Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Orleans, Awesome Weather, Soccer and more!

We flew out to New Orleans early last Monday the 17th and stayed until late on Thursday the 20th. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm -- high 80's -- great for shorts and sundresses! Simply lovely! We were flying to New Orleans to give a couple of speeches at the ATS Conference from a patient's perspective. I was to give a short 5 minute speech on my experience with pulmonary rehabilitation, and then I was to give a longer 15 minute speech on how being diagnosed with LAM has changed mine and my family's lives.

I didn't have to give the speeches until Wednesday morning, so once we arrived there Monday we had a couple of days to just hang out, sightsee, and have some fun. I've never been to New Orleans before, and Kenny had once before when he was a teenager.

The streets were VERY narrow, it seemed most everywhere. The shuttle buses and taxis drive through there like maniacs! It seemed like they barely had a quarter of an inch to spare at times. I kept cringing, and I know my mom would have completely freaked out. :-)

Kenny REALLY enjoyed all the New Orlean's food. We ate several places throughout the week:

I am not a spicy food eater, so I was doing all right at the beginning of the trip with the food; however, but by the end of the trip -- I was COMPLETELY SICK of food that was spicy in any-way-shape-or-form!!!! Even my prime rib that we got at The Crazy Lobster was spicy! UGH!!!

We did a little sightseeing, we went to Bourbon Street:

So I can say I've been there, but since it is pretty much just bars and strip clubs (and I don't drink at all), I was pretty much ready to leave after a few minutes and find something else to do. :-)

We rode the street cars around, and we got to see a lot of New Orleans that way (a lot less walking for me!).

And we found this adorable little restaurant off the St. Charles Line and ate up on their beautiful terrace:

We also went to the Riverwalk a few times. We had some meals in restaurants around there, like The Crazy Lobster, did some shopping, and checked out the Mississippi River.

After the speeches were over Wednesday (THANK GOODNESS), we had the rest of Wednesday and Thursday to relax. We slept really late (heaven!), no rushing around, and just relaxed. So different, from our average day at home with kids in school and various activities and, of course, soccer!!! We apparently also brought the warm weather home with us, as it has been simply gorgeous here at home since we've been back. You're welcome!

But the laid-back time had to end unfortunately, we came back late Thursday night. Friday we had to do TONS of laundry (for both us AND the kiddos who stayed at their grandparents), then pack and get ready to leave town again for a soccer tournament in Fort Wayne for Delaney! YIKES!

Since Kyle had an early morning game Saturday, Delaney went ahead Friday night with another teammate and her family. Then Saturday morning for Kyle's game, we were not sure where the projected sunny weather was, as it was misting pretty much the entire game. It wasn't really raining, but it was just drizzling enough that I kept up the umbrella because I didn't want my camera to get wet.

The ground was really soft and muddy -- pretty gross if you ask me! Just by walking slowly to sit and watch the game, we were getting mud splattered up on our clothes. Their game shirts were simply awful, with the mud that was splattered up while they were playing. I didn't have a good picture of one of Kyle's shirts, so here is one of a teammate of his:

Nasty! Then we had to get them clean for the team picture afterwards, nice. NOT!

After Kyle's game, we had a quick breakfast and headed out to Fort Wayne. We had to miss her first game of the tournament, which apparently was a very good one. She scored like 4 really great goals, and we missed it. :-(

We did make her second game though, and we got to see them win again!

Delaney had quite a few runs to goal, but she got overwhelmed by blue with this one and couldn't quite get it in.

Their third game was with a team that they beat twice easily, so coach decided to switch up the offense and defense. It made for a really strange game, seeing Delaney in defense the entire time AS WELL AS a goalie!!!

So we got some different shots than normal, like Delaney throwing in the ball.

Apparently coach had asked for any volunteers to play goalie, since everyone was switched around, one of our goalie's got hurt, and the goalie in there wanted to get out in the field. Delaney piped up and said, "I've played goalie before, but my parents said I'm not allowed to volunteer to play goalie anymore." Then coach said, "Well, how about if I put you in?" And next thing we know... here is Delaney as goalie!!!

Too much stress with Dee being goalie, let's put her back on offense. :-)

Since they won all three of their games, they'll be moving on to the next Challenge tournament. So... we have at least three more tournaments to go!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brrrrrrr! Is it Spring or Winter?

Geez! Even with layers of clothes, hats, gloves, scarves and WINTER COATS -- we were still freezing at the soccer games. Why is it we can't have beautiful, warm and sunny weather for a game again?

A couple of weekends ago, Kyle got to hang out at Grandma & Grandpa's house to go to his soccer game and a birthday party. He had a blast! Delaney, Ken and I headed up to Elkhart to hang out with some friends for the weekend while Delaney had a game Saturday in Elkhart and Sunday in South Bend.

Delaney had a blast with our friends' two cats: Simon and Simba. Simon, shown below, decided he liked Delaney because she was always willing to pet him. We even laughed when Delaney was trying to study, and he sat down right on top of her book because she wasn't paying HIM enough attention. :-)

Saturday, May 1st, Delaney had a game in Elkhart. We were afraid it was going to rain -- but we somehow lucked out and avoided rain all weekend. I think they won this game.

Their second game on Sunday, May 2nd, was a tough one. They did score one goal, but I think they lost 1-2.

Then we get through another busy school week, only to go out of town AGAIN to Fort Wayne for a tournament over Mother's Day weekend. Now this is where the winter-like weather reared its ugly head -- and we had to endure five soccer games in this frigid weather!!! UGH!

We started off Saturday morning with Kyle's 9:00am game on Saturday, May 8th. This was definitely the coldest game of the weekend. The wind was strong and biting cold, and everyone's eyes and nose were watering, and it was simply pretty miserable. The kids still had fun though!

Kyle even got to play a quarter as goalie. He really likes playing this position (unlike his sister!).

Then we dashed back to the house, where we were already packed, and took off for Fort Wayne. We had JUST enough time to drive straight there, run through a drive-through for a quick lunch, and make it for Delaney's first game. (What a long, boring drive it is on 30 from here to Fort Wayne.)

This first game of the tournament was a definite win. They shut out the other team and won something like at least 6-0 or more.

Their second game was a really tough one, against a team that was a year older. It was sort of raining on/off throughout the game, and we got a really pretty rainbow to enjoy:

It was a rough-and-tumble, very physical and high-paced game. They worked really hard and kept the other team to only one goal for a while, but then they were able to score right towards the end of the game for a 0-2 loss.

Then on Mother's Day, we had two more games! This was yet again another physical game, and Three Lions rallied to fight the fight. This game ended up in a hard-fought tie, I think 2-2.

Then the tournament provided flowers for all the teams to give to their mothers. Their coach Graeme walked over with the pretty pink carnations.

And the girls ran over with the flowers before the game. So sweet!

With the 1 win, 1 tie, and 1 loss -- they ended up in the consolation game of the tournament playing the team that they beat the first time around. Coach switched the offense and defense around and everyone got experience playing in different positions. They still shut them out, and the final score was something like 8-0.

I'm looking forward to some games here at home with hopefully MUCH WARMER WEATHER!