2011,  April,  Brayden,  Easter,  Family,  Hanleigh,  Vacation

The Cooper Culmination: Conquering the Bridge, a New Cousin, and Calgon

April 2011April began with a race to the finish…the Cooper River Bridge Run, that is. And, I made pretty darn good time (for me), I might add. I beat my best time by six minutes, for a finishing time of one hour, three minutes (that’s a 10-minute, nine-second mile). I must admit that I was quite proud of myself. And, I didn’t even cry this year thanks to my iPod being stuck on the same five songs over and over. And somehow or another (I was probably running low on sleep), I have now decided to join some friends next March for a St. Patty’s Day half-marathon. That will be a story for another day in less than a year when I refer to myself as “I-can’t-walk-and-everything-hurts-Becca”. Now, I digress. Trent also did amazingly well and ran the 10k in less than one hour (59 minutes). I guess going to the gym for a few months actually pays off. Who knew? Thanks to Grandma Jones and Aunt Susan for taking care of our girls while Trent and I enjoyed a nice, adult-only vacation.

We spent some of the weekends at birthday parties and having dinners with friends. One cloudy Saturday, the skies turned a very eerie shade of gray with rain and winds shortly followed by a mass outbreak of tornadoes. There was about a 45-minute period where I was on edge and not saying much of anything to anyone in my household. The closest tornado was about three miles east of us. We were very lucky not to have received any damage, but it was scary nonetheless. I wish I could say the same about a lot of families in NC…some weren’t as fortunate. I even had some coworkers whose homes had trees fall onto them and one whose home was literally being sucked off the concrete slab by a tornado while the family crouched down together in a closet, only to be unsuccessful in lifting the home…thank goodness. All of this happened on a night when I had planned to meet Kendall out in downtown Raleigh and was close to heading out to do so. Sometimes Mother Nature has other plans, though. Someone was watching over us that night, for sure. And typical for the day after a nasty storm, it was absolutely beautiful. So, we ventured to Goldsboro to the Wings over Wayne air show at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. We all donned our trendy earplugs and enjoyed watching jets fly overhead. Trent can name them all just by looking at them. I, on the other hand, just call them planes (Becca: “Hey, look another plane.” Trent: “Hey, look there’s four F-16 jets with a couple of SR-126j’s”…I made that last one up.).

We spent a lovely, long weekend in warm St. Petersburg, FL with Mimi (GG) and Dadaw. As most of you know, they love to eat and I was forewarned by Kyle before we left (“Try not to gain the “Mimi/Dadaw 5”…as in five pounds). It was Hanleigh’s first time in a pool and she loved it. Brayden continued to work on her swimming, we ate some delicious seafood, visited Pass-A-Grille Beach, and the Easter Bunny paid us an early visit, too. We always have such a relaxing time there when we visit. How can you not when you are sitting on the screen porch with a pool and the bay in plain view? Calgon, take me away. We returned for an Easter Egg hunt in our front yard, a musical at the girls’ school, and attended the Spring Daze Festival in Cary.

But, wait…isn’t there more, you might ask? This month sounds so typical…what’s the deal? Are you forgetting something? Why yes…only the fact that WE ARE NOW AN OFFICIAL AUNT AND UNCLE! And, Brayden and Hanleigh are now cousins! Yes, Mr. Cooper Aaron Hall blessed us with his presence on Wednesday, April 27. Proud parents are Kyle and Erin, and man, are they proud! That little stinker was breach so he was delivered via C-section and everyone is doing wonderful. I haven’t met him yet (happening very soon), but from photos I think he has Erin’s eyes and the rest of the face resembles Kyle. Jury is still out until I see him in person, though! I couldn’t be more happy for them and I can’t wait to get my hands on the little man. Even more so, I am excited for Cooper, Brayden, and Hanleigh to play together, warding off neighbors with sticks, holding turtles, passing out from the sight of blood while Cooper is enthralled by it, calling “Tartar gate”, and laughing just like Kyle, Abby, and I did growing up. I consider Abby like a sister because we are so close and had such a great childhood together. I can only wish the same for all these new little ones. Brings a tear to my eye. Ok, enough sap. I just love the babies…do you blame me?

Hanleigh is now clapping, blowing raspberries, sitting up and pushing herself forward on the ground (scooting) for mobility. And, in true visiting-St.-Pete-style, she unveiled her first tooth on 4/19, just days prior to our trip (Brayden did the same thing). Little H also battled her third ear infection (another lovely genetic trait they’ve inherited…ears that don’t drain). However, even when her ears are bothering her, it doesn’t interfere with her happy temperament much, so we really appreciate that.


  • Brayden: “Kissing is gross.” Becca: “When is it gross?” Brayden: “When you and Dad kiss. It’s not gross when you kiss me. “
  • Brayden has a good friend at school, Landen, who teaches her all about Star Warms. She blocks her hands in front of her and says, “Force field!” and also “Emperor Palpatine is a silly name for a bad guy.”
  • One of her daily report cards from one of her teachers said, “Brayden was so cute. She found a seed or something and she shared it with me and said, ‘Look, I found nature’.”
  • After the tornadoes and storms, there was a mysterious yellow tuft of something on our walkway. Brayden said, “What’s that?” I said, “I have no idea.” She said, “But, you’re a mom!” (apparently moms are supposed to know everything). I later realized it was insulation that had been blown our way from an unfortunate home victimized by the tornadoes.
  • Trent couldn’t find the weather forecast for Monday on his phone, so Brayden says, “Well, I guess school is cancelled.” “Why?” “Because Daddy couldn’t find Monday on his phone.”

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