I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

September 20, 2009

Picture This

Alan is a pretty easy-going guy and usually doesn't complain about much.  But there is one thing in my family that really bugs him...all the snapshots and family pictures!  A "perfect picture moment" occurs quite frequently, which requires patience and endurance by those involved who would rather not hold their position and pose for another photo!  We've also had some great experiences when trying to capture the perfect family picture. Last year at Christmas time, my mom arranged to have an outdoor family picture on probably the coldest day of the year!  When the temperature is below zero, it creates several challenges:  first, holding your breath during the picture so you don't see the white puffs out in front of you creates red faces; second, red noses isn't usually attractive either; all the planning and coordinating of clothes goes out the window when the kids are freezing cold and don't want to take off their coats. Did I mention this creates unhappy children??? 

And grown men aren't any better.

So when I mentioned to Alan that our friend Shannon, who is starting a new photography business, wanted to take us to a beautiful resort and do a practice photo shoot, I bet you can guess what his reaction was!!

Although we were doing her a little favor as she tried out this location and lots of different settings on her new camera, we were definately the ones who benefited the most!  She did an amazing job! It was like the engagement pictures we never got to experience and have. I have very, very little pictures of Alan and I, so to have a few, is so fun! If you're looking for a great photographer, check out Shannon's website here

Here are some of my most favorites...now I just need to figure out how to make a collage or display of a couple. Got any suggestions?? I would love to hear!

September 10, 2009

Experiencing "Labor" Day

I have always looked forward to Labor Day Weekend...not only is at an extended weekend, but it is usually spent camping, having barbeques, and hanging out with friends or family. That's how I have always spent it.  This year, instead of doing something fun and relaxing, Alan and I decided that we should finish a long, overdue project.  Back in March, I started painting the boys bedroom. Between wrong paint colors to begin with and Alan slowly working on the wood work, it had been 5 months and we still weren't done!

Now the design/appearance we were after looks something like this:

Only the bottom half would be light brown/tan instead of white and the top blue.

You would think, not too hard, right?? Alan is very talented with building things and he has done several projects for our home that have turned out great so I trust his opinon and judgement.  However, this project turned out to be a nightmare!  Something that should have taken two days from start to finish ended up taking 6-7 full days. We truly worked hard or "labored" all weekend! 

Our first issue was of course paint colors.  After that was solved, our next biggest problem became the wood slats. Painting on top of the wood slats next to the textured walls did not look good, so we had to figure out what other options we had.  Alan did not want to spend more money to buy wood to cut and put in between all the slats and there was no way we were going to rip out all the woodwork.  So our last option was to make stripes out of the slats. The big battle became what colors to use.  We tried all our options for the slats, baseboard and chair-railing.  We couldn't agree and didn't love one thing in particular.  We finally decided to go with all chocolate brown....

But when it was all painted, we didn't like it!
After looking at it all day Sunday, we knew we had to change it. By this point, I told Alan, he could do whatever he wanted. I was done!
He chose all white, which did look better. It just wasn't the look I was going after. Alan thought we could have it all repainted by noon on Monday.  Since it was his birthday that day, we wanted to do something fun later on. Unfortunately, that's not how it went.

We really struggled making all the stripes have nice straight lines.  The paint kept bleeding through the tape on the textured walls.  We would paint white, touch up blue, touch up white, touch up blue, etc. etc.  We finally discovered that a little caulking and "Monster" painters tape did the trick. Eventually, at 11 pm, we finished...3 full roles of painters tape, 8 different gallons and colors of paint, and hours and hours later we completed this project! 

Now, there's still lots of decorating and some finishing touches, but here it is...

While talking with a friend about the challenges and frustrations of this project, she said "I think there is a lesson to be learned for you and Alan, not just the project itself."  After thinking about that, I have to agree completely!  We learend a lesson the hard way about communication, compromise, and patience! By Saturday night we were both exhausted, very frustrated, and disagreed about anything and everything!  On Monday, we really had to pull together to finish this project. Our attitudes changed and we really worked well together. I know it sounds silly, but I really think future projects will go much smoother next time. That's when we're up for doing another project!! It won't be any time soon, I can guarantee that!

September 2, 2009

Lake Powell

If I had to pick just one place that I could vacation and visit a year, it would be this...Lake Powell. There's just something about sunbathing on floaties with all the girls; waterskiing at daybreak; good tunes with endless card games; building castles and waterslides on the beach;
boat rides; lizard hunting; beautiful sunsets and starry nights; and best of all, the presence of great company. I love Lake Powell! So many great memories with my family have been made the last 25 years and I love to watch the excitment of my own kids as they now experience and enjoy the fun at Lake Powell.

Here is the big partyboat...the "Sea Clusion"
Grandpa Jack and Grandma Lois, now in their 80's, still enjoy Lake Powell. They are so much fun! Grandpa is always looking for someone to tease and visit with. He's notorious for going shirtless, but wearing his blue jeans and cowboy boots, even when it's 100 degrees! It was only 10-15 years ago that I watched him water ski. He is so determined to keep his body going, even when he probably shouldn't. Grandma Lois is always anxiously awaiting a good game. She is probably the most talented lady I know. She's very creative; she's known throughout Central Utah for the amazing quilts she makes; and she is always helping and doing for others. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the many wonderful years at Lake Powell and for being such amazing Grandparents! I love you!

We spent lots of time enjoying the boats...going for rides, skiing, and of course our favorite, the Super Mable!

Here we are...ready for the ride of our life!
(Mckell, Me, Nat, Amanda, Marley, and April)

Catcing a little air and doing a lot of laughing!

Cute Maddie Bug

The kids were so excited when they discovered the many toads along the beach at night. They had so much fun catching and then playing with them all day. As you can see, the toads are lucky they actually survived!

Jalen getting a little TLC from Nanna...life doesn't get much better than that for him!

Always a good card game going on

Madelyn is always excited and ready to play a game!
She's already learning Rummy...a family favorite.

The little boys were thrilled to do some fishing.

Good lookin Catfish!

Another good lookin catfish!

The boys weren't tired at all...they could have fished all night if we would have let them!

Captain Jalen

Conner, Taylor, Jordan and Jordan's friend (sorry, can't remember your name!)

Bathing Beauties...and Paul!

Matt and Alan helping the kids with their castle. I don't know who has more fun playing in the dirt, the big boys or the little boys!

Off to find lizards!

What a perfect summer vacation! Can't wait for next year!!