Sunday, May 27, 2012

trying on H A T S

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

We've been out of touch and off the Internet and enjoying the last couple days trying on hats, eating German food and traveling a little between Germany and Austria in beautiful Bavaria.

We haven't checked email, answered a phone or turned on a tv for a couple of days. It's been nice.

Sometimes, it simplifies things a little to be unplugged from the computer with no knowledge of what is going on in the world around us.
In just a couple of days on the road, I already have plenty to document once we settle back into real life.

In the meantime, we'll continue to play, laugh, {fight} and make memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Great memories as we continue in an effort to focus on what really matters while strengthening our little family.

That's the goal.

Life is good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

E U R O P E A N S this weekend

It's been a busy week of field trips and sports. It's about to get a little more crazy. The European Championships are this weekend for track. Exciting days that will likely be stressful for this mama watching her little cubs compete.
Justin will be in the pressure cooker as the favorite in disc. He's thrown the farthest of any kid in Europe this season at 141 feet 9 inches.

Last year, he received the silver metal in disc with a throw of 128 feet four inches. He's definitely improved!

This weekend- he definitely wants a gold metal placed around his neck.

Improving every day, he'd love to metal in shot as well- an event he qualified for last year, but didn't place.

With Ty qualifying for both the high and low hurdles, it will be exciting to see how well he does.

He didn't qualify for either event last year, so he's just happy to be a part of the big show.

Here's the preview article in stars and stripes. They published this great picture above of Justin.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

rhine-river P R O M cruise

Ty & Jessica
Ty & Young
Last night was a night to remember for both Justin and Ty. For both- a great experience only to be had in Deutschland.
Justin & Josie
It was Prom on a Rhine River cruise. The boys looked great- their dates stunning!
Justin and Josie's group of friends planned to meet up at Landstuhl castle for pictures before taking off.

Justin & James
It is the perfect setting for pictures with an amazing view.

Ty and his sweet date Jessica met at our house for pictures, then her parents took them to the school.

I sent a camera with them to take pictures throughout the evening, but it came back with only two. Guess that's a sign they were busy having fun.

They had to be at the school around 5:00 to load on tour busses that would drive them to their evening cruise- about an hour away.

They said the boat was three levels with dancing and dinner all included on the boat.
The view was beautiful looking at the castles and scenery all along the river.

The weather cooperated with warm temperatures and no rain- a major plus especially with as much rain as we have received lately.

I'm thinking Jim and I need to go check one out. Sounds like date night to me!

Justin & Steven

Busses brought them back to the school around 1:30 am. Justin took Jessica home, then dropped Ty off before heading to a friend's house to spend the night.

His amazing mom had food {tacos} ready for their middle-of-the-night snack.

More great memories for these kids.

I know they're my boys, but I can't get over how wonderful all of them looked.

the whole gang
So grown up.

Amazing kids headed to do amazing things in life.

They're just a little tired today.

Another cool experience that comes with living in Germany.

I'm counting our blessings.

I can now definitely see a much larger pros than cons column on our "living in Germany" sheet.

the senior guys- some of them...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

hand off the B A T O N

Happy Mother's Day!
It's been a nice Sunday. Flowers. Breakfast. Cards with thoughtful words. Time with my men.  For me, perhaps my greatest Mother's Day gift came in the way of a track meet yesterday.

Once again, Ty has struggled with hurdles this track season. Shin splints have been his greatest enemy. Even with Motrin, massage and ice- they don't go away. He's had a really rough couple of weeks.
click on picture to make it larger...
From what I've read and have been told they require rest.

Lots of rest that doesn't come with a six-week track season.

I think at this point, it has become a little mental- he's tired of hurting and actually hasn't practiced with the mid-distance runners and hurdlers for the last two weeks.

He knows he can do better than he has and is tired of being in the middle of the pack.
So, he's made the switch over to throwing disc and shot along side Justin.

He's been excited with improved throws every day. I've been frustrated he hasn't been running and doing hurdles.

Coach mixed things up this weekend with their schedule at the meet. Both Justin and Ty threw shot and disc.

Justin placed first in both. Ty did great for his first meet throwing. More than anything, they both did well and had fun- together.

Next up, coach put Ty in the meet running hurdles. I was nervous especially since he hadn't practiced all week. What was he thinking?
Shockingly, he did really great.

Unfortunately, coach entered him in the exhibition run which equates to his time not counting and no points for the team regardless of how well he did.

We knew he had a good, clean run but didn't realize how well because his name wasn't announced when they read times off.

He went down to check out his time only to realize he had a qualifying time for Europeans.

His best run this season and it didn't count. Coach told him he's going to see if he can get it recorded and count. Regardless, Ty knows he can do it and can repeat next week at their last track meet.

As if that wasn't enough, the highlight of the day was the last event- the 4x400 relay.

I'm not sure if coach was trying to be funny, or what was going through his head but, both Ty and Justin were in the relay- on the same team. 
Justin was pretty happy to pass this guy up and take an impressive lead...
I never dreamed I would see the day.
To top things off- Justin was 2nd leg, Ty was the 3rd leg meaning Justin would be handing off the baton to Ty. Something that always makes me nervous.

They were the thrower's team... none of them runners. As the race got closer- they each became a little more nervous.

Stephen would start. Justin and Ty were second and third. Nathan would end up the race as anchor.

This mama was too in spite of them having nothing to lose and just going out for fun.

They did FABULOUS. Each of them!

We couldn't believe our eyes as we watched them race. Starting his leg in second place, Justin built a great lead which Ty improved upon.

It was so much fun to watch.

They came in first in their heat, third place overall with split times possibly under a minute each.

Even better were the high five and hugs at the end of the race. Another thing I never thought I'd see and it brought tears to my eyes.
Shortly after, Justin felt the need to throw up. Good thing this was the last event of the meet.
When you have kids who don't really like each other {putting it mildly} their entire lives- then turn the corner {quicker than I thought would ever happen} and actually like hanging out together and get along- it's a gift.

I'll take it.

Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

drive-by Nürnberg

I was so excited for this weekend.
It's not just any day you can wake up, get in the car and drive a couple hours and have so many options of places to visit.
Where to go?

Or, what about heading over to the Czech border to Prague?

We were that far east in such a short time. This weekend, we stayed in Germany.

A reminder of how centrally located in Europe we are. I had to pinch myself.

The boys had a track meet scheduled 3 1/2 hours east in Vilseck.

Their schedule this year has been on the road. If we want to see them- we have to drive! I don't care how much you love your kid- that's a long way to drive just for a meet.

It's especially long to drive just for Justin to finish throwing in his events only to be finished by 2:00.

So, the plan was to stop and tour Nürnberg on our way home. A friend of ours {and wife of Coleman's ball coach} is German and from this city loaded with history and charm.

I even did my homework and asked her the top spots to visit.

I was all ready.
I was extremely excited.
We'd have lunch, find some ice cream, see a few cathedrals, hike to a castle and take in some history.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with us this weekend. After standing in the rain for the track meet, we stayed in the van until we returned home.

We drove through the downtown part of the city, but it was too miserable to get out and see anything. I ended up with a couple mediocre drive-by shots.

It will remain on my list of places to spend time. What we did see of this super old, walled city was absolutely beautiful.

On a positive note, Justin placed first in disc- furthest throw of all Europe track meets this weekend. He also placed second in shot.

Not a bad weekend for him considering the rain. They were soaked. We all were!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

check it O U T

I think this picture is so sweet. You could probably guess without even seeing his face that it's Caden adoring his big brother's musc-ily arms. Of course, Justin doesn't mind showing them off either.
Rightfully so- he's worked pretty dang hard on his body and his physical strength. He's even slowly gaining a little weight. I can't wait to see what his coaches think of him.

In my opinion, they're getting the total package, but hey- I'm just the mom. Of course I think that.

I don't know where he came from when it comes to his self discipline and spending time in the weight room. He certainly has an internal drive next to none other.

He's been training hard to get ready for college football and the next four years of his football career. Getting up at 5:30ish to be at the gym before 6 to weight train with his dad is something I admire about this kid {and his dad}. 

I think their early-morning work-out time is a special time that they're both really going to miss. Ok, I can't talk about college. Better stop now before I have a break down.