Monday, April 3, 2023

I Choose My Family….My #FootballFamily

What does #footballfamily mean? For those of you who might not know, it’s a hashtag I tend to use regularly on social media. Last fall I found myself knee deep into it………..

I started writing this blog with tears filling my eyes on a flight back to South Dakota last fall. Airport goodbyes with my husband never seem to get any easier….especially this past season. I missed my family being all together. As many of my readers know, my husband, got the head football coaching job at the University of Idaho right before Christmas of 2021 (#GoVandals), and my head has been spinning ever since.

Jason and I decided together that we would let our son Jax, a senior in high school, finish his 2022 football season with his team in SD. He has moved a lot as a coach’s kid, and I just could not imagine moving him from his team the last year of high school football. This move was his 8th move as a coach’s kid… I was more than willing to sacrifice for him to give him that final football season as a Bobcat.  πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ–€πŸˆ❤️🐾.

This ended up being our longest coaching transition yet….over 11 months to be exact. I’ve went through covid, a sick baby in the hospital, trying to potty train (failing miserably btw🀦🏼‍♀️), babysitters canceling on me last minute before flights, building a house in another state, a flat tire driving to the airport on my way out to ID, and I probably would easily bore you rattling on any more. After it is all said and done…I have traveled well over 100+ hours back and forth from ID to SD. What can I say I am a sucker for a guy with dark curly hair, blue eyes, and a whistleπŸ˜πŸ–€πŸˆπŸ’›πŸ™‹πŸ»‍♂️

I am pretty sure there may have been some of you that thought I chose my son over my husband.…..Jax’s senior year over my husband’s first year as a head football coach. Well, I could not disagree with you more…..I chose my family. I tried to do my best juggling it all to make everyone happy….and I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle a bit through it all…..there were a lot of tears.

I wanted to stay to see my son’s final season…. playing football under those Friday night lights as a Bobcat. I also chose to get up at 4 in the morning to catch the first flight Saturday morning…..battling a flat tire before the Drake game… I could kiss my husband after his first win as a head football coach. I chose to miss one of my senior’s away games so that I could watch one of his younger brother’s 6th grade football games. I missed a lot of my 6th graders games traveling back and forth to Idaho. I couldn’t do it all….but I chose my family!

My message to every coaching family is that there is no right answer on when to move your family when you are in transition. I firmly believe that you have to do what is best for your family at that time….whatever that may be. There is a lot of pressure put on you as a coach’s wife as far as when you should move. Don’t listen to the outside noise, trust your gut, and think about you and your family first. 

As far as what is best for you and your family….only you will know the answer to that……Not other coaches wives…..not the fans…..not even your extended family. And let’s be 100% real….family still does not have a clue about what you go through daily as a coach’s wifeπŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ™‹πŸ»‍♂️πŸˆπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️🀹🏼‍♀️.

On a final note, I could not end this post without a thank you. The support I received from my friends & fellow coaches wives was amazing. Especially the ones that checked in on me……that took the time to be there because they care……that understood and related to what I was going through. You know who you are….you are truly the REAL MVPs! Because, let’s be real….you find out who truly cares when times are tough. 

We finally made it to the light at the end of the tunnel. My family….all together again in our Idahome. This Coach’s Wife could not be happierπŸ‘§πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ πŸ”️πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ™‹πŸ»‍♂️πŸ–€πŸ’›πŸˆ✌🏼's⬆️.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Score Fashionably BIG on Game day!

Football is just around the corner ladies and we all need to be getting ready for game day. I am always hunting around for fashionable new treasures to wear during football season. 

“Gearing Up for Game Day,” was one of my most viewed blogs a few years back….so I thought I would bring it back….giving you some of my new favorite finds for the football season.

Here’s my top 10 websites/boutiques to score big on game day:

1. Mixed Laundry Apparel! This one stop shop has great game-day tees, earrings, handbags, and more. They offer FREE SHIPPING with any order over $65. Plus, I love that this online boutique is owned by a coach’s wife.

2. “The kick is good”. Charis & Doxa has shoes made for the passionate fan/coach’s wife. Each shoe is made with the same material as an authentic football. Why not start your game day outfit off on the right foot in their Touchdown Series. I own their flats and the heels, and I’ll definitely be adding the wedges to my collection soonπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸˆπŸ‘ πŸ˜!

3. The extra point is good when donning this “football tee.” Sweet and Sublime is still my favorite shop for one of a kind tees. I stumbled upon this amazing Facebook page through my work on the Board of Directors for the AFCWA (American Football Coaches Wives Association). They have amazing/high quality tees….and that’s not even the best part! This shop, owned by a coach’s wife, will even customize it for you! Different T-shirt styles, team colors, names, monograms, and more! Now I would say that is a touchdown!πŸ‘šπŸˆπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

4. Haute Threads. This Etsy boutique will take your team t-shirt and recycle it into a cute dress or shirt. Any team….any shirt-they can convert into something that will certainly turn heads on game day. She’ll also work with you on fabric to fit your own personal style. They are super cute and give you a one of a kind, custom look on game day.πŸ‘š♻️πŸ‘—πŸˆ

5. Don’t fumble this “ball.” I randomly found this boutique browsing pinterest, and I had to have this bag for Vandal game days. She will even make the accent fabric in your team colors.πŸ‘›πŸˆ

6. Not just for the Friday Night Wife. I fell in love with t-shirts on the Friday Night Wife Shop last year. They’re so soft and have the cutest designs. I am a Friday night football mom and college football wife on Saturday….so I am always looking for cute/neutral tees to wear in the stands. Their gear helps the Football wife/mom represent on game day!πŸˆπŸ‘šπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

USE CODE: FALL10 to receive 10% off

7. All about the babes on Game Day! Being a mom of 5, I have always loved having my kiddos geared up for game day. From football dresses, moccasins, jerseys, custom hair bows, or dresses. These are some of my favorite looks to doll up your babes for the football season.πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸŽ€πŸˆ

USE CODE: SAVE15 to get 15% off till 9/30/32

USE CODE: KIND10 to receive 10% off

8. What’s an extra Amazon package?? Rhinestone Football Clutch….ummmmm…..YES PLEASE!  A football  handbag like that is sure to be a Touchdown with any outfit. Plus, finding treasures like these sequined mini jersey dresses, rhinestone football studs, or my favorite football tote, which I have carried for years to haul all the important game day essentials. This just confirms….can you ever really go wrong on Amazon?!?!πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸˆπŸ“¦

9. Coach’s Leather. I found this great little shop on Etsy years ago that was started up by a football coach and his wife. They have adorable Mrs. Coach earrings, keychains, wallets, and business card holders, all made out of recycled game used footballs. They are an ideal gift for you or your favorite coach. Use the promo code BEAUTYBABESANDBALL and you’ll get free shipping on any order.....SCORE!!!!!♻️🏈

USE CODE: BEAUTYBABESANDBALL and you’ll get free shipping on any order.....SCORE! 

10. Annnnnnd, lastly, the football wife/fan must NEVER forget about Hobby Lobby!  Most of us are fully aware of this little gem, but for those of you who do not know....Hobby Lobby has an aisle they put out every late Summer/Fall packed full of fabulous football items. Tailgating supplies, football pumpkins, front door dΓ©cor, and more. It’s basically a coach’s wife’s dream. There are always a few new pieces each year, so you can add to your collection every seasonπŸˆπŸ›’.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Real Thoughts From The Coach’s Wife In Transition.

My husband, Jason, was named the head coach at the University of Idaho on December 18, 2021. It was a crazy, exciting time, as we played in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs with South Dakota State University earlier that day and Christmas was right around the corner.

We flew out for the press conference the next day before returning to celebrate Christmas as a family. Jason left after the first of the year to start his new job while I took care of everything (and everyone!) back in South Dakota. As the wife of a college football coach, transitions such as these are common, and most college coaches’ families can relate. Many outside of coaching, however, don’t really understand our lifestyle and all it entails. 

So here are some real and vulnerable thoughts from this coach’s wife in transition......

Everything is not ok. 

I have to laugh out loud thinking this, but it’s really true. Friendly Reminder: Check on your friends or family in transition....we are not ok🀹🏼‍♀️🀣. They may need hug. Just be supportive. 

You find out who your real friends are. 

In this coaching profession we’ve gone through plenty of ups and downs. I’ll always remember who has been there cheering us on, but I also will hold close to my heart the ones that have been there to support us when times were tough. 

It does not get easier. 

I am going into my 10th move as a coach’s wife and I have been reminded more than a handful of times that “You’ve been through this before” or that it’s “it’s not your first rodeo.” Yes, I have moved before…..and no, it doesn’t make it any easier. I have moved pregnant more than once, have packed up an entire house after just having a baby, and moved twice in one week because our furniture would not fit through the door in a house my husband picked out, and my list could go on.

You are sad more than you’d like to admit.

I miss my husband. I miss my family together. A new ritual at our house is counting down the days until the next time our “team” is all together again. My kindergartner reminds me everyday “how many sleeps until he sees his Dad.” I love my children because they remind me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

You tend to feel like the odd man out. 

It feels odd to still be living in a town where your husband used to coach. The whole town rally’s around that team and you are no longer part of that. In all honesty it can be really lonely. 

Loyalty is a two-way street. 

Home is where football takes us. This is our livelihood and we will always pour our hearts into the team my husband coach’s for. Unfortunately, you sometimes lose friends over it.

You cannot make everyone happy.

It’s kind of like a trick play that helps win the game....people will love you when it works and you win the game. The next week when a completely different play doesn’t quite work out....they will be lashing out about it all over Social Media. The same goes for families in coaching....not everyone will be happy with the decisions you make....but in the have to do what’s best for your family. I have to continually remind myself to Ignore any judgment or what I like to call background noise. 

There are always tough decisions no matter which way you turn.

Sometimes as a football family in transition you’re faced with challenging decisions to make. When will you move? When is the next time you’ll see your husband? Will the kids finish the school year? What about your Senior in High School? The list of questions could go on and on. I personally don’t know of many families outside of coaching that have to face these questions/decisions regularly. I have learned throughout the years that there is no perfect answer. The right decision is what you think is best for your family, and sometimes that decision will still be really tough. 

Haters gonna hate. 

Some people just can’t be happy for other people, or are only going to cheer you on if it benefits them. I will be forever loyal to the people in my life who’ve been supportive and had my back....and you better believe I’ll have theirs right back.

Change is good. 

Change can be hard....but it also is good. My family is onto our next football adventure, and I am thrilled because we are returning to a place that we once called home-Moscow, ID. My husband is going into his first year as a Head Coach....and I couldn’t be more proud of him. We’ve loved every stop we’ve had throughout his career for different reasons, but we are so thrilled to be Vandals once again. Transitions are tough, but I am excited for this next journey and to be moving back to a place where we have friends that have been like family to us. I-D-A-H-O....IDAHO....IDAHO....GO GO GO!!!! #GoVandals πŸ–€πŸˆπŸ’›✌🏼

Friday, June 25, 2021

The unseasoned coach’s wife......

After 19 years of being married to a coach, I guess I would consider myself a “seasoned football wife,” as I have had plenty of experience with the coach’s wife lifestyle. Our family certainly has been through the ups and downs of the coaching carousal through the years: Many great wins and too many devastating losses. An exciting transition to a great new opportunity and a disappointing move after a losing season when the head coach was fired. Oh.....and the time my husband picked out a place without me seeing it and our furniture did not even fit up the stairs (yes, that actually happened). The list could literally go on and on.

This past year the ups and downs of our football life included our Fall season being canceled due to Covid-19. From there, the football gods threw us a curveball.....a spring football season.

It was amazing and a rarity to have my husband around so much in the Fall. For the first time in our marriage, I had an extra pair of hands with our new baby girl. He was home to help change a diaper before a team zoom meeting, and tuck our preschooler into bed while I nursed our baby. Selfishly.....I have to admit....I loved teammate was there for me when a mom was struggling at being a new mom to 5. He was also able to be present at all of our sons’ fall sports. He saw our senior in high school run some of his last races in cross country, as well as being able to watch our 10th grader play under the Friday Night lights and make it to the State Championship game. As some of you may know, in a normal Fall, that just wouldn’t be possible when your Dad is a college football coach. My children have always just understood.....Dad is working to get ready for that next big game. 

Jason was there for those moments that some families outside of coaching might take for granted. Our children’s Fall birthday parties, a trip to a pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, and so much more. We were overjoyed. I felt spoiled. 

Then 2021 came....our spring football season was approaching. It seemed absolutely bizarre to me to have our season that time of year. I don’t want to come across as an unsupportive coach’s wife writing this, but at the start of it I questioned why we would even have a spring football season. Even though I’ve spent 19 years being married to a coach.....I suddenly felt “unseasoned.” I struggled after spending so much quality time with him after our season was canceled.....I missed him...we all missed him. 

So, like a player does before a game,  I had to mentally prepare myself for the “spring season.” I know I am preaching to the choir with most coaches’ wives when I say that....because that’s just what we do. So, I bakedπŸ˜‚. It may sound ridiculous to some, but it’s how I have gotten myself ready season after season over the years as a coach’s wife. When our preschooler was missing Dad a little more....we brought lunch up to the office so he could see him. Our family had to embrace the new normal, and I had to make sure our football family was prepared for it. was game day. I was more emotionally involved in that game than I had ever been before. Seeing the masks, our eager fans socially distanced in the crowd, the coaches anticipating every play of the game, and witnessing the team battling on the field after so much time had gone by without playing. 440 days from the last playoff game to be exact. 

Then....oh what a season! Our team was focused ...week after week, we eagerly awaited our team‘s covid tests results, and week after week they came back all negative. We ended up winning the Conference Championship by beating our arch rival on the road in the last game. Our team made it all the way to the National championship Game for the very first time in school history. Suddenly all our team’s covid testing, the social distancing in the stands, the masks at games, and feeling as though our entire family had to quarantine all season seemed to pay was all worth it. 

The championship game was different. I honestly don’t know if I will ever forget that game. All over again.....I felt “unseasoned.” After 19 years of being a coach’s wife you’d think I would be a little more numb to a loss. It stung. I tried to stay strong, but tears filled my eyes the moment I spotted my husband on the field. Then, when I saw one of our offensive lineman’s mom....well, I just lost it. We just cried and consoled each other. It hurt. 

For the record. It’s not easy for a team to lose their quarterback to an injury on the first series of a game. Our team battled and found a way to stay in the game when so much adversity was thrown at them. Our players stepped up and found a way to make some big plays, including a go ahead touchdown with 5:41 left on the clock. Unfortunately the other team had an amazing long drive and scored with only 16 seconds left in the game to take the lead back.

It’s taken some time for me to get over this one. Although as cliche as it sounds....time does heal all wounds. Over a  month later, I reflect on the season we had....and I am just so unbelievably proud. Our team went farther than they ever had.....and battled through a lot of unknowns. They made history in a challenging time....and what a ride it was. 

Week after week, our team reminded me why I love being a coach’s wife. Thank you Jackrabbits for helping this football wife become a little more seasoned. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

A Fall Without Football....

It’s strange for me to even imagine a fall without football. Colorful leaves, pumpkin lattes, crisp weather, and football.....there has always been football. I’ve spent 19 football seasons cheering on my husband’s team in the stands.

We have 5 children, all born in different states.....home has always been where football has taken us.

I’ve filled countless Saturday’s in the football season carting little ones to Daddy’s games. Always reminding them to cheer hard and stand up on third down.....probably enjoying way too many meals at the concession stands.

Our family, like so many coaching families, has sacrificed through many football seasons. Week after week, I’ve handled our children, the house, and well.....pretty much everything on the home front. All while my husband worked extensively to come up with his game plan for that week.

I’ve spent many nights during the season with my apron covered in flour, baking treats for our players. In my heart, I always believe that those sweets will somehow help get us a “W” on Saturday.

Every Thursday night during the football season is family night. It’s the one and only night during the season that Dad will be home for dinner. My husband always tells me he is going to rush home right after practice, but dinner still ends up being closer to 8 pm than 7 pm most Thursday's. 

Over the years we’ve spent more time in the fall with our football family than with our own extended family. We have missed weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more....because football is our livelihood. 

I’ve studied my husband from the stands proudly over the years. Seeing him week after week as he works excessively long hours developing his players and the game plans. Then watching his passion and energy come to life on the sidelines.

We have celebrated wins....those amazing wins, and suffered together through the losses. 

Every fall after games, I am scouring the field for my husband. Giving him kiss whether we win or lose....all while my children scurry around like Jackrabbits, imagining themselves making the game winning play. 

And when even the best of the seasons have had to come to an end, I feel like a kid does on Christmas night, not quite ready for it to be over.

I write this post today filled with emotion and with a heavy heart. I write with tears in my eyes because I know so many other coaching families and players are also hurting right now. Our big FBS game against Nebraska would have been this coming Saturday. Like so many other families in this football profession....there are so many unknowns we are all facing right now.

So to anyone who has muttered the words “it’s just a game”.....let it be a reminder that it’s so much more than that to a coaching family.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Unknown

As a coach’s wife, I have spent the last 19 years training for the “unknowns” that go along with the crazy football life. Like times spent wondering if our season would be good enough to stay put for for another year, or if we would be on the move once again. Or times in transition, when I didn’t know where our football journey would take our family next. This year, however, the unknown is so much different.

I look back to the fall of 2019. I was cheering on my husband in the stands proudly with a growing belly. I was excited for another year in the playoffs while also anxiously awaiting for our 5th baby to be born in March. So much to be thankful for!

Then just weeks before my baby’s arrival we were quarantined from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our little girl was born in a crazy and scary time. I had a new baby, and my husband was home more than he had ever been with any of our children (#coacheskidprobs). An absolute blessing to have him around more, but I’d be lying if I didn’t also say challenging at times. Countless zoom calls with players, staff meetings, and recruits....and when you have 5 children in a’s not exactly easy keeping things quiet. I was wearing a lot of hats. Helping children with remote learning, caring for a newborn baby, and basically living with a football office set up at my kitchen table. All on my “turf.” It was a lot.

Now, like many other coaching families right now, we face an unknown. We don’t know what our season may look like or even if we will have a season. I know plenty of coaches’ wives that have already been told that there will be no 2020 football season for them. Some of their husband’s are or will face furloughs and some are even worried about their college staying afloat in the face of declining enrollment. 

This will be my 19th year as a football wife and I can’t imagine not being in those stands come fall. To not spend my Wednesday nights with flour on my apron baking for my husband’s players. I’d miss seeing that scoreboard lit up on Saturday so beautifully with a WIN glowing against our faces. I want to be able to race down at the end of the game and kiss my husband proudly...congratulating him knowing all his hard work that week has paid off. On cold nights feeling the warmth on the field from happy families hugging and taking pictures proudly with their sons. I want our new baby girl to experience her first football season. I want football. It’s not just a game it’s our family’s livelihood.

The one thing I have really grasped from being a coach’s that there will always be unknowns. So I am reminding myself, as I type this blog post, to never take those happy moments for granted. There will be better days ahead. I never thought when this pandemic had started we’d be worried about a football season.....but here we are. I believe sometimes things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they go right. Football will be back. Until then I will have faith and embrace the unknown. 

Prayers and thoughts to all the football families struggling right now with their personal unknowns.