"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Final 3rd Grade Outlaws Post

It has dawned on me that I never shared pictures from our very last 3rd grade Outlaws tournament of the season. Though there's more years to come with the Outlaws, the next time Jaden and his teammates suit up on the court together, they won't be 3rd graders anymore!

Though the unofficial end to the season was the State Tournament in February, our team had one more chance to compete two weeks later in early March to officially wrap up the year in Waverly. It was a good way to end - on a high note - with an undefeated tournament run and another medal to add to the ever-growing collection. It also was a special day for Cody and Jaden because Coach Demetrius asked Cody to help coach from the bench for the first time.

I love how far he's come. Back in November, we were constantly having to remind him to box out and post up. Now it's habit, and he could probably do it in his sleep. :)

He's also getting much better at fighting for position, setting screens even when an official play hasn't been called, and has a much-improved natural feel for the flow and speed of the game.

I love this picture because of what it reminds me of. Jaden and his bed bud Jack don't often get to be on the floor at the same time. When Jack was in during this game, Jaden was keeping a close eye on him from the bench, and right after this picture was taken, Jack made an excellent basket, and Jaden pumped his fists and gave him a big cheer from the bench. I was so proud of him for being so genuinely happy for his best bud, and it's so much fun watching him grow as a friend and a teammate.

We've been enjoying some time off for the last few weeks. The boys are still getting together weekly for open gym and light practices but won't play in another tournament until summer. Our coaches want them to be kids, to not get burnt out, and to still look forward to tournaments when they do have them. It's working - because Jaden's already asking when the next one is. He's missing it! And though it's been nice to have some freedom on the weekends again, we're missing our Outlaw family, too. This unexpected invitation that came to us last Fall has become a great blessing we're all thankful for.

We often got teased during football season about Jaden's loud cheering section, and that same sentiment carried over into basketball season. I received several comments throughout the months about how lucky we are to have grandparents that show up on a regular basis - no matter how far they have to drive.

So what's our busy family up to now? Well, swimming lessons started last week, and baseball registration is this week with practice starting in a few weeks already. So in other words -- Mama's mini-van is still getting plenty of use. ;)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy Things Lately

I don't know what it is about the transition from winter to spring but it always seems to be a stressful time around here. I'm deep in the weeds of overwhelming work stress right now - much like I was at this same time last year - and I'm deeply longing for Summer. For sandbar Sunday afternoons and warm pool nights. For a weekend at Ponderosa and a ride on a roller coaster. For fireworks and bonfires and s'more nights with friends. Our unseasonably warm February was wonderful, but it only made our bitterly cold spring break week all the more depressing, really. I'm ready to climb out from under this rock we've been under - ready to air out the house that has seen its fill of the stomach flu and the cough. Ready to pot some flowers on the deck and spend nights at the baseball diamond. I know we'll get there eventually, as we always do, but folks, I'm struggling this week!

Hoping to lift my spirits a bit by reflecting on the happy things lately. Such as...

//Daylight savings. Longer days, brighter nights and pretty spring skies that remind me of the summer sunsets to come.

//Open windows and doors. A spring Scentsy order. A new Easter shirt. And new bottles of nail polish for toes that are anxiously awaiting sandals.

//Being able to send them outside after they get home from school. Finding the bottle of bubbles in the garage. And neighbor boys that knock on our door and windows almost on a daily basis now. It's like the world woke up again.

//Fresh flowers on the table and a cat that paws at the window until I open it for her.


//A Star Wars bedroom taking shape. Etsy orders for above the bed, sheets and pillowcases that match, and a seven year old that keeps telling me not to spend money on him so that I can save it all for our next Disney World trip. He's the sweetest.

//Speaking of Disney. Memories from Shutterfly in a puzzle box. He had so much fun putting this together. I wonder what our next Disney memory puzzle will look like?? Fun to think about.

//The first outdoor work afternoon in months. Coffee on the deck table. And no bugs. Yet. ;)

//A Friday afternoon with shorts and Shamrock shakes. It felt (and tasted) like a little piece of heaven. We will take what we can get right now.

//Getting the bikes wiped down and the tires filled up. Brandon's too big for his Ninja Turtle bike now so he transitioned to Jaden's old bike - and transitioned backwards to training wheels again. I guess we have a goal for early summer. ;)

//Even though I warned him that there would undoubtedly be a freak spring snow storm (10 inches no less), Brandon insisted in beginning his troll garden early.

//A powerful daily reminder on the chalkboard.

//This one spending hours building a Lego R2D2 from scratch. Or watching him construct his own Magic Kingdom in the basement using his Disney Infinity on the PS4. He's a talented one.

//Happy hour spent outside with The Message...

//...or with a glass of wine.

//One last Outlaw weekend of the season. Followed by our own private party room at Doughy Joey's and one really fun night with our basketball family. It made winter go by so fast.

//An afternoon just the two of us. Lego's and bike rides up Rainbow Drive while Jaden was at a friend's house.

//New reading material. I wish there was more time in the day to get to all the books I'm longing to dive into.

//A master bedroom re-do. Fresh paint, fresh bedding, a fresh layout... and fun plans for a headboard made from scratch. If we ever find the time to actually do it!

//...and Etsy prints in our room, too.

//Spending Monday morning of spring break at a 3 on 3 basketball tournament and Monday afternoon swimming with friends. The kids were occupied for hours, and the moms had a few hours to soak up girl talk.

//Diversity Night at school and their first project presentations. Dinner as a family with Nana and Papa in the school cafeteria and my name being drawn for a prize from the raffle.

//Sending this one to his room for being mouthy and finding him 10 minutes later with his head in his Bible. Gosh, I hope that's always his first stop when things aren't going right!

//Bringing touches of Spring out from the boxes and hoping the temperatures follow suit.