First of all, a quick apology for the total lack of Friday post/party last week.

I assure you we will be back to our regularly scheduled program this week!

Due to a flight delay snafu, I ended up driving on very short notice to Dallas (2 1/2 hours) rather than our local airport (45 minutes) so I didn’t have to wait another day to see my husband.

Which threw off my blogging schedule more than a little bit.

Not that I’m complaining.

In fact, thanks to my sweet mama, we got yet another mini-getaway out of the deal, spending the night there and watching The Dark Knight Rises (I give it a solid A), then shopping for lights for the addition (yes, even home essentials shopping can be romantic when you haven’t seen your hubby for two weeks : )).

And then, this past weekend, we did what every other American with a working television set did—spent approximately 48 straight hours glued to the screen as we absorbed match after match of men’s and women’s volleyball and race after race in the Olympic pool.

Okay, so that might be a tad exaggerated, but we really do love us some Olympics around here, and it’s one of the few times that we keep our television on for any extended period at all.

Both my husband and I were avid athletes growing up.

In fact, between the two of us, we have the following events covered: gymnastics, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, track, cross country, swimming, golf, racquetball, volleyball, and ping pong {which totally counts if you play as competitively as we do!}.

So, watching other people dive/lunge/leap/and otherwise punish their bodies to achieve gold is pretty much right up our alley.

And what better way to get inspired to start moving your tushy than by getting an eyeful of the results that hours in the gym can produce?

After all, we’re all super-likely to develop a backside you can bounce a quarter off of after only a couple of 45-minute sessions on the elliptical, right?


Speaking of things you can bounce a quarter off of:


{If the belly on the left looks a tad tight and crowded…it is}

Here are Mandy and I in our gloriously sweaty-mess state after last week’s Body Combat launch (translation: the quarterly class we do where we practice our brains out to learn new choreography to teach our members, then present it wearing matchy-matchies {not so sure day-glo orange and large bellies go together, but it sure was fun!}).

And now, back to the Olympics.

Our oldest is 6, but we have yet to enroll any of our children in organized sports (although they have been in the pool at least once a week since they were tiny and are currently enrolled in swim lessons).

They’ll probably play soccer this fall (assuming we manage to ever leave the house for the first several months after the twins are born) and then build their sports repertoire from there.


Of course, at least one of our children appears to have aspirations for the women’s bobsled team in the 2026 Olympics (she’ll be 16-years-old….YEEEEEikes!). Wonder if they’ll let her wear her tutu when she races. Doesn’t seem terribly aerodynamic.

Anyhoo, while browsing’s endless files of snarkiness, I stumbled upon this specimen:

forego youth

…and it got me to thinking, yet again, about how I will respond if one or more of my children shows a special propensity for a particular sport or talent.

After all, Michael Phelps didn’t start swimming until he was 7-years-old, but it certainly appears, from all accounts, that he’s only stopped swimming to eat (plate after plate) and sleep ever since.

And that’s a looooooong time to do nothing but swim.

Sure, he’s won 8 gold medals, but…has he lived?

I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, so I guess I’ll turn it around to you guys, since I’m genuinely curious:

If you had had the chance to become a top-level performer in any one arena (or if you did have that chance at some point in your life), would you have taken it?

And if your own child were to demonstrate an extraordinary ability in a particular arena, would you feel compelled to do everything within your power to foster, encourage, and foot the bill for that talent or would you feel that such a particular focus limited his/her other options in life?

I certainly have an opinion (which I will gladly share tomorrow), and so does my husband (we’re not quite in synch on this one), but I’d love to know yours!

Now, get out there and move something, and that quarter-bouncing tushy is sure to show up some day!

: )


  1. Hi Abbie,
    I’m back again…I just watched an interview with Michael Phelps and at the end he said,”If I can say my career has been a success, that’s all that matters.” I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and consider that he is talking about just his swimming career, because at 27, he has a whole lot of years ahead (if God wills) that he could have two more careers if he wanted. But, to say that’s all that matters is sad to me. I admire his persistence and his dedication. I just wouldn’t ant my children to put that much into something temporal.

  2. first, a question: what do you think is the best activity FOR getting that booty portion in shape? I’m doing all kinds of great classes right now, but don’t feel like that area (which needs the most work) is getting much help…I’d love your opinion (and I won’t sue you if it doesn’t work… :))

    Second, I’m sure my hubby would disagree, but I do not think I have it in me to put every last moment of my life, my kids lives and my marriage through all it would take to get a kid to Olympic level. Now, I don’t think I see that kind of gift in my kids (many other gifts and talents of course :))…I just couldn’t “push, push, push” all the time and, I am willing to bet, that’s what it takes…from everyone in the family.

    Now, if my child had that kind of drive and had an ability that caught the attention of coaches, I may feel differently…but it would have to clearly from the Lord. No doubts, no turning backs…full faith in clear leading.

    Great question…I’ll be eager to hear your take on it 🙂

  3. Hi Abbie,
    I try to keep the bigger picture in focus and ask myself, “Does this have eternal rewards?” “What is the eternal benefit to having my child participate in a singular activity with the purpose of becoming the best?” While I enjoy the Olympics like most people, there are only a top few athletes who really get the international stage of the Olympic games. If you think about it, a person could spend 15 years, countless dollars, blood, sweat and tears and never reach the ultimate goal of that level. Many people do just that and there are swimming pools, gymnasiums, ice rinks, slopes, and all other kinds of venues full of people giving up their time, money and relationships to reach the top of their field. Is that a price worth paying? Not in my family.
    One of my daughters had the goal of memorizing 800 bible verses for the National Bible Bee. She reached that goal and she will have those verses with her forever. God’s Word will speak to her and through her for the rest of her life. That’s an eternal reward. Did she make it to the top? She qualified for the semi-final and traveled to Chicago two years ago. The next year, she qualified for the semi-final again and traveled to Nashville for the National competition. We are so proud of her. She memorized entire books of the bible, passage after passage. She studied commentaries, word studies, bible dictionaries, concordances. But, all the while, she continued to be a part of our large family. She didn’t give up her other interests. She still attended sports events with her siblings, volunteered, babysat for friends, and lived a normal life of a 17-year-old or 18-year old, and did schoolwork on top of everything.

    God’s Word is alive in her and will be a part of her life from here on out. It isn’t something that she did for a season and now is “too old” or “not performing at her peak anymore.”

    My sister has two children who have excelled in baseball and volleyball. I have seen the different lives she and I lead and I have to say, I’m not willing to make the sacrifices she has made to have her children attend so many practices, to allow the family to be split up for tournament traveling or even local games. It doesn’t just affect the nuclear family, but their friends and extended family as well. Sure, my nephew is being scouted for colleges and receiving scholarship offers. But, I have to wonder if there isn’t a better way to earn a scholarship rather than sacrificing family the way they have. Who knows? He may even make it to the professional baseball arena…time will tell. I have seen that their priorities are vastly different than those of a lot of people, certainly different from mine. These are choices that I’m not willing to make for our family. If a family has one child, these choices might be easier to make with fewer relationships at risk, more money available, etc.

  4. Yes, and yes, as long as everyone involved had the same calling. However I have to also comment on this “how I will respond if one or more of my children shows a special propensity for a particular sport or talent”, by saying some parents equally have to ask themselves what happens if “they don’t”. I see too many parents who push kids in the directions of their own dreams and not that of their kids.


  5. Well, I can’t speak with any authority on this as our oldest is only 9, but he is exhibiting serious passion and love for baseball that is completely his own. He also happens to be great at it, but we know that at age 9, you can’t know for sure if he has real talent (although Josh Hamilton was a phenom at age 6!) He has only been playing in a city recreational league, and we struggle with whether or not to have him try out for a select team. We do homeschool, so we know that the time is there, but is it best for him? For our family? For his younger brother? We just don’t have a clear answer at this point. We don’t want him to get burned out or injured. But we don’t want to hold back out of fear. I think it boils down to stewardship – if the Lord has given him a talent, an ability, and a desire, then I think as parents we should encourage it and support it however we can as long as our top priority is establishing an environment where we can all passionately pursue God and share His love with others.

    I seriously have a freak-out about this about every other week, but I have to remember that God made my children, knows my children, and loves them more than I can imagine, and He holds His plan for them. I want to cooperate with whatever that is and not be a hindrance to what He wants to do in them and through them.

    Great question – I look forward to all the responses! And you look amazing by the way!

  6. I most definitely would have taken the opportunity when I was younger. Sports were so important to me. I believe the decision would have to be made based on the individual person though. I don’t know that my daughter would take on such a task due to the lack of a social life. Lol

  7. Good question!! My competitive spirit would WANT to encourage my child to achieve greatness, but it is a scary prospect. I knew a family whose marriage didn’t survive trying to encourage their son in his propensity.

    I would be very weary to focus our family completely around one child. But then again, potential…competitiveness…


    I just don’t know.

  8. I have to say that unless my child shows the drive and motivation to push himself in a particular sport, I won’t be doing it for him. I feel like it is my job to give him what opportunities I can but not to push him to be something he isn’t. If he wants to spend 40 hours a week in the pool and it isn’t getting in the way of school and church, then go for it. But I am certainly not going to force him. And truthfully I doubt I have one of those gifted youngsters anyway. I would far rather he excel academically anyway (and it looks like he probably will). 😉 Thankfully hubby is in the same place I am. In almost 15 years of ministry we have seen far too many youth pushed into athletics (for the sake of a scholarship that isn’t even likely) at the cost of everything else (including church, school and friendships). Young teens who get injured badly enough that they can’t do it anymore and will have problems with knees and elbows for the rest of their lives and all for what? It just doesn’t seem healthy to me. And I am always aggravated when a family demonstrates so clearly that sports come before God. But that is just my perspective. 😉
    I’m curious to know how you and your hubby feel about it!

  9. Hmmmm…. that’s an interesting question. I’d have to say I probably wouldn’t go to any great lengths & expense for them to go further in a sport. But, then I see them on the medal podium at the Olympics and I always think of their momma’s in the stands. How proud they must be! I always wanna cry 🙂

    Love the “launch” photo… guys are too cute! Even after a hard core workout! And I totally agree with home improvement shopping can be a date……some of our best dates have included a trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot…..LOL! As long as I’m spending QT w/ my hubby…..I’m happy! Yay for your hubby being home! And you have an awesome mom, BTW… she available for Grandma rent?? haha!! 🙂

  10. I did have the chance and so did my sisters. Somehow boys and going out got in the way. That is why these kids are so amazing, I lacked the maturity they didn’t, I took the easy way out they didn’t. When they stop they find a maturity to apply to the rest of their life with the exception of those kids that had really pushy parents they tend to implode.

    Moral of the story if your kids show talent learn to become the best sports psychologist you can to avoid pushy parent

  11. I would probably answer that question differently every time I was asked. 🙂 My today answer would be to seek the Lord,( well that part of my answer is always priority). I believe that God can and wants to use us in different ways. If God wanted to use my (His) child to preach the gospel to all the people their coaches and whoever else they would be training with or competing against, I would want to be open to that and let the Lord lead. I also look at it from a different angle, because my son had to take speech. I was prideful about it and looked at it as my failure, but God gave us an opportunity to show people we would have never met how we live our lives. If my child even more extreme had a special developmental need I would support that and pour into them and do whatever I can to make them thrive. so I would probably do the same if they had a above average talent. I would do all this only by making sure that the focus stays on the Lord and glorifying him, and if my child wanted to do continue.

    Yay for another mini getaway! You need all those special moments together before things get even more busy! 🙂

  12. I’ve always loved sports and competition of any kind. I get emotionally charged when I know the sport and what’s going on! I grew up playing volleyball all throughout high school but I had a deep desire for gymnastics from watching it on TV, I even watched a movie about Nadia Comaneci that inspired the pants off me. But when I entered the gymnastics sport in high school I was less thrilled by it, probably because it was difficult and time consuming. Maybe I could have started earlier if my parents had been impressed with my skills, correction if I had skills.

    Either way my take on this subject is that if I had a child whose talents were amazing to say the least I wouldn’t pour money into taking them all over the country competing and getting coached by amazing people. I think I’d allow them to be the best they could locally in their hometown. If my child wanted to do something more than I would need to hear it from them. Its people like Michael Phelps where you clearly see this time around that he’s burnt out of the sport and vocalizes that in nearly every interview and it’s sad that he even felt compelled to come back this time around. I think it speaks a lot to pull out of the sport when you’re on top and allowing someone else to shine.

  13. You still amaze me that you are doing body combat prego with twins!! You rock!! I would support and do what ever it would take to excel my child only if my child was still enjoying the sport.

I love hearing from you guys!