Can’t Bye This

If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s gotta be worth at least as many smells, sounds, and feelings. This photo was taken this morning, a football-free weekend for the Vikings because of the bye. John had a couple buddies over for an overnight filled with laughter, food, popcorn, more food, video games, and about an hour of community service project. They  had grandiose plans to rake leaves for the neighbors, but with wind gusts of 30-40 mph, that plan well, blew away :). So I suggested they offer to walk dogs in the neighborhood, and we started with John’s canine nieces (??). Maddie and Macey appeared thrilled to help fulfill their service hours, and the boys had a great time doing it.

What you can’t see in the photo, the sights and sounds behind the scene, is the essence of our Bye Weekend:

You can’t see Mike basking in his extra hour of rest courtesy of the end of Daylight Savings Time. Soon after the schedule was announced, we knew we would face a scheduling dilemma when we learned of Baylor’s Homecoming and tribute to the 1980 Cotton Bowl Team, which Mike co-captained. At the beginning of August when the schedule started to take shape, we looked for the Bye, knowing it would be our only real, true break from football until January and beyond. It’s tempting for us to fill it with travel opportunities, but this year we refrained from making any commitments because of one key calendar entry: State Volleyball Tournament. And our restraint proved to be wise, for Becky’s team did indeed make it, albeit without one of their key players, to the semi-final match. We wouldn’t have missed the excitement of that match for the world, especially since Mike’s football schedule keeps him from most of the kids’ events. So after picking the girls up from the Sadie Hawkins dance, and after John and his friends finally settled down to sleep, Mike slept and slept hard! 

 

You also can’t smell the 3 enormous loaves of banana bread that were baking at the time the boys set off on their walk. One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning, after attending church Saturday night is to get up early, and in the stillness of the early morning, bake. I’ve only recently begun to enjoy baking, and I thought I’d take advantage of the science-project bananas we had growing. I followed a recipe that had apparently already been doubled, which resulted in our having boatloads of banana bread.

Aside from the smiles on the boys’ faces, you can’t feel the peace behind the photo. I have said before that sometimes you have to fight for peace, and we did that this weekend. Instead of chaos, there was order. We traded the hustle and bustle for relaxation. The resulting quiet and calm was a mid-season gift that will sustain us through the holidays and beyond.

One final element behind the scenes is the slow transformation of the house as I ready it for the holidays. The timing of this bye weekend was perfect for dragging the decorations out, putting the tree up, and leaving the embellishments to me to tackle over the next few weeks. The Christmas carols were playing at a whisper while I burrowed through boxes, getting a vision for how I’ll deck the halls of this home that we’re celebrating Christmas in for the first time.

As our off-day nears a close, we’re readying ourselves for the upcoming week, and Mike’s brain has gradually shifted back to football, as evidenced by his computer…

We’re so thankful not to be dodging scurried passengers at the airport, or making our way across lonely highway stretches. This year, staying home was exactly what we needed.

 

 

 

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