Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Baptism Anniversaries of Catherine Ellis Cain and Caroline Elizabeth Cain

Both Catherine Ellis and Caroline were baptized on The Baptism of Our Lord Sunday at Camp McDowell - same Sunday - just two years apart.  It's the perfect Sunday to welcome the newest members of the community into the Christian community.  The Baptism of Our Lord signifies the end of the Christmas season on the liturgical calendar and the season of Epiphany - also a wondrous time time in the church.

This year we welcomed two more sweet children to the Christian community on this same day: Parker Evans and Noah Cook! Welcome to the most wonderful community sweet little ones! After church today we joined the Evans for brunch and sweet little Parker was so worn out from all the festivities that we didn't even get a picture with her, but we did manage one with Geoff (one of the priests at St. Mary's, a great friend and a favorite of the Cain ladies):

Each year we light the baptism candles for the girls as a reminder of the light of Christ that shines through them.  They are still young, but Catherine Ellis is starting to get it.  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has been wonderful for her and Advent really brought home "light" and Christ and how it signifies Christ. Catherine Ellis loved Advent and the advent wreath.  She couldn't wait to sing each day what the different candles signified and then 12 full days of all fives candles lit - so much fun!

The candles on the advent wreath represent Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Christ - all things we want to be evident in our lives and our walk with Jesus.  As we celebrate the welcoming of Catherine Ellis and Caroline into the Christian community we also focus on the prayer that Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Christ are big parts of their lives.  That their lives will shine bright with the hope, peace, joy and love that Christ has for us each and every day.

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit:  Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant that they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior: who with and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting, Amen.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas Galore!

The girls had lots and lots of fun being spoiled rotten by grandparents, aunts and uncles, god-parents and us - it's a lot of fun to watch them have so much fun with a fresh new set of fun things to play with!  It also means I need to clean out the current stash so we can add all the new and exciting loot!

First stop was Gran and Pop's - they got baby dolls and dress up clothes and puzzles - just to name a few! Of course the baby dolls and dress up clothes were the hit:

 Sophia the First light up dress

 More princess dress up items

 Baby alive for Caroline

 Baby Alive for Catherine Ellis

 Caroline loves her baby!

 Giddy about dressing up!

Bossing her baby

Catherine Ellis and her princess dress up get up

Next up was Christmas at Meme's - more babies, baby clothes, laundry baskets, ironing board, highchair for all the babies, DVD players for long road trips, scarves and all sorts of fun stuff!:

 AU and AL scarves

 Baby doll highchair

 Makeup and hairbrushes
from Sam and Virginia

 Brushing yet another baby doll

 Make up is one of Catherine Ellis's favorites

 Meme got an iPad - watch out world!

 Daddy got an Orca cooler for all his ducks and beer

Eating ice cream in PJS - a favorite past-time

There are lots of other wonderful gifts we received from many other sweet, dear friends and family, but I didn't always have my camera (shocking I know!) - so if you gave us a gift please know how very thankful we are not only for your sweet gift, but for your friendship, love and support!  Our little ladies are sure blessed to have so many wonderful folks in their lives!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Santa stopped at our house!

We didn't spent a ton of time and energy focusing on Santa, but we certainly looked forward to his visit!  We have an elf as I've mentioned before and it was super fun to see what Elvis came up with next.  The girls got a big kick out of him and while they don't much care for Santa - they did get very excited about preparing for him to visit.  For us, it's fun and a part of the overall Advent/Christmas season that we celebrate.

Christmas morning the girls slept until 8:00 - have I mentioned what I think is the best perk of the holiday season?  We are on the go and having so much fun that the girls sleep late for weeks during the season - we LOVE it! - but as soon as they were up they wanted to know if Santa had stopped by (read: Catherine Ellis, Caroline still isn't real sure what all the fuss is about).

They waited patiently at the door so I could capture them running in:

Think it's safe to say they were pleased - they eat got three toys (baby bathtubs for their baby dolls, books, doll, stroller, train set and washer/dryer set with an ironing board to match their kitchen area.  They washed and dried clothes and babies to their little hearts content!  

Pop came by for a quick visit to take the pups for us for the rest of the week and to play with the girls  They always enjoy a Pop visit!

We also made a birthday cake for baby Jesus to contribute to our Christmas dinner with my family - then we hit the road to the big AC!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Epiphany & the 12th Day of Christmas

Christmas is over - we are SO sad.  Caroline cried and cried as David took our tree out and tossed it to be recycled "Daddy that's my Chrimah tree, noooooo!"  I'll be honest, I always feel a little sad too - sad that the adoration of the season and the "slowness" of Advent are gone.  I don't so much miss the hustle and bustle of "cultural Christmas" although it's a love/hate for me because I do love seeing so many friends and families and celebrating fabulous traditions that only happen once a year.  There is just something about Christmas. It's hard to see it go.

Yesterday we celebrated Epiphany - the coming of the three wise men to visit baby Jesus.  Another magical time in our celebration.  We celebrated with the Feast of Epiphany at church last tonight and boy was it a good time! While we didn't get to have our "planned" celebration (there was going to be a camel the three wise men rode in on - who knew that camels don't come out in windy conditions?!) we still had a smaller version of the bonfire and a twelfth night party complete with a visit from the three wise men for the kiddos. Lots of fire - which is so mesmerizing to little ones and a bit nerve-racking for parents :)

 Getting ready to throw a branch from our Christmas tree in the bonfire!

 Our smaller bonfire was in a fire pit - it still got crazy big 
with the wind from the cold front blowing in

 Crazy fire ...

Happy Epiphany folks!  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas Eve Preparation

Christmas Eve is truly one of my most favorite days of the year.  I love the wonderment that the birth of Jesus brings.  Advent is my favorite season and Catherine Ellis is finally old enough to start to understand the significance. Faith through a child's eyes is such a joy.

We did have a huge scare the night before Christmas Eve - my mother had another TIA (mini stroke) - her second in 15 months. I rushed home to be with her and thanks be to God she is better and better every day. We've gotten her in to see a neurologist at UAB this Friday and are hopeful we can start figuring out why these TIA's are happening.  Please keep her in your prayers.  Andrew and Kim came to stay with her Christmas Eve night so I could be home with David and the girls for church and Santa - it was hard to leave, but it was also a treat to be with my family.

The Christmas pageant at St. Mary's is at 4:00 on Christmas Eve and it's the highlight of the day!  Caroline still isn't old enough to participate, but Catherine Ellis was a participant for the second year (last year she was a star) as a lamb.  It's always so magical!

Our little lamb


Heading to see baby Jesus with the shepherds

We hurried home to bake cookies for Santa, throw reindeer food out for his reindeer and leave cheese for his mouse (who knew?!?).  UPS arrived as soon as we got home with a package for the girls from Joey and Lauren that was full of gingerbread mix, icing, sprinkles and cookie cutters!  Perfect for making cookies for Santa!

 Thank you Joey and Lauren!

 Catherine Ellis leaving cheese for Santa's Mouse

 Spreading lots of reindeer food!

 So excited about leaving cookies and milk for Santa!

 Sweet sisters!

Santa worked hard in his workshop and was so thankful for the yummie cookies and milk!

 Working hard

 Santa's loot for the girls - three gifts each and two shared gifts

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Time is always flying!  Every day I think how can the day be over? - then the weeks fly by and the months and we're looking at the New Year.  2014?!  2013 was a great year for the Cains - one for the books!  Not that every year isn't a great year, but this year we hit some major life highlights.  We are SO blessed and SO thankful for the grace and mercy of our Lord.

Our highlights for 2013:
  • Catherine Ellis turned 4 and Caroline turned 2 - this year has been such a good time.  These are great ages that allow for a fair amount of independence and for us to be on the go doing fun things. We feel like we've entered the kingdom of childhood that is full throttle and usually so much fun! 
  • David got a new job that we are most thankful for.  We spent many years praying for the right door to open and it did in May!  He's learning a whole new field that we hope will move him forward.  He's learning and growing everyday and we're thankful he's in a place where he is appreciated.
  • We sold our house -our beloved 10th Avenue South home that we lived in for a decade.  Good times there.  We're excited about finding our new home this spring!
  • I got a new job - bittersweet.  Love my YW so much, but my CEO retired and it was the perfect time for me to also stretch and grow and learn a new area of fundraising.  UAB has been great so far!
  • We celebrated a week at the beach with some of our most favorite people on the earth - the Liles family!  It was sheer delight most of the time - four children under four is always a good time, but it sure is LOUD!
  • We made our first girls trip to Charlotte to visit Frances Grace and celebrate her second birthday.  It was a whirlwind and a long drive, but we survived thanks to Aunt Holly and it was worth every minute.  Lesson learned: don't park an SUV on an incline when it's almost empty.  
  • My two god-daughters are growing leaps and bounds and I'm so thankful they are a part of my lives. It sure wouldn't be the same without them!
  • Our sweet and dear friends the Dickens adopted their precious son, Mack.  Y'all - this was probably the top highlight of our year.  We've been praying and believing that this little boy would join their family for a long time. The Dickens faith is incredible and we're fortunate they are a part of our village.
  • Several of my dear friends from Camp McDowell all had their babies within months of each other - Jenny and Wren were within days - so fun to wait for the arrival of these wee ones and watch them grow.  I'm so thankful for technology that makes the miles from West Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina seem not so far!
  • I got to fly to West Virginia and spend time with Sara and meet Miss Laurel - what a joy this little girl is!  It was a delight to spend a few days with some of my favorite people!
  • David was confirmed as a member of the Episcopal Church. St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands is so dear to us.  We are so thankful for our church family.
  • I ran three 5K's this year - hoping for a half marathon this year!  Cain, Emma, Dobby and Amanda (human) are great training buddies - love our pups!
  • Catechesis of the Good Shepard certification in Level One has brought a childlike wonder back to my faith.  Thank you Emily for inviting me to finally finish what I started seven years ago!
  • The birth of Parker Evans - the girls ADORE her and try to steal her every time we see her.  What a blessing the Evans have been in our lives.
I really could go on and on!  We're looking forward to a wonderful 2014 full of peaks and valleys that will enrich our lives!