Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A First Birthday Little Man Party!

Love is in the details...
grab a cupcake
grab a stache
and celebrate!
This lady, Gaby has some skills.  She cut all the mustaches including the tiny ones on the cupcake toppers!
She's a real sweet auntie and one of my favorite friends.  She also helped me with Husband's 30th.
Which reminds me...I never showed the cake and talked about the recipes!  Yum.
Doesn't Husband look like he's thoroughly enjoying himself?
Of course, me and the girl are kissing, and Husband is shoving the skewer
up the boy's nose.
Love the birthday boy's parents, Rocky and Krisitan.
And she knows how to throw-down for a first party, right?!
My kids got...a cupcake.
The favors were chocolate mustaches on a stick.  Cute!
The Little Man. 
Happy Birthday, Jonah!

Great job, Kristian!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Five O'clock Somewhere

It has been a busy week of juggling the ordinary, adding items to my Etsy shop, making jam, working on writing projects and more.  Now it's almost the weekend and I'm excited to relax!

Here's to a weekend involving BBQ, friends, reading, birthday celebrations, including a "little man party" for a special one year old, and quite possibly a couple of these things I wrote about over at Life, Naturally. 
Living in the Northwest sure has its perks!

My girlfriend, Melody and I.
Happy Belated Birthday, Mel!

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thoughts on Three Things We Don't Like Talking About: Depression, Bullying & Suicide

I've been treading carefully, as of late, in my work as an Olweus Bully Prevention Trainer.  Hence the reason you haven't heard too much about that area of my life.  Last November, I gathered myself, presented myself brave and headed to Seattle to become one of 750+ Olweus trainers in the US.  It was a draining and emotional five days in the rainy city, yet I was determined to begin making progress in the area that held me down for nearly a decade. 

I was bullied, and it wrecked me emotionally for longer than I like to admit.  It changed me and I was lost in my own story for a long time.  Throughout my healing over the years, it has occurred to me over and over again that quite possibly my greatest work lies in this very sort of prevention--the main reason for Seattle and Olweus.  But just as life climbs and plateaus, so do emotions.

In the winter, I realized I had fallen into a depression.  I'd been avoiding this reality, as I was afraid of falling into such a state, after having dealt with a severe bout of depression when I was eighteen.  I recall the bleak, blankness of my life, the lack of tears, the sleep-filled afternoons; the frustration that I felt was my life.  I felt trapped and misunderstood.  I eventually pulled myself out (I think beginning to live my life without trying to please the ones I wanted to please, helped) and began to feel healthier, emotionally.

Last winter was different.  I can't pin-point for you where the root of depression stemmed, but it took hold and created quite a struggle.  I was tired, emotional, negative, and succumbed to many crying sessions.  I woke every night for hours on end and my heart literally felt heavy at the sight of another rainy morning.  I felt sad; I felt frustrated.

I made mental lists for all the reasons I may have been feeling so blue....
  • our wreck of a new house
  • the rain
  • my low back injury which prevented me from doing the running that I loved
  • being unsure of my work in writing and Olweus
  • my Husband's business partnership splitting
  • taking Brooklynn out of the preschool that she enjoyed so much because the drive was too long
  • feeling the financial strains of Husband starting a new business
  • all of the above making me feel insecure
It was a lot for me, so I had to take hold of it and see my doctor.  I took a step back from the the things that caused me to overextend myself, especially Olweus--the area that requires much clarity and emotional health for me to do the work, and for the last three months or so, I've been feeling myself again. 

As of fairly recently, I've been hit with a handful of reminders and nudges of the work that I so desperately want to do, but I know, I have to be feeling well to do such a heart-wrenching work. 

Did you see the 48 Hours special, Words Can Kill on Friday?  Then just a few minutes ago there was this headline on MSNBC,
 Teen Contributor to 'It Get's Better Project' Takes His Own Life
It reminded me of the recent news stories of two young suicides down at round lake, and when I looked the stories up, it led me to three more names of recent young suicides, bringing the total to five in the area in the since January. 

I'm worked up.  Especially at the thought of people like the administrator that I ran into the other week, who avoided me after our meeting on implementing the Olweus Bully Prevention Program into his school.  He was on board, supportive, told me to call the next month, and then quit returning my emails.  Hassling adults, or administrators, is not my interest, so our correspondence ended there.  But it was awkward when we found ourselves in the foyer of the Human Society together the other week.  I tried to not be seen, he called me by my middle name?, and we made quick small-talk about how we were supposed to meet the year before..."call me anytime," he said.  Yeah.

But then I read daily about my dear friend, Ann, who runs Jeremiah's Hope on Facebook, named after her son, who took his life five years ago or so.  I think of him, and how she works tirelessly to show the importance of this issue--this work, to each and every person she can reach, to tell them about this potential killer that is bullying.  I think of how like me, she doesn't like to public speak, but has a message to share that is so important that she's willing to speak with her voice and hands shaking, and I'm inspired.  I'm filled with hope and care for these kids.  I'm tired of it, and it is time to be part of the change.

Jeremiah Gettis

Bookish Things

happy wednesday!  
here's a few more bookish finds for you book and word lovers...
an outdoor book-themed feast.
a mini leather bound book boomark, in the shop.
pillows with words on Etsy.

How's your Wednesday coming?  Husband's requested that I sort through some of my shop things in the garage.  We've been doing some shuffling of goods in effort to use the space around here more efficiently.
Husband has his shop, while I have the sunroom as my studio, but still each of our things are spilling into other areas... It's always work, work, work around here.

x, C

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That Time I Spied on My Kid

The other day, Brooklynn said,
"Why do I get a smile on my face every time I see a school bus?"
Brooklynn's first day of kindergarten

As you know, from my pre-first-day-of-school-post, I was a bit of a wreck at the thought of sending my five year old away for four hours a day, with kids and adults I don't know, to a new place, and to be picked up and dropped off without my assistance and hawk eyes.

Naturally, I followed the school bus on the first day. Never mind she told me not to when I spoke of my plans. I debated her wishes and my gut feelings until that school bus picked her up. Then two seconds after the bus pulled up that hill, all crumbled and Asher talked me into following the school bus. 

For the first time in my motherhood, I felt like a stalker. My plans were to follow the bus and drive around the parking lot and watch Brooklynn walk across the courtyard and make it to the right building. When I couldn't see squat, and the tiny lot screamed accident waiting to happen if you plan to spy on your kid while driving, I parked, grabbed Asher, and headed for her building.

Parents were scattered about, some taking pictures of their group of kids atop the school sign, one child crying outside a classroom, and recess happening. When I saw her rainbow pen-striped backpack against the wall outside her classroom, I knew she was where she needed to be. Relieved and well, I decided to have one more glance at my girl on her first day of school.

I walked out to the yard, scanning the playground and the lawn for Brooklynn in her pink coat. With tiny kids and big kids running rampantly, I had to look harder. Just about the times I squinted my eyes, I found her, on the concrete attempting some solo hula-hoop fun. And it was just about that time that the bell rang and I told myself my work had been done and I could quietly leave without her ever knowing I followed her.

But after the bell rang, she kept at it. Then the playground aid called "all toys need to be put away and you need to line up at your classrooms," but Brooklynn didn't flinch and she kept working on her rhythmic hip-sways. I watched her for another 15 seconds to see if she planned on listening on her first day of school, and then I had no choice but to intervene.

She was surprised, asked how I got there, and feeling a bit creepy myself, I played it off, pointing to all the other parents outside the classroom. Asher and I watched as she lined up, and listened to her teacher begin what would be the tone she'll use with 25+ five and six year olds for the rest of the year.

As the line of children headed for the door, we waved good bye and she smiled excitedly. Aching a little for the boy who clung to his mother as his father stood watching, I grabbed Asher's hand and headed for the car.

She's in good hands, I thought, and it's exactly where she wants to be.

And, you know, sometimes spying settles an anxious heart, and your five year old wont hold it against you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Books and Cupcakes

There's no better combination, right?

Up in the shop now.

Plus, through September,
all bookmarks $12.50 and under are 2 for $20.


Simple Beauty at Portland's Saturday Market

A visit to Portland's Saturday Market is always a weekend highlight.  More than the belly dancers in the rain, the cheesy paint bucket drummer, the carmel corn, the ancient Tibetan turquoise that I carried home with me, and the handmade goods that I could have emptied my bank account over, I was enthralled by this:

Portland, Oregon

Simple beauty in a full city, on a rainy afternoon.

All photographs property of Cassie McCully.
Please do not duplicate or redistribute.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kelly Corrigan: Words on Women and Strength

Currently, I'm reading 'The Middle Place' by Kelly Corrigan.  It has been an enjoyable, provoking read, a balance between heartache and cheerleading.  I relate to her story as a daughter and mother, and wait on her words to learn how cancer has changed her innermost and to see what I can take and apply to my own story.

I find myself wanting to stand applaud the women whose work I've read, who are sharing their stories, and who have unearthed the lessons within their living. 

Life is all about our stories. 
The cause and affect; the lessons.

While searching for a 'Middle Place' book cover photo to put on my blog, I came across some essay reading by Kelly Corrigan.  And all over again, I am touched by her candidness; her stories. 
I'm so happy to have found one more female writer to inspire me in my own story-telling.

You can hear her tell about 'The Middle Place' here.

I love this essay, Transcending: Words on Women and Strength.

Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Little Things Post-Summer/Pre-Fall Edition

The looming gray sky this morning.
Three giant zucchinis on my counter waiting to be baked into deliciousness.
Eating cherry tomatoes straight off the vine.
The way the horses nAAAAy at me around feeding time.
Homemade blackberry jam. 
Thoughts of soups, chili, cornbread and biscuits.
Anticipating the wood stove burning through the night.
My fall calender filling up--All Women's Church Night, Sellwood 5k, birthdays,
Wordstock, The World's Largest Christmas Bazaar! 
Running the roads instead of packing the kids,
driving to the gym and running on a treadmill.
Fall crafts.
Joyce Meyer in the morning.
The post office lady whose name I must learn.  She's delightful.
Brooklynn loving kindergarten and Asher's desire to start learning letters.
Wheat fields.
The fall camping trip that must be planned.
Mums.  I want to cover my porch in them.
You?  What are your little things?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

my birthday by the numbers

7 am morning rise
2 cups of coffee
3 mile run
4 hours of housecleaning by the house cleaner and it wasn't me!
10 or so happy birthdays from my wee ones
25+ pieces of reclaimed wood being fashioned into birthday present awesomeness by Husband
1 surprise piece of mail
3 cupcakes stranded on a necklace made by Brooklynn
1 catnap
2 kids and 1 dog in bed with me during my catnap
1 attempt by Brooklynn to paint my nails during said catnap
1 black strapless floral sundress
2 Jessica Simpson black heels
2 sprays of Viva la Juicy
1 hot urban cowboy for a date
1 fine Italian Dinner
1 free appetizer after a calamari wrapper was found fried...
3 kids laughing at Husband and I enjoying our tunes...whatever. We're not that old.
2 listens to my birthday song, Tonight, while driving.
1 movie ditched.  We knew we couldn't last. 
1 lemon drop.
7 times I wished I had my camera.
2 little ones waiting up for us.
1 surprise ice cream cake with plenty left over.
90+ facebook messages, blog comments, texts and phone calls!  Wow, you know how to make a girl feel special!
365 days left in my twenties
365 days to fill fabulously before I'm 30.
365 days until I'm in Ireland.  Amazing.
10 my bedtime--crashed. out.

I'm most definitely looking forward to the year ahead.
Thanks for all your kind words and wishes!

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's my birthday!

It's a lovely, cool morning so I'm off to hit the country roads for a run.
It'll be a perfect exchange for that birthday dessert tonight!

Here's to my last year in my twenties!!  Woah.

Audrey Hepburn on Pinterest

Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bring Out the Owls

I know it is technically not 'fall' yet,
but I've already adorned my hall console table with owls. 
They are so cute that I should keep them up all year! 

Have you heard of the blog, My Owl Barn
This blog has all things owl related, from owl bookplates, owl recipe cards,
and even this cute owl mask tutorial from Martha Stewart.

There is so much more...

Can you believe this clay sculpture by Portland artist, Meredith Dittmar?
At first I thought it was a cake, and I wanted it!

You can even print off your own free owl calendar,
and you get to choose the owls! 

Owl Pops.  Aren't they darling?
They'd make a perfect treat for my new kindergartner and her friends.

Are you an owl lover?
Or could you give a hoot?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Bountiful Harvest & A New Blog

There is plenty of blackberry jam to make, canning to be done and zucchini bread to bake!
I'm giddy.

P.S.  I write on a new blog and I'd love for you to join me!
I share delicious ideas like this and this, and healthy info. on natural living and the great Northwest.

Plus, there are giveaways in store, so come on over and follow!

P.S.S Thanks for all your kind comments about my Kindergartner's first day of school. 
I'll post on it VERY soon!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fierce Love and Losing Control.

I shared this in 2010, but today, as I send my five year old up the steps of that yellow school bus, to ride to her first day of kindergarten, it means more.  I'll admit, I'm a bit of a wreck.  So much, that I'll be waiting at school for that yellow school bus and will take her hand and lead her into class.  I was a wreck yesterday and last night, too, as my heart has been worrying about her growing up too fast and becoming part of 'the world'.  I feel like I'm losing some control and I'm not sure I want to hand the small amount of control I have, over to strangers.
I'm just going to press in and know that God's got her covered.  I know He does.

Sending all you parents out there warm thoughts during this back to school season!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just Be Lovely

Some days I worry that I'm selling my soul to the interwebs...
Other days, I'm so thankful for all of the connections far and wide.

Thanks to Resolute Twig, today I found Kind Over Matter.
The site is overflowing with kindness and smile-worthy messages,
and words of wisdom, like Roots of She's post on self-sabotage

I've been finding a reoccurring theme pushing itself to the forefront of what I've been stumbling across in reading and in music lately, and it all has to do with self-love.  It's an issue that I struggled horribly with for more than a decade.  But there came the day, when a powerful seedling, screamed
I'm worthy, just love me...and we'll flourish.

This is beautiful. I'm adding it to the 'every girl should hear this' file.

                                                                       Happy Friday!

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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