ephraim turns 7.

I have to admit how surprised I was to come back to the blog and actually see comments. I had almost forgotten what those were. Thanks, y’all. I actually came back with the intention of writing a little something that’s been rolling around in my head. But then I found three picture posts that I never actually finished so I figured I’d start there.

Ephraim’s 7th birthday happened. He’s pushing 7 1/2 now so I guess it’s time to share. My children both have birthdays that fall right smack in the middle of my busiest portrait season which would be pretty sad for them if they didn’t have the Daddy they do. But over the last several years he has stepped up to the birthday party plate in a major way. This year might have taken the cake for E though…

It was a nerf battle of epic proportions.

Brent built targets for the kids in the painstaking way that only a NASA engineer can. They were perfect.

Even this mama got in on the action.

(And for anyone that knows my Mom, was that one of her poses or what?!)

This one, on the other hand, I’m afraid is all mine…

Sarah busied herself as emcee for the afternoon. A job she took a little too much of a liking to if you ask anyone in attendance. She was was drunk on microphone power.

After some target practice the battle began. The rule was that anyone who was shot had to head to the side wall for 10 jumping jacks.

I spent a lot of time on the wall.

So did the emcee…but mainly because she was busy trying to yell at the boys for any perceived infraction.

The birthday boy wanted an Auburn cake this year…

and his Daddy was sure to oblige.

After a quick group shot at the end,

and a mandatory photo bomb by big sister,

It all came crashing down.

Literally.

Good on you, Brent Cobb. I nominate you all time boy Cobb party planner.

on ghosting.

Sorry y’all, but I think I might have ghosted.

Ghosted – you know, where you leave a party without telling anyone you’re leaving? You just leave.

Yeah, I think I did that.

It’s been almost four months with nary a post on this blog and it’s starting to be something I don’t even have on my “really should do that” list. It’s starting to feel like it never even existed. The guilt of not blogging is starting to lift.

Yesterday I received what may be the nicest message from an almost-stranger that I’ve ever received. It was about this blog and it said all kinds of lovely things about me that I’m 98% sure are mostly not true…but it lifted my spirits so. And it made me smile to think that anything I’ve ever written might have ever made someone feel like that. Because even if 2% of it IS true, that would be enough.

Oh how I have loved this blog. It got my mothering self through babyhood and toddlerhood and saw me off into the harried pace of childhood with a gentle shove and a smile…the kind I give me kids each day when they head off to school. Goodbye! Have a great day! See you when you get back!

But then I didn’t come back.

The writing I did on this blog over the years – and the responses I received in return – saw me through such a transitional, formational time in my life. And it didn’t dawn on me until yesterday that perhaps I wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of that benefit. If it might have done a bit of that for you, I can’t tell you how that pleases me.

This is a new time in my life. My kids are in school full time and they spend the small time that they’re with me hollering “don’t talk about me!” should I ever tell a story about them in their presence. It’s okay. I remember doing the same to my own mother. If only I had known at the time that she wasn’t sharing sweet stories on my behalf to find humor in me – but rather, to revel in me. To share with the world the precious joy that my sister and I were to her. All the sweet, silly, ridiculous, maddening parts of us. I know this now because I feel it toward my own sprouting children. And as much as I want to share every delightful bit of them with the world, they sure wouldn’t appreciate it.

Sure, I can share a story here and there, but I think the days of  Sarah and Ephraim being the meat and potatoes of blog fodder have a little bit sailed.

And here’s another thing: I have real friends now. Okay, that sounds super dumb, I know. But the fact is that for so many years this blog was my connection to the world. I was home with babies who napped. I was starting a business in my kitchen. I was changing and washing and changing and washing what felt like 50 diapers a day. There wasn’t a whole lot of face-to-face interaction happening in my daily life.

And now, well, there is.

We’ve been in Huntsville for going on 8 years and I LOVE THIS PLACE. I have settled into the rhythm of the progressive South (yep, it’s a real thing) like I was born to be here. These are my people, as much as I never thought I’d say that. My real, live friends hear my real, lame stories everyday. And then I feel kind of dumb sharing them again here. My need for over-sharing is often met by the end of a five mile run at 6:30 a.m. And then again at lunch with a friend. Or on the phone with my long-distance besties. And sometimes even with my husband (imagine that!). And then it seems the time for telling has past.

But here’s the thing: I miss writing. I don’t write anymore. I answer emails, I text (voice-t0-text, more accurately, with a few emojis thrown in for good measure), I occasionally stick a note in my kiddos’ lunch boxes. But that’s it. So maybe the time has come for this blog to fill a new need for me. No longer a need to connect for sanity’s sake, but rather, just a need to sort and process and get some thoughts out of my head.

So if anyone has stuck around to read what may come, great. But if you’ve all ghosted too, I can’t say I blame you. Sometimes, ghosting is good for the soul.

ten on tuesday.

1. Watching election night results with bated breath. My life is a riot.

2. In local results, you may be interested to know that one of our neighboring towns again voted down alcohol sales. Please ignore that their mayor recently received a DUI. #nothingtoseehere

2. The only thing remotely as exciting is college football playoff rankings. War Eagle.

3. Vegetable and Greens Hash with Poached Egg was for dinner tonight. It was a hit with three quarters of Cobbs and palatable to the other 25%. Confession: I fried the eggs instead of poaching them and I *may* have added a tablespoon or two of butter. YUM. If I had it to do over (and I will!) I would add sausage. Everything is better with sausage. Or bacon.

5. Speaking of the 25%, both of our kiddos were solidly there on the growth chart at their checkups today. We are the 25th percent.

6. Which means only one thing: More butter and bacon ahead!

7. Check out these cutie kids I photographed with Heart Gallery a couple of weeks ago. What a blessing they will be to a lucky family.

8. I spent Saturday night at the Cottage with ten third grade girls. Um, I have no words. I think all the words in the universe were exhausted by those girls on Saturday night.

9. Brent is now in the throes of planning Ephraim’s 7th birthday party.  Epic nerf battle, ho!

10. I did a little shopping this evening with my friends from Happy Hour Crafts. You should too. Because who doesn’t need a monogrammed EVERYTHING?

Tate Farm, v8.0

Yesterday we headed to Tate Farm with the Baker fam for the 8th year in a row. Traditions are meant to be kept people, and we take such things seriously down here. Which is why I was obliged to have a margarita at Little Rosie’s when it was all said and done. Tradition demanded it. Half marathon on Saturday be darned.

When we first made this trek back in 2007 I was pregnant with Ephraim and Sarah wasn’t two yet.

Sigh. The good news is that although the kiddos have gotten older, I’ve gotten markedly younger. I promise. Click on that link and you’ll see an old tired pregnant girl. Yikes.

I tried to get a shot of our five kiddos together but we were photo bombed at the last minute.

The corn crib is always a hit,

although this year Sarah’s new birthday necklace from Caroline broke and spilled into the corn kernels. Luckily the charm was salvaged but the bead (which she swears is “real”) was lost forever. And for the record, it’s definitely a real bead. I’m just not sure it’s a real…whatever she thinks it is. Jewel? No matter, the girls went on an all-out search while the Daddies solved all of life’s more pressing problems.

The kids still aren’t ready to give up on this little corn train…

And we all had a good laugh about the year that Ephraim and Austill rode together and then Ephraim promptly got out and announced angrily that Austill had been squishing some of his rather delicate places. Priceless.

We measured ourselves (of course) and then headed out of the pumpkin-picking hayride.

One last shot of the gang…

And year eight was solidly in the books.

ten on tuesday.

1. Watching the World Series as I write. Go Giants.

2. Really, I don’t have a dog in this World Series fight, hence the lack of an exclamation mark. But my California fam roots heavily for the Giants so I’d love to see them win.

3. Friday I’m headed to Louisville with a few of my running girlfriends for the Urban Bourbon half marathon. Hopefully Saturday night we’ll be celebrating a successful race and the 40th birthday of one of our crew. Any locals have a fabulous restaurant recommendation for us?

4. I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes comparing the elevation map of the race to elevation maps of previous runs and races. Hold me. Kentucky ain’t flat y’all.

5. This afternoon we spent a couple of hours at Tate Farm with our friends the Bakers for the 8th year in a row. I love a good tradition. And this one is the epitome of good. I wondered out loud on the way home how long the kids would continue to humor us with this yearly trek. Brent says he’s forcing the issue until they’re 18.

6. As if they knew I was becoming nostalgic for their itty bitty years, the kids (ours + two Baker children) began an in-depth dissection of the tooth fairy issue. There was much comparison about how much money each of their friends received from ol’ T.F., with Sarah solidly declaring that her Tooth Fairy was “lazy” since she only gets a “plain old dollar”.

7. Meanwhile, Ephraim (who turns 7 next month) would be thrilled to get that coveted plain old dollar…poor kid still hasn’t lost his first tooth.

8. The sessions with the kids from Heart Gallery Alabama went so well last week. I can’t wait to see their faces up on the website. Somehow the kids manage to break my heart and give me hope all at the same time. Funny how that works. Want to know more about life as a child in foster care? Read this.

9. Disclaimer: Don’t read that in public. Or at work. Or anywhere where it’s not socially acceptable to cry.

10. Happy Tuesday, friends. See you next week.

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