Tag: coaches kids

Happy 15th Birthday Elijah

Happy 15th Birthday Elijah

Oh kid, this is not what fifteen was supposed to look like. I had high hopes we’d be able to celebrate you with some sort of restaurant excursion and movie in the theater. But instead, we’ll shelter in place, order food from your restaurant of choice, and reserve your birthday shopping spree (your request) for later this year.

You’ve handled the recent changes with so much maturity. I know you’ve missed youth group. I know you were disappointed that Alpha was canceled as well as your summer trip to Kansas City for year two of leadership training. You’re accepting each disappointment with calm understanding, looking to the future for the times when things will be different. You aren’t wallowing, rather you’re focused on finishing the school year well. Elijah, I’m proud of your resilience.

Before the chaos of this season started we wrapped up the 3rd quarter with parent/teacher conferences. Your teachers made a point to speak about your character. They spoke about how thoughtful you are when you offer input with classmates as well as assignments. Your speech teacher mentioned how impressed she has been with your willingness to share your faith openly in class and how attentive the other students were each time you gave a presentation.

Your creativity continues to impress us and it’s great to see you take the time to focus on developing your interests. You’ve invested in music, saving allowance, and gifts to purchase equipment and software which reveals your dedication. You’re spending time learning how to use everything now and it’s fun to see your previous discipline with saving to buy the right tools and current hard work pay off as your creativity expands.

Your interests go beyond music. You’re also exploring theology and apologetics. You don’t shy away from hard conversations with your friends and your willingness to listen and speak respectfully as they express their thoughts earns you the right to be heard in each discussion.

In one year you’ll be eligible to drive. In three years you’ll graduate from high school. As you race toward adulthood, we pray you will continue to press into your faith. You’re uniquely designed by God and we’re cheering you on as you pursue your calling. We’re so proud of you Elijah. Not just today, but every day. Happy 15th Birthday!

Happy 13th Birthday Levi

Happy 13th Birthday Levi

Happy Birthday Levi

Dear Levi,

A few days after you were born your dad headed home since Nana was staying with Elijah and you and I hung out in St. Louis while we waited to see if my liver would rupture. Those days are a blur, however, there are distinct moments that I still remember with clarity.

You have always approached life at your own pace and on your own terms. Born over five weeks early you weren’t concerned that babies born that early need to eat on a specific schedule. Instead, you ate when you wanted to eat and if we tried to coax you otherwise you made us regret our efforts.

Even on your earliest days, you stared intently into people’s eyes listening to conversations and observing everything around you.

It seems to be me you’ve always understood the subtle nuances in conversation. Sarcasm, passive-aggressive behaviors, and even responses from people who didn’t quite know what they want are not lost on you.

You have a sensitivity and consideration for people that make you are caring and loyal friend. These are outstanding characteristics and I pray that you never feel the need the hide them.

Your teachers consistently share that you are an excellent student. This is something your grades also reflect. You are diligent to study concepts and you do a great job of asking questions to make sure you ask questions when you don’t understand things. You are respectful of your authorities even when you don’t necessarily agree with their teaching methods.

I’m so incredibly proud of the fact that you understand you shouldn’t demand that the world bends to your preferences. You adapt and adjust to teaching styles and expectations rather than expecting everyone to adjust to you, but you also know when to stand your ground. This is another characteristic that will help you in the future.

Your relationship with God continues to deepen. You offer insights about what you are learning at church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I’m so thankful for leaders who understand even in seventh grade your relationship with Jesus is real and needs tending.

Thirteen years later you still prefer to eat on your own schedule and you love to listen to conversations rather than participate in them. Finally, you still complete our family.

Happy Birthday, Levi! I cannot wait to see all the ways God blesses this thirteenth year of life!

2019 Christmas Gift Guide for Coaching Families

2019 Christmas Gift Guide for Coaching Families

2019 Christmas Gift Guide for Coaching Families

It’s the most wonderful and stressful time of the year for coaching families! We’re in the middle of playoffs, or starting a season, or moving, or interviewing or maybe some combination of what’s listed. We may be saying goodbye to seniors and preparing to say hello to new students. Perhaps we’re wrapping up the semester of classes and coaching in the state championships. It’s crazy.

So when family calls and asks what the kids want for Christmas it’s understandable that we don’t always remember the full list. We solved some of the challenge awhile ago by creating Amazon Wishlists and Wishlistr.com lists. Still, there are so many possibilities it’s nice to get some new ideas to add to your lists!

Here are my top suggestions for Christmas gifts in 2019 for every member of your coaching family.

Great Gifts for Coaches’ Kids

I’ll start by saying that experiences are always a great gift. Go explore the area where you grew up, take the family to a waterpark overnight, or go see a musical. Doing something special together creates memories and exposes your kids to new opportunities they may want to explore in the future.

We’ve always appreciated family who gives gift cards to fast food restaurants or movie gift cards as well. Allowing our kids to buy themselves popcorn and an icee at the movies without taking out a small loan is a wonderful holiday treat experience!

For the Active Family:

  • Does your coaching family participate in a lot of park district activities? Those fees can add up.
  • What about a membership to the local YMCA?
  • Has your child or grandchild expressed interest in sharpening their athletic skills? What about getting them a few sessions with a personal trainer?
  • Passes to the local pool for the summer are always a great gift as well, although this would require delayed gratification! 😉

For the Family that Travels:

  • Kindle Fires have dropped drastically in price and have great parental controls and expandable storage.
  • Over the ear headphones are great for allowing everyone to watching their own videos or listen to audiobooks in peace.
  • Do you have kids who are starting to drive? The Tile is a must-have for keeping track of keys, wallets, and phones.
  • DrinkintheBox and SnackintheBox have adorable and functional travel boxes for multiple snacks.

Coaches’ Kids Clothing:

It may seem easy to find a shirt on Pinterest and go have it made, but many of these adorable designs are copyrighted. Support your fellow coaches’ wives and order coaches’ kids’ apparel from one of these two great suppliers. I can personally vouch for the high-quality products.

Speaking of supporting coaches’ wives…if you’ve got a book lover or you need an extra stocking stuffer grab a copy of I am Strong like MOM

Im strong like a mom

Subscription Boxes and Services:

  • Our kids love getting their yearly Xbox Live Subscription renewed
  • Kiwi Co is awesome for the budding STEM or STEAM explorer, Engineer or Crafter
  • We Craft Box is another fun option for your crafty kids
  • Audible is great for the audiobook lover
  • Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV, AmazonPrime, Sling, and Disney Plus are all streaming services that will be the gift that keeps giving all year long.

Great Gifts for Coaches’ Wives

As long as you are ordering a t-shirt for the coach’s kid in your life you should check out the adorable items for wives as well!

My personal favorites from Friday Night Wives include Dibs on the Coach and May Your Coffee Be Strong and Your Season Be Long

The Fly Fox Apparel’s For the Love Hoodie is adorable and looks so cozy! Friends Fans don’t miss my other favorite t-shirt The One with the FOOTBALL

Other Clothing

If you Live in Cold Weather States

Kitchen Tools

Does your coach’s wife love coffee from a french press? This $8 stocking stuffer will make you the hero in her life. I don’t know why it works so perfectly, but what I can tell you is that I no longer avoid cleaning my french press!

OXO Brew french press spoon

What to add a french press to the mix? I love my stainless steel one!

Our boys love popcorn. With two teenage boys in the house, I’ve found that popcorn is a fast, cheap and semi-healthy snack to have available for days when they come home ready to raid the fridge. Microwave popcorn bags are a compromise for me. I’d much prefer they use the air popper.

Pampered Chef Popcorn Popper

The chemicals in the microwave bags plus the extra calories are negatives, coupled with the higher expense, you can imagine how intrigued I was to discover this silicone Microwave Popcorn Maker by Pampered Chef.

There is an individual size and a family size available and it works with oil, butter, or without either. This tool has been a game-changer for our family and it collapses down to store flat making it an amazing tool when it’s time to move too!

Fairtrade Items

Noonday – The Rustic Leather Tote is the only purse I’ve been using for about 2 years now and I love it! It’s lined on the inside with 2 zipper pockets. It’s also deep enough to carry everything I need and plenty of extra.

Every great purse deserves to have an awesome wallet! The Debre Wallet from livefashonable is also a fair trade item. It comes in multiple colors and is the perfect size.

Sseko Designs Ribbon Sandals allows the coach’s wife in your life to design fair trade sandals to match your team colors wherever you move!

While you’re on these sites check out the adorable necklaces, earrings, bracelets, bags, and clothing too!

Personalized Home Decor

The Culture is not the Enemy: The Culture is the Mission

When my friend Kayla posted this quote from her pastor’s wife on her Instagram page months ago I knew it was something I needed hanging in my office. I wasn’t the only coach’s wife who thought so, it inspired this printable! Kayla has several other adorable wall hangings in her store over at The Fly Fox.


Coaches Wives Ministry is an excellent online support opportunity for wives at all levels. The yearly membership fee increases in January so this is the time to give a membership! From the website:


Fab Fit Fun This box is a fun surprise 4 times a year with seasonal gifts on-trend. From the website:

As a FabFitFun Member, you’ll get a box of fabulous finds in beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness? hand-picked by the FabFitFun team! Each box will contain $200+ in retail value. You will receive a Seasonal Box (4) four times per year.

Great Gifts for Your Coach this Christmas

Qalo Silicone Ring

Ordell switched to a Qalo ring awhile ago and it’s held up really well. His gold band became pretty misshapen from strength training. Qalo has a great message, tons of variety and a discount for sis.life members!


No more doodles all over the house! The Rocketbook system connects traditional handwriting surfaces with the power of the cloud and seamlessly transfers doodles to the computer. This book is also erasable and reusable up for a certain amount of times meaning that your investment will also reduce waste.

Backpack/Laptop Bag

North Face has a top-rated combination backpack and laptop bag. Not only will this allow Coach to carry all his gear and clothing for game day travel in one bag, but it will hold up for a long time.

Tickets to a Game

Send him and a buddy for a gameday experience. Coaches rarely get to be fans.


  • Audible is great for coaches who are hitting the road recruiting or don’t have time to actually sit and read.
  • KlutchClub gives the gift of healthy snacks

So there you go! A few items to add to your Christmas wish lists this year. Hope you found a few new ideas.

Please note: Occasionally a link will redirect you to a website that is a business run by another coach’s wife! I’m not receiving any money for promoting their businesses. Please support them if you choose to order products from the companies I’ve highlighted.

The Fear that Lingers with Coaches’ Kids

The Fear that Lingers with Coaches’ Kids

I called our boys down from their rooms the other night. Rarely do I bother them once they have closed their bedroom doors, but I’d remembered and forgotten 10 times over that day to tell them the news.

Boys! Come here please. They hovered in the door. Curious, nervous. I was distracted trying to pull up the internet link, so I paused a little too long.

“We’re moving… around the corner.”

I looked up just in time to see the fear flash across their faces, and for a moment I was confused. They knew we were looking at a house yesterday. They knew it was in town. What was there to fear? And then I realized.

Our boys will always carry a lingering fear that their temporary home is once again changing.

I can’t blame them, they understand their dad’s career is a hard one. They hear what people say about his teams and they’ve even heard an opinion or more about their father’s coaching ability.

More than that, our sons are smart. They have sharp memories and our sons are acutely aware that even when we are told that we won’t be leaving, they may soon learn we are because administrators are fickle, and sometimes they lie.

Why does Fear Linger?

Fear lingers with coaches’ kids because they see how much their dad sacrifices. Kids see how hard they are working outside the office for the team and how little else is getting done during the season.

Coaches’ kids understand that all their dads work as hard as they can, and they know that in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away because it all comes down to wins and losses.

What a life. To know that you will pack your room, say goodbye to your friends, your school, your teammates, your current comforts at any time and be asked to start over once again.

It’s no wonder that an unintentional pause causes momentary panic.

How Can We Help Reduce the Fear?

While I understand there is little I can do to eliminate that fear, I can do what I can to reduce the wonder. I’ve tried to encourage our boys to ask questions when they come up instead of holding them in and wondering.

When things may change we try to keep them in the loop as much as appropriately possible (like telling them we’re looking at a house). But this is a catch-22. It’s important to protect kids from themselves and not require them to hold onto secrets they will have a hard time keeping to themselves.

Knowing our kids’ personalities, one needs to verbally process sooner than the other. This means creating space such as ice cream dates or asking for help with errands so there is car time to chat.

Find Outside Resources

Don’t be afraid to seek outside support. Connect with your church, get kids involved in youth groups, mentoring programs, hobbies, and activities. It’s important to make sure that your kids have the outlets they need to properly express themselves and channel their fears rather than focus on them. While it may never leave, fear doesn’t need to dominate their days.

We’ve worked hard to point our boys to God and to help them develop independent relationships with him. We understand that God is the only one who will help them fully wrestle with their fear. He will also help them persevere when they hear those dreaded words once again.

While no solution is perfect, I’m most thankful that our boys have each other. They are good friends who know to look out for each other and include each other in experiences. They value their relationship with each other and will always have that with every move.

Dear Elijah – Year 14

Dear Elijah – Year 14

Elijah Walker

Dear Elijah,

Fourteen years ago you entered the world and forever changed our lives. You taught me in the first weeks of your life that very little of what would happen in the years to come could be controlled, and that where the impulse to control was present my best choice was to pray instead.

In the first weeks of your life, those prayers were for your tiny body to heal from the infection that raged to finally leave. We prayed most for the medicine to do its job and the PICC line removed so we could discharge from the hospital.

We’ve prayed for you to understand who Jesus is and to desire a personal relationship with your Savior.

We’ve prayed for you to make wise choices with friends and to develop good friendships.

We’ve prayed for our relationships with you, that we would parent you well, and guide you well.

Elijah, this year you’ve matured leaps and bounds. Your ability to discern information presented to you rather than blindly absorb any random statement that “sounds good” is something we are so thankful for, and is a skill we pray continues to sharpen.

You’ve also developed a more coachable heart this year. Since your birth, your dad has prayed that you would grow to be a tender-hearted warrior, and part of that requires a willingness to accept guidance. You’ve accepted guidance more this year than ever before and I’m thankful to continue to see that humility grow in you.

This year you’ve continued to embrace your opportunities in youth group. We’re so thankful for the leaders you are around, those that believe in training you to boldly pray. You’ve courageously stepped out and prayed for friends with expectation for healing. I pray you continue to expect to see God move as you pray courageously in the years to come.

You are a few months away from entering high school, one year away from being able to get your driver’s permit, and four years away from college. It’s hard to believe that it is likely there are so few years left with you in our home, and yet, when I think about all that has happened in just the past year leading up to year 14, it makes me so excited to see all will transpire in this next year.

Happy 14th Birthday Elijah,

May this year bring you deeper joy and bolder faith as you continue to develop a coachable heart and spirit of humility. We love you Son.

Momnesia Guest Post

Momnesia Guest Post

I’m writing over at Momnesia Guest Blogger today! The theme fellow coach’s wife Julie Short and worship leader Sarah Mclaughlin Sharing the stories we want to remember, and the ones we wish we could forget. I’m thankful Julie reached out and asked me to share. Today I’m sharing a lot more about my pregnancy with Levi than I’ve ever shared before.

Here’s a Preview:

Elijah’s first birthday fell on Mother’s Day. It was a busy weekend filled with a baby shower and birthday party. By the time Mother’s Day came around I was understandably exhausted, but that didn’t explain the other symptoms I was experiencing.

Sure enough, a quick test later confirmed I was pregnant. Twelve months earlier the same test was embraced with celebration, this time, only fear. I was under strict instructions not to get pregnant due to complications with my first pregnancy. Additionally, as an assistant football coach for a Division 3 college, my husband’s salary was not where we needed it to be to support a family of 4.

I waited as long as I could to share the news with friends. Due to the classification of a high-risk pregnancy and frequent ultrasounds, we shared the news that we were pregnant and having a boy all at the same time.

Celebration from others did little to quell my fears. In fact, with each approaching week I wondered if I would even meet my second child. But I didn’t share much more than that the pregnancy was high risk. It was hard to convey the reality of the situation because in many ways it felt as if I was watching everything play out from the sidelines.

You can read the rest over at Momnesia

Dear Coach’s Kid…

Dear Coach’s Kid…

dear coachs kid remember this when you move

Dear Coach’s Kid,

It’s time for another move, and well, it sucks. I get it. You were just starting to feel comfortable and this one, it stings. Before you get too deep into the moving routine I wanted to take a minute to tell you two things. First, I see you.

I see how sad you are to leave yet another home, another school, and another set of friends.

I see how sad you are to have to spend another semester answering ALL the questions that are NO ONE’s business.

I see how hard you are trying to keep it together for your mom even on the days when sadness gets the best of you, I know how many days you won the battle and you should remember too.

I see you packing up your belongings, trying to decide if you should keep the clothing from the team your family is no longer a part of, feeling torn between your loyalty to your Dad and your friends.

Here’s the Thing

I know it doesn’t feel fair to have to move again. You didn’t sign up for this. You didn’t choose to coach. And the reality is, even if you don’t love your current home familiarity is always better than the unknown isn’t it?

Is It?

Is it really better to stay than move? Are you sure? The longer I’m in this business and the more moves we add to our resume, the move I am convinced that while you, Coach’s Kid did not sign up for this crazy life, God knew exactly what he was doing when he added you to your family. He knew you before you were knit in your mother’s womb and he knew you would be packing boxes for another move.

Every move we’ve made has significantly benefited our kids and I believe you have the same opportunity if you keep your eyes open. God is not just moving your Dad on to coach. He is moving your family and he has unique opportunities available for each of you waiting because he knows you come as a package deal.

You May Already Know

You may already know that it usually takes a year to feel settled in a new town. You will feel like the outsider in your new community for awhile. It’s likely people will know who you are before you know them, especially teachers. It’s okay to feel frustrated about this. You know that you are going to walk a hard path AGAIN.

But remember, there are also benefits to moving. You now have another opportunity at a fresh start. Be your authentic self and I guarantee you will connect with people you want to be good friends with quicker than if you try to please the masses.

As you go through your days don’t hide how smart you are and certainly don’t minimize your talents. You were created by an insanely talented Creator who designed you with a unique purpose in mind. But, a word of caution, stay humble. There will always be those that are threatened by the new kid in town. While no one is expecting you to cater to this childish behavior, it is also great to avoid adding any fuel to the fire.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know you know this, but I’m reminding you anyway, because sometimes when we are sad we need reminders that it’s okay to ask for help.

This too will pass. You will get through this. You will feel settled, you will find your way around another school. You will find friends. You will feel at home again, and you will be stronger for this move.

I told you I had two things to tell you. The second thing I wanted to tell you is that you amaze me. You Coach’s Kid, you are the strongest kid I know. You are resilient, compassionate, smart, talented, and so stinkin’ sharp.

You have seen so many different people groups that you have a greater understanding of how people operate than pretty much anyone else your age. You know how to work a crowd and you are quick to identify the kid who needs a friend.

All these moves, well they are already paying off, and I know that doesn’t make it any easier. I do, because every time I think about moving my kids again I start to cry. Us parents, we get it. We know we are asking you to do something that is hard. It is hard for us too.

So, here you go again, sort, purge, pack, and goodbyes. It is not easy. But know that you are seen, loved and heard. I believe in you and I know your parents do too. You’ve got this dear one.


A Coach’s Wife who’s been there and wishes someone had reminded her kids of these things when she was so overwhelmed she couldn’t

They’re All Gonna Know Me

They’re All Gonna Know Me


A few weeks ago we attended our first high school curriculum night. Yep, that’s right. Next year we will have a freshman in our home and I think we are all hoping the weeks before August are slow and steady.

As we headed into the cafeteria to speak with teachers our son quickly realized something. Everyone already knew his dad. He turned and whispered “They’re all gonna know aren’t they?”

When They All Ready Know Your Dad

I was a little surprised this reality was just sinking in since my husband has taught and coached at the high school for two seasons. I’m not sure if E was hoping that he would blend in with the other students or that his teachers would over look the matching last names.

Regardless, all I could do was smile. “Sorry Bud, they already know who you are, and that’s not a bad thing.” was my response. Thankfully, we moved through the rest of the evening pretty smoothly, collected our information and went home to absorb the evening.

Of course August is still several months away, but I’ve chatted with a few coaching families and have an idea of what life may be like for our freshman next year.

There are benefits to being known. When you have a hard day you may have a little extra grace extended. Regardless, it’s likely your teachers will give your parents a heads up since they have quicker access to chat with them.

While it may not be seen as a benefit from the student’s perspective, as a parent, another benefit of having a teacher as a parent is that the other teachers are willing to push your student to try a little harder in class because they know they will have back up from parents.

On the expectations side, coaches kids and teachers kids who find themselves in the middle of a student conflict or hanging out with students labled troublemakers are likely to hear about it quickly and loudly. This can make it more challenging to make friends in some situations, but those are likely the scenarios you don’t want your kids to be a part of anyway.

Since it’s unavoidable, it’s important to remember that yes, the teachers are likley to recognize your student by name before they enter the building. So, take some time remind them about your conduct expectations.

Ultimately, whether your child has a parent in their school or not, there is a standard by which you expect them to conduct themselves. Knowing you are just down the hall is just an extra layer of incentive for them to make good choices.

Happy 12th Levi

Happy 12th Levi

Dear Levi,Levi Walker

Tomorrow you turn 12 years old. It’s hard to believe another year has passed and yet this year it seems you’ve matured half a decade or more.

Your interests remain the same in many ways. Xbox, soccer, coding, and friends are your favorite things. But you are always open to exploring something new too. You are seizing the opportunities school offers with cooking classes, German, and Art. You’ve also enjoyed your guitar classes. I love hearing you practice at random times through the week.

What more could a 6th grader expect out of life? Well, you are ready for spring adventures of camping, hiking and fishing already so I anticipate the next six months will continue to include new opportunities.

This year you took the request to help the football team to a whole new level. Your desire to be near your dad as well as your loyalty to him is clear, but you also did a great job of showing how willing you are to stick with a commitment even in harsh conditions.  You served the team in the pouring rain and freezing temperatures.

Your teachers tell us you are a great judge of character and it doesn’t surprise me to hear that, but I’m glad to know it’s consistent. You also continue to catch on to concepts quickly making your teachers continue to think of creating ways to keep you engaged in class at times.

2018 is also the year you became the second shortest person in our home. Yes, you are now taller than your mom and you are likely to pass up your brother at some point, but he’s still got a few inches on you.

Walker boys

You are attending youth group this year and I love hearing what you learned each Sunday and Wednesday. Of course, your deepest thoughts aren’t quickly presented, but when pressed your wisdom always makes me smile.

I can’t help but notice the similarities you have with your dad. It’s making me take a hard look at the nature vs. nurture theories. I’m not sure how observant you’ve been, but it’s pretty eerie at times.

Still, your dad is a pretty great guy, so if you continue down this path I have no doubt we will see great things from you.

Love you Bud, Happy Birthday.


PSA: What NOT to Say to a Coaching Family

PSA: What NOT to Say to a Coaching Family

What NOT to say to a Coach's WifeI’m writing over at Friday Night Wives. Here’s a Preview:

Hey sports fans! We’re transitioning seasons from fall to winter sports which has recently reminded me of all the hard conversations post season brings. I did a quick poll with confirmed coaches’ wives around the country and have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions we really wish we didn’t have to answer. I’m also going to explain why NOT asking these things will show your favorite coach’s wife how much you care.

Post Season

  • Are you happy the season is finally over?
  • Weren’t you supposed to have a better season this year?
  • How is your husband doing dealing with all the losses this year?

In the few days where there is little going on with coaching we aren’t trying to dwell on the season. We’re all adjusting to a new routine and enjoying a few more dates, but we aren’t happy the season is over. A short season means we didn’t win as many games as we could have and that is always disappointing.

Post seasons are filled with weight room workouts, individual coaching, recruiting, and a lot of film work. High school coaches are helping their upperclassmen connect with college opportunities. It’s also filled with a lot of meetings about how to improve.

  • Well, you can’t win them all!
  • What’s the big deal? It’s just a game.

These two statements may be the most frustrating of all for coaches’ wives. First of all, you CAN win them all when you have an undefeated season.  ? More than that, we KNOW that it’s extremely hard to win consistently year after year, which is why statements like “It’s just a game” or “You can’t win them all” are ones we just don’t know how to answer well.

Football (or soccer, basketball or baseball) IS a game, but it’s also an avenue to develop characteristics such as perseverance and integrity under pressure. Coaches help players learn how to work on teams and lead teammates. So, it is a big deal, win or lose.

Read the rest over here.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
Enable Notifications.    Ok No thanks