Cat's Soccer Season, Part 1

Cat had a great time with her soccer team last year.  She loved her coach and her teammates and she was definitely progressing, but we weren't sure it was the best atmosphere for her to reach her full potential.  We decided she should try out for a different club team when the time came.  This team is the best in our area, so we knew it would be competitive but figured she should try anyway just to see what happened.

Cat showed up for both nights of tryouts and felt like she did really well.  But we could hardly believe it when she was not only invited to join the club, but was offered a spot on the higher of the two teams the club has for her age group.  Part of this was that she benefited from the timing of the league regulations: the team she was trying out for had been playing on a smaller field with 9 players for each game; for this season the team would be in an older age bracket and they needed to add a few players because they were moving to a bigger field with 11 players for each game.  This also worked in Cat's favor for another reason: the team she was on last year played at an older level, so she was already used to playing on the bigger field with 11 players.

Modeling the new uniform!
(right after she took a post-practice shower)

It was a tough couple of days while we all deliberated about soccer.  Should we stick with a team and coach we felt confident about, or go out on a limb with new people?  Will it really be worth the extra cost?  How will the time commitment affect our family?  In the end, we decided to go with the new team.  It was a decision we all felt good about and haven't regretted.  Cat's confidence and skill have improved and she appreciates playing at a more competitive level.

During Cat's first official scrimmage with the team in mid-July,
they won 7-0, with Cat scoring two goals and one or more assists.
Unfortunately, the season got off to a bit of a rocky start.  She felt great when she began training and competing with the team but after a few weeks she started having a little bit of pain in her right leg.  The pain became unbearable when she was helping her former team out during a scrimmage when they were short-handed.  A player ran right into her and agitated muscles that were already giving her trouble.

Training for fun, when coach canceled practice but a group of girls
wanted to get together to work out anyway.

She rested more and tried to take it easy, and we hoped she'd be able to participate in her team's first pre-season tournament in Park City at the end of July, but after going in for just a few minutes, the pain was too much and she sat out the rest of the tournament.  The team did pretty well but didn't advance after the first round of games, and Cat hated having to watch from the sidelines, unable to help.

Cat is stretching on the right, while the rest of the team was warming-up for the first game.

After that we decided she should see a sports medicine doctor.  The doctor wanted to do x-rays to be sure that there was no damage to Cat's growth plates, which there wasn't.  Thankfully, the diagnosis was strained hip flexor and quad muscles, and the doctor's orders were for Cat to do physical therapy exercises independently and to bike or swim but avoid running for two weeks.  After that, she should let the pain be her guide.  Cat did a great job of going through her exercises every day and made an effort to exercise in other ways that would not irritate her leg.

One of the other parents on Cat's team recommended a massage therapist who works specifically with athletes, and largely young athletes.  Cat felt like the two sessions she had with Natalie made a big difference in her recovery.

While Cat was still under doctor's orders not to run, her team played their second pre-season tournament.  She watched all the games from the bench again, but this time the team won the tournament, so it was less agonizing.

Cat getting her medal from her coach after her team won the Utah Cup.
You could say she played a perfect tournament.  No mistakes.

As much as we were all frustrated about Cat's injury, we recognized that it was a blessing that she was hurt in the summer, instead of during the regular season.  And I was really impressed that as much as it bothered Cat not to be able to play with her team, she had a great attitude about it and didn't whine or complain, but kept working at her PT exercises every day and showing up at games to cheer on her teammates.  Thankfully, the injury didn't flare up at all during the regular season.

On Friday the 13th

We laughed in the face of superstition and spent Friday the 13th in a pumpkin patch, albeit a very non-spooky one in plain view of the beautiful Jordan River Temple.  Ben had a work party there for all of the employees and families.  There was pumpkin picking, pumpkin decorating, face painting, and of course hot chocolate, doughnuts, and even fresh cotton candy.  It was fun to get out together (except for Cat, who was at soccer) on a fall evening and get to know work folks and their families better.

'Round These Parts

Last week Cat finally got the big strawberry harvest she's been waiting for!

We went on a family bike ride and ended up taking a break at a nearby playground,
where Eliza and Whit happily took turns winding each other up on the swing,
then spinning around wildly.

Eliza recently got some new boots and it cracks me up
whenever I see Luke trying them on, pom poms and all.
In this picture, he's also trying to get into Eliza's little suitcase.

Eliza's hair accessorizing has reached new levels in the last
couple of weeks.  I kinda like it.  (Of the one on the top
she said, "I want the bow to flop around on my head!"

Jack, on the other hand, gave himself a different
type of adornment.

#3, again

The first couple of pictures fit in nicely with my Eliza post from a couple of weeks ago, and the rest are just bonuses.

When we got back from Colorado, I asked Eliza to fold the
things in her suitcase that were still clean so we could put them away.
Behold, Eliza's folding:

Eliza has started styling photos.  She arranged these
and took the pictures herself.  I just cropped them.


However long ago it was that I decided to blog every day (6 days a week here and on my other blog on Mondays), it was a great decision at the time.  I had a lot to share, and I was able to find the time.

These days, I'm sometimes short on material for the blog, and often short on time to put posts together.  So I just wanted to tell you that I won't be blogging every day anymore.  It will probably be a Tuesday-Friday thing (still posting on my other blog on Mondays), but we'll see.  The point is, don't worry if you don't hear from me for a couple of days.  I just need to find a new correct balance on blogging.

According to Luke

...a sampling of the sweet/cute/funny things Luke has said lately...


"There's this game I invented on my magic phone called Worst Zombies Ever and it's zombies vs. skeletons."

"Can you cancel that rule?" (referring to my requirement that he use the bathroom if he wants a story before nap time)

"He's my friend.  And my cousin."

"It looks like a prison garage.  For sharks."
(Side note: my big sister's response when I shared this with her was,
"That's the first thing I thought!"  Maybe I need to rethink my fall decor?)

"What if there was a book called Boy Eating Garlic Noodles
about a boy eating garlic noodles?"

"I've been inside my head and my brain is THIS BIG."

Colorado Cousins

The real reason for our trip to Colorado was to spend time with family for a special baptism & baby blessing weekend.  Ben's brother and his family moved to the area earlier in the year and this was our first time visiting them.  The kids have been missing their cousins and loved having time together.  They played and played and played, and played some more.  Mema and Papa were in town for the special occasions also, so we enjoyed quality time with them too.  We loved having so much time with everyone!

We packed a picnic lunch with us and stopped at Canyon View Park, right off
the Interstate in Grand Junction, CO (a great halfway stop) to quickly eat and let
the kids run around.  It was a windy but sunny day and we all appreciated having a
little bit of time outside in the fresh air.

We were so excited to finally arrive and get to see everyone!
These kids had a blast together.

It's so nice to get to snuggle a new baby, and Eliza the Baby Lover was especially
thrilled.  She fell in love with him right away.

Baptism Day
Watching football, playing football, feeding dogs,
playing games, and just having fun.

Saying goodbye to Mema & Papa

The drive home was longer and slower than the drive to CO had been
because of snowy weather for the first few hours.  Almost everyone got
a nap, and toward the end Cat crawled into the back seat with Jack and
helped him work on James Potter and the Womping Willow on the laptop.