Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Basketball weekend

So before we had kids, I would like to think we were just the greatest aunt and uncle duo.  We loved playing and spending time with all our amazing nieces and nephews...and tried to get to their games/activities as much as we could.  When we weren't busy.  Ha.  Well being the parent to two little kids now, our busy has a whole new definition and it makes it a lot harder with early bed times and nap schedules (let alone the fact that kids aren't really a fan of being dragged everywhere or constantly sitting through basketball games) to attend their activities.  We have been totally slacking the last two years and realized we have been missing out.  Missing the mark as our important role of family and aunt and uncle to our wonderful nieces and nephews.

So last weekend, we didn't have much scheduled- so we decided to compile the basketball schedules of five of our nieces and nephews and hit the ground running on the times that worked for us.  We ended up not being able to attend one game (Kenlie's) because it was during nap time- but she was Charlie's entertainment later at her brothers game.

So we started off Friday night heading to KCMO to watch Eli play at St. E's - it was so fun because it was the last set of games so they announced each kid's name and they ran to the center court before the game!!

Charlie got spoiled by uncle par off the bat by being introduced to the concession stand- lets just say he didn't have to actually "go potty" 14 times during the game...but he made sure to walk by the concession stand every time....

I love this picture of Eli after being announced!!

Eli DOMINATED.  Like I'm not kidding- he was an animal on the court and scored 16 points- I think his all time record!! He plays a mean man to man defense too- we were so proud and so was he!!

We tried to snap a shot at the end but apparently only he got the message to look at the camera!

Totally unrelated to basketball- but we got up and got going early on Saturday for Maren's game at 8am and look at what jimmy brought upstairs for me to eat after he went to the gym.  #yum #winninghusband #21dayfixapproved

Oh - and these two.  Yeah, they were excited to wake up if you can't tell!

Anyways- we braved some icy roads and made it a little late (let's be honest, if we are on time that is the anomaly these days...) to Maren's game.  She was amazing too- such a great dribbler and leader on the court. She is so smooth with the ball and much more in control than many of the other girls- very impressed!!!

I love how Charlie has already had enough of life- and how Maddie is grinning at Maren!  She was a rockstar!!

In between games, we played dress up at home while organizing the basement toys a bit.  Charlie is obsessed with Scooby Doo - so this was pretty exciting for him.

Then Charlie took his first instagram at Norah's game.  I seriously had no idea.  He was playing with my phone (in an attempt to keep him sitting down) and when I got my phone back I had a text message from my sister with a screen shot of my latest Instagram post.  Oh Charlie Carter.  Should I be impressed or not that he can post on insta??

Oh wait - Maddie was there too.  But she was much happier just sitting there watching.

Charlie was not a fan of these pictures - but Norah looked so adorable!!  She had too much fun during her game because the girl she was guarding was a girl that was in her class and they wanted nothing to do with the game.  I love girls in kindergarten.  And watching them play basketball - it's amazing and hilarious all at the same time!

In between Norah and Ben's game - we needed to eat.  All of us, including little miss.  So we decided to dine in somewhere - which if you have kids or have ever had little kids, you are well aware is a feat in itself. So we went to this old Pizza Hut by our house that we have never been too that is like a small town Pizza Hut with the dining room and salad bar.  And guess what?  There was NO one there.  SCORE.  So while Maddie slept, Charlie ran around the restaurant and read lots of books that they had and climbed in booths and it was marvelous.  Because that's right, no one eats in at a Pizza Hut anymore in Kansas City - except us.

Try it out friends with small kids!

When we headed to our final game of the night at a middle school by our house, I was worried the kids would crash.  But since there was more room to run around and more cousins to entertain Charlie and Maddie - all was good.  They had so much fun and so did we watching Ben. 

Have I mentioned that Charlie is obsessed with his older cousins??  Yep, he is.  Look at how sweet they are together!!  This melts my heart.

And the one picture that he finally posed for.  So cute!  Just missing Will and it would be a complete Carter boy cousin picture!!

Ben did awesome and it had been a while since we had watched him play - it's crazy the difference just a few years makes - from watching him in kindergarten versus fourth grade is a HUGE change.   And the cutest thing?  When we were all walking out, Ben and Charlie were holding hands.  Pretty sure I died of cuteness.

It was a crazy 24 hours driving all over and getting in and out of the car with all our STUFF and kids - but so worth it.  We were so proud to watch Eli, Maren, Norah and Ben play - and we are sad we missed Kenlie's game that was during nap - but at least we got to see her at Ben's game...and she seemed to have more fun not playing the game and just playing with her friends!

It made me realize how lucky we are that our families are both here.  It's just pretty great to have everyone so close and get to experience life with them.  And even more now that we have our own kids.  It makes me realize how lucky Charlie and Maddie are to grow up with BOTH sets of grandparents just a few minutes down the road and all of their aunts and uncles and wonderful cousins so close.

I so hope that their cousins will not only be their cousins but some of their best friends and of course, role models.  Because our nieces and nephews, they are pretty special and we are so lucky that we are able to live everyday life with them!!!!

The next day, my parents met us at our church and there was a phenomenal sermon on generations and the important role parents and grandparents play and that just made me even more grateful - especially when my parents took Charlie for a special day alone with him at their house where they played Barbies, pinball, made cupcakes, took a nap and had a grand old time.  So when they delivered him back to us that evening when we all met for dinner at my sister's house (again, just down the street) - I couldn't have felt more grateful.  I missed him so much during the day (yes, it's so crazy but true....) but it was so nice that he had such a fabulous day with them.

I think the lesson is learned - we need to do less "stuff" and make it a priority to go to our nieces and nephews games, be a continual part of their lives and remind them how much we love them...because yep, they are that important and I never want to forget that!

Oh and now Charlie won't stop playing if anything, Jimmy loves that.

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