Monday, February 28, 2011

Faith's First OACS Tournament

This past weekend I went with my mom to my sister's first overnight basketball tournament. It was a two day tournament for the boys and girls and it was about 1 1/2 hours away. Faith was very excited to go, even though she knew she probably wouldn't get to play much being the youngest. But, she had a good attitude and I was excited for her to get to experience some of the same things that have created some of my most precious memories.

I'll never forget all of the volleyball tournaments that I attended from 8th to 12th grade. It was always so exciting to go away from home with your friends, stay overnight in a HOTEL, and play volleyball! I loved every minute of it! There were late night card games in the hotel lounge and plenty of hotel hallway tag. There was lots of late night snacks and giggling, and a refreshing take on team spirit and getting to know the girls you played every game with on a deeper level. Some of my most favorite memories happened while we were at tournament, and so I totally understood the excitement and anticipation the girls were feeling.

The girls played two games. One on Friday afternoon, and one on Saturday morning. They lost both games, but I think they still had fun. The boys played four games. They won two of them, and lost two of them. But, I really saw the boys coming into their own and growing together as a team. I think they are only losing one player this year, so I hope they will all play again next year, because I really saw improvement and growth in all of them during this tournament. All in all, it was a great tournament. It was fun to be able to go, and cheer and encourage the kids.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I think sports are such an important thing for kids. Not only does it get them off their butts and enjoying some exercise, but it also teaches them important life lessons that they will use day in and day out in their adult lives. Things like being a team player, sportsmanship, and encouraging others are all important character traits that every adult should have, and I think sports definitely do a great job of teaching kids those things. I am so glad that my sister, Faith, has chosen to play sports like me and our other sisters did. I think that even when she's warming the bench or frustrated with her coach, she is still learning those important qualities I want her to have. Even though this was just her first tournament, I know her time will come when she will be one of the starting players and then she will get to see what the team work part of tournament is all about, but you now, I am just happy that she was able to go and that every time she plays a game she is learning to be a better person.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Karaoke Competition Week #4



I'm so proud of myself for remembering my camera this week! I remembered to go get it minutes before it was my turn to sing, and I'm so glad that I did! I was a little distracted last night. My baby sitter backed out on me at 7:00 AM yesterday morning, and I spent a good part of my day scrambling around trying to find another sitter. For any of you that think finding a babysitter who wants to watch your child from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM on a Thursday night is easy, you're wrong! I usually rely on family to watch my daughter, but most of my family sitters have school on Friday, and I just don't feel comfortable asking my in-laws to do it. My husband, Randy, has watched her the most so I can do this, but last night I REALLY wanted him to come. So, when my sitter backed out, I was worried that he was going to have to watch her, and miss out on another night of the competition. Luckily, my very best friend, Merry was babysitting her brother's kids last night so they could go to the competition with us. I called her up, and she had no problem watching Emma for us. She was a major lifesaver last night! I cannot thank her enough for helping us out!

On top of being distracted, I was really nervous about this week of the competition! Because, the next few weeks are definitely going to push me out of my comfort zone. Last night was "New Release" night and we had to pick a song that was released in 2009-2010 in any genre. I decided to stick with country, because that is what I feel the most comfortable performing and I decided to rock out a song that has been a favorite of mine for a long time, "It Happens" by Sugarland. I love this song because it's about how life is always going to be unpredictable and you just have to roll with it and do your best not to let it get you down. It was a fun song to do, and I spent hours rehearsing in front of my bedroom mirror holding a spatula. I really wanted to work the stage, and eliminate the predictability of my stage "routine". I wanted to show the judges that I was comfortable and having a good time while I was on stage, and I think I managed to pulled that off! I was also excited that my sister, Randi, and I's favorite D.J., DJ Chili, was one of the judges last night. He has been a big encouragement to my sister and I, and he is so much fun. It really put me at ease seeing that smiling, familiar face! I love you, Chili! :)

Some of my favorite performances were my sister who sang, "Heart Like Mine" by Miranda Lambert. If you haven't heard that song, download it now! It's great! There was also an amazing performance of the Bruno Mars song, "Just The Way You Are", a fabulous Justin Bieber, "U Smile", performance by the competition's token 14 year old Justin Bieber wanna-be, a brave Rihanna's "Rockstar 101" number, and my favorite, probably the best performance of the night, was the Script's "Break Even". Yes, there is definitely talent in this competition and it's so fun to watch every week to see what each performer is going do. I just love being in this competition and I'm so glad that Randy agreed to let me do it.

So, this is the video for this week. I got good reviews from all the judges, and I really feel like I'm getting better every week of the competition. Next week all the contestants will be performing Pop/RB songs, and I'm really going to step out of my comfort zone for this one! :) Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's Your Song?

Today I'm linking up with my new Military blogging friend over at,



I have a lot of respect for our military and their spouses and have been reading and following several new blogs by military wives. Let me just start by saying, Thank you all for your service and the sacrifices you make everyday for this country.

I discovered this new blog via my other mili blogger friend,

Eat, Pray, Live...LOVE


She always has great things going on over at her blog like cool giveaways and interesting posts! You guys should totally check her out sometime!

Now onto the rest of my post! Like I said I'm linking up with my blogger friend, Goodnight Moon, to share a song with everyone that kind of defines me at this moment in time. It's called "Little Miss" by Sugarland. Not only do I love this song right now, but it really speaks to me about some things I am going through. I like to think I am growing, because I've been learning a lot of tough things about the important relationships in my life. The last few weeks have opened my eyes to who I can depend on, who I can trust, who I can count on to keep their promises, and who is going to be there for me no matter what. It's tough to realize that some of the people you feel like you've been shouldering your whole life, wouldn't do the same thing for you. It really is a heart breaker.

Well, this song definitely speaks to me about those things. I feel like it defines my life in this moment, and I hope it speaks to you too, especially if your a military wife. I think the line, "Little Miss I'll get tough, don't you worry about me anymore", really defines you ladies! So, this song is for you all just as much as its for me! :)





Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Non-Foodie Diary: Week 1

If your not up to speed, a little over a week ago I posted about being the wonderful mother of a super picky child (See: She's Anything But A Foodie)! Well, I've decided to chronicle our journey of parenting a picky food eater, but I promise not to bore you with a play by play update like I did with bottle weening (See: Bottle Battle Blogs Days 1-5). One of the goals of my blog is to connect with other parents, and to reach out to other new moms who might be going through similar situations. I like to always hear that I'm not alone, and I'm sure other moms do too. So, just like with bottle weening, I want blog about our ups and downs of this picky foodie stage and hopefully someone else out there may be able to use some of the things I've done to get through their our journey. I don't ever pretend to be an expert. I am just a new mom, trying to navigate my way through toddlerhood without having myself committed!

After my first blog post about Emma and her pickiness, my child seemed to have a revelation and proceeded to eat much better than she had the month prior. Isn't that how it always is with kids?! You think you have a BIG problem, you reach out for advice, and suddenly the BIG problem resolves itself and it turns into something very minor! Well, Emma is still picky, but has resumed some of her better eating habits that I talked about in the first blog. I am quickly learning that there are few things she really seems to dislike: anything with sauce on it, noodles, "real" vegetables, most cereals, and juice. These are only a few of them, but you'd be surprised just how much these few things really cramp our food options at home.

For instance, we eat spaghetti and hamburger helper each at least once a week. I am not a gourmet chef, never have been, and I am all about quick and easy when it comes to cooking. I tend to get bored when something takes longer than 30 or 45 minutes to prepare, and that is why spaghetti and hamburger helper are two staples around these parts. When I make a "meat dinner" where a meat is the main course, I will typically serve it with a cooked vegetable or salad and occasionally a noodle or rice side which Emma readily refuses. I am also a big cereal eater and eat cereal most mornings, and I have been feeding Emma fruit or making her scrambled eggs since she won't eat cereal with me. The juice issue is a non-issue. Neither Randy or I drink juice and for us she drinks plenty of milk and tea to stay properly hydrated. So, now that we have determined the food that are big issues for us, here is what I've been doing to help Emma get the nutrition she needs.

1.) After nap time, Emma gets only 1 or 2 cups of milk and it has to be before 4:3o and once she has had them, she can only have tea or water until after dinner. We are doing this because even though we have bottle weened, it seems that Emma is still getting most of her nutrition from milk. It used to be that she wouldn't eat her lunch or dinner, because she had drank so many cups of milk and the milk was filling her up, just like a bottle did. So for us, regulating her milk in take has been the best option and has seemed to make her more likely to eat dinner with us.

2.) I am picking my battles when it comes to how many "meals" she eats in a day. My husband and his family are not big breakfast eaters, I am learning that Emma is the same way. Also, Emma and I do not always get to sit down and eat lunch, because she is taking her nap during the traditional lunch time. I will usually offer her something when she gets up, but sometimes that isn't until 3:00 or almost 4:00 depending on how long she sleeps! So, when it comes to breakfast and lunch, I am not pushing the issue. I usually make her eat apple sauce or a piece of fruit the morning, but she usually isn't hungry until 9:30 or 10:00. I am also still going to give her baby food vegetables during lunch until I can get her to eat other lunch time foods like peanut butter sandwiches, soup, or even leftovers. For us, getting Emma to eat dinner with us is important to us. We try to sit down and eat dinner together as a family every night, and its important to us that Emma be a part of that. Therefore, we have chosen to only push sitting in her chair and eating what mommy and daddy are eating when it comes to dinner.

3.) After doing some reading and taking some advice from friends, we have decided to quit making "eating dinner right now" such a fight. We realize that Emma will pick up on our negative attitude when she won't eat, and we want dinner to be a positive thing. So, instead of "fighting" with her about it (constantly spanking her and putting her in time outs), we've decided to always offer her exactly what we are eating and if she won't eat it then she doesn't get any snacks and no milk until bedtime. I have a lot of reservations about "starving" my almost two year old into submission, but I realize that missing a dinner her or there isn't going to kill her. She is a very healthy child, and it is important for us to stick to our guns and not make exceptions for her just because she is picky. I am not a short order cook, and Emma needs to realize that, even if that takes putting her dinner aside and offering it to her again an hour or two later. She needs to understand that dinner is a family affair and everyone in the family eats the same thing for dinner.

4.) I want to try to offer Emma something new everyday! I am kind of picky myself, and I don't want Emma to be the same way. So, I've resolved that by offering her a new food or a food we've previously tried everyday, she will hopefully expand her palette and try something new. Today we tried Lucky Charms and a peanut butter sandwich. She only ate the marshmallow pieces out of the Lucky Charms and she refused the peanut butter sandwich, but at least she tried the Lucky Charms, right?! I don't think it will always be a success, but hopefully we will have just as many good days as bad ones.

So, as of right now, this is my plan. It may not seem like much, but for us, this seems to be what is working. I am still open to suggestions and advice! I will take all the help I can get!

Monday, February 21, 2011

6 Reasons Not To Mess With Children

This is a funny forward my husband and I came across this evening. We were both laughing so hard at how witty some of these kids are! I thought I would share a smile with all of my followers! Happy Monday!


A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him ".

~~~~~~~

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing.
She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

~~~~~~~

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year old students.

After explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother,
she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"


Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."


~~~~~~~

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?"

Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"

~~~~~~~

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.

" Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say,'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'

A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

~~~~~~~

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:

"Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.

A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples.




Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do Unto Others...

I am the product of Christian education, and I am very proud to say that I am. I cannot thank my mom enough for having the wisdom to put me in a Christian school at a very young age. I attended our local Christian school from kindergarten through the 12th grade, and I owe many of the good and Godly character traits I have to my teachers at C.C.S who took the time to educate me using God's Word. I will never forget or take my education for granted, and I hope to one day be able to send Emma to the same school.

One of the best things about our Christian school is that they offer sports. When I was growing up, my mom, the NURSE, would put us in every kiddie sport available to insure that we were getting plenty of exercise! Once we got old enough to play sports for the Christian school we went to, my sisters and I jumped at the chance. Granted all they offered back then was volleyball for girls and basketball for boys, but we still loved every minute of it. Some of the best middle and high school memories I have center around playing volleyball. I loved giggling during practice, making blue and white hair ribbons, coming up with new team cheers, the bus rides, and the late night "dinners" at McDonald's after the games. We always had fun with each other! One of the other great things about playing sports for a Christian school was that we really got to know some of the girls from the other Christian schools we played. We would all sit with each other and watch matches during our big tournament and we would go to each others games and cheer for one another. While we were always competitive, there was still a level of camaraderie between most of the other Christian schools we played. The principal and faculty at our Christian school really put a lot of effort into encouraging us to have good sportsmanship and maintain Godly character on and off the court. Technical fouls, yellow cards, and rude behavior were not tolerated, and we knew it. There were a lot of times we had to bite our tongues and play through, but for the most part unsportsman-like behavior was rare in our Christian schools circle. Our boys basketball team and girls volleyball team brought home the "Sportsmanship Trophy" from tournament several of the years I played, and to us that was always more of an honor than first place.

Unfortunately, I feel like this is no longer the case in so many Christian schools. My youngest sister is 12 years old and she plays volleyball and basketball for the same Christian school I attended. I have the pleasure of reffing all of her home volleyball games, and I have attended some of her basketball games. What I'm seeing is that Christian schools no longer seem to be putting such an emphasis on sportsmanship and Godly conduct. And the sad thing is that it's not just the players! Often times the parents, fans, coaches, and faculty are just as bad! This is so sad to me, because sometimes I feel like I'm not even attending a "Christian" sporting event. I mean, to any outsider, it could easily be mistaken for a public school sporting event, where there definitely isn't an emphasis on sportsmanship!

I think a lot of this is because the world is invading our Christian education system more and more. Christian schools may be teaching their students to be "set apart" from the world, but they definitely aren't showing or encouraging them how to do so. One of the best ways to teach this valuable life lesson to our Christian young people is through sports. I have always felt that sports teach children valuable life lessons like team work, fair play, and sportsmanship. These aren't just things they will use on the court, but also through out their entire adult life! They will use those character traits not just in the work force, but in their marriages and friendships. There will always be a need to know how to work well with other people and to treat people fairly and with respect. I used to think that Christian schools had really set the standard for teaching those character traits to their young people, but I'm just not sure anymore.

I used to think that Christian education was the only option for my children, but with the way things are heading, sometimes I'm just not so sure anymore. I will always be grateful for my Christian education, and it makes me sad that a Christian education may not be in the cards for Emma. I know she will always have our Godly guidance, as well as the guidance from her church family, but it is still upsetting that she may not get that in her education. I want to do what's best for my daughter, and if Christian schools keep resembling public schools more and more, then that may no longer be the best option. I know she's only 22 months and I'm probably just freaking out for no reason, but this is a big deal to me! It really does amaze me how much Christian schools have changed over the last few years, and sometimes I wonder if they will ever get back on track (long sigh).

I know I will just have to pray about this and leave it in the Lord's hands. I completely trust Him to guide Randy and I to the right decisions for Emma. We couldn't do this whole gig without Him, and I know He has everything under control...or at least, I hope so :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Karaoke Competition Week #3

Sadly, I don't have a video of this week's competition! You see, I actually HIRED a babysitter last night and I was a nervous wreck the whole time I was getting ready to leave the house. I have NEVER left my daughter with anyone who wasn't a relative, let alone someone,who to her, is a complete stranger, so last night was a big step for me! Even though I completely trust Stephany, I was in a weird panic/guilt mode the whole evening, and that is why I completely ran off without my camera. I thought about it half way down the road, but I had managed to sneak out without Emma crying, and I didn't want to put Stephany back into distraction mode, and risk the tears, so I decided to just go without it.

I am still not feeling too well, and I really didn't have high hopes for my performance last night anyway. My sister, who is also sick, and I decided that we would go and sing anyway despite the plague, because low points are better than no points, right?! So, I took my medicine and drank WATER throughout the night (along with my diet soda, of course!). I did everything I could to be prepared! On top of being uber health conscience, I was, unfortunately, second to last which meant two things for me: 1.) A lot of waiting around in the cigarette smoke, which could make my sinus infection worse and 2.) Having to follow up a lot of really good people (I mean, the judges have already seen everyone worth seeing by then, right?!) I just didn't feel like it was a very advantageous position to be in, but I stuck it out anyway. Well let's just say that by the end of the night, I was glad I stuck it out and I was wishing I would of had my camera!

Last night was Oldies/Motown night. You had to sing a classic song from the 50's and 60's. There were a lot of great and talented choices: "Tutti Frutti", "Stand By Your Man", "My Girl", "Do You Believe In Magic", "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", etc. There were also several great songs I had never heard before! People got really creative with there choices. There were costumes, themed hair styles, and all kinds of props. It was great! I chose to sing, "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline. I felt it was good vocal selection for my range, and I really worked on my presentation to try and vamp up my stage presence. I felt really confident about it, and I guess despite my sickness, it showed! Two of the judges gave me a standing ovation, and one of them even came up on stage to hug me, because he didn't have word to express how well I did! I was so freakin' excited!!! I think it was my best night by far, and it was the first night I actually felt totally comfortable on the stage! I had my wonderful friends all around me cheering for me and I just went up there and did my thing! It was so amazing to feel like I had really nailed it!

I guess that is the best thing about this competition: you really do get a feeling of accomplishment from it. Every week I feel like I am getting better! I mean, I don't have any aspirations to be a famous singer, but I do want to be more confident and more willing to put myself out there to do and experience new things. Next week is New Release week. I am nervous about it, because the competition is starting to force me out of my comfort zone. I really believe these next couple weeks will weed out the "men from boys" per se. I think we will start seeing who is comfortable and talented enough to perform in all genres and who just needs to stick to country music! :) While this may be the truth, I am excited about the weeks to come, but still nervous in the same breath. I want to do well. I want to give every week everything I have to give. I want to win $2500! Wish me luck! I promise to have a video for next week...good or bad!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Blue Sky

This week hasn't been the best week. We've been dealing with some financial crap, Emma refusing to eat, and some other things that just make you wish for Friday or to win the lottery we don't even play. Let's just say it's been rough, and on top that the previous two weeks had been full of yucky weather! Trust me, we weren't the only ones praying for a miracle. Well, today a miracle happened in the form of sunshine and 70 degree weather! It was beautiful outside! Definitely a open windows, music up, favorite t shirt, skinny jeans, sweet tea, and pink toe nail polish kind of day! :) I vowed to love every minute of it! Even though the creditors still didn't lose my phone number on such a glorious day, I made the best of it and determined that nothing would ruin my mood! I laid Emma down for her nap, watched some "Four Weddings" and painted my toe nails. When she got up, we went to town with the windows down and the music up! We picked up my little sister from school and then we went to Wal-Mart where I bought a few things I didn't really need. You just can't go wrong with the new issue of Cosmo, some new body wash, and new mascara! :) Then we came home and Emma, Faith and I listened to music outside while Emma played and I read my Cosmo. The perfect ending to a gorgeous day.

You know sometimes when I feel like I'm drowning, I just have to take a moment to enjoy the world around me. I relish every moment of peace the Lord allows me, and I just decide to go with the flow. Sometimes all it takes is some pink nail polish and a new issue of Cosmo to make you feel like everything is going to be all right. There is nothing like a beautiful, much-needed sunny day in the midst of all the chaos. Thank you Lord for this day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

These Are The Days



For as long as I can remember this song has been the theme song for my marriage to Randy. I always find myself clinging to the words and melody when things get tough whether it be from money, parenting, or just the simple fact that we are driving each other crazy. This song has gotten me through a lot of ups and downs. I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope that this song touches you like it has me. I've decided that Jennifer Nettles makes everything better! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

She's Anything But A Foodie

If you haven't already, please meet my daughter. She may look like my husband, but her personality is just like mine. She's stubborn, she's a goof, and she cracks herself up. She loves to dance, and she has so many of my facial expressions sometimes I think its like looking in a mirror. There is no mistake that she is mine, and in two months we venture into unknown territory...the terrible 2's.

I can already see them coming. The tantrums on a whim are worse, and the total attitude she gives me when she's not getting her way is way worse. And regardless of what my husband may say, I really do have days when I feel like the only interaction I've had with her is to spank her little bottom and put her in time out. She has started hitting, has become really whiny, and is an extremely picky eater. Yes, the terrible two's are coming, but part of me thinks that they have already arrived.

One of the biggest problems we are having is eating. Emma has never been a big eater, and even when she was on formula, she didn't start taking 8 ounces until she was almost a year. Introducing cereal was terrible, introducing baby food was terrible, and now trying to get her anything that doesn't come out of a jar is a challenge. For a while there, I was able to get her to eat just about anything, but real vegetables. She would eat any kind of meat, potatoes, pasta, and dairy products, but regular vegetables were a no-go and I was still substituting baby food veggies just to make sure she was getting those nutrients. But, after the first of this year, her eating habits started declining. We were doing way more baby food and less and less real food. She also has had several bouts of sickness since the first of the year, including a mean case of the stomach flu. And with each sickness and recovery, she became pickier and pickier. We now officially only drink milk and eat baby food veggies, zebra cakes, chicken nuggets, french fries, and occasionally fruit snacks. I am at my wits end, and all my husband and I seem to do is fight over strategies, punishments, and everything else that has to do with Emma eating. It's awful, and the only conclusion I can come too is that neither of us know what we are doing and nothing we do decided to do is working. I feel so lost. I want her to eat real food, but I don't think starving her is the way to go. I don't think still eating baby food is so bad, because at least she eats it, but I don't want her to eat it forever. I have all these conflicting emotions and so far "talking" about any of it with Randy isn't working because it just results in a huge fight. Ugh.

So, here I am. I am open to ideas and suggestions, anything that might help Emma eat better and save my marriage from crumbling over such a minor thing. I know it's important for us to be on the same page, but right now we are unclear as to what page that should be. So, please feel free to comment and leave those suggestions. Any tricks of the trade are welcome...trust me! I'm desperate! I guess all I can do is hope and pray that this all gets sorted out soon. I'm tired of feeling like a crappy mom over this, and I just want to do what's best for Emma. Her best interest is always first in my mind. I know I'm newer at this gig, and I don't profess to know all the answers, so here's your chance to give me some of yours! I am always grateful for advice, especially from people who have been around the block. I feel so privileged to have so many seasoned moms in my life, and I always try to take their advice to heart. I think all young moms could learn a thing or two from the pros :)

Anyway, thanks for listening! Advice and prayers are welcome as we struggle through this next challenge of parenting. I guess, no one ever said this would be easy, huh? :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Karaoke Competiton Week #2



Last night was week #2 of my karaoke competition! It was Classic Rock night, which meant we had to select a Classic Rock song from the 60's or 70's to perform. (To hear the story from the beginning check out "Let The Karaoke Begin!")

Anyway, I selected "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar because it was a good choice for me vocally, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Despite what the judges said, I wasn't nervous. I was more comfortable with my song choice for this week than the song I sang for week #1, and I tried to do less of my "pee dance" as my friends have started calling the nervous little dance I do when I sing! ( You can check out "Karaoke Competition Week #1" to get a glimpse of that!) All in all, I was really happy with my performance, except for the EXTREMELY uncomfortable shoes my sister made me wear! I secretly think she did it to sabotage my performance, since she's competing in the same competition! :) The judges did notice I was uncomfortable and commented on it. So needless to say, I will not be wearing those shoes again!

I am super excited for next week, which is Oldies/Motown Week. I think I have another great choice lined up and don't worry, I'll definitely make sure my shoes are comfortable and the memory card on my camera has enough space to get the whole video next time! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Good Old "Girls" Club

Let's just get one thing straight: I LOVE volleyball. Sometimes I think I was born and bred to play that sport and I love everything about it. I love the adrenaline rush, the smack of the play off of your arms, the way your fingers feel after the perfect set, and the excitement of smacking a ball so hard that it hits the floor at your opponents feet. Yes, I love volleyball! My love affair with volleyball started in the 5th grade. I attended a small Christian school kindergarten through 12th grade, and volleyball was the only sport girls were allowed to play and it was our thing. Every little girl in that school dreamed of growing up and playing on the volleyball team! It was also helpful that in 5th grade, my mom was the volleyball coach. I spent a lot of afternoons watching her do drills with the girls, and I spent a lot of Friday nights watching her coach those same girls to victory. I finally made it to 6th grade, I was allowed to play. By this time, my aunt was helping my mom coach, and she used her talent and love for volleyball to continue to grow my love for volleyball. My 6th grade season was awful. I just couldn't understand why I just didn't have natural talent or why my serves just would not go over the net. Yes, my 6th grade season was very discouraging to me, but it definitely laid the foundation for many seasons to come. I continued improve and my talent continued to grow. By my junior and senior year, I was leading my team to multiple victories, and received 2nd team MCSAA All-state honors. My volleyball career was definitely a memorable one, and something I will never forget. After high school, I coached at the same Christian school for a year after my husband and I got married. But, the drama was too much and certain staff members were not as supportive of my coaching and decisions, as the previous faculty had been to my mother and aunt. So, I decided after a year, that coaching was not a good fit for me. I got my MSHAA referee badge, and now I ref all the Christian school volleyball games. I really enjoy that, and I actually get paid! :) It's a nice change, and it's nice to be out of the drama that came with coaching. Even though volleyball and my participation over the years has changed, I still love the sport and recently I convinced several of my friends to create a team with me and join the local women's volleyball league.

Our local women's volleyball league has been around a long time. My grandma and another aunt played in it when they had co-ed volleyball leagues back in the day. I also used to work with a few ladies who played, and I've always kind of wanted to join up. So, this winter I got up the courage to do so. We've had a few practices, and this past Tuesday was our first game. We were all excited about it, and we knew we'd probably be youngest team up there. There really isn't an age limit, so I just made sure all of my players had graduated from high school to help prevent any raised eye brows. Anyway, so of course, our first games was against a team that had several middle and high school volleyball coaches on it, and a few women that had played in college. They were intimidating. It didn't help that they didn't like the spandex shorts some of the girls and I were wearing, and they kept making comments about our age like, "Didn't I have you in math?" or "What's with you girls wearing spandex making us feel all old and stuff?" They weren't friendly comments, in fact, they were rather snide. But, we pushed through and needless to say, we lost. But, I really do feel like we gave a good showing and that next Tuesday's game can only be better than this weeks. But, that game really opened up my eyes to the fact that we are definitely the new girls on the block when it comes to this Good Old "Girls" Club. I mean, a lot of these women have played a year, and apparently they aren't very open to new talent, especially younger talent.

But that night after the game, something hit me. We may be young, but we are not children, and we have just as much of a right to be there as any of those other women. Sure we aren't in our thirties with 3 kids and a job, but we each have our own set of responsibilities that we get up and deal with everyday, and volleyball is just as much of an outlet for us as it is for them. So, we shouldn't let them discourage us. We should hold our heads high and play the game we love and not give a crap what any of those old ladies think about it. We would welcome advice and friendliness from any of them, but if they aren't willing to give us the respect we deserve as women then we don't need them.

So, next week we will go. We will play our game and maybe tone the spandex down a bit just to blend a little better. We are there to have a good time and pound out a few balls, and quite frankly we don't care what any of those good old girls think about it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Time Flies When Your Havin' Fun: Snowpacalypse 2011

Well, if you didn't hear, or haven't been watching the news, the Midwest, especially Missouri, got a hairy little snow storm this past week. A lot of the locals are calling it The Blizzard of 2011, and my oh-so creative Facebook friends have deemed it Snowpacalypse 2011. I happen to like the latter better, and I have taken to calling it that myself! :) So, Snowpacalypse 2011 is the worst SNOW storm we've had since 1995. I was 10 years old during the last blizzard, and I do remember it, but I'm sure not as vaguely as I will remember this one! :) The winter of 2006-2007, Missouri received a terrible ice storm. I remember this because I wasn't married yet, and still living with my grandmother. Everyone ended up coming over to her house, because the power went out pretty much all over the state, and she has a propane stove she uses to heat her house. Yeah, the power went out for up to a week and a half in some areas during that ice storm, but I think we only lost power for 3 or 4 days. It was crazy! While this Snowpacalypse hasn't been anything like that ice storm (I still have power, running water, and I haven't had to flee my house), it still has created an inconvenience when it comes to traveling. I spent most of last week holed up with my youngest sister, Faith and Emma. Randy was in and out. He drove around and pulled people out of ditches one afternoon, and another day he plowed snow. So, for the most part it was just me and the girls. We didn't do anything special to pass the time. We just watched movies and ate A LOT! Faith went out to play in it almost everyday, and I took Emma out in it on Thursday. The week did creep by fairly slowly, but for the most part it wasn't miserable. I became extremely caught up on all my laundry, and I'm pretty sure I vacuumed my house everyday just to pass time. But, all in all, it was a fairly enjoyable week.

So, despite the snow storm, my anniversary came and went on Thursday of last week. Randy and I were supposed to go to Bootleggers for the karaoke competition, but it was canceled due to the weather, so we decided to hold out and go out of town for the weekend. Now, we don't have A LOT of extra cash (which is hopefully about the change after we pay off a big bank loan and one of credit cards in the next two weeks!), but we decided we'd go anyway. My husband's parents are so great to keep Emma for us all the time, and Emma loves to go over there. So, they blessed us by keeping her for the weekend, so we could hang out and do some things by ourselves. We went "out of town" Friday, which around here means we went about 1 1/2 hours away and stayed in a really nice Best Western that had pretty comfy beds and an indoor hot tub (Nice!). We did a little shopping at the mall (I got a new pair of my favorite sunglasses that have been broken!) and we went out to dinner at Cheddar's on Friday (one of my FAVORITE places). Afterward,we relaxed in our room. Saturday, we got up and did some more shopping. I got to hit up one of my favorite upscale resale shops, Plato's Closet, and I scored some huge deals, including my git-up for Classic Rock night this Thursday at the karaoke competition! Then, we went to Bass Pro for Randy and actually ended up browsing around their "returns store", which is a separate building where a lot of the catalog returns and exchanges end up going. Randy was able to get completely outfitted for next duck season! He scored $400 worth of merchandise for $160! You can't beat that! He was so excited, and I was excited too. We picked up a few things for Emma at the mall, and then we came home to spend Saturday evening at home. We ended up going out with a few of our friends, which was a lot of fun, and the perfect ending to a great weekend! It was so nice to just get away, and do something we wanted to do without a toddler or a stroller in tow! We ate a lot of good food, and just really got to enjoy each others company for the first time in weeks. It was really nice, and something I am looking forward to doing again soon, but for now I'm excited that it's Sunday...Super Bowl Sunday! I am looking forward to picking up Emma and then spending the evening enjoying the football game with family. There really is nothing I would of changed about the past week or this amazing weekend. I really am so blessed, and everyday God continues to bless me with an amazing husband, daughter, family, and friends. These are the true riches in my life and even on the bad days, I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Forever and Ever, Amen

7 years ago, I was 18. I was getting ready to start my senior year of high school, and had been in a few relationships, but then I got to know Randy. I had known Randy pretty much my whole life. We attended the same small Christian school and we had lots of mutual friends. But during my junior year, he started calling my house to talk to my sister, Randi, who of course wouldn't talk to him. So, I ended up fielding the phone calls and talking to Randy when my sister wouldn't, and because of that a friendship developed. Our friendship turned into romance that summer before I turned 18, and I still remember everything about that summer: our first kiss, the late night phone calls, my parents actually letting me go on my first real date. It was a great summer that has turned into a lifetime commitment for us.

4 years ago today I said, "I do." to Randy. I promised to love, honor, and obey him. I promised to help him chase all those dreams he had been sharing with me. I promised to spend the rest of my life loving my best friend. Randy has truly become the one great love of my life. It's amazing how much our relationship has changed over the last 7 years, but some things are still the same. We love to laugh with each other, go on dates with each other, and we still stay up late talking to each other only we don't have to use the phone anymore! :) Yes, the last 7 years have been an adventure to say the least, and we like anybody have our ups and downs. We never claim to be experts at this, and we take every day one day at a time. Our relationship is growing and maturing everyday, and I'm excited to share this crazy thing we call our life with him.

I am truly blessed, and I am looking forward to a weekend Emma-free, so that Randy and I can spend some time together and enjoy our anniversary. We don't really have any definite plans, but I'm sure whatever we decide to do it will be relaxing and just plain fun! :)

Happy Anniversary, babe! I love you.

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