Monday, December 31, 2012

4 month "Summary"

Well, it is completely sad, yet not surprising, that I have posted NOTHING in quite a while. Have the last 4 months been crazy? YES.....but I'm still not sure it's reason enough to go this long without posting anything. One of my goals and commitments in 2013 is to spend more time writing, which includes the blog. We will also have a new Cooper Trooper Foundation website up and the blog will be an integral part of things, so I better get it together.

So, here is my feeble attempt to do a small recap of some highlights from the last 4 months with our family and The Cooper Trooper Foundation in 10 "bullet points"! 

1. Carson started 3rd grade, Colby started 1st grade, and Cooper was accepted into the Preschool Program for Williamson County schools. Fortunately, this year they started having one of their "sites" at Trinity Elementary, which is where Carson and Colby go, and is 5 minutes from our house. Cooper has an amazing teacher and absolutely LOVES it! He marches around the school like he is in charge, and because he knows a few older kids from his older brothers....he thinks he is too cool. In fact, I have had a few teachers tell me how he will have multiple "big" kids say hello to him in the cafeteria or hallway, and he doesn't miss a beat in responding to each kid by name.

2. My sweet husband and I celebrated 14 years of marriage! He is my rock and I love him more than words can say. He is God's perfect provision for me and I cannot imagine this life on earth without him in it. I can honestly say that we still have a BLAST together and love to laugh more than ever. He inspires me to be the woman God has called me to be and I respect him immensely!

3. I turned the BIG "40" and feel truly blessed with good health, a husband who loves me unconditionally, 3 boys who keep me on my toes, a wonderful family, and amazing friends! I got to enjoy a "mini-vacation" at the beach with a few dear friends and my sister, Heather. What a treat!
4. Colby played flag football again this fall and really developed a new level of competitiveness and confidence. He played quarterback often, scored several touchdowns, and pulled many flags. He may be smaller than some of the other players....but there is no doubt, he is a competitor and will give it his ALL. Carson played tackle football for the 1st time with the Franklin Cowboys and was on a team with  coaches and players that truly had such a positive impact on him. He went in knowing no one and absolutely loved every minute of it. We were proud watching him work so hard all season, receiving several awards from the coaches for character traits on and off the field. They incorporated a character building/foundations program into the practices, which was priceless! He was also one of the smaller kids on the team, but didn't let that stop him from playing with 110% effort. I was so proud of both of them!
5. I did the Nashville Women's 1/2 Marathon and had the honor of doing it with my younger sister, Lauren! I am officially done with 1/2 marathons after that one, but will continue to run for exercise and will most likely sign up for some 5 and 10 K's to keep me motivated.
6. 3rd ANNUAL Cooper Trooper Foundation PUMPKIN PATCH.....need I say more?! It consumed me from late July until mid-November (planning/preparation through wrapping up afterward). The foundation received close to $40,000 when all was said and done from sponsorships, donations, and the profits from the month-long fundraiser. It definitely takes A LOT of work and A LOT of dedicated people to pull it off, but is bringing more awareness to childhood cancer and the lack of funding for research, as well as the lack of support for siblings in particular. The foundation began a new endeavor of funding an Endowed Fund, set up at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, which will support pediatric cancer research. I continue to be awed by the support poured out by so many to make the pumpkin patch happen and am excited to be able to do more to support much-needed research for childhood cancers.
7. Cooper had a another CLEAR MRI in October....praise God! We are so thankful for every report of our sweet boy remaining cancer free. Continuing under the care of his Oncologist and repeating MRI's every 6 months will remain in our future for a couple more years, but hopefully, after that he can be completely released from care and join the Cancer Survivorship program!!!

8. Carson, Colby, and Cooper got to run one of the local high school football teams onto the field at a home game, as they honored Cooper and The Cooper Trooper Foundation! It was such a neat experience for the boys and we are grateful for that opportunity. Page High School has supported the foundation and helped at the Pumpkin Patch for the past 3 years....what an amazing group of students and staff they have!

9. Rod and I got to take a "couples trip" to Florida in November with some of our closest friends. It was perfect timing after a very busy month at the Pumpkin Patch, and we really enjoyed getting to relax and enjoy time with each other and friends.

10. We spent Thanksgiving this year serving with a ministry that feeds and shelters the homeless in the Nashville area. The boys jumped right in and helped, as we got to serve, meet with, and eat with a few of these kind people. It was an amazing experience that I would love to make a yearly tradition. We have so much to be thankful for! This opportunity really reminded us to be grateful for even the little things. I need a #11!
11. The month of December was busy with various parties, ornament exchanges, and family coming to town. It is my favorite time of year and I absolutely love celebrating the birth of Jesus and watching my children grow to appreciate what Christmas is really all about. I love all of our family traditions (advent calendar, Christmas books, Birthday for Jesus party, Opryland, driving in our PJ's with hot chocolate to look at Christmas lights, and adopting angel tree kids for name a few) and truly savor this time with our kids, especially while they are young.

Hopefully in 2013, this will look like 11 different blog posts, rather than me trying to cram it all in to one! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cooper Turns 4

Our little trooper turned 4 on July 28th! It is hard to believe it's been 4 years. In some ways it seems like just yesterday, and in others it seems like an eternity ago. I am always thankful for each of my children and their life and health, but with Cooper....well, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Not only has he overcome so much and won the battle with cancer, but he is truly thriving and does everything to the fullest extent possible! Because of our experience with him, I will forever be changed. I will have a perspective on life that I believe is only really possible through that experience, and I am grateful for that. God has been good to us!
Cooper with mom and dad on his birthday!
Cooper with his brothers- Carson and Colby
Love the excitement on his face here!
Blowing out candles
Cooper wanted to have his birthday party at Monkey Joe's this year. He actually talked about it and planned it almost a year ago, and we have gotten to hear about it numerous times. I was honestly glad to have the party, so we could have some finality to the conversations about it. He had a BLAST and it was very fitting to me that he would want to have a party at "MONKEY" Joe's, since he has lovingly been nick-named "Spider Monkey"by his dad from early in his life.
The Monkey at Monkey Joe's is pretty creepy to me and doesn't really look like a monkey, but Cooper was happy, so that's what matters I guess.
Cooper is very serious about blowing out the candles

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cooper Trooper "Thank You" Celebration

The Cooper Trooper Foundation held a celebration on July 6, 2012 to thank those who have been involved in different capacities over the last few years. We especially wanted to let our volunteers and supporters know how grateful we are for ALL they have done and are doing to make our mission a reality. There were over 95 people who attended.
The event was held at Taramore Clubhouse in Brentwood, TN. Thanks to some of our board members, the foundation was able to provide entertainment from Blair's West and delicious BBQ from Lowrie's BBQ. Several people and businesses were recognized and awarded with a plaque from the foundation. We also enjoyed a slide show of many of the events the foundation has held over the last 3 years.
We truly remain humbled and overwhelmed with the amount of support that The Cooper Trooper Foundation receives, especially with our annual pumpkin patch fundraiser. The month-long pumpkin patch could not operate without so many people and groups willing to give their time.
We are extremely excited about starting an endowment fund with Monroe Carroll Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in the coming weeks. This fund will have a direct impact on pediatric cancer research, right here in middle Tennessee. It is truly such a blessing to be able to help other families impacted by the #1 killing disease of children from birth to 19 years of age.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Primrose School of Cool Springs

Today we had the honor of accepting a very generous check from Primrose School of Cool Springs for The Cooper Trooper Foundation. This is the 2nd time they have selected the foundation as a recipient of donations from their annual Spring Fling. We are so appreciative for their support in helping families in the fight against childhood cancer. They are truly an amazing group over there!
Our family accepting a check for CTF from Tracy (owner) and Susan (Director) at Primrose School of Cool Springs

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I realized that I never posted anything about our Easter this year. Easter is my favorite holiday, especially because of the hope found in celebrating our risen Savior! We have a few little family traditions that we like to do to remember the true meaning of Easter like our Cross cookies, resurrection rolls, church, and resurrection eggs. I love talking with my children about the reality of the relationship we can have with Christ, because HE is ALIVE! When you think about it, the importance of the resurrection and what that means for us who believe in and follow Jesus, is really the single most important event in the history of the world! What a joyous reason to celebrate! Of course, we love to die, hide, and hunt eggs and all the usual traditions as well. And, my boys favorite thing to do is take family pictures in the yard (not really)!

An Angel Who Can Now Fly

Me and Hay Hay having a little "chat"
My niece, Hailey, went to be with Jesus on April 28, 2012, after 17 amazing years on this earth. She was born with extensive brain damage (microcephaly), Cerebral Palsy, and other complications and her birth parents chose to walk away and leave her at the hospital. My wonderful sister and brother-in-law self-lessly welcomed her with loving arms and ended up adopting her, knowing the difficult road ahead for her. 
There have been many times that I have gotten a call from my sister that this could be the end for Hailey. You see, she was not expected to live nearly as long as she the doctor's standards, that is. She was in and out of the hospital on too many occasions to count. However, on this particular day that I got the call, I knew this was the end. Hospice had been called and Hailey's body was failing her for good this time. She would be taken off the ventilator soon. I knew I needed to go and say my final goodbyes and be there with my sister and family. I am so grateful that I got to spend her last days with her and my family. It's been a month since she died, but it seems like yesterday. Although she never spoke a word, her smile spoke more than any words can say. There is such peace in knowing she is with her Maker, now in a perfect body, that no longer suffers. Unfortunately, there is still the deep ache in our hearts, as we miss her being with us. Thank you Jesus, for the HOPE found in you, and the assurance of knowing that we will be with sweet Hailey in your perfect timing!
Scott and Heather with their sweet daughter, Hailey
My sisters, Lauren and Heather, with Hailey
I miss you Hailey Anita Lawson. Your life has impacted me and so many others in profound ways!