I can not remember the last time Jamison dressed up for Halloween - but this year he and his buddies decided to have a bit of costume fun. They went to the local rental place looking for the funniest costumes they could find. And chose these. . . cheerleading uniforms from their cross-town rival.
Then he and Sierra allowed me this hilarious photo shoot. I have not laughed this hard in weeks, and I really needed a good laugh. These two are fun and silly and make my heart smile.
Watching Jamison navigate a skirt was belly laughable. Some of my favorite quotes include:
"How do you go to the bathroom in one of these?"
"Do I sit on the back of the skirt or just let it poof around on the chair?"
"It would be 19* on the morning I choose to wear a short skirt to school!"
But my very favorite quote was his Instagram post:
"I may not be the best cheerleader in the family but I can pretend I am for a day #siblings #cheer #shessomuchbetter #wannabelikeher"
Only Jamison could turn a Halloween spoof into something that made his little sister feel so special.
The State of ND's High School Cross Country Championship race was in Minot this year. Minot has a difficult course - which includes a killer hill that the boys get to run not once, but twice! Jamison had been hoping for snow the day of the race, Lucky for the rest of us it was 70* and sunny. From a baby momma perspective, it was gorgeous! Jamison agreed.
The day started with a bit of team heartbreak. Two of their top 7 runners were too sick to race. One was a senior, and arguably their most talented runner. It was hard on everyone when the decision was made for the alternates to run.
However, these boys ALL faced the day with determination and grit. They all ran at or above their ability. CHS had an incredibly talented team this year. They made school history in many ways. They had the closest time separation between their first place runner and their fifth place runner, ever. The fifth guy in was only 22 seconds behind their first. They also had the highest placings ever for their fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth runners. In fact their sixth through tenth guys were so fast, had they been a team on their own they would have placed in the top 10 teams in the state. The team's depth was incredible!
As was their support for each other. These boys became really close this season. Distance running is a solitary sport in many ways, so seeing their team spirit and team work ethic was inspiring. They ran with much heart.
As an individual, I feel like Jamison had a break through season. In the second half of the season, he really conquered some mental demons. He developed a race plan and strategy that empowered him to race with confidence. He never gave up, even when he had a few races in a row that were frustrating. He pushed through and rose to a new level. I am so proud of him.
His state race was confident, controlled, and fast. He was within several seconds of his WDA time. The WDA course was flat and fast. The state course was rigorous. The fact that he raced at nearly the same time was commendable. He placed 29!
As a team they had hoped to finish 2nd. With the loss of 2 important runners, they finished third. In my mind it was the best state performance I have seen from a CHS team. All the boys ran well. All of them! There were no huge surprises and no disappointing performances. They were solid.
Some of my favorite stories of the day were of one teammate running the race of his career. He had been hurt much of the season, but pulled out all the stops at state. Jamison said when he saw him running in front of him near the finish he was so excited. He couldn't believe he was running so well, yet so very happy for both him and the team.
At the finish, Jamison said he first picked up one teammate who had collapsed at the finish just a few placing ahead of himself. He then turned around to help one of his best buddies get some water. This young runner is all heart. He was so exhausted at the end of the race he was nearly delirious. He kept telling Jamison that "I held him off JD. I held him off." The trainer brought him some water and Jamison made sure he drank. After taking a gulp or two the teammate said, "Jamison, can you hold the cup for me?" Yhis guy was too wiped to hold a cup of water. As Jamison said, "You can't ask much more of a guy than that!"
This same guy told him mom how thrilled he was that Jamison beat him. He is a true team player, wanting each team member to be the best they can be. Thankfully, Jamison will get to run with him again next year!
There they are - CHS' 2014 Boys XC team.
I am sad to see the season end!
I am already excited for next year - but it will be a whole different team. They lose many seniors. Since there were not any seniors during the 2013 season, losing team mates seems a bit foreign! I will miss those boys. Hopefully they drop by our house for a FIFA game or two next year! I have gotten a bit attached to a few of them!
Congrats boys on a phenomenal season. I am so proud of all of your achievements.
Mataya and I had a lot of fun taking 7 month pictures!
This baby girl is so very sweet. She bubbles with personality.
This month she has decided she LOVES food. She was intrigued with baby food for about 3 weeks, and she now wants real food. So she shares supper with us. Last night she had mashed potatoes and cooked carrots for supper, just like the rest of us (minus the roast and gravy!) She loves to feed herself. Her favorites include goldfish crackers, peas, green beans, pears, pizza bits, and french fries!
In the last weeks she just seems to be maturing at an alarming rate. Her hair gets thicker and longer every day. She learns new sounds, too. Her current favorite is to scream very LOUDLY when she is frustrated. Not the crying kind of scream, the "I am mad!" kind. We call it "sassitude." And she has plenty.
She babbles like crazy, "Mamamama! Dadadada! Nananana! Babababa!" She also loves to clock her tongue, make brrrrmb noises, and "wha wha wha" with her hand over her mouth like a little indian. CHad swears she says Momma sometimes, but I am not convinced it is a deliberate word just yet.
She sits like a champion.
Is completely addicted to her pacifier.
And I think she may actually be crawling by Thanksgiving. (Nope that is not early, but I had been predicting Christmas, so I have moved my prediction up.) As I have said many times, I am so thankful Mataya is not in a hurry to get moving. I have been savoring every minute of her babyhood. Until the last few weeks she was perfectly content to be still. She did not jump in her exersaucer. She did not try to roll much. She was just happy in whatever position we put her. However, in the last few weeks she has gotten a little spicier! She jumps in the exersaucer! (We say she has hops!) She reaches for far off toys until she pulls herself from sitting to her tummy. She has even rolled a time or two to get to something she desires. It is fun to see her become a bit more determined - while remaining the sweetest little snuggler there ever was.
She is very social while in my arms. She does quite well while in my line of site - but when momma disappears, she is not so happy, especially if she is with someone other than Daddy, Rah-Rah (Sierra), or Brenna.
Her favorite toy is paper or plastic. . . anything that makes fun crinkly sounds. She enjoys playing with the container of wipes just as much as her most expensive toy. Ha! She likes it when I read to her. She loves it when we sing silly songs.
She is sleeping fairly well. She goes to bed at 7:45 each night and awakens for the day at about 6:30. She is usually up at 5 for a quick bottle. She also commonly wakes once or twice looking for her pacifier. I am working on nap time. She prefers to take 4 short naps a day - a habit which began with all the carpool driving we did this summer. I am trying to convince her to take 2 longer naps a day instead. We are making progress!
Mataya Hope - you are pure sweetness and joy. Everywhere I go people talk so sweetly to you. They call you the "gerber baby" everywhere I go - with your round cheeks and curl on top. I enjoy you so very much. Every smile, coo, squeal, and scream bring me joy. I savor every minute spent snuggled up with a bottle, sprawled out on the floor playing a silly game, or singing songs and dancing with you in the kitchen. You are an expert at running at errands already, my perfect companion. I love you, my darling. I am so, so, so thankful to be your momma.
To be honest, I was more nervous than Jamison. . . perhaps.
It has been a rough couple of weeks in his XC world. He's been a little banged up both physically and mentally. And then there was a bunch of team drama this week. Drama and a boy's xc team do not usually go together - but this week they did.
To this momma, this race felt very significant. The Regional race is always significant, but this year, for our son, the meaning was a little deeper - in my opinion. Jamison had a battle to fight. The warrior in him needed to rise above it all. He needed to believe with all his heart and soul and mind and strength that he was not created with a spirit of timidity. That he has been commanded to be strong and courageous, to not be terrified, to not be discouraged because the Lord His God would be with him. That he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him. That the negative thoughts were lies. The Voice of Truth needed to be the only on he heard.
Rising above is a life-skill that is WAY more important than any placing or time. Today, through a race, he had the opportunity to learn a very important life skill.
This morning I knew in my gut that he was going to be just fine. I was sure he was going to race, rather than just complete the run. And yet I was still nervous. (I think I have mentioned that I struggle with the helplessness that is involved in parenting teens?)
Sierra, Mataya, and I arrived at the race together. Sierra and I cried on the way there. Jamison is just that kind of a kid. Sierra calls him her hero. I get to call him my son. We fully expected to see the warrior rise up out of him. Knowing what he was up against and how hard he had worked was emotional. And then Sierra started to talk about the fact that next year he will be a senior. . . and then we were both sniffling.
Think this baby loves her RahRah?
Oh my! They are precious together!
Jamison certainly has the cutest fans.
This was the first race that I remember saying, "I can't wait until it is over!" at the start. The suspense was making me crazy.
And they are off!
Today I waited out the race by myself. Sierra and Chad were at another spot on the course. They had Mataya and Joshua with them. So I was by myself.
It was good. I waited in this very spot praying for my son.
When I saw him, right here, at the 1 mile mark, I knew for sure that it was going to be a good race for Jay.
The determined look on his face said it all.
Watching him power through the finish was so exciting.
He had done it.
He had raced. He had faced the "demons" and come out on top.
When Jamison started summer training, he posted three goals in all his personal spaces. One of them was to finish in the top 20 at the regional meet. Today he met that goal with his 17th place finish.
His team finished 2nd overall. They had 6 boys finish in the top 20.
Patriot all-conference (top 20) runners.
As I type, the better part of the cross team is eating popcorn and playing video games (loudly) in our loft. Their enthusiasm makes my heart happy.
Today was a good day. But beyond any race results, I truly believe that in the life and heart of my son it was life-changing. Learning to listen to and trust the Voice of Truth in the face of adversity, fighting and succeeding, knowing where your strength comes from - those are the things that grow a boy into a man. I am so very thankful for the depth I see developing in my son.
I am proud of you, Jamison. I'm proud of the race you ran, but I'm even more proud of the character I see taking root in your heart and soul. Congratulations, my son. Congratulations!