Archives for August 2010

The Wedding

We ended our vacation with a stop in Mobile, Alabama, where we watched and participated in the wedding of my cousin, Whitney, to her new husband, Jordan.  It was beautiful and emotional and perfect and I’m so glad we got to be there to see this union take place.


Whitney has overcome more hardship and pain than most people will see in two lifetimes.  She is a true picture of beauty from ashes.  She’s not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well.  When she was five, she and her brother and sister spent a year living with my family.  I was thirteen at the time and I adored having a little “sister” to dress up and play with.  I curled her hair, put make up on her and doted on her daily.  I learned her tap dance routines and taught her silly songs to perform in front of others.  I don’t know if it was fun for her, but I enjoyed having a real life baby doll.


 Whitney asked Sloan and Tia if they would serve as flowergirl and ring bearer.  It was an honor for them to take part and after they got over their initial trepidation at standing up in front of a lot of people (and having to watch the bride and groom kiss – Ew!) they had a great time.

And the number of times that they’ve played bride and groom since the wedding?  Five.  And counting.


 I was so proud of how great the kids did before, during and after the wedding.


 Whitney’s mom died in February of 1991 when Whitney was only 5.  I was twelve and I don’t remember much about my Aunt Joy.  There are snippets that come to me periodically, like flashes in time.  I remember her laugh and her smile and I have a CD of her singing, but other than that, the memories are vague.  But my mom and my other aunts and uncles remember well.  And all of them say that Whitney is so much like her mom it’s frightening.

She’s the life of the party. 

She’s got an infectious laugh.

She loves people and she loves Jesus.

I’m so proud of her.


 My cousin Randy’s little girl joined Tia in the role of flowergirl.  Can you tell these two are related?


 I do believe that Sloan developed a bit of a crush on Whitney.  He followed her around like a puppy dog all day long and asked to have no less than fifty pictures taken with her. 

“She is so beautiful, Mom,” he told me. 


 Tia has become enamored with playing “bwide” since we got home.  She puts her fancy shoes on and taps around the house saying “I Do.”  I’ve drawn the line at her and Sloan kissing.  They’ll thank me one day.


 I wish that my aunt could have been there on Saturday.  She would have been brimming with pride at the young woman that Whitney has become.  I know that in heaven there are no more tears of sorrow so I doubt that those who have gone on before us can literally watch and see what’s happening to the loved ones left behind.  Because if they could, then surely they would experience sorrow at the pain that is ever present on this Earth.

I do hope, however, that in moments of joy, such as Saturday’s wedding, those who dwell in heaven experience an extra measure of joy, peace, love and contentment.  And since one day on Earth is like 1,000 years in heaven, I hope that Joy experienced 1,000 years of extra happiness and joy over the union of her daughter to such a wonderful man.


 Sloan was such a little man.


 And Tia was a great helper to little Hayley.


 And Whitney beamed with such force as she walked down the isle that I worried her face might split in two.


 Sloan, of course, got a little bored during the ceremony.  It gave him plenty of time, however, to smell the roses.  And, of course, when the bride and groom kissed he giggled and blushed and shook his head.  Because just…ew.


 Tia got to hold Whitney’s bouquet during the ceremony.  It weighed easily 5 pounds.  She was a real trooper.  Doesn’t she look like she’s having the time of her life?


 Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Van Matre.  They have a rich heritage to uphold and continue.  I have no doubt that they are fully equipped and prepared to carry on the rich legacy of this family.


 My Aunt Tammy made a lot of sacrifices to raise Whitney alongside her own four children.  And she and my Uncle Cletis did a great job making sure that this little girl, who was a broken, scared 9 year old when they got her, grew into a confident woman of God. 


Equally, my mom and dad also made sacrifices, pouring energy, wisdom and hope into Whitney’s life.  They also raised Whitney’s brother and supported Whitney’s older sister as they grew.  My Uncle Dusty, the oldest of the Cooper siblings, was also a pillar of support.  As the male head of the family, he has been a constant for all of us.  I am honored to be a part of such a unique and loving family.


It was a time to reconnect for my cousins and I, and for our kids to begin making memories together.  My cousins’ girls and Tia all lined up for the tossing of the bouquet.  Emerson, my cousin Sean’s daughter, ended up catching it, much to her delight.  Girl shrieks abounded.


 Look closely everyone – this could quite possibly be the future President and First Lady of the United States.


It was the perfect end to our vacation.  Now we’re home and it’s back to reality.  I went to the store this morning and gave them my right arm and right leg for groceries and school supplies.  The house appears to have been hit by a tornado and it smells quite a bit like rotten dog.


To be a newlywed again.

A Mom is Born: Let’s Celebrate!

On August 25, My Mommy Manual and KMOV are hosting A Mom is Born.  This is a virtual baby shower with a cause!  Using the transition into motherhood as a platform, A Mom is Born will raise funds for the Missouri chapter of The March of Dimes while also celebrating new life.  This is only the second virtual baby shower and this year’s celebrant is Virgina Kerr, the anchor of Channel Four’s early morning program, Awake.

Becoming a new mom can be daunting and overwhelming.  I remember well being pregnant with Sloan and walking the aisles of Babies “R” Us, thoroughly terrified.  What would I need? What would I want?  What if he was permanently and irreversibly damaged because I chose the wrong sized bottle nipple?!  Gah!

So I did what any self respecting, hormonal first time mom would do – I sent a mass email to every mom I knew asking for advice.  It saved my life, that email…okay that might be a little dramatic.  It did save my sanity, though.  And those mom friends have continued to pour into me and reassure me along the way.  So now it’s my turn (and yours!) to pay it forward and share your bits of mom wisdom with a new mom to be.

There are several different ways to participate in this exciting event.  The first is to simply attend.  You can watch a live stream of the shower online at  There will be opportunities to interact with Virginia and the shower hosts via a live chat room.  Viewers (guests) will also learn how to personalize a Holding Hands bracelet.  This bracelet is a sweet gift for all expectant mothers to wear during labor and delivery as a reminder of the support that she has from her closest family and friends.

A limited number of Holding Hands bracelets will also be available for purchase online with a portion of the proceeds going to The March of Dimes.  You can also donate directly to The March of Dimes via the Mom Is Born website.

The virtual shower will be filled with fun, laughter and wisdom as other mothers will pass on pieces of wisdom to Virginia.  You can share your own tips or advice on the website prior to the shower and earn an entry into the Raffle for that day.  Raffle prizes have been generously donated by the shower sponsors: Build-a-Bear Workshop, Kolcraft, Goodnite RoomsPixie Posie Photography and the venue sponsor, Overlook Farm.

Overlook Farm is also offering an amazing special for all moms.  From now until October 15, which is when Virginia’s baby boy is due, you can spend a relaxing night in one of their luxurious inns for only $125/night.  All you have to do to receive this rate is become a fan of Overlook Farm on Facebook.  If you mention the virtual shower on their fan page, you will be entered to win a Girl’s Weekend getaway for four where you can unwind on their 200 acre farm, relax in their greenhouse hot tub, explore their many gardens, or enjoy a glass of wine as you watch the sun set over the Missouri River Valley.

Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

No matter what, I hope you’ll take the time on August 25 to tune in to this special and unique virtual shower.  To find out more information, or to submit your piece of mommy wisdom and be entered to win the Raffle, visit  You can also participate by donating to The March of Dimes through the PayPal button provided below.

Maybe we can all convince her to go ahead and buy a minivan.  After all, we know what they are, right?!

Webcam chat at Ustream


Webcam chat at Ustream

I know you’re probably bored with pictures, but…

The Beach. Sunset. Fully Clothed. Great Fun.

The Beach. Sunset. Fully Clothed. Great Fun.

I took each one individually to the beach for some mommy time and pictures...

I took each one individually to the beach for some mommy time and pictures...



Sad faces because it's the last day at the beach. Boo.

Sad faces because it's the last day at the beach. Boo.

I promise I’ll have actual content up again next week.  We leave bright and early for Mobile, Alabama for my cousin Whitney’s wedding.  My sweet little cousin – she’s gonna be a bride.  She lived with our family for a year when she was five – I was thirteen. She was my real life baby doll for a year.  And now she’s going to be a Mrs.

I feel old.

I’ll be back soon!

Pictures speak a thousand words…

And that’s a good thing because after spending nearly three weeks at the beach, my brain is almost completely mush (in a relaxed sort of way).






Tia thought she was taking a sip of her water. Instead she accidentally took a sip of my Mojito. This was her reaction.

Tia thought she was taking a sip of her water. Instead she accidentally took a sip of my Mojito. This was her reaction.


Sloan and my dad had a guys night the other night. They went fishing off the end of the pier and Sloan caught a crab. They drank soda and stayed out until midnight. It is his best memory.

Sloan and my dad had a guys night the other night. They went fishing off the end of the pier and Sloan caught a crab. They drank soda and stayed out until midnight. It is his best memory.


Tia chose to go to The Sand Pearl at sunset for ice cream on her date with Boss.

This is tonight's sunset from the back porch of my parent's condo. Um, yeah...I never get tired of this.

This is tonight's sunset from the back porch of my parent's condo. Um, yeah...I never get tired of this.

Just two more days until we leave for Mobile, AL for a family wedding and one week until we’ll be home.  While I’m ready to get back into a routine, I must say I am sad to leave.  It always goes by too fast.