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 🙂

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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.

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.

Present.

“The more I obsess over social media the more I care about me…”-Craig Groeschel (lifechurch.tv sermon on compassion titled #struggles: Part 4)

Did you read that quote? When you read it again it starts to make more sense. He (and their group of pastors) were doing a series on the different struggles people face now in our “selfie-centered world” that people didn’t have to deal with a few years ago. One thing is a lack of authenticity. I think we all know someone (or we are that someone) that posts a lot of bologna on facebook or instagram. And I don’t mean actually bologna but we all know their life isn’t THAT great.

Two other components to the series was about a lack of compassion and then dealing with relationships. If you have time you really should watch all the sermons in this series. I say that because you are on the internet and you are reading a blog that you probably just stumbled on by a small town crazy lady who can only articulate about 4% of her thoughts.

What I took away from the compassion and relationship sermons was that you can’t just be someones friend because you comment on every picture or like every status. Relationships, whether marriage or friends, take work. About 99% of the “work” is just being present (and that accounts for the title of this blog.) When you are with your significant person be there for them. Don’t say that you are going to be there and not show up…or worse show up and then spend the entire time on your cell phone. It’s hard to be a friend but they are invaluable. I cannot count the times that friendships have just drug me through the roughest patches in my life. Sometimes they even drug me through them by my hair, but I will be forever thankful.

If you are married there cannot be a 50/50 attitude. It’ll never work. One person will never live up to the expectations of the other person. There has to be an ALL OR NONE philosophy. But really ALL not the NONE. You have to be completely open, honest and actually communicate. So put the phone, lap-top or tablet down and talk. And not what you saw on facebook that day. Gosh. If you do that then you are missing the point! 🙂

This is how Pastor Craig finished up the quote from above:

…”The more I get close to Jesus the less I care about myself and strangely the more I care about other people.”

Flu away. (Aren’t I punny?)

I had the flu. HAD the FLU. I think it went away. All the literature says to wait 24 hours after your fever goes away before you go back to work/school. Well, I never had fever (that I know of) and I realize that I was very fortunate because I didn’t have it as bad as some people. I bet God knew that I couldn’t handle anything more than what I had. I cried about six times because of stupid reasons…let me give you a couple of examples:

  1. I cried because my house wasn’t clean. My poor husband, who isn’t a tidy person, had been waiting on me hand and foot but didn’t pick up after himself or my toddler…which if you know anything about the husband/toddler combo you know they aren’t clean…and the realization that just walking to the kitchen was exhausting and I literally could not clean my house made me cry.
  2. I cried because I thought I would lose my job. Now, you would think that I work for a place that requires doctors notes and hand written excuses from the pope to get out of work. I don’t. I actually work for very generous and loving people. One person told me to take the whole week off because he didn’t want me to spread the virus. He LITERALLY screamed when he saw me today. So I cried yesterday but getting a man to scream at my presence made me laugh today. BTW, it’s Tuesday. I only missed two hours on Friday and all day Monday.

I hope that my kids don’t get it. I hope YOUR kids don’t get it. My friend, who screamed at me, has a daughter who is a teacher and she had 12 of her 22 students out with the flu at a given point last week. So, let’s pray for our teachers. For of the many, many things they have to put up with, illness shouldn’t be at the top of the list.