Ahh my friends, the first FULL week of tennis is over. And you know what? My chores are caught up, the kids aren't dramatically overtired, I'm not stressed in the least, I don't feel like I have to sleep all weekend, and I am TRULY enjoying myself. Despite the fact that I now have a cold! I've always loved coaching, seriously, it's a passion for me. But since Kayleigh came into the world almost 2 1/2 years ago, we haven't found a great solution that lets me coach guilt free. I've spent time hauling her to matches/practices, even tournaments at times. It wasn't fair to Kayleigh, and it wasn't fair to the girls. I always felt like no one got my best. For those reasons, I was completely DREADING this upcoming tennis season with 2 little ones. I wanted to coach - but I didn't want to feel torn between two loves. (And truthfully, if push came to shove, every mother knows what my snap decision would be ...) I gave my worries and my concerns to my faithful group of prayer warriors that is my Women's Bible Study. And through their petitions, God provided all of the answers (or rather, all of the best people to help!) I know my group has continued praying - because I've felt their prayers. Everything has been incredible. Here are some of the blessings I witnessed just this week alone:
* My little daughter picked up a tennis racquet and with the help of her personal coach, Lizzie Bauss, hit her first forehands. (Now, we need to get that jr racquet because she is HOOKED!)
* My little boy sat giggling as a host of high school girls took turns making him laugh
* Kayleigh devoured a cake pop given to her by Auntie Robin but crafted by a former "favorite" student, Colleen.
* My little boy found a little baby girl who makes him smile ALL of the time! (Okay, so he always smiles all of the time, but he does shine a little brighter when Alexa is around).
* My little girl taught Alexa all about eskimo kisses ... quite a few eskimo kisses over just a couple of days (and that was what I saw, who knows how many more were given when I wasn't there!)
* My incredible sitter went above and beyond and helped with cleaning, laundry, baths (!!) and would have started supper once (if I hadn't come home early).
* Both of my kids played with the children of some of our good friends. And I believe, found some great new future playmates! (Katelyn and Jared Witte)
* My daughter fully accepted her new babysitter into the family by commenting that we were "missing" them at dinner. It went exactly like this - K: Daddy, one thing is missing here ... just ONE THING. Daddy, we're missing just one thing. Daddy, (she repeats everything until we acknowledge her) D: What's missing, K? K: Chelsea and baby Alexa ... Apparently to my sweet baby girl, her new babysitter needed to be at dinner for us to have a family meal.
* I was able to judge for the Apprentice project at my old school and talk with some former colleagues who I do miss very much.
* I dropped another 3.5 lbs and so achieved 26.2% weight loss ... OVER 1/4 of my body is gone!! WOO HOO!!!
* I added another mile to my running to take me up to 3 miles (where I plan to stay and simply work on speed).
* I visited a chiropractor and got the pain in my hips (that's been plaguing me for months) taken care of
* I shopped for Benjamin's birthday cake pan ...
* I bought myself a bathing suit for Spring Break
* I had coffee with my husband at his office (WITHOUT any babies!)
* I managed (with Chelsea's help) to complete each daily chore on my list.
* I coached tennis practices with my favorite head coach and drilled with some of the most amazing girls on the planet.
* I blogged
* I went to Bible Study and had quiet time EACH DAY!!!
* I heard this prayer from my daughter at night: 'Thank you, dear Jesus, for all all (yes, she did repeat herself that's not a typo) of my FRIENDS. My Chelsea and baby Alexa, my LIZZIE, my Megan and Auntie Robin and my girls. Thank you for my bath times and my Benny brother, and my Daddy and my Mommy and my Rafael. Thank you for pickin' up in the tub, and pickin' up before Mickey (yes, she says she's thankful to pick up her toys EVERY NIGHT!), and for Mickey. AMEN!"
What a blessing that leaving my daughter with her babysitters appears to her, not as abandonment, but as playmates! She truly believes in her little heart of hearts that her babysitters are her friends. She sees no difference between staying with her sitters and going on her weekly playdates with her cousin. THANK YOU LORD for providing me with friends who are so loving and so wonderful for my kids. My heart simply overflows with gratitude. It's joy undeserved. I'm truly blessed.