and then there are curveballs

When I turned on my Spotify station this morning when I got to work, the first song that came on was “Praise you in this Storm” by Casting Crowns.  This song is special to me, as it was played at the funeral of my sweet friend Anissa.  It also just hits me in my heart.  It is a reminder to praise God in every storm that you face in life, no matter what, no matter what curve ball life throws at you.

Curve balls by definition are a pitch that at pitcher throws with spin to make it swerve downward and usually to the left when thrown from the right hand or to the right when thrown from the left hand.   Life tends to throw curve balls at you when you least expect it to happen, which is why baseball has always been a great metaphor for life.

Last Friday, Jake and I were thrown one giant curve ball in life.  While I wish I could be jumping up and down saying we are pregnant, we aren’t.  That is my kind of curve ball.  Unfortunately this one affects a few more things.  Jake lost his job.

It was something we knew was a possibility, we just didn’t expect it to happen when it did.  However, now – 3 days later the initial shock has worn off and we are working towards solutions.   It is a scary, and overwhelming feeling when you realize that you are now the sole provider for a family of 5 people.  Jake carried our health insurance through his work, so we are now having to switch all that over to my state insurance plan.  We are in the middle of dealing with the major expense of our A/C units (both of them) dying.  We have a home warranty, but it only covers a portion of the cost.   This couldn’t have come at a worse time.   I have always firmly believed that God laughs we we make plans, because it’s his timing, not ours.  And oh boy do Jake and I have all sorts of plans.  We want to redo the flower beds at the front of the house, we want to paint our kitchen cabinets and get new counter-tops.   We have dreams and goals, and things we want for the kids – but those things can wait.   God laughs – and we keep making plans.

I went into full blown survival mode on Saturday morning, similar to how I felt when my ex-husband first left.   I counted out every penny we had between my paycheck, child support and the small check I got for selling oils last month.  This is doable, I got this.  Work at Historic Columbia is slow, but even 1 wedding brings in about $80 for me, which is groceries.  Being able to say “I got this” is such a blessing, and I am so thankful for where I am in life right now that I can look at my husband and say we can do this, it is going to be okay (even if I am secretly sometimes freaking out).  I know deep down “we got this”.

It is going to affect a few things – but they are minor.  We are cutting the cable television off, which is a savings of over $100 a month.   I won’t be getting a new car, we’ll keep patching and putting along with the van.   We may not make it to Michigan in July as planned.  We will be totally bummed, but a vacation is not as important as the roof over our heads and feeding my kids.  I’m not typing this all out for sympathy, or to get anything from it.  I would love prayers and good vibes if you can spare them, but other than that – we are okay.

Life throws you curves, and you learn to swerve – or at best, swing and hit it out of the park.

 

 

 

 

being the coaches wife

As this season of baseball winds down – I am a mix of happy and sad.  I love watching Jonathan play ball, he has worked hard this season and has worked his way out of the outfield to playing 2nd base.  He is doing wonderful!  I love watching Jake coach.  It is something super special to watch your husband work his butt off with these kids, and he loves it.  Jonathan loves having him for a coach, and that bond between them is growing so strong.

But….I digress.  We have had some problems this season, and I’m happy for the season to be ending.   As the coaches wife, it is hard to sit in the stands (or in my chair), and do the score book, while parents all around you complain about coaching decisions.  Being a coach is never a perfect science – someone is always going to be unhappy.  We have more kids than positions, so we have to rotate the kids in and out.  Some weeks some kids will play every inning – it is a balance.  Especially when you have to remember pitch counts in weeks when you have 2 games.

Then you sometimes have to deal with the occasional “crazy mom” – every team has one.  The one who complains if the coach is even 1 minute late to practice (traffic happens, even when we leave in plenty of time), the one who refuses to participate in an anything (ie: working the scoreboard, snacks, etc).  Then there are the bleacher coaches, who despite the fact that we have 3 coaches on the field – they still think they should coach their kid from the bleachers (this actually happened, we had a dad calling pitches from behind the backstop before being called out by the ump).   People always want to complain, but never step up to watch to volunteer – they want someone else to do it.  They are also the ones who are going to complain the loudest.

We have been in this league since Jonathan was in tee-ball. I have been the team mom 5 seasons now, and Jake has coached for 2 seasons.  We want to become more active in the board, and look forward to many more evenings at the ball park – but for now, we are grateful for the summer break.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s out there.  

To my mama Denise who raised me and my brother.  We turned out as stable, hard working adults who are pretty decent humans too.

To my mother in law Marge, who raised the incredible man who became my husband.  Thank you!

To my best friend LJ, your sweet babies are so loved and one day we will get to hold them again.  <3  

do you ever?

Do you ever just look around and say “holy crap, this is my life?” – but like, not in a bad way, in a good way.

The other day I walked into my house after work, and the kids were all clamoring for my attention.  I had just suffered through another hour long commute home, I needed to pee, Jake wanted a kiss and dinner still needed to be made.

I took a step back as I walked into my bedroom to change and thought “this is the life I have always wanted”.  I spent the first 5 years after I moved to South Carolina struggling to keep it all together.  There were always more bills than money, there was never enough time to get from one place to another and I was being both parents a lot of the time.  My ex husband is as involved as he chooses to be, and after 5+ years of expecting more, I have learned to let it all go and stop expecting him to be the parent I want him to be.  Fast forward to January 2016 – I meet Jake and life begins to fall into place.  I still struggled then, being a single mom with a full time job and a business.  I take on a part time job to help bridge the gap, and my business builds.   Then we come to May 2017, we move into a house – together.  The puzzle seems to be complete.  We sit at the dinner table for dinner together, as a family.  I feel like we aren’t struggling any more.  I have help.   We have 2 incomes, and we talk – boy do we ever talk, and did I mention I have help?  He helps with homework, and brushes hair after baths and does laundry.  He doesn’t expect me to do everything, and that is HUGE.

I sometimes look around and think how God has blessed me.  With a husband who is amazing beyond my wildest dreams, kids who are content and happy, a home that is OURS.    It maybe messy, but it is a beautiful ride!

friday favorites!

It has been awhile since I have done a Friday favorites list!   We have been so busy with baseball that sometimes it feels like we barely have a moment to sit down and veg out, but we have had a few times we have been able to do this!

Here are some of my favorite things lately!

The documentary Flint Town on Netflix.  I watched the first episode on my lunch break a few weeks ago, and then came home and told Jake all about it.  I just knew we had to watch it together.  This documentary about a town in crisis is heartbreaking, heartwarming, somber and will make you laugh and cry.  I am willing to admit I did a lot of both.  Flint, Michigan ranks as one of the deadliest cities in America, with one of the highest violent crime rates ever.  Add on top of that an international news making water crisis, a city government in ruins (financially), and a police force that is struggling to serve the 100k citizens.  How the city is still standing blows me away.  We have several members of Jake’s family who live within the Genesee County area, and Flint is the largest city within the county.

I highly encourage everyone to watch this on Netflix.

 

 

Sending happy mail!   I love getting  letters in the mail, and I know that it is a lost art.  Plus, mailing stuff is hella expensive now a days!  A stamp is 50¢ now!  I remember back when the kids dad was in boot camp, stamps were like 28¢.   Either way, I still like surprising members of my oils team with letters of congrats or encouragement.  I also fully believe in sending birthday cards whenever possible!  I just got done writing up a few before I started writing this.

Our new patio set.  My mother in law got us a table & an umbrella for Easter/just because.  Jake and I then went to Charleston and picked up some matching chairs at the At Home store.   We have eaten out there a few times a week since we got it all set up, and we love it!  The kids are always asking “can we eat outside?!?”  They love the lazy susan in the middle of the table.

We were able to get 5 matching chairs, so everyone has a place to sit (we just didn’t have them all up when we took the picture).

The Umbrella & Chairs came from “At Home” stores (locally there is one in Charleston and another in Greenville).   The table & umbrella base came from Lowes here in Lexington.

I’m looking forward to many more nights of sitting out there while Jake grills (our grill is to the left of the table about  foot away), and while the kids play.

What are some of your favorite things?

wordless wednesday

This was taken in May 2012 at Jonathan’s PreK graduation, and now he is about to graduate from 5th grade!   I hope him and his sister Natalee always remain this close!   (side note – we just got rid of that dress last year, she still fit into it for 5 years!).

 

myspace flashback

My friend Kaylin posted this on facebook, and said that it reminded her of MySpace.  Who here had a Myspace?

CAN YOU FILL THIS OUT WITHOUT LYING?

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? smarties candies

2. Do you sleep naked?   Yes I do.

3. Worst physical pain you have had?  ovarian torsion (google it)

4. Favorite place you have been?  too many to name, but I love Banner Elk, NC.

5. How late did you stay up last night? 9:30 or so I think.

6. If you could move somewhere else where would you go?  Michigan to be near family or NC to be near family.

7. Which of your Facebook friends snores the closest to you?   Well, this is a weird question but the answer is Jake, sleeping next to me.

8. When was the last time you cried?  Last night while we were watching “All or Nothing” on amazon (it’s about Michigan football).

9. Who took your profile picture on facebook?   Jake did.

10. ——- I mean, ?

11. What’s your favorite season? Summer

12. If you could have ANY career what would it be?  PGA tour wife.  Kidding (sort of).   I’d go back to college athletics and so something with player character development or life skills development.

13. What was the last book you read?   Detroit, An American Autopsy (excellent book)

14. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be?  my grandmama

15. Are you a good Influence?  Depends on the topic.

16. Does pineapple belong on a pizza?  NO!

17. You have the remote, what channel would you be on?  Destination America

18. Last concert you attended? Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

19. Favorite type of food? Mexican Food!

20. Your MySpace profile pic?  It was of my family at my brothers wedding, and it has my now ex-husband in it.  Boo!

 

tuesday tunes

It has been awhile since I have posted about the Tuesday tunes.  I got to thinking that I never did post about what songs we used in our wedding!   Despite the fact that I did NOT tear up on that day (I didn’t want to ruin my makeup that Allison spent an hour doing), I tear up now when I hear them!    

I walked down the aisle to “Marry Me” by Train.  Originally this was supposed to be played on guitar by my dear friend Tyler, and sung by him as well.  2 weeks before the wedding, he was hurt training (jujitsu) and was unable
to play the day of.  We opted to just use the song as it was originally done by Train.  Jake still cannot listen to
this song without tearing up.

~~~~~~~~~
The song we did our first dance to was “Today” by Brad Paisley.  I just love this song, and I think it fit us perfectly. 
~~~~~~~~

The father daughter dance was to Southern Style by Darius Rucker, when I sent this song to my mama, she said my daddy really liked it so we went with it.  It fits me so much!   We had a harder time with a song for Jake and his mom, and we finally settled on My Wish by Rascal Flatts – it wasn’t overly lovey, like some of the songs that had been suggested to us.  Some of the suggestions we were given were more for a husband-wife than a mother & son!