Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Angel Baby Of Mine

I’ve always loved and adored the thought of a really big family. After I married a guy who wanted a big family himself (he was the oldest of 4 siblings)’s probably not surprising that we have 4 children of our own after 16 years of marriage. I joke with my husband that if we won the lottery we would have 8 kids, and I think my husband has secretly worried,  that I’d never really be done wanting more children. Honestly, I’d rather live on ramen noodles, while having more babies to rock and love. In my mind, a home full of love....mixed with a little more important than a house furnished with top-of-the-line fixtures and an expensive backsplash in the kitchen. You could say I pick babies over backsplash.

Last October, I found out I was pregnant with a due date of June 20th. As you can imagine I was overjoyed. I surprised my husband on a Thursday night, by putting an actual bun in our oven. We were absolutely thrilled....I was beaming with joy.

My first doctor’s appointment, at 8 weeks, could not come any sooner. I literally skipped with excitement heading to the clinic. My husband and I were so excited to expand our big family, and we were planning on telling our sons about our newest addition that evening after the doctor’s appointment. I had a t-shirt made for my 3 year old son to announce the big news to his three older brothers. 

Life, however, throws you curveballs sometimes. At our first doctor’s appointment the doctor performed an ultrasound and was unable to find a heartbeat. Everything else was there....just not the sweet sound of a little tiny heart. I just sat there numb and in disbelief. When my doctor talked about it most likely being a miscarriage, I just stared at her blankly not even able to say a word. As soon as the doctor left the room, I broke out sobbing. 

They took some bloodwork after the ultrasound to test my HCG levels....I cried the entire time. My husband was sweet and consoled me, but as any coach’s wife will understand, he had to get back to the office. It was still football season, and we had one of our biggest rivalry games of the year coming up.

After receiving my initial bloodwork and HCG results, I had a ray of hope, as the numbers were positive for where I was supposed to be at in the pregnancy. They needed to take additional bloodwork 48 hours later, which seemed like 48 days, but unfortunately, my HCG levels had dropped by 3,000. This pretty much confirmed I was having what’s called a silent miscarriage. I requested another blood test...guess deep inside I was hoping and praying for a miracle. 
The office called back with more bad levels had again dropped significantly. 

I didn’t realize it was physically possible to cry as much as I did in the week after going through this. I’ve felt a mixture of emotions.....lonely...hurt....angry. All the joy I had felt about our expanding family was robbed from me and left me questioning why this had happened to me. It was hard for me to see other pregnant women. Not that I wasn’t happy for was a reminder of our loss. When I overheard them complaining about being tired or sick....I was wishing for those kinds of “problems.” When they were proudly showing their round was depressing to look at my tummy and imagine how much I should be showing right now. I have always loved ooooing and awwwwing over little babies I run into while running around town, but seeing little ones just left me with more empty feelings inside.

In the weeks after, I tried to avoid seeing anyone I knew......crying for days isn’t a good look. I cried to nurses....I cried over the phone to the doctor......I even cried checking out at the grocery store.

The emotional and physical pain from a miscarriage is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. Even at just 8 weeks, I felt so attached to that sweet little baby. I would say there is a unique kind of pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a baby that will never come.

There has been a way for me to find some kind of peace after so many tears and sleepless nights. A funeral home in our town offers complimentary cremation services to families who lose their baby to miscarriage. I was able to have our sweet baby cremated, with the baby’s ashes placed in a heart shaped pendant. I chose a heart pendant because that little baby deserved a beating heart, and by wearing it on a necklace my baby will always be with me, close to my heart.

It is interesting how society thinks miscarriage is uncommon, yet, 1 in 5 pregnancies end up in a miscarriage. Talking about miscarriages in our society remains taboo.....a private subject even though it is such a shared experience. Feeling alone is very common after suffering a miscarriage. Open conversations about your loss can aid the healing process.

As hard as this has been for me to write about....I wanted to share my story for all the women out there who have lost their babies through miscarriages. I want you to know you are not alone. My mom told me something as I went through this that comforted me quite a bit: that unborn babies have a special place in Heaven. I will hold our baby in my heart until I get to hold that little baby in my arms in Heaven. 

To those who have suffered from a miscarriage, know that I will be praying for you, as well as those of you still waiting for your rainbow baby.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

8 Jewelry Trends for Spring 2019

Watching the latest fashion shows, I’ve noticed Spring 2019 collections are filled with over the top statement jewelry.....and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it!  Splashes of color, bold necklaces, and Celestial Jewels strutted their way down the runway.  I have passion for me....they have the power to complete an entire look. This is a big reason why I joined Stella and Dot. They follow the trends, but also have a knack for making their pieces feel timeless. Creating something you’ll want to keel in your jewelry collection forever.

Here are my 8 favorite jewelry looks for spring:

1. Colored Enamel. OMG....this just speaks to me. Throw on a a simple jumpsuit and let your jewelry do the talking. Jewelry that adds a statement to your wardrobe with playful colors and unique silhouettes.

Stella & Dot Jewelry from left to right: Francis Hoops, Francis Stretch Bracelet, and the Gitane Tassel Necklace

2. Change Anyone. LOVE seeing this look on the runway and also making a debut in our Stella & Dot Spring collection. It is a timeless piece that can be worn with a variety of styles. Whether you dress classic or bohemian this piece works with any kind of look.

Stella & Dot jewelry shown above: Julia Coin Pendant Necklace

3. Charmed I’m Sure. These personally jeweled ornaments are back (but seriously were they ever gone???) They are a way to make your accessories your very own....and designers on the spring runways had everyone “charmed”....I’m sure.

Stella & Dot jewelry above from left to right: Signature Engravable Charm Necklace, PavΓ© Horn Charm, and the Amour Disc Pendant adding a Namesake Alphabet Charm as well as the Intention Charms-Horn Charm

4. All Chained Up. I’ve always been fond of the edgy look of chains and links jewelry. I personally love intermixing thicker pieces on my wrist with some more delicate pieces.

Stella & Dot jewelry from left to right: Versatile Chain (gold), Bowie Fringe Earrings, and the Versatile Chain Necklace (Silver)

5. Celestial Jewels. I am completely starry eyed seeing this trend....and the stars truly did align when I found this amazing Stella and Dot piece.

Stella & Dot Jewelry shown above: Embroidered Star and Moon Chandelier Earrings 

6. All that HOOPla. I mean do hoop earrings ever go out of style?!?!? I’ve been loving sizeable hoops since back in my high school days. It is refreshing this season to see the hoop takes on a much bulkier look.

Stella & Dot Earrings above from left to right: Georgia Hoops (Silver) , Wave Hoops, and Georgia Hoops (gold) 

7. Full Bloom. While even Amanda Presley would agree that flowers are not that surprising for Spring.....after this winter, who wouldn’t love donning flowers. I personally love these earrings that bloomed for Stella and Dot this Spring.

Stella & Dot jewelry above from left to right: PavΓ© Petal Studs and Ella Grace Earrings 

Statement Necklaces. To me these jewels are like adding a crown to your ensemble....only draped around your neck. If you love jewelry and want to really show off your own personal style, why not make a statement around your neck.

Stella & Dot jewelry from left to right: Emma Necklace, Francis Statement Necklace, and the Pegasus Necklace.

I have a passion for keeping a close eye on the runways, from New York to Paris, to see what will shape the upcoming season’s trends. So happy Stella & Dot is right along side those top designers to give me pieces that embrace this Spring’s jewelry trends.

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Coach’s Wife’s Guide to Convention:

This year will be the 6th American Football Coaches Association Convention I have attended with my husband. It’s also my 2nd trip to San Antonio for the convention. In the past 5 trips I have learned a lot about navigating the convention. I won’t lie, my first Convention in Orlando in 2010 was very intimidating. Being around thousands of coaches when the male/female ratio is at least 10:1 was a little overwhelming. It didn’t take long however, for me to warm up to the convention, and now this will be my 5th consecutive year....and I don’t plan on missing in the future! 

One thing that really made the convention more enjoyable was becoming a member of the American Football Coaches Wives Association (AFCWA). I highly encourage you to become a member and register for the convention if you are going to San Antonio. It is a lot of fun with amazing women who know exactly what you go through as a coach’s wife. 

So for all you coaches’ wives making the trip to San Antonio this year...especially you first timers....I’ve put together a list to help make sure you will not miss a beat in Texas.....just don’t forget your boots!!!!✈️πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ‘’

1. Those boots were made for don’t forget to go explore! One of my favorite activities is walking along the Riverwalk and enjoying the beautiful weather (It’s cold in January in South Dakota!) There are so many amazing restaurants and bars as well.....Margaritas anyoneπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸΉπŸ™ŒπŸΌ?!?! The Alamo is considered the heart of San Antonio and is Texas’ most visited landmark to check out while you’re visiting. There is also great shopping in San Antonio. The North Star Mall has excellent shopping and is only about 10 miles from downtown. If you are looking for something in 
walking distance there is some wonderful shopping close to the convention at the Shops at the RivercenterπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ›πŸ’³.

2. AFCWA Seasoned Wives/New Wives group meeting. A great way to meet new faces and get some advice from some great “seasoned” wives. Seasoned Wives/New Wives is held on Sunday January 6th from 2:45-4pm at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom EF.

3. AFCWA Buzz Session: For the Love of the Game. Hear from other coaching couples about the ups and downs of this football life. For the Love or the Game, will be held on Monday January 7th at 9 am at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom Salons EF.

4. AFCWA Buzz Session: Game Day Style and Football Must Haves. You’ll see an array of game day styles for every type of football wife in mind. Whether you’re a “Personalized Playmaker” or a “Team Trendsetter,” this is one football fashion event you won’t want to miss! Did I mention red carpet treatment with a step and repeatπŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸˆ⭐️.This session it held on Monday January 7th at 10 am at the Marriott Riverwalk Travis Room.

5. AFCWA Divisional Breakouts: A great Sesssion to meet with other Coaches wives at your level of footballπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ™‹πŸ»‍♀️πŸ™‹πŸ½‍♀️🏈. This session is from 11-12:15 on Monday January 7th at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom Salon C.

6. AFCWA Luncheon. A way to connect back with old friends....and also meet many new ones. This year the Luncheon speaker is author Jessica Turner. Her latest book, “Stretched Too Thin,”  is something coaches’ wives can surely relate to. I am extremely excited for this Luncheon! πŸ½πŸ“šπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️. It takes place January 7th from 12:30-2pm at the Marriott Riverwalk Alamo Ballroom Salon D.

7. AFCWA Taste of Texas. A way to enjoy drinks and great convo with new and old your coach is invited. Date possibility at convention🀷🏼‍♀️🏈🍷?? Taste of Texas will be on Monday January 7th from 3:30-6:30pm at the Marriott Riverwalk Riverview Room.

8. AFCA Tailgate Party. We all know you and your coach are not going to miss watching the College Football Playoff National Championship Game! This is a FREE EVENT that features some great food, drinks, and BIG screens to watch those BIG playsπŸˆπŸ’πŸ–₯. Doors open at 6:30 PM on Monday, January 7 in the Convention Center Stars at Night Ballroom.

9. AFCWA Children’s Hospital Visit. It’s all about giving back and this is all about the childrenπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘§πŸ»πŸ§’πŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸ½πŸ‘§πŸΌ. The AFCWA has been raising money and supplying gas gift cards to families in need. Sign up for the Children’s hospital visit or at least make a donation. Wives going to the Hospital will meet at  10:45 on Tuesday, January 8th in the Marriott Riverwalk Lobby. Click on our website below to donate today.

10. AFCA Breakout Session-Happy Wife, Happy Life. I absolutely LOVED this session last year. A group of coaching couples will touch on what has been successful in their marriages when it comes to finding balance in this crazy football life. They give advice and shed some light on how they make things work. Bring your coach for sure....You know what they say......happy wife means a happy lifeπŸ’❤️πŸˆπŸ‘°πŸΌ.This session is held Tuesday, January 8 – 2:00-2:50pm at the Convention Center.

Check out the link below for sign up information for the AFCWA events and dates and times of other great events while you’re in San Antonio!!! Hope Y’ALL have fun in Texas!!!!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

The 7 Worst Kind of Football Fans

My husband is the Offensive Line coach for South Dakota State University. We play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.....and it is a tough one.  The Sagarin computer ratings (USA Today) rate it as the best conference at the D-1 FCS level. All I know is that it’s the hardest conference that we’ve ever played in......almost every game is a battle. In our three seasons at SDSU we have been so fortunate to be surrounded by an incredibly loyal Jackrabbit fan base. Our family has truly embraced being much we even had Jack (the school mascot) in our family picture.

In my opinion.....a fan has one primary job. It’s to show up and support their team. Some “fanatics” take it to a much higher degree, while others have problems with the show up and support parts.  In the 16 years my husband and I have been married, he has coached at 9 different schools at the FBS, FCS, and Division 2 levels. I have experienced all kinds of fans at the different levels and regions of college football. I certainly have not seen it all.....but have seen most of it when it comes to fans. So today, I want to fill you in on some of my 7 least favorite types of fans I have encountered in my 17 seasons as a coach’s wife. 

1. The Hecklers. They bully the opposing team’s fans often resorting to swearing and harassing them....even in front of their children. This callous fan has even stooped as low as to cheer for a player on the opposing team getting hurt during a game. I have, unfortunately, witnessed this from a particular team in our conference and it never sits well with me.....please have some class and remember that is someone’s son playing out there.

2. The Leave Early “fan.” This drives me nuts....especially if it’s a close game. Why do you leave early?!?!?? You paid to watch a watch and support your team. After years of seeing this I have come to the conclusion that it’s usually two types of people. One the “fan” who is trying to beat traffic or the one who is ready to celebrate before they even know the actual score of the game.

3. The Social Media Troll. These are the fans that hide behind their computers bashing other teams, or even worse their own team, players, and coaches. Don’t get me wrong....I am all for a great rivalry. But starting quarrels on the internet with opposing fans or continuously being negative about your own squad simply shows that they have nothing better to do.

4. The Fair-Weather Fan. The one that helps fill the stands when his team is winning championships, but won’t show up for the following game day after a tough loss. They love up the coaching staff after a W, but will put up a for sale sign up at your house when you lose a game. Even the best of teams face adversity....step up and show up for your team. 

5. The Moneymaker. Money means more to this fan than loyalty. They’ll sell their tickets to the opposing team’s fans in a minute if they can make an extra buck. If you can’t go to the game....sell them to your own fans....even at a loss, or donate them to a fan who may be going through a tough time and can’t afford to buy tickets. Your team deserves a true home field advantage.

6. The Inopportune Fan. This fan can be real noisy on game days. Don’t get me wrong, I can be REALLY noisy on game days too, but NOT when our offense has the ball. For those of you who don’t understand actually want your team to hear the plays when they’re on the field. Save that voice for when the other team has the ball....especially on 3rd Down!

7. The Fan with all the answers. When your team Punts on 4th down, this fan always thinks we should have gone for it. If a run doesn’t should have been a pass. They say hindsight is 20/20, but this fan takes it to the extreme. Coaches work a lot of hours and spend a large amount of time away from their families perfecting a game plan, but this fan thinks his play calls would be better with no preparation other than a tailgate. When you scream out what play you think should have been called....or you utter the words someone should get fired....please remember you may be sitting close to a coach’s family, and we sacrifice a lot. If this fan knew as much as he thinks he knew, the AD would come out of his suite at halftime to hire him. 

A “True” fan enthusiastically devotes themselves to the their team. Their loyalty remains in good times and in bad....Not only during championship seasons or after great wins, but during rebuilding years and crushing losses. May your team be blessed with many “True” fans this season....and not too many on the list above.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Gearing Up For GAME DAY!!!

I have a mission every year when the football season rolls around. I am on the hunt to discover new treasures for game day. 
Here are some of my current faves so you can show some real team spirit in the stands this season:

1. The Fly Fox Apparel. I am just loving their game day tees. Great quality and each design has its own unique statement. One of my absolute favorites in the collection reads.....”My Game Face Includes Lipstick”πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸˆπŸ’„πŸ‘„

2. Sweet and Sublime. I stumbled upon this amazing Facebook page through my work on the AFCWA (American Football Coaches Wives Association) Board of Directors. They have the most amazing tees that are of the highest quality.....and that’s not even the best part......she’ll even customize it for you. T-shirt style, team colors, names, I’d say that’s a touchdownπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️🏈

3. Recycled tees. I found this adorable company last month called Loveworn. It’s upcycled clothing from recycled tees. She takes your t-shirts and can turn them into a custom bag, scarf, tee, skirt, or dress for you or your little football fanπŸ‘š♻️πŸ‘—πŸˆ

4. Haute Threads. Speaking of recycling.....this online boutique will take your favorite game day t-shirt and recycle it into a cute dress or romper. She’ll work with you on fabric to fit your own personal style. Super cute while giving you a one of a kind look on game dayπŸ‘š♻️πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸˆ

5. Tote the Pigskin. I found these bags a couple seasons ago, and they will still be in the my starting lineup this season. Being a “boy mom” I now have one for almost every sport my sons play, but of course, the football bags are my favorite. You can find them on Etsy at the Ball Park Leather. Or, if you love a good monogram like I do, the shop Kaitlyn G Kreations (Also on Etsy) will customize them for youπŸ‘œπŸˆ.

6. Tailgate in style. The Kickasserole dish is perfect for tailgating, making any appetizer a crowd pleaser. You can have it customized with your favorite team from a number of shops on Etsy. A game day wine glass is also my favorite way to celebrate a big win. Just don’t forget to put your glass on your astro-turf football coaster when you are doling out fist bumps and high fives. You can find these coasters from The Tattooed Butterfly shop on Etsy.πŸ»πŸŒ­πŸˆπŸ·πŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

7. Coach’s Leather. I found another great little shop on Etsy that was started up by a football coach and his wife. They have adorable 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!!!!!♻️🏈

8. Queen of the Tailgate. Now this is a website that has the girly football fan at heart. You don’t need to be from the south to look cute on gameday ladies. From their “Sideline Sweetheart” to their “Killer Kickoff” dress, this online boutique is a one stop shop for game day dresses. They carry a variety of colors to celebrate your team in style, as well as “state” tanks and accessories that coordinate with your winning game day lookπŸˆπŸ‘—.

9. Hobby Lobby anyone?!?!?! Some of you may already be aware of this little gem, but for those of you that don’t....Hobby Lobby has an aisle they put out every Summer packed full of fabulous football items for the fall. From tailgating supplies to football’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›’.

10. Have an Accessory Game Plan. My husband loved the football dress socks I recently bought him to accent a suit. The online shop the Sock Drawer has a selection of football designs for Men and boys. Just don’t forget about the little ladies in your life with these cute football head wraps from Knots from Nix. An etsy shop that carries top knots which can be customized from preemies to adults sizes too. They say Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.....if that’s the case....these low top football shoes I found are sure to bring some luck to you this season. The online website Sports Locker HQ carries them in both Men’s/Women’s sizes in just about every team color.πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ§‘❤️πŸ’œπŸ–€

Friday, August 3, 2018

A Shoutout to the Coach’s Wife

A shoutout to the coach’s wife....
Who makes the game of football her life.

When her husband starts working with his new team.....
His wife handles movers, boxes, and everything in between.

She cheers her heart out throughout the season.....
She’ll bake for her boys in uniform without a reason.

She’s the one standing up on third down...
Always supporting her husband after a tough loss makes him frown.

The coach’s wife is at each and every game....
She knows all her husband’s players by number and name

She’s in the stands and holding together the home everyday.....
While he’s at the office figuring out all the right plays.

While her husband is off recruiting and traveling the land.....
She’s the glue keeping it all together, just as they’ve planned.

Through all the wins, the losses, the ups, and the downs of this life.....
One of the strongest women out there is the the coach’s wife.

by Kimberly Eck

Monday, July 16, 2018

REAL Thoughts From a Mom While Potty Training:

So we are starting potty training. Anyone who doesn’t have a toddler right now is probably thinking.....”that’s great!!!”.....but, I’d be lying if I told you I was thrilled at this news.  Let’s be real....Moms currently living in their bathroom potty training probably have some of these thoughts......

1. Do I have to? Am I the only lazy Mama that has literally dreaded this day? The pure mess of it all makes me think diapers are so much easier.

2. I just want to leave the house!!!! No seriously.....If you want to know what potty training is like.....I have gone to the potty with my son ten times so far’s not lunch time yet. Good luck leaving leaving the house.

3.  Is that water😳?!?!? When you start questioning if you are stepping in pee or water you know you’re smack dab in the middle of potty training.πŸ’¦πŸ˜³πŸš½

4.  Is Bribing my child wrong? Things like potty candy, stickers, and potty charts become an  everyday negotiation to get them on the potty.  It can be pure desperation.πŸ­πŸ¦πŸ™πŸΌ

5.  Why now!!!! My husband, who spends most of his time away from the home as a college football coach, is very excited about potty training right now (of course). I on the other hand am questioning....”Cant this wait till after the football season?”πŸ“†πŸš½πŸˆ

6.  I should seriously consider putting a chair in the bathroomπŸ€”.  The last two days, I have spent more time in our bathroom, than I have in any other room in the house.

7.  Do you have to go potty? Trust me...those 6 words will make up at least 85% of your thoughts and words between 7 am to 8 pm.

8.  Again?!?!? You realize your toddler has outsmarted you by starting to control his pee so he can get more potty candy and stickers.

9. Laundry...laundry.....and more laundry. The second most popular room in your house during potty training....the laundry room. Invest in plenty of underwear for them, and you may want to consider “less is better” when it comes to clothing....when there is an accident, everything gets wet.

10.  “Booty call.” It’s giving the phrase a whole new meaning! It’s a daily announcement from your toddler letting you know it’s time to wipe his bottomπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸš½πŸ€¦πŸΌ‍♀️.

Good luck potty training to all my toddler mamas.....after the day is through....pour yourself a glass of wine!!! You’ll need itπŸš½πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ·πŸ˜‚