march madness

It only stands to reason that my first March post includes the word madness because basketball and because, well, madness.

But back to basketball. I can’t talk about a tournament that rhymes with NCdoubleshmAA because we’re mad about it. So, I’ll jump even further back to January and February because that’s when the legit madness was ensuing. The good kind, that is.

If you’ve spoken with Connor for ten seconds, you know that he has mad love for both football and basketball. It just depends on the season. So, right now? It’s basketball. We started the annual camp at school the first weekend in January. There are a few drill-style practices, the choosing of teams and then games. Those games, though!

It’s no secret that I might be one of ‘those’ parents. You know, the one who gets a bit too excited when their child scores a point/makes a goal/takes out the quarterback and who jumps up ready to race to the court/field/pool if there’s any inkling an injury may have occurred. Thankfully, I only had to stop myself once in basketball. And while it was embarrassing, those are the moments I literally do not care what others are thinking because, hey, mama bears protect their young!

There were two things about basketball this year that thrilled me to no end, though. One, I absolutely love the involvement of the varsity team. I remember how much I looked up to the older athletes as a youngster. They were basically celebrities and I would have done whatever they said (within reason). And I don’t think kids have changed all that much. It’s just a treat to see those young men coaching, mentoring and goofing around with our kids. I hope they realize the lives they’re impacting and that they are grateful for the time spent.

Two, my kid. His dad’s always called him a thoroughbred and while I can assure you he’s not a horse, he’s definitely talented. And it was so fun to watch. I told him after his first game he has more confidence at his age than I’ll likely ever have. Watching him skillfully handle the ball, drive towards the hoop and play his little heart out made me beam with pride. Or wonder. Maybe it was wonder like, ‘hmm, that’s so freaking cool! when did he become such a little player?’ (Basketball player. If he were any other kind of player, he and I would be talking very seriously.)

His team finished the season at 4-0, which was awesome. But I honestly don’t care about that. What I care deeply about is seeing my son live out his loves; dreaming about what his future might hold (‘mom, even if i sit on the bench, i want to play in college.’); and growing into an amazing young man that might even help out with a camp for some little wannabe sixth grader some day. For now, he’s the wannabe and I’ll be that one on the bleachers you wish would just shut up.

twelve looks good on him

The good news (for you) is that it’s Wednesday, my eyes are heavy and I have some photos to share so although I could get wordy, I’ll do my best to tell a little story with photos. Surely that story will be better than my ramblings anyway because Connor!

My favorite valentine is twelve. As hard as it is to admit it, he’s ready. Middle school is treating him well. He’s a social butterfly. He knows more about sports than I think one human should. And he’s getting taller. So, I guess it’s time. My only fears are his quick wit and facial expressions. They’re eerily reminiscent. So I worry.

For instance, I sang happy birthday to him this morning over the phone and his response after ‘thank you, mom’ was ‘don’t worry, only six more years and i’ll be in college.’ Umm, wha?

And this afternoon, as he opened gifts, he flipped through the book I had gotten him (sports-related, of course) and he chuckled as he asked why it wasn’t a picture book.

But, I just love this young man. He is growing in his relationship with Christ. He loves his mom and dad. His smile lights up a room. His energy is contagious. He is becoming a man, but still has the sweet spirit of a child. And his heart is bigger than all of snow-covered Michigan and it makes this mama so very proud. I talked with a friend yesterday about the fact that our children are on loan. Because they are. And I’m so grateful that God chose me to share CJ for however long He’ll allow me. (And don’t tell Connor, but six – and a half, to be clear – years from now when he’s in college; I’m already planning to find myself a cool little apartment just down the street because Lord knows I’ll still likely be picking out his clothes then, too.)


saturday driver

I went for a drive today. I didn’t start with a destination in mind; it was actually more of a ‘anywhere but here’ style departure. I found my way towards Holland (second day in a row. i love that town.) and then, well … I headed north. I just felt like driving. I’m sorry. I can’t help but channel Forrest Gump sometimes. I stopped as much as I could all the while sensing I would end my route in Ludington. It made for a long day and seriously, a race into PJ Hoffmaster State Park when, at the last minute, I decided not to head home the quicker way, but to try and catch the remnants of the ridiculous sunset. I ran towards the beach and as the older folks were talking about how they were too late, I smiled because I’d just made it. Continue reading

summer fun (pt 2)

You know how many (likely more seasoned and life-put-together type) travelers plan out their summer adventures well in advance of the season because well, #puremichigan? Heck, I’ve even heard of families logging on to state park websites around January 1ish to book their sites for the much-anticipated best this state has to offer. Well, what I’ve come to learn and accept is that’s just not me.  Continue reading

summer fun (pt 1)

Given Summer is still in full swing (insert lots of sarcasm here), I figured I should do a quick recap of my two brief, yet amazing experiences with my little blended blessing of a bunch before it’s officially too late! But, likely today, just one because you know, words!

Continue reading

finding joy

Holy geez. This summer is a tough one. I may have actually told my mother today I’m giving up. But you know what? That’s not a dang option. That ain’t no … ? I don’t know. I’m trying to be grammatically correct, yet emphatic. Got me? Anyway, I’m going to find some joy tonight and you know what very quickly and easily brings the joy? I know you do.

Continue reading

wordless wednesday

Raise your hand if you all love storms as much as I do! (you can put it down now.) When I was little, my dad quite literally scared the crap out of me when we had a tornado warning. He made me stand outside and I’m certain a funnel cloud was a foot above each of our heads while the flag turned completely around the pole. Because there was no good reason in all of anything to hang out longer, I ran outside vowing never to leave the house again. Hey, I was young.  Continue reading

long days, short years

It’s another one of those quotes that’s likely already reached cliché-status at this point, but I never promised originality up in here. I also happen to like human beings with the name Gretchen. How’s that for informed decision-making?

The days are long, but the years are short.

Continue reading