Written by Tracy Runge.

Do you ever just have those days that make you so grateful for the gifts God has graced you with that you are brought to tears? Well….I had one of those days TODAY!!!! Okay, so it wasn’t really just a day…it was more like a couple of days that finally got my emotions all built up to a point that I just couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.

As I have written before, our oldest daughter is off at Nebraska Wesleyan. She called us on Wednesday to tell us that she had just officially declared her second major- Communication. So, it is official, she is a double major in Psychology & Communication. This may not seem like a proud mama moment to you, but I admire Taylor’s focus and determination.

Her long-term goal is to work for a non-profit organization that helps either children or the environment. She is passionate about the organization Invisible Children and also helping endangered species. She is the kind of person that organizes fundraisers, attends youth rallies, and chairs committees, recycles, and volunteers in her community and VOTES!!! I was so surprised when the day after her 18th birthday she drove herself down to the courthouse and registered. Proudly I was even able to accompany her in May when she participated in her first national election. Ironically, I remember MY first national election ….I went with my mom too (and I was pregnant with my special girl!) Talk about coming full circle.

Later that night when I returned home from a catechist training at church, I went  to say goodnight to Liam and Payton. Payton told me that she would be playing Varsity again on the golf team the following day….uh huh…another proud mama moment. Our freshman daughter would be playing in her second Varsity meet which qualifies her for a Varsity letter. So cool!!!

Thursday I was sitting at the desk in our office and I took a quick look at my news feed on Facebook. I noticed a link to Taylor’s newest blog. So…of course I took a moment to click on it 😉 After reading it…I IMMEDIATELY sent Taylor a text. It simply said, “Tears…” I could hardly see the screen of my iPhone through the tears in my eyes. It was one of those moments in your life when you realize that the love you give your family and the daily lessons you have taught your children….meant something. The conversation via text went like this,

Taylor: Tears about what?

Me: Just read your blog

Taylor: Why did it make you sad?

Me: It makes me proud and full of joy knowing how much you all love each other!!!

Taylor: I’m glad

Please click on the picture below to read Taylor’s blog entitled, Brothers. It may not move you to tears as it did me, but as the mother of the subjects and the author…I was.

Well, I left the office and headed to pick up our youngest boys from school a little early so we could head to Liam’s Cross Country Meet in Cairo. I walk into the school and wait in the office for my boys to come in. Jackson looks a little down when he smiles and greets me. We start to walk down the hall towards his classroom and I ask him, “Jackson, what’s bothering you?” He begins to cry. Oh, that’s just the worst isn’t it moms?!? Nothing hurts more than seeing your children cry….he looks up at me and says, “I don’t want to miss Science Class.” WHEW!!! You know my inner mama bear was ready to pounce thinking someone was mean to my baby….doesn’t want to miss science 😉 If that’s what gets my third grader down….NO PROBLEM!!! I told him it was okay, we needed to go support his big brother at his race. He was quickly cheered up when I told him that he would get to stand at the finish line with me and hand out water bottles to his teammates as they finished.

Well, I am proud to say that Jackson did a great job cheering for the Stars of Kearney Catholic and giving them a cold bottle of water as they crossed the finish line…and our personal favorite Star finished in 4th place to help his team secure 1st place at the 2012 Centura Cross Country Meet! I love watching Liam compete in sports, and not because he is talented. After each race he makes a point of personally shaking the hand and congratulating each of the competitors in his race. So…..that was my proud mama moments all summed up for the week!

I get up each day before the sun; start my coffee and often the laundry too 😉 I subject my family to a rigid schedule that helps our chaotic life be a little more structured. I expect them to treat EVERYONE with kindness, even people that wrong them in some way. They are all responsible for chores to help our home run smoothly. We join hands before meals and bow our heads to pray. We attend Mass weekly as a family. We volunteer together in our church, schools and community. We avoid filling our minds with inappropriate TV shows and music. We support and uplift one another and at the end of the day, it is comforting to know that our family is strong and full of love for one another. Are we perfect? NO WAY!!! (Just ask the zookeeper in the gorilla enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo this weekend that had to turn off the fire alarm that our son pulled!!!) But we make an effort, we make choices and they’re not always right. Watching our children grow and become independent and seeing just how important they all are to each other makes every crazy, chaotic, loud, messy, hilarious, glorious day worth it! That is the best blessing anyone could ever ask for…so today (and everyday) I am grateful for my beautiful family!



Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity. www.sendoutcards.com/tracirunge