Category Archives: Inspiration

{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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Filed under Holiday, Inspiration, Inspire, RANDO•RAMA

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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{My Published Book}

If you’ve been following the Suede Sofa, you are no doubt familiar with what we call the “LiVe-It LiSt” which is similar to a bucket list but with the focus on living every day to the full rather than on dying.  With the “Live-It List” I  was DeTeRmiNeD to take care of all my “unfinished business” in 2012.  One of those items was to PubLiSh a book that has been saved on my computer for nearly three years.  Well, I can now check that item off my list.  My books were delivered to my house this past Friday.  What made this accomplished goal even SwEeTeR is that my family, father-in-law, and Lara’s family were there to witness me cutting open the box and seeing my book for the very first time.  A very sweet moment indeed.

My book, “The Truth Behind Real Success”, compares the definition of success given to us by our society and culture with that of real, AuThEnTiC success.  For more information you can check it out at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-truth-behind-real-success-robynn-k-coates/1110419766?ean=9781619969445

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%22The+truth+behind+real+success%22

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Filed under Dream Big, Faith, God, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, Live-It Ideas, Live-It List

Put Your Blinders On

Do you make decisions based on the people around you?  DeeP dOwN did you decide to buy a new car because all your friends and family recently upgraded theirs?  Did you put your kid in t-ball because you felt the pressure from the other parents?  Have you recently felt the need to go on an extreme diet because you bumped into an old classmate that lost a bunch of weight?

Whether it is what you buy, the vocation you choose, how you raise your kids, or the way you live your life, we must ask ourselves this question:

If I couldn’t see others and what they are doing, would I still be making the same decisions? 

Source

So many times we forget to think on our own because we are heavily influenced by other people.  Doug and I talk about this a lot.  In our decison making we have to constantly remind ourselves that, if we didn’t care what others thought, would we still go down the same path?

Taking buying a home for example.  Would you have purchased your home if you didn’t know what type of home everyone else lived in? Without thinking about it, you went house hunting feeling obligated to want certain things because you knew what other people have.  Even though they weren’t there, the influence talked you into buying an expensive home, and you are left with the stress of keeping up with the payments.   (If you are in a financial struggle, read our finance posts for help)

When you are at a crossroad to make a decision, ask yourself WHO you are doing it for. Like a race horse with blinders on, tune out what’s going on around you and focus on what YOU want.  It isn’t always easy, but living YOUR life will be the ulimate pRiZe when reaching the finish line. 

~Lara

Tired of keeping up with the Jonses?  Read my post called Goodbye Jonses! Hello Freedom!

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Filed under Finances, Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life

Are You Focused?

Have you stayed focused on the goals you set for yourself to accomplish before the summer months hit?  Are there areas you need to target as the weather warms up and the BBQ’s get grilling?  I think we all start out with great intentions to succeed, but somehow LiFe just gets in the way of achieving our goals.

For me the struggle continues to be diet and exercise.  I’m not going to lie…It’s been weeks since I wrote a post about starting The Lazy Girls Workout and this lazy girl has not worked out OnCe since that day.  That is unless you count a few games of freeze tag around the yard with my son, but other than that…NoThInG!

I think when life gets too hectic to find time for ourselves or when we are finding it hard to get moving (in my case literally GeT MoViNg!) it is important to find things to use a motivators.  For me it is going to be my new right out of the box Lands End bathing suit.  Don’t give up on your goals…we all have time to get back in the GaMe!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Getting Real, Good Life, Hard Reality, Inspiration, Life, Live-It List, Peace w/ Food, RANDO•RAMA, Self Image, SelfImprovement, You

My First Pinterest Project

It’s been about four months since I first joined Pinterest and boy has it changed my life for the BeTtEr!  The ideas just keep coming and I can’t get enough of them!  The first project that I tried from Pinterest was this simple fingerpaint technique shared by .

  • Use blue painters tape to spell your child’s name on fingerpainting paper.
  • Let them fingerpaint over the tape.
  • Once the paint has dried remove the tape to reveal their name in white!

My daughter's first fingerpaint creation!

EnJoY!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspire, Kid Stuff, RANDO•RAMA

{The Puzzle}

One thing I really like to do, but don’t do very often is put together a puzzle.  From time to time my extended family will put one together during the HoLiDaYs.  It’s a great time to visit with them and enjoy their company.  Depending on the size of the puzzle it may take us hours or even days to finally put all the pieces together.  And when we are finished there is a sense of satisfaction seeing the end ReSuLt.

I think life is a lot like that puzzle.  When you take it out of the box the pieces are random, nothing fits together and unless you have a picture of what the puzzle should look like {which in life we never do}, a MyStErY.  How often do we look at our life when the pieces are piled up, convinced they will never fit together.  But God is a master at putting the puzzle pieces of our life together.  So, the next time you take a look at the puzzle pieces of your life chaotically piled up, remember that PuZzLeS take time and He who started a good work in you will finish it!!  {Philippians 1:6}

:)

Robynn~

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Filed under Faith, Family, God, Good Life, Hard Reality, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, Relationships

Why I LOVE Pinterest!

By now you may have heard of the craze called Pinterest, an internet site where you can browse and “pin” all sorts of pictures from food, fashion, home decor, DIY, photography, to name just a few.  In case you are not familiar with this site (www.pinterest.com) here’s basically how it works.  A friend invites you to get an account (don’t worry it’s free).  You then have your own account where you can create different boards such as fashion, DIY, organizing tips & the like.  You then browse and see what pics others have pinned.  (You can also “pin” your own pics).  When you find pins you like you simply “pin” that picture on one of your “boards” and voila!   You then can access that picture whenever you go to your Pinterest account.  Many of the pics are from blogs which is really cool, because let’s say you see a recipe that looks delicious and you “pin” that recipe, if you click on that picture many times you will be directed to someone’s blog where you can access the recipe.  We absolutely LOVE Pinterest, so if you have not already checked it out give it a try!

Robynn Says:  I love Pinterest for MANY reasons:  photography tips, parenting tips, home decor, inspirational sayings, and more.  When it comes to fashion I LOVE Pinterest because it gives me the sense I can shop without spending a dime!!  I just pin away and enjoy looking, but don’t have to buy!!  When it comes to home decor, I love Pinterest because some day I want to flip cottages and Pinterest allows me the opportunity to save all my ideas onto a “board”.  The following photo is what I envision my cottage “flips” to look like.  It was pinned by Chelsea McGee.  Here’s the link:   http://pinterest.com/pin/132082201541218854/

by Chelsea McGee

Lara Says:  I love Pinterest because it gives me so many great iDeAs on how to use everyday items around my house and transform them into something AWESOME!  Check out this wood pallet that was transformed into this amazing picture holder from AmandaCarverDesigns blog!

From AmandaCarverDesigns.com found on Pinterest!

Robyn Says:

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