Monday, January 30, 2012

A Mama's Toolbox

Every day I pull from what I am beginning to think of as my mama toolbox.  What I am calling a mama toolbox is simply the collection of things mothers (well, dads too!) use to navigate through parenthood.  I realized there are countless objects, ideas, pieces of advice, and resources I use on a daily basis to help us get through the day and/or any particularly difficult phase in our life.  Some tools, like advice from my mom, I've had stored for years, even before I had kids.  Other tools pop up on the in, sometimes I make this stuff up as I go. (Like this blog, for example...having a space to express my thoughts helps keep my ol' mama head on straight.)  I think from now on I am going to throw in a post here and there about a tool I've used, especially if it makes me look like an innovative, got-it-together mom!

A tool I used recently...the POWER OF SUGGESTION...

Lately Coop thinks pajamas make him look like a prince.  And he wants to be a prince at school.  That's cute and all but the tantrum that ensued when it was time to get dressed for the day was getting old...So after several days in a row of fighting with him (I'm a quick learner), I suggested he be a cowboy instead so he'd quit fighting me, get some clothes on, and GET IN THE CAR SO WE CAN GET TO SCHOOL ON TIME! Then I insisted we take a picture in order to drive the point home...Cowboys at school are COOLER than Princes.

What do you have in your mama toolbox?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

Hello family and friends!

Yes, I am talking to YOU, oh reader of this blog.  Firstly, thank you thank you thank you so much for following along our little life!  I first started this blog for the sole purpose of keeping our family, specifically David's parents, updated with the latest and greatest of our new, precious baby boy.  I felt sad that they didn't live close enough to share in even our weekly  happenings with baby Cooper, and everything baby happens so fast!  As time went on, I not only discovered that I enjoy writing for the blog, but my regular posts will be priceless to us one day when the children are grown and we are in a different season of our lives.  I have come to really cherish my job as our family's historian!

So, in 2012, I want to keep writing!  I am happy to continue as I have done over the last 3 years by posting periodic growth and milestone updates, our fun times, and of course tons of cute pictures.  Lately, however, I have been itching to do more.  The journey of parenthood so far has left me with innumerable memories, insights, wisdom, and inspiration that makes me feel as if I should be sharing.  So my question to you is, what would YOU like to see on this blog in 2012?  (Or what are you sick of?  I am craving any and all feedback.) If you get a chance today (or any day) leave me a comment or shoot me an email ( or Facebook message.  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Celebrating the New Year at the Ranch

Our friends Becky and Ryan and Leighton and Jenny and kids all trekked up to the Graham Ranch to celebrate the new year with us.  It is hard to tell who had more fun...the kids or adults!  Cooper and Penny had a blast showing their new friends how to go ranchin', which included digging in the big dirt pile, swinging on the tire swing,  feeding the fish, calling to the cows (yes, cows...a neighbor's fence must be in need of repair.), and generally just taking advantage of the wide open spaces and gorgeous weather by running around EVERYWHERE!  The adults amused themselves by smoking some bar-b-q, shooting clays, relaxing, sitting around the fire pit, playing giant jenga, and of course ringing in the new year  with a bang, once all the little ones dropped from exhaustion.  We couldn't ask for a better way to start the new year...All the kids were good and played well together, and the adults were able to relax and create some hilarious moments we will remember for a long time.  

Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa were at the ranch for a little bit when we first arrived.  
Cooper, Penny, and new friend Raeleigh played in the dirt for hours!
Just having toooo much fun!

Cooper kept giving me a rock and saying , "A surprise for  Mama!"
Penny, MJ, and Cooper playing "Cornhole".
MJ, Cooper, Leighton, and Penny call to the cows.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Year in Pictures

As we come upon 2012, I thought I would take a minute to reflect on 2011. We had a good year but we always expect the coming year to be even better. I believe what made 2011 so significant in the unfolding history of our life was that 2011 was the bulk of Penny's first year. We watched her transform from a tiny baby to a vivacious toddler. In the meantime, Cooper went from a cute, cautious toddler to an active, fluent, and free-thinking kid. So without further adieu, here is 2011 in pictures.


Penny, so interested in Coop!
Strangely, one morning a deer swam across Nueces Bay and went running through our neighborhood.



First trip to the zoo!


Penny's first swim


At the Splash Park
On the 4th


Penny turns one!

We spent lots of time in our own backyard.

School Days!
The "birthday season" is upon us!

Cooper "helped" with the baking of goodies for  Halloween.



Cooooold Day at the Ranch.
Um, define "good"...

Here's to 2012!