Sunday, February 20, 2011

Also today, I wrote a letter to the leaders of Heritage Bible Chapel, letting them know what an impact they have had in my life these past couple of years, however sporatically. I thought I would share.

To the Leaders of HBC:
I am writing to you because I want all of you to know what an impact you have had in my life. Some of you may know me and some of you may not. I started attending HBC about two years ago. A wonderful friend convinced me to try out the college group when I was home from school so I went and then shortly after began attending the Sunday service.
I’ve grown fond of HBC. Although I am currently now only attending the Sunday service (and today, the 20th will be my last one) I have been welcomed in by the congregation every time I step through those doors. You see, next Sunday (the 27th) I will be married and on Friday March 4th I will be joining my husband in Anchorage Alaska as he is currently serving in the United States Air Force.
HBC has taught me some valuable lessons in my faith. I should never be ashamed of praising and worshipping God – God wants me to worship Him and only Him, even if that means I am standing with my arms raised and tears streaming down my cheeks (and I feel, looking like an idiot) in the front row. If you want to learn something, the front row is where all the action is. I have enjoyed immensely every sermon that has come forth from that podium - pastor, elder or visiting speaker. Each Sunday I leave with a renewed sense of self, a greater understanding of who God is, how I fit into the picture, and more of a hunger for God than I ever thought possible. Thank you for feeding me in that way.
And so as I continue to make moving preparations, I am saddened by the thought of leaving such a great church. Heritage Bible Chapel has been such a solid foundation for me these past couple years and I can only hope that there is another church out there that will meet or surpass all that HBC has given me up until now. Thank you. Thank you to the congregation, but most importantly to you, as leaders, because without great leaders, there wouldn’t be a great church.
Thanks again.

Caitlin Loftus

Some Alaskan Facts

Since it is so close to the time when I am leaving the East Coast, I thought I would share some facts I've gained from reading about Alaska. Here they are:

1. Juneau is the capital and can only be reached by air or sea. That's Right! Alaska is the only state whose capital does not have any land access. Cool.
2. Alaska as a whole is two and a half times larger than the state of texas!
3. Two state holidays: Alaska Day, Oct.18th - Alaska Day is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the territory and the raising of the US. flag at Sitka on October 18, 1867.Seward's Day March 27 - Seward's Day commemorates the signing of the treaty by which the United States bought Alaska from Russian, signed on March 30, 1867.
4. Personal income for the year 2000 was a whopping $31,000.
5. There is over 100,000 glaciers in Alaska - more than any other state combined. The largest in Alaska, The Maslaspina Glacier, covers over850 square Miles!
6. The longest day in Anchorage is approx. 20 hours and the shortest 4.5 hrs.
7. Alaska is home to 17 of the 20 highest mountains in North America. Mt. Mckinley is the highest, reaching almost 20,500 feet with the second being Mt. Saint Elias at 18,000 feet.
8. In addition, Alaska has 15 National Parks.  (Can't wait to go to all of them!)
9. Alaska is closer to Russia than it is to the lower 48 (mainland USA). Likewise, Alaska is approximately halfway between Japan (3,520 miles) and New York (3,280 miles).
10. Anchorage is Alaska's largest city and is located on the Cook Inlet (with the second largest tidal range in the country).
11. Thanks to long daylight hours, the nearby valleys can grow giant vegetables, like cabbages the size of basketballs.
12. The Iditarod race officially begins in Anchorage on March 5th 2011!!! So we will be there for the start of the race! (well, hopefully Andrew and I won't be too grumpy and tired to get up to see it!).

Besides that...

One of my favorite Movies of all time is The Four Feathers. I watched it again for the gazillionth time yesterday while I was 'resting' in bed at home. Why do I like this movie so much? Because it is about love, friendship, courage, faith and hope. It is about going beyond your boundaries and into the unknown to conquer your fears and prove to yourself that you can go the distance...and you will. Watch it and you too will enjoy it immensely.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

too many projects, not enough time.

I would like to be more creative in life. I have a couple of sewing projects I have started but not yet finished, and there are a couple more things I would like to make within the next year if possible. I started cutting out the pieces for a great handbag I saw in a quilter's magazine...and it had some cool other projects I would like to try sometime. Then there is that apron that I had started over a year ago that is almost done, but not quite...I had originally thought of the idea to give it to jaadin as a housewarming gift....she has since moved into a second new apartment and she still doesn't have the apron! oh gosh be golly.

Besides that, there are so many things I would like to make for people! I have bag ideas and notebooks ideas and pincushions and aprons and potholders and quilts and so many things! Even though material is expensive, I love to do it and I love to do it for other people - especially those I love! Last year I made a lap/throw quilt for Jen & Kirby for their wedding and they absolutely LOVED it. Her mom had tears in her eyes as she hugged me and told me that she knows how much time, energy and love goes into a gift like that because she used to do those things...and even if they just said thankyou and snuggled in it, she completely understands what's behind it and to never lose that passion for creating and giving.

That being said, I am happy that I am mailing some of my scrapbooking/stamping/cardmaking supplies up  to Alaska with me because I enjoy doing it too much! I hope that maybe sometime later this year my mom can send up my sewing machine and some of my other sewing items so I can make some new things for our home! Like potholders, an apron, maybe a table runner or placemats, napkins, a quilt for snuggling or our bed ;)

As much as I love being crafty and giving items to people that have been made by me, I think that part of this also goes along with wanting to be relatively self-sustaining, or self-reliant/sufficient in my life. Finding the wabi sabi in items I already have, appreciating what I do have, reducing, reusing and recycling products, and supporting those also who are living comfortably in their own skin and selling products they themselves have made.

So I support Farmer's Markets, I like to buy from smaller one-of-a-kind shops, I LOVE holiday craft fairs and summer markets where people bring all kinds of wares to be sold...homemade soaps, cheeses, sodas, blankets, socks, mittens, food products etc etc.

So more items on my lsit I would like to learn, become good at, and use in place of comercial store-bought items:
Candle making
Sewing - market bags, lunch bags, kitchen supplies, and maybe even some clothes!
Eventually have a small vegetable garden.

Some websites I have found helpful in my search:

and some books:
Made from Scratch - Jenna Woolrich
Country Wisdom Almanac
Serve God, Save the Planet - Matthew Sleeth

Friday, February 18, 2011

one week and a day

So, I will be married in one week and one day. Yikes! This morning I woke up early and drove to White Cliffs with all my things and we talked for an hour, getting everything all set and making sure everything is all set. Then I went over to Blackstone Valley to return ribbon at Michael's that we had too mnay for, then to Yankee Candle to return a box of 12 I had gotten but didn't end up needing, and then to Barnes and Noble to pick up my more than I was expecting!

It feels good to be done...and have everything out of my hands besides some last minute gifts and cards to put together, and then just fun stuff like dancing lessons and getting my nails done next weekend.

Alot of people are asking me if I am so excited and wonderful and full of the giddyness of marriage. And I say yes...and no. I am, I really am, but at the same time, this is all a bit bittersweet for me. I am excited to be marrying the most wonderful person and my best friend, but as the days go by and the countdown becomes smaller, I am reminded that I only have those few and precious more days until I leave the East Coast... and my family. So yes, I am excited for this next stage of life, to be married to Andrew. And yes, I am sad to be leaving the home I love and my mom and dad and other friends who live in close proximity.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

27 Days from now and I will be married!

I haven't updated in quite some time....I've been busy and I'm not really into this whole blogging thing anymore. I was in college but now I don't feel so into it. I like to read the blogs others have done and still write in...It is nice to keep up with their lives in that way.

We mostly have the major things done.
REMINDER: February 11th is the last day to RSVP - so if you haven't done it - make sure you do! we won't do it for you and if I don't have an RVSP from you by 12 am EST on Friday the 11th, you are a 'no'. If you show up you are paying for your dinner because we won't be!

Reception music list is just about finalized.
Working on ceremony programs and the ceremony order of things.
Mrs. Skinner is working on the rehearsal dinner things.
I've already had the hair trial run with Krystal's mom.
Make up trial run will come soon...sometime next week probably.
Thank you notes from the Bridal shower last weekend have been written and half have been sent out already (out of state ones).
Premarital counseling is almost complete.
I've been packing up items for the home/DVD's and CD's to mail to Alaska - I've already mailed a couple of boxes!

we are so close yet so far away! I am SO excited to be waiting at the airport to pick him up on the 23rd of this month! :)