Tuesday, May 19, 2015

life transitions + friendships - a community guest post!

Hello dear friends! This morning, we have another amazing blog post from a contributor of our Hot Tea and the Empty Seat community! And next Monday, another! These ladies are so full of wisdom and love for others. I can't wait for you to get to know them better! Today's topic is one I believe all women in all seasons can relate to. You are not alone!

When I was younger, in my school days, I was convinced that friendships were much more important at that time than they would be at any other time in my life. I mistakenly had the opinion that adult friendships didn't matter, because (I predicted) by the time I was an adult I'd have a husband and a family and I wouldn't have time for friends anyway.
Oh how wrong I was.
As I grow older, the friendships I have are becoming increasingly important to me, and this has been especially true during transitional phases of my life.
As I graduated college and embarked on a career, friendships grounded me and gave me a home base to dwell when I felt overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. My friends and I discussed job offer letters (or the lack of job offer letters) and possible moves and first apartments and the struggles of not being surrounded by our friends and setting out on our own. It was relatively easy to be a good friend during this time of my life because my friends and I were all about the same age and we were all going through the same transitions at the same time.
Then I got engaged and married before most of my friends did. Even though many of my friends couldn't necessarily relate to the entire ordeal of wedding planning and the seriousness of the commitment I was making, they were there to encourage me that I had found the right guy, brainstorm during the wedding planning phase, and then plan my bachelorette party. A few of my best friends even flew to Jamaica to witness me marrying the love of my life - my husband, Tim!
There's a reason we have marriage ceremonies in front of our community - it's because it takes an entire community to support a couple and their union and commitment to each other - a couple simply cannot do it on their own.
And that's when I learned something that I still think is very true about adult friendships - showing up is important, and sometimes it is the MOST important thing a friend can do. The most recent transitional life phase I've gone through was getting pregnant and having a baby. This particular change was especially tough, because I was just about the first of my good friends to become a mom. It was in this stage of my life that I learned that some friendships have an expiration date.
When I was pregnant it was relatively easy to stay close friends with the same people. Nothing had really changed except my waist size, so we still went out and had great times - although I was tired fairly often so I turned down quite a few social invitations. I had many of my best friends plan and show up for baby showers, and I was blown away by their kindness and support. Then (10 months ago) when I had my daughter, Clara, a lot of my friendships changed dramatically. I found it difficult to relate to my 'old' self and some of my old friends. I couldn't go out and socialize in the ways that I used to. I couldn't talk on the phone for hours without interruption. My mind and therefore my conversations were consumed with baby-related things. And don't get me wrong, I was able to discuss things other than my child and motherhood, but when my girlfriends would ask me what was new in life, my response almost always included Clara and my new and awesome (and exhausting!) role as her mom, which they weren't able to relate to.
Because of these changes, some friends stopped including me in social plans, and (although it's a struggle) I'm coming to terms with this. This behavior has made yet another truth of friendships apparent to me: Not all friendships are made to last forever. God has put people in our lives for very specific reasons, and we are challenged and shaped by the people who we become close to, but not all of these people are meant to be our life-long friends, and that's okay. Yes, it's sad when friendships end, but I now understand that friendships that fade into the background have simply run their course and usually end because of the individuals being in different phases of life.
I don't mean to make it sound like as soon as I became a mom I lost all of my friends - the opposite is actually true! I had my moments of feeling lonely, but God is good and He brought so many awesome women and couple friends into my life (and Tim's, as well!) We've met families through church, our neighborhood, and new moms groups. We've gone to children's birthday parties and have gotten together at friends' homes and meet regularly with church groups to talk about God and to get to know Him better, together. Our social calendar is filled with activities and we feel completely at peace with who we surround ourselves with - but it's definitely a different group than we were spending time with a year ago.
These new and fruitful friendships are possible because I was able to let old friendships go. I was able to pray about relationships and feel comfort in the fact that some relationships have simply run their course, and then when I felt peace in this, new people came into my heart and filled any holes I felt were there.

So I want to leave you with a few words of encouragement about friendships.

  • If you live nearby to your friends, cherish this time in your life and put energy into building strong foundations so that your friendships can withstand the test of time and geographical distance (if necessary) in the future.
  • If your friend is going through a life transition - show up for her! Community is extremely important during life changes. Even if you don't know what to say, be there if she needs you. Send a card, a small gift, or write an email. If you don't understand what your friend is going through because you haven't been there yet, yourself, just talk about what you do know and continue to be available. Don't be afraid to reach out to a friend!
  • Know that some friends will come, and some will go, and each of these things happen for a reason. Keep your heart and mind open and free from anger and disappointment and focus on God and His plan for your life! He will provide you with everything you need, even relationships, because we were created to live in community and in relationship with one another.
  • ____________________________________________________________________

    Meet Lisa! Lisa blogs over at Two Martinis. She writes about marriage, motherhood, & all things sweet in her life. She is precious + I look forward to getting to know her heart over here at Hot Tea and the Empty Seat Community in the future!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Golden Vlog Link Up - Co Host of Volume 9!

It's time for one of my favorite link ups in all of the blogging world! This month, I have the privilege of co-hosting The Golden Vlog Series linkup with Faith from Life with Mrs. G and the Artist! She is so fun. This month's theme is Summer Vacation Traditions! I love, love, LOVE summer time + going on road trips! When Faith and I were brainstorming ideas for this month, this topic excited us both...

Enjoy my vlog and link up with own below after following the awesome new rules!
Cheers, friends!
The Golden Vlog Series Vol. 9 from katie kashner on Vimeo.
 Don't you just love the screenshot? Haha!

Here's the Rules . . .
1. You must follow your Host & Co-host on at least ONE form of social media to linkup w/ us. 
2. We want to see your face! How many times you roll your eyes, and if you talk with your hands! So link up a post featuring your VLOG answering this months questions! Please link up a post not your blog's home page, and be sure there is a VLOG (video blog) featured! This is the Golden Vlog after all ;)
3. Add the button above or a text link to one of the hosts to help us promote this crazy thing!
4. Spread the love! go watch, listen, and comment on other blogs and make some new friends!

If you have any questions at all or want to be included on our monthly Golden Vlog Letter with next months questions just email lifewithmrsgandtheartist@gmail.com
*all links not featuring a vlog or this months questions will be removed*
Follow Katie - Bloglovin, Facebook

Link up with us here....


Friday, May 8, 2015

Four on Friday!

 I love when bloggers give their readers a peek into their lives so that they can get to know them a bit more so I thought it was time to do just that!


Five movies I would/have watched more than once:
- The Croods
- Avatar
- Interstellar
- Finding Nemo
- Elf
{These are probably my top five fave movies of all time!}
Five books I would recommend:
- Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore
- Crazy Love by Francis Chan
- Not a Fan
- The Insanity of God
- Radical
Five places I've visited:
- The Bahamas (three times)
- Haiti (one time)
 -Dominican Republic (honeymoon)
-Canada (once)
-Arizona (I just loved it there)
Five places I'd rather be right now:
 -with my hubby on the beach
-with my hubby in the ocean
-with my hubby by the pool
-with my hubby at a resort by the beach
-did I mention I wish I was at the beach with my hubby?
Five favorite foods:
 - Anything Mexican
- watermelon
- queso dip + chips
- anything my grandma makes
- anything my mom makes  
Five TV shows I watch:
 - Psych
- The Office
- Jessie (yes, I watch Disney shows on bad/sick days)
- The occasional Gilmore Girls
- We only have Netflix so I don't even have five to add

Five things I'm looking forward to this year:
 - Our Two Year Anniversary!
- our anniversary vacation to Charleston, SC!
- Hopefully getting pregnant
- Joe's cousin's wedding in PA
- My brother's two month trip to NYC
Five things I say all the time:
- what the crap (yes, so classy)
- that's awesome (I say this wayyyy too often)
- I can't wait!
- are you kidding me
- babe!!!
...I guess I'm a very expressive person, haha.

Five favorite things I own:
- our puppy, Penny!
- my awesome Mark 3 5d canon
- our Chemex
- our Keurig
- our home!

Happy weekending!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Super Quick & Easy 3-ingredient Veggie Bowl + Tacos

I love cooking. I love creating new things but I am terrible at documenting them and sharing them with the world. Which is completely okay with me since my family can enjoy them still. This morning, I have been enjoying the beautiful 80 degrees day outside renovating + painting furniture! I worked up an appetite so I ran inside to whip up a delicious lunch. I was feeling creative so I looked in the fridge for something quick. And this was created... (and I love it!)

what you need:
3 ears of corn or 1 can  
1 can black beans
1/2 can salsa
1. Place your skillet on the stove on medium heat and add your ingredients. Add spices to taste. Let your ingredients warm up on medium heat for ten minutes then bring down to low heat.

2.  Next, I added a handful of cheese but if you're looking for a healthy meal, I would leave the cheese out (it's still delish!)
3. Dish your yummy veggie in a bowl and enjoy! You can even add them to a couple tortillas.
I also chopped up an avocado because I am the biggest fan of avocado there ever will be and added it to my soft tacos! Talk about amazing!
This makes six small tacos or two heaping veggie bowls!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Currently // MAY

Happy May, friends! I cannot believe it's May! I mean, how did this even happen? I'm super excited for this month because to me, it's the beginning of summer. And I love summer. Today I'm linking up with one of my favorites, Jenna from Gold & Bloom, and Anne from In Residence, for another month of currently! I love reading about what other bloggers are currently up to so I hope you enjoy a little peek into the life of yours truly!
designing |  lots of things! our front yard flower bed, our master bedroom (two years in the making!), &  our back deck! lots of new + fun things going on in our home and I couldn't be more excited!
enjoying | feeling better + back to good health! I was out of commission with a mysterious stomach virus for a good two weeks + I was so over it come last weekend. I'm so grateful to be feeling normal!
ordering | paint upon paint. We bought + was gifted four pieces of furniture for our master and I am repainting all of them in a pretty and warm ivory. I'm beyond elated to work with some chalk paint for the next few days.
celebrating | mothers day weekend + my little brother's 19th birthday. how is this possible?! it's a sad thing to watch your younger siblings grow but such a blessing to have an awesome family! We are stoked for mothers day weekend.... cook outs, swimming, mema's cookin', campfires, & fishing. I love the south.
tasting |  yummy new coffee creamer. one of my favorite things about coffee is what to add to it to make it even more yum. and I love when that includes creamers that are actually good for you! What is your favorite coffee creamer? I would love a few new ideas!
What are you currently up to? Anything super duper exciting? Happy May, y'all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Summer 2015 Must Haves

2015 summer must haves

Take a Dip

This House of Fraser one piece is super cute, but you can find them almost anywhere! From Target to Anthropology, a well-fitting, cute and comfy swimsuit is much needed. I can't wait to find a one piece that fits perfectly for my body! Old Navy just isn't working. Any suggestions?

Stay Hydrated in the Heat

Drinking your 8 glasses of water is so important, especially in the summer! Why not drink in style? This Lily Pulitzer is my fave. Kate Spade also has cute, durable ones!

 Pack Your Bags

I love to find big bags that I can use on overnighters + at the beach! My favorite bag came from Victoria Secret but this monogrammed one is so perfect!

Keep those feet comfy

Of course, flip flops are a must this summer. Don't forget Old Navy's $2 sale or splurge on what I think is the comfiest shoe around... Tevas!

Shade Your Eyes

A nice pair of sunglasses are vital this summer! I love the fun styles they have at stores like Forever21 but I have been wanting to splurge on a good pair this summer!

What would you add to this list of summer must haves! It's right around the corner... time to gear up!