oh how i love him

Do you ever have one of those moments when you sit quietly for a second and realize something happened to you and you don’t know when or how? Well this has been happening to me a lot lately. For some reason every time I have a peaceful moment I sigh and realize just how much I LOVE WES. We have been together for nearly 7 years now, and lately I have been very happy to find that my tummy is always full of butterflies again and I just can’t stop telling him how much I like him. I guess what happened is at some point in the last six months I fell in love with him again and fell farther than the first time. I hope this is what our marriage is always like. Tumultuous in the day to day but over long stretches of time discovering that the chaos has just brought you closer together.

 “Is my chin pointy in this one.” “Your chin is not pointy.” “Let’s take it again.”

“Do I have a double chin in this one.” “No.”  “Yes I do.” “Then why did you ask?”

“Please try to stay in the frame on the next one, Wes.”

“Sigh.”

“This is pretty dece, but can you try to block the photo bomber with your Big Nog next time?”

“Please don’t say dece.”

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a few little thoughts

I have an announcement to make.

It’s the weekend.

And that is exciting.

The first week of the new semester is long gone. Before I know it Christmas Vacation will be here. That’s just how it goes . . . a blink of an eye and a season is over. Before I get carried away in the momentum of Fall and homework, I wanted to think about and write down some  things about my new direction in life. Just so that I can take a peek at this post when the weight of the semester is pressing down upon me and remember why I’ve taken this road!

I am leaving the healthcare industry because . . .

. . . my first glimpse of work in the field has been a most sour experience. Unfortunate but true. There’s a solid possibility I will not be accepted into PA school and I am not going to risk working in this level of healthcare the rest of my life. Nor am I willing to keep other aspects of my life on hold for another attempt at admission to then start a 2 year program.

. . . I realized this past year that my passion with science lies in learning and teaching. I don’t want to do “science” as a professional anymore, at least not by doing research or practicing medicine.

. . . it does not involve the kind of creativity I thrive on. I thought that being challenged and thinking critically was a form of creativity that was enough for me, but I’ve discovered that I need to make and see and inspire truly beautiful things, like art and passions and imaginations.

. . . I don’t envision being able to maintain a healthy body, a healthy marriage, healthy friendships, or healthy hobbies while working in emergency medicine, the type which I would be most interested in practicing. Four years of undergrad has made me very, very familiar with my limits, and I know if I continued down this path, I would be faced to choose between my career and the rest of my life. I’m not looking for a career with less stress, just a different kind of stress.

. . . I am enjoying a nearly debt free lifestyle with my husband.

. . . I would like to have the opportunity be a stay at home mom and not feel like it would be impossible for me to re-enter and catch up in my field.

. . . I want to have dinner with my family every single night and never have to drive into work on the fly because I’m on call. This also goes for ballet recitals, soccer games, and music programs.

I am entering the field of education because . . .

. . . I absolutely love school. Or, more specifically, I really, really love learning. I want to be in a position to encourage others to fall as far in love with learning as I did! And this is my biggest motivator for choosing this path.

. . . “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Yes, that is from The Help, and I want every kid to know that. Poor kids, rich kids, happy kids, sad kids, confident kids, shy kids. Every kid needs to know that about themselves, and I’m going to tell them.

. . . I miss being responsible for building a community (read: I wish I could be an RA the rest of my life sometimes), and I know that if I can create living environments  that are based on respect and kindness and fun, then I can create learning environments that achieve the same.

. . . School supplies. Organizing school supplies. Building a reading library. Literary adventures.

. . . I like the idea of  a 3 month season during the year in which a schedule change occurs. Whether it’s filled with family time, professional development, pool time or a combination of all three, a change in habit always inspires me.

. . . I am excited to have vacation time that coincides with that of my wee little babes (that aren’t made yet, of course). There’s nothing wrong with getting excited over gingerbread cookie baking marathons during Christmas vacay and Staycations in Springfield over Easter break.

. . . I think I “fit in” better in this career, and that I will be able to achieve balance between my professional and personal life as a teacher.

no downton?

I came home from work just DYING to watch more of Downton Abbey season 2. Suffice it to say I thought about sitting here angrily when I discovered it would not stream (Hulu…you’ve got some ‘splainin to do!)

However, I decided to take the time to play around with this random application I found on my Mac the other day. Did it come with the computer? Did I install it? I just don’t know.

Anyway, it’s called CollageIt Free, and I think I will toy around with it a bit and then look for additional apps!

On my mind:

I love that burnt-orange-and-olive floral. It’s on this amazing retro bench from one of my favorite restaurants in Nixa, Missouri. I actually sat there and asked Wes how difficult it would be to sneak it out the porch door (for shame!)

I have shopped waaaaay to much lately. I bought an adorable new wrap dress from Red Velvet and as I was leaving the store I noticed that dress in the window. I’m drooling.

I found this gem of a jar in my Granny’s basement when we visited Colorado this summer. I can’t explain how much I love it. I think you can be “in love” with inanimate things to this extent, but I also think they call it a disorder…

Finally, I’m missing my sis. And those ducks we’re just too cute not to snap a picture of!

xoxo Cat

sundays are for . . .

1. Baking. http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2011/08/30/smore-than-you-can-handle/

2. Frantically calling your mom because you just can’t make RICE like she does. Rice–2:1 water to rice kind of rice.

3. Wishing you could freeze time and stay in this particular Sunday forever, and never let the fall semester begin…

4. Finding the perfect bed for the spare bedroom.

5. Sedating the kitty cat with Benadryl in order to give her a “sanitary shave” on her wittle witty wehind (little kittie behind) so she stops having an issue with…long hair…and…poop.

6. Taking a piece of Pinterest love and actually making it happen in my own home.

7. Watching as much Downton Abbey as I possibly can.

8. Finishing up a project here and a project there…

9. Reading under my favorite blanket.

10. Shamelessly perusing blog after blog after blog after blog. The three open in my browser right now:

Secondhand Sundays

Thriftary

Oh So Lovely Vintage

summer reading list: the postcard killers

There is nothing I love more (except for vintage dresses, Girl Scout cookies, Essie nail polish, and estate sales, of course) than a poolside thriller of a novel. So, who better to author book number 2 of my summer reading list than James Patterson? Well, I don’t really know the answer to that question, because I had not previously read anything by James Patterson. But I must say I did enjoy this book, The Postcard Killers, a lot. I started it poolside, but it quickly became one of those sneak-out-and-read-at-work-when-your-boss-isn’t-looking type situations. Definitely fast paced.

So here’s the dish: washed up homicide detective begins obsessively tracking a string of European murders after his own daughter and son-in-law are killed while abroad. Appropriately, said detective is always one step behind, until a clue allows him to preempt the killers in Scandinavia. And the murderous couple is caught. In Chapter Threeish or Fourish.

So what’s the rest of the book about, you ask? Well, that’s the twist. The book is written from another point-of-view: that of the murderers. So during the entire story, you know exactly who is committing the crime, how they’re doing it, and you can kind of figure out why (read: they’re off their rockers). Upon capture, however, it appears that the people we know to be the murderers are not the murderers at all. So whodunnit? That is the question that’s sorted out throughout the rest of the novel.

Oh, and of course, whether or not handsome, forlorn detective finds love or not.

Scandinavian love.

Which, according to my husband, is the best kind (as if he knows). One thing I definitely know is that this was a Jackson well spent (or whoever’s on the $5 bill). Sometimes unexpected splurges are the best!

xoxo cat

pause for summer

I am sooooooo looking forward to the weekend. A mere six Mondays ago I was tying up lose ends before I started summer classes. It has been a whirlwind six weeks, and I am so glad that my math class is over. I learned so much, but it was the most intense summer class I have ever taken. Three hour lectures four days a week with numerous hours of homework and supplementary videos to deal with outside of class. I’m sighing with relief now that it’s over! I still have another class to wrap up, but I’m excited to have about 5 hours of my day back to myself. I’m especially looking forward to more time with friends (read: fulfilling our Sno-Cone addiction with our favorite Double Date, Whitney and Colin), chats with Wes, and just being able to bathe more frequently relax a little.

xoxo cat

a new dress, a new project!

photo c/o The Clothes Horse

Browsing fashion blogs for inspiration and new boutiques to shop at is something I could do all day.  One blog that is absolutely addictive is  The Clothes Horse. The blogger, Rebecca, has fantastic style and I’m constantly blown away by the outfits she comes up with. (Fun Fact: We share the same first name!)

Most of the clothes she blogs about can be found at various online boutiques, such as Modcloth and Family Affairs, and I managed to snag the red dress featured above at Spotted Moth. It came in the mail today, and I’m so in love! I don’t often find clothes that are made well and I seem to have the worst luck sartorially, but today I struck gold with my new red dress.

Before I started sewing, I never looked at the garments I bought. I would never notice if a hem was jagged, or if a hem was actually finished. They were just clothes, and I wore them. It’s something my mother did, however, and I would always hem and haw at her, but now I understand the impulse completely: when you know how the pieces fit together, you can’t help but look for flaws.

When I presented my new dress to my mom, we immediately looked at every seam, hem, and button hole, searching for something wrong…and found nothing!  My mom was actually impressed by the workmanship, and that doesn’t happen often.

photo c/o The Clothes Horse

Seeing this dress pushed me to try my hand at making a dress, one with large fluttery sleeves, a style I’ve just recently realized I tend to wear a lot. The pattern pieces have been cut, the instructions thoroughly read, and even now I’m slip stitching my bodice piece together. It’s my hope to have it finished sometime tomorrow, and I’m bursting at the seams (no pun intended) to share with you my photos and finished piece!

xoxo, bea

summer reading list: bloom

photo c/o barnesandnoble.com

Book one of my Summer 2012 Reading List was a great read. Bloom is a lovely story about a mom named Kelle and her beautiful family. When it begins, Kelle is pregnant with her second baby–a baby girl named Nella. When Nella is born, she is as precious as the older sister (Lainey) that came before her. But, shortly after she arrives, her mama discovers that Nella has Down syndrome.

The story journeys through Nella’s first year of life, as mom learns how to love her new daughter, and let go of the baby she had imagined while she was pregnant. She tackles so many emotions: forgiving herself for not feeling how she was “supposed” to feel when Nella was placed in her arms; wondering whether she should introduce her girl with “This is Nella, and she has Down’s”; and realizing that big sis Lainey will always love Nella just the way she is.

This book couldn’t have come at a better–or a worse–time. Terrible timing, simply because I have Baby Fever. Like, bad. And when I baby-sat my best friend’s adorable 3 month old, Wes confessed that after watching me with her, he might of caught The Bug too. But, alas–no babies for us for a while.

On the other hand, this book was just what I needed during a time where I felt as though my life was never going to turn out the way I expected to be. Kelle and Nella’s story helped me remember that life is unpredictable, but always beautiful, and that my journey will be worthwhile too.

xoxo, cat

ps: you should check out Kelle’s blog, Enjoying the Small Things!

flashback #2 // a peek into my diaries from yesteryear

Here it is, friends: the second installment of a series where I share tidbits from journals I kept during some of the most awkward times of my life.

Before we take a dive into the mind of a pubescent, I’d like to share with you a recent awkward moment:

Honk if you love dance team captains!

Yep. That’s me in the top right corner. With white eyeshadow I thought added a touch of Gaga but turned out to look more like a sunglasses tan. This is really just to remind myself that I will likely be perpetually awkward in all that I do. I’m starting to embrace this part of myself, and accept that I’m pretty much just a late bloomer!

Anyway, the first installment of this little series, which you can read here, was inspired by a lovely little diary I kept in grade school. But this one, my friends, is going to be a real treat, straight from the mouth of a fourteen year old. I’m still recovering from perusing this particular journal, by the way!

Let us begin . . .

6/4/2002

Bare with me journal I’m not good at keeping diaries. Are you my journal or diary? Journal. Diary is too girly, and I won’t say Dear Diary or Dear Journal cuz that’s just annoying and it gives me goosebumps. So anyway Donegal and I are writing a X-Men II version of our own. It pretty cool.

I’m moving in 20 days. Sad but sweet–bittersweet.

I love my handwriting.

Anyway, gotta go, I’m getting pooped!

(I think I might still have that Composition Notebook with our “screenplay”. Complete with illustrations. I might have to burn it.)

6/5/2002

This is my super-sexy-star list (S.S.S):

Hayden Christiansen

Apolo Anton Ohno

James Marsden

Heath Ledger

Tobey Maguire

Vin Diesel

Ashton Kutcher

Sean William Scott

I’ll add more tomorrow!

Bye.

(I shared this entry with Wes and he asked “Who the heck is Sean William Scott?” When I simply replied “Stifler,” all Wes could say was “Oh my God.”)

6/11/2002

Moxie: use in place of “cool”.

(You can also substitute the name Catherine for the word “cool”. Seriously)

6/22/2002

Haven’t written in a while!

So we finished packing and we have moved to Missouri. More like Misery.

Except 4 1 thing.

And his name is Andrew Adkison. He’s the first cute guy I’ve seen in 2 weeks!

(He was a cute dude. No really, he was, and I know this because my ENTIRE diary talks about it.)

Yikes. There are many more entries, but they all go something like this: “So and so is sooo cute, but I’m dating so and so right now.” Can you say boy obsessed!? I had a fabulous vocabulary, too, using words like “pining” and . . . “butthole”. I have to admit, I’d start reading some entries and shout “Oohhhh gurrrrl!” and quickly slam the entry shut. Consensus: I was dorky, pimply, and I did not have it all figured out. But I know I wasn’t the only one.

You we’re like that too, right?

Right?!

Right.

xoxo cat

it’s the first day of school . . .

. . . and this is what I’m wearing!

This outfit was inspired by a feature called Open to Interpretation on a fabulous blog called Freckles in April. In this feature, blogger Kayla encourages some awesome creativity by posting an inspirational outfit (hello, Pinterest!) and then interprets it with pieces from her own closet. This week readers are able to participate by linking up their interpretations from pics posted by Kayla and two other bloggers. Thursday we’ll be interpreting an outfit submitted by a reader, and Friday is interpret your own!

So yeah, this outfit is my interpretation of this photo:

photo from North Meets South

It was a really interesting process, and out of the first three outfits I’ve put together, this was the hardest for me. I started out with skinny jeans and a top that screamed rockabilly. It was cute, but I felt like I was all hips in it. I kept adjusting it. And I am low maintenance when it comes to outfits, so I knew it wasn’t going to work. So keeping with the most striking element (for me, the shoes) I kept trying and trying and trying! Finally, I found a great combination with a ruffled blouse from Charlotte Russe, a vintage skirt and scarf from my granny, and sneakers from Urban Outfitters. My favorite part? The fact that both the shoes and the scarf have a floral pattern, that coordinate in color but differ in size!

Sneakers will be perfect for trekking it across campus tomorrow, since I’m officially a commuter student and have to park on the far side of Mars.

xoxo cat