Author Archives: Katy

Night Rhythms

As I said in my previous post, I’m a morning person, which is why my night time rhythms are so important. What I do the night before is what sets me up for a good morning. But I can’t stay up too late preparing for the next day, so the rhythms have to be concise and productive.

  • My rhythm actually starts with the kid’s bedtime routine. My husband and I each have our parts to play from bath time to the final bed time song. During the parts of the routine that my husband does, I am usually cleaning up the kitchen or the living room, or playing my piano, or getting in a chapter from one of the books I’m reading.

  • I get into pajamas, brush teeth, and get ready for the next day. This is when I lay out clothes, put my yoga mat into the closet and set up the nightstand for bedtime, including filling up all my water bottles for the next day (I find it easier to just fill up multiple water bottles to keep track of my water intake). I do one more look through social media and calendar, make any notes on a post-it for the next day which I stick on top of my phone, plug it in and place the devotional book on top.

Putting the devotional over the phone
  • Then, I grab my reading/media journal and make any notes for anything I read or watched that day. I usually do this while I’m watching or reading as well, but I look over what I wrote and make any clarifications. Then, I read at least one chapter in current read. Put on any lotion or calming sprays and go to bed. I use a sleep mask with headphones inside of it that I can play white noise or other calming sounds. I’m an extremely light sleeper and an early riser. My husband won’t be in bed for another hour or two (he is a night owl), so this usually helps me not hear him when he gets to bed.

Just like in the mornings, different events signify other events. I have a basket on my nightstand that houses only the things I need for morning or night. This includes books I’m reading for Bible Study, small group, the sprays or lotions I use, but if it can’t fit then it doesn’t belong in my routine. The only difference are the things I want to be in reach first thing in the morning (like my devotional) or last thing at night (like the current read or the eye mask). Simplifying it all really helps me not get overwhelmed with decisions and really focus on the things that are important to me.

What are some things that are a must for your night time routines or rhythms?

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue: A Review

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 star

I loved this book, like I thought I would. It is a beautiful, heart-breaking, clever story filled with intrigue and mystery with just the right touch of magic.

Addie Larue is a girl from the 1700s France who wants to escape from her mundane life on the day of her wedding to a man she doesn’t love. She makes a deal with a god of darkness who gives her immortality with a catch, no one who meets her remembers who she is after she leaves. Since both of her parents forget who she is, she is forced to strike out on her own, and there begins her adventure.

The god of darkness who she made the deal with continues to pop in and out of her life. You see, if she decides she no longer wants this immortal life of anonymity, he gets her soul. But when she enters a book store in New York City three hundred years after her deal, a man remembers who she is, and it begins a whole new exciting and heartbreaking journey.

The definitions of love, loss, death, and dying are what I am here for.

I really resonated with the character of Henry with his lack of direction and the full, big feelings he feels. I don’t get the storms he deals with, but I understood a lot of what drove his character and why he made the decisions he does. It is a beautiful depiction of mental health and depression.

If you like a little historical fiction mixed with magic and romance, this book is for you. It was a wonderful ride, one that I will definitely re-read in the future!

There is a profanity in the book. Sexual content includes kissing and sex scenes, not super graphic but definitely steamy. Violence includes stabbings, starvation, suicide attempts and of course, seeing others die around you, losing family members, etc.

Get Organized with the Home Edit: A Review

Get Organized with the Home Edit starring Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I love to organize, so I thought I would really love this show on Netflix about these two women who own an professional organizing company. The formula for the show is very easy to grasp. They organize a part of a house for a celebrity, and then the second half of the episode is a surprise organization project for a nominated person.

The first episode features Reese Witherspoon who had just moved into her home in Nashville. And she wanted a place to store and display all of the costumes and accessories from her famous shows. Primarily, the focus was the things from Legally Blonde, but her other notable shows also made an appearance. Clea and Joanna clearly had fun looking at, handling, even trying on a slipper from her iconic roles, but it didn’t have a practical translation to me. I have respect for costuming and design, but not enough to find that part entertaining.

The second half of the show was a surprise closet makeover for a hospital pediatrician. She seemed like a nice person, the people who nominated her seem to really love her and want the best for her. But, again, nothing about the organization process was new or interesting to me. I would have loved to see a “six months later” segment to show what worked and what didn’t for the doctor.

However, all that being said, this was the pilot episode. First episodes, especially in these kinds of makeover type shows, can been a little cheesy and surface level. I expect that when I continue to watch the episodes, there will be more reveals, conflicts and solutions that I will find helpful. But at first taste, the show left me wanting a little more practicality and little less fluff.

There is no profanity, sexual content, or violent content.

Morning Rhythms

In order to set my day right, I have to get up at 5am. But, my friends, I am an actual morning person. At night, I’m foggy and silly and moody, but in the morning, I can actually pop out of bed pretty quickly. My husband is a night owl, so I like that I can have this first hour to myself. I know that might already turn some of you away from the screen, but bear with me.

  • My watch vibrates, waking me up. I turn to my nightstand where my devotional is laying out on top of my phone. I used to do Bible studies on an app, but I found that I would drift to other social media apps and lose precious morning me time. I still might need to use the flashlight option on my phone to read (and not wake up the husband), but I can do this without opening my phone all the way. This month, I’m reading 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Meyers.

  • After my devo, I grab my phone and head to the bathroom to get ready. Usually, I have laid out my clothes in the closet the night before so I’m not rummaging through drawers. I used to shower and wash my hair every day, but that has changed for me. I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week now, and sometimes I skip the shower if I know I will be needing a warm bath or shower later that day due to exercise or activity.

  • Once I’ve dressed, I do a quick 10-15 minute session of yoga, sometimes less if I’m low on time. This helps my body and mind get ready. I have a playlist on YouTube with sessions 10 minutes or less so I’m not trying to find the video in the morning. My go-tos are Yoga with Adriene and Sarah Beth Yoga. I know that I’ve enjoyed everything on that playlist, so there is less time being used trying to make a decision. I also put my yoga mat in the closet the night before so it is ready to use.

  • After a shower and yoga, I go back into the bedroom, putting my yoga mat back in its normal corner and put my phone back on my nightstand. There, I pick up my prayer journal and head into the office where I do my journaling until my watch goes off at 6, which is when my husband gets up to start his day. Usually, I’m finishing up my last thoughts when the watch goes off, but as soon as I’m done, I return to the bedroom with my notebook to place it back in its place.

  • Then, once my husband is up, I turn on the light and read until my kid gets up. Of course, there have been times when this has already happen, so my reading might be more of the children’s book variety, but I can usually get a chapter or so of my own book while I convince the kid to play with the dogs. Once my husband is dressed, we all head down for breakfast.

  • The rest of the morning consists of getting the kid ready, making the beds, starting laundry, and feeding the dogs. All of this is done to the latest favorite playlist blasting through the entire house via Google Home. But each task flows into the next. Part of making my bed is getting a laundry basket on the bed to fill. I bring that basket down and start the washer, turn around, and the dog food is there, waiting for me to scoop it and fill the dog bowls in the kitchen. I pass by the dining room table where I take the breakfast dishes to the sink.

It helps my kid learn the flow of our house as well. As soon as the music comes on, it’s time to get dressed. Less fighting about getting out of pajamas because we are too busy dancing!

I also realize that this is a “living in a pandemic” rhythm. We haven’t had to be anywhere specific for a while now, and I’m sure when life inevitably changes so will we, but for now I’m truly enjoying the flow of our mornings!

What kind of things are a must for you to do each morning?

A Conjuring of Light: A Review

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 star

This is the third book in Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy. Since I try not to reveal any spoilers for the entire series, this review will be short.

The book begins right where the last book left off, which was expected since that is how the first and second book transitioned as well. It was action-packed, everything from the previous books are coming together and this one took off running.

There are some character deaths, both main and secondary characters. In retrospect, I did find that the author really honed in on a lot of these characters in this book so that when their abrupt end happened, I felt emotion. But she weaves them all together beautifully, and I cared for all of the characters in the end.

The ending was messy but so good. Imperfect, but filled with hope. Not saying I would have wanted it to end in another way, but the author doesn’t tie up everything neatly, allows the characters to still have flaws at the end that affect their relationships, and I really liked the lack of a happily ever after for everyone. It worked well for this story.

Of course, I loved these books. I love this author. I love what she does with her characters. I love the fast moving plot. I love the world she created. She is one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to continuing to read her backlist as well as any future stories she may create.

There is a profanity in the book. Sexual content includes kissing and roaming hands, described genitalia and suggested oral sex, but nothing is too graphic or steamy. Violent content includes lots of death, either by sword or magic. There are also mentions and displays of familial abuse.

The Wilds, Episode One: A Review

The Wilds created by Sarah Streicher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wilds on Amazon Prime follows nine girls who are stranded on an island after their private jet crashes on their way to a female empowerment retreat. The first episode opens with an interview by law enforcement of one of the girls, Leah, presumably after they have been rescued. Through a montage and quick introduction of the characters, we learn the basics of each girl’s past.

We have Toni and Martha from Minnesota. Martha is an Indigenous person who is shy and has never been in a relationship. Toni is loud and violently opinionated, something that apparently got her kicked off the basketball team. Dot and Shelby are from Texas. They are described as Dot, the girl who wears cargo pants, and Shelby, the pageant girl who constantly talks about Jesus. Rachel and Nora are sisters from New York. Rachel is a swim athlete and Nora is observant but anxious, who stays in her sister’s shadow. Jeanette is from San Francisco and helps her parents in their restaurant. And Fatin and Leah come from the same school, but Fatin has a bit of a bad reputation and Leah has no reputation at all.

The first episode follows Leah’s perspective from the events leading up to her going on this trip. She gets involved with an older man and lies about her age. It doesn’t end well, and when she spirals into depression, her parents decide to send her to this retreat. Since it is coming from her point of view, it is very angsty and overexaggerated. Everything is the end of the world. She makes a comment about how the island definitely gave her trauma, but she was already living in hell before she boarded the plane.

Like I said, very angsty.

Towards the end of the episode (which this is in the trailer, so no spoiler), it is revealed that the organization who does the retreat actually orchestrated the plane crash. The girls are being monitored the whole time (and from the trailer, we know that their parents are in on it, too).

I plan to keep watching it, but I hope that it lets up on the teen angst comments just a bit. I assume that each girl’s story will be revealed with the following episodes, and I’m just intrigued enough with this organization to keep watching.

It starts by issuing the warnings of profanity, sexuality, violence and drug use, so be forewarned. There is profanity. Sexual content includes an adult/minor sexual relationship with love scene in bed, though no nudity. There is a death that happens in the first episode as well. There are also injuries from the plane crash.

Word of the Month: Rhythm

For most of my life, I lived by self-imposed schedules, hoping that perfect balance between hours and minutes, chasing after the vision of having it all and being content. But like any rat race, it left me feeling burnout and frustration more than anything else. Over the years, I am learning to be more flexible, letting go of the desired perfection, and embracing rhythms instead of schedules.

Rhythms are the ebb and flow from one activity to another.

Rhythms are more organic. They are the ebb and flow from one activity to another. They build habits and set cues that help remember what comes next instead of allowing the clock to dictate my life all the time. Granted, there are still some things that end up on a schedule, but certain parts of my day allow me to bend just a bit and tune into what I need in the moment.

In the coming weeks, I will talk about some of these rhythms. Some have been established for a while, deeply grooved into my day, while others are newer and still have a few kinks to work out. But all of them have helped me stay present in the moment.

Do you live by schedules or rhythms? What are some things or habits that you absolutely must include in your day?

Come As You Are: A Review

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
My rating: 5 of 5 star

I really enjoyed this author’s book, Burnout, which she wrote with her sister, so I wanted to ready her other well-known book. I am so glad I did. This book was really informative and research/science based.

The chapters on body image and cultural influence were my favorite. They are vital and necessary for everyone to ready. Even though this book is directed primarily towards women, even men can benefit from the information in this book, namely those chapters.

The only critique I have of the book (which obviously didn’t affect my rating) was that she keeps referring to future chapters, and that was quite distracting. I can understand referring to past chapters but it was just confusing at the beginning.

This book is so needed. I recommend it especially to every woman in my life. In fact, I already have recommended it to a few. It is supporting, encouraging, and challenging. A definite book that will stay on my shelf for future reference.

There isn’t any profanity in the book. But there is definite sexual content since the book is about sex. There are some sexual traumas that are addressed as well, but not described in detail. She has a whole section specifically meant for those who are coming out of or have had sexual trauma in their life. So that is the closest to violent content that is there.

Wonder Woman 1984: A Review

Wonder Woman 1984 directed by Patty Jenkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Much like Barbara at the beginning of this movie, the film seemed to be trying a bit too hard, stumbling around in its own shoes.

First of all, it’s set in Washington DC in 1984 (hence part of the title), and there are constant reminders throughout the movie to let you know this is the 80s. But I didn’t understand why it had to be set at this point instead of later or earlier.

The two main themes of the movie were “how to grieve like a superhero” and “don’t try to cheat the realities of life.” After the loss of her love, Steve, Diana has cut herself off emotionally from the people around her, even though she is still moonlighting as a superhero and works in a museum as an anthropologist. When a crystal surfaces that starts granting wishes, she is reunited with Steve but at a big cost. She then has some very hard decisions to make.

Outside of Diana and Steve, the new characters that are introduced didn’t have a lot of depth. Barbara fit the stereotype of the nerdy, awkward museum employee. Max Lord is a washed up entrepreneur who would give anything to be successful, forgetting the things that are most important. But that’s about it. Each makes a wish that they don’t want to give up, but their development is abrupt and confusing at times.

Then, there is the amount of information dumping that happens. The backstory of the crystal towards the beginning of the movie, all the way to the backstory of Max Lord towards the end (which I wasn’t sure if it was his childhood or his son’s for a minute). None of it really helped me understand or care about these new characters. They seemed like props to help move the story along.

The only two characters with any depth were Diana and Steve, but that was because of the previous movie. Here, they are just echoes of who they were before. Diana’s sacrificial choice towards the end was heartbreaking, but the emotions tied to that scene seemed to die with that scene. As the plot continues on to the final battle with the big bad, the monologue at the end that is supposed to reflect the transformation of Diana’s character is overshadowed by the weird info dump of Max Lord’s backstory.

I didn’t hate the movie. There were funny parts and emotional, sweet parts. I can see how they were trying to zero in on Diana’s humanity since the first movie was more about revealing the god-like part of her character. It seemed like they only had time to focus on either the special effects or the story. I just wish they had chosen to develop the story more.

There is profanity in the movie. Sexual content includes some kissing, including kissing in bed. There is a small possible trigger warning of Barbara being sexually assaulted in the park. Other violent content includes gun fire and fight scenes which are par for the course in superhero movies.

Happy New Year!

I’m writing this a little ahead of time, so this is past Katy congratulating you for making it into 2021!

I looked back at my first post from last year, just to see how far off I was going into the year that was 2020. And I wrote these words after announcing my song for the year, “Be Thou My Vision.”

“I’m sure there will be some predictable moments, and some unpredictable challenges as well. All I know is that I want to keep my eyes on God and allow him to guide me through it.  I pray that by the end of the year, I will have a renewed focus and love for God that is greater than today.”

Read more of my 2020 post

Nobody could have predicted the challenges that last year brought. Those “moments” turned into months. And challenges I would never have thought could be challenging like sitting inside a restaurant or a movie theater. Going over to a friend’s house to celebrate milestone birthdays. Normal holiday seasons full of well known and loved traditions to share with my kid.

But the one thing that was always true was that God was there. He walks through it all with me. Every time “Be Thou My Vision” popped up on the shuffle, I was reminded amidst all the chaos, there was the steady hand of the Father, ready to show the next step in the adventure he has prepared for us.

This year, I feel like I’m recovering from last year. And my song this year reflects that. This year, I want an old song that has brought me so much comfort over the years of pregnancy loss, uncertainty, unknown. So, this year I chose “It Is Well With My Soul” to lead me through 2021.

This week, I’ve shared a few of my goals, mainly for this blog. Overall, I want be more still, remember that God is in control no matter what this year brings, and focus on the things in my life that are important to me. And take each day as it comes, each month as it is, and meet each challenge with the knowledge that no matter what may come to pass, I can say it is well with my soul.