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Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Birthday Girl is 5 {Part 1}!

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The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four – of secondary importance is to prepare for being five.  ~Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985

“Your loss is her gain.”   – My mom.

Avery has most definitely loved being 4 and prepared for being 5, but what about me?  I’m not ready.  I’m not prepared.  I am in no way, shape, or form desiring of my baby to be 5.  It may seem melodramatic.  It may be over-the-top, but I don’t want her to be 5.  And I know that there are moms out there that feel the same way.  I want her to be who she is now for much longer than she will be.  How could something that seemed decades away when she was born have happened already?!  The truth is, that I must accept that her sweet little life is not about me.  It’s about her.  I am quickly coming to accept that while I mourn the passing of her babyhood I must at least put on the face of excitement for her childhood and for the upcoming events of her life.  My views on education, the world, and religion will make a huge impact on hers. And so it is.  She will be officially five in a matter of hours and my heart is braced for impact.  My face has a smile and my voice has enthusiasm, and my hope is that if I fake it long enough, I truly will be happy that she is turning five.  When that happens, I know that no matter how I was feeling at the time, my sweet, smart, lively, simply fantastic little girl will have had a wonderful birthday.

My darling first born daughter,

We have been through so much together, so much since your surprising conception.  You have endured hardships that were not of your own doing.  You have overcome obstacles that were placed in front of you by someone else.  You love and forgive like no child I have ever met.  You have so suddenly erupted out of babyhood and into the whirlwind of a girl that you are today!  You are so very, very special, Avery.  Your perception of people and your world is so often far wiser and clearer than mine, and your love for life is so evident to all.  You amaze me in so many ways.  You love God and you love other people, and your nurturing has already proven fruitful, fruitful for me.  Thank you for loving me as you do, for forgiving me as you do, for correcting me at just the right moment and in just the right, respectful way of a child.  Thank you for being unique and for holding your own, for behaving so well, obeying so well, and for being so willing to  please.  You have been and continue to be the most wonderful surprise I have ever received, and I am privileged to know at least some of the reasons God blessed us with you when He did, in such a time that we were poorer than poor.  Throughout our family turmoil, you held steady.  You aged, but you were always my little girl.  You comforted me.  You served your family without even knowing.  You are a wonder and a miracle to us, Avery. I hope that you will look back on your childhood with “happy tears” as I do and know that no matter how much I will miss you at this age, I will love you always as you are, where you are, and for who you are.  Happy 5th Birthday to my first-born, God-ordained surprise!

Love always,

A High Seas Adventure

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Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.  ~Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood (introduction), 1982

For the first time in my adult life, I had the opportunity to participate in a church’s Vacation Bible School, my church’s in fact.  The love for my church has grown bigger over the past 5 months that we’ve been there, but I think it grew ten fold this week as I got to see not only our children learning about God and even practicing what they learned, but our adult and teen workers being taught about God by the children.  I was hugely impacted by the enthusiasm our children have for God and how they display it in their own individual, unique ways.  It is in our best interest to raise our children up in the way they should go so they will not deviate from it, so that they will be the examples for our world, examples of goodness, kindness, love, and godliness. Though no one could see it because my face was generally hidden behind my camera (a place that is quickly becoming my safe zone), the children, adults, and youth of our wonderful community and small town church brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion during our High Seas Adventure.    I am so grateful to be a part of this church and for every opportunity I have to serve and fellowship with them, and I love to call Louisburg Baptist Church my church home!  It is a church that is growing and a church that is striving to constantly love and serve our community, our nation, and our world and a church with which God is surely well pleased.

Sneak Peek {Family}: The Armstrongs Part I

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You know the saying, “I really liked them until I got to know them”?  Well the opposite is so true for me with this family!  The more I get to know them, the more I love them!  This is a two part session.  The next part will be next week with their daughter and two grandsons, which I am really excited about.  However, there is just something special about a couple who has been married as long as these two (38 years!) and still have the love, spunk, and spice that these two have within their relationship!  I was especially excited when Lyn told me she had their bikes that they bought when they first got married.  They’ve been refurbished and still work.  Lyn and Ed, it really was fun to capture a small glimpse of the dynamics of your marriage and to get to know you better.  Thank you for hanging with me through that terrible heat 🙂

Louisburg Events: Larry Frick (and band)

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When my mom called me on Saturday evening to tell me this band was playing at our new vet’s office here in Louisburg, Acoustic Pets, I jumped at the opportunity to go check it out!  I stopped cooking supper and told Sam I’d be back, grabbed my camera, and practically flew out the door.  There’s something super special about small town festivities like these.   I’m sure small towns all over America have little festivals, community gatherings and the like just like my small town does, but there’s something even more special, I think, about a small town gathering in the South…in the summer.  It’s hot.  The food is delicious.  People are sweaty.  You can smell the heat and the sweet summer grass.  Kids are crying and laughing and just hanging out.  The locals are colorful and from all parts of the town and all walks of life.  The music is generally from a local band like this one, and seriously, only in the South could you have a concert at a restored 1890’s purple house which now houses a pretty rockin’ vet’s office!  People are friendly and talk to one another.  They may dance in the street or sidewalk.  Some of these pictures will be part of a special project I’m working on, but I couldn’t help but write a post about this awesome band and a summer’s eve in our small town.  While I am not a huge country music fan (not really a country music fan at all), this band was “frickin” great!

I love the look on this father’s face…the look so many parents often have after their child has talked to them incessantly for an extended period of time.  And the look on the little boy’s face is still as excited as it probably was when he awoke that morning.

This couple was dancing in the street!  I don’t know their names, but I know they have been married only 4 years and seemed incredibly in love!

No small town gathering is complete without a face painter 🙂

I have so many more that I would have loved to share from this event, but these are my very favorites!

All images on this blog are copyright of Liz Cooper Photography.  Please do not use these images in whole or in part for printing or online (facebook, website, etc) without the express permission of Elizabeth Cooper of Liz Cooper Photography.  Should you desire these images, I will have a disc made available for purchase upon request.  Thank you.

Oh, The Pain!

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“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be”

C.S. Lewis

My big girl had her 5 year doctor’s appointment yesterday.  My mom and I tried to make it a happy fun day,  and the doctor’s office rocked it with cool little stations, stickers, and prizes.  It’s hard to sugar coat something that will be, in the end, pretty painful, but I think they did a great job.

Big girl Avery awoke yesterday morning brimming with excitement about going to the doctor.  She asked several times before we actually left.  “Will I get shots, mommy?” she would ask with a quirky little smile.  “Yes, probably,” I said dreadingly.  Her smile was almost bashful, a funny little kind of smile like she was still excited about going but maybe only half-heartedly believing that there would be pain.  We ate lunch at Applebees and moved on to Target.  Mom bought little packs of stickers for the girls for after the appointment.  It was fun.  I could almost forget about the bulbous knot in the pit of my stomach.  I knew the pain would be temporary.  I don’t think I was so wrapped up in the pain that Avery would experience as I was in the knowledge that this appointment means she will be going to school soon.  Something I guess I thought was forever away when she was born is now approaching like a freight train.

After the doctor’s appointment and on the way home, my stomach was sick from stress and the laughter of the girls running through the Target had changed to silence from Bel (finally) and a soft chatter from Avery in the back seat playing with her prizes and drinking her slushie.  I had explained to Avery that the shots would help keep her well and safe from lots of yucky things, and that way she could grow up strong.  The reasoning seemed to suffice in exchange for the 5 minutes of pure hellacious screaming we had endured.  In a few moments of silence, though, it occurred to me how the situation we had been through is very much the way God works with us.  We have pain and suffering, and we don’t generally understand why.  But we know it’s for our good.  We know that, while we’re screaming and not understanding why it is absolutely necessary for us to go through such pain and suffering, that the pain will end. And at the end (let’s be honest) we usually get a reward.  It could be only a sticker, but mostly it’s not.  It’s something obvious and wonderful.

I cried when she got those shots.  I held her down.  It was some of the worst few seconds of my life.  But after the screams stopped, after what seemed like an eternity in slow motion, my sweet Avery settled down, picked out her prize, and she knew that I would never make her endure something so painful that wasn’t necessary…because I love her more than breath, more than life, more than more.  God probably loves us that way too.

Dessert + 4 Girls = Favorite part of the meal!!

My increasingly-naughty-but-ever-so-adorable Anabel’s new “mean” look.

Each child in the “kindergarten roundup” got a cowboy hat and a star.  They made great efforts to make it fun.  The kids even got to color.

Avery will have to see a pediatric eye doctor for followup on her vision.  She may or may not need glasses.

Believe it or not, her hearing was fine 😉

This is actually an eye test…which she passed!

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Avery and Anabel had fun playing doctor while we waited for the doctor.

“Seriously?”  I said looking at the nurse.

“Seriously.” she said.

WRAL Viewers!

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I’m so thankful you stopped by my blog! Feel free to check out my work at or contact me via email at for pricing and availability!

I am doing a few more portfolio building photo sessions so that I can start a website, and I need people!! 🙂  If you live in or around the Louisburg, Wake Forest, North Raleigh area, please read below for what I’m offering.

FREE Couples Photo Session

This is for dating or newly engaged couples!

HALF PRICE Glamour Session

This is for women who are interested in having glamour photos done.  They could be for personal use or for a spouse or mate!  You would have your hair and makeup done and we would discuss high fashion looks that represent your style.

REDUCED PRICE Maternity Session

This is for the woman only.  This session takes place when the woman is around 8-8.5 months pregnant.

REDUCED PRICE Infant Session

These sessions typically take place when the baby is less than 2 weeks old.

It’s Independence Day!

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I couldn’t write about today (July3rd).  It was so wonderful and there are so many words and none of them are right to describe this day.  I did, however, write some thoughts I had tonight on the way home from the fireworks and finished it off with quotes that represent how I feel about our country.

On the way home, it was dark, and the wind was cold in the bed of that truck.  As I laid down in the bed, I put my head in Sam’s lap and looked up at the stars as we sped down the back roads of our small town.   No street lights, no noise.  Just stars and pastures, fields, interspersed with houses with little lights glowing in the windows.  Wood smoke in the air and the smell of a summer eve, and for a very few brief moments it was perfect peace.  For a few moments life slowed down.  Even though we were traveling fast, for me the world seemed to almost stop.  All was right with the world and I thought that there is no place on earth where the smell is so sweet, where the wind whispers my name so fondly, or where country roads go on forever as they do right here in America… my home.  I can visit a thousand countries, the most beautiful of lands, travel the seven seas, see the Northern Lights, the Seven Wonders.  I can watch volcanoes erupt, swim with dolphins, and eat all kinds of delicious exotic food.  But I don’t think I would ever want to leave my home, my country, America.

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

Erma Bombeck

Yes, my friends, that is my husband.  He is wearing England’s rugby jersey with the English rose on it….while we’re celebrating independence in America.  It’s a free country.  🙂

“The true meaning of America, you ask? It’s in a Texas rodeo, in a policeman’s badge, in the sound of laughing children, in a political rally, in a newspaper… In all these things, and many more, you’ll find America. In all these things, you’ll find freedom. And freedom is what America means to the world. And to me.”

Audie Murphy

“I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”

Ronald Reagan

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

Winston Churchill

“We’ve gone astray from first principles. We’ve lost sight of the rule that individual freedom and ingenuity are at the very core of everything that we’ve accomplished. Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

Ronald Reagan

The girls were pretty bored waiting for the fireworks to begin, but I think they felt it was worth the wait!!

I love this man!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness….”

Declaration of Independence