Wednesday, June 3, 2020

18 Lessons...From 18 Years as a Coach’s wife!

My husband and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary this week. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post...marriage isn’t always perfect. Through the ups and the downs....the wins and the losses.....and all the moves, (9 in 18 years to be exact!) this is what I have learned being married to the game.
1. Marriage is never going to be 50/50. You have to sometimes give more than the other spouse in times of need. Any coach’s wife learns that REAL fast! During our husband’s season it can feel a lot like 10/90. 
2. Don't listen to the critics. We've had people (even those close to us) doubt if our relationship could ever work. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed proving them wrong....on and off the field.

3. Listen to one another. Pure and simple. It’s not my job to be the coach and tell him what I think he did wrong after a tough loss. It’s my job as his wife to be there for him.....to listen and be supportive of him.
4. The grass....or turf...isn't always greener on the other side. Water and take care of your own grass.....and you won't need to look for anything more. 

5. Date.....a lot. We have 5 kids and we date more now than we did with only 2 (even if we have a third wheel along-our Lola celebrated our anniversary with us this year since she’s only 2 months old😂). Taking time to date is a break from the everyday chaos and time to enjoy each other. Even if that “date” ends up being somehow related to football....take it. I’ve learned to appreciate any and all time together. Coaches wives have to find the silver lining.
6. You’ll cry. You’ll fight. I saw this great line once “a lot of people will say don’t go to bed angry” but I say, “sometimes the dishes gotta soak.” Going to bed upset is better then staying awake and saying things you may regret. 

7. LAUGH.......sometimes even at each other. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. In our marriage that is one thing that keeps me falling more and more in love, and kept us afloat during the rough times – having fun and laughing together.  

8. You’ll Grow. We’ve learned from our ups, downs, and in betweens. With every win, tough loss, hectic move, or transition....we learn and we grow.

9. Celebrate. Sometimes I joke with my husband that my birth wasn’t planned to accommodate football (my birthday always falls during the playoffs or recruiting.) His falls right in the middle of fall camp. I’ve learned in this crazy life it doesn’t matter when you celebrate as long as you get to.
10. Don’t compare. They say comparison is the thief of joy. Not everyone’s football journey is yours. No marriage is perfect, not every marriage looks the same, or even what it seems to the outside world. Couples are not always what they POST to be.

11. Everyone has a love language. I enjoyed reading this book written by Gary Chapman years ago called The 5 Love Languages. We all have a language and I believe it's important to know yours and your spouse’s, and then act on it. 

12. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I’ve learned to laugh about the silly habits that bug me, and I am sure he has things that bug him about me too. You learn to love the not so easy to love parts of your spouse. When you really love someone they just don't bother you as much. 

13. Communicate. There is a reason lack of communication is one of the leading causes for divorce. Don’t assume the other person understands something the way you understand something! Communicate! We talk about any big/little decisions together. Coaching jobs, money, camps, etcetera.

14. Protect. I've got his back and I need him to have mine. You are always on the same team no matter the situation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again....there’s no “i” in team right?!?!
15. Work at it. There is a lot of work involved in staying together. We are still working on us.....every single day.

16. Be supportive. I am his biggest fan in the stands and he's my extra set of hands at home.....well.....when he can be. Love is in the details!  Strive to love and bless each other’s life by giving compliments, forgive each other, smile, hug, listen, and be there to support each other.
17. Love and keep the faith. Through the years of this crazy profession...I’ve learned to not take the transitions personally. Love each other and keep the faith that God has a bigger plan for you.

18. Enjoy all the wins but leave the losses at the stadium. It’s not easy to accept a loss when your husband has worked so hard to perfect his game plan. When you have missed each other all week....win or lose....you finally get that time together after the game. So once you leave the stadium choose to leave any loss behind and move on for the next week. As I said earlier, you are always on the same team no matter the situation.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Someday I’ll tell her.......

Someday I am going to tell this baby girl cradled in my arms that she was born in the height of a pandemic.⠀


I’ll tell her how I was terrified having to deliver her at very scary time. How I was nervous about taking her anywhere after she was born.  How I was so scared because I really didn’t know what would happen.


Someday she’ll hear how we FaceTimed relatives, how much they wanted to meet her, and how they had to love her from a distance.
Her daddy will tell her how we did what we needed to do to protect her.......How her doctor’s appointments were virtual.......how strict we were with her brothers about social distancing..............all because we wanted to keep her safe and healthy.
Someday her brothers will tell her stories of staying in together. Playing monopoly, family dinners, s’mores in the fire pit, plenty of fresh air, and many nights snuggling together watching movies. 


I’ll tell her that the silver lining in all of this was that our family slowed down. Instead of racing around to various activities we spent more quality time as a family. We’ll share with her memories on how she was almost always in someone’s arms....and that my favorite time of day was when she would fall asleep in my arms and I could just cuddle her....enjoying and embracing every baby moment.


I am going to tell our Lola that she gave me unbelievable hope that things can get better. She kept this family going, and reminded us to cherish the moment. 

Lola Dakota is not only our rainbow baby, but also our sunshine on a cloudy day.

Someday I’ll tell her.....


Friday, April 3, 2020

Hello, Little Rainbow.....

A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth.  Just like a rainbow follows a storm, a rainbow baby follows the pain of a lost baby. Rainbow babies do not erase our memories or take away our pain, but they help us begin to mend our broken pieces. They bring light and beauty back into a place where dark clouds have taken up space in our hearts.


8 months and many tears after we lost a baby through a miscarriage, there was the faintest hint of a line on a pregnancy test. I think I took about 5 tests over the next week just making sure it was real. I think I can speak for most mamas out there when I say, you instantly feel connected to your babies from the second you know that they exist.

Then at 9 weeks came the sound of that beautiful beating heart, and seeing the sweet profile of our baby on the ultrasound. That was followed by those first kicks in my growing tummy a few months later. I celebrated every single day of my pregnancy.....enjoying every wonderful and not so wonderful moment.


At last...on Friday March, 20th, at 1:03 pm......It’s a girl!!! Hello Little Rainbow! Lola Dakota was a 7lbs 10oz, 20 inch long blessing.


This little rainbow babe is already filling my heart with love and helping heal the space of my broken heart. It does not mean however, that our storm has been forgotten. As I sat up in the hospital holding our sweet baby I couldn’t help but think about the tears and pain I went through to get this beautiful little girl. I have a charm necklace that holds the ashes of my angel baby.  I wore it around my neck, close to my heart when I delivered our Lola. I know there will still be days where I wonder about that angel and what they would have grown to be.


So here I am...writing this post...with our darling baby cradled in my arms. There will be plenty of sleepless nights, soreness from nursing, and dirty diapers, but I will be so utterly grateful for every squeak or cry that comes along the way from our beautiful rainbow babe. Life after the storm....I have found pure joy and gratitude.



I love you little rainbow.....Lola Dakota.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

It doesn’t matter.

I have learned that you can’t make people like you, love you, validate you, accept you, understand you, or even be nice to you......it’s simply out of your control. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t matter. Let that soak in for a moment......say it out loud even......it doesn’t matter.  I heard this concept years ago, but in all honesty, I’ve really struggled to understand it....until the last couple years. 

When you go through difficult times you really find out who truly cares about you. It’s the people that check in on you when life hands you lemons...the ones that are there to remind you to make lemonade.


I posted weeks ago about “my friend the coach’s wife.” My husband jokingly has referred to coaches’ wives as “my people.” All jokes aside though...they are my people. Some of them have been the ones to check in on me when life has thrown me a curve ball. As so many of us football wives can relate to.....this football life can definitely bring about some stressful times of uncertainty.  I have also gone through some bumps in the road that were not at all related to football. Everyone faces adversity right?!?! We may fall into the trap of thinking a friend on Facebook is perfect and always has their life together.....but social media is not reality.....it is just a highlight reel.

Sometimes when everything appears to be going great In life....that is when adversity strikes. November of 2018 was one of those times for me when I lost a baby by miscarriage. I learned a lot about the people in my life during an extremely difficult time. When anyone is going through tough times they need love and support.....pure and simple. I was bitter and extremely hurt when a few people in my life never even bothered to show concern or even acknowledge my loss at all.


Then, 8 months later after enduring my storm.....I got my rainbow.....I found out I was pregnant with another baby. It was interesting to me that the people who were not there for me with my miscarriage....were also the people that never took the time to reach out to celebrate my great news. On the other hand, the people who regularly checked in after my loss, just to see if I was ok, have also been the ones who have loved, supported, and celebrated with me throughout my entire pregnancy. 



It’s taken me two years and being pregnant with our rainbow baby to realize the real truth behind these simple words “it’s their loss, not yours.” To not let the behavior of others destroy my inner peace. 


The blessing in disguise from my hurt and disappointment is that I found my people. Life is precious. Stick to those who care.....I mean really care. If someone doesn’t....just remember it doesn’t matter....they aren’t your people.  Let’s be completely honest.....no response is a response. Step away from unhealthy relationships in your life. While you can’t control other people’s behavior you have complete control who you surround yourself with.

I choose happiness. To appreciate and love the ones that are “my people.”  We all deserve to be surrounded by love and respect. Stay close to and love the ones that feel like sunlight.



Saturday, January 11, 2020

My friend the coach’s wife....



Whenever I talk about a coach’s wife that I know of to my husband...one of the very first things he asks me is “where does her husband coach at?” He asks because in the tight-knit coaching profession, there is always a descent chance he may know the coach, or at least know someone on the staff. From my prospective, however, I don’t really care where her husband coach's at. 


It’s not that I don’t support her and her football season, it is that it really does not matter to me what school or level of football she is at. Coaches’ wives can all relate to each other because of our shared experiences.  Any football wife that’s a friend of mine...deserves the same amount of respect and loyalty. We all go through the ups and downs that come with the profession. Each one of our husband’s work hard from week to week. We all know what it feels like to win and to lose. Every single one of us has to make sacrifices for the love of our husband and his team. None of us were given a manual when we married into this lifestyle....and all of us are very unique in our own way. Different, yet similar stories......from moving, raising kids, the winning seasons, and the not so easy losing seasons.  So whether you are a HS coach’s wife, NAIA, or in the Power 5....it plays no factor on our friendship.


I believe that a good coach's wife/friend remains close and loyal to other coaches' wives.  When a coach loses their job (let’s be honest....we all know it happens to the best of them), other coaching wives are right there to reach out and show the coach's wife going through transition that they care.


This blog post was written to show my appreciation to all the amazing women I’ve met.....in all levels of football.....each with their own “football wife life”. While there is no set mold we fit into......each coach’s wife does what works for them and their family. Thank you to all the great ones....you are loving, loyal, supportive, helpful, independent, and some of the toughest women I know. Even though some of our weeks may look different on paper.....I think my husband said it best when he told me that “coaches’ wives are your people.”