Unbreakable Chapter 12-Beautiful Day

The weeks leading up to Homecoming were as exhilarating as they frenzied. It was impossible to not get caught up in the enthusiasm and school spirit. The Cheer Squad had designed the most incredible Float that Lincoln had ever seen. It was a Hollywood Themed Float complete with a Red Carpet, cameras, plenty of lights and best of all the Football Team in tuxes and the Cheerleaders in their formal gowns.The excitement and general sense of camaraderie surrounding the Homecoming events was infectious. Even Brad and Johnny had worked together to make giant Academy Awards figurines for the float.

Lincoln demolished the winless Jackson Jags 34-3 to ensure that their homecoming game would be played on their own field against neighboring rivals Lisbon Leopards.

The excitement was so overwhelming that when Natalie recalled it in years to come it would be hard to focus on anything else but that euphoric on top of the world feeling that you get when you are having a great day and you are certain that it is only going to get better. It was a fantastic day to be a Football player, a Cheerleader and a resident of the small town of Lincoln.

Lincoln handled their business under the Friday night lights defeating Lisbon with a final score of 31-29,  narrowly edging out the Lisbon Leopards with a 30 yard touchdown with 7 seconds on the clock in the 4th quarter, winning the game to a cheering hometown crowd.

Lincoln played their kind of offensive game with relative ease. Brad was not overly efficient on the ground, but Johnny had a bit of a “throw-back” game. He caught Lisbon a bit off-guard. He scrambled for his first rushing touchdown of the season on a read-option run. He ended up leading the team in rushing with 64 yards.

More importantly was the effective passing game. Although the wide receivers did not come together as they hoped, Johnny was able to make plays in the passing game, showing excellent touch.

The final score did not really reflect the Lincolns defensive effort. Brad had a great catch and run with both starting safeties out of the game. Lisbon added a couple of late touchdowns but this game was all Lincoln and the hometown crowd was wild. Lincoln made stops as needed, but claim they were never really threatened.

The reward of course was the final score and an exciting hometown win.

Long after the crowd filtered out and the moon began to take its place in the darkening sky, Natalie found Johnny before he left the field. He had already shaken a plenty of hands and rumour had it that there were some College scouts in the stands keeping a close eye on him during the game. He had played impeccably and the smile on his face spoke more than words ever could.

“Can I have an autograph?” Natalie asked jokingly as she approached. Johnny scooped her off her feet and held her in the air above his head. Apparently the excitement had not faded. He let her down slowly, her body sliding down the length of his before her feet touched the ground.

“Congrats,” she said, embracing him. “That was exciting!”

“That felt great!” he exclaimed,  squeezing her ” Sorry I am a sweaty mess”

“Are you kidding” she joked playfully,  “after that performance they are selling Johnny Miller sweat on Ebay!”

He laughed and flashed her his heart stopping smile “Don’t worry it will always be free for you!”

“I feel so special,  she claimed, rubbing the back of her palm across her forehead  and feigning a swoon.

“It’s been a great week. Wow.” he shook his head in disbelief.

“I am dying to tell you something that is going to be the icing on this sweet cake” she began.

He looked down at her in her pretty cheer leader uniform, her bouncy ponytail moving excitably as she spoke. He imagined her saying she had broken up with Brad and several scenarios filled his teenage brain. He wanted to pick her up again, swing her in the air, then hold onto her forever. They would walk off the field hand in hand and she would proudly wear his jacket around her shoulders. He would bend to kiss her before they went to their prospective locker rooms and when he looked back she would still be smiling at him and he would still feel the heat of her lips on his.

“Did you hear a word I said? Natalie asked, playfully punching him in the arm.

“I’m sorry. You have great news.”

“Focus Johnny. The man with Blanche tonight is an old friend from high school, he is the head couch at  Alabama State. He couldn’t take his eyes off you. Can you change and meet us at the diner?”

Johnny looked like he was going to faint, “Alabama Crimson Tide is the top ranked University football team in the U.S.”

Natalie roller her eyes “Uh huh. Now go get changed”

Johnny made his way to the shower through a sea of high fives but even as the steaming water fell over him it couldn’t wash away the feel of her against him. He was nerved up about meeting the coach from Alabama. His coach had told him to expect some calls in the next couple of days from college scouts, apparently it was becoming more common for them to scout the smaller areas for hungry talent and Coach Jones had offered to help prepare him. Tonight he would be thrown into an impromptu meeting with a Coach he would never have dreamt of meeting and he couldn’t think clearly because thoughts of Natalie crowded into every spare inch of his brain.

The very smell of her intoxicated him. If asked to describe it he could only think of happiness. She smelled of sunshine, the soaring mountains, ocean waves hitting the rocks, a crackling fire, cloudless skies and lullabies, and her eyes, as green as fresh mowed grass and always so wondrous. Being with her gave him the same comforting feeling one would get when waking up and realizing it was the weekend and being able to close your eyes and sink into the soft warmth of your bed but at the same time his heart beat faster than a child during playground skip rope. He was nervous and conflicted but more excited than he had been about anything in a long time.

She looked up when he walked into the diner. It was for a brief second before she looked down again, desperately trying to conceal what her eyes were saying.

” The windows to the soul, always a certain giveaway to what the heart is speaking to the mind”, Blanche would often say.

Orange Rhino Challenge

Orange Rhino Challenge


I heard about The Orange Rhino Challenge from my friend Sandra. My first thought was that I don’t really need this but then I recalled accidentally calling Sandra a couple of days prior while my 13 year old and I were having a screaming match. I do try really hard to keep my cool but I am noticing more and more that my teenager is screaming and yelling. Chalk it up to the age or hormones but it is not right and when I lose control and start yelling it is a bad situation gotten worse. The longer I refrain from yelling the calmer and more in control of the situation I feel. Once I lose it we are not getting anywhere. It doesn’t make me heard any more then the fourteen times I asked her calmly to do something but what it does is escalate the argument to a whole new level and now we have a hormonal out of control adolescent and a crazed mom. It is extremely draining. So needless to say I decided to join the challenge and journey along with my longtime friend Sandra who is working very hard to give up her habit of yelling. Our goal is to go 365 days without yelling.

Friday March 29, 2013 Day 1

I started the challenge this evening and things went well. I was just chilling with the kids, it was a holiday weekend, I had no obligations the next day and we all got to sleep in. The kids went to bed when they were tired so there was no heated bedtime yelling. In the bag….goodnight!

Saturday March 30,

I had a nice sleep in with my husband who made it home for Easter weekend for the first time in five years. I made a lazy brunch and we curled up watching movies. My oldest got bored so I took her to meet friends. I felt relaxed all day and very little pressure. I was even conscious when I was out not to yell manically at bad drivers Lol. We had a nice dinner, picked Morgan up, relaxed and cuddled on the couch. In the bag. Goodnight!

Sunday March 30th Day 2

Happy Easter. Our eight year old was so excited for Easter but it was after 10 am when she woke us up. Well rested I made us a big breakfast while Kirk took the girls to Sobey’s to pick up some last minute dinner fixins and came back with my favorite treat, an extra large black 711 coffee with two hazelnut shots. By the time they returned I had breakfast almost ready and all the pre-prep for Turkey dinner complete. Kirk went downstairs to watch hockey, Morgan played on the laptop and Haley played outside with friends. I was busy all day basting the turkey, doing laundry and wiping Haley’s dirty footprints off the floor. As irritating as it was I kept asking her nicely to take her shoes off on the map…calmly. By the fifth time she got it. We had a couple friends over for dinner and a couple glasses of wine. When they left, Kirk, Haley and I hung out singing tunes while Morgan retreated to the basement. Kirk and I stayed up after the girls went to bed and at some point had a disagreement, or more a difference of opinion  Sometimes I forget that Kirk is entitled to his own opinions and I don’t always have to agree and it doesn’t always have to be an argument trying to get him to see it my way.   I felt strongly that my opinion was the only right one and I found myself feeling argumentative so I put myself to bed.

Mon April 1. Day 3

Last day of March Break and Kirk went back to Kearl Lake this afternoon. We had had a good and relaxing weekend and I was feeling very confident about not yelling and everyone getting a long. Haley stated pushing my buttons and testing my patience early in the afternoon with her whining and bugging me to get her neighbor friend. I told her they could play outside only. Within minutes they were in the house and they sounded like a herd of elephants in her room. I was feeling testy and I wanted to yell at her so I texted my friend Sandra for support. We had to leave for voice lessons so I called Morgan upstairs from the basement where she was on a TV and uncombed hair marathon. I asked her to unload the dishwasher to which she replied “You called me upstairs for that? I was in the middle of watching TV!!! Why should I do your job?” I very calmly informed her that it would be in her best interest to do as I asked and we left.

We returned to the same mouthy teenager. She had unloaded the dishwasher but she was in a foul mood. Haley dared to ask a question while she was absorbed in a show and she lost it. When I asked her to stop she lost it on me. She had a very loud tantrum and the calmer I was the louder she became. She hated her sister, I was blind and always saw Haley’s side, we should have gone out of the room and left her alone. Loud, louder, louder, she was out of control but I kept my cool. I gave her to the count of five to go calm down in her room before I took her Roller Derby practice away for the entire week. She left, mouthing the whole way but immediately came back to yell some more only to be told calmly again to go to her room. This time she slammed and punched the basement door and was banging the walls upstairs. I came upstairs and tried again to calmly tell her to settle down in her room. At one point I had to hold her arms and tell her to settle down. Somewhere in there is my sweet little girl, I don’t know what happened within the course of a day to bring out this monster. Somewhere between her hurling insults at me and bad mouthing her sister I lost it and yelled. I caught myself really quickly but to be fair I did it. I felt defeated. I managed to finally get her to go to her room and calm down. After a bit we talked and I found out she was in a big fight with her friends and it was weighing heavily on her. I explained to her that our home was our “Safe Place” and she could not scream and yell at us and smash around. Tomorrow I will start over, tomorrow will be a better day!

Head on over to Sandra’s blog to cheek her progress. http://www.mylittleboyblue.com

This is a song me and my co-workers used to sing when we worked in Sales at Leon’s Furniture. During Sales we would be crazy busy and we worked twelve hour shifts and sometimes we encountered some trying customers. I sing this song in my head when I am trying to stay calm and not yell! It’s cheaper then wine.