Monday, January 31, 2011

For My Stylish Friends...

My sweet, SUPER talented and wonderful Mommy friend Casey from The Wiegand's, From the Heart of Casey gifted me with the Stylish Blogger Award. If I am going to be completely honest, getting an award with "stylish" in the title is pretty darn hilarious to me. Now of course this didn't mean that I am personally stylish or that my house is stylish or my wardrobe, BUT it does mean that someone (who I think VERY highly of, I might add) thinks my blog is stylish! And when I think about it in that context I couldn't agree more because this blog is ALL ABOUT Caden and there is NOTHING more stylish than that two-year-old cutie pa-tootie of a boy!

SO thank YOU Casey for the sweet award. YOU are one of the most stylish people I know so I do know that whoever graced you with this award was talking about way more than your blog. For those of you who don't follow Casey, you should. She is an artist and I am PROUD to say that both KK and I have a piece of Casey Wiegand art hanging prominently in our living rooms! I love my art and I love my sweet friend Casey even more!

The rules of the Stylish Blogger Award are as follows:
1. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10 other worthy bloggers.
4. Notify the bloggers that they were given a Stylish Blogger Award.

I have already linked you up to Casey in all of her fabulousness! BUT make sure you check out her etsy shop, A Little Artsy too. You can also follow her on facebook and twitter!

Now for 7 things about myself... I'll try to think of random things y'all might not know or remember!

1. I'm a wife to Justin and a mom to two sweet Cox babies... one that is not so much a baby anymore and one that is not quite a baby yet! I consider both of these jobs a privilege and I am thankful for both of these titles!

2. My mom is my BEST friend! We talk at LEAST two times a day, usually more, especially if you count texts! She is a very wise lady who oddly enough only seemed wise to me in the last few years, although I know it's only because I never truly appreciated her wisdom until I became a mom myself! Funny how that happens! My mom is STILL a full-time mom even though my brother and I have been away from home for several years... she is always on-call! Between Josh and I we keep her on her toes constantly and probably have her wishing she could throw her cell phone out her car window on many days! :) I love you Momma!

3. I would prefer liquid calories to solid calories ANY day. I love coke, half-n-half in my coffee, wine, etc. I will be happy to trade in a cupcake for a glass of wine any day... or french fries for a coke!

4. I LOVE old t-shirts. LIKE really old, soft... so worn they have holes in them t-shirts. I love to wear them to sleep and around the house. It takes YEARS for the process to take place, but it is SO worth the wait and WELL-worth the keep once you achieve the right level of oldness!

5. I dream about the cast from Gilmore Girls ALL THE TIME. Only in the last two years have I found this lovely show... I started watching it right after Caden was born. I caught one of the first episodes on ABC Family while nursing one day and decided I was hooked. I began DVRing the episodes each day and NOW I have seen the entire series and am currently going through it a second time! It never gets old!!

6. If you sit next to me on a couch, you will find my toes beneath your legs... digging ever so slightly, inch by inch until I have found the perfect warm spot. I do this subconsciously and often move people from one end of the couch to the other... Nana was my most recent victim! Sorry Nana! This is a habit of mine that Justin HATES!

7. Over the past year and a half or so I have dedicated LOTS of time to researching the Holy Spirit. This is one area where my conservative, mostly Southern Baptist upbringing left me hanging. We didn't talk about it much for lots of reasons I'm sure, most of which I think were about church politics and not God's vision for the church. Thankfully, God has placed me in churches, with mentors, in Bible studies and in life with things that have lead me to a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit over the past few years. And let me tell you it is a GAME CHANGER!! If you feel this way too, I would encourage you to seek!! It's so worth it!!

Alright so that was easy enough... now for the HARD part! Naming 10 bloggers with the Stylish Blogger Award! There are SO many I could choose. Honestly, I don't spend time reading blogs that I don't think are fabulous... so anyone on my blog roll (even though it needs to be updated) and the SEVERAL that I stalk anonymously are all GREAT, WONDERFUL and STYLISH in all senses of the word! But the award rules say 10... so 10 it shall be!

1. One of my DEAREST, DEAREST friends from college, Stephanie Meyer from Meyer on the Wire is ABSOLUTELY stylish! She hasn't been blogging long, but you'd never know it. She has ALWAYS had an eye for style and things that are beautiful. She takes the most gorgeous photos of her family... you'd swear they came from a magazine tear-out, BUT no... they are JUST that glamorous. Steph is funny and light-hearted, but also sensitive and sincere... follow her... you'll love it!

2. Sweet Lindsay Hall! She just had an adorable baby named Evie and her husband Nick is serving in our Armed Forces. He has been deployed AT LENGTH but is currently state-side with his family in New Mexico. Lindsay was a Pi Phi with me at Baylor and is one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. It is exciting to follow her growing family and to read about her adventures as a military wife!

3. Shellinda!! That's what I call her. Shelly was my roomie at Baylor for two years and also a fellow Pi Phi. We graced some KILLER apartments in our two years living together and could often be found standing on our couches singing along to performances on American Idol. Shelly and her hubby Chris have a precious little boy named Will. Shelly is a great blogger and does an awesome job updating the world on the wonders and excitement of little Will!

4. Meli P! Meli P is one of my best friends from college. She is an amazing Mommy of two boys, Carter and Logan... in fact Logan is just weeks old! She does a great job documenting their life through pictures and stories! If you think you are a busy person, just read Meli P's blog for a few weeks and you'll think otherwise. They are always on the go and spend lots of time with their HUGE families that live in the same city! AND her BOYS are PRECIOUS... you'll just love looking at those sweet faces!

5. Emily Fallin... well she's not Fallin anymore... but she has a little girl named Fallin who is the cutest little stinker of girl you've ever seen. I just want to squeeze her every time I see a picture of her. Emily is one of the FUNNIEST people I have ever met... and her blogs follow suit. From adventures in nursing to funny things that people said in her childbirth class (an all-time favorite of mine) you will be glad that you stopped by her blog to check in!

6. Jennifer, the cute, blond, SUPER nice, education major... this is how I will always think of her. Although I am getting a little more accustomed to thinking of her as Jen and Jed, as her blog title names her! She and her husband Jed have a great blog that documents LOTS of interesting things... from their travels, to their home improvements projects, to their YUMMY recipes, there is something there for everyone. They are definitely a STYLISHLY fabulous family!

7. The G-Rowes! My sweet friend Gina, who I know I've mentioned A TON has a great blog (which she needs to update more...hint, hint!) about their sweet little family of four. They just added Austin to their family this month and he is as cute as could be... a baby with a FULL head of blond hair! Gina is the type of friend everyone needs... she is upbeat, encouraging, hilarious and full of life! It's too bad you only get a glimpse of all that is Gina when reading her blog... she's awesome!

8. Aunt Rach! Rachel is one of my oldest friends here in Austin and actually if I am to be fair one of my oldest current friends. Rachel and I go way back to middle school when she was cool and wasn't... but that is an entirely different story. Rachel and I reconnected as bridesmaids at a mutual friend's wedding the summer before we both moved to Austin and the rest is history. Rachel is a teacher and has a GREAT blog in which she is documenting an inspiring story about a kid named Brian. Rachel has a heart of gold and it shows through her relationship with this student!

9. BOOZY!!! My cousin Amanda, who I affectionately call Boozy. She has a little boy, Cy who is just a few months younger than Caden. She is a VERY consistent blogger who has lots of funny pictures and videos to share. She too is a busy girl and always has lots of fun adventures to note... from trips to sporting events to stock shows... she is HILARIOUS! I check her blog more than I do anyone else's and get so excited when there is a new post!! Love you Boozy!! (Boozy's blog is private, BUT I had to give her an award... it's that good! Maybe she'll go public again someday!!)

10. Katie Ray! I have never actually met Katie Ray but I started following her blog not long after I had Caden. She is actually a friend of my cousin Boozy's and after our virtual introduction we've become good blogger buddies! Katie's little boy Michael is seriously one of the cutest, happiest kids ever to be photographed. He is adorable and their family is precious. Katie does a great job of capturing a day in the life of their family! We're gonna meet some day... we are!!

And I'm done! The next round of Stylish Blogger Awards have been given!!

Thanks again Casey for the award and for the chance to give some serious shout-outs to my favorite blogger buddies!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Boy... and ME!

Happy Friday y'all! And what a beautiful day it is! After seeing the weather forecast last night, I was determined that I had to soak in ALL of the sunshine that God graced us with today, because next week... brrrrrr, icky wet and brrrrr again! Not so much a fan, but I know that bad weather too shall pass and the glorious return of Spring will follow soon after!

I don't know if it is because the sun came back out this week or what, but I decided that Chade and I had had enough of the house... we had to get out, even though we have had a particularly good time playing with all of his new Christmas/birthday toys lately! So on Wednesday we went to story time at the library... we hadn't been since this summer?! Or I guess that would be last summer now wouldn't it?! YIKES! In fact, we hadn't been to story time since Caden aged up to the TODDLER class... for the older, wiser, snot-nosed types! :) We had a GREAT time at the library... story time was great as always, but I must say... toddlertime is MUCH different than the babytime class we used to attend. There are NO toys in toddlertime, no free play, just lots of books and singing and finger plays... like I said... this is a group of older, wiser snot-nosed types! Caden did really well and seemed to really enjoy being back at the library!

Now, when I say back at the library I don't mean that we hadn't been to the library since this summer... heck no... I go regularly but lately I have been going on days when Caden is at school and then I surprise him with new books and videos when I pick him up, BUT on Wednesday I decided that since we were there we needed to do a little research...

Research you say?! Yes, yes... my little man has taken a recent interest in Shamu! He LOVED Shamu when we visited him at Sea World over Christmas, BUT a few weeks ago when he was sick and I was desperate for some additional indoor entertainment I downloaded a few videos of Shamu performances on YouTube and that little memory-jog has put Caden into full-on obsession mode! "Poo-moo," is ALL we talk about!! So we took the opportunity to do a little research on our favorite oceanic mammal! :)

While we were sitting on the "rocket rug" reading our books about "Poo-moo" the sweet librarian from story time came over to check out what had Caden SOOOO focused! She thought it was hysterical how much Caden loved whales and all of their blubbery friends and found us another book about a man named Jean Laffite and his adventures of chasing a whale down the Mississippi... and if you didn't think that whales lived in the Mississippi then you are dead WRONG, because Jean Laffite found one!! :)

Yesterday, I am ashamed to say that I sent Caden to school in flood pants... not because I happen to like the fashion of flood pants on little boys in the winter months, but because he has grown another 8 feet and all of his pants are getting short! SO I decided that it was probably time to go spend some of Caden's Christmas cash and buy him a few new things to make it through the winter!! If nothing else, I figure wearing short pants to school will only help him have more self-confidence in the long run! :)

When he got home from school I showed him all his new clothes and he immediately grabbed this new knit one-piece outfit I found on sale at Gymboree with what else but a fancy, rock-n-roll guitar on it!! SO... we tried it on and did a little fashion photo shoot... what do you think??!!

Too cute... he was SO excited to show Daddy when he got home! He loves his gui-gars!!

This morning, I woke up with a HANKERING for a bagel and schmear... there is really nothing like it, so I threw on some clothes, grabbed Caden out of bed and threw some clothes on him and off we went... Einstein's Bagels... YES, PLEASE!!

After our early morning bagel date, Caden and I headed to the gas station to feed Tilly and get her bath... she was DIRTY!! Caden loves the car wash and gets TICKED OFF if we get gas and don't get a car wash... so today was his lucky day!!

Looking ahead...
After Tilly was all spic and span we headed home for a quick potty break and off to enjoy the beautiful sunshine we went... we walked to the park near our house and played for a bit, but Caden wasn't much into playing at the park this morning... he was ready for an adventure!
So we walked back to the greenbelt behind our house, collected some rocks and then THREW THEM WITH ALL OF OUR MIGHT into the boulder-filled gully! Gotta love that about boys... they'll stand and throw rocks for 45 minutes straight... and Mommy gets to sit on the nice, cushy grass and soak up some sunshine and chat with her little man!
One of my favorite conversations we have is about all of the wonderful things God has made and TODAY we focused on praising God for making rocks! When I asked Caden, "Who made rocks, Caden?" He screamed, "JESUS!" Sweet, sweet moment... and then of course we go on from there to talk about what else God has made... Caden, Mickey Mouse, Doggies, Daddy, Ava, Minnie... God is a busy guy, isn't He?!
On our way back home Caden stopped at some trees and started playing peek-a-boo with me...
And then he said, "MOMMY, DANCE!" And broke out into his own little jig right there in the mulch... such a happy boy! :) He is a vitamin D junkie JUST like his Mommy and his attitude reflects it!! :)
After a BUSY morning outside we are both a bit pink and POOPED! BUT being a bit tired is always worth a little fun in the sun!

I cherish these moments in my days with Caden... I've said it before and I'll say it ten million more times, I have the BEST job in the entire world!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Wiggles

We've got the Wednesday Wiggles in our house... how about yours?! Any wigglin' goin' on?!

video

We'll be back soon with more Cox Family action! Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

16 Weeks and Some Change

16 Weeks...

As of today, I'm 16 Weeks and some change... and by change I mean one day. Today, I had my 16 week doctor's appointment and so far this pregnancy I am "REALLY BORING," my doctor's words, not mine. And normally I would be a bit defensive against anyone who chose to call me REALLY BORING, but when it comes to doctors and pregnancy, REALLY BORING is just fine with me! In fact I hope I am the MOST BORING PERSON in the world when my doctor's opinions of me and my growing baby are concerned. For now, I am going to PRAISE GOD for every boring doctor's report I get and pray for plenty more, 6+ months more of them, in fact!

One little tid bit that my doctor shared that is NOT BORING... February 21st is the day we take our first in-depth look at Baby Cox in all of HIS/HER glory! And hopefully, our little one will let us sneak a peek at that glory so Baby Cox can become one of two names we have decided on. Yes, that's right, we've decided, BUT we're not telling until the big reveal... so you'll have to wait 5 weeks for it! :) And let me just say that it is a pure gift from God that we settled on these two names and were both in complete and TOTAL agreement, seeing as both names we've chosen were on the NO WAY list just a few weeks ago...

And Some Change...

Since, my post is void of any visual eye-candy I figured I'd give you a list of a few things that I've been enjoying around the web/world lately... I love the start of the new year because there are SOOOO many exciting things that people are doing with their homes, children, lives, etc. and so mcuh of it ends up on a blog or website somewhere for the rest of the world to copy!

Praying God's Word
One of my favorite bloggers has organized a VERY VERY COOL monthly series on Praying God's Word. She broke scripture up week by week, each week having a theme, like Husband's Job... that's this week's. At the beginning of each week she is providing a snip-it of the previous week and the upcoming verses for the current week. The idea is to LITERALLY pray God's word over your family and watch Him get busy. This is the third week of the series and so far I am LOVING it! I have Beth Moore's book Praying God's Word and I love it and have always said that I would love to come up with something more intentional for my family... BUT alas, I am never that organized, BUT this blogger friend certainly is! Hop on over and check it out! I hope you'll consider joining in!

Moxie
Anyone? If you have an iphone and are into aps, this is my new OBSESSION! It is perfect for those shoulder to shoulder times you have with your husband when he is watching something you don't want to watch on TV or waiting in the doctor's office, etc. It is a super easy game to learn BUT ridiculously hard to master! It's a word game so the more words you know the better you'll be at this game! Check it out!

Joanne, The Simple Wife
I stumbled upon this story and this blog through another blog that I read consistently and now I am hooked. If you have not heard about Joanne and her family and their story, you should! It is a tragic, tragic story, full of lots of sad spots, BUT there is LOTS and lots of faith, and even more hope and TONS of love. Follow her, pray for her and learn from her! I know I am!

Ringing in the New Year
I've seen several bloggers tap into this brillant idea to catalogue your Christmas Cards, or even baby shower cards, etc. BUT I saw it on the blog linked above FIRST! This is on my list of things to do! Long list... but I when I think of all of the drawer space I'll save and the rubber bands I'll get back, I'm pretty sure I'll be bumpin' it up the list!

Unveiled, Francine Rivers
For Christmas I received the first book in this series by Francine Rivers called the Lineage of Grace Series. They are about five different women, all in the birthline of Jesus. The first book is about Tamar. Each book includes Bible Studies at the end that are a fun thing to go through once you are finished, but the stories themselves are all based on scripture but jump off the page like you are reading a fiction novel. If you've never read Francine Rivers before, you are in for a treat!

Hope everyone is having a great week! I hope to be back more often come Friday when I get my laptop back... blogging from the couch is much more doable for me! :) Love y'all!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Life In Hair

Yesterday, I was FINALLY able to treat myself to a little hair-therapy while Caden was at school! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! I was LONG past due for a little hair-TLC. Just like with Caden, I found out I was pregnant with Baby Cox just about the time I was due for my next highlight... uh oh! But I am a firm believer in no hair color during the first trimester... why??? Because that's how I roll! AND... if you want to judge the fact that I color my hair at all during pregnancy then go for it... just don't verbalize it, okay?! :)

I didn't start highlighting my hair until I went to college and realized how DARK my hair would get without the HOURS and HOURS of sunlight I used to expose it to playing tennis... and heck... I just couldn't be Katie if I wasn't a blond?! So it started there... my love of hair color and all of it's possibilities. BUT long before hair color was introduced into my life, I had a mother who was CONFIDENT that hair should be treated as nothing more AND nothing less than an accessory. After all, we all know that we aren't guaranteed a full head of hair forever, right? So why not treat it as so and take a few risks?! Hair is meant to be cut, styled, permed, crimped, straightened and MORE! And luckily there are LOTS of fine folks out there who have mastered the art of designing products to reverse the damage all of this might cause on our friend the hair!

Hair trends tend to follow the celebrity circuit, with people RUNNING into their hair stylists asking for the latest... Jessica, Jennifer, Reese, Posh Spice, etc. My first celebrity cut came after a one of my THREE perms had a run-in with a LONG summer in the pool. If you've been there you know that there is little you can do with gummy, green, used-to-be-permed hair expect CHOP IT OFF! SO at the ripe age of, oh I don't know 8 or 9, my parents took me to JC Penny for a FANCY haircut and I came home with my FIRST of many celebrity cuts...

The Dorthy Hamill...sigh! Let's just say that gummy-green hair might have been a better look for me, BUT alas, my Dad... sweet 'ol Albi contends TO THIS DAY that the Dorthy Hamill haircut is HIS FAVORITE hairstyle on me! He must have been working a lot back in those days... because REALLY, DAD?! Or it was some overprotective Dad way of trapping me into being a single cat-lady for the rest of my life... can you imagine if I still sported the BOWL CUT, I mean the Dorthy Hamill!!?? But it was all the rage back then... and apparently so was I!

From that haircut on, I swore to myself that NO MATTER how strong my need for curly hair would EVER be again, I would NEVER put myself through ANOTHER perm. No perm, no summer, no Dorthy Hamill... no way!

But that didn't mean that I grew out my shorty-short bowl cut into luscious flowing locks that rivaled girls living in a polygamist sect... NO, NO... I kept going with my hair stylings and remember the FIRST REALLY nice hair cut I got in 7th grade, at an Aveda Salon in Tulsa. We were visiting Tulsa, looking for a house and my mom knew that there was no moving-away sadness that a fresh hair cut couldn't cure and SHE WAS RIGHT! AND to top it off we purchased my VERY first paddle brush... do y'all remember those?! So hip!! AND I think some people still use them...

Then right before my NEXT move to Corpus Christi before my freshman year of high school... do you notice a pattern here... change brings change?! I decided that I HAD to have the Jennifer Anniston... the big poofy, bubbly, layered masterpiece! And I LOVED it!

I was ready to start high school... me and my Jennifer-cut! From there I went through a series of longer cuts and by long, I mean just past my shoulders... it was too hard to keep the hair up for tennis otherwise, but I did take a few plunges here and there through high school, but mainly in the form of a chin length BOB, until just before graduation... when I would soon be off to college... I cut my hair in short layers with a little flip at the bottom. I am not sure there was a celebrity I modeled my choice off of... but if you need a visual, I'd go for Julia Stiles... way back in the day!

And then we arrive to my freshman year at Baylor... during Christmas break I decided that I needed to go back to school with some flair and so I went for the Meg Ryan...

LOVED this hair cut... I had this cut off and on throughout my four years at Baylor in various lengths and colors. Colors, you say?! I thought you couldn't be Katie without being a blond? Honey child... of course I could still be Katie... as a auburn brunette, as a darker brunette and also as every color that it faded to on my way back to blond each summer! For two years in college, I decided to go dark in the fall and fade back for summer... but after a moment of honesty just before Justin and I got engaged, he told me it would be best for our relationship if I never went dark again, or at least as dark as I had gone the previous year. He informed me that he was unable to even look at me for the first month I had it colored... he felt like he was dating a goth... his words, not mine! So in order to keep the peace and maintain marital bliss I haven't gone dark since... but that's not to say that I won't ever do it again! :)


Justin knew what he was getting into when he asked me to marry him. He had known me for long enough to know that my hairstyles changed with turn of the seasons and that when I was in the mood for change, NO HAIR WAS SAFE! In fact, the WONDERFUL couple who led our marriage counseling class emphasized the importance of hair care for the woman. The husband, very frankly told Justin during one of our first meetings, "If you have to sacrifice a little bit in your budget so that your wife can go get her hair done... DO IT! And your marriage will thank you!" Thank goodness for the wisdom of that man and the hair care prowess of his wife! And I think Justin took it to heart and of course I never forget to remind him of it either! :)


Which brings us to yesterday... HA! Well, actually we started at yesterday didn't we?! SO BACK to yesterday... I had my appointment scheduled and I was just praying that Caden could stay well enough through Tuesday so I could KEEP that appointment. As I was driving down the road I felt this little tickle in my gut... and I thought... UH OH... I know you and I know that TODAY, NO HAIR IS SAFE!! I had that feeling...


And SURE enough I went back blond (er) and CUT some serious hair off! AND I love it! Short and blond is always my fall back and if it were up to Justin it'd stay that way, because it's his favorite version of me... BUT after 6 plus years of marriage and 3 plus years of dating he KNOWS better than to think that this will be THE LAST AND FINAL TIME that I will change my hair... I can't do it... I'm not a one hair style for a life time type of gal! And for that I have my sweet Momma to thank, who by the way is getting her hair done on Thursday... wonder if she'll get that little tickle in her gut tomorrow too?!!


And there you have it... the SHORT version of 'my life in hair'... (I know what you're thinking... SHORT, my bootie!!) Here's to a happy hair day and LOTS more tickles in your gut! DO IT, DO IT!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

BEEN DOIN' LOTS OF BLOGGIN'

STICK A FORK IN ME... I'm done!! I've done lots of bloggin' this week... 8 posts worth to be exact SO don't miss out on any of it and start back at Christmas: A Trilogy, Part I and don't stop until you make it through!! :) If you're up for the challenge that is!! :)


Monday, January 3, 2011

Caden, You're TWO!!!

Finally, the last of my 8 posts this week!! Phew!! BUT this is a BIGGIE because it is the official Caden turns TWO post... and there is so much I want to remember about this year and my big two year old! He has accomplished so much and changed ten-fold... I can't hardly remember what it was like to have a baby... but alas here in a few months I'll get to do it all over again... and I can't wait!! :)

My baby boy is TWO and that means SO much! One, it means we've been blessed with yet another wonderful year with this amazing life. I am so thankful for each minute that we get with Caden and cannot imagine one without him, but rather than dwell on the without I WORK REALLY HARD on staying in the with!!

This year has brought about lots of changes for the Chade. He eats with a fork now... CRAZY! He talks... he runs, he jumps, he gallops, he climbs... he laughs, he snorts, he makes toot noises...he loves, he prays, and he sings!! He is a genuinely happy kiddo with LOTS of energy. He keeps us on the go constantly and is always up for an outdoor adventure or an indoor adventure for that matter, especially now that he's gotten some new big boy toys! Thinking about having Cadenx2 running around our house this time next year makes my heart happy in ways I can't explain and makes me think that I need to be more intentional about my naps these next 6 months! :) I wouldn't trade a minute of my days at home with Caden and am so thankful to Justin who works REALLY, REALLY hard to make this a reality for our family... we appreciate you, Daddy!

In lieu of writing and writing and writing, paragraph after paragraph after paragraph, recapping our year in vibrant sentences and excessive details I thought I'd just go down the list of highlights! After all that is what our blog is all about... we capture those details throughout the year so we never forget! Thank you Mr. Blogger for helping us keep these priceless memories in a special place! I would never have this much collected if left to my own devices... and I cherish it so!Favorite Words: No, video, juice, milk "gulk", goldfish "gul-guls", family members, bummer
Favorite Phrases: No, no Albi!, Come on Mom. , Night, Night Mommy, Oh He Loves Me "O, O me"
Favorite foods: pretzel goldfish, cookies, french fries, ketchup, ham and cheese roll-ups, strawberries, bananas, cuties, spaghetti, black beans, quesadillas, (ANYTHING with ketchup on it!)
Favorite drinks: MILK!!! Recently juice (mixed with LOTS of water!), Sprite, and of course the occasional sip of coffee from KK
Favorite places to go: HEB, the park, SCHOOL!!, CHURCH!!!
Favorite toys: train table, hammer toy, kitchen, piano
Favorite TV shows: Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba and now Mickey Mouse
Favorite Movies: Polar Express (the ONLY movie he has EVER watched the entire way through... and he was in the car! )
Favorite Songs: Oh He Loves Me, Away in a Manager, Jesus Loves Me, ABCs (any song from school or church!)
Favorite Books: Thomas the Train books, LOVED his Christmas books this year, Sesame Street books
Strengths: great helper, sweet friend to his classmates, shares well with friends
Weaknesses: all goes back to obedience, I say "Listen and Obey" at least 80 times a day! The child is STUBBORN!! And have I mentioned how much I hate the word NO?!! :)

Stats:
Weight: 32 pounds
Height: 34 inches
Head: HUGE!!

As his doctor said today, "He's gonna have to have a custom made Stetson, some day!!" Yes, yes he will, I said... just like his Daddy who had to have custom made baseball helmets in high school... the Ford Head he DOES have... :) He's all around a BIG boy! :) And let me just say that I'm feelin' it... it won't be long before there will be NO carrying around the Chade!! Ay, me arm!!

The next series of videos and pictures is from his actual birthday day... from when we woke him up in the morning, to his Elmo pancakes he had for breakfast and of course... we finished out with some WORM pics... my how he's grown!!





I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sweet picture of my squirmy worm!! Funny to think I used to call him that...worm just doesn't seem to do him justice... Boa constrictor, maybe!


BREAKFAST WITH ELMO!!






And a little interview with my big fancy 2 year old... the first 5 seconds are the only interesting part... after that I am afraid you might be bored to tears... unless your name ends with Evans, Cox, Agnew, or Whitaker! :)



SUCH A BIG BOY!!


Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet, sweet little man!! You are growing smarter each day and I love sitting back and taking you ALL in! May God bless us with MANY more minutes together this year!! I love you to the moon and back and back again and again and again!
I hope you had the best birthday party a two year old could ask for!!
Happy Birthday Caden Ford!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Caden: Party #2

Alright now we're back to Caden's birthday celebrations. I must say that the NYE party we went to was a bit confusing for him, since every party we'd been to and had been talking about was ALL about him, I think he was unsure why no one brought him gifts... ha!

So after our fun New Year's Eve party, complete with pyrotechnics, we woke up to celebrate the last of Caden's 2nd birthday party festivities. We did lots of fun birthday things before KK and Albi arrived, but those will be in the next post... the general post about Caden turning 2! This post is going to be solely dedicated to the PAR-TAY we had with KK and Albi. We were sad that Josh and Emily couldn't join us, but we understood their absence all the same! :) Maybe next year... :)

The party started off with a little gift opening... I mean let's be honest, KK and Albi hadn't much walked through the door before Caden was reaching for the first present. I finally had to say slow down child, Albi isn't even done unloading the truck! It was like Christmas all over again because Kk and Albi brought Caden his kitchen that we were not able to fit in our car on the way home earlier in the week... whoo hoo!! Dude kitchen time! I think he would have been tickled pink (or red like Elmo) just to have the kitchen, but nonetheless and forevermore, KK and Albi did not come empty-handed and had plenty more to love on (spoil) Caden with!

First up... his very own NA-NO and microphone!! Whoo hoo! He was a singing fool... SO cute! And since then I think his over-zealous attack of the microphone has actually caused it to short-out... it couldn't take the full slobber attack of the Chade... what can?! He LOVES his na-no and is having so much fun playing music! He's literally a one man band now!!
Of course no birthday would be complete without a little Thomas the Train action... KK and Albi got Caden some new train tracks and a caution gate AND a motorized train... in the form of James the Train... he loves it! I hope the Energizer Bunny still keeps the same promise... because that train has NOT stopped GOING and GOING and GOING since he got it! I have to remind him to go turn it off all the time!! Poor James must be TIRED!


Albi helping Caden open the new train tracks and caution gate...

And then... VIDEOS... lots of new videos! AND a few new friends to learn about on his videos... Mickey, Donald and the rest of the Disney Gang. KK also found Caden a set of Duck Tales videos... y'all remember Duck Tales... a-whooo-ooo... OH man! I loved Duck Tales. We haven't been able to get past the Mickey Choo-Choo video yet to try Duck Tales but I can't wait!!

After ALL of the present fun we loaded up and headed to one of Caden's favorite restaurants... Z Tejas... now you might be thinking, how in the world did Caden grow to choose Z Tejas as one of his favorite restaurants??!! Exposure my friends, exposure! Z Tejas is one of Justin and I's favorite places in Austin... outside of Siena it may be our VERY favorite, so for any special occasion we end up there and in the last two years Caden has tagged along with us every single time and we often joke about how at Z Tejas Caden is always on his VERY best behavior... from the time he was still in his car seat carrier snoozing through the meal to now he's always been a champ... which made us come to the conclusion that he TOO loved Z Tejas! So there you have it...


And like D&B we wanted to do something special for the people who love on Caden the most and Z Tejas always provides that treat!! Caden was READY! So I have to tell y'all... now when we go to restaurants, Caden orders for himself... when they come to take our drink orders he repeats, "ICE!!" over and over again... and then when it comes time to order the meal he says, "TET-UP" or ketchup... over and over again. On his birthday at Z Tejas he even got the Godfather hand into it, pursing his little fingers together to emphasize the seriousness of his desire for ketchup with his meal! And the waiter took him so seriously that he brought it out before the meal to dip his chips in... doesn't that sound delightful?! Ketchup is a cousin of salsa... so I get it! :) Our meals were FABULOUS as always and we had a GREAT time, full of laughs and smiles from the Chade! Just before we left we got a sweet pic of everyone at the party... My little two-year old Elmo fan... Such good pics!!




He was a HAPPY, HAPPY boy to be there with his KK and his Albi... and he loves to pose for pics... complete with putting his arms around us... hilarious and so so precious!! :)
After lunch we came back to the house and sang Happy Birthday to the Chade (this was like the 18th time we had sung to him over the course of the week) and ate some more Elmo cookies! I made another round for this party too! :) Check out the video of my little man blowing out his candles... he's so big!!






The rest of the day we hung out on the couch and watched some football and snacked on some yummy appetizers! We were sad for KK and Albi to go back to Say-yo but they had been a VERY busy bunch over Christmas and were excited to stay put for a while... as were we all! Thanks for coming to celebrate with Caden on his birthday, KK and Albi! The party wouldn't have had near the pizazz without y'all there! We love you!!

New Year's Eve

We had a GREAT time with our Life Group on New Year's Eve! It has been a long time since we've even attempted to make it until midnight on NYE and even longer since we've had a fun party to attend, so we were REALLY excited to go out and about and spend NYE with some of our newest friends! AND bonus... the party was VERY kid friendly which made it a fun family event!! :) It's hard for me to ever think of NYE without the Chade... he and NYE are forever tied together in my mind! :)

Caden had a blast with all of the kiddos and even MORE fun when we all went outside to do sparklers. Caden started off a bit timid of the whole fire thing and I couldn't have been more proud, BUT then just like his Daddy he seemed to loosen up to the whole thing and by the end of the night he was double-fisting his sparklers... OH DEAR! Boys! It kept looking like he was getting hot ash on his face and the girls I was standing with were wondering if he was okay... and when asked, Justin was the typical Dad and said, "Oh, yah... he's fine!" Nothing like a little hot ash in the face to ring in the new year... ah, well... I guess that is something that I just have to let be... dudes like fire!! :)

My friend Jaime is the official photographer of the group... here are a few of the pics that she captured that night!! Thanks for sharing Jaime!! What a fun night!! :)

Oh and just in case you were curious... we did NOT make it up until midnight, not even close... BUT I'd like to give props to Justin's Grandma who called us at 11:15 that night, nearly an hour after we'd been asleep to be the FIRST to wish Caden a happy birthday... and YES, yes she was the first!! :) We love you Grandma!! :)

Click here to view these pictures larger

Happy 2nd Birthday Caden: Party #1

Call me lazy or call me EXTREMELY intelligent...but we decided and by we, I mean me, decided not to have a BIG birthday bash for Caden this year. Between Christmas, Baby Cox 2.0 and the Baylor Bowl game I just didn't think I could make it happen and with the opportunity for family to be together outside of the Christmas holiday I thought there is not better (easier) route than to throw TWO small family birthday parties. Originally, we thought we'd do one big party in Houston the day after the Bowl game, but Albi and Uncle Josh had to hustle back to the office and didn't get a chance to even stay the night in Houston, so it ended up being a Cox-side birthday bash and an Evans-side birthday bash which worked out FABULOUSLY. Caden didn't have to spread his love too thin and everyone got to enjoy the Chade during his birthday!

Prior to me not deciding to host a big birthday bash, I had already decided that Elmo would be the theme of any kind of party we threw... for obvious reasons that I don't need to explain! :) So I enlisted the help of my friend Jaime Ferg who is an Elmo-themed party pro and she gave me the inside scoop on turning a cookie/cupcake/cake into our favorite red monster! Thanks Jaime!! SO because Caden is WEIRD and doesn't like cake I decided just to do cookies... ELMO cookies of course. So in between Christmas in Say-yo and our trip to Houston I spent a lot of time with a tube of red icing, creating these materpieces... :)
Okay so they may not be masterpieces, but Caden knew EXACTLY who they were and that is entirely the point!! :) After the bowl game on Wednesday evening and the fun trip to the Galleria on Thursday morning, Thursday around lunch time we headed over to Dave and Buster's for Caden's first of two Elmo birthday parties! We thought it would be a fun place for Caden to run wild and play games and eat some good food too... I am pretty sure Dave and Busters' food trumps Chuck E Cheese's ANY day! :) And more than anything it was our way to say thanks to our sweet, loving family members who dote on Caden all year long! So to D&B's we went...

Before our food arrived we used the time to open up Caden's gifts from Aunt Ree and Uncle Tag and Nana and Bop too! First gift...


The lead up from Christmas made Caden extra prepared for the additional gift opening he'd do for his birthday... he's getting REALLY good at it! :)


The first gift was the CUTEST little argyle shirt and the second...

His VERY own suitcase! Complete with handle and wheels! Caden LOVES him some suitcases, so Aunt Ree Ree and Uncle Tag knew they had hit the jackpot when they came across this!! Now if he could only pack himself... we'd be in business! :)

Check out the face above... he is EXCITED about this next gift from Nana and Bop!

And you know why? Because it was ELMO PJs... YAY!! Next up... some accessories for Caden's new train table... a Thomas the Train bridge and water tower!! Thanks Nana and Bop!! He has LOVED it!!



After we gobbled up our yummy lunch, we had some singing to do... and some Elmo's to eat! The video below is of the whole candle lighting, singing, blowing and HUGE applausing that went into the official celebration of Caden's birthday!! Too cute!!





After our tongues were red like Elmo we headed out into the game room to let the REAL fun begin! Caden was in awe of the place and headed straight for one of my favorite games... Ski Ball... SO SO SO FUN! He and Daddy scored some MAJOR tickets together! It was too funny how quickly Caden caught on to the whole ticket phenomena... he knew that the more tickets the better and he was collecting them FAST! Bop had the highly esteemed job of holding the ticket bucket... I am sure he felt honored for Caden to have found him trustworthy of his precious ticket collection! After each game he played was over and the tickets started coming out he'd yell, "Ti-tets!!!" Yay, Caden you got some MORE tickets!



Part of the actual fun of the party was that we all got to play a few games too, thus the reason Caden's ticket bucket continued to get so full!


Amongst all of the Ski Ball their were rides in the Jungle Safari Jeep...


Shots taken on the ever-difficult moving basket...

Footballs thrown into holes in the wall, Aunt Ree Ree taking her turn at virtual jump roping, pulling various levers on a particular game that did nothing besides spit out large amounts of tickets, and pushing coins into the sliding board to see if other coins would fall into the pit of despair that would inevitably spit out even MORE tickets!! The games were FUN and Caden was a HOT, SWEATY mess by the time we were through!! He had a BLAST and was super excited that his ticket-winnings scored him a big stuffed doggie and a velcro-armed monkey! What more could a guy ask for on his 2nd birthday, I ask you?! What more?!
And now for a video that captured the TRUE excitement of the D&B Cox-family party... are you ready for the SKI BALL Champion of Texas, straight from the Rock... the one, the only...
CHADE-MAN!!!







Thanks Cox-fam for making Caden's first 2nd birthday party celebration a BLAST!!
Birthday party #1 down... one more to go... make sure you check it out!!


BAYLOR GOES BOWLIN'!!

My, My, My do I ever have a story for you...

I shall title this story: "Why Noah Didn't Mess Around and Went Ahead and Built An Ark!"

Okay so actually this blog post is ALL about the Baylor Bowl Game, but for those of you fine Baylor Bear fans who attended the game you absolutely know why and how the story of Noah and his beautiful ark relate with the story of the Texas Bowl.

All day leading up to the game Houston was a cold, rainy, mess, but like being a fan of Baylor Football has taught us to do so well, we HOPED that the rain would move on out of town by the time we all had to saunter our way into the stadium! We were definitely praising Jesus that we weren't going to have to WATCH the game in that weather, BUT walking in could prove to be equally as humbling as the rain continued to pour!

So when you see the LACK of pictures I took at the game, and by lack I actually mean ZERO(Cori took the ones below), you will give me grace and understand that it took me nearly the entire first quarter to convince myself that NO this was not a dream and that YES I really was sitting in a stadium, soaked to my thighs, watching my poor Bears off to a ROUGH start (that unfortunately never got much better!). We were all chanting, "I hope this is worth it!" as we were stripping off our weather-beaten ponchos... "I sure hope it is worth THIS!"

And it was... in all seriousness it was really fun! Despite the loss by the Bears, it is ALWAYS good to be surrounded by family... and in our case we were doubly lucky because we had our BLOOD family and our Baylor family, both. Caden was a bit on overdrive with both sets of grandparents, and aunts and uncles there to spread his time in between!! Sharing can be stressful on a guy! :)



YAY... an Evans fam member made the pics... I promise they all were there. Aunt Emily, KK and Albi too... sorry for the lack of pics (again!).


During half time Caden, Justin and I got to hang out with our sweet friends Meli P and Carter. And that is what made the game so fun... seeing faces that you LOVE, that you miss, that you SHARE SO many great memories with... there is nothing like a Baylor Bear... I tell you what... they're good people, those Bears! Not that I'm biased...

Caden made it most of the game before we decided to head out a few minutes early to beat the traffic. Caden was not in the car 5 seconds before he was SNORING in the back seat... poor thing was BEAT! Christmas times three and now a Baylor Bowl game... man o man! Caden and I hit the hay just as soon as we were home and got a solid night's sleep to prepare for the next day!

Before we get to the BEST part of the NEXT DAY (Caden's Birthday Celebration Part I), I thought I'd share a few fun pics of Caden and his Aunt Ree Ree at the Houston Galleria. I was in a maternity jean crisis and HAD to go to the Galleria that morning to exchange jeans and so Aunt Ree, Caden and Daddy tagged along... and Caden scored the jackpot... there was a TRAIN at the mall for him to ride... so while we shopped, Aunt Ree Ree and Caden went for a ride...




And of course Aunt Ree Ree also treated Caden to some cookies just after their trip around the Galleria! What a fun morning...

Now for the Birthday Boy's first party in H-Town with the Cox-side of the fam! See the next post for LOTS of fun pics and even a few videos!!

Thanks for our post-Christmas treat, Nana and Bop... despite needing an Ark and a Miracle for the Bears to pull off a victory we had a GREAT time!! Here's to hopin' for another year of bowlin' for our Bears!

Christmas: A Trilogy, Part III

(scroll down for parts I and II)


We last left you with our fabulous recount of Christmas morning and now we begin our journey through our last of three Christmas celebrations, concluding our Christmas Trilogy...




Because most Christmas mornings start earlier than normal, we made it to San Antonio before the rest of the crew was expecting us... plus, traffic on IH35 on Christmas morning is FABULOUS... it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "I wish it was Christmas EVERY day!" So we arrived ready for some action... and some presents of course!!



Once everyone was assembled, Josh and Caden played Santa and passed out all of the presents to their respective recipients! Caden was the lucky recipient of a brand new dude kitchen (Justin wants to BE SURE that people know it is a dude kitchen, complete with an outdoor grill) which Uncle Josh and Aunt Emily put together the night before so that Caden would be READY TO PLAY once he arrivedn Say-yo! So it was a bit hard to pry Caden away from his culinary stylings to open his additional presents! Until this one... the hammer ... the boys loves to hit things!! :) Since we've been home he hits these balls through those holes no less than 20 times a day... after Albi showed him the proper way to hold his hammer, Caden has been a PRO at this game! :) Caden also got some new stuff for his train table... a train named Molli, in honor of his favorite pooch! :)



He of course, got LOTS (too much) of stuff from KK and Albi and Aunt Emily and Uncle Josh... and I am pretty sure we opened nearly every toy he received to try it out. So in the midst of all of that, I stopped taking pictures and started having fun... with my gifts too! :) I got some fancy calling cards from Emily and Josh and my VERY first pair of TOMS!! I was SOOOO excited to see that little box. My mom didn't even know I wanted any... she's just good like that! I immediately put them on and was SHOCKED with how comfortable they were! Now I want some in every color for every outfit... AND they are a preggos' dream shoe!! LOVE THEM, love the cause too! Thanks KK!




After all of the presents were opened and we were starting on fixing lunch, Great Gram arrived fresh from Abilene. We were SO excited she came to spend the holiday with us... Caden was glad to have yet another member of his family to love on him and he them! KK OUTDID herself yet again this year with a fabulous new Christmas menu which did include an old favorite of mine... Lobster Bisque... yummy, yummy KK! After we were full to the gills we cleaned up and had a few minutes of down time before our next set of family members arrived for an afternoon/evening Evans celebration! My Aunt Kay and Uncle Roger were in town visiting other family from Abilene and my Cousin Lance and his wife Tina had come along as well (they are from Midland) and they ALL came over to KK and Albi's house for Chirstmas evening! It was SO SO SO fun to have the Evans-side of the family together... it doesn't happen too often anymore and we did miss several family members still, BUT we will always take what we can get when it comes to family! We had a traditional Mexican Christmas feast of tamales and sat around and chit-chatted the rest of the evening! I captured a few pics of the fun...




My Uncle Roger telling Justin a story... Roger Mac has LOTS of good stories!




Albi, Josh and Lance...shootin' the breeze and lookin' cool...




And my Gram, Kay and Tina at the fridge checking out all of the pics. I am sure Gram was taking the opportunity to show off all of her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids that grace the front of the fridge! :)



And a group pic... YAY for an Evans family group pic!! It was so fun seeing all of you!! We love you!!



The rest of our time in Say-yo was pretty laid back which was awesome! In fact on Sunday afternoon I took a 2.5 hour nap like it was nothing... I hadn't done that in FOREVER, not even being pregnant! I think Emily and the boys were the only ones who didn't nap... and the boys were playing golf... ha! It was great!!



One of the NEWEST things that Caden does at KK and Albi's house is look for the deer in the back yard... and this trip, Uncle Josh brought a bunch of deer corn to feed the deer with so Caden and Albi always had some work to do... and Caden LOVED it! He'd go grab his boots and his coat and take them to Albi and say "de-year" (imagine a guy from Boston saying deer and this is Caden)... so they'd bundle up and head out...


Aren't they a pair?!! Oh my, is all I can say!!



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! TOO MUCH!! This photo holds a beautiful hope for blackmail someday... can you see it?!!



Headin' out back...



Love this pic of Caden looking up at Albi as he opens the gate... so sweet...




Okay, Caden let's feed them deer!!



Spreadin' the corn out... come and get it!!



And let me tell you it worked!! We had no fewer than four deer around during most parts of the day... even one pretty large Buck... of course we made up stories about where the deer were from and who they were in town visiting, etc. It was a fun little anecdote we had going during our stay!!



Before taking our naps we put together Kk and Albi's Christmas train that they have circling their Christmas decorations... we put it on the floor so Caden could play with it. It did take some time but once we got it, we got it! It was a fun little project and Caden of course thought it was the coolest!! :)




That night we ate at our favorite Mexican food joint for a little post-Christmas meal... it was YUMMY! And then we came home and crashed... all tired from the busyness of the previous day! Josh and Emily had to leave early the next morning but Justin and I were able to stay a bit longer, so KK and I took the opportunity to head out for a little shopping... maternity clothes shopping to be more exact. Justin actually had a few appointments for work in Say-yo that morning, so Albi was left to entertain the Chade for a few hours and he did a GREAT job... in fact SUCH a good job that he taught Caden a few new tricks... to stick out his tongue and to blow on the back of his hand to make toot noises... OH ALBI! It's hilarious how embarrassed Caden got when he showed KK and I... it was like it was he and ALbi's little secret... oh dear! And of course now all Albi has to say is "Caden..." in a sheepish voice and Caden giggles and says, "No, No Al-di...!!" TOO FUNNY!




We had a GREAT Christmas in Say-yo with the fam and REALLY enjoyed getting to spend time with Josh and Emily... we miss not seeing them as often but on that same note were so HAPPY to see them SO HAPPY... it seems as if small town life was just the ticket for Josh and Emily... they are doing great in their new home and we couldn't be more glad for it!! Also a treat to spend Christmas with my Gram (thanks for the fun shopping trip!!) and so many other members of the Evans clan!! We love you all!! What a Merry Christmas!!




And that concludes the final part of this Cox Christmas Trilogy! Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men! :)