Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yep, I'm a Fru-Fru Mom

I’ll be the first to admit this: I’m a fru-fru mom.  I love big earrings, big hair, big flowers in big hair, big heels and all things twirly including (but not limited to) dresses, skirts and scarves.  My girls are certainly not immune to their Momma’s love of all things girly and are already mini-fru-fru-lovers-in-training with Shopping Diva 101 class, Living Room Dance Sessions, studies in Cinderella and Snow White and, of course, they are also saturated in all things pink and frilly.

That being said, I can also kick it with the boys (well, my one BIG boy and two little boys that is!).  I can put down an obnoxious amount of greasy cheese curds at the State Fair before hoping on The Screamer and flipping around. I don’t mind getting sweaty pitch-forking a load of mulch or helping my hubby with whatever grimy yard-work he has to tackle. My husband jokes that he mostly fell in love with me when we met because I drove a pick-up and rode a motorcycle and the truth is, if I weren’t preggos 99% of my life these days, I would love nothing more than to hit the road on my bike again!

So, yeah, I’m a fru-fru mom.  But I’ve also got a big ol’ streak of tom-boy running in these veins and there’s probably a heck of a lot more you’d never guess about me.

Just like there is so much I wouldn’t know about you from only laying eyes on you…which is ONE fabulous reason that we Mommas should hesitate to put each other in a box based on appearances.  In fact, even though I love to wear a flower in my hair now and then, some of my dearest friends would never be seen in anything but a sweatshirt and jeans and I LOVE IT!  I love that were different on the outside in small ways but have so much in common on the inside in big ways!

That’s also why one of my all-time fave Bible verses is 1 Samuel 16:7, “Men look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

The heart is what really matters.  Big heels or muddy boots, it doesn’t REALLY matter one bit.  Because when it comes right down to it, the fru-fru that means the most to this Momma is not big hair, big earrings or big heels…it’s a BIG heart.  That is what I strive to have and that is what I cherish in my true friends, big hearts are absolutely the BEST.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We're Gonna Miss THIS?!?

Here is the scene from our most recent road-trip where we clocked over 25 hours in the van and of those 25 hours, the final 15 were traveled in 90-100 degree sunny temperatures with an air conditioner that quit working.  Did I mention this was with four children age four and under?  Jealous?  I’m quite sure!

We were cruising along the highway, the wind whipping through our hair when the girls in the waaaaay backseat begin to fuss.  Ever the doting and insane mother I can be, I volunteered to take care of the situation and clambered past the boys to squeeze my bum into the extra car-seat between our fussy ladies.

There I was, squished into a car-seat, drenched in sweat while reading them a book and trying to make two VERY bored tiny people laugh while three months pregnant, so nauseous that I was worried about no longer sitting next to an open window!

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, it didn’t.  Although nothing changed, everything got better.

I heard my husband from the driver’s seat belting out the tunes from a hit country song, “You’re Gonna Miss This.”  I had to smile to watch him (also drenched in sweat) singing along with Trace Atkins these words,
“'Cause You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this”

So I did take a look around since life looks kinda funny from the back car-seat.  Between me and my husband, my boys had their heads tipped together, sharing a headphone set to try to catch an occasional word playing from their favorite Star War’s cartoon on the DVD player.  To my left, my two-year-old EvaLee was nuzzled onto my shoulder, her favorite tattered blankie clutched in a little fist by her face.  On my right, my baby (8 mo.), Gabby, was finally happy again and flashing those killer dimples as she shook a rattle in her fist.

Yeah, Trace Atkins has a good point.  I am gonna miss this.  Okay, maybe not the van with no A/C on a 100 degree day seven hundred miles from home.  But I’m gonna miss the way we were; noise, messes and all.

Although it’s hard for me to believe it some days when I’m up to my eyeballs in messes, loud-ness and other children “joys”…I know in my heart, I’m gonna miss it.  We only get short season of life to squish into uncomfortable places and do things we’d rather not do sometimes in order to be with and love on those little people that mean everything to us.

So take a good look around because you may not know it now but…

you’re gonna miss this.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Snugglier Way

Today at 1 p.m. I had two different choices in front of me.  Taking a nap with the kids or catching up on the (MANY!) projects and cleaning chores around the house.  I choose the snugglier way.

Since everyone had already passed out except for Judah, I snuggled under the covers with him to take a nap.  He grinned at me, flashing a dimple and flung his skinny little arm over me in a cuddle-hug.

“I wuv you, Momma.”  He whispered and within minutes he was fast asleep.  I laid awake in bed, listening to his steady breathing and thinking about this precious life and the past three years we’ve had with Judah.

He was the baby our doctor said wouldn’t live, but he did.

He was born early but has been late to everything ever since that day.

He has made countless messes yet helped me organize what really matters in life.

He has made life busier and at the same time slowed our whole world down (especially when you’re waiting in the car for him to put his shoes on and he finally comes out carrying everything from his room but his toy-box!).

He brings weeds to me clutched in his little fist nearly every day; but, in his eyes it’s a beautiful flower being delivered to the mom he loves.

He declares, “You look so pretty, Momma!” at breakfast when my hair is messy and I’m still in pajamas.

He adores people but also needs a break from humanity now and then and can be found throughout the day curled up alone with a book.

Many people wait to have children and I can understand the reasons they site…after all, kids aren’t very practical most of the time.

But in ways you can’t put to words…children will change your life forever and change YOU forever in the best of ways.

Sure, life will be messier.

Late-er (or is that just the Coles?!).





Oh, and did I mention: BETTER.

Choosing the snugglier way may leave your to-do list longer, but in my humble opionon, it’s truly the best choice there is!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


The morning of Independence Day dawned clear and bright and one glance out our patio door at breakfast confirmed: it's going to be a BEAUTIFUL FOURTH!  I thought it was the perfect time to give the boys a little History 101 class on why we are so blessed with FREEDOM in America so starting with the Pilgrims escaping religious persecution in England by coming to America on the Mayflower and finishing up with the Civil War (trying to keep ALL that under five minutes, short attention spans!), I gave them the dish on America the Beautiful and her special birthday that day.  

I was pretty confident the boys had gained a new found appreciation for our country, the many who sacrificed and our amazing history until we got home after all the festivities that day and my three year old, Judah, had a sad face. 

"What's wrong, bud?"  I asked him.

"We never celebrated Captain America's birthday."   He sighed and shuffled off to bed.

Oh.  So much for American History 101!  Maybe next year I'll try to keep it to one or two sentences....

A fun little tradition we do every Fourth is travel to a nearby town and attend their parade--they just celebrated doing the parade shindig FIFTY years this year!  The boys were SERIOUS about catching candy and had front row/road seating!

Love our Gabby!  She's got these chubby cheeks ya just gotta squeeze....

Always feel so BLESSED that the kiddos can grow up with FOUR fabulous grandparents that live locally (my mom, aka. "Mimi" here with Gabby--love their matching shirts!)

Eva scored a remote-controlled truck that one float was handing out (YES, they were handing out HUGE trucks-so fun!)...I guess they thought she was a cutie-pie!

Me and the hubster, dressed in a shade of BLUE...

Cookout back at my folk's place where Gab's digs into HER dinner: SAND! 

 Back at our place, we had some good friends over and broke out the FIRE....fireworks that is!  EvaLee loved the sparklers (can't you tell?!  She is may LOOK serious but this is her "I'm having a blast face"!)

Bob is like a kid in a candy-store at those fireworks tents, I love seeing him have so much fun!  The show he put on in our backyard was SPECTACULAR and after that, I was like: no need to go see the city fireworks!

The kiddos loved everything FIRE and bright and did a good job being careful too!  Gabby missed all the fun, she passed out hours before it kicked off.

Hope you all had a SPECTACULAR Fourth of July and enjoyed the freedom that is never free.  And, I hope you all were able to celebrate Captain America's birthday...!
God bless you!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yeah, Sometimes We FIGHT!

You know those couples that “just never fight”?

We are NOT that couple.

Sometimes, me and my husband have a good ol’ fashion, nitty-gritty, down and dirty FIGHT. No, I don’t mean “heated discussion” or “little argument”.  I mean raised voices, rude comments and sassy faces (mostly mine) that result in one of two mature outcomes: storming off (slammed door a bonus) or the silent treatment.

In fact, some nights after a fight, I’m hanging so far off my side of our King bed that I practically need belaying equipment to keep me from rappelling down the side.  But, Lord knows, I’d MUCH rather squish on the outer five inches of our bed then risk the possibility of making HUMAN contact with THAT man on the other side (waaaaayy on the other side), who is he again!?  NOT the wonderful and sweet man I married, that’s for sure!  Geez, what a meanie-head!  Naturally, in all
these situations, I am always correct in my assessment of the situation and my carefully thought through solution, if only THAT MAN would get on board with MY plan!

Just so you know, I am kidding.  Usually, I am 50% (but often, 48% is more accurate...) to blame for the marriage malfunction.  I don’t mind saying it like it is and joining with the other great folks in the married universe that admit we have our moments.  Yet, now and then, I meet a couple that says, “Oh, we just DON’T EVER fight.”  Really!?  When I hear this, two thoughts gallop through my brain: “liar” or “saint”.  Now, maybe you ARE one of those couples and if so, I certainly don’t mean to offend you but NOT fighting may not always be the better way.

Imagine my surprise recently to stumble upon an article in a Reader’s Digest that sited stats showing that couples that fight verses couples that don’t are better off most of the time: “A University of Washington study of newlywed couples showed those who argued relatively little were happier than combative ones. When the same couples were checked three years later, however, those with an early history of bickering were more likely to have found stability in their marriages, whereas couples who prided themselves on their equanimity were in troubled relationships or already divorced. It turns out the garden-variety marital spat is actually GOOD for you!”*

I’m NO psychologist but if I had to take a real-life experience guess as to why this is the case, I think it’s because a fight done right (more on that next time, a subject I am taking BABY steps in, not an expert!!) can help resolve conflict.  When a couple never engages in a fight, many times it may mean one of them is letting the other have their way in an attempt to keep the peace or maybe neither one is willing to address hard topics that NEED to be talked about and instead it simmers under the surface, only to explode years later.  I think it is fair to add here that some couples are just really chill and that’s cool too, they may not think anything is worth a “heated discussion” and hats off to you…or you may be a newlywed thinking, “I just can’t imagine EVER fighting with the most perfect person in the world!”.  I get it: I thought the same, but what about the person you married (wink, wink!)?!

If you are also a person that used to be perfect before you got married (gosh, they just bring out the best in us sometimes!) then know you are not alone if you ever slam a door or call the love of your life a meanie-head now and then.  We’ve been there, hung off the side of that bed…and the next morning, we can still smile (just a TINY bit) and love that person that loves us in spite of it all.


Okay, I give up, I'll let him win for a change!  (maybe...)
Gosh, THAT MAN can be so stubborn sometimes....I never am...ha ha!!

Who's Not to Love!?

Every morning at 6 am, a little messy-haired blond pixie stumbles into our bedroom, dragging a tattered pink blanket in her wake, and burrows into bed with us.  Within minutes she is fast asleep once more, her long lashes resting peacefully on chubby little cheeks.  I have no idea why she does this but I know that my two-year-old will always appear in our bed about the same time the sun comes up.

When I round the corner an hour later, I know that a fuzzy-headed little brunette will be holding on to the slats of her crib, bouncing gleefully with a huge, toothless smile in anticipation of seeing her Momma.  I lift out my Gabby and we head downstairs to check on the rest of the gang.

As usual, the boys are not easy to find in their bed where they are tangled together on a pile of books and super-heroes that were smuggled into bed after lights out the night before.  Their eyes pop open at the mention of rising and shining and they are soon doing just that with the speed of light!  After all, one shouldn’t waste time just sleeping when there are comic books to read, Legos to build and superheroes who need to rescue people!

This is my morning.  These little faces that peek out from under covers and around corners with anticipation represent both the challenges and joys that I will encounter that day.  They are my calling.

Of course, I have my own goals (wash the windows and have them stay finger-print free for one hour), aspirations (fold at least ONE laundry basket of the five awaiting me) and dreams (have time to paint today…well, a girl can dream!) but if I don’t accomplish any one of those items, that’s okay by me.  What I DO hope to accomplish is to teach and treasure the four little people I still have at home with me all day (yup, allllllll day! He he). I do hope to accomplish the really important stuff today: play “Go Fish”, read Eva’s favorite book to her “Go, Dog, Go” for the sixteenth time and not skip as many pages as I can get away with, make the “King of the Day’s” favorite cookies with him, or take time to pull a wagon to their favorite park together.

Do I hate mornings?  Nah…after all, what’s-or rather, WHO’S, not to LOVE?!