Monday, February 27, 2012

Coffee Date Monday: Let's try this again

Last week I shared some big news....prematurely.

I'm allowed to say this today.

Threadless and Gap have teamed up for an awesome new line of shirts.

Andrew's design "AMPersand" was chosen as one of the first designs in this new line.

The t-shirts are now available for purchase here and in stores.

My husband is way talented. We'd love to see you wearing his shirt.

Tonight we're going to make a trip to Canton to see the shirt in stores.

Short and sweet today. I'll post again this week.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday Photo Dump: EleFUN

This week's phone pictures need some explanations. Here we go.

***Apparently when we were sick last week, every time we came into contact with anyone, they contracted our grossness. Amazingly Andrew didn't get sick, nor did Heather, who was with us all weekend. Sorry to those of you who suffered.***

We had a birthday dinner just the three of us the night before cooper's birthday.
I'm pretty sure Cooper knows he's 2 now. Day after his birthday he started asking, "Why?". Another new favorite: "What time is it?"
Cooper is obsessed with some of his new toys. He has left some others in the dust. He hasn't even played with the vacuum since his birthday. Well, maybe once, but for Cooper that is pretty amazing.

Elefun is his new favorite. I think it is what replaced the vacuum. He loves to have it out, and turn it on, even if there are no butterflies coming out. (In this game, paper butterflies fly out of the trunk and you try to catch them with your net). Sometimes when we play he just stands there with his net in amazement, not even trying to catch the butterflies. Sometimes he carries it around. Sometimes he just likes to hear the sound it makes. It has become somewhat annoying because it's hard to get stuff done when you've got a toddler and an elephant to take care of. Yesterday I hid it in the broom closet and told Cooper he was sleeping. But Cooper found my hiding spot. I think I've found a new one, though. It's up high in a cabinet I never open. Kind of sounds harsh but I need a little balance back in my life.
It's been sunshiny this week. I can't believe the nice weather we've had this winter.

I went on a date this week. It was a much needed night out. Reminded us why we like each other.

Look at what I saw on our date:
Looking forward to this movie.

I watched an old black and white movie this week, with some pretty amazing women, in a pretty amazing theatre room.

Look where I found Cooper after I used the restroom yesterday.

Look where I found him after I showered.

Remembering this week that God is the landlord of my everything. He's got it all. He's in control.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Coffee Date Monday: Coop's 2nd Party

Cooper is a source of great joy for us.

He is funny.

He is smart.

He is loving.

He is curious.

He is always going.

His laugh lights up our life.

His hugs and kisses light up our hearts.

Cooper is worth celebrating. we did...

Ballons and banners were hung.

Signs were made.

Cupcakes were decorated.

Food was prepared.

And love filled the air as friends joined us in celebration of Cooper.

Cooper could tell the day was for him. He knew it was his birthday, and he was giddy with excitement.

He decorated a balloon like a tiger.

He ate a "coop"cake.

He opened gifts.

He played OUTSIDE with friends. (A February birthday miracle in Ohio).

Even Monkey got in on the action.

Cooper Lee, you are SO loved, by so many. And I'm so glad God gave us you!

(he did much better with the singing this year...last year there were tears)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Photo Dump: Sickos and Birthdays

This week's pictures have a theme: a sick and tired boy.

Happy Birthday to my brother, Aaron! We hope you know how much we love and appreciate you!

Tomorrow is Cooper's birthday! I'm ready to celebrate!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I've been reading through a new parenting book and enjoying it so much. Each chapter I read I'm more convicted and challenged.

The first chapter was all about how all of us are imperfect, and because of that we shouldn't judge others. How sin doesn't so much reflect the parent as it does the child's heart. In that moment I was convicted to pray for Cooper's heart. The example as given of the ultimate parent: God. In the garden of eden it was God, Adam, and Eve. God was the parent, Adam and Eve the children. Adam and Eve's disobedience was not a reflection of God, rather a reflection of their heart. So, I've been praying for Cooper's heart. Praying for strength not to judge others. Praying that I can parent like God. With a good balance of discipline and love. Yes, the first chapter provided lots of good nuggets for me.

The second chapter provided even more. Children learn to relate to God through our example. They closely identify us with God. So how is Cooper identifying God because of my example to him? I can never perfectly reflect God. So instead of being a perfect reflection, my goal should be that my reflection draws Cooper closer to HIM - longing to touch the real thing. I hope my parenting allows Cooper to draw an accurate picture of God in his heart. This comes through the balance (a lot of times it seems like tension) between loving our children unconditionally and teaching them the consequences of sin. Yes, even more for me to contemplate, learn from.

Today I read the third chapter. It didn't let me down. Still so much more to chew on. It was all about the heart of obedience. Until Cooper learns to obey out of his own choice, he is going to see how much he can get away with with out getting caught. To get cooper to the point where he chooses to obey on his own, I must teach his heart and discipline is flesh. I need to teach Cooper the reasons he wants to obey God. I don't want him to obey because he's afraid, but because he knows it's the right thing to do and because it pleases God. I can do this by 1)Teaching Cooper what God says about his wrongdoing. 2) allowing Cooper's wrongdoings to be a time of teaching, not just reprimanding. 3) Tell Cooper how his words and actions affect others.

This book not only has godly insight, but at the end of each chapter provides a toolbox with different strategies to help your child in the way the chapter encourages. Chapter 2 had a list of scriptures for different struggles children have (anger, lying, respect for parents, sibling rivalry, etc) and Chapter 3 gave stores and ways to teach your children lessons about those same things.
I was reading through the toolboxes today, asking God to show me ways to help Cooper, when I was convicted of some of the things I was reading. Not only does Cooper need to be disciplined, but I do as well. There are scriptures that I need to go to for myself, not just Cooper. I'm supposed to be reflecting God to Cooper. How am I supposed to do that if I'm not covered in God's word.

I'm thankful for this book. Thankful that God is teaching me how to be a better mom, but today, teaching me to be a better daughter, sister, wife, friend. I can't do it unless I am in God's word, letting it change me, mold me, and make me better.

PS. The book is called Creative Parenting, by Lisa Welchel (the lady who played Blair on the facts of life). If you've found this post at all helpful, I say go get it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coffee Date Tuesday?

This weekend was quite a whirlwind.

Our friend, Heather, flew in Thursday and left yesterday morning. I cannot explain to you how wonderful it was to have a little piece of florida with us this weekend. Heather was my go-to "I need a chick flick and some girly time" friend. We had high hopes of some shopping, a movie, some crafts, and relaxing. Friday evening some of our plans came crashing down to a halt. Cooper woke up with the stomach bug. We were up all night. I don't know how we managed to stay awake on Saturday, but we did. Then Sunday night the bug hit me. Heather, I'm sorry we had to be sickos on your visit. But, I'm so thankful that you visited us. I enjoyed our time, our laughs, our movies and shows, our talks. You are wonderful, beautiful, and I miss you already.

Because of said stomach flu, yesterday I was in bed literally all day. Our friend, Danielle, kindly took Cooper. I don't know what I would have done if Cooper had been home. Danielle, THANK YOU.

Today is valentines day. A day we celebrate love.

I struggle with loving the way Christ wants me to. I'm selfish. I want things to go my way. I've recently realized maybe I'm not as thoughtful as I need to be. As in going the extra mile to let someone know I appreciate them. Also as in "think before you speak...or send that email". My love fails. All the time.

Thankfully God's doesn't.

His love is perfect.

And somehow his perfect love accepts me, and works on my heart continuously, teaching me, challenging me to grow, and to be his love to others.

Speaking of others, let's talk about my two greatest earthy loves.

Andrew. I love you more today than yesterday, more than a year ago, more than five years ago. I am thankful that God is moving in you. Growing you. Or as you said last night...stretching you. This weekend your love was displayed to both Cooper and myself in helping clean up ungodly fluids. Your love for us is displayed every day when you work hard to provide for our family. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for a beautiful son. Thank you for helping me raise him. I love you.

Cooper. You are a joy like no other we've ever experienced. You are funny, smart, and thoughtful. The way you pat me and daddy, the way you give us kisses, hugs, and eskimos, is like a magic healing when we are feeling down. The evidence that you love and care for us is in you already. I love you.

We love because He first loved us. Not because we think that person deserves it. I don't deserve heaven, but I can still claim it as my home. We love because we are Christ's example to others. We love because He first loved us.

Happy Love Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let's catch up

I have hibernated the past couple of weeks, thinking, praying.

So, let's catch up.

Cooper and I traveled to Florida to pay a visit to Mammaw. We got to see my family and some great friends while there, too. The sunshine and warm weather did numbers to my soul.




And oh the sunsets.

While I miss some things about Florida, Andrew have been affirmed more than ever the past couple of weeks that we are, indeed, in the right place. I'm glad that confirmation has come. We've needed it. Especially today when I sat down to do our taxes. Our move to Ohio has done a number on our taxes because we got the home buyer credit and now have to pay it back. Add that number to the cost of a new roof on our home in florida and you have one mama who can become quite overwhelmed. So, our affirmations of where we are is needed. I know that God has us here for a purpose, and I am counting on him to provide in some crazy ways. It gives me a peace in all the craziness.

I've mentioned before how I'm focusing on the little things more, trying to prepare my heart more, and I must say it's working. God answers simple prayers every day. Then yesterday we got a huge prayer answered - Andrew's mom received a new liver! We are so grateful that God provided for her, and are continuing to pray for a good recovery and some happy, healthy years ahead of her.

Cooper keeps asking for snow. Yesterday I finally told him he needs to ask God for that. Well, today it's snowing. Cooper also prayed for Mammaw to get a "new wiber" really, really, really soon the night we got the call. Child-like-faith takes on a whole new meaning as I see him grow and learn, and grow and learn in the Lord as well. A. MA. ZING.

Speaking of Cooper, the kid is beginning to talk my ears off. He's always been a good talker, but he's started to all the time now. In the car, walking around, playing - all the time. His new phrase is "I don't know". Which he says, "I no know". He will be 2 in 10 days. I am working on getting a zoo themed party together.

We are getting our first Florida visitor tomorrow! Our friend Heather is flying in for the weekend. I'm excited for some girl time. It's supposed to be a snowy, cold weekend.

Here are some phone pictures that I've neglected to share the past couple of weeks.

Can you tell we enjoyed the park as much as we could?