words to remember #7: on talent.

hiking in tn. kinda.

A few weeks ago, my family spent a week at a log cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN, courtesy of a family Christmas gift from my parents. And aside from the family dynamics that tend to creep up when you put that many people in a single house (with a single kitchen), I had a great time.

The only thing I wish I would have done more is hiking, though the unpredictable weather made that a bit difficult.

One day Katie and I decided to go down to part of the Old Mill River that runs between the two lanes of the road to Gatlinburg, just as something to pass the time and get us out of the house a little. Ally, Jacob, Jon, and Chris came with us.

We climbed down the rocks toward the water:

(Jon: "Jake, you better move out of the way or you're gonna end up breaking my fall!")

And played:

And pondered the deeper things of life:

Until our fun was cut short by a warning:

(Warning: This body of water contains elevated levels of fecal (sewage) bacteria. Contact might increase your risk of illness. Avoid swimming, wading, or fishing in these waters.)

Which really should have been posted near every access point.

We planned another day for a hike, drove over to Gatlinburg, and started to follow a road up the mountains. Picture me driving on a steep, narrow road, with lots of twists and turns and no guard rails, and a conversation in the car that went something like this:

Kristy, for the third time: I really don't like driving on roads like this.
Chris: What can we do to make you more comfortable?
Kristy: Um, distract me. Talk to me about something else.
Jon: Can you imagine a car just rolling down that cliff?

Because it was raining on and off, and because the idea of hiking on wet ground makes me nervous (I feel like the likelihood of slipping is much greater), we opted for a scenic drive, with occasional pull-offs for photo ops:

And sometimes we didn't really stop for the photo ops at all:

And last but not least, we drove back to the cabin, singing show tunes from Evita and Moulin Rouge the whole way. I'm pretty sure Jon and Chris have done a duet from Moulin Rouge before. Which is a little odd.

But I love my family!

diy wall art inspiration.

I finally finished painting my living room this weekend (it's been sitting half-finished for a few weeks while other things took precedence). The thing is, I know how much of a difference paint makes, that it is one thing you can do that can completely transform the look of a room. I know this, and even still as I sit on my sofa floating in the middle of the floor, with the rest of the room in absolute chaos to make room for the painting, I'm still amazed and how much more put-together everything looks.

There is still a lot of work to be done - including painting the trim, hopefully in the next few days - but having fully-painted walls makes me want to start thinking about some of the things I want to put on the walls. In particular, I've got two large sections of wall that I want to fill - the wall above the fireplace mantle, and the wall straight in front of you when you enter the room.

Here are some of the large-scale wall art ideas that I've been collecting (from my things to make board on Pinterest):

This is one of my favorites, from The Lettered Cottage. I'm such a huge fan of using words in my house - maybe a set of family rules, or words from a favorite verse or poem. Plus, I like creating things with wood, especially inexpensive pieces.

[Source via Pinterest (exact link unavailable)]

I also like this variation, and could see it with a map or even large flowers.

This next idea was created using a drop cloth - an inexpensive way to make a big impact and another way to use words.

I keep thinking about this one, and I might just go out and buy the stuff to make it sooner. I think it would look great above the fireplace, and could kind of serve as a backdrop to other things.

I've pinned a ton of ideas with maps and map outlines, so I'm thinking at some point I need to create something with one. This one would be pretty time consuming but could look really fantastic.


Over the last few days, I've read some wonderful things on Easter, the resurrection, and the incredible grace God gave us on the cross. These words have convicted me, made me think, and given me reason to celebrate. I hope the excerpts below (and the full posts linked below them) do the same for you.

Between ages 0-32, I celebrated Easter the fun way: with bunnies, baskets, and expensive clothes. What better way to say “Jesus reigns” than dressing my preschooler in a $45 dress to show her off in the church lobby? (You’re welcome, Jesus. Be blessed.)

Now, let’s be clear, if you had asked me what my Easter priorities were as I stood all fancy in the lobby, I’d become grave and mention the resurrection. For crying out loud, I’m a Christian. But truthfully, between the outfit shopping, the Easter baskets, the egg ______ (dying, stuffing, hiding, hunting), the pictures, the lunch menu, and the gift buying, Jesus was flat last. I started thinking about him as the band started at church, and I thought about him for a whole hour.

That’s just true.

But for the last three years, Jesus has messed with me. Frankly, he’s hijacked all my holiday endeavors. I’ve always celebrated holidays with a Cultural Major and a Spiritual Minor. Take Christmas, for example. I endlessly spent on garbage no one needed and worked myself into a December frenzy and oh well. La de da. Now I’m overwhelmed by the poor and the disgusting consumerism cycle and the heinous neglect of Jesus and the appalling nature of it all.

~ Jen Hatmaker, The Easter Conundrum, Part 1

But it is yet another thing all together to look at the truth of scripture and remember this: When he died, I died. And so instead of watching from thousands of years later or even standing among the dirty crowd who killed him, Jesus brings me closer. He put me on the cross with him – my old self, my sin, my terrible reflection. But while there together, He hid me within him and absorbed the punishment on my behalf. And thus set me free.

~ Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky, the other thing that happened on Good Friday

And we tell the story over and over. It’s not just a pastel, chocolate-covered story we drag out with the eggs. It’s the very core of who we are. It’s the most important story ever told. It’s the truth we cling to in the darkest of nights. It’s the story we encourage one another with. Death didn’t win. He is alive!

~ Kristen Welch, We Are That Family, Five Ways to Celebrate Easter

goals update (april).

Since we're now three months into the year, I thought it was time to review my goals and see which things I can cross off my list. There are quite a few that I need to get moving on, too!

  1. Create art with Jacob - DONE (see art day and melted crayon art).
  2. Try 25 new recipes - IN PROCESS (5/25) (see new 2012 recipes, part 1).
  3. Read 5 non-fiction books.
  4. Read through the entire Bible - IN PROCESS - I'm still using YouVersion, and need to catch up, but I'm working on it.
  5. Get eight hours of sleep a night for one solid month.
  6. Start an herb garden.
  7. Make meaningful art for my house - DONE, though there are still more things I want to make (see life is beauty full and abstract art).
  8. Explore downtown Frederick by trying six new restaurants - IN PROCESS - I edited this goal to be more specific. So far, I've tried 2 new restaurants, Moxie and Cafe Nola.
  9. Take a yoga class.
  10. Take a French class.
  11. Take Ally, Cam, and Jake to lunch for their birthdays - IN PROCESS - I took Ally to lunch for her birthday in February. Cameron and Jacob's birthdays are until June and September.
  12. Cut my car loan balance in half.
  13. Join a Bible study - DONE - Mom and I are doing a Beth Moore study (A Woman's Heart) together, and I've joined a women's small group at my church.
  14. See 5 (new) places from the book 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die.
  15. Walk the dogs four times a week for a month.
  16. Set up a recycling center.
  17. Tile something.
  18. Grill something.
  19. Write random notes to the people that I love.
  20. Go hiking with my sisters - DONE (see hiking).

abstract art.

So after we finished the melted crayon art, and while Jacob was working on his own abstract masterpiece, I decided to make something a little abstract of my own.

My favorite colors are blues, especially the ones with a bit of green in them, like aqua, teal, and turquoise (which is why both the kitchen and bathroom are a similar color). So I stuck with those kinds of colors, and just fingerpainted them onto my canvas.

I'm also a big fan of words and quotes and lyrics, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that. This is also part of another goal for the year, to make meaningful art for my house. I used words from the song I Am New by Jason Gray. It's a beautiful song about the things God says about us.

hidden in Christ
made in the image of the Giver of Life

By the way, the video is also excellent, and I love the art is created in it out of junk. Such a great meaning, isn't it?