Category Archives: Cassie

Oh ya, my bad…

Oh kind productivity, I’ve missed you.

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My wonderful friend Sara pointed something out a few posts back that I forgot to share. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been getting a bit lax about that lately. Going from having the summer off to capturing births again has got my website updates a bit more spaced.

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You know we have been a one-car family for most our marriage. Up until Stephen got a work vehicle when he worked with Bayer, we were riding in the same vehicle pretty much everywhere we went. It was a huge and lovely change having a 2nd vehicle, especially a truck we didn’t have to pay for.

So we went from 1 paid off car, to having a paid off car and company vehicle. Not having car payments was one of the reasons I was able to stay home when we had children. The small things really add up each month.

We love not having that debt, especially me and my don’t-owe-people-money brain. Having student loans is another toughie for me. I think we are still paying for my 1 semester at FSU, and that’s after 8 years of payments. Eesh. So not having car payments with 2 vehicles was not only awesome, but a necessity for us.

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We talked off and on about getting a van for a few years. Stephen knew I wanted one one day, so we started saving. I know he loooooves it when I monitor every single teeny tiny purchase from our account. It’s one of those things he has learned to accept about me, or at least I think so. That’s why love is a choice folks, you choose to love everything about your mate – everything, and my Mr.  is super kind to me and my money micro-managing self.

 

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We saved for a while and would occasionally check online to see if there were any great deals out there. It surprised me how hard it was to find minivans, at all, and at a great price was even rarer. Apparently people don’t let go of them very easily. Which makes sense to me now. People keep them til they fall apart, kind of like the matrix we sold, only it didn’t fall apart as much as have a fun visit to the shop ending with a years worth of car payments as the bill. I’m putting it all out there for you guys. After all, that was part of our decision process.

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After lots of searching, making lists of dealers and individual sales to check out, we visited a few places and got ourselves a new vehicle! Well, not new-new, but new to us. The best kind in my opinion ;)

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Somehow it’s already been two months, because it was back in August we made the jump and got a mini-van. We sold my car, which I’ve had for over 8 years, and made the beautiful leap to a roomy mom-mobile. You guys – all the room. The spacious spaciousness is so amazing. When we go places we can now fit my sister, my niece Addison (in a spare carseat we keep in the back row), my mom AND still have 1 spare seat, 2 really if you count the one in the middle that the girls use as a stepping stool.

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It took a bit of getting used too, and I still don’t know the buttons, but we are really enjoying the new Ringl-mobile. I even got a sticker for my back window this week. It’s similar to our old one in that if you understand what the sticker means then kudos, you are an awesome person. If you don’t get it… well, then you will just stare at it confused and think we are weird, which is also true. Embracing your inner weirdness is a beautiful part of life. Especially when you do it boldly and without regret ;)

Funny enough, the car search story doesn’t end there.

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The week after we got the van Stephen got a job offer.

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His job with Bayer was great and he was doing really well. I’m talking “win a free all-paid vacation to a private island” well. He was in the top 10 of the company. Not 10%, but top 10 people! I don’t unbiased’ly brag on my husband much on here, so you’ll have to just bear with me during this part of the story.

Stephen was doing awesome in the company, our insurance was wonderful (which is unheard of these days), he had a free company vehicle, he and his boss got along amazingly, and there were several end of year bonuses to look forward too. When he first got the job offer I didn’t think much of it. The Bayer job in itself was unexpected and an answer to some heavy prayers. Stephen needed change at that time for a few heavy reasons and the Lord provided. So this job offer really caught us off guard. It was actually from the company he used to work with, and while we loved him being nearby at a local job, there really wasn’t any topping the current job and incentives he was in line for.

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Then stuff got weird. Like, Jesus is pointing things out in a way you can’t ignore, weird. Stephens schedule was somehow getting busier, which I didn’t know was possible. I never really talked about his job much except with close-close friends and family, but his hours and the traveling was HARD. His trips up north for training weren’t too bad because we knew what to expect, but the frequent overnight trips, or being gone until we were all in bed, that part was hard to get used to. I think it took me 7-8 months to adjust. Thankfully I’m a pretty laid back person. I don’t run on schedules, so that made it easier for my personality type. Of course, that’s not including the girls adjustment period. The weekends were often “office work” days, which were nice because he got paid, but not nice in that he was working during the weekends. He was doing what was required of the job – hence the wonderful incentives and bonuses; Bayer knows it’s a time consuming job so they compensate you the best ways they can.

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However, you can’t buy weekends, you can’t pay for missed family gatherings and date nights. There is no getting over being exhausted and missing worship, discipleship and church opportunities. Really, just time in general. You can’t rewind, and if you know me I’m not one that cares much about monetary things in this world. Getting new stuff is nice, sure, this job is what made us able to save and buy the mini-van I was just raving about, but when it comes to the short time we have in this world, that van doesn’t mean a thing to us. We would rather drive my old hatchback together, shuffling and car pooling, than miss out on the life the Lord has given us.

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I guess after all of that it shouldn’t be a super huge surprise when I share that we prayed about that unexpected job offer. We prayed, we made pro-con lists, we talked and then we prayed some more. And despite everything we thought and expected, Stephen accepted the offer and is now working in the IT world again. The job came with a few adjusting changes for us, but in the 6 weeks he has been back it’s been amazing. I can see a huge difference in the girls and their bonding with him. We’ve gone on a few dates, which has been awesome. Most have been date nights in, but a date night is a date night folks, and this wife was missing them.

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With this job change came a huge contender on the pro/con list of ours – no more company vehicle. We just spent our car-fund on a van, and now we need a vehicle for Stephen too. Being a 1-car family wouldn’t work for us anymore. Not with me doing birth photography and the weird schedule that involves. We had 3 weeks to search and find something before the new job started. We wanted to pay cash, no loans involved or car payments.

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While things didn’t go exactly like I budgeted and hoped we did find Stephen a car. We went in with a number and left spending exactly that, not a penny more. Of course it took about 45 minutes of back and forth with the dealer, but that was more than worth it.

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So we went from a 1-car family, to 1 car and 1 company vehicle, to then a van and company truck and ending up with 1 Honda van and 1 Honda accord. From zero hondas to two. I can already see the kids learning to drive in them, mostly because that’s how long we’re going to have them ;)

New job, new cars; I think we are filled up and don’t plan on any new changes soon.

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In the Quiet

I am currently sitting on a couch in a lovely families living room. It’s just after 1am and mom and dad are resting as well as the midwife and her assistant. I can never sleep at a birth, or not yet at least. I love the quiet stillness during labor. I suppose quiet isn’t a word people normally associate with birth, but I have yet to attend one where it wasn’t a factor. Excitement is brewing and nerves are high. Our bodies work harder than we knew possible, and our minds are occupied with what all is about to transpire. I get to be part of that. Each birth I attend I witness different forms of bonding, encouragement, fear, strength, love and joy. With each new life that enters into our world I am in awe of the detail in which God formed us. These vessels that are flawed from sin, but designed and created for such great purpose.

I recently documented the process of a placenta encapsulation. I wish I had had the curiosity and excitement for learning in grade school/college as I do now. Learning about the incredible details of where our babies grow inside us is fascinating. The water bag has 2 sections, did you know that? The one on the outside is tougher and stretchy, made to keep infections away from baby, things possibly going on inside moms body that aren’t meant for baby. The umbilical cord is just astounding. It has several tiny vessels inside it to transfer needs to baby. There are so many tiny, life giving and protecting parts that surround pregnancy and birth.
I love that the Lord gave me this passion. I never would have guessed I’d be doing this in my life, and while each birth presents different challenges and growth (from a photography standpoint) I look forward to seeing how it changes and grows me.
When I’m not photographing labor, birth and babies I get to take photos of my own amazing family. I’m excited to one day look back and remember this stage of life. I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in the years ahead, but the right now is pretty fantastic.

[Some of the images I've captured this year]
www.newlightbirthphotography.com

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The Simple

The past few months have been kinda weird. Weird and hard. And possibly a tad tiring.

Today Sarah came and excitedly told me she and daddy had a surprise for me. She told me to come see right away. I took a moment to finish up the cups I was washing in the sink before I followed her back to my bedroom. A few minutes later I walked back and she was beaming while standing at the foot of my now-made bed.

Acts of service is my biggest love language. Stephen knows that and today I witnessed him teaching our children that method of loving me.  Seeing her face, so pleased and proud with her work, was a beautiful moment.
While we stood there I pulled up the comforter to fix the bunched up blanket underneath that she probably couldn’t reach and told her how special she made me feel. I asked for some crazy big hugs and she happily complied.

Just a little while later I went back in our room for something. When I got in there I stopped. I just stood there and starred at my bed. My brain escaped from me, reflecting on that moment. I re-bunched the covers and undid my bed “fixing”.
There’s something amazingly beautiful about seeing my children love. Learning love. SHOWING me love in a new way.

It’s a far cry from what you see in a magazine or store front, and in this moment I couldn’t be more proud.
This is the most beautifully made bed in the world, and it’s in our home.

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A Day in the Life

At this time, just twenty four hours ago , I was awoken by a phone call. It was Brian, my on-call clients husband, and when I answered he boldly proclaimed “We are back at the hospital, she’s 8cm!” I’ve never woken, dressed, and left so quick in my life. Thankfully the roads were clear, given it was 11:30 on a Wednesday night.
It was go time and I was committing a woman-sin and praying moms labor would slow and I’d make it before babies arrival. I turned the radio onto K-love, calming my mind and praying for this exciting occasion.
I arrived, grabbed my gear to run inside, skipped the elevator for the stairs and slowed only to be buzzed in and collect my breath at the labor room door.

Mom was ready. Baby was ready. I thanked Jesus that I got there in the nick of time. Soon after, the grandma-to-be arrived and then the midwife. Not 20 minutes later a beautiful new baby boy was in his momma’s arms.

I stayed and grabbed the pictures I needed. Helped mom with some breastfeeding tips and shortly after hugged them goodbye.

Walking out to my car is always a surreal feeling. I once again witnessed new life enter into our world. I could not be more thankful and overjoyed for this mission and profession The Lord put on my heart.

I’ve also been really spoiled with moms having super fast labors and deliveries. The last three births I’ve been to I’ve been at the hospital less than 4 hours a piece. Of course now that I said it out loud my next 3 moms will probably give me a new longevity record.

I know I will sleep soundly tonight. Going from a full day of being mommy to being a photographer that night and back home in time to be mommy again. It’s a crazy new wonderful schedule.

Thank you to everyone that encouraged, motivated, pushed and prayed for this job I have. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and it looks like it’s only gonna get crazier and busier.

To end the evening, a cute baby photo or two to seal the deal.

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(Someone haaaaad to hold him, so
I happy volunteered).

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#CassieFacts

I thought it would be fun to do a little “get to know me” update. Share a little about the inner-mind of Cassie Ringl. Hopefully this goes well and is entertaining and not just weird. To make it more interesting, once I type a fact I will not delete it. This will either lead me to think before I “speak”, which I should work on as it is, or say some really weird stuff that will make you question being my friend hereafter. Let’s hope for good results.

  1. Before kids I did not like bananas. When I first had children I only liked them slathered in peanut butter. Now, I eat them plain. One example that kids change you.
  2. While I will eat a plain banana, I can not stand banana “flavoring”. Not in smoothies, icecream, candy, and especially not banana pudding.
  3. I drink crystal light lemonade constantly, but I’m secretly afraid of aspartame and ALSO afraid to admit that to myself because I don’t like the idea of giving up my sugar-free delicious water flavoring.
  4. I have bad hearing in my right ear. Happened about a year ago and I keep telling myself to go to the Chiropractor and an Ear-Nose-Throat Doctor. I’m really bad at going to the doctor.
  5. Technology scares me. Not in an “I won’t use it” way, but more of a very minor conspiracy theorist way and believing that Skynet (from Terminator) could seriously happen and that these very words could possibly be being “recorded” or watched. Yep, already regret typing this one out. Eesh.
  6. My husband works in IT and is a computer whiz. He pretty much thinks I’m bonkers for what I just admitted to in #5.
  7. I don’t like scary movies, scary cartoons, or scary books. Pretty much anything scary, or with suspenseful music, is not my style. I have slapped myself in the face several times from covering my eyes & “peeking” and then hitting myself from trying to cover my eyes too quickly.
  8. I still get phantom baby kicks in my stomach and momentarily freak out and also miss being pregnant at the same time.
  9. No, I am not pregnant.
  10. I have recently become a huge fan of roasted veggies and pesto on everything.
  11. I eat my salad out of mixing bowls (as pictured below) because stir-spillage drives me crazy.
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  12. I love strawberries. All things strawberry. My favorite fruit: strawberries. Cake: strawberry/strawberry shortcake. Icecream: Strawberry (and equally cookies & cream).
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  13. I was always an early to rise, early to bed kinda gal, for 27 or so years of my life. Then I had kids.
  14. Our older daughter, Sarah, has become hard to get down for a nap. These past few weeks I discovered if I lay in our bed with her she will eventually fall asleep. It’s been glorious.
  15. Now I just need to discover how to get Elanor to sleep 2-3 hours, at the same time, so we can have family naptime!
  16. I love to garden. Growing up I didn’t understand why my parents enjoyed planting and watering plants so much. I get it now.
  17. I have discovered dry shampoo and it has changed.my.life.!
  18. I want to learn to roast a chicken. Actually I want to own chickens and learn how to not-get-crazy-attached and then later cook one of said chickens, and replicate those meals with the eggs our other yard dwellers provide. #CircleOfLife
  19. I am both excited and terrified by going “public” with my Birth Photography. I am confident in myself and not seeking a big money-making venture, and I think will make it more relaxing.
  20. I am an anti-hoarder. I don’t like clutter, or having items that we aren’t using. Because of this, toys are quite possibly my nemesis. I struggle with both wanting to give our girls sweet special gifts, and also wanting them to be just as excited and content with drawing on their rock collections and learning how much fun it is building with sticks, string and mud.
  21. I’m hyper critical of myself. From my walk with the Lord, to being that “awesome” mom I want to be but constantly doubt I am. We women think to much, and I am continually striving to not judge myself so harshly.
  22. I’m a nail biter. I go through phases where I stop and then without realizing it I look down and they’re gone again. It’s nutty.
  23. I miss running and think about getting a double jogging stroller, but then I remember it’s almost summer and that it would sit lifeless, sweating on itself, while we all melt from just thinking about the humid florida heat.
  24. Knowing how to give people’s hair more “body” in photoshop makes me feel like a magician.
  25. I like to mow the lawn. It’s a workout where the end result is noticeable and looks great everytime.
  26. Sarah is very interested in learning to read, but I’m secretly hoping that Stephen will want to teach her.
  27. I would gladly do laundry, without complaint, for the rest of my life, if I could hire someone solely to wash my dishes. #SoManySippyCups #PeanutButterNeverComesOffInOurDishwasher
  28. When I grow up I want a minivan. A roomy, door sliding, hatchbacked minivan.
  29. I can’t watch shows or movies with a lot of language or gore. The older I get, and more kids I have, the more uncomfortable they both make me.
  30. I love my age. I never have to think what it is, which will change next year and wasn’t true last year.

With that being said, I’m going to end this at said number. Thirty has been my favorite age so far. I can’t wait to see how much changes and the new things we get to experience before next year.

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Kitchen window dress-up. Pretty and free, my favorite combo.