Thursday, October 23, 2014

Things I Thought I'd Be Better at By Now


Hi Friends,

So today's my big birthday.  And by "big" I just mean "birthday", since as Christy pointed out to me, it's not a milestone year or anything (that's in 4 years, and she hinted that we might celebrate that one together in Aruba! {No pressure, Christy, but I'm already planning on it...}).  Anyway.  Back to this year's non-milestone birthday.  I was going to get all sentimental and reflect on all the blessings in my life (of which there are MANY), but as I sat at the DMV yesterday (hoping my new driver's license picture turns out cute, because as it turns out, that still matters, even when you're over 40...), I got to thinking that there are so many things I thought I'd be better at by the time I reached 46. Just for fun, I sat at the DMV and jotted down a list: 

1.  Folding fitted sheets.  I long to have gorgeous linen closets filled to the brim with perfectly stacked sheet sets, but try as I might (and believe me, I have tried), I can't get my fitted sheets to look good no mater what I do.  I can't even blame this one on my mom--she is AWESOME at folding fitted sheets, and she has demonstrated her technique to me many times.

2.  Parallel parking.  Can't do it.  Can't.  If you are meeting me anywhere downtown, please know I will be late because I will be busy circling the block until someone in the front or back of the line leaves their space.

3.  Make coffee.  This seems like something most grownups know how to do.  I am not a coffee drinker, but I entertain a lot.  I seriously get anxiety every time I have to brew a pot of coffee.  I can never remember the ratio of scoops to cups of water.  One time I was put in charge of making the coffee for Denise's wedding (her wedding!!!), and it was a disaster.  I'm pretty sure people are still riding the caffeine high from that night.

4. Read a map/know what "turn east" means when someone gives me directions.  Thank God for smart phones.  My phone helps me pretend like I know how to get places.


Making this list was actually kind of fun until I realized that it was a little pathetic that I'm an adult who can't do these things.  I mean, seriously, some of the things on my list seem like things I should have mastered years ago.  But then I got to wondering what people would make fun of me for if I actually learned to do these things.  In my family, teasing = love, and based on the amount of teasing I get for not knowing how to do these things, I am completely and thoroughly loved.  Which, of course, is the biggest blessing of all.

XO,

Vicki

Friday, October 17, 2014

Letters


Dear Sam's Club,
I'm bummed that you no longer carry 6lb bags of Brach's Gummi Bears.  They are my signature always-give-to-my-swimmers candy.  I'm sort of worried they won't like the new kind.

Dear Neenah Public Library,
Thank you for only charging .10 per day for overdue fines.  Paying .70 to finish a really good book is the best deal in town.

Dear Fall,
You are my favorite.  Keep being awesome.

Dear Starbucks,
Thank you for making such a big deal about pumpkin every year.  I'm pretty sure the only thing pulling Maddie through production week is your pumpkin chai lattes and pumpkin scones.

Dear Eyeballs,
I am thankful for you, I am, but I am completely frustrated that after a lifetime of putting up with the fact that you're not very good at far distances, you are now giving up on the close things, too.  It just doesn't seem fair.


XO,

Vicki

PS This post was 100% inspired by the lovely Christina over at The Olive Tree.





Monday, October 6, 2014

Homecoming


Sometimes things that are supposed to be magical turn out even better than you expected.
 Sometimes you find a vintage dress in exactly your size.
 And the perfect red shoes.
 Sometimes your hair turns out exactly as you imagined.
 And you find the perfect bow tie with just a hint of cranberry red.
 Sometimes the rain stops just in time for pictures.
 And you don't mind posing for a whole bunch of pictures.
 Sometimes you catch the sunset at just the right time.
 Magical nights happen.
 I hope when Maddie looks back on these pictures, she remembers her special night.
XO,

Vicki

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Other People's Kids

When I was pregnant with Maddie, I could literally freak myself out worrying about things.  I worried that I wouldn't be as good a mother of two as I was a mother of one.  I worried about juggling two of everything:  diaper changes, nap schedules, baths, bedtime routines.  Most of all, I worried that I could never love another child as much as I loved Emily.  For 17 months, Emily was it.  I funneled all my love into baby Emily.  I worried about how I could split that love into two.
I remember sharing my concerns with John's mom.  She was a mother of two, I knew she would know what I was talking about.  What she told me was this:  you don't have to divide your love, your heart expands to include all of those you love.
She was right, of course.  I had absolutely no problem loving Maddie as much as I loved Emily.  And then when we added Jack to the mix, my heart grew even more.
 When I started coaching, I found that my heart could grow to include loving other people's kids, too.
People often ask me my why I coach.  The hours are inconvenient, and the pay is one step above a volunteer job.
This is what I say every time:  I coach because I love my swimmers.
I coach because each year I get a new batch of other people's kids to teach, mentor, and love.
I coach because it reminds me of how big my heart is.
I am so thankful that other parents share their kids with me.
My life would not be the same without coaching.
Hands down, I have the best job in the world.

XO,

Vicki

Monday, September 29, 2014

Around Here


Feeling: proud of the way my girls swam at Saturday's Invite.  The whole team was AWESOME. 
Wanting:  a week's vacation by the ocean.  Any ocean.
Needing:  to do a major spring cleaning.
Wishing:  Christy lived next door.  Or downstairs.
Fearing:  the tiny mouse that is currently living at the bottom of the garage steps to the basement.
Loving:  fall.  I love sweater weather.  I love pumpkins.  I love the leaves.  I love football.
Studying:  Galatians.  Again.  One can never get enough of the Fruit of the Spirit, right?
Craving:  Qdoba's chicken jambalaya.  I've really got to cut it out.  Seriously.
Reading:  Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas.
Creating:  a mini book of this summer's BPSC fun.
Working: on finding a part time job.
Missing: seeing Emily's face every day.
Looking forward to:  seeing Maddie all dolled up on Saturday night.

What are you up to today?

XO,

Vicki






Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Photo Shoot

 Well, Hello There!

It's been a while, huh?  SO much has happened since I last posted here:  Emily left for college, Maddie was inducted into National Honor Society, Jack got his braces removed, and John has been to Costa Rica.  Now that life has settled into a new "normal", I think it's high time I get back to blogging.
 I struggled with how to jump back in, but then Emily came home for the weekend, and the stars and the moon aligned, and I got all three kids to agree to a photo session and the result is some pretty darn amazing photos of the people I love the most in the whole, wide world.  Life is good.

 I packed up the kids, blew up a couple of humongous balloons, and we headed over to the trail.  I love taking pictures on the trail, especially when these guys are out to supervise:
The kids were great and humored me by posing whichever way I wanted.

I had quite an adventure getting my jumbo balloons filled.  I finally found a place that would do it.  It was kind of fun to play with them a bit:

 John was the official holder of the giant balloons between shots.  How cute does he look holding them?!?
 I asked him if I could make that his new profile picture, but he said no.  One last fun shot:
It feels good to be blogging again!  Thanks for stopping by!

XO,

Vicki

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jack!!

Dear Jack,

Happy 13th Birthday!  I am sitting here trying to comprehend how 13 years have already passed since you completed our family.  I remember that day so well--we couldn't wait to meet "Baby Jack".  Through the years you have brought so much joy to so many people.  People just like you--you're kind and funny and fun to be around.  I love that you appreciate things, both big and small.  I don't think a day goes by when you don't thank me for something, even if it's just washing and folding your clothes. You get excited over little things--like when I bring you a snack when I pick you up, or fix your favorite meal for dinner.  You aren't afraid to show you care, and I love that about you.  I love that you tell me you love me at least once a day--there is nothing I'd rather hear.  You are growing into such an amazing young man, and I am so proud to call you my son.  I hope this next year is filled with all kinds of love, laughter and good memories.

I love you big bunches,

Mom