Thursday, March 1, 2018

February - Sickness and Health

February flew by in the blink of an eye, didn't it? Weather-wise, it was more like March, as it came in like a lamb, but went out like a great, roaring lion. Did it ever! As you can see, the beginning was warm enough for tee shirts outside on Super Bowl Sunday. Our house was divided that day, as Britt and Brady were rooting for the Eagles and Braiely and I were cheering on the Patriots. This was a really fun afternoon for our family, watching the Super Bowl together. Although it was disappointing to see all the kneeling over the season, it was great to see such patriotism displayed on this particular Sunday.
Another early February day that felt like spring - Brailey was able to ride in her tee shirt. I really wish this weather would have stayed a lot longer...
Most of February was spent watching Britt play basketball. He was so happy to see the two faces in the picture below, his best buddies from Monroe Middle School. They surprised him and came to one of his home games. How sweet is that? It meant a lot to our entire family, to tell you the truth. 
Unlce Boone and Aunt Cindy came to this game, as well. 
And most interesting of all, his club team coach was the ref! This was really fun for Britt. He loves Coach Tyner and was super happy to see him. We made him wait to play club ball until his wrist was completely healed. There is a difference in the level of play between his middle school team and the club team, and so Brady and I decided to make him wait for full release before re-joining his club team. It was risky enough letting him play on one team before his wrist was completely healed - we didn't want to push our luck.
These three are so sweet and kind and the best boys. Look at those faces... Heartbreakers!
I was happy to get to see Daniel's pretty mom, Kristin. She is the one who brought the boys out and it was great to catch up with her. I miss her! It was too fun to see everyone there for Britt and it made him feel like a rock star. It is a time we will never forget! So special.
He had to wear tape on his wrist for a few weeks. He and his coach had a system down for getting this done. 
Meanwhile, Brailey enjoyed riding her horses! She and Mater have such a connection. He is just a love of a horse! He truly enjoys all the attention she gives him. See how nice the weather was? It was the February Fake Out on weather. Just when we got used to it, wham! Winter came back in full force. 
Brailey has been so happy to be a part of FFA at Harrisburg this year. She absolutely loves it! They had a speaking competition at one of the events the first part of the month, and even though it was her first one, she won second place! We are so proud of her! This allowed her to speak at the Sectionals event held just this week. She didn't make the Top Three there, but she gained more vital experience, and we are thrilled to see her so confident and happy and able to really embrace who she is at this school. She is all cowgirl, loud and proud. She even wears her Nocona boots several times. They match perfectly with her FFA attire. It is safe to say Brailey is absolutely thriving in her new school environment.
On the weekend of Britt's birthday, he became very sick. At first, we thought it was the flu. After his basketball practice on Friday he confessed that he didn't feel well. Earlier in the week, he had a sore on his hand that looked like it need to be popped. It looked like he had a sliver or something in there that needed to come out. So we poked it with a needle, and a bunch of pus and whatnot came out. We did this two days in a row because it was very painful and bothering him. Because it was an open wound, I wanted to protect it from infection, so I put a liquid bandaid on it. Turns out this was a huge mistake, and one that could have been devastating. Long story short, the sore became incredibly infected and actually went into his entire system. So on Saturday, something told me to take him in to the doctor. He was feeling worse than Friday, and his hand looked really, really bad. Still, we thought he had the flu along with the infection in his hand. But it wasn't the flu - it was the infection running rampant throughout his system. Yikes! They nearly put him in the hospital right then, but opted to give him a shot of high powered antibiotics in his booty and a prescription. The doctor said he would be on standby if Britt took a turn for the worse. He called us that night and again in the morning to see how he was - he was that worried. Luckily, the shot did the trick, and Britt came out of it and started feeling much better by Sunday evening, which is lucky, because Sunday was his 14th birthday!
And so he started his birthday off with a visit to the doctor for a recheck. This doctor was also very kind and opened the would up, which allowed it to heal much more quickly. I will never use liquid bandaids again! We are so lucky we took him in to the doctor in time and that he is healthy and strong enough to overcome the infection throughout his system. I hated for him to be on antibiotics, and they made him so tired, but I am grateful they did their job and cleared his system of the infection.
After we got home from his doctor's appointment, it was finally time for presents! Below is our traditional birthday table picture.
A nice collection of teams displayed in this photo - Harrisburg Eagles, Portland Trailblazers and the Oregon Ducks!
He felt well enough to go out for his birthday lunch, and so we hit our new favorite place for special occasions, Texas Roadhouse. We were all so relieved he felt like going, because we had been looking forward to it all week long. Their food is so delicious!
Of course we had birthday cake and sparkling cider later in the day. You can see from his face that he wasn't feeling as froggy as he normally does. But at least he had a good birthday and enjoyed his day as much as he was able to.
Britt was supposed to have a basketball game on Ash Wednesday, which meant we were going to attend a 7:30 Ash Wednesday mass. But it got canceled at the last second, so we were able to go to our own parish mass at St. Paul at 5:30. It was truly lovely and the choir was outstanding! All three of us enjoyed it. Afterwards, we got our traditional picture with our ashes. Britt pretended to choke me afterwards - such a goof ball!
Brailey finally got to go to a little barrel race a couple of weekends ago. She was so happy to be there! She did really well on Mater and had some trouble with Tex, but most importantly, she learned a lot. That is what it's all about, after all - having fun and learning. She has been so dedicated and rides every single day. Barrel racing is difficult, no matter how easy it looks, and to be good you have to make a zillion runs. She is getting there, slowly but surely. We are doing our best to work races in for her to attend. Materbug and Tex both love it as much as she does. It is sure to be a fun year watching them go. Hopefully the weather will warm up sooner than later!
These two peas in a pod... They're quite the pair! Brady is the best barrel racing dad on the planet. He loves it at much as Brailey does.
That same night, we went to Matthew Knight Arena to see the WWE Live Event. It was so much fun! Britt's best friend Daniel was able to come with us, and it was truly an amazing show. Nobody knows how to put on an event like the WWE. The crowd was really into it and provided half the entertainment. We will be WWE fans forever! We had horrible seats, because we went on a whim, but it was still a blast. Some of our favorite Superstars were there, and it was a really great time. We can't wait for next year!
This was a fan dressed up. Notice he has three belts (those aren't cheap)! He was a little quirky - we asked if we could get a picture with him, and he said, "I have a girlfriend." Haha! No worries, buddy, no worries. We got a good laugh over that in the car on the way home.
Britt had to make sure they were standing in front of Luke Jackson for these pictures.
Before my travels last week I took a family selfie on our way to school. It is always hard to leave my B's. But I saw some beautiful country! And had a great time with my buyers. I love, love, love my job!
One of my favorite parts of being a rep is actually getting to dress up a bit and wear the jewelry. Below I am wearing my favorite earrings and my beloved Champion necklace.
The roads on the way up were perfect, but on the way back, I hit snow on I-84, and it was pretty hairy. I was nervous, no doubt about it! But I made it safe and sound to Elmira in time to see Britt play basketball, and that is all that matters. Below is a picture of him and his good friend Alex.
I got this cute picture of Brailey in her jeans that she painted. She is getting back into her painting business and working hard to get it rolling. It is ironic that when it was going great guns, she had no time to do it and almost resented her little business. Now she has all the time in the world, and not many orders. Hopefully it will come around again. She gets better at her craft every day and is so talented!
The last weekend of the month was Britt's first weekend back with this club team. It was so much fun! Four games of hard core basketball with a great coach - now that is living the dream! Britt was a little hesitant, and not playing for several weeks did hurt him a bit, because if you're not getting better, you're getting worse. And he didn't get to work much on his post moves with this middle school team - they were very guard oriented in their offense. And he is still playing catch up from not playing since he was in kindergarten, as well. Slowly but surely, he is improving all the time. He is on a Gold team, which is the best in the division, so he is keeping up with some really good players. And he has an amazing coach that truly "gets" Britt and knows what he needs. We are excited to see him continue to learn and improve his skills. Much like barrel racing, basketball isn't easy.
Ironically, Britt was put on the Catholic school team. Almost all of these boys go to the private Catholic schools in Eugene and will attend the private Catholic high school. We are so grateful he was moved to this team! It is the perfect fit for him, in more ways than one. God is so good!
While we were "hooping" it up and basketballing the weekend away, Brady was working the weekend away with his Nocona Boots boss from Texas, Mr. Chris Stein, at the St. Paul Rodeo grounds. Check out the awesome boots the rodeo committee has custom ordered! Are they so cool? There are five different boot styles, and they had a fitting for everyone to try them on. Talk about exhausting! Poor Brady is still tired from this very long weekend, but he loved all the people he met and any time he gets to hang out with Chris is his favorite time. Sales reppin' is fun, but not for the feint of heart, let me tell you. It is hard work! 
Remember that little daffodil from last month's post that was popping up? It has been through hell, but it still managed to bloom. Daffodils are one of the most inspirational flowers on earth, aren't they? They give a whole new meaning to the phrase "bloom where you're planted." 
Monday and Tuesday were Britt's last middle school games. He will never play as an eighth grader for Harrisburg again. Sort of bittersweet! Thank goodness we have his club team to go on with. And these boys are going to be super fun to watch in high school. They are all such nice boys! It is refreshing that there aren't any over-the-top hot heads in his class. You may be tired of hearing this, but we are so grateful we moved to Harrisburg Schools!
And that's a wrap on February. It was filled with basketball and horses and life. And as always, we are so grateful for this great and full life we live. These are the days, my friends. These are the blessed days!

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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...