Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday: Journals and Demonic Dolls

Did any of you guys have a journal growing up?

I did. In fact, I had several.
I would buy (or beg mom for) a beautiful journal, and I would assign it a very specific purpose.
It was so pretty, that it had to be set aside for something special.
The only problem was, once that first page was written in, its fate was sealed.
If I used a journal to take notes at church, or to doodle in, or whatnot, I couldn't bring myself to use it for anything else. 
Guys, my room was full 90% empty journals. 
I had the classic problem of no follow through. No discipline. Which is why I'm still biting my nails, even though I'm no longer 11 years old.

I do remember one journal, though, that I think was actually full.

The Password Journal.

Do you remember those!? Oh man, they were great.

When you bought the journal, the first time you pressed the button, it would ask you to create a password. It was voice activated. What's more legit than that? Well, other than, like...every piece of technology in existence today.
But it was the 90's, and life was good.
Once the password was set, the only way to change it was to press a button inside the journal.

There was a small journal inside, and a hidden compartment behind it for notes, candies, and other secret items. I can't think of anything else right now, because what in the world is actually important at that age?

The only flaw, (and it was a rather gargantuan flaw), was that everyone could break my password.
It didn't matter what I did.
Even if I used something completely unguessable like my current crush "Matthew Broderick" as the pass code, anyone from my best friend Becky to my younger cousin Steven could whisper "Matthew Broderick is hot" and the thing would spring open.
I began to really question myself at that point, when boys started being able to break in.
I mean, I always thought me and my little brother sounded alike, there such a thing as "feminizing" someone's voice? Because I'm pretty sure I needed that.
All that to say, the actual journal portion inside was only a few pages long, and before I knew it all the pages were filled with notes from people saying, "I broke in, sucker! Muaha!"

Suffice it to say, my journal-writing went steadily downhill.
Not to say I gave up completely. I still wanted to be an accomplished person, so I still bought journals and vowed to fill them.
Sometimes I would try to get really creative, and I would name the journal, so I could write "Dear ----" to my new paper-filled friend on each new entry.

I remember one journal I had featured a beautiful blue-toned landscape, with a cursive "Air" across the front.
I decided to name my new journal "Air".
...I still marvel at the extent of my wild imagination.

I think if I rummaged through my old stuff and found that journal, it would have had one entry in it.
Probably something like,

Dear Air,
(in cursive because I had to compensate in other ways for my man-voice)
Good morning my friend. I trust you slept well.
I had a wondrous day yesterday, and I must tell you about it!
But for now, I am going to go and play video games with my brother Kevin.
See you tonight!
All my love,

And the rest of the journal would be completely empty.

I occasionally will still catch myself eyeing a pretty leather journal at a Barnes and Noble, and I have to forcefully pull myself away.
Move away, Caitlin. You've already proven you can't keep friendships with them.

Journals weren't the only things I created a personal attachment to.
Oh, no. Ask anyone who knew me when I was younger, and they'll tell you, I was (am?) the most sentimental, pack-rattish fiend who ever was to own a Polly Pocket.

I collected about 57 different things, including Porcelain Dolls.
I could probably devote an entire post to Porcelain Dolls, because...well, they're evil.

That's not my actual collection, but it could have been.
(Actually, my dolls were rather beautiful, I must say. None of them had teeth showing or lazy eyes or weird puffy faces or tiny heads with massive bodies.)
All my porcelain dolls sat up on the top of my tall dresser unit. They all had names, they all...watched over me, in a sense.
In a really scary sense.

Because if you're like me, and there are wicked gangs afoot, the dolls periodically try and kill you.

On 3-5 separate occasions, I had friends and cousins play rather horrific pranks on me, trying to convince me that my dolls came alive at night.
One time, I woke up to all of my porcelain dolls surrounding me on my bed.
It was a lovely day bed, with the typical trundle bed beneath it.
The son-of-a-guns even put a doll standing on the trundle, with her arms raised, as if trying to climb onto my bed.
They included a note, with all of their names signed at the bottom.

I mean, if there's ever a time you think I'm messed up in some way, let's just all point fingers to that fateful morning.

If that wasn't bad enough, I once woke up to this glorious sight:

This is me, sleeping on the floor so that other "friends" can sleep in my bed.
And yes, that's a doll, covered in red ink (blood) with some kind of horrible note.

Suddenly, I'm really quite fine that I never had any real sisters.

Oh, the 90's.
What a great time to live. What a great era to grow up in.
These are just a few small tidbits of my experiences before modern technology ruled our lives.
I'm old. 

And I heart Flashback Fridays.

In love,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

color me loverly

Dear Lord, am I a runner!?

Well, considering the other bugs that I can catch here (things like "pregnancy") I suppose the Running Bug is tolerable for now.

Guys, I ran a 5K!

Inconceivably, my Virginian lady loves were able to convince me to go to Richmond with them to run the Color Run. We decided this way back before summertime, so it was pretty crazy actually getting ready to leave two weekends ago! Time has gone by so fast!
And I did not prepare.

Me, Allison, and Stephanie loaded up into Allison's car on Friday afternoon.
We had a beautiful drive ahead of us, and I had prepared a Road Trip playlist -

It was pretty successful, with the exception of 2 vetoed songs. Meh, ya live, ya learn.
We would be heading down to the race location to pick up our official running packets, and then meeting Heather (who was driving from her new home near Washington D.C.!) at our hotel and going to dinner together!

It was pretty exciting driving into Richmond. I can't wait to go there again!
It was about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive.

Our first order of business was to go down to the race track, where the Color Run would commence the following morning. We only had until 7pm to pick up our packets (unless we wanted to get to the race early and wait in the long procrastinator lines!)

The weather was beautiful and I was already feeling nervous for the run. But I was glad they made me come.
The packets included our Color Run t-shirt, wristband, our running number, a sweatband, and a "Color Run" tattoo.
They also had a stand in the corner that was selling Color Run merchandise!
Even though I wanted everything, I decided on the best thing ever...

Yeah, guys. I'm a fanny-pack-groupie. Dusty had expressly forbidden me from getting and/or wearing a fanny pack, and everyone knows that only encourages rebellion.
The truth is, I just really wanted to bring my phone along on the run to get pictures of all the coloriffic action!
Like it or not, fanny packs are key.

We found our hotel to be very supportive of The Color Run!

Without much further ado, Heather arrived and we all headed to an adorable downtown area to scope out a place to eat.
It is now officially common knowledge that both Allison AND Heather are pregnant.
Within days of each other.
So, Stephanie and I made sure to stay on one side of the dinner table, and share a bed that night, to avoid catching what they've got.

But honestly, so exciting.
We let them choose the place (all I remember hearing was "burger...burger...burger..." coming from their general direction).

We spotted a nice place called Sam Miller's, and decided to go for it!

(It was cracking me up how we swarmed over the outdoor menu):

Right through the front door was the bar area (we realized it was a restaurant/oyster bar!), and then to the left, you could go up a few steps into the restaurant portion. There was a lot of wood and brick, and nautical/fishy art with candles on the tables.

The view from our table: the windows overlooked the bar area.

We sat in the far corner, and it ended up being the perfect spot. Cozy, quiet and schmoozy.
(I think I've dedicated "schmoozy" to meaning a friendly, comforting, melt-in-your-chair atmosphere, possibly candle-lit. Or, a slick-haired gentleman that wears too much cologne. But in that case it'd be "schmoozer".)

We laughed a lot that night.
We also talked a lot about pregnancy, putting the last nail in the coffin for my truly stupendous terror of child-bearing.

My crab soup and black and blue burger was excellent. 

Before dinner, we had seen a cute little coffee shop/bakery type place where we decided to go to breakfast the next morning before the run!
We walked around a little while to see if any dessert-type place existed, but soon decided to head back and get started on our team shirts.
(Mostly because the downtown areas can be super sketchy after dark).

We were Team Victorious Sole Secret.
And each of us had our own "Victoria Secret"-inspired nicknames.

Stephanie was "Knockout", and Heather and Allison included their new budding babies in their names.
Allison was "Sexy (&) Little Thing", and Heather was "Pretty in Pink! (or blue)". 

In typical girl's slumber-party fashion, we fall asleep to Mean Girls on the hotel room TV.

The next morning dawned cool and beautiful.
Lucky for us, the race didn't start until 9am! We all donned our race gear and headed to our pre-chosen downtown breakfast spot.

We may or may not have garnered some well-earned stares. 
We were wearing crowns, though, so at least the people staring knew we were fancy.

Lookit that stellar bone structure.

The Urban Farmhouse was absolutely adorable.

We all grabbed some coffee and some sort of nutritious breakfast, and plopped down in a corner table by a window.

Nutritious breakfast + non-nutritious cream cheese + coffee + bejeweled sunglasses = fancy, happy Caitlin.

It was quiet and delightful, with the sunshiney windows and really yummy coffee.
It was the perfect way to start our morning!

Quick "How I Met Your Mother" Reference:


After breakfast, it was time to head down to the race.
Out of everything we had planned for this whole running weekend, the running was what I was least looking forward to.

But, I have to confess, the drive to the race got my heart racing with excitement.

Plus, my friends are really fun and we drove with groovy music blasting.
And, I learned that Heather dances with her pigtails, which is pretty cute.

I'm pretty sure this moment is when Allison was gleefully blasting "Drummer Boy" by Justin Bieber.

The actual run was happening in waves.
There were over 8,000 people showing up to this thing, so it was definitely a pretty monumental event!

And we were the ONLY ones we saw with crowns.
Which actually helped a lot, in keeping track of each other!

Introducing Team Victorious Sole Secret:





 Gooooo team!

Once we got in line for the actual race, it was pretty overwhelming.
Waves and waves of white!

They let the first section go right at 9:00am, then continued letting more people start every 5 minutes to keep the pace even.

We were wave number 7, which was the best wave. Obviously.

As soon as the race started, I developed a (most-likely coffee-induced) side cramp, and was the wimpiest runner ever.
Even more than the 2 preggos I was running with.
Kind of embarrassing.

BUT I did it!

Running through the color was nuts.
They had music blasting (which was actually super fun to run to) and people would literally just fall in front of your feet, trying to roll up as much color as they possibly could.

(That's me with my arms raised, sporting the fanny pack).
The color is actually made of corn starch, and is very powdery.
I kinda held my breath while running through.
Even though it was possible to breathe, the air was definitely thick with the stuff!

We had a blast!

Of all the songs played that day, I think "Call Me Maybe" was the most popular...
EXCEPT for THIS song...
(And if you haven't already heard it, watch this video now.)

Weeks ago, this musician "Psy" was absolutely unheard of in the United States.
Somehow, hundreds of millions of YouTube views later, he has taken the US by storm.
And for good reason, as you can see. Because it's ridiculous. And impossible not to love.
Or at least...mildly appreciate while being totally freaked out and confused about our generation.

Once we had finished the race, it became a torrent of crazy pictures, and the wild "after party".
The majority of the finishers head over to a stage, where volunteers are cranking music, throwing out extra packets of color, and staging the wild "clouds of color" that are so popular for the Color Run.

Every 15 minutes or so, they count down to when everyone can throw their packet of color into the air. It's craziness! It's like Barney the Dinosaur's Mosh Pit.

We slowly made our way more to the center of the pack, where it got really crazy.
Allison caught some extra color, and we got ready for the many waves of madness!
This is when we started to get really smothered in color.

After we were danced out, and were beginning to get claustrophobic (and had way too much corn starch lodged in our lungs) we decided to disengage from the masses and start heading out.

I was pretty proud of us.
Me, more than the others, because they run all the time and are kind of amazing.

We also ran into a girl who offered to splatter our faces with yellow color, which we gladly accepted.

Love these pregnant ladies!
I just gotta give this photo-bomber guy in the back some credit...

They had lines started where you could get winded down by a large leaf blower, to get the majority of the powdery color off of you before you got in the car.
With one last appreciative look at our colored selves, we got in line and said goodbye to the Color Run!

 We carefully got in the car, and sat on towels so as not to rainbow-bright Allison's car.

We had hardly any time to shower and get ready afterwards. We got back to the hotel around 11:20 or so, and checkout was at noon. When we called to get a late checkout, we were denied, so all four of us had to shower and scrub the color out of ourselves in 40 minutes.
It was not an easy task!
I went last, because I decided to just leave my hair alone and scrub my skin. The towels were now color-grunged, and the tub was dark brown with color powder.
Well, hotel, thanks for not giving us a late checkout - we'll leave the cleanup to you. :)

For the rest of the afternoon, we kept discovering patches of green, blue, orange, pink, orange and yellow in oddball places like behind our ears, in our ears, up our noses, in our hair...
But for the most part, we were clean and ready to hit the town. :)

And, praise Him from whom all blessings flow...

Another great reason we need to be returning to Richmond very soon.

It had been far too long.

We had a leisurely lunch, and spent the next few hours browsing the many shops (at a real mall!) and enjoying luxuries unheard of in Lynchburg.

Before too long, we had to say goodbye to Heather.
She had a long drive ahead of her as well, and needed to hit the road. Spending this weekend together was extra special, since she had to move away and leave us all pining after her!
Luckily for us, D.C. isn't too far away (and is a fabulous place to visit!)

Before we headed home as well, we went to Whole Foods for some much-loved food items for Stephanie and Allison.

The drive home was gorgeous, and was so peaceful that I pretty much slept through all of it...

I think the best part of this weekend for me is that "girl time" is a lot more infrequent, now that we're all married and starting to have kids and being grown-ups all the time.
It's not very often that you get a chance to take a night or two just with the girls.

It was a blast, and I'll confess, I'm glad they made me go.
Even though there was running.
And I actually felt a little better the next day for having ran.
So, there. I said it. You guys were right.
Thanks :)

In love,