Monday, April 29, 2013

Our not-supposed-to-be-a-busy weekend in Review:

So I knew I was going to a track meet on Friday.  And then to go listen to Curtis Fry talk at our school. 

And I knew that I had a track meet to go to on Sunday afternoon.

Somehow between Thursday night of not-so-much thru Sunday night of not-so-much, a whole bunch of stuff got thrown in.

That's the way our not so busy weekends go, I guess.

Marz ran the hurdles on Friday night.  
She was pulled out of one one of her favorite events to run (and one that I think she does quite well in) to run in a new event.  Apparently her coach is still trying to pull her here and there in different events.  I try to tell her that this is a sign of a good athlete when she can compete in multiple events.  
But on the inside, I am wishing I could tell the coach where to put her.
Because I am the one who meets her down on the track after the actual track practice.  
And I can see her strengths 
and her weaknessess
pretty darn good.  
Still so proud of her.

 So here is Brinn throwing the shot.
She really seems to like this event and she improves all the time.
Don't tell her I said this, but she is also an EXCELLENT sprinter.
She scores points for her relay teams every time she is in them.
We are proud of her and all of  her efforts.

   We paid a visit to Ty at Upper Iowa University.
It was the spring scrimmage event.
and Ty is out with an injury. 
So he wasn't wearing a jersey and pads on Saturday.
But he did look like a coach down on the field.  
It was a blessing to see him, talk to him for a few and get him a cart full of groceries.
If I haven't mentioned it on the blog-o-sphere before now, I want to make note of a significant day in Ty's life that happened this last week:  
Ty chose to be baptized...I think with some members of his FCA group and through SALT company.
He knows he was baptized as a baby.
But he wanted to make it known now
that this outward expression of faith was a sign of his own personal faith.
We are so proud of him!

 On our way home from Upper Iowa, we stopped for dinner and ran into a bus full of kids celebrating prom.
Brian stopped to pose with this young lady from West Liberty....
...had to represent for Brady (this is Brady's girlfriend) who was out of town for a track meet!

 And here is the track meet I knew I was going to on Sunday.
Claire taking the hand-off from Anthony....
....and Tookie taking the handoff in the same race, same heat. 
Luckily run in different legs.

All in all, I really do love it when we have Not-So-Busy-Weekends that end up busy.
Life happens in those in-between spots on the calender.
And life is good. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

So I went to this book signing today. 

I already know the author.  Met him like, I don't know, maybe 8 years ago at a writer's conference.  His name is Cecil Murphey.  I just call him Cec. 

(probably everyone calls him 'cec.')

Had a newspaper assignment last year in which it was appropriate that I called on him for a quote. 

So, yeah....I've got his phone number. 

He's only a best-selling author with over a hundred plus books in of them making it to the movie screen...another one or two on the way....

....and we know each other. 

Sort of.

(By "know each other" I mean that I know him, we met, I called him on the phone like every other person in the world who interviews him for things he is well known for and today he did not exactly remember me)

So, yeah, we are tight. 

He signed a book for me and that was fun....

But I got a couple other autographs too:

Sheri Zeck has a story in which she was a ghost-writer in "Chicken Soup for the Soul Find Your Happiness."  I wrote about this story last year in the Quad City Times.  She has an awesome story that is published in this month's issue of Guidepost Magazine.  I got to write about that for the newspaper too.  It should run this week sometime. 

She is a phenomenal writer.  And she told me I was the first to ask for her autograph.  Do you know what that means?

I. Own. The. Very. First. Autograph. By. Sheri Zeck!

Check out her website by clicking HERE

I also got to meet another writer who I have written about.

Shawnelle Eliasen has written many stories for Chicken Soup, Guidepost and other publications. She is super inspirational, a fabulous writer and she's as sweet in person as she is in writing. 

Plus she said she likes my hair. 

We are gonna be great friends I can just tell.

Click HERE to visit her blog. 

About this book signing thing.  I love to listen to other authors talk about how they got into writing and what inspires them. 

It gets me to thinking about what inspires me as a writer. 

There isn't ONE author or ONE story that I can point a finger to as far as where I get my inspiration.  The truth is, every story that I have had the privilege of writing has inspired me.  I see the world around me in terms of "stories."  And everyone has their own.  I love it that I get to meet people who want to share their passions and purposes with me and I get to share that with other readers.  It inspires me; makes me want to live out my own story better....

So I brought with me my own photographer:

She took photos at the book signing for me. 

And we spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating something extremely special:


I love this girl more than words can even do justice.

I try to tell her every single chance that I can how much I love her.

Apparently this is somewhat embarrassing.  

So we have a code.  Sort of a made-up sign language thing where when we want to say how much we love each other without words, we make the "okay" sign.

Or we just say "3 fingers-and-a-pinch." 

And we both know what it means. 

Dear Claire~  
Thank you for spending the day with me.
You are so special and I am so glad God gave you to me.
3 fingers-and-a-pinch.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Master's Touch

So I wasn't sure if this post was going to be just photos and an update or something on facebook.
But here it goes....I'm talking about golf and life.

So last night was my son's first golf tournament this year.  He is the 7th man out of 11, the way I understand.  This means the team takes 6 people to varsity meets and he golfs as the lead JV golfer when both participate.

For the last week he has practiced and pulled varsity scores.

He stays late, or comes home to eat something and then goes back to the course to golf.

He has not scored over a 45 in the last week.  And that was his highest score.

Last night I got to watch him at his first meet.  My brother, aka: Uncle Shawn, was there.

Uncle Shawn is like the equivalent of royalty when it comes to who Nathan wants to attend his golf meets.   (Uncle Lance and Uncle Andy are also included in this equivalent, but neither of them were able to attend)

The morning started out with Nathan telling me that he wanted me to come and walk the course behind his group of golfers.  And could I please bring him a gatoraide.  And a snack.

Of course.  Isn't that what mama's do?

Uncle Shawn was also able to make it to this meet. 

Warming up for a shot.

After punching out. And get back on track.
I think.

The boys and Uncle Shawn would say things like "nice strike" and "good ball." 
And I was excellent at keeping my distance and just being there to observe.  

But when one bad hole turned into another, I was asked to "go home."

Mama was totally not prepared for that to come out of my golfer's mouth.

I stayed and I struggled as I watched my Wildcat struggle.  

He had pinned so many hopes on this first meet.  
And based them on how WELL he did in practice on this very course.  

Then I went home.  
So did Uncle Shawn.

I don't know what his score was and I am not going to ask.  It is bad enough that his score will be published.  

He came home.
Threw around a whole bunch of attitude.

All I did was say his name.

He walked over to me, sat down next to me, put his head on my shoulder and cried.

"all the work i've done....all the great scores i've had...and i had to choke on the first meet in front of my mom and my uncle."

What do I say?

I held my junior varsity golfer while he cried.
And that was it...he got up and, while humbled by his bad scores, determined that tomorrow was a new day.
Golf and Life.  
"It is nothing new or original to say that golf is played one stroke at a time. But it took me years to realize it."
~Bobby Jones
"Therfore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
~Matthew 6:34

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A New Decade

It's like I woke up one morning, and suddenly I was 40.

That day was yesterday. 

The night before the big Four-oh, I was tucking in the girls and saying prayers.  Probably the most memorable one came from the heart of Claire:

"....and dear God, please help mama's 40th birthday be the best 40th birthday ever....cuz she's probably gonna try to have a lot of 40th birthdays......"

What can I say, other than "Amen"?

I decided to start the day off right.  I woke the kids up and we ate cake and ice-cream for breakfast:

Not just any cake.
It is a Jeff's Market marble cake.  My absolute favorite.

I was so excited about eating this cake for breakfast that I forgot to make a wish before I blew out the candles.

This was the first of many things that would slip my mind on my 40th birthday.

Brian took the day off of work.
We took my van and ran a couple of errands. 
The van has been acting up on me; throwing out symptoms of choking and passing out.
But miraculously, the van ran fine while Brian and I drove around all afternoon.

Until I went to pick the girls up from school. 
She died in the driveway.

Apparently my van is haunted and only does this when I am the one behind the wheel. 
I will be checking the yellow pages for an expert in performing vehicle exorcisms.

My evening was spent in West Liberty at a track meet. 
My opinion on this is that we should not be going to track meets when the wind chill is a factor in the temperature. 
That's just me.

In getting ready, I decided at the last minute to change my jeans into my football-season jeans....the ones that I can wear another pair of pants underneath. 
2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of gloves and 5-shirts-and-a-windbreaker later, we headed off to West Liberty to watch these girls at their first outdoor track meet.

 ...but not before we had to borrow money to get in to the track meet.

I forgot that my money was in the first pair of jeans I was wearing.  

In other super-exciting things I did on my 40th:
I shopped at the Dollar General store to buy some ingredients to make my own cleaning solutions.  
I have been wanting to do this since I moved last fall.  

It's true, I live on the edge. 

I also spent the day talking Brian's ear off.  At one point, I was telling Brian a story and right smack dab in the middle of it, I thought of an unrelated question and then couldn't remember the story I was telling him to start with.  

Where did that thought go?

All in all, my 40th was a day that I (hope) will always remember. 

But it's okay if I don't.  Because I will probably celebrate it again next year.