Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Surviving the Airport (and Winning Hearts and Minds.)

I went to visit one of my dearest friends in Virginia this week and- I’m proud to report- I got there and back without a single airport meltdown! I met some incredibly sweet people on the plane and had a lovely time in Lynchburg. There are so many things to share, and I’ll be back with more details from the trip, recipes, and stories, but for now- here’s what I learned about flying.

10 Tips to Help you Maintain your Sanity in Airports
(and Win the Hearts and Minds of Fellow Passengers)

1.       Get to the airport about two hours early. You probably don’t need that long, but it will give you a good amount of time to call and inform all your family members that you have survived check in and security. This also gives you plenty of time to savor how responsible and capable you are. Buy a coffee.  You’ve got time! Try to look like Sandra Bullock from The Proposal while you drink it. People-watching encouraged.

2.       Pack yummy cough drops. Use them to barter favor with the people around you. Mine were Warm Apple Pie flavored. Everyone just collectively coughs on airplanes, so share the cough drops. I shared them with one woman and she exclaimed, “Aren’t you a dream boat?!” I blushed shyly, Yes, Mary. Yes I am.

3.       Admit that you’re a beginner. This is the only way for people to know that they need to take care of you. I kept dropping the fact that I had never flown alone and the lady I sat next to on my connecting flight literally walked me to my next gate. I love being surprised by the kindness of strangers.

4.       Talk to the person you’re sitting next to, even if they scare you a little. If the plane should begin to crash you will want to hold someone’s hand and there aren’t that many options. Safe topic? Food. I have a new list of food blogs to check out, and a trusty guide to the best Indian food in Austin. Win.

5.       Pack motion sickness medicine in your carry-on, even if you don’t get motion sickness. Because the person next to you might, and it will be doing both of you a favor if you have the prescription. *I gotta fever, and the only prescription is more cow bell*   

6.       Ignore the people who tell you that you have a better chance of getting in a car wreck on the way to the airport than getting in a plane crash. I don’t know why they think that would make us feel any better. Is it more pleasant to die in a car than on a plane? Sick minds, these people…

7.       Identify what makes you feel “able.” I love having paperwork with me, especially all clipped together with one of those official black butterfly clips. It kind of says, "I mean business." I printed maps of all the airports I would be stopping in and highlighted things. Having paperwork makes me feel professional, and I also feel that I might get some special preference with any airport staff because I can show them that I value their airport and want to do really well in it. Lovely architecture in here. I looked it up online before I came. Heard wonderful things about the staff, too. Would you like a Warm Apple Pie cough drop?

8.       Follow Bob Goff on Instagram. He posts inspiring quotes and generally makes me feel very brave. #bobforpresident

9.       Pack funny paperbacks- Funny because laughter is great, and paperback because it will keep your shoulder from pulling out of socket. I packed hardbacks. Lesson learned. Recommendations? Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, Through Painted Deserts, by Donald Miller, and The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse by Michael Gungor. The only downside is you may laugh so hard you snort, and that may make your neighbor uncomfortable. Don’t apologize, don’t try to explain, laugh on.

10.   Memorize this verse: “Now in putting everything in subjection to Him, He left nothing outside His control.” Hebrews 2:8  

One picture from the airport when Robin came to pick me up. He said there were guys around him with little signs, waiting for their girls to get to baggage claim, but Robin had something better. Something he knew would speak directly to my heart.


And that's why I married him.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Believe I Can Flyyyy...

The scene begins with Caitlyn wearing a black ski vest and a black directors cap. She enters a dimly lit room where Orlando Bloom sits, getting his Legolas hair braided. She is slapping her hand against the back of her official directors clip board and commanding the attention of the room. Extensive use of hand gestures throughout.

The famous people in Makeup direct their attention to her.

Caitlyn: Thank you. *she feigns a New Zealander accent*  I wanted to let you all know, that I will be going to Lynchburg, Virginia to see one of my dearest friends next week, so I’m expecting you all to be at your personal best in my absence. Legolas, big battle scene this week, are you ready? I hate to miss it but as an important person, I have traveling stuff to attend to.

Orlando: How did she get in here?
Security enters. Lights fall. End scene.   

All that to say, I’m going to Virginia next week and I need your help!!
           I’ve never flown alone so any advice you can offer about navigating the airport, keeping my cool, or being a good neighbor to the people on the plane with me is SO welcome. *please make this advice actually helpful, not a thinly veiled horror story.*

More importantly though, I’m treating myself to two new books for the flights and I’d love to hear any recommendations you have. I’m thinking books that are whimsical, but not so absorbing that I won’t be able to pull myself from my reading trance and hear them announce my flight. Light-hearted, preferably no disasters. You see what I’m saying here?

Please leave traveling advice and book recommendations in the comment bar below, and if you know me and can’t get that to work, emails or text messages are welcome. ;) I’ll be back soon with thoughts, a plethora of pictures, and certainly some funny stories from the trip.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

All the Hobby Lobby Plaques....

First things first.
Shauna has a new post up on the Storyline blog. You can go ahead and read hers now, I can wait.  




Guys. We are basically on the cusp of becoming best friends. The heart palpitations. 

The story she talked about wasn’t teeeechnically about me, but no one else spells Caitlyn the same way as I do! Never mind that she said, “Kate? Kathy?” afterwards. The degrees of separation are shrinking, my friends. Know this. 

NOW, on to the actual post. 

Phillipians 4:6,7 is one of those verses that I like to think doesn’t apply to me. If it’s been put on a plaque at Hobby Lobby, I’m just done with it. This is unfortunately what I do with many overused Bible verses… I assume I have now ‘placed out’ of them applying to my life. Give the plaques to the baby Christians. Give me the really ancient, overlooked stuff. Give me this one: 

“For you shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace;
The mountains and hills before you shall break forth into singing,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
Isaiah 55:12

It’s beautiful, right? This is actually one of my favorite verses. As I was just typing it though, I realized that I don’t really live like I believe this. I live more like it reads this way: 

“For you shall go out reluctantly, and be led forth into a pack of hungry hyenas;
The mountains & hills before you will fall into spontaneous landslides and avalanches,
And all the trees of the field shall burst into flames.”

Robin calls this paranoid.

I call it Maternal Instincts.

Whatever we call it though, it doesn’t change the fact that living life crippled by anxiety is not healthy. And would you like to know, gentle reader, what the remedy for that way of thinking is? 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in all things, through prayer and supplication, make your requests known to God with thanksgiving, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
That’s right. Freakin' Phillipians 4:6-7. All the Hobby Lobby plaques. 

God, to insure that I was picking up what He was laying down, sent me that verse, through several different people and mediums, 5 times yesterday. 


Transition- change- makes me panicky. So when we are in times of transition, I usually get some anxiety. The kind that responsible people get, but the kind that makes you feel like you’re walking out into a landslide/ forest fire. But each time I feel that little panic knot forming in my throat, this verse comes up, and it cuts panic off. As my mom always says, "It's a command and a promise. You have to choose not to be anxious before you get the peace." And I've been getting the peace, the peace that doesn’t really make sense. 

Isn’t that what’s so good about God’s economy? 

-We come with deficit and leave with excess. 
-We come guilty and leave innocent. 
-We come with anxiety and leave with peace. 
-We come with thanksgiving and leave with more reasons to praise. 
- We come needy and leave brave. 

What are those verses you think you’ve placed out of? Go back and take a look at them. Chances are, they still apply to you, and they may be especially relevant to your life right now. 

Buy the plaque.