Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Goodbye Blogger

Today marks a special day because after almost 8 years of blogging on a blogger blog I've made the switch wordpress. I have loved my time as a blogger.com blogger, but I needed something a little different, I needed to combine my blog and photography website and blogger just wasn't working anymore.

All my posts have been transferred over and from now on I'll be posting here: immarykatherine.com/blog so come look around!!

Mary Kate

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Into the Great Unknown

"You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior"
--Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) // Hillsong United

It's a little past 2am and I really should be asleep, but excitement, anticipation and last minute preparation has kept me awake thus far and there are so many emotions and thoughts swirling around in my head that I figured I might as well try to write them down (hopefully) in some sort of coherent fashion.

If you didn't already know, I leave tomorrow today to head back to Steubenville OH to meet up with my mission team for a send off Mass before we fly out early Wednesday tomorrow morning to Ecuador. This is my biggest leap of faith yet and while I am so incredibly excited, there is a certain aspect of fear of this great unknown. But first, let me back up and explain how this all came to be.

I have ALWAYS loved the idea of missionary work and have wanted to go on a mission trip since I was very young. I finally was able to go on my first mission trip last year when I went to Jamaica  with a team from my church. We were only there for a week, but I had a life changing experience. I clearly remember one day I was scrubbing a classroom floor and couldn't stop smiling. I was filled with an over whelming peace and joy because I knew that I was doing exactly what God wanted me to be doing at that moment. I knew that someday I would have to go on a much longer mission trip but I had no idea how very soon that someday was going to be!

Franciscan University sends over 300 students on mission trips during spring break every year which was one of the main reasons I ended up choosing to attend Franciscan in the first place. So I was of course determined to go on a mission trip over spring break this past year and I applied for several mission trips as soon as I could.

However, within a few weeks of my very first Spanish class as a freshman at Franciscan University, my professor mentioned the Ecuador Summer Mission/Immersion program. She didn't say much, but I was immediately intrigued. I internally battled with myself for several weeks in the fall trying to decide if God was telling me to apply for this trip or not because I had already applied for a couple spring break mission trips which I hadn't heard back from. And I knew if I got into a spring break mission trip and then also decided to do the Ecuador Summer mission trip it would be crazy trying to fundraise for two mission trips in such a short amount of time.

After I attended an information night about the Ecuador Summer Mission Program I knew I had to apply and leave it in God's hands. If I was suppose to go on this trip, He would open all the right doors. As it turns out, I did not get into any spring break mission trips, which definitely seemed to indicate God widening the door for me to go to Ecuador...but I still had to wait a couple weeks to find out if I was accepted into the program. 

And then 7 months ago I posted this on my Facebook wall: 

Somehow these past months have flown by and in 48 hours I will actually be in Ecuador. I honestly have no idea what I am getting myself into and if it wasn't for the fact that I am absolutely certain this is where God is leading me this summer, I would be terrified.

Not only did God lead my heart towards Ecuador, but He completely took care of all the necessary details for this trip to happen. For example,  I had trouble getting my fundraising letters out and ended up having about a month to raise $5,800 and it was absolutely incredible watching the money come in. Each time I checked my mailbox and found a new stack of letters from so many amazing, generous people, it was as if God was saying "see, I told you I would take care of you."

And then there is the whole issue of being a wedding photographer and normally the summer is busy wedding season. Last fall when I was talking about possibly doing this trip, one of my biggest concerns was, what if I get asked to do a wedding next summer? I would need the money for school, but if I was already committed to this trip, I would have to turn down clients. And you know what's crazy?? I had a wedding a few weeks ago, and I have multiple weddings in August and later in the fall, but not a single person asked me if I could shoot a wedding (or any other event) during the 7 weeks I'll be in Ecuador. Yet another indicator that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be going this summer.

God not only cleared my calendar for exactly these seven weeks, but he also calmed my worries about not being able to work and earn money for school by providing me with multiple job opportunities when I return from Ecuador. I am not sharing this to brag about me at all, but instead to bring glory to God because he really does take care of us utterly and completely if we just allow Him too.

"Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

And so here I find myself, about to sleep in my bed for the last time until August, about to have my last day in America for the next seven weeks, about to switch from speaking in English to *ahem* attempting to speak in Spanish, and about to have my world turned upside down and leap off the biggest metaphorical cliff God has led me to so far in this crazy journey called life and I couldn't be more excited.

Please keep me and my mission team in your prayers over the two months as we travel to Ecuador and serve God's people. :)

(Also as I side note, I won't have any phone or internet service while down there so this is the last you'll hear from me until I return at the beginning of August.)

-Mary Kate

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life is Beautiful

Through the window
I see you waiting
You are smiling
Cause I'm coming
Your eyes are a story
An ocean of memories
Pictures of faces and places
And all of the things
That make us feel like we have it all
-"Life is Beautiful" by The Afters

Ben and Joey. :)

Lucy is always trying to catch up with everyone! :)

John Paul and Lucy. :)

Lucy and our cousin Ella are only six months apart and already the best of friends. :) 

Just some photos from the last week or so...mostly of Lucy since she's the baby in the family and therefore the most adorable. :P 

-Mary Kate

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pinterest Favorites

Hey friends! I've been home for a little over a week now and it's oh so good to be back home.

Some of you may know that I have a slight pinterest addiction. But at least I actually try to do a lot of the tutorials, recipes, and tips that I pin.

One of the things I love to do at home is whip up delicious treats in the kitchen and pinterest has been a huge help in finding new exciting recipes.  A few days ago I finally used my ice cream maker that my parents gave me for my birthday (over six months ago).  Homemade ice cream is out-of-this-world amazing. I followed these two ice cream recipes (mint chocolate chip and classic vanilla) and they each turned out perfect.

And tonight I made Earl Grey Cupcapkes. They are moist and sweet with a perfect hint of earl grey tea. And I topped them with an easy vanilla buttercream frosting. Delish. :)

Certain family members tell me the only reason I bake is so I can photograph the results...this is not completely true. ;)

Although I tend to bake a lot more than I cook, I have enjoyed trying some pinterest recipes for dinner as well. The other night I made Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken for dinner and everyone loved it. And I haven't made this recently, but one of my favorite side dish to make are parmesan french fries.

So there you go, a few of my favorite pinterest recipe finds. :)

-Mary Kate

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Somehow it's finals week and the strange realization that I'm just about done with my freshman year of college is slowly sinking in.

There are so many things I could say, so many things I want to say about this past semester but since I have two finals tomorrow and it's a little after 10 at night and I've currently been awake for 17 hours, I think I better just make this short and sweet.

This has been an absolutely incredible semester with many, many "firsts" and quite a few "lasts". Through it all, even the stressful midterm weeks, I have been filled with an amazing peace and joy that surpasses all understanding.

"All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new"
- Beautiful Things by Gungor 

Yesterday I had my last class as a college freshman and it also happened to be my first class that took place outside. (Thank you Dr. Sirilla, you are the bomb.com!!)
Thanks Abby for the Honors class picture! :) 

Yesterday while working on my last paper of the year, I checked out books from the JPII library for the first time. (Yes I've been here for two full semesters, and no I have not checked out anything from the library until now.)

This past Tuesday I had my last piano lesson of the semester and tonight I had my first piano recital in 10 years. (Deciding to take piano was one of the best decisions I made this semester.)

Speaking of decisions, it was probably not a great decision to write this right now...#ineedtostudy

I should not be spending my time creating this blogpost tonight...#procrastination

I need to be studying for my 10:30am final tomorrow....#killmenow

My mom sent me a helium good luck balloon and chocolate baked goodness in a box today....#bestmomaward

I definitely stress ate way too much of said homemade deliciousness....#chocolateaddict

I'm pretty sure this post is just an honest peak at my currently scrambled and hectic brain...#finalsbrain

In five days I'll be back home completely done with one whole year of college... #mindblown

I really need to stop with the hashtags....#sorrynotsorry

But can I say? After all it's #finalsweek. 

-Mary Kate

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The End of Break

It snowed last week and I decided I should take a few more pictures before break ended, so I pulled out my camera and snapped a few lot more pictures. :)

Those are the last of my Christmas photos...the next post will actually be relevant to my current life here at college, I promise. :) 

-Mary Kate

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas Break

My twinkle lights are on, I'm snuggled under my cozy blankets, and after a long day of classes and a good workout, I'm ready for bed. But I promised myself I would blog on a more regular basis and  I somehow let a week slip by without any new posts and I really have no more excuses. And so here I am, typing at 11:30 at night, trying to make sense of my jumbled thoughts (I apologize in advance if I ramble too much or don't make much sense). :P

It's funny how quickly I've slipped right back into college life, I only just got back on campus yesterday evening and today was the first full day back and yet everything felt completely normal again. Last August when I moved into college for the first time, I had no idea what to expect. And it surprised me then how fast I eased in to college life. My life here is so vastly different from my life back at home, and I had gotten so used to it that part of me was worried that it would feel weird being home for a month for Christmas Break. But the funny thing is, life at home felt completely normal right away too. I suppose that's a good thing, it just was rather strange if I sat and thought about it, it sort of gave me the feeling that I was living a double life. :) 

Being home for a month was wonderful, it was really, really nice to just be home. Although it was kind of a crazy busy month I still managed to relax and have fun. When my family wasn't sick, we played games, watched old family videos, watched all three Hobbit movies, ate way too much chocolate, and laughed over ridiculous things. 

Our internet wasn't really working until about a week ago, and so I read a lot...I actually wasn't aware of how many books until I counted yesterday and then I decided I had to take a picture, because yes, I somehow managed to read 16 books over the month I was home. I've always enjoyed reading, but I seriously haven't read that many "fun" books at once in a long, long time. :) 

I also decided I had to paint at least once because I made the effort of bringing all my art supplies home and I actually had more time on my hands and so after spending multiple hours trying to figure out what to paint, I started working on this painting. I spent several days last week working on little bits at a time and it's definitely not perfect but I'm happy with how it turned out and it was nice to get the arty side out of my system for awhile until tomorrow when I have my first art class. :) 

I am so grateful for the time I got to spend at home! As much as I love my college, and as easy as it is to slip right back into the routine here, there really is no place quite like home. 

-Mary Kate

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Project Christmas Delay

Per usual, nothing is calm and normal when it comes to life in the Anthony household. We've had our fair share of sick holidays, (in fact you may or may not remember our crazy sick Christmas two years ago which I blogged about here), but we've always pushed through, had made the most of it and ended up with a pretty awesome time anyway.

However, I think this year tops the cake. A week before Christmas my dear poor mama got the flu, so bad in fact that my dad had to take her to the ER. Of course it's impossible for just one person to get sick in a big family, and over the next few days the domino effect took place and our house because the sick house of the neighborhood. It was a pretty nasty flu that at the very least drained you of all energy for a number of days and for most family members drained you of energy while throwing you a mix of rough cold and stomach bug symptoms.

Normally in the days leading up to Christmas we are busy cleaning our house and preparing for Christmas Eve (the day we finally blast Christmas music in our house and decorate our entire house in one day), but with everyone in bed sick, nothing got done. On Dec. 23rd, my mom and I looked around our tissue-strewn floors, soup-bowls-on-the-counters-and-table kitchen, surfaces-still-quite-messy living room, and many-presents-still-unwrapped bedroom and realized that there was no way we were going to get everything ready in one day. Especially since half the family members were still on couches not able to help with anything.

And so we introduced Project Christmas Delay. We pushed the calendar back a day in our house and decided that today was really the 22nd of December (not the 23rd), giving us one more day before Christmas Eve and two more days before Christmas morning. And you no what? We really managed to deceive ourselves!

We woke up on December 25th and it felt like Christmas Eve, we blasted Amy Grant and Veggie Tales Christmas music, we decorated our now (mostly) clean house and ended the evening with our traditional Chinese Christmas Eve feast. It was so funny to go on Facebook that night and see everyone's posts about Christmas morning, because although we knew it really was Christmas Day for the rest of the world, it completely and utterly felt like the night before Christmas in our house.

Our Christmas morning was delightful and fun and kinda crazy (just like it always is) and Project Christmas Delay was a success! :)

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!! :)

-Mary Kate