Monday, October 31, 2011

The Great Pumpkin, and other Halloween myths

I was planning to write a spooky, carefully crafted Halloween monologue today, but the inspiration escapes me.  Halloween was always my favorite holiday.  One that embraces childhood and fun, without getting too commercial.  Sure, we buy costumes and candy, but it always seemed to be an equal opportunity fun holiday.

Long before I had kids, I would drag the husband to the pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, and decorate the house.  Somehow this year, I forgot to do these things with my seven year old.  Bad mom, I know.

So what changed?  Too busy with football season?  Have I done all these things too many times?  Should I consult a therapist about the all too painful memory of the perfect jack-o-lantern that was smashed 12 years ago?

Halloween, like most things in life, is eventually jaded. 

Love taking the kids trick or treating... but they have school the next morning. 

The best costumes will usually leave your child complaining they are too cold, or they will destroy it in the first mud puddle they find.

Candy leads to the argument of how well teeth were actually brushed.

My daughter is allergic to peanuts, so 1/3 of her candy is a loss anyway.

Jack-o-lanterns get smashed.  Houses get egged.  Someone steals all the candy in your bowl.  Half the neighbors turn their lights off.  Some of your neighbors don't even celebrate, leaving you to explain how this holiday is super fun, but some people think it's evil.

And every year, without fail, Charlie Brown gets a rock... again.

Ugh.  Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lordy, lordy, look who's forty

With my husband's birthday on the horizon, I decided to start planning the event.  I perused dance clubs in Portland to find a venue.  

I click on a five-star club that, according to Yelp, ranked number two in the area!  Ron Jeremy's Club Sesso.
My first thought:  I wouldn't set foot in a place associated with Ron Jeremy.  But, then again, who was I to judge something I knew nothing about.

Ron Jeremy's Club Sesso is labeled as an adult club.  Well, duh.  Kids can't go to clubs, right?  WRONG!  It was adult club.  The first revue stated how lovely the place was because they clean and sanitize the beds between people.  You can't even imagine my curiosity and horror when I continued reading and spotted the word orgy bar.  This alleged orgy bar was described as "pretty lame" because when they visited, it was just one couple going at it, with a bunch of young guys watching.  I blushed just reading that.

Oh... and you can't just go there.  You have to buy a membership.  One man that loves date nights with his wife said "money well spent!  Where else can you get a mixed drink, steak dinner, shower, and a good f*** with your wife for that price!?"  Wow... that's romantic!

So I've settled on Lola's, at the Crystal ballroom.  80's night.  I'm planning to wear a "frankie say relax" t shirt and ordering sliders from the happy hour menu at Ringlers.

Not just because I'm scared to death of the other place.  Not just because I'm afraid of the face my friends would make if I invited them there.'s because I don't want to know how many of my friends already have a membership!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where am I?

As a girl living in college dorms, it was most pressing to decorate your door.  Uniquely, I might add.  My roommates and I always had a flare for the odd or scandalous.  Early on I learned you must also have a homemade locator.  What is a homemade locator??  A crudely fashioned, bedazzled spinning wheel (much like the Milton Bradley variety) that can be moved to point out exactly where you are.  In class!  At the dunes!  Party!  With my boyfriend!  Library!  Out to lunch!

I, of course, found it moronic.  Therefore my homemade locator was split in two pieces:  In class, not in class.  At the state U, I majored in sarcasm.

There is no surviving evidence to this trend in history.  Technology made sure of that.  Now, you can simply announce very specifically where you are on twitter, facebook, or any other variety of social media.

I prefer my privacy.

Gone are the days of simply living your life.  We have become so socially mingling and egocentric, we actually believe the world will end if people don't know you're at Fred Meyer.  At local vet office.  Getting a root canal.

When the line forms to have scan trons tattooed on our forehead, and locator chips inserted into our left front lobe, I think I'll pass.

Status:  in front of computer, mocking you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Almost there...

Hang in there Traci!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rachel's Challenge

At a PTA conference several years ago, I attended a very moving presentation.  I should have realized upon entering the conference room that it would be heart wrenching.  Greeters were standing to either side of the door handing out individual packets of Kleenex.  The next hour was unforgettable.

Let me first preface by stating I hate to cry in public.  There are personal occasions when something gets to me, but I go to great lengths to protect my street cred.  Titanic in the theaters... wouldn't give them the satisfaction.  Pulling my grandfather's life support... there would be time for tears later.  Kindergarten graduation... please!

The presentation was Rachel's Challenge, inspired in memory of the first student killed at Columbine High School in the 1999 rampage.  Her father and brother were speaking on her behalf that her death not be in vain.  She wrote her beliefs in diaries and a school paper on ethics prior to her death.  Rachel believed that we should put faith in others, stop judging people, show kindness and compassion, and remember to tell the people in your life how much they are treasured.

After the waterworks, and yes I sobbed, most of the audience filed this away as an unforgettable experience and presentation.  I took it further.  I accepted Rachel challenge, and have been working on it for over three years.

Friends frequently comment they don't know where I honestly stand on things.  I'm outgoing and friendly, but I don't let many people in.  I trust at an arms length.  While it is unlikely that this will change much, I could at least make an attempt to leave nothing unsaid with those I love.

So, I tried to give a little room on my vulnerability.

I started with the PTA girls I was bunking with in Seatac.  Over a drink at the rooftop hotel bar, yes I had to have a drink in me for this first attempt, I told them I loved them.  I came home and kissed my family and told them I loved them.  I started telling friends I love them, and what made me love them so.  I started telling all the kids that hang out at our house that I love them.  I called my parents.

I have been doing this so long, it's become who I am. I tell children, neighbors, friends and family I love them.   I try to tell them why I love them, and what makes them such an important contribution to the world.  To my life.
One of those PTA friends wrote of me in her blog that I was heartbreakingly tender. Thank you to Rachel and her family for bringing out my best and enriching my life.
I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.

- Rachel Scott

Monday, October 24, 2011

October *sigh*

"...writing induces melancholy. It is lonely. You’re alone, alone, alone, a hermit, an absolutely intolerable person, and then you finish...", 
-Claire Tomalin

angel of melancholy
autumn edition

October used to be my favorite month of the year.  Not a lot of rain, the smell of autumn in the air, Halloween and harvest celebrations, and occasional surprises of sun that beg you to keep your shorts out just a little longer.

Substitute teaching may have changed that.  There are long periods early in the school year where subs are just not needed.  And the house is so quiet. Don't know what to do with myself.  Then when you finally get that sub call... you just wish for one more day of this dreaded solitude.  Ugh.  Public schools.

Now the jobs are lining up, and I feel... indifferent.  I was restless with how things were,  and now I'm just not excited about how things will be.  The grass doesn't seem green on either side.

I love teaching.  I love children.  I love the whole stinkin' educational community.  I don't love borrowing students from another teacher.  I don't love fitting my own teaching style in someone else's environment.  I think I just want a classroom to call my own.

But... I'm picky.  I want to teach the grade I want, the way I want, at the school I want.  This doesn't seem likely to fall in my lap.

So what do I do?  Lower my expectations for the opportunities life brings, or hold out for the miracle that will truly make me happy.  Hmmm...

Last week was a very long week, and I didn't even remember I'm supposed to love October. My job is to be everyones sunshine, but even I can't always do that. Forgive my one blue week, my one blue post.

So for now, I will fall back into the solitude of writing, which will clearly not lift my spirits.  Hopefully my friends will send help soon.  And snacks.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

and so it ends

The Mustangs played the best, undefeated team for their last game of the season.  The Hawks would be ranked #1 even if they lost against us.  In that was our hope.  They didn't even have to try in this game.  Maybe they would use this opportunity to try new plays, rest players so they didn't get hurt.  Maybe we could squeak out a win that would be the stuff legends are made of.  Our boys were pumped and motivated to go out with a bang.  That was not the way this story would end.

Final score was around 39-0.  I'm not even sure the exact score because I stopped keeping track.  The entire game our boys tried to hold them.  The entire game was viciously won by those small moments.  My poor boy missed two tackles that resulted in touchdowns.  IF only he had run faster.  IF only he had predicted the angle better.  IF only that other player wasn't so dang fast. 

D went out with a bang, but he couldn't see it.  He played center this game.  I could never get a picture of my guy in the lineup because he's buried behind all those bigger kids.  But every time, like poetry, he snapped with accuracy, and was the first to block.  Instantaneous perfection. 

A larger player was taken out, and D was subbed in defensive line on a goal line stance.  It took the other team four tries within the 5 yardline, but they scored.  D took a stiff arm to the face, and the other team scored.  On one play, he dove, missed, and got kicked in the face.  I'm sure it was followed by the other team scoring, but I lost track.

They punted, they passed, they blocked.  It just wasn't enough.

During the post game wrap up, my poor boy wouldn't take off his helmet because tears were streaming down his face.  He followed up that afternoon with an email to the coaches that he was sorry he let them down.  I'm pretty sure the coaches didn't see that gesture as one of defeat, but one of strength.

Cameron and Dominic

I just hope he will see that and continue to strive for greatness.  I hope they all continue to strive for greatness.

Ahhh... but there is a part two to this story....

The Hawks are a pretty conceited team.  Sure, they have every reason to be, but children are instilled with the values parents and coaches project on them.

Rumors have run that this team bows to the fans after the game.  Cute, right?!  Turns out it's not cute at all.  They don't bow to their parents and fans, they bow to the opposing teams parents and fans.

Fortune on our side, our fans cleared out rather quickly. When the Hawks returned to the sideline, removed their helmets, and prepared for the gloating gesture, most of our fans were gone.  The coach then instructed they all move over... so they could be seen from behind the stadium, by all those walking to the parking lot.  Sport chants followed, such as number one, woot woot, and loser.

Being one of the very few left in the stands, I witnessed a mass crowd to my left standing up and encouraging the players to scream their praises.  When all had settled, my lone voice rang out "pooooor sportsmanship!"

Among the indignant musings I heard a single voice yell back "...because you're a loser.  A f***ing loser."  Wow.  Youth sports.

I am so grateful my son had such a great team of boys this season.  I am even more grateful that his coaches encouraged strength of character, and challenging yourself.  I would rather he be on a team that loses with it's head held high than a team that gloats in their win.

I will be at the CCYF junior division championship in a few weeks.  And, by the grace of good, if someone can beat those Hawks, I will remember to take a moment to bow to their parents.

Mustang power!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Last dance

Last game Mustangs
High Noon
Let's roll

Friday, October 21, 2011

One Year Later...

One year ago today, a darling, sweet, almost 4 year fell out his window and suffered extreme brain damage.  I'm reposting an excerpt from a long letter she wrote, in hopes that her message will help others protect their children.

For you, Becca.

We did have many other child protection devices. In fact, we'd gone beyond the well-known safety products such as outlet covers. For example, we had mesh over the rails on our deck even though the deck isn't very high. After a thorough research on car safety, we'd opted for Britax car seats and even have our seven-year-old in a 5 point harness with side impact protection. I'd also made a call to the Washington Poison Center to request Mr. Yuk stickers and put them on anything that might be poisonous for kids to drink even though they were all in locked cabinets. Most heartbreaking is that we had the cords for our blinds wrapped up high so he couldn't reach them and accidentally choke himself. In fact, it was those cords that he was fascinated by and reaching for the day he fell from his window. It was nap time and since he wasn't tired, he was just quietly playing in his room. In that one moment of childhood curiosity, he lost so much!

Almost a year later, I am still haunted by visions of blood running out of my son's ear and skull, his eyes fluttering closed and by the uncertainty for his future. My son, my husband and I, and our other two children to some extent, will forever live in the prison created by the consequences of not installing window guards.

Our son was an intelligent, well-behaved little boy. Several days prior to his accident, my husband had explained to him very clearly how dangerous his window could be. He listened and seemed to register every bit of information. He understood it... but just at the level that a 4-year-old can, not the way adults comprehend real dangers. He was curious and in the end, talking wasn't enough. Telling kids to stay away from windows isn't necessarily enough to avoid tragedy. I wish we'd known then what we know now about window guards.

I'm certain there are many educated, involved and loving parents out there who don't have child safety window locks, but would install them if they knew the risk compared with the minimal effort and time to put them on. Talking to your children necessarily isn't enough to avoid tragedy. Fifty children a year fall from windows in Oregon alone and 5,000 nationwide. I strongly encourage you to get child safe window stops or 4-inch window opening limiters if you don't already have them. Here are three window safety products recommended by the Safety Store located inside the Legacy Emanuel hospital:

Guardian Angel window guards.

Kid Co Window Stop.

KidCo Mesh Window Guard

Window guards or child safe window locks can be simple and cheap and they are worth your child's continued well-being. The staff at the Safety Store of Emanuel hospital are passionate and knowledgeable about window safety and more than willing to help. Their number is 503-413-4600.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jack, Jill, and the others

Recently, I made a nursery rhyme reference to my kids.  Imagine my horror when they returned glazed over, confused expressions.  They don't know nursery rhymes!

Every bad mom instinct boiled over inside me.  How had I reared these children and forgot to teach them nursery rhymes?  Thoughts barrelled in... how to play jacks, double dutch, cats cradle??

For my first birthday, my grandparents gave me a book of nursery rhymes, with a loving inscription that I will always cherish.  I pulled this dusty, old book off the shelf, and lovingly started flipping the pages.

Um.  This ladybug, that left her children home alone, had a house fire?  Mothers couldn't feed their children?  Robins die and cats fall in wells?
Children were whipped for fairly insignificant offenses?

What were they thinking?

I'll check if they have a less terrorizing nursery rhyme app for my phone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finding your voice

There are approximately 12 versions of me that wear different hats.  I am a teacher, kind and soft.  I am an intellectual, with a sarcastic flare for humoring the educated.  I am a sex symbol, using my feminine wiles.  I am vulnerable and sentimental... rarely seen.

Each venue of my life has to be carefully assessed to know which personality, or combination of personalities, can be shown.  It's what you do.  Professionalism is a must.  Audience must be recognized.  Paper trails must be considered.

Sometimes... I feel orange.

I am fully aware that my facebook friends include children.  Apparently, by accepting their friendship, I have taken on the responsibility to monitor what they are exposed to.  Not their parents, it's on me.

Heavy concerns of the job market also force me to curtain my opinions, or at least provide a disclaimer.  These people that are hiring me... they aren't human??

I resent having to delete something I've posted, in an attempt to never offend anyone.  That is why I have a blog.  That is also why I may sometimes talk to myself.  I never judge me.

So when you finally get to the root, find your voice, why does it have to be a secret?  Writing, like all arts, is about expression.  It's fine if it doesn't question, offend, or challenge anyone or anything else.  But really... how deep is your expression if you have to handle every interaction like a job interview?

Must delete frankly honest post now.  Stepford wives crisis response team is on the way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beware of the Bitch

Girls are bitches.  Ya... pretty rough, but this is my blog. 

Most of my life, I have not been a pack mentality kind of girl.  It can be lonely on the outside, but if you're lucky, you'll befriend others that don't travel in hunting parties.

For the first time in my life, as a mom, I was forced into these situations.  I cloaked myself as a girl that actually cared if I belonged.  Of course, I got badly burned.

What seemed ruthless and painful turned out to be a great learning experience.  I am slow to warm with people before offering my friendship.  I have also developed great bitch radar.  I never punish someone by judging them on first impression, but my bitch radar is seldom wrong, and I just don't have time for these kind of women.

I've learned the most important rule concerning women, bitchiness, and survival.  Never...never... go out without one of your own girls to back you up.  Bitches feed on solitary women.  Especially nice ones.

Fully aware of the risk, I recently put myself in this lone wolf situation.  I stupidly thought that guys could count as my backup.  Wrong.  You can line up a hundred men behind you, and they will still prove useless when two girls begin circling each other.

Worse part...I was attacked from multiple directions.  Remember the Jurassic Park movies, when the velociraptors would encircle their prey?  Ya.  That was me. 

I still can't fully understand why women do this to other women.  We as a gender should unite, but instead many continue to knock other women down until there is nothing left.  My self esteem is high enough to avoid causing permanent damage.  Is theirs?

Upon reporting the audacious bitch behavior to my friends, I was unanimously supported with a "What??  That bitch!!  I'll kick her ass."

So to the bitches out there that stack their numbers behind them...
To the bitches that flaunt, steal, and manipulate to get what they want... 
To the bitches that have the nerve to ridicule you when you're standing right there...  Ya- I could hear what you said about me!
To the bitches that simply use the "you're so beneath me" or "you aren't one of us" tactics to launch insecurities...

Better watch your back.  I got my bitches, too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's official

Officiate:  To act as referee, umpire, etc. in a sports game or contest. 

I have consistently complained about the CCYF referees this season.  I admire the league's insistence of good sportsmanship.  If at any time, a parent, player, or coach gets out of line, they are *rewarded* with an automatic next game suspension.  For all of them.  The player, the parent, and your team's head coach.  Good deterrent.  

Here's the glitch.  The refs are horrible.  I've already noted that they should have known to have overtime.  I've already noted the missed holding calls on touchdowns that force a tie. 

This week's game was dirty and rough, with so many unfair and missed calls I lost track.  One player shoved my boy in the back, knocking him sprawling on the ground, nowhere near the action, AFTER the whistle. Um, illegal block in the back?  Unsportsmanlike conduct?  No flag??

One player was taken off the field with an injury after he was hit in a helmet to helmet tackle.  Hey refs, please look into this!  Oh, and while you're at it, brush up on false start, horse collar, and illegal celebration.

By far, the best injustice was when Mr. Mean Ref, that's what we will call him, went up to my son's team and told them to watch their holding.  Hello-- you're in the wrong huddle.

Again, I support the league's enforcement of accountability and good sportsmanlike conduct.

Only problem, if referees wield this power, shouldn't they possess the ability and knowledge to match it?

Here's another word:
Dictator:  a ruler with absolute power and authority, esp. one who exercises it tyrannically.  a person who orders others about domineeringly, or one whose pronouncements on some subject are meant to be taken as the final word.

I think a strongly worded letter is in order.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tense anticipation. 
We can't make the playoffs at this point, even with a miracle. 
Damn, that tie really hurt us. 
But... we can ruin someone else's run for the playoffs. 

If they could just score.
And hold the other team.
Feel victorious.
Let's do this, baby.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Life list

1.  Learn to play chess
2.  Write a children's book
3.  Publish a children's book
4.  Ride Alpengeist
5.  Visit Cedar Point
6.  Visit New York
7.  Live on the east coast
8.  Walk or run a charity event
9.  Volunteer for the homeless
10.  Do something unexpected
11.  Forgive someone when I think I can't
12.  Go Parasailing
13.  Lie topless on a beach in Greece
14.  Visit Alaska
15.  Ride in a helicopter
16.  Make a difference
17.  Be in two places at the same time
18.  See Greenday live
19.  Kiss passionately in the rain
20.  Leave a $100 tip in a restaurant
21.  Zip line
22.  Become a bone marrow donor
23.  Walk through central park
24.  See the northern lights
25.  Help someone complete a life list item
26.  Get my masters
27.  Teach college
28.  Go to Vegas
29.  Get another tattoo
30.  Go skinny dipping
31.  Be part of a flash mob

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


One of my favorite movies was on cable the other day and I couldn't seem to drag myself away from it.  It wasn't a blockbuster.  In fact, I'm sure few people even remember it.  Serendipity.  John Cusack.  Enough said.
I often use the word serendipity with my children and students.  Serendipity is simply an accidental, fortunate discovery.  We make mistakes daily, and some of our greatest adventures form out of these mistakes.  I try to remind children this very fact.  Didn't turn out how you thought?  What can you do with that?

The mere mention of John Cusack takes me back to an all time favorite:  Say Anything.  Serendipity might just be the sequel, with the character all grown up. 

I enjoy a good cry, a good laugh.  But... the movies that get me the most are the ones with these serendipitous tones.  Real life.  Real mistakes.  Those illustrious roads in life that may leave you wandering for awhile.  Random, chance occurrences that shape our entire existence and make you question fate.  Simple.  Wonderful. 

As John Keats wrote, "...Beauty is truth, truth beauty---that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

I think Keats and Cusack got it right.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Things I love #5, aka Ode to the BFF

In seventh grade, I had to take choir.  Everyone had to take choir.  Don't even get me started on the injustice of taking a bunch of hormonally challenged, voice changing tweens and making them sing.  For grading, each student had to sing a solo or duet in front of the class.  Seriously, I can't make this stuff up.  Luckily, I found a friend that was just as bad a singer as me to duet with.  We have been dueting ever since.

Traci has been my best friend for 26 years.  Years full of adventure, boys, children, and heartache.  Through it all, she has been my rock, my soul mate, my confidant, and the best friend a girl could ask for.

My favorite thing about this scenario is knowing at any given time, any given moment, no matter what, there is someone out there that is my biggest fan. And I am her biggest fan.  Sure I have a husband, and he is my fan as well.  While I intend to hang onto him, there is magic in the phrase 'boys will come and go, but a best friend lasts forever.'

So on to the gushy part.  That's right, I haven't even done that yet!  Traci is wickedly smart, naturally beautiful, and hysterically funny.  She has a laugh that my parents have always called contagious, and I really do laugh more when I'm with her.  She turns every experience into an unforgettable adventure.  She is the strongest person I know and can overcome obstacles that amaze me.  She amazes me.

She is graduating from nursing school in December, and I couldn't be happier or more proud of her. 

My BFAAFNMW is truly a jewel.

Things I love #4

If you know me, you wonder why I didn't start with this one.  My most absolutely favorite thing in the world, happiest place to be, and perhaps the very reason I breathe... roller coasters.

Taller, faster, scarier... haven't met my match yet.  And it's not just the rides... it's the full experience.  The hot sun beating down on you, the tired feet from walking all day, junk food devoured in hopes that it doesn't make you queasy.  Your very appearance is altered; sweaty with no make up, wind blown hair, uneven sunburn, the horrid fanny pack to secure your few needed belongings.

My favorite place to be is the front seat on a lift hill of a good coaster.

My soul mate gets this.

My son has shown interest and talent most of his life in math and spacial design.  It has been assumed for years he will become an engineer.  My greatest dream is for him to finally one day design the coaster that will truly take my breath away.  And I will ride it again and again with pride in my heart and thrill in my soul.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's an app for that: sex positions

Warning:  randy monologue

Scrolling through the plethora of apps available on my smartphone, I run across one titled sex positions.  Hmm.  I love my ESPN scoreboard, and have played quite a few rounds with those angry little birds.  But sex positions...

I appreciate the versatility of applications to make my day immature and entertaining run smoothly.  I value the availability of information at my fingertips to solve everyday problems and questions.  I rely on the apps that help me organize and schedule my day.  I just don't think an app describing, yes this is not a typo, 150 sex positions is something I need on my phone.

What exactly would be the occasion to use this app?  Hang on honey, I think there are a few ideas in my phone?  Or is this a new technological pick up line?  Hey baby, check out these stick figures on my phone...

Upon reviewing this app, I would also like to clarify that, as I expected, there are not truly 150 positions.  Um.  I don't have a canoe, nor do I consider that a 'position.'  Nor do I think water based activities and solo endeavors should count.

While this app provided interesting reading and a little brainstorming, I don't think I will be including my phone in my personal activities.

Of course, it is in my phone... I may have to try out the pick up line with sketch accompaniment.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I guess I'm happy to report my son learned some valuable lessons in life today.  Sometimes you don't win because, well, you should have played harder. Sometimes you are just off, and the harder you try to recover, the more mistakes you make.  Sometimes, the other team is better and there is nothing you can do about it.

D's game was brutal.  It wasn't a complete blow out and there were some good plays.  They tried passing plays.  They drove the ball.  They had stalls in the red zone.

We didn't anticipate they'd win this game.  They lost 0-21.  I've seen worse.  And for the record, I'm pretty sure the score was actually 0-20.  Seriously, can these people please take a refresher course!  There was a bad funk in the air, and the coaches and players had a drooped shoulder, defeated look early on. 

But second half....
Second half, something happened.  The boys knew they wouldn't win, but they brought their game.  Their team mentality snapped back.  They didn't gain many yards, but they also didn't give many.  They didn't score, but neither did the other team  In the second half, they shut them out.  They didn't have victory, but on the last drive, one of our players delivered a fabulous hit that would leave the other player in pain.  If you can't beat them, at least beat the crap out of them, right!?

Near the end of this hard lesson game, a group of our players turned their attention to the crowd.  With arms pumping upward, in a slow, amassing yell, the team led the stands into several rounds of "Mustang Power." They were about to lose this game, but the Mustang boys were cheering themselves, and inviting us into their story.  Ahh... and football is such a wonderful, unfolding story.

Best moment of the game.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things I love #3

Remember your childhood... every experience new, with the amplified angst of emotions.

Remember your first kiss?  And frankly, the first kiss with every new person after that.

I'm happy being an adult, making my own choices, staying up as late as I want.  But the one thing I miss is those moments... sweet first kiss moments.

The anticipation and excitement.  The fear of hearing the sound of a record needle screeching.  The longing for a warmth that flutters from your heart and warms your toes.

And youth brings one more appealing thing to the table... location.  Adults can plan out the details to perfection for every moment in life.  Youthful stolen moments don't have this luxury.  They can happen anytime, anywhere.  The front porch, the back seat of a car, at the Octoberfest. 

Hang on to those memories...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I love #2

If you ask my kids what their mom's favorite food is, they will respond :  things with chili on it.

To clarify, I also enjoy cheese and sour cream.

Nothing is better than basically any food a carefully selected, delectable bite covered in melted cheese, oozing with the mix of melty, separating sour cream and warm spicy chili.

For the record, best food to top with this ambrosia that speaks to my soul:
Tator tots, of course!  FYI... they're called totchos!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Presenting the class of 1991

I attended my 20 year reunion this summer.  The best friend flew up because she was a big ol' nerd like me I knew I'd enjoy it more with her.  Facebook posts and twitter tweets always share the passing comment... went to my reunion!  Here's what they aren't telling you...

1.  Your nerves will transport you back to the insecurities of times forgotten.  When the husband dropped us off, I actually knocked on the car window and said "I don't want to go."  This will pass... eventually.

2.  You will feel the desire to be the most successful/ best looking/ happiest person in the room, while every other person there is doing the exact same thing.  Warning:  If you are actually this person, no one will like you.

3.  Online profile pictures do a great justice to the aging process.  In person, these people will look older.  You will look older.  We will all look like the sleep deprived version of our former self.

4.  Old friends will continue to be a warm place to land.  Decades will melt, and you will feel home.

5.  Someone will have died.  Maybe several someones.  Face this and grieve, it's only going to get worse the older we get.

6.  You will experience a large growth in your facebook friends.

7.  You will tell someone you liked them in high school.  In return, someone will tell you they liked you in high school.  Mulligan, anyone??

8.  If you are lucky, someone will say you became hot.  In return, you will say "...what do you mean became??"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things I love #1

Music.  Not a type of music, not a certain song.  Just music.

Music is like a hallmark card for your soul.  It speaks the words you are looking for.  Impacts the meaning behind them with a simple note change in a riff.

Describing how you feel, how you wish you felt, how you've never felt.  Inspires, motivates, saddens...

My children would never let me post this without mentioning my favorite band.  The one that gets me through everything... Greenday.  Ya, it works for me.

Monday, October 3, 2011


My son's football team delivers the drama.  Their low scoring, high anticipation games certainly keep me on the edge of my seat.  Sure, I would love them to blow out every team, but the intensity of their game is entertaining.  Suspenseful.  Sometimes an all out thriller.

Their team specializes in ties, overtime, and an uneven share of the work.  And when they flub, boy do they ever.

But...I am so proud of these boys.  I've watched them become men, adjusting to team mentality, and building a strong community.

Saturday's game was a struggle, with a late touchdown.  With moments left, the other team tied it up.  Frustrating, as there should have been about four flags on the td for holding.  Seriously, where do they get these refs??

Our team recently added a new offense formation.  A handful of kids tried out for center on this formation.  My son won it.  Many of you question how my little guy could play center.  My answer:  flawlessly.  That boy can deliver the ball, and immediately take down anyone in his way.  So in overtime, my boy directed that ball, which made it's way to the one yard line.  Next play, victory.  I might be even happier than I was with D's early season fumble recovery.

Several weeks ago, my son had a heart wrenching 0-0 tie.  That was a long day.  With heavy hearts, the coaches got an email.  There should have been overtime.  Shouldn't these refs know this!?  Clearly, after the missed holding calls, I'm not surprised.

So now the team sits with a 3-1-1 record.  IF they had played that overtime, and IF they had won, they would be tied for second place and well positioned for the playoffs.  Oh, IF, you're killing me.  Now they're in fourth, and the next few games will be the most brutal yet.

Saturday, Mckenzie stadium.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog."
Archie Griffen

Let's go Mustangs!