Friday, August 1, 2008


Coaching school...sounds like a joke doesn't it? But it's real. Seminars from professional, college and high school coaches on everything from conditioning to scheduling to retirement to how to run specific aspects of an offense or defense...and not just for football. Lectures on track, baseball, golf, etc. happen as well.

So about 7:30am Wayne quietly gets ready and leaves us at the hotel, attends meetings, eats lunch with old friends, more meetings...until finally around 3pm he heads back to us so the real fun can start. This includes several traditions at coaching school that are mostly a product of being able to do there what we don't do here.
  • We are reminded why we don't have cable TV...because we would watch it. We proved that over and over. It came on as soon as we entered the room and stayed on until we had to leave...all while we did nothing but lay on fluffy beds with feather pillows! We were fascinated by the home shows (no food channel in this hotel...what's up with that??!!). The girls and I agreed also that if there were a "Jon & Kate plus 8" marathon on TV, we'd sit in front of it all day long. Ridiculous. (And she needs to stop treating him like the 9th child...seriously...)
  • Because we are able to stay in the highest of the high end hotels, there is no complimentary breakfast (if you can stay there, you can afford $6 toast!) and there is no way that I'm paying $3 for a Sprite and $4 for a Snickers out of the "hospitality" tray...that means that the girls get to make a grocery store run unlike any other in the year. Poptarts, soft drinks, juice boxes, bottled water, whatever snack foods sound good to each of them...and the big favorite: those tiny individual size cereal boxes. They get to choose whatever they want while I try not to cringe.
  • Because it rotates between three great Texas cities, we get to experience a few days of downtown fun as well as our yearly theme park run. This year it's the Alamo, Riverwalk, Witte Museum and Fiesta Texas...we love San Antonio. It is hands down the most beautiful to us...the architecture, the flowers (some of the bougainvillea was more than twenty feet tall!), the river, the art, the history...wonderful stuff...and nothing like our day to day lives!
  • A more recent tradition is sleeping really, really the girls all get up after 10am!! It's fantastic...especially in a hotel like the one we had which gave us separate rooms! I can't sleep that long any more so it meant I had at least two full hours of quiet to wake slowly, read, lay, think, ponder, pray...and to thank Him for all that was in my life. That's a much different start to our day. (And for those of you with toddlers...yes, I'll happen one day for you, too!)
  • How is it possible that we were in San Antonio and never ate Mexican food?! Not sure...except to say that there are so many amazing choices on the river...and there's the fact that I cook Mexican food almost every day! But food is one of our big pleasures during the week. We budget to eat out a cheap, fast-food type meal at lunch usually at a mall or Mickey D's. But dinner is another story. Then we eat the meals we would never eat otherwise. Joe's Crab Shack... Rainforest Cafe... Hard Rock Cafe... Pappadeaux's... yummy. We do try to make sure that we share between us so there are no leftovers. (High end hotels don't have a fridge in the room either! Rich people do not re-heat...) This is possible because TISD allocates Wayne $36 a day for food. Seems ridiculous until you try to eat downtown on less. Wayne hoards it by eating pop-tarts for breakfast...spends about $6 for lunch...and contributes the rest to dinner. That makes it possible for us to kick in about the same $30 and eat really, really great food.
All of this reminds me of a lesson we learned early careful what you do with your kids more than once! During our time at two coaching schools in a row we went to a zoo then thought about skipping one year..."But, Mom, we always go to the zoo!" Two Christmases in a row we forgot about looking at lights until the last minute...literally Christmas we go right after a church service. Guess what? Now, when we suggest doing it differently? "Mom, come on! We always look at lights Christmas Eve night after church...after we get ice cream from Sonic, remember?!"

Too many of our traditions have begun that way...without purpose. Doesn't mean that they don't matter to us or that they haven't led to some amazing times with our girls. But they didn't start the way good traditions should...on purpose, to pass down what is most important to us. God, however, being the redeemer that He is has used our vacation traditions to re-affirm our day-to-day traditions...

But how 'bout I write more on that later...and actually get up from here and live them out first! More on this tomorrow...

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