Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seasons of Life

I've sat down about a billion times since I last wrote a blog post, about a month and a half ago. It seems that the word "time" or lack there of, clearly describes the season of life my family is in right now. When my babies were smaller, it was a different kind of busy. They were very dependent on us. We were constantly rocking babies, feeding, changing, playing on the floor, not sleeping. Now we are in the school stages, and that brings upon a different kind of busy-ness: homework, reading for AR, athletic practices, sleepovers, ball games, and the like.

I'm sure it's getting pretty old to read about this every time you come to my blog, but I feel pretty strongly about depicting our lives accurately, so that when I go back and reread these in the Alzheimer's wing of the nursing home, I'm not reading a lie. ;)

Anyways, this season of life is a lot of fun, but it's a lot of go-go-go as well. Jaedyn had three basketball tournaments in December/January, and now we are hopping right into volleyball. It's crazy to go back to October and remember how unskilled she was. She had never stepped foot onto a court. She didn't know what a travel or a double dribble was. There were so many things she had to learn, and I knew that it was overwhelming to her. I was so proud of her perseverance in learning and practicing. She never talked about quitting or not going out next year. She watched the other girls intently and listened to her coaches' every words all year long. Finally, to make a mama's heart burst with pride, she was a good sport (most of the time). She encouraged her teammates game in and game out. We're still working on not taking a ref's whistle personally, and I'm working on not being the coach in the stands. It's hard work. They finished up the season with a first place win at home, and we're all so proud of how much they've grown in 3 months. I can't wait to see how her first volleyball season plays out!

The boys have also started wrestling. Carter has come leaps and bounds since he started in Kindergarten 3 years ago. He reminds me so much of Colin and Casey. I love that he has something that bonds him to his uncles, and now Sawyer gets to be apart of it as well. To date, we've had one dual and one tournament. I am a huge fan of the duals as it really emphasizes the "team" aspect of this sport. It's easy to look at wrestling as an individualized activity when actually in high school, it's very much a team sport as much as it is individual.

My cheeks hurt from smiling so much when I would see one of the older 8th grade boys hold Sawyer in their lap or when the coaches would pull my boys close after a match and gently teach them how to do something better next time. I love the heart these coaches have for these boys. I love that Carter can pull Sawyer next to him after his first match and first loss, and put his arm around him unscripted to tell him "Good job buddy". "You'll get em next time." A mama can't ask for much more than that.

They can't deny this love in years to come. I captured it baby.

This face right here....This is his game face. Always smiling. We are working on it. ;)

This past weekend we had a tournament. Sawyer came home with a 2nd place trophy for which he is SUPER proud of. He slept with it. It helped him clean his room. It didn't leave his side all weekend. Carter's bracket on the other hand, was incredibly difficult. He lost 3 of the 4 fighting hard. He got 4th place, but the best prize was watching him shake the hands of the other boys and telling him good job. My boys are learning life lessons from the mat that will make a difference long after their wrestling years are over. Heart happy.

Another new change this year has been Middle School Band. Jaedyn decided to play the clarinet just like her mom. (or maybe her best friend Morgan. I think it's me.) We had her first concert in December, and like other things we've started this year, there is definitely a learning curve. You have to start somewhere to get good, and well, they are starting somewhere. :) I was never terribly musically inclined, so we will see if she sticks with this. I try to encourage my kids to try new things. They don't have to continue them if they aren't interested, but you really never know unless you try! I think she's really enjoying it so far.

Middle School has also brought with it some heartache. You remember how it went right? They were some of the most terribly awkward years of my life, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. There were braces, bad haircuts, puberty for some, terrible fashion sense, tiny boys, and most of all the overall theme of Acceptance. It was four years of desperate struggle to fit in, to find our place. Some of us spent those years trying to prove our worth. We were the loud ones. The know it alls. The superstar athletes.The popular crowd. The mean girls (boys). Some of us figured out who those kids were and tried to copy every move, even though unbeknownst to us, they were trying to be accepted also. We didn't much care if what we did was right or wrong as long as we had the cool kids' approval. Some of us tried to blend in. We didn't want to draw attention to ourselves so we did our own thing. We didn't speak up when things were wrong, and we didn't chime in if we were right. We just existed. Some of us were all of those things at one point, and a VERY small tiny percentage of the population just stayed true to who they were. They should have been the cool kids in my opinion.

We are trying to help guide her. We can't take away the bad stuff that comes along with middle school because quite frankly, she needs to experience it to learn from it, and that sucks, but it's reality. Dan and I are learning that the best thing we can do is be present and available when she needs to talk about ALL of it. Even the boring piddly things. If we care about those small things, she'll come to us with the big things, and THAT is so important.

I was talking with some colleagues the other day, and we talked about how easy it was/is when our kids are little. We are superheroes. We can fix any problem they have. Hungry? I can feed you. Tired? I can rock you to sleep? Fall on the ground and scrape your knee? I have a band-aid for that. In this season of life, I can only be there when she falls and tell her she's enough. I can be her support and encouragement, but the scaffolding can only be there so long. I think it's as hard on us as it is on her. :( Learning curve indeed.

I don't want to downplay Christmas, EVER, but that was more important for me to say at this moment in time. Our Christmas was good. Really good. We had overflowing doses of family and friends. Relaxing and Go Go Go. Ebb and Flow. It was full of twinkly lights, traditions, family time, and a Christmas trip to boot. That's been my favorite new tradition of all I think. I feel very grateful for this life.

Wolfswinkel Christmas Trip 2015- Minneapolis, MN "Rainforest Cafe"

Nickelodeon Universe


Cool bunk beds at the Water Park of America

Happy Tuesday!