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Hartley Grace

October 10, 2015

Our little girl is here!!

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Hartley Grace Strebeck

October 3 at 11:03 a.m.

8lbs 5oz, 20.5 inches long

When Jordan was growing up, Tom and Lori Hartley treated the Strebeck boys like they were their own kids, and it is our prayer that, from beginning to end, this sweet little girl will have people in her life who care for her and love her like Tom and Lori (and dozens of others along the way) did them. When Jordan texted Lori the morning of October 3 to tell her Hartley was here, Lori said, “that’s the best anniversary present ever!!” I can’t believe Hartley was born on the Hartley’s anniversary! So special.

I want to remember how this sweet girl came into the world, (don’t worry, I’ll spare a few details), so here goes. Friday night, I had a hard time getting to sleep and my mind was wide awake (too much chocolate perhaps?). I had been watching Boone closely because there was a little one in his Children’s Day Out class who was diagnosed with strep and flu, so while I was wide awake, I thought I’d sneak into the boys room and take his temperature. 100.3.

Bummer. So at 8:30 Saturday morning, Jordan took Boone to the doctor (yay for Saturday clinics!) While they were gone, our alarm system had started beeping and I was on the phone with them trying to troubleshoot and whatnot. It was about 9 a.m. when I started thinking I was having contractions. Real ones this time, not that Braxton Hicks business. They were intense, and they were every five minutes apart, and the technical support lady with Vivint was laughing as I had to stop talking to her each time I had a contraction. I texted Jordan and told him after the visit with the pediatrician, we miiiiight need to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the alarm is fixed, my mom is googling how to have a home birth, our sweet friends (the Copelands!!) randomly were in town, so we were all just hanging out until Jordan got back from the doctor. My mom was in town to keep the boys, so Jordan and I headed to the hospital and arrived at 10:15 a.m., and got all checked in and whatnot. I saw the doctor at 10:45 (he left to do a few rounds and was “just a flight of stairs away”), and long story short, a nurse in training delivered Hartley at 11:03 a.m.

It was a crazy whirlwind, but it couldn’t have been more perfect! We’ve been loving our newborn snuggles and squeaks and stretches. And y’all. Jordan is already mush and I’ve even caught him with tears in his eyes while he’s looking at her. It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

Thanks to Jordan and my mother-in-love, we have some pictures from our time at the hospital – it’s only been a week, but already seems like forever ago. My heart melts a million times a day. Cooper is so protective and gentle, and asks to hold her 20 times a day. And when he does hold her, he just stares at her and says adorable things like, “hi hartley, it’s your big brother. I love you so much,” and “you beautiful little grill,” and when she’s twitching or making a sad face in her sleep, he says, “don’t be sad, your big brother is right here.” It kills me. And Boone has been pretty great with her, too. He likes to point out where she is at all times and give her sweet kisses. God is so good to give us these sweet little humans to love.

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It’s safe to say I’m the worst at updating my blog. Maybe one of these days I’ll overload you with tons of photos and stories and whatnot, but for now, I’ll just skip ahead to this past weekend – Cooper and Boone’s birthday party! Cooper turned four, and in a few weeks Boone turns one (which is crazy talk – all of it). Since pretty much all the same people would be invited to each birthday party, I thought we might as well have one big shin dig. And now that it’s over, I’m thinking that’s the way to go (until one of them protests, I guess)!

The REALLY awesome thing about this party is that I met a mom who recently threw her son a construction-themed party, and she hooked me up with construction tape, happy birthday banners, table clothes, etc. I might make sure next year’s birthday party theme is the same as her son’s next birthday :)

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Cooper walked in fashionably late to his party, after his second soccer game of the day. And Coach Jordan somehow didn’t collapse (he’s still recovering from knee surgery), and was on his feet all day trying to keep four-year-olds from tackling people, getting their heads caught in soccer nets, not scoring goals for the other team, etc. Yes, all of those things did happen. Whew. Oh. AND Texas Tech had their spring game IN Midland, and Jordan had to miss it. If that doesn’t show some kind of crazy love for your family, I don’t know what does!

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It was so much fun having friends and family in from out of town, and all of our Midland friends in one place at one time!

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Boone enjoyed his cupcake after easing into it… He was still a little unsure about the whole thing! Cooper ate his usual frosting off the top of the cupcake.

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The next day was his actual birthday. It was so much fun celebrating this little guy. I was reminiscing via Instagram about how Cooper’s third year was such a big year for him… becoming a big brother, dad graduating from HBS, saying sad goodbyes to Boston, making a new home in Midland, and starting school. We’ve had some rough days, but when I sit back and consider all those changes for a three-year-old to go through, I really am impressed by how he’s rolled with the punches. I’m excited to see what another year brings our family!

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I just looked back to see when my last “personal” blog post was… YEAH. When Boone was born!!! He’ll be six months old in a few weeks. I’m a super slacker. But I’m getting back on track, guys. Now that my computer is set up, I almost have a desk, and we’re settling into our groove here in Midland.

So get ready for a big photo dump – I’m going to cruise through the highlights of the last few months.

The Strebecks went to Santa Fe for vacation this summer. It was the perfect set up – a big house for all of us to stay in, a perfect backyard, and the best weather. Oh, and the best people ever, duh.

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Nana and Papa with all the grandkids. There is now one more since this picture was taken!

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Clearly, lots of fun was had.

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We celebrated Nana’s 60’th and the kids sang her N-A-N-A (to the tune of YMCA), Papa shot a coke rocket (I don’t know why I think this picture is so funny… take note of the bluetooth)

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We’ve been loving our home/neighborhood/backyard. These pictures pretty much sum up our summer at home. Coop might have worn a shirt one or two days, I’m not sure. He loves “mowing” the lawn with the baby walker. When he goes to friends’ houses that have real pretend (oxymoron?) mowers, he flips out and that’s all he plays with. I mean, buy the kid a toy mower, right?? I’m trying to be frugal, or something, so a baby walker mower it is.

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Coop and Ames love their dance parties. And Midland has got a ton of rain in the past few weeks. Coop loves going to the end of our driveway and splashing around… oooor straight up sitting in the puddles. Amy had a fun idea – we put popsicle sticks in a bar of soap and had little boat races in the street. Coop loved it!

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Midland county fair, what what!

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The Booths came to Midland! I seriously could have a blog post for this weekend alone, but I’ll practice some self control. For those of you who don’t know the CasaGrande story… The shorter I tell it, the weirder it sounds, so here goes… I worked at Starbucks and Bob frequented Starbucks as he was a bad-A med student. We became Starbucks friends, he invited us over for dinner, we all hit it off and became great friends. Fast forward a bit… They were trying to sell their house in Lubbock, and we just bought a big ol house that we remodeled and were eventually going to sell. So the Booths moved in!! Along with Chris (aka Uncle Jesse) who needed a place to stay. I was pregnant with Cooper, Allison was pregnant with their second girl, McKenna, and we were all one big happy family. So when we all get back together, it is a happy time, I tell ya. So good for the heart. Oh, and if you look closely, Cooper is holding a picture of CasaGrande from 2010. I love how it’s growing!!

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Jennifer (my sister) and Molly came to Midland for a few days, and we had so much fun! T&T donuts (duh), lots of painting, playing outside, chasing Dillon’s duck who we were ducksitting, etc.

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My boys. I love them so.

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My dad (Dude) also came to town for a weekend. It’s always fun having Dude and his ponytail around.

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And my mom has been here a few times. These boys LOVE their Mimi.

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It’s safe to say my boys look nothing alike. But when I put Boone in this outfit, I flashed back to this picture of Jordan and Cooper, and had to get one of Jordan and Boone.

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Cooper started a two-day a week Children’s Day Out program at First Baptist. He loves it!

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We’ve been to Lubbock a handful of times for Tech games. I love how our Lubbock trips turn into seeing dear friends and seeing Jordan’s family, too.

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We went to Fort Worth for my dad’s retirement partay. It was so fun celebrating him and his hard work, and getting to spend time with the fam, too.

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Hil turned 30 in September and we went out for dinner to celebrate. But you just wait… there is a going to be a fun shindig for all of us 30-year-olds soon. WATCH OUT.

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Here is sweet Charlie!! Tracy and Joe’s little pumpkin. Me and the boys popped over to Lubbock one day so we could meet him. Such a sweetheart.

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I just love the Granatwins. Look how cute they are. It’s been so fun living in the same place as them and their cool momma!

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Well kudos to you if you’re still scrolling through this jumbled mess of pictures. It’s been a really great few months, and I just wanted to wrap it all up in one post. We’re so happy to be in Midland, and so thankful for EVERYTHING God has provided – a home, a job, a school for Cooper, amazing friends… But it hit me a few months in, and I realized transition is just hard. No matter how good it is. When your family is uprooted, it’s just going to take some time to be settled and feel like you’re home. Every time I would start to throw a pity party, I’d think, “Brittany, stop it. You have so much to be thankful for.” And that’s so true. But I think it’s also okay to feel a little homesick, or miss friends, or miss the AMAZING BOSTON FALL. So here we are, in this fun/weird/transitiony/exciting time. Transitiony is a word, okay? Okay, I’m out.

Boone

May 24, 2014

I can’t believe my sweet Boone is nearly six weeks old, and he has yet to make his debut on the ol blog. Sorry, kiddo.

Charles Boone is his name… Charles is both on Jordan’s side of the family, and mine as well. AND it’s the name of the river we’ve lived right by for the past two years. But people here say “chaaaals,” and that is SO not how you say that name. Anyhow, we call him Boone (or Charlie Boone, or Boonie boy as Cooper likes to say).

Here’s a brief rundown of how he made his entrance into the world.

My mom had been in town for a week, and we had all been waiting for this little guy. Walking, climbing stairs, praying… Then I had a doctor’s appointment Monday morning to make a game plan, because my OB didn’t want me going past 41 weeks. I told him my mom was leaving town Thursday, so I basically needed to have a baby like now, so she could keep Cooper while we were at the hospital. I may or may not have been talking to my doctor with big hormonal pregnancy tears coming down my face… Haha ohh goodness. The soonest they could schedule me for an induction was Tuesday night, but I was at a three at this point and I was determined he was going to come earlier. We got home, I climbed 10 flights of stairs for funsies, and whuddaya know… I started having contractions around 6 p.m.

We went into the hospital around 8:30 and my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. We were in triage when they told us, “yeah, so you’re going to have a baby tonight, buuuut there aren’t any open labor and delivery rooms right now.” Re-hee-heeally? Well, for some reason I was having high blood pressure readings, and that bumped us up into the next available room. (My blood pressure went down after I had Boone, so it wasn’t anything serious).

After we got settled into our new room, it was kind of a whirlwind from there on out. I wasn’t able to get the epidural right away because we were waiting on blood test results to come back, and boy was I ready for that epidural :) While I was getting my epidural my water broke, and 20 minutes and two pushes later, Boone was here! Born at 10:50 p.m. weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches long.

Boone is amazing. I already can’t imagine our family without him and I’m already so sad he’s not considered a newborn anymore. Time just moves way too quickly!

Cooper is so sweet to Boone and I catch him telling him, “hey boonie boy, your my buddy” all the time. He sings to him, pets him (yes Cooper says ‘may I pet his fur?’ haha! yes buddy, you can touch his hair), and he knows Boone hates the carseat, so when we get in the car, Coop is quick to say, “don’t worry. we about to go. it’s okay.” Ahhh so sweet. I know it’s only the beginning of these sweet brother memories. And I know we’ll have plenty of not sweet brother memories, but we can hold off on that for a while :)

We all know that pictures say it best, so brace yourselves for some pictures of Boone’s first week.

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This was when Cooper first met Boone. He was so giddy about it, and it only took a few minutes before he wanted to show him his excavator.

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My mom was such a huge help. It was so nice knowing that Cooper was safe at home and making fun memories with Mimi while we were in the hospital.

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Some of our sweet friends meeting Boone for the first time.

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Jordan’s mom came to Boston a week after Boone was born. Selena is who you want around after you have a baby! She was always either helping me with something, loving on Boone, or playing with Cooper. A BIG thanks to both of our mommas for loving us so well and sacrificing time to come to Boston to help!

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Cooper’s Donut Party

March 31, 2014

Why does THREE sound so so so old?! Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but man… it was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that our chunky little goofy guy is three (and no longer chunky). It sure has been an awesome three years though. I have loved every second of being this kiddo’s momma. His silly personality makes me laugh all the time, his sensitivity makes my heart melt, and his love for trucks… well, I guess his love for trucks makes me smarter, because I now know the differences between an excavator, back hoe, bulldozer, etc. :)

Cooper is a big fan of donuts. And I was hoping to go for SIMPLICITY with this party, since I’m 38 weeks pregnant and all. So donuts and PJ’s it was! We got all of our donuts from Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont, and they were (and still are) delicious. I’m pretty sure this past weekend will account for this bambino’s plumpness when he’s born.

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I was absolutely loving all the PJs. I think kids in PJs might be the cutest thing ever, and I thought it was flat out fantastic that our adult friends came in theirs, too.2014-03-31_0042014-03-31_0052014-03-31_0062014-03-31_007

This was our attempt at a section J kids picture. Nailed it, huh??

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Lately…

March 14, 2014

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while since I blogged. For you two readers out there, many apologies. You’d think being in Boston for the winter would allow for plenty of indoor, blogging time, but I guess it just doesn’t work that way.

It snowed the day we flew back to Boston from Texas, and with a few snows in between, I THINK it’s almost all melted. Even though I might be a liiiittle sick of it, we definitely have made some fun memories getting bundled and playing in the snow. Hopefully that statement gave you a great visual of a preggo in a puffy coat trying to make a snow angel or something.

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The belly is growing. So much so that I’ve even been asked the ever so polite question of, “are you sure you aren’t having twins?” Yes I’m sure, and thank you. Our sweet little guy has been healthy and will be here in less than four weeks – I can’t even believe it! The top right picture was a random reflection of Coop and I in Harvard Square one day… I felt like it captured Boston in the winter… taxi, snow, puffy coats… And Cooper miiiight love the snow plows even more than the snow, so that’s him pointing out the window, loving life in a crazy way because of the amazing snow plows. The bottom right picture is right before swim class… We have yet to go to a swim class this semester when I don’t have to climb a snow or ice mountain to put quarters in the parking meter. It’s humorous, I tell ya.

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After another big snow, Jordan and Matt built a snow slide and it provided lots of fun for the little and big boys :)

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Then there was Valentine’s Day. This chalkboard was for the Crimson Parents Valentines party, so of course we used it as a prop at home, too.

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I’m pretty sure this was the first time Cooper rode his scooter (it was a Christmas present from Nana and Papa) outside… Our apartment hallway has kind of become his scooter territory. AND this was the first day we could get by without our huge puffer coats. Exciting day I tell ya! We also went for a fun trip to the Cambridge Fire Station. Always a hit.

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Coop is officially potty trained! His many faces would come out as he was attempting, but now that he’s a big boy, he tends to “needs some privacy.” He’s about to turn three. What in the world?!

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My boys are so handsome.

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And then Ames and Chris came to Boston! Actually, our friends Amy and Jeff came last weekend, but I was apparently a terrible picture taker because I have ZERO pictures of them here. So sad. But we loved having them here. Ames and Chris both had spring break this past week, so they came to spend it with us!

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We went to the Avett Brothers concert, did lots of hanging out in sweats, walked into Harvard Square a few times, and ended their trip with a Celtics game. One of the days they were here, it was 50 degrees and sunny, and I made them eat frozen yogurt outside… I maybe got a little too excited, but it was a fun glimpse of what is to come :)

Every time Ames and I have to say our goodbyes, we talk about when we’ll get to see each other next.. I can’t even believe that the next time I see her, it’ll be because we will be MOVING TO MIDLAND. CRAZYYYY!

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Christmas Break Recap

January 25, 2014

It sure is fun having a hubby in school – you get to have a five week break for Christmas!! I don’t even know where to begin… we stayed with friends and family all over Texas and New Mexico, and it was so so so good. Lots of sunshine, laughs, and unloading/loading the pickup… Jordan is my hero.

Flying with Cooper these days is pretty enjoyable – he thinks planes, movies and snacks are all very awesome, so that makes for a really fun travel day.

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The second day we were in Lubbock, the sun was shining and it was nearly 70 degrees.. I can’t even explain how wonderful that sunshine felt!!

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While we were in Lubbock, we rode the Polar Express – it was Coop’s big Christmas present. It’s really pretty adorable. Train ride + hot chocolate + cookies + Santa (although Coop doesn’t really love Santa much).

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Speaking of Santa… The picture on the left was our Santa pic from last year (which Ellen totally instagrammed!!). We had a little improvement this year (on the right).

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Of course we had to have Roomie Christmas!!! Guys. This was our TENTH annual Roomie Christmas. It started when we were sophomores in college and I absolutely love that no matter where we all live, we make Roomie Christmas happen. The guys got to be a part of it this year, too (aka they watched us open presents and then I made them take pictures).

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Then onto Clovis! So much fun with all the cousins/brothers/sisters/etc.

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Uncle Layne is obviously A LOT of fun.

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We went on a babymoon to Fredericksburg, TX, and Jordan found a sweet little cottage for us to stay in for a few nights. After eating our way through Fredericksburg for a few days, we made a pit stop on the way home to surprise the Booths… it was so fun to see them!

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We spent a few more days in Lubbock, then back to Midland to look at houses (because we’re moving to MIDLAND in June!). Hil and I realized the next time we see each other, we’ll be holding our sweet new babies! So of course we took a belly pic.

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Then onto Fort Worth (is this getting so boring yet??) Jordan’s brother Layne (the fun Uncle on the trampoline) was in the Rodeo, and we had so much fun cheering him and his team on! They got second overall – pretty awesome.

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A few random pics I took of this little guy… he’s really perfecting the grouchy face, don’t you think??

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My niece, Molly, had her first birthday party while we were in town – Molly’s Winter ONEderland. Adorable.

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Amy, Allison and I had a little Colleyville reunion and got to catch up, eat candy, and laugh at our kids. SO so fun.

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And here we are, on the way back to Boston. We flew home to lots of snow and freeeeezing cold. But I’ll be honest, it’s been nice not living out of a suitcase :)

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Thanks to everyone who opened their homes to our little family while we were nomads – it really did our hearts good to see so many of our peeps. Now, we just need to finish out this semester strong, find a house in Midland, have a baby, graduate, and move to Texas!

That’s right, folks. Amy has won the award for most frequent visitor in Beantown. And it’s a good thing she has, because when she’s here, life is just better.

We went to the zoo one day, and it just so happened that they were having a halloween-themed weekend. Since Thomas the Train wasn’t quite ready to make his appearance, we turned Cooper into a nerd.

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The zoo was fun and we got some “treats” aka granola bars (is this a Boston thing??). Don’t get me wrong – we totally ate all the granola bars!

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Another day we went Candlepin Bowling! We had never been, but it’s such a fun New England thing to do. It’s similar to bowling, but the pins are skinnier and the balls are smaller.

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Coop had fun bowling, but the highlight was riding the motorcycle with Dad. Now he knows that those things actually do cooler things when you put money in them – greeeeeeaat.

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And of course we went apple picking!

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I love this picture so much.

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During the rest of Amy’s time here, we took selfies (apparently), lounged around in our sweats, drank coffee, and finally got to watch Parenthood together – good times for sure.

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Jen in Boston

November 1, 2013

Let’s continue the visitor-fest of Fall 2013!!

I’m writing this as our last visitor (Jordan’s brother) flew out this morning. It’s a little strange having the apartment to ourselves, and Cooper is wondering who is going to stay with us next and give him extra attention and love. We miss our peeps already!!

My sister, Jennifer, came last week with her sweet daughter, Molly. We had so much fun! First off, can you believe this was our view on the way home from the Apple Orchard?! Unreal.

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Here we are apple picking. Coop is the most excited.

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Other than going apple picking, we really just hung around – went to parks, walked around Harvard Square, caught up on life. It was a sweet, sweet time.

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Ju-ju in Boston

October 30, 2013

Ohhh sweet Julia. Where do I even begin with this one. When I first met Julia, she was a middle-schooler with braces and now she’s graduated from college. How in the world did that happen?! Her family is so special to me – they were my family in Lubbock and they even let me live with them for a few months. We were so excited to have juju come visit us here in Boston – what is Coop going to do when all of his entertainment leaves?!

We went canoeing on the Charles River – turns out we aren’t the best canoers, but we still had fun and it was GORGEOUS. And by the way, Coop never smiles at the camera – so get ready for lots of those kinds of pictures.

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Julia touching John Harvard’s left shoe (because that’s just what you do), and then we had a lovely picnic.

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Good times on the Harbor – playing sharks and whatnot. Isn’t Julia so entertaining?!

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This was at Mount Auburn Cemetary – prettiest place ever.

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The Head of the Charles was taking place while Julia was here, so it was fun to see so many boats going by and people cheering the rowers on. Brendan joined us for this little outing – he and Coop were trying to get the best view possible :)

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Thanks so much for coming to see us, my little jubean!!

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