For years, I remember talking with other volleyball families and they would tell me how they flew all over the country for tournaments and secretly, I always thought that was a little crazy but last week, we became one of those families.  And I have to say, it was pretty awesome.  Our first big tournament destination was Chicago, and we got to fly with some of Christian’s friends which made the whole experience that much more fun.  It was a big relief to get in (many flights were cancelled both on our departure and our return, because, well, Chicago in the winter can be tricky) and I was proud when we learned how to navigate the train system to get safely to our hotels.

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This weekend was also incredibly special, because not only did we get to see Christian’s team play, we also got to cheer on our Arizona nephew who was also playing at the same tournament.

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When you live far from family, you miss out on things like getting to see them excel in their sports and I have to say that we were just so thankful to get this opportunity.

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It was also pretty fun to get to cheer on these boys.

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A few things.  Last year, Christian basically set the entire time for his 14s team.  But this year, in addition to setting, he also got the opportunity to hit from the right side.  Which he absolutely loved.  Also how adorable is our sweet Arizona niece beaming proudly at her New York cousin.  She was hands down the best cheerleader for both her brother and Christian and it was delightful to watch her cheer on the boys all weekend.

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Back to the matches.  We were proud of our team who ended up taking second on the first day after beating two other teams in a tie breaker.

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It was so fun to see the boys play and build on the skills that they learned last year.

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But, as many of us sports parents know, there are good times and there are tough times as well.  And the next two days of sets would definitely prove to be on the tougher side for our boys and their first tournament.

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Despite the tough sets, it was still fun to get to see our boy and his team play hard.

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We cheered for Christian and we also cheered for his friends.

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And of course, the best part of the weekend was getting to have our Arizona, Seattle and Michigan families there to cheer everyone on as well!

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When you only get to see your family a few times a year, those times turn into precious capsules of memories.

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And I have to say that all throughout our weekend,

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Many precious memories were made.

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Of course we did our best to get a whole family picture.  It would have been fun to get some outdoor shots, but single digit temps kept us inside for most of the weekend.

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I’m so happy that Jeremy’s family were all able to come to Chicago to get together for the weekend.  When you represent four different states all spread out across the country, it’s kind of an amazing feat.

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And we all gave huge credit to the Arizona family that braved the tournament with these two precious babies.

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On the final day, Christian’s team made it to the first round of playing for Silver and our Arizona team played for Gold.  All in all, we were very proud of our boys and their teams and the heart that they played with.

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After the tournament was over, we took an extra day to enjoy time with Jeremy’s parents as well as our Michigan family.  And though it was sad to have to say goodbye, it was also just an incredible blessing to have gotten to spend so much time with our family.

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And that sums up our first volleyball tournament of the year.  We are looking forward to two more bid tournaments and many more opportunities to watch Christian and his team play.  All in all, it was a great weekend for volleyball and a great weekend to spend with our family as well.

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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