Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wonderful Weather and Birthday Wishes

Today was just gorgeous, as it has been the last several days. I LOVE this time of year! Colby and Cooper spent some time swinging today and playing with rocks on the ground (such a boy thing)! Cooper especially enjoyed Colby pushing him- he squealed every time Colby even got close to his swing in anticipation of getting pushed! So cute!

I love blue-jean overalls on little boys!!

Cooper is fascinated with the rocks!

Today is also our dear Tessie's birthday! For those of you who don't know her, she is our neighbor and what we like to call our "angel on earth". She is not old enough to be a "grandmother figure" to my kids, so I guess you would say she is like another aunt to them. Her whole family is really just like an extension of our family- we love them all and really don't know what our life would be like without them in it. She has been there through so much with us! She was actually with me at the moment I knew something was wrong with Cooper- at the first ultrasound. My boys adore her and we all hope she knows just how much she is loved!
Happy Birthday Tessie!!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today is another mile-marker for the Cook family! Exactly one year ago today, Cooper had his first surgery to remove the tumor that was taking up 1/3 of the volume of his head. I am so amazed at Cooper's resilience and how God has faithfully provided for our every need throughout this past year. I like to look back at my journal and read my thoughts during all of this as it was occurring last year. Here are a few of the things I had written on this very day in 2008:

"Dr. Netterville and his team were able to remove the large and extensive tumor amist many nerves and blood vessels this morning. Cooper appears to have handled the surgery well and will be in ICU for several days. We were told that they do not know what the tumor was and were all quite 'perplexed' at what they saw. Thankfully, God is NOT perplexed or caught off guard by any of this. I am trusting today in His control, knowledge, and understanding of what is going on with our Cooper- even when a team of over 15 surgeons don't understand! My mother's heart is overwhelmed and grieving over what my sweet baby is going through, and at the same time, I find myself covered in a peace that can only come from God (Phil. 4:7- And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus).  His peace floods me at those moments when I feel like I can't breathe. We are unbelievably blessed with so many people surrounding us with love and covering us in prayer."

I am so grateful to God for his goodness! I am truly enjoying Cooper day by day and never forget all that has already happened in his short life. It definitely keeps life and what is important in perspective for me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lovin' but not Likin'

A profound moment happened last night between my oldest 2 boys! Carson and Colby were in the back seat of the car just chatting back and forth. A lot of the time I tune them out and am singing at the top of my lungs, but last night they totally caught my attention by what they were saying and I just had to write this one down.
Carson: "Am I your favorite brother, Colby?"
Colby: "Yes, but I not like you, Tarson"
Carson: "Why don't you like me, do you hate me?"
Colby: "I not hate you, I just not like you"
Carson: "Well, if I am your favorite brother then why don't you like me?"
Colby: "Cuz you just hit me all da time and putted tickers on my butt"- (We had just left the grocery store, where the cashier gave them stickers, so Carson proceeded to stick stickers ALL over Colby, including his behind)
Carson: "But I thought you loved me"
Colby: "I do love you, I just not like you"
Carson: "Mom, Colby is just crazy- he doesn't know what he is saying- how can Colby say he doesn't like me but say he loves me- you can't love someone and not like them, can you?"
Mommy: "Oh, yes, it is very possible to love someone and not like them too much sometimes"

His expression was so priceless- He just could not believe the 2 could go hand in hand! It's funny how little lessons about life pop up in conversations when you listen for them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Year Ago Today

It is unbelievable to think that one year ago today, on Sept 14, 2008, we discovered the lump on Cooper's neck that would cause our world to turn upside down! I remember it so well- he was 6 weeks old and I was feeding him, gently rubbing his sweet face with my fingers, when I realized there was a lump right under his jaw bone. After being born 6 weeks premature, and all the "drama" that went along with that, I remember thinking, "Oh great, what is this?" My first thought was a swollen lymph node. I honestly didn't want to have to take him back to the dr's office- AGAIN- after having to go so much since his birth. I asked Bunky what he thought and he encouraged me to go ahead and have it looked at. That next morning we went in and Dr. Chambers sent us to Vanderbilt for an ultrasound that very afternoon (Thank God for his wisdom and discernment as a doctor to refer us quickly).

I knew immediately that something was wrong as his ultrasound took what seemed like forever, then we were told we needed to wait in the private waiting room for the dr. to call us back before we left the hospital. This was after 6 or 7 people came in to look at the ultrasound, and after the Radiologist came in (when we were told she had left for the day). I will never forget their faces. I guess they are trained to not overreact or show too much emotion, however, a mom just knows and I knew! What transpired over the next couple of weeks was an intense whirlwind that made me feel like I couldn't breathe. Several MRI's later and after meeting with the ENT, Dr. Netterville, we knew the journey before us was going to be full of the unknown and leave us feeling desperate and helpless. I still cannot get the image of the MRI we saw out of my mind- the inside of his head was basically 1/3 taken up by a complicated tumor weaving in and out of tiny facial nerves, muscles, and structures. It lit up like a Christmas tree due to the vascular nature of the tumor. Everyone was perplexed by it and no one seemed to know what it was.

I took these pictures of sweet Cooper this morning as he was playing in his PJ's! I have stopped several times today to thank God for His faithfulness and for carrying me throughout the last year. We did not know what was going to happen, nor do we know what is in Cooper's future, BUT God did know and does know. I read a quote this morning from someone in the 17th century imprisoned for his faith, "I GROW UNDER THE LOAD".  I would have not chosen this "load" for our family to carry, but I am certain I have grown because of it and have experienced like no other time in my life what it really means to have HOPE and FAITH, and to really rest in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I have also learned to live in the moment and to take nothing for granted. God has already used my son to teach me so many important things about life and I am forever grateful to Him for that!!
Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
I love you my little Trooper!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A little time away is good for a mommy!

This past weekend, my sweet husband and I took a little road trip to Asheville, NC, while my parents and sister and brother-in-law came to stay with the boys. We had always said we would go back to Hawaii or Cancun for our 10 year anniversary, however, I spent our 10 year anniv. in Williamson Medical Center after having sweet Cooper a few days before and undergoing an emergency c-section. So, we said, well, we will do something for our 11th instead- that also came and went with all we had going on for The Cooper Trooper Foundation kickoff. SO, our beach anniversary get-away turned into a few nights in Asheville. It was NOT the beach, but it was relaxing and great to spend a little time with my hubby, just the 2 of us! It has been a while, since we have gotten to do that. We saw a movie, ate at some neat places, went on long walks, hiked to the top of Chimney Rock and then to a waterfall below, shopped at the REI store, watched the Alabama football game without 3 little ones screaming and running all over the place, and just enjoyed being able to talk without 100 interruptions. I am married to the most amazing man who still makes me laugh so hard I could pee in my pants! I am so proud to be his wife. He truly gives 120% at everything he does, from his job, to being a loving husband, the best dad, son, and friend. I love this man and am so blessed that God gave me such a wonderful gift in him! Did I say he makes me laugh?

On top of Chimney Rock
Another view
On the hike to the Waterfall
Unfortunately I came home to a little one getting sick! Took him to the Dr. today and he has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease- our first experience with that- FUN! "Welcome Home Mom"- Reality is never far away, but this is why it is good for us moms to get away sometimes, Right??

Monday, September 7, 2009

1/2 Marathon Troopers

For a couple of months there have been several friends training to run/walk the 1/2 marathon in Murfreesboro, TN on October 3, 2009. The Cooper Trooper Foundation will have a water station at Mile 4 and we are in need of some volunteers to help pass out water. The website has more details, so please check it out if you are in this area and are interested in participating. Our big kick-off event on July 25, 2009 was amazing and went better than we could have hoped for. It seems like things have finally settled down a little and life is a little more normal around our house- meaning, that there are not boxes of t-shirts all over the entry way at our front door and other items from the event spread throughout the house! So, we are pressing onward and hoping to bring more awareness to the foundation at the 1/2 marathon! I for one, am ready to get it over with. While it is a great feeling to get into better shape- my knees are just not young anymore! Be sure to come cheer us on if you are in the area!
 This picture was taken at the Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon, where some "troopers" brought it for The Cooper Trooper Foundation! Come join the fun for the Murfreesboro Middle Half- 1/2 Marathon!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School is in Full Swing for ALL the Cook Boys

Today Colby and Cooper started their "school" at Franklin Christian Church's Mom's Day Out program! They will go on Tuesday and Thursday! This is the first time in 6 years that I have a little "free" time, if you want to call it that! I felt a little guilty for about 5 minutes after dropping them off and then realized quickly how much I have needed this. It is just amazing how much you can accomplish without children in tow. I am spending more and more time working on things for The Cooper Trooper Foundation, and that combined with all the normal activity around here, was just starting to pile up a little. I must say that I got out of the car twice and automatically opened the back door to get a child out of a carseat, without thinking. The first time I had a mini-panic attack because there was not a little Cook boy sitting there smiling back at me. I missed all of them today and was actually glad for the chaos that happens here between about 4-7pm! I am a blessed mommy!