Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Holidays: iPhone Style

Christmas wonderfulness.
Christmas Town // Christmas goodie-making // Christmas pretty // Christmas Eve sparkling apple juice *cheers* // Homemade eggnog 

The best part about Christmas, though, was having people around. Especially new sisters:
And home-from-college adventuring friends:
Both of which willingly put up with my zeal for group selfies.

I really love Christmas.

Hope ya'lls Christmas was as delightful as mine was!
Love, Case

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Few Thoughts

I am in the middle of my bedroom floor, sitting like a frog, because I'm sick and that's the only position that isn't painful right now. But when you're in too much pain to move and be productive, you have time to think.

My life has been wonderful lately. I really do love my life, and this season has been a beautiful bit of existence. Each moment has been full of excitement, anticipation, and lots of new things. However, combine moment after moment, full of bright and lovely things, and it creates something quite tiring.
Kind of like the longer the string of Christmas lights you have the more electricity you need to run them (bad analogy, but hey, I'm surrounded by Christmas, so what else am I gonna pull from?).
But if my life looks like a long string of Christmas lights, even if it feels exhausting, I'm okay with that.

Speaking of Christmas, I just realized moments ago that it's the Christmas season.
Meaning, Christmas is 5 days away.
Um, what?
I feel like I've been confused with how soon stores are putting out Christmas decorations. I get stuck in the mentality of, "wow, they have decorations out already? It's not even close yet!" And that mentality gets carried over into the week before Christmas.
Oh well. It will come whether I'm ready or not, which is a good thing, because the latter is more likely.

A few things I've been enjoying lately:
1) My room. Amy was the mastermind behind decorating my room for me. I had so much to do, she knew I didn't have time to do it myself, so she surprised me. And let me tell you: it's the best my room has looked in a long time. Completely Christmas-fied. And it makes me suuuuper happy.
2) Allie. I have loved having a friend who lives literally ten minutes down the road from me. It's great for spur-of-the-moment, cake-eating-for-two parties at 11 p.m.
3) People. I have some awesome people in my life right now, who motivate me in so many different areas. Like dressing up like a giant orangutang to entertain high school kids.

One thing I haven't been enjoying lately:
1) Sickness. Almost every person has had strep in my family at least once since September, and most of them have had it three times. We just can't shake this.

I hope ya'll are having a fantastic December.
FULL of Christmas lights and cheesy Christmas songs, and PLENTY of fattening goodies (save dieting for January when there's nothing better to do;)


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


You define yourself.
Which sounds really fruity and cliche. But you do.
You define yourself because you control what you allow to define you.

What do you let define you?
Your possessions?
Your education? the school you go to?
What your parents think?
What your boyfriend says?
The crowd's opinion?
What the billboards scream?
You have the ability to define yourself. So the question is,
will you allow yourself to be defined by what your Maker says?
or will you define yourself by what the creation says?


Hope ya'll are gettin' in to the swing of this Christmas season in the most jolly of ways. I still can't believe it's so close… But I'm extremely thankful for the break on homework! 

What are ya'll doing this holiday season? What are some traditions?
Comment about them, or post them and let me know!:)

Love, Case


Friday, November 22, 2013

The Witness of a Process

Sometimes I struggle with perfection
because I have this idea that perfect = witness.
I have this idea that I have to be put together.

how can I show I love Jesus if I don't manage my time well?
if I don't love my family well?
if I don't get good grades?
if I don't keep my room clean?
if I'm not low maintenance?
if I don't keep my emotions under control 24/7?

I so want to flee from the hypocrisy of saying "I love Jesus" without showing the fruit of that love permeating every area of my life. And falling short of excellence in any area is falling short of being an adequate ambassador of Christ, or of showing that He's at work in my life.

But maybe the greatest witness comes from a process?
I don't know Jesus as well as I want/should,
and I don't always keep my life centered on Him.
I'm learning.
His love doesn't permeate and flow in and out of every area of my life all at once.
That would actually not be very loving of Him, to barge in every area of my life without me surrendering it.
It's a process.
I'm a process.

Maybe it's those people who know that they don't have it all together
but know the One who does have it all together
who are the greatest witnesses?
Maybe that is humility...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

B + E

Just a few of the engagement photos I snapped of Bethany and Eric when we were in Boston a few weeks ago…

I'm pretty sure the last one is my favorite. It's such a sweet reflection of their relationship, and of their future, I feel: he, the visionary, hopefully and confidently looking forward and she sweetly trusting him, not even needing to know what lies ahead.

Don't hate me for being a slacker of a blogger… finals are coming up quickly, and my time and energy are dwindling. My mind hasn't been this scrambled in a long time.

Hope you're enjoying these last rays of fall! Christmas is right around the corner, but don't forget about Thanks Day!:)

Love, C

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Have you noticed how Fall is one of those delightful seasons that just seems to inspire everybody?
Everyone seems to write more, sigh more, snap a few pictures more. And rant about how wonderful pumpkins/eating pumpkins/sipping pumpkin-y things is.
Yet, it's also one of those times when I just want to put off even trying to enjoy it,
because some times trying to enjoy something can get in the way of sitting, soaking, and truly enjoying.

It's like when you love someone.
Sometimes hanging out with them and doing stuff together can get in the way of just being with someone. Sitting and wordless-ly breathing.
That's what I've been feeling with the weather lately.
I could take a walk,
take pictures,
or write.
But I feel like the appropriate response is to just sit.
To watch the leaves change before I realize the trees are bare.
Today is veryyyy cold and windy.
My river is a thick, heavy grey; full of turmoil. Leaves slapped my windshield as I drove home from work. Grey fall days are nice. They make me want rich chai and mittens and friends over.
So many folks have already moved on to Christmas. But, hey, there's still Thanksgiving! And as longs as there's still color on the leaves and a chance Virginia will have a 70-degree day, it's still Fall to me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Every Last Second

It's Tuesday.
And this is just one of those weeks.
You know, the kind that drag on and on.

I hate those weeks.
I don't hate that they drag, but I hate that I want them to be over so bad.
I really like enjoying life, and when I'm not enjoying it, it makes me even more miserable because I start chastising myself for not enjoying it.

I have this insatiable hunger for life and color.
And both should involve the other.

The Lord reminded me of a humbling fact yesterday at work. I actually found myself praying that the hours would go faster, and telling Him that I wouldn't mind it if this week went by fast. And it felt like He looked me right in the eyes - almost like a dad does when he's saying something important to his kid - and He said,
"Casey, these seconds are important."

Immediately, my attention was brought to the people around me: the man who was asking a simple (redundant) question, the child who was handing me her mama's keys, the teenage boy who comes every day for the basketball court...
Who knows when the last time was when they got a real smile?
when someone looked them in the eyes?
when someone said, "Have a great evening," 
and meant it?

It may seem like the right thing to do, being in customer service. But I know that God has me there for more than just checking peoples's keys in, or signing kids up for swim lessons. It's wayyy bigger!
I know it is.
Because every second is.
Every last second is a big deal,
a "once-in-a-lifetime" kind of big deal.
And for me to sit and wish away these moments?

It doesn't matter how tired I am,
how much homework I'm sick of,
or how bad my coffee tastes,
I want my face to be a bearer of His smiles.
I want my eye contact to be a catalyst of His gaze.
I want my cheerfulness and my full attention to let people know that they're important, that they're seen, that they're amazing!

So many people are overlooked. And it weighs, every day, on their shoulders. I want to make people feel seen. I want to make them feel important. I want to be like Jesus behind that desk. Every last second.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm Not Blogging Today

So, I'm not going to blog today.
I'm going outside
to take a walk around campus
and enjoy the leaves
and trees
and to smile at people.

Here's an unedited beauty of a postcard.
I think it's adorably awkward.
I don't know who I'd ever send something like this to.
So instead of sending it to someone, I took a picture of it.
So I could give it to you.
So here you go!

Alright, I'm going outside.
You should do the same.

- C

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hobbling through MA

I never know how to begin blog posts that are slightly pointless, besides simply giving you a peek into my life. So I'll just go for it.
I am sitting somewhere in Massachusetts, at a seminary.
The building is very big and echo-y.
Outside is deliciously cold.
I forgot my headphones in the car that is parked 3 miles away.
And I'm struggling to keep this desk from looking like my desk at home 
(slightly difficult with my many books, camera card importer, and empty beverage cups that formerly held an amazing caramel coffee and a Naked smoothie).

(The empty coffee cup is the reason I'm a bit antsy.
Blogging mid-morning after a coffee and a power-boost smoothie probs isn't a good idea. But, whatever.)

To make more sense of why I'm here in Massachusetts, let me share something that for some VERY ODD reason I haven't shared yet:
These two....
are getting MARRIED.
I've been sworn to secrecy of this great news for so long, sometimes I forget I can tell people!
And while I could go on and on about how I'm so excited two of my best friends in the world are finally getting married, I'll just let ya'll use your imagination.
Imagine your two best friends
getting married
Now multiply that excitement by 478.
And you know how excited I am.

So, they're the reason I'm in Massachusetts. Because, when Eric wants to check out a school 11 hours from home, why wouldn't he want to make it an awesomely, super-fun road trip with his fiancé and her loud, annoying best friend?
I'm taking the opportunity to take a lot of spontaneous cute couple pictures (they'll thank me for always sticking the camera in their faces later) and catching up on some reading/writing. And, because we left Wednesday night, it means my weekend came all that quicker and lasts that much longer. *WIN*

In other news,
I've been on crutches the past week and a half.
Which is awful.
And my friends at school now affectionately call me "Hobbles."
But, it's okay because my awesome mom just rented me a scooter.
And, now that I'm technically handicapped, people get out of my way quite quickly.

Also, I'm planning on sharing a bunch of Italy pictures with ya'll soon! Hopefully my homework load the next week or two will allow time for that...

And that's all I can think of for now. I hope ya'll are headed into a GREAT weekend! The beautiful fall weather is finally settling in VA, and it's in full swing here up north! Go out and enjoy it.
Bundle up,
take a walk,
collect some leaves,
press them in some books for no purpose,
because it's October,
and because you can,
make something pumpkin-y.
Or buy it.
Which I'm all for, since I can't bake or cook for my life.

October's almost over!! Live and love it up:)

Love, Case

Monday, October 21, 2013


So in all my time of catching up, and striving, and downing gross coffee just to keep myself going, sometimes I forget to just enjoy the things that are happy.
You know, the things that are completely pointless and inconsequential outside of the fact that they just make me happy.

So. I'm gonna make a list of HAPPY.

1) LATTES: Especially soy and caramel and ultra foamy.
2) RICHMOND: Especially in the fall.
3) KNITTING: Especially red things.
4) FUZZY BLANKETS: Especially all the time.
5) LEAVES: Um, it's fall. Duh.
6) DENIM: Especially the denim shirt I just bought, which isn't the one in the picture.
7) BOOTS: Especially my grey ones that I can where with everything and it feel like I'm wearing slippers.
8) PURPLE: Especially when it's the color of my new sweatpants, and the color I put in my hair (and, for some reason, I've just been drawn to that color recently...)
9) SHOPPING: Especially in the form of a free clothing swap.

And, there's nine.
For some reason ten is supposed to be the proper number to list off,
but I feel like nine is plenty proper.
So, there.

Hopefully, your Monday has been fantastic, and you are enjoying lots of HAPPY today :)

Love, C

Friday, October 11, 2013

Creativity Crisis

Deer Circus is one of my favorite blogs ever. She's kind of one of my blogger role models. And this particular link will take you to a post that has put my thoughts into words very well. I feel like I have endless words, and lovely bits of poetry crammed in my head next to an overdose of assignments and emotional burdens, but when I go to put them onto paper, or try to get them out of my mouth, they seem to turn into ugly concoctions or a mushy vapor.

It's frustrating. But it's cool knowing that I'm not the only one. (Especially when the other one is the blogger I aspire to be like one day.)

I've been having a bit of a creativity crisis lately, if you couldn't tell by my lack of presence here at Cattails. It doesn't just show here, though. It surrounds the entirety of my creative existence right now. And I think there are a few reasons for that:

1) I'm learning to balance a new season of life (which is practical, because work and school and family are practical)
2) I'm not reading other blogs (and, just like you can't be a good writer without being a good reader, you can't be a good blogger without exploring good blogs)
3) I'm figuring out some new priorities.

Let me elaborate on that last one...
In an effort to be a good student, an exceptional employee, a functional family member and a consistent community-dweller, I'm having to evaluate what is good for me. What is causing me to thrive? What am I meant to do? I obviously don't have too much extra time to be investing in things that have no value, so this is an important question to answer.

Anyways. I don't know what the point of all of this is, besides to let ya'll know where I'm at. I've developed some interesting introverted tendencies lately, as I'm needing to process more and talk less. Which I think is why I've been writing less.

Fall break began today. I'm camping with the fam this weekend.

Let the processing begin.
And let's get some creativity going again.



The Lord has been teaching me a lot lately. Which is good. And hard. But mostly good.
One of the subjects we've been discussing is delight. It's taking quite a while for me to accept the fact that I bring Him indescribable delight without even doing anything. Just by simply existing and by being I am delightful.
I am delightful.
Not because I did anything delightful today. Not because I spent time with Him today. Not because I tried to be delightful. I just simply am.
How could a perfect Father be delighted in an imperfect daughter? without her even trying to earn His pleasure? I'm still not sure.
This is Liz, by the way. She's my friend, and she's beautiful.

What have you and the Lord been discussing lately?
Have a beautiful weekend.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Someone told me the other night that I had everything to look forward to.
They told me that when the time is right
it will be a fight without the striving and the strife.
That “sticking it out” will look like casting all fears and anxieties on the Lord,
not clinging to them.
That there will be a bedrock of peace throughout.
Even when it gets hard.

I didn't ask for advice. I wasn't even in a bad mood, or moping around waiting for someone to give me a reason to be happy. I was already cheerful. And for some reason someone who wouldn't normally talk to me imparted truth to me that was so crucial.

I’m so thankful that You bring people into my life, 
even for just moments,
to tell me something I can’t tell myself.
You know how and when I need people who have “been there.”

I’m so thankful You know my needs.
And I’m thankful that that person told me that
I have everything to look forward to.
Even though I didn't realize that I didn't think that was true.

(photo credit: Mary)

Monday, September 23, 2013

You are a Beautiful Thing

Surrounding yourself with people who value you is important.
Surrounding yourself with people who are affirming is important.
Don’t ever limit yourself to being around people who are only affirming, 
or only make you feel comfortable
or only tell you want you want to hear.
That’s dangerous.
But it’s just as dangerous, I think, to only be around people who leave you feeling less.

If you are consistently walking away from certain social environments and only feeling unvalued, degraded, and slimed, that means you should be wary of being in that social environment excessively. 
God created you to be you. And it pleases Him when you are you.
So when a certain environment is telling you that who you are isn’t enough,
isn’t worth valuing, or
isn’t something beautiful
there are two things you need to do:

1: shake it off, and
2: be clothed again in truth.

We are obviously sinners. We are obviously mistake-makers.
But there’s something you bring to the world that no one else can.
No one exactly has your mix of a personality.
No one else has your memories
your feelings
your experiences
your creativity.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
You are a beautiful thing.

This should not instill in you a sense of self-entitlement. We are called to love others selflessly, honor them above ourselves, and should do our best to serve them in all circumstances, with utmost humility. And with that comes some abuse. We will always be under-appreciated and taken advantage of. After all, Jesus was. Why should we expect something different?

Do not take yourself out or above a place of service. But do not only reside in a place of service. Jesus spent time alone before His Father. I think this was key for Him to have unwavering stamina when it came down to serving others, and always honoring them with how He treated them and spoke to them.

Do not expect yourself to be able to love people well, all the time, unless there is some place you are getting filled back up again. And it is vital that your source of truth is the right source of truth.
Run to the Father, and don’t let demeaning voices into your core group of friends. You cannot love others perfectly if you are not allowing yourself to be loved perfectly.

Friday, September 13, 2013


This last week left me feeling very small. Invisible. Insignificant. Over-lookable.
I was very discouraged and frustrated.
And then, by something that might be called coincidence
(but what I see is the Holy Spirit),
I didn't feel so over-lookable.
There are just those little things that don't make you feel so little anymore.
Things that remind you that you're not just some accident, or mistake.
Things that remind you that He's got it all.

I'm realizing that I trust Jesus with so many big things, but I forget He cares about so much more than that. If life was only full of big moments, what would be the point of a sunset every night and a sunrise every morning? What would be the point of existence? We each may go through life without living through any "big moments." But those small, little, delightful moments? Those are the things that make life live-able, delectable.

Last night was a reminder that He cares for
detail of my life.
Not just about college, and marriage, and babies, and death,
which are big things,
but also about making my day, telling me I'm special, and bringing me those people that I didn't know I needed.

It's so humbling.
When have I ever needed something or someone, and He has failed to provide?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To Crazy (not "Too Crazy")

Instead of getting stressed about what is so sporadic and unorganized about my life, 
I'm gonna celebrate it.
As you can see, it's all crazy.
But if I'm not okay with crazy in my life, I'm just going to be constantly annoyed.
(Also, if I try and pour my whole heart and soul into every single blog post, I'll never get around to writing anything. I'm trying to release myself from that pressure and do some more laid-back sort stuff on here.)

So here goes it.
To crazy.
 Had a random afternoon at the beach with Hayden... We went for an art analysis project he had after school. It was a good excuse to hang out for a few hours;)
 Scarf: Target // Sunglasses: probs Target // Polo: Gap? // Skirt: Old Navy // Shoes: Converse
As you can see, I'm still really bad at mirror selfies... but that's okay.
ALSO! It was cool enough outside one day this week for me to wear a sweater to school.
Which was, in a word, exhilarating.
Also, I carried this little friend around with me at school the other day!! It was great.

So there you have it. Last week. In a crazy nutshell of a few random moments.

Hope ya'll are celebrating some crazy in your life as well! Enjoy it.

Love, Case

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Make Time to BE

when you've had a busy day,
not much sleep,
and a slightly stressful week as a whole,
it's good to go to Starbucks,
leave your phone in the car,
and simply take a date with Jesus.

I did that today, after 4 hours of school and almost 4 hours of studying.
I packed up, and drove to Starbucks.
I ordered a tall soy caramel latte with extra caramel and no whip,
and the guy gave me a grande.
I sat outside,
with nothing but my Bible and a pen
and nobody but Jesus.

We weren't there long. But it was the best part of my day.
Because, sometimes,
prying my phone from my hand and locking it away on the other side of the parking lot
is such a good thing.

I read somewhere in a textbook that us Americans use the excuse of, "I don't have the time," so often, yet it's really not true. The correct excuse would be, "it's just not that high on my priority list."
We make time for our highest priorities.
Like, for me, coffee is a priority.
I've been late to a few places because I stopped for coffee.
I make time to stop for coffee.

I want to make more time to just sit
with Jesus,
His word,
and a pen.
I want to make more time to put my phone down.
I want to make more time to people watch,
and actually maybe talk to some of these people.

I want to make more time to be, and not just do.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Style{in} Skirts: College...

So college started this past week! And while this was the look I was trying to emulate:
This is what's going through my mind:
 No, not anger. But a mix of excitement, thrill, nerves, and "oh my gosh, I cannot believe I already have this much homework due by yesterday."
I guess that looks a little bit like anger. Ha...
 Anyways... This was one of my faves this week. I'm totally not a "tuck-your-shirt-in" kinda gal, but I was trying something new.
And, I really like my fish necklace. Just sayin'..
Shirt: Old Navy // Vest: Thrift Store // Skirt: Gap // Shoes: Payless // Necklace: Antique/Junk Store

It would be really easy to be stressed out at this point, but I'm not. Classes, homework, new community,  a job, family, church involvement... all this is surely enough to give me a good excuse to freak out.
But I'm not.

It is only by His grace that I know any sort of peace right now.
 Because, honestly, there is no reason I should be peaceful right now.

Really, there's no reason to. The Lord is continually proving that He cares about these things, and will watch out for me. He knows what I need, including the time to do all these things.

(Hope ya'll have had a great couple of weeks... Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner!:)