Monday, September 30, 2013

Are you Good with Numbers?

I'm not naturally gifted when it comes to numbers.

Even though numbers are a big part of my life.

But I have found something to the following equation to be true, no matter what the numbers are:

(# of extra curricular activites) x (# of kids and young adults )

is directly related to

(# of hours on the road/in the gym/on the field) PLUS (loads of laundry) Plus  (# of times I am so thankful for the help and support of friends and family)

So here's a math problem for all you who like a numbers-sort of challenge

If a mama spends  15.75 hours in 4 days (mostly at the speed limit) in a vehicle
in order to watch 6.75 hours of various sporting events
does 11 loads of laundry at home and 5 loads of laundry simultaneously at the laundromat in the  2 days immediately following the aforementioned sporting events/extracurriculars,
with 5 loads of laundry left to do before the 48th hour of the second day is up....

Exactly how insane does the mama in this scenario go before she snaps? 

Just case you are good with numbers, I'd like to know.

'Cause like I said, I'm not so good with numbers.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Team Dinner and the Home Field Advantage

These days, our lives seem to revolve around all of our activities.

2 kids and a significant other are tied up with football.

1 kid spends her after-school hours running cross-country.

2 kids are in volleyball.

And some bonus kids who are away from home are busy with their own sports.  Brian and I try our best to keep up and support them in their respective lives and activities. 

Each week, on the night before a game or a meet, the kids all go to a team dinner.  Moms of each class take turns hosting the team dinner.

I find such value in sitting down with others and sharing a meal.  It's no surprise that this serves as a team building event between the athletes, coaches, managers and all involved.  I believe there is even research that supports the the benefits of regularly sharing a meal with

I guess that is why I am pouting today.  I used to host these team dinners. It was a time to re-group, talk, plan, dream, laugh and even argue.  No matter the meal or the topic/sport/theme, I can honestly say that I saw the benefits of regularly sharing a meal with my team.

Only we just called it "supper."

And nobody called me "coach."  They just called me "mom."


I'm trying really hard to keep building up my team.  To remind them that no matter how the game of life turns out, there are always people in their corner.  A place to share a meal and people to share it with.

A Home Field/Court/Course Advantage. 

But it just isn't as easy anymore.  And my team isn't always receptive. 

This weekend I had something planned for all of us to do together.  I have two willing participants, one reluctant participant, and one who just can't squeeze the time into her schedule. 

It's not their fault that I am upset about this.  I'm extremely proud of my team and have seen them become great leaders in their own lives. 

I just miss the days when our activities revolved around our lives and not the other way around. 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

A New Season. A New Story. A New Normal.

As I go through and edit and organize photos for the football team this year, I find myself dragging my feet just a bit.

Some have asked me if I'm trying to do something that someone else already does as far as taking pictures of the team.

No. I'm not.

I'm organizing a story in snapshots for some athletes whose parents have asked me to do so.

As I do this, I look back at my own Wildcat's story from last year.  And this week, of all of them, is harder for me.

We play North Cedar this week.  Last year, this was the last game that I was able to see Nathan in the role that he played for so many years.

And this time last year, I didn't know that it would be the last time I'd get to see him calling plays, leading his team, defending and receiving the ball. 

This year his role is different.  He is on special teams.  And his role is no less important.  But there are things he misses.

There are some who give him a hard time about this.

But I see how far he has come just to do what he is doing.

And I know that the story could have turned out way different.

It's a new season.
A new story.
And a new normal.

And I'm so thankful for being given a new chapter.

I guess sometimes you have to know what the previous chapter said in order to appreciate the new one.

Monday, September 16, 2013

the sweetest sound of the story

It's fall.

I stand along the sidelines of a high school football game, camera in hand.

I'm taking photos for the team and for parents of some of the athletes who have requested a photo-score of their son throughout the football season. 

My goal:  To capture the story of the season--for better or for worse--through snapshots. 

I'm pretty good at tuning out the smell of sweat, the spitting, the swearing and other sideline distractions. 

I'm pretty good at capturing the guts and heart of the story taking place on the field.  Through snapshots. 

There is one sound that I cannot tune out.

 In the middle of the thundering noise of 22 young men running feet in front of me,

the cheers of the crowd,

the whistles, the coaches and other reporters. 

In the middle of all of that I hear a a sound that rings like music to my ears and reaches the depths of my soul. 

One word.

Spoken through the facemask of one athlete.


That one word and an outstretched arm in gesture to give me a fist pound...
and for those few seconds the entire game stops for me. 

Then he runs out to the field and kicks an extra point for the team.

I'm just so thankful for the opportunity to capture the stories of several athletes on this team.

But forever grateful to be a character in the story of #6.