Sunday, April 23, 2017

Raylan Turns 2!

So it was a big week in our house! Raylan turned 2 on Thursday!  Amy and I I took Thursday off from work to spend the day with him, and I'm really glad that we did.  We had a fun time.
I took Raylan to his Gymboree class in the morning (usually mom mom takes him on Thursdays).  He had a really fun time.  There's a sort of creepy clown puppet thing that they bring out at the end of the class who sings to the kids.  His name is Jimbo (Gymbo?).  He sort of dances and sings.  I found him a little terrifying, but the kids seemed fascinated by him.

"You're no Grandma, but you'll do for today, Dad."
After Gymboree my Dad came over and we all went out to lunch at Kerbey Lane (Mom was volunteering at church).  We had a nice time.  Raylan loves their pancakes, and he loves Poppa, so it was a really good lunch for him.

Raise your hand if you think you deserve to be spoiled on your birthday.
In the afternoon, after Raylan's nap, we took him over to Dittmar Park.  He played on the playground and we walked their trails.
Uncle Ryan came out to see Raylan and brought him a birthday present.

"Walk this way, Uncle Ryan..."
I took Friday off, also.  Mom and Dad picked Raylan up in the morning so he could spend the day and night at their house, and I ran some errands to get ready for Raylan's party on Saturday.
In the evening, Amy got home from work and we went to Bombay Bistro for dinner.  We had a nice dinner.
Saturday we had a birthday party at our house for Raylan.  We had a lot of fun.
A bunch of friends came and brought their kids.  The kids ran around and played on Raylan's play fort and played with outdoor toys.  The weather was a little overcast, and unseasonably cool, but that was sort of nice, given that it'll probably just get hotter and hotter for the rest of the year.  We kept all of the windows open all weekend.

Joe and Emily with Amy.

Lizzie, June, the other Fite twin (sorry, kid- I'm bad with names), and Raylan
having snacks

Megan. Shelly, Kit, and Ryan

Ryan, Cynthia (holding August), Mary, Truett, J.R., and Kit.

Lizzie and Megan go for a slide.

Raylan gives a tour of Fort Raylan to Lizzie, Cynthia, and August


Anyway, the party seemed to be a success.  I think the kids had fun, and hopefully the parents as well.
Amy did a great job pulling it all together.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme seemed to impress Raylan, who happily pointed at the various decorations while pointing out that caterpillars do, in fact, have a tendency to eat too much.  And like the hungry caterpillar, Raylan got really excited and ate a lot (especially cake).

On Sunday we got up and went out to breakfast at La Posada.  It was good.  Raylan was in a really good (albeit loud) mood, still excited from his birthday celebration.

Afterward we went home and played in the yard for a while.  The weather was really nice.  I took some "turning two" pictures.
We also went up to Joslin Park.


"Mom, why don't you trust me?"

In the afternoon I ran a few errands and did a couple of chores, but mostly we laid low.

And that was pretty much our weekend!  It was a busy one, but a good one.

I can't believe Raylan is two.  Well, I can and I can't.  The time is flying by at an almost alarming rate, but I love watching him grow into his own person, with his own personality, interests, and opinions. (oh, the opinions!  Definitely go some of me in him ;-))
He is a really great kid.  He's cheerful, affectionate, bright, strong willed, brave, quite talkative, and very, very curious.
As a person who never even was sure he was going to have kids, I watch him every day with a sense of amazement and gratitude.  He's made our lives better, and he makes our extended family happy as well.
I love you, Raylan!

Now to try not to mess up this parenting thing...

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Weekend Update

Well, I'm gonna start this post out with one more pic from Matt and Nicole's wedding from last weekend.  My Mom sent me this pic last week after I had made my blog post, or I would have included it.  I just like this picture.

This weekend was Easter weekend.  I came down with a stomach virus, so it was pretty rough.  Amy and I managed to take Raylan to ride the Zilker Zephyr before I started getting sick, though. That was on Friday.  Raylan enjoyed the train and got to play on the playground a bit.

Saturday I was in bed and feeling pretty much awful.  Amy was a trooper on single parent duty.
Sunday I woke up and felt well enough to get to church, so we piled in the car and headed to Triumphant Love.  Mom and Dad were at church serving a breakfast to people.  We saw them, but they actually went to a different service later in the morning.


After church we went home and I napped.
In the afternoon/evening we went out to my parents' house for dinner.
I was feeling a lot better and ate some food.  Ryan, Jamie, Matt, Juan, Uncle Donald, Susan, Judy, and Don were there.  We had a nice time.  Raylan, of course, had a blast.
And that was about it.  Easter turned out pretty well given how awful I felt the day and night before.

Thanks to Mom and Dad for hosting!!



Monday, April 10, 2017

San Antonio; Hedwig; Matt and Nicole Get Hitched

Hi! How's it going?  We had a really busy work week, and a really nice weekend.
Both Amy and I have been a little swamped with the lawyerin' lately, but things are going pretty well.
On Wednesday Amy handled Raylan transport duty, giving me a chance to ride my bike to work.  Thanks, Amy!  The weather was nice, and it felt good.
The morning view from the South 1st Street bridge.
This weekend my mom and dad took care of Raylan.  Mom and Dad took Raylan on Friday afternoon, so Amy and I headed to Cypress Grill for some tasty Cajun food Friday night.  Amy and I got up and headed to San Antonio on Saturday to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Tobin Center in San Antonio.    We'd gotten the tickets a long time back as a birthday present for Amy, so we'd been looking forward to it for a while.
It was a really good show.  For those who aren't familiar, Hedwig is a rock musical about a transgender aspiring rock star from East Berlin who's suffered a botched sex change operation.
It's probably not for everyone in that it's, of course, got some profanity and some pretty adult subject matter.  On the other hand, the overall messages of the show are about universal love and acceptance and the struggle that everyone goes through to find their place in the world.  So it's for everyone.  But it's probably not for everyone.
It was an excellent performance, though.  Funny and irreverent and poignant.  And the music was outstanding.
We had a really good time.
We got to San Antonio earlier in the afternoon and went to the Mexican Market, el Mercado.  We bought a few pieces of clothing and a gardening pot.  I also got a piece of street art for my office at work.
Afterwards we wandered the Riverwalk and had a sort of contemporary Mexican dinner at Acenar.  We got to sit outside and enjoy some really nice weather on the river while we ate.  

Always fun!

Happy birthday, Amy!  We're really stretchin' out this 30th birthday
celebration, huh?  ;-)
Meanwhile, back in Austin, Mom and Dad took Raylan for a haircut...

Pay no attention to the scissors, boy,
Focus on the phone.
After dinner we walked back to the Tobin Center through part of downtown San Antonio.  People in fancy clothes were gathering outside the Majestic Theatre for a play that was getting ready to start, and we passed through a local park where people were gathered for a free ballet performance that was taking place on a temporary stage.
Headed into the Tobin Center as the sun was starting to go down.

Our friends from Austin, Ruben and Miguel, were also at the show.  We caught up with them, had a chance to chat a bit, and managed to get a picture.  A few months back they had come out for a karaoke night that we'd all attended, and we'd sung some Hedwig songs that night.
It was great to see them.
There was a Q&A after the show, and we stayed for a bit of that before hopping in the car to drive back to Austin.

Miguel, Ruben, myself, and Amy after the show.
Back in Austin, we got up the next morning, and Mom and Dad dropped Raylan off with us before heading to church.
It was good to have him back.  We'd missed him!

So on Sunday we did a few chores and spent time with Raylan.
Sunday night we headed to the wedding of our family friends, Matt and Nicole.  My brother, Ryan, presided over the ceremony, and he did a really good job.
It was a really nice wedding.  It took place outdoors at a venue off of South Lamar.
It was sort of a medium sized wedding, and there a number of people there that I've known for many years now, mostly because they were friends of Ryan (and Matt and Nicole) through college and through work experience at UT.  I got to briefly catch up with quite a few people, which was really nice.
They also had really good food- fajitas with chicken and meat prepared by Nicole's sister's family (apparently they do this as a sort of side business back in their hometown).  Very good stuff.
I have a few pictures of our family from the wedding, but I didn't take too many photos.  There was a professional photographer there, and she took some pictures of all of us, so hopefully sometime we'll get to see those.

Sitting with my folks.  Waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Ryan, sporting his clergy badge.

Anyway, that was our weekend.  It was really fun,  It was also really tiring.  I feel like we squeezed two weekends into one.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Sunday, April 02, 2017


Hi!  How's everyone?  It's April!  It feels like we just had Christmas, for cryin' out loud.
Our weekend was pretty good!

Here'a pic of Amy playing some ball with the
wee ones at Raylan's school on Friday.
On Friday we worked and went out to dinner in the evening.  We went to La Posada.

We were tired.  I think we went to bed pretty early.  It had been a busy week.

La Posada is one of my happy places.  Believe it or not, this is what
relaxation looks like to me after a long week.
On Saturday we got up and I rode my bike to Central Market and got us some breakfast tacos and bagels for breakfast.  We went to Target and bought a few household items and a kite.
Then, of course, we had to go to the park to fly the kite.
Raylan walks over to give me some kite flying
In the afternoon, after Raylan's nap and some parental exercise, we hung out at the house for a while and then eventually walked down to Whole Earth and Central Market.
In the evening Amy made salmon with avocado puree (which was very good), and then she did some reading while I played Witcher III.  I'm just getting to the part with the Botchling.
Which is messed up.
I'll let you look it up on your own if the curiosity is killing you.
On Sunday morning we went to Kerbey Lane.  While we there, a big storm rolled through.  Heavy rains, high winds, lightning.  Pretty crazy stuff.  The lights even flickered once or twice at the restaurant.

Who's afraid of storms?  No one at this table!
After the storm rolled through, though, the weather behind it was very nice,  The sun came out and the clouds rolled away.

Perfect day for a puddleboot walk.
Later, in the afternoon, we went over to my parents' house.  The weather was nice.  We spent some time out on their porch while Raylan played with toys, and I strummed guitar.

Steans Creek.
They fed us fajitas (which were good), and Raylan got so much attention that he eventually turned into a spinning, bouncing, shouting crazy man.

When story time unexpectedly turns into bouncing time.

Then we all piled in the car and headed home.
Amy and I listened to a little bit of the S-Town podcast after Raylan was in bed.  I think I'm enjoying it a little bit more than Amy.  Anyway, we're both interested, but maybe not quite sure it's living up to some of the hype surrounding it.
Not even 3 full episodes in, though, so I guess we'll see.
Anyway, that was our weekend.
Hope you guys had a good one!

Monday, March 27, 2017


Howdy!  Things have been going pretty well over at our place, all in all.
On Thursday afternoon Mom picked up Raylan from daycare and he spent the night at their house.  Seems like he enjoyed himself.  Amy and I went out for dinner at Azul Tequila.
Friday night Raylan was back!  He's been going through a little bit of a cold or something, which has him sneezing and coughing a bit, although his mood still seems pretty good.

"Oh hi!"

On Saturday morning we went to visit our friends Libby and Jordan and their son, Rowan, over at their new house.  Rowan must be headed toward being six months old or so at this point, and we haven't seen him since shortly after he was born.  He's a really cute kid.  He's very alert, smiles and interacts quite a bit, and really holds his head and body up to look around.  It was good to see him.
Their new house was also really cool.  It's an older home over on the East Side that they've just remodeled, and they did a really incredible job with it.
As Amy said, it looks like something out of Southern Living or some other design magazine.  Really a cool place.
Also, Jordan gave me a couple of his homebrew beers.  I already tried the milk stout, and it was really good.

"Hugging?  Hugging.  Hug Cassidy."
After visiting Libby, Jordan, and Rowan we went to Home Depot, but Raylan wasn't really feeling it by that point.  (It takes some of the ambiguity out of figuring out why your kid is upset when they can keep yelling at you, "Go play?!")
We got like one quick item and then fled.
Mom and Dad stopped by to drop some stuff off for a bridal shower that Amy was going to help host, so we saw them for a few minutes.
We lunched and Raylan napped and we exercised.
In the afternoon we did our grocery shopping for our weekly stuff and bridal shower supplies.  We took care of some chores and errands.
Afterward we played in the yard and hung out on our new front yard deck.  I drank Jordan's milk stout (thanks, Jordan!), Amy had something or other (maybe some tea and some michelada), and Raylan's was crystal light in a sippy cup (which we normally don't give him).  Wild times on Tejas Trail!

"Raylan play!"
I've said it before, but spring time is the best time in Austin
On Sunday we got up and went out to breakfast at La Posada.  Afterward we went to The Natural Gardener out on Old Bee Caves Road.  We had a good time wandering around and checking the place out.  It's a really cool gardening center.  They, of course, have tons of cool plants and yard art, but also a few fountains and even some goats and chickens.  We'd gone out there to look for a few native plants that might have a decent chance of surviving in our yard.  We came back with several plants and some seeds, and Amy and Raylan went right to work getting them put into pots.
"You gotta name?  Cause I'm tempted to call you Nugget..."

"Helping?  Helping."
Cassidy keeps watch to make sure the homestead isn't attacked by

Sunday afternoon Amy headed off to attend/host the bridal shower for her friends from work.  It sounded like she had a pretty good time.
I had been trying to come up with plans and schemes to keep Raylan entertained in Amy's absence.  As it turned out, he took a really long nap and was asleep for a good part of the time that she was gone.
When he got up we ran over to the mall to run an errand, but it ended up being a really quick trip.

I got home and went to band practice a little while later.  Eric didn't make it, but the rest of us were there.  We sounded pretty good, I thought.
I got home a little late, and we ate Central Market dinners and then went to bed not too much later.
It was a good weekend, but busy!

Monday, March 20, 2017

SXSW 2017; Birthday

Well, I just got done with a really fun (and tiring) week of Jean visit, SXSW, and birthday celebration.
Jean got here on Saturday evening.  We had a nice visit with her during the week, and she got to spend some good time with Raylan (and she was good enough to help out with some child care for us while he was on Spring Break).

Feeding the toddlers is sort of like feeding the pigeons. Except noisier.  And
more dangerous. 
I also got to take some time off this week to do some South by Southwest stuff.
The weather was pretty nice, so I rode my bike around a lot.  I started it on Wednesday, catching a couple of bands after work.

Rainey Street during SX.  You gotta love Austin in the springtime.
Also had a beer along the way.
The view from Craft Pride.
Cycling homeward, going across the I-35 sidewalk
I saw some pretty good music.
The surprisingly original Lemon Twigs

Digging the alt country vibe of The Tender Things

The Grahams put on a high energy, hard driving show with their
uptempo folk rock
And Shinyribs kept the sounds of southern soul alive with tracks from their
new album and a live radio broadcast on Sun Radio
Please get us into the Shinyribs show, Kevin Russell!  You're our only hope!
And somewhere between all of those live music acts I managed to fit in a screening of Logan.  Pretty good flick, albeit a bit of a downer.  Still, it breathed some reality into the characters of Wolverine and Professor X.  It's hard to say too much about it without giving too much away.
I think it sort of did for Wolverine, though, what Dark Knight Returns once accomplished for Batman. It sort of gave viewers at least one possible, very plausible version of where the whole Wolverine story might ultimately wind up.
I think the movie did a good job of telling that sort of story, which is saying a lot because there have been many tales told with that character over time.
Anyway, I enjoyed it and thought that it was well executed.

Friday night I got together with family and friends at Pinthouse Pizza to celebrate my birthday.  Mom and Dad took Raylan to their house.  Amy, Reed, Mandy, Donna Rene, Ryan, and Jamie came out, as well as some work friends- James (and Allison), Robert (and Laura), and Greg.
We had a good time catching up and eating pizza and drinking beer.
At some point, however, some bagpipers showed up and got really, really loud (they even had a drum)  They made it hard to talk.  Or think.  Or fight off a migraine.
Here's the thing.  Bagpipers aren't Irish.  They're Scottish.  Always in the St. Patty's parades and stuff, though....
Oh well.  We had fun!

Amy looooves bagpipers!!!
Ryan, Jamie, Mandy, Amy, Reed, me, and Reed.
By Saturday we were settling back into our weekend routine.  We got errands done and did some shopping and took Raylan out for breakfast.  We even planted a few potted plants and took Raylan to see all of the plants and fountains at The Great Outdoors.  Amy also got a chocolate cake, and, predictably, Raylan went nuts for it.

Raylan kicking back in his race car shopping cart.  Which makes him yawn.

Sunday afternoon we visited Chad, Mary, and Truett in their new house.  Raylan and Truett had a blast running around together.

Truett schools Raylan in bouncing technique

And that was about it.
Amy got me an XBox One for my birthday, and I literally fell asleep last night trying to play one of the Halo games that came with it.  It's a fun gift.  Thanks, Amy!

And I think that about covers it!
Thanks to everyone who helped make my birthday week so nice!  It was really enjoyable.  Felt like a mini vacation.

Here's the list of bands that I tried to keep in my phone while I was out wandering SXSW 2017.  I really liked The Tender Things.  Looking for an album by them

Here ya go:

continental club- Magia Negra
4:00 San Jose - Allison crutchfield

Gingerman- Matt Kivel
Dogwood- Vitera, Dave Scher
The big moon- San Jose 
The lemon twigs- San Jose
The drums- San Jose 
Outlaw ritual- street.  So.  congress

The Tender Things- SX San Jose
Valley Queen- San Jose
The Grahams- continental
Deslondes- San Jose 
Shiny ribs- El Mercado