Sunday, February 15, 2009

What...a change.

A few years ago a typical weekend for me consisted of a late and crazy Friday night in downtown Ft. Worth, sleeping til noon and then staying in jammies until time to repeat the whole process on Saturday night and into Sunday. But on Sunday, I usually felt the need to update my wardrobe after seeing other girls out the previous nights so I would drag myself out of bed and head to the mall. Needless to say, my apartment was never very clean and I never accomplished much more than depleting my checking account.

Fast forward to the present tense and read the details of this past weekend.
- Thursday night: Drove to Lamar Middle School to watch Craig coach Division I in the first round of the district tournament.
- Friday night: Worked the scorer's table at my school for the second round of the district tournament. Nearly had a fatal heart attack when Craig's team was down fourteen points at the end of the third quarter, but yet came back to win by eight.
- Saturday: Woke up when Craig left at nine to go to the tourney and I couldn't fall asleep again. I was at the tourney by 1:15 with my and Craig's family to watch the third round of the championship, which he won quite easily. I then had to sit through an intermediary game before the final Division I championship game but luckily I had Beri by me to keep me company. So finally the game starts and within two minutes of the start Craig has received a technical foul. Fantastic. I didn't really see the actual foul given because I had by then buried my head in my hands...I can't stand to see him be a jerk, despite his reasons of protecting his players from crap calls and refs. This game turned out to be another cardiac arrest inducing game with it coming down to a "down by one, two free throws and five seconds left in the game" situation. Good grief. I would love to say that I remember those two free throws vividly, but once again my head was buried in my hands out of sheer terror. Keep in mind, Craig won the district tournament last year and went 6-1 this season with these girls...and I had to go home with him if they lost. So after the majority of the stands cheered twice, I figured it was safe to look up and I did just in time to see the other team inbound the ball, push it down the court, and finally...right at the buzzer...a shot goes up---and in the basket---and then miraculously out again. Our girls had done it - back to back district championships. Now...I know that it's only middle school basketball, but our district alone has 15 middle schools so to be district champs two years in a row is a pretty amazing feat. Upon returning home and receiving my congratulations, Craig just shook his head and said that it wasn't him and he immediately put the kudos on the girls...after all they were the ones on the court. True. And from being a coach I know that you can have all the strategy in the world and have great knowledge of the game...but if the kids can't or won't perform all your efforts are wasted. BUT...I know that Craig is a great coach and knows how to manage his team, the players and the flow of the game well which resulted in allowing his girls to have the tools to win. Anyways. After he rested for about an hour, we went to Outback Steakhouse because, apparently winning makes him crave red meat. I didn't care and we ended up having a pretty good dinner sitting at the bar because we weren't wanting to wait an hour and a half just to sit at a table. On the way home we stopped at Baskin Robbins and had some ice cream. We were both exhausted from the day and sacked out asleep before the hour hand clicked to double digits.
- Sunday: We were both awake before nine, but not really moving so we were lazy and laid around in bed, catching up on the internet and on DVR before heading out to brunch around 11:00. When we got home Craig had to get ready for the second day of his select basketball team tryouts and he left shortly after noon to get the gyms set up at school. I was determined to have him proud of the work I accomplished during the day when he got home in the evening so I set about completing the four loads of laundry sitting in baskets in the closet as well as making a list for grocery shopping later. I'm not sure why (and maybe I'll feel differently in five years) but I absolutely love grocery shopping. I love going through the pantry and the refridgerator throwing stuff out and making a list of things we need. I love getting in the car and having an ancient neolithic feeling rise up in my body. "Must get food. Craig need food." You know, the hunter/gatherer type thing. I'm not spearing a mastodon with a handmade javelin or anything. But wading through the unlimited choices that Tom Thumb provides can be quite the jungle. And without my list I really am lost and will end up buying everything to make a lasagna...except the noodles. By the time Craig returned around 7:30 I had washed, dried, folded and put away four loads of laundry, grocery shopped and put them away and ALSO baked a dozen big, fat chocolate chip cookies as a congratulatory present to Craig.

I don't know if you're seeing a bit of a difference between my life "then" and "now" but there is. I'm more and more beginning to see my future and many of the weekends and nights will revolve around basketball and tournaments. Last week when I was a bit more emotional I had a minor breakdown about becoming just a "coaches wife" and losing my identity along the way of supporting him and raising children. He assured me that I could make myself into anything I wanted (or more importantly DIDN'T want) to be.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Things in my head have been a little...rough. I think the fact that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders has finally caught up with me and is affecting my sleeping patterns. And when I'm tired...I'm a little cranky and off kilter emotionally. And my sleep patterns definitely have changed. I usually wake up two to three times a night; most likely after an extremely vivid and disturbing nightmares and dreams. And if I don't wake up several times a night? I wake up in the morning just after one of those vivid dreams and if feels like I never went to sleep.

What happens is that I shove everything back in the far recesses of my mind and try to just move on. I'm not sure where I learned this mentality but I have a feeling it stems somewhere from the "tough it out" or "shake it off" comments I heard so many times throughout my athletic career. Either way, I ignore everything for as long as I can until eventually I become a boiling pot that is unwatched...everything starts boiling over and out uncontrollably and it's a mess. And the uninhibited emotions that explode are never aimed at anyone else - it's all directed towards myself. I irrationally blame and beat myself up over every little thing that I might have done wrong. Like I told my mother - I forget about the forest and instead focus on the individual trees. I could go the whole day being a fantastic teacher and coach, but at the end of the day I will focus on the fact that maybe I made an insensitive comment at lunch or that a parent's email expressed frustration with my teaching or the way I run my class. I completely ignore the fact that it was ONE event out of a whole day.

Needless to say...Craig's patience has been infinitely tested this week and I must admit - he has passed with flying colors. Each night this week when I have come home increasingly more upset, he has continued to surprise me with his compassion, reassurance, and tolerance. I even asked him why he put up with me - his answer? Because he loves me. Duh Laura. But it's hard for me to understand why he would want to deal with me like that when I can't deal with me. And then I start feeling guilty for always being the one that has to lean on him for support and then the cycle starts all over again. Do you see the vicious circle I create for myself? Being on the other side of all the emotion, I can look back and see the sheer ridiculousness of it all, but at the was rough.

As far as wedding planning progress that has been made - we have a date, a site, our wedding party, our colors, the honeymoon and my wedding dress picked out and payments have begun to be made. For those of you who are interested:
- Date: March 13, 2010
- Site: A golf resort hotel by Texas Speedway
- Wedding Party: My bridesmaids are Amy Z. (Matron of Honor - BFF from elementary), Jennifer F. (BFF from adulthood), Kate W. (BFF from diapers) and Beri D. (BFF from work). Craig's groomsmen are Ron G. (Best Man - Basketball buddy), Ricky T. (Basketball buddy), Doug W. (Work buddy), Zach F. (The ORIGINAL "buddy").
- Colors: Light green and chocolate brown
- Honeymoon: The Sandals resort in Antigua for a week!
- Dress: Very me...I can't show you on the rare chance that Craig checks this site, but google Maggie Sottero Pressley and you'll see it.

Other than that, we're just ready for tournament season to start so we can really start planning and paying for our wedding. More than that though, I'm ready for our Spring Break vacation to Vegas!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Big families = Big money

In light of the recent news about the woman having octuplets, in addition to the six that she already has, I have been watching recorded episodes of 17 and Counting - the show about the Duggar family from Arkansas that have 18 children.

Let me say this - I would not normally condone people having enough children to field two baseball teams, but these people seem to really have their act together! I find myself agreeing more and more with their philosophies on life, love and marriage. Granted...I don't see myself tossing out my jeans and sweatpants for long skirts anytime soon, but I do really like how Jim Bob talks about cherishing his wife. He recently gave his about-to-be wed son some advice on listening to women - he said that oftentimes women focus on the details of something and it might take awhile to get to the real point of a story. But he told his son to be patient and listen because it is something that is important to his wife and he should honor that. I like that idea - the concept that even though it might not be of terrible importance to my future spouse, it's important to me and therefore he should honor that.

BUT...a recent episode really bothered me. It was somewhat reticent of the awful way that I think Jon and Kate pimp out their sextuplets and twins for the media as a cash cow for themselves. And besides...Kate's voice and constant nagging really grates on my nerves. Off topic - back to the puppy mill know as the Duggar family. In the beginning of this certain episode, the family was not only being covered and filmed by the TLC crew, but by a French crew as well. The Duggar's are heading off to the "town store" (also known as the commercial giant Wal-Mart which, like the Duggar's, always seems to have a new branch popping up everytime you turn around) and will be signing books for the general public. They not only sign books, but perform a few Christmas carols as well. All the while, the French and TLC crews are filming and the French director is giving his reasoning for interest in this enormous family. Which he summed up as "Only in America." Despite his earnest, eager smile...I don't think he meant this as a compliment.

From all the episodes of this show that I have watched, I have never gotten the sense that the Duggar parents were pimping out their family in an effort to earn money for themselves. I think that they are genuine people who love the Lord and their children, and who also happen to have opened their lives to the country but not for selfish reasons but because they really want to spread what their family is about. But this eerie scene of them in their outdated long, bushy haircuts and their religiously worn skirts - it seemed as if they were putting on a show...that they were trying to become that sensational family that everyone has been talking about just so they could earn the cash from the book.

I will admit it. I was disappointed. I was let down. I really respected these people and they way they raise their children. Their kids seem to be polite, intelligent, caring, respectful and funny little people - exactly the type of child I would like to raise. A bit naive per se...but I think that's absolutely acceptable for children. In my line of work, I'm seeing students younger and younger act years older than their numeric age. It is refreshing to see freshly scrubbed faces that actually sound and act appropriately for their age.

I truly do hope that these parents are as honest and virtuous as they appear to be on tv. If not, I really fear for the future of these children.