Saturday, April 4, 2015

This wasn't the plan... well, my plan...

Talk about being nervous to work 5 hours in a store. This was something brand new. I had no idea what I was doing. I knew only the two people I walked into the store with. My Aunt and my Boo. We were doing this for the Bean. For Elite softball. I'd been asked to babysit the Williams that night. I would rather have been doing that...
but who could have known what would come next!
The Missouri Mavericks are a hockey team based out of Independence, MO. They were established in 2009. They were about 6 weeks into their 5th season when I walked into that teamstore. They were playing in the CHL when I worked that first game on December 7th. It was the first time I'd been in the rink. I didn't even own black pants; good thing Mary Shepherd did.
At 5:30, doors open. In come the people. It was fun. It was loud. And it was busy in that teamstore. I like those things. There were other Game Time Staff working, too. I knew who a few of them were by sight from Syd's team, but didn't really know them. One GTS lady was really nice to me. She had been there a lot of times. She told me if I liked it so much, I should tell the boss; she was looking to hire someone part-time. The boss, Nicki, was a pretty lady who had absolute control. She was very confidant; you could tell she was smart. Two other girls were there with her. Teresa and Victoria. They had everything ready for us to go, they knew the computers. They were good at what they did. Way better that I could I ever be, I thought. I worked on the floor. Talking to people, helping find sizes, always straightening. Loving the continual flow of people and having something to do.
Standing by the door to the concourse watching the game during the 2nd period, I smiled and said out loud to no one in particular, "My kids would love this!" Nicki was close by and heard me. She said, "You don't look old enough to have kids." I said, "Well, I don't. They are two cuties I nanny for." She asked me more about them and what all my job entailed. Her eyes got big and she said, "I've been looking for a you." This was the beginning of the end of life as I knew it in Missouri. I left that night with 5 tickets to the next game, a free burger coupon for 54th Street, and an interview. The woman who would soon become my boss at the Mavericks showed very clearly who she was that first time I ever met her: she was hard-working. She was tough as all get out. She was caring.
And she was extremely giving.
When I went back for my interview, I was again very nervous. "I know nothing about working a store," I thought. I just do kids and playing and cooking and cleaning... how was I going to do this job!? The answer? Lots of hard work. Lots of good training. Lots of messing up. Lots of POD runs. And lots of hockey games.
Now, at the end of the 6th Season, I've grown to love the Topshelf Teamstore! Think I'm crazy all you want, but it seriously is one of my favorite places to be... because I LOVE the people I work with and what we do while we're there. I've been pushed hard to learn and grow. To do my best. To aim not for good, but for GREAT!
Teresa and I became managers in August of 2014. This was a big step from my 20 hours a week I'd been doing when I was hired. Nicki's plan was to work one season as our boss, and then to be able to be out... back home to her own flock of sports players in the making. The Mavericks were a family affair: husband running the upstairs, wife running the downstairs, and the kids running the whole arena with their cuteness. Those 6 are not only my bosses and cuties that I spend a lot of time with, they are also my friends. They have shown themselves to continually be: hard-working, confidant, caring, and SO giving.
The foursome which were the Teamstore girls during our 5th Season was a crew alright! Teresa, Victoria, Mallory, and I have become good friends. They make me laugh and we hang out and do fun stuff together. Teresa and I work together very closely now. She is one of my best friends. We are opposites in many ways, but funny enough, those opposite areas are what make us work so well together... we are pretty much an old married couple. It's always gonna be ok at the end of the day. She's got my back, and I have hers.
This season has been exciting, FULL of change, very difficult, a huge amount of work, and I've LOVED it. As strange as it sounds to say, this little GA girl LOVES hockey! I love the upstairs staff and our Game Time Staff. Love the bosses and love the players. Mac, our mascot has ALWAYS been my favorite. One of the best people I've gotten to meet is the guy who keeps the rink looking nice. Ron ALWAYS has a smile on his face and has time to ask you how you're doing. He remembers that it's about the little things.
So, no. I didn't really want to volunteer that night for the Mavs. But I did it for my aunt. And I can't even begin to tell you the blessings that have followed from that one choice... 
It wasn't my plan... but it was HIS.
I'm SOO thankful that HE brought the Missouri Mavericks into my life! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's been a long time, friends.

Hi! It's me again... that girl from GA who lives in MO who adores people way more than any other blessing there is on this gorgeous earth of ours... Yeah. Me. :) I hope you're doing well. I've taken a LONG break from blogging. I've not even always kept up with FB. I've been doing better about that lately. I miss you all and want to stay connected.This week has gotten me to thinking about this blog, and I thought, "Why not pick that back up... if nothing else than to catch up the past year..." That it's been 4 years now since I made the choice that this would become my home, BLOWS my MIND! But, here we are, coming up on May 26th... for the 4 year anniversary mark of "Living in the Sunshine." Wow. Lots has happened
So, I plan to tell you about my life. Our apartment. The Missouri Mavericks. A couple incredible families of 6. My co-manager. My red car. How much I love the Royals. Really just how much I love baseball and softball in general. That I'm not scared to drive a golf cart anymore. How mad I can get these days. How much I LOVE Sour Patch Kids. How cuddling baby Teagan was one of the sweetest things I've ever done. Not to mention the awesomeness which is getting a whole stack of letters in the mail!
Speaking of which,
I just read all the letters and honestly, I feel like I just went home for a week!! It did me that much good. They make me smile, bring back great memories, make me cry, and they make me laugh out loud! There are so many little elements of love and care written into the pages of these letters. It cannot be put into words, but it can be put into my heart. I treasure that my Moma and lil sister write me often, with letters from other family members making history in my weeks when they arrive as well!
It's too late to start telling you everything about my life now. For now, just know: This is a happy little girl who just had a very busy, sweet, funny, good, hard, emotional, God-focused week! Who saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Who watched the rain, saw flowers budding, and listened to birds sing. Who drove a lot of hours and never went more than 50 miles from home. Who made new friends, saw old friends, and prayed for all of them. Who knew she was loved by HIM first, and true friends and dear family next. Who is putting Heaven as the #1 goal in life, and thankful for all those who push her to keep on keeping on!
What a good week! So happy that tomorrow is Sunday; it's time to start all over!
"I will enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter His courts with praise.--
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!"

Saturday, July 28, 2012

GA with the Cuties!

Darren went for a bike-ride in Colorado with Uncle David for a few days... the kiddos and I flew to GA for almost a week. I was one lucky girl to be traveling with such cuties! =) Aunt Debbie took us to the airport. We had a great flight, so funny to be "out in public" with my kiddos somewhere where we didn't know anybody. We always do events and outings with friends. The kiddos did wonderfully flying and through the aiports. It was SO wonderful to hug my Daddy when I got to GA. I had not seen him at all in 2012. Or Christina either. That is just wrong. WRONG, I tell you.
CRAZY KIDDOS~ who soooo make me laugh. Carter's birthday cake-- his birthday came while on his trip. Woot, woot. Fun times sharing it with my family. Lucky Charms breakfast, lunch at TFTW with the incredible staff, playing at the fountain with friends, afternoon making cake and playing, then presents, friends over for supper, outside time, and LOADS of playing inside.
Happy Birthday, Precious Carter!! (That. Cake. Was. GOOD!)
We all got a present from my sweet family. We were TOTALLY spoiled on this trip!! (Look at those smiles!)
The wonderful, beautiful, smart, extremely talented ALYSSSSSSSSA! AKA. MY BIG SIS!!
4 of the cutest kiddos in all the world. Kenna, Aislinn, Carter, and Kellen. MY SWEETHEARTS!
 Patrick and Shonie came back through GA, which was the best surprise ever! I was so thrilled that my kiddos were able to meet them. We had a great time singing and visiting together, as well as doing fireworks! The kiddos loved the sparklers!!
 My fanatically awesome sisters, sweetheart, goofy kiddos, and the amazing and crazy couple made for a fabulous Friday night!!!
 Laughing TOOOOO hard to breathe! That's the way to play, baby!!
 Riding, just like Dad... OK... Maybe not exactly like Dad, but close... :D
 Alyssa taught McKenna and Maggie how to knit. It was not only awesome to have so many chances to learn new things and try out some new things during this trip, but it was also awesome to see my GA kiddos and my MO kiddos playing together!!
 Tree-climbing happened every day in GA! Woot woot! This is my tree-- and I still got it goin' on! I can climb that tree... just wait until Dustin comes to my house and tries it. He's gonna get to the TOP!
 MY FANTASTIC FAMILY!!! What a blessing to spend so many days together. I looooooved every moment of it!
 Sisters forever and for always!
 Carter really loves Christina... and Christina kinda likes Carter, too. Christina did an awesome job on college while we were there-- she can give GREAT speeches. Alyssa is doing wonderful work at TFTW and on sewing and decorating. I have such talented sisters!! And parents, too, who are just sooo sweet.
This is one of my favorite pictures. It just shows home life. It was wonderful to have time to "just LIVE," as Pollyanna would say. Talking IN PERSON with my family, working in MY HOUSE with my family, looking out at MY TREES with my family, riding in MY VAN with my family... AND MY KIDS WERE THERE FOR IT ALL. Life doesn't get better than this!!!! 
My sisters and I had many meals on the livingroom floor, on these plates, on towels. Wonderful memories. :) 
 The very best part about this trip is that I didn't have to tell these sweethearts goodbye. I was with them almost every minute on this trip (although I did get to have uninterrupted showers while in GA), and I was thrilled to come home with my babies and continue making memories every moment of every day. 
I. Am. Blessed. 


Chapel, Ethan's session. I'd heard so much about camp that I felt like I was coming back to a place that was like an old friend to me... :)
Many Bible lessons throughout each day. VERY good...
The lovely Noller girls who I totally enjoy spending time with...
KATIE!! It was my first time at camp with THE GIRL who made me so excited to come-- and our KenKen, too!

Awesome girls!
Sweet Best Friends Forever!
SAM! I was so excited to see Sam there. I didn't know she was gonna be there! :) I love those kinda surprises!
Come on, Bean! Knock Ethan into the water!
It was beautiful out there, I really loved the setting of camp!
My lovely Aunt Tammy~ I got to stay with her for a couple days while the girls were at camp. She is so fun to be with. I love her good heart and her sweet laugh so much. She helps me to be a better person!

 JJ's week!! Katie and Kara~ ohhh yeah!!! She is such a great friend. I am very blessed to have her in my life!
 Carter and Kenna LOVED camp!
 The sweetheart, Kate! I love her hugs!
 Tired out girlies...
 Camp wouldn't be possible without these people right here. Our awesome Staff. The cooks, counselors, random other workers... MADE THE WEEK GREAT!! It is a blessing to have such great examples for the kiddos to look to at Camp.
 Rylee sang~ and wow, did she do a great job!
 My Lys! My Cousin! My friend!
hee hee =)

Camp was amazing! I am thankful to have been able to be a part of it, and to share it with the kiddos, too. I am excited for when they are old enough to stay over night (though also not wanting them to be that old!) The camp I went to when I was a kid was so wonderful, so encouraging, so uplifting. This camp,


is just the same!! <3

Monday, July 23, 2012

Carter Boyd, my Big and Tiny~

The little man turns 4!! 
Wow. He was JUST two when I moved here... 
then quickly turned 3... now. 4?!
He is one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest (when he wants to be!), and kissable little dudes you've ever seen!
He likes to dress himself-- notice the two pairs of shorts and the two shirts and the top one being backwards-- he says, "I wike it this way." =D
Carter Boyd and McKenna Anne in their birthday jerseys from Dad. They are cool kiddos just like their parents! Carter puts a million things around the waist of his pants without pockets-- so, I'm sure you can imagine what happens when he HAS pockets to put things into-- FULL!
"Baby, you light up my world like nobody else!!!"
When Carter comes to give you kisses, when he tells all about his dragons and dinosaurs, when he laughs so hard he can hardly breath, THAT'S when you know that life is AMAZING. =)
A little tiger found his way into my house the other day... he is precious and sweet, funny and smart. He melts my heart in a moment. His imagination is too big for words! He talks all day long and sings constantly. I LOVE IT!
Opening presents with Dad during his birthday party. SO fun. I love the Heck and Morton families all being together. What a blessing my kiddos have in their families.

The awesome Uncle David Heck is Carter's birthday buddy. SO neat. I love sharing my birthday with a friend is Australia and some of my adopted grandparents for their anniversary. Carter loves his Uncle David very much! :) So, a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! to MD!
Watch it... he's after YOU!
Carter and Kenken are both summer babies,
so we have a lot of WATER FUN on their days!!
I pray for this little man every day. It is such a blessing to watch him grow. When he tells me answers to Bible questions, I get so excited. When he shows me something new he can do on his own, I'm thrilled (and sad inside, too!). One day, I hope that he will be just as loving and caring to a wife as he is to me. He makes me feel like a princess. 

Happy Birthday, baby. 
I love you.