The Waiting Game

Okay, confession time. I’m the worst person in the world at being patient. I swear, when patience was being handed out, I got bored in line, got distracted and wandered off because I have zero. I’ve known wives who have handled the off season chaos with a smile, a laugh, totally calm as they waited to know which corner of the country they were moving to, packed a house, kids, various animals and set off without even a hint of sweat on their brow. Every hair in place, makeup unblemished, with no signs of stress. Theeeeeen you have me. So why are we waiting, you may ask? Welp, because hubby just might be back in the saddle!!! 🙂 He interviewed Friday for a head coaching position with a local high school that, to be honest, is the hot mess express at the moment. But it’s nothing a good culture change, some hard work, tough love and creative engineering can’t fix. The problem with this scenario, at least for me, is that it’s Tuesday. And we don’t know anything. TUESDAY, PEOPLE!!! Didn’t the hiring committee spend their entire weekend agonizing over this? Didn’t they lose sleep wondering what defense he would run or why the last coach used his quarterback as his starting safety? (Yes, that’s a real thing, apparently and yes, this is 11 man). No, of course they didn’t, because they have a life and aren’t crazy people. I, on the other hand, am not as chill about this process. I spent Friday night listening as my Coach relived every question and potential scenario they asked him about, Saturday mentally making a list of fundraisers that are must-do’s and Sunday trying to remember where every coach we had ever coached with had ended up in the event the staff needs an overhaul. Yesterday was jumping every time he called me during the day and finally resigning myself, at about 11:30 last night, that no decision would come that day. Today has been much the same, except I also snooped out a few Facebook pages, hoping to see some hint or announcement about a press conference, or timeline for a decision. Nada. Since I’m also not above snooping at the other candidate’s Facebook pages, I did that too. Again, nothing.

So, here I sit. Trying to focus on work, trying to remind myself that things will happen how and when they’re supposed to and it’s completely and totally out of my hands. The best person will, hopefully, get the job and if they determine that it’s not my guy, well, then onto the next. That’s another thing I don’t handle well is him being rejected, but that’s another post for another time! I know I’m going about this all the wrong way. Really I do. I know I should be hoping that the person who can motivate, inspire and get the most out of the kids gets the job. I just think, selfishly of course, that my husband is that person. I see his passion, his commitment and his love for the game and a bunch of kids he hasn’t even met yet. I don’t understand how they can’t see what I see! But, there’s the downside of being his wife; they DON’T always see what I see. Or maybe they do but it’s not the right fit this time. Or the program needs someone else. I HAVE to remind myself that these are NOT negatives but instead, a message telling us to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, my lack of patience often works against me and with every hour that creeps by (seriously, how is it ONLY TUESDAY?!), I go through every imaginable scenario in my mind, no matter how ridiculous they are. And of course, my husband acts super chill. Drives me nuts. 😉 I know he’s anxious too but he also knows what a basket case he married so he stays calm enough for the both of us! Until a decision is made, I know there’s not much I can do. Except be impatient. And I’m SUPER good at that!

Update!

So, okay…I had really good intentions of keeping this thing going after the move. Then, life happened. A layoff (me), a new job with insane hours, tons of travel and 6 months of misery (me) a random heart surgery (hubby) and another new job (again, me) have led us here. We’ve been in our new home in Iowa for just over 9 months now and it feel like 9 weeks. Time has absolutely flown! We’ve had some challenges, like the undiagnosed and potentially very fatal heart condition my husband was unknowingly walking around with, but for the most part, it’s been amazing. (Hubby is fine, by the way! Outpatient procedure and a few days at home and he is good as new!!) We’ve had dinner together almost every night, we’ve been to baseball games, hockey games and football games as a family. We road trip for sports, our oldest daughter discovered and fell in love with soapbox derby racing and it’s just all around been a wonderful new chapter for us.

But. There’s always that but. We miss it. As our friends have transitioned this off season and found new opportunities around the country, we have sat back and looked deeply at the last year. There is no doubt that we were put on this earth to influence and lead, my husband especially. He is a coach, 100%. So, knowing that, we’re hoping to find the next adventure. He is talking with some folks and looking at some opportunities at some local high schools. As much as he didn’t want to go to a high school, he absolutely loves all the extra time he’s had with our girls, and college simply doesn’t allow much for family time, especially during season. So, we’re talking and thinking and praying. We’re letting things happen as they need to and not rushing anything. But we’re all excited to get back at it. To say we miss the coaching life is a massive understatement. So, until things sort themselves out, we’re living a nice, quiet, amazing existence in Iowa.

Good luck in the upcoming spring season to all my sisters! May your weather be warm and your injury list short!

The Times, They Are A’Changin’!!

So if you’ve followed this blog at all (and you probably haven’t) I’ve written about change and transition A LOT. It’s a huge part of the whole coaching lifestyle. Well, that call finally came for us. But not in any way close to how I imagined it coming. A couple of months ago, in the midst of what I can describe only as smack dab in the middle of the darkest period in my adult life, I was shuttling our 2 girls to a gymnastics meet 5 hours away, solo. I was solo because our family had suffered the unimaginable loss of my husband’s 27 year old cousin, suddenly and without much warning. While we were reeling, the competitive gymnastics season trucked on and so did we. He stayed behind for the service and visitation and the girls and I tearfully and reluctantly left town.

I wasn’t 2 hours away when he called with news that we had been waiting for….we had a new opportunity. And not a coaching opportunity either. Something that would keep him not only in the same state, but the same town! All the time! And he wouldn’t have to travel, save for a weekend here, a week or so there, maybe 3 times a year. No more late nights at the office, no more juggling soccer and gymnastics with recruiting trips, pregame meals and last minute emergencies at the field. No more missing entire weekends of activities because the team is in another country.

No more tailgating…no more wives outings…no more sisterhood…no more bear hugs from linemen who are dripping in sweat and bleeding from some unseen gash in their heads but don’t feel a thing…no more hearing, “Hi mama!” from 80 boys on a daily basis…with one decision, everything we’ve ever known as a family was turned on it’s head. At first I wanted so badly to tell him to say no. We made it through this long, we can make it work again. Then I thought of the 6 children under the age of 13 whose fathers or mothers I have buried in the last 6 months and I instantly knew what we had to do. So The Decision was made, he accepted, we hung up the clipboard and whistle and we’re in the mad dash of moving.

I’ve written a ton of blogs about purging, organizing, getting your ish in check for a move. Guess what? I didn’t listen to a damn thing I wrote. Not. A. Thing. 7 trips to the dump, countless garbage bags and many, MANY late nights later, my house is getting there. We have a showing on Thursday and don’t EVEN get me started about how much THAT stresses me out, so I’m down to crunch time. Laundry has been done, down to the last sock, the only rooms I have left that need some serious work are the kitchen and my youngest daughter’s room. Both of which are small and pretty easy. Then I just need to run a quick vacuum and broom over things and breathe. Riiiiight.

In the meantime, we have nowhere to live in our new town (which is 400 miles and 6 hours away), I don’t have a job yet and my husband leaves in exactly 13 days. No big. I always told myself our first move was going to be so exciting and an adventure and the best times in our lives. HA! Have I MET me?! Have I seen how insane I get when things are out of my control? I’m funny.

The last wrinkle of all of this is the good byes. Last night I saw the staff and wives for the first time since we made The Decision. It was easier than I thought it would be, but coaches wives are a special group. We (yes, I still consider myself a coaches wife even though technically I’m not one anymore) are used to transition and moves. We know goodbye is inevitable and it’s part of the game. So there were hugs and “I’ll miss you’s” and “we’ll have dinner before you go!” This week I’m meeting with another group of ladies who I’ve grown close to over the years and next week I put on my last seminar here.

While the good byes are hard, I’m so excited for the next chapter. Being able to have time as a family has been an amazing experience and while I wouldn’t trade the last 6 years of our lives for anything on this Earth, I can’t wait to go to a college game this fall, as a family. ❤

Booyah

If you are a sports fan who grew up watching or listening to sports, you’ve no doubt had a broadcaster or play by play announcer who impacted how you hear and see sports today. Vin Scully. Harry Carey. Pat Summerall and John Madden. Howard Cosel. Bob Uecker. Bob Costas, sometimes with Bob Uecker and Howard Cosel. For me, one of those iconic voices was Stuart Scott. He started at SportsCenter in 1993 when I was a kid living on a sports island in our little state. Situated in the upper midwest, we got the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Nebraska Cornhuskers games. As I got older and our cable provider expanded, we also got TBS and WGN so we also got to see most of the Braves and Cubs games. When the Colorado Rockies expanded into the MLB, we got them too. NBA games were on sporadically. NFL was on Mondays and Sundays. Saturday was the Huskers and Notre Dame and on occasion, one or two other games. I don’t think I saw a hockey game until I was in junior high school. There was no Sunday Ticket, no Center Ice. National TV deals were a decade away. I had never even heard of the Internet and if I was talking to my friend on the phone, I had to step around the corner becuase our phones still had cords on them. If you wanted to know what was happening outside of our regional sports bubble, SportsCenter was the only way to know. Every night, after the Twins were over, my dad would flip to SportsCenter and we would catch up on how the rest of the world was going. And it was good television. There was Rich and Stuart and Keith and Dan. And they did it all, from sideline interviews to studio segments and anything in between. At the young age I was, I didn’t appreciate what a trailblazing moment I was witnessing; a young black man sitting among the white men. What I did know was he made me laugh. You had to pay attention to Stuart Scott because he would throw one liners out at rapid fire pace and leave you laughing so hard you might miss the next play. And there were no DVR’s so if you missed something you wanted to see, you had to sit through the next hour in order to catch it. And that was fine, because Rich Eisen and Stuart Scott together was pure television gold.

Over the years, Stuart Scott interviewed the who’s who of the sporting world, from Tiger Woods to Michael Jordan to his annual tradition of presenting the NBA Championship trophy at the end of the NBA Finals. Some of the most iconic interviews in sports history were done with Stuart Scott sitting across the table. As quick witted as he was on the set of SportsCenter, he was equally as kind and compassionate when dealing with the tricky issues of the day. To that end, his kindness and compassion always felt genuine. He was one of those guys you could see hanging out in a backyard, beer in hand, listening as intently to a friend as he did to Tiger Woods and you never doubted that image. When he gave his instantly iconic and legendary speech at the 2014 ESPY awards after being presented the Jimmy V Award, his speech solidified that image in my mind. He almost didn’t make the trip to accept the award and when he stood, I was shocked at how frail and thin he looked. As he approached the stage, I remember hoping that his smooth voice didn’t sound as weak as he looked. How selfish of me, this courageous man who literally used every ounce of strength he had for those 10 minutes and it was I who was worried about it not sounding right. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, my friends. Any fear I had was dashed the moment he opened his mouth. The words he spoke are going to live on, much like the words of the awards namesake, Coach Jimmy Valvano. That speech will remain a part of sports history forever, long after the memorials are over, after the tears are wiped away and yes, as his memory begins to fade. If you haven’t seen the speech, it’s everywhere on YouTube right now. And you owe it to yourself, even if this is the first you’ve ever heard of Stuart Scott, you owe it to yourself to watch it. The honesty and genuineness with which he speaks, the way he refers to his young daughters and the way he conducted himself, presumably in the face of death, is a testament to how he truly loved life. Hearing the news Sunday morning was like finding out I had lost an old friend.

Maybe this eulogy of someone I’ve never met is a little on the creeper side. I get it. I struggled with whether I should write this entry or not. But in a way, I grew up with Stuart Scott. He’s part of some of my favorite sports memories over the years. And some of my favorite childhood memories, sprawled out on the floor with my dad, peppering him with sports questions until bedtime. And, if we missed one of those famous one liners, sometimes well AFTER bedtime! Perhaps I’m hypersensitive to this because it comes on the heels of losing my brother in law just 2 weeks ago, ironically at almost the exact same age of Stuart Scott, at 48. He too leaves young children along with 2 grandchildren. He was one of the people in this world to whom I was closest and his death has hit me hard. So, I can’t explain why I chose to write this. I know this much: Life is bigger than sports. Nobody personified that better than Stuart Scott. I will miss his voice, his wit and his ability to make me laugh. He was as cool as the other side of the pillow.

On The Road Again…..

Hello, Friday!! Let me tell you, today couldn’t have come at a better time, it has been a LONG week! This week’s pondering is about road trips. Not the kind from college where you loaded 5 people into a compact class car on a whim and drove all night until got to wherever you decided to go. Not the kind where you and your spouse pack up the car, leave the kids at grandma’s and spend a weekend alone together with no cell service (how amazing does THAT sound though?!). I’m talking about ROAD TRIPS. What’s the difference between road trips and ROAD TRIPS you may ask? Well, let me give you an example.

My hubby, the Coach, and his band of merry men (otherwise known as the football team) have been road warriors in October. Now, I realize that it’s only the 17th and October is really only half over, but stay with me. Counting this weekend’s adventure, our football players and coaching staff will have spent about 14 hours on planes, 66 hours on busses and traveled about 5,600 miles. Before the month of October comes to a close, they will travel ANOTHER 1875 miles and spend ANOTHER 30 or so hours on a bus. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 14 hours by plane, 96 hours by bus and 7,475 total miles. I don’t care how you break it down, that’s A LOT of miles. They will have traveled through South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Washington and into Canada. Later this month they will go back through Wyoming, Colorado and into Utah. That’s after another trip at the end of September where they traveled 26 hours round trip and traveled around 1600 or so miles through South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. 10 states and 2 countries all in about 6 weeks.

I know what you’re thinking; football teams travel all the time. This is nothing new and besides, it’s not like they didn’t know what they were signing up for. And I would agree with you! For the most part. This is travel at an unprecedented level. At the beginning of October, they went to Northern California. It was 30 hours, one way. On a bus. Because the cost to fly was NOT in the budget. They left on Thursday and got back at 3:00 am Monday morning. That’s significant for a lot of reasons. The most obvious of which is the players missed 2 full days of classes and then had to operate on only a couple of hours sleep. I know that’s not unusual for kids of that age, but have you ever tried to sleep on a bus? Yeah, no bueno. The second reason getting home in the middle of the night is significant is the coaching staff missed an entire day of work. Sundays are a full day of film, game planning, meetings, etc. You can’t do a lot of that on a bus nor do you want to. When you’re having the kind of year like we are (not a fantastic one), it just adds to everyone’s stress. To add yet another wrinkle to this already bizarre season, there is no bye week in our schedule. I’ve never considered them before, but now I see how critical a bye week is to a team. It’s time for players to heal up, get some treatment on their injuries, take a few days off to catch up on school work or sleep and just decompress and get ready for the rest of the season. For coaches, it’s much needed family time. I didn’t realize how important that was until this season. My husband brought me flowers yesterday for no reason at all and I absolutely lost it. I knew this season had me stressed, but I had no idea HOW stressed until I burst into tears over grocery store flowers. 🙂

Finally, and this is sort of selfish of me, we just flat out miss my husband! My girls don’t see dad much anyway during the season. He’ll walk them to school whenever he can and that might be the only time they get with him for that day. If he gets home “early” (early is defined in coaching as before 8:00 pm), we try and get ice cream or make dinner as a family in between soccer practice, games and gymnastics practice. We get our Friday night date nights at high school games (I blogged about that a few weeks ago, here) but we don’t get any just us time. We usually catch up on sports highlights and talk about our days whenever he gets home, which I wouldn’t trade for the world, but our time together is almost non-existent, especially this season.

For now, the dog and I will enjoy having the entire bed to ourselves and I will enjoy falling asleep to my true crime shows instead of SportsCenter. I will treasure not getting up to an alarm on Saturday morning and being home to watch college football all day instead of racing from game to practice to game to dinner, but we will miss him. And yes, in a few short weeks I will probably be writing about how much I miss all of this madness and how my husband is annoying me and I can’t wait for the next recruiting trip! But today, in this moment, I’m ready for a slow down.

Have a safe, happy weekend all!

The Internet’s Best Time Waster

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a hard time giving up old school ways of doing things. If I’m looking for something in a specific size, I write the size down and stick it in my purse. I have a perfectly good cell phone, with a handy notepad where I could store all of this important information, such as the size of filter my furnace requires, but instead I jot it down on my hand, an envelope or a scrap piece of paper as we hustle out the door to the hardware store. I have it handy for that particular trip but inevitably, I need it on an impromptu trip 2 months later and by then I’ll have long since thrown the scrap of paper away so I’ll stand in the aisle staring at the various filter sizes and brands, racking my brain to try and recall what size I bought previously.

I do the same thing with magazines. If I find a recipe I like, I cut it out. I still own a recipe box that’s brimming with magazine pages, index cards and recipes written in my grandmother’s shorthand that I’ll never throw away no matter how old and worn those cards get. But here’s why my system is probably bizarre; I’m on the cusp of being considered a Millennial; a GenY’er. I’m 31 years old. I was the first generation to be almost completely raised utilizing technology. We had computer class from kindergarten on, we played Oregon Trail and died of dysentery, we knew the Dewey Decimal System but had an electronic catalog as well. We learned how to keyboard but still had to wait until our mom was done on the phone to use the Internet. I’m convinced my generation is probably the most well-rounded because we actually had to learn how to use a map but we’re also proficient in Mapquest.

As much as I have been led to technology, I’m slow to embrace it. I didn’t jump on the tablet train until this year. I got my first smartphone in 2010, which isn’t THAT far behind, but it was a BlackBerry and I’m still carrying around an iPhone4. Not a 4s, just a 4. At work, I’m very well versed on the latest technology and I’m good enough that I teach it to my peers. I spend hours learning and understanding the newest ways to do things. By the end of the day, I could care less what’s happening on snapchat! Plus there’s the tiny matter of me being quite competitive and a perfectionist. Words With Friends ended badly when I realized my friends are FAR smarter than I am and I’ve never even tried Candy Crush because I could see how that was going to end!! So maybe that’s why it took me so long to jump on the Pinterest train. I opened a Pinterest account years ago when I had a home based jewelry that was promising some great things and cool ideas to market your business using the app. The company never followed through and I let the Pinterest account sit mostly dormant. Until last week. While perusing Facebook, I saw something that someone had posted and I clicked on it. It took my to my Pinterest page, which I had all but forgotten about. I started goofing around, playing with other people’s boards, looking at how things were organized and it hit me….OH MY GOSH, PINTEREST IS LIKE A GIGANTIC, ELECTRONIC RECIPE BOX/MAGAZINE/IDEA BINDER!!

It got ugly from there, folks. Luckily, my phone doesn’t have enough storage on it to update to the iOS 7 version so I can’t download the app (my tablet however is another matter…..) which gives me some built in restraint. I’m hoping by the time I’m due for an upgrade in December, some of this has worn off! Seriously, why did I not do this sooner?! I have weeks worth of dinner ideas, dessert ideas, I have Thanksgiving dinner all but planned, I have so many DIY Christmas ideas my head is spinning…..it’s like every amazing magazine I’ve ever read has puked all over this website!! My friends have been laughing at me for days, telling me that I’m going to regret ever logging in because I’ll need a 12 step program to quit it. I laughed back at them until I looked at the clock Friday night and it was almost 1:00 am…..oops!

I finally had to admit that I have been bitten by the bug. The Internet Time Waste bug. It comes in many forms from Candy Crush to Facebook to Pinterest and I’ve more or less been able to avoid it until now. I don’t think I need to find a 12 step program yet. Yet. I do know that I’m debating between a wood pallet Christmas tree and a very cool idea where you tape a tree outline to a wall and hang your greeting cards like ornaments. Hmm….maybe I should keep that 12 step idea handy! 😉

Family Politics and Football

 

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Most coaching families get a pass on family politics on account of they don’t live near family. Don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY of politics within the team family and the coaching family, but if you’ve ever navigated family politics, those are the absolute worst. While the Coach and I are SO blessed to be able to coach in our hometown, it has it’s occasional downsides. One of them is the proximity to family drama.

Recently, we had a family member who had a health crisis. A fairly severe one at that, but they were moved to a much better medical facility several hours away and had wonderful doctors. This person also has a spouse, several adult children and a teenager at home. The spouse, who is my sibling, was understandably worried and upset during this ordeal. They have some other job change things and some family issues of their own in this mess, so the stress levels were quite high. Last week, my in-law had surgery and our niece gave birth to a little boy. I was texting my sibling getting updates on how the surgery was going and mentioned the latest news I had on the baby. BAM. Never heard from them again. Now my updates are coming from Facebook, texts and calls are going unanswered and my dad hasn’t even heard from them. Today, there was a Facebook post letting everyone know they’re home and that this experience has shown them “who their true friends and family members are.” Well then.

Here is where my snarky ecard comes in. In a 1:30 am phone call from my sibling, it was suggested but not outright asked that I should travel to where they live, about 7 hours away, and care for the house, help get it ready to sell and make sure the teenager got to school. When I didn’t take the bait, things got testy. I finally explained that I can’t just pack up, leave for 2 weeks and expect that things will be normal in my world. My husband works, no joke here, over 100 hours a week. He goes in for practice twice a week at 5:00 am and most nights, only comes home long enough to see our girls off to bed before he goes back to finalize the next day’s practice scripts. How is he supposed to manage that, get our children off to school, soccer, gymnastics and all the other things that occur during a day? It’s simply not fair and completely unreasonable to ask him to shoulder that load. Likewise, I couldn’t take my children out of school for 2 weeks, have them fall behind and miss their activities. And then there’s the tiny matter of my job and the fact that my boss and his wife are due any second with their first child. Couple my perceived uncaring attitude about their situation and the faux pas of updating the baby news last week, and I’m sure that’s why nobody has heard from them, save for a few Facebook updates. I could go on and on about why this frustrates me, but I think you get the hint. I hope you can also pick up the sarcasm in some of this. 😉

So, friends, if you find yourself in the family drama situation, take a deep breath. Understand that most people, even family, don’t/can’t understand what we do week in and week out. Don’t take it personally if they get offended because girls’ weekends and fall weddings take a backseat to tailgates and soccer games. It’s part of life. Prioritizing family events (even if it’s not blood family) over the other stuff doesn’t make you a bad friend, it makes you a good wife and parent. And, at the end of the day, you can only do so much before you’re a raving crazy lady who is so stressed and overwhelmed that you give yourself a breakdown. Take it from me, that is NOT a fun place to be! This weekend, take a minute, smell the fall air, take walk, kick around some leaves and just enjoy what God has given you. Have a blessed weekend, all!!

PS, that last paragraph was as much a pep talk for me as it was for y’all! 😉