Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday!

Hi Friends,

This week ushered in the start of championship season for high school girl's swimming.  Monday was JV Conference (we were AWESOME!), and on Wednesday I had to say goodbye to half of the team. Endings are always hard for me.  Always.  I love each and every one of my swimmers, and I truly believe each swimmer contributes to the team in their own special way.  But, to borrow a phrase from my drama days, The Show Must Go On!  Tonight the Varsity Conference meet starts with diving.  We're down to 19 athletes for Varsity Conference.  That number will go down again as we get ready for Sectionals and State.  And then another season will be in the books--so hard to believe!  While I am busy at the pool this weekend, I'd thought you might like to check out a few fun links.  Have a great weekend, everybody!

1.  I am all excited to do Week in the Life with Ali Edwards.  She's doing it this week, but this week is wonky for me, so I'm going to document next week.  Maybe.  John leaves to go India next week, so next week will be wonky, too.  He's actually out of town pretty much straight until the 15th, so it looks like all of November will be wonky.  

2.  I often dream of travelling to exotic places, but my biggest wish is to go here for a weekend of colorful fun and all kinds of creating.  

4.  This is the best book I've read lately.  I loved Axie.  I'm still thinking about her weeks later.

5.  Every day I check out this blog and try to guess the names of the dogs.  I have never been right.  Never.



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.



Friday, October 17, 2014


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.



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

Monday, October 6, 2014


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.


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.