Wednesday, December 25, 2013


My GG (great grandmother, Sarah Zielke) passed away August of 2012. I came home from college to visit GG as I knew she was ill and during my visit home see passed away. A week later I came back down from college to help out/lend a hand to my grandma and her siblings as they cleared their mother's apartment. 

My GG had some books by an author I like (Mary Higgins-Clark, if you're curious) and she would give me a new book of MH-C's to read some times when I came to visit her. As no one else wanted to keep any of the books from her collection, they were all boxed up and set aside to be given to me. I didn't really want the books but felt guilty just giving them to goodwill. 

We finished cleaning it all out and headed home. When I got home, I decided to open the box of books and pick out the ones I would keep then donate the rest. The first book that caught my attention looked more like a little gray journal. It read "COLLECTED WHISPERS" in shiny gold font with a a bunch of butterflies on the cover. I opened it and read the subtitle: The International Library of Poetry, CopyRight 2008. Intrigued, I turned the page and read this:  

All things are hopping
We're Christmas shopping, 
Baking cookies too
Addressing card and wrapping gifts, 
Doing tasks long overdue

Trying hard to keep in touch 
With new friends and those from the past
Making sure not to miss those we love,
Although sometimes they're last

It doesn't mean we love them less
Quite often, it is more
It's just doing things are slower now
Than they've ever been before

We still take time to remember
Our gift from God above
It makes things so much easier 
When we also share our love

- Sarah Zielke

I started to cry.
To think, I almost donated this box without much thought . . .
Who knew that it held treasures,
 a poem my great-grandma had written, published and on the first page of a book. 
Nobody knew this poem or book existed. 
If I would have donated it, we may have never known about the poem/book.
I am so glad nobody else was interested in her books and I was the one to discover her poem.

Merry Christmas, friends! 
<3 KC

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A white Christmas after all

We left our apartment and headed home for the Holidays, I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas! This year was a terrible, no good, very bad crappy year, so I'm not sad to see it go. Helllllllo, 2014.

Since I forgot my camera, I borrowed this photo my Aunt posted this to Facebook of her back porch!
It's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas here in the Mitten State. . .   : )

Birthday Countdown: 20 days until I am 23! 

My mom only had one day off of work during the time I am visiting so I am staying with my Gram. We've had a great visit and I love the QT with my favorite ladies.

Saturday was my mom's only day off, so she came over to help us bake Christmas goodies. She invited her best friend(same best friend she had in high school) to come join us in baking! It was a great time and we have more than a ton of cookies to show for it.. Candy cane, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate drop, pecan crescents, neiman marcus, white chocolate macadamia, and sugar cookies! And 3 varieties of fudge. Don't worry, we aren't keeping it all, I've already eaten MORE than my share...

Yesterday we had plans to shop for groceries for a traditional Christmas dinner for 6 families facing difficult times. My gram, mom, & I are all members of the American Legion Auxiliary under my grandpa who served as a Marine. My Gram and her friend Nona led this project. They contacted local area school social workers to find 6 families who needed a little help this Holiday season and had a member of their family who has/is serving in the U.S. Military.. One of the families we helped, the mom had tears in her eyes and hugged each of us. Her husband just returned home from Afghanistan and will be home for Christmas this year! As her eyes welled with tears, mine did also. What an amazing Christmas her family will have now that her husband is home and they will have a Christmas meal together as family.    :  )

We spent less than $25.00 per family and purchased a lot: a ham, yams, green beans, corn, mac n cheese, bag of potatoes, stove top stuffing & a bag of oranges! My gram and I were in charge of delivering to 3 of the families and Nona had the other 3 families. In place of a pie, we gave each of the six families a platter of all the Christmas cookies my family baked. They were so appreciative and it felt great to help others. My favorite thing about this time of year is giving to others!

This has been the best week of Christmas I've had in at least 5 years! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!  I may or may not hop on here for a quick post tomorrow but in case I do not...

<3 KC

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holy rant, Batman!

Random and Hilarious Batman & Robin dancing to 'single ladies'
You're welcome.  : )
One of my biggest pet peeves -- that does not involve people driving like idiots -- is hearing/reading ignorant arguments statements... yeah impossible to avoid, I know! But specifically religious or political based beliefs. I think it may be of importance to note that I am not easily offended and I am a very tolerant person.

Aside from racism/hate, engaging in criminal activity that harms others, etc. I do not waste my time worrying about what others believe in or spend their time doing. 
YOUR Religion? Doesn't matter to me. 
YOUR Sexual orientation? Doesn't matter!
You get the idea. . . if it's YOURS and doesn't involve harming others, then I don't care.

I am 100% for freedom. That includes choice of religion and personal opinion/belief systems! That being said, I die a little inside when I hear/read a hypocritical or overtly ignorant statement/discussion/argument!

I have never watched A&E's hit series Duck Dynasty. 1) I do not have cable. 2) It just never seemed like something that would interest me. Having said that, the increase in social media discussions of this show, caught my interest. 

I HAD to know why so many people were debating free speech, religion, anti-christian debates. I am a fan of the Phillip DeFranco Show on YouTube and when I saw his new video included this topic I quickly pressed 'play'. I think he summed up my opinion of the situation perfectly!  

I aimlessly browsed Facebook today and couldn't stand to read anymore comments/statuses about this situation. . . I literally was disgusted after reading so many misinformed and downright ignorant remarks. Remarks ranging from "There is a reason the TV remote has a channel changer, if you don't believe in the bible or support this shows views, you don't have to watch it" duly noted. to America is anti-christian. . .

1) I am ALL for freedom of speech. Unfortunately with that, comes good and bad speech. If you support this right, you support both speech you agree with and speech you do not agree with. 

2) Religious freedom and Freedom from religion. As Americans, we all have the right to choose our own belief system.  
      >  >  > As a 'good' person, I also personally believe in respect. This includes respecting the beliefs of others even when they differ from my own. I believe the true issue at the center of this situation, is the way his answers were recorded. While I am not part of the LGBTQ community, I was slightly offended that "gays, drunks and terrorists" were lumped together in one of his interview answers. I thought he sounded very offensive and believe his message could have been relayed a lot simpler with " I believe in the bible ", enough said! Often people disregard feelings of others and speak unfiltered, but that is their right. 

3) As an American who enjoys the freedoms and rights we have as citizens.
       > > One last note of the DD debate, yes the Duck show guy expressed his personal views in a GQ interview, despite being offensive, had that right as an American citizen to believe in Christ and the bible & to speak freely of his views when asked! On the same token, as an 'employee' of A&E Television Network, his "bosses" aka the network, also have rights. The right to hold their own beliefs. The right to disagree and speak out against the Duck Dynasty member for being offensive. 

In summary, I copied & pasted my comment on a friend's Facebook Status:  

I have personally never seen the show. His comments were kind of offensive, and definitely could have been stated in a better manner but it's no secret that he's a christian and holds the same beliefs as the bible. I also think it's rather silly that A&E is so worried about his comments causing damage to their fan base who do not share the same views as the duck guy. A simple statement from A&E about "not supporting some of his views" would of sufficed. Who cares THAT much about TV? So many people just jump at any chance to battle it out over politics or religion. Annoying.
Haha, This post could have been shortened to that comment alone. Happy Thursday, friends! 
<3 KC 

Friday, December 6, 2013

New traditions

Ohhh, December. How I love thee <3 
It's quite Chilly here in the Mitten but my area has no snow right now and I'm okay with that. : )

Because I was a Scrooge last Christmas last few Christmases, this will technically be the first Christmas J & I celebrate together - at our apartment! I just wasn't in the Christmas spirit the past few years. My papa passed away on Dec. 15, 2008. It was especially hard for me and is still difficult around Christmas time. However, my outlook on things has changed and I refuse to let life's hard times ruin anymore holidays for me. 

So, I am all about the Holidays this year. . . 
Hellooooo, fellow Griswolds of the world blog-land!  

Growing up, Holidays were a big deal to my family. My Grandma and Papa (mom's parents) hosted dinner. Their four kids and all of us grand kids came to enjoy dinner, stockings & presents with them. Looking back, we were beyond spoiled and so lucky to have our family holidays. After my grandpa passed, our family stopped ALL things holiday. Super sad face. . .  Long story short, the dysfunction in my family's relations coupled with the loss of my grandpa resulted in no more celebrating. Huge bummer; I still celebrate with my mom and my grandma though, which I love! And my boyfriend's family does some fun family things too. Last year his aunt hosted an ornament decorating party. So much fun. 
My beautiful Gram & handsome Papa {prior to his cancer diagnosis} 
One of my ornaments from the decorating party -- a snowflake!
 Nostalgia sparked my idea to create new traditions for Josh and I. I told him that we should both think of a tradition for us to share each December. He liked my idea and the tradition I came up with. My new tradition: purchase mini stockings to hang on our Christmas tree. Inside we will place a hand written letter to each other. On Christmas day we will exchange stockings/letters. I have a feeling this will easily become my new favorite "present"! J hasn't decided on his tradition just yet. 

My mom bought J & I a little chocolate advent calendar a few weeks ago. I've never had one before but they're so much fun. Each day when we wake up, one of us will go grab our calendars and race each other to find the numbered day to open and find out what the chocolate's design is for that day. It's truly the simply things in life, friends. I can easily see this becoming a new tradition for us too.

Do you have any unique Christmas traditions?

<3 KC 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Buzz, your girlfriend...WOOF!

FINAL Thankful November:

# 28 I am thankful for Holidays. Life is full of ups and downs and it's too easy to focus on the negative and get caught up in the business and hurried lifestyle! Holidays to me, mean a time out from 'reality'. Where my family spends a whole day dedicated to each other and nothing else. Weather it be, spending a morning in the kitchen preparing a ton of delicious food for Thanksgiving Dinner and then stuffing our face while watching the Lions get a WIN! OR Bake a huge variety of Christmas cookies from recipes I've grown to love since childhood. I just LOVE the few days each year that nothing else matters except family & tradition. <3 <3 <3

& Because I laughed out loud (in real life) at this E-card, I had to share
HA! Man, I was really hoping that the political jargon would dissipate after awhile, I've got some real die hards in my Facebook news feed and while I care about politics and our country. Hearing the hatred (from either side) day-in, day-out gets tiring...  

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! Unfortunately my boyfriend's mom couldn't make it here for Thanksgiving like we had planned. She had some health issues going on but thankfully she's been mostly cleared of it being serious...However, we missed having her here and plan to visit her around Christmas now instead. : )

Does anyone else have an overwhelming urge to watch Home alone (1 or 2) or Christmas Vacation? 
Ha! Those movies are my favorite movies once December hits.   

Thanksgiving was so great! 
I ate too WAY too much, as always.
I cannot resist pumpkin pie even with a fully belly! 
Heeyyyyy, it's only once a I'll consider that, moderation.

Josh & I put up our Christmas tree on ''Black Friday''. Well, sort of . . .
Our larger tree is in storage at my moms since out apartment is on the tiny side. So this year we borrowed a small/table top fiber optic tree from my gram. 
It's cute and perfect for us this year.I'd share a photo but I've been too lazy with picture taking (it's all that turkey & mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving!)

<3 KC