Sunday, September 10, 2017

Mr. Maslow

It felt like in almost every college class I took, we talked about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  It's finally been long enough that I'm not tired of hearing about it anymore, either!  Today as I cleaned up the kitchen, I was reminded of it.   Stealing from wikipedia, the hierarchy is used "to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through. The goal of Maslow's Theory is to attain the sixth level of stage: self transcendent needs."

 As I talked about (complained? haha) in the last blog post, the beginning of pregnancy is pretty rough for me.  It's always kind of funny how it feels like I lose all ability to thrive.  I can sit on the couch, sleep, eating is a challenge, moving is a challenge.  It's pathetic. (Also I sooooooo am not as sick as other people are--I think I just milk it.  Kennedy's been a super good sport with it all.  I'm proud of her.  Also thumbs up for Daniel Tigerrrr!)

But, I'm starting to feel better!  In fact, besides being starving through church, I honestly felt 100% normal.  Which is a great feeling.  Which means....I can finally LIVE again!  As I cleaned the kitchen today I had thoughts about ways I wanted to be a better wife and a better person.  When I felt crummy, my thought patterns never went that far.  I was only focused on surviving.  But as my physiological lower needs were met, my thoughts went upward and outward.

We have awesome examples (like the lady spoken about in the Women's Broadcast this last April) who have found ways to look outward even when they don't feel good.  These people blow my mind and totally inspire me.

Anyway, short post, not anything world changing.  But I thought it was interesting enough to write down.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 31, 2017


In the middle of seasons, I typically think "bleh, I don't want the next one to come.  I'm happy now."  But then all of a sudden, a hint of the next season sneaks in.  It changes my world.  And I get so excited.

I remember taking Kennedy for a walk during the beginning of fall last season and smelling the autumn air and seeing leaves change.  I remember exactly where I was on the sidewalk as I thought,  "I am so happy right now."  I had been happy in Alabama, and it had been nice having warm weather all year round.  But something about the change makes me truly happy.  That day I was convinced that there'd be seasons in heaven.

I love the way the seasons bring memories.  How the autumn air smells like the beginning of school, how winter snow brings all of the holiday memories and feeling of magic.  Jennie told me the other day that the brain connects memories highly with emotions; and how deeply emotional times are most easy to remember in detail.  I'm glad for times with lots of emotion because it's fun to remember.  

I love how each season brings new hope and motivation.  I get excited for life again.  By the end of summer, I'm kind of stagnant.  And every single day in the end of winter takes endurance. But as a new season comes, I suddenly want to live life to the fullest.  I want to create seasonal decorations and treats, I want to learn new things.  I feel like there are things to look forward to again.  

During the first part of pregnancy, I am so unmotivated.  Like, I'll clean and do what I need to--but only barely.   I'm not going the extra mile, and I'm not excited for each day.  It's just another day to be sick. But as I've started to feel a little bit better this week, and as I felt the cooler air today, I couldn't help but be excited.  As I walked down the road, holding Kennedy's hand as she skipped down the street, I found myself dreaming of fall and getting excited to share the joy with Kennedy and Derek.

[Yes, I'm pregnant! I've only told a few people in person so far.  But, as I think only about 4 people read this regularly, I bet I can post this safely without surprising anyone.  11 weeks along, due in March.  I'm quietly excited and will definitely be more thrilled as the baby is further along and I feel better]

Friday, June 23, 2017

"America!" and Other Doorstep Tales

I don't know if everyone else is like this, but I was terrified for my first date.  A few minutes before my date was supposed to arrive I remember walking away from the front door telling my mom, "I think I'll just skip it.  I can't do it!" Which is so funny to me now (even then--I'm not usually freaked out like that).  But I totally was!

 Actually, I didn't expect to be scared at all---I had a fun group of friends, and many of them were guys, and we hung out often.  Also, because I have a July birthday, all of my friends had already been dating quite a while (in our church the youth don't begin dating until age 16) so I had been somewhat involved in that world already.  And my date and I were super good friends. So really, I had nothing to be afraid of.   I just hadn't been on an official *date.*

Anyway.  Skip ahead.  I think we did dinner and mini golf.  I wore an orange shirt.  The group went to his house after and I remember looking at his sister's dolls with her.  I'm sure I talked to my date too. That's about all I remember.  Until....


We get up there and stand for a minute.  What was I supposed to do?  I had heard enough jokes with punchlines of, "and then she shook my hand and went inside" so I knew that wasn't an option.  And I knew enough that kissing wasn't an option.  (Hahaha.  I don't think I had even fathomed that possibility before.)  But even a hug felt like a lot.  So, cute little Kaylie standing there, beginning to feel extremely awkward.  After what felt like an eternity, I looked up and saw the flag decoration on our front door from the 4th of July.  What went through my head next I have no idea.  Because the next second there I was, pointing at the flag, placing my hand to my chest, and exclaiming proudly, "America!"

AHHHHH!  YOU GUYYYYYS.  I can't even think about it without busting up laughing.

He was kind and followed suit, placing his hand on heart and agreeing, "America!  So there we were, two nice kids on the doorstep, respecting the stars and stripes at the end of the date.

Oh, the kind of entertainment we must have provided for our neighbors across the street!

After that weird little homage, I think I did give an awkward side hug and head inside.

Go Kaylie.

(I later had someone who told me "I love you"  to which I responded "thanks!" and went inside.  Yupppp. Go Kaylie go.)

Story #2.

Like I said before, I had a pretty fun group of friends.  Often we would go on dates together, just switching which guys were paired with which girls.  So it was a fun, familiar group.

I was on a date with another boy one night and I guess he had talked to the other guys in the car and decided to pretend to go in for a kiss.  I guess.  I don't know.  Boys are weird.

So anyway, back to the story.  We have to remember little Kaylie was not a kissing girl.  At all.

So when my nice friend started moving his face toward me I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO.  What was I supposed to do?!????? Soooooo...I started flapping my arms like a bird.

You read it correctly.  I was flapping my little wings all the way up and down, kind of in a panicked fury.  I'm not the only person who has done this, right?  Not sure.

Bravo, seminary teachers, for teaching me to be so afraid of kissing.

Again, another great show for the neighbors across the street.  And, to my great relief, he never did get that doorstep kiss. After that, probably didn't want to, either.

I'm sad I don't have any laugh-out-loud stories for while I dated Derek.  We dated at the same time two of my other roommates had serious boyfriends, so it was always a balancing act of taking turns to say goodnight.  (Which once involved having marbles thrown at us from the other side of the door. hahahaha.)  But beyond that, things with Derek were somewhat normal.  By the time I met Derek, I was a perfectly classy, sophisticated girl and our doorstep scenes were nothing but elegant.

*Special thanks to my sister Leslie who has a mini golf date tonight which reminded me of these stories
** To the guys featured in these stories, if you read this, I probably owe you a candy bar.  Thanks for being good sports.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

As a freshman in college we had a relief society activity where we worked on little humanitarian kits for children in Africa and we watched a video that showed their life and their struggles.

I remember sitting there and thinking, "Holy cow.  Right as I sit here in this air conditioned building with refreshments on the table next to us, there are people across the world right now having a completely different experience."  I realized how little I think of them.  Like, actually think of them.   It always takes someone turning on a movie or reading an article for me to realize that not everyone lives a life like me.  You always "know" that, but you don't necessarily comprehend it.  Maybe because we don't want to.  I don't know.

A lot of times I have a brief thought of gratitude--grateful I'm not starving, on the street, in slavery, etc.  But what I forget to acknowledge is that those situations are real for somebody out there--right now.

I don't know why we are in different circumstances around the world.  I don't know why I haven't had to struggle for food, or why I was put into a family where education mattered and I had every opportunity I wanted.  But I do know that God knows what's up, and He does love everybody.

I feel like I need to do more somehow.   I sometimes wonder what my role is in the lives of people around the world.

I'm not sure how.  It sounds selfish, but I don't have much more money than what we pay for tithes, offerings, and one bonus donation a month.  I'm not in the right season of life to leave my home and family to build schools, administer vaccines, etc.

And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.  We are told to "life where we stand" and bless the lives of those around us.  Still, there is prayer. (Praying is never the wrong choice, right?) I'm sure a few extra prayers for those in North Korea, Syria, Africa, are always appreciated.  And I don't know how prayer works, but I choose to believe and hope that there is real power behind them, and that they do make a difference.

So here's to remembering to pray for those far away from me.  Praying because there really are people who need blessings, even if I can't see them right now in my day-to-day life.

I feel like I need to have a fancy send off.  "One, two, three, PRAAAAYER!"  Just kidding. Kind of.  Finishing posts is always the awkward part.

Ok.  bye.

Oh, and p.s.  Just because their life is different and they don't have Walmart next to them, doesn't mean they aren't happy.  (We often complicate our lives too much and focus on the wrong things for happiness here.  Anyway.) As evidence, enjoy these pictures from a few years ago in Ghana :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Washington D.C. Best weekend evaaaah!

We took the long way so we could avoid some tolls.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  Guys, it was so pretty.  Rolling hills of farmland .

We stopped at Chick-Fil-A in Maryland and oh you guys!!!  This is such a happy place.  First of all it's Chick-fil-A so it's happy. But being a little further south, people just smile more.  It felt like being home again.  #CFAadvertisement #jk #pleasepayusanyway

We arrived in D.C. and oohhhhh it was so beautiful!  All the trees were blossoming and seriously so pretty.


We started out at the zoo.  It was so crowded! (A little too crowded--it was hard to see the few animals that weren't napping.) but we loved it.

Meeting some cousins.

Ok.  Gorillas run so quickly.  It's crazy.


A funny looking fish.

she was into the fish.

Watching the tropical birds

After the zoo it was time for dinner!  We went to We the Pizza.  YUM.  

This is a total bang for your buck place.  Such yummy pizza and not a bad price.  Also, Kennedy is officially to where she can eat a piece all by herself.  It's pretty impressive.

"We the Pizza"

We started wandering toward the Capitol as the sun was setting.  I'VE FORGOTTEN HOW PERFECT SPRING/SUMMER NIGHTS ARE!  Everything smells perfect and it's just magical.  Also I think my eyes are closed in this picture.  (Also perfect.)

Washington Monument against the sunset

Kennedy takes the Capitol

This picture wasn't staged--she was just OBSESSED with the curbs and steps.  And while everyone was on the western side of the building, we the back all to ourselves!



Sunset and all.  This was one of my favorite moments of the whole trip.  Kennedy loved going up and down the stairs and ramp, and while she played we just enjoyed the beautiful night.  It was perfect.
We didn't bring a pack n play and it was gonna be $15 to use a crib in the hotel. Dumb.  So Derek was smart and pushed the two chairs together for the perfect bed for Kennedy!

Good thing too, because she's come into our bed twice this week with teething pain.  (One morning she ended up where our pillows go and I was at the foot of the bed.  Fun.)

I love these books on front of this building!
The yummiest breakfast burritos.

We walked over to the Botanic Garden and stopped at some tulips on the way

This girl got lots of "awwws" and "sh'es so cute!"'s.

We LOVED the gardens.  Each room had a different temperature, humidity level, and all sorts of plant varieties there.  It reconfirmed my plant lady dreams.

Derek really liked these ones.

To remember later for my dream garden.  I loved this plant and the archway they grew it into.


Next up, the Museum of Natural History!  And a very thirsty giraffe.

How weird would it be if all babies grew like marsupials.  

A much needed popsicle after the museum.  It lifted everybody's spirits.  

Kennedy slept and we took the lonnnng walk over to this little guy.

Handsome dude there.

WWII monument

So pretty!  Also, if you look hard you can see the row of 50 portapotties behind me.

Taking in the sights and sounds of D.C.

I love Abe Lincoln.

The long walk along the river back to our hotel allowed us to see Mr. Jefferson's memorial.

Such perfect blossoms everywhere!

Throwback to the museum.  Remember that?   Yes, I think I'll leave this picture out of order to amuse those actually reading.
As you drive through Rock Creek park all of the sudden BOOM there it is!  Possibly the prettiest temple ever.

I love this one.

Family is forever :)

We drove home and attempted to stop in Gettysburg on the way.  Annnnd then Kennedy was DONE DONE DONE. So we found a Wendy's as quick as we could and drove the long drive home :)

We had such a great time making new memories together.  Derek kept making me laugh and Kennedy kept being cute.  I love our family!