The procrastinating hairdresser…

The bad thing about being your kids’ hairdresser – its way too easy to put off a haircut for a day or two. That day or two turns into weeks and then before long a month goes by.

I’ve been telling myself for over a month it was time to cut Bennett’s hair – it just wasn’t a priority. Every Sunday, I’d see him dressed up so nicely in his suit and his hair looked ridiculously long. Every Sunday I vowed to carve out time to cut his hair and then Sunday would roll around and I’d be sitting in the pew once again wondering how we made it another week with long hair.

Last week was chop week for the three younger boys and they all lost a couple pounds of hair and it has made getting ready for school so much easier.

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Our kids are doing so well in all of their athletics right now – it’s so fun to cheer them on and celebrate their successes.

But lets talk about the real MVP – the youngest brother who is my little sidekick at every sporting event. He deserves a medal. He gets home from school each day unsure as to whether he’s going to be in a gym, at the courts or on the field. To be honest, he doesn’t always go willingly. But he knows the routine: Grab a sweatshirt, a water and stuff some snacks in your pocket.

He has no concept of time. He doesn’t know how far we’re driving or whether we’re getting home before or after dinner…he just hops in the car. Sometimes he’s lucky and there are other spectator siblings he can play with and sometimes it’s just the two of us and he passes the time by playing with whatever ball is readily available.

Before long he’ll be in sports of his own and unavailable to be my little support buddy. But until then, I’m going to start having all the kids refer to him as MVP. Maybe Hallie can even give him one of her old tennis medals to make it official. 🙂

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Community basketball season…

I grew up in small town Idaho where the town came out to support the high school sports regardless if they had a child on the team. In fact, I remember as a kid traveling across the state for the state basketball tournament and no one in my family even played basketball at the time!

So I was a little surprised when I attended one of my first basketball games at Hallie’s high school and there weren’t many people in attendance. They’ve historically had a good team and there still wasn’t much community/student support. For the past 38 years the school has had the same coach – Steve even played for him over 20 years ago. He was amazing and brought home a lot of state titles but last year was his last year at the school so we got a new coach this year. He was filling some big shoes and more than anything I wanted him to be successful.

Hallie had a friend playing on the JV team, so we started attending games to watch him and then we’d stay for the varsity game. I only intended to watch a few…but before long I was totally invested! I knew the players and I felt I needed to support as many games as I could.

Hallie was also invested and showed her support by participating in the game “dress up” days. Every game, the senior boys would choose what the theme was and students would show up: Hawaiian, Denim, Mom/dad night, Jersey, Red Out, Blue Out, American, Christmas…I think the only one she refused to dress up for was bathrobe night!

From the way the season started, I would have never thought we would have made it as far as we did in the playoffs. I attended so many fun games – games that were too close to call until the last second – games where one school stormed the court a little too soon and we stormed it seconds later – buzzer beater shots – overtimes – games where records were created – and also some games that were heartbreaking.

We ended up in the final four where the team played to a sold out crowd, a game we were surprised to be playing in. The odds were stacked against us (against a rival school we aren’t allowed to play in regular season play because its a little too unruly) and yet it was a close game the entire game and it wasn’t until the last 3 seconds when we shot a three pointer and it bounced around before falling out did we accept defeat and missed our chance at playing in a championship game for the state title.

It was such a fun season. And I don’t even have a dog in the fight. Isn’t that the best part about community?! I’m already looking forward to next season.

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Lehi Days 2023…

We have been attending the annual Lehi Days rodeo ever since we moved to the area. However, our annual attendance never warranted purchasing any cowboy gear.

That is until this year when Steve was serving in a leadership position for the rodeo. He had made the decision he would not be dressing up – he was going to attend in the same clothes he always wears. But then someone gifted him a beautiful cowboy hat. The hat with tennis shoes looked ridiculous so he splurged on some boots and before you know it, he was looking like he could almost be a cowboy. (His boots could use a little wear and tear and he’ll need to earn his buckle!)

He couldn’t have been more uncomfortable posing as a pseudo cowboy, but he sure looked good! I however, showed up in white nikes straight from the city! 🙂

We were lucky to have Steve’s parents join us for the morning (they weren’t about to miss Steve’s cowboy debut) and they’re always up for a good rodeo.

The kids had their annual horse ride and got their fill of farm life at the petting zoo. They also got their fill of sugar with their individual allotment of concession tickets.

Between the rodeo, a niece’s bridal shower, a Cub’s spring training game for Hallie, Steve performing a wedding and our boys in 5 soccer games – we had a full day. To say I fully enjoyed my Sunday nap today would be an understatement.

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Birthday Celebrations…

When you’re a kid (and sometimes even as adults) you like your birthday to last as long as possible and Briggs was celebrating from sun up to sun down.

Birthday mornings always start with the birthday bucket – best way to start the day.

We snagged him from school for a little lunch date and try as he may, Steve could not convince him to choose something besides Mcdonalds.

After school, I went to Hallie’s tennis match while Steve took these boys to Krazy air and out to dinner.

When everyone returned home for the evening, the party kept on rolling!

His grandparents came over, church teachers stopped by, he talked to his other grandparents on facetime, cousins sent video messages, friends sent video messages – he loved all the attention from the day.

And now we won’t hear about his birthday for at least another 6 months!

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Birthday boy…

Last year, Steve and I were out of town for a wedding on his birthday and he has not let us live it down! I can do one hundred things right and he will inevitably remember my mis-step. Thank heavens we are in town for his big day.

Here’s a snapshot of Briggs:

His nicknames are Briggsy boy, Briggers and Briggerton. Restaurant of choice is McDonalads.

He always has a ball in his hands or at his feet – and Hunter is always a willing partner.

Being the youngest – he’s used to a house full of kids and he hasn’t quite mastered the art of playing by himself. If his brothers are gone, he is at a loss as to what he should do.

He is very independent and doesn’t ask for help even when he probably should.

He has several friends in our neighborhood and his day is infinitely better if he’s with them.

He’s learning spanish at school and it’s fun to hear him try and speak with his brothers.

He is not-so patiently waiting until it’s his turn to start sports.

His teacher said he’s a talker in class and I believe her because he’s a talker at home.

He has the vocabulary and humor of an older child and uses words like “perhapsly”.

He loves the Phoenix Suns – Devin Booker is his favorite. He loves ASU football and spends a good portion of the year asking if we have a game to watch this Saturday.

He is our forever caboose and his siblings just want to make sure he doesn’t end up spoiled and soft. 🙂 Aren’t siblings the best!

Happy Birthday Briggers!

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Sadie Hawkins dance 2023…

We didn’t have a sadie hawkins dance when I was in high school. Steve remembers dressing up with his date in matching shirts for his sadie’s dance when he was in high school.

Hallie’s Sadie’s dance (same high school as Steve) is a costume dress up – but not many actually wear their costume to the dance. They get dressed up, take pictures, eat dinner, change into casual clothes and then head to the dance. It’s a real head scratcher.

This year’s theme forced everyone to get a little creative: Rhyme without reason – costumes were supposed to rhyme.

Hallie and her date went as safari and Ferrari – it was comfortable enough Hallie didn’t even change to go to the dance.

We had planned to take pictures with her group but Hallie (and another girl from their group) were in an all day tennis tournament. We were hopeful they would get home in time but when they called the time for their last doubles match we knew the plan needed to change.

Hallie rushed home after her last match (after playing one of the best matches she’s had) quickly got ready and was still late to dinner.

She came over after dinner and we shot a few pictures before they hurried off to the dance.

Her group consisted of hawaiian/Luke Bryan, pillow fight/Dwight, sleeping beauty/call of duty and tennis pro/frat bro

And because she wasn’t already completed exhausted from her tournament and the dance, they went and played broomball at the local ice rink after the dance. I’m tired just thinking about it!

And because we’re documenting: Dance dates in our area include a “day date” which is done a week or two before the actual dance. Hallie’s group went to Jake’s Unlimited for bowling, laser tag, arcade games and food.

She had a great time. I’m still getting used to how dance dates work here. Kids are asking different people to most dances and it’s usually pretty casual – they may or may not know their date very well. Hallie spent very little time with her date between the day activity and the dance and yet had a great time because it’s more group centered – she had a fun group and that makes a world of difference. (out of the 100+ pictures she has from Jakes Unlimited, her date is only in one of them!)

And because we’re always focused on the next dance, she’s already been asked to prom…

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Carpool conversations…

Hunter does a great job managing his social calendar but because he’s still too young to drive, I still have to drive him around every where. Lucky for me, I have a group of moms that share the driving responsibilities and we’re always piping in on group chats about who’s available to drop off and pick up.

The kids went to a church dance last weekend and my friend offered to pick them up. This was very kind of her but I actually really enjoy picking up the dance crowd because the carpool conversations are always my favorite as they each recount each and every song they danced to and share details about their dance cards. It’s not a discussion I wanted to miss out on. So I hopped in the front seat with her and we picked up the group of kids together. They convinced us to run through the McDonald’s drive thru on the way home for ice cream cones – which was okay by me because that meant the carpool discussions would be a little longer that night.

As we were dropping off the first girl at her house, her mom came out to the car to say hi. Before long, she hopped in the car and we were both occupying the front seat and all the kids were crowded in the middle seat and the conversations kept rolling. It was late, but I couldn’t have been more grateful for the simple moment: Three moms in the front with five kids in the back and we were just chatting, laughing and joking around.

Last night Hunter was in the neighborhood (hosted by one of these moms) so I didn’t need to pick him but you better believe I got a call from the other mom asking if I would be picking up Hunter so all three of us could chat. It took me about two minutes to hop on a bike and head over and we sat in the kitchen for a while talking before wrapping up the party.

Life is more fun for me and Hunter because of this group and I’ll be sad the day they can drive and no longer require our chauffeuring services – it’s just as much for us as it is for them.

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Showing up…

I always had it in my head that I wanted my kids to go to their siblings games and cheer each other on – and not just the younger kids supporting their older siblings.

But the older and more involved our kids have become the harder that idea has been to execute. Briggs, without any activities of his own, is the master supporter. If we go to games, he’s with us. But the rest of them are all busy in their own sports and they aren’t always available to go watch their siblings. However, we encourage it when they don’t have conflicts.

And sometimes the stars align and we get everyone to go to a game together. The downside to this is there is usually fighting and Steve and I are reminded why going to games by ourselves is really quite enjoyable. 🙂

But I love when they can support one another. I want the older kids to show up at Cannon’s game and see the grin spread across his face because he feels important. I want Bennett to hear his brother cheering for him as he prepares for a penalty kick. I want Hunter to get congratulatory hugs when he walks away with a medal. I want Hallie to see all her brother’s lined up looking up to her as she powers through another match. And one day, all of them are going to show up for Briggs when he’s spent so many years on the sidelines. I love this about family life.

Don’t get me wrong – it is busy and chaotic and we’re shuffling from one thing to the next, but it sure is awesome when they can show up for each other.

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Great season…

Hunter finished his cross country season for the junior high and came home with a medal and his school earned a trophy!

Hunter surprised us when he expressed interest in participating in cross country as a way to stay conditioned for soccer. We supported him. We showed up to his meets and we encouraged him from the sidelines and learned a thing or two about how meets are ran and scored.

Hunter was the fastest kid in his school and proved that week after week. He knew there were a few kids faster than him at the other schools in our district so he kept working to improve his time.

Last week was the city championships where all 11 junior highs competed against each other. Hunter got a PR of 11:49 for 2 miles and came in third place overall – better than he anticipated. The two boys that beat him were considerably faster and try as he may, he could not keep pace with them – but he ran his best race.

Not only did he receive his individual medal, but his school took home the 1st place trophy and banner to hang in their gymnasium which came as a surprise to us all because the numbers did not look like they were working in our favor.

It was a great season. I’m sure his coach was grateful Hunter was willing to squeeze cross country into his already physically demanding schedule. The truth is Hunter enjoyed pushing himself to the point of exhaustion and then realizing he had more in his tank to sprint towards the end. He made friends. He felt successful. He showed up when he didn’t want to. And he’s walking into soccer tournament season in better shape than he’s ever been in.

Chances are he doesn’t run in high school – maybe he’ll surprise us – but I’m glad he tried it this year. It’s been fun to watch him compete and be successful.

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