Thursday, December 29, 2011

~ Christmas 2011 ~

Missed me?

I have missed you too.

Why is this time of year (stage of my life) so crazy?

How was your Christmas?

Mine? Delightful. Although, at the risk of sounding like a complete heathen, Christmas on a Sunday... with Church... messes up everything. Happy and Joyful as I was to worship and celebrate Christs birth with other believers on the actual Holiday...It was short lived... because Christmas day was CRAZY!!!!!

Good... wonderful, in it's own kooky way, but CR-A-ZY.

I am thankful that peace and joy come from Christ and not my surroundings or what I can conjure up myself... because on the bright shiny morning that was the dawn of of our saviors birth, I was conjuring up stress, hurried-ness, a bit of worry, and more sweaty-ness then I care to mention....

I wish I could tell you that I took so many pictures that I had a hard time choosing with ones to post.

I did have a hard time choosing which ones to post...but that is because I did not take a lot. In fact, on Christmas day I took 9.


On Ryder's 1st Christmas, mama had a great big mommy fail.

I tried to make up for it the very next day (when we opened presents with my parents) but still...

Ryder got a great big zebra... which he loves, and I in turn love watching him with it...SO CUTE!

Both boys were "sick" over Christmas. Quotation marks used because they were sick, but had enough antibiotics in them to safely be around people....however they were whinny, tired and had noses that ran faster then a Jamaican in the Boston marathon....
See how thrilled Rigg is?
Merry Christmas...

Although tired and not feeling great, Ryder took full advantage of the occasion to show off his new walking skills and smuggle every cookie he could locate away from its original owner. Every time I saw him he had a cookie in his hand and another in his mouth... or on his face.
Where was his mother?

The boys are learning to mess making and eating together...

Rigg enjoyed a new rocket ship plate.

Ryder likes to walk with, play with, carry around and chew on my dads old blackberry...

and chew on boxes...

Like every two and a half year old, Rigg helped everyone open their presents. He opened each one and joyously exclaimed  "A box!" like it was the best present ever!

A tricycle to share. Rigg is learning how to use the peddles, and Ryder is learning that Rigg thinks he should take him on rides.

It was SO fun this year watching the kids. I feel so blessed to care for these 2 boys.

In the days leading up to Christmas I missed Caden so much. I had a day full of tears for missing my sweet girl. And although she is always missed, and some days my heart swells painfully with the hurt of it, my life is filled with so much more joy, so much more laughter, so much more peace then pain.
Christ has, and continues to heal my brokenness.
And He has given so much.

Himself, first as a baby... then as a sacrifice.
For me.
For you.
So this Christmas, with my hurt over missing Caden, and my joy over my precious boys, I was SO thankful for Christ who holds me and all of my crazy emotions together... and brings Peace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Family Tradition...

My dad looks like Santa.

So around this time of year he lets his beard grow, dresses up, gets rather jolly and allows children of all ages to sit on his lap stare at him in awe and declare boldly what they would like for Christmas.

He never takes money, he asks that whoever "hires" him donates to a charity or adopts some families for Christmas.

Santa's a giver...


Because we have such a great Santa so readily available, we take the utmost advantage. We follow him to one of his Santa gigs and get a free picture.

There has to be some perks if Santa is your dad, right?

Christmas with Caden...

Rigg's first Santa visit... he seems thrilled... if you want to see more, click here.

Last Christmas I captured the cutest shot of all time... if you want to see more, click here... and ignore the whale in the photos...

This year I did get some nice shots... It was difficult, as Santa was talking to the boys the whole time. And Rigg kept putting his fingers in his mouth and all over his face. Ryder was trying to figure out what was going on...Pop, in a big red suit... Weird...

But my favorite is this one... talk about a "real" picture...

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

DIY ~ family pictures

Long, long ago, during a time known as Thanksgiving, my family tried to get a family picture...

just one was all we wanted...

and by "we" I mean my mom... and Sara... and me...

And we tried, we really did.

We got all gussied up,

we set up a tri-pod with the camera...

we FINALLY got the remote to work after messing

and fidgeting

and monkey-ing

and sweating

and then we let Ryan be in charge of hitting the button...

why? I don't know...

And this is what we got...

I call it... Disintegrating Family Photos...

Ryan, you coming, or what?

Oh dear, Ryder...

It will help if we switch places...and give Ryder a prop...
Oh, Charlie...
Rigg, look at the camera, buddy...
Ryan! A warning before the button is hit! Thank you!

Really, Captain? Really?


Creepy, Andy... EXTREMELY creepy...

RYAN!!! Quit hitting the button... we are done!
Ryan kinda looks like a priest in this one...

and after all that... we kinda got one.
I'll accept this one.

We did, however, get a decent shot with just our little family...

and a nice one of the Captain and me.

Afterwards, I needed ( a lot of ) chocolate and a nap.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I had a small break down the other day.
Tears and everything.
And to be honest... I think it was a few days in the making.

Sometimes, my weak, sinful heart wins out and I allow fear, doubt, worry and SO MUCH PRIDE to fill my heart... and I crumple under the weight.

It's a job... or lack of one for the Captain.
I tell myself that compared to losing Caden... compared to a brain tumor...compared to REALLY BIG HARD THINGS... this one is reasonably small.

And still, I waver.
Still I let change and uncertainty derail my calm and steal my peace.

Sometimes, ok...most times, I just don't understand.
and I ask...
"God, why us... again."

Maybe I have yet to fully learn what He is trying to teach me.

I hold on too tight.
I need a looser grip, an open hand... a softer heart.

You would think, after weathering certain storms, others would be a cinch.
You would think.
I get caught up in the calm... I do not prepare well. I take for granted the peace and the provision...I overlook the blessings and see them instead as "normal, run-of-the-mill".

Maybe God is stretching me. Forcing me, by my earthly circumstances, to make decisions in my spiritual walk. "What do you really believe, Cari? Is is just words? Or is this your life? Show me."
Faith is more then is actions. You cannot separate them. If you truly believe it... you will show it. And sometimes it's the hard things of life that give us the chance.

Maybe others need to see God work. Maybe God has brought me to a
place where just the right eyes fall upon my life, and if I persevere, if I stand strong... if I bow to His will no matter what, I can have the honor and privilege to point others to Him.

Yet, in my weakness, I want the easy, not the hard... I want the the abundance, not the scant... I want to be selfish, and not worry about others.

But that is not what God wants for me.
He wants the best for me.
And sometimes, the road to the best is hard, scant and always other's focused.
And at the end of the road when I am tired,  hungry, and feeling empty,

Jesus is there.

He will pick me up and give me more then I could ever hope or dream.
More then I deserve.

today is temporary.
Jesus, Heaven and all the promises of scripture are forever.

So am I still worried? stressed?
I am (sometimes over and over again) laying it down at Jesus' feet.
I have surveyed the landscape before us.... and I have decided I want His will.
I want it more then my iphone.

And as the Captain so eloquently put it...
"I am ready...bring it."

Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crafty... pass and fail

I am a project person.

I love me a good project.

I love it even more when I finish a project.

Lately, I have been up to a few crafty things. Not anything really huge...but small changes make a girl just as happy as big ones...if done correctly.

# 1. A couple months ago I got some fun boots. Now, being the Pinteresting girl I am... I saw all kinds of fun socks and tights to wear with my new fun boots.

1 Problem... husband has no job = Cari buys no superfluous items.
Fun socks are a superfluous item.
Sad day.

Or is it.

Here is a pic of me and Sara (my sister) from when she was in town. We are feeding the littles... and I am wearing fun boots... and if you will notice, some fun boot socks. ( I have provided an arrow for precise sock tracking.) (you're welcome.)
(are you tired of the parenthesis?)(parenthesis's?)(parenthesi?)
back to my socks...

Not really a big deal. Just some cream colored boot socks.

I know! You just about fell out of your chair at my genius, right?
Me too!
I just cut off the sleeves and pulled the cuffs up my legs. 
No "foot" part. My feet would sweat right off my legs if I had socks that warm on...
Crafty #1 - boot socks. PASS.

# 2. Getting ready for Christmas.
I know... It looks the same as last year...
and the year before...
and the year before (of which I have no pictures...).

But it is pretty, dang it!
and I carved out some precious time to get that bad boy up there.
Crafty # 2 - Christmas mantle. Always a PASS.

# 3. Now that we are all in the Christmas spirit... I will show you my new wreath.

Yeah... I made it. Your impressed, right?
Cause it is pretty.
With the soft cream yarn and the fun felt flowers.
Lauren and I had a craft day... we did them together... and chatted and laughed and ate soup and grilled cheese. It was fun.

And I got to come home with this! Which I promptly hung on my door and proclaimed loudly to the boys, "Christmas is coming!"
All because of my new pretty, felt-y Christmas wreath.
Crafty # 3 - Christmas wreath. SUPER PASS.

# 4. I have a long story about my dinning room wall. And interestingly enough it also has to do with my fun boots. I would say "long story short" and just show you the wall... but what fun is the final product without a long, drawn-out background story?

So when I put this up in my living room. I used frames that were in my dinning room. Now that those frames had been repurposed... I was in need of some thing for the dinning room wall.
So I bought a LOOOONG, wide, shelf and I was going to place frames on the shelf, overlapping and looking all Pottery Barn.
And I spent the ENTIRE day trying to hang the shelf.
Because our house is 742 years old, we have plaster...not drywall. So the mounting brackets that come with the shelf don't really work. I had to drill BIG, BAD holes in my wall. 4 of them. HUGE! Took up the whole wall.
Then the shelf would not hang.
The "flush" bracket on the back of the shelf was not flush.
nope... it was very un-flush.
1 trip back to the store.
57 trips up and down the shelf isle.
0 shelf's in the right size.
1 stressed out, on the verge of tears Cari.
So what did I do?
Bought boots instead, and just hung pictures over the holes.
Good story, right?
Maybe, if your lucky, I will tell it again later...

So my wall.

Turned out nice. Still need to replace the top middle pictures (from our wedding) with one of Ryder...poor kid.

I made the middle print and the 2 long ones.

The middle one is my favorite.

It is The Captain's birthday, my birthday, our anniversary, Caden's birthday, Rigg's birthday and then Ryder's birthday.
about 3 hours after I finished, as I was basking in the glow of my finished product, I looked over and my heart sunk. (sank? sinked? (just kidding about that last one! :))
Dang it, if I didn't get Rigg's birthday wrong.
He was born in "09...not "10.
I still have yet to fix it... poor Rigg.
 Crafty # 4 - Photo wall...PASS... and FAIL.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ryder { 9 & 10 months }

The Captain has just informed me that, although I am posting about Ryder's 9th and 10th month of life, he will in fact be 11 months old in 9 days time. Thus telling me, in not so many words... that I am incredibly, way-far behind. 

My response? A long steady, piercing look at the Captain and the words "I do not see you picking up a camera to capture the wonder and majesty of Ryder's fleeting infancy."

A false wounded look and a slight chuckle were his only responses...

Far behind or no...  I did take pictures of Ryder to chronicle his 9th and 10th month.... I have just been a bit lax in posting them on time.

Better late then never... right?

~ 9 months ~

At his 9 month check-up, Ryder weighed in at a whopping 24 lbs. Which puts him in the 85%. His height was 31 inches, proving to all the world that he is a big 'un and landing solidly in the 95%.

At 9 months Ryder could crawl well. Pull up on anything... even solid walls, and cruise around the furniture.

He follows Rigg everywhere. And reaches and grabs for anything in his big brother's grasp.

He started saying mama and dada with more consistency around each of us... and learned to clap.

As for personality... This kid is loud, demanding, smiley, unafraid, cuddly and absolutely on the move all the time. He is both delightful and infuriating depending on the day and circumstances.

~ 10 months ~

At 10 months Ryder is EVERYWHERE.

He is not only cruising, but reaching and walking from one piece of furniture to another.

He is SO smiley and giggly. He laughs all the time and LOVES to be tossed and thrown around.

He walks really well behind a toy walker or holding your hands. He needs help turning the walker around or getting it unstuck... how is it that such small people can get a toy crammed into such tight spaces?

His newest trick is walking with only holding on to one of your hands.... He is so close to doing it himself... He forgets that he cannot yet walk unaided. He will be standing next to the couch, see a toy or person across the room he wants, turn and take a huge step in its direction just to immediately crumple under the weight and wobbliness of his own legs... completely unfazed.

Just yesterday he took his first un-aided step. He promptly fell flat on his pudgy face, but it was definitely a step.

Ryder's favorite toys are balls of any kind. He loves to play catch or just throw them around and chase them himself.

He loves being entertained... but when he is done... he is done.