Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving - part 2

I have really enjoyed looking for reasons to be thankful this month.  Someone once told me that "what you see, largly depends on what you're looking for" - and I certainly don't have to look far to find blessings around me.

Today, I'm thankful for these two amazing people:
My parents are the definition of unconditional love.  They have told me since I can remember that I could do anything I put my mind to.  It is through them and because of them that I am living out my dream each and every day.  In addition to being my parents - they are my friends and they have "adopted" many of my friends to be their "children".  Many weekends their house is filled with people who love them.  And did I mention, they are the "parents" to the entire Above the Barre family as well - 300 kids, their families, and the entire staff consider them to be mentors - our bosses, our inspiration, and our friends.  They are two of the most selfless people I have ever met in my life and I feel privledged that I truly enjoy spending time with them because they're just plain cool.  :)

My mother is simply put, inspirational.  She works like 22 hours a day every day and still has time to be a wife, parent, and Oma.  I really am not sure how she does it.  Even though she is beyond busy, she is never to busy to set everything aside to look you in the eye and offer her wise advice or a listening ear.  She spoils us rotton and believes in me even when I don't believe in myself.  She pushes me to be better and encourages me to see perspectives I hadn't thought of.  I dream of being her one day.

I feel like the luckiest lady around to have this man for my father.  He spent his life taking care of Kim and I and has set a standard that our husbands struggle to keep up with.  It is, in fact, a true story that my father would drive across town (20ish minutes) early in the morning after a snow storm just to scrape our car windows while we were in college.  He is the most selfless man I have ever met and he would give the shirt right off his back if someone needed it without thinking for a moment.  Out of every role he has ever played in his life, I'm quite confident he found his new favorite one about 5 years ago when he bacame an OPA.  His eyes just light up when Sam, Maicey, or Kaitlyn walk in the room.  He takes an active interest in each of their lives and makes them feel like the most important people in the world.  I know they will grow up to relish in his attention - I know Opa Day is currently a family favorite!  :)

I am serious when I say that on weekends, Kim, Rob, Kevin & I choose to spend time with our parents because they are so cool!  We laugh with them and enjoy telling stories.  Rarely does a day go by when I don't talk to one or both of them at least once per day.  I hope that Kevin and I can be the kind of parents they are someday to our children because they did a pretty great job - they raised two successful kids who love nothing more than their families and eachother - I'd consider that to be my definition of success.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving

This week in honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to do a thankful theme.  Over the next few days I am going to be blogging about things and people I'm thankful for.  Up first, on of my favorites...

I'm thankful for this lady...
{yep...she's going to be THRILLED with this photo blast from the past.  This is her at 8 months pregnant at our cousin's wedding on New Year's Eve - doesn't she look like she loves her life??}

Anyway, she is and always has been my very best friend.  She is my little sister who is wiser than I could claim to be on most days.  She has a fiery tongue that gets her in trouble and a quick sense of humor that makes people love her instantly.  She is passionately in love with her job and gets to live her dream each day with 300 of our closest friends at the dance studio.  She is a remarkable mother who would do anything for her children and family.  Although we don't always see eye to eye - she is my biggest critic and cheerleader all at the same time.  There is just something that comes with being sisters that makes us inseparable even at our worst and we make a pretty amazing team when we work together. 

As a child, I couldn't get away from her - sharing a room, school, friends, dance, cheer, and everything in between - but as adults, I never feel like we have enough time together.  She makes me laugh until I'm crying and doubled over with a stomach ache. She single-handedly wrapped every single gift I gave my HUGE wedding party the night before my wedding.

(this is only half of them...)

In addition to all of this, she gave me these two love bugs

I cannot imagine my life without these two blessings.  They are my sunshine on many days when I've had enough and don't have the patience to go on.  I adore their giggles and never-ending hugs.  I love how they squeel when I walk in the room and hope they will always want to "'pend the night at Tante's".

So, on this first day of Thankful Thanksgiving - I'm thankful for my best friend, inspiration, mentor, motivator, and sister Kim.  You are an amazing woman who inspires everyone around you.  I love you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I have never claimed to be the best blogger there was, but this schedule I have been dealing with has just been plain ridiculous.  Between work, grad school, the studio, Platinum, and being a newlywed - I just really have had ZERO time to blog.  But, I have made a promise to the many few regular readers of this blog that I will be better - and I have been trying to take more pictures.  I blog because I want people to keep up with our lives, but also because I want to always remember this time in my life.

So this weekend has been filled with fun for me!  Friday night I spent the night scrapbooking with my dearest friends.  At work on Friday one of my friends was like "ugh, I cannot imagine doing that - I would rather just slit my wrists - doesn't that just stress you out?!"  No, really it's just the opposite.  It is theraputic for me.  I love cutting, and laying out, and cropping pictures, and matching papers, and cutting out letters on my beloved Cricut.  Did I mention the company is fabulous?!

me, Jenny, Kim, & Jamie - these are my 3 best friends...I majorly love them! {Please disreguard the fact that my vest is all puffed up and makes me look pregnant...which I am NOT.}

Jamie completed her very first traditional scrapbook on Friday night - and it was ADORABLE.  :)

Saturday night my sister and her husband went out for a nice dinner and we got to watch their adorable children.  These are the people who make me smile.

And today, we went down to the Festival of Trees which is my favorite kick-off to the holiday season.  Our dance studio performed today on the mainstage and the kids absolutely loved this toy train village - it is pretty beautiful!
This is a picture of my neice Emma and I - it's a tradition!  We've taken one every year since she was a baby.  I LOVE this child - she seriously says some of the funniest things I've ever heard and I am SO glad I'm not her mother because I would not be able to discipline her through my laughter.
And both Sam & Maicey performed this morning - so here is a picture of them with Kim.  All my favorite people!  :)

I am blogging from my car while we drive Kaitlyn back to her mom and then we are having dinner with my family - this is the best weekend I've had in a LONG time. 

Hope your weekend was filled with blessings.

Much Love,
 Katie :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

A weekend without plans...

Yes, you read that correctly.  I have no solid plans for the weekend.  I am beside myself with excitement, but because this never happens of course I have many ideas floating through my head of what I want to do.  It includes:
  • Go to the circus
  • have a grill out party with friends
  • watch the Hawks first football game of the season
  • help my friend decorate some walls of her house
  • swim at my parents house
  • do some laundry
  • go shopping
I mean, that doesn't seem too lofty of a list, right?!?!  I don't care what off that list gets done and what doesn't, all I really care about is spending lots of time with my family and RELAXING. 

I. can't. wait.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

86 Hearts, 1 Beat

I feel so blessed to be a part of such an amazing family at our dance studio.  Each year, we have a competition retreat where all the dancers gather for a night of fun, friendship, and focus for the upcoming season.  It is always a highlight of the year - and this year was no different!

The girls had such a wonderful time getting to know each other, creating cheers and posters, eating lots of junk food, and just having fun together.  They were up most of the night and us adults enjoyed our time sitting in the hallway laughing and having a great time together!

Here are some pictures :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - A week of family fun....

Home Sweet....

Home.  CLASSROOM.  :)

I spent the entire day in my classroom attempting to get things in order for the fast approaching beginning of the school year.  I cannot believe how quickly this summer has gone!  I think after 7 hours in my room, Kaitlyn working like a set of twins on the to-do list I made for her (she LOVES helping me!), and me crossing things off left and right - I think I'm close to ready.  Here is a photo tour.  Enjoy :)

The door to my classroom.  *smile*

View from the door.
Small group table
View from back by the small group area
My new Daily 5 Cafe board.  I am irrationally excited about it....
View from the other corner of my room towards the front
My desk area
View of the entire room from my desk
I cannot believe in one short week I will be back at work and just a few days later, my students will be filling those blue chairs!!  Wow.  :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


As I mentioned previously, Kevin recently began searching for his birthmother and found her!  We were privledged enough to be able to meet face to face while she and her husband were visiting Iowa this month!  We were honored to spend many hours asking and answering questions, looking through pictures, and laughing with extended family.  Many nights we were up WAY past midnight trying to squeeze the most out of such precious time together.  She and her family live in California, so it will be difficult to see as much of eachother as we would like, but thank God for technology, the phone, and planes - we will see eachother again very soon.  :)

Here are some pictures of our 2 week visit.  Enjoy.
Walking out to meet his mother for the first time in 41 years.  A pretty remarkable thing :)
Kaitlyn meeting her grandma for the 1st time.

 Kaitlyn read Peggy every single word of her scrapbook and Peggy loved every minute of it.  Such a heartwarming sight. :)
Kevin with some of his new Aunts.
At lunch with Peggy's family.  It was such a blessing to meet so many of them all at the same time!
Kaitlyn and her new cousin, Meghan on the beach in Clear Lake.  These girls really hit it off!
The girls learning to fish with Uncle Dick.  That man was VERY patient!  I love Kaitlyn's face looking at that worm!  ICK.
Fishing on the dock.
The girls got to drive this golf cart with one of the neighbors in Clear Lake.  They squealed with delight everytime he walked through the door!  Such great memories.
Peggy came to Dubuque to meet all of Kevin's family.  They stood around the island in the kitchen for hours listening to her story, asking her questions, and telling funny stories about Kevin growing up.  It was a wonderful night. :)

Kevin & I with his mother (Peggy) and her husband (Steve).

What a beautiful experience to witness a mother being reunitied with her child after so many years.  They are so alike it's uncanny and meeting with Peggy and Steve seemed to be the most natural thing we've ever done.  Easy conversation, hearty laughter, and tearful goodbyes.  We feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time with them and are very much looking forward to the next time we can share our time with them.  :)