Thursday, October 29, 2015

One-on-One: L. Bernal-Wood

Let me have the pleasure of introducing this fine young woman to you! Her name is Lisa, and she is an amazing wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, friend and so much more (not just because she's my cousin!). Her and I share very similar passions, a few of them being football and student-athletes. She's got some great insight to share with you as it pertains to being a student-athlete or being surrounded by a student-athlete and coach!
Q // How did meeting your husband and your Master's Thesis play a part in your passion for sports and student-athletes?
As a football wife, I stay involved in football by helping my husband with recruitment, tutoring, campus visits, etc. It is important that we are here to help our student-athletes. We do this because we want our students to succeed - in and out of the classroom. It is hard to see talented youth be turned away from their football dreams, losing their football scholarship, or being unable to graduate after their eligibility has expired because they do not have the grades. 
Somehow, student-athletes are being lost in the process of grades and games. I wanted to study ways to increase student-athlete football graduation rates. I focused specifically on football because studies have shown that student-athletes who participate in high revenue sports (such as football) had lower cognitive outcomes and learning benefits than other students and even other student-athletes. This special student population will dedicate so much time to their sport, and it is their academics that takes a back seat to the sport, and sometimes it is their academic career that pays the price.
Q // What tips can you share with student-athletes that you wish someone told you in college?
I wish someone told me - go to the career center the first semester you are on campus! Make sure you LIKE or even LOVE the career you are in because you are going to be doing it for a long time. Study and get your degree - you are paying lots of money to get smarter... so get smarter!!
Q // How might students prepare best for post-graduation?
Try to work (or at least intern) while you are in college in your field because today employers are looking for candidates that have education AND experience. Be the candidate that has both!! As a student, we focus on being just that - a student. We get tunnel vision and don't think outside of our schooling and sport. Although some degrees require internship hours to graduate, not all majors do. Internship hours are great because they not only get you the experience you need, but most of the time you can get college credits for your internship hours - talk to your academic advisor about it!!
Lisa has some GREAT points that I think can benefit from student-athletes or students attending college. I think there needs to be an emphasis on what life will be like post-college. There's nothing wrong with taking the time you need to explore your passions before jumping into a job!

Do you have any tips you would like to share for college students during and after college regarding a future in their career?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

He Cares for You

As we face one of the hardest football seasons we've had since the Hubs has been on a coaching staff, we do our best to stay positive and uplifting. The Cornhuskers are 3-5 thus far, and those 5 losses have been by a TOTAL of 13 points. We tend to do great throughout the game against our opponents, but it's towards the end of the game that we tend to give up those very few points... which makes the losses that much tougher.

There's only so much we can do or say as coaches wives, as fans, as football lovers. But this verse says it all... and even better... it's from the most reliable source mankind has - the Word of God. If we cast our anxiety and cares on God, we need to trust that the anxiety and worry we carry will be taken care of by our God because he cares for us. Having such worries in life does nothing for us... it doesn't make us stronger... it doesn't change us for the better... in fact, most of the things we worry about do not even surface in reality meaning it's SUCH a waste of time!

This is such an important message I have to meditate on quite frequently in life. Although I can't stop myself from worrying about many things, I can definitely remind myself to trust in my God and cast my cares upon him, for He cares for me.

This week as we prepare to face Purdue, I will pray for our coaches and players, and leave my worries behind me (as should you!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2 Weeks of Life

If you haven't heard from my last few blog posts (or if you can't tell by my lack of visibility on here for the past 6 weeks or so)... we have a new bundle of joy! I wanted to share these snaps that Kate from Kate Florian Photography who captured of our love at 2 weeks old [she also captured our blissful maternity snaps you can see from this post]. I can't believe I'm 6 weeks into this life of Mommyhood... as many memories have already been made and Mata is growing before my very own eyes.

When they say, "things happen so quickly"... they really mean it with sweet precious babies. So I will forever stare at these amazing pictures of my baby at 2 weeks old and live in that moment of life because I never want to forget it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fight On!

If you're submerged in the football world like I am, you have probably heard the news about USC's head coach, Coach Sarkisian. For those of you who aren't familiar with Coach Sark's latest, let me update you in the short version way (don't worry... I have a point coming!). He's had some things happen in his personal life that has caused him to turn to what most of us like to numb our sorrows in... alcohol. There is a lot of speculation out there saying that he has shown up to practices and perhaps a few games under the influence. Whether or not it's true... who knows.

BUT, one fact that I do know is that unfortunately, he was fired as USC's head coach. Yes... during the middle of the season, Athletic Director, Pat Haden, decided that it was best for the players and the University to part ways with Coach Sark. Since then, Coach Sark has been seeking help for himself to get well which is the point of my post today...

When you take a coaching job at a University (or with the NFL), you are basically signing up for your professional AND personal life to be out in the public. These men go through the good, bad and ugly with fans, the press, and anyone else who might read up on their business. It's just the name of the game. I've been thinking a lot about Coach Sark and how brave it is for him to go through these things publicly. Not only is he going through a rough start of a season, but his issues are being aired out there for everyone to criticize. Instead, I choose to celebrate his journey because if it weren't for being in this situation, he wouldn't be in the shoes he's in now seeking out the professional help and getting stronger by the day. Furthermore, he is setting a great example for those who need inspiration to get through some dark moments in life. Whether it be with the use of alcohol, a bad season, kids who just aren't 'getting it', or whatever troubles you may have. There are brighter days ahead of you, so long as you choose to love yourself, take care of yourself, and prioritize your well-being over ANYTHING else. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others!

Do you know anyone who is need of help? A boost of morale support? Offer some words of encouragement... stay positive... and never be too ashamed to share your story!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Life Lately

It's been a good while since I've posted or even thought about blogging. If you didn't know, I've had some major changes welcoming our sweet baby boy into this world.

MOMMYHOOD // It's been a whirl wind of events, each day bringing a different set of adventures, but ones that I wouldn't trade for the world. The lack of sleep and forgetfulness of life is SO worth every moment of being a mommy! Today marks ONE MONTH since the day we welcome our son on earth. Cheers to many more celebrations as the days, weeks and months go by.
FAMILY // My hubs and I have been beyond blessed to have our family with us throughout every step of this journey. We had family here in the prep stages of baby making his big debut... family in the deliver room... family after to help with the transition... and of course family now (especially since it's during the football season!). They have helped us clean, cook, take care of baby, and just be there for morale support. I am SO grateful they were able to fly out from all over the world to help welcome our son into the loving family that we have.
FOOTBALL // No lie... we've had a rough start this football season in Cornhusker nation. We've had a pretty tough schedule starting with our pre-season games into our conference games. We've managed to play our hearts out, but fell short in FOUR games all down to the last minute! The coaches and players have been working together to find their rhythm, but as we all know... that's easier said than done. Watching from the eyes of a wife and fan, it hurts my heart to see us ALMOST with the W game after game. BUT if we keep thinking positively, we are bound to turn this around and make the most of our season day by day. With that said... we have a big game against Minneapolis this weekend that I just know we can dominate. Balls to the wall and POSITIVE THINKING!! That's just how we get through the days ahead of us!
What have you all been up to for the past month? How's your football season going? Have you watched the Walking Dead yet (I haven't had a chance to watch the season opener so PLEASE don't spoil it for me)?

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