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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve....

Well, can you believe 2009 is almost over? David and I are sitting here amazed at how quickly another 365 days have flown by - it seems to get faster and faster the older we get. 2009 has been amazing - we're pretty sure it's been the best year we can remember. The birth of our first-born is reason enough for the best year of our life - but this year has been full of many abundant blessings which we'd surely run out of room listing here. God is ever faithful and good to us - we are here because of his mercy and grace and praise him for a wonderful year.

Just a tiny few of the many highlights of 2009:

The birth of Catherine Ellis Cain - becoming a Mommy and a Daddy
Celebrating our 3rd Anniversary
The marriage of my brother and his wife, Kim
Our jobs
Watching dear friends welcome precious little ones to the world
Standing beside dear friends on their wedding day
Seeing God's mercy and grace each and every day
Celebrating 31 yrs, 26 yrs, and 8 months of life between the 3 of us
Cain and Emma and the constant, faithful companionship they bring
The prayers and support of our families as we've learned to become a family

Our hopes for the New Year:

Peace on Earth
Quality time with family and friends
Good health
Dreams coming true for our friends and loved ones

May this New Year bring you everything you have hoped for - may God grant you the mercy and sufficient grace to see you through the hard times, allow you to celebrate the good times, and look with optimism to the future.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

For the love of paper.....

In our house there are 12 days of celebrating Christmas - so we are continuing to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior and spend time with family and friends. Our first Christmas with Catherine Ellis was perfect! We spent the weekend in Alexander City with my mother and had a low-key (which is unusual for a Bates family gathering!), relaxing and restful Christmas with the family.

Christmas morning was slow for us - we started a fire and ate breakfast and then began tearing into gifts from Santa - it took over 2 hours for Catherine Ellis to open and admire all of her gifts - we had to take a break and let her nap she was so worn out! It has certainly been a big Christmas for her and we are so thankful for all the love that has been showered upon her. Let's just say her toy chest (which I will have to make a spot for!) is overflowing and she will not need another toy until 2011!! I'm sure that will never last, but it's true. She's gotten a ton of great things. So thank you to the grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and Santa!

One thing that emerged from Christmas was Catherine Ellis's love of paper - she could not get enough - it's not so much that she likes ripping it off gifts, it's that she likes to eat it! She's a billy goat in disguise! This is not to say the toys were not a hit, but her first love of the day was the paper - a battle that her Daddy fought with her the entire time we opened gifts.

Who came down the chimney?

Opening a gift....oh I think I like this paper.....

And the love of paper begins...

Oh this is just what I wanted!

Yay for Santa!

Happy baby (her pajamas have a gift bow on them because she's our greatest gift EVER!)

This is hard work...

Like mother, like daughter (I also received this gift my 1st Christmas (it was really my 2nd, but 1st in terms of being able to do anything - I was only 3 weeks old my 1st Christmas)

Another bite of paper....

Daddy is no fun...

My first cell phone - I can't wait for my friends to start calling!

The phone is good eatin' too....

First round down, now I need a nap

It gets better with every gift...


Daddyyyy, give it back....

I've hit the wall...

It was bound to happen (too much paper for this little girl)....

Daddy helping me cough up my paper snack...

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Most Popular.....

Catherine Ellis certainly wins that category in our families! We're having so much fun watching our families love and spoil (!!) our little one. She's already had two very big Christmas celebrations and Santa hasn't even made it to town yet! Christmas is certainly not about how many gifts you give or receive, but it's a fun part of it. What we've most enjoyed is spending time with our loved ones and experiencing the joy of Christmas through our child's eyes.

We had our Cain family Christmas this past weekend in Jasper - we were on the go most of the weekend which is unusual for our Jasper visits - but Catherine Ellis loved every minute and Gran and Pop had a great time showing her off. Friday night we had a church dinner, Saturday was our Christmas and Great Aunt Rita's 60th birthday celebration and Sunday we had church. I took over 130 pictures, so I'll spare you and pick the best ones!

Pop and Catherine Ellis

F is for FUN!

My first snow globe

Future pianist

Oh wait, another gift for me?

I'm overwhelmed with all my new toys! Thank you Gran & Pop!

Meet my elephant - children in Africa designed her - isn't she cool?

Quiet please, I'm reading my book

Thank you Gran, Pop, and Aunt Stace!

My next visitor was Mommy's best friend and my Aunt Wren (and Uncle Jason!!). We have been looking forward to their visit since we last saw them in April! They came over Tuesday night and had dinner and brought more presents for Catherine Ellis - I'm telling you this child is not lacking in the love department! We had such a great time and can't wait to see them again - thank you for driving so many hours to see us! We love you both!

My first bible from Godmother Wren

I love you Aunt Wren and Uncle Jason - come see us again soon!

And yesterday my Auntie B and Uncle C came to visit!! Boy did we have a good time! They also loved on me and brought me presents galore - see for yourself! I love you Auntie B and Uncle C!

Yay for Auntie B and Uncle C visiting me!

You mean all of this is for me?

Learning how to use a hammer

Catherine Ellis and Auntie B

My two teeth (look closely on the bottom, which also explains all the drool on my shirt)

Looking at Auntie B's gift

Uncle C what did you get?


Having a good time (and laughing at Daddy!)

I love my greats!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Catherine Ellis has been very busy at school recently - the Junior League Choral Group has performed for her school, Santa has visited the YW, and she's been creating masterpieces! It's hard being a busy baby - it must be in her genes!

I love music!

Me and Mommy enjoying the show

Worn out (that's my teacher Miss Dana holding me)

Catherine Ellis's reindeer masterpiece!

David has been busy too with work and deer hunting - he killed a great 8 point last weekend at my father's and is pretty pumped about it. David did not grow up deer hunting - he and his father are duck hunters & fishermen - so he's been in deer hunting school (his teacher being my father of course) since he married me. In the deer hunting world your first 8 point is a huge deal. We're proud of him!

David and his 8pt - not for the weak-hearted

Me, well I've not been up to much other than work and motherhood - which is plenty for me these days. However, that's all about to change. In February I too will be back in school and I'm not looking forward to it one bit! I've been out for a year focusing on pregnancy and now Catherine Ellis and while I've missed my friends, I've not missed school and homework. So, y'all keep me in your prayers. I'm awfully nervous starting school in the middle of event season at work (which translates into long work days and nights and lots of craziness!).

So, the Cain family, like many of your families, is focusing on our time together as a family this holiday season- we hope to slow down, enjoy each others company and make some great memories while we rest, relax and rejoice the birth of our Savior with those we love. It's so easy to get caught up in the hectic lifestyle most of us lead - but God reminds us that we all must rest and that we plan to do! Hope you and your families have a restful, relaxing and joyful holiday season too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jolly Ole' Saint Nick

We had a great weekend this past weekend, even if it was a very busy one! David went hunting at my Dad's for the weekend so Meme came up to visit again and help with Catherine Ellis since I had to work on Saturday. We have Santa's Workshop annually and it's a treat - we serve over 100 moms and 300 children on one Saturday from 10:00 - 2:00 p.m. Our downtown offices are transformed into a Winter Wonderland and children make crafts in the gym - Mrs. Claus's kitchen has food crafts, making music CDs, purse making stations, bird house construction, pillows, and more - while the Moms shop for free in our shopping rooms. It's a wonderful reminder of how blessed we are and how many people in this world are still struggling. God has been so good to the Cain family and I'm so blessed to have a job that allows me to give back every day. So please continue to keep those who are struggling to make ends meet in your prayers this holiday season and daily.

One of the special things about Santa's Workshop is that Santa himself visits and sits on his mighty throne while the children stand in line and can't wait to tell Santa all the things they are wishing for this Christmas. I've been wanting Catherine Ellis to meet Santa, but we've not had a weekend that had enough time to stand in line at the mall - so this was the perfect opportunity to meet him in a more intimate setting. Meme brought her up midday to enjoy the fun and boy did she have fun. I was a little nervous since she's still recovering from RSV and teething - which has made her much fussier than normal. She's also going through a phase that only Mommy will do - if Mommy is around no one else can hold her. So, I was sure we were going to be one of those children that screamed and cried when we met Santa (just like her Daddy did!). Boy was I wrong! Enjoy:

Me & Santa last year - I couldn't see him, but I could hear him!

Mommy and Catherine Ellis testing out the chair (of course Mommy is talking!)

Maybe I'll let Santa sit here tomorrow!
I think I could get used to the idea of a throne in my house!

Warming up for my visit with Santa!

Mommy, I don't know who this guy is...

But I think I like him!

Of course I need a picture with the woman who makes it all happen!

Another great outreach project for our families was local, award-winning photographer Jason Wallis and his team - they came in, set up shop, and photographed all the families attending Santa's Workshop so they could have a family portrait for the holidays! What a treat! Of course we had a few snapshots made too:

Three generations
Catherine Ellis & Meme!

What a wonderful way to spend the weekend! Thank you Meme for coming up to help us while Daddy was gone....we can't wait for Christmas to get here. We know a very special little girl that Santa is going to be very good to:) Merry Christmas y'all!