Getting To Know You: Cait

Two years ago I launched this series in an effort to get to know the people I was spending every day with a little deeper. Since moving to Dallas I’ve expanded my small circle just a little bit wider. I’m bringing this series back to highlight the relationships in my life that influence me. You can read more about the beginning of this series here and here and read all of the posts in it here.

The story of how I met Cait is a wild one. Five years ago I attended the Passion conference, a Christian conference aimed at high school seniors to college seniors. At this conference, where there can be up to 25,000+ attendees, they break you up into colors of about 1,000-3,000 people. Then they break you up into family groups of 10-12. This particular year I met a girl in my family group named Stephanie. We’d appointed Stephanie to be the leader of our group and at the end of the conference we decided to stay in touch via social media. We lived in completely different states; I in Texas and she in North Carolina. Last year I posted this picture on Instagram. Apparently, one of Stephanie’s friends had just moved to Dallas the month before also and she thought we should hook up. At this point I’m thinking this girl must live in one of the suburbs of Dallas and couldn’t be that close to me.

After Stephanie tagged us both in her comment on my photo, a Cait Butt private messaged me offering to help me move in and gave me her number. Turns out, Cait lived less than 10 minutes from me! I didn’t need any help that day, but she messaged me again a couple of weeks later and had an extra ticket to Shakespeare in the Park, an outdoor ampitheater that shows, you guessed it, Shakespearean plays in the summer. I met Cait and three other brand new people that day. We sat on a blanket and she brought wine and cheese and fruit and we had a picnic and watched Romeo and Juliet. Despite having just moved to Texas a month before, she welcomed me with open arms. Because that’s who she is.

Late last year, her roommate got engaged. (THE WEDDING WAS BEAUTIFUL.) They were breaking their lease and Cait needed a new apartment. After one in Grapevine half an hour away fell through, she texted me and one or two other people asking for prayer and any advice on what to do. She had to be out of her current place by that weekend. We had always joked about how funny it would be if she ended up moving into my 12-unit building. Two people moved out at different times in the months leading up to Cait needing to be out, but they were leased already and Cait wasn’t ready to move just yet.

The day Cait texted me in a panic, I looked out my back window. One of my very long time neighbors was pulling a U-Haul into the parking lot. I could not move my hands and fingers fast enough to text my apartment manager about that place. She said Cait should come by the next day for a showing. I was crossing my hands and fingers and feet and heart all day. Daniel, the greatest landlord on the planet, was there and so was one other applicant. I was nervous and so was Cait. But the place was so perfect for her. A couple days later I got the news. Daniel decided to give the place to Cait. The winning factor? That she was my friend. And that she is.

Cait is warm. She is welcoming and outgoing. Actually, outgoing is too mild a word for her. I think it’s safe to say that 100% of the people she’s met so far in Dallas she has either walked up to or gone to a place or party where she knew no one. Save the ones she’s met online. 😉 Cait is bold and smart. She’s decisive and full of self-discipline. At the moment I’m writing this she’s finishing up a three week juice cleanse. THREE.WEEKS. HOW. She’s loving and full of family. She’s rich in friendships and knowledge. She’s a photographer. A creative. A leader. A friend. I don’t think anyone that knows Cait has ever felt unwelcome in her presence. I sure haven’t.

Every time you see her you will be greeted with a big, genuine hug and a question about your life. She’s invested and genuine and real. She never hesitates to be known or share her life with you. That’s her whole goal, actually. I didn’t even have to ask her any questions for this post because she makes herself so well known. Cait wants to share her life with you. And I am so changed because of the fruits of that. I am one of the fruits of that. I know that if I need a lime or a cup of sugar or some ice I can knock on her door and she’ll help me out. I know that she’s always down to experience something new with me.

Her moving into my building was a literal answer to my prayers. I was lonely and depressed and God moved a friend four doors down. Daniel joked we should set up cans and strings between our doors so we could constantly talk to each other. Why haven’t we done that yet?

Cait has introduced me to new foods, new places, countless new people, new things, new music. I got to meet and hang out with the dudes of Jared and the Mill a couple of times and I’m now apart of a small group for a church I’ve never even visited because of her. Now those people are an invaluable part of my life.

Today marks one year since I met Cait. I cannot say enough about this person. She is good. She is beautiful. She is my friend.

Happy Friendaversary! I love you!

 

xx

 

PS. Girl really loves coffee, y’all.

I Want to be Ilana Wexler

Do you watch Broad City? Seriously, if you don’t, stop reading my blog RIGHT NOW and go watch the first episode on Hulu. Don’t have Hulu? Good god, I’ll give you my login JUST GO WATCH IT.

Anyway, Ilana is my spirit animal, just like every other 20something, and she wears these strappy bralettes in almost every episode. I scored this one at Forever21 for $10. It only came in black and white, but I should’ve just grabbed another black one. I wear bralettes way more often than a real big girl bra. Big girl bras are just too much work sometimes. Why not be more comfortable and not worry about straps showing and wear a bralette?! Win win.

top, skirt: thrifted, bralette: Forever21, sandals, Old Navy, glasses: borrowed

What’s your opinion on bras? Comfy? More support? Braless? Let’s start a real boob talk in the comments.

xx

Little Black Dress on a Private Beach

Promise me you won’t judge my ghastly unpedicured feet, okay? And definitely don’t look at them on a wide screen like I am, rn. Yikes.

Yes, it’s true! I just spent the last week bathing in the Charleston sun on a private beach. My cousin and his husband live there and while they’re vacationing in Europe for weeks on end (WHAT) and my cousin’s parents are watching they’re two boys, they rented us a mansion on the beach. Cool. All 40+ of my dad’s side of the family showed up and spent a week in bliss riding in a Bentley up and down the coast. NBD. I hope I don’t sound too braggy, but I think the rich life suites me.

And now for my two favorite photos of all time!

One of the 40+ people. <3

dress: Old Navy, bralette: F21, unpedicured feet: all me

I made a vow to myself to add more dresses to my closet this year. I’ve severely cut down the money I spend on clothes. Like, to $0. Not on purpose! But stuff like food and bills and an apartment kind of forced me to do that. So I’m being more intentional on the things I buy now. Namely this little black dress. It’s a really easy wear. Breezy, long enough for work, and flattering. No pockets, though. 🙁

All in all, I came back with no sunburn and a lot of new freckles on my body. That’s how my skin likes to do, see. Thank you Drew and Jim for a fantastic week! And thank you Jayden for the photobomb.

xx

Dallas Bucket List: Experiencing Thai Food

Look, I’m pretty sure I’ve had Thai food before? But who can say! It’s been a long 25 years of life. I can’t keep track of every meal I have or every type of food I have. Thus, experiencing Thai food for the first time was added to the bucket list.

When I moved here I joined a website called Nextdoor. (You should seriously check it out.) It connects you to all of your neighbors! Only people in my neighborhood can be apart of my Nextdoor and see my posts. I’ve sold things on there, asked for recommendations, reported crime. It’s a lifesaver. Earlier this year one of my neighbors started a Bunco group. (If you don’t know what Bunco is you probably didn’t grow up in East Texas.) I got on the email list but every month there was a game, I was either busy or too tired or too anxious to go. But last month? I finally went. I bought a bottle of wine and showed up to a house full of complete strangers. I knew literally no one. Not even any of their names, besides the host that night. It was intimidating. I poured myself a glass of wine and made myself comfortable over by the window and heard an incredible story of raccoons having a party in one of the lady’s kitchens.

In Bunco, you basically end up playing with every person as your partner. It’s an excellent way to get to know people. For that I was very grateful. When I showed up I noticed there were two other girls there my age. I got to know them pretty well by the end of the night and we swapped numbers. The first time we all hung out was my first time having Thai! (Hi Janie and Abby! We’re, like, friends now.) I keep a separate list of restaurants and bars and on that list was Crushcraft. A very instagrammable place for Thai.

At Crushcraft you order first and then pick up your food. Abby decided we needed the Beer Tower; a literal tower of Thai beer. It was entirely worth it. Thai beer is delicious. We all got different dishes, all of which were very good. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. Worth it.

See those spring rolls? You should also get those. Yum.

My first time having Thai food was a win. Would definitely go back! Does this count as real Thai if it’s Americanized? I mean, the names of the dishes were Thai and we properly butchered their pronunciations. So maybe it’s pretty authentic? If you know of a real Thai place in Dallas let a girl know. I like food.

 

 

xx

Dallas Bucket List: Trinity Skyline Trail

Remember when I did this? Turns out, Trinity Groves is basically on the Trinity Skyline Trail! What a coincidence, right? So after I’d had my fill of donuts and beer and sweat through my gray dress to let everyone know that butts indeed do sweat, we walked over to the trail. We stood high above the Trinity River and the wind was whipping at my Princess Leia buns.

That bridge, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to be precise, is pretty new. They’re building another one just like it over to the right, out of frame of this photo. Construction of that thing is BANANAS. Like, exits changing every day bananas because they’re working on another part of the highway. So glad I don’t drive south very often. BUT OMG look at this skyline! This should make you want to move to Dallas. If not just to be closer to me, but to see this every day. I’m so grateful I get to live here. I drive to Walgreens and the skyline is staring me down like a mountain. It’s the coolest thing ever. The way the sun sets behind it, making it all shadowy. The way a big storm comes in and makes it disappear. The way it changes colors for holidays and big events. I’ll never ever take living here for granted.

On our way back to the car a homeless man appeared out from under the bridge singing pop songs at the top of his lungs. It wasn’t that family, though. They were aight.

You see those weird, white awning things that look like some futuristic windmills? Well, they’re not. Those line the actual skyline trail. It’s a footbridge. I was standing on the maintenance gravel road above the river. Which I also recommend walking on a little. Just maybe don’t go down to the river? Snakes, and all that.

 

 

xx

In keeping with my Summer Bucket List, this marks one out of five of my goal this summer! Check out the rest of my Dallas Bucket List!

One Year: July Fourth and A Look Back

July Fourth is actually one of my favorite holidays. I’ve come to semi-enjoy the hot summer months in Texas where sweat running down your spine is just a part of life and having glasses of ice given to you at outdoor restaurants for “when the ice in your drink melts” is a normal occurrence. But what I really enjoy are the colors; red, white, and blue are festive and loud and bold. And fireworks make people’s faces light up and reflect in their eyes. And ice cream! Beer! Picnic blankets! It’s the epitome of summer! Plus, these pictures of Pepper from two years ago are still some of my favorites.

D-Town

It was one year ago yesterday that I (finally) moved to Dallas. I don’t want to get too sappy here, because I do that on nearly every other platform, but it honestly was the best decision I’ve ever made. (Besides getting Pepper and fostering Suzanna. And all the chocolate I’ve ever eaten.) Once I made the decision definitively to move here it only took me about six months. Don’t say I’m not stubborn.

I remember the day we moved in, July 3, 2015. We were sweaty and my apartment wasn’t cooled down yet and the internet guy was walking around asking me where the phone jack was. We were crashed in places wherever we could find a seat and I was so happy. The night of the fourth we heard fireworks close and all crammed on my patio and ducked around the limbs of the crepe myrtle by my patio so we could see. We were sweaty, and I was happy. Everything I’d worked for kind of summed up in that moment. I got a job so I could afford an apartment so my family could move me in so we could stand on my patio and watch the fireworks coming from Fair Park’s annual July 4 celebration. It didn’t hit me for a few months just how good of a spot I’d snagged.

This last year has given me lots of things and taken away lots of things. I’ve had my heart broken four or five times in that apartment. I’ve cried millions of tears on those pillows, one of which still has a mascara stain. (Sorry, pillow.) I learned that just because you move to a new city doesn’t mean your old crap didn’t follow you. I learned how to be alone after four months of counseling. I learned how to delete the dating apps that were crippling me. I learned how to make my house a home. I learned how to budget (PRAISE HANDS) and how to save (!!!). I still haven’t learned, though, how hard it is to cook a meal for one person.

The first six months in that place were dark. Literally and figuratively. I’m sure you know this about me by now, but I don’t really care to be alone. Actually, I’d never really been alone until I moved here. But here I am, at 25, alone. I’m doing it gang! I’m good! I’ve made new friends, distanced myself from others, met people who were destructive and manipulative, met people who were encouraging and life giving, met perfect strangers that I am coincidentally connected to through random family members or other friends, I’ve stretched and grown and changed completely. I want to hug myself from one year ago and tell her, everything is going to be okay! We love life today! You’re so great! But I forgot to put in the crystals to my time machine and can’t do that.

I still don’t know why I’m here. Maybe it’s just so I can be whole and happy. But maybe there’s something bigger. I tend to believe that about anything in my life anyway. My last serious boyfriend used to tell me all the time that I was going to do great things here. I’m not sure that I’ve really done anything that great. Well, maybe I have. Maybe me changing and stretching and growing and being really me is something truly great. It’s great to me, anyway. And I’d like to think it’s great to someone else, too.

I want my life to be invested in other people. I didn’t change and grow and do all of these things to just say, “Well that was fun! Let’s write that in the journal and put it away in the cabinet.” I live to share. I live to love. I live to invest whatever it is that I have in this tiny, weird heart in someone else. Whatever I become; a writer, a musician, a blogger, I want that to be my end goal. Mindless chatter isn’t really my thing. I want these words to mean something. And I really hope they do.

What are you doing to enjoy the holiday? I’m currently at my parents’ house getting my air conditioning fixed in my car by my dad. (THANK YOU DAD AND THANK YOU GOD FOR A DAD THAT CAN DO THIS!) I’m heading back to Dallas this afternoon to partake in the Fair Park festivities. In person this time.

Happy Fourth, babes!

 

xx