ten on tuesday.

1. Our family celebrated tonight’s last swim meet of the season with an impromptu late evening trip to the Waffle House. We even played a little Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber on the jukebox. Parenthood, we have arrived.

2. Not to belabor the point but it really is so amazing to me when I see our kids swimming confidently through the water. Sarah in particular since she’s been at it longer. They’re not championship swimmers by a long shot but I’m so proud of all the skills they’ve acquired over the last several years thanks to their own hard work and the dedication of their coaches. They can both swim laps around me! I think I ought to start making good on my investment and paying them to give me a few lessons.

3. Today is my niece Charlotte’s 8th birthday. Happy Birthday my sweet Char!!! We can’t wait to celebrate with you in person later this month.

4. It also happens to be our dog Tigger’s randomly selected 2nd birthday, according to the kids. We smuggled a piece of sausage out of the Waffle House for him. Happy Birthday Tiggs M’Giggs.

5. The winner of Best Thing I Read on the Internet This Week goes to this blog post, without question. Preach.

6. A close runner up (but too serious to take the win) is this New York Times article which investigates the phenomenon of “cool” teens turing into struggling adults. I often encourage the girls I loosely mentor to embrace their inner geek…and most certainly to embrace the geeks around them. They’re the ones that are going places. Finally some evidence to back up my theory.

7. Ephraim told me tonight that I am 1% better at bedtime tuck-in then Daddy. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am the 1%.

8. Found on a “Spy Notebook” today:

Apparently it was a slow news day at our house. Thank goodness the agents didn’t overhear what I had to say about Leviticus…

9. My dear friend Amy Shertzer just returned to the States from a whirlwind trip to Spain with her hubby. Sadly, she realized once she returned home to LA that she had left her camera bag (with 8K worth of equipment!) on one of her connecting planes. Needless to say, she’s devastated. She has so many good people sending so many good vibes out for her right now that I just know it’s going to work out. But still. Trauma.

10. The good news is that Amy also seriously knows her way around an iPhone, and that’s not missing. In fact, she’ll be part of a workshop coming up with Big Picture Classes that will help you with all the ins and outs of your own handiest little camera. Amy has generously offered to let me give a class away here, and since blog comments are all but extinct on this ol’ blog (no hard feelings…swear!) I’m just going to give it to the first person that says they’re interested. So let me know if that’s YOU and I’ll hook you up with Amy. =) Happy Tuesday!

dance, again.

Sarah took ballet – ahem, creative movement – when she was three and four. And at the time, she loved the dancing but not so much the feel of the tights on her baby belly and the having to wake up early from her nap. And I didn’t so much care for the wrestling a baby alligator act that I had to do in the waiting room with her baby brother each week. So after a year we were both happy to let it go.

Which is why I was hesitant when she came to me last year and said she wanted to take dance again. Organized activities have never really been her jam (she’s always been much more interested in organizing activities) but I was willing to let her try again. I warned her though that the first time she said she didn’t want to go, I was pulling the plug. I’m all about the whole “you’ll finish what you start” thing, but I’m not all about shelling out big bucks every month for an activity that no one’s interested in thing. She said she got it. So I signed her up for Jazz at the closest school I could find.

And I believe it just may take this time, this whole dancing thing. She’s hooked.

Sure, it probably has something to do with the glittery costume, the makeup, and the $40 hair piece* to create the perfect dance school mandated curly ponytail, but for the most part the girl just loves to dance.

*This outlandishness rocks me to my very core. Never would I ever have though I would shell out that amount of money for fake Barbie hair. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Next thing I know I’ll be watching Dance Mom and buying a flipper.

Earlier this month her school held its annual recital at our civic center. The grandparents were in full force, with the exception of Papa who had already paid his dues at the American Girl Fashion Show a couple of months back. A story for another time but suffice it to say that after 2 1/2 hours of watching little girls prancing on stage with matching dolls, Papa was most definitely off the hook.

I was there too and was excited to get a picture with my girl. She and I actually snuck away before the recital for a bit of Mommy-Daughter time over a few crunchy tacos and a bowl of (bad) guac at our favorite local Mexican place. We had plenty of time so we lingered. Then we left the restaurant, drove a couple of miles, realized we hadn’t left a tip and quickly had to turn around to take care of business, devouring our time surplus in the process. Oops.

Oh well, we still made it.

And so did Betsy Boo…

And Margaret…

And Chenoah…

Sweetest girls ever.

Especially that one.

swim team boy.

Last Summer was Ephraim’s second year on the swim team and his first attempt at swimming in a meet. I was poised and ready to write a post celebrating his first successful 25 yards freestyle just like I did for his sister. And then disaster struck. As we walked to the pool on the way to the meet I casually mentioned something about his “race”. And he stopped dead in his tracks, turned his little face to me and said, “Race? what race?”.

Oops.

Apparently the kid had no idea that a swim meet was also a race. The spring in his step quickly faded and supreme anxiety took over. A couple of hours later he dove into the pool at his appointed time only to fall apart halfway through when he realized he was in last place. It was devastating. He came up for air sobbing and didn’t stop for 2 minutes and 39 seconds – the time it took him to cross the pool. Do you know how long 2 minutes and 39 seconds is when your child is sobbing and scooting his way down the lane rope while the entire pool has fallen silent? A heck of a long time.

He went home that night, hid under the covers and declared himself the worst swimmer ever. We promised him that he wouldn’t have to swim another meet until he was ready and that he could just keep going to practice for fun.

Hello Summer 2014… Hello Swimming B-Ro…

What a difference a year makes.

Last week he battled a major case of nerves but still conquered his 25 yards handly. So tonight I actually felt calm enough to bring my camera along for the ride.

He spent an inordinate amount of pre-race time cutting up with his friends…

And then cutting up alone…

Before finally getting serious about the task at hand.

He jumped right in, swam the length of the pool with confidence  (8 seconds faster than last week!) and then hopped right out with a smile on his face.

His first celebratory stop was his favorite coach…

And his last stop was…

his favorite girl.

And it doesn’t even break my heart that his favorite girl in that moment wasn’t me.

I’m too busy just being glad he’s a happy swimmer.

ten on tuesday.

1. (Insert lame excuse for lack of blogging here.)

2. Yesterday a sweet church friend started a new blog documenting her life as a newlywed. Her mention of this ol’ blog as an inspiration may or may not have guilted me into dusting off the ToT today!;)Check out The Newlywed Novice if you’re looking for a fun new read.

3. Speaking of new reads, Ephraim and I left the library last week with a huge stack of books for the next two weeks. He’s working on the Beast Quest series and Sarah put in a request for Little Women.

4. I got three books of my own and just finished the first – The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. I recommend it. I’m still chewing on it days later and wishing my Colorado book club was still in tact so we could talk it over. It’s the kind of book that stays with you I think.

5. Our church’s vacation bible school is this week and I get to be the “story lady” once again. This week runs me ragged with VBS in the morning and work in the afternoon but I absolutely LOVE sitting in front of children again, teaching. And I’m pretty lucky to have a fabulous group of young teenagers helping me out this year. So fun. Every time I look at them and think that I met my husband at church when I was their age I chuckle. Life is funny.

6. We bought our house seven years ago from a couple that flipped it. Everything they did was lovely except the floors, which they attempted to sand and stain themselves. Almost immediately after we moved in the floors started peeling and we’ve lived with nasty, beat up floors ever since. We’re finally getting all of that repaired in a few weeks though which means…moving everything out of our house in the middle of an Alabama July! We Cobbs are so smart.

7. We’re also having our kitchen renovated just a tad which will include a little switcheroo from a center storage island that seats two (tightly) to a 3′x6′ counter height, butcher block table that seats an infinite number of children. Or eight. We’ll just see. Either way, I’m pumped!

8. In the wake of all of these house changes we decided it was time to give up the sweet woman who’s been helping us keep our house some semblance of clean over the last several years. The kiddos are getting older and we really want them to learn the skills to care for their own homes one day. So it was time. We sat down a few weeks ago and made a master list of all the cleaning jobs that need to be done each week and then each person in the family had the opportunity to volunteer for the jobs they felt they would be best at. See how I cleverly called it an “opportunity” to make it sound like a super fun option? (Insert evil laugh…)

9. Ephraim is now in charge of spraying and cleaning all the glass tables and doors in the house and Sarah is in charge of dusting and vacuuming. In addition to cleaning their own rooms, of course. On Sunday evening (our dedicated cleaning time) when I announced it was time to get the house cleaned Ephraim said, “but we just did that like three days ago!”. Welcome to life, my boy. Welcome to life.

10. For the record, I’m in charge of cleaning the kitchen and doing the laundry, while Brent has been appointed to clean bathrooms, sweep/mop floors and blare One Direction at the highest volume our speakers will allow. Certainly not our first musical choice, but a small price to pay for gaining two little people who just may prove to be productive citizens of the world one day. (Fingers and toes crossed very, very tightly.)

Happy Tuesday!

ten on tuesday.

1. So apparently I didn’t have Staph on my leg. It was a spider bite that got lots, lots worse before it got better. It’s been a fun two weeks. I’m thankful for doctor friends who allow me to text funky pictures and ask for a second opinion though! All’s well now.

2. In related news: after vowing to never cut the grass again (see #1), I cut the grass again. In long pants and long sleeves in 90 degree heat. One can never be too safe.

3. The grass cutting was in preparation for our annual backyard Summer party. Also known as the 4th anniversary of my 30th birthday party.

4. At said party someone (who shall not be named on the internets) unknowingly flushed her phone down the toilet, a goldfish died, a human wheelbarrow race broke out, 5 gallons of margaritas were consumed and a pair of shoes were lost. So yeah, it was a good party.

5. Summer is in full swing and our first swim meet is tomorrow. Ephraim is still working on gaining his confidence enough to compete in a meet but Sarah will be swimming. Every Summer’s first meet makes me think back on this. I sure am looking forward to (and keeping my fingers crossed for) B-Ro’s own shining moment.

6. Brent and I are in the beginning stages of planning #CobbsCrosstheCountry2016. Perhaps in a rented RV? Winnebago? Or something less likely to break down in the middle of a dessert? Who knows but the (figurative) wheels are starting to turn. Our kids will be 8 and 10 in two years which sounds like the perfect time to force some good old fashioned family fun on them. I’d love to hear about your own cross country adventures!

7. My sister sent me a birthday package this week which proves how well she knows me. First, it was late. I appreciate that very muchly in a gift. Second, it contained jewelry and a yellow (check!) vintage (check!) cake tin (check! check!). Gift giving is not something I naturally excel at which leaves me even more in awe at my sister’s exceptional talent for it.

8. My running girls set out for a 5 miler this morning but took a wrong turn. We ended up tacking an extra 1/2 mile onto our run that led us through a construction zone filled with workers waiting for their shift to start. The blank stares of a dozen+ men as we strode by was too much for me to handle so I livened them up a bit with some hearty morning greetings (“look alive fellas! look alive!”). They applauded. And then I borrowed their port-a-potty. Never a dull moment.

9. In other news, my running partners may disown me.

10. There are still a few slots left for Minisessions for Miracle Babies next week benefiting the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. If you’re looking for an opportunity to update your family’s portraits while benefiting a fabulous cause, get in touch. (erin at erincobb dot com)

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