The Right Side of the Bed

When I was 25, I had kind of a hard birthday. I had thought I would be married with a kid by then, or at least had a serious boyfriend … but I wasn’t. I felt a bit like a failure even though I had accomplished a lot of other things that were never on my life list like moving to a new state where I didn’t know anyone, developing a successful Confirmation program, and losing 15% of my body weight by focusing on my health.

But there we were, me feeling like a failure as I tried to articulate why to a friend over fro-yo at the Epicenter (a place I haven’t been to since). So I decided to make a list of 25 things to do in the next 25 years, so when I turned 50 I could look at my “life list” and say “Look, you did a lot of things you wanted to do, even if you didn’t get married (although that’s on my list).”

One of the things on my list was “own a big bed.” Silly, right?

Well, I grew up sleeping on a twin and when I moved here, someone gave me a bed that was a twin. I wasn’t in a financial position to refuse free furniture, so I slept on that bed until I moved into my house. It’s still in my house actually, in my guest room. So if you come to visit, you can sleep on that bed too. (Until I execute my master plan in my guest room and buy these two stacking twin beds that act like a couch during the day and like a king bed at night.)

My parents got me a ‘big bed’ of my choosing as a house warming gift. They said it was for me, but also that it was an investment for them so they didn’t need to stay in hotels when they visited me. So really, it was for them. They don’t come often, so I don’t need to take up residence in that twin bed very often either!

So I accomplished one of my goals: “own a big bed.”

When I first got it, I set it up in a way that I always sleep on the right side of the bed, chosen because my closet door interferes with the ability to put a night stand on the other side. For a while I didn’t venture to the other side at all, and since I don’t share a bed very often (read: once when all the other beds in my house were full of guests and someone got the left side of my bed instead of the floor), the left side remains empty.

Then I started traveling for work, sleeping in a lot of different beds, sometimes a different one every night of of the trip. I took a trip back in November that was 10 days long and included 4 beds and a couch. Five different places to sleep over the course of 9 nights. It was exhausting! Lots of beds, but not a lot of rest! But I sure did see a lot of great people and attend an amazing retreat!

Because I desire a life of luxury (HA!) I am usually booked in a king bed room for my hotel travel (honestly it’s because they are typically the same price and K comes before Q in the alphabet so they are listed first in the list … therefore the woman who books my travel chooses them). It’s the BEST thing for traveling. When I have a king bed, I sleep right in the middle.

After my first or second trip like this, I thought, “why are you sleeping all on one side at home, there’s no one else here, why not sleep in the middle and have this feeling every night?” So I tried, but it’s just not the same in a queen sized bed. Even in a hotel, when I have a queen, I’m squarely on one side (even as I type this in a hotel bed).

What’s the difference?

After a night or two in the middle of my bed at home, I thought, “Do I really want to make this my habit? Do I want to break this habit later?”

I decided against it. I still sleep squarely on the right side of the bed, leaving the left side open for a future someone who I’m not even sure exists. I rotate my mattress every six or so months, so at least it’s getting evenly worn.

I wrote this a while ago, but as I was trying to fall asleep last night in my hotel room, I was thinking of this bed thing while lying squarely on the right side of the queen bed.

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Death lol

Before I get into today’s weird message some back story: Whenever I speak to anyone regarding my search for a spouse, they always say, “have you tried online dating?” I reply, “yeah, it sucks.” They don’t believe me for one of two reasons: a) they met their spouse online within like 30 seconds of registering or b) they have been a married forever and have seen the beautiful commercials on tv about online dating sites and think they are finally the answer to all the dating nonsense in the world.

So (because I’m stubborn and want to be right) I signed up and chose eHarmony on my therapist’s recommendation because “it’s different than other sites, you are matched with people based on a tried and true algorithm so there’s no scrolling, scrolling, scrolling” (like when you are finding a new pair of shoes on amazon (those are my words at the end not hers)).

So here we are, 7 or so months into a year long agreement (3 months was like $110 and 12 months was $140 … so being the bargain hunter that I am, I chose a year). The only good thing to come from these interactions are funny blog posts. The latest “man who thinks I’m just amazing and beautiful” is no different. The title of this post is a direct quote from him, which we’ll get to in a second. This post is my reply to him … which I’m telling you all and not him because is it even worth the effort to try to explain to him how much of a weirdo he is?

So, about two weeks ago I get this message from Brandon (oh and I’m using his real name because others must be warned of the craziness):

Good morning Ms Katie im Brandon a native from North Carolina Charlotte area i passed your profile your very refreshing to see natural beauty. Im southerner with class and conservative mindset aswell educated. (All typos are direct from this ‘aswell educated’ man.)

Okay, good start Brandon … except for the terrible grammar, but I’ll bite. He also said:

I hope to hear from you sometimes later im very interested. Ps have a blessed day ma’am. You seem very laid back and you made my day beautiful.

Alright, a little forthcoming, but I like a man who knows what he wants and who dishes out the compliments like they’re candy. “Words of Affirmation” is my top love language. Don’t know why you’d “ma’am” a woman you’re pursuing, but I’m not a “southerner with class” so maybe I just don’t know.

I reply back with a simple “Good Morning” to start a conversation. He says “good morning Ms Katie” back. Nothing too exciting, but let’s talk. Then a “Did you have a good day? I spent mine in the air flying home.” Thought he’d ask me where I’d been (the answer is pretty intriguing since I was on my way home from Maui). He didn’t. Said: “Just seen your message funny im (it’s weird his phone doesn’t autocorrect this im to I’m every time he writes it, but whatever) flying out tonight’s Indiana for the race.”

(Oh and he must be typing on a phone, because no one is that bad at typing on an actual keyboard.)

I say “Oh have fun! Safe travels” … it’s not fun, it’s work he says, he’s in NASCAR. A little intrigue. He said “Im sure you’re busy with all the other replies but im grateful you reply back thank you. Night hope to chat or talk by phone sometime.” I say let me know when you’re back and we can chat.

Okay, all well and good. He’s a little weird, but not everyone excels at the written word, not even the ‘aswell educated” among us.

The next message isn’t an invitation to chat as expected, but instead a warning (I know, right? A warning, why would I need one?)

Good morning beautiful aswell (what is this word ‘aswell’, Siri doesn’t even have an autocorrect for it) I am a gentleman plus country boy with common sense. Bewarned lol

Why exactly does someone need to be warned if a gentleman is in their midst? (Also you already know my feelings about grown men using “lol” all the forking time.)

Then I get these two:

Ha lady everything is good i hope im able to finally unwind from work go in around 10 pm been sleep all day.

And then a few hours later when I didn’t immediately reply:

Ha i was hoping to hear from you by now im downtown had an extra spot if you wanted to have dinner downtown Charlotte at the epic center.

Now a few things you should know about Charlotte that any native would know! First, it’s called uptown not downtown … just a little thing. Second, the ‘epic center’ … it’s about a decade old but called the epicenter. Even Siri knows that and won’t autocorrect it! (Maybe he has an android phone … google isn’t as smart with autocorrecting as Siri is. But me with a guy who loves Android? I dunno…)

Have you noticed we haven’t had any conversation here at all? Is that my fault? Did I not open it up? Was I not intriguing enough?

I asked how his trip was, he complains that it’s “work everyweekend 240 days of the year.” And then 1 minute later says:

Im (seriously my computer autocorrects that it I’m every.single.time) sorry to bother you if your busy i tried to reach out to say if your going to be out eatting or shopping downtown Charlotte sometime We could pass by each other

What? “We could pass by each other”?

I made a decision to block him, but didn’t … because I was curious. Maybe he’s a nice guy with just a little weirdness in him. Maybe not …

So then he messaged me again, and I tried to create conversation, I mean, if I can’t do it, then why am I expecting he will?

I had to just screenshot it because I’m not sure you’d believe it.

“Death lol” is his favorite Easter tradition? What does that even mean? Maybe he thought I meant “Good Friday” since it was the evening of Good Friday?

I’m not going to reply, I think I’m going to block him because although this is good material for writing about, he is not husband material (for me anyway). I should have taken that gentleman warning he gave earlier!

I want to say:

What do you mean “death lol” is your favorite tradition about Easter? Is it because I messaged you on Good Friday and the main event of today is Jesus dying on the cross? Do you mean that without the death of Christ there would be no resurrection and therefore “all of our faith would be in vain” as St. Paul says? Am I an “incredible lady” because I tried to start a conversation about Easter on Easter weekend? Because I’m not sure these are my finest communication skills at work. If you weren’t such a weirdo, I might have actually met you in person. Some unsolicited advice? Don’t say “maybe we could pass by each other”, instead say “I’d love to take you to dinner to see if we have more in common.” It’ll get your further with “incredible ladies” than “maybe we’ll just pass by each other.” I mean if we were going to just ‘pass by each other’ then we might not need this online platform, we’d already have met!

I mean, seriously? There are a lot of issues with the state of our world right now, and while hunger and war and modern-day slavery and Trump being president are all high on my list of “You’ve got to be kidding me, are we still really doing these things and haven’t figured out how to treat human beings like human beings?” … I’m putting the death of the art of conversation up there on the top of the list. There may be many faults I need to work on overcoming like my “addiction to being right” and my “desire to control the universe” and my “tendency toward gossip” and my “constant judgement of other people’s intentions” … but the fact that I’m still searching for a spouse is a little bit on these guys. I’m not completely incapable of having a conversation, even via text. People have even told me I’m quite witty. Also I know a lot of things about a lot of things. Also I love to talk. I can even make changing the batteries in my smoke detector into a funny story people want to listen to! It’s not just that they aren’t into pursuing women (I think the secular feminist movement might be doing some damage on that front), but they can’t even carry on a conversation (let alone have Siri forking autocorrect im to I’m for them).

I mean, seriously. That’s all I’ve got on the subject today. Truthfully, it’s all just a little too much. Happy Easter y’all! Enjoy the tradition of death … and by that I mean, Jesus died for us so He could rise again so we could enter into eternal life. That’s a tradition worth celebrating not just annually, but daily!

The Importance of a Hug

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

One of the more difficult parts of being single, living alone, and working remotely is the fact that days can go by with me talking “in person” to another human being or having any physical contact with someone. It’s a weird thing when I really sit down to think about it. No handshakes, hugs, high fives, or even a passing touch as you walk by someone. Depending on my call schedule and what else I have going on I might not even talk to another person.

Last January I got the flu and for two weeks the only other people I saw were the nurses in the doctor’s office and the pharmacy technician. Otherwise I was alone, I talked to as little people as possible because I would just start coughing like crazy, and I was just me. It was a long two weeks.

Days without physical contact with another person … it’s not something I think about very much, until it’s been days, like this week. Then yesterday, I talked to a couple of women after Mass to ask them to pray for a very close friend of mine who’s battling breast cancer. One of them gave me a hug; she gives the best hugs. The kind of hugs that last a good long while and aren’t just the ‘hug equivalent’ of the “how are you?” question. You know the ones!

A friend and I are buddy reading the book Unworried: A Life Without Anxiety by Dr. Gregory Popcack. He talks about one of the ways to reduce anxiety and to calm yourself down when you’re having an anxiety attack is a hug.

Go to your spouse or a good friend and ask them to give you a hug. Don’t be quick about it. Relax into the hug until you feel yourself exhaling the stress. Hugging actually syncs your heart rate to the other person and increases the presence of oxytocin, a powerful “calm down” hormone products through interpersonal bonding.

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There’s not a solution to this ‘lack of physical contact’ in my life right now. Truthfully, it is what it is. I have great friends who give good hugs. I was told by a friend who I saw a few months ago after years apart about how great of a hugger I am. Maybe I’ve learned not to take a hug for granted because they aren’t commonplace in my life.

Things People Say

photo by Peter Goldberg on Pexels

A few days ago I saw this article posted on Verily about what to say to your friends who are experiencing infertility. As I read through the headlines to see if I wanted to read the whole article (isn’t that what everyone does?), I thought, “This applies almost perfectly to the single lady in your life as well” (mainly me).

Here are the highlights for you.

What not to say:

“It’ll Happen Eventually”

“This one couple I knew met…”

“You should try…”

In the past 30 days I’ve received two suggestions (one from a friend and one from my mother) to try a particular online dating site … just letting me know it’s out there in case I’m the one person who did hear that online dating was now a thing people did. Guess what? I’ve heard of it, it’s 2019.

There’s always the caveat at the end that’s either: “I just want you to be happy” or “We all just care about you” and “I’m praying for you.”

My response to those statements (even when they are good willed and from good intentions)?

“I just want you to be happy” (exact words on my birthday last year from my mother): Well, I am happy, if I wasn’t a man wouldn’t fix that. It’s a recipe for divorce to get married to someone ‘just so you’ll finally be happy.’

“We all just care about you” (most recent words from my mother): I know you care, and you know that this is a hard topic for me and that there are no easy answers … so why are you bringing up online dating like it’s the be all, end all, answer to the issue?

“I’m praying for you” (from a friend 2 seconds after suggesting this dating site): I’m glad you’re praying, prayer makes a difference, and it’s important … but instead of sending me to a new, random dating site no one’s ever heard of, maybe host a dinner party and invite all of our friends and a great Catholic guy you met at Mass last week that you’d like to introduce me to. It reminds me of this verse :

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:14-17

Now, don’t introduce your single girlfriend to every. single. man. you. meet. on. the. street. but it is okay to help our friends (if they’re open to it) meet other single people. Dating is hard, and dating sucks in today’s culture. Also everyone knows that! It’s seriously does. Online Dating doesn’t help, it actually makes it worse, in my opinion. If it was about actually meeting other people you’d never known before with the intention of creating a long-term lasting relationship, then maybe it’d be a good addition to our culture. Instead it’s more about talking online only or hooking up or scrolling through pictures until a ‘pretty one’ strikes you.

It’s not actually about quality connection.

Yes, some people successfully meet online and get married. I don’t deny that. They just seem to be more the exception than the rule.

and then this… https://youtu.be/mWX95Pmipow.

So what’s the point of this whole rant about online dating and regular dating and old movies? It’s that this whole thing isn’t just as simple as ‘getting online’ or ‘stop looking.’ It’s bigger and deeper than “I just want a date this Friday.”

Dating is hard because it challenges your self-worth and your confidence (well, it does mine). I’ve been using eHarmony for just four months, but not even a coffee date has come of it. It’s not the way to meet someone, it’s a way to meet someone.

So what’s a gal to do?

First, remember that a man is not responsible for your happiness, your self-worth, or your beauty. God is and He hasn’t taken it away, not for anything. He’s in charge of my life, including love and all that comes with it. It’s hard to say that “He’s all I need” … but it’s the truth. If I’m not satisfied with His love, then I’ll never be satisfied with a human man’s love.

Right now, I’m satisfied with His love, I’m just not that happy with Him. The Lord can “do whatever He wants” … I mean, He takes the most tasteless bread and gives us His Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity. He gave us sunsets and beaches and oceans and mountains and the Grand Canyon and Hawaii and tea and bacon and French bakeries and wine and pizza. He can do anything He wants.

He just doesn’t seem to want to do this right now. If I can be okay with that, I need everyone else in my life to be okay with it too (or do something tangible to help). My main point is don’t instill unnecessary doubt in your single friends … she’s got enough of it already (trust me). Just be there with a Kleenex to catch the tears or a second glass to enjoy the wine.

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me

yup, sounds about like my night

So a year or ago I talked with a matchmaker and it wasn’t for me. Mostly it was just expensive, and I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on the service. I found another company where you could be in their database for free to be someone they choose from for dates for their paying customers. I joined last Thanksgiving and was called twice in the past year.

The whole purpose of their service is to do the hard work of finding someone who meets your basic criteria, checks off your non-negotiables, and then sets up the date for you. All you do is show up and be your charming self. They even tell you not to talk about the service, how you met, online dating, or past relationships on the first date. Just enjoy yourself, lean in, and ask deep questions to get to know this person. You already know that you’re a good basic match for one another.

The first guy didn’t meet my criteria for age (he was almost two decades older than me), so we didn’t end up going out. Since I’m not paying for their services, I didn’t hold my breath for another date. Then I got a call back in early November about another guy. He’s evangelical, looking for a partner in life, someone who wants him to be the “spiritual leader of his household,” about his age (he’s 37), financially independent, and interested in adventure.

Sounds good. Now I know I’ve said before, “He’s got to be Catholic.” I do mean that – but have you see the pool of available Catholic men lately? It’s shallower than the baby pool in a hamster’s paradise! It’s also filled with a lot of algae and bottom feeders … okay, that was uncharitable – but seriously. I’ve been searching for them in my eHarmony matches and it’s not a wide pool of people. So, I said “sure, let’s set something up.”

We ended up having to put a pause on it because of something that came up with him – but last week the matchmaker texted and asked when I might be available. Things were set up for Tuesday (tonight) – great! Where? Amelie’s … the cutest French Bakery in NoDa. I’ve been there maybe a hundred times (at least) and they have the most amazing desserts.

I spent two nights losing sleep with anxiety for this date. Will he be attracted to me? Will he like me? Am I putting too much pressure on how we look? Will we have good conversation? What will I ask him that’s not job or weather related? Will I have anything interesting to say? (We know I always have something to say!) Hours of sleep (although I did finish this book, which was just delightful) that I lost over the past two nights! HOURS of laying awake anxious in bed!

Then I spent time getting ready tonight, I brought my A GAME! I was ready to just be my amazing self (humble much Katie?) and have a good night of conversation. Worst case scenario was we weren’t interested in each other but had a cup of tea/coffee and a delightful dessert and went our separate ways, never to see one another again. Best case, it would be the beginning of a life altering relationship! But either way, no loss.

Turns out that’s not the worst case scenario. We didn’t even get dessert. I MEAN, SERIOUSLY? WE WENT TO AMELIE’S AND DIDN’T GET A DESSERT! I should go to confession because that’s a mortal sin! (Well, not technically, according to the catechism, but I’ll work on a letter for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and see if I can get that rectified! Their desserts are amazing, beautiful, delightful, and the stuff dreams are made of!)

When I arrived, he was already there – good sign! He was handsome and waiting at the meeting place (we only knew fist names and what color each other was wearing beforehand). He asked if I wanted to get a drink – he was going to have a coffee and I got a tea (because I’m addicted). NO DESSERT! Then, once the woman had taken both of our orders, he asked if I wanted to “SPLIT THE BILL” which was a total of $5.32. Yes, you read that right. It was a little over $5 and we split it because apparently … apparently, I don’t know what. There’s not end to that sentence that makes sense. It was $5 … even if it had been more, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the man to pay for the first date. This matchmaking service has a whole blog about it.

I almost told her to just put the whole thing on my card because it was five dollars and thirty-two cents! I mean, seriously. If you can’t buy me a tea, then you have no business being out on a date with me.

After we found a seat, drank some tea, and I began asking questions – because he sure didn’t. Some of our conversation was okay … well, my portion (humble again) because he didn’t ask a single question of me for the first 25 minutes. I offered information about me – but that’s only because someone had to fill the silences of the room after he answered a question and then just looked off into space. I also learned a lot about his job – which isn’t all that interesting to be honest. He works in customer service for a financial services company … he prints a lot of statements. One time a customer (an oil company, why do I know that detail?) asked them to bring all of the statements that they had ever received from them. It was over 220! (WOW!) Then they wanted them mailed and emailed but the file was too big so they couldn’t email it, and apparently don’t know how to split PDFs, send multiple emails, or place it in a secure place online where it could be downloaded by the other company (okay, I added those last parts – but I’m not even in the financial services business and I can solve that issue!). Again, why do I know this? Why was this good first date conversation material?

Oh, and he’s not evangelical – he’s actually Catholic (or was raised one, more accurately) but hasn’t been to church in a few years and didn’t even know the name of the parish he attended as a teenager! Which is the largest parish in the United States! So, person of faith seeking to be the spiritual head of the household? Really? You don’t know the name of your church! Unless I missed something … he also didn’t know what an offertory envelope was … that’s how I know he’s not a practicing Catholic. We never miss an opportunity to pass the basket. Which is fine, for him (well, maybe it’s not – but that’s his concern at the end of time) – but it’s not what she told me he was.

I really tried. I brought my A game! I dressed nicely, put on make-up, brushed my teeth (the bar is apparently very low). I made an effort. I didn’t talk about the weather or the mundane parts of my job at all. I brought my A game, and we didn’t even share a salted caramel brownie or have a macaroon! Middle schoolers have more interesting dates that I did tonight, and they have to get their moms to drive them everywhere!

What’s wrong with American Singles? I could start a list … a friend is using Bumble and many of the men on there are “ethically non-monogamous” with pictures of wives in their profile shots. WHAT? I bet they buy their gals a tea and a dessert though!

That’s all. I have no wisdom to offer, no lessons to learn – except, cut the crap on the anxiety Katie – stop worrying to much about what he’s going to think, just go and be yourself. Also, buy your own dessert next time – which I did after he left and had on the way home while yelling on the phone with my friend about this terrible date. It was delicious! Made the drive down there worth it!

The Best Plan

daniel-mccullough-348488-unsplash.jpg

Trusting in the Lord’s plan for my life is one of the hardest things about being a faithful Catholic for me.

Lately I’ve had this plan in mind for my life. Husband, children, stay at home mom, maybe even homeschooling, definitely a church attendee with the cutest little girls ever (who says my kids would even be girls, all my friends keep having are boys … but a gal can dream!). I even found a person who I think would be perfect to do all this with.

The problem? Well, I don’t know this person IRL. This person doesn’t know me or have any expressed interest in me. I’m delusional. Okay, at least two of those statements are true.

I’ve written about the qualities I’m seeking in a husband before. This guy checks a lot of those boxes. Practicing Catholic? Check. Seeking holiness? Check. Handsome in my eyes? Check. Gainfully employed? Check. Humorous? Check. Knows who I am? Maybe a check. Interested in dating and/or marrying me? Um, questionable since we don’t know each other and live on opposite coasts in a country that’s wider than 5 miles.

So to rectify that situation, I’ve been telling the Lord “He can do anything.” You know, really buttering him up, playing to the guy’s need to feel like He can fix it all. Or maybe the Lord doesn’t have that quality…

But still, I’ve been saying “You can do anything. You brought M’s husband here from India, E’s husband all the way from Ghana, M’s husband showed up at her workplace, S’s husband found her in the midst of all the noise on a Catholic dating site, you’ve done fantastical things before – you can do it now!”

Answer? Crickets. Nothing. Nada. Nope. Silence.

Maybe that’s the answer. I think the answer is no to this person, and that’s okay. I like living on the east coast, and frankly I really don’t want to leave this community I made in Charlotte over the last 10  years. It was hard. My best friends are here. My godsons are here. My life is here. And right now, I can’t picture a life anywhere else – I’m not saying I’d refuse to move, but until there’s a compelling (ie: man on one knee with a ring) reason, I’d like to stay in Charlotte.

So back to the point about the plan. This one I’ve concocted is pretty fantastic, well definitely fantastical and potentially unrealistic. It would require a lot of moving and shaking by the Lord. People say “He’s saying NO because He’s got something bigger and better in mind.” Is that true?

The thing I’m doubting is whether He’s got something bigger and better in mind or just harder that requires big sacrifices from me and involves me being single forever in mind. That’s what it feels like right now.

I saw this quote in the book Uninvited by Lysa TerKuerst that a friend and I were reading together for our virtual book club. I’ve heard it before, but it really stands out to me this week.

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
-C.S. Lewis

I almost just wrote “I wonder if what God has in store for me is different than what I have in store for me.” Well, that’s definitely true; I don’t need to wonder about that. This plan I’ve concocted is not the plan the Lord has in store for me. His plan has got to be better, right? Right?

We tell ourselves that, but it might not be ‘better’ (by my definition of better) per say, but definitely different. I believe it coincides with the plan He has for spreading the message of His love in the world. I must be part of that in some way. We all must be. That’s what our Baptism into the Church He left us is all about. To be “priest, prophet, and king” sharing in the spreading of His message, in the building up of His kingdom here on earth until we can all be together in Heaven.

Might that include me marrying a holy, handsome, humorous man and us having cute little girls? Maybe. I really don’t know, but I sure do hope so!

Feeling Important

feeling loved and important.png

Last week I wrote about “finding my way in the single life” and my quest to feel important. This week the Lord outdid Himself showing me how much the people around me love me and think I’m important in their lives. Storytime, my godson’s favorite blanket, baby smiles & kisses, hair braiding, and the love they have for Aunt or Miss Katie is overwhelming.

The other night my godson’s mom sent me a picture (bottom right) of him in his car seat with the blanket I made him before he was born. She said, “He doesn’t do it all the time, but enough that it’s a trend – pulls this blanket on him as he gets in the car.” It made me feel so happy, that something I made for him is one of his favorite things. Every time I see him, He’s nothing by smiles and giggles – even during late-night baby-sitting while mom and dad are working.

On Saturday evening I was over a friend’s for dinner and a movie, they have 5 year old twins (upper left). Every time I walk in, they are SO happy to see me. They love spending time at my house and call it ‘kid-sitting’ when I take them to the pool for a water adventure. Whenever I’m there in the evening, I help with baths and then it’s story time. Each of them gets to pick out a book then we cuddle up on one of their beds for story time. It’s one of my favorite things!

This Sunday was baby Finnian’s Baptism. When I got to the parish, I grabbed this cutie to snuggle with while 8 other babies were baptized (upper right). He loves to snuggle and adores kisses (although this picture doesn’t really demonstrate that!).

After the baptism we went back to their house to hang out for a bit and one of my friend’s little ones, Lucy, wanted my phone to take pictures (bottom left). She followed me around for a bit and was just shooting pictures of me and the baby, other things happening, whatever she could find! After a great chat with my oldest friend here (not in age, but in length of time that we’ve known each other – almost 10 years as we both moved to Charlotte the same summer and met very quickly), she was walking me out and told me what the kids said earlier. She had told them who was coming and there were a few Katie’s on the list. They asked which one was coming, was it “their Katie!” It was!! We’re going to have a sleep over in a few weeks. I couldn’t be more excited!

So I am loved and important, it’s just different. I was trying to see it through my own lens rather than, literally, the lens of children. Each day before Mass, I’ve been just saying one simple prayer, “Let me see your love today” and then I read a spiritual book, look over the readings, or just look around at our new sanctuary renovation. The Lord has outdone Himself this week and it shows me that if I need something from Him, I just need to ask!