Thursday, June 30, 2016

πŸŒ€πŸ•ΆSchool is out for SummerπŸ•ΆπŸŒ€

So it was officially Summer, a week ago last Monday, and the kids are all out of school for their break by now. It's great to have them home, don't get me wrong, but after couple of weeks I am starting to feel like an all day, all you can eat restaurant🍽. Plus hearing "I am bored for the third time in one day," would drive anyone a little nuts😜. Also, WHY are they playing baseball inside......when it's gorgeous out??????? Here's a list of ideas to keep the babes busy.....and keep you from going crazy.

1. Join the Summer Reading Program. It keeps them reading over the summer, and almost every local library makes it fun. Moving around we have been involved with many different ones, and they have all encouraged reading with great prizes. My boys have gotten happy meal coupons, Barnes and noble gift cards, books, t-shirts, and more. Plus its peace and quiet for youπŸ˜‰πŸ“š.  I try and work their reading time in when my youngest babe's taking his nap😴. Trust me, your teachers next year, will appreciate itπŸ˜‰.

2. Summer activities/camps. Keep those kids movingThere are plenty of summer sports and activities to oldest boys are in a strength training program through our university, and we are also in the middle of baseball for my son Jax. Many programs are available through universities or the YMCA. I have even found free activities through our community.....and with four kids hearing "free" feels almost like you've won the lottery.⚽️⛹🏼🏈🚴🏼⚾️🏊🏼🎾.

3. Pool Pass. We sign up for a summer pool pass. It ends up being cheaper than paying per time and we can go as often as we like and don't have to worry about how long or how little we stay. With a baby who naps still twice a day this is huge🏊🏼. We save money also by bringing snacks from home.

4. Make a list as a family of fun activities you would like to do for the summer. My boys picked a Twins game, seeing their cousins, football camps, and more. Plus it's a great way to start up conversation at dinner table🍽. We just bought our tickets through stub hub and got great seats for an affordable price by waiting a couple hours before the gameπŸ’™⚾️❤️

5. Limit Screen Time. We live in a world with electronics, and although nice & convenient to have, they are not good for a kiddo to be on all day. My boys have a limit on how much time they get a day with their iPads and video games. I monitor how much they have been on it by having them sign in by texting me on their iPads and signing out when they're finished. That way I keep tabs on who has been on what for how long.⌛️πŸ“±πŸ–₯πŸ•Ή

Lastly, when all else fails you can go on Pinterest and find plenty of free summer activities to do. Plus many things are offered in the summer locally. We have done $1 movies at our local theater. They're not the most recent movies.....but a cool theater on a hot day for that price is hard to pass up. Don't forget to by your movie candy ahead of time (big purses come in really handy). If they're still "bored" I found a great tool using Popsicle sticks with chores on them to pull guess you won't be hearing those two little words again.

Enjoy those kiddos this summer......we are off to the pool......after a snack of course πŸŠπŸ»πŸŒ€πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ•Ά

Thursday, June 16, 2016

TOP 10 Reasons it's Great to Be a Coach's kid

Top 10 Reasons it's great to be a Coach's kid🏈:

1. The fact that your Dad's a football coach is cool! Most kids at school think your Dad's job is the greatest. 

2. Games! You get to go to all his football games for free. There's no better way to spend a Saturday for our family in the fall. GO JACKRABBITS!!!! πŸπŸ’™πŸ°πŸ’›πŸˆ

3. We have our own Football family! Other coach's kids can become your instant friends......why wouldn't they be......Saturday's are always spent cheering for our Dads. Sometimes we even spend Holidays together πŸŽƒπŸˆπŸŽ„πŸ°πŸ—.

4.The Players! It's not unusual in our house to have 25+ guys over for dinner. They'll  play basketball with us, football, name it. Plus the traditional o-line ice cream dessert.

5. Gear! You always get great gear wherever your Dad is coaching at.......even if you are only 2 weeks oldπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ’™.

6. New places! We travel and get to see some great places......sometimes even while 
on your drive to your next moveπŸˆπŸš™πŸ›£.

7. Camps! You get to be a part of a lot of different camps in the summer through the university your Dad's coaching at.

8. The Football office! It's fun spending time at Dad's office. Not every kid gets to 
hang out in the players lounge or have access most of the time to the football field.

 9. His time! Even though our Dad works really long hours.....especially in the football season.....and can be gone weeks at a time recruiting. When he is with us he gives us his time. He'll play Madden, baseball, football, drive us to school before his morning meetings, or he will even come to our football games on Saturday mornings....before he has to head to his pre-game meal with the team.

10. Championship games! If you have a good enough season you get to travel to a championship game with the team. You stay in a nice hotel, eat good food, and get to be a part of the football events with the team. Who wouldn't love a police escort to your hotel?πŸˆπŸš“

Happy Father's Day to all the coaches out there who can also call themselves Daddy ❤️🏈

Sunday, June 12, 2016

No bad hair days

Call me vain, if you must, but I think one of the hardest things about moving around is finding a good hairstylist I loveπŸ’‡πŸΌ. I wear my hair blonde with lowlights......And making blonde look "natural" can be really difficult. You can ruin your hair quickly if your stylist doesn't know what she's doing. I have had some terrible things happen from trying out new places in a new town.......I remember many years ago wearing my hair in a scarf like Aunt Jemima......NOT a fun memory for me or my husband for that matterπŸ˜±πŸ˜«πŸ˜­πŸ‘³πŸ». I will say.....I know I am picky....having a cosmetology license makes me that way I guess.

Here are my tips on finding a stylist you'll  love anywhere:

1. Ask around!!! We all see people out and about with great hair from time to time. Ask them where they go to get their hair done......I don't care if it's a random stranger....I ask. Who doesn't love a compliment anyway. I also will remind you I've had some HORRIBLE experiences....just trying a place out on a whim....and it didn't end well. I have gone to some of the best stylists just by asking around (miss you Jamie, Danielle, and Kelle.)

2. Don't be cheap!!! I am not afraid to pinch pennies and try something when it comes to products. One of my favorite liquid eyeliners is by elf cosmetics and I thinks it costs a couple bucks.....LOVE it. I truly believe, however,  with get what you pay for. DON'T buy box color ruins your hair!!!
3. Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Did I mention pictures??? I have two Pinterest boards that's called "My Idea of Blonde" and  another one called "Beauty and Hair I'd Wear." I have pinned an abundance of cuts and color to show any stylist the idea I am after. I have even gone to desperate measures by taking a picture of a back of stranger's head at a baseball game........all for the sake ofgood hairπŸ‘©πŸΌπŸ“·. Your stylist's idea of "natural blonde," or whatever color you're after, could be different from your own.

4. Know your formula. I always ask my stylist to write down my formula before I move to a new place. This way I know exactly what they did with my hair, and I can give my information to the new 

5. Don't settle. If I haven't found a suitable stylist........I will literally wait to get my hair done. In the past I have I've planned getting my hair done around a visit to see family. This way you can see a stylist you already know and trust (thanks Krisa for always fitting me in❤️). I'd rather suffer through some roots then hate my hair entirely.......its ombrΓ© right? I am not afraid of stylin a messy bun for a few weeks.......nobody got time for bad hair LOL.

I Hope these 5 little tips can help. I am off to get groceries for 4 babes (kiddos) who eat me out of house and homeπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌ.......and I'll be looking out for great hair at Walmart (still in search of a great stylist in SD.) I know what you're thinking......Walmart?!?!? Miracles can happenπŸ˜‰.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

πŸ‘°πŸΌπŸˆBeing Married to Football......14 years todayπŸ’πŸ“¦

I have been married to my husband for 14 years today......and I've often have felt like I am also married to football. Being married to the game comes with a lot of great memories......but not always the easiest of times either🏈

The day after we got married we packed up our little red Honda Accord (cat and all), and headed to our first football adventure.......University of Colorado in Boulder.....GO BUFFSπŸ‘°πŸΌπŸˆπŸ’. He spent two years there as a graduate assistant (GA), and we also welcomed our first born son Quentin. Overdue, and worried I'd go into labor alone during the away game the following weekend, we were induced on Monday. We went in at 9 am and he was born later that evening in late October. 

His first full time job was at the University of Idaho.....go Vandals. We had another surprise for us coming and got pregnant shortly after we moved there. Jaxton, our second son, was born late December. Two boys two years was a real adventure at all those football games πŸƒπŸΌπŸˆπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ˜œπŸ‘¦πŸ». We spent three years there......the longest we have ever lived anywhere in this football life. 

After three years, a new head coach came in, and we had to make another move. We moved to Winona, MN. I went back to school to do hair, because my fashion marketing degree has never worked moving around with his profession. I finished school as quickly as I could and started working. Working full time with a football coach as a husband........I must say is stressful. I was late to daycare regularly, and I not only had to work, but keep the house running. The kids activities, daycare pick ups, groceries, etc. We bought a home in Winona, and were there two years. Then my husband was offered a job at Ball State University. More money and back to a division one football program was exciting to both of us. We lived apart for a few months, as husband left to start work, while my oldest son finished Kindergarten and I worked (also I might add.....packing up the whole house at the same time)πŸƒπŸΌπŸˆπŸš›πŸ“¦πŸ’‡πŸΌ.

When we were at Ball State I decided to stop working. I love my children, and with all the moves, I have always felt being there for them worked best for us. Plus I started having babies on the brain........and that never takes long LOLπŸ‘ΆπŸΌ❤️. Our second season we were pregnant with our 3rd son. While pregnant, We found out that late November, they would be hiring a new head we go againπŸ™„. I was due in January, but after finding out December 23rd we were not being kept on the new staff......Palmer was born on Xmas Eve. The stress of it probably put me into labor. Thankfully, he was the sunshine on a dark day.

Less than month after he was born my husband took a job in VA, and we had to live apart for 6 months and pay for another move. I was alone with three kiddos....and packing up another house. To top it off, couldn't sell our home, and decided to rent it out to a college professor and his family. Being together, we believed, was most important for our family. 

Once we moved to Hampton, VA we experienced a hurricane that August and we were forced to evacuate our home......but we were together. After only one season with the there just six husband was offered a job at Western Illinois University. Being both from the Midwest, we thought it would be a good move for our family. So three kiddos and not even living in VA for a year.....I was packing again πŸ˜³πŸ“¦πŸš›πŸˆ. 

My husband picked out our place in Illinois. Flying four of us to Illinois to look for places was out of the question. Having him pick out a place.......BIG mistake!!!!!Although the place looked good on film.......hearing the mover say your furniture won't fit up the stairway is enough to make any coach's wife battyπŸƒπŸΌπŸš›πŸ“¦πŸ˜«. We were forced to put everything into storage, get the kids in school, and the baby and I had find another place.......while my husband worked. Married to the game.....right???πŸ‘°πŸΌπŸˆπŸ“¦πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ’

At Western Illinois we had a really rough season and our head coach was 
unfortunately let go. We all know how this story goes. We found out again that December we would not be kept on the new staff.......Merry Xmas☃πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ». Thankfully, we had a good contract which allowed my husband time to look for a job. Another move to pack up and pay for.......yayπŸ™„πŸ‘πŸΌ. We left in June to move to Mankato, MN.

We still had not sold our house in Indiana, so rented a townhouse, but spent a month of our summer living in a hotel because our place didn't open until August 1st. Three kids and a cat living in a hotel for one NOT fun.......EVERπŸˆπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ¨. We finally moved in and had an amazing first season at Minnesota State University. The following season we made it to the national championship game.......and although we didn't win......we brought home our own trophy. We found out we were pregnant again with our fourth child and would be due that September during the football season!πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸˆπŸ†. 

My husband was offered a job at Montana State University. I will say it was one of our hardest decisions we ever had to make. We loved Mankato, but Montana State was also a great opportunity for my husband's career. Our kids had a lot of friends in Mankato and I was also pregnant. We could make more money and and the school was paying for the entire move (packing and all.) I am not going to lie, with all the years of unpaid moves and doing it mostly by myself (kiddos and all)......a fully paid move......almost seems like winning the lotteryπŸ˜πŸ’°πŸš›πŸ’΅πŸ’ƒπŸΌ. 

We made a list and with a lot of hard factors steering us in both directions....should we stay or should we go........we decided to leave and head to Montana State University. We found a great place and dove into our new football adventure......GO BOBCATS!!!! In fact, last year we spent our anniversary with a moving truck unloading in our driveway.......

We started our season with a win after the first game......GOLD RUSH!!! Our fourth son, Maverick Montana was born, the following Saturday after (the bye-week) a good coach's kiddoπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸˆπŸ’™. Our biggest week of the season against our rival team, my cat had to be put down, and being a football wife I knew I had to go through it alone. Unfortunately we also lost our biggest game of the season and our head coach was let go.......followed by most of the assistants.

So that brings up my most recent journey.......of being married to football for fourteen years to this day. We have been living in Brookings, SD exactly one month now......GO JACKS🏈🐰. With the four babes (kiddos) I am not nearly unpacked as I would like to be. Unpacking with them is like brushing your teeth after eating Oreos.........a slow and rigorous job LOL.

With 14 years being married to my husband and this football has brought a lot of ups, downs, and in-betweens. We can look back at a lot of stories now and laugh.......feel nostalgic when we are in our football room looking at all the family pictures on all those different fields, but there have also been some very hard times that can still bring me to tears. It makes me think about a quote I saw once:

"What we see often is only a fractional part of what it really is."

We all have a story. My marriage is far from perfect. We've bought homes and sold them; been forced to rent when our home didn't sell, we've had winning seasons and losing ones. Our income has gone up and then gone down, and we spent more money on moves than I would ever like to admit. Sometimes our family vacations are just traveling to our next football journey, we've had winning seasons and some losing season. Being married to my husband and this football life for 14 years is not easy.......but the good far outweigh the bad. To me that's marriage......rolling with what life brings to you.......for better or worse......and also seeing some great games along with it. I love my family and being married to football #Team EckπŸˆπŸ“¦πŸš›πŸƒπŸΌπŸ’πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘°πŸΌπŸ‘«