Archives For Background

Knowing how great life is

January 9, 2016

How’s life been treating you?

I’m guessing your answer to that question is probably influenced by your age, whom you depend on and who depends on you, the person you see staring back at you in the mirror, the struggles you’ve endured, the triumphs you’ve enjoyed, and how you personally define happiness.

Whenever asked, my go-to answer is normally “good!” without a second thought. But, depending on different life circumstances, what actually swirls around in my brain is more like this…

I can’t believe I’m leaving home to go live somewhere else for college.*

I kinda like Ryan Woodard. Like…a lot.

Saying goodbye to my teammates after all these years, and all we’ve been through together, is the worst.

I’m going to marry him. Are we technically grownups? This is crazy.

Finally graduating school…look out real world…I’m coming for you.

These can’t actually be the ONLY houses in our price range. Are these even up to code? Will we ever find a home?

What do you mean there are no paid breaks between New Year’s and Memorial Day? That can’t be right.

It’s surreal this will be our last dinner together as just the two of us before bringing a mini version of ourselves into this world.

I have to plan my social life and sleeping schedule in three hour increments because this kid is so hungry.

I kinda want to punch Ryan every time I wake up and see him next to me sleeping ‘like a baby’. Where did that stupid phrase come from? Our baby doesn’t sleep.

Returning to work sounded good on paper. But, man, it’s hard functioning with my head in one place and my heart in another.

I can’t believe our little boy will soon have a baby brother. I can’t wait!

What on earth were we thinking?

Trying to keep up with daily demands and hold it all together.

I’m not exercising as much as I used to, but at least I’m doing something one or two nights a week.

It’s not exactly the career path I’d envisioned, but it’s stable.

How on earth do people keep their homes ‘Open House’ clean all the time?

Why isn’t there a punch card for ER visits that every mom of boys automatically receives before leaving the hospital?

One last look before we close the door for the final time on our first home. I remember the day we moved into this place and our first night sleeping in the basement on nothing but a mattress. Such a great memory.

I guess we’ll be living in an apartment while we wait for the new home to be finished. With two small children. And two dogs.

Finally found our forever home, or at least where we’ll be until our kids leave us behind.

This is a longer commute than I’m used to.

MaternalMedia is officially launched! Online therapy. Less pressure than actually writing a book. I wonder if anyone actually relates to what I ramble about?

A trifecta of kids? WHY NOT?! Flat stomachs are overrated.

The rumor is indeed true: Girls are a different breed. She has strong opinions about what she’s doing and wearing and eating and planning. As a preschooler, she looked me over from head-to-toe and asked me if today was “mismatch day” at my work. It was not. 

I will do this damn triathlon if it kills me. There’s still an athlete buried in here somewhere!

I am guaranteed uninterrupted ME time if I stick with running.

Ryan is a supportive husband, a fun dad, and a caring coach. I think I’ll keep him.

My plan is to win over a dynamic duo of radio DJs and then keep showing up in their studio until they beg me to leave.

OHMEYEGAWD ALL OF THE KIDS NEED SOMETHING 24/7.

Goodbye friends. Goodbye sanity. Goodbye running. Goodnight Moon.

Hello minivan. 

I’m tired of working on auto-pilot. Eject! Eject!

New job. New challenges. New team. Onward.

I’m going to GiveTheGameBack because I love to watch my kids play.

I’m happy.

I’m exhausted.

Dark room, blankets, foo foo drink, Netflix. These are a few of my favorite things.

I never fully appreciated my mom and dad while growing up.

I’ve got the best parents and in-laws in the world. I would be lost without them.

How blessed am I to have colleagues like these doing the work that I do? Hoping for the best as my future lies in someone else’s hands.

I have to stand on my tip toes to see into the eyes of a boy who once weighed 8 lbs, 14 oz, and whose entire body was 22.5 inches long.

We are soon going to have three different kids in three separate schools.

My dog won’t live forever. But I will love my dog forever.

* I have retained very few memories prior to 1995.

 

So that pretty much summed up the last 20 years with one caveat: I left out some of the bigger experiences that have helped me gain perspective and cherish each new day for the blessing that it is.

Losing my grandparents, rocking my children back to sleep in the middle of the night, getting to know the woman whose son gave my mom a second chance at life, skiing down a mountain side with my dad, traveling to tropical get-aways with my husband, saying goodbye to one of our dogs, appreciating  just how far friends are willing to go to support me and my dreams, embracing the chance to serve as a witness when my sister marries her longtime girlfriend, staring in awe as my children morph into free-thinking, uniquely incredible people…hard to adequately articulate what these moments mean to me.

I do know that, in my 39th year of life, as my dear friend Ashli so eloquently puts it:

At least I get to spend the rest of my life knowing how great life is.

Video forewarning: Ashli’s favorite thing about life is connecting with people and once you hear her words and see her smile, you will forever be changed for the better. Take time to watch this beautiful video that was originally posted on the Her View from Home Facebook page and is sponsored by Team Concepts.

The next time someone asks How life’s been treating you?, be honest. If not with them, at least with yourself.

Take the time to genuinely thank those who have made your life great. Say goodbye to people or things who don’t.

Thank you for coming along on this journey that I originally thought was just a blog…but turns out it’s been so much more for me.

Written by Heidi Woodard

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Ssshhhhh. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of hardwood nirvana – on the college court, on the high school court, and in the Woodard household.

Sportscasters and fans alike like to refer to this time of year as “March madness,” but to me, it is a moment every year where basketball players have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to convert their dreams into reality.

I graduated from Creighton University, home of the Bluejays and a special basketball player named Doug McDermott. I could go on and on about what this young man has meant to my alma mater, but here are a few highlights worth mentioning:

– National Player of the Year

– Son of the head coach, Greg McDermott (one of the coolest father/son relationships I’ve ever seen)

– Holds Big East tournament single game scoring record (he sunk 35 points last night in Creighton’s first game in the Big East tournament, in a far tougher battle field as compared to the Missouri Valley Conference the university left last year)

– Pictured on the latest issue of Sports Illustrated in a throw-back, Larry Bird inspired cover

c/o Sports Illustrated

c/o Sports Illustrated 1977 & 2014

– Surpassed the NCAA college basketball 3,000 points mark at home in front of a record breaking crowd in Omaha, Nebraska (scored a mere 45 points that game)

– Heading into tonight’s game against Xavier, sits at #7 on the NCAA all-time scoring leaders list (must score at least 20 points to jump to #5)

– Doubted his own potential to succeed in basketball and once considered retiring from his playing days to become a team manager for his dad

– Thanks his family, his teammates, and his university every chance he gets – both privately and in front of the media

– Can score from literally anywhere on the court  (Think I’m exaggerating? Watch this gif pinpointing every place on the court he scored from last night.)

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My two sisters-in-law played basketball at Creighton. And I played softball there. Now you know why I bleed blue.

Here’s an understatement for you: I married into a family that somewhat appreciates the game of basketball.

I personally transformed from a player who played the sport in high school to keep myself in shape during the off-season into a mom who voluntarily pulls her kids out of school to support their grandpa and future high school in the postseason.

The Woodard clan (L to R): My daughter on my shoulders, my husband, my mother-in-law, my two nephews, my brother-in-law, my sisters-in-law, and another brother-in-law

The Woodard clan (L to R): My daughter on my shoulders, my husband, my mother-in-law, my two nephews, my brother-in-law, my sisters-in-law, and another brother-in-law. Yep…we’re that family rocking the matching shirts.

My father-in-law was my former teacher in high school and coached my husband and my brother-in-law nearly two decades ago in basketball.

He continued to coach throughout the years and decided to move from our smaller high school, Roncalli Catholic – where his team won a state basketball championship in Class B in 1996 – to coach at one of the larger high schools in the city where we live now. During his time at Bellevue West, the TBirds have won three state championships in boys basketball: 2000, 2004, and 2005.

They’re back competing in the NSAA State Tournament at the same time their college idols are playing in their respective post-season conference tournaments.

They just dethroned the four-time defending Class A state champion Central Eagles in their tournament opener last night. They’ll face the Norfolk Panthers tonight in the semifinal.

They are hungry.

That makes me happy.

I know I’m not alone when I say this is a special time of year. My hope is that, no matter what the score reads when that final buzzer sounds, these young men can step outside of themselves and fully appreciate this amazing chapter in their lives.

Written by Heidi Woodard

Great stuff

February 14, 2013

Yes, this is another love story on Valentine’s Day. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good.

My husband, Ryan, and I attended high school together. I remember catching him staring at me with his mouth slightly open (which I now know is a habit of his and not a sign of interest) in one of the few classes we attended together as underclassmen. You see, I was a straight A student who only took Honors courses and he was, well, I’m not even sure if he was in the right classroom at the time.

We never dated in high school. He was too immature. He had a girlfriend, a cheerleader, and one day they decided to part ways. Subsequent girls liked him, but I was never that enamored by him or his antics. The only thing that impressed me was the way he played basketball.

Standing only 5’10” (5’11” with shoes on he would argue), he could shoot from ridiculous distances and frustrate defenders as they attempted to strip the ball from him. I cheered like a maniac from the student section every time he…eerrrr their team…played. In summary, he was fun to watch but much too cocky for me. Not at all relationship material. Upon graduation, I heard he was heading off to college to play football (typical).

I, on the other hand, was focused. I dated my first real love for 3 out of those 4 years. He was a fellow Honors student. He played soccer, which I never really understood, and had dreams of becoming a doctor. He went off to college and I to another, both having similar goals to succeed. Separate places ended up separating us.

Ryan re-entered my life after the breakup. He and a football teammate of his decided to stop by the campus where I lived and took classes. Fairly confident his buddy was in hot pursuit of a friend-with-benefits (there really is no politically correct way to say that). As a result, I answered the phone when Ryan called from the lobby of my dorm.

That phone call turned into countless more phone calls.

I don’t think we even considered our first date an actual date, more of an opportunity to just hang out. I remember walking out of a movie that we both agreed was awful (To Die For) and ending up on a picnic table talking for hours under the night sky. I kept thinking, “This guy actually has a lot to say. Hhmmm…who knew?”

I remember the moment that he slyly slipped his arm behind me when I sat back to relax. I remember him dropping me back off to the dorm that night. We stood outside as he told me what a great time he had. We agreed to go out again…soon.

And then we kissed for the first time in between nervous bouts of giggling.

I kept wondering how my kiss measured up to the countless others he had. I played it cool as I proceeded to enter the building without looking back at him.

I let out a little scream as the elevator doors closed on my way up to my floor.

I later learned he waited until he was out of sight around the building to run back to his car like a kid hopped up on sugar.

(fast forward many, many years)

He often leaves a comment after my blog posts on momaha.com that simply reads, “Great stuff.”

I couldn’t think of a better way to describe our journey together. Love you babe.

engagement

engagement

Baby #1

Baby #1

Baby #2

Baby #2

Baby #3

Baby #3

Created by Heidi Woodard