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A Day in the Life of Shannon Cox

7am Lie in bed hoping time will freeze so I can get a little more sleep!

7:30am Get up and take shower. Maybe the kids will keep sleeping while I shower. My thoughts start to wander: Must. Get. Coffee.

8:30am Yikes! Enjoyed too much quiet time. I’ve got to get the kids up and dressed! We’re late, we’re late … for a very important date! Put chicken in the slow cooker for chili chicken tacos. Only five minutes out of the driveway, I call my mom.  

9am Drop off Jennifer and Zachary at Mother’s Day Out. They spend two mornings a week there. Jennifer loves learning—she’s in an older class so they have a weekly curriculum—and Zachary is happy to finally have some other boys to be rough and tough with!

9:30am Arrive at Starbucks. This is my quiet time. Homework, meal planning, bills and budget and Willow House business, here I come! I spend about 10 hours a week working with Willow House, a home-based business that specializes in home entertaining, decorating and organizing.

10:30am Meal planning is so much more fun than homework!

10:42am Send Steven an email—a good reason for a break—and let him wake up to some reading material in Afghanistan. There are good and bad days [when it comes to a deployment lifestyle]. He had to leave only 20 hours after I delivered our son! But deployments teach us to enjoy the moments we have together even more. It’s amazing how a 10-minute Web camera chat can mean the world to me when he is gone, or a phone call in the middle of the night. My computer and phone are by my bedside every night because you never know when you might get that chance to spend some time together.

11:40am Fill up truck with gas. The empty light is flashing! Pick up dry cleaning. Mail Steven a care package. It included two bags of coffee (HEB Texas Pecan Roast), Girl Scout cookies (he loves them!), a love letter, brownies and some of the kids’ artwork. We try to send boxes at least once a month and then on holidays. Other packages have included warm winter socks and stuff to make Frito pie—give the chow hall food a break! And at Christmas time we make a photo calendar to send him.

12pm Head to the grocery store—pretty hungry! I better eat—otherwise I may buy everything there!

1:30pm Grocery shopping was a success. Head off to pick up the kids. Thirty minutes in the parking lot to spare, so I’m snuggling up with my Nook.

2:30pm Made it home. Unload the groceries and visit with my mom. Watch the kids play. They enjoy having horse races with the broom (sometimes Zachary rides the laundry basket!). I really enjoy watching Jennifer do arts and crafts, though Zachary hasn’t yet mastered “we only color on paper” and colored on my tan camelback couch.

3:30pm Make play date and sleepover plans for later this week. Which movie should we take: Ramona and Beezus, or something else?

4pm Load back up and head to the gym. Ready to burn some calories in Zumba! I never feel like I am working out—I’m just dancing and sweating! Zumba gave mommy the pre-baby sexy feeling back! The kids enjoy playing in the gym’s day care.

5:15pm Leave gym parking lot after changing the nastiest poopy diaper on the tailgate of the truck.

5:30pm Arrive at church to teach dance class to our 18-member youth team, Ignition. They inspire me every time we meet! While watching dancers run through one song, I make the kids tacos. Burning more calories while my 30-pound son hangs on me as I teach dance. Listen to teenagers complain about their arms hurting. So I make them do arm circles through an entire song, because I love them and care about their muscles!

7pm Eat a cold chicken taco as I talk to parents about upcoming performances.

7:52pm Ah … we are home and the kids are in pajamas. Ready for a shower and some Gmail chat with my wonderful hubby!

8:15pm Working on my next blog topic. I’m constantly discovering the two personalities of my children!

9:20pm Bedtime prayers, followed by bedtime tears: “Please don’t make me sleep in my room mom, I want to sleep with you!” The kids have the hardest time at night when bedtime has come and daddy is not there for kisses, but I have spent a lot of time explaining where daddy is … and they feel comfort from that. With lullabies sung and a nightlight switched on, the kids fall asleep.

10pm Lie in bed … think about tomorrow’s to-dos. Eventually fall asleep.