Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: August 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I'm Single... You're Not.

It feels like recently I have been surrounded by couples. Lots and lots of single people, but also lots and lots of couples. Inevitable on a college campus, but also inevitable at the mall, coffee shops, weddings and parking lots. 

But I LOVE it. 

I’ve gotten a lot of sympathetic responses when I say I’m not in a relationship anymore. Yeah, let’s face it, it’s awkward when someone gets the response “we actually broke up a few months ago,” because they don’t know how to respond or what to say or where to look. And then they almost feel guilty for talking about their healthy relationship.

But honestly, I really love listening to these folks talk about how much they appreciate and look up to their “someone.” Not only is it adorable, but it’s really encouraging. 

The privilege of seeing other people have relationships that are healthy and fun and thriving is such an encouragement to me. Yes, I want that…eventually. But right now it’s really cool to just see that that exists. I’m rejoicing in the freedom of no romance in my life, but also rejoicing in the hope of it one day.
Someone asked me today why I’m content with being single. I thought about it for a sec, and I think I just love that I get to figure things out with the Lord on my own for a while. My struggles are my struggles instead of our struggles. My victories are my victories, my adventures are my adventures… and it’s fun being in this life and not having to worry about including someone in every decision, or letting them know what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling or how my day was. I get to process things on my own for a season (and goof off with girl friends all the time;) 
And even though I know one day I’m going to hand over the freedom of singleness with joy when the right relationship comes along, I also may not get married at all. If I do, I want to reach it knowing that I spent my single years well. That I hoped without wishing, waited without moping, and anticipated without desperately longing. I want to spend my time well, but I also want to spend my heart and my thoughts well. And if I don’t get married, there’s no point in wishing around for it anyway.

So, for all you couples that I run into every now and then, feel free to gush about your relationship and your struggles and your victories and how sweet he is and how you love her laugh and the plans ya’ll have together. Because while I enjoy my single lady status, I need to be reminded sometimes that relationships are good things, and gifts from the Lord, and something worth hoping for.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: Doubled

This is Chloe. She is one of my newest friends, and I think she's phenomenal. 

So when we had a study date last week (and didn't study at all) and we both showed up looking cute, we had a 30-second iPhone photo shoot in the Panera's parking lot.
Supes profesh, right?
Shirt: American Eagle // Tank: Stolen from sister;D // Pants: Ross? // Shoes: Toms (birthday present) // Backpack: Target // Headband: Found abandoned in mom's room!
Are these not some of the most fabulous Toms you've ever seen?? I am totally liking them, and the fun that they add to this outfit.
She insisted last week that she couldn't rock headbands and needed me to teach her... but I don't think it looks like she needs any instruction! This is something I haven't even done before, and she did it without looking.
And then there's me...
Top: TJ Maxx // Skirt: Target (years and years ago) // Boots: Target
Moral of the story, friends are fun, even when they keep you from studying and they make you feel like a dork in the middle of the parking lot because they're pointing an iPhone at you and you don't know how to pose.
Also, they're really good for those low moments when you feel like no one else can relate, or no one else has been where you have, when really they're right around the corner experiencing something very similar. Actually meeting those people is a weird thing, and the courage it takes to be vulnerable as you step into those new relationships is scary. It opens you up to new hurts, but even more joys. And allowing yourself to hope for that joy as you open yourself up to new people is far better than the defeating loneliness that is brought on by the fear of experiencing others on a deep level, and others experiencing you.

Hope ya'll are having a wonderful start to the new school year... Make new friends, take lots of chances, and make lots of memories.:)

Love, C

Saturday, August 23, 2014

An Audacious Prayer Life

  I've been considering lately how small my prayer life is. If I were to write down everything I pray for throughout the week and look at it at the end of the week, I think I would be amazed at how often I pray for the small things and how little I take up the promises of God that the largest of my prayers will be answered.

  There is nothing wrong about praying for small things. After all, 1 Peter 5:7 states, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you," (NLT). If my homework is a worry of mine, He
cares about it, and wants to carry it for me. He sees every detail and wants me to bring Him every little thing. Nothing is too small to escape His notice, and sometimes it's hardest to believe there isn't anything too small to pray for.
  However, there's another promise, that, "the prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve," (James 5:16, CEB). How often do I take my eyes off of my little life to take a look around me? I'm praying to the God of the Universe who promises to move on behalf of my prayers.
    I want to be audacious with what I ask for. I want to ask on behalf of cities and countries and nations, and abused wives and orphaned babies and alcoholics. I don't want to stop praying for the little things, by any means. But I want there to be nothing beyond what I'm willing to pray for, because I know a really good and a really big God.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: Thrifty Finds and Overpriced Sweaters

There is just way too much for me to like about this outfit... The v-neck I got for super cheap at Target? The red skirt I got from a thrift store? The orange beauties on my feet that have now lasted me three whole summers? The gorgeous sweater vest I just bought from F21??
 Shirt: Target // Vest: Forever21 // Skirt: Thrift // Bag: Thrift // Shoes: Dillards?
I don't regret spending $22 on this sweater thing. That's how much I like it.
Classes started this week. And the Lord has a way of always showing me He cares about the little things. Like that small affirmation from a friend that I needed, or free food at a Young Life meeting, or a boss who is completely understanding with your super small slots of availability, or resources that cost $35 instead of a $200 textbook.

It's also really fun being back on campus and seeing so many familiar faces. I've missed the social aspect of school, and the always-present opportunity to meet new people and hear new stories.

I hope ya'll are having a fantastic week, and are always finding excuses to wear high heels. 
Make every day a special occasion.

Love, Case

 Shout out to the fabulous girl who will always take pictures of me when she things I look good, and then take up all the space on my iPhone taking them;)
 She really is one of the best friends I could ask for.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Knit Life

When you've been knitting consistently for eight years, there are certain things that become unnecessary. Like looking at what you're doing. Or concentrating. Or panicking.

One of the funniest things is when someone sees me start a project, and then sees me undo the whole thing when I want something different, or tear out a few rows to change up the pattern. Their eyes get big, and it typically goes like this:

"Didn't you just start that?" they'll exclaim.
"I didn't like it. It didn't look quite right."
"But it was beautiful!"
"I'm gonna make it better."

Because what's the point of making something that isn't the most beautiful it could be?

Maybe that's why I love knitting. It's busyness, it's creativity, and it's not permanent. I can literally make any mistake I want and it will still turn out beautifully.
I can tweak everything, cut anything, start over...but I'll always be able to fix it.

Sometimes it'd be nice if life were like that. Sometimes it'd be nice to have the ability to reconnect cut strings or undo the last two rows...or ten years... or ten words...

But then again, life is a lot like knitting. The only difference? Someone else is doing the knitting while I make all the mistakes. There are a lot of broken things in my life from these past months, and a lot of things I wish I could unravel and re-stitch. But I really don't have to worry about how all my mistakes and broken ties and chopped stitches are gonna look because my life is being constantly crafted by a Master Knitter who can literally fix, re-stitch or start over anything.

I understand, sort of, why my friends freak out when I rip out stitches. It's because they can't see the finished project in their heads like I can. And that's why I freak out when I feel like the stitches of my life are being ripped out because I can't see the finished project in my head like He can.

Because He can. And it's beautiful.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: Deals on Deals

 This week I wore all sorts of deals...
The shirt: Cotton On - $6
The headband: Thrift store a long time ago
The skirt: @britneyscloset - $6
The purse: Plato's Closet - $6
The shoes: Target (but I got them for free)
Necklace: Mom's old jewelry;)
I have found lately that scoop-neck tee's aren't really a strong point for me. I think it's because scoop necks are designed to give the illusion that a girls shoulder/upper torso/face shape are wider than they actually are. My round face and broad-ish shoulders don't need any help there, but I tried to draw the attention away from that with a v-type necklace and more color in the skirt/shoes and the headband, instead of colors drawing attention to the torso/shoulders.
This skirt was a tube top I happened upon on Instagram, which I plan on wearing as a skirt with some dark tights and boots later on this fall.
 Of course I'm still diggin' my new-to-me bag, and these blue combat boots are a style statement without being stereotypical.
The back of this shirt is what makes it great. The zipper at the top keeps it from looking too normal, and it gets slightly longer in the back, but not as much as a real hi-low shirt.
This week marks my last week of summer before the craziness of the new school year kicks in. I'm starting to get emails about syllabi and books I need to get... 
So what am I doing? Trying really hard to squeeze in one more beach visit, a pedicure, and a bit of a tan before summer "ends"... And willing my hair to grow super fast. I miss my braids! (What do ya'll think... keep the red for growing it out? or go back to my natural dirty blonde?;)
Other than cramming in the most movies and sunshine as possible in these last five days, I hung out with these dandy gals today:
Chris Pratt, I mean, um, Guardians of the Galaxy was definitely worth seeing.;)

Trying out a new format on the blog... let me know what ya'll think of the simpler version!

PS, linking up at Walking in Memphis in High HeelsWatch Out For The WoestmansJoin the GossipMom TrendsStill Being MollyDC in StyleFizz and FrostingThe Pleated Poppy, Transatlantic Blonde, Vodka-Infused LemonadePenniless SocialiteSimply Just LovelyMix Match FashionMy Here and Now LifeStyle ElixirTwo Thirty-Five DesignsThe Life of the Party, and Musings of a Housewife

Friday, August 8, 2014

Seven Pictures of a High School Graduate

 Just a few of my favorites from a photo shoot I did with this kiddo a couple of months ago...

I think one of the reasons I like doing Senior picture-shoots is because you can incorporate things that really defined the four years of high school, and it gives you a narrower focus on the shoot.

I'm itching to do more photo shoots. Even short, slightly-impromtu ones like this one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: Only Three Colors

 There's a game my friends and I play sometimes called "Count How Many Colors Casey's Wearing." It typically comes out when they want to tease me about wearing fifteen different colors and four patterns in one outfit. So this is a bit unusual to see: only three colors total. But it's ok;)
 The thing I'm most excited about with this outfit is this bag that I got for 6 bucks at a secondhand store last week in great condition. 6 bucks! I was pleased. I need a smaller, practical bag like this that I can grab in the school year, with the primary purpose of only toting my wallet and my planner, and going well with every outfit. This one fit the bill (and my budget;)
Shirt: Old Navy // Skirt: Thrift Store // Shoes: Naturalizer (outlet) // Bag: Plato's Closet
 These shoes are also a total win for me. I've been into chunky heels lately! I think because they make me feel feminine without being uncomfortable. And feeling taller ain't so bad either
 This necklace I bought from a local gal who was selling them for my cousin's soon-to-be non-profit called Love and Scissors! If you get a chance, go check them out. If not, wait around, because I'm gonna be featuring her and her amazing ministry here in a couple of weeks.
My Jamberry nails are hanging in there just fine. Almost two weeks! Which was not expected, because I'm awesome at picking and peeling at things. I'm surprised at my self-control in not shredding them to pieces while I fidget...yet.;)
The only place I've messed them up is the finger I play guitar with. So I'm pretty much a fan of them.

This has definitely been an interesting time in my life. This summer has been physically, emotionally and mentally excruciating in so many ways. And the school year is just around the corner! I feel like I'm scrambling for the last bit of summer. Not necessarily for a few more beach trips (not that that wouldn't be nice...) but because these last two weeks are my last opportunity to get some projects finished up in my bedroom and such, and books to finish. I find myself trying to "brace myself" as if I'm on a speeding train about to crash into a fall full of chaos and craziness. 

But, hey, this is life, right? It's always a speeding train; every moment passing quickly and never coming back, and all we can do is gawk out the window and try to soak in every moment and hug everyone around us really tight. 
Life is fast and scary and lovely and breaktaking and horrifying. We can cringe when it hits us, or we can open up our rib cages and let everything about life hit our hearts and sucker-punch our lungs with the pain and beauty of it all, and let it sink deep as everything makes us better people.

HAPPY AUGUST, everyone!