*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Five whole years.

It’s been five whole years since I have last updated this public platform and to be honest, reading the older entries makes me sad.

Five whole years.

It’s been five whole years since I moved to California; I was so wide-eyed and excited for the things to come. Little did I know that this was going to be one of the most challenging times of my life.

Five whole years. 

It’s been five whole years since my naivety has dwindled and long gone. What’s left of that naive excitement is over 4000 pictures taken, memories I wish I could forget, and so many lessons learned.

Five whole years.

It’s been five whole years since I left my comfort zone and traveled across the country to start a new life. A brave decision to leave everything I once knew to throw myself into a new job, new environment, new experiences, new heartaches, and the like.

Five whole years.

But in these past five years, I have actually morphed into several different people – or rather several different versions of myself. I have learned what it is to fight for myself, love myself the right way, and look at myself the way God has always seen me.

It is in the past five years I have finally learned who I am and that this process of growing and changing will never stop. And it is here that I would like to start to share with you all the joys, heartaches, growing pains, and life lessons that have been graciously bestowed upon me.

Stay tuned and enjoy the ride.

13 for 2013;; 13 Retrospects For an Incredible Year.

What I wrote last year: “2013 will be full of surprises, challenges, and milestones. I can feel it.”

Man, was I right! My faith has been tested in various ways but I can honestly say this has been one of the hardest and best years of my life because looking back, so many of my dreams have come true with many more to come!

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13. I was able to travel to so many places this year once again to spend time with wonderful people. Cancun, San Diego, the Philippines, OBX, DC, and Chicago.

12. MBK was blessed to be the makeup artist for various events and weddings this year. Thank you my lovely ladies for your continued support! (Coast to coast!)

11. Was a Senior Consultant for 2.5 years and had a long term contract in Northern Indiana.

10. Left my job as a Senior Consultant and acquired a position at Sutter Health in San Francisco, CA.

9. Moved to California! VA to The Bay! (Say whaaaa…but I miss home.)

8. Bought my first house! (WHAAAA…)

7. Finally graduated from Liberty University with my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.

6. Since moving to California, the time I have spent with my extended family here has been so refreshing. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people that love me so much.

5. We laid our Papa to rest June 2013.

4. My relationship with my parents is the best it’s ever been. I LOVE YOU MOM AND DAD. Thank you for being so supportive in all that we have done and continue to do!

3. I am the furthest from home I’ve ever been for this length of time but I am blessed with some of the best friendships anyone could ask for. Thousands of miles separate me from these people but the friendship and love we have for eachother still remains stronger than ever.

Love to my girls, my church (especially the Worship Team), YoPro’s, and sprinkles of best friends all over the country.

2. I moved to California with my sister Krysten – without her, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to survive. I love you Seastar!

1. God continues to work on my heart and continues to reveal to me so many truths. I am reminded that He is all I need. When my focus is Him, literally EVERYTHING will fall into place.

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Thank you Father, for probably one of the BEST years that has happened. In trials and tribulations, celebrations and significants, You are forever present. Praying that in 2014, I continue to love those around me and to shine the light from within.

CHEERS TO 2014!

“I’m From California…Where Do You Live?”

If you don’t know where that movie line is from, look it up. Ha!

So this ends my first week and a half living in California. Many people have asked what I’ve been up to, what adventures I’ve been on, what restaurants/foods I’ve tried, etc. I honestly have not had many chances to explore and mingle with too many people outside of my immediately family and coworkers but I know all of that will come in time. I have made several observations though – here are a few:

1.     It is imperative that you download the Starbucks app when working in the city.
Why? Because even though I’d be saving myself 5 bucks everyday by NOT going to Starbucks, it is pretty nice to have a supply on hand ready to scan at will because there is literally a Starbucks on every block (or at least every other block) that you can stop at. Some people in the office do a mid-morning run but on my way to the office, I like to get something even if there is a line. Something about the business of it all. I don’t know.

I noticed that everyone in line has their signature drink; the baristas know all of their drinks and verify it before they even order. So far, they’ve all been correct. I made the “mistake” of pulling out my gift card and then paying the rest on my check card; I received looks of impatience from the constantly forming line of people behind me – oops. Everyone else had the app with their registered card already loaded, scanned, left the register, and got their drink.

Most people know this already – sorry. But I have never been an avid coffee drinker unless I really need it or have a craving. Getting up at 545 in the morning has definitely created a necessity for coffee thus far.

2.     A few hours out of my day is spent in transit.
I drive to the BART station. (10 minutes)
I ride the BART. (30 minutes)
I walk to my office. (10-15 minutes)
I walk to get lunch. (10 minutes)
I walk back to the BART. (10-15 minutes)
I ride the BART home. (30 minutes)
I drive back to the house. (10 minutes)
~100 minutes of transit on a good day

And this does not include times that I actually have to go get errands done, take the shuttle for different sites around the city, or even drive myself to work! Target, the grocery store, Walmart, CVS, etc. are all places of convenience but they are not that convenient to get to. I’m used to having at least 3 or 4 convenience stores within a 5 minute range every which way and Target as well as Walmart within a 10 minute drive. Everything is at least a 10-15 minutes drive away here. Yes I know, #firstworldproblems, but when you’re used to hopping in your car and getting back to the house all within 5 minutes, it’s a HUGE change!

3.     Blend, blend, blend! …in. But don’t lose yourself.
Moving to a completely new state is very nerve wracking. My first day of work, I woke up early, started to get ready but then began feeling nauseated and actually threw up because I was so nervous. I was sweating like crazy and I instantly thought, this is not from God. I prayed that my nerves would be calm and that satan would be put behind me because I was not going to let him mess up this opportunity from God Himself. In saying all of that, I have been blessed that my experiences as a consultant have allowed me to adapt to my surroundings pretty much immediately without anyone thinking otherwise.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Look down while on the Bart with your headphones in so you do not catch anyone’s eye. Walk briskly on the way to work to ensure maximum safety as well as good exercise. Even though so far I have been able to adapt well, I have the constant thought in my head to never forget who I am, where I come from, and Who has saved me. It’s pretty hard at times when you get frustrated with the business of settling in but I think of this as an opportunity to take a second, meditate, and thank God for everything He has blessed me with.

What some people may not know about me is that I am not easily swayed (anymore). Everything I have experienced in life has taught me to stand firm in my beliefs and who I am in Christ. I make these bold statements here so that when I look back on this entry, I can keep myself and others accountable.

Just because I am in a new state, I have not forgotten who I am and where I come from. Anyone who makes statements like, “…just you wait. It’ll come…” obviously does not know me very well. If you are easily swayed by others actions and words, think about it. Do you even know who you really are? Culturally yes, there are some habits I will need to adopt; but things that do not add to my character and only satisfy selfish gain? GIRL BYE. 😉

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
–1 Peter 2:9

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In closing, I have really enjoyed my time here in California so far. I am very excited to see the places He is going to bring me, what new challenges I will take on, and the new things I will experience! Stay tuned for more updates later! But with that said…I miss VA and all my people in it. ❤

Love in Him always,
Kat

p.s. The movie is Daddy Day Care for all my movie-line-buddies. LOL.