Pregnancy. We found out in May that our family would soon grow. Although this came kind of early in our marriage, it was very much planned. After much consideration, we really felt like the time was right to introduce a little one into the Cope world. As far as the actual pregnancy goes, I’ve been very lucky. I haven’t been sick once. The biggest thing I had to deal with was a physical aversion to prenatal vitamins—they gave me an upset stomach. I also had some morning dizziness earlier in pregnancy, and I’ve had to deal with some back pain lately. All in all, I’ll take it. Especially when comparing my woes to others, this baby growing has been a breeze! I’m loving being the mother of our little fetus. After about 4 months, we finally had a doctor’s appointment (there was a lot of chaos and confusion with insurance companies and, later, Medicaid). At that first appointment, we easily discovered the sex of our baby boy. Dr. Reider put the goop on my belly and the minute he found an image, Ben said, “Oh! It’s a boy!” Dr. Reider agreed. Way to go, little buddy! His gender was confirmed later on in the pregnancy when we went in for a 3D ultrasound.
4th of July. Our 4th was pretty low key. We went over to the Buckners and had a fun BBQ with them, the Jones’s, Gibby’s, Lundgren’s, and missionaries. The food was SUPERB. Ben brought over our badminton set and there were some serious matches going on in the front yard.
Blossom. We did our firework celebrations at Blossom this year (the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra). On the 3rd of July, we drove down to hear the orchestra play a stars and stripes forever tribute and the 1812 Overture. Ben bought season tickets for us, so we enjoyed a few shows at Blossom including Pirates of the Caribbean (we watched the movie, the orchestra played the score), Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and other classical composers.
St. Louis. In the middle of July, we took a weekend roadtrip down to St. Louis for the marriage of our dear friend Erin Ringling (now Vernon). Beautiful ceremony. Beautiful couple. They played The Beatles at their reception and we sent them off with sparklers blazing. Plus, we got through Harry Potter 7 in the car, just in time for the movie to come out.
Harry Potter. Speaking of our scarred friend, Ben and I were very involved in his life through most of the spring and summer. We like to read aloud to each other and after we finished The Hunger Games trilogy, we decided to plough through the Harry Potter series in preparation for the final movie’s premier in July. As we finished each book, we would watch the associated movie and bask in the brilliance of the story. We absolutely LOVED the final movie. It was easily the best of the series. Bless you, J.K. Rowling, for bringing something so beloved into the lives of so many!!
Rachael and Kory and Margaret. We had a visit from our long lost relatives where we got to meet our new niece, Margaret Klein. She was named after her auntie and is a super cute little nugget (literally--she's tiny!). We took a trip to Kirtland, visited the West Side Market, and hung out around town. It was really fun having them stay with us for a few days. Our other siblings should follow their examples...
Texas & Peru. Ben and his buddy Nathan organized a new humanitarian dental trip for Case Western, and this was its inaugural year. While he traipsed off to Peru for an amazing and very successful experience, I took the opportunity to go visit my family in Texas. The trip began with a flight to Colorado where Mom and I visited Sal and Dalis and the babies. Mom was on a roadtrip with Aline and the boys, so we got in the car and drove back to Texas with them. We made lots of fun stops, watched a ton of movies, and listened to the audio version of The Help. Texas was hot and dry and full of fun. Trips home mean Mexican food, shopping, movies, and all sorts of fun things that are out of the norm. This trip we did something especially unusual: Mom hosted a baby shower for me. It was still too early in pregnancy to tell what we were going to have, but we had a fun gathering filled with neutral colored gifts and friends from the ward.
Fruit flies. Fruit flies have dominated my kitchen, bathroom, and life for the better part of the summer and into the fall. I. dislike. them. I’ve tried traps, apple cider vinegar, and our all-time favorite, sucking them up with the vacuum hose. I don’t know when they’ll choose to move out, but it will be a happy day in our home when that happens!
Ward campout. I really like our ward. We had a fun campout activity this year. They divided us into different campsites so that we could meet new people and mingle. It was pretty low key, but we had a blast. Ben and I brought weenies to roast and we made a delicious peach cobbler in our Dutch oven. We LOVE camping and were happy to put our camping equipment to good use. In the morning, the ward provided amazing homemade breakfast burritos. Ben and I went on a walk before got breakfast. We stumbled upon the breakfast site and got roped into helping (not that we minded in the least). I was in charge of heating all the tortillas (the uncooked kind)—SO YUMMY!
Cait’s Wedding. Weekend of September 3rd = happiness. Caitlyn Savage Anderson and Bradley James Turner got hitched in the Sacramento temple and it was lovely. Not only was it amazing to see my best friend get married to another excellent friend, but we were able to have some serious reunions with friends and family that we hadn’t seen in as long as 3 years (Jolyn Metro!). During the beautiful ceremony I felt baby boy really kicking for the first time. I think he also approves of the union. I was one of the unofficial bridesmaids and we sang a song for Cait and Brad at their luncheon (written by the girls driving out from Utah). We also had a girl’s night slumber party/bachelorette party the night before. Good food, great company, eternal relationships. Oh happy times.
Pittsburgh. A few weekends ago we went on a long-awaited trip to Pittsburgh with our good friends Ryan and Kristy Jones. On the way we stopped at Gander Mtn. and Ben got some fun accessories for his bow. He is getting more and more into archery and is planning a real hunting trip (as opposed to the squirrels and chipmunks he’s sought after previously) in a few weeks. We also bought baby boy a camo onesie—Ben is so proud!! The main purpose of our trip to Pittsburgh was to visit the home décor and organization Mecca, IKEA. I love that place and so does Kristy. (Ben secretly likes it, too). We bought a few things for the house and doodled around the maze of a store. We also went into the city and drove/walked around. Ben bought a 10 lb. bag of rice from an Asian market. Love him.
Indians game. Ben doesn’t really like baseball, but CADA (the Case Alliance of the American Dental Association—a group for those married to/in support of dentists, of which I am a member) was hosting a little gathering at the game, so we went to see the Indians play. It was cold and rainy, but the game was great. Not only was it $1 hot dog night (that almost made up for everything boring about baseball in Ben’s eyes), but it was Jim Thome night. He hit a homerun during the game, and there was a tribute to him involving a SPECTACULAR fireworks show after the game was over. I love fireworks. And the Indians won, by the way.
New Job. Heightsbuzz, our ward’s googlegroup email, is a great provider of information for the ladies of Cleveland, University, and Shaker Heights. One such info-packed email led me to find a new job working at Laurel School in the After School program. I am officially a “Supervised Play and Homework Monitor,” and I love my job. I have 2 other co-workers in addition to the director of the program. We take care of Preschool - 4th graders for 2 ½ hours a day until their parents come to pick them up. I'm in charge of the Preschool kids. We color, play doctor, read books, built lego fortresses, etc. Plus, it's salaried. AND I get to bring baby with me after I come back from maternity leave.
I think that about sums up our summer. We’ve really had an excellent time. Amid the school, work, half-functioning window AC units, and other so-called undesirable aspects of life, we’re happy.
Are we recommitted to updating the blog regularly? I can’t make any promises...