Friday, April 30, 2010

Letter to My Mom (part 5)

Hey Mom,

This week a lot of people have asked me about how my wedding planning is going.  It is going well, but I feel like when people ask me they want me to be really excited.  But I'm just not.  Not that I'm not SO EXCITED to be married because I am SO EXCITED.  I'm just not the kind of girl who wants anything fancy or really even cares that much about the actual event.

I'm just ready to be married.

I'm ready to invest in a marriage and not in a day.

There are a few people at there who make me feel kind of guilty for not caring tons about this day.  I don't get it.  I'm doing my best to brush them off.  But it is still hard because my people pleasing wants to come out.

So on a less serious note, your husband got a Harley this week.  It reminds me of when we were little and you and dad both had your own motorcycle.  I remember your long braids that always had a handkerchief holding them back.  You were such a hippie.

Ryan and I are going to take pictures this weekend for our invitations.  I am so excited for them (I guess I am excited about some things, just not the things it seems people want me to be excited about.)  They are going to be way different than a typical invite.  I'm SO EXCITED.  I can't decide if this would be something you would think was neat or if you would just be like 'oh kaci.'  Kelsey is going to design them and put them together.  She could very easily get annoyed with me by badgering her with 'are they done yet?'  over and over.  Good thing she loves me.

Well I should go be productive.

Love your favorite daughter,
kaci jo


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good books, good quotes

I picked up a great book last week with a gift card (my favorite!) from a friend.

Be Still, My Soul:  Embracing God's Purpose & Provision in Suffering.  It is 25 classic & contemporary readings on the problem with pain.  I'm on the second reading, and it has rocked my soul.

Chapter 1:  Suffering: The Servant of Our Joy by Tim Keller

"It's like what happens to an acorn.  Do you know how much power there is in an acorn?  An entire huge tree can come out of one small little acorn.  And out of that tree can come innumerable other trees.  One acorn has the power to fill a continent with wood.  But only if it dies.  Only if it 'falls to the ground and dies' (John 12:24) is that enormous power released"

Some good scripture he used to remind me of truth...
"Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" 2 Cor. 4:16-17.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us."  Romans 5:3-5

Tim ends this by saying "Don't just accept suffering--because God doesn't want it.  Don't just avoid suffering--because God can use it.  Don't just embrace suffering--because it is evil.  Instead, enjoy the hope suffering is going to be engulfed, swallowed up.  The evil that hurts us now will be the eventual servant of our joy and glory eternally."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jean Jumpsuits and Hot Pink Boots

This is how my kind-of boss greeted me this morning.  I love my job!

I also love my kind-of boss because the other day she randomly called me at my desk at work super excited. She had just realized that in a few months we will have the same exact initials (kjk) and that made her really happy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So Long Insecurity

I stole this from my friend, Katie's blog.

A thought to ponder...

The commissioning statement from Beth Moore's simulcast for her new book So Long Insecurity

My Dear Sister
If Christ is Your Savior
You are the dwelling place
Of His own Spirit
You have it IN YOU
to be secure.
Every day of your life
You have a choice to make
You can live in your old defeat
Or you can turn from your unbelief
And choose life
Make up your mind
To put off the old you
And put on the new you.
Never, ever, ever forget
That the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot
From being caught in a trap.
He will take care of you
To your very last breath.
Now, leave this place
And go out into the world
And act like a person
Who knows she’s dearly loved.
You were born to be exceptional.
So, Girlfriend, go forth
And walk worthy of your calling.
You are clothed in strength and dignity!
Now unto Him
Who can keep you from falling
Be glory and majesty
Power and authority
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
Now and forever more
So Long, Insecurity!

How sweet would it be if we all lived like we really believed this?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Aeropostale coupon

Here is a great coupon from Aeropostale!  It is a coupon for $10 off a minimum of $10 purchase.  So you can get something pretty much free.  Just click on printable coupon and print it off.  It is good for this weekend.

Letter to My Mom (part 4)

This letter is a part of my weekly blog series.  Check it out here.

Hey mom,

This week was beautiful!  The weather was perfect.

I was looking at old emails again.  (I know that is a bad idea, but I do it anyways.)  One year ago today you were on a vent in the ICU.  You were able to breathe on your own for 25 mins.  The doctors were sure that you would never be able to breathe without a ventilator and they thought you were going to have to live in a nursing home the rest of your life.

But you didn't.

Two months later you were able to go home.  Two months later, two of your daughters, Kelsey and Kinsey, sacrificed a whole lot of their life to give you the freedom to move back home.

Then your life was taken five months later.  But you were able to spend five months at your home.

I don't get it.  I don't get why God extended your life.  Why He chose to let you live five months longer?  Why just five months?  What was his plan in this all?

Soon after you passed away and I was constantly begging God for answers, I felt him say to me "be patient, my child, I will show you."  I know someday He will answer all of my whys and until then I will choose to trust.

Sorry mom that my letters are so serious.  Kassie's are much more happy and upbeat.  But you would expect no less from me :)

93 days until I marry Ryan on your wedding anniversary!  eeek!!!    

your favorite always
kaci jo

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear Mr. Caribou Man (part XXX)

This is part of my series Mr. Caribou Man.  To check out more click here.

Dear Mr. Caribou Man,
It has been such a long time since I have written you.  This morning you were at Caribou.  It always makes me smile.  You sat kiddy corner to me in the soft chairs.

I sat their innocently reading and you said to me "brr I'm cold."  So you got up and sat by me!!!

I would like to say you wanted to move because you wanted to talk to me, but in reality I think you were actually cold.  (Though there were four other open chairs you could have sat at, but you sat by me!)

We had a good conversation.  Talked about the painting of lines on Ingersoll and how you thought the traffic will be crazy reducing it down to two lanes (rather than four) and adding a bike lane.  We also talked about your job with the city back in the day.  Though you had told me about that before.  You told me about how you wished you won the lottery every day when you worked that job.  You also told me about how you love going to Prairie Meadows.  How you walk to Caribou each day to get exercise.  How you have to go home and clean your deck cause it is spring cleaning time.

Thank you Mr. Caribou Man for another day that you brought a smile to my face.

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Pointless Blog...

I have all of these thoughts that fly around my head that are longer than 140 characters but are not quite long enough to be a blog post in themselves.  I feel like I'm bursting with things to say but in reality I don't have much to say at all.

Last night I was talking to a friend and he mentioned how he writes his blog for himself and no one else (though he does put it out for the world to see).  I then wanted to be as deep and profound as him, so I started to think who do I write my blog for?  Immediately I thought, I write it for myself.  (I guess I wanted to be as cool as my friend.)  But then I realized, nope, Kaci you don't.  Who then do I write it for?  After much pondering (on a beautiful drive home with my windows down) I came to the conclusion, I write my blog for my family.  It started off for my mom.  Now it has warped into a tool I use to stay connected to my sisters--Kassie, Kelsey and Kinsey (don't expect much from Kinsey's blog, she hasn't updated it in 7 months).  I love that reason.  I love that I have this thing to be able to connect with them in one more way.  


Sunday, April 18, 2010


I had yet another perfect weekend.

I know these are going to stop sometime, but for now I'm going to enjoy the beauty in them.

Game nights, BBQ's, a 5K, Veishea parade, Hickory Park, nap time, pizza with friends, fight night, church, z'marik's, productiveness, myth busters, a walk, climbing trees.


I laughed to the brink of tears multiple times this weekend.  It was such a good change from during the week when I was on the brink of tears for no other reason then I was just sad.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Letter to My Mom (part 3)

This letter is part of a weekly series.  Read them all here.  

Hey Mom!

This week Ryan and I registered at Target.  (It is weird to write these letters because I know you would have asked the most off the wall questions about these experiences, so if I was really talking to you this letter would go a completely different direction.)  It was a lot of fun.  I think the funniest part was that Ryan had way more opinions than I did about things which is hilarious.  It also worked out well because I would have just stood at the wall of towels forever not really caring and he was like 'hmmm, this looks good...beep.'  and the decision was made.

It seems like every few days I'll search for an email in my inbox and I'll come across your old ones.  Thanks for those weekly group emails.  (Kelsey, Kinsey, and Kassie you should go back and read the one she sent on 3/8/07.  It is a tear jerker.)
"i also hope that you girls would be able to say you knew me well, i have tried to be really open with all of you..i might not be the greatest mom but i did a lot better job at it than my mom while i was growing up...she did the best she could  at those times..just as we keep this going and all of you kids will be really great moms,better than i"
You were a great mom and we did know you well.  Thanks for leaving the journals you wrote for us and your own journals and blog for us to read and learn from.

"So this all comes down to, is it good to do so much writing down thoughts and feelings. Years from now, will you girls read them. Will you curl up your lazy boys chairs and read them like they are a good book. I was really glad i read 1980 last night, it maybe realize I really am a survivor." 
Thanks mom for everything--memories, journals, emails and blogs--that you left us.

your favorite kaci jo


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Weekend; Another Photo or Two

Walking to the Casting Crowns concert

A beautiful Sunday with some beautiful friends

Disc Golf


Going after a lost disc

Pizza Ranch never a good idea, but such cute photos

Saturday, April 10, 2010

That Girl

While I was eating lunch with one of my amazing friends and we were vomiting our soul to each other as that often happens when we get together, I felt like I was smacked across the face with some hard truth.

I was telling my friend how the last three weeks have been harder for me than the second and third week after my mom passed away. Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter mixed in with an engagement. I've found myself crying a lot during these three weeks--in the car, every time I've gone to church, sitting at my desk, on a run.

Until yesterday, I hadn't told anyone this.


Because I have such a fear of being 'That Girl.'

I don't want to be labeled the girl who always cries. The girl who can't control her emotions. The girl who isn't strong enough to move on. The girl who is weak. The girl who can't do it on her own.

so much pride....

cause the truth is I am the girl who always cries, I am the girl who can't control her emotions, I am the girl who isn't strong enough on her own, I am the girl who is weak, I am the girl who can't do it on her own.

Here's the thing...

It is okay if I am that girl. Jesus never told me I had to control my emotions, Jesus never said I can't cry, Jesus never said I needed to be strong, Jesus never said I had to face this all alone.

So to throw my pride to the ground, I wanted the world to know I am weak, I will cry, I can't do this on my own...but I know Christ will be with me every step of the way.

I know He is the one who in the midst of pain will cause something beautiful to grow.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Letter to My Mom (part 2)

This blog post is part of the series Letter to My Mom series.

Hey Mom!

So I've been engaged for a week now. I know that you would have asked for this list a long time ago because you always talked and talked about how you wanted us to all to make a list of thirty things we loved about our potentials husbands before you would give us the okay to get married.

(Warning everyone who reads my blog, it you vomit in your mouth when reading cheesy things stop reading now.)

So here goes mom....30 reasons why I love no particular order

1. He loves Jesus more than he loves me.
2. He desires to be a servant leader.
3. His beard makes me smile.
4. He wants to have kids.
5. He sends ridiculously long well-thought emails.

6. Every morning I get a text that says 'Good morning.'
7. He tells me that I'm beautiful.
8. He randomly brings me one rose to work.
9. He's ticklish.
10. He talks often about how he doesn't want to be a boy, but strives to be a man.

11. He's incredibly honest.
12. He'll put up with my feisty moods.
13. He's cute.
14. He's a planner.
15. He pursues me.

16. He supports my dream of staying home.
17. He'll rub my back without complaining whenever I ask.
18. He's okay with my extreme extrovertedness.
19. He is hilarious!
20. He understands how important my family is to me.

21. He drinks wine.
22. He loves to read.
23. He knows he is still a work in progress.
24. He knows I'm still a work in progress.
25. He plays board games with me.

26. He reads the random links I send him and comments on them.
27. He still asks me out on dates.
28. He's slightly inappropriate at times
29. He finds joy out of creating the cheesiest terms of endearment and calls them to me in public.
30. He loves being active.

31. Did I mention he loves God a whole lot?

So there you go mom. I hope you enjoy and approve of this list.

Until next week
kaci jo

Thursday, April 8, 2010

reminiscing with old blog posts

My mom wrote this blog post about a year ago, 4/11/09.

"My oldest girl wrote a list of 30 reasons why she loves her husband. They have been married for 6 years. I can't not believe this part, it only took her 10 to 15 minutes to do it. That is amazing!!! Then of course she is pregnant {7 months} so the hormones are going crazy. I would also say they are still in the honeymoon part of their marriage.

I been married almost 33 years and it would take me a good 15 minutes to come up with a handful of reasons why I love my husband. I most likely could get a list of 30 if I had at least a month to do it in. So that is my plan, when I am done I will share it with you all. unlike my oldest who thought I should not share her list with my blog readers. [which are 75% family, 20% old friends and 5% my new blog friend mike ] She thinks it is a private list.

So I think it would be a good idea if before anyone get serious about anyone they should make a list of 30 reasons why I love this person. Both people should do it. We should make it a law in our house from now own.

It I had to make a list of 30 things that makes me upset about my husband, it would be a lot easlier list to make, starting with the OMG leaking kitchen sink one, that I have been complaining about for 26 years. After I get done with the one about what I loved about him, I will do the other one [things that upset me]to make things equal out.

Random thought: All of this 30 stuff reminds of a song from my day, "30 ways to leave your lover", I can't get the song out of my head. So I guess I will be singing it all night."

Stayed tuned tomorrow for My Letter to Mom (part 2)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Letter to My Mom (part I)

Part of the series Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,


Last night I was so excited and then it hit me, you won't be there for my wedding day. You won't be there to share with me the joy of planning a wedding. You won't be there. I got really sad. One of my good friends reminded me of the last words I heard you say face to face. You told me "He's cute." You gave me your approval. That means the world to me. Thank you mom.

I guess you probably want to know how it all went down, so hear goes. It was a beautiful night out (84 degrees, I know you would have hated how hot it was.) We decided after work we should go on a walk. I wanted to pack a picnic lunch, but I had to work late, so we got Jimmy Johns.

We headed down to a boat ramp on Saylorville Lake (We went here for our second date.) We ate our Jimmy Johns at a picnic table. Then went swinging together (Okay truth be told because of my extreme motion sickness I sat on the ground and he sat in the swing.) I then suggested we go walk down to the water before we went home. We walked down to the very high lake, and we were hugging and he started to pray for our relationship. (I told you he was a good guy.)

As we were walking back up the boat ramp, he had a huge smile on his face. I immediately thought he is thinking right now 'I really want to propose to her but I'm not going to cause I don't have a ring yet.' So I was not expecting it at all for at least another couple of weeks and because of that I was shocked when the next thing happened.

A few more steps later, we stopped and hugged again and then he said 'I LOVE YOU, kaci jo.' (It was made very clear from the beginning that I love you are engagement words, so I hadn't heard them at all yet besides one slip up that I will have to share another time that was caused by me, oops, but I promise it was a totally excusable mess-up.)

I immediately thought 'oh crap (but a 100% good oh crap), he is going to ask me to marry him, eeeeek.' He then got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. And of course I said yes followed by a I love you too!

Then I said 'so did you ask my dad,' because I knew that was really important to him. Ryan said "oh crap, I forgot because I was so excited/nervous." He then called dad and asked if he would have permission to marry his daughter. Dad of course said yes after he gave him a hard time about what Ryan would do if dad said no. (Ryan in response to that question said I would work hard to win you over.)

When we went to go call all of our friends and family, we soon realized it was April Fool's Day and every one seemed to be questioning it, so that was a slight fluke to his plan. But nevertheless, it was an amazing Thursday night and it added a lot more laughter to our life!

Ryan just got a band for me to wear now and we are going to go look for rings this weekend and this coming week! This way I will get a say in what it is.

Also we decided to get married on your anniversary!!! July 24th. It is actually Ryan's parent's anniversary too. I know it will be a sweet day to remember you and I'm so excited for that. I'm a little scared that it will be really hard for dad.

Thanks for reminding me often never to settle and that I should keep my standards high cause I found a guy who fits those.

I love you and miss you,
Kaci Jo

To read Ryan's versions, click here.

Letter to My Mom

My sister, Kassie, has been waiting impatiently for me to start this weekly blog feature. Each Friday when I randomly think about it, I'm going to write a letter to the world on what I would have told my mom that week in our random emails or phone calls. So here goes....

For you who are new to my blog, my mom passed away on Dec. 1st, 2009 after a very long battle with COPD.