Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ode to Peyton Manning

No, you're the man.
I've always been to into sports, but not terribly into professional athletes. However, over the years one has stood out in my eyes which my brothers can attest to. He is Peyton Manning. I admired his work ethic. He wasn't the most athletic, but he was always the most prepared. Off the field he was at worst someone who never got into trouble and at best a generous philanthropist, a funny actor and an effective motivator. Here is an article by Rick Reilly that does a better job honoring him than I can. I hope you enjoy it was much as I did.

Thank you, Peyton Manning.
This might be the beginning of something better. Might be the end of everything good. But before we slog into what happens next, where you'll go, what you'll do, we owe you a thank you for what you've done and who you've been.
So thank you, Peyton Manning, for never showing up in the VIP section of Cheerleaders, overserved and under-mannered.
Thank you for never ending up on Court TV, or Page Six or with parts of somebody's nose on your knuckles.

You came to a nowhere franchise and made it Somewhere. Greatness poured out of your fingers because you put in the hours and the study and the pain to let it. Two Super Bowls, four NFL MVPs, 11 Pro Bowls, 11 playoff seasons and more records than a used CD store.

It was trendy to make fun of your "Yes, sirs" and "No, sirs" and your 1950s haircut but many of us secretly admired it.
You played a violent game and yet somehow held on to that southern gentility. In the middle of the worst time of your life, you took the time to write a hand-written note of sympathy last week to Fox's Chris Myers upon the death of his son.
Thank you for watching more film than Martin Scorsese. Thank you for always being the last one to go home at night, for knowing more about what defenses were going to do than some of the players on those defenses themselves.
You came to a nowhere franchise and made it Somewhere. Greatness poured out of your fingers because you put in the hours and the study and the pain to let it. Two Super Bowls, four NFL MVPs, 11 Pro Bowls, 11 playoff seasons and more records than a used CD store.
That Super Bowl win was classic you. Every day that whole week, you made your center, Jeff Saturday, spend an extra 15 minutes snapping you balls you'd soaked in a bucket of water. "It might rain," you said. So when it did, and Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman looked like he was throwing greased watermelons, you looked like you were throwing rocks.
Fourteen years in the league and the worst we can say about you is that you made a lot of castor-oil faces and your helmet left funny marks and one time you laid into your "idiot kicker." Fourteen years and you didn't sext anything, wreck anything or deck anybody.
You were a 10,000-watt bulb in a small city, and yet you never seemed to tire of it. If you did, you rarely showed it. There's a fan website -- peytonmanning18.com/encounters.html -- where everyday people tell how you were with them. It's hard to find a rotten one.
"Peyton was so nice and down to earth," one wrote. "He was just as polite and nice as I've always heard," wrote another. "He was getting ready to leave and wanted to take a picture with me and thank me for driving his golf cart," said a third. It's a lousy site if you're a cynic.
I have no idea how much time and money you have to give to a hospital to have it renamed in your honor, but they did that for you in Indianapolis. Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent. Says a lot.
How many times can one man change an entire city? Well, without you there's probably no Lucas Oil Stadium. Without Lucas Oil Stadium, there's no Super Bowl this year in Indy. Without the Super Bowl, there's no brand-new, drop-dead gorgeous JW Marriott downtown. Forbes figures you improved the Colts' value by $233 million. Compared to that, $28 million to keep you doesn't seem like much, does it?
Thank you for showing up at podiums in your shoulder pads some nights because you knew some of us had early deadlines. Thank you for making us laugh in all those ads. If there's ever been a funnier jock on "Saturday Night Live," I'll keep a ham in my pants.
Thank you for showing up to work every day, every week, season after season. You started 208 straight games -- through purple thumbs and black eyes and stomach flus that left you green. You get paid either way, so thanks.
Hell, you even tipped great. The other night, in North Carolina, you left an extra $200 on a $740 check that already had an 18 percent tip in it. According to my abacus, that's 100 percent class.
Lastly, thank you for the way you left. Always thought you'd go out as a Colt, and go out the way you wanted, but if it had to end this way, "I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback" is as good an exit line as I've heard. You made it sound like it was an elected position, an honor, a job where you knew people were depending on you. You were right.
You came to the line and changed the play 1,000 times, but you never changed your team, your city, your fans. Jim Irsay did all that for you Wednesday.
That would've gone down most guys' throats like a porcupine, but you took it and you smiled and you stood there with your arm around Irsay like he wasn't the one dumping you, like there wasn't a thing he could do about it.
That's grace. You had it in the huddle and you had it in the pocket and you had it at the end.
So thank you, Peyton Manning. And bravo. You wore the horseshoe, but it was us who got lucky.

Thanks to my brother Kimball for sending me the article.

Hunger Games

(Pictures do not directly relate to post, but remind me of the setting of The Hunger Games.)

My new favorite book series lately has been The Hunger Games. I LOVE this book. I feel like I relate so well  to the main character, Katniss. And her younger sister reminds me so much of my younger sister. The story is interesting and I love how the author lets the story unfold.
I finished the second book and am looking forward to reading the next one. I listened to both books and love how the narrator does the voices and narrates. I especially love Effie Trinkets voice.
I haven't wanted to go see a specific movie in theaters for a while, but I am excited to see this one which is coming out soon.

I could never really get into other popular books series like Twlight and Harry Potter. Finally, a popular book series that I can really get into!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tired Tikers

The weather has been so nice here lately. The kids fell asleep on the way home from the park with Grandma and Grandpa and we let them finish up just outside our window.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bounty among Barren

Our fridge has been pretty empty lately. We're far from going hungry, but we are trying to stay within a tight budget and use up all our food. However, we also budget to eat out. So it is with these funds that we get gourmet food like these Olive Garden leftovers. But here is where it gets good.

Today was Rachel's birthday (which means her birthweek is just getting started) so we went to a restaurant of her choice. Additionally, just yesterday I won a $25 gift card from a random drawing among a group of classmates involved in land development at Virginia Tech. So naturally we decided to splurge a little.

Not only did we get the standard bread sticks and salad (fresh and filling) but we got an appetizer (stuffed mushrooms) as well. A wild berry smoothie and mediterranean chicken for Rachel. Chocolate milk and alfredo pasta (which I ate) for Hebey Squebey. Orange juice, grapes and alfredo pasta for Hannah. Bread sticks and mashed potatoes for Olive. And some chicken and shrimp dish for old papa bear. It was great.

The best part of it all was when we were all done and the waitress said"You guys are all covered." What does that mean? It meant that someone picked up our tab. It was a great birthday present for Rachel. We're still not sure who it was, but I suspect one person...