I’ve been trying to form words to describe how I’ve been feeling for awhile now. I have a lot to say about a lot of different things, but they haven’t come to me. They sit jumbled up in a pile, like those word magnets that were all the rage several years ago. Words that mean a lot to me stand out here and there but none make coherent sense for anyone who wanted to listen. I just opened my computer to try and form words when this tweet showed up.

I’m not sure what she was referencing in her life, but it’s exactly how I feel.

There are women out there who make things beautiful, even sad, ugly things. I aspire to be like them. And I’ve slowly been trying to write them thank you letters for always being a sunny patch on the proverbial lawn of life. They rarely get worked into all caps fits and rages and you always leave their presence feeling a little lighter. You want to have them over for sleepovers, you want to watch how they do life and you want to imitate it. Anyone one they touch with either words or deeds walks away a better person…a happier person.

bokeh hearts.

My Ami is one of these people. So are Sarah, Steph, Ari, Heather and Rachel just to name a few.

My friend Jessica told me that when she was pregnant she became very aware and protective of herself and who or what she allowed around her. I find that to be true with me. My favorite place to be is at home with people I love. Ugliness hurts a lot more, even if it isn’t directed towards me.

Why be ugly? Why start, or even worse perpetuate, ugly? Who does it benefit? No one. Why wouldn’t people want attention for being a nice person that makes everything prettier instead of the attention that comes from being chronically mean? A lot of you agreed with me that everybody pretty much hates everything and that it wasn’t just me noticing an overwhelming amount of grumpiness out there.

I was going to post a picture of my swelling belly. But over Thanksgiving Addie became obsessed with becoming a reporter and made videos on my camera and in the process deleted all the photos I had taken. Anyone knows that one of the best reasons to have kids around is the drawings they produce. So I put her to work. Here I am, 17 weeks pregnant, gallivanting with Rudolph and attempting to make up for lost time with lots of lipstick. The Crayola markers were all personally color matched for this fine portrait.

exactly what every pregnant lady dreams of, gallivanting with Rudolph. Drawing by Addie.

The next picture really has nothing to do with anything. While we were waiting at the doctor’s office Addie drew a picture of her dad wearing her pink Hello Kitty underpants. Hairy chest and all.

It's a long story...

She then proceeded to draw a picture of herself wearing the same pink Hello Kitty underpants, only she was very sad because he had stretched them so badly.

I was interviewed for the Indy Star (side note, seeing your face staring back at you from the newspaper with your name in 50 pt font? Weird.) and at the end the interviewer asked me where I wanted to be in five years. The truth is I want to be right here. With my family. Together. Safe. Happy. Leaving little pretty bits around…leaving people better than I found them and things better than anyone knew they could be.



  1. Casey, you do leave pretty things.

    When I leave your little space, no matter what you write, I feel inspired & pretty & comforted.

    Thank you for allowing me to walk away from you feeling happier than before.

    Also? Addie’s drawings are kick-ass.

    Casey Reply:

    @Blair@HeirtoBlair, You totally belong on my list too.

  2. ((Hugs)) for you! I get the part about about wanting to make things pretty, I strive to leave people smiling. Sometimes it is quite a challenge. Sometimes it is hard because I’m not able to smile, but I try to not let my crankiness be contagious. AND… Here’s the best part…as contagious as crankiness can be, smiling is TWICE as contagious!! I love it!! PS. You do make things pretty, cuz you make me smile, and then I can make the grumpy chic at the gas station smile, and then she can make others smile…(no pressure tho)

    Casey Reply:

    @Lauraszoo, We’re like a Master Card commercial! (Was it Master Card? I don’t remember…)

  3. I love your lovlieness.

  4. I have always found the blogosphere – and the internet in general – to be a big bag of doom and gloom, but there are some happy, glittery spaces I frequent and those dim all the rest.

  5. “I’ve been trying to form words to describe how I’ve been feeling for awhile now. I have a lot to say about a lot of different things, but they haven’t come to me. They sit jumbled up in a pile, like those word magnets that were all the rage several years ago. Words that mean a lot to me stand out here and there but none make coherent sense for anyone who wanted to listen.”

    This? This is how I’ve felt for months now.

    I always leave you having gained a few more little pretty bits. Bits I can pull out when I need them most.


    Casey Reply:

    @Just Shireen, See how well we go together? Peas and carrots.
    And by pretty bits you mean my boobs right, because c’mon. Pregnancy loves me.

  6. I love those pictures!

    And Blair is right. I always enjoy reading your words.

  7. mommabird2345 says:

    Thank you for this reminder. I have been in a bad mood all day and I don’t exactly know why. I try to remember how blessed I really am, but in the middle of a bad mood, kids not getting along and just things in general, sometimes it’s hard to appreciate it. I need to remember the small things.

    P.S. Your pictures are beautiful. Is that a filter that makes the lights look like hearts?

    Casey Reply:

    @mommabird2345, It is a filter, I think it’s from something called the Master Bokeh Kit…I’m going to write more about it because I love it.

    I find my trouble is I’ll be in a good mood, I’ll get into the Internet and be dragged down so fast by other people’s grumpiness. *sigh*

  8. You do make pretty things! Your daughter, for example? Lovely. And I was just logging on to email you and say, “Dear Casey, do you have any gorgeous pictures of Christmas trees or lights or something holidayish that I could print out and use to decorate my house? Because you’re an awesome lady and a great photographer, and I figured you’d probably already have something perfect.” So that, too. You make pretty pictures.

  9. Hey Casey? The way you described those people you admire so much? Is exactly how I feel whenever I read your blog. So here is my thank you to you for being “a sunny patch on the proverbial lawn of life.” Truly, thanks. You might now always feel like you are, but you are.

  10. I come to see you because you remind me what a beautiful place the blog world – heck the world itself – can be.

    Even when you’re feeling yucky and barfy and gross, your words are gorgeous.

    So thank you!

  11. Pregnancy hormones have muddled my brain. I want to write pretty things, too. I want to create beautiful works of art. I want to capture wonderful images with my camera. And yet I feel like I’m underwater, moving as I always have done-just slower, with more effort.

    But you? Your words are still inspiring. You are still capturing still-life beauty.

    To me, you are one of those people I’d want to have over for a sleepover, and to watch and to learn.

    You are beautiful. And I appreciate you.
    Happy Thanksgiving, friend.

  12. I actually still have a growing collection of those word magnet things. I just like to be surrounded by words. Even in the kitchen.

    I kind of love your loveliness. I haven’t been the most uplifting person lately, and finding words to say I’m trying to get back to who I was, how I felt, out of the muck – it’s hard.

    You’re a sunny patch, chica.

    And I love that picture with the underpants. Addie is a rockstar.

  13. Oh. <3 I loves you so much.
    You leave so much beauty wherever you go.
    You're an inspiration for me and a safe place.

    love you dearly.

    LOVE Addie's pics 😉

  14. I know I’ve only been around you for about 4 minutes total in our lives, but I have to tell you–you radiate beauty. You’re one of those people who lights up a room just by being there. The air around you buzzes with warmth and you are the essence of loveliness.

  15. hmmm…i am all naive and green..as I have admitted to you and Emily. I never see the grumpies online…except for mine. I try to make my grumpy into something different. I am not always sure it works.

    but i do enjoy finding those sparkly gems that make everything seen like art just by typing into a space like this. you are one of those people. all sparkly and pretty.

  16. “I just can’t make everything beautiful. And this is breaking my heart.” Yes. That. In CAPS.

    And your daughter has a knack for humor, I think. Either that or pornographic comic strips. 🙂

  17. Are you a homebody?

    I am now that I have one.

    Maybe the most touching and true sentiment ever!!

  18. The story behind that tweet is too long to get into here, but at the moment I sent it was my heart and my head were a tangled mess. Your eloquent post helped me smooth it out.

    And Miss Addie’s artwork definitely brightened my mood.

    Thank you, Casey. The world is more beautiful because of you.

  19. Those little hearts made me happy. I can go to bed now.

  20. I hate the ugly people too.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the last 2 drawings though, they made me smile

  21. Two words: your photography. Two more: absolutely beautiful.

  22. I agree you make things pretty. I love reading your posts and seeing your photos. You have a way with it all and I always leave here with a smile.

  23. I want to be far, far away from any and all hairy men in Hello Kitty panties.

  24. Personally, I think you make things pretty even without trying. And to echo Bridget, I’d have you over for a sleepover. But you’d have to like dogs…and a cat. And I’m sure the dogs would loooove you because dogs and kids? They always know the good ones.
    Also, it totally cracks me up that Addie wanted to draw that she was sad because Cody stretched out her Hello Kitty panties. That kid is a peach!

  25. I read your article from my phone yesterday and just beamed for you. How life can change in a blink- and not always for the bad. I smile when I think of you.


  26. My favorite line – “It’s a lot easier because I know that if all I can eat in a day is a Snickers, my kid isn’t going to be born with a flipper.”

    You are hilarious and awesome and inspiring. The article is wonderful, and Addie’s drawings are so cute!

  27. I love her drawings! The sad stretched out underpants. What makes kids come up with these things? Maybe I shouldn’t ask : )

  28. I love this.

  29. Casey, your blog makes me feel not so alone on my sad days and not so crazy on my hyper days.

    I just wanted you to know. You keep it real and you make it ok, even when it isn’t pretty, and that is so valuable to people like me that just want to feel like it is ok to be not-so-normal some days. Or most, depending on the week.

    And I was SO crazy protective of myself when I was pregnant. I seriously alienated a few people because they just weren’t in the circle of people I wanted near me when pregnant. It was very animal of me, I guess. I know I offended people, which makes me sad….but i couldn’t help it.

  30. Addie’s pictures are adorable. And I have to laugh at the Hello Kitty underpants.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us and for making this corner of the internets a bit more sparkly.

  31. Am I really one of those people? Whoa.

    Sometimes you wonder if anyone notices. Thank you for noticing me.

    Your heart is so precious to me. So so so.


  32. Well, I just wanted you to know that YOU are one of my places to find the happy and beauty I seek. I wait patiently for a post from you, and you never cease to make me feel a little bit lighter. Do you think you could somehow do that for my eventual post-baby weight, use your superpowers to make the baby flub lighter? Anywho, I love the pictures Addie drew and really think she must design maternity wear; the gray, halter top ensemble is BA-NANAS. I die. And Steph, Ari, and Sarah make me want to be that kind of happy, the kind that emanates from every pore, and is rarely eclipsed by the everyday crap that sends me reeling.

    Know YOU are just like them, Casey.

  33. You aren’t the only one who has noticed that things have been uglier and darker and meaner as of late. If it weren’t for the little shenanigans that I like to call Christmas Crazy, I’m pretty sure it all would have consumed me by now. Thank goodness there are still good people around. Good people like you.

  34. Lovely Casey! The article was great.


  35. I love you.

    You leave pretty things.

    Miles drew me with six babies. That scared me JUST A LITTLE. But then I found out there is only one in there. phew.

    I can’t wait to see you again.

  36. My Moosh,

    I’m sharing only to take you from pregnancy blues to the same without.

    I’m becoming fully unpregnant after Luka. As you know I fell into the worst depression of my life a couple years ago. I think. At the time I was so disoriented I’d have two beautiful children in the car nicely dressed, arrive at church (during the week) & have not one single clue why I was there. Things went down from there.

    I isolated, self-mutilated (punched myself to blue) & Lord only knows what else. This was survival. Most recently I changed drs. I was prescribed new anti-depressent & sleep meds. One was Seroquel originally for skisofrenia & major bi-polar disorders. They gave it to me for better sleep & to help calm my racing thoughts.

    Since September I’ve gained 20lbs & look physically pregnant. My intestines started to swell, I couldn’t drink enough water to talk, my tongue even swelled where I was constantly biting it w/o cause. I even started lactating slightly. I had not one piece of clothing I could actually button or zip.

    I did some research only to find out one of the main side effects is massive, quick weight gain, increased blood cholesteral, onset / death of diabetes, intestinal swelling / distention, & swelling of the organs from the neck up as well. My tongue swelled so large I couldn’t talk.

    Lucky for me the withdrawl symtoms are insomnia for month & a plethra of others. I have not slept in a week. The swelling is decreasing too slowly & I get to see my dr today.

    I’m going off everything (pray for those around me) and doing a full body cleanse. I’m so exhausted from living life & trying to keep it together but failing in someone’s eyes each day.

    I love you, Moosh. You were the first person that ever visited my blog & gave me words of encouragement. I knew you before you were “Moosh” & I thank you for reaching to me.

    I pray you feel better. Pregnancy was never easy for me & being a mom is the most challenging job ever, but one God holds in high esteem. You have wonderful people surrounding you. You are blessed.

  37. Sorry. My post was a total bummer & self-centered. You rock. I love you. And you do great things for so many for being REAL. It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice. Oh, please pray I don’t do damage to my doctor & end up in jail today .. hum, although it is probably the best place for me (wink). Deep love & gratitude, dear one.

  38. Those drawings are the bomb. Seriously – she is one talented kid.

  39. tonight I was at home, with the people I love. I adore Tuesday nights.


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