family

Cancel All Your Plans

I want you to cancel all your plans.

Okay, not really. But the holidays can be a time where you make a million grand plans in your mind and you arrive with expectations GALORE and sometimes those grand plans get ruined...and you end up bawling your eyes out in the bathroom. (Been there, done that. True story.)

So, I have 2 ideas that I want to share with you for a radically marvelous holiday week — both of these things we are practicing and have helped us both so much.

  • Drop all your expectations. That’s right. I read this somewhere: “Expectation is the root of all heartache,” and I about lost all my cool because that was 100% me. I was flying through every day with high expectations and I found myself constantly disappointed.

At first, I thought that not having expectations would leave me in this constant womp-womp state, but I decided that I would allow myself to keep one expectation, and one that would not leave me disappointed. The one expectation I keep is that I will enjoy myself. Why is that so easy for me to keep? Because I can control that! Can I control what Aunt Sally says to me? NOPE. Can I control if no one wants to take the perfectly posed family photo? NOPE. Can I control if Uncle Ed cuts me off every single time I talk? NOPE. But what I can control is my attitude and my feelings. I can choose to enter the day by setting the only expectation I can manage: I will enjoy myself today. That’s pretty much most of what I can control, myself and my attitude.

  • Decide that you are not going to change anyone’s opinions about anything. Decide you will just listen. Really listen. Not argue your points. Not tell everyone why they are wrong. Not why “your side” is better. Just listen. Be present. Remind yourself of your above commitment to enjoy yourself. Part of that is not getting yourself wrapped up in conversations that are going to be tense. You are not Joan of Arc, no need to ride into battle. Allow yourself to just BE. Sometimes we think that by not speaking up or arguing a different viewpoint, it’s signifying that we agree with that person. Not true at all. You can listen and still hold differing opinions without needing to argue them right then and there.

So there you have it, two rules to live by this Thanksgiving, if you so choose. I will do my best to do this, and whatever happens, know that I can enjoy myself. I really believe this method works.

If you need an extra reminder on changing your attitude, we gotchu. Click here.

Oh, and one more thing...the whole point of this holiday, to be honest...BE THANKFUL. Even in all of our struggles, hardships, and disappointments, we have so much to be thankful for, and I never want to miss that.

We are thankful for YOU, for your support, and for navigating this crazy life with each of you reading this. Here’s to a great Thanksgiving!

Much love,

Kate

PS. Here are a few appetizers + a cocktail we are making tomorrow!

Cranberry Brie Bites

Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Maple Old Fashioned


What are you whipping up?

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!

The Gift of Family (Day #28)

Family is truly a gift. I have been thinking about that the last few days. Having my family all come and visit me this holiday season has been such a blast. There were lots of us packed under one roof with gobs of food, play-time with the little ones, strong coffee mornings, long cold hikes, laugher....it was fabulous and such a miraculous blessing that we could be together. Even as I reflect upon time with my family, I think about how important it is to be a part of something. A family. A team. A community. A friend group. I don't think "family" is only something you are just born into. I have friends in my life that I truly consider family. They feel just as much like family as my own. A community can be family. A workplace. A neighborhood.

And as my time with my family draws to an end, I think of the people that don't have families. Maybe that's you? And maybe this season has been really hard for you. We always say that loneliness is the worst disease...that feeling alone and isolated might be the worst thing ever. And if that's where you find yourself as you read this...there is hope. YOU matter and there is a place for you.

 

And if you find yourself reading this content in a settled place with loved ones all around...maybe take an extra minute over the next few days to reach out to someone you see or know that might need to be found. To be in a community. Send a text. Meet up for coffee. Invite people over and eat food....or make cookies.

As I write this, I am yet again reminded that this is a big part of why music is so huge for us. We find common ground. We identify with someone else who has experienced the same thing. We find a home for our thoughts and feelings...someone else has been there too. Music brings people together. At a show...when we are onstage and we see a crowd of people singing along to a song we created...it's the best thing ever! Total strangers coming together and all being a part of something. We're all singing the same words...different lives, different stories...but we're all singing the same song.

I think that's why 'Beliebers' are so darn strong. They are a part of a family. You might laugh...but I think it's great. They have a family. They are all in something together. They may never meet face to face, but they share a common love and common values...and music did that. Well, music and a very cute teenage boy...but it's the musical platform that brought them all together.  That's what Justin has created...a family.

Anyway...don't get your panties in a bundle if you hate Bieber. It's just an example. I am grateful and blessed from time with my family this week and wanted to share how full my heart is. We all belong in families.

My hope is that loneliness dissipates...And that love and belonging flourish.

xoxo

-kate

Throwing It Back

I was looking through pictures the other day and I found this shot of my mom and me playing some tunes at a nursing home when I was about 11. We used to go into local nursing homes and play music for the residents there. As you can tell, I was THRILLED to have my picture taken. (I was a little shy, okay? Not much has changed.) sc0070aa36

Check out my mom's SUPER cool watermelon earrings! And my SUPER cool Ramona Quimby haircut. Rockin' it.

I remember being sort of annoyed and a little too cool when we would go in and play at these nursing homes. I guess that's pretty standard when you're a wicked-cool-pre-teen. But now I am really grateful for that experience. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone and it was good practice for what I do now as a wicked-cool-post-teen. (jk about the wicked cool part)

I like looking back and seeing how certain experiences molded me into who I am now. It reminds me that every experience has value...whether you enjoy it at the time or not. That's just my thought for the day. Hope you are enjoying whatever experiences are molding you right now. -jill-

Drawn to Downton

**NO spoilers here...if you haven't watched the show and are nervous we might give something away...have no worries...no spoilers here.** Ugh. Downton Abbey. The television craze. First off I (kate) told myself I wouldn't use my computer when I was trying to go to sleep. Yes, I've read the articles about 'winding down' and something about the lights on your computer exciting the neurons in your eyes that stimulate the brain that keep you from sleeping. Yes, I've read it and had been doing really well but I just watched an episode of Downton and felt I HAD TO WRITE ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW. Sorry neurons, we're up.

So, why is everyone so drawn to Downton Abbey? What is it about that show? Yes, it has great writing. Yes, it has phenomenal actors. Yes, the character development makes you want to walk through fire for almost any character. But it's left me thinking...why are so many people drawn to that show?

For me it has something to do with the way things are cherished. Things have such great value in the show and I'm not just speaking monetarily. Whether it's stopping in on someone for a visit or the family name or your chastity...everything was so highly cherished. Maybe it's cause it was a simpler time and there was less to do but I like that back then taking a walk with someone was an activity. Or a picnic. Or a drive. It was all intentional.

There is also something about how valued family is. Meals were eaten together as a family. Extended family was a priority. Honoring their parents and respecting them really meant something. Maybe we like watching that show cause it makes us miss our families less. Or for those of us whose family situation might not be the greatest...maybe you feel like you belong when you watch the show with their fierce family loyalty. Someone told me once that a psychological study was done on the popularity of the show Keep Up With The Kardashians...and it turns out that people watch the show because they like feeling like they are a part of a family unit. Each episode displays family drama but by the end they are always there for each other. Don't we all want that feeling of knowing someone is gonna be there for us?

Whether it's a Kardashian sister or Mr. Carson maybe that's why we get so drawn in--we just want to be a part of something. Included. Looked out for.

So there you have it...there is just something in me that makes my heart swoon all googley eyed when I watch that show. Maybe it's their adorable British accents. It has been known that after we watch the show we both try and talk in British accents and drinks lots of teeeeeeea.

-j&k-

 

 

A Very Ping Pong Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope today was a wonderful day for each of you and that all of you felt loved! Here is a little story from Kate's Christmas day:

So recently my dad has gotten really into playing ping pong aka table tennis. He is actually really good but I continually am poking fun at his intensity regarding his love for this game. So, as a fun little Christmas gift I got my dad this mini ping pong set. You are supposed to set it up on a table...looks something like this:

He thought it was hysterical! But one of the pieces was missing for the net so we couldn't set it up...FAIL. But that didn't stop us...my dad being the handy man he is found some wood and set it up across the table...creating a faux net if you will. So we played mini-ghetto-table tennis...and it was SO MUCH FUN. We laughed and laughed...the paddles we tiny and hard to control but it was good times for sure. Here are some pics...

My dad and the mini-ping-pong-paddle.

This is where I was talking to the ball asking it very nicely not to go off the table when I hit it :) And you have a nice view of the ghetto "net."

Now you get it...tiny table, tiny paddles = me doubled over in laughter :)

I highly recommend this gift....super great memories were made.

Merry Christmas.

Love,

-jillandkate-

 

Like mother, like daughter...

We recently had a mother and daughter weekend o' fun :) We'll call it a late mother's day extravaganza. It was pretty shnazzy. We are all pretty classy ladies. Haha. Take the pics below as an example. They are pretty awesome for being such good sports....and truthfully, they took us out on the town...they are great...if our moms are reading this...we love you!

shishy.

it's late where i'm at and i couldn't sleep so i thought i'd write a quick blog. there's nothing better than a nice bowl of cereal when you can't sleep. so--while typing i'm shoveling cereal into my mouth like i haven't eaten in weeks or something...haha.
i was hanging out with my little brother's a few weeks ago and they have this awesome book that teaches you how to draw things. i generally cannot draw anything more than a stick figure to save my life, but in effort to spend quality bonding time with them i decided to put pencil to paper and draw with them. and this is what came out...

i was SUPER impressed with myself. i mean...honestly my 8 year old brothers did it just as well...but still...i was pretty excited about how my fish turned out. the book is AWESOME and i secretly wanted to steal it and take it home with me...but i didn't.
and to wrap up my awesome and somewhat boring story about this fish it reminded me that when one of my brothers was just a wee little tot....he had the CUTEST lisp. we would try and get him to say fish. so we'd say, "fa, fa, fish." he would repeat and say, "fa, fa, shish." it wasn't a "fishy," it was a "shishy." so to sum it all up. cereal = good. drawing = good. shishy = good. night night. -kate