Sunday, July 29, 2012

An Olympic Sized Obsession

To say that my family is obsessed with sports is a massive understatement.  I knew Matt and Daulton were sports nuts but I didn't count myself in that category until the Olympics started on Friday night.  Its official, I'm obsessed with the Olympics (and Ryan Lochte).  Right now we are watching swimming.  Earlier today and yesterday we've watched:
  • Soccer - Men's & Women's (I cannot remember that the rest of the world calls it football.)
  • Beach Volleyball - Men's & Women's
  • Women's Table Tennis
  • Archery - Men's & Women's
  • Basketball - Men's & Women's
  • Gymnastics - Men's & Women's
  • Women's Skeet Shooting
  • Men's Volleyball
  • Women's Synchronized Diving
  • Cycling - Men's & Women's
  • Women's Tennis
  • Women's Field Hockey
  • Men's Boxing
  • Women's Rowing
  • Women's Fencing
Sports we want to watch:
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Trampoline
  • Wrestling 
  • Weightlifting
  • Track & Field
  • Canoeing
So basically what I'm saying is if its an Olympic sport, we will watch it.

I am also obsessed with the medal count.  Right now China has 12 medals and USA is in second with 11.  Get it together USA!!

We even did some decorating of the fireplace and had fish & chips and onion & chicken rings during the opening ceremony.

Dixie gets the gold medal for cuteness.

Random Abby & Matt couple fact:  We both were vacationing with our families in Myrtle Beach during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and we both were staying up late and watched the Kerri Strug vault.  I think its a sign we were destined to watch many, many future summer Olympics together.

Go Team USA!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Know Its Not An Award, But...

My team at work has been working with IBM for a few months on a case study about the work we've done and it was published today.  I am very proud of the work I've done and the work my team has accomplished.  And for my non-technical friends and family, this case study also provides some insight into what I do 5 days out of the week.

Its nice to have a job that challenges me and that I enjoy and get paid to do.  Its even nicer to get recognition for our accomplishments by a company like IBM who is known all over the world.

I know its just a case study and not an award, but I can't pass the opportunity to say thanks to those that help me get to where I am today.

To my dad, who made me work for him and gave me a BASIC programming book one summer and told me to go figure it out.  I created many infinite loops that summer and a seed was planted that eventually turned into my career.

To Matt, who listens to me vent and talk about my projects.  He also makes sure there is always wine in the house.  He and Daulton also remind me to leave work at work and focus on family when I'm at home.

To my team, I know I am bossy, opinionated, and not friendly in the morning.  Thanks for putting up with me and remember to ask if I'm caffeinated before trying to talk to me in the morning.

To Sam Bridegroom, thanks for challenging me and not letting me slack off.  And if you aren't following Beyond The Defaults, you should be!

And to all the little girls out there who like math, science, and technology, its okay to like all those things and to be good at them.  You have so many skills and smarts to share with the world and the world needs more female brains like yours!  Stick with it, don't let anyone knock you down because you are smart, and remember to sit at the table (this video is worth your time).  Don't let the boys intimidate you or make you feel like you don't belong.  Anything they can do, you can do better.

Hendricks Regional Health builds apps to meet high standards - IBM Case Study


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 31st Birthday To Me!

Today is my 31st birthday.  Last year I had built up the birthday in my mind and this year I didn't really think about it beforehand so it wasn't as big of a deal.  I took today and tomorrow off from work and a 5 day vacation was a nice birthday present to myself.  I have no plans except for putzing around the house and probably taking a nap or two (or three).

Just like I have no plans for my vacation, I have no plans for 31st year of life.  What I said last year about my 20s still holds true.  I spent my 20s wanting and I'm going to spend my 30s enjoying what I have.

I am grateful for what I have.  I bought a calendar last fall while shopping for school supplies and my intention was to write down things that happened throughout the day.  Its evolved into a gratitude journal in addition to capturing our family history.  At the end of a long day, its nice to go to sleep thinking about the positives instead of only dwelling about the negatives.  I plan to continue this daily (okay, not always daily) practice.

I've started the Couch to 5K running program.  (Pick yourselves up off the floor if you fallen over at the shock of what you've just read.)  I was thinking about starting the program for a while and when my mom was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in April 2012 running was the stress relief I needed.  With the heat we've had lately and my inability to get out of bed early in the morning, I have fallen behind.  But I ran over a mile today and the last time I could say that was in 2005 when I ran the Mini-Marathon.  I have a love/hate relationship with running.  I don't always like it while I'm doing it but I love how I feel afterwards.  (One of the things I am grateful for are my strong legs and lungs that are getting stronger with each run.)

Source: via Abby on Pinterest

I enjoy writing and I'm learning to see myself as a writer.  Writers write and I write, therefore I am a writer.  If you aren't following Beyond The Defaults, the technology blog for the average user I write with my friend Sam Bridegroom, then you can sign up for free email alerts and follow us on Facebook or Twitter as a birthday present to me.  If you like what you read, share it with others who might benefit from it.

I have an amazing husband and stepson who make me feel the luckiest woman alive.  I have good parents, a great sister, and I hit the in-law lottery with my in-laws (they spoil me rotten and I love every minute of it!).  My friends are the perfect blend of smart, sassy, funny, and fiercely loyal.  As I get older, the friendships and relationships get better with time.

With age comes certainty.  I'm more certain of who I am and what I believe in.  I'm 100% positive I made the right choice when I decided to spend the rest of my life with Matt.  I know that I am a positive influence in Daulton's life and while we don't share DNA, I love him like he is my own and he knows that.  I feel comfortable in my own skin and speaking my mind.  I like who I am which is a gift no one can give me but me.

"No one looks stupid when they're having fun" - Amy Poehler

Monday, July 2, 2012

8 Tips For Surviving Baseball In The Summer

I promise this isn't a post where I complain about the heat.  We all know its hot and talking about it doesn't make it any cooler.  Instead, I'm going to give you my tips for surviving the heat during the summer baseball season.

Daulton made the 8 year old All-Star team this year and that means we are spending our summer on the baseball field.  We are having fun and Daulton loves adding new trophies to his collection!

Tips For Surviving Baseball In The Summer

  1. Get a chair with vents in the seat that is easy to carry.  Trust me on the vents, sweaty back and butt is not comfortable.  If you happen to catch a breeze, you will be grateful for the vents.  Make sure its easy to carry as you never know how far you will have to go between your car and the field.  My in-laws got me a new chair for Mother's Day and I'm very grateful for the vents and that its easy to carry.
  2. Setup a canopy.  Most baseball fields are in open areas with no shade around.  With the canopy, you can make your own shade.  I know it feels like more work to carry it out and set it up, but you will thank me when its brutally hot and the shade is the difference between enjoying the game and misery.
  3. No canopy?  Make friends with someone who has one.  We do not technically own a canopy, but Daulton's mom does and we make sure to always help her carry it to and from the car (technically its Matt who does the carrying, but since we are married I can take the credit for it) and we help her set it up and take it down.  As a result, we have a permanent spot under the shade and its well worth the effort.
  4. Pack drinks and snacks.  Its hot and you need to stay hydrated.  There may be time between games and you will need a snack.  Trips to the concession stand can get expensive and the concession stand isn't known for its healthy options.  For what to pack, check out my mom's post on How To Eat Healthy At The Ballpark.
  5. Invest in a bag or wagon to help you haul everything.  I've told you what to bring, now you've got to get it to the field.  I use the Retro Metro bag or the Organizing Utility Tote from 31 Gifts to  carry everything.  I've seen other parents use wagons and it makes it easier to get the canopy, chairs, coolers, and everything else to the field.  
  6. Bring something to do.  We have to have Daulton at the game early and there is usually time to kill between games, so I like to bring something to do.  I usually use this time to catch up on my reading, so I will bring my Nook, iPad, and the occasional real book.  (I just finished The Host by Stephanie Meyer and it was amazing!)  
  7. Brush up on your cheerleading.  Be positive and encouraging.  Good job, good try, good inning (assuming its been a good inning), you can do it, find your pitch (only yell this when your team is batting), and shake it off are all acceptable to yell during a baseball game.  Its the coach's job to coach and your job to encourage and support. (tweet this)
  8. Make friends with the other parents.  You are spending the summer with these people and they are your fellow cheerleaders.  This was tough for me as we came into a new team that had already been established and I felt like the new kid.  But everyone was welcoming and friendly and it makes you realize that players, coaches, and parents are all on the same team.
The summer is what you make of it.  We are choosing to spend our time on the baseball field and the 8 tips above make it even more enjoyable.

Check out Daulton sliding into home!


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