Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Every Thursday in June, I had a long date with my new little boy friend. He's short and pudgy, nearly bald and barely has any teeth.

The thing about my little boyfriend is that I took advantage of him in the most absurd ways. Like one day? After he'd had breakfast and was in a really good mood? I started taking silly photos of him.....

This was an especially exciting photo session. I said to Kayla "Ok. He's fed. He's dry. Strip him down and let's get some patriotic photos." I had to put my camera on the Advanced Sports Action setting; this little guy has quick hands....It was like 'Lucy and Ethel do a Photo Shoot.'

See, my boyfriend's mama was offered a one-day-a-week job and asked if I'd watch him on that day. We both agreed to give it a try through the month of June. On the second week, Mommy came home saying she never wanted to go back to that horrible place again.

But she lived up to her agreement and finished her time, while baby Caden stayed with me.

As is the norm in our house, when a baby comes to visit, the world stands still and all things revolve around said baby.

Caden loves loves loves Kayla.

If Kayla left for a while, when she returned his little baby face lit up like a Christmas tree and he flapped his arms and legs like a pudgy bird trying to leap out of the nest.
Oh sweet Caden. He even won Blake over. And it's a good thing. Caden is the son of Blake's recruiter. Oooh-Rah.

Caden loves Tigger.....

And his own toes.....

Sweet mercy, those legs. Don't you just want to smoosh them forever?

And his thumb.

And those eyes? I think I'm in love
What Caden does not love is sleep but I couldn't hold that against him because neither of my children loved sleep either.
I am so used to sleepless babies it's not even funny.
It's why I have exactly two working brain cells in my head right now.
What Caden's mommy and daddy don't know? When Blake leaves for boot camp, I'm going to put Caden in my back pack and bring him home with me. Shhhh....don't tell.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


About a week ago, some guy called Paul and asked if he thought our daughter would be interested in filling in on a travel softball team. One of their main pitchers has been injured and they needed somebody willing to pitch one or two games for a weekend tournament.

The thing is that this other team is from a nearby town and Kayla didn't know anybody on it, except another girl from her school who happens to play because her cousin is on the team.


As a mother, when I hear that my daughter is being invited to join a group of teenage girls - a very close knit group of teenage girls whom she does not know - in a very competitive sport, what I hear is this:

"Yeah, we were wondering if you would hand your precious baby over to us so that we could throw her into a deep dark pit filled with hungry hyenas. Only for one weekend for now. And we'll see if they get hungry again after that."

Because sometimes? Girls can be a when an "outsider" comes into their midst.

But Kayla was all like "Sure. I'll play a tournament."

Now here's an interesting side note about our family. We are, evidently, athletic mutts.

Our children attend school at the home of the MF Trojans where they wear blue and yellow to support their teams. Our family wears blue and yellow in the spring while we sit on the bleachers to watch Kayla's school softball team.

Blake wrestles for the A/O Bombers and wears a blue and orange singlet. So,in the winter our family wears blue and orange while we sit on the wrestling bleachers.

And now?

Well, now we might be wearing red and black for the rest of the summer while we support Kayla's temporary position with the Mt. Z Braves Travel Softball Team.

I have no idea what we should call ourselves or what color we should be wearing each day......but I do like red.

After the first day of the tournament the coaches asked if Kayla would like to finish the season with this team. It is a huge commitment so she hasn't decided yet. But it is also a huge honor being asked, and we so appreciate the people who suggested her when the coach was calling around asking for a pitcher. Any chance to gain some experience is wonderful; but more importantly, any chance to make new friends is bound to be a great experience.

And as for the girls? I worried for nothing. All of them were very sweet and welcoming to Kayla. They were all very encouraging of each other on the field and off.

And Kayla is getting Facebook friend requests from some of them now. THAT speaks volumes, doesn't it?

I cannot tell you how proud I was of my girl this weekend. We showed up at that tournament and she introduced herself to the coaches, shook their hands and thanked them for inviting her to play. Then she dove right in with the girls and enjoyed herself.

I am proud of her performance on the field, but most of all I am proud of the fact that she spent two very long hot days with a new group of girls and started developing some new friendships. And she didn't seem one bit nervous.

And when one of the team moms - whom I just met this morning - told me that my daughter was "just a real sweetheart?"

Well, it might as well have been mother's day because what mom doesn't love to hear comments like that about their kids?

Sweet Kayla Beth - Dad and I are so proud of you for how you handled yourself all weekend. Great games. Great attitude. GREAT DAUGHTER.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010



My last post? I deleted it for a couple of different reasons, but not before reading your very sweet comments of encouragement and empathy.

Thank you.

And thank you to those of you who sent e-mails to encourage me and to let me know I was being prayed for.

While I certainly don't intend to take joy in others' sorrows, I found some comfort in learning that some of you have also been through very dark times - or are living in a dark time now. Just knowing that my little stumble into the valley is something others experience - that I'm not a complete weakling for giving in to this - is comforting.

Reading of your experiences has brought a couple of questions to mind:

1. Why are we women so hard on ourselves and insist on walking through the valley alone? I have my own theory on this but I'll keep it to myself for now.

2. Have I sent the women in my life a message that makes them hesitate to seek help from me in their darkest times. Have I sent a message that says I won't be a source of light when they are sitting in darkness? There has to be something that keeps us from seeking help from each other. Am I exhibiting that "something?" I want to examine myself and know if I'm lacking in that area. I want to know if I've passed up an opportunity to minister to a sister. Because there are a lot of people out there who are in a dark place right now. Are they seeking help? Do they wish somebody would notice and nobody has?

I realize that sometimes we don't want help and I'll admit I'm like that. When I'm feeling hopeless and helpless it is very easy for me to turn inward and want to remove myself from the world until the pain passes. Most of the time, at least.

Are you like that? Tell me. Tell me why you think we women are so hard on ourselves and why we don't allow ourselves to ask for help.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


…you can either be an Eeyore or a Tigger. Remember them from Winnie the Pooh? Eeyore always has a dark rain cloud hovering nearby while Tigger obliviously bounces on his tail in a overly happy state of mind; Eeyore=gloom and despair, Tigger=a hurricane of happiness. Randy Pausch - The Final Lecture.

A few years ago, Kayla's softball coach created The Tigger Award, to be given to the player who exhibited a consistent positive attitude, sportsmanship, and a constant smile regardless of how the game was going.

Tonight at the softball awards night, my girl was given the Tigger Award

She signed her name on Tigger and added the year she received it. Tigger will now reside at our house for a year and then be passed on to the next Tiggerific player at next year's awards night.

During this season, Kayla hit a triple during the same game as she executed a triple play.

Two games later she hit one over the fence for a two-run-homer. And we were so excited at those games and all the others, just to watch her play and do her best.

Obviously there are girls who had better stats than Kayla this year and those girls rightfully won awards for their athletic accomplishments.

But I love the Tigger Award. Even though it's not a shiny trophy or a plaque on which her name is engraved. I love the Tigger Award because it confirms to me what I've suspected all season.

That my girl has let her light shine. On the pitcher's mound. In the batters box as she came up to bat each inning. As she ran the bases. Regardless of the score, regardless of the weather, regardless of the mood of the crowd, my girl was calm, cool and collected.

And smiling.

There were times she'd walk out to the mound and I'd say to Paul "wonder what's made her so happy tonight."

And really, she was usually smiling when she came out of the dugout. Whether it was to bat or to pitch; she was smiling.

May it always be so.

As she finishes her sophomore year and starts the magic days of summer, I wish for her to be swept away in a Hurricane of Happiness.

I have a feeling she will start the joyous breezes blowing all on her own.

Congratulations sweet Kayla Beth. We are so proud of you.