Well, to start off, my name is Kaitlyn. I do not actually go by Kraesc. I do really think it’s a cute name that my husband created though. Sometimes I am called Kait. I’m located in southern IL, I grew up here. I was born in Pennsylvania though. And I so much wish that I could call PA home, maybe some day. My mother and her family are rooted in PA and my father and his family are rooted here in IL. When I was just 1 yr old, my parents moved to IL from PA for a job opportunity. We often visited our family in PA throughout the year. I have so many wonderful memories from those visits and I often long for the cool summer mornings and nights we spent on the back porch swing of my aunt’s home. When we moved to IL, we lived with my grandparents for a short while and then a rental home. When I was 3 we moved to a farm. It was actually the farm my father had grown up on. I so loved it there. I have a lot of fond memories of that place as well. We had 14 cats that lived under our porch, one with only 3 legs. My cousins and I would make mud pies and steal carrots from the fridge to make it more realistic! He he… We had a tire swing and a three-wheeler. And I still believe that I saw a kangaroo in the forest one day! (I know it was probably a deer. He he.) When my mother had my little sister, my parent’s bought their first home. I would live there until I moved into my very first home with my husband. Not a whole lot happened it seems between living on the farm and when I met Phillip. I think that life just passed by in a way that wasn’t so pleasant that I have sub-consciously forgotten about it. The one particular time of darkness that changed my life was when my grandparent’s passed away. I was about to turn 13 years old. We had just been out to PA for a family reunion and 2 weeks later they came to IL to see us! We had a wonderful time. I remember us making cookies and even though my grandma was diabetic, she ate them. They left early in the morning to head back to PA. They never made it. They hit a tractor trailer truck that was parked supposedly on the side of the road. Not only was it horrible losing my grandparent’s, but in a way I lost my mother too. She felt like it was her fault because they were on their way home from our house. She went into a deep depression. I started Jr. High that same month and it was so overwhelming. I do remember crying a lot at that time, and not really having anyone to go to. My mother was there but at the same time wasn’t and it seemed as though I could do nothing to make her happy. I knew I had a God who was bigger though. I had to put my trust in Him. I will say I wasn’t this passionate Christian, but I did lean on Him and I think that is the only way I got through those couple of years. At the beginning of freshman year, I went to a youth convention with my church. That is where I met my future-husband. (Our love-story will come another time.) I of course didn’t know he was going to be my husband. Anyway… high school went on as high school does, somewhat painful, somewhat satisfying in that you are being molded and shaped into a young woman. I think the most difficult thing about high school, other than the relationship with my parents, were my friendships. I never really seemed to fit in here or there. I did have friends that I spent most of my school time with, but I guess I was sort of independent? I mean, I’ve never been one of those girls that has to go to the bathroom with someone else. Either way, I wish that it could have been different in that I would have taken more time to get closer with those friends who I did hang out with. After I graduated, I finally got a job at a fast food restaurant. Oh and by the way, at this point Phillip and I had been dating for almost 2 years. ;o) I worked at that restaurant and went to school in the fall and then because of finances and inability to get grants I kind of “dropped out” of school. I was still living at home, I was working my butt off, but I didn’t have enough money to pay for school. And because I lived at home and my dad made too much money I couldn’t get grants, and of course my parent’s weren’t going to help me at all. Which kind of stunk, but I did appreciate the schooling I had paid for. Actually, Phillip helped me pay for school and then I paid him back. He was so wonderful to me during those times of financial frustration. He had started caring for me as if I were already his wife.
So time went by and I got a new job at a law firm where I am currently working. I’ve been here about 2 ½ years now. I’ve had several different responsibilities while here, and it has been a great experience. In October of 2006, Phillip asked me to marry him! In November of 2006, we bought our house. There was much work to be done in this house. Oye! Even though he should have already been living in the home for insurance purposes, Phillip didn’t move into the house until April of 2007! My father and him gutted our kitchen and put in new everything! We got a lot of the things used or on a really great sale. In June of 2007 we were married!!!! It was the most beautiful day. I think about it all of the time. Phillip let me move into the house a few days before the wedding so that I could get my things all straightened out and together. He was so kind to sleep at his parent’s house on the couch! for those couple of nights. So began our new life together! When people tell you the first couple of years are the hardest, they’re not lying! It has probably been most difficult learning how to live with a man! Ha ha! Men are so messy! Anyway… I had grown up with dogs my whole life. So when I went back to work after the wedding, and came home each day, I wasn’t being greeted by a furry friend! It was heart breaking for me. I wanted to take one of my parent’s dogs, but I wasn’t allowed. Phillip did not like dogs, AT ALL. He was very against us getting a puppy. But… I talked him into it just 2 months after we got married! We got Claire, a Yorkshire Terrier. Oh she’s such a cutie! And guess what? Phillip loves her! She’s daddy’s little puppy! No joke. They nap together and everything. It’s so very sweet. Other than that, Phillip is Jr. High youth pastor at our church. Our group meets on Sunday nights. So that keeps us busy. We really enjoy it, but sometimes it’s overwhelming, especially for Phillip. So there we have it! I think I covered everything. Well, you know, most of it. I’ll be surprised if anyone makes it through this post! Ha ha… My co-worker asked me what I was typing. I told her I was just writing a story. ;o)