Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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So What Do You Do?

This is a question we all have to answer – probably more than you realize. On average, due to the things I’m involved in and where I’m at in life, meeting new people pretty frequently, I answer this question at least once a week. And sometimes it’s telling someone again. I would be very interested to see how many of my friends could answer the question “What does Katy do?”. Not that they are bad friends or to accuse them of not caring – honestly, even I have trouble explaining what I do. But we recently acquired a visual that may help, so I thought I’d share.

Ultimately, the overarching goal of my office is to end child abuse and neglect. Each year, nationally, millions of reports are made to child protective services and thousands of children die due to maltreatment. Depressing, yes. But we are working to change that. Our office houses one of many parenting programs that teaches skills to parents to prevent maltreatment. I, specifically, am a research coordinator overseeing just one research project involving this program, and my project is looking at two of these parenting programs braided together and being delivered to parents in 3 states.

The video below shows a little history of these programs. My project braids our program, SafeCare (the green dot), and an older program, Parents as Teachers (the purple dot). All of these programs have their strengths and none is perfect, so we aim to give families the most comprehensive program possible. This still probably doesn’t fully explain what I do, hopefully it gives you an idea! And it’s just pretty cool to visually represent the rise of home-based models.

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The Gifts of Imperfection

I first heard Brené Brown watching one of her TED Talks. She was a so well-spoken and had such interesting research, I was actually excited when a Facebook friend posted that she was reading Dr. Brown’s newest book: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Although I love my Kindle, I went a bought this one (I do miss turning pages of a physical book), since I knew I would want to mark things and take notes.


I am not one to read “self-help” books. But my skepticism was lessened since I had watched her Talk and knew she is a highly respected researcher (yes, I guess I am biased). The best thing about this book is that it is research-based. Dr. Brown has studied these things for years and years. So yes, I will listen to what she has to say more than a self-proclaimed “expert.”

The goal is wholehearted living. And she not only talks about the things that prevent us living wholeheartedly, but gives numerous personal stories (I’m pretty sure we’re the same person) as well as suggestions to overcome those obstacles (that at least worked for her). There are so many quotes I could pull out from the book, and sections I could talk about, but I really think you should read it for yourself (and this post would be a book itself). So I’ll leave you with this.


Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s not a self-help book. It’s a “change your way of thinking and living” book. And I’m pretty sure everyone can take something away from Dr. Brown’s research and/or stories. Enjoy!