Our Daily (G)races

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Playing hooky!!!

My cousin Meghan visited us for the first time last week. She was here for 10 days of fun, crazy, activities galore, and a little sight seeing. Meghan had never been to Texas so we wanted her to experience as much as possible.  We had BBQ, went to a country music concert at Minute Maid Park, enjoyed Texas beer, ate Blue Bell ice cream, experienced Friday Night Lights, a visit to Bucees, a trip to Galveston, and a trip to Brenham.  It was a busy couple of days!

It was so cold!

and Thomas Rhett, The Josh Abbott band, and the Cody Johnson band

Last Tuesday I let the kids skip school and join us on an adventure to the Hill Country.  We went to Brenham to tour the Blue Bell factory.  Then we hit up Bucees because why not?  Then we enjoyed the lovely weather and played at a super fun park in Tomball.

Enjoying our "free" ice cream treat

Everyone should eat ice cream for a morning snack.  I am pretty positive my kiddos loved that!  We had lunch from Bucees.  Meghan thought it was a little crazy, but a very fun place.  Of course, she was impressed with the bathrooms because it is impossible not to be.

I can never remember the name of this park in Tomball.  But, it is one of our favorites and for the first time ever we were the only people there.  It was awesome!

Despite her expression, Elena loved this and did it many times!

Jonah was swinging from every other handle and his feet are not on the ground.

I love this tire triangle and try to take pictures with the kids in the holes every time we go.

Despite all the fun playground stuff the boys managed to spend most of their time working on a fort.

 and our pictures from an absolutely gorgeous day in Galveston

Elena was getting sprayed from the waves

Until next time Meghan...we had a blast and are so glad you visited!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My little baller

Samuel starting playing 5 on 5 flag football in October.  He was super excited to finally start playing.  His team is the Lions as in the Detroit Lions, but we may pretend a little bit that it is the Nittany Lions.  

Samuel's team is young and most of the boys have not played football before this year.  They have not won many games, but as a team they are definitely improving.  Each boy now has a position that he plays each game.  Samuel is the running back for his team.  On defense he plays a corner position.  So far I think Samuel has scored 12 touchdowns.  He is surprisingly fast and getting better at "putting on the moves" to avoid being tackled.  It is so fun to watch!

There he goes!

Samuel is on the bottom

Practice is now held via car lights.  With the time change, it gets dark so early and  practice ends in the dark.

On Friday it was freezing cold.  We had to bundle up to watch and Samuel to play.  It was even colder on Saturday morning because it was windy. 

He was so excited to get football gloves

He is very serious!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A season to learn and grow

Jonah's level 7 season unofficially began today.  This morning was the intrasquad meet and the first time that Jonah competed his new routines.  Level 7 is a mix of compulsory and optional skills. It is hard and some of the skills scare the crap out of me and I'm not the only one.  It is getting harder for me to be calm when I am watching Jonah.

Jonah is not fully ready for this season and I doubt he will be all year.  Jonah's coach has his reasons for this path.  I don't fully agree with them, but I am deferring to the coach with over 40 years experience.  Jonah is very young to be competing at this level.  He does not have all the skills needed for his routines on high bar and parallel bars.  He does on the other four.  The skills he doesn't have scare him.  Jonah had the total "come aparts" at practice on Tuesday when working on the high bar.  This is Jonah's 4th year on the team and I have never seen him leave the gym crying until Tuesday.  Angry, frustrated, sad, happy, but never crying and that includes when he was injured.  Tuesday was hard for all of us and my heart was so sad for him.

Jonah knows that this season is going to be really hard.  Because of his age he has to compete at level 7 for three years.  He will be one of the youngest kids at each meet he attends.  Being so young also means that he does not have the needed strength that the older boys have.  This has only been compacted by his shoulder injury.  In three years he will be stronger, more mature, and a pro at level 7.  But this year, it is like he is a high school kid playing in the big leagues.  He will get better and more confident.  Until he gets there, it is going to be rough.

Today was a good start on rings and floor.  Jonah has always been a great tumbler so floor will generally be a strength.  PB and HB were hard because he doesn't have all the needed skills.  Jonah fell on PBs and it was kind of scary.  He was fine and rallied to finish the meet, but yikes!

The PB fall rattled him.  That made PH awful and he fell again.  He has disliked pommel forever, but he must get over that to be competitive and Jonah knows it. 

I hate this
Jonah's head coach knew he was on the edge of falling apart.  To Coach Bill's credit he was on Jonah all day with encouraging words and coaching.  I mean all day.  Jonah is in a fragile state and the coaches know it.  He is being taken care of and that is why I am willing to try this whole level 7 mess.  Jonah is going to be a different person come next April.  This journey is going to be a challenge filled with more lows than highs.  The good is Jonah can vault.  Who knows what his other scores were today and honestly who cares.  But, on vault Jonah has a 10.7 out of 11.2.  I will take that each and every meet.

Post flight on vault
Jonah ended the meet a happy boy and that is all that mattered today.  Monday at the gym will be a new day.  Fifteen hours in the gym each week should have a positive impact, right?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My girl is going to the state meet

Way back when Emma decided her ultimate goal for her level 4 season was to qualify for the state meet.  I kind of thought she was nuts.  Emma is a solid gymnast.  She is a high end of the middle kind of gymnast.  She could do better, but she is afraid of failure so she never really tries her hardest because of the greater risk.  But, Emma is determined.  Drew and I encouraged her every step of the way. 

This has not been the easiest of seasons for Emma.  It began with back issues that plagued her for about a month.  After therapy things were back on track for her.  As always, Emma seems to peak at the right meet.  She steadily improved her AA at each meet.  Little by little she has been working toward her goal.

On Saturday Emma competed at the South State level 4 meet.  Emma had a solid performance, but nothing outstanding.  There were no "wow" moments in any of her routines.  She finished 4th on bars and 8th, 10th, and 11th on the other events.  I knew she had to finish in the top 9 to qualify for the state meet.  I was beyond nervous for her and just prayed her bar scored pulled up her AA.

on the beam

As the girls were being announced the noise increased and I could not hear the announcer.  But, I saw Emma stand up and I just felt like the overwhelmed.  I could see how happy she was and that she was trying not to cry.  I cried happy tears for Emma and just felt so proud of my girl!

Emma and her coach

The state meet is in two weeks!  I plan to regularly encourage Emma to give it her all....to be brave and to forget about failure....to just be strong and fearless.