Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Growing Old Isn't So Bad

Growing old isn't so bad. I know I'm not 'old' to most, but to my little volleyball team, I'm certainly not young. Especially when they ask how long I've been playing volleyball and I get to reply with '15 years'.  That's how old my players are.

I don't think there's anything I would give up to be 15 years old again. At least not these days. My team is made up of 9 8 girls that all go to different schools. You would think that this would bring them closer together because they don't have 'reputations' that are following them to club ball. That couldn't be any further from the truth.

Thanks to group text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., it is too easy for a girl to say something and have the whole team see it, then erase it as if it never happened.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"

From an outsiders perspective, it looks like everyone gets along, but what they don't see are the private messages, or 10 second snap chats. Two weeks ago we had a girl leave the team. Not because we aren't a winning team, because of bullying. Bullying that could send this girl in to a tail spin back in to depression. The girls doing the bullying didn't think this was a problem because they bragged that they suffered from depression too.

I've never suffered from depression, but I do know it's not something that should be joked about and certainly not bragged about. It's personal and should stay between people you know and trust. Not with people who will use it to hurt you.

Now, it's the bully's turn to get hurt. She wants to leave the team because the girls are telling her they don't like her. She doesn't sit with the team during breaks, she cries after practice, but she doesn't see herself as a bully. She, and her parents see her as a leader, the captain of our team. I did too.

I have parents telling me this team should disband because of the bullying. Telling me we shouldn't go to our next tournament which is a travel tournament, and I agree. That at 15 and 16 years old, these girls need more parental involvement and a stronger hand, I disagree.

When I was a teenager I realized a friend was lying to me a lot. Purposely leaving me out on fun plans. Telling others she called me but I couldn't come out. Do you know what I did? I called this friend because text messaging wasn't around and we met face to face and talked it out. I didn't call my mom and ask her to talk to her mom. More parental involvement is the last thing these girls need, because they don't know how to handle tough situations on their own.

Parents take a protective stance from the get-go. Their child is the one who is hurt and can do no wrong. It's all hear-say, the information that a parent has. It's the girls involved that know what is actually being said.

You solve problems by talking them out face to face. Certainly not behind a screen. Why do you think there are so many blogs? It's so easy for people to express their true feelings with a few taps of a keyboard or screen.

Kids need to learn to resolve issues and not throw gas on the fire by posting their issues to social media. What you think might be gone because you deleted it will always be floating around in cyber space. In a few short years, these kids will be applying for jobs, those companies will be doing searches on their names, and the past will come back to haunt them.

I'm so glad I grew up in an age when we dealt with our conflicts head on and resolved them face to face. I have a dream, that people my age, who are raising kids, have the same feeling I have and that social media will go away and our (future) kids won't have to deal with the unnecessary bullying.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Weekend Review 47: For Mom

For the past few Sunday's, after volleyball, I've been heading to my parents to vent and spend some time with Miss Miley. This does not seem to be enough for Mom though, because she likes these updates, so Mom, this ones for you.

Life has been pretty ordinary lately. I wish I could say I took a really cool last minute trip to Sonoma and spent the weekend wine tasting and eating a ton of cheese, but that's not the case. Someday, just not today.

Instead my weekend looked a little something like this.

Friday night I went to Mr. M's and he/we made dinner. It was nice enough to grill out so I chopped the veggies and he grilled the chicken before we headed out to a nearby bar to meet some of his old high school friends for drinks.

It was Friday and I was in a good mood which meant that the beverages were going down pretty smooth. This led to a painful Saturday where me and my porcelain throne got to know each other on a more intimate level.

A nap, ibuprofen, and a box of mac & cheese later I was feeling good as new.

Since I have been officially diagnosed with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), I filled out a March Madness bracket and we headed over to my friends apartment so we could watch the Butler vs Notre Dame game. It was a bit tense since the host Mr. played basketball at Butler and the host Mrs. is a die hard ND fan.  Once the game ended, we knew it was our time to leave since Butler lost.

I got home and bee lined it for my bed after laying out my clothes for the next morning and making sure my bag was ready to go. My volleyball team had a tournament in the morning which called for a 6:30 AM wake-up call.  That's also when I got a text from the other coach letting me know she wouldn't be able to make it because she wasn't feeling well.

I'm not saying I'm not a good coach, I just don't like to have to kick off coaching solo. We've had several tournaments where she's had to leave early and I can take it from there. This is my first year coaching, I still have my game day jitters. This tournament didn't have up refs either, which meant I had to stand up there, with a whistle in my mouth, make hand gestures and pretend like I know every rule there is to know in the game of volleyball.

Luckily the teams we reffed were very lop-sided and the one team just Aced the heck out of the other team. I do not like being the center of attention with coaches, players and worst of all, the parents all looking at you.

We won one match, which is actually good for us. So often we get creamed, so I'll take a win. After the tournament, when the girls went home, that's when things started falling apart. My thoughts on kids these days is coming in a later post I've been working on. Just trying to keep raw emotions out of it.

To get some frustration out I went to my parents and hung out with Miss Miley, gave her a bath, ordered my favorite pizza and enjoyed some wine with Mom, and Dad and his Kirkland beer.

I headed home when the snow started to accumulate and I couldn't believe the amount of accidents on the interstate. Once we get a couple of nice days, every Minnesotan forgets where they live and how to drive.

I'm counting down the days to the weekend when I'll be heading up to the cabin. One of my favorite things about going to the cabin is getting there. An open road, country music nice and loud and depending on the weather, the sun roof is open. Of course once I'm there, that's also a favorite, yard games, playing in the lake, grilling out, fires with the neighbors, boat rides, but that's all 2-3 months away still.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weekend Review 45

This past weekend really wasn't one worthy of sharing since not a lot went on, but it's Wednesday, half way through the week and I figured, why not just recap what went down.

Friday night the Mr. and I went to dinner at a restaurant by his house. I had heard about this place for a while now since some friends live a block away. In my head I kept thinking it was a dive bar where people hung out and downed PBR's all night. I was so wrong. It's a nice, busy little restaurant that serves food like bison burgers made with horseradish and bacon, topped with a pickle aioli sauce and a craft beer list twice the size of their food menu.

After dinner we watched Foxcatcher which was one of the longest most boring movies I've ever sat through. I'm pretty certain had we not been watching it together, neither one of us would have forced ourselves to sit through the whole thing. Good thing we had a giant bottle of the cheapest wine we could find at the liquor store that was already cold. The wine was more entertaining then the movie because it was so bad, yet we continued to drink it. 'No wine left behind' I say (when I die I hope they put that on my tombstone...and pepperoni and pineapple because that's the only way to eat a pizza).

Saturday took me to my parents nice and early so I could get some laundry done, play with Miley and catch up on Vanderpump Rules. How the heck does James stick with Kristin who is so obviously still in to Tom and not in an 'oh, my heart hurts because I cheated on you and then you broke up with me and now you're happy and I'm not' way, but in an 'I'm going to stalk you until you get a restraining order against me and I'm locked in prison because if I can't have you no one can' kind of way. #crazypartyofone

Saturday night brought me back to the Mr.'s for dinner and a movie. For Christmas I gifted him a Plated gift certificate and he finally used it. We made steak gyros that I thought turned out pretty well. It was kind of fun to put in a group effort and both work on the meal. We watched the movie Lucy with Scar Jo. I don't want to ruin it for you if you haven't seen it, but it's really good up until the last 10 min where it goes all sci-fi. My least favorite genre of movies. If you like butt-kicking and drug smuggling, then turn it off with approx 10 min left.

Finally we get to Sunday. The best Sunday of the year because it's day light savings and we lose an hour of sleep <- insert sarcasm. I got to get up extra early because I had a volleyball tournament an hour away.

The tournament started out a bit rough. We lost our first three matches and then had a short break. Something during that break clicked with the girls and we won two matches in a row! It was so fun to watch the girls actually having fun and playing like a team. Physically, they didn't do a whole lot out of the norm, because they have the skills. Mentally, they were in it, they worked with each other instead of working against each other and it resulted in two wins.

Even with two wins in a day, they had only had two wins all season prior to this tournament, it still resulted in parents calling the club director and asking why their daughters aren't winning more matches. The next time we have a practice with all the players, we are going to have a 'Come to Jesus' meeting where the girls can get everything out. They know exactly why they are losing so many matches, they just don't fix it and it's not really something a coach can fix.

So here we are, it's early March and I've had the pleasure of having my windows open, going sans tights, carrying my winter jacket home instead of wearing it, driving with the sun roof open and going for walks around the lake in a single layer of clothes! I know I can't get too excited, but this weather has been the perfect remedy to boost my mood this week!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Review 44: VIP

This past weekend was definitely one for the record books. I had been in a bit of a funk and then I forced my self to go out with my friends on Friday night. A couple weeks ago, we all bought tickets to go to Wits, but I just wasn't feeling it. After selling off my ticket twice, I eventually found it back in my possession, so I figured I should go and socialize with my friends who I don't get to see very often.

A few of the girls met for a prosecco happy hour before our Green Line journey to St. Paul began. The train ride wasn't so bad and I would probably do it again to save on cab fare.

When we arrived in St. Paul we met up with the rest of the group for a quick dinner before heading over to the Fitzgerald Theatre. I had never been to the Fitzgerald, but it's a beautiful old theatre. We sat in the upper balcony and had a great view of the show. Eric Stonestreet, Cam from Modern Family, and Brandi Carlile were the shows guests.

Brandi played several songs off her new album and Eric was just funny as could be. The two played really well off each other too.

I had never been to a live taping of a radio show, so it was fun to see the interaction between everyone and how a radio show is put together. If you have some time, I suggest listening to a few of their shows, or even going to one.

Saturday was a day I had been looking forward to for a little while now. I'd had my eye on some court side Timberwolves tickets for quite some time and made the purchase while I was on vacation. That decision couldn't have come at a better time since Kevin Garnet came back to MN last week!

I had bought these tickets as a birthday present and tried to hold off sharing the details of the tickets, but my excitement got the best of me and I blabbed. The fun thing was, he didn't understand just how close the tickets actually were to the court, and the home team bench.

We started out by going to the Lexus Club locker room where we were given our own locker to store our jackets before being taken upstairs for dinner and drinks.

There were several different stations with all sorts of different food. Salads, steak, pasta, queso, cake, veggies, the options were endless.

As we were enjoying our meal, Greg Jennings of the Minnesota Vikings came in with his son and sat right next to us.

With a few minutes left before tip off, we headed in to the stadium to find our seats. They were even better than I had expected.

The Wolves put up a decent fight, but I was informed that those Grizzlies are a pretty decent team, so the loss was somewhat expected. Especially after KG was kicked out of the game.

As someone who is not a big basketball fan, this was one heck of a fun time and I'm so happy that I splurged on these tickets.

Sunday was another milestone day. My car hit 111,111 miles.

Happy Monday!