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The Privilege in “Us”

Posted by casey on February 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

I am about to have a seven year old.
Seven.
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This sweet bundle of love who turned me into a mama, and subsequently a weeping, reminiscing, internally wondering about all around well being and how I may or may not be ruining their chances at survival in life by denying them a sixteen scoop ice cream cone because I don’t want him to wake me up in the middle of the night puking but loving life kind of a person, is seven.  Was that a run on?28goofyBW_edited-1

My former teaching brain which is trapped in there somewhere tells me yes. But I also like to think that it is mom eloquent and that we all ramble internally like that in our thoughts.  If your answer is no, no we do not and you are nuts, just smile and nod your head at me, and if really want to you are welcome to tell me I am pretty too.  It is the little things.

But seven years ago, this little guy so patiently, 31 1/2 hours of labor patiently, changed my world and taught me what real selflessness, worry, love and joy means.  Okay…and exhaustion, confusion and fear get lumped in there. The thing is, what I have been coming back around to lately as I have yet again in this seven year span been really, really focusing on my family is that those first four descriptions trump the hardships because despite the tears and fears, despite the breaks needed, body aching, want to work out, searching for a “me moment” moment, this is such a privilege.  We were gifted the chance to leave a real legacy, a real living example of our selves, love, thinking and kindness and all this gift wants is us.

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Here she goes.  Another appreciate the moment, everything is sunshine and rainbows mom forgetting the “in the trenches” days of multiple blowout diapers in multiple kids at the same time who hasn’t slept in months, who…

Nope.
I’m not that cheery. I get it. I remember.  It is still my everyday.  I still ugly yell and then feel awful about it.  I still question, on those really bad days,  the fact that I did this to myself.  I still have all of those wants and needs as a woman and human that aren’t just about my kids.  I am still working on my perspective in this super busy, super comparing world which is what this is more about.  Prove it.

The oldests just woke up, so I am trying to finish my thoughts, because the baby 8W5A2502@SouthernMaePhotography(who is almost two by the way, but will forever be referred to as “the baaabaaay”) is still asleep, and by golly gee wizz gumdrops (see previous post about attempting to no longer curse) if they wake him up because they are stomping around like wildabeasts then I am going to choose to start my day grumpy at them OR I can choose to be so thankful that I woke up early for some quiet thinking and that the reason they are stomping around like said wildabeasts is because those sweet brothers have chosen for the past three nights to have a sleepover in each other’s rooms and immediately wake up giddy to see one another and ready to play.

They just want each other.
They just want us.
As we are.

Why not give it to them?  This is our chance.

This is our chance.
Think about it.  Really think about it.

I have a few moments each day that completely immerse me mentally and physically in my kids that are so sweetly slow and fast at the exact same time. My five year old, loves, LOVES for me to snuggle him at night.  Books have been read, songs have been sung, bladders have been emptied again…and again…and then, he just wants a snuggle.  He slowly sidles his way closer and closer until he is entwined and at peace.  But here is the truth.  It is selfish. Not for him, but for me. This kid, he is SO carefree.  His energy is so positive, calming, and present.  This moment, every night, I am at my calmest.  My day, thoughts, headaches, worries truly go away.  Because he gifts me with the need of myself, I get to just be there as his mom, in the dark, just us.  And then what happens?  He falls asleep.  Not because he needs me there to do it, not because he won’t go to bed without me, but because he is safe.  With me.

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Similar theme….the baby, only just before nap and bed, shows us the remnants of 8W5A3131@SouthernMaePhotographyhis babyhood.  He grabs all of the pacis, now deemed “paboos”, snugglies, blankets and well loved items he can grasp and wants cradled.  Like a baby.  If you ask him if he wants songs he will immediately say “yeah” every time.  There we are.  In that chair, folded in together for those few moments.  While I hear myself of my husband singing softly, his owies fade, his toddler frustration of the day subsides and he still makes those little noises as his body relaxes and he nestles in.  We can set him down anytime and he will roll over and go right to sleep. But we can also give him and ourselves that pause.  There he will snuggle, looking at us and around the room we so carefully assembled for him wanting nothing but the attention, love and touch of us.

What a privilege.
They just want us.
They are so trusting and loving of us, that where they can fall asleep, feel safe, want to be is with us.  Because we are theirs and they are ours.

Here is the thing.  Remember where this started?  That about to be seven year old? DSC_2115_edited-1 He is kind of turning into stinky, “weird” as in silly and I have no idea what you are talking about because we might not live on the same planet who just creeped downstairs and is now sitting on my lap working to READ (babies can’t read, how did this happen?) what I am typing so I better wrap it up boy.

BOY. Kid. Self.

Not just “us”.
Friends and teachers and real world are moving in, and moving in fast.

With him as I so often explain and embrace I have to learn at a faster pace. I haven’t done seven before.  I haven’t done friends and school and Power Rangers and questions and am I doing this right? Will he be okay?  Does he feel loved?

The answer I have to remind myself, is yes, and will be yes as long as I indulge him in the only thing I can control.  The only privilege he has earned without lifting a finger.  The only thing he should be able to trust and need and count on.

Myself.
What a privilege.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I have been summoned to the couch for a viewing of Super Dino Charge with my still six year old, his trying to catch up brother and a cup of coffee.  So if you need be, I’ll be there with them, happy I am wanted hoping I always will be.

 
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Oh, Hello February

Posted by casey on February 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Y’all.

We are eight days in.
Eight Days.
And February is HARD!

Here is the thing. Come January you hit the ground running.  Exhausted from the holidays maybe, but invigorated with ideas, and perspective, and dare I say it, goals? On the ball.  Ready to change.  Making the change.  Off to that great start.

And then it is February.

And your brain, okay…my brain went, “Oh my, we are only a month in to this whole ‘being present, spending less, laughing more, letting it go, I’m so easy-breezy go with the flow because I’m choosing not to care that my house is a mess and covered in fingerprints because I am a kick-ass, oh shoot I forgot I am working on my foul mouth, kick-booty mom’.  Deep breath in, deep breath out.  Everybody together now.

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One month in.

Grace.  By gee golly, goodness, gumdrops give me all the gosh darn grace.
Please.
(And maybe just one well placed, if I absolutely need it to make a point swear word? No? Okay…no.  Got it.  No Swearing. Not even when the dog throws up on the bed. )

But isn’t that the whole point? That we are imperfect?  Our day to day lives are messy.  Be it as moms or wives or friends, they all fall very much into the imperfect category for me.   So. Let’s not beat ourselves up.  Because I have come to notice that internally, I do that often.  “Ugh, I did so well last month and was really enjoying and embracing the chaos and then the past week has gone to…ummm, gone to, ummm the dogs?”  Is that a non-sweary thing one might say?

Here I am eight days in to the second month of a brand new year feeling defeated instead of celebrating the efforts I put into action last month (goodbye phone in reach, goodbye toxic, goodbye house cleanliness, hello stretching, hello playtime, hello photographing, hello journaling) when the truth is…DSC_1940

A. I still have a heck of a lot of February left.  Hello obvious.DSC_2090
B. I also have 10.5 months left to continue these efforts. Duh.
C. The only one keeping score is me, so the “scoreboard” just went in the trash.
D. Isn’t chugging along in slow progress better than none?

No one cares if February feels hard to you like it does me. NO ONE.
(ironic since here I am writing to you about it but, meh, I’m cool with that)

Okay wait.  That is a lie.  Yup.  That whole “no one cares” bit.  Lies.

We care.  Our brain, hearts and therefore bodies care.  Even with my list of reasonable reasons as to why some of those heartfelt wanted changes went by the wayside, somewhere in there cares.  And if we are beating ourselves up than that is what we have to offer back to ourselves, our homes, our families and our day to day life.  A beat up version of our self.

Womp. Womp. Wommmmmmmmmp.

My five year old really likes to say that, and I have taken to it.  It really just sums up so much.  It is almost like taking a deep breath in itself and allows room to giggle, put on my big girl pants and saddle up.  Because guess what? Ain’t nobody got time for that gloomy gussing, my life could be, I should be, if I had a better hair situation…okay, that is me whining because I may have recently made a poor hair change choice that I am working on accepting along with all of the other accepting because do we really have time to sit around and let our hair dictate our mood.

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Nope.
It’s February friends.
Let’s do it like January.
Gratitude in hand.  Changes in Mind.  Heart in Action.
Grace for Ourselves.

 
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Let’s Try This Again

Posted by casey on January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

A New Start.
A New Year.
Lots of new choices.

Almost four months ago, when I last wrote,  I decided “I was back.”  Back to not just reflecting because that is instinctual for me, but back to putting the pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard on those reflections.  Emptying my brain, releasing my thoughts, carrying on with life as usual. There was A LOT going on, and writing seemed to be the perfect fit.  But you see, because of all that was surrounding my brain, I couldn’t escape it enough to decompress and ultimately, deliver.  But the thing is, I am not going to apologize for that. Not to myself, not to this computer and not to the world around me.  Why?  Grace.  Lots of grace.  Lots of space.

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I am giving myself an abundance of grace these days.
I am also living knowing that I am doing the best I can, and I would like to think we all are. Giving it our best, giving it a “go”, and giving grace in the unfilled gaps.

This past year, start to finish for us, was hard. HARD. H.A.R.D.

That is not to say that there weren’t joys, triumphs, memories, laughs and blessings. But when we really think back on the year, rough, tough, trying, tricky are just a few of the immediate adjectives that come to mind.  I have thought a lot about this because I tend to jump to absolutes which is one of the many things I have and do work on.  Example: How was your day?  “The kids were a mess.”  (When really they 8W5A1730@SouthernMaePhotographyweren’t so bad, but the last 30 minutes have clouded that)

Knowing that tendency, classifying a whole year, 365 days as hard, seemed a bit much. So I thought and I thought and I talked and I thought and I came to the conclusion with gratitude for the good and growth from the bad that yep, 2016 was still hard.  Physically and emotionally.  The double whammy.

So, as we approached the end of the year I was more and more inclined to dig, dive in, and dissect how I was feeling and why, what I enjoyed and why, and what could or needed to change and why.

I needed some change.
A tad in routine.
Some in acceptance.
An abundance in perspective.

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It all can be summed up by a few things

- those who matter most and are deserving most of my time, love, attention and efforts happen to be all male and reside in my home.

- these days that I am living right now are what I will remember about the life I had so I darn better make sure I am doing what I want to be doing and it is directed at my personal goal/role/loves

- these days that I am living right now are what my three boys will remember about their childhood and mom growing up so I darn better make sure I am giving their hearts and heads what I promised when I brought them into this world.

- I am a mom.  I am a stay at home mom.  Despite what the world around us says, that is enough.  I do not have to prove that I can do more, am intelligent enough for more, am woman enough for more, am capable of more.  I am a mom and that is enough for me. It always has been, it is what I want to do.  Dream met. Let me be.

DSC_1891_edited-1So there you have it.  My focus is and will continue to be inside my home.  My brain is decompressing from 2016.  I just finished getting the Christmas decor down because, grace y’all.  “Ain’t nobody coming over anyway so who says it has to be done in a day?”  My body is decompressing from 2016 and I am re-centering my spirit and head while re-vamping how it feels when I move…lets get rid of that stiffness before another wonderfully year of age makes that a little tougher.  My home is recovering from 2016.   Every cabinet, drawer, closet, nook, under the bed, between the cushions spot is already in the process of being gone through, thrown out and simplified.  Why?  Because life is happening, and I don’t want to miss it buried in broken toys, unused knick knacks, worn out clothes and well, trash.

- More laughing, less observing.
– More listening, less multitasking.
– More naps, less busy.
– More talking, less screens.
– More calls, less texts.
– More pictures, less pushed aside.
– More “No”, Less “Yes”.
– More teaching, less bossing.
– More want to, less have to.

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More.  More of us in 2017.  Less of Everything Else. Let’s Try This Again.

 
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Well Hello There

Posted by casey on September 18, 2016 in Home, Life as I Know It

Oh, hello there.  Didn’t expect to see you today.

Let me introduce myself.

I am Casey, wife to Colter, mom to Caden, Everett and Archer, daughter to Cam, daughter in law to Bill and Carolyn, sister to Drew, sister in law to Jordan, Maddie, Asher, Meghan, Laura and Auntie to…get ready, Cathryn, Cameron, Emily, JP, Braiden, Kaylie, Locke, McKee, Tessa, Caroline and Cate and friend to hopefully, many.  You already knew that, okay most of you, but here I am back.  I needed the reminder of all of those things because really, all of those beautiful names have important people behind them and those important people require time and focus and love and attention and the space for this little nook was pushed right on out for awhile.

Okay, a long while.
Sorry about that.

The thing is, I hate saying there has been “no time” for this.  Clearly, we make time for what we need in life, what we want and what we prioritize.  It isn’t like I stopped thinking thoughts, though the clarity and ability to form complete thoughts is always a bit muddied after another babe joins the family.  But that was sixteen months ago itself.  What it boils down to is me.  I did not give myself the time to sit down, think my thoughts, and write.  To vent, to share, to explain, to give, to let out, to exhale.  I have been all tied up living our life and loving it, (and sometimes despising it, let’s be real) that stopping to take a breath and really reflect on where I am and how I got here well, just didn’t make the to-do list, which gosh darn I always lose anyway.

Plenty has happened, birthdays, frustrations, a whole school year, crafting victories, holidays, crafting failures, visits with family, changes, trips, learning curves, parenting triumphs, daily parenting failures and all the spilled cereal, coffee, nose wiping, bottom wiping, hugging and giggling you can fit in between.

But you know what?  This morning.  In the dark of the morning, after a fitful nights sleep I am sitting here alone, I repeat ALONE (hallelujah).  I have a cup of coffee, there is an unexpected rain storm and there is enough in my head that I decided I need to exhale. The best way I know to do that is to write. I miss writing. I miss sharing. I miss getting it all out of my head.  Therefore, here I am.

Hello There.
It is So Nice to See You Again.
I hope you will forgive my absence.
And the absences that are certain to happen again.
Join Me. Listen to Me. Laugh With Me. Shake Your Fists at Me.
There is a lot of love and life and tears and fears just waiting to be shared.

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Sunshine and Sillies

Posted by casey on August 24, 2015 in Family, Life as I Know It

DSC_0017_edited-1Yesterday was the last day of summer.  That’s it. It’s over. Ka-put.

Typically , this means nothing to us, as Texas temperatures stay summer-ish until well, October and our days are dictated by ourselves.  Therefore, over the past five years, we summer-on, well into the months other parts of the country declare to be fall.  But not this year. This year it is school time, for real.  For real, for real.

Our oldest starts Kindergarten.

Yup. The real deal.

Already.

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Our years of homework free, school function obligation, PTA meetings and day to DSC_0297_edited-1day freeness are officially over, tomorrow. I am in mourning.  In mourning of the simplicity that has been being at home with my littles the past five years. Now sure, this is one of the many milestones we have been waiting to reach right, as they are terrorizing the house and making my brain want to explode, but now that it is over, as with most things in life, maybe, just maybe, I will go back to that.  But that is a whole other post.

This is about the AMAZING summer we have had together.  With summer on the horizon I tried to  say “No.” to much and truly let them play, and run, and love, and romp, and relax, and rest and…well you get it, to their heart’s desire. It was a no holds bar, snuggle until you can’t stand it, swim until you are a prune, run around upstairs with each other until your brain turns to mush love-fest.  (With the usual day to day antics, discipline and routine, lets not kid ourselves completely here.)

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What was initially another period of anxiousness, welcoming our third son at the

Sleepover Ready for Nonna's

Sleepover Ready for Nonna’s

same time their pre-school got out for summer, DSC_0483_edited-1(marking the first time they wouldn’t also have pre-school during summer months since we changed schools with the move) turned out to be such a huge blessing. We have SO enjoyed being all together this summer.  Now, does that mean they have been angelic every.single.day and I haven’t been sleep deprived aDSC_0540_edited-1nd ready to pull my hair out over their tattle-taleing at times, absolutely not.

However, our days have been together and in some ways cementing in what a family of five looks like as we adjusted to adding Archer with everyone home together.

All three boys.All together. All summer.

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The slower paced mornings, where they still wake up at the crack of dawn but siDSC_0835_edited-1mply enjoy being on the couch eating cereal while I feed Archer and yes, having screen time together next to each other are a seared in memory for me now of our early Archer days and our “before real school” days.

The real memory, and blessing while having Archer at home as a new chicken has been how inseparable Caden and Everett are.  Two peas in a pod isn’t close enough for their bodies DSC_0297_edited-1and minds.  Which in some ways, merges their preferences and personalities and desires for their day.  But, I am so thankful they have had this summer before Caden starts his own journey at his own school for two years before Everett joins him there to really weld their bond together and their love as brothers.

Day after day I got to peek in on little moments like this.  Sneaking in to their imaginations in action, their teachings in motion.  A picture here, a superhero costume there, and a whole lot of toys and Legos everywhere.

Everywhere.

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DSC_0340_edited-1And so. I look back on this summer with a lot of appreciation for the family we have made and nurtured.  Last summer I loved that I had a glimpse of independence in them.  This summer I loved that simply, we were together.  We summered hard.  We pooled it every afternoon, we walked every morning, we cooked, we played, we napped, we read, we made crayons…and playdough…and sight word books…and hats…and block buildings galore…and so on and so forth.  We loved big and bickered small.  Mostly.

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I feel like I got to get to know them again without the interruptions of the outside DSC_0454_edited-1world.  It was one of those things I didn’t realized I was missing out on with them being in preschool just a couple days a week year round before and am loving that I had at this particular stage in life.  Once Caden is off to Kindergarten and real school is a regular part of life it may not seem so distinct in my brain having these days, but for this year, it was just what our fDSC_0569_edited-1amily ordered.

Time.

 

With tennis lessons, parties, friends, swimming, sprinkler runs and slip and slides behind us we are blindly looking forward to the adventure of this next school year as we insert ourselves into family life including school from here on out.

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Sweet, sweet, summertime we will miss your simplicity but we are carrying your memories, love and evidence in freckles with us as we forge ahead to a new season of the year and life!

 
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Meeting the Dream

Posted by casey on June 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

Seeing him with our littles, brand new to seemingly grown never gets old.

Happiest of Father’s Day to the greatest of dads I could dream up for my boys.

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An Introduction

Posted by casey on May 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

An Introduction is in Order

On May 11th, 2015 at 1:58 PM
All 9 lbs 2 ounces and 21 inches of our third baby boy was born.

Introducing, Archer Perry Kazmann

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This little chunk has snuggled his way right into all of our hearts making himself right at home as the newest light of our lives the moment he was born.

 
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In the Four

Posted by casey on May 6, 2015 in Family, Life as I Know It

Looking back to 2011, I so clearly remember changing our family dynamic from three to four.  So lately, I feel as though my eyes have been zooming in on and recording every bit of our final moments together as a family of four…

waiting to be five.

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As a family of four, we have very much found our groove.  It has been three and a Bluebonnets 005half years so I suppose that should be a given, but that isn’t always the case. There are the ins and outs of keeping things “normal” while shifting and adjusting to accommodate this new little person and the new roles each person takes on.

With Everett, there was a lot of adjusting and accepting and admitting to what we could and could not do with a challenging newborn, infant and well…toddler due to all of his allergies.

Now, there is the making sure that oldest who whether he consciously remembers it or not was an only child at one point, still gets alone time and to feel like that one Bluebonnets 013and only.  Then there is that baby who is no longer the baby but now a big brother too still gets his snuggles, and bedtime love well, some baby time.  Oh yes, and then there is the prepping for the newest little one…though somehow the third time around you know that no matter what you prep and how you organize life is about to get R.E.A.L real, real quick once he arrives.

We have found our groove and our biggest preparation is preparing to be out of that groove for a little while again as we bond and nurture and love and make room for this third little love, our newest baby brother.

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We have been blessed with two very sweet boys who have settled us into being a fBluebonnets 006amily, being parents and have taught us what the real purpose of our life here is.  I think that they are as patient with us as parents as we try (and fail) to be with them.  They understand we aren’t perfect and so easily accept our apologies to them when maybe we are a little to harsh, or fall short on a promise, no matter how small.  I have been amazed at their sympathy to me as I have grown and waddled and have gotten to be a slower version of their mama.  Everett runs to pick up anything he can for me saying “Mommy, you just can’t do Bluebonnets 017that with that big ol’ belly.”  Caden will ask if I need to rest on the couch and then inform me that “You’re just so pretty when you are sleeping.”  Sweetness.  All for their mama who is not always so sweet and understanding to them.  That is what these children give me, a reflection and a reason to continue to grow and adapt and learn.

And so we get ready to do that again. All of us are so ready to meet him.  I think the boys might think he is never coming at this point, which I don’t blame them, and I wonder the same thing on occasion. But we are just ready to see who he is. What will he be?  How will he teach us to love more?  When will he understand his brothers’ love for him?  How badly they want to know him.

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All of the unknowns that you embrace and welcome as you feel their not so welcome (but contradictory grateful for) jabs to your ribs that you know you will miss even as you watch them run around.  How lucky are we?  But really.  We hope and we try and we love and we get to help shape these little people into what we think the world needs while giving them the room to become what they think the world needs.

The Balance of Parenting
And we are about to start the process all over again.

Bluebonnets 025Which means that just like that Caden and Everett will age at least five years in my eyes over the birth of their newest brother and for that, I am not ready.  I spend a little extra time snuggling Everett at bedtime, breathing in the last days of him being “my baby” and every ounce of Caden that isn’t just a helper, and the biggest brother and the “you are old enough to do…” because as I know all too well now, it just goes too fast.  These years that our sleep deprived brains beg to pass for some independence, predictability or organized chaos are gone just like that.  In the big picture of their lives as children and our roles as parents these years are so short and so small and yet so important.  And so here we are…waiting for the any moment addition to our family while breathing in and loving on every moment of our current four.  The final days of what we know as we excitedly await what is in store.

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Hop Hop Hop

Posted by casey on April 27, 2015 in Caden, Everett, Holiday Fun

My two little men enjoyed another fabulous Easter this year that they had been looking forward to in the weeks prior to the actual event.  Their school had beeDSC_0551_edited-1n doing a wonderful job teaching them and prepping them for what Easter is really about and each day they came home with new bible stories, songs and crafts to help us celebrate the day.

With a small egg hunt done at school we all were looking forward to the bunny celebrations of Easter as the weekend came near and they weren’t overloaded with other celebrations.  You see, our boys are VERY lucky because the Easter Bunny makes two stops for them.  Each year, he is so sneaky and leaves them a basket at our house full of fun and goodies and then hops his way to Nonna and Papa’s littering the garden backyard with all the eggs two little boys could desire.  I just love it.

They get to soak up both spots and experiences and make memories that will shape DSC_0507_edited-1what they remember of our family celebrations in the years to come.

As has been the case almost each year, there was a chance of rain Easter morning.  Sure enough when the boys woke up, it was already coming down and quite dreary outside.  Somehow, that didn’t stop our bunny who had delivered their baskets safe and sound to our front porch under the safety of the stoop. But first, before they remembered basket potential, they had noticed and searched for a smattering of eggs they found around the kitchen and living roomDSC_0509_edited-1 which that silly bunny had filled with their favorite cereals!

Sure enough after diving into their cereal eggs they recalled what the bunny had put in their baskets last year, and thanks to Daddy singing our quirky Easter Bunny song that the boys request each night year round it was off to think of where their baskets could be.

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Ta-Daaaaa! Someone saw them!

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Pure delight.
That is what their faces showed. Delight.

DSC_0531_edited-1Our Easter Bunny knows that we don’t eat a ton of sweets around here so he hooked our boys up with some surprises of their very favorite things and wishes.  Almost like a mini stocking full of what their age encompasses each year – coloring book, PJs, flip flops, stretchy bugs, playdough, little readers, superhero fans, light up bouncy balls, yadda, yadda, yadda, and yes…a transformer.  Because what says Happy Easter better than a robot?

Exactly.
Nothing.
At least not to the hearts of five and three year olds.

And so they unpacked, and squealed, and played, and admired, and commented, and traded, and traded back and stashed and saved, and spread out and well, I think you get it.  Happy as two boys who were just spoiled by a bunny that seems to have enough magic to get these baskets full and to them. Amazing.

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It was as it has been the past few years a nice little family morning, quieted by the rain but enlightened by the excitement of their spirits.  They enjoyed their Easter egg cereal, some bunny shaped breakfast concoctions of mine and were set to continue on with their treasures and day.  Knowing that we were going to be going to Nonna and Pa Pa’s shortly for our traditional Easter Brunch and what…egg hunt…for them…they were all geared up for the rest of the day.

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DSC_0586_edited-1With a break in the rain and sprinkling, the boys’ egg hunt was an almost immediate activity upon arrival at Nonna and Pa Pa’s.  After a few bites of snacks of course. As with the house at anytime of the year, or holiday for that matter, Nonna and Pa Pa’s backyard is a picturesque location for the bunny to do his best hiding.  The grass is green, the plants are full, flowers are blooming and there are plenty of nooks and crannies for stashing away those colorful finds.

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The boys were so sweet talking about helping each other and how they could doDSC_0579_edited-1 teamwork and while I thought that would surely go out the window, what do you know, it didn’t. In fact, they both gave each other several eggs when they had already found one like that (Spiderman) or thought the DSC_0569_edited-1other would like a specific color (blue in Everett’s case).  It was one of those little heart-warming sibling moments for me as they dashed about but still thought of the other.

I love that the bunny spreads out the fun and Caden and Everett get to have holiday traditions and memories at both spots.  They always have more than enough eggs to search for and yet still manage to miss a few and require a little coaching from Daddy and Pa Pa as they start to become sparse.  The past two years it has amazed me how well they literally haul around their full buckets, sometimes teetering themselves but not willing to consider an alternative.  Can’t.Slow.Down.     Must. Find.Eggs.

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DSC_0584_edited-1High and low, In and Out, their buckets were filled and their cardio workout was checked off for the day.

They came, they collected and he conquered with glee but the real treat, for the second year in a row, was a live Easter Bunny spotting.  Last year, on our evening walk just as we were approaching our driveway out he hopped from the bushes and into our neighbor’s yard cotton tail and all.  This year, just as we were hunting, Daddy spotted him creeping in the tall grass bushes.

Thinking that he was surely about to make his mad dash to keep himself secret we got the boys attention and what do you know, he hung out for a few minutes (probably trying to best plan his escape).  So the boys crept closer and closer trying to actually get a glimpse of him in his camouflaged hideout when out he came to say hello.

10012043_879832835407352_7343963627224062991_oA perfect little Easter Bunny, showing off his skills.  The boys thanked him as he hopped towards the fence and I remarked at how lucky they were that two years in a row they saw him just after he left his treats for them – what luck!

Caden watched him bound off toward the fence commenting on how much magic that little bunny must have to carry all of these things that he can barely carry and then back to a final scan of the yard and garden for any final remains of Easter fun.

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They delighted in their full buckets and as a parent it was fun to watch them get toDSC_0660_edited-1 another new age and stage where they wanted to open and investigate, “But not eat Mommy, just peek.” all of their finds.

We were able to all enjoy yet another delicious brunch DSC_0649_edited-1and even the weather a little as the rain came and went, came and went, keeping the temperature cool but fine for us to overlook as we ate.

With all of the fun an family time behind us we checked off one more event that would be a last for us as a family of four.  I really tried to soak up what this year looked like for us and how they interact together knowing that next year we will have an almost one year old among the bunch as well to give these two a little competition! With the boys getting to pick out one egg from their bucket after dinner each night, we might still be going through our eggs this time next year too!

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“Again?”

Posted by casey on March 17, 2015 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It
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After what we all thought was our annual Texas ice storm with the bonus of an DSC_0019_edited-1actual snowfall we were all prepped and ready to move on with our seasons because that is about as wintery as winter gets in Texas.

With the news outlets all abuzz with the “drama” of the weather that unfolded it was hard to take much of their predictions and scenarios seriously as we continued to look at the weather report.  With the predicted possibility of snowing we went to bed one night and woke up to this…Colorado. Bright Colorado.

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But really, it was blown up against our doors and windows, piled on the patio and in general a white winter wonderland to look at. The real beauty?  No ice.  Just 6-7inches of pure, fresh snow! What?!

DSC_0013_edited-1Colter, unlike most of the working world, made it into work for a scheduled conference that was slightly delayed and he even called saying how strange it was driving in with it being so quiet out and completely and totally covered.  So there you go.

Naturally, the boys didn’t mind much that Mommy had been in Labor & Delivery the day prior and wanted to go play in the snow. Everett in particular.  Caden who remembered that it made him cold initially chose to stay indoors and then quickly changed his mini mind after seeing us “gear up”.  Who was I to tell them we couldn’t go out again to play after the past outings when there wasn’t a spot of ice to be found?

What they discovered in another “first real snow” sort of experience is that they weren’t even cold being bundled up and running around without all of the wind and wetness that accompanies the ice.  They scooped and snow angeled and romped and ran to their heart’s content.  And then one of them turned the snow on Mommy in the drop of a well…shutter.

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Naturally I had to waddle his direction and retaliate.

This was about the time the boys were seeing how easy this snowfall was sticking together.  But not before what you can spot in the background as a little monster digging in the small snow drifts pushed up on the garage.  In true little man style, scoop and toss was his favorite game of the morning.

“Watch this big one Mommy!” “See this big one Mommy?” “I’m super strong Mommy.”

Yes dear, yes you are.

It was a fabulous morning in the snow. I took a few pictures as you can see, then promptly put my camera down inside and spent the next forty five minutes simply being present and participating in their fun, which became my fun.  While I originally told them I didn’t think we would be able to make another snow man without Daddy, we soon learned that this snow was the real deal and our snowman redemption from birthday day was about to come to us.

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For years I have been talking of how no, you really can just roll it and it sticks like in the movies.  But that never happens here…only in Ohio.  Not this year my friends, not this year.  While Caden was hoarding some snow-balls I saw how easily it was compacting and had him make me one. As soon as I sat down and started to roll, I knew our Snowman was going to happen and both boys got right to work rolling away.  Teamwork at its finest. They rolled and I patted and shaped. The result?  Two perfectly sized Caden and Everett snowmen which made for two thrilled little boys.

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I think I should call these their first official snowmen since we haven’t had one of DSC_0023_edited-1substantial size or shape built since I was pregnant with Caden. Ta-Daaaaaaa !!!!

A success indeed.  With all the usual snow activities taken care of, including Caden’s favorite, snow eating we began to wrap it up. It took a long romp before anyone wanted to go inside this day, but when they did, they were satisfied and ready for our now expected after a whopping three/four snow days hot chocolate and bunny grahams.  In we went to de-gear by the door so Thrasher could delight in eating the snow off all of our clothes, de-thaw and revel in our triumph…and then sit on the couch the rest of the day so this baby would stay put.  To which he did.  So it was a win all way around and when you turn around to witness the snowman smooch occurring, you know that you’ve done good and their hearts and memories are full.

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