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.

View original post 939 more words

Advertisements

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!

23926476_1369731749816141_6346552120140527688_o14258355_10210600964685617_3055735111706865995_o12080181_10156142734160258_2125472891441657030_o21641163_1311809738941676_3037409683506383561_o12144777_10156109532115384_112298130217627841_n

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.

Thinking backwards.

Last night I was having a deep conversation with my oldest son about love languages and how as a mom I have to parent my kids differently because they feel love differently. If you don’t know about love languages here is a link for more info: Love Languages  As we are talking I had a thought that I have never thought about before. It may be old hat to you, but it was/IS new to me. I know that my love language is Acts of Service but I have only ever thought about it in the positive…my self-realization is: What about the negative?

As I put the kids to bed with prayer I go downstairs and clean the kitchen, make lunches, clean up the living room, finish up any laundry, pick up whatever toy has made its way downstairs, wipe off SOMETHING BECAUSE SOMETHING IS ALWAYS STICKY and then I can finish up my hot tea, shower, eat a nutty buddy, watch Roseanne and go to bed. But all that stuff up there at the top of this paragraph makes me bitter. I don’t want to do any of it. So that’s where the negative of the ‘acts of service’ love language comes in.

Where I feel love when someone is helping me or doing it without me telling them too…I also feel unloved when those things don’t happen. Sure it’s an annoyance that I have to do it (again) all by myself but for some reason I take it as a personal hit. I’m not certain that I like that about myself, actually I’m pretty certain that I don’t like that about myself.

So to negate these feelings I’ve been reading the Bible, doing bible plans and praying. I’ve come to realize that I’m allowing others to have control over my emotions. <–This is a big deal. I’m reacting. Ugh…it’s so unreal that I have to run through these things about once or fifteen times a year.

The thinking backwards was just my way of expressing that it is great to know your love language…it’s also good to know that when that language hasn’t been spoken to you that it can hurt, and that’s okay…but you can’t let it define you or dampen your spirit. Image-1

 

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.

Thoughts from a Coach’s wife after a State Championship.

A few thoughts from our winning weekend:
1. I feel like I’m giving away a state secret but here goes…. This year I never once prayed that God would allow the Badgers to win. I prayed for good health, safe travels (Ben drives one of the buses), confidence and for them always to play ‘their’ best and with integrity. The last three minutes of Saturday’s game I also prayed for supernatural strength….I’ll let you ponder on that one.
2. My brother-in-law Josiah or (Uncle Joe Joe) flew in on Friday night with Ben’s dad Robert. He had just been in North Dakota two weeks earlier because Ben’s older brother had been in a plane crash (he’s doing okay). So he’s been a jet-setter and he did so wonderful Saturday. Joe is better than us because he deals with life a little differently and he is doing just fine.
3. I’m thankful for the head coach we have. I don’t know if, before this weekend, most of the town knew how Godly JR is, but not only is he a man of God he is also well read. One of the things he reads is called the AAA rule book.
4. My husband is the linebackers position coach & special teams coordinator. Need I say more? Those kids are the bizness.
5. Not only did this game bring back old Badgers from ages ago it also brought in new Badger fans…including family we have in California, Texas and North Dakota. I think that is so neat that we had people cheering us on from all over the country. I have a feeling if Randle Thomasson had internet wherever he is in the world he’d have watched it too. Also, Ben’s mom watched the game in the airport in Denver!!
6. I’m thankful for Mark Burnham letting Joe Joe hang out with him Saturday during the game. He didn’t have to do that but that family has been incredibly supportive to our family the last three years.
7. My mom and sister have never been into sports but you know what…they’re super supportive and have been here to help me since the playoffs started. They carried my “side of beef” son all around that stadium and press-box Saturday. I couldn’t have gotten in nearly as many prayers if I was watching him!
8. I’m thankful for Robert Chandler’s coat. I sobbed on that sucker and it absorbed all my tears and makeup.
9. I’m thankful for every text, call or FB message I’ve gotten since Saturday. I literally had no bearing on the game but it’s still cool that people say nice things 🙂
10. We went to church on Sunday and our youth led the worship and I cried like a baby, again. There is something so special about kids worshiping The Lord.
11. I’m thankful for The Carozza’s spaghetti dinners. No cooking for us after church.
12. I’m thankful for Ginger and her family. Bobby Turner was loved, you could tell.
13. I know I’ve said it plenty but this group of Badger kids will always go down as one of the most talented group of players…Well one night earlier in the season I asked the kids what their grades were and how they were doing and one of them sheepishly told me his GPA was the lowest…it was a 3.6 or something crazy. So they have to be one of the smartest too!
14. I’m proud to call Arkadelphia home. The Badger fans really stepped up. I’m sure the attendance level was high but so was the energy. Such an exciting day! #Badgerfam is a thing for a reason.
15. I’m thankful for THE COACHES WIVES! We get our husbands (and the kids get their dad’s) back (for like a week)!
Okay I think I’ve rambled enough. Also, I could probably have a list this long of people we should thank who have supported us this year especially while I had surgery THE WEEK OF PLAYOFFS (whoops)! I also want to thank everyone for words of encouragement when the Badgers hadn’t won the State Championship…sometimes being close to it can be tough, but not as bad when you know you have people in your corner.

Side note: I do these little spiels mainly because my memory is terrible and I like seeing these pop up year after year.

Covered in Grace.

First I would like to say that I am so blessed to be married to Ben. Sometimes I feel like our marriage has been doubly blessed because of all the stuff that we went through early (and even before) in our marriage. Then things like last night happened:

We literally got in a fight over a word.

How does that even happen? I’m still kind of wrapping my head around it, we are fine today of course, no hard feelings. But thinking back on it, how does a couple fight over a word? Well, it is because that word is not a nice word, to me. Yet, it isn’t to him. As much as I don’t like to fight over anything, let alone small things, it was an interesting way to get things out there and allow us to communicate about it. Now he knows where I stand on it and I know why he does what he does.

So my point, it’s okay to fight over words or whatever is ridiculous in your marriage because it can open a line of communication that wasn’t there before. You just have to learn what being angry without sinning means (Ephesians 4:26).

 

My #MeToo

Well let me start with this: I was sexually abused as a child. There I said it or at least wrote it. I’ve only said it a few times and I’m (very) old (feeling).

When this hashtag movement started it gave me, what I would consider, a PTSD kind of feeling. I don’t mean to downplay PTSD and I don’t pretend to “have” it like a Veteran does, but I started having flashbacks to things that I have consciously tried to not think about for about 28 years and I was having physiological responses. My stomach hurt, I was sweating, my head hurt etc. I didn’t and still do not want to talk about it or think about it. This movement kind of sucks, right? Have you seen all of the #MeToo’s? I have.

But let’s get to the point of this post. I had to write about it and I have to talk about it. I have kids. I have to tell them that no one can touch them or hurt them. And if someone did, then they have an open door to tell me about it and that there is no shame. That if something like that ever happened to them it is not their fault. The actions of the aggressor was/were/is plain evil. They know about evil, they see it. I had this talk with my daughter and her eyes welled up with tears thinking about me being a little four year old girl getting hurt, it was sad and it hurt me to have to say it out loud, but now she knows that it can happen but it doesn’t have to be a secret for 28 years and it doesn’t have to happen to her because we talked about keeping ourselves safe.

Back to #Metoo, I don’t know why this one guy in Hollyweird (H.W.) was allowed to hurt so many people. Then again, I never told anyone and I was four. When my kids were four they talked so much I couldn’t get them to stop to eat or sleep….and I kept my little innocent mouth shut. I just recently even told my mom. I think The Lord knew it was time, that I was ready. I am thankful that I am ready, it only took about three decades…some of use mature faster than others.

When I told my mom who it was she knew him. I don’t know his name and I would like to keep it that way. I think I am blessed (in several ways) because he wasn’t a family member, he was a neighbor of my grandma. My mom also told me that he was a “junkie” and that he died a few years ago. Again, I feel like that is a blessing because I have this weird thing with integrity and character I would have needed to confront him and pray with him and then probably kick him. Or worse, let’s be honest. I pray that he didn’t hurt anyone else all those years ago. My mind thinks, maybe he died young wouldn’t that be great…but that just seems wrong too.

So to wrap it up, when you see the #MeToo posts don’t do what I did, don’t dismiss them, think they should’ve named their attacker, or think they’re out for attention. Because if this garners any attention it isn’t the kind that I want. Also, have the talk with your kids, girls and boys. My friend Christa runs a child safety center in my hometown and she has some resources available to have this hard talk with kids (click on talk and it will take you to their site). And if you are like me and started having PTSD-like feelings, it really does help to talk (or write) about it. Now is the time, I think.

metoo-600x338