April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Two thirds of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
Over half of sexual assaults are never reported to the police and 98% of rapists never spend a day in jail.

Pay attention.  Look out for those around you.  Educate your children, teens, and college students.  Reach out and support those who have experienced this trauma.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help through the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline https://ohl.rainn.org/online/

I also recommend the books “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman and “Rid of My Disgrace” by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.  I can promise you that those books were a huge aid to me.  I may have thrown them against the wall in anger and grief a few times, but overall they were the help and words I needed.

While this isn’t a subject I like to be overly public about, it is by no means one that I’ve kept completely private either.   Most of the time when I end up going somewhere public to talk about it, it’s here on this blog.   In fact, if you go to the right hand side of your screen, click on the “Categories” drop down, and select “November 7th” you’ll see that I’ve had many blog posts stem from this subject.

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I wish I could travel back in time to the girl who wrote this years ago and just give her a hug and say “It’s not alright… but you are going to be alright.”

16 Things That Happen In March When You Don’t Care About Basketball

Because Buzzfeed hasn’t written this post yet and it must be said… 

1. 95% of your evenings are spent like this

2. Your friends asks if they can use you to fill out an extra bracket for their class/work/family pool

3. Your social life becomes confined to living rooms and a lot of crowded bars

4. People will ask who you’re rooting for in a game

5. And if they push for an answer you’re just going to pick the colors/mascot you like best.

6. You discover that your friends have depths of sports trivia and knowledge that hides 11 months out of the year and suddenly comes pouring out of them like a volcanic explosion that you must be the recipient of.

7. You’re thankful to have social media to entertain you while everyone else is watching the games…

8. Never mind.  It’s now become a ESPN newsfeed.

9. You dare to ask why a first round game is even important… Since when did ALL 64 teams become relevant? And everyone around is all…

10. You reminisce about the Super Bowl, because at least that game comes with snacks, funny commercials, and a halftime show… and did I mention snacks?

11. Everyone around you is having an invested conversation about the game that you pretend you’re listening to, when really you’ve become lost in thought considering the academic lives of the players

12. You question your friend’s sanity, as they are all betting their money on a bunch of 19 year olds. And Lord knows you wouldn’t want anyone betting that kind of money on you when you were that age.

13. Someone says “my bracket is ruined!” for the 100th time and you have to act surprised and frustrated with them even though you know there’s an upset that ruins everyone’s bracket EVERY YEAR.

14. You suggest watching a show or a movie you’ve been looking forward to, but instantly get shot down.

15. You hear someone say that march madness boosts camaraderie in the office

16. And finally, at your breaking point… you decide to try to make an effort… you’ll keep up, maybe pay attention this game…. only to realize that the person in control of the remote is a serial channel flipper and there are multiple games on.

But hey, march will be over soon enough… and there’s always candy crush.


Just a matter of days ago, I was contemplating this vague idea of eventually going to live with my future husband sometime this spring… and tonight, I am spending my last night under my parent’s roof. It’s crazy thinking how much has changed so quickly, but what’s even crazier is knowing that starting tomorrow…  My concept of “home” is going to change in a way that no amount of “moving” has ever prepared me for.   On one hand I have my fiance who tells me daily that he is excited for this next venture in our lives together.  And on the other hand, I have my little brothers who have cried every night this week when I’ve tucked them in.

I am looking forward to this move, as unexpected as it is. But truth be told, my brothers are not the only ones tearing up tonight.   I am sitting in a big, empty room… devoid of all my things…  Listening to “Goodnight Sweetheart” by The Spaniels.  This was my dad’s lullaby to us as kids.  And now, I’m about to close my eyes, say “goodnight”, and then tomorrow it will be “time to go”.

Where did time go?  I keep asking myself, “Did I ever envision my life like this?”  Did I ever think, when I was in elementary school studying the states, that I would live in Pennsylvania one day?  Did I ever consider, when dreaming up my future husband as a young girl, what it would be like to build a relationship with his family?  To live closer to them than to my own family?  Did it ever cross my mind in high school when I was making big plans for my future that there would be a time in my life that I wouldn’t live at my parents place, or at school, or with my husband, or with anyone else?  That for a few months out of my life I would be coming home from work to an empty house?   I mean, heck when I was in high school… I thought I was going to be on broadway and I would learn arabic and be fluent in spanish and that I would become a high school teacher.   A degree in Bible?  My resume is “Security” and “Event Planning”?  And I don’t know a lick of arabic.

When I transferred to Cairn at 18 years old, I remember thinking and telling a friend “Any guy I could possibly meet at this school would just be this put together Christian who wears khakis and a polo shirt on a daily basis.”    And I am marrying a type A wonderful servant of God who truly does wear khakis and a polo shirt nearly every day (for work!)  God totally made me eat my words.

I know God is good.  And I am amazed at how much He blessed Joe and I this week.  Just blown away.  But now that I have this moment to be still and reflect, it’s a wonder I’m still holding on to this roller coaster.  I am not a fast person.  I like to take my time.  Consider my options.  Get trusted opinions.  Gather research.   And in a matter of days I have had a job offer practically land on my lap and have packed up my life to move to another state.   Just like that.  Even in His blessings, God has tested me.   I will have faith.  I will trust His goodness.

It’s over.  It’s the end of an era.  I will say good bye to my family tomorrow.  I will spend the next 3 months preparing a place to call “home” for my husband and me.  And from the moment I wake up tomorrow, my life will never be the same again.

After Gangam Style plays
Zach – “Kelsey, did you hear the song say ‘hey sexy lady’??”
Me – “Yup”
Zach – “What does ‘sexy’ mean?”
Me – “Uhhhhhhhh…… It’s really hard to explain.”
Zach – “That’s a good answer.”

The Many Faces of “Beauty”

So, today I was scrolling through my facebook news feed and I ran into a post from a radio station back in Minnesota.  They’re holding a contest for its listeners in which they have to post their before and after pictures of them getting dolled up to when a $1,000 makeover by a beauty school in the area.


Thinking it would be cool to see all the before and after shots, I decided to click on the link and flip through the pictures. Only all I found was over a hundred of examples of what is wrong with our society. So many women who are naturally beautiful without makeup just caking their faces with inches of eyeliner to “define” their previously stunning eyes, eyebrows drawn on 10x heavier than the youtube tutorial they watched, bright red lips that look like plastic,and purple and bleach blonde streaks in fried out hair… It was heart breaking.

Now, if anyone knows me, they know I am a big fan of beauty products. This is the girl who had hair the color of red velvet cake for years.  Now a days, I’m lucky if I put on makeup more than once a week or if my hair ever gets out of its sloppy ponytail.  But I get it.  It’s fun to get dolled up, curl your hair, dye it funky colors, etc. And I love winged eyeliner and Taylor Swift red lips as much as the next girl. But when you see so many women masking their natural beauty in attempts to achieve a look that pinterest is telling us will make us beautiful, you can’t help but wonder how lost we really are.



The first picture is me without any makeup
The second is me going for that fun pin up look complete with the Marilyn Monroe beauty mark
The third is me following every tutorial on
-“how to tightline your eyes”
-“how to apply mascara to look like falsies”
-“perfect eyebrows”
-“how to contour your face”
-“how to use drug store products to get the perfect nude lips”
-and “best smokey eye tutorial ever” (I also threw in my best attempt at a duck face for you)
The fourth and last photo is pretty much how I apply my makeup if I’m going to put any on for the day.

All of those pictures give off a different impression.  You gather different assumptions of the girl you see based off of what her makeup is like.  And honestly, I don’t think I look that “beautiful” when I try to follow the beauty rules for looking perfect.  Because in reality, beauty isn’t about looking the same.  Beauty is found in the things that make us different.

Your beauty is your personality expressed through your style. It’s your joy that shines through your smile.  It’s your heart shown through the expressions on your face.  It’s your freckles, your round cheeks, your high cheekbones, your deep brown eyes.   It’s not your makeup.

Experiment with eye shadows, play up your cheeks with a bright pop of color, curl your hair into the latest hollywood style, get some fun highlights or a dramatic haircut, but don’t lose sight of the fact that these things are designed to accent the beauty you were born with, not to morph your image into an artificial copy of what media is showing us. My suggestion is to try going a week without make up. Maybe even two. Then look up youtube tutorials on how to use make up for a “natural” look.  You’d be surprised how comfortable less makeup can be.

When it comes to beauty products, less really is more.  Don’t buy into the idea that you need to “put on your face” in the morning.  Your face is already there.  Makeup should not be used as a means to hide your “flaws” or make your face look like everyone else’s. It should be used as a way to showcase your beautiful blue eyes, your gorgeous cheekbones, your edgy style, or your bubbly personality.  Don’t use it to “make yourself pretty” because beauty products aren’t what makes you pretty.  You’re already stunning as it is.

Bonus:  In my attempts to wash off the heavily caked makeup in the third picture, I splashed water on my face like a neutrogena commercial then blinked a couple times… and this is the result I got.    Less make up = less runny mascara when you cry
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