Sun, Sand and… Surgery

It’s bye week for the Falcons! NFL wives pretty much live for this week. Our husbands work long hours seven days a week during the season and this is the one week out of a 22+ week season that the players have time off. For the last eight seasons we’ve traveled home to Kentucky for bye week. And even though I LOVE going home, we’ve always toyed with the idea of going to the beach during his week off.ja-pensacola-beach Well, this year Jacob finally took me to the beach for the bye! Can I tell you how incredibly WEIRD it felt wearing plaid at the beach? SOOO weird! Why I chose that shirt for our trip, is beyond me. I think it was the 4:15am wake-up call!

Unfortunately, we are not at the beach for vacation. We are here for Jacob to get season ending surgery on his shoulder. While this certainly isn’t what we had planned and dreamed of for this season, we know that God will use this season in our lives for good. And we are holding onto to that promise! Jacob has been SO blessed with his health through nine seasons in the league. To play nine NFL seasons without a single surgery is unheard of. He’s somewhat of a unicorn. Of course, he would die if called him unicorn, but I don’t really know any manly mythical characters, so unicorn it is.

aj-portofinoWe flew to Pensacola early Wednesday morning and it was fun to be heading back to our old stomping grounds. Pensacola Beach was our first big move after we were married. In January 2008, we packed our bags and headed south for Jacob to train for the NFL Combine. The condos I’m pointing to in the photo above is where we lived for two months. It was our first of many adventures and it was so fun to go back and see one of our old homes.

jake-in-recoveryThis morning, Dr. Andrews operated on Jacob’s shoulder and he is doing great! The surgery went well and he’s ready to recover, heal and rehab. We feel so fortunate to have Dr. Andrews and his team take such good care of Jacob. He is literally the BEST in ortho surgery and he was so kind, caring and humble. He put us at ease and we had such peace about the whole process. They even let me watch part of the surgery! I was not expecting to watch, but getting to see the inside of Jake’s shoulder was really neat and gave me a new understanding of what the surgery entailed.  I was SO happy to see his smiling face when I got back to recovery.

jacob-post-opHe was a pain free but hangry when we left the hospital.

jake-lunch-in-pensacolaNothing a little Panera couldn’t fix! We get to head home to Atlanta tomorrow. Please pray for complete healing for Jacob, that he will be a good patient and that I will be a good nurse!

nurse-alHere I am in all my nursing duties, also known as: personal driver, medicine distributor, ice pack changer and carrier of all things (since he is short one arm). Oh, and if someone wants to come to my house and cover that gray hair you can see in this pic, that would just be amazing!

A Friendly Reminder for Fantasy Football Owners

Football Field 1I wrote this letter last year and every single word of it still rings true today.

 

Dear Fantasy Football Owners,

This, my friends, is the most glorious time of year. The air is a little more crisp, the temperature is slowly dropping, pumpkin spice lattes are being purchased and… it’s football season!

With football season comes fantasy football season. Some of you are very serious fantasy football owners, some enjoy a casual competition, others may have had their spouse twist their arm to participate, while others may have been lured by free food at a draft party. No matter the manner in which you decided to become a fantasy football owner – congrats! You own a “team”! Hopefully, it’s your dream team that will bring you to victory.

Fantasy football can be a very serious competition in some leagues. This competition can lead to some VERY disgruntled owners – men and women alike. Disgruntled owners often feel the need to vent their frustrations to the players they “own” (and the entire world) via social media, which is where I want to focus this letter – the all too popular player bashing that’s ALL over the internet. Yes, my husband plays in the NFL, so this topic is personal.

As we sat around the table for Christmas dinner last year, we were surrounded by several of Jacob’s teammates. In attendance were a rookie, a Pro Bowler, a player who is the highest paid at his position in the league, and several veterans, all of which had been threatened, harassed, ridiculed and belittled on social media. As I listened to the guys talk about things people had written about them on Twitter, I realized that even these rough and tough NFL players can be bullied. There is nothing more cowardly (or silly) than personally attacking someone that you’ve never even met, and yet it happens day after day online. I dare say, not a single one of these online bullies would EVER be brave enough to say to an NFL player’s face what they have said online. Hiding behind their electronic device gives them a sense of security and social media gives them a voice – and a way to voice their opinions directly to athletes through mediums like Twitter.

I’m not naive. I’m not asking for sympathy for NFL players. I realize that they choose to play football for a living and therefore they choose the spotlight. However, they didn’t choose to be bullied, online or otherwise. [Jacob says “bullied” is not the right word to use… But I don’t know what else to call it!]

People feel the need to ridicule players when they don’t perform to their standards, which is just crazy. Have you ever had a bad day at work? Missed a meeting? Been late to an appointment? Lost a client? Didn’t close the big sale? Has your student ever failed a test? Or your child been disobedient? We ALL have bad days at work, no matter the profession. Usually a bad day at work elicits a “better luck next time” or passing the blame to [insert your excuse]. What excludes NFL players from that? The fact that their work is displayed for millions to see each week. Can you even imagine if your work was on network tv and shown to the masses? Yeah, me neither.

It seems so easy to bully NFL players. I mean, on the news they are portrayed (and sometimes rightfully so) as cheaters, womanizers, thieves, drunks, and even murderers. It’s easy to see them as something other than real people. However, when you’re on the inside of this fraternity of sorts, you see things a little differently. Before you decide to bully one of your fantasy football players, remember this: The VAST majority of men playing in the NFL are men of character and integrity. You may see them catch touchdowns on Sundays, but on Tuesdays they are visiting the pediatric cancer ward at the children’s hospital. On Wednesday evenings they are attending Bible Studies. Thursday nights are spent signing autographs for children at the local grocery store. The off-season is spent running non-profits and organizing fundraisers for charities. They use their breaks between practices to call fans with terminal illnesses. These men are not the thugs the media portrays them to be and they are certainly not deserving of the hate that is spewed at them when they drop a pass, throw an interception, or otherwise don’t play to the standard that would have helped win a fantasy football game.

So, fantasy football owners, my one request is this: Please be kind. What you say (or write) says much more about you as a person than the player you are writing about.

Regards,
An NFL wife

Football Fridays: College Colors Day

Football Field 1Today is College Colors Day, which means one thing… football season is here! And I mean REAL football, not any of this pre-season nonsense. Wear your College Colors Day was started in 2004 and I was first introduced to it when I worked at an office in Lexington. We were encouraged to “dress down” and wear jeans and a t-shirt to celebrate. Hello? Of course, I was a big fan of this new found holiday.

Tomorrow our family will be sporting Blue and White for the University of Kentucky. Many of you know that I’m actually a Hilltopper by degree, but Wildcat at heart. While I will always root for WKU, Kentucky holds a special place in our family and in our hearts. The University of Kentucky has been a HUGE blessing to us and continues to be. The people that work in the athletics department treat us like family and we are forever grateful for their continuous support: of our family, of Jacob’s career, of our charity golf event… the list could go on forever.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures we had taken of our family before training camp began. Our amazing photographer, Katie Davis of Kat’s Eye Photography is seriously one of the best. We’ve always been blessed with crazy good photographers, but Katie can always bring out Luke’s real smile. Always. It helps that she attends the same church and has a daughter Luke’s age. If you are in Central Kentucky and need family photos, she is your gal! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just look at the magic she worked with our crazy crew! Wow! I’m thinking about getting custom wallpaper printed with these photos because I can not choose just a few to print and hang. Ok, I would never seriously print custom wallpaper… but it did cross my mind.

fan day 03 This was our first picture ever taken at Commonwealth Stadium. It’s blurry and terrible quality because it was probably taken on a $3.99 disposable camera from Walmart. Crazy how things have changed since this was taken. It was August of 2003 and I was SO excited to go to Fan Day at UK so I could see my boyfriend. I’m not sure why *anyone* let me in the stadium in this get up. White tube top, Nike shox, glitter belt… y’all.

UK/UF Game 2004This is the only other photo I have on our Mac of us from our college days. The rest are stored on our external hard drive and it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to retrieve them. Well in all honesty, I’m sure 99% of the population could figure it out, but I just don’t have the patience for that. (read: lazy) This was after UK played Florida in Gainesville in 2004. They had moved the game up in the day because of an incoming hurricane. I think the humidity may have been over 1,000% and UK had an ugly loss. It wasn’t pretty. But, I asked for a picture with Jacob after the game and he agreed. And even smiled. I knew he was a keeper way back then! On a side note, I look like I’ve been crying. I don’t remember why. It could’ve been from the ugly loss , the extreme heat (I don’t sweat pretty) or maybe the fact that I was heckled by Gator fans… we may never know.

KAT_0004And here we are today! We’ve been together for 15 years… whoa. Seven homes, four states, three teams and two babies later.

UK Luke with FootballThis boy made me a Mama and he has my heart. See that smile I was talking about? Only Katie can get that out of in him in front of the camera.

KAT_0016Miss Priss is our little spitfire and is so sweet we can hardly stand it. We have no idea where her nearly white curls come from, but we sure love them. And that (not so) little gap in her front teeth, I just love it too. One day we will spend thousands to get rid of it, but for now it is just so cute!

KAT_0028Can it get any sweeter than this? Lyla Rae stole Jacob’s heart from day one and she thinks her Daddy is the best thing since sliced bread. She cries every day when he leaves for work and asks for him multiple times during the day. I’m basically chopped liver, but at least I fill her sippy with milk on command and ya know… gave birth to her.

KAT_0123I love everything about this shot. I love that even though he is growing fast and is a big school boy now that he still lets me love on him without complaint. I love that his hair is sweaty because that’s how it looks 90% of the time.. And I love that Katie edited out my gray hair! Thanks, girl!

KAT_0106Jacob is usually a good sport about all the crazy things I put him through except for when it comes to taking family photos… he loathes them. However, once he found out I had planned a UK themed photo shoot, he was hooked. We couldn’t get him off the field and he actually asked Katie to take more pictures. What?!?

KAT_0098Hard to imagine what life would be like the first time we stood on this field together. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. My goodness we’ve had our ups and down, trials and joys, and so many insanely crazy days, but he has always been my constant true North.

KAT_0049And last but not least, our Luke taking the field at Commonwealth. I’ve always said I did NOT want Luke to play football. I even started the hashtag #mamalikesnoncontactsports. I just don’t think I could bear watching my baby boy get hit. However, when I see this picture my heart swells with joy. Maybe football isn’t so bad after all.

And just to clear things up in our hometown: we will be changing in to BLACK and GOLD for our crosstown rivalry football game tonight! GO REBELS!

Sunday Scriptures + Snowpocalypse

Be Still and Know that I am God

photo credit: www.rubyforwomen.com

I had great intentions of taking a picture of my snowy backyard and putting this verse on it. However, it is just too dag on cold to even open my back door, so I found the lovely pic above during a quick Google search

This verse has proven to be full of truth the last few days for the Tamme family. During football season we are in a constant state of being busy, then we came home to Kentucky and jumped right in to the busyness of building our forever home. Then, snowpocalypse hit and we were forced to be still. It snowed for 30 hours straight and we couldn’t leave the house due to terrible road conditions. We made the most of it and played in the snow and watched lots of movies with kids. I think we were all ready for some downtime.

Luke and Lyla Snow 2016They loved the snow! Well, Luke loved it! Lyla enjoyed it, but refused to wear her mittens. I put them on her and she just said down and screamed “OFF” until I took them off of her hands. Needless to say, she didn’t last long without them.

Lyla Snow 2016Lyla Rae’s first time playing in the snow lasted all of about ten minutes. I think she may be more of a summer and swim baby than a winter and snow baby.

Luke Snow 2016Luke was determined to dig us out. Our driveway is 1/10th of a mile so he and his sand shovel didn’t make a dent! Hah! Thankfully, our sweet neighbor, Mr. Baker, came to our rescue and cleared our driveway *twice* with his John Deere tractor.

So for two days we were still due to the snow storm and then both kiddos got hit with the stomach bug.  First Lyla Rae and then Luke. They were both SO pitiful. So today, we continue to be still. Being stuck inside and camped out on the couch allows us to really focus on our family and be thankful for the health we do have. Every time one of us gets sick, it reminds me how much we need to rely on God. Yes, doctors, medicine, oils, or whatever else your go-to is for illness are all great, but He is the Great Physician and ultimately controls our health. Being still also reminds me to be more grateful for my health. You would think after my cancer diagnosis I would be more appreciative of my good days, but health is something you often take for granted until it’s gone.

I’m also enjoying the slowness of these days to get caught up on life and start blogging again. We will see how that goes!

Hope everyone is staying warm!

Blessings!

p.s. GO BRONCOS and GO CARDINALS! I have friends on both teams, so it’s an easy choice!

Victory Monday

Happy Monday, y’all! It’s VICTORY Monday in our house today! Yes, the Falcons won yesterday and are 2-0, but we are celebrating an even bigger victory today! Yesterday was my “Good News Day” – the day I gained the NED designation. If you haven’t been a cancer patient, the word NED might not mean much to you. But to me, it’s basically my favorite word of all because it stands for “no evidence of disease” in other words… cancer free! Since Jacob was in New York all day yesterday, we are celebrating the 2nd anniversary of  my Good News Day today! If you are new to the blog and haven’t read about my cancer journey you can read about it here and here.

September is famous for Childhood Cancer Awareness month, but it’s also Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. I had never even heard of thyroid cancer until a few months before I was diagnosed. And even though it’s one of the fastest growing cancers among women, it still isn’t mentioned when the cancer conversation comes up because it’s dubbed the “good cancer” due to its high survival rates.. News flash: There isn’t a good cancer. Sure, my hair didn’t fall out and I didn’t spend months in the hospital, but I am *still* dealing with the repercussions of this disease and will for the rest of my life.

Since most people are uneducated about thyroid cancer, I want you to know a few things (things I didn’t know prior to January 28, 2012).

  1. Check Your Neck. Seriously. It seems so simple, but no one does it. Women will be bombarded with all things pink next month to remind them to do monthly breast exams, but I’ve literally never heard a single person tell me to “check my neck”. Not even my doctors mentioned it, until after my diagnosis. To do this simple check, first, locate your thyroid. It’s right above your collar bone and below your Adam’s apple. Next, stand in front of a mirror and take a drink of water and swallow it to watch for any lumps, bumps or knots. Then, use the side of your hand and slowly move it up and down the front of your next to check again for any lumps. That’s it. It’s that simple. If you feel something that doesn’t seem right or is new to your neck, please call your doctor. check your neck

2. No one is immune to the threat of cancer. No one. My only risk factor was my gender. I had no family history of this type of cancer and I was only 28 when I was diagnosed.

3. Take care of your body: it’s the only place you have to live. I have recently become a little slack in taking the best possible care of my body, but my Good News Day anniversary has reignited my fire to do so. You can control two of the four things that contribute to cancer: diet and exercise. It’s actually pretty simple… eat the rainbow, don’t eat junk and move your body! Don’t you want to reduce your cancer risk by doing those simple things?

4. Eat foods that contain iodine. Iodine is crucial to your thyroid health. These types of foods include anything that comes from the sea (fish, seaweed, etc.), dairy products and eggs. You can also buy salt that contains iodine.

5. If you feel that something just isn’t right with your body, call a doctor. My first symptom of thyroid cancer was my toes tingling. It then spread to my legs and arms. My doctor did a CT to check for a pinched nerve and that’s when they saw the tumor on my thyroid. I had been feeling a little sluggish, but attributed it to having a toddler and the stress of football season. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, seek help.

Now that we’ve gotten all of the serious stuff out of the way, can we talk about the Falcons game I mentioned earlier? My sweet hubby caught his career long catch with a 41 yard haul from Matt Ryan. He’s just getting better each year. 30 is the new 23, right? Hah!

 

A Letter to Fantasy Football Owners – Football Friday

Football Field 1

Dear Fantasy Football Owners,

This, my friends, is the most glorious time of year. The air is a little more crisp, the temperature is slowly dropping, pumpkin spice lattes are being purchased and… it’s football season!

With football season comes fantasy football season. Some of you are very serious fantasy football owners, some enjoy a casual competition, others may have had their spouse twist their arm to participate, while others may have been lured by free food at a draft party. No matter the manner in which you decided to become a fantasy football owner – congrats! You own a “team”! Hopefully, it’s your dream team that will bring you to victory.

Fantasy football can be a very serious competition in some leagues. This competition can lead to some VERY disgruntled owners – men and women alike. Disgruntled owners often feel the need to vent their frustrations to the players they “own” (and the entire world) via social media, which is where I want to focus this letter – the all too popular player bashing that’s ALL over the internet. Yes, my husband plays in the NFL, so this topic is personal.

As we sat around the table for Christmas dinner last year, we were surrounded by several of Jacob’s teammates. In attendance were a rookie, a Pro Bowler, a player who is the highest paid at his position in the league, and several veterans, all of which had been threatened, harassed, ridiculed and belittled on social media. As I listened to the guys talk about things people had written about them on Twitter, I realized that even these rough and tough NFL players can be bullied. There is nothing more cowardly (or silly) than personally attacking someone that you’ve never even met, and yet it happens day after day online. I dare say, not a single one of these online bullies would EVER be brave enough to say to an NFL player’s face what they have said online. Hiding behind their electronic device gives them a sense of security and social media gives them a voice – and a way to voice their opinions directly to athletes through mediums like Twitter.

I’m not naive. I’m not asking for sympathy for NFL players. I realize that they choose to play football for a living and therefore they choose the spotlight. However, they didn’t choose to be bullied, online or otherwise. [Jacob says “bullied” is not the right word to use… But I don’t know what else to call it!]

People feel the need to ridicule players when they don’t perform to their standards, which is just crazy. Have you ever had a bad day at work? Missed a meeting? Been late to an appointment? Lost a client? Didn’t close the big sale? Has your student ever failed a test? Or your child been disobedient? We ALL have bad days at work, no matter the profession. Usually a bad day at work elicits a “better luck next time” or passing the blame to [insert your excuse]. What excludes NFL players from that? The fact that their work is displayed for millions to see each week. Can you even imagine if your work was on network tv and shown to the masses? Yeah, me neither.

It seems so easy to bully NFL players. I mean, on the news they are portrayed (and sometimes rightfully so) as cheaters, womanizers, thieves, drunks, and even murderers. It’s easy to see them as something other than real people. However, when you’re on the inside of this fraternity of sorts, you see things a little differently. Before you decide to bully one of your fantasy football players, remember this: The VAST majority of men playing in the NFL are men of character and integrity. You may see them catch touchdowns on Sundays, but on Tuesdays they are visiting the pediatric cancer ward at the children’s hospital. On Wednesday evenings they are attending Bible Studies. Thursday nights are spent signing autographs for children at the local grocery store. The off-season is spent running non-profits and organizing fundraisers for charities. They use their breaks between practices to call fans with terminal illnesses. These men are not the thugs the media portrays them to be and they are certainly not deserving of the hate that is spewed at them when they drop a pass, throw an interception, or otherwise don’t play to the standard that would have helped win a fantasy football game.

So, fantasy football owners, my one request is this: Please be kind. What you say (or write) says much more about you as a person than the player you are writing about.

Regards,
An NFL wife

Sunday Scriptures (Tuesday Edition)

ABC verse Y

photo credit: www.verseoftheday.com

Well, if I keep making my Sunday Scripture post a day later each week, I will eventually have them back on Sunday, right? I’ve just been behind on lots of things lately (especially my blog), but honestly, I’m kind of enjoying not being on top of things. Luke starts school in two weeks and Jacob’s first real game is soon after that and then our life starts getting very scheduled and busy… like crazy busy. So for now, we are just enjoying our last few summer days, skipping out on chores that will get completed eventually, taking spontaneous trips to the splash park and not having a schedule. With that said, when we do have a schedule, I tend to be more productive. So, hopefully I will be blogging more… I have a few fun things planned for this fall, so stay tuned! (hint: giveaways!)

Can you believe this is the second to last verse of the ABC Scriptures? I’d be lying if I said I knew them all by heart, but I’m working on it!

 

Lyla Rae is ONE!

KAT_1869 How is it possible that my sweet baby girl is ONE YEAR OLD?!? It seems like she was just born yesterday. You know the saying, “Life is like a spool of thread. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” Well, I certainly believe it. This has been the fastest year of my life! If you follow me on Instagram (@mrsallisontamme) I warned you yesterday that there would be a picture overload today on the blog. I love photos and can never narrow down which ones to share… so I just share them all! Hah!

Here is the story of her arrival:

Jacob was in Denver at the Broncos Training Camp and Luke and I were staying in Kentucky where Lyla would be born. We had scheduled a c-section for the afternoon of August the 8th. Jacob would be able to fly in that morning and I had a detailed itinerary printed out so that everything would go smoothly on delivery day. Well… Lyla Rae had other plans!

The night of August 4th, 2014, I was putting Luke to bed and felt the sharpest pain in my belly. A pain I had never felt before. You see, I was induced with Luke and had an epidural and then an emergency c-section, so I had no idea what real labor felt like. I thought it was just one of those weird pregnancy pains. Then it happened again about 15 minutes later. And again. And again. I called Jacob to let him know and he suggested that I call my parents. By this time it was 11:30pm and I knew I was in labor. I was completely freaking out because Jacob was 1,200 miles away. I felt so alone because I knew he wasn’t going to make it in time.

Thankfully, my parents and in-laws were only 5 miles away and they both immediately got out of bed and came to our house. My in-laws stayed at our house with Luke, who had no clue what had happened as he had fallen asleep. My parents drove me as fast as they could to the hospital in Lexington, which is about an hour away. I know everyone who has been in labor knows the feeling, but oh my gracious, it was NOT a fun car ride. My sweet Daddy was speeding with his emergency flashers on and (carefully) running red lights all the way to the hospital. I think we made it there in 35 minutes flat! My mom kept calling Jacob and giving him updates and at some point he decided to leave his hotel room at training camp and drive to the Denver airport. He didn’t even ask permission, he just left. He later called his coach and told him he was gone to explain his absence at bed checks.

By the time I got to the hospital and got checked in I knew she was going to be born any minute. When they first checked me I was already at 8-9cm. And right after that, the lady at registration asked me to write my e-mail address on a form on a clipboard that she promptly handed me. I took the pen and threw it at her. If you know me at all, you know that is SO not like me. But come on! I was in labor, lady! I won’t go into all the details, but I knew I had to have a c-section instead of a natural delivery even though I was already so close to delivering. So, my mom got dressed in scrubs and they wheeled me into the delivery room. I remember looking the anesthesiologist in the face and telling him that he was my new best friend. Hah! At that moment he was!

All I kept thinking was that Jacob wasn’t there. It was so sad and yet so joyful. I knew he was getting on a plane to come see us, but he was going to miss her birth. It all just happened so, so fast! My mom held my hand the whole time and before I knew it, I heard my sweet Lyla Rae screaming as she entered this world at 2:17am. My mom was the first one to hold her and she brought her over to see me. Through my tear filled eyes, I saw my baby girl for the first time and I was simply overwhelmed by her beauty. She was truly a miracle! A blessing from God! I knew our lives were forever changed for the better because she was with us now!

IMG_4059The first time Jacob met Lyla was on Facetime. We are forever grateful for Steve Jobs and the Apple Corporation for their awesome technology that allowed an incredible Daddy/Daughter moment on Lyla’s birthday. She was screaming her head off in the nursery where they took her to be monitored and my mom brought in the phone with Jacob on Facetime. As soon as Jacob started talking to her, she stopped crying. All of the nurses said one big “Awwwwww!” in unison! I know no one would probably believe that, but thankfully we have it on video! We didn’t want to wake anyone up to announce her arrival, so Lyla was our little secret until 7 the next morning. Then the calls, texts and visits began. Everyone was so excited and surprised by her early arrival.

IMG_0642

Jacob meeting Lyla for the first time via Facetime!

KAT_1820Since Jacob could only stay for one night in Kentucky, our friend, Katie Davis from Kat’s Eye Photography came to the hospital to take pictures for us. I am SO glad we have these photos. They are some of my all time favorites!

KAT_1836I love how real this photo is. How much love there is in the picture. How much change occurred that day. How grateful I am for my family.

IMG_0594 Since yesterday was Jacob’s day off, we celebrated Lyla’s birthday a day early. She loves baby dolls, so we took her to the American Girl Doll Store to pick out a Bitty Baby. I’m not sure who had more fun… me or Lyla? Hah! She squealed the entire time we were in the store and wanted to touch, hold, and kiss every.single.doll. I think we annoyed everyone else in the store because she was SO loud, but SO happy!

IMG_0608This was the moment when they handed her her new Bitty Baby. Love at first sight!

IMG_0613Can you tell how much she loves her?

IMG_0651Today, we went to practice so Jacob could give her a hug on her real birthday. It was a sweaty hug, but a birthday hug nonetheless.

IMG_0478Can’t believe that you were ever so tiny! You are now walking and climbing all over the place. You never sit still and you haven’t met a food you don’t like. You love to play, but your favorite activity is reading books. You have the sweetest personality and have never met a stranger. You know what you want and you let us know about it! Hah! Happy Birthday, baby girl! We love you so much!

IMG_0670And one last picture of Luke because he is the BEST big brother! He accepted his new role with ease and doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body for his sister. He loves her fiercely and is her best friend and protector. We love you too, Luke!

Details on her Pink Lemonade Birthday Party will be on the blog tomorrow. I’m so excited to share our first party on Everyday Allie Rae!

Falcons Training Camp Begins

IMG_0523

Atlanta Falcons Training Camp – our first camp picture as a family of 4


Every time we switch to a new team I feel like a rookie wife all over again. Even though this is our eighth season (8? Really? How did that happen?) I was totally lost when I walked into camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia. As I walked in the gates with Luke and Lyla in tow, I realized I didn’t know a single soul. All I could think was, “here we go again”. Switching teams is a very lonely process at first. It takes time to find friends and meet the people that will soon become your support system. I so desperately wanted to see my old friends from Denver, but have already met one or two wives that seem to be very sweet, and for that I am thankful!

Last year, I was pregnant with Lyla and she was born in the middle of camp, so needless to say, we didn’t go to a single practice. In fact, we were away from Jacob for three weeks and it was miserable! I vowed to never be away that long again because as hard as it was on me, it was even more difficult for Luke to not have his Daddy around. So this year we will be going to practice every single day. Most people don’t realize that NFL players do not get to come home during training camp. They have a few days off during the 3 and a half weeks of camp, but other than that they do not get to come home. I know it’s nothing compared to the deployments that military families endure, but it is still hard to be a single parent and live in a city where you virtually know no one. While it isn’t easy, I sat at camp today and just soaked in how amazing it all is. That Jacob is playing in his eighth NFL season with his third team and we get to sit and watch his dream continue to come true. We are around the NFL so much that I often forget how special it really is… it’s truly a dream come true!

IMG_0516Luke was so excited to go to camp! He is ALL about football right now, but I’m still pushing for golf! Hah!

IMG_0520Atlanta is crazy hot, so Lyla stayed hydrated by drinking pouring water all over herself.

IMG_0563This is the moment we wait for all day! As soon as practice ends, the players head to the fan area to sign autographs and then… its a mad dash to Daddy! It’s so sweet to see how excited they are to see him. They both tackled him after practice today. He was pretty excited to see them too! It is totally worth wrestling my kiddos for three hours in the 100 heat to get to see this moment.

IMG_0536We get to spend about five to ten minutes with him once practice is over and then its back to work for Jacob. Thankfully, we know that we get to see him again tomorrow.

IMG_0569Jacob left his helmet on the field after practice today and Luke asked if he could go get it for him. They walked across the field and Luke had the biggest grin on his face. It was so cute to see how excited he was to be on the field. I think he’s enjoying becoming a Falcons fan.

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Luke Tamme in his daddy’s football helmet at the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp

On the Move

Well, we did it again. Jacob and I have been married just shy of eight years and we now have had seven addresses. Whew!
We found out that we were moving to Atlanta on March 18th while we were on vacation.
Then, we flew to Denver on the 25th to pack up and load all of our wordly possessions on a moving truck.

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Moving out of our Denver home in one day required large amounts of coffee!

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Jacob showing off that we did it! Every thing out of the house in ONE day!

Next, we drove to Atlanta to find a place to live on the 30th and moved in on April 9th. It has been a whirlwind to say the least.

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This kid had a rough first few days, but he has adjusted really well!

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This truck was realllly long… It had our stuff and two other families’ as well!

Everyone keeps asking, “Are you all settled in?” While I would love to say that yes, we are all settled in to our new home, that would just be a big fat lie! When we moved from Indy to Denver all of our boxes were properly labeled and color coded because, well, I love organization. However, with this move we didn’t exactly have time to be organized. We basically just started throwing things in boxes and labeled all of them “Misc.” So when it came time to unpack, it was basically one big scavenger hunt! Hah! We moved in on a Thursday and we didn’t find the sheets to our bed until Tuesday. Seriously. We were a mess!

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Told ya… a complete MESS! It looks a little better now, but not much! Hah!

We now have nearly all of the boxes unpacked, but there’s still a lot of work left to make this house our home. I feel like it takes a good three months to truly get settled in. I’m still opening the wrong cabinet to grab my coffee mug and I’m still opening the pantry door thinking it leads to the garage. We are so blessed to have a new home, but it’s going to take some getting used to!

Hand Embroidered State Pillows

Pillows from www.uncommongoods.com

How cute are these hand embroidered pillows? My parents started gifting us these pillows to commemorate all of our moves and I’m so excited to be adding another to our collection! I’m also really excited to be back in the South! It just feels like home!