Die Trying: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

die tryingThe Good: It’s a Jack Reacher novel. If MacGyver and Jack Bower could have a kid, it would be Reacher.

The Bad: I liked the first book, Killing Floor better. Lee Child is an amazing writer, but this wasn’t one of his best stories. For the first 75% of the book it seemed to me like Reacher was just along for the ride. “Come ON,” I kept thinking, “Kill somebody already!” Then he did, and I was happy again.

The Ugly: Unlike Killing Floor, I ended up skipping some of this book. It’s worth the read to stay with the series, just not my favorite by Child.

For a series that improves with the second book, try Bizarre Bible Stories! 2.



Happy Valentines!

image010We’ve given up on a Christmas letter. So – here is our Valentines letter, mostly written by Micah. Let the idiocy and merriment begin.

image001Max: Still Mama Cooley’s favorite, even though he poops outside. It’s weird.

Mama and Papa Cooley: Well they became grandparents, again in 2014, which is a bonus, I guess. The new favorite kids are the grandkids now, so that sucks for us actual kids. I have to assume there is no small amount of poetic justice in watching your kids have kids and thinking, “Haha! Revenge!”

In less grandparently news, Papa Cooley has doubled the amount of books (two!) he has image003published with Bizarre Bible Stories 2. We are presently in talks with Universal and Disney about movie adaptations starring Emma Watson and Chris Hemsworth [we wish]. Not that dad knows who they are. The simplest way to order is through Amazon.com or the publisher, HeritageBuilders.com.

Megan and Jon: Megan is heading up the 2015 mission trip to Haiti, well on her way to accomplishing her goal of being the “world’s worst financially backed philanthropist.” That’s pretty cool. Though if Jon actually finishes university by next winter (like he’s on track to do). . . nope – they’ll still be the world’s image004poorest philanthropists.

Cooley’s – setting world records even after the name change.

Jon will be graduating in December 2015 with a degree in communication. He still doesn’t talk much.

Megan will be starting clinicals towards her degree in Nursing. We all try and stay healthy around her.

image006Amanda and Jake: Early this year, Amanda and Jake got a puppy after Oliver was born. It was adorable and hyper and the perfect dog for Oliver. Everyone thought it was a brilliant idea for keeping the kid entertained. It wasn’t.

Two weeks later Amanda told us she was pregnant. Along came Emerson Tillman Franks on Nov. 21.

I encouraged them to get that dog. It’s my fault they now have two kids and a dog with enough energy to power upstate New York. I’m not sorry.

Micah and Caleb: Am I the only one that thinks it’s weird how I group everyone by couples, and then I just lump me and Caleb together the same way? We’re still single, in case you were wondering. Thanks.

We’re doing good. Caleb’s taking a year doing some discipleship thing at Camp Peniel, near Austin. So if you’re around there, go annoy him. Like shut off his hot water when he’s showering andimage008 stuff. That’d be brilliant.

image009I’m back at UNM after taking a year off to do Air Force things. I hope to graduate next year with Jon. My degree is in English. I still can’t spell much.

Micah for all.

10 Things About Micah Cooley :)

Best… Blog… Ever.



My brother is turning 20-something. Micah is possibly the strangest most amazing person I have ever met (other than my mom, dad, sister, other brother and husband). I love him to pieces. He likes tie-dye, good music, and sarcasm. Those are the only things I understand about him. There are many things that I and the rest of society don’t understand.

These are the words that come to my mind when I think of Micah:

1. Sleep. I don’tImage remember Micah when he first came home as baby. I think he completely slept through the first year of his life. I never heard him scream or cry. He would continue to sleep through the years of his life if it wasn’t for Oreo’s, Pop Tarts, video games or books. No one can sleep as much as Micah. This includes comatose people.

“Last night I had a dream I held and…

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A Sad, Wonderful, Stolen Blog of Thankfulness

kristinaBookSome Facebook posts should never have been written. Guilty. Some should be engraved in stone – like this one. It was written by Chad Barrett, a friend of around 30 years, whose daughter went home to heaven last year. Here is what he wrote:

I was driving last night, and Caroline (our 9-year-old) was in the passenger seat. I reached over, grabbed her hand, and said, “I love you, Caroline.” She responded, “I love you, too, Daddy.” Then the memory hit me hard…

It was probably 3 or 4 days before Kristina passed. She would call for us during the night when she had to go to the bathroom. We had one of those baby monitors so we could hear her well. She had a portable potty in her room, and we would have to, basically, pick her up and move her onto it. She was in so much pain, and she was so weak. Her little body would shake with weakness–it was difficult for her to sit up straight, so I would hug her and hold her steady while she sat there for a few minutes.

She would try to work up the energy for us to help her up and back into the bed. One time, while Melissa and I were trying to help her up, Kristina whispered into my left ear… “I love you.”

I looked at her and responded with my struggle to remain strong, “I love you, too, Sweetie.” It was a moment I wanted to stare at for a while, but we needed to help her into bed. It is a powerful moment I will never forget.

Last night, as I was remembering, Caroline placed her other hand on mine. And I thanked God for His goodness. I thank God for my daughters… all of them. I thank God for my son who is learning how to express what’s inside. I thank God for my wife who is broken together with me.

It was another moment of surprised memory but followed with surprised peace.

Thank you, Caroline, for the sweet way you comfort my heart. Thank you, God, for this memory. Thank you, God, for my family.

Thanks Chad for your post. He let me dedicate Bizarre 2 to Kristina. I do hope God lets her read a chapter in Heaven.