Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's Fall!

Oh goodness.  The change of weather has done something really great for my soul.  I love the crisp mornings, and building fires every single night on our porch.  Clay might have different sentiments on the fire-building, but I'm going to get some fire-starters soon to make his life a little easier.

So, George is growing up.  I thought I'd chronicle a few of his quirks and personality-traits while I have a minute and they're fresh on my mind.
 George is obsessed with building towers and stacking things on top of other things.
Here, he's stacked up his paint cups, and added a few of his Nemo friends on top just for fun. MaeMae, he absolutely LOVES his easel!  He colors on it every single day- and we've even started a little days-of-the-week calendar on it.  
Thanks for such an awesome gift!

George gets (unusually) excited about boxes.  He calls them his 'boats' and loves to pretend that he's out at sea with his 'friends' (toys).

Clay taught him how to get on top of the coffee table.  On a pretty regular basis, I'll find him on top of it playing with toys (here), reading a book to himself, or just waiting for me to turn on Curious George for him.  I don't know why, but it just cracks me up.

This past weekend we went out to Springville to celebrate Clay and Pops' birthdays.  We were able to go to the Pumpkin Patch for a little bit, and it was so much fun!  It was later in the day, so it wasn't too crowded, and it was such a gorgeous fall day.

All the Cochran Boys except Pops

 On the hayride

 Pumpkin Patch

 The Cochran Family

My two favorites!

So, in other news from our little family.  We are moving.  We are staying in Birmingham, but we had someone offer to buy our house off the market, and we took the offer.  This, like everything else in our life, is so bittersweet.  This, like everything else in our life, is covered in God's mercy and providence.  We have absolutely loved our house, but there are some incredibly hard memories attached to it for us, and we are excited to start afresh somewhere new.  

Not only have we loved our house, but we have dearly loved our neighbors.  It is so rare to live right across the street from some of your very best friends.  We became parents together, and have walked through so many days with each other.  One afternoon a few weeks ago, Claire and I went on a walk and realized the boys had on matching shirts.  Obviously, a photo shoot took place immediately.  The boys were being so silly, and dogs were running all over the neighborhood, but somehow we managed to take these little treasures.  

Oh I will miss George having his best friend across the street so, so much.  But we know our friendship runs deeper than the hundred feet between our houses.  Both of our families are about to start new adventures, and I can't wait to see where the Lord is going to lead both of us.

So, here's to house-hunting from now until December 31st when we close!  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy 30th Birthday, Clay!

On October 8, Clay turned thirty years old.  As I've stated over and over, I love to throw a party.  I asked Clay what he wanted to do for his thirtieth birthday, and he chose a getaway for just the two of us!  It just about made my heart explode to be able to get out of town by ourselves, and on top of all that excitement, we had the most generous offer to stay in a house in Seaside, Florida for free.  

Y'all, words could not express the joy this weekend brought the two of us.

Going into the weekend, there were forecasts for a tropical storm/depression/hurricane to come straight for the Santa Rosa Beach area (exactly where we were).  We kept going back and forth as to whether or not we should make the drive in case it came.  We were so excited for a rainy, lazy Saturday.  Then we woke up Saturday morning for weather just as beautiful as the day before.  It was such a perfect weekend at the beach.

Here's the house we stayed in- we could have lived just on the screened porch.

 But the inside was pretty beautiful too!

 Take me away.

 We even got to steal some time with one of our favorite people!  Brynn happened to be down in the area for a family vacation, and it was so great to get to see her.

 Saturday we went to the outlets.  Clay loves a good shopping experience.

 We made it back to the beach with over half the day left to spend on the beach.
This is Clay in the ocean.

 It's amazing what you can do when you aren't working around nap schedules.
We ate lunch at the food trucks at 2:30pm.  
I know that might not sound strange to the average person, but this was so bizarre to us to be out and about in the peak of nap time.  

 Our view walking up to the beach.

We celebrated Clay's birthday with dinner at La Cocina and dessert at George's!

Oh, Clay.  I wish I could articulate what you mean to me.  Being married to you is just so fun.  Even when our life is hard, the Lord gives me joy through you.  I love seeing your tenderness and kindest heart in our son.  I want to have your open heart towards others, because you love people- even the most difficult people (me)- as Christ loves us.  Never in a million years would I have thought our life would have taken the turns of recent days, but the Lord is using you to lead us through the valley.  I am so thankful that I've been able to be a part of the past fifteen years of your life (!!), and am even more thankful to walk through the rest of this life by your side.  

I could go through all of your incredibly deep qualities- your patience, humility, reverence and respect, for years and not scratch the surface of how those qualities serve our little family.  But I hope George and I made you feel as special and celebrated on your birthday, as you make us feel every single day of the year.

We love you!
Happiest 30th birthday, Clay!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

George's Car Wash Birthday Party

We have a lot going on in our little family, and I've totally neglected the blog.  I'm picking up where I left off, at George's Car Wash Birthday Party!

Maybe it's because we talked about his birthday party a whole lot leading up to the actual event, but George still talks about his party on a daily basis.  I have to give credit to my friend, Brooke, who gave us the idea of doing the car wash.  I am so glad she did- because it was the easiest and most fun party I've hosted.  There was a 90% chance of severe thunderstorms all morning, but we went ahead with the party as planned.  Now that everything worked out, I have to admit that the thought of having 30+ kids under 5 years old inside our small house was a little overwhelming.  So I'm super glad we were all able to be outside and embrace the drizzle!

As usual, I'll just tell the story of the day in pictures.

Here's the finished product of the car wash the night before the party.
I call this picture... "The Calm Before the [literal] Storm"

Saturday morning, kids started showing up, and went straight for the car wash.
My nephew, Rogers, kept his goggles on just about the entire time.

Everyone is figuring out the general flow of traffic, and people are pretty happy.

 Then we started having some traffic jams.

...and meltdowns ensued.

 Charlotte Anne was pretty pumped to get to have all of the sponges to herself.
I'm assuming cake was being cut during this picture, because you can tell that kids abandoned their vehicles pretty quickly.

 I can't get over the bows and swimsuits.

 Have I mentioned that George has a LOT of girl friends?!

 Case and point.

After a while, my dear friend Elise started doing face painting.

Birthday Cat.

 Auburn Tigers!

 Then it was actually cake time.  And we had a whole lot of cake.

 Our best attempt at a family pic for the day.

 George absolutely lit up when everyone started singing 'Happy Birthday' to him.  

He took blowing the candles out super seriously, too.

I gave my camera to someone, and literally did not see it again until everyone left and we were cleaning up.  I'm so glad to have these pictures, because the whole party was sort of a blur to me, for a lot of reasons.  It meant so much to celebrate George's birthday with our dearest family and friends.  I loved watching him play with his friends and cousins.  I've loved hearing him talk about his birthday party since then- because I can tell how much he loved that day.  But there was also a huge hole in mine and Clay's heart that Nan wasn't with us, too.  That bittersweet emotion follows us daily.  But the Lord is merciful to give us joy.  And there is so much joy when we are with George.  

So, Happy 2nd Birthday, George!  
You are such an important person to your dad and me.  We value who you are as our son, and cherish our days with you.  You are such a treasure to us.