A Day in the Life of Kristen Cooper

Photo by Caryn Ruano at B Original Art and Photography

Kristen Cooper is co-owner of Spain & Cooper Homes. She and her husband, Mike, have one son, Colton (4 ½).

6:15 a.m.

Hear my husband, Mike, leaving for work and pretend to keep sleeping, knowing that I need to enjoy these last few minutes of peace and quiet before the chaos of the day begins.

6:20 a.m.

I check my texts that I have missed from overnight since I have a 24/7 text conversation going on with my best friends. They are my moral support throughout the day and have been braver than I in producing more than one child, so I miss some middle of the night messages on a nightly basis.

6:30 a.m.

No such luck on that “just a little later” thing — Colton is up. My son’s natural alarm clock never fails him. He climbs into bed with me right as both giant dogs leap into bed and step all over me. All of them are way more excited and energetic than I am this early.

6:45 a.m.

Coffee for me, scrambled eggs for Colton, despite his requests for chocolate. I feed the dogs in between scrambling eggs.

6:55 a.m.

Respond to work emails and get sidetracked by Facebook until I feel my horses’ hungry stares from the fence line waiting for their own breakfast.

7:10 a.m.

I walk into the barn to feed the horses to realize we have had stray chickens show up. Yes, you just read STRAY chickens. They seem friendly, so Colton runs inside and gets something to feed them. I immediately text my chicken fanatic friend to ask her if goldfish crackers will hurt chickens as I watch Colton throwing them out into the yard. (They are still in my yard, so they do in fact survive off of kid snacks).

7:45 a.m.

Go inside and send selfies with the chickens to scare my husband into thinking another animal, or three, have made their home with us. He does not find it funny.

7:50 a.m.

I shower and get ready for the day. Colton’s version of a shower is getting his feet hosed off outside and hands washed once we get inside. The life of a farm kid. Guaranteed he’ll be dirty again by noon!

8:30 a.m.

I make myself a smoothie for breakfast and pick the house up a little.

9 a.m.

Play cars and trucks with Colton and get him into playing independently in his sandbox outside.

9:30 a.m.

Drink a second cup of coffee and then sit down on my porch to check emails and phone calls. The construction world starts early — typically Mike has about five emails and a couple of phone calls in to me before I have polished off my first cup of coffee. I start responding when my second cup is setting in.

10 a.m.

Time to do some driving around town to pick up auction items for a fundraiser I have been working on. I also stop by a few of our houses currently under construction to take progress pictures for our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Thankfully Colton is happy to be my back-seat driver as long as we have some music playing.

11:30 a.m.

Stop by the office to visit with my husband and take him lunch from Panera. We joke that I am the lunch wagon because he would not stop to eat if I did not deliver lunch.

12 p.m.

Drive back home to do some cleaning and respond to more emails and phone calls while Colton has some down time watching TV.

1 p.m.

Get Colton dressed and packed up for Sun Country and give him a snack for the road. He asks, “Why are we always in such a rush?” If only he knew it is because he is learning to get himself in the car and strap himself in, and after 10 minutes of it, I finally must start hurrying him along to make sure he is secured safely in his seat without us being late. I am also drenched in sweat at this point because I have been standing in a hot garage watching him slowly put each strap into its place, refusing help.

1:20 p.m.

We finally fly out of our driveway with me feeling like that half mile of our driveway where there is not a posted speed limit might get us somewhere just a little quicker.

1:35 p.m.

I drop him at Sun Country for the afternoon and make the mad dash to our office for a meeting.

2 p.m.

Meet with a new client who is building a house with us about her upcoming selections for her new home. My favorite part of this job is helping clients make selections, so this meeting is very enjoyable.

3 p.m.

Spend some time brainstorming home decor in my still undecorated office. It currently looks more like a kid’s play room than a business office.

4:30 p.m.

Barre class at Barre Forte.

5:45 p.m.

Pick up Colton and spend five minutes explaining to him why he cannot have ice cream every day. Usually he wins, but today I stand my ground, making it a less than fun drive home.

6 p.m.

Get home and figure out who to feed first. I’ve got dogs jumping at me, horses whinnying at me, my husband asking “What’s for dinner?” and Colton still asking for that ice cream. Dogs win that battle after a few body slams between the two while I am trying to just get in the door.

6:45 p.m.

Dinner. Tonight is taco lasagna that (shockingly!) my little picky eater devoured (thank you Chef Ami). If only every dinner involved solely one entrée for the family. Most nights I am not so lucky.

7:15 p.m.

Clean up the kitchen and have my husband get Colton in the bath while I head out to do barn chores again and feed the horses. I obviously must stop and observe that the chickens are still hanging out. Guess it is time to make a post on Gainesville Pet Finder, research chicken food and start prepping my husband for three more nonhuman mouths to feed. The next house he will be building will probably be a chicken coop.

8 p.m.

Shower and comfy clothes for me, just in time to go lie with Colton for a few while he falls asleep. During that time, the tiredness hits me and I always wonder how moms of multiple children do it.

8:30 p.m.

Unwind with a glass of wine on the porch with my husband while catching up with each other about our day and discussing what he needs me to do workwise tomorrow.

9 p.m.

I feel more creative after that glass of wine, so I plan and organize for work and brainstorm for our upcoming Parade house — until I get sidetracked by messaging with my friends. I do all of this while trying to catch up on “Game of Thrones” with my husband (and he always wonders why I don’t remember every detail of these shows and constantly ask “What just happened?”).

10 p.m.

I notice “Real Housewives of Orange County” is recorded and Mike, while half asleep, agrees to it. Hey, what can I say? I warned my husband on our first date that I had bad taste in TV.

10:10 p.m.

Mike realizes he cannot listen to these housewives anymore, so he is off to bed.

11 p.m.

Bed for me, knowing that 6:30 a.m. is going to come quickly!

12 a.m.

After lots of tossing and turning and thinking about random thoughts, I finally fall asleep.