Tag Archives: Kate McClafferty

note from the universe

17 Dec

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loved the note from the universe I received this morning…it inspired me to start visualizing for 2016…

“You eat to nourish your body. You sleep to rejuvenate your spirit. You study, work, and apply yourself for emotional gains. You exercise to tighten your muscles. You listen to music to entertain yourself, Kate.

You’re not at all adverse to investing time and energy for the rewards you seek. So how about you spare just a few minutes every day to visualize the life of your dreams? Because nothing else you could ever do will make such a profound difference in your fortunes and misfortunes as working with your thoughts and beliefs.”

You can start now,
The Universe

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four months

2 Dec

 

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(me and my little guy / four months)

It’s shocking to me that I am already in my second trimester. The first seriously flew by! I am not complaining though, I much prefer the second. And not because I suffered extreme nausea during the first like so many women I know (I’ve actually experienced very little), but rather I feel safer in the second. I spent a lot of the first trimester worrying. I doubt this comes as a surprise. I’d swing between excitement (we’re having a baby!!) and worry on a daily basis. I worried I would miscarry. I worried about what I ate – there are so many random things on the “no” list! I worried about the tests they ran- all normal tests during the first trimester but still scary. I had one particularly horrible day when I experienced bad cramping around 10 weeks. I was terrified and spent most of the day in tears. I was so scared of loosing our baby. In the end they passed and our baby is happy and healthy. I’ve done my best to stay calm and relaxed. One…I want to enjoy my pregnancy, it’s such a magical time and I don’t want to spend it worrying. And two…I want my baby to enjoy the pregnancy. I don’t want him to spend his time growing in the belly of a person who’s feeling anxious all the time. I want it to be a calm and happy experience for all parties involved. Now that I am in my fourth month I am easing into it. There’s a definite bump, which I wasn’t expecting quite yet. I’m not sure what the norm for a bump is at four months though. I’m sure it varies!

The highlight of the first trimester was definitely finding out the baby’s gender. It’s crazy how early they can tell you now. They don’t even need to see it on an ultrasound. They took my blood to determine the baby’s gender- WILD. Both Brian and I wanted a boy. I’ve always imagined myself with a son so the idea of having a girl just seemed foreign. The fact that I wanted a boy left me convinced our baby was a girl. I’m not sure if I was preparing myself so I wouldn’t be disappointed? Waiting for the gender results proved hard for me. I am not known for my patience. When they took my blood they said it could take up to 14 business days to receive the results. Our results did not come back until the 14th business day. I mean, come on! By day 13 I had convinced myself our baby was a hermaphrodite and that was why it was taking so long. True story. When I finally did get the call from the doctor’s office and they said BOY I was in shock. A boy?!??! Still letting the news sink in- so happy about it though.

Monthly pregnancy update – December / four months

Baby’s Size-  A navel orange (4 inches)

I’m feeling...calmer, even more connected to the baby now that I can refer to it as a “him”, hungry all the damn time, extremely tired by the end of the day (I go to bed most nights at 9pm), grateful & more present.

food loves…yogurt (all flavors! my love for yogurt knows no limits), meat (my low was eating chili for breakfast. chili! so weird) & carbs.

food hates…eggs. before becoming pregnant my breakfast most mornings consisted of scrambled eggs. now the idea of handling them and eating them makes me uncomfortable.

daydreaming about…the nursery. I have so many ideas and I can’t wait to start his room.

can’t wait to…feel him move

least favorite parts of pregnancy this month…saying goodbye to my skinny jeans (they were tight even before pregnancy!), the fact that I can’t sleep on my stomach anymore (that’s the only way I sleep!)

favorite parts of pregnancy this month…the arrival of a small bump. sharing the news with our loved ones.

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life according to my iPhone lately

1 Dec

Life according to my iPhone lately…well, the last two months.

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early morning family selfie

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snug as a bug

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baby Glodney’s first photo…don’t worry we couldn’t spot the baby either

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new morning routine

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Franks thoughts about walking the neighborhood in his halloween costume

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early morning hike

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baby Glodney’s second photo…my how you’ve grown!

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decaf coffee is just not the same

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celebrating two years of marriage

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bed head

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exploring a hollywood parklet

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visiting my step father Irv in Kansas City

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fall colors in Kansas City

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more fall colors!

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exploring the Nelson-Atkins museum

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you must eat bbq when in Kansas City, right?

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arriving in Atlanta to visit my friend Chantal

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her sweet little guy helping me with my bag

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love that sweet boy

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love his mama too

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our best attempt at a group photo

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giving the baby thing a test run

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oh, hi!

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street art in Atlanta

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appetizer spread at a little dinner party we hosted

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these two

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Oh, hi baby Glodney! Looking cozy

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morning coffee with Rachel and Ben

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more baby test runs

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your baby is a…

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BOY!!

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with the new man in my life…

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and baby makes four…

30 Nov

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I’m guessing from the title of this post you know what’s coming…A BABY!!!!!!! Can you tell I’m happy about this news? Actually, happy isn’t a grand enough word to describe how I feel. I’m literally bursting at the seams with joy. I can’t seem to wipe the huge smile off my face. It’s been 75 days since I first held the positive pregnancy test in my hands and I still feel like I am floating on a cloud. The whole thing feels unreal despite the bulge at my midsection.

Brian and I started “trying” for a baby in June. I had heard it could take up to a year to get pregnant but I decided I was going to get pregnant the first month. Such an overachiever, huh? So imagine my surprise when I didn’t get pregnant that first month. I immediately started worrying. From then on, getting pregnant became all I could think about. I researched everything on the subject…what to eat, what not to eat, fertility boosters, stress relievers, positions, blah blah blah. In an attempt to get my body in tip-top shape I cut out alcohol, limited my caffeine intake, got off any anxiety medicine and started eating even healthier than I already did, all in hopes it would boost my chances of getting pregnant. After three months of trying…still no baby.

I was feeling rather defeated by the whole process. I am a person who believes that actions should yield results and my actions weren’t yielding the desired results.

I am aware that three months isn’t a very long time but it felt like an eternity to me. When you’re ready…you’re ready, you know? The process was a good lesson for me- I don’t control the universe. As much as I’d like to…I don’t and sadly, I never will. For a person who craves control, this is always a hard pill for me swallow.

I realized I had to refocus my energy. Instead of tightly griping on to my ideas of how it should go, I had to trust the process. I had to trust that our baby would come when it was meant to be. I had to trust the divine timing of it all. There’s magic in the things we can’t control. I truly believe the universe has an order to it and once I reminded myself of that I was able to surrender.

It was around this time I got pregnant.

September 16th…

My period wasn’t due for four days but I had been feeling “off” for close to a week with cramping and lower back aches.  I just felt weird. Of course this made me excited that I could possibly be pregnant but I also tried to remain cautious about getting too excited…I didn’t want to be disappointed.  After Brian left for work that morning I was lying in bed sipping my coffee when I remembered that I had an unopened package of First Responses under the sink in the bathroom (a pregnancy test that you can take six days before your missed period). So I thought…why not? If it’s negative I will try another test in a few days again. Nothing lost, right?

So I took the test…set the alarm for three minutes….sat on the bathroom floor in my pjs and continued to sip my coffee while I waited.

Three minutes later the alarm went off and I peered at the test.

And there it was….

yes!

That moment was an out-of-body experience. A billion thoughts rushed through my head in a millisecond. OMG!  It says YES! I’m going to be a mother…we’re going to have a baby!!!…I can’t wait to tell Brian!!…OMG…Holy shit…I’m going to be somebody’s mom…HOLY SHIT…HOLY SHIT…HOLY SHIT…there’s a tiny human in my belly! What a fucking miracle! Shit…am I allowed to drink coffee now that I’m pregnant??? The last thought left me running to the sink to spit out my mouthful of coffee. I continued to stand there and stare at the positive test in my hand- unable to grasp the fact that this was really happening. Becoming a parent is such an abstract thought…until it isn’t. A wave of emotion came over me and I started to cry. I felt so grateful. So elated. So nervous. So shocked. So insanely happy.

 It makes Frank very uncomfortable when I cry and he anxiously peered up at me with his big brown eyes. I kept reassuring him it was ok, that I was just happy. Then I informed him he was going to be a big brother. ha.

Still unable to catch my breath and with tears streaming down my face I picked up the phone to call Brian. Then I thought better of it and hung up. I didn’t want him to find out he was going to be a father in a hurried phone call between meetings at work, so I dialed my mother instead. She sleepily picked up the phone (it was 7 am after all) and I began to sob even harder.

To which she fearfully replied, “Kate??? What’s wrong???! Are you ok??!”

“I’m preeeee- ga- nant!!” I said between tears.

“What???”she said

“I’m PREGNANT!” I said

“You are!!? Why are you crying then???”

“I don’t know” sniffle “I guess I’m just overwhelmed.”

So, that’s how my mom found out.

After hanging up with her I began to ponder my next step. I felt emotionally paralyzed. I guess I was supposed to go to the doctor for blood work to confirm it? Yeah, that seemed right. So I got dressed and drove to my doctor’s office. A few hours later I got the call…I was most definitely pregnant!  The next thing on my agenda…how to tell Brian the news. I went back and forth on various ideas. Even googling “how to tell your partner you’re pregnant”- let me tell you…there are some really creative people out there. So many brilliant ideas. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put on a big show or just tell him the news. I tried to think of ways to bring Frank into the announcement as well. Maybe I could find a shirt that read “I’m going to be a big brother” and squeeze Frank into it before Brian got home? Sadly, I was crunched for time so instead of driving around town in search of a big brother shirt for Frank, I headed to the bookstore in search of a book about becoming a father for Brian. I settled on a book that’s cover read…“DUDE, YOU’RE GOING TO BE A DAD!” with a bunch of sperm swimming around. I thought the swimming sperm was a nice touch.

I taped the positive test stick to the cover of the book (not quite sure why I thought the book title wouldn’t be clear enough?) and put it at the bottom of a newly folded pile of clothes out of the dryer. When Brian got home from work I asked him to go thru the pile to make sure everything was his before putting it away. He went thru each shirt…yes…yes…yes…yes…no…yes…then he got to the book..looked right at it and moved on- clearly, it didn’t register at first. Then he stopped in his tracks…went back to the book…peered at me with wide eyes and said…REALLY??!

I said…YES!!!

He stood there quietly. I wasn’t quite sure what was coming next. Tears, maybe?? Brian doesn’t do well with surprises. After a few moments…he made a move…hugged me tightly and said…”I’m so happy for you!”

HAAAAA.

“I’m so happy for you” Best. Response. Ever. Like I was some stranger on the street who just told him she was pregnant.

I said, “You’re so happy for ME? You are aware that I didn’t get pregnant on my own right?”

He will never live that response down- NEVER. I won’t let him. I was expecting tears. people! Poor boy was in total shock. After an hour (and a few beers) the shock had worn off and he was excitedly touching my belly. He just needed a minute to let it all sink in.

So there you have it…we’re having a BABY!!!

And we found out last week it’s a baby boy!!!

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two

9 Nov

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Two years ago today I married my best friend. Such a cliché thing to say but it’s the truth. He is my favorite person. He is the bacon to my eggs. When we said “I do” I wasn’t sure what marriage entailed but I was sure that I was willing to step into the unknown with him. I knew with every fiber of my being that he was the one that I wanted to spend my life with. He was the one I wanted to share my whole heart with. He was the one I wanted to go on adventures with. He was the one I wanted to build a home and family with. He was the one I wanted to experience it all with.

He was the one.

So much has happened over the last two years- personal struggles, career heart breaks and victories, loss, joy, laughter, surprises, triumphs, sadness, growth…the list goes on. Marriage is indeed hard work, just like anything worthwhile in life. I’ve learned the rewards are huge though. Over the last two years we have seen each other’s flaws and imperfections and know each other better for it- actually I’d even go as far to say love each other more for them. Our marriage is not perfect; but it is my favorite thing. It’s the thing that brings me the most joy in my life. It’s the thing I am most proud of. It’s the thing I am most sure of.

The list of reasons that I love this man is long. I seem to add to it every day. He is a good human- like an exceptionally good human. He does the right thing even if nobody is watching. He’s fiercely loyal to those he cares about. He’s passionate about all things he touches- luckily that includes me. He never puts anything less than 100 percent in at all times. He means what he says. You can trust the words that come out of his mouth. He’s surprisingly funny…it’s a dry and sarcastic humor that comes when you least expect it. There is nobody that makes me laugh harder than he does. He’s a wealth of knowledge. I am shocked at the information that comes out of his mouth. Seriously, bring up any topic and he will have something to add to the conversation. He knows how to make a mean cup of coffee and brings me one every morning in bed. He is tender and loving- a hug from him can cure-all. He craves adventure, travel and new frontiers as much as I do. I feel most alive when we are on adventures together. He is attentive and intuitive. The depth of his soul surprises me daily. He has the most handsome face I have ever laid eyes on. I love every feature on it and often find myself thinking…I hope our future child gets his this or that. He loves me with his whole heart and doesn’t just tell me but makes me feel it every day. He lets me be me- he has never once tried to change me and that is the best feeling in the world. He has my back and there is nobody I trust more than him.

Dearest, Bri. I love you endlessly.

Happy 2nd wedding anniversary goose. I have a sneaking suspicion this next year is going to be a really good one.

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“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
– Mignon McLaughlin

big magic

2 Nov

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I just finished reading “Big Magic : Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert for my book club. I’ve been a fan of Gilbert’s work ever since I read “Eat, Pray, Love”- a book that people either seem to love or hate. I personally loved it. I remember devouring it in a few short days and being consumed with her journey. Considering I am also a travel nut I enjoyed reading about Italy, India & Indonesia. That book planted a seed in me to one day visit Bali and the famous medicine man Ketut, who she receives a reading when in Bali and I did both last year on our honeymoon. I was feeling very connected to the lovely Elizabeth Gilbert in that moment!

“Big Magic” is a guide of sorts on how to live a creative life. That doesn’t mean just writing (although Elizabeth does talk a lot about writing because it happens to be her creative passion) but encompasses something larger: instead exploring any activity that takes you out of yourself and opens you to the experience of wonder and joy. This could mean weaving, drawing, dancing, it could mean running a farm, tap dancing, learning a new lanugaue…the options are endless!

I have been seeking inspiration recently so this book spoke to me. It made me think about the times in my life that I have been most fulfilled and it is most definitely when I feel creatively alive. I think back to when I started this blog- I was in a funk at the time and instinctively knew that to break free from its hold, I had to create, write, explore & learn. I had to get back in touch with the part of myself that comes alive when I am living a creative and inspired existence. That year I learned how to cook, I learned how to tango, I drove across the country taking photos and writing. All these activities brought me such profound joy and isn’t that the point of living? Why don’t we give our creative pursuits more energy?

This book reminded me that it’s ok to spend an afternoon painting for no other reason than it feels good and makes you happy…and that is a life worth living in my opinion.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from the book…

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

“creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that—merely by being here—you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”

“But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”

“The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust—and those elements are universally accessible. Which does not mean that creative living is always easy; it merely means that creative living is always possible.”

“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.”

“But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else’s blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your own creative work.”

“Because often what keeps you from creative living is your self-absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgment, your crushing sense of self-protection).”

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all the paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise- you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”

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Gilbert explored some of the ideas in the book in two TED talks, 2009’s “Your Elusive Creative Genius” and 2014’s “Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating.”

fusilli alla vodka

26 Oct

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I’m a pasta girl. If it was appropriate to eat pasta for every meal I would happily oblige. In addition to enjoying the art of eating pasta I also enjoy preparing it. They are so easy to throw together and you can pretty much add any ingredient to them and it works…meat, veggies, spice, dairy, seafood…anything! Last night we had Brian’s parents over for dinner and we decided to make our new favorite pasta dish…spicy fusilli alla vodka. We first made this dish a few weeks ago when we had our friends Rachel & Pj (and their new baby Ben!) over for dinner. It was a big hit that night so we decided to give it another go, this time we upped the spice factor. Brian likes to sweat when he eats food. While I enjoy spicy, he takes it to another level. I gotta keep my eye on him when he’s adding the spices to our meals.

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I found the recipe on Bon Appetite’s website (they pulled it from the Italian restaurant Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles. I’ve been dying to try this place so we made reservations for our wedding anniversary in November. I plan to eat lots of pasta that night) The dish is incredibly easy to make, we usually make the sauce before our guests arrive and then reheat it once we are ready to eat.

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Frank is absolutely no help unless food makes it onto the floor and needs to be cleaned up. Otherwise he sleeps nearby with his beloved tennis ball.

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Voila! Dinner is ready- we served the pasta with an Italian salad & fresh bread.

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ingredients-
servings: 4
¼ cup olive oil
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
½ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 pound fusilli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

directions-

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is brick-red and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add vodka and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add cream and red pepper flakes and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta to skillet with sauce along with butter and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until butter has melted and a thick, glossy sauce has formed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 oz. Parmesan, tossing to coat. Divide pasta among bowls, then top with basil and more Parmesan.

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