Sarah

There are many different kinds of festivals.  They range from Medieval to Jazz and RIbs.  None of them, in my opinion, are bad.  NONE OF THEM.  If nothing else, you can always people-watch.  

This weekend my theory of ‘no bad festival was tested’.

When my friend informed me there was a wine festival in her town I was sold.  I told her I needed no other details.  She tried, she really did, to tell me people in her town were….special and things may not be…..right.  I laughed.  I laughed right in her face, through a text.  

I quickly told Chrissy where we were going and she was in.  As we have gotten older we have gotten classier.  In the last year we have acquired the taste for wine.  We have gone from grape juice to almost wine.  What better place to expand our ever growing pallet than at a festival?!

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Chrissy

My transition to grown-up alcoholic beverages has happened over the last few months.  I’ve slowly left Smirnoff’s and Mike’s Hard Lemonades behind (just take my word for it and don’t look in my fridge…I promise those aren’t mine).   Since wine is a new interest, I’ve never been to a wine festival before.

'Merica

‘Merica

We parked and walked a couple of blocks to the downtown area.  The historic downtown area made a nice setting.  After paying for our wine tasting tickets, we walked into the tasting area, carefully marked off with crime scene tape.  We walked around the small area trying to locate the booths.  We saw two and kept looking for the rest.

And kept looking.

The only sad thing about this picture is the empty wine glass.

The only sad thing about this picture is the empty wine glass.

There were no more.  Small-town Kentucky, I had almost forgotten how cute and small you are.  Despite the small selection, the local home-grown wines were delicious.  We went back and forth between the two booths to try the offerings of each.  After a few times of this, the designated pourers at each booth started to look suspiciously at us, as if they’d seen us before.  I tried putting on my sunglasses to avoid looking like a lush, but that was a fail.  We were spotted.  “Oh, it’s you again,” one of the booth workers said as he poured our fifth sampling that evening.

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Sarah

If you give us six tastings and two booths this is going to happen.  I felt embarrassed until I realized the bigger fail is YOU, taster pourer, for not recognizing us earlier.  We were witty and engaging each time we saw you.  I guess the three hundred degree weather must have melted your brain a little.  Forgiven.  

Drinking wine like a boss, pinkie up.

Drinking wine like a boss, pinkie up.

After we had used all of our tickets, we headed to the food portion of the festival.  We bought popcorn.  It was amazing.  As we left the area we spotted a gang sign.  

"SSS for the blood" gang sign.  I would mock their name choice but they're a gang.

“SSS for the blood” gang sign. I would mock their name choice but they’re a gang.

Painted right on the wall in front of us.  Painted well.  Really well.  We walked back to the car in full Nancy Drew mode, on the lookout for this gang, but didn’t spot them.  If you know anything about them, let us know.  We provide investigative services, for a small fee.  We accept payments of wine.

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{Chrissy}

So as you can see, we all survived the Mayan Apocalypse. This was fortunate because it would have interfered with our plans for Christmas and the New Year, and as you’re about to find out, that would have been a big shame…Or maybe it would have saved us all a lot of trouble. Our group of friends split ways for the Christmas holidays and missed each other so much that we decided to all reconvene in Nashville for New Year’s Day, in what we  imagined would be a wondrous and joyful occasion.

I asked Sarah where she wanted to meet for dinner. She informed me that was a dumb question. What else should you eat in the country music capital but BBQ? I chose a location downtown called Rooster’s, and when we walked in, we discovered it was accidentally a WIN. Not only had Man VS Food taped an episode there, but the food was amazing.

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As you can see, we probably enjoyed it a little too much.

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If Adam Richman went there and pounded down 72 oz. of beef in one sitting, you know it has to be good.

Then we headed downtown to find a cozy bar and settle in for the countdown to the New Year. As we got downtown, we discovered the streets were blocked off and it had turned into a giant block party, with a free concert by the Fray. Another win! As we strolled the streets, no one else saw it…but Sarah’s sixth sense spotted it. LASER TAG. We couldn’t pass that up. We dragged the boys inside, made up ridiculous code names and formed our strategic alliances. This was apparently not enough. After being tagged hundreds of times in a fifteen minute game, our dreams of being Sydney Bristow and joining the CIA slowly faded and we discovered a new thankfulness for our day jobs.

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I should have known the night was going much too well, because this is when our luck started to turn. The rain began. We slowly started to freeze. We found a dueling piano establishment and got in the line and waited…and waited…and waited. After about an hour, we finally reached the door! Or so we thought. Our long wait was all for nothing, because we were in line for a bar called Paradise Park Trailer Resort. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about this place then I can’t help you. We were so cold at this point that we went inside anyway. This was another mistake. It wouldn’t be our last.

It is an established fact that I have road rage. I admit it, it is a flaw of my personality, and I do my best to manage it. However, I was not prepared for the realization that road rage can occur on foot. As soon as we walked in, we could see how crowded it was. I led the group inside and then stood still for a moment, trying to scout the bar and find a place to sit. As I stood there, I failed to see the tall slightly plastered female headed my way like a bulldozer. She slammed square into me, knocked me back several feet, and if it hadn’t been for one of the boys catching me, I would have ended up landing in the slightly questionable materials on the Paradise Park Trailer Resort Floor. She kept going, not a glance or a word in my direction. My blood boiled. My road rage flared. It wasn’t my finger that came up this time. It was my arm. I am not proud of this…but it happened. I straight armed her right into the wall.

{Sarah}

I was behind Chrissy at this time. I saw her face when the woman slammed into her. I saw her jaw drop and the arm go out. I watched as the blond fell forward. Her friend reached out to hold her back from trying to beat up Chrissy. My first instinct was to run….or get out my pepper spray and take the entire place down.

Instead I just kept walking. Walking into a mass of people with Chrissy leading the way. As the first in our party, it made sense she was also the person the next girl tripped over. As the next woman turned around to yell at Chrissy for having the audacity to have a foot, her boyfriend came up behind them. Chrissy was gently responding to the girl, so she missed the man point to his eyes, then point at Chrissy. After he made it clear he would be watching Chrissy he started to yell at his girlfriend. Who was yelling at Chrissy. All for having a foot that she dared put on the floor to be tripped over. I was just trying not to get crushed in a honky tonk.

We escaped the large group and made our way to an open area. It smelled. There was a girl kissing a wall she must have mistaken for a man. It wasn’t even midnight yet. We left.

After leaving we went straight for the dueling pianos. There was no line. Awesome. Getting up there we were told there was a twenty-five dollar cover. We left.

Going to the streets of Nashville we walked in the freezing rain. The Fray played their free concert in the background. Fifteen minutes to midnight. We pushed our way to the front of the crowd. Five minutes. We huddled together for warmth. MIDNIGHT!

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Kisses and hugs.

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WE COULD GO BACK TO THE HOTEL NOW! We are too old for this crap.

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{Chrissy}

Today is Monday.  It’s a day we all hate.  It’s the first day of the work week and after a fun, carefree weekend, we’re all forced to roll out of our beds to the screeching of the alarm clock at an ungodly hour to stumble to work, bleary-eyed and unready to face the week ahead.  The day draaaaags by and if it were not for the invention of coffee, more than a few of us would not make it through the day.

Despite this, I hope y’all enjoyed this Monday.  It could be your last one.

You see, in early AD, the Mayan people began to keep a calendar many thousands of years long.  It spanned years and years and finally stopped….Friday, December 21st, 2012.  Now, some people might say the Mayans just got tired of counting.  But what fun is that?  Conspiracy theorists around the globe abounded with theories ranging from comet collisions to earthquakes and solar flares destroying our planet.

Most of us have kept our heads, but out there, some people are panicking.  Apparently there’s a man in China who’s cashed in everything to build an ark, ala Noah, so he can float to safety in the event of a cataclysmic flood.  That’s dedication.  He’s probably not the only one.  After December 21st, I bet a quick search on eBay for “unused ark” will probably yield several results.

NASA’s geniuses have been downgraded to fielding phone calls from people, frantically asking about asteroid collisions or phantom planets that might suddenly appear in the earth’s gravitational path.

Despite some of the paranoia and hysteria, I’m not sure how I feel about believing the forbodings of a culture that somehow managed the biggest gaffe possible… failing to predict their own demise by the Spanish Conquistadors.

{Sarah}

What Chrissy is overlooking is maybe they didn’t see their impending doom because they were too busy celebrating ours.  Maybe those ancient jerks hate us.  Well guess what Mayans….I hate you too.  

You have induced mass panic and caused people to hoard all the AA batteries and bread they can find.  I need bread too, you jerks.  You and your heart tearing out ways.  Well you’ve torn my heart out too Mayans.  I’m getting married next year.  I don’t want all the money I’ve already spent to be in vain.  I want to wear my dress, you stupid extinct civilization.  

Sure you may have left behind a rich culture and some amazing architecture, but you know what you didn’t leave behind?  Pyramids.  That was our good friends the Aztecs.  Well, maybe you did leave behind a few pyramids.  They must not have been that great though.  If they were we would still be talking about them.

So you had diverse and sophisticated methods of food production.  So do I.  It’s called the grocery store.  I bet you never couponed did you Mayans?  What are you?  Made of money?  You look foolish now.  

Like math and science?  You are all giant nerds.  I bet none of you had dates during puberty.  I bet you all had zits and took your moms to prom.  Losers.  

If you and your calendar were so great, you would have foreseen our use of the leap year.  Because of our use of an extra day every four years, your stupid apocalypse should have already happened.  What now Mayans?  What?  

Try and take Christmas away from everyone, will you?  Well guess what?  I’m going to the mall right now!  Eat it Mayans.  

If this actually goes down, I’m going to look pretty stupid.  But none of you will be around to mock me.

{Sarah}

Christmas time is a time of joy and peace.  A time for family to get together, eat food and remember holidays past.  Some days during this joyous advent, you get together with friends.  These times are usually filled with laughter and food.  

This is why, when Chrissy invited us over to decorate and make cookies, I jumped at the chance.   Gathering up all my Christmas movies I happily drove over.  Looking back, I realize what a fool I was.  All you really have to do is look at Chrissy’s house to know she’s not joking around.  Everything needs to coordinate and be in the place appointed. Christmas is no exception.

The tree was up and ready to decorate.  She asked for volunteers.  Her roommate ‘Jenny’ got off the couch three of us had gathered on and grabbed an ornament.  Placing it on the tree she went back to get another…and then Chrissy saw what was going on.

Apparently there is a tree decorating diamond ‘theory’.  You place everything in the shape and stand back in look at your picture perfect tree.  Everything perfectly spaced.  Chrissy was shocked (and slightly perturbed) none of us had ever heard of this.

I tried to explain my family tree is made up of pictures of my sisters and myself, one for every year we have been alive.  The only theory we follow is the theory of putting all the horrible puberty years on the back of the tree.  She did not care.

Letting out an unreasonable cry of sadness when we stepped away, Chrissy continued to decorate her tree herself.  We backed slowly away from her crazy butt and made our way to the kitchen.  The kitchen that housed the small mountain of cookie dough rolls Chrissy had purchased earlier that day.  

{Chrissy}

I do not consider myself OCD, but neither do I understand Sarah’s hippie way of frolicking around the tree, haphazardly flinging ornaments wherever they should choose to alight.

Ornaments do not get to choose their path in this life.  They have a firmly regimented place where they belong on the tree and there should be no deviation.  No ornaments should be too close to another, and similar colors should not be grouped either.

Now that you are sufficiently informed, go decorate your tree properly.

After the tree was finished, I went to check on the cookie baking.  It was going beautifully.  Mostly because Sarah is a secret Betty Crocker.  She has kept this from all of y’all (I don’t know why) but cookies were flying out of the kitchen left and right.  The first few batches, we cut into cute, Christmas-y shapes, decorating with red, white, and green icing and loads of sprinkles.  Then I realized that 6 massive log-sized rolls of cookie dough may have been a little bit overreaching.  Hours passed…and the shapes became more misformed and blob-like.  We were churning out cookies more like a factory at this point.  At least they’d still taste good.

The stacks of movies we’d brought sat on the counter, untouched, as was the wine we had poured.  Fun was forgotten.

{Sarah}
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

{Sarah}

When you’re younger Halloween is a time for candy. Dressing up and going house to house, making strangers give you the sugar you so rightfully deserve. Then you become a teenager and too good for dressing up. The joy is over….until you grow up.

At a certain age, it seems to be different for everyone, dressing up becomes fun again. When October comes around you start looking for costumes. Beloved childhood characters are now adult size…just with less material in their outfits. The only thing you ever need is an excuse to wear one.

Imagine our joy when our friends ‘Jeff’ and ‘Rebecca’ announced they would be hosting a Halloween party….90s theme. Leslie was told we would be wearing a couples costume. He was overjoyed.

Reaching deep into our 90s memories it was decided the most awesome thing would be for us to go as contestants of the show ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple.’ We decided this in July when the party was announced.
A week before the party we remembered we had yet to get anything. Panic set down upon us as we tried to order everything off line before Church started. I rush ordered the shirts, confirming the order, knowing they would be here on time. Leslie did no such thing with the helmets we needed, after all, that cost FOUR WHOLE MORE DOLLARS.

The shirts arrived on Wednesday. Leslie almost failed. God intervened on his behalf, however, and the helmets arrived on Friday. After a quick trip to Walmart for the rest of the things we needed, we were ready.

Chrissy got her costume piece by piece at the Outlets in Cincinnati. All things she could wear again. The only thing she did not consider is that the costume would try to slowly bake her from the inside.

{Chrissy}

Of course I decided that whatever my costume would be, it needed to be something that would just serve as an excuse to shop. As a sheltered homeschooled child, I was allowed to watch Carmen Sandiego because it was “educational” and my parents decided that the slivers of geography knowledge that I garnered from the game outweighed learning from and being influenced by a Master Thief who specialized in stealing large world monuments.

Thankfully, my career path did not take a dastardly turn, but instead I had a great idea for a Halloween costume. I had to fight some outlet shoppers for the centerpiece of my costume, the red coat. I saw it on the sale rack from afar at the Guess outlet. However, as I stepped up to it first one, then another shopper cut me off and just stood in front of my coat, lingering. I waited, willing them to walk away. My mind powers failed. They stood there talking and texting. Eventually I just had to ask them to step aside so I could claim my prize.

By the time the party arrived, we were more than ready for it. Armed with snacks and drinks, we invaded ‘Jeff’ and ‘Rebeccas’ house, which had magically transformed into a semi haunted house.

We played beer pong, minus the beer. It was my first time but my roommate and I dominated the competition. We didn’t play Sarah or things may have gotten ugly. The point is, I won.

After the pong, I was realizing that karma may have been getting to me for the way I scored the coat. I was starting to bake. Unwilling to remove my costume, as I only get to wear one once every 365 days, I instead took multiple breaks to step outside and hope the frigid air would calm me down.

I have one friend, however, who was not calmed down by the frigid air. In fact, quite the opposite. Several partygoers decided it might be a good idea to have a race down the neighborhood streets. On the return trip, a friend named ‘Caleb’ was so intent on beating the competition that he barrelled right thru the screen door. Thankfully, it was the only casualty of the night. Poor murdered screen door. Hopefully it will rest in peace…but it would be even better if Caleb woke up one night to be haunted by a ghostly screen door. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

So little – but so much pressure.

{Chrissy}

So here’s some advice. When your best friend’s boyfriend asks you, “Hey, so it’s time for me to propose to Sarah. I was hoping you could help me. What kind of engagement ring do you think she would like?” …..you should PANIC.

Panic, because when she “nonchalantly” pulled you aside to “randomly” look at engagement rings six months ago, you nodded to everything she said, temporarily filed away what she showed you, and then PROMPTLY FORGOT EVERYTHING.

Panic, because you will slowly start to realize how many millions of engagement rings there are out there in the world, and you will also realize that every single one of them is now an opportunity to screw up your best friend’s life every time she looks at her left ring finger for the rest of her life, should you choose the wrong one.

No big deal or anything.

So I devised a plan. First, Sarah and I went to get coffee. After making sure that she was caffeinated and happy, I cleverly mentioned another friends’ ring, and then slowly, carefully, and expertly brought the discussion around to what kind of she might like. After secretly bookmarking some web pages, I had what I needed. Do you hear that, CIA? I’m kind of an expert now. I will consider an offer from you.

First, I had to relay the information to Leslie. This happened thru Facebook. All went well until Sarah, holding my phone, saw that Leslie had messaged me, but she could not see what it was about. After she playfully accused me of cheating with her boyfriend, I made up some faltering excuse about him needing to borrow my iPhone. What?! It was the best I could do in a clutch situation. Nevermind, CIA. You and me would probably not get along.

Now, we all know that I can’t lie to save my life. If you ask me, I can demonstrate for you. I start the lie, start laughing and looking around guiltily as if you can see into my soul. Now maybe you can understand why the next two months were so hard for me. I had to lie and deflect my way through them. So understandably, I was very relieved when Leslie called me last week and announced that the proposal would happen that night. The deceit could finally be over.

{Sarah}
I always believed I could crack Chrissy like an egg. I told her ring information, fully believing when the time happened I would know about it as soon as she did. However, she is mentally stronger than I assumed.

The day of the engagement I called my mother on the way home from work. Somehow the conversation turned to Leslie and if we would ever get married. My mom (the liar) informed me it wouldn’t be that bad if we broke up. After all, I’d get over it. Accusing her of knowing something and assuming Leslie was talking to my mother of our impending breakup I went to his house depressed.

As soon as I walked into the door I yelled ‘Are you breaking up with me?!’ I think that surprised him slightly. He assured me he wasn’t and dragged my sorry butt into the car so we could meet up with some friends at the park for a grill out.

We threw a football, ate food and talked. The sun started setting and I started to get cold. I tried to get people to leave but Leslie was adamant we do one more thing. Going to the car he brought out a box full of lanterns, the flying kind….from Tangled. NO JUDGING!

Just like Tangled

We got them out and starting trying to light them. The wax fell off the first one….as a solid blob of fire. Panic set in and everyone started yelling at me. “PUT IT OUT! PUT IT OUT!” Stomping on it, I started to understand Disney may have lied to me about the ease of this activity.

The second one we brought out tried to catch on fire, but using our cognitive skillz we managed to save it and send it off. As it got further away the others started joining in. We slowly set them off into the sky and, after avoiding power lines, they became beautiful. As we got the last one ready I noticed Leslie was getting close to me. It made me nervous. I tried to get away.

I’m glad I didn’t.

{Chrissy}

Now, Leslie did a great job planning the proposal and making sure everything was in order. But since he had so many people he had to communicate with to make sure they arrived at the park, there were some details that remained ambiguous. Once we arrived at the park, Sarah was everywhere. I could not get a word in edgewise to Leslie without her being in earshot.

He brought the lanterns, candles, and lighters. They were all hidden from Sarah, until the moment.

I brought out my roommate Jenny’s big DSLR camera and felt like I was as obvious as the Eiffel Tower standing around taking pictures, praying Sarah didn’t notice the enormous camera with the gigantic flash lighting up the night because I didn’t want her to get suspicious. It was probably too late.

As we started to try and light the lanterns, they started falling apart. I panicked and then calmed down, until the lighters stopped working one by one. More panic. Then Leslie handed us candles to hold secretly, and we all tried to light them, while hiding them and trying not to set ourselves on fire.

I did not realize these candles were supposed to be a secret so I was holding mine out in plain sight until I saw everyone staring. I awkwardly shoved the candle behind me and took a picture so the flash would distract her. At this point I was just hoping Leslie would drop down on one knee and propose before Sarah called the loony bin on all of us for how strangely we were acting.

And then he did.

Awwww.

{Sarah}
After I making sure he was serious, by asking multiple times, I said yes. Now I just have to plan a wedding and make sure Leslie doesn’t turn into a groomzilla. I may be failing.

Happy couple

;

My childhood was sad, apparently.

{Chrissy}

Despite Sarah’s mocking of my homeschool upbringing, I actually did have friends as a child. Believe it or not. One of our favorite things to do as kid was to head over to a friends house and have slumber parties! They are one of those things that guys will never do or understand, but as girls, it was pretty much the best thing ever.

Here was the basic slumber party formula: Start off with comfy pajamas. Add some cookies, hot chocolate, fluffy pillows, and a book of fairy tales. If that didn’t lead to a good time…it was time to find new friends!

So the last slumber party I had was probably around the age of 10. I had fond memories of those good times, so when Sarah suggested we take the old formula and put an adult spin on it, I was all for it.

We called together the troops and only made one rule…bring chocolate and alcohol. We upgraded the fairy tale book to ABC’S Once Upon A Time, a show about all your classic fairy tale characters tossed into the modern world. The plan was to stay up all night giggling, eating, drinking, and having a grand old time.

That is not what happened.

{Sarah}

We should have started the party earlier. This was my bad. Who knew that three in the afternoon would be hours too late.

Things started well. We ate, we giggled, we put on comfy pants and we watched a TV show that made me want to break out all my old Disney movies. Before we knew it, it was seven. Taking a break to discuss the dinner situation we realized we had lost someone already. Chrissy, who had cuddled up with a blanket some time ago, was asleep.

Shaking her awake the dread started to sink in. Why didn’t we have any caffeine at this party? The number one rule of all slumber parties is to sugar and caffeinate yourself up. Wine and fruity drinks are the anti-slumber-party drinks. What were we thinking!?

Getting pizza and breaking out the cider and beer we contemplated our options. We came up with one, but it seemed extreme. Getting the chocolate cake mix out, we decided to damn the consequences. Forty minutes later, the cake came out of the oven and icing went on. As the icing melted into the cake we went after it like crazed chimps. Everyone had a fork and a section of pan. Don’t enter another persons section.

Slumber party centerpiece.

The sugar high that followed was quick and amazing. We were like kids again and the slumber party was a success. At least it was before all the ‘married people’ decided to go home. The party code meant nothing to them. It was then that we also noticed that Chrissy had dropped like a fly again. This time she made it all the way to eleven.

By midnight the three of us that had stayed were done for the night. Climbing into bed we admitted defeat, you win this time, age. However, when ‘Smash’ comes out on DVD, we will try again…and victory will be ours.

{Sarah}

Tag is a game.  Uno is a game.  Monopoly is a game.  Flag football is not a game.  It’s a way of life.  This is an important thing a group of us learned in college.  As part of the team “Wounded Puma’s” we were intramural champions three times in a row, a fact we still take great pride in.

The Team

This past weekend a few of us got together and tried to recapture our glory days.  We did this playing with something we never had before….boys.  Boys thatdid not understand the realness of the situation.

 Arriving at the park early Saturday morning, the mood was light.  We threw some practice lobs and divided into teams.  For the safety of others, but not ourselves, Chrissy and I were put on opposite teams.  Naming an all time QB for our small group, we began.

It didn’t take long for things to turn…competitive.  After the first play the turf started to fly.

An interesting fact: Chrissy dives for flags.  If she hits your knees first, so be it.  After one such incident I gently threw the ball to the ground right by her person  and loudly asked if she would stop doing that.  I was told that was when the boys started to get really scared.

We switched QB’s.  Boyfriend volunteered.  I don’t know if it was because we were girls or if he just needed to warm up, but the first pass he threw was a stupid lob.  I informed him if he couldn’t throw he shouldn’t be quarterback.  I believe he took some offense. It may have been my loud tone of voice, or maybe my angry tone….we will never know.

{Chrissy}

Flag football is not just about agility and athletic ability.  It is about loyalty, determination, and sacrificing your body for the ball.  The only other person on the field who sees things the way I do is Sarah Smith.  Unfortunately, this also means that when we play together, we are the only two butting heads.  Literally.

I’m not sure where I get my competitive genes from, but for some reason, when balls are involved, I feel the need to fling my body in the way to stop them, however possible.  This has included stopping a softball with my shin bone in the past, illegally catching soccer balls when I’m not even the goalie, and in this most recent case of evidence, flinging myself at Sarah’s knees to stop the forward drive.  I was in such a competitive state of mind that when she spiked the ball in front of me, I didn’t even notice.  There may have even been an intimidating shoulder bump in there.  I don’t know.

Then, there was a change of pace.  They named me the switch quarterback, meaning I had to throw for both teams.  Suddenly I had all this loyalty with no place to put it.  It was cheapened by switching from team to team with each change of possession.  I would hand off the ball and have an overwhelming urge to block for the runner.  So after each toss I had to pull myself out of the game by running to the sidelines.  I didn’t know who to care about anymore.  It was a moral dilemma of epic proportions.

All I know is, when you come to the football field, you’d better bring everything you have.  Except the rule books.

{Sarah}

As we talk about this blog we continue to fight about the game.  One of us, getting all uptight about blitz rules and one upset about a blocking call.  The only way to keep us from fighting will be to play again.  And we will….and we will fight more.  Boyfriend is afraid this game will end our friendship.  As long we go out for wings after the game, we will be ok.  We play hard and leave it on the field.

{Chrissy}

I don’t know how to swim.  I used to, when I was a kid.  I could zip from one end of the pool to the other and even knew how to do some fancy flips under the water.  Somehow, this skill left me as I grew up and nowadays, I’m lucky if I can make it about 5 or 10 strokes before slowly sinking further and further into a spluttering, flailing mess.  I never go into the deep end anymore  unless I’m clinging to the pool edge, because it would have to end in a dramatic rescue attempt to save my life.

None of this occurred to me when I was drafted by my group of friends to plan a trip white water rafting.

I booked a cabin, booked the rafting tickets, and Friday after work we loaded up two cars and headed down to Georgia.  I drove the four-hour trip down and entertained everyone with my slick driving skills going around sharp turns.  At least, from all of the gasping and shrieking, they sounded fairly entertained and impressed.

Walking into the cabin in the dark, we were temporarily scared by the giant deer peering at us, but it turned out to just be an oversized embroidered deer rug.  I wish I had pictures to show you, but my trusty iPhone/camera died and since we were in the wilderness, I didn’t feel the pressing urge to be in communication with the outside world.  So in lieu of photos, Sarah has drawn you some pretty accurate pictures to guide your imagination.

Scary Deer Rug

We woke up on the morning of our rafting trip to a beautiful day.  The sun was out and about and we were excited for a perfect trip.  But that quickly faded as the rain moved in…to stay.  The temperatures dropped quickly and our protective gear became doubly useful to add a little warmth.

After reaching the river let-in, we went through a safety lesson that was much too short for my liking and hopped in the raft.  I think we all knew it would be an interesting trip when, about 20 feet down the river, our guide announced that he had forgotten some safety gear.  We paddled to a clearing on the river bank and held on to trees for dear life to keep us from floating down the river while our guide hopped out and abandoned us.  Thankfully, we were able to hold on for his return or it would be an entirely different desperate survival experience that we would be writing about.

{Sarah}

We floated down the river for a while listening to our guide tell quirky anecdotes to the old couple we had somehow found ourselves paired with.  Mentally going over all my CPR classes, just in case they turned out to suffer from weak hearts, we hit our first rapid.  The front four of us in the raft managed to get a good rhythm going as we navigated our way.  The old couple could care less.  They went at their own pace.  

We didn’t really have any other issues until Chrissy threw her paddle into the water.  Now, until this morning we were not aware Chrissy could not swim.  She informed us over breakfast as she explained her awesome ‘get into the fetal position and try and float’ tactic.  We had some concern.

The paddle was done being with Chrissy, apparently.  She claims it jumped from her hands and smacked her on the face on it’s way out.  All the rest of us saw was a friend throwing her self from the boat to get a piece of plastic in water she could not swim.  

As I watched her go over the edge my lifeguard training kicked in.  I grabbed the only part of Chrissy I could see.  Her underwear.  I would like to believe the monster wedgie I gave her saved her life.  

Death-Defying Rescue

We ended the trip by not dying.  It was time to celebrate our victory!  We got into the car and headed to the local Piggly Wiggly.  Picking up butter and hot chocolate we headed back to our cabin for grilling, games and hot tub.  We probably stayed up a little too late.

FOOTBALL MAKES US FIGHTIN’ MAD

{Sarah}

Football season is upon us.  Naturally I am very excited.  Football is a part of my life….my soul.  For most of my family, this is true.  Until recently we have been content watching our teams play on Saturday and Sunday.  Not this year.  My family; which is made up of three sisters, parents, sister’s almost husband and Asian boyfriend, decided to start a fantasy league.

Looking at my competition I had very little fear.  Yes, most of them knew what they were doing but I had ‘borrowed’ Asian boyfriend’s cheat sheet.  I had also hired a friend who was an old pro to come and advise me and my picks.  This is not considered cheating, just increasing my chances of winning.  I thought I had it all figured out. When your mother tells you the only players she wants are Tim Tebow and Phil Dawson you think it should be in the bag.

The hour before the draft I got a call from my sister.  She informed me my mother was out for blood.  She had asked my sister to change her team avatar, not knowing how to do it herself.  She wanted a team picture that was intimidating to all of us, not gross or disturbing, but one you had to look twice at.  She asked her for a picture of a baby with a knife.  My sister did not acquiesce to her request. 

Her desire to have me fear her worked. 

Things only got worse from that point.  The people I feared the least (mother and youngest sister) started drafting all my top picks.  I managed to calm down and get some good picks after figuring out that cursing and throwing things did not make anything better.  Then I committed an unforgivable act.  I drafted a player from a team my whole family hates with our entire souls.  Braylon Edwards….from Michigan.

You can’t go home again.  

{Chrissy}

I am a big college football fan; when it comes to the NFL however, I am much less interested. For the past few years, I joined a Fantasy Football league with my co-workers.  I am probably one of those players that everyone hates to have on their fantasy league.  I auto-draft, because I don’t know who most of the players are anyway.  I never change my lineup even when the by-weeks come around.  I rarely check in on my record because….well….I really don’t care that much.

It was always thus a surprise to me and my co-workers when I would always, without fail, end up in the championship game.  I would never win, but reaching what basically boils down to the Super Bowl of fantasy football is itself something of a victory.

But the uncaring method of my victories resulted in some animosity from my fellow league members… who I’m sure spend hours pouring over records and stats, composing elaborate trades, and forming strategic alliances.  This was just not my cup of tea so I swore it off for the past couple of years.

Although now that I know the Smith family fantasy league has babies with knives….next year I’m back in.  I’m coming on board as an honorary Smith family member.