Springfield

Some things we miss about Springfield

We are lovin’ life in KC. We’re both enjoying our new jobs, we like our apartment, we have a great church, and we love being near our families.

But any season of transition comes with some longing for the past. There are things about Springfield that I’ve found myself missing that I certainly didn’t expect.

I miss my Phelps Grove-Roundtree-MSU runs. Springfield was where I fell in love with running and that part of town was my favorite. I haven’t found a new favorite running spot here, which has left me feeling a little unmotivated. There are days when I get off work and wish Phelps Grove would just appear for me. I also really miss the MSU gym for those days when its too hot to run outside. It was the bomb. 24-Hour Fitness just doesn’t compare.

I miss my Price Cutter. I still haven’t settled on a grocery store here. I miss having a grocery store 5 minutes away and knowing exactly where everything is, what their normal prices are, and knowing all of the cashiers.

I miss the coffee shops. We had no idea how spoiled we were with so many great coffee shops at our disposal! It seems like most coffee shops close early around here and we don’t have very many close to where we live (or on the way to work).

I miss the thrift stores and flea markets. Second-hand shops are ubiquitous in Springfield, and you can find some really great deals. They are harder to come by here and people know what great stuff they have, so it’s not as cheap!

I miss Gailey’s, MSU campus, Canton Inn, Starbucks on Sunshine, the Palace, Silver Dollar City, living a mile from Hobby Lobby, Mister Lube Express, and Hurts Donuts.

I think when it comes down to it, I miss the familiarity of Springfield. We knew all of the local places, if I needed something I knew where to go, and we knew what places to avoid.

There have been moments lately that I have felt a little lost in my “hometown”, but when those feelings start to creep in I remind myself that it took us time to adjust to Springfield. We’ll find our niche in KC. And any suggestions or advice from you Kansas Citians are welcome! I’ve found that word-of-mouth is the best way to discover new things.

Springfield MO

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It’s official: we’re Kansas Citians again

A lot has happened since my last post.

Two weeks ago I had just moved in with our friends Jon and Mallory. I was nervous about living with another couple, but it ended up being great. After over a month of living by myself I was really ready to have people to hang out with every evening. They were so gracious to let me stay with them. Jon and Mallory are truly a great example of what living in a Gospel-centered community looks like. We are so thankful for their generosity and servant hearts. Plus living with their Corgi was pretty fun!

Henry

I finished up my responsibilities at MSU a little early, so I was able to officially move to Kansas City last Wednesday. Finally reunited with Brad and my dog Libby!

(Side note: Libby has been staying with my parents for about 3 weeks now and I’m afraid she’s beginning to like them better than Brad and me! She especially loves hanging out on their deck and in the backyard.)

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Since we weren’t sure when I would be able to move back to KC, we decided to stay with my parents during our transition instead of trying to find a place to live in a rush. So my parents went from being empty-nesters to having a dog, a married couple, and a college student home for the summer staying with them. It’s a full house to say the least.

We’re currently apartment hunting, which is exhausting. We have several items on our want list, but we’re having a hard time finding all of those things in our price range. We’re going to look at an apartment today that we really like, but it does have one downside, so I guess we’ll have to decide if we’re willing to compromise on it!

Kansas City friends
: if you know of affordable, nice apartments please let us know!!! We are looking for a two bedroom that allows pets, preferably in the Northland, but we are flexible. We have a washer and drier, so we’d like to find a place with W/D hook ups.

On top of apartment hunting, I’m also job hunting. Looking for jobs is seriously the worst, am I right?! Filling out applications, tweaking resumes, writing cover letters, waiting for responses, interviews, waiting again… It’s just not that fun.

A few years ago I would have been freaking out about getting a job. There is still a voice in my head that is whispering those same anxieties, but the Lord has been teaching my heart to listen to His voice.

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26

A good friend recently told me to enjoy this time. Keep applying for jobs, but do not let your heart dwell on it. A job will come. The Lord has brought me and Brad to Kansas City for a purpose and He will see us through as He always has. For now, pursue lunches with friends, catching up on things you never have time for, and earnestly seek the Lord.

I officially graduate this Friday, so we’re making one more trip back to Springfield for the weekend. Leaving southwest Missouri is bittersweet, but mostly sweet. Brad and I have spent about 7 years there. We have always claimed Kansas City as home, but it wasn’t until we began the process of moving that we realized how much southwest Missouri had really become our home. But now, it’s time to rediscover our hometown.

That was a lot of thoughts and I’m impressed if you made it to the end of this post!

Please join Brad and me in prayer and we seek a place to live, a job for me, and a church to become a part of. Thanks for following along as we embark on this new journey!

(Look at those cuties. I missed them.)

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Katelyn and Brad’s Springfield Restaurant Guide

Brad and I have tried to take full advantage of all that Springfield has to offer while we’ve lived here. I even wrote a post about things to do in Springfield!

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We’ve tried to visit most of the local places to eat in the last two years. We love eating at unique restaurants and support local business at the same time. So here is our guide to our favorite places to fill up in Springfield! I’ve included our favorite thing to order, plus an additional random tip. Enjoy!

Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe
What to order: The Bear Hug (it’s huge, so it can easily be split)
Tip: This is a super popular place to get brunch, so plan to wait on Saturday and Sundays. Also, it closes at 2:00 pm.

Grad School
What to order: The Full Ride burger
Tip: This place is really unique and a fun place to take out-of-town guests, but space is limited, so keep to small parties.

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Springfield Brew Company
What to order: The Macaroni and Cheese (it’s a white cheese)
Tip: This is also a great place to take out-of-town guests. There is a huge variety of foods to meet everyone’s tastes and they brew their own beer there. Also, there’s live music on the weekends upstairs.

Nonna’s Italian Cafe
What to order: The Creme Brulee for dessert
Tip: This is a nice place for a date night. The building is unique and it has a romantic atmosphere.

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Bambinos Cafe
What to order: The Poppa
Tip: Bambinos is actually in the middle of a neighborhood near MSU. It’s one of the few places in Springfield that has outdoor seating if you are looking to enjoy a nice day.

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
What to order: The Sergio
Tip: I’m picky and I don’t generally like traditional Mexican food, so I usually opt for places like Jose Peppers and On the Border. Unfortunately, neither of those are in Springfield, but Maria’s is the closest you’ll find.

Canton Inn
What to order: The Cashew Chicken Special
Tip: There are a lot of Chinese places in Springfield, but this is our favorite! Plus, you get a 10% discount with your student ID.

Taylor’s Drive In
What to order: A Burger and Fries
Tip: It’s only open Monday through Friday from 11 to 2, so it’s hard to get there is you work 9 to 5! Plus it’s cash only. But it’s been there since 1947 so it’s a little piece of Springfield history.

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Tea Bar and Bites
What to order: The Turkey Gouda sandwich
Tip: This is my favorite place for a girls-day-out! I took my mom here recently and it was her favorite place I’ve taken her in Springfield.

The Aviary Cafe and Creperie
What to order: Carmel Apple Crisp crepe
Tip: Another great place for a ladies lunch. Space is also limited here and it’s pretty popular on the weekends, so make a reservation.

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Hurts Donut
What to order: Try them all! But my favorites are the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and the Cookie Monster
Tip: It’s right next to the movie theater downtown and it’s open all the time! That’s right! It never closes. It’s the perfect place to grab a donut after that late-night movie.

I hope you try each place! Happy eating.

Things to do in Springfield

Brad and I have been in Springfield for almost a year and a half, and our time here is coming to a close. I graduate in May and we are not planning on staying here for much longer after that. (Details about our big move will hopefully be coming soon!)

We have tried to really take advantage our time here and soak up the Ozarks. I thought I’d share some of the fun things we’ve done!

Things to do in Springfield MO

1. See a kids movie at the Palace for $1.50 on a Tuesday night.
You can’t beat the Palace on Tuesdays! We particularly like seeing kids movies at the Palace, because honestly I didn’t want to pay $20 for the two of us to see Wreck It Ralph. Of course you can see any kind of movie at the Palace, not just kids movies. Also, since movies come to the Palace a bit after they are originally released, you have probably heard if the movie is good or not. This date night is perfect for these wintery months!

2. Go for a walk in one of the great parks in Springfield.
Our favorite parks to frequent are Phelps Grove Park and Nathanael Greene Park. Phelps Grove Parks is less than half a mile from MSU, so it is a great spot for students!

Nathanael Greene

3. Go see the Springfield Lasers play a tennis match!
We snagged free tickets this summer and had the greatest time! The facility is really nice and it was a great environment.

4. Visit Rutledge Wilson Farm during the fall. You can pick your own pumpkin, walk through a corn maze, and pet farm animals! Definitely put it on your list for this autumn.

Rutledge Wilson

5. Hit up Silver Dollar City! Brad and I love SDC. We had season passes this year and had a blast every time we went (except maybe for the time it was over 100 degrees)! You can do something different every time you go, or you can ride the same roller coasters every time! Plus the food is amazing. I’m pretty sure we got a funnel cake every time we went.

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6. Go to a Springfield Cardinals game.
I’m a Royals fan through and through, but the Springfield Cardinals games are a super fun environment and the tickets are pretty cheap!

7. Eat at a local restaurant. There are so many great local restaurants here! A few of them are Taylor’s Drive In, Springfield Brew Company, Grad School (get the Full Ride!), Farmers Gastropub, Tea Bar and Bites (perfect for brunch), Nonna’s, Maria’s, or Bambinos!

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8. Eat a Hurts Donut! Brad and I are only a liiiiiiiiittle obsessed with Hurts Donuts. They’ve been open less than 2 months and I’m pretty sure we’ve been there about 10 times. Their donuts are creative, out of the box, and delicious.

9. Go thrifting/antiquing. There are tons of great thrift shops and antique stores in the area. Strolling through the aisles of weird stuff looking for cheap treasures makes for a great Saturday afternoon date! A few of our favorites are Victory Vintage, Thrift Haven, Mike’s Unique Collectable and Antique Flea Market, STD Flea Market, and Relics Antique Mall. We’ve gotten some great stuff!

10. Grab coffee at a local coffee shop. We love Starbucks, but there are also a lot of great local places to get a cup of joe in Springfield. Our go-to is Mudhouse, but there is also Coffee Ethic, Kingdom Coffee (aka The Hub), Classic Rock Coffee, and Hebrews Coffee. We really like Hebrews, but it’s on the other side of town so we don’t make it there very often.

the hub

11. Go mini golfing at Fun Acre.
I love Fun Acre. It’s kinda old and a little run-down, but it’s really cheap and fun! (That’s why it’s called Fun Acre.) There are also batting cages there!

12. Visit the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Springfield is fortunate to have a great nature center. There are a lot of great trails and they put on a bunch events for kids and adults!

13. Tour Askinosie Chocolate. Askinosie is a bean to bar company that supports farmers all across the world. Plus they do a lot of really cool stuff for the community here in Springfield! Take a tour and hear their full story! And of course sample some chocolate.

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14. Take a day trip to a small town around Springfield. There are lots of wineries, antique shops, state parks, and lakes around southwest Missouri all waiting to be explored!

15. Go to Freshwater Church! Okay, shameless plug for our church. But seriously it’s one of the best things to do in Springfield! Sundays at 10 am at Ed. V. Williams Elementary. Be there!

Enjoy having adventures in Springfield! It’s a great city!

35 Christmas Date Ideas

Christmas Date Ideas

My husband and I love Christmas time. I was brainstorming some fun things we could do this holiday season and I thought I’d share some of them! Merry Christmas!

1. Hot chocolate and Christmas movie marathon.

2. Make Christmas ornaments.

3. Bake Christmas cookies for your friends and coworkers.

4. Go to your local Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting.

5. Decorate your Christmas tree together.

6. Memorize the Christmas story together.

7. Talk about your favorite Christmas memories.

8. Go Christmas shopping for your families.

9. Wrap presents together.

10. Go to a local church’s Christmas musical or play.

11. Drive around and look at Christmas lights. (Last year, Brad and I made an “award” for the best Christmas lights in Springfield. Once we decided on the house with our favorite lights, we left it at the house for the owners to find!)

12. Buy ugly Christmas sweaters from a thrift store.

13. Go on a nighttime walk in the park (ideally in the snow).

14. Drive through your local Christmas lights display.

15. Make home-made gifts instead of buying this year.

16. Volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. (The Springfield Salvation Army is looking for volunteers this season!)

17. Make paper snowflakes.

18. Go to your local symphony or ballet.

19. Learn to play and sing your favorite Christmas songs.

20. Make a list of Christmas traditions for your family.

21. Make a gingerbread house.

22. Watch the Christmas episodes of all your favorite shows.

23. Go ice skating.

24. Go to a local Christmas Parade of Homes. (Midtown Springfield is having a home tour the first weekend of December!)

25. Chop down your own Christmas tree at a local Christmas tree farm.

26. Write a Christmas card letter about the past year to send your extended family.

27. Decorate sugar cookies.

28. Visit a live nativity.

29. Make home-made Christmas cards.

30. Have a “summer in December” date and go swimming at an indoor pool.

31. Run a holiday 5K. (Like the Turkey Trot or Silver Dollar City’s Race to the Lights.)

32. Watch old Christmas movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas.

33. Go to a local Christmas pageant or play.

34. Go to a Christmas parade.

35. Go Christmas caroling at a nursing home.

Look for Christmas events going on in your town! Christmas only comes once a year, so enjoy it!

Blessings

It’s November, which means my Facebook newsfeed has been cluttered with thankful statuses. I haven’t joined this trend, but tonight I’ve been reflecting on some of the blessings the Lord has provided for me over the past year and a half.

A couple of hours ago I got an email from the Dean of Biology Graduate department informing me that I had been selected for this year’s Distinguished TA Award for the Biology department. I was hoping to win and to be honest I knew I had a pretty good chance, but I was still very surprised and honored to be recognized by the department.

This got me thinking about my time at MSU and honestly I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot, gotten to travel to several conferences, experienced the joy of teaching, and I’ve made some wonderful friends. Tonight I am overwhelmed by the blessing that being a grad student at MSU has been in my life.

Furthermore, MSU brought us to Springfield, which brought us to Freshwater Springfield, which has been a whole other blessing in itself.

Two years ago I had no idea what I was going to do after I graduated from SBU. But the Lord is sovereign, and He led us here. Sometimes I succumb to my flesh and I fear the future and the fact that I do not know what it holds. But God constantly reminds me that He is in control, and He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love and power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

God is good. Tonight I am thankful for His faithfulness.

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Freshwater Church Springfield

This blog is where I share about my life, so I think it is about time I do a post about something that is a huge part of my life: Freshwater Church.

I started attending Freshwater Church in Bolivar, MO, when it was just a small church plant in the fall of 2010. There were about 40 people in attendance on my first Sunday. Today Freshwater Bolivar hosts 700+ people every Sunday, has facilitated 13 international church plants, and, as of this Sunday, has planted two churches in Missouri. I’ve helped with the kids ministry, gone to Africa, and attended a LifeGroup with Freshwater. It has been such a blessing to see what God has done in Freshwater over the years.

A while back, leaders of Freshwater started noticing that quite a few people were commuting from Springfield to attend Freshwater Sunday services and LifeGroup in Bolivar. So they decided to start a LifeGroup in Springfield. One Springfield LifeGroup quickly turned into three, which sparked another idea: maybe we should plant a church in northwest Springfield.

After much prayer and seeking The Lord’s will, Freshwater began making plans. Or rather, God started moving. Time and time again, God has provided for Freshwater Springfield and has begun to reveal His plan for northwest Springfield.

Brad and I got married and moved to northwest Springfield about when things started coming together and the church plant was transforming from an idea to a real thing. JT Patton was to be the pastor, but they were looking for a worship leader. This is where the Bartletts come in.

God has blessed Brad with the ability to lead worship. He has also grown a passion in Brad for church planting through the two summers he spent working for Power Plant, a youth ministry focused on church planting in major cities. We knew Freshwater Springfield was the reason God brought us to Springfield.

I remember the first large group meeting about Freshwater Springfield. There were about twenty of us in the basement of a couple’s house that I had never met. I looked around at the unfamiliar faces and thought, “So these people are going to plant a church together.”

Almost a year later, I’ve grown to love our core team. We’ve become a family. I was blessed to grow up in a tight-knit community at my home church, and I’ve really missed that support system since I left home five years ago. It’s awesome to have that back, and it’s so much more real as an adult.

After months of praying, planning, and preparing, Freshwater Church Springfield officially launched this Sunday.

Our core planting team is about 40 people. Approximately 30 friends and family of the core team, and current Freshwater Bolivar members came out to support. One hundred and fifty people were in attendance on Sunday.

We are so stoked to see such a response from the community. Many people said that they have been wanting to find a church, but were waiting for someone to invite them.

Freshwater Springfield exists to Glorify God and Advance the Gospel. We are a group of imperfect people coming together to live in community and seek a genuine relationship with The Lord. For a full explanation of Freshwater’s beliefs, click here.

God is doing big things in northwest Springfield. Won’t you join us? We meet at 10:00 am on Sundays at Ed V. Williams Elementary (on Kearney St.).

For directions, a ride, more information, or if you have questions about God, Jesus, faith, or anything else, please contact me! I’d love to talk to you! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or by email: katelynraebartlett@gmail.com

See you Sunday!!!!
Freshwater

photo: Matt and Rachel Reynolds