Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just thinking about life

I came across this quote as I was reading today. I applied it to my life in this blog (since it's my blog), but I think everyone can relate somehow.

"Don't ignore the impulses that come to you to rise above yourself into a higher and more beautiful world.
Growing up, getting educated, seeing the world, and almost everything that happens to you will push you toward saying to yourself: 'Oh, that was just a dream. That's not possible. I could never change that much.'
You can.
The Savior promised, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'
He can and He will."
- Henry B. Eyring, To Draw Closer to God
Growing up...


Getting educated...

And seeing the world...


He hasn't only helped me, He's blessed me all along the way. I know this post is really selfish and appears to apply only to my life, but that's the only life I had to go off. Experience brings change, and Christ will help us make that change a good one and create something even better.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving



Check this out.
What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What are you thankful for?

This is cheesy.
Yes, it was my idea.
I love it.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love BYU


As I was walking to work today, I saw something that I realize has come to be expected in my time at BYU, but is actually unique for the world as a whole.

Everyone who goes to BYU or has gone to BYU knows those 10 minutes between classes consists of struggling through a maze of people as you attempt to make it to your next destination on time. You will run into or be run into by at least three people. It's inevitable. Today I was rushing between the JFSB and the Swicket (one of the most painful locations) and I saw the typical BYU seen: A boy dropped one of his gloves, and the boy in front of me picked it up and ran to catch up to him. Maybe it is just common courtesy, but I'm so glad I chose BYU (or maybe that BYU chose me).

On the rest of my walk I came up with a list of reasons why I've loved my almost four years here. I apologize since my blog consists mainly of lists, but apparently that's how I digest everything I observe in order to make it understandable. Here it goes.
  1. BYU's education. For over three years my main responsibility has been engorging myself with knowledge then hoping that knowledge is permanent enough to help me pass a test. Most of my days and nights here were spent studying, reading, writing, memorizing, etc. But now I hope that knowledge is ingrained enough to last a lifetime. I think it is, but there's always more to learn.
  2. BYU's people. Oh my gosh. I never knew there were so many incredible people in the world, let alone on one campus. The people here have changed my life, which is pretty cool.
  3. BYU's environment. I'm safe here, but not complacent. I'm moving forward, but not too fast. Of course there are days where I forget and start to compare myself to the thousands of other people here who are better than me, but that just gives me excellent models to follow, right?
  4. BYU's spirit. No, not school spirit. I mean spirit as in the Spirit. My testimony has experienced exponential growth to the fullest degree (see that, I even used a math word which further proves #1). There isn't anywhere else I could have gone that would have provided this kind of solid foundation for my life.
I graduate in April. Yeah, April. I know! APRIL!! Crazy. But on my walk to school today (I guess I think a lot while I'm walking, who knew?), I noticed the sign I pass everyday:

"The World is Our Campus."

Phew. Thanks, BYU, for taking over the world. Now I won't feel quite as homesick when I leave.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Love this

The new music video by Michael Buble, "Haven't Met You Yet" made me smile the whole time. Check it out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Embrace the ordinary

The only good part about Facebook status updates is when people tell me things that actually benefit my life, you know? I don't care if Suzy just ate a bowl of cereal or if Timmy got a C on his math test. Stop wasting my time. I do, however, appreciate people telling me things that are actually worthwhile. For example, a couple of days ago my friend put on his status "Macey's Grocery Store is selling Life and Cap'n Crunch cereal for $.99 a box." Thank you, I will go get some. That's what Facebook statuses are intended for.

Anyway, I promise there is a point to this post. Seriously. As I checked my Facebook today, a friend's status caught my attention, then actually kept it. Plus, it may have changed my life. But that is yet to be determined. Check out this Web site, then let me know if it changes your life. My favorite one so far is, "Today, I got a missed call from my own phone. I'm still confused."

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who finds peculiarity in normalcy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello Fall, I'm not sure I missed you

I'm really glad I'm not Fall, because I wouldn't want to compete with Summer. Though I admit I enjoy the colorful leaves and the cool breezes, Summer has my heart. Considering my somewhat low expectations, I thought it may help to make a list of the things I love about Fall.

Fall Loves:
  • Carmel apples
  • Hoodies
  • Being a student again (this is kind of a love/hate situation)
  • The mountains tie-dyed in red, orange and yellow
  • General Conference
  • Football games (ehhh for like the first half)
  • A new start
  • Seeing friends from winter semester back on campus
  • Halloween and all such activities
  • I get to see my family twice this semester
This list was harder to create than I expected. Nevertheless, I welcome you, Fall. Winter, however, you stay away.

I'll try and post pictures of my life festivities soon for all of those two people who are interested. In the meantime, go jump in a pile of leaves.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

For Mom and Dad

I love how both of my parents think of me when they find good quotes. I love getting unexpected texts and e-mails from both of them throughout the day full of words they've heard that made them think of me. I love how they always send them right when I need them.

From Dad at the beginning of the school year:
Insist on yourself. Never imitate.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

From Mom today:
Be one who nurtures and builds.
Be one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart,
who looks for the best in people.
Leave people better than you found them.
- Marvin J. Ashton

From Mom when I needed faith:
We do not always receive inspiration or revelation when we request it. Sometimes we are delayed in the receipt of revelation, and sometimes we are left to our own judgment. We cannot force spiritual things. It must be so. Our life's purpose to obtain experience and to develop faith would be frustrated if our Heavenly Father directed us in every act, even in every important act. We must make decisions and experience the consequences in order to develop self-reliance and faith.
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks

What they don't realize is that sometimes they say wise things, too. Here's some words I've saved from them:

From Dad when I needed it most in high school:
When you make all of the little decisions right, the big ones are easy.

From Mom the night after high school graduation:
Mom: "Well, do you feel like an adult now?"
Me: "No."
Mom:" Good. Because you're not."

From Dad when I was struggling with choosing a path for my life:
Bottom line, sweetie, is you are going to be awesome at whatever you decide to do. I really believe that. But you need to find what's going to make you happy. And the cool thing is that you might think that you have to know what you want to do and it's good to have an idea of what you like, but you don't have to know right now. I still don't know what I like to do other than hang around my family and go fishing. But everyday is a new day and brings new challenges and new opportunities. There's nothing wrong with saying I was good at this, maybe I can be good at that now. Whatever you decide is going to be awesome.

From Mom when I was being a whiny brat:
Are you inviting guests to this pity party?

From Dad after a teacher conference:
I always knew you were the best. Everyone else is just starting to catch on.

From Dad when I was having an awful day and I felt so alone in Utah:
Everyday is a good day. Some are just better than others.

I love how I have the best parents with the best words. I love you, Mom and Dad.





Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Completely Chilled

My mom called after she read my last blog post and said I need to chill. So that's what I've been doing. And she was right.

The recent list of "chill" things:
  • Read two books in one week. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Both were completely refreshing in their own ways. Now my reading addiction is back and I'm feeding it.
  • A few Orem Owlz games. They're a minor league team here. Not as good as the Cardinals, but still baseball and still mind cleansing.
  • Writing in my journal again. I finished my old one and it took me nearly a month to get a new one (thanks mom). It's amazing how many of my prayers are answered through writing. So cool.
  • Celebrating the age of 21 like there's no 22. At my internship, I got to photograph a service project with horses and disabled kids. Then at work, the boys all sang to me when I walked in and we had pizza and an ice cream cake. Next came a delicious dinner at Guru's in downtown Provo with fabulous company followed by an ice cream bar from the ice cream truck. You can still eat those happily when you're 21, especially if the boys chase it down for you. After we downed the ice cream, we headed to the ghetto batting cages and did our best to not strike out. Ice blocking came next with few injuries and a night full of laughter. To top it all off, we played up the river down the river and hung out until 3 a.m. Heavenly Father has surrounded me with amazing people, as usual.
  • Zip lining at a ropes course, boating, karaoke-ing, concert-ing, driving with the top down, working out, playing tennis, playing cards, watching 24, observing the local larpers, working hard and then playing harder, etc. etc. etc.

A few of the things mentioned above happened before the chill advice, but I'm counting them anyway. I miss my family as always, but I have a family here, too. In the back of my mind will always be mountains full of questions about my future, but I'm letting them hibernate there for now and living my summer rather than my fears.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Timing really is everything

There's a reason why a cliche becomes a cliche. It's because it's true. Don't judge a book by it's cover, love is blind, the pot calling the kettle black. Right. People say them because there's no better way to explain something that everyone understands. Every language, culture and religion has their own cliches. It's because they work; they resonate. But sometimes they aren't enough.

Lately I've become fixated on the concept of timing. Actually, let me backup. I've always been obsessed with time. I plan my days, my semesters, my years almost to the exact hour. But timing is different than time. Timing is everything, but time is fleeting. I can't schedule timing, but I can schedule my time. I'm writing in circles here.

So what do I do with something that is so indispensable, yet almost entirely out of my control?

"Someone has said that life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives," Dallin H. Oaks said.

Ok. So I should stop trying to plan everything. That's cool. Or should I just make plans and then adjust my life when they don't work out (which they rarely do)? I can do that. But eventually I'm going to need some constancy. Sometimes I feel like life is all curve balls, but if I expect a curve ball every pitch, then when that fast one down the middle comes, I'm destined to strike out.

"Do not rely on planning every event of your life - even every important event. Stand ready to accept the Lord's planning and the agency of others in matters that inevitably affect you," Elder Oaks said. "Plan, of course, but fix your planning on personal commitments that will carry you through no matter what happens. Anchor your life to eternal principles."

That I get. Really, I get it. But sometimes it's so hard for me to remember. If I'm doing the right things and if I trust the Lord's will and His timing, then life's not going to be what I planned, but better. And in the long run, that's a relief.

But seriously, what am I supposed to do right now? Or in the next month? Or in the next year? I hate not knowing. But luckily faith prepares us for whatever life brings.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Southern Love

Kell and I headed down to Georgia last week for our friend's Mekelle and Kyle's wedding. It was exciting to travel with Kell again since last summer we adventured across Europe together.

We are well rehearsed in this whole flying thing.


We were first-hand witnesses of southern hospitality. We stayed at the neighbor's house, and every night there were notes and treats for us. We called it our resort.

Mekelle was a beautiful bride.


And Kyle was a handsome groom.

We were put in charge of the candy bar. This is probably the one and only thing we contributed to the entire event. We were so spoiled.
Then we headed back to Provo kind of against our will.
I'm so happy we went. It was such a fun four days. I loved spending time with family even though they weren't my own. It's refreshing to be around a family when you're around college students all the time. A little change of scenery and a reason to celebrate is always a good thing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The soundtrack of my summer

  1. Don't Stop Believin', Journey - If you don't like this song, I don't like you.
  2. If It Kills Me, Jason Mraz - He sings my feelings all the time. How does he do it?
  3. Poker Face, Lady GaGa - This song comes up everywhere I go. The only lyrics I know are pa pa pa poker face pa pa poker face. But that's all I need. And everyone looks cool when they sing this song without music.
  4. Small Hours, Matchbox 20 - I'm a little bitter this summer was the first time anyone told me how wonderful the movie Meet the Robinsons is. Go watch it.
  5. Everything, Michael Buble - To remember last summer.
  6. Where You Lead, Carole King - To remember two summers ago.
  7. 5:19, Matt Wertz - I just really like him. And everyone can resonate with this song.
  8. Let Love In, Goo Goo Dolls - I regularly have pandora playing at work and this song comes up inevitably every time.
  9. Walking in Memphis, Marc Cohn - His voice makes me want to be friends with him. If I had March Cohn's number, I'd probably call and ask him for advice all the time.
  10. Lovin' In My Baby's Eyes, Taj Mahal - It makes me happy. Love is simple.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Seriously?

As I sat and studied for a midterm tonight, these are the texts I received. One from my mother, the other from my father.




Thursday, May 28, 2009

They got the beat

For Memorial Day weekend I decided to jump in the Jeep and head to Vegas for the second time this month to see my family. We spent the weekend watching movies, playing cards, swimming and above all, playing DDR on Wii the right way. First Bren and I discovered how much easier it is to get an A through teamwork. He did the hands while I did the steps. We dominated. Next we discovered how much more entertaining it is to mimic the backup dancers rather than actually dance. Here's a video of Bren, Brody and Devin rocking it to "We Got The Beat."

It was a wonderful weekend. Thanks again McLeod family!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I love my mom

I thought it would be selfish of me not to share this conversation I had with my mom via texting today. As an added bonus I think people will understand my personality more as they come to know the woman who raised me.

Mom: "So sad. Nordstrom sale today and you're not here."

Cait: "Awwww! No way! Get me some cute stuff."

Mom: "I'm already home. I bought a cute dress."

Cait: "You mean for me, right?"

Mom: "Sorry... it's for conference. You want to go?? Gee wants you on stage!"

(Brief explanation: My family's company has a conference every year where all the grand kids usually come out on stage. Since I'm a decade older than all of them, I look a little out of place but my grandma loves to have me out there anyway. And my mom likes to rub it in my face.)

Cait: "Tell her I'm not cute like I used to be."

Mom: "I will tell her."

Cait: "Thanks. I'm sick of summer. I want to come home."

Mom: "I'm on the deck laying out. I love summer!"

Cait: "Thanks mom."

Mom: "You bet!"

No matter how hard I try my mom will never pity me. It reminds me of the time this little five year old boy broke his knee on our playground in our backyard and my mom told him if he didn't stop crying he would have to go home. I love it.

Now my lack of compassion makes more sense, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm still learning things I ought to know by now

I'm almost an official adult and I'm just now learning things I should have had down a long time ago. For example...

1. Faith and fear cannot coexist. If I'm trying to pray for all of this guidance in my life, I can't be afraid of where Heavenly Father's going to guide me. If it's a mission, great. If it's not, great? Faith makes things possible, not easy.

2. I get attached too easily and have major separation anxiety sometimes. I swear I'm like a puppy except not as cute. I need to grow and change, therefore I should let other people do the same, right? Ugh. As excited as I am for the future, sometimes I want things to stay exactly as they are.

3. My mom was right. No matter how many invitations I send out, no one will come to my pity party.

4. My dad was right. Every day is a good day, some are just better than others. Good things happen to positive people.

5. My first impression is never right. Never. Like when I met Brook Boyer in AP Euro my sophomore year of high school and thought she was way too cool for me. We're still best friends (but she is still way too cool for me, she's just really humble). Or when I came to BYU when I was 17 and thought I would transfer before I turned 18. I'm almost 21 and still here (and I love almost everything about it). Or when I thought Twilight was going to be a good book
(sorry Edward fans).

Learning is amazing, but too often I learn things I should have already learned. And can things you've learned in the past evaporate, meaning you have to soak them up all over again? Maybe my knowledge has an expiration date. That's not true, but sometimes that's what it feels like.

With all of these wise people around me you'd think I'd be a lot wiser. I don't know how I am so blessed to have such amazing family, leaders and friends. I just hope people judge me based on who I surround myself with and not on some of the things that come out of my mouth, my pen or my keyboard.

This kind of sounds like a depressing post, but really it's not. I'm contemplative, not plaintive.

Friday, May 1, 2009

For Tracy

I have these wonderful videos of Stella and Jake that you need to see.



Friday, April 24, 2009

Summer To-Do List

It's finally here! Summer 09 has officially started and it is already beautiful. Let's not waste it.

1. Rock my United Way internship. I got it! I'm nervous. It all starts next Thursday. Can I do it? This internship is an answer to a lot of questions and a lot of prayers. The plan is to learn as much as possible and use this blessing to start reaching my long-term goals. Someday I will be running my own nonprofit organization centered on families, and this is where it begins.

2. Read. I already went to the park this week and read for two hours. My sunburn proves it. I can't wait to work all day and read all night. PS - I'm always open for suggestions.

3. Be a better friend. Everyday someone new surprises me with their amazingness. For example, just last week I was at an 8 a.m. review session for my marketing final. I surrendered to my backpack to get out my cinnamon gum to keep me awake. To my dismay, it was empty. The guy sitting next to me reached into his backpack, pulled out a stick of gum and handed it to me. It sounds small, but it made my day. I love when Heavenly Father works through other people to remind me He's there.

4. See my family. So far it's not working with my summer schedule, but I promise I will go to St. Louis this summer. I miss them.

5. Learn to drive stick shift. Ok, seriously, this has been on my life to-do list forever now. Let's make it happen.

6. Live outside. Hiking, tennis, floating down the Provo river, camping, playing. It's all happening. Not to mention baseball games. I feel closer to home there. Right now my window is open. Ahhh summer.

7. Get to know my ward. I thought I was making an effort, but it turns out I was doing the bare minimum. They don't know me and I don't know them. It's time to change that.

There will be more, but I'm tired now. The point of this was to incorporate some accountability into my life. So really, this is a selfish post. It's for me, not you. Sorry.

Goodnight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just so you know, I've been keeping my goal

At the beginning of this year I decided to figure out my priorities and set goals accordingly. Genius, huh? Well, included in my top five was traveling. The only logical thing to do then was to set a goal to leave Utah at least once every month in 2009. So far I've been victorious and it feels so good.

January - Chicago with the family. (This one is kind of cheating since I was home for Christmas break, but I'm counting it.)


February - I bought a plane ticket and flew home to St. Louis to surprise my mom for her birthday. I think it was one of my best purchases in my twenty years of life.


March - My dad surprised me one day with a call saying he bought me a plane ticket to Florida for baseball spring training. He's the best. I flew all day Tuesday, watched a game on Wednesday, then flew back all day Thursday. So worth it. I love my family.


April - My long-awaited venture to Logandale, Nevada finally happened. It was just as I always imagined - desert, small and wonderful.


What's in the future you ask? Oh, I'll tell you. I already have a plane ticket to Las Vegas in May to see my cousin who will get back from his mission in Japan soon. Currently I check priceline, expedia, travelocity, etc. everyday to find a cheap plane ticket to Atlanta in June to go to my friend's wedding. And July? I'm hoping for Paris, but let's be practical.
Life is good and the world is beautiful.