Season Change, But True Friends Remain The Same…

Who is your person, do you have one, two or more? If not, it’s never too late to find your tribe…

I was blessed with the opportunity to begin building my tribe at the ripe young age of fifteen. I had just moved from Illinois to Texas the summer before my freshman year of high school. Little did I know the girls I bonded with in my high school years would be the friendships that would carry me into adulthood… Through high-school and college I grew many friendships, they are to this day are near and dear to my heart. They are “my people” the ones who know me from the inside out, the ones who help me make decisions, the ones who talk sense into me, the ones who cheer me on, support me, and are just there in general.

Today I met two of my friends for a “last brunch,” Emily, a friend I’ve had since high school is moving to the coast, a dream she has brought to reality. She is so excited for this move, I am excited for her, and also extremely proud of her. However, I will miss her immensely…

This evening Lauren posted a picture from our brunch

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The caption Lauren gave this photo was the following, “A million things have changed in the past five years, but we haven’t.” Her words were simple but, also deep and profoundly true. In the past several years so much has changed; stages of life, jobs, boyfriends, husbands, buying homes, having kids, and adulting in general… Through all the stages of life we have encountered so far and all the changes that have occurred, one thing has managed to stay the same…our friendship. We are completely different in every way possible, but I guess that’s what makes our friendship so special. I love the ability we have to pick up right where we left off, regardless of how long it’s been since we talked or hung out…

I am going to miss my friend so much when she leaves , but at least I’ll have somewhere to stay on the coast! 😉

Love you Emily, here is to the next fourteen years, and yes it’s really been that long for us!

“If a friendship lasts longer than seven years psychologists say it will last a lifetime”

-unkown

So basically you’re stuck with me now!

Love,

Me

Why celebrate ALL women on Mother’s Day?

 

It’s that time of the year again. Flowers, cards, handmade items, Facebook status updates about how much we love our mom, and the cute little #Instagram pics of all the Mother’s Day goodies we received. It’s a wonderful day full of love, and appreciation, and its more than deserved.

You’re a woman arguably one of the hardest things to be on the planet, since we use both sides of our brains, it’s obviously harder than being a man. But, what if your not a mom in the traditional sense? Do we still celebrate you? Why, YES! Of course we do! All women are natural nurtures, we give of ourselves freely, we put others needs above our own, we protect, and defend those we love. If that’s not the definition of a mom to a tee, then I don’t know what you’re smoking!? I am a mom in the traditional sense, I carried my son for 38 weeks, gave birth to him, breast fed him, care for him on a daily basis, love him, play with him, laugh with him, go on walks with him, and the list goes on, and on. I’ve done, and do all these things so now the world recognizes me as a mom…But wait a minute, what about the teachers, nurses, coaches, day-care workers, aunts, friends and all the other titles childless women wear? Are they not also in positions that nurture, and protect children? I have several friends who are teachers and some are also coaches, they are young, beautiful, single, and also childless in the way the world would put it. But, I am here to tell you that they are moms, maybe not in the tradition sense… They love, laugh, play, care for, celebrate, protect, and worry for their students, patients, athletes, and or niece/nephew. They are role models to young people just the same as moms are. They too deserve to be celebrated this mothers day.

To all my friends who love Greyson like their own, to all my friends who are in the trenches of teaching with me, to all my friends who care for children in hospitals, to all my friends who are extraordinary aunts and especially to my sister who is an amazing auntie too! I celebrate you this Mothers Day! Others may ask why, and my answer is simple, you’re a mommy too!

Happy Mother’s Day to all women who love, laugh, play, care for, celebrate, protect, and worry for the little ones in their lives.

Love,

Brittani, just a wife, mom & teacher 🙂

What will you fill your pages with?

New Year’s Day, a fresh start, tabula rasa. You have a new book with blank sheets, and you my friend are the author. What story will you write?

Our society has become so fixated on resolutions for the new year, a fancy way to say things you want to change about yourself…. What if though instead of changing yourself you simply reflected on what you are, who you have become, accomplishments and failures, and then instead of trying to change them, learn and grow from them… What if?

As I reflect on this past year I see good, bad, great, and not so great…. Would I change any of it? Heavens no! My short comings have made me who I am today as well as my accomplishments. Do I want to be better this year than I was last year? Of course!

This year instead of changing yourself, or making a resolution, strive to be better and do better than last year.

Goodbye 2015, and hello, 2016! Here is to past, may we learn from it, and here is to the future. May we take it by storm!

Happy new year my friends! What will you fill your pages with?

I don’t love the man I married…

So my title might have scared you, maybe it raised some eyebrows…? For the record I still love my husband but the reasons why I do have changed from the day that we said “I DO” or I guess “WE DO.”

This February my husband and I will have been married for five years. WOW, as I sit here and type this I can’t believe that it’s been almost five years! That’s nuts to me. Now I know we aren’t the couple still dancing at weddings when they try to see who is the oldest couple in the room is but in todays society I feel that five years deserves an “egg shake” or you might know it as a “hand clap.”

Anyways on to the point… On our wedding day our paster, Nick Cooper had us write down the top ten reasons why we loved the other. It was a special moment and a part of our ceremony that I will never forget. Hearing the reasons why Mikey loved me, Brittani Leigh Cochrane was such a special moment in time. And the look on Mikey’s face when he heard the reasons why I loved him was equally as special. The reasons we wrote were reasons we developed through a courtship the reasons we decided we wanted to spend the rest of forever together. However, over the course of (almost) five years those reasons have matured and changed. I don’t love the man I married, I love the man he has become. 

Marriage is a job, 24/7. Marriage is a decision you must make daily. Marriage takes time, commitment and patience. Marriage can be ugly and beautiful all at the same time. My husband has seen me at my worst and my best.  We have cried together and laughed together. We have watched each other grow. Through the process of marriage I have developed new feelings and new reasons for loving my husband and believe it or not those reasons are more simple than one might think.

Along our journey I have learned to appreciate and love the little things my husband does for me like:

Packing my lunch

Folding my laundry

Giving me compliments on a daily basis despite my post-baby-bod

Cooking dinner when he can tell I’m too busy or overwhelmed with work

Letting me vent about even the most ridiculous things

Finding items I’ve misplaced

Taking out the trash

Waking up to feed Greyson so I can sleep in

How he interacts with our son, he is loving, patient, kind and gentile

How he treats me on a daily basis, through his actions I am always able to see Jesus and for that reason I fall in love with him over and over again

The reasons above might seem silly or miniscule. They aren’t the in depth reasons we gave each other the day of our wedding (although those original top 10 are still on the list today).  They are the reasons I continue to love my husband they are the reasons that make my love for him grow even deeper. They are the reasons why I appreciate him more and more each day.

So here is to marriage, to the top 10 and counting and to another almost five years.SLT_9746b(Hearing Our Top 10 Reasons)

Blink, but not for too long….

Tomorrow at exactly 10:39am my son, Greyson will be six months old. That’s 1/2 of a year, 182.5 days or 4380 hours! Time is passing by at such an accelerated rate since my husband and I welcomed our sweet baby boy into this world.

So much has changed in past six months. I have learned several things from learning to function on little or no sleep to being an expert in burping, my son not me.  From all the tricks and trades I have added to my parenting tool box the most important one I have was not acquired during the past six months…

While attending college at Tarleton State University I joined many groups and organizations ranging from Alpha Gamma Delta, Student Government to Paradigm (a college ministry). During my time in Paradigm I was lead by Nick Cooper. Later he would be the one to marry Mikey and I.  I remember a distinct conversation we had the night before our wedding. It was right after our rehearsal at the Old Red Museum, in Dallas. Nick, Mikey and myself sat in a room and went over a few details. At that moment Nick took an opportunity to share some great advice. He went on to tell us how crazy the day would be tomorrow and how everything would pass by before we knew it.  He encouraged us to take mental snapshots throughout the day to focus on the details and to soak in every moment before they were gone. He demonstrated how to do this by simply blinking your eyes, quickly, he said “when you see something you want to remember just blink (quickly) and remember it, keep it with you always.” He was absolutely right! The day flew by, it was here one minute and the then next it was gone…

Throughout our marriage Mikey and I have experienced moments that were so special and incredible that we knew we wanted to keep the memory with us, always.  We would and still do look at each other and blink (quickly).  It’s our way of saying we want to remember this moment, always.

This advice given by Nick has carried over into parenthood.  There have been so many little moments that have come and gone already.  I find my self blinking just fast enough to keep the moment with me, always.  Moments like when Greyson first smiled, rolled over, laughed and reached for me.  The time is passing and will continue to do so. I will continue to soak in the sweet moments by taking mental snapshots.

For my friends out there who are expecting, have recently welcomed a sweet babe or maybe it has been several years since you welcomed your kiddo… It may sound weird but I encourage you to blink, not too long though. Blink quickly, quick enough to take that mental snapshot of all the sweet moments that are and yet to come.

Blink, but not for too long...
Blink, but not for too long…

It’s has been THAT kind of week…

This week has been THAT week. You know the kind where nothing seems right. Everything is in disarray and chaos. Not the organized chaos that you’re used to, you know the kind where the outside eye looking in has no clue what’s going on but to you it’s a beautifully orchestrated symphony and the rhythm is in your time…

This week was poop shit. There I said it, it was like Alexanders day… Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day…Only it wasn’t just a day, no, it was an entire week.

Leaving my son each morning this week proved to be more difficult than in weeks past. I spent most of my commutes in tears. I cried out to God, why, why is this so hard? Will these feelings ever cease? Work presented new challenges and new demands (as if teachers don’t already have a full plate) lets just add more, shall we? Just for fun to see if they snap.  It was so bad that I actually applied for new job. Yes! A new job not in education. I was quickly brought back to reality, thanks to my sweet teacher friend who reminded me that I have the best job next to being a mommy.  On top of leaving Greyson each morning and work pushing me to my limits I had my first curriculum assessment of the year.  If there is one thing you should know about teachers it is that we take our test scores personally. They are a reflection of us and our teaching…. I have very high expectations for myself and of my students and we did not exactly meet them this go around. My house is a mess, I have no clean clothes and I may or may not have showered every day this week….. So, you get it. It has been a rough week for me.  Poor me, right? Wrong…

On one of my tear filled commutes this week I was listening to “I Will Praise You In This Storm” by the Casting Crowns… When the chorus chimed in I immediately broke.

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I was quickly grounded back to reality and my senses.  This week has been hard, this week has been my storm but regardless of where I am HE is with me and will see me through. I as I meditated on the words in the song I began to feel guilty convicted (there is a difference). Yes, my week has been rough but, there are so many others that are challenges bigger than mine. Instead of having pity on myself  I began to count my blessings and boy did my perspective change…

  1. Leaving my son for work is hard but I am BLESSED to have a child.
  2. Work is demanding but I am BLESSED to have a job.
  3. My clothes are dirty but I am BLESSED to have something to wear… Even if my jeans can stand up on their own after I take them off….
  4. My house is a disaster zone but I am BLESSED to have a roof over my head.

So, though my week to me has been trying I will chose to praise HIM through my storm. My prayer for you is that wherever you find yourself this week or next that you remember you’re never alone. He is with you through it all. He is making you stronger though the storm and while you’re walking in the rain you might as well count your blessings.

I see you mom…

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I’m not sure how to begin this post. I want to preface it by saying that I think being a mom is quite possibly one of the most difficult jobs I have ever had. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom…You are a mom superhero!

This post goes out to all moms, I want you to know I see you, having been at both ends of the spectrum.

First, to my SAHM’s…. I see you:

Skipping your shower to take care of the needs of your kid(s).

Never getting “dressed” for the day and feeling discouraged when your other half comes home and you’re still in what he saw you in when he left for work…and you may or may not have had a chance to brush your teeth.

Trying to get your fussy kid(s) down for a nap.

Scrambling to get house work done while the little monsters finally nap.

Loading that/those same little monster(s) up and braving Target or Wal-Mart. May the force be with you sister!

Facing a meltdown at Target or Wal-Mart.

Doing laundry for everyone, except you. Let’s face it you don’t have much to wash when you wear the same thing a few days in a row more than you would like to admit.

Doing tummy time for the millionth time today.

Watching cartoons that you have absolutely no interest in but, somehow  you end up mesmerized.

Preparing dinner.

Cleaning up after dinner.

Wrangling the kid(s) for your night time routines; bath, books and bed.

Cleaning the house.

Crawling into bed and unwinding with some social media, because it’s your only outlet sometimes.

Feeling a little discouraged because you don’t feel that you’ve accomplished much today. OH, but you did! Your job is so important. You keep your household afloat. You hold down the fort. You are the CEO my friend!

To my working mom’s…. I see you:

Waking up before anyone else to make sure you have time to get ready for work. Or… waking up late and skipping your shower or even make-up.

Waking your sweet kid(s) to feed them and get them dressed for the day.

Realizing you have spit up or even worse poop on you, and you have a meeting today, great!

Making sure you’ve packed your lunch and you kid(s) diaper bag(s) and or backpack(s).

Skipping breakfast because you have NO time!

Dropping your kid(s) off at the sitter/daycare and wishing you were the one to take care of them.

Kissing your kid(s) one last time and checking the clock to be sure you’re not late.

Driving to work most likely in tears, the guilt and shame is unbelievable.

Enjoying your job and then feeling guilty because you do.

(Teacher mom’s: feeling guilty because you spend time investing in others kids the whole day while your little one is with someone else).

Leaving immediately after work knowing you’ll have to work when your kids(s) go to bed tonight.

Picking up your kid(s)

Preparing dinner

Cleaning up after dinner

Wrangling the kid(s) for your night time routines; bath, books and bed.

Watching the baby monitor debating whether or not to go in an scoop them up for some cuddle time.

Working on work (projects, lessons or presentations)

Crawling into bed feeling discouraged because you think you might be doing to wrong thing by working.

So, weather you’re a SAHM or a working-mom….Both jobs are incredibly rough! Not because one stays at home or one has to work outside the home but, because both jobs have the title MOM. Being a mom is tough work!

To all my moms… I see you…

Here is to the NOW!

So, you have straight hair and you want curls or you have curls and you want straight hair. We always want what we don’t have… But, if you got what you wanted would you still REALLY want it?

Prior to going back to school (work) I stayed home for almost four months (shy by one week) with my son Greyson. This time together was a blessing. God timed his birth perfectly. He was born six weeks before school let out last spring and I was able to stay home, then roll right into summer time.

Like I said, the time we had together uninterrupted and without school was such a blessing… However it wasn’t a walk in the park either. I was responsible for him 24/7. There was no substitute, I was número uno.

As the days went on I was loving the time I had with him but, I also did a happy dance when nap time rolled around…. Personal hygiene is important yall! Oh, and let’s not forget about house work…

I recall days that were difficult because the night before was sleepless for my boy and me. I would literally pray for him to take a nap the following day.

As time went on… dare I say it…. I actually missed school from time to time…. Not that being mommy 24/7 was bad, but, let’s be real folks, it’s the HARDEST job on the planet… I also felt like I needed to be working, my job is definitely a calling.

-Insert back to work-

I’m three weeks in to my school year and I love my job! I’m great at what I do and I have a passion for my students and their education… Do I feel guilty for feeling this way or for working? Heavens no! I am where God has placed me and I am there for a reason. For this I am certain of, my classroom is my mission field.

However, I do feel guilty for those days I wished Greyson would just take a nap. I feel guilty that I missed and thought about school. I feel guilty that I worried about a stupid shower, a clean house and laundry. I wish that I would have just let some things go. There were times where I felt like I needed to do something more…. What I should have been doing was soaking up every single moment with him, good or bad with sleep or no sleep.

The good thing for me is that summer time will roll around again and I will get another chance to just enjoy being a mom. I won’t wish for naps (If we’re being honest, now that I’m back at work I despise nap time because if he is sleeping I miss out on even more time with him…), worry about house work or think about school. I will just be a mom to my boy.

So, if you get anything from this post I hope it is to enjoy the moments as they come. Don’t wish for the future or you’ll miss the present.

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Here is to the now!

My sister, my friend, my everything…

My sister is the first friend I remember having. No, she didn’t always like me and I didn’t always like her but, she was and is always there for me. No matter what.  She is there for me to talk with, hang with, gossip with, laugh with and just be with. We share secrets and memories. We can communicate with just a look and I know she knows what I’m “saying.” She gets me like no other. For my Greys Anatomy fans, she is my “person.”

This week my sister seriously stepped up in an amazing way for me and my family.  My sweet sister took off an entire week from work in order to watch Greyson during my first week back at work.  Talk about selflessness!

Having her here this week to help Mikey, Greyson and I make this transition has been such a blessing. She has allowed us to find our new groove.

This week at work one of the teachers daughters was helping me in a my room. We talked about summer, Greyson and school.  I brought up her younger sister and asked how she was doing… Her response was “she is still annoying!” I had to take this opportunity to plant a seed. My words to her were the following…

You know I have a sister and I am the youngest. I remember growing up there were times where we got on each others nerves but, I promise you this, one day your sister will be your best friend.  Having a sister is so special, she will always be there for you no matter what.  Not everyone gets to experience the special friendship sisters have. Just hang in there and one day you’ll see….

As I reflect on this week and how amazing it has been to have my sister here I can’t help but get excited.  The friendship we share is so special so I just know the friendship she and Greyson will have will also be special.  Seeing them together warms my heart and reminds me how blessed I am.

Thank you sissy for always being there for me and being my person. 11903901_10207405717884900_2519761920147665928_n

Leave A Legacy….

You are a legacy, did you know that? You are the legacy that your parents left, and their parents, and their parents, and it just goes on and on.  Do you ever wonder how you’re still alive? How you made it though certain situations (alive!)?

-NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER

Shortly after I became a mommy, my pops and tutu (grandparents) gave me a book “Praying Circles around Your Children” by: Mark Batterson. This book has opened my eyes even more to the power of prayer and how it can be used as our secret weapon to fight for the future of our children.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I began praying for Greyson. I prayed for his future, health, salvation even his future spouse.  Those prayers continue and are even more detailed. Instead of just praying for his future spouse I am more specific. I pray that she is a believer, that she would be encouraging, that she would support Greyson, love him and be there for him in all walks of life. It wasn’t until I read this book that I really began to understand further the importance and power of prayer.

When we pray for our children, friends, family and even strangers we have a direct impact on their lives and future weather they know it or not.  We have a unique opportunity to leave a legacy through our prayers.  We have the opportunity to impact others though prayer.

Batterson gave some pretty deep advice that hit my heart and soul to the core; “Pray for each others children. Why parents? Because no one can pray for children like parents. They have similar heartbreaks, similar hopes. They love their children just like you love yours.”  This statement hit me like a ton of bricks.  My prayers I pray for Greyson need to also be the prayers I pray for my friends kids and even kids I don’t know.  Yes, my prayers are just one but, what if you prayed too? Then because of your prayers you influenced others to pray for the generation coming up. Pray without ceasing and you whether those you pray for know it it not they will be the legacy you leave.

-LEAVE A LEGACY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

As I reflect on my own life, where I am and what I have overcome (yes in my short 27 years on this planet). I know without a doubt that I am here today because of the people who have prayed for me.  To be more specific, my pops, tutu, mom, dad, family and friends. I am their legacy and I pray that I do not fail them. I pray that I continue their legacy of prayer by circling my family, friends, and even strangers in prayer.

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He is my legacy

As soon