Monday, April 7, 2014

Oh hello, Blog

Alright I felt in the bloggy mood today, and I figured it was time for an update. It's almost been a year (yikes). We have been living in Chesapeake, VA for about 8 months. Had a crazy weird transition as we waited for our house to be finished last summer, and moved in a couple of weeks prior to school starting. It was a pretty good situation considering it could have been much worse! We did have to wait a few extra days to get into our house due to some errors on the part of our lender, ahem...but it all worked out! We love our new home. We love our quiet neighborhood and kind neighbors. We love our school. As with all moves and transitions, it's not been an easy one for all of us: I think Ellie took it the hardest followed by me. Kids internalize things so much differently than we do, in fact, just when I think everything is on track, a conversation will happen with one of the kids and I realize just how much my children miss their friends and life in MD. Gradon even asks us when we get to go back to the 'blue house'. He remembers things too!

We have been attending a dance studio thirty minutes away that has been a bit of a disappointment. I had high hopes in the beginning, but so far it's not lived up to my expectations. We'll be trying a different one this summer for a program for Ellie and see how she likes it. We have also not had much luck finding a swim program for Sophia, which is annoying, she really loves it. I think we are also going to get her back into gymnastics. She has been taking tap this year and has been loving it! It really suits her energy. I'm really pleased she's been enjoying it. Ellie misses competitions...a lot. I've got to find something else for her, and another outlet for her to meet some friends. It's hard to come into a new school in third grade, the 'mean girl' attitude seems to already have found it's way into some of the girls at school and I can't believe how unkind nine year olds can be to each other. I think she's doing ok, but it's been a rough year.

Our ward is fine. There are a lot of great people in it, but so far we've yet to build any real friendships. LOTS of military, in all fields. Lots of doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, etc.  Lots of kids, lots of young people. I feel like we are all in our own little pool trying to keep a float. It's a different ward, one unlike I've ever been in, but we're still new, and again, it takes about a year to transition, so I'm going to keep my chin up. Our ward hasn't been as welcoming as I would have hoped. I also have two callings, weird, but that's just how this ward works. Not a lot of people accept callings, so many of us have more than one.

Chris has been doing well this year, I can't believe how well he's navigated intern year. He's done really well taking care of us and finding time to spend with us. We've even had the chance to have some fun date's been good. Next year will be a different story entirely I think, but I'm hoping it won't be as bad as some people say.

In September we'll be welcoming on last little person to our family. Our little 'caboose'. I'm 18 weeks along this week, and I've held this pregnancy close to me this time and not shared the way I normally would due to a few factors, we miscarried when we first moved here last fall and it really affected me, and I'm a little overwhelmed by the idea of this fourth baby. Next year for Chris is going to be nuts, and I hope I can manage four all by myself. I don't have that community of good friends like I did in MD to help me out like I would have if we were there, which is hard. I know all will be well, I've felt for a while there was one last little person to join our family, I just was nervous to go forward with it. But I'm not getting any younger, so here we go! I'm getting more excited about the baby, we find out on the 15th the gender, and all three kids have strong opinions. Gradon wants a brother, Sophia wants a sister and Ellie changes her mind. She's overwhelmed too by it, she sighs and says 'I'm going to be a big sister to three, it's going to be so much work' toooo funny. She sees the time involved with all these little people.

As for other projects, I'm getting ready to start Gradon's baby book. Yes I know, I'm totally behind! But I think I need to get it done before the last baby comes! I've been going through pictures enjoying his growth over the last few years. He's such a sweet, charming, smart little man. My photography work is very slow. The market here is flooded and I just don't have the energy to fight to stand out. At least not right now. I offer a good product and I'm reasonably priced, but I have three kids and a busy husband and that's just my priority. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm meant to pursue this, sometimes I feel like no matter what I do I can't seem to make any headway, but I know I love it and hopefully at some point I'll be able to put more time and energy into the business.

So that's us right now. Growing our family and staying a float! Looking forward to what the next few months will bring.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hello Summer

Hello Summer, nice to see you. Hello blog, nice to see you again too. So, here's the Cochran update: We sold our house in four days back in May, right before Chris' graduation, the house went under contract the day before my parents came into town. We were very grateful it sold so quickly, we felt like it was a huge blessing to be in contract before the families came into town. The graduation ceremony was wonderful. We had a great big BBQ at our house with all of our friends. I still can't believe that my husband is a doctor, or that we are now starting residency! We had a great time with both my family and Chris' family. We are so glad they came to share this momentous occasion with us.

We closed on the house, on June 18th, packed it up, and now we are living with friends until our house closes. I am very grateful to these wonderful people who have opened their home to us. So far it's been pretty smooth sailing, I'm trying very hard to help around the house, cook, and keep our trash and noise to a minimum. My kids are loving playing with the boys who live here, and so far we are enjoying it.  Sophia started swim team again, and she is doing so well! She has been shaving off time her two events, freestyle and backstroke every week! I am so impressed with her tenacity.

summer time play in the backyard where we are staying. lovely, right?

The past few days I have been feeling very melancholy. I could NOT put my finger on why, sure my husband is living in another state while we wait for our house to be built, sure I'm homeless living on the hospitality of others with three children, we are leaving a good school and neighborhood that my kids love, we have been saying goodbye to dear friends, leaving our dance studio, and our ward, and the list goes on....

However, I couldn't put my finger on WHY I have been feeling so blue, until tonight. Tonight I picked up Ellie and her little friend Natalia from one of their dance classes. They have been dancing together for three years. Ellie and Talia are best friends. Talia's mother has become one of my best friends in the universe. I dropped off Talia and was driving back towards our old neighborhood, and then it hit me, nothing is going to be the same. I am still in this town, still taking my girls to dance, going through some of the regular motions of my life, but the entire dynamic of my world has changed and it's still changing.  I feel like I am desperately trying to hold on so tightly to my old life, but that time is over. I have to start looking forward and thinking differently about where I fit in, about building a new life. My heart is a little broken and I am trying hard not to be too sad.

Ellie and her dear dance friends.

So now I have a label for all my emotions and an explanation for all these difficult feelings. Hopefully now I can move forward and figure out how to have a fun meaningful summer. I want to enjoy our last bit of time here before we move to VA in August. I've decided I need to make a list of things I want to see (and photograph) before we go. I think that will help me close the chapter on our time here, and help me hold onto the good memories.

Our new house being built in Chesapeake, VA!! 

*all photos taken with an iphone 4s or ipad*

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valentine Mini Sessions!

Offering some lovely mini sessions in February at the beautiful Love Life Images Studio in Savage Mill. 
Space is limited so book soon. Saturday, February 2nd!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Hello friends, it's been a while. It's mid January and again I have no idea how to play catch up with my life in blog land. So, I'll start with the news that is most pressing: Chris matched on December 13th. He matched Orthopedic Surgery in Portsmouth, Va. Even as I write that it's still a little unreal, 4 years in the making and lots of dreaming hoping and praying waiting for the results. We were a little shocked by the news, when we moved here the plan was to head west after med school for residency. Chris really wanted to go to San Diego and complete his residency with his brother who will be one year ahead of him in the ortho program. We talked about and looked forward to the time when we'd be closer to more of my family and enjoy California living. So when the day came for our big news Chris called me around 6:45 in the morning, the conversation went something like this:

Chris: Hi Honey, I have my email with the match, what do you want to me to do, read it now or wait until I get home in a few hours and we can open it together? (pause from me) Me: open it now. So he read: "Orthopedic Surgery Portsmouth Virginia."

My heart at that moment leapt in happiness and also sank in sadness. I remember the tone of his voice, almost disbelief! He wanted Ortho so much, but he wanted to go to San Diego just as badly. I was in shock, and sad he didn't get exactly what he wanted. Unfortunately he was in a common room when he checked his email that morning so he didn't have the freedom to talk or (cry) as I thought he needed to, so he waited until he came home that morning to vent and talk.

Here we are a little over a month later, and I think he's happy: he got the specialty he wanted, and I am relieved to say the least that we have our path. In my heart I kind of knew that San Diego may not happen. These last few months when I would try and envision myself in San Diego things always got in the way, like it just wasn't clear, and I felt unsettled. I also knew that we couldn't stay here in Maryland- Chris felt like the program here would not be the best place for him, and so the great compromise is that we are moving again, but to Virginia. It's crazy. Heavenly Father is putting us where he wants us to be, and it's going to be a fun new adventure. We are starting to look for homes, and schools and gyms and dances studios and it's exciting but also scary. We know lots of people out in the area from our aviation days but I am so sad to leave our dear friends here. Luckily we are only about a 4 hour drive from Columbia and the temple so I feel we will be making a few trips back here, which makes my heart happy.

The kids are doing well. Ellie is probably taking the news the hardest, she is sad to leave her friends and our amazing dance studio. But we will find a good place for her. Our other big news over the holiday is that Ellie was baptized! What a wonderful sweet spiritual day we had together. Both sets of Grandparents came out for the event and it was truly one of the best days of my life! My sweet little Ellie was so excited to be baptized, and knew why she was making the decision, she wanted to be a member of Christ's church, and follow his example. She is my little light, I really love her.

Ellie and her Daddy. Such a wonderful day.

Both sets of grandparents, my sweet Sister Anna, Andy, Teresa and their kids.

Sophia wants to start swimming again, so we are looking into swim teams down in Virginia. She's enjoying school and is learning a ton. She is full of life and spunk. She is turning into quite the girl. She also loves her dance team and is enjoying her own routine.

Gradon is talking up a storm and still loves trains cars and anything with wheels. Me? I'm trying to wrap my mind around selling a house and being an east coaster for another 5 years. I'm working a lot and enjoying my calling at church. I've made some goals for my new year and so far things are going well. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself, and work smarter and not harder. I am trying to be more positive and accept myself in the 'now'.

We had a great holiday with lots of family in town. My sister also came out for the baptism and it was fun taking her to see lots of fun sites in the DC area. My kids loved having their grandparents here, we played lots of games and enjoyed their company. One of the days I worked Chris and Andy took the grandparents to the B&O railroad museum. Everyone had fun. They also visited Edgar Allen Poe's grave, but took no pictures. I was bummed to have missed out on that trip.

Gradon, Kalina, Ellie and Sophia at the B&O railroad museum.

Sophia and Grandpa

Christmas was great. My birthday was quiet this year, it was on a Sunday this year so we ate a nice dinner at home. I was able to finally make it to NYC with some friends a few days before my birthday, it was a fun trip!( I'll post some photos from that trip in another post) I hope I get to go back soon. New Year's Eve I had a fever and was in bed early. I usually crash like this at the end of the year, I just wear myself out! So no big party plans or fun things to report that night.

So, here we go, 5 months away from Chris' graduation and six months away from a move and the end of the school year. I'm very grateful for where we are headed. I've got a lot of work to do between now and then. I'm going to try not be overwhelmed and take one day at a time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's November

HOW? How is it November? It's cold out there, and I am as usual way behind. My husband keeps checking his email for updates from my blaaahhhg. Sorry dear, they aren't there, I am swamped. I don't even know HOW to catch up. So let's start here and move forward with a few back story pictures maybe to fill in where we have been, where I have here goes. Moving forward.

It's November and of course a month of thanks. I have such a full heart right now it's hard to put into words how grateful I am for my little life, for my sweet family, wonderful husband, incredible friends and my faith. We had a hurricane out here recently, Sandy? She did a lot of damage to dear people up in New Jersey and New York. The photos and reports were truly epic, and yet here we just got lots of rain and a couple of days home from school. I feel so blessed that we were protected during that crazy storm. The eye of the storm passed over Baltimore, just miles from us. Crazy I tell you, crazy. We have a safe dry, happy home filled with love. I am thankful.

Ellie is doing so well again this year. She loves her 2nd grade class, and is dancing three nights a week and an occasional acro class on Saturday mornings. She just can't get enough dance. This weekend I am taking her to the the ballet with some of our bestest friends. We will be watching Romeo and Juliet by the San Francisco Ballet. I can't wait. I am seriously giddy. She is turning eight in a week. I can't believe it! I asked her what she wanted this year, if she wanted a party or to go to the ballet and she picked the ballet. She is growing up. I am amazed at her sweetness and depth. I love her to pieces. I'm planning a fun photo shoot for her, eight is great and must be captured accordingly!

Sophia. She is my tenacious unconquerable kindergartner. She really loves school and is learning so much. My second child has never really enjoyed lesson time with me, and I was a bit worried about her starting school without a lot of reading skills, but she has grown so much in the past few months, and is doing so well. I'm quite pleased. She is dancing and competing on the little Petite Team this year and just got her first costume, it's so pretty! And it's blue. Sophia is thrilled about that. My girl is coming into herself well. I do adore her little self.

Gradon. Oh my what a boy he is. I love being his mom. He is such a mamma's boy. He loves loves loves trains and cars. He loves to throw clean laundry and dirty laundry all over my bedroom floor and use laundry baskets as cars. It's wonderful. He loves to play outside and read books. He insists on giving hugs and kisses to anyone who comes and goes to and from our home, he's very sweet and affectionate. Lately he has been joining me in the early morning trek to the bus stop to drop off the girls for school. He is fascinated with the number of cars that pass by on our street, and thinks the bus is pretty awesome.

As for Chris, our fearless doctor-to-be, he's trudging through the last months of school. We find out in less than a month where we will be headed for residency. It's hard to believe we are at that point, I feel like it was just yesterday I was talking to my sister in law (who's husband just graduated and moved to San Diego) about how long medical school felt to me....and now it's almost over. I am not sure where we will be, but chances are it won't be here, which has brought me a lot of sadness. Who would have thought I'd love it this much? That I'd call Maryland home. It's hard to think about leaving, so honestly I push it far away from my everyday thoughts. We have a good life here, but I have to believe that we will go where we need to be...

Me? I'm busy being a wife, mother, teacher, primary president, and photographer. It's a busy life. I feel like I need to slow down, and am working on getting rid of stuff that causes me stress. =) I feel very blessed to be where I am, to be learning and trying to be better, and aware of the blessings around me. The holidays are here, I hope to enjoy them fully with my family and friends. Here are a few pictures of the kids taken on a lovely afternoon in October:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hello Blog

So my blog has officially turned into a blahggg. Boring-- lifeless -pathetic. I embrace this and assure my three loyal  readers that we have been super busy. Really busy. I have things to write about and pictures to post and yet there are piles around me that demand my attention. Here is a small snippet of our summer so far. 

Summer is here and I don't feel that deep *sigh* I have been yearning for...maybe because we are doing this: 

Swim Team. 6 days a week.

Last year our neighbors begged us to join. I was skeptical and didn't want my mornings and summer occupied and scheduled. I was wise to postpone swim team. It has totally taken over my life! I have to say that Sophia's swimming has improved so much! She loves going to practice every morning and loves her team. Saturday mornings we are up early to make it to meets at 7am. My baby doesn't get up until 8, so this is a challenge for us all, especially me! But it's been super for us, and great for Sophia.

Back in May we took a fun trip to Baltimore for Chris' birthday. We had a fabulous dinner at Roy's Hawaiian. On his birthday I put together an incredibly fun luau surprise birthday for him, and then I took no pictures of the party. I think I took one photo with my phone, or maybe two. It was one of the craziest things I have done in a long time, and it was so fun. He was so surprised. The food was amazing, roasted kahlua pig, fresh fruit, huli huli chicken, rice, coconut cake, a mango and pineapple mocktail, and fun decor including grass skirts and leis. Chris' brother's family was in on the surprise great night, totally worth the energy.

We also enjoyed a trip to Baltimore as a family for the Star Spangled "Sailabration", the 200 year anniversary of the war of 1812, and the composition of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. It was one of the best times I have had in Baltimore, exploring tall ships, walking along the waterfront, enjoying glimpses of the Blue Angels screaming across the sky. I miss the sound of jets. =) I love that we live in an area where there is so much rich history. I didn't realize how much Baltimore was a part of the events of the Revolution. Fort McHenry is right here! It was where Francis Scott Key wrote our nation's anthem. I feel so grateful to be able to visit these incredible sites that are a part of our nation's past. 

Chris is busy learning about Orthopedic surgery. Right now he is in Viriginia, enjoying the work at Portsmouth. The Ortho team is small and this has become very appealing to Chris, and the people there are very good to work for, I keep telling him to like Bethesda more. =) Next month he will be in San Diego which is where I think he really wants to be, his brother Grant is in the program there and is very happy. 
Last week for the 4th of July we joined him in Virginia and enjoyed a brief trip to Virigina Beach. It was a great time, my favorite part being the fireworks display at night on the 4th. My kids loved the beach. I love the 4th, one of my favorite holidays for sure!!

I've been doing more with my photography business, enjoying a few sessions here and there, and I may even have the chance to do a wedding or two in September! Totally fun. I have lots of ideas and thoughts about that, but I'll save those for a later post. 

I had the honor of photographing my friend Susan and her business partner Adrianna for their blog.  

S& A are amazing craft-y women whose blog inspires crafters everywhere to use their precious quiet hours of the day working on fun projects like these:

It was a super fun session, and I loved hanging out with them. Adrianna lives in Thailand (!) she was here briefly for a special visit. Being able to be a part of their precious fun time was a treat for me.


Check them out, they are crazy talented-

That's all for now friends, more summer-y blog posts to come. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Is for mothers. Happy Mother's Day to my dear mother, who raised me with high expectations and strong values. Who sought the very best education for me, and persevered to help all of her children achieve their potential. I admire my mother for her strength of character and her knowledge of right. My mother is the queen of art and culture, she taught me to revere beautiful things and to seek after them. She is a cultivator and nurturer. My mother is unwavering, kind, loving, talented, silly, funny and wonderful. There is no one like her in the world. I'm so glad she's mine. Happy Mother's Day Mom, you are simply fabulous. I love you!