Monday, October 29, 2012

In Memory of Coki


It has been a bit of a rough week in our house.  Last week, we had to say good-bye to our first baby, Coki.  I think we are all still in a little bit of shock that she is really not here with us anymore.  Coki has been a member of our family for almost 10 years and it just doesn't seem possible that she isn't here with us anymore.  Coki was such a part of us.  She was the first major "decision" Neal and I made together as a married couple.  We adopted her, brought her to our first apartment, and she was everything to us.  She was even named for a beach where we honeymooned. From there, she helped to make our first house a home - one that we even picked out with her in needed a good yard for her to play in, of course!  She paced and panted as she watched me begin labor with Meredith.  She welcomed a new little one into our house.  She provided smiles and giggles for Meredith from the moment Meredith knew she was there.  She was her fuzzy big sister.  She took us to our next home and greeted Jillian as she joined us and made us our happy family of five.  The girls love her tremendously.  Neal couldn't wait to get home to see her wagging her tail to greet him.

Coki loved to play ball, to swim like you've never seen, to cuddle with her stuffed hedgehog, she had an unnatural ability to jump to any height you can imagine (we often joked that she was part cat).  Possibly, one of her favorite past times, however, was driving me bonkers.  Still, we loved her and still she was family.  

Neal and I are still struggling to remember that she isn't here - we hear her nails hitting on the tile, we are sure we see her coming into the room, or we instinctively go to let her outside or feed her.  Meredith was heartbroken when we told her.  She has coped really well so far, better than I could have imagined, but I know there will always be times when she is missing her friend.  Jillian was much more concerned with all of our tears when we told them than about the news itself.  But in the days that have followed, she has been really sad as she wakes up asking where she is and why she has to be in heaven.  So, for now, we just talk about her and all the things that she is having fun doing in heaven and how much we loved having her.

So, on that note, I wanted to include some pictures of Coki through the years to remind us of all the good times we had with our fuzzy little girl...

Neal and I right after we brought her home
 We loved to spend time in the field behind our apartment together.  There was a little pond where Coki would chase the ducks after we played chase with the ball.
 Coki in our first house.
 Coki was a world-class swimmer!  It was hilarious to watch.

I'm so cool, I dress like my dog! 

Helping to make Meredith comfy at home.
Meredith and Coki on our family vacation in the Mountains in 2009

A family snowman - Coki loved eating snowballs thrown at her, so I am sure she is anxious to get this picture over with and get back to it!

 Coki loved enjoying the sunshine on nice days in our backyard.

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

This year as Halloween approached, the girls toyed around with a few costume ideas, but then somehow Dorothy came up.  One girl liked that idea (I am not even sure who it was first!) and I suggested the other be Toto, or Glenda, or someone else from the movie.  But both girls set their heart on Dorothy, so we decided there was nothing wrong with 2 Dorothy's! I found a cute idea for making a Dorothy costume online that I thought my limited sewing skills could handle and then worked on the accessories.  Neal decided that he would be the Tin Man for his work Halloween party and, so that I wouldn't be left out, I decided to try to put together a Glenda costume.  Luckily, Aunt Sandy has so many fancy dressed my costume was a breeze!

Each year, we attend our church's event, First Fest, that includes Trunk or Treating.  This year, they needed extra cars, so Neal and I decided we would volunteer.  I talked him into using our costumes and I figured out a way to make our car look like Oz and we were good to go!  We really had a blast and we got some really good responses to our car and costumes, so I am so glad we did it!  Plus, the girls loved that the whole family participated!

 The girls posing in front of the Emerald City and the Yellow Brick Road

 Two of the prettiest Dorothy's you ever did see!

 The girls and their sweet Daddy
 We ran into the girls' friend, Kaitlyn, who was an equally cute Dorothy!

 I loved this set of pics - I didn't get to see the girls get to enjoy all the festivities this year because we were at the car, but I did get a little time to see Jillian take on this massive bounce structure.  I loved watching that fluffy tutu make its way through the obstacle course!

 Our Oz family!

 After the girls took their turn Trunk or Treating, they took some time to help us hand out candy.  This helped our theme tremendously, because I got lots of "Oh, you are a bride/princess" I guess before they saw the car and Neal.  And then, sadly, we had lots of people call ME Dorothy.  Neal suggested that we should encourage everyone to watch this movie more closely next time!
 Meredith and Hannah
Such a fun First Fest!

Hill Carnival

Another piece of Neal's birthday weekend that I forgot to add in was a trip to the Hill Carnival!  There were tons of fun games and activities for the kids - we are so blessed to be a part of this school!
 Meredith loved her cat face painting and both girl decorated pumpkins

 Jillian wanted to spend every minute (and every ticket!) on the bounce houses!

During PE, their PE teacher taught the kids the Thriller dance and they did a "Flash Mob" during the carnival.  It was supposed to be a surprise, but Meredith couldn't stop talking about it and practicing it at home.  She was a little nervous before hand, but did a great job!

And when it was over, she was super proud of herself!  She can't wait for next year!

First Field Trip - the Pantego Fire Station

I can't tell you how exciting it is to be a kindergartner about to go on her first ever real-live field trip!  My girl was bouncing off the walls!  Not only was it a field trip, but they got to ride a real-live bus on the way home, too!  Seriously...more exciting than Christmas!

The field trip started off with all the classes walking to the Pantego Fire Station for a tour.

 The kids checked out the station and the firefighters talked about fire safety with them.
 Then there were some demonstrations of equipment that apparently got too loud for most of these guys!

 A couple of class pics!
 Then we all walked to a nearby park - we took the long way, so we were all very ready to be there!

Once we got to the park, we all had lunch and played on the playground, with bubbles, and with chalk - so fun!

 Then it was time for what they all really cared about - the school bus ride back to school!

They sure looked and felt like big kids riding the bus!  What a fun trip!