List #255: Thing I Think About While Watching Sunday Night Football

Like most of America, I'm having a hard time with the NFL right now. And yes, because of some very specific instances that have occurred in the past few weeks, our patience with football is wearing thing. But really, we've been on the appalled by some of their behavior for awhile now.  Even my beloved Steelers have tarnished the black and gold in ways that I can't really reconcile with my fandom. The NFL is making us mad, sad, disappointed, and disgusted. 

But still, I am sitting on the couch on a Sunday night watching my team. I won't pretend to have the answers to fix the behavior of the NFL and its players. But I will admit that I'm one of those fans who is disgusted, but still playing Fantasy Football and watching (at least some of) the Steelers games each week.

A lot of things run through my mind as I watch Sunday Night Football in 2014:
  • I have no desire to pay to see a Steelers game this year.
  • I would not turn down free tickets, however.
  • I really think the Steelers need new coaches.
  • I'm still very thankful that my team doesn't mess with that Cheerleader nonsense.
  • The Sunday New York Times is entirely too much paper to read in one day.
  • Pretty sure Gatorade is my new favorite drink.
  • Ironing clothes for work the night before is both the best and worst thing.
  • 9:00 pm is far too late in the day to be wearing a bra.
  • I will not be getting the new iPhone.
  • Fall breezes at night are the best.
  • I really need to get a fall candle to burn.
  • I spent many many hours of this weekend listening to back episodes of My Brother, My Brother and & Me. 
  • It's possible my entire Fantasy teams will suck all season long.
  • Is there anyone in America that enjoys listening to Cris Collinsworth on Sunday evenings?
  • I am far too old and tired to stay up for an entire Sunday Night Football game anymore.
And with that, let's hope the Steelers can win. 


List #254: The End of Summer

And suddenly it was Labor Day. And September rushed in with humidity and high temperatures and rain storms that flooded patios. 

When I think about Summer 2014 in a few years, I think it will all just come at me in one big blur. Because honestly, I barely remember what I was doing back in June. This summer was filled with so many events that finding the balance between quiet and loud was nearly impossible. Work was too much at times, and home was just as hectic. There are so many things I didn't get to do either by myself, or with the BF, with our little family, with friends: go boating on a lake, walk around the rivers. see more Pirates games, have drinks on a rooftop, swim in a pool, and probably so much more. 

But I was busy because so much of my time was taken up by good things. Sometimes it's good to be busy because it means you're leading a life full of purpose, love, and activity. And that is how I want to remember Summer 2014. 

Summer 2014, I hope to always remember:
  • The long morning and evening walks around my corner of the city. 
  • Family snuggles as the sun rose on early morning.
  • Getting stuck in a rainstorm that broke two umbrellas.
  • Trips to the zoo and amazement inside the aquarium.
  • Unplanned semi-fancy dinners on Friday nights.
  • Falling asleep at an embarrassingly early hour.
  • Growing herbs and flowers on our little concrete porch.
  • Hot nights and glasses of wine.
  • Running around in my parents' backyard for the first time in ages.
  • First steps.
  • Trying to save money.
  • Sunset Beach, NC
  • Dreaming the endless possibilities that our future might hold.
Summer 2014, you were a good one. But now it is September. Oh, how I love September.


List #253: Current Crushes

It's been long established that when I like something, I typically like it A LOT. We're talking obsession levels of liking things. And this summer has been no exception.

Currently, I am crushing on the following:

Chris Pratt
I am probably the number one Parks and Recreation fan. I have watched every episode of the series at least three times (and probably more like six) and I've been a fan of Chris Pratt's Andy since he was living in a pit. But Guardians of the Galaxy has made me feel things Chris Pratt that were just little rumblings before. He may be happily married, but I will say this...Chris Pratt can tell me I have network connectivity problems all day long. 

Salted Caramel Core Ice Cream
Remember how Ross Gellar didn't like ice cream? Well yeah, there is a reason I actually kind of like Ross Gellar. Ice cream is NOT my favorite summertime treat. But then 2014 happened and Ben & Jerry's made this delight. And I cannot get enough. Thank goodness it's a little hard to keep stocked on grocer shelves because I'd be in serious trouble. But I'm so very grateful for the Boyfriend who sometimes has the foresight and kindness to buy two and hide one in the back of the fridge until I need to give into the cravings. 

All About That Bass 
I first heard this song thanks to Spotify in the middle of a long work day. I then played it three more times. And now I play it at least once a day. I love that we are living in a time where we are starting to push back on societal view that we all women have to be thin. It's great to have curves and I love when women and girls are encouraged to embrace them. I love mine. And yes, I understand that some people are annoyed that this song has to bring men's opinions of curves into loving one's own body. But honestly? I'm not that bothered by it. It's catchy, it still has a good message, and I agree....in my experience men really do love a little more booty to hold at night.

Orange is the New Black
I read this book years ago. And though I found it an interesting story, I wasn't particularly keen on the main character and so, I really had no interest in the show. But after so many people I trust talking positively about it, I gave it a show one Friday afternoon. And then I was hooked. Now, going to jail for something I didn't do or going to jail for a horrible accident is one of my top fears. This show is doing nothing to ease any anxiety. I'm actually enforcing a personal hiatus from the show becomes my dreams have become jail-infused and often include me playing bingo with the ladies. 

What about you dear readers, anything that you're crushing on? Share in the comments, please! 


List #252: A Quiet House on a Sunday Evening

Our family arrived back from vacation yesterday afternoon. We landed at Pittsburgh International just before dinner time and had a small child sleeping in the backseat within five minutes of the car ride home. We ordered Chinese food for dinner and spent a lot of time chasing the cat around the house and giving him treats because he missed us so much.

There are still suitcases waiting to be unpacked. Laundry certainly needs to be done soon. Work is almost ready to greet us tomorrow morning.

But for now, things are quiet. And all of what will come when the start button gets pushed on tomorrow can wait. On a Sunday evening in our house, when vacation is rubbing off, here is what you will find:

  • A quiet house with just the hum of the air conditioning turning off and on.
  • A soft kitty giving himself a bath on top of a pile of blankets our house guests left stacked upon a living room chair.
  • Two adults with their legs wrapped up in each other as they sit on opposite ends of the couch. 
  • A pile of blocks left after one little boy went off to his other house for a few days.
  • A pile of unread and half-read New York Times sitting on the far edge of that (very big) couch.
  • One man reading the last few pages of a book he can't seem to put down.
  • One woman listening to Ingrid Michaelson over and over again again.
  • Empty Chinese take-out containers waiting to be thrown out with the night's trash.
  • New neighborhoods. On all sides of the house.
  • A few stray dirty dishes that need to be put in the dishwasher.
  • A light dimmed best for reading.
  • A few blisters on someone's foot.
  • Two people ignoring work emails for at least a few more hours. 
  • Relaxation that is only achieved after successful going on, and returning home, from a week's vacation.
The librarian in our house is about to start the final push of summer reading. The consultant in our house is about to start some new adventures. And the little boy is about to go back to daycare after not being there in over a week. Let's hope the calm can withstand the storm that might begin early in the week. And here's to wishing a few moments of quiet in your week too. 


List #251: The Family Vacation

Suitcases are scattered all over our bedroom and laundry is piled high on the beds. Though the boyfriend and I have gone on quite a few trips together in the last year, we are about to head out on our first family adventure in a few days. There will be a beach house, pool, waves, extended family, a budding toddler, a cuddly newborn, an enclosed porch, egrets and ibises, tea in the morning and drinks in the afternoon. 

It's a vacation that I'm greatly looking forward to and one that I feel I've earned with the hectic summer schedule I've been living with since June. Ditto for the boyfriend who is running just as ragged as me. 

Though my family may or may not have gone on a family vacation every summer, it certainly feels that way in my memories. Vacations were weeks that felt endless, filled with surprise and excitement, and really that's all I want for our family vacations too. 

  • I remember a joint-family vacation to a beach town that has long since been forgotten. Wearing swimsuits all day, sharing bedrooms, and loving that my best friend was right by my side. We swam, flew kites, ate boardwalk fries, and were oblivious to any problems that might have been sitting right in front of us.
  • Then were was the family car trip to the 1996 Olympics. The longest vacation my family has ever taken together. We saw Mongolian wrestlers on the train, took a ferry to New Jersey, left the park just as the bomb went off, and were entirely too young to watch Braveheart. It was the best trip we ever took together.
  • In high school there was tagalong-as-a-friend vacation to North Carolina. Those days were filled with all the things that high school kid in the 90s did. Plus long walks on the beach, floral sundresses, and the sound of frogs echoing all around the hot tub as we soaked our too tan bodies at night.
  • Long weeks at the Jersey Shore trying to balance family with being too cool for a family vacation. And spending all of my hard-earned money in the second hand book store.
I can't wait to get on that plane and land where the waves are. Summer should pause long enough for all of us to escape. See you when we return.


List #250: The One with the Fake Gambling

In just 12 days I'll be heading off to the beach. With the boyfriend, the not-so-little baby, and a few extended family members. For bird watching, beach sitting, pool swimming, and hopefully a few drinks together on a rather large porch.

Before we pack up the bags and push a little one through the airport in the umbrella stroller. There is a lot to get through.

Between now and then, our family will see:

  • 14 library programs spread out over just 9 days.
  • Two business trips to neighboring states.
  • More walking practice.
  • A house-warming party.
  • Bathing-suit shopping.
  • An afternoon spent with my parents.
  • Directions to cat/house sitters.
  • A night out with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And oh god, that's all I can remember without looking at my Google calendar. And because of all of this, I have been finding it increasingly hard to restore the balance in my life amid the summer madness. Our house is rather messy, my desk is a disaster, laundry is never finished, and the two adults in this house are nearly always tired.

So it's no wonder that I've been coming home and numbing my brain with endless rounds of fake slots on my cell phone. The colors, the sounds, the repetition, are one of the only things that calm my brain each night. And even though I'm sort of wondering just who in the world plays cell phone slots, I do not wish to stop.  With all of my obsessions, it will go away, I'm sure. 

But between now (when another work day just means a whole lot of me running around, singing, and dancing, and reading) and then (when the days will seem long and the nearest sounds are birds and waves) I'll numb my brain with the only vice that's interesting at the moment. And be thankful that I haven't gotten sucked into another season of Teen Mom Two. Just yet.

So dear readers, how do you manage to restore your sanity after a particularly (extended) stressful period of work? 


List #249: Things I am Over This Summer

Just a few things that I wish would disappear, sooner rather than later:

  • Humid days and rainy nights.
  • People who get annoyed about children being inside the library.
  • Spotty wi-fi.
  • Cats who get crazy every night.
  • Getting up before 7 am.
  • Cleaning.
  • Feet that hurt after very long days.
  • Summer moving by too quickly.
  • Expensive flights.
  • Falling asleep before 10 pm.
  • This song.

  • The lack of vacation days offered to Americans.
  • Coming home feeling sticky every night.
Here's to a weekend of relaxation. And avoiding all things annoying.