Monday, June 24, 2013


My landlord wants to sell the house I currently rent, so I’ve been looking for a new apartment. To tell you the truth, I’ve been quite spoiled in my current house.. Two bedroom, two bathroom, HUGE laundry room, attached garage, screened patio, brand new everything, gorgeous master bath, walk in closets, pool, fitness center, snow removal, landscaping and all outside maintenance. I mean, it’s nearly ridiculous!

And as I’ve been looking, nothing comes close to this place in the price range I can afford.

I know what you’re thinking..

“What!? You’re a youth minister! You must be rolling in dough!”

Well, cookie dough, maybe.

But cash?

Eh. Not so much.

Now, I’m not complaining! I’m very blessed! And this apartment search has provided a great way to think about what is really necessary in my life! I’ve just been asking myself:

What would Pope Francis do?

See, I found this little one bedroom in a small collection of apartments near the tiny downtown that is Westfield. It’s a block away from the library and very modest. It’s not dirty and gross, but there definitely are no frills.

And I think I’m okay with it!

See, I live in a very blessed part of the country and my friends are kind of looking at me like I’m crazy..

“One bedroom!? Why don’t you just buy?” (I’m not ready to buy! I don’t even know how to mow a lawn – don’t judge.. I have 5 brothers)

“Or you could even rent a house!” (Yeah, but then I’d have to find at least one roommate and I wouldn’t mind havin’ my own digs for awhile)

“What about those apartments on ___? They look really nice!” (Those apartments on ___ are crazy expensive!)

So I think God’s asking me to scale back, live simply and look at the context of the whole world to determine what is a true luxury.

I’ll keep you posted. And God knows I’ll do a little before/after post when I move in and decorate – my favorite thing in the world!

Uh.. Besides living simply, of course!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Seven Quick Takes - Pics/ Links Version


In Crossing off some of my summer to do list activities, I played at an open mic night. Some of my youth group teens have tried to get me to do this and one happens to work at a locacafe where they have an open mic every Thursday! I have been wanting to record a cover of "You're The One That I Want" from Grease for a long time.. Perfect opportunity! Take a listen here below and tell me what you think!

Watch here..


I was in a wedding this past weekend. This was me getting my hair done beforehand. 
Don't worry.. It turned into this kind of curly Adele thing. It worked. By the way.. New favorite eyeliner? Maybelline Ultra Liquid Liner. Look, I laughed, cried, and sweated my way through that day. Trust me.. This stuff is good! 

Find it here...


I'm writing in my journal and thinking back to the days I used to rip out pages and rewrite if the penmanship wasn't perfect! Then, like 6 years ago, I saw an Oprah episode where she showed a page of her journal and it was all scribbly. I was like, "What have I been doing? Aint nobody gonna look at my stupid diary!" And now a scribble too. 

Yep, that's all.


I am so excited for our Irish festival this year! My grandparents started a festival in Cleveland almost 31 years ago and it is my favorite thing in the whole world! We have 9 continuous stages of music, 4 buildings of vendors, Irish food and theatre! It's amazing! Here's a behind the scenes look at what we do! You can follow us on twitter @Cleveland_Irish. And here's a secret.. I do the twitter! :) 

Here's the video


If you know which movies I'm quoting below, you need to read is book. 

"All I want is one shot of me where my wedding dress isnt bright turquoise."
"In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy spigot.. Spirit!"
"No one has said 'whoopsidaisies' for fifty years and even then it was blond girls with ringlets."

Here's the book..


Need to explain Evangelization to teens? Try this awesome video..


Is it Halloween? Nope. Just a day in the life of a big sister. My sibs put this creepy guy in my bed at my parents' as a sweet little surprise. :) Sadly even this guy is not single. 

Hey! Go see Jen at The best link ever. 

Drama in the Social Hall

Is it just me or have you noticed it too?

We in the Church know just how to push the righteous buttons and get a whole herd of people worked up!

Our poor Shepherd.

Sometimes it seems like Jersey Shore is just a hair-heightened version of what goes on in parishes all the time!

Okay, clearly I’m kidding. I’ve never even seen Jersey Shore! But I live in a retirement community.. Not under a rock! And of course I know that it’s not like we’re doing body shots at coffee and donuts. (Right?..) I’m just reflecting on some “holy” conversations I’ve had in the past 10 years in the name of "indirect fraternal correction".. Whew! Stating that I’ve said, “Oh my gosh, okay, let me tell you about what happened after Adoration last week..” less than a million times would be an understatement.

In all seriousness, I find that sometimes the longest running grudges or grievances are between pews! Am I right?

“If she signs up to bring VBS snack one more time, I’m just going to cross 
her name off! She KNOWS we have peanut allergies in the 3A class!”

“You know he’s forgotten his Holy Hour like four times? Oh yeah.. At least!”

“She totally took over the Mother’s Day luncheon committee! 
I mean, yeah, everything got done, but that’s not the point!”

Of course.. As the great Judy McDonald points out, we usually end it all with, “So, pray for her, you know?”

We gossip about the gossipers and feed the hungry-for-a-spectacles. There’s so many first stones being thrown, it looks like the invention of the dodge-ball game. (Shoutout to all my fellow Youth Ministers!)

Then on the flip side, we have people who make innocent mistakes and we throw Matthew 18 right out the window!

I think this is one of the most-frequently-needed verses in the whole Good Book!

15 “If your brother* sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

(Matthew 18:15-20)

Doesn’t this provide protection for OURSELVES too?

I think most of the time we are annoyed by things that we don’t fully understand. Jack Nicholson was only half right.. We can’t handle the truth because we don’t have it. AND, (gasp!) we might possibly not even need it!

We don’t need to know why someone has a weakness. But GOD needs to know that we’ll bring His loving strength to them!

We don’t need to know the background story on someone’s mistake. But GOD needs to know that we’ll show them his forgiveness!

We don’t need to know the gory details of someone’s habit of sin. But GOD needs to know that we’ll be a source of grace as they try to get out of it.

That whole childlike wonder thing is so easily said, so rarely achieved. And how the evil one must laugh (maniacally, of course, although I think it would be totally appropriate for him to have a little weasel laugh) when we form teams within the Church, forgetting that we all wear the same jersey.

“The woman didn't even know what a foam finger was!"

“People will just wear ANYTHING to games nowadays!”

“I can't stand sitting by her.. She sings the fight song totally off-key!"


Those are as far as my sports analogies go.. I’ll try a real life story:

I remember having a bad semester at college and, when coming back to the group I was supposed to work with on a class project, my tail between my legs, I began, “I’m so sorry. I know I haven’t been pulling my weight! I’ve been having a difficult time and I –“ One girl stopped me. “Caitie. It’s really okay.” She said with a warm smile. “I know we can work this out! Here is a list of some things you could do and we’ll catch you up. Is there anything we can do for you?”


Hello, Jesus.

Now, if I can only be this image of Him to others..

Oh! You too?

Sinners unite!

Let’s do this.