Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Diary of a Baseball Mom

I live in the south. Game day down here is NO joke. Whether is college football, NFL, NASCAR, or Little League. We’ve got some HARD CORE fans.

The past few years, my kids have participated in sports, but it’s been very low-key. They’ve been involved with a program called Upward which is a faith-based sports organization. It’s all about learning the fundamentals of the game & less about winning/losing. Everyone plays – there are no losers. No parents arguing with coaches; no coaches yelling at refs. Everyone cheers for everyone. I liked it!

This year, our son, Justin, decided to make the switch. He was playing flag football with Upward; he decided that he wanted to do tackle football with Parks & Rec. Thankfully, he then changed his mind to fall baseball. That’s ok… there aren’t many injuries in baseball, right? No deranged parents or coaches telling their kids to suck-it-up and play like a man, right?

I’ll admit, our experience has been wonderful. The coaches are nice – no red-faced, in-your-face screaming. One thing we’ve learned about fall ball, it’s more about learning & less about winning. Thank goodness, because our team makes the Bad News Bears look Pro!

We’ve really been enjoying it – especially Justin. I think we found his sport! He takes it very seriously & really listens to the coach. I’m not saying MLB in our future, but at least it’s something he enjoys. Anyway, it’s been great family time for us. We all go to practices – Chelsea has a few friends whose brother’s play on Justin’s team. I’m getting out of the house & Craig bonding with Justin over sports. We all go to the games too.

Speaking of games, I’ve always tried to NOT be the mom who publicly embarrasses her children. Now, I know that it’s just in the parental DNA that you WILL embarrass them at some point, but I try to make an effort to not KNOWINGLY do it. I’ll cheer at the games, but not to the point of embarrassment (at least I don’t think so – Justin hasn’t said anything). I haven’t become the parent that gives the coach coaching advice. Nor have I become the parent that owns EVERYTHING in the team colors/logo. There are no signs or foam fingers arriving with us (not that it’s a bad thing – that’s just a little extreme for me).

Well people – last night, I met the mother of all embarrassing parents. She was Suzanne Sugarbaker meets fire truck. She had that black football helmet hair that wouldn’t move if a tornado passed by. She was dressed - maybe she just came from work; I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on that one. But, oh man, the racket she was making. You would have thought there was a fire nearby. Her scream sounded like a siren. (Weeooow) Every single time her team got the ball (which was 85% of the game) you heard it – Weeooow! All of the parents on our side started noticing. The coaches started noticing. One of the little boys (maybe 3 years old) started to mimic her – Weeooow!

You know that there was a boy at the field who belonged to her. Which meant that he was standing out there, somewhere, horrified at the sound coming out of his mother’s mouth. I mean, there were dogs barking miles away from this sound! Seriously, had any of us had a video camera, you’d be witnessing it firsthand on YouTube this morning!

So, as parents, we did what came natural – mimicked her! Now, I know that is not the Christian thing to do. I’m ashamed (a little). I mean, she has to know how annoying that sounds, right???? Why not make her aware? Yeah – apparently she has the same attitude that I do. Who cares if they don’t like it – watch this – I’ll do it even more!

I give her credit. She got louder with each play. Her co-workers are probably cheering this morning because she cannot speak above a whisper today.

We play this team again at the end of the season. We’ll be prepared this time – we’re all bringing air horns!

Many blessings,

Monday, September 8, 2008

Providential Relationships

Our current sermon series at church is “5 Things That God Uses To Grow Your Faith”. We just finished week 3 out of 6 yesterday. Great series!!! ( Basically, the pastor of our church & several others listened to hundreds of faith stories and they all fell into at least one of 5 categories: Practical Biblical Teaching, Providential Relationships, Pivotal Circumstances, Private Disciplines or Personal Ministry. Read the bible and you can see how God used those things even back in the Old Testament. AMAZING!!!

Anyway, yesterday’s sermon was on ‘Providential Relationships’. Even if you aren’t a Christian, chances are you can look back over your life & see how certain people were in your life for a very specific reason – either good OR bad. Those are examples of ‘Providential Relationships’. I, myself, can look back throughout my life and see how certain people affected my life. Just reading through my blog, you can see who some of those people were too (mainly the ‘bad’). But there have been PLENTY of GREAT people in my life that God used in a BIG way. I’ll write about them soon. I’d love for you to ‘meet’ them!

Enough about the past, this is about a current Providential Relationship; one that I never even saw coming – but do we ever?

I volunteer in UpStreet with a woman named Tricia. She’s older than I am. She has 2 children – a daughter, high school senior & a son, high school sophomore. They sound like the kind of kids I would want mine to grow up to be like.

Every Sunday we sit & chat during our down time & just get to know each other; our own little small group. It really has been. I’ve loved getting to know her & her story these past few weeks.
Lately, Craig & I have been thinking about Christmas. We’ve been wondering if we should pool the money that we would spend on the kids with any money that my dad & my in-laws would spend and get a Wii game system for the house. They’re expensive – can’t find one for less than $500.

Tricia & I were talking about it a few weeks ago. I guess I mentioned that we’ve taught our kids that WE give Santa the money to spend on Christmas presents – that Santa isn’t a never-ending gift machine.

Yesterday, Tricia came in with a gift for me. Her boss (who has more money than Oprah) gave it to her & since her family already has one, she wanted to give it to us. The only stipulation is that we have to wait for Christmas. I opened the package and in it was a brand new Wii system!!!

Of course, tears came flowing because I just couldn’t believe her kindness. Craig saw me crying & came over to see what was wrong. He was floored at the generosity of Tricia & her family.

God has put Tricia in our lives for a reason. Not quite sure what He has in store for us just yet, but I can’t wait to see what it is!!!!

Many blessings,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Confessions of a closet binger

“Hello, my name is Allison & I’m a closet binger.”

It’s weird to type that. But they say that admitting your problem is half the battle.

I haven’t always been heavy. In fact, looking back on my teens, I was skinny. Maybe too skinny at some point. I was athletic too; softball, basketball, track. Now I can barely walk to my car in the parking lot.

When did it all change? When did I start using food to comfort me?

It was my early 20’s. After several years of abuse, I needed to hide. The best way to hide – become fat. I don’t think I gained weight on purpose, but I know that my love affair with food began because I was feeling like garbage. Garbage in, garbage out as they say.

Even now, at 36, I am overweight. I use sarcasm as a way to hide my true feelings of hurt & depression. Humor is my weapon & food is my love.

I know what you’re thinking – just go on a diet. Easier said than done. I do great during the day. Fruit, veggies, tons of water. Smart choices. But it’s at night that I have the problem. Food calls my name. I am a closet binger.

I have been known (well, no one knew until now) to eat an entire package of Oreos. Craving chocolate – don’t get a chocolate bar. Eat an entire container of frosting – GROSS!!!! Those 100 calorie packs of snacks are great – if you only eat ONE package of them.

I hide when I binge (I guess most people do). I’m not even sure if my husband is truly aware of my binging. He must have SOME clue, right?

I can’t binge anymore people.. I am slowly killing myself, but how do I stop? I wish I knew. Maybe therapy or at least a support group. Do they have those anymore? Not something online… but an in-person kind of place that will hold me accountable.

At this point, I can’t focus on losing weight. I need to focus on just being healthy. I’ve toyed with the idea of a lap-band, but that only works if you change your lifestyle too. If I continue to binge, I’ll only counteract the progress of a lap-band.

So, a journey begins. Where will I start, I don’t know. What I do know is that I need help.

Many blessings,