Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Herriman Mustang Bantam A1 highlights

Love, love, LOVE this highlight reel from Parker's Herriman team this year!  Coach Fife put this together and shared the link and I totally loved every minute of it!
(Thanks, Coach Fife!)
Parker is number 99.  For those of you that aren't familiar with our uniforms, we are sometimes red - aka "cardinal" and sometimes white depending on home or away games but you should be able to determine which by the gold helmets and navy blue pants.
Enjoy!  I know this proud Momma did!  Parker had a GREAT year this year!
Go Mustangs!

Football University (FBU) Team Utah

A month or so ago, Parker got asked to come and "try out" for an "Elite Allstar" football team.  We were just getting ready to go to Mesquite, NV for a football tournament with our awesome Herriman team and just kept putting it off saying "let's get through Mesquite first".  He was contacted by a few different people and asked to come but he kept saying he wasn't sure he wanted to and we just kept putting it off.  The day before we left for Mesquite the Coach of the FBU Utah team talked to Chris and asked him to please at least come to practice that night and "check it out".  Parker agreed but was still a bit "wishy washy".  Well, the cold weather came that night and we were notified that that practice was cancelled.  That was the last I thought about it ... until we were in Mesquite.  After winning our second game in Mesquite, a gentleman came up to Parker and I and asked me if I was his Mom.  I said "Yes" and he asked where his Dad was.  He then proceeded to introduce himself to me as the "FBU Scout" that had been contacting Chris.  He talked to us a little while longer and then told us he was anxious to have Parker come "give the team a try".  Well, when we got home Parker, again, decided that he wanted a bit of a break and decided he would pass on the FBU Team.  Fast forward a few days ... Chris continues to get emails from the Coach so Parker agrees to go to a practice to see what it is like.  That afternoon he comes home from school and tells me that he doesn't want to go (yes, a wishy washy teenager that can't make up his mind).  So .. Mom thinks it is a done deal and it is over.  Little did I know that at 9:30 that night his phone would begin to "blow up" with phone calls and text messages from people asking why he wasn't there and "come on, just come check it out".  Soooo .. we took him up there the next day and Football season was no longer over for the Blake family.
He was able to attend a few practices with the team before loading up on a bus and heading out to Concord, CA to represent the Utah 8th Graders.  They beat Reno in their first round and, despite being the underdog, finished with a win against Sacramento (who was slated 3rd in that regions age bracket).  That means, on to the Regional playoffs for the West next weekend in Sacramento, CA.  We will play Seattle first and then play for the Western region championship.  From there, the winners from the 4 regions meet in San Antonio, TX to play in the Alamodome for the National title. 
It is an awesome opportunity and I am so excited for him to get to be a part of it.  For a team that was together only a few short weeks, I think they rock to be even where they are now.  The tournament started with 48 and we are now in the top 16 playing for a spot in the final four.  Go Team Utah!!!

You can follow the "Road to the Championship" brackets at www.fbunc.com if you are interested.  :)

Team sandwiches for the bus ride
Parker and Karter waiting to go
Loading the gear
Loading the bus

After the win against Sacramento .. on to the Regional playoffs

Lots more "Thankfuls"

Well I should have known better before I ventured out, with good intentions, to do the daily "Thankful" blogs.  I am just not that dedicated to blogging and I get tied up in other things.  With that said, I don't want people to think that I am not Thankful, 'cause I certainly am!
So, here is a long list of other things that I THOUGHT about blogging about daily during the "Thankful" month ...
My Sisters - Tammi and Melinda, my Dad, my Mom, my AWESOME Sons - Parker and Caleb, my adorable little angel daughter Bailey, my Friends, my Husband who does so much for our family, my job, peppermint flavored stuff, sugar cookies, my warm house, my Heavenly Father, my cute Sunbeam class that make me smile, my brain, my strong will, my boys friends, warm baths, cute puppies, soft blankets, technology, advancements in the medical field, people who still believe in "good will", etc, etc, etc.
And last, but not least, to show that I actually DID put some thought into this .. I found some old pictures of my nieces and nephews.  I love them all so much.  When they were younger I was the "cool Aunt" and got to spend quite a bit of time with them but now they are all grown up and have lives and families of their own.  I am grateful to each of them for things that they have taught me and for still allowing their "old Aunt" into their lives.  Three of them also have adorable little ones of their own and are awesome to let us share in that fun!  I love all of them so much!  I think about each and everyone one of them often and worry about them and want the best for them just as much as I do my own kiddos.  I love you Heather, Heidi, April, Autumn, Cole, and Jordin (and of course spouses, too!) as well as the "great" nieces and nephews - Stella, Ryan, and Baylee.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thanksgiving - Day Nine

I am thankful for my job.  Am I thankful for it every day?  Nope.  As a matter of fact there are more and more days lately that I wish I could quit my job and have more time to spend cleaning and decorating my house, being the supportive Mom, loving Wife, and good sister, daughter, and friend.  However, I do realize how very lucky I am just to have a job in this time when so many don't.  I also have a good job that pays me well, teaches me a lot, and provides me with opportunities to learn and grow.  I also have such great co-workers and Superiors that are supportive of me at all times.  Yes, I am thankful for my job.  I guess that explains why I have stayed with it for 25+ years even when I have my "unthankful" days.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thanksgiving - Day Eight

I am thankful for trials.  Trials teach you.  Trials FORCE you to be strong.  Trials make you who you are.  Without the trials I have had in my life, I would not be the person I am today.  I would not have learned the things I have learned.  I would not have been able to serve others through sharing my experiences.  I am thankful for trials to help me remember that there is a greater plan for me and that everything happens for a reason - even though I may not know that reason for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thanksgiving - Day Seven

Thankful for my sweet kitty, "Lily".  For those of you that know me well .. I am NOT a cat person.  I am a dog person.  However, you probably also know that we have a cat.  The reason is a lonnnnnng story that I will have to tell you another time.  However, she HAS grown on me and I love that darn thing.  I work at home and so she and I are pretty much here together all day long every single day.  She follows me around, rubs up on me, sits right next to my laptop while I am working and has to lay right by my side when I lay down to go to bed at night.  What have I done to deserve being the one she loves so much?  I will never know!  But I will say, when I am having a bad day, her sweet little purrs and her snuggling can always make me smile.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thanksgiving - Day Six

I am thankful for a safe neighborhood with close neighbors that look out for and care for others.  I have always said that one thing I love about the community we live in is the fact that everyone looks out for one other.  We know each other's kids and our kids know neighbors well enough that they would always have someone to turn to in case of emergency.  How does the saying go?  "It takes a village to raise a kid"?   I'm glad to have my fellow "villagers" to help me with mine.

Thanksgiving - Day Five

Thankful for texting.  Yep - I know it sounds silly but texting has been a lifesaver in many situations in our family over the last couple of years.
Texting made it easier for my Sister and I to provide/get updates while at Drs appts or Hospitals with my Mom before she passed away.
Texting was one of the main ways my Brother and I communicated during the last months before he passed away.  I was always worried about waking him up if he was resting so I could text him and he would get back to me when he was awake.
With a teenager, texting is NECESSARY to keep track of the kids!!!
And I have even gotten my Dad to text which had been GREAT since he doesn't love talking on the phone because it is hard for him to hear.
So, yes. I am thankful for texting to allow me to communicate with those I love at any time!

Thanksgiving - Day Four

Warm apple cider.
Keeps your insides warm.
Keeps your hands warm.
My favorite drink for cold Football mornings or while out enjoying our favorite Fall or Holiday activities.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Month of Thanksgiving - Day Three

I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my Brother.  You may or may not know that my Brother, Steve, passed away from cancer in February of this year.  A couple of years ago he came to my house to tell me that he had been diagnosed with cancer and that it didn't look good.  He told me he wasn't looking for any help but that he just wanted someone to know "in case something happened" to him.  From that day forward - for 25 months - I was dedicated to making sure that he didn't have to go through any of his sickness alone.  His wife had passed away from cancer 12 years earlier and he didn't have any Children.  He was also what some might consider "antisocial" and kept a very small circle of close friends.  But I was not going to let that be ok.  I was not going to let him be sick and die alone.  I went with him to all of his chemo sessions, I missed only 1 Drs appt, I accompanied him and sat with him through 4 surgeries and the aftercare that was needed.  I learned how to care for his port and remove his needle when he was able to do chemo at home.  I made many midnight runs (as did my Husband) to go pick him up at his house and bring him to ours because he didn't want to be alone.  I made numerous trips to his house just to sit and hang out with him because he didn't want to leave his house but was lonely.  I called insurance companies, made Dr appts, helped him pay bills, went and picked up groceries ...

I am not telling about all of these things to "toot my own horn".  I am sharing these things because I am SO very grateful for the chance to do these things.  During all of those chemo and Dr appts, or the visits or drives to and from those appts or my house I got to talk to my Brother more than I had in the previous 30+ years.  We talked about anything and everything and, to this day, I hear advice he gave me pop into my head on a regular basis.  My Husband got the chance to know him.  He got closer to him than probably some of our more immediate family is.  Even my kids got close to "Uncle Steve".  Those of you that knew Steve will never believe this but I think at times he actually liked having them around.  Caleb would want to lay by him when he was staying with us.  Parker was always checking on him to make sure he was ok.  And Uncle Steve, in his own way, let those boys know that he thought they were "ok". 

I loved my Brother so much.  I always have.  I hear stories all the time about when I was just 1 or 2 years old and he would always take me everywhere with him even though he was a 16 year old boy.  But I have the best memories of him from the time I was able to spend over the last 2 years.  He told me stories about his life, he told me how he felt about things, and he trusted me to take care of him.
For that time, I am so thankful!  And even more thankful that I was able to be with him, holding his hand, when he took his final breath - he wasn't alone.

Blog resurrection

My Dad has mentioned to me a couple of times over the last year that he really misses reading all of the family blog posts.  Several members of our family have blogs and some are better than others about writing more frequently.  I, for one, am HORRIBLE about being consistent.
So, with that known, don't get your hopes up TOO high, but I am going to try to resurrect this blog of ours and provide an update on our little family here and there. 

Make your day happy

During my last trip to Jamaica, I was sitting outside the hotel waiting for my ride just "people watching" like I so often do.  I was watching the bellmen, the lobby staff, the "room service deliverers", etc.  They are always so happy with a smile on their face.  They greet everyone with a cheery "Good Morning" and are there to respond to the resort guests every need.  But this isn't what I was thinking about that morning.  I mean, I know this is just a part of their job.  What I was thinking of was that I am sure they wake up some mornings not feeling "cheery".  I am sure they have times when the "high maintenance" resort guests really annoy them.  And I am CERTAIN that they get sick of answering the same questions over and over and over again.  But ... they still come to work every morning with a smile on their face and cheerful words for everyone. 
This made me think .. if I was FORCED to do this every day, how would my days be different?  I am pretty sure if I was always positive, making someone else happy, I would probably feel much better than I feel on those days that I feel like nothing I do is right. 
I am not a super negative person and, Thanks to my Parents great example, I USUALLY try to make others happy by giving compliments, smiling at someone, or thanking them for a job well done.  But there are always those days that I would rather just sit by myself and not "deal" with anyone else.  Those people at my hotel in Jamaica ... they don't have that option.  Their job requires that they "deal" with people and they do it with a smile whether they want to or not. 
I am going to try my hardest to do this .. just to see if making someone elses day can make my own day better, too.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Month of Thanksgiving - Day Two

I am thankful for my home.  Our house may not be the biggest.  Our house may not be the fanciest.  Our house is DEFINATELY not the most spotless.  Our house may not be the best decorated.  But our house is a home.  I heard many times growing up that there was a difference between a house and a home.  I understood the concept but now that I have a family of my own, I realize even more how important it is that my house is a home.  My kids are comfortable here.  Their friends are comfortable here.  Maybe we don't have fancy things but we are happy here and people know they are always welcome.
I am thankful for my home.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Month of Thanksgiving - Day One

I tried this last year and only made it like 6 or 7 days in.  I am going to try to do better this year. 
I will try to share one thing that I am thankful for each day this month.

DAY ONE:  A football family.  Ever since the first year Parker played football I have understood what people mean when they reference their "football family".  When you spend that much time dedicated to a sport/team you really get to know not just the other kids on the team but their families as well.  We have been so lucky to have great football families!  We have been able to play with several of the same kids/families on many teams but have had a few changes over the years.  Our very first year of football was when I was pregnant with Bailey, Bailey was born, and Bailey passed away.  Our football family rallied around us and almost every single family from that team came to her viewing.  My most vivid memory of that night, to this day, is of Parker and 4 of his team members standing around the casket looking at Parker's beautiful little sister while he showed them her tiny little hands and feet.  His Head Coach was the first to get there that night and one of the last to leave.  And, as I mentioned before, almost every single family came at some point during the night.  I never would have expected that as it is somewhat hard for an 8 year old boy to understand - but they all came to show their support.  It wasn't just attending the viewing, the Coaches were so great to help that 8 year old boy struggle through the emotions that he wasn't understanding for the rest of the season.  There were times that I was scared of him taking his anger out on other players but those Coaches helped him channel that and taught him the right way to use that aggression.  I could go on and on about that first "Football family".  We continued to have great families as Parker progressed onto other Teams.  Another Coach that I will be forever grateful to is Mick Tryon.  He was the Coach of our Indoor team for a few years and he taught Parker so much about not just football but about life and how to be a good person.  That's another thing that is so great about having a "Football Family" - you are all working together to teach kids how to be good people, good citizens, and to work together as a team.  It's about respect and trust for each other.  There are so many families that I could list that have influenced our lives and probably don't even know it.  Again - thankful for all of our "Football families"!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Caleb's "tact"

I have talked to many of my close friends and family about this before but thought I would document here, as well.  Caleb has always been very open and "matter of fact" when it comes to talking about hard things.  With all of the many situations we have dealt with in our family, Chris and I have always felt it is best to be open and honest with our kids.  This is probably a big part of the reason for Caleb's "openness".  On the other hand, he is too young to understand that sometimes certain things make others uncomfortable so, while things aren't bad to talk about, sometimes you SHOULD "filter".
We have had many, many of these situations, but here is the most recent.

Yesterday Caleb had some outpatient surgery on his foot.  While the Nurse is there prepping him she is trying to make him feel comfortable by carrying on a conversation.  Eventually comes the question that always makes Chris and I cringe when asked of Caleb.
Nurse: "Do you have any Brothers and Sisters?"
Caleb: (Silence as he is trying to decide if he should "filter".)
Me:  "He has a big Brother."
Nurse: "Oh ... No girls huh?"
Caleb: "We had one."
Nurse: (Looks at me with a confused look on her face.)
Caleb: "My Sister died."

Then we end up having to go through the normal reassurance that its ok she asked, it doesn't make us sad to talk about her, how old was she, how did she die, etc.
You would think we were out of the woods then, right?  Nope!  Not with Caleb.

Nurse: "You are so brave.  I bet your Brother wouldn't be this brave.  Is he staying with Grandma while you are here this morning?"
Caleb: "Nope.  My Grandma passed away."  (Yes, the 6 yr old says "passed away".)
Nurse:  (Silent pause.). "Crap.  I'm not asking anymore questions."

Lets just say it just kept going.
On one hand I am glad that our family is ok to talk about things.  On the other hand, I sometimes worry that Caleb is somewhat calloused towards death.  I guess that could happen when you are 6 and have attended 5 funerals of people close to you - 3 of them in the past 3 months.  Not to mention the fact that he watched the care and decline of both his Grandma and Uncle first hand.
I guess, in a sense, death seems like a normal every day occurrence to him.  Good or bad?  I don't know.  :/

Bless his sweet little heart.  I love him to pieces!