Monday, December 27, 2010

I Wish...

Day 29: 3 Wishes

1. I wish that when I have a second baby it is a girl.

2. I wish for a smooth start and success for my Mom's Group.

3. I wish our house would get rented out soon, so we can start the process of moving into a different one with more space and a backyard.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Day 28: Something That Stresses Me Out

I get stressed out when I have so much to do and it is all running through my head. I start to do one thing, then think of something else I need to do and start doing it, then remember something else and start doing that. I get really stressed that I am going to forget to do one of the important things while I get sidetracked doing something else. My solution for this is to force myself to sit down and make a priority list. Once I have everything written down I feel much more relaxed knowing that I won't forget one of the things I really needed to do. I am a big list maker, and wouldn't survive if someone forced me to stop making lists!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Day 27: Pets

Our first (and only as of now) pet is Olivia. We got her the year before Grant was born, so for about a year she was our baby. She is truly a unique kitty. She can be loving and snuggly, but can also be quite the feisty little one. She is an indoor/outdoor cat, which I said I did not want to have, but ended up not being able to resist her being inside. She acts a little like a puppy dog at times. If we are hanging out in the living room, she is there too. If we move back to the bedroom, she comes along. She sleeps in the papasan chair in our bedroom every night...all night. She only gets up when Paul gets up to get ready for work. Sometimes she will snuggle with me as I sleep, but never with Paul (unless I am gone for the night, then she snuggles with him). We are constantly laughing at the positions and places in which we find her. When she comes inside, she will follow you around the house until you walk back to the bathroom (where her food is) with her, and she doesn't like it if you leave the bathroom while she is still eating. Here are some of my favorite pictures of her. (I realize that there are a lot here, but this might be the only post she ever gets!)

And then there was Grant...At first Olivia completely ignored that he was even around. But she eventually got used to the idea and would just work her way in wherever she could.
Grant has eventually taken over each of Olivia's cute spots...but we still love her too :)

Grant seems to really like Olivia. She tolerates him. But I think Grant would rather have a dog...

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Family

Day 26: A Picture of My Family

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What's In Your CD Player?

Day 25: First 10 Songs Shuffled on my iPod

This seems to me like the modern version of the question that would always be on those email forwards where you were supposed to answer the questions and send it on to 10 friends. Good thing I am hip enough to even have an iPod. If Paul were doing this post, he would have nothing to post! Keep in mind as you read my list, I only have a nano (so can only hold a certain amount of my songs), it is Christmas time, and I have a 1 1/2 year old who loves listening to "tunes" in the car!

1. Knee Up Mother Brown - The Countdown Kids
2. Christmas Time Is Here - Mercy Me
3. Beautiful You - Evan Wickham
4. What Child Is This? - Selah
5. Jesus Born On This Day - Mariah Carey
6. Christmas Time Is Here/Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - NewSong
7. On Top Of Old Smokey - The Countdown Kids
8. I Saw Three Ships - The Countdown Kids
9. Toyland - Frank Sinatra, Bing Cosby, Nat King Cole
10. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - James Taylor

P.S. Are you missing pictures on here? I am missing posting pictures on here! Here is a recent pic of Grant with all his girlfriends :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

What I've Learned

Day 24: Something I've Learned Recently

I have learned the importance of spending time with the people you love. It's something I have always known, but this past week it was really brought to light when one of Paul's best friends died. Paul and Davy grew up together, their parents were friends before they were even born, they did so many things together it is hard to even remember them all. In the past few years, as things go in life, they hadn't been able to spend much time together. We saw Davy and his wife Lindi this summer when both our families went camping together. That was the last time we saw him. Paul had called him once since then, but hadn't ever connected. Of course it wasn't Paul's fault, but he felt bad that he hadn't seen him since summer. I'm sure he would give anything to have one more adventure with Davy, but now he won't have the chance. I don't mean for this post to be a total downer, but I do want to express my feelings about being with the important people in your life. You don't ever know when the people you love will breathe their last breath. Take advantage of the time you have with them, and spend time with them. You won't ever regret the time you spent with a friend.

We will miss you Davy!

That's what I like about me...

Day 23: Favorite Things About Myself

Well I am a few days behind on my posting, and I think it's because I didn't want to write on this topic. Why is it that people have a difficult time admitting things they like about themselves? I sure do! I'll give it my best though.
First of all, I need to respectfully give all credit to God who is the One that created me and everything I am. He has given me a wonderful appreciation for family. Not everyone loves their family as much as I do. I like that about myself.
I also like that I am a stay at home mom. God gave me that desire a long time ago, and I am so blessed to be living my dream at this moment. I don't know how long God will have this in His plans for me, but I will enjoy it as long as it lasts.
The last thing I like about myself is that God has given me the desire to love Him with all my heart. It seems like most people go through a time in their life where they stray a little from God and do their own thing. I honestly don't think that I have ever gone through a stage like that. Not that I have been perfect all my life, but I do think that I have always had a love for the things of God. I am very thankful for that! It has saved me a lot of heartache.
I don't know if these kind of things were exactly what was intended for this topic, but they were the traits that I feel the Lord has given me that are ultimately important.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Day 22: Something I am Passionate About

I am passionate about moms (especially new moms) having a group of other moms they can talk to about anything having to do with babies, husbands, and whatever else they want. After Grant was born I attended a mom's group at his pediatricians office. It was so nice to meet with other moms who didn't care if I was showered and dressed that day. They didn't care if my child screamed when I tried to nurse him. They didn't care that I would sometimes come in with tears in my eyes because I had such a hard time getting out the door to make it to the group. I would always come away feeling so refreshed and excited about being a mom. It was so much fun to see all the other babies, all at different stages within their first year, and see where Grant had just been or would soon be developmentally. I don't know what I would have done without that group!
Since going to that group, I have made it a priority to keep meeting with other moms. Now, since Grant is older, it is a great way for him to learn to play with other kids, but I also get the chance to discuss kid stuff with my mom friends or just simply complain. They can always sympathize, and will usually give me some kind of advice that I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere else. My time with friends has become invaluable to me as a mom.
I have really felt the Lord leading me in this area also. There are a couple of mom's groups that I have attended in the area. When I'm there I always think, "Why doesn't my church have something like this?" So, I have decided to pursue starting one at my church. It is still in the beginning stages, but I am super excited to begin this adventure and feel as if I am following the Lord's leading in my life. If you think of it, please pray for me as I get things started. I have no idea what all it will entail, but I know the Lord will equip those He has called.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Day 21: A Picture of Myself

I'm really not crazy about this post. Like I told Paul, I always have pictures of me on here! (In fact wasn't that one of the things I had to do on the first day of these 30 days?!) Oh well... :) Paul told me to use this one. This picture used to be on our cornhole board. Jordan and Elizabeth made us a cornhole set for our wedding, and they used pictures of us from the wedding day. It was a wonderful gift! Unfortunately, our pictures have not stood the test of time. They still say "Caswell 2006" that's good.

My Inspiration

Day 20: People Who Inspire Me

Elizabeth inspiration :) About a month before Grant was born, she told me "You need to start a blog so that we can keep up with everything that is going on out there." (She lives in Cincinnati.) Thus, I started my blog, which I love! She even gets on me if I neglect my blogging duties for a while. In fact if you ever read the comments on my blog posts, she is usually the one writing them. Elizabeth is the one who encouraged me to do this 30 days of blogging with her. She is constantly coming up with ideas of things we can do together. For example, last Christmas she got the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, and she wanted me to get it so that we could each do it at our own houses and then talk to each other on the phone to encourage each other to keep doing it. We were both trying to lose our post-baby weight, and I really appreciated her desire to help me out and work together. Beyond the "tasks" that she inspires me to do, she also inspires me in other ways. She is a wonderful mom to my nephew Henry, a great wife to my brother, and an awesome encourager for the Lord. I am so blessed by her :) This blog's for you Lizzy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh the joys...

Day 19: Something I Miss

I just finished cleaning the most disgusting shower I have ever cleaned in my life. I am so ashamed to say it was my own shower! I have spent the last three hours cleaning our two bathrooms...that's right THREE HOURS!!! That is the entire time that Grant was taking a much for sitting down with my peppermint hot cocoa and reading my Real Simple magazine. So, something I miss...the ladies who cleaned our dormroom bathrooms in college. I never appreciated them when I was in college, but now I miss them!
And just look what I have to look forward to now...

But I can't possibly leave you with such a gross picture. Here is a picture from last night. We went downtown Medford to see the lights and the big Christmas tree. There was a big lit up Santa on the roof of one of the buildings that was waving. Grant waved to him pretty much the whole time we were down there. So cute!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I regret...

Day 18: Something I Regret

I kind of hesitate to write what I am thinking on this one. I am sure there are a few things I regret, and I could think of them if I really sat down and thought for a long time. This one came to my mind first (not right away) and I was kind of surprised by it. I'm going to go ahead and say it anyway. I regret that we had a baby when we did. Don't get me wrong!!! I LOVE GRANT!! and I know that if we would have waited for another time, we wouldn't have had him, so I am totally grateful that we had him when we did because he is such a blessing. But...all that aside, I wish we would have waited a little longer before starting our kid family. Our marriage was wonderful (not that it's bad now...just different) and sometimes I miss the days of just us. The freedom to take off for the evening or the weekend without regard to anything related to babies was a really nice place to be in. Things definitely change when kids come along. And, yes, things change for the better, but there will always be that little part of me that misses the times Paul and I spent together without giving a thought to anyone else. Having a family was always in our plans, but it might have been nice to have just a few more years with just the two of us. All that said...I am totally content where we are now, and I love being a mommy! Best decision of my life, but maybe not the best timing.

Christmas Time is Here

Day 17: Something I am looking forward to

This is so obvious around this time of year, but I am really looking forward to Christmas. I love spending time with my family and Paul's family. But most of all, I love that Paul can take off work and spend more than a few days with us. I am so excited for Grant to experience Christmas this year. Last year he was only 7 months old, and I don't think he really understood what was going on...not that he will really understand this year, but I think he will have fun for sure! Christmas has always been my favorite time of year (or one of them), and it has just gotten better with the added excitement of a husband and family. I can't wait for Grant to open his presents. He is in love with Elmo, and he is going to get Elmo this year! He will be overjoyed! I am looking forward to hanging out, drinking warm Christmasy drinks, putting together Christmas puzzles, opening Christmas cards, taking pictures, watching people open the presents I got them, seeing extended family, enjoying the atmosphere of Christmas all around, listening to Christmas music, playing games with friends and family, eating yummy food...okay you get the idea :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Day 16: Dream House

I can't say that I really have a specific idea in mind of what my dream house looks like. I know that I want to live out in the country...a little bit. What I mean is that I don't want houses on all sides of me, but I don't want to have to drive 30 minutes to get to town. So, a place with a nice size lot would be good...not too big though, because that would take a lot of work. I would love it if my house had enough rooms for there to be a girls room, a boys room (if I have girls and boys), a guest room, and maybe an office. It would be very convenient if there was a living room and a family room. I am finding that Grant's toys need a room of their own. I don't want him to be cooped up in his room whenever he wants to play, but it doesn't work for them to all be in the main living room. That would be a room where we would hang out as a family most nights. A fireplace would be wonderful! I want it to feel open and roomy in the main living area. And we definitely need a garage. We have way too much stuff to go without!
When I see this house, I will know it right away! Until then, I will be praying for all my dreams to come true :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paul's Turn

Day 15: Bible Verse

I came down with a really bad cold and have been laying down all day. I finally got up enough strength to come do this post :) I don't, however, have the strength to put thought into this post. So I asked Paul what his favorite Bible verse is. He said that the first one that pops into his mind as being one he really likes is Jeremiah 29:11...
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
This really is a great verse (although sometimes over used) and is such a great reminder when we go through difficult times in our lives. I am so blessed to have a husband who realizes the importance of laying everything down at the feet of the One who has our best interest in mind.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Pictures?

Day 14: A Picture I Love

Just one!? Seriously!? I love pictures so much and take millions of pictures. How can I pick just one? But that's what it says... "A picture I love". Besides being fun to look at and hang around the house, pictures help me to remember times in my life that I don't ever want to forget. When I look at a picture I not only remember that moment, but the whole situation surrounding that moment.
A picture I love...I would have to go with this one...

This was the most wonderful day of my life, and I think it shows in this picture. I love how we are SO happy! It was taken right after we were married and walking back down the aisle as husband and wife. I'm not even sure who took it, but I love the composition of it. It is just so carefree and fun. We got married in Florence...outside...anyone who knows much about coastal weather knows that that was risky! But I really wanted an outdoor wedding, and I really wanted it to be in Florence. The Lord totally answered our prayers and gave us an unusually perfect day. My mom and I planned the whole wedding by ourselves, so the fact that it went off without a hitch was another miracle. It really was the best day of my life, and I love this picture because it reminds me of that day and gives a taste of what our lives together would be like.

OK...I absolutely could not keep it to one picture! This is the second picture I love. The second most wonderful day of my life. It says to me...I am a new mom, I love my son, my husband is by my side through everything, we made it through and will always make it through, and we have no idea what is ahead of us! (Is is just me, or do we look a tad more tired in this picture than the first one?)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Behind Again!

I feel as if I need to explain why I have missed days of posting here and there. As a mother of an 18 month old it is very difficult to sit down and actually put thought into a posting while he is awake. So, I try to do it while he is taking naps. There are certain days though when there is much more that needs to be done, besides posting, while I have the chance. The only other time I can post then is after Paul gets home and he can entertain Grant. Therein lies the third problem...Paul likes me to spend time engaging with the family, not my computer....which I totally understand! So it happens that on days like yesterday I don't get to my computer at all. I want to show my family that they are a higher priority than my blogging :) There you have excuse. Please forgive me if I have to post two topics in one day from here on out. I'm not going to make any more excuses.

Day 12: What I Believe

Yikes! This sounds like a topic where I need to be really insightful and intelligent sounding. I don't know if I can do that...
The first thing that comes to mind, and it might be kind of a "duh" statement, but I don't want to post about what I believe without putting it front and center...I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He came to Earth to die for MY sins (along with the sins of the whole world). I believe that He loves me more than I could ever understand, and that because of that love and His sacrifice I will one day live forever in heaven with Him. (I am kind of scared that someone reading this will find many theological faults with how I just put all of that...oh well!)
I also believe that, after God, marriage and family should be the first priority of husbands and wives. This is something that Paul and I have really had to adjust to after getting married and especially after having Grant. We were both living our own lives, doing whatever we wanted with our time and weekends, and are realizing that once you get married and have a family, sometimes you can't do whatever you want (or at least you shouldn't).
I believe that having friends who support you and have the same beliefs as you are invaluable. I don't know what I would do, especially as a new mom, without my friends who give me time to talk and work through difficult issues.
I'm sure if I sat here longer I could come up with more, but as my time on the computer is limited, I think I better move on to the next topic...

Day 13: My Love Language

I am not really sure. I have heard about love languages from many people, but I have never actually read the book or taken the test to see what mine truly is. (Side note...I am reading it right now with my small group, so soon I will be able to update this post.) With what people have told me about the love languages though, I reluctantly say that mine is "Gifts". I am reluctant to say that, because it sounds so selfish! Hopefully after reading the book, if it does end up that that is what mine is, it will make more sense to me and sound less selfish. All I know at this point is that I really feel loved when people think of me enough to give me a gift. It doesn't have to be anything fantastic or expensive. It is just the thought that they were thinking of me. On the flip side, I love buying for others...which has been hard since I stopped working. We just don't have the money to buy everything I would like to buy for people.
If you are reading this and have never heard of "The Five Love Languages" you should really check it out. From what I've read in the first two chapters, it is essential to any successful relationship. I hope to gain valuable insight for my own relationships.

Friday, December 3, 2010

That's What She Said

Day 11: Favorite TV Shows

Hmmm...this is a little hard because we don't have TV at our house. We have A TV, but no cable. So when most couples sit down in the evening to watch a little TV, Paul and I have found other things to keep us entertained...talking, playing cards, reading, bills, get the idea. That was until we were introduced to "The Office". Many of our friends were always talking about it and quoting it. When I was at my friend's house in Salem I saw that she had 4 seasons on DVD. She let me borrow them, and our evenings have never been the same. We blew through the first 4 seasons and were so sad when we didn't have any more to watch. We were so lost without our nightly fix of "The Office" that we decided to get Netflix so that we could watch the next couple seasons. We are currently half way through the 5th fact Paul is calling to me from the couch to get off the computer so we can watch it now! I guess that's all I have to say about that :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Day 10: Some Things I Am Afraid Of

There are many things that I could be afraid of. Although, I don't know if "afraid" is quite the right word. "Afraid" and "worry" kind of go hand in hand for me. But the Bible tells us not to worry about these are the things I would be afraid of if I didn't have complete trust in my Savior.

Doing the wrong things as a mom
Messing up my marriage
Kids getting sick...really sick
Having to go back to work full time
Running out of money
Family members dying
Making family members mad at me
Having a handicapped child
Getting pulled over by the police
(OK...the last three are still legitimate scares for me)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Day 9: A Picture of My Friends

I feel terrible posting this picture! The reason is because I have such a wide variety of friends. It is impossible for me to have a picture of all of them. Many of them have never even met the others. Paul and I have always talked about how we are friends with so many different groups of people and, for the most part, those groups don't intermix. But they are all such good friends! So...if you do not find yourself in this picture...please don't be mad at me! It would just take me too long to go through all of my pictures and find pictures of each and every one of my friends. This picture was of the largest group of friends I could find. It was taken the most recently too. We were at our friends' cabin in California. It was a beautiful day for a nature walk, and we truly enjoyed the time we got to spend with these friends!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mommy's Helper

I was reading my sister-in-law's blog the other day and was reminded how alike kids can be. Look at her blog and then look at my little helper. They are such cute cousins!

Yes, kids are all different in their own special ways, but they are also very much alike. I have learned that more and more the more I hang out with my "mommy friends". I am so blessed to have friends who are in the same place as me as far as being a mom of a toddler. I don't know how many times we have helped each other out with questions or problems with our kids. And...our kids have so much fun playing together! Bonus! :)

Life Happens

If you didn't happen to notice...I didn't post yesterday. I could go into all the details of why I didn't get it done, but let's just leave it at I had other things to do that just took precedence over my blogging...Sorry! But now you get to read two in a row! :)

Day 7: Favorite Movies

My all time favorite movie is Gone With The Wind. I have no idea what first got me started on it, but I have watched the 4 hour movie many, many times, AND the 6 hour sequel just as much. I love the time period and the fact that it is historical fiction. I might as well learn something while I watch a movie, right? Here is a little known fact about me and Gone With The mom made me a Southern Belle costume when I was in 8th grade so I could be Scarlett O'Hara.

My other favorites change quite often. At any given time I might say a different movie. At the moment, You've Got Mail comes to mind. This is one of those movies that I like to watch when I am sick. When I am sick I don't like to watch movies that I really have to pay attention to. With You've Got Mail I can watch it, sleep a little, wake up and know exactly what is going on. Meg Ryan stays home with a cold in the movie too, so maybe that's why I think of it when I am sick.

Father of the Bride, Part 2 makes me laugh every single time I watch it. Steve Martin is so funny, and even though I know what he is going to say, I laugh anyway. Frank is hilarious also, and the combo of the two of them puts that movie near the top of my favorites.

I am sure there are other movies that I have said are my favorites at different times, but these are the ones I can think of at the moment. Ask me another day.

Day 8: A Place I've Traveled To

Probably the most unusual place I've traveled to is Japan. I don't know many people that take trips there (other than all the people I met there on my trip). My Uncle and Aunt used to take yearly trips to Japan with groups that worked at a missions conference. I decided to go with them when I was a junior in college. I really enjoyed it and decided to go again the next year. The summer after I graduated I was asked to return to Japan to teach for a while. Through a long string of events, I ended up living in Japan for 6 months. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I loved my time there! Someday I would love to take Paul there to show him what a small part of my life was like.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Day 6: Something that makes me smile

Wouldn't you smile at that too?! This picture makes me smile for several reasons. First of all, it is of my sweet little boy who makes me smile every single day. I am so blessed to be Grant's mommy, and can't contain how happy he makes me feel. Second, he is actually smiling in this picture. It is almost impossible to get him to even look at the camera recently, much less smile. Auntie Lizzy took this great smiling picture a few weeks ago. I think she got him to say "cheese". Third, I love that he is wearing his Ducks jersey. He looks so stinkin' cute in it, not to mention that the Ducks are doing awesome this year! We have been watching as many games as we can, and Grant has started saying "touchdown!" while raising his arms in the air. Makes me smile every time :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yum Yum

Day 5: My Favorite Recipe

One of my friends told me, after I wrote my first post on this 30 days of blogging, that I should post my favorite crockpot recipe. In my 15 interesting facts I said that I loved cooking with my crockpot. In fact, tonight we ate a meal from the crockpot. So I will post the recipe we had for dinner. I don't know for sure that it is my absolute favorite recipe, but it is really good (and fresh in my mind)!

White Chili

3 15-oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained
8 oz. cooked and shredded chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow, red, or green bell peppers
2 jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

1. Combine all ingredients except sour cream, cheddar cheese, and chips in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on Low 8-10 hours, or High 4-5 hours.
3. Ladle into bowls and top individual servings with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and chips.

Hope you like it! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mommy and Daddy

Day 4: My Parents

My Parents: I have always been very proud to call Kathy and John my parents. They have both been wonderful examples to me in many different ways. The thing I admire most about my parents though is their commitment to God and each other. Even when times are tough, they stick it out and trust the Lord to bring them to the other side. I admire their determination to stay true to their vows even when the rest of the world acts as if divorce is just a part of life. Through their example, I know that Paul and I can make it through any difficult situation that comes along if we stay committed to the commitments we made to God and each other.

My Dad: My dad is someone that I have always been able to count on. He was always at my sport, academic, musical, etc. functions. My dad has been an example to me of hard work, loving God and his family. He grew up in Pennsylvania. I used to think it was so cool that my dad lived near the Amish people, and always thought it was so funny when people would ask me if he was Amish. Although he has always had his mustache (except for a couple times when he was talked into shaving it off) he is not Amish. He is a wonderful musician though! He plays the trumpet better than anyone I have ever known. I love when he plays the song "Sleigh Ride", so he plays it especially for me every year around Christmas. My dad can always make me laugh when someone leaves a light on in the house when they leave a room and he goes into that room and yells at the "people" to "Get out of here!" I don't know if anyone else thinks it's funny, but I do, and he knows it, so he does it for me. My dad loves to make his kids happy.

My Mom: My mom is known as "The President". Our family friend says that if you are ever in jail you should use your one phone call to call my mom...she will do whatever it takes to get things done. She is super efficient and always manages to get way more done than anyone would ever imagine possible. I can't even begin to list the things that make my mom an amazing woman. She would do anything for her kids! When I was a freshman in college I was having a hard time adjusting to being away from home. She would drive to my school (a 2 1/2 hour drive) on Friday afternoon to bring me home for the weekend. Then she would turn right around and take me back to school on Sunday. My mom has always been my best friend and an ever present listening ear. Whatever is going on in my life I always want to talk to my mom about it. Her best advice is always to trust the Lord in whatever situation I find myself. Her life has always been an example of doing just that.

I am so thankful that the Lord blessed me with the parents He did. I am honored to be called their daughter.
P.S. I forgot to mention that my parents are wonderful grandparents. Grant loves his Poppop and Gammy!