Thursday, November 16, 2017

Picture of the Week - 11/16/2017

So I was thinking the other day (and I guarantee Bob just cringed...  because normally those words are followed by some kind of need to perform chores...)

But no...  I wasn't thinking about the parts of our house that need to be painted (there are lots) or things that I want to replace (there are lots) or all the places that need to be purged (there are lots) - shoot...  now I AM thinking about all of those things...

What I was actually thinking about the other day while driving to work in the dark was that I have so many reasons to be thankful.  I guess it's good to stop and think about these things regularly.  I've been trying to be more aware of being thankful and having gratitude, but it's sometimes still easy to lose sight of those things in the midst of a chaotic schedule.  Thanksgiving is always a good, and blatant, reminder to recognize (even if silently) things around you, within you, above you for which you can be thankful.

I feel like I have more than my fair share of reasons to feel blessed.  My life is rich with experience - and friends - and family.  I've worked hard enough to value what I have.  I've made mistakes that make the good decisions just that much sweeter.  I've struggled and stressed and worried through days that make the easy and carefree moments special and memorable.  I've watched people around me struggle and then rebound and thrive.  I've seen loss and pain and grieving which reminds me that life is short and those still with me are blessings to be cherished.  Every day. 

Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day.  A list of reasons why I am thankful would not be complete without my family.  I consider myself incredibly lucky to be married to my very best friend.  And together we have been given the gift of raising these four amazing boys.  I'm sure I'd be proud and love my boys under pretty much any circumstance.  That's a mom's love.  But we have the special and unique perspective given to the parents of preemies (and maybe made more special by those little ones who have gone through extra challenges).  I imagine this perspective can come through other avenues as well - survivors of illness or injury, for example - but for me, it's Quinn who provided this reminder of how precious this crazy life really is.

Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day and I will be celebrating Quinn - and all the other tiny littles who can claim to have overcome that harsh introduction to the world.  These babies teach everyone they meet what it's like to fight.  I'll also spend some time remembering all those babies born too soon to survive and sending up prayers for their parents. 

Here's a new picture of Quinn with his Incredible Shrinking Bear.  And an old picture, that will always be so precious to me, of just after tiny Quinn was born.  Perspective is so very powerful.  We are so very, very lucky!

Spend some time this week, leading up to Turkey Day, thinking about what you are thankful for this year.  And then hug as many of those reasons as you can.  Send prayers for the ones you can't reach physically. 

Aside from Thanksgiving and hugging my kids until they complain, we also have a LOT of sports stuff going on!  Saturday Beckett plays in the Lanier Bowl.  I've never had a kindergartener play football and not go to the Lanier Bowl!  I think the Bovenizers are good luck!  We are 1 and 1 in K/1 Lanier Bowls...  so this is our tie-breaker year - and we are due for a win!

After that we will all head to Spencer's wrestling match.  He's wrestling varsity again this week at 220.  Last weekend he came in 4th in his weight class (there were 17 teams at the match).  He was unimpressed with 4th place and  threw his medal in his bag...  You know how Spencer feels about "participation trophies" - there's a winner and then there's everyone else.  LOL

Tuesday Spencer has another wrestling match since the boys are all off school all week.  We are definitely rookie wrestling parents and didn't realize that a Tuesday tournament meant they were starting in the morning.  Ha!  So Bob and I have both scrambled to rearrange work stuff so we can take the day off and watch/volunteer.  Pretty sure we'll be working concessions all day, but at least we will be together!

In other Spencer news... he's signed up to take his driver's education classes over the Thanksgiving break.  4 days worth...  sucks for him to give up vacation time, but this is literally the only time until June he can take the class without missing practice/games/trips.  That child has a ridiculously busy schedule. 

And of course we get to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and dad and my sister's family.  I love this holiday!  Downtime and relaxed family time, followed by a "free" weekend to decorate for Christmas and do more family stuff.  Time to exhale.  I am thankful for that for sure!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Picture of the Week - 11/9/2017

Newsy sporty kinda email today - lots of good stuff happening!

Quinn made the Senior Select lacrosse team!  Yay!!!  I'm so happy for him.  He got cut from the Junior Select team last year and has worked all year to get better - and it shows.  I'm excited to get to watch him play at that level - and even more excited because Bob's not coaching him and we can enjoy the season together (at least when we aren't spread all over with the little boys...)

Spencer is wrestling this weekend for the Varsity wrestling team for his high school in the 220 pound weight class.  This is no small feat as he's a freshmen and competing with upperclassmen (in a school of about 3k kids).  And he's wrestling "up" as he really should be in the 195 lb weight class, but they needed a 220 guy.  I have NO IDEA how he will do...  I do know that he's LOVING wrestling season.  He is so pumped that I think wrestling has officially become more than just a way to get better at football.  If the football coaches aren't careful, he'll have a new favorite sport soon...  Stay tuned...  

Beckett is playing in a playoff football game on Saturday.  On paper, his team should win, which would put them into the Lanier Bowl the following weekend.  

Zane is done with football for now and focusing on Jiu Jitsu.  He's got 2 more stripes on his belt and thinks he's really close to getting his grey belt.  There is a JJ tournament in early December that I think the little guys may do.  Will be interesting to see how they do with competition outside their gym.  

In non-sporting news...  Our carpet drama is officially all done.  The stairs now match the rest of the floor and all is well.  

PS - all kids doing well in school.  I never talk about school because it's boring to talk about...  trust me that they are all doing great.  

Here's a fun picture of the littles climbing a tree.  They have both recently gone through HUGE growth spurts.  Between the extra inches and the football/jiu jitsu all fall, they have gotten lean and strong.  No more little soft bodies in my house.  Everyone is getting muscles everywhere.  

Have a great week everyone! 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Picture of the Week - 11/2/2017

I debated about sharing this.  Honestly, there's a huge part of me that wanted to just ignore it all until I forgot about it.  But then I figured, what the heck...  if this isn't the perfect example of "real life" then I don't know what is!

Last Friday we got new carpet upstairs*.  It was a long time coming and I was very excited about it.  That doesn't mean it wasn't a gigantic hassle.  It was loud and the dogs were freaked and our house was torn apart.  But NEW CARPET!!!  

We got through the installation and my parents came up to help make beds and get us back to "livable".  We crashed for the night surrounded by the slightly nauseating smell of new carpet.

At around 4:10 AM we were woken by the tell-tale sound of a dog vomiting.  We didn't even make it 12 hours.  Sigh...

We got up in the morning, cursed our luck - and our dog, and drank some coffee while admiring our new carpet in the sitting area of our bedroom.  We had early football (and snack duty) - and it was raining - so there was much prep work getting ready for the day.  Bob brought me up a breakfast shake - chocolate (which is important) - while I was finishing up getting ready.  I set my full glass of chocolate shake on the side table for a second so I could turn off the TV and proceeded to knock it over.  All of it.  All over the BRAND NEW CARPET.  Seriously people...  I can't make this up.

I was mortified.  I figure maybe the only thing that would have been worse to spill on brand new greyish-beigish carpet would be red wine.  It was 7:30 AM and I might have been better off with red wine.  We sopped up the mess, but really didn't have time to mess with it much.  I sprayed and scrubbed until I ran out of carpet cleaner, then left with a depressing gigantic brown spot smack in the middle of our new flooring.  Sob.

Believe it or not today is the first evening I've had a chance to attempt to actually get the stain up.  It required the purchase of a new rug scrubber.  (If anyone's interested the Bissel Revolution Pet Pro is pretty awesome.)  

So yeah...  this is the universe's way of reminding me that I can't have nice things.  And we now have the ability to scrub a wide variety of nastiness.  Come to think of it, with 4 boys and 2 dogs, it now seems kind of crazy that we didn't already have a good rug scrubber, right???

Have a happy week everyone!  Saturday Zane plays in his first football playoff game (lose and out) and Spencer has a lacrosse game.  Then we are all heading to the part to help run a "Learn to Lacrosse" community event.  Thankfully it's supposed to be in the mid-70s!  Sunday is Select Lacrosse team evaluations - say a little prayer that Quinn does well.  He's up for the Senior Select team this year.  

*In another awesome(?) example of "things are always harder than they should be" they didn't order enough carpet for the stairs.  So we have this awesome (not - at all) look going on with new carpet upstairs and nasty, dirty, gross carpet up the stairs.  Safe to say we'll not be hosting Better Homes and Gardens again this month...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Picture of the Week - 10/26/2017

So we are getting new carpets upstairs.  I'm ridiculously excited.  I'm also thinking we were insane to do it in the middle of our crazy fall season.  

The carpet installers are moving all of the furniture.  The commercials make it sound SO easy...  and then you sign the paperwork and they hand you this little booklet about how to prepare for the installation.  Take everything off every surface.  Move small stuff (lamps, chairs, etc.).  Strip all the beds.  THAT'S NOT EASY!

We are doing the entire upstairs.  So there's no where to stash stuff.  All the closet floors have to be cleared up to 3 ft.  That means all the low hanging clothes have to move.  

I've learned these things - we have too many books and too many clothes and far too many stuffed animals.  Also, my boys are not tidy.  

I know (hope/pray) that I'll love it when it's all done, but on the eve of the event, knowing that I've got the dogs solo tomorrow while Bob goes to the office for the first time in...  I can't even remember...  where's the wine.  Oh wait, I still have to clear out my entire craft area.  Sob...

If you need me, I'll be filling up all of our bathtubs with lamps and pillows and shoes.