Monday, May 14, 2018


{yes. i was miss graham county. funny she used this picture}!

my almost 18 year old daughter posted this on her instagram.
i cried.
i didn't see it until i was going to bed. just as mother's day was coming to an end.

it had been a lovely day, but different than any other day. they gave me some new nike clothes and we went to the dback game, but i still did laundry, begged cade to do homework, and took randi lunch at work. 
you will not hear this mama complain. i won't complain because it was like most days and pretty much all of my days are good days. i have a great life with two amazing kids and the best husband i could ask for.

although every day is good {for the most part}, i still worry about everyday things, futures, health, decisions, grades, friends, the list goes on and on! and the older they get, the more i worry.
when my babies were little i was talking to a mom of teenagers. she had received a gift card for a pedicure and laughed because she would not have time to use it. i really laughed! i thought, "you crazy lady. your kids are teenagers. you have all the time in the world!" well, jokes on me. the older they get - the busier mom gets. you also sleep less with teens. those sleepless baby days are a walk in the park compared to the sleepless teen days. not only are you waiting up, you are filled with worry. even though you are trying to play it cool...every worst case scenario is playing out in your head. you hope and pray you have taught them well and given them all the tools to make the best decisions. {be kind. be smart. wear your seat belt. don't text and drive. don't drink and drive. don't try drugs. wear a condom. make the right choice}. you teach. you talk. you listen. you hope they are listening too.

so. back to the sweet words my daughter left for the social media world to see. because of her age and place in life, i worry about her more right now. not because she gives me reasons to worry. she has been a joy to raise. she is strong, independent, smart, kind...i marvel at her daily. i worry because she is getting ready to jump in to the world. i want the world to be kind to her. if she falls, i want her to have the strength and courage to get right back up. i want her to experience life and see the beauty in every day things. i want to make absolutely sure she is prepared to make tough choices {with good outcomes}.
my heart rests a little easier today because of her words. i think she is ready. i have held her hand. i have taught her all i know. i have been open with difficult subjects. i have stressed the importance of being your own person and being true to yourself.  she gets it. she's ready. let's hope the world is ready for her!

i still have this little blue eyed thirteen year old to raise...
{right now i'm just trying to get him through the last 8 days of school}!

Friday, May 11, 2018

weekend wishes

{the angel girl who made me a mama}

happy friday and happy mother's day weekend!!

i could not be happier that the weekend is here. it was another long week filled with teacher appreciation duties. {i have one more event left and then i can wipe my hands clean of my PTO responsibilities. yippee}! i love my co-chair and we {for the most part} have had fun, but we are both ready to pass the baton!

on to mother's day... i struggle with this day every year. i'm constantly trying to figure out the best way to spend the day. i've gone out of town {felt guilty}, i've cooked and hosted for my family {fun, but too much work}, we've gone out {too crowded}...honestly, it's like any other day and i try and make it something different. 

i love and appreciate and want to celebrate my mom, but i also feel the need to be with my kids. i don't think i'm alone in this dilemma either. most of my mom friends feel the same way. we really don't like the "hallmark" day! we feel too guilty to do what we really want to do!

so here we are...another mother's day and i'm trying something different. we will hang out by the pool all day and go to the dback game that evening. it was my idea. i figured, we all like baseball. it will be a fun day full of relaxing, sunshine and baseball. sounds pretty good to me!

{the sweet boy who made me a boy mama}.

the other day, i was frustrated with my cherubs. later that morning, as i was running to both schools, i thought "that's it. i'm done. i'm ready for the next chapter! i just want to hang out with mr. c!"
a few nights later when both kids were out and about and had other plans for dinner i looked at my husband and sadly said, "i guess this is how it's going to be." he happily exclaimed, "i like it!"
well i don't!!! 

being mom is a tough job. it's not for the thin skinned. we have to be patient when inside we are screaming and having our own temper tantrum. we have to be calm and cool when inside we are doing our best happy dance. {like when randi came to us and said she wants to stay in arizona for her undergrad}. we have to stop and listen. we are hanging on every word of the story...whether it be the latest drama or what the latest skins are in fort night. we try to be fair. we try to help while still making sure they learn a lesson. and sometimes our hearts break while we let them fall...just so they can learn the lesson.

i have moments when i want to poke my eyes out. {like when i'm trying to get cade to do his homework}. there are times when i want to keep them wrapped in my arms forever and keep them from the dangers of the world. and beware of the person who hurts my babies...this mama bear is a force to be reckoned with!
but mostly, there are joyous, heart beaming moments when i think, "these kids are pretty awesome human beings."  
my biggest goal is to make sure i have given them the confidence and tools to make good choices in life. my amazing mom did that for me and i could not be more grateful.

happy mother's day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

More Than a Game

"baseball was, is and will always will be to me the best game in the world." - babe ruth

when i was a little girl, my mom had a little television set in the kitchen. it sat back in the corner of the countertops. if the dallas cowboys were playing on sunday afternoon, she had it on while she prepared our sunday dinner. the image is so vivid in my mind's eye.

i do not follow the cowboys or the nfl for that matter. 
{i kind of pay attention to the cardinals during season...but not really}.
baseball is my love.
i loved it as a high schooler {well, i loved baseball players}.
i married a baseball player.
i have a daughter who loves the game.
and i am mom to a baseball player.
i love it.
if the dbacks are playing...we have the game on.
we attend games any chance we get. we go as a family. we take friends. sometimes the boys go. sometimes it's just the girls. and sometimes it's a perfect date night.
{i even suggested spending mother's day at the ball park}.
i am grateful for this "love of the game" and common interest the four of us share. some people don't get the game or find it to be too slow, but not us. 
randi knows the game better than most and has tried educating friends on the greatness of the game.
cade has had more front yard baseball games 
with neighborhood kids than i can count {or remember}.
and bob's passion and knowledge for the game is a rare gem.
when randi was deciding on colleges one of her reasons for staying in state was to be close so she could watch her brother play though high school.
{awe! trust me. i soaked up this rare sibling love}!

it is not just a game. it teaches humility, patience, strategy, aggressiveness, tenacity...
and you count everything!
one of my favorite quotes about baseball {but pertains to real life} is:
"don't let the fear of striking out hold you back." - babe ruth

i adore watching this guy play. i love watching him grow and be challenged with every game. 
he's had some rough games and some great games. 
he has sat on the bench, batted last, and been talked to by the ump.
he has also been the starting pitcher, lead off batter and played first base every inning.

lessons learned. sore muscles. bumps and scrapes.
lots of laughter, celebrations, and winning moments.
{and a very proud mom}.

"some people wait a lifetime to meet their favorite player. i'm raising mine."

Friday, May 4, 2018

weekend wishes

happy friday and happy may!!!
this picture has nothing to do with anything...other than the fact that i went shopping last week and found this cute little number to wear to an event last saturday night. {i don't very often go shopping for me. i'm not going to lie. it was very enjoyable}.

a few things on my mind before i get to the weekend wishes...

the red for ed strike.
arizona teachers went on strike last thursday and did not return to the classrooms until today. {6 days later}.
i believe in and fully support the teachers. it is an awful shame that we ever got to this point. arizona education is one of the lowest in the country with almost the lowest in teacher pay. our teachers are fleeing to neighboring states and the ones getting hurt by this are our kids.
some of the arguments i have heard...
"they knew what they were doing when they decided to go into teaching. they knew what their pay was."
really? that is the attitude we want to have? we NEED teachers. if they all leave because of the poor pay what will happen to our youth? and i don't believe they knew what they were getting into. i believe they thought it would get better and i'm sure they thought it didn't matter because they were going to shape lives and change the world. well, they can't do that with low pay, decades old text books, and moldy classrooms. {yup. all true. right here in arizona}.

"teachers are being greedy. they only work  6 months out of the year."
you're kidding, right? they, maybe, get 6 weeks off during the summer. most of them offer tutoring or work second jobs during these off weeks. plus, during the school year they work way more than their teaching day. there's after school tutoring, sports, chaperoning, grading, preparing...the list goes on and on. and. they spend so much of their own money on classroom supplies. that should never happen. ever,

now. i know the walk out hurt lots of families and support staff...and teachers. pay checks were not earned and families were scrambling to find places for their children.
az leaders knew this was coming. they should have gotten off their butts and done something.
instead, the legislatures adjourned last thursday evening...not meeting for the weekend. but, they attended a meeting for private schools. {our leaders are big on privatizing the education system}. and our governor continued spending money on ads...propaganda {full of lies} that the uninformed public would believe.

the teachers returned to school without fulling getting what they were asking for, but they wanted to be in their classrooms and knew they needed to be there. more changes still need to be made. it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months...

ok. moving on.
we have had the strangest spring. this week we had highs in the 60's and 70's and snow in the high country. beautiful, but strange.  i got to hike twice this week and loved it!

home stretch.
last night we attended randi's senior dinner. teachers spoke about each senior...highlighting their strengths and sharing funny moments. it was a nice evening...a memory i will always be grateful for.

three weeks to go. three weeks until graduation and three weeks until my baby is down to his last year of middle school. {if i can get him through it! he has checked out. the early week break didn't help with his summer fever}!

my hair grows so ridiculously fast. i want to go shorter!

and finally...
weekend wishes.

this weekend the highs will be in the low100's. we will enjoy that lovely heat wave as we watch, coach, play baseball. lots of water, gatorade, and sunscreen will be consumed and used over the next 48 hours!
regardless of the heat {randi will be working in it}...we will treasure the moments. we will laugh, smile, cheer, and sweat. a lot.

here's to a weekend full of sun kissed moments!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cleats and Corsages

this past weekend was a busy one. {by sunday night i could barely keep my eyes open}!
cade had a tournament starting friday night. it was over by 10, but i still had to get home and help with some prom prep. i was in bed a little after midnight and back up by 5:30.  more games were to be played!

although i had little sleep...i'm always happy to watch him play. he steals my heart, this kid.
the tournament went through sunday afternoon. it was a fun, wood bat tournament at my favorite park in the valley!  not a bad way to spend some sunny days!

saturday night was senior prom!!! my little girl looked stunning, although, i guess she is not a little girl anymore.

randi did not know how to pin on the boutonniere, so mimi stepped in for the rescue!

cute couple...if i do say so myself.

randi and her bestie. these two crack me up. great, funny, strong girls. it will be fun to see how they shake up the world!

figuring out hand placement. randi felt she needed her hand on her hip...poor dylan didn't know where that left his.

randi and vanessa...obviously in the middle of a very good story!

her sweet corsage. she went to the same florist i worked for through college. {and they did my wedding}.

i love this picture. i know it's a little blurry, but candid laughing pictures are my favorite.

a sundevil and two wildcats. {vanessa and cecilia will be heading off to the U this fall}.

randi is president of social committee, so prom was her last hurrah. she said it was perfect. she was happy with decorations, venue, dinner, everything.
she makes me proud.
i'm so grateful she surrounds herself with great friends. these memories she is making will last a life time...and she is making good ones.

while all of this was happening, mr. c and i were at a charity event with friends. i had cade burning up my phone asking when i was going to pick him up and randi checking in a couple of times. needless to say - i was a little preoccupied at our event. {but i loved being with our friends}!
i finally made it to bed by 1 AM and was back up around 6 AM {just because i can't sleep in}. i taught my super fun cycle class and went straight to the ball fields! {now you understand why i crashed sunday night}!

it was a weekend for the memory books...loved every minute. sleep deprivation and all!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Because I Can

{me at the rugged maniac}

"mindy, why would you voluntarily run an obstacle race through the mud, sand, rocks?"
because it's fun.
it's invigorating.
because. i can.

{i recently participated in the rugged maniac. story to come}!

life has been crazier than usually lately. it's all good, just busy. cade has been playing on two baseball teams. randi is wrapping up her senior year and all that it entails. mr. c is busy with work and baseball. and i am busy making sure they all have and do what they need to! {not to mention my classes, volunteering, baking, housekeeping, etc.}

however, as busy as life is i still found myself squeezing in one more thing. for example, several times this past month i have taken lunch to cade. the ladies in the office think i'm too nice and crazy. a few times i have surprised randi and her bff by asking what they would like for lunch. when randi asked why i was going to do that i simply said, "because i can". there will come a time when they won't be right down the street at school. i won't be able to drop off a lunch or treat. life changes, but right now i can do those things and i will. are they spoiled? absolutely! but do i love spoiling them? absolutely!

a week ago i chopped off my locks even more. "why did you cut your hair?"
because i wanted a change. i didn't want to live in a pony tail all summer.
because it feels good.
because. i can.
{hair deserves it's own blog post. for something that is not a permanent change - people react like it's earth shattering. however, i have had so many compliments and it feels fabulous}!

{me and my babies circa: 2013}

"mom, why do you have to smile at and talk to everyone we pass?"
because they might just have a fascinating story.
because they may be having a bad day and a friendly smile will make them feel better.
because they might make me see things differently.
because. it's just a better way to go through life.
because. i can.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Go Confidently

{a very confident kindergarten randi}

One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is confidence. When we believe we can do anything...we can!  I grew up believing I could do whatever I set my mind to. I was taught I could achieve greatness. {Sometimes I may have had too much when I sang at a Chamber of Commerce Christmas party - when I'm not a singer and volunteered to play the piano for a church meeting when all I knew was the love theme from Romeo and Juliet}. 

So far, I seem to be successful in instilling this in my two little darlings. They do not seem to be lacking in the self esteem department. Randi has been sure of herself since day one. {Just look at this kindergarten picture. That is a self assured smile if I've ever seen one}! First day of preschool she gave me a hug and a wave and said "see ya later" while I stood there with tears rolling down my cheeks. Cade, however, cried almost every day I left him and would still rather stay home with me than go to school, but he can have a full on conversation with any sales clerk, bartender {yes, bartender}, administrator, coach, etc. He doesn't hesitate to ask if he is looking for something or needs some information. A few weeks ago, his school administrator called me and said he had Cade in his office because Cade was wondering what class he could take in replace of Spanish. Although it was mid-semester, he said he could indeed switch at the last quarter. Drama and Robotics were the only options available, so Cade decided to stick with Spanish, but he took it upon himself to assess the situation and see what his options were. It would have never dawned on him that he couldn't do that or they would tell him no.

Sometimes, I make my kids do things they would rather not do. Sometimes they have to speak in public and approach situations they are uncomfortable with, but they do it and feel stronger because of it. "It's going to make you a better person", I tell them. {I'm quite sure there have been lots of eye rolls and words under their breaths}.

They are both leaders and I hope they continue to grow in that direction. 
"Be a leader not a follower".

Cade sometimes will get down on his baseball team saying, "we are going to lose. The other team is better." I simply reply, "you're right. If that is how you are thinking - that is how you will play". {He doesn't appreciate my attitude. At all}. But. Positive thinking is crucial! I even use it while teaching. I'm always telling my class {as they have been sprinting in cycle for two minutes straight at a high gear with winded lungs and aching muscles} "you are awesome! you are strong!" {I'm sure some of them mumble a few words under their breaths too}!!

I've been thinking so much about our youth today and the bravery and confidence it takes to stand up for what they believe in. The marches for their lives over this past weekend {gun violence} were some of the biggest in history. Some of those youth spoke to gigantic crowds. Some of them are meeting with their elected officials. A lot of them are making a difference and they couldn't do it without a little confidence in their back pockets. I would be shaking in my boots if I were one of the NRA loving politicians. These kids are going to be voting in coming years, months, days. They have confidence and they don't like what they see. They will bring the change this country so desperately needs.

As my kids get older and begin new chapters in their lives, I hope {with every fiber of my soul} that I have given them the confidence to go after their dreams, the bravery to try new things and fight their fights, and the tools to make smart choices. 

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams." - Thoreau