Saturday, February 1, 2014

Why Football Matters to me

On the eve of one of the most important moments in Seattle sport's history I am having trouble concentrating on anything. It feels like Christmas Eve, like Christmas Eve when I was 7. The Seahawks are playing in the SuperBowl. TOMORROW. Holy cow. So I've been feeling super crazy about this whole thing, and was wondering what it was about football that does this to people. So I sat down for the first time in almost a year and started writing. This is how I am handling the pre-game nerves. This is why football matters to me:

I have never been a morning person. From the very first day I was a night owl. I knew the pleasure of sleeping in at a very young age. Even at 5 my parents had to go to great measures to get me out of bed every morning. Except for Sundays.  I knew I could sleep in comfortably without concern of getting dragged out of bed before I was ready.  I also knew that a little after 10am on most Sundays I would get woken up by the sound of my Dad’s booming voice yelling at refs, players, and coaches all who couldn’t hear him, as they were many miles away and only tiny little figures on the television. It was football Sunday. And it was time to get up and go stare at the screen completely unaware of what the heck was actually going on. And yet I sat there. Overjoyed at getting to spend hours of uninterrupted time in front of a television, next to my dad. I thought my Dad was a genius, a little nuts, a little loud, but a genius. He knew the names of players on teams he didn’t seem to even care about. He would make the call before that little yellow flag even had time to hit the ground. I had absolutely no idea what was going on, but it was exciting, and my brothers and I and my dad were doing it together.

As I got older I lost interest as one tends to do. I didn’t know what was going on and I had better things to do on a Sunday. I had woods to explore, and bikes to ride, and an entire classroom of stuffed animals that needed a teacher. But every Sunday, football was the soundtrack to our day.

In the summer before fourth grade a new family moved in next door. A family of all girls. The oldest and I became best friends instantly, mostly out of convenience, but as the years went on out of true love. Her dad passed away when she was younger and he had been a football fan. So she, as she always did, carried this torch for him. And when she learned I was from Texas and with her being from Michigan, and this being the time when the Cowboys and the Lions really meant something (maybe they still do? Just not to us)…well, these two stubborn girls who loved their dad’s very much, had ourselves a little rivalry. And thus began my second round of football fandom. We would sit on the phone with each other on Thanksgiving, me on our phone attached to the wall, and her on their new fancy cordless phone. We would talk smack as best as 12 year old kids could do as we watched each of our teams compete. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I had a favorite player for the first time, Mr. Emmitt Smith #22, I had nicknames for other players based on their looks or their swagger. I was learning an important part of football, the talk. Decades later, she is on the other side of the country, we now root for the same team, and we are still on the phone with each other during the games, talking smack against the other team, and long distance holding each other’s hands when things get close.
Football. This funny little game, the weight of all these memories. I can’t wait to talk about this season with Lyla when she is older. Even if she has no idea what I am talking about, maybe it will spark a little fire, a little interest…or maybe she’ll just the get a kick out of us yelling at the TV, sharing the story of the 2013 Seahawks, the silly superstitions her parents did every Sunday. And then maybe, years and years from now, she’ll sit wondering why she even cares about such a silly thing like football and she’ll remember… it wasn’t just about the game it was about the connectivity and traditions. And then she’ll go change her shirt because her team is losing and the fate of the season really does rest on her shoulders….

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

If you ask you must be prepared for the answer.

Sometimes you ask the kid what they want for dinner and they say "Ice Cubes!". In that case we can kindly steer them in a different direction, because we are not trying to raise any eating disorders over here. But sometimes they say "Cereal!" and you think, "Hey, that is a really good idea." And so it was, dinner last night was two big heaping bowls of cereal. Hers is the healthy looking bowl, mine is the peanut butter puffs (the hippie kind, gluten free, no artificial blah blah blah).

The point is, sometimes cereal for dinner is the best idea. Sometimes we can leave the sautéed kale and beet green tartine at the door and just curl up with a good old fashioned bowl of cereal. Because it's ok to just chill out. To not keep up. A lesson that a bowl of cereal apparently is helping me learn. Plus, she's at this age where she is starting to really have opinions and it's nice to be able to give her a little of what she wants once in awhile. Cereal for dinner every night is not an option, so I just don't ask every night. But once in awhile it's nice to see her flex her opinion muscles. Really nice. Tonight we had a black bean, corn, and spinach pasta. I didn't let her pick dinner but she did pick the yellow dish over the red. She also stirred the sauce. A little bit goes a long way. Another lesson learned from the kid.

One of these days I'm going to cave and when she responds to the what's for dinner question with "Ice Cream!" I'm gonna say "Hell Yes!" And I'm sure there will be a lesson learnt in that as well.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Haiku for you.

A day off.

Sweet unemployment
Whatcha gonna do today?
Watch wind blow, kid grow.

Day one smartphone detox, getting my fix.

You know what I did today?

I read a magazine, in it's entirety.
I made a real breakfast for my family.
I played with the kid.
I watched the sunset.
I took back hours of my day.

And you know what? It was pretty cool.

Today marked the first day of my smartphone detox.

The rules are simple:
1. Delete all time sucking apps from the phone.
2. Text only during the sleeping hours of the kid.
3. If you want/need to use the internet do it with intention and open the laptop and sit down.
4. Learn how to and use your real camera. You have it for a reason.
5. Only use your phone for old fashioned phone things like calls and important texts (you know, old fashioned texting)

That's it. Simple. Minus the audible gasp I made when I started deleting all the apps, and the weird muscle memory moments when I just picked the phone up and started scrolling to what was the facebook app page. So far I feel free. I did this so I could do all the other things with a little more intention and effort, which is why I am blogging right now. It's not an all out war against the internet. I love to write. I love to share. I love to see what other people are doing. All of that had become so small and fast and insignificant with the ease of being able to do it on the phone. So much so that it was making me lazy. Sure I could at any given moment throw some words down as a status update or a tweet, but was I taking the time to think about it? And when I was taking photos was I taking them to preserve a memory or was it just to post on instagram? Tonight I watched the sunset with the kid and didn't take a single photo. It was beautiful. But it was beautiful because of the moment and not because it would have made a killer instagram shot, which it would have, the clouds were moody as hell. This sounds a little preachy, which wasn't my intention. I have a very addictive personality and in order to keep my own self in check I have to periodically hit the restart button, on all things in life. That is all this is...I have some updates and I just need to restart in order for them to install.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go find an unread book on the shelf and snuggle in to a screenless bedtime. I'm just going to assume that it is going to be awesome.

And for those of you that need your daily Lylagram:


Friday, January 11, 2013

Silly Sally went to town walking backwards, upside down...

"Nobody but us is watching you, they are all watching their own kids." 

This is what my parents would say to me if I was nervous before a swim meet or a gymnastics competition. It worked. And it was true. Nobody but those closest to me could even pick me out of the crowd of girls in identical unitards. And even those close to me, who were watching, actually didn't care all that much how I was doing. They were maybe a little stoked I was doing something. But in our house I wasn't going to get reprimanded for losing. Winning was like not even on the radar. Maybe just in my case, considering how not so awesome I was at these athletic endeavors. But nonetheless, really dude nobody is stressin' about you, so just like have fun. 
Omg. Right? Duh. Even to this day this is the most true thing ever.
There is an entire world out there not paying any attention to me. So dude, just chill.

And with that ladies and gentlemen, I bring you, my new years resolutions for 2013.

a. Chill. You must chill.
b. Find balance.
c. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT ONE: have the most fun.

That is it. It all boils down to this being the YEAR OF FUN. Let's get our rednoses and giant sized sunglasses out. Let's run through some sprinklers. Let's cook some weird shit. Let's laugh until we start gasping for air and maybe pass out. Oh you don't do that? I got kicked out of science class once because I caught a case of these so bad and my HONKING sounds while I was gasping for air were "interrupting" the rest of the class. Oh, whatever, they were just jealous that I was having SO MUCH FUN. So that is it. Let's celebrate the cherry on top of this crazy sundae of work and plans and grown up stuff. Let's get on the floor and pretend we are snakes, or lizards, or jelly beans. 

I am going to take my cues from Lyla Bean, who, when she can't think of anything else to say just looks at you, smiles, wiggles her fingers and says, "Tickle, tickle, tickle..." followed by the greatest sound in the world: laughter.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

I want to bake my cake, eat it, and make sure there is enough for everyone else too.

**I will return with an annoying amount of Holiday project posts next week. I have it circled on my calendar. Jesse, wonderful, thoughtful, Jesse got me a laptop for Christmas and on the calendar I have a day set aside to finally sit down, just me and my laptop and learn and play and post. Until then....**

I like working. I love working actually. I have had moments in my life when I'm not working and they are freeing and fun...for awhile.  What always happens is instead of the crazy productive person I think I am going to be when I have all the free time I could ask for I turn into a sloth. A lazy, daytime tv watching, vegetable. I think I have always been this way.  Give me an inch and I will take it put it on the shelf and sit down for awhile. I need schedules, I need routine, I need a time to get up and a time to come home, I need a deadline. I know this about myself, I know how to nurture this. And I learned, when I was pregnant, how to create schedules even when I wasn't working as much. But something, something lately, has changed...

For almost ten months of our beans life I only worked one day a week. This was perfect. One day a week I got to put on nice clothes and talk to grownups for 8 hours and then I got to come home and snuggle and for the rest of the week I got to do my other job and do it fully and with total focus. But I still had that thought in the back of my head...that need to work more. To create more strict schedules, to come home at the end of a day. So in October I picked up a few more shifts. It immediately was overwhelming. My work is not hard. So it wasn't that. And I still on average only pull a 25 hour work week. It's retail, can be demanding at times, but more often than not it's tedious and boring. My three days a week feel like full time. For the first time in my life it isn't causing me to be more productive in my other aspects of life. For the first time in my life my work seems to be taking away from my productivity. I get home from work and I want to snuggle and go to bed. On my days off I don't know what to do. I don't want to start a project I am just going to have to put down. All I want to do is stare into my beans eyes and get on the floor and play with her. I want to watch her little growing body learn new things, move in new ways, discover new toys and new games. I want to read to her, I want her to pretend to read to me. I don't want to do anything more than sit and just watch her because when I am at work all I can think about is all the growing she is doing without me. This isn't what I was expecting. At all. I have dreams of being a working mom, going off for my busy day and rushing home to make my family dinner, do some laundry, have amazing adventures on the weekends, and be a strong working woman role model for our little girl. Breaking news! This isn't reality.

When I do have a successfully full week, filled with adventures, and crafts, and a clean house and a full work week...blah blah blah. At the end of that week you know how I feel? Tired. And worse, I feel like I missed out on hanging with my kid. I don't know how to balance everything. That is the reality. I feel a little lost, like I am in a very new territory and I'm not doing a very good job navigating it. How in the world does anyone do it all?

I am not going to compare myself to other moms, out of house workers or stay home moms. It's a dangerous road to get on and it does none of us any good to do this. That isn't my problem here. I know they are out there, the CEO's with the clean homes and happy children. And the perfectly managed homes of the stay at home moms. I know this, but we are all different so I don't worry about that. When I do start to worry about how I stack up it's fleeting. I know too many other mom's to know that this isn't reality, that the internet and the blogs aren't the reality for most mom's out there. That we shouldn't hold ourselves to a Pinterest standard. But I do have my own standards and when I feel I am falling short of those...that is when this anxiety hits me...

Some of this is the Holidays. I have a bad habit of saying YES to everything and everyone. This isn't anyone else's fault but my own. I hate the idea of disappointing someone, this is true, but the disappointment is usually invented in my head. Most people are understanding, most people don't say yes to all of it. I do. Because a part of me loves all the crazy that comes along with the Holidays. It's the same reason why I always loved to work. That feeling of fullness is so rewarding. A full calendar, a full house, a full tank of gas and a long drive to see friends and family. No matter how exhausting, I find it exhilarating. Until it's over and I realized that the amount of time I sat down on Christmas day was exactly four hours. The four hours it took me to drive to and fro from one Christmas party to the next. And no, I wouldn't take it back, and the gatherings last weekend and the one's coming up. I wouldn't trade those for the world. Friends and family are very very important to us. And I know that this will be temporary, it will pass. The other side of it, the new thing, is that bean doesn't stop what she's doing, she doesn't stop changing and growing, just because Mommy is busy. And this breaks my heart. I don't want to be so busy trying to live up to my own standards that I miss out on the rest of this amazing world.

So where do I go from here? How do I learn to balance this all? Not to mention actually hang out with my best friend, my husband, my Jesse. He must miss me as much as I miss him. Is this just the way it goes? Is this why there are so many book and songs and poems about the fleeting moments of childhood. It's not that as adults we miss our own childhoods, it's that as our time moves faster and faster the older we get we are missing out on the the kids around us. While their days are still forever long and filled with adventures we, as adults, can just blink and we've missed it. It's a whole new ballgame and I am struggling to learn the rules. I can only hope that I'll pick up enough of it to fake it better in the future. Because right now I have no chance of being called up to the majors...

I think this is weighing on me right now because we are on the verge of a very big project that is going to take so much more of my time. I am nervous that I won't know how to balance everything. So I am really thinking about it a lot. I think this is good, instead of pretending we are fearless let's just all talk about our fears. Is following my dreams going to be too much of a sacrifice for my family or is it all going to be worth it? I think it will be, I think that we will figure this out. I think that having a mom that follows her dreams, that kind of role model I hope will be just as important as one who packs her lunch every single day. Oh man, I hope.

A haiku for my bean:

I have ideas
For how our future will look
For now let's just play.