Sunday, April 29

Ephesians 1:18-19

"...having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might" -Ephesians 1:18-19
These few short verses have grown in meaning for me personally so much over these last few weeks. I am blessed with many reminders daily of how MIGHTY God is and how much He LOVES little ol' me. On far too many days, I do not take the time to be thankful and grateful for the ways God always shows me His plans and perfect dreams He has already gifted me to carry out. As we all wind down our weekend and prepare for the week ahead, I pray that we all might rejoice in our blessings from a God who loves us more than we can imagine!

Here are my favorite blessings from this past week.
1. Engagement present/mail coming from Allison & John in Japan! Yay!!!

so creative!
2. Rock the Ring photoshoot session with the talented Dallas Boesdorfer Photography 

Click here to see more pictures from the shoot!

3. My first time at Wrigley Field for a Cubs vs. Cardinals game

Yeah fiance!!

4. Officially meeting my internship supervisor and spending time with some of my new team members in ministry (quite excited!!!)
Pastor Seidler, myself, and Billy!

God is good. 

Love, Kyla

Thursday, April 26

My Top 5

Brief update on my goals this week!
Breakfast: 4/4
Running/Working out: 3/4
Stopping work before bed: 2/4 for improvement still :)

As I have been officially jumping into the world of wedding planning (in between classes and homework of course), I wanted to share a few wedding planning resources that so far I LOVE and are maybe not as well known (for example)! Enjoy :)
What it's like: Designed with the idea in mind that there is A LOT of pressure if you are too focused on planning THE perfect wedding, instead they want to give brides & grooms and their families lots of easy to use online tools. Like they have search functions for finding vendors, ideas, and discussion forums...etc. But what they offer is a social networking side along with the ideas.

Why I love it: I can choose who I want to add to my wedding planning account (its called a wedding pre-party). This means my Mom and bridesmaids (for example) and add ideas, see my to-do checklists, and help and add input with lots of planning details

#2. WeddingGawker

What it's like: Set-up visually very similar to the ever beloved Pinterest - Never ending stream of pictures and wedding ideas/tips, you can sort images and ideas by category, save your favorites, and every idea has the option to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest...etc

Why I love it: Every picture links to a blog that is usually FULL of tons of other wedding related information/pictures. All submissions to the website are editor approved so its guaranteed that when I click on something, its actually linked to the original source *disclaimer: because every idea/picture links to a blog, ladies, you will spend COUNTLESS time on here, fair warning!*

What it's like: Exclusively focused on bride's questions and answers - both from Wedding professionals and other brides. Anyone registered can post questions and respond to other's questions, instant repines and feedback on just about anything a girl could think of about a wedding.

Why I love it: Fun to see what other brides are curious about, as well as really helpful if I want instant feedback on an idea or question - the app is in an easy to use format too! It's an app sponsored by TheKnot - however it is not connected to any of their site's online planning tools. Free download too!

What it's like: Similar to OneWed and TheKnot - this is geared at being an online planning resource for brides, also important - everything on the site is bride rated!

Why I love it: Primarily because of the Inspiration board feature! I don't really use any of the other planning related tools on this website, because I like the format of OneWed's tools much better- however, the inspiration board feature allows my to upload lots of pictures I have collected and combine ideas together. Plus its nice that I can email and share the boards with others (again, like my Mom).

#5. Preston Bailey: Color Story

What it's like: Preston Bailey is an major event planner (read his bio here). Website is organized into a bride section, weddings, events, flowers, Preston's blog (tons of ideas), videos - and most importantly - tools. The Color Story tool allows you to pick a color, answer a few questions about what you are thinking for your event, and then it create a color palette idea!

Why I love it: The tools sections: The Color Story tool, a design tool, and a planning tool - all easy to use. There are so many ideas from events Preston has done - most over the top, but all helpful in thinking outside the box when it comes to decorating and creating a wedding 

Monday, April 23


Whew. So with all sorts of exciting NEW parts of life going on this last week-ish (auto correct wanted me to put 'weakfish' here - what!?!) my schedule has been way out of whack! Working out and eating have been all over the place. This is mainly because I'm so excited about internship & being engaged that I forget to do normal things like eat and run. As a result, my quality of sleep this past week was not so hot. 

All of that being said, my goals this week (which I'm sharing with all of you so I have a little help on the accountability end of things) are:

1. Eat breakfast everyday 
2. Make time to run Monday-Friday
3. Stop doing any homework/wedding related at least 1 hour before bedtime so my brain has time to wind down

So far today is off to a good start! Ran, had breakfast, and have already written a paper - so there is hope yet! Its always amazing to me how much consistency in basic things like eating & physical activity is so key to an overall healthy lifestyle. 

As I work on my goals, my encouragement for all of you is to do the same! Where do you need more consistency in your week? What can you do in the next 5 minutes to work on accomplishing that? Blessings on your Monday & week everyone!

Love, Kyla

Some inspiration!

Friday, April 20


Exciting news: First official wedding decision has been made! We are getting married, next summer, in...


With that decision made we are really focusing on getting some of the major planning decisions taken care of before we both move this summer to our internships. So far, we have been having so much fun with everything! 

Coolest name tag ever!

Yesterday was extra-exciting, because: 

#1: I found a bridal show that was being held downtown. The best part about it honestly was that as a bride-to-be my ticket was free! A fellow bride-to-be from school went with me. (Thanks again Brittany!!!!) Neither of us really knew what to expect, but totally enjoyed the free champagne & seeing some new ideas for weddings!

Kinda excited about my first bridal show

#2: We got engagement mail from Mrs. Thomson (Kevin's mom) !!!! (As college students in general, getting mail is awesome fyi)

Internship news: Both Adam & I have been able to talk to our supervising Pastors this week, which was great. We are both so encouraged by their enthusiasm. Internship Orientation is next weekend. Please keep our new churches in your prayers!

This is real life! Part #2: Placement Weekend

Officially 1 week ago today I got engaged!! That's still fun to say!!! Today I am headed to my first bridal show - which is mainly exciting because brides get into the show for free, and I fall into the bride category now :)

The other HUGE part of this past weekend was finding out where Adam & I would be placed for our upcoming internships.

(We are both in the Director of Christian Education program here at school. It's 5 years long, 4 years of classes, 1 year of internship in a church, then graduation. For our internships we get placed by our program director and have no clue where we will be going or what we will be doing at our churches until the placement service)

Anticipation leading up to the service this past Sunday was incredibly high, both for Adam & I, our fellow classmates, and our families! Overall the weekend was absolutely fantastic and it was a blessing to be able to celebrate both our engagement and our new ministries with our families!


My roomies decorated my door! Fun after work surprise :)

I worked most of the day on Friday, which was more exciting than usual because lots of people wanted to hear about how Adam proposed :) My family came in town during the afternoon on Friday, and I got to have a sleepover with my little brothers.

We spent most of the night playing games, including a Star Wars one of course!


Saturday morning stared awfully early, due to the little guys thinking waking up at 4:15, 5, 6...etc was a great plan. We had pancakes in our pajamas before Mom & Dad came by. Mom, Dad, and two of the little guys headed down to Navy Pier to enjoy the city for the afternoon, while myself, Adam, and two of my other brothers - ran some errands and awaited the arrival of Adam's family.

Adam's family (grandparents included!), made it in town during the later part of the afternoon, shortly afterwards my family arrived back from downtown and we enjoyed an engagement toast together! Later that night Adam & I, our families, Kevin & Jordan, and 2 of the boy's other roommates who also got placed this weekend (Ryan & Andy) - and all of their families spent time out together at a local Irish pub  celebrating.

Engagement wine from Kevin & Jordan!


FINALLY - Sunday arrived! Our families went to church and enjoyed brunch out at a cute Italian restaurant for the morning. After brunch was over it was basically time to head to our Chapel on campus for the placement service to begin. My godparents and one of my girlfriends - Hannah - also made it in town by this point. There was a lot of excitement and nervous-ness as we all headed over to worship and learn where we would be serving the next year. I was so humbled and amazed at how many people were able to join us for the placement service - it was such a powerful thing to hear everyone sing and praise God together. It was an added blessing that the service was streamed live online so that Allison & John could still be us all the way from Japan, and my grandparents in Pennsylvania, and many others were able to see everything. 

Adam will be spending the next year serving at Zion Lutheran in Wayside, WI and I will be spending the next year serving at Concordia Kirkwood in Kirkwood, MO!

It was such an amazing feeling of joy to finally know where we would be going! We are both incredibly excited about where God has called us to ministry and again so thankful for everyone's support. 

It's hard to believe that just one week ago, I had no clue that any of this would be happening or what life would look like, but I am SO excited

Anyone in the St. Louis area, what are your favorite things to do there??

Tuesday, April 17

This is real life! Part #1: The Proposal

Blessed, shocked, ecstatic, excited, giddy, thrilled, tearful, joyful, humbled, and incredibly happy. All of those words combined do not truly begin to explain my feelings the very moment I heard the words "will you marry me?" come out of Adam's mouth the night we got engaged!

Life news Part #1 for this week: 


Since Thursday night, April 12th, around 7:45pm, my entire life has become filled with more blessings in ways that I could never have hoped or imagined God had in store for me, starting with my new fiancé and husband-to-be :)

Literally seconds before Adam proposed!
The Proposal

With this past weekend being our placement service for internship, Adam and I both had a lot of family coming into town. We had planned a while ago to have a date night before the craziness of placement weekend started, which brings us to last Thursday night.

The battery on Adam's macbook has been slowly dying, so he mentioned that maybe we would go downtown for dinner and that he could get his battery looked at while we were there (downtown is the closet Apple store to us). I thought that sounded fine, and was looking forward to being off campus for a little too! His appointment was for 5pm and dinner reservations were at 5:30pm. 

We left for downtown after he got out of class, our friend Kevin dropped us off at the el station since were starting to cut our time frame for getting to the Apple store a little close. Despite (what I thought) was our best effort, we did not make it downtown in time for Adam's appointment at 5pm and were close to missing our dinner reservations. I know that Adam really values taking care of things, such as his laptop, so I offered that maybe we could try to get an appointment at the Apple store after dinner...he turned that idea down.

For dinner we ate at the Grand Lux Cafe, over looking downtown Michigan Avenue. It was awesome to spend time together and I SO enjoyed dinner - still completely oblivious to what the night would hold.

We finished eating and I suggested again that we try and stop by the Apple store and get Adam's battery looked at. He again, told me not to worry about it and that he did not really feel like going to the store anymore. Instead we ducked into Water Tower Place to see if we could shop for a shirt/tie he needed for our upcoming placement service. We were unsuccessful in finding one, and after leaving the mall decided to head down toward the lake because (my thoughts) - the weather was beautiful for it being a downtown spring night. 

We were close to the Lake Shore Drive Bike Path - which goes right along the lake front and has several beaches, so we headed out toward the closest beach.
(This is not from the night we got engaged, but this as taken from close to where we got engaged/what it looked like)

We walked for a while along the water (I was really surprised at how cold it wasn't that close to the lake front). Adam managed to innocently ask me what I was thinking about our upcoming year of internship locationally apart, thoughts I had about us, and shared with me how much of a priority I have always been and will always be for him. (Yes, I still had NO idea a proposal was coming). 
After walking for a while along the water, we came to a point were we had distanced ourselves from all of the runners/bikers out that night, and had the MOST perfect view of the skyline. (See picture at the beginning of this post!!!). We were standing admiring the skyline for a little while, when Adam told me he needed me to close my eyes for a second.

I said, "okay" and quickly closed my eyes and put my hands over my face. My thoughts at this point were simple - don't over think what he asked. Right before he asked me to close my eyes, I knew that he had something important we needed to talk about or he needed to say - however as I stood there with my face covered and eyes closed shut - I was still not even imagining what Adam had planned.

After a few seconds he told me I could open my eyes. When I took my hands off of my face, I opened my eyes to see my love and best friend down on one knee, smiling at me in a way I will never forget. He took my hand and I instantly started to tear up as he proceeded to tell me just how much he loved me and finished with asking me if I would marry him? (I later in the night had him write down all of what he actually said, I was a little too emotional to remember!!)

I said YES! The rest of that entire moment I cannot even put into words or describe. I have never before experienced the love and perfection that that moment held for us! It was incredibly special and truly wonderful beyond anything. 

The Rest of the Night

We called my parents first & then immediately called Adam's family. Over Christmas Adam had asked for my Dad's blessing and permission to ask me to marry him, of which Dad gave, so he had a little bit of an idea that a proposal was coming, but both my parents were surprised and excited by the news since they had no idea he had picked Thursday April 12th to pop the question :)

Adam's family knew that he was proposing that night and was anxiously awaiting our call!! We spent the rest of our night calling family and friends and sharing our exciting news. (FYI - engagement calls are super fun to make!)

My ring - He picked it out all by himself  :)
By the time we were back to school from downtown, had called as many people as we could, celebrated with our friends back at school, and gotten to Skype with Allison in Japan - it was early Friday morning and time for bed.

Even writing all of this down today, I still get the most amazing butterflies thinking about how our lives changed Thursday night. I am so thankful for the blessing God has given me in Adam and the way his love me reflects that of Christ for all of us!

One of the blessings with this new part of our lives, is the amount of love and support and congratulations all of our family and friends have been pouring out on us since we first shared our exciting news! We are so thankful for all of you and appreciate your continued prayers for us as we start preparing for our lives as husband and wife together.

Upcoming post: This is real life! Part #2: Placement Weekend

Thursday, April 12

Too easy!

Good morning!
Today I have not been so lucky as far as more homework assignments getting cancelled, however promising myself I can blog for a little after completing the homework I do have is working out nicely :)

To back track a little bit, when I first started over-hauling my eating/living habits a year ago, I read a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman called Eat to Live. I LOVED this book! He took a lot of time to explain the science behind how all food (healthy or otherwise) effects our bodies. Now, he recommends a diet that is high in nutrients and that is plant-based - however I realize that for many of you, reading Dr. Fuhrman's book & switching to a plant-based diet is probably not something that you will be doing anytime soon. BUT - there are 2 easy tips for making life a little healthier that you CAN start doing today even that I wanted to share. 


The first one is the idea of eating by the 90/10 rule. On the Eat to Live plan 90% = focus on plant-based foods, 10% = meat products, but this concept applies to how you eat now too. The basics idea here are: 

  1. Eat as well as you can, and focus on eating foods with the highest amounts of nutrient to bad stuff (carbs, sugars...etc) 90% percent of the time. 
  2. The other 10% of the time is where things like Birthdays/PMS Week (ladies you know what I mean)/special occasions/laid back saturdays...etc come into play. 
Keeping this rule in mind, I have found to be really helpful, especially being away at college. Eating healthy food at college is somewhat of a feat, and takes a lot of planning ahead. By keeping a running approximate balance of where I am at on the 90/10 ratio it makes healthy eating a little simpler.

This is an article that explains more about Dr. Furhman's 90/10 <<<


The second tip you can start T.O.D.A.Y, (seriously!) is drinking water consistently! Up until a few months ago, I had always kind of known/heard/read that it is important to drink water. But I did not realize that NOT drinking water contributes to things such as bloating occurring. This water article explains this idea and other effects of not drinking water more throughly, but again to share the basics:

  1. Our bodies are made up of a lot of cells. 
  2. Cells like having water. 
  3. If we don't drink enough water, our cells get a little nervous that we aren't going to replenish our water supply soon so they hold on to whatever water they have (causing bloating).
  4. If we drink water CONSISTENTLY (not necessarily in mass quantities, just consistently), our cells don't have to swell and hold onto water for dear life.
  5. End result = no more bloating, happier body! 
Again, not bloating is only one of the reasons to drink water consistently. This article talks about some more water stuff :)

Hope this helps & that you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 10

Tea for Tuesday.

Life events so far this week: 

> Easter, which was a wonderful break spent with my family 

> I enjoyed a really good run today (even though it was so much colder than I thought 46 degrees would feel like)

> A paper for one of my classes today cancelled

> A quiz for last night's class cancelled

>AND I had an entire class cancelled for today (different from the classes the paper or the quiz were due in!)

Tea Time

So all in all, I am blessed to start this week leading up to finding out where my internship will be (this Sunday, woah.) on a pretty good foot! Which means I even get to blog today, extra bonus! With the end of my last college semester only a little more than a month away, I have been working on cleaning out some of my stuff in preparation for packing/moving out (and in an attempt to not have so much to pack come May, because I REALLY dread that task!).

Today, this ongoing venture involved discovering that I have TONS of tea I need to work on drinking. There are a few reasons for this:

1. I get really excited about new tea flavors and forget I have other tea I should drink up first before buying more

2. My section of kitchen cabinets is not overly organized and sometimes I genuinely lose boxes of tea amongst my other dry goods, which does not my out of sight, out of mind mentality!

Now I realize that tea is not for everyone - I get that. However, tea is a fairly awesome drink that does come with added benefits to your health both long-term (possible cancer prevention) and short-term (possible healthier looking skin). Also, drinking hot tea can add some relaxation to any day (at least it does for me). Lots of people  have written on the benefits of tea & the tea vs. coffee debate, so today I offer you my 3 favorite sets of information about this lovely beverage:

  1. Fun tea vs. coffee info graphic!
  2. The Truth about the Health Benefits of Tea
  3. My favorites: (all 0 calories, 0 sugar)
Lipton Caffeine Free Herbal Peppermint Tea, Bigelow Chamomile Mint Herbal Tea Caffeine Free,  Twinings of London French Vanilla Chai, Bigelow Plantation Mint Tea, Salada Decaffeinated Green Tea Citrus Flavored, Salada Red Antioxidants Tea Strawberry-Orange Flavored

Thursday, April 5

Blueberry Breakfast Bake.

Since moving from the college dorm life to college apartment life, over the last two years I have really enjoyed learning what kinds of foods I like to make and enjoy! Definitely have decided I am more inclined towards cooking. I tend not to have enough patience for baking - which has resulted in many a odd shaped cake because I tried to frost before the cake (< yes, that happened) was cooled all of the way. Oh well!

This past week I tried a new recipe I came across on this healthy living blog. I made a few changes to the recipe to accommodate the food I already had on hand and thought now I would share it with all of you! This breakfast bake is tasty and filling, and smelled awesome while it was baking!

So here are the ingredients I used for my Blueberry Breakfast Bake:


  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large ripe Banana, mashed
  • 3 cups Blue Diamond Almond milk vanilla unsweetened
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla sweetener
  • 1 cup liquid Egg Whites 
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • Cooking Spray


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. 
2. Spray a large, oven-safe 4 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl mix together mashed bananas, almond milk, water, egg whites and vanilla. 

3. Combine all in the baking dish, adding blueberries last. 
4. Bake about 45-60 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. 

I was not sure how much the oats would rise as they baked, so I placed my dish on a cookie sheet with edges just in case :) It took around 55 minutes for the liquid to be absorbed, but then finally it was time to enjoy the finished project!

5. Let the breakfast bake cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Top with additional fruit and/or yogurt, I added some more blueberries and bananas to mine - delicious!

You can use any other fruit instead of blueberries for the main part of the dish and/or for toppings! Here are a few ideas:

  • Strawberries
  • More bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Dried Fruit + Raisins
  • chopped, toasted Nuts
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Whipped Cream
  • ground Cinnamon


Monday, April 2

I love weekends!

I must say that I LOVE weekends, and more than that, I love weekends more when Sunday night shows up and I feel both rested and prepared for my week ahead (This was last night for me, woohoo!!). While lots of life events are already behind me this semester, there are many more right around the corner - (Easter, finding out where my internship for the next year will be, a retreat, orientation for my internship, Big Day of Serving in Chicago...the whole school/classes/homework piece) - you guys get the idea! This weekend in particular was my last weekend of calm before the storm, so I tried my best to focus on relaxing - lucky me a few good movies were on tv to help!

Since my last post caught you all up (somewhat) on big life stuff that has been happening for me, now I can share some tools I have found and enjoy using to grow in my healthier lifestyle. Spiritual, emotional/mental, and physical health are all super important parts of any person's life so I divided my favorites up into those categories!


My favorite devotional tool is you version which is a great Bible resource! Best part about it that I LOVE are all of the reading plans and devo ideas they already have set-up for you to choose & they will even email them to you every day. I just started a new series on wisdom today.


To help keep up with what foods I am eating each day and making sure that I am consuming a healthy balance of calories/fats/carbs/proteins...etc, I find myfitnesspal to be very helpful, mostly because you can download it as an app for blackberry or iphone/ipod (in addition to using it online). Super user friendly, they have most foods you would ever eat already in their database AND a super fun barcode scanner built into their app to add foods that they don't have! EASY.

Workout/fitness wise, for the last couple of months myself (along with my awesome & encouraging boyfriend Adam, and our friend Kevin) have been doing the beach body Insanity workout series. We are currently on Day 40 out of 60. Every day these workouts find a new way to kick my butt, however its all cardio paced so the variety keeps me focused/motivated.

Now that the weather is nice (shocking for spring in Chicago!), I have also been able to start fitting running back in, and since there is a website/app for everything, I currently enjoy using dailymile to keep track of my runs! Best feature: in addition to keeping track of how far I ran/pace, it also lets me add details like how the weather was, how I felt, how much effort I put into the run...and some other fun ones!


I find (and this is not really profound, just true), but I find that when I am in God's Word, eating well and working out consistently those together have the biggest influence on the stability of my emotional state! (Talk to me on a day when all 3 are out of whack, and its a BAD day!) So besides those 3, some other basics of this for me involve: calling my mom almost everyday, finding time to read, cooking and trying new recipes, and my girly and guilty pleasure - Pinterest. Ladies, you understand this! :) While I don't have any fun apps or websites (besides my pinterest) to share for this category of emotional health, and my mom probably wouldn't appreciate me handing her cell phone number out to the world, I WILL share a picture of my most recent recipe adventure (and link to the blog I found it from!)

Most recent! This was dinner Saturday night! (WORTH IT to make the pizza dough from the recipe if you have the time!) Here is the recipe link: YUMMY.

Any other fun tools you all use whether for growing spiritually, physically, or emotionally - please share!!! 
Blessings on everyone's Mondays (and week ahead!!!) Love, Kyla.