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.



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?



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!



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,


Friday, June 6, 2014

Congratulations, Emily!

The future is yours, sweet girl.
I am proud of all you have accomplished,
but I'm most proud of the woman you have become.

I love you,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Open Letter to Neenah Joint School District

Dear Neenah Joint School District Administrators, Teachers, and Staff,

Graduation is less than five hours away, but before I watch Emily cross that stage and receive her diploma, I'd like to take a moment to publicly acknowledge and thank the people who helped make Emily's Neenah experience such a positive one.

We moved to Wisconsin smack dab in the middle of Emily's 5th grade year.  Lucky for us, we found a house where the neighborhood kids had the privilege of attending Clayton Elementary.  I can't say enough about the fabulous job Kim Benson and the rest of the staff did welcoming Emily (and the rest of my kids) into the Clayton family.  Kim Gregory, one of the hardest working teachers in the district, helped Emily find a place in her dynamic classroom.  Terry Walotka spent a whole bunch of  time making sure Emily was challenged academically. Cheryl Miller embraced our avid reader and offered her a place to volunteer and help out. Clayton is an incredibly special place, filled to the brim with great teachers and staff.

The transition to middle school can be tricky, but the Argonaut teachers made it smooth and painless.  Emily completely loved being an Argonaut.  Janet Macklin is a rock star in our house (all three kids loved her!), and Jennifer Merritt will always hold a special place in Emily's heart. Jeff Martis and Brian Guilbeau love teaching, and Emily could tell.  We still talk about discussions that took place in Jim Kuenster's classes. Mr. Kuenster is definitely the reason that Emily gets asked to edit her friends' papers all the time (hooray for grammar!). Shattuck Middle School is home to many excellent, dedicated teachers who helped Emily enjoy her middle school experience.

Emily's past four years at Neenah High School have been nothing short of amazing. She was lucky to have many teachers who took an interest in her successes both in and out of the classroom. She had teachers who would meet her at the crack of dawn to go over problems and others who would answer questions via text long after work hours ended.  She had teachers who made her laugh and a couple who made her cry.   She was pushed out of her comfort zone more than once, and she became a better person as a result.  Emily took classes that challenged the way she saw the world and found activities that helped her develop leadership skills. Oftentimes, we don't know what kind of impact we have on people.  It is my sincere hope that Diane Underhill, Rich Frost, and Dianne Pacolt know what a difference they made in Emily's life.  All three teachers went above and beyond for Emily.  They are once-in-a-lifetime teachers: teachers who love teaching kids and are passionate about the subjects they teach.  Outside of the classroom, Carrie Raeth spent a tremendous amount of time coaching Emily during her four years as a member of the swim team. She helped Emily become a better swimmer and a better leader.  Aaron Hoffman taught Emily a whole new set of skills and helped her find a home in Pickard.  Brian Wunderlich and Nate Werner helped make Emily's senior year even better by bringing their infectious enthusiasm to Neenah High School.  Both men live and breathe the motto, "Neenah, with pride."

Tonight Emily will complete her career as a Neenah Rocket.  What a ride it has been!  Thank you, Neenah Joint School District administrators, teachers, and staff, for all you did to help prepare her for her future.  I know that Emily will always look back on her time in the district with pride.


Vicki Terlap

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

One Little Word: Commit (June)

"Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do 
long after the mood you said it in has left you."  --Trent Shelton

Hi Friends!

I can't believe it's already June 4th--yikes!  Graduation is tomorrow (!!!). I have 4 graudation parties this weekend, Swim Camp starts on Monday and my summer swim team starts next Wednesday.  Life feels a little wobbly right now.  I keep hearing a circus song in my head as I try to juggle everything that is going on right now.  I am a little worried about looking back on my May goals and seeing how I did, mostly because I can't even remember what my May goals were.  (Oops!).  May was a whirlwind, for sure.  Alright, here it goes:

1. Three date nights with John.  Um.  I don't think so.  We did go out to celebrate our anniversary, so that's a bonus, right?
2.  Two family game nights. No. 

1.  Workout 3 times a week in addition to CrossFit.  What?!?  Did I really think I was going to do this? I did get to CrossFit, I didn't do much additional working out.  
2.  Eat clean.  I'll give myself a B+ on this.

1.  Record all expenditures.  No
2.  Come in on budget.  No

1.  Finish the 2000's in mom and dad's books.  Seriously?!?  The whole 2000's???  What was I thinking?  I did finish an entire album and we gave it to Mom for Mother's Day.
2.  Finish my secret project.  Not yet.  Progress was made.
3.  Start planning decorations, etc. for Emily's graduation party.  Yes!

Wow!  That was painful.  But really, what was I thinking?  I spent most of May going to end-of-the-year concerts and awards ceremonies.  I attended a 4 day swim conference.  I hosted out of town guests and a bridal shower.  Most of May felt completely booked with events.  June looks even busier. To that end, I'm going to go easy on myself with the goal setting this month.  I need to come in better than 1/9 in June!

June's Goals:

1.  Celebrate Emily's Graduation and 18th Birthday in a big way.  
2.  Get out on the boat together!

1.  CrossFit
2.  Get out on my bike.

1.  Make it through this month without killing the budget.

1.  Finish my secret project.

Okay, June, bring it on!