Monday, September 14, 2015

there she is!!!

Such a fun night watching Miss America with Coach and KJ while live texting with T-bone during the show!  As with football, we are a house divided (KJ did cheer for Hannah Roberts, Miss Mississippi but she was really rooting for Meg, Miss Alabama).  Both girls did an amazing job representing their states and for anyone who thinks pageants are dumb or stupid, please read on.

Over the years we have gotten to know a lot of these competing young ladies through dance classes, Buccanettes and even through our lacrosse family and you can't help but be impressed.  These young women are all at the top of their class and selflessly give hours and hours of their time and energies to various charities and their own specific personal platforms. While attending Miss Mississippi's crowning this year and last, we are always blown away by some of the contestant's scholastic achievements and personal stories (these girls are battling debilitating diseases, addiction, one contestant was a survivor of rape and one contestant recently underwent a double mastectomy as she is at risk for breast cancer).  These young ladies want to make a difference in their local communities and address issues affecting their state ... obesity, teen pregnancy, literacy, disappearing school art programs. 

Not only are these young women smart and charitable, they are incredibly talented!  We've seen some incredible dancers, baton twirlers, a comedienne, poets and singers (even an American Idol alum!). Hannah's talent at state was incredible and I will admit last night she did sound a little off. Her sweet family sat in front of us at this year's pageant and her uncle mentioned  that the humidity affects the violin strings (I've never played an instrument in my life but that makes total sense to me!  It rained pretty hard Saturday night delaying the start of the Parade of Shoes). 

I understand the contradiction surrounding the swimsuit portion of the pageant ... why are we parading these young ladies around half naked while supposedly celebrating their minds and rewarding scholarships?  Is swimsuit antiquated?  Probably.  Should it be eliminated?  Maybe. But it's more of a tradition than anything else.  Miss America began as a publicity stunt for the beaches and tourism of Atlantic City.  Do the contestants look forward to swimsuit?  Most probably do not.  But T-bone does weirdly enough.  She has always tried to stay healthy through exercise and clean eating and feels the swimsuit portion of the pageant encourages contestants to be the total package. To be women with a healthy mind, a healthy body and a giving heart. 

I also fully understand why feminists get up in arms about pageants but to me, being a feminist means supporting my sisters in whatever they decide to do.  You want to save lives being a fire-person or cardiac surgeon?  Great!  You go girl!  You want to be Miss America and save lives by encouraging monthly self breast exams for early detection?  Terrific!  You''re a stay at home mom and want to be the PTA president at your Children's schools?  Thank you!  It takes a village.  Women need to support and encourage other women.  Not tear them down. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Learning lots of new traditions during our short time here in Texas!  Some I like, some I just don't get!

One of my favorite things that I had never seen before is painted senior parking spaces at the high school. When KJ and I were house hunting at Easter we drove around one of the area high schools and noticed that some of the student parking spots were personalized.  Of course KJ was all over it and declared this was where she wanted to go to school  The kids were pretty creative ... lots of sports team logos, some school spirit, some of the girls did Lilly or Vineyard Vines, some chevron monograms, etc.  A couple of weekends ago at one of KJ's volleyball tournaments at a neighboring school district, all the seniors and their families were painting their spaces. It looked like so much fun!  They had music blaring, entire families were out there, they had food ... it was a big deal. At this particular high school though, you could only use the 3 school approved colors for your space -- blue, orange and white.  Still, the kids were extremely creative. KJ's school also does the painted parking spaces but I've noticed the kids don't have to use just the high school spirit colors, they can do anything they want.  She's only a sophomore but I have a feeling my girl is already planning her parking space for senior year.

So another tradition we've stumbled upon is spirit week. Or maybe it should be called spirit season because during the entire length of football season, the kids dress up almost every damn day, not just during homecoming week.  And of course KJ is loving it.  Friday was Hawaiian day, today is tacky tourist Tuesday, I can't remember what Wednesday is, I know this Friday is patriot day, one of the days is a preppy day, one day is a fishing day (don't ask), of course there's a farmer day thrown in there somewhere as well as the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Oh and there's Axe Day (big cross-town rivalry and the winner gets to display the coveted Axe for the entire school year). So apparently on Axe Day the kids dress up in overalls and the girls, of course, decorate their overalls all cute with ribbon and lace and paint their graduating class year down their leg. So guess who had to run around town today looking for a pair of overalls for daughter #2 to wear?????

Next up is the homecoming mums and garters. Now, growing up in the North I've always thought mums were a fall flower.  I did kinda know that years and years ago guys would give a girl a mum to wear to football games or maybe to a college homecoming game (mums being that hardy fall flower). Well, in Texas apparently they take it to a whole new level. Nowadays it is a big and I mean HUGE flower, like, we're talking the size of a dinner plate and tons and tons of ribbon and little trinkets. Like everything else in Texas, bigger is better ... the stars at night, cowboy hats, belt buckles, trucks and homecoming mums.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


The last two weekends have been absolutely wonderful!  Great weather (although yesterday was one of the hottest days we've had in a while) and we've tried to take full advantage of being out doors.

Last Sunday we were able to cross paddle boarding off our bucket list!  I absolutely loved it and told Coach I want a paddle board for Christmas. It was an incredible total body workout and a great family activity. Coach and I each fell off the board once but KJ never fell off at all.  We were together as a family but paddle boarded at our own pace.

Friday night KJ had a volleyball game in Dallas and Saturday she had a tournament in Arlington which was perfect because we were right by the stadium and made it to the Alabama vs. Wisconsin game with plenty of time for a little tailgating. Although we really wanted to go to the game, we were hesitant to buy tickets before she tried out for volleyball.  We knew there was a tournament the same day as the game and didn't want to spend big bucks on tickets only to be sitting at a tournament clear on the other side of town.  At the last minute a friend mentioned on FB he had four tickets so we jumped on the chance.

We had never been to a game at AT&T stadium and it did not disappoint.  What an incredible place to see a game!!  The stadium is phenomenal and there is not a bad seat in the house. We had such a good time at the game and of course KJ and Coach loved being among true Alabama fans. 

Today we slept in a little, Cosmo made French toast for breakfast, did a few things around the house and spent the rest of the day in the pool.  Last week the pool temp had cooled considerably and I thought maybe our pool days were numbered but today was absolutely perfect! 

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