Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Early Christmas

This year we are going to KY for Christmas. My mom, dad, and brother are flying there for Christmas so we're going there, too! I'm excited to spend this time with my family. I'm real excited to do a gift exchange with my cousins like we used to do when we were little. I feel like it's one way of keeping mammaw's memory and legacy alive this Christmas.

Since we are going to KY, we didn't want to take all of Cooper's gifts there, then back. So Santa came early this year. A week early, actually. And he made Cooper a very happy boy.

We have had the Christmas tree very high up this year to avoid a Christmas tree disaster. We moved it into the living room so Cooper's gifts would surround the tree. When Cooper came down the stairs he started exclaiming, "Choo-Choo-Treat, Choo-Choo-Treat!!" He ignored the presents and went straight for the ornaments on the tree.

Cooper said, "oh boy" pretty much for an hour solid as we watched him open his gifts. He wanted to play with each one after opening it.

Our traditional Christmas breakfast: waffles. This year I put some almond extract in the mix, and we layered them with syrup, powdered sugar, and fruit! YUM-O.

Wanna know what made me really giddy on our early Christmas? There was snow on the ground. Something that hasn't happened for me since childhood. Why does it bring such excitement? Andrew said that the cooler weather and snow made things feel like Christmas. In FL it didn't feel the same.
At one point Andrew said, "this Christmas is way more fun with Cooper."
Amen. Amen. Amen. I know this type of joy and excitement won't always be with Cooper on Christmas. So, I'm soaking it in this year. Soaking in the excitement that beams through his eyes. Soaking in the jumping. Soaking in the "oh boys".


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thanksgiving in Florida

This post has been a long time coming. I finally took a bunch of pictures off my computer and had space to put new ones up. Here you go.

Our trip to FL this Thanksgiving was:

Simply wonderful would be the perfect way to describe our time.

Ah, the lovely sunshiney warmth of Florida. The highs were close to 80 each day. There were times I broke into a sweat just standing outside. Sweat? Yep. Just from standing outside.

...Heart-warming, too...
Our friends and family filled our hearts.

We had fun. We played cards. We went putt-putt golfing. I went to the movies. Andrew played video games. Cooper played with a train set, balloons, and cousins. We laughed a lot.

Believe it or not, we did have down time. We didn't open our computers much. There were times we were able to nap, or just sit. It was nice.

....Full of Friends...
Friends. We miss them. A lot. In Florida we had friends over all the time. And if someone wasn't at our house, we were doing something with someone else. In Ohio it is a different lifestyle and we are adjusting. But during our time in Florida, it was so nice to play games, go out, go to a movie, hang out, stay out late, eat HEALTHY snacks, and enjoy time with friends.

...Full of Family...
Since moving to Ohio a lot of our family members have gotten sick. Maybe dying. Maybe living. It has made our time with our family much more precious. I said that moving to Ohio would be good in the sense that our time with family would be much more intentional. And this trip it was. We were intentional in our time with our families. Cooper got lots of love from Mammaw, Aunt Chris, Uncle Jim, cousins, Nana, Grampsy, and Uncle Aaron. We got a little of love in there, too.

...Full of Thankfulness...
Thankful we are in a healthy place. Thankful we got to see such wonderful faces and spend some time with people we love. Thankful for Cooper and the joy he brings. Thankful for our marriage and that we've made it through this year still together.

...almost too soon...
We have not yet "settled" into friendships here in Ohio yet. We love the people here. Andrew loves his job. We love the church. We love the area. We just have not yet made the friendships we had in FL. The last time we left Florida, we left with excitement. This time when we left it was just sad. We now know what life is like without these people, and it's hard. We miss our friends. We miss our family. I think if we had waited a few more months it would have been easier. Nevertheless, we are glad we went.

I was a very bad picture taker. Here are the only shots we got.

Coffee Date Monday: 2012 is here!

I usually really look forward to the new year. There's something about the newness in it all. A new start. New possibilities. The unknown.

I have really become not so fond of the unknown.

This past month I have to admit that I have not looked forward to the new year. There are people whom we love that I am afraid we might loose this year. Every year there are hardships. I'm not sure I am ready for it all. And who knows, maybe there will be no loss and no hardship.

The closer it got to New Years and the more praying I did, the less down I felt. On New Years Eve we were surrounded by friends new and old that we love. We were also surrounded by family (Andrew's sister and her fam are visiting)!
Maybe it is just God's way of preparing my heart for whatever comes my way this year.

I keep praying that I can be aware of the tiniest blessings that God gives us. If I'm aware of each blessing, and appreciate each one, maybe when a hardship comes this year I will maintain a proper perspective.

A couple months ago I realized that the best year I had was the year I set goals for myself. So, I sat down and came up with some goals. Thought maybe I could share with you for some accountability. Some are fun, some are serious, some are personal and some I'm not sharing. But here you go. Hopefully these will give me something to strive for. Maybe even something to look forward to?

Join an gym and go at least 3 times/week.
Grow out hair for locks of love.

Pay off my student loan.
Emergency fund.
Increase giving.

Join/start a couples small group.
Find someone to mentor.
Fine a mentor for myself.
Date days/nights with Cooper.
Do something special for Andrew once a week.

Memorize 1 scripture a month.
Read and study the "E" books. (Exodus, Ezra, Esther, etc...)
Find a ministry to serve in.

Read at least 6 "fun" books.
Learn the ins and outs of my sewing machine - and use it!
1 year of home-made gifts.

“Ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results.” – Elder David A. Bednar

So, my most sincere wishes of a wonderful year for you, your family, and those you love.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: Not feelin' it

Today I'm not feelin' it. If you had really come over for coffee I probably would have turned you away from my door step when you showed up...or made sure you know we were going to lounge with movies and naps instead of catching up.

Maybe it's the emotional roller coaster of the past couple of weeks.
Maybe it's the fact that this weekend we celebrated our anniversary and Christmas.
But today after breakfast, I fell asleep on the couch while Cooper played and woke up to him banging the vacuum around.
I have managed to bathe myself and Cooper, but we're both back in very comfy clothing.
I have played, played, played with Cooper.
We have worked on some fun Christmas crafts.
But I have not done a single thing to my home today. I want to. I want everything to be picked up, cleaned up, organized, and cooked. But today I'm just not feeling it. Is that so bad? Today I declare it is not.

Maybe it's because when I bought coffee I accidentally bought whole bean instead of ground, and we don't have a grinder, so I'm a girl without any coffee in her body right now.

And I'm going to go take a nap.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The time we fell of the face of the earth.

Seems like we fell of the face of the earth? Yep. Feels like that to us, too.

Last weekend I left for KY to go to a cousins wedding. As I was getting ready to go we got a call that Andrew's mom wasn't doing well.

I went on to KY.

Andrew flew to FL to be with his mom.

His mom is OK for now, but needs a liver transplant. We are praying she is close to the top of the list and will be able to get one soon. Would you please pray with us?

Grandpa has cancer again. I did my best to help them for a week. He starts chemo treatments again on December 28.

We lost monkey...but then found monkey.

Andrew got to spend time with friends and family in FL.

Cooper and I got some love from family in KY.

I actually missed ohio.

When we got back we had a good night with friends.

Cooper played with the Millers and Matt yesterday while Andrew and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. We had a great time together. I love my husband, am thankful for all he does, and am grateful that God has blessed our marriage in lots of ways.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Never. Lazy?

I struggle with being lazy. Please, someone, tell me I'm not alone in this.

Truth is I would much rather stay in my comfy pjs all day, playing with Cooper, and just moseying around.

Bigger truth is that God has called me to something more in my life than that.

I know that without a doubt God placed a desire on my heart to be a stay at home mom. It came after a few months as a full time working mom. You can read my Big News Post to learn more of how this desire came to fruition. I told Andrew the other night how thankful I am that he supports me in this, and for his hard work to make it happen, because I feel more fulfilled at this time of my life than ever before. It's a wonderful feeling to know I am right where God intends me to be.

I recently finished a book called Beautiful in God's Eyes, which is all about the Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be like that woman that God so beautifully depicts. I know that it will take me years of hard work and dedication to get there. Anyhow, this book really challenged me. Challenged me with things like, "A proverbs 31 woman is never lazy." That's right, it didn't say "finds time to rest each day, rests on the weekends, or tries her best to be productive."

She is

That quote knocked me back a few thousand feet. I am far from never being lazy. So, I had to examine myself, my day, my activities, my whole world basically. And I had to figure out the things that made me lazy.

I was searching around Pinterest (doing a lazy thing) when I stumbled upon a great daily and monthly cleaning schedule. And then it hit me. I need to make a schedule. I need to set goals. I can't just go from day to day without a plan. So, I spent the rest of that day making a schedule. Each day I have a chore to do, which if I'm maintaing the cleanliness of my home, will only tak 15-30 minutes. I also TRY (I fail at this part often) to do one load of laundry each day. My day also consists of meal prep, dishes (I really miss having a dishwasher) and Cooper. It might sound crazy, stupid, or just too simple, but only having one chore/day makes me get through my day much easier. It's nice knowing that there's only one thing I need to get done. And, if I have a really busy and don't get to it, then that's ok, because that chore can wait another week and not get out of hand. Some of you have asked about this list, so here you go.

Mondays: Dust whole house
Tuesdays: Vacuum whole house (Cooper's favorite day)
Wednesdays: Upstairs bath
Thursdays: Downstairs bath
Fridays: Kitchen
Saturday and Sunday: I do an un-31 woman thing and relax and spend time with my family.

I have this typed up, hanging on our fridge, with the quote, "Love beyond words" because doing these things is one way I show Andrew and Cooper how much I love them.

I also make a list each morning of things I need to do that day. It just feels nice to cross things off a list.

Then I have a monthly chore chart. It's also hanging on the fridge, with the quote, "Find joy in the journey now." I have to find joy in doing these things, because this list is not as easy.

January - closets
February - bedrooms
March - fans and fixtures
April - blinds and curtains
May - kitchen
June - carpets and floors
July - baseboards
August - vents
September - bathrooms
October - laundry room
November - furniture
December - open for Christmas fun.

So, there you have it. The schedule that helped me. Hopefully it helps some of you, too.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

My work at home is eternal, meaningful, and important, and it is my supreme service to God.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: Iced Goodness

I have two wonderful words for you today: Peppermint. Mocha.

It's my all-time favorite coffee cream flavor, and the Christmas season has blessed this house with it's presence. Today I'm sipping it over ice, with a straw. Yum-O.

Guess what? The house is dusted, and vacuumed and while Cooper is napping I'm soaking the cleanness in, because once he's awake it won't last long.

Cooper is currently having a nightmare about the vacuum. Or me taking it from him. He's crying and yelling "vacuum! vacuum!" Cooper and his vacuum.

So, if you were over for a coffee date today, we'd be sipping on iced peppermint mocha coffee and talking about:

How Cooper's feet aren't wide anymore, but long and skinny. My baby will not much longer be a baby. Two in two months.

How I've been contemplating that I am Cooper's memory writer. I'm creating his memories he will have one day. Memories of day to day life, and memories of holidays. No pressure, right?!

How I really don't want our family to get caught up in the consumerism of Christmas. I've been brainstorming ideas on how to do this. So far my favorite is giving/getting three gifts to symbolize the three gifts the wise men gave Jesus. We'll see how my brainstorming morphs into something of a reality. Not this year, though. This year we've quite surpassed the 3 gifts. We have three large shopping bags and a box full of gifts for Cooper. I've gotten him little things here an there over the past few months, and while that has helped our pocketbook this month, I didn't realize how much we had gotten him. I wrapped everything the other night because he was starting to find the gifts. And that's when I realized he had more than plenty.

I'd share with you how I want our family to be different. To live as Christ wants us to, not the world, and how that means we have to do things differently than everyone else around us. That's never easy.

I would tell you that today I went through all my emails and unsubscribed from pretty much everything. Every time I get an email from a store or organization my head fills up with thoughts like "I wish we had money to get some of this" or "I think we might need this." Just stupid, wrong thoughts. We have plenty. We need little. My inbox will be a little sad looking now because I won't have as many emails, so feel free to send some fun emails my way.

I got some good girl time in yesterday with some ladies from church. Thankful for them. Andrew gets some guy time this weekend. Cooper and I are going to KY for my cousin's wedding, so Andrew gets to be a bachelor and hang out with the guys. I'm excited for him.

Today it is rainy. Makes me want to take a nap, or watch a movie under a nice, warm blanket.

I would tell you how very thankful I am for my friends from college. We are all pretty much in the same part of life, getting to experience things together, and encourage and help each other along the way. Today I talked to one of them for an hour and a half on the phone. Loved every minute of it. In my dream world we would all live close to each other. I'll keep dreaming, because I don't think it will happen until we've all retired, or we're all in heaven. This is one of my favorite pictures of us.

That's all ya'll. Off to look at my clean house some more. Won't be long before The Destroyer awakes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

He's not mine

The kitchen is the room I frequent the most. Between 3 meals/day, prep and clean up, plus snacks, and drinks, and coffee, trash runs, and the dryer being there too, I'm there often.

Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen when I remembered:
Cooper is not mine.
He is God's.
And God is free to do with him what he chooses, when he chooses.
And that scares the heck out of me.

The parts where God will use Cooper to do amazing things is awesome.
Maybe God will use him as a preacher.
Or by leading his friends to Christ.
Or travel the world telling God's love story to all.
Maybe he'll grow up to be a man that lives for God in every area.
Those thoughts are awesome.
But what if God uses Cooper in a tragic way?
Like an illness.
Or learning disability.
Or his death.
Scary, right?

Thinking about those scary things makes it harder for me to give Cooper to the Lord.

But Jesus is my hope.
He is what I build my life upon.
And he is what I want Cooper's life built upon, too.
I hope I can always hope in yucky life situations.

So, despite the scary thoughts, I declare that Cooper is not mine.
He is God's.
Given to us to take care of at this time.

I just pray it's a long lifetime Cooper gets to experience.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I'm sorry - to those of you who actually read this blog with excitement - about my lack of absence on here the past couple of weeks.

We went to FL, had a blast, then came back to a very busy week in Ohio.

More of our FL trip later.

This week we put up our Christmas decorations. We opted for our small tree again this year. I tend to take showers while Cooper is awake, which leads to all sorts of mini-disasters. (Yesterday he opened the closet, pulled out a vacuum, tore it apart, and I came downstairs to dirt from the vacuum all over the floor). So, to avoid a Christmas disaster, we have our small tree sitting up high on the buffet table. Red and white lights, santa kneeling to baby jesus beneath, mary and joseph beside him. We have simple decorations this year. Nothing major. And our stockings are hung on the staircase with care, and red lights.

Cooper seems to be liking the decorations.

He gets to play with a little snowman we have out.

He hums to the Christmas music that I have constantly playing in our home.

He loves it when I pick him up and talk to him about the decorations on the tree.

He calls the Christmas Tree "Choo-Treat".

Last night he and I went to the mall to walk around because Mr. Sale had to work late. They had decorations there and he called them all "Choo-Treat". We also got a glimpse of Santa and waved.

What does your "Choo-Treat" look like this year?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: Late Start

We had a late start today.

Here's how we woke up:

I hear Cooper. Look at my watch, and it's 7:50! I quickly revel in the moment of him sleeping past 7, because since the time change it hasn't happened. Then I realized Andrew was still sleeping, too. So, I ask, "Andrew, what time are you leaving today?" He replies, "8:10". "Well, it's 7:50" says I. "What? You're kidding!" "Nope, check your phone clock." Then, he says, "Why isn't Cooper awake yet?" Apparently Cooper has become is alarm clock!

I am proud to say that it is 1:30 and the whole house has been cleaned, vacuumed, and laundry is being done. I'm just now having my cup of coffee, and I'm sipping it with a warm heating pad relieving the hurt from my hard work.

I've got the rest of today and tomorrow to get this week's chores done because.....we leave for Florida early Wednesday morning! We're excited to see our family and friends this Thanksgiving.

This past weekend was Andrew's birthday. Friday night we drove to Columbus. We ate meals at Skyline, Chick-fil-A, and Red Robbin, some of his favorites. We spent time with his sister, Ashleigh, her husband Kyle, and their kids Zachary and Xander. We left Cooper there to play while we got away to see Breaking Dawn (believe it or not, another of Andrew's favorites). The highlight of the weekend, though, was taking Cooper to see Sesame Street Live. We told him we were going to go see Elmo so he kept asking for him when we got in the car to go somewhere. When we got inside he ran. With pure excitement. Like this.
I definitely got goose bumps watching him react to the show. He did really well until the second half of the show when he was tired and hungry and ready to go.

Yesterday after church Andrew went with our friend Matt to eat sushi and to a play at a local theatre in town. I'm excited because tonight we're going to get sushi at the same place. Who knew they had sushi in Dover?!

I've been going through episodes of My So Called Life and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Does anyone else remember this show?

All in all a great weekend, and we're looking forward to a great Thanksgiving week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Washed the Spider Out"

Get ready....there are videos in this post!!!!!

Cooper is 21 months today! I know I probably say this a lot, but it's just so true: I am completely amazed and in awe of Cooper and how much he learns and changes week to week.
I am not a bragging type, or "hey look how awesome my kid is" type of mom. But, I am truly amazed at his ability, especially at his young age.

If we go somewhere, this is usually the process when we meet someone:
They see him and comment on his big blue eyes.
If they hear him, they say "how old is he? He's a good talker".

I don't know that we do much different than other parents (in the way of learning time), so I just think his "smarts" are just part of his personality, the way God made him. I sometimes get nervous when someone talks about how smart he is, because I don't want them to start comparing. I don't want anyone that we meet to feel badly that their child is not where mine is in vocabulary, clarity of speech, or ability. God designs each child differently and I'm pretty sure he doesn't want us to compare them. Lord knows Cooper is behind in some areas that other kids excel in.

All of THAT to say, I hope you are able to celebrate Cooper with me during this post. Please know that these updates are not meant to be me bragging, rather me expressing how much I enjoy watching Cooper learn and grow.

Now onto some videos....

Last week Cooper said 4 words together for the first time. We were singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and he said "washed the spider out". He also moves his hands up and down.

Cooer was very uncooperative for these videos. The second one he makes such stink faces that I just had to post it. *The videos weren't loading properly, so I had to upload them to YouTube first. Click on the links to see the videos.*

Cooper can also count! He doesn't quite get it all down perfectly, but when he's arranging things he counts them, so I know he's starting to at least get the concept. Once we get to the teens it seems he only likes to say the odd numbers.

This weekend is sure to be a fun one!
1) It's Andrew's birthday.
2) We're taking Cooper to see Sesame Street Live.
3) We get to see Aunt Ashleigh and fam.
4) We're getting away for about 24 hours.
5) We'll be together. No better way to spend a weekend.

What are you doing this weekend?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pulling my hair out/tired/trying/hopeful

At the end of most days, I feel like pulling my hair out.

I am completely thrilled to be home with Cooper. It is something I have prayed for, longed for, and feel more fulfilled than ever doing this job. However, it has come with adjustments.

Sometimes I long for some adult conversation in the middle of the day.

Sometimes I just need a break.

When I taught I got a break every night and every weekend from the kids.

As a stay at home mom, there are no breaks.

We're together in the morning, all day long, at night, on weekends, holidays and everything in between.

In FL we were able to be kid free for the whole weekend if we wanted (thanks mom and dad!) but we're without family here.

So, there have been adjustments.

I've been trying my best to find a healthy balance.

Me time.

God time.

Andrew time.

Cooper time.

Housekeeping time.

A lot of things that all have to share some time.

So, I've made a "schedule" of sorts. I've made a housekeeping schedule. I have one thing to do each day, plus one load of laundry. It doesn't leave me as overwhelmed, keeps me on track, and helps my mind.

I set my alarm for 6:00 am, make some coffee, do my devotions, spend some time in silence, and sometimes get started on the days chores, or breakfast.

Some days I completely fail at housework, being "un"lazy, and getting up early.

The two things left on the list: Andrew and Cooper. The two most important people in my life.
I try my best do some things for Andrew throughout the day like running errands for him, planning fun days with/for him, planning meals with him in mind. We get time together each night after Cooper is in bed. And I've been trying to put the computer down, and just "be" with him.

Sometimes I completely fail at being a wife.

Then there's my precious Cooper. My crazy Cooper. My makes me wanna pull the hair out of my hair little boy. Giving him attention is not hard. He often demands it. Meals, snacks, drinks, diaper changes, helping him play. But how often is that attention intentional? I often ask myself throughout the day "Have you made a memory with Cooper today?" Because often while he demands my attention I'm occupied with something else, and am quick to go back to that thing instead of spending some more time with him.

Sometimes I completely fail at being a mom.

At the end of most days, I wanna pull my hair out from exhaustion, and failed attempts. But they're attempts. And I'm trying. Trying my best to be the person God wants me to be.

At the end of today, I'm tired. But snuggled up next to me is a sweet boy watching Curious George. A boy who often gives me hugs, kisses, and love. Just his presence next to me tonight gives me hope that I can keep going. That tomorrow I can get up and try to do better than I did today.

"So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!"
- Psalm 31:23-24-

"We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield."
- Psalm 33:19-21-

Putting my hope in the Lord.

Tired as I am, he will strengthen me tonight for tomorrow's work.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: Not much to say

Today I thought, "I wonder how long I can go before I want/need coffee?" The answer: 9:30.

I'm really tired today, which is weird because yesterday I took like a 2 hour nap, and got about 8 hours of sleep last night.

Yesterday was a pretty perfect day in our house. We went to the 9:00 service, went to the park, watched movies at our home, we all took a nap, met our neighbors, and hung out. Did I mention I got a 2 hour nap yesterday? It was glorious.

Here's a picture of me & Coop playing at the park.

Today I don't have too much to talk to you about. I have some thoughts that are getting their own blog post. So I thought I'd fill out one of those quirky question surveys just to give you something to read/entertain you.

*If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Love deeply

*If you could have a room full of one thing, what would it be?
Friends and family

*What do you value most in other people?
Their heart

*If you could see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see?
Blue - I wouldn't want to miss Cooper's eyes

*If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass on to your children, what would it be?
My ability to laugh at myself.

*What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

*Would you rather teach a young child to read or have to learn again for yourself?

*What is the best advice you've ever given and received?
Given - you tell me.
Received - Live with the end in mind.

*How would you like to die?
Of old age, with family by my side

*Who was your favorite celebrity as a child?
I had a big crush on JTT

*What type of pets do you have?

*What is your favorite color?

*What is most memorable about your high school years?

*What word describes you best?

*What is your greatest accomplishment?
Family - married for almost 5 years (can you believe Andrew&I have been together almost 8 years?) and Cooper.

*What drives you every day?
Knowing that where we are is what I've prayed for, and what God has designed me to do.

*What is your favorite food?
My mom's lasagna

*Where do you want to retire?
I honestly have no idea.

*What is your business goal this year?
I have several that I'll share in a new year blog post

*Where do you like to vacation?
I just like to vacation. Doesn't matter where.

*Who do you admire?
Nanny Heab

*What is your mission?
Leave a great legacy

*If you were invisible, where would you go?
I think it would be neat to see the living quarters of the white house.
Also, I would hop on a plane to anywhere in Europe.

*What traits in others are you attracted to?
The way they treat others, honesty, their ability to let loose and have a good time

*What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
I can't pick just one. There are so many people who love us that have blessed us with their ways of kindness.

*How do you want to be remembered?
A godly lady who listened well, loved deeply, and knew how to have fun.

*What would you do with a million dollars?
Get out of debt, pay of our fl house mortgage, then sell it, invest, and give

*If you were on an island, who would you want to be with? Why?
Depends on what kind.
An island getaway, like vacation - Andrew...yay for romance!
A deserted island - Allison, Amanda, Erin, and Liz. Because we'd be able to have fun despite our conditions.

*You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school, what is it about?
In this world, you will have trouble.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Because nothing in my life is ever easy

It's a joke in my life that nothing ever comes easy for me. Want proof?

The time we go to Disney with hopper passes, and hop to our second park to find out that day was blocked out for a hopper pass.

The time I made all kinds of mistakes and messes filling out a lease agreement, so I just hop on the computer to print a new one. Only, the file saved wasn't working. Then we got it working, then we couldn't find printer paper. Found the printer paper only to figure out that the printer had no ink. So, we go to Kinkos (mind you, it's like midnight) to print the file. And, no joke, the printer didn't work there either.

The time I wanted to "whip up" something yummy and my mixer broke.

And these have all happened this year.

Well, today I get the lovely pleasure of sharing with you another classic "Chandra" story.

Andrew texted me from work to ask if I could get some cash out from the bank because he needed to pay back a co-worker and that he would come home around lunch time to get it. I told him that I was in the middle of baking bread with Cooper, but would try. And if I couldn't get there by the time he got home, he could just take my card and get it then.

So, Cooper and I "whip up" some pumpkin bread. We made 7 mini-loaves. The plan was to give them to our neighbors as a nice way to say "happy fall, ya'll" and to introduce ourselves to them. I stick them in the oven, start a load of laundry, and clean up the kitchen. I look over at the timer on the bread and I have 16 minutes left. "I have time to go get the cash out from the bank for Andrew...because I'm such a good wife, and it will make his day" was the 50's housewife monologue going on in my head. So, I hurry and put a coat on myself, cooper, as well as slippers and we head out the door. I look over at the timer and we've got 14 minutes (a feat in itself that we were ready for outside weather in 2 minutes...I attribute it to wearing slippers). Plenty of time seeing as how I can see the bank from my window. It's MAYBE .25 miles away.

As we exit our house we're greeted by our friendly neighbor who you can get caught talking to for 30 minutes if you're not careful. He starts talking to me about our 40 degree weather and weather in other cities around the country that I frankly don't really care about.

Put cooper in his car seat, which is harder to do when he's wearing a heavy coat.

Get to the bank, and I remembered I had a check to cash. I pull to the side, sign my name, and start putting our account number on it, but I can't remember the last 3 numbers, and I don't have my checkbook with the account number with me. So, I decide I'll just tell the teller that I can't remember and they'll still take care of me. I pull up to the thing, hit the call button, and no answer. I hit it again, no answer. As I hit it a third time I realize that no one's even at the window! Wait, the lights are off, too! Do they close for a lunch break? Then, a HUGE sign with "WE'RE CLOSED" finally makes itself known to me. Gosh, I'm an idiot, it's veterans day. Pull back around to go to the ATM, get the cash, and head home.

Cooper has to get the golf ball that falls all the way under the car, then likes to stand by the garage instead of walking in the house.

We finally make it inside to the timer going off, and the loaves it turns out are a little brown around the edges, but still smell good, so I'm still giving them to our neighbors.

Fast forward 1 hour later, I get a text from Andrew that states "I'm just going to give her the money on Monday"

.....Because, folks, my life is never easy. Now do you believe me?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coffee Date Monday: (un)Productivity

Good morning!

Happy Fall Back Time Change to all! The fall back time change was way more fun when I was younger, well, at least before Cooper. Falling back does not mean more sleep for him, rather a wake up of the same time, a grumpy boy when he's not eating at his "regular" time or napping/going to bed at his "regular" time, and a seemingly much longer day that ended with my eyes barely being able to stay open. While spring forward bring many more people grief, I enjoy it because by that time Cooper will adjust to this time, and "sleep in" when the time changes again.

This past week I was completely unproductive. Well, maybe not completely...ok, ok, completely. I did good until about Wednesday when I had to go shopping, and our schedule got thrown off, and Cooper didn't nap, and I was tired, and apparently that tiredness lasted until this morning. I have this schedule of different cleaning routines I do each day, so that my house stays clean (clean does not always mean picked up of toys...clean means dusted, vacuumed, sanitized, etc). I love it because I only have to spend 15-30 minutes a day (depending on the task) cleaning my house. I also *try* to do a load of laundry each day. Well, I just have to tell you: there is a load of laundry sitting in my dryer from last week. I have this complex where I don't mind doing laundry, but I HATE putting it away. So, cheers to my unproductive self from last week. I hope you enjoyed your break, because now you've got a bit to do around the house. Cheers!

Yesterday Andrew and I spent some time in Canton and we're going to go back tonight. I feel like I'm living a rockstar life with trips to Canton two days in a row!

Wanna know what I'm most excited about today? Today we are going to buy a new hamper! This is our first multi-level home, and it has come with some challenges for us. Cooper used to play in his room a lot. Not the case here. He plays when one of us is upstairs, but he doesn't typically go play there on his own. Another is mine and Andrew's laundry. When we were on a one-story it was so easy to take our laundry where it needed to go. Right now we have no hamper in our room, and it's "so hard to walk all the way downstairs" so our room has consisted of thrown about piles of dirty laundry for the past few weeks. It gives me the heebie jeevies. So, today, I am excited that a new hamper will be purchased to put an end to our dirty clothes piles and unorganized chaos upstairs.

Last night, a very tired Cooper tried to stay awake a little longer and wanted to read. I obliged. He sat on my lap, we read a book, and when the book had ended he'd say "my turn" and go over to another couch and sit and "read" the book. Then he'd pick out another one. So precious! Right now Cooper's favorite book is called Bear In Underwear. In it a bear finds a backpack full of underwear and he and his friends try them on. Well, Cooper knows what to say on different pages of the book, and it makes the teacher's heart in me smile wide.

I feel more settled here and some of our friends are starting to feel like family away from family.

By the way, how's your coffee today? Mine is perfectly spiced with pumpkin flavor.

Off to be PROductive.

I almost forgot: Jim, andrew's brother in law, came home this week! He had to go back for some kidney stones, but seems to be on the mend! Keep praying for Andrew's mom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The time we took Cooper trick-or-treating

There is something unexplainable about the joy of watching your child enjoy things you once did when you were little. The sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays all bring back such vivid and wonderful memories of my childhood.


This Halloween was no different. From carving pumpkins, to playing in leaves, to trying on his costume, to walking down a street (in cold weather with fall trees) I was reminded of fun times. I must say I was blessed with a great childhood – lots of love from family, lots of fun memories. However, there was something about creating memories with Cooper that made this Halloween the best Halloween I’ve had….ever….that I can remember, anyway.


We made cookies.

Cooper likes to eat what we cook, while we cook it.

We carved pumpkins. He drew on a pumpkin and I cut out some of the shapes. He hated the inside and was scared of the fire, or “sire” as he says it (can’t say the “f” sound yet).

We played in the leaves.

We tried on his costume.

And we went trick-or-treating.

I wasn’t sure how he would handle it. But he did really well. The first couple of houses we went to Cooper was a little shy and scared. But once he realized they gave him candy, he was ok to go up to the house.

He would look in his bag and say “trick-or-treat” and “candy” to the people handing out sweets.

He was so fun to watch as he waddled (he had many layers on) around from house to house, sometimes running, in the red cowboy boots I had when I was little.

I don’t think a smile left my face the entire time.

What joy children bring. What a joyful blessing we have in Cooper.

Psalm 37:26(b) “…and their children will be a blessing.”