Monday, October 31, 2016

Family, Fun & Turning Forty-Ish

I'm back!! I unintentionally took a week off from blogging. What can I say, life got in the way. I had a major project at work (4 months in the making) not to mention my normal responsibilities. There's so much to catch you guys up on. Life is busy, but it's good and I'm blessed!

Last weekend, Andre & I took a little mini getaway to attend a going-away party for one of his dear military buddies. Captain Kittrell is being deployed in a couple of weeks and his family held a going away dinner for him. It almost seemed surreal to think about how I was in his wife's shoes not too long ago... I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up a couple of times. The sacrifices that soldiers and their families make is huge. Please keep his family in your prayers. On a more positive notes, Andre & I realized just how much we need to make spending time together (just the two of us) a higher priority. I see many more weekend trips without the boys in our future!

Well, we said goodbye to fall ball... The season didn't end quite the way we wanted to, but our whole family was grateful to have Spencer back at the mound completely healed. I'm looking forward to the spring. I know these guys will do great!

Another positive note, my sister came in from Atlanta to spend the week with us and this was the first time she was able to see Spencer play in a game. We love Tee Tee Dede!

My girlfriends and I are now at a point where we meet up at each other's kid's games just so we can spend time together. I love my people.

So, my sister got a two for one. She also got a chance to see Seth play in his first varsity game. At least she got to see one of their teams get a W! If they win this Friday they'll be headed to the playoffs! 

This past Saturday I celebrated my birthday. My sweet hubby made sure this was the first thing I saw when I woke up. 

We headed to a local burger joint for some over-sized cheeseburgers & french fries. I swear I probably consumed 5,000 calories this weekend... I will be doing some major adjusting to my diet these next couple of weeks, ugh!!

I'm so glad to be back and looking forward to you all meeting some amazing wives and moms. I'll be starting a new series that I'm sure will bless you and hopefully inspire you.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by....

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This weekend is going to be a packed one for me. We started our Friday night lights early supporting one of our favorite couple's son's football game. His team was undefeated headed into the playoffs, but they didn't come away with the win... Can I just say I witnessed several parents on last night that need to read my post about raising a good sport?

Image result for breast cancer ribbon
Moving on. This Saturday is our annual Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. Breast cancer has certainly affected my family, on both sides. Because of my history, I began getting annual mammograms a lot earlier than is recommended. I salute all of the breast cancer survivors, especially my loved ones including my Aunt Lythia who is a survivor and in memory of My Aunt Mae. If you are a survivor, keep fighting!

We'll be hitting the road on Saturday to attend a going away party for a friend of my husband who's headed to deploy to Iraq. I'm pretty sure this place will be hit up sometime during our trip. I have literally been to every Bass Pro Shop in the U.S.... At this point, I'm content to just sit in the care while the rest of my family drools over all the boats, lures, baits, deer corn etc...

I wish you all a happy and safe weekend. Finally, let's pray that the Hogs don't repeat another 4 time overtime against Auburn... Can we just win in 4 quarters with as little drama as possible? #wps

Until next time, thank you for stopping by.....

Arkansas' Josh Liddell celebrates with his team after

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Raising a Good Sport

 Now that I am deep in the throes of both football and baseball season with my sons, I thought that I would share with you all the MANY lessons I have learned. Let me start by saying this journey has not been an easy one and I have made my fair share of mistakes,,,,

Early on, It was pretty evident which sports my boys gravitated towards. For example, one afternoon when I was picking up my oldest son from daycare, his teacher politely took me to the side and said, "Mrs. Watson, does your husband play tackle football with Seth at home?" I had a confused look on my face (keep in mind that my child was only 11 months old!). She went on to explain that Seth had been imitating football stances during their carpet time and attempting to tackle anybody who happened to be in his eyesight! His physicality grew over the years and his passion for football has remained. Spencer, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. He gravitated more towards baseball and began playing at the age of four. 

That being said, here's a list of lessons that I'd like to share with you...

  1. Try to expose your child to as many sports as possible- between my boys, they've played everything from soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. It just so happens that football and baseball were the sports that they gravitated towards. We gave up on trying to force them to keep playing the sports they weren't interested in.
  2. Don't badmouth the coach- I will admit that I haven't always practiced this. However, I have learned that doing so has many negative repercussions. Your athlete will feed off that negative energy and take it with him onto the field. 
  3. Try to avoid critiquing/criticizing your child during and after a game. Again, something I learned the hard way. Your child does not need another coach, especially after a loss. Instead, if you feel the need to say something, try to wait until the next day. I have also learned to feed off of my sons. If they ask my opinion about their game/performance, I give them honest feedback but I make sure I am positive and loving with my comments.
  4. Don't take these sports so seriously- This is a hard one. The competition is stiff these days and, the older my boys get, the more competitive it is. I am like most parents that would love for both of my sons to be able to get college scholarships playing a sport that they love; however, I don't want to create a monster in the process. Try to find a balance. Get your athletes involved in other things besides sports.
Finally, I want to share this book that I found at my local library. It was buried in a pile during an annual giveaway. I saw Cal Ripken on the cover and grabbed it thinking it would be a baseball for dummies type of book. Turns out, it has some amazing advice in it, some of which I shared and more. I'm not even sure how old it is, but you can probably find it on Amazon. It is very well written and worth your time if you're interested.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday's Tips

Balancing Life as a Coach's Wife

Dr. Felicia Boyd

Today's Tuesday's tips comes from another one of my college BFF's. We met in college and have remained close ever since. Felicia has been an educator for over 20 years. She is currently an elementary school principal in Missouri.  I've also had the privilege of knowing her husband, Ramone almost as long. Felicia and Ramone met in college and have a beautiful family. In the spirit of football season, I wanted to hear first-hand from her what it's like to walk in the shoes of a wife of a high school football coach.

As the parent of two student athletes, I have gotten a front row seat to what I can imagine what it is like being the wife of a coach. Sometimes I cringe at some of the things I hear in the bleachers/field targeted at the coach. As parents, we have to remember that the coach is a human being and most times, has a wife and children. Throughout the years, I have learned to bridle my tongue. I try to put myself in the shoes of not only the coaches, put the families who sacrifice for the betterment of our sons/daughters.

1)      Tell us about your family
We are family of four.  We have a son Ramone II who is 12 years old and a 7th grader who is very active in sports.  We also have a 9 year old daughter, Symone who is a 4th grader and involved in dance as well as a variety activities at school.   Ramone and I have been married for 15 years.

2)      How long has Ramone been a coach? What team(s) has he coached for?
Ramone has coached for well over 20 years.  Football is his number one sport he coaches.  He has coached recreational football at Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls club for many of those years.  Currently he coaches high school football and baseball as well as our son’s baseball team for the last eight years.

3)      What is the hardest thing about being a coach's wife?
The hardest thing about being a coach’s wife is there is a lot of time sacrificed away from the family.  He has made adjustments in his schedule as our own children have gotten older, however it is hard to schedule family events due to practice and game schedules to work around.

4)      What impact has Ramone's job as a coach had on your children's experience w/playing sports? (advantages versus disadvantages of having a dad as a coach)
The impact has been a positive one especially for our son.  He is now very involved in sports and has a passion for baseball and basketball.  The advantage that Lil Ramone has had as having his dad as a coach is that he is able to process with him after a game and talk through what he needs to do for the next game or reflect about what went well and what he needs to work on.  I wouldn’t say that he has had any disadvantages having his dad coach.  Symone is growing in her involvement with the sports, however it’s still not her favorite thing.  We try to make the sporting events a family thing as much as possible so we are all together and spending time together.  

5)      What advice would you give to other wives of coaches?
As  a coach’s wife you need to be very secure and have a great relationship with your husband.  You need to be understanding that he is making an impact on many children’s lives.  My children and I are sharing their dad with other kids.  He is not only an influence in our home, but to many other kids outside of our home.  I have been blessed that my kids are very understanding of that and have welcomed other kids to have a relationship with their dad.  I have to be understanding that some of these kids come from single parent homes and some are moms doing this by themselves.  Ramone has to balance a professional relationship with these mothers and I have to know and trust that it is just that, professional.  He has done a good job of balancing it all.
I believe it is a team effort and both parties have to have a common understanding and respect for each other for the relationship to sustain.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by....

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekend In Review

Friday was the beginning of muzzleloader season. My guys headed back out to their deer camp. Spencer got another shot w/his bow on a six point, but nobody got any pictures... 

Friday night was a big night for Seth and Spencer. Spencer was voted by his classmates to be an honorary captain for Seth's high school homecoming game. It's been so much fun watching Spencer through the years being on the sideline supporting his big brother. I'm extremely proud of both of them.

On Saturday, I was able to help celebrate this cutie's birthday. Brooklyn's mom and I have known each other since high school. I have loved watching her grow up.

Dallas Cowboys Logo Design
Finally, how bout them Cowboys!! Now, keep in mind I have been a Dallas Cowboys fan since I was in the fourth grade. No band- wagging jumping over here! I have my dad to thank for that. I can remember so vividly sitting on the couch on Sundays after church with my dad watching Tony Dorsett play. He was one of my dad's favorite players. True story- I got the opportunity to attend Super Bowl XXI and bumped into Tony Dorsett at a party! I know it sounds too good to be true but it did happen! I am so proud of Dak Prescott. On that note, I will be VERY upset if Romo is put back as the starting QB! Bad move Jerry Jones!

Until next time, thank you for stopping by...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Andre!

Today is all about this guy... As I was deciding just what I would write about, there were a million different things that came across my mind. To make it easier on myself, I thought I would share, through pictures, just how much I love this guy and why I'm so happy to celebrate him today.

This picture was taken about two months after we met. Gosh, look how young and refreshed we look..Ha! It's been over 16 years since we started this life together. I'm so glad the Lord picked him for me.

I had no idea how much this picture would represent our married life. Andre has served his country well for over 25 years. We are all still recovering from his last overseas deployment. We couldn't be happier about his pending retirement. #andthechurchsaidamen

Everybody that knows Andre, knows how much he loves his boys. I couldn't have picked a better daddy for my boys.

Please join me in wishing my hubby Happy Birthday. Me, Seth and Spencer love you!

Until next time, thank you for stopping by....

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday's Tips from Tamara

Balancing Marriage, Family & Career

I'm pleased to share with you my good friend, Dr. Tamara Perry. I'll let Tamara introduce herself to you, but I want to share a little of our friendship. Tamara and I met later in life. I had reached a point where I thought I had all the girlfriends I needed. We met over ten years ago through mutual friends. One of the neat things about our friendship is that we both are mothers of boys and their ages all overlap each other. Tamara and her husband Robert opened their hearts and home to me and the boys during Andre's year deployment. I can't count the number of sleep-overs, meals, etc. that her family shared with mine. She's a beauty with a big heart. So glad our paths have crossed!

1) Tell us about your family- 
My husband, Robert, and I have been married for 18 years. We met when I was in medical school and got married when I was an intern, so he’s definitely been supportive through plenty of all-night study sessions, late nights on call, and long hours at work. We have 3 beautiful boys, Peyton 16, Parker 12, and Preston 10. They love being outdoors, playing every sport imaginable, and hanging out with family. They still think we’re pretty cool…most of the time.

2) What type of physician are you & where do you work? (if you don't mind sharing that)
I am an Allergy and Immunology doctor and researcher at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I am also the Medical Director of Telemedicine at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  I have a very fulfilling career that allows me to do what I love. I treat patients with allergies, asthma, and immunodeficiency. I enjoy seeing patients very much and have the opportunity to take care of patients with very common medical problems like allergies or asthma as well as those with extremely rare conditions involving the immune system. As a researcher, my main areas of study have been in food allergy and asthma. Most recently, I have focused on finding ways to improve pediatric care for children around our state and throughout the region through the use of telemedicine and other technology-based solutions like mobile apps.

3) What is your biggest challenge juggling your career & family?
The biggest challenge that I have had juggling career and family has been accepting the fact that I can’t do it all. It has been a process, actually it is still a work-in-progress. For years, I tried to meet unrealistic expectations. I struggled to try to be the perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect doctor, and everywhere in between. It has been challenging to let go of those unrealistic expectations for myself, but I’ve learned (and still learning) to let some things go. I’ve learned to honestly assess the value of doing “extra” things at work and at home especially if it potentially impacts quality time with my family. If I’m asked to do something like join a new committee or conduct a meeting, I don’t automatically say “yes” as I would have a few years ago. I really think about it and feel good about the decision after I’ve objectively balanced the pros and cons. Now my kids know that if I have to miss one of their activities, it’s because of something that is really important to me or my patients. The other thing that helps me juggle career and family is holding my boys (that includes my sons and husband) accountable for things at home. Instead of driving myself crazy trying to do everything around the house, they know they have to pitch in and do their household chores or I won’t have the time or energy to do the fun stuff they like to do as a family. Don’t get me wrong, I am still learning to live with the random clutter that goes with living in a houseful of boys – cleats, balls, water bottles – but “letting go” of some of the small stuff has been a lot less stressful than trying to keep everything picture perfect.

4) What has worked for you in helping balance your schedule?
I keep a calendar with reminders. I couldn’t survive without it! I put everything including work commitments, personal appointments, and all kids’ activities on my Outlook “master” calendar. I also keep a dry erase board calendar at home that includes all of the kids’ activities. That helps us stay organized, and helps the kids know when they have after school practices, games, or other activities. It ensures that we coordinate our schedules to get everybody picked up or dropped off on time. One of the most important things to me about keeping a calendar is making sure I block off personal time. I block off a few hours every month to do something just for me – usually it’s something girly like going to get a massage or pedicure but sometimes it’s something I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t made time for like meeting a friend for lunch or catching up on my DVR recordings.

5) What are your hobbies/how do you spend your downtime?
I don’t have any major hobbies, but I like to travel and read. I usually spend my downtime and vacations with my family, including my sister and mom. Between the two of us, my sister and I have 7 boys that love sports so I’ve spent my fair share of “downtime” at baseball, soccer, and football fields. I also work out or run at least 4 days a week. It’s important to me to stay fit and healthy. I want to set an example of a healthy lifestyle for my kids.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by,,,,,

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Am I the only one that's glad it's Friday? This week has seriously kicked my butt! I am so looking forward to some down time..

This guy is going to be back at it this weekend. He learned a hard lesson about striking too soon... I love it that he and his dad are getting this special time together. It also means another free weekend for this momma!

If you're looking for me tonight, I'll be deep in South Arkansas rooting on #24 and his awesome teammates. These guys are going up against a tough squad that's also undefeated. I'm already prayed up and hoping for a W! #gosenators!

Speaking of football, I am so blessed by Seth's village. He has had a tremendous show of support of family and friends.

Last up on my favorites are these two books I'm reading.

I am a huge fan of Jennifer Weiner. I discovered her books two years ago and have been hooked. I'm not as faithful as a reader as I should, but when I have time she's definitely one of my to-go-to authors. So far so good. I'll let you all know what I think once I'm finished.

In honor of the Razorback game this Saturday, I'd thought I'd peek into the mind of this guy. I know, it should be illegal for anyone from Arkansas to read this book. Say what you want about the guy, but he knows his stuff. I expect to come away feeling very enlightened. #pigsooieanyway

Until next time, thank you for stopping by...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tuesday's Tips From Traci

"Empty Nest Syndrome"

Question 1- Tell us about your family

I am a single parent of one girl whose 18 years old. She goes to school 4 hours away in Chicago to a non- traditional campus. I am an educator, currently working with youth who have not made the best choices in school and are credit deficient. I love being a parent as  well as working with youth. I also find television and movie watching very entertaining. I love watching football and learning more about the game each season. 

Question 2- How did you prepare Lauren for college?

I prepared Lauren for college by giving her appropriate responsibilities. I also spent the summer away from her in hopes of  equipping her with the confidence to be responsible and security of me being there to support her and not carry her through these years...essentially being independent and still needing mom as a guide.

Question 3- What has been the hardest/most challenging part of having an empty nest?

The hardest part for me is doing things that have always been done with both of us and it just being me attending church. we have been attending church as a family and now to worship alone seems weird.

Question 4 - What advice would you give to moms who are getting ready to experience an empty nest?

Before your child leaves...make a life for yourself that is separated from being a mom. I have always had a life outside of motherhood such as dating and hanging with friends having grown up fun. Although I had that, my life still involved being actively responsible for her and talking about her day when we returned home.

Question 5- As an educator, what advice would you give to a high school student who's preparing for college?

Have a plan for your life after high school early, even if it changes...It is still good to have a goal that way you are directed towards an end. that end may change from freshman year to senior year and that's fine. day 1 freshman year grades are are building the foundation for your GPA. Take all assessments seriously because you don't know what doors you are closing by not taking assessments seriously. When it's time for your senior year, make a timeline of tasks scholarships & applications to complete and stick to it.

Me and the high school graduate at her first birthday party....

Until next time, thank you for stopping by.