Thursday, December 31, 2009

Private No More

I am missing out on WAY too much bloggie fun by being private... so we're jumping back into the blog world head first! There is no longer a need to log in... you're welcome! :) Thanks to those of you who went the extra step to keep up with Coxes! 

Happy New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Triple Reflection

Caden is going to be one on Friday! I can't believe it's been nearly a year since we first met.  As we've been preparing for his first birthday celebrations for what seems months now, I have had much time to focus and reflect on the past year; where we started on January 1, 2009 and where we are now, nearing January 1, 2010. I have learned so much this year about so many things, and all of them because of this crazy beautiful journey we call motherhood. I have lots of thoughts about this... surviving my first year as a mom (there will be a blog about this!) but for now I want to be sure and capture the things I remember about our beginning. I want to remember the things I learned the day Caden came into the world, or better yet what I learned BECAUSE of the way that Caden came into the world.

For those of you who have been faithful bloggies since last year you know that Caden's debut into our lives was not without a little drama. As with anything in our lives both good and bad, but most especially bad, we know that God will work things out for good for those who love Him; we are promised that, but it often takes a while to see the good that comes from the bad. Sometimes it takes days, months or in my case nearly a year. 

I hadn't really thought about it until the past few weeks as we've been gearing up for Caden's birthday. I hadn't really thought about what, if any good had come from Caden's dramatic debut. (Except for the obvious of course, which is a happy, healthy, sweeter than life little boy... there is nothing greater than that.) But more than that, I started to get glimpses of something I hadn't noticed. I started seeing a bigger picture, a bigger message AND a much larger purpose for me. I had received a gift, a most precious gift that I had been asking for for some time... and it took me almost a year to realize it. I'm a little slow to the punch I suppose! 

In early 2008, the Pastor of our church did a series on Trinitarian Teamwork, teaching us about the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit and how they worked together. I have always found the Trinity to be such a hard concept to grasp. I got the Father and the Son, but the Holy Spirit... I just wasn't getting it. I didn't get how it worked. I didn't understand the Spirit. Through his sermon series I was getting closer. I understood the actions of the Holy Spirit to impart spiritual gifts into the body of Christ. I understood the submission of both the Spirit and the Son to the Father and I understood that the Spirit was a very essential and real part of my faith, but one that I needed to work on getting to know much better.

Probably my VERY favorite chapter of the Bible is Romans 8! It is meaty and amazing and ironically all about the Spirit. Perhaps my fascination with understanding the Spirit of God has driven me to this chapter over and over again, or of course maybe it's someone much BIGGER than me that's pointing me there. Regardless, this chapter has been my inspiration, my plea, my hope in so many different circumstances.

Romans 8 preaches and preaches and preaches about setting your mind on the Spirit's desires. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am Queen of letting my mind fall victim to worry, anxiety and fear. I have let Satan steal my joy more times than I am willing to admit, so I worked through this passage a lot... committing to setting my mind on the things the Spirit desires... but again... the Spirit... who the heck is the Spirit and how do I get my mind set towards him, her, it... the Spirit?! That dang Spirit... it was tough for me to get a handle on, but I kept on, and kept on knowing that one day I would get it... and if not, my first stop in eternity would be to the Spirit's house. 

I knew I wanted to know the Spirit better because MAN, the Spirit did a lot of great things. One of the greatest comforts to me that the Spirit possessed was the ability to intercede on my behalf. Having someone going before the Lord just for me, about things that I didn't even realize were actual "things" and understanding how to pray and petition God for me... WOW! That was pretty amazing. It meant that if God forbid I ever be short on words (which I am VERY RARELY) I would have someone there to step in! Like if I feel asleep during a Baylor basketball game and I wasn't able to pray for that winning shot, that the Spirit would look alive and pull my Bears through... phew!

So that brings me to the night Caden was born... the gift I was given. Well the TWO gifts I was given. First, came Caden and then came the gift of the Spirit. Understanding, seeing, experiencing the Spirit at work. 

When Caden came out, he was breathing but not crying. He was being intubated in the corner of the room. There were doctors and nurses rushing in and out. There were concerned whispers and and even more frightened looks coming from every mouth and face I could see. Justin was hanging in the balance between me and Caden and then when they took Caden out he went with him. He told me just last night that he prayed and prayed and prayed... he never stopped praying. He was crying out to God, pleading for his mercy.

And me... well I was laying on the table, looking to the corner of the room knowing without a shadow of a doubt that everything was going to be okay. I don't know why I thought that or how I knew. I didn't cry. I didn't pray. I just laid. And maybe it was the FINE, FINE, FINE cocktail of drugs I was on, but I don't think there is any drug that could have granted me the peace I was experiencing in those moments. The peace was truly one that surpassed ALL understanding. I can't describe it ANY other way. (AND just so we are clear... this HAD nothing to do with my strength or great faith or ANY of that! If I was being NORMAL Katie I would have most certainly at the VERY least been crying (probably sobbing!)). 

This unexplainable peace I acknowledged early on. I remembered the feeling and was thankful for God's grace in granting me that peace. It was EXACTLY what I needed. But it didn't occur to me until a few weeks ago the significance in the other things I described. I didn't pray! Not once! I don't even know why. That is my first reaction to anything and everything... I pray all the time and for the "stupidest" of things... like the other day I prayed that my mom would of a certain nail polish color (and she did) but I didn't pray for the health of my son? I had prayed EVERY hour on the hour my entire pregnancy. I had pleaded and begged... and in that moment... NOTHING!

But guess what? Guess who did? The Spirit. My friend the Spirit, comforted my body, put me at rest and took on the burden on my behalf. The Spirit interceded for me with groans that words could never express... (Romans 8:26). The Spirit stepped in and was living and active. 

The Trinity was forever teamed in my life! In our lives. God the Father was my provider and my protector, he numbered my days and the days of my little boy. Jesus, saved me from myself, my sin and he saved others too. He brought me to a place of forgiveness and thankfulness for ALL that happened. He gave me the ability to see those days as PURE joy, a gift. And the Spirit... oh that's real! How thankful I am for this! How thankful I am for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

God is BIG and he is MIGHTY and he is ALIVE and ACTIVE, living in you and me! His Spirit guides us!

As I read back through this it just doesn't quite SAY it, so I am going to pray that the Spirit intercedes on my behalf and reveals this incredible experience to you in a way that words could never express! But, regardless of my inability to effectively communicate my discovery I had to blog about this... I had to... so I could cherish it as the great gift that it was (is) and even more so that I could remember the next time I face trial that the Spirit of God is in me and its' ready to go to work!! When I don't have words, when I'm lost and downtrodden... the Spirit is just getting started!!

Okay so... there is no better way to close this entry than with some of my favorite verses from my very favorite chapter of the Bible...

"For I am CONVINCED that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"


Stay tuned for more fun in the coming days... It's Cade-man's Birthday week!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Caden's First Christmas Continues in Waco...

Phew! We made it! We're back in the Rock after an exciting week of Christmas festivities. We could not have asked for a better time with our families this week! As you've already seen, San Antonio was TOO much fun and our Christmas Eve and morning at home exceeded all of our expectations... and guess what? We continued to celebrate in that very same way in Waco! 

Caden was excited to pack up all his stuff and head to Nana an Paps' house after his nap on Christmas Day. He wanted to be sure to make it there in time for all of the fun. His Great Poppa and Great Gran had already arrived and he just knew he was missing out!

But as luck would have it, we pulled into the driveway at the EXACT same time at Aunt Cori and Uncle Tag... it was perfect! Divine timing! The Waco Christmas celebrations could finally begin!!

Caden was ready... waiting for Aunt Cori and Daddy to pass out all the gifts...

Caden was excited to see his VERY own stocking hung on the mantle between his Mommy and Daddy's! It was the perfect stocking, hand-picked by Santa's VERY special elf! The elf even took the time to monogram Caden's name right above Rudolph's antlers... perfect, I tell ya!

After the presents were all passed out it was time to go around the room, youngest to oldest and open the presents one by one. Since Caden is obviously the youngest he got to start, but you see the thing about Christmas this year is that Caden has had MORE presents than ANYONE so the one at a time thing can get a little tricky... so Caden was basically opening up presents the entire time...

His silly Aunt Cori kept putting bows in his hair... this was just one of about 20 that he got stuck with! :)

I'll help you Mommy! Caden wasn't too interested in opening HIS gifts, but he did want to help me with one really big box of mine!

Caden got the greatest stuffed Moose to go with his If You Give A Moose A Muffin book... he was so proud of it and of course sure to give him plenty of hugs!! Caden does like to give his hugs!! I love the picture below... you can see his top two teeth! I'm afraid he's got horse teeth like his Mommy... nice and big! :) But he still only has 4... come on teeth... keep a comin'!

Caden got lots of great things from his Great Poppa and Great Gran, his Aunt Cori and Uncle Tag and his Nana and Paps... but I hate to say it... I think he played a little Christmas favorites because the wagon from his Nana and Paps sure was a BIG hit! We had to take a ride immediately... because that's what you do on Christmas!

Don't worry, Mr. Moose didn't get left behind... he wanted to check out Caden's new wheels too!

More to come on the wagon later... 

After presents there was LOTS of food to be had. Caden got to eat some very special mac n' cheese and enjoy the Christmas dinner conversation with the rest of the fam! Such a yummy dinner!!

The next day was exciting... busy... but exciting. Saturday morning the Cade-man braved the Waco shopping mall and Cavender's Boot City with the "kids." He was a GREAT shopper and made sure that everyone he passed felt welcomed with a little Cade-man wave! 

After a late, but long morning nap, the girls took Caden to the Mayborne Museum! Mommy has been wanting to go there for quite some time and Nana so graciously offered to take us, so we took her up on it. The boys were golfing so it was only right we got out and about the town!

It just so happens that the Mayborne was featuring a train exhibit this month so we got to stop by and see a few trains before we entered the main part of the museum! Caden loved watching them go around and around!! Choo, choo!!

I was so excited to see how Caden would do in this type of setting. I was so anxious to go and do things like this, this summer when it was so hot, but I knew he wasn't quite old enough to enjoy it. Now that he is walking so well and doing so much more I was hoping that he would really get to participate and enjoy all the sites and sounds of the museum... and guess what??!!

He did! He loved it! He was such a busy guy!! He slept for 12.5 hours last night... I think museums are going to be GREAT places for Mommy and Caden to hang out!! 

First up was an exhibit where kids could toddle around the town... there was a grocery store, a post office, a gas station, fire station, kitchen, farm... you name it... Caden got to do it all! He loved the grocery cart... 

Aunt Cori was even so kind as to fill Caden's shopping cart up with gas... haha! We tried to get him in one of the cars, but he didn't quite grasp the concept of moving his little feet so we decided that the shopping cart could have to do at the gas station!

After he tried the big cart, he tried the hand basket too... I think he's a fan of the big cart!

Next up was a tour of all of the different city vehicles... a school bus...

A fire engine...

And a police car... Nana and Caden... taking a bite out of crime!!! High five, Nana!!! Sorry I left you hangin' girl!

Of course when we saw this next thing we HAD to stop... it was a worm that you could crawl through. Caden needed a little encouragement to crawl through, so I got on my belly, in my dress with my camera in tow and crawled through the other side to entice the lil man to come on through... oh the things we do...

Yay, Caden!!! Welcome to the flip side!

The next stop was Around the World... where we found all sorts of different characters to stick Caden's pretty little face in... ironically, he looked best as Osama Bin Caden... go figure!

Aunt Cori insisted on dressing Caden up in one of the many outfits in the room... 

And while we knew that Caden's Daddy wouldn't be too happy with out next stop we did it anyway... we had High Tea in Waco!!

Don't you love Caden's feather boa??!! Whooo, whooo!! 

Thanks for the tea Nana!

Oh no! You're going to tell my Daddy?! And show him the pictures?! No, Aunt Cori that's not funny at all!! 

We had to quickly make up for our estrogen overload and head to the Native American exhibit...

Me, Caden! You, Buffalo! She, Mommy!

Where's a guy's gun when you need one?! Nana, you got yours?!

Bang, bang, bang... 

The passy went in here... there are WAY too many things to stick in your mouth in a museum... the passy is a great quick fix! :)

This next room was a lot of fun... it was a water room, with all sorts of fun things to play with. Caden and I enjoyed putting our hands in the COLD water and watching the other kids send the boats and rubber duckies floating by.

This was pretty hilarious... you stand in the middle of the hula hoop and pull a lever and try to raise a bubble wall all around you. The first time, I tried to hold Caden and pull the lever. Since I only had one hand on Caden and he is always on the move, he ended up stepping off the ledge into the bubbles... one very wet shoe later, we decided to let Nana help!

And our last... but not LEAST favorite by any stretch was the PIANO! Like the movie Big. Didn't you always want to have one of those things? And play Chopsticks on them with your best friend?! Well... I got to live my dream on Saturday... 

Caden LOVED the piano... he ran, walked, back and forth SO many times. He literally went and went and went until he could stand no longer. It was hilarious! We could try to pull him off and show him something else in the music room and he'd toddle right back and go at it... walking back and forth, back and forth!

Sweet boy!!
After the museum we had to catch the last little bit of daylight and take a wagon ride to feed the ducks. Mommy and Aunt Cori aren't so much into ducks... in fact we're a little afraid of them, so Nana took one for the team and led us on our duck hunt!

Mr. Moose made the trip again... he couldn't miss seeing Mommy and Aunt Cori run from the little quackers!!

Woah, Nana... watch it! That one looks a little hungry!!

You'll be glad to know that no ducks or humans were injured on our little adventure, but Caden did get a few stray kisses from some passing puppies... he wasn't too thrilled about it and I can't say that I blame him. They were no where near as refined as his puppies... 

Today, we played hard and ate a yummy lunch before we headed back to the Rock! We couldn't believe our Christmas celebrations had come to a close, but we didn't stay sad for long, knowing that we'd see everyone again on Friday for a very special little boy's birthday party!!

Thanks Nana and Paps for a great Christmas in Waco! We'll see you on Friday!!

Hope everyone had a most wonderful Christmas!! 

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry Christmas Morning at the Cox's!

What a morning, what a morning!! It's Christmas morning in Round Rock!! 

The festivities started at 7am sharp! Caden was ready to see if that mysterious man in the big red suit, the one he left the cookies for had come to visit... 

Let's go little one... time to get on your Christmas gear!

Rounding the stairs...

Oh my! Look what we see... Santa DID come... he REALLY DID!!

And he brought me a basketball hoop!!

And a boat and a plane...

And some stuff in my stocking...

Oh dear... what's a guy to do? So much to play with on Christmas morning! 

He shoots... he SCORES!!

A shape sorter, huh?! Hmmmm... let me try that!

There was a sword... a big foam sword in Caden's stocking... Daddy was showing Caden how to fight off evil dragons!! Silly Daddy!

And just in case there was an evil dragon lurking in the corner, Caden carried it EVERYWHERE!

Take that you dragon... and that! And THAT!!

I'm leavin'... on a jet plane!! (unless Mommy ever has anything to say about it!!)

Santa also packed some cool dinosaurs in Caden's stocking too!! Caden had recently taken a huge interest in them... kind of funny!

Christmas morning is SO exciting... SO exciting in fact that a guy can get a little hungry... Caden finally decided it was time to throw in the towel and head into the kitchen to fix his oatmeal! 

Bye, bye Caden! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!!

(Now we're off to Waco for Christmas celebration #2!! Watch out I35 the Cox Circus is about to launch!!)