Category Archives: baby

More Baby Lauren pics

So yesterday I was finally able to download some photos from the camera. We are definitely in “survival mode” in the Cooper household, but having Grandma (Jess’s Mom) with us has been a huge help this first week. Grant has quickly adapted to the role of Big Brother and wants to help with “his baby”.

She’s here!

Baby Lauren

Lauren Grace Cooper

7 lbs 11 oz

Mom and Baby are doing great. I’ll post better pictures (not from my cell phone) next week. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

Off to have a baby!

stork

So I may no be posting for a few days since we are headed to the hospital in the morning to have our second child. Expect lots of pictures next week.

New website, kind of like having a baby

PAyDayOne.com

So last night we launched a re-design of the PayDay One website (as a reminder PayDay One is a subsidiary of ThinkCash – PayDay One is our payday loan service and ThinkCash provides installment loans for emergency cash needs). This is the 7th time in my career that I have been part of a new website launch or re-design. In the past I have compared it to the birth of a child.

When I joined Blockbuster in 2003 I was basically the first external hire for the online team and brought in to help launch the business and run marketing. It took us 9 months to launch the website/service. I sent out a “friends & family” email for our beta launch asking people to try the service and give me their honest feedback. The subject line of my email was “Ben’s Baby” and I basically described in the email that I had poured my heart and soul into the business over the prior 9 months and felt like a parent – both proud and scared to let my “baby” out into the real world. Little did I realize that Jess and I would find out the next week that we were pregnant with Grant.

Now we have just launched a re-design of PayDay One after almost 9 months of work (from concepting, to design, coding, QA, etc.). I’m really pleased with the way it turned out and I think it really reflects the personality of the brand. The team has worked very hard on this for months and they deserve kudos.

You’ll notice that we prominently feature customer testimonials on the website. We spent a day shooting the testimonials and spent a lot of time with about 10+ customers. It is always nice to talk to our customers and hear their real world stories about how we had a positive impact on their lives and helped them with their emergency cash situations.  We work in an industry that gets a lot of negative publicity (some of it very deserving with the way our competitors operate) and to be honest, all the negative perceptions can really take-a-toll on you as an employee. So it is always fulfilling to talk with the customers that we help and have them literally thank us for helping them. I’ve tried to avoid “getting on my soap box” to defend our industry, but if you would like to become more educated on the industry, Kevin D has some great posts here, here, and here. I’m just really proud of the work we do and now I’m also proud of the website that is our “face” to the consumer . . . and as a side note, we’re having another baby in 10 days!

Another Big Announcement

So in September I made the Big Announcement that Jess was pregnant with our second child (due April 1). Well I am now proud to announce that it is going to be a little girl. Jess and I are very excited since a little girl completes our set 😉

Grant is also very pumped. It’s funny, when we first told Grant that Jess was pregnant, we asked if he wanted a little brother or a little sister. In a very “Grant” way he said, “Hhhmm. . . I think I’ll take a little sister.” He’s a pretty smart cookie.

Maui Vacation Report

Jess and I had an unbelievable time in Maui last week. Granny June and Pop were nice enough to keep Grant for the week; therefore, Jess and I were able to go on vacation just the two of us (very important since Baby #2 is coming the first week of April).

We spent 7 nights at the Sheraton Maui Resort on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui. Maui truly is as gorgeous as everyone says. Beautiful water, mountains and perfect weather. We managed to pack a lot of fun and a lot of relaxing into the week. We did all the Maui vacation “must do’s”:

  • The road to Hana
  • Dinners in Lahaina
  • Surfing (Ben, not Jess)
  • Shopping/lunch in Paia
  • Visit the Haleakala volcano (I went twice, once by bike and once by car)
  • Lots of snorkeling
  • Lots or reading books by the pool

All in all, a pretty perfect vacation. However, the best part was coming home to Grant. He gave Jess and I each a 5 minute hug when we got back (we got back at 5 a.m. on Thursday, so we were home when he woke up).

Off to Maui

Maui

So Jess and I are leaving tomorrow for vacation. We are heading to Maui for a week. This will be our last vacation before baby #2 arrives, so we are really looking forward to it. Expect lots of pictures when we get back.