February 28, 2011

Cooper is HOME!

I am so excited that our little Cooper has been home with us since last Saturday. Shame on me for posting this over a week late...but things have been just a tad crazy with the new little fluffball, school, small group and my birthday! We drove out to Wisconsin on Friday night and spent the night, woke up early to go pick him and his brother up who we were brining back to Chicago with us until Sunday when his family could come get him. The ride home was great, sometimes keeping both of them in the crate and other times letting them out on my lap. Had it been just Cooper, I think he'd have been on my lap the whole time but it got out of control once his brother, Red (as we called him) got sick and threw up his entire breakfast on the middle console. I attempted to clean it up while keeping both puppies from eating it and crawling all over the place but my stomach wouldn't have it. We finally had to pull over so I could walk the boys and Jason did some serious cleaning and rearranging of our car. The rest of the ride home was uneventful, not a single accident. That night we introduced them to our condo and to Sam and the puppies played and took naps until bedtime. The two of them were so so so cute together. They both walked on a leash when we were outside and neither had an accident while inside. We crated them together for their first night and they slept for about 5 or 6 hours. There was a little whining but not much for two puppies first night away from home! The next morning we got up early to drop Red off at the hotel his parents were staying at. I was borderline tears...I didn't realize how attached I'd have gotten in just 21 hours. They were so darn cute together, best of friends and I hated the thought of separating them and hated the thought of giving Red back. But we kindly handed him over to his parents who were just ecstatic to be meeting him for the first time. I must admit too, that even just those 21 hours, it was a lot harder to have two puppies to take out, feed, watch for messes and everything else that puppies require. When we got home, Cooper seemed a little more lonely than the previous day but after a day he adjusted well. The very first night he was alone he did cry when we put him in his crate and woke us up around 4:00. That happened for maybe two days but he has been sleeping through the night ever since. What puppy does that? (asked the proud mama, Stephanie) Jason works from home so his first day back to work was a little hard keeping Cooper in his crate but he has since adjusted well, and rarely whines. He has had a few accidents but they've all been ones I can only blame on us humans. We've learned he has to be in his crate as soon as he's done playing and we need to let him out as soon as he's back out. I am amazed at how long he sleeps during the night and while it's still not nearly enough sleep for me it's more than I could have ever asked for in our first week! Our latest adventure is the biting. We've tried yelping like a dog and walking away, but he just doesn't get it. It hurts! We know he just wants to play but we must break these habits now. We're registered for his first puppy class tomorrow night. I really think this will help us to have some idea of what we're doing right and wrong as parents and teach us any bad habits we may already be doing. Not to mention how great it will be for him to have some socialization with other puppies. The big dogs in the neighborhood aren't interested in him at all and I think it may be giving him a complex. ;-) As for our other furry friend, Sam has been awesome. Best cat ever, so incredibly tolerant. From the first night, he was holding his own, laying right by the dogs. Now that Coopers adjusted and getting older, he will chase Sam around trying to bite him and Sam has to run away but he's back within minutes for the routine to begin all over again. I think once Cooper calms down, they will be good friends. Only sad thing for Sam is that when he is stressed, he eats. So he's gained a few pounds the past week...and this obviously cannot keep up. We'll get it all figured out...until then we'll just keep doing the best we can and pray for a lot more patience and wisdom!

Cooper with Red sleeping under the table behind him

Sam, Cooper and Red just a couple hours after we introduced them all!

"Hi, my name is Cooper, and I am SOOOOO CUTE! Wanna play??!"

Cooper and Red taking a quick second to breathe before resuming playing!

Playing wore them out!

Our puppy, Cooper!

I took this one of the first few days after bringing Cooper home, Cooper is somewhere on the floor when I took this...just thought we'd show just how much Coopers arrival is affecting Sam. Not at all, he is still king of the condo and master of the couch!

Wet Cooper! (our first few days with him it rained ALL DAY/NIGHT.)

February 18, 2011


Small group began on Wednesdays and I am so very excited. I had been tossing leading around the idea of leading a womens group for the past few months but Jason and I finally decided to lead a group together. We were torn between a couples group or a co-ed group but after much praying and discussing, we decided to move forward with a couples group. I was very discouraged that after about a month only two couples had registered and one of them wasn't responsive to my emails. We continued to pray trusting that we had listened to God but I'll admit, I was apprehensive. The final week we had two couple join us, one just a couple days before our first night. Again, God showed me to trust in Him and His plan. Our first night was great! We had 4 couples which was really fun getting to know each other before we dive into our study next week, Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I've read most of the book already several months ago but reading something and actually putting it in place are two very different things, especially when it's only one of us in the marriage who is doing it. I'm really looking forward to the fellowship and growing closer to God and each other.


I should be studying...I have a lot thats due in the next 5 weeks but I can't concentrate. I'm too giddy about our little Cooper who we're picking up tomorrow morning. I've been too excited all week. And the gorgeous weather we experienced didn't help my cause at all. I cannot imagine how exciting it must be when you find out you're pregnant and have to wait 9 months to meet your little peanut who has been growing inside you, not to mention the last month! It must be ridiculously difficult! I put it on my Facebook today that we're headed out to Wisconsin tonight, then picking him up tomorrow morning. I got lots of feedback about bringing extra towels and trash bags, blankets, etc. in case he gets sick and for the expected poo and pee accidents he's bound to have. We're actually bringing two puppies home with us so we can expect double the accidents. Coopers brother is coming home with us because his soon-to-be parents are from Michigan and its easier for them to just drive here rather than make the long trip all the way up to Wisconsin. I'm starting to wonder why we offered to do this, but I think Cooper will appreciate the extra company his first night. (They're not picking him up until Sunday). Just to give you an idea of Sam's excitement, he seems to be very open to Coopers arrival, keeping both of his crates warm until he's here. :)

Inside Coopers crate!

Cooper's temporary crate until he's a little bigger

February 14, 2011

A Break from Studying...

Life got really crazy last week...kinda came out of nowhere but it's nuts! For those who have been asking, here's a recap:
  • I survived Jason being gone for a week (okay, only 4 nights!)...first time since we got married. It was very weird being home without him. It was very good for our marriage though as much as I missed him, it was just what our marriage needed. Glad he's not traveling every week though, not sure how I ever survived that!!
  • I had a delicious dinner at Andrea's where I got to meet her "no-name" cat. She is soooo sweet and Andrea's cooking was delicious!! She introduced me to spaghetti squash, yummmm.
  • I took the LBS-I test bright and early on Saturday morning. No one should have to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday for any reason other than for puppies and kids. I won't find out until March 11 if I passed. Some questions were ridiculously easy, others I had no idea how I would have known the answer. So please please pray that I passed.
  • My assessment class I'm taking may be the end of me. My teacher has us doing 8 assessments which I cannot get into the classroom to take. Fortunately my cousin let me borrow his kids yesterday so I could get some of them done. I still have a long way to go though with assessments in this class. I can do it!
  • All my classes are catching up...it's really getting overwhelming!
  • We get our puppy in 6 days!! YIPPY!!!
  • Weight watchers is going well...I've lost a few pounds, not nearly what I should have by now. I don't like the new system as well so I find myself cheating more. Plus I am just not as satisfied as I was before. Apparently I really like to eat, a lot and often. Not to mention my love for wine.
  • That was a good segway to: Jason took me out on Saturday for a mouth-watering meal at The Melting Pot. Weight watchers diet went right out the door but oh my gosh was it delicious!! We were there for over 2 hours, every bite was better than the next and we had a great night conversing. Thank you Jason!!
  • I cut my hair...like 3 or more inches. So glad to be rid of the long hair...grew it out for the wedding and that is long over with. Time to get some volume back into this hair!!
  • I am no longer in my small group that I was part of on Monday afternoons. It's not worth going into the details, I will say I'm pretty saddened by that but also relieved to be able to focus more time on my schoolwork.
  • I found out it is likely I will not be able to get the classes I need in the next 2 quarters, which will delay my student teaching and graduation date. (and a lot of things related to life that I am planning!) Again, prayers are really needed if praying if you kind of thing!
  • I broke my (eye) glasses right in half. Not the first time in my life that's happened but man is that an inconvenience!!!
  • Yesterday we got Chris Tomlin tickets for March 11 at our church!! From past posts you know he is one of my favorites and I cannot wait to spend a night worshiping with him!
  • We survived the snow storm a couple weeks ago. I was rather ticked that the day our classes were canceled was the day I already had off! We did go out that night for a walk just to "get out" and see all the snow. It was quite the storm! Parking has been a mess ever since so I am SO glad to see it's starting to melt. I will say that I thought Chicago handled it really well. In just one night the major streets were plowed and after 2 even the side streets were mostly cleared. Nicely done Chicago...minus the little mishap on LSD.
  • We begin our small group this Wednesday night! Jason and I are leading a "couples group" and will read/study Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend . I'm really excited to see what God has planned for us. This has been something that He placed on my heart quite some time ago but hasn't panned out for a number of reasons.
  • I love the heat wave we're experiencing! Perfect weather for our new puppy...let's hope it stays this way!

Happy Valentines Day! xoxo

Happy Valentines Day! I've always loved valentines day...I hate the all the commercials and advertisements and that its been made into a holiday to make money from but I love the idea that it's a day to be extra cheesy with your kids and that they get to show love to each other. I can't wait to be a mom this time of year, we'll bake heart shaped cookies, make valentines for friends and a home-made one for their dad and hopefully when the time comes I'll think of more creative ideas to do every year. But I also love it for us as adults to show our friends and loved ones how much we love them. An extra day a year to tell someone you love them! And since I LOVE getting cards so much, it's even better that it's an extra day of the year when Jason gets me a card and tells me he loves me. (speaking of...he bought me a Christmas card this year then never gave it to me, so he gave me the Christmas card for Valentines Day and added after Merry Christmas, "and Happy Valentines Day" to it. Classic.) Don't let Hallmark, the cheesy commercials, the dumb jewelery stores or other stores for devoting an entire section of the store to sell you something take away the funness of today! Take this day and embrace it for what it is, and extra day to tell the ones you love, how much you love, all cheesy little red hearts and x's and o's included!

My little Valentine -- too bad I don't get to see her today!!