Thursday, November 17, 2016

Picture of the Week - 11/17/2016

Quick share today of these cute pictures of my cute little guys!

All is good here - gearing up for a couple of slow (relatively) weeks.  I love the holiday season!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Picture of the Week - 11/11/2016

Happy Veteran's Day!

I'm late on this week's POTW.  This happens so rarely...  I blame the fact that yesterday started early (6am UK time) after a late night of pub crawling with my boss's boss and the CIO of my company and some other colleagues.  I wasn't good at bouncing back from nights like that 20 years ago.  I'm really not good now...

So after dragging myself out of bed, we went to the office for a morning full of meetings and left there to commence our trip home.  Keep in mind that 6am UK time is 1am east coast time.  I got home last night just before 10pm.  Long day...  I think I had one decent meal all day.  Yes, I'm whining...  traveling is hard.

I got unpleasantly surprised by the fact that the plane on the big flight (something like 9 hours 15 minutes) didn't have wifi.  Clearly a first world problem...  but it did impact my plans to get some stuff done and keep up with email traffic.  It's amazing how many work/personal emails I get in a 9 hour period.  Amazing and kind of depressing...  Also, 9 hours 15 minutes is longer than I nearly EVER go without being reachable.  Think about that for a minute...

So the POTW didn't make it yesterday.  I'm in catch up mode today and thought I'd share a picture from Beckett's last day of flag football - which I missed - last weekend.  Look how happy he is.  

I love getting home after being away.  I love that my boys, each in their own way, stop what they are doing to greet me.  The hugs are epic.  I love that Ozzie gets so excited that his whole back end wags.  I love the feeling of peace and love and acceptance that I get the moment I walk through that front door.

It's been a pretty weird week.  The election has thrown everyone into a bit of a frenzy - some good/some bad.  It was very interesting to be overseas during that event.  I am looking forward to everyone settling down and accepting the path forward.  I know there are people upset (some very much so) and people happy (some very much so).  I am content.  I think some stuff will be good (I believe better) in the next 4 years than the last.  I am also cautious.  I think there will be some stuff that could be worse if people allow themselves to get swept up in the hate talk and fear inducing rhetoric.  

It's an interesting time to be an American.  And I hope we all take the current events happening as a way to start conversations with our kids about life lessons.  There are some really good and healthy talking points out there to help us teach our boys how to be good people.  Some of them are as simple as pointing out the bad stuff and saying "see that?  Don't be like that."  Some of the issues are deeper and require some good conversations.  We're having them with our boys.  Go have discussions with people you love.  Don't assume they know what you think.  Don't miss this opportunity to grow.  

And if you get too frustrated with the world outside the front door, then stay in.  Have a beer.  Make a pizza.  Turn off the TV, get away from social media and read a book.  Or just look at cute pictures of little kids with trophies.  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Picture of the Week - 11/3/2016

Happy November!

My goodness the last few months have gone quickly!  I can't believe we are already in November - and the holidays are just around the corner.  It's almost time for me to exhale and regroup!!!

My football Booster Club president duties came to an official end on Tuesday this week with the end of season banquet.  I still have a little bit of turn-over work to do and some things I want to prep for next year's board, but there's no real time pressure on that.  

I can honestly say that I really had no idea how much work this would be.  I knew it was a big time commitment, but fall sports took over my life.  It's time to get back to normal things.  Like cooking dinner...  I haven't cooked in ages!  I just have one more trip to the UK to get through before I can slow down for a while.  

For anyone on Facebook, this news will be a little bit of a repeat, but it's worth sharing here.  At the banquet, there are always a bunch of awards given out.  I don't think any of those boys plays the game for the awards, but it's nice to recognize the members of the team who excel.  This year's banquet was more fun than most because in addition to all recognition, we also got to celebrate the championship.  

There are 3 types of awards given out at the banquet - academic awards, team awards, and county awards.  Spencer took home one from all 3 categories.  (It's about now that I get braggy and if you aren't into that kind of thing, you should stop reading and just look at the pictures.)  

He got an award for all A's (which I think they were a little liberal on as he didn't manage to pull up his grade in Band after missing a month of playing time due to the concussion, but we weren't questioning it too much).  

He got a team award for Defensive Player of the Year.  You guys, the things his coach said about him are the things that you want to be said about your kids.  His work ethic and "unstoppable motor" and how dependable he was during practice and every play of every game.  He ended the season with 34.5 tackles, which he got playing in just 6 games.  He missed 3 games due to his injury.  The ALL TIME Vipers tackle record is 35.  If he had played the whole season, he would have crushed the record.  He was THAT good this year.  That dominating.  We have had several people (connected to football programs in other middle schools) tell us that they have seen him on tape and he's easily one of the best linemen in the county.  It shocks me at how proud it makes me to know that there are people out there watching my kid on film and talking about how good he is at what he does.  It pleases me to no end to hear his coaches talk about how hard he works to be that good.  

And he was also presented with an All County award.  This one is voted on by the coaches from ALL the middle school teams.  Each school gets at least a couple of All County awards.  The better your season, the more All County winners you get.  Because the Vipers won the championship, they got 5 All County awards.  The young men who won alongside Spencer are a class act - every single one of them.  They are smart, hard-working, kind boys.  They are a special group and I feel so blessed that my son is able to call them his friends.

It was a special night.  It was the end of a very special season.  I will remember this year for a long time.  I am proud of the work I did to support this team.  I'm proud of the work my son put in to help take them to the very top of their goals.  Actually, they surpassed everyone's goals for this year.  The coaches talked at length about the fact that they weren't really sure how this year would go, but they quickly realized that this team was the most coachable team they had the chance to work with.  

Coachable kids who are willing to put in a ton of work and do what is asked of them without questioning - that wins championships.  The 2016 Viper Football team is proof.   

Saturday morning is Zane's team's first playoff game.  It could be his last game as a K/1 football player - or we could surprise some folks and win.  :)  This week we are also full of lacrosse practices for the big guys who are getting ready for a tournament next weekend and I'm off to Scotland for my Q4 trip.  After our unusually warm (hot!) October and our drought conditions, I'm not sure I'm ready for 47 degrees and rain...  ouch!

Have a great week everyone!  Enjoy some pictures from the banquet. 

This is a great group of 8th graders.  Truly great kids!

Spencer's first football coach, Andrew Dickman, with the other guys who were on his very first football team as 6 and 7th graders.  That team won the Lanier Bowl Championship after going undefeated - just like this year's team.  It was so cool that they got to win another championship together!

This is Coach Taylor.  One of the best men I know.  He coaches for all the best reasons and cares WAY more about helping to build good PEOPLE than winning football games.  It was an honor to help him this year and we are so blessed that he and his coaching staff were a part of Spencer's life for the last couple of years.  

Spencer with his trophies.  

These are the All County Award winners.  From left to right - Spencer, Thomas Dickman, Kyle Peterson (who also won the Lineman of the Year award), Drew Southern, and Tiernan Pepple (who also won the Offensive Player of the Year award.)  So proud of all these boys!