Thursday, March 31, 2016

Take Care

This was published on The Mighty on July 6, 2016. 
This was published on Love What Matters on July 16, 2016.

Dear doctor,

You don't know me. We have never met. But tonight, you are taking care of someone very special. My dad. I know that to you, he's probably just another patient. Another aging, silver-haired man with sad eyes. But, he's not just that. 

This is the man who used to take me to Baskin Robbins for ice cream every Saturday. Who pushed me and my little brother on the swings and the merry-go-round at Dry Lake Park. Who read me a story every day when he got home from work even though I was interrupting him from his newspaper. 

He taught me how to make french toast. He never failed to bring me breakfast in bed on my birthday, and sometimes just because. He made me hot tea when I was sick, and he would crush up my pills in a spoon and mix it with honey to make it easier for me to swallow. 

He always called me his buddy and his rainbow after the storm because I was born after two miscarriages. He cried like a baby when I left for college and again when I got married. 

He does an Incredible Hulk and Arnold Schwartzenegger impression spot-on. He dances like James Brown at parties and is always the most interesting man in the room. 

And if you had met him under different circumstances, he might have told you how he was born in a refugee camp in Austria during World War II or how he sailed on a big ship to America when he was just a boy. 

Or maybe about the time he was drafted to the NFL and had a run-in with the mafia in New York City. Or the time he opened his own gym and actually met Arnold himself. He might have even shown you the picture to prove it. 

THAT is the man you see before you. 


Don't be fooled by the hospital gown. Just knowing he's having a hard time right now is a difficult pill for this daddy's girl to swallow. So, thank you for taking care of him for me since I can't be there. Please make sure he knows that he can pull through. 

We are all rooting for him. We are all rooting for you. 

Take care,

His buddy and rainbow after the storm

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Swim Swam Swum

In our household, it's no secret that everything revolves around swimming. 

We are THAT family. 

If you have a kid on a swim team, then you know the amount of commitment it takes on a daily basis, not only from your athlete, but from the rest of the family as well. Every member of the family has to constantly make sacrifices to meet the demands of a grueling practice schedule, day in and day out, for hours on end. Not to mention the three-day swim meets all over the state where you sit ALL. DAY. LONG. to watch a one-minute race. 

What started as a fun summer past-time grew and developed into a passion and a calling. Swimming is not just a sport. It's a lifestyle, and you have to just give yourself over to it. There is no doing it halfway if you want to compete.

I never thought I'd be a swim mom. Never even crossed my brain. But when you find something that your child loves and you recognize a gifting in that area, you just go with it. Now, my car is packed to the brim with swim gear and I find myself doing way too many laundry loads of towels to feed this ravenous swim monster. 

My kids always smell like chlorine and I have to invest in conditioner so their hair doesn't feel like it was transplanted from bales of hay, but that's just the nature of the beast. It commandeers every aspect of our lives from what kinds of food we eat and when we eat it to where we go on vacation (because the only time we travel is for swim meets, of course). Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. We are doing what we love and that makes it all worth it.

In February, we got to travel to Corpus Christi for STAGS Short-Course, which is the championship swim meet for South Texas. It just so happened to fall on Valentine's Day Weekend, and as luck would have it, the weather was so nice we were able to go to the beach. 

We spent last weekend in Dallas at TAGS Short-Course, which is the championship meet for the whole state of Texas. Chad came in 2nd for 9 year-old boys in 100 IM and 200 IM and he came in 3rd for 100 back. We were all so happy to see Chad rewarded for the hours he devotes to practicing each and every day, 6 days a week. 

Now, we have just 17 more weeks until TAGS Long-Course Championships in San Antonio! 

Time to start practicing...

Chad in Dallas at TAGS
Chad and Sarah in Corpus Christi for STAGS
My squad at the hotel in Dallas