Learn to Love the Unplanned thumbnail

Learn to Love the Unplanned

3 Things by Kathryn Whitaker, Team Whitaker

3 Things by Kathryn Whitaker, Team Whitaker


We all have a talent, an intangible, that helps define who we are.

My gift is… being a planner.

I know, it sounds so unglamorous. I can organize events, rooms and everything in between, but when we had our fifth child prematurely, I realized: I can’t plan and organize everything in life.

It took a tiny, three-pound baby, fighting for his life, to get my head out of the imaginary world — and planted firmly in reality.

Luke’s first year was full of fear, hope and joy. But the greatest lesson I’ve learned from his life is that even in my perfectly planned world, I can’t plan for perfection.

In fact, Luke taught me to love the unplanned and the imperfect, because that’s where love is found.

And quite honestly, I think he’s perfect just the way he is — it just took me a while to cherish God’s plan for our family. It has been a bumpy, but very blessed, road.

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With five kids, I felt like we were running a paper mill with all the dead trees floating through my door each day.

Enter: a decent filing system for all that crazy.

For mail, I operate under the “handle it once” philosophy. Trash goes in the can, junk gets dumped in the recycle bin, bills go to the pile on my desk and invitations/coupons are placed on our magnetic message board for easy access later on.

For school papers, it’s a similar system of trash, recycle and file. Each child has a box, with a folder for each grade. If you want to add a dash of fancy, include that child’s school picture and the name of the teacher on each grade year folder.

Having a specified space for everything makes me feel like that one tiny corner of the world is in order, even if it is just the closet.

(Now, having said all that, please don’t judge me by the state of my office desk.)

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True to my southern roots and graphic design brain, I love to throw a good party.

Last year, I discovered the very best book for drawing fantastic party inspiration (even more than Pinterest, so you know it’s legit).

Amy Atlas’ book, “Sweet Designs,” has me thinking: “how can I DIY that?”, “oh, those colors are rad together” and “my kids will love this!”


I don’t think you have to bring big, brassy, over-the-top style because the love really is in the details. And when I met Amy at her book signing, that was what struck me most about her. She paid attention to the details and, in return, made us feel so welcome.

At our family parties, it’s all about the love you bring and this book speaks my language.

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Contributor: Kathryn from Team Whitaker
Enjoy her personal blog and preemie blog.
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