Friday, January 23, 2015

Boarding & Volleyball & Brothers! Oh My!

Wow!  What a weekend!  We are in the season of jam packed weekends filled with fun, competitions, tournaments and road trips!  It is crazy and exciting and fun and exhausting and we've only just begun!  We have Grand Junction (4 times), Powderhorn (twice), Crested Butte and Copper Mountain all before Easter!

Dax had a snowboarding competition (at Purg thankfully) Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  He raced in the Slalom and Giant Slalom.  It was his first time to race and he did great!  He raced six times and got first once and second five times!  He also qualified for Nationals at Copper Mountain and improved his GS time by more than a minute over the weekend.  I'm so proud of him!  It was fun to watch and to be a part of!
Maggie had a volleyball tournament in Colorado Springs.  The plan was to not go watch, but I couldn't stand it, so I left early Sunday morning and got to watch four of her seven games.  She played SO WELL.  I'm so proud of her.  (As a team they did awful, but improved--they lost every set, but Maggie was a super star!)  She's on the club team and this was the first of several tournament weekends out of town!
Meanwhile, while Tiki and Gabby and I were in the Springs with Maggie, Hays and Dax had a total "bro weekend" and it made me to happy and proud to see their pics on Instagram.  They went boarding and out to dinner and to a movie.  They're lucky to have each other!

Tiki and Gabby also had Snowburners (their boarding lessons) and they both improved so much this week!  Their coaches were very proud of them.
So, that was our weekend.  We head to Grand Junction next!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

To Be Valued

One of my core needs is to feel valued.  It is a deep need that affects me to the core of my being.  And because it is such a core need of mine, I am very aware (to a fault) when I am not valued.  I need to feel valued as a wife, as a mother, as a student, as an employee, as a friend. . . the list is endless.  I have an almost desperate need to feel valued.  And I realize that the fact that it is "almost desperate" makes it a potential for downfall as well.

This need is something that I have been realizing I have recently.  It has always been there, but I haven't been able to put a name to it.  Over the past five years, I have become more aware of it, but again, without being able to label it, I wasn't able to appreciate when I was valued as easily.  But over the past couple of months--as I have felt valued by a few people, I have begun to realize just how important it is for me to feel like I am of value to people.

As a mom and a wife, that is pretty easy to see.  I want to feel valuable to my kids and to my husband.  But this is more than knowing I'm valuable, because I do know that I am valuable to them. This is them realizing that I am valuable and letting me know that they know.  High maintenance and selfish?  Maybe.  But it has been so neat to see many of my kids realize that they value me.  Also Andy has become fantastic at expressing just how much he values me.  This feeling of being valuable calms and relaxes my fight, flight or freeze trigger so much and it makes me feel safe.  This also applies to friendships.  I don't have hundreds of very close friends because I need, so desperately, to feel valuable to them.  I thrive in relationships when I feel like I am valued.

In work I completely shrivel up if I am un or under valued.  I have seen this happen so much in the past and it is so detrimental to my productivity and to my attitude.  But when I feel like other people acknowledge what an asset I am and what gifts I bring to the team, I will work exponentially harder and I will exceed all expectations.  If a boss or a coworker values me then I will give a zillion percent to continue to prove to him or her that I am valuable.  I am motivated by feeling valuable.  And in the past couple of months Andy and Luke have made me feel extremely valuable at KIVU and some key people (i.e. Mike and Tami) have made me feel so valuable at X.  Andy is constantly thanking me for my work doing things that are above my pay grade.  And for my birthday Luke sent me one of the sweetest notes I have ever gotten.  About six weeks ago, Mike and Tami extended the most thoughtful act of kindness to me and it literally brought me to tears and I couldn't really put a finger on it until I read the thank you note that Andy sent them.  In it he expressed how valued that act made me feel and I realized then and there that he hit the nail on the head.  To make me feel valued may be the biggest act of kindness or service or whatever that you can do for me.

I also know that I am not alone.  Many people need to feel valued.  They need to feel important.  And I hope that I am able to make them feel that way.  I hope my kids know that I value them.  I pray my husband knows and believes that I value him, that I need him, that my life is better because of him.  I hope the people I work with know that they are valued.  I am so blessed and so thankful.  But today I am exceedingly grateful for the people in my life who value me and what I bring to the table.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THIS Is What It Is All About

So, as most of you know, I work for 2 different companies.  I work for KIVU, the company my husband and I started and I sell health and wellness products.

These past two weeks have been BLARING examples (like a really loud stereo system) of how important it is to work for companies who CARE and selflessly put their team (family) first.

Of course, I believe in KIVU and what it stands for.  (I better.)  These past few weeks I have watch the KIVU family pull tougher (again) as two of our past staff struggle in their marriage.  I have watched guys hop on planes and get there to support them.  I have watched Skype video chats happen and heard the text message beep go off at all hours.  I have been blown away (again) by the family that KIVU is and how important that is--so much more important than rafting and mountain biking.  I am so thankful for this company and the family that we are.

And at the exact same time, I have been blown away by this health and wellness company--maybe even more blown away because it is a big "corporate" company that could easily be faceless.  I always tell people that we are like family and I have seen that more than ever these past two weeks.  Freddy is one of my up-up-up lines and his 16 year old son had a brain aneurism two weeks ago and I have watched as this company has come together faithful praying diligently for healing.  It has knocked my socks off.  And then to see the people flying to Illinois from all over the country to pour out their love on Freddy's family has been amazing.  I'm humbled and I'm not even the recipient.  The president of the company flew there.  That just doesn't happen in corporate America.

I'm blown away and I'm so thankful.  This is what is all about:  working for a company (companies) you believe in who truly become family.  A company (companies) where the family members will drop it all to come to your side literally, physically and on their knees.  I'm so thankful that I have KIVU and the KIVU family by my side and I am so thankful that I have X and the X family by my side.  There is safety and comfort in that!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feliz Navidad

We are having another perfect Christmas in Cabo!!!!  We love it here!  The weather is perfect.  The down time relaxing is much needed!  Family time is great.  Old friends we've seen down here for the past 15 years are fun to see again.  We are so thankful for this opportunity that my parents give us each Christmas--so generous and thoughtful!!  We are blessed!
I really wish I knew what they were talking about!
Love this picture!  I really don't know what they would do without each other!!!
Each year for the past several years we have asked for a no-kid dinner with my parents for Christmas.  This year may have been our best one yet.  It was so nice just to be with my parents without the distraction of the Fab Five!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas With BeBe & PaPa

BeBe & PaPa came up for an early pre-Cabo Christmas again this year and we had a blast!  We even got a big beautiful snow while they were in town!  We love having them at the house--they are easy and fun and great to be around!
Hays happened to have his first date over the weekend.  I haven't gotten to meet her yet, but I am looking forward to that in 2015!  Hays met her father and everything!  We'll see. . . .

Last year's bike pictures with this year's deer pictures!
After 10 days of braiding we finally finished!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Birthday Twins

Two weekends ago I headed to Texas to surprise my two best friends from Baylor for their birthdays. I wasn't going until the last minute when Maggie convinced me that I had to get down there--40 is a big deal!  So, I hopped on a plane and headed to Austin.

Tiffany and Tracy are forever friends.  We met at Baylor and have been friends since--and it has been so fun to see how our friendship has grown and deepened since college!  They are two of the best!

Tiff's 40th was in Austin on Friday night and then we headed to Dallas (via Waco for a trip down memory lane) for Tracy's party on Saturday night.  It was great seeing old friends like Kristen and Melanie and Katy, too!!!
This is where Andy and I met!!  Old Testament class 1993.
Another bonus to the trip was that I got to see my dear friend, Kirsten, for a couple of hours!   I love her!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Four Decade Friendship

Jason Brawner and I were basically raised as twins for much of our childhood (we were born 9 days apart).  He was my best friend for as long as I can remember.  Nearly 20 years ago he married one of my favorite people (didn't know her until Jason) and she loves the friendship that has been four decades in the making.  Alison is hysterical and caring and wise and I absolutely love her!  Andy and Jason love being together and laughing together; Alison and I love being together and can share from the depths of our souls with one another--what a gigantic blessing that is!!!!

For Thanksgiving Brawner Party of 5 came to visit Braner Party of 7 for the week and we had a great time!  It may have been one of the most fun and adventurous weeks we have ever had!  One day we biked, one day we climbed and three days we were on the mountain skiing and boarding.  We cooked and cleaned and watched movies and played games and talked and laughed.

Our kids had a blast together!  The grown ups laughed a lot and had some great times of good conversation.  This four decade friendship is a amazing gift and I am so thankful for it!!!!