the kitchen floor and start asking for a snack while he is also trying to tell me all about his day and wanting me to sign his planner.  It’s a chaotic mess!  Everyday it stresses me out – and don’t forget, during this entire 2 minutes or so Rylyn is still asking over and over and over for snack and escalating in noise level.  Imagine trying to make a snack, field all those questions while walking over shoes and backpacks?  It may not bother all of you, but for me, that TOTALLY stresses me out, and the really silly part is that once the few minutes pass and we get stuff put away and snacks made, then all is fine and dandy.  But, if I let my attitude get the best of me, there is yelling and more stress and it all goes bad.  I get like a split second decision to decide on how the rest of our afternoon will go.  Will I worship God and be patient and kind and not say something that will hurt my kids?  Or will I explode? It’s our choice.  Worship or not?  

Hard choice huh?  I don’t want it to be a hard choice anymore.  Pray, ask God for help!  He will.  I promise!





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May 8, 20150 commentsRead More
Health Quest – Washing, Washing, Washing

Health Quest – Washing, Washing, Washing

washed_grapes_blurred_bgIt’s week 3!  Week 3!  Yes!  The Whole30 book was right, week 1 was torture, week 2 was a little better, and now on to week 3, I’m honestly feeling GREAT!  I have my moments, when it’s 11pm and I’m still up working and totally craving a brownie and some ice cream, that I wish this new way of eating wasn’t working out for us – so I, along with the hubs, could go and indulge.  But, in those moments I’m reminded that I’m feeling so much better, really.  I feel lighter (which I know I am – I have not lettuceweighed myself because the book makes you swear not to during your 30 days), but, my clothes are fitting looser, and my stomach is noticeably smaller (but to be honest, the only person who has noticed my smaller size is my husband – which in a way is a bummer – oh well).  When I look in the mirror, my face looks thinner, which is probably my favorite thing so far!

One of the other great things that I’ve noticed personally is that I just feel better – I don’t have that awful feeling like you need to take a nap after you eat a meal because you just feel so full and can feel the sugar racing through your body.  I don’t have any caffeine and sugar crashes first thing in the morning that I used to get from my coffee – although I will admit I still really miss my morning coffee (still unsure if I will give it up for good).  I have replaced my morning coffee with an awesome, all natural, sugar free energy drink called AXIO – I love it actually  and I NEVER have sugar crashes from it!  Overall, I just feel so much better!  Today I went for a 3 mile run and I did notice I’m running better – I just feel Ry_sink_washfruitstronger – sweet!  Still working on my feet and their issues, but overall, I’m just feeling a lot more alive!

My kids are also doing much better – as I told you before, my youngest son, Rylyn, has been the hardest to deal with.  His whining over food has been never-ending, but this week has been ok.  He just eats what he’s given which is always ton of veggies and fruit and now eats any type of meat I prepare.  This is the same child that just 3 weeks ago would ONLY eat frozen Mickey Mouse or dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.  :)  So he’s made a huge change – now he happily eats grilled, baked, any type of chicken and every other meat I prepare!  It’s wonderful!  We have had many picnics with friends and most of them are amazed at what he is eating – they too have known how picky he has been in the past!  It’s been nice to see the change in him!

We spent a good portion of Sunday morning doing our new Sunday routine – washing dirtysinkvegetables and fruit.  I try to make it an all-family affair – I can almost always count my 5yr old daughter in, she loves to cook and is a great sous chef!  The boys on the other hand don’t always like to help out.  Rylyn, my 3yr old was happy to pitch in once he saw all the dirt in the sink that came off the spinach and once he realized he got to gently throw grapes and strawberries into the water!  We washed and prepped so much stuff that I almost lost count!  But it was fun and it hopefully will tide us over through the week!  Now that’s it’s Thursday, we are starting to run low on some stuff, but we are making it!

I’ve also been doing a lot of other research lately on not only my body and how food can hurt and heal it, but also I’ve been Coen_cabbagedigging into a new medical discovery called Nrf2.  Have you ever heard of it?  I’ve found this amazing website that gives a lot more information about Nrf2 and the science behind it – if you want to read up more on it go to: – I’m loving everything that
I’m learning! It’s actually quite mind-blowing! I hope to share more about this in my next few blog posts – as it’s incredible!

Well, I need to get going on my dinner preparation – we are cooking dinner for the neighbors who are having some health issues – so time to get at it! Hugs to all!

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April 23, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #6 – Teach Your Kids

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #6 – Teach Your Kids

CT6_TeachYourKidsTeach Your Kids How to Coupon Too! Great behaviors are taught and what better thing to pass along to your children but a love for saving money!  I’m a mom of three kids so I know how hard it is to take them to the grocery store, but I try to make it fun for them! 

I give mine their own list, I will bring along a kid-sized shopping cart, and then I will let them help me scan the items at checkout!  Yes, I am a little crazy, but I’ve found that they really enjoy helping me shop when I can give them a job to do!  Plus it’s teaching them about saving!  I dare you try, and let me know how it goes (FREE cookies from the bakery always help too)!

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April 14, 20150 commentsRead More
Total Mom Failure

Total Mom Failure

It was one of “those” days. Seriously, it was bad.  I absolutely failed at just about every single thing that makes me a “mom” today. Here’s how it all began…It all started over the weekend…the kids were still trying to bounce back from their 4th round of illnesses since Christmas and the onstant coughing is all you hear in our house – ALL NIGHT LONG…it’s never-ending and I’m serious, it ryly_shoppingcartgoes on all night long.  But, I digress…

Somehow, I’ve managed to stay semi-healthy since Christmas and have only gotten really sick with the stomach flu for a week, along with my youngest (and that was not fun).   We have had pink eye, conjunctivitis, stomach flu, coughs, colds, for months now and it very slowly makes the rounds causing the “ick”to  stretch on for weeks….by this past weekend I had absolutely had E-N-O-U-G-H of it.  I needed a mommy break from everything – the house, the cold weather, the coughs and especially from the kids.

The weekend just didn’t go like we had planned, kids were still coughing and I started to notice on Sunday night that my throat was starting to ache a bit, but it was Day Light Savings and therefore we had lost an extra hour or sleep…I kept hoping I wasn’t getting sick, but by Monday, I was really dragging.  By the time I woke up that morning, I had a very serious sinus headache… the cold was coming on…and I was so tired.

Besides feeling crummy, Monday morning started out ok…hubby and I got up early, did our T25 workout workout, made my coffee, did my daily Bible Study and had breakfast hot and ready for all the kids when they got up at 7am. But, the headache persisted.  I got kids to school without incident – phew!

My youngest and I then headed to a friend’s house for a playdate and really enjoyed our time. The day really started to take a turn for the worse after lunch.  I was really starting to feel crummy and knew I needed to take a little nap when the other two were napping.  Napping is such a relative term in my house these days.  My 5 year old daughter always asks to watch a movie instead of taking a nap and my 3 year old usually sits in his room opening and closing the door over and over so you can hear the squeak it makes.   All of this is fine and dandy when I’m not trying to take a little nap myself, but that squeak sure makes it hard to actually fall asleep. Today, I somehow managed to close my eyes for probably a whole 20mins, but did my kids sleep?  Nope.   Did that mean my afternoon felt like an eternity?  Yep.

Since sleeping didn’t happen I got them both up and they played.  That was nice actuall,y and I headed to my office to get in a hour or so of work before having to go pick up my son from school.  I was pretty proud of how much work I accomplished in an hour and then we all made a mad dash, and I literally mean dash, to get my older son.  My youngest likes to push his little yellow shopping cart in a full sprint the half mile to school!  It’s a sight to see – me and my daughter chasing him all the way down the road yelling the whole way to slow down, but his cart wheels are sooo loud, he can’t even hear us. Why I put myself through that torture day after day I have no idea.

So let’s continue on.  We finally get to school in our usual record time and as soon as I got there, a good friend of mine politely reminds me that my oldest has Science Club after school and I really don’t need to pick him up for another hour.  Oh A-W-E-S-O-M-E.  And yes, I felt like the laughing stock of all the other moms standing there.  Was lovely.  Yep, I felt like a total idiot.  Not only was I annoyed that I looked like a total idiot, but annoyed that I could have stayed home and got a little bit more work done, and even more annoyed that I forgot something so silly.  Embarrassing to say the least and somewhat humbling for sure.

I realized then that I had left my phone right next to my computer and was pretty sure it was going off at home reminding me of Science Club.  Since it was finally nice out, we decided to go to the all3_shoppingcartpark.  On the way there, since is March, and there is a ton of melting snow, my youngest goes running through every mud puddle he can find and is soaked with wet mud in minutes.  He’s crying because he’s cold, but still insists on going to the park.  As soon as we get there he manages to fall off the side of the slide and takes a total face plant in soaking wet bark.  It goes up his nose and in his mouth and he looks like a minion trying to scrape that gross jelly off his tongue (hours later he still had a nice strawberry on his face from his fall).

We headed home soon there after and what does he do again?  Falls and totally loses his shopping cart into the street because he was running like his life depended on it…I’m telling you, he never learns.  Anyways, we made it home in one piece and we still had to go get my son from Science Club.  Because I didn’t have my phone, I really had no idea what time it was and we were already running late.  Needless to say, by the time I packed up the kids and got them in the car along with all the library books (we had planned to hit up the library after school so my oldest could pick out the books he wanted and because a bunch of the books we had were due), we were only a few minutes late, but late enough that my oldest son was crying because he thought I forgot him.  Oh awesome, good job mom.  Oh and did I mention that today is my 13th wedding anniversary and I totally forgot to get my husband anything – even a card.  Yep. Good job – again.

It was just one of those days when I felt like an epic failure on every front, as a mom, as a wife, as a business owner, etc.  And I still feel like I’m getting sick.  Thankfully it’s also one of those days when I’m reminded that the Lord is so much bigger than everything – me, all my problems, and all my failures.  Thank goodness.

Psalm 40:5 came to mind since we had been studying it in my weekly Bible Study I attend:

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.  None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”

I’m sure you are wondering why I’m oogling about how amazing the Lord is when I’ve had such a rotten day?  Well, it’s nice to know that someone has it all figured out and that He holds me in His hands and even though I feel like I failed all day long, I should focus instead on His wonderful works and how He has my life perfectly planned for me.

So, how was your day?


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March 10, 20150 commentsRead More
How I Potty-Trained My Stubborn 3 Year Old

How I Potty-Trained My Stubborn 3 Year Old


How I Potty TrainedOk, this might be a dicey topic to tackle but I’m going to share my journey to potty-training my very stubborn, strong-willed 3 year old.  Meet Rylyn, my adorable, fun-loving, very adventurous, super strong-willed 3 year old son.  Rylyn turned 3 in November of last year, depending on who you ask he is either ‘way past the age he should be potty trained‘ or ‘just barely 3.’  If you are still scratching your head trying to figure out how old he is, he’s 3 years old and 3 months.  Ever since he turned 2 I’ve had friends, relatives and random moms I’ve met ask me when I’m going to get him potty-trained.  It’s like there is some unwritten rule that every child must be potty trained as soon as they have their second birthday or you as a mom are doing a terrible job being their mom.  I’m here to say, that is absolutely WRONG!  Hate me if you want, but it’s wrong.

Here’s my story.  I’m a mom of 3 children.  Rylyn is my third child.  Oh I can hear the gasps out there – yes he is my third child, this is myrylyn_jeep third time down the potty training road.  Before Rylyn was born I was on the same team that said you should really have your child potty trained sometime after they turn 2, and if it took until they were 3, then your mommy potty training skills must be lacking.   Let me take a minute to explain my older two children.  My oldest son, Coen, is a very inquisitive, too-smart-for-his-own-good type of child and he was interested in the toilet and how it worked when he was a year old.  By the time he was 18 months old he was asking to use the potty like a “big boy.”  Before his second birthday he was completely potty-trained, and at the time I totally thought that was because I was an amazing mommy that deserved a “gold star” in all things potty training.  In reality his personality was one that went hand in hand with being potty-trained early.  I got lucky, and he was my first!

My middle child, Makenzie, is a very agreeable, easy-going girl.  She loves to please and do what she is told and is always wanting to help mommy with everything.  I was due to have my third child, Rylyn,  in November, and had no intention at all of trying to potty-train Makenzie before he was born since she had just turned 2 in June.  I vividly remember being hugely pregnant with Rylyn, and planning to go grocery shopping with Makenzie one Sunday morning.  Before we left she very shyly asked me if she could wear panties that day.  We had never talked about potty training or even had her sitting on the potty or wearing Pull-ups.  I was surprised she asked, and thought it was the worst possible timing to potty train just weeks before Rylyn was born.  But, I said ok, and she never once had an accident in those panties.  She knew she was ready and it was a non-issue.  Done and done.  Now, again, I was giving myself a huge pat on the back and claiming my next mommy potty-training trophy.  In reality, she’s a girl, she just got it, and she decided she was ready.  I got really lucky with her too.  (She’s like this with a lot of things so far, she’s just a great kid and easy to be a mom to – she makes me look like I’m doing a good job being a mommy).

Kat_Rylyn_zooNow, let’s move on to my third boy, Rylyn.  He is very sweet, but full of spice little boy.  He goes 100 miles an hour all the time, and would leap tall buildings if he was allowed to.  He’s very stubborn and loves to throw tantrums anytime he doesn’t get his way.  He’s like fire and ice – all the time.  Now, when this child turned 2 he had no idea what the potty was for and didn’t care one bit – all he cared about were his trains.  At 2 and half, I was hoping and praying he would get a clue about the potty, but still showed no interest and in fact cried when the little potty magically showed up in the bathroom one day.  Around this time a lot of his little friends were starting to use the potty, he still showed no interest at all.  When he turned 3, I was really starting to stress about it.  I had well-meaning friends and family members ask me over and over when I was going to get on the ball and get him potty trained.  I’ll tell you what mommas – I chose not to listen to any of them, and here is why.  I’m his mother and I know my child best.  Period.  What I know about my child was that he is stubborn and pushing him to do something was going to make him dig in his heels even more.  I also know that he is a very smart child – so trying to bribe him with little gifts, or toys, or candy wasn’t going to work (we had tried that for a few weeks and nothing was motivating him).   Thirdly, after having two other kids go down the potty training road, I do know that their body needs to be ready and so does their mind, the two have to work together in order for potty training to click – and Rylyn at the age of 3 just wasn’t ready – he just didn’t get it and he didn’t care.

So, we didn’t push him.  We noticed he was starting to put the pieces together when his favorite cousin was visiting for Christmas (his cousin is about 5 months younger) and was regularly using the potty.  For whatever reason, Rylyn really seemed to pay attention and we noticed he started to get embarrassed when his diaper was messy.   About three weeks later, out of the blue Rylyn asked me if we could go to the store and buy some Chuggington (his favorite thing in the world) underwear because he was ready to be a “big boy!”  And later that day, we did just that.  He picked out his new underwear and it was a done deal.  I knew he just needed to make up his own mind to do it and as much as I pushed him, he was going to push back.  So we just stopped pushing and removed all the pressure and he just decided.  He is now 3 years and 3 months old and wears his underwear proudly everyday and has had very few accidents.  I’m completely confident that he gets it and I don’t stress about him having an accident when we are out and about.  I’m so glad that I listened to my own intuition and I didn’t force it on him.   I’m very proud of my little guy and the potty-training journey we went on together!

My advice if you are knee-deep in potty training woes:

  • Don’t listen to what anyone else says is the right time for your child.
  • Listen to your intuition.
  • Pay attention to your child – after all you know them pretty well.
  • Don’t put any pressure on yourself or your child to be trained by a certain time or date.
  • Find what motivates them – if it’s a toy, or candy, etc – and use that to your advantage.  (For Rylyn it was being a “big-boy” like his siblings and getting special “big-boy” privileges such as going to the “big-boy” class a church rather than the nursery with the babies)
  • Encourage them through the whole process.
  • Learn to bite your tongue when you are frustrated or when they have an accident.

You got this momma!  Potty-training is so hard, but chin up!  One day you will look back and can have a party when you get to pass all those unused diapers on to someone else!  WAHOO!

Comment below and share with me what things you have tried on your very own potty training journey.  What worked?  What didn’t?  What mistakes did you make?  What do you wish you have done differently?  I’d love to help, if you need advice or tips let me know! Hugs!

How I Potty Trained

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February 4, 201529 commentsRead More
Stop Expecting Your Family To Be Perfect

Stop Expecting Your Family To Be Perfect

PerfectFamilyThis is the time of year when I just want everyone to get along. Wow, that sounded so cliché’, but really, I just want everyone to get along! Even in my own house. Our little family of five – I want all of us to just get along and when we don’t, I literally feel like screaming and throwing my own adult tantrum. Let me guess, your family makes you crazy, especially around Christmastime? Am I right? It seems like more family fights are hatched about really silly stuff this time of year. There are misunderstandings, hurt feelings and tears. It’s hard to keep your own family happy as well as the in-laws, and if you are like a lot of families you may have more than just two sets of in-laws to keep happy. I have one friend that has five different houses and five separate family get-together’s that she has to attend on Christmas day alone. How completely exhausting!

There are no perfect families. Every single one is messed up in one way or another, but they are your family. God perfectly designed you to be in that family to teach you something about yourself and for you to teach others in your family something. There is a plan – it’s not an oversight that the Lord made you and planted you exactly where you are. He knows you, He created every single person in your family and He knows all the inner-workings of how your family relates with each other. No one is perfect and a lot of times if you keep looking for the perfect family and don’t just LOVE the one you have, you are going to miss out on a lot of fun, love, and life.

Let me say it again – There are NO perfect families – the only perfect family is the one the that doesn’t exist on this side of Heaven. If you keep expecting everything to be perfect and then get angry when it isn’t, you are going to find yourself just plain unhappy. Most likely your family dynamics are not going to change – but your attitude can.   Your attitude of love and acceptance and remembering that we all have your issues, we all mess up, we all have people that we don’t get along with very well, but you are still a family. You can walk away from your friends and bad relationships, but you can’t just walk away from your family. Your family is special and important and if it’s just a simple thing you are frustrated about, get over it and realize that it’s not worth it.

Here are a few tips on how to survive Christmastime with your imperfect family:

  1. Your attitude is your choice – the smallest adjustment on your part can totally change your experience.
  2. Forget the little things that drive you crazy and focus on offering grace to others instead.
  3. For the person you have the hardest time getting along with, find and focus on at least one thing about them that you like – instead of the many things that you don’t like about them. I promise your outlook on that person will eventually change.
  4. Take a moment to tune out all the chaos and focus on Christ and all that makes Christmastime amazing!
  5. Remember Christmas is what you make of it!


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December 17, 20140 commentsRead More
No One Noticed My Shoes

No One Noticed My Shoes

NoOneNoticedMyShoesDoes this time of year make you feel like you are living in a blizzard of people, parties, gifts, cookies, and no one really even notices that you exist?  This is a perfect example: Today, my daughter was very sad when I picked her up early from school (which she knew was going to happen and was soooo excited about before she went to school).  She would not tell me what was wrong until much later that evening, but all day she was not being her normal, sweet, bubbly self. I figured she was just tired because we had a very busy Christmassy weekend of Christmas lights, church events, family events, dinner with friends and ended it all with a ride on a train, hot cocoa and lots of cookies (it was a really FUN, but busy weekend). I assumed she was just tired from all of that. After a full afternoon of her snapping and being short with both her brothers, she finally dissolved into tears and said she was so sad because no one at school noticed her new shoes. We had a nice talk about how it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and it only matters what God thinks, and that she can’t let something like shoes put her in a bad mood. I also told her that her attitude is her choice and she was choosing to let the fact that no one oooohhhed and aaaahhhed over her shoes to dictate how she treated others. I also told her that I liked her shoes! She smiled and we laughed and we moved on.

But isn’t that true of us? You want someone to notice your shoes? Or your new outfit? Or that you just cleaned your bathroom? Or did five loads of laundry?   Or that you made an amazing lunch of chicken nuggets and Cheetos? Or that you single-handedly answered a work phone call while changing a poopy diaper on a squirmy toddler who really should be using the potty? I’m 100% guilty of this. I like to be noticed. I want someone to say “good job”. Let’s be honest, being a stay-at-home-mom, you very rarely hear from your 3 year old that you just did a really good job mopping your kitchen floor.   Often when no one notices all that we do, we feel unloved and unappreciated and then we are guilty of seeking approval from a cup that won’t ever be filled. We are seeking worth from men, who are just as unworthy as we are. WeNoOneNoticedMyShoes2 should instead be seeking worth and approval from the Lord who gives it willingly.  He has a plan for your life, you are unique to Him and your purpose is to serve Him using all the talents He gave you with a sense of JOY.  That’s the key – Joy. Find joy in all the small tasks you are blessed to have to do each day for your kids and family.  The joy is there, you just have to look for it.

“God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.” — Romans 14:17 (The Message)

So when no one notices your shoes, it’s no big deal – your worth is not found in your shoes, it’s found in the Lord.  He loves you more than you will ever grasp and longs to fill your cup everyday with JOY!

If you ever have any questions about whom the Lord is and what He means to me or can mean to you, please ask. I’d be more than happy to share more about the Lord of my life.
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December 9, 20140 commentsRead More
Exercise Is Hard

Exercise Is Hard

Fact: Exercise is hard.

I totally agree. I don’t wake up every morning and bound out of bed because I’m so excited to kick my butt and get all sweaty. Nope. Not at all. Every time my alarm goes off, I’m 100% tempted to stay in bed and I have all sorts of ideas going through my head about how I can get out of exercising. No joke, it’s a total mental struggle I have – every single morning. I try to reorganize the day and figure out how I can work in my exercise to some other part of the day like right before dinner when the kids are screaming at me because they are hungry. Perfect timing right? Uh, no. That would never happen! But it sure sounds tempting at 5:45 in the morning when I’m still tired from getting up in the middle of the night – twice – because my potty-training son had to go poop (who does that in the middle of the night? I think he just wanted some candy…oh well).  ExerciseIsHard

I am not one of those super-fit chicks, you know, the ones who can do one-handed handstands and have abs of steel (and they do these on the beach, I can’t even do that against a wall, let alone the beautiful beach…)? Deep down I wish I were. Really, I wish I was, and at one point in my life, right before I got married, I was probably the fittest I will ever be. I look back at those pictures fondly – and I reminisce about how great my arms looked in sleeveless shirts (I was really proud of my arms and shoulders – so silly of me, but I was – just being honest). I was also in my early 20’s, in my last year of college, and had tons of time on my hands to worry only about me. There was no late night feedings of a baby, there were no diapers to change, there was no school pick-up line to sit and wait in – three times a day, there was no daily dinner to cook to for five people, there was no grocery shopping trips with a toddler, or piles and piles of laundry to do every week. I had time back them to devote to myself and work on my appearance, and the funny thing is, back then I thought I didn’t have any time at all to do anything! I thought I was “soooo” busy! Isn’t it funny how we think, how our reality changes?

Now my everyday reality is that I’m getting older, have had three kids and my weight has gone up and down and up and down since the day I said, “I do.” I know one thing about myself; I’m a very planned person. I’m regimented and organized, I make lists and I really do follow them. When I decide something, I go for it, and I have an uncanny ability to stick with it and complete the job no matter how hard or how long it takes to do it. This proves why I can train for a half marathon for 16 weeks without missing even one workout. I know it’s only a half marathon, but it was so hard – oh let me tell you. But that’s another post in itself that I’m sure I’ll write about soon.

Back to my reality – so, as I was saying, I’m a fairly organized person that likes to compete with myself. This is helpful when dieting and with exercise, because I won’t quit, I’ll see it through, and I’ll stick to the plan. Throw in everyday life, kids, potty-training toddlers, sickness, and the fact that I had 2 surgeries last year, I know I’m just not the same person I was 15 years ago. I’m trying to accept my new reality and give myself a break. When you have a bad day and you don’t get up early like you had planned to exercise, it’s not big deal. It’s not going instantly make you gain 5 pounds instead. If you are a control freak like me, it’s tends to totally ruin my day – I will beat myself up for not getting up when in reality it’s just one day. Give yourself some grace. Who knows, maybe you will find the time later that day to exercise.

Some days, you just need a break too. Which was my day today. The hubs and I had totally planned to get up early like we always do to do T25, but I woke up with a pounding headache and he was just plain exhausted. Needless to say we skipped our workout. Instead of going back to sleep though, I got up and made a cup of coffee and curled up on the couch with my Bible and spent the next 30 minutes with the Lord. Was an excellent way to start the day even though I didn’t get to exercise. It’s a huge step for me to not beat myself up and realize that tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to exercise. Hopefully tomorrow morning is better and I’ll be right back to my routine.

See what I mean? Exercise is hard.

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December 3, 20140 commentsRead More