The Voice of an Angel

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Gabriel has an amazing voice.  Honestly, when he sings, it often brings tears to my eyes.  I am so happy that he is in choir.  When I am able to pick out his voice from the group, it makes my heart smile.

His winter concert was fantastic.  I loved the holiday songs and the festive mood that they created.

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I especially loved seeing my oldest boy all dressed up in a tuxedo for the first time.  It literally took my breath away for a moment because there was a brief pause, as I realized that he really is growing up so fast.  All I can do is continue to embrace the memories, holding on as tight as I can, knowing that, no matter what, he will always be my first born son, the boy who made me a momma.

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Our Soccer Boy

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Gabriel is one of the most determined, hard-working kids I have ever known.

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His dedication to something is sometimes a little intense because he pours his heart and soul into it.

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He loves soccer.  It is a fun hobby for him, but it is also something that he takes very seriously.  Sean has always said that he loves to see a player who hates losing more than they love winning.  At times, the losing part has been hard, and Gabriel has had to learn how to lose gracefully.  It is a life lesson, one that is an important part of growing up.

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This soccer season was full of ups and downs.  The ending was fantastic, when we won the championship.

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The beginning and the middle, though, were not quite as fairytale.

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Gabriel had a terrible toe injury that took him out of soccer for most of a month.

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In addition, his team struggled to win games, and the coach really struggled with remaining positive.  Gabriel is a kid who definitely needs positive reinforcement.

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However, as I look back at pictures, I see the eyes and heart of a champion in every single picture.  I am so proud of the lessons that he learned this season, and I cannot wait to see what next season holds for my soccer boy.

The Heart of a Champion

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Our Gabriel has been playing soccer since he was in 1st grade.  He has played every position on the field, and he has played at various levels from recreational to select.  I still remember his very first game.  He did not really know what he was doing, but he smiled the entire game.  I remember looking at my mom and saying, “He is having so much fun.”

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At that moment, it became very clear to me that sports should always be about more than just winning.  They should be about learning to play as a team, building character, and always, always having fun.

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Of course, not every game, over the years has been fun.  There have been some brutal losses, some heart-breaking losses, some injury-prone games, some fighting through illness victories, and some heart-swelling championships.

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There are those times, as a mom, that I will never forget.  I will never forget Gabriel singing in front of the entire school on his last day of 5th grade.  I will never forget the look on his face when he found out that we had given his baby sister the name that he had chosen for her.  I will never forget how he stood in utter disbelief when we told him that he had tested out of 8th grade math and jumped straight to algebra.  I will also never forget his face when his team won their the championship at the final soccer game of the season.

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Winning the championship was about so much more than a medal.  It was about a brutal season where a toe injury, of all things, had caused him to miss almost 4 weeks of soccer.  It was about a fall that was brutal on his allergies, which led to more asthma symptoms than we have experienced in years.  It was about a soccer boy who felt a little lost, with his confidence waning.  It was about the heart of a champion.

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