Thursday, January 26, 2017

The not so easy, "unknowns," as a football wife

For those who don't know already....I have moved 9 times in almost 15 years of marriage....all because of the roller coaster ride that I call the football life. Four of those moves "we had to make"......,i.e. we were not retained after our head coach was let go or left the program.

I remember the first time it happened after being at the University of Idaho for three years. I cried....A LOT. I almost took it personally-that they thought my husband was a bad coach. I think my husband was actually worried that I wasn't strong enough to handle this profession. I was a lie. I just didn't get it.

This post is for all you starting out in this profession. It's also for those of you who know someone going through a transition (which is probably a lot of you in this business).  Transition is really just a part of coaching ...and it is not always easy. The key to dealing with hard as it don't take it personal.

Our second time experiencing getting let go was at Ball State University. Our head coach was fired right after the season, and I was very pregnant and due in January. We found out the new head coach was not retaining us, and most the staff, on December guess who had a Xmas Eve baby!!!! It was the best present ever, and a reminder of what's really import in life. The hard part was we had only 90 days from the end of the season to find a job, and my husband ended up taking a job in VA a month after my baby was born. Here I was with 3 kiddos (one only a month old) living a 10 hours drive apart from my husband....for almost 6 months. It was really hard.....but we got through boys and I.

A coaches wife that I am still close with, from when we were at Ball State University, always reminded me to keep the faith (thank you Beverly.) When things aren't going the way you planned, it's extremely hard to stay positive. Trust that God has a greater plan for you and your family.  It can help you keep the faith in those tougher times.

The third time being let go was when we were at Western Illinois University. Our head coach was let go in November, which was followed by most of our staff getting let go in December.....happy holidays rightπŸ˜³πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ». Because we had a better contract at WIU, we had 6 months to find another job. We kept waiting for the right opportunity.....and it took a long time.....almost 6 months to the day to get the right job. With 3 kiddos at home, and me being a stay-at-home mom at the could say that I was extremely worried. We landed at Minnesota State University, Mankato, which fortunately was a great situation, as we won our conference and went to the playoffs our first year. The next year my husband was promoted to offensive coordinator and we ended up playing in the National Championship game.

Our last time experiencing the hard reality of coaching was at Montana State University. We had just moved there in June and I had our fourth baby that September. I knew right away when my husband came home at 11 on a work day that our Head coach was let go. We were 5-6 that season, and we didn't win our big rivalry game.....that's a big no-no there. At this point, I didn't even cry, I knew I had to be strong for my 4 boys that depended on me. So, "here we go again", I remember thinking. After a few leads to different places we ended up finding home.....South Dakota State University. That's where we are now..... and guess what? We won a conference championship and went into the quarter finals in the FCS playoffs last fall.

I choose not to regret any place we've been. All places have lead us to the road we are now, and we have met amazing people along the way. If we hadn't taken that job in Montana, we wouldn't have named our son Maverick Montana, and experienced one of the most beautiful places in the country. Plus, our time through Bozeman helped lead us to South Dakota State University....and I absolutely love our JackrabbitsπŸ’™πŸˆπŸ’›πŸ°

So for all you wives out there worried....look at my football journey. Some ups, some downs, and all kinds of in-betweens. I am sure there could be more bumps in the road with this crazy football life, but I will keep the faith that God has a much bigger plan for us. 

For all of you in this football life knowing you'll be staying at your place at least another year. Don't forget to reach out to the wives in transition. I'll never forget all the ones that have been there for me in those times....and I will be forever loyal to them. We need to remember this life isn't always easy, and that we all will go through these times at some point or another in our husband's careers. So I encourage you to reach out....any way you can. They need that support.

I will continue to pray for all the wives out there with these unknowns right now, and keep reaching out to those close to me going through it ❤πŸ™πŸΌπŸˆ.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Coaches Convention Through the Eyes of a Football Wife

This was my fourth time attending the coaches convention and this year was my favorite by far. I know some of you may be thinking...."why would coaches wives want to even go to that?" For me, it's been a much needed break, from the everyday crazy life of being a mama of four boysπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸƒπŸΌ‍♀️😜

Here are my top 5 reasons why I encourage you ladies to join your husband at the convention next year.

1. You get a chance to see wives you've been on staffs with in your husband's previous coaching jobs. Meeting up with old friends is a convention highlight every year. This year I had lunch with some, attended an AFCWA meeting with others, and also connected watching the championship game at a party with another. Sharing laughs, memories,  and our own stories of this coaches wife life.

2. Meeting new friends by joining the AFCWA (American Football Coaches Wives Association.) This was my first year becoming a member and I am so happy I joined. You can attend the meetings, go to the luncheon or brunch, and also give back to the host community by doing community service (this year it was visiting a children's hospital). You can really choose to do as much or as little as you want to. At registration, I was blessed to meet a football wife, Peggy English, with over 40 years of experience as a coach's wife. You can learn a lot from a woman like her, with all the years as a coach's wife. Being involved with the AFCWA is a way to meet new wives from all over, and be a part of an association that truly understands and supports this lifestyle. Next year I plan on attending even more events.

3. The Parties. This year we attended the Under Armour party. With food, drinks, and live music it was an amazing time. I am not going to lie, 95% of the room is sea of men in khakis and team polos, but coaches wives find a way to seek each other out in those kind of situations. Of course we connect instantly not knowing each other.....we just get itπŸ’πŸˆπŸ‘°πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ.

4. See new places. This was my first time in Nashville and I absolutely loved it. A great downtown, shopping right next to the hotel, live music, and great food. It's a great way to experience new placesπŸŽ€πŸŽΈπŸ›✈️🍸🍀

5. A much needed getaway. I have four boys and after the holidays......mama is exhausted. I look forward to the convention every year to have my own time to workout, rest, and see old friends. This trip is not great for 1-on-1 time with your hubby.....but I still find it refreshing. He's off talking Ball, going to meetings, or catching up with old coaches he worked with.  Luckily this year we won a conference championship, so he was not out of work and having to interview for a bunch of jobs! πŸ™ŒπŸ» We each have our own things going on, but we eventually make time to meet up and visit with other couples who are old friends. Thanks to a canceled husband and I had an extra night in Nashville. Though I was definitely missing my children, we made good use of the time and enjoyed a rare dinner for 2 at the convention.

I hope I have convinced some of you to join me at the convention next January in Charlotte, NC.  And to the coaches out there who have never brought your wife....make it a may show some head coach what a great "recruiter" you are! πŸ˜‰

Friday, January 6, 2017

A New Year.....straight from the Mama of four babes

1. Find your happy. There is always something to be happy about....even when there are bumps in the road. We all know people who find anything and everything to complain about.....we see them everyday on social media. I may be sporting the mom bun for four days straight.....but I also have 4 wonderful children that remind me I am beautiful even on those messy bun days. In all honesty, my life hasn't been all smooth sailing, but I always try remember there are SO many people out there who have much bigger worries and could only hope for my "problems." I have a healthy beautiful family....I am blessedπŸ™πŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌ❤️

2. Everything in moderation. I could probably be 2 sizes smaller than I am....if I put myself on some fad diet or barely ate.  No thanks! I love good food....and quite frankly life is too short to not enjoy it. Don't get me wrong...I don't eat what I want everyday, 
and I exercise daily. When I go out to eat I choose to eat what I want.....and let's just say I am not afraid of a cocktail or twoπŸΈπŸπŸ’ƒπŸΌ

3. Accept that you cannot change others. I have learned this the hard way unfortunately....people can really hurt you in life....even those closest to you. You can't make people love you, keep people from talking about you, or even stop someone from betraying you. I do believe, however, you have complete control over who you let surround you. Let go of those who disrespect you, and embrace those that believe in you.

4. Love hard. My husband and I have gone though a lot during 14 years of marriage.....there are ups,  downs, and in-betweens. There is no "perfect marriage". During Xmas break we were able to go on four dates.....just the two of us. To be honest, a couple of those nights I was tired from getting ready for Xmas, and I didn't know if I felt up to going out (that elf on the shelf and two kids with December birthdays can be overwhelming). After thinking about it, I sucked it ready....and you know what.....we had the most amazing time.

5. Play. It's easy with four babes (kiddos) to always be busy. Seriously I do 1-2 loads of laundry every single day.....easssssily. But when that little baby wants to play chase...those dirty dishes can wait. Or a load of laundry can wait until  after a round of Mario kart with my big boys. I've only got so many years of dishes piling up, and stinky boy clothes in the hampers.....I'll miss that one day. Play's so worth it.

6. Say you are sorry. No one likes being me, I hate it. But it's always important to say sorry when you are.....those little people are watching you. Those kiddos will grow up to be adults some day.....and if you don't say sorry.....why will they. Being accountable for mistakes teaches your children valuable lessons. 

7. Forgive. This can be a hard one. I can forgive, but I don't forget. If you show me change and really mean you are sorry I can forgive. Sorry is only a word....actions truly prove you are. Forgive....for your own heart....but don't forget. Plus forgiving and moving on drives them wild πŸ˜‰.

9. Ask for help. There is no "i" in team. For years in the beginning of my marriage I tried to do it all.....I literally wore myself out. In today's society women have to work to help support a family. So.....guess what?!?!??! The family needs to all help and do their part with the house. A mama is not superwoman.......well.....closeπŸ˜‰πŸ’ͺ🏼.

9. Be Selfish. It's ok to want time to yourself from time to time. We all need that break. I am envious of those who have family close to help facilitate that. Sometimes, for me, just escaping to take a bath or giving myself a pedi/mani can help me rechargeπŸ’…πŸΌπŸ›€πŸΌ

10. Be you. Don't compare/compete with someone else. We all have our own journeys in life.....our own story. What works for one mama may not work for you. Every mama has bad days, and a messy house from time to time. Love yourself and the road you took to be who you are now. Be you.....and own itπŸ‘‘πŸ’–

Happy New Years to all the mamas out got 2017πŸ‘ΆπŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ❤️