Sporty Family

I love that my family loves sports. I had a singles tennis match this morning and won! Winning is always fun, but I am also just as happy to be playing and improving my own game and compete against myself. The woman I was playing today was sick with a cold too, just like me, so we were both struggling but happy to be out of the house.

Charlie had a baseball game in the warm sunshine and lost by 4 points. I was able to make it to watch for a few innings with Jeff and Juliana before I had to leave for a second tennis match. We won our doubles match in a tie break and I was determined not to lose because I was tired from by previous match. Jeff and Juliana came out to watch and support me and I was thankful they were there.

I love that we all can enjoy our individual sports and enjoy watching each other play. It’s fun to be outside and supporting one another too. Christian was busy studying for finals and couldn’t join us. Maybe studying is a sport too!?!

What sports do you and your family play? Do you enjoy playing or watching or both?

Playing two tennis matches today and walking around in between was equivalent to walking 9.54 miles or 21,495 steps!!

20140531-231731.jpg

20140531-231743.jpg
Life is good!!

Procrastination

How often and how much time do you spend procrastinating?

I’ve been sitting at my desk for the past 75 minutes, “thinking” about what I wanted to write tonight.  I wasn’t really thinking at all. I was procrastinating because I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to do the work, for no reason, except I didn’t have one, clear or creative idea. So I looked at Facebook, watched the Kings lose to the Blackhawks, texted with my sister, and avoided my work.  

I do this all the time.  I’m a master procrastinator, getting the work done at the last minute. I work better under pressure. Or at least I tell myself that.  Do you do the same? Just curious.  

And it’s so dumb, because if I just focused my brain for maybe 5 minutes, or set a timer for 15 minutes, I’d probably get the work done right away because I’d want to beat the timer. All these stupid mind games we play with ourselves.  Silly.

TGIF

I hope you had a good week and are ready to enjoy another weekend.  I enjoyed volunteering at Charlie’s school today, helping out with gold rush days. We all dressed up in cowboy boots, plaid shirts, cowboy hats, and prairie outfits.  The kids panned for gold, made griddle cakes, and shopped in the general store. They were very industrious, excited and cute to watch.

 

 

 

20140530-221645.jpg

20140530-221700.jpg

20140530-221712.jpg

Life is good.

Teens

What’s it like parenting teens?

I’ve got two of them right now, and so far, so good. I’m hoping we stay liking each other over the next 5-7 years, as I hear these years can be rough.

They say the golden years are from 4-12, when they are old enough to listen and understand consequences and still think you know it all and are the best.

At our house, we are practicing every day. That’s how I describe my parenting/ coaching and their learning/figuring-life-out-for-themselves processes. We are practicing. We are not perfect. We play and work hard and disagree and we make mistakes. And we start over again and again. And we forgive each other over and over and let go of anger as quickly as we can, never staying mad over night. We are learning. We are practicing. And so far, so good. I’ll check back in 5 years and see if we won!!

For now, I’ll keep practicing, learning, loving and enjoying these remarkable teens that live in my house.

Love this life. Love my teens. And the little one too. And the big one, of course!

20140529-223931.jpg

Teams

Do you ever think about teams?

What teams do you belong to?

Why do you like to be part of a team?

I played tennis this morning with my team, and we were just practicing. I loved being out on the courts, playing with a new partner and practicing certain skills like keeping my eye on the ball and trying not to make mistakes. Any day on the courts is a good day to me. I love the challenge and the practice and being outside in the sunshine with friends. I love that we have a captain, who schedules our games and plans practices and organizes us so that I don’t have to think about it, and just show up. I love that my friends want to schedule additional times to play and practice together and that we’re always mixing it up. I love the friendly competition and working towards a goal. This fills me up.

Today Juliana’s tennis team won their championship playoff game. I am so happy that she was chosen to be on the team and got to practice nearly every day. She had a great team of coaches and supportive players who cheered each other on. I am so proud of her.

20140528-215729.jpg

Tonight I worked with a team of volunteers to put on a graduation dinner. I was thankful that there were several of us working together to create something meaningful. I loved the input and ideas and collaboration and help. Truly, working alone is no fun and one person cannot possibly think of all possible ideas and best practices. Plus, having a team makes things flow smoothly and it is so nice to have backup help and to not have to do everything by yourself. I loved the time together working with friends, and that the people we were serving were thankful for the work we created as a team.

Tonight I was also thankful for my team of supporters in this life journey. April went to pick up Juliana after her tennis match, as I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. Jeff came to pick up Charlie from my event, and once he arrived, he let Charlie stay on and play with his friends as they were all having a good time too. Thank you for your help April and Jeff! You make life easier and I’m thankful you’re here with me.

I hope you enjoy your teams too – as they come in many different forms. Go Team!

Volunteering and Creating Community

How do you help others, besides those in your family?

This was the topic of discussion tonight.  We were all sharing how we volunteer and what we like to do.  It was interesting to hear everyone’s different stories, because how they chose to volunteer told us a lot about the person and their interests. Listening to the stories made me curious and helped me to know more about my friends. It also helped us to find connections between interests, that we may not have know about each other.

One friend likes to quilt and she volunteers for Quilt For Kids, making quilts for sick kids in hospitals. She used to love making quilts for her family, but after awhile, you don’t need any more quilts. She found a way to continue her hobby and to share her generosity and talents with strangers. She brought a sample of her quilts and told us that they donated 800 quilts last year. I shared a connection with her as Charlie was a recipient of a handmade quilt when he was sick in the hospital when he was born. The beautiful, colorful quilt was in his bed when we came to see him. I thought it was a mistake, that it belonged to someone else, until the nurses told me the story of the volunteers who make them for sick kids, so that their hospital stay might be a little bit brighter and more cheerful. We still have this quilt, and I used to think of the women who made it as a gift of love. It made his hospital stay feel less sterile and I was so thankful.  Cool connection, huh?

Another friend shared how she volunteered with the Humane Society to help families become foster kitten parents. She loved cats and wanted to help them. 

One woman shared how her mom forced her to volunteer when she was in the 8th grade, and that she didn’t want to do it at all. But by volunteering, she found her vocation and passion. She chose this field as her profession, even getting a scholarship to her chosen college, aided through her volunteer connections. 

What I learned from listening to all the stories, is that by volunteering we are helping others, but we are also able to help ourselves.  We create communities of interests with other like minded friends while giving of our time. We share conversation and create friendships by working side by side towards a common goal. We find connections through service and we create communities, whether it be around our passion for animals, kids, movies, antiques, singing, helping in schools, coaching, helping with sporting events, health services, mentoring youth, or whatever brings you joy.

Do what you love. Love what you do.  It’s good for all of us!

Life is good.

 

20140527-232518.jpg

Was Your Memorial Day Memorable?

20140526-220536.jpg

Who did you remember?

What gratitude did you feel?

Did you celebrate the day with loved ones?

We shared the day in Colorado with Jeff’s family before flying back to California. We were thankful to be able to be together and to honor PopPop, who wore his World War II Veterans cap.

20140526-220649.jpg
He had so many stories to share and our kids had connections to make from their travels abroad to places where he had served. History came to life and was tangible. Everyone was engaged and happy to be together.

We also spent some time at the Air force Academy in Colorado Springs, admiring the air show and beautiful views.

Thank you Aunt Debbie and Ken, Megan and family, and PopPop for spending time with us. We loved being with y’all!!

Happy Memorial Day!

20140526-220621.jpg

Memorial Day Weekend in Colorado

20140525-210218.jpg

I love the miles of clouds in the sky and watching how the sky changes throughout the day.

20140525-210617.jpg

20140525-210703.jpg
Today we spent time with Jeff’s family in the Black Forest. I loved the open space and being outside. The kids had a great time playing together in the open fields, chasing the alpacas, throwing balls to the dogs and playing hide and seek. They had rocket balloons that they shot up into the sky and over the house, getting them stuck in the trees.

20140525-211027.jpg

20140525-211126.jpg

20140525-211213.jpg
While the kids played, the adults sat on the back deck, listening to music, eating chips and dip and sharing conversation while playing with the new baby. Ken barbecued for us and we enjoyed tri-tip, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and watermelon for dinner. For dessert, we ate chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

This was a perfect, all-American way to spend the day.

Today I am thankful for family, for open spaces, for kids being kids, and time to relax and just hang out.

Life is good.

Thank you PopPop and Jeff for serving our country and for fighting for our freedom. We seriously live the good life because of your service and sacrifices and the sacrifices of all veterans and their families.

Thank you. Happy Memorial Day!

20140525-213858.jpg