I would like to introduce you to my fabulous tennis team!!

We are not only fabulous because of our team spirit,
our positive go-get-em attitudes,
our fair play,
our genuine love and respect for the game and each other,
oh, AND our overall hottiness (or craziness - you choose).

We are fabulous because we won the second round this weekend in the USTA regionals.
This means we are going to Portland!

We played many eastern Washington & Oregon teams,
including Spokane, Yakima & Wenatchee to name a few.

In Portland we will play teams from Seattle, Alaska, and more.

Back row from left to right: Theresa, Janelle, me, Jeanine, Cheryl
Front row from left to right: Carol, Kelly (team captain), Valorie & Sharla

For those who have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember my FEAR (and tantrum) over playing singles last year. So I did not have to do it.

Well this year I am happy to share with you that I played #1 singles for the team
and won all my matches.
This was huge for me, and it was not easy.
My nerves are my enemy.
It took a lot of pep talks from my coach, my hubby & my teammates
(and Elece who I pretend is my teammate) to help me get through it.
I loved it and hated it.
But in the end I am proud of myself.
It is the fulfillment of a goal I set for myself many years ago!!
(Not to win...but to play & compete).

Why am I always laughing around this girl?
She lifts me up.
I think she lifts everyone up.
She was on a different team this year, but she's still one of ours.
We once played doubles together in a Breast Cancer benefit & swept it.
I think we made a few enemies that day, but it was all good.
And all fun.

Elece!... Can't... stop... laughing.

So for now I am taking a week off of tennis.
My body is a bit stiff.
My mind needs a break.
But August will come quickly, and I am excited for more practice & competition.

(as Elece would say)



GREEN is my favorite color right now.

Oh goodness! Look at my poppy! It is STUNNING!
And I LOVE the ANTICIPATION - look at all the buds getting ready to burst.
Makes my heart go pitter-pat.
I spotted the huge pink blossom from my kitchen window and RAN to it!!!!

SO, naturally it is time to ready the back porch.
I perch here...watching and waiting for...NEW BLOSSOMS!
Then I run.

Being spring, I of course spotted these right away.
My favorite lilacs...can you SMELL them? MMMM.

Found these beauties last year.
Cutleaf lilacs...who knew?
Love LOVE LOVE finding new stuff.

Okay, see those tiny little round things growing on this vine?
Guess what they are!
Only the cutest little grapes.
Until I grew grapes, I never knew they started like this...cool, huh?
And yummy. Can't wait...remember?
That anticipation thing.

Blossoms on our Hawthorne tree.
The bright pink & white makes me happy.
Yes, a happy girl.

Ooooh. Pretty.
Spurge - in bloom.
THAT COLOR screams spring.

Thanks to my dad-in-law for sharing these azaleas with me.
Doesn't that color just MOVE you?
If not, I just think there has to be something wrong with a person...

Spring is here.
Those sweet birdies build nests under our upper porch.
Some might find that annoying.
Not me.

Our yard was FULL of the fat little babies.
They were perched anywhere they could land
until they were ready to try their new wings again.

Nests mean poop.
It's nothing a hose can't wash away.

I used to snub succulents.
Why oh why?
Look what I've been missing!
Aren't they beautiful (and less watering)?!!
Here is my Mother's Day Pot.

And here are the Mother's Day cooks.
These two goofs were busy in the kitchen all day whipping me up some
crab legs & scallops.
Oh boy. They can cook for me ANYTIME!

We got another dog!
Oh wait.
It's my daughter.
I'm not the only one wondering why SHE is in the crate.
Pepper seems to be confused as well.

Now off with you!
Enjoy your own green!


Double tying that knot.

There is this guy.
Truthfully? I really love this guy.
I don't pretend to make it something it is not.
It is many things...
Happiness. Excitement. Adventure. Craziness. Spiciness. Sweetness.

Is it easy? Yes AND no. But mostly YES.

It has been pointed out to me by a few that I act like I am in love with my husband.
Can you believe it?
I am happy about this.
Because you know what?

I cannot swear on a bible and say "It has been a blissful, perfect 16 years".
It has been anything BUT perfect.
But I have a secret. I THINK that is why it is SO GOOD.

Can you believe there was a time this man and I were strangers?
And it was not before we were married.
During this lowest of low times, people would smile at me and say,
"Hi Shelli! How are you?" in that casual way people do.
My answer?
"I'm dying. Someone save me...please".
Except I would say, "Good! How are you?"
I did not know if I would still be married in the near future.

Why do I share this?

Hmmmm. I am not really sure.
I was just thinking today of how much I adore this man.
It occured to me for the millionth time that I may not feel so strongly
had we not almost lost each other?

I am not a marriage expert.
But I have learned and continue to learn lots of valuble stuff!
Can I share?

Communicate! About everything! Even if you think it is trivial!
If you feel like something is missing there, it probably is, so talk about it before you feel like you can't bring it up and it gets to the point that there is nothing left to say.

If you are going to talk about your spouse to other people - make sure it is always positive!
All you need is a support group to agree with you about all the areas you think your spouse is lacking in. Don't get caught up in that discussion!

Build them up!
You married him, so he knows what you think, right? WRONG!
It is work, but remind your spouse why you think he is sexy!
Tell him how much you appreciate all the hours he spends at work!
Tell him how excited you are to finally see him after a hard day with the kids!
Man he smells GOOOOOOOOD!
Encourage his interests and wow can he do an awesome flip on that wakeboard!
It makes you weak in the knees, so TELL HIM.

He comes to watch my tennis matches. How sweet is that?
I'm touched every single time he shows up.
I get 3 calls on Sunday morning from teachers who are sick and can't teach their church classes.
He rolls his eyes with me, but gives me the thumbs up that I can figure it out.

Kick it up a notch!
Didn't you used to do stuff when you were dating just to let him know how cool you were?
I mean...he wants me to try kayaking.
I'm really not that interested, right?
BUT... he would love it. Give and take. Why not try it?
He knows I will not take it up as a hobby,
but if you could have seen the look on his face when we were done going through a little
white water?
He was THRILLED with me. I had tried it. He was turned on.
Need I say more?

Enjoy each other!
We came to a point.
We could either head down the divorce road OR we could work VERY HARD to get it back.

It took time my friends. More than I thought it would.
It was not easy.
Patience, trust, vulnerabilities, insecurities, more patience, love, HOPE, selflessness, effort, kindness, time...so many things involved.
But the results? Oh boy. The results.

I am hoping you can see the results.
What if we had given up on all those things I just listed?
I believe more than anything that we come out stronger if we endure the storms.
Even if we feel no hope.

We are doing it.
We appreciate each other more.
We are a little more sensitive to each others needs.
We make time to be with each other.
There is sacrifice, give and take, and unselfish acts.
We are excited for the chances we have to enjoy each other.
We also are no longer naive.
Anyone can drift apart. At any time.

How happy I am that we made it back.
Even stronger.
Definitely stronger.

I love this picture. Notice the wedding dress in the back window of the car.
We were on our way to tie that big tangly beautiful knot.