Monday, December 8, 2014

When Lights Are Too Bright...

I've recently been meditating on the metaphor God gave us of being lights to the world.

Matthew 5:16
" In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

We understand that we've been called to be a light to the world, but what kind of light exactly?

What started this thinking process most recently is the increasing amount of Christians that I see who are so quick and eager to correct others for doing wrong (myself sometimes included in that!). While I know it happens a lot outside of the internet, I think social media has made it that much easier for us to express our thoughts and opinions freely. We feel comfortable hiding behind a computer screen when we attack someone else for doing or saying something that we don't particularly agree with. But is this how Christians should act? Is this aggressive, sometimes violent, portrayal of faith an accurate representation of who Christ is? What kind of light is that?

I like to think of it like this (and I'm paraphrasing a message given by my brother a few years back):

There are a multitude of different kinds of light. There are flashlights, headlights, lamps, candles, lights for the garage, lights for the closet, chandeliers, sunlight, moonlight, the list goes on! All have the same purpose: to help you see things better. But what happens when one of those lights is used incorrectly? Let's take the flashlight, for example, because I think it's one of the closest things we have to the kind of light God wants us to be. When a flashlight is used correctly, it helps you find your way at night or it can help you see into places that are really dark. You point the light in the direction of the path or the thing that you want to illuminate. If you and a friend are walking together, you can both see the path clearly when the light is pointed in the right direction. However, if you take that light and you shine it in your friend's eyes, they can't see the path and neither can you because you're shining it at your friend and not at the path!

God calls His word a "lamp" to our feet.

 Psalm 119:105
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."

A lamp is a soft light. It's a light that is just enough to help you see, but not so much that you're blinded by it. Too often Christians are shining their light in people's eyes as opposed to illuminating the path...

My thinking is this--if you are supposed to be a light, your light should shine just enough to help others walk the path. It's a quiet kind of light. The very fact that you follow the Lord and are eager to walk in his ways is enough. His light shines through you--your LIFE becomes the flashlight. When you get overzealous and too eager to be in each other's faces about who is right and who is wrong, neither of you is walking the path. You're just blinding each other. The same is true if you're too busy boasting about how great of a Christian you are or acting "holier than thou". Your light is pointing at you and not at the path. Being God's light requires humility. It's a gentle, kind, and beautiful kind of light. It's friendly and welcoming and beckons others to walk in it.

While I know it's a growing process that's going to take a lot of time and effort to achieve, that's the kind of light--the kind of Christian, I want to be.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home Wisdom: Vinegar in the Dishwasher!

Left glass is before vinegar--Right is after!
Home wisdom tip of the day...

Many people, I'm sure, already know this, but for those that don't, I wanted to share this bit of knowledge I learned today.

Jon and I recently switched our dishwasher soap to this awesome toxin free soap from The Honest Company! It was great the first month we used it! Then I started noticing this gross white film on all of our dishes. We kept running the dishwasher because we thought the dishes weren't clean... I finally had enough of it and started doing some researching. Turns out, that awesome toxin free stuff can create mineral build up in the dishwasher because it's not using those harsh cleaning agents that are in most common dish soaps! A little inconvenient, but there's an easy fix... Just add in some white vinegar to the dishwasher after the soap dispenser releases the soap and Voila! Clean dishes! :-) You can also run a vinegar cycle on your empty dishwasher to help clean up any extra build up you may have in there.

Clean and toxin free! I never knew what caused that stuff! Maybe this little bit of info will help some of my friends who also didn't know :-)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Daily Journal

It's been awhile since I've posted on my blog, mostly because I haven't really been cooking much or really doing much worth posting ;-) However, I started to think that maybe the little things I HAVE been doing would be good to share. 

Recently, I purchased a beautiful journal from an amazing company called Trades of  Hope (Trades of Hope is a company devoted to empowering women out of poverty using the home party model. To find out more about it, click the link above)! When my journal finally arrived, I realized how ornate it was and I actually thought that it seemed too pretty to write in! Eventually, I decided to make it a daily journal. I wanted it to be something relaxed and not very formal. I just wanted to jot down little thoughts or questions I had during the day about life or God or anything at all really. It was just going to be a way of releasing my mind, but it has become so much more than that in the last month...

Something I realized as I started writing was that I have many more questions than I do just random thoughts. My innermost doubts and fears surround things like, "Am I going to be safe?" or "Does God love me even when it feels like no one else does?" I've found such freedom in letting my fears and worries come out of my head and down onto paper. It's like I can examine each thought and process it more fully and the best part is that I can pray over it and open my Bible to look for answers to my questions. 

The Bible talks about bringing our thoughts into captivity (2 Corinthians 10) and for so much of my life I've let my thoughts run wild. I've battled anxiety for a good portion of my life and I've been known to speak my mind a little "too" freely sometimes. Every day I am working on it and I'm growing and maturing and changing, but I don't think I've spent enough time meditating on this idea. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says,  

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 

Something I've learned from writing down these questions is that at the end of the day, the biggest enemy I have in the world is often myself. The biggest arguments I'm having are ones that are stirring in my soul. My doubts and fears are so often contrary to the knowledge of God. If I fail to take those thoughts captive, I'm binding myself to fear and finding no freedom from it. I'm falling prey to the desires of the world and the hopelessness of the world. Instead of taking my thoughts captive, I'm being held captive by my thoughts...

If you're struggling with wild thoughts like I have been, take time to write them down. Get them out of your head so you can release them from your mind and take your thoughts to God so he can give you peace.

I'll be praying for anyone who reads this today.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garden Fresh Salmon

Right before going in the oven!
Salmon is, by far, one of my and Jon's favorite meats to eat. It's tender and flaky and delicious... and high in Omega-3's! It's a treat when we can get it on sale since we always buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon and never farm-raised. This recipe was perfect for us last night since we are all about using our fresh garden ingredients, not to mention it's SUPER easy! I won't prolong this intro much farther so that we can just get down to business discussing the recipe. ;-)

(makes 2 or 3 servings)


1 Large Salmon Filet (If frozen, be sure to thaw in the fridge a day prior)
1 Tsp Garlic (Minced)
5 Large Cherry Tomatoes--or 10 Small (Sliced)
1/4 Small Red Onion (Sliced Thin)
A Few Springs Fresh Oregano (you can use a few pinches of dried oregano if need be!)
2 TBSP Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


Served up with pan-seared asparagus and jasmine rice!
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9X13 casserole dish with 1 TBSP of the olive oil. Lay the salmon down in the dish, skin side down. Top the salmon with the minced garlic and use a spoon to spread it over top. Then place the onions and tomatoes across the salmon and garnish with fresh oregano. Drizzle the remaining olive oil across the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.

Place in lower rack of oven and cook uncovered for about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with rice and your favorite veggie and enjoy!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrating A Legacy

With Mamaw & Papaw at our wedding
The passing of a loved one is probably the hardest thing that we, as humans, are forced to deal with in our lifetimes. Today is a day that I'm reminded of a special, one of a kind woman who would have been celebrating her 86th birthday. Jon's grandmother, Sarah, (or "Mamaw", as she was affectionately known) passed away just a few short months ago... I can't help but think of her today and what a wonderful a woman she was. I remember meeting her and feeling her warmth almost immediately. She had an air about her that was so friendly and yet so feisty at the same time.

Mamaw was outspoken and I felt a kindred spirit to her that way. She always said it like it was and Jon and I felt the affects of that after we'd been dating for several years. Whenever we'd see her, she'd ask if we were going to get married anytime soon... ;-) When we finally tied the knot, we somehow ended up seeing all of Jon's family the very next day--including Mamaw. I remember Mamaw putting her arm around Jon and acting a little sheepish as she smiled and said, "Well... Did ya get lucky??" She was never afraid to be bold. She was never afraid to be humorous. I don't know a single person who didn't feel unconditionally loved by her... I feel so blessed that I was able to know her, love her, and be loved by her over the past five years and I feel blessed immeasurably by the legacy of love she left behind. I think all of her children and grandchildren (and all of their spouses) would agree that she is someone we all look up to, admire, and want to be like.

I think one of the things that makes the passing of a grandparent hard is the seeming loss of connection to a piece of the past. Mamaw had so many stories and telling them brought her so much joy--and it brought her family joy too. Something I learned about Mamaw after she passed was that she was meticulous at documenting things. She documented phone calls and kept records of all the cute and wonderful things her grandchildren had said. She was a painter and every painting was numbered, dated, and signed. She wrote poetry, took tons of photos, and kept a draft on her computer of the story of her life with Papaw...

I don't think I saw the value in doing little things like that until now. How blessed we are to still feel connected in some way to her through all the beautiful documentations she made. We can still feel her emotion and her laughter and we can still see her beauty through the things she left behind. I just marvel at her and the kind of person she was. She was generous, patient, loving, caring, compassionate, bold, brave, daring, and she just simply radiated beauty. Most importantly, she was a shining example of the Proverbs 31 woman. She loved the Lord and she cheerfully and faithfully served him and everyone she met...

So today I celebrate the legacy of a wonderful woman, whom my husband and I miss so dearly. Happy Birthday, Mamaw. We love you.

The last family picture we all took together.. How I cherish this now.
"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
--Proverbs 31: 28-31 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blueberry Banana Bread

I tried out this recipe on a whim one day and it's quickly become one of my favorite sweet breads to make. The thing I love most about baking bread is the opportunity afterward to share it. There is something about bread that just seems to bring people together. It has such a uniting quality. I think that's why restaurants typically serve bread right before a meal out. It's like an opportunity to break the ice, to start a conversation, to have an experience with someone else that is the same. Whenever I make bread, I'm reminded that Jesus is the bread of life. He came to unite us while Satan aims to divide us. Jesus shares the bread of his life so that we may partake in a similar experience with him in the Kingdom of Heaven. I want so desperately to choose the bread of life.

 So, whenever I make bread, I try to share it. I try to connect with other people in hopes that maybe my gift of bread will help break down barriers and that we can share in the joy of life together.

"Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." 
--1 Corinthians 10:17

Blueberry Banana Bread, fresh out of the oven!
(makes one loaf)


1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 Large Egg
2 Large Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
1 Cup Blueberries
1 TBSP Raw Sugar


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, sugar, 1 egg, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas. Once the ingredients are combined smoothly, slowly add in the flour mixture just a little bit at a time and stirring as you go. Using a hand mixer, combine until smooth. Then, fold in the blueberries with a large spoon or spatula. Add the batter into your greased loaf pan, shake until it spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan, and then sprinkle the remaining raw sugar onto the top of the loaf. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kayla's Country Quiche

Being married now and having our own house and family to be responsible for is a lot of work. I hate a messy house and I especially hate a messy kitchen. Last night, dinner time came around and I didn't really feel like cooking. I didn't want all the mess that came with it or to put in the effort of making something. I was still in the mood for something delicious, so I looked in the fridge for anything I didn't have to thaw. We basically had eggs and that's it. If you know me, you know that I'm really not all about breakfast food, but I do love me some quiche. The best part about quiche is that it's EASY, so I whipped up something yummy pretty quick! This recipe for quiche is rustic and savory and the best part is that the crust is made IN the pie pan, so no need to waste more mixing bowls (score!). I also got to use fresh tomato, zucchini, and cilantro from my garden, so that was a bonus! Jon was raving about it the whole time he ate saying, "It's one of those things that once you have a bite in your mouth, you can't wait for the next one!" :-)

Thought you guys might like the recipe, so here it is!



So pretty and colorful!
Pie Crust:

1 1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
2 TBSP Milk


5 Eggs
1 TBSP Milk
1/4 Cup Red Onion (chopped)
1/4 Cup Tomato (chopped)
1/2 Small Zucchini (thinly sliced or spiral sliced)
Don't you want a slice? ;-)
A Few Pinches of Cilantro
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Block Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve Cheddar ( Shredded--You can swap it for another kind of cheddar, but I promise this stuff is worth it)


Preheat Oven to 400°. In a 9" pie pan, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. Then add in the vegetable oil and milk. Stir to combine. This should create a lumpy dough. Using your hands, fold the dough over a few times and create a small mound in the center of the pan. Then, press the dough with the palm of your hand to spread it out over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use your fingers to press the edges of the dough onto the sides of the pan. It should be fairly thin and even across the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Using a fork, poke a few holes around the sides of the crust and on the bottom. Place the crust in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned (remove and let cool for about 5 minutes). Leave the oven on at 400°.

While the crust is baking, scramble the eggs in a small mixing bowl. Add in the milk, veggies, cilantro,, salt and pepper, and half of the shredded cheese. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the other half of the shredded cheese onto the bottom of the freshly baked crust. Then, use a ladle to pour the egg mixture over top (this helps to give you more control over the evenness of the ingredients). Place the full pie dish onto a baking sheet and loosely cover it with tin foil. Bake in oven on a center rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower heat of the oven to 375° and uncover. Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5-10 minutes.



Monday, July 14, 2014

The Most Amazing Summer Squash Casserole

As you all well know, the garden has kept us busy trying to find recipes that help us use up the crazy amount of veggies we are producing. This particular recipe is one of our absolute FAVORITES. It's so easy and simple and it tastes amazing, so I won't make this post any longer before giving you the recipe. ;-)
Fresh out of the oven!



1 Medium Zucchini (cubed)

1 Medium Yellow Summer Squash (cubed)

1 Half of a Medium Sized Eggplant (cubed)

Summer Squash Casserole
1 Small Container of Mushrooms
1 Half of a Large Onion (chopped)

3 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Container Cream of Mushroom Soup
2/3 Cup of Sour Cream
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
1 TSP Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 Sleeves of Buttery Townhouse Crackers
2 TBSP Butter (melted)


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add in mushrooms and onion. When tender, transfer to a large bowl. Then, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat and add in zucchini, squash, and eggplant. When tender, transfer to the bowl of mushrooms and onions.

Add in the cream of mushroom soup, the sour cream, the cheese, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the ingredients into a greased 9X13 casserole dish. Then, put the crackers into a large ziplock bag and crush them using your hands or you can use a cup to roll over them. Then add in the melted butter and zip the bag back up. Use your hands to combine the crackers and butter. Using a measuring cup, sprinkle the cracker mixture over the casserole until evenly covered.

Place the casserole into the oven on a center rack and cook for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. 



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bountiful Harvest

What our garden looks like today.
Today I went out to the garden to harvest. It's so awesome to be able to pick fresh produce right from your backyard! Today we had quite a bounty. I'm so grateful for the blessing of fresh food. Every time I'm in the garden, I'm reminded of the verse in 2 Corinthians...

"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness." 
-2 Corinthians 9:6-12

Today's harvest!
I'm reminded that in order to reap a bountiful harvest, you have to be willing to put in the work. It takes a lot more work to plant a lot of plants than it does to plant a few, but if you plant more you get more out of it. The same is true for our Christian walk. The more work we put in to learn God's way, the more grace we will receive and the more fruit we will bear as Christians. The more generous and kind we are to others, the more generous and kind God is to us.

Having a garden this year has been such a wonderful hands-on way of learning about God. So many of the scriptures have come to life for me and I feel so blessed to be learning in this way.

Today, sow bountifully in your life so that you may also reap bountifully, not just for yourself, but so that you may also be a bountiful blessing to others.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Love Journal

Our "Love Journal"
I believe one of the biggest reasons for failed marriages or even just unhappy marriages is a failure to communicate. When you are in a relationship, no matter what kind of relationship it is, it's incredibly difficult to articulate your feelings (even for those that are full of emotion--sometimes they have it even harder!). While I think it's important to discuss things you are unhappy about, I think the bigger area couples need to focus on is discussing things you ARE happy about.

When I see couples around me or even people who are just friends, I see a great willingness in people to discuss their dissatisfaction with each other. It's so commonplace these days to point out other people's failings or shortcomings and it's easy to express displeasure if you feel your needs aren't getting met in a relationship. At the end of the day, we're no different than children in that regard. If you feel like your needs aren't getting met or like you've been wronged somehow, you either find ways of acting out or make it VERY clear to that person that you are unhappy with them (often times disrespectfully).

What I see less of is people communicating their love and respect for other people and it's this aspect of a relationship that I think can make all the difference. If all you hear constantly is how you fail to measure up, you're likely to continue to disappoint either out of depression or spite. However, if you and your spouse make it a priority to communicate the things you admire and appreciate about one another I think you'd be surprised how effective it can be at opening up communication and helping you both feel more satisfied in your relationship. That's why Jon and I ask each other the weekly questions and it's for this reason we also started what we call "The Love Journal."

Where I found The Love Journal this morning ;-)
The Love Journal is basically a journal of love notes that we pass back and forth. It's full of all the things we love, admire, respect, and cherish about each other. When we were dating, we wrote love notes constantly and it was such a beautiful way of articulating the joy and passion of the love we shared between the two of us. I felt it was especially important to continue that into our marriage to keep that spark and passion alive and well.

The Love Journal has been a source of excitement and fun in our marriage. Whenever we write in it, we hide it someplace for the other person to find. I've left it under Jon's pillow or on top of the thermostat when he leaves or even in the fridge next to his favorite thing (LaCroix!). It's completely renewed that spark of pursuing one another all over again and it's so nice to hear how loved and how cherished we are by each other and how glad we are that God brought us together.

Take time today to focus on the positives in your life instead of the negatives. Changing your perspective is sometimes all it takes to find joy and happiness in your life and in your marriage. :-)


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Adventures in Eating

How our garden looked at the beginning of the season
Jon and I created our first garden this year. At the moment, it's pretty wild and out of control. Being away for several weekends for weddings and other various events has made for a pretty chaotic scene in our backyard. The zucchini plants are enormous and the tomato plants have basically taken over everything and are spilling out the tops of our raised beds... Despite the craziness, having a garden is something Jon and I both love. However, if you have ever had a zucchini plant (or a tomato plant), you know what I mean when I say that those things grow like weeds. Moral of the story is that we have a ton of zucchini... and that means we get creative when trying to use it.

Last night I decided to make something different and new for dinner with our abundance of zucchini. I recently ordered a vegetable noodle-maker (basically you just attach a hearty vegetable to it, spin it, and it makes noodles--crazy! You should get one.), so I decided to spin some of our zucchini into noodles for pasta. I looked around in our cabinets (which are pretty barren) and found that we had some organic sun-dried tomatoes, so I decided to try my hand at making a sauce out of them with some of our fresh herbs from our window garden... 

Let's just say it was super freakin' delicious and I'm passing on the recipe to you so you can find out for yourself!

(Recipe makes 2 servings)

Zucchini Pasta w/ Sun-dried Tomato Basil Sauce

-1 large zucchini

-1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes
-1 1/2 cups milk (or almond milk if you are going dairy free)
-Few pinches of fresh basil, oregano, and thyme
-1 tablespoon fresh garlic
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1 tbsp olive oil
-5 chicken tenderloins
-Dash of salt and pepper
-Few pinches of flour

Place the zucchini in a Tri-Blade Turning Vegetable Slicer (using as directed for noodles) and spin until you get to the end of the zucchini. Place the "noodles" into a small pot and set aside (or freeze them to use for later!). 

Cut the 5 chicken tenderloins into cubes and place them into a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and flour and stir until lightly coated. Set aside. 

In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, milk, garlic, and fresh herbs and pulse until well blended. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Add in salt, pepper and cayenne, making sure to stir frequently or the oil from the tomatoes will start to separate. 

While the sauce is cooking, heat up a frying pan with some olive oil on medium heat. When the pan is hot, add in the chicken. Cook the chicken until it has just turned white and add it to the sauce (doing it this way prevents the chicken from drying out and keeps it tender). 

Take your pot of zucchini noodles and heat them up on medium heat for about 5 minutes (you just want them to be warm). 

When your zucchini is done, transfer to a bowl and top with sauce! Garnish with fresh basil and thyme and voila! Easy meal that is super tasty! 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Taking Time to Connect

Something my husband and I have started doing for the past few weeks is enjoying a nice big breakfast on Saturday morning, followed up with some great questions that help us to reconnect and actively discuss simple ways of improving our marriage. We got the inspiration for the questions from this blog, so be sure to check it out! They have some great ideas! I know they seem silly and we thought they were silly at first too, but it's been such a wonderful blessing to do this every week and I noticed changes almost immediately. Jon and I are pretty easy going for the most part, but they are definitely little changes that have made a positive impact in how both of us feel about our marriage day to day.

I've noticed especially that the simple act of asking each other how we can pray for one another throughout the week has really helped build intimacy and helped both of us feel loved and encouraged. I think just knowing that your partner knows what's on your heart and actively wants to pray for that particular issue helps you form a deeper connection with one another. All married couples should at least ask each other that question once a week. It's been a game changer for us! Inviting God  into our marriage instead of thinking that we can be each others' end-all be-all has humbled us and created a wonderful closeness that is simply indescribable.

Find ways to connect with your spouse throughtout the week and don't be afraid to ask him/her what they need from you in order to feel loved. I promise, it makes all the difference!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Charting Our Course

My husband, Jon, and I have been married just over a year now and marriage has been a beautiful blessing full of struggles and triumphs. As a passionate photographer, writer, and foodie, I decided that it was time I started blogging about my life as a way of documenting the journey our marriage is taking us on. First things first, though. You should probably get to know me and my crazy husband.

Jon and I met in 2008 at a church retreat and I basically stalked him for several weeks after that because I thought he was so cute (I also thought he was way too old for me, so I'm just a creeper all around). I finally got up the nerve to call him when I noticed he had his number on Facebook. I called him and told him he was a weirdo (great start) and then proceeded to have one of the best conversations of my life as well as find out that he WASN'T too old for me and a relationship was totally foreseeable. From that point on we were inseparable. I think we managed to talk on the phone every single day for nine months straight until I finally made the move from Michigan to Indiana to be with him. In between all that was a lot of craziness. Several church retreats and parties and a list of dares that had to be completed between the two of us before we could see each other again (Let's just say they involved doing a lot of insane things in public--i.e. eating with your face and dressing up in costume. I think a unicorn was even involved at some point... but that's another story). Needless to say, we are quite the pair.

Jon and I dated for four years before he popped the question (everyone was in on the "isn't it about time you guys get hitched?" joke--even his grandma--for all four of those years). But something you should know about both of us is that while we have the same sense of humor and general zest and zeal for life, we are essentially polar opposites in every other way. Jon is the youngest child of four and I'm the oldest of four. Jon is wild and reckless and I'm steady and cautious. Jon is a people-pleaser and I could really care less about pleasing everyone. Jon has never-ending patience and I have zero patience at all. Jon likes to be prepared for all circumstances and I usually just approach life in whatever moment I happen to be in. You can see how a marriage between two people so incredibly different can lead to chaos and disorder right off the bat, but somehow we just manage to balance each other out for the most part. He tells me when I'm being irrational and I tell him when he's being a crazy person who's going to get himself killed. It's win/win I think. We both end up better people because of each other (Aw. Isn't that sweet?).

So now that you have a better idea of who's going to be writing this crazy blog, we can get down to the nitty gritty of WHY I'm writing this blog.

I'm just a woman on a mission to learn about myself and discover what's possible with the power of the written word. I'm on a mission to become a better wife and a better person overall and I think this blog is going to be a way of looking back on my life and seeing not just the memories we are making as a new family, but also seeing progress in my journey of self-exploration.

Expect posts about fun my husband and I have as well as my recent food creations and projects, and random thoughts on life and faith and everything in between. The course we are on may be a bit muddled by chaos, but it's going to be a worthwhile adventure and I invite whoever happens to be reading this to share in it with me.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Welcome to Marriage and Chaos!

My name is Kayla Swenson and I'm a foodie, a writer, a photographer, and a wife. I started this blog as a way of documenting my life and my experiences and as a way of connecting my ideas and experiences with other crazy people like me. I grew up a Michigan girl, but when I was 19 I moved to Indiana to be with the man who is now my husband. We're wild and wacky and a whole lot of weird, but we are passionate about God and we are crazy in love. I've made a lot of mistakes, but each day is an opportunity to learn and to grow.  

Life is chaotic and messy and beautiful and I want to share mine with the world.