Archive for the ‘B’ Category

Zoobilation: A Night Out on the Town with Pepper Construction

June 20


Happy Thursday! I had such a fun time celebrating Zoobilation with the folks at Pepper Construction last week. I was honored to have photographed a small portion of the party. For those who might not be familiar with Zoobilation, it is a massive fundraiser for our beautiful zoo in downtown Indianapolis. It’s a black tie event with a huge turnout every year. This year was my first time attending and I had such a blast! So fun to see so many gorgeous people dressed to the nines for an awesome cause. Goodness there was great food everywhere, too! I had my first experience with Fogo de Chao – YUM. My sister and I also bumped into Colts players Gary Bracket and Robert Matthis after riding the kiddie coaster. The weather was perfect as we celebrated beneath the Indy skyline. It was an incredible night I’ll always remember.

Here I am with my beautiful date, my big sister. What girl doesn’t love to get dolled up for a night out on the town?

Making Things Happen 2 Day Conference

April 5

It’s been an exciting week for my family. My sister’s fianc√©, Marcus, came home from Kuwait on Monday for his R&R. It was the first time Marcus has been home in 7 months. Since he was gone for the holidays, my sister made the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner for both sides of the family on Monday evening. I’m always okay with an additional turkey day dinner (this would be where I’d insert a thumbs up and a turkey leg emoticon on my phone). As hard as it has been to have Marcus away, the blessing in disguise has been how close it has brought my sister and I together. We’ve always been very tight but especially in these last few months we’ve grown¬†incredibly close.¬†¬†I have no doubt I’ll look back on this year 5 years from now and be so grateful for this extra time I’ve lucky to have with her and Scooter. But, back to this dinner: I have no will power when it comes to this kind of food. Turkey, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, stuffing, chik-fil-a nuggets as an appetizer (you don’t do that at your Turkey day dinner??)…all so amazing. This was my sister’s first time cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for a group of almost 20. So impressed with her! When am I not?

Noah made it to the party too! You guys – this boy has stolen an enormous piece of my heart for good. Yesterday he gave me a big kiss when I walked into my parents place. A few days before that he stopped mid play to run up and give me a hug when I walked in the door. He calls me “key-e” (Caity) which you can bet makes my heart soar with happiness. This is what it’s all about right here – the photo above. ¬†I love these people so much. I can’t believe how happy my dad looks in this photo! Guess that’s what semi retirement will bring! ; )

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to travel to the stunning Chapel Hill, NC for the 2 Day Making Things Happen Conference. I shot some video for the wonderful people there. Such an awesome experience. Check it out!

Happy weekend! xx

Happy 30th Birthday, Sister!

March 28

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a bit now. ¬†A chance to celebrate my favorite person in the entire universe and an excuse to bring my awesome family together. Okay and to eat cake too. Although, Beth gave up sweets for Lent and despite it being a struggle at times, she has done an amazing job. I hope she splurges tonight. God would want it that way, right?

Look at that face above! I die. My siblings were all so precious when they were little ones but Beth especially at this age. I recently snagged this pic from my parents house and it now hangs in my office as a reminder of what matters most in my life.

How do I even begin to thank someone like my sister for being such a meaningful part of my life?! I suppose this is good practice for writing my speech as her Maid of Honor. Shew – that’s gonna be a tearjerker…

But for now let me just say, to the most amazing sister in the whole land, I am so thankful for this day 30 years ago. Before evening coming into this world, you changed my life for the better. I am beyond thankful for you. Happy, happy birthday! Love ya like crazy!

Adventures in January: Florida, NC and Colorado

January 30

Shew!! It’s been one hell of a year so far. I’ve been out of town the past 3 weekends: Florida, North Carolina and Colorado. So much for “slow season”. I think going into this past fall, I knew January would be my time to get out of Indy and satisfy my wanderlust and that I did. I went to Disney World with my parents and my sister in early January. I ran my 3rd marathon there and as always enjoyed time with my family. The next weekend a handful of my dear friends and I rented a cabin in Boone, NC and spent MLK weekend together. We skied at Sugar Mountain. There were dance parties and plenty of good times. The stars are painted brightly across the sky in Boone, NC. I’ll never forget that sight! Last, but so far from being least, I just got back from Colorado yesterday afternoon. I was fortunate enough to visit Denver, Breckenridge, Boulder, Aspen and ¬†briefly saw the beautiful city of Vail over the weekend with my dear friend, Megan, and great friend, Ben Poenisch. I’ve never missed Pazzo man cuddles quite so much as I have this past month. While I’m always up for an adventure, I’m a homebody at heart and it feels good to be home now to rest up before my season starts up in March. But I am SO THANKFUL for this past month of non stop adventure!

I’ve had a few thoughts since the start of 2013 about this blog. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up in the morning and think to myself, “Oh, I should blog about that!” and then a) never follow through or b) don’t post my ideas because I worry for a second (or many) that it won’t be interesting to my readers. Welp, forget that. There is so much more to me than the photos that I take and the beautifully awesome people I’m blessed to work with each year. The truth is blogging is hard work but I’m committed to putting more time into the personal posts on my blog here. Like sharing how it’s strangely calming and stress relieving for me to bake and decorate cupcakes. Bad for my hips, great for my family and circle of friends who are beneficiaries of said oddity. I’ve promised myself to follow through more and let people in this year. Why have this shiny blog and not use it to its full potential? ¬†That’s silly. Gone are those days of thinking twice. (Think that’s the first time I’ve said “welp” on this blog and in life. Here’s to many more firsts here on this blog…)

Anyway, back to these January adventures that I never want to forget. There have been several times over the past few weeks that I’ve felt like pinching myself. No doubt I’m in the best years of my life. 26 year old female business owner who can up and travel every weekend in January. And that I can do what I love in order to afford these adventures still blows me away! Wanted to share some moments from the past 21 days of my life. Disclaimer: All of these photos are from my iPhone/Instagram and while they aren’t technically worth writing home about, they remind me of times that I MADE ADVENTURE HAPPEN. It doesn’t always fall in your lap. Lots of times you’ve just got to get out there.

Those cuties there? Those are my ‘rents. Aren’t they adorable with their squinty eyes? Florida always brings the sunshine! I think this was the exact moment I regretted wearing black pants on day 1.

Disney is NOT for the faint of heart. You’re walking around all day and it is exhausting! B and I were thankful for a few hammocks near our room at our resort. Our family loves to stay at Coronado Springs.


If what they say is true that you are a product of the 5 people you spend the most time with, then I am thrilled. These 3 people fill my heart with such joy. They’re good, honest, hilarious people. My girl, Gail, commented on Instagram that I resemble my mom here and my sister resembles my dad. Anyone who mentions that I resemble my mother, BLESS YOU. That is an enormous compliment.

Race day! 3:30 AM wake up call. Woof.

Disney puts every other marathon to shame. They have fireworks at the start of each corral and characters along the way to cheer you on. If you’re a newbie to running marathons, take it from me – start with this one ; ) You might get lucky and have Joey Fatone show up at yours, too!

The only time I don’t feel bad eating Fettuccine Alfredo (a guilty pleasure) is when I’m carb loading for a 26.2 mile run. The Mickey balloon was new this year, at around mile 17…

…leave it to Disney to have a choir singing for you as you drag your aching body across the finish line!

Proud of us!! B’s 4th, my 3rd completed marathon.

At the expo where runners pick up their bib numbers, there was a station where you could make pins to cheer on runners. There my parents are wearing “GO Beth!” and “GO Caity” pins. Precious!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a zillion more times until the day I die. There is NO ONE in this world who can make me laugh like my sister. (I guess they were out of 2013’s…)

I could get used to cabin life. So relaxing. Perhaps that’s why I only have 5 photos to show from this getaway. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for these pics.

Skiing isn’t my greatest talent, but I’m working on it! ; )

I actually have better photos to demonstrate how pretty Sugar Mountain is but I kinda like this one with the snowboarders face planted on the left.

Clockwise from top left: Lauren, myself, Katie and Julie. Love these girls!!!

And there’s also this. : )


My next adventure took me to Colorado to visit my soul sister, Miss Megan Wynn. I was so sad when Meg moved a few months ago but so excited for her. And also I knew it was an excuse to visit out west and I was definitely okay with that.

This is Megan’s dog, Lola. I miss her already. I cuddled the crap out of this dog every night I was in Colorado.

Our first full day we (Megan, Ben and I) drove to Breckenridge to meet with our friends, John and Jen. John and Jen were renewing their vows in the Rockies, their favorite place on earth, for their 10th wedding anniversary. Our awesome tour guide, Dusty (friend of John’s), lead us on a cross country skiing adventure, 6 miles total, through the mountains in Keystone, CO. We all stopped about 3 miles in for John and Jen to renew their vows. Ben filmed their vow renewal and Megan photographed it. And me? I was just there for the ride. ¬†My job and especially the people I’ve met because of it leave me feeling very humbled and incredibly thankful. It was such a blessing to see two friends renew their vows with the Rockies as their backdrop. Doesn’t get much better than that! Thank you again, John and Jen, for having me along.

Ben, Megan, myself, Jen and John. Love this photo so much. We all skied another 3 miles to a picturesque cabin tucked away in the mountains where Dusty cooked us an amazing 4 course meal. The whole experience was very surreal.

No better reminder that I’m not in control than being in the mountains. We skied through this spot where an avalanche wiped out trees and a metal power line structure 3 years ago. Really cool to see in person.

Fast forward two days and we’re road trippin’ to Aspen for the Xgames. I’ve always wanted to visit Aspen. I can remember watching a special on this great city on some travel channel years ago and it made an impression on me early on. So fortuitous that the Xgames were being held while I was in CO. I love¬†watching competitive winter sports. I think it’s because I secretly wish I was bada** at them myself. When you have a view like this for what seemed like 3 hours on a roadtrip, you know you’re in for a treat.

So happy Lola could join. Thanks M for taking this and also for sharing your amazing dog.  : )

LOVE her so much! Thanks Ben for the pic!

I literally was so pumped to be in Aspen I took a picture of our lunch. Oooeee those parmesan fries?! So good. If you’re ever in Aspen, make sure to check out CP Burger. Fun fact: When the employee at CP Burger hands you your receipt, there is a celebrity’s name you’ll find at the top that they call when your order is ready. Mine was Jennifer Aniston. I’ll take it. ¬†: )

People were stampeding in to steal a spot to watch the superpipe finals. Such a rush. This night was literally one of the most exciting of my life!

We somehow managed to snag spots on the left side of the superpipe, up towards the top. This was right around where Shawn White and the other competitors were doing their second jump/trick right above us. No words for how awesome. NO WORDS!

These next two pics are Megan’s. Here we are at the top of the superpipe. This is a pretty accurate depiction of my excitement level that day!

What an amazing adventure 2013 has been so far. Can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store. If it’s anything like the past 4 weeks, I’m in for the best year of my life.

38 Years

November 8

(photo by Amanda Wilcher)

I joked with you that you ¬†and Dad were a statistic. After 38 years, you two are still together and love each more than ever before. You looked at me and laughed. ¬†It was dark as I pulled into the all too familiar driveway that leads to my childhood home. ¬†“In a good way,” ¬†I said.

I was dropping you off for the night. We were lucky enough to join Beth in seeing a potential venue for her wedding. Together the three of us grabbed Chipotle after for dinner and dreamt with Beth of her future wedding. We laughed as we always do when we’re together. I’m sorry for getting you guys hooked on Chipotle, by the way. You two can blame me but you for sure can’t hate me.

As Beth smiled and wore her adorable look of anticipation to marry the love of her life on her face, I couldn’t help but note the perfect timing of this all. How fitting to dive into Beth’s wedding planning on the eve of your 38th wedding anniversary! But you see, Mom – I don’t see it as perfect timing for any reason. I saw the perfect, whimsical timing in this all because of the way you and Dad raised me.

These past few months have been a little more trying than usual on our family. Fortunately you and Dad, through your remarkable partnership over the years, have shown us the importance of standing tall through adversity and fighting for what is right, what is pure, and what is sacred.

While at times fighting for what is right seems like a statistic, I want you both to know that I’ll continue to fight for love in all areas of my life because that’s what you taught your girl to do.

Mama G + Pappy – Thank you for showing me (and the rest of this world!) every day that love really is all you need. I love you both more than you’ll ever know… Happy anniversary, lovebirds.

xoxo Caity

Brick by Brick: Building Your Strength

August 27

It’s that time of year. If you had asked me last January when I ran my second marathon if I’d start training for my 3rd Disney marathon come September, I would have likely laughed and dismissed the idea. When Beth and I ran the Disney marathon this past January (her 3rd marathon and my 2nd), we thought we’d want to wait a few years to run another. We needed a break. As magical and wonderful as it is to run 26.2 miles through the happiest place on earth, you can’t escape the sheer intensity of running a marathon. Everything about marathons is intense – the training, the time commitment, the toll/s on your body, the physical and mental rewards. After running my second marathon in January and getting my dose of extreme fitness filled, I thought I’d be “good for a while”.

Then June happened. Running in the heat is hard enough and has a way of making this already slow runner feel totally beat and out of shape. I started to miss being able to get outside and run 6 miles without feeling like death by the end of the run. I missed the accountability of marathon training. Training for past marathons in many ways was like having another best friend in my life. We’d hang out several times a week and I’d leave feeling happier and more confident in myself. I missed pushing myself out of my comfort zone (only to grow leaps and bounds!) each week.

So without much coaxing or arm twisting on either end, Beth and I decided to register for the Disney 2013 marathon. I’ve never been more excited to train for a marathon with my sister than I am for this one. Beth’s fianc√© is being deployed in early September for 9 months and this training will be such a blessing for us while he is away. I look forward to being there for my sister during this time in her life and vice versa. There is always so much personal growth when you train for something as extreme as a marathon and I’m sure this time will be no different.

Now begins our training. Gulp!¬†I’ve decided to one up my training this year by adding in 2 visits with a personal trainer each week leading up to the marathon in January. I’ve only had 2 sessions with him thus far and they have been incredibly eye opening. Hello weak arms!¬†: ) Brick by brick, long runs, short runs and many sessions with my trainer over the coming months- I look forward to building my strength and endurance. My ultimate goal is to run the marathon in under 5 hours. A few thoughts to help see this goal come to fruition (and great life reminders to boot):

Stop caring what others think of you. Just stop. ¬†If I thought for one second about how ridiculous I look doing burpees in front of my trainer, I’d never go. WHO CARES! What matters is that I’m showing I’m committed to being better.

Be specific with your goals. Without goals, it will take you a lot longer to get where you’re going. ¬†Be specific. Write our your goals and hold yourself accountable.

You are not Person A or Person B- you are YOU! (And that’s the way it should be!) Don’t compare yourself. Compete with yourself.

Be patient. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This one is especially hard for me at times. I’m a mover. I’m a shaker. I’m a doer. I like results. Practice patience and trust in the process. Even the parts that feel slow and quiet…

Take pride in where you are. You are what you think Рbe kind with your thoughts and encourage yourself the way you would a best friend.

Giveaway Winner: My Grateful Heart

August 14

What started as a simple giveaway morphed into an AWESOME and HEART WARMING exercise. Last week, I announced a small giveaway I’d be hosting and to enter, all I asked was for people to comment and tell me what they’re grateful for. I kid you not, the response brought tears to my eyes. Thank you all so much for opening your hearts and sharing the love. Life can be tough, mundane, challenging – a jumble of sorts. As a result, we oftentimes lose sight of what matters most. We become immune to our greatest¬†blessings. Each day they wake up with us. It’s up to us to recognize them.

You guys have inspired me to dig deep and share some gratitude today.

I’m thankful for all of the times I’ve been told no – every no was only a yes in disguise to something greater and better.

I’m thankful for friends near and far who remind me daily that I’m never alone.

I’m incredibly grateful for my health and the fact that I can run. I may not be fast but running makes me feel so strong and empowered to be the best woman I can possibly be. Thank you, God, for waking me up each morning and letting me walk and RUN after my dreams.

Forever grateful to do what I love as a means of supporting myself.

God’s timing. While it’s hard to understand and embrace at times, I trust it’s right for me.

The opportunity to grow.

Butterflies in my tummy from someone special.

I’m grateful for parents who remind me every single day that love is a choice we make. And oh, is it one worth choosing ALWAYS!

My sister, Elizabeth (who I lovingly call B), who is in so many ways my soulmate in life.

My brothers, Dave + Colin, who always give me reason to make light and FUN of a situation.

I’m thankful for my adorable nephew, Noah, who reminds me every day that there is magic to be seen.

Grateful for my drive and ambition.

Twix, hugs, high fives (and high 1’s with my nephew!), yummy margaritas (nice one, Erin J!), fall weather, cuddling, kisses on the forehead, peppermint mochas, scarves, not settling, Pazzo man, emoticons, happy mail, thoughtfulness, yellow and orange, mini marathons, baby steps and leaps of faith, ¬†traveling, texts from my parents, Christmas (FOR SURE), white lights, I Love You’s, laughing too loud, those moments before you fall asleep, spontaneity, a good stretch, to name a few others..

When I pulled a name at random out of a hat to determine a winner, I was so happy  to see this name in my hands. Her entry LITERALLY stopped me dead in my tracks:

“This week I am grateful for God’s timing… regardless of what I think is meant to happen or that I wish at the time to occur, I am always amazed and in awe of His overarching plan. I have been waiting for my license to go through because there were three jobs available that I wanted. The jobs were available three days prior to my license being confirmed but then on the day my license went through, all three jobs were filled. At the time I was disappointed, but then this week I found out my mom has a brain tumor. Since I wasn’t able to take on of those positions, I will now be able to be with my mom for the appointments, surgery, and recovery process. I have complete faith that this was God’s plan. How amazing that He would make it so I could give back to my mom by being there for her in the same way she has been there for me my entire life. God is good. Oh, and thankful that the tumor is benign.”

Congrats, Jessie! I am so excited to see you in the fall!

Thanks so much to everyone for participating. As always, we have so much to be grateful for…

 

One of My Happiest Posts: My Big Sister is Engaged

July 23

 

Yes, yes, yes! It’s real. My sister is ENGAGED!!!!!!

Oh, this story. It’s pretty amazing. Not entirely sure where to start but I will do my best to bring you all up to speed. I’ve known about this proposal for months. MONTHS!!! Keeping this a secret was quite hard. As many of you already know, I’m very close with my sister and I talk with her about everything. You can imagine how knowing this special secret while spending time with Beth slowly but surely ate away at my patience and ability to keep my squeak induced excitement at bay – ever since I heard news of Marcus’ plans to propose, my huge heart for my sister has been slowly winding itself in tiny circles. As the big day approached and the excitement of friends and family grew, my heart spun faster and faster.

God’s timing is remarkable. I’ve wanted to photograph a proposal for some time now. I never ever thought photographing my sister’s proposal would be my first opportunity. News of Marcus’ plans to propose came several weeks ago. My parents had told me that while Marcus was in town one weekend ¬†(Marcus is in the army reserve and at the time was stationed in Columbus, GA at Fort Benning – my sister lived down there with him), he stopped by their home with plans to ask for Beth’s hand. Marcus is a classic gentleman – hearing this came as no surprise. ¬†With an unexpected visit from Noah man and as everyone’s attention quickly rested on cutie-pie Noah (my nephew), Marcus’ plans were derailed a bit. This was the first time I heard of any plans to propose.

The next week, my sister texts me something along these lines: Between you and me, Marcus and I might go ring shopping soon.

Puh-lease, sister.¬†I already know what’s up!¬†Anyways, this is where my special agent skills came into play. Over the next few weeks as Marcus finished his orders in GA and they prepared to move back to Indy, Marcus and I kept in contact through texting. From the beginning, he had plans of putting together a surprise party to celebrate after they were engaged. With the help of my mom and several others, we worked together to find the perfect date for everybody: Thursday, July 19th. Marcus’ goal was to have everyone at the party that Beth would want to call after getting engaged. Gigantic high fives and gold stars to Marcus! The surprise party (footage to come) went off without a hitch. While I was out photographing Marcus’ proposal, everyone was gathering at Marcus’ home to surprise her.

THE PROPOSAL: Nerves like crazy. Marcus wanted to take Beth back to where they had their first date. More gold stars! Marcus is from Danville so we made plans to go back to a sweet covered bride where B went with him years ago in his blue truck.

I should preface this by explaining how we set this shoot up in the first place. My sister is super bright. She’s super “with it”. There’s no way in a million years that I thought we’d be able to pull this off without her knowing full well our intentions. While vacationing in the Outers Banks, EVERYONE knew of his plans to propose and the surprise party. We were so scared someone would let the secret slip. One day on vacation, Beth asked to try on one of my mom’s diamond rings. She put the ring on her left ring finger, pulled her hand away from her face and examined the way the ring made her hand look. We knew she had some practice with this recently ; ) Mama and I put our game faces on and Mama played it off so well. I shared a wink and a smile with my mom as B stepped away from the table. I’m still in shock we made it through vacation without Beth finding out…

Fast forward to our drive back from the Outer Banks. KILLER. Oh geez – it was terrible. What should have been a 14 hour drive ended up being a 20+ (straight through) drive. I knew it was my responsibility to set (or at least plant the idea of) this shoot up on this drive. I kept putting it off for fear I’d blow it or she’d see right through me. Our moods began to plummet as the sun set and we still had hundreds of miles left to drive. I somehow managed to eek out a text to Marcus asking him to take photos. Marcus and I agreed that the best way to approach this would be for me to ask him if I could do this as a gift for him before he was deployed. Marcus agreed – saying “I’d have to do it this week though before I’ve got to get my army stuff done.” So, we had planted the seed to take them that week. And over the next couple of days, we VERY casually set up this shoot for Thursday. I don’t think I even solidified it until late Wednesday night with a text, “Can I just come to Danville? I want to hang at the house with you guys, too!” ¬†I didn’t want her to think we were in some rush to set this up.

I honestly think I was as nervous as Marcus. The drive out to the bridge seemed like an ETERNITY! We pulled up to the bridge and Beth says, “Isn’t this where we had our first date?” CRAP. At this point I’m thinking she totally has us figured out but Marcus, Scooter and I kept our game faces on. We started by taking some casual portraits. As you’ll quickly notice, my sister is obnoxiously ¬†super photogenic. She is the most naturally beautiful person I know – and I don’t say that because she is my sister. Just look.

Scooter was VERY excited to join! Scooter is a shitzu poodle that lived with Beth and Marcus in Columbus, GA. He came to the beach with the Sullys and everyone (especially my dad) fell in love with him. He is the most easy going dog. He slept on my (and Beth’s) lap the ENTIRE drive back from the Outer Banks. Such a warm and cuddly lil’ guy! I was so excited to see him again and have him along for the big event!

He is a tough pooch to photograph — but I’m happy we squeezed in some fun shots with him!

So, there were no plans for this shoot other than the ultimate goal being to propose. I didn’t really know when he wanted to pop the question – right away, 5 or 20 minutes in. I was on my toes and prepared for whatever.

Sweet Marcus was so nervous. At one point, my sister turned around to fasten Scooter’s leash on the bridge so I could grab some shots of just the two of em’. As she turned her back to us, I locked eyes with Marcus and winked. We found the spot. That shot on the left was taken moments before he proposed. ¬†Beth later told us Marcus’ core was trembling at this point. He wasn’t the only one. I was trembling, too! I was so excited and nervous, I could have screamed!

Beth is even a pretty crier – which is NO small feat. The next few moments were a blur for all of us. All I know is I was snappin’ away : ) I was honestly a little surprised Beth cried as she had some idea this proposal was coming ¬†(after all, they had been ring shopping together!) ¬†— but this moment is one I will never, ever forget.

You can bet I was squeaking by this point.

The day we arrived in the Outer Banks, Marcus texted me three photos of the ring. I made him promise me he would send me pics when he found the one : ) he said the ring was a lot smaller than it it appeared in those photos. WRONG! Beth was totally blown away and said it was everything she could have ever asked for. More gold stars for Marcus!

In case you wondered, Marcus (who I affectionally call Marky) DID get that official sit down with my dad. My dad is a physician and Marcus met him at work on Wednesday, the day before he proposed, and asked my dad for B’s hand ; ) Pappy was the first person to touch the ring! I can only imagine my state of mind at that meeting. Perhaps it’s best I wasn’t there.

Again with being photogenic. This shot was the first I took in a series of just my sister. THE FIRST ONE. ¬†One of Beth’s dearest friends, Mary (I love you, Mar!), fittingly calls Beth a Beauty Queen. I wanted to capture a few images of Beth before Marcus proposed to remember her at this time in her life. I can’t remember her being so happy and beautiful.¬†I should also mention that Mary lives in New York and flew out to be here and celebrate with Beth and Marcus. There were many people that flew in/traveled from across the country to be there for Beth and Marcus. Beth and Marcus sure are loved and adored.

Fact: My brother-in-law gives the best bear hugs.

Shortly after Marcus proposed, the skies opened. Literally! It poured! Indiana hadn’t seen a significant amount of rain in over 40 days. I like to think the heavens were ¬†just so happy for my sister and her man! I know I was and I still am…

Beth quickly said she wanted to drive into town (Danville is a 40 minute drive away from Indy) and tell Mama G and Pappy. We decided to first “drop off Scooter” at the house. We pulled into Marcus’ driveway as the rain fell around us. Fortunately, I was sitting in the back seat and had set up video on my Mark II without Beth seeing. I ran in first and stood there in silence with everyone else as my heart raced. Seconds later, Beth walked in as close to 60 loved ones and friends yelled, “SURPRISE!!!!!!!” That party? SUCH love there. Can’t wait to share some of the footage with you all.

Perhaps the most special moment of the night for me came after nearly everyone had left. I found myself outside with just my sister as she says to me, “While I’ve got you here, will you be my Maid of Honor?” ¬†Waterworks. Okay, it wasn’t that bad.¬†But I definitely shed some big, joyful tears and hugged my sister tight as I said two words: Of course.

Beth and Marky – CONGRATULATIONS!! It’s official! You guys know I love you both to the stars. Thank you for letting me capture this special moment in your lives. ¬†It was one of the greatest honors of my life! Wishing you guys all of the happiness and love in the entire world. Looking forward to having Marky around for good ūüėČ

All my love,

Caity

And I’m Off: A Vacation in the Outer Banks

July 6

Hi friends! Leaving in the AM for the Outer Banks. COULD NOT be more excited. I’m sure gonna miss this little guy above. Sometimes I feel like Pazzo needs his own blog. Or rather, I need a separate blog to blog about this cat. As it turns out, I seem to be one of the only remaining humans on earth that appreciates cats. Every other person I meet or know strongly dislikes cats or is allergic. Sad : ( but I grew up with em’ and I love a good cuddle with Pazzo! I am not a crazy cat lady, I assure you. I simply appreciate him to the fullest. : ) Fun fact: I inherited Pazzo (also called P$ – pronounced ‘P money’) from my older brother, David. Dave rescued Pazzo when he was a lil’ baby kitten literally in a hole in Chicago in the dead of winter. He’s a miracle kitty. His big eyes and kitten face are a healthy dose of my daily vitamin D. So happy he will be in good hands while I am gone!

Mama G and I got our nails done today. My nails are super, super, super hot pink. I think the name had something to do with Samba. Sassy. Whose job is it to name nail polish colors and how can I meet her? She, or he I suppose, is sure to be interesting. As our nails dried under the UV light, my mom and I carried on a light and happy conversation with the friendly woman sitting across from us. Like my mom, she has four kids. Three sons and one daughter. ¬†She smiled as she told us about dinner she had planned after her salon trip – meeting with a girl who she held high hopes of being her daughter-in-law over 30 years ago. She was so happy – almost giddy. ¬†She said she was 80 and that she unsuccessfully tried converting her husband into liking the salon, too. That part made me chuckle. When we told her we were getting our nails done for our trip to the Outer Banks, she sighed. “My husband and I lived in North Carolina for 10 years. We just loved it there!” This woman had so much life at 80. I hope I’ve got that spark at her age (God willing!), too!

I ran into a chair last weekend and have a colorful bruise on my left thigh. Right in time for laying out on the beach! My grace, you guys – it’s way awesome. But, it’s my hope that my pale skin will divert any and (hopefully) all attention away from my unsightly patch. I bruise like a peach, I tell ya!

THIS SONG? I. Can’t. Stop. The video? Eh, as with most music videos, it’s pretty pointless. But it is good for taking me back to the time I went sky diving over the Swiss Alps. Did I ever tell you guys that? One of the best things I’ve done in my life. Sometimes it hits me that I lived in Europe for 3 months and I get chills all over my body. What a blessing! Europe taught me what it means to live fearlessly and outside of my comfort zone.

We leave tomorrow morning and are driving through to Richmond, VA. We’ll wake up slowly Saturday morning and finish our drive – getting keys to our beach house around 4:30 on Saturday. This year is going to be different in a lot of ways! Sullivan’s have been to the OBX several times. This time we’ll have a lil babe. Actually two! Noah’s adorable cousin, Nell, is coming with her sweet parents and extended family. My uncle (mom’s bro) is coming. Scooter (!!!), furry black pup who loves to eat celery and belongs to my sister and Marcus, is coming. The dynamic will be different but in the best way. A few things I’m especially looking forward to:

– That first sunset. It always hits me in a special way.

– The smell of ocean air.

– Walking into our house for the first time and remembering that my priority for the week is to slow down and enjoy and appreciate my loved ones and my blessings. Sometimes it takes stripping away our ‘busyness’ to see how blessed we truly are.

– Walking along the coast of the Atlantic with my sweet nephew. He’s got the cutest lil feet.

– I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to eating unhealthy food and probably a lot of it. BUT – I also hope to get a couple of solid runs in on the beach. Totally cancel each other out. ¬†; )

– Sitting beneath the stars at night in the hot tub with a cold beer in hand. Beer is never more delicious than it is in the summer.

– Grabbing a new and updated family photo.

– Laughing. NO ONE makes me laugh like my sister does. I’m sure this trip will be no exception.

– Reading my new book, Love Does. I’m a few chapters in and loving it!

I’m really looking forward to some time away. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on many wonderful vacations with my family in the past and I’ve never anticipated a vacation as much as I am anticipating this one! I’m just so looking forward to family time and me time. We all need it and it isn’t selfish to take it. I hope you all find time over the next week to do more of what makes you happy. As they say, life is too short.

Off to pack. P$ has agreed to help. Such a helpful little guy.

See ya soon!

xo, C

My 100th post: Goals + A Small Giveaway

May 7

Hi all!! How are you this morning? Very well, I hope. I accidentally left an already opened bag of Birthday Cake Oreos in my car overnight and as a result, my car smells amazing. As you can imagine, my week is off to a great start.

For me, it was one of those weekends to truly remember. The kind that stops you dead in your tracks and reminds you of all of your blessings. They’re all around you. Always. It’s not uncommon to grow numb to them and I’m so thankful for those moments that center and ground me in what matters most.

My big sister was in town this past week. It was such a gift to have her back! For those who don’t know, I simply adore my big sister. That’s an understatement. She currently lives in Georgia and now whenever she visits Indy, I swear there is this small buzz that waves over the city of Indianapolis. She is so loved here and every time she is home, she’s so busy visiting with friends and family who are vying for some of her time ūüôā She is a ray of light and the funniest girl I know! We baked a spice cake for my mom’s birthday early last week, ate at BRU burger, laughed, day dreamt about our upcoming family vacation in the Outer Banks and got a lot of family time in. Noah (my nephew) got lots of time in with her Auntie Beth while she was home. Time with Noah always fills my heart right up! There’s something so awesome about seeing Noah with his Uncle Colin and Auntie Beth. Colin can do no wrong in Noah’s eyes. Noah absolutely loves Colin’s heart and playful spirit. Being an Aunt has changed me in the best way. My heart is bigger and younger. Noah reminds us daily that we have so much to be excited for! I am so thankful he is growing up with many Aunts, Uncles, grandparents and friends who love him to pieces. He’s one blessed little guy.

When I was younger and in high school, I remember feeling a little lost and worried about my future. I knew then and now that life is too short to do anything other than something that fires you up every day. To wake up feeling anything less than excited for what you’ll contribute to yourself and the world is a waste. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ¬†-Mae West ¬†At the time, I had no particular passions other than family and taking on a positive outlook on life. While these are good and noble, I knew something was missing and by God’s grace and with a heaping dose of faith and courage, I found photography. Photography pieced it all together for me.

This business has been a beautiful and daring adventure. A discovery of my strength and my potential. What I’ve learned is they are limitless and I don’t know about you but that fact excites me to no end! And it goes for everyone. Every person you pass on the street. Every person in your life. YOU. If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. -Thomas Edison Amen! Take a chance on yourself. You’re so worth it.

Goal setting has been instrumental in my growth – both personally and in my business. This past weekend I ran the Indy Mini Marathon and finished with a Personal Best time. Every time I run I dream a little bigger. I truly love running for that. ¬†There is always that moment 1 mile into running a race where I think, Why? What was I thinking? But pushing through and proving my potential always makes it worthwhile. With every run, I’m stronger and better equipped to take that next step.

Without goals, we are directionless. You can have all of the motivation and aspirations in the world, but without action and clearly defined goals, it takes longer to get to where you want to be.

In light of my 100th post on this pretty little blog that still makes my heart sing, I’m hosting a small giveaway:¬†Comment below and let us know a goal you have for yourself. One you hope to attain by the end of the year. I’ll pick a commenter at random and send you a $10 iTunes gift card and a happy little note. Ends Wednesday, 5/9 at 5 PM EST.

Be remarkable and don’t forget to smile. Life is short.

Much love,

Caitlin