Our Daily (G)races

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Samuel plays football

I should say Samuel plays flag football because he isn't allowed to play tackle football until 6th or 7th grade.  Please don't ask Samuel what he thinks about that parenting decision.  If it were up to him, he would play tackle tomorrow.  Until then, flag it is and that is just perfect for him.

Samuel first played flag football with I-9 Sports in Kindergarten and he thought it was okay.  The coach often had him at center and he is not a fan of that.  Last fall he played flag with The Farm League which is much more competitive.  Despite his team being horrible, he learned lots and had so much fun.  This year he asked to play both seasons of flag football at TFL.  Season one began in August and just ended.  The current season will end the week before Christmas.  It is our own little NFL season!
October 2014
The team this year is night and day from last year.  The kids know what they are doing and he is having so much more fun.  Our coaches are great and Samuel has learned tons about the sport.  To say that Samuel loves playing football in an understatement.  To say that Samuel is intense on the field is an understatement.  And to say that Samuel wants to win and get better is an understatement.  He plays hard all the time.  But, I also think he does a great job at the age of 7 at trying to help his teammates and be a good team player.  He just kind of gets it.
August 2015...he has received the game ball 5 times
This past weekend Emma took a bunch of pictures at the game.  I have no idea if Samuel will continue to love playing football next year or in five years or beyond that.  What I do know is that I want to remember my fierce go all out guy and his current love for the game of football forever.

Samuel and his head coach...time for offense
Samuel and an assistant coach...time for defense

Always trying hard and he does not give up on a play

Samuel at QB...his least favorite position.  Samuel prefers running back.

This face....goodness do I love game days with Samuel!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday's are my favorite day

If you look up the word Monday on Pinterest you will find all kinds of sayings hating Monday.  Not me!  Monday is my saving grace of a day.  I know that is quite odd, but so very true.  Monday is when I finally feel like I can breathe again.  Order and our normalcy return and it makes me happy.

Our weekends are nuts.  Some weekends are worse than others.  This past weekend was especially busy and tiring.  I know this isn't just our family.  Everyone I know is busy and feels busier than ever.  As my wise friend said last week, she thinks being a mom to active kids is way harder than being a mom to a toddler.  I totally agree.  This isn't me complaining either.  It is just a reminder for that time when I miss the busyness.  My four kiddos keep our weekends so completely full that I now love Monday.

On Saturday Emma had regional orchestra try-outs.  She was there from 8:30-1p.  I was secretly hoping she wouldn't make it because I was pretty positive I would break in half if one more thing was added to our schedule.  Thank you for an answered prayer because she didn't make it.  I'm horrible right?  She wasn't sad about it so that made me feel a less guilty for how I felt.

Samuel had to be at the football field at 9:30 for his 10am game.  After the game ended, we ate lunch, and picked up Emma it was time for Elena's soccer game at 2p.  Drew took the boys to Rice for a baseball game and some daddy-boy time downtown.  They loved it.  I had girl duty which meant go to the soccer game.  Get Emma to her sleepover.  Shop for a birthday party present that had yet to be purchased and wrapped.  I know that gift bags were invented for busy moms not wrapping challenged people.  Clean up after the soccer game and go to a birthday party at 5:30p.  I was so glad someone else was making us dinner!!  After everyone was finally in bed and asleep it was after 9p and I had only watched about 30 minutes of college football all day.  To me this is a tragedy because I LOVE college football.  Stupid PSU!
The game ended in a tie.  Samuel had a pick 6!  One of the most exciting moments of our weekend!

Elena is really timid on the field and is still trying to figure it all out, but she is having fun!

My serious dudes at the Japanese Gardens
On Sunday I woke at 5am so I could run 20 miles before getting ready for church.  Lucky for me church started late this week or I would have needed to be running by 5am.  I only arrived at church 5 minutes late after being a little slow getting ready for church.  20 miles will do that to you!  Emma and I had to leave church early to attend a prior commitment for NCL.  We arrived back home a little after 1p and had to get ready for football.  Drew had already taken Jonah to the gym for a Sunday 3 hour workout.  Emma and I met Drew, Samuel, and Elena at the fields.  The game was horrible, but I got to visit with a friend and that was great!  Then it was time to watch another friend's son play football.  After that Jonah needed to be picked up from the gym and Samuel went to baseball camp.  After watching Samuel play baseball for a little bit I decided I would die if I didn't have a cheeseburger so Emma, Elena, Jonah, and I went to Fuddruckers for dinner.  That was probably the best decision of that day.  I am pretty sure my food was gone in two bites.  20 miles makes me crazy hungry!  After Samuel's 2 hour baseball camp he went to his Scout den meeting.  Drew and Samuel finally got home around 7:45p.  Lunches made, clothing picked out for schools, children showered, toys put away, and kids in bed left me and Drew about 45 minutes to spend time together before we went to bed.  Honestly, we watched football.  I know we were both in football withdraw.  We talked too.  I really hadn't seen him except in passing all weekend long!
It was a glorious 55 when I started my run.  I loved being chilly!
NCL was a skincare and make-up lesson at Clinique.  She looks so grown up!
His last baseball academy!
That brings me to today....Monday!  Everyone is at school or work.  I am home cleaning up from the weekend.  I don't care that I have to grocery shop, do laundry, go to the bank, go to the cleaners, return some things to Target, and go to the post office.  I really don't because it is just me.  I really am a person who needs alone time to feel good.  I crave the quietness of my house.  Monday I get that and that is why I love Mondays!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The drive within Emma

Emma's gymnastics journey in the past six months has been well documented by me on this blog, Facebook, and Instagram.  It has been a six months filled with so much of everything that it is hard to think about at times.  Prayer, discussion, arguments, tears, decisions, encouragement, hugs, smiles, and cheers.

Last April we began the process of deciding to change gyms.  Emma was told that being a Level 5 gynnast was "not the plan for her."  She would remain a Level 4 gymnast for another season.  Emma couldn't live with that decision and neither could Drew and I.  So began the process of discussion and prayer.  What would be the right thing do to for Emma and for our family?  Ultimately, we moved Emma to AIM Athletics in May.  She was excited to begin this new journey.

Things were progressing nicely except for that darn flyaway dismount and then the broken finger happened at the beginning of July.  A broken finger for a gymnast means no bar work at all.  That meant Emma couldn't work on her yet to be learned required Level 5 bar dismount.  Ugh!  She continued to do everything else possible...some of the skills modified...but she still worked out 15 hours a week.  Finally almost 8 weeks later Emma was out of her brace and released to full activity as tolerated.  She was back at it and the season was only three weeks away.  She had to learn the flyaway and she did.

Then BOOM...I want to quit!  That was followed by a big fat WHAT from me and Drew.  That was followed by lots of tears, arguing, discussion, and prayer.  To be perfectly honest, after the first two days of this I removed myself from it totally.  I was too upset by Emma's decision and I was afraid I would just yell if we talked about it.  So, I left it up to Drew and her coaches.  Emma knew exactly what I felt she should do.  Thankfully after several very tough days she decided to stick out the season.  We all asked for six weeks and she agreed to give us and her that. 

Five meets in a row.  That is a lot and has never happened in any other season.  Emma didn't compete bars at the first meet.  Her hand was not ready and neither was her routine.  She was not strong enough yet.  She fell on bars at the second meet.  She still qualified for the district meet.  She fell on beam at the third meet.  Her AA still went up from the previous week.  Meet four was great.  She had her highest and best bar score of the season.  She looked really good on every event.

Yesterday was the District meet.  Somewhere in the past six weeks Emma decided she wanted to go to the State meet.  That would mean another month in the gym.  I quietly cheered her on from the sidelines so thankful to see her smile at the gym, when she left practice, and at the meets.  Emma did not have her best AA yesterday.  Floor was okay, bars and vault were really good.  She had her highest bar score of the season.  Beam looked great, but the judge was a little harsh in my opinion (she was harsh on every competitor).  Either way Emma did not fall.  She landed her skills.  She smiled! Drew and I smiled. 

Emma finished in 5th place in her division.  She qualified for the state meet.  She had a 3rd, 4th, 7th and 9th place finish on the four events.  She was so close to the podium and I know that she was a little disappointed by that, but she did great.  For the girl who was told "no level 5 for you", who broke her finger 3 months ago, and who quit 7 weeks ago she qualified for state.  Once Emma committed to the season she was committed to the season.  I am so proud of her for accomplishing her goal.  All I ever wanted for Emma was to accomplish her goal and have no regrets.  She wanted to be a Level 5 gymnast and she is a successful Level 5 gymnast.  Anything from this point forward is just icing on the cake.

We are going to Austin in November!!!  So proud of you Emma Caroline!!!!