happy birthday, dear dad

I decided in honor of my dad's birthday today, I would share the mini-speech I gave to introduce him at the Optimist Convention earlier this month. Happy Birthday, Daddy! I love you!

My dad is many things to me.

He is my backpacking buddy. With him, I’ve climbed mountains and wandered through valleys throughout the New Mexican wilderness. We’ve share many adventures and beautiful views and a few scrapes and bruises along the way.

He is my editor. Since high school and all the way through college, he was my second pair of eyes for essays and papers. Long before I ever considered myself a writer, my dad saw something in my words and in my heart. With his encouragement and nudges, I began to see the possibility in myself to become a writer.

He is, with my mom, my greatest supporter. He and my mom have dreamed greater dreams for me than I myself had ever imagined; they seem to think that nothing is impossible. It’s through their eyes and hearts, that I often see my own possibility.

Optimist International has been blessed by the leadership of many remarkable men and one amazing woman. This next year I am excited that you will have a chance to see the kinds of wild dreams my dad has dreamed for the children and this great organization.



The post-it says it all.

http://www.caitlinrodgers.com/: I'll keep you posted.

discipline...are you out there?

I've been struggling lately with my, shall we say, open schedule. I'm talking the kind of wide open spaces where the deer and the antelope play. Sure, it's fun at first: wake up when you want, watch ridiculous reality tv or old Grey's Anatomy episodes, blog a little, maybe make a trip to Starbucks or Target, hang out with the family, and call it a day. Make this your life for a few weeks though and you start to feel slightly pathetic. Actually, strike the slightly...I was just trying to be nice to myself.

I realized today that even though I don't have a thousand things filling my beloved planner right now, what has really been out of whack lately is my discipline. Honestly, I've lost my focus regarding so many areas of my life; I've let it all slide because it's summer and I've beginning this maddening journey known has post grad life. The excuses though, have grown into a life-sucking leech.

So for the next month, the word is discipline. What I do, where I go, where I spend my time, even what I eat- it's all being changed.

Discipline? I think I can start to see you now...


lost and found


So we'll get on the green line and go four stop. Then,, jump off and switch to the pink line. After three more stops we should be there...hopefully.

I'll admit, the bit of experience I've had traveling the world's undergrounds was somewhat confusing. Even more, standing with my nose pressed to the giant metro map while my finger repeatedly traces the lines isn't exactly how I usually hope to blend in with the locals. Thank goodness for Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden. I love that it's a complete collection of every rapid-transit system in the world, so now at least I can trace the lines from the privacy of the hotel room and not in front of a multitude of underground dwellers.




Happy one year blogiversary. Time has kinda flown since we started together. Remember how compelled I felt to start you after having read the entire blog of a friend of a friend in a single sitting? Her honesty, love, and enthusiasm was practically infectious and I felt like there was a great deal of the same tumbling around in my head and heart wishing to get out. When we started, I felt both meek and bold; it was a relief to have an outlet for cascading thoughts and whims. but at the same time uncomfortable to share my heart, my faith, my acute me-ness with...well, the world.

I'm not sure how much other people have gotten out of reading the two of us this past year, but I for one have found fortitude and solace. You've helped me develop my voice as a writer, introduced me to many designers, decoraters, and writers, and given me a wee bit more ferocity to attack writing- and life.

Keep it real.

Love always,


P.S. Wouldn't this be such a fun birthday dinner party? Yeah, I thought so too.


thursday quote

"What can this incessant craving, and this impotence of attainment mean, unless there was once a happiness belonging to man, of which only the faintest traces remain, in that void which he attempts to fill with everything within his reach?...Because, in a soul that will live forever, there is an infinite void that nothing can fill, but an infinite, unchangeable being." -Blaise Pascal


While in Nashville last week, I visited a rather remarkable shop.
Philanthropy, located in downtown Franklin, is a store with a serious social conscience. Decorated with nothing short of absolute creativity, thought, and attention to detail, it's enchanting and inviting- so much so that I wanted to ask to move in. Even more, the shop hopes to serve as a platform for their customers to make a difference. By pledging at least 10% of their sales to designated causes, the store has raised over $120,000 in three years.
Next time you're in Nashville, Philanthropy is definitely worth the visit. However, if you can't wait that long, check it out here.


directions to follow

All signs point to Franklin, TN being the sweet little sister to Nashville...and they would all be correct.


letter to nashville

Dear Nashville,
Thanks for being a place that David could love, so in effect, a place we would love visiting. Also, thanks for being a kicked-back yet trendy place full of dreamers who have passion and talent they're eager to share...I've wondered lately where all the cool, yet down to earth young people are...and now I know.

Dear Nashville guys,
Thanks for having the coolest haircuts ever and for rolling your jeans up. I love it. really.

Dear Bluebird Cafe,
Thanks for one of my favorite Nashville experiences and for introducing me to This & That.

You rock. Now really, how did you know just the song to sing? Y'all are officially my favorite duo and I am hoping extra hard that you have all the success in the world.

Dear Summer Nights,
Thanks for providing the perfect excuse to hang out until wee hours with a few favorite people I haven't had the pleasuring of seeing for quite some time.

Dear Centennial Park,
Thanks for being a beautiful green space smack dab in the middle of the city. It doesn't hurt that you have a life size replica of the Parthenon either. Also, much appreciation for providing the perfect backdrop for a self-timer photo shoot.

Dear Nashville restaurants in general,
You have some of the most delectable, taste bud satisfying, homecookin' food that I've tasted in quite a while. Loveless Cafe, Gigi's, Pancake Pantry, Merridee's Breadbasket...sheesh.

Dear David,
Thanks for being the best tour guide ever. We loved every minute of you showing off your summer/possible future city.
Dear 10+ hour drive home,
Thanks for allowing hours of "hot topic" conversation. And thanks for being a perfectly good excuse to hang out 10+ extra hours with Mark and Alexis.

Dear Nashville (yes, one more time),
Thanks for being the backdrop for our friend reunion. You may have only held our attention for a long weekend, but you now permantely hold several of our long-term memories.
Keep in touch,



I'm heading out for Nashville today. I'll be driving with a favorite friend for a long weekend visit with another favorite friend. Really, I have no idea what our agenda is, except hang out and revel in one another's company, which after all, is the real point of friendship anyways. Nashville, let's do this!



This summer, I've wondered frequently whether or not I lack ambition. I'll be honest, job searching hasn't been my top priority. Oh, I've definitely thought about jobs and graduate school, but I've been hiding behind a month and half worth of trips as an excuse to not do anything. Every time I've questioned my ambition though, I've stopped and asked myself, "Do you have dreams, Caitlin?" and the answer has always been, "Oh yes, definitely." Dreams in fact, that make my soul sigh. Dreams that kind of make me catch my breath. I think the problem is fear.

I don't know when exactly it happened, but somewhere along the way I've become afraid to be seen. I've never had low self-esteem or been overly pessimistic but somehow I've started being afraid to show people me. I know that's kind of a crazy thought since I write a rather large window of myself on this blog, but truly, I think it's fear. I've fallen into agreeing with the world that I don't deserve certain things- that I'm not talented enough, I'm not glamorous enough, I'm not gutsy enough- that I can't really do what I want. I've become afraid to show my capability. In the mean time, all these fears that I've bought into have built a wall around me.

So in a sense, I've become incredibly afraid of my own possibility. In the past months, as I've thought about my future, I'm come to the realization that Fort Worth or Texas for that matter isn't where I see myself living. BUT, as much as I want to move somewhere like Paris or New York City, I'm pretty scared. Well, more than pretty. Let's say incredibly, paralyzingly so. I'm scared that I won't make friends, that I won't be happy, that I'll be completely alone. As a result, I've been still for the last few months- not exactly looking in any direction except inward. But not anymore.

Last week, I read this quote that put everything you've just read into perspective:
"Any time I feel lost, I pull out a map and stare. I stare until I have reminded myself that life is a giant adventure, so much to do, to see."
Over a crepe breakfast last week when I admitted some of my fears to my dad, he reminded me that God is going to provide for me. He went with me to Baylor and He is going to continue on to the next place. And really, I know this, I believe it whole-heartedly. The thing is, fear is the absence of faith. When I buy into fears of being lost and alone, I quit believing and trusting that God is going to provide. Oh me of little faith. But not anymore- I'm so incredibly tired of fear. World, you can have it. Jesus, everyday I'm going to remind myself that you are my great provider and that you give the best gifts. I'm also going to remind myself that if you provide a way for me, you're going to provide an incredibly satisfying life as well. I'm going to choose faith instead of fear. You've given my talents that are meant to be shared. You've made me who I am, not to sit at home in Fort Worth, Texas, but to go out into the world....so, let's go.

optimist convention 2010

Discovering a new city...really fun.
finally seeing eclipse...awesome.
Spending time with family you don't see all the time...so wonderful.
Giving a petite speech en francais...slightly terrifying.
Having your petite speech en francais well received...totally worth it.
Watching your dad soar into place as the next president of Optimist International...so beyond cool it makes you swell with pride and say, "yeah, that's my dad!"


the new santa fe

While I expected Denver to be a city with plenty of free and easy natives, what I didn't expect was the incredible amount of outdoor art, so much so that Denver is being called, "the new Santa Fe." There seriously seemed to be an outdoor installation on every corner. I love that the city has made art a forefront element to Denver culture. The pictures above are from a larger-than-life sculpture outside the hotel I stayed in.
Even more intriguing than the magnitude of art was the presence of public pianos up and down 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. Available for anyone and everyone to play, each piano was uniquely painted. Talk about putting an emphasis on the arts...

tattered cover

The Tattered Cover Bookstore is one the largest independently owned bookstore in the country and is a dream to wander around in for an hour or two. Housed in what was originally a town store from the 1800s, Tattered Cover stretches three floors up with wood floors and large built-in bookshelves. Armchairs, benches, and couches sit here and there, simply waiting for you to join them with a pleasurable book. There's a special charm to independently owned bookstores- they're a little warmer, a little quirkier, and a lot more convincing to spend not only your money, but also your day.

a pecos recap

"I can feel you all around me, thickening the air I'm breathing."- David Crowder

These lyrics ran through my mind quite often while backpacking a few weeks ago- especially when the climb became an authentic struggle. It's impossible to be in the wilderness and to not be continually compelled by the greatness of God. His work is all around you and it makes you wonder if perhaps this is a glimpse into what eternity will look like...


crepes & crepes

Cute little crepe restaurant in downtown Denver? Yes, please. Allow me to indulge with a strawberry, blueberry, and nutella crepe for breakfast? I'll definitely be coming back. Make me feel like I'm experiencing a tiny bit of France in the middle of the Rockies? You had me at bonjour.