Friday, December 30, 2011

Chrissy + Doug = Love

Daniel and I had a wonderful Christmas.  We are so blessed.  I don't mean to say that because of gifts- we are truly blessed with awesome families.  When we are with family, it's like the rest of the world doesn't exist (sorry if that offends you or you have been on the butt end of that).  We are so tuned out to everything but our family.  I hate to take down our Christmas tree and think I will have to go back to work, but life is what it is.  There are other things to be excited about, like our new niece (coming in weeeeks!) and my sister's wedding!

Not sure why, but she and Doug asked me to take some engagement pics.  Whatev, I jumped at a chance to play with the new camera and Photoshop.  It's a learning curve, so I apologize if you know what you are doing and I (clearly) do not.  Anything as gorgeous as my sister will make any picture beautiful.  The only time we had to shoot was in the morning, so a lot of the pictures turned out overexposed.  Oh well.  My first shot.  I still think they are beautiful!  Here are some of my favs:

Yeeeep, really not quite sure how we are from the same parents.  I must have left all of the "pretty" genes behind for her!
Congrats Chrissy and Doug!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Four Years

Today is our anniversary!
I can't believe it- we have been married for four years.  I don't really know where all of that time went.
Marriage is such a hard thing to learn how to do well.  When do we get to the point when we think we are good at being married?  Daniel and I fell in love immediately once we met, talked about getting married after dating for one month, and were engaged after dating for eight.  Never have I had a doubt in my mind that Daniel is the person God chose for me and am grateful for all the little ways we can look back and see how He prepared us for one another throughout our lives.  Because I love Daniel so much and always have, I thought marriage would be eeassssy peeeassy.  Pffft.  Okay.

I don't mean that to sound bad, or to sound like I don't love my husband.  Marriage is hard for me because of me, not because of my husband.  Sure, he takes his socks off and leaves them in the living room every day of his life and he can't dance.  Big Woop.  He has terrrrrible  handwriting (so much so that when I was in college and taking a class on students with special needs, I interviewed Daniel and asked him if he would consider his handwriting a learning disability because it interferes with his ability to take notes quickly and legibly.  Bahahaha).  I can fill out important forms for us.  He has grouchy days.  Who doesn't?  Over the past 4 years, I've learned that when something's just not right, I need to point my finger at myself first before I point it at him.  It took a long time to learn that, and I don't always manage to do it, but the Lord has been faithful to prayer.  As a wise woman says to me all the time, "God is loving me every. single. day". True Dat.

You are probably thinking I have an awful marriage by now.  Au Contraire, Mon Frère!  I have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful marriage and have a husband whom I, literally, love more and more every day I am alive.  However, I think there is a lie floating around out there that claims that if we just love enough, it will fix everything and that, if we follow Jesus, we can have the perfect life.  It simply isn't true.  Sure, I will spend eternity worshiping the Savior in heaven, not because I did anything, but because He did it all.  However, while still here in this life, I am a wretched human being.  So is Daniel.  So are you.  And, being called to marriage, this means two wretched human beings have to figure out how to love and serve one another.  It's hard!  But, as my favorite verse says, "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness"-Lamentations 3:22-23.  Also, 2 Corinthians 4:16:  "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."  Every morning is a new morning.  A new day to serve and love my husband, to learn to forgive him like he forgives me (a lot) and as Christ forgave me (more than a lot).  As hard as it is to say (but, how thankful I am to say it!), I cannot be married and love my husband well without the love of Christ.

My husband.  {swoooooon}.  How I adore that man.  He works so hard at everything that he does.  He is smart and uses the mind God gave him to support our family.  He loves the Lord with all of his might and leads us in seeking his face. He is hilarious, makes me think I am, and is alpha-protective.  Nothing means more to him than his family (me and his mama!).  He texts me whenever he sees or hears about an accident, just to let me know it's not him and he's okay.  He kisses me goodbye in the mornings and says I love you first (which is a lot).  He sends me emails at school just to let me know he's thinking of me and hopes my kids aren't being too rowdy that day.  How lucky I am to call this man my husband.

Here are some pictures from our wedding.  Such a bittersweet day- Best day of my life... during "Winter Hell" as the news called it.  Less than half the people that were supposed to come were able to make it.  Our reception photog never made it because they closed the highway.  My hair was slightly compromised by the sleet outside. But, you know what?  I wouldn't have had it any other way.

We wrote our own vows (in Hastings one afternoon over coffee.  I asked Daniel what he wanted them to say and he replied, "I don't care".  Ooooooooh.  Bad move.  Forgiveness I learned!  Haha):

I take you to be my Beloved Husband (wife)
I Pledge my heart to you in Faithfulness and Devotion.
I promise to Love and Comfort you,
Honor and Keep You,
in Plenty and in Want,
in Joy and in Sorrow,
in Sickness and in Health
and, Forsaking all others,
I will be True only unto you.
I thank God that He, in His perfect Will,
Has prepared us for one another, in Steadfast Love and in Mercy.
I promise to follow (lead) you faithfully in the Lord and love you as Christ loves the Church.
My Husband (wife), My Beloved, My Heart's Desire,
I will Love, Comfort, Serve (lead), and Cherish you 
All the Days of my Life.

Thank you, Lord, for marriage!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chocolate Popcorn

Yeah, so that whole "one post every day of break" thing just isn't working out.
I have been enjoying my time off so much that I have NO desire to blog.
No offense.

I thought I would share a recipe for an easy, yummy, cheap, and addicting treat.  I made some for a wonderful lady at church, my husband's grandma, and my in-laws.  I had to force myself not to pick!

Chocolate Popcorn

  • Whole Popcorn (I bought store brand for $1/entire bag!  You will only use 1/3 of the bag!)
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Wilton Chocolate Candy Melts (I bought dark chocolate and white)
  • Pop pop corn according to package directions (oil in pot.  Heat.  Put in 1 kernel.  When it pops, out in enough popcorn to cover bottom of pot.  Shake as it pops.)
  • Pour popped corn onto foiled surface.
  • Melt dark chocolate according to package directions (50% power for 1 minute, stir, then 30-second intervals until melted)
  • Drizzle over chocolate.
  • Repeat with White chocolate.

  • Wait to cool/harden, break up gently and put into tins, and make someone happy!

These tins were 70% off at Joanns!  They ended up only being $2.  They are so cute!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Captivate Us

Well, it's finally here:  Christmas Break.  Hallelujah!
This semester has gone by so fast.  I can remember meeting my girls for the first time like it was yesterday.  I have gotten to know and pray for so many sweet, beautiful young ladies (and 12 young men!).  They organized a Secret Santa for today and required each other to sew the gift.  How cute is that?  They made some of the most adorable little gifts =)  I am sad to say goodbye to them, but thankful a handful are taking Sewing II next semester and I get to hang out with them again.

While I love love love teaching, long breaks are always a highlight (they always joked in college that if you chose to be a teacher because of the breaks, you were in the wrong profession.  I don't know about you fellow teachers out there, but breaks are one of my favorite parts about being a teacher! Being able to make an impact on kids is obviously numero uno).  I love being in my home and miss it when I have to be at work all week.  Few things make me as happy as being home all day.  Being home reminds me of family, of being young and being with my mom and sister.  We've always been home-bodies.  Love our friends, but there is nothing like being at home with family.

I am looking forward to being with our families, spending time with our church fam, and sewing.  Our poor little puppy needs some lovin' too.  =) 

I still plan on blogging every single day during break, so get ready.  Have some pretty sweet tutorials from baby things and photography to how to cut hair!  Woop Woop!

For now, this is what has been on my heart this week:  "Captivate us" by Watermark.  It is a song I am completely obsessed with thanks to my dear friend Julia.  It was sang at her wedding and I adore it (sorry for the lame-o picture show.  This what I could find on You Tube!).

Jesus is so good.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baby Sister

My baby sister turns 23 today!

When I think back to my childhood, one thing I am eternally grateful for is my sister.  The bond 2 sisters share is something you can't describe and can only understand it if you share one.  I often tell my sister that I feel like we are twins because we are so close at heart.  I feel like there are times that we can be so tuned in to one another that we don't have to speak and we grow even closer. 

Growing up, we had our share of ups and downs.  I am sure I was excited when she came along (probably jealous, but I do recall watching a home video where I called her "My bebe" 40 times), but, like all sisters, we were brats along the way.  Sure, she bit my back fat and I shook her head.  Yes, I made fun of her inability to care for her baby-think-it-over doll in high school and she made fun of the fact that I sucked my thumb until I was 21 (yep, you read that right.  Twenty. One.  Wouldn't have known from this set of brace-free pearly whites!).  I buzzed her barbies and threw them in the "jacuzzi" toilet and she refused to let me sleep with her- well- my whole life when I was scared at night of dead people.  BUT, this is why we love each other.

My sister is my life, my rock, my best friend and the one I cannot imagine living without.  She is beautiful, kind, giving, compassionate, and hilarious.  She makes a fool out of herself and doesn't care.  She sings with me to our "songs" by Amy Grant and Wilson Phillips.  She cuddles with me and says "Eeeeeeeee" when she gets excited.  She wears kids' shoes and has webbed toes.  We are the opposite, but we are the same.  As much as I look up to her and wish I could be just like her, I know she feels the same.

I love my sister!  What a blessing she is.  I can't imagine who I would be without her.  There is no one like her.

Here are a few of our fav memories.  I know they won't make sense to you, but they are precious to us!

Chrissy and I at Grandma's house.  I can't believe I let go of Yella Baby long enough to hold her!  See that purple hand?  Chew it, let it harden, sniff it, and rub it.  I'm ashamed to admit how long I did that.
Getting ready to attack my twinkie.  She looks innocent- I am sure she either let out a huge fart or bit me.  Always so spoiled.  Why did SHE get the pink bow?!  =)

Life in the Daipy drawer.  My mom would store diapers in the bottom drawer and we would pull it out and hang out in there.  Most likely an idea I came up with while talking to myself or Yella Baby.  I probably coerced sissy into following me in there in our teddy bear and unicorn sweatsuits. We also used to have sleepovers in the closet after throwing all of the shoes out.  What were we thinking?!
Tramped up as Big Bird with BLUE EYESHADOW THNX MOM.   Did you have those McDonald's happy meal tubs?  Awesome!

Classic Kurowski Picture.  Dan Dan cool as a cucumber.  Me trying to be perfect (and succeeding, amen), Chrissy being a Draaaaaaammma Queeeen.
We took tap and ballet and were in "Annie".  I was  a cat, she was a mouse. How that fits into Annie is beyond me.  Clearly we only took dance for one year (and this fatty only took it because there was a candy store in the basement of the studio and my mom let us pick out one thing every time we went.  Booya).  Check out that form.
Looking extra fine on the Charles Bridge in Prague.  I am so thankful our parents moved us there.  We were forced to love each other, be best friends, and lean on each other... or go crazy.  Wish we had more pictures from this point in life (I think we do, but my parents have them (or we were in middle school and hated everything and everyone.  Dekuji hormones.))

We have gotten to experience so many things together.  Chrissy, I love you more with every day that I am alive.  I pray for you always and can't wait to see you soon.  I am so happy that you are getting married and can't imagine our life and family without Doug.  We finally feel like our family is complete and I can't wait to see you grow into a wife and, someday, a mom =)  Love you and happy birthday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Soy Vay!

Daniel and I are totally addicted to Chinese food (You know, I use that word--"Addict"--waaay too much.  If we were really addicted to all the things I say we are, we would be a hot mess!)
I have to admit that I never really had Chinese food (or Taco Bell for that matter) until I was in high school.  If we had fast food growing up, it was McDonald's (hello childhood obesity) or Papa Johns (hello customer appreciation night).
We don't eat Chinese food a lot even though we really like it because 1.  It is so unhealthy! and 2. I can't make it well and we don't eat out a lot.
However I found this stuff thanks to Cheryl:
Holy. Cow.
The back of the bottle says that a Jew and a Chinese person became friends, joined food forces, and made this sauce (Sounds like the beginning of a really awful joke, but that's what it says!).  It is SO good.  In Cheryl's class, they use it to marinate beef and make Teriyaki Beef.  I made it with leftover chicken for a super quick stir fry.  I had everything on hand except for the sauce, which was {yikes} almost $6.  You don't need much though, so you could get at least 8 meals out of the bottle.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients for the entire meal:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I had baked them/foreman-ed them for a previous meal)
  • 1/2-1 cup Soy Vay
  • Extra Light Virgin Olive Oil (I used around 1 TBSP)
  • Brown Rice
  • Steamed Green Beans
  • Saute chicken in the olive oil to warm it up and get it a little crispy (Not "fried" crispy.  I used only a tiny bit of oil!).  If your chicken isn't cooked already, saute it until it is no longer pink in the middle with more olive oil.
  • Add the Soy Vay.  Cook until warmed.  (If your rice isn't done and the sauce reduces (like mine did!), add about 1/4 cup of water and cook.  You will have more sauce to pour over the rice anyway.)
  • Serve with brown rice and green beans.
It was so good and tasted so much like the real deal that I didn't get a picture of it.  Daniel was really skeptical because he thinks teriyaki is always too salty.  It tasted more like General Tso/Kung Pao/all things delicious in a Chinese restaurant.
Trust me- if you are a Chinese fan, this will be some of the best $6 you will ever spend!

Side note-I have decided that once Christmas break starts in 4 DAYS I will blog every. single. day.  New challenge for me- the 17 blog posts of Christmas.
For now, I am thankful the semester is wrapping up, my classroom is getting cleaned and organized, and I get to see so much of my family over the next few weeks!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

{Knee Warmer Tutorial}

I love boots.
I wear my one brown pair that I got from Old Navy the year before last for $4.50 at least 3 times a week.
I know.  I need more.

I saw these photos on Pinterest and fell. in. love:

Looove the sock thing.
Problem- my boots are rather snug.  I don't think I can fit socks over leggings in there.  So, I decided to make some faux socks out of old sweaters, a.k.a "Knee Warmers".

Here is how:

First, grab an old sweater.  We are going to take advantage of those already-sewn side seams and finished edges.  It's practically impossible to "hem" cable knit. 

I already cut off the sleeves and neck
Measure your knee area and subtract a few inches- the sweater material is going to stretch.  My legs/knees were about 13 inches, so I cut my warmers to be 10 inches in width (5 shown in the picture because the sweater is folded in half).  Cut two total, one out of each side edge of the sweater:

In order to have nice, finished edges on the inside of your warmers, we are going to sew french seams.
Don't freak out.  They are super easy.  With wrong sides together (I know, that seems wrong- it's not), sew a 1/4in seam down the side (I serged it).

Flip them inside out and, along that same side, sew a 3/8 in (or larger) seam.  This will "encase" that previous seam.

Flip right side out again.  Tada! 

Now, all we need to do is finished that bottom edge we cut (the other edge should have been the already-finished edge of the sweater).  I serged them (and used tan thread so you can see), but you can zig zag them.

Sweet!  Put them on right before boots, leave the zig zagged edge down in your boot, like this:

I look like I have the chubbiest legs ever!  Hmmm... need to work harder on that!

Loooooove it, even though it looks totally homeless under neath.  Haha.

Monday, December 5, 2011

DSLR's and Photoshop

I just checked my "stats", and someone searched for my blog by googling "the gibson girl wordpress blog katie gibson".  Hilarious.  It warms my heart to think I am a "Gibson girl".  So thankful for marriage.

So anyway, here is the deal.
Daniel and I are obsessed with professional photos.
I am obsessed with professional photos.
Not the Sears ones.
Awkward Family Photos.  Google it.  Be prepared.

The real ones.
But we just can't afford them- one session every other year can happen- but what about when we have kids?  I can see it coming:  I am going to want them all the time.  I will be going broke, pimping myself out for sewing lessons, and sacrificing food just so that I can have great photos.

So, I figured- I am pretty creative.  I think I have an artistic eye.  I can figure this out.  Then, I can bless other people with it.

I was scared to propose this to the hub.  I didn't want him to get upset- see the price tag of the cam and flip out.  But really, all I ever hear from people with DSLR's is that they truly pay for themselves as long as you use them right (and learn how to use them, not always shoot in auto) and have the right editing software.  We decided to invest in a good DSLR camera while we have the means to do it so that I can take our own pictures.  All of our major celebrations (anniversary, Christmas, birthdays) happen this month and next, so we gifted ourselves early thanks to Black Friday sales (free bag, SD card, and lens!  Woop!).

Anyway, after 2 rounds of pictures, this sucker pays for itself compared to what we would pay someone to do it for us.

I was able to earn a little extra income doing some sewing-on-the-side, so we also purchased Photoshop.  I have been playing with it a lot and feel like I am already learning so much.
Here is an example-
Awesome!  I'm sure some profesh is looking at this and thinking, "Oh my gosh, that is a terrible photo", but whatev.  1.  Just starting with Photoshop and 2. Didn't do a single thing but add an action.  I know the lighting needs to be fixed, but I'm still figuring this out.

Photoshop language is like Kingon (I watch too much Big Bang...)  It's a process learning how to do everything.  One thing I learned quick is that if you just use the auto formatting settings, you might as well use Picasa for free.  I googled tutorials on blurring, filters, and actions and found this pin on Pinterest:
Which linked me to The Pioneer Woman.  This gal has FREEEEE actions (they aren't usually free!) that you can download/make your photos look presh.  There is a link on that website for another site that explains how to install everything-Texas Chicks Blogs & Pics.  Love this site, too- so many tutorials about how to use Photoshop.

I'm so excited to play around with it.  I learned a lot about the camera in general from Kevin & Amanda, including how to shoot in Aperture mode.  This tutorial explains a lot, as well as links to others on their site that I have totally stalked.

Daniel doesn't like when I take his picture (as adorable as he is) and the dog thinks the moving lens is a sniper.  I have nothing to play with!  I cannot wait to meet my new niece.  In a little over a month, I will have one of the cutest, sweetest little girls to practice on =)  If you want some free pictures that might not be the greatest (ha.  I will try!), let me know!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Wash Uggs

My feet reek.

I know, gracious.

When I was in elementary school and middle school, my friends and I played club soccer (indoor and outdoor... I started out atrocious.  At our first tryouts we were a "package deal" according to the mom of one of my friends.  Thankfully, one of my friends was so awesome, they just took us all.  I was the chubby defender.  Baha.  I got better {and lost some weight} over time).  At sleepovers, the "triple dog dare" during truth or dare was to smell my Adidas Sambas for 10 seconds.
Did you have these?  What tom boy girl didn't, can I get an amen?! Ha.


=)  I thought it was funny, no hard feelings.  Nonetheless, we're talking serious stench.

My sister bought some Ugg boots a few years ago and they stretched out so much they don't fit her anymore and now fit moi.  They must have stretched a ton because she wears size 5 shoes (I don't know how the girl stands upright.  She has webbed toes, too.  Hahah!  Something that pretty has to have something weird!) and I wear size 8.  I wear them a lot- but they are starting to fume.  I can smell them now as I type- and they are on my feet!

I was weary of washing them- I know they are made with real wool and I see signs in dry cleaning establishments that they clean Uggs, telling me to proceed with caution.

1.  I refuse to pay someone to wash my clothing.  Ridic.
2.  How am I going to do this without ruining them!?

I googled it and found answers.  Here is what I did:

First, Soak with a mild detergent suitable for wool (Duh.  Woolite!) in the tub with lukewarm water.  Scrub any really dirty spots with an old tooth brush.

Rinse with cold water.  Try and gently squeeze any excess water out that you can.  (p.s. want to wash clothes like this?  Check it out!)

Place boots in the washing machine.  Do not add soap!  Start your machine on the spin cycle (thankfully I have an obsolete washing machine that allows me to just turn the dial.  Agh, some day high efficiency will come my way!).  Remove boots when spin cycle is complete.

Let boots dry indoors or out- just not in direct sunlight.  I heard they may be tight the first time you wear them again, but they will quickly stretch back out.
FYI- got that drying rack when we moved into our new church- left for dead by the previous church.  mine!  Love it.  Would also work fantastic at a garage sale.  Hmmmm...
 Uggs are now smellin' fresh and clean!  =)
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