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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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I’ll Go

Posted by casey on May 28, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Snapshots

Wherever you go,

I’ll go with you.

 
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Weekly Graces {20}

Posted by casey on May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized, Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Week 20

May 17th to May 23rd

1. Much needed treat of a massage.
2. Kid -free errands (always gets listed when it occurs)
3. Impromptu library stop just in time for storytime!


4. Successful garage sale. Junk out, money made, entertained kids, only a few hours spent.
5. Projects.
6. The beautiful wedding if my longtime friend Allison & a reception Colter and I actually got to stay at!


7. Morning yoga.
8. Downtime. Totally relative, but anything slightly less chaotic or busy =downtime. 9. A productive yet restful weekend that refreshed us, made us feel accomplished and let us enjoy too!


10. A happy bride with her photos.
11. Two toddlers enjoying our business & fun errands and getting extra outside time.


12. Reading to the boys both snuggled on my lap.
13. Finishing touches.
14. Caden being such a helper & task oriented kid.
15. Candlelight.


16. The smell of freshly ground coffee.
17. Banana chips from Sprouts, my new, most favorite addiction.
18. Early arrival home from the husband, just in time for my cold to knock me out.
19. A seated snack time.
20. Homemade juice with lots of fresh fruits & veggies (carrots, celery, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, oranges, apples) Delicious, healthy and the perfect “get over this cold” boost.
21. Choosing rest over exercise.  Sometimes it is the healthier choice.

Share your weekly graces at www.jordylizblogs.com

 
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In the Random

Posted by casey on May 23, 2013 in Writing Nook

It has been quite awhile since I have been able to join in on Mama Kat’s writing workshop.  Each week I see the prompts and while many of them I could write and write and write on, the issue arises of time to actually sit and do that without a lil’ monster crawling up my leg or most recently, a working computer to even do so.

Then this week I saw one that was perfect for the time criteria.  Six Random facts about yourself.  Bullets.  Six bullets.  I can find time for that right?

1. I’m scared of storms. Okay, I’m terrified of storms. Like I may or may not cry. Okay fine, I cry. Or I jump in my sleep and hide under the blankets with the dogs. Yes, my toddlers sleep through them while I shake.

The only time I’m not afraid is if they are during the day & I’m with the boys making it no big deal, just rain, which is what it is, but I can’t seem to remember that on my own. I blame it on watching Wizard of Oz Every.Single.Day when I came home from Kindergarten.


2. Here is a question we get daily – Where did Everett get his curls? From me. I had light, light, light blonde ringlets as a kiddo. Then when mousy brown became the “in” thing, I was fortunate enough to have hair that changed to that as an older kid/teen. Wait, mousy brown was never “in”? What?  God bless highlights to get me through and hair that is now dark brown on its own! (Yes, both boys also got their giant, pumpkin head from me too – I will say it before you can.)


3.Unlike most of our friends, Our family didn’t have a dog (or furry pet of any sort) growing up or cable TV until I was in high school! Both were a bribe for moving us kids yet again. “Why do we need all those channels?” via our parents quickly turned into “Look at all these channels we have been missing!” So deprived I know. :)
4. Soda, Pop, or Cokes, whatever you call them have not been in my life since I was fifteen. Thanks to a challenge by our swim coach I happily stopped drinking them & never started again regularly. Now, the only time I have one is if it includes Whiskey, Vodka…you get the idea.   So, if you come to our house and ask what we have to drink, the answer usually goes to ‘Well, we have water, and ummm, water.”

Disclaimer In Case You Are Coming to Visit: We will get a few small packs of a few varieties to keep in our garage for when guests are here but most of the time they aren’t anywhere in sight.
5. I’m terrible at laundry. Terrible. I have no idea what temperature to wash things at, my stain removal consists of spraying Shout & praying, and I’m known to leave clothes in the dryer until they are wrinkled like crumpled paper. I’ve gotten better over the years, but not by much.  It is one of the things on my resolution list each year to figure out properly. I blame my mom, who also never taught me how to properly iron because she hated ironing. Genetics, it will get you.  Laundry care is genetic after all right?


6. My Dad has called me Missy as long as I can remember. I’m not sure, but he might think that’s my name, he did miss my birth. I kid. Well, about him thinking its my name, he did miss my birth but that is another story entirely, not that I am holding it over his head or anything. Really though, I can probably count on my hands the number of times he has called me Casey in my almost 29 years. Missy, it has always been and is always Missy.

 

So there you go, now you know me.
Oh, now you just know six random, non-important things about me.
Oh well, at least I fit the prompt!

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

 
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A Ceremony {Melissa & Leromie}

Posted by casey on May 20, 2013 in Snapshots

Last week, I had the pleasure of capturing Melissa & Leromie’s wedding in McKinney and in all fabulous weddings and ceremonies, there are the big moments.  The ones you cross of the checklist.  I couldn’t help but take joy in some of the smaller moments that those in attendance may get a glimpse of but to share with others are sometimes missed.  How could I not give you a little peek at what was a absolutely beautiful day with a fun, relaxed and truly sweet couple and some of those very moments. So, let’s see, oh yes, there was a bride…

And a Groom.

There was a dress, with details and family to help.

A peek.

There was final fluffing and laughing.

There was a peek in the garden.

There was a look…

And a yawn…

A moment with a proud grandfather,

And an affirming hold.

There was a prayer…

a vow to walk hand in hand…

And oh yes, a kiss.

We can’t forget the kiss right?

It was a wonderful celebration and sharing a few from just the ceremony is only a fraction of the fun that was had by all.  Congratulations to Melissa & Leromie, may your years ahead be filled with adventure, affection and much laughter!

 
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Just for Mama

Posted by casey on May 17, 2013 in Family, Life as I Know It

On February 27, 2010 I became a celebratee not just a celebrator of a holiday just for me, Mother’s Day.  On November 2, 2011 (yes…that is a baby in 2010 and a baby in 2011) I doubled my reason to be celebrated.  Caden and Everett.   They are my boys and I am their Mama. 

Mother’s Day

I am fortunate for many things but having the opportunity to experience the joys & challenges, triumphs & frustrations, sweetness & terrors, love filled & lonely, exhilarating & exhausting moments of motherhood is something that I am very proud of. 

Even though I am exhausted at all times, wore my husband’s Crocs out in public this week without noticing until I got home and may have cried today just because I desperately needed two milliseconds to take a breath and relish in a moment of peace and no child of mine was going to give in to such a request or desire.  Even then…I think.

Side Note: If you are wondering where Everett was and why I wasn’t taking pictures with both boys it isn’t because I love Caden so much more that I refused to take a picture with him, it was because he was too busy doing this.

“Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I won’t take a picture with you but I will sit on your flowers and make it look like I am pooping for you. I love you!”

I mean, what is he doing?  What is he doing!!??  That kid. Hilarious, hot mess.
This was pretty much the only picture of him we have from Mother’s Day since he wasn’t going to agree to anything other than this look right here.

This Mother’s Day I woke up exhausted from photographing a wedding the night

The biggest cheese face he could make, while yelling “CHEESE!”

before, but noticed my husband had snuck out of the room which he usually does not do.  I could hear the giggles of Caden out in the living room which meant not only had he snuck out but he had turned the monitors off and kept the lil one that was awake quiet and occupied while the other lil one was still sleeping…and so was I.  Brownie Points #1.  I walked out to see Caden occupied with a box of crayons, putting the final touches on his Mother’s Day Card.  Brownie Points #2

Skittering my way, he grins up on me and proudly greets me with “Happy Mother’s Day Mommy, I love you, I made this card for you!”

Brownie Points #3

Reading a card, Elmo of course, decorated for me by my very own reason I get to be celebrated.  Pretty good.  Better?  Surprise gifts.  We usually don’t do gifts. We just don’t.  It started a long time ago and it stuck.  Now with the kids and less time for “just us” I think we have both started trying to surprise the other more often and he did just that. 

That being said, it was my husband’s declaration that I have become a coffee

Happy Mother’s Day Nonna

snob far too early in life because I have been yapping about how awful and bitter and repulsive the coffee I have been drinking is for awhile.  Turns out, it paid off.  A new coffee been grinder, Capresso air coffee presser, mugs and fresh delicious smelling coffee beans were all wrapped for me waiting to be put to use.

Well done.

I was gifted a MIsto Box subscription (Shark Tank anyone?) that will be coming soon to continue to taste and enjoy new, fresh, flavorful coffees that hopefully won’t warrant too much whining on my end as has been done in the past.  He done did good that husband of mine.  He surprised me, he picked something I had been moaning about which means he was tired of listening to the complaining instead of tuning it out and he was thoughtful.  Brownie Points # 4 and 5

I was set and the day had just begun.
There really is something about knowing that you were thought of and thought for and usually his sweet cards of encouraging and thankful words are enough, but this year it was just what I needed to go along with it and to feel a little more loved, appreciated and thought of.

We bustled about getting the boys up, fed and wrangled into their fancy clothes.  Okay, that is a lie – at least for Caden.  He doesn’t mind getting dressed and dressed up. While watching Colter get dressed he turned around to see him in his suit and said “Oh Daddy, you just look SO handsome!”  Adorable.  With fancy little men, diaper bag and purses full of entertainment and a sparkly Mama (as the boys named me and my skirt) we headed to the Dallas Petroleum Club for an annual Mother’s Day Celebration with Colter’s parents.

A beautiful, elaborate and decadent brunch is put on in various timed seatings, this year boasting with 1,000 reservations in total throughout the sittings!  This year we were quite busy with the boys.  Last year we really only had to occupy Caden, who loves to eat so he does fine, while trading off holding a “baby” Everett who was fussy.  This year we had to wrangle Caden who again, loves to eat still, but gets bored a little quicker these days and Everett who much preferred to try skydiving from his high chair, play how fast can we empty Mommy’s purse and pass me the China plate or I am going to grab it anyway and eat your food even though I am allergic.  Tired?  Colter’s poor parents didn’t get to relax and enjoy much this year as we were up and down and around and in and out a little more than usual. 

Age and stage right?  It was still beautiful and a nice celebration to take a little time out for us.  We snapped a quick “we were here” picture to commemorate the event and then took a “real life” photo of what getting a family picture of the four of us is really like these days.

Top the day off with a nap – rare and lovely, and I would call that a Mother’s Day of love.  A day where I appreciate the other women, friends and moms in my life going through similar experiences.  A day to remember all that my mom gave me and our family and the things I recall from her every day as I mother my own.

And then we went back to tantrums, injuries, messes and sibling fights.
It is only one day of celebration isn’t it? 

 
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Weekly Graces: {18 and 19}

Posted by casey on May 17, 2013 in Uncategorized, Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Week 18

May 3rd – May 9th

I am blaming my computer woes for not posting last week’s graces. 

Even now as I sit at this old desktop the internet could shut down & the whole computer close up shop at any moment.  Hold your breath with me.
(but if this posts incomplete…stop holding it because that means I’m not coming back on this computer.)

So, lucky you, you get a two-fer, you know, a two in one grace post.  Consider it my weekend gift to you – just what you were hoping for – you’re welcome.

1. Clean house thanks to a late cleaning burst.
2. Knowing I have a partner in parenting crime for the next couple days so I don’t have to be the bad guy alone!
3. Time to catch up on our shows.
4. Bouncy castles, balloon animals and face painting-entertainment for children at its finest.


5. New summer chalkboard art inside on our displays.
6. Cinco de Mayo fun and watching six boys in the same age range run around together.
7. Out to eat breakfast.
8. Lengthy Home Depot trip.
9. Choosing a grilled chicken sandwich over a hamburger and it being more delicious anyway!
10. DVD players in my car…one of the many things I said my kids would never have, use, or be privileged to. Ha!
11. Backyard water fun.
12.The very first moment I crawl into bed.
13. Kicking off teacher appreciation week with some sweet treats for Caden’s teachers.
14. Fresh flowers and new mats in the kitchen.
15. The safe arrival of Colter’s mom for her first visit to the states in almost 4 years!16. Breakfast with Grandma Lili, Luis & the boys.
17. Great park outing.
18. Coffee, cross ain’t & computer in silence while Caden painted & E napped.
19. Fun, cheap summer finds at Target.


20. Finishing off Caden’s teacher appreciation week of gifts with a proud delivery.
21. Preschool mother’s day gifts

 

Week 19
May 10th – May 16th 

1. Laughter.
2. Clean sheets.
3. Growing garage sale pile.
4. Family Sprouts trip.
5. Great park outing.
6. Beautiful weather for shooting a wedding!
7. Waking up to surprises. Well done hubs.
8. Mini creme brûlées
9. Afternoon nap.
10. Snack cups.
11. Caden marking off the grocery list.
12. The park.
13. Yardwork with Everett & the dogs on a beautiful morning.


14. Jury duty stories courtesy of my husband.
15. Pledge sisters who also happen to be dentists answering late night emails about Caden’s knocked loose front teeth even though we haven’t spoken in years. Delta love.


16. Dentist Report: No cracked teeth or roots!!! Just quite loose and bruised.
17. Deep breaths and Prayer. Ultimate survival tool for tantrums, meltdowns and whiny days.
18. Hands on husband and Daddy for the boys.
19. Calm rainy morning.


20. Play date with Amber & Banner giving plenty of mom talk, friend talk and kid play time.
21. Working Internet…kind of.

Join us at www.jordylizblogs.com 

 
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Kah-Put

Posted by casey on May 14, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It

My laptop is kah-put.
as in broken

I have attempted to set up a new computer workstation in the house (pics to come) with our old desktop that I haven’t been able to actually sit at in its previous location because of two little ones running around keeping me from that room.  The desktop is working.  It may be outdated and slow but it is working and actually connecting to the internet.  The problem?  Those two little ones now want to climb all over it in the new location.  One day I will be back.

One day I will share Italy with you.
One day I will sit at the computer and write to myself, to them and to you.

One day!
Until then, you may recieve what once was an email from you in finger painting format via snail mail as we are staying very, very, VERY busy these days.

 
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You’ll Be

Posted by casey on May 12, 2013 in Caden, Everett

I’ll love you forever

I’ll like you for always

As long as you’re living (and beyond)

My Babies You’ll Be.

Happy Mother’s Day to myself, a very lucky lady indeed.

 
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Appreciation

Posted by casey on May 9, 2013 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles

Once a teacher always a teacher right?

I try to show Caden’s teachers appreciation as much and often as I can and am given the opoortunity to because what is more important than encouraging the other adults in the lives of your children who influence them?  I especially keep this in mind at such a young age when these first school experiences shape a lot of their attitude and expectation of what school and a “good teacher” means.  Since I already have their end of the year gifts prepped for next week, his last week of the school year, we went low key and practical for teacher appreciation week.

A plate of yummy fresh cookies for helping Caden become “one smart cookie” was delivered on Tuesday on a floral plate that was so adorable I had a difficult time giving it up.  Today, Caden was VERY proud to take them their plants that he helped prepare for gifting day for helping him “grow” this year.  Small, simple, practical treasures to show them love and teach Caden that we thank those around us for all they do.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and joy.”
Albert Einstein

 How To?: Buy ceramic pots in your choice of size.  Pencil on the shape of the label you wish, paint in with chalkboard paint. Ta-daaaa!!! (You can purchase sticky “chalkboard labels” from craft supplies stores, but I think this is more cost effective because I have been using the same can of chalkboard paint for project after project.”)  Plant your herb or flower of choice, label and deliver with a piece of fresh chalk for future labeling.  I printed out the above “sign” and attached it to a skewer in the pot like a typical floral card for extra personalization.

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