Category Archives: Inspiration

Pile of Problems

Is life getting you down?  Do you feel like you have bigger problems than those around you?  Consider this…

If everyone were to pile all of their problems into the middle of the room, and you could swap yours out,

you’ll probably be in a hurry to grab yours back.

The grass is ALWAYS greener.  When we look at everyone around us, we never see the whole picture.  Same goes for other people.  They probably look at you and wish they could swap their problems with yours.  (I know you are laughing, but it is true!)  Your life may be tough right now, but don’t be so quick to envy someone else.  Your issues may not be so bad after all!

~Lara

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Random Acts Around Us

Last night I decided on a whim to take my kids out to dinner to a restaurant that gives out balloons to every kid when they enter the restaurant.  My kids LoVe this and discuss what color balloon they are going to choose the entire car ride there.  As parents it is not such a great perk because we spend most of our meal reminding the kids not to let the balloons touch the ceiling because they can pop, not to let the balloons get caught in the ceiling fans, begging the kids to let us tie the balloons to their chairs, and the list goes on and on and on!  As many of you know my son Nicholas just loves to push the envelope every chance he gets and last night this little game of taunting Mommy with the green balloon was really pushing my last button.  I always tell my kids that they only get ONE balloon at the restaurant whether they lose theirs or if they pop theirs…ONE and that’s it, the rest are for the other kids who come to eat with their families.  When we walked outside to get into our car I decided that I wanted to take a picture of Nicholas and Abby with their balloons.  The sun was in the perfect spot to cast a shadow of their little bodies holding their balloons and I wanted to save that moment.

Not two seconds after I snapped the picture…Nicholas let go of his balloon.  He has never lost a balloon before, but knowing Nicholas I knew his reaction was not going to be good.  He starting crying and begging for me to go inside the restaurant to get him a new one.  I knew I could quickly stop the scene by running in and getting him a new balloon, but then I would be going back on my one balloon rule so that was out of the question.  As my mind raced to somehow make this situation better out of nowhere appeared a little girl no older than 10 years old.  She saw how upset Nicholas was as he was pointing and yelling at his green balloon in the sky and she handed him a blue balloon that she had received from the restaurant.  As she walked away I stopped her and told her what a wonderful thing she had just done and how happy she had just made my son.

It is NeVeR too early to start teaching kids that kindness counts.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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They Are Paying Attention!

Today I got an email forward from my mom that really made me think.  It was a beautiful poem about what goes on in the mind of a child when we ThInK they aren’t looking.  There are so many times I clean up the toys only to have them scattered around the house an hour later and think to myself….Why do I even bother?  This poem really touched me because it made me realize that as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends we may not instantly see the influence we are having on the children in our lives, but they are always WaTcHiNg us and taking in the little things we do day in and day out.

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

Author: Unknown
When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Good Life, Inspiration, Inspire, Kid Stuff, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

{Not There Yet, But Closer}

Last Thursday, July 19th was my BiRtHdAy and I knew exactly how it was going to look.  I had the whole day drawn out in my head and it went something like this:

  • Wake up before the crack of dawn to a typical, beautiful SuMmEr morning – still, quiet (with the exception of birds chirping), and even a little cool.  (Relatively speaking)
  • Spend my early morning enjoying the quietness of the day.
  • Leave for Kansas City at 8a.m. with my family for a fun day of lunch, shopping, and hanging out.
  • Eat lunch at a new Bistro in KC that gets excellent reviews.
  • Stroll on The Plaza (I love all their pink, hot PiNk and white hanging flowers!) something I love to do once a year when it it hot outside!
  • Do some school shopping for my girls.
  • Hang out with my husband and {perfectly behaved} daughters.  (Remember I said this is how I had drawn out the day in my head.  They do not always act this way, but on this day I was sure they would!)

Instead my day went something like this:

  • Wake up at 1:30 a.m with a pounding headache.  When the alarm went off at 4 a.m. and I still had the headache I decided to go back to bed!!
  • Wake up at 6 to thunder, lightening, and rain.
  • Leave for Kansas City at 9:15a.m.
  • Instead of eating at the new bistro, I instead opted (why did I do that?!) for another restaurant.  The food did not taste good to me at all and I wished I had chosen the Bistro instead!!
  • Stroll on the Plaza for only a short time as my girls were any thing but perfectly behaved.  Leave early because this isn’t working!
  • Stop at a children’s clothing store in the mall where my girls did not want to shop for school clothes.
  • Rush home early to get back for gym class at 5:30.

As you can see, the plan in my head did not go anything like the scene that played out.  But as corny as this may sound, I can truly say I had an AwEsOmE day.  I think it is because I have learned, with the help of God, friends, the Suede Sofa and all you readers who chime in from time to time to roll with the punches, embrace what life hands you and “LiVe-It”.

And so that is what I did.  I “Lived-It” cranky kids and all and enjoyed every minute of it.  And trust me, that is a huge improvement for this perfectionist, planner who has been at times called, “Rigid”.

Towards the end of our time in KC as we were leaving Scott told me he hoped I had a good birthday (he was feeling bad for me as I still had a headache and he knew things hadn’t gone quite as expected). In that moment, I couldn’t help but to think, how BleSsEd I am.

I would never be in this place in life again.  This is the only birthday where I will have a 4-yr old and a 6-yr old.  It’s also not every year that Scott is able to take a day off of work, and be surprised by two eager little ones who had asked their dad to wake them up at 6 a.m. so they could serve me breakfast in bed – a chocolate chip pancake along with a fresh cut FloWer.  (Just one benefit of sleeping in when I had planned to do otherwise.)

As we closed out the day with gym class and swimming lessons I realized I had done something not always easy for me to do, but something I am striving to do.  I had embraced life.  And it felt good to know, although I’m not perfect, I’m making one SmAll step at a time.

:)

Robynn~

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PAUSE

My husband and I have had a lot of changes in our life recently.  Without thinking about it I have felt the need to want to RuSh through the unpleasant times and fAst foRwaRd to the days that I dream about everything being perfect (clean house, perfectly behaved kids, more free time, etc).  How many posts have I written about life not being perfect???  You would think I’d have it down by now :)

Is there something going on in your life that is making you want to hurry through? 

If you step back and evaluate, what are the good parts of the unpleasant moments that you are missing out on simply because you are in a rush to fast forward through this time?

These questions iMpaCt me every time I read them because I am a person that tends to rush through everything.  I want to get to a place where my kids don’t destroy everything in my house.  I want to speed through dropping those “last few pounds” so I can finally fit into that dress I bought.  I want to erase an awkward moment with a friend and skip ahead to a time that I didn’t feel so uncomfortable.

But you know what I have to give up to finally reach that perfect TiMe?  Hearing my kids say adorable words and run to me for constant hugs and kisses….enjoying eating a surprise meal that my husband made for me and saying “YES” to unplanned trips to Dairy Queen with the kids…and special moments with a dear friend that I would never experience because I skipped ahead.

If you are stressed, miserable, sad, whatever it is….PAUSE for a minute.  What good things are you missing out on because you are rushing through this difficult time?  It is only natural to start feeling guilty at this point but STOP, don’t do that!  START now and focus on the special moments TODAY that you will never get back.  Even though there are some things you don’t enjoy right now, force yourself to focus on the good.  Not only will it help alleviate discomfort but you will cherish special moments that you would have otherwise missed.

~Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life

{Thank-You For Serving!!}

Hi Suede Sofa Friends!

One of my family’s TrAdiTioNs is to kick off our summer by watching the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS that honors the MiLiTaRy men and women who have served our country.  It is inspiring, PaTrioTiC, and very moving.  So, much so, that last year I was inspired to write a song and dedicate it to all the CoUraGeOuS men and women who so selflessly serve in the military.  (I’ll share it with you on Memorial Day.)

Captain Monica Riggs, KC-135 (Stratotanker) Pilot in the KS Air National Guard.

This Memorial Day Weekend take the time to say “ThAnK-yOu” to someone who serves (or has served) our country in the military.  They and their family sacrifice so much.  And if you get the chance, check out the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS (airing on Sunday, May 27th at 7 p.m. central).

Major David Young – US Army Reserve
Deployed to Baghdad & Iraq

Have a GrEaT weekend and HaPpY SuMmEr!!

:)

Robynn~

P.S.  If you would like me to put a pic of someone you know who has served in the military, send me an email at suedesofa@yahoo.com  I will try to post them today and tomorrow.  Please also send their name, branch they have served in, rank, etc.

Eric Tincher (on right) Currently Deployed overseas

Capt Eric Tincher
KS Air National Guard
Topeka, KS

Kenneth Winn

Kenneth Winn, 85, Kansas Farmer, WW II veteran, NAVY Philippines

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You Have 2 Choices

Do you have a desire to try something new or achieve a lifelong dream but can’t muster up enough CouRage to give it a try? At the beginning of the movie “The Mighty Macs” the woman asks two questions that I will never forget:

Could I deal with rejection and temporary pain

OR

Should I suffer a life filled with regret because I was afraid to take the risk?

SOURCE

I can think of numerous times that I tried to talk myself out of trying something new because I feared negative feedback, failure or embarrassment. I have learned that these brief moments of feeling uncomfortable are well worth the satisfaction and confidence you experience by working toward something you LOVE.

I have been running my Letter Block Shop business for almost 4 years now. I can honestly say that majority of the days I LOVE what I do and get excited to watch how much it has grown. It is only a handful of days per year that I actually experience the “not fun/uncomfortable” stuff.  Wouldn’t you say it is well worth it?  The good days definitely outweigh the bad!

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t live a life filled with regret! Take the risk and start Living-It today!

~Lara

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