Kohl Hard Facts

This adventure we call life in the Kohl Family

Lesson Learned? March 28, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement — kohlhardfacts @ 7:47 pm

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase a million times:  “Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  There are plenty of Bible verses that warn against judging, that remind you to remove the plank from your own eye.  We know these things.  I know these things.  Theoretically.

Last night, we went to Chick-Fil-A to have a milkshake, feed Lilly, and let Vi play for a little while.  While we were sitting there, two men came in with a girl who looked about Viola’s age.  The younger man took the little girl into the play area, while the older man sat just outside at one of the tables.

The younger man [who I (correctly) assumed was Dad] had his phone out pretty much from the moment he sat down.  The older man [grandpa – I assumed and was confirmed], fairly promptly fell asleep at his table.

As I sat there feeding Lil and watching Vi and Caleb play, I have to admit I was judging them a little.  Thinking how typical it was and how sad it was that they were too busy to pay attention to the little girl.  Not that I thought they were bad guys, just uninvolved.

And then I went in to tell Vi and Caleb that it was time to go.

The guy sparked a conversation with me asking how old Lilly was and how far apart our girls are.  And then, face beaming, eyes red and puffy, hair disheveled, and a smile that took up his whole face he said, “My wife just had a baby today.  A boy.”

In that moment, I walked a mile in his shoes.  I understood the look on his face.  The constant phone calls and text messages made sense.  And I realized he wasn’t inattentive.  Exhausted.  Blissed out. Maybe a little scared of what’s to come.  Overflowing with love.  Who knows what he was feeling in those moments.  The point is, I shouldn’t have been making assumptions about him.  I had no idea what was going on in his life.

So, the next time I see someone and I’m tempted to make assumptions about who they are or what they’re doing, I pray that God will remind me of the man at Chick-Fil-A with the newborn baby boy.

See that look?  Right there, the one on Caleb’s face.  Yea, that’s the look this dad had.


Pinterest and 30 Minute Cinnamon Rolls March 21, 2012

Filed under: Recipes I Love — kohlhardfacts @ 5:51 pm

Oh Pinterest.

I have such a love/hate relationship with you.

Love: Tons of ideas to spark my creativity – in the kitchen, in craftiness, with my kiddos, for my wardrobe, and lots more

Hate: The tendency to compare myself to other people on there and feel [extremely] inadequate.

Love: Taking these ideas and putting them to use (i.e. homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies paired with peanut butter cream filling, chickpea chocolate chip dip, scarves are for spring too, and many more projects to come.)

Hate: the time I end up spending wasting on the site

Love:  Organizing ideas and being able to easily access them when I have the free time [Did I say free time?  I guess it’s more like a decision to put off other things that need to get done in order to spend some time doing things I enjoy – which, in my opinion, is very important to do from time to time.]

I’ve also been doing some reading about the copyright issues that are arising from the use of this site.  I’m not totally sure where I stand at this point, but I’m going to keep an eye on the issue.  [For more information on this check out this blog.  She has some helpful advice and a lot of great links to other resources as well.]

So in light of my new found love/hate with Pinterest, I’m sharing a recipe for Cinnamon Rolls that C and I found/created.  It’s really a combination of a few recipes we tried and things we added/experimented with.  We’ve been perfecting this recipe for a couple of years now, and I think we’ve got it down now.

The best part is, it only takes about about 30 minutes – start to finish – prep time and baking time included!

2 1/2 C flour [a little less if you use whole wheat flour]*
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp baking soda [We prefer the taste of using 1/4 tsp, the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp]
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 – 1 C buttermilk [Start with 3/4, add more if needed.]
6 Tbs butter [melted]

Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Add wet ingredients and mix well.

Roll dough out into [more or less] a circle.

3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbs butter [melted]

Mix filling ingredients in medium mixing bowl.  Spread filling evenly over dough.

Roll dough [filling side in!] into a “log.”  Cut into rounds [I’m guessing about 1 1/2 inches wide.]

Place cinnamon rolls in greased 9″ round cake pan. [As you can see, we didn’t have a round pan, so a square one will work just as well.]

*Update* I forgot say the oven temp!  Oops… Set the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake 20-30 minutes.  [C and I like ours mostly gooey in the middle, so we usually only bake them for 18 minutes…or less.]

8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 C butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 C powdered sugar

While Cinnamon Rolls are baking, mix frosting ingredients in small mixing bowl.  Blend until very smooth.

Remove Cinnamon Rolls and cover with frosting.


*We’ve made these with both white flour and wheat flour.  C prefers white flour, I prefer wheat – go figure.

Yeesh, this got to be a very lengthy post!  Sorry about that.  Thanks for sticking through to the end.

I would love to hear if you make these and what you think of them.


A Great Delight March 16, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement,On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 10:11 pm

I took the girls to the store by myself for the first time the other day [and it went surprisingly well!  We actually had fun if you can imagine.  It was definitely one of those gold star mom moments.  You know, the kind that makes you feel like “wow, I’m a good mom!  I can do this!”  These moments tend to be few and far between, so I cherish them when they happen.]

As we were leaving, I asked, “Viola, where should we go now?”  Her response?  “Chick-alay wi Daddy.”  Which of course made me one happy Momma seeing as Chick-Fil-A is my favorite fast food restaurant.  [We even had CFA breakfast minis for our wedding!]

So we loaded up, called Daddy, and met him at our favorite place.

As usual, the Princess ate all most of her food and then was ready to play!

C and I were still eating, so we tried something new: we sent her in all by herself to play.  At first she just wandered around in the play area chatting it up with the other kiddos her new best friends [her usual MO…don’t know where this little social butterfly gets it from!]

Then we watched as she ventured toward the climbing stairs.  We held our breaths as she stood there regarding her challenger, observing as the other kids ascended with ease.  I could see the glint in her eyes when she accepted the challenge.  She hoisted her leg up onto the step, reached across for leverage from the side and pulled, wiggled, and slid herself up onto the step.


Caleb and I cheered and clapped and waived frantically.  It was the first time she had accomplished this task without any help from us, and we were so proud!

I’m sure we looked more than a little crazy, but who cares?!  That was our baby girl!

The whole ordeal lasted only about a minute but the moment was stuck in my mind.  As parents we really delight in our children and their accomplishments.  This got me thinking about one of my favorite Bible verses.

Zephaniah 3:17

“The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

I can totally see God getting crazy excited over my accomplishments, your accomplishments, even ones that may seem minor to others.

I can imagine Him jumping up and shouting for joy because you did it!

Can’t you just picture Him making a dancing fool of Himself because He is so in love with you? [Is it blasphemous to call God a dancing fool?]

As much joy and delight as I take in my girls, God’s joy and delight over me, over you is infinitely greater!

Bask in that today.  Let His love quiet you.  Picture Him, the God of the Universe, dancing over you.  I don’t know about you, but I find that kind of love undeniably attractive and inviting.

A picture of Caleb and Viola’s first father/daughter dance:


How to Survive the First Few Months March 14, 2012

Filed under: On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 9:16 pm

As we quickly approach look back on Lilly’s three month mark [three months…somehow it seems so much shorter and yet so much longer all at the same time!], I’ve been reflecting on some tips/advice for making it through this time.  Every child enters a family differently and every family situation is different.  This is what I have learned from our situation.  I hope you find it encouraging..

*It’s ok to have a “messy” house.  Because 1. It’s probably not as messy as you think.  And 2. No one is looking at the house.  They are way too enraptured by that gorgeous little bundle of new baby perfection.

*Let other people help you.  If people offer to help out, you can either A. Give them a job/chore that you desperately wish would get done. B. Have them hold baby so that you can accomplish said chore.  Whichever of these methods works for you, let people help!

*Ask for help!  Recognizing when you’re at the end of yourself takes strength and courage.  Your body is recovering from a traumatic event, your hormones are recovering from pregnancy a traumatic experience, and to top it off, you are far from getting the “recommended” amount of sleep.  You are not weak when you ask for help.

*Soak in the moments.  That new baby look, smell, and feel only lasts a short amount of time.  When it hits you how stunningly angelic that baby sound asleep in your arms is – just soak it in!

*In the words of Darius Rucker “It won’t be like this for long.”  I promise, middle-of-the-night feedings, long crying fests [especially for colicky babies], only napping in your arms, nursing [what feels like] nonstop around the clock, the spit up that projects perfectly to go straight down your shirt…none of it lasts forever.  You will get through this!  “One day that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone.  These days are gonna fly by, so just hold on.  It won’t be like this for long.”

*It takes time.  It takes time to wade through to a new semblance of normal.  Give yourself a little grace when it comes to the routine of life.  You’ll get there – give it time.

*It takes time for your hormones and emotions to settle down and get back to [more-or-less] normal.  You’ll be bawling one moment and blissfully content the next.  That’s ok.  [Tell your husband/best friend/parent who ever to remind you of that from time to time.]

*It takes time for your body to get back to [more-or-less] normal.  You grew a human being.  That’s tough work.  And it takes time to undo.  [Tell your husband/best friend/parent who ever to remind you of this from time to time every day if necessary.]

*Let go of the guilt.  You won’t can”t be the perfect Mom.  As the difficulty of having a newborn begins to teach you this lesson, you’re likely to feel guilty over the things you think you’re falling short on.  Let it go.  The comments from other people that make you feel like you’re not measuring up – let it go.  Which brings me to my next point…

*Remember that you are a good mom!  You are the mom that God chose for this baby.  And He did not make a mistake.

I feel a little like Paul here “Not that I have already attained all this, or have already been made perfect…”  I definitely struggle with each of these things at different times.  I’ve been blessed and encouraged by so many wonderful people through this tough transition, so I wanted to pass some of that encouragement on.

So here’s how I spend my days: