Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swim-A-Thon 2014 - The Heart of a Champion

He worked hard to raise money for his team. He was excited to see how many laps he would swim this year. He couldn't wait for Gramma Diggy to watch him. But an hour before we left for the annual Swim-A-Thon, he came down with a bad headache. I gave him some ibuprofen, hoping that would help, thinking it was maybe allergies, actually hoping it was allergies. Upon arrival at the pool, he got the shivers - not a good sign. But wild horses couldn't have dragged him away from that pool - he was not about to let his grandma or supporters down! And so he swam for the two hours they had to swim, and he completed 70 laps. It was obvious he didn't feel well, but he pushed on. Had he been healthy, he likely would have gone over a 100 laps, but still he found that try deep down inside of him, and not only met his goal (65 laps), he exceeded it! And he made us all super proud! However, after we made it home, he plopped on the couch, not even daring to eat a bite of pizza, which is his favorite food in the world, and after a quick shower to get all the chlorine off, threw up and spent a restless night with a high fever ibuprofen and Tylenol didn't touch. He was lethargic and on the couch for the next two days. He rallied his strength to make the trip to Portland to get his sister and grandma to the airport. His dad and I took him straight to the doctor as soon as we got home, and thankfully, he didn't have Strep or Toncilitus, just a really nasty virus. He's still recovering, but doing better every day. He's a tough one, that's for sure!
Thanks to his generous supporters, he earned some wonderful donated prizes! Above, he is holding gift cards. He can't wait to use them!
One of the prizes he earned was a timed "soaking" of his coaches. He didn't really like soaking them, but made the most of it!
All the swimmers, swimming away...
Done! It was easy to see he was pale and not feeling well. But he did it! And nobody was more proud of him than his Gramma Diggy, who thought he was the most wonderful swimmer in the pool. Hey - that's what grandparents are for!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Texas Bound and Down, Loaded Up and Flyin'

She has been counting the days down for MONTHS! Ever since we decided she would be flying to Texas with Gramma Diggy, she has been living for the day she would fly out. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, time flew by, and yesterday appeared, and they were off! Above, she and Britt sat together on the shuttle to the airport. Below, a few last pictures before they left us...
I love how close Brailey and Britt are in this picture. Notice Brady is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY ahead of us. Britt was pretty sick, but no fever at this point, just at the recovering stage, and he was a trooper.
Her friend Isa got her this bag for her birthday, and it was so perfect for the trip! She is really into "Americana" right now, and loves this backpack!
They lucked out - Gramma Diggy's legs have been giving her a lot of trouble, and because they were traveling together and Brailey was so young, the airline got Diana a wheelchair, and so they were able to skip the long check-in lines and were assisted every step of the way through security and directly onto the plane. What a relief!
The sad brother... And mama! Yes, I admit it - I CRIED! It makes me tear up just thinking about it, as a matter of fact. Brailey had a couple of tears, but she is tougher than her mother, and she sucked them right down. Britt was sad for himself and for his mom - he's such a tender soul. 
Brady, however, was just fine! He knew Brailey would be in good hands, and he was excited for them.
And thankfully, they made it safe and sound! The plane left five minutes early and got there ahead of schedule (thank you to all the family and friends for the safe travels prayers!). Below, Brailey is with her darling little cousin, Preslie. Apparently, they've already put on a play and have had a sleepover! We are so thrilled for her to have this opportunity. We asked what she was going to do today, and they've got her on a horse, "working the flag!" She is so lucky and blessed to experience Brady's wonderful sister and her family. The three of us left in Oregon are JEALOUS! But we couldn't be happier for her, and we know this is a trip she will remember for the rest of her life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brailey's Middle School Art Show

She loved her art class so much this year! And her teacher loved her - I'm so thankful she was able to take this class. They had a wonderful evening at her school showcasing all the art and the school band, as well. After a long day of school and swim practice, we just stopped by briefly to see Brailey's compositions, and I'm so glad we did - they were wonderful. Her Aunti Nicoley and grandmas will be thrilled!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2014 - The Best Father's Day EVER!

Yes, that's right - the best Father's Day EVER! That's what Brady claims it was... We started the day out bright and early, because we had another swim meet to attend. So right off the bat, Brady got to open his gifts. One of the gifts was from our wonderful friend Renee who took pictures of Brailey and Britt in a Super Hero theme with words about why Brady is their hero, which he loved! She also included cards and a super hero comic strip they each filled out. They worked hard on them and wrote amazing stores! Their dad is truly their hero. The swim meet was great, as well - Britt did really well and made his dad proud. He made everyone proud! Afterwards, we went to Brady's choice for lunch, Five Guys, which was absolutely delicious, and then we enjoyed an afternoon of riding and roping the dummy. We also had a spectacular WWE performance and a wild Nerf Gun Battle. Truly, it was a perfect Father's Day for Brady, and I'm so glad, because he deserves it. The pictures will demonstrate the beautiful day it was... Scroll away!
Britt is a lover - he gives us all lots of loves. He loves his dad so much!
Brailey and Brady checking out a video on her phone.
Like father, like daughter. Ya think? Ha! They stand exactly the same! And thank the good Lord above Brailey got Brady's long legs!
Can you spy Brady and Britt in the picture above? Brady was right at the block for every race, cheering his Brittster Man on. He also had to save the day in the 100 Backstroke, which Britt got entered into at the last minute. The ref didn't realize Britt was in the race until Big Daddy explained it to them. Phew!
I took over Brady's horse, Maggie. Ha! So Brady has been riding Sadie, and of course the little B's are on Tex and Alvin. We took these pictures ourselves - tricky, aren't we?
The two beginners, learning the ropes, as they say - PUN INTENDED!

Friday, June 13, 2014

"Don't Judge Me!"

"Don't judge me!" That's what Britt said to me the other day after he tooted in front of me. He said it in good fun, and we both laughed, of course, because it was pretty funny. I mean, toots in general are funny. That's just a fact of life. But his remark got me thinking - has society gotten so judgmental even my ten year old knows what it means to judge and be judged? Wow.

On the one hand, I think it is good that more people are becoming aware of how judgy we all are. Because I will be the first to admit - no matter how much I try to be a good person? I'm judgy! Yes! I dislike bratty kids that take all the attention away from the good kids. I deplore laziness. I loathe bad customer service. And yes, I make fun of fat people (including myself!). Actually, I make fun of a lot of stuff. But more than anything, I judge myself and my kids and my husband - although rather than looking at this in a negative light, I prefer to think I am striving to bring out "the best" in us. Whatever the status of your judgmentalism, I know for a fact I am not alone. I haven't met a person yet that doesn't make fun of people. I've even heard a priest partake in judging folks who did something that hurt his feelings during mass. Yes, you read that right - a PRIEST.

It has become quite the joke, hasn't it? Our world is so riddled with judgmentalism the phrase "don't judge me" has become a punch line. Really, it shouldn't be a such a joke. I'm glad we are all aware of how much judging we do and that it isn't a good thing. Yet, we don't seem to stop. I guess it is part of being human, when you get right down to it. Maybe it is linked to that part of us that knows what is right and wrong and the values we hold, which are different for everyone. Or maybe it is that inherent knowledge that we will all be judged one day by our Maker - that is the scariest thought of all, isn't it?

So I'm going to keep on working on this part of myself. I'm glad I have a sense of humor, but I don't want to raise "judgy" kids (who will thereby become judgy adults). Like Britt's yoga instructor says at the end of class (the whole class says it together while touching their chest, mouth and head), "Kind hearts, kind words, kind thoughts. Kind hearts, kind words, kind thoughts. Kind thoughts, kind words, kind hearts. The best in me honors the best in you." 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From Yoga-Boy to Swim-Boy

One of the most awesome things about this spring has been the opportunity for Britt to take a yoga class on early-release days after school. He didn't want to to do it, and was not looking forward to it at all, but guess what? After the very first class he was hooked! He loves it! He has a super nice instructor, Chelsea, and she taught the class all kinds of wonderful poses. Above, you see him doing a hand stand. This yoga class has been a great experience for Britt.
Sometimes, my funny boy will ham it up for the camera. He saw me taking pictures last week at swim practice, and so he took the time to strike a couple of poses for me. SO FUNNY! He also waves to me when he is doing his backstroke and blows me lots of kisses. Very entertaining!
Sunday, we found ourselves in Albany for another swim meet. There are lots of them, now! Britt loves the meets, and he did so well! This is only the second time he has swam in a 50 meter pool, and he showed a lot of grit and determination, especially in his 100 Freestyle. Above, you see him with Coach Sarah. Below, he and his friends love to play on their devices. I only let Britt do this for a short time, and then he spends the rest of the time visiting and focusing.
Brady and Brailey on their devices, as well. Okay - I admit it! When I wasn't taking pictures, I was on my phone plenty, too.
One of the swimmers at the meet was the daughter of England's 2012 gold medalist, Mo Farah - he is now sponsored by Nike and lives in Oregon. Brady stopped by to chat with him, of course, and I snapped these pictures from afar. He is a super humble, gracious man, and Brady thoroughly enjoyed talking to him.
And our below, our swimmer, getting ready to swim his last race. He has several meets and his Swim-A-Thon coming up. He has been working so hard to improve his swimming, and it is really showing! He improved every single one of his times, which is great. We are super proud of him!

April - Here and Gone in the Blink of an Eye

It seems crazy to think Easter Sunday was on April Fool's Day this year, but it totally was. We started our Easter at mass with our fa...