Family

2014 – Small Moments

I considered doing a 2014 wrap-up post like everyone else, but that’s sort of what our Christmas Card post was. (If you missed it, check it out here.) We’ve had quite an eventful year.

I decided to share some of the smaller moments from 2014, because sometimes the little things make just as much of an impact as the big things.

new car

We bought two new cars this year. I took this picture right after we got the first. I was super excited that the shades had mirrors with lights. Like I said, it’s the little things.

rainbow

This is a crappy cell phone picture of a rainbow after a storm. I took this one Sunday evening when I had to go up to Missouri State to inoculate cells. I hated those Sunday night trips to campus, but a little piece of me misses it now.

pillow

This picture is important because Libby is cute, and because I have no idea where that pretty throw pillow is. It (and all of our other throw pillows) got lost somehow in the move (how do you even lose a throw pillow???) and I’m afraid it’s officially lost forever. RIP throw pillows.

tweet

That one time Parks and Rec retweeted me.

family pic

I just love this little picture of the three of us. (There’s that throw pillow again.)

journal articles

Of course I had to get a picture with my beloved journal articles before I left Missouri State.

plants

I got these pretty plants as a house-warming gift when we moved into our apartment. They’re both dead now.

mom

I love this dorky picture of me and my mom. Rain will not stop us from shopping!

game night

The first of many games nights with new friends. So thankful for the community God has blessed us with here in KC.

bible

I found this in my childhood bible as I was organizing things in our new place. Such a sweet reminder of the way the Lord has been working in my life for so many years.

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This is a picture of me trying to be cool, but I got self-conscious and never posted it. Also if you look closely there’s a button missing on my coat.

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Probably my favorite picture of 2014.

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Probably my second favorite picture of 2014.

Okay sorry for the picture overload y’all. I could of posted so many more! Going through all of my cell phone pictures made me realize I take pictures of weird stuff.

We had a great year. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be just as great.

Chevron Afghan

My friend Amy posted about an afghan she recently made, which reminded me that I hadn’t blogged about my most recent project!

I made Brad’s dad an afghan two Christmases ago, and I made his mom one last Christmas, so I wanted to make one for his sister Heather this year! I decided to go with the colors of her sorority (Sigma Sigma Sigma).

I looooooooooove how this one turned out. It is one of my favorites! I think the colors are really striking and it’s the perfect size. I’ve struggled with the chevron pattern in the past, but I didn’t make any mistakes on this one!

I don’t have a pattern for this. Just search chevron afghan pattern on Pinterest or Youtube and there are tons of tutorials. I don’t remember what site I used to originally get it started because that was back in May! The chevron pattern is pretty easy, you just have to pay attention when you start and at the ends of each row.

chevon afghan

(Please ignore our gross carpeting. **apartment living**)

chevron afghan

chevron afghan

me and heather

Heather was so excited and surprised to open the afghan! I thought she might suspect that she would get one, but she didn’t! I love making afghans as gifts. I wish I could make one for everyone I know!

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Funny story about this afghan:

I bought the yarn at Joann’s Fabrics in Belton way back in May. I bought a jumbo roll of each color, so I figured that would be plenty of yarn to complete it. In November, I was about 3/4 done with the afghan when I ran out of the purple color since I used more of it than the black and white. I had already thrown away the paper that said the brand and the name of the color. Brad and I went to so many places that sold yarn around Kansas City and couldn’t find it anywhere!!! PANIC! We went on a trip to Oklahoma for Brad’s work and to see some of my family. While we were there, my aunt and I went to a Joann’s Fabrics and FOUND THE YARN! PTL!!! Lesson learned: always buy extra yarn, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Graduation

I moved to Kansas City almost two weeks ago, but my graduation from Missouri State was on Friday. I was blessed that a lot of my family was able to come for it!

Here are some pictures from graduation day.

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This is my lovely friend Michelle. She began as my labmate and became one of my best friends. I am so thankful that The Lord placed her in my life. My experience at MSU would not have been what it was without her. I already miss seeing her everyday! Next she’s off to get her Ph.D. at Mizzou!

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Brad’s dad Danny managed to snap this picture right before it started to rain after graduation was over.

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Luckily we took pictures ahead of time!

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Michelle and I were fortunate to have a great adviser. I’m so thankful for how much he invested in me to make sure my time at MSU was successful.

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We love our hoods!! My favorite thing about it is that it is Gryffindor colors.

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One of my proudest accomplishments at MSU was winning the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award. Even better, I got to share the honor with Michelle! We’re both such great TA’s they just couldn’t choose between us. Just kidding. But seriously.

But seriously, it was really nice to be recognized for the effort I put into my TA duties. I sure am going to miss teaching.

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Both of my grandmas got to come to graduation!

My dad’s mom (left) came in from California earlier last week. It’s been really nice to spend quality time with her since I don’t get to see her very often.

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True story: I immediately spotted my family when I walked into graduation because I was able to spot Dylan. He stands out in a crowd.

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Me and my parents. They’re great.

After graduation my family headed back to Raymore and Brad and I stayed in Springfield for the weekend. It was really great to spend time with some of our friends in southwest Missouri before we left it for good. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, so we’re going to jump to Sunday night.

After we got back to Kansas City on Sunday, we went to Bucca di Beppo on the plaza for my graduation celebration.

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This picture is blurry, but I had to take it quick because my grandmas were being so cute. I love that they’ve made a friendship over all these years since they’ve been sharing grandchildren.

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Luckily Bucca di Beppo has a great place for photo ops right outside of it. Here’s me and my mom.

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The whole fam.

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Everyone that came!! I felt so blessed being surrounding by these family and friends.

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And I saved the prettiest for last! Me and my best friend Casie FINALLY live in the same town again. PTL!

In other news…. Brad and I put in a deposit on an apartment today! More details coming soon!!

Memories in the Kitchen

I was browsing Pinterest today and stumbled across this pin:

Kitchen spot

I was at my parents’ house for a quick trip to KC yesterday, so feelings of home are fresh in my mind. This pin got me thinking about growing up and spending time in the kitchen with family.

I love my mom’s kitchen. There’s plenty of counter space to sit on no matter how many times she tells me to get off. (She probably thought I’d eventually grow out of the compulsion to sit on the countertop.) I probably have more memories in the kitchen than any other room in my parents’ house. My mom taught me how to cook in the kitchen. In high school we’d sit at the bar while I told her my adolescent woes. College breaks had me sitting on the counter while I watched her make my favorite meals while I was home. Lately my visits consist of Brad, my parents and me sipping coffee in the kitchen while we chat about the future.

Brad and I aren’t planning on having kiddos any time soon, but we are thinking and praying about what we desire for our family. I treasure these memories and I’m looking forward to making new ones with our future family!

Libby

Libs. Libsy. Pup. Pups. Pup-Pup. Puppy-Puppy. Doge. Cuddle Pup. Bub. Kid. Pupperoni.

These are the nicknames Libby has accrued over the last month that we’ve had her. It’s a wonder she still knows her name is Libby.

I sat down to do a “Lately” post, but when I began looking through the pictures on my phone, I realized that Libby was featured in about 95% of them. So I decided to do a little post about our newest family member!

Brad and Libby have become best buds.

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See, best buds.

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I get to enjoy sunsets like these on our nightly walks.

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We’ve taken a lot of family photos.

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And a lot of selfies.

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We even taught her how to drive!

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Our little pup has been a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to the weather warming up so we can take her on more and longer walks!

Our Christmas Week

Our Christmas week included baptisms, hospital visits, Christmas carols, a death, time with family, gifts, a funeral, and a new dog. Now as I sit in our home in Springfield I feel as if we finally got off the emotional roller coaster we had been on since last Saturday.

Many people have asked me how my Christmas was, to which I replied some version of Oh, it was a crazy week, because no one wants to hear that your Christmas included a funeral. My grandma’s husband, Frank, passed away on Christmas Eve. He had been battling poor health for several years now, and we had been expecting his passing for a while, but it is still difficult to deal with loss during Christmas time. However, we are joyous that he is now with The Lord, and no longer has to endure the physical obstacles he had faced for the past few years. Also, we were blessed to have two of his kids join in on our family Christmas. My favorite moment of the week was in my grandma’s basement with all of our family singing Christmas carols, led by my dad and husband before we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and opened gifts. It was such a special experience and we decided to make it a new family tradition.

christmas carols

It was a difficult week, but I was constantly reminded of God’s goodness. I’m incredibly blessed to have a family that trusts in the Lord, and a husband that leads me with gentleness and truth.

You can read Frank’s obituary here.

Brad and I experienced a lot of joy this week as well! Our week began at Freshwater Church, Bolivar, where we had our first baptism service! God had been so good during these first four months as a church and it was so exciting to celebrate four people’s lives that have been changed because of the gospel! We also had a wonderful visit with both of our families. We even got a TV (thanks Lea!!)!

But our favorite Christmas gift was one that we had not expected at all! On Christmas we got together with Brad’s mom’s family at his grandmother’s house. His grandmother is getting married and moving soon, so she was looking for someone to take her dog. Brad and I have been wanting a dog, and we’ve always loved hers, so we called our landlord to see if it was okay if we got a dog. He said it was fine, so we picked her up the next day! Her name is Libby and she is a little cutie. She is 3/4 dachshund and 1/4 miniature pincher, so she mostly looks like a wiener dog, but not as long. We think she is dealing with a little bit of separation anxiety right now, but other than that she’s doing really well! She’s one of the most chill dogs ever and is mostly content to just sit by you (or on you). I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of her on my Twitter and Instagram!

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I hope that you had a wonderful time with family and friends this Christmas. I pray that you experienced the joy of giving, and the blessing of Emmanuel, Christ with us, this year.

Bartlett Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Bartletts!

merry christmas

We were considering whether or not to send Christmas cards, because let’s be honest, they’re kind of expensive, and most of the people that we would send Christmas cards to keep up with this blog, so people already know what we’ve been up to for the past year! So instead of sending cards out, we are doing this blog post. Brad will be joining me on this post and he will be writing in italics.

I will be writing in italics.

Okay here we go! (Also I’ll link to any past blogs I refer to if you want to read more.)

That way, she gets more views.

This was our first full year living in Springfield and as a married couple. We traveled, made new friends, tried new things, and helped plant a church.

For spring break, we decided to take a little road trip to Memphis, TN (I did two posts about this trip. You can see them here and here). It was close enough to drive and neither of us had ever been there before.

It ended up being the most expensive trip EVER!

Brad is right. On our way home back into town our car unexpectedly broke down. Zena the ZX2 had seen its last days.

Fortunately, the Lord is good and we found a great new-to-us car. It’s name is The Blueberry, our first big purchase as a married couple.

Except for that ring!

New car!!

This summer, we had the pleasure of being in two weddings. We both did the scripture reading in Matt and Molly’s wedding, and Brad was a groomsman in his friend Tyler’s wedding.

matt and molly

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(I just noticed I wore the same dress to both weddings. Haha)

We also went to Silver Dollar City like, a million times. We made sure to ride every roller coaster each time we went, and always ended our day with a funnel cake. How we didn’t throw up each time is beyond me. We went enough times that we got a super cool Christmas tree ornament!

funnel cake

sdc

One thing that Brad and I have always enjoyed doing together is running. We spent many evenings running at the wellness center at SBU when we were first dating. A year ago, we did a mile-a-day challenge in which we ran at least one mile every day during the month of December. That month was a great kick-starter into a year of fitness. We ran several 5Ks together this year and after pushing ourselves all summer and into the fall, we both met big goals. Brad ran his first HALF MARATHON!! And in helping him train, I was able to make it to 6 miles! I really appreciate having a husband that pushes me to be fit and healthy! A few years ago, neither of us would have thought that we would be able to run as far as we have.

half marathon!

It felt so great to finally reach such a big milestone! It was tough, but crossing that finish line made it all worth it.

We plan to run a half marathon together sometime in 2014!

This fall, we got to take another little road trip. Brad is an admissions counselor at SBU, so he has to travel to college fairs in his territory for a couple of months in the fall. He happened to have a college fair in Illinois during my fall break, so I got to go with him! This time SBU provided a rental car, so we didn’t have to worry about a repeat of our first road trip this year.

I got the chance to rent several awesome cars, and travel to some more great places throughout the Midwest. This was my longest trip of the season, so Katelyn’s fall break fell at a great time.

On our way home from Illinois, we were able to stay in St. Louis for one night. We went to the City Museum, which was really fun!

I was able to finally conquer some height-fear issues.

Then we were able get together with my old friend Lauren and her husband before we headed back to Springfield. It was a nice getaway. You can read more about the trip here.

city museum

Another huge part of our lives this year has been Freshwater Church.

The past year has been a blur when it comes to Freshwater Church. It seems like only yesterday that myself and a couple of men from Bolivar were sitting in a Panera Bread, dreaming of what a church in northern Springfield would look like. Now we have been meeting for over a year, and have had more than a hundred people enter our doors. It’s been a huge blessing to do life with these people, and in our next (and what will likely be our last) six months we are excited to see what the Lord will do with Freshwater Church Springfield.

Freshwater

My time at MSU is quickly coming to a close as I am about to begin my last semester of grad school. (Read about it here and here.) I’m finishing up my first publication right now and I plan to publish one more time sometime in the spring. My time at MSU has been a huge blessing and I’m so thankful for the people that I’ve met there and what I’ve learned. I’ll be sad to leave when I graduate, but I’m excited to see what is next!

Best of all, I’ve had awesome labmates!

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I also got to teach a class of all Chinese students from Qingdao University. It was a huge challenge, but such a blessing to teach them. It was so fun to get to know them and to see them learn over the semester. Getting to teach has been one of my favorite things about grad school. I’d love to get to teach again in the future.

A few more highlights of the year have been having Brad’s sister here in Springfield with us as she goes to MSU, my brother Dylan now plays baseball for Pittsburg State University, we went to our first marriage conference in February, our hometown Kansas City is actually having a great year sports-wise, and we got super obsessed with the TV show Parks and Rec this year.

Brad and I have one more week of work and school, then we are headed to KC for Christmas! We are blessed to get a week and a half break.

From us to you, we want to wish you all a very merry Christmas! May you be blessed to end the year with great memories as well. We can’t wait to see where 2014 takes us, and you can count on us sharing it with you!

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