Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018


I hope everyone had a safe, happy holiday!
We had a really nice one at our house.  Lots to be thankful for, this year!
Raylan is happy and healthy and active.  He's very loved by our whole family, and he loves them right back.
We're really happy to have Kiddo in our lives.  She is making great strides, and she's a fun, cheerful, affectionate child.  She seems to feel safe and secure with us, and she fits right in with our little family.
Also, we're thankful to have the love and support of the rest of the family!  Mom and Dad (i.e., Grandma and Papa) spend a lot of time with Raylan, and their experiences with him have been an invaluable part of his life.  Kiddo is getting used to them as well, and she loves them, too.  Raylan loves to get together and play with Ryan and Jamie, and  looks forward to seeing them whenever we get together.  He also loves to see Nana and Papa Greg when they come to town, and he asks about going back to Arizona to see his cousins and the rest of the family.
Anyway, life is busy, but very good.  We are grateful and thankful and do not take anything or anyone for granted.

In terms of our holiday week, Greg and Jean got into town on Wednesday.  I worked in the morning, and Mom and Dad took Raylan and Kiddo for the day (so Amy could cook and clean a bit while I worked).  Later everyone regrouped at the house.  It was good to see Jean and Greg!
Wednesday night we went out to dinner at La Posada with Jean, Greg, and the kids.  We had a nice time.
Thursday morning we got up, and I ran to Central Market to get some food.

Raylan and Kiddo sit in containers to watch the Macy's
Thanksgiving parade.  Hypnotized by the cloud balloon...
Later in the afternoon, the family came over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Susan, Donald, Ryan, Jamie, Jean, Greg, Mom, Dad, Amy and myself (plus, of course, Raylan and Kiddo).
We (...ahem, Amy) made pies (pecan and apple), salad, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and provided some appetizers.  Susan brought a veggie tray and sweet potatoes.  Mom brought appetizers, green bean casserole, regular green beans, and pumpkin pie.  Jean got some dips (love and crab) and other appetizers.  Jamie brought stuffing and rolls.  Dad brought wine and olives.
The food was good, and it seemed like everyone was happy.

Susan plays with Kiddo and Jamie eats appetizers

There was apparently a lot of anticipation to see if Kiddo could drive
the car.

Dad carved the turkey.  Because I had never done it before and failed to
look up how to do it before everyone showed up.

Putting out the spread!

Mom and Amy, working in the kitchen.

Happy in the chaos!

Raylan takes time out to give Kiddo a hug.

We had two different tables going.  This was the kitchen table.

This was the "Cassidy Room" table.  It was a very special
Thanksgiving treat for Raylan to get to eat in there.
Post-meal wind down

Proud of my Amy for orchestrating a great Turkey Day!
Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jamie brought a new Rudolph book.
Good stuff.
After dinner there was some dessert.  Also, Uncle Ryan, Raylan, and I played Ghost in the Graveyard for a while in the back yard.  I remember playing that game with the Bridenstine brothers when we were growing up.  Fun thing to pass along to Raylan (although Uncle Ryan and me might be a little slower these days).
Anyway, it was a nice Thanksgiving, and it was really good to have everyone over.  Thanks for bringing great food and helping to clean up, family!

Jean and Greg were with us most of the day on Friday (their flight was in the evening).  Greg watched the UT-Kansas game with me.  Texas played pretty well, particularly in the second half.  On to the Big 12 championship!
In the afternoon we went to Central Market and Cavender's and did a little shopping with the kids.  They didn't have boots to fit Kiddo, sadly, and Raylan said he didn't want to wear any (he wanted to "wear sneakers and drive a monster truck, instead").
On Saturday we ran a couple of errands and got lunch.

Two days after Thanksgiving, and the kids are eating Indian food.
And they're actually eating it.
Saturday evening we went out to my folks' house to have dinner and hang out.  It was fun.  They had their Christmas stuff up, and Mom made salmon.  It was fun and relaxing to hang out with them.

Raylan and Kiddo were a little overwhelmed by the Christmas tree.
On Sunday we had some of Raylan's friends from school come over to out house for a playdate.  Dorothy, Sam, and Evie came over.  Mostly the kids played in the backyard.  We gave them some snacks.  It was good to see them and their parents.

Sunday afternoon I went for a bike ride.  The weather had clouded up, and it had gotten colder and windy.  Not my favorite bike ride ever.

Sunday evening I gave Kiddo a bath and then headed to band practice.  Frank, Jim, Reed, and me.  We sounded pretty good, and it was good to get out and make some music with the guys.  Nice way to wrap up the holiday weekend.

And that was about it!  I cannot believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone.  It's all happening so fast...

Thanks once again to my family for helping out, and to Jean and Greg for coming out to spend the holiday with us.  We love you all!

Have a great week.

Monday, November 19, 2018


We had a pretty good weekend.  Mom and Dad took Raylan overnight on Thursday night.
He says he had a good time hanging out with them.  

doing dishes with Papa
We took Kiddo out to eat at Kerbey Lane Thursday night.  We had a nice time, but it was great to get Raylan back on Friday!

Saturday we went to the Joslin Park.  We played there for quite a while.  Kiddo managed to climb around successfully on the playground quite a bit, for a child who can't really fully walk yet.  (She is not to be outdone by Raylan)

In the Joslin community garden, Bluejay in hand.

Raylan, Mom, and Kiddo on the Joslin playscape
Saturday afternoon the weather was beautiful.  Amy went for a run, and I went for a bike ride.
There was also a lot of playing in the yard, mixed with some chores.

"I wanna watch some shows, Dad."
"It's a beautiful day, buddy.  Let's play outside.  Where's your sidewalk chalk?""
"The shows are inside, Dad."

Kiddo and me, chillaxing on the porch.
On Saturday night, once the kids were fed and bathed and in bed, I went over to Ryan's house to watch the UT game.  We played Iowa State, and we defeated them fairly soundly.  It was weird to watch a UT game without at least one moment where I felt anxious and afraid.

Matt, Nicole, and Juan were over there (along with Ryan and Jamie, of course), and it was good to see everyone!  It had been a while.  Good to catch up.

On Sunday we went out to breakfast and ran some errands (i.e., shopping).  Amy and I took turns going to the gym.

In the evening we had band practice over at Reed's house.

That, in broad strokes, was the weekend.  It was good.  Went by really fast, it seemed.

Have a good week!  Gobble, gobble!!!

Monday, November 12, 2018


Hey!  So we had another pretty busy week.  On Thursday my mom and dad watched Raylan during the day.  In the evening, Shelly and Kit brought Spencer over, and we did some babysitting for a little while!  Three kids!!
It went fine, and the kids had a lot of fun.  Hopefully Kit and Shelly had a nice dinner.

Spencer, Amy, and Kiddo, hanging out Thursday night.
On Friday night Amy worked late because she had a hearing that started at like 4:30 (on a Friday?  This judge doesn't have an active personal life).  I picked up both of the kids, we met Amy at home, and we all went to La Posada for dinner.  It was good.  Nice way to wrap up the week.

Partying our way into the weekend with some Tex Mex
On Saturday we got up and took the kids to the zoo.  It was a little cool out, so we were hoping that the animals would be wide awake.  It mostly worked, but a few of them were holed up in their little houses and wouldn't come out.
We think that it might have been Kiddo's first trip to the zoo.  She got to feed some goats, deer, and llamas, and see some other animals as well.  Raylan got to see the lions and bears, and enjoyed feeding the other animals as well.

feeding goats

This is a deer, dear!

The lions were up and moving on a cool, fall morning
In the afternoon Mom and Dad picked Raylan and Kiddo.  We had agreed to go to a comedy show with Reed and Jen back before we even had our new Kiddo staying with us.
So on Saturday night my folks took the kids, and we got to go out and have some grown up fun!

We met Reed and Jen at Cover 3 for dinner, and afterwards we went to see the Sklar Brothers at the Cap City Comedy Club.  I didn't know much about them prior to the show, but they were really funny.  They also had two opening acts, both of which were also funny.

We had a really fun night.  It was also really fun to hang out with Reed and Jen.  It was good to see them.  It had been too long since we all got together.

On Sunday we ran some errands and exercised, and then Mom and Dad brought the kids back.

We spent the afternoon playing with them and getting them to take naps.

Raylan has a pretty serious conversation with his
mom about his art.
Sunday night I went to band practice.  We played at Cascade Studios.  It was a pretty good space.  We were all there, and I think we sounded pretty good, for the most part.

And that was the weekend!  I drove home from practice in some pretty serious rain on a sort of cold night.  It felt good to get back home and settle in.

Have a good week!

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Halloween and Update

Howdy!  Hope everyone is well!
Halloween was sort of a wet and wild affair this year.  We took Raylan and our little girl over to Jamie and Ryan's place for some trick-or-treating.  Mom and Dad and Dick joined us over there.
We had a pretty serious rainstorm right around trick and treating time, but Ryan and Jamie had gotten some sandwiches and stuff for dinner (hooray!), so we all hung out for awhile and waited for the weather to pass.  So we got some time to sit and chat.  It was nice.  I got to see some of Jamie's pictures of her recent trip out to the Bay Area to visit Kristen and Doug.  Looked fun!
Eventually Raylan got to go to a few houses while Amy and I chased him with an umbrella.  
Raylan was Batman, and he really enjoyed hitting people up for candy.

Ryan's neighbors usually sit outside to hand out candy.
When it rained, some of them moved into their garages.

The Just Us League!

Thanks to Ryan and Jamie for having us over and feeding us!  We had fun.

Friday night Amy had a hearing that ran a little late, so I picked up both kiddos.  We met Amy at the house and headed out for dinner at La Posada.  It was a nice way to wrap up the week. 

So happy together!!
On Saturday we got up and put away Halloween decorations and did a few chores.  The weather was beautiful.  Amy went for a jog, and I went for a bike ride.

Kiddo supervises Raylan while he draws blueprints for new and exciting

more than two weeks after the floods, and Lady Bird Lake still
looks like a mud puddle

bike riding past the downtown farmer's market on a beautiful, fall day
Saturday evening Mom and Dad came over to babysit and take Raylan and Kiddo out for dinner.  Since we never got to celebrate our 5th anniversary last week, this week we went out to Cafe Malta.

We'd never been there before, but it was pretty good!  It's down near our house in South Austin, and, as the name would suggest, it's a mildly upscale Mediterranean restaurant.
The food was good, the place was nice and cozy, and the company was great!  :-)

Five years (official) with this beautiful, amazing woman!
I love you, Amy!!
We had a very nice time.  It felt good to have a bit of grownup time and a chance to quietly talk without being heckled by little maniacs.
Thanks to Mom and Dad for kid sitting!

On Sunday we got up, and Amy took Raylan to the park while I played with Kiddo at home.  She's a sweet, fun little girl.  We played inside and out, and then we climbed into the car to go pick up an order of groceries at HEB.

Later, Amy and I took turns exercising.  In the afternoon, Kiddo's attorney ad litem came by (who is appointed by the court to represent Kiddo's best interests as part of the foster process).  We chatted with the attorney for a while.  She seemed nice.

In the late afternoon/early evening, Mandy and Spencer and Donna Rene had a barbecue across the street.  Hotdogs, french fries, grilled veggies, and queso.  Jackbart, Vicki, and Kate also came by.  It was fun and low key.  It was nice to see everyone, and it was really cool of Mandy to invite us over.  Thanks, Mandy!

And that was pretty much the weekend!

I just can't believe it's November.  I feel like it should still be summer, and I should be trying to squeeze in another beach trip!

Have a great week.