Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birthday Girl

September and October are busy birthday months in the Cole home.  Anya celebrated birthday #7 this year.  Some things we love about Anya:
She is a super nice friend and loves to be social.
She has great fashion sense.
She remembers to say her prayers every night.
She has really taken off with her reading in the last 6 months and works hard in school!
She loves all different kinds of music.
She gets up without a fuss every morning, and goes to bed without a fuss as well.
She is enjoying her first season of soccer and is a great team player.

This is a very excited kid on her first day of first grade.  In other exciting news this week, she had another first day . . . of second grade.  Toward the end of kindergarten, we started talking with her teacher and the principal about the possibility of skipping Anya up a grade.  After getting used to first grade routines and everything, we decided the time was right to move her on up.   She was even more excited today than when school started I think.  So she is now my big 2nd grader! We love our miss Anya!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Used to Be Smart

Once upon a time I was considered a smart girl.  I took AP classes and graduated in the top 4 of my high school class and had a full tuition scholarship to college.  I got better grades than my husband in Organic Chemistry.  I graduated Summa Cum Laude with University Honors.  I got a near perfect score on the GRE's.  I got a Master's Degree and passed my licensing exams on the first try.  
And then I had children . . .  and gave them all of my brain cells.
And now they are all smart and I can't remember why I walked in a room or conversations DH swears we had, or how to spell "mentioned" (thank you spell check), or to put the yeast in the bread I was making for dinner.  
Ryan has to ask me daily if my estrogen levels are OK, or if I'm taking a B12 vitamin, convinced that my mental lapses are signs of some nutritional or hormonal deficiency.  

It couldn't be because today I am also trying to keep track of:

  • my 1/2 marathon training plan
  • feeding the dogs
  • 4 shifts of getting girls out the door to school
  • delivering chicken eggs to 4 neighbors
  • my eye appointment
  • a lunch date with DH 
  • picking Paisley up from preschool 
  • excavating Anya and Paisley's bedroom floor that hasn't been visible for a week
  • update from DH on 3 new clients at work
  • picking up 2 girls from school (with a reminder from 7 year old that she hates it when I am late-again)
  • starting dinner
  • putting a puzzle together with Paisley
  • changing the laundry
  • something for dessert for the cross country dinner
  • violin lesson for Anya
  • picking up Emma
  • taking Emma to Formal and Bridal to get her choir dress altered
  • getting new shoes for Emma before my $20 off coupon expires
  • getting Sierra to soccer practice
  • back to school night for Sierra
  • taking Lexi to cross country dinner and picking her up 2 hours later
  • helping Anya learn about regrouping addition
  • making sure everyone practiced their instruments
  • bathing Paisley and making sure she has her "itchy cream" and panties that aren't "uncomforble"
  • bedtime stories and prayers and signed homework and other school paperwork
  • changing the laundry again
Maybe it's really a wonder I only forgot the yeast.  

Monday, September 5, 2011


We had many, many fun adventures over the summer and I really should write about all of those exciting moments. 
But for today I want to talk about bunk beds.  
I have never been a huge fan of bunk beds.  But they became a necessity in out last house trying to fit lots of girls into the space we had available.  Mostly they are just a pain to make and keep looking neat.  And I always worried about the littlest girls climbing up and not being able to get back down.  Plus it's a hassle for me to climb up and down if I wanted to read in bed with one of the girls or just give them a bedtime snuggle.  So I swore we would not bunk the beds in our new house, and that worked really well for almost a year.
About 6 months ago Sierra and Emma decided that they wanted to be in the same room and that they wanted to have their beds bunked so that there would be space in their room for the digital piano.  Wanting to encourage my children's efforts at cooperation and creativity, I agreed with this plan.  They are old enough that they can at least keep their own bunk beds made, and I don't really spend much time snuggling with them in bed anymore.  
I did not take into consideration, however, what happens when someone on the top bunk gets sick in the middle of the night and doesn't make it to the bathroom before she throws up.  Sierra woke up just long enough to throw up over the edge of her top bunk onto Emma's pillows and book that she sets next to her bed when she goes to sleep each night.  I woke up Sunday morning to clean up the aftermath.  Keep in mind that the farther liquid falls, the greater the splash at the bottom.  Not pleasant.  I really do not like bunk beds.  I'm sure you won't miss having a picture for this post.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Emma and I completed our 60 mile Goldilocks bicycle ride today.  (Check out  I am so proud of Emma for making it all the way!  We have been planning and training for this ride for 3 months, and there were days the training part was not her favorite.  I really enjoy cycling and it was so fun to share it with one of my girls.  Way to go Biker Chick!  You can accomplish anything!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

Today miss Christa celebrates her 16th birthday.  I don't know how I have a 16 year old living in my house and calling me mom, since I'm only 22 myself, but that's one of the mysteries of life I guess.  So today I get to let her know (and everyone else), how amazing Christa really is.  
--She has perfect pitch and an amazing ability to play music by ear and create her own harmonies when singing
--She plays piano and violin so beautifully.  I love to listen to her practice.
--She is so smart and does really well in school. AP Chemistry and AP Calculus exams are this week!  All her teachers are so impressed with her consistent great performance.
--She chooses great friends, and is pretty sociable 
--She makes her bed every day
--She does whatever she is asked to do to help around the house
--She has an appreciation for all types of music
--She is very goal-oriented and focused when she has her sights set on achieving something
--She runs to keep herself in good shape physically
--She is the household grammar police and we frequently has discussions about proper verb tense or dangling participles (in English or in Spanish)
--She is beautiful
--She is pretty humble about her accomplishments
--She knows and loves the scriptures and is very involved in church activities, and keeps high moral standards
--She is a great example to her younger sisters, and tolerates their little-sister-ness
--She is willing to try new things
--She is extremely dependable in so many aspects of her life
Thanks for being a part of our lives, Christa, and thanks for teaching us all so much!  We love you!!  Happy Sweet 16!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Ryan and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Dubai this past week.  When we were at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in New Orleans in February, we met several dermatologists from the Middle East who expressed a need for dermatopathology expertise in that region of the world, and who told us about their regional meeting being held in Dubai.  We have talked about expanding our practice internationally for a long time, and decided this was the time and place to explore that possibility.  It was a big leap into the unknown, but turned out to be an amazing experience.  We went with our two other key associates in our company, and learned so much and came away with many great contacts and 5 invitations for Ryan to speak at meetings in the region within the next year.  There is a great need, not only for regular biopsy diagnosis, like Ryan does now for his American clients, but also for expert consultation and also for education and for humanitarian work. There are the wealthiest of the wealthy in the region, but also the poorest of the poor.  It really was an incredible response and we are so grateful for the opportunity we had to go, and for the opportunities that are ahead.  Here are a few pictures of some of the sights:

The Burj Khalifa--The tallest building in the world--
and the view from the observation deck on the 124th floor 

The beach on the Persian Gulf

A traditional spice shop in the old Souk (market) area of town

The Jumeirah mosque-one of the few non-Muslims can tour
There is a mosque on every other corner all through the city

Ski Dubai-the indoor ski slope in one of the malls

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Paisley is having a foot fetish of late.  Actually it's not just her feet.  She is constantly complaining that her sock hurts, or her panties hurt, or her pants hurt  . . .  I cannot get that child dressed without at least 10 minutes of crying, fussing, whining, about her clothes.  If she gets herself dressed, there is sometimes a bit less of it.  But even if she chooses her clothes then asks for help, she complains that they bother her.  She has just spent the last 20 minutes rolling around on the floor asking me to fix her sock.  She wanted to go outside, but wants socks, but thinks I can fix them.   I can't fix them.  I admit that clothing is just irritating in general.  Too bad we can't all go around completely naked all the time.  Society and weather won't really permit that sort of thing.  I think she just fell asleep on the floor mid tantrum.  So much for early bedtime . . .