Thursday, March 12, 2015

5 Things - The All Over the Map Edition

I know, I know; I'm supposed to be doing an entry in The Cookbook Project tomorrow, I should be pulling the photos together and writing the text right now. I'll level with you - it ain't gonna happen. I just blanked on buying what I need for the brine for Corned Beef and Cabbage this week (and, uh, buying the cabbage... and buttermilk for the soda bread...) and decided I didn't feel like putting a lot of extra effort into it.

Somehow, I think you'll survive if you have to wait a week.

Instead, I'm going to bring back the Five Things post. Because you guys don't get to listen to me ramble about random stuff quite often enough around here.

1. I promised some exciting news on Twitter the other day and just entirely failed to deliver. But, it actually is pretty exciting at least for me, so here it is; I've been chosen to be part of the Book Launch Team for Rachel Held Evans' new book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church.

I've talked about Rachel before; first about a blog post of hers that really resonated with me, secondly about meeting her at a talk she gave in Clemson (in which I managed to both make new friends and embarrass myself a bit), and a Twitter convo with her was the impetus for one of my favorite posts, the time I wrote about Death by Narrative.

I own both of her books, and when a call was sent out looking for people to be a part of the launch team, I basically tried to physically crawl into my computer screen to fill out the application faster. The new book's on a topic that's pretty near and dear to me; finding that the faith you grew up in just isn't quite what you're looking for anymore, and the search for a new church or even denomination to fit into.

I'll be posting about the book periodically, and will do a book review when I finish reading it. Rachel is one of my top three favorite Christian writers, along with Sarah Bessey and Lauren F. Winner. It's pretty fun that all three of them have books coming out this year.

Man, 2015 really is going to be the Year of Katie.

I'm really looking forward to reading the book, and to talking about it. I'll let everyone know what I think! Searching for Sunday is available on Amazon and will be released nationwide on April 15th. You can preorder now!

2. I have a weird thing that is true about me; I am a huge fan of colors and generally try to fit as many onto myself at any given moment as is physically possible. At the same time, I envy people whose whole wardrobe is made up of neutrals and wish I liked dressing that way enough to do the same.

Case in point; Loft has several items right now in a color they call "Coastal Gray". It's a dark, softer gray that has a lot of blue in it. I am in love, and I have absolutely no idea how often I would ever wear anything I owned in that color. What would I wear it with? I don't even know.

But I want it. I want it all.

Or this "murky blue" color, which is prettier than it sounds...

And they just started a 40% off everything sale today!

It's like they knew somehow...

3. Our produce delivery from Mother Earth Produce includes a couple of recipes from Carolina Girl Cooks every week, and last week one of them was veggie enchiladas. The recipe looked really good, and pretty easy to put together, so I decided to try it out.

I had to sub a few things; kale instead of spinach, sour cream instead of plain yogurt. In the end, though, it was absolutely delicious. We ate like kings. Fat, fat kings.

I cannot recommend it enough. It was a great option for a meatless dinner that still felt substantial, and it made enough for two days worth of lunches.

It's the first time I've tried one of her recipes, and I am definitely going to be checking more to see what comes with our delivery from here on out.

4. My friends. I have found the perfect toy for Audra when she's old enough.

It's a toy coffeemaker. It comes with its own cup, milk, and a sugar bowl and spoon. Magic Cabin, the site I found it on also has a toaster with bread, butter, and a plate and butter knife in the set.

I'm debating just buying it now, wrapping it up, and keeping it in the closet until she starts up imaginative play. Is it sad when I want a child's toy more for the giddiness it brings to me than for her?

Grow Henry Grow!

5. When I went to the hospital for my birthing class a few weeks before Audra came along, we walked past the NICU on our labor and delivery ward tour. Now there aren't any windows or anything to see in the NICU, but lining the wall were photos of babies who had been taken care of there, smiling happy toddler faces with little names and bios next to them to reassure us. I saw a baby there with their name and "born at 27 weeks" next to it. I thought that just seemed unimaginably early. I simply could not grasp the idea of going into labor so early on (especially as I was already past that point during the class, and had absolutely nothing ready for the baby even then.)

Less than a year later, I have been shown by circumstance how incredibly strong preemie moms have to be. That's my best friend from high school Sarah in that photo above, and the incredibly tiny love in her arms is her son, Henry. He was born at 24 weeks, stretching viability to its limit, and he has been a lesson in the incredible strength of newborns and their innate will to live. He was just over one pound at birth, a weight my brain still refuses to accept.

Anyone who's ever met a family with a NICU baby knows that it's both a harrowing adventure and a whole lot of sitting around waiting for new things to happen. It's also an incredibly expensive harrowing adventure. Dollars disappear during all that waiting around, vacation time melts away and you are left with all the visits you can force into the time between work and the sleeping and eating you need to do to stay, um, alive.

Some friends of Sarah and her fiancee Scott put together a YouCaring page for them. I'm not someone to repost things like this, but in this case I know Sarah and there is no one I'd rather see helped out than her. Please consider donating, or sharing the page across all your social media. I want them to have as much free time as they can, and to be able to spend those first few weeks after Henry comes home thinking about him and enjoying that time and not think about paying the bills. Let's get them to their goal and give them as much help as we can!

Please donate and share this on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, even Pinterest... just anywhere you can think of. The internet can make wonderful things happen; let's try and be the ones to create those wonderful things.


  1. WOW THAT COFFEE MAKER IS PERFECT. You should totally get it and save it for Audra to play with when she's a bit bigger! When Gwen was a baby I was always doing that- I bought her first birthday gift in March (her birthday is in November) and her second Christmas gift in July. It's just called BEING PREPARED.

    1. I KNOW RIGHT. That whole site has become my one true love. Wooden toys that are still brightly colored and fun for kids? Sign me up!


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