Another Season Coming to a Close…

I am having a hard time believing it is December already. I would ask you where the year has gone, but chances are it has flown by for you as well. The kids had a wrestling tournament yesterday and will have their last one of the season next Saturday here at home. Like the rest of the year, the wrestling season went by too fast. Liam has a chance to practice with the high school team if he chooses to, but since that option is only open to 8th graders, the twins will be done at the end of the week.

I love watching these kids wrestle. I don’t care that we have to get up at 4am (and I am not a morning person) in order to get the kids to the bus on time. I don’t mind driving 2 hours (I do love a good road trip) to get to a tournament. My rear end does start complaining after several hours on hard bleachers, but a good scolding usually gets it to be quiet for a while. The headache that comes from being in a gym filled with screaming parents and teammates is only a minor inconvenience, so on tournament days, asprin is my good buddy.

I love watching so many kids of all athletic abilities getting out there on the mats and put every ounce of themselves into a wrestling match. I love witnessing their successes and my heart breaks a little for their defeats. But each week, kids from all different schools get better and better. We watch them all so much that we almost feel as though we know them, even if it is in some very small way. We root for kids we may never see again, simply because they are trying so hard to do something that many are not brave enough to attempt. And we always root for the girls. Always.

There is a passion in wrestling that I never knew or understood, and I am proud to say now that I get it. I understand what it is all about. And each and every time we pull up to a school for another tournament, I am grateful that we get to be a part of it. So to all the kids we have had the pleasure of watching over the last couple of months, I say thank you. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. I have loved absolutely every minute of it and am already looking forward to next year.

I know we still have one tournament left next Saturday, but I thought this would be a good time to share some videos with you. There is one of each of my kids. Please do yourself a favor and turn down the volume. The gym is loud, and we all get a little obnoxious when one of our own is out on the mat. Liam has improved so much since last year that it is almost hard to tell he is the same kid. Nathan has done absolutely amazing for a first year wrestler and has spent the entire season on the Hawks scoring team. And Catheryn, oh my heart, she is incredible. She has worked so hard this season and has accomplished so much. They all have so much to be proud of. I know that I am incredibly proud of them all, and nothing makes me happier than being their mama.

Wrestling Rockstars!

Liam absolutely loved wrestling last year, so it was no surprise that he wanted to do it again this year. The funny thing was that he almost did not participate last year. I am guessing he is glad he did! At their first tournament this year he placed first in his weight class (126 lb) and at their second tournament he placed second. They had their third meet last night here at home where they wrestled team against team. There were eight teams in all and it turned out to be quite the entertaining evening!

Liam at the first tournament.

He looks so tall!

Nathan wrestled a little for the YMCA last year and he really enjoyed it, so he was looking forward to wrestling in middle school this year. At the first tournament he wrestled in the 105 pound weight class, but he is aggressive on the mat, so his coach bumped him to the 110 class at the next two tournaments. He, too, took 1st in his class at the 1st tournament, and 2nd in his class at the 2nd tournament. So far this year he has only lost one match. He loves wrestling and is now talking about taking up boxing!

Nathan after taking first at the first tournament!

Getting ready to start a match.

Probably the biggest surprise of all was Catheryn. She had talked off and on about wrestling, but when the season was about to start, she was not sure if she wanted to participate or not. One day while she and I were watching the boys finish up football practice, we went over the pros and cons of wrestling. Her list of pros was longer than her list of cons, so I suggested trying a practice to see what she thought of it. If she decided to do it, we would go buy her shoes, but once the shoes were purchased, there would be no mind changing allowed. She agreed, and after the first practice, there was no more talk of whether or not she would participate, only of when we could go get shoes. I guess we had our answer!

One of the items on her list of pros was gaining upper body strength. She had gotten pretty strong legs after cross-country, but she wanted muscle up top. Every day she gets stronger and stronger. She has not won a match yet, but she goes out and tries her hardest and makes those boys work hard to pin her! One boy couldn’t even pin her and had to settle for winning by points. (She lost 4-7.)

Catheryn getting ready for a match.

Home quad last night.

A little over a year ago, I had no idea how fun wrestling would be to watch, (I probably had goofy images of ‘pro’ wrestling in my head.) but I found myself showing up early just to watch practice all last season, and am doing exactly the same thing this year! The bonus is that having three kids wrestling now gives us that much more to watch! The next tournament is Saturday and I am already looking forward to it. If any of you have kids who are contemplating wrestling, tell them to go for it! I can almost guarantee you will have as much fun as they do!

Gosh, I love these kids!!! 3:45am wake-up, and they’re still smiling!

Family

Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author unknown

Typical family photo in our house…

On our best behavior…

Apparently my mom and I look alike, although neither of us can see it.

Have you seen Nathan? No, I haven’t. Have you?

She got me!

Grammy, Grampy, and the kids started out behaving themselves…

Then Nathan cracked…

Followed by Liam until…

They all lost it except for Grampy.

Just when we thought Grampy was the only one who could behave…

And as usual, Rob and I are completely innocent. 🙂

Hopefully my parents will forgive me someday for sharing these pictures! 🙂

Fiesta!

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is probably my favorite event here in New Mexico. For two weeks each October, hot air balloons fill the sky with amazing color. Each morning they have a laser light show and balloon glow, followed by the mass ascension. In the evening, there are laser light shows and other fun events, like the Special Shapes Glowdeo. We have not attended an evening event, mostly because the morning mass ascension is so spectacular.

This year we were invited to be a part of the Chase Crew for Smokey the Bear! Monday morning we got up at o-dark-thirty and made our way to Albuquerque. The weather was not as cooperative as we would have liked it to be, so the balloons did not get going as early as they did last year when we attended. There are so many balloons that each one has a window for inflating and launch. If you cannot make your window, you make way for the next balloon. Well, as it turned out, it was too windy for Smokey, so we did not get to help set him up or chase him, but we had a really good time anyway.

Once the sun began to come up, there were balloons inflating every where we looked. After a cold morning, it warmed up nicely and balloons began to fill the sky. Any disappointment about not being able to help with Smokey quickly disappeared. I took about a million pictures as we ooh-ed and aah-ed our way around the balloon field. I am not normally a morning person, but this event is definitely worth getting up at 2am for!

Waiting for the winds to calm so we could help inflate Smokey the Bear. Dawn Patrol is getting ready in the background.

Cats!

Another kitty!

The twins sharing a moment

The kiddos

Chase vehicles for Smokey the Bear. The firetruck was really fun (and super cold!) to ride in!

It wasn’t quite the hot air balloon, but they were able to inflate a smaller Smokey out by the Balloon Museum.

Time to Run

Catheryn had her first cross country meet last weekend and she did amazing! I think she was a little nervous going in, but once she got running, she said the course went by really fast. There were runners from close to 10 schools, so lots of girls out on the trail! Both the girls and the boys took first place in teams! They all did amazing and it was so fun to watch!

Ready to go!

Middle school girls at the starting line (our school is on the far right.)

Catheryn on the course just before the finish

Catheryn and her friend with the team trophy

Let’s Go Hawks!

As promised, here are some pictures from the boys’ first football game of the year. They lost to Taos, 26-18, but they had a blast! Last week they won against the Elks, 6-0. They are already looking forward to their Thursday game this week! Let’s Go Hawks!!!

Game Day!

Nathan is #16

Liam is #85

Liam’s 4th down attempt.

Great Game!!

After game huddle