aubrey & brett – engaged

I adore this session. The couple is beautiful (and funny!) and the whole things feels like old hollywood glamour. I can NOT wait for their wedding in June (which will be coordinated by the legendary Sharon Taylor)! And congrats to the couple for winning the 417 Magazine contest!

Marilyn - April 12, 2012 - 9:39 am

These are adorable. I love the shots with the car. :)
Good work, once again.

maureen - April 12, 2012 - 3:16 pm

Wow! They’re adorable. Well done, Kate!

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layton moore – senior

What a beauty! And I think she looks a bit like Katie Holmes…..I don’t wanna wait….for our lives….anyway. She’s a beaut!!!!


Cassandra - April 11, 2012 - 9:46 am

Hi! I LOVE these pictures! You do such a beautiful job! And I have to say, she is WAY prettier than Katie Holmes! :)

Kathy f - April 11, 2012 - 12:49 pm

Gorgeous! I agree-she could be Katie Holmes prettier younger sister!

Home update: shelves for the living room

Jared is a rockstar and built that shelf to my dream-specs. TEN FEET of glorious shelving. I was so grateful. Let me walk you through my thought-process. We have one-story, no basement, no play-room. Kids come with a bunch of junk and most of it I don’t really want to look at all of the time. This low-bookshelf has become our toy-closet. The crates and file boxes house all of it and are much more enjoyable to look at for me. And it makes clean-up time a breeze because everything has a place. And (as you may have learned by now) I love hosting parties. The height of this bookshelf is perfect to double as a buffet. (As seen in Elsie’s baby shower). I normally have that lamp on and it makes Callie’s eyes so blue. : )

Jared bought this book series for Callie’s first Christmas. They’re cute to look at, but they are SO old that the language is almost unbearable to read, so we think it’s funny when Callie brings one over and asks us to read it.

Since Callie doesn’t go to any type of school or day-care and isn’t getting any of that good ‘structured learning time’, I tried organizing the boxes by category, so that we could have “art time” or “music time” or “building blocks” time. We clean up one box, before we get down the next one. The “music” box is always incorporated as we watch ‘the Voice’. haha. (I might be training my daughter to become a diva, whoops.)

So a lot of work went into this little space. Painted the walls from red to gray. (which i feel allowed so much more light into our house!) The photo montage came down. (But, I painted the frames white and it will be making its appearance on a different wall shortly. In a slightly different arrangement.) Found the white file boxes at Hobby Lobby. The plain crates came from Michael’s and I sanded and stained them. The other two crates were found at flea markets and were sanded. If you’re worried about those cameras being in Callie’s reach, I can tell you they are nearly indestructible. She played with them the first couple days that they were at eye-level, but probably hasn’t touched them in a month or so. I don’t mind if she wants to play with them. My entire soul lights up when my eighteen-month-old comes up to me looking through a vintage camera and shouts “Cheese Momma!!!!” : )

Nickole - April 10, 2012 - 9:57 am

Your house is decorated so great!

Kathy F - April 10, 2012 - 11:54 am

Awesome!

Anonymous - May 16, 2012 - 10:15 am

How tall/deep is this shelf?

kdp - May 20, 2012 - 7:31 pm

It’s 3 feet high and 12in deep. 10ft wide.

Home update: a platerack and chairs for the kitchen

I posted a while ago about taking risks while giving my home a little decor-update. You can click through to see the ‘before’. Here are a couple updates since then. I decide to take pictures with the leftover flowers from our fish fry, but I normally just have a bowl of fruit as a centerpiece. Let’s see, I purchased two more chairs. These are the armless Eames-knockoff. You could fit three across if you needed to, but this suits our needs for now. I can’t believe how comfy these chairs are. They conform right to your bottom. I was a little nervous about a white chair with a messy toddler, but the perk to white is that is can be BLEACHED! Callie was coloring the other day and decided that the white chairs needed blue and purple scribbles all over it. I panicked since I had to BEG Jared to let me get these. But one single Clorox wipe and minimal scrubbing and it was good as new. What a miraculous invention bleach is! (Side note: I wish that gold-ish wall was also just gray, and I’ll get to it eventually. It was like that when we moved in and it’s neutral enough that I’ve just let it stay) Someday we will get a bench for the back so that we can pile a million kids across it (God-willing) but for now, this is just great.

The second update was the dish rack. I’ve always loved our dishes. When we were registering for our wedding, I couldn’t decide what color I wanted, so I chose ALL OF THE COLORS! I love them. But they were hiding in a cabinet and we could really use the extra cabinet space. (Toddlers come with a ton of just…STUFF! Also, I have way too many party-serve-ware-items. I can’t help myself. I love parties.) Now I have an entire empty cabinet to organize! Joy! You should know that Jared was 100% against this idea, but sort-of shrugged in agreement after some persistent whining from me intelligent and charming persuasion from me. I decided to try to pull it off while he was at work. And I did it! I had never used the power drill before,now I feel confident that I can do way more stuff on my own. (allyouwomenwhoindependentthrowyourhandsbackatmeee) And when he came home he said. “Well, look at that! It’s so cute!” (which may have had a hint of sarcasm to it, but I’ll take it!) The brackets are from Lowes (then painted white) and the top two shelves are actually just boards cut to size and I sanded and painted them white. That way they won’t bend under the weight like shelving particle board would.

I should mention these books and that they’re fantastic. “Simple Country Wisdom” has all of the tips and tricks that your grandmother knows but may have been lost along the way. How to season your cast-iron-skillet, the trick to making really good french toast, tips & cheats on chores/cleaning/cooking/gardening. And it’s beautifully -photographed.  Rachel Ray taught me how to make a killer pork-chop. “Happy Housewives” is a candid, witty and inspirational book, that basically says “please stop complaining about how hard your life is. You stay at home. You have the most amazing job in the world, and here are some tips to make it more awesome. Stop whining, you whiner.”

And I added a chalkboard, because a) I love chalkboards. b) I get more excited about cooking dinner after I write it on the menu. (Whatever works to motivate you, right?)

Easter baskets, egg hunts, and some thoughts on the Resurrection

Let’s start off with some light-hearted photos of Callie in her Easter dress before we go deep.

Callie woke up to a treat-filled Easter basket and a new toy. (She loves chopping fruit!) I got this idea for her Easter basket from the insanely-talented Sharon Taylor Designs. She used hardware store galvanized buckets and chalkboard paint. So cute!

And I made a hairbow to go with her Easter dress.She LOVED it!

Alright, so I’m going to talk a bit about Jesus, but DON’T stop reading! Even if the name rubs you the wrong way and makes you super angry. I promise not to offend or be too hokey or bother you in anyway (do I promise that? i think so. Let’s find out…)

As we drove from church to Grandma’s house yesterday. I said to Jared,

Me- “The Resurrection is a big deal.”

J- ‘Yeah. It is.”

Me- “Like. Guy and his whole body taken into heaven? No longer here on earth. God’s only done that one time. Ever.”

J- “I know.”

Me-”Hey! Where’s Jesus’s body? I don’t know! It’s not here. ANYWHERE!”

J- “Riiiight?”

Me- “Why isn’t everyone freaking out today!??!?! This is BIG DEAL!!!!”

then silence for a second.

Me- “Do you believe that actually happened, Jared?”

J- “Of course! (reasons I love Jared. Always 100% sure, no wavering. No over-analyzing. Just full of faith.)

Don’t you?”

Me- (after a pause) “Yes.”

The fact is I do believe it. It doesn’t make any logical sense, yet it’s true. But, I didn’t always believe it. I will actually say I spent the first 5 to 10 years of being a “Christian” actually only being a “fan of Christianity”.(1)

I liked the idea of a group of people who loved God and desired to help others and held themselves to a high moral standard. Loved it. But when it came down to the nitty gritty details on Jesus himself and the facts surrounding him, I’d get nervous and feel like my brain was going to explode, so I’d try desperately to ignore all the parts that creeped me out.

One summer, I went to Young Life Camp. My amazing-hot-joyful-encouraging-wonderful leader, Maureen Woods was the first person I think I  ever told. “I don’t know if I actually believe all of this.” Which I think was the scariest sentence I’ve ever said out loud. She referred me to a book in the YL bookstore called the “Case for Christ”. (Okay the real Case for Christ is a billion pages long, so I got the Student Edition which is about 100 pages with lots of visual aid.)

Let me give you the gist. Lee Strobel is a devout atheist and lawyer. When his wife suddenly becomes a Christian, he gets super-ticked-off and decides to use his tons of resources to prove this Jesus thing wrong once and for all. In his journey of gathering archeological and historical evidence, he ended up proving it true to himself and fell to his knees bawling in awe of all that he discovered. There’s a whole detailed chapter on the Resurrection that blew my mind.

I wish I could tell you I was one of those who just says, “Of course. I believe in something that’s completely crazy-sounding.” Unfortunately, I had to reason through it logically, and decide if it was something I could potentially believe in.

For the record, as soon as I turned the last page, I too, dropped to my knees bawling. Guys, THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL. Even if you don’t believe, you have to admit that (hypothetically) if God  literally sent a man to tell us how to live, wouldn’t you want to know what he said!?!?!??!?!

I’ve met so many ‘Christians’ that make me really upset. And I’ve met many ‘non-Christians’ who were kinder, loving, and more patient than proclaimed “Christians”. The fact is that these are people. Imperfect people making human mistakes. I don’t really want to talk about people. I want to talk about Jesus.

The guy is awesome. I’m convinced that if you actually read what he says, you’d say “THIS IS THE BEST ADVICE EVER!” He is brilliant.  He is LOVE. The more time I spend with him, the more patient, loving, gentle and creative I become. (I have know idea what creativity has to do with spending time with Christ, only that when I spend more time with him, my cup becomes overflowing, and the overflow usually comes out in the form of art projects, games, laughter, joy & creativity in general.)

On the contrary, when I go a day, week….a month without checking in with him, I’m SO IMPATIENT! Oh my gosh, I don’t like myself much really, truly. I get confused why the world isn’t revolving around me and why I’m not getting what I “rightfully deserve.” Yikes. Basically when I spend time reading the bible, praying, I become the best possible version of myself. When I don’t, I become a diva. I start keeping score. And I can feel it. Down to my soul.

Phrases you will NEVER hear me say: “You are going to hell.” “You should not be gay.” (Side note: I don’t think I’ve ever met a gay person I didn’t immediately love. Actually, there was one. He didn’t laugh at my jokes, so I mean, it’s pretty justified.)

The fact is I don’t care. It’s not up to me to decide how your story will go. My favorite verse ever in that whole dang bible is Romans 5:8. Meaning, you can come to him. Right now. Exactly as you are. Then as you grow and learn from him, he will let you know what needs to change. I repeat, He will let you know. I don’t have to.

He waited 10 years to reveal to me that I was a glutton. His timing is perfect. I’m convinced he doesn’t reveal your sinful nature all at once because it would overwhelm you and you’d implode. I usually find out a new “something to work on” every few months or years sometimes. Two years ago, he revealed to me that I  had been holding grudges for certain people from my past. I truly had no idea. Now having fully let them go, I have more room in my heart for joy.

He ALWAYS has our best interest at heart. “Sin” can be scary word, but when conquered it always results in more joy. He’s not trying to punish us with a list of what not to do. He’s trying to encourage us to become better! More selfless, MORE PATIENT, MORE JOYFUL! The end result for me has always been more joy.

WOW that was longer than I anticipated. If you’ve read to this point, I will mail you a friendship bracelet.

To sum it up, 1. My day-to-day life is greatly affected by whether or not I spend time with the Lord. 2. Jesus is a really cool guy. 3. Even if the concept has rubbed you the wrong way in the past, I challenge you to check into him. 4. Even if you don’t, I will love you regardless. 5. Unless you don’t laugh at my jokes.

Note: (1) Clint Coyan used this phrase “Fan of Christianity” in his talk at Cru and I loved it because it had described me exactly. (Clint in case you were wondering if that talk impacted anyone, it TOTES did.)

Cassie - April 9, 2012 - 11:32 am

Ummmm…totally loved this post. How brave of you to put it out there, and I have had some of the exact same feelings. I laugh at all of your jokes and I wish I “knew” you outside of your blog and photography.

Side note: Callie is A-DORABLE!

Anonymous - April 9, 2012 - 11:43 am

Love this!

kristen - April 9, 2012 - 12:07 pm

So where’s my friendship bracelet?

Erin - April 9, 2012 - 12:46 pm

I LOVE everything about this post! You are so right. I needed a reminder like this that my Sundays with Jesus aren’t enough. No wonder I’m ready to rip my hair out by the end of a week just the kids and me…I’m not getting my Jesus time! Thank you! Callie is gorgeous as are your pics of her (of course). :)

Megan - April 9, 2012 - 12:53 pm

I love you. Thank you for putting your heart out there! You are amazing and brave!

Cassie Crow - April 9, 2012 - 1:01 pm

Katie~THANK YOU for this inspiring message. I totally feel challenged by this. This is what God told me through your words: “Keep seeking me. Life is better when you do. AND Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to change people. That’s my job.” Thank you so much for the reminder!

Lindsay - April 9, 2012 - 2:43 pm

I love the pictures, and Easter does always remind me of the classic bunny-versus-savoir thoughts. A few years ago I finally figured I would just think of it as the “Life is Amazing” weekend since I love to dye eggs and appreciate life all in one go.

I actually don’t consider myself Christian. I’m agnostic, which is kind of an easy answer. I know it is, but it’s usually how I feel. I don’t not believe Jesus walked the Earth, but it ends at that. It doesn’t bother me to be somewhere in-between.

My point is that I do admire your post. I admire Christians who strive to be loving, since that’s what I always felt was most important about being a Christian when I was one. There was only one part that didn’t settle quite right–and I’m sure you absolutely didn’t mean for it to sound how I read it. When you mentioned phrases that you would never say, it was very powerful.

But then, you followed “I will never tell you not to be gay” with “He will reveal to you what needs to change”. I have always held the general belief (not even related to faith) that you are your greatest person when you love who you are, what you do, your positive impact on the world and people around you–when you really Love being you. To me, sexual preference hurts no one. You wrote above that Sin can be conquered, and to me, that seems to say that the sin of two men loving erases the fact that they have loved beautifully their entire lifetime. Does a sin really conquer a miracle? And is God’s job really to change people, remove the person they want to love?

To me, it doesn’t add up. In my world, God doesn’t change people. God loves. People may change radically from that love, but that’s the extent of it for me, two words: He loves.

I’m sorry for writing so much here; we don’t know each other, and I didn’t mean to be rude. :) Thanks for hearing me.

Amanda - April 9, 2012 - 5:37 pm

I like you.

I’ve been following your blog for a little while now (found you via fb). Your pictures are beautiful and entertaining.

This post is especially wonderful. Thank you for sharing! Your words have moved my heart today. I’m glad to know of people like you even though I’ve not had the privilege of knowing you personally…so thank you again. You’re beautiful.

kdp - April 9, 2012 - 5:43 pm

Hi Lindsay! I don’t think you’re rude at all. The “He will reveal to you what needs to change” was to be all-encompassing, not related to being gay specifically. Since I’m not gay, I have no frame of reference and therefore no wisdom or opinion about it. Honestly. (Actually, as soon as I wrote the word “gay”, I thought, “I’m so going to screw this up somehow.”) I will leave that debate for smarter scholars and people who have a clue of what they’re talking about. Anyway, I don’t believe that God intended for me to be a junk-food-obsessed-unforgiving-prideful person, and through his love I was able to change.(Though in need of renewal daily.) Does that make sense? YES God Loves us where we are, but HECK YES, there’s room for major, MAJOR improvement. Much love, girl.

brooke - April 9, 2012 - 7:13 pm

this is so very well said. freshest way of talking about Jesus i’ve read in a while. thank you.

Maureen - April 9, 2012 - 7:32 pm

How wonderful. I love you, Kate. I feel the same way about when I’m not praying and/or thinking about God. I lose track and worry and fret about really insignificant things. This was good for my soul.

Kathy f - April 9, 2012 - 9:00 pm

So much I admire about and learn from my daughter. What a blessing you are! Love the beautiful pictures of Callie.

Anonymous - April 9, 2012 - 9:37 pm

Thanks for this Kate! What wonderful reminders :)

Kelsi - April 9, 2012 - 10:57 pm

This touched my heart and made me a little teary. Pretty sure I’m gonna write this huge on a poster, hang it on my wall, and read it over and over again every day: “You can come to him. Right now. Exactly as you are. Then as you grow and learn from him, he will let you know what needs to change. I repeat, He will let you know. I don’t have to.” Thanks for that reminder.

I started following your blog because of the beautiful photographs you take, but my absolute favorite posts are the ones like this!

(Where’s my friendship bracelet?)

kdp - April 10, 2012 - 8:45 am

Haha. I’m overwhelmed by the positive responses. Thank you so much, everyone. And I am starting to think pretty seriously about these friendship bracelets. I saw a cute diy one on Pinterest. I’ll keep you posted, I may need some addresses. Haha. :)

Brett - April 10, 2012 - 10:01 am

Thank you for this; and I’m anxiously awaiting my friendship bracelet. Also remember that I’m a gay that ALWAYS laughed at your jokes ;-)

kdp - April 10, 2012 - 10:12 am

buahahahahaha Brett I can always count on you!!!

Leslie - April 10, 2012 - 5:54 pm

Absolutely loved this post! Made my heart smile! You are a very talented, inspiring, and funny lady. Thanks so much for making my day!!!

Alice - April 12, 2012 - 9:31 am

Katie. I love you. :) Well said and so wise. I love when you share your heart.

Morgan - April 18, 2012 - 9:32 pm

Awesome post and testimony! Very encouraging! Loved it

Bailey - April 19, 2012 - 1:35 pm

I can’t believe I almost missed this post! I LOVED it!! Really needed it too. My “quiet time” has definitely been lacking, and I am very much feeling and acting like a diva!

Thanks for this!

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