Life from the Stands

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Over the last few years, I have sat in the stands as a mascot mom - this year I am a football mom.  It has been an adjustment to say the least.  Learning the calls, the plays, the timing and the protocol in general.  My son didn't grow up playing football, but decided his eighth grade year to try out.  I really didn't know exactly how I felt about it.  I was of course worried - worried he would be hurt, worried he would get picked on for being small or confused on the field, worried he would mess up and be discouraged and worried that someone in the stands would blame him for the loss of a game.  

As a mascot mom, I cheered for the team right along with him.  Danced when he danced and yelled when he yelled.  Though he was with the cheerleaders, he was in a sense acting alone.  He didn't for the most part depend on another to carry out a cheer or a dance, he had his own skits and movements for each cheer and song.  He was led by his own actions, he was encouraging to others, and he had pride in his school.  He went on that field each night wanting to boost the spirits of others whether it be on the field or in the stands.  We cheered for every player because it was his part in the game.  His part didn't affect the game, at least I didn't think so.

This season, he has joined 40+ other boys on the field to play football.  He has now taken to the field his encouragement and school pride.  And yes, I am still the mom you hear from the other side of the field - cheering on the team.  Notice I said the team - not just my son, because what I learned from my son the last few years is that to cheer for one is not enough, but to cheer for a team could set 10,000 a flight and boost morale. There are many players that have no one in the stands for them and there are many players who could use a shout out of encouragement after possibly the worst day at school or home.  My spot in the stands as a football mom is different now, my son is one of those players.  My heart aches when a play doesn't go as planned and it aches when a player puts his head down and is defeated, but my heart rejoices for the plays that are successful and it rejoices for the player who pats another on the back in celebration.  My moments in the stands have shown me that no matter how many times a play has been practiced that getting out on that field is a whole 'nother ball game for the players and the coaches.  My moments in the stands have shown me that we in the stands spend more time complaining, more time insulting, and more time judging.  My moments in the stands have shown me that we spend less time cheering, less time encouraging and less time teaching.  Our time spent in the stands is disappointing.  We are part of the game, what we do from the stands affects the game, the players, the coaches and our school.

What are we saying to our children when we yell from the stands inappropriately?  What are we saying to our children when the same voice that can be heard above everyone yelling at the players for messing up, referees for bad calls or coaches for bad plays?  Where was that voice when a play was carried out successfully, where was that voice when a 1st down was made, where was that voice at the start of the play and where was that voice after the game?

At the end of the day, it's just a game.  It doesn't define who we are if we win or lose.  We are defined by how we handle that win or loss.  We are defined by how we played, not the scoreboard.  We are not defined by our failures or successes, but what we did to get there.  We are not defined by a rule book - We are defined by HIM.  Our Lord put us here with purpose and our purpose was not to just sit in the stands and let moments pass us by.  We should be praising HIM even if we do lose.  We praise HIM because he gave our children legs to run, arms to catch, friends to play with, coaches to teach, and parents and family to encourage them.  We praise HIM, because even when we are not worthy HE still blesses us.  Blesses us with a world that lets our children play in a game that teaches more than just a play.  HE blesses us - win or lose - HE blesses us!


Life from the Stands

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Over the last few years, I have sat in the stands as a mascot mom - this year I am a football mom.  It has been an adjustment to say the least.  Learning the calls, the plays, the timing and the protocol in general.  My son didn't grow up playing football, but decided his eighth grade year to try out.  I really didn't know exactly how I felt about it.  I was of course worried - worried he would be hurt, worried he would get picked on for being small or confused on the field, worried he would mess up and be discouraged and worried that someone in the stands would blame him for the loss of a game.  

As a mascot mom, I cheered for the team right along with him.  Danced when he danced and yelled when he yelled.  Though he was with the cheerleaders, he was in a sense acting alone.  He didn't for the most part depend on another to carry out a cheer or a dance, he had his own skits and movements for each cheer and song.  He was led by his own actions, he was encouraging to others, and he had pride in his school.  He went on that field each night wanting to boost the spirits of others whether it be on the field or in the stands.  We cheered for every player because it was his part in the game.  His part didn't affect the game, at least I didn't think so.

This season, he has joined 40+ other boys on the field to play football.  He has now taken to the field his encouragement and school pride.  And yes, I am still the mom you hear from the other side of the field - cheering on the team.  Notice I said the team - not just my son, because what I learned from my son the last few years is that to cheer for one is not enough, but to cheer for a team could set 10,000 a flight and boost morale. There are many players that have no one in the stands for them and there are many players who could use a shout out of encouragement after possibly the worst day at school or home.  My spot in the stands as a football mom is different now, my son is one of those players.  My heart aches when a play doesn't go as planned and it aches when a player puts his head down and is defeated, but my heart rejoices for the plays that are successful and it rejoices for the player who pats another on the back in celebration.  My moments in the stands have shown me that no matter how many times a play has been practiced that getting out on that field is a whole 'nother ball game for the players and the coaches.  My moments in the stands have shown me that we in the stands spend more time complaining, more time insulting, and more time judging.  My moments in the stands have shown me that we spend less time cheering, less time encouraging and less time teaching.  Our time spent in the stands is disappointing.  We are part of the game, what we do from the stands affects the game, it affects our players, our coaches and our school.

What are we saying to our children when we yell from the stands inappropriately?  What are we saying to our children when the same voice that can be heard above everyone yelling at the players for messing up, referees for bad calls or coaches for bad plays?  Where was that voice when a play was carried out successfully, where was that voice when a 1st down was made, where was that voice at the start of the play and where was that voice after the game?

At the end of the day, it's just a game.  It doesn't define who we are if we win or lose.  We are defined by how we handle that win or loss.  We are defined by how we played, not the scoreboard.  We are not defined by our failures or successes, but what we did to get there.  We are not defined by a rule book - We are defined by HIM.  Our Lord put us here with purpose and our purpose was not to just sit in the stands and let moments pass us by.  We should be praising HIM even if we do lose.  We praise HIM because he gave our children legs to run, arms to catch, friends to play with, coaches to teach, and parents and family to encourage them.  We praise HIM, because even when we are not worthy HE still blesses us.  Blesses us with a world that lets our children play in a game that teaches more than just a play.  HE blesses us - win or lose - HE blesses us!


Yes, I finally remembered ...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

On my own I have finally remembered it is our anniversary.  Yes, I know it sounds terrible that we never remember it or that we don't really celebrate it.  Heck, we haven't even had a honeymoon.

Yet, you have to know us to understand that for us it's okay.  Yeah, I would love to say we are going on a trip to Hawaii or even just somewhere in Louisiana.  Yet, my mind wanders and I try to put something together on this busy expensive holiday and then think:  all the time I am wasting.  If there is no place I'd rather be than with him then today my couch will do.
In the last 11 years, we have had some ups and downs, though honestly more downs than ups, yet the one thing that remains is him.  Despite the broken road I've traveled to get to him and the dusty path that causes us to lose focus we are still here, still holding hands and still together.  And though 11 years doesn't sound like much and our 15 years together isn't much either.
              I feel like I have been with him

(Courtesy of Sandlot)

Our marriage is probably made of more oh wells than Dryville.
We just make do with whatever is given to us, even when it is a vehicle that has more parts that don't work than do.
We know the difference between wants and needs.
We are faithful with what God provides.
I truly believe that's what makes our marriage work.
We accept what we cannot change and move on to what we can.  And most of the change has come from within.  
It seems fitting today that our anniversary falls on thanksgiving this year, because we have so much to be thankful for.
Happy Anniversary Bae!
I love you!
Even though




13 Traits of a Truly Amazing Son

Sunday, November 22, 2015

As I begin to wind down from one of the craziest days ever, I am able to think straight and can't help but be forever grateful for the understanding son that can put aside his birthday so mom can fulfill her duties and dreams.
It amazes me how my little Hunter Bunter has turned into a young man almost overnight.  I swear he grew a foot yesterday.  So his birthday was less than stellar and what makes him amazing is:
Trait #1:  he is understanding no matter the sacrifice
#2:  he is sensitive and doesn't like to see people cry
#3:  he is goofy and can make us all laugh, even when we want to knock him out to be quiet
#4:  he is full of determination, though sometimes I mistake it for stubborness
#5:  he is passionate about causes and always wants to help others
#6:  he is golden,  everything he attempts is achieved
#7:  he is so very handsome - you can't disagree with me there.
#8: he is confident, but not boastful though sometimes I think he needs to toot his horn just a little bit because I think he is totally awesome
#9: he is disorganized and random, though I can't say I love this, but sometimes it causes me to just take a deep breath and say is it really worth fussing about
#10:  he is loyal, if you are his friend he takes that job seriously -  no doubt he will forever be there for you
#11:  he cooks -  Thank god because sometimes I need a break and he knows just when I do need one
#12:  he has always been challenging, he has kept me on my toes as a parent from crawling out the crib at the age of 5 months to deciding he was done with school that he learned enough in the first grade. He has challenged me on every turn on this journey of parenthood, but I gladly accept them all because that means I get to be this amazing teen's mom.
#13:  and lastly he is loving and loves this crazy dreamer mom no matter how many bipolar, Tourette syndrome, ADD days she has, he still turns to me and says I love you!

Happy birthday Hunter!  I love you!

Simply Put

Saturday, November 14, 2015

15 years ago I met a guy.  He gave me his pager #.  Yes that existed when we met.  And it looked a little something like this:
To those of you that are looking at this and saying whaaaat?!  You are probably too young to read my blog anyway.  JK

Though he will tell you I asked for his pager #, it's all lies I tell Ya, all lies.  If you know my husband and know him well he is quite the charmer and considers himself a ladies man.  Though I can't disagree, I don't tell him often because then his head will blow up even more than he blows it up with his own compliments.
So back to the beginning, what really made him such an interesting person was his joy.  The joy in his smile, his voice, his soul.  He emitted joy throughout the room as he entered.  It was obvious how much he impacted the young and old.  They acknowledged him, smiled and reached out to him to hang out for awhile.  If you have the joy of knowing my husband, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
His joy has carried us through some rough times and made our good times even more amazing.  I am blessed to have such an amazing husband, father to our children, but most of all blessed to have even met him and to have been chosen as his wife.
He might not clean up after himself, laughs at his own jokes, is quite disorganized, and farts ALOT, but this guy:


Carries us through it


Enjoys every moment


Makes me feel beautiful


And makes us laugh ALOT!

We love you bae!
Happy Birthday!


17 Reasons and an Alibi

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This GUY right here ...


the one above, yes the handsome one, with the beautiful eyes.
The one who stole my heart 17 years ago.
The one who gave me 17 reasons to love him today and forevermore.
I love ...

1. his infectious SMILE!
2. how he can inspire me to be a better mom, even if it's hard to face myself in the mirror.  He picks me back up and pulls me together.  Reminding me that it is okay that I am not a PERFECT mom!
3. that he is unashamed and I am not talking about an accidental fart in class, his dad singing at every wedding or my big mouth at a game.  He is unashamed of his FAITH.  It is a beautiful thing to watch his walk with God.
4. that he can make the most absurd sounds and enjoys SOUND effects just as much as I do.
5. how he can coral all his younger family members and friends into organized play, oh how this OCD mama loves this!
6. the theories he had as a child, that now make such wonderful and interesting STORIES to share.
7. that he is thoughtful and selfless, putting others NEEDS always before his own!  mainly my needs, as I rant on over the importance of folding all the towels in thirds and puberty over dinner.
8. the WAY he can reason with the angered, comfort the saddened, and rejoice with the overjoyed.
9. how without saying a word, he knows when I need him most, when he needs to pitch in and HELP out or if I look like I am about to have a mental break down and he warns others!
10. how chivalry is not lost on HIM.
11. when it counts that he learns the tough lessons in a big way, that become such a testimony to his FAITH!
12. that he is super talented artistically, but HUMBLE!
13. how no matter the situation, he remains RESPECTFUL.
14. that his words are never empty, they are full of emotion, full of IMPACT, full of thought, and full of reason.
15. how he OVERCOMES in the face of adversity.
16. that he HUGS tightly and is never the first to let go.
17. how he became more than I EVER imagined!

Being a parent is HARD, it's not easy putting many hours into a person and sending them out into the world.  Praying that you provided them with all the tools they needed to survive.  Praying you said just enough to pull them through.  Praying you did enough to help them succeed in life.  But there is never enough tools, rope, or money that prepares you for your children growing up.  There is only HIM!

I have always told the story of how Seth's name came to be (the short version: he was my second chance at life, read the bible.  If you want the long version, come have coffee with me someday).  But even after years of telling this story, I didn't know that 17 years ago I could have foretold how many chances would be brought forth thereafter.  Because with Seth, I strive to be a better mom, a better teacher, a better person.  He's taught me my biggest lesson in life - Mistakes don't define you, your response does!  And that is why I LOVE

THIS GUY right here ...


This handsome guy with the beautiful eyes and sincerely BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SETH!  WE LOVE YOU!!

Oh and P.S. if he grows up to be a poor pitiful soul, my alibi is I lived away most of his life as an acrobat in the Barnum & Bailey Circus and his Dad raised him.

My Corner of the Bayou

Saturday, May 31, 2014

You might see our little corner of the bayou as you drive on down to Grand Isle Beach.  You might drive through as you head to work.  The winding road along the bayou is peaceful and serene.  The patina coated boats, bridges and buildings tell of a time when things were a lot simpler.  Merely a glimpse is not enough though to tell you the stories this little area has.  We have had some rough times, some tragic moments, some dark days where there seemed to be little to no hope.  I can't say that sometimes I didn't cry myself to sleep over some of the events and happenings in this little Cajun community. Yet this area has something so powerful, so beautiful that a hurricane, tornado, shooting, death or the devil can't take away and that is:

WE RISE!! 
 
Wherever your faith lies, wherever your heart is ... there is always hope, always the beauty of life that was given to us.  If even just for a moment, life can be fulfilling.  And though the road may be paved with dirt, our feet blistered and sore, the roots of the past breaking through the surface as obstacles - the journey we take is one we can only learn, prosper and grow from.

Life has been full of obstacles for my little corner of the bayou to overcome, but something you might not see on your afternoon drive is our will to rise, to live and move forward.  Recently, a young man was involved in a tragic incident that has shaken the community.  Though some have risen in anger, many rose in prayer and poured love over the families affected as they have each and every time something has happened.  See we don't just ball up and give up hope, we rise!  We rise to the occasion and pray together, love together and show up together.  It is engraved into our souls, it is how our ancestors did as well in our little corner of the bayou.

So, next time you are driving through my corner of the bayou or through a small town or even a big city ponder the stories and the obstacles so many have overcome and you just might find strength you didn't know you had to push you through your own obstacles.  The courage to take on another day and move forward, scrubbing the dirt from beneath your nails, tending to the blisters your journey has given you and walking over and past the roots of the past to face the road ahead of you.  The one that you were meant to lead, the one you were meant to fall, the one you were meant to rise back up on.

So I leave you with this:  my favorite poet/author/actress Maya Angelou's famous poem And Still I Rise:

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