Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Casey scores BIG!

The past 2 weekends have been jam packed of activities at the Hixon House.  Overall, it was all very enjoyable because of what we got to do and the people we got to share it with, but this equated into very little down time at home, which is something Casey enjoys having.  Most of the time, I like to have something going on or planned, but my other half has slowly taught me the joys of enjoying not having anything to do and that being okay!  I really make a hard effort to not over-schedule us, but sometimes that does not work out.  That being said, Casey has been a trooper and scored BIG points!
     Last Sunday, he went to a baby shower at church (that was co-ed for a sweet couple in our Sunday school class who are expecting a little boy in September, which did result in him missing his regular Sunday afternoon nap), recorded the evening church service so it could be broadcasted over the internet for those not able to come to church, and then after services went to a Back-to-School shower for a children's home our church helps support.  He even helped clean-up after the shower too!  Though I did have to hear about missing a nap, Casey really didn't complain at all.
     Fast forward to this past weekend (all that really happened in between was work, which wasn't too eventful for either one of us minus the strawberry sundaes Casey got at his job for their monthly birthday celebration).  Friday night, he rushed home, showered, changed into a suit and tie to go a fundraising dinner for another children's home our church helps supports that was at a hotel in downtown Houston.  The boy cleaned up good and looked so handsome!  We were blessed to get to go and hear Willie Robertson from "Duck Dynasty" as the keynote speaker.  Saturday morning we were up early and out of our house because we were off to Anderson to celebrate the life of a very special lady.  One of Casey's best friend's grandmothers went to heaven last week after 92 years of life on this earth (and almost a week shy of her 70th wedding anniversary).  This sweet family has become extended family for us and what an honor to hear more about her wonderful life!
     After the funeral, burial, lunch, and visit at the family house, we headed back to our house in H-town and had a spare 20ish minutes to change out of our funeral clothes and into some comfy clothes to go to an Astro's game.  A co-worker from work had given me 4 tickets a few months ago, so we had asked my brother in-law David and his wife Taci.  The seats were GREAT and the Astros even won!

Back home again and then up early the next morning because our church was having an all-day marriage seminar.  By 3:00 when the seminar was done, we were both wiped out!  Thankfully, getting out when we did gave us the chance to go home and catch a quick nap before going to church with Casey's Mom.  After a nice dinner with her, we headed back home and just like that, the weekend was over.
     Monday, I came home from work to find dinner made and these beautiful flowers "just because"!  Love this boy!!

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's a BOY!!!

July 10th was the day we've been anxiously waiting for, the day to tell us whether Baby Hixon was a boy or a girl!  I was really getting tired the past couple weeks leading up to this day of referring to my child as an "it".  Really there's not much option since I didn't know, but "it" got old after awhile.  Plus, it's hard to do too much shopping when you don't know, which may have been a good thing.  We could have found out earlier than our 20 wk. appointment, but I wanted to know for sure what "it" was.  I'd heard too many stories of people that found out at 16 wks. or earlier and then were told at their 20 wk. appointment that they were having the other gender.  For Casey and I, we decided we would rather wait and have that certainty.
    The ultrasound tech took some other measurements before and then she says "Here we go!".  Before she said anything else, Casey looked at the ultrasound and said, "And that's a penis".  The tech replied back, "Yes it is", so WE ARE HAVING A BOY!  Thankfully, it was very obvious we have a boy, so there were no doubts in our minds.  I had tried the night before to talk with Casey about boy names since that had still not been decided, but he did not see the point of doing so because we both thought it was a girl.  I honestly wasn't too shocked it was boy, Casey is 1 of 3 boys after all.  Casey was thrilled to not have to pay for a wedding, go to dance recitals, and to teach his son baseball (they were said in that order).  Not having any brothers, I'm looking forward to having this little guy and know what it's like to have a son.  Most importantly, God gave us what we needed.  The Hixon name will continue for another generation and hopefully he'll be and look just like his Daddy!
  So the bright pink onesie Casey's Pawpaw bought on the cruise because he was so certain it was a girl will have to be stored for now.  Knowing what to buy/look for and refer to the baby as a "he" was so nice!  It took us awhile to decide on a name.  We both went through the baby name book quite a few times trying to find just the right name.  All I can say is naming a person is serious business and not something we took lightly.  What I wanted for my child as far as their name was it to be common enough that it was not unheard of, but not so common that there would be 3 other kids in their class with the same name.  Plus,  you've got to take out family/close friend names that have already been used.  There's no rule that says you can't repeat, but my main point in doing so was to minimize confusion when there were get together's.
    We knew for the middle name we wanted that be a name after someone in our family.  We were able to narrow that name down to 2 possibilities very quickly.  His first name took some discussion.  Though I wanted to pull the "I'm birthing him" card to give me at least a 60% say rather than the fair 50-50, I knew that was not the right way to go.  After much talk, we came down to one name that we could both agree upon.  The name we have chosen for our son is....

Caden John Hixon
     We didn't want to experiment with any funky spellings and Casey was very adamant no feminine spellings.  I've seen Caden spelled with either a C or K, but since we decided his middle name was going to be John, Casey wanted them to have the same initials.  As someone who had the same initials as their Dad, I thought that would be special too.  The middle name is sentimental to us both for 3 reasons:  it's Casey's middle name that he wanted to pass down to his first son, Casey's father is named John, and I have an uncle on my side of the family that I love/admire also named John, so it was a perfect fit for us! Here are some pictures of Baby Caden at 20 wks 2 days:

The "Definitely A Boy" Shot

Here are some updated bump pictures!

20 wks.  
24 wks.
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

Thursday, August 8, 2013

North to Alaska (Part 2)

On Thursday (the 5th) the ship docked in Ketchikan.  In the morning, Casey and I went an excursion that took us to the Alaskan Rain Forest.  We were able to see a baby bear cub, feed some reindeer, and watch this local carve a gigantic totem pole.  Very cool stuff!!!  They had a lot of shops too by where the ship docked, so Casey and I spent the afternoon walking around and watching the small bush planes comes in on the water.  Very relaxing and another lovely day!

     Friday (the 5th) was a day spent at sea, but the scenery really is so lovely (even if it is cloudy) that you can just spend hours in a chair looking out on the water.  Saturday (the 6th) was also spent at sea and was much of the same.  Casey and I would sleep in since for most of the previous days we had to wake up early for our excursions.  It was nice by the end of the cruise to just do nothing if that's what we wanted to do.  I even got Casey to do the Newly Wed game (which Casey did not want to do, but was a good sport and participated).  We did pretty good, and even got a free cookbook out of the deal!
    There were many stories and memories made, but I'll leave you with the one where the dining staff tried twice in one meal to hurt our unborn child.  For those unaware, when you are with child you can not eat under-cooked meat mainly for the risk of the bacteria listeria that can harm the baby, so the experts suggest well done, medium well is okay but pushing the boundary.  We went to the nice dining room every night where you choose from various options.  On our last night on the boat, I chose a glazed bourbon beef.  The description did not specify how it was cooked, so I asked the waiter and he said "medium to medium well".  So I told him I had to have medium well because I was pregnant, he said okay and told me that it was the same in his country.  So dinner arrives and I'm guessing my plate went unknowingly to someone else because parts of my meat were medium well, but there were a lot of parts that weren't.  Meat itself was okay, nothing to write home about, but not terrible either, so I just ate around the parts that weren't medium well.  The waiter noticed I wasn't eating all of my meat and that it was not prepared as I had requested, so he's very apologetic and offers to get me another plate.  I said I was fine, it wasn't a problem and I was just eating the parts I could.  Then the dining floor manager comes over to apologize and tells me that I hope this is not a reflection of their staff and so forth (since they had passed out evaluations that morning).  I tried to explain again, it's not a big deal, and by this point I am just wanting to move on and get the attention from others around us off of me.  Then as his way of making things better he brings a bottle of champagne! Hello, I'm pregnant and if I don't want under-cooked meat, I for sure am not going to poison my unborn child with alcohol!  They brought a whole bottle for the entire table, which was a nice gesture.  Once I explained that I can't have that either, this guy is trying hard to give me something to make up for what happened, so what comes next you ask?!  That's right a copy of the cookbook Casey and I had received the night before for playing the Newly Wed Game!  The guy is probably greatly discouraged by this point that each of his efforts have failed to rectify the situation, so I just took the cookbook and gave it to my brother in-law and his wife, so the madness could finally end!
   We had a wonderful time and I highly encourage anyone to go.  Definitely go in the summer when it is warmer there, and as long as you layer you'll be fine!  Back to the real world it was on Monday, but at least Casey and I were smart and took the morning off to catch up on some sleep ( I was never more thankful we did that since our last flight that night was delayed and we didn't go to bed until 1 AM!)  We went to the doctor the Wednesday after to find out the gender of Baby Hixon, let me tell you that was a fun weigh in after just getting back from a week long vacation!  Read my next post to find out the gender and name of Baby Hixon!  Have a wonderful week my readers!!!

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:1-4

Friday, August 2, 2013

North to Alaska (Part 1)

I apologize for the long delay in posts, I confess I am a bad blogger!  These past 5-6 weeks have been jam pack full of activities and work has been busy during the day.  You almost wish you could ask for more downtime so you can update your blog, but I'm sure that request would not go over well!  Allow me to take you back in time to the first week of July where Casey and I were blessed to go with his brother David and his wife Taci, his mom, and Casey's 86 year old grandfather on a 7 day Alaskan cruise together.  The vacation actually stretched out to 9 days because we spent a day in Seattle, but it was incredible!!!!
   What God created in Alaska was truly breath-taking, unlike anything else I have seen!  I'm so glad that Casey and I were able to go, and Baby Hixon came along for the ride too (at the perfect price too, FREE!)  It was wonderful to share this experience with our family, especially his Pawpaw.  We have memories that will stay with us forever!  So what did we do?!  I'll try to be as concise as possible, but I truly feel each detail is important.  On Friday (June 29th) we flew to Seattle to break up the time spent on an airplane, and most flights stop in Seattle on the way to Anchorage, so why not see another city you haven't been to?  We arrived late Friday night and our plane to leave for Anchorage left early Saturday evening, so unfortunately not too much time was spent here.
     We were able to go to the public market that's right on the water that has every kind of food and flower imaginable!  The flower bouquets were so big and beautiful and CHEAP!  Arrangements down in Houston that would be $20-$30 at least were going for $5-$10!  The original Starbuck's is down there too, but it is not very big and the crowd in and to get inside was ridiculous, so we took a picture and kept on walking.  After that we made our way to the Space Needle, which was very nice.  It's neat to see an entire city from high up.  I had honestly expected it to be very rainy in Seattle, but not a single drop and the weather was very pleasant.

     Onto Anchorage, which was definitely much cooler, but by no means miserable.  We didn't get a chance to do anything here because we got to our hotel so late Saturday night and had to leave Sunday morning for the cruise, but Casey was able to eat some reindeer sausage for breakfast that morning and let me try a sampling of it, not too bad.  Sorry to Rudolph and his kin for eating him!  Casey's Mom found this bus tour that would pick us up at our hotel and then take us to where the cruise departed in Seward, which was about 90 minutes away.  It even stopped at a wild life reservation where we got to see some bears, moose, elk, etc.
     Cruises are lovely, I love coming back to my room and having my bed made and room cleaned!  Easy to get used to, hard to go back to reality!  Monday (July 1st) was a day at sea, but what a day!  The boat went through a glacier passage and what amazing sights we saw!  Chunks of ice in the water and huge glaciers that we could see blocks of ice falling from was a definite sight to see.  I'll post a few pictures below, and try to get the rest on Facebook at some point.

    Tuesday (the 3rd aka my sweet Mommy's birthday) we docked at Haines, Alaska for the day.  In the morning, Casey and I went on an Eagle Preserve Wildlife River excursion where we were able to see beautiful bald eagles and the massive nests they build in the Alaskan nature all while being driven around on an aluminum boat!  The scenery was great and seeing our national symbol in its natural habitat was fantastic!  In the afternoon, we went on a bus tour of the city and learned some more about the area, which was educational and nice to do most of that while sitting.

     Wednesday (the 4th, Happy Independence Day America!) we were in Juneau.  The morning was a little rainy, but we still panned for gold in our rain jackets/ponchos without any problems!  That is some tedious work, I don't know how they did it back in the day.  For lunch, we were able to get Casey some crab that he really wanted to try (if I was a fan of crab or for that matter seafood, I'd probably be there right there with him and want some true Alaskan crab).  Thankfully, the city of Juneau came through and he was satisfied!  I will say the crab bisque I tried was tasty, but I don't I actually ate any crab, just the creamy goodness.  The afternoon we went on a whale watching excursion which was AMAZING!!! The excursion place guarantees a sighting, but I was worried that all we would see would just be this fin of a whale way off in the distance.  We definitely were not disappointed.  At first we saw the fins of a few, which was nice but later on we got to see about 10+ of them together doing what they call bubble net feeding.  Apparently this is a rare site to see even for the locals.  With a baby on the way, Casey and I bought us a what I call paparazzi camera that will take nice action shots that you don't have to push the button down and wait 3 seconds for it to finally take the shot that is now not the shot you wanted.  Casey was able to get some great shots of the bubble net feeding happening.

    Since this post is already quite lengthy, I am going to split up the trip over 2 posts (plus it will increase my # of posts!)  Until next time my friends!!!

"Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory in the heavens.  Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger" Psalm 8:1-2