Kohl Hard Facts

This adventure we call life in the Kohl Family

5 Minute Friday/Saturday – Write October 5, 2013

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 12:34 pm

I’m doing a Five Minute Friday here today [Saturday, oops].

Yesterday’s prompt was….



It’s official.  I’m a terrible blogger.

I want to be good at it.  I want to be consistent and witty and full of brilliant ideas.

But instead, I find myself over a month past my last blog and super frustrated for not having written more.

Now, to be fair, in that time we moved to a new state, and we haven’t had Internet at our new [temporary] home, and we’ve been trying to buy a [permanent] house and get settled into our new surroundings, and Viola started Preschool, and on the list goes.

All of that to say, I’ve been missing this space. Oh, how I miss this writing. I’m hoping I will be able to get at least a bit more consistent here. [I do always have the best intentions. We’ll see…]

So I’m back for today doing probably my favorite thing to do here….5 Minute Friday [yes, I know it’s Saturday. Grace, please. :)]

I’m writing in this moment while I have the time, and giving myself grace to write when I can and let go of it when I can’t.

After all, isn’t that what writing is about? Sharing your story with others so that we can all see the grace and beauty and freedom in this life. For me, anyway…that’s why I write.


Fall 2013 008


Last August 23, 2013

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 2:39 pm

It’s Five Minute Friday time again. A time to clear your mind and write from your heart. A time to gather a community of women across the web and across the world and pour out our words as an offering to the One who gave us these words.

Today’s word is


As I thought of this word, so many things came to my mind.  So many different definitions and different meanings.

And then I thought of my Nana.

I thought of the last time I was with her.

The last days before she went to be with her Savior.

The last time I lay in bed next to her and we spoke of things of great and very little significance.

And we spoke of our last name.

The last truly significant thing she said to me was that she was so glad that I was a part of this family. She told me that she hoped I never let anyone make me feel less a part of the family because I wasn’t born into it. I was chosen into it.

And I thought of what she left behind. The things that would last long after her body was gone from this world.

Six sons. Hard working, God loving men who love their wives and their families. Men who are leaving a legacy of faith and love.

Nana wasn’t a very religious person. She didn’t really like church, and she certainly didn’t care for self-righteous people [she had enough of that in the church she grew up in]. But she knew how to love. And she knew that God is love. And she taught that to her kids and grandkids.

Eleven grandkids in fact [including my step-cousins, who are family because Nana taught us that family has a much broader definition than blood.]

There are now thirty nine…yes, you read that right…39 in the great-grandchild generation. With one on the way come October. And one on the way in the great-great-grandchild generation.

When she was still living, she sent a birthday card and a Christmas present to every single grandchild and great-grandchild…usually the present was something she had made herself. She always had each of our favorite candies on hand when we came to visit. One time when I was little I left my blankie at her house. It got home before we did.

We have our flaws and our drama, plenty of issues to go around.

But we know how to love.

And that is the thing that Nana taught us that will last beyond even our life times.


My dad and his brothers. [You definitely can’t tell they’re related. 😉 ]


Dear Mom, I Get It: Vacations August 20, 2013

Filed under: Dear Mom I Get It — kohlhardfacts @ 2:23 pm

Growing up we did a lot of family vacationing.

We had a popup camper [old school and totally awesome!] that we would load up, and then we would head out on the road. We toured the U.S. with that camper pulling behind.


[Ours probably wasn’t this fancy, but you get the idea.]  Source

Niagara Falls


Washington D.C.



All over the midwest

And many more that I’m not remembering at the moment. [After all, I was still in elementary when we sold it.]

I have some great memories of camping together as a family and seeing the sights and sounds and wonders of the States. My grandparents [Mom’s parents] often came with us, too.  And we still tell so many stories of those really wonderful [and sometimes totally awful….like the time we put the camper up and it was 10 p.m. and it was 100 degrees and we hadn’t had supper yet. Or the time I got a splinter in my bum and had to go to the ER to get it removed] trips we took.

My other grandparents [Dad’s parents] lived in Florida, and we went to visit them once or twice a year including an annual day at one of the Disney parks.

As I got a little older we took annual ski trips with our extended family out west for skiing.





They were incredible trips and are probably the reason Brother now lives in Colorado.

I love traveling to this day and attribute a lot of that to all of the traveling we did growing up.

But every now and then my parents would….

brace yourself….

Go on trips by themselves!

Can you believe it!?

And they did super cool things like the time they went on a cruise for their 25th anniversary.  The time they went to Chichen Itza for their 20th anniversary. The time Dad’s work sent them to Hawaii for a conference over Valentine’s Day.

I mean, how could they possibly leave their precious babies behind!? Didn’t they love us and want to spend every waking moment with us?!?!

Dear Mom [and Dad], I get it.

I love my babies with a love fiercer than anything I could have imagined. More often than not I enjoy spending my days with them. [Yea, let’s be honest, not every day. But most days.]

But on those occasions where Hubby and I get to take a trip by ourselves…especially for an anniversary…it’s such a wonderful treat! We get to reconnect with each other, and talk as long as we want without being interrupted, and sleep in, and go to grown up restaurants, and enjoy things on our own schedule. We get to continue to build the solid foundation of our marriage and remember why we fell in love with each other in the first place. We usually take some time to read the Bible together and pray together to remind ourselves that our foundation is only solid if it’s built on Christ.

I miss my babies when we’re gone. My arms ache to hug them, my heart aches to kiss them goodnight. And seeing them when we get home is so sweet.

Recently we had  to go away for a conference [not quite the same as going away for vacation ;)], and we were apart from the girls for 5 days. It was the longest I had been apart from either of them, and it was really hard.  But when come home, I get to remember why I love them and enjoy them, and it’s really really good.

So Mom [and Dad], thanks for taking those trips. Thanks for showing me how to build a strong marriage and keep that relationship as a priority. And thanks for watching the girls so the Hubby and I can do the same!

fall 2012 174[The two of us away for our 4th anniversary.]

What’s the longest you’ve been apart from your babies? What’s your favorite thing about coming home?


Dear Mom, I Get It: The Stair Spot August 19, 2013

Filed under: Dear Mom I Get It — kohlhardfacts @ 3:18 pm

I’ve really missed writing in this space.  And it’s not that I haven’t had things to say.  Believe me, there have been plenty of things to say.  But for just oh so many reasons, I have not been saying them in this place.  But now I’m here, and I’m ready to start saying again.

I think the perfect way to get back into this blog thing is by doing my very own little series of posts.

I call it “Dear Mom, I get it”

Because I’m only 3 and a half years into this Mommy-ing thing and there are just SO MANY things my mom used to say or do that were completely incomprehensible to me….until now.  I imagine there are many more to come, too.

This first post is about The Stair Spot


Household Essentials Seagrass Stair Basket with Handle


Growing up, all of our bedrooms were on the second floor. So we had what I call “the stair spot.”

I’m sure that if you have stairs in your house, you know what I’m talking about. Upstairs things never stay upstairs and downstairs things never stay downstairs.

And because who wants to walk up the stairs every. single. time. something needs to be moved?!?! That’s why there’s the stair spot! We even had this cute little basket that was stair step shaped and wedged onto the stairs. It was perfect!


My mom would get so frustrated because no one else [no one!] ever carried the things up the stairs. Everything sat there, no matter how many times Dad, the brother, or I went up and down. They sat there. Until finally Mom went upstairs and carried the whole pile.

“Why has no one taken this stuff upstairs?! It’s not even my stuff! Am I the only one with functioning arms?!”

We all shrugged and I’m sorried. And a couple of hours later…rinse and repeat.

I always wondered why she got so upset. I mean, what’s the big deal, why can’t you just carry the stuff and be done with it, Mom?

Dear Mom, I get it.

I mean, it’s like they just don’t even see it! It’s laying right there in front of you. You practically have to trip over it to get up the stairs. And yet…there it sits. Seriously! They can go up and down four or five times and still never see it. They can even be the one who put it there and still never see it. It will not move until Mom comes along and carries it.

So now I just roll my eyes and giggle a little at the irony of it all….and then carry all the junk up the stairs.


Stay tuned for more in this series…from vacationing issues to how to wear your jeans.

Are there things that you didn’t get about your mom until you became a mom yourself?



Five Minute Friday: Small August 16, 2013

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 1:44 pm

Five Minute Friday is an awesome movement started by Lisa-Jo Baker.

It’s a simple idea: 5 minutes of writing based on a one word prompt. No over-thinking, no back tracking, no editing. Just you and the keyboard for 5 minutes of what’s on your heart.

[Excuse me while I go let the dog in….and back out…and back in again. Oh, she’s hungry….Ok! I’m back!]

As I was saying…today’s word is…


Summer 2013 289


They won’t be like this for very long.

This fall the bigger little one will start preschool.

They are only small for such a very short time and then they grow up. And so I have to teach them now – while they are still small – what it means to live a big life.

How to love God and love people in a big way.

That it’s through the small things that you make a big difference – a big change in the world. Through hugging someone who seems un-huggable. Through loving someone who feels un-loveable. Through putting others’ needs before your own desires. Even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it.

And if I teach them now – if I show them through my own life; through my daily actions and reactions – it will become a part of their lives. A part of their very fibers.

If I wait until they are big, it will be too late.

Because big things always start out very small. And when they’re small, they are shaped and formed and molded into what they will be when they are big.



November Thanks Day 14 November 15, 2012

Filed under: November Thanks — kohlhardfacts @ 3:03 am

Day 14, November 14

I am thankful for a hubby who works hard to provide for our family.

He does his job with a good attitude and a determination to do well.

But it’s not just monetarily that he provides for us.  He also provides for us spiritually by leading us into deeper communion with the Lord.  He provides for us emotionally with his strength and tenderness.  He provides for us physically by encouraging healthy sleeping, eating, and fitness habits [and also the occasional indulgence. 🙂 ]

I am so very thankful for this provider for our family.


November Thankfulness Days 12 and 13 November 14, 2012

Filed under: November Thanks — kohlhardfacts @ 3:35 am

Well, apparently my MO is miss a day, post about 2 days, miss a day, post about 2 days.

Ah, well, whatever works!

Day 12, November 12

Today I am thankful for our young adults Bible Study and all of the wonderful people who are a part of it.

It felt so life giving to be back in this group – to enjoy the community of it.

I love this group and the Biblical discussions we have, the conversations around the dinner table, the easy camaraderie, the way we can challenge each other, push each other to deeper levels, the genuine care that I see for one another.

I am thankful that we are able to be a part of this group once again.

Day 13, November 13

Can I be thankful for sleep twice?  No, oh ok then… [You can tell what I’ve been in need of lately.]

I’m thankful for the beauty of nature.

I am thankful for the way it reflects a bit of the Beauty of the Father.  I am thankful for the beautiful snow that fell yesterday, the huge flakes gently floating down, the way they glistened on the tree limbs and blades of grass.  I’m thankful for the beauty of the sun and the warmth and light it brings.  I am thankful for the colorful leaves still clinging to the last few trees of the season.

I am thankful for the diversity of nature, the beaches and oceans, the fields of corn, the Red Wood Forest, the desert, and my favorite – the mountains….