Monday, December 31, 2007

More Christmas Pics

Like I said, Carolyn took much cuter pictures than we did. Here's a few more pics to close out the season.
Braelyn and me on Christmas morning.
Braelyn in her sweet Christmas dress.
To get her to smile I was giving her little bites of snickers.
Cease girls smile for chocolate!
Braelyn, lovin' on her new baby.
The three of us. I LOVE my family!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

Okay, ya'll, I know this is silly, but I just can't decide. My parents got me the amazing Kitchenaid Mixer for Christmas this year. They got me a white one, which I love clean and classic...but man, the red one is so cute too! The only problem is that I have been to two LinensN'Things and no red ones.

So bloggies, do I stick with clean and classic, or hunt down a red one?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oh Yeah...Christmas!

I wanted to send out some warm Christmas wishes before the big day, but it just didn't happen, so...I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! The Cease family enjoyed a fabulous Christmas, indeed! The season was pretty short for us. We didn't actually acknowledge its presence until around the 22nd, but you know, I think that's about all the Christmas I need (or want :).

We kicked off our celebrations with a classic white elephant gift exchange with the gang here in Brenham. I don't have any pictures, but it was a great night. I do have to say that the Cease's, were responsible for bringing the best gift - a singing and dancing (a little inappropriately, I might add) African American Santa Clause. I will look forward to seeing it year after year, displayed victoriously at the Hyde's beautiful home! :)

Party #2: The C Squad! A year or two ago, the Coffman's, the Cutshall's and the Cease's started doing a Christmas dinner together. This year, it was in Brenham, so Casey and I introduced them to one of the few acceptable restaurants here in town, Volare's. Back at the house we enjoyed our own individual, rose-shaped, red velvet cakes with chocolate sauce that Erin made...with a partridge in a pear tree. DELICIOUS! It was all great fun. Here's a picture of just the girls. Love you guys!
Party #3: A super fun, laid back night with the Haskew's and the Brient's. Pizza, gifts (well actually, Catherine was the only sweet one who gave gifts) and games. We decided to make this little party a yearly Christmas tradition, however, a strict dress code will be enforced...comfy PJs only!

The next phase of the holiday was the frantic, last minute shopping phase. Yes, I was among the thousands of crazy people purchasing the majority of their Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. The one benefit to this is that there is no time for second guessing my gift choices. Normally, I like to buy and return gifts several times before I actually commit to one. I know...ridiculous!

Once that was done, well, it was Christmas Eve and so the family gatherings were upon me. My family and Casey's family celebrated Christmas Eve together. A wonderful blessing, and very fun. On Christmas, we spent the morning with the Cease's and the evening with the Jett's (my family). It was a big day. Here are just a few of my favorite moments.

Braelyn in her cute Christmas overalls!
While everyone was busy opening presents, Braelyn and I had our own sweet moment of snugglin' and smoochin'. A definite Christmas highlight!
This last picture needs some explaining. This also happened while everyone else was opening presents. During the chaos, I looked up and caught Casey's eye, then all of a sudden he starts posing for me, George Costanza style. For a long time, only Casey and I were in on the joke. I call this picture Christmas Sass!
Carolyn took much better pictures then we did, so hopefully I'll get some of those and post a few more. I just have to show you Braelyn in her precious Christmas dress! :) Besides that...I'm done with Christmas!

Mom, Dad, Carolyn, Allan-thanks for an amazing Christmas. We are so blessed to have such a generous and loving family! We love you!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Thank You Note

Before I say anything else, I want to say thank you for all your prayers and sweet words . My family and I were so blessed and encouraged by them. I had the D&C on the 21st. All things considered, everything went fine. They put me under general anesthesia, so I didn't have to experience the process, which was probably best. Afterwards, there was no pain, no cramping at all. The craziest thing was that up until the surgery, I was still feeling so tired and sluggish, but almost as soon as I got home, I started feeling back to my old self again...physically anyway. I was so thankful to once again be able to give my full, whole-hearted attention to Braelyn. Our time together has been so sweet.

Some sadness still lingers. With the first miscarriage, it sort of hit me right away and all at once. This time, the hurt is taking its time to disperse itself. It comes in short waves and each time I'm a little surprised by its reappearance. I think Casey is experiencing the same thing. But really, we are doing very well. We had a wonderful Christmas, a wonderful time with friends and family, and now we are enjoying some (much needed) quiet, family time before real life begins again. The blessing of all this is that I am reminded of the Lord and His goodness, and Casey and I are forced to re-acknowledge how much we need each other.

...all for the good of those who love Him! Amen! Thanks again for visiting and reading and sharing and praying.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

He Gives and Takes Away

I have some sad news to share tonight. I had my first doctors appointment today. Casey, Braelyn and I drove all the way out to Bryan to meet our doctor for the first time and get that anticipated first sonogram. I went through all the questions and the very intrusive and embarrassing examinations, so far, so good. Then, by the time Braelyn was reaching her limit, we were escorted to the sonogram room. Right away the lady knew, and she quietly and respectfully told us that although I was 9 weeks along, the baby stopped developing around six weeks. Another miscarriage. (I had one before I had Braelyn. It was very early in the pregnancy.)

Casey and I are doing okay. We're sad. A miscarriage is just a sad thing. I have a D&C scheduled for Friday afternoon. (I did not have this last time.) I am hoping that this will give doctors an opportunity to look at the tissue and find out why this is happening, but I understand if there are no answers.

We trust the Lord. We thank Him and worship Him for His blessings and protection.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Austin In A Nutshell

Ahhh...We're back. I had really good intentions of posting little vacation updates as we went along, but with all the sleeping and eating...there was just no time! :) We had such a great time! It was so nice for the two of us to get away. I'm glad I didn't give in to my weak mommy moment. (On Tuesday night before we left, I could not stop crying about being away from Braelyn. You would of thought I was sending her away to college or something. Anyways, I was flirting with the idea of taking her with us, but I knew how much it would disappoint the grandparents, and I knew that this may be the last opportunity for quite a while to make this kind of investment in our marriage. So, she stayed, we went. And I was very brave while we were gone too...I didn't even cry once!)

If I had blogged each day, I could of given you a few more details with pictures and all that, but I didn't, and actually we didn't really take any pictures. So, now all you get is our vacation in a nutshell. Here it goes:

*Slept in, room service, breakfast in bed...yum!
*Walked up and down Congress and up and down 6th Street
*Ate lunch at P.D. Riley's...charming little Irish pub. Food was okay, but the live musician made of for it.
*Walked around the Capital and went to the Texas History Museum. (After we watched the short film they have, all the walking we had done started to catch up to us. Not wanting to waste the money we spent to see the museum, we pressed through, but let's just say we took the abbreviated tour. I kept thinking, "Cynthia, would be so ashamed!")
*2 hour nap
*Dinner at the Iron Cactus...very cool. I highly recommend it!
*Watched 3:10 to Yuma in our hotel...great flick!

*Slept in, room service, breakfast in bed...that never gets old!
*Met our great friend, and new Austin local Phil Coffman for lunch (see, lots of eating). We ate at Threadgill's. Excellent...they have sweet potato fries!
*Got some Christmas shopping done at Barton Creek Mall. Before then, I hadn't bought a single gift. This was the highlight of the vacation for Casey.
*Watched an episode of 24 back at the hotel
*Dinner at the FireBowl Pei Wei, but better!
*Saw No Country for Old Men at the, don't so much recommend this movie...Casey loved it though.

*Slept in
*Ate the most delicious pancakes we have ever had at Kerbey Lane Cafe...excellent suggestion!
*Went to the Book People Book Store...amazing place. I love all the staff reviews.
*Walked around South Congress. Fun place to browse, and even better with a yummy, warm cup of coffee.
*2 hour nap (See, lots of sleeping!)
*Went to have dinner at a super cute Italian cafe we found in SoCo, but the wait was over an hour... :( This mama would've been dry heavin' all over the place...and then I would have been too embarrassed to sit down and, Freebirds.
*Grabbed some coffee/dessert at Mozart's Coffee Roasters...Fabulous atmosphere and desserts! Oh my gosh, the mousse!
*Saw Atonement at the theater...AMAZING!!! It's a good one, girls! (I had to make up for the blood and guts monstrosity we saw the night before!)

*Race home to see my baby girl! She did great the whole time, but when she saw me for the first time, you could see her process the fact that she had been away from me, as if this was the first time it struck her, and whoa mama! She threw her passy out of her mouth and looked at me like, "Where the h*%# have you been!?!" She started crying and wouldn't let go of me for quite some time...which was just fine by me.

So there's our trip. We had an amazing time and we now have a warm, little place for Austin in our hearts! Thanks so much for all your great suggestions! They helped a lot and I was always reminded of my sweet blogger buddies. :)

And here's the one picture we took. I call it Texas History Eager Beavers. (We were the first folks in the Spirit Theater at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum.)

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Life Since The Double Blue Lines

Good evening, it's 12:26 am, and I can't sleep. So, I thought I'd blog and jot down the thoughts and feelings I am experiencing in this second month of pregnancy. This is partly for you, but mostly for me, because I apparently can't remember a single thing from the first time I was pregnant, and if I am so bold as to try this a third time, I want to be able to refer to some notes - reminders that I am NOT going crazy, I'm just pregnant.

Ok, where should I start? The fatigue! That's what triggered our suspicion, in the first place. Over Thanksgiving I slept SO much. I think I mentioned that we stayed at my parent's and in the mornings my sweet mom would come get Braelyn so that Casey and I could keep sleeping. We would sleep till around 10-10:30 everyday. Then on Saturday (after Thanksgiving), it suddenly struck me how tired I was , which made no sense at all considering all the sleeping we had done. Hmmm? Something wasn't right. Adding this to the fact that I was "late," Casey and I scratched our movie plans and pulled into the Walgreen's for the home pregnancy test. We went back to Casey's parent's house, I took the test, and there they were...the double blue lines! "Um, Honey...haha, I think Jesus did some revising to our family plan. Surprise!" I am still in shock, by the way. Anyways, back to the fatigue. I am so tired all the time! Getting up in the morning is the most painful torture. This lasts until about 2:00pm, and then I slowly start speaking and acknowledging others in the house, but that's about it. Then around bed time, I get all wound up and fidgety, and I can't tonight...I didn't even nap today!

There's also my lack of motivation to do anything! Lately, I don't feel like doing a darn thing, even the things I usually love - playing with Braelyn, cooking, blogging, going out. And household chores...forget it! We got our Christmas tree on Wednesday, which I had been looking forward to, and then once we got it, I was like, "Oh Lord, now I have to decorate it...maybe I won't decorate the tree this year. Why do I need to decorate what God has already made so beautiful?" Luckily, some friends in our Community group got the lights up for me, so I managed to muster up the strength to hang the ornaments. Thanks Peter!

Those are my the biggest issues, I guess. The only other thing is keeping my thoughts and irrational fears in check, which honestly, I've given this job to Casey. Here are a few:
- Why don't I feel excited about the baby yet?
- I feel like I am already neglecting Braelyn because I never feel well.
- I don't feel ready for Braelyn to have to share my attention with another baby.
- I feel like I'm a pretty good mommy to one baby, but what if I can't manage two?
- What if my baby is a cyclopes?
- I am just now finding things that I enjoy doing by myself (blogging, cooking, sewing, reading). What if I can't do those things anymore once the baby comes?

I know, deep down, it's going to be great. I was equally afraid the first time, and God completely blew me away with His faithfulness. I love being a mom. I love Braelyn more than I could have possible imagined. I am still happily married. I didn't gain 400 pounds. God was good to me then...He will be good again. He always is. If I could just remember!

Good night, ya'll. Thanks for letting me lay it all out. :) And thanks Casey, for the way you are serving me, and blessing me, and showering me with patience. I love you!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Guess What, Ya'll...

Us too! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas In Brenham

This weekend, Brenham had a sort of Christmas kick-off. Friday and Saturday evening, the square was blocked off to traffic, decorations went up, stores stayed open late and the sights and sounds of of Christmas made their debut. Last night, Casey, Braelyn, Nonnie, Bobby, our nephew Noah, and I went to the Brenham Christmas parade. It was definitely a moment for Brenham to show off its small-town charm. Downtown looked so beautiful all lit up and it was so fun to see the street curbs lined with families waving to their friends in the parade.

Downtown Brenham, before the parade.

Of course, Blue Bell got the party started!

We even had some friends in the parade!
There's Justin and Jonas Hyde!
I am guessing that the kiddos are little lambs,
but I'm not totally sure.
Cute, whatever they are.

Braelyn had a ball! She just loves to wave and say hi to strangers!

Before the festivities began, Casey, Braelyn and I put on our most coordinating outfits for our yearly family Christmas picture. For the short amount of time that Braelyn would cooperate, I think we got some great shots. Here are a couple of our favorites. Our #1 choice however, is reserved for the Christmas card! :)

Thanks Nonnie, for coming to Brenham and taking our picture! We had so much fun!