Part of my New Year's Resolution was to be more committed to this blog and I can't think of a better opportunity than on the day of President Barack Obama's Inauguration.
I went to my sister Susan's house today to watch the swearing in with her, Ken and Sophie. It felt great to be together on such a special day and here are some of my thoughts as I witness this remarkable day and record "Where I was when..."
Like so many other Americans I find it hard to come up with words that encompass all the feelings I have today. Optimism, pride, hope, inspiration -- they are all in the mix, but what stuns me the most is to see the overwhelming happiness across the country and around the world. Despite the staggering challenges we face and every reason to be afraid, people are not reacting with anger or looking to blame, they are not cynical or hopeless. Instead we have found and elected the right man at the right time -- one to make us want to be better people, to do good, to live up to the ideals that have always set America apart.
I think it is wonderful that we have freely elected our nation's first African-American president and I understand what this day signifies for that community. I also embrace the large step forward we have taken to end racial barriers. The country is different now and I love that kids will have a new role model for success and reaching your dreams. (He is making it cool to be smart!). However, I think that the public reaction to this man and his "call to arms", that we all bear responsibility and contribute to the repair of this country, far exceeds the color of his skin. Millions of people came together on the National Mall without a single incident and millions more are finding new ways to make a difference in their own home towns.
I wasn't around to hear John F. Kennedy's inauguration speech or King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and we have been sorely lacking inspirational leaders in my lifetime thus far. I think Barack Obama is going to be that kind of leader for this generation. I, for one, can't wait for him to get started. It feels so great to be proud of our President again.
April 26, 2008
Camille, one of Rachel's classmates, had a Princess-themed birthday party this morning and I couldn't resist a quick post. Camille's mom obviously planned the party for months and no detail was overlooked. There were all kinds of handmade goodies, including wands made from rice krispie treats and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Camille's parents were even dressed up as the Queen and Prince Charming...
They had decorated the clubhouse with sheer curtains and had tables set with special place settings and even slipcovers on the chairs...
There was a table full of dress-up items and they had a fashion show...
They decorated little hand mirrors with glitter and "gems"...
and played "Pass the Glass Slipper" for fun princess prizes.
The girls loved it. While some of us parents felt a bit inferior by comparison (lol), it was definitely the highlight social event of the season.
April 25, 2008
Today was the rescheduled rain date for Rachel's first school field trip. Another fun milestone. A few members of her class showed up for a fun day at the Nashville Zoo. Of course, all of the girls had a great time walking around together...
and I discovered that a few of her favorite friends will also be attending the summer session on Tuesdays & Thursdays. That will make Rachel very happy; she'll get a few more weeks with them before they all scatter to their different schools in August. We were able to get them all together for a photo in the Lorikeet Landing exhibit.
There is a little boy in one of the other Pre-K classrooms that is totally infatuated with Rachel. His name is Colin and he is convinced that he will marry Rachel when he grows up. While part of me is a bit freaked out, he is so sweet and it's cute that he looks after her so nicely. They spent a lot of the day together...
Everyone had a nice time walking around the zoo on their own and then we met up after lunch to play on the huge castle jungle gym. We were one of the last to leave and I was completely wiped out!
April 20, 2008
We will be leaving very soon to go down to the Sommett Center for Game 6. In the immortal words of Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try." This is it for the Predators--their backs are against the wall and it's either force Game 7 or they are out in the first round for the fourth straight year. We are still very much alive and the Preds just need to play their own game and keep putting the pressure on the Wings. More to come after the game. LET'S GO PREDS!!
April 19, 2008
My 2 at-a-time sock project is coming along. After sorting out a little snag in the pattern I was able to finish turning the heels and I am now on to the gussett decreases. Aren't they cute? This is a fun project and I am looking forward to starting a pair for Rachel next. Thank goodness for Ravelry -- an unbelievable resource for all kinds of fibery goodness, but especially helpful for getting out of trouble. There are groups and discussion boards for virtually any topic and even a thread to contact the author of this book and ask questions. So cool.
They say no man is an island, but it must have felt that way to Nashville Predators goalie, Dan Ellis, last night. Ellis seemed to be the only man who came to play in Game 5 of the series against the Detroit Red Wings. Stopping all but two of Detroit's 54 shots, Ellis was impressive; but was eventually bested by an overtime breakaway shot from Johan Franzen.
The Preds lost 2-1 in a heartbreaker that could easily have gone their way. Even though they were playing without David Legwand and captain, Jason Arnott, there were just too many inexcusable mistakes and an overall lack of intensity. I don't know what else it is going to take to take to make this team seize an opportunity like the one they had last night. Following wins in Games 3 and 4 here in Nashville they should have been riding a huge wave of momentum. Radek Bonk's goal with just 43.4 seconds left in regulation tied the game 1-1, and should have been a great boost of confidence. We could have been playing tomorrow afternoon at home with a chance to take the series and send all the critics into a tailspin with one of the greatest upsets ever. If all of that isn't motivation enough, nothing ever will be. I am so frustrated.
Well, now they need to regroup, play like hell tomorrow, and go back to Detroit for Game 7 with fire in their eyes. We all know they can do it, they just need to believe it, too.
April 17, 2008
Just a quick post. When I got home from picking Rachel up this afternoon the garage door was covered with these huge bugs. Are the two in the top picture feeling frisky? They have been around for a week or two, but today there had to be over a dozen. Does anyone know what they are? Do I need to call an exterminator? lol They are so weird looking...I am kinda creeped out. If you have any ideas, please leave a message on the comment link below. Thanks!
I got my hair cut this morning and decided to go for a big change.
I have been doing a lot of work on myself in the last few months and am trying to become more authentic, as they say these days. I am discovering that doing things to make someone else happy may be a quick fix and can even seem admirable (putting others first feels noble), but it doesn't work in the long run. Before my wedding I grew my hair long so I could have the up-do I wanted. Doug likes longer hair too, so I kept it that way. Recently I have found myself hating it. It was hard to take care of, got in the way, and most of all, didn't reflect how I feel about myself. I wanted spunky and fun and, thanks to Tony (the best hairdresser I've ever had), I got just that:
I love it and feel about 10 years younger. I don't think I've ever really had bangs before, but I think they look good. Hopefully, I will be able to keep up the style. I might have to buy one of those flat irons, I'll see how it goes.
Also, the Predators won again last night, final score 3-2, tying the series 2-2. The Preds scored two very quick goals at the start of the game and kept the Red Wings behind the entire game, largely due to the outstanding play of goaltender, Dan Ellis, who stopped 39 shots.
The game didn't start until 8 pm and even though Rachel took an afternoon nap, she started to fade around 10.
Some other highlights from the game:
Gov. Phil Bredesen & Andrea Conte give the ceremonial puck drop.
The Pred Nation stands to salute Our Team.
The catfish thrown on the ice for good luck.
The Arena will be open tomorrow night to watch Game 5 from Detroit for free on the Megatron. It should be a lot of fun, almost like a home game, and I hope we can go down to watch. Game 6 will be back here in Nashville on Sunday afternoon.
April 15, 2008
Sometimes everything changes in a moment. In what could arguably be called the best game I have seen in the nine years I have been attending Preadators games, the Detroit Red Wings were defeated 5-3 in Game Three of the Playoffs last night.
The Nashville Predators were down a goal late in the third period and then, in a comeback of epic proportions, scored two goals in 9 seconds. The first, scored by Ryan Suter, tied the game at 3-3 and brought the crowd to its feet. The noise was deafening as the crowd continued to cheer and then the go-ahead goal was scored by Captain, Jason Arnott. Pandemonium erupted. Seriously, in all the games I have attended, including every Playoff game ever played on home ice, I have never heard the Arena that loud. It was crazy and we screamed until our voices gave out.
The Wings pulled Hasek, but to no avail. With just 21 seconds on the clock Martin Erat scored into the empty net and added free Taco Bell Tacos to top off a very memorable night.
As the Wings coach said in his post-game press conference, we now have a Series. Watch out Red Wings--we aren't going down without a fight.
Ed and my sister, Christine. This was the first game they made it to all season--they picked a great night!
April 12, 2008
This will be a shorter post; I don't have a lot to talk about and I am totally exhausted. I left the house bright & early this morning to be at the Officers meeting of my Harley-Davidson Chapter. This is about the 5th year straight that I have been one of the editors of the chapter newsletter. It isn't the post glamorous of positions, but I really enjoy the creative part of designing it (the other editor does all the nagging for articles!) and I can get it done on my own time.
After the meeting I ran a few errands and then went over to Candi and Gary's (also members of the Harley Chapter) house to watch the Predators play Game Two on TV. They have an awesome flat panel that is almost as good as watching the game live.
Friends Rick and Penny and a couple of Candi's neighbors were there, too. Although the Preds lost again (final score 4-2), they played better and we had a nice time being together. Doug stayed home with Rachel and it was a treat to have a Moms Day Out. I picked up some take-out Chinese on the way home and now I am looking forward to a quiet evening and an early bedtime...