Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A coach's life....

Lots of people (friends included) don't quite grasp the joy that comes with being a coach, being with kids and teenagers every single day and traveling to random places (some better than others) A LOT. I thought I would take the opportunity to point out why I love this so much at this point in my life.....

1. The girls are hilarious.
2. I have the opportunity to watch them grow up right before my eyes and possibly have an impact on them.
3. I get to see improvements every single day....whether its gymnastics, school, or life in general
4. I see a side of them that most of their friends don't even see
5. I get to help shape their future....either by helping them do gymnastics in college or by teaching them basic fundamentals of life that they will find themselves using on a regular basis as adults.
6. I get to be a role model of sorts for some of the girls and a shoulder they can always lean on no matter what is bothering them.
7. I get just as nervous as they do before competition and like I tell them, it shows that I care about them and what they are doing
8. I see a little bit of myself in every girl.
9. I get to share my passion for gymnastics.
10. I get to share my passion for being a good person and how being committed to gymnastics (or any other sport) helps shape that.
11. I get to travel to little po-dunk towns and big cities (or countries!) almost every other weekend from January to May.
12. The girls get to travel to the same places and what a wonderful experience that is as a child.

This weekend the Level 5's - 10's competed in their state meet. This is the biggest meet of the year for the Level 5's and a stepping stone to Regionals and Nationals for the other levels. Our girls did AWESOME. In all, I think we came home with 92 medals. 22 of those were gold medals! Our Level 10's also won 1st place as a team. Now, to let everyone know before they find out on their own.....the Level 10's didn't have any other teams to compete against. It takes 3 people to make a team and we are the ONLY gym in the state that could manage to put a Level 10 team together. I will also add that not only do we have 3, but we have 6 level 10's. And they are all teenagers, which makes the committment even harder. We are so proud of their dedication, perserverance and of course their committment to the sport at this very high level. There are a total of 18 level 10's in the state of SC and we have 6 of them on one team.

Level 5 - Cassey, ME, CC (Cecilia)

Level 5 - Angel, Savanah, China, Aneesah

Level 7 - Winning 3rd place as a team

Levels 9 & 10 - Waiting for awards to begin

Level 8 - Olivia, Marla, Ana

Our gold medalist from this weekend are as follows:
China James (Level 5) Vault Champion (8.975)
Marci Hogue (Level 7) Vault Champion (9.525)
Hannah McKinney (Level 7) Floor Champion (9.450)
Brittany Smith (Level 7) All Around Champion (37.100)
Casey Pyatte (Level 7) Vault Champion (9.450), Floor Champion (9.350), All Around Champion (36.175)
Madison Knight (Level 7) Beam Champion (9.350)
Marla Thomas (Level 8) Beam Champion (9.225) All Around Champion (36.025)
Olivia McKinney (Level 8) Beam Champion (9.250) All Around Champion (36.875)
Faith Burns (Level 9) Beam Champion (8.925)
Nicki Bindewald (Level 10) Vault Champion (9.375), Bars Champion (9.300), Floor Champion (9.400), All Around Champion (36.725)
Gilly Hogue (Level 10) Beam Champion (9.425) Floor Champion (9.275) All Around Champion (36.325)
Breanna Gawron (Level 10) Beam Champion (9.275)
Courtney Turner (Level 10) Beam Champion (9.025)

We have 14 gymnasts moving on to Regionals this year.....
Level 7 - Brittany Smith, Hannah McKinney & Madison Knight
Level 8 - Olivia McKinney (regional team), Marla Thomas & Ana Smith
Level 9 - Faith Burns & Brianna Graves (Monkey)
Level 10 - Nicki Bindewald, Gilly Hogue, Courtney Turner, Breanna (Breezie) Gawron, Emily Fisher & Hannah Owens

Level 9 & 10 Regionals will be in Nashville, TN April 16-19
Level 7 & 8 Regionals will be in Atlanta April 24-26

Wish the girls lots of luck! The Level 9's & 10's have the opportunity to qualify to nationals at their regional competition.

Fit for a Queen

The Queen City, that is. This past weekend, the gym girls had their state meet in Rock Hill, SC.....so of course, I made my way to Charlotte to see my neice, Liza, Jennifer & Soo Soo. I left gym Friday and drove into Charlotte (I would like to insert here how incredibly frustrating the Monroe - Matthews drive on 74 is!). Anyways, Liza is growing up fast and is SO smart. I had fun hanging out with them, catching up and watching Liza entertain us. Shortly after Liza went to bed, I drove down to Rock Hill because we had a FULL two days of competition.

After the competition on Sunday, I had made arrangements to spend another night in the Charlotte area and went over to Beth's house. Joy also went over there to watch the Carolina game and they grilled out and waited for me to get there (God bless them, they didn't have to wait!). I was SO ready to get there and relax and catch up with the girls and Beth's parents. We had a great time eating with everyone (Joy, Beth, Michael, Tom, Karen & Aunt Mag) and they even had an ice cream cake with "Happy Birthday Becca" on it for dessert! I was so suprised but it was SO good. And one more thanks for Michael for the "last minute" pick up. :) We chatted for a while before everyone heading off to bed (they had to work really early the next morning while I slept in). I was pleasantly suprised in the middle of the night by Mya (Beth's dog) opening my door and joining me in my bed. She is so sweet and such a little cuddler. I was even more suprised when I woke up and went to the bathroom and Beth was home! She was in workshops all day and the second one got canceled so we got to do breakfast together! It was a long drive home (partly because I was tired, but also b/c its just long) but I was so happy to get to see Joy & Beth (and family) while I was in the area. Hopefully they will take me up on my offer to visit me at the beach this spring/summer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oooh, Oooh, Pick ME!

And I did....Maddie has been BEGGING to get her haircut ever since Jackson's high and tight military shave. She was a little jealous of the quality time Jackson and I had for those hours I was trimming his bod. SO, today, I picked her. We drove out to the farm to take the pups their treats and I managed to cut Maddie's hair out there. She looks precious as always and MUCH better than Jackson. I used a 7F blade instead of the 10F and it worked way better. She was a good little girl for the most part except when trying to trim her toes and when I got a little too close to her womanhood. No harm with my trusty "professional" clippers but she doesn't like the buzzing noise, especially when I get near sensitive areas. BUT, she did great and although she looks like a baby, she's precious. Oh the things we do to save some pennies. Can you imagine if we had children......"come on now, lil fort.....sit really still while I try to shave around your ear." Funny thing is, that wouldn't be too far out of the question.....and if you don't believe ME, ask Matt about Dad cutting his hair. His ear was never the same......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What a man....

I have to take a moment to brag on how wonderful David is. It isn't often that I tell him but he mentioned today how he has earned lots of "husband points" this weekend. I laughed at him for saying it (as usual), but in all honesty, he really did take his weekend and did whatever I wanted him to. I already mentioned the Comedy Cabana which was lots of fun.....Louie, Janice, Danny, Sue, Bobby & Steven Warbutton, Bobby's girlfriend Tara, Suki and his wife came out with us. Our buddy Charlie and his girlfriend Alicia also met us out there and luckily there was room to add them to our reservation so we could all sit together. Good times. Saturday we woke up and hit the farm. After that, we came back and I was really wanting to ride to Charleston to ask some major questions to the Apple guru's about purchasing a MacBook. Of course we could have called but I need little/no reason to drive to Charleston and love every second of it. So we did! We stayed downtown about an hour then came on back to the beach. On the way back, we would pull off on any side road to just to see where it would lead. We learned a lot about what is off of Hwy 17 between Charleston and Georgetown. We found the OLD Episcopal Church that Lindsay W and Britt stumbled across (with the ridiculously old tombstone...ie...1700's).

So we were walking around the church grounds (which is spooky in itself) and I decided to see if we could get IN the church. I pulled on the latch on the door and the dang thing opened. I wish I could have taken a picture of David's face when the door started creaking open. Priceless. So we went in the church (a couple feet in the church) before deciding that was really creepy.

We didn't get to do any of the state parks/plantations b/c they were all closed but that is in the works for our next trip to Charleston. We drove on up to Myrtle to eat dinner at Liberty Taproom and came home to crash. Result of the trip.....I want a MacBook. Perhaps the Birthday Fairy will deliver. :) So, many thanks to David for entertaining my desire to go to charleston and using a new computer as the excuse. AND for not complaining when I took every interesting turn OFF the highway on our way back home. A 2 hour trip turned into 4. Nice.

So now it is Sunday and let me run through this day for you. Slept late, ate breakfast and I decided that since I could see dog hair on our now-carpet-less steps, that I needed to clean. So i pulled out the swiffer to take care of the now-wooden steps (yes, we removed the carpet from the stairs) and started swiffering away in places that our vacuum can't get to (under the bed, etc). No sooner than I got done with the steps, David had pulled out the big vacuum and started vacuuming all that I wasn't doing! What a man! Then we parted and I ran errands (stories from that later) and he went to the farm. When I got back home he had brought the trailer home (like I hinted we needed to do) to clean out the flower beds in front of the house. SO we raked, piled and dumped TONS of old leaves, weeds, dirt, the occasional dog poop, etc into the trailer so we could get started on having a decent looking yard (I must insert here that I REALLY want Julie James to come over and give me a clue). Then we started on project that turned out to be MUCH harder than I thought. This is where the "other stories" comes in......

So on my errands, I decided that the dogs needed to be groomed (ie- CUT). Everytime I go to Petsmart to get them cut and washed, it cost me over $100. Yeah, makes you sick, huh? Well, since I'm slightly OCD and really don't like a dirty house, the sight of dog hair makes my skin crawl. Why I have a dog (or 6), I don't know, but seriously, the shedding and hair makes me crazy. So what better way to cut down on the hair? Cut the damn hair! However, today, I didn't have the dogs with me so I bought CLIPPERS. Yes, I was going to take on the daunting task of cutting my own dog's hair. All I can say is POOR JACKSON. He was such a trooper and let me tell you.....I sucked. And I will never take for granted what a professional groomer does. Jackson looks okay now (from far away) but I was beginning to think that we were going to be making a trip to Petsmart tomorrow morning for them to make my dog look somewhat normal. David was actually better at it than I was (crazy I know). He wasn't uncomfortable with the clippers and could get a smoother finish. Me, on the other hand, VERY uncomfortable using clippers and therefore left Jackson looking like a mountain range on a textured map. He has SO much hair and its very thick....so when we were cleaning up the shop, I realized that I had dog hair in places that I didn't even know existed on me! Needless to say, the clippers are a work in progress and Maddie's haircut will happen at a later date. Enjoy the pics and just know that this was a first for us and all in all, it ain't that bad! Atleast Jackson is a dog and can handle the embarrassment....I'm totally blaming the bad haircut on his groomer when someone asks me what happened to him....."His groomer must have been hungover or something..." Hehehe. I told David I was going to buy him (Jax) some clothes and David said no. However, if I shaved David's head like I shaved my dogs, David would surely be wearing a hat....all the time. Anyways, laugh it up and have a good time....just know that hair grows back (that thought is the only reason I slept last night). Toodles.....

Three girls & a boy.....a BIG boy

So I haven't been around very much (or doing anything too terribly interesting) to blog about but this weekend, I finally got to go see my precious dogs. Yes, I used to refer to them as puppies and although they still act very much like puppies, they have GROWN so much and Hank is a BIG BOY. I had the luxury of having the weekend off this weekend and David didn't have major plans either! So after a fun night out Friday night with the gym crowd (we went to Comedy Cabana to see Josh Blue...won Last Comic Standing), David and I woke up Saturday and took the dogs to the farm. We took Maddie & Jackson with us so they could run around but most of our time was spent with the hunting dogs. The reason I say 'three girls and a boy' in the title is because Steve's dogs (Hank & Reba's mom and grandma, Sally & Ginger) are currently being housed at the farm with Hank & Reba. SO, there were three girls and a boy to catch up with, love on and feed before leaving. David has done a great job working with the puppies and I can see them starting to really love being obedient. When he whistles, they come to him (most of the time), when he says "Sit", Reba sits....hank, not so much. I really wanted to get a picture with all 6 dogs and us but that was virtually impossible. Getting Hank & Reba to sit still longer than 5 seconds was a feat. At any rate, here are some pics of the growing pups.......