Thanksgiving 2015

Saturday, November 28

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. My family has celebrated the same way for so many years, and there is so much JOY and excitement in the tradition of the holiday. We started the day with the Run for Food through the park (supporting the local homeless shelter). Oh my goodness you guys, the trees were absolutely gorgeous! So brilliant and beautiful in all their colors. I couldn't stop starting! It felt so great to exercise early in the crisp cold air, and seeing so many friends was a blessing. 

My parents then had around 25 people over to the house for appetizers. What made it ever more special was that my grandpa (who has been in the hospital) was able to spend 4 hours with us, before having to go back to the rehab hospital. The whole family gathered around him, and we sang some old thanksgiving hymns, and then sang a Swedish song because my cousin Hanna was visiting from Sweden and got to experience her first Thanksgiving!! I read some Thanksgiving scripture from the Bible and we enjoyed just being together. 

Then we headed to food!! Oh goodness, do I ever love Thanksgiving food! Sweet potatoes are my favorite, yum yum! My parents made the whole meal gluten/dairy free so I could partake (bless their hearts)! After eating more than I should have (!!), we all grabbed our jackets and went on a walk throughout the neighborhoods to make room for pie:) haha! 

When we returned, we put the coffee on, sliced the pie, and all enjoyed our time together. We spent some time going around and sharing what we were each thankful for. It was hilarious…I haven't laughed that hard is so long. Then we ended the night in a rousing game, laughing until it hurt. 

One thing I noticed about these special days is how family is so healing for me. No matter how stressed or down i've been, so much of that seems to dissipate when i'm around people who love me so deeply. Who make me laugh and create a safe place for me to be me. Family is such a gift, and I cannot thank God enough for these great people. 

A few things i'm thankful for in 2015: 
- Finishing graduate school (I only have 2 more weeks!! eeeppp!!!) 
- My parent's support in helping us transition to Northern California
- A whole week with my best friend in Haiti this past May 
- My in-laws opening their home these last few years for us to live in rent-free (such a gift!) 
- Adventuring in Ecuador and Columbia with my sweet Kevin 
- Our incredible Swedish cousins who opened their homes to us on our visit to Sweden in August
- My friend Emmy, because without her, I would not have made it through grad school! 
- God's grace and blessing this year. He was so good to teach and grow me, even when it was so hard! 
- Inner Peas from Trader Joes:) haha Got me through many a study sesh! 
- The international student's we've met through conversation cafe 
- My siblings, who encourage me so much! Love you Pete, Lens, and Polls 
- You my sweet readers, who I admire and am so thankful for every comment, email and connection! 

How was YOUR thanksgiving?? Hope it was truly wonderful and encouraging!!  

Wildflower Roots Ring Give-Away

Wednesday, November 18

One of the most beautiful things for me to watch is when friends discover and pursue a passion that God has placed upon their hearts. My talented friend Meredith spent a year in India working for Purpose Jewelry (whom I also love!), and then bravely stepped out on her own to create the sweetest most simple jewelry line called Wildflower roots. 

A few months ago Meredith asked me to be a model for their Fall collection photo shoot. I was so honored to join their great team, and it was sure fun to be on a different side of the camera than I usually am! 5 of us girls took the trek one weekend out to Joshua Tree National Park. Wow, it was so beautiful! We capped off the night eating at the iconic Pappy & Harriet's BBQ restaurant.

Thanks to Meredith's generosity, I am so excited to be giving away my favorite ring in her Fall line, awesomely titled the blank space ring (thanks for the inspo, T Swift!). Even cooler is that i'm giving away a pair so you can stack!! That's how i've been wearing mine around all week!!

What I love about Wildflower Roots is that everything is simple but insanely creative, which is totally my style! People have been complimenting this necklace all week! Also, everything is handmade by Meredith (trust me, I biked to her house last week and saw her working away in her garage, she's a jewelry boss!). And lastly, it's all priced very affordable for the quality and craftsmanship you are getting.

Hooked yet? I know I am!

Here's what you need to do to enter the giveaway…
1) Check out Wildflower Root's Etsy shop here and pick out your favorite item, and write it in a comment on this post!
2) Follow Wildflower Roots on IG here {If you don't have IG, no worries, you can still enter the give-away by following step 1!}

That's it!!

Happy Wednesday Friends!!
ps- Thank you to all the sweet and kind words you showered me after Monday's post. I always feel so encouraged from all of you!! xoxo 

A few hard weeks...

Monday, November 16

You may have noticed things have been a little radio silent over here the last few weeks. To be totally honest, the last few weeks have just been hard. And sometimes life is just hard.

Last week, late Wednesday night, I got a call that my sweet 90 year old grandpa, who is a huge part of my life, was taken to the emergency room. The doctors and nurses thought it was the end. I wept the whole car ride, the thought of losing such a patriarch and Godly man made me ache. I prayed that God would give me one last time to say goodbye, that my grandpa would hold on a little longer so I could hug him.

God was so unbelievably good and kind, and miracles beyond miracles, my grandpa is still alive. Kevin and I got to spend 4 days with my entire family (about 15 people) loving on my adorable gramps. He was making the nurses smile and laugh, and truly, it was so special. He is still alive, although still in the hospital, so please pray for him.

Aside from my grandpa, school is all-consuming, and I am just tired and done. 3 more weeks is all I have left, but it is rough. My best friend Emmy and I have such senioritis, we pretty much giggle deliriously through every.single.assignment., resigning ourselves to the fact that we honestly don't even have the energy to care any more. Ever been there? ha. But really, i'm ready to get my life back. To see my husband and family and friends. I feel like while school has given me SO much, it also was such a sacrifice and i'm ready to resume a more balanced routine.

And then of course there are just hard times in our world. My heart breaks over the tragic shootings and bombings in Paris, Lebanon, and other places around the world. Families are aching at losing their loved ones, and sometimes it all just feels so out of control. I've been trying to strike the balance of remaining informed, but not allowing myself to become washed over in pessimism. I'm trying to carve out the space to truly pray over these tragedies and give them to the Lord.

I loved this quote I saw by Mr. Rogers that said,

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." 

In the midst of so much pain and ache and crisis, it is a beautiful thing to see that there are lovely, caring, and compassionate people in the world. People who seek goodness and justice and pursue love. In my own little world, I have been so blessed by the nurses that so kindly cared for my grandpa, a sweet mentor that came into my life this year and has prayed for me and encouraged me when times got hard, for so many of you readers who have commented so faithfully and encouraged my heart when I needed it most, to my best friends all around the world who have used their precious phone minutes to call me from abroad, to my sweet family and friends that cheer me on here. 

Who are the helpers in your life? 

Secondly, if any of you readers have prayer requests, I would love to pray for you. If any of you readers are in France or Lebanon or other hard hit places recently, know that I care about you and would love to hear your story and pray for you:)  You all can email me at (please don't be shy!). 

Life can be hard. But life also has it's beauty, even in the midst of the mess. Let's be helpers to those around us, sowing seeds of love and kindness and tender words. Let's come together in love and solidarity and pray and lift each other up! Many blessings to you all today:) love K. 

PS- Thank you ALL for giving me advice on what to wear in Europe for Christmas! You literally gave me SUCH good tips, and my fingers and toes thanks you in advance, hehe!!

PSS- If you have kids, The Mr. Roger's site had some really great advice on how to talk to your kids about tragedies and disasters here.