Saturday, March 31, 2012

2 Years Old!!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet baby girl!!! 

You are sitting right next to me on the couch right now watching a cartoon, rubbing the satin edge of your blankie between your fingers and sucking on your poppy.  Your nose is stuffy from your chronic cold and your hair is in your eyes because it's so long now!  Daddy is sitting on the other side of you asking you if you want to go to the store with him to get some goodies to make you a special breakfast.  You just said no so matter a factly:).  We all laughed. 

Knowing that yesterday was the last day of you ever being one, we made sure to soak it up as much as we can.  I let you literally soak me with a giant squirt gun in the backyard for over an hour.  Your eyes got a wild look of excitement as you chased me around the backyard all while shouting out a Tarzan cry, "ahhhhhhahhhhh."  It was awesome.

I love you so much sweet Daisy Love.  You are my best little friend and you have my heart wrapped around your finger.  Yesterday we cuddled on the couch for nearly a half hour because you weren't feeling well.  You haven't rested on me like that in over a year.  It was a priceless way to close the door on year one and I held  you tightly rubbing your back and brushing your hair away from your face.  I was praising God for you and the amazing blessing that you are in my life.  

I pray that your 2nd year is a year of fun and exploration.  I pray that I can continually impress upon your heart the wonders of knowing Jesus.  I thank God for the joy that you have brought to my heart.  I have so many new wrinkles in my face from smiling and laughing so much with you and I am okay with that:).  You are beautiful.  You are silly.  You are friendly.  You are our little Princess.  

Now let's get ready to celebrate you with a cowgirl themed party!!

We love you SO much baby girl!! Happy Happy Birthday!!
(stay tuned for Daisy's 2 year portrait post!!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


 The weather has been beautiful and we have been spending UH-LOT of time outside in the sunshine everyday.  Daisy loves playing with umbrellas.  I get nervous because I don't want her to poke her eye ball out with one of the tips and she continues to be clueless that the bright colored contraption can easily become a weapon. lol So, I monitor her closely and soak up her happy face and the sweet little songs that she brokenly sings out.  "Tweenkul star uh uh buv wor so hye...," while she dances around the backyard with her turquoise umbrella.

This little girl's 2nd birthday is Saturday.  If you ask Daisy, she will already tell you that she is two.  We have been working on it for a few weeks. lol.  If you ask her how many two is she will hold her fingers up in an L shape for two.  Cracks me up every time.  

Our church hosted a big spring carnival this weekend and Daisy participated in her first Easter egg hunt there.  Watching my little girl do something for the first time never ceases to bring me so much joy.   There was such a mad rush for the eggs but, Daisy just calmly and quietly stopped down and picked up an egg or two while watching the other kid swirling around her.  Then she happened to find a Laffy Taffy on the pavement and after that she was done.  All she wanted was to eat that one laffy taffy.  It was hilarious.  She also had a blast jumping in a jolly jump too. I mean, uh blast! So much so that I was tempted to rent one at the last minute for her birthday party but, I decided against it....,next year though!  Her mouth was always hanging wide open with excitement when she was jumping.   Oh how I love my little girl! 

I've been struck down by yet another crazy cold/flu and I guess I'm just thankful that it is so early in the week so hopefully I will be good to go by Daisy's birthday party on Saturday.  What is it with all the crazy mutant germs floating around this year?  

 I watched Hunger Games this weekend and loved it.  Now I'm dying to read the books so that I can find out what happens. lol.  Did any of you see the movie and if so what did you think?   I'm going to try and drag my hubby to see it next week:).

K, off I go to hit the sack early. I've never been so excited about going to sleep! lol Night all:)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Very First Week With Instagram

I got my very first iphone last week! Yeah for me:).  I had an older droid for a couple of years and it was the slowest piece of machinery on planet Earth and if you don't believe me you can ask anyone who had the unfortunate pleasure of needing to use it. lol  Phones really aren't a big deal to me but, I was kind of excited about having access to Instagram and a better working camera since I love taking pictures and my last phone would freeze whenever I opened the camera.  Did I mention that I loathed my last phone? hehe  

So, I had been patiently waiting for my contract renewal to come up for a couple of years, so that I could get a new phone because my last phone has been shattered for over a year (thanks Daisy).  Within hours of getting my iphone I was hooked on Instagram and all the cool new features.  Less than 24 hours into my dream cell phone experience I was leaning over Daisy in the backyard to take her picture while she was playing on our patio, my flip flop got caught under the wheel of our BBQ and I came tumbling down and my brand new barely broken in iphone also came tumbling down and ummm....cracked it's face to smithereens.....(k, hold on a second.  I need to wipe a tear out of my eye...).  So, there I stayed, crumpled on the back patio, staring at my phone on the ground and I swear it felt about as awful as if someone had died.  I was SO BUMMED about the stupid phone.  Oye.  I think the only reason it is such a bummer is because they cost so much and even with monthly insurance you still have to pay $200 just to replace the dang thing if it cracks.  You could say that I was having a "no good, very bad day." 

Then friends suggested I take it in to the Apple store to see if they would replace it for me as a grace kinda thing.  Evidently this was a policy that Apple had practiced for a few years and many, many people that I know were able to take their phones in to Apple when they cracked/broke etc. and get a new phone.  They had to sign a contract saying and it was a one time thing.   So, with that encouragement inside me I mustered up the courage to walk into Apple and see about getting my phone replaced.   The answer I received was a big fat NO.  Evidently the grace phone policy stopped after the iphone 4 series and I have the 4S.  I don't know whether to be happy that I have the newer model of the phone or not because at this point it sure doesn't look like a 4S and I would be more than happy to take a iphone 4 for free over getting another 4S for an additional $200.  Sigh.  It's been a week now and I'm over it.  The phone still works so that is a blessing:).

My hubby is attempting to fix it on his own first.  He found a screen replacement and tool kit online.  There are over 50 or so odd number of microscopic screws in an iphone!  So, wish him luck as he attempts that endeavor tonight.   

So, back to the point of this post...I love Instagram!  I haven't picked up my DSLR camera once since I got my iphone.  I know that sounds terrible being that I am a photographer and all but, I guess you could say that I am really enjoying the flexibility of a tiny, lightweight camera and the simple ease of editing with Instagram immediately on my phone.  I'm capturing more things than I ever would be with my bulky camera and it's fun!  So here are a few of my snapshots.  *A lovely rainbow after a crazy morning thunderstorm *Daisy sneaking a sip of my coffee * A happy cherry tree *my new living room curtains came! *Went to Pottery barn and ate up the decor while sipping a kind of Heaven *my sleeping angel before I had to wake her for a birthday party *chalk fun *tire swing fun at a party *me and my girl on an evening walk *gorgeous trees shadowed in the evening sky *My little peanut entertaining herself while we waited for a counter top guy who never showed.

Do you use Instagram? My user name is caseymartinez  (pretty easy to find me:)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Being Content

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13 

Humans are fickle.  We experience many moments of contentment but, they fade just as quickly as they cameWhen they fade we begin our quest to find the next thing to fill our void and to again return us to a state of contentment.  We pursue vacations, material things, a change of scenery, a good self-help book, a friend's encouragement or advice, a fun getaway, spending money, eating, a thrill, a new hobby, a new relationship, etc. Eventually though, contentment always fades and thus the cycle continues until we learn to recognize it.  So, how does one remain content in circumstances that one cannot change?  How does one learn to be still and not chase down the next momentary high in effort to find contentment once again?  How does one find lasting contentment in all of life's seasons?

I've always known the answer to these questions but, knowing an answer in my head and living it out are two very different things.  I think God is trying to teach me the latter.  Just saying something doesn't make it so and it certainly won't change a heart or attitude.  Only God can change a heart and as he changes a heart, the attitude and actions of a person naturally begin to change as well.  I believe that the bible verse referenced above is absolutely true; the answer to being content in any situation is to rely fully on the Lord and to allow Him to be your strength.  Our strength fades.  Our contentment fades.  Our moods and desires are always changing and they are as unsteady as the winds but, He is sure and steady.  He is light and truth and He is peace.  Lasting contentment is found in Him alone.

-Help me Jesus to cling to you for my strength and to seek you alone for my contentment.  Help me to rest in you and to trust you. I will be strengthened by reading your word and by coming to you in prayer and I will grow by spending more time with you.  Remind me Lord to spend more time with you for it is in that time alone with you that all the noise of life and all the cares of this world fade into the background and it is just you and me and your everlasting peace and joy.

My little peanut is almost 2!
It was a jammy kind of day;-)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Take a Leap

I was completely wowed the first time I watched this video.   The guy who filmed this is a brilliant dude in my opinion.  The way he captured the landscape, the angles, the perspectives, the lighting, the awe of the jump and the adrenaline rush each person had thereafter--it's just so awesome to watch and lemme tell yah, I watched it uh-lot! lol (and then I proceeded to watch a lot of  his other videos as well.  He's a talented guy!)

   I like to view just about everything I see and hear through my faith lens.  I am always trying to be open to what God might want to teach me or show me through anything and everything and since everything on the Earth is His after all it would make sense that He could use anything He wants to speak to us at anytime in order to draw us closer to Him.  Yes, that was a run on sentence and no, I don't care. ;-)

So as I watched this simple and awesome video I contemplated how it could relate to my faith.  I drew the simple conclusion that living a life for Christ is a lot like taking the daring and bold jump off of that rock.  If we are content to merely stand on the rock as a Christian in the safety and security of our own control we just might miss the amazing rush of a life that God is wanting to give to us.  He wants us to experience the fullness of life in His blessing.  He wants us to take a leap of faith and let him be the rope that holds us steady and keeps us safe from harm.  He wants us to be all in for Him.  Not half in or half out.  He wants us to trust HIM completely and not hold back.  He wants to take us on an adventure like no other but, we have to be willing to take that leap and let go of our control and our plans for our life.  In doing that we trust that God's plans are better for us than our own and that His ways are higher.  Just as these folks had the ride of their lives, I want the ride of my life to be with Jesus at the helm!  Where am I holding back?  In what areas of my life am I not surrendering control?  What am I afraid of that I need to hand over to Him?  Do I have any incorrect views of God that are hindering my growth with Him?  Do I trust Him fully?

YES!!!  Then....................take a leap and be refreshed in His glory!!!
Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hi, My Name is Casey and...

I'm addicted to green (the color).  Green bathroom. Green kitchen.  Green bedding.  Green clothes.  Green. Green. Green.

I have the thickest hair on planet Earth (Trust me. Every stylist I go to confirms it) 

Because I have such thick hair I RARELY ever get to curl it or style it because it takes a few hours.  I'm a mom...that kind of time doesn't exist. 

I am deathly afraid of public speaking--even in front of a group as small as 2 people.   

I love long showers...though I rarely get to take them.

All of my immediate family still lives out in California and I miss them terribly every single day even after living in North Carolina for over 4 years. 

No, I don't want to move back to California but, I wish more of my family lived close by

I met my husband when we were juniors in high school in a keyboarding class

I LOVE LOVE LOVE sunshine and the warm rays on my skin.  I would sit in the sun for hours a day if I had the time and if I was okay with getting cancer.

I do not make hasty decisions.  I can agonize over what curtains to put up in my living room for 4 years before forcing myself to just do it already.  

I am a deep thinker and an over analyzer.  I have to turn it off to be normal but, that natural tendency to think too much is always there.

I like to think of myself as cautious but, also brave (and my name means brave FYI).  I don't like to do foolish things but, I am willing to take a risk if I think it is worthwhile or if it might give someone a laugh. 

I was the only girl daring enough to jump off the highest waterfall peak when I was in the Dominican Republic.  See, I can be brave!  I'm not gonna lie, it hurt like the blazes when I hit the water though. lol

I would venture to say that I am a more serious person in that I don't laugh or cry much.  Wow. I should have just said that I'm dull because that is what that sentence sounds like.  Not dull--just not a very emotionally high or low person.  I'm pretty even-keeled. I can be silly at times though trust me!

Horror movies are a no-no for me.  They give me nightmares and make me afraid of the dark or being alone and I don't like being fearful.

I LOVE traveling.  I could easily spend a lifetime traveling the world and never tire of it. I love the sights, the history, the food, the people, the entire experience and I love photographing new places!

Creativity inspires me and moves me to no end.  I love, love, love interior design and the plethora of styles.  I love landscaping and yard design.  I love watching cooking shows and I marvel at the delicious meals people can create (I'm not remotely interested in cooking myself but, I thoroughly enjoy watching!).  I adore photography and I can appreciate just about any style, genre etc. 

Hoarding is definitely not an issue for me.  I veer towards the opposite spectrum.  I would consider myself as more of a passionate purger, much to my husband's dismay! lol.  I take great pleasure in getting rid of clutter and things that I have no use for.

I do not get stressed out easily but, the one thing that is almost always has a surefire way of stressing me out badly is being rushed or late for something.  I don't like being late and I don't like rushing!

I am not the most sentimental person.  This is not to say that there is nothing that I am sentimental about but, that those things are very, very few.  Again, my husband and I differ in this area.

Photographs are very sentimental to me.  Perhaps it is because I have a horrible memory and they help me to remember moments that I would otherwise forget.  Perhaps it is because I am a photographer.  Regardless, I cherish every picture of my daughter and of my husband and I over the years.

After grabbing my daughter (and my husband if he needed grabbing:), our pictures would be the 2nd thing that I would grab if our house was burning down.  The rest of the house could burn (though it would be a horrible, horrible bummer!!) but, at least if I had my pictures I would feel like the memories were not lost forever.

I am a very empathetic person and I live to listen to and encourage others.  It is probably the most rewarding thing in the world for me and it is how I give.

I am in the midst of one of the longest and hardest seasons of my life.  It has repressed my energy to encourage tremendously.  99% of my energy goes into trying to encourage my husband and myself (as horrible as that sounds).  I look forward to the day that this season has passed and I can get back into the encouragement ministry! 

I wish women in general were easier to get to know.  I wish they were less guarded and less dramatic.  It would be really awesome if women were as laid back as dudes...sort of. 

I hate cliques.  I thought that silliness would end with high school but, in fact it endures well into adulthood.  If I am ever a part of one and don't realize it please slap me. 

I don't compete amongst friends.  If drama kicks in...I kick out. 

I am not a competitive person and truthfully really competitive people can overwhelm me with their constant need to walk over others to get or do what they want. 

I am a lover...not a fighter

Solitude is joyous for me. I recharge in my alone time and I am better able to hear the Lord speak in those quiet times.

Christian music is definitely my preference.  It's not that Christian music is the most talented on the market but, the lyrics build up my faith, encourage me, challenge me and grow me as a Christian. I like to invest my precious free time in things that help me grow and I also don't want my daughter listening to songs about sex, drugs, drinking and more sex.

 I also like Metallica (shocking, I know!), classic rock, pop, some rap, folk and jazz (love smooth jazz--Kenny G).  I am NOT a country music fan, though I can enjoy a handful of songs. 

On the personality tests I always score 50/50 for introvert/extrovert though I honestly feel that I veer more towards being an introvert on the inside and a forced extrovert on the outside.   

Being cold is a miserable feeling.  

Snakes don't bother me at all but, please don't ever get me a spider for my birthday or I just might have to kill you.  

Sushi is my favorite food on planet Earth.  Next would be a tie between Mexican food and a good steak depending on my mood.

I believe in living in the moment as much as you can because the moment at hand is the only moment you are guaranteed!

Being a mom is probably the most rewarding gift I've been given.  Thank you Jesus! I adore my daughter and would give my life for her in an instant.  On the other hand, motherhood has many moments of being overwhelming or boring for me, because of the monotony and the restrictions.  As I get older though and learn to embrace that life is not about me, I am learning to embrace the blahs and the borings of motherhood as well.  

I am 5'8" tall

I love watching Gladiator and war movies but, since having a child I cannot stomach them quite like I used to.  I really want to see act of valor! 

I have always loved to dance (not skilled dancing just groovin' for fun). My hubby and I both love it but, we really don't have too many opportunities to dance these days.  

I generally choose fruit desserts or sour candy over a chocolate dessert.  I've always been that way.  Don't get me wrong...there are some moments in every month that absolutely demand chocolate if you get my drift. (wink)

I am not the most confident person and I could easily nitpick myself to death if I allowed it but, as I get older I learn to look in the mirror less, not allow myself to be as critical of myself and to enjoy life more. I realize that I'm only getting older and I need to embrace all that I am but, it is a process for sure.

Exercise is not something that I enjoy.  I do try to get a little something in at least once or twice a week and I wish it was more often than that.

I HEART thunder and lightening and the spring rainstorms on the east coast.  LOVE them!!

I believe in Jesus with all my heart.  He is as real as the air I breath and His hand has always been guiding my life.  I love reading the bible.  It's my road map for life!
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh the Whining...

My kid has been whining since she was in the womb but, to make matters worse--what they say about the twos is true, at least for us it is. The whining has taken on a new level of wonder and awe.  It doesn't matter what I say or how I say it, an immediate fall to the floor tantrum ensues.  It also seems that my little girl kicks the tantrums into even higher gear the second my phone rings.  Can any of you relate to this? lol.  All I can say is thank God for closed we can put our children on one side and ourselves on the other when we are needing a 30 second ear break. Daisy also gets very mad at me and a lot.  That sounds great doesn't it.  She gets this wild look in her eyes when I have to tell her no (and for the record I really do try to keep no to a minimum but, it just can't be avoided) and she usually wants to hit me in the face or bite my shoulder if I am holding her.  I have yet to see her behave in this manner with anyone else so I suppose I will consider myself very lucky to receive such personal treatment from my daughter.

I am trying to teach Daisy how to express her anger in healthy ways because she is entitled to be frustrated but, let's face it...she is not entitled to hit me in the face.  In the meantime I also have to deal with a 24/7 job that comes with a boss who screams at me all day.  And to think that I thought the corporate 8-5 job was

Anyways, I know I sound like I am complaining but, I want you to know that I recognize that this is just a phase that all parent's (generally speaking) have to go through.  This is life and I know that someday the incessant whining will pass and just when that eases up, I will be in the tween "I'm smarter than you mom and dad so get a clue," phase. 

And to be fair, I also have to acknowledge that though 79% of our days are filled with "grate on a mom's sanity" whining, we also have 21% of our day left to fill with precious and priceless moments with our sweet little Daddy mini.  To preface the pictures:  Daisy LOVES her Daddy and he gets more kisses, nose bumps and hugs than anyone else at this time. *She has really been enjoying her window "stickers," especially when I sit right next to her and play along.  *We have at least a couple of play dates every week and Daisy always has such a great time running around and being silly with her friends. *Our winter has been so warm this year that Daisy has been able to go outside a lot and even with little clothing on.  This particular day she asked for the hose and she had such a blast as it had been a couple of months since she had last played in the water.  She was also determined to splash me but, I wasn't in the mood to be cold so we had to stop that. lol.  Soon after she was shivering and asking for a towel which she also enjoyed playing with.  And then a few days later it snowed...craziness.  It only stuck for a handful of hours--just long enough for Daisy to experience it for the first time!  She seemed to really enjoy it but, I wish we had more so we could build a snowman or sled a little:).  Next year perhaps! 

  Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far!  I am co-leading a mom's bible study with another mom at our church and that starts tonight.  Hoping that we are able to minister to and build up some of the momma's in this area.  If you think to, say a prayer for me because I have a horrible fear of public speaking of any kind even in a small group but, I am a HUGE believe in facing fears and not letting them rule your life.  This is one that I have continually forced myself to face for years and I have made a little progress but, I'd love to be free of it all together.  Baby steps right:).  Now off I go to soak up this last little window of quiet time while my darling naps.
Daisy enjoyed our one and only snow this winter and it lasted all of 1/2 a day before melting away
Monday, March 5, 2012

Pinterest Quotes I Heart

I think you already know this about me but, in case you missed it, I am a big fan of Pinterest.  Sometimes all it takes is a simple quote on Pinterest to get my focus back on things that matter or just to challenge my thought processes and make me think.  And other times Pinterest quotes can really get me laughing but, I'll save those for another post:). 

Source: via Casey on Pinterest
Source: via Casey on Pinterest