I’m so glad you stopped by! I’m Kate and among other things I’m a writer/blogger who loves to cook and chronicle life with my iPhone. I’m married to Mike, my best friend and mom to Grammy-winning recording artist Francesca Battistelli and Mimi to Franny’s three children, Eli, Audrey Jane and Isaac James (and baby #4 due in September!) Before becoming a Christian, I was an actress and singer in the New York Broadway musical theatre world. I toured for 2 1/2 years in the Broadway National Tour of The King and I playing Anna opposite Yul Brynner as the King. That’s where I met my amazing husband.
I’m the author of Growing Great Kids: Partner With God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child’s Life, published by Charisma House and I’m writing my second book entitled The God Dare. I’m a New Jersey girl currently living in Franklin, TN, writing about God, food, family and hospitality. My passion is to remind you there’s a big God Dare with your name on it!
You know, I always imagined myself as the mom of 4 or 5 kids, house in disarray, chaos, crumbs and craziness everywhere. Of course, things don’t usually turn out how we plan do they? God had a different path, a unique story crafted just for me. His plan? Give me one precious child and teach me day by day and year by year. He slowly helped Mike and I uncover her gifts and talents deep within and taught us what we needed to do to give her dreams wings. I wrote about our struggle with infertility and having an only child here.
I never saw myself writing a book, no way! But God did. All along He was writing the chapters deep in my heart year by year as I took up residence in “the mother hood.” His lessons stuck with me and when He was ready He gave me a ‘divine nudge’ and Growing Great Kids was born. My part? Obey and start writing. It didn’t really matter how I saw myself. He said write so, I wrote! Good thing He doesn’t only call the equipped but still equips the called!
You know that crazy idea you have right now? The one that’s way too big for you? The scary one? I call it a God Dare and it’s Him, divinely nudging you. Take the plunge! Follow through, make the phone call, start the business, go back to school, start the ministy, write the book. Whatever it is, Just Do It. If you fall flat on your face, so what? What if you don’t? What if it is God and He has a huge plan just for you?
Fast Facts About Me
- I love to cook.
- I HATE to clean.
- I’m a word nerd and appreciate good grammar and spelling.
- I adore coffee-organic with heavy cream, dark unsweetened cocoa and a dash of cinnamon.
- I can knit and crochet.
- I’ve collected and been utterly enchanted by sea glass since I was a little girl.
- Chocolate is my weakness. Organic and dark 🙂
- I love to make my own jams and preserves and can them at home.
- I’m a messy (just ask my husband).
- I’m a complete Broadway musical theatre dork.
- I make everything from scratch, except worcestershire sauce…so far. Here’s my Recipe Index.
- My grand-babies, Matthew Elijah and Audrey Jane are the cutest kids on the planet.
- I can’t draw to save my life.
- For five years I was a certified childbirth instructor in The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth.
- I went to 4 colleges in 2 years and didn’t graduate from any of them. Thus my reluctance to write a book!
- My husband is my best friend
- My love languages are acts of service and gifts. Which pretty much makes me the person you want to have around on holidays!
- I’ve been to traffic school 3 times. Oops.
- In the interest of total transparency, the image above is retouched. I’m older than I look 🙂
- It’s also by the brilliant master photographer, Tim Kelly. Find him here at www.TimKellyPortraits.com
Meet the Family
My husband, Mike
- Isn’t he cute????
We quite literally fell in love across the footlights. I was traveling the country in the National Tour of The King and I and Mike joined the tour in Detroit as the Assistant Conductor. Now Detroit is not my idea of a romantic city however, it holds beautiful memories for me. Also, you’ve gotta love GreekTown, The Ren Cen and The London Chophouse, but that’s another story…
The first time I laid eyes on him he was down in the orchestra pit on a cold night in Boston, before we got to Detroit. I thought, hmm…he’s really cute. Wonder if he’s married? Or gay? (the theatre world, remember?)
We clicked immediately and I knew very quickly he was the one I was going to marry. Back then I lived in New York City and dated mostly actors or musicians. Back then, my mom referred to my recent boyfriend as “the thing with the hairy arms”. Let’s just say responsibility and commitment wasn’t his strong suit.
Not Mike. He owned a house. And a dog. He had a car. And, a lawyer.
Best of all, he sent his shirts out to be laundered. That really impressed me! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven and I knew I had to have him!
Oh, and he cooked Italian too. What??? The perfect man for me.
He is the smartest person I’ve ever known. He has taught me what integrity and honor and humility looks like even when it’s cost him. He’s a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and he has a master’s degree and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Massachusetts and he’s a brilliant musician. Dr. Mike! I figure his 3 degrees and my 0 degrees averages out to a nice B.A. for both of us. I can pretend, right? 🙂
Why do I love and respect him so much? He’s a faithful husband, he loves God, he’s a fantastic dad and amazing grandpa and after 30 years of marriage, he still makes me laugh and we still have lots to talk about. All that and he makes the best pizza and meatballs and spaghetti sauce I’ve ever eaten. And yup, he’s still cute…
My little heartbeat, Isaac James
Me and Eli 🙂
You might know her as Contemporary Christian Recording artist Francesca Battistelli. To me, she’s Franny. Amazing wife, daughter extraordinaire and devoted mom to my little heartbeats! Her heart for God inspires me and her passion to make His name known is contagious!
Being a mom is fantastic but being a grandma? It satisfies my heart in a dozen different ways. I didn’t know what to expect when Franny was expecting. What can I say?
I. Simply. Adore. Those. Babies!!!
I never had the privilege of having a son but I get to experience it in having a wonderful son-in-law, Matthew Goodwin. I see how deeply and tenderly he loves my daughter and how he delights in fatherhood. He follows hard after God and understands biblical concepts way too complex for me. He’s lived his life on the road as a traveling musician for years so he totally gets Franny’s hectic schedule and life on a tour bus. He manages her career, setting her free to be a wife and mom when she isn’t performing. I think he’s a champion.
My Life on the Stage
In my former life I was an actress and singer living the dream in New York City. For a number of years I diligently pursued fame and fortune on Broadway and my stated goal was to be a Tony Award winning star! I performed all over the country doing regional theatre, dinner theatre, children’s theatre, off-off broadway, you name it.
In 1980, I auditioned for the role of the understudy of Anna in the National Tour of The King and I starring Yul Brynner. I got the part and diligently rehearsed and rehearsed until I knew my role backwards and forwards. I never expected I’d get the chance to perform with Yul Brynner. But God has a way of making the impossible seem logical!
Below, is an excerpt from chapter one of my book, Growing Great Kids and tells how God, even before I knew Him, turned my life upside down.
Life Comes At You Fast
“About 2 months into the run of the show, I arrived at the theatre around 7:15pm for the 8:00pm curtain only to find out the leading lady was sick –and I was going on for the first time as the leading lady in forty-five minutes! I knew my part well but had never worn the costumes or handled the props, let alone been onstage with Yul Brynner! I was freaking out but I had to focus and get ready.
The night turned out well and I got to perform the role of Anna for two weeks while the leading lady was out with pneumonia. In the end, Yul Brynner (who not only starred in the show but was also one of its producers) preferred me in the role so he bought out the leading lady’s two-year contract and offered me the role of a lifetime! It was an amazing time for me and I was privileged to play the part of Anna more than a thousand times, before more than a million theatre goers over the next 2 1/2 years!
The best part of the entire experience though, was meeting my husband Mike. He joined the tour about 6 months into the run of the show as the Associate Conductor and, as he likes to say, we literally fell in love across the footlights! After performing eight shows a week for the next 2 1/2 years, we left the tour, moved back to New York City, got married, bought a little condo in Greenwich Village and began our new life together.
A year later, we found ourselves answering an altar call and giving our hearts to the Lord. Franny was born a year later and we thoroughly enjoyed our new little family amid all the excitement of living and working in the hustle bustle of New York’s music and theatre world. It wasn’t long, though, before we began to feel the tug on our heart to lay down the business we had worked so hard find our way in and follow what God had in store for us next.
Bucking conventional wisdom, but following what we believed was God’s best for our family, we eventually left New York and our careers behind to embark on building a new life that included moving to the suburbs, starting a new business and homeschooling our little girl.”
Sometimes your dreams do come true. Interesting that my big break was with The King and I. Now it’s just the King…and i.