Monday, September 29, 2008


While it's still only the 29th here, it's the 30th in China, so I thought I'd write a Happy Birthday post for my sister, Carrie.

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIS! I have admired you for so many reasons all of my life. You are strong, independent, wise and more caring than most. You are sensitive, loving and supportive. There is no one in the world that I would rather laugh 'til I cried with than you. It is so comforting having a sister, and especially one that you know cares so deeply for you. Growing up I tried to be just like you (notice I said be not dress like you ;)!! I always envied your discipline and strength. You use to enjoy planning out the next 5 or so years of my life and lay it out for me. Have I told you how much I miss that? Maybe I just threw you for so many loops that you gave up.

I love you, Carrie, and while I will let some tears fall today because you are so far away, I will be praising God for your life and your heart. You're the best!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hey everyone-I finally got onto the internet today because Casey's office miraculously had power!

Ike came ready for a fight, but we're still standing. It seems the "panic mode" that everyone was in before the storm has only intensified, though. As gas stations get power one by one, the lines to the pump stretch on forever and frozen water is all of the sudden as valuable as gold. We stayed with the kids at my parents house during the storm since they have a gas grill. Oddly enough, we've eaten better in the past few days than most other times, grilling every last morsel of meat from our freezers so it doesn't go to waste. Saturday night's meal was a virtual buffet of turkey burgers, pork tenderloin, potatoes, corn on the cob, followed the next day by a mountain of chicken nuggets. Each evening it's as if we've jumped into a time machine, and at once we hunker down by candle light to sit around and listen to the radio until we head off to bed by ten o'clock.

It's been an interesting few days, to say the least. We spent the better part of 9 hours working to restore my parents yard to its former glory and our house is just a few more hours short of restoration as well. It's clear that many people were not as fortunate, though, and we are thankful to be safe and sound.

I hope everyone in the area is alright and recovering!

Friday, September 12, 2008


It's Friday and apparently there is a hurricane on the way. I was sure that when I woke up this morning and turned on the news that they were going to say that it had turned and wasn't coming our way, but it looks like it is. People are freaking out. The lines at the grocery store were a mile long yesterday, almost every business is closed today, gas is running out... Casey and I, though, are solidifying our reputations of making light of heavy situations. Maybe it's our way of dealing with the situation, I don't know, but I can think of nothing more amusing than watching everyone scramble around like the end of the world is upon us.

Don't get me wrong, though, we know that this is a serious storm and that there are many people near the coast that are in immediate danger, but we feel pretty confident that, short of a bunch of fallen branches, some minor damage, and a power outage, we are safe. But, lest we be considered reckless, we stocked up on booze and twinkies. Just kidding. They were out of twinkies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I did one of the posts a while back, about things that Aiden has said that made me laugh, but I haven't done one in a long time and a post on one of my friend's blogs reminded me that I needed to do another one.

These are things that Aiden has said in the past three days that put a smile on my face:

While going to check the mailbox:
Me: "Hey Aiden and Pierce, do you want to walk to the mailbox barefoot?"
Aiden: "ooo, yeah-you guys walk barefoot, and I'll walk kittyfoot!"
Me: "No, it's barefoot, Aiden, not BEARfoot"

When I caught Aiden shoving Pierce down:
Me: "Aiden-why did you just shove your brother??"
Aiden: "But Mama, sometimes I just get so frustrated with him and then I my body just can't help it!"
Me: (thinking) I know buddy-I feel your pain

When trying to decide what to eat for breakfast:
Aiden: "Mama, I want beans for breakfast"
Me: "No, I don't want you to have beans for breakfast, how about eggs?"
Aiden: "But why don't you want me to have beans for breakfast? Because then I will toot all day?"

When discussing Santa Claus: (this may be controversial, I understand. Yes-we tell our kids that Santa is not a real person)
Aiden: "I wish I could go meet Santa Claus"
Me: "Well, you know that Santa is a character, and when we are playing we can pretend that they are real and use our imaginations. Kind of like Superman and Thomas the Train."
Aiden: "yeah, and like Dora, and Batman, and Chinese people!"
****note to self: don't be surprised when Aiden wets himself the first time he visits his cousins in China****

*My Favorite* While picking out what to wear:
Me: "Darn it, this pretty shirt doesn't fit you any more-I loved that shirt on you"
Aiden: "Why did you love that shirt on me?"
Me: "Because it has bright colors and I think you look handsome in bright colors"
Aiden: "Yeah! And do you know what? God thinks that the clouds look handsome, too, so that's why he puts bright colored clothes on them when it's a sunset!"

Despite his constant questions and endless antagonizing of his brother, He has such a sweet heart and can say some darn cute stuff sometimes!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Are you there, God??

Hi everyone! I couldn't resist showing this to you guys. Yesterday, Aiden wanted to make a little video on the computer, so I pressed record and this is the little snippet of our day it captured. Let me set the scene: After pressing 'record' I turned to see where Pierce was. I found him in my parents bathroom (we are house sitting at the moment), with a twizzler in his hand (movie snack), and his hand elbow deep in the toilet-stirring the toilet water with his twizzler, with a roll of toilet paper unrolled all over the floor. This lovely event is what you hear going on in the background. Aiden, who is accustomed to these sort of antics from Pierce, is unphased and proceeds in his conversation with God and Jesus.

If you listen carefully, at about the 48 second mark, you can hear me adding a rule to Pierce's ongoing list of random rules (like "don't take the poo out of your diaper" and "stop body slamming your brother").

Sunday, August 03, 2008

2 cool to be 2!!

Our little man, Pierce, turned 2 today! It honestly feels like he should be turning 1-I don't know where the past year went! We have been trying all weekend to get him to say he is "two", but every time we ask him how old he is, he says something like "my daddy", or "aiden two", and when we insist, he smiles a sly little smile and says "naaaggghh I not two". oh well. With all of my family out of town, we decided to keep it low key and the five of us had a little cake (well, Grae had the milk, minus the cake). Pierce blew out his candles and immediately leaned over and took a bite without using his hands, and then devoured a huge slice. I remembered at the last minute to grab my camera, so these are the only two shots I got. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Pierce!! You are a constant source of joy, energy, smiles and fun for us. We love you little buddy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

not enough hours in the day...

I am so very backed up with editing right now, but I thought everyone might forgive my poor blogging if I just posted a picture of Grae. She is ALL smiles these days...

...and cheeks, apparently!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

eventually, they all fall...

After a fun morning of swimming with friends, and a missed nap by Pierce, I found the boys like this when I came to tell them their dinner was ready. Bonus: it will be an early bedtime tonight!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Fourth on the Fifth!

We hope everyone had a great Fourth! We celebrated by grilling out with family at my parents house. My cousin, Kristin, and her boyfriend, Brent, came in town, too, and it was great to see them! Kristin, Brent, Casey, Aiden, and I all shot off a few fireworks and I got them all to spell things with their sparklers so I could take pictures. Oh-and Hillary Clinton made a rare appearance! From the looks of things, she hasn't taken not receiving the Democratic nomination well.

Monday, June 30, 2008


I turned 28 on the 28th this year! It was such a wonderful, low-key birthday. I got an A-mazing birthday gift- a new iMac computer! It is so beautiful. I've been wanting one for a long time and we got a really good deal on it. It's going to be so much better to do my photo editing on-I'm just a little excited, if you can't tell ;)

And...check out the cake Casey had made for me! There was a girl on the hiking trip that Casey went on recently that makes cakes, and she made this one for me-it looks exactly like my camera, and she even put one of my pictures in the viewfinder! And the craziest part is that she is only 14!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

he's never short for words...

So Aiden has been quite the chatterbox lately. It has resulted in several headaches for Mama. He seriously does not stop talking the entire day unless he's eating. He wanted to send an email to Casey's parents to thank them for some surprises they sent in the mail, so he dictated a letter to me. If you know him, you'll appreciate the letter more, because you can hear him saying the words! It's best read at a continuous speed, because that's how it was dictated (I actually had a hard time typing fast enough to keep up with him). (note: Mermie is Casey's mom, GramDad is Casey's Dad. Doggie small is a what Aiden named a little stuffed dog that he carried around for months before leaving him in Austin at his cousin's house.)

Dear Mermie and GramDad,

Thank you for this train book and the other book and the picture book that you sent in the mail. And thank you for letting me be at your house SO long! I really liked playing with all of your toys and the sand pile for I can put the hose on it and make a river. I wish you could come to my house and play with me and Pierce. Well, I am tired right now because mama and me went to pick blueberries this morning but it was really really really really really early and even everyone was asleep in their beds!! But I picked a lot and a lot of blueberries and I ate a lot and a lot of blueberries too! Mama and me are going to make a pie with all those blueberries that we got today. Pierce didn't go to pick blueberries, but he stayed at home with Daddy and Grae.

I know! Maybe when you come to my house we could go to pick blueberries! That would be fun, ok? And then we could make more and more and more pies for EVERYONE! And do you know what? My Daddy brought me a NEW doggie small for a surprise. Well, he doesn't look like doggie small, but I will still call him doggie small. He is so cute and fuzzy, and Pierce got a hippo, but the hippo is blue, but doggie small is brown. I love my new doggie small so much. But I know that God is taking care of my old doggie small, but he is lost, but now I have a NEW one! Well, I don't have anything else to say, so I love you Mermie and Gramdad. bye.

Love Aiden

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Summer is here...

It's not officially summer yet, but you wouldn't know it in Houston. I don't know if it's because of the amazing Spring that we had or not, but it has been CRAZY hot and humid the past few weeks. It's been way too hot to be out with Grae for very long, and anyone with boys knows that you can't really get through the day without playing outside. Thankfully, we have the pool to cool us off!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

shades of grae

oh the boys are back in town....the boys are back in town...

That song was playing on the soundtrack to our weekend. Casey's parents brought the boys back and our house is once again a noisy circus. Somehow, though, we had to admit that we missed the chaos that two boys create.

Along with Casey's parents, his sister, Kristen, and one of her daughters, Gwennyth, also came for the weekend. Aiden had so much fun playing with someone other than Pierce, who just tagged along, mimmicking their every move.

The boys have been great with Grae! Aiden is, of course, especially interested in her and has been loving on her non-stop.

Monday, May 05, 2008

what's in a name...

We thought we should also explain our sweet girl's name and where it came from.

Grae Cecile McKown

--is pretty much just a name that we both love. A friend of mine had met someone with a little girl with the same name and ever since I heard it I loved it and it topped my list of names. We decided to spell it a little differently, though. So there's not really any big symbolism, we just love the name. We found out after she was born, though, that Casey has a great grandmother who's last name was Gray, so I guess there's somewhat of a family link.

Cecile--Ever since Casey and I got married we knew that if we ever had a daughter we wanted her middle name to be Cecile. Cecile is a dear friend from Belgium that I met while she was an exchange student when I was in High School. We have remained good friends and she was at our wedding in Italy. If you've met Cecile, you probably don't need an explanation as to why we love her so much. Cecile has many qualities that we want for our daughter. She is intelligent, independent, fun, sensitive, committed, curious about life, spontaneous, honest and quite possibly the funniest person either of us has ever met. I could go on and on. We love you, Cecile, and we can't wait until you get to meet Grae!

how it went down...

Some of you wanted to know some more details about Grae's birth, so I am happy to oblige.

I went into labor on Friday, the 25th. It was bad timing. Casey had left early that morning to go out of town for the weekend. He was at a Bachelor Party weekend for a great friend and was over 2 hours away. Luckily, the boys and I were staying at my parents house just in case I needed help. I felt sick and out of sorts all day, but wasn't having any contractions. My mom and I watched some TV that night and she and my Dad went to bed early. Within 30 minutes of them going to bed I started having contractions. It was like someone flipped a switch, so I timed them and immediately they were 5 minutes apart and over a minute long. After a couple of hours I woke my mom up and called my doctor, who told me to head to the hospital because I was already over 4 cm dilated at my last appointment, and we wanted to be sure Casey could make it in time for the birth.

My Mom and I got to the the hospital around midnight and after monitoring my contractions they admited me around 2 am. I texted my dear friend, Jen, around 3 am because I told her I would let her know if anything happened, but thought she'd just get it in the morning. I should have known that she'd be only half asleep, though, because she is also pregnant. She shocked me and came to the hospital immediately and stayed to keep me company until after 9am so that my mom could be home when the boys woke up. So after getting my epidural around 3:30, I texted Casey and his friend, Seth (also at the party) to tell him I was in labor. Casey's phone was dead, but Seth called me back :) and woke Casey up. They told me later that the conversation went something like this:

Seth: "Casey, dude, wake up-Kim's in labor"
Casey: "Shut up, man"
Seth: "No, seriously, she's at the hospital right now"
Casey: "Shut up, Seth-wait....what??!!"

Unfortunately it was storming really badly where Casey was at, so he waited until around 5:30 to leave. He told me once he got the hospital around 8:45am that he hydroplaned on the way and did four 360's, ending up on the opposite (on-coming) side of the highway in the shoulder. yikes. He made it, though, and after the doctor broke my water at about 10:45 things went into warp speed and she was born at 11:39am.

So there it is...well, the semi-simplified version, at least. We feel so blessed to have had a third wonderful birthing experience and once again we are in awe of God's perfect creation.

Grae slept like this for almost an hour yesterday. The little tongue sticking out just killed me.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

She's here!

Well, here's the first post about the newest addition to The McKown family! It's been such a crazy week, but I managed to snap this quick picture of Grae throwin' the duece to all her new peeps out there!

For those of you who haven't heard, Grae Cecile McKown was born on Saturday, the 26th, at 11:39am. She was 7 lbs. 8oz. and 21 inches long. Besides some jaundice, she is doing great and the boys are adjusting to having a baby sister.

Sorry I don't have more pictures right now, but don't worry, I'll be posting so many pictures of her in the months to come that I'm sure you'll be begging me to stop!

In the meantime, here are a couple pictures my Dad sent me from the hospital...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Too Funny Not To Mention #1

My sister gave me the idea yesterday of having ongoing posts about the funny things that our kids say. Since Pierce isn't talking much, the material will primarily be from Aiden, but anyone who knows Aiden knows that there is no shortage from him. So, here is installment #1 of "Too Funny Not To Mention".

Yesterday, Aiden, Pierce and I were laying on my bed watching the baby roll around in my tummy when Aiden made a startling revelation.

Mom: "Look, the baby is really moving a lot!"

Aiden: "Mommy! The baby is coming out!"

Mom: "What do you mean, Aiden?"

Aiden: (pointing to my stomach) "Look, I see cracks on your tummy and I think the baby must be coming out!"

*Aiden was, of course, referring the eternal reminder that I have had 3 kids: stretch marks. Thanks for the reminder, Buddy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

to the nines...

Our friends Kathryn and Jared got married this weekend and Aiden and I both got to be in the wedding. Kathryn's little boy, Hudson, is one of Aiden's best buds. He and two of Hudson's other friends walked with him down the aisle. Aiden was so excited to wear a suit and "look like daddy" for the night! Here's a picture of Aiden and Cadence in their suits. Thankfully I don't have any pictures of my stomach attempting to wear my dress around.

I also got to take Kathryn's Bridal portraits, so I posted a few on my photoblog. I felt like I should have been paying her to take them, though-what a beauty!

Monday, March 17, 2008

like father like sons...

Casey bought the boys lolipops with lips on them this weekend. I think he was more excited about them than they were. I'm so glad my husband is goofy. Life is way too serious sometimes.

Monday, March 10, 2008 it May yet???

Running around after Aiden and Pierce has made this pregnancy fly by until the past couple of weeks. Now I'm wondering if May will ever be here, because I'm ready to get on with it, already. I loved every minute of my first pregnancy, but the third time around isn't so glamourous. And by the way, it would stink to be the guy that Braxton Hicks contractions were named after. I would hate to know that millions of women would be cursing my name long after my death.

less than eight weeks left...pray for me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Family visit

We got to see Casey's sister, Kim, her husband, Pete, and their little girl, Apple, this weekend. They were in town for a short visit from China. Casey and I went to visit them in November and we couldn't believe how much Apple had grown since then. She is the sweetest little baby girl I've ever been around-a little angel. It was great to see you, Craigs! We can't wait to come see you again!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some quick pictures I snapped of Pierce after bathtime last night. This kid loves being naked. After I took this picture I got a diaper to put on him, at which point a lengthy and strenuous (on my part) chase ensued. I'm sad to report that my 19 month old is pretty much faster than me at this point. He's definitely taking advantage of my state, and Aiden is enjoying watching me run/waddle after him like I'm balancing a beach ball between my knees. Only a couple more months to go....

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Sorry there haven't been any posts in a while! I wanted to put something up real quick, so here's a couple pictures of the boys with their Valentines Day treats (Pierce enjoyed a little dirt with his, as you can see).

Hope everyone had a wonderful day with the ones you LOVE!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

so sad... borders on pathetic, really. This morning, without knowing it, our 4 yr. old made a very wise observation about his mother. He had a friend over to play, and this is the little conversation I heard:

Hudson: "Wow, Aiden, where did you get that car from?"
Aiden: "My Mama got it for me from Tar..Tar...from Tar (he is stuttering horribly at this point trying to remember the name)...from Tar...from TARGBUCKS!!"

So I like Target and Starbucks, who can blame me, especially when I've got a Starbucks gift card from Christmas burning a whole in my wallet. It's yet another reminder of how smart and observant kids can be, and how painfully aware they are of their parents vices.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

high-chair high jinx

I forgot to post this a couple of weeks ago. I was at home having dinner with the boys and got up from the table to use the restroom. This was the scene when I came back into the room. I'm still not convinced that his big brother didn't aid in the operation, but he denies any involvement.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I usually don't make it out from behind the camera to actually BE in pictures, so I thought I'd post this one of me and the boys. Also, some proof of my rapidly growing belly. Aiden took this picture, believe it or not. He got a new Lighting McQueen digital camera for Christmas, but he took this one with my 5D. He seems to really be getting into taking pictures and is actually concerned when they aren't crisp!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Hey guys, just as an fyi-I'm back to updating my it's been so long.
Here's a recent picture of my cousin's little boy, Hudson. He wasn't too thrilled to be the subject, but not many one year olds are.