Kohl Hard Facts

This adventure we call life in the Kohl Family

Day 10 – Cousins September 16, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude — kohlhardfacts @ 12:32 am

Last month we had the awesome privilege of spending a week with the Kohl side of the family.  It was a blast to have all three brothers and their families together at Lee and Peggy’s.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this family.  We have a lot of fun when we are together [and sometimes some tension…it keeps things interesting!]  Watching these six kiddos play and interact filled my heart with so much love and joy.  I love that we are building these memories for them and instilling a love for family togetherness.  One of my other favorite things is that they are all [fairly] close in age.  James [top left] is the oldest and he’s seven.  Then there’s Timmy [top right] age 5 [he’ll be 6 next month], Laura [second from the left, pink shirt] age 4, Viola age 1 1/2 [she’ll be two in December], Jack [bottom right] age 1, and Zander [bottom left] 5 months.  [And of course our little one to come will be born in December.]

I think the most surprising thing to me was that Viola and Timmy really hit it off.  Last time we were there, Viola wasn’t really big enough to be interested in/be of much interest to the older three.  They would play together some and it was clear that they all loved each other, but there wasn’t too much for them to do together.  But this time Viola was big enough to enjoy running through the sprinklers and reading books together and playing interactive games.  I expected Viola and Laura to become best buds [because 1. they are closest in age and 2. they are the only girls].  But for some reason it was Timothy who really took to her.  It was absolutely precious!

So today I am thanking the Lord for these six little kiddos so close to my heart and the precious blessing they are to our family.


Day 9 – Grandad August 15, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude — kohlhardfacts @ 7:34 pm

Family is very important to both Caleb and I.  The history, heritage, and legacy passed down from generations is an important thing to remember and to pass along to our own children.  My Grandpa [who we now call “Grandad” for the sake of less confusion…”wait, which Grandpa are we talking about?”] turn 90 this year.  He has lived through and learned much in his 90 years, and I treasure the wisdom he has to pass on to us.  I love to hear him talk about his days as a pilot instructor for the Royal Canadian Air Force in England during WW2.  The stories he can tell of people he met along his sales travels and the many places he has lived [Canada where he was born, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey to name a few] are fascinating to me.

My Grandma passed away in February, and I miss her dearly.  I am thankful that she had the opportunity to hold and cuddle Viola, to see her grow and take her first steps and say her first words.  Grandad wasn’t super interested in the baby stage [he loved her and would hold her, but she was kind of boring for him.]  But now that she can interact with him, the two of them just absolutely adore each other!  We picked Grandad up for church yesterday and when he came out to get in the car, Viola’s face lit up and she hollered, “Ganyad!  Ganyad!” [Her version of Grandad.]  All the way to church the two of them waved at each other and giggled and said “hi.”  At home later, the two of them played with stuffed animals and read books and gave lots of kisses.  I so enjoyed watching their interactions.  Neither of them tired of their silly games and though there weren’t a lot of words exchanged, the love between them was evident and beautiful.  I am so thankful for Grandad and who he is in our lives!

On a related note, I am incredibly excited to go to Minnesota in a couple of weeks.  Viola will get to experience more wonderful interactions with great grandparents [she is blessed to still have 3 great grandparents living] as well as Grandma and Grandpa, lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles.  It will be a wonderfully fun [and I’m sure hectic] time!


Day 8 – Little Surprises August 2, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude — kohlhardfacts @ 4:29 pm

Viola usually naps from 11 a.m. to 1:30 or 2 p.m.  Generally she doesn’t eat lunch until after her nap, so we are often eating a late lunch.  Most of the time I eat lunch while she is napping because 1. I get hungry and 2. It’s easier to feed her if I am not trying to eat at the same time.  But the other day I had been busy with various projects and didn’t end up eating lunch while she napped.  When she woke up we were both very hungry!  And I was lacking in the creativity for coming up with yet another lunch menu.  So we I decided to go to Steak n Shake.  I don’t do this very often with her [go out for lunch that is], but it felt like a good day to do something special just the two of us.  As I said, Viola doesn’t wake up until 1:30 or 2, so by the time we got to Steak n Shake it was happy hour [part of the reason I chose Steak n Shake.]  Anyway, I ate my meal and was too full to have a shake [but as it was happy hour, I certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get one!]  I took the shake home and put it in the freezer for later.  Which brings me to what I am thankful for….little surprises!  I forgot that I had put the shake in the freezer until a couple of days later.  It was quite an exciting and enjoyable surprise, and I’m actually glad that I decided not to eat it that day.  An unexpected shake in the freezer was a nice pick-me-up on a long, hot day.

It’s important to remember to be thankful for the small things in life.  I am finding myself with a better attitude and constantly looking for things to be thankful for on a day-to-day basis, and I find myself telling the Lord about these things that I am thankful for…overall it has been a very positive experience thus far.  I challenge you to look for one new thing each day that you are thankful for.


Day 7 – Nana July 26, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude — kohlhardfacts @ 3:43 pm

Let me start by saying, my daughter is one very loved little girl.  She has a very large immediate and extended family that shower her with love, hugs, gifts, time, and most importantly prayers.  It is a huge blessing to her and to me.

But this post is about how thankful I am for her Nana.  As I said before, we are currently living with my parents which is wonderful and trying all at the same time [for everyone!]  One of the big benefits of living here is that Viola has had time to connect and bond with my parents [Nana and Papaw].

Viola loves to snuggle Nana, she loves to read with Nana, to watch Nana do the things she does [getting ready for work, cooking, swimming, whatever Nana is doing Viola wants to be a part of it].  Nana loves to spoil her, let her have things Momma wouldn’t usually give her, play and tickle and laugh in ways I can’t always [or forget to] do; encouraging her and loving her in a way that is unique to grandparents.  Nana doesn’t have to discipline her as much or work as hard toward the teaching and learning and growing.  Nana gets to do all of the fun stuff. [My mom is also wonderful at helping in the teaching and learning and growing process, but without feeling the responsibility of it as her job, it’s just different.]  And Viola gets another example of a Godly woman to model her life after.  It’s a beautiful thing, and I am so thankful that God has given them this opportunity.

The other day after my doctor’s appointment the three of us [Viola, Nana, and I] went to McDonald’s to grab some lunch.  Toward the end of our meal a very nice woman came over to our table and said to me, “I have to tell you, I’ve barely been able to eat my lunch because I’ve been distracted by your adorable daughter.  I don’t know what your husband looks like, but I have to say this little girl is all her Nana.  She looks so much like her!  And her mannerisms are so like her too.”  At the time, we just smiled and thanked her.  Part of why this event is so…notable…is that technically they share no genes.  I was adopted, so my mom’s genes don’t run through me and therefore don’t run through Viola.  But as I looked at the two of them, I realized that the woman was right…somehow they do look a lot alike.  I’m thankful that God saw fit to allow that.  And I’m hopeful that the woman was right about the other part too.  It would be wonderful for Viola to take after her Nana in mannerisms and personality and action and love for God and people.  This is something I don’t want to take for granted…having Nana around, having a Nana as wonderful as she is to impact my children’s lives; I am so very thankful for Nana.


Day 6 – Dreams July 21, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude,On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 3:36 pm

Ok, I admit that I didn’t take this picture.  So I guess I’m cheating just a little bit on this one…Today I am thankful for dreams.  We found out last Monday that we are expecting Baby Girl #2.  At first I was surprised to say the least.  Our family on both sides is pretty much entirely boys.  So for us to have two girls is very unusual!

As the idea of having two girls has settled in, I’ve thought more about what it will be like.  I’ve been dreaming about the relationship Viola and her new sister will have.  I’ve been dreaming about how this baby girl will look, what color eyes and hair she’ll have; how different she will look from Viola.  I’ve been dreaming about her personality…Will she be outgoing or will she be shy?  Will she be busy and into everything or will she be mellow and go-with-the-flow?  I’m getting very excited now to meet this little one!  I think it will be such a joy to have two little girls running around our home.

One thing that makes me very happy at this point in my pregnancy is being able to feel her movements.  Sometimes they are so strong that they completely take me off guard.  It is a beautiful reminder to me of the precious life growing inside of me.  But one of my favorite things about this is that only I can feel her at this point…you can’t really feel her from the outside yet.  It’s like she and I are sharing this fun little secret, just the two of us.  Today I am very thankful for the dreams I am dreaming of this precious baby girl!


Day 5 – Friendship July 15, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude — kohlhardfacts @ 5:35 pm

Sorry for the brief hiatus over the past week or so.  We have been a busy, busy family spending time seeing friends!  Which brings me to Day 5 of my 30 Days of Gratitude…

I have been blessed throughout the various stages of my life with wonderful groups of friends.  Some I have stayed in touch with and some I have not.  I am so very grateful for all of those friendships and the ways they have impacted me.  My prayer is that I too have impacted them in return.  Friendship is such a wonderful blessing from the Lord.  He has used my friends throughout the years to shape me, guide me, strengthen me, test me, mature me, and so much more.

Hannah and I were very good friends in undergrad at Taylor and roomed together for a semester.  She is one of the people who helped shape and challenge me in those years.  It is so fun to see her now in her roles as wife and Mama to the beautiful Avi.  Her friendship still blesses me, and I’m thankful we were able to get together a couple of weeks ago!

Renee and her husband Leo became our family while we were in New York.  The first time I met Renee she was talking about being from Indiana.  I immediately loved her for that (and as I got to know her, many more wonderful qualities she possesses.)  She found out I was pregnant and immediately loved me for that.  🙂  Renee is another person who has changed me and made me a better person.  I am so thankful we were able to go to the Children’s Museum while she and Leo were in Indy.  We also were able to go over to Cincinnati to visit with our friends Shawn and Katy, another instrumental family in our time in New York.  But I forgot to take my camera, so I don’t have any pictures from that trip.

Last but not least, the wonderful group of women that make up Mother/Daughter weekend.  This is a wonderful, special tradition that we have been doing for the last 11 years.  Although the weekend tradition only began 11 years ago, I have known these women for most of my life, certainly as far back as I can remember.  I have learned so much from this group of women.  It has been a joy and privilege to grow up with them, walk through life with them, share in joy and sorrow and growth and pain and everything in between.  From Elementary School and playing “Little Women” to the drama of boys and cliques and grades in High School to the struggle of finding ourselves and how to grow up in College to discovering the paths God has led us down in our adult lives we have loved each other and challenged each other, grown together, grown apart, and changed in so many ways…it is such a beautiful thing!  I don’t even know how to begin to express how grateful I am for these women!

**Note:  These are people who represent various phases of my life that I have been able to get together with recently.  If you are not pictured, please don’t think it means I am not abundantly thankful for your friendship!  Hopefully I will get to see you very soon and tell you how thankful I am for you!


Day 4 – Silliness July 7, 2011

Filed under: 30 Days of Gratitude — kohlhardfacts @ 7:10 pm

Yesterday we went to the Children’s Museum with our dear friends Leo and Renee Martinez.  We all had a blast, especially Viola!  We were able to just enjoy life, see things freshly through the eyes of a one year old, and enjoy being silly!  I love silliness, and I love that I can get away with it all of the time under the guise of playing with my baby girl!  The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the perfect place to do that!

Far too often I get caught up in the busy-ness of life and responsibilities and stresses that I forget how wonderful it is to be silly.  To make funny faces, make goofy sounds, wear crazy outfits, imagine crazy things, and just be generally silly.  It’s something I’m learning from Viola every day.  She reminds me that life can be fun!  And that is something to be very thankful for.