My Creative Process

“My hope is that what I write, whether it’s a whole song or just a line or two, connects with you, and inspires, encourages or touches you in a special way.”

The Book-Satterlee Family

My two kids and I just had the opportunity to visit my older sister and her family in Mexico City for two weeks! We had so many fun adventures, a couple of which I’ve already included on my blog, and a few more I hope to share before too long.  Leah and Kevin serve as missionaries in Mexico City, and before visiting them, I had only a small grasp of the depth of their work there.  I really enjoyed finding out in more detail all that goes on in their day to day life and ministry and I was blown away by all they do. I hope someday soon to share more of their story with you.  For now, I wanted to share some of my favorites from my photo session with them.

One of my very favorite things about Mexico City is how colorful all the buildings are.  I couldn’t get over how much color was everywhere, and Leah and Kevin’s neighborhood is no exception.  We literally just walked around their block and stopped every few houses to take pictures. Every house offered a brand new backdrop of color and tecture.  Needless to say I was in heaven! I love how much of Owen and Eliana’s personality came through in the photos.  For being 3 and almost 1, they sure were great sports about getting their pictures taken.  We had a great time and sufferred zero meltdowns (which is astonishingly good in my opinion!).  Thank you Kevin and Leah for inviting us to visit and helping make it possible for me and the kids to come see your lives in Mexico.  You were such incredibly gracious hosts and we can’t wait to come visit you again!

This beautiful wall of murals was right around the corner from their house. Isn’t it cool?!


As you can see, this family has a hard time taking a bad picture.  I was hard pressed to narrow down my favorites, thus why I have included slightly more than a “few”! ha

I had the priviledge of photographing four other families during our visit, so be sure to check back soon to see more photos from Mexico City! ~Katie







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Adventures in Mexico City Part Zoo!

Today my sister and I decided to take our four little ones to the Mexico City Zoo.  We had quite an adventurous day, and we’re all gonna sleep well tonight! :)  Here are a few pictures from our day of fun. Enjoy! ~Katie

People kept calling the girls twins today.

The corridor of vendors we had to pass on our way to the zoo. All the vendors were shouting their wares. It was a bit overwhelming.

Just one of the dozens of vendors we passed on the way to and from the zoo.

The perfect after zoo food!

This sweet man asked to take our picture and talked to Leah while the kids ate their ice cream cones.

My little photographer in training!



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Adventures in Mexico City Part 1

Two years ago my sister and her family moved to Mexico City to work as missionaries for  LAM (Latin America Mission).  My two kids love their cousins and we skype with them every chance we get, but it’s just not the same as seeing each other in person.  So, this August, the kids and I embarked on our first international trip to see them in Mexico City!  Daddy had to stay home to work, but he drove us to the airport and walked me and the kids and all our suitcases into the airport. And thank goodness he did! I don’t think I could have managed all that chaos by myself. haha

I was really nervous about traveling by myself with the kids. Not that we hadn’t traveled many times before, but having all the extra baggage and carry-ons made the security check a bit of a circus.  We took our time, and managed to get through just fine.  The kids were really obedient and did everything I said.  They were great little travelers.

The flight was delayed so we had about three hours to kill. If I’d been traveling by myself I might have been thrilled to take a long nap while I waited. However, that’s not exactly possible with a two and four year old. Thank goodness for portable DVD players! yay :)


The kids had to wait behind this glass door while I had my suitcase checked at customs. They stood there peering at my sister and her kids and were so excited they could hardly stand it!

The whole family was there to greet us at the airport.  We all piled into the car and headed to Cuernavaca (which is about an hour and a half drive outside the city).  There we met up with some of Leah and Kevin’s closest friends to spend the weekend relaxing at a rural mini resort.  The place was a compound of sorts, surrounded on all sides by a beautiful brick wall with iron bars.  There were four stucco “cabins” facing in to a beautiful lawn area with a trampoline and pool.  There was a large outdoor eating area and outdoor kitchen where we cooked all our meals.  Because it was completely gated, the children were free to run around outside (which is completely impossible in the city). Jack made fast friends with anyone who would play volleyball or soccer with him.  It was really cool to see how easily he slipped into playing with the other kids, despite the language barrier.

We were sad to leave our little retreat, but really excited to head back to the city to experience another part of Mexico.  Before packing up the last few things, the older girls had a  dance number to perform for all of us.  Eliana (on the far right) hopped right up there and joined in the dancing.  Jack and Emma looked on and finally asked to join them after the third of fourth song.  Emma cracked me up because she wanted to be up there so badly, but was way to shy to actually dance with the kids, so she just stood up there in front of them with a huge frown on her face.  ha! that’s my girl. she makes me laugh.  I had to keep taking pictures of the slow progression of her standing, then sitting and finally laying on the stage.  sigh. oh well. maybe next time :)

When we first arrived Emma had a much harder time overcoming her shyness to play with the other kids, but by the end of the weekend she was being led around by the other older girls, and letting them show her things on their ipad. It was so cute!


Here’s our whole group (minus one more family that left a little early).

On our way back to Mexico City, we stopped off for nieves  (which is kinda like a combo between shaved ice and ice cream). I loved how it was literally on the side of the road.  You’d never see something like that at home.

Right after we ate our nieves we hopped back into the car to drive home.  Unfortunately we ended up hitting a ton of traffic so instead of it being less than two hours it took over five!  And after nearly killing our clutch and almost running out of gas we arrived home just after midnight.  They were sleeping so peacefully in the backseat I had to snap a quick picture.

We survived all the adventures getting to Mexico and we had a great first weekend. I’ve had fun breaking out my Spanish after not using it for over 10 years (I was super afraid of saying something wrong, so it took a while to work up my confidence).  I definitely will have more compassion the next time I have to talk to a non English speaker back in the States because I now know what it feels like to be unconfident about saying the right thing.  The best thing to do is just give it a go and ask for help along the way.  Everyone was so gracious with me and probably did a lot more English speaking than I did in Spanish. Overall a very humbling experience.   The kids and I can’t wait to see what we’ll do next, stay tuned for more of our adventures in Mexico City!

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Wedding Dresses

I was looking through my photos on my computer today and came across these photos taken of my siblings from last Christmas.  I thought it’d be fun to share them with you and a little look behind the scenes at why taking them was so special.

For the first time in years, all five kids in my family were able to spend Christmas together. My little brother still lives at home, but all three of my sisters live far away, and it was extremely special to get to spend the fews days together that we did. We have become so much closer now as adults then we ever were as kids and we truly treasure every minute we get to spend together. One thing I thought we could do that would make our visit memorable and special was to try and take photos together. Because we all live so far apart this is a rare occurrence, and after all the efforts, we still didn’t manage to take a complete family photo with our parents! haha We did however, manage to take a few siblings photos before our little brother had to leave for a wrestling tournament.  These were the first we’d done in years!

It’s always a little funny when we call my brother “little” because he’s anything but little! ha!

Ever since my two younger sisters were married a few years ago, I’ve wanted to take photos of all four of us in our wedding gowns. I had no idea when we’d ever make it happen, so when I knew we’d all be together at Christmas I called them all up to ask if they’d be willing to travel with their dresses when they came! They were all really excited about the shoot and said they’d be willing to bring them. Amy was driving from CO which meant she had to lay her dress out in between them in the truck the whole way. Stacy flew down from WA and carried her dress on the plane with her. Leah, who lives in Mexico City, already had her dress stored here at the farm, and it’s a good thing too since she was traveling by herself with her two kiddos!

My sister Amy arrived first and could hardly wait the few days for the other girls to arrive she decided it might be a good idea to try on our dresses early to see if they still fit. (I think she just wanted an excuse to put on her dress) As our mom looked on, Amy told her she should try her wedding dress on too! My mom laughed out loud and said there was no way after 34 years and five babies she’d ever fit into her dress. Amy kept insisting she at least try it on, and even if she couldn’t zip it up she could still share a good laugh with us. After much pleading my mom finally agreed and we ran upstairs (mind you we’re both still wearing our wedding dresses!) and helped mom into her gown. Amazingly enough, she was able to put it on and completely zip it as well! I think she was the most surprised of all. :) Since she fit into her dress, we told her she’d have to be in the wedding dress shoot as well.

The day of the shoot arrived and it was FREEZING outside!(Freezing for Northern California at least :)  There was no telling when we’d get another chance to do this together, so we braved the cold and headed outside. All our husbands and kids watched and laughed from the safety of the warm indoors. We weren’t gonna let anything stop us, and though it was crazy cold, and I had to photoshop out a lot of goosebumps, we endured, and the pictures we get to enjoy made it all worth it!

Thanks to our cousin Lindsay for contributing a couple pairs of boots!

The sisters in order (L to R youngest to oldest)

We took most of the pictures out by the highway on our private road. So many drivers honked at us! Wonder what they thought of seeing five gals wearing wedding dresses! haha



Despite the cold, I couldn’t have imagined the pictures turning out any better!  Aren’t my sisters and my mom just gorgeous?!  The day couldn’t have been possible without the help of my two incredible friends. A huge thanks to Morgan Fairchild of Fairchild Photography, and Erin Watkins who did all our hair (fun fact: she also did Stacy and Leah’s hair for their actual wedding days) I will treasure these photos for a long time and hope you enjoy taking a look at some of my favorites! ~Katie

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Salt of the Earth Education

It all started about 2 months ago…

The tractor broke for the final time and my dad said there was no fixing it.  That was a big problem.  We use the loader tractor to do so many different jobs on the farm, and not having it was going to make all those jobs virtually impossible.  So then came the real problem, how much would another tractor cost?  Big sigh. Way too much.  What were we going to do?

That’s when someone suggested we try and raise the money to buy a tractor by doing a Kickstarter campaign.  If you’ve never heard of Kickstarter,  click here and it will explain in more detail exactly what it is, but in summary it’s a “crowd funding” company that helps you organize and raise funds for creative projects.  It seemed like a huge undertaking, and way too impossible, but the idea that it could help us raise money to help towards another tractor was too good to pass on, so we thought we’d give it a go!

The morning after we decided to start work on the Kickstarter project I woke up with an idea for a new song.  Now let me explain that this had become a fairly rare occurrence, so feeling thus inspired, I woke up with a start and began jotting down the words as they came.  By the time I came down for breakfast I had the first two verses and a chorus! I was just a little excited. Songs don’t often come to me that quickly, and when they do, it feels so special I just want to share it with the world (or at least everyone in the kitchen, haha). The first ones to hear my song were my parents, and they LOVED it! (of course they did, they’re my parents! haha).  When our friend Jon came over later that morning my parents asked me to play it for him and he loved it too.  That made me think I might be on the right track :)

Visiting Coco the cow.

The theme of the song is about passing along the love of farming from generation to generation.  About a year ago my husband and I moved our family back to the farm where I grew up, and I know how special it is to be passing along this lifestyle to my kids.  I loved that when I was a kid, my dad was right out the back door on the tractor, and I could go visit him anytime I wanted.  I watched my dad start his day before the sun peeked over the horizon, and finish his work as the skies filled with the setting sun.  His life as a farmer taught me what hard work looks like, and how important it is to rely on God’s grace to sustain us through all seasons of life we experience.  As I started writing this song about my dad, my childhood flashed before my eyes, and I saw in a  new way, just how special it was to be raised on a farm.

My dad helping a new baby calf.

The beginning of the song came rather quickly, but in the end, it took me several weeks and tons of revisions later to finally get the song to where it is now.  I loved the writing process because it was me talking about my life, and what I’ve learned from growing up the way I did.  I love everything about the song, and I am so so thrilled to have a chance to share it with you soon!

We launched our Kickstarter Campaign May 19th, almost 2 months after the idea first came to us. The song I wrote fit so perfectly with the theme of our campaign we decided to make a download of the song one of the incentives for funding the project! I hope you take a second to check out the video and consider backing the project.  For just $5 you will get to have the download of “Generation to Generation” and support a sustainable multi-generation farm.   June 19th is the final day to fund the project, so check it out before it’s too late! :)  Thanks, Katie


Back in the Saddle Again

Ok, so I’m not the best at keeping up with my blog. If the complete void these past 8 months isn’t a clear indication of that, I don’t know what is. Haha.  It’s not that I haven’t had plenty to blog about, it’s just that I honestly struggle with sitting down long enough to put my thoughts to paper, er uh screen I mean :)  So much has been going on lately though, that I decided it’s time to break the silence and get back on the blogging band wagon.

A little over a year ago, my hubby decided it was time to leave the comforts of his full time job with Parelli and move us back to my parents’ farm to take a crack at living his dream of ranching and raising grass fed beef. Raising my kids on the farm I grew up on had been a dream of mine even before we had kids, so I LOVED the idea of moving back home.  Now, every day my kids have the opportunity to play in the same front yard, explore the same barns, fields and trees I did, and experience the countless blessings of being raised in the country.  My daughter’s favorite pastime is going for rides on the tractor with grandpa, or helping daddy gather cows.

I have so thoroughly enjoyed getting to watch my children explore and enjoy the farm where I grew up.  I often count my blessings for getting to live here.  I am seeing the farm through a new lens, through their little eyes, as they gaze in wonder at our huge draft horses, or squeal with delight the first time seeing piglets.  Not everyone gets to have these experiences in their lifetime, let alone every day.

I loved being raised on a farm.  When I was little I was constantly outside.  You’d rarely find me in my room reading, more often then not I’d be running around outside, riding my bike or tagging along with my dad as he did his daily chores.  I remember the day my dad taught me how to drive the tractor.   It was the first day of school, I was going into third grade and my older sister was going into fourth.  That year my parents decided to let my older sister go to public school, while I was going to spend another year in homeschool.  I was so sad that morning when my sister and older cousins all headed off to school.  It seemed so exciting and I was being left out of all the fun.  I remember my dad scooping me up and telling me he had a surprise for me.  Teaching me how to drive the big red tractor got my mind off how sad I was and gave me something to smile about that day.

I hope to share more with you about our adventures here on the farm.  It’s where I’m finding my inspiration these days, and getting new ideas for songs. Check back for more musings coming soon :)    ~Katie

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The Next Step

Everyone has talents and abilities that allow them to do things only they are uniquely qualified to do.  I believe most of us don’t take the time to nurture and grow those abilities, thus missing out on many opportunities.  I’m constantly asking myself what stops me from taking the next step in the development of my unique gifts.  For me it usually boils down to one thing: fear of failure.

I have a huge fear of failure.  There I said it.  And very often, that fear keeps me from going for something because I know there’s a chance I could potentially fail.  I know that may sound ridiculous, being afraid of failing at something before even attempting it, but it’s totally true.  That’s why, instead of things taking me days to finish, they end up taking me months if not years!

When I look back on the last decade of my life and all the steps I’ve taken on my journey as a songwriter, I can see so many times that I delayed taking the next step because I was afraid to fail.  I’ve started so many songs, only to shelve them after writing the first verse and part of a chorus because I was too worried they might not end up being very good.  I convinced myself that as long as a song stayed unfinished I didn’t have to admit that I wasn’t able to make it meet the expectation I had for it when I started.

I’ve been given opportunities to co-write with some incredibly talented writers, and making myself pick up the phone that first time was an extremely scary thing.  I have learned that the longer I wait to follow through the longer fear has to work its way into my mind and heart. If I do something right when the opportunity presents itself and not allow time for that fear cycle to begin, I find it easier and a much less painful process.  Amazing how that works!

There is a never ending amount of “next steps” in life, and the more I learn about myself, the more I’ve come to realize that if I don’t take that step right away, then I run the risk of letting fear stop me from ever taking it at all.  That’s something I don’t want to ever let happen, so my challenge every day is to identify what those next steps are, fight the butterflies, and just go for it.  And, even when I do fail, it’s never as scary as I imagined it’d be. “The next step is waiting to be made, sometimes it’s rushed and sometimes it’s delayed  Some are over confident, others are afraid But the next step’s always waiting to be made- From: “The Next Step”

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