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Better Be Quick

Posted by casey on April 9, 2014 in Caden, Everett, Family, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!, Snapshots

It has been boring around here lately, because we have been busy living life.  Taking walks, digging holes, spring sprucing, family outings, park playing galore. Busy boys, busy life, full of fun…and exhaustion.

In life right now, you better be quick to keep up with our boys.
This was evident as always during our recent quicky trip to Houston for our nephew’s 3rd birthday.  We might as well have two sets of twins when you combine their ages and switch them around, and you better be quick to try to get all four Houston cousins in one frame.

One sassy almost two year old girl, one concerned about his Batman face-painting  two and a half year old boy, one donut stuffed mouth filled newly anointed three year old boy, and one worried about the plastic attached to his balloon four year old.

Cheese!

 
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Joy

Posted by casey on September 18, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!, Snapshots

The Joy in Boys

The Joy in Cousins

The Joy in Children
So fun, so full, and so free.

 
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Road Trippin’

Posted by casey on September 12, 2013 in Escaping Home, Family, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

Confession.
Colter and I pretty much despise traveling with the kids.
We avoid it pretty much constantly.

Nephew Locke and Niece McKee

At their age it just isn’t particularly enjoyable.  Yes, they need the experience, and yes we need to do it so we know we can (like me taking them to Florida alone) but we do not have kids that travel particularly well or easily. Some people say they do which may be true, or they may be liars. :)  It took such a long time before we could even really leave our house semi-pleasantly with Everett that risking sleep is something we are still a bit hesitant on. Almost two years later.  Then again he didn’t start taking naps or sleeping predictably at night until he was 19 months.  Caden LOVES his room and his bed.  LOVES it.  So, when he goes anywhere he is fine until bedtime when he whimpers with the most concerned face you have ever seen, “I’m ready to go home now Mommy.  I’m ready to get in my bed.”  It’s sad.

Everett’s allergy and eating challenges make it tricky and unless we are somewhere with a kitchen or refrigerator of our own it is pretty much impossible since he can’t eat anything at restaurants.  So, we don’t travel with them often.

My furry nephew Toby. They need portraits too.

One day, when we can tell them to shut it, read their books, and eat what we put in front of them without much real misunderstanding on their part we will and we will all enjoy it and remember it.  Right now, man, it is hard.

Miss McKee

I have deterred.

We went on a road trip.
The extent of our traveling with them.
To Houston.

Super exciting right??!!  But it was.  We hadn’t seen Colter’s middle brother in awhile and we hadn’t taken the boys down there since Caden was like 8 months old or something.  Yes, we have seen them many times since then but since we are the lucky pair that has Nonna & Pa Pa in town they come to us often.

So, knowing that our kids play so well together we decided Labor Day was the perfect time to go down for a visit, snuggle our niece and nephew, let the kids romp around and maybe, just maybe drink a beer together while watching the Aggies kick off their football season. 

Overall?  Success.  The boys didn’t sleep much, which we knew would happen.  We crept out of the house in the mornings in our PJs while it was still pitch black outside to head to Starbucks so as not to wake the rest of the house.  All weekend the kids played, watched each other and giggled and Caden being the oldest (never happens) means he was teaching everyone all kinds of tricks they didn’t need to know such as, turn the shopping cart over and turn it into a “riding lawnmower” or stand on the coffee table trunk and jump to the couch.  Awesome.

It was SO nice to watch their bond with each other and with Uncle Asher and Auntie Meghan grow.  They are still talking about our trip and Everett asks to call or picks up his pretend phone to call Auntie himself daily.  What is interesting for us is that they actually have family resemblances.  My boys don’t look like most of their cousins, but Locke and McKee, you can see it.   How about his?

Twinkies!

Locke will be three in March and McKee will be two in May. So they are each within a year almost of our boys.  It is a really great age spread for all of them to “hang out”.

Growing up I didn’t get to see my cousins much as we moved around so I have said it before and I will say it again that I LOVE that my boys have the opportunity to truly grow up with their cousins the whole clan of them.  It is so much fun for us to be on the parent side of this relationship now and to get to know our nieces and nephews while they are getting to know their cousins too.  They are all starting to get old enough to remember each other and respond to their personalities which is a great dynamic in this group.  Locke reminds me SO much of Caden at that age, a little more observant, a little quieter and full of so much sweetness.

Locke and McKee love their parents so much and I love seeing them in that role.  It isjust a pleasure to be around each other and Caden and Everett must think so too they way they chat about their cousins.  They think we are going to get in the car and see them all the time now.

Our boys fought, their kids watched, all the kids played, McKee wanted held, all the kids ate, naps were had, football was watched, coffee was injected…I mean drank, our boys taught, McKee and Locke learned, giggles were heard, cries were ignored…I mean tended to, forklifts were climbed on, portraits were taken, etsy was browsed, races were held, bats were swung, dolls were cuddled,beers were injested and conversation was had.

The boys passed out in the car as soon as we left which I take as a sign of too much fun being had.  Caden even told me that.  “Mommy, I just had too much fun, I’m SOOOOOO tired.”

If only they knew how much we hate to “travel”. Ha!
It was so worth the drive and the weekend away to spend time with sweet family.

We did it Houston!

What Four Under Four Looks Like in a Picture

 
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Giggles & Love

Posted by casey on August 17, 2013 in Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

Now that it feels like summer just might be coming to an end – back to school supplies is in abundance, fall temperatures have given us a tease this weekend and the summer activities are losing their allure, I am working to catch up on our summer fun. Two weeks ago the boys’ cousins came for their annual summer visit from California. It is an event we all look forward to for many reasons including picture perfect moments like this one.

Cate, Caden & Caroline

Additionally, my mother in law gets to spend rare time with her daughter which I know she looks forward to and cherishes.  Even so, she always includes me and lets me and the boys join in on all their fun throughout their time in Texas.  The boys love it when they are coming and talk about Caroline and Cate for weeks. It is such a special time because –
A. They shower the boys with attention. I mean shower.
B. The boys love them because they shower them with attention.
C. Each year the cousin relationship and Auntie relationships grow closer which is so heartwarming to watch and experience.
D. I get girl time with my sister in law and mother in law, which as a whole for me is equivalent to your standard mother daughter time.  A rare treat for all of us!

Caroline will be going into 4th grade already, 4th grade!  It is amazing to watch her become her own person who writes me snail mail letters which I LOVE, so cute, and so like I did.  I even recently received my first phone call from Caroline so that we could chat.  It brings joy to my heart knowing that I am on her list of people that she wants to write to, talk to and visit.  Miss Cate is ready to start her own adventure as she starts Kindergarten this year and all of the teachers better watch out because her love for little ones just might line her up for wanting to be a teacher herself.  It is always such a pleasure to reunite and visit and the boys getting to know and spend time with their cousins, as you can tell fills them with giggles, memories and love.

 
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Americana in a Snapshot or Twenty

Posted by casey on July 25, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Family, Life as I Know It, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

I thought I would start of getting back from our out of town travels by catching up and wrapping up our wonderful, fun and family filled 4th of July with a picture summary and let you fill in the words.

Let’s see.

Oh yes, we started off with a red-wagon ride, a parade and a fire truck sighting.  All-American? I think so.

There were sno-cones,

And swimming with Pa-Pa.
Gold Star Earned Right There

And Swimming with Hannah
No Gold Stars Earned There.

Bicycle Rides with Cousins and Uncle

Family Snuggles

Bubbles, Baseball and Frisbees.

And Watermelon.  Oh the Watermelon.

Red, White & Blue, Sun, Water, BBQ, Outdoor Play, Family, Naps, Dirt, Parades.
4th of July Love.

 
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Little Miss

Posted by casey on May 31, 2013 in Family, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

This little miss, my precious niece McKee turned ONE today!

I’m full of grins since I got to snuggle this lovebug last weekend when they came up to Dallas and give her some extra birthday love while capturing a few shots of the birthday girl in all her blue eyed, curly haired, gap-tooth grin glory.  Love.

Happy Birthday McKee Rose, the current youngest of my nine nieces and nephews and now a whole year old herself!

 
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Easter Change Up

Posted by casey on March 30, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Family, Holiday Fun, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

Last weekend we were able to make a long overdue visit to Oklahoma McKinney to see my brother, Jess and the kiddos.  Everytime I drive out there from our house I think it is going to be shorter…50 minutes every time.  Originally we were going to join them for an Easter egg hunt in their neighborhood and other festivities. As most of you know the weather had other plans in mind for all of the cities’ community and neighborhood hunts scheduled then – canceled!

A. It was FREEZING!
B. It was entirely too windy.
C. It rained.

While the hunt may have been canceled, (which was a shame, but the boys would have been miserable doing it in the cold anyway) we still made the drive up there to get a visit in and let the kids play. Just a little change up in action.

The neighborhood was nice enough to still do the donut breakfast and Easter Bunny visit in the clubhouse they had planned.  Cathryn and Cameron went right up to the bunny and took an adorable picture.  Caden…ran the other direction and hid in the corner most of the time terrified we were going to force him onto this giant bunny who was for some reason waving at him.  Creeped out was an understatement.  I thought there might be hope for a silly bunny picture when Everett kept giggling and waving to the bunny as he scooted closer and closer.

Want to know what happened when it was his turn?  Remember this?  Yeah that…but before I had even sat him down.  As soon as he realized he was going to actually be placed on the bunny he dug his hands into my arms hard, started shaking and screaming. Ha!  I mean, it is pretty creepy.  So he spent the rest of the short visit happily waving and pointing to the bunny even after his minor meltdown from a distance he felt was safe enough.

While I may not have gotten a picture of them on a human costumed bunny, we did do an impromptu shove all the kids in a flowerbed “photoshoot” of the cousins since it is so hard to get them together and they are growing so fast.

Two kids look & two look away, one looks back while the rest look away, two kids look & two wander off….it went a little like that. Cathryn smiled the whole time which I thought was amazing and then it was pointed outthat she is the oldest…and will be 5 this summer.  Go figure, the oldest followed directions! It always strikes me how much our kids don’t look like.  You would never guess that my casper blonde haired blue eyed babies are related to Cathryn & Cameron with their always tanned skin, big deep brown eyes and dark hair. Such a contrast in appearance, but as is the case with all of our boys’ cousins.

All in all it was a fun day to add to all of our Easter prep festivities, the boys & us enjoyed the visit and we got some great pictures to document their ages on top of it all. Success! Now hopefully the weather won’t keep the real bunny from hiding some eggs outside tomorrow! Happy Easter Weekend!

 
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Introducing #9

Posted by casey on September 7, 2011 in Family, Home, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

On August 26th
Caden’s 9th Cousin Was Born

Kaylie Brooklyn Kazmann
7 lbs 3 ounces
Proud Parents ~ Jordan and Maddie

This past weekend my camera and I went to meet her.
She is the first girl out of Colter and his two brothers.

Kaylie has two protective older brothers.
(JP is almost 4 and Braiden is almost 2 1/2.)

Not only is she my newest niece.
This weekend she became my Goddaughter!

That’s right…I now get to be a Fairy Godmother and you can just refer to Colter as “The Godfather” from now on.

Kaylie joins Caroline, Cate, Cathryn, Cameron, JP, Braiden and Locke in Caden’s list of cousins.

He is such a lucky boy!

 
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Very Merry Indeed

Posted by casey on December 30, 2010 in Caden, Family, Home, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

An exciting, family filled, loving, memorable Christmas was had by all and I am tired.  Am I supposed to admit that?  I think  I am still finding flour from baking in strange places too.   Pockets…socks…you know, perfectly normal right?

I remember last year’s Christmas like it just happened; there I was waddling around thinking about how the little man who was having a party inside my tummy would be partying with us the following Christmas.  Boy was I right. Party,party party!  Since the decor went up after Thanksgiving I have been so looking forward to Caden’s first Christmas.  Not looking forward to it in the sense that he would remember it etc. – because he won’t, but looking forward to having a little family of my own to celebrate with.  He may not remember his first Christmas, but we will.  Christmas is truly magical with kids around, even when they are too young to understand or grasp the whole idea.  Magical.  Fortunately we not only had Caden, but his Cousins too: Cathryn, JP and Braiden were all in town with us!

In my completely biased opinion, Caden was the perfect age for his first Christmas. Old enough to love the lights, want to torment the tree, laugh at the music (Jingle Bells in particular)and snuggle his very own Rudolph but young enough to still let us dress him in ridiculous holiday get-ups and cuddle us to sleep.  You know, the important stuff. :)

Caden was spoiled by all (and we were too) and I can honestly say he has been using every contraption (which he unwrapped like a pro) that is causing our living room to look like Toys R’ Us with the excitement of well…a kid who has new toys.  Funny how he is already bored with the old “junk”.

Dana hosted a beautiful Christmas Eve dinner complete with Cinnamon Corn Casseroleas I mentioned on the 12 Days of Treats and Eats.  Christmas Eve is where we get to spend time with my side of the family and Caden loved watching Cousin Cathryn run around.  I can already sense the trouble they will get into once he is off and really running!  I know that my Dad, Jill and Grandma thoroughly enjoyed having kiddos around at Christmas again too.  We had a real treat on Christmas Day with all the the Kazmann brothers in town!

Nonna and Pa Pa loved on our sweet boy and his cousins and showered him with all the necessary essentials a boy of ten months should have! We are so fortunate to be loved by so many and to have all of them want to love on us and Caden as well.

It is hard to believe that a baby boy who wasn’t even present Christmas was very much the center this year.  As we weaved our way through the shreds of wrapping paper of stacks of boxes we realized that our holidays have forever changed and even with the impossible to get out of the box toys (we aren’t talking silly twist ties anymore people) we are grateful for all of our family and friends who made this Christmas so wonderful!

Now…if only I could find my way to the bed without stepping on a block or a car or a cookie monster doll or a….I think you get the idea.

 
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Cousin to the 6th Power

Posted by casey on November 24, 2010 in Family, Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

Today, Caden was lucky enough to gain his sixth cousin.  Count it, six!
Caroline (6), JP (3), Cate (2.5), Cathryn (2), Braiden (1.5)

And Now Introducing….

Cameron Michael Orr
5 lbs 10 oz

He was welcomed by his wonderful parents and a very proud big sister Cathryn.  My newest nephew is named after his two grandfathers, and although he arrived a few weeks early and is just a smidge smaller than his big sister was, he is a healthy and currently hairy little man! Congrats to Drew and Jess, we are thankful for our newest family member.

 

 

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