Wednesday, April 30, 2008

check out the new pics and slideshows...


i have updated a few of our prior posts to include the promised pictures as i know you have all been waiting on pins and needles to look at more images of us.

see the following posts: the backyard (sorry ladies, no pictures of shane), easter, jameson: a scholar and a gentleman, and the gauntlet for a little mixed media.

enjoy. more to come.


Monday, April 28, 2008

pigeons, poop, and gameballs

saturday was an interesting day for us. as far as saturdays go, it was the best of saturdays, it was the worst of saturdays. we’ll start with the worst: getting pooped on. ever since we put in the concrete in our backyard, we have noticed that we have a serious pigeon problem. apparently our house looks exactly like a public restroom for pigeons (aka the cockroaches of the sky) and we are the only reststop in between every pigeons’ residence in town and pigeon disneyland because it looks like a juiced up jackson pollock went all pigeon excrement on our patio... several times over.

inasmuch as mr. pollock (or, jack, as i like to call him) is arguably my painter of choice, i prefer oil on canvas hanging on the wall rather than feces on concrete hanging off the bottom of my shoe (or out of colston’s mouth). as such, we were delighted when we recently found a business card on our doorstep informing us that we had a bird problem and that “they” could help… all we had to do was call a number and pay some money. i thought: no sweat, let’s pay someone else (see previous post on paying people to do work for me) fifty to a hundred buck to climb way up on a ladder and take care of this garbage and be done with it. i don’t have a ladder that will go as high up as i need, plus i don’t want to break my neck. so, being the dutiful wife that she is (as well as being very well accustomed to cleaning up after everyone’s crap), aimee gave the business a call.

we were filled with hope as we began to envision a day in which we would step out onto our patio without the fear of slipping on pigeon droppings. we thought to ourselves: can this be true? is someone really willing and able to rid us of this annoyance? and so we waited. we waited anxiously right up until saturday morning when the bid-giver guy arrived. he came and unfortunately our hopes and dreams of a better life were dashed. aimee dealt with the guy so i don’t have details. all i know is the guy checked out the house and told us it would be $700 to pigeon proof the house. $700!!! are you kidding me??? come on!!! $700!!! i couldn’t believe it. i was already being pooped on by the pigeons, i wasn’t about to take it from the pigeon problem fixers as well. needless to say, i was out cleaning pigeon poop off the patio this morning before church.

second worst of saturday event: we got a text from some friends we go to church with inviting us over to go swimming at their house saturday afternoon. the weather was nice, we like to swim, and we like the people who invited us over, so, why not? and we did. we hopped in our swimwear and headed over to charles and aniges’ for a pleasant afternoon in the pool, but as we all know, not many things are pleasant when our very active boys are involved (fun, yes, but pleasant… not even a little) why should Saturday have been any different?

we arrived at the coons-gubler residence and made our way to the backyard with charles (angie and the girls were not back from a birthday party yet). the big pool was still way too cold for swimming, but the hot tub was perfect so we all hopped in and were having a grand ol’ time until jameson surfaced from the depths of the jaccuzzi with what appeared to be… well, either a very soggy snickers bar or as charles put it: a floaty. unfortunately for us, it was the latter… even more unfortunately for us, it did not belong to charles (which means it belonged to one of us… the guests…). which also means that this was not our house, nor our pool we were desecrating (i for one would have felt much better if the floater did not belong to one of our kids)… and even more unfotunatelier for us, this discovery was made just as angie and the girls were getting home.

i am not quite sure what must have been going through anige’s mind as she stepped into they backyard and saw charles heading to the garbage with a very suspicious looking item encased in an ice-cream sandwich box while jameson fished out the remaining dookie morsels and placed them in a plastic bag i was holding. i never really understood the actual meaning of the word “mortified” until that very moment. thanks to one of our sons, i will forever have a most embarrassing moment experience that i can share at every team building activity or ward home evening i attend for the rest of my life. i think aimee went into shock when she saw angie (keep in mind that aimee refers to angie as “lady angie”). luckily, charles was johnny on the spot and drained the hot tub faster than aimee could pass out and drown in the hot tub (which is good because had she started drowning i am not sure i would have stopped cleaning up with jameson to rescue her). first it was the pigeons, then the bid-giver guy, and now one of our sons (who will remain nameless).

thank goodness sir charles and lady angie are a class act and handled the situation very well. in other words, they did not kick us out or make us feel like the feces we just cleaned out of their pool. and just so we’re clear, we did get it all cleaned out. the marvels of modern pool engineering, chemicals, and salt allowed charles to empty out the hot tub and refill it with clean water (that’s right, because of us, the coons-gublers had to drain their hot tub and refill it… wonder if we will ever get invited back to swim again?). anyhow, charles, angie, and family, if you are reading this: thanks for inviting us over and thanks for not making us feel really badly (because we already do). you guys are great!!!

people pooping on the coopers: 3. coopers: 0.

time to even the score. now for the best of saturday: hands down, the best part of saturday was jameson’s baseball game. for the second time in three games jameson was awarded a game ball for his solid performance on the diamond. for starters, jameson just about hit for the cycle: his first at bat went for a triple and his third, a double; but it was his second at bat that really caught everyone’s attention. it took only one pitch for jameson to rope the ball and go yard with it. it was easily the best hit ball that i have seen any player hit in his league this year. i was coaching first base when he hit the ball and could tell when it didn’t even hit the ground until it reached the outfield that he’d be rounding the bags. i got some goosebumps. it brought tears to aim’s eyes. we were definitely the epitome of proud parents. jameson’s coach said the ball rolled until it came within two feet of the fence. that, along with some solid d, was enough to earn him a game ball and that trumps all the other poop we had to put up with on saturday.


Paragraphs v. Bullets

Please forgive Jeremy. He tends to think in paragraphs or book form when I think in bullet-point format and incomplete sentences, but I get the main points down. Maybe that explains the difference in our head sizes?!? And my love for post-it notes. I would love to see Jeremy try and squeeze his thoughts on a post it! Jeremy loves to write and as you can see sometimes has a difficult time writing for a quick reader: someone that looks at the page and thinks the less words the better; someone who doesn’t want to spend very much time reading;; or someone who likes to read books with lots of pictures and few words. But, Jeremy is a good writer and I know every time I read what he’s written, I enjoy what I read (except the stuff about the gauntlet). So, hang in there my fellow “bullet” thinkers and together we’ll read through Jeremy’s lengthy blogs and enjoy ourselves- or just the pictures and an occasional sentence or two...


The clubhouse

This is a picture of the boys ‘club house’. One of Jameson, Caleb and Colston’s favorite things to do is climb over the back wall to the paseo- which is walkway that is also used as a place for water to go in a flash flood- (something you have to think about when living in the desert) and work on building their clubhouse . One of the best things about where our home is located is that instead of having a house behind ours we have a short wall and then the paseo that opens to a landscaped walkway where I often see jack rabbits hopping across in the early morning. In fact, Caleb keeps trying to talk me into catching one for him to keep as a pet! A short walk down the paseo opens up into the desert where a park is supposed to be built sometime this year. For now, the future park is just a desert, but just as fun for little boys looking for something to explore or build, like a ‘club house’. Basically, the boys all find whatever scraps the construction workers have left around after building houses and bring them together in a big pile of dirt and play until the sun goes down. I love it because first of all they love it and there are no cars or streets to worry about… plus, it’s close to home. The only downside is it makes for more laundry and more baths, but it’s worth it!


Jameson's: a scholar and a gentleman


Jameson received an award at school for academics and citizenship the other day. He was one of two in his class to receive the award. Caleb, Colston and I were all at the assembly when Jameson’s teacher presented the award to him. He was so excited he wanted to dress up as a Wrangler cowboy, his school mascot, to accept the award (see picture). That explains the neckerchief he has on in the pictures. His teacher made him take off his cowboy hat covered with 100 bottlecaps, minus the few that have fallen off, and the sunglasses.

I am so proud of Jameson and his academic achievement, but my proudest moment was hearing his teacher, Mr. C, as he was awarding Jameson say how Jameson is always caught doing the right thing and is quite the gentleman. Mr. C said Jameson always lets girls go first and is often holding the door for others. I can’t begin to tell you how good that felt. One concern I have being a mother of boys is raising gentlemen. So I was very, very happy to hear Jameson is making an effort.


The backyardagain...

First of all, this is Aimee and I’m not a huge fan of the all lowercase lettering (or of Jeremy referring to the months Feb, Mar, Apr and May as “the gauntlet”), so you will be seeing some capitalization.

I feel I need to clarify some things regarding the backyard. First, I want to make it clear that I don’t want to discredit Jeremy’s manhood or underestimate any of the hard work he has done, nor do I want to come across ungrateful. But, you should know that when I describe the backyard to people I refer to it as a ‘dog run’ because it is more the size of a dog run than a backyard. Yes, it has actually brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion as I look at the very small area (which is about 6 feet from the back door to the back wall) our 3 boys have to be boys in.

In fact, last year, just after we’d moved in Jameson was arguing with me over whether we actually had a backyard or not. He kept saying we didn’t have a backyard and I kept saying that we did. (It was one of those moments as a Mom when you totally see where your child is coming from, but you are doing your best to make the situation as good as you can.) Jameson finally came out and said to me, “Our backyard is too small to be a backyard just like Pluto’s too small to be a planet!” This was the first of probably many times to come where Jameson left me speechless. I did laugh. Well said, Jameson. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Jeremy so proud when I told him what Jameson had said. Jeremy felt Jameson was already ready to take the LSAT!

So, although Jeremy has done a wonderful, not to mention beautiful job with the backyard, I just want to make sure no one is picturing what I would envision a standard yard to look like- it is more like a dog run.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

the backyard

we are just about done with a feat of no small proportions (even though it was accomplished on a very small portion of land): our backyard. we have been in our house for over a year now and during this entire time we did not have a landscaped backyard. this, of course, isn’t the worst thing in the world, unless, of course, you have three boys that are borderline ADD candidates in which case only summertime in lv without ac and sitting through a ute defeat over byu are only worse (excluding sin and all that more seriously bad stuff, of course). so, aimee and i were intent on putting in a backyard this year and sometime before the heat induced comas brought on by june, july, and august in lv arrived.

to kick things off, we spoke to several landscapers in an attempt to get a bid on what it would cost to install the backyard of our dreams on our little plot of land. we were somewhat disillusioned by the responses we got as the landscapers either wanted to turn our backyard into a concrete jungle or charge us too much money to do what we wanted. the guys just wouldn’t listen, or maybe they were listening and just didn’t understand english. consequently, we looked at the budget, totally ignored it, and called shane marlowe.

who is shane marlowe you ask? shane is probably the best looking ward clerk to ever serve in that capacity in the history of the church. it just so happens that shane is also very experienced in working with his hands… he’s from rexburg, idaho for crying out loud. i have only met a few other people from the st.anthony/driggs/rexburg, idaho area, and in spite of their penchant for calling a remote control the “channel box”, a movie theatre the “show house”, or an automobile an "outfit" (so, if shane compliments you on your outfit, it is possible that he is referring to your car and not your matching j crew spring wear) they are actually pretty stellar individuals (and i am not just saying that because my in-laws are from that area).

that being said, i must pause to consider whether shane’s good looks and exceptional ability to work are properly attributable to his idaho roots or the fact that he served a mission in argentina. you see, shane served in a mission where real men go: argnetina resistencia. it is entirely possible that shane’s dashing good looks and exceptional work ethic are a direct result of his time in the argentina resistencia mission. pretty much everyone i know who served in that mission and worked hard is now good looking and has a solid work ethic to boot.

in the spirit of full disclosure, i feel compelled to admit that i, too, served in argentina resistencia mission, and it just so happens that i was there when shane arrived as a young green pup ready to tear up the campo.  and to support my theory, i don’t remember shane being nearly as good looking when he arrived as he is now; so, there you go: shane fell prey, as many of us did, to the benefits of serviving in the argentina resistencia mission and left the humid plains of chaco, argentina a better looking man and a harder worker than when he arrived. of course, you are free to decide the merits of my proposal yourselves, but i felt it important that you have all of the background information so as to make a fully informed decision on your own.

back to the backyard: i had shane come over because we needed some concrete in the back and i wanted it stamped and stained and i knew that shane was skilled in the ways of stamped and stained concrete. i thought if he and i did the concrete by ourselves, aim and i could save some sweet moula on the project and be one step closer to the backyard of our dreams. i explained this to shane as we stepped out into the backyard on a pleasant friday evening to discuss business... leaving the women and children safe inside, of course, i was met with a surprising reaction. after shane briefly surveyed the lay of the land, he confidently proclaimed that he and i could do all of the backyard (not just the concrete) by ourselves in just a few days. i got nervous. i have an issue with commitments. especially ones that are time consuming (i am in law school and i have a job and a family... in reverse order of importance, of course).

while i did not doubt shane’s hardy vision of he and i completing what seemed to me a gargantuan project (given my skill-set for landscaping matters), i found it hard to believe anyone working in tandem with me in landscaping matters could accomplish such a task. moreover, i did not share shane’s seemingly apparent disdain for paying someone to do manual labor on my behalf. i think there is some unwritten law that lurks in the potato fields of idaho and that seeps into the hearts and minds of all idaho farm boys that creates some kind of genetic phenomena that physically disallows them from paying someone to do work they can do themselves (maybe that’s why shane is in way better shape than i am). in fact, shane was ready to start working on the yard that night (i think shane does this kind of stuff over breakfast... in fact, i think shane took over the construction of his home, sent the workers home and finshed building his own house about half way through just because he could).

thus, whenever i tried to suggest to shane that i could just hire a landscaper to do everything except the concrete, he would look at me as though i were less of a man… or at least less of an argentina resistencia returned missionary. my manhood and my missionaryhood had been challenged and i could not back down, and so i agreed. neither of our wives were terribly thrilled at the suggestion, but the stars were aligning as shane was in between jobs at the time and i was about to have spring break.

so, the project began and, all in all, thanks to shane’s expertise and assistance, it wasn’t that bad. it felt good to get out of the office and stretch the muscles a little. i learned a lot about cleaning tools while the more skilled participants poured concrete as well as returning the wrong equipment i bought for the right stuff.  most importantly, though, the backyard turned out really, really, really nice. if you don’t believe me, check out the pictures. come roll around on the fake grass if you like (fully-clothed, of course). by the way, i uploaded the pics myself… as if i would pay someone to do that for me.


easter sunday was great. we spent time the couple of weeks prior to easter talking about the reason we celebrate it, but of course it always comes down to the easter bunny and the egg hunt. unfortunately, this year we did not prepare an egg hunt for the kids with candy, which felt kind of strange, but, we did do one at grandma and grandpa cooper's which the kids loved (although, i must say that aimee does an activity with easter eggs and emblems of Christ’s resurrection which is a family favorite and very effective in teaching the kids about the true meaning). besides, the kids had participated in one the day before put on by our community at the park in which complete and utter chaos surely ensued as the masses of children and overzealous parents battled over the spoils of plastic eggs.

i say surely because because i wasn’t at the community easter egg hunt... i was working on our backyard (see relevant post). but i have been to enough community easter egg hunts to know that it rivals kids’ soccer games in terms of me wanting to punch some parents in the nose (that's the easter spirit). let me explain for the uninitiated: community easter egg hunts are events (and by events i mean battles) where it is required that you have five times more kids than you do eggs. and rather than turn away eager juveniles all hopped up on the easter spirit (no pun intended), a simple announcement is generally made, which applies to EVERYONE, that each child should only take a certain amount of eggs so that everyone can get some (i know, the math still doesn't work out).

so what happens? either kids don’t know how to count or parents don’t think that rules apply to them or their children... probably the latter (i would hate to see how one of these things goes over in summerlin… assuming community easter egg hunts are not too ghetto for “summalot”), because all of the rabid older kids tear out onto the field like a bunch of scots led by william wallace himself scooping up more than their fair share of eggs while the aforementioned overzealous and entitled parents hover over groups of eggs and box out the other rabid kids and overzealous parents so that their child can recover more than he/she should. it’s a lovely site. quite the testament of the civility and decency of an advanced society. if there ever was airtight proof of man’s link to a more primordial ancestry, this is surely it. all this ruckus over a plastic egg (some of which did not even have candy in them this year: what? stickers? are you kidding me?).

speaking of overzealous parents, aim, the boys and i enjoyed a very pleasant dinner with jeff and kenna on easter sunday. it had been a while since we had had a dinner with just the two of them and us, so it was very enjoyable. what was even more enjoyable (and arguably as pathetic) was the thorough shellacking administered by one jeremy cooper to his dear old mother on the tether ball court. she was a feisty senior, but in spite of her shoving her walker onto my side of the tire while throwing her dentures at me (she even strapped on her knee brace in hopes of garnering some pity), i prevailed. do I look like southwest to you? sorry k, there will be no pre-boarding for the old and decrepit on this flight. no handicapped parking here. let me know when you are ready for a rematch. maybe we should shift to something more your speed… like shuffleboard, bridge or naptime.

anyway, enjoy the pics of the family in our easter best. and i might ask: is it possible that there is a better looking trio of brothers in existence (excluding jeff, jeremy and kendall of course from your considerations due to the conflict of interest)? highly unlikely. who’s the overzealous parent now?

Friday, April 18, 2008

the gauntlet

we are nearing that time of year when i will be completing an annual event which i affectionately refer to as the running of the gauntlet. some of you may be familiar with the term, but for those of you who are not, let me share with you the fruits of my exhaustive research labors (and by exhaustive i mean that i skimmed the wikipedia entry for “running the gauntlet”). running the gauntlet is a form of physical punishment by which a person is compelled to run through a double line of soldiers who attempt to strike them as they pass. it think it originated somewhere in europe and was also used by native americans. anyways, for purposes of this post and my life, the gauntlet is made up of the months february, march, april, and may.

aimee really dislikes my use of term “running the gauntlet” to describe these months (imagine that), and you will soon see why; but, keep in mind that my linking of this form of torture and punishment with these four months is done with as much love and care as is possible.  wihtout further adieu, the reason: many of you might think that my personal gauntlet has something to do with tax season or the last semester of school before summer begins, etc., all good guesses, but all would be wrong. the reason i start to panic sometime around mid-january and then put up with continual bouts of fear that i have missed an important date all the way up until the summer months are upon us is because of these four simple, yet extraordinarly successive events: valentine’s day, anniversary, aimee’s birthday, and mother’s day… february 14, march 6, april 4, and may something (i will figure that one out a day or two before it happens... b-day and anniversary are the only ones i really have to know at the drop of a hat, hallmark will give me plenty of advanced notice for the rest).

so, that is my gauntlet. but it is a good gauntlet. i look forward to my gauntlet. i spend weeks, sometimes minutes, preparing myself mentally, emotionally and physically to run gauntlet each year. it is my everest, my rushmore, my cistine chapel, my tour de france (minus the roids unfortunately), my high counselor speaking in sacrament meeting all rolled into one. mine is a gauntlet filled with love and joy and happiness and celebration and stress and planning and planning and more planning and then coming up with not one, but 4 unique gift ideas. as some of you may know, it is not always easy to buy a gift for a woman for one special event let alone four consecutive events fresh off the heels of Christmas, mind you. but i enjoy making aimee smile, so the pain and stress is well worth it (as long as she smiles).

the phrase “running the gauntlet” shouldn’t conjure up negative connotations or images of brutal corporeal punishment. it’s more like saying you’re intoxicated with love: love = good, intoxication = bad, or even that you’ve fallen in love: ove = good, falling = bad (especially if you are old and break a hip); or that being married to you is like running with the bulls in spain: thrilling and exhilarating but watch out for the b.s. or you’ll end up with a set of horns in your backside. speaking of which…

i put together this little video for those interested in looking at lots of pictures of aimee and me. also, it is meant to provide you all with some physical proof that running the gauntlet year in and year out has made me a better and happier person. besides, once i am through the gauntlet, the rest of the year is a piece of cake. so, if you must…

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the top ten of jer and aim's first ten

i am going to play a little catch up here since i am just getting started on this blog stuff. as such, i am going to post a list of things that have stood out in my mind over the last ten years of mine and aimee's first decade together. the reason i put this list together is because aim and i recently celebrated our tenth anniversary and i thought it would be a good way to look back over some of the more memorable moments of our beginning.

yes, it has been ten years since we wed and, yes, you are that much older. gone are the days when jeff and i would run through the church halls in our superman and batman underwear after church (that would be jeff jr. and our escapades were way before my tenth anniversary with aim, so if you have even a fleeting memories of our rants, then you are likely still recovering from the mental trauma and doing so from the comfort of an old folks' home).

my point is that mucho tiempo has passed. so much that there is now a new generation of coopers who have taken up their own collection of superhero underwear and many of you are old enough to be their parents/grandparents. the golden years are upon us.

i digress. enjoy the top ten list.


By year:
1998: We got married and a blizzard commenced… there’s go t to be some symbolism there.

1999: Traveled to Argentina and almost got sucked into the falls of Iguazu on a boat where there were four people but only two sets of teeth. Esta muy rica la porqueria! Oh, do we need a temple recommend to get into temples in other countries? Bye Jer… I’ll have fun here in Buenos Aires for the next day all by myself while you fly home even though I don’t speak any Castellano.

2000: Son number one was born: what a great way to start the new millennium + Aimee finishing her degree in health science at BYU = Aimee and Jameson marching across the stage dawning their graduation gowns to receive “their” diploma. Way to go mom!

2001: Jeremy graduated from BYU for the first time ever. Jeremy accepted a job from the impermeable accounting firm, Andersen. Aimee trains for and completes her first half marathon during which she develops her undying devout desire to continue running early in the morning. More power to you, babe.

2002: Jeremy graduated from BYU for the second time ever and took off in Tito el Tiburon to Nor Cal on one of the hottest days in Utah history. By the way, sometime between 2001 and 2002 Andersen became very permeable and in fact collapsed which meant the new firm of choice for the Cooper family was none other than PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ah, the wonders of nepotism. All the Coopers needed now was a mini-Cooper and a pad in Cupertino.

2003: I don’t remember much about 2003, I was too intoxicated with tax returns and billable hours for PwC. I think Aimee was involved in a relationship with Santa Cruz Beach, Manrisa Beach, the City and Monterey Bay.

2004: Son number two was born in the hospital… barely. Doctor to Jeremy: good for you! Never was a mother more beautiful while giving birth to a child. Caleb the Conqueror began his reign. Jameson the Wise waxed philosophical in pre-school. What are you doing with that magnifying glass, son?

2005: Jeremy said to himself: why settle for two degrees when you can have three? At least he’s not a polygamist. Aimee begrudgingly tagged along to the grand city of Las Vegas so Jeremy could start 18th grade. Jameson started kindergarten. It takes a hearty soul to survive in the desert, much less thrive.

2006: Jeremy and Aimee take a much needed trip to Florida for Big Kim’s inauguration. Jeremy enjoyed first-class accommodations: warm cashews, warm moist towels, gourmet meals, and cran-apple juice with a twist of lime while pregnant Aimee sat squished in the back of coach surrounded by drunk Irishmen (is that redundant?). No worries… a romantic evening in our own hotel room awaits. We will rendezvous (I wrote that with the proper French accent, Dr. LeMone) at the rental car pick-up and at last embark on our lover’s get away. What do you mean there are two terminals in this airport? You printed out three different sets of directions to the hotel and we are still lost two hours after leaving the airport? What do you mean you don’t have a reservation for us? Hi Tyler. I’ll unpack, Aim. Yeah, Aimee really likes candles.

2007: Son number three is born. Coslton comes to town and five days later the Coopers purchase their first home. Thanksgiving dinner brought a smile to my face.

2008: Big game James gets baptized. Jeremy is on the verge of actually being done with school forever. The Bar is salivating for a piece of Jeremy. Aimee is a regular at the Doctor’s office.

Ten years have flown by full of fierce love and fits of fury.
Life has been a whirlwind of experience coupled with a swift dose of the refiner’s fire. Aim has stood by my side throughout it all whether she wanted to or not. I for one can’t imagine a world without her. She is my queen and this is a glimpse of our kingdom. It’s upward and onward from here on out. I love you, little babe.
You and me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

square one

here we go. i have finally given in. the black hole of the blogoshpere has sucked us in like a tractor beam from the death star.  i was powerless to overcome its pull.  i always knew this day would come and yet i am strangely unprepared to make my first blog entry.  i don't really have anything to say, i just want to see what this looks like on the webpage.  with that, i will bid you all a good night.  check back soon for only slightly more interesting entries than this one.  

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog