Did You Know IKEA Offers Humble Pie?

IKEA Memorial Day

IKEA…it’s a great idea!

In Colorado, we’ve had what feels like a monsoon of a May. We are used to our 300+ days of sunshine each year, and May has been wet and dreary.

All.month.long.

To say the least, everyone here is over it. We chose Denver over Seattle for a reason. We miss our sunshine and mild May weather.

I long to sing “Here Comes the Sun”. I never heard that song until I came to Colorado for the first time in the Summer of 1996…and it’s one of my favorites to this day!

I always equate Colorado with sun. And this song. And me falling in love with Colorado.

“Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here”

As I saw friends posting about their lake and beach outings for Memorial Day weekend, I laughed that my family’s big Sunday afternoon adventure was going to IKEA.

I even took a picture of the “Welcome to IKEA” sign upon our arrival, thinking I’d say something tongue-in-cheek on my personal Facebook feed.

However, two hours later all I left with was a piece of humble pie. My family had spent the last part of the afternoon walking that glorious 3 story building of a store with a pitstop for dinner in their cafeteria…where a family of five can eat for $25. Nevermind one family member ended up sick in the middle of the night…

I digress. Back to the giant mecca of organizational goodness. One of my kids was disappointed, and let’s say showing such in that regard since we didn’t leave with a desk and were simply looking to see what we liked and what would fit in said child’s room.

It was an ordeal. And that’s an understatement and putting it politely.

We were trying to beat the closing time clock, and on our way out saw an organizational rack that was the second item we wanted to check out while there. Our garage desperately needed something to wrangle our shoes, cleats, gloves, bats, helmets, and folding chairs for all the kids’ sporting events.

Just at the time I was admiring the bins that perfectly fit on the shelves and thinking of one per child to contain each of their shoes in a gloriously organized fashion, literally seeing the beautiful structure in my mind and practically salivating at the thought, my youngest announced he needed to get to the bathroom stat.

This would make round two or three since we arrived. It was my turn to take him.

If you have a three year old, y’all understand the need to not wait in those moments. My husband took our older two kids and was headed to the self serve center to pick out our box of unassembled goodness. Less than five minutes before closing time.

We were on a mission.

Before leaving he said he was trying to find a pen to write down the item number to take to self service section to find, and I said I’d take a picture of the number instead and text it to him. Forget not taking your phone into the bathroom…little man was the one using the facilities, but I followed him in to the stall just to make sure. I texted from the bathroom stall in a sense of “whew!” on both fronts as my youngest made it and I quickly sent the attached photo.

I saw Todd from across the room as we were making our way to the checkout. I noticed he didn’t have the bins. “Todd! Toodd! TODD!” I secretly love projecting my old cheerleader voice with such depth. We needed those bins. He didn’t hear me (or maybe he did 😉 ).

I raced down that aisle to see if perhaps they had the accessories to the shelving close by. No go. Two minutes until the store closes. No time to go back upstairs to that department and get them.

I picked up my 3 year old and ran.

All this to say, when we met up at the check out line, just as the cashier greeted us and I was catching my breath, I asked “Todd, where are the bins?”. He said he didn’t see them. I asked the cashier where we could find them. We needed three, remember?

The cashier said he could call that store section and ask someone. I thanked him profusely. Todd interjected he didn’t think we really needed them right now. The store was closing and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I totally ignored him and proceeded to look at the cashier with a glance that must have made my point known that I didn’t want to leave without those bins.

Any of you who have wrangled three kids under 10 to IKEA on a holiday weekend where the free onsite childcare is full because it’s so crowded can appreciate wanting to get what you came for. And not making another trip for the stupid bins.

What happened next? Let’s just say we had a “difference of opinion” right there in the IKEA checkout line. Me, my husband, and the poor cashier right in the middle of it.

Next, I did what any mature, 39 year old, gracious Mom of three would do. I gave…the eye roll. Hard. I may have even grunted somewhat audibly and nearly burst a blood vessel in the process. I went to walk off. I wanted to make it known I was mad and didn’t want to be around anyone. I stomped my feet a little in my mind. 

I quickly realized little feet were beside me. Following. “Mommy, why did you just roll your eyes like that at Daddy?” Goodness gracious. Out of all three, SHE was the one to see that? The one we’ve been talking with about how to express ourselves, even when things don’t go our way, without pitching a fit?

That’s it’s fine and normal to feel frustrated but how we go about showing that frustration should have some parameters? Not to storm off making noises under our breath?

The one not 30 minutes ago I had to talk with in the desk section about how we don’t always get our way and sometimes we have to wait for things? The one who had me channeling our beloved kindergarten teacher from years prior singing “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”?

Well, I now see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. My middle child heart embraces, understands, and breaks for her middle child heart. I was ticked because I didn’t get my way, and she was frustrated for me.

Almost in the same moment of feeling convicted on the inside of how I was acting, I was convicted on the outside by my daughter.

My daughter became mad at my husband on my behalf, and I had to draw the line. That’s not OK. I get she’s sticking up for me, and I remember doing the same thing with my Mom and Dad under different circumstances.

Time to pivot.

As we were walking to the car, I told Carson we’d need to talk about this as a family. I told Todd what happened somewhat in code words and am grateful that with a well known look he took the cue of “we need to have a serious conversation here.” I apologized for acting like a brat who didn’t get my way, and the kids were able to hear us say it’s completely fine for Mom and Dad to not agree with one another.

I even took it so far, as I am trying not to gloss over things anymore (my sister will be so proud!) to say “I did it because I’m angry. I wanted those bins to go with the shelving, and I didn’t want to come back for them, and yes I got mad at Dad for putting a kink in my plans as the store is closing.”

I was owning it. I wasn’t proud of my actions. At the same time, I don’t want my kids or my husband to stuff their feelings, and I wasn’t going to stuff mine.

I grew up not allowed to express much of an opinion and it’s not healthy. Bless my sweet husband’s heart in understanding 21 years of pent up opinions have started to come out with a vengeance in the last few years! He gets me. He knows. I am guessing when I go on one of my rants in his mind is “this too shall pass” 🙂

We all had a good laugh and there may have been some impressions of me given. A healing laugh + a healing talk the whole 30 minute ride home. We both made sure to give our point of view in even this tiny situation so that our kids could see and hear what it’s like to not be on the same page, even get mad at the other person, and still work it out over something that seemed so little.

I didn’t see that growing up. It’s something super important to me for my kids to know.

What’s that saying – the little things are really the big things?

My kids got to see that parents can disagree, even argue, and be okay. I got to see that husband and wife can disagree, even argue, and be okay. Even in our 14th year of marriage I still need to be reminded of this.

I want them to speak up when they feel strongly about something. I want them to know they can speak their mind in a healthy relationship, and even if they disagree – everything be ok. They can talk quietly, raise their voice, or even scream and shout if need be, and still be heard. And if you can’t speak your mind, it’s not the right relationship.

Todd and Carson ended up having some great Daddy / Daughter time putting that shelving together when we got home. They listened to Dave Matthews as the sun set and used the power tools and put the whole thing together by themselves. She was SO excited and so proud to help and have that one on one time with him.

And for all this rain? My church had a women’s conference recently I was fortunate to be a part of, and during the conference we agreed amidst all the bad weather…it felt like we were in a state of cleanse. I can’t help but feel mine has been extended all month long. As much as I miss the sun, I will be the first to say it’s been a solid month for me of much needed cleansing. And for that, I’m grateful for all this rain.

Who would have thought a trip to IKEA would leave us with some of that yummy Swedish chocolate plus a slice of humble pie?

And truth be told? I still want those bins. But, the lesson learned here is even greater.

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God's Protection

Love Songs from the Minivan

Do you have certain songs that instantly make you want to sing in the car? What about those that make you cringe? Laugh? Dance? I do. Music has a way of getting to my soul. Most every genre, in every season of my life. I simply love music.

Last week I was leaving my house and a Bryan Adams song came on the radio. I used to be a big fan…even making a road trip to Charlotte with a group of my friends and sister Kristin circa 1992, complete with a pit stop to the Waffle House on the way back home via southbound I-85.

His gritty voice, singing about a summer when I wasn’t even born but still enjoyed the lyrics, his encouragement to never surrender {which I found out was really sung by Corey Hart after being disappointed Bryan left that one out at the concert}, and my favorite, ‘Heaven’. I pretty much liked all his music with the exception of ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman’, which I thought had more cheese coming out of it than a squirt can pressed full throttle.

sisters high school cheerleading

Sisters – MHS Fall 1991

However, there was one of his songs featured in a Kevin Costner movie that at a time in my youth reminded me of a high school boyfriend. Did you ever have special songs?

Mixed tapes made, calling in to the radio station requesting the song and sitting there ready to press the play and record buttons at the same time to preserve it on cassette, and wondering how the DJ knew just when to stop talking before the words started. I even learned to play this particular song on the piano when the sheet music came out. So this one that was special eventually turned into a I-don’t-ever-want-to-hear-it-again song once that relationship ended.

I remember being at the Haywood Mall and literally walking out as fast as I could, trying to fight back tears as it was pumped through the department store airwaves. This song would have made the ‘Top 5 Torture Songs to Hear After a Breakup’ on the soundtrack of my teenage life.

As a grown woman with lots of life experience, I realize that may sound juvenile. However, at that time in my life, it was truthfully painful to hear.

So I’m backing out of my driveway, headed to pick up my youngest child at preschool. Lo and behold this song is on. And after about 5 seconds, I started LAUGHING. Instantly. Seriously. Could not stop cracking up.

Did I really used to cry at this? Race to turn the channel? Mindy Long – bless your 16 year old heart!! How cheesy is THIS song?

I wasn’t laughing at the girl who back in the early nineties had a struggle with hearing this song, as those were valid feelings at the time. I own them, and to a brokenhearted teenage girl, those emotions were authentic.

I wasn’t making fun of me by laughing. What I did do was begin to thank God through my laughs that He had a bigger, better plan for me.

That momentary heartache was a life lesson I would learn from and years later be so thankful for on more than one occasion, coming through a stronger and better person. Despite wishing the now-me could have given the then-me some swift advice on navigating the teen years {OH what I would tell her!}, all my life experiences both positive and negative shaped who I am today, and for that I am grateful.

God's protectionAll this said, I pulled over to the group box to check our mail as Mr. Adams was crooning about how I should know it’s true, that everything he does, he does it for me. I’m smiling thinking about all this wisdom I’ve gained since my teens {and admittedly shaking my head at the same time} and what I’d tell my younger self, and all these great things that come with age, and how 39 is starting to feel closer to a well-earned badge on the journey of life.

As I pull out the package in my mailbox, I laugh even louder! How ironic that during all this gratitude-for-age moment is my new bottle of fancy anti-aging serum I ordered… to help SLOW DOWN the aging process. Here I am wanting the wisdom that comes with age, yet longing for the skin of my youth {heck I’d even settle for the skin of my 20’s}.

Remember that graduation speech “Just wear sunscreen”? It’s true. I should have listened to my Mom and one of my dear friend’s Mom, who was a makeup artist and used to get on to me constantly about getting burned in the tanning bed and the South Carolina rays. Hey though – that was fun going to Patsy’s Sun Room with my friends for $2 a pop in Simpsonville, South Cackalacky (those where I’m from know what this means). Good times, not so good skin to show for it.

I was always able to relax in the tanning bed and was bummed when they upgraded to the quick-that-could-tan-you-in-less-than-ten-minutes beds. I enjoyed lying there with my own thoughts for a solid half hour, the radio on 107 WANS and a plug-in oscillating stand fan to help control the heat and humidity…yes, even inside the building. If this new serum works like the YouTube lady and the reviews say, I’ll be grateful!

Fast forward a couple of miles down the road, and the next song that comes on the radio makes me laugh and smile even harder. This is getting comical. A song I used to could not stand. I mean turn the radio as fast as I could. Tears for Fears – ‘Everybody Rules the World’. It just grated my ever loving nerves. Anyone remember Real Genius and the popcorn scene at the end? Yep. THAT one. Please tell me I’m not the only one who checked their dorm room closet for a secret elevator shaft when arriving at college?! True story.

Why is this funny? My husband REALLY likes that song. Like crank it up, sing it loud, loves that song. Don’t ask me why. I discovered this when we were dating. It was one of those things I chose to overlook, like he chose to overlook my pet anxiety CD’s for my little dog and the birthday cake I flew in from a Southern pet bakery for her {he even had it delivered to his business so it could be refrigerated until I was off of work – the ridicule he suffered for me and my Pawley!}.

dog pets beach

Ocean Isle Beach – Pawley and me – May 2000

He likes to pump up the volume when this song comes on, knowing how I can’t stand it. After all these years, it’s like an inside joke between us. And now I laugh.

I hear it and see his smile in my mind – so I crank it up and sing in an exaggerated way, thinking of his cute smirky grin and the looks we exchange whenever we randomly hear it. Come to think of it, me casting a scowl look about that song all these years probably aided in the advancement of my fine lines my new fancy serum promises to correct.

By this time I’m nearing my destination, and have realized the quick trip down memory lane has been provided by the local easy listening station, and I’m driving a minivan. Sobering thought. Who comes on next but Michael Jackson. I turn in to preschool with MJ softly asking me ‘Why? Why?’.

Why these particular songs in this order on this day? A song that at one time was special, then was sad to hear and now seems just plain silly, followed by a song I used to dislike and now I’ll listen to purely because my husband likes it and what he enjoys makes me smile. This all balanced in the middle with a healthy dose of age fighting when I am actually in the process of age embracing.

So I decided to talk back to the gloved one, giggled and said “I don’t know Michael, I’m asking why, too!” I guess it really is all just ‘Human Nature’. Ha! Can I get a witness for a song I actually want to hear?

Now, as much as I love music, I’m sure it’s no surprise I’m a sucker for ringtones. Of course he has one! Initially I was disappointed I couldn’t find our wedding dance song to use {disclaimer: Verizon, will you please consider a version of ‘By Your Side‘ with an option to start at the chorus?}.

Then, I found the perfect one.

My eyes light up at the lyrics. My heart skips a beat. Every time I hear this new-ish song, and usually this happens to be when we’re together, I squeal and say “This song reminds me of you! Turn it up!”.

Wedding Dance First Dance

First dance as Mr. and Mrs. – ‘By Your Side’ – April 6, 2002

And just at the moment I am pulling up the hill to pick up my son, one final song is played. The music isn’t coming from the radio, but from my phone. It’s him. And all of a sudden Ed Sheeran starts singing that sweet melody…and all I see is my husband’s face. I love it when he calls, usually once a day, just to say hi and see how my day is going. No other reason but to show he cares, and that’s one of those precious little things that’s actually a big thing to me.

And that, my friends, is saving the best for last.