Monday, December 28, 2009


This is what I woke up to today.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Didn't think I'd have much to say today... just a morning filled with prizes, English muffin bread, homemade sausages, and a nutcase amount of super-duper unhealthy snacks... of which I had my fair share.

After all was done, Crys' dad asked us kids to go see one of his friends at an assisted living home. His name's Billy, he's 74 years old, and he's been living with cerebral palsy his whole life. For the past 16 years, Bob (her dad) has been going to visit him there on a regular basis. For the past 6 years, no one from his own family has had contact with him or come to see him. What's amazing is that beneath the body he's trapped in, you can plainly see his mind is fine. You can see the sparkle in his eyes. I can't even begin to express the emotions running through me just being there this morning. He was so glad to have visitors and proud to show us off to the staff. Even though my heart was so sad seeing how he lived, it really did make my week to be there with him... even for a short time.

As we were walking out, nearly everyone (staff and residents) wished us a Merry Christmas with big smiles. You could tell not many new people were ever there. Watching Bob talk to Billy and seeing everyone else who lived there, really put me in a pretty strong check. Family is everything... and by family I mean the people who are most important to us... including our actual families. Personally, I lose track more often that not. Whatever's in front of me is my focus. Today hit me pretty hard, but it's jolting me to find more time for my own family. I'll never be able to get you to feel what I felt today, but I can leave you with this: Cassidy has created a brilliant family of friends in our teachers, our parents, our community, and our kids. Our own families have all rallied around us in support of this new family we're making, too. I guess if there's anything to get from this posting, without sounding too much like one of those inspirational Power Point emails from your forward-happy friend, it's that we should take extra steps to not take each other for granted. You guys mean the world to us... our Cassidy family, our friend family, and our family family... in-laws and all. Go call your mother.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blogging Just To Blog

I just checked the traffic on the blog today and saw that (even well into the Winter Break) we have about 50 people following each day. I don't have that many friends, so I'm assuming some parents are checking in. For that, I'm inclined to blog. The problem is I'm only updating our life... not much Cassidy... unless I guess it burns down or is on the national news for some reason... which it isn't.

Had a nice time with my mom and mamaw (that's Southern for grandmother) in New Mexico. Just flew into Pittsburgh last night. Got some last-minute shopping done today for the in-laws and company. By the way, it's really amazing how cheap food is out here. If you didn't know, I'm a big proponent of food in general, so it's nearly like I would have to imagine nirvana might be. There is snow here, too, but nothing too out-of-control.

As you probably might have guessed, Crys is busy working on enrollment stuff. We had to consolidate bags at the airport due to several folders worth of applications... good problems to have I guess.

Until next time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Break

Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona...

You people staying in LA have it made. It was something like 17 degrees here in New Mexico last night.

Kipi's first snow. Headed off to Pittsburgh next... where it's apparently snowing in measurements of feet.

Have a great break. Happy Holidays from your Cassidy family.

DH... I forgot. 14-0!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The Cassidy Caravan headed off to Mexico yesterday. I'd like to think we had the fun car... others might disagree, but would be hard pressed to prove anything. We had so much fun, one of our teachers was funned out and had to catch a ride with another car... hmmm, wait a minute...

Besides getting stopped at the border for an hour, it was a great trip... and actually even that wasn't all that bad. Some of the teachers are already talking about going down again over a weekend. Saturdays are really good because the kids aren't in school. We'll put the word out when we go. Anyone is welcome to join us... Cassidy families, neighbors, other schools, etc. The more the merrier.

Based on some of the shots from Mexico, a few parents have asked about family photography... simply put, I'd be honored. Just ask.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dooon't Stop Belieeeeeeeevin'

Tonight was our Holiday Party for Cassidy. Thanks so much to the Goldbergs, the Wiczyks, and the Davis' for hosting a great night. Much "shop" was talked, but watching you parents mingle and mix was great. Sometimes it's just surreal, looking at what Cassidy has become in such a short time and knowing how much it will mean in the years to come. Simply surreal.

After a few conversations tonight, I do feel the need to clear something up real quick. I know I'm just Crystal's husband, but I swear I have my own identity. Yes, I love football. And yes, indirectly and through some transitive property as it may be, I'm a Steelers fan because I have to be. But, Crys is the Steelers fan. I like the Colts. Just saying.

I did get a chance to talk filmmaking with one of the parents for a while... felt like a soft old lucky shirt I forgot I had (not the parent... just the feeling). I've been out of the filmmaking mix for so long, I think I forgot how much I missed it. Maybe I'll get back in the swing soon.

Toward the end of the night most people had left and DJ Goldberg spun some Journey (much to the dismay of Lady Goldberg)... to which all the guys sung in their flat cheese-rock pitch while the ladies just laughed. Whittled down to just 8, including the bartenders, our very own Helen started breakdancing to the likes of The Police, Weezer, and Ben Folds. You know what? I did get some video, and while I'm inclined to share, I feel that protecting her reputation as a non-breakdancing Assistant Director is in the best interest of the school. Granted, I might change my mind.

Tonight was a lot of fun. It makes me proud to see the community we've all become. Thanks so much for being a part of our first year. You guys mean the world to us.

Also, also... We will be leaving on Tuesday for the orphanage in TJ. If you haven't had a chance to donate a toy or two, please do on Monday. We have a few cars we can fill up.

Is there caffeine in summer sausage? It's 3am and I'm wired.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Perk

Admittedly so, this isn't the most school-worthy blog of events, but couldn't go without mentioning. Yesterday a parent asked me if I was a hockey fan. She and her husband had 3 tickets to the Kings and couldn't go. I'd never been to a Kings game and thought it might be a fun experience. Little did I know HOW much fun. The tickets were on the glass right behind the goal. I could see their eyelashes. Crys and I have never been that close to any professional sport and it was amazing. Our parking pass even got us right up to the door with valet. If that's how the other half lives, I'm hooked. Thanks again for the tickets. You made our night.

Our Holiday Toy Drive is chugging along. The kitchen area we set aside is filling up... but there's plenty more room. Some of you parents have decided to join us on our trip to Mexico and I couldn't be more excited. It'll be a blast down there. I can't wait to see their eyes sparkle. Also, we're accepting toy donations from our local community as well... spread the word... we'll have lots of cars, so lots of space for toys. Please remember, toys should be new, unwrapped, durable, and not require batteries. The ages range from newborn to 17. Thanks again for helping out.

I started writing a blog on Dec. 3rd called Catching Candy that never made it. Partly because it started to be a novel in length, and partly because I couldn't find a good way to get across what I wanted to say. It literally was the bane of my week dancing around the holiday eggshells... which I've never been good at... holiday or any other myriad eggshells. The gist? Crystal and I want Cassidy to be a safe place of love and warmth for our families and kids. There is so much to honor and learn from all of our heritages and cultures without battling over God (or lack thereof). We both love the holidays and love what it means to us. And honestly, that's all that matters.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Muddy Trampoline

We had our very first teacher lunch today provided by one of the parents. Nice little spread. Thanks for doing that.

I was on Handy-Man duty today... screens, bulbs, fountains (may very well be the death of me), computers, printers, record player, sink... all with my shirt off.

I had a bunch of help today with the fountains. I think the little minds were fascinated watching the sand be sucked up through the tube. Reminded me of watching my Papaw cleaning his fish tank when I was a kid. I learned today that when we clean the fountains, the water overflow flows North... literally. I had been wondering why our parking lot wasn't a kiddie pool yet. Turns out the water ends up creating a pretty big puddle right next to the fountain. Little Joey and Griffin noticed... unbeknownst to me... and acted as if it were their own personal trampoline. My instinct was to keep them dry, but as I looked around at what I had created, I saw a much more qualified take... Ryan was smiling. He suggested they roll up their pants and helped them do it... maybe just a formality because they were soaked from the waist down. It made my day to see them laughing that hard spraying sand/water/mud everywhere. Either way, I'm honored to have teachers like him.

Oh yeah... in adding to the good fortune and random charm that's been following us around in starting Cassidy... the remote that works on the gate at school also works at our apartment complex.