How To Decorate School Banners Without Losing Practice Time

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As far as I can tell, custom softball banners and posters for use around the campus or in locker rooms takes a lot of practice– to say the least! Generally, for all cheerleaders, practice is essential and time is constrained. Here are a few hints to help you organize your practice time, and still be able to make posters without both of them interfering with your other plans.

  1. Make them completely during the summer. This year, we are planning on dedicating one hour every Wednesday to unplug all banners and posters used for the previous school year. In the event that we do not complete them on Wednesday, no stress– we do not have a due date! We keep doing it until the end of the summer. By the educational season, we would have done enough so we will have a variety to choose from on game days. When we use them up, we will still have time to make some more, however, we do not need to worry about making such a large number since we spent the summer making tons of them!
  2. Pick a night to make the banners if your day is too occupied with plans. Set the ideal opportunity for a few hours slot where volunteers from your cheer team can come to help. Odds are, you will get a decent number considering there is no working out or exercise required. It will be like having a paint night with your best friends! It will also be ideal to have music playing in the background to spice up things
  3. Try to create an after practice banner making team. In the event that the condition of summer is not ideal for you, offer to pay some girls from your cheer team if they stay back after practice and make the banners and posters with you. Target those girls that are always picked up late. Prepare a schedule and a target you want them to meet daily so they can be focused.
  4. All the work and time you invested in setting up your booster team should pay off now, right? Set them to work! They will want to assist. Give them a few thoughts (from any social media maybe) to work on, and I am certain you’ll have some fun, inventive banners and posters subsequently.
  5. Offer them to the young ladies (or young men). You do not have a sponsor group or better still, you do not like the idea of staying back after practice and the team does not too… never fear! Give the young women the apparatus! Have some decorative (and mindful) pioneers bring homemade publications, brushes, and whatever else their imaginative souls require. Have them take a shot at a couple of banners while they at home, and ensure they return them in back one piece!
  6. Reach out to the Student Council. Perhaps, you are not even into the entire decorating thing… that is not a problem! Give the obligation to the Student Council (in the wake of soliciting them, of course). Our Student Council makes a huge amount of signs to stick around the school. Reach out to them and see if they can help you with the work.

At this point, you most likely have a decent bearing and ideas of the kind of baseball banner you want to make. Get imaginative, make it interesting, and do not be stressed out! Keep in mind: doing this will make both the basketball and football teams happy. I know our young men are so appreciative to see a huge banner when they stroll into the locker rooms! Try to put a smile on their faces!

Top 5 must have clothing items during the I’ve-got-more-to-love-but-still-no-bump stage of pregnancy.

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So I’ve heard about it. Friends have gone through it. That stage in pregnancy where the pants don’t fit as well as they used to. The button starts poking your stomach and half way through a coffee date with your girls, you surrender and unbutton like you just ate round two of a Thanksgiving meal. Sweet, sweet surrender.
It’s a beautiful thing that’s happening right now in this season I’m in. I’m sustaining life, so grow, baby, grow! While baby and I tag team this thing and grow together, I thought I’d share my top five favorite pieces of clothing that have gotten me through the getting-bigger-but-don’t-have-a-baby-bump-yet stage.
First up to bat: loose fitting shirts.
Thank-ya Jesusss that loose fitting shirts are in style.
Everyone wears these things, so I feel like I fit right in. And still feel good.
This shirt is from sheinside.com. I just found this website not too long ago and they have really affordable clothes and accessories that are super cute. Thanks Pinterest!
Next on the list of wonderfulness are the Slim Leg Elastic Pull-On Pants. Go ahead and make fun of my elastic pull on pants…if you dare. Because they are glorious. And they have no button. And no one knows.
Fancy Leggings
These classy no-button, elastic-waisted pants are second runner up to my super baggy sweatpants, my friends. They are a dream. All of you know how much I love my “back up dancer hip hop pants” as I like to call them. Sometimes when I wear them, I dream of being a Fly Girl on In Living Color. {If you don’t know what that show is, then you don’t even know the glory you missed out on from the years 1990-1994} I digress. All this to say, these pants are amazing. You can class ’em up or style ’em down.
Flowy tops with prominent patterns have been my best friends.
They distract and you get compliments on the pattern. Two birds with one stone, sisters.
Flowy Bouses
 Francesca’s has been my one-stop-shop for these kinds of blouses.
Men’s shirt + belt + leggings {or not!} = cute outfit that’s baggy enough but super feminine.
My friend Sara did this all the time when she was pregnant and I think it’s genius.
I went and picked up a men’s business shirt at the thrift store. There are TONS of them there for $2.
You really can’t go wrong.
Big. Comfy. Sweater Cardigan.
Can you imagine this thing with those classy leggings from the picture up there and a flowy tank?
It’s pretty amazing. Trust me. Pair the outifit with some gold-tipped flats and you’ve got a cute, comfy outfit that makes you feel confident.
There ya have it, friends. My favorite pieces of clothing that are getting me by as I wait expectantly for our lil bun bun to grow. For you mamas out there, what have you worn during this stage of pregnancy? Any more tips you have to help a sister out?

Monday morning coffee date

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I thought a little coffee date might be fun on this lovely Monday morning.

Today in Chicago it’s crisp and cool. It’s one of those big comfy sweater days where you throw your hair in a top knot. Minimal makeup. One of those days you just let yourself be.

If I had you over, I’d make you Metropolis Coffee. That’s the good stuff we got as a gift from some sweet friends of ours. As we cozy up with our fresh cups of coffee I’d ask you how you are. It’s been a while, so I want to know it all. What have been moments lately worth celebrating? What has been difficult, and how can I walk alongside you?

I would tell you that I’ve been looking forward to this week for a really long time. On Wednesday I leave for The Influence Conference. I’m so excited to see sweet friends I met last year and to meet blogger friends I’ve made this past year, but have yet to meet. I’m excited to soak in as much as I can about how I can make God known through this blog. I’m excited to learn more about Jesus and let that seep into my heart. I’m just pumped for it all!

Amidst the obvious excitement, I’d tell you that there is also a little part of my heart that aches knowing that Elston won’t be in tow. I was excited to be sharing in the joy with the other pregnant women that will be at the conference. I would have been about seven months pregnant and what I would give to be wobbling my pregnant self around that place with the other wobbling women. I truly do trust in God’s plan in all this even though I will never understand it all on this side of heaven.

At this point in the conversation, it would probably be refill time. It’s Monday, which means an extra cup of coffee is a must. I would continue to tell you what a blessing it has been to have our sweet friend Kanani live with us this past month. She inspires us both and has a soul as sweet as the warm sunshine on a cool day. That’s what she is, a ray of sunshine. She is a young woman who, in her presence, you feel free to just be. You just want to soak her right up because what she adds to this world is so incredibly life-giving. I would tell you, too, that I’m not ready for her to leave at the end of the month.
I know I’ll see her, just probably not as much, and she really has become so special to me. I think I’m not ready for her to go because she’s been such a breath of fresh air in the midst of one of the hardest seasons of my life and I am just so thankful for her. My sweet, dreadlocked Kanani, I’ve told you this before, and I’ll tell you it again, that you are a gem. You are “far more precious than rubies” (proverbs 31), and you have a special place in the hearts of PK and me. We love you!

{Lovely Kanani. Seriously, even playing kickball she is gorgeous!}

As we conclude our lovely coffee date, I would ask if it would be okay if we prayed together. For the things that are going on in our lives and for the things that weigh heavy on our hearts. We are in this journey together and I see no better way to conclude such a good morning than with prayers of thanks and praise and requests to the God that loves us so.

Thanks for the sweet lil date, let’s meet again soon.

Elston’s Song

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Mamas out there who have lost a baby, or anyone who has lost someone they love so dear, do you ever have those days where everything is going pretty well and out of the blue, something hits you like a ton of bricks? That reminder {again} that who you lost is not here. That reminder of the piece of your heart you will never get back. It happened to me today. It happens every once in a while, but this time it was different. I was minding my own biz, gettin’ my watercolor on and I decided to listen to Ed Sheeran. A girl at the yoga studio where I work out was listening to him yesterday, and I thought, why not check him out? Good background music as I let my creative juices flow.
{Isn’t this kinda fun?! Check out the tutorial here.}
I let his playlist on Spotify go through the whole album, but I couldn’t get through the whole album because his song “Small Bump” hit such a deep part of my heart. All I could do was listen to it over and over and let the tears flow. I emailed the song to PK and told him if we ran out of water think I could watercolor with my tears. Haha. Kidding, but not kidding. I turned into a hot mess real quick.
Listen to it here:
The reason I say that this reminder of Elston was different is because it had an incredible beauty to it. So many of the reminders of him lately have been frustrating, and {in my mind} not fair. Today it felt healing. It was a reminder that I am not alone. Not alone as we dreamed of him and made plans while he was still alive. Not alone in my wondering why he had to leave so soon. This song is so beautifully written and my heart sings it loud to our sweet baby. Halfway hoping he can hear me and feel my love for him but also knowing he is with Jesus experiencing a love so pure. A love this world can’t give.
Here are the lyrics to the song:
You’re just a Small Bump unborn, Four months you’re brought to life,
You might be left with my hair, but you’ll have your Mother’s eyes,
I’ll hold your body in my hands be as gentle as I can, and now your scan on
My unmade plans,
Small bump four months then brought to life
I’ll whisper quietly, I’ll give you nothing but truth,
If your not inside me, I’ll put my future in you
Cause you are my one, and only.
And You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
Oh you are my one, and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
And you’ll be alright.
Your just a small bump unknown and you’ll grow into your skin.
With a smile like hers and a dimple beneath your chin.
Finger nails the size of a half grain of rice.
And eyelids closed to be soon opened wide a small bump, in Four months
You’ll open your eyes.
And You can lie with me, with your tiny feet when your half asleep, I’ll leave You be.
Right in front of me for a couple weeks.
So I can keep you safe.
Cause you are my one, and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
Oh you are my one, and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
And you’ll be alright.
Your just a small bump unborn just four months then torn from life.
Maybe you were needed up there but we’re still un-aware as why
I am one wrecked mama missing her baby like crazy, with one grateful heart to God. For giving me this song and for the assurance that He indeed holds our sunshine baby close.