Thursday, March 10, 2011

The First Addition!

My Family's Farm in Iowa.. MANY memories here!

Growing up on a farm, I was always surrounded by animals.  Some of my most cherished memories come from playing with a dog or cat just a few strides away.  My family had most of our pets outside, and by pets I am not counting the cows, horses or farm cats.  However, after the tragic loss of my outdoor puppy (who tried to play chicken with the tractor), I was able to twist Mom and Dad's arms into getting an INDOOR DOG! Macks was a loyal loving Shih Tzu puppy; he saw our family through many hard times and laid at my Mom's feet when she was sick and undergoing man years of treatment.  Unfortunately, Macks passed away about a year ago, and I have not lived at home or with pets since I left for college.  I love animals, and it is something I miss dearly about being away from the rural life I grew up with.
Kiddie Kattle Kapers @ Iowa State Fair w/Dad & Luke (my bro).
My Grandpa Thiel, Luke & Buck (dog)
Showing Hawaii @ County Fair

Enter Cujo!
Hi! I'm Cujo!
Maura met Cujo when she was browsing (just looking) at puppies one day at Pick of the Litter in Ruston with her friend, Blair.  As fate would have it.. there was Cujo! Now many of you may be laughing thinking about this Cujo.... However, this little Multi-Poo may be the cutest little 1.6lb puppy you will ever meet.  Of course, his owner may be slightly bias too. ;)
The boys (Jeff & Cujo) catching some Zzs

So far puppy training is going OK, but I definitely look forward to Cujo growing into his adult dog years (and sleeping through the night)!  I am so excited to have Cujo in our lives, and am absolutely ecstatic to have a pet and animal friend again!  In my opinion, there's just a joy that pets/animals bring to humans that cannot be described.  And while I no longer live on a farm in small town Eastern Iowa; this pooch is a much welcomed and wonderful little Cajun addition!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maura, meet Jeff; Jeff, meet Maura

Most of my family and friends don't believe me.  The day after signing day, February 3rd, I honestly reintroduced myself to my fiance'.  After a month of being on the road, working to recruit the next members of the Bulldog family, our time together was abundant somewhat sparse.

The month of January (and May) for any coaching family is the time when our coaches are on the road scouting out potential recruits, recruiting the potential next years' players and building/developing the relationship with the future players of our team.  For the first time that Jeff and I have been together, we have officially gone through a "normal" year.  And by normal, I mean... no moving, full recruiting year, full season in his position, etc., etc.  This has been/is a monumental year for our relationship... and while I know things will change even more after going through the married-life transition, I am pleased to announce that a year after discovering Ruston, Louisiana, I could not be happier.  We are so blessed to have a wonderful coaching staff and their families, a great community and I have learned more about being a "coach's wife" here than at any other school or book I had read.  Not to mention, the opportunity to get to know the players and their families more this year, too!
Jeff and I at the 2011 Recruiting Dinner

It has been wonderful getting to know my fiance again (aka just spending a little quality time together) after a whirlwind season and recruiting season! Congratulations to all of the LA Tech Coaches, incoming Bulldogs and team!  I'm really looking forward to this next year, but first I think I'll enjoy February! :)
Link to the 2011 Bulldog Recruiting Class 

P.S. A HUGE thank you to all the wives, girlfriends and fiancee's for being such a wonderful group of women- I'm truly grateful to be surrounded by so many amazing women.  And a special thank you to Jeff who ALWAYS made time for me with his crazy, crazy schedule!

Welcome Bulldogs!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Loss No Words Can Express

Many of my close family and friends have heard me talk about my friend, Michelle Bynum. She is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met in my life, and her story is one that relates all too closely to my own Mom's battle with breast cancer. Michelle's smile is one that no person could forget; her hug is one that after she had wrapped her arms around you, you knew you'd been hugged. If there were any way to bottle Michelle's personality up... I would carry it around with me wherever I went-she was truly infectious. This past Wednesday morning, January 26th, Michelle passed her torch, but her warrior spirit will live on forever.

I became close to Michelle after meeting her the summer of 2009, while working with the Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, she was our Race for the Cure Honorary Chair, and our partner in crime for the first ever Horns for Hope football game with the University of Texas! It didn't take long before our occasional passing became friends meeting up for lunch or coffee. The similarities of our stories paralleled all too close. A tenacious mother battling stage IV breast cancer, with a child (or children) breathing life against her the fight; and giving mom another reason, another glimmer of hope, and another minute to share, with a time clock that was counting down to an unknown amount of time.

After hours of laughter and tears, Michelle would always thank me for the time that we had shared together. But what I could never convey to her, was that the time I was blessed to have with her was just as, if not more, therapeutic and meaningful to me. If I could impart my story, my life, and more importantly reveal the insights of my experiences with my Mom's battle...the time shared together would never be enough.

I cannot explain the emotions that have gone through my body these past days. The sadness of losing a close friend, the empathy I feel for her family during this difficult time and memories I choke back, just four short years after my Mom passed. But as Michelle always reminded me... it was God who brings us together on Earth, and He will reunite us again one day. There will be no more pain, treatments, Dr. visits or scans.  Michelle-I cannot begin to express how much you will be missed, but I am so grateful for our friendship and the time I was so blessed to have with you these past two years.

Komen Crew @ Horns for Hope Event (Michelle and her husband, Brad, are in the Center)

Michelle & I at the National Championship Football Game in Los Angeles

Michelle & I at the Hope for a Cure Luncheon
Make sure you watch over those Longhorns for us, and may everyone learn how to "Eat life with a big spoon."  And as you always said, "Thank you for loving me."

Click below for:
-KVUE Tribute to Michelle

-Komen Austin's Tribute

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Welcome to Creative Writing & Journaling for Grownups! =)

For the last few months I have been entertaining the thought of starting a blog. I have a few friends who have blogs; some with witty insights and others with adorable pictures and updates on their I wasn't quite sure what my purpose of creating a blog would be, but (with the encouragement from a few Facebook friends) I decided I would write one anyway!  I don't know how often I will keep up with the blogging, what topics will come, or if anyone will follow; but it will be great to look back and see the various entries!
As for the name of the blog... it came down to my three four main F's. My Mom and Dad instilled the importance of Faith, Family & Friends throughout my life, and as I was growing up. Little did I know, that I would add another F to my life after meeting Jeff, my fiance.... FOOTBALL! Jeff is a D1 college football coach, and needless to say our lives are often scheduled around football (including our wedding date)! The pictures to the right explain it all the initial 3Fs will always trump, but whether it's spring ball, recruiting, summer camps or football season... it will play a huge part of as a part of my life, and as Jeff and I begin our lives together!  I first saw the football platter to the right at one of the coach's home, and LOVE it!

I can't always promise whit, humor or genius insights; but here's to the future excitement, fears of the unknown and whatever life will bring!