Earlier in the week, when we learned what time we'd be playing on Friday night, I thought it would be fun to surprise the kidlets with an overnight stay in a hotel - with an indoor pool. I brought out my Mom of the Year excitement and told them all about the fun we'd have jumping on the hotel bed and swimming inside.
That was, until I realized that Hays, America doesn't have many options when it comes to a decent hotel WITH an operating indoor swimming pool (emphasis on the operating part). After two strikes - and before a devastating strike-out that would require me to gulp down telling the kidlets we weren't going to stay - I hit the jackpot with not only an affordable hotel, but one that was decent (aka: not worried about bed bugs) and had an operating pool that even looked clean to these lifeguard/pool girl eyes.
I quickly packed up the kids Friday afternoon to take advantage of quiet mommy-driving time while they snoozed in the sunshine. We made a pit-stop in Russell for some ice cream at the A & W. (Yes, the one that only tends to be in smaller towns and makes awesome root beer floats!)
And then proceeded to check-in to our hotel 30 minutes later, followed by the mandatory bed-jumping extravaganza.
The girls won their first game, which made for a happy Friday night, albeit late. And bright and early on Saturday morning, the kidlets awoke for pool time. At 6 a.m. Yep, they were raring to go after a short slumber.
We also enjoyed a delightful day in the park while working off some nervous energy pre-game against Mac in the sub-state finals later Saturday night.
And about 45 minutes before the game - right before the teams were about to take the floor for shooting and warm-ups - little man took a tumble down the stairs. His wails filled up the entire gym (at least I thought they did); I felt like all eyes were on the mama who wasn't paying attention at the time (I least it felt like it); and a kind assistant coach from McPherson sweetly offered me some gauze and items to stop the bleeding from my kid's nose.
"Thanks for the kind offer, but I'll take my Buhler cotton balls."
Rivalries run deep, don't they?! Of course then I had to beg Jack to dig into the med kit for the said cotton balls.
All that to say....we did it. We MADE STATE! It was a nerve-wracking, yell-fest of a game, but we pulled off the big-time victory over McPherson (51-49, decided by two made free throws with almost 5 seconds to go) and made it to the state tournament in Salina.
It's an incredible feeling to go to state as a player. But it's even more incredible when you're older, a little less naive and more understanding of just how difficult it is to make it there, and seeing your hubs - who's poured a lot of sweat and tears to help the basketball program - make it to state with his head coach, fellow assistant coaches, and players.
Let's just say it was an invigorating ride home from Hays. A ride where Jack and I relived the fun game, talked about state strategy, and savored the exciting moment of a thrilling sub-state championship and victory.