A few weeks ago, we celebrated Cooper's second birthday. My, oh my, how these years have flown. I wrote about his birth story not long after he arrived, and so many details are forever stuck in my mind of the day we met our little boy, officially. And to think that it's now been two years since that day. What a treasure he is to us.

The week before Cooper's birthday, my parents, Grandma Donna, and my brother Matt came to visit. We ate carnitas made in the instant pot, and visited. Saturday morning, after breakfast, we spent the bulk of the day outside. Cooper played in the kiddie pool, my parents helped a ton in the yard (thank you, mom and dad!), and Cooper opened his birthday gifts, with much glee. That evening, we attended our church's annual outdoor church in the park service in our downtown, as the sun slowly sank.

And Sunday, we spent some more time visiting, before my family headed home.

Other favorite little moments:

  • my mom brought several sentimental and/or heirloom plants from her gardens (some plants that are descendants of one's my grandpa planted in the 1970's) and we chose various places in our gardens to plant them. Dwarf irises, geraniums, ginger, and more.
  • Cooper blew out two candles on a cookie! One of his favorite treats
  • We had our favorite local BBQ for supper on Saturday, with roasted veggies on the side.
  • My parents and brother partaking in the bedtime routine for Cooper
  • peeking at an (as of then) empty bird nest. Now there is a small, white egg with brown speckles!
  • My mom reading picture books to Cooper throughout the visit
  • My family gave Cooper a tricycle (he loves it), beautiful books, a car puzzle, and some sweet clothes for him to grow into
  • Cooper and my dad watching for and pointing out trains together
  • My grandma gave him a scooter (something he'd been asking for for a long time) and a toy drum (another desired gift)
  • My brother gave Cooper a neat little magnetic globe light
  • Cooper saying "Matt!" and "Bompa!" (grandpa) enthusiastically
  • Some semi-blurry, but happy photos
  • Talking with my Grandma Donna about her favorite bible verse

What a wonderful visit!

The following weekend, on Cooper's actual birthday, we packed up the car and headed to Lake Michigan for a beach day. My sister-in-law, Katelyn came with us, as well. The water was a bit warmer this time, and all of us spent a bit more time in the waves. Cooper loved when we buried his feet in sand, playing with rocks, and watching Katelyn and Nicholas toss a frisbee. We snacked for lunch, drank a bunch of water, and gave one of his gifts, an all-terrain wagon, a test ride at the beach. Verdict: it's so handy. And Cooper loves riding in it.

Later on, Nicholas' parents stopped by for coffee and cake (although I can't say any of us adults enjoyed the cake terribly, since I do believe this recipe needs the included ganache, and it was my own fault for omitting it) and for Cooper to open his gifts. It was so nice! He was really excited to open a toy wagon, puppy, cookie jar, magnetic shapes puzzle, new shoes, and a Veggie Tales book. And he blew out candles again, very proudly.

And in the photo below, he's feeding his new toy cookies to his new toy puppy. So dang cute.

Coop at age two:

  • wanting to carry around and sleep with his little bear tape measure and a flip phone that was Katelyn's when she was in middle school
  • repeating everything and so much excitement about all his new words
  • loving books. When we read them, yes, but also looking at pictures, having us say what an object is, and then he repeats it.
  • saying "wah-won" (wagon) and pulling around his toy wagon with his toys of choice for that day
  • Giving us side eyes (seen in some photos above and below) and does so many things to make us laugh every single day.
  • Loving to be a help in the kitchen, specifically with whisking anything, really. Eggs, bulletproof coffee, muffin batter, you name it. He has a favorite whisk, says whisk, and will get down out of his helper to retrieve it when it's time to stir something.
  • Giving us kisses spontaneously
  • Loving bears, animals, bubbles, cars, trains, trucks, planes, helicopters, and simple ground beef.
  • Singing parts of Jesus Loves Me, and loving when we sing pretty much anything to him

Cooper, we pray that you may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and may you grow to find God's Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb (Psalm 19:10). We love you, buddy.

As an aside, the last several days have had a personal heartache of their own. I may write about it at some time in the future. But in the meanwhile, we are continuing to put our hope in Jesus, and pray for eyes to see God's goodness in our lives, all around us, including in the life of this little boy entrusted to us.