Mental toughness and lavender shirts

I’m writing this while I sit on Caroline’s bed because P is in the living room watching T.V. and I can’t concentrate for all the gunfire. But it’s important because he’s watching In the Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood and he’s only seen it about twenty-six other times.

And Caroline isn’t in her bed because she’s in our bed. So, basically, I am a woman without a country.

Although I did watch The Patriot and part eight of The Pacific tonight and have never felt more patriotic and proud to be an American than I do at this moment. But there is a high probability that I will suffer from some sort of fake war flashbacks in my sleep tonight and wake up screaming, “I’VE BEEN HIT! I’VE BEEN HIT!” Which shouldn’t be disturbing at all and if people don’t like it then maybe they should sleep in a different bed. Like the one that’s decorated in hot pink and in their own room.

As for P, he has only himself to blame for sucking me into the vortex of war movies.

Speaking of war, the Cheetah Girls just barely survived our weekend of soccer. You may think that soccer is nothing like war and I shouldn’t even try to make that transition, but to you I say that you obviously didn’t see us get completely destroyed by the Red Dragons on Sunday afternoon.

Our weekend of soccer started on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. We played the Dragonflies who had beaten us earlier in the season. P and I wore matching lavender shirts that our players’ parents bought for us. The fact that we were dressed alike, IN LAVENDER, can only be described as a total gift of self-sacrifice and love. I asked him if he’d ever felt closer to me than at that moment and he just rolled his eyes, which I’m pretty sure meant NO. But I do love a man who isn’t afraid to wear a lavender shirt and coach some six-year-old girls.

Six-year-old girls who never quit moving.

Or talking.

“I really like your hair today.”

“Thanks! I like your hair, too!”

“What do you think we’re having for snack after the game?”

“I don’t know. Is the game over yet?”

“Did you know that a million plus one gazillion equals infinity?”

“Why is Coach P yelling at us to get on the field?”

After the game was over I declared that we beat the Dragonflies (even though there is no official score or any official winners or losers), but P corrected me and said that we’d only scored two goals. I could have sworn we scored three and I don’t know why he couldn’t just let me live under that delusion. He believes it was a tie, but between you and me I still think we scored three goals.

But, ultimately, the glory of the victory or the tie or whatever was short-lived because we faced the Red Dragons at 12:30 on Sunday and were promptly destroyed. Of course I feel I should mention that we were missing half our team due to prior conflicts so we only had one substitute while the Red Dragons had a full team. Don’t get me wrong they still would have killed us, but it was hot and our girls were exhausted.

During the last few minutes of the game Caroline twisted her ankle and came out crying. She said she couldn’t even walk on it, but, while she inherited her daddy’s eyes, she inherited my flair for drama and we weren’t totally convinced if she was actually hurt or just completely frustrated by the game. As it turns out, she limped the rest of the day and was treated to my inspirational rendition of Kerri Strug doing the vault to lead her team to Olympic Gold in 1996 as an example of mental toughness. I figure it will give her a lighthearted anecdote to share with Bob Costas someday when he’s ninety-six and interviewing her for the 2020 Olympics.

“One time when I was six I twisted my ankle during a game and my mom thought telling me some story about Kerri Strug would make it better when all I really wanted was an ice cream sandwich. I mean, I WAS SIX.”

Listen, Bob Costas, I did the best I could.

I’d also like to note that I believe I will retire from coaching after this season. I just think some folks are meant to wear the lavender and others aren’t. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I will embrace my role as a parent on the sidelines. Even though I’ll probably still give lectures about Kerri Strug and mental toughness in my spare time.

Fashion Friday: Edition everything is $50 or less

I didn’t know what my intro for today’s Fashion Friday was going to be. But when I finished linking to all the items and uploading all the pictures and pulling out all my hair, I realized that there isn’t one item featured that costs more than $50. So, basically, it’s just like my closet.

1. Vintage lace knit top

I’ve really wanted to add some lace to my wardrobe ever since I fell in love with a gorgeous lace top I saw earlier this spring, but I haven’t found anything that looks quite right. Actually, I’ve always been drawn to lace because I came of age during the early Madonna years. If you were a teenager in the mid-80’s and didn’t wear fingerless lace gloves or a lace bow in your hair, then I don’t know if you can truly understand the lasting influence of the material girl.

I think this top would be a great piece to layer under a jacket or even just by itself during the long hot summer.

2. Buenos Aires peasant top

When I first saw this top, I was kind of on the fence. I LOVE the style. Obviously, I love the lace accents. But I’m still not totally sure how I feel about the color. I mean, it’s a beautiful color but I have conflicting emotions about anything that remotely falls in the purple category.

Still, I can totally see it with my jeans and pair of cowboy boots. I love it in spite of myself. And I will refer to it as aubergine instead of purple.

3. Coquille tube dress

I saw this dress and my first thought was that I’d never actually wear it as a dress, but thought it would make a really cute swimsuit coverup. But when I looked at it again, I decided it would also be a cute dress with a denim jacket or fitted cardigan worn over it.

Or maybe you might just want to wear it by itself because you are in your twenties and you can.

4. Knit rosette top

I am a big fan of this shirt.

It comes in several different colors and it’s $10.80. What else do you need to know?

5. Roman candy tote

Who comes up with these names?

I love the turquoise. I know that comes as a shock.

6. Spring Break scarf

I adore this scarf because it just looks like summer. It would go great with so many different t-shirts and tanks and add a little pop to a plain outfit.

7. Genie dress

When Sophie arrived in New York, she surprised me with the cutest dress.

Except the one she gave me was in the turquoise color because she knows my color love language. And I know myself well enough to know that there will come a day when I’ll wonder why I was so obsessed with turquoise and will want it banished forever. I will just turquoise myself sick.

But until then I’ll probably wear this dress at least once a week all summer long. Twice, if I can get away with it. It’s so soft that it’s like wearing a nightgown. Not that I wear nightgowns. Unless you consider a twenty-year-old shirt that says Texas A&M Baseball on it and is covered in small holes a nightgown.

8. Hawaiian flower brim hat

Mamaw has to get herself a new hat every summer because the sun hates my face. And, in return, my face hates the sun. They fight with each other like they are a couple of Real Housewives.

Speaking of, I need to make an appointment to see my dermatologist. I seriously need to do something about these brown spots on my face that have become too large to call them freckles.

Dang me and those teenage years when I thought there was no such thing as too much sun. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have been the only fifteen-year-old at Crystal Beach wearing an enormous floppy hat. Which wouldn’t have added at all to my high school insecurities.

9. Yellow sandals

I don’t really know that I have any use for a pair of yellow sandals, but I think these are really cute. Personally, I kind of wish they came in silver because I have a great many uses for silver sandals right now.

I seem to be having issues with color choices today.

10. Two-tone canvas beach tote

I really like this beach tote because it’s the right size to hold a decent amount of stuff and it comes in many cute color combinations. And I don’t have a problem with any of them.

11. Embroidered crinkle gauze tunic

I really don’t need another white shirt in my closet. I have way too many of them as it is, but I have some sort of addiction to the crispness of white. You would think that this addiction would cause me to be more careful about spilling things on myself, but you would be wrong. Instead I go through life with the motto “That’s what bleach is for.”

Actually, that’s not really my motto because that would be sad.

And if you don’t like white, then I thought these floral print gauze tops were really cute.

As a bonus today (as if having eleven items instead of ten wasn’t enough!) I wanted to tell you about two great things and you may already know about both of them. Just humor me and make me feel like I told you something new.

I recently discovered Retail Me Not. Before I buy anything, I go on their site, type in the name of the store and see if a coupon code comes up that will give me additional savings. I can’t tell you often I find a code that at least offers free shipping.

The other new discovery is a style blog called She’s Still Got It. I love Lindsey’s style and that she features reasonably priced things that can be worn by real people who often have to bend over to tie someone’s shoe.

Lastly, you may want to check out Jo-Lynne’s blog for more fashion tips.

Y’all have a great Friday.

P.S. We have not one but TWO soccer games this weekend. Pray for me.

The worst is behind me

This is one of those times where I keep clicking over here in the hopes that some words have magically appeared on the page. But, alas, the cursor and all the white space continue to mock me. For some reason my tried and true writing method of checking Twitter six times, playing five rounds of Pathwords, and searching the internet for anything that happens to pop in my head isn’t working for me.

But you may be interested to know that in the last several hours I’ve learned that Texas Governor, Rick Perry, shot a coyote while on a morning jog. I’ve also fallen in love with this surfside kurta from Athleta and become completely conflicted about which pair of Havaiana flip-flops I’d like to own.

Seriously. How am I supposed to choose? It’s ridiculous.

I’ve discovered that Sandra Bullock has adopted a baby boy from New Orleans, Siobhan got voted off American Idol, and read several different television recap blogs because I can’t remember if anyone ever found the body of that parole officer that Dana Walsh stuffed in the vent at CTU and I’m worried sick about it.

In other words, I have wasted two hours of my life.

But, frankly, I kind of needed the down time. Caroline and I both woke up yesterday morning with what can only be described as a Sea World hangover. Her eyes were slightly red and glazed over and mine were so swollen that I couldn’t even curl my eyelashes to try to make them look better. Of course maybe it was the resurgence of pollen rather than the Sea World trip that got us, but I’m tired of talking about allergies and would rather blame Shamu.

I got her off to school and then I came home to get ready for Bible study while I self-medicated with copious amounts of caffeine. My eyes and I finally made it to the church even though we were fifteen minutes late. It was our last meeting of the season and we ended with a lovely brunch and an egg casserole made with fontina cheese that changed the way I will view egg casseroles forevermore. Delicious.

After I left, I ran by Target to pick up a few things and then stopped by the mall in search of a few cute t-shirts to wear this summer. I found nothing. Well, nothing except a large Diet Coke and an M&M chocolate chip cookie at the Great American Cookie Company.

Then, for reasons I will never understand, I decided I should try on a few swimsuits. After eating an egg casserole made with fontina cheese and an M&M chocolate chip cookie. And experiencing some PMS. Nothing like mixing up a little cocktail of insecurity and hormones.

I pulled several different options off the rack (no pun intended) and headed to the dressing room to let the horror and sadness commence. The first one I tried on almost made me swear off swimwear forever. Picture a swimsuit that makes everything look better and accentuates your best features and then picture the opposite of that. I sobbed quietly in the dressing room and vowed to recommit myself to the 30-Day Shred starting this Monday.

Or the next Monday.

But I made myself try on the rest of them because I have to have a new swimsuit for the summer. We go to the pool almost every day. It’s not an option. And I didn’t buy a new suit last summer so I really need one this year.

(Actually I just remembered that I did buy a new suit last year but ended up having severe buyer’s remorse and hardly wore it all. So it doesn’t count.)

(P, if you’re wondering, it only cost $15.00. It’s all good.)

Finally I put on one that didn’t make me want to hurl. It was a lovely shade of turquoise (unlike my kitchen), had a top that was flattering and supportive, and offered two different options for the bottoms. Therein lay my dilemma. One was more of a traditional bottom with a ruffle and the other was more like a fitted swim skirt with ruching. I was a little concerned that either one of them might make me look like Vienna from The Bachelor, not to be confused with Vienna from the sausage. Although that was also a possibility.

But I had to make a decision because they only had one pair of bottoms left in my size. So I did the only thing that could be done in such a desperate time and called Gulley to see if I could text photos of myself in each swimsuit option and get her honest opinion. It wasn’t as good as having her there in person, but it would have to do.

I cannot even express how many times I checked and double-checked to make sure she was the only person I was texting those pictures to. Can you even imagine the horror of inadvertently sending a photo of yourself in a swimsuit to the wrong person? I have no idea how many various friends and acquaintances’ numbers I have stored in my cell phone, but I can say with all certainty that 99.9% of them don’t need to receive a picture of me in a florescent lit dressing room wearing a swimsuit.

Gulley helped me decide on the more traditional bottom. In the end, we felt like it was the right choice.

No pun intended.