Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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You and Me Forever

We are part of a married small group through Buckhead Church. We really enjoy being able to spend time with other married couples who are in a similar stage in life – and we all are because we’ve all been married less than a year – and have great leaders who are a little further along in their experience. We’ve done various studies and recently finished You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan.

If you’re not familiar with Francis Chan, he is a very “real” writer and speaker. He will tell you how it is and doesn’t sugarcoat things. The main premise of this book is that by making things right with God and striving for a life Jesus would be proud of, you will also have the benefit of a meaningful and fulfilling marriage. Now we all know no one can actually accomplish a life anywhere near to that of Jesus. But that is the goal. It was hard to read and think about the fact that in heaven, you won’t have a husband or wife. That we should be anxiously awaiting the day that Jesus returns and have no problem with that happening tomorrow regardless of what you still want to do or accomplish here on Earth. But that should be the ultimate desire of Christians.

There were videos to go with each chapter which I always like and each chapter had parts written by both Francis and Lisa. It did feel repetitive at times, which made it drag on a little bit. But it triggered some great discussion in our group as well as at home. And it’s good for newlyweds and for couples who have been married a while. It even has a chapter on parenting!

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Wedding Wrap Up

Our wedding was 9 months ago but I took a blog hiatus last year, so I wanted to do a quick post with some tips. Obviously different things work for different people and many factors go into how you plan your wedding, but I think there are some general suggestions that are helpful for everyone.

  • Spreadsheets. They are your friend. Even if they aren’t very detailed I highly suggest a spreadsheet for various aspects of planning: comparing venues and/or vendors, budget, timelines, deadlines, checklists. Being organized will help keep you sane. We used Google docs so everyone involved in certain parts could have access to what they needed.
  • Coordination. No matter what your budget, you need a day of coordinator. I can be a professional. It can be a friend of a friend who is very organized and who wouldn’t have been invited to the wedding anyway. But you, the bride, do not need to be thinking about details the day of the wedding. And your mother or mother-in-law, or anyone already involved in the wedding shouldn’t have to either. If you’re in the Atlanta area or North Georgia, I highly recommend White Vine Weddings because they were amazing.
  • Food. Obviously you want it to be good, but rarely do people remember the food. We hired a caterer and hadn’t even tasted the food but they had great reviews. There are numerous wedding websites now that have reviews of any company that does things wedding-related. Use them. In the end, there were a few things we would have changed about our catering experience, but it did not make or break our wedding. People ate, enjoyed the food, and the service was good. Check out Zest in Atlanta!
  • Friends. If you’re like me, you had a number of friends get married before you. Ask them questions, ask for recommendations, and ask for help. I don’t think I asked for much help (though my friends may remember differently) but I did ask one friend in particular a lot of questions. She had gotten married in the same city about a year and a half before me. She had great recommendations and we ended up using the same DJ, who people still talk about today as being the best wedding DJ they had experienced. DJ Spontaneous will not disappoint!
  • Decor. It can be simple or it can be elaborate, but make it what you want. It’s your day. If you have the budget, rent items so you don’t have to figure out what to do with them afterward. If you lucky enough to find a company that does multiple things, you can cut down on vendors. White Vine Weddings (read coordinator above) also did beautiful decor that can be customized just for your wedding! See photos below of signs and flowers that they did.
  • Photo and Video. These are the things you will have from your wedding for the rest of your lives. Make it a planning and budget priority. Use reviews and recommendations. Every person I asked when my planning our wedding said they either regretting not have a videographer or that the videographer was the best thing they spent money on. We were lucky enough to have connections for both of these things. My friend did our photography and my husband’s coworker shot video. Then if you’re even luckier, like me, your husband can edit the video and you get a perfect, personalized reminder of your special day.

In the end, you want your wedding day to be exactly what you want and not what other people want (except maybe ask your fiancé’s opinion occasionally…I guess it is his day too). Make it perfect for you and enjoy the process!


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New Year – Renew Blog

I took a little break from my blog but I’ve been wanting to start again. And what better time to start than the first day of a new year?! 2018 was a fabulous one. I got married to the man of my dreams. We traveled. We cook and try new restaurants. And I read a lot of books. 32 to be exact. Which is where I’ll restart my blog for the year. My blog will still be mostly what it was – books, food, travels, and random thoughts.

2018 was a good year in books for me. I plowed though my Goodreads challenge of 25 books with a whopping 32 books. I love stats so thank you, Goodreads, for providing me some for my reading – my rankings of books, longest book read, etc.

goodreads stats

I had a decent mix of fiction and nonfiction. Though most of my nonfiction was Bachelor related – apparently I got on a kick and some of the fiction was based on true events. I also had a number of stories that took place during different wars. I still need to watch The Zookeeper’s Wife movie. And let’s not forget the marriage books – The Most Important Year, written by my previous boss and his wife, my husband and I read together (half the book is for women and the other half for men) and the other recently read with our first married couples small group through church.

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Fiction is still my favorite and I definitely have reading patterns. Jojo Moyes is still one of my favorite authors and I still have a lot of her books to read. My other favorite is mystery/thriller – especially in the vein of Criminal Minds/behavioral analysis.

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I do not absolutely love every book I read. Some are harder to get through than others. Arcadia was very slow and The Handmaid’s Tale was actually very disappointing after watching the tv show. That might be the second time I’ve ever said a show/movie was better than a book.

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I reread my favorite book of all time – Redeeming Love. I found a great new author – Tana French. Dark Matter was a surprisingly good science fiction novel.

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I’m excited for another great year in books. I’ve set my Goodreads Challenge to read 34 books so send all the recommendations. I’ll be writing actual reviews for individual books again but I thought this overview was a good way to kick off the new year. Happy reading and happy blogging again!


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Wedded Bliss

I love seeing other people happy. And I love when I can be a part of and see others happiness. Last weekend, my best friend of 22 years got married. I was the maid of honor and it was a hard time holding my emotions together when she appeared at the back door of the sanctuary next to her father (my second father). But we all made it through a beautiful ceremony and a fun, exciting reception. I couldn’t be happier for my Natty. Below is the speech I made (which I wrote weeks ago and edited numerous times) and a few pictures. I’ll get some more pics soon (as our wonderful friend, Callie, was the photographer) and they will be even more gorgeous!

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22 years ago, two toddlers, living down the street from each other, began the friendship of a lifetime.  It started as every friendship of little girls does: dressing up like the princesses; playing Pretty Pretty Princess; making Barbie and Ken go on dates with Ken always being the perfect gentleman; being mermaids in the pool, with Eric coming to rescue them from the evil Ursala; singing along with pots and pans as the Beast tries to win over Belle; and watching Disney movies over and over and over, dreaming of their own future princes to come, sweep them off their feet, and ride off into the sunset together on a white horse.  These two little girls got older, first grade to be exact, where one began her early quest to find Prince Charming.  But eventually, reality hit, and the glory of prince charming began to fade.  So instead they graduated to chick flicks, and dreamed of boys singing to them, chasing after them, and proposals of grandeur.  For Natalie, there were some wanna-be princes, there was plenty of chasing, and even some charm, but I never saw in them a lifetime with my best friend.  But I was never worried.  I always knew that God would send my Natty, my BFF, her Ken….her Eric…her Prince Charming.  We have talked about this day since we were girls and now it’s finally here.

Jonnie, you are one lucky man to have such an incredibly wonderful woman, and I have no doubt that you will love her and cherish her for all the years to come. Natalie, I could not be more honored to be a maid of honor and stand by you on one of the most important days of your life (other than meeting me, obviously).  You have always been one of the most beautiful, genuine, strong, loving friends a girl could have, and I know your marriage will only bring those qualities out more. You will always be my best friend, and I wish you both all the happiness in the world together.

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Rehearsal

Rehearsal (Natalie in middle)

Bride and Maid-of-Honor

Natalie and I

Bride

Beautiful bride