BRAT - (noun)

Brat- (noun)

1.A child, especially a spoiled or ill-mannered one.

2.A child of a career military person.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Being a Brat is Hard!

Several months ago, we received some exciting news. My husband has been nominated (and since then Senate approved) to become a Brigadier General in the Army. So many years of hard work, plus what we believe to be God's favor, have finally come to a point. Service at this level of the military is both humbling and exciting. And it continues to require what military families do best - sacrifice.

We were told recently that we are needed at a post in Massachusetts. This will require a mid-year move. Those are always just a little tougher than even the ordinary summer rotations. So many things to think about, while life is still going full speed ahead for our family.

Josh took the news especially hard. He's in Jr. High, and his friends are very important to him, as they should be at this age. I tried to remind Josh this morning this is not something we are doing "to him", but something we are doing "with him", as a family.

Deployments... moves... it's a lot to ask of the children who are in military families.

Please don't misinterpret this blog post... we are excited about this move. We feel this is God's plan for our family and we are eagerly anticipating great things for the Cole's. But, I would appreciate you saying a prayer for the little hearts that carry with them such love and pride for their soldiers, and at the same time a sadness for the things they are giving up by being brats.

Guess this southern girl better go buy some snow boots!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Important or Urgent... thoughts from a tired mom

Mother’s Day used to be one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the little handprint cards, the sweet sticky kisses, the burned- toast-breakfast- in- bed.  I love my kids, and I really love being a mom.  So, a day to celebrate that is …wonderful.

But, I’ll be honest – this year, the week leading up to Mother’s Day has almost done me in.  Planning 2 Mother’s Day Programs for preschool, plus being there every day this week (when I usually only go in 1 or 2 days a week) makes for a very busy week.  I love teaching music at preschool – it truly makes me happy.  However, It's been a somewhat stressful week.  This week was also Teacher Appreciation Week.  Now, I believe every day should be teacher appreciation – they are the most underpaid, overworked, hardworking people I know.  They deserve every single card, candy, flower, accolade they get.  However, as a room mom and mother of 2 elementary school kids, I spent a lot more time at school this week than I normally would spend, sent out a lot of emails, helped put together a lot of stuff.    

Add to that, all the normal mom stuff… laundry, baseball games, feeding my kids,  homework, laundry… yes, I know I said laundry twice, but it deserves a second mention.  And, my First Grader had a big biography project due this week.  How many First Graders do you know who can do research on the internet, write and organize a paper, and prepare an oral presentation?  Yea, I don’t know any either.  So, it was one more thing on top of an already overloaded schedule.  Both of my college kids are finishing exams and moving home… and as happy as I am to have them both here, it creates a different dynamic and rhythm to our home, making for a little adjustment on all our parts.  And, Josh had to be at school early on Friday for a field trip… by early, I mean two and a half hours earlier than usual.   Anyone who knows me knows I don’t function well without sleep, and add to that very little time to exercise, well, it made for a very tired and cranky mom.  Not to even mention that my husband has been gone for over 10 months, and I’m weary from this deployment.   I miss him so much, and my heart hurts from him being gone.   

I’ve told more than one person, “These little handprint cards are just not cutting it anymore.  This week is not fun!”

I admit, I have forgotten one of the most important motto’s I know… one my husband told me early in our marriage, a favorite quote from his mentor/boss at the time.  “Never confuse the important with the urgent.”

My life is full of urgent. 

I live in one of the busiest, most stressful parts of the country, I would dare say, the world.  Everyone is an overachiever here in Northern VA.  Being busy and living life in high gear is the norm for almost everyone I know, and I feel like a slug when I tell my friends all I want for Mother’s Day is a nap. 

Today we had one of Michelle’s little friends over for a playdate.  I listened to these 2 little girls giggle and laugh and play dress up in her room.  It was music for my heart.  My son Josh told me I didn’t have to go to his make-up baseball game tomorrow, knowing I was so hoping for a quiet day.  I told him I wouldn’t miss him play ball for all the money in the world… but just that he thought to be so selfless was sweet.  My son, Bill Jr., is moving back home tomorrow after being away at college for the past year.  I can’t wait to see him, to really spend time with him.  My grown daughter spent most of her day planning and shopping for a brunch she is planning to make me tomorrow, in honor of Mother’s Day.  Even though she didn’t feel great, and probably didn’t feel like going out to the store.  She loves to cook, and she makes her food with love.
I was reminded today of what is important.  I do love Mother’s Day, because I love my children with every fiber of my being.  All the urgent stuff can make me tired and even somewhat unhappy at times.  But, being a mom to 4 amazing children fills my life with unspeakable joy… I know I am blessed way beyond what I deserve. 

Friday, January 4, 2013


I mentioned a few months ago that some of the wonderful men and women serving alongside Bill are trying to reach out to one of the local orphanages in the "far away land" where he is stationed.  They are hoping to go in and do more soon.  I would love to get together a box or two to send over... not really sure of the timeline. 

Let's do this - I will plan to send over a box the last Monday in January. (28)  If you have childrens shoes, new or gently worn, I think those would be greatly appreciated.  Most of the children I saw pictured looked like they were elementary school ages.  Also, toiletry items - toothbrushes or toothpaste, bars of soap, combs or hair brushes, etc. 

I think a lot of toys and clothes were donated last time, so I'll make this the focus for now... if I hear of specific items they need, I will let you know. 

I wish I could share some of the pictures Bill forwarded to me.  I can't because of security issues, but let me just say these are beautiful children who need so much... thank you for anything you can give to "the least of these".