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. ❤

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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!

It’s That Time…..

It’s almost here, folks!! SPRING!! With it means flowers blooming, trees budding, sun, warm weather and, of course SPRING BALL!! Whether it’s Spring Training in baseball or your local college team knocking off some mothballs after a long (for some of us, it’s felt REALLY long) winter, we are officially in countdown mode!! With spring comes something else in college football family land….moving. Coaches are nomadic by profession and, by extension, so are their families. We lost a fabulous coach this offseason to a much larger, much more recognized school. His wife is here until the summer and then she too is on her way to bigger and better things. While I will miss them immensely, it got me thinking. This is scary. My husband and I don’t have a traditional relationship. I met him AFTER he began coaching. I owned my own home and we’ve been fortunate to be in one place for quite some time. Despite being let go when our former head coach retired, he was quickly picked up by the new staff and retained so moving has not been an issue for us yet. That brings me to the point of this blog:

HOLY CRAP, WE HAVE STUFF!!

If you’ve lived in one place for more than 5 minutes and have kids, you probably have stuff too. Lots and lots of stuff. I was looking around recently and realized I need to do some serious spring cleaning. We still have crib sets from my daughters when they were babies. They are now 6 and almost 9. Pretty sure I don’t need those anymore….why I’ve held onto them so long is a mystery but one thing I know is that they can’t stay any longer. No, we’re not moving (I don’t think) but when we do, I will most likely be flying solo. Do I want to pack up 9 years’ worth of clutter, art projects, old blankets and the hodgepodge of dishes we own? Nope. Sure don’t. As I was pondering this fact, a friend of mine posted a link to her Facebook that seemingly answered a lot of my questions. It’s called the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge and it looks easy enough, even for someone as busy as I am. The premise is, you pick one spot per day for 40 days and de-clutter it. It can be a drawer, a shelf, an entire room, your freezer, the pantry, whatever you want. And it can be any size bag from a grocery store plastic bag to a heavy-duty contractor’s bag. There is no set rule as to what you have to do with the stuff as long as it leaves your house. I know exactly where I’m going to start. I’ve been sorting clothes and old toys for an upcoming consignment sale and as of now, they’re kind of tossed into a corner. I have a perfectly good Rubbermaid container that’s currently empty but I haven’t taken the time to sort the items into it. I now have a project for tonight! The blog I’m going to link to even has a daily checklist to keep you on track and a Facebook “support group” to join. I know I’m in and hopefully by the time our Spring game rolls around, my house will no longer be the main source of stress in my world! Here is the blog. Happy de-cluttering!!

http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/40-bags-in-40-days-2014/