Sunday, July 29, 2018

Humidity and Humility... Highs, Lows and Life Lessons Learned on Our Summer Swim Team

The summer swim season has come to a close so I'll ceremoniously give my thought on why the heck we spent the last 8 or 9 or 10? weeks pool side for countless practices and a handful of meets and coolers full of snacks and the occasional popsicle afterward. 

I was pretty on the fence about bringing M to the conference meet because this year it was a bit further than the regular 15 min drive to the Y. She can swim the length of the pool by herself and was supposed to do it at the conference meet even though she was still swimming pup squad. It was an early start at 6:15 but she came bounding out of her room and I couldn't say no. 

E had her heart set and her mind made up about getting high point winner for the meet. When she found out the girl she thought stood in her way wasn't at the meet, she was pumped. I kept reminding her it was not a done deal and she had to get through each stroke. 

They were really cute cheering each other and their friends on. 

R had a great meet. I'm so proud of her for doing three strokes this season. She has got some fierce competition in her age group and considering she really has only been swimming for 10 weeks it is quite remarkable how well she has done. At this meet she got a red ribbon in freestyle, she got her stroke/breathe count synced for breaststroke and stayed on her back the whole time of backstroke - but honestly R is not overly concerned about the colors of ribbons. She did ask a few times if she could get the high points medal for 6 and under and I quickly reminded her that she swims against girls who swim year round and maybe that would be in the cards next year. 

E swam a great IM (minus the crazy, crazy, crazy breathes she takes during freestyle) and backstroke at the meet so she was psyched with two first places. We talked about doing a shallower dive and quicker strokes for breaststroke (which was questionably legal last summer). Breaststroke was the weakest link and it was the stroke that the other girl who was vying for the high points medal was swimming. 

Before the race, she knew she had it. I told her if she got first she'd get the medal. If she didn't, then she'd have to wait and see how this girl did in free. I don't think she was listening. 

E swam one of the quickest breaststrokes I think I've since her swim but she came up a few seconds short and very much in second place. 

She kept her goggles on and let the tears flow and the frustration out at the tent away from her team. She was crushed. As in, I never want to swim again - upset. 

She perked up enough to cheer on R in her last race - free and I told her she'd better be cheering hard for her teammate (who was swimming against the girl who beat her in breaststroke). The race was insanely close. I couldn't see who won

I love R's expression

The girl who beat her in breaststroke ended up 3rd in free (she was .2 seconds away from 1st) 

so E brought home the high points medal after all, not without a little drama and some major help from a teammate (the one who is patting her back is the one who won freestyle) and another swimmer

So overall the day was a long, hot one with a major low but an even higher high. There were lessons in practicing humility because maybe we aren't the best - and that's okay, there were lessons in practicing hard really, in fact, can pay off, there were lessons in let's do things over the winter so we can be better in the summer and there were lessons in just plain old - go out there and have fun! We also learned that going to Chik-Fil-A off I-95 at 12:45 is not the best of ideas for lunch but we waited it out because that's what we were ALL craving and we ended up having a nice lunch with some swim friends - we learned we can fit 2 moms and 5 kids in a CFA booth made for 4 people. 

I'm proud of E for earning the medal but I'm also glad it it didn't come easy. 

A was carrying around the shark mascot after the swim team end of year gathering. #futureshark

Swim season coming to a close is hard because in some ways it seems like we just started. It also makes summer feel like it is over (even though it's not). I can't say I'll miss shlepping all the kids to practice in the evening (because Lee's rarely home in time for me to leave the non swimmers) and our summer sitter is probably glad to not be tied to the practice schedule. Maybe we'll still make it to the pool over the next month or so. 

The season has been filled with so much progress and many successes. 

We came.

They swam. 

We conquered summer swim 2018. 

And it was worth it. It would not have been possible without the dedication of the coaches and parent volunteers who make the swim team go around. We are so grateful to be part of our pool. It is a gift. 

She wanted a pic with awards - she won high points award for the team for the season. 

I handed her the bag of PB M&Ms I promised her if she won high points at the conference meet - she was expecting them but surprised. I told her she owes her friend a few of them for helping her out in freestyle. I think she's definitely ready to share :  )

Hasta la vista Nash Rec 2018. We'll be ready to swim hard next summa!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

7QTs - Waterparks, Church, A Book

Linking up with Kelly ... semi-back on track


Last Friday I set up the pools that we bought back in May...

The sole purpose was 

backyard water park 

Which was not without issue - hello, putting air in these things. 

A definitely got the best ride 

Everyone had fun - it would have been better if it was 100 degrees instead of 80 but they were BEGGING

So it was fun for them and maybe we'll do it again. 


Saturday we had dinner with preschool friends which is so nice and important to keep up with friends the girls don't see everyday at school. Friendships take time and work so chose wisely :  )


Sunday Lee was home for all the Masses. We hit the 9 am. People, we did not have to leave the church - like not even in the narthex. I don't think I released it until well after the fact. A roamed a bit and wanted to help the ushers pass the collection baskets. That was cute. 

For dinner we gathered with R's spring tee ball team for a celebration of a perfect season. For a group of 5 and 6 yr olds it was quite impressive. They maxed out on runs every single inning they played, and obviously, didn't lose a game. One more season of tee ball (which is really semi coach pitch) for R. Oh how much easier it would be if she just wanted to swim with E BUT... that's not how we roll. 

Wednesday we headed to the Y for E's EOY swim dinner. That was great seeing everyone again and we'll be hitting that pool before we know it. 


This week we pulled the trigger and got plane tickets for a friend of mine's wedding / (six weeks early) 10th (i know, crazy) anniversary trip. It should be a total blast if I am not a total wreck about leaving the kids for 5 days.


Let's see, I finished a book this week. Shocking I know. 

The book is called, The Gospel Comes With a House Key. 

Honestly I could barely put it down. It was super thought provoking and a fun and interesting read. I have a few more books that comes through on my FB newsfeed/ Amazon suggestions so I'm on a reading high after that one and I'm worried the others won't measure up. 


We've spent quite a bit of time at the pool this week...

A has loved the noodle and loves that water can freely or forcibly flow through the noodle. He thought it was hilarious and other little boys helped make the noodle fun for much longer than I would have ever expected. 


Saturday is the big end of summer swim meet. It will be an early morning for us so praying and cheering for some fast swims. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

7QTs - Pools, Boots, VBS

Linking up with Kelly ... let's back up and catch up


I've been trying to hit the pool with the kids on Fridays because it gets us out of the house and C is mostly good there.

Someone found this really squishy wang thing in the lost and found and we promptly dipped it in the pool and C when to town. 

For some reason it feels as if summer days are waning but I have to keep telling myself we still have some time left. 


I went to San Antonio for a few days for work which was still very workish but it was a break from parenting

Thanks to Lee and my parents and Jibbe and others who held down the fort. It is so funny to me at these meetings people would ask me 'who is keeping your kids?'.... Their dad? My husband? (Grammy and Grandpa Joe had the baby) but still people, dads are parents just as much as moms are parents - dads are fully capable -trust me. Do you think that the guys were asked (nearly as much or even at all) who was watching their kids while they were at this conference? Me thinks not. 


A is so cute... 

Cowboy boots and a diaper and potty training him is, well, going... He goes sometimes and sometimes he doesn't. Just the other day at the pool we were getting dried off and he shouted... I PEEEEEED... right there on the concrete. So much for drying off!


The girls had VBS the week I went to San Antonio

They had a really great time and are still singing songs. So thankful for the volunteers who made it possible. 


Swim meet news...

M still proudly doing pup

My forever snacker

I'm quite sure she totally could have swam down the pool by herself but I don't think she really wanted to. She's done it 3 times for me but gets quite vertical when taking a breathe. 


R did her normal back, breast, free routine... 

She did great but didn't breath one breathe the first half lap of breaststroke... so that was funny : )

She's in it for the fun times and the snacks and doesn't really mind too much about her times or ribbons like her bookend sisters do. 


E still has her eye on a conference medal...

Which is going to be tough for her but she thinks she's got a fighting chance. So we'll be cheering her on til the end!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Beach 2018

And this is how the beach trip of 2018 shook out... 

Hello everyone and welcome to me, I am the feature attraction here... 

There was lots of sand playing and consumption by C

R found a starfish (first time we had seen a starfish at the beach) in a tide pool though I am convinced it was dead

Where's the baby?

A loved the hose

Pay back

C not sure what to think

There was lots of boogie boarding made possible by adults braver than I 

A ran a ways down the beach chasing seagulls to the point where some people kept wondering where his mother was

Grammy got this great new sand set with a crab and a fish and A was obsessed except he lost the fish 

Riding the waves

There was lots of lathering up with sunscreen

Mermaid numero uno

Numero dos

Yay beach!

Where's the baby?

Nicole supervised nail painting which is a huge deal in our house because I only let them paint their nails at the beach - I don't really know why anymore but I'm good with that 

Grandpa Joe jumping in the waves

Mermaid numero tres

Fun times

Wipe out

More fun times

Not nervous about a collision at all...

A stayed very very very busy between the sand and the water he was in busyness heaven and I also love his little jammers which apparently is really good for boys to wear at the beach to prevent chaffing. #tipsformomboys

We went out for ice cream one night 

And A didn't come because he was a total wreck at dinner

Which was a bummer that not everyone went 

But the beach days are exhausting for everyone so I'm not super surprised

Where's the baby?

E had a good walk with my dad down to Bird Island one day which was neat. I'm glad she made it

There was lots of fun times netting fish in the tide pools 

I helped the girls make a big sand castle and I wanted to get a pic of them with it but A bombed it

While we were there... we did a 1000 piece puzzle (I saw one similar to this when I was in China and I finally found a good time to do it with its of help). It was really cool and I think everyone was really surprised it actually got done. I'm not surprised that the glue it came with DID NOT WORK. But next year I'm bringing a bigger puzzle and some better glue. 

A figured out how to climb out of the pack and play and loaded himself up with everyone's pillows 

I'm a Little Crabby 2018

It was also the 4th of July on our last day down there

2 along for the ride...

A had a ball on this scooter. The girls and I biked a bit and I wish we would have biked more but it is hard because E is a faster biker and M is not


One gorgeous night

Grammy's 4th of July masterpiece... 

Waiting for the fireworks 

See that little red ball on the horizon... that was our fireworks... which was disappointing because I love fireworks and lobbied hard to leave Wednesday afternoon so we could go to fireworks back here because.... This is what they look like

But I lost out and we played with glow sticks 

And sparklers - that was a bust - and A touched the tip of one and got burned 

But they liked it so whatever... 

Other thoughts on the beach... 

Wow it takes a village. Lee was back home working so it was me and Grammy and Grandpa Joe and Uncle Kevin and Nicole keeping it real for the kids. Which overall went quite well but I'd be lying if I didn't say there were some nerve wracking times too - A at dinner time. But all the kids talk about from about October on is... when are we going to the beach? So it is not about vacationing, it is about making memories and with lots of sacrifice, we did just that. C was a terrible, terrible sleeper and I'm convinced she gets up a few times a night and we just don't hear her because she screams out and then goes back to sleep. We loaded up the van (which was notably weighed down) and drove home and then went (almost) straight to a swim meet. Someone recently ask me 'if I was settled back in' and my response was something like, we are constantly in flux, always moving - and I really wouldn't want it any other way.