31 August 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

I am thrilled to report that Ashley at Everything's Hunky Dorey recently nominated Seriously Kate for the Liebster Award! This award is given by a blogger to fellow bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, it's pretty exciting to think that just maybe my blog is taking its shape in my little corner of the blogosphere. Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement - and many thanks to Ashley!

 The criteria, should you accept this award, is as follows:
  • Thank your nominator by linking back to their post.
  • Answer 11 questions posed by your nominator.
  • Make a list of 11 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 or more up and coming bloggers with 200 followers or less.
  • Provide a list of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Publish your post and contact your nominees with the awesome news!

29 August 2013

Lies of the Lottery

A few days ago I was travelling on business and stopped into a gas station to refill the car and grab something to snack on. I picked out my favorites - a cold Coca Cola and some of those yummy Mini Sweet Tarts. I took my place in line to check out, which happened to be about three places back. I waited patiently, leisurely contemplating just how much longer it would be until I arrived home. Some time passed and I realized the line wasn't moving. A little unusual for a convenience store - the idea is to be quick and 'convenient.' So, I started to pay attention to what or who was holding up the line.

I want you to picture with me an older lady, maybe in her 50s. Her hair is graying and is pulled back in a messy ponytail. She looks as though she has worked hard, physically, in her life - might be a farmer's wife, maybe loves to garden. Basically, her appearance portrays that she has spent a credible amount of time outside and things have not always come easy for her. My superficial impression is that she works hard and struggles to stay caught up. Now, please bare in mind, that this is only an impression, and could be incredibly far from the truth.

28 August 2013

A Reading Recap

I absolutely love to read - so much that sometimes it consumes me. And during my last obsessive stint, I read a few books I'd highly recommend and some that I'd say you could probably overlook on your next trip to the library.

I am officially caught up with Stephanie Plum and her bounty hunter adventures. I've read books one through nineteen in the series and am waiting on book twenty to be released in November. This series, written by Janet Evanovich, is a perfect combination of suspense, mystery, romance, and comedy. I love the suspense and that it's not so edgy that I am not laughing at Lulu or forgetting about who Stephanie's going to lean more toward this time around in her love triangle. These books are fast reads and I highly recommend you at least try book one. If you must, you can even watch the movie first - One for the Money - which has Katherine Heigl as Stephanie.

So, there was all this talk of The Great Gatsby Movie and I realized I had never read the book nor seen the older movie - I had no idea what it was about or why it was such a big deal. We rarely go to the movies and if going, doubted we'd choose that for such a special occasion, so I picked up the book on my Kindle and got caught up with the rest of the world.

25 August 2013

A Little Bit Nerdy, A Little Bit Tomboy

It's time to link up with Ashley and Neely for Sunday Social. Hope you're having a lovely weekend so far!

Before we get to this week's questions and answers, I quickly just want to say that I would absolutely love it if you'd consider submitting a question for my "Ask Kate" Series - the questions can be as simple or as complex as you like. If you don't have one, maybe you know someone who does? It would be much appreciated!

Now... let's get Social!

1. What do you miss most about being a kid?
I miss school and participating in athletics. I loved taking the hard classes that most shied away from just to prove that I could do it. I have always had a competitive bone, so I loved playing sports and being part of a team.

2. Did you have a nickname growing up? What was it?
It was Rose - and only my Father called me by the name. I always hated it too, until finally one day he confessed as to why he called me that. He said he always thought I was as sweet and pretty as a rose. Boy, did I feel rotten after that.

3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess?
I loved to swing and hang upside down on the monkey bars. Oh, and play foursquare - that was elementary school. And then in grade school, it was tetherball. I always wanted to be the girl who could beat the guys.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I'm pretty sure it fluctuated between a Teacher and a Doctor. And I'm neither today, I'm an Accountant.

5. Did you participate in any school activities?
I played lots of different sports - volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. And I loved to watch the Boys Football and Basketball games. I'm pretty sure I attended most dances, and in my younger days, got second or third place in a spelling bee.

6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about?
My Mom loves to tell the story of how, when I was five years old, I called McDonald's and asked them if they were hiring - I suppose I thought I needed a job.

Happy Sunday to You!

As always, thanks for reading.


August 25, 2013

22 August 2013

Being in Labor Makes Me Sick

It's been a little while since I've linked up with the Finish the Sentence Friday crew. So, I'm pretty excited to be getting back in the groove with this week's link up.

And this week's sentence to finish is "I wasn't myself when I..."

...was in labor with our son. It's important to note that my pregnancy was fairly stress free - little to nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe a little swelling in the hands and feet towards the end, but that was it. I really can't say the same for the labor part - it was just a tad bit livelier.

I was induced on a Sunday morning. The Pitocin worked beautifully (I know that is not always the case). And as my contractions became stronger and closer together, I began to shake. It was like I was shivering and I couldn't control it. I was fine besides that. Then the epidural came and helped tremendously with the pain from the contractions. Unfortunately, it made me nauseous. Or maybe it was just my body's way of reacting to what it was going through, but nonetheless, I felt like vomiting.

19 August 2013

The Puzzle Moment Where My Cup Runneth Over

For several years while I was growing up, our family lived next door to my grandmother - we called her Nanny. From the time I was little, we always had a very close relationship. Each day, when the school bus would drop my brother and I off, we'd run up to her house and she'd always have a snack waiting for us. After our snack, my brother (who is almost six years older) would head to our house to start his chores.

I, however, would stay and hang out with Nanny. She would let me watch television, play in her jewelry, admire her shoes, go through her books, and snoop and play like any elementary school girl would want to do. Who wouldn't love that?

But one of the things I remember and love the most were her puzzles. She loved to work puzzles, beautiful 500 to 1000 piece puzzles. She had an entire cabinet full of them. Some of my sweetest memories with her are the many times she'd let me choose a puzzle and we'd spend hours working side by side putting it together until it was completely finished.

18 August 2013

Public Speaking, Big Plans, and Bloggy Aspirations

Love linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social. Here are this week's questions and my lovely answers. Happy Sunday!
1. What is something you've always wanted to do but are afraid of? 
I have always wanted to be able to stand in front of a group of people, no matter how large or small, and speak with confidence and eloquence. I would like for moments like that to not even phase me. Currently, giving a small presentation to even my closest colleagues causes my armpits to sweat and my stomach to flip hours before it even occurs. As a matter of fact, just thinking about a recent presentation I had to give has my stomach all nervous and my armpits wondering if I remembered to put deodorant on!
2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'd love to see myself having the relationship with Christ that I once had. I also hope His will for us is to have more children - maybe one or two more over the next five years. And with that in mind, I'd like to see us working on building or buying a new house to make room for that growing family.
3. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2013?
Vacation for us is not too far away. We usually go early/mid summer but have put it off until late summer this year. Our whole family is by far ready. I can hear the ocean waves now. I'm also really fond of Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually get to spend a lot of time with family that we do not get to see very often.
4. What are your hopes for your blog?
I'd really like to see the Ask Kate Series take off. I launched it a couple of weeks ago - it's a series where readers submit their questions and I attempt to answer them. I'd also like to work to engage more readers through comments and I may even start a Facebook page. I really want Seriously Kate to be a blog that people enjoy reading, find encouragement from, and can relate to - in other words, meaningful.
5. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?
 Not necessarily. But I do think it would be much farther down the road before we would make a transition to a new area. However, no matter where we are, I do see us always living on a farm.
6. What is your morning routine?
My alarm rings off at 5:30. On a good morning, I'm out of bed and in the shower by 5:45. I shower and get ready for work - basic make up and hot rollers every day. I pack Little Man's bag, feed the dog, and load the car. I then wake him up, coax him into going potty and then get him dressed. It's a 45 to 55 minute commute (depending on traffic) from the time I leave the house to the time I arrive at work. And by the time I get there, I'm in dire need of my morning Coke.  
Thanks for reading.
August 18, 2013

15 August 2013

Ask Kate - Week 2: I Surrender, Now What

Dear Kate: After quite some time away from church, and never really having a close enough walk with the Lord, I am ready to surrender to Him. This is both exciting and a little scary for me! I have been saved by grace since I was a little girl, but have never had the relationship with God that He deserves. I have always had periods of backsliding. How would you suggest that I move forward, now that I am ready to fully serve Him and build a solid relationship?

First and foremost, I believe surrendering your life to Christ is both exciting and fearful. It is exciting because, although we may not know all of God's promises as newly surrendered Christians, we know that they are there. We are willingly and eagerly trusting Him to lead and guide every area of our lives with the confidence that He will always have our best interests in mind. I believe a truly surrendered heart will have the faith like that of a child.

But, along with the excitement of a fully surrendered heart will also be an element of fear. Turning everything over to God is a necessary step into surrendering your life to Christ, but it can understandably be unnerving. Knowing that your life will change but not knowing exactly how it will happen or how long it will take. Realizing that allowing Him to mold the clay means who you are today may take a completely different form tomorrow. Accepting that, like any relationship, your walk with Christ will take commitment, it will require diligence and time. An understanding that you will always be a work in progress.

The beauty of combining excitement and fear is that together, if handled wisely, they will develop into reverential awe. Meaning that although you may fear Him because of who He is - an all knowing, all mighty, perfect, omnipresent God - as your relationship with Him begins to grow, you will desire to serve Him, glorify Him, and ultimately worship Him. You will fall in love with Christ and you will respect who He is.

12 August 2013

I Had A "Case" of ULAK Envy

I was working out of town last week and spotted the absolute cutest phone case I had ever seen. I noticed it immediately and loved it instantly. It was colorful and completely practical. The lady carrying it looked so chic as she held her phone while doing whatever it was she was doing. It was phone case envy from the start.

For whatever reason, I complimented the case but never asked about it's maker or where it could be found. A couple of days later, I was back in my hometown and just couldn't shake that increasing desire to find out more about this beautiful case. So, I contacted the lady and she shared freely with me everything I wanted to know.

It's maker is Pandamimi ULAK and it can be found on Amazon. Bonus, it's less than $10. There are tons of options - lots of colors and styles. I had a bit of a hard time choosing on color but finally went with the one I had actually saw in person - the Rose Pink/Yellow/Pink combination.

10 August 2013

Potty Training and Bath Rugs

My Little is a just a few months from being 3 and is pretty much potty trained. The only time he wears a diaper is at night and even then, he stays dry 5 out of 7 nights a week. I am a pretty proud Mama but really can't take much of the credit. His teachers at school are fantastic, and it helps that he is all about being a "big boy."
But along with being potty trained came the shocking reality that he is a boy and therefore has no aim - absolutely none. I have a renewed patience for my husband since it's becoming clearer to me that this inability to not get pee all over everything that is within a foot of the toilet is just natural - to an extent even out of their control.

As you can imagine, the bath rug that surrounds our toilet could only be washed so many times. It eventually had no rubber backing and pretty much became worthless. With each passing day, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the rug that wouldn't stay in it's place. (I'm a tad obsessive when it comes to things being where they should be.) I was constantly having to re-position it.

08 August 2013

Ask Kate - Week 1: Online Dating

Dear Kate: I am a woman in my early thirties. I have been divorced for several years and have no children. I would very much like to meet a man who I can share my time with. A romantic companion, a partner, and a friend. I have not had any luck at work, at the grocery store, or any other place for that matter! I would like to know - what are your thoughts about Online Dating?

I believe there are certain pros and cons that come with dating online. I'll start with the pros first.

Online dating services essentially turn your muddy water into clearer water. Meaning that there aren't necessarily new fish in the pond you're swimming in, just fish that you may have never otherwise met or noticed.

It is likely that the rigorous interview you have to go through just to join an online dating community will do a fairly good job of matching you with someone of similar interests. It will also attempt to weed out the ones with deal breaker characteristics or desires such as - children or no children, Christian or not a Christian, or smoker or non-smoker. So, it could be a time saver.

In this constantly rushed life, online dating is convenient and provides nearly instant gratification - a trait of our generation (although I would argue not a positive one). Just put the app right on your phone, and you know who is checking you out, who you want to check out, who you can strike up a conversation with instantly, and chat back and forth with continuously. Before online dating, sometimes the hardest part (or most exciting - depending on how you look at it) was the wait.

06 August 2013

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

I am the kind of girl that carries the same winter bag for months and then finally towards the end of summer purchases a new summer bag - I'm always a little behind.

I saw this adorable handbag a few weeks ago, but it wasn't on sale and I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger - I thought it was really too stylish for me. But, one recent trip to the store and one sale later, and Mama's got a brand new bag!

Although it is very practical and has "I'm a Mom" written all over it because of its size and crazy compartments, I still think it says stylish, elegant, and classy. My husband, however, says it screams "Grandma Mom" not "Styling Mom."

So, now I would like your opinion. What does this bag say to the world - or at least to those I see on a day to day basis?  You can be brutal - my sense of fashion is a work in progress.

Liz Claiborne Linden Hill Shopper Handbag

As always, thanks for reading.


August 6, 2013

04 August 2013

Pantyhose, Slinkies, and Pencil Sharpeners

Coming up with this list was no easy feat. I'm sure I put entirely too much thought into it though!

10 Impractical Things - Based on My Experience

1. Wipe warmers
2. Those little handheld pencil sharpeners
3. Printers with multiple ink cartridges that won't print unless all of them have ink
4. Slinkies
5. Pantyhose
6. Pencil skirts
7. Papa John's tiny little pizza sauces
8. No show footies
9. Mini cans of pop
10. Throw size blankets


August 4, 2013

Introducing "Ask Kate"

Seriously Kate was created in December 2012. And at that time, my visions for blogging included a variety of things - posting about my everyday experiences, the books I read, the shows I watch, the shoes I just bought, and the tall tall tales that come along with being a wife and mother.

I've really sort of done that, not as regularly as I had hoped, but I have shared some of those very things with you over the last several months. There is, however, one other vision I have not yet attempted to fulfill.

I have always wanted to do an "Ask Kate" section.

If you're asking yourself what qualifies me to answer anyone's personal, rhetorical, religious, or philosophical questions, there isn't a single thing that does. I just simply enjoy offering another perspective that may or may not have been considered. The thing is, we all have questions that we are either too embarrassed or too afraid to ask. And sometimes it's nice to ask someone who knows nothing other than the question itself.

03 August 2013

My Way Back Into Blogging - The Sunday Social

Hi - it's me again. It appears I am on a 'blog once every three month' cycle, but I am hoping to break that trend and ease back into posting more regularly.

Since my writing skills are seriously rusty and need rejuvenated, I thought I'd start with one of my favorite blog hops - The Sunday Social.

What are 3 items you can't live without on a daily basis (water, food, shelter, and clothes do not count).

I'm embarrassed to say, but am sure I'm not alone... MY PHONE. I am highly dependent on this tiny electronic device that holds so much of my day to day life. Pictures, music, books, conversations, appointments, phone numbers - I rarely go anywhere without it and actually sort of sleep with it.

CAFFEINE - I prefer it in Coke form, but when I took a brief hiatus from my Coke Love, I consumed my caffeine through the Crystal Light Energy drink mix that you put into water.

I have always thought how nice it would be to be one of those women who can go without washing their hair and still look fabulous. I am not one of them. So, I also must have a SHOWER in which I WASH MY HAIR on a daily basis.

What is your all time favorite book? Why?

PRETENSE by Lori Wick. I love to read and have many favorites, but this has always topped the list. I have read it several times and love how it encompasses so much of a woman's day to day battle throughout life from the time of childhood to adulthood. It is a Christian novel, so intertwined among the individual stories is the love of Christ. It's not all happy and butterflies - it's real world, real life, and very relatable.

What is something you'd like to accomplish before the end of 2013?

I'd love to re-establish my personal time with God. I used to read His Word almost every day and keep a prayer list. It's been awhile since I've kept up with either.

If you could go back and relive any year of your life, which year would it be?

I'm thinking maybe my Senior year of college. I would appreciate it more instead of counting the days until it was over.

What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell them?

This may sound weird but where I went to college. I went to a very small private school that is rather pricey and well known in our area. My education was paid for thankfully by scholarships and student loans, but I am always somewhat embarrassed. When someone asks where I went to school and I tell them, they are like "oh - you must be really smart" and instantly form an opinion of me without knowing the rest of me. It always makes me a tad uncomfortable.

By the way, it feels so good to write again. Until next time...

Thanks for reading.


August 3, 2013