Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Do you know Paul?

If you don't, you should.
I'm not kidding.
You would love him.
Shortly after Paul and I started dating, I was working at Dillards in Waterloo.  This woman came in with a little newborn.  I asked his name.  She said "Paul!"
I thought this was interesting because you don't hear of a lot of babies named Paul.
I asked her if it was a family name or had any meaning and she simply said, "Ya know, when we were coming up with names I told my husband I had never met a Paul I didn't love!"
True story.
And it holds true for my Paul.
As a matter of fact I have been know to say aloud, "Everybody that meets Paul loves him...sometimes it's almost annoying!" (totally kidding, OF COURSE!)
And MY Paul turns 40 today. (what?!?!  is that even possible?? that's OLD! :))
Paul is exceptional.  He is by far the most humble man I have ever known in my life. He never tells you what he's good at. He has a calm, quiet, strong presence about him.  Perfectly suited for me...seeing as I may have the exact OPPOSITE presence about me.
It may take a little while to get to know him.  But when you do, you find that his dry sense of humor and quick wit can may you laugh harder than you have ever laughed in your life.
I love that about him.
He is the absolute perfect role model for our kids.  Especially Brigg. He knows how to take care of and love his family. If Brigg turned out exactly like him, I would be ecstatic.
He is the glue to our family.  Our rock.  Our constant support.  Our strong foundation.
And I love him.
And I really have no idea what I did to deserve him.  But I am thankful.  Thankful that God helped us find eachother and that Paul continues to put up with me after all these years.
Happy 40th, Paul. 
Thank you for being you.
Thank you for supporting us and love us and making our dreams YOUR dreams.
With all that we are, we love you....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Camp Cassie 2012

I set the date months ago.
Because honestly, we all lead busy lives.  And it's so easy to get caught up in life and pass over these kinds of things.  I know it would have turned out to be "shoot! we just don't have time to fit it in!" if we didn't plan in months in advance.
And trust me...I don't want to miss this weekend.
I'm not gonna lie...it's not simple.  It's not about just ME or MY kids.  It's a group thing.  Lots of personalities.  Lots of potential problems. Lots of planning and preparation.
And lots and lots of fun! :)
9 kids ranging in age from 2-11.
COMPLETELY impossible without my MIL, Donna and my hubby.  And this year, my babysitter, Molli.

This year is declared a success!
Seriously.  As perfect as it could have been with this many young kids.
I plan the crap out of things.  EVERY SINGLE MINUTE planned.
But I am also super flexible.  I don't think for a second that we will get through everything.  But I want to have plans so we don't have TIME to run into conflicts.  and seriously...it works.  When they are busy they don't have time to drive each other nuts.

We get together as families a lot.  I love my family and my inlaws.  So much that when I am with them, I just want to be WITH them.  We kind of leave the kids to enjoy each other and we do the same.  And it works.  We always have fun.  But usually when we go our own ways, I feel like I haven't gotten any time with my nieces and nephews.  So this is a different kind of weekend.  It is ALL about the kids.  Every single second.  Impossible to do every time we gather, but fun to do once a year. :)

As Donna and Paul can attest, it is madness.  Seriously.  It takes buckets of energy. From the adults mostly. We don't have time to chat and catch up.  We don't lounge around and have drinks and laugh at stories.  We do activities.  One after another.  And I take photos.  And hopefully we create tons of memories.  Looking back at the photos today, I can see that fun was had. And the feeling in my heart is awesome.  I love them all more today that I did Friday afternoon, if that's possible.

So I'll leave you with one photo for now. Timer. Wild Cat Den. Hiking. Picnic. The ONLY photo of everyone.  I love it.  More fun stories to come.
But for now....YAY for Camp Cassie 2012.
(now i'm going to go nap...)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brigg. Now 11.

i say it every.single.year.
"this is my favorite age"!
i swear i have felt that from day 1 with this child.
i'm beginning to think it's just the child. and his nature. and the ease of parenting him. :)
i've been pretty reflective the past couple weeks on the relationship i have with brigg and why.
he's my only son...so special.
his exudes excitement for life...i love that.
he loves people and chaos and laughter and FUN...as do i.
he possesses the perfect blend of light-heartedness, passion, wit, silliness, intensity, and joy.
i simply adore him.
ADORE him.
and today he is 11.
i could almost cry.
i'm not sure if they would be tears of sadness because he is growing up right before my very eyes or tears of happiness because of the young man he is becoming.
i wish i could push the pause button and just soak this time up with him.  i know the day is coming where he finds me annoying and embarrassing.  but today.  right now in this stage...it's the perfect age in my book.
he still loves me.
and tells me.
and hugs me.
and likes to be with me.
and laughs with me.
he hugs me and throws me the "i love you" sign at least once a day.
he knows when i'm frustrated and he'll grab my hand and squeeze it.
he seems to know just the right thing to say to me when my own intensity and passion rises to the surface and then overflows.
like i said "this is my favorite age".
and i mean it.
Brigg Thomas,
From the deepest parts of our hearts, we love you.  Your laugh is infectious, your intensity pairs perfectly with your love of life.  From that first moment we saw your face and heard your small cry, we were smitten.  Big brother, first born, only boy...you wear each hat gracefully and perfectly.  As the years pass and we see you growing into this mini-adult, our prayer for you grows as well. That you heart is filled with God...the one who created you and loves you more than your dad and I can even fathom. That in your presence, those around you can feel His love through you.  That you take the gifts HE has given you and use them to the fullest for His glory.  That you hold none of it back...just like you give it all on the baseball field or the basketball court, we pray that you freely hand out all that love, compassion, and joy for life to everyone you meet.  That you grow completely into the man of God that we know you have the potential to be.
Big prayers and dreams for a 65 pound boy with a giant heart.
We have no doubt you will fulfill them all.
With everything that we are...we love you.
Happy birthday.
Happy happy birthday.

Mom and Dad

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

believe it. live it.

simply stated.
pretty much my life goal.
love it.

and now some photos to go along with the words in the previous post

so we are teaching our kids to be misfits.
it's our hope and dream for each of them.
shouldn't be a huge stretch for a couple of them...but one..we are really going to have to push it! ;)
 and remember that land i have been dreaming about.
it looks like this.
minus the cows.
i'm not ready for cows.
but the trees...yes please.
and the creek...absolutely.
no cows though...
 brigg played in the state baseball tournament last week.
he looked like this on the way home.
always leaves it all on the field.
love him...
with my co-worker, cheryl.
math is our focus.
hard work...but so exciting.
i love this stuff.
i have officially found my sweet spot.
 oh my.
dance mom?
but man...she is adorable!
 we can often be found at the vineyard near our house on the weekend.
sunday a jazz band was there.
and the so were the burbacks.
baseball, wine and jazz.
perfect combo...
 after we got home from the state baseball tournament, we did this....
i swear...the kids is the energizer bunny.
never stops.
we have been feeding him protein shakes.
trying to "bulk him up".
wish us luck with that.

and there you have it.
our life in pictures.
and thank goodness for instagram.
i have barely touched my camera this summer.
but instagram has captured all those fun moments for me.
love it.
my favorite app for sure.
if you want to follow me, my user name is cassicab


so much going on.  i'm just going to start typing.
we have been traveling like crazy this summer.  obviously.  our time at home is precious to us though.  we get so much use out of our community pool.  when we are home we try to hit it at least once a day.  oftentimes 3 times a day. :) our favorite are night swims...when it's just US.  in the dark.  somehow i think the kids get along better when they can't really SEE eachother's faces. :)

ayla has started dance.  she loves it.  like seriously loves it.  she is such a good listener there.  the other day her shoe had come undone and she wouldn't take her hands off her hips to fix it because the teacher had told her to keep her hands on her hips.  too cute. i'm the worst dance mom on the planet, but i am always willing to suck it up and forge ahead when it involves my kids loving something.  we'll see if she misses it after summer.  i'm going to try to get away with JUST summer dance this year.  we'll see.

paul turns 40 on july 31.  seriously.  old man. :) i begged him to do something fun.
like go on a trip.
(my favorite thing to do!!)
but i remembered that we weren't actually celebrating MY birthday and i let him decide.
all he wants is to stay home.
how did we end up together??? :)
so we are having a pool party.
just family.
a little golf in the morning.
food and swimming in the afternoon.
nothing fancy.
darn it!

brigg turns 11 on friday. (yes...friday the 13th.  and actually he was BORN on friday the 13th.  fun!)
we are going to just do cake and celebrate his and my nephew bode's birthdays on friday.
then saturday we are packing up and heading to minneapolis. (he's his mother's son!)
we are going with 2 other families and going to a Twin's game on saturday night.
sunday morning we will get up and head to the color run!!!
SO PUMPED about this!!!
watch the video and you will be, too!

if you are interested in running your own color run, check out the website here!

lani is just lani.  goes with the flow.  LOVES swimming.  hasn't been doing too much horseback riding this summer.  just relaxing.  so sweet.  such a blessing to our family.

and i am working quite a bit.  i'm on a couple committees.  getting anxious for the upcoming school year.  going to do things SO DIFFERENT this year!  i'm PUMPED! lots of planning and prepping for it this summer, but i will be ready for the school year to begin in august!!

still dreaming and dreaming and dreaming about buying a big piece of land and building a tiny house in the middle of it.   you can check out all of my ideas and dreams bouncing around in my head on my pinterest board HERE.

that's all for now.  i need to go pick up willow from the groomer and my car from it's oil change. 
happy halfway through summer!! :)
i'll try to be back soon!