Mat Talk

Lest you think our family is obsessed with all things martial arts, I wanted to share something else we are involved in.

          
                    WRESTLING

(Trent, my 112 lb. 9th grade wrestler with the yellow shoes)

  Joe started his career as a teacher and high school wrestling coach.  He coached for ten years and has been involved with community wrestling since then.
  When our first son was about two years old, he used to put all of his stuffed animals in a pile and run around them yelling, “two points! two points.”

(Trent and Tyler. Brothers talking strategy)
Well, twenty-three years and four sons later, wrestling continues to play a big part in our lives.  All of our sons have been quite successful in the sport. 
Jace and Trent who took 5th in State!!
We just finished the official wrestling season last week.  We spent two days at the Utah 4A State tournament cheering for our high school team and supporting my freshman son.

   I feel so blessed to have been able to watch most of Trent’s matches this year.  I’ve missed so many of them over the past two years. Even if I don’t understand all the moves and rules, and the seats get uncomfortable and the crowd gets so noisy, there is nothing better than being able to watch your child work and struggle and wrestle after paying the price in practice for weeks and months.

Jace declared the winner of a match last year

I live each second on the mat with him. My heart pounds in my chest with each point given.  Whether the ref raises my wrestlers arm at the end …. or not, I was there standing on sidelines or seating in the stands rooting for him all the way.  Feeling his successes or his failures, I am there. 

   Wrestling is a lot like life. It’s tough! We all need a lot of practice.  Sooner or later we will be out on that mat by ourselves facing challenges and fighting to come out on top.  Somethings we must face alone.  We all must be prepared to face our opponents or situations and sometimes we must do it by ourselves; One on one against the opposition or problem. However, through the easy or the hard it is good to know there are family or fans cheering us on from the sidelines.
  I hope my sons and my daughters will know and understand that no matter what comes in their lives, I will be there cheering them on from the sidelines and enjoying my involvement in their lives.


Oh, and about me. I go to Huntsman for tests this week. Labs, an MRI, and another biopsy.  Fun.  Wish me Luck and may all my numbers be good.




   

The Family That Kicks Together-Sticks Together!

The Kellys  Oct. 2008
Front row: Mallory, Trent, Spencer
Back Row: Joe, Kris, Jace, Dani, Tyler


I went back to work this month.  
Is it a job or an adventure hmmmmm?
I’m working at our family owned and operated martial arts studio.  
The front desk
My family has been kicking in the martial arts for about twenty years.
It all started when my husband and my oldest son at 7 yrs. old began training.  
Well to make a long story as short as possible……
Tyler competing in forms

In 1997, we opened our own martial arts studio in a building behind our home.  My husband taught classes in his “spare time” in the evenings.  Eventually our own children and several students also became instructors. 

             Spencer practicing self-defense 


I used to run a preschool in the building during the day then move all my equipment out of the way and help run the studio in the evening.  I look back now and think, “Wow! how did I ever do it.”  I definitely don’t have enough immunities or energy now for four year olds.

In October of 2008, we moved to a building on Main Street and then to our current location a year ago.  My son took over the management of the studio. (We opened a couple weeks before I was diagnosed with mm.  I remember painting the walls and complaining how tired I was. :) Fortunately at that time, Joe was able to step back and spend more time caring for our family and me.  What a blessing!
Tournament sparring

Well that’s the history in a nutshell.  Maple Mountain Martial Arts continues to do well and as it grows a decision was made that the business needed a “studio mom.” Someone to run the front desk, tie Little Ninja’s belts, answer the phones, answer the questions, and just be there to meet and greet students and parents among other things.   So I’m now working at Maple Mountain Martial Arts for 2-3 hours, three to four afternoons a week.  It has been great for me to get out among people again and have somewhere to go everyday.    

  
 Jace after testing for his black belt and 
Mallory earning her 2nd degree black belt.  
Joe also tested for his 3rd degree that day.
(you don’t see brother/sister hugs like that everyday….very rare!)



This isn’t exactly what I earned a college degree for, however I am very blessed to have such great working conditions and there are plenty of “perks”. My son is  now my “boss”  I work with my daughter; she is one of the instructors, and I take my youngest son with me.  He does his homework there and attends class. 


Myeloma medication-dexamethasone is still wrecking havoc with my energy levels.  I battle fatigue daily and bone pain whenever it decides to appear.  Having a job helps to put cancer on the back burner.  Just what I need. 

Another view of the studio.  We are in the process of remodeling the basement to add additional space for classes.


Who would have thought any of this would be possible when my husband and son put on  crisp new uniforms and clean white belts twenty years ago.  


We have definitely had ups and downs, but over the past few years our back-yard business, our family, and I have grown in many ways.  Our lives have exceeded those white belt expectations and our family continues to kick together and stick together.


Intense Suspense



 So much has happened over the last few weeks.  We had a great Christmas.  I saved my energy for the important things, and tried to let the little things go without feeling to guilty.  
        My granddaughter Tabitha
 on Christmas Eve.   
  
      My best Christmas present came a week early when a large envelope came in the mail from “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”  It was addressed to my son.  We knew it would be coming, and gathered all the family and a few friends together as he opened it.  It was a mission call.  Jace has been sent on an LDS mission to  the San Juan, Puerto Rico mission.  He will be leaving March 23rd.  He will be gone for two years! 

My oldest son Tyler holding his daughter. 
(He went on a mission to Guam)
 and Jace reading his mission call. 
 There was some intense suspense!

     This is a blessing and a sacrifice.   To understand more about an LDS mission go here.  
     Jace, as well as our family, are in for an incredible experience.  It will be really hard for me to let him go!  It is a leap of faith for me.  But I know it is the right thing.  He will be sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Puerto Rico. He will be learning spanish. We all have a lot of growing to do in the next couple years.  
    Happy New Year to all, and may good things come your way.

 
Puerto Rico!
    







        

    Christmas Reflections