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New Blessing

Posted by casey on March 21, 2011 in Friends, Home

Do you remember Shannon & Blake?  I gave you a little peek of some photos I took to show off a little baby belly on Shannon’s part in the fall in honor of their “family to be”.

Well, I Have Something Else of Theirs to Show Off to You

Let me introduce you to…
Tenley Anne Paul
Born on March 13, 2011 at 7:10 p.m.
7 lbs 19.75 inches

Just look at those eyelashes. To die for those eyelashes are.  I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon & Blake’s sweet little blessing this past weekend after giving them a few days to get settled in at home and cannot wait to spend more quality time and photo time with them all.

 
12

Four

Posted by casey on March 17, 2011 in Family, Grieving My Way, Home

As I was recently scrolling through the last few posts on the home page I found it interesting that the previous two titles involved the concept of time.  Time as in needing or wanting more of it and time meaning it was the moment we had been waiting for.  Each year as this day approaches time has a sort of haunting feeling.  It is hard not to dwell on the amount of time that has passed since my mother suddenly passed when the day looms this way.  A challenge to overcome all of the times she has missed, and the time we have spent missing her.  Most of all though it is the go-to phrase of so many who are stumbling for words with “Time heals all wounds.”  Maybe even a “It will all get easier with time.”

Time is a funny thing.  It keeps us on schedule (or tells us we are off) it wakes us up, makes us sleepy and keeps our bodies on track as to how we should be functioning.  I do not believe though that it in itself has healing powers, or the ability to make something easier.  Am I more healed now than three years ago, two years ago, one year ago? Sure. Did time do that? No. I did.  I put it the work, the reflection, the grief and the dedication to moving on…time just kept going like it always does.  Does it heal all wounds? Absolutely not.  Losing my mother is not a wound that is just going to go away, it heals with acceptance but not like a cut that goes away never to be seen again.  The marks have been left on us, our outlooks have been shifted, the mental images we had in our minds of our future had one key person cut out of them.  All of that is healing but it does not vanish as if it never happened.  You have to accept that this is a wound that isn’t just going to go away but one that will fade and become part of you like scars from the chicken pox you itched too hard, that time you slipped off the step or even a birthmark.  Time doesn’t heal all wounds, we hold the power to allow ourselves to accept and heal.

In the last few weeks I had a sweet friend ask me if days and events like Caden’s birthday felt bittersweet or sad.  I love it when my friends feel comfortable enough to ask and bring it up first of all because it is the lack of discussion about many topics in life that make them even harder.  Four years ago, I might have said yes.  Even then though, I didn’t like the term bittersweet.  My wedding was not a sad event. It was a fabulous loving party for me and my husband.  Caden’s birth and then birthday was not a sad event at all.  I think that being bittersweet means there also being sadness. I have realized that instead of thinking and feeling, “I wish she was here.” on those days which is what I believe might let in that bittersweet feeling I tend to think as I mentioned last year that , “She would have been proud.”  That is exactly what I told my friend a couple of weeks ago at Caden’s birthday party.  I know that she wouldn’t have missed his party for anything and would have been involved in all of the plans and what I was making for it.  As the day approached and the decor I had sewed was hung, the cake in place and my little man was all dressed I thought about how proud she would have been at how beautifully the party turned out and at how much love was there for me, my husband and son.

This past year has brought so many moments in which she would have been proud.  The hard parts this year are the things that time has made me forget.  Time has taken away the distinct sound of her voice and the pitch of her laugh until you hear something vaguely similar in a store or restaurant that makes you whip your head around trying to place it.  That is what time has taken.  Time has taken the smell of her until you pass a woman in the department store and it lingers by you bringing back many childhood memories of watching her dress for a party.  Time has taken the ability to recall the softness of her hands and the sound of her cry.  That is what is sad, that is what time does.  I think that is the haunting part about it because how could you possibly forget these things that are your mother.  The woman who birthed you, raised you and shaped you.  So when asked what has been the challenge this year, I think the forgetful effects of time has been it.

There have been many joys in becoming a mother and remembering her.  So many times I have begun singing a song to soothe Caden to realize I didn’t even remember knowing that song except that she sung it to me.  The more pictures I see of myself holding Caden the more I see the same pictures of her holding my brother and I.  It is hard to imagine myself four years ago and all that has changed without her being here for each member of our family.  We have all grown, changed and yes healed in time.  Not because time told us to though because we chose to.

For me now, today is my aunt’s birthday and my best friend’s birthday first and foremost.
For my son, this is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day to be silly and wear green and maybe even catch a leprechaun.
For our family, we know what today is and we acknowledge it with a fleeting focus that is more concerned with the joyous moments that this day can bring just like any other.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
Irish Blessing

 

 
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Little Leprechaun

Posted by casey on March 16, 2011 in Caden, Snapshots

 
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Time

Posted by casey on March 15, 2011 in Home, Life as I Know It

I have become a “time” person.  You know who I am talking about.  Right now you are thinking that you have no idea at all what I am talking about but just give me a minute.  Or ten.  Ten minutes. Ahhh…the things I could actually accomplish in ten minutes. Time.  See? All too often I have caught myself thinking, mumbling, saying, whining and whispering under my breath, “If I just had one more hour.”

All the things that could be done in one hour. All the things that are on your “want to do” not “need to do” list that you could finally get to in that one extra hour.  The problem is really turning your focus to those wants.  That “me” time thing is tricky when you are sitting next to a pile of laundry needs to be folded while overlooking a pile of toys laying among all the grass the dogs have brought in from inside.

So, if each day I had one more hour I know what I would do.  First, I would do something different with that hour each day to make sure I continued to look forward to instead of throwing it away with an “I got to that yesterday so I’ll keep working.” attitude.  In know particular order….my extra daily hour might look a little like this.

1. Knit.  In one hour I could make another adorable hat for an adorable baby or put in some progress on a blanket.  I don’t care if it makes me an old lady, an hour to knit is pretty close to bliss.

2. Read.  This used to be a favorite past time of mine.  Now when I do get to read it almost seems like a chore because I am forcing myself to focus on reading.  Just one chapter, you can do it!  Put me in the corner with a blanket and a book for one hour.  I feel a little more relaxed just thinking about it.

3. Write/Blog. I don’t need an hour for a post, but I could write a whole lot of posts in one hour.  All the thoughts that are up in my noggin that I haven’t been able to share with you because they aren’t relative to keeping you in the loop of the latest happenings of my small child so they get pushed behind would finally make it out of my noggin and onto this screen.

4. Nap. One hour of solitude in the comfort of my bed with the blinds closed, the covers pulled up tight and the dogs snuggled next to me on my pillow.  Yes, the dogs, not my husband.  I said nap. Not go to bed.  I might even go up to a guest room for an even quieter uninterrupted nap.

5. Bake.  No, I don’t necessarily need to eat the baked goods I would make in this hour but I sure do enjoy baking.  Maybe it would benefit you.  I get an hour to bake, you get delicious treats to snack on.  We all win with this hour.

6. Make Phone Calls.  I’m not good at the phone.  However I have quite a few friends and family members that are out of town.  Plus, having my little bambino makes it a little more difficult to see friends here quite as often as I used to so sometimes phone dates are a necessary catch up/check in.  One hour to say hi, make sure they know they are thought about and I’m sure there would be some venting on both sides.

7. Write letters.  I love sending notes and cards via snail mail.  I believe it all started back when I had to send things snail mail to keep in touch with friends we had moved away from as a child.  Time to just sit and think about what I would like to say to a friend or loved one without expecting a response via email in 2.3 minutes.  Words that I mean and they would appreciate.

8. Just Be.  Stretch…yoga…sit and reflect.  Time to just be still, and calm and embrace how happy and fortunate I am.

Oh crap.  That was 8.  Now I need a whole extra day with a whole extra hour in it.
Who am I kidding, if I had an extra hour I am sure I would find another dish to wash, another load of laundry to start and a few more drawers that needed to be reorganized.

What would you do if you had an extra hour?

 
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The View of One Year

Posted by casey on March 9, 2011 in Caden, Snapshots

Me oh my, how much things can change in one year.

 

 
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The Big Birthday Extravaganza

Posted by casey on March 8, 2011 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family

A little over a week later, I think all residents of the Kazmann household and the house have fully recovered from Caden’s birthday extravaganza weekend.  What a weekend it was too!  We had been mulling over what to do for his birthday for awhile and finally decided that so many of our dear friends in addition to our family have already played such an active role in his life that a big bash was indeed fitting and a bit more fun for us too.  With years of pirate parties, Toy Story parties and the like ahead of us a color themed (blue, orange, green & yellow) fiesta was organized and worked on by yours truly in honor of our baby boy’s big day and us surviving our first year of parenthood.

I personally don’t feel that we just survived our first year of parenthood, I believe that we have thrived.  Just as everyone says, it is so difficult to grasp the truth that an entire year has gone by since we first laid eyes on Caden.  Many people when looking through the timeline of pictures we had of our son at the party asked which way we remember him most.  When someone asks about my son or brings him up in coversation the mental picture I first go to is of those first moments in the hospital.  Those sweet moments when I was so proud that he was here and so engulfed in his loving snuggles.  He has gone from a tiny sleeping barely made a peep miracle, to a squirmy, talking, opinionated big boy of a miracle!

I have to say that he was quite the party animal.  With 40 plus guests in attendance and 8 kids three and under, it was a party without a doubt and he didn’t mind a bit.  Caden played with all of his cousins and friends without caring that they were using his toys, or in his space.  He seemed quite content with some companions that were a bit more appropriate for him than the dogs!  After playing and playing and playing he would get passed from friend (or auntie and uncle as we call our friends too) to friend.

I think you can tell from looking at the pictures that Caden isn’t loved at all.  Not one bit. Poor kiddo.  I wish he had more people to love on him and give him attention!

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends who make fantastic aunties and uncles to our son.  Friends who jumped at the chance to spend their Saturday afternoon with us celebrating a one year old instead of rolling their eyes and dragging their feet to get here.  Friends and family who drove in from the far side of Ft. Worth, Austin and so far in McKinney it might as well be Oklahoma just to sing Happy Birthday to Caden.  Okay…and have some food and beer too.  I’ll be honest, we bribed with booze.   I think they would have come without it though.  We have the greatest group of friends who all mesh together and treat every get together as the mini reunion that it is.  It is always so fun to catch up and the best part is, everyone is so comfortable they take care of themselves!  There were childhood friends, college friends, work friends…everyone came.  It was wonderful.

So wonderful that Caden was spoiled enough that he might not ever need another birthday party. (Yeah right).  He received his first golf clubs, his first car, his first hard hat, life jacket etc. etc. etc.  Since that day he has been in car and sports ball heaven chasing them all around the house and yard.  With new books to chew on..I mean read he is more than set.  I found it precious that in an area that could be very simple to go to the toy aisle and just “grab something” our gift givers really thought about it.  The gifts came from things that would relate to them and in turn help us entertain our little boy!

So there was socializing, and eating and playing and then of course, there was cake.  I had no idea what Caden would do about a cake since he has never had anything sweet or sugary and I didn’t even really care if he just stared at it.  I was a little unsure of how he would do with everyone singing to him and then staring at him but since he hadn’t minded all the fuss over him up until the cake point things were looking good! You tell me how you think he did…

Not too shabby my son!  We got a few messy pictures, he got a brief sugar high and all ended well with his first cake experience.  I hope he enjoyed it since he won’t be getting anymore until next year!  It is a good thing too because I don’t think I can take on another party until a year goes by.  The decoration sewing, birthday boy outfit planning, food making, house preparing led to a very full weekend of the official birthday party, dinner at Nonna and Pa Pa’s, birthday brunch on Sunday, his real birthday and even a brief road trip to Bridgeport. 

In true birthday style, Caden starting recieveing gifts all the way from Florida (thanks Pop) and Arizona (thanks Jordy) the week before his birthday and even got some from California (thanks Bri) the week after.  Now that is how I celebrate – spread it out! We have enough memories and pictures from the event to remember this for a lifetime.  I hope you enjoy looking back through the pictures too!

Happy Birthday to Caden

(An actual “one year” reflection is up next – Here is to the party!)

 
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The Morning After

Posted by casey on March 2, 2011 in Caden, Contests & Giveaways, Family, Snapshots

I Give You….Caden’s Birthday Morning
The Morning After His Party

Someone Partied Too Hard
That Didn’t Stop Him From Being Adorable in His Birthday Space Jams Though!
(The full one year reflection and birthday post is in the works…patience.)

 

Congratulations to Michelle D. for winning our “Ode to Snacks” Giveaway!
Some of the recipes for my favorite snacks (and yours) will be coming soon. Get your tummies ready.

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