Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating last weekend with Devon's family in Ashland, Christmas Eve with my extended family and Christmas Day with my immediate family. The girls cleaned up on gifts as did Devon and I.

With my extended family, the kids exchange names for gifts, but they also receive gifts from my aunts and cousins. I thought Cami would be very gracious because she had been awesome the Saturday before with Devon's family, enjoying the gifts she opened and enjoying watching others open theirs. However, after one of the first gifts she opened (an incredibly cute puffy vest with a shirt to go underneath), it was not "Thank you" that came out of her mouth, but "I didn't want new CLOTHES!" Oh, to experience being unable to keep your child from saying what you don't want them to say. (Did you get that?) After a couple more not so gracious comments, she was sent to time-out for a bit, to come back in a much better mood and enjoy the Christmas festivities AND all the gifts she received.

Oddly enough, Rory didn't have much interest in opening the gifts until she caught a glimpse of what was under the paper. Her favorite toy by far...Handy Manny's Talking Toolbox. It kept her attention FAR longer than I've ever seen a 20-month-old's attention captured.

Christmas morning began with the traditional playing of Rich Mullin's, "You Gotta Get Up", followed by several hours of present-opening, a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs & pancakes cooked on Devon's new griddle and relaxing and playing games.

Here are a few pictures...


Trying to get a picture of Cami in her Christmas dress



Rory in her Christmas dress




Cami loved her princess dress-up clothes and modeled each of them within 10 minutes.




Rory's other favorite gift...Elmo Live!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Few Pictures...

I've obviously been really bad about blogging lately and I still don't have a lot to say at the moment, but here are some pictures.

Thanksgiving in Iowa...


Cami "driving" the RV...


Rory channeling Harry Potter...


Cami's awesome gingerbread house...


The girls in front of our tree...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Halloween

The girls had a great time dressing up as Jasmine & a tiger! We trick-or-treated at Hy-Vee, at Devon's family in Ashland, the fire station near our house, then ended up at our friends, the Rau's, where Cami got to help pass out candy to other kids in the neighborhood.





Rory didn't really like wearing the hood as you can see.

Election Day

Finally, Election Day is here! I'm not what you would call a politically savvy woman. I do try to be as informed as I need to be on the candidates and issues of which I am voting, but I admit, most of my political knowledge comes from "The West Wing" (the TV show, not the actual area in the White House). However, I love voting! I'm incredibly grateful I live in a country where I have the freedom to do so.

I was excited to take my kids with me, although Cami told the lady volunteering at the electronic ballot who "she" was voting for. Nothing's a secret when you have a 3year old.

As an added bonus, I enjoyed a free cup of coffee from Starbucks just for voting...I love America!

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Haircut

Rory got her first haircut last week. She did great and sat very still! Her hair has grown much quicker than Cami's did. Cami didn't get her first real haircut until after she turned 2.

Before...her bangs were really long.



After (I think she was posing)

Homecoming

We took the girls to the Mizzou Homecoming parade Saturday morning and they loved seeing the floats, bands and of course, grabbing the candy off the streets. It was a pretty cold morning, but they didn't seem to mind at all.





Later, we had fun tailgating and watching the Tiger football team destroy the Colorado Buffaloes. So glad to get a win again and in such dominant fashion!


August Dean White

Welcome to the world, August Dean!

Our close friends, Jeff & Samantha, had a baby boy almost a week ago. We are so excited for them! It was an amazing day and I was honored to be able to share it with them. You can see him on their blog, samandjeffwhite.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grievances and Celebration

This weekend was a mixture of fun and stress, sadness & excitement, grieving and celebrating.

The Tiger game was just so sad, I'm finished talking about it. If you saw it, you know how bad we looked and unusually so. I'm anxious to see what happens this weekend.

Sunday, though, was all about celebrating our friends, Jeff & Samantha, who are having a baby very soon. We had an incredibly non-traditional "shower". So much so, it was not referred to as a shower. It was a party with friends, food, cake and presents. We watched a little football and played Rock Band on the Wii.

Pumpkin Patch Fun

The weather this October has been incredible! Personally I like that it has stayed so warm. I do not look forward to the cold days that we'll experience soon enough.

We took advantage of the gorgeous weather one Saturday and headed to Peach Tree Farm near Boonville. The girls loved all of it...seeing animals like chickens, turkeys and pigs, as well as the goats they got to feed!




We also took a hayride around the farm and spent some time in the pumpkin patch, although oddly enough, we didn't actually buy a pumpkin.





Monday, September 29, 2008

WOW Retreat

This past weekend, I attended the WOW (Women of Woodcrest) Retreat held at the Hyatt at Union Station St. Louis. This was my first women's retreat, partly because I have been busy on the weekends they've fallen and partly because I always thought I was too young to attend, like I wouldn't fit in or something. That was not the case this year. The location, the band, speaker and genuine women and friends all made for an incredible time of fellowship, community-building, worship, spiritual insight and retreat. I'm so grateful I was able to go this year and already looking forward to next year!

Dinner on Saturday night. Yes, there were boys. They're in the band.



Tricia & Carrie playing some Guitar Hero during Saturday night's free time.



Self-portrait of Karen, Niki & myself



Janel & Lori rocking out!




Niki & JP bustin' a move to Hannah Montana (it was quite funny!)

video

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bunk Bed Fun


Earlier in the summer we purchased a loft/bunk bed for Cameron, with the hope of moving Rory into her room when she gets old enough for a "big" bed. I was thinking this would be closer to her 2nd birthday (April), but Friday night Devon decided to try it out and put Rory in the bottom bunk to go to sleep. It actually went pretty well. She only got up 3 times and each time Devon just took her back to the bed. He said he didn't even hear her getting up. She would just toddle out with blanket in tow into our room where Cami was watching a movie. After the 3rd time, she stayed there and slept until morning.

The next night, we had been over at a friend's house and got home late, but I thought I would try it again to see how she did. Not too long after I put her down, she quietly toddled out with blanket in tow and I took her back. The next time, we were already in bed, but we heard noises so Devon got up to check on her. She was having a good old time with the play kitchen like it was the middle of the day. So, he put her back in bed. Not too long after we heard noises again. It was my turn and did I get a shock. Rory was on the top bunk (where Cameron was CONKED OUT) walking around and laughing. It was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. I couldn't believe Cami slept through it and Rory was so pleased with herself. I wanted to leave her there and get the camera, but I got her down and decided the crib was still the best place for her for now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tiger Football!

If summer HAS to come to an end (and I would rather it didn't), it's a good thing something great begins...football season! We decided to make a weekend of the first Tiger game and spend two nights with some of our St. Louis friends, Katie & Greg. So, we hit up the grandparents to watch the girls and Devon and I were able to spend most of the weekend kid-free. What better thing to do than watch the Tigers play Illinois! (Ok, maybe there are a few things better, but this is WAY up there.) Along with our friends, Jeff & Samantha, we drove to St. Louis Saturday morning and eventually made our way downtown. We ate hot wings & fried pickles at Hooter's, took in some Dr. Zhivegas at the Bud Light tailgate and then went to the game.


The game itself was great and Mizzou played pretty well, albeit allowing the other team to score too many points, but I'll take 52 points from the Tigers any day.

The rest of the weekend was spent playing Rock Band on the Wii, playing cards, at the driving range and just relaxing. An awesome weekend and we're looking forward to more Tiger football!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fighting Sisters

The girls have started fighting...already! I never would have expected the sibling fights and bickering to begin at such an early age, but alas, it's here. It's not just the older sister picking on the little one either. No, they both dish it out. Rory wants to have everything her sister has which makes for a good time when more often than not, Cameron's just not going to give it to her. She'll run away and Rory takes off after her. Rory also mimics everything her big sister does. Cameron was walking to her room "exasperated" about something and she let out an "Ugh", walked to her room, accidentally hitting a bowl of Cheerios sitting on the table. Rory followed, made her own noise and purposely hit the bowl. :) So, their fighting isn't ALWAYS irritating, at times it can be funny. This is a picture of Rory when she's mad at me, but it's pretty much the same "mad" face she has with her sister.


I've commented on it before, but I do love how Cami is so protective of her sister in public. She gets a little shy and takes a while to warm up to people, so instead she'll shower her sister with love and affection in the midst of a crowd. Pretty cute, although we are continually working on manners and at least saying "Hi" when people are talking to her. Here they are together, in a happy, silly moment.


Sidenote: Here's the picture of Devon & I from our Anniversary date two weeks ago. (Our computer was out of commission for a while, so I didn't have picture uploading capabilities for a while.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August 5, 2000

Eight years ago, Devon & I got married on as hot a day as it was yesterday with 250 family and friends packed into the First Baptist Church of Dixon. It's amazing to think about all the changes, struggles, and great times we have had in such a short time. He is the love of my life, my best friend, my favorite person to be with, a wonderful, loving father, a giver, server and amateur comedian. Yes, he still makes me laugh (even though I sometimes roll my eyes).

Last week he had to go on a business trip to Cincinnati and the entire dynamic of our household changed. First of all, I was sole caretaker of the girls for five days (kudos to those who do this often, not to mention all of the time), but also because I am just used to him always being here, especially at night. Having him by my side gives me comfort and helps me sleep a little more peacefully. We survived, though, and I ended up with several "breaks" from the girls in the form of a meeting, bowling, and coffee with a friend. We all missed him, but it could have been a very difficult week and it really wasn't too bad at all. Thankfully, he returned safe and sound and we spent a great weekend at Goose Creek Lake with the girls.

Last night, we celebrated our anniversary. I have a pre-date picture, but haven't uploaded to the computer yet since ours is being worked on, but we looked GOOD. :) We went to Jack's for the first time and had an AMAZING dinner, along with good conversation. Then, we took a short stroll through Shelter Gardens before returning home. I couldn't have asked for better!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blogging Just To Blog

At the moment, I have no stories to tell, no anecdotes to share, I just haven't blogged in a while, so I'm filling some space. So, here go the random thoughts that pop out...

It's already been two weeks since I blogged about the 4th of July...meaning summer is on the downhill swing. I'm not excited about this fact at all (although it will mean Mizzou football)! My kids aren't in school yet, so I don't have "back to school" to look forward to, although I constantly marvel that two summers from now, Cameron WILL be getting ready to start school! I love summer because of warm (or hot) weather, many sunny days, long daylight hours to be/play outside, swimming, getting a tan, BBQs, ice cream (although this I love even in the dead of winter), vacations and a more casual way of life for our family. With our kids as young as they are, our summer is not busy at all. I know better than to wish my girls to grow up any quicker than they already are, but I do wonder what life is going to be like in just a few years. Will my girls get involved in the activities and sports that I want them to be a part of or will I need to learn something new to engage with them? I have promised myself I won't pressure them into the sports I played and loved, but I know it will be hard to fulfill that promise. I watched my 11-year-old cousin, Kelsey, play basketball at the Show-Me-State Games this weekend and loved watching her team play. It took me back in time, wishing I had started earlier...maybe I'd have been a little better. It made me want to coach...hopefully I'll have the opportunity when my kids get to basketball-playing age. And if they don't play basketball, well...let's not go there yet.

More randomness...I watched an incredibly sad and yet wonderful movie last night. I cried pretty much the entire movie, but still loved it. It might have been the mood I was in, or just that I hadn't had a good cry in a while because I can see myself watching it again and not being quite so affected by it. It was P.S. I Love You, with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, not to mention Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Harry Connick, Jr. Anyway, Holly (Hilary) & Gerry (Gerard) are married and Gerry dies of a brain tumor at the age of 35. Tragic, of course, but then beginning on her 30th birthday, she receives a cake and a letter from him, followed by gifts (including a vacation) and letters. They are filled with things he wants her to do to take care of herself and to get back out in the world. I haven't figured out yet if this would be unhealthy for a person, only increasing the grief with each letter or just a special gift to be able to hear from that person a bit longer as you begin a new "normal". So, I cried because there are so many times I wish my mom had been able to write something, a journal, card, a letter good-bye. I wasn't with my mom when she died, so it partly comes from that regret and wanting closure and the chance to say good-bye. I also cried because unfortunately I let myself GO THERE sometimes and wonder what if that were to happen to me. I am SO blessed to have Devon for my husband (of almost 8 years!) and two beautiful, special girls, so I don't dwell for long.

On another note, (because I can't end on that!), Cami got her hair cut a little over a week ago. She adamantly refuses for me to fix it...EVER, so we decided to cut it and see what it would do. Because her hair isn't very thick, we weren't sure, but we are so glad we did. She now has an adorable style and refers to herself as the "blue" girl from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. See for yourself...

Okay, so not the best picture to capture her cute "do", but she wasn't being completely cooperative (imagine that!), but it won't be long before I post more. Oh and the day after she got it cut, she said, "I want a pink (meaning the holder) ponytail". Go figure.

And not to leave little sister out...here she is in all her cuteness.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

4th of July Weekend

I hate when weekends are over. They always seem to fly by and three-day weekends are no different seem to go even faster, if that's possible. Technically, I don't have a job I have to go back to on Monday, but then again, I guess I do. I love having my husband home for two full days, not only to spend quality time with him & the girls, but so that he shoulders some of the load of caring for them. That being said, we had a really nice time visiting my Dad and some extended family in my hometown of Dixon this weekend.

On the 4th, we had a fish fry with my Grandpa, aunts, uncle and cousins. The fish was caught last September when my Dad, Grandpa and Uncle Howie & Aunt Marlene went to Canada. It was yummy! They had been wanting to fry it for a long time since they'll be going back this September. After the fish fry at Grandpa's, we went out to my parents' house and shot off fireworks as well as watched the fireworks being shot off from the surrounding houses. Cameron covered her ears every time, but she did admit they were pretty, just too loud. She even got to hold a few sparklers. We thought Rory would be in bed, but with all the people, she just didn't want to be away from the excitement, although being outside with the fireworks wasn't exactly her cup of tea either. She cuddled on my shoulder and jumped several times with the louder fireworks, but never cried.


On Saturday, we went swimming at the Country Club where my Dad is a member. I thought there might be a big crowd since the weather was cloudy and unseasonably cool the day before, but surprisingly it wasn't crowded at all. The girls pretty much had the run of the place and enjoyed swimming in the kiddie pool and with us in the big pool. Devon got to play a couple of rounds of golf this weekend which he really enjoyed. I would have liked to play, too, but someone had to watch the girls. Speaking of that, my aunt (Nanny), and cousins, Keri & Kelsey watched the girls Saturday evening while Devon, my Dad and I went to see Hancock and had dinner at Cracker Barrel.




Sunday we went to church and watched the incredible Wimbledon tennis match where Nadal eventually bested Federer. All in all, a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Walking and Whatnot

It has been mentioned to me by a couple of people who read my blog and have seen Rory recently that she is most definitely walking. This is contrary to what I posted about a month ago. So, in keeping with updating you about my kids...hey, Rory is walking! She really started around her 1 year birthday, but it was never anything consistent. She would take some steps, then fall back to her hands and knees and crawl her little heart out. However, as time progressed, she began walking more and more and though she still crawls occasionally, Devon and I have marveled at how much she is really walking almost all the time now. It is a lot of fun to see her grow up like she is, yet she still looks so tiny walking around!

Other than that, nothing too exciting has been going on in the life of the Casady's. We are loving the summer and warm weather, hanging out with friends and family and just enjoying life. We spent some time with our friends Niki & JP Friday night. They were house-sitting for the Mitchell family, so we got to play with their new puppy, Suki, which the girls loved. As you can see, Cami wanted to wear her fairy princess dress for the night, and who can really blame her?



Saturday we went to the Cherry Hill Festival for a couple of hours. We ate free hot dogs and drinks provided by Cherry Hill Dental, browsed the stands of local artists, let Cami jump in the bounce house and saw my sister as Johnny Banks again. No pictures this time around, but let's just say Cami was still not loving her Aunt Jordan in that costume.