How To Be Cool.

“I don’t want to be special.
I want to be cool.
God made me just cool.
Race cars are cool.’”

~ Noah The Great, Millennial Philosopher

Hi! Noah here.


So I heard you want to be cool.


Okay fine I didn’t hear that. But you’re reading a blog post called “How To Be Cool” so it’s clearly a valid assumption.


Anyway. You’ve come to the right place. Because God made me cool. And I can tell YOU how to be cool, too.


1. You must be confident. No matter what might hinder your coolness factor at any moment, fake it until you wet wipe it.


2. Always accessorize. If you don’t have the jewels to show you’re cool, then just stay in your crib.


3. Don’t let anyone make fun of you. EVER. Even in a parody-blog-post type of way.


If you sense this could be happening to you, make sure that you exact a proper revenge, like throwing away all their forks or sitting in their lap right after you’ve wet your pants.


4. If someone tells you to “Say Cheese,” they literally want you to say the word cheese. Because the word cheese is coolness wrapped up in six letters.


5. Dream big.


Dream of a time when you can eat all the dessert you want, never bathe with your sister, and have powers to humiliate your parents as much as they humiliate you every time they ask in a public place if you need to go potty.


Because remember, friends: there’s a good chance that they’ll be back in diapers one day. And you can make sure the world knows it – because Depends are only as subtle as the caretaker allows them to be.


6. Be charming. Because the charming ones are never the first suspects.


7. Don’t bite the hand that buckles your car seat.


…until it unbuckles you.


8. If you want to be cool, act like you’re the boss at all times. Eventually everyone will get tired of reminding you to say please, and you’ll have effectively won the title of Universal Emperor.


9. Always check your appearance before you leave the house. Whether it’s in the mirror, with a selfie, or by asking a trusted companion, make sure you don’t have a piece of chicken finger between your teeth or a speck of dirt on your nose.


What’d you say? I have something on my face?


That’s okay. It’s all cool.

Wal-Mart’s Revenge.

Sam’s Club.

Despite my feelings toward his mother Wal-Mart that I shared without reserve last week, I’ve always found Sam to be a delightful fellow.

Big quantities, cheap prices, more locations than Costco, adorable little old ladies handing out samples…

Actually that last point is starting to change. Because my third to last visit brought me in contact with three different types of sample distribution methods:

1. A vending machine that requested I swipe my Sam’s card in exchange for it to spit out my sample into a receptacle with a complete lack of warmth and care,

2. A scowl-faced teenager sitting at the Pizza Sample Table who LIT-RALLY never looked up from his phone the entire time my children, with much analysis, picked out their many samples, and

3. The delightful vintage-Sam’s smiling old lady handing out peach samples – which were so good that we bought some – for which she thanked us profusely, because delightful old ladies are only paid commission. We ate two, then threw the rest away because they were complete mush and nothing like her samples. Two weeks later, we read all of the recall articles clearly implicating our Mush Peaches as being contaminated with Listeria.

I hope she enjoyed her trip to the bank compliments of our disease-ridden peach charity.

But that’s not the point of today’s post.

Today’s post is about the friendliness of other Sam’s shoppers. After all, we all paid to be there. We’re all in this together. We are, for sure, A CLUB.

Actually, friendliness might also not always be true. On my second to last visit, I was coming around a corner when an elderly shopper caned me.

No seriously – she had been carrying her four-pronged cane around in her jumbo-sized shopping cart and picked that exact second to remove her cane from its place of resting and swing it around her head like a cowboy wrangling cattle before setting it on the ground with the nice addition of a piece of my skull.

I was her cow that day.

But that’s not the point of today’s post, either.

Today’s post is about our very last visit to Sam’s Club – Thursday night.

Chris was going to quickly run in and get the two items he needed, but Noah had to pee and I always have to pee, so we drug Ali along with us and turned it into a family affair.

We bathroomed, we shopped, we avoided delightful old sample ladies handing out plagues like candy, and we paid for our purchases.

But Chris wanted to get a fountain drink, so after we paid, we hauled our purchases and our progeny over to the refreshment counter.

As they thought they had done their Sam’s duty, the children were restless, running circles around our legs and such.

The lady directly behind Chris caught a glimpse of Noah on one of his go-rounds.

She gasped.

“Ohhhh mah. Doesn’t he just have the purtiest eyes???”


Then Ali came around the corner of my right thigh.

“AND HERS TOO!!! Mah goodness. So lovely.”


She turned her attention to squinting at my eyes, as they always do. I gave my typical muttered response of, “Yes, they got all of the recessive genes – I’m not sure how.”

She replied, “Well maybe they got their Daddy’s eyes!”, and motioned to Chris, who had his back to us.

(As if I might have forgotten to consider him in the explanation of the genetic makeup of our children.)

“No, his eyes are just like mine. They got their Grandparent’s eyes, actually.”

“Oh, I see. Well, they’re just lovely.”

We paid, she paid, and we moved on.

As we were juggling our purchases at a table so that Chris could fill his drink, the lady that was behind the eye-noticing lady walked up to us.

She patted us both on the shoulders simultaneously and said,

“I tell you what. Y’all sure do look good to be grandparents.”

I laughed, thinking she was making a weird joke that I didn’t quite understand.

I choked, when I looked into her eyes and saw her genuineness.




Did Wal-Mart plant this lady here to pay me back for last week’s blog post? Or is Karma just actually that real and swift?

You win, Wal-Mart. You. Win.

I obsessively did the math in my head. Assuming I look like my age of 32, which is a generous assumption, apparently, I would have had to have been twelve and a half, and my daughter would have had to have been twelve and a half – at delivery, not conception – for me to be Ali’s grandmother.

Chris walked to the drink machine and our new friend followed him before I could share these figures with her because I had accidentally swallowed and digested my tongue.

She patted him again and said, “Aren’t grandchildren just tha best?! I’m a grandmother also. And I look purty good too, dontcha think?”

He smiled and agreed.


Because yes.

Why not?


Let’s play Grandparents.

Because that doesn’t at all make me feel like I need to buy every wrinkle cream in the western hemisphere.

Luckily, Sam’s Club has them all – in jumbo sizes.

What’s That Sound, Volume Four.

We read the bible almost every night to our kids, they go to Sunday School, and we have conversations about God. But you never know what they’re really picking up and what they’re not.

And what they’re pondering in their heart of hearts.


A few months ago, I had this conversation with Noah.

Noah: “They have cars in heaven.”
Me: “They do?”
Noah: “Yes. Last time we went there they had cars there. I played with them.”
Me, slowly turning and a bit scared, “uh. What?”
Noah: “At heaven. They have cars. And they had a Mater seat and I sat on it – ha!”
Me, wondering if Jesus sits on a seat shaped like a Pixar Character, “Can you say all that again?”

He enunciated it all again, very clearly and with no misunderstanding

I stared at him, confused and silent. Then Ali came to my rescue. “Oh Mom – He means the Blevins’ House! They have a Mater seat that he sat on.”
Noah: “Yeah – the Blevins.”

Blevins …. Heaven … a completely understandable misunderstanding.

After I shared that story with the Blevins, they actually passed on the Seat of Blessedness to Noah – their boys had outgrown it, and Noah needed a piece of heaven in his life.

And it has been well-loved.

Mater Chair

I thought we had cleared up the differences between The Blevins and Heaven until last week.

I was rocking Noah and we were discussing all the things. He asked, “Is heaven at the Blevins’ house?”
“No…The Blevins house is not Heaven, as fun as it is.”
“Oh. Well. At the Blevins’ house do we not ever die?”
“No. That’s heaven – not the Blevins.”
“Oh. Well. When I get to heaven can I ask Jesus if angels wear shoes?”
“Yes. You absolutely may ask Him that.”
“Do you think Jesus has a beard?”

Because these are the important matters of faith.


From the backseat:

“Mommy, can I drive the car when I grow up?”

”Yup. In 12 birthdays.”

“Okay great. Now how do I turn on the Frozen soundtrack again?”

Noah had the hiccups.

Me: “When you were in my tummy, you got the hiccups all the time!”

Noah: “And then I turned into poop and came out!”

…thanks to my husband for Pre-K digestion lessons.


After an emotional day, I asked Noah at bedtime if he would please stay little forever.

At first he agreed, then said, “Well, no…in a few whiles I’ll be giant like you.”

Then he went on to add, “When YOU get bigger you’ll have a beard like Daddy.”

Because, scientific reasoning.


Noah, in trouble and trying to deflect…

(giggle) “You’re funny, Mommy.”

“Why am I funny?”

“Because Jesus Loves You! That’s why you’re funny.”

A small sampling of callbacks after bedtime:

“I have a fingernail problem!”

“I have good news and bad news. The good news is you like cuddling with me. The bad news is you can’t touch fireworks.”

And a couple from Ali…


Ali went to two weeks of summer day camp at our Church (voted the best in the city, I might add.) This week was Studio Week, where every team made a movie. On the way to camp this morning, she was telling me about the different movies.

“The Orange Team must be making ‘The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe’ because there was a girl who looked like Dorothy with a basket and a dog that looked like Toto inside of it.”

“You mean ‘The Wizard of Oz’?”

“Oh yes. ‘The Wizard of Oz’. I get them confused because the movies are so much alike.”

Just so you know I’ve failed as a parent.

We all sat down at the kitchen table – at the same time – with the table set and everything.

Ali gasped and said “We’re sitting here?? For dinner??? This is what Royals do!”

I swear we have regular family meals. I think.