Here is a story for you.

My parents were always honest with me. They told me right from the beginning that I was adopted. In my little kid brain, I just assumed that something like half the kids are adopted and half of all kids grew in their moms’ bellies.

Moving along. Now I’m in third grade. Gym class. Girls’ locker room. Somehow the topic of adoption comes up in conversation. I think nothing of it and tell them all proudly that I am adopted. I am teased. I realise quickly that not one other girl in my class is adopted. At lunchtime I ask all the boys. None of them are adopted either.

I was angry. I felt like I had been lied to by my parents. I was different. I was not normal. Being different is bad in elementary school. The whole day, I was teased by the kids in my class. They told me that my real parents didn’t love me. Something was obviously wrong with me or they would have kept me.

Real parents? My parents were my real parents. What were they talking about?

I went home furious. At the mean little school kids. At my “real parents.” At my parents. How could they adopt me and do this to me?

My mom asked me how my day was.

“Horrible.”

She asked why. There was always something dramatic going on, but I don’t know if she was ready for this.

“Mom! Who else in my school is adopted?”

She tried very hard but couldn’t actually think of anyone else.

I demanded answers: “MOM! If Ms. White (the principal) told everyone in the school who is adopted to go stand on one side of the cafeteria and everyone who is not adopted to go to the other side of the cafeteria, do you mean to tell me I’d be ALL ALONE?!”

My mom didn’t know what to say.

Luckily, my little sister was listening. She was confused. She decided to butt in at this point. “Well no. I’d be there, too!”

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She said it so nonchalantly that I couldn’t help but smile. Even in the third grade I realised that I wasn’t alone. I had a kickass family. We stuck by each other no matter what. That’s what family is. I wasn’t angry anymore. I will always remember that day: the only day in my life that I wasn’t sure I liked being adopted. And it didn’t last very long.

Being adopted is awesome.

Shadows dance on the wall playing tricks on my eyes
While seemingly plotting my impending demise
The face in the mirror seems like a disguise
I feel like a walking facade of bad lies

I shouldn’t write poetry in the middle of the night.

My dad is 60 today.

Dad's Birthday

I think that sometimes since I live on the other side of the world, I don’t really realize that my parents are still getting older. I don’t see them every day and see them growing older. It doesn’t happen right before my eyes.

The Fish

I know that every girl says that her father is her hero. The multitude of hero songs and poems that we see during Father’s Day every year get a bit cliche`. I have always looked up to my father and he really is my hero if I had to have one in this life. There has never been a time where he said that he was going to do something and then didn’t do it. I can always count on him and depend on him and there has never been a person ever that I could say the same about with such a strong passion.

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My dad is the reason I played softball for so long and has such a strong love for the sport. He was at every game I’ve ever had besides one where my little sister was in the hospital and he apologized for missing my game and sent my grandmother in his place so someone was there to watch me and cheer me on. He was there to pick me up when I was down, and knew when to rally me, when to squelch my ego, and exactly when not to say anything at all.

My dad also encouraged my arts. He took me to acting classes and voice lessons when my mom wasn’t available. He told me I was amazing. He never told me to stop singing even when the notes I was hitting weren’t that pleasant when I was practicing. Even when I sang the same song over and over again for months.

My father is my biggest fan. He is my biggest supporter.

Beach Dad

He taught me how to ride a bike.
He taught me how to fly a kite.
He taught me how to play softball.
He taught me how to swim in the ocean.
He taught me how to fish.
He taught me how to drive a boat.
He taught me how to drive a car.
He taught me how to be the good, honest person that I am.

Wedding!

I love you, Dad.
Happy 60th Birthday.
I miss you.

Bayport vs Islip, Nov. 13th, 1971

#11 <3

I got an email the other day asking if I wanted to renew caity.nu for another 2 years. I pondered it for a while because I haven’t blogged for quite some time but then obviously I renewed it. I just couldn’t let it go yet. Now here I am.

I have been fighting with WordPress for months and then just giving up, making excuses and not finding the time to fix it properly and get back into the swing of blogging. Despite various people’s prodding and reminding me that I have a blog I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’d like to, though.

Most of my life is generally the same. One thing is incredibly different but I’m not ready to talk about it yet. Maybe I never will. I guess in some way just by saying these few sentences I have talked about it. But life is good. Mostly I just love my job so much. I never knew that teaching could be so incredible.

One of my goals this year is to organise my life. I have started to do this in a variety of ways. One of these ways is by using a Filofax planner.

I have always been obsessed with planners. I used a paper planner all through school and college to keep myself on track. Colour coding and to-do lists have always been a part of me and I wanted to take it one step further.

I bought myself a black personal metropol planner.

Right after I purchased it, I started to panic. I realised that I was becoming obsessed. Browsing filofax blogs. Pinning multitudes of filofax pins to my newly created filofax boards. Following filofax instagram accounts. I was going to become one of those insane planner people who was going to have weekly themes and colour codes and categories for everything. I was slowly going to sink so much money into this little book buying washi tapes and custom pages and special pens and stickers. Is a new obsession and money-sink what I really wanted?

YES. YES IT WAS.

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Every year, I say that I’m not making cliche` resolutions. I always make the same lame joke about how I’d just be happy to write next year’s date. Then I make some comment about how it would probably be nice to lose some weight but that it is not a resolution because it’s something that never needs a start date and it just a part of me.

Well, this is the look you’re probably giving me right now.

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Yup, that’s me. Well, it was me. I’m very happy that I’m a healthier person than I used to be but I have a long way to go.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m turning 30 this year, maybe it’s because I’m finally sick of not accomplishing things I set out to do, or maybe it’s because I finally have a deeper understanding of what I’m capable of achieving, but I’m finally going to make some resolutions this year. Especially since the ONE “resolution” that I made in 2013 didn’t really happen since my weight didn’t change at all. (And in 2012 all I did was gain weight.)

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I recently saw someone post on Facebook about how they were enjoying a new project they had started called the 5 Year Diary. It is exactly that – a diary that you keep for 5 years. I just had to get one for myself.

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Each page has a date on it and room for 5 year’s worth of entries for that date. It is meant for a short summary of that day. Only 6 lines of writing makes me keep the events of my day to short and sweet little bits. It doesn’t take long to do and it is such a great keepsake to have. It will be interesting in the years to come to see what I had written on that same date in previous years.

I was going to wait to start mine on January 1 this year but when it arrived I just couldn’t wait and started writing in it. Mine starts on Halloween.

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You can get one here.

Do you keep a written journal?

My parents keep trying so hard to keep up with the times. They want so badly to be part of it all – the internet, the smartphones, and being “tech savvy” (their words, not mine). I suppose part of it was forced upon them by their eldest daughter moving across the world. Technology makes it so easy to keep in touch with people these days that some days I can almost still pretend we are on the same continent.

I must admit that they keep me amused. Especially my mother who obviously has a much harder time with all this stuff.

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Here is exhibit A. She has learned to send pictures and now they come every day. This week I actually got a selfie for my parents. Trust me, kids… it’s a scary sight.

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Sometimes I think to myself that I should just make a math teacher blog instead. That’s basically all my life is these days. Not that it’s a bad thing – it’s just the truth. I love it to pieces but I just don’t know if anyone really wants to hear about what I want to do with my student’s notebooks next year or what I think the best classroom management strategies are.

Is this really what I’ve become?

There is one cool thing, though. I have some pretty amazing students. They bring me amazing things like this origami. I have an origami shrine in my classroom now.

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Not many people can say that they have an origami shrine. Am I right?

Oh, but my students can create some things that aren’t so good too. Last week I did my famous Map Project with one of my junior classes. They have to create a map of a town for a toy company. There’s math involved – don’t worry. They have to have parallel streets, perpendicular streets, streets that form obtuse and acute angles, and the list goes on.

One of my students decided to populate his town. They thought it was funny. I didn’t.

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We had a big compromise and the student decided to erase the people. Then he drew a nuclear warhead next to a dump instead. Fine. Compromise. I’ll play along. As long as there are parallel streets, I’ll be happy.

Ahh, teaching.
Some days it’s harder than others to find the beautiful origami amidst the dumps full of nuclear warheads.

ENGLISH VS MATHS
a late night delerium poem

Sometimes I wish I taught English
So I could read poems to my class
I could read them a story of far away places
Instead of just teaching them Maths

Today I taught classes to graph things
And they didn’t seem overly thrilled
Inquiring when they’d ever use it in life
Who would want them to have all these skills?

In English, I’d teach them rhetoric
To inform and persuade and give speeches
Hyperboles instead of hyperbolas
There is so much that English class teaches!

I would teach them the classics of Shakespeare
And, of course, we would put on a play
Othello, Macbeth, and then Hamlet
They will be all their favourites someday

I’d make sure they didn’t use txt spk
Cuz i dnt wanna c english die LOL
Grammar and punctuation is essential
And vocabulary is a must, as well

But what do I LOVE more than English?
More than Faulkner, Bronte, and Thoreau?
Statistics, Geometry, and Algebra!
So really, I’d have to teach both!

I’ve been incredibly busy lately. I knew that my first year of teaching would entail incredible amounts of work on my part and it has definitely proved to be all of that and more. I’m happy to say that I’m loving every minute of it, though!

Teaching high school students has proven to be one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences in my life thus far. I learn something new every day and there is never a dull moment both in and out of the classroom. What has surprisingly proven to be one of the most difficult things for me in my teaching experience so far is how my students have this incredible talent to somehow get me completely off topic. One second I’m talking about algebra and the next minute I’m talking about how New Zealanders call all candy lollies which I find confusing because whenever someone says lolly I think of a lolly pop but a lolly is really any kind of candy over here besides chocolate. I think? See – I don’t even know. Wait, was I talking about triangles? Where am I? You darn kids!

Today, I was teaching a Trigonometry lesson and hilarity ensued.

A plane takes off at an angle of 41° with the ground. It travels through the air until it is 8m high. How far has the plane traveled through the air?

Don’t worry. We don’t actually have to do math. I will show you my beautiful picture that I drew on the whiteboard, though. I demonstrated how our diagram should be drawn (with some feedback from my students, of course), and then I drew in a plane because you’ve got to illustrate your triangle pictures!

The problem is… I can’t draw. That is my plane. (If you play me in Draw Something then you will understand.)

A couple students started laughing.

One student said, “Miss! Haven’t you ever been on a plane before?”

Laughter followed. Because, of course, here I am – a foreign teacher standing in front of the class. This New Yorker teaching a class of New Zealanders while in New Zealand. Have I ever been on a plane? Gee, I wonder. (Maybe I should have taken it as a compliment that they think I fit in so well that I belong here.)

I looked at the student quite seriously and replied, “No. I actually swam here.”

More laughter.

Then I continued with my board work.

The best thing about writing on the board is that you can turn around and smile and smirk while you’re writing but the students can’t see. Then you can turn around all calm and composed and make a perfect, premeditated remark at just the right time to make them not know what to think. Turn around and write again. Throw in some math. Catch them off guard. Rinse and repeat.

I love teaching high school.

One of the not so great things about New Zealand is the intensity of the sun. I’m not complaining about the percentage of sunny days in my rainy little town but rather just how harmful the sun can be in New Zealand. The ozone isn’t as thick over here and it makes a HUGE difference. So many people travel to New Zealand thinking that they know how to handle the sun or how much sunscreen to wear and end up wishing they had listened to warnings. Thankfully I listened to everyone about how dangerous the sun can be here. Plus, having a mother who had a large melanoma in the past, I have always been aware of the sun and what it can do.

I spent the entire day outside in the sun with our whole school for Athletics Day. I covered myself from head to toe with sunblock. I put it all over my arms, legs, face, neck, hands, and even my ears! I even wore a huge sun hat! I bet my dad would have laughed at me since it’s the same kind of hat that he tries to get my mother to wear all the time but she won’t since they look ridiculous. Since everyone wears them over here, I guess they are a bit less ridiculous.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t thorough enough with my sunscreen in all the excitement and I missed just the bit of space above my socks.

47/366

And oh, did I pay for it. You can even see the spaces right around the burn where the sunscreen made it onto my skin. I have certainly learned my lesson for next time.

It could have been way worse.

I have been welcomed with open arms into my new and small close knit town here on the coast of New Zealand. Upon my arrival to the community and to the school, I’ve received nothing but warm welcomes and lots of tips about how to make life easier and even more amazing than I already thought it was. I have been invited along to events, been told some of the town’s secrets, and I’ve even been given some gifts.

Last week, someone asked me if I liked rum. I responded, perhaps too quickly, with a very excited YES. I was relieved to finally be asked by someone if I liked something other than wine. Apparently if you’re a woman in New Zealand, it’s generally assumed that you love wine and want to drink it all day. However, I am not really a fan of wine. I actually have never had a wine that I really liked despite my best efforts to try multiple different kinds of wine on various occasions.

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So, Josh and I were gifted some homemade rum. Wait, WHAT? MOONSHINE? Isn’t that ILLEGAL? Well, it’s not illegal in New Zealand. It’s one of the few western societies where home distillation is legal and stills and instructions are sold openly. So it’s not really moonshine since it’s not illegal but I’m calling it moonshine anyway because it sounds more awesome that way.

It was really good, too. Sure, it probably would have been better if we could have resisted it for a few months and then tried it but we only lasted a week. It was just sitting there on the counter staring at us! What were we supposed to do?

If you use Pinterest at all, you’ve probably noticed the trend where people have a pinboard for their bucket lists or their lists of things they want to do in their lifetime. I personally don’t use Pinterest for this but of course I see everyone else’s pins.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is that many of the things that people are pinning for these things they want to do or accomplish in their lifetimes are things I’ve already done. I don’t know if this means I’ve led a particularly exciting life or if I’ve just done the standard exciting things that people generally put on their bucket lists. I have been trying to figure this out lately.

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Today I start my new job as a high school math teacher. It is a bit hard for me to accept the fact that ten years ago I was in high school myself. At the end of this year, it is technically my 10 year high school reunion. Weird. (It’s also a bit weird for me to get used to the start of the school year being in January here instead of September as well as the entire schooling system being much different but I’m sure I’ll get used to all of that, too.)

high school

Look, I was doing horrible Facebook poses before Facebook even existed! Okay, you caught me… it was horrible MySpace pose. I’m so ashamed.

I was the same cheeky little bugger then, too. I haven’t changed too much except I had highlights in my hair and sometimes I wore a *little* makeup. By that, I mean a bit of lipgloss and some sparkly eyeliner. I still only own those two makeup products although I don’t really wear makeup much at all anymore. Oh, and I don’t have highlights anymore. My parents still beg me to get them back but I never really liked them anyway. The real reason? They’re too much work and I’m too lazy.

While I’m being all melancholy, here is a blog I wrote ten years ago. (Yes, I was blogging back then too. I’ve saved all the posts but I don’t have them here at caity.nu and you’ll see clearly why in a few short moments…)


midterms, anyone? [January 2002]

First of all, let me state that I’m going to kill my sister if she doesn’t turn off the crap SHE is playing on her radio… yep… my own sister is a bubble-gum-pop-freak.

:::pulls our hair:::
:::goes to find loudest rock music in collection:::

Well… midterms are over.
I guess that’s good.

My math midterm was so easy I wanted to pound the table in frustration…
umm… maybe I actually DID do that… heh.

My government midterm was not bad. I studied for it, and my teacher prepared us well for it… umm… if we did the work we did well… and I always do the work. I’m a good student. =)

My physics midterm was really awesome… did I ever mention how much I love physics? A LOT! I really like physics. Even if it is hard at times, too, I don’t care, because it is enjoyable, and the teacher makes it enjoyable, too.

Ummmm… those are all the midterms I had to take… (physics, math, and government) well, that’s all that was given for the classes I was in. (Those aren’t all the classes I take, believe me… but those are the only ones that give midterms!)

Today was the physics midterm. I can’t believe I actually went, though. Let me explain: I had a fever! What moron actually goes to take a midterm with a FEVER? uhh, let me answer: ME, that’s what moron! Oh, man! Besides the fact that I think I disturbed everyone else in the room with my coughing (lol), I think I did damn well…

I’ll let you all know how I did…
But I’m confident…

Gee, besides the fact of being sick and feeling like crap, a positive outlook on life for once!! =)

:pause:

UGH… it will probably change in 5 minutes anyway, why am I so excited?


How embarrassing. But probably hilarious.
How have you changed in the last 10 years?

It’s incredible how many people ask me the same two questions (or variations of the same questions) over and over again:

What do you miss about America?
What do you like about New Zealand?

I have really had to think about these two things. They are actually not as simple as you would think. At first it was actually just silly things but now I actually have compiled quite the list of things from both sides that I love about both places that I’ve had the opportunity to miss because I didn’t have it when I lived overseas. I bet I’ll still leave something out but here goes nothing!

Oh, America… what I miss about you.

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I miss my family (here they are just a few weeks ago – my dad has learned to send me pictures from his phone). I also miss my cat who Josh and I thought we’d be able to get over to New Zealand way before now.

I also miss my friends like crazy. I haven’t really made any friends in New Zealand yet.

I miss my gym. Gyms in New Zealand are super expensive probably because it’s so beautiful outside and easy to be active outdoors.

I miss how cheap clothes are in America. I tried to buy some clothes for my new job a few weeks ago and all I wanted was a damn Old Navy or a Kohls so I could raid the clearance rack and walk out with a bag full of clothes – not 2 items.

I miss stores being open all the time. Why does the mall close at 5? Nothing is open on Sunday? What the heck? I actually have to PLAN my trips in to town?

Cheap takeout food and cheap food in general. Hey, I’m being honest. Sometimes I just want to get a cheeseburger or a milkshake from the dollar menu. I’m not proud of it but it’s the truth. There’s no such thing as the dollar menu here.

Four seasons. Trees changing color in the fall. I just am not seeing four distinct seasons here – although I don’t think I’ll really miss not having to shovel snow.

Central heating. Sure, maybe it’s something I don’t really NEED and maybe it’s also because my father ran a central heating business all my life but sometimes a space heater or a fire just doesn’t cut it when I’m REALLY COLD. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but I still don’t have fire building skills yet so it’s a good thing Josh does or I’d freeze to death.

Free Wifi in tons of places. The only place that has free WiFi is McDonalds which to me is kind of weird because they don’t in America.

Having fast internet – and not having a cap on my internet each month.

Thanksgiving.

Squirrels.

Iced Tea.

Pizza.

Oh, New Zealand… what I love about you.

Christmas 2011

New Zealand is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.

There is no pollution that I’ve ever seen here.

People care more about the environment. They recycle. They walk places and use public transport or carpool or hitch.

The food is healthier.

It costs more to purchase takeout food. Yes, I said I missed this from America but it’s also something that I like about New Zealand because it forces me to eat healthier and Josh and I love to cook. I think that overall it is a good thing.

There is no high fructose corn syrup and food, overall, is less processed.

People are generally in less of a hurry and are nicer and more genuine.

There is a more awesome variety of ethnic foods here that wouldn’t be found in America and such foods can be bought in supermarkets.

There are way less people.

Public healthcare. Sure, every system its flaws but I think it’s awesome after not having very good luck with America’s healthcare system.

People are “forced” to recycle because you have to pay to get your garbage picked up but you don’t have to pay for recycling so the less you need to pay to get picked up, the better.

I love that these is less traffic even though I have had to get used to driving on the other side of the road. I also like that people have less road rage – or none at all, really.

Small mom and pop shops around town that aren’t driven out by huge businesses yet. They’re getting rarer and rarer in America these days. All the coffee shops driven out by Starbucks. No more bookshops because there are Barnes and Nobles. The list goes on. Here, there are plenty of little shops all over the place of all different kinds! I love it!

I like hanging up my laundry.

I can actually see the stars.

I love all the awesome birds, especially wekas.

MEAT PIES.

New Zealand power outlets fascinate me.

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Besides looking like cute little faces and being interesting because they are just a novelty to me, they have one other feature that I really like. Most NZ outlets have a switch right on them to turn the power on or off. It further saves electricity because it directly shuts off the electricity to the outlet entirely. It’s such a genius idea. It’s so simple and yet it’s something I’ve never seen before. You can save so much power by flicking the switch off when you’re not using the outlet so the outlet doesn’t draw any power at all.

I had to admit it took me some getting used to since I just usually plug things in and then pull them out again and that’s that but now it’s always a two step deal – plug it in and flick a switch or unplug and flick a switch.

The other thing that takes getting used to?
Up is off and down is on on all switches here!

I try to think I’m doing my part reducing my usage and recycling (Josh and I set up a recycling system here) and reducing my carbon footprint. Even little things like flicking switches on your outlets can add up if everyone does it.

It’s Thanksgiving.
I miss my family.

All day, I tried to think of things I was thankful for. I made a huge list inside my head and every time I got sidetracked feeling sorry for myself being so far away from my family on Thanksgiving, I went back to my list. I didn’t even know I could think of so many things that I was grateful for. It really helped me get through the day. Josh was really good to me too. At first I got all emotional and upset at him because I thought he forgot about Thanksgiving but he went behind my back trying to plan all these big surprises for me. Then I felt pretty awful for just assuming he was ignoring me or being forgetful about Thanksgiving. I guess we’re all human sometimes, aren’t we?

I was spoiled last week not having to do physical work at my supermarket dairy job. Hanging out at the school I will be working at next year was not as physical though perhaps it was more mentally challenging.

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This week I am suffering for it. Even after only one week off my body is having trouble keeping up. Only a few days into the week and I feel like I could sleep for another week straight. I’m going to bed early so I can at least sleep for as many hours straight as I can.

When I start my new job, I’m going to make sure that I stay active. I want to save up and buy myself a bicycle so that I can keep up my love for cycling and spinning. The town also has a gym that has spin classes that I plan to look into. Some of the teachers also play team sports like volleyball. That would be fun, too.

For now, the only thing I want to think about is sleep. I bet I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

How do you stay active?
How many hours do you sleep each night?

Around Halloween, Snark, one of the message boards I frequent decided to do a candy exchange. We have a variety of different members coming from all different parts of the world so we thought it would be interesting to pair up members with those in other countries so that we could all sample some candy from around the world! I jumped at the opportunity to participate because I thought it would be fun to send someone candy from New Zealand and also due to the obvious fact that I love candy.

I was a bit of a special case since I just left America and might have been missing some of my favourite candy this Halloween so they actually paired me up with Angela in Ohio! Angela and I have been online buddies for years now so this made me really happy and we both tried to figure out what the other person might be excited about receiving.

Candy!

Angela hit the nail on the head. The only thing I told her I’d love to have was some butterfingers but the rest was up to her. Josh threw in a request for some of his tabasco smoked chipotle sauce, too (when I came back to NZ, there had to be room in the suitcase for this sauce – that’s how important it was). She sent a bottle of it and Josh was very grateful. Hershey’s chocolate is SO expensive over here because of course it’s imported from Hershey, Pennsylvania. I saw some Hershey Kisses in the store the other day all bundled up for Christmas and they were ridiculously expensive. I couldn’t believe it. It was awesome to have these Hershey bars. I am making them last and really enjoying them.

Dream!

As good as I’ve been (I’ve just reached 60 pounds lost so I’m obviously not sitting here eating chocolate bars every day) I still indulge every once in a while especially with all these new things around me here in a new country. I must admit that I am a bit addicted to white chocolate lately. Whittakers chocolate is what New Zealand is known for but when I can’t afford that (which is most of the time because who can justify spending loads of money on chocolate when you’re on a budget) I buy this Cadbury Dream bar.

My other favourite candy is pineapple lumps. It is a soft chewy pineapple flavoured middle covered in chocolate. It’s amazing. If you put them in the freezer they are even more amazing to eat. I try to do that so I don’t eat them as fast. Pineapple lumps don’t last very long around here.

What is your favourite candy?

Last week, I mentioned how my mom is horrible at the internet (but learning) and how my dad was trying to get his email to work on his new droid. It still makes me laugh that my dad has a droid and it makes me laugh even more that he got a blonde joke app that he uses often to tell jokes to my mom and sister.

Well, my dad has ascended to the next level of being technologically savvy. I just received an email from my dad’s phone. He sent me pictures he took with his droid!

Of what, you ask? Well of his dog and of his boat, of course! What else do men take pictures of? Well, the rest of his phone probably contains ridiculous pictures of my mother but I don’t think he trusts me with those and he is correct in his judgement. Good call, dad.

Baylee is grown up!

I can’t believe how adorable Baylee is. Oh how I miss that face. I feel like just yesterday I was taking her for walks but that was months ago now.

Baylee

It’s a little bit crazy that her puppy face feels like just yesterday too but it was just over 2 years ago.

Dad's new boat

Here is my dad’s new boat. It was a fixer upper and my dad worked on it all of last winter while I was in New York. I think he put it in the water a few weeks after I left for New Zealand. I am still a bit sad that I never got to go out in the boat but I’m so glad my family got to enjoy it pretty much all summer. My dad deserves it and he worked so hard on it all by himself. I think it looks amazing.

Dad wins!

(Psst… don’t forget to go ask me questions for tomorrow!)

It has been a while since I mentioned it, but I have a Day Zero Project, also known as a 101 in 1001 list. For those who don’t know, it is basically a list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in 1001 days or approximately 2.5 years. My list has been hidden at my site for quite some time now since it has been on hold but I decided that I would start actively pursuing my tasks once again so I have added my list back to the navigation of my site again.

You can see my list here:
http://caity.nu/101-in-1001

I started my list back in March of 2010 and I have just over a year to complete the rest of the list. I was able to cross off quite a few things from my list after reading over it again. I completed a few things without realizing it in my big move to New Zealand and during my weight loss as well as just randomly here and there.

This is what I looked like when I started my list. :(
365days: 003

Here is what I look like today. :)
:)

Some things of note that I have completed recently are:

3. Take the leap and move to New Zealand.
4. Get a job in New Zealand.
6. Find a place to live in New Zealand.
15. Lose 25 more pounds.
17. Work out for 3 days a week for an entire month. (In hopes this will kick start me.)
19. Drink 8 glasses of water a day for a month!
20. Do not eat any take out for an entire month.
27. Buy nail polish and paint my nails.
28. Get a pedicure.
41. Beat a video game that I start. (Mass Effect)
50. Get myself a new mp3 player for the gym when I’ve kept the 10 pounds off.
51. Allow myself to get some new clothes when I lose the 25 pounds.
60. Take a break from the internet for an entire weekend.
80. Donate all clothes I don’t need or wear anymore to charity.

Do you have a bucket list or a Day Zero project? What are some things that you have completed recently?
What are some interesting things on my list that you think you might want to try?

One of my coworkers won a million dollars playing lotto at our store last month. Of course everyone’s first instinct is to complain saying “I wish it would have been me” but of course half of them don’t play. I don’t think anyone is entitled to complain about not winning the lotto if they don’t even play. Maybe I should start telling them all that I wish someone would just walk up to me and hand me a million for doing nothing at all because at least that makes more sense.

Instant Kiwi
Via

I bought a lotto ticket the other day. It looked a lot like this one, being a losing ticket and all, so I will borrow someone else’s lovely photo from Flickr. I should have known I would lose anyway. The odds of someone winning the lotto are slim to none. What are the odds of two people winning the lotto from the same place? I don’t think it would be very good, if I had to guess. Playing the lotto is fun, though.

In New Zealand, they only have the big lotto drawing once a week. That’s pretty different to me being that in New York it’s every day and the jackpots are even bigger – and that’s just one state compared to an entire country. (Yes, yes, I know New York is huge but I’m just noticing more differences and musing about them.) It costs a lot more for a weekly drawing here, too. I guess I won’t be gambling on lotto tickets very much.

They have really funny commercials, though. This one is my favourite.

My mother isn’t very internet savvy. In fact, she’s probably one of the least internet savvy people I know. She is learning, though. I set her up with her own gmail account and we email back and forth quite a bit now that I live overseas and she reads my blog every day. She even knows that the “tweet tweet” on the side of my blog is a separate thing and sometimes if she clicks on it, it takes her to a separate thing that shows her more things about me although she has admitted that it doesn’t always work when she tries to do that.

DCP_0880
(I’m sharing this picture of my mom because I love it. It’s a spontaneous shot of her beautiful smile and I know it’s one she would never share because it wasn’t a planned photo and that’s just how she is.)

The internet baffles my mother. She doesn’t really know how to work it or navigate it at all. She can only get to the websites that I have set up for her by clicking them in the toolbar. She doesn’t know how to type them in herself and navigate there. Someone else has to do that for her. I bet she will get there, though.

Yesterday, I sent my mother an email about all of the clothes that I bought the other day. I decided that since she couldn’t see my clothes, I would give her links to them in the email so I put links to all the pieces of clothing that I bought so she could go to the website and see my purchases. I figured she would like that. Wow, did she ever. Today, I got a response with this gem in it:

I looked at all the websites you included in your e-mail. They were all wonderful! I have NO CLUE how you can make those websites just “appear” in your e-mail letter to me in BLUE like that. AND – then all I have to do is CLICK on the colored words and the website appears! This whole thing totally amazes me! You are sooooooo talented!

Yes. Yes, I am. I am amazing. If I ever want to boost my self esteem, I just send an email to my mother and I feel like I have this rare talent to bend the internet to my will. I think it is adorable how my mother thinks I am brilliant including links in an email.

My dad, on the other hand, has a droid and is trying to send me pictures from his phone. It’s not working but at least he is doing much better. He actually uses a computer on a daily basis and checks his email on his phone. He even downloads apps for his droid including his favourites which are an app that shows him the world time so he doesn’t call me when I’m sleeping (because he knows I am cranky when he wakes me up) and an app that tells him random blonde jokes. My dad lives with two blondes so this one is very helpful and especially hilarious when he tells the blonde jokes to my mom and sister and they don’t get them. Rock on, dad!

DCP_1068
(My dad is going fishing this weekend so here is an old picture of him with a fish he caught in hopes he’ll catch another like it!)

I have awesome parents even if they are a bit behind in the times. I bet in 30 years there will be some new thing that I won’t get and someone will be mocking me about it.

I was working at the supermarket dairy the other day when I noticed a cute little kid in a shopping cart who was obviously talking to me. He was being pushed around by his mother and was sitting in that front seat part and couldn’t have been more than 2 years old. He was at that age where you couldn’t always understand what he was saying even though you could tell that he was definitely forming complete sentences and making sense so I answered him with one of those animated and polite, “oh, really? Cool!” Then I gave him my biggest smile. :)

My toddler buddy started hysterically laughing. Whatever he had said was obviously the funniest thing on the planet and so I gave a chuckle too since I was obviously in on the joke. Also, he was a really cute kid and he had just brightened my day, as kids do.

His mother turned to me and felt the need to not only translate what her son had said but also explain it to me. She told me how her little whipper snapper had somehow seen an episode of South Park and that’s where he heard the joke, “Do you like fish sticks? What are you, a gay fish?” That is when I understood what the kid had said. He had just told me this joke. The mother apologized again as the kid kept blurting out the joke at me. I told her it was cute and she smiled and ran away.

Today, I was minding my own business and out of the corner of my eye I saw the same kid. I smiled at him and he screamed at me, “GAY FISH!” I laughed out loud and said to him, “Oh! You remember me, huh?” I thought it was pretty adorable that he remembered. Also, it was pretty hilarious. It was probably funnier if you were there and it doesn’t sound so funny now that I’m writing it down but perhaps you can still see the hilarity in it all because I definitely do.

Do you like fish sticks?

Rose

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. ♥

Have a wonderful day, everyone. Most importantly, make sure you are always having wonderful lives. Remember you are always loved, no matter who you are and remember to always love yourself.

Love, Caity

As many of you know, Josh and I met online. We talked seriously for months and before that we knew each other for a few years. When we met in person for the first time, Josh came to America to see me. He brought me a present. A beautiful greenstone pendant in a little black box. It meant the world to me and I never took it off. I even wore it in the shower. It was my favourite thing ever and always reminded me of how much Josh cared about me. Sadly, a few years later I lost it. I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what happened to it. Did I misplace it? Did it break? Did I lose it forever? I had given up hope of ever finding it again.

365 [Day 3]

My mother was cleaning up the basement where Josh and I had lived for a while and she found it under some furniture. She had heard me mention it and how much it meant to me so she sent it over to me with a little note. This is one of the most awesome things to happen to me lately. I have worn it every day since.

If you haven’t noticed, Christmas is coming. Being in New Zealand for the first time during the holiday season has been quite strange for me. For example, it’s summer. Now, I’m not complaining about it being summer. I live for the warm weather! However, I don’t associate warm weather with Christmastime! Where’s the snow? Where’s the ice? Where’s the freezing cold weather? Drinking hot cocoa by the fireplace? It’s going to be different having a BBQ on Christmas. Going to the beach on Christmas. It’s all such a strange concept to me but I love it!

Another reason it probably doesn’t feel like Christmas is because there isn’t so much rushing and stores don’t seem so crowded like I’m used to. I come from New York, where it’s not uncommon to go to a mall that has thousands of parking spots and still not be able to find a spot to park. Now, I’m living in a small little town where I can walk around the corner and see sheep and horses. Of course the hustle and bustle isn’t going to feel the same here. I was walking through town today thinking how empty and serene it was compared to where I’m from and at the very same moment that I was having this thought, I overheard another pedestrian complain about how busy everything was and wasn’t the holidays so disheartening and rushed?

I was on line to post a letter this afternoon and another woman came along to stand on this little line and was so surprised and almost appalled to see that the line had FOUR PEOPLE! Wow, look at how BUSY everything is! Last December, I waited in line at my post office for over an hour because it was so packed. It’s just so strange to hear someone think that things are crowded around here.

Life is all about perspective.
I’m really enjoying the perspective I have right now.

Taumata

One of Josh’s uncles came back with this photograph after a recent camping trip. Yes, this is a real sign for an actual place. Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokaiwhenua­kitanatahu is the longest place name in the world. (Really! The Guiness Book of World Records says so!) In case you’re counting, it has 85 letters. I already counted. Of course it’s a Māori place name and it roughly translates to The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.

Sure, it’s often called Taumata because… well… who can actually say all of that every time you want to talk about the place? Still, it’s pretty awesome. Can you imagine someone asking you where you’re from and you just casually but realistically being able to say “Oh yeah mate, I am from Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokaiwhenua­kitanatahu, New Zealand!” That would be sweet.

Do you live by a town or a place that has a cool history like that?

Well guys. New Zealand is wonderful but it has been a bit hard for me lately to settle in. I miss my friends and my family and things are just so different. Most of these different things I really love and enjoy but it has been difficult nonetheless as I am sure anyone could understand when one moves around the world.

I have decided that I need to take a break from the internet, tv, and video games and everything else like that. I’m going to go for more walks until I can run again, focus on eating healthier, and make myself happier again. I am sure this will make my relationship with Josh better too since it is easier to be around someone who is happier and there has been a bit of stress between us lately.

I like to write in this blog when I am happy and I will be back when I have lots of happy things to write about again. Hopefully that won’t be too far down the road.

If you want to contact me for some reason, even just to say hello, send me an email to x@caity.nu since I’ll still be checking my email.

“If you love the life you live, you will live a life of love.”

I’m sure that most of us have a memory of a favourite baked good, maybe made by our mothers or grandmothers, that will stick with us forever. One of those fond baked memories for me is my Grandmother’s Snickerdoodles. Today I was home alone (Josh and my mother in law are at work) and I started feeling a bit nostalgic. I thought about my Grandmother’s Snickerdoodles and said to myself, “Man, if I had those Snickerdoodles I bet I would feel a lot better.” Then I realized, “HEY! I can make my OWN Snickerdoodles!”

You should be laughing right now.

I ran to my friend Google and found a snickerdoodle recipe. They looked exactly like my Grandmother’s Snickerdoodles and my excitement grew. Luckily, my mother in law bakes quite a bit so I found everything that I needed in her cupboards and cabinets.

That’s when it went downhill.


What I learned from making Snickerdoodles:

  • A chunk of butter right out of the refrigerator is not an easy thing to whisk. Or mash with a potato masher. Or try to use your eggbeater on. When you get frustrated and mix it with your hands, it makes your hands gross and greasy.
  • Eggbeaters are harder to control than they look.
  • 350°F is NOT the same thing as 350°C. New Zealand uses Celsius. Get used to it, Caity.
  • Little pieces of egg shell are really hard to get out of your batter once they accidentally fall in.
  • Remember that the inside of the stove is hot. At least I know how to treat a burn.
  • Caity’s Snickerdoodles do not taste like Caity’s Grandmother’s Snickerdoodles. Cakey Snickerdoodles are no match for crunchy ones.

My fail Snickerdoodles.

At least I have Snickerdoodles.

Josh started his job today at the bread factory. The cool thing is that we found out he’s allowed to take 2 loaves of bread every day! This is great news because it means I get to have lots of toasted sandwiches. My two favourite toasted sandwiches are “spaghetti and cheese” and “salsa and cheese.” I would have never thought to put those things in a sandwich and toast it but it’s amazing. We’ve already established how obsessed I am with New Zealand cheese.

Cheese

Mmm. Cheese. Look at this big block of pure awesome!

When Josh got home with his toasted sandwich materials, he stated proudly, “Now I’m the breadwinner!”

He takes after my grandfather who, upon hearing about Josh’s job said, “He’ll be making a lot of dough soon. He better not get caught loafing around on the job!”

My family makes puns like these all the time.
Do you have any cringeworthy puns to share?
I’m in the mood.

Today, Josh got up early to take his mother to work so that we could use her car today to go around to all the different schools and hand out my CV. After we got back, I turned on my computer to see this.

I'm Josh's Rainbow

Apparently there was a rainbow outside this morning before I woke up. Josh took a photo of it and made me this desktop saying, “You’re my rainbow!” To say it made my day would be an incredible understatement. How sweet is that?

Today, I found an amazing website called 8tracks. It’s basically internet radio with a twist. You can make your own mixes to listen to or listen to other people’s mixes. I have been listening to it all day. I am usually the last to know about such awesome things so if you have an 8tracks account already and want to add me you can find me under 8tracks.com/caity. I am trying to expand what I listen to since I have had the same music on my hard drive for ages.

I have decided that tomorrow when I wake up, I’m getting all dressed up and going around to all the local schools in the area to introduce myself and give out my resumes. Who knows? Maybe something good could come from it. Maybe I’ll get some sub work in the meantime and I will be able to get my face out there. Wish me luck!

I’ve started replying to most of the comments on my blog.
Do you do that on your blog?
Do you go back to blogs to read the author’s responses?
Just curious.

Something that I really have come to like a lot about New Zealand is the way that they seem to care more about the environment. Simple things like not being wasteful. Of course everywhere you go, there are going to be people who care and “do their part” but if I can pick out so many things that are different (in a good way) after being here for such a short time, I think it’s safe to say that New Zealanders are a bit more conscious about their environment.

The other day, Josh and I got some McDonalds. Of course you have to try McDonalds if you’re in another country! The cashier handed us our meal which contained two napkins. One for each of us. Isn’t that all you need? Well, in New York, they give you a handful of napkins in every fast food place you go and most people just end up throwing the rest away.

We have done a fair amount of food shopping, as well. Do you know that most people use their own reusable bags? They do. Also, if you have just enough things to carry, the cashier won’t even offer you a bag. Crazy, right? Carrying things with your hands? The best part is… you have to actually pay for the bags if you use them. Sure, it’s only a few cents but it’s still something.

People hang up their clothes here instead of using a dryer which wastes power.

There are laws that you have to recycle and on “recycle day” there is a green bin in front of EVERY house.

There is just no litter anywhere. It’s just not something people do.

Maybe that’s why New Zealand is so beautiful.

What do you do to make the world a better and more beautiful place?

It has come to my attention that most New Zealanders don’t do anything for Halloween. This really disappointed me since it’s one of my favourite holidays. I can name all the costumes I’ve ever had for Halloween and I have very fond memories of trick-or-treating, haunted houses, haunted corn mazes, and some Halloween parties when I got older. It looks like I won’t be doing anything for Halloween this year.

It's Halloween!

A family friend sent me a Halloween card and it arrived today. I thought that was really sweet. I decided that maybe next year (since it’s too short notice and I don’t know anyone around here yet) that maybe I’ll throw my own Halloween costume party. I mean… who doesn’t like costume parties?

All this thought on holidays got me thinking about what the next holiday was. Thanksgiving. Now if you’re not my grandmother who asked me for 4 consecutive years “how New Zealanders celebrate Thanksgiving” then you’ll understand why I might have gotten melancholy. I decided to take action, though. I told Josh and his mother that I’d like to make my own Thanksgiving dinner and invite the other members of our family so that we can celebrate Thanksgiving. They all thought it was a great idea and now Caity’s Big Thanksgiving Day has been set in motion. I’m really excited.

Just because you’re in another country doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your favourite holidays! I’m glad I finally realized this.

Christmas in the summer is going to be very strange to me, though.

What is your favourite holiday?

Sometimes, inanimate objects seem to have a mind of their own. Where are my keys? They’ve scurried under a pile of papers on the counter! The remote control? It has crawled under the couch cushion.

The other day, Josh was cleaning out his mother’s gutters (because he’s a good son like that). He asked us to turn on the hose for him and when we did, the hose danced and stayed in an upward position on the front lawn. It was as if the hose was saying, “How dare you disturb me, the almighty snake hose!?”

Hose Snake

Have you ever had a random object take on a life of its own?

I consider myself a very accepting person. I am very compassionate to other people’s shortcomings and do not think anything less of them if they possess qualities that are different from my own. I like to believe that the world is a better place having so many different kinds of people in it. It would be so boring otherwise. I like to be accepting of people’s ideas, even if they are very opposite of mine, and I respect what other people have to say because of this.

There is one person that I just cannot accept for who they are, though. Myself. No matter what I do, I am never good enough for me. I see all my flaws and shortcomings and do not allow them to slide. I analyze myself so harshly and do not ever give myself the benefit of the doubt. If I’ve done something good, then it still wasn’t good enough because I was capable of more. My positive qualities are diminished by qualities that I do not like about myself. It’s just how I have always been.

When I was still in school, my parents would reward my sister and me for getting good grades on our report cards. I would always bring home very good grades and my parents were always pleased. I was never pleased, though. Often times in high school I wouldn’t take their reward and insisted that it still wasn’t good enough and that I should have tried harder because it still wasn’t my best. I was always the hardest on myself.

The good thing, though, is that I am definitely getting better all the time at seeing my good points and being as accepting of myself as I am of others.

Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other gold

Does anyone else remember that sweet little song from the Girl Scouts? I remember singing it with my friends throughout grade school (and even afterward) and having it always remind me that although we always make new friends throughout our lives, we should never forget the ones we already have.

Since I will be moving to New Zealand sometime in the near future, I think it is important to remember that, although I will be making new friends, I must never forget all my friends here in America. I will have to keep in touch with them and always remember that my friends make up a part of who I am. At least that is what I believe.

What do you think makes a good friend? Here are some qualities that I think are truly important. They are values that have guided me through many friendships and hopefully will continue to do so throughout the rest of my life.

  1. You must always be able to trust your friend. You should know that if your friend tells you something, it is fact. If they promise to keep your secrets, they will (unless they feel you are in danger). You can leave them with your most treasured belongings and they will keep them safe.
  2. Your friend must be honest. They must always tell you the truth, even when the truth might not be what you want to hear. Real friends don’t hide the truth from each other.
  3. A friend must always be able to listen. Being able to truly sit back and listen to what you have to say, knowing when to give advice and when an understanding ear is needed, is very important.
  4. A true friend will always understand what you mean. They will understand what you need. They will understand what you are talking about. They will understand all of these things even when you sometimes don’t.
  5. A good friend will be able to make sacrifices. It might be something as simple as sacrificing your choice of places to hang out together for something your friend wants. It could be offering a friend some much needed cash to get them through a rough time in their lives. It could even be something as serious as giving a kidney to the person you truly care about.
  6. True friends respect each other. A friend should treat you how they want to be treated and should never treat you with anything less than their best. Respect also includes time not spent together, and allowing you some alone time once in a while.
  7. A friend should be supportive. They should always back you up in your endeavors and fight your battles with you, but not for you. Friends stick by each other.
  8. Sharing some interests is pretty important when it comes to friendship. You should have some things in common with your friend. Maybe you like to do the same things, share some of the same ideas, or like to hang out in similar places. Doing something you love with a friend makes it that much more special.
  9. A friend should be helpful and always willing to lend a hand. Favors should be done with gladness and not because they are expecting something in return. Friends should want to be helpful and go out of their way for their friends and that’s okay – because their friend will want to do the same for them!
  10. Most of all, a friend should be kind and should love you for who you are.

What qualities do you look for in a friend?

Do you think that everything happens for a reason? I don’t really think of it exactly like that but I have a similar school of thought. Perhaps things don’t go exactly as you want at a specific point in your life, but if they don’t go that way, maybe certain events down the line that are really amazing won’t be able to happen. Consequently, sometimes when really great things happen to us, it sometimes causes some events that might not be so fantastic to spiral into effect.

I guess I like to think of life’s events as a series of cause and effect but when you really analyze it, I guess it could be explained as “everything happens for a reason.” I suppose it just depends what way you try and describe it.

How do you look at it? Do you think that everything happens for a reason? Is there just cause and effect? Is there just no explanation for the events that are thrown at us?

Just a note: to get myself back on track, I’ve signed up for EcstasyMB‘s month long blog-a-thon. I’m excited.

For day 1 of the blog-a-thon, we are asked to simply write a letter to our mothers. For a lot of the other bloggers, I felt like it was a way of getting a lot of feelings out in the open or to just freely talk about how they felt about their mothers in general behind the anonymity of the internet. Well, my mother reads my blog. Do you know what? I’m glad. I’m going to write my mom a letter that I know she’s going to read and I don’t mind if you all read along.

Dear Mom,

Though you probably don’t know it, you have always been a source of inspiration in my life. From before the time I could talk, you filled my head with all sorts of amazing things. You were the first person that showed me that I could go anywhere without leaving my backyard, that I could travel somewhere just by reading it in a storybook, or that I could imagine anything that I wanted and none of it was wrong if it made me happy. You threw me the best birthday parties a girl could ever dream of – from moon bounces and carnivals in the back yard to pirate treasure maps that led to “real live buried treasure” in the sandbox if my friends and their little plastic shovels could dig it out for captain Caity. You made the holidays magical. I feel like they were even more magical than anyone else’s holidays and even Halloween had some cool tricks like the time you convinced us our house was haunted by a friendly ghost who knocked in the walls of the basement conveniently to yes or no answers and threw us candy.

I don’t think anyone else does as much as you did to make sure that your precious little girls enjoyed themselves in their lives. I’m not even talking just about kid parties and Santa Claus. When the time came to get through those hard parts of teenage and young adult life, you were right there with me, too – even when I didn’t want you to be. Those are the times that matter the most, though.

It’s every mother’s dream to have a little girl. I wasn’t always the most agreeable, the most clean (especially after mudpies or softball games in the rain), or the most thankful all the time – but I was your little girl. I hope that you know that I have always appreciated everything that you do even if I find words hard to express it at times. You have always been someone I have looked up to and admired. Everyone who meets you automatically loves you and there is definitely a reason why. Actually, there are lots of reasons why.

I only hope that one day I will have the chance to do some of the things that you did for me for children of my own and that they appreciate, love, and respect me as much as I appreciate, love, and respect you.

Forever,
Your eldest daughter, Caitlin

Josh says the most random things. He always keeps me amused.

You know… Star Wars is a horrible name for that movie. It’s not like we’re talking about fighting celebrities or large balls of hydrogen and helium burning in space attacking each other.

This gem was said to me today while he was doing the dishes. Our tiny studio apartment that had been silent except for the ambiance of music a few moments prior was now full of Josh’s thought of the day. Well, one of them. I’m sure I’ll be graced with more before the day is done. He certainly keeps me entertained.

We’re both home sick today. I have spent most of it commenting on random blogs and debating whether or not I should change my layout yet again. I really should just spend the money and get an absolutely amazing custom layout made for me and finally not change it every other week.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss

I had the opportunity to read a very special book for Earth Day today – The Lorax. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Here is a movie that was made that illustrates the story but as always it’s much better if you read the story yourself. Enjoy!

What do you think the boy hearing the story will do with the Truffula seed that the Once-ler tosses to him? Do you think the seed symbolizes something else? Something bigger?

Have you done anything for Earth Day?

Personally, I think every day is Earth Day but I wanted to post something special today.

This has been a trifling week for me. I’ll most likely blog about it soon but I need to get my thoughts all in order. For the time being, Moko and I wanted to say hello.

365days: 015 (by caitysparkles)

I think I need to list some things I’m thankful for right now. I’m just in a pretty horrible state of mind and sometimes it helps to reflect on those things that make you happy.

    I’m thankful for the following things today:

  • my husband
  • my cuddly cat
  • music that can affect my mood
  • beautiful weather
  • amazing friends
  • cool showers
  • refreshing drinks
  • beautiful cherry blossom trees

What are you thankful for today?

Yesterday, I had such a horrible ear ache at work that I could barely walk in a straight line! It was interfering so much with my balance that I was just unable to perform the tasks that I needed in my workday. I tried desperately to make it through the day but the longer I waited, the worse it got. I waited so long that by the time I asked to go home early, I had to ask Josh to come pick me up because I couldn’t even drive. I fell asleep in the car in the parking lot waiting for him and my mother to come and get me and take my car back.

I always feel so helpless when I have to do things I like that. I found myself in the nurse’s office calling home from the little phone in there. Whenever I feel sick I feel so vulnerable like a small child. Why is that? Working in a school and sitting in a nurse’s office around other children probably didn’t help much either.

I hate feeling vulnerable. I am the type of person who always needs to feel like I’m in control of everything and when I am sick I just don’t feel that way. I know a lot of people who enjoy the time off and like that people cater to them when they are ill (though obviously they don’t enjoy being sick).

When was the last time you felt vulnerable? What are your thoughts about feeling that way?

April is Autism Awareness Month.

On the night of April 1, prominent buildings across North America and the world including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada were lit up blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day today!

And we’re aiming to light the world blue, too – city by city, town by town – by taking action to raise awareness about autism in our communities.

On April 2, wear blue clothing and ask your co-workers, schools and friends to wear blue too.

http://lightitupblue.org

I’m wearing blue. Are you?

Blue for Autism (by caitysparkles)

I haven’t taken photos of myself that I like for a while. Yesterday I took a self portrait that I really like.

Self Portraits (by caitysparkles)

Here’s another for you. Didn’t come out quite as good but I still liked it, too.

Self Portraits (by caitysparkles)

Sometimes it’s good to be a little narcissistic.

Sometimes we all need to feel beautiful. Or handsome. Or just plain good about ourselves.

Compliment yourself in the comments. Tell me something about yourself that you love today!
I love my eyes and I have a nice complexion that I don’t have to work hard to keep.

I must have the worst immune system ever. I was home sick again today. Sore throat. Runny nose. I went to the doctor and he gave me lots of super doctor things to help me feel better.

While I was home sick, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day anyway! I reveled in the fact that my name is Irish (my name is Caitlin, if you didn’t know) and I pretended that I was Irish. In reality, I don’t know what I am so I can pretend whatever I want. I’m adopted, if you weren’t aware of that either. My adoptive parents have a lot of Irish in them, though, so I have every right to celebrate.

I made a pretty St. Patrick’s Day boutonniere, too. Don’t you love it? You can make one yourself here.

MY BOUTONNIÈRE (by caitysparkles)

So, you learned a lot about me in this post, huh? Why don’t you ask me some more questions. That’s right. I’m doing the whole “ask me whatever you want” deal. So, lets play “Ask Caity!” I’ll answer all your questions on Saturday. Well, all those that I deem appropriate, but I think that’s a given.

Today, I was hanging out with my friends and the topic came up of the silly things that we had in our purse. My friend, who teaches elementary school, had a pack of crayons in her purse. Me, who is a math teacher at heart, had a million pencils in my purse. Another friend of mine who is a paraprofessional was carrying around her home hours log sheet. We found it all rather adorable that we carried around the things near and dear to our professions.

So I decided that I’d share with you what you might find in my purse. Here is what I am carrying around with my on a daily basis. Well, minus my camera because that’s usually in there too. Obviously it was in my hands at the time of the photo.

What's in my bag? (by caitysparkles)
From left to right, top to bottom:
my purse, my inhalers, benadryl, school medical kit (gloves and gause with instructions), a book, wallet, checkbook, daily planner, moleskine journals, breathspray, chapstick, a crayon from my friend for St. Patrick’s Day (haha), my phone, my sparkly hair clips, nail file, my crazy amounts of pens and pencils that I don’t need but insist on carrying with me at all times, and my keys

So… what’s in your bag?

I went to a Lenten prayer service at my Church tonight that was given by a visiting Franciscan Friar. At the end of it they had Confessions. I was really worried about it because I haven’t been to Confession in a very long time. I was really determined to just do it tonight. Say all my sins and be absolved! I walked up to the altar… my knees knocking… all I could muster was a tiny whisper…

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 12 years since my last confession.”

“Why have you been away from the Church so long?” the friar said.

I explained that, in fact, I had not been away. I was closer than most. I’m quite active in my Church but Confession is just one sacrament I haven’t received in years. I sing at Mass (I’m the leader of song) every Sunday – sometimes two or three times a weekend – and I am at Choir practice during the week. I went to Catholic school for 6 years and then went to a private Catholic College. I sing lots of religious music too. Heck, I even have a Great Uncle who is a priest.

I told the friar my sins, all my deepest secrets that have been plaguing my heart and soul for so long, staring at my feet the entire time. I stopped, took a deep breath, and look up at him.

He laughed, and asked me if I was sorry for my sins.

Of course!” I squeaked, appalled that he would even ask such a question. Then I remembered it was part of the script.

He told me I was absolved of my sins, and to go in peace.

I stared at him for a moment. “That’s it? Don’t I have to say Hail Marys? Our Fathers? The Creed? The Rosary? Anything?”

He laughed at me and told me to go do a good deed or something.

I was insulted. This was 12 years worth of sins that I just professed and he laughed in my face like I was a child. An insolent child! Silly Caity… your sins are cute… now go keep being good.

I guess in retrospect it’s a good thing. It’s better to have cute sins than really horrible, unspeakable sins. I am still angry, though… he shouldn’t have laughed. They are still my sins and they still weighed me down for 12 years.

I had a pretty awesome day today! However, my mind is only working in tiny little snippets so I’m going to make a little list of thoughts since that is how I’m functioning. Enjoy!

  • I cantor (lead the song) at Mass. Today at Church a woman came up to me after Mass and told me that the sound of my voice reminded her of Heaven. I know that she meant well and it was such a nice compliment but I just wanted to blurt out, “Oh really? Have you been there? What’s it like?” Instead I just pointed to the organist and complimented her because my organist is incredibly talented and I love her.
  • Josh and I went to go see Shutter Island tonight and I loved it. I won’t spoil it, but for those who have seen it… HOW AWESOME WAS THE VERY END, HUH? Please tell me that you understood the last minute of the movie. Some people I spoke to didn’t and it made me facepalm. You know… smack the palm of my hand right into my face in frustration.
  • I called my mother today to talk to her and she was busy and couldn’t talk to me. It’s funny because I never call her and she ALWAYS wants to talk to me. Oh the irony. I just stared at the phone thinking to myself… “Did that really happen?” I really wanted to talk to my Mom, damn it!
  • Is it bad that I have a list of 10 blog posts that I want to write already in my head?

I worked all day on a new layout and getting all my content back up! I would love some opinions and also I’d love if you poked around to check for errors and spelling mistakes. It would help me out a ton. I typed up most of it from scratch, even a lot of my blogroll links… so make sure your link works! Also, if you’re not on the blogroll and you’d like to be just speak up! I am just overwhelmed and I’m not trying to intentionally leave anyone out!

Josh and I were talking about last night’s sushi adventures today and we were talking about how my friend Emily is allergic to crab. We started talking about allergies and how they are strange and random sometimes. I said how I’m not allergic to anything that I know of and Josh’s response was:

The only allergy I’ve ever had is to not being awesome, so obviously I’ve never had a reaction.

I burst out laughing. It dawned on me today that Josh says the most hilarious, random things all the time and they really keep me going. Josh sends me random text messages all the time, some relevant to the conversation we are having but still hilarious and some just out of the blue that just really give me those much needed pick-me-ups to get me through the day. I really am lucky to have that.

What was the last random funny thing that someone said to you?