Friday, January 31, 2014

And Then There Was One

And instead of two there is now one, income that is. After MUCH prayer and discussion, Casey and I decided together what would vs best for our family would be for me to quit my job and stay home full-time with Caden. Even though things will be tight, it's nice that this is even a possibility that exists.
    When we first found out we were pregnant, my initial dream reaction was a strong desire to want to stay home with my child. However, as time went on I realized that this was not going to be an easy decision. I've worked where I've been for the past 7 years since I graduated from Texas A&M, which is something not many people can say at my age. God has truly blessed my life when he brought this company and job into my life. He allowed me to work for an  incredible company called Plains All American Pipeline, have a wonderful boss that taught me so much and became my friend along the way, and have a job that I didn't dread going to each day. I worked hard while I was there those 7 years, getting a couple small promotions along the way and thought do I really want to start over with building up vacation time or the fun of just looking for a job. 
   Then there is also the financial aspect. Kids are not free (shocker I know) and the bills do not stop once you have a baby (maybe if they did then I'd consider having 19 kids like the Duggars, jk) We needed to be able to pay our bills, save for the future, give back to God and help others, and have the occasional fun outing. Some people truly love what they do and working full-time actually helps to make them a better parent.  That's just not me.    I never had a desire to be a CEO or move up the corporate ladder.  While I enjoyed my job, did my best to do it well, and tried to serve God through it, for me it just gave me the means to do what I really loved.  
  As a parent now (still feels weird to call myself that), I feel this immense responsibility to make sure Caden gets the best care possible, make sure he is learning his Bible stories, and help mold him into Christian boy he will one day become.  With working full-time and the 2+ hr. commute, Casey and I both felt that we would not be doing the best we could do by me continuing to work at Plains. At the end of the day, I thought when I looked back at this time in my life, am I going to wish I would have spent more time with my son to teach him those Bible songs and stories or spent more time at work so I could make more money?  This scripture in Matthew came to my mind too, it says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  My treasure is/needs to be with my son and helping him to become a wonderful godly man who is able to stand strong against Satan's attacks not concerned with material/worldly possessions.  I can't take money with me to heaven, but I'd like to spend eternity with my son there one day.
   Maybe down the line I will find something either part-time when Caden gets older or be able to work from home,who knows. We are taking this leap of faith, and know that God will continue to provide and bless our family.  Let's see where this journey takes us!  I'm excited to be able to spend so much time with this sweet little face and watch him grow!

"You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you." Psalm 86:5

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Caden's 1st Christmas

I would have to say that Caden's first Christmas was a definite success!!  Thankfully both Casey and I's immediate families live in town so the only travelling we had to do was within the Houston area.  Here is a brief (well as brief as I can do!) recap on the festivities.   Christmas Eve morning we journeyed over to Katy to do Christmas with my family, which would mark the first pit stop of Caden's haul.  Caden received several fun toys, and the highlight items for Casey and I were a weed eater and gift cards to a couple shopping places for yours truly to get some new clothes once we get back to pre-pregnancy weight.  From there it was onto my Uncle John and Aunt Regina's house where my mom's side of the family ate a ton of delicious food and exchanged gifts.  Caden scored big again with some very neat toys that will come in handy the next few months.  This boy is definitely loved!
   After that long day, it was homeward bound! We were all pretty tired, though I will say Caden slept a good bit through all the partying.  We introduced Caden to another tradition where we read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible.  I had planned for us to open our presents to each other along with Caden's present from Santa (because at 5ish weeks old he had been nothing but a very good boy), but it took awhile to get everyone up and moving, dressed, and load the car up so we opened our presents up later that evening.
     Next stop on the Christmas celebration train was with Casey's family.  Caden got to meet his only great grandparent Pawpaw Ben, just a slight age gap of almost 87 years:) We ate like royalty there too and opened presents.  Caden was spoiled here too (and really so were Casey and I)  After those festivities, it was back home where our family of three opened gifts.  Casey put my gift giving to shame this year and set the bar so high.  He made (yes I said made) me a porch swing for our backyard, replaced my bathroom mirror that had broken because I made Casey take it down to kill a bug several months ago, and bought me a beautiful necklace that has Caden's birthstone (which also served as my "push" present for having a baby).With Caden taking up the majority of my time, I did not get Casey near enough.  I'm not speaking monetarily, but the guy is a fantastic father and was a huge help while he was off from work and at home.  I'll make it up to him, it just wasn't happening by Dec. 25th.
    Santa brought Caden a toy car, which is right up his Daddy's alley and I'm sure his as well!  Overall we had a very wonderful Christmas!!  We were blessed to get to spend it with our families and to share it with Caden.  It warmed my heart to see 3 stockings hanging above our mantle!
Caden taking a Christmas Eve snooze
LOVED seeing this mantle
with 3 stockings this year!

My boys!! So sweet!

Both grandmas got a collage frame of Caden's newborn pics

Excited for some Bath & Body Works

Someone is happy they got the movie they wanted

Caden helping his Mommy open his gift from Santa

Our sweet tiny boy that fit into this decorative sleigh
at Casey's parent's house

Annual Photo at Casey's parents in front of the Christmas tree

Case Keenum's Biggest Fan/Supporter
The BEAUTIFUL porch swing Casey made for me!
Caden next to his stocking and toys
from his Mommy & Daddy

Hixon 1st Christmas as a Family of 3!

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'" Luke 2: 10-11

Monday, January 6, 2014

O Christmas Tree

So sorry for the long gap in posts!!  Hopefully not many of you are shocked by the delay.  Free time is not as plentiful as it was before Caden arrived (by no means is this a complaint against our sweet boy, just a mere fact) and when I am able to carve out a few moments, writing a blog post has just not made the list.  Activities like bathing and doing laundry have gotten precedence.  Life with our wonderful boy has been great!!  Don't get me wrong there is definitely less sleep and the days of just getting up and going are gone, but our lives before Caden almost seem like a distant memory and one we wouldn't want to change.
    Now that we have a little one, the pressure to make this first Christmas holiday a memorable one for him (but mostly for his family) is high.  What traditions do we want to continue and are there any new ones to start?!  Sad to say I thought about this WAY too much while I was pregnant and might have done it more after Caden was born, but then the exhaustion of a newborn set in, so these thoughts along with so many others went out the door.  One tradition Casey started since we've been married and hope to continue is going to cut down our Christmas tree.  There is nothing like the fresh smell of nature filling one's house.  Thankfully, no one in our house has allergy issues yet, so we don't have to go artificial, though there are several benefits in going that route.
     I like to go as soon as Thanksgiving is over, so that way the selection is best as well as getting to look at this natural beauty in my home for as long as possible during the holiday season.  Since we had a baby the week before Thanksgiving, this didn't quite happen.  Also, if you recall the weather was really nasty for several days after turkey day.  Caden was still very new to the world and not supposed to get out, but I couldn't have him miss helping us pick out a tree.  So since Casey was off work still, we went during the middle of the day when school was still in session and picked one out.
    I will say this: Christmas tree hunting with a newborn is different than with two grown adults.  Last year, Casey and I spent a good couple hours walking all over a Christmas tree farm trying to find the "right" tree.  Neither one of us would settle for just any tree, so it took quite awhile to find one we both liked.  This year with Caden, one of us would go explore while the other person stayed at the same spot with Caden (in his car seat) and the beloved diaper bag of baby supplies.  We both took turns a couple times to explore the different trees, but very quickly found one that would work.  I think we were done in less than an hour.  Caden enjoyed it for the most part and I loved being able to share this time with him!  Here are some pictures from Caden's non-pediatrician outing to get a tree:
Our tree!!

Caden with his Mommy
Father and son

Caden enjoying himself in his car seat!
Family photo

Hard to see, but Caden is crying quite profusely,
which means it is time to go!
"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4