Tigger goes to the dog beach.

I have a few blog posts in the queue from this Summer. Starting with the time we took Tigger to the Panama City dog beach.

We loved it.

He…well, he loved the beach. But the ocean? Well, that’s a different story.

I think this shot pretty much sums up how Tigger felt about the water…

But of course the kiddos wouldn’t rest until he was properly baptized.

so much more.

Today was one of those days.

No, not one of those days.

The other kind.

The kind that make me stop,  and look, and think “if this all there is, I’m okay with that.”

My world just felt filled up with love today. Not for any particular reason at all. Although I can’t deny that the cold white wine in my hand at the end of a long hot day may have had something to do with it. But as I watched my two kiddos playing crossing guard out in the street – one on a bike, one with whistle in hand – and the neighbors started arriving home from work and a pickup round of batting practice broke out and an old friend sat down to chat on my porch stoop, I felt it. That little teeny slice of heaven on earth. That slice that is chock full of gratitude and goodness and a two year old’s gummy grin.

Of course, the best news is that this isn’t all there is. Even in the most wonderful moments there’s so, so much more. I’m fully convinced that there’s so much more waiting for us.

Which makes it a perfect time to share this photo that’s been saved in this blog queue for months now. My sweet Marley Rose on the occasion of her baptism.

Marley Rose – our goddaughter. Daughter of dear friends, child of God. Unbelievably precious, undeniably loved and absolutely blessed.

Marley Rose, may you always know that beyond the goodness this life has to offer there is oh so much more.

ten on tuesday.

1. The whirlwind Summer of 2014 has officially ended. Our neighbors sarcastically refer to our house in Huntsville as our “Winter Home” and this year I think it’s actually earned that distinction. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the nights we spent away from home outnumbered the nights we spent at home by at least 3:1. Insanity.

2. The good news is that school is back in session. I was called out via text by my annoying little brother-type Jake for not posting any back to school shots of my kids on Facebook. I told him I gave the kids away, which shut his texts down pretty fast. The truth is that I just didn’t take any iphone pics…so the back to school post had to wait for this evening’s blog. Oh, and also the fact that I’m in denial that my 1st grader looks like this…

and my third grader looks like this…

3. Each of the kids got to pick out a brand new outfit for their first day back at school. I think I might have worn Sarah’s exact outfit (down to the stonewashed denim) when *I* was in 3rd grade. Ephraim was pretty stoked to find a Minecraft t-shirt that coordinated with his new tennis shoes with laces. He spent all of yesterday determined to learn to tie those babies. And after lots of tears (mostly his), I’m proud to say he can.

4. I’ve been stockpiling ToT bullet points all Summer. Starting with a recipe for Tomato Pudding. OhEmGee. Where has this been all my life?? While on our Isle of Palms vacay in July Samantha, Amy and I headed to Hominy Grill for lunch. The fried chicken was pretty fab, the baseball T that says “Grits are Good” is a new fave, but the Tomato Pudding that happened to be on special the day we stopped in? It’s life changing. Must.make.immediately.

5. This New York Times article about Alabama’s “Pageant King” had me so intrigued.

6. And this Huffington Post piece about gay rights in Alabama made me sad.

7. But this Auburn hype video makes me happy. And super excited. 25 days people. 25 days.

8. Maybe the start of college football season will be the balm I’ll surely need to heal me after Brent and I watch the final two episodes of Friday Night Lights this week. (sob.)

9. There will be big Erin Cobb Photography news on my Facebook page tomorrow. Go ahead and “like” it now to be in the loop.;)

10. Happy 2014 School Year, friends! And to my fellow mamas who are still in the world’s longest homestretch of Summer I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen the promised land and IT IS GOOD!

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.

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