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My Weekend in Pictures

It’s 9:13pm on Sunday night.

I’m a bit tired from a busy weekend, so I thought I’d try something different and let my pictures speak the words my fingers are too tired to type.

Here is my weekend, in pictures…details to follow…tomorrow, if my fingers get “un-tired.” (not a word, but it’s my blog, and I get to make up the rules).

Just Another Day in the Car

I’m composing this post while in the car for the third weekend in a row.

My destination is Daytona, one of the few places in Florida I haven’t visited.

To prepare myself, I ate the breakfast of champions…


I’m all set to watch the Lady Fire play some futbol!!


I’m also beyond ready to hug my little girl again. She may be a junior in college, but my little girl she’ll always be!


Very soon, I’ll be headed down south to watch a certain “someone” play a certain “game” that has been a part of our lives for the last 10+ years.

I’ve missed my girl…haven’t seen her in almost three weeks…so I’m getting antsy…

The girls sure do know how to put on their game faces, don’t they?

Good thing we know how they really are…

They are a family, joined together by their love of God as well as their love for The Beautiful Game…

Many thanks to Teresa Stross, coach’s wife, who takes thousands of pictures each season and helps mamas and daddys feel like we are still a part of our girls’ lives though far apart from them.  ♥

Another Busy Weekend

Yeah, I know…I’ve been MIA for a couple of days.

Here are your clues as to why…

Ok…so, Friday night found me on the football field, watching THE rivalry game between Rooster’s high school team and the school where I teach.

Although I rooted for Podunk High School to win…consider that I’ve got seven years vested in this school…seven years of my own children’s education invested there…my hurt lurched with an abundance of love for the other team, fans, and fellow teachers and staff.

I’m proud to say that Rooster’s school won on the field.  The bands, though, BOTH came out winners.  They played their hearts out, kept the crowds entertained, and conducted themselves with class.

My weekend wasn’t over, though.

More clues…


The Mr. and I drove down to watch Chicky’s team play a game.

Chicky was having a good game…doing her thing…

Until she went down.

My hurt nearly stopped in fear, and my stomach began to turn.

She tried to get up but couldn’t, trying to crawl on all fours.

I looked at the Mr. in concern.


I hate being a soccer mom sometimes.

It only took a minute before she got up and walked down the sideline.

Praise the Lord!

However, all was not completely well.

She went back into the game and played.

As the second half started, and she began her run down my side of the field, she turned to me and said that her shoulder had popped out of its joint, but it had gone back in.

Her brave smile masked her pain.

She came off the field after the game with her shoulder wrapped in saran wrap…a huge bag of ice secured to her right arm.


She was crying too.

My eyes nearly filled with tears.

Oh, you think she was crying from pain?

Not my tough-as-nails girl.


She was crying because she blamed herself for two of the goals that the other team had scored…all because she couldn’t lean into people and get in their way like she normally does.


This child…um…nearly grown daughter of mine…is driven…determined not to let her team down.

Over the years, she’s played with a 104 temperature, bronchitis, and other ailments.

This child rarely allows herself to be pulled from a field…for any reason.

She changed her clothes while we watched the men’s team play.

When she returned, she sat with her teammates, and she began to recover emotionally from the let-down of the game.

We wound up having some fun…all while she sat with that bag of ice on her shoulder…ever the reminder that she was hurt.

I can’t tell you how hard it was to leave my girl behind as we drove home today.

Tomorrow, she’s going to be evaluated by the team’s trainer, and a course of action will be determined based on his findings.

Please pray for her.  God is the healer.  I know this.  I’m praying, though, for wisdom and, ultimately, a full recovery for my sweet baby girl.

Please say a prayer for Guy Friend as well.  He came off the field sporting his own bag of ice, saran-wrapped to his ankle.

Quite the couple, let me tell you.

RIP Coach Dean

I first met Coach Dean several years ago as he walked off of the high school practice field one afternoon.

He stopped me, asked who my child was, and then proceeded to rattle off all of the wonderful qualities about my child.

Coach Dean was not paid to stand on that field each day.

He was a volunteer.

He attended practices and games, pacing the sidelines with the other coaches.

When I shared the news of his passing with Rooster this morning, Rooster’s face fell.  Rooster recalled a few of the funny things that Coach Dean had said to the players and a few of his antics during away games.

The kids, simply put, adored him, and the parents did as well.

Thanks for the memories, Coach Dean.  The sideline will seem empty when soccer season rolls around again.

From China Via Podunk USA

Yesterday, the AuburnChick family received a package…

No, you’re not mistaken…it really was from China.

You see, Chicky had ordered new cleats before she went back to school.

These weren’t ordinary cleats.

They were the kind she could customize…

Green has always been her favorite color, and I know she’s recently developed an affinity for purple.  I have never seen both colors on a pair of cleats before.

They are definitely one-of-a-kind!

The Chicklets are Reunited

I never did get a chance to blog about last weekend.

Well…it was FABO!!!

Why, you may wonder?

Well…because my chicklets were finally all together…in the same place and at the same time!!

The Mr. had driven to Lakeland last Thursday and watched Chicky’s game.  Coupon Queen and Grand Pooba had also attended.

After the game, the Mr. went back to his parents’ house and waited to meet up with Rooster and me on Saturday.

We drove down together, and that, in itself, was delightful.

Rooster is getting older, and it’s getting more difficult to coordinate his schedule with everyone else’s.

Plus, he’s simply an enjoyable child to be around.

And yes, I realize he’s a teenager, and I used the word “enjoyable” to describe him.

What can I say.  Let’s just chalk it up to the mama/son relationship.


My church’s youth pastors also made the trip down, toting a few of Chicky’s friends.  They were eager to watch her play.  Guy Friend, who also grew up in the church, had a game immediately afterward, so it was like getting two for one.

One of Chicky’s BFF’s made the drive from a college nearby.  It was good to see her.

We had so many people, that we took up half of one set of bleachers.


I took my customary team warm-up photo…

And, of course, no soccer weekend photo collection would be complete without a picture of the GORGEOUS Florida sunset…


Sunset over a soccer field...does it get any better than this?


Both teams fought hard but lost by one goal.

Everyone had worked up an appetite, so we went out to eat.

Rooster, Chicky and I rode with her BFF, and I will admit that it felt a little strange to see the girls, so grown-up, sitting in the front, trying to navigate the car to the restaurant.

The conversation went something like this:

“Do you think I need to stop at the gas station, or do you think I can make it.”

“Doesn’t matter.  Make a left turn.  Oh wait.  The GPS is taking us to the toll road.  Stupid GPS.”

“I’m really worried about running out of gas.  Should I stop?”

“Now make a right turn.  Rats.  Stupid GPS.”


We did stop for gas, and we resumed our drive.

Rooster and I held our breaths, praying we’d make it there in one piece.  It was all I could do not to say anything.

I did casually mention how strange it was to be driven around by a child I’d known for six years.  The first time I met her, she was not much over four feet tall and the only thing she was driving was her sister—insane, that is.  Gotta love sibling rivalry, eh?

We made it to the restaurant, BD’s Mongolian Grill, and cheered on my Auburn Tigers as they won a very close game.  We ate and celebrated Alabama’s loss (if you’re an Auburn fan, you root AGAINST Alabama, the “other” school in the state).

I sat, content, as I watched my Chicky converse with the friends who had held each other accountable the last few years.

Then, it was time to go.

We jumped in the AuburnChick caboose and took Chicky back to her dorm.

I had both of my Chicklets in the same place…breathing the same air.  It was divine!

Then, it was time for goodbye.

My least favorite part of these trips.


I hugged her.

She took turns hugging the Mr. and Rooster.

I grabbed her and hugged her a couple more times.  I wanted my arms to be the last she felt around her.

I’m selfish like that.

And then she walked away.


I won’t see her much for the next few weeks.  There are no more home games, and she’ll be on the road quite a bit.


She’s also getting ready to take mid-terms.


Please pray for her.  She is very stressed about her English Lit class (she did not inherit my English genes).  She’s also come down with either an allergy attack or a virus, so she is not feeling up-to-par.


I am already counting down the days until Thanksgiving, when I can shower her with more love than she can stand and when I can pamper her until she begs for mercy.


What is dedication?

Is it a mama who drives two hours after work so she can watch her Rooster play in the band during a very good football game?

Although the team lost by two points, some fans still managed to have a good time…

I snuck this picture with my cell phone, although I strongly suspect he would have posed for me if I had asked.

Could dedication be the same mama who gets up at 4:30am the next morning for another five hour drive…

With a pan full of brownies and several movies in the seat beside her…

Of course, dedication has its payoff.


Watching the sun rise…

Oh yes.  Dedication has its rewards.

Like being allowed to sing your own rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the top of your lungs.

Five hours into the trip, it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day…

Good thing.

Chicky had a game, and I was ready to watch!

The Lady Fire won by a score of 6-0, and after the game, both teams gathered for a prayer…

After the game, Chicky and I went to Panera for lunch, and then we went to her hair cut appointment.

We still had a couple of hours before the annual Alumni game, so she went back to her room to rest, and I took a nap in the car.

We met up an hour later and ate lunch at the school’s restaurant…

Twice Baked Potatoes, I think.

Beef and Barley Soup

Lentil Soup

True dedication means eating school food, which was actually delicious but gave me gas that lasted the entire night.  Yeah.  I know.  TMI.  Whatever.  File a complaint with the blog police.  heehee

After dinner, Chicky played in the Alumni game.  It was fun to watch former players play against the younger ladies.  Some of the gals still had it, but they still got beat soundly.  Nevertheless, the girls had a great time.

During the game, I had watched the sun set.  This is my favorite time of day…

After the game, I said my goodbyes to Chicky.  This is something that still isn’t easy.  I am longing for her to be my friend, and she says it hasn’t been long enough.

Dedication hurts sometimes.

I made my way to the hotel and found this lovely room waiting for me…

The hotel was crawling with baseball player munchkins.  Their presence reminded me of the many soccer tournaments I’ve traveled to over the years.

I felt a little melancholy.  This was the first trip I’d ever taken by myself.  The quiet was a welcome respite, but I wasn’t used to it.

I settled in with a glass of Merlot and a bag of M&M’s.

It wasn’t long before I dropped off to sleep, putting the busy day behind me.

But, I had another drive ahead of me.

Sunday was as beautiful as Saturday…

I only made a couple of stops and saw the following sign in one bathroom…

The sign begged to be edited, and being the English teacher, I just couldn’t help myself…

Dedication means always carrying a Sharpie so you can fix the world’s spelling mistakes.

I stopped for lunch at Bagel Bagel, where I had the most delicious thing ever, although I can’t remember the name of it!

Because I had left so early, I arrived home by 1pm, leaving plenty of time to relax before creating final exams for my students.

However, I took it somewhat easy because my narrow-focused dedication led to this…



Sometimes it can be painful, but the dividends it pays makes it all worthwhile.

Chicky Scores a Goal!!

Work has me slammed, but I wanted to do a drive-by post to celebrate my Chicky’s recent accomplishment.

This evening, she scored her first goal…as a Freshman collegiate soccer player…and as a defender.

She called me after the game and described it.

She said she got the ball and went up the field, where she faced a defender from the other team.

She kicked it past the player to her left foot and resumed her trek to the goal.

Then, while standing at the 18 yard line, she used her LEFT foot to kick a hard shot into the far post’s net.


Southeastern won its game 5-0.

I am so happy for Chicky and proud that she can soak up the joy of this moment.

Another Trip Down South

On Saturday, the Mr. and I made our way back down south.

It had been two weeks since I had last seen Chicky.

Although she knew we were coming, she was still surprised when she saw me at her door.  I gave her the small gift I had picked up from Sam’s Club…a long, fuzzy, purple tube pillow.  I had no idea if she would like it, but she threw it on her bed and refused my offer to return it.  I didn’t take a picture of it first, though.  Oh well.  You’ll just have to use your imagination!

I handed her the goodies that Coupon Queen had sent for her:  cookies, crackers, chips, and an envelope with a surprise.

We said a quick goodbye so she could prepare for her game.

Then, we made our way to the Cafe, where we met Guy Friend.  Coupon Queen had sent a bag of goodies for him as well.  He was quite pleased.

Then, it was time to go to the field, where I watched as Chicky’s team warmed up…

It was a hot afternoon.  The crowd grew larger.  In fact, I’ve rarely seen that many people at a girls’ soccer game!

One of Chicky’s high school friends drove over from St. Pete, where she’s attending college.  I was so happy to see her that I enveloped her in a hug when she got close enough.  It was a good feeling to have her sitting beside me.

Before I knew it, the game was about to begin.  I never tire of watching the teams line up before the game…

Southeastern played against St. Thomas, and it was a tough game!  SEU scored first, but St. Thomas came back and tied it up in the second half.

The game was tied at the end of regulation time, so we had to go to overtime.

I was nervous.

As the game went on, I couldn’t help but notice the sunset…

It was a tough battle, but Chicky’s team scored the golden goal.  The crowd erupted in cheers!

After the game, the players gathered for a prayer.  I love this!!!!

Then, Chicky walked off the field.  Her entire face lit up when she saw her friend, and she ran to hug her.  They began talking non-stop.  What a reunion!

While Chicky and her BFF went to her dorm room, I waited for her on the field where, lo and behold, I saw someone walking toward me.

It was Chicky’s first travel soccer coach…from way back when she played U9, U10, and U11 soccer down in south Florida.

Say what?

He was St. Thomas’ coach!

I could not believe it!

The years melted away as he updated us on Chicky’s former teammates.  In fact, we learned that one girl was playing on St. Thomas’ team!  I recognized her when I was going back through the pictures I took.

Interesting stuff!

We joked that we might just get to see all of Chicky’s former coaches!

THAT is why soccer makes this world such a small place!!

Finally, Chicky emerged, and we took her, Guy Friend, and BFF out to dinner.  We selected a wing place nearby so we could watch TV.  Auburn was playing against Clemson, and they were actually down!!

We ate, laughed, cheered for Auburn, and stayed through the overtime (during which Auburn won).

Chicky’s teammates had also gone to this restaurant, and I smiled as I watched her make the rounds, chatting it up with various players.

This is a close-knit group.  The smiles are genuine, as is the affection they have for one another.

Before I knew it, we had to leave.

We took the kids back to the college and bid farewell to BFF.

And then it was time to say goodbye to Chicky.


I just don’t think it gets much easier.

I had lots of hugs to give her, though.  A lot of people were counting on me to give her their love, and you KNOW that I wasn’t about to let them down.

To my surprise, Chicky took the hugs in stride.  She is not an overly affectionate child, you see, so this really was a big deal.


Another weekend.

Another trip down south.

I’m counting the days until I go back to see her again.

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