For Your Weekend | Olympic Fever Edition

For Your Weekend | Olympic Fever Edition

Sign of Olympic fever…snapping Olympic athletes!

When the Rio Olympics began over a week ago, I thought I would be able to resist the call of USA chants, worrying over athletes’ performances I never even knew until the tear jerking stories narrated by Bob Costas, and the over the top spectacles of the opening ceremonies. 

 I failed miserably and darn it, caught myself a full blown case of Olympic fever!

So, for all things Olympic, here’s amazing and funny links to help you through the final weekend of the Rio Olympics!

Usain Bolt is the fastest man on Earth, but these 15 amazing facts about him may surprise you!

For example, Usain Bolt has never run a full mile, ever.

Speaking of Usain Bolt’s amazing times, this gal has figured out how she can beat Bolt’s world record!  

Wonder just how hard those high tech swimsuits are to wear? Click here For the 411!

Forget Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt, this US athlete is the greatest athlete in the world you never heard of and won his second gold medal in the decathlon.

His name is Ashton Eaton | image via The Washington Post

And, my list would be incomplete without a mention of all the women’s athlete fashion!

First, can we talk about the women’s glorious hairstyles ?

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for the win representing her country’s colors!

I’m in love with all the braids, color dips and imaginative styles these fierce women athletes are rocking on the track and field. I marvel that these women can win gold medals and break world, Olympic and personal best records whilst sporting such intricate and seemingly heavy hairdos!  You go girl!!

Even though the track and field women have center stage for the most amazing hairstyles, don’t worry about the women in swim caps or utilitarian ponytails. 

The Olympic nail art game is strong with all the women athletes!!

Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro’s nails are winning!

Finally, Simone Biles’ sparkly patriotic eyeliner is insane!

So much sparkly USA goodness! | image via Cosmopolitan

Simone already sparkles but the extra eyeliner sends her over the top!  Again, my tears just well up thinking about glitter so close to her eyeballs and how she could compete!

What’s been your favorite moment or athlete from the Rio Olympics?  I’d love to hear about it!


Words for Wednesday | What’s Underneath the Surface

My favorite childhood book!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle sits at the top of the list of my all time favorite books!  
I remember first checking the book out at my elementary school library and staying up waypast my bedtime unable to put it down. 

With school starting back up I decided to reread it again and came upon this quote:

People are more than just the way they look.”  -Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time


A wonderful truth for a middle schooler to read and absorb and yet it remains true for this middle ageish adult as well.  

People are more than the way they look. And as our kids begin their classes and meet new classmates we encourage them to make new friends, to see beyond the way a kid looks.  

Just like our kids, we are meeting new fellow parents at parent information meetings such as sports, PTA, and meet your teacher. Are we also making new friends and looking beyond the exterior?

If I’m honest, I categorize and judge  fellow parents too…the crossfit stay at home mom, the stressed out executive, the car pool mom who’s in charge of everything…and I put up my wall,  my defenses and rest easy in my smug judgment of others.

This quote nudges me to remember that people are more than just  the way they look and extend a warm smile, an offer of grace and or friendship as we weather all the beginning of school year meetings and endless paperwork to sign. 

Have you caught yourself judging other parents?  Do you reread favorite books too?  What about this quote challenges you today?  I’d love to keep the conversation going!  Join me in the comments!

What I Learned After the First Year of Empty Nest 

What I Learned After the First Year of Empty Nest 

Sometimes you still see them as a little baby bird, not ready to leave the nest!

Last August, we experienced our first dose of empty nest as we moved one of our girls   into a college dorm.  I wrote about it here.

This past weekend we repeated the same journey.  With a much less loaded minivan we helped move my stepdaughter into the dorm.  On this trip, Instead of a knot twisting in my stomach, I felt peace and excitement for her upcoming year. 

The unloading was much easier this year!
At the dorm we greeted the now familiar staff, smiled at the other parents and gave imaginary hugs to the moms of  newbie students trying to hold it together and not cry in front of their child. 

This year is different because we now know what to expect. A year’s worth of experiences under our belts helped us to arrive at this confident attitude. 

Some more words of encouragement for parents leaving their student!
So, what words can I offer to this year’s newbie parents after my first year experience of empty nest?

It’s okay to be sad.  Acknowledge your sadness.  Cry.  You and your student are going through a huge developmental milestone. It would be weird not  to feel anything.  Also, acknowledge if you begin to feel happiness or excitement for having more time to yourself!   That’s allowed!

Your child will return to you.  As long as dirty laundry exists, you will see your child again!  (Or at least their unwashed clothes!) You might even be surprised how a weekend visit disrupts your plans!  

Your child will now know more than you do.  Be prepared. It will no longer matter that you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, much less a post doc degree in the school of life…your child has been participating in thought provoking discussions learning new fangled ideas and better ways to live.  Suddenly  you know nothing. That new sophisticated attitude is also a developmental milestone, but bless!  Jesus be near me.

Your child will need you but in different ways.  Even though they are independent, your student still needs your emotional, spiritual as well as financial support. Supporting your student is a little trickier as they want to be independent and not get grilled about classes, lectured or told what to do.  

I have learned to let my stepdaughter lead the conversation, listen with my heart as well as my ears and suggest advice only if I believe that’s what she’s needing…another voice, another perspective concerning the situation. Sometimes your best move is to step back and let your child make their own decision even if it’s one you wouldn’t choose for them. Growing Up 101.

Be your child’s  biggest advocate.   Advocate doesn’t mean cheerleader. Although we certainly cheer on our student, we take on a different role when we advocate for her.  An advocate supports the person as a whole, or as the profs say in college…globally.  Sometimes to be your child’s best advocate, you must tell them No.  Not the easiest conversation to have with your learning to adult child, but maybe the most necessary. That’s when the adult part of you kicks in overriding the best friend part of you. 

Your child is equipped to begin the task of college!  Don’t panic. What you’ve poured into your child since their birth won’t suddenly evaporate. There will be challenges and there will be triumphs but your student is ready!

Let your student soar!

Any seasoned college parents out there?  What advice would you share to first time college parents?  Comment below, I’d love to learn from you as well!

The One Thing I Learned This Summer

The One Thing I Learned This Summer

A lovely formal garden discovered on our summer travels
I’m joining Emily P. Freeman’s linkup sharing what I’ve learned this summer. 

Sometimes it’s okay to take a summer off!  I’m the queen of to-do lists.  Writing lists motivates me to get things done. Nothing’s more satisfying that to put a check mark by a completed task. 

But this summer, I took everything  off my to-do list. You might say I had a minimalist summer.  Instead of ramping up my daily agenda, I slowed down. While others (along with my internal voice) might judge this summer as unproductive, I experienced my best summer yet. 

Just like my Compaq laptop I had in grad school, I learned my brain needs defragmenting periodically for it to run faster and more efficiently.   Summer was the perfect time for me to pause and let my mind rest, reorganize information, refocus priorities and rid my brain of all the junk taking up space. 

I still did my normal summer thing. We travelled to the beach, hung out together, explored museums and historical locales in nearby cities and celebrated some amazing answers to prayers.

This painting really spoke to me!
Honestly, I thought I might never find any motivation again.  The floating, untethered laziness was uncomfortable at times. But then these words seized my soul as I read them late one night:

“A seed knows how to wait. A seed is alive while it waits. Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the 300 year old tree that towers over it. Neither the seed nor the oak tree is growing; they are both waiting.” –Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Life is still inside me as I wait.  Resting and waiting does not kill the life in me but ignoring my need to rest and wait will. 

What have you learned this summer?  Share in the comments or link up to Emily’s post!