In the summer of 2002, Mike and I were sitting on the back deck of our home outside of Chicago. It was a beautiful summer evening, and I was unsettled and upset while we sat there and talked of our future. We both knew that change was in the air, we were just uncertain as to what type of  life adjustments we were facing. Within a matter of months, Mike began his coaching career, and I had to … [Read more...]

Christmas in the NFL

Merry Christmas! It's Tuesday before the Saturday of Christmas, and I would imagine that 98% of workplaces around the globe are dialing down the deadlines, and dialing up plans for the Holiday parties. NFL teams would fall into the 2% of workplaces that will see no let-up in responsibilities as we approach December 25. If we're not careful, we can let Christmas celebrations get completely … [Read more...]

Behind the Scenes

It's not quite the top-secret 'Barbara Walters Most Interesting Person of the Year', or the People Magazine Sexiest Man of the Year, but there has been a certain level of buzz and enthusiasm for our annual Christmas card and letter. I think the excitement began several years back when I was still of child-bearing age, and I'm told the readers of our letter would scroll down to the bottom of the … [Read more...]

Sacrifices and Rewards

As parents, we rarely think about getting rewarded for the sacrifices we make for our kids. Or, at least, the reward isn't the motivation for the sacrifices we make. For instance, when you spend most of the night cleaning up after, consoling and rocking a toddler with an upset stomach, that moment when they finally fall asleep cuddly and fresh-smelling in your lap makes it all worthwhile. The … [Read more...]

Legacy of Love

When I turned 16, my grandparents sold me their old Plymouth Valiant that my grandmother named ‘The Fliver,’ for $200.  The Fliver certainly wasn’t much to look at and was incredibly un-cool, but I was so thankful for it and for my grandparents’ graciousness to sell it to me so affordably.  Back in 2000, when my grandfather knew his driving days were over and he was preparing to make … [Read more...]

Nerds vs. Geeks

Betcha didn't know there was a difference, huh? This past May, we had the opportunity to go to the LucasArts Facilities in San Francisco. That's the home of George Lucas and all of the creative forces behind Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, and a host of other projects I had no idea he was behind. Our son Matt, who is a 6'4", 255# defensive end and our future son-in-law OJ, the starting safety … [Read more...]

Letting go

It’s the first day of school, seems like for the whole country. If my Facebook friends are any indication, there is a lot of angst about letting kids go…whether to college, high school, elementary or pre-school. The kids’ first day of any new scholastic experience is often more traumatic for the parents than for the kids. Whether your child is the one that left your pant leg dripping wet … [Read more...]

Going Back

I know it sounds like I have done quite a bit of traveling this summer; because I have. Now, the younger 4 kids and I are in Tennessee to visit my parents. Let me clarify the title of this post: 'Going Back' probably conjures up images of going back to the small little house where we grew up, squeezing into too-small spaces with no air-conditioning and squeaky old beds. That's exactly the opposite … [Read more...]

Our Fathers

The way the NFL’s calendar is set with training camp beginning at the end of July, our vacation time is over by the time most family's begins.  So, in mid-June as soon as school is out and Mike’s break starts, we head out of town for several mini trips.  This summer, our vacation began in Chicago where Mike spoke at our former church, Willow Creek, to deliver the Father’s Day message.  … [Read more...]

Come and sit a spell

I live in snippets ~ I catch snippets of the news, snippets of the paper, snippets of the kids’ activities in between real responsibilities and some occasional relaxation. But the God of the universe doesn’t really do snippets.  He longs for us to have an uninterrupted, heart-felt conversation with Him through prayer.  He really cares, and He cares so much that He insists that we shut off … [Read more...]