family

My Little Cheerleader & The Lessons I Learned As A Cheer Mom

It is hard to believe Abby’s first season of cheerleading is over! For starters, don’t you just die from the cuteness overload when seeing this sweet face in uniform?

My Little Cheerleader

 

I just can’t. Swoon.

Like I said before, the season is finally over. John and I wanted to throw a party Saturday when the season was officially over (I am sure the coaches did too) because it meant that we now have our Tuesday and Thursdays nights plus Saturday mornings back! Hallelujah!

The basketball season went well. Our age group for basketball and cheerleading was K-2. The skill of the basketball teams grew by leaps and bounds from the start of the season to the finish. The number of cheers and routines our girls had built up in their repertoire was impressive. Abby is not the most coordinated child on earth but her growth from start to finish was amazing. Major kudos to all the coaches.

The season wrapped up with the area cheerleading competition, which was held this past Saturday, and our girls worked their tails off. The coaches put together a great routine and the girls performed it beautifully. I mean this was a 3 minute routine and these 5-7 year olds rocked it. I was honestly blown away with their stage presence. Their focus was completely on the judges. They smiled big, had high energy, and shook their booties (age appropriately of course).

Side note – I wonder how many cheer squads had some part of Shake It Off in their routines this season.

I have always scoffed at those parents who got upset by a bad call by a ref or judge (I mean come on, be a role model to your child please!) but I had to point the finger at myself on Saturday and give myself a time out.

As hard as our girls had worked, we were taken aback when the results were announced. There was only one other squad in her age group and they did well. They performed as I would have expected a group of 5-7 year olds to perform (random waves to family throughout the routine, blanking out, that kind of thing). We knew our girls were on pointe that day so we really thought we would take home the win but the judges didn’t see it that way and gave the win to the other team.

My first reaction was to go all mama bear, yell at the judges and ask them if they were blind. I know I am biased being a parent but the general consensus of the crowd was the same and thought our girls should have won. I was a little upset. Some were more vocal than others. I was more vocal than I should have been. I didn’t storm the table or anything but I did some trash talking amongst other parents and coaches. The worst part was that I did this trash talking in front of my child.

When we got home after the competition and I started packing up Abby’s cheerleading gear, I was still frustrated by the results but I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Instead of having a huge smile and just bubbling over with pride about how hard Abby and her team had worked, how she had gotten up in front of all those people without fear, and how she had gave it everything she had, I had a scowl and was muttering to myself about what kind of point system they must have used.

Some of the reasons we signed Abby up for cheerleading was so she could learn dedication, how to be part of a team, and – you guessed it – good sportsmanship.

I needed a hefty dose of that myself.

I had been a terrible role model for my daughter that morning and I needed to apologize.

And I did.

I sat Abby down and I explained that I did not have the attitude that Christ wants us to model. I should have modeled good sportsmanship and having a Christ-like attitude and I was sorry that I did not do so. The important thing was that they worked hard as a team, they had fun, and they totally rocked it. Everything else was irrelevant. I told her that she reminded me of what was really important and I thanked her for that and asked her to forgive me. She said she did and gave me a kiss and a hug around the neck before running off to play.

The next night, they had the end of season banquet. Abby came home with her trophy and all was right in the world. The results of the competition the previous day were all but forgotten.

She looks at her trophy and remembers the excitement of being chosen to call the cheer during the halftime routine and giggling with teammates about that part in the cheer where you have to shake your butt.

I look at her trophy and remember the lessons I learned as a cheer mom and how God used these little girls to teach me a lesson on attitude and what is really important about being a team.

Lessons-Learned-As-A-Cheer-Mom

 

P.S. Took an intermission from Blogging For Endometriosis Awareness this week but things will kick back up next week and not only are the next two weeks’ topics hardcore, there will be giveaways each week by our amazing campaign sponsors FJJ Creations and Seaview Jewellery! You will not want to miss it!

chronic style

Daydreaming Of Spring Fashion

I am so incredibly over winter. I long for warm weather, a light breeze, and the sun on my skin. Cold temperatures not only affect my fibromyalgia (I like being able to move upon waking thank you very much) but it definitely affects my moods. I won’t go as far as self-diagnosed SAD (season affective disorder) but shorter daylight hours and being trapped indoors definitely brings me down. Since the time has changed this past weekend which has allowed us to enjoy the extra daylight outside, I definitely feel more relaxed and have more of a pep in my step. Sunshine is a beautiful thing!

In addition to making over my mood, I am beyond ready for spring to make over my wardrobe! Be gone sweaters and heavy jackets and hello t-shirts and airy dresses!

Today I am sharing a couple looks that have been created in my recent spring fashion dreams:

 

Edgy In Spring

I’m not sure what it is but I love stripes for warm weather. I know you can wear them all year round if you wish but I just dig it for spring and summer! I adore these pants but I’m not sure I have the confidence to pull them off. I already have the Skillet “Sick Of It” tank in my wardrobe because a) I absolutely love the song and b) it goes along with this year’s Blogging for Endometriosis Awareness theme! Should I try the stripes?

 

 

SIMPLY SPRING

There is nothing that I love more in the warm months than adding crisp white pieces to my wardrobe. Its classic glam that can take you in any direction you want to go. I love adding a great statement necklace for spring as they can often be too hot and heavy for summer. Add a pop of color and you are good to go!

 

Sweet & Simple

You always need to have casual and comfortable staples in your closet and I just love this mermaid graphic t-shirt to celebrate warmer temperatures! Throw it on with some comfy jeans and sneakers and you are set for any springtime adventure!

 

Easter Vintage Glam

If someone could please deliver this outfit to my closet for Easter, I would be greatly appreciative! I love a beautiful vintage vibe and this mint dress has me drooling! It feels glamorous and feminine yet there is still the element of spunk and sass.

 

Are you as excited for spring as I am? What changes are you ready to make to your wardrobe as the warmer weather sets in?

bloggingchronic illness

Strength In Numbers: What Endometriosis Has Taught Me About What It Means To Be Strong

Strength In Numbers: What Endometriosis Has Taught Me About What I Means To Be Strong

In the almost 8 years of blogging (EIGHT!), I have written many times about how endometriosis and chronic illness has changed my life for the better and for the worse. I have learned not to take anything for granted. I have learned that I am much stronger than I could have ever given myself credit for. I have learned the importance of being your own advocate and I have learned to trust my gut instincts and to trust my heart.

I have written about all of these in posts and letters time and time again but one thing I haven’t addressed is how endometriosis has made me stronger because it has made me a part of a team.

I have always been independent and even a little bossy depending on who you ask. I am also an introvert to the core. I can be social if necessary but I am more relaxed in intimate gatherings and thrive in solitude.

In a way, this works rather well with chronic illness since I don’t get out and about like I used to so I don’t feel trapped and start climbing the walls.

But . . .

I also know that I cannot do this alone.

When I was in seminary, we had to take a class on death and dying. Sounds like a really fun class doesn’t it? In class there was a little quiz that we had to take that judged what we feared most about the dying process and death, such as the afterlife, burial vs cremation, the physical process, etc. What I feared the most was losing my independence. I cringed at the though of being totally dependent on someone else and not being able to do things on my own.

Since being diagnosed and in the years since, I have had to face that fear. I am not completely dependent on someone else at this stage (even though there have been some periods of time in which I have had to be) but there are many things that I have had to come to terms with.

I hated asking for help.

I hated saying no.

I had to be on top.

I had to be in charge.

I had to have the A.

I had to be perfect.

I mean I knew perfect was impossible but I had to be as close to perfection as possible and the only way I could achieve that was by depending on what I could control.

ME.

I thought asking for help, saying no, or not having the full approval (imagined or not) meant that I was weak.

I was wrong.

Obviously that doesn’t work at any point in life. Sick or not. Striving for perfection only sets you up for failure and heartbreak. It also causes havoc in your relationships. It also creates an upside down picture of God’s love and His grace.

It took me awhile to get it through my thick, hard-headed self but I learned that my strength doesn’t come from me.

Yes, I am strong, confident (sometimes), and determined but my strength comes from God’s love, grace, and mercy and from there my strength filters throughout all aspects of my life.

Coming to this realization has helped me in my marriage by accepting my husband’s help and allowing myself to be completely vulnerable. And also allowing him to be my advocate when I cannot advocate for myself.

Coming to this realization has helped me have more real and authentic relationships with family and friends.

Coming to this realization has helped me understand the importance of taking on chronic illness head on as a team. As much as I would love to be able to cure this beast on my own and have women everywhere be free of pain worldwide, we need each other.

Endometriosis has taught me the important of being a team. It has taught me the importance of campaigns such as Blogging for Endometriosis Awareness, Her Yellow Ribbon, and the Endometriosis Research Center to make an impact on the world to spread awareness, education, resources, and support.

I have learned the importance of activism across all types of illness as bringing awareness and research for one is a win for all. Organizations like WeGo Health work alongside organizations and activists of all causes and while Blogging for Endometriosis hits its major stride in March during Endometriosis Awareness Month, we work behind the scenes all year teaming with groups like WeGo Health and hopefully we can work to make BFE a year long drive to fight for not only endometriosis but all invisible illnesses.

Endometriosis has taught me that as a team we are strong and we are unstoppable.

Blogging For Endometriosis Awareness