A Beautiful Mess

Convincing my Dad to get a tattoo with me was easy; it took about three glasses of wine and a sentimental idea. Jesse, my sister, was tougher to crack. She had agreed to the idea and backed out a few years ago, and she only believed my Dad was in once he confirmed personally. So, after a few glasses of wine and a Facebook comment or two, the three of us decided to let the ink sink in while Jesse was home for the holidays.

Our shared fandom of Jason Mraz won us over, and we settled on a lyric from “A Beautiful Mess.” We’ve loved the song for a long, long time, and it means a great deal to us. Other than the simple beauty of the song, to us it represents overcoming the messiest parts of life together and keeping the love alive through it all. It’s a ballad of family for us, and we wanted to keep a reminder of that with us at all times, wherever we may be.

Just a few days before Christmas, we headed to A Thin Line Tattoo in Batavia, Illinois with Erin, our trusty photographer. Our chit chat with the artist, Joe, was riddled with speculation on who would be the biggest wuss during the inking, with Jesse and my dad vehemently agreeing that I’d be the most squeamish.

We picked a font and a layout, and my dad hopped into the chair.


I went next, and lived up to everyone’s expectations with various exclamations of “Oh, it hurts.” and “Oh my.” I also weirdly positioned my body as I sat in the chair.


Jesse was last, and while she narrowly avoided the biggest wuss distinction, she did go home with the worst skin irritation award. She also claimed bragging rights, since many of her friends said “There’s no way you go through with it!”


All-in-all, the actual tattooing process only took about 10 minutes each, and we were out the door, making a mad dash for Portillo’s, which I love almost as much as I love my dad and sister.

For more photos, head to the Cole Tries Facebook page! And keep an eye out next week for a great video post!