Football energy…

This afternoon/evening Briggs was itching for some attention. His brothers were gone to friends’ houses and his friends weren’t available. He walked around the house for a good while telling me he was bored before he invited me to jump on the trampoline with him. So we jumped.

And then Steve finished with work and came outside and that made Briggs’ night because his dad was ready to run some football routes with him. After running a few routes, the stars aligned and Hunter walked in the backyard and suddenly they went from running routes, to playing a small football game and Briggs was beaming.

Over the years, Steve has spent hours in that backyard throwing the ball over and over to Hunter when he was Briggs’ age. And then the next two boys weren’t as interested in playing catch. But Briggs is bringing back some football energy and both Hunter and Steve are happy to oblige.

Gilbert Turkey Trot…Thanksgiving 2022…

November may be my busiest month of the year as I work to get the turkey trot details wrapped up and then the event itself. It ends up being a family affair as the whole family is involved.

The day before Thanksgiving, we have the packet pickup for the race. Hallie, Hunter and Bennett join me and help in different stations; checking people in and handing out t-shirts.

The morning of the race Hunter and a family friend joined my bright and early to finish last minute setting up. This is a trailer load of just half the donuts we had for the race.

I’m amazed that each and every year this race grows – which is awesome for our charities. As I started out on the family fun run with my family, it was such a fun sight to see people spilling out from the mall parking lot. I can’t remember the last time I ran a mile and I’m embarrassed to admit how out of shape I am!

For the first year ever, we didn’t have a stroller or a scooter and those little legs ran the whole race. There was a point where Briggs’ legs were tired and he was ready to walk. Talking to himself, he said, “I just really want that medal!” and those little legs started running again. I didn’t tell him he would have received the medal regardless if he walked or ran.

In years’ past, Hallie has seemed to disappear with her cousins when it was time to run, claiming they accidentally missed it. But not this year – she was a willing participant with her cousin Claire.

Last year Bennett and Hunter both really trained for the 5K – this year their only training has been soccer practice/games. Bennett was adamant that he would not be running this year and yet days before the race he said he would do it – he was going to earn a medal. I was so happy to see him cross the finish line and the only thing he said to me was, “I think I’m going to throw up. No, seriously, I’m just want to throw up. Luckily, he didn’t need one of the many buckets that were used more frequently than I would have imagined.

I was standing at the finish line taking pictures of everyone running through and somehow I missed Hunter, not even sure how that was possible but he ran right by me and I didn’t see him. He was proud of his 21 minute completion and even more proud he beat his uncle’s time who runs marathons.

Hallie was happy to be surrounded by cousins. So many of them have moved on to college so she really enjoys when they all come home to visit.

This is the crew behind the turkey trot. The crew that sits in meetings and determines just how many doughnuts we need this year and how many barricades we need for the finish line. Every person with a very specific skillset and role on the team. It’s an entertaining group to say the least.

After we put on a successful race, it was time to put on a successful dinner. Steve’s brother graciously hosted (as they have done so many years in the past) and every family did their part to contribute to the dinner.

After dinner, more family gathered for dessert and games. We spent the evening outside in competition and then brought the competition inside for some group games. There is never a dull moment with this group. People were winning money and others were jumping in the pool with all their clothes or serenading us with song.

As we climbed in the car later that night, we rode home listening to Christmas music recounting the days events. And then all the weeks of preparation caught up with me and I crashed – I was good for nothing Friday, but it was a good recovery day.

Good excuse for some TLC…

We recently hosted a dinner at our home. Ideally, we would have had it outside, but we’re working on the backyard so we held the dinner inside. As luck would have it, it was cold, rainy and miserable that day and it would have been moved inside regardless.

There’s nothing like hosing a function in your house to finish all the unfinished projects. I was more productive in the four weeks leading up to this dinner than I have been the whole year.

We cleared all the furniture out of our living room to make room for all the tables and my kids thought it was the best day ever. They were running back and forth running football plays.

My office on the other hand was looking a little crowded! And the pathway to my computer was a difficult maze.

Before long, our empty living room was full again.

And then it was really full.

It’s funny how long you can think about and work towards an event – and then it’s just over. You clean up and you move on and forget just how much time you spent prepping for it. (Sometimes I think the same thing about Christmas – so much time and prep and mental energy and Christmas morning comes and then its done!) However, the prep for this event was really just finishing all the projects I hadn’t got around to working on for a while! It was a good excuse to give our home a little TLC. 🙂

We had a beautiful night of connection and friendship and the gathering served it’s purpose.


I couldn’t agree more with Cannon’s gratitude list.

I’d like to add:

Steve – we are so different and yet complement each other so well.

A neighborhood that has become such a strong community for us.

Service opportunities I’m passionate about.

Coaches who train and look out for my children.

A school system trying to make changes in education and make it more engaging and applicable.

Children who share my sense of humor.

Friends who feel like family and are willing to sit in the trenches with me and my children.

A child who drives.

Good health allowing us to stay active.

Faith in Jesus Christ which affects every aspect of my life.

I love the season of gratitude.


I think I’ve taken photos three times to update this wall. And then I didn’t print them right away. And six months or so would pass and then the new pictures started to look outdated so I would convince myself to just wait and take new photos before printing. It was a vicious cycle.

But we were having a large gathering at our house and I figured now was as good of time as any to update the picture wall so our guests could have a more accurate view of our family. And Hallie wasn’t complaining that we were going to replace her 13-year-old life size image. She’s grown up just a little bit.

The shirt Bennett wore in the pictures above is now being worn by Briggs. It’s the traveling polo shirt that has graced our family pictures for years and years!

After I got them all up, I think every kid walked by the wall and commented on their updated picture.

I hope they like them because they may be up there for a while. 🙂