Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thankful

So, I think it's a good idea to take the month of November to reflect on things you are thankful for. I always take a few minutes on Thanksgiving to make sure the important people in my life know how thankful I am for them, but why not take the time everyday to think about the things in your life for which you are thankful. In fact, it should be an everyday all year round thing...but let's not get ahead of ourselves. As you know, I like the short term goals. 30 days of thankful. Considering the fact that today is November 2nd, you get two today. Yesterday, I was thankful for Home Goods. The whole chain actually; Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Home Goods. These are probably my favorite stores ever. I can spend hours in them. Sometimes not even buying a thing, and sometimes literally going for therapy. Just to walk around and look at stuff and amaze myself at all the deals! Yesterday I went to Home Goods AND Marshalls. It was a good day. And I was thankful for them.

Today, I have a few things (who says it has to be only one thing per day?) This morning, I woke up to the snuggliest, softest, cutest little Tiger Face. He is usually more snuggly in the morning, but today he was extra snuggly. He laid down right next to my face and put his nose right on my nose. Then he gave me some little Tiger kisses. (I think he heard me talking about wanting a puppy, so he is getting in touch with his puppy side...he kinda thinks he's a dog anyway.) It was cute and I woke up thinking, "I am so thankful to have this little guy in my life."

I think a common theme throughout this month will be my husband...I am thankful for him for a million reasons. Tonight at dinner, the song he was supposed to dance with Ellen to at our wedding came on. I lost it. Cried into my pasta. Just looking at him across the table made me swell with thankfulness that he is not only in my life, but that I get to be his wife:)

So there's day one and two. Look for a blog or fb post everyday for thankfulness:)

Monday, October 31, 2011


So, when Ainsley first began talking she had the absolute cutest way of saying things. All kinds of things, names and everything, including her own. This became a new way for all of the adults in Ainsley's life to speak to each other in Ainsley language (L-Ain-guage, get it?) Sometimes it was just the WAY she would say certain words, like DA-dd-Y, she would raise her tiny little voice at the DA part and the Y part. Then, she started saying aunts and uncles names. Jaime's sister, Carolyn, gets the gold here. She goes by Aunt DeeDee. Repetitive sounds are the easiest for children to say, like Mommy, Daddy, etc. So, Ainsley could say DeeDee before she got to the rest of the names. Which is fine because anything she said was adorable:) The K or hard C sounds are hard for kids to make right away too, so Keek became Teek and Uncle Cam became Tam. Amanda became just Manda or Manna for a while, we tried to make Oliver easy for her and since people call him O.D. we thought we'd try that. Which turned into Adu, again, adorable. Anyhow, most of these she has self-corrected by now as a four year old, and even though she can now say the isolated C/K sound, we are still Teek and Tam.

So, the point of all this is that we still speak like her. On a daily basis, Oliver and I speak to each other in Ainsley-talk. "Hewo?" comes in text form sometimes, but we answer the phone this way every time one calls the other. "What/how are you do-ning?" is how we greet one another, more often than not answering with "My fine." When we are getting ready to go somewhere we say, "Rea-y? Doh" (ready, without the 'd' sound and 'go' with a 'd') Need confirmation for something? "Otay!"

And our most favorite is our little baby Tida. Tiger came home to Fairfax with me for the summer once and pretty much spent the whole time hiding under the bed from Bailey and Bear. When Ainsley was visiting she squatted down next to the bed and called him, "Tidaaaa! Tidaaa! Tida aahh you?! Tum see me!!" and coaxed him out of his hiding spot to "tum see my new petty soos." (come see my new pretty shoes.) So we now call our baby Tida and we call him from the other room, "Tida!! Tum see us!" Oliver also calls me Teek.

Here is a sample convo:

"Hewo?" "Hello?"
"Hi Teek! How aah you? "Hi Keek! How are you?
"My do-ning fine. What you do-ning?" "I'm doing fine, what are you doing?"
"Oh, nussing, where's Tida?" "Oh, nothing, where's Tiger?"
"Tida busy seeping. I was donna take a picture of him tuz he's so toot right now."
"Tiger is busy sleeping. I was gonna take a picture of him 'cause he's so cute right now."

Any way we can keep our bug close to us on a daily basis:)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Wonder Where I'd Be...

Sometimes I look back on things and wonder how my life would be different if I made different decisions. I think everyone wonders what might have been if another path was chosen. Not saying that this means I, or anyone else who wonders is regretting the choices made, but it is just something to think about. What made me think of this today? Well, I went to see Dolphin Tale (good movie, no need to see it in 3-D though...) and I thought about how much I would love to work with animals. This is different, maybe actually a step beyond my want to be a veterinarian. I have always loved animals, dolphins in particular. They fascinate me. Since I was little I always wanted to swim with them. That dream became a reality my senior year of college on spring break in Mexico. It was pretty cool. I don't want to say I was disappointed, but...I had always kind of hoped to actually swim with them, like swim around in the same pool. We got to pet them, have them kiss us and go to the middle of the pool, put our feet out and have them come up from behind and push the bottoms of our feet until we were practically air born! Now that part was awesome. However, I wanted to swim with them, spend time with them. I'm sure there's somewhere you can pay to do that, but this place was get in, meet and greet, get out.

I digress...the point I am getting at is that there have always been things I wanted to do, and lots of them. And most of them are a career. Which you can really only choose one of. I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to write screenplays. I wanted to be a teacher. The writing, I can do on the side thankfully, even if it would be nice to have as a full career. But the others? You can't really be a vet or a marine biologist "on the side." In high school, I applied to a school near the water in North Carolina because of their marine biology department and internship opportunities. I was wait the mean time, I accepted my early decision acceptance into Longwood. I liked the school, I liked the distance from home, the quaint town, the promise of an education where the professors actually know who you are instead of lectures of 500. As I have mentioned before, I went into Longwood as a Pre-Veterinary Med major. That changed pretty quickly (before classes even began) to Communication Studies. I thought I would get what I needed there to work behind the scenes in TV and/or film. While I learned a lot about the how and why people communicate, I got little in the department of actual broadcasting, film making, etc. I did, however, take every single creative writing class Longwood had to offer and was even given my own class, one-on-one with a professor my senior year for Advanced Screen Writing. That was pretty cool. One of my creative writing professors passed along one of the scenes I wrote to another professor who taught the advanced class. I had a scheduling conflict and wasn't able to enroll in her class. She loved my writing so much that she offered to meet with me twice a week for my own advanced class. It was an amazing opportunity and I learned a lot that semester. topic again? Weird. So, I just sometimes wonder if somewhere along the way, if my decisions were different or things worked out differently, where would I be today? If I had gotten into that school and gone for marine biology, what would I be doing now? That opens up a whole world I know nothing about, so who knows where I would be?! What if I had kept my pre-vet med major at Longwood and never known the wonderfulness of the Longwood Comm. Studies Department? What if I had stayed at Ascent Media, working "behind the scenes" in TV? What if I hadn't applied to grad school or spent that summer in Italy? Again, these aren't regrets, just questions. I know that parts of my life are solid, as solid and wonderful as they could be. I have an amazing husband (who, if I had not moved to CT would never have met) an amazing best friend (who Longwood brought me) an awesome group of friends who mean the world to me, a beyond amazing family. I just wonder about my career sometimes. I love teaching, but would I have been better at something else? Just feeling a bit reflective this evening.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I still get 'em. The night before the first day of school has always been a night for butterflies for me. I love everything that has to do with going back to school. The back-to-school mall shopping, new shoes, new backpack, new school supplies! I love it all and always have! I could spend hours at Staples, the back-to-school section at Walmart, Target, you name it- I'm there. There's just something about new notebooks, new pens, a box of newly sharpened pencils or crisp new crayons. And the brand new, blank calendar just waiting to be filled with important dates for the school year! Man I just get so excited even thinking about it!

This mild obsession with all things school supply could be a reason I went into the teaching profession. Now, my days leading up to the start of school are spent browsing at the Educational Warehouse, the dollar bins at Target and the same wonderful aisles of Staples and Walmart. And now I get to buy teacher things too, like a lesson plan book and books full of bulletin board ideas! I don't need a new backpack, but I browse through them anyway:) I get to decorate my classroom with bright colors and inviting posters. And I get to use my teacher handwriting, which I love doing. Perfecting each curve and line to form the perfect letter. Nerd, party of one.

I just thought that I would blog about this very exciting day. The first day of school is tomorrow for us, today was open house and my butterflies woke me up at 5:00 this morning. Those were more nervous butterflies because parents come to open house too. I'm not nervous about speaking in front of people (thanks COMM 101) but these people are entrusting me with the care and education of their children, their most prized possessions. So the "what if they don't like me?" question teeters in the back of my mind. The kids I am not afraid of. I love kids, I love teaching them and watching them soak everything up. The butterflies that will wake me up tomorrow will be pure excitement:) So whether your first day was yesterday, today, tomorrow, whenever, good luck to all my teacher friends! Have a wonderful year!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Euphoria. A great workout. Runner's high. Cute running shorts. Lean muscle. Strong legs. Great cardio. A clear head. Weight loss. Time to think.

The above is a list of the way I wish I could see running.

Below is how it really is in my life.

Trouble breathing. Asthma. Neuroma. Shin splints. THREE sports bras. Running bottoms long enough to prevent chub rub. Ankle pain. Sore knees. Frustration.

I've always wanted to be a runner, to be able to feel that high people talk about. I have ran, and I have never been high from it. Endorphin's? I don't know about those. I have been advised by many a doctor not to run, that the benefits come nowhere near outweighing the harm. They say that even for healthy people, running is bad for your joints, takes a toll in the long run and puts you at risk for injury because the weight you bear down on your knees, ankles, feet every time you take a stride, hurts more than helps.

That is just for normal people. I, however, am not normal when it comes to body type. I have a rod and six pins and screws in my left ankle. Keeps it sturdy in there, but definitely makes it sore when I pound down on it by running. I have multiple neuroma's (tiny little nerve tissue collected into a benign tumor inside your foot that causes excruciating shooting pain on the ball of the foot.) I have bad knees, which we found out started from growing pains when I was about 13 (Osgood-Schlatter-rapid growth and pulling of the tendons around the growth plate of the knee.) Painful then and never quite went away from the teen years. I also get shin splints. I always have, used to even have to be iced by a trainer before and after soccer and lacrosse games in high school. Those are just annoying and I try to work through the pain. I have exercise induced asthma. My lungs burn, feel like they are closing up and I can't take a deep breath. I have an inhaler for prevention and emergencies. If I take it as a preventative, it makes me shake and I hate the way it makes me feel. And I don't ALWAYS trigger the asthma when I work out, so I only use it when I can feel an attack coming.

So, those are the medical conditions which keep me from enjoying a nice run. Otherwise, the fact that I have to wear three sports bras to keep these ladies in place and out of pain, is just annoying. The fact that there are adorable running outfits out there that I can't wear is a little disheartening as well. Running shorts tend to be super short, which is great if your thighs don't touch...I, however do not have that luxury. This part is mostly just vanity, but still, buying new workout clothes always makes you feel excited about working out, right? Maybe that's just me.

Either way, I still get to a point every once in a while where I just want to run. Just to try it one more time and see if I can push through and make it to that euphoria. It hasn't happened yet, but I haven't given up completely:)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Time is Treasure

It is always sad to lose someone. Even more so when you have things you wished you could have said or done with that someone and suddenly they are just no longer there.

Ellen asked me a long time ago if I knew how to iron. I said, "Well, I think so...I kind of just put the clothes out and iron them, no real plan of action."

She proceeded to tell me that there is a specific way to iron, that her mother-in-law taught her how to do so and that she would love to show me. I told her I would love that and we should plan a time for me to come over with some of Oliver's clothes.

Time went by, we continued our weekly dinners with Oliver's parents, and saw them often, but never quite planned that ironing lesson. I always thought to myself, "we'll figure it out, we'll find a time."

Ellen began to get sicker and as she began to get even more weak, I remember thinking, maybe I could set up an iron in the hang-out room where Ellen was in her bed. She might not be able to show me, but if I were right there she could guide and direct me.

It seems simple, an ironing lesson. Ironing is ironing, you get the wrinkles out, you're good, right? But it was more than that. It meant something that my mother-in-law-to-be wanted to pass something on to me that her mother-in-law passed to her. It was just really a moment to share. And I wanted that moment. And as time went on and her sickness quickly began to completely take over, I lost my chance. I lost my chance to spend the time and make the memory. Like I said, it seems simple, but it tears me up inside that I missed out on that moment. I was lucky enough to marry into the most amazing family, have the most amazing in-laws. Even if I technically only had a mother-in-law for three days.

I miss Ellen everyday. I'm not really sure I will ever forgive myself for letting that moment pass. I am extremely blessed that I got the chance to say everything I could ever want to say to her, to thank her for her son, for making him who he is, for loving him the way she had his whole life, for teaching him how to love and for welcoming me with open arms into their family. The most amazing woman, the pride of the family, the elegant matriarch. I learned a lot from my mother-in-law and I am thankful for that. This lesson, instead of teaching me how to iron, has taught me to treasure all moments and never take time for granted because you are not always guaranteed to have it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

31 Days

So, it seems to me that whenever I give myself a challenge, I seem to get more accomplished. Kind of like making short-term goals instead of big, long-term ones. For example, when I started boot camp this year, I signed up for one month and told myself that I would do this boot camp for the whole month, no excuses, no skipping out, and I did it. The whole month of January I woke up at 5:00 a.m., went to boot camp for an hour, went to the gym to shower and then continued on with my regular workday. I didn't miss one day and it felt really good to keep that promise to myself. I also give something (usually multiple somethings) up every year during Lent. I have never, not once "cheated" during Lent. If I say I will not eat fast food or order out for a month, I wont do it (even when it isn't the Lenten season.)

What I am getting at is my next challenge. Tomorrow begins a new month and my challenge, however small it may seem to others, is to do some type of physical activity everyday for 31 days. When I do things like this, it isn't just for the month, it is to jump start a healthy way of living, so that next month, I will be used to the everyday activity, know what I am capable of and be able to continue.

And since I decided to blog about it and this is a dual blog...Hollee and I will be doing this together. Whatever it may be; a walk around the block, a trip to the gym, swimming at the beach or pool, a bike ride...anything. Everyday. All month long. We will both be doing it (we tend to do better when we do things together, even from a distance.) We will also be taking suggestions of what type of activity to do so we don't get burnt out. So, keep the ideas coming! (Or really, just START them one ever responds to our blogs, we really do want suggestions!!)

We'll be blogging about our progress; how things are going, what types of activities we are doing, how we feel, etc. So, there you go. 31 days. Starting tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Friday, July 29, 2011

For the Bug and the Monster

Sometimes throughout the year, I sit back and think, "what was I doing at this time last year?" I daydream and compare where I am in life, things I was doing then compared to things I am doing now, that sort of thing. A few weeks ago, I was reminiscing about last summer. This time last summer I was playing mommy to my amazing niece and nephew. All summer I told myself I was going to write them a letter at the end of our time together and tell them all the things they did, places we went together, adventures we had, adorable things they did or said. Daily, I would think to myself "oh, there's something I'll put in the letter" after Freddie smiled for the camera or Ainsley said something ridiculously funny (which is definitely not rare:) But as the summer came to a close, I had written nothing. Shocker. So, this year as I am thinking back, I have decided to write that letter. Things are not as fresh in my mind but it is a summer I will never forget. So here it goes:

Dear Ainsley and Freddie,

Last summer Daddy stayed with Nanny and Poppa during the week so he could work at his new job and while Mommy was still working in Richmond, I was the one to get to take care of you! Since I am a teacher and have summers off, I was lucky enough to spend the whole summer with you two!

Bug, you were not even three yet, because I came to stay with you guys in June, but you were the most amazing, chatty, witty almost-three-year-old I have ever known. And Fredders, you were just a wee three month old baby boy. The chubbiest, cutest, most amazing little baby boy I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

We settled into a routine where I woke up right before Mommy had to leave for work, most days you were awake, Bug, and Freddie was either still sleeping or laying in his swing. For a little while, you were very sad to see Mommy go. It broke my heart (and Mommy's) to see you cry when she left, but you were fine less than 5 minutes after she was out of the driveway. Then, I would make you breakfast and sometimes even set up your chair in the living room so we could watch something fun while we ate our breakfast. Otherwise, we would sit at the table together and eat our breakfast of cereal, waffles, or the chocolate cream of wheat stuff that you loved.

You were such a good helper with Freddie, always wanting to follow me up when we had to do a diaper change, or hold his bottle when I was feeding him. Freddie, you kept us on schedule. I had to make sure you had everything you needed when you needed it. You had bad reflux so you took Mylanta (Ainsley, you used to ask me in the morning if Freddie had taken "your lanta" yet because when you asked what I was giving him, I said "Mylanta." It made me giggle every time.) I even had an app on my phone that tracked when you took your medicine, when you ate, when you were changed, when you slept, when you woke up, everything. You had your bottle every three hours and you took your longer naps in the morning. So every morning we would lounge until around 10:30 when I would start to get Ainsley ready before you woke up around 11:00 and we all went out together.

Some days we went grocery shopping, sometimes to Target, we played soccer in the front yard, blew bubbles in the backyard and always went to a park somewhere. There was the park with the fountain where we threw some goldfish to the geese, then there was your favorite park with the castle! Now, that was a cool playground. You went on the see-saw, the swings, the tire swing, and we played princess games in the castle where you would tell me stories about how I was in the dungeon and the princes Brinkley and Gatsby would come save me from the "Mean Teen."

Bug, your imagination is like nothing I've ever seen. You can play make-believe for hours and never get tired, you can tell stories with the most creative action sequences I've ever heard. You also did love your movies. As much as we played outside, we watched movies. One of your favorites last summer was All Dogs Go To Heaven (although I am sure it is hard to believe there was anything before Tangled.) The credits would roll and you would instantly look at me and say "again?" Sometimes I said yes:)

We went to the pool with Margie one day and you had such a blast! Freddie kinda just chilled then passed out, but we had fun!
We had a little blow up pool on the deck and we'd play for hours in there too. You had hundreds of toys in there and I would sing you a song "I see a tiger, tiger, tiger, I see a tiger in the pool!" and you would search for the tiger and bring it to me. That game never got old! Then, after your birthday party you had a lot more toys and even a new play sink for outside. You always wanted to crawl in the sink, I even gave you a bath in there once, ha. Crazy Auntie Keek:) Or was it Crazy Ainsley? It was your idea!

One big thing we accomplished together that summer was potty training!! Mommy and Daddy had been working with you for a bit before Freddie came along, but once he was born you regressed a little (totally normal when a new baby is in the house and Mommy and Daddy are super busy.) So I thought it was the perfect time for you to try again. You did such a great job!! You got a prize every time and soon enough you were fully trained and I was so proud of you!

Fredders, the things about that time that I will never forget are swaddling you up and rocking you to sleep. It was one of my favorite things to do, even when my back ached from holding your chubby little self and swaying back and forth. You fought sleep like you were in a boxing ring and nap time was your toughest competitor. Your little eyes would flutter and flutter and you would try so hard to keep them open. Until finally, they would stay closed, your breathing would slow, you would get a bit heavier and ultimately lose out on that fight. I loved how warm and snuggly you were and how you would instantly stop squirming and fussing when you were swaddled. Swaddling is my favorite thing. You looked so snuggled up and comfy and I would just pat, pat, pat your little baby back until you succumbed to sleep.

We all took a trip to Longwood one day too. Ainsley, you got to play in the Brock Commons fountains while Freddie watched from his stroller. We visited all the Longwood sites while I told you stories about how Mommy, Daddy and Keek went to school there. I showed you the Founding Four clock in front of the library and asked you which you liked better, "Delta Zeta or Zeta Tau Alpha" you said "Delta yayda" I asked one more time just to be sure and got the same response. Maybe I didn't tell you about the CROWN part of ZTA...I think that'd be a big seller these days for my little princess:)

All in all we had an amazing summer together, I wish I had written down some of your quotes, Bug, because you are one hilarious little lady. Fredders, you didn't say much so no regrets there:) I was sad to leave you guys, every time I say goodbye to you both I leave a little piece of myself with you. You are the first niece and nephew I ever had and I love you both with all my heart and soul. I am the luckiest aunt to have gotten to spend that precious time with you, and now you have some account of it also:)

Auntie Keek

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is the lack of stress, stressful??

So, with less than three weeks until the wedding, I am feeling very excited, not so stressed, just excited. I mean, there are little things I guess I am stressing about, like how I need to print three different sets of things and I don't have Word on my computer and all the templates online are for Word only...that's stressing me out a little, but not enough to freak or anything. I'll figure it out. That's pretty much been my attitude through everything, "I'll figure it out." I try not to sweat the small stuff. I want to marry Oliver, be with him forever...does the other stuff really matter? In the grand scheme, not really. Of course I want a beautiful, fun, awesome wedding, but so many of the little details people fuss over just aren't worth fretting over for me.

Anyhow, so while during the day I am not thinking I feel very stressed, evidently my body is reacting at night. I haven't really been sleeping well. So perhaps all the things on the "to-do" list are floating around in my subconscious and coming out at night, thus disallowing this bride her beauty sleep. Everyday after school I have things planned to get done. Whether it's wedding errands I need to run or wedding things I need to do at home. But today after school I decided to go get a pedicure and relax a little, try to maybe stave off some of the stress that everyone keeps telling me will inevitably ensue. (seriously, every bride, married woman, past bridesmaid, everyone has been warning me to de-stress and prepare for anxiety during the weeks before the wedding.) But here we are, a few weeks before the wedding and I am pretty okay. What's stressing me out is people telling me I am gonna be stressed!

I have never really been great at total relaxation. When I get a massage (which is my all time number one favorite thing to do) I sometimes even then have to remind myself to stop thinking about the outside world, the things I have to do, and just be in the moment with the spa music playing, scented oils and wonderful tension-relieving hands for the next 60 minutes. But today just made me laugh a little. There was a special at the nail place to have a free chair massage or free eyebrow waxing. I don't do nail salon waxing, so I opted for the chair massage.

Here's a little bit of what went through my head during the time I should have been relaxing:

"Hmm, she just put lotion on her hands, that's gonna make my hair oily when she does the neck massage part, Ah, who cares, I need to wash it anyway. I need to buy a round brush, I left mine in Fairfax. Maybe I could go to Marshall's after this and see if they have one. I need shoes, I'll look for shoes there. Ugh, stop thinking about this, relax, just feel this massage and relax. If I go to Marshall's I could probably also look for flip flops and not just rehearsal dinner shoes. I wish I had worn flip flops today, now I might mess up my pedicure when I put my flats back on. Or maybe they will let me walk out in these silly little shoes. Or I could wear these down to Marshall's, buy flip flops and wear them home. Oh boy, she's pulling my arms now. This tiny little Asian is probably thinking, 'dang, this girl is meaty' with her tiny little arms massaging my big old chubby upper arm. Seriously Caitlyn? Just relax. Deep breaths, calming, picture yourself on the beach on the honeymoon. Maybe I should call and make a reservation for a private dinner on the beach. The resort offers that, that'd be a nice surprise for Oliver. A romantic, candle-lit dinner on the beach. Perfect. Wonder if I'll be able to make it to the OBX this summer. I hope so. Stop thinking! RELAX!!" Ding. times up, massage over. Well, it felt good at least...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The One

So...your whole life you look for "the one," right? Well, most people feel that way I think. Whether your "one" is a best friend, a spouse, a city, a home, when it comes to choosing paths in life, you choose "the one" that is best for you. And only you know what that is.

I have found that in the process of wedding planning, there are a lot of "the ones." First, I met my Oliver, he is definitely The One. The one I thought didn't exist, the one who's personality, life and love surprises me everyday. As a young girl, high school maybe, I was always a sucker for love. Always thinking, "could he be The One?" People just kind of know what that statement means, but it's never really followed by an explanation. The one who what? Well, then it was the one I would spend the rest of my life with, the one who would love me for me no matter what. I definitely didn't find that in high school, no matter how much I wanted that truth to be mine. Not many people do probably find that "one" in high school. That's all about learning who you are, how you respond to others, how to just BE in a relationship. Anyhow, I am getting off track. So, I continued to live life, still searching, whether actively or just by being, for my One. I began to think it wouldn't happen, woe is me, 20 years old and haven't found someone to marry. Ugh. Granted, that thought only crossed my mind every once in a while, I was very busy enjoying my time in college:)

So, I moved to CT, met this boy, he asked me if I'd like to go out with him, we had our first date and BAM! Found it!

Now months into the wedding planning process I have found that there are plenty of very important things in life that need the significance of being called "the one." I remember when I went with my brother (Cameron) to look for his now wife's engagement ring. He knew everything; cut, color, clarity...what's the other c? I don't even know. But he did. So we searched, we looked at diamond after diamond then finally found it. The One. It was beautiful and I don't know what set it out from the rest, but we just knew, that was it. We were finished searching. It seemed to shine brighter and sparkle more than any that we had to compare it to. The smile on his face was enough to understand that he had found it, just like he had found her. His "one."

Over the past few months I have gotten that warm, happy feeling of finding something perfect more than a few times. We chose Oliver's parents church to be married in. Without ever having been there, I agreed to it. Then, once I went to see the church, meet the pastor, I knew it was The One. The exact right place for us to get married. I shopped for a wedding gown, tried on about seven and found The One at the first store we went to. The pastry chef turned the page of the sample book, I saw the beautiful cake and knew it was The One. We looked for wedding bands, tried some on, each found The One we loved the most. Even something like the flower girl dress. After searching for months, not ever finding quite the right fit, I open an email from mom "Houston, I think we found the dress!" and knew right away, it was The One. The church, the dress, the cake, the invitations, the flowers, the rings...all such broad categories, yet under each umbrella we found The One that was perfect for us.

I only started thinking about this because we have finally made a decision about our honeymoon. We haven't even gone yet, but I know it is going to be amazing. It is the perfect place that I thought only existed in my mind. After hearing the travel agent describe it and briefly glancing at the resort online, I knew. Now, after my extensive research on not only the resort, but the entire island, I am absolutely sure it is The One.

So in a search for the perfect "something" there is always the one that sets itself apart from the others. You may never figure out what it is that sets it apart, but it just is different. It is The One. And when you really think about it, it's not very difficult to explain. There's a reason we choose what we choose because we are who we are. Everything in life leads us to where we are supposed to be. Even something as simple as a travel agent saying, "have you guys thought about Anguilla?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Sad Time for This Boot Camper's been over a month since I've written. I've been busy planning a wedding:) I have been going to boot camp faithfully since my last post (up until the past week, which you will see as this post continues) and I have felt great! At my dress fitting last weekend, they re-measured me and I am six inches smaller than my original measurements! SUPER exciting. But now let me get into the sadness. About 2 weeks ago my lower back started bothering me. I sometimes get lower back pain, and it usually is pretty painful for a few days then dissipates until I no longer feel it. While doing dead lifts (holding a weight in each hand, slowly bending at the waist until the weights touch the ground, then coming back up) I felt a sharp pain back there. I tried to push through it, I finished out the workout then at the end my instructor stretched me out because I mentioned how it hurt. That was on a Thursday. That night was Oliver's St. Baldrick's fundraiser and I was out pretty late (all the while with the pain in my lower back) so after going to sleep after midnight and the pain in the back, I decided to take a day off from boot camp on Friday. The rest helped and my lower back started to feel better. Emphasis on the LOWER back. Saturday the middle of my back started hurting, then by Sunday evening it hurt to take a deep breath. I thought maybe I sat wrong in the hour+ car ride to Hartford...but nothing made it feel better. Sitting, standing, laying down, stretching, it HURT. I went to work on Monday (no boot camp that morning) and was in a whole lot of pain. It really hurt when I took a deep breath and my job isn't the greatest for staying upright (the kids tables come to my knees so I am always either bending down or sitting in a tiny little chair with my knees above my hips.) It was an odd pain though, constant pain, extremely uncomfortable and right in the middle of my back. When I get back pain, it's the lower back, not like this. My co-workers began to worry, one thought that maybe I was overcompensating from last week's lower back pain and kinda screwed the rest of my back and she said I should go to a chiropractor, one said it might be a respiratory infection since it hurt whenever I would breathe (which, all the time!) but my mom was visiting and I didn't want to spend her last day in the doctor's office. The pain got kind of worse throughout the day, so that and my mom convinced me to call the doctor. So mommy came to the doctor with me while I was taking tiny short breaths so it wouldn't hurt (which really only lead to me having to take a deep deep breath every so often and cry out in pain) and after my doctor felt my back, pressed in a bunch of places, asked a bunch of questions, he told me I was having pretty bad muscle spasms. He gave me a prescription for muscle relaxers and some Vicodin so I could sleep (did I mention the pain kept me up all night Sunday?) I asked him if I could still go to boot camp. He looked a little shocked and said absolutely not, stay away from boot camp for at least a week. I almost cried. This is the first time in my life that I have really stuck with an exercise program and liked it. Granted, it's really only been a few months, but that is a few months longer than I've ever done it before! Before leaving, I asked my doctor if a massage might help. He said definitely, so I asked if he could write me a prescription to Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa. Evidently they don't do that.
So I emailed the instructor and told her my diagnosis and how upset I was. She told me to rest, get better and she'll see me next week. I did end up getting a massage (no help from the doctor!) and the masseuse told me it felt like she was
"working on a rock." Those were her exact words. She said she didn't need to ask why, because I had told her about boot camp and the wedding, so she said it was a combination of the intense work out and stress, but she seemed very concerned with how tight everything was. She suggested that I come back for a 90 minute sports massage. I suggest that it doesn't cost $150. I know it will help, but that's a lot of money and when I get a massage it's usually a very big treat and it's for a nice relaxing time, I don't want to be told I have to have one for medical reasons!
Anyhow, that was last week. Over the weekend, I went to VA for Freddie's first birthday. My cousin, Garrett, is a personal trainer and I asked him what he thought about all this. He felt my back and said it felt like a bowling ball. He started naming some things I shouldn't do...all of which are the exercises we do daily at boot camp. My friend, Laura, who I have mentioned before (also a personal trainer) told me she thought I should stay away from boot camp for at least the rest of the month. The muscle relaxers are helping, I haven't had to take the Vicodin to sleep for about 6 days, and I am feeling better. Every once in a while I feel a twinge of the pain that I had before, but nothing like it was.
Today, I went back to my doctor because (surprise!) I have a sinus infection. While there, I asked him what he thought about all this. I told him how I was feeling, how the muscle relaxers helped and I stopped taking them on Sunday to see if I could feel better on my own, and I have. He said that boot camp is an intense work out and that I should not continue to do it. I told him I lost 6 inches and that I am getting married in 2 months. He said I can continue to lose weight and inches, just by doing less intense exercises, such as the bike, treadmill, or swimming. He said that the constant twisting, bending, lifting and jumping are not good for my back. I asked if I could still use free weights and he said yes, just make sure not to bend. So, there are three professionals advising that I quit boot camp. And I was afraid of failure, ha. Guess I am being forced to fail this time:( It doesn't feel much different. But even when I think of going back and trying to modify the exercises, I think about the things we do and EVERYthing would need to be modified. No squats, reverse crunches, lunges, twists, dead lifts, squat thrusts, mountain climbers, straight leg sit ups, V-sits...I could go on and on. It wouldn't be modifying, it would be a completely different work out...which is exactly what I am being told to do. A different work out. So now, I am going to email my instructor, tell her the news and hope that I can get my ass out of bed and to the treadmill at the gym EVERY morning until my wedding. Any help/words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So my last week of boot camp was in January, and I think I mentioned before that I missed the last 3 days. Wednesday I missed because of some reasons I'd rather not discuss, Thursday was a snow day and when I woke up Friday morning, it was still icy and I just couldn't bring myself to go. I was not too happy with myself, but I almost made it the entire month. I emailed the instructor to tell her how much I appreciated her help getting healthy, and to let her know why I kind of disappeared. I also mentioned in the email that I was going to try very hard on my own to work out consistently and that I would love to do another month right before the wedding. She knew that I'm getting married, because there were 3 other brides in the boot camp and one more just got engaged a few weeks ago so everyone kept yelling "WD! WD!" for "wedding dress" whenever we got tired during a workout. It's a nice little group to work out with:) So, anyhow, she emailed me back, said they loved having me and that she would love to offer me another deal. She said she would charge me for one month but that I can join boot camp from now until the wedding day. One stipulation; I have to write a testimonial for her website for future on-the-fence boot campers. Um, done! Me? Write? Of course! So here I am, signed up again. I did hesitate, but really, how could I pass this up? The chance to get super healthy and into great shape? It's like having a personal trainer just in a group setting. But I hesitated, because I think my frame of mind when I first signed up was that, "hey, one month? I can do one month of waking up at 5 am." But now it's almost 3 months...can I do that? 3 months of waking up at 5 am, going to the gym to shower, working all day...I don't know, I am usually one to give up when things get hard. I don't like that about myself, but it just seems to be what happens. I fear failure, so I give up before I can fail...but isn't that just failing in itself? Yes, it is. So, I signed up. Missed day one. Ugh. Was supposed to be this morning. I got all my stuff ready, set the alarm, filled my water bottle, had my clothes set out. When the alarm went of at 5, I rolled over and saw Oliver in bed (which was super exciting because I hadn't seen him since I left for VA because he was working until midnight last night) and couldn't bring myself to get out of my warm comfy bed with my two warm snuggle buddies (Tiger was curled up with us too.) Plus, I didn't have school today because it's our Winter Break and I knew I could sleep in forever if I wanted to. And I wanted to. Dumb...should have gone to boot camp. Instructor emailed me and said "Caitlyn, where are you?? Get in here!" So, I emailed back and promised to be there tomorrow. So, tomorrow...we begin again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

100 Days Today

Day one went well, and for those of you waiting on the edge of your seat...what Oliver chose for me to give up for the hundred days food. However, I don't really ever eat fast food, like McDonald's and those sorts of is very few and far between that I will go through a drive-thru. But there's this place, Norwalk Pizza and Pasta...and I am, well, to put it bluntly- obsessed. I love everything on their menu. Now, I don't really think it's that fair that this is what he chose, because he specifically said I had to give up "fast, Norwalk Pizza and Pasta." The reason I don't think it's fair is because I do get healthy food from there! (yeah, I'm whining) It's right down the street, within walking distance, and they have salads and paninos and best of all, they have my all time favorite Slim Down pizza. It is DElicious. Made with thin whole wheat crust, no sugar added sauce, skim mozzarella, and I add roasted peppers and onions (to get some veggies:) and when I was doing weight watchers it equaled out to be 4 or 5 points for 2 slices, when a slice of regular pizza is 5 by itself. Anyhow, I do often order the amazing garlic knots, sometimes chicken tenders or wings, so I get it. So no "fast food" for me...including Subway. Ugh. 100 days of no Norwalk Pizza and Pasta? I can pretty much guarantee they will miss my business...yeah, they know me there.
This will not be easy. I added soda to his things to give up too, because he does love a good regular pepsi.
On the gym front, we both went today, which makes one more time to get to 3 for me and 2 for him. Maybe I'll go to a class this weekend to change it up a bit.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

100 Day Challenge

So, tomorrow will be exactly 100 days until our wedding. After my month of boot camp, the first week of February began well enough. Went to the gym after work Monday, did some cardio and began Operation: Hot Arms (as deemed by one of my best friends, and THE best personal trainer I have ever known, Miss Laura DeSimone.) However, here we are on Wednesday and the sheet of ice on the roads has deterred me from going out. Okay, fine, Oliver and I went out to lunch (but he drove, cause the Keekmobile in the ice is a disaster waiting to happen.) At this lunch, we decided on the 100 Day Challenge. I was doing pretty well on an all natural diet (once again, suggested by Laura-really if you live in the Northern VA area and are looking to get healthy, look her up) consisting of all kinds of proteins, veggies and fruit. It made me feel better inside and out. I fell off that wagon when that one little part of the month came (sorry) and I caved to the sweet then salty cravings. But it's okay, I will get back. So, today at lunch Oliver and I decided to make a pact and really work on encouraging each other to be healthy. We want to start our marriage off as a healthy couple and to continue to be healthy for our children. We haven't always been the best for each other in the past ("just one more trip to get ice cream?" "okay, but this is the last time.") So, today we had barbecue, sweet potato fries...and cupcakes from Crumbs Bakery (seriously the BEST cupcakes EVER) before we begin our journey into healthy health.
100 days until our wedding, we each choose something for ourselves to give up entirely for 100 days, then we each choose something for the other to give up. I chose candy bars for him (it's just easy for him to stop at a gas station or convenience store while he's at work to grab a snack) and he is still trying to figure out what he will choose for me. We also go to separate gyms, which kinda sucks, but we are starting out with at least 3 days a week at the gym, then hopefully working up to 5, which I know I can do because of my month of boot camp!
So, wish us luck! I'll blog some more and let my followers (mom and dad;) know how it's going!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Best of Intentions

Yesterday and last night all I was hearing on the news was how bad the weather was going to be today. Checked my go-to weather website ( saw the Winter Weather Advisory: Hazardous Weather Outlook. So I assumed we would have a delay this morning. Yet, I still packed all my things so I would be ready to go in the morning. I am a firm believer that if you plan for a snow day, it wont happen. Always did my homework and such because I knew if I didn't and planned on not having to go to school, the snow or ice would miraculously just not show up. I digress.
So, my body woke me up at 4 am to check the district website. No little yellow square. Alarm woke me up at 5 am, checked again, no little yellow square. I checked the weather, maybe it didn't happen? Nope, noaa told me it was happening. Snow, icy rain, etc. But no cancellation or delay. Hmm maybe it's not that bad in Greenwich. So I get up, get ready and check just ONE more time to be sure. Still no little yellow square telling me there's a delay or cancellation. So I leave the house to head to boot camp. About 2 inches of that icy type snow on the ground and on my car. I cleaned off my car by using my coat sleeve, did't feel like doing the whole deal. Got in, drove off. Even checked my brakes by slamming on them in the driveway to be sure if things got super slippery my car wouldn't fail me. I do that sometimes. It left a skid mark but did a good job. The roads were not good. Slippery and not really plowed or salted. I trudged on, got on the highway and proceeded to go about 30 mph on 95. As I was reaching for my chapstick in my purse, I noticed it was vibrating. Oliver was calling. I answered. "Hey babe, Greenwich schools are closed, turn around and come home." WHAT?! I JUST checked! I believe I called the decision makers Mo's (like moron) and continued to have an inner battle of whether or not I should miss boot camp. Oliver is all about me and boot camp, so if he says I should come home, I feel like he's probably right. But I still wasn't sure. I thought I'd go and see how the roads were in Stamford, see if maybe I could park at the top of the boot camp driveway because they are notorious for not plowing or salting. But Oliver seemed adamant that I should make sure I was safe. So, I got off an exit in Darien and turned around to get back on 95 North. Both of which were semi-treacherous. I think I made the right decision, but I still hate to miss boot camp if it wasn't cancelled. I am gonna try really hard to make myself go to the gym today once the roads are better.

Week Three

Gooood morning week three! So, today is a holiday, no work. But, as my boot camp instructor said on Friday, "It might be a national holiday, but it's not a boot camp holiday." So, all weekend I have been preparing myself to get up and go even if I don't have to continue my day by going to the gym to shower, going to work, etc. I woke up at 4:57. Then for three minutes I guess I was half asleep, then freaked out when my alarm went off at 5. Hate that half-between-sleep part of waking up. I knew I was awake and didn't have to get up for three more minutes so I just stayed where I was and waited for the alarm to go off. Then when it did I jumped like I didn't know it was coming. Silly Keek. So I got up, got dressed (with my new arch support socks!) got in the car and off I went. Of course I called Oliver to whine and complain about not wanting to go, he told me that wasn't a good attitude and I argued that it didn't matter what kind of attitude I had, I was in the car on the way there, so what does it matter if I don't wanna go? I was going! But then, right after we got off the phone, who else but my girl Kelly Clarkson came on the radio! I blasted it and called him back to tell him that "now I am ready and wanna go!!!!" so he put the radio on the same station in his patrol car and we listened together for a minute:) Kelly always knows when I need her. So I was pumped and ready to go. Unfortunately today was super hard. There were only 10 of us there (normally 20-25) and it seemed like she was punishing us for the others not being there. We started with jumping jacks (which I hate...not necessarily the motion, but just the fact that my chest region isn't what you might call small and jumping up and down is just annoying) then went on to suicides, right away, THAT was the warm up. We did a ladder, so five of us did 1 suicide while the other half did jumping jacks, then we switched, then did 2 suicides, jumping jacks, 3 suicides, jumping jacks, then back down; 2 suicides, jacks, 1, jacks. UGH! I mean that was even difficult to TYPE, just think about actually doing it! After that we did some ab series and leg stuff on the ground, some wall sits, whatever whatever. At one point she told us to switch something and I guess I must have had an evil evil face on because she was like "whoa Caitlyn, don't look at me like that! You look like you want to kill me." Ha, I guess maybe I did at that point! But I didn't mean to look at her like that:)
Anyhow, I made it through another day. Then I drove home, got my new camera and went to the beach to take some sunrise pics. It was so fun using the super zoom lens and switching things up to take some pretty cool pics.
It's supposed to ice tomorrow morning, and if so that means no boot camp. And that really throws me off. Especially because I will be babysitting tomorrow and wont even be able to go to the gym after work instead of boot camp work out. I just need boot camp to happen 5 times a week the way it's supposed to.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week Two

Welcome to week two of boooootcampppp! Not sure why I had so much energy at 5:00 this morning, but I did and I guess I shouldn't question it! Not that I was excited to be up that early, or to be going to push my body to it's limits, but I just was...awake I guess. I called Oliver on the way to boot camp (he's on the overnight tour, which means he works til 8 a.m. so of course he is up and probably the only other person I know that is awake) and said "gooooood morning!!!!!" He seemed pretty stoked that I was excited and not calling this time to ask him to just tell me I can do it, I can make it one more day, etc.
It wasn't that bad today. My soreness has almost disappeared and I asked our stand-in instructor (regular one is off running a half marathon somewhere in Florida) if I was over the super soreness part of this boot camp deal. He said probably not. Awesome. However, one of the other women in the class said the SUPER soreness is over, but I will still be sore. That's fine with me, I don't mind being sore from a workout, but the way I was last week? NO thank you! It took me until Saturday to be able to go up and down the stairs and in and out of my car without cringing in pain. I want my body to get used to this and crave it like it usually craves chocolate and potato chips. I even wanted to go to yoga at my gym this weekend, but...I slept through it. Guess that's what happens when I am up at 5 all week. (except that I did wake up at 4:56 a.m. on Saturday...but then went back to bed around 9 and missed the 11:00 yoga class..oops) So I got on our ancient stationary bike that serves mostly as a coat rack, peddled for a little while then did some stretching and wall squats with my exercise ball. I probably did all of the above in about 20 minutes, so don't be impressed. I am kind of wishing that this boot camp didn't cost so much regularly (without my LivingSocial deal) so that I could continue for longer than a month. Even though I am hoping it will make me WANT to be more active, I know that I am better at knowing I HAVE to be somewhere and that there are people there that can hold me accountable. When this is over, I think I will want to go to the gym, but I know myself and I honestly don't know if I actually will go....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Still Standing...

Standing, yes...any other type of movement? Not so much. Today was day three of the new routine. Day three of waking up at 5, boot camping til 6:45, then working. I also nanny on Tuesdays. If you can call it that! My favorite Greenwich family consisting of three little girls, whom I have known since the youngest (now almost 3) was in mommy's belly. I adore these girls, their parents and spending time with them. So, every Tuesday I pick the older two up from school, go home to the little one and hang out with them until after dinnertime. Anyhow, point is, yesterday was my first boot camp AND babysitting Tuesday. Which made for a rough Wednesday 5 a.m. I was exhausted at work and ready to pass out around 2:00. It's now 3:30 and I think that means pajama time.
However, I will admit my legs are a TINY bit less sore, but that's not saying much. I am such a baby. At boot camp today we did suicides, which is like the pacer test you do in gym class where there are six lines a few feet apart and you have to run back and forth to each one, bend down and touch it, then run back to the start point (i.e. run, touch line one, run back to start, run touch line two, run back to start, etc.) We also did more squats, some mountain climbers, jumping jacks, yadda yadda. Needless to say, today was day three of bootcamp, but day one of Caitlyn needing to use her inhaler. Ugh. I have exercise induced asthma and I rarely need my inhaler. I don't like taking it because it makes me shake, so mostly I just talk myself down from asthma attacks when working out, or just not work out at all! ha...Anyhow, it takes a lot for me to need it. Usually when running or swimming. The second round of suicides were what did it to me this time. But there I was, floundering through sprints, wall sits and push ups. Point being I was there. And I will continue to be there. Until this session is over. Which on the website currently says "January 3-TBA" Awesome.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boot Camp

So, here we are another however many ridiculous months since either of us posted. This blog is an outlet, so here's me letting out some things. About a month or so ago there was an ad on LivingSocial (if you don't use it, get started now!!) for Fairfield County Adventure Boot Camp. As I always do before purchasing a LivingSocial deal, I went to the website, researched it and decided it was a fantastic opportunity. One month of unlimited boot camp (normally almost $300) I got for about $80. It is a women-only exercise program that during spring and summer months, is outside, pilates on the beach, jogging on trails, etc. That part intrigued me, however, I joined when it is winter so we are inside. Anyhow, it was very enticing, for all ages, weights and physical fitness. No two days the same, all sorts of workouts, all you need to bring is 5lb weights, a workout mat and yourself. (I had everything on that list.) I signed up for the January session at the end of November because I thought starting in the new year would jump start me back into my workout routine (which I pretty much fell out of MONTHS ago.) This was also even before we moved our wedding date up 5 months! So thank goodness I signed up! The session is five days a week for one hour beginning at 5:45 a.m. Crazy? YES! I don't have to get up for work until 7 a.m. Now, I will be waking up at 5ish and going to do crazy things to my body. Yeah, yeah I know it's healthy and I am excited about the health benefits. But after day one this morning, I am soooo sore already. Usually I don't get sore until the day after working out, but today...SUPER sore. To the point where I arrived at work and had to walk up the stairs from the parking lot and could barely make it up the 12 steps. My legs were shaking during the workout and continued to feel like jelly for a while, until the soreness set in and my muscles became tight. Not sure how I am gonna make it tomorrow! Also, let me mention the fact that there is no shower facility at this boot camp, so I could either drive the 10 miles back north on 95 to get ready for work at home, or drive the 2 miles to my gym in the same town to shower. So I chose the latter. However, this morning I forgot a towel. Had to dry off with a sweatshirt I had in my gym bag (it was clean, don't worry.) Then I sat in the sauna to dry off completely. Ugh. Needless to say, towel will be the first thing I pack tonight. I'll keep you updated with how this whole thing goes. The goal is to get somewhat back into shape with these 5-day 5 a.m. workouts so that when my boot camp is finished, I will WANT to go to the gym after work (or maybe even before depending on how this whole early-morning thing goes.) So, here's to hoping my plan works! (and I don't become cripple in the mean time.)