Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

If I had to choose three words to describe this year, they would be “sorting”, “softness”, and “new” memories. πŸ’™

Year one of marriage has been great! We’ve had so much fun getting settled in our little house, bringing his dog Nugget into the mix, and becoming pros at grocery shopping and communication (almost). Also, hospitality makes us feel like really cool adults. 😎 My favorite new memories have been us sitting on the porch watching it rain and our very bookish vacation this summer.

My mental health journey has been a ride. Oh boy. πŸ₯΄ Lots of coping with comfort shows, a cute computer game, and amazing naps, lol. I feel like I lost a lot of time this year to survival mode, but I’m so grateful to be six months into treatment and feeling way better. And just this month I got answers and a plan for 3+ years of “mysterious” physical illness. πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

It’s been an amazing author year in ways I could have never expected when I dove back in! It’s been encouraging and fun to find you all stuck around, and growing my bookish Instagram community has been great too. πŸ’™ I released the special second edition of Kiera, a literal dream come true, published Enjoy the Poodle Skirt in adorable tiny paperback form, and wrote Operation Robin and most of a novella. I’ve also been gaining confidence (and a low-key obsession) with cover design. 😎

So much more reading happened this year! And a huge percentage of it was indie, which makes me ridiculously happy. πŸ˜‰ From debuts to short stories to years-in-the-making comebacks, I’ve been delighted to support my authors and discover new fictional worlds. I’ve also gotten to experience a couple buddy reads which is always quite fun. Check out my Goodreads “Year in Books” to see what I enjoyed.

My husband and I really bonded over movies while we were dating, and the fun has continued into our marriage. Thanks to him, I’ve seen a TON of really good movies this year, so I had trouble choosing my top 5. (That’s why there are six. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘€) If you have any questions about a movie/content, I’m happy to share my thoughts. πŸ˜‰

I got to bake a lot more this season, and my favorite repeat recipe has got to be these cookies. So delicious and light. 🀀 I had to buy a new computer early this year, and collecting stickers on it makes my nerd heart so happy. 😍 As does my growing Funko Pop family and the book sleeve collection I accidentally started. 😊

It’s been quite a year, and I’m really, really grateful for it. πŸ’š I’ll be back next week (next year! :O ) with my nebulous goals for 2023.

Thank you for being part of my 2022!

My Cozy Fall Decorations

My Cozy Fall Decorations

Fall is my absolute favorite season, and since I missed out on a lot of it last year due to Covid, I’m extra excited to celebrate this year. 🧑

J and I pulled out our tote of fall decorations, many leftover from our wedding, some old items I’ve owned forever, and got to work decorating our apartment.

One of my favorite things is our little welcome sign paired with the “H” pumpkin my sister just gave us. It’s like we’re a little family and it’s so cute. ☺️

We keep our blanket basket out year-round, but I had to add one of the largest pumpkins on top for maximum cozy vibes.

I’m obsessed with this tea tray we set up on the chair we never use unless there’s company. Aren’t the sweater pumpkins from my wedding adorable? 🧑

My absolute favorite decoration is the bread bowl full of pumpkins, large and small, twig and sweater, with my hedgehog figurine nestled happily in them.

J filled in this empty spot next to the (dusty) candle with his boutonniere from the wedding, and it’s officially the perfect touch. πŸ˜‰

And speaking of perfect, his letter board sarcasm is unmatched. πŸ˜‚

The mixture of memories, small pumpkin figurines that used to live atop my desk years ago, sweater pumpkins from our dating years and wedding, and now fresh pie pumpkins I’ll definitely be baking into something scrumptious…

I feel so at home in our little apartment, and decorating for a new season always brings such joy. 🧑

My June Bookhaul // Vacation Edition

My June Bookhaul // Vacation Edition

Last month, Joshua and I had a really fun vacation. It was one part staycation, one part drive-up-north-where-its-twenty-degrees-cooler, and fifty-seven parts visit every bookstore and Goodwill we came across. Absolute vacation #goals.

The first bookstore we went to was an underground, hole-in-the-wall beauty, absolutely packed with books on the older side, which made J super happy and he snagged one for his collection.

The next one, aka my absolute favorite was really, really inviting and had that perfect indie bookstore feel. J treated me to an Agatha Christie book, and we added the fourth Giver book to our series. πŸ˜‰

The store was mostly about books, as all good stores should be, but I was delighted with this typewriter and the absolutely TINY chairs in the children’s section. I should have taken a picture with something for scale, but that “big” chair is actually a mini armchair and the other one is even tinier. So wholesome. πŸ₯°

The last bookstore was delightfully personable, and even though they didn’t have books for me, I could feel the sense of community and love of reading. I also adored their ginormous purple Squishmallow mascot. πŸ˜‰

All in all, it was a really fun vacation and the books were just one of the many highlights. πŸ˜‰ ❀

Speaking Of…

Speaking Of…

Hello again! I think I needed a little break after all the excitement of the cover reveal (you all are amazing), but I’m back again. πŸ˜‰

I’ve been reading a lot more this year than in the past two, so much so that I’m ahead on my Goodreads challenge for once. *happy dance* Challenge aside, though, it’s been delightful to be experiencing new worlds again. My picks have been ranging from new indie releases to adorable middle-grades (currently reading a cupcake-themed one and yes, child Kate would have been obsessed) to even a highly clever, adult mystery.

Such a wild mix πŸ˜‚ #moodreader

Speaking of books, I got some delightful new ones for my birthday. 😍 My siblings gave me the latest two Kate’s Case Files in paperback (eep, thanks!), and Joshua took me on a trip to Barnes and Noble. It was so much fun browsing new releases and iconic classics that I ended up with quite the hefty “maybe” stack. I ended up getting The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen and The List by Patricia Forde (will report back). And my shopping buddy was the best ever. πŸ˜‰ (Thanks, J! ❀️)

My pre-bookstore happy face 😁
My favorite ❀️

Speaking of birthday, I experimented with flavors and made a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling. It was absolutely delicious. 🀀 I just got to make another cake with the same flavors (I have three cake orders in four days, send help) and this time I went all out on the classy decorating. πŸ˜‰ Such brilliant fun, and after I finish this post, I’ll be mixing up more batches for the next order…

(I promise I fixed that weird flat spot.)

Speaking of “send help”, editing gives me anxiety, y’all. Not a ton usually, since I know my professional editor and proofreading rounds will catch what I missed, but this time is a little different. I’m making *minor* changes to an already edited, formatted book and the terror of “what if I add new typos to this?” is real. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I eventually came up with a system to run the new material through Grammarly just to double-check and that eased my mind enough that I could finish it up this weekend. I sent the files to my formatter, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. 😍

Time to make some more cake. Talk with you all again soon!

Our Love-ly Wedding

Our Love-ly Wedding

In honor of love season, here are more wedding photos as promised. ❀️

Necklaces that have been special to our relationship…
Our rings, my vows, and one of the flowers ❀️
First look laughter 😁😁
I love this man. ❀️❀️
The coolest ever wedding party πŸ‘πŸ‘
All the siblings (and additions 😁)
I spy some pretty cool “Flower Agents” 😎😎
My girls! (Minus one who was sick πŸ˜₯)
Bros for life
Here we go!
It’s official!
My favorite ever ❀️
Making him laugh 😎
I just love our shoes ❀️
Yes, we’re crazy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Looking through these pictures reminds me of what a lovely day it was, and I hope you enjoy! ❀️

Photo credit: Reckless Radiance Photography

2022, Nice to Meet You

2022, Nice to Meet You

Happy 2022! (aka the most sci-fi looking date ever)

As promised, here are some of my nebulous hopes and goals. ❀️

I’ve been enjoying reading a lot more lately, so I’m excited to set my reading challenge goal to 30 books. I can’t wait to find some great new reads. 🀩

I’m looking forward to graduating my recovery group as well. It’s been so helpful to me, and I’m grateful for the work God’s done in my life through it.

My fantasy novel is next up for some much needed (and really quite fun) renovation. The plan is to publish it sometime this year. πŸ™πŸ˜

I’d also like to draft two brand new stories (and maybe a short story here and there) just for the delight of it.

Baking, blogging, and life with my Joshua are continuing joys I’m looking forward to, as well as whatever surprises come next. ❀️

Happy New Year!

What are your hopes and goals?

2021 Is Over and Done

2021 Is Over and Done

2021. It’s been a year. Maybe not as infamous as 2020, but certainly a ride. πŸ˜‰

Here are just a few of my highlights…

I got to hone my baking skills and even sell a few products! 😍

My most recent bake

Though I read much less this year than I usually do, I found some great reads (and a few more to my physical TBR πŸ˜‰). Check out my Year in Books on Goodreads.

Reads of the year!

I also watched some pretty cool movies (thanks to my movie nerd husband showing me a lot of his favorites).

My top five for the year.

Early in the year, I joined a recovery group put on by our church to help get my spiritual and mental health in hand. Though it got derailed towards the end of this year, I’m looking forward to finishing up in the new one.

Speaking of derailing, I had The Virus That Shall Not Be Named, and wow was that intense. It was a slow recovery (and I’ve still got some recovering to do), but I’m so grateful to be well.

I’ve been friends with Mikayla for five years now, but through facetime, emails, and letters. (She’s the coolest!) So it was a delight and honor to get to meet her for my wedding!

The coolest maid of honor ever. πŸ€—

Our wedding was one of the best, most lifechanging days of my life, and the journey of our relationship over this year has been amazing. I’m so grateful for our life together. ❀️

All wedding photos by Reckless Radiance Photography

I’ll be back tomorrow with my hopes and goals for the new year, but for now, happy new year, happy memories be yours, and happy staying up too late. ❀️

So Thankful for Forever <3

So Thankful for Forever <3


Our wedding day. ❀️

A day of celebration, joy, and deep knowledge of God’s goodness that we were standing there together, surrounded by our family and friends.

I thank God for healing me and giving me the energy to enjoy our special day.

I praise Him for the family and friends who pulled together to help finish decorations, set up, tear down, serve food, do hair and makeup, and celebrate with us. Also, our officiant and photographers for being the most amazing.

I thank Him for the super cool passel of guys and gals who agreed to be our wedding party and made the day so special.

And I bless Him for bringing Joshua, the man who stood before me and pledged his heart to mine, into my life. ❀️

It was truly the best day. 😌😭😍

(I’ll share more professional photos later, but for now, here are just a few of my favorite candids.)

My mom doing my makeup. ❀️

Sister picture! 😍 Yep, that’s all of us.

Our vows under the chuppah (a Jewish wedding canopy) my dad built.

Mr. and Mrs.! 😭😭❀️

Happy on our honeymoon!

Since we got back, we’ve been setting up house, routines, going through stuff, putting away the lovely gifts from people, and enjoying our new life together. ❀️

Which has already included celebrating Thanksgiving and Chanukah and decorating for Christmas together.

I can’t wait for every next day of forever. ❀️

A Long, Drawn-Out Pause

A Long, Drawn-Out Pause

I was humming along, minding my own business when Covid knocked me down for three weeks.

I had a fever for a few days, congestion, lost my sense of taste and smell (sooo weird! It was like having earplugs in one of my senses that is honestly usually overwhelming. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚), and thought I was on track to recover in 10 days like my brother and my fiance did when I received a few plot twists. πŸ˜‰

I was brought through by the prayers of my friends and family, antibiotics and an inhaler (I love that thing), and Great British Bake-Off and Instagram reels.

I’ve been “better” for a few days now, just in time to finish planning my wedding. I still get tired easily and potatoes still taste WEIRD, but I’m so grateful to be breathing easily and allowed to be around my family. God is so good to me.

Now the wedding is four days away. If I think too hard, I can panic over the weeks lost and the tasks that match them, but I’m excited it’s happening and people have been so generous and helpful.

I finally got to see our apartment recently, and it’s the cutest little bean. 😍😍 Joshua’s been setting up furniture, and I got to unpack some of our bridal shower gifts into the kitchen. He just set up a bookshelf, and I seriously can’t wait to unpack my book babies and Funko Pops. I think then it will really feel like home.

If possible, I’m even more excited to grocery shop and plan our meals. I’ve been learning a lot about food lately, so I’m kinda wanting to experiment. #buysallthearugula

I’ll be back with pictures and writing talk (and maybe some Black Friday sales πŸ˜‰) soon, but for now, more rest and savoring the moment. 🧑

Bookish Highlights

Bookish Highlights

Life is changing so much everyday, but I thought I’d share a few of the highlights with you.

I recently got some pretty cool bookmail when I splurged on two indie books I was eyeing.

Snow-Crossed Letters by Chautona Havig, a.k.a. my upcoming Christmas read. It looks absolutely adorable, and I’m counting on there being some surprise encouragement, true to this author’s form. πŸ˜‰

Ignite by Jenna Terese looks SO, SO COOL. The cover, the concept, the fact it’s a duology… 😍😍


Speaking of books, the amazing leaders of my recovery/discipleship group hosted a bridal shower for me, and they made it book-themed.

The book titles. πŸ€—

Every detail was so special. ❀️

Yours truly, posing like the happy bean she is. 😁

It was a really special day, and I feel very loved. ❀️❀️

Also book and wedding related–I’ve been packing! Joshua just moved into the apartment, so I’m getting ready to move some of my stuff over there to make room here for more wedding prep. πŸ˜…

My lonely shelf getting ready to move on to new adventures.

I promise these aren’t just books. I have Funko Pops (quite a few actually 😁😁) and some keepsakes in there too. But it is also mostly books. *gulps and grins

I’ve been packing up baking stuff as well, getting rid of a few things, and managing Covid quarantine, but I somewhere in there I’ve managed to read a little, brainstorm a little, and keep up on GBBO.

I wonder what’s next. 😁

(Thank you for the bridal shower and the pictures, Pat!)