Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: October 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Few Snaps From a Trip to PA

For the first week of fall break my family took a random trip to PA. Our camping trip in VA we had originally planned go rained out, so the P's decided to just pile in the van and "just drive"! We had always talked about driving up to PA, so this was as good a time as ever, right?

I had never been to Gettysburg before. And while this wasn't the only adventure we had over the weekend, these were the best of the few pictures snapped. At least we got a family picture out of it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lessons from Being a Mom for a Day

I am the oldest of ten children. Because of that, I can be "second mom" in many ways. As I've gotten older, moved to college, worked a job, though, these responsibilities have decreased some, due to my absence.
Yesterday I was in charge of five of them for 24 hours: the 12, 7, 6, 4, and 2-year-old. And it's incredible how being a mom of five for a day can teach you some things about life.

For instance, I experienced the shell-shock of going from an independent, put-together college student to a half-showered, sweatpants-wearing-all-day, slightly-frazzled, caregiver. I didn't get any homework done, and the time I spent with the Lord was during my quick trips to the bathroom and in between answering math questions. By 9:40, when I was finally sure every baby was asleep, there was no place I wanted to be more than snooze-town. I still had tons to do, but I was whooped.

But, really...
There's nothing like a 2-year-old falling asleep on you and feeling his drool roll down your arm.
There's nothing like listening to a 4-year-old yelling/singing "Let it go" over the cheers of an indoor soccer game that isn't supposed to be happening.
There's nothing like a 6-year-old explaining his drawing of a half-pig, half-bear monster chasing villagers up a tree that has been colored over so determinedly that it's mostly black.
There's nothing like hearing excited screams from the other room when one of them loses their first tooth.
There's nothing like spending time with some of the cutest, freckle-covered, messy faces in the world.

And outside of all the good times and spills and breaking up fights, sometimes you hear the truest things. Like,
"Tasey, he got stronger and stronger because everything got harder and harder."

How is it that a 6-year-old understands that when life gets harder and harder it only makes you stronger and stronger? and it's something that I'm still frustratedly trying to remind myself??

Motherhood is humbling. And fun. And frazzling. And stressful. And full of opportunities to give up on cleaning the kitchen and have a tickle fight instead.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Lately, life's been hard. But it's also been good.

It's a testament to how good our God is that even when we feel completely overwhelmed or completely hopeless, it isn't ever all bad. There are always those little good things.
Even when I have an incredible amount of homework,
ministry takes up more time than I planned,
meetings come up at impractical times,
work is long,
people are tiring,
food is low,
math is hard,
money is gone,
and my head hurts...
The Lord still never gives me more than I can handle. He always provides a ray of sunshine, or a place of rest, or that one encouragement that I need to get me through.

Sometimes it's hard to see, but there's always something good.
It's just a matter of deciding what we look for.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


So I accidentally took off two weeks instead of one... whoops.
The first week was finals week and the second one was fall break week. And one thing stood out to me from these last two weeks:
we really are a break-less people.

But this is no one's fault but our own. It's our own inability! I stayed on-campus during break so that I could get more done. When I ran into one of my few friends who had stayed, he made an interesting comment: "Casey, I don't know how to do nothing."
He went on to explain that his fall break week was not a break, but that was because he didn't know how to take one. And this is practically the norm! In talking with the other students, most of them worked double-time over that week, were slammed with homework (like yours truly) or crammed so many trips and activities in the week that they never had a chance to just sit and enjoy the break.

This generation doesn't know how to sit and enjoy

Not only this generation or teenagers and young adults, but adults as well! With cell phones, Netflix, and endless Twitter conversations to keep up with - not to mention the dumb, addictive games and endless gossip - it's no wonder we never rest. Because, for us, rest only comes when there's nothing else to do or text or keep up with or google. But, guess what... That place in life doesn't exist and never will.

We need to re-shape our thinking. Real rest does not happen there is nothing else to do; real rest happens when we make a conscious decision to let our brains and our souls take a break from the texts and the people and the homework and the ministry and the work and the Instagram-photo-taking.

The world will not fall apart if you take time to rest now and then. In fact, the world will be better off if you take the time to rest. Because, honestly, you're a better you when you rest. You're more productive, more successful, friendlier, and healthier....

Want to have a positive effect on this world? Want to give your family the best you possible? Want to be the most effective you can be in your work or your ministry? Take a break and make it count. Turn your phone off for the day, or the afternoon, and take a drive somewhere. Think about as little as possible; reconnect with God; go somewhere cool; lay on your bed and stare at the ceiling; read a couple of chapters in that novel, just because; do anything!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Taking a break this week to focus on the midterms I have this weekend... But enjoy this awkward picture of me and my friend Nate, and have a fantastic week!!
And for you fellow Virginians who are experiencing this grand weather, make sure you get out there and enjoy it;)

Love, Case

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I Am a Fashion Blogger (and this is why)

So this week marks two years ago that I started fashion blogging. And in those two years, I feel like I've tried every which way to describe myself as anything but a fashion blogger. But I'm starting to come around to the fact that if 80% of my viewers only view the fashion aspect of my blog, it's safe to say that's what I am. So what better time to talk about being/becoming a fashion blogger than two years after I started?

The reason I've avoided being called "the fashion blogger," is because I feel like it brings a negative reaction to folks, like, "oh, she must think she's so put together all the time," or "she's not that fabulous," and yadda yadda. And really, their skepticism would be well-deserved because there's nothing that makes me qualified to talk about it. Most of the time I'm in a T and sweats, anyways... I live the college life!
So why did I start posting fashion posts if I didn't want to be a fashion blogger? There are other bloggers out there. What made me different? What made me feel there was a need?

A few things...

One of my first fashion posts
1) I was tired of seeing girls shove their bodies into fashion trends that did not work for their body type.
We're all unique and we're all beautiful (like all of us haven't heard that 20 times...). The problem is, fashion industries and trends do not cater to different body types. That's why their trends: they're all the same. But who says we have to be trendy to be fabulous? Nobody. Fabulous comes from wearing what looks good on you and wearing it confidently.

2) I was tired of being discouraged that dressing with femininity and dignity was defined as "prudish" and "boring"
Every girl has faced the discouragement of seeing the overwhelming amounts of mini-skirts and see-through tops, and the sinking feeling that that's what you wear to be cool. What happens to the gals who don't want to dress that way? They feel the only way to not dress like that is to wear black ankle-length skirts and over-sized plaid button ups.
I've been there. And there wasn't anyone to show me that that didn't have to be the case.

3) I was tired of wearing the same things the same ways and I wanted a challenge to do something different
I already blogged, so why not bring ya'll along for the journey of trying to think a little bit outside of the box? Blogging is a really good way to stay motivated and accountable for things like this, and I figured something like this would be fun to share.

...and now.
4) I shopped at thrift stores and Target more than I shopped anywhere else, and typical fashion bloggers are high-end shoppers
If there were blogs I could find who inspired me in the way I looked, they were bloggers who spent $35 on a pair of socks and simply paired pumps with a $150 dress. These blogs were remarkably uncreative (anyone can pair an expensive dress with expensive shoes and look great) AND remarkably outside of my budget.

5) I knew I wasn't the only one
There was no way that I was the only girl discouraged by the poor amount of inspirational fashion bloggers who shopped economically, creatively, and modestly.
So instead of waiting around to find someone who fit the bill, why not challenge myself to fit it?

I'm very passionate about women feeling strong and confident and beautiful. What better way to do that than to encourage them to put their best foot forward and rock their personality through what they wear?

By posting my thoughts on how to look like the best YOU you can, and always bringing it back around to where your true value is, it is my goal that every woman who sees my posts will feel stronger, more valuable, and more beautiful.

As women, we're told over and over where we aren't good enough and how we don't measure up. But you know what? That doesn't matter. If you feel fabulous, you are fabulous. Why not feel fabulous more often?

So there you have it. I'm a fashion blogger. Why? Because I want you to know that you're the most beautiful you that there will ever be, and that's something to be proud of, not something you try and change. And these fashion posts are just a small way to try and remind you of that.