the thing about light

Happy Saturday, Friends!

Just wanted to share a little quote from Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith" that has stuck with me since reading it last month.  I just love how Anne calls us to shine light back on the people around us.  The quote even goes on to to say that light "gets more from reflectiveness.  If you sit still and take it in, it fills your cup, and then you can give it off yourself."  How beautiful is that?  I don't know how much light is hitting your neck of the woods right now, but since spring is sllllllowwwwwlllyyyy hitting around here, I'm seeing it more and more frequently.  And I love every moment the sun decides to pop out from behind the clouds, as it did the other day when I captured the photo above!  And when this happens, I just want to stop everything and soak up each second of the sunshine, because it feels like it's been too long, and I just want to absorb as much warmth as I can while it's out.

So here I am, soaking up pockets of sunshine.  And here's Anne saying, "'Don't forget it's not just for you!  Shine it back!"  And I love that----love the moment, pass it on.  I just thought I'd pass it on myself.

Wishing you the brightest of weekends, Caitlin

big dreams and making things happen

Hello hello hello!

I can't really believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I left for North Carolina, but it has, and March is just flying by!  As I mentioned before, I flew out to NC to visit my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law and attended Making Things Happen!  It was a fantastic trip marked by awesome company, delicious food and a learning experience I will never forget.

While it's hard to share just one part of MTH because the whole experience was so illuminating, I definitely wanted to pass along the above quote.  It's one we talked about at MTH, and I just loved it....namely because it dared me to be honest about my dreams.  I think I underestimated the power of defining specific long-term goals, so actually putting everything down on paper was such an energizing activity.  One of my favorite questions asked to help us clarify our our long-term goals was "Where do you want to be when you are 80?" To be honest, I hadn't really ever thought that far ahead.  I have a vague idea of what I'm eating for lunch.  I've got a to-do list for the week going.  The weekend plans are penciled in, and I even have monthly goals that I've been shooting for.  But where do I want to be when I'm 80?  That question caught me off guard because it's a little out of the scope I typically think about.  But how powerful is that question?  What do you start to picture?  For me, I wanted to be serving God, loving my family, being creative, laughing with people with whom I've formed deep relationships.  And still of course dancing to Beyonce and making chocolate chip cookies for everybody.  And with this vision in mind, I have to think about how well I am currently preparing myself to live that life down the road.  I have to figure out what changes I can make today to get me closer to where I want to be when I'm 80.

If there's anything I can pass along from the weekend, it's to write down those dreams.  Give yourself a little gift of freedom and take ten minutes to think about what you really really want to do with your full-of-possibilities life.  And then think about one little thing you can do TODAY that's going to help you get a step closer, no matter how wild and crazy your dreams are.  Do something little that sets you on a path you're excited to follow!  (I get excited FOR YOU just thinking about it!)  Since being able to make great food for my family is one of my big-dream goals,  a little action step for me today is to find a recipe I can make for a family get-together this weekend, and I'm pretty pumped about it.

Let's do this!

xo, Caitlin


made to happen

Hi Friends!

So March has flown into action, and I'm here to give you the monthly update on my New Year's Resolutions! Those of you who read my January review might remember that I was pretty on top of it during the first month of the year.  February had a whole different pace and set of adventures, so my success rate between goals varies.  I'm ok with this, but would still like to keep up the goal setting and achieving.  And so without further ado, here's a look at how I did in February.

  • Reading 2 books a month.  Check.  As  I mentioned last month, I had started Those Who Save us by Jenna Blum in January and wrapped it up in early February.  Traveling Merices came second by Anne Lamott, and I liked it for a few reasons.  One:  It was a collection of short anecdotes that were easy to dive into as she painted the picture of her own life and faith.  Two: It was a great combo of honesty and humor. I thought Anne did a great job of sharing her bumpy, but refreshing road, and I plan to pick up some more Anne Lamott books in the future.
  • SheReadsTruth.  Check!  I Soul Detoxed and am now reflecting on those meditations for a week before #SheReadsTruth starts its next plan called "Songs of Ascent," covering Psalm 120-134.  I've continued to share verses and thoughts from the daily devotionals on Instagram and Twitter and have loved reading the responses of others!  (Here's a link back to a post about #SheReadsTruth if you are unfamiliar!)
  • Church involvement.  We've met some very sweet couples and have loved some of the Lenten activities at church!  For me, the highlight activity in February was attending two talks by Fr. Leo Patalinghug.  I could write 10 posts on Fr. Leo, but to give you a shorter idea of how great he was, I'll just give you a little information about his background. Prior to becoming a priest, Fr. Leo was a martial arts championship title holder and award-winning break dance choreographer.  He's a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who formed an apostolate called Grace Before Meals, a motion to strengthen families and communities around the dinner table.  And oh yeah, he took on Food Network star Bobby Flay in  Throwdown with Bobby Flay...and beat Bobby Flay.  Fr. Leo was a HOOT to listen to and if you've got some time, be sure to check out Grace Before Meals or this video to see how he's bringing joy to the table!  It's awesome.
  • Blog 3 times a week.  Nope.  But I did have an awesome time spending a few snow days with my cousins, participating in a shopping night for to raise funds for a mission trip through Horizon International fundraiser, and creating some custom designs that I'm excited to share in the near future...all of which I count as positive substitutes!
  • Go crazy with my Etsy shop.   Yes!  I've added some listings and am expanding my product horizons!  I still have a couple more items that I'd love to add and hope to have them up by the end of the week.  My most exciting news regarding the shop will be attending Making Things Happen in a week!!!!! It's a conference designed to "get you fired up and get you on a powerful path to making big things happen in life and in business."  Eeek!  The quote above is one by Lara Casey, a leader of the conference, and just reading it makes me excited!  I can't wait to go and soak up as much as I can, as well as spend some time in North Carolina with my brother and his fiancee!  I'll keep you posted as I prepare!

Sending you warmth and joy!


thoughts from 25

Hey friends,

The other night I was in the kitchen with my husband.  I was drying a piece of Pyrex, and he was putting away some Tupperware and whatever other dishes we had just washed.  We were talking about rent and money and anything else that was on our minds, when the whole context of the situation hit me.  I have a husband.  And we have real dishes and rent and other bills and even some Pyrex that we make dinners (and brownies) in.  And all of a sudden it seemed like I was an adult, and I quite wasn't sure how I got there.  Like all of a sudden five years went by and instead of thinking about whether I should do homework or go to the gym or just watch Oprah with my roommates, I was thinking about money and responsibilities and where on earth we got all that Tupperware.  And while I wouldn't trade one itty bitty little ounce of what my life is right now for time in the past, or for anything else for that matter, I just could not get over the fact that maybe I was growing up a little. Like life had been put on fast forward and in 10 minutes I went from running around God's country (Bloomington, Indiana) to being an adult with real-people chores and work and activities.  And the thought that ran through my head was, "When did this happen?"

And as I'm thinking about this, I'm realizing it wasn't just a few life-changing events that brought me to dish washing in the kitchen with my crazy-sweet husband.  Sure, moving across the country brings some life experiences, as does getting married and having a job.  I didn't really go from a college Caitlin to a semi-adult Caitlin in the blink of an eye, although sometimes it feels that way.  I am this Caitlin, who does what she does and thinks what she thinks, because of a million little happenings that accumulated and brought me to this very moment in time.  Seconds and minutes spent with different people in situations God wanted me to experience so I could become the person He wanted me to be.

I'm not sure if anyone else has these moments of "Oh my gosh, I think I might be an adult," but in case there's anyone else out there who maybe has these thoughts, I just wanted to say hi and don't worry, I do too....let's hang out.  And I think we might be ok, because maybe that's how life is supposed to happen. We get a little older and hopefully gain a little more insight with the days that pass.  We live a life that's full to the brim with more life, and it's hard to realize just how unique and amazing the moments are, until we take a step back and reflect, which we should do often so we're not caught off-guard in our kitchens on a random Friday evening.

So at 25, I'm taking a step back to say two things to both you and to God, who I know is reading this (Hiya!).  The first is, "This adult thing is so good," because I stand in awe of the life that's been given to me and the God/people who have brought me here, amidst the Pyrex and the craziness. The second is, "I'm so thankful," because there's no other way to to express that gratitude I have for being 25. Married, growing, creating, laughing. With a giant loving family and friends who are pure treasure. Memories behind and adventures ahead.  25 is great, no wait, it's the best and I'm so happy to be it right this very moment.

Peace and love,