TO THE PEOPLE WHO SAY I’VE CHANGED…

I love watching & reading things from this lady! She’s so “relatable” and super funny! I pray that she makes a million dollars doing her thing 🙂

Juggling the Jenkins

I realize I don’t owe anyone an explanation, so I’d like to get that out of the way first. I am completely aware that I am not responsible for how people perceive me — especially when their perceptions are askew.

Full disclosure, this isn’t for them—it’s for me.  Why is it important that I defend myself? In the grand scheme of things, it probably isn’t at all. However to me, in my life right now, it’s huge.  It’s so huge in fact, that it’s keeping me up at night and overpowering my thoughts.

So I am putting this out there, and I’m doing it for me.  In publishing this, I am giving myself permission to release the unbearable heavy weight of trying to please everyone. I can’t and I never will. So I will type this, and bid these feelings—and those who have fallen out of love with me, adieu.

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A Thank You Letter to my Friends:

Dear Friend(s):

I just wanted to write you a little note thanking you for being my friend. I know that I can be so busy and sometimes (all the times) forgetful. When I miss an event that is important and you still text me and invite me to lunch, I just want you to know that I appreciate the effort that you are giving me (the person who adores you and is struggling to keep her head above water).

You’ll never know how important our friendship means to me. When you stick by me, send me funny texts and come to the games on Thursday or Friday nights and offer me congratulations, even though I have no bearing on the outcome, THAT support carries me to the next week, to the next season.

I know every wife and every life is busy and stressful but you know how I am, you know that I give my all to one thing and then sometimes other things suffer. Yet, YOU ARE THERE. Being a friend to someone like me must be hard, yet you are still there and for that I will be forever grateful.

Please give me an extra dose of grace the next few months and please keep me in your prayers. This season comes with extra pressure and I want to be my best for everyone including you. Please consider this letter as an invitation to every ball game (with the worst seats in the house), every football club lunch and every Saturday morning that you might want to have coffee with me before Ben wakes up. I need you as a friend and I need you in my life, even when I can’t be the one making plans.

If there is one important lesson that I have learned about friends and football it’s this: You can’t do one without the other. It’s as simple as that…ask any coach’s wife, this part of the year can be so incredibly lonely.  Again, thank you for being my friend your love is more important than you know.

 

With all my love,

Nikki

 

PS: Coach wife friends, thank you so much for putting up with me during the season and us being able to pick up where we left off. Go #badgerfam

PPS: I know I have tons of friends (which I am sooooo thankful for) I just need more pics with you 🙂

20 ways to keep your kid entertained in the stands….

Well let us see here, the goal was to do “50 ways to keep your kid entertained in the stands” but I am the opposite of an over-achiever so I halved then subtracted five and am hoping I can come up with 20 ways to keep your kid entertained in the stands…

First things first. Don’t cry, no matter how hard it is, don’t let those toddlers see your weak side…they’ll know how to get you then…

  1. Pre-game. For adults only…I’ll leave this here for funsies.
  2. Snacks, it’s an obvious one because if they’re eatin’ they may be sittin’.
  3. Playdough. The stuff is terrible, don’t get me wrong. I hate having it under my fingernails or the bottom of my pants, but it can keep little people’s attention longer than Barney the Badger fo sho.
  4. Coloring books and colored pencils…forget the crayons, they break way too easy!
  5. Books. My baby son likes to read…there is sure to be some cute girl running around that I can get to read to him while I watch the game.
  6. A friend. This is for the older ones, but occasionally it’ll be closing in on the end of the fourth and I have no idea where a kid is because they’ve been playing some where with their friend.
  7. A grandma. My mom will straight up run around for the whole three hours of a game to wear out my baby son.
  8. Benedryl….
  9. Balls. Football, soccer, baseball, tennis ball, beach ball. Throw a ball up in the air and watch them go nuts, then beat each other up trying to get it back.
  10. Bandaids for ^^.
  11. Bubbles. Kids are weird. They like bubbles.
  12. Binoculars. These are fun for “spying” on people or for the hardest game of EyE-SpY ever.
  13. Camera. My kids do not have phones so letting them walk around and take pictures is such a treat for them.
  14. A pillow and blanket because hopefully #8 has kicked in.
  15. A leash. I don’t know about your kid, but mine needs one after a second pack of skittles and then they can just sit there…and actually watch a game. (I don’t actually have a leash but I sure wouldn’t judge you if you got one.)
  16. Make friends with a cheerleader…this may seem weird but all kids love recognition so when they’re down there cheering and they wave or yell for your kid it brightens their whole face.
  17. Water bottles. The whole flip the bottle thing is so annoying but I tell you what, it entertains those little suckers FOREVER!
  18. Have them write out their Christmas list. HAHAHA
  19. Bring a babysitter. Just one picked out person who has to chase kids around and make them stop *whatever*…I have done this but not until play off time because let’s be honest…if we are in the coaching world we don’t have money for something like this every week…
  20. Scavenger hunt. Rock, twig, penny maybe even a random bottle camp? Don’t come back until you find them all.
  21. A BONUS because my husband thought of this one…A fitbit. Put it on your kid and if they have a buddy have them wear one and the first one to get two thousand steps wins…and then hopefully they’ll be so tired they’ll fall asleep fast too!

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Summer is Over.

It happened again. Summer passed and I’m sitting here looking at my calendar, writing in games, practices, meals. The squares are filling up all the way until December 8th (6:30PM).

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The pre-season anxiety is filling my fingertips up with the weird feeling I get right before an anxiety attack tries to get me. I will do my best to work through it…but I am almost positive I will text Coach with something that sounds so depressing and slightly bitter before the first game happens. It has happened every year around this time, I wish I could learn from the past and be an overcomer but I’m not mature enough for that yet. The feeling is more than anxiety if I have to be honest, it is a mixture of dread, excitement, wonder, frustration and stress.

I tend to ride on the negative wave before season, I’m not sure why. I think it is okay to sit in those feelings and to really feel them and to live in them, kind of be lonely and be sad and be bitter…for a minute, but you have to find your way out of them. I don’t think one coaches wife will tell you that they’ve never felt feelings like that but the difference between the “good” ones and the “bad” ones is their ability to have the negative feelings but still face the world and your family with a righteousness that you can only get by knowing where your hope lies. We don’t need to stay in the funk because we don’t need to find our happiness in what our husbands are doing…we find it in The Lord. We can’t depend on our spouse to make us happy…that is a tough lesson but if you can figure it out sooner rather than later then you will be better off for it. If you can summon up the why…why you are called to this then it makes it easier. The why is because this is a ministry, try to remember that this season.

As much as I can I try to be involved, I think that is why this part of the year is hard. When the season starts we get to be involved: games, practices, dinners at our house, football club lunches, team pictures, festivals, all the things are happening that you fall into a rhythm of being without your coach-spouse-father-friend that the loneliness and stress doesn’t hit you as hard. Right now with camps and workouts we just miss him. We miss the players and we miss our coaching families.

As hard as it all is NOW, it won’t be long and we will be wearing long-sleeves, hats and gloves. Hopefully making arrangements for Thanksgiving dinner at the fieldhouse and having a Christmas celebration around 9PM on December 8th.

Until we are partying, follow us on Social Media with the hashtag #badgerfam.

Having it together.

Hello, how are you? In my best Adele voice. Which would not even be at all good. All bad. I shouldn’t even try, really. Okay ignore that. But yes, Hello.

Something has come up recently. Some one said, “You look like you have it together.” For some reason it has “shook” me. It makes me reconsider what I am putting out in the world for someone to say such a thing. Obviously the person saying this didn’t mean it in a bad way, and I’m not such a negative person that I even take it in a bad light, but I mean, come on. Does anyone really have it “together”? What does having it together look like? What does it mean?

It has put me on a thought-train. What does it look like for me:

People who have it together have love. People who have it together have friends. People who have it together have a church home. People who have it together have family who aren’t on the outs. People who have it together find joy in all things. People who have it together tithe. People who have it together don’t have a million dollars in student loans. People who have it together are passionate about a thing. People who have it together are kind to everyone. People who have it together don’t run out of gas. People who have it together know how to balance life/work/play/school. People who have it together cut their hair more than once every three years. People who have it together serve. People who have it together don’t complain. People who have it together don’t try to change things to make it easier on themselves. People who have it together have insurance. People who have it together have a good marriage. People who have it together fight with their spouse and stay home. People who have it together eat dinner around the table. People who have it together believe in miracles. People who have it together are bold and humble. People who have it together know which fork to use. People who have it together go to places where you have to know which fork to use. People who have it together love paper plates. People who have it together make other people feel like they have it together.

We need each other to have it together, if it weren’t for my friends we probably wouldn’t go out in public. My church friends are family. Our work friends are our family. There is something in relational groups that can help us all have it a little more together. Life is better that way, when we are doing it alongside people who are living life at the same place we are. There is also something to be said about the folks who are a step ahead…seek out those people and learn.

 

*NC*

 

‘Tiz the season.

Just wanted to give a little shout out to all the parents doing the running around. I always think fall (football season) is the busiest season but really when it comes to time away from home and nights that we aren’t able to eat dinner around our table spring is so incredibly overwhelming. So I am tipping my lopsided hat at all you people making the practices to all the places, games in different towns, track meets 🙀(need I say more), meets, matches, tournaments, jobs, dance, gymnastics, try outs, church meetings and an even tippier of hats to those that do it with toddlers or baby’s in tow! It’s a wonder that our cars don’t fall apart or our diets don’t go down the drain (really, who diets in the spring 🤷🏽‍♀️)?!

Also, if you aren’t in this busy season of life because your kids aren’t there yet or have out grown it…remember to be kind. If you can, lend a hand. If you’re a seasoned pro, give advice! I know I’m always wanting advice from people doing life a step ahead of me.

Friends, if you are down and out and just in survival mode remember that chicken nuggets, no naps, no baths and no patience works fine too. You can be the Pinterest mom tomorrow.

Parenting blogs are for the birds. Here’s another.

You’ve seen them all right? There is a parenting blog for every topic under the sun: Spank, don’t spank, yell, don’t yell, make your kid do chores, drink wine, don’t drink wine, read a book, don’t play on tablets or phones. It’s almost mind numbing how much “advice” there is on the web. So I would like to throw my hat out there…here are a few guiding principles and hopefully some links (that’ll hopefully work) that we use. Let me preface all of this by saying:

“If you are doing it in love, it is probably right.”

We are not our parents or grandparents generation. If you’re like me we are some weird hybrid of knowing life before it got all tech-y yet we can still learn new things when they come out every week. Our parents made us play outside constantly and didn’t worry about anything yet now we KNOW we can’t really do a lot of free-range parenting because let’s be honest. People suck.

So even though this is kind of like a list of things to do, I want you to read it more like: “here is how we do life, lets use what works and think they’re crazy on the ones that don’t.”

Chandler Principles:

  1. Use the bible as your guidebook. For discipline, for love, for everything. Read bible stories to your kids. We do this every night. Ben reads three bible stories then I put them to sleep with an extremely long prayer. It’s strategic but I think of it like this, do you mind when the kids fall asleep on you? Then I bet God doesn’t mind them falling asleep when I pray. YouVersion has an amazing bible app when plenty of “plans” for kids. Bible App
  2. We listen to a guy named Kirk Martin. He’s called the calm guy. It’s pretty straight forward, you have to be calm to be a good parent. If you are doing ANYTHING out of anger or stress then you aren’t doing it well. Let’s be honest, kids can suck too. So this guy lays it out on how to manage yourselves before you manage those pesky cutie pies. I’m linking to his podcasts because I listen to a lot of podcasts. Calm Guy Podcast.
  3. If you did number two and listened to Kirk you’ll already know that you have to work on yourself first. Second, make sure your marriage is golden. We have communication issues so we have to do a lot of backtracking when it comes to stuff, maybe since we know we have communication issues that will eventually correct itself…one can dream. Anyway I really value what the bible says about marriage and a good one to listen to is Marriage Today
  4. We don’t say, I can’t. Unless it’s I can’t get up today because I’m so tired…but only I can use that one.
  5. Our kids do chores. They don’t get paid to do those chores. There is no negotiating, bartering or trading off. Everyone has a job and a part of being a team is doing your assigned task.
  6. We don’t do games on week days regardless of anything. It’s raining? So what, read a book. You’re sick and at home, hope you like the VHS tapes in your quarantine time. You made all A’s? You’re welcome, I made that brain in my tummy.
  7. I don’t treat my kids the same. Yep, I said it. I’m not going to even pretend that I even like them the same. My eleven year old boy talking about smells and hairs is not going to get the same awws that my two year old gets when he says a word funny. You know what? I love them both so much, just not the same. And I tell them that. I also tell them that Ben will always be tops in my book, then them. My job as a parent is to raise them up and send them off to be good wives and husbands and all the amazing things they’ll be but living in my home forever, they won’t. But Ben will. And I’m excited about that day. I’m also excited about being a grandparent and more of a friend to my kids than I am now.
  8. BECAUSE You are the parent, not a friend. You’ll never convince me that that’s a good thing to be to your truly immature kid or teenager. Because even if they’re “mature” by some standards they’re still kids, and that’s okay. Be the mean parent until you can be the nice one 🙂
  9. We go to bed early. For us, not them. Our nighttime routine starts around 7:30 with baths…usually we are done with everything by 8 or 8:30. They get all the sleep we get time to finish the stuffs and then talk or zone out. It’s really nice.

Anyway, this list is not definitive or even comprehensive but it is a lot of what we do…and sometimes we do fine. Sometimes we do not. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and different techniques with your kids. If you are reading a parenting blog or listening to a podcast about it then you’re probably doing better than 80% of parents out there, let’s be honest. So pat yourself on the back when no one is looking.

We have a strong-willed one who sometimes requires a whole lesson on childhood development and you need a doctorate to get through to her/him (I’m not naming names, but I bet you know already). If you have some ideas that we could implement comment me down there somewhere.

 

Side note: Today is my last baby’s second birthday. He’s really the cutest thing.

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For my Yoga lovers.

New house, Farmhouse?

This past weekend my lovely friends Amy & Sandy along with my beautiful sister, mom, aunt and cousin threw us a House Warming Party. I’ve never been to a housewarming so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of love and gifts that we received. I couldn’t believe how much sweet stuff we got! Most of the items came from our local stores: The Farmhouse Downtown and Hardman Interiors. You should check them out if you’re ever in Arkadelphia.

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My friend Sandy made the Chandler pic.

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My friend Ashley got us the “Where two or three Gather” and Ben bought the paper reminder roll, super cute!

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My sister got us the mirror and maybe the pic too, I can’t remember

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Some of the loot!

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Wrapped gifts for the win!

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All Farmhouse stuff 🙂

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I just love the colors of the kitchen towels.

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Swan Creek Candles are the bizness

The best part about all of this is that we OWN (well the bank does for 30 years) our home. We have spent the better part of three years praying for a new home! After several failed attempts we were able to purchase this house with help from Southern Bancorp. If you are tired of paying rent you need to look into your options of buying a home. This sucker was made for a family with a ton of kids. I’ll do a tour of the house another day 🙂

 

Check out this link (I hope it works) They have yoga mats, which I have to use since we don’t have carpet downstairs! Gaiam Yoga Mats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing a blog.

Today I took a big step…I connected my blog to my facebook.

I’ve had people tell me for years that I needed to have my own blog, not that I’m some kind of amazing writer but mostly because when I do FB posts they seem like blog post. Funnily enough I’ve had this blog page for a while and post here and there but now I’m turning away from posting to FB and posting here. It can be my open and honest journal entry and scrapbook maker 🙂

Let me know if you like this site and if you have any recommendations on how to make it easier to access or view.

For funsies here is a picture of something:

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Because a baby with a Tupperware on his head never gets old.