Ending of another season…

As the school year starts the wind down process – so do the kids’ sports/activities.

We’ve been in the soccer scene for a while now and I’m a much different soccer mom today than I was for Hunter – I like to think I’m getting better!

We have learned not every season is a great experience. Poor coaching. Lack of chemistry with teammates. Wrong division for the skillset. And so many more reasons. As parents, this can cause panic and frustration – our talented kid is being stifled! We must find a new coach. Better team. More organized club.

But the truth is, the grass is rarely greener. Kids jump to new teams and parents have new complaints. However, if there was ever a time I would be searching for greener pastures it would be this year with Cannon’s team. And I’ve realized through experience – some years are just like that. It doesn’t mean we’re throwing in the towel on soccer – he still loves it. Doesn’t mean we’re leaving the club because as a whole, I strongly believe in their mission. It just means we had a rough year and we’re hoping next year is better.

Despite the season, Cannon had one of his last soccer tournaments last weekend and he closed it out on a high. He is a defender, just like his two older brothers. But once in a while, he gets the chance to play up. Steve incentivized him with ice cream after the game if he could score and he went full force. The time was running out and we got a last minute free kick. Cannon often takes the kicks but doesn’t use the kick to shoot on goal. Despite his distance from the goal – outside the 18′, he went for it and sailed it perfectly above the goalie’s reach and scored. I think everyone including the coach was surprised and a celebration ensued. (I think defenders are always surprised when they get a chance to score!)

It was the final minutes of the final game of his tournament and it was the perfect ending.

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Dude Perfect Birthday Party…

Briggs was pretty decisive when it came to the theme of his friends birthday party this year – he knew he wanted a Dude Perfect party and there was no changing his mind.

I’m pretty sure, every week starting a month before his birthday he was asking when his party was going to be. But spring is busy and he had his trip to Disneyland and we had spring break and I kept hoping there would be a less busy time and we could throw it on the calendar – but less busy days don’t exist in a family our size so one morning while looking at the calendar, I realized the following day they were out of school and within an hour the invites were sent and everyone responded they could join.

I’m grateful to amazon who could deliver balloons, gift bags, lanyards and party favors just 12 hours after ordering. I also have a plethora of decor I’ve used for a number of parties so I was able to pull out the black and white banners and pinwheels and create a festive backdrop.

Briggs couldn’t care less about the decorations, he just wanted to do trick shots. We came up with a number of trick shots and assigned a point value to each – of course this included bottle flipping!

Every kid had a lanyard and as they would make shots, I would give them a small printed point value they would put in their pouch. We had shots where Steve, Bennett and Canner would be competing and the kids would have to choose whether they were team Steve/Bennett/Cannon and they happily collected their points when their team made their shots!

All these boys, except two, live in our neighborhood – they don’t know how lucky they have it to live so close to each other. However at this age they can be the best of friends and the worst of enemies in a matter of hours. Sometimes the distance is too close. 🙂

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Surprise visitor…

One of the perks of an Arizona spring (besides the beautiful weather and fragrant orange blossoms) is the time we get to spend with visitors – and there is never a shortage because who doesn’t want a weekend away from some cold and dreary weather.

My dear friend/college roommate came for a surprise birthday getaway to Scottsdale. Her husband was so thoughtful to arrange a watercolor class for the two of us – which she thought she was doing alone until I walked in to surprise her.

I’ve played around with watercolors but haven’t received any direction so it was a very insightful experience, and it peaked my interest to take some more classes. I’ll add that to my list of potential hobbies I’d like to put more resources into when the time is right. 🙂

We went out for Mexican food after and sat on the patio and talked the night away. We’ve known each other long enough – long before marriage and kids – and we are comfortable discussing everything on every level. And we do. Kids. Work. Health. Church. Dreams. Hardships. If only we had more time!

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We have another kid behind the wheel – at least when he’s supervised!

In Arizona you have to have your permit for exactly 6 months before you can get your license and you can’t get your permit until you’re 15 years and 6 months.

Hunter wants his license on his 16 birthday so he made sure to get his permit on the first possible day which was last week.

As we were leaving with his paper permit in hand I offered the keys to him so he could drive back to school. He kindly declined, he wanted to start on less busy roads so Steve took him out that evening for some neighborhood driving. The next day we were driving home from the school and this time he kindly declined because he didn’t want to drive my big car – he wanted Steve’s smaller car. I knew he couldn’t avoid driving my car forever (I need him to pull through this summer on our roadtrip) so we made him drive home from church and it wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought it would be. Although he much prefers the small car – and I don’t blame him, I do too!

Its still a little weird to me when we’re walking out to the car and he just holds out his hand expecting me to hand him the keys – and I do! The newness will soon wear off, I want to capitalize on his practice time while driving is still considered a luxury to him.

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Tennis Senior Night…

I have attended plenty of high school “senior nights” for different sports, but last night I was celebrating my own daughter’s senior night (last home match) and I experienced all the emotions. She has played on this high school court for four years and I can’t describe my gratitude for all the good we’ve seen come from this.

There have been tears of frustration and tears of joy. There have been injuries and unexpected victories. There are have been special friendships. There have been moments of insecurities. There has been so much growth in the level of play. There have been periods of burnout. There have been playful bus rides. There have been so many coaches who have helped her develop as a player.

She has grit and she’s proven it over and over again.

It was fun to celebrate her and the other two seniors (one of which is her best friend and doubles partner) last night. They have earned all the praise and celebration.

Hallie has never lacked a robust support system for her high school tennis. Friends, family and neighbors have encouraged her from the bleachers. As luck would have it, Steve’s two sisters were in town for spring break and were able to join her cheering squad. Add them to the three families who live locally and she had quite the crowd. (We didn’t grab a picture until two families had already left.) In fact one spectator observed everyone watching/cheering for her and was impressed with how posed she was competing on the top court with so much pressure.

Her cousin is two years older than her and they competed for the same high school a few years back. It was fun for her to see just how much Hallie has grown in the last two years, she looks like a totally different player!

I think in the rush and adrenaline of the evening – it didn’t leave a whole lot of time to reflect and be sad – but I did have time to watch my girl shine and it was rewarding. It’s been a beautiful run and I will always be her biggest cheerleader.

We have one more away match as well as a region and state tournament. We’re not quite done yet, in fact, she’s doubling down at this point in the season prepping for state!

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