Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meet the Cochrans....


I come from a wonderful family.

It is hard to sit and write about my family because there are no words that can describe fully how unique and special we are.

At best I can introduce you to the Cochran Family through a series of brief memories and stories.

"Katie-did-it! Would you be a dear and grab my pocketbook from the coat closet. And on your way will you grab the Murphy's Oil Soap and wash my baseboards."

This is my grandmother, Bernadine. She says things like pocketbook, davenport, and see you in the funny papers. She hands out half sticks of gum and those peanut butter chew candies in orange and black wrappers from Halloween... even though it's July. She would make ridiculous requests like it's no big deal. For example, cleaning her baseboards on the way to getting her purse...

She loved Jesus in a way no other person can. She coined the term "Catholic guilt". But when you did something worthy... she would tell you with pride, how you just sewed a rose on baby Jesus's blanket, and she would praise you like it was the best damn rose ever sewn on!

I have the best memories of my grandma. The best.

I would say that the only time my grandma ever stopped talking was to pray but she just did that out loud too.  She had a way of just weaving it into conversation.

".... and I was at Meijer and there was this woman in front of me with a cart full, did you know that they have angel food cake on sale this week? Al! Go get Katie a coupon for some cake mix. Katie-did-it go buzz grandpa up from the basement. Jesus Mary and Joseph be with you on your way. Oh and will you run the vacuum for me. Bless your heart, blessed sacrificial heart of Jesus. Hail Mary full of grace...."

I never had a chance to tell her that I hated angel food cake but I did walk out with a coupon that was guaranteed to get me $1.50 cash back somehow...

Then there is Albert Cochran, my grandfather. I never really knew his voice until grandma died. I am not exaggerating when I say this is the World's Best Man... ever. I'm pretty sure he's like the top dog angel in heaven right now.

I've never heard him complain about anything. This man was always working his ass off. Anything that needed to be fixed or done he could do.

This man could find a bargain anywhere. It was almost a game for us. You could bring up any product in conversation and he would tell you three things:

1. what store had it on sale
2. who was offering triple coupons this week
3. EXACTLY how much you would be paying for it

Sometimes before going out with my friends I would tell them I had to stop buy Al's to pick up spaghetti sauce and 24 jars of pickles for my mom. For the longest time they thought it was a supermarket until one day we rolled up in front of my grandparent's house. This is where we would do a lot of our grocery shopping, in Al's pantry. It was always well stocked and if I had to guess NOTHING cost more than a dime in there.

At the young age of eight I had my first beer with my grandpa. We watched westerns and he would take a shot of Wild Turkey from a shot glass shaped like a cowboy boot. Then he would pour a little beer in it for me. I'd sit there and watch the tall tales of Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, and Rooster Cogburn while eating my cheese and pretzels.... and drinking my beer with a hint of whiskey.

We shot the gun in his basement then delivered Communion to the shut-ins, elderly, and sick who couldn't make it to Mass.

I've learned more from this man and he hardly ever said a word. His actions spoke volumes. I am so grateful that my husband had the chance to know him. To this day he says that Granpa Al is someone he really admires.

Wow.

I miss my grandparents very much. They played a huge roll in my upbringing. They also produced my crazy aunts and mom.

If you knew my grandmother then it would be easy for you to picture my mom and her sisters. Did you know  they had a brother? Probably not because he never got a word in.

My aunts are a ball of energy. When they are in the same room it's a phenomenon. Imagine if you will, four grown women having four different conversations with each other at the same time using large hand movements, expressive facial gestures, hitting, rapid jumping to signify hilarity, and finally either lay each other's heads in their laps or just fall down on the floor.

And this could be just from one conversation of say... going to the bank.

It's amazing and exhausting to watch.

It's a curse that is passed down through generations of Cochrans. I have no doubt my sisters and I will be crazy ass women replicating this same behavior. It's inevitable and cannot be stopped no matter how hard you try.

As a little girl I watched my grandma and her sisters act this way, listening to my mother and her sisters laugh and make fun of them. Now my sisters and I shake our heads at our mothers.

We are loud, opinionated, and love each other fiercely. Family is everything to us. We've had fall outs and drama. We are always on each other's side. We will discuss your faults and problems behind your back but love you all the same.

Because we all have our shit.

Everyone of us.

And we don't care because we are family and there is nothing more important in this world.

Except Jesus. He is always more important.

Two days a year we make sure we get together to celebrate our craziness and love.
1. The Cochran Family Fall Festival
2. The Cochran Girls Shopping Weekend.

These are coveted and important dates. A time to all get together so that we can remember every single childhood account from the aunts and create new stories to be told.

And to laugh... always to laugh.

I am so thankful for my family. My cousins are like siblings, my aunts like moms.

I love you all.




We drink wine together.







We will love on any baby we can get our hands on. 







We hang out... mostly around food tables. 






We are sisters. 






We are cousins. 






Generations can't separate us. 






We look like each other. 






We act like each other. 






We celebrate life every chance we get. 





We are family. 




We are Cochrans. 






Al and Bernadine Cochran


Friday, October 18, 2013

House for Sale....

You know what sucks?

Selling a house.



Yet another chapter of our lives is being written as we speak. Here is what has been written thus far:


Chapter 1: Filler up: A love story that started at a gas station
Chapter 2: Sioux Falls: Eloping and loving it
Chapter 3: Living in the Ghetto: How your car can be stolen twice in 30 days
Chapter 4: Working at a Bank: This shit sucks, I'm going to college
Chapter 5: College: Your welcome for marrying your daughter before tuition
Chapter 6: Knocked Up: Max
Chapter 7: Summa Cum Laude: That's right, I sure did
Chapter 8: Knocked Up: Tommy (aka- are you f-ing kidding me??!!) Max is 8 months old
Chapter 9: Brutus Our First Dog: I hate you
Chapter 10- 15: Childhood: It's all a blur because I'm so damn tired my eyes weren't open to see it
Chapter 16: House for Sale #1: Peace out Englewood
Chapter 17: Troy: Loving the past 8 years
Chapter 18: Chewy Our Second Dog: I hate you
Chapter 19: Camping: Read for yourself
Chapter 20: House for Sale: This sucks

These are very broad chapters of course. My life has been far richer than these brief 20 chapters could ever express.

But dammit I am ready for Chapter 21!

And you know what is going to be in Chapter 21?? It's going to start by pointing a giant middle finger at home showings I can tell you that much.

Good God showing a house is the worst! Cleaning your ass off, hurrying your kids and dog out the door without walking on the freshly vacuumed carpet or touching absolutely anything for fear a potential buyer might actually think that this is a house where people live day in and day out.....

Oh wait?? You mean this isn't a model home?? Staged to be pretty??

No dumbasses real people frolic around this house. Every day. If you look closely I just shoved dirty laundry in the dryer to hide it.

The best is the 3 timers. The jerks who "had" to see our house the 3rd time because they were definitely writing an offer but needed just one more peek all during hours while Dan and I were at work creating a scheduling nightmare, mostly for Dan, to take off work just to get the dog out.

Thanks people. Thanks for creating a conundrum for this family. Oh and thanks for offering to let our dog just stay in the garage all day so you can walk around with your stupid clipboard of "pro/cons" that I have imagined you to have.

You're very generous.

Chapter 21, I look forward to your beginning. Please hurry.





Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy 12th Birthday Tommy!

Where has the time gone? 

I remember like it was yesterday when you were born. 

I specifically remember waiting in recovery while they were prepping my room. It must have been a full moon because there were like a hundred emergency births.... or at least that was the crappy excuse the nurses gave me when I asked what was taking so long. 

You see, my son, it was getting late and you and I were having the best time hanging out. Time seemed to stand still. Hours passed and I realized Friends, mommy's favorite T.V. show, was about to air. 

At 5 till show time, I had a team of nurses running me down the hallways of the hospital. It was like your first roller coaster ride! 

Sure enough you and I were sitting front and center watching the hilarity of our good friends...Friends. 

I like to think this started our special bond. I also think this is why you feel the need to do daring and dangerous things. Maybe I shouldn't have yelled "Hurry! I'm going to miss my show!!!" to cause those nurses to run. 

Here's to you! I love you Tommy. You are my friend and my life. 


Happy Birthday!




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Poor Farmers Gave us a Rich Weekend

We are on a camping roll!

This weekend we were invited to a "group camp" by our good friends, the Huffs. 

After scouting out a few viable campgrounds we agreed on Poor Farmers Campground in Fletcher, Ohio. 

This is their biggest camping weekend... so big they don't even take reservations.

The Theme: Antique Tractors and Flea Market. 


Look at all this stuff.....


I mean look.....


Tables and tables of..... absolute shit. 

And it was awesome. 

If this doesn't have Al Cochran's name on it then I don't know what does. Actually I think some of this stuff is his because I could have sworn I shot the BB gun at some of those old cans. 

People eat this shit up. Who doesn't like getting a good deal? I'm not kidding when I say it was nothing more than a garage sale.....on steroids. 

It's something special watching people barter for dollars, even nickels off items. The passion that comes out is a sight. Sometimes you might see a fist pump as some lucky victor walks off with something like this....


Look familiar??? I think it's the gate that was missing from Leisure Oaks Campground (see blog titled Day 1- Oh my...)


Hey look! It's Santa's sleigh! 


I love that my nieces are getting in on the action! Way to get a deal girls!


This F Market was family fun for all and we give it 4 stars.  I'd give it 5 but some tightass wouldn't part with his tent stakes. He had it marked for five bucks. I was like, "I'll give you a dollar for this". To which he made a horrible face and said "Are you kidding?" To which I replied, "What? Do you think we are living in the Clinton years??"  

And that's how I found out almost all campers are Republicans.  

Well damn. 

No worries because we are hanging with our besties!!


Do you know this girl??!! Her first name is Totally and her last is Awesome!!



My girl Tammy and my sister. 



The "meat man" Lance. If you ever get a chance to try Lance's meat I highly recommend it. I had some Saturday night with dinner, a little later that night after I had time to rest and again Sunday morning. 

Whew! I was stuffed! And it was good! From what I could see his meat was a huge hit all around! Dan loved his meat too. We were actually just talking about how good Lance's meat turned out. 


Check out Lance's meat!

Lance's meat. Amazing. 
And it wan't just Lance's meat this weekend but I had some of Dave's meat, ribs to be exact..... and you guessed it... amazing.
By the way we met some awesome fellow campers. Long time friends of the Huffs, Allen and Kathy and Dave and Sandy.
Great people, fun people, people who take camping as serious as us. They bring Direct TV, hotspots, and more food than you would know what to do with. 


It's hard to see from this picture but we configured our four campers to all face in toward each other. The "commons" area or "garden" in the middle was cozy.



We kicked the night off with birthday shots for the birthday girls Tammy and Lindsey. 

I was told by camper Dan that he would not be doing any drinking this weekend as we all saw how that ended for him at Dokken (see blog: Rockin with Dokken Again.... no really for fun go read that one again, lol) 


  Hmmm... I guess a little bourbon wouldn't hurt. 

Oh wait... Tequila??? Yeah... that one might hurt. 

That's my boy : )


Winning!

We had a great time hanging out, shopping it up, and watching the kids have a blast. 

Surprisingly many come to this campground for the Antique Tractor Show and F Market. We ran into many friends. 

Old friends...

New friends...


From playing school....

To playing spoons!


The playground!



Queen of the campground! 


There was someone for everyone, both big and small. 


 BFFs!


Sisters!


My dad came out! (nice photo bomb Tammy...well done)


As well as Jen and the girls!



And Kris and Lindsey's new dog Bear. 

Yay. 




After dinner we needed to work off some of that meat. 

Soccer time! Adults v. the kids

The game lasted until the sun went down!



You know what happens when the sun goes down?

You guessed it! Time for a campfire...




Something fun to mention.

After much soul searching, Dan and I decided that we were ready to take our camping to the  next level. 

Dan installed a TV, outside of the camper! Perfect for movies, football games, and Wii game nights!



Isn't it awesome??!! I know because we are awesome campers!! 

I'd like to note that in the picture above, Lance and my new friend Allen are trying to light the pilot so that I can have hot water to wash my face and so I could kick the furnace on. 

I love turning the heat and the air conditioner on at the same time. Something about the combination of both creates a breeze, you know like one that comes off the ocean. It's warm but cools you at the same time. This is something I'm only allowed to do in the trailer. 

Sleeping that night was wonderful. Especially with a clean face. 



Sunday morning was beautiful. Coffee, donuts, eggs, bagels, Lance's meat... what more could you want?



Allen enjoying his Sunday coffee. You nailed it buddy. 



Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Cleanin time was here before I knew it. Off to soccer games, homework, and dirty laundry. 



Excellent weekend friends....good times!