Gratitude in the midst of a full swing life

hanging at nana and papaws

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Summer is in full swing at the Nikazy house. That means swim team in the morning, summer camp, gymnastics, taekwondo, swim meets on Tuesdays, a full slate of swim lessons for mommy, early work hours for daddy, plus training – and playing.

Sunday afternoon we went to Nana and Papaw’s house where you three played in the new hammock in the backyard.

I snuck in a little rest as well. I rested in the new hammock and stared up through the leaves in my parents backyard, where I grew up, and listened to my own kids playing in the tree house nearby. 

izzy off to camp

Izzy, you left for Cross Camp on Monday morning. It’s one of the highlights of your year and we’re so proud that with everything you do and accomplish – straight A’s, President’s Award, Southeastern Qualifying swimmer – nothing gets you more excited than spending a full week in praise and worship. You were giddy. We can’t wait to see you tomorrow when you return though.

Max, you tested for your promotion at Taekwondo last week.

max testing

And this week you received your promotion to black stripe. Taekwondo has been the best investment we’ve made in you. What we wanted for you was to see you gain more confidence in yourself. And you are, along with the other tenets of Taekwondo. Self defense is just a small part of what you’re gaining.

max black stripe

Kate, you continue to love gymnastics – just like your big sister did at your age. You are perpetual motion in the gym. Even while standing in line for your turn, you jump and spin your arms. 

kate gymnast

We’re all busy so far this summer, but a few nights ago mommy and I sat on the bed and talked about our life. There are days when it all feels too hectic. Adult life can be overwhelming in midst of all of the business of parenting. But when you slow down and focus on gratitude you begin to see all that’s beautiful in our life right now: you kids are in swim team, gymnastics, taekwondo, church, your school is in our backyard, we have a trail that leads to a creek you love to wade in every evening, we go the beach twice a year, we have family nearby. We don’t “want” for much.

It’s not a perfect life. But taking a few minutes to swing in hammock under a tree or sitting with the ones you love and making a list of things to be grateful for makes you realize it’s a good life.

When you’re older, like me, slow down in the midst of life’s full swing and list the things you’re grateful for. Swing in a hammock and listen,  it’ll come to you.

I love you,


TRAINING: I’m getting closer to “prepared” for my first race in a little over a week at Old Hickory Lake

Sat: Biked 23 miles followed by a 2 mile transition run

Sun: Biked 16 miles followed by a 6 mile brick run

Mon: Ran 5 miles, swam 400

Tues: Biked 17 miles at TT effort

Wed: Ran 3 miles with intervals

Thurs: Ran 2, Swam 500, Ran 2 combo