40 by 40 – An Update

Happy Birthday to Me!



This morning, September 7, 2014, at 4:59 a.m. I turned 34 years old. THIRTY FOUR. 34. I’m trying to let that sink in…

Nope. I just can’t believe it. I may be larger and wiser and wrinklier and slower, but inside – deep down in my guts – I still feel about 18. But 34? It just can’t be. I realized a few weeks ago that I am closer in age to 50 than I am to high school. OUCH. Life moves so quickly!

Four years ago I wrote a post called 40 by 40 – a list of 40 things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40 years old. I figured 10 years is a good amount of time to get a list this size checked off. What better day than today to post an update on how this list is going? 


Katie’s 40 by 40
(not in any order)

1. Visit Disney World
2. Go on a culinary tour of Italy
3. Go on a culinary tour of Paris
4. Take a cruise vacation
5. Pay off all my debt – Getting there! So very close…
6. Be at a healthy weight – Working on it! 
7. Eat more whole, organic, locally-grown foods
8. Read 12 books per year OR 120 books by the time I’m 40 – It’s going well! 🙂 I can’t cross this one off yet though…
9. Be in the habit of working out at least 15 minutes daily
10. Find a hair cut that I love
11. Understand baseball – I’m getting better! Last week at a Cardinal game, I cheered. Matt looked at me and said, “Do you know why we’re cheering?” I looked at him for a minute and said, “Well, yeah. We have two players in scoring position, and a guy with a higher batting average is at the plate.” Duh. 🙂
12. Get a great camera and learn how to use it well
13. Learn to play piano
14. Learn to play guitar
15. Learn Spanish
16. Read the bible from start to finish
17. Improve my complexion
18. Start a great ministry
19. See everyone in my family come to know and love Christ
20. Stop cursing – If this ever happens it will be a damned miracle…
21. Be known for a dish that I makeIf I had a dollar for every time I was asked to make my green bean casserole, I’d have like twenty two dollars…
22. See these artists perform live (again or for the first time): Neil Young, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Metallica, Marc Broussard, (to be continued/added to)
23. Live in New York City – even if for just one year
24. Go to Las Vegas with my Grandma Alice at least one more time
25. Learn to bake like my mom
26. Learn to be rebellious like my dad (to a point!) – I’m as rebellious as I’m going to get! 🙂
27. Become a mother (either by birth or adoption or surrogacy) – SO CLOSE!!!
28. Find a beer that I enjoy drinking – No closer to this one, but I have discovered WINE. (cheers!)
29. Learn to bake bread
30. Create things that people love so much, they would pay money for them – People have purchased my photos. I can hardly believe it!
31. Decorate my home well – I feel like I will never accomplish this! I feel it’s so much better now than it used to be, but dang those interior design bloggers! They make me feel useless…
32. Have a great garden
33. Finish at least one more cross-stitch project
34. Catalog family photos with my dad
35. Enjoy one last good conversation with Grandma Jordan. – Sadly this one will never be crossed off. Grandma passed a few months after writing this list, and I didn’t get to see her again before she died. I will always ALWAYS have great guilt over that.
36. Worry less
37. Rent a beach house with my family for an awesome vacation
38. See the ruins in Greece
39. Go on a genealogy tour of Holland, Germany and the British Isles
40. Be on The Price is Right

There. If I can do those things, I’ll be at perfect peace and happiness, right? 🙂

Ten years is a long time to cross these things off my list. As I look at all of these items, I have to think of some things that will probably happen during the next decade:

  1. Tayla and Damon will graduate high school, and may even marry and/or have kids (Tayla graduated this year, and started at University of Dayton last month!)
  2. Kamryn and Clarissa will be in high school: dating, learning to drive, getting grounded and turning into women (OY VEY)
  3. Harrison will be here, and will be a tall, lanky 10 year old (He turned four last week! And he’s already tall and lanky!)
  4. Grandma Jordan will probably have passed away – one of the great saints of my life. (She’s 99 now, if she’s alive in 10 years, someone please call Willard Scott!) – She passed on December 23rd, 2010 – just a few months shy of her 100th birthday. I am blessed to have been loved by her.
  5. My parents will continue to age – hopefully well. – Very well! Older, yes, but still just as fun and loving as ever!
  6. My brother may marry a wonderful woman that fits right in to our crazy family – Not married, but he has definitely paired up with an awesome woman who fits right in!
  7. One or more of our pets will probably die. – We lost Lucille earlier this year. So hard…
  8. We may move once, twice, 5 times! Who knows? – Just once…so far!
  9. If I remain in my current job, I will have at least one change in bosses. – And yes, I have a new boss. Hopefully he sticks around for a while!

Some things will continue to be the same though:

  1. Tragedy will continue to strike. – yes
  2. Happiness will continue to prevail. – yes
  3. Matt and I will continue to love each other strongly and deeply. – Oh, yes.
  4. God will continue to be sovereign. – Yes, always.


Well that’s it for the update. Here’s to turning 34! Cheers!


When Oceans Rise

So I just realized that if the only way you knew me was through this blog, then you don’t know about the biggest thing happening in my life right now. I have neglected this little blog for a while. Life has been busy, and quite frankly I haven’t been feeling like writing much. 

On my birthday last year (September 7) Matt and I decided to go public with an adoption fundraiser. We had been thinking about adoption for a while, and something finally clicked. We just decided to jump in and go for it. So for the past 11+ months we have been raising money (we’re almost to our goal!), filling out LOTS of paperwork, getting background checks, having our home inspected, going to classes and meetings, and PRAYING. April 29th we were “activated” by our adoption agency, which means we are officially on the LIST. We are adopting a newborn locally (somewhere in Indiana), and it will be an open adoption. The birth mother will choose us from this list (after viewing our biography and meeting us), and hopefully she will decide to place her child with us to raise. The adoption agency keeps telling us that we will have the child we were meant to raise. We just have to be patient. 

I was pretty patient at the beginning. We have stayed busy this summer, so that helps keep my mind off of things. For some reason I have been feeling antsy the past week or so. It’s been just over three months on the list, and no leads yet. I’m trying to remain peaceful and patient, but it’s hard! Even once we get “the call” it will be more waiting until the baby is born, placed and everything is signed. 

This summer I have kept the song “Oceans” on repeat on my iPod and in my brain. I wanted to share it with you here today. Perhaps you are in the midst of a “great unknown” yourself? Be encouraged. “His grace abounds in deepest waters…”

5 Years Later…

August 11, 2009

I woke up this morning remembering…

I can hardly believe it’s been 5 years already. It seems like a bad dream, but the grief is strong enough to remind me that it was very real. 

So many people know our story. Sometimes I regret being as open about it as I have been. I think it would be easier to hide the pain and disappointment if few people knew. That’s never really been my style though. Good or bad, I’m an open book, and I can only trust that God will use my transparency to encourage others. 

This morning I have been listening to the “Hymn Project” album by Chelsea Moon & Uncle Daddy. It’s a beautiful album – bluegrassy and melodic and full of truth. I’m letting these harmonies pour over my heart like a soothing balm. Letting the words settle into the cracked and bleeding places in my soul like a healing salve.  “My name is graven on His hands, My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands No tongue can bid me thence depart”

Let me be honest for a moment, friends: Life is HARD. Death HURTS. Grief SUCKS. Perhaps your pain isn’t from death. Perhaps it’s from betrayal. Or from failure. Or from an illness that may never be overcome. Pain is REAL no matter how it comes. 


BUT! I am so thankful that there is more. There is JOY! There is HOPE! These past few years have been difficult, for sure. But they have also been full of life and wonder and miracles! I refuse to allow the pain to drown out the joy. And if you hear one thing from me today, let it be that. Never let the pain steal your joy. 

Today I am crying – grieving the four children we were never allowed to hold in our arms. I’m sad for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who they were never allowed to meet. But I know they wait for us in Heaven. I look forward to the day when we embrace. 

Until then I choose to look forward with JOY and HOPE! There is a little life out there waiting to come home to us. There is a birth mother out there waiting for us to open our arms to her child. We wait patiently for the day we will finally get to be called “Mommy” and “Daddy.”