Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Because Mother's Day...

Not my favorite.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my mother.  I'm extremely grateful for her.  For her unconditional love.  For her love for the Lord.  For her commitment to truth.  For her meticulous record keeping.  (Ha!)  She's truly a fabulous grandmother - who not only loves her grand kids but pours her prayers and life out for them.

But when I read all of the sweet mother's day sentiments, something in me cringes.  Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with the attention it brings to me as a mom?  Maybe I just see myself more realistically?

Either way, I thought a list was in order.

I've been a list maker all of my life.  I have my calendar, to-do list, and grocery list on my phone.  But when I get really overwhelmed? I grab paper and pen and write it all out.  I make lists for the day, the week, my kids (some of them aren't too fond of lists - go figure!), the house.

On the other hand, I really HATE those lists you see on Facebook all of the time.  10 things not to say to someone who. . . 12 things never to do. . . 8 things never to eat. . .


As if life isn't stressful enough, I'm supposed to remember all of that?  How about giving me some grace?  I may say or do the wrong thing.  OK.  I probably will.  But it's not malicious.  I'm just tired.  And if you say the "wrong" thing to me?  I'll give you grace, as well.  Deal?

But this list is different.  No guilt here.  Just (hopefully) a laugh and a deep exhale if you're anything like me and feeling the pressure of being that perfect mom.

11 Things My Kids Will Never Say About Their Mother

1.  She is so patient.
(They probably won't remember that I have grown in my ability to be patient.  I guess they can discuss that with Son #1, poor guy.)

2.  She doesn't lose her temper with me.
(See #1.)

3.  She responds so graciously when I make stupid mistakes.
(I'm learning.  Beginning to understand that they need to be able to tell me anything and know that I won't lose it.  But I'm still losing it inside, just FYI.)

4.  I see her read her Bible every day.
(Oh wow.  Just wow.  I read these stories about moms who do this.  I'm not sure how?  I love my Daily Audio Bible, but the consistency in quiet times award goes to my Coach.  I'm OK with that.)

5.  She makes Sunday lunch for us every week.
(They WANT me to.  But I probably get this done once a month.  The other Sundays get leftovers or the Coach makes pancakes.  It is what it is.)

6.  She and my dad don't ever disagree in front of us.
(I hope I'm always respectful, but we LIVE life here.  Our kids see it.  I LOVE my Coach, but we have the freedom to disagree, which I appreciate so much.)

7.  She never says bad words.
(You know this is a problem when your 8 year old hurts himself and says, "Oh Crap!"  I'm not proud of this, just being honest.)

8.  She is disciplined in every area of her life.
(I do some things very consistently.  Workout.  Run.  But those cookies get me every time.  Sigh.)

9.  She keeps our house perfectly clean.
(You know. . . on second thought. . . they might actually say this.  But their definition of "perfectly clean"?  Lacking.)

10.  She doesn't mind when our rooms are messy.
(See #9.  Yikes.  Even though I've let a LOT go over the last 20 years, this one still stumps me.  HOW HARD IS IT?? See #2.)

11.  She is always cheerful and encouraging.
(Some days there just isn't enough coffee.  And I'm sorry, but if you are upset that you got a 98 instead of a 100 on your English test, you don't need to be encouraged, you're just goofy.)

So there you go.  A guilt-free Mother's Day courtesy of Mrs. Troop.  Pretty sure no matter what your short-comings, you are doing better than I am.  And I'm OK with that.

I'm learning that being authentic and living out my faith WITH my Coach and my kids. . . being honest about my failures, being quick to ask forgiveness, loving the amazing people that my troops are, and trusting that God is faithful in spite of it all. . .

Well.  That's what I really hope they'll say about me.


Today?  I just want them to clean their rooms.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the dear Mommas in my life.  Each of you bless me.  I learn from you, laugh with you, and share life with so many of you and my life is richer because of it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Little Indulgence

Last night I really wanted to write about our weekend, but one kid needed a hair cut, one needed their pioneer costume ironed so it could go back to school, two needed checks written for the senior Boston trip and the Sophomore retreat next week, Little Man had to read, and honestly I was just so tired.

Son #1 came home for a visit this weekend.  It was kind of a last minute decision on our part.  He will miss Daughter #2's graduation later this month so we wanted him to be here for some part of this celebration.  Baccalaureate was yesterday.  I'm so glad he could be here.  We've missed him horribly.  He will finish up at Impact 360, have his commissioning service next week, and head to Colorado to be a wrangler this Summer.

So indulge me for just a few minutes this morning.  The laundry needs folded, the house needs to be gotten order, and after this morning's bootcamp, I need a shower!  Ha!  But I'll get to that in a bit.  Sometimes I worry that these days are passing - so full and so busy - that we are missing out in really enjoying them.

But the truth is. . . we ARE enjoying these days.  Loving every bit of them.  Having all eight kids here this weekend was DIVINE.  My heart feels all settled and peaceful with them here.  Even if I'm exhausted.

On Thursday, Daughter (#6) and I got back from 9 days in Williamsburg, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.  Such an amazing, learning, fun, non-stop trip.  It was my third time to go with our girls and Grandmother got to go with us.  We had a wonderful time.  The troops missed me, but they did just great.  It's always good to know that my kids CAN take care of themselves, even though I still really enjoy spoiling them.

I've thought a lot, lately, about some of the most impactful, helpful lessons I've been taught over the years.  Things like:

You have either just come through a trial, you are in a trial, or a trial is coming.  It's part of the Christian life. (BSF leader, Jodi)

That in spite of my failures, God did NOT make a mistake in giving me these kids OR in giving them ME for their mom.  (sister-in-law)

And lately the most helpful has been:

That the fact that we are busy, tired, and constantly stretched beyond what we think we can bear does NOT mean we are doing something wrong.

We are struggling against our own weaknesses, our extremely varying personalities, the constant change and growth that occurs not only in kids, but in us as well, and honestly just the exhaustion of life.

I suppose we could just all stay home and not be involved in activities, sports, friends' lives, church, jobs, and school.  But the truth is, my job is to raise these kids up so I can send them out.  I want them to be fully equipped - as much as possible - for whatever the Lord calls them to do in their lives.  To value learning to work HARD, serve others, and love God.  Which means not just keeping them home with us all of the time.  Especially as they get older.

Maybe, by God's grace, we are having some success.  But we are also failing.  Every day.  And it's God's grace that sustains us.  Our kids are learning to depend on the Lord for themselves.  To trust Him.  To seek Him.

Lessons I'm still learning, myself.

So if you woke up today, facing trials that seem insurmountable...  be reminded today that God's grace in your life not only covers your own weakness, but His glory is actually magnified in your weakness.  How amazing is that??

Join me in resting in that truth.  Trusting.  Breathing it in.  And pouring it out to my people.  How I love them.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

White Subway Tile

Spring Break is wrapping up here at the troops, today.  Along with a newly tiled shower in the girls bathroom.  I'll post some before and afters this week.  It's looking great.  And it gives me a good excuse for all of the dust.

But along with those 70's era tiles that are now in the dumpster (a lovely shade of green), there are lots of other things changing here at the troops.  I'm not keeping up well, but life keeps marching on and the kids keep growing and changing while the Coach and I are just more and more tired.

I jest.

Sort of.

One big adjustment is that my grandma passed away a week ago.  We miss her.  She hadn't recognized us in a couple of years, but she still loved watching the kids and was the most content, grateful, happy person I've ever known.  She didn't complain and was so thankful.  It will be hard to not have her with us.  She was our last living grandparent.  Hard to imagine we had 5 grandparents at our wedding 20 years ago.  So many changes.

The Coach and I are often like ships passing in the night.  But he's still my favorite.  His constant reminders that busy is ok and to take a deep breath are so needed.  Even if they come via text message.  He's such a good daddy.  I watched him at the farm this week. . . teaching the kids how to shoot handguns, fixing vehicles, working puzzles, playing ping-pong.  I know they don't realize how blessed they are.

Son (#1), is contemplating college choices for Fall, while finishing up his final semester at Impact 360 in Atlanta.  He spent January in Brazil.  We had a great visit with him in TX the first of this month.  Wonderful to see him and catch up a bit, in spite of the cold, icy weather.  He's waiting to hear about a job in Colorado for the Summer.  I'm rooting for him, but also thinking a job here wouldn't be such a bad thing, either.  I can't help it.

While visiting LeTourneau University with Son (#1), we also missed Daughter's (#2) very last high school basketball game. Seasons end and it was a good one.  This week she's off in Haiti holding beautiful children and sharing love with the people at Mission of Hope.  She's planning on college in the Fall and then nursing school.  With a trip to East Asia this Summer.

Sitting here beside me, Son (#3) is filling out paper work for a Leader Treks trip to Honduras this summer, along with a job application.  He's also going with his sister to East Asia.  I'm so grateful that God has given me kids who love the gospel and have such a heart for missions.  He's in the Spring play at school and working out for football next Fall.

March Madness is a favorite time of year for all of our troops, but most of all for Son (#4).  He's checking his bracket non-stop and right now he and the Coach and two of the little girls are at a Thunder game.  He loves all things basketball and football.  Along with sleeping in his hammock in the yard (Son #3, too).  Can't believe he'll be in high school next Fall.

Daughter (#5) is finishing up her first year of Jr. High.  Crazy.  She and Daughter (#6) are playing volleyball together and asking to re-do their room this Summer.  She's started wearing contacts and even though she's smaller than Daughter (#6) she's spunky for sure.  Her sarcastic voice sounds JUST LIKE her regular voice.  She doesn't get that from me (just ask the troops).

Life with five teenagers is a challenge, but also great fun.  Not sure what life will be like with three teen GIRLS in high school all at the same time.  Which is why we are getting the bathroom down NOW.

I'm headed to Washington DC, again this year.  This time with Daughter (#6).  She just turned 12 and is finishing up 6th grade with great enthusiasm.  She's almost as tall as her biggest sister and loves to borrow clothes and shoes from her.  I'm not sure that it's appreciated, but it does keep things exciting around here.  Since our non-driving kids don't have phones, I get texts from their friends all of the time.  Or something like that.

By far, the happiest, most cheerful, and earliest riser at our troops is Daughter (#7).  She's loving 4th grade.  I pretty much can't imagine life without her constant optimism (something I greatly lack).  Her constant desire to play games (and win!) is contagious.  And besides, it's fun to have someone around here who is still young enough to be excited about something.

And what can I say about Little Man?  His birthday is on Tuesday.  He'll be 8.  And in spite of the fact this I'm his mother, he hasn't gotten kicked out of 1st grade (yet!) for not having something signed or done on time.  When three of the big kids had science projects due a few weeks ago?  He wanted to get a poster to do, too.  Because anything that's a project is his favorite.  He's super happy to keep himself entertained and still wants me to sing to him night.  I'm so glad.

Starting next month, we have the DC trip for two of us, Impact 360 commissioning in Atlanta, Senior trip to Boston, 6th grade graduation, and high school graduation.  Followed quickly by two going to Haiti, family vacation, two going to East Asia, and one to Honduras.  Before I can catch my breath we'll be starting school again with only six troops at home and two away at college.

These constant changes and adjustments are where we live right now. We are balancing life somewhere between college kids and 1st graders. But we're unbelievably grateful in sprite of the challenges.

OH!  And we got new couches last month!  Much needed update, for sure.  Sometimes the laundry is even all put away and you can SEE them.  Ha!  But I can pretty much guarantee that if you stop by to see us (which we would love!) there WILL be laundry out.  I do that just to make everyone feel comfortable.  Or something.

Thanks for letting me catch up a bit.  There are always things to write about, but rarely the time to write it.

Happy Sunday!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Full Hearts and Full Calendars

Someday we'll look back on these years... and laugh.  I hope.  I'm pretty sure we'll miss it all, too.  The laundry (OH MY HEAVENS - five basketball players is a LOT of socks!).  The crockpot dinners every night.  The doing homework in the gym because there are always games.  The large amounts of coffee it takes to get to that next game.

The Coach and I finally fell into bed Saturday night after an extremely busy two days, only to have three of our older kids join us to catch up on the weekend...
I love it.  All of it.

Basketball games (14 last week).
Field trips (Oklahoma City Memorial Museum - can you believe I'd NEVER been?).
Homecoming for our Senior.  Such a special night.
More basketball and end of season tournaments for the two little girls.
Super Bowl parties for just us.  With a meal made from freezer and pantry items because the store sounded just. too. tiring.

I have found a whole new level of tired.  I'm sure I was tired with my babies (I don't remember that well, really.).  But I was younger, too.

Those baby days are special, but I think this may be my favorite time of all.

I miss Son (#1) being here - he's still in Brazil and headed back to Atlanta next week.  Next year, Daughter (#2) will be at college, too.  These big kids are so funny.  And smart.  And interesting.  I never expected parenting big kids to be so awesome.  Even if I'm more tired than I can ever remember.

I'm going along to a coaches clinic this weekend with my favorite coach of all.  He's working, I'm just... well... tagging along.  Which right now, may actually equal sleeping.  A lot.  And maybe a run or two.  And coffee.

Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

But the best place of all?  Right here with my troops.  Feeding their tummies and washing their basketball jerseys and listening to them laugh.  Hearing them ask the Coach questions about math homework and helping them proof-read their papers.  Reminding them over and over again to put their laundry away and pick up their shoes and stop throwing the nerf basketballs at each other instead of the goal hanging in the living room.  Eggs that need washed and floors that always need swept and please put the lid back on/close that cabinet/pick up your jacket off the floor.  Not to mention the endless stream of college letters and scholarship applications and calls from every school they've ever thought of, plus some.  And oh yeah, those thank you notes that we didn't finish from Christmas. Yikes!

By the way, I put out an SOS for crock pot recipes on Facebook the other day and the responses have been a huge blessing to our troops!  Go check them out.  Cream Cheese Chicken Chili is already going in the crockpot for tonight.

Things aren't perfect, here.  I never want to make it sounds like they are.  We are learning, like everyone else, to think of others and be responsible and show love when others don't.  But I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I hope this blog helps me remember these days better than I remember the baby days.

Here's a blurry picture of our troops on Friday night.  I probably had fingerprints on my phone lens.  Oh well.  Don't even ask about Son (#4).  I have no words.  Ha!

I love this girl just so much.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hanging On...

Seasons come and go.  They change, not always when you want them to.  Some of them are welcome, some knock the wind out of you.  But one thing is for sure... change is coming.

Right now, we are neck deep in basketball season.  12 games last week and 9 this week.  Sometimes at the same time in different gyms, which means I'm missed a few.  I LOVE watching my kids play sports.  It's fun when they play well and it's still fun when they don't.  Yes, winning is fun.  But appreciating the character that comes through loss is pretty great, too.

It's been a new experience having the Coach back in the stands with me, again, after a two season stretch coaching the high school girls. He coaches whether he's coaching or not.  If you know what I mean.  Ha! How I love him. He missed 99.9% of the other kids' games last year (we have five playing), so I'm tremendously grateful to have him enjoying all of it with us.

If you have ever enjoyed an Oklahoma Winter, you know that change is the word.  It will be below freezing for days and then back up in the 60's for a few.  I finally braved the cold for a sub-freezing run last week.  Wasn't too bad.  Then it warmed up.  Ha!  It is what it is.  The kids have to check every day to see if they need a coat or just a jacket.

After a month of so much sickness (I ended up with a doozy of a sinus infection a couple of weeks ago), I'm finally back into a season of working out every day.  It's amazing to me how LONG it takes to build strength and endurance (and lose weight!), and how QUICKLY I can go backwards. Get weaker, slowly, fatter.  Such a bummer.  I'm finally learning though, after so many years, that the seasons and change are part of it.  When the whole family has the flu?  Time for a break.  When everyone is better?  Get back to it.  Understanding it will take some time.  My running pace still isn't back to where it was in December.  But it will be.

There are seasons in the school year, too.  This one isn't my favorite.  January and February are PROJECT season.  Three science fair projects, currently.  And don't ask about the dog bank made from oatmeal container.  Just. Don't. Ask.  The autobiography for the senior (thesis over - whew!).  Workouts again for the Sophomore.  It's a lot to keep up with.

My favorite thing right now?  This season of our marriage.  It just keeps getting better.  We think the same things at the same times.  We look forward to time together, whether date night or just time to talk.  Can I SAY how fabulous it is to reach the season when you can not only go on a date by yourselves regularly, but leaving for the weekend is an option, too?  I'm telling you.  It's the best.  The coach?  He's my favorite.  The other night one of the kids said, "You know, Mom, someday we'll all grow up and leave and it will just be you and dad.  How awkward."  HA!  Little does he know...

Maybe the strangest season we are in right now is this new season of parenting an adult.  Son #1 has been in Brazil almost two weeks.  He has another two to go.  We've only heard from him briefly - he doesn't have his phone or laptop.  We have no idea what he's doing every day or even where he is.  And that's just the beginning.  He's making Spring Break plans.  By himself.  He's applying for Summer jobs in other states.  Making college plans for next year.  I'm telling you, so strange.  But it's wonderful, too.  I'm so grateful for him and so proud of the young man he is becoming.  We raise them up to send them off.  But it's still strange.

This is also the season of the Camp Gladiator Nutrition Challenge and my second "cup" of coffee (4 oz coffee, 4 oz of almond milk - because we are limited to only 8 oz of coffee per day.  So sad!) is almost gone.  Time to get going.

Whatever season or seasons of life you are in today, may they be filled with gratefulness.  And a little sunshine doesn't hurt.

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 2, 2015

6 Weeks and a LOT of the Unexpected

The Lord knows.

It's been my mantra for the last six weeks.  He knows.  He loves me.  He loves US.  He is giving us the best gifts.  Always.

You can plan.  You should plan.  But you should also know that you can't control things.  In fact you can control VERY LITTLE when it comes right down to it.

I can let this fact depress me, or I can choose to let some things go and do what needs to be done and enjoy each moment as it comes.

The day before the big football game?  The Coach came down with something awful.  Flu-like.  Miserable.  Our very kind doctor put him on meds and he spent a morning in bed and then hauled his very sick self to the game.

We lost.

And the next day, with football season suddenly ended, his a-little-bit-less-sick self and I headed to Tulsa for the 1/2 marathon we'd trained for.  Except not.  Because I'd had a foot injury a few weeks earlier and my running had been almost nonexistent.

Race or no race, we needed that time.  We talked all of the way there and all through lunch and on through dinner and got up the next day to run that silly race.  Meanwhile our two Jr. High troops were in a tournament back at home and both WON the tournament (boys and girls) and Son (#4) got all tournament, too.  We missed it.  Sometimes it's impossible NOT to miss some things in order to gain others.

On race day?  I felt great.  The coach not so much.  But instead of the flu-like fatigue he was expecting, it was his ITB.

We finished.  He persevered.  Even though he's been paying for it ever since.  Yikes.  Half Marathon #5 (for me!) in the books.

Thanksgiving was that same week, and the time off was lovely and we even all made it to the family celebration.  After running the Turkey Trot.

And So. Many. Basketball Games.  Even a Thunder game for Daughter's (#5) 13th birthday!

The next weekend was a basketball tournament at our school.  And while we were all anticipating Son's (#1) homecoming the next Friday, baking and cleaning and finding dresser drawers for him (his space in that crowded boys' room was immediately filled by the other three). . .

Son (#4) came down with the actual flu.  The full blown Influenza type A.  Of course we didn't know that immediately, but he was SICK.  He stayed home while the rest of the troops went to the airport to pick up Son (#1) and YAY!  All home!

Except the next day the Coach got sick.

And the next night Daughter (#5) got sick.

So the three of them missed our plans to see "A Christmas Carol" that Sunday afternoon.  Seven of us made it, though!  In retrospect that's pretty amazing.

Son (#1) got up and went back to work that Monday morning and our anticipated family outing to watch the Jr. High basketball players (their only games that Son #1 would be in town for) was eclipsed by caring for those same Jr. High players - both home with the flu.

The next morning?  Daughters (#6 and #7) and Little Man woke up sick.  On the day of the Elementary Christmas program in which Daughter (#7) had a speaking part.  She'd been practicing for weeks and of ALL of my fourth graders was the MOST excited about it.

She and I both cried all morning.  Just so sad.

I went to the program alone and watched my Senior - Daughter (#2) - in our sweet little Christmas program.  But none of our littles or the Coach were there.

While I was crying about my sweet girlie missing her program?  Son (#1) called from work and said he was coming home sick, too.

Fun times at the troops, Ya'll.

Seven sick.  Time to get Tami-flu.  So the four newer patients and Daughter (#2) and I all started Tami-flu that day.  Son (#3) moved to Grandmother and Granddad's house.  Ha!

Did I mention it was also finals week for the big kids?  Yep.  Awesome, right?  We ALL missed Daughter's (#2) last game before Christmas - again, the only one that Son #1 was in town for.  Sigh.

After 12 (TWELVE) days of flu and fever and oils and ginger ale?  (Daughter #2 and I both got mild cases sometime that week - Son #3 escaped all together - imagine that.)

We finally made it out as a family to see Christmas lights.

With two days left to enjoy all of the Christmas wonder.  Yay!  We managed some Christmas cookies and had a gingerbread house decorating contest and finished wrapping gifts and such and celebrated Christmas together as a family on Christmas Eve.

Just a side note - we sat down that Sunday night - when everyone was finally upright again, and talked through what the kids wanted to do as a family.  It was a really good thing to do!  To hear from them what was important and what made Christmas special.  We even made it to the candlelight service at church.

But late Christmas Eve, we got word that the Coach's daddy wasn't getting over whatever he had been suffering from that week. . . so Christmas morning at their house was postponed.

Turned out to be a good thing - sort of - because Daughter (#2) woke up with a bad sinus head ache that morning.  She spent Christmas day in bed.

The rest of us enjoyed our time at my parents with my family.  Lovely Christmas day, really.  Minus one of our troops. Including a Christmas play with a few of the cousins.

The day after Christmas, my sweet daddy had neurosurgery to correct his trigeminal neuralgia.  It was a big deal.  It was successful.  He's been recovering at home with my mom, who now has a sinus infection (surprise!).  We have loved taking him soy lattes and helping with puzzles.

Christmas morning with the Coach's family ended up being that Saturday.  76 of the 88 of us were there.  Pretty amazing!  We had a big SNOW, too!  The kids love that!  Grandma didn't, I'm sure, as they kept tracking it back into her house!

We've loved having the kids home.  Son (#1) has worked every day he hasn't been sick.  The Coach and I have tackled cleaning out cabinets and the pantries and reading lots of books.  We've run errands and organized his office and crossed countless things off "the list". We've completed a puzzle every day.  Watched a lot of Christmas movies.  Kind of let the laundry and house go.  Ugh.

New Years was spent with sweet friends and family.  The Coach even stayed awake until midnight.  Ha!  Now super cold temps and an ice storm on it's way, today.

The colds and coughs have lingered, still.  Yesterday, I spent the day in bed with a sinus headache likes Daughter (#2) had on Christmas Day.

I'm writing all of this so WE don't forget.  This crazy crazy season.  The joy of watching our kids enjoy home and each other (and yes, they've fought a lot, too).  The mess.  The noise.  The laughter.

Things haven't gone as we planned.  Pretty much at ALL.  But it's been good, still.  I'm grateful.  And maybe just a little bit ready for school days and a clean house without Christmas everywhere.  A normal routine with workouts and runs, again, and yes (gulp!), even four nights a week and Saturdays full of basketball, again.

The Lord knows.  He's always good.  I'm so thankful for the gift of these last few weeks.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my troops to yours!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Every year I brace myself for this season.  This "basketball has started and football hasn't ended" season.  I love it.  I hate it.  I'm tired.

One of the football dads told me last week (he coaches Daughter #6's basketball team) that he expected nothing less than 24/7 from the Coach preparing for this week's game.  He was kidding.  Sort of.  I just laughed.  The Coach was already 24/7 in anticipation of this week's game.  For several weeks now.

I'm realizing that I don't just love football because I love the Friday nights in the stands.  Or because I love watching my boys play.  Or because I love watching my Coach on the sidelines.  I enjoy ALL of that and look forward to it every Fall.

But football has taught me a lot, too.  About supporting the Coach even when I'm tired and I miss him and I've had enough of the constantly streaming film of next week's opponent in the kitchen every night.  About patiently gathering up page after page of sketched out and printed out play diagrams and sheets of plays for practice off the table so we can eat.  About realizing he WILL fall asleep if it sits down in a comfy chair after 8 - which is why he will chose the wooden desk chair instead.  About not getting frustrated when his alarm goes off at 5:30 on a Saturday so he can get up and break down film before he goes to meet the team - after being up until midnight on Friday.  About often eating dinner without him at night and spending most of Saturday without him around.

Sometimes I've just had enough and I let my ugly selfishness take over.  I forget all of this.  The need for support and patience and understanding.

Last night was one of those times.

I'm just being honest, here.  It's not all band music and clapping and cheering and "I'm so happy we won!".

This is real life and it's not always pretty.

I'm not sure how the next few days will even work, truthfully.  With two practices and two games, tonight.  Two games tomorrow and the BIG game (an hour and a half away, of course).  Two games Saturday and the Coach and I trying to get out of here and to the Expo for our half marathon before it closes on Saturday.  And then the running of the 13.1 on Sunday.

We're not exactly fresh as daisies around here.

I am thankful.  I'm CHOOSING thankful.  It doesn't come naturally.  I'm tired, cranky, overwhelmed, and wishing for quieter, less busy days.

Have you heard Trace Adkins song, "You're gonna miss this"?  Our Internet filter won't let me find a YouTube video for you, so go look it up. I'll wait. . .

See?  Besides the fact that Son (#1) has ruined me completely and I actually like some country music, now?

It's all going so quickly and I want to soak it in and enjoy every second and if it takes a third cup of coffee this morning?  I'm going to chose to be thankful.

1.  My precious, loving, faithful husband.  Who took time to read another chapter of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" to the littles last night.    He's ever the optimist around here.  Always telling me it'll work out and we'll be OK.  Even when I'm all doom and despair.  Love him.

2.  A great football season, which I've enjoyed so much, even without a player out there on the high school team.  Week 2 of the playoffs!  GO BIG BLUE!

3.  The beginning of basketball season.  And the hope of having the Coach's help this year with the five players we're keeping up with.

4.  Colder weather.  A snow day on Monday.  And sunshine, today.

5.  Every need so graciously met by our loving Heavenly Father.  That Christ intercedes on our behalf and continues to pour out His grace.

6.  The tail end of this cold I've been fighting all week.  And Essential oils.

7.  Christmas lists from my kids.  Little Man's was priceless.

8.  The hope of things to come.  Making memories.  Enjoying this season.

And now?  My morning run is calling.

Happy Thursday.

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"  2 Peter 1:3