Thursday, December 8, 2011

a little of what God is speaking to my heart this morning

I had one of those mornings this morning where I was reading a devotional book and the Lord said you need to get this, and really get it for your life. Not that I don't try to "get it" every morning, but I will be the first to admit that in this so-called busy & crazy life sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other and seems fairly irrelevant to my current day to day thoughts. Ok, now that I am being completely honest, brace yourselves because I am about to be even more honest with myself.

I read this quote from "Jesus Calling." The whole book is written as though God is speaking the words to His Children {so the I and Me and My are God}....
"Your needs and My riches are a perfect fit. I never meant for you to be self-sufficient. Instead, I designed you to need Me not only for daily bread, but also for fulfillment of deep yearnings. I carefully crafted your longings and feelings of incompleteness to point you to Me. Therefore, do not try to bury or deny these feelings. Beware also of trying to pacify these longings with lesser gods: people, possessions, power. 
Rejoice in your neediness, which enables you to find intimate completion in Me." 
This hit me like a ton of bricks this morning, and it still is i guess. Different areas of my little insignificant life keep coming to mind and i am overwhelmed all over again with a sense of that clarity in how needy and incomplete i am.

I have a feeling of loneliness at times with living in Waynesboro, Virginia away from all close family and with a husband who works a.l.o.t. I was covering up that lonely feeling by working a lot right beside him. Well now our lives are changing because God has given us a baby girl and i am preparing to stay home with her. My role in "work" has to change. This has been a h-u-g-e internal struggle for me. Just with knowing where to add significance and where to find fulfillment without even actually having our baby girl here yet.

I think the Lord knew what He as doing all along and knew that I needed this season of feeling worthless really in my weird and changing roles to see that God has given me this time and these feelings to point me back to him. I have felt this way all along, but it takes a huge change to make me stop and understand that God designed me to feel this way so that i would lean on him and into him for understanding and clarity and fulfillment and purpose. He created me and desires to be all things to me if I will allow him the room to do so.

He also desires to be my Father if I will allow him. Now, I don't think that the Lord took my sweet, and in my eyes perfect daddy at the age of 60 to simply teach me a lesson in seeing him as my source of completion, but I think that he does try desperately to speak into my heart and say "Katherine, My heart hurts when your heart hurts. I am sad when you can't have a conversation with your Dad, but I want you to have a conversation with me. And I want to guide you like your Dad did though so many decisions and changes. I want to love you even more than he was capable of doing and I am more proud of you than he was ever created to be. Just allow me into that space and rejoice in the fact that I can complete you."

It has taken me 2 1/2 years to even have this thought enter into my brain.

Lord, teach me what it looks like to see you as my father and to allow you to use my inadequacies and my desires to have a purpose in your kingdom and my desires for fulfillment to show me your perfectness and your love.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

22 Week Belly Shot and a few pictures of our other baby

Jay and I went to get our Christmas Tree last night and were rushing to make it before it got dark {story of our lives....}, but we found the perfect tree and are loving having our first tree in the new home! This picture is really dark and was very rushed, but baby girl is getting bigger, and definitelty making mama hungrier!

On a side note, and just beacause I want to share how cute Bella was playing in the leaves, here is our other "baby" on Thanksgiving. We raked some leaves that day for sure. Remember thos beautiful red trees? Yup they lost all those leaves....and Bella girl had wayyyyy more fun messing up our piles than we did picking them up...

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a few recent things from the kitchen

I have been doing some cooking and baking recently. Its amazing how much more enjoyable it is to be in the kitchen when Baby Girl isn't making me feel nauseous! {I've been feeling so, so much better for about 5 weeks now! whew!}

First of all I made these Orange Cranberry Muffins last week and they were easy & delicious. I don't know about you, but I love orange & cranberry together and recently I've been crazing anything cranberry... don't know if I should blame the baby or just normal holiday cravings? I forgot to take a picture, but definitely check out the above recipe!
One of our all time favorite winter recipes is Taco Soup. My taco soup recipe was given to me at a wedding shower by my sweet childhood babysitter Trisha. She was like part of our family growing up, and is an amazing cook!
Taco Soup
3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Shredded (You can also use 1 lb lean ground beef)
1 Can Black Beans, undrained
1 Can Kidney Beans, undrained
1 Can Chili Beans, undrained
1 Can Yellow Corn
1 Small Yellow Onion, finely chopped 
1 Package Dry Taco Seasoning
1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix 

Dump all ingredients into a crock pot (or dutch oven on the stove). Make sure you don't drain beans and use sauce as a base. Add 1 cup of water and stir to combine all ingredients. Leave to simmer in the crock pot all day, or cook 1 hour on the stove. Serve with cheddar cheese & tortilla chips. 
And lastly, I made reindeer cookies! They were the perfect snack for our employees when we decorated Chick-fil-A for Christmas a couple Sundays ago. Oh man, they were so cute {while they lasted!}

I made peanut butter cookies {sugar cookies would have been yummy too!}. Roll cookie dough into balls, pinch 1 side, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand {it to sort of makes a triangle}. Bake & cool only a couple minutes. Press brown M&M's for eyes, and red ones for a nose. Use mini chocolate covered pretzels for antlers. They turned out adorable & were easy-peasy!

Happy {quick & simple} Holiday Baking!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

so much to be thankful for

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever."
Psalm 118:1

Jay and I have so, so very much to be thankful for this year... like every year! Here is my short, and by no means inclusive, thankful list:

Jay - The most perfect husband for me. We have had another year of life together with lots of work and some challenges and lots to celebrate.
Our Sweet Baby Girl - what an unexpected blessing! Can't wait to meet her in April and to think about this time next year she will be here for her first Thanksgiving!
Family - we seriously have the best family. the best. period. so much love and support... thank you!
Our Chick-fil-A of Waynesboro Family - they are so fun and I am thankful that they care about our Restaurant and the influence that it has in our community. 
Bella - I know it sounds silly, but my sweet dog is such a great friend. She makes us laugh and is is pretty darn cute. 
A day of rest - Our Thanksgiving weekend (much like our sunday's - also something I am thankful for!) is such a great time to rest, and it is always so necessary for our crazy lives.
Jesus - our reason for hope and joy in this season and everyday of the year. Thankful for the freedom that I have to have a relationship with my Lord. 

Happy Thanksgiving friends & family! 

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

a little glimpse of fall in our yard

A few weeks ago in OCTOBER it snowed. To all my fellow southern (wayyy more southern than VA) friends it was wacky! While it was beautiful, I most certainly did not appreciate the freezing interruption to fall.

I did grab a few quick photos of our house during it's first snow {well, first snow of the Hawkins residence}...

Do you see those green trees that were attempting to turn red back there? Well after the rude winter weekend, fall did come back and those trees were breathtaking!

These pictures really don't do these beauties much justice. It looked like there were on fire! Jay and I would daily comment on how beautiful they were.
How amazing is it that God blesses His children with the colors of fall? I truly believe that it is simply a gift because He loves us. Those leaves could just turn from green to brown, but instead we get red and orange and yellow :) 
We have been enjoying our hammock on several fall Sunday afternoons...
And our sweet Bella girl has loved the fall days in her backyard too!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 20 Week Baby Bump!

I am officially (and as officially as you can guess the exact due date of any baby) 20 weeks pregnant! The halfway mark seems like a huge milestone in my life... probably because I am finally feeling SO much better, and have the energy to actually enjoy being pregnant.

I decided to celebrate the day with taking my first baby bump shots to share with those of you I don't get to see too often.

Baby Girl Hawkins is starting to show herself :)

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet Gavin!

Introducing my sweet nephew Gavin Christopher Bates is LONG overdue! He is 2 months old! Man times flies. His little cousin will be here before we know it ;)

I took these pictures when Gavin was a little over a month old and took his first road trip to Virginia to visit us! He is such a laid back baby. I keep telling his Mama, Lyndsey, to make sure he tells his cousin to be just like him! haha, but for real we are so excited for our little Baby Hawkins to have her cousin Gavin so close in age. 

We will get to see Gavin again at Thanksgiving, and I know I am going to be shocked at how much he has changed in just a short time!

Also, check out those baby jeans and his little orange football tee... love it! Little Clemson Tiger fan in the making!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

painting pumpkins is wayyy more fun than carving them.

Y'all, I LOVE fall. Love pumpkins. Love all things orange. And, I love when we have our pumpkin painting event at our Chick-fil-A. There were so, so many cute kids and the weather was beautiful... until is rained for 30 minutes, but overall it was a great night out on the patio. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the evening...
A truck full of pumpkins, and it was very important to find the perfect one!
Oh. My. So. Dang. Cute.
This little man was so very intent on his paint that he didn't even notice he now had a green mustache. Adorable. 
Little Miss Strawberry Shortcake would have painted every single pumpkin we had if her Mama would have allowed her!

Check out that face. so cute. 
Some great looking fall masterpieces! 

Happy Halloween! 

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Proud to be a Tiger

Not only am I so stinkin' proud to be a Clemson fan this season because we are fun to watch in football, but I am also SO very thankful for the wonderful friends that Jay and I have from our days in Tiger Town. Wonderful college memories and more great memories of our weekend reunions since graduating.

Several of us traveled to Maryland last weekend to hold our breath as the Tigers had a scoring battle against the Terps. It was an amazing, nail-bitter of a game, but more importantly it was fun to all be together. And let me tell you, we know how to tailgate...
 Steve Spangler was our grill master - he made sliders and it was yummy as always!
 I learned that I am officially TERRIBLE at Corn Hole, but please check out my husband's face... oh my. He was the complete opposite of terrible, and as usual was very competitive and quite the corn hole champ. 

Look at that form - mad skills :)

Love, love, love this crew! They seriously are some of my favorite people. And I am also a fan of all that orange! We had such a great weekend catching up, laughing and pulling our Tigers to a win! (By the way, we are 8 - 0! Whoop!)
 My sweet college roommates... this picture makes me smile so very much! Baby Girl is going to love her Aunt Nicole & Aunt Leigha at next year's tailgate reunion! 

** A side note: most pictures borrowed from Nicole & John's photos!

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