Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hanging With His Homies

Darrin, Miles, and several of the volleyball girls went to the local middle school basketball game to watch one of their favorite players.  Miles had to get his Michelle fix.

I spent my free time working out with a friend.  Working out with a friend is soooo much better than going it alone.  I don't want to speak too soon, but I'm kind of on a roll with the working out & diet thing.  I started on Jan. 2nd and I feel like I'm actually in the groove.  I did dive a little off the deep end today and eat more miniature Hersey bars than I care to admit.  Tomorrow is a new day though.

Speaking of tomorrow....I am leaving the boys behind to spend the weekend in Nashville with 3 friends from college.  Eating, shopping, talking, and a Keith Urban concert are on the agenda.  Bring it!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How We Got Here

When I start reading a new blog, sometimes it can be hard to figure out who the people are & what their story is.  I was asked to write an article for I Heart UTM Volleyball, which is a non-profit organization that raises money for Darrin's team.  Back in November, when I was originally asked to write the article, I vaguely remember that it was supposed to be about the life of a coach's wife.  I veered off topic and it ended up being a history lesson on the McClures.  So...I thought it might be fitting (and easy) to post on here in case there are any readers that don't really know us.  I know there are at least a few of you out there :) 

Meet the McClures, by Jennifer McClure
A few things you may not know about the McClures….

How it all began…

Darrin & I met working together at Goodyear Tire.  We were both managers in the same department.  When we started dating, our boss called us in the office and jokingly said, “Just don’t get married because then one of you will have to leave.”  We were married five months later and I gladly left. From our first date to wedding date was only five months.  We were married in 2001, on my 25th birthday.

Where I work…

Although I like to consider myself the 2nd assistant coach, I do happen to have this little gig on the side, called a full time job.  When I left Goodyear Tire, I went to work at First State Bank, where I still am today.  I work as the Marketing Manager.  Even though my company is headquartered in Union City, TN, we have offices all the way from Memphis to Knoxville.  My job keeps me very busy. 

Our love for UTM…

Darrin and I are both UT Martin graduates.  At the advice of my mom, and against my will, I visited the campus on our way home from visiting Murray State.  I fell in love with the campus and did not visit anywhere else.  UTM was the 17th, and last, school I visited. I came to Martin in the fall of ’95 and have never left.   I was a sorority girl, student ambassador, and even a UTM cheerleader.  After Darrin & I married, I also completed my MBA at UTM.
Darrin went to UTM after we got married.  He was the typical non-traditional student that kept the entire class late by asking questions, emailed his professors way too much, and blew the curve for everyone on tests. During this time, he got involved with UTM volleyball as the student assistant.  We are forever indebted to Robb Beam for the introduction.  Interestingly enough, I was against Darrin taking the job. 

Living with Coach…

Ahhh, what it’s like to live with Darrin…. Surprisingly, Darrin does a really good job of not bringing work home.  Don’t get me wrong, we talk about volleyball A LOT….but I like it that way.  Winning is great, but life at home is okay during the losses too.  Random tidbit…I never stay with Darrin on the road.  His first season, I traveled with the team to Chicago & stayed in his room.  I learned my lesson and have never done that again!  He has work to do and I prefer to stay out of the way.  On road trips, I drive my own car and always have my room.  The one concession is, during the conference tournament, I have my own room until they lose.

Then, there was Miles…

Darrin & I were married almost 8 years before Miles was born.  He was born in the middle of preseason.  We actually came home from the hospital on a Sunday and Darrin left for the first preseason tournament on Thursday.  I managed to hold the tears in until he got out the door.  Needless to say, there were a lot of cell phone pictures sent that year.  Miles is shy, cautious, and a little OCD, like me.  He is talkative, witty, and affectionate, like Darrin.  He says he wants to be a contractor when he grows up.  As of now, he says that he does not want to play any sports because he “doesn’t want to talk to the coach”.  I guess maybe he’s been around some mean coaches???

We live for volleyball season in our house.  Darrin’s job, as well as the job of a coach’s wife, is very stressful, but we love it.  We love the girls, their families, the game, Martin, and everything else.  We are so fortunate to live this life.    

Friday, January 24, 2014

When Mom's Away

While I'm visiting my mom in Nashville, Darrin pulled off homemade costume day at daycare....

...and a haircut, with minimal pain and suffering...

Props to Daddy. Now, if only his picture taking skills were as good as his parenting skills :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recruiting Has Begun

Darrin left early Saturday morning for his first recruiting trip of the year.  He went to San Antonio for three nights, and got home today.  He sent Miles this picture, which Miles thought was "so cool". 

That makes me think of this post from last year.  He sure has grown a lot since then.

I've mentioned plenty of times on this blog that recruiting season is my least favorite part of Darrin's job.  Recruiting means longer trips, which almost always require him being gone on Saturdays & Sundays.  It's one thing for him to be busy during the week, but when you mess with our family time, especially on Sunday afternoons, Miles & I tend to get a little cranky.

One problem with Darrin being out of town is that we don't like to talk to each other on the phone.  There's really no other way to say it.  I don't like to talk on the phone at all....ever.  Darrin seems ok with it, so clearly it's just each other.  I like for him to call before he goes to sleep, so he does...most of the time.  Our conversations, no lie, usually go like this...

D: Hey.
J: Hey.
D: How's it going?
J: Good.
D: How's Miles?
J: He's good.
D: I'm so tired.
J: Yeah, I bet. I'm already in bed.
J: I'll let you go.
D: Ok, love you.
J: Love you too.
D: Talk to you tomorrow.
J: Ok, bye.
D: Bye.

We really should just text b/c our conversations are pitiful.  It's like neither of us can muster any energy to talk.  Thankfully, we are both totally cool with it.

Another problem when he travels is that Miles does not feel safe in our house when Darrin's not here.  I've started to notice it in the last 6 months or so, and this time is was really bad.  He looks around a lot and asks about noises.  He even asked me what I would do if a bad guy came in our house.  I thought about blowing him off, but he asked again, so I explained that we would call the police.  Our Bible story that night happened to be about God's protection, so that was timely.  We pray too, and talk about how God takes care of us.  Sadly, I think it's just going to be something he deals with. 

Recruiting lasts from January to July.  It's worse at the beginning, and then slacks towards the end.  It is much better since Miles is older & can do things for himself.  When he was a baby, I was probably not fun for Darrin to deal with....and "probably" was just thrown in there to make myself feel better :)  This is kind of a rambling post but people ask me all the time how I deal with Darrin being gone so much.  It's not fun, but it really is normal to us now, after years of learning and adjusting.  At the end of the day, it's a small price to pay.  We both love his job and consider ourselves very fortunate to get to live this life.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday morning started early.  I take Miles to school on Fridays b/c he likes it when I take him, but it's just too early to do it every morning.  He cooperated while getting ready, so we made a quick donut run on the way.  We ran into his friend, Thomas...

Decisions, decisions...

Friday night, Darrin and I went on a date, while my mom and Miles had a movie night at home.  It was so nice.  We went to dinner and then went to see Jack Ryan.  That is way more Darrin's kind of movie than mine, but it was good, even if I was stressed out the entire time.  

On Saturday, my mom and I took Miles to Discovery Park.  So fun!  We all bought annual passes & are sure to go back soon.  

He was scared to go in this helicopter b/c he thought is was going to take off.  Our ever so cautious child...

His fierce dinosaur face...

You had to hold this mirror steady and aim at another mirror to make an airplane fly.  I didn't think he was going to be able to do it, but he worked for a little while and figured it out by himself.

He was so proud...

This slide is very tall and very fast.  You have to take your shoes off and hold them on the way down.  He lost his shoes in the slide b/c he was trying to hold can see them behind him...

He adamantly said no when I asked if he wanted to go down again.  He's like, "get me outta here"....

I, on the other hand, thought it was very fun and would have gone down again if I wasn't the adult...

The living sand was his favorite thing.  I looked like sand, but was soft and not messy at all.  Very cool.

We went to Applebee's for a late lunch and then came home for the night.  Granny & Pa stopped by for a visit.  I told Miles to hug Granny's leg so I could get a picture and he took me literally...

Today started a little rocky with a few 'episodes' before church, so there was this...

But, we've enjoyed quality time hanging out and watching as much football as he will allow....

The best news of the day is that my weekend isn't over.  I'm off work tomorrow.  I'm going to attempt to get back into the gym.  This could be interesting.  Good night friends!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BOB Books

One of my favorite blogs is Clover Lane.  The writer is a stay at home mom with 6 kids.  She often has good reminders about how kids don't need to be involved in everything or have lots of 'stuff' to be happy.  A lot of the blogs I read are just for fun, but I've actually learned and taken things from her blog. 

I learned about BOB Books from her.  They are box sets of simple, little books that are designed to help kids learn to read.  The first book is called Mat.  It goes like this..


Mat sat. Sam.

Sam sat. Mat sat. Sam sat.

Mat sat on Sam. Sam sat on Mat. 

Mat sat. Sam sat. The End.

You get the point.  They are simple and the pictures coordinate with the words.  Miles and I read through the first book, Mat, last night and sounded out the words.  Then, he read it all by himself.  After that, he read the second book called Sam.  I was so proud of him...and he was so happy. We decided to start on the third book called Dot.  And here's where I discovered that he wasn't really reading the words, only looking at the pictures and guessing correctly.....that is until Dot.  It went like this....


"Dot has a magnifying glass."