Play on

So not only have I pretty much disconnected myself from the blog world, I haven't even visited my own blog in 4 months.  Until just now.

I think I had thought when I started blogging it would be a way to connect to others somehow, though I'm still not even sure if that's what I wanted out of it or not.  Sometimes I just wanted to blog so I could keep my family's memories alive...even if I didn't have a picture of the moments.  But with a family of 4 kids there's a plethora of moments worth writing about, even if there's no energy for blogging.  And clearly I've run out of energy, and finally have the soccer balls to admit it.

Truth is we're busy, and I work.  And when I'm not at work, I'm still at "work".

I'm my kids #1 fans and I live for watching them from the's kind of my "home" away from home these days.  I have been able to watch my girls grow into truly talented athletes.  And I don't say that just because they're mine, but they have the whole "package": good hearts/serious discipline/true team players/great skills.  My soccer girl finished of her team's final game of the season with their last goal.  It was a "captain-worthy/olympic-style/that's-my-girl" - kind of goal.  I also had the priveledge of witnessing my softball girl hit a few double plays and homeruns this season as well as catch a few outs in her place in the outfield.  They are both well liked on their teams and I am so proud of them both.

My boys are at the beginnings of their sports "careers" too.  Presently I am sitting in my bedroom and in my view is my youngest kicking his soccer ball consistently back and forth in the backyard as he's bummed that his practice has been cancelled due to floods from this weekend's rain.  He has to play alone as his brother is sick on the couch unfortunately, but he knows I'm watching him and glances up every so often to check.

I'm right where I want to be: any place in view of my kids doing what they're passionate about at the moment.  I suppose I could take it one step further and actually go out and kick the ball around with him, but so far he's happy enough I'm watching, and I have this 4 month overdue blog post to finish.  Plus it's cold outside.

But suddenly we've arrived in 2013 and all that I've found myself thinking of is May of 2014...when my firstborn will graduate.  A lot will happen from here til then, but it will all have a sentimental flare to it..."last homecoming/last soccer season/last winter camp...

When I sit and think about it, a lot changes in 5 years.  Five years ago my kids were 1, 5, 8, & 11.  Five years from now my kids will be 21, 18, 15, & 11.  Ready or not it's where we're headed.

My family is on the borders of changes and though I'm keeping up, time isn't cutting me any breaks.  Our family already has 5 cell phones, and I'll have two highschoolers next year.  We're going to need a 3rd car, college scholarships, and a softball bat savings account.

Time presses on, and changes are inevitable.  It may be months or another year before I pause to blog again.  But until then we'll play on.

Live/Laugh/Play 4Ever...maybe a better title for a once in a while blogger of 4 athletes. ;)


A lot changes in one year.  Today I'm thinking about all the different changes that my family and myself have been through and realize there are huge parts of our lives that I haven't bothered to write about. 

A year ago at this time I would have been getting ready for work...though I would have been panicking of what to wear because I was nervous about standing in front of a medical class of 60 highschool students.  This class was 89% female; 16 & 17 year old girls.  So I found out quickly that they really check out shoes, if you share your gum, what you wear, jewelry, if you smell nice, and how you wear your hair.  My oldest daughter is in their same age group, and I am impressed to say their generation isn't entirely materialistic.  They're mostly good kids, with a lot of hard things going on in their lives, and have the surprising ability to see right through you and know when an adult is legitimately real or not.  Around October I didn't feel so scared from coming out from behind the desk so much, and they figured out I was pretty cool and told me so.  I loved sitting on the floor and helping them with their projects...and they liked my drawing & whistling.

So that was a year ago, and I had thought that I would be back to work there again when the new school year started up a month ago, but maybe because of a turn over in administrators, and teachers, I am still left waiting, and wondering.  There was a lot that I really liked about that job.  One of the best things about it was that it was only 4 hours a day and I had weekends, holidays, and summers really worked with my family's busy schedule.

And in the meantime I have applied to approximately 15 different jobs.  I'm still waiting and wondering, though fully in the project mode since we all know I am incapable for sitting still for long...even if it's 105 degrees.  My summer "bucket list" of making a garden is really coming along.

Another change is both my girls have switched teams recently.  We've become a very athletic family and my daughters are very passionate about their different sports; Josie in soccer, and Lanie with softball.  It was a hard decision for Josie to leave a team of 3 years to switch to a different one, and as the parent it was hard to leave too, since there were a lot of friendships formed on the sidelines together.  There's good things to say about both teams, but the one thing we knew that mattered the most for Josie was the realization that she wasn't going to get any better unless she was challenged and played at a more competitive level.  It's the beginning of the new season now with her new team, and so far we hope it was the right one. 

Now that my Lanie is 13 1/2 already, (what?), and because she couldn't continue to play for her 12U softball team anymore we had to find a new 14U team for her to play on.  The tryout process takes thick skin, and is truly one crazy ride, because the area where we live in Arizona has become extremely competitive for softball.  Tryouts are also a very humbling experience for a 13 year old to have to go through, and I kind of felt like her agent checking every day for new tryout postings of about 25 different teams in the area.  Lanie carries herself with a new confidence she didn't have as much a year ago, and the number one team she wanted to make, asked her to join.  It was probably the best news of the year for her, and I am so happy she can continue to grow with a great group of coaches and girls.

With my four in sports again, my family's schedule has already taken over the calendar.  And though I am still waiting and wondering if I will find an opportunity to earn some extra money soon, I figure there must be some kind of awesome reason I am gardening by day and taxiing by evening instead of working right now.

...I guess I'm just a wondering woman. ;)

Kip Awt

(Also pronounced Keep Out).  This is what was written on the sign my 6 year old made to tape on the couch cushions of his fort set up today....all the while wasting the afternoon away with fruit loops in his fitted ninja costume with his spider man mask.  Sometimes to me he is the boy version of the character Eloise in my most favorite of all times book.  I love his imagination.

It's the end of July and it's about that time the 4 walls of our house seem to melt in on all of us so we're all in 6 different forms of stir-crazy.  We're all looking for ways to find space from each other and I have discovered that when I sit in the backyard with my feet propped up in the kiddy pool no one seems to bother me there.  I have the right amount of crazy to be able to voluntarily sit out in the heat...which is a small sacrifice for quiet.  I didn't even care that the sun wasn't out today either.  Or flies.

The summer went by fast, but for some reason this last week left before school starts seems to be moving the slowest.  I had meant to update all kinds of things on this blog but never quite felt up to fact I'm actually not really in the mood to write anything now either.  I'm boring even myself.  (Yawn).  But I did just reread a few of my own posts to see where I left off and got myself a little teared up, and I was thankful to have those memories written down.

What I should be doing is soaking up every second of this non-scheduled week, (oh wait, there's still softball and soccer...year round seasons here f.y.i.)...but I'm finding myself feeling anxious...

Anxious for the not knowing if I'm working again in the fall, or if Lanie will find a softball team, or if I can get Josie to use the brakes: (in driving and with dating), if my boys will ever stop pounding on each other, if the ceiling on my van will ever stop peeling off, if my right ear "deafness" will ever go away....

Ugh.  Enough.  It is what it is.  And Rylan's sign was just the reminder I needed.

Worries:  Kip Awt.

For tommorrow has enough trouble of it's own.

Plodding along

You know what makes a bad day worse:  spilled Sprite on the really makes your flip flops stick.

About 6 months ago I used to be able to say I could jog 4 or 6 miles, and even now I still make the effort to try each week, (I run 2 miles away to force myself to have to run the 2 back).  But lately I feel myself just plodding along.  I miss the days when 8 miles wasn't even something I'd even blink at.

So I'm tired, but that's not a new topic, and the last thing I really want to be writing about is my struggling jogging life. I'm also aware there's only 3 weeks left of school & 2 weeks of football so I know there's a little rest coming soon at the end of this busy season. 

Softball though, now that's a different story:  games are scheduled for every weekend in May, (that is including Friday night practice, Saturday and Sunday games), (except Mother's Day).  Softball games aren't scheduled for just one game a day either, not even double headers....we're talking triple headers. all.the.time.  So that's been my eye-opening experience in the world of softball.  But I have to admit, it never matters to me if my girl's team is's when there's that moment she slides to catch a fly ball, or makes a 2 run basehit, that I'm loving every minute of it.  She looks like a pro in my shades too.

But I have come to realize the hardest part of it all is getting there.  Wether it's dragging my buns out of bed to psych myself up for a 4 mile plod, or packing up the 3 coolers at 6 a.m. for a 3 game day, or carrying a chair, an umbrella, & a cooler & 2 ice-jugs uphill both ways to a football game....once we've arrived we're good.

And when I've gotten us to where we need to be, then my day feels right.  I may be plodding along, but, hey, atleast I'm still moving.

Reality check

It was if I was fighting for permission to be frustrated this week.  The fact is, Moms need breaks....and the reality is, we get few. 

Not sure exactly how I got on this emotional rollercoaster,  but I sure learned a lot about myself on this ride.  If anything, I now know I can run a mile in my favorite sandals and jeans.  In a duststorm even.  Because happy hours aren't always happy, and sometimes it's best to speak less, and when you finally get found down the road, it's best to just get in the car.

I probably shouldn't have donated my blood last week either.  I have needed naps every single day. And chocolate.  Somehow I opted for the "power red" which was extra "heroic" in that they have more access to my red blood cells, which helps more people, but I think I need my red blood cells more than anyone now.  I almost passed out going up the stairs.

Last weekend I watched 5 games of softball, of which my daughter played 16 minutes in, a soccer game and a basketball game that both ended in losses.  I drove through Phoenix in traffic hour to pick up my very expensive transmission repaired van.  I do laundry every other day, and no one in my house knows how to turn their socks inside right.  I also procrastinate grocery shopping because it makes me anxious, and I always forget to get the milk.

E.V.E.R.Y. morning my Kindergardener begs me to not have to go to school, and when I won't let him stay home I am "the worst Mom in the world", even though I make sure the sand is dumped out of his shoes before I put them on.  I take my boys to school barefoot & braless in my jammies with several random jackets on, and when I get back home, if I even glance at the tornado that hit my girls room it will only lead me to send them an angry text that is the length of 3 messages.

I have several projects that I would love to get around to doing, but no longer have the time to be able to commit to finishing.  I'd also like to workout to the point that I can see results, but I no longer have time or energy for that either, so until then my arms will flap in the wind.

But the biggest reality check for me this week was unfortunately when a friend of mine lost her 15 year old son yesterday.  No amount of stress any Mom could endure from one week could even compare to that kind of loss and heartbreak. 

Good, bad, or ugly, the reality is Life is precious.  Life isn't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride.  (great country song). 

Tonight my boys both snuggled with me on the couch while we all watched Shrek.  Last night I had fun spending time with my girls who turn 13 and 16 this week.  And just now my husband just got home safely from work.

Note to self:  Cherish. every. single. minute.

2012 Sports Update

It's good to get away from time to time, but after another family road trip has come and gone, it's been another chance for me to realize how much I love home, (my pillows), and my sporty family's world.

I'm even getting psyched for this weekend's games my kids are playing in.  5 games.  5 practices.  (And this is a quieter week).  People still don't understand why this could be fun for me to have all 4 of my kids actively involved in sports, but I can't imagine the weekends any other way.  I love having my kids play something they enjoy, and I love being there for an assist, a goal, a tricky pass, a touchdown, a flag grab, a basket, a steal, a hit, an RBI, a double, (yep, I'm learning softball lingo), and that crazy awesome noise of when the softball smacks the mitt perfectly and the dirt dust smokes off the top, and the guy in blue yells "Out!"  So's not so much that I love sports,  I super love watching my kids play. 

As Josie's highschool soccer season just wrapped up, her Barca soccer club team had a college showcase tournament this past weekend in Vegas. The highlight of this trip for me was watching my girl play her heart out, with a goal scored and all, I am so proud of her!  We've been busy before this weekend typing up her "soccer resume" and sending out letters to potential colleges...I never knew there was such a thing to have to do until now.  And I'm really not so sure I'll be able to let her go in just 2 years.  Time is flying.

Lanie's Jr.High Desert Ridge softball team were undefeated all season and won their championship! Great job Lady Rattlers! She also plays outfield with her East Valley Pride club team and recently hit a home run...can't wait to see her do more great things!  Love my LanieLou.

Aydan is finishing up his basketball season and though it was his first year trying out the sport, he really did well!  He's already getting conditioned for a new football season as well and this time his team will be the Panthers.  He's hoping he'll compete against his cousin Micah, as they are now in the same age bracket and league.

Rylan is begging me to sign him up for boxing, wrestling, Karate, or a ninja warrior skills building class.  We've even recently chained up a punching bag in the backyard for him to pound on and sadly he has found out it hurts his little hands to punch on.  (Batman punching gloves come in handy though).  And I so very much want to get him signed up soon for something, but I have discovered that even I have limits...(4 in sports = chaos.)  Summer will be his turn for camps and trying out different activities. 

So that's all for now. 

Spring is in the air...and I smell lots of fields of grass....and cleats, shinguards, softballs, soccerballs, footballs...

Time for Hugs

It's just been so busy.  I say it all the time, but gosh, there's just so much going on in our family.  My gas tank went from full to empty in 5 days between work, school, softball, basketball, football, and soccer.  (Ok, and Kohls).  It seems every minute of every day we are scheduled. 

In the middle of this action packed week, Rylan came home from school the other day telling me that a mean first grader punched him in the stomach.  It really doesn't take much for this mother tiger to get her claws out when anyone messes with her babies....especially her youngest one.  Sigh.  He was so sad, and it made my heart break. The teacher was made aware of it as was his big brother and football buddies, so I'm pretty sure it's safe to say there won't be any more punching going on. 

And so today I was a Kindergarden Mom.  He's my last Kindergardener, and I need to keep reminding myself of that because I'll admit that there's a huge part of me that has a "been there and done that" attitude...(3 times actually).  I have been slacking in the "volunteering department", and about a month ago I offered to help out at his school for his jogathon.  It's easier to check yes, and a lot harder to actually follow through and show up...especially when your refrigerador is bare.  I'll admit I even e-mailed the teacher to check if they had enough volunteers, but my 5 year old would not let me off the hook as easily...not even if we didn't have any ice-cream left in the freezer.  I haven't exactly been available to help out in his class since I started working part time, and of all my kids, he has been the one to notice my absence.  He really has had a rough week, and so I showed up, slapped my Bulldog visitor sticker and smile on and all my thoughts of groceries were erased once I saw, that he saw, that I was there.

He had a very successful 4 lap jogathon and when it was time for me to go he hugged me goodbye.  After I walked away about 50 feet, he chased me down for one more hug.  He has strong little arms that squeeze tight like his Daddy's and his head even rested on my shoulder for a few extra seconds.  I love his grubby, five year old boy smell.  Best hugs ever.

Every morning I drop him off for school, he walks backwards, shouts "I love you!",  and waves goodbye to me until he can't see me anymore. 

...Before the school year ends I'm going to make myself stop the car and chase him down for just one more hug too.

I'll probably do it more than twice a week for the rest of his life. :)

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