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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Post

We went to the pumpkin patch last week.  We went to BoBrook farms, which is where we've gone for the last four years and where we pick blueberries.  Cooper, for the first time, did not get to go this year.  With him missing a week of school for vacation and then him being sick off and on, he really can't miss any more days, especially not the quarter.  Plus, he has a Halloween Carnival at school and we have lots of Halloween stuff this weekend, so he will get his fair share of Halloween stuff.

Anyway, pictures!

Semmes loved the animals (of course).  They had goats, pigs, and chickens.

Owen and Semmes were REALLY into this "truck."  Would not get out of it, even though it was covered in mud.

Then we got this "truck" over by the corn pit.

Mom friends!!

My sweet boy:

He was very distracted by the giant, furry spider above us.

And then daddy got to come too!

This is the best one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Talk at St. Mark's

I was asked to give a 1-2 minute stewardship talk about my experience at St. Mark's.  I gave the very short talk on Sunday.  I wanted to share it here as well.  If you're shopping for a new church home, you should consider checking out St. Mark's!

My husband and I are accidental members of St. Mark’s.  In the best possible way.  We moved here in June of 2010 for Brad’s pediatric residency at ACH.  We had been to a couple of churches, but were still church shopping when my dad and I visited St. Mark’s.  I liked the service, everyone was kind and welcoming, and the priests were great, so I filled out a visitor card.  Luke called me that Tuesday.  We talked for a while.  I told him that I was pregnant and due in about a month and he told me about their new ministry where members of the church bring food after the baby is born.  I said that that seemed great and that I would see him Sunday.  I gave birth the next day.  I honestly don’t remember how the church found out, but we had a couple of St. Mark’s visitors in the NICU, where Cooper spent his first eleven days of life.  Then when we got home, people just started showing up with food.  None of these people had ever met me, I had attended church there exactly once, heck, my husband had NEVER even been in the building, but the people of St. Mark’s opened their hearts, and their kitchens, to us.  It was pretty obvious that we had found our church home in Little Rock.  We officially became members the week before Cooper was baptized.
            When Cooper was about six months old, he was finally healthy enough for us to start attending church more regularly.  Brad was very busy and worked constantly that first year, so often it was just me and the baby in the back.  In this way, I got to know Sydney, who eventually invited me to join her Christ Care group.  This group of women has become my Little Rock family.  We get together weekly to share what’s going on in our lives, we pray for each other regularly, and I value each of the relationships I have with them.  My Monday nights feel empty on the weeks I have to miss Christ Care. 

            Cooper was born early and with an undiagnosed chromosome abnormality.  In the past four years, there have been a lot of highs and many, many lows.  My Christ Care group has been there for all of them.  They’ve sat with us at the hospital; they’ve let me cry with them; they’ve celebrated milestones with me. I give thanks to God often for their friendships. I am so blessed that we found St. Mark’s.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Best Friends

Cooper and Semmes are best friends.  Just ask Semmes.  If you ask him, "Who is your best friend?"  he will say, "Bubba" (his word for brother) without hesitation.  We talk about Cooper all the time.  Semmes laughs when Cooper laughs and cries when Cooper cries.  It's sweet and something I want to instill in Semmes early: that Cooper, his special big brother, is his best friend.

Posts like this make me want to cry. Cooper will never protect Semmes like a ninja or have candid, never-ending talk sessions.  He will never save him from trouble, share any secrets with him, or fight over silly things.  And that's fine.  There are many other ways to interact.  I dream about waking up one morning to Semmes and Cooper in one bed because Semmes crawled in there with him overnight.  I hope Semmes talks to Cooper, telling him all his secrets that he knows Cooper will never tell anyone.  I want them to be best friends in this way, since there are so many ways that they can't be best friends.  And this is why I have taught Semmes, all his life, that Cooper is his best friend.

The day may will come when Semmes will resent Cooper for something.  Our little family of four will never be able to all play together; someone will always have to be with Cooper. We will have to take turns riding rides or swimming or kicking the ball or whatever.  There is much you have to put aside when you have a child with special needs, and that's ok, but I know that at some point Semmes will complain and whine that it's unfair, and he will be right.  It is unfair, but Cooper will still be his best friend.  Because he was taught, from a young age, that Cooper is his brother, and therefore his best friend.