Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bye bye January

Boy oh boy I am glad January is in the rear-view mirror.  It was quite the month bringing lots of change for our family and not much of it was good.  It will end up being good.  I am sure of this, but sometimes that's hard to remember, believe, or even see when you are living it. 

January 1st....our annual first family photo of the year!
So while I was beyond happy to flip my calendar to February we did have some really great moments in January.  And that's the thing....even when life sucker punches you there is still good.  It's impossible for good not to exist in something every day.  I truly believe that.  Sometimes I have to search really hard for the good, but it's always there and thank goodness for that!

Jonah had his first gymnastic meet of his level 6 season in Galveston.  Unfortunately the morning of the meet Jonah woke up with a fever and sore throat.  He still competed and did well considering how he felt.  He managed to finish 1st on parallel bars and 9th AA.  Then diagnosed with strep throat!

Jonah and his gymnastic friends!
The boys and Drew took a ski trip to Colorado mid January. They skied for three days at Copper Mountain and then spent two days in Colorado Springs.  Jonah had a meet at the Air Force Academy.  While the girls were very, very sad to miss playing in the snow and skiing, it was a great experience for just the guys.  The girls and I will have our turn sometime this year!

The boys played in snow and it was 80 at home.
Samuel and Jonah skipped ski school and skied with Drew.  Drew was super proud of them and everything they remembered from last January. They skied some really challenging runs and were fearless!  It snowed tons so they really loved all the fresh snow and beautiful scenery. 

In Colorado Springs, Jonah explored Garden of the Gods with his teammates while Drew and Samuel explored the Air Force Academy.  Both boys were in their element...Jonah outside and Samuel soaking up anything about the military!  Samuel and Drew went to an Air Force ice hockey game Saturday night and Jonah went to a collegiate gymnastics meet.  Again, both boys getting to enjoy what they love! 

Jonah had an amazing second meet of the season.  He finished 2nd AA and had several individual places as well.  It was his first solid meet in a long while and he was super excited! 

Excuse the poor picture quality, but there is Jonah in 2nd place AA!
While the boys were away Elena had one of her best friends sleepover.  She had been asking and asking for Tripp to sleepover.  Waiting for her sleepover to begin seemed like the longest day of her life!  Tripp, his brother Tucker, and Elena had fun just playing. It was her perfect evening!

Emma's level 6 season began as well.  It was a full month of traveling to meets.  Her first meet was in Fort Worth so we had a quick girl's getaway.  Emma had not competed since November 2015 so she was super excited to compete and I was happy to watch her again.  It was a great meet to watch.  Emma had a beautiful floor routine earning a 9.6 which is one of her highest scores ever!  I honestly keep watching the video because it is just such a pretty routine.  She also had a great vault.  With a decent beam and bar routine she finished in 3rd AA, 2nd place floor, and 4th on vault in her age group.  It was a solid beginning to her season!

Emma and the Rio Olympics torch signed by Simone Biles

Jonah "graduated" from cub scouts.  He has decided not to continue with boy scouts which honestly makes me very happy.  He loves it, learned so much, and had so much fun.  However, with gymnastics and all our other commitments, it's just so hard to find the time for scouts.  Jonah made great friends through scouting and I do hope they stay friends!

Elena and Samuel didn't have any exciting moments like Emma and Jonah in January.  But, of course, I still took pictures of their adorable faces!

February is my favorite month of the year!  It's my birthday month and I do love my birthday.  This year Drew and I have big plans for the big 42 and I cannot wait!  Samuel has his birthday too!  Our pretend winter will soon be over and spring will arrive.  Baseball begins and it's almost rodeo time. There is so much to look forward to and I just know this month will be kinder to our family!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Elena is 7!!!!

How does it happen that my baby is 7!?  It's true because on December 18th Elena turned 7.

I don't even know what to say about Elena.  She is the sweetest and sassiest thing ever!  Elena is going to make Drew and me crazy the older she gets.  She is so pretty, so funny, so lovable.  Elena is truly filled with joy.  She tells funny stories. She loves to socialize and she makes friends with everyone.  Her passions are coloring, her dolls, her friends, swimming, and reading.

We celebrated with her friends a week before her birthday.  Emma and Elena decided upon a pancake and pajama party.  Her friends arrived at 9am for a pancake and hot chocolate breakfast.  We did two crafts and then opened gifts.  It was super short and sweet! 

Elena has a great group of friends from school and church.  I am so thankful for them!

A week later Elena officially turned 7 and was sick!  It was horrible.  The poor girl couldn't have her birthday ice cream so she settled for sherbet.  By dinner time she managed to eat some of her requested meal and her Angel Food cake.  Her favorite gift was a hula hoop.  She is really good at it!

Elena spends so, so, so much time waiting and watching her siblings.  It is hard to be the littlest sister of three very active older siblings.  I am so thankful that she can self-entertain, that she is happy to play in the car, that she is happy to play with whomever, that she is easy going!  I do love all the time I get to spend with her. 

My dear, sweet and sassy girl!  We love you!  Happy Birthday Elena Joy!

Samuel's freshman Rams tackle football season

Last spring Drew and I were asked to let Samuel play tackle football.  My initial reaction was "no way!"  Even Samuel said no when first asked and I was super surprised by that.  Well, our friends were persistent and continued to ask throughout the spring.  Drew and I discussed what we felt would be best for Samuel and his love of football.  Samuel had a football plan and decided quickly if I said yes, he wanted to play tackle.  But it was ultimately our decision when we allowed him to begin tackle.  That is so much exposure to potential injury on his little body and my momma heart was nervous about the risks.  Obviously I finally relented and registered Samuel for Rams freshman tackle football.  In addition to Samuel playing, Drew was asked to help coach.  To say that we became a true football family was an understatement.

Conditioning for football kind of began in June.  It officially began in July.  Samuel missed a lot of workouts because of our summer travel including a scrimmage.  Thankfully his coach had confidence in Samuel's ability and dedication to game.  Samuel received his game jersey in August.  What a happy boy on that day!

The first game was cancelled because of weather which was a huge bummer.  So, instead of playing the first official game in August, it did not happen until after Labor Day.  Samuel played safety and occasionally linebacker on defense.  He played on the return team as a return player.  He occasionally played on the kick-off team.  He played tight end, wide receiver, and very infrequently running back on offense.  He was crazy good at blocking and running the jet sweep.

The team had awesome coaches.  It was a great group of five and between them it was a tight knit, well coached, and well prepared team. Samuel's team lost two games during the regular season.  They should have lost only one, but the boys learned early that referees don't always make the right call.  That game at Tomball was a hard loss to take.  Samuel loves to win.  Who doesn't?  But, he learned how to be a graceful loser in public this season. He worked through each loss at home. 

Between me and Emma we probably took over a thousand pictures during the season.  Despite all my reservations, it was just so much fun.  Being a huge football fan, I could not help myself when it came to cheering and supporting the team.  I wanted to document every second.

Prayer before the Super Bowl
He was co-captain for the first game and the Super Bowl

Look at that block!!
Being a safety, Samuel did a lot of running around, but did not see tons of action.  Freshman teams don't pass tons.  I got lots of shots of Samuel wanting to be in the action.  It will come with time.  He has a super solid football foundation!

The mommas and their boys....playoff victory #1
Homecoming and our first mum...crazy Texas tradition
Samuel's a hard worker.  He always wants to be better.  He watches football all weekend long to learn.  He simply loves football and all that is involved in the sport.  He never complained about having to go to practice.  He did not complain at practice.  He played hurt.  Whatever a coach asked him to do he did.  I know that sounds like I am a bragging parents and I am.  However, it was just the truth of Samuel this season.  He loved every second of his Rams experience.

So, after the regular season the playoffs began.  Win and move on or lose and the season is over.  The first playoff game was against Tomball.  Tomball was one of the two regular season loses.  It was a hard fought game, but the Rams were a well conditioned team.  They out-played Tomball in the second half and won!  Round two it was!! 

Emma came to every game except one.  She was an awesome supporter of her brother!
The second playoff game was against the Oilers.  The Rams lost to them in the regular season too.  The Oilers were undefeated and there was no way the Rams were expected to win that game.  Well, according to some people the Rams were certainly going to lose.  The Rams won!  Super Bowl bound baby and it was such a moment.  I may have cried a little.  I was shaking as the last minutes were ticking off the clock.  It was just crazy and so exciting.  Samuel had never been happier!

So, the season that began in June (kind of) and officially in July continued one more week.  The Super Bowl would be played November 20th at Klein Memorial Stadium.  That is one of the local high school stadiums.  Seriously, as an 8 year old Samuel was going to play a football game in a high school stadium that seats 8,500 people.  Obviously, that many people did not come to the game, but what an honor!  He and his team and his coaches were in the Super Bowl!

The Rams beat the Saints in the regular season pretty handily.  The Rams knew they could win.  Honestly, they were so well conditioned.  The team had good skill players.  Players who didn't quite get it earlier in the season were playing great football.  It was just clicking at the right time.  All that was left in the season was 32 minutes of football.

The Rams won!  I cried again!  Samuel got the biggest trophy of his life!  I was and still am so proud of this team and the coaches.  Just wow!!!  So much pride for Samuel and his team!

Samuel and his best friend/linebacker/running back Trey

It's hard to express how thankful I am that I gave in and signed Samuel up for tackle.  It really was me who was the hold out.  I would have hated Samuel missing this experience.  It was a once in the lifetime opportunity.  I pray he has this experience again, but at least he's had it once!  Watching daddy and son on the sidelines....no words.