Fifteen Years

Dear Erin,

So I told you I’d talk about our anniversary celebration today. And since I had thought about sharing it with the blog, I thought to bring a camera along, which means I have PICTURES!

Mom and Dad are visiting, so we left Little Mister in good hands.

Dad and LM


It was a warm, gorgeous evening, and we took the light rail downtown and walked over to San Pedro Square

SP Square Sign

where we had dinner at Firehouse No.1, a gastropub which is not the same as our favorite sub shop from the East Coast.


Yum, brie! And don’t worry – that was just the appetizer, not my whole meal. After dinner, we walked back over to where we had gotten off the light rail. Across the street from the station was the civic center, where we went to see these guys.

Civic Sign

Can you see that? It says The Piano Guys. That’s these guys.

These guys.

These guys:


Not something we normally do (try to meet performers), but it was a special celebration and we needed a good story to remind us of this anniversary fifteen years further down the road. I think we got it.



Dear Erin,

I think both of those gifts are romantic, just in different ways. You’ve clearly been married long enough that you know what each other would like best to receive. Your necklace is beautiful and so sweet! This year will be our 15th (!) anniversary. We’re getting to the point where, if this was a school reunion, I might consider attending. I’ll tell you on Monday what we did and how it went. If I’m really on the ball, I might even have pictures.

Today, I’m talking about Hoosiers as part of the summer series.

So, basically, … I don’t care for basketball; I’m not a huge fan of Gene Hackman; and I could take or leave sports any day of the week. Most of the time I leave them. Not my thing.

I am probably not the intended audience for this movie.

But it was fine. Really, it was just fine. They started off on the right foot by taking out the three most annoying things about real basketball (according to me):

  1. Flopping – every boy on every team in this movie was a hardworking, decent, honest type. You know, the Indiana farm boy. Clark Kent, basically. And a farm boy doesn’t flop. Also, since it takes place in 1951, the concept may not have been invented yet.
  2. The final 10-second Time Warp – how is it that the last ten seconds of nearly every televised basketball game can take half an hour to play? In the universe of this movie, apparently 90% of all games come down in the last few seconds to a single shot that must be made to break the tie, and yet none them stretches out like the game is being played in a TARDIS.
  3. Squeaky shoes – in the movie, they muted that awful sound or at least covered over it with swelling, heroic music. This can be its own kind of awful sound, but it almost always will win over the cheek, cheek, squeeeeak of tennis shoes on the wooden floor of a gym, as far as I’m concerned.

Hoosiers is the story of a man (Hackman) seeking redemption through coaching basketball, yes, but he’s also seeking redemption for a violent lapse of control by building up the men around him. He teaches self-discipline to his players and self-respect to his alcoholic assistant (Dennis Hopper). In almost every move he makes, this idealized central character makes the world a better place.

I sound a bit snarky; I guess I am a little, but I didn’t dislike Hoosiers. I just think it’s a bit disingenuous. The movie is supposedly a true story, and its ethos seems chosen to reflect the stereotypical midwestern values of hard work, modesty, and strong fundamentals. The characters are understated, the plot is matter-of-fact, even the individual games on the way to the state championship at the end aren’t overwrought. The movie as a whole is absolutely solid and entirely unflashy, even predictable. You recognize each sports movie element as it is put into place, and you can see that state championship coming from the beginning. Unconventional coach opposed by the small town? Check. Love interest that must be won over? Check. Many losses at the beginning followed by many wins at the end, as the crowd is also won over? Check.

But it has some other problems, too. For example, “teamwork” is an important concept, but it is only the addition of a star player that makes the team successful at all. Also, there are too many strands going at once, so there’s not enough time or attention given to each one.

A lot of people seem to assume that feminism is about promoting women at the expense of men. [Believe me, I’m going somewhere with this.] But my interpretation of feminism, especially Christian feminism, is that God created each individual with equal worth, gender is only part of a person’s identity, and it shouldn’t be a limiting factor. So as a Christian feminist (and as the mother of a son), I appreciate the theme in this movie of manliness and what it takes to be, or to make, a man. It seems like a worthwhile discussion to have.

I’m not sure why this movie is a “classic,” unless it’s because of its absolute competence. This seems like the kind of movie you show your ten year old. It’s also a nostalgic, clean, family-friendly movie about sports, so the basketball-loving contingent that watched this as children may be skewing the stats a little. And the Indianians.

8 and Counting

Dear Kristen,

I am a day late on my post with a good reason – yesterday was our 8 year anniversary!  You mentioned the other day that Wimbledon is starting, so your anniversary is just around the corner.  And ours has just passed!

The day was spent with friends, sunshine, and laughter.  And we exchanged gifts – mine to him was practical, his to me was romantic.


The green cup makes slushes and milkshakes in about two minutes.  Matt loves all things icy and frozen, so hopefully these will work well enough for him to always have the option of an ice cold refreshment.  (I got him two so there could always be one in the freezer ready to go.)

The necklace shows the coordinates for Kenmore Plantation.  This is where we got engaged years ago.  Isn’t it awesome!

IMG_1198Picture 075

June has been a month of gifts and surprises, which has been great.  A pinafore for Munchkin (I haven’t managed a good picture with her wearing it) and a new necklace for me.  Hope your anniversary is a bundle of fun as well!

Summer Colors

Dear Erin,

It sounds like you had fun on Sunday. I had forgotten about those mall pretzels; I might have to break those out for snacks for our life group one of these days. That would be something different. And congratulations on Munchkin’s milestone! She looks like she’s raring to go in that picture.

Thanks for not posting a picture of the present I sent her so I can post about it today! It’s nice to have finished up a couple of projects so I can both share them and feel like I’ve accomplished a little something more than just a load of laundry and a few dishes, which are my average daily accomplishments these days.

(I just looked up as I was writing the above and saw two little feet that look like bunnies stretching up over the edge of the bassinet where Little Mister is taking a nap. He’s wearing footie pajamas with bunny feet – probably for the last time, as he’s pretty much grown out of them.)

So here’s Munchkin’s present.

Mariposa front

This is the Mariposa Pinafore, made out of Cascade Ultra Pima in “Orchid.” It’s crocheted, so it was pretty fast, even taking into account the fact that I had to redo the first few rows. It turns out, if you don’t know what a pattern abbreviation means, you don’t always need to search the web and then take a stab at figuring it out. Sometimes, the abbreviation is spelled out in the pattern itself. Hands up if you tried the former approach and got it completely wrong [Ahem].

Here’s the pretty button on the back.

Mariposa button close

Of course, every time I think “pinafore,” I think of this:

I also finished that garter stitch scarf:

CFC Homespun 3

And that’s it for now, but I have some plans for these lovelies that I picked up on Tuesday:

tosh sport espadrilles 2

So you may see something else in the mail in a couple of months.

Next Wednesday, I’ll be talking about HoosiersUgh, basketball. It’s almost as bad as soccer.

LM soccer

LM hears there’s some “World Cup” thing going on

Father’s Day on the East Coast

Dear Kristen,

Looks like LM and Charles had a great time together on Charles’ big day.  We had a great time over here as well!  I realized this morning that I took zero pictures on that particular day, so you will have to content yourself with descriptions.

The day began with a present! Matt has a thing for hats – and this one was right up his alley.  I was actually afraid the gift wouldn’t show up on time, so there were extra treats like Pringles and freezie-pops, but the hat came in time – whew!

Then there was pool time for daddy and daughter, and I made him mall pretzels with the recipe you sent me awhile ago.  They were a hit!

So there were some fun moments all day, which made for a good Father’s Day.  I did take pictures of other things that happened that day and the next.  The biggest milestone?  Munchkin actually picked her feet up while riding her Strider.  We’ve been hoping that would happen for the last year!  Here she is, followed by some pictures at the lake (Matt couldn’t join us there…so she got double water time that day.)IMG_1078