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!