Monday, May 21, 2012


Every time Cassidy does something new or something she should be proud of, we throw our hands up and shout, "Tada!" We also do it to distract her if she falls or does something that might scare her. She flashes her winning smile and tries to imitate us. "Taaaa!"

A couple of days ago our fearless little girl did a somersault off the changing table. Don't worry. Mommy
caught her. Whew! I sat her in her crib and told her if she really wanted to do a cool trick, she should pull up on the rail (She hasn't officially pulled up yet.).

She grabbed the rail, transferred her weight to one knee, and stuck the other leg out to the side. She looked up at me and said, "Taaaaa!"

I said, "Oh, no, Little Sister! You haven't quite pulled this one off yet."

Cassidy has us marveling at her awesome tricks and cracking up every single day. We think she is just absolutely the smartest little thing.

Cassidy Nicole, 7 1/2 months

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend 2012

We looked really pretty on Sunday for church, too, but somehow we didn't get any pictures of it. We just love this girl so much. She turns the simplest things in life into an over the top fun event. She really knows how to live!

Oatmeal and sweet potatoes

Mommy and Cassidy, 7 months

Fun at the park

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cassidy's First Trip to the Zoo

Cassidy's first trip to the zoo was to support her awesome cousin for 22Q at the Zoo day. On April 22, 2012, we went to the St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis, MO in honor of 22Q at the Zoo Worldwide Awareness Day. Cassidy's new baby cousin has 22Q Deletion Syndrome or Digeorge Syndrome, but we just think it makes his "super" status even superer!
Cassidy and Mommy at the St. Louis Zoo

Uncle Philip and Cassidy. She thinks he's okay since there's
a baba involved.

Mommy, Daddy, and the Super Boy

He's cute, right?
You can't visit the animals on an empty tummy!

She loves him.

Cassidy and Nancy, two Cherokee girls

Nancy gives Cassidy her baba.

I think they like each other.
Cassidy takes a power nap before venturing into the zoo.
Daddy takes this job very seriously.
He thinks he's the baby whisperer.

Nancy,  Philip, and Daryl are excited about a fun day.

Mommy and Cassidy check out the goats at the children's zoo.

Cassidy has never seen a goat before, but she reached
up to pet it all by herself.
Goats are so awesome!

Mommy and Cassidy love the rabbits.

Rabbits are awesome, too!
Cassidy thinks everything is awesome!
She loves life.

Daddy and Cassidy are always happy together.

They love each other.

"Haha! A hippo is gonna eat me!"

Cassidy Nicole

Mommy and Cassidy are having fun!

Now we're sea lions! Hahahahaha.

Strolling through the zoo

Sting Ray Cove
Cassidy rides the carousel.

She's pooped!
Cassidy with her super cousin

Did you notice that there are no pictures of Cassidy with the elephants or giraffes or zebras or lions or tigers or any of those other really cool zoo animals? Just goats and rabbits. LOL. We went all the way to the St. Louis Zoo, spent the night in a hotel, sat in a traffic jam for two hours, got rained on, and barely saw any animals! Haha! We're still laughing and smiling about it, because we had such a great time. Even though we were cold and wet the whole time, we would do it all over again just to see our baby girl light up and let our her signature squeal because she got to pet a goat.

She makes every moment worth living.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


A lifetime of waiting . . .

Months of planning and anticipation . . .

Countless hours on our knees in prayer . . .

and the three cousins are together at last!

 Braxton Philip Cotton, 2 weeks
Cassidy Nicole James, 6 1/2 months
That other little cutie who I can't name, 2 months 1 week

 Cassidy is cracking up, "Hahaha! Why are they so little?"
The boys are afraid of her.

 "Do we look like cousins?"

 The Cotton boys and the giant baby!

 Cassidy says, "I love these guys!"

"Really? These babies are for me?!"

"Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! My cousin is awesome!"
 "You guys were right. This is so cool!"

"Give me a kiss!"

 "What does your shirt say? Hey! My auntie rocks, too!
Do you think it's the same lady?"

"Uh, what's she gonna do now? Where's my mom?"
 "I could just squeeze him up!"

"I love this guy! We're gonna be best buds!"

These three babies all under one roof is nothing short of a miracle. Our family has known nothing but death and loss for so long. We haven't had a new baby in ten years (That's Sydney!). Now, in the span of six short months, these three little bundles of love and joy came into our lives and made it all worth it. Every tear we shed, every prayer we lifted, every step we took brought them to us. Brought these babies to us, purposed by God, and ordered by God. You already know God loves me, but this little detail is just another way He shows it. Miss Cassidy is only four months older than her cousin (the son of my oldest nephew) and six months older than her other cousin (the son of my second oldest nephew). Can you imagine what a bittersweet day this would have been for me if it was only the boys together in the pictures? If I didn't have my baby girl yet? If I had just visited them and held them and wanted to be happy about them but just wished more than anything that when they were in my arms they could make me feel the way Gabriel did? But walking away empty handed and bawling my eyes out on the way home because, of course, no baby could ever satisfy me like he did.

But God loves me.

So Cassidy came first. She had to come first. 

Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God, for my very own Cassidy Nicole James,

and for her awesome cousins!

Proverbs 16:9 (NLT): "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."