Family and Fun

We had a wonderful visit with my parents this past weekend. We live 15 hours apart, so it is not exactly easy to get together, so we enjoy every minute we have to share. They happened to be here for a track meet on Saturday, so it was really nice that they were able to see the kids run. Unfortunately, Liam has an injury, so he was not able to compete, but they got to watch the twins. They even took home souvenir sunburns!

Nathan had such a great day! He placed 2nd in the 110m hurdles and also ran the 800m leg of the 1600m medley relay where they also placed second. In fact, he did so well, that he found his name on the Varsity roster for the meet in Albuquerque today! He is so excited!

Go Nathan!!!

Catheryn ran the 800m and did really well. She was disappointed with her time, which was slower than usual, but she is just going to work harder. In the meet today, she will be running the 1600m instead of the 800m. It will be her first race at the mile distance, so we will see how she does. I can’t wait! Liam is still out with an injury, but he will go with me to watch his team run.

Catheryn in the 800m open run.

On Sunday, we went for a hike through the park and climbed up Alcove House. That was something my dad really wanted to do, so it was fun to be able to take him out there. It was really just a nice, relaxing day. In the evening we went out to watch the turkey vultures start coming in for the night. They roost here in the canyon, so there are quite a few circling up above before they land in the trees. They are neat to watch. And of course, we took family pictures.

The kids with Grammy and Grampy.

Me and Rob with my parents, Bill and Caryn.

Our crazy family

Like I said, it was a wonderful weekend. I am so glad my parents were able to drive all the way down here so we could spend some time together. They are planning on coming down for Thanksgiving, so we have another great visit to look forward to!!!

~Special Thanks to my parents for being so incredibly awesome! We love you so much!!!~

On Your Mark!

Last week was the first JV meet of the season. We have a relatively small JV team, so Varsity runners were invited to participate as well. Liam chose to run with the team, so I picked Catheryn up from school early and we drove to Santa Fe to watch the boys and the JV team run.

Nathan watching some teammates practice hurdles before the meet.

This was Nathan’s first meet ever, so he was a little nervous. He was running the 100m hurdles and the 400m, and since he had not had a whole lot of practice on the hurdles, he was most nervous about this race. He did a wonderful job, though. Afterwards, he said his whole goal was to make it without falling over a hurdle, which he did successfully. His goal now is to work on his arms.

Nathan’s first ever race in the 100m hurdles!

Such a great run. 🙂

The 400m was equally successful. He ran his best and did a great job.

Back stretch of the 400m.

Liam again ran the 400m and the 4x400m relay. His goal for the 400m is to get sub-60. He ran in 1:01, so he does not have far to go at all. They have an amazing 4×4 team that is always exciting to watch.

Back stretch of the 400m. Both of these runners are on the 4×4 relay team.

Liam also had time during this meet to participate in the high jump. This is an event he loves. At the final meet last year, he cleared 5’0″. At his first meet this year he cleared 5’6″! He was pretty excited about that and I think he is anxious to see how much he can improve over the season.

High jump buddies. These two are really evenly matched, and they love to compete!

A successful jump near the beginning of competition.

The next meet will be a Varsity/JV combined meet here at home the first weekend after spring break. It will be fun to watch all of the kids, not to mention my parents will be here, so they will get to see them as well!

Clear the Track!!

Track season is in full swing now. Yesterday was the first Varsity meet of the year and JV has their first meet next week. Liam and Catheryn are on the Varsity team, so I picked Nathan up from school early and we drove down to Rio Rancho to watch them run.

The first running event of the meet was the 800m, which is what Catheryn was running. She was nervous to be running with Varsity, but you never would have known it watching her run. She did so well and her kick was amazing! I think she was glad to be done early on since it was so cold. She joined me and Nathan up in the stands, and we huddled together while we watched the rest of the meet.

The start of the 800m. Catheryn is 5th from the left.

She’s got a great kick!

Liam runs the 200m, the 400m, the 4x400m relay, and does the high jump. The running events were started early yesterday due to cold temps and high winds, so several of the boys, Liam included, were not able to participate in the high jump. His first race was the 400m, followed shortly by the 200m, which was immediately followed by the 4x400m relay. He raced really hard and did amazing. He was not completely satisfied with his performance, but that is his competitive nature. He is always striving to be better.

The start of the 400m.

The last curve of the 400m. Liam finished 2nd.

Liam’s final stretch of the 4×4.

By the time the meet was over, we were all frozen, hungry, and tired. The ‘frozen’ and ‘hungry’ were easy to take care of: blasting heat and a super-unhealthy stop at the Taco Bell drive-thru. The ‘tired’ though, wasn’t quite as easy… we still had a two-hour drive home. We made it home just in time for the snow to start falling.

I am so proud of my kids and love watching them run. Stay tuned next week and I will let you know how Nathan does at his first meet. He is running the 400m and the 100m hurdles. I can’t wait!

The New Teens!

Well, it is official. Rob and I are now outnumbered by teenagers. On this date, an incredible 13 years ago, these two adorable babies entered the world.

Catheryn and Nathan – 1.5 months

Watching my children grow has been one of the biggest joys of my life. To our twins, thank you for being so amazing! We love you more that you will ever know! Happy 13th Birthday, Twinnies!!!

The Birthday Roll… 

And finally… 🙂 

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!