Friends – I have such exciting news!
As my dreams for my blog and photography journey have changed, so have my needs and desires for a website. You can now find me over at kaitbailey.com where I will continue to blog my way through life, love, and the pursuit of beautiful photos.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement along the way. I assure you, I could not do this without each and every one of you.
Our backyard is officially out of control – waist high weeds threaten to overtake the abused rose bushes that surprised us by blooming. We’ve had rain for weeks on end and are less than motivated to get significant amounts of yard work completed. Time is marching on rather quickly – another semester is under my belt and we’re now preparing for one of the wilder summers of our married lives. Five weddings, a two-week European trip, camping trip with friends, a week to see family in SC, plus a girls trip and a few beach getaways when we can spare them. Throw in three summer grad classes for Joe (plus getting AP Calc certified) and a five-week summer session of teaching for me, and it feels a lot like the calm before the storm. Today’s agenda: gym, fold clothes, edit an interview presentation, tutor student. In just a few short weeks I’ll long for these simple, quiet days with my puppy and husband. We’ll be without our sweet Luna for three weeks while we travel, and I’m certain to miss cooking in my own kitchen and living in my own house. We only just started a new produce delivery service (Hungry Harvest – for any interested locals; we love it!) and have to cancel deliveries for three weeks in a row next month. The sheer thought of not needing to grocery shop for that long makes me a little panicked (less in a housewife way and more in a I’m-going-to-miss-my-normal-life way). I have a feeling this summer will be good to us, if we yet survive it.
In the few short weeks of quiet before the storm of activity, I’m leaning into old favorites – reading and puppy snuggles and baking, and I’m trying my hardest not to obsess over all the minutia that I cannot control. Let’s make this summer awesome, and let’s make it easy.
**brought to you by this rose, which is proof that beauty still rises despite damaged roots**
The end of the semester is nigh, dear ones. Just try and pull the silly grin off of my face – rainy day or not, I’ve survived another semester and I can practically taste the freedom. Of course, that will come after grading a couple hundred tests over the course of the next three weeks. But the end is in sight, and breathing comes a lot more freely.
I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but this spring felt harder than the fall. My course load was only a tiny bit heavier, but actually the fall had me driving more and teaching more evenings (which is the painful part). I think I started running out of brain space a lot quicker this time around, and ran out of relational energy maybe only a couple of months into the semester. I wouldn’t use the term “burned-out”, but I would use an adjacent term for that, whatever it may be.
In other news, we’re buckling down and planning our trip to England and Scotland. I’ve found the loveliest place to stay in Edinburgh, and during our drive through the Highlands we’ll be staying at a bed and breakfast that doubles as a working cattle farm on Loch Ness. My excitement is off the charts for this one – I can scarcely believe it’s happening! Joe and I have been saving for this trip for years – labeled the funds as “Europe Trip” and tucked away dollars here and there since we were newlyweds. We daydreamed itineraries for a long time – Greece and Italy? Denmark and Norway? France and Italy and Denmark? It wasn’t until our friend Joseph signed on for two years of graduate study at Cambridge University that we considered the United Kingdom, and once I read the Outlander series, I was sold on Scotland. We checked calendars last summer, set a timeline, ramped up savings, purchased airfare last month, and have booked lodgings in the last few weeks.
My test writing time is peppered with maps of London transportation and Scottish landmarks, and I’m already thinking about what to pack. If you see me staring blankly, it’s because I’m trying to figure out which stops to make on the way from the Isle of Skye or which London museums I’ll drag Joe along to. Feel free to nudge me out of my day dream, or provide additional recommendations to fret over.
In the meantime, I’ll be daydreaming about this…
My week began with a restless night and a heavy heart. In a season of life filled with so much joy, I remain haunted by the things that aren’t there. Instead of sleeping I replay the same questions over and over again in my mind.
Is grace enough?
Am I enough?
When the dust settles and light is shed over my heart, I’m reminded of my place in it all. At my truest core, I am a child of God, wholly loved and fully known. When I learn to rest in that, I find my fears demolished and my doubts destroyed. When I stop letting other people be my mirror (thank you, Amanda, a million times over for this post) and instead plant myself firmly at the feet of God, I find the space to breathe and to rest. When I finally come to terms with the fact that I cannot earn enough grace or love on my very own, that I’ll always fall short, I can demolish the system that I’m judged against and instead embrace all the things that I am.
Little by little, I am working my way towards freedom, towards knowing God, towards the truest love. Praise to the One who meets us where we are, but in His great love for us does not leave us there.