Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Proposal

So there was really never any question who my Maid of Honor would be...and the lucky winner is Miss Hollee E. Higbea. Or really, the lucky winner is me:) Hollee is the greatest, most wonderful best friend any girl could ask for and the absolute epitome of what a Maid of Honor should be for me; someone who knows me almost better than I know myself at times. Someone who can tell me "that dress is NOT for you" without making me feel bad about myself. Someone who understands when I might cry over what may seem like a silly wedding detail to anyone else. Someone who can tell what I need over the phone just by the way I say "hey." Someone who will take any stress away from me a year prior to, or the day of my wedding. Someone who my fiancé adores. This Maid of Honor is a best friend on steroids (in a good way!)
I know that no matter the time of night, no matter what she is doing, where she is, who she is with...Hollee is there for me. I know I will need her to help me plan, help me stay sane, help remind me to have fun with the planning, and most of all just be standing right next to me when I make a lifelong commitment to my other best friend. The day of our wedding, these words will be spoken:
Oliver- "I do."
Caitlyn- "I do."
Hollee- " and I do too."

Thanks for saying yes to my proposal:)

Last Published Sept. 19th.... UNacceptable

Ugh, we are terrible. Last post was seriously almost 2 months ago. Hollee and I have seen each other a total of three times since then and have not posted a thing. Not that we need to see each other to write about our lives...So, anyhow, tonight you get two posts. This one, as a general catch up on life, and the next one that will be so great you wont know what to do with yourself.
So, let's make this post about my job. I LOVE my job. I guess I kind of always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but now that I actually am, I couldn't be happier with my choice of career. I do know that I would still love to write screenplays or children's books or novels, or somehow be involved in the media field...but I am happy doing what I am doing and I can still write on the side because teaching allows time for that. (sometimes;)
I went into college as a Pre-Veterinary Med major. That's right, Pre-Vet Medicine. After finding out that Longwood only offered a two-year pre-med program and then I would have to transfer somewhere to do the Vet thing, (and taking into account that I am extremely lazy) I switched to Communication Studies. Best choice ever. (Not only cause that was one of the reasons Hollee and I met, but because Comm is the best department at LU:) Even though I was at one of the top teaching schools in Virginia...if I knew I wanted to be a teacher, what the heck was I doing in Comm? Who knows? I just knew I liked "communicating" and it was the closest thing to media and public relations that Longwood had to offer. There was actually a shirt we got Freshman year that said something about putting the true meaning into talking during class. That was extremely fitting considering the fact that all through my younger school years "talking in class" was the biggest (and usually only;) complaint I got on my report cards. So anyhow, I had the best four years of my life as a Comm Major, graduated, got a job in the media field working for Ascent Media as an Encode Operator...basically I watched TV (Biography Channel, A&E, History Channel) for 40 hours a week and got paid lots of money. While the money was great, the job...not so fulfilling. I am a people person, and sitting in front of three monitors all day wasn't really for me. So, I decided to leave Ascent when an amazing opportunity arose for me. I moved to Italy for three months and lived with a family to be their Au Pair. Before I left the states, I applied to grad school for Elementary Education. I took the entrance exam (the first Praxis) like 3 days before I left and found out while in Italy that I was accepted to Sacred Heart University to get my Master's in Elementary Ed. So began my journey into the education field.
If I were to explain everything that has happened since I graduated from grad school, that would be a whole series of blogs on it's own (ridiculous CT job market for teachers, terrible principals, getting screwed by a school district, the list goes on.)
But today, I teach Pre-K to the greatest 4 and 5 year olds in the world. I love going to work everyday, planning what to do with them, seeing how excited they get when they get something right. Whether it is zipping up their coat on their own, writing their name or making some sort of connection to a story we read, the look on their faces is priceless and their excitement is contagious. I have twelve little sponges that soak up everything I say or do and I love it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Living Life Shouldn't Get in the Way's been almost a full month since we've blogged! No excuse really...however, I will give some excuses anyway:) Hollee just moved to a new place and began her new job. I have been getting acclimated to my new job as well; getting the classroom ready, meeting my new colleagues and then school actually began, so things have been crazy. Oh! I also got engaged:):):) Big news! More on that to come on a nice little wedding website though:)

We said we'd tell you all about Hollee's trip up here, and it just seems like it was so long ago now. We had an awesome time, hung out with Oliver (who showed the ring to her some time while I was in the shower or something!!) and went out her first night here. We had a lot of fun, skype partied with A.P., met some Danish boys at a bar, had some of my friends from up here come out and meet us. The next day we went to the beach and relaxed most of the afternoon, came home and watched TV and took a little nap before heading out to Rye Playland in Rye, NY. My dad grew up in Rye and used to ride his bike there with his friends all the time when he was little. It's an amusement park on the coast on the LI Sound that was founded in the 1920's. It is fairly small, but SO great. Very cool rides, neat atmosphere, fun games and only about 20 minutes away! The Dragon Coaster is one of very few wooden roller coasters still in operation in the U.S. We went on that 2 or 3 times, and went on a ride that really felt like you were flying, it was so cool! And the park wasn't so packed on a Thursday night that we could keep going back on rides one after the other without much waiting in line. We went on the ride where you stick to the wall, some gnome water adventure where you ride a log through a bunch of tunnels, and a carousel where you are actually "riding and racing" the horse. We went on the Double Shot (one of those that shoots you up in the air and you fall with negative G-force!!) about a hundred times. It was hilarious. All in all, we had a great night, running around to different rides like little kids. We even went on a haunted house ride (which is geared toward probably 10 year olds). I wish someone had video footage of us in there. You ride in one of those slow roller coaster cars and weave your way through a dark haunted house with flashing lights, screams, fake skeletons, etc. If you know me at know I was screaming the whole time. I closed my eyes so tight, had tears coming down my face from screaming and laughing so hard. It wasn't actually scary, but I just don't do well in that type of situation. It was hilarious, I must admit. Even I was laughing at my reactions. But when someone screams, how do you not scream back? I don't know. The very last minute of the ride there's a loud BANG and you look like you're going straight into the wall. The "wall" opens up and it's a door to the outside, where people can stand and watch your reaction while you think you are screeching headfirst into a wall. Needless to say, the man waiting for his children to come off the ride got a kick out of two 25/26 year old girls coming out screaming. So, Playland was great, it was a nice KeekandHollz adventure. Then, the next day, Hollee had to leave:(
It was so wonderful having my best friend up here to visit. I sometimes wish that we could just shrink New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland...then VA would be SO MUCH closer to CT!!
Ah well, guess that's what BoltBus, Amtrak and JetBlue are for!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well, if you know me at all, you know I have a slight obsession with dogs. Mostly all animals, but I just love puppies. (And in referring to them as "puppies," I do not mean young dogs, I call all dogs puppies, whether they are 6 months or 6 years old.) I just love them so much. I have always loved dogs, my family had dogs around from the moment I was born. First we had Sandalwood, a dark red golden retriever who was my oldest brother's first dog and who was still around when I was born. Sandalwood liked to dig...and when my family moved and our yard wasn't big enough for his liking, Sandalwood dug himself a little hole under the fence and ran away often. Because of this, we brought him to a farm where he had plenty of room to run and roam and play with other dogs. (Side Note: it was a for real farm, not a "farm" where parents tell their children their dog had to be taken.) Then, in the late 80's we got Maggie, another purebred golden who I always considered my best friend. Maggie and I grew up together, we went on adventures together, I even used to sit with her and try to teach her how to use sign language. (I have a vivid memory of sitting on the floor teaching her letters.) I also told her when we grew up that we would travel the world together. When she was about 8, actually exactly 8, she started having seizures. The vets couldn't explain it, but they gave her some medicine and she started to appear better. Almost exactly a month after her first seizure, she passed away in the middle of the night. I had set up a vigil that night, with a candle and ceramic angels my Nanny made me. She was hiding in my parents bathroom and they told us all to leave her alone. While they were downstairs and thought I was sleeping, I snuck into their bathroom and laid down with Maggie on the floor, rubbing her head with a damp wash cloth. The next morning, my mom came into my room and sat on my bed to tell me that Maggie died in the middle of the night. It was heart wrenching. For months, I slept with her collar wrapped around my bedpost and I would shake it just to hear the tags clink together like they did when she would come prancing into a room. I remember vowing to myself at the vets office when she was sick that I would become a veterinarian and always figure out what was wrong and how to fix it so that no one ever had to feel like I did during that time. I was so mad at them for not knowing what was wrong, for telling us that the medicine they gave her probably just masked whatever the true problem was.
I actually went into college as a pre-veterinary med major...(clearly, switched to Comm. because of my affinity for laziness.) I worked at a vet's office during college breaks, and even a few years ago when I was looking into going to grad school, it was between teaching and veterinary medicine. That's probably one thing I will always regret, not having the drive to become a veterinarian.
Anyhow, after Maggie, when I was about 13, we got a little fluffball golden retriever in Madison, VA. We named this light golden butterball, Madison. She was so cute it was hard to look at her for too long. Madison was the epitome of perfection. As she grew, she learned to bring in the newspaper, bring my dad his slippers, flip treats off her nose and into her mouth, and many other adorable tricks. She would bring my dad one slipper when he would get home from work, go back upstairs, get the other and bring it down to him. She then began to do this without us asking and if my dad wasn't home from work every night when he was supposed to be, she would start bringing them down so they'd be ready when he got home. Adorable. She was my little honeybear and I loved her to pieces.

My mom always said she wanted a lap dog to snuggle with. Not something she ever said she HAD to have, just in the future, one day, maybe she would want something small for herself. So, when I went to college my Freshman year, my dad and I had this grand plan to get her a little something to have for herself. (Even though Madison was so great and really was a Mama's girl.) So my father and I started looking for cocker spaniels, because my mom always thought the blonde ones look like mini-goldens. My older brother found out about this and flipped out. He had to stand his ground and never allow a "small, yippee" dog in our house. Now, yes we were and always have been a big-dog family, but a cocker spaniel is far from a yippee dog. But Cameron (who lived in Connecticut, mind you) put his foot down, did some research and found a litter of chocolate lab puppies near my parents home in Northern VA. I was home for Christmas break and my dad and I went to pick one out. Bailey pretty much picked ME out though. All the other puppies were running all over the place playing with each other and Bailey scooted right up to me, jumped in my lap and stole my heart with her little gorilla face and baby grunts. So, we claimed that little one as ours and headed home with a plan for a Christmas arrival for the newest member of our family. I took a picture of her while we were there and we put it in one of my pretend puppy beds from when I was little. We put the bed under the Christmas tree with a note that said something like "Hi I'm ______, your new puppy!" We let my mom pick her name. I pretty much thought of Bailey because at the time I was semi-obsessed with Redskins cornerback, Champ Bailey, so I suggested that. My mom said she was not naming her puppy after a football player, but she does love Bailey's Irish Cream, so there we were:)
Sadly, we were not entirely prepared for the wrath that is a Labrador Retriever puppy. Madison's perfect life until that point, with her favorite bone shaped pillow, her collection of tennis balls and all her plush toys, was turned into mayhem. At first Madison was kind of like, "what is this thing trying to chase my tail?" But they did become the best of friends. Bailey was somewhat of a terror those first few years, leading my mother to question why we would give her such a "gift" when she had the perfect Madison to love already. We blamed Cameron on any wrong-doing Bailey proved to serve, because I am sure my choice of a cute little cocker spaniel would not have caused nearly as much destruction as Bailey did. (eating boxes of food-including ingestion of the box, whole loaves of bread, terrorizing the house, thrashing through trash cans) But we love Bailey nonetheless, and she is now an 8 year old princess:) Also, Bailey at a whopping 80 lbs, truly believes she belongs on your lap. So, guess mom got her lap dog after all!
It still hurts to think about when Madison had to be put down, but just to be fair in this blog, giving each animal their story, Madison had a mass the size of a lemon in her heart and there was nothing they could do. I had never had to put a dog to sleep before, Maggie died on her own and at age 8, Madison started swelling, became very lethargic and we had no choice but to let her go. We held onto her until the very last minute and the night before we found out we had to put her down, I spent a long time on the floor with her just petting, snuggling and telling her how perfect she was and how much I loved my Honeybear.
The purpose of this blog is not to make anybody sad, as I am sure it will, because even as I write it I am missing Madison, but I just thought after looking at petfinder for almost an hour, that maybe my love for puppies should be blogged about! Bailey is still around and wonderful, the snuggliest pup in the world and she still wiggles and jumps up and down when I walk through the door to my parents house. She is, in every sense of the word, like my little sister:)
Now all I need is a pup of my own. Luckily, Oliver shares this love obsession for dogs and when we have a bigger house we will have as many as we can fit. Ideally, I would like to own a ranch, rescue all sorts of puppies and live amongst the greatest animals life has to offer. I'll let you know how that dream pans out.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Post Brought to you By Skype

Dear Blog Followers,
Hollee and I have decided that skyping is the greatest thing life has to offer best friends who live 300 miles apart. Not only does it allow us to see each other on a frequent basis, BUT it allows us to slack on whatever we should be doing in life...and have a couple beers/alcoholic beverages "together." This started with a different kind of beverage. In college, Hollee and I used to have coffee on the porch every morning before watching Regis and Kelly (and sometimes going to class). Now, we have coffee on the skype instead. This turned into skype partying, which we have discovered is awesome. As I compose this blog, Hollee is "here" with me. We are co-writing this one via Skype.
We don't really have anything to say, Hollee should be packing for the big move in with my bff's from high school. (Side note: this makes me super happy, my best friends from high school, aka M7, are so so great and mean the world to me, and the fact that my best friend from college/life, not only gets along with, but LOVES them, makes me so happy.) So that's what she should be doing and I should be cleaning my apartment for her arrival. Instead, we are hangin' out on Skype, texting, calling and gchatting our friends (aka AP and Jessica.)
So, 02:22, is the running skype ticker time. It is what it is...Hollee just snorted laughing so hard...she doesn't know I wrote that part. She can only see me writing this, but doesn't know what I am typing. Haa....okay, goodnight.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ramblings of a bored "tv watcher"

Clearly Keek wasn't lying when she said that the whole "procrastination" label fits us both. Here I am, two days later finally putting my two cents into this blog. The good news is, now we are both authors so you faithful readers (and we hope there are at least a few of those out there) will now know who is talking about what.

While Keek talks of stars having great meanings and other intellectual ponderings...I thought I'd just talk about new exciting things happening for me right now. That's about all the imagination I can muster on the downward slope of my two-job-tuesday. Speaking of jobs - that's one new thing going on for me. I got a new job!!! I've been with Discovery for 4 years now...same position/less than desirable night and weekend schedule for a little under 3 years and was getting rapidly restless/bored/any other non-fun adjective you can think of, but was doing what I do best and slacking on actively seeking a new job. A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me about a position with T-Mobile and sent me all the info. *side note - I'm obsessed with cell phones, and I have been a T-Mobile customer for about 8 years* Needless to say for many reasons I was excited about this position and the opportunity to pursue a very different career path then the one I was currently (and unhappily) on. The position is a Sales Development Representative...basically I'll be traveling to all the stores that sell T-Mobile but aren't corporate stores (Best Buy, Costco, Walmart, etc) to make sure the employees are trained, offering promotions, the managers are meeting their sales goals, and providing regular reports for the stores in my area. Stuff like that. I'm definitely excited, but I'm also scared, nervous, anxious, and sort of sad to leave Discovery. Not so much the position, but the people - and the company. Discovery was my first job out of college, so it's all I've ever really known. But, time to take a leap and try something new.

I'm also moving this month...which I am very excited about! Funnily enough, the girls I'm moving in with are Caitlyn's best friends from high school. AND Laura has a dog! I'm so so soooo excited about that. Although I'm going to terribly miss Nicole and her kitty Roxy...they won't be too far away.

The MOST exciting thing, I have to say, is that next Wednesday I will be on the Bolt Bus headed north to visit Keek! I'm super nervous to arrive in NYC and have to cab it to Grand Central and catch a train...but apparently this is a very liberating experience, so I welcome the challenge.

I guess that's it for me's my lunchtime. And yes, if the middle of my workday falls in the evening, I still consider it a lunch break, not dinner break.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Name of the Game is Procrastination...and I'm the MVP

So, while still getting used to this co-blogging, I think I will see how it goes to use this as a creative outlet on my own as well. Because really the reason we're doing it together is to keep each other writing, have someone hold us accountable.
The title of this post definitely encompasses both Hollee and myself. The reason for this post, and the title are because this trait of mine was brought to my attention last night.
Every once in a while...or really, more often than not, something comes into my brain and I wish I had something to write on. Having an iPhone helps, I have recently been just typing these ideas into notes...but anyhow...I am a writer, I just am. I love writing, I love getting the craziness out of my brain and putting it down on paper. I also have a large fear of failure...which leads to the wonder that is my brain, not being put onto paper because of an "it probably wont be as good as I think" attitude. For example, I have had an idea for a children/pre-teen novel for years now. It popped into my head once and I haven't been able to get it out. It's all in there, a series even...I have dreams about it, I have written different parts of it, I think about it all the time. I have even had professors request for me to be placed in advanced writing classes, told me this is "what I should do" with my life, but the passion for writing loses out to the fear of failure. But I think that's not even the right thing to call it...I think what I am truly afraid of is success. There is a long history there, but being great and successful got me into trouble in my past and I think it made me guarded. So there's me, psycho analyzing myself.
So, last night Oliver and I were at his parents house out on their patio. They live in a really nice, open wooded area with not much around. This sets the scene for some beautiful night sky observances. Last night was particularly beautiful, there were so many stars out and the sky was so clear, you could just see them all up there. I started thinking...what if every star in the sky represented a couple who had fallen in love? That even if you have never been in love, you could look up at the night sky and still have hope that it is bound to happen for you, because looking at the number of stars in the sky, you see the abundance of love there is in the world.
It was just a thought, and it sent my mind into a tailspin...stars can mean whatever you want them to mean, right? You get to choose what you believe and what you believe in, so why not make it something magical? Love can be compared to stars because you can't see love, but you know it is there, during the day you cannot see the stars but you know they are up there, etc. So I said something like that out loud, about the stars representing love, and Oliver just said, "Wow." Like, he was blown away by me (side note, find someone who loves you like crazy and find a way to keep them around forever:) But then I started thinking, as I always do, "this just sounds like it makes sense, someone has to have said this before. I am sure there is some great writer or philosopher who has attributed the amount of stars in the sky to the amount of love in the world. Nothing new here, Caitlyn, no need to write it down, it's already out there." And that is when Oliver said something about the reason I don't write is because I procrastinate and that he has heard me say things and talk about my book for the past four years that he has known me, and all I have done is procrastinate writing it. So, again, welcome to this blog.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Story of Us-Keek's Version

So, I thought it'd be cool to start off with having two separate posts of how we met and became best friends, "the story of us." While the accounts are bound to be extremely similar, I am sure each of us remember different details.
August of 2002, my mom and dad drive me the three hours to Longwood University and help move me into the 4th floor of South Ruffner. After a tear-filled goodbye, I begin to get settled on my own and meet the girls on my hall. The first evening there, my RA called a meeting for all of us in the common room at the end of the hallway. This is where Hollee Elizabeth Higbea and I were formally introduced. The RA went on to tell us about the rules of the dorm (dry dorm, no drinking, no alcohol in the building, and do NOT come home drunk.) I had a friend from high school who was in a fraternity at Longwood so I went out with him that night. This is where our stories will differ...I'm not sure how we both ended up at the Alpha Sig house across from the church, but we did. Here is where we took the first Keek & Hollz pic, and maybe one of the greatest. We hung out there, had the best first night of college ever, then we returned to the dorm, already breaking a rule, you can guess which one. I proceeded to get "locked" out of my room and had a fit of getting into it...when the RA came out in the hallway and Hollee ducked into her room to continue laughing at me in hiding.
Freshman year went on and we hung out in a big group of girls, we went out all the time, hung out with different sororities and frats/soccer players, had breakfast, lunch and dinner in dhall together, and had pretty much all our Comm. Studies classes together. That year it was just a coincidence we had classes together...from then on, we made sure of it. While we hung out all the time Freshman year and became fairly close, our actual best friend status didn't arise until Sophomore year. We lived in a 6 person suite in Frazer with a bunch of our close friends from our hall in S. Ruffner. I had broken my ankle almost right before we came back to school and I was in a cast with a "no toe touches the ground" policy for 3 months. While our other friends were helpful, Hollee took the reigns of my crippled life and took care of me like only a best friend could. She pushed my wheelchair, got my tray in dhall and rode on the golf cart to class with me. Putting vodka in our orange juice bottles and heading to Art History class at 9 am, our friendship-and maybe our drinks;)- grew stronger everyday. We pulled all nighters to finish projects and papers, we cheered on our suitemates at LipSync when they all pledged sororities and we didn't. We hung out with our three best friends, Pam, Ange and Katie and we had a BLAST that year. Then came our sorority recruitment together...when I was given a bid from Zeta and Hollee was not. It was devastating and I knew how she felt. But, being who she is, Hollee was SO excited for me and was my biggest support system during my pledge period. Even though we couldn't spend that much time together when I was pledging, I don't have any memory of being less close or missing each other. Not to mention the fact that we had pretty much all our classes together AND we worked in Public Relations together too.
Junior year we planned to live together in Cunningham, we were so so excited and had pretty much planned out our whole year...until that summer when I got a call saying I had to live on the Zeta Hall. Now, while this was something I definitely wanted to do, I just wasn't ready yet. My best friend wasn't a Zeta and that meant we couldn't live together...that was not okay with me. After much turmoil, our living arrangements were changed and things worked out okay. I loved living with my pledge sister and the experience of living on the hall is like nothing you could imagine. And Hollee got lucky with a random roommate transfer, Megan, who she became very close with. Then, in the Fall of 2004, Hollee got a bid from Zeta!!! It was the most nerve wracking recruitment I was ever involved with, but it ended the best way possible, me getting to share that sisterhood with my best best friend. Shirting Hollee at walk is one of my all time favorite memories. So, Hollee became a baby bunny and I supported her as she did for me when I was pledging. As if we couldn't have gotten any closer, I finally got to share the Zeta secrets with the other half of my life. Plus, Hollee moved onto the hall second semester! So really we only had one semester of college when we were across campus from each other. We finished out junior year enjoying the greatness that is Zeta Tau Alpha.
Senior year...ah, one of the best. We lived in Stanley Park, 803B. We had two other roommates, but our rooms were connected. I don't really know how to explain our friendship, other than that it just works. We get each other on every level possible. It is odd to think that we spent 18 years without being in each others lives, because it feels like she's been there all along. Sometimes we know what the other is thinking or feeling before we know it ourselves. And even from 300 miles away, we make each other laugh, we know how to interpret a text message just by the way it's written, we are there through hard times and put the phrase "always just a phone call away" to good use.
There is so much more I could tell you about Hollee, about us...but that's what this blog is for, right? Right. So enjoy having a little insight into the life that is Keek & Hollz.