Friday, December 13, 2019

The last game.

I cried last Saturday....a lot actually.....and not just because I am pregnant either.....I cry every year at our team’s last game. As I watched the seniors step out of the locker room for the last time, still in their uniforms...going to hug their families with hurting hearts and tears in their eyes.....I could not help it.
One of my favorite moments after a win is to look over the field with the brightly lit up scoreboard shining over happy faces. To see players with their families hugging and glowing proudly after a win. Closing my eyes and literally feeling the energy and joy filling the air.

Our season was tough.....we faced a tremendous amount of adversity, including a number of unfortunate injuries, and yet our team fought through it and was able to be a top 8 seed in the playoffs. Through the ups and downs they battled....second and third string players stepped up and made big-time plays. Unfortunately, last Saturday it wasn’t enough. I did not see those happy faces on the field post-game. Our season officially came to an end, as we lost by three points in the playoffs. 

I sometimes compare the last game of the season to the day after Christmas. The excitement and rush has to come to an end....

No more baking on Wednesday’s.......
No more screaming loudly on third down......
No more lit up scoreboard post-game.....
No more children running on the field after the game, throwing the football and pretending they are future Jackrabbits scoring the game winning touchdown.....
No more waiting for my husband to exit the locker room and giving him a kiss....
No more game days.....

They say all good things must come to an end....but I don’t think I am ever prepared for that moment. Like a kid on Christmas morning....I want more games....I wish it would never end.

In FCS Football, 24 teams make the playoffs out of 126 teams. Only one playoff team wins their last game in January.....for the others teams, the season ends in heartbreak. I have to remind myself of this frequently. 

So with that said....I don’t know if I have ever been more proud of our team. With all that our Jackrabbits faced this season....they battled. They accomplished making it to the playoffs for the 8th straight year, and as a top 8 seed for the 4th straight year despite all of their trials and tribulations.

My hope is that our Jackrabbit team holds their heads high, knowing in their hearts they battled valiantly, looking forward to the opportunity for greatness that next year provides!!

Friday, November 8, 2019

November 8th.

One year ago today, I was an ecstatic pregnant girl headed to my doctor’s office for the 8 week ultrasound. What happened next changed my baby’s little heart did not have a heartbeat.  I know I am not alone when I share this....but once a woman has been through a great loss, such as a are never quite the same.

After a lot of tears....there was a rainbow after the storm. In July, I found out I was pregnant once again.....I was thrilled.....and scared....all at the same time. I took about 5 tests in disbelief. When I surprised my husband with the news he was overjoyed and relieved at the same time, but we both agreed not to tell our four children, or anyone else, until after that our 1st ultrasound. I tried not to worry...but that’s easier said than done when you’ve experienced this kind of a loss.

Two LONG months later...the day of my Ultrasound came. I was eager for the appointment, but I would be lying if I did not say I was also petrified. As I laid down and waited for the doctor to come in the room, I looked to my husband. He smiled at me adoringly, but I sensed his uneasiness as well. I thought that I saw tiny little baby legs moving.....but inside I kept praying to myself “oh please god, let me hear that sweet little heartbeat.”

Then I heard it....the most wonderful sound that instantly brought tears to my eyes that rolled down my cheeks. My husband immediately kissed me and the feeling of relief and pure joy filled up my heart. 

I am delighted to say that I am now 20 weeks along and so completely overjoyed to see that growing belly every week. I am thankful for feeling tired.... appreciative of any nausea that comes my way. After losing our baby last November I have to remind myself.....that these are all good “problems” to have. They’re a blessing.

I choose not to complain about the not so wonderful symptoms that come along with pregnancy because I know someone is wanting those feelings right now. I will never forget that feeling of yearning for that growing round belly. I will always remember. 

I am writing this post to remember the babies who were born sleeping, the ones who were carried in their mama’s belly but never held, the babies that were cradled in loving arms but could not be taken home, and those who may have been brought home to love but could not stay.

I am writing this to give any woman out there who has experienced this painful loss keep trying for their rainbow after the storm. To pray for those whose hearts are hurting, and feeling empty. I was there. I will never forget my loss, and my heart will always hold a special place for my sweet baby who left us too soon. 

I hope and pray someday we all get to hold those sweet little angel babies in Heaven. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

10 Tips On How I Survive Fall Football Camp:

1. Practice makes perfect. Ok, well nothing is perfect, but I do think that our family is happier when we go to football practice to get a moment with Daddy. Pack up those kids or ask another wife to meet you at practice. It’s always important to have some REAL FaceTime. 

2. DIY-why not! Time to bring out any projects you’ve been putting on hold. Paint that piece of furniture or organize that closet. I like to think of it like I am nesting for the football season.

3. Cereal anyone? I am not joking when I say I eat cereal A LOT throughout the season. Between juggling back to school for my boys and all of their activities, with’s about enjoying the simpler things in life. Let’s just say it also make my life a whole lot easier not planning big elaborate dinners. I LOVE me some frosted mini wheats.πŸ˜‰

4. Travel!!! When my first two babes were little, I usually traveled to see family during football camp. It’s much harder now with a son’s finishing up baseball season and starting football practice of their own, but I highly recommend this for wives with no kids or young kids to help the time go faster and break up the time.

5. Take care of you. During fall camp I enjoy taking time to do the things I love to do....but never have the time to do (we all know how crazy life gets during football season). Catch up on your favorite shows (Real Housewives anyone?), read a new book, give yourself a pedi/mani....or better yet....go get one. Take a bath and give yourself a mini facial with a great mud mask. Do you lady.

6. Ladies night! Now you have the opportunity to catch up with friends. Who would say no to some good convo and a glass of wine? Plan a get together with the coaches wives on your know they all can relate to the old saying “we interrupt this marriage to bring you the football season.”

7. Get Game Day ready! Every August I find myself browsing for game day looks so my family can show some style and real team spirit in the stands. I also love looking for some cute finds to decorate the house for fall.....‘tis the season. 

8. Stock up! getting game day ready also involves stocking up on food. I take the time to stock up when it comes to feeding our players, tailgating, and having people come to stay for games. This girl picks up a ginormous bag of flour and sugar at Costco every August.

9. Movie night! This is a favorite in my house all year round. Especially having four boys, it’s the only time I can get my toddler to sit stillπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ˜‚. Pour yourself a glass of wine and cuddle up with those kiddos or favorite blanket and enjoy the show. 

10. Try something new. Try one of those painting classes with some friends, a new fitness class, or a new recipe....I am always researching new dessert recipes for our offensive line.

So with my 17th football camp as a coach’s wife.....I am a "football widow" once again. Summer has literally flashed before my eyes, but I am going to do my very best to make the most of these remaining weeks of summer. While my husband is preparing his boys for the next season....I will be preparing our boys for the next school year.....but making sure we have fun (and maybe I’ll get a little me time) along the way. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

My 10 favorite Summertime Products

Let’s be honest hot summer days can mean disaster: melting makeup and shiny skin is not a great look on anyone. Whether heading to the pool, or a barbecue, don’t leave the house without stashing these fabulous 10 products in your makeup bag or drawer this summer.

1. Elf Bronzer. LOVE this bronzer to throw in my purse for a glowing bronzed complexion. The 4-in-1 pallet makes it easy to blend while also providing a buildable coverage with that natural sun kissed look. Available in two colors WARM, or my favorite GOLDEN. ONLY $4 at Target or Walmart.

2. Bronze Goddess by EstΓ©e Lauder. My absolute favorite summertime scent! I have been wearing this every summer for over 15 years. The scent of tiare flower is combined with creamy coconut and the radiant warmth of amber, sandalwood, and vanilla. It is a perfect beach scent. Find this fabulous scent at most department stores from $65-$80. 

3. Elf tinted moisturizer. I am not going to sit at an 85 degree baseball game with a face full of makeup on. This moisturizer has a tint that gives your skin UVA/UVB SPF 20 protection. This foundation alternative is packed with vitamins, aloe, and your skin an all around silky radiant look. ONLY $3 at Target or Walmart.

4. Elf Illuminating Face Primer. When I’m getting ready for a night out, I love using this product before my foundation. It gives your skin a radiant glow with a soft, golden luminescence. This primer creates a flawless finish for a long-lasting makeup application. ONLY $6 at Target or Walmart.

5. Johnson’s Cream Baby Oil. This creamy baby oil is not advertised as a mosquito repellent by its makers, but it’s a safe/effective alternative to keeping the mosquitoes away....without that terrible repellent smell. An added bonus is that this baby oil is made with Aloe & Vitamin E, giving it a nice, creamy texture that moisturizes for 24 hours....and that pleasant smell. ONLY $5 at Walmart.

6. Tree Hut Sugar Srcub. I swear by this product for keeping my skin soft throughout the year. During the summer months I use it a couple times a week so my self tanner goes on smoother and my feet look, and feel, sandal ready. This scrub provides intense exfoliation and moisturization, leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth while providing powerful hydration. You can find it anywhere from Amazon to Walmart for $6-7.

7. Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Firming Moisturizer. I love having color in the summer, but we all know how unsafe it is for your skin to bake in the sun or a tanning bed. This lotion gradually tans and firms your skin. It gives you a tan in just one week, and firmer looking skin in about two weeks. This product also contains mica to give skin a subtle shimmer. Only $9 at Walmart or Target.

8. L'OrΓ©al Paris Sublime Bronze Summer Express Body Makeup. When you just don’t have time for self tanner, or just don’t want to deal with the smell, this instant bronzer lotion is the solution. It is a transfer-resistant formula offering all day hydration, making skin look and feel flawless. You can find this at Target, Walmart, or Amazon for around $9.

9. Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm. The entire Baby Lips line is insanely hydrating, and I am loving the colors “Pink Punch”, “Peach Kiss”, or “My Pink.” You can find these at Walgreens or Walmart for around $4

10. Freeman Facial Masks. Summer can be stressful for our skin. I am loving Freeman’s Cucumber+Pink Salt Rejuvenate Clay Mask, and their Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask. The Cucumber+Pink Salt mask exfoliates, detoxes, & clears pores for renewed skin. The Dead Sea Minerals mask helps replenish and balance moisture while purging clogged pores. It contains lavender and bergamot to help relax your skin. Both masks are for all skin tones and free of harsh chemicals. You can find them for under $6 on Amazon or retailers like Walmart or ULTA Beauty.

With all the fun that comes with summertime, we all know that warmer weather brings a new set of beauty concerns.....newly exposed skin begging for some color....or a problem area or two aching for exfoliating and toning after being covered up for months. So hopefully some of my favorite summer products help you enjoy a little more what’s left of the season.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Things I wish I would have known as a newly married coach’s wife:

Enjoy the rollercoaster of a ride of this football life. 
My husband has coached in Division 2, FCS, and also at the FBS level. I have cherished every level/place we’ve been at and made some great memories at every stop. Never forget where you came from, and appreciate every single place......because anything can happen in coaching...there are no guarantees. Sometimes when you are going through a’s hard to believe there will be some light at the end of that tunnel. I know we wouldn’t be at a great place like South Dakota State without a few bumps along the way. Keep the faith.....this too shall pass🏟🏈🎒.

Listen and Learn from “seasoned” coaches’ wives. 
My husband has definitely grown as a coach from when he started in the business 21 years ago, and the same goes for coaches’ wives.  You are not going to be an expert coach’s wife the moment you say “I do.” In fact, even after almost 17 years of marriage, I am still learning every year. I am always eager to ask advice from coaches’ wives who have been married to the game longer than me. There are many shared experiences as a coach’s wife. Learning from those who have been around and helping out newbies is part of what makes being a coach’s wife specialπŸ‘‚πŸ»πŸˆπŸ‘°πŸΌπŸ’.   
Take pictures. We have an entire family room filled with framed football memories. It is honestly, my favorite room in our house. I only wish I would have taken more early onπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸˆπŸ“Έ

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Quit worrying about the perfect house....accept there will be black turf pellets on the floor (or turf turds—as a friend of mine/coach’s wife likes to call them πŸ˜‚). BTW...I’ve also had my fair share of pens, Sharpies, and Dry Erase markets go through the washer/dryer. Just remember the saying: “a perfectly clean house is a sign of a misspent life.” 🀦🏼‍♀️🏈  

Don’t take it personally when your husband gets let go. The first few transitions that our family went through, I was guilty of this. I remember bawling and questioning to myself, “why don’t they think he’s a good enough coach?” I just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want our family to stay there when a new Head Coach came in. BELIEVE in your husband and be supportive....bumpy roads can often lead to smoother paths❤️πŸˆπŸ™πŸΌ.

Plan for rainy days. When my husband got his first full-time job, it came with a fully paid move.They boxed everything up and moved it for us. I remember thinking....I could get used to this. During subsequent moves, we have had to pay for some moves entirely out of pocket. When a new Head coach comes in, and your husband is not retained, he has to scramble and you you can’t be picky with things like moving expenses. Stay humble, appreciate what you have, and work to save up an emergency fund for transitions.You may think you are in a stable situation....but as I said earlier...there are no Guarantees in college coachingπŸˆπŸ“¦πŸ’ΈπŸ€¦πŸΌ‍♀️☔️.    

Remember those who have been there for you through the good times and the bad. I really cherish the coaches’ wives I’ve become friends with over the years. They have helped me get to the hospital when I was in labor, texted me during a playoff game cheering us on, been the first to call when our staff was let go, and been a shoulder to cry on through it all.  You will always remember who has been there for you as you go through the ups and downs of being a coach’s wife. Most importantly, remember, to be there for them right back. Love and cherish your football family. My husband and I have usually lived far away from our families during his coaching career. We have shared many holidays with our football family over the years. I really believe family is about who is there to hold your hand when you need it the most❤️πŸˆπŸ’.

Learn to juggleWell......maybe not literally. I have learned there is no “Super Woman” can’t do it all by yourself.....but you better believe I am going to try my hardest. Sometimes that means going through the Taco Bell Drive-Thru for dinner because I am overwhelmed running the entire house in addition to working full-time (30 hours a week?) and that’s ok🀹🏻‍♀️🀷🏼‍♀️.

Be independent....enjoy your alone time. Find interests and things you like to do for YOU! As much as it is hard having my husband gone for weeks at a time recruiting.....(or months at a time transitioning to a new job).....I’ve learned to appreciate having time for me. I read a good book, give myself spa treatments, have movie night with my children, or just work on a project I’ve been putting off during a busy football seasonπŸ§–πŸ»‍♀️πŸ’…πŸΌπŸ“šπŸ“Ί.
Join the AFCWA. I really believe support is SO crucial for coaches’ wives. I have met so many amazing football wives through this all different levels of football. Our week might look different on paper, but when it comes to a game’s really the same. It is truly a sisterhood. Coaches’ wives I met through the AFCWA have been there for me and helped me through some challenging times. My only regret is that I didn’t become a member soonerπŸˆπŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ‘°πŸΌπŸ‘°πŸ½πŸ’.

The grass isn’t always greener. Early on in my husband’s career we left some good jobs to move onto a higher level of college football. We have learned over the years that the, “better job,” has a lot to do with what’s best for our entire family, and not always the job at the highest levelπŸˆπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ™‹πŸ»‍♂️πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌ.
When it comes to a new job....TALK...ALOT! It’s ok if you don’t think a new job might not be an overall good fit for your family. It’s important you share your feelings and he shares are a team. Communication is so important in any relationship.
Ignore the background noise. I am pretty much certain that it’s much easier to coach from a stadium seat than on the actual football field or coach’s box. Ignore the critics in the stands....or on social media for that 😜matter, until they start working 80-100 hour work weeksπŸ—£πŸˆπŸŸπŸ€¦πŸΌ‍♀️.
Make time for your coach. Even if that means joining him for a recruiting dinner.....that’s considered date night right?!? What’s really important is making the time for each other....even when football keeps them so busyπŸ’‘❤️🏈.

15 minutes doesn’t usually mean 15 minutes. I’ve learned over the years when my husband says he’ll be home in 15 minutes it usually ends up more like 30....or sometimes 40. Something always comes up with football...a recruiting call or maybe a player needing him before he heads out of his office. I’ve learned to plan accordingly...even if that means waiting to put dinner in the oven until he is actually home⏰🏈🀦🏼‍♀️.
Remind yourself that you chose to marry a coach....but your children were born into it. Stay positive for them through transitions and treat every move like a new football adventure. Children are far more resilient than you realizeπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸˆπŸ›£πŸ™ŒπŸ». 

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.