Did you know?

Did you know that the 2018 Arkadelphia Badger’s have EIGHT Captains?

When Ben first told me, I thought that sounded a little funny…but what do I know? The players voted before the season (after summer workouts) for the captains. Usually there are four, this year they doubled up.

During the season four would walk up, do the coin flip and shake hands while the other four would stand guard on the sideline. I thought it looked pretty cool. I also think it says a lot about this years group of Badger’s.

There are about 50 kids on the roster (before some freshmen moved up) and the votes were so close for the eight that are captains that they couldn’t decide which to give it to so it became a group effort. Which is exactly what this season has been…there is no ONE-MAN SHOW like there are at other schools. We have a team of players who do whatever they can to help their brothers and improve their lives.

For those that don’t know them:

Victor Tademy: He’s a smart, smart kid. He’s signed to play for Harvard next year. He’s pretty versatile being in all the phases of the game. He’s also looked up to by all the boys…my favorite is that he rolls up his shorts super short and a lot of the younger guys do it too…cracked me up every time I was out at practice. Obviously he’s a role model and a great football player. 46482392_1781699965285982_8280351257655246848_o.jpg

Zion Hatley: He used to be my neighbor, so there’s that. Really though, he is an excellent runner and kid. He went from being on almost every play last year to sharing the RB role this year and it has only improved our offense. I think it says a lot about a kid to keep coming to work, especially starting out 0-5. He’s going to do great next year at UCA. 46330650_1781699741952671_1040917304512086016_o.jpg

Josh Wallace: Probably comes as a surprise to no one that I would pick a picture of Josh that included my husband, Ben. Josh is the vocal leader for the defense. I kind of call him the QB of the defense, maybe you’ve noticed he’ll put kids in the right spot during plays. He is very football smart and I can’t wait to see what his future holds. 44112914_1739628296159816_3316813396556382208_o.jpg

Alec Ruble: He’s a work horse. He’s not going out on a play unless he’s forced to. He comes off as quiet then cracks a joke when you aren’t expecting it. He leads by example.46334301_1781748131947832_6362377068381995008_o.jpg

Gabe Goodman: Best kicker in the state. I’m not sure if that is just my opinion because it might actually be true. We don’t call him The Weapon for nothing, having a kicker/punter like him has given the Badgers an advantage. 45494990_1770048933117752_3707106330398425088_o.jpg

Carlos (CJ) Haynie: He has the most charisma of anyone that I’ve ever met. He is the personality of the team, he is loud and funny. He is fun to watch. 46312938_1781757555280223_7826702728653963264_o.jpg

Cannon Turner: He’s the quarterback, he holds for the kicker, he punts some, he plays safety, he plays linebacker and for all I know he fills up water bottles. He is a true role player, he’s going to do what he can do make the team better. Also, he’s a junior. 46457954_1781711005284878_8952798434465677312_o.jpg

Kyren Harrison: He’s quiet but a killer. He’s an incredible athlete and leads by example. He works hard every down and it is kind of scary watching him hit people. I don’t know how they get back up. He leads the team in tackles but he’s got several TD’s too. He’s only a junior too. 44270144_1739614672827845_8584074727599898624_o.jpg

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This pic has at least four of them in it. ^^

There have been one man shows this year and their ships sank. I’m so thankful that we have a true team. Every player, regardless if they are a captain or not, has their role. The Badgers would not be in the State Championship game if they practiced against scrubs every day. They are practicing against guys that one unnamed #1 ranked school only scored 14 points on. Every player is so important. I’m thankful to be a tiny, praying, part of this year’s Badger squad.

 

 

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What I wanted.

Have you ever wanted something that was a definite want and not a need? You just knew you’d love it forever if you could have it? Maybe you online shopped it, maybe even put it in the cart and almost clicked the final button but you just didn’t because it was too expensive or not the right time?

I was like that with Frye boots.

I know, of all the things, right? I need so many other things on the planet, mainly sanity, but I wanted these boots. They are so pretty but not in a frilly way, very real leather that looks so supple and nice.

Well guess what? I GOT A PAIR. Now I know what you’re thinking…how does someone on a coaching and non-profit salary (plus four kids) afford $300 boots? Answer: The Beehive. If you don’t know what the Beehive is, you’re missing out. It’s kind of like Goodwill but with mostly disabled people working there. It’s the best thrift store ever. You can really find some treasures, like Frye boots.

Well I get these boots home, clean them up a little bit, and set them to the side waiting on the perfect day to wear them. It finally cools off enough, I have some denim jeans and I’m ready to rock ’em to the Ross Foundation.

I put these pretty cleaned up boots on…and they feel funny. I look down and they look funny. I take a couple of steps and they even sound funny. They’re heavy and so not my style.

I have been eagerly wanting these dang boots for a couple of years, I got some and I don’t like them. What the what?! But it got me thinking…how many times does God gives us what we want just to show us it’s not what we need? Sometimes what we want is so not our style. God knows what we need and He generously gives it to us. On the other hand I think He gives us things we want sometimes to show us it’s not what we need.

I think some of us want to be rich, or famous, or well-known in whatever profession we are in…but what if that isn’t want we need? What if we got that want and it didn’t fit or wasn’t our style and it ruined us?

I guess I’ll move on from my love of Frye boots and stick with my Tom’s. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, but I like the lesson it taught me.

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so pretty

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 🙂

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.

Life Right Now.

There are times when I wonder about myself. I can see the growth in our family and I can see the growth in me. Several years ago I started doing a “word of the year” instead of New Year’s Resolutions. Growth was one and this year it is More. Since I had a miscarriage in 2015 it has felt like every year has been the hardest year. I’m thankful for my growth from 2015 to where I am now.

That miscarriage sat me down and said, you are not alone. It brought my husband and I closer after we had a huge fight when I actually said the words, “this is harder for me then it is for you!” It was ugly. I realized how small my worldview was. We were both hurting but I was focusing on me. I was able to grow from that moment on. I got pregnant again in that year.

In 2016 we had our baby boy. Then he got sick. Twice. The big sicks where you end up in the NICU or Isolation or PICU. When the NYE bell rang I cried because I was so thankful it was over. My husband helps me more than I realize at the moment…it’s always looking back that I realize how he is more than a husband, he’s my team captain (this works in our sports-centered world) or my partner, or sometimes co-conspirator. Where I just saw the “sicks” he saw the blessings of him being healed. I think as mother’s we see those things, eventually, but in the moment it is so easy to focus on those negatives. 2016 was also a terrible football season, for those that may laugh that that’s important, it’s important when your husband’s livelihood ($$) is dependent on a bunch of teenage boys being focused on a Friday night.  It makes me laugh too. Looking back, it really wasn’t the season or the games or the players…it was the parents. It was a life lesson that I will take with me on how not to act. But those parent’s “graduated” too.

Now 2017 was a different beast. I’ll say that I dealt a little better with the coaches being gone a lot. Maybe I got used to it, maybe my growth helped me. By the way, growth was my word in 2015, ’16 and ’17. I’m a creature of habit I guess. The Badgers did really well, as well as they could really, they won State. The parents were awesome. Our family though, was a little bit different. In November Ben’s older brother was in a plane crash. He tore up his foot bad enough they weren’t sure if it would ever be the same, Ben’s younger brother (who is autistic) had an incident with his heart that landed him in the hospital and then home with a heart monitor but we were able to go out there around Christmas so we could see everyone and it was alright.

2018 word is More. I changed it up…let’s see how it holds. I want to be more this year. More Jesus-filled, more of a wife, more a mother, more of a friend, more of a sister, more of a reader, writer, exerciser, all of it. Right now life seems to be more valley-ish because Ben’s dad was in a car accident that broke his back, we are looking to buy a house (which is not a fun process), we are dealing with family legal stuff, our friends are dealing with legal stuff, people are sick, people have cancer.  But through it all my help comes from The Lord and I am so thankful I have that hope.

My daughter and I have been talking about diamonds a lot lately…how they aren’t pretty when they come out of the earth. It’s not until they have been pressured, refined, torched, sanded and then finally polished are they as beautiful as the stars in the sky and fit to line the walls of Heaven. So we are understanding that to be a diamond you have to go through all those things too.

Summer is over and it’s only July

Do you ever feel like that as a Coach’s wife? Or I guess Coach’s husband…

Dead weeks are almost up, for those not in the sports world, that is the few weeks at the end of June beginning of July where no athletic events can happen. No practice, no working out, no camps. Well those end this week and with that that means our fun little summer break is officially over. I hope we can sneak in some stuff here and there but it stinks knowing that football is back…it will be “fun” football when school starts and you can see the games and the boys growth but right now it just seems like a downer.

We went to Hot Springs to a lake house that our friend’s own. They let us stay there for FREE! It was so beautiful and right on the water, it was amazing. We swam, ate God’s chicken (Chick-fil-A) and went to Magic Springs. It was an amazing few days. That was our summer vacation and I will cherish every memory! Including the scary snake, but I’m not talking about scary snakes today.

This was the view from the upper balcony. IMG_6074[1]

I’m sad our little summer is over but I like how it isn’t crazy yet. It is like we can slowly add the events until school starts…then by then we will ready and firing.

Today is June 21st. It’s the first day of summer, it’s the day my brother in law was born (23 years ago) and it’s a day I’m very proud of my husband. It’s only been 10 months or so since I’ve blogged anything but I figured I’d post this so I can look back on it in another 10 months.

There has been some work drama for him. Coaches coming and coaches leaving, transfers, promotions etc. This is probably normal for most coaches’ families but there actually hasn’t been much change since we have been Badgers. This is our third season and the first two everyone stayed…this year we have had three or four leave. Some have gotten better opportunities at our school and some had the ability to be head coaches in other schools. With all the changes my hubby requested to be transferred to the middle school campus, he teaches History at the high school and wanted to try it on the middle school level.  Several of the coaches that were hired are only certified for 5-8th grades whereas he is that and secondary level. He did that to make himself more marketable to be hired and it is a good idea, but it didn’t work out for him this time. He is still at the high school. I was disappointed because the lady who is Principal at the other campus is so lovely. The lady who would’ve been his department head is who I wanna be when I grow up. The schedule would have been a little more flexible for his coaching duties. But alas, a no.

Now, I am not one to be told no. Luckily this happened to him and not me. BECAUSE he has been so great. He didn’t go down the tank or get angry or get prideful or get snooty. He just knows that The Lord is watching out for him and guiding him. A no for this means a yes for something else. Now isn’t that great? Shouldn’t we all take a page from that book?

In all the change there have been people who have not been happy. It is so easy to look at someone else and see their sin. To see the pride or anger. To see the fit that they are throwing. But we have to remember to be a spiritual contributor, we have to pray for them through this. They are probably hurting more than just because they were told no. There is a lot to every situation and we have to use this opportunity to pray for people when they can’t see past this problem in front of them.

 

Oh to be a man.

This morning my ever loving, fall asleep as fast as lightning, snore louder than Godzilla hubby says, “Man, that baby slept like a rock last night.” Oh really? Surprise to me, considering that HE fed the baby at midnight and again at 2:30. I was up pumping so I saw him do it. We even talked to each other. We didn’t say anything of consequence but I think from now on I am going to do all my big asks then…this big baby of ours is 4.5 months old but really trying to prove himself. He’s almost got holding his bottle down!

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This week school started up and we had some family drama but it was all handled so well. I don’t know how people have a life without God. We have been so blessed. We have felt His presence more in the last week than we have ever before, and He has shown out before! I am so thankful for my family…the ones that live with me and the ones that just pray for me from afar!  I know they probably won’t ever know it, but we truly love them all!

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Here is our best Back-to-School picture!

Hormones. Hello.

I am 19 weeks pregnant. It’s the playoffs. It’s almost Thanksgiving. It’s almost my birthday (again). Oh and did I mention that I am pregnant?

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Our team started of not so great…we ended up losing quite a bit of games this year and that isn’t what any team wants to do…especially after a phenomenal  year last year. But these guys have battled back…they are a completely new team…not just on the field but off the field as well. It just shows the kind of character that they have which I am so thankful for.

We have all of “our” coach’s position players over for dinner on Wednesday nights and we have the best ones on the team. They are all so well mannered and they play with our kids and it is such a joy having them in our home. Well as I said it’s playoffs…which means any game now could be the last one so any week now they won’t be over for dinner…so I am preparing some gifts for our two senior linebackers and I am kind of a mess. I am blaming it on hormones, but it makes me sad to think that these kids won’t be here next year. and the next and the next. No one told me that I would actually LIKE these boys!!

Luckily for us (because my kids love these boys) the two seniors have both signed on to play baseball for our alma mater, Henderson State University! So they will, almost literally, be playing ball in our back yard. So that’ll help my sadness…what a roller coaster being a part of the coach’s family has been this year. I know I will handle it better next year…I won’t be so PREGNANT!

Type A Personality is a Must, but B is Better.

I have noticed that most families of coaches share a Type A personality. Here is the definition of this: (wiki)

Type A individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics“, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.[4]

Everyone is my family has this going on. I wish we didn’t…I really wish that I didn’t. I think this needs to have overly competitive and heartbreakingly hard on themselves added to the list. Everyone in our coaching world have remnants of these qualities…there are a couple who do not go to all the games and can dismiss some of the hateful talk, but that’s rare.

Most of us wives have to take charge. We are the leaders of the family when dad isn’t home…and that is most of the time. Most of us wives also work full time jobs or have projects that are like full time jobs…and not to mention the children. Gosh the children, our group has 13 kids and I also have one more on the way.

My attitude has changed a lot this year…not always for the better but I am trying to get back on track. We used to be a part of the most wonderful small group from our church, but they meet on Sunday nights when the Badger Family Potlucks are going on. My coach has asked that I go to the potlucks instead of small group and I was very bitter about it for a long time. Not only because I was missing time with my friends from church, but I felt a disconnect from God. Like I wasn’t learning and worshipping like I have in the past. I also felt like it was a waste of time to do the potlucks because when we were there “together” he was sitting next to another coach talking about what they have been meeting about all day and spending basically no time with us. So that was tough. My kids love being with the other coaches kids though, and that made it a little easier to get over. I also learned that a place isn’t church and shouldn’t define my relationship with The Lord. Which I didn’t think it did, but I truly felt lonely not being with them. I realized that football season is a relatively short time. That I should be as supportive as I can. And be as thankful as possible that the person I love the most has a job he loves the most. I don’t think there are many people who get to do what they love everyday. He’s getting to impact kids and teach them more than just football. I know as a mother I would want someone like my coach leading my son.

I am learning to be a Type A personality where it matters: my home, our bills, my parenting etc. but trying to fit in some Type B personality traits here and there. Being calm, collected and savoring little moments with joy.