Google Brain

As I begin a new year, I try to spend less time on my phone, you know, to be more present. Before going to bed I usually check my phone but I've been trying to not be on it before I go to sleep because I hear about neurons and the tiny lights on your phone being bad for your brain & sleep, etc. Who knows if it's all real, but I'm trying...

BUT...

I swear as soon as I turn off the light, my mind starts racing into "seeking all knowledge mode." I all of a sudden remember every single random thing I've ever wanted to Google. It's like my mind recalls all of these random, yet VERY important, gems that I am oddly VERY curious about. Really, all day I try and remember all of the VERY IMPORTANT things my brain tells me whilst trying to fall asleep and nothing. Want to know how many of these things I can remember during daylight/normal hours? Zero. Not one. I can think of nothing to google or research.

So, a few nights ago, I turned on the light and wrote down every blessed time I had an urge to Google. Yes, I got less sleep that night, but that's how important you are to me, dear reader.

  • Did that gymnast Aly Raisman really end up with that "football player blind date guy" that her friend Shawn Johnson was trying to hook her up with? If so, must try & figure out how to get into that friend circle.
  • *Recalls dream from last night...* Dreamt that a dolphin was my friend and followed me around. Google "dolphin in dream" meanings. And google chair lifts while skiing...dreamt about that too.
  • I need a library card. Google how to get a library card.
  • How does Instagram curate my explore page.
  • Lookup local volunteer opportunities
  • Find out for sure how much water I should be drinking again...2017 is gonna be different.
  • Must email XXXX about song idea
  • Look at recipes using frozen broccoli
  • Google hair color that compliments skin tone
  • What's in the purple rain smoothie I had today? (it was so good.) 

Not sure why I felt the need to share the inner weird workings of my brain with you, but...there it is. And no, I'm not going to answer all of these burning questions for you...do your own googling ;) 

Hope you've had a restful weekend and that the week ahead is FULL of really AWESOME SURPRISES! 

Much love,

-Kate

End of 2016 #31Days2016

Well friends...we DID IT! We made it to the end of #31DaysofBlogging and we made it to the end of the year! Wooohooo! Pat yourself on the back for making it another 365 days! 

There is always a great anticipation and excitement at the end of one year and the beginning of another...but we'd like to remind yourself to not put too much pressure on yourself. You're doing a good job. 

This has been an interesting year for us...lots of firsts and we're excited for ALL that 2017 holds. We are believing it's going to be our best year yet...both as "Jill and Kate" and as "Jill" and "Kate."

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our music, believing in us and continually showing up for us. We really believe we are all in this together...so let's all step in 2017 together and get excited for the future. 

And thank you for sending all of the pics of us together :) We have LOVED looking at all of them and we tried posting as many as we could! Below is the last batch. 

Talk to y'all next year!

J&K

Smiles!

Smiles!

JK5K in action! So fun!

JK5K in action! So fun!

We've decided Kate points in a lot of pictures!

We've decided Kate points in a lot of pictures!

Yay!

Yay!

Word on the 3rd...remember that? FUN!

Word on the 3rd...remember that? FUN!

Cheese!

Cheese!

Sophie is the bomb! Love her!

Sophie is the bomb! Love her!

This was in Nashville at CMA week!

This was in Nashville at CMA week!

Road Trip #31Days2016

Hey!

We both met back in Nashville yesterday & immediately hit the road for 8 hours. We had loads to catch up on, so that time flew by in the car :) Yet..we forgot to blog (!!!!!) Oopsies. 

We decided on a new favorite road trip food: Chili Cheese Fritos for the win. YUM. 

Also, a sugar free red bull will keep you up past the time you arrive at your destination. (hello insomnia!)

Here are some more fan pics...from the greatest fans on the planet. We love you guys!

xo

j&k

Skinny Jeans tee FTW!

Skinny Jeans tee FTW!

WILL!!!!

WILL!!!!

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

Ahhhh so fun!

Ahhhh so fun!

Head tilt + smile...FTW!

Head tilt + smile...FTW!

Flying Home #31Days2016

Hey y’all!

Kate here. I am sitting in the airport reflecting over the past week. I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the holiday with friends and family. Most of all, I hope you felt loved. 

I have had just over a week with my family and I’m so grateful for time together with them. I don’t have a ton to say…just that I’m grateful and feeling full. My heart is full—full of quality time with family which included playing games, skiing, staying in PJs all day, watching movies, singing & playing instruments…it was glorious.  Also…feeling full of the delicious food and treats…there is nothing like home cooked goodness :) Did you see the homemade caramels my sis-in-law made? I posted a pic on Instagram. OMG. So good. 

Skiing with most of the family...

Skiing with most of the family...

Hiking with my gorgeous Mom!

Hiking with my gorgeous Mom!

I love the window seat and took this shot as we left Spokane, WA…the sun and the snow…just something magical about floating above it all. And the colors.....WOW.

As I head home, I'm excited for all 2017 has to offer. It’s going to be a GREAT year!

Much love,

Kate

How about some more awesome fan photos? YES!

This was right after Songs on the 17th came out, right??

This was right after Songs on the 17th came out, right??

Group shot with some of our FAVS!

Group shot with some of our FAVS!

Big smiles!

Big smiles!

Our Trip To Africa Last Month #31Days2016

Hello!

Hope you are still having a wonderful Christmas break! We wanted to tell you a bit about our trip to Africa last month. When you travel abroad, there is so much to take in…it’s kind of nice to have a few weeks to process…to let it all soak in…and to see what memories and experiences are still brimming up and over your heart & mind after some time has passed.

Our main objective was to go up to the HOHA home in Zimbabwe and hang out with the kids up there. We didn’t have a building project this time…we simply went to have face-to-face time with the kids. Most of these kids have been at the house for almost 3 years and this marked our 3rd trip up there. These kids are all at the house permanently. The laws in their country do not allow adoption, so once they arrive, this is their forever home. We have built relationships with these kids and so our main objective is to keep up our end of our promise when we leave which is: “We’ll see you again! Until next time. See you soon.” They make it easy for us to keep...they are pure joy.

During this visit, we spent most of the time playing games, reading, doing puzzles, jumping rope, riding bikes, singing and eating some sugary treats! We thought we’d share some memories and highlights…and of course LOADS of pics because their little faces will make your heart skip a beat. Note: some of these memories are random and fun…some are more serious…we just want to give you a realistic view of our time there: 

  • When we landed, it was just as torrential rains started to hit the area. We are talking MAJOR FLOODING. It was crazy. We were waiting for Kate’s dad to pick us up from the airport but he couldn’t leave the grocery store he was in because of ALL OF THE WATER. Water was coming in the airport. We were waiting for the elevators and when the elevator doors opened, about 5 inches of water came rushing out of the doors. YIKES. We took the stairs. Thankfully the rain subsided and Kate’s dad made it safely to pick us up! Nothing like hitting the ground with a bit of excitement. 
This is a small glimpse of the flooding...and also that's the grocery store Bill was trapped in!

This is a small glimpse of the flooding...and also that's the grocery store Bill was trapped in!

  • It’s a 4 hour drive to the border and then an unknown time to cross the border...then about 3 hours past the border. We had angels watching us because we made it through the border in RECORD TIME both ways. Seriously. Sometimes there can be hundreds of people and no real organization and it can take anywhere from 3-6 hours. We made it through in about 1.5 hours! YAY!
  • We had our first real Grey’s Anatomy moment on one of our trips. A few hours after arriving, we got word from a house mom that there was a bicycle accident involving one of our orphans and the house mom was walking to see what had happened. She hopped in our truck and we went to go find him. (Important side note: we are literally in the wild bush of Africa. There is no electricity, no running water…the mode of transportation is bicycle or donkey cart. No joke.) So, she hops into our truck and we whiz through the bushes to try and find the accident. When we arrived we saw people gathered around, and a uniformed little boy face down in the ground with a bike behind him. Our hearts sank a bit. We had no idea what condition this little boy would be in and neither one of us does super well around blood or anything of that nature. But, there is adrenaline that kicks in and we all flew out of the car. As we approached we realized that the kid was conscious (thank God) and then we realized this wasn’t one of our orphans but a neighboring village kid. Still, this kid needed help and we all began to try and see what the problem was. We quickly figured out that his precious bare foot was bent behind him and stuck through the inside of the tire spokes. He had a gash almost down to the bone with blood trickling out. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Again, neither of us do well with blood or wounds so this was a shock. But, my dad, his friend Johnsy and I (Kate) immediately tried to see if we could pull the spokes lose so he could get his foot out. But it wouldn’t even budge. My dad remembered a tool he had brought with him that would cut the spoke so we jumped into his truck and raced to Philip’s house to grab the tool & a first aid kit I always pack but truthfully have never had to use. Jill & Johnsy stayed with the boy to comfort him. We got back as quickly as we could and a little crowd had gathered. Another villager had showed up to help and it took 3 grown men to cut the spokes and get his foot out. We were worried it was broken so we all had to be super gentle. I put on gloves, channeled my inner Meredith Grey and cleaned his wound, gave him some Tylenol, and bandaged him up. We were able to drive him to his home and offered to drive him to the clinic if his mother wanted us to. She declined so we left him with some pain killers and candy. That was definitely an experience we will never forget and we are thankful that he was okay and that the accident was not worse. 
The bike accident scene.

The bike accident scene.

Bill, Johnsy & Jill working on the bike. If you look closely you can see his foot in the spokes. 

Bill, Johnsy & Jill working on the bike. If you look closely you can see his foot in the spokes. 

Jill was comforting him and giving him water.

Jill was comforting him and giving him water.

Johnsy, Jill & the little boy all bandaged up.

Johnsy, Jill & the little boy all bandaged up.

  • We brought jump ropes and these were a big hit! The kids jumped and jumped and the smiles on their faces when they were in mid-air are forever cemented in our hearts. PURE GLEE. Such simple fun. Also...Jill's still got it.
  • It was really hot. LIKE probably over 100 degrees with 100% humidity but we couldn’t check our phones to confirm because you know, NO electricity. Also, no running water means no showers. Kate’s dad has rigged this “make-shift” shower at Philip's (the orphan home director) home. Go to your sink, turn it to a trickle and that basically what the “shower” was. It’s a bucket that is filled up and just trickles out. But, we were thankful for even the slightest relief from the heat and the ability to get somewhat clean. 
Philip's son, Tsepo, climbs up & pours in our water for the shower. One of the favorite shots of the trip. Water = life. 

Philip's son, Tsepo, climbs up & pours in our water for the shower. One of the favorite shots of the trip. Water = life. 

  • We saw 3 scorpions. One was in Zimbabwe at Philip’s house where we were staying and it was a TINY baby one. Jill spotted it and she must have ninja-night-vision-eagle eyes. Apparently the smaller the scorpion the deadlier it is….yikes. 
This was the big scorpion we saw in Kruger Park. Jesus take the wheel...this was not a happy moment.

This was the big scorpion we saw in Kruger Park. Jesus take the wheel...this was not a happy moment.

  • Bill (Kate’s dad) wanted all of the kids (that are old enough) to have their very own bike. The children have access to bikes from their school but they are only allowed to use them when school is in session…so during school vacation they have no bikes. My dad thought having a bike during school vacations was important so he got new bikes to give to each kid. It was awesome to see their excitement and having something that was THEIR VERY OWN…with their names sharpie'd on so no one would mistake it as theirs. So fun! The older kids also gave rides to the younger kids…precious. 
The men who went to get the bikes!

The men who went to get the bikes!

New bikes!

New bikes!

  • We sang a bunch of songs and Jill even gave out some guitar lessons. Music is universal and it’s beautiful to see music translate & break all sorts of barriers. The kids love singing but finding songs that they all knew and we knew was a bit of a challenge. We have learned some songs in their language so that’s always fun to give it a whirl. 
Jill teaching some guitar!

Jill teaching some guitar!

  • The littlest guy at the house is named Thumi and he was terrified of us. He wasn’t there the last time that we visited the house and has probably not had much interaction with white people. So…anytime we got near him he would just melt down and wail. Also, we realized when we played tag with the older kids he didn’t realize it was a game. He thought we were chasing them and going to take them away so he would just sit and scream. The smiles and laughter were apparently not enough proof for him. Ha! Finally we realized and had the older kids explain that we weren’t taking anyone away and it was a game. He understood but still watched cautiously. Since the home operates like a family unit, it’s really a beautiful thing to see the older kids look out for the younger kids. The older kids take pride in caring for the younger ones..truly inspiring. PS. The only time Thumi allowed us to hold him was when we were feeding him cake and ice cream or holding balloons…hahaa…smart kid. 
Thumi's "get away from me" face. 

Thumi's "get away from me" face. 

This was on the last day...he was giving us a thumbs up!

This was on the last day...he was giving us a thumbs up!

  • After we left ZImbabwe, we drove back to the airport in Johannesburg via Kruger National Park. If you’ve followed us for any amount of time you know that this is our ultimate happy place. There is nothing that compares to seeing animals in their natural habitat like that. We saw the Big 5 (elephant, cape buffalo, lions, leapard & rhino) all in one day. It was INCREDIBLE. Such a nice way to end the trip. 
Giraffe!

Giraffe!

Elephants!

Elephants!

There is an elephant behind Kate...can you find it?

There is an elephant behind Kate...can you find it?

So there are some highlights from our trip. Many of you have asked how you can help: www.housesofhopeafrica.com/support You can sponsor a child monthly or you can give a one time donation. Also, if you are the praying kind…we ask you to pray for the children up there…for safety, for health and for their futures to be bright and prosperous. 

Thanks for loving these kids with us! 

Much love,

Jill and Kate

Here are some more pics from our trip! xo

Reading time!

Reading time!

Thumbs up in the back of the truck!

Thumbs up in the back of the truck!

Bill with the kids!

Bill with the kids!

This is Remember. He has the best smile and also hung the moon :)

This is Remember. He has the best smile and also hung the moon :)

Moon.

Moon.

Brought little point & shoot camera for the kids!

Brought little point & shoot camera for the kids!

Group shot!

Group shot!

Clarence on his new bike!

Clarence on his new bike!

Kate & Remember. 

Kate & Remember. 

Jumping on the last bit of paved road we saw in a while. 

Jumping on the last bit of paved road we saw in a while. 

Kate, machete scorpion killer. Just kidding. I didn't kill any scorpions...

Kate, machete scorpion killer. Just kidding. I didn't kill any scorpions...

All smiles!

All smiles!

Walking from Philip's house to the orphan home. Literally NOTHING around. 

Walking from Philip's house to the orphan home. Literally NOTHING around. 

Some of the HOHA property.

Some of the HOHA property.

Smiles!

Smiles!

Coloring & arts + crafts in the shade!

Coloring & arts + crafts in the shade!

Bill had this crazy idea to make ice cream for the kids...cause that's what you do in 100 degree weather with no electricity. HA! But, the kids had never had ice cream and he made it happen! They each got a turn to "churn" the ice cream...thankful for Bill & his crazy dreams!

Bill had this crazy idea to make ice cream for the kids...cause that's what you do in 100 degree weather with no electricity. HA! But, the kids had never had ice cream and he made it happen! They each got a turn to "churn" the ice cream...thankful for Bill & his crazy dreams!

Look at those smiles...eating ice cream for the first time!

Look at those smiles...eating ice cream for the first time!

Bill gets big hugs for his ice cream making!

Bill gets big hugs for his ice cream making!

It's 5:30am in the morning....ahhh!!! Oh also...the last day we were there is dropped to like 40 degrees. IT WAS FREEZING. Note the sweatshirts and cold looks on our faces. 

It's 5:30am in the morning....ahhh!!! Oh also...the last day we were there is dropped to like 40 degrees. IT WAS FREEZING. Note the sweatshirts and cold looks on our faces. 

Jill reading to the kids!

Jill reading to the kids!

Surprise. Always the best smile!

Surprise. Always the best smile!

This is Beyonce (no kidding) and she's the sweetest thing ever!

This is Beyonce (no kidding) and she's the sweetest thing ever!

Tsepo on his new bike!

Tsepo on his new bike!

Kate washing her face with a nalgene & her fav Renee Rouleau face wash!

Kate washing her face with a nalgene & her fav Renee Rouleau face wash!

Beyonce & Kate.

Beyonce & Kate.

The only sign in the middle of the wild African bush. Houses of Hope Africa! Until next time :)

The only sign in the middle of the wild African bush. Houses of Hope Africa! Until next time :)

 

 

 

Annnnnnnd...we couldn't forget awesome fan pics! Only 3 more days of #31Days :)

This was in Boston with Haley!! She's awesome!

This was in Boston with Haley!! She's awesome!

At the Storyline Conference!

At the Storyline Conference!

Kate with her dark hair! Does anyone think she should dye it dark again?

Kate with her dark hair! Does anyone think she should dye it dark again?

Trivia #31days2016

Tonight I played Trivia at a little pub in Newburyport, MA with my cousin and friend. It's sort of become the thing that we do when I am up in the Northeast for holidays or visits. Trivia is not as big in Nashville (as far as I can tell) but up here it is ALL THE RAGE. Every night of the week you can go play trivia at one bar or another. STUMP Trivia is where it's at. I love it...even though I am not very good. 

But, to be fair...I think some people LIVE FOR THIS. I mean, they are very serious about it and get all of the answers right. I think they play every single night.

The questions are not easy questions, either. I mean...maybe I need to read more. I know I do. But playing trivia like this makes me want to go back to school. Like, all of school. Grade 1 right on up through. I need a refresher on every.single.subject.

But we have fun. Our team name is "Small Wonder" (the next Netflix reboot anyone? I'd binge that any day.) We came in 14th place tonight out of 14 teams. HAHAHAHA! The team that was playing next to us was this really classy family...a mom, dad, and their college-aged son. They were getting all of the answers right and looked like they probably all graduated from Brown or Yale or Dartmouth. Then at the end when they announced the top teams, their team name was "Fart Smells." Are you freaking kidding me? Did not see that one coming. 

Anyway, I'm going to go now and touch up on my sports, art, literature, and history knowledge. If you have a bar/restaurant near you that does STUMP trivia, I highly recommend that you grab some friends, come up with a really killer team name...sorry, "Fart Smells" is already taken...and head out and play. Even if you come in dead last, you'll still have a blast. 

Until tomorrow. 

Jill

 

More of your awesome pics below!

Love that necklace!

Love that necklace!

Kate face in full effect.

Kate face in full effect.

LA LA LA. Hi Chris. Hi Will. 

LA LA LA. Hi Chris. Hi Will. 

Bonnie in TX!

Bonnie in TX!

WEIRD SITUATIONS


Strangers always talk to us when we are traveling and usually they just want to ask "Are you guys sisters??"
 But sometimes it's more complex than that. It's like strange people just find us and sometimes it gets awkward. Like a few weeks ago in the Atlanta airport....

We had just landed after a 16.5 hour flight. We had been in Africa for 10 days and we were...exhausted, un-fresh, and we may have both had a little bit of an ambien hangover from the flight. Either way, we just wanted to get some coffee (Coffee Bean in the ATL, hallelujah) and some American breakfast. We had barely had any time to process our trip so we were looking forward to just sitting at a restaurant and re-hashing it all.

We found a TGI Fridays (it was the best we could do) and waited while the hostess went to clean off a table for us. While we were waiting, this dude walks in. He was about our age, wearing a cowboy hat and looked a little bit lost.
He went over to the bar then came back to the line and looked right at us.

"Hey guys, could I ask you a question?"

NO WE'RE NOT SISTERS. (We didn't say it but we were both thinking it.)

"Yeah what's up?"

"Could I sit with you guys and eat breakfast? I don't know anyone or have any friends here and I just don't want to really sit alone."

Pause. Let's give you a little idea of our personalities here. This is my (Jill) worst nightmare. Introvert central, stranger danger. Kate is the one who is all about new friends and new people. If one of us was going to say yes to this dude, it was gonna be Kate.

HOWEVER.

Kate was so tired and over it. She just wasn't up for it. She didn't say it, but she was feeling it big time.

Meeeee on the other hand...I was feeling this sort of compassion for the world after the trip to Africa. The election had happened while we were gone and the world seemed like it needed a lot more love, so without REALLY thinking about it, I responded to the dude.

"Sure!"

Kate gave me the stare of death. A million stares of death. And to be honest, I knew right away it was a bad idea. But remember: exhaustion, Africa high, Ambien hangover. The combination is frightening.

So dude sits down with us. He says we are the Angels he's been praying for. Not sure if that was a line or what. But the waitress comes over to the table and he asks her about beer specials. It's 7:00am. No judgement, but a tiny red flag went up. There were no beer specials so he ordered a mimosa.

Then he just started to spill. Verbal diarrhea. He told us he was on his way to Florida. He had been on a flight last night but he got handcuffed and escorted off the plane by cops. 😳
"Could we believe that?" All he had done was ask for a beer and some peanuts. They thought he was being hostile. 


So he went to a hotel for the night. But he got kicked out of there too.
 

So now, he was on his way to Florida with no phone and hardly any money and his plan was to "sleep on the beach for a few nights."

RED FLAGS SURROUNDING US NOW.

I had obviously made a huge mistake and now here we were, stuck in a booth across from this dude who was probably, we realized now, still drunk from last night and who we were *probably* going to buy breakfast for. Smooth move, guy, smooth move.

I, hoping to avoid conflict, figured we just had to suck it up and ask for the check and go find breakfast somewhere else. At this point, I was a little afraid of the stability of this guy and didn't want to upset him.

Kate, however, has no fear of conflict. She also had about zero time for this dude at this point...with good reason. I had put us in this awkward position and it kept getting weirder.

So Kate, in the way that only Kate can, leaned across the booth, looked dude in the face and said very gently and with great ease:

"Can I make a request?"

He seemed stoked.

"YEAH TOTALLY!"

"Would you go ahead and leave our booth and go sit somewhere else?"

He sunk a little but was agreeable about it. So it seemed. He agreed to leave but then said, "Just let me look at the menu for a minute."

"You know what? You can take the menu with you. We know what we're getting. So go ahead," said Kate.

SHE HAD ZERO TIME FOR IT. It was kind of amazing to watch. She was a conversational wizard.

He finally got up verrrrry slowly and I think he kept thinking I would say, "Hey, actually sit down! It's fine!"

But wanna know what I did? I sat there frozen the whole time. I was totally useless. Haha. If it weren't for Kate standing up for what she wanted, I'd probably be on my way to Florida buying this dude food and drinks and a place to stay because I'm a SUCKER.

And ya know what? It bummed me out because I sort of took a chance and tried to be kind to someone who I normally would just ignore or say no to...because of my shyness...but I took a chance. And it ROYALLY went wrong.

I mean, it all worked out, as in, we weren't robbed or kicked out of the airport with the dude or anything, but it sort of ruined our breakfast that we'd been excited about. But sometimes, it happens. You take a chance and it doesn't go how you hope it will. And that's ok.

We hope this dude is ok and wish him all the best, but if we ever see him again, we are RUNNING the other way to Applebee's or Chili's or anywhere but TGI FRIDAYS. 

You win some you lose some.

 

Now...more pics of you awesome people! 

Shannon!! The best.

Shannon!! The best.

All smiles!

All smiles!

Excited faces?!?!

Excited faces?!?!

Merry Merry! #31Days2016

Merry Christmas, Friends!

From our hearts to yours, we are wishing you a VERY, MERRY Christmas!!! Jill is with her family in New Hampshire and Kate is with some family in Idaho. 

We are all spending the day eating yummy food, making memories with family and reflecting on the wonderful gift of the birth of Jesus...and we hope you are all enjoying your day too! 
 

(Jill and Syl "Kate-facing" It)

(Jill and Syl "Kate-facing" It)

(Kate and Bill missing out on the Kate face!)

(Kate and Bill missing out on the Kate face!)

Thank you for your support and love throughout 2016...it truly means so much to us. We hope and pray you've have a very lovely Christmas weekend!

MUCH LOVE! 

J&K

And how about some more fan pics...cause you guys...this has been SO FUN!!! #memorylane

At a Night For Hope in Nashville!

At a Night For Hope in Nashville!

Lynn!

Lynn!

Happy times!!

Happy times!!

I JUST CAN'T

We all have them. Things that WE JUST CAN'T. Meaning we just can't handle them. We can't even. Here are my top 10. What are some of yours? Leave them in the comments. -j

1. SMELLY SPONGES
As soon as a sponge or rag starts to smell...you KNOW that smell, it's time to throw it out. Come on, guys. Let's all do it. I believe in us.

2. REINDEER CARS
Whyyyyyyyyyy?

3. WAITRESSES WHO CALL ME "BABY, SWEETHEART, DOLL, ETC.)
I'd prefer Ma'am and that's saying a lot. ("Honey" I can handle ON OCCASION, but that's about as far as I'll go.)

4. STICKY FOOD THINGS
Speaking of "honey"...sticky food items. Think syrup, ooey gooey caramel, etc. AHHHHHH just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

5. THE SONG "BAD DAY" by DANIEL POWTER.
Do you have that one song that just gets your goat? This is mine and it literally makes me cringe when I hear it. Shoot, now it's gonna be in my head.

6. POP ROCKS
They are exploding in my mouth. First of all, how? Secondly, OUCH. Thirdly, just no. I want nothing to do with these weird non-food, not-even-really-candy thingamabobs. Good riddance.

7. OILS
Sorry if you sell them and no I don't hate you, I just can't with the smells. So. Many. Smells. Little drops of smelliness that will not go away. I will definitely not be your next DoTerra team member. You can count on that. But I will still be your friend. 

8. THE GROCERY CART WITH THE WONKY WHEEL.
Why do I always get this one? Why, guys, why?! Just once, I want a smooth, gliding grocery cart. Is that too much to ask?

9. CARS WITHOUT BLINKERS
Isn't it crazy how many cars they make without blinkers now? I mean, it's just crazy! Yes I'm being sarcastic and kind of a jerk. Use your blinkers, people. Love you, mean it.

10. PHONE UPDATES
I'm protesting phone updates. I see you, little alert every day...asking me to update. I keep telling you tomorrow because you don't give me the "LEAVE ME ALONE" option. But guess what? I'm lying. I don't want you to remind me tomorrow or tonight or later this week. I'm not going to update until I literally have no other option. So there.

 

Now....Things that I JUST CAN??? More pictures of you guys! See below. :) :)

C2C Group shot! One of the greatest days!

C2C Group shot! One of the greatest days!

Rockin' that 5K in Styyyyyle.

Rockin' that 5K in Styyyyyle.

Dear UK, can we come back sooooooon?

Dear UK, can we come back sooooooon?

Thoughts on Emoticons, Bitmojis, and GIFs #31days2016

So many thoughts on Emoticons, Bitmojis, and GIF's. 

What's cool? What's not? Do you care? Do you hate any of them? Love any of them? Our friend Jenny hates Bitmojis so much that it's fun to send them to her just because she gets so irritated. Hahaha...I guess I should be a better friend. 

When emoticons came out it was like, YES. I can now express everything I need to express without using words. #lazy 

Then came Bitmoji which Jill got into and Kate did not. It's like Emoticons on steroids. You get to design your little character which is half the fun. You can express everything you need to while actually looking like yourself, and not just a yellow round face. #selfindulgent

And just when we thought Bitmojis were where it's at...GIFs took over the texting world. And admittedly, they are AMAZING. They are sure to get a laugh and a good GIF-ing text convo can go on for at least 20 minutes, easily. Oh how the youths love it. #relevant

 

So we thought we'd share with you our favorite/most used Emoticons, Bitmojis, and GIFs (pronunciation is a big debate here: GGGGIFS? JJJJIFS? We say GIFs not JIFs and we have been known to use the sentence: "You are such a GIF to me!" *Shout out to Carolyn Snell* 

So here are our top picks/most frequently used: 

EMOTICONS:

😂 😎 🙋🏼 🙈 🙄 (sorry they are so small!)

 

BITMOJIS:

 

GIFS:

Okay, well that was fun. What are some of your favorites?? We'd love to see them. 

Here are some more pics with you fine folks!

What a crew!

What a crew!

NYC, yeah you know me!

NYC, yeah you know me!

One day we will go to The Habit!

One day we will go to The Habit!

Cali girls.  

Cali girls.

 

 

 

Christmas time rules #31Days2016

Hey friends, 

As we enter the week of Christmas you will most likely be with family, friends and surrounded by more people than you normally would be. Cue excitement, enjoyment and also, sometimes a wee bit of anxiety. We wanted to share 2 friendly holiday golden rules that we’ve been learning that are good to acknowledge for holiday gatherings:

 

Try not to be easily offended. Someone will probably say something to you that might offend you. Just roll with it. Try not to take everything personally. If you mentally have that mindset of not being “easily offended" it can make conversations and interactions much smoother. Know that the ones surrounding you LOVE you. Know that people generally aren’t trying to be hurtful or offend you…doing this is not always easy but it’s worth it. Just smile, nod, practice that self-control and make like T-swift and “Shake It Off.” 

 

It’s okay to take a grown-up time out. Make a rule before entering the holidays that it’s okay to take time away from the people you love and adore. If you need to take time to be alone, DO IT. Don’t let guilt have a voice to try and tell you that you need every, single second participating with the people surrounding you. Know that if you need to take a drive for that “special errand” or if you need to go take a nap…that’s 100% okay. Seriously, everyone will be better for it. Self-care is important. 

 

Wishing the smoothest holiday gatherings ever! 

 

Much love,

 

J&K

Heyyyyy! Love that shirt.

Heyyyyy! Love that shirt.

We still use these bags daily. LOVE. #pampambambam #pamcakes #thebest

We still use these bags daily. LOVE. #pampambambam #pamcakes #thebest

JOSEPH!!!!

JOSEPH!!!!

7 people you'll see in the airport this week #31Days2016

A few weeks ago, we did a blog about the types of people you find at the beach. Today we are covering the types of people you see at an airport at Christmas time. All of which were observed today by each of us. Here they are, in no particular order. 

 

1) The "Sprinting-as-fast-as-Usain-Bolt" guy who has literally never run that fast in his life. He definitely woke up late and was in his bed fast asleep 22 minutes ago. Poor guy. We've all been there and it's such a rude awakening so you can't help but feel bad for the dude. But also, you have to laugh really hard because it's just so funny to watch it go down when it isn't you. Run, Forrest...run. Hope you make it, buddy.

 

2) The Mom who is freaking rockin' it with little kids who are so excited to be going on an airplane while simultaneously completely melting down because they are out of their routine and because, well, KIDS. You go, Moms. Mad respect. Hope you packed a whole lotta snacks...and some wine for yourself.

 

3) The family who we are going to call the "Nervous Nells." 

"Do you have our boarding passes?" 

"NO, Sue, I gave them to you!"

"Kids did you use the bathroom??"

"Is this our gate...where's our gate? JIM, we are going to miss the flight."

Meanwhile, there's an hour until boarding. Calm down, Nells. It's going to be ok.

 

4) The unbelievably uncomfortable 30-something woman getting a pat down at security in front of everyone. Oh hey, that's me. 

 

5) The retired couple flying to spend Christmas with their kids and grandkids. They are sitting down for one last meal and drink...the calm before the storm. Sipping their martinis all the while knowing when they arrive on the other side, the chaos will ensue for the next 5 days. 

 

6) The overly perky Gate agent cracking jokes over the loud speaker. The power is just so alluring. EVERYONE IS LISTENING TO ME. I WILL BE WITTY AND CUTE AND EVERYONE WILL LOVE ME.  We can all appreciate the positive attitude, but it's early, Ma'am. Jokes are lost on us. Sorry to burst your bubble. All I'm looking for is super dry instructions on where, when, and how to board. Please and thank you. 

 

7) The suave young businessman looking dude who has TSA pre check and cruises through security like a gazelle. Yes we are all looking at you and yes we are envious. (We know you already know that though.)

 

There are so many more as you well know...but these are just a few of the fun faces you can expect to run into if you're flying this week. Give them each a big high five. Except for the girl getting frisked at security. Do her a favor and just pretend you're not watching. 

Christmas is coming soon! Here are some more pics of all of us. Cheers!

Where the party at!?

Where the party at!?

We feel like this photo could be in a yearbook! 

We feel like this photo could be in a yearbook! 

NYC nights with Fred.

NYC nights with Fred.

Acoustic Covers release, right?

Acoustic Covers release, right?

Is today Thursday, cause this is a THROWBACK!

Is today Thursday, cause this is a THROWBACK!

The End Of An Era #31Days2016

Well guys, my Passport is about to expire. Today I was filling out all of my paperwork so that I can get a new one and it made me a little sad. That little passport has taken me to 6 continents in 10 years...all around the world...more than a few times. This Passport is special because it was my first one. That's right...I didn't have a Passport until I was in my 20's and then I made up for lost time and traveled a LOT with that little guy. I even had to get pages added a few years ago. I have stamps from places like the Maldives, New Zealand, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Brazil, South Korea, China, Ireland, Sweden....I could go on and on...so many places I NEVER dreamed I would ever go. Like in my wildest childhood dreams, I would've never even imagined.

Now I will turn it in and they will hopefully send it back to me...but with a big ol' hole punched through it. It feels like I'm parting with a dear friend. Maybe that's a little weird, but it's true. 

But let me tell you what I'm not sad about: getting a NEW Passport picture. I do not photograph well for these types of things. I look like a scary serial killer who is going to creep into your house at night and stand over you with scissors. Seriously. (You should see my license. Don't even get me started.)

So, anyways...now, they let you TAKE YOUR OWN PASSPORT PHOTO. This is the best and worst news. I mean, great, I can take one until I like it. But honestly, today I got obsessed with it. Like over-analyzing every little part of the picture. I probably took 45 shots. Finally, I just said "screw it" and just picked one. I don't love it and I don't hate it. It's just a picture. I even sort of still look like a serial killer...just a bit milder than the last serial killer picture from 10 years ago. HA. 

Anyway, while I'm sad that it's THE END OF AN ERA...I'm also excited because who knows where I will go with this new Passport? I can't even begin to dream up the places it may take me and that's kind of awesome to think about. Never think that your best days are behind you. There is so much in all of our futures that we don't even know is coming. I love the idea of that. 

Here's to lots of adventures for all of us in the next 10 years! 

Much love, 

Jill

PS: Here are some more sweet pics of you and us. You all rock for sending them in.

Ohhhhhh Canada!

Ohhhhhh Canada!

Victor always brings us the best treats!

Victor always brings us the best treats!

Get those SKINNY JEANS outta my sight!

Get those SKINNY JEANS outta my sight!

Vibey venues for the win.

Vibey venues for the win.

7 Things That Happened This Weekend #31Days2016

Did you have a good weekend? It's the last weekend before Christmas which always has some sort of excitement that goes along with it. Then...it was Kate's birthday on top of that...so it was a good one over here in J&K world. Here are 7 things that happened this weekend, just for funsies. 

1) The temperature dropped like 40 degrees here in Nashville...in like 2 hours. We realize there are a lot of "likes" in that sentence, but we don't have the exact numbers so "like" feels like it captures the drama that we need. It was basically spring all day. Jill wore flip flops to a birthday party in the morning. By midnight, frost bite was a legitimate concern.
Ah, December.

2) We made and consumed a LOT of Muddy Buddies aka Puppy Chow. It's THE BEST holiday treat. Also, super healthy. 😳
 


3) We went to the mall. THE MALL. Maybe we're crazy. We actually went in the morning (hey Grandmas) and so it wasn't too crazy. Still...a risky move.

4) We watched The Holiday...a top 3 Christmas movie for both of us. Hoping for real life Holiday experiences. Fingers crossed. 
 


5) We wrote and recorded our Song On The 17th called "Come Back To Me." It's sad and emotional and break-uppy...we hope you dig it. If you missed it, watch it here.

6) We got to be guests on David Bradley's radio show. AWESOME! We talked about some of our favorite songs, what we want for Christmas, and we sang "Same Side" live.  It was so fun and we were honored to be his guests. He is not only a great friend, but he is a ridiculously talented singer/songwriter who will blow you away. Check him out and listen to his radio show too...fun fun.

7) The Patriots beat the Broncos IN Denver to become the AFC East champs. Icing on the cake of the weekend.

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How was your weekend? What'd ya get into? 

Here are some more pics of you and us. Hey hey. See ya tomorrow. 

Much love,

J&K

With the coolest twins around. 

With the coolest twins around. 

Not sure what is happening in this pic but....we LOVE it. 

Not sure what is happening in this pic but....we LOVE it. 

Jamie & Fred. Fred for lyfe. Fred is lyfe. Jamie is lyfe. 

Jamie & Fred. Fred for lyfe. Fred is lyfe. Jamie is lyfe. 

This was in Nashville with Kristin...she's AWESOME! 

This was in Nashville with Kristin...she's AWESOME! 

Hey yo Panalee! Another fun NYC night in the books! 

Hey yo Panalee! Another fun NYC night in the books! 

Come Back To Me #31Days2016

Come Back To Me

I still remember your voice
How it carried how I heard it above all the noise
I still remember how you touched me
Made me wanna never leave
Made me wanna never leave

You made my soul come alive
like it was the first time
Like it was the first time I
Had ever breathed and I
I wanna feel Alive I wanna feel alive tonight
So come back to me
Do what I need and come back to me

I still remember your eyes
How they'd float across the room and stare into mine
I still remember how you held me
I could feel your heart beat
I can feel your heart beat

I will open up the door
Baby I'll leave on the light
We could try it once more
Maybe we can get right

(c) Jill and Kate, 2016. 

Quiet #31Days2016

On our last morning of vacation, I got up to see the sunrise. I walked to the beach alone and thought I was actually going to miss the sunrise all together because it was already getting kind of light outside. So I ran a bit and tried my best to hustle off my “just-out-of-bed” saunter.  I got to the beach and looked to the brightest part of the horizon, it had already popped over the edge of the land but there was a giant cloud blocking it. It’s like God was saving the spectacular part just for me. I got to the sand…toes just barely touching the cool water and watched the sun gloriously peek above the cloud. It was gorgeous. So quiet. So peaceful. 

I am an extrovert. I love people, parties and pretty much any excuse for a social gathering…but as I get older I realize how much I need alone time. And how much I actually enjoy it (something my 18-year old self would have NEVER believed.) I also realize that I need quiet moments with just me and my thoughts. 

A quote that my friend Shauna said that has stuck with me for the last year is this: “It’s in the quiet I remember who I want to be.” 

Yes. Just, yes. I’ve realized when I don’t create those moments of intentional quiet, I am not as centered with myself. I’m not as good of a listener to the people around me. See, when I make time to listen to myself, to listen to the soft voice inside God has given to me, I seem to be a better listener to others. It starts with me. 

So, I stood on the beach, talked to myself and God. I was quiet. Watching the waves roll in and out. I asked questions, I said a lot of thank you's and I was trying to absorb every ounce of beauty. It was a necessary recharging for me. I was there for about an hour and right before I left I looked to my left and there was a rainbow. WHAT? It was so cool. Rainbows signify promises and it was just a cool reminder from God. Like He was listening and wanted to show me. I was so thankful. 

I don’t always do it enough but man, when I do, I’m never disappointed. Make time for yourself in the quiet places. Listen. Pray. Ask questions. Dream. Cry. Thank. It’s all good. 

Love you all!

-Kate

Apparently we were going for "over it"...

Apparently we were going for "over it"...

At A Night For Hope a few years back!

At A Night For Hope a few years back!

What's up matching shirts?

What's up matching shirts?

Sassy.  

Sassy.

 

Holiday Gift Guide (for the late & potentially lazy) #31Days2016

Hello friends, 

Well, Christmas is only 11 days away and we are here to help you. We have created a simple, one-stop, holiday gift guide just for you. We picked out a few items that will help you if you're stuck.   AND you can order everything from Amazon & never leave your house & have it at your doorstep in 2 days. How great is life? PRAISE HANDS all day. You ready? Here we go:

For the gal pal/girlfriend/sister-in-law/cousin/mom in your life:

Lauren Graham's new book. It's charming, funny, and CHALK FULL OF WISDOM. We need more people like her in the world & we need more people like her sharing their stories. Stories are what help us all. We love her words...they're a gift. We both read it last week. Do yourself a favor: read it and pass it along to someone else. She'll have you LOLing and wanting to be a better person. We love women who are killin' it at what they do and who are genuinely GOOD people. She's the best of the best. We're big fans of all her work...and this brand new book does NOT disappoint. Hellz yeah. 

For the niece/nephew/ kid in your life: 

That's right. Jenga. It's good, old-fashioned fun and pretty much any age can play. It's fun and easy to learn. Go ahead, you won't regret this purchase. Errrrybody loves Jenga. 

For the brother/cousin/brother-in-law/boyfriend in your life:

This patagonia pullover is a sure shot Christmas present for the man in your life. It's warm, stylish and WILL LAST FOREVER. Even teenage boys are into this. And you can't go wrong with gray or "Stonewash" if you're being fancy.

For anyone with a beating heart and a sane mind:

Have you ever had these? Sees Candies. Don't just get any though...make sure to get the nuts and chews. Very important. THEY ARE DELICIOUS. If you are looking for a hostess gift or a little something for a co-worker, get them these chocolates and change their lives. Or heck, order a box for yourself and enjoy. They are delicious. 

There you go, good people. 

Hope this has been helpful! Oh and one more way we can be helpful. 

We want to give one reader this sweatshirt (for FREE!) Just call us holiday elves. You can keep it for yourself or use it as a Christmas present. Leave a comment here on the blog and we'll pick a winner tomorrow. And if you aren't the lucky winner we have a few in stock still along with some other cute stuff...check out our shop...and we are no Amazon.com but....we will ship it in 24 hours to make sure you get your gift ASAP.

Happy shopping. 

J&K

Here are more fun fan photos. 

The temperatures were FREEZING in this pic. If we look cold, we are. 

The temperatures were FREEZING in this pic. If we look cold, we are. 

This was in Canada. Look how happy we are in Canada. So fun. 

This was in Canada. Look how happy we are in Canada. So fun. 

This was also in Canada...with Kayla....she's stellar. Love her love for music.

This was also in Canada...with Kayla....she's stellar. Love her love for music.

3 girls in Houses of Hope Africa t-shirts. Abby, always showing up. So great. Love her. 

3 girls in Houses of Hope Africa t-shirts. Abby, always showing up. So great. Love her.