Saturday, October 30, 2010

besos y abrazos

that's what i got a lot of tonight when one of our guest's kids came over for a sleepover with their mommy tonight. she's actually our only guest currently (besides a long term guest who's moving into her own apartment tomorrow) so it was a neat experience to have her babies come over.  there's four of them, and they're all under the age of five.  needless to say, she has her hands more than full.  but they're so cute. she has a five year old daughter, a four year old boy, and twin two year old boys.  she's mexican-american and the baby daddy is nicaraguan so they're beautiful children.  dark skin and huge brown eyes. i loved every minute of being with them tonight. it was so good to finally have a crazy house full of kids.  i just know that i'm going to have one of my own someday and love it so much so it filled me with joy tongiht to spend that time with them.  i made macaroni and cheese and hotdogs and they just thought i was the coolest "lady" ever.  they kept calling me lady all night. "hey lady, come play with me!" "hey lady, can i hug you?" of course you can you precious little munchkin.  they had no idea how much i wanted/needed a hug and they didn't seem to mind me squeezing them for minutes at a time.  although their family is from all over south amerca, they really didn't know any spanish.  and their mom had told me that she wanted them to learn so i started teaching them little words here and there throughout the night and their clear favorites were "beso" and "abrazo...kiss and hug. so everytime they would hug me they would say "abrazo! abrazo!" i was livin the life...smiling ear to ear. it was the greatest blessing because i've been feeling really homesick the last couple of days, hence me not really feeling like blogging. which by the way, i was going to start this post with an apology but then i realized, while i love posting so that all those i love can know what i'm doing/how i'm doing/where i'm going, i'm not really doing this for you all anymore.  that's definitely the initial reason why i started this blog, but it's become something much more to me. it's now something that allows me to reflect on my day...and to be honest, the past few days, i haven't really wanted to reflect much. a.) because i'm exhausted. in every sense of the word. b.) because i knew that if i started blogging, i would just whine incessantly about how much i miss all of you and that would just be annoying...theraputic, but annoying. but that's why tonight was such a beautiful night for me.  a simple night and definitely not anything exciting but beautiful.  i don't know how i feel about my saturday nights now consisting of hotdogs and floor puzzles with toddlers, but i definitely enjoyed myself. 

but kind of going back to me being homesick, i'm actually grateful i am (even though i don't feel grateful when i'm crying into my pillow about how much i miss those i love) because some people really never feel this way...the aching pain in the general chest region you get from missing someone so incredibly much.  the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" has never been more true in my short life than it is now.  one of my favorite people pointed out the fact that i am "2,000 miles away" from home (2,090 to be exact, but hey, who's counting?)  and my eyes immediately started welling up with tears because i hadn't thought about how far i'm actually away from the ones i love the most.  i really have started to appreciate those i love so much more than i did before i came out here and i hope that it's noticed but if it's not, i'm going to keep doing it.  because loving makes me feel alive.  when i'm actively loving people, missing people, i feel real.  i feel authentic and i feel most myself.  so i just want to encourage you, whoever you are, to make sure that you tell those you love that you love them. that you show them, in anyway you can, that you care and that you're thinking of them. i just think it's so idiotic when people don't do this as much as they possibly can...that people see gushing love to those you care about as something that's overbearing or annoying.  i find it really disturbing that affection and affirmation is not at the forefront of a great deal of relationships these days.  what's so wrong about being vulnerable or with putting your guard down? why do we not want to let people in? because we're afraid of getting hurt? bullshit. i mean seriously, newsflash people, love is entirely about risking heartache in an attempt to heal the hearts of others.  and you know what happens when we don't allow this vulnerablilty into our lives an relationships? people become lonely. and as mother t once said, "loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty." i have no doubt that this chick was right on the money when she said this. and you know why? because these women that i'm "serving" and "helping", it's not the hunger or the material poverty that is the most painful for them.  it's the neglect, the abuse, the alienation from others in their lives.  they don't sit on the couch at night crying to me about how they don't have a car or a home, they're crying about their various heartbreaks...the loneliness they feel everyday.  so seriously, take my word for it (or the beatles), all you need is love.

besos y abrazos,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

falling for you

but only if you're phil dunphy. you know, phil dunphy. the goofy dad/ husband on modern family...which by the way if you haven't seen it you must. it's hilarious. and phil dunphy, my friends, brings a lot to the table. this is the kind of man that i want to end up with. funny. cute. akward. phil dunphy. i've done a lot of research and after watching several episodes in the last 48 hours, i'm convince that he is the man of my dreams. i've never had a legit celebrity crush until now. does he even count? i'm not even sure he's at "celebrity crush" status to the general public. but to me, he is. it's almost to the point where i'm considering making a video montage of him to colbie calliat's most recent hit. that's how bad it is. but i mean, he's got it all. not quite in agreement? here, let me just show you.

just look at how he handles awkward dad situations such as meeting a daughter's boyfriend.
phil dunphy yo

and i love his consideration and understanding of women and confidence in his athletic abilities.
game on

i also love his business savvy knowledge.
realtor abc's

but most of all, i love his romantic side.

sorry if this isn't what you expected/wanted tonight but he's all i can seem to think about...forget helping homeless women, i have more important matters to attend to (crushing on a middle aged dorky white man).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

to make you feel my love

now i don't know for sure if bob dylan knew what he was doing to my specific soul when he wrote this beautiful song in 1997 but he must have. and i'm not 100% about adele being fully aware that her 2008 cover was going to be one of the most pleasing songs my ears have ever heard but i'm convinced she had some sort of idea. i've been listening to this song for the past 20 minutes on repeat while i've been setting up for breakfast and i've decided that this is going to be a regular thing for me. a meditation of sorts. i don't know why i have to have the idea that god loves me and knows what he's doing with my miniscule, drop-in-the-bucket life, beaten into my head every day but i do. it's just so weird to me the thought of needing reminders of this soul-saving love but he gives them to me on a daily basis regardless of the obvious factor. i mean come on, i have the most bomb-ass family in the world. my friends are ridiculously awesome and inspiring and loving. i'm healthy (generally speaking), i live comfortably (materially speaking), and i have all 10 fingers (missing even one would put a major wrench in my day).  the thing is, i've got it made. and yet i still find something wrong enough with how things are going to desire that constant affirmation that he's right beside me at all times.  and i get it. and i don't even realize that i get it. and i don't get that i don't realize that! i mean today alone, multiple people have contacted me in some way just so tell me that they love me. that they're praying for me. that they miss me. that they're giving me a cyber hug. and i'm upset because only one person has hugged me since i've been here? (which by the way, we're up to 3 after today) they're are people that go their entire lives without hugging 3 people. and i've been here for less than 2 weeks and i'm complaining. i mean come on. that just ain't right.

i've realized that one of the reasons i'm having a hard time with this is because i'm not loving people here that have known me my whole life, or have had earth -shattering conversations with me, or have simply laughed with me. these people don't know me and what i'm all about and what i think about and who i want to be and where i have been. they know me only as the dorky white girl who for some strange reason decided to drop out of school and come to california to live here, in this old victorian house in between the hood and japantown. they know me as the lanky chick that comes down the stairs every morning with thermal socks and a granny sweater with her copy of the alchemist and knitting needles. they know me as the weird lady that dances to herself humming (probably the whitest thing i can think of) as she cleans the dishes. they don't know me the way that those that love me know me. and to be honest, i don't know the person they are to those that love them either. and i think that's what makes it so hard. we are here, trying to love each other, peope that we don't know, people that are hard to love. but that's the most beautiful thing about it though. the fact that i don't even know these women really, but that i lay in bed at night thinking about them. consumed by their pain and their despair. and it blows my mind that in some sick twisted way, i can take their pain and somehow make it my own. like i'm the one that needs prayers answered. i dont. at all. and it's shameful even to think that i think like that sometimes. these people are in survival mode. i'm in "jesus make me love you as much as i possibly can" mode. somehow, survival mode seems a little more pertinent. i want to be able to somehow let these beautiful women know that there is someone out there in the universe that is saying, "i’d go hungry, i’d go black and blue i’d go crawling down the avenue there’s nothing that I wouldn’t make you feel my love." that yeah, they might be homeless, and abused, and drug addicts, but there is someone with them at all of those points and loving them. simply loving them. aching for them, but loving them. even if they don't know it now. because this song in particular was something that helped me to know that. helped me to realize that even at my worst, he loves me. and so that's what's going to have to keep me going. trying to be this song to someone. trying to be that reminder that this isn't the end. they will see the light at the end of the tunnel. i don't know how the hell i'm going to do that but maybe it's as easy as loving.aching.but loving.

cry baby

that's what i think i am lately. a giant cry baby. if dorothy day were here i'm pretty sure she'd say something along the lines of "there's no crying in baseball!" although she's probably never seen a league of their own...i just always think of what a hardass she was whenever i get upset about something. all i'm sayin is i ain't no dorothy day. not even close. but i have decided that once this is all over and my time here is done, i'm goin out in style my friends.  that's order to pay just homage to this tough as nailz broad who started this all and was an inspiration for me doing this (whatever it is that i'm doing...haven't quite figured it out yet) i need to do something real, well, hardcore. how's this for hardcore? a tattoo of her face on my left butt cheek.

ya know, i think she would have wanted it this way....and this is hilarious to me that i'm not only blogging about absurd things like this but the fact that i'm even blogging right now...i'm sure dorothy day would have something to say about that. maybe something like "get off your ass and do some work around this place." which is exactly what i'm going to do :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

rainfall and guster

so this is great. that formal complaint i just issued to the big guy, scratch it. here i'll just do it....formal complaint. sorry that was annoying, i just wanted to see what it looked like. first of all, let me just clarify that while i was frustrated when i wrote that last post, it was intended for some laughs. and a bit of a therapeutic process. i was really upset tonight because brooke, the guest with the daughter and the one i've connected the most with, didn't come home last night. didn't call or anything. major party foul here at the catholic worker. and really sad/scary because of the fact that it's not just her but an adorable 2 year old baby girl as well. so just as i was getting used to the idea that she wasn't coming back, door bell rings. it's her and the baby. greeaaattt. now we have to look her in the eyes and tell her we can't have her live here anymore because it's house policy. my heart was shattered. as i held the baby and tears welled up in my eyes, sharon explained that she couldn't stay here anymore but that she could sleep on the couch for tonight and that we could help her find another place to stay. it was so sad and i just didn't get why god led me to this situation. but regardless, i think that sneaky bastard was actually listening to me piss and moan. let me explain ( and please don't be offended that i just referred to god as a is kinda funny though...isn't it?):

okay so i write this extremely self seeking, whiny letter and click the handy publish button on this here blogger. i go to the bathroom and take care of my don't get any ideas. i simply brushed my teeth and washed my face. then i went downstairs because i wasn't sure if the coffee maker was actually turned on and i couldn't stop thinking about it...that's not pathetic or anything. anyway, i came back upstairs, got my jammies on, and dove into my covers to read a little before i drifted into a hopefully deep sleep. i believe i've mentioned this previously, but i'm currently reading the alchemist and i get really into it. so i just started reading and was enthralled by the book. when i began to nod off i realized i should stop and put the book down because let's face it, nothing's dorkier than waking up the next morning with a book in your hands and your reading glasses on your chest. but before i closed the book, i noticed a piece of paper along with a postcard i've been using as a bookmark. i knew what the postcard was, but i didn't remember this sheet of paper. i looked on it, and all it said was, "do not be discouraged. you are not forgotten." okay! i was immediately overwhelmed by this sense of humility which is weird that this is happening today because the gospel was about humility. it's just all weird. it's weird that this particular sheet of paper was in my book to begin with. it's weird that i just happened to notice it at that point. it's weird that stay with me jesus was playing in the background as i was reading it. it's weird that it was exactly what i needed. it's just plain weird. and a huge reminder as to why i'm really here, doing what i'm doing. it's not so i can be loved on and hugged and told that i'm doing a great job and making a difference. yeah, those things would be great every once in a while but i'm not doing this for that. and i'm glad that my boy decided to answer my now embarrassing letter to him by making me feel small yet significant at the same time. "caitlin, don't get upset. do you think i've forgotten about you? are you an idiot?" yes, sometimes.

so this is for all of you out there that feel a little down and out. you are not forgotten. not by him.

speaking of him...i know i'm kinda into gushing about him in my posts but i meant to tell you guys earlier about how me and JC had a little date today. i went to mass at 11:30 at st. joseph's cathedral downtown and then went to a coffee/pastry shop after to get some sweets, more specifically petit fours, and read. it was really nice and i got all dressed up and just spent the morning with him. sometimes i don't like walking around town by myself so i imagine him walking right beside me...i know it's entirely cheesy but it's kind of cool and reflective at the same time.

i just want to say that i'm so grateful for days like today, for catching up with some of my best friends and them reassuring me of what i'm doing, for petit fours, for embarrassing moments such as walking 3 blocks before you realize that your dress is tucked into your leggings in the back, for music to make me smile (or at least tap my toes), for rain to help me fall asleep, and even for heartache. i know it's hard now, but i also know that i'm going to grow and learn because of all of this.

i want to leave you with this beautiful excerpt from the alchemist.i think it's some of the most beautiful things to say about real, selfless love:

" taught me something of the universal language of the soul of the world. because of that, i have become a part of you. i have been waiting for you here at this oasis for a long time...ever since i was a child, i have dreamed that the desert would bring me a wonderful present. now, my present has arrived, and it's you. you have told me about your dreams, about the king, and your treasure. and you've told me about omens. so now, i fear nothing, because it was those omens that brought you to me. and i am a part of your dream, a part of your personal legend, as you call it. that's why i want you to continue toward your goal. if you have to wait until the war is over, then wait. but if youhave to go before then, go on in pursuit of your dream. the dunes are changed by the wind, but the desert never changes. that's the way it will be with our love for each other...if i am really part of your dream, you'll come back one day."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

a formal complaint

                                                                                                                                      October 24, 2010

Dear God,
              Is it alright if I call you that? I just wasn't sure if that was formal enough or if a Yahweh or Hosanna was more appropriate. I am writing to you due to some confusion/ lack of communication between both of our patries lately. What exactly do you think you are doing? More specifically, what the hell are you doing with me?  Maybe there's some confusion but I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be this hard. Or at least not yet.  The number of questions I have for you and the number of explanations I need from you is astronomical. But, in order to be as thorough as possible, I'm going to list as many as I can think of:
1.) Why are you thinking it's okay to have these women come into my life/house, win me over, and then leave without any warning, explanation, or apology? And they have to break my heart as well? No offense, but I think that last part is a little overkill.  I mean, couldn't you have created me with just slightly less emotions and/or feelings?
2.) Speaking of emotions and feelings, I'm REALLY sick of them right now so could you maybe just take them away somehow?  That would be great.
3.) I'm gonna need you to make me heartless.  We're not talking long term here, more just like a few days so I can recover from all this emotional turmoil. Would this be possible?
4.) Why are there people in this world that just don't care?  And I don't simply mean those who don't feel as though it's their duty to serve others, I'm talking mostly (right now) about the people that are being served.  Why don't they give a shit that I cry about them at night or that I wake up every morning at 6 a.m. in order to help get ready for breakfast in order to make their day easier? I'm aware that these are not their problems. I made a commitment to do this and I shouldn't whine. But shit, I mean could they at least WANT to get better not only for themselves but for those they love? Or in some way, appreciate this house for what it is; a safe place to get back on your feet? Just some thoughts.
5.) Could I just get one hug every once in a while? The only hug I've gotten since I've been here (besides from myself...yes, it is possible) has been from a two year old. I mean hell, I've been used to hugging everyone I talk to practically for my entire life and now you're just going to take that away? I mean, it's your prerogative but to be honest, I really don't think you're playing fair right now.

Until further notice, I believe that's all for now.  Thank you for your time and consideration.  Again, just review what I have mentioned above and I'm sure negotiations can be made.


apples to apples

these are some pictures from eckert's with mom, clare and her friend before i left and then some from babysitting some of the cutest, arian kids i know...enjoy!

my favorite picture of clare frances

now that's just the cutest apple i ever did see!

cheeseball central

gross birds, cool colors.

these were bigger than a small child.

gordy: one of the only animals i enjoy spending time with.

my boyfriend and the chalk art i made him.

camels are grotesque

uh johnny, i think that you might be confused on the whole megaphone idea but you're cute so i'll let it fly.

blonds all around.


                                                                     what a beast

Saturday, October 23, 2010

teach me how to dougie

i'm kind of already regretting that as my title name tonight but this is a lighthearted post and i honestly can't get that song out of my head...and even more honestly, i don't know that i want to get it out of my head necessarily. i may be totally out of line by saying this, but i think i would actually be able to teach someone how to dougie...or i could be completely delusional about my own dougie-ing skillz. but i digress.

so today i was in joveralls from 10 a.m. to midnight and loved every minute of it...literally the perfect never have to worry about your crack showing when you bend over, in my opinion they're business casual, and you could even potentially go topless whilst sporting these beauts. and mine are gorgeous. they're from gap, the perfect color, and about as curve excentuating as joveralls come these days. i got some looks, but i'm going to keep telling myself that any attention, is good attention.

i got a little crafty crazy today and decided i was going to make the trek over to michaels craft store (unfortunately, i have not found a hobby lobby in these neck of the woods)...michael's of course is second rate compared to the majestic world that is hobby lobby but it will do. it's not that far away but i'm already so sick of walking here because the cat calls are ridiculous. now, i'm not saying that i'm just looking so hot strutting my stuff up and down julian street and that's why i've been getting whistled at...i mean for god's sake i'm wearing overalls and grandma cardigans around this town. it's just that there's so many homeless men and they're anything they see walking that has a somewhat girlish form, they decide is fair game...i actually think it's really annoying and degrading but i have to find humor in it so i don't get upset about it...but anyway, i decided to be a total bad ass and take this sub par mountain bike that stays in the backyard since i don't have my own bike yet...apparently i'm not supposed to use this bike due to the fact that it belongs to some ex-community member who doesn't want anyone using it, but doesn't care enough to come and get it...okay. so what did i do? i rode it of course! all the way to michael's...but i had to make a pitstop into target to get a bike lock because you just can't risk that kind of thing here. i brought the bike into target with me and apparently, you're not supposed to do that? maybe that's what the rows of bike racks outside the store are for? who knows...but me, being the bad ass that i am, did it anyway. i got stopped probably 5 times and had to explain each time why i was doing this...i used the whole "new in town", damsel in distress-esque and it seemed to work beautifully, so i'm going to do that for as long as possible if i get in any sort of a bind. after target i made my way over to michael's, locked up the bike and decided to get down and dirty in the crafting world. i picked out a bunch of stuff that i later realized was completely pointless for me to purchase so i discarded those items and got only the essentials of course. i got some paper i'm using to decoupage my lampshade and ribbon to glue along the edges of it. i also got these really cool black letters to hang on my wall that were only 40 CENTS a piece...can you believe that? i'm kind of going for a tree, nature sort of theme for my room and so i wanted to spell grow with the letters...of course they didn't have "o" so i decided to get a wooden "o" and just paint it this light green color and it actually looks really good so that's pleasing to me.

after leaving michael's, i walked next door to world market and treated myself to a pocahontas pez dispenser and an orange soda. we don't ever have soda in the house which has been good but i have to have my fix sometimes. i just miss the carbonation, ya know? when i got home i was estatic to see that my comforter had finally arrived! thanks nanny and poppa! i immediately ran up the stairs and stripped my bed...i put my new jersey fabric sheets on and then my fluffy down comforter and it's sooo comfortable...i'm laying in it right now and have to restrain myself from instantly burrying myself in the covers. such a good feeling to feel like it's officially "my" bed. 

by the way, the best song to take a leisurely bike ride to is suzie blue by ben of my favorites.

i love cj (the babe of the house)...she's such a blessing and brings me such joy every time i see her. today, brooke (her mom) told me that i'm so good with her and that all day she was asking where "aitin" was. that just made me feel so needed and special. i love how kids can do that without even meaning to; make someone feel needed and with purpose. spending time with cj makes me really excited about having kids one day and being an aunt (both of those things can wait a while)

i'm so sick of looking for a bike on craigslist...i know it's the cheapest way, but it's sure as hell not the most effective way. these are things i find on there and i can hardly believe what i'm reading:
"I got a 58 cm schwinn fixed gear fixie hipster bike.
Its painted gold really good paint job.
Very sexy.
Giant seat black-very comfy
back deep v black-$80
front alex rim quick release feature-$50
gold crank arms-$65plus installation
vittoria tires new and tubes-$70
riser handbars and grips
This bike is straight up smashing
very nice colorway.
Will turn heads
will get you the girl youve been searching for....
Perfect ratio for quick acceleration yet fast pace when your tryna gett away from all the girl chasing you cause this bike is just so damn hot.
Will trade however for jordans nike sb blazers am1 am90 aerospoke or spinergy
skateboards proffesional ones only I dont want your walmart bizz. xbox 360
clothes made by supreme 10 deep lrg hundreds hats fitted that are supreme 10 deep lrg mishka all that good stuff
ipods as well but you NEED TO ADD CASH...
I Spent about $500 on the bike so far
$300 or best offer is what im selling for "

i mean i don't want to make any assumptions, but i'm pretty sure this guy is 100 percent serious. entertaining, but a little frustrating...and seriously, EVERYONE i see downtown has a "fixie"...meaning it has one fixed's this new (at least to me) hipster phenomenon and i don't get it.

also, i get to sleep in until 8 tomorrow! i never would have thought that i would ever utter those words but utter i did. see you cool cats on the flipside! later!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

today...small things with great love (or don't open the door)

that's a quote from the irresistible revolution that i remembered today and decided to make myself something to hang on my door that has that written as a daily reminder of why i'm here and what i'm supposed to be doing...because if i'm being honest with myself and you guys, it's already easy to forget in the midst of all the emotional breakdowns and frustration.

today i had the most low key day i've had thus far since being in the big SJ...i woke up at 6:15 like always and did the morning routine of making coffee and making sure the women are up and movin...then everyone left at 8 except for one of the guests that's currently living with us...she had to stay behind and call a drug rehabilitation center in order to make an appointment for outpatient treatment (it's part of her goals that she has to achieve in order to stay in the house) it was my job to sit with her in the dining room and call from the house phone while she tried getting through on her cell...and i mean i guess this is a good thing, but this drug center must be helping literally every drug addict in the bay area because holy moses we were on hold for 45 minutes...which was a tad frustrating to begin with and then she looks at me and says, "i don't even know why i have to do this. it's kind of dumb if you ask me." well first of all i didn't ask you if you thought it was're the one addicted to meth so i think you might be a little biased about the situation.and second of all, how do you expect yourself to make any progress in your life if you're not treating the source of your problems...which happens to coincidentally be your meth addiction. of course i didn't say that...i, being an avoider of confrontation (especially with a homeless meth addict i've known for 2 days), just simply said, "yeah well it's going to really benefit you in the long run so i think it's best that we just stay on the line until we get you an appointment." and we did. and she's going next week which is awesome...and i was so happy for her, even though she didn't really care either way. so after that whole ordeal and after she left and after i cried in the kitchen out of frustration, i went upstairs and took a much needed power nap...only 45 minutes...that's all i needed. then i got up, got dressed to go downtown all decked out in my oversized grandma scarf and rolled up jean overalls, went downstairs, and realized i didn't feel like going downtown today. i felt like staying home all day in my sweats and laying in bed and watching a that's exactly what i did. i watched love story on netflix because i had never seen it and it's supposed to be a classic and it there was a recent oprah episode about it, yadda, yadda, yadda. it was actually funny and good and of course i cried...i balled. but i'm just going to blame that on my fragile emotional state at present. after the movie i made that sign for my door and instantly thought of five more crafts that i'm going to do in my of them still being painting a tree on my wall...i don't know why i just want to. but anyway, to make a long story even longer, i had a very relaxing day and it was much needed

some things i need to tell you all:

-eating an apple with crunchy peanut butter tastes JUST like a caramel apple...seriously, try it
-tonight there was a police helicopter circling above our neighborhood, which loosely translates into they were on the lookout for a convicted felon who was on the that's good!
-the women in the house officially think i'm the BIGGEST nerd on the face of the planet...somehow they just can't wrap their head around a 20 year old that likes to knit and watch a baby story and is volunteering at a catholic worker...weird.
-the little two year old girl that's living here is just precious...she's such a little shit and i love it. we laugh so much together and she follows me around the entire house all night, which makes me feel special...and she's hilarious...she copies everything i say and now as a direct result of doing so, she will not stop saying "ooohhh giiirrrrlll"

on a more serious note, i just can't even say enough how much this experience is already testing and shaping me as a person and more importantly as a follower of guys, this is really hard.and i don't want you all to think that i don't like it because i do...i really do and that's why it's so hard already is because i'm already so invested in it. but i was reading my daily chapter in the bible today and it was exactly what i needed and i love when that happens...hey god! it's 1 Peter 5:7 and it's really simple; "cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you." after i read that i kind of just shrunk in my seat and was like, "alright, i guess you're always." it was just such an incredibly humble moment for me and i realized that these things i'm sad and pissed and frustrated and upset about, while they're all very natural, they don't need to take up my time because he's already got my back...i can give all of that to him and he won't even fact, he'll be overjoyed that i did...which blows my mind and i'm not even going to get into that right now but it's crazy...and's crazy beautiful. shout out to a mediocre kirsten dunst movie! but yeah i'm just really grateful and at peace and joyous about being here and i'm trying to balance that with the frustration and heartache that goes along with this work...but sometimes i just need to remember that i don't have to. i can just offer it up and not worry about it.

i also am really reflecting on the whole "domestic" aspect of this all and i just am so excited to one day take care of my own house and my own 2 year old and cook for my own family (tonight i made stir fry over rice and an asian salad...god i'm so lame). i just really do love it which, i don't know if you all find that surprising, but i do because i've been very anti-housewife lifestyle the past couple that's interesting that i'm loving every minute of it. but alas, i must sleep. so i can get up at 6:15 and not hate the first 30 minutes of life tomorrow.

happy days

i decided to name this post that particular title for two reasons:

1.) i'm happy
2.) tom bosley, aka mr. c from happy days, died yesterday so i thought i'd pay here's to you mr. c for all your days on this beloved tv classic and more recently, a series of GLAD commercials

i'm wired right now (if you couldn't already tell by the unnecessary intro) so i thought it would be a good time to blog. i just got off the phone with my dear friend danny duggan (shoutout!) and i just feel good ya know? there's just certain people that make you feel good when you talk to him and he's definitely one of them. i'm really blessed because i feel like i have a lot of those people in my life. i just want to take this time and thank all of you who have been so encouraging and loving to me already since i've been gone...words can't express how much that means to me on a daily basis. i really am lacking in the affection department here...i mean to the point where the only hug i've had so far was tonight and it was from a delirious two year old who only hugged me because my wristwatch can light up. so even getting text messages from you guys honestly makes my day.  i know i was really emotionally upset last night in my blog and so i would like to announce that YES i am emotional and have been getting upset lately...but that's just it...i'm supposed to be! it's normal! sharon really calmed me down this evening when i was rambling to her about how i was feeling. and she said, "caitlin, i get a sense that you're just someone that cares. and being upset about what you see and what these women tell you is normal. it's okay. don't be so hard on yourself."  i mean she's right. i'm being insanely hard on myself...i think it's because i feel like i've been here already for a month (which i can't decipher if that's a good or a bad thing yet) but truth is, hasn't even been a week. i can't expect myself to know how to gaurd my heart and protect myself emotionally in these situations yet. this is more complex than a relationship with someone. because you care about the person you're serving, but you can't let that person shake you, because you're there to help. i don't even know if that's right or if i'm wording it how i actually think about it, but i have to tell myself these things to keep me sane...and i mean, it's pretty obvious that i'm already close to the edge on that one.

in other news, i'm shopping around for a couple things.

a.) a dawgs are a' barkin and i need a better mode of transportation than a pair of gladiator sandals...kathryn rose seaton has been helping me in this venture...this chick knows what she's talkin about...even if i don't

b.) a thing of paint because i'm pretty sure i'm going to paint a tree in my room on one of my walls...or at least paint something. so i'm excited about that.

c.) a spiritual director...i've always thought it would be cool to have one, at least for a while and this is the perfect time because i already know i'm gonna have a lotta shtuff to sift through.

today i went downtown again...i love it...i must look like the most ADHD person anyone on those streets has ever seen...i think i walk into every store and just gaulk at stuff because i want to know what's in's all so new and exciting. i went to a bike store called bicycle express and talked to the woman who owned it for over an hour...she was so nice and helpful...any question i had, she knew the answer and she let me test out all the ones i was interested in...there's a few i have my eyes on but i don't know if i can justify spending more than 100 dollars on one (is that unrealistic? i'm finding that it seems to be)...but i mean, i will use it literally every day so a few more dolla dolla bills shouldn't be a big deal. i also went to an italian cafe and had a rasberry italian favorite! and it was my carbination for the week so it was a real treat (we don't have soda at the house and i'm limiting myself to once a week which has been interesting considering i was up to 3 cokes a day before i left...definitely had some withdrawl headaches.) i went to noon mass at the cathedral downtown, st. joseph's...which was beautiful but horrible acoustics...the priest sounded like the governator ahhhnold...i was very distracted by that and started laughing during the know when you get church laughs and you just can't stop it? well i literally had to remove myself from the church for a hot minute while i calmed down...god, i really sound like i belong in the looney bin in this post. welp, ya win some and ya lose some i guess. after mass i went to the library and got a library card which i'm really excited about! their library is amazing...nothin like the one in good 'ol webster groves. after i got home i took a much needed shower and read...i then went down into the sun room and read while i waited for the women to get home...i honestly feel like a parent of teenagers. they have a curfew of 5:45 every night because we have dinner together at 6...tonight, no one was home before 6. and the other one didn't come back until 9:30 which i was really upset about because she's the one i've already bonded with and i for sure thought she had already broken my heart and left without a trace...but she did come back...and with a little 2 year old! her name's cj (what what!) and she's adorable...she gave me the biggest hug ever and for some weird reason, i think she knew it was exactly what i needed. and it was. i'm just in such a better place now with things...i've accepted that this is going to be emotionally draining and that this is not what i thought it was going to be. i'm so blessed to have so many people that love and care about me. i'm also blessed that i'm living here out of choice, not out of necessity. i'm overjoyed that their is now a child in the house...i love kids and she's just so stinkin cute so i think it will be great. so that's all for now...i need to lay down before my feet detach themselves from my i leave you with these simple yet profound lyrics from on of my favorite re runs...because sometimes, it's just better to look at things in a completely positive light then for their face value.

these days are all,

happy and free. (those happy days)
these days are all,
share them with me. (oh baby)
goodbye grey sky, hello blue.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

kick drum heart

that's what i feel like i have...not to be confused with the avett brothers song but that's actually what made me come to this conclusion.just like the song says "my, my heart like a kick drum."  what i mean by this stretch of an analogy is that i just feel like i'm already putting "too much" into this and that scares me. i've always known that i'm the kind of person that loves getting to know and connect with people but now that there's so many rules and boundaries about how well i can let people in (the women who are guests in the house), my heart is already breaking. i can already tell that i've gotten too comfortable with this woman who actually just moved in today. she's only 22 and so we're really close in age and get along really well...she's hilarious and was so surprised to hear i was from missouri because i "actually have teeth"...thank you meth, for giving missouri the rep of being home to a bunch of toothless dirt-legged hoosiers...which by the way, people out here definitely have no idea what you mean when you say hoosier...and maybe some of you reading don't know either so i'll clarify that it means hick or redneck.  but back to my party foul of the day if you will, getting too close to a guest.  apparently i'm not supposed to share about my life and experiences with the people i'm serving and i understand following guidelines for safety but this just seems a tad ridiculous to me. i WANT to share things with these women...isn't that the point in a way? live in is sharing. i'm just really frustrated by it but more so i'm frustrated with myself that i can't be okay with that. that i can't just follow the rules and not be sitting here on my bed about to burst into tears. why can't i just take this position the way that it is and not have difficulty following the idea of keeping a distance and professional relationship with these women?  i guess because i don't feel like this is a profession for me. i feel like i'm trying to find god in all things i'm doing here and i don't know a god with boundaries. and i think it's easier for sharon, even though she admits to it being a challenge at some points, because she has been a social worker for a long time and following this kind of technique is the most effective in the social work profession. i've been interested in social work but i just don't know how i would ever be able to do stay within those professional boundaries. gahhh! i'm just so frustrated...and i apologize that you're not getting much of the humor tonight but i'm just not feeling the comedic aspect of this right now. i just feel like i give to much sometimes and because of that expect some in return. and that's pretty much in complete violation of the golden rule of social work...don't get attached because then you're going to expect them to get better and make something of themselves and they're going to break you heart.  i know it's going to already is. and it's making this a lot more emotional for me which is exhausting. whomp whomp am i right?

in other newz, today was a b-e-a-utiful day and i roamed the streets of downtown san jose and loved every minute of it...even the blisters on the BOTTOM of my feet. tomorrow i'm going to run downtown and find this bike store so i won't get blisters anymore! i really do love this city and being here it's just the emotional aspect that's hard. still haven't cried yet though which is really starting to freak me out...i always get so close but then i don't know.

i love anyone and everyone who's reading this by the case you didn't know. i'm going to leave you with this song for those of you who aren't familiar and also for those who share the same love for my favorite boys...just a tip, the links i post on here look invisible until you scroll over them with the mouse so just find it by dragging the mouse down...
here...kick drum heart

Monday, October 18, 2010

member's only

so I was putting some donations away in the clothes closet we have and i stumbled upon a nice black Member's Only jacket. is it weird that i immediately thought of Eddie Murphy's short lived music career and Party All The Time has been stuck in my head ever since...this could be a very long day!

Party All The Time - Eddie Murphy

Sunday, October 17, 2010

do you know the way to san jose?


i would have posted something last night if i could have been functioning.i was exhausted after the 3 hours of sleep friday night and flying all day yesterday. but now i'm rejuvinated!...or at least enough to blog for a hot minute.

obvious things that need to be addressed:

1.) the weather was actually cruddy today...not what i expected from the state of california so bad planning on its part...ya know, i expect it from st. louis but california? really? but i'll let it slide...just this once. but yeah really rainy and chilly.
2.) yes, i live in a safe (enough) neighborhood
3.) yes, i went to mass today...that one's for you grammy gram ;)

now onto some less obvious things i am learning already:

1.) there are so many different kinds of people...thankfully, the lord has blessed me with some pretty grade A people skills( or at least so i think) so i can pretty much get along with most people i meet to a certain degree. but i'm finding it's a lot harder to do when you're completely out of your comfort zone...which i am incase you're wondering. fish outta water right here...i may not, but i certainly feel like i stick out like a sore thumb. but it's probably just me...i mean being the only tall, lanky, white girl amidst a mostly mexican-american populated target isn't sticking out is it? but hopefully i'll feel less alienated in due time!

2.) how to caulk a sink...yeah. that's right. i'm pretty darn handy. i mean, i'm no professional caulk observer but let's just say i know a good caulk when i see one (wow i'm not trying to be dirty in anyway but i just saw how that looked and i apologize...but i gotta say it...that's what she said) but yeah, i think i did a pretty good job...i think sharon (the woman who runs the show here) was slightly impressed. she's really nice though so you can never tell if she actually means it or if she's just trying to make sure i don't burst into tears...which by the way, i haven't done yet. it might happen soon, but it hasn't happened yet which is impressive for me i think.

3.) i'm reading the alchemist right now and all i can say is YEAH BUDDY. i am lovin every minute of it. it's definitely a book that you need to read when you go and do something out of your element or travel or go on some sort of adventure but it's so good. really weirding me out with how parallel this little shepherd boy's life is to mine right now but also kicking my butt spiritually which is always good. have you ever noticed that the word shepherd is a perfect name for a who herds sheep. if that's been common knowledge to all of you and i'm just now making the connection i'm gonna be real emburrassed.

4.) i miss my family a lot. we're a lot closer than i realize and so this is going to be a lot harder than i ever thought...but it will be good. and i have them for the rest of my life so it's all good in the hood.

5.) i am actually a 75 year old woman. i'm exhausted by 8. knitting is my new favorite hobby and i'm learning how to sew this week and i couldn't be more excited...oh and i have knee arthritis. sooo yeahhh.

well that's all for now ladiez and gentz but thanks for reading and i'll be sure to update tomorrow. but for now, i will leave you with some wise words that the lovely meaghan fanning wrote on this picture she made me before i left. i read it earlier today when i was having one of my doubting thomas moments and was immediately calmed.

"it may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have found our real work. and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey."

Monday, October 11, 2010

photography phrustrations

so i've really been loving getting into photography lately. i love that i'm teaching myself...sometimes succeeding. sometimes failing...but it's really frustrating when i take what i think is a beautiful roll of film and then wind it back into the film canister only to realize that the film has broken off and now all the film is overexposed because i opened it in light! gahhhh! welp, ya live and ya learn i guess

Sunday, October 3, 2010

that's amore

sorry i haven't blogged in a while.believe it or not, i've been pretty busy lately being a college dropout with no job and no major hobby. although i'm working on the hobby part. i think it's okay for me to love not having anything to do right now.i'm so much more aware of everything and people i love and how blessed i am and how many times god tries to get my attention everyday. these days that's a lot. sunsets, full moons, coffee with friends, talking with my mom, my health, my tightknit family, my ability to love and love some more and then keep loving, laughing with my sister at two in the morning, having friends that miss me and leave me nice and thoughtful voicemails, ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. i'm just so grateful. for all of it.

so i've decided to make a love list. of things that i love. some of these things i have always loved, some i have recently discovered that i love and some i have grown to love. nevertheless, i love them.

i love double bubble. i like when it comes in those big buckets of like 500 pieces. i take a large handful and chew two pieces at a time. after they lose their flavor i spit them out and put in two more pieces. wasteful? maybe. tasty? definitely.

i love baby pictures. mine, my siblings, my parents, friends, family, strangers. i just love seeing where people came from. what they looked like when they started.

i love tic tacs.wintergreen.the pale green colored ones. the color that reminds you of tacky kitchen appliances from the early 60s. always have and always will.

i love mail.sending it. receiving it. i need to start mailing more things.

i love having lists. on paper. in my head. type onto my desktop. to do lists, bucket lists, favorite things list, self improvement lists.

i love documentaries.

i love netflix.

i love french silk pie.and it's in my fridge. so i'm gonna go...don't worry. i'll write again soon