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!

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.

IMG_0530

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

7 Free Father’s Day Printables

IMG_0742

Father’s Day is just a few days away and if you’re needing a last minute gift idea, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve rounded up my favorite FREE Father’s Day printables. Some of these I’ve used in years past, I used two this year and the rest I’m saving in my back pocket (well, actually on my Pinterest board) for next year.

The last two years I’ve done an interview with Luke about his Daddy. They have always turned out hilarious, meaningful and sweet! Since Luke is getting older, I wanted to do something a little more and after a quick late night Pinterest search I found the perfect Father’s Day gift from Luke: a book!

FREE_Fathers_Day_Printable_Book-Tinyme

You can find the free printable here! You have to subscribe to TinyMe to download it, but you can unsubscribe if you don’t want to receive their emails. I’m actually thrilled I found their site because they have SO many cute ideas! Anyway, here ‘s a sneak peek at Luke’s book for his Daddy!

IMG_0730_2He forgot to draw Jacob’s body but he remembered to draw his beard! Hah!

IMG_0732I love that Luke drew a red Falcons jersey on his Daddy!

IMG_0733This cracked me up! Let’s hope we don’t have to ever test out Jacob’s bravery on this one!

My_Grandpa

This is the first year I’ve done an interview for my dad and Jacob’s dad from Luke. It was quite funny to hear his responses. I’m sure both of his grandfather’s are thrilled to know that Luke thinks they are 99 years old! Hah! We used the printable above from Persnickety Prints!

Father's Day Questionnaire copy
This is the interview printable I’ve use the last two years for Father’s Day. It’s from Kinzie’s Kreations and it’s simple and short!

Tee-rific printable
How cute is this idea for a Dad who loves golf? Give a gift of tees and a round of golf with this cute bag topper from Tatertots & Jello! Luke gave this to his Daddy last year along with personalized ball markers from Designs By Dawn Renee.

n*d-DadsDayTicketBookThis Dad ticket idea is too cute and one that I will use next year. Kids (or moms) can write down what each ticket can be redeemed for! I think Jacob might like his to say “an afternoon nap” and “homemade chocolate chip cookies”. This free gift idea is from Nellie Design.

Nuts about PapaThis idea from Liz On Call is perfect for my dad! My kids call him Papa and we gift him a giant jar of cashews every Christmas! Next year, he might get a jar for Father’s Day too!

Father's Day Banner This little banner caught my eye yesterday! We don’t normally decorate for Father’s Day, but this free banner from Ringmaster’s might just inspire me to!

Isn’t it great that there are so many free resources online for adorable gifts? I consider myself pretty crafty, but I’m very appreciative that these bloggers have done all the work for me on these gifts!

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.

IMG_5170

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

IMG_5185

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.

IMG_5381

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

IMG_5390

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!

IMG_5427

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!

Aloha! – Our Hawaiian Vacation in Review

Last October, Jacob was nominated as the NFL Players Association representative for the Denver Broncos. Right after he was nominated, they informed him that he would need to attend their annual meeting… in Maui! They also let him know that he could bring his family with him! Vacation in Hawaii? Yes, please! Get ready for a picture overload from our trip! I’m happy to share all the adventures we take with you, but really, I love having a place where I can record this part of our lives. I know when I’m 80 I will want to read and remember everything we did .

So… fast forward five months and our family of four plus Jacob’s parents jetted off to Maui for work and play. The meetings were held at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua and we stayed there for the first five nights of our trip. Well, technically Jacob didn’t, but more on that in a minute! The resort was absolutely breathtaking! It was situated on a little bay and had a fabulous pool surrounded by cabanas that were perfect for my babies to take their afternoon naps!

IMG_4512_2

View from the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Kapalua in Maui

IMG_7007

Our family with Jacob’s parents at the welcome luau

    After 12 hours of flying, a two hour lay over in Los Angeles and a debacle at Dollar Rent a Car, we finally made it to our hotel. It was only 4pm local time, but to our East coast bodies, it was 10pm! As soon as we arrived Jacob headed off to his meetings and we met him that night at a luau for the player reps and their families. We were greeted with leis and enjoyed a traditional luau meal. They even had a kids buffet and a fun craft station to keep the little ones busy.

The next day was our first full day in Hawaii and Jacob had meetings from 7am until 7pm. I was shocked to learn the the player’s wives also had meetings! Say, what? I thought I was on vacay? I was relieved to find out that the “meetings” were actually fun activities for the wives to do while the players were working. [Jacob’s note: My meetings were real meetings.] About 35 NFL wives participated in the painting class that was held oceanside. We also had a private hula lesson afterwards. So fun! I was happy to find out a fellow NFL wife and Kentuckian was there as well. I got to sit with Amanda Masthay, wife of Tim Masthay, former UK and current Green Bay Packers Punter, and her darling son while we painted. We had a blast! It’s always great to get to know other ladies that are in the same phase as life. We mostly talk about people and former teams that we have in common, moving tips, and our kids! I’m sure you’ve seen those “Housewives” shows, but I’ll assure you the ladies were so kind and sweet!

IMG_4463

Our oceanside painting class. My painting is the one in front of the empty chair!

IMG_7047

Amanda Masthay and I with our masterpieces!

Due to the 6 hour time difference, we were usually awake each day around 4am, which honestly, isn’t too much different from my normal wake up time these days. On Monday morning, the 16th, we were all wide awake when Jacob got a text from his agent, Bill, saying that he needed to call him back. Of course, we were all excited because Jacob was a free agent and we knew it meant one thing – a team had interest in Jacob. That team happened to be the Atlanta Falcons! We soon found out that Jacob would need to leave Maui and fly to Atlanta to meet with the Falcons coaches. His flight was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and he would return to Hawaii on Thursday! Wow – talk about racking up frequent flier miles! Good grief! I was sad for him to leave us on our trip, but I was also SO excited for the opportunity for him in Atlanta. We spent the rest of Monday on cloud 9, talking about all the “what ifs” while lounging around the pool and beach.

IMG_7040

Lyla’s first time in the pool! Bathing suit: Zulily, Headwrap: Ruby Blue

IMG_7114

Bathing suit: Janie and Jack, Hat: my niece’s hand me down from Gap

IMG_7462

Luke, our little goofball! Swim trunks: Old Navy

Monday night, we drove to Paia for Jacob’s 30th birthday dinner at Mama’s Fish House. It was recommended to us by several people and it did not disappoint! The open air dining room was very quaint and the food was phenomenal. All the fish was caught locally and the name of the fisherman who caught it was written on the menu. Very neat!

IMG_7271

Before Jacob left for Atlanta, we hiked to the Nakalele Blowhole. I found this blowhole in a tour book I borrowed from my sister. In the book it said that the trail was not clearly marked, but that it was manageable. I thought everyone was going to kill me when we pulled off the side of the road at mile marker 8, just as the book explained, and saw that there literally wasn’t a trail. Whoops! I was determined to see the blow hole, so off we went! We walked on a trampled grass path for several hundred yards and then we came to a steep rocky decline. We weren’t even sure if we were supposed to go down the cliff, so my father-in-law went down first to check it out. He waved us on so down we went, with an almost four year old and a six month old! Smart? No! Worth it? Definitely! The picture below shows the cliff we went down. Can’t you clearly see the marked trail? Hah!

IMG_4591

When we arrived at the blowhole it was breathtaking! We sat on the rocks and watched it spout for nearly an hour. Sometimes it would just gurgle and sometimes it would spout 50 feet in the air! In the background, humpback whales breeched in the ocean. It was truly amazing to experience this hidden gem of God’s creation!

IMG_4603

The mist from the Nakalele Blowhole was refreshing after our long, hot hike! Lyla was a trooper and didn’t make a sound the entire time!

On Tuesday, Jacob made the long flight to Atlanta and we patiently waited to see if he would be offered a contract with the Falcons. It felt like weeks passed by (it was really only half a day) before he called to let us know that they did indeed make an offer and that they had agreed to terms! Aka: The Tammes are moving to Atlanta! Woohoo! It was nearly bedtime when we found out the news and it was great to be able to sleep on the fact that Jacob would be joining the Falcons!

IMG_5491

Jacob and Bill finalizing his contract with the Atlanta Falcons!

The next day, we went whale watching in Lahaina on one of the Pacific Whale Foundation’s charters. I was so disappointed that Jacob had to miss it, because it was incredible. We had been whale watching pre-kids in the Caribbean, but only saw the fluke (tail) of one whale. We just so happened to be in Maui during prime whale season and we were sure to see several whales… and boy we did! Within fifteen minutes of leaving the dock, a mom and her baby were spotted. The baby whale, seen below, was breeching and playing in the water, while the mom followed close behind. We saw lots of other whales as well! If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure you go during whale season! Luke learned SO much about nature and science from experiencing it!

IMG_7346

A baby humpback whale breaching in the Pacific Ocean.

Luke was very timid about going up on the top deck of the catamaran, but by the end of the two hour sail, he was brave enough to sit out on the mesh at the front of the sailboat with me. My in-laws had Lyla in the cabin of the boat and I soaked up my one on one time with my little man as the sun set over Maui. I will never forget his sweet face when he overcame his fear and stepped out on the mesh.
IMG_7400
On Thursday, we flew to Honolulu where we met Jacob at the airport to finish out the last three days of our trip. At this point he had flown nearly 36 hours in last five days… whoa! Which explains why he fell asleep in the hotel lobby one afternoon! Hah!

IMG_5139

IMG_7596

Jacob and his dad, Theo, with Mr. Sterling Cale, a Pearl Harbor survivor.

While most of our time in Maui was spent at the pool and beach, most of our time in Oahu was spent site seeing! Our first stop was Pearl Harbor. We got there early in the morning, as they only allow 2,000 visitors per day and we didn’t want to have a long wait. We prepped Luke about our visit to Pearl Harbor by explaining to him (in kid terms) what happened there and that we needed to be somber and respectful while we were there. To our surprise, he actually was… except when we met Mr. Sterling Cale, SGM. Mr. Cale was in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Before we met him, we explained to Luke that he was a survivor and to shake his hand and tell him thank you. Well, Luke walked right up to him and shook his hand then turned to me and screamed, “Mama, he’s on Survivor!” I tried to hold it together and not laugh, but I just couldn’t do it. Thankfully, Mr. Cale is well in his nineties and couldn’t hear what Luke said and was distracted by conversation with Jacob and his dad. We got to spend a few minutes talking with Mr. Cale and he told us about that dreaded day. He worked as a pharmacist for the military and was at the dispensary when the Japanese attacked. He ran from there to the harbor where he dove in the water, under the burning oil, and pulled people (and bodies) on to shore. He explained how he wasn’t able to surface because oil was on fire across the surface of the water. He told how he and others spent the next six hours trying to save as many people as possible. Wow. This man was a true American hero. He is one of the reasons why WE are able to live freely. It was truly overwhelming to shake his hand and speak with him.

IMG_7605Lyla slept during our entire tour and woke up just before we left, so this is the only picture we have of here there. See the bright blue sky and palm trees? It’s hard to imagine that this was once a war zone. So.very.humbling.

If anyone is still reading this ridiculously long post, thank you! Hah! Stick with me, I’m almost finished!

On Saturday morning, we hiked to the top of Diamond Head! I wore Lyla in the ergo and Jacob was prepared to have to carry Luke piggy back style most of the way up. However, to our surprise, Luke hiked the entire way up and down by himself! We were so surprised, we bought him one of those super tacky shirts that said, “I hiked Diamond Head!” Hah! Diamond Head is actually part of an extinct volcano crater. Here’s an aerial photo of Diamond Head that I took from the plane as we flew home.
IMG_5152

IMG_7874

Our last dinner in Honolulu! Can you tell that both babies were over taking pictures?

On Sunday, we drove to Aulani, the Disney resort on Oahu. I really wanted to take Luke to see Mickey for an early birthday present. Ok, I really wanted to go see the resort and I thought Luke would enjoy it too! Hah! We ate at Makahiki for Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration. It was a character breakfast in an open air restaurant and the food was divine! I highly recommend it! Luke was turning four two days after we left Hawaii, so we celebrated his birthday here too! Remember when we also celebrated at Disney World in February? Yeah, I love birthdays:)

IMG_7911

Meeting Mickey at Aulani

IMG_5084

We had a wonderful trip with Jacob’s parents to Hawaii! We were SO blessed to get to travel with the NFLPA even though Jacob missed half the meetings due to his impromptu trip to Atlanta! We came home with lots of memories and a new job!

And just to keep it real… this is what our hotel room looked like after living out of a suitcase in three different hotels in ten days… wow.
IMG_7768

Sunday Scriptures + Worst Blogger EVER

Hi, my name is Allison and I’m the worst blogger EVER! I really do love blogging, however, sometimes life just gets crazy busy and I don’t even have time to eat or sleep, much less blog. Since my last blog post A LOT has happened. Jacob signed a two year contract and is now playing for the Atlanta Falcons, we vacationed in Hawaii, flew to Denver and packed up our entire house in two days, drove to Atlanta and bought a house and just moved in last week. Whew. I’m tired just typing all that. All of these things are great blessings, but they can sure keep a girl busy and tired. Throw in a sweet baby girl who still doesn’t sleep through the night and you know why my face resembles a raccoon most days.  No matter how crazy, tired and unsettled life seems right now, Jacob has a great new job, our family is healthy and we are very blessed.

I’ll be blogging in more detail about what we’ve been doing the last month and promise to write more regularly! I would love to start by reigniting our family’s mission to learn the ABC scriptures. We’ve totally fallen off the bandwagon on this project, but we are ready to jump back on board!

ABC Scriptures K

My Bible study leader in Indianapolis would always ask us if we had any “wow” or “ouch” verses. Well, the verse this week is definitely an “ouch”. I interpret this verse to mean all kinds of evil, not just lies. To me, “evil” can mean gossip, slander or just using a hateful tone of voice. My mother-in-law always instructed her kids to speak more kindly by saying, “TOV” whenever she didn’t like their tone of voice. We now use that in our family as well. My goal this week is not to just keep my tongue from evil, but to use my words to be loving and encouraging in ALL circumstances… even when I don’t want to! Hah! It will certainly be a challenge, but memorizing this verse this week will be a great reminder!