Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whine-free Wednesday!

Boo! Along with a touch of the flu, I've been feeling a little "Blah!" this week. You know.. Just ones of those days where you feel you're in a funk.. I keep wondering if I'm forgetting something or if bad news has struck. I guess I just have a lot on my mind. I won't even ask for your prayers though because I have two friends (no one you know) who are needing prayers much more than I. Will you say one for these gals? Just mention me and my two friends.. God will know who you're talking about. :)

Anyway, I thought I would count my blessings instead of spreading my "Blah!" to everyone else! Wanna join me? Should it be our "Whine-free (not wine-free) Wednesday"!? Gotta remember our blessings! :) Maybe you'll have one, maybe you'll have 10. But it's never a bad idea to count them! Like this guy!
For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful. And more truly for what I have not received.
~ Storm Jameson

1. I am thankful for my siblings. Sometimes I feel I come rushing through town without much time to give to them. But they, especially the three youngest, are always so excited when I breeze through the door.. It always makes my day to have such a welcome.

2. I am thankful for my school. I wouldn't say I recommend that Catholic students attend my college as I don't find it to be the most Orthodox place on earth, but I will commend their efforts in providing resources to students. I am thankful to be on a campus that realizes the struggle of a student without insurance or a full-time job!

3. I am thankful for my ability to sing and act. I just auditioned for "Annie!", my most favorite-est musical ever. I know I didn't get it.. The lady before me was, I swear, Miss Hannigan's long-lost twin and played an excellent (too good?) drunk. Even I, who was auditioning right after her, was ready to turn to the others and say, "You can all go home.. The part has been cast!" But I am grateful that I could even get up there and sing my little heart out. :) It's one of my favorite-est things to do!

4. I am thankful for the store Half-price Books. I just went and got a new Catechism for the Catholic Church (lent my old one out, never got it back), "Prove It -- Jesus!" by Amy Welborne, a small guide on the saints with a short bio on each one and.. something else, I forget, for $7. I love building up my Catholic library and Half-price Books is helping me out! :)

5. I am thankful for my phone calls with my grandmother. I call her about once per week. It's just so wonderful to connect with my Nana.. She is the most nurturing, affectionate, loving person and I depend on her unconditional love, sound advice and patient nature. She used to ask for my number everytime we spoke and she'd write it down on a post it or the back of an envelope. So, last year I made her a wall hanging that has my name and number painted on it. :) She adores it, I adore her.

6. I know this sounds shallow, but I am thankful for spray tans. If you have not done Mystic Tan yet, do it. Find one near you. It's all the good things about being tan without the pre-cancerous cells. Plus, you don't have to strip naked in front of someone to get sprayed. It's the beauty of technology.

7. I am thankful for my dog. Although I recently got him horribly groomed (seriously, he's so ugly -- I won't take him in public or even post pictures of his new look), he is so dear to me and I love having him around! A very low-maintenance dog and good natured. I always wanted my own, little, fluffy puppy and I'm so glad I have him. :)

8. I am thankful for journaling. Though I never do it consistently, it's always so thereputic for me! I am trying to do it more and enjoy reading back through the last few years.

9. I am thankful for my strangely capable internet wherewithal. I have created a few websites (www.ryanvocation.com, is one of them) and, with no training or classes, can somewhow find my way around designing them.

Feel free to leave one or two things in a comment, or write your own post and you can link to it here so everyone can see! (Sigh) I feel better already!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes - Random! :)

It's been awhile! Lately, all I've had time for has been quick takes! Thank goodness for Jen at Conversion Diary for her Friday blog! :) Hop on over to see her and read about her!

1. Well, I finally got a new job! Have I told you about it? I'm providing respite care for a family with four children, two of them with special needs (down syndrome and autism). People have been asking me how hard it is and I'm not going to pretend it's easy-peasy, but it's the spoiled kids I've worked with in the past who have had me pulling my hair out! Special needs kids are nothing but wonderful and I'm loving the job! :)

2. Today one of the little girls in the family and I were playing paper dolls and she made her paper doll say, "I can't be at the concert tonight.. I hurt my leg!" I made mine say, "Oh no! What happened?" And she quipped, "Paper cut." LOL! Isn't that brilliant? I laughed for like 20 minutes!

3. It's official! I will FINALLY graduate in May 2011. It's taken me forever but it's great to know that I am exactly on the path (though maybe not as far down it) that God wants me to be on. Though I'm thinking I should have majored in Catholic Studies and not Pastoral Leadership, I love youth ministry and cannot wait to continue on with my ministry in a career!

4. You married ladies have to read this. My friend Rita just got engaged and I have been sending her a daily email with some kind of tip or picture or article for her wedding planning. I thought she might need a moment to de-stress and I found this fantastic little number. Very witty!

5. I had to get my first drug test this week! The agency that pays me for this new job requires one. I wasn't worried, but the girl next to me? Whew! Boy, was she sweatin' bullets! She kept taking deep breaths and putting her head in her hands.. I felt badly for her, but you know what they say! "Once you smoke crack, you're always totally paranoid that you're going to fail a drug screen." LOL

6. I've been meditating on the parting of the Red Sea lately and how daunting it must have been for the Isrealites to see that water rise above them and to put one foot in front of the other, trusting in God to keep them safe. Whew! I'm not sure what I would have done! "Uh.. Nah, I think I'll just wait for the next ferry.. You guys go on ahead!" I've been applying it to my own life and the fears I have of embarking on certain journeys. I am praying for the same kind of trust the Isrealites had. :)

7. It's nearly time for the Irish Fest! My grandfather started an Irish cultural festival in Cleveland almost 30 years ago! He immigrated from Ireland in the 50's, most of our extended family still resides and I was born there (in the 80's). It is my favorite time of year and am so proud of my grandparents! Everyone in our family takes a part of the festival (I supervise CD and merch sales) and we work our butts off the whole weekend. It is a blast! If you're in the Cleveland area, the weekend of July 23, 24, 25 let me know! We'll pull some strings to get you in for the "Lady Caitie in the Pretty City" rate! :)

Hope you have a blessed week!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why Life Should Be a Musical..

I can't tell you how many times in my life I have sighed and mused, "Why can't life be a musical!?" Here are the Top 10 reasons why I think so! :) If you're low on time - go right to 3, 2, and 1! Brilliant and happened in real life!! Enjoy!

10. Enchanted - "That's How You Know"

9. 500 Days of Summer - "You Make My Dreams Come True"

8. Get Over It - "Love Will Keep Us Together"

7. My Best Friend's Wedding - "Say A Little Prayer For You"

6. Keeping the Faith - "Ein Keloheinu"

5. Sister Act - "I Love Him"

4. The Mask - "Cuban Pete"

3. Improv Everywhere - "Grocery Store Musical"

2. Improv Everywhere - "Food Court Musical"

1. Pranksgruppe - "Reach!"

7 Quick Takes - A little fun and Big News!

Oh, Jen! How I love your quick takes! :) Here are mine:

1. Can I tell you what I'm doing right now? I'm babysitting overnight for a family in which both the mother and father are nurses. Once per week they work the same night. Cut to me, having put the kids to bed, tidied the house and folded some laundry, enjoying free cable and a dish of ice cream. But here's the issue: when I was putting the kids to bed in the parents' room, I found a whole altar of voodoo objects, creepy statues and disturbing art. It covered one whole wall of their bedroom. I stood there, gaping at picture of our Blessed Mother next to tarot cards and weird smelling candles and cannot help but be extremely creeped out! As I said goodnight I blessed the room and the children but the truth is: I WANT OUT OF THIS HOUSE! So really: cut to me, enjoying free cable and a dish of ice cream because there ain't no way I'm sleeping (or coming back) tonight. Trying to decide if I'm being un-Christian about this.. Input?

2. I am house-sitting this week at a GORGEOUS loft downtown! I cannot wait! I totally want to invite people over and ask them up to my rooftop terrace! LOL Great apartments always remind me of this scene in the movie "500 Days of Summer" in which you experience both what Tom expects to happen when he goes to a party at his ex-girlfriend's apartment and what actually happens! Really interesting scene but SUPER CUTE apartment!!

3. Oh my.. I need to start going to daily mass. Pray for me, because when 6am rolls around God could walk in and say, "Caitie! Seriously! You will go to hell if you don't get to mass today!" and I'd still be like, "Ehh... 5 more hours!"

4. Well, I did it again. I left the gas station, after pre-paying for gas, without actually getting any. (Sigh) At least I didn't leave with the nozzle still in my car again (see #7)! When I went back to claim what was rightfully mine (and not floating around the Gulf of Mexico), the guy said, "Yeah, I seen you drive away and was wonderin' where you was goin'! Thought maybe you didn't like the pump er somethin'." When I responded with a joke, saying, "Yeah, I wasn't emotionally ready to commit to that pump, but I'm ready now." I was sure that my sarcasm would go unnoticed (see the salmon lady incident of last week's quick takes). Imagine my surprise when he responded, "Well, if you want I can put a dollar on each pump and let you play the field.." (Gasp!) I looked up from my messy wallet, so excited to see his toothless grin! How I love that Indiana sense of humor! :)

5. I had to quit working for the most amazing family ever this week. :( I needed to get a job with more hours and, though I tried to do both, it just wasn't working out. The mom is like a big sister or aunt to me and the kids, like siblings. Fortunately, I'm sure I'll keep working with them for occasional nights out, etc., but I will miss seeing them each week!

6. My brother Brian graduated from high school last weekend. In the program that was given out to each person at the commencement was a section for memories that graduates had of their time in the Catholic schools in our town. One gal wrote, "I remember the time Brian, without anyone noticing, squeezed himself into the locker at the front of Mr. Freeman's (their religion teacher) room while he was out in the hallway. When Mr. Freeman came back in he was not in a good mood so Brian was scared to come out. He lasted about 10 minutes in there until the stench became too much and he knocked on the locker door to be let out. We had no idea who was in there until Whitney went over, cautiously opened the door, and Brian just nonchalantly walked out and sat down." LOL! I can't tell you how proud I was. :)

7. One of my dearest friends in the world, Rita is getting married! She became engaged to her "lova", Daniel, about a week ago and, because my phone's battery last a mere 9 seconds, had to send me a text of the news since her calls were going straight to my voicemail. When I finally got the text (which came with a picture of her gorgeous ring), I literally Ahhhhhhhhhh!-ed for a good 20 seconds! The icing on the big fat wedding cake is that she has asked me to be a bridesmaid! And the sprinkles on the icing on that big fat wedding cake (who puts sprinkles on a wedding cake? Tacky!) is that she's asked me to sing the first song that she and her husband will dance to! Funny enough, I had just recorded the song that she wants! Take a listen! :) Congrats Rita and Daniel!

Bit of trivia for you.. Rita and I might be related once she and Daniel wed! A member of my extended family is apparently married to a member of Daniel's extended family! First person to find this link in our wind-blown family trees gets a prize! LOL

Go visit Jen at Conversion Diary and become a regular reader! She's fab!

Speaking of recorded songs..

Did you check out Mr. Beguiles' songs that his wife, Betty posted this week? Oh my, he is so talented! Go have a listen! My favorite is "Love Comes Down"! It's kind of Regina Spektor meets Green Day meets The Shins. But really, I've never heard anything like it! Go see!

And I recorded my own song this week! Well, it's not MY song but I did sing it for my friend's wedding and have been asked to sing it at another friend's wedding next summer! Anyway, here it is, "Feels Like Home":

Thursday, June 03, 2010

7 Quick Takes - The Funny Edition

I experienced a couple hilarious situations in the past week or two! I thought the quick takes would be a perfect time to share them! Ready?

1. While setting up an interview for a new babysitting family, I offered to send the mother my resume and references so that she could look them over beforehand. "Oh, you don't have to do that!" she said. "Just bring it with you. It will save you the postage." Oh boy. I didn't tell her I meant email! Though I did think about responding, "Oh, it's no problem! I have my own carrier pigeon!" LOL Later I met the family and was so impressed.. Very sweet kids and parents. :)

2. While in the grocery line, I overheard the lady in front of me grab for her frozen bag of salmon and say, "Oh no! Wait! Let me read that.. Yeah, okay, can I put this back? I read somewhere that they use toilet water to house farm-raised salmon.." She looked to me and the other woman in line with a raised eyebrow, as if to say, "Ya. That's right! I bet I just rocked your world!" I laughed out loud. Big time. "What?" she asked. "Well.. where did you read that? Trick-opedia.com?" The lady behind me joined in my laughter. "No." said the salmon-phobic woman. "I've never even been to that site." The laughter stopped. "Oh. My. Gosh." Said the lady behind me. And I have to say, I was just as shocked. That woman shouldn't even be COOKING salmon!

3. I'm nannying this weekend for one of my favorite families. Today, the youngest said, "We LOVE when you're our nanny!" I was touched. "Aw! Really!? So, on a scale of one to ten...?" "One hundred!" She said. "Four hundred!" said the middle child. We all looked to the oldest.. He deliberated for a moment or two and went with eleven. "Eleven!?" I exclaimed! He was low-balling me! But things began looking up when, later on, I gave him three pennies and he said, "Hey! I think you just moved up to fourteen!" LOL

4. My BFF Laura and I took her daughter and my sisters out for lunch the other day. Annie (age 7) and Caroline (age 5) were so enthralled with little Mary Grace (age 1) that Annie immediately exclaimed, "We should have another baby!" Laura and I exchanged an amused look (I'm the oldest of eight). "Oh yeah?" I asked. "You should ask mom about it!" Caroline chimed in, "Yeah, or adopt a baby!" Poor Mary Grace was probably thinking, "Not me, not me!" I smiled, "That would be nice!" Then Annie came up with an equally touching option three: "Or get a baby squirrel!" Yep, that's where we are right now folks.

5. I threw my parents a surprise wedding anniversary party last weekend. To get them out of the house, we told them that we would all be meeting at our favorite Italian restaurant at 4pm. I left early and waited, undercover (read: behind some trees) to watch for their departure. When they did, we rushed into the house, put balloons on the porch (the sign for all our family friends to come on in) and we spent the next 9 minutes getting food out, setting up candles and table clothes and doing the famous "Beardmore-tidy!"

When I called my mom to get them to turn around, I found that they were already at the restaurant. "What!?" She squawked (sorry mom, but you did!). "We're already here! What do you mean Tommy is at the house with a bunch of pizzas!?" I told her that my brother misunderstood what we were doing and that we should all go back to the house. She was not happy and when we organized everyone in the living room to shout surprise when they walked into the house, I picked up my littlest sister and moved to the back of the room. Only after things calmed down did someone point out to me that I had held Caroline in front of me, as if to say, "Don't shoot!" Thankfully, mom and dad were anything but upset and really enjoyed the celebration! Happy Anniversary you two! :)

6. We drove up to a drive-in movie theater the other night and, on the way, my friend Michaela and I stopped to pick up a bottle of wine (cuz nothin' says classy like a shiraz poured into conspicuous soda fountain cups). I brought in my Naturalization Form from when, at age 17, I became an American citizen since I had lost (read: thrown away) my driver's license a couple weeks ago. I've never had an issue using it but the guy at the liquor store wasn't a fan. Here's our conversation:

Guy: "Um, no. You cannot use that. You need to leave the store."
Me: "It's a federal form of ID. Yes, I can."
Guy: "No. You can use a driver's license or state ID or passport, but not that."
Me: "If I can use a passport, I can use a naturalization form."
Guy: "No. You need to leave the store."
Me: "Sigh. Well, can she buy it?"
Mikey: "Yeah, it's okay. I'll just buy it."
Guy: "That's fine, but you can't. You need to leave."
Me: "But that's not fair! I was going to buy this because you bought dinner when we -- "
Guy: "Ma'am! You need to leave the store!"
Me: "Ugh! Okay, okay! Let me just give her my cash."
Mikey: "I got this. Just go."
Me: "This is ridiculous. I'm leaving."

I think I gave the guy a stroke. LOL

7. If any of you love your Spanx, wait until you try the Flexees body-shapers! Do NOT try the ones with adjustable straps and trust my judgement: I have done the legwork. Yep, I've tried them all and this is the body-shaper to get! Why is this funny? Cuz I lost mine this week and finally found it in my glove compartment. Yeah. I have no idea.

Go visit Jen at Conversion Diary! Always a great read! :)