Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tacos(s) Tuesday

If we were a normal family, we'd have tacos for dinner tonight since it's Tuesday. But: a). we're not a normal family and b). lacrosse season is upon us in full force.

KJ was supposed to have a game tonight but it has poured all day and is quite windy and chilly.  Only been about 45 degrees today, which is a far cry from last Friday's high of 80.  Instead they are watching game film at the rec center. She had her first home game last Thursday and scored 3 goals. Unfortunately 1 was called back for a crease violation.  But, she did get the game ball. Her lax team is extremely sociable ... the girls have team dinners, they meet for lunch, they go out after games and they really look out for each other. What is even weirder is that the team is comprised of players from 2 rival high schools.  Huge rivals. If this was any other sport, they'd hate each other.

Coach loves being at TCU.  Great group of guys!  Two weekends ago they played at LSU and KJ (and her mechanical baby!) drove down with him on the team bus.  T and Pony Boy met them in Baton Rouge since she knew couldn't be in Hoover this past weekend for the 10th Anniversary.  He told me the other day he doesn't know if he could ever go back to coaching high school. Although he loves putting a stick in a kid's hand while they are young and making sure they learn the basics, he never enjoyed coaching the little little kids. Said it was like herding cats. And while he always loved his time at Hoover, the last couple of years were rough.  I think things changed a bit for him after T's class graduated. Those first couple teams were extra special because everything was new and they were so enthusiastic.  The kids (and parents!) got a little jaded as the years went on and suddenly everyone was an expert. People who (obviously) never even heard of lacrosse until their child picked up a stick were now suddenly questioning each call the refs made, questioning their kid's playing time, buying the most expensive equipment on the market and basically questioning why their kid wasn't getting a D1 scholarship.   In any event, the torch has been passed and the current coaches are doing a great job!  Coach loves the fact that 5 of his former Hoover kids and 1 of his BamaLax boys are coaching programs!

We had a great but very very quick weekend in Hoover. We got in late Friday night and by 10 am Saturday Coach was at the fields for a long, long day of lacrosse. KJ met up with a friend for breakfast and then joined us at the high school.  We had such a great day visiting and spent time with folks we hadn't seen since we rolled out of Hoover.  The girls made KJ feel extra special and came out of their way to see her while she was in town.  The alumni game was a ton of fun and we all went out for drinks afterward and closed down the bar. KJ spent the night with a friend and we picked her up Sunday morning and headed back home. Of course everyone asked her how she liked Texas and everyone was amazed at how well she's adjusted. Which makes my heart happy! 😏😏😏

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dont be this person!

I made myself a promise years and years ago that I would never be "that" person. The person who constantly talks about:
  • Money or sex ... because if you're talking about it, you're probably not getting any of it!
  • Politics ...  because, well, just don't. Do your candidate research and do your civic duty and vote. Vote for the candidate that will represent you, your family and your core values.  However, keep in mind that we all have different needs and beliefs.
  • Diet and/or exercise ... we all have that one friend who posts random stuff like "ugh! Ate so much this weekend, time to start eating clean!"  And then they bore everyone with all the minute details of everything they ate (or didn't eat), how many miles they ran, how many Pilates or Yoga classes they attended that week, etc., etc., etc.  No. One. Cares. Trust me. No one.
  • Being Born Again ... this includes not only Religion but also encompasses being a recovering substance abuser (don't get me wrong. I support any one who struggles. However, do not judge or lecture me because I enjoy a glass of wine with friends or a Margarita on the rocks with salt when I'm at a Mexican restaurant). The Born Again category also includes folks who abused their bodies for years and years with unhealthy living and now push vitamins, essential oils, Plexus and AdvoCare on their family and friends and inundate us all on the importance "knowing what goes in our bodies." This is usually the same person who smoked 2 packs of cigs a day in secret while her kids were at school and fed those same children Happy Meals 3 or 4 times a week. 
So, sometimes I may come across moody or bitchy or rude or uncommunicative but honestly its because I don't want to be "that" person and bore everyone around me.  If you want to talk books, movies or sports, great!  Tell me a funny story. Let's talk travel.  Suggest a shop or service or new restaurant you think my family and I would enjoy.  Just please don't tell me how to vote, brag about money or your sex life (ick!) or bore me with posts about your work-out routine.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Top 10 Reasons Why i Like Living in Texas

So we've basically been in Dallas since July (if you want to get technical Coach moved here in April, KJ and I got here mid-June but our household goods weren't delivered until June 29) and I think it is now safe to say all parties involved are pretty happy!

A la David Lettermen, here are my Top 10 Reasons Why I Like Living in Texas (other than the fact that BK is from Texas): 

#10. The Shopping --  I have some of the best shopping I have ever had in any state I've ever lived in within a mile or two of our home.  From trendy little boutiques to specialty shops to large national chains, any store I could ever need is right nearby.

#9. The Food -- as with Shopping, the selection of restaurants is wonderful!  We have a favorite hamburger place, a favorite Sushi place, a new favorite taco place, a favorite place to grab a pizza and we even have a favorite smoothie place.  If we want Italian, Greek, Chinese, Mexican, seafood or something we didn't even know we were craving, it's all right here.

#8. Sports -- if you want to play it or watch it, Dallas is the place to be!  Hockey, Football, Baseball, college teams, high school teams, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, Top Golf, ... you name it, it's here. 

#7. Outdoor (and sometimes Indoor!) Adventures -- Six Flags is here, numerous water parks, a zoo (one here in Dallas and one in Ft. Worth),  indoor sky diving, Zip Lining, indoor rope courses and lots and lots of parks!  We have a wonderful park right outside the entrance to our subdivision and frequent regularly.  And yes, I've even started running again.  And there are lots of water sports, too!  We've already been paddle boarding and this summer I can't wait to hit the Hill Country and do some river tubing on a hot sticky weekend. Plus there are lots of cool swimming holes around. And if you feel the need to go snow tubing but don't like the cold, you can always go sledding at the Gaylord Texan like KJ and the kids did at Thanksgiving.

#6. The Weather -- so far, the weather in Texas has been very very good to us. We had an extremely pleasant first summer in Dallas. We had a handful of 100+ plus temps (maybe 5 days total?  7 at the very most) but they were not unbearable and we didn't really have any humidity. I was expecting much much worse.  We've had 1 tornado warning since we've been here (like "full-on sirens / get to your safe place NOW!" kind of deals) but having experienced that in Ohio and Alabama, it wasn't terrible.  We had a couple of "chilly" days (low 30's??) and an hour or so of snow flurries. Now, I know Texas weather can been extreme and highly unpredictable but again, so far so good. 

#5. Small Towns -- I love the quaint small towns we have nearby ... Grapevine especially!  Christmas was incredibly magical in Grapevine, there's always some kind of festival going on it and has some of the best #9 and #10 listed above!  Although they aren't considered "small" towns (because let's face it, EVERY thing is bigger in Texas), I'm looking forward to exploring San Antonio and Austin and we like wandering around Ft. Worth.  Not sure yet how I feel about Houston.

#4. Our House --  Coach and I agree this is quite possibly our favorite house we've ever lived in. This house is SO us. It's just right for our needs right now.  The layout is perfect for us, the room sizes are great and everyone has nice big closets, we love the media room and all our furniture looks great! 

#3. Our Pool -- seriously.  We love the pool.

#2. Texas Pride -- every where you look and every where you go, there's either a HUUUUUUGE Texas flag flying over head or there's Texas star somewhere.  I  actually started to take pics of the stars because they are so cool! 

Dang!  I just realized that I haven't even mentioned how much we love KJ's school, the art scene here, how pet-friendly it is here, the cool college towns or the great museums!  I probably should have made a top 15 list.

And the #1 reason why I like living in Texas:  The People!!!  Everyone here is so damn friendly and nice. No one cares where you're from or where you've been, no one cares if you're an Auburn or Alabama fan, no one minds what church you go to, no one has questioned my accent (or lack thereof) and no one has called me a (damn) Yankee or said "oh. You're from up North."  I have yet to meet a single gossipy or judgey person.  The parents don't gossip on the sidelines (they might wish their kid got a little more playing time but they don't engage in negativity towards the coach or the program). No one is pretentious or showy or fake or phony.  It's not a constant competition.  And I really really like that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

it just takes a little planning

I've always been a risk taker and a list maker so I've always used some type of traditional paper planner for as long as I can remember.  Back in the late 80's / early 90's I used the Day Planner system.  I used a wedding planner when we got married and used a companion planner to the popular "What to Expect..." series when I had the girls (the little planner/organizer was perfect to take to doctor's appointments and take notes during both of my high risk pregnancies).  I've also had to rely heavily on planners/organizers during our many household moves and to keep track of everyone's activities and schedules ... volleyball, dance, softball, lax, lax and more lax.

There is just something about starting off a new year with a fresh new calendar.  It is the equivalent of starting the school year with new pencils and notebooks.  I love sitting down and opening up that calendar for the first time.  The first thing I take care of are any important dates I'm aware of ... birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, sporting events, etc and then fill in daily or weekly as we go along. I also like to sit down as a family on Sunday morning and menu plan, go over Everyone's schedules and organize my to-do list. 

Over the years I've moved on from the Day Planner and have used the large Lilly Pulitzer agenda a couple of times and at one point I also used a Mom's planner that I absolutely LOVED!  However, this year I decided to stick with what works best for me ... The Plum Paper planner (found on Etsy).  I think this was the 4th time I've ordered from them and have never been disappointed.  I can custom create my cover in a variety of colors and patterns (they used to offer a photo cover that was one of my favorite options).  Plum Paper offers several layout options, you can choose add-ins and extra pages, too. 

Thanks to Easy, Pinterest and Instagram, I've been introduced to the whole sub-culture of decorating your planner.  Now, we all know I am not the most creative person on the planet but this is something I've really had fun getting into.  Some folks go all out and create themes with coordinating stickers, etc.  I kind of do that, but not near as elaborate.  Some months have an obvious theme .... February/Valentine's Day, November/Thanksgiving, December/Christmas.  On the less obvious months I found myself decorating my planner with inspirational quotes and quirky sayings and lots of glittery stickers and washi tape.  It's only the beginning of February but I think I'll enjoy decorating my planner thought the year!

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Some of My Favorite Quotes

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -- Dr. Seuss

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -- Sophia Loren

"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." -- Sylvia Plath

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

If people are truly, madly, deeply in love with each other, they will find a way.~Gilda Radner

“Never judge a day by its weather. Sunshine is uplifting; rain, nourishing; wind, exhilarating; snow, cleansing; hail, stimulating. Any weather is better than none.” -- Author Unknown

"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti." -- Sophia Loren

"I know I'm vulgar, but would you have me any other way?" -- Elizabeth Taylor

"After thirty, a body has a mind of its own." -- Bette Midler

"Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cuz you're really a yawn if it goes." -- Bette Midler

“I know I can be diva-ish sometimes, but I have to be in control. The nature of my life, the nature of what I do, is divadom, it really is." -- Mariah Carey

"I want minimum information given with maximum politeness." -- Jackie Kennedy Onassis

"I've been called a diva, queen diva, diva supreme, and I love it. However, that's really for others to decide, not me." -- Aretha Franklin

"No one loves a party more than I. I am a people person." -- Aretha Franklin

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." -- Jackie Kennedy Onassis
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