Tuesday, March 25

At twelve and a half.

At twelve and a half, you are ALMOST a teenager.  You have opinions and thoughts, and they matter.  You have also entered the portion of the dance world where some of your costumes have two pieces.  I have become okay with that.  You do not wear them anywhere but on stage, so unless I post pictures, most people do not even realize it.  That being said, on Sunday, you danced beautifully, and on Sunday, there were a lot of fabulous pictures taken.  And for the very first time, we are sorting through which pictures are the most appropriate for viewing.  Although none of your dancing is inappropriate, a picture captures only a minute piece of the dance...and sometimes that leaves some of the beauty behind.  So these are a few that mark your skill without being too questionable.  

You are a beautiful dancer, and I love to watch you dance!

Sunday, February 9

A note for my swimmer.

Dear Bentley,

I know this weekend was a little disappointing for you.  You worked very hard the last few weeks, swam miles, so that maybe, just maybe, you could make one more state qualifying time.  It didn't happen.  You were so very, very close.  We like to think that if we work very hard, we will be able to achieve whatever we aim for.  The world will tell you that life works that way.  You were reminded that this isn't always the case.  Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't work so hard; it just means that you keep working hard.  I can't wait to see you swim in the state swim meet in two weeks.  I love to watch you swim, no matter how you do or where you place.  This is why:

Swimming brings out such a responsible side of you!  You check your arm, you check the boards, you check the lanes, you line yourself up, and you wait your turn.  We never have to question whether or not you are where you need to be.  You are.  It is fun to watch.

You swim with your heart.  You love to swim, and it shows.  You may not be the fastest swimmer, but you are a clean swimmer.  I cannot even remember the last time you were disqualified.

You have grown so much.  I remember the five-year-old that was so fearful of deep water that we had to pay for private swim lessons. Where did that little boy go?  Just this week, you worked on your diving form in practice.
 This weekend, you nailed it.  Just look at this dive of yours.  Unbelievable.
 And when it's not your best stroke, you still give it your all.  Impressive.
 But this is mostly why I love swim.  Your friendships.  You cheer for each other, even when you're representing different teams.  You watch out for each other, and you get excited for each other.  I caught this moment behind the block.  You had just finished your final race of the day.  It was almost Charlie's turn.  Both you and Dane stopped to give him a pep talk.  These are your summer swim buddies.  These are the boys we spend the entire month of June with.  These relationships are worth it.
Oh, and your 100 Fly is unbelievable.

I love you, buddy, and I love to watch you swim.

Thursday, January 30

First Snow This Year

There is so much I could write about the last 48 hours.  It has been a mess, and maybe I'll find a good way to use my words.  But for now--here's a few pictures.

Wednesday, January 1

Perhaps my very favorite gift this year.

Last night we traded gifts with some very dear friends of ours.  I opened this necklace. My eyes immediately filled with tears--happy tears.  There is something to be said for a friend that knows you so well and cares for you so much.  A friend that can give a simple gift and have it represent so much.  A friend who knows what this year holds for me and wanted me to remember truth on a daily basis.  

As we rang in the New Year with our dear friends, I thought about how good and gracious God has been to me.  No matter how desolate it seems at times, no matter how out of control life in this world seems, God always meets me there, just as he promised.  And time and time again over the last few years, he has used a group of core friends to push me closer and closer to him.  My understanding of the gospel has grown exponentially.

May 2014 be a year of life-giving and gospel living for us all!

Wednesday, December 25

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Merry Christmas, dear friends!!

Tuesday, December 3

No longer a tiny dancer.

She knows the likelihood of making a living off of dance is slim-to-nil.  She has a plan to major in something else in college and minor in dance.  We love that plan.

She LOVES to dance.  She dances through life--down the aisles of the grocery store, across the front yard, even stretching while she reads a book.

She choreographed her own dance and entered it into the Reflections contest.  She placed second tonight at the regional level, and her entry will move on to the state level of the competition.

I'm sure it's not the last time we see a dance she's choreographed on her own.  This girl's going places.

Sunday, November 17

Grace comes in various forms.

Today, I messed up.  Well, I mess up a lot, but today, I messed up BIG time.  We were in Athens for a swim meet for Bentley.  We spent Saturday night there, and we had a very early wake up this morning.  Bent had to be at the pool by 7:45.  We packed up our stuff and managed to be at the pool right on time.  I quickly looked at the events on my phone and wrote them on Bent's arm.  He went off for his warm ups.

He has become a very independent swimmer.  He watches the boards, talks to his coaches, and lines up for his events without any help from us.  He never misses an event.  He's usually there early, just to make sure, bouncing around nervously with his goggle straps in his mouth.  He is easily identifiable from afar.

He missed his third event.  I was in SHOCK.  I knew he would be upset, so I took off to try and get his attention and see what had happened.  I WROTE THE EVENT INCORRECTLY.  It was my fault.  The event was the 50 yard backstroke--his easiest chance to swim a state cut time today--his time is only a few seconds off, and it's from last year!  There are so many things I could write about this.  I felt horrible.  I took a little walk around the rec center.  I cried a little.  I prayed a lot.  I gathered myself and my senses. I always double check everything, and today, I didn't.  He missed his first race in over a year, his first race since he started doing it mostly himself.

I made it back into the natatorium just in time to see him lining up for his last event, the 100 Fly.  He had never swam it before, so he had no seed time.  He swam it unbelievably well--coming in first place and swimming a state cut time.  It was a beautiful swim.  I may have teared up for the second time in less than an hour.

We loaded into the car when it was all over, and I apologized for writing the wrong thing on his arm.  He did more than just forgive me; he tried his best to comfort me.  He reminded me that everyone makes mistakes, and he knew that I didn't mean to do it.  He wasn't upset with me at all.    Today, grace came in the shape and words of an almost-ten-year-old, and it was healing.

I think he gets to write on his own arm next time.  :)