day 4 // the beautiful part of sports.

How about sneaking in a late night post just before the end of the day.  I almost forgot I was writing every day — good thing I remembered before it was the 5th.  Today it only seems fitting to talk about some beautiful stuff as it relates to sports, seeing how it’s a huge Saturday for sports in the fall.  At least it is for me.  But based on all of the college football upsets today, I would say it’s been a big Saturday for a lot of people.  I can tell you it wasn’t a big Saturday for Maryland fans.  Yikes.  I always keep up with them because I was, after all, a Terp for awhile.  And the first time I went to a game [actually working nutrition for the game] I was in shock at the stadium because I’m used to Neyland.  Neyland is the best.  And speaking of the best, Neyland was looking extra classy today.  It was awesome seeing everyone wearing their assigned white or orange to checker Neyland.  Tennessee fans are the best!

What was not the best was our loss to Florida.  That one hurt.  I’m pretty sure most of us fans thought we would beat Florida.  The team was pumped up, the fans were pumped up, we nearly beat Georgia last week, and Neyland was checkered.  What could go wrong?  Apparently the whole game could.  If a score of 10-9 sounds brutal to you, then you can only imagine how rough that was to watch.  I watched Coach Jones press conference after the game and had my faith restored in the team.  People can be so harsh, saying he can’t coach and we aren’t going to pick it up.  He doesn’t have a lot to work with, and we’re holding our own.  We will get there.  I hope.  But if every other game in the season is like this, then maybe we won’t.

Speaking of brutal, let’s talk about the Cardinals playing this weekend.  Another reason this is a big weekend, besides the Tenn game vs. Florida, is the Cardinals are playing in the NLDS.  Game 1 started off brutal.  I thought it was a terrible game, and then all of the sudden, an 8 run 7th inning for the Cards.  Amazing.  Brutal game gone.  Winning game on.  The Cards are just starting Game 2 as I type this, so here’s to hoping Lance Lynn can do them well tonight.  And based on my late in the day caffeine, I will likely be up to see what happens.

And another sports thing this weekend — Tommy played in the alumni game for the Tennessee hockey team last night.  He didn’t play hockey at all last season and had decided he wouldn’t play again this season, so I was glad he was able to get out on the ice last night and play with some old teammates.  I know Jack would have loved to see him play, so I wish I could have taken him, but I think Tommy had a good time.  And it may just make him want to play this season after all.

So what’s beautiful about all of this?  The Cardinals win last night was — clearly.  The Vols loss today was not anything close to beautiful.  But beyond the actual games or how many times I said “that’s a beautiful hit!” there is a lot more to sports and the athletes, the people there.

Take for example Albert Pujols.  He used to rank up high in my opinion, and he has dropped lower because of how he left the Cards, however, that is a story for another day.  And not the point.  The point is that Albert has started something really great.  He uses his talent, his position, and his resources to make a difference in the lives of other people.  The Pujols Family Foundation is a blessing to the community.  According to their website, their purpose is::

“To promote awareness, provide hope and meet tangible needs for families and children who live with Down syndrome. To provide extraordinary experiences for children with disabilities and/or life threatening illnesses. To improve the standard of living and quality of life for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic through education, medical relief and tangible goods.”  


What a beautiful thing to use what you are given to bless others!

Michael Oher.  ‘Nough said.  If you don’t know his story then you need to go watch The Blind Side right now.  Tonight.  While the biggest part of the story is God using the people he did to change lives, sports played a large role in his story.  His talent, drive, discipline, and commitment to football was life changing for him.  It’s a beautiful thing to hear a story like that, to see a story like that.

And I think the most amazing and beyond beautiful story is this one ::  Team Hoyt.  Dick Hoyt is the active body for his son, Rick, as they have completed over 1000 races.  Their story is amazing, and what this dad has done and gone through for his son is beyond incredible.  All to help his son not feel handicapped.  Take some time to read their story.  You won’t regret it.

[sorry for the lack of pictures… technical difficulties on my part]

What is your favorite beautiful thing in sports?  I’d love to hear!


day 3 // just beautiful.

Sometimes the material just comes and the posts just write themselves.  Here I am talking about beautiful for 31 days, and yesterday — well, it was just beautiful for some of our friends.  Our sweet friends who also lost a baby last year had their rainbow baby yesterday.  A rainbow baby — because I didn’t know before our G — is the healthy + living baby you have after you’ve lost a baby.  Their precious baby boy was born yesterday afternoon and is healthy and doing great.  Tommy and I are really excited to go meet him.  It’s always amazing when a baby is born — every baby is truly a miracle — but man is it even more so for a rainbow baby.  God is good, and I know there will be parts of having this baby that intensify the grief but I also believe God will use him to continue to bring healing to their whole family.

Then my other friend got her first foster placement last night!  They have a sweet little boy and wouldn’t you know what his name is.  It’s the same as one of my boy’s and not the one who’s living.  We are really thrilled for them and are excited to get to watch these new relationships form.  I was a hot mess with the new arrivals and watching God redeeming lives around us last night.  My goodness.  It was purely beautiful.  Just beautiful.

And because nothing I can say can top those stories from yesterday, I am going to leave it at that for today.  The most beautiful things!  Oh, and Go Vols!!  {Florida game tomorrow + the excitement around here is so awesome}

it’s monday again + non-toy gifts.

This is going to get old, but wow, last week was crazy!  It just keeps happening.  Some how, the older Jack gets, the more we’re involved in, the busier we get.  And fall makes it that much worse!  Fall is my very favorite season — and yesterday felt like fall!  It was cool.  It was 59 degrees when we got dressed for church.  Jack wore a light sweater with elbow patches — ahhh!!  I wore boots and light sweater.  LOVELY.  I love fall!  All of that to say, we have been running around like crazy it feels like.  Last week was a blur, but we are good and had many good things happen.

Friday evening Jack and Tommy spent some time together — it was sweet!  Tommy has started taking Jack golfing.  Jack loves it!  It’s fun for them to spend time together, and I think Tommy has been waiting for this for awhile.  Saturday morning we woke up early to head downtown for a 5K.  It was the Sprint for the Prints 5K for Precious Prints.  A really great cause — they help provide comfort to families like ours who lose a child, so we were happy to support them.  It definitely is something that we would have loved to have for Gabriel.  Our friends the Parrishes, who we met last year after they lost their baby, did a video for Precious Prints [I shared on my facebook page a couple of weeks ago] and are a family who has a charm of their daughter’s thumbprint.  Jack rode in his stroller and then ran through the finish line with us.  He loved the 5K!  It’s right up his alley.  Afterwards, he checked out the food and had a bag of Cheetos, an orange, 2 donuts, and a water bottle.  Gotta refuel.

weekend 5k

Then we headed home to set up for Tommy’s sister and brother in law’s going away party that we hosted.  They move to Nebraska today, so we had a fun time Saturday afternoon celebrating them with all their people.  Then we went to mom and dad’s for burgers and came home, put Jack to bed and watched the Tennessee game.  It was a full day!  And so fun.  We will really miss Molly and Drew but are so happy for them and this big move in their lives.

weekend going away weekend molly and drew weekend party

So we had a great weekend, lots of fun celebrating and hanging out, and resting and playing on Sunday.  A great weekend!  Now on to a new week.  Today I’m over at the Knoxville Moms Blog sharing one of my very favorite list posts to date — 25 non-toy gifts for kids.  I’m ALL about this.  Head on over there and check it out!

non-toy gifts for kids

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Did it feel like fall where you are??

good reads for your monday.

I had this post 3/4 of the way written and it got deleted.  So this is version 2.0 and I can basically guarantee you it won’t be as good.  Fair warning.


cardinals fan happy Monday from the cutest Cardinals fan!


Happy Monday morning!  I already know this is going to be a better week because our little guy went to bed at a normal time last night.  His sleep has been very off between summer, turning 3 and dropping naps, and then starting back to school.  His little body can’t tell if he’s exhausted or rested, which I can tell his little body that he’s exhausted but that doesn’t seem to help.  So his scattered sleep habits have left us all walking around like sleep zombies for the better part of 3 weeks.  After being up from 11 pm to 3 am on Saturday night and realizing that that was not unusual, we decided things had to change.  I googled my little heart out looking for sleep tips and ways to help him.  Tommy and I sat down yesterday and hashed out a plan and then later shared it with Jack.  He thought it sounded like a good plan for Tommy and me, but wasn’t 100% on board with it himself.  We think he’ll come around 😉   The little man went down at 7:30 and it was celebration worthy!  Sure I had to go back up a bunch to settle him when he woke but progress is progress.


My first draft of this lovely Monday post had a whole bunch of other stuff about reading and how I’m not awesome at it.  It was long and drawn out, so I will eliminate it from version 2.  The summary is that I’m not awesome at reading but wish I was.  Which segued quite nicely into this section of stuff I read over the weekend that I hope you enjoy on this lovely Monday …



There’s been a lot of talk about extroverts and introverts lately.  All of this talk led to my discovery of my own vert.  I never know whether I was an extrovert or introvert because I wasn’t shy but I also wasn’t really social.  I have always liked being around people and doing things with my friends but have also needed time at home, alone.  Low and behold twenty something years later I learned I’m a bit of a mix with but with a little more introvert.  I was kind of surprised but not when I learned that it’s where you get your energy from.  If I’ve been super social [for me], it wears me out and I just have to be home to recover.  I used to think that was so silly, but I’m glad to know it’s just introvercy [?? not a real word].  This post is good.  I can relate to several things — specifically the phone, the down time, and avoiding shows that call for audience participation — I mean really, is there anything worse than that??


The Vols are back!  Watch out.  Will it be a perfect season?  No.  Of course not.  But it’s so fun to have exciting football Saturdays again.  Our team is exciting, we have a great coach, and he is a genius with the whole “brick by brick” stuff.  Go Vols!!


Whenever I start to feel like I’m a stuff manager, I immediately get rid of all the stuff.  We don’t need stuff.  We have plenty of it.  I don’t want to spend my life managing stuff.  I want to live and be in relationships and grow with others.  Not manage stuff.  Love this post.  **If you only have time to read one thing today, read this.  It makes me feel like taking a deep breath, looking around and saying it’s ok.  And now I’m going to go get rid of more stuff.


Check out my post from last Monday over on Knoxville Moms Blog.  I shared about UT game day traditions — it’s football time in Tennessee!


Thanks so much for sharing about your summers.  I really enjoyed reading what you were up to and some of the high points.  What I want to know today is — are you an introvert or an extrovert??

saturday fun.

We had a busy weekend that was full of fun and a few firsts for Jack. One of my favorite new areas in town is a new town center just a few miles down the road from our house.  Saturday morning they held a town center block party, and we had so much fun there with friends.  There was a small carousel, which Jack loved.  Bounce houses, which Jack loved.  And a helicopter that was really cool to see in person.  Jack loved most everything about it! 






Then we went home for his nap and went back out for more fun with friends.  We went to eat some really unhealthy food and then headed downtown for the UT open practice.  It was a lot of fun and Jack’s first time going to a football game [we’ve been calling it that because he was so excited about it].  It was his first time at Neyland Stadium, too.  He was very curious about the music, all the people, and all the noise they made.  He loved when people cheered, when they played music, and most of all he loved Smokey, the mascot.  Once he found Smokey, he calmed down and enjoyed the practice. 



Big boys eating dinner.  No high chairs needed here. 




His first walk to Neyland. 








2 year old boys playing around. 







The boys watching football. 









Sweet little boys. 



It was such a fun day.  And then Jack woke up Sunday morning covered in throw up.  Poor little guy.  So we spent Sunday recovering at home after an active Saturday.  It was a good weekend.