Friday, May 29, 2015

I could get used to this.

Way back in April (which seriously feels like such a long time ago!) I made a quick, yet necessary, decision and deemed May a "no-travel month." Can I just give myself a big ol' pat on the back for having one of the best ideas I've ever had? And Lee definitely deserves one too, first for putting up with me during a crazy hectic April, and second for helping me realize that traveling 4 out of 5 weekends in a month is something worth thinking about doing never. again.

As the lovely month of May comes to a close, I just need to say how freaking awesome it was to just be for an entire month. The most traveling we did was a happy day trip to Galena to see my family on Mother's Day, but other than that we've been laying low and I gotta say, I. loves. it.

Can you say, going for walks, garage sale-ing, grilling and eating on the patio, breaking in some new soccer shoes and just getting more sleep overall? Although the schedule has begun to fill up during the week, it's amazing how great I still feel to just have no (or very few) set weekend plans. Want to drive around and look at all the really expensive houses in town? Sure. How about checking out garage sales (and finding a surprise STEAL on wedding decor)? Well, okay. Wait, how about we find a new recipe, make it, and then just do WHATEVER THE HECK WE WANT. Yeah, twist my arm. In sum, this month of no traveling has been such a blessing. I recommend a "no-travel month" to anyone, yes, even you with your friends and family hundreds of miles away. Believe me, you (and your wallet) will thank you.

I am even more affirmed to encourage this after reading this article linked from Laura over here. One of my deepest desires is to live in a community and not just have a utilitarian relationship with it: "I live here. I work here. I get my groceries over there. Then I leave and see my family and real friends on the weekends." I deeply desire to be planted in a community and truly integrate myself into it--I want to go to the local festivals, know the "hole-in-the-wall" goldmines, see friends and neighbors at the grocery store checkout and get caught talking for 45 minutes, and best of all, I just want to be present to those around me, to myself, and to my family. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?

Anywho, since I haven't blogged in a while, some fun things as of late and in no particular order are:

1) Canvas and Cabernet.

I have been wanting to do this for such a long time! So many of my friends have gone to the "wine and painting nights" and always come back with these beautiful paintings that look like they were done by a professional. I was particularly excited about doing maybe a field, or a sunset, or a nice river with a moon reflection. (Mostly I just wanted to do a moon reflection). Instead, this was the painting for the evening:

Chevron stencils, a stencil of Iowa and oh yeah, Iowa. Soooo yeah. No moon reflection. Or nature setting of any sort. Even a flower or butterfly would have sufficed! But really?? A tribute to Iowa? Since living here I've definitely learned that Iowans feel the same way about their state as I feel about mine, but if we go again we are definitely looking ahead to see what the painting will be for the evening before making a $35 commitment. I mean, are we supposed to hang them up? Maybe I'll put it right next to my Wisconsin art... or the Blessed Mother. Or maybe in the basement where it belongs....but it's the experience and bonding that counts, right?!

2) Jenne came to visit!

Not going anywhere for a month really has it's perks:  your friends come to you. Holla. We had a wonderful weekend equipped with going for walks, eating kale (....), grilling out, and giggling like schoolgirls (which we somehow always manage to do). Also, every time we are together we find a way to squeeze in the following: going to confession, getting Caribou, FaceTiming Fr. Cheney and now we may start a new tradition of drinking a delicious and low-calorie beverage called 1020's. (basically just vodka, tonic water and crystal light. YUM).

Top: On a walk through the state park.
Bottom: Enjoying grilled salmon and asparagus on the patio.

3) Breaking in new soccer shoes.

Lee sweet-talked me into going out on a limb and signing up for a rec soccer league with him for the summer. He's been doing this the last two years and loves it, whereas I'm over here like:

Seriously. I haven't played a full game of soccer since senior year of high school, and after doing very few, minimal soccer exercises (passing, running around an open field one time) I was spent. Literally done for. So we'll see how these Monday night games go. My only goal is to survive. And stay hydrated. Other than that, no promises.

Silver lining: My old soccer gear has been tossed at some point in the last almost decade since graduating high school (SO weird to say that), so in return for signing up for the league, Lee bought me these shiny new kicks so I can lay in the grass on the sidelines run around aimlessly in style:

Pretty flashy, 'eh? Actually, I'm not sure if you've perused the soccer cleat section at any store lately, but you should check it out just for kicks (wink).  We were both pretty disgusted at the blindingly bright and horrific designs that I wouldn't even want the cutest child to wear. Apparently bright and flashy is in...but what happened to the traditional black shoes with the three white stripes?! Simple and classy, right? Maybe I'm just that far out of touch with style and reality (likely), but either way, some of those... yuck. This was literally the closest I could get to the classic cleats I donned once upon a time.

4) Wearing my new skirt at every opportunity outside of work.

While in Galena I splurged and bought the skirt pictured below. I've wanted a versatile maxi skirt for some time now--mostly because people always look so comfortable in them! I've been striking out left and right, so I finally just gave up. And then, while shopping with Mom, a wave of something came over me and I decided that this would be a good idea... and don't even think about telling me otherwise!

Those blurry iPhone selfies were taken on two separate occasions... so clearly my creativity with this skirt lacks. But the woman in the store told me that "they just can't find any shirt that matches the blue in the skirt!" So when I came home and found this bad boy already in my closet, I felt a sweet, sweet sense of victory. A very small victory, but victory indeed.

5) Shopping for hiking boots.

Due to the fact that our honeymoon cabin ended up being a little less than we budgeted for, both Lee and I thought it would be a great idea to get him some new kicks, so we can explore the trails in comfort and style. Plus, it's just a great idea to get hiking boots, especially since we both enjoy a good hike through the woods.

I didn't take any pictures of Lee trying them on, but I did snap this pic because it's the same pair of shoes that daddio sports all the time, and it made me miss ma 'n pa:

Dad's are the ones on the far left, with just a hint of orange. :)

So these are just a few of the happenings that have been happening in the vida de Kelsey. In sum, stay home for a month and you might just end up painting a tribute to Iowa. Or haggling at a garage sale. The possibilities are endless!

Kelsey Marie
There is nothing like staying home for real comfort. -- Jane Austen 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I have six days left with my Sixth Graders, and I’m… (fill in the blank)

Today's post is brought to you courtesy of a dear, and extremely talented friend of mine, Miss Joyce! If you like a fine wine, then you will also enjoy this beautifully crafted reflection from today's featured writer. I'm not entirely sure why, but I just have a hunch that you would. Roll with me here.

Miss Joyce, and I began our longstanding best friendship during our awkward days in 6th Grade. She desires to live forever in that year, for some odd reason, as she is currently a 6th Grade teacher in the Twin Cities. She enjoys cooking for friends, getting lost in a literary classic, coaching basketball, laughing uncontrollably (mostly with me), and sipping on a fine whiskey. Sara loves those in her life very deeply, and is a magnificently gifted woman.

When I sit down and attempt to explain my thoughts and feelings in relation to the end of the school year, I’m inundated from a million different directions.  The end of the school year often brings utter joy and merriment from students, while most teachers I know, myself included, express such jubilation with a celebratory beer and deep sigh of relief.  A break.  Finally!  After toiling for nine straight months, I am able to experience freedom…and perhaps a little more sleep.  No more being confined to my local coffee shop every Saturday and Sunday because I need to grade papers.  No more rushing back from social gatherings because I fear sleep deprivation will result in my behavior toward students being likened to a hungry bear searching for food come tomorrow morning.
What people don’t realize is that teaching is not a cush job.  I don’t leave school and cease thinking about my students.  It doesn’t stop at their academic performance, and assessing their papers and tests.  When I go home at night, my students are forever on my mind.  Ask any of my friends what subject matter I discuss most often, and they will, without hesitation, tell you:  My students.  I marvel at their innocence, I laugh and smile at their joy, I worry about them, I have hopes for their future, I wonder if any of the material, primarily the life lessons, will actually stick with them, I long for them to know and remember how deeply I love each of them.  Over the last nine months I have spent over 2,000 hours of my life with these students.  In seven days I will wake up, and for the most part, have no contact with them again for three months.  For some who are switching schools, I may never see them again.  Re-reading that last sentence breaks my heart.
Everyone tells you that the second year of teaching is far better than the first.  After having experienced my second year, I can tell you with confidence that it’s true.  My lesson plans are ready, I have a sense for what I’m doing, and even grading seems to take less time.  They don’t, however, prepare you for the gut wrenching pain of your “second good-bye.”
Last year at this time I was blissfully unaware of how deeply I would miss my incredible, hormonally raged, behaviorally challenging, capable, awkward, hilarious, curious, and delightful eleven to thirteen year olds.  Ignorantly, I waved and hugged them good-bye, and promptly went off to enjoy my celebratory beer, or in that case, whiskey.  The days went by, and my heart once having been so full of love and life from these students’ daily presence, recognized a deep emptiness and loneliness.  I know the ache, and I’m confident I’ll experience it again because I spend every day with 26 of the most wonderful people that I know:  My students. 
Their joy, innocence, fervor for life, curiosity to learn and grow, desire to become who they are inspires me daily.  No one can frustrate me like my students, no one can make me laugh or understand goodness like them either.

The countdown toward the last day continues, and while my students are excitedly anticipating freedom from school, I am doing my best to savor every last moment.  Six more days I get to spend with these little gems.  I hope to God that He gives me the strength to endure day seven.  Until we are reunited next Fall when their awkwardness is at its height, and their concern for being cool may, in fact, prevent them from acknowledging my existence.  This year’s sixth grade class will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our [Awkward] First Date

Three years to the day marks my first date with the wonderful man I now call my betrothed, my fiancĂ©, my soon-to-be partner for life. Hard to believe, right? It definitely does not feel like it's been three years. Maybe longer, maybe shorter, but definitely not three years. I mean, a LOT has passed since our awkward (in my opinion) first date at Applebee's.

Want to hear the story?

Well.... OK.

But I must warn you, it's pretty awkward. (In my opinion)

I won't tell you our whole story, because ain't nobody got time for that, but maybe that will come in a future post down the road. No one ever really knows around here.

DISCLAIMER: The awkward factor. While recently reminiscing about said first date I mentioned to Lee that it was a little awkward for me. He responded to the likes of, "Really? I didn't feel that way at all."

So there ya have it, my awkward trigger gets tripped a little easier than engineer boy's. C'est la vie. And c'est la not surprised at all.

Back to story:

My first year of missionary life with FOCUS is coming to a close (and for those of you who have heard of FOCUS, you probably already know about the first-year dating fast that all missionaries are obliged highly encouraged to take part in) and I'm staying in Fargo for an extra week just to soak it in, and move all of my stuff to our new apartment for the next year.

Lee conveniently overhears my teammates and I talking about all the time they will need to spend moving all my unnecessary crap stuff and he graciously volunteers to help me move, or gets graciously volunteered by Lucas. I forget which. Either way, he was gracious.

Lee makes a conscious effort to help me move allll the way across town (actually it was closer to 6 blocks). I'm pretty happy about this because let's be real, I know I'm gonna need as much as help as I can get because even though my team is the Packers, packing vehicles is not my forte. I soon find out that Mr. Engineer is an excellent packer and if it isn't for Lee's help, this moving fiasco would take a whole lot longer, and quite a few more trips back and forth in the Taurus.


Moment of silence for "The Taur." May she forever rest in piece... and at the hands of my cousin who now drives her. Model year 2000, completely rusted out underneath, but still toting passengers from point A to point B. What more can you really ask for? (Answer:  Lady.)


Back to story. Lee and Lucas in good, chivalrous fashion, help me move. We spend a good portion of Saturday moving and having a jolly good time. The last back-and-forth trip for the day is done, and I'm at my empty apartment by my lonesome, wondering what to do, when I notice my Bucky Badger floor mat is not at the entryway where he normally lies. I open the fridge and what do you know, there's Bucky, rolled up and on the bottom shelf. (Lucas went to the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana so we always had friendly verbal jousts about who's school is better.)

I sent a picture text to Lee of said floor mat in fridge, and though I don't have the text conversation saved, it went something like this:

Kelsey: Did you have something to do with this? (Bucky in fridge)
Lee: Lucas might have suggested that.
Kelsey: Very funny.

(break in texting)

Lee: Would you like to have dinner tomorrow night?

--Pause for Kelsey to get all sweaty and nervous and WHAT THE HECK IS HE ASKING ME ON A DATE?! I JUST SPENT ALL DAY WITH HIM.--

Kelsey: Sure, when and where?
Lee: Applebee's at 6 pm. I'll pick you up.
Kelsey: OK, that sounds good!
--Kelsey = so confused --
Kelsey: Random question, but what are you going to wear? (Dressing up = date, right?)
Lee: Probably a polo and some shorts.
Kelsey: Okay, sounds good. (Phew! Totally NOT a date.... Or wait, is it? I don't know what a polo shirt signifies!)

Awkward enough yet? It gets better.

The next day comes, Lee picks me up and we go to Applebee's. As soon as I get in the car I instantly start nervous talking to fill the silence which Lee is completely accepting of. (The whole time wondering: "Is this a date? Why didn't he just ask me when we were together yesterday? The text means it's not a date, right? Should I ask him? Does he like me? Do I like him? I think I'm going to puke!")

((Of note, at this stage of life, baby Kelsey still doesn't quite understand that some people have different temperaments, and some truly see silence as a gift to be treasured, while others see it as an obstacle to be tackled. I was very much in the camp of the latter, while Lee was and is very much on the side of the former.))

We both order and hardly eat the chicken strips basket (this detail is courtesy of Lee) and I, in all my nervousness, continue to fill every bit of silence with question after question after question. What was your family like? What kinds of things did you do when you were growing up? Tell me about your mom. TELL ME ANYTHING.

Hell hath no fury like Kelsey nervous-talking to an engineer on a maybe-but-not-really-sure-first date.

At one point I remember thinking, "Does he even want to talk to me?"

Apparently, he did.

And here we are today. Engaged to be married. Who. would've. thunk.

The only photographic evidence of Lee helping me move. Taken from an old cell phone.
He and Lucas sitting on my couch in the back of Lucas' pick-up.
Kelsey Marie

Friday, May 15, 2015

Six Click Takes {SQT}

1) This commercial. Just, lol.

Ever since their dawning and the rise of the gecko, I've always had a thing for Geico commercials. I don't know how they continue to manage to be hilarious, but they really do! When I saw this one for the first time the other night, the suspense and build-up leading to... Dora... just cracked me right up. I lol every time.

2) Also, this commercial at 27 seconds.

Okay, so I'll admit it, this week I've been hooked on this addicting show and I've managed to see both of these commercials for the first time this week. Seriously, I think Chopped might be taking a back seat pretty soon. It's just so intense! If I were ever on that show I would literally start bawling, just like this poor girl did. And they still left empty-handed. So sad. 

3) I had a great conversation with an old friend last night regarding the direction of this here blog. I'm just so excited to dream big and continue thinking of different prospects! More on that to come...

4) My friend Claire and her soon-to-be hubby started a new blog yesterday and I just need to give it a shout-out. She's one of my favorite bloggers hands down, so you should probably give 'er a read. Plus, she's moving back to the Promised Land, we share a love of our mutual Alma Mater, and she's an incredible missionary. Sooo obviously we get along.

5) In case anybody cares, last night I got a STEAL on lettuce. You know the different kinds of lettuce: there's the normal Dole head o' greens, then you progress to the Romaine, the bagged lettuce, and then there's always that nice stuff in the plastic cartons? And it's always really overpriced? WELL last night I figured I should get some salad stuff for supper (because lunch yesterday) and they had those plastic boxes of lettuce for $1.00 each! And one of them had a $.55 coupon on it... so I literally got days worth of salad greens for $1.45. You can only imagine my excitement.

6) Tonight I am scheduled for a "professional blow out" at Ulta just down the street from work. I don't often treat myself to things like this, but I thought it might be worth a shot. From what I understand they are going to wash my hair (which in itself is worth almost any amount of money...can you say head massage?!) and then just blow dry it as normal, but teach me how to make it look like this: 

But let's all be a little more honest, I know my hair won't end up looking like that with just a blow dryer and a brush. I'm not that naive. BUT I am excited to see what I will learn! Pictures of that to come... maybe... or maybe not. Stay tuned to find out!

Have a happy Friday.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Some days call for coffee.

Please tell me I'm not the only person on earth who wakes up some mornings and thinks, "I'm definitely getting to bed early tonight!" and then proceeds to make a five-second game plan of how "I'm going to come right home from work, go for a run, eat a healthy supper and then start winding down for bed at 8:00. Yep. No matter what. That's what I'll do today."


I love it when myself in her tired-stupor state thinks she understands life. Because let's be real, plans as such literally happen never. Well, maybe they did that one time. That one time in a blue freaking moon.

This is what the actual schedule for nights like this should look like:
-come home from work
-look at workout clothes, proceed to crawl under Bucky Badger blanket and take a nap.
-have a cheddar dog for supper (way better than it sounds, trust me)
-watch three episodes of Chopped (because honestly, who can watch just one?! If you've mastered this share your secret.)
-fall asleep on the couch reading
-piddle around and still get to bed past 10:30
I think the problem is more "user-based," if you catch my drift. But hey, I'm still a novice at life, remember? Also, for anyone who has children, I bet you're probably thinking, "Oh Kelsey, you have nooo idea." And you're right, I probably don't.

BUT, today I had one of those days. In fact, I have those days most Thursdays, but that's okay, because that's what coffee is for. Oh crap, the "coffee fast" that I'm attempting to clear up not clear skin... Oh well. It's not every month you get "A free coffee every day in the month of May!" from Panera Bread. This week I've been really good, I mean, coffee-free Tuesday and Wednesday is nothing to scoff at. But I think I kind of originally started with the intention of having coffee on Thursday mornings. Don't worry, I'll be back at it tomorrow with coffee-free Friday.

But why the exception for Thursdays, you ask?

Well dear reader, Thursdays are my most tired day of the week. I think for lots of reasons: 1) it's still not Friday, so it's still just a little too early to be excited for the weekend; 2) it's not the beginning or middle of the week anymore (which somehow gives me motivation to be awake, I'm not quite sure how that works); 3) I have a weekly holy hour on Wednesday nights (which I doze through at least half of...regularly); 4) it's still not Friday and 5) last night I accidentally locked myself out of my apartment and had to throw wood chips at my roommate's second-floor window to wake her up so she would come open the door for me.

Okay, so #5 isn't a regular occurrence, but the others are. And that did happen to me last night which still has me laughing today. I don't think I'd be laughing if said roommate didn't end up hearing my pleas while chucking wood chips at the window: "Peace, wake up! It's Kelsey! I locked myself out!" Thank you Jesus for encouraging her to have her window open on a 50-degree night. I took my apartment key off the key ring and stuck it in my running shorts when I actually did go for a run yesterday (note, yesterday wasn't Thursday--see schedule above), blissfully leaving the house for the evening without having returned it to its proper home. I had all my other keys, but not the one that I really needed. Peace is an early-to-bed, early-to-rise individual, so that decision was no bueno. Seriously. I mean, shacking up with Lady doesn't sound so bad, but oh wait, yeah it does. Altimas are meant for comfort driving, not comfort sleeping.

But for some happies: we've had a few fun date nights in recent weeks. Here's a fun picture from date night this week. Just chowin' on some grilled hot dogs, baked beans and potato chips in picnic-like fashion on the patio on a beautiful sun-in-your-eyes evening. Delightful.

And here's one from last week's date night:  we built a fort and spent the entire evening doing fun activities in said fort--making Mother's Day cards, eating yucky Chinese "food" and laughing. A lot. All fun things I tell you. Such a happy time. Plus, it's not every day you can get your fiancĂ© to pose like this:

That's all I've got for today, folks. Happy rainy Thursday.

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's the five-month countdown....

Please tell me you were thinking of this song when you saw the post title. Please. I definitely had it in mind while crafting that little bugger. If you weren't, just go ahead and read it again, thinking of Europe in all their glory. (p.s. did you know that Europe released a new album this March?! Not even joking you right now...thanks, Wikipedia.)

Anywho, 'tis true, 'tis true, Lee and I will be wed five months from yesterday! CrAzY to think about, especially since the last few weeks have really brought an overwhelming sense of peace in the present. Get this:  we actually like being engaged!! a.k.a. we aren't sitting around wishing for, "well when we're married 'this,'" or, "only X amount of days...get me outta here!" ("here" referring to engagement).  This has been a constant conversation with us, and even though the goodbyes at night don't get any easier, we are 1) so thankful that we don't have to spend all of our time together on Skype like the good ol' days and 2) both very much enjoying this brief time of engagement in our lives. It's not like we can one day go back and say, "let's just be engaged again!" Not gonna happen. Not because I don't want it to, but because, ummm, marriage. Ya feel me?

This whole notion of having peace in the present is a really profound reality in my life right now, especially as my one-year anniversary of packing up Lady and moving out of Fargo comes up in a week. (Any new followers out there: Lady is my Altima. Read the post I wrote here, or watch a younger, tanner me getting the keys here!) There have been many times over the past year (up until this very day!) where I have thought to myself, "Man, I. miss. Fargo." And, truth be told. I do miss it. But more than Fargo itself, I miss the life I had in Fargo. This blog didn't even capture 1/8 of the many good blessings I received while I was there, but now that the reality has finally set in that I will simply just not live that way again (with teammates, working for FOCUS, mentoring women as a full-time job...), I have been forced to succumb to the reality of the present.

And you know what?

I think I like it!

Not only do I like it, but now that I'm finally starting to realize that this is the daily life of KMK, it's starting to feel normal, not like I'm just trying to fit into life like I'm a piece from the wrong puzzle. Sure, there are rough days when I wish for the way things were, and boy do I miss my friends from the hinterland. But little by little this emotional sap has been coming around to accept the way things are, and actually enjoy myself so much more.

We went to Galena with the Kaufman's for Mother's Day! What a wonderful day.
Swimming into shallower waters...

Today also marks the beginning of a completely vanity-driven attempt at a not having caffeine nor chocolate. Want to know why? Because all hell broke loose on my face and in recent months pubescent style acne has been covering my entire chin. I mean, I've gotten small break-outs here and there, but this is completely different! Even while going through puberty I don't remember having a breakout quite like this.

"Kelsey, don't you think maybe you're a little stressed with the whole wedding/huge life change/still adjusting to Iowa thing?"

Well, maybe. BUT. But but but this might be different. I don't feel really stressed out by those things, and in all honesty wedding planning is kind of a breeze (so far!). I did zero outside research, but after doing a quick overview of my diet and lifestyle, I've realized a few pretty common denominators in recent months:  coffee and chocolate...and I did switch my face-washing system right around the time this all began... SO I am going to resort to my former way of life and ditch the new system (for now!), even though I love the way it makes my skin feel and has just the perfect amount of tingly sensation after step 2. You all know that tingly sensation that just makes your skin feel cleaner?! Even if it actually isn't? That's just the best. But it doesn't quite make up for a chin that could be mistaken for a pizza. So it's time to give 'er a rest and go back to the basics here.

p.s. please ignore the coffee I sipped this morning while getting ready for work; it was Panera coffee leftover from yesterday, I swear! You can't let stuff like that just go to waste...

Anyone else out there in their mid-twenties having acne breakouts? What did you do to get rid of them? Hit me with some advice!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blogging after a 3-month hiatus.

If you think this post is going to magically inspire any writer's block-affected bloggers out there, you've stumbled upon this site by mistake, though I'd love for you to stay! This post is merely me giving myself a warm welcome back to the world of blogging after a three month hiatus. It has been far too long, my friends. And you wanna know something? My lack of writing has had nothing to do with writer's block or lack of substance. I'm embarrassed to say the real reason...

my absence is out of pride (again). And it probably won't be the last time I don't show up here because of some silly thing I'm embarrassed about. For example, never, ever writing yet still claiming I'm a "blogger." Such a phony!

"It's been so long, all of my readership is probably gone anyway."

"I'm not a missionary anymore, who really wants to read the humdrum life of KMK?"

"My blog is embarrassing me and needs an update. I don't want to write until the entire thing is 100% made over."

These are just a few of the things I've been telling myself for the past few months, most of them lies. Except that third one. My blog needed (and still sorely needs!) a makeover. Poor blog, I'm sorry if I've offended you. We've been together for so long now! But truth's gotta be told. You be gettin' a litttttle outdated.

Did I just write on my blog, to my blog? Must have a few screws loose today...

Anyway, why did I start writing again? Oh yeah, to tell you why I haven't been writing. 

Long story short (or maybe long, I never quite know until I'm done sputtering thoughts out via keyboard):  I've been reading q-u-i-t-e a few blogs lately. And when I say quite a few... you should probably check out my blog roll and see some of the other ones I've been skimming reading embarrassingly thoroughly. I don't know what it is about reading the intricacies of complete strangers' lives, but man is it entertaining! I am learning new things and picking up tips on just about everything under the sun:  lifestyle, budgeting, fashion, blogging, crafts, and seriously so much more. It also feels like I've made tons of new friends. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous. But I know more about some of these people's lives and children than I do about my closest friends! I feel a bond with them. I am starting to sound like a real creep.  But anyway, all that reading sure makes me want to join them and get back to writing in my own peaceful corner of the 'net. 

Some of the questions I've been asking myself for many moons now are these:
  • What kind of blog do I want to write? Serious? Spiritual? Funny? Real life? All of them?
  • Do I want to gain readership? Or just write for fun?
  • Do I want to publicize my blog on social media? I thought I was trying to lessen my time spent in those avenues...
  • What will my title be? (Lord knows we need a new title over here!)
  • What will it look like?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Will keeping up my blog be like a second job? I mean, I just don't know how Grace does it sometimes.. she must get oodles and oodles of emails, comments, and she still manages to keep up on the social media, nearly daily blog posts, oh, and her 4 children (5th one coming soon!...see what I mean? Creep.). 
  • Am I ready for this?! 
So there ya have it. Kelsey feeling so paralyzed/excited/nervous that she doesn't know how to move forward in the blogosphere and begins talking in the third person. Screws loose I'm tellin' ya, screws. loose. 

What are your thoughts? I welcome any and all feedback to my current conundrum, and if you know of someone who happens to do graphic design and/or build websites...send 'em my way. Not literally, an email contact or phone number would suffice. No need to burden UPS with that kind of liability. Also, if you write a blog and I don't already follow you, you should probably let me know and I'll start stalking you reading what you write. Believe me, I've been making tons of mental notes (and actual notes, on Google Drives) with blogging tips, linking, how to have a super duper cool blog, you know, all the important things.

In sum, I'd like to give myself a warm welcome back to the blogosphere, and let me know how nice it is to be back (oh, that pride thing again). But seriously, 'tis good to be here! For now you may be receiving more random posts from moi, but no guarantees. 

I recently watched Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third for the first time (it was a fantastic weekend!) and I just cannot get over Puss 'n Boots. Literally, I laugh every time I think about this face.  I'll leave you with this: