Thursday, December 7, 2017

Picture of the Week - 12/7/2017

 Greetings all!

I'm wrapping up another Scotland trip tonight.  One more night to get through and then the trek back home starts tomorrow.  I should get home just in time for another busy weekend of sports stuff and then I can finally start to get into the holiday spirit!  Yay!

Last weekend, I missed Zane and Beckett's first jiu jitsu tournament.  They had so much fun and are so excited to do their next one.  Yay!  They both brought home some medals.  Beck came in 3rd in both of his brackets - which were actually the beginner brackets and not the novice bracket because there weren't any other 55 lb 6 year old novices at the tournament.  LOL  He held his own.  Zane got a second and third place and earned his Grey bar.  He's super motivated to get a few more stripes so he can get his grey belt.  

Here's a cute picture of the boys and their hardware.  Stay tuned for more holiday fun updates!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Picture of the Week - 11/30/2017

Is there any time of year that's more filled with traditions than the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year?  

Traditions are pretty powerful.  Some of them I adore (Burt's Pumpkin Patch) and some of them I abhor (dying Easter Eggs).  I guess most traditions that I can think of are annual events - and therefore lend themselves to measuring the passage of time.  

We have an ornament tradition that my mom started before we were even married.  For those playing along, the first year for this tradition was 1996.  For that year - and each year after - we get a new ornament for Christmas with a "family" picture on it from the year.  These ornaments have seen our family grow in both size and number.  And this box of ornaments has become one of my most prized possessions.  I love looking back at how things have changed over the years.  (Even if a few of those remember me how YOUNG we were when this whole thing started!)

What's your favorite tradition???

I'm off tomorrow for my quarterly trip to Scotland.  It's a terrible time of year to be going.  It's cold over there (I hate being cold) and there's so much that needs to be done around here to get ready for the holidays.  Thankfully most of my shopping is done, but that's then there's wrapping and baking and cleaning and cooking.  And wrestling...  SO. MUCH. WRESTLING.  I had no idea how involved a "proper" wrestling season is, but we're learning fast.  Spencer is still wrestling varsity.  He's at a tournament of some kind every weekend (all of them...) from now until mid-January.  Wow!

Have a great week everyone - enjoy all your special seasonal traditions!  

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!