Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blessing #7.......

I had baby #6 on September 4, 2013.  It was my first natural labor and after the labor I was SET on the fact that I will not be having another child for a LONG TIME!  I was set on finishing my degree and getting our new house together before I had to go through a dreaded pregnancy again.  Well...God had other plans.

On Christmas Eve 2013, I started to have some complications that were unexpected and sent me to the Emergency Room.  I was in COMPLETE SHOCK when they let me know that I WAS in fact pregnant, and I quote, "you ARE pregnant, but JUST barely!  It can go either way at this point!"

I left the hospital and spent the rest of the evening trying to decide on a name for that baby for when I miscarried because I know my body and the only other time it acted up like that was when I lost our Baby Joy.  Before bed that night I prayed over my stomach that God would protect our child, and that he would forgive me for not wanting another precious gift!  Then I prepared myself emotionally for the worse.

At the hospital they took my HCG levels.  In order to turn a test positive they have to be a 25; mine was a 28!  I was told to call first thing Monday- go in and get another HCG test so that they can see if it doubled.  I took the test that Monday and had to wait three days for the results!!  When they came back they had almost tripled!!  I was told that is a great sign but take it easy and we will have to wait for an ultra sound in 30 more days!!  The wait was TORTURE!!!

Finally today was the day....

I went into the midwifes office and got ready for the Ultrasound.  She kept staring at the screen like something was wrong at first and my heart was pounding out of my chest!  Then she let me know that she could see the baby...but it was not a clear photo and she needed me to get dressed and move next door to the doctors office because he had a better ultrasound machine.  When we got set up in there my midwife says, "I thought I was seeing two heartbeats on the other machine but the image wasn't very good!"  The doctor looks around for what seemed like FOREVER, then says, "I'm only seeing one, unless there is one hiding somewhere."  Then they looked a little longer and it was decided they were PRETTY sure there was only one, but I'm to come back in a few weeks to have another ultrasound when the baby is a little bigger.  But the best part of all-  There was a heartbeat!!!!  My prayers were all answered in that one moment when I saw that little beat of a heart!

So we will know better on the exact due date at the next ultrasound but we know we will be expecting our sweet blessing #7 this September!!!  Thank you Lord for a healthy baby!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My struggle with weight loss....

For the last 8 years I have been pregnant for 238 weeks!  My battle with weight loss began during my first pregnancy.  That was the most I've gained in any of my pregnancies and I have yet to lose it all!  As my waste began to expand and my wardrobe got smaller, so did my personality.  When my husband and I first met I was a tiny little bubbly outspoken firecracker who was not afraid of anything!  I remember the first time I was alone with Nathan after knowing him for only weeks, I looked him in the eye and said something like, "you have got to get your life right, you are running from God and you better stop it!"  I don't know why in the world he thought that was so attractive but I guess my honesty was something he found he needed in his life at the time.  At that time I was a small group leader, worship leader, I had the occasional solo on a Sunday morning and I had great confidence.

As years went on, I began pulling back.  I became more and more self conscious of my weight, more shy, quieter, introverted.  Every Sunday morning I was in tears for hours trying to find something to wear so that I didn't look like an idiot sitting next to my husband (who was on staff) in the front row of the church.  I dropped out of choir (initially for other reasons but never went back), and when our church decided to go on television-I stopped going to church!  To be completely fairm that wasn't the ONLY reason I stopped going to church, but it played a good role.  Everyone around me at church had amazing outfits, and the Choir stopped wearing robes and the thought of seeing my huge self on the big screen on Sunday morning was a bit repulsive!  I began feeling so insecure that even going to stores on the arm of my handsome husband, who is frequently mistaken for Keanu Reeves, began messing with my mind.  I would watch peoples expressions and make up their dialog in my head, "WOW did you see that hot guy with that huge woman!  What a waste!!"  While I knew that I was valuable to God, and my husband loved me still,  I personally hated looking at myself in the mirror.  I learned that if I didn't look in the mirror much or take photos, then my mind automatically viewed myself as skinny, and that was the point of view that I wanted!

Problem was every time I had a window of opportunity to lose weight, I got pregnant!  Seriously, I would drop 5-10lbs and a week later- I'm pregnant!  Happened EVERY time!  So that was always my excuse, "well I'm pregnant, so I can't diet!"  They tell you it is unhealthy to diet while pregnant.  However, I just find it hard to believe it is healthy to be pregnant, overweight, and gaining weight!  But I stuck to my doctors advice and did not diet.  With each baby I added at least an extra 10lbs to my weight loss goal.

When we first got married I was not a cook.  I could make Ramon, Spaghetti, and a mean sandwich and bowl of cereal but a cook I was not.  We ate out A LOT!!  It was more convenient, tasted way better than I could make, and plus when I lived at home we NEVER got to eat out much!  As our family began to grow, I struggled to cook more.  It was more cost effective but still a very hard thing for me.  I never knew anything about nutrition, I didn't even know that it was THAT bad for you to eat out all the time.  I figured a salad now and then and we are golden!  It took me a few years but within 5 years I finally mastered the art of cooking to where my kids and husband ONLY wanted me to cook dinner and didn't even want to order out anymore!  And by then it was too late!

Nathan had high Cholesterol and was pre-diabetic and I had gestational diabetes with all my children and was overweight.  It was time to RE-LEARN how to cook again!!  I read a few books on nutrition, and heart healthy diets and I came to the conclusion that "God's way is the best way!"  While they tell you that heart healthy diets were low fat diets, there was just something in me that said NO, that is NOT natural!  So I got rid of all processed foods, boxed foods except for occasional pasta and rice, only bought frozen and fresh veggies and occasionally canned beans, but my recipes were the same thing over and over!  And my weight would start and stop and stay right where it was.  So I began to get upset and frustrated!  I wasn't seeing any visible results!  And then I came across Trim Healthy Mama!

There wasn't a lot of stuff out there that told you what the diet was about, but there was a lot of great reviews and amazing looking foods on pinterest, so I decided I needed to look into that book!  I bought the book and received it within two weeks!  I am still working my way through (as it is 600 pages long) but I'll get there slowly!  I began doing THM two weeks ago and will never look back!  So far I've lost a total of 3lbs in two weeks, bringing my total weight loss to 15lbs!  The great thing about this diet is that #1 it is safe to do while pregnant and nursing, #2 it has increased my milk supply, usually by now I'm lucky to still be nursing once a day!  #3 You still get to eat tasty foods, and Chocolate!!  This book teaches you how to pair your foods so that it keeps your blood sugars from spiking and causing weight gain!  This book is full of wonderful recipes!

I've become such a food snob in the last few months leading up to THM, and now I'm even worse!  When I lived in Ky my favorite restaurant was Steak n' Shake!  Living here there is no Steak n' Shake anywhere.....until now!  After we closed on the house Friday we went by there for a celebration dinner!  I ordered my old usual, cheese fries, frisco melt, and chili.  I was so excited to finally taste that amazing meal after 10 years!!  I started with the chili, it was good, but there was something missing...the taste was off and not how I remembered.  Then there was the fries.  You can never go wrong with their shoe string fries smothered in cheese sauce- they were gross!  Greasy and the cheese tasted like a can!  By the time I got to the burger- the one thing that tasted decent- I couldn't eat it because I was already grossed out!  I came home and had me a wasa cracker with cream cheese and sliced turkey.  I felt miserable after that meal and it was not worth it at all!  That was the first time we've eaten out in over a month!

Moving to this new house has really helped me with the process of eliminating fast food.  We have ZERO places around us that is convenient!  I cannot call Nathan and ask him to pick up something on his way home anymore because it is faster for me to just cook something!!  My point in sharing all of this is that I want to encourage other women and let them know that I know first hand how debilitating being overweight can be.  I know how challenging it can be to want something convenient and tasty and how the words "lets just grab something while we're out" were a part of my every day vocabulary!  This book was a life saver for me!  It has become a lifestyle of eating and not just a diet!  It has only been 2 weeks but Already I've noticed a huge difference just in my energy levels and confidence!  If you are looking for a diet that is going to change your life, please order your book today, and join the facebook page!!  With this diet there is no excuses during pregnancy and nursing...the weight can still healthily come off!  What an answer to prayer!        

Sunday, January 12, 2014

10 Reasons I CHOOSE to Submit to My Husband...........

Submitting to my husband is a CHOICE that I've made as his wife.  It's not something that he has forced me to do, or something that he expects me to do but something that I WANT to do!  Here is why....

1.  I am a very strong willed person.  I can be very opinionated and passionate about certain subjects and because of this I'm absolutely certain I had quite my share of temper tantrums when I was a kid!  Sometimes I need someone to make me humble.  I need someone to say, "Hey, you are wrong and you need to sit there and think about what you've done!"  (not that my husband actually says this) But I need that balance in my life of someone else who shares the same passions but isn't afraid to tell me when I need to "simma' down" a bit, or even at times, get more up in arms!  

2. I respect and honor my husband.  He is a very intelligent man who has inspired me immensely to go after my dreams.  I believe in him just as he believes in me.  I have learned so much from our conversations and debates and never stop learning from him.  He has taught me so many things about the bible and even just life in general.  

3. My husband respects me.  He holds me in high regard like his very own princess.  He really listens to the things I talk to him about and he never pushes me to the side because he is too busy.  I come first in his life after the Lord and his love for me is obvious.  

4.  He is my best friend.  We shop together, laugh together, have children together, eat meals together, do laundry together, clean the house together, pray together, and worship the same God together.  

5.  It creates unity in our home.  Submitting to my husband isn't what the world thinks it is.  It's not just me sitting back and keeping quiet and letting him make all the decisions.  It is being partners, having respect for each other so much that you don't WANT to make a decision without consulting the other person.  I am not required by my husband to ask him before I make a decision, I love him and value him so much that I WANT to include him in all my decisions.  For the most part we talk about everything together and we make decisions together!  If there is ever a situation where we do not agree (which never happens) then my husband will get the final say.  I don't have to like it, but that is the way it will be.  

6.  God says!

Ephesians 5:22-24: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

But God also says:

Ephesians 5:25; Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

YES!! My husband is commanded to have so much love for me that he would die for me just as Christ died for our sins.  

7.   Because my husband loves me this much he would NEVER be bossy, rude, conceited, or selfish with the fact that I have chosen to be a submissive wife to him, but he is thankful, gentle, thoughtful, and receptive to all my opinions, passions, and temper tantrums!! 

8.  It is healthy for us to learn how to serve others besides ourselves.  Being submissive not only  has brought us closer together as husband and wife but it has taught both of us how to think of the other before ourselves.  He is always putting my needs before his, and I him.  Sure there are times we let ourselves get a bit selfish but because we have a great relationship where we can say, " hey I think that was a little selfish" to one another...we usually get right back on track.

9.  It keeps the sparks alive.  Well, we have 6 kids...need I say more?  :)   We love each other more today than we did the day we got married.  Because I've CHOSEN to be submissive it causes my husband to value me and adore me.  When you have someone who thinks of you first in all things, it makes you want to do the same for them and that can be very attractive!

10.  We have a great marriage.  Neither of us feels insecure, nor do we ever bring up the "D" word in our arguments.  We have disagreements, and get angry at one another BUT we know that in the end we will always have someone to hug and make up with when it is all over.  

You see being submissive is a JOY!  It doesn't steal away my rights as a woman or an individual but it brings me JOY as a wife, friend, and Child of God.  Trust me it was a struggle in the beginning and even now some days it still is, but the rewards and blessings that come out of our marriage is more than worth it.  

Friday, January 10, 2014


Well folks....After 486 days of waiting, fighting, and praying- WE OWN OUR HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 3:00pm Today, Nathan, I and the girls met up with our Realtor, and for the first time since this started over a year ago, were able to meet the other people who have helped with the fight to get us our house!!  We had an amazing Loan officer who not only did everything she could to get us a fantastic rate, but also prayed with us through the entire process, as well as an Attorney and Realtor who did the same! We had tons of family and friends praying for us as well!  God had given us an army of saints who rallied behind us in our time of need!!  There were LONG hours, and days, and tears, and prayers for our home and in the End, God came through EVERY TIME!!  The Lord put in my spirit from the first day we saw this house that it was ours, and we didn't stop fighting until it happened!  I am so thankful for these people who stood behind us during this long draining and discouraging process....but I pray that it helped to strengthen their faith and that they were able  to see the face of God working in our lives along the way!

I have never in my life experienced such miracles over and over, one after another before.  I've come to see that God has everything planned out for us and had his own agenda for when and how it is going to happen.  I went through a period of time the last few years where the whole world was a dark place and the presence of God in my life was really hard to find.  I would cry out to the Lord daily in the midst of that darkness but the light was always so hard to find.  God has used an amazing chain of events from our baby Joy that we lost, to the birth of our baby Vaerity, and now the whole house situation to teach me that I can not control my own life!  I HAVE to rely on Him and only Him for guidance, because He is the only one in this world who knows what they are doing!  God does so many things that are hard to understand in our lives, but if there were no suffering there would be no need for the Lord.  "His strength is made perfect in our weakness."

After our closing we drove to Steak n Shake for a Celebration dinner!  When we got home we had a surprise waiting for us!!  It was the PERFECT ending to our long journey!!  Thank you Lord for all you've done for us!!  "My God has supplied all our needs"

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

House update.......we are ALMOST THERE!!!

Well, the last house update was back in November.  We ended up on the news and the Senator even stepped in to help us after the house was being put up for auction.  Since then, after a ton of prayer- we finally received approval from the first mtg company; however, we could not move forward because we had to yet again get the 2nd mtg. holder to approve the sale again and it seemed like they were taking their time.

The biggest issue coming up was that our home inspection was expiring on January 10th and that would mean that we would have to pay another 450.00 to get it done again!  Our loan officer was able to get some type of extension on it but it would still cost us another 100.00!  It was obvious since yesterday was the 6th that we weren't going to be able to close by friday!

Last night before bed, I prayed and asked God to again take this over.  I asked him to please allow us to close before it expired so that we didn't have to waste anymore money!  

We received an email this morning from our loan officer stating that she re-calculated the days and our home inspection does not expire until the 16th!!!!  Then an hour ago I received another email from our attorney that the 2nd mtg. had been approved!!!  (talk about late in the midnight hour!) 

If  I've learned anything through this process it is  how important it is to have an ARMY of God's Children around us to pray for us!!  I know we had hundreds of people praying for us and our house situation and I am beyond thankful that Christ would give us so many amazing people in our lives who care so much about our well being......

We are ALMOST there!!!  Thank you LORD for answered prayers!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cooper Family 2013 Review...

So each year I like to write a little blog post, kinda like a New Years Letter to not only let our friends and family know about what we did last year but also to reflect on the things that God taught us in our lives this year.  No year is ever complete without having a learning experience from the Lord and for our family 2013 was JUST that!

Pumpkin (7), will be having her 8th birthday in almost 30 days!  She has shown a more grown up side this past year and I cannot believe she is no longer my little baby!  This year I have witnessed all our labor and hard work molding her into a child who LOVES the Lord, pay off!  She is very strong about telling people that she isn't allowed to do something that she knows mom and dad wouldn't approve of, she has become very honest to where I know I can believe whatever she tells me and I know she wouldn't tell a lie.  She is so helpful around the house and always completes her chores happily without complaint!  She is in 2nd grade this year and is doing so well with her work!  She is definitely better at spelling and math than I ever was!

Little Bear (6), is in first grade this year, she is doing really well in math and does all her work very well.  She is my little fashionista and is always designing new outfits and hairstyles for the other kids.  She has stepped up this year as my "little mommy."  She LOVES the babies and has a sweet way about her where they all just love her!  She loves to hold the baby and rock her, and speaks so sweetly to Goobies and helps with changing diapers without me asking her at all.  I've made a point to not ask them to change diapers or take care of the babies because I just feel that it is my job to do those things, but she loves to help with the babies.  She has also started to blossom as such an encourager.  She loves to make Nathan and I little notes here and there to tell us how much she loves us and cares about us.

Hobble-bobble (4) is starting to hear her conscience.  Used to be, when the little ones would start getting into things they shouldn't, she was right there next to them doing the same thing.  But now she come to us and tells us that they are doing wrong instead of joining in.  This year she is too young to do school with us so she does learning websites online.  She has actually learned to read this way!  She has started reading easy stuff and really enjoys learning.  She has been begging me to start Kindergarten this year but I'm determined to wait till she is 5 so that I can group her with Sweet-Pea and do K with both of them next year like I did with Pumpkin and Little Bear.

Sweet-pea (3) has had a blast playing in our new house!  She is OBSESSED with Twilight-sparkle on My Little Pony, and the color purple.  This kid would watch My Little Pony 24/7 if I let her!  She has started trying to be "mommy's little helper" especially when I'm in the kitchen.  She loves to feel like a big girl and loves to help make dinner and treats for the whole family!

Goobies (2) still has a love affair with her passy.  This child is the ONLY child I've had who was A. attached to a passy, and B. had one past 1 year.  When she turned 1, she picked up a passy that she found one day and I haven't been able to get it away from her since.  This coming year we will be starting to phase out her passy!  She is also in the temper tantrum stage.  She HATES to be told no and it begins with a soft whine and ends with  full out spread eagle on the floor!  LOL  Gotta love the two's!
Baby Dumplin' (4mo) is doing great!  She is still nursing and growing.  She has taken a love to a new bear lovey we bought her for Christmas and will sleep well as long as it is touching her cheek.  She is sleeping through the night now and has recently put herself on a every three hour schedule with her feedings.  She is itching to sit up and look around so she also got a bumbo seat for Christmas as well to help her with that longing.

Nathan & I are doing great, our marriage is wonderful and our love for each other grows with each passing day.  His back pain is off and on now- some days it seems under control but others he is in a lot of pain.  We've been researching other natural remedies to help him with it and are still in the process of that.  I will be starting classes back through LU Online in a few weeks and looking forward to continuing my degree.

Our family has gone through a ton to ups and downs this year with trying to purchase our new house, but we've also seen God do so many miracles in the process.  We put the initial contract on it in October of 2012, and had to have that contract re-approved three times.  It was even put on the auction block and we were only notified 24 hours before hand.  We were on Channel 6 news twice and Senator Tim Kain stepped in to help us save the house!  Only God could have made all that happen for us!  Our girls were able to watch God's hand at work this year as we prayed as a family daily, asking God to give us this home and one by one he answered each and every one of them!  We still have yet to close on the house, but we've been living here for 4 months now!  We have complete faith that God will make this happen for us in 2014!  If there is anything we've learned this year about the Lord it is that he is FAITHFUL!  God WILL supply all of our needs!  HIS plan is the best plan, not our own.  But most importantly we've had to learn to let go of our own plans and realize that God is always in control...good, or bad, we are always right where he wants us to be right when we need to be there!!  After three years of heart ache, and even at times (for me) questioning if God was even hearing me, He has shown his face to us this year!  Any doubts I ever had about God before have all been blown away this year.  Through everything we've gone through we just kept holding on and saying and believing that "God is in Control!"   And thank GOD that he was!

We are looking forward to 2014- we KNOW that God has HUGE plans in store for us again this year, and even though those plans may not be our plans, or what we would like to happen in our lives, we know that His way, is the BEST way!!