Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Song of the day...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

weekend highlights y'all

1) Friday night hot chocolate with Laura, Laura's Mom and loverboy.

2) Saturday morning brunch with Kat, Erik, Laura and Laura's mom.

3) Mexican Dinner and March Madness with Loverboy.

4) My own private guitar concert starring loverboy while we celebrated Earth Hour. His guitar playing makes my heart melt.

5) The Blind Side!

6) Sunday morning reading, blogging, banana bread making and chai tea while loverboy got some work done and fixed his bike. (I love spending a day doing ordinary things together.)

7) Beechesso's chicken tahini wraps for lunch while watching MORE march madness.

8) Yummy salmon, asparragus risotto.

9) Spring Camelias (thanks Kat :)) in bloom :).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

these girls and this sport rock my world...

I can't even begin to express the way that these girls and the game of basketball bring me to life. We had our end of the season team party this week and boy oh boy did it have me wondering what keeps me from pursuing this basketball coaching thing a little bit more seriously. I'm tellin' ya there aren't many things in this great, big world that I get more fired up about than sharing this sport with young women and I feel pretty darn lucky to have had that opportunity back in my life over the past few months.

Our team party rocked, all the girls were there and I got a chance to mingle with the parents, who quite honestly I completely blocked out during games, so it was the first time I really had a chance to chat with them and it was lovely. I got so many parents thanking me for coaching the girls and telling me how it was just wonderful that there are female role models for girls in the world of sports these days. All I could think about while parents were telling me this were the many amazing role models that I have been lucky enough to have thanks to this sport, especially my rockstar college coach, who was a woman - and a super strong one at that. Basketball for me is one of the most formative experiences of my life. My coaches impacted my personal development more than any teacher I ever had. In fact when I really think about it, I'm not sure if it was the sport that I originally fell in love with or the role models I found through it.

I know I've said it before but it's the gosh darn truth-basketball is just so much more than a sport to me -it's a mirror of life. (i apologize for the cheese here). And what warms my heart more than any of the x's and o's, fundamentals etc. are the glimpses of the heart and character of individuals and groups that come out through the sport.

Of the hundreds of character unveiling moments that I was lucky enough to witness this season, here are a couple that stick out for me...

1) Our team was especially strong at the guard position and about mid-way through the season we realized that we needed to take some of the scoring burden off of our guards and ask our post players to step up a bit. One Sunday we dedicated nearly an entire practice to working on post moves. We had some good height, but the girls were timid. We drilled into them that they needed to go up STRONG and not shy away from or be afraid of contact. I played defense on the girls and told them to not be afraid of using their strength to go up against me. We did this over and over and the girls really got it.

During our next game, Katie, our tallest and one of our more timid players (up to this point) found her strength on the court and it absolutely made my heart melt. She got a rebound and instead of cowering and not being sure of herself she gathered herself and went up strong and got fouled! Exactly what we worked on! I must have had a smile a mile wide on my face. It wasn't just because Katie had done something great in a basketball sense, I was smiling because I knew that this little moment was also a big personal success for Katie. It allowed her to see what she was capable of, and from that moment on the truth is Katie was a completely different basketball player.

2) We got off to a bit of a rocky start. We reached a low point after our loss to Woodside. The game marked our 3rd or 4th consecutive loss. After the game, we gathered in a corner of the gym and sat down and had a longer post game chat than usual. It was important to me to try to convey a message that just because we had lost a few games, this in no way meant that it was acceptable to throw in the towel on our season. Cheesy as it was, we went around in a circle and I asked each girl to look me in the eye and tell me that they believed in the team. They did it and what was even better, they came to practice on Wednesday ready to get after things and work hard and you know what, they must have really meant it when they told me that they believed because we won every game from there on out for the rest f the season. I couldn't be more proud of the girls for refusing to give in and for finishing our season on "a make." Their grit and guts to fight back from a losing season was another heart melter.

I love that in every basketball season there are about a million and one behind the scenes special moments when a girl encounters something challenging and then is forced to figure out a way to work towards overcoming it. I love the way that small victories build confidence and give girls glimpses of the greatness that is inside of them. I love that all their greatness is not revealed at once and that it takes lots of hard work to dig in and find the greatness sometimes, because all that hard work, well, it builds character. And I love that because in the end, these girls are probably not going to go onto the WNBA or anything, but they will face plenty of other challenges in their lives and I hope that the small successes they find through hard work on the basketball court will transfer over to a belief in themselves that through perseverance, a positive attitude some hard work and dedication, they can overcome whatever life might throw their way and achieve whatever their hearts desire.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More to come, but for now, let's just say...

...Hallelujah for these beautiful faces and these beautiful places!

I can't believe the thought of not going to Tahoe even crossed my mind mid-week amidst the madness of basketball playoffs and apartment hunting. It's truly amazing just how refreshing a quick weekend away with good friends can be. A day without a computer or access to any of the things that usually keep me busy, busy, busy was just what I needed to unwind after a couple of months of pure craziness.

Chillaxin' on the couch after a day of skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing- or if you are me -- just sitting around the cabin reading.

Makin' some challah french toast while Joe brews his 756th pot of coffee for the morning :).

Oh beautiful snowy trees.

Hey-lo :)

Harmonica Jam Session on our way outta town -- the leavin' Tahoe blues were definitely in full effect.

Check out Max's rockstart jump, love it!

Me, a chair, a sunny drive way, a cuppa chai and a book = BLISS

More chai and more reading.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am using this post to get out all the icky stuff and then move on...

I apologize to family and friends who have been hearing me vent for the past week about how life is kind of just kicking my butt right now, I haven't said much about it in the blogosphere because I typically like to reserve this space for uplifting things, but I just got home from MORE apartment searching and basketball practice and reminded myself that this blog is also a coping mechanism for me and if it is going to be that successfully, it also needs to be an authentic space -- even if that means sharing some of the tougher stuff. And to be honest, I feel like a part of my tendancy to break down and feel a bit more overwhelmed than usual lately is partially due to the fact that I have been kind of denying myself this mode of expression. Sometimes you have to go through the shitty stuff to get to the good stuff, right? So I apologize but I just need to get all the icky stuff out in writing - it helps make my heart feel less heavy. There is still of course, lots of good stuff going on so stay tuned for that at the end. (Suzy B. taught me to always "end on a make" and well, I wholeheartedly believe in this philosophy).

Okay so for the icky stuff, it's kind of in my nature to make life whirlwindy (as we all know:)) and to fill my plate up with things to do and well in the last few months life has felt a little more intense than just whirlwindy - it has felt more like a hurricane.

February, especially got a little crazy on me. Between basketball games, practices, busy transitions at work, my inflexibility on my daily workouts, yoga classes and 10 day trips to the east coast - I was leaving the house at 5:30am to get a workout in before work and then not returning home until 8 or 9 after basketball games, yoga class or errand running. I know, I know I do it to myself by chosing to be involved in all these things and so I probably have no right to complain but it's my blog so I'm going to.

By the end of my trip to DC and Florida, I was completely drained. When I got home on Sunday all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep for about 2 days, but that same day I was hit with some tough news from my lovely little second family - without going into too much detail in order to respect their privacy, let's just say that it's been more than a bit emotionally draining to seem them go through something so difficult.

With this news, I began my search for a new apartment and while the thought of having my own place is something that brings me so much joy, apartment searching and finding just the right compromise on price, location, space etc. is a tiring process and all around just kind of destabilizing.

And the next bit of news that I am going to share has been weighing especially heavy on my heart but has been hard for me to talk about out loud. It's even kind of hard for me to write, but I just can't hold onto it anymore. About a week ago, a girl from my home town was raped and murdered while going out for a run. The situation really hit home for me as it happened very close to my home and because it happened to a female runner. It's hard for me to say much more than that and it's definitely added anxiety as of late.

So call me a little over-dramatic but I definitely feel as though my faith in the universe is being put to the test right now and there are moments amidst it all when I have to admit, I have not been very graceful in dealilng with all of it (ie crying, mini tantrums and just plain ol' feeling sorry for myself when I know I still have so many things to be grateful for.) and so I apologize to anyone who has had to witness that.

I will say that I have been making very concious efforts (although not always successfully) to take deep breaths, to remind myself of the many good things in life and to just have faith that everything will work out the way it's supposed to. I have not completely lost sight of all the good things, I think I've just been so rushed and emotionally preoccupied that I have felt less able to take the time to really relish in them which I really, really miss and plan to get back to ASAP. For the time being, I think the crazy is sticking around for another couple of weeks and so thank you blogosphere for letting me get this out - I already feel a bit more mentally grounded and ready to go into another busy week.

Okay so with that, onto the good stuff. Despite the craziness that I feel like I am swirling in, I am always amazed how, without fail, when I do successfully remember to take a look around at the good stuff, I've got a lot to be grateful for;

I am so grateful for parents who I can call any time of the day and as many times as I want to re-hash all my apartment viewing thoughts- I know it's crazy - I'm 27 and I still want their opinion on my life things - but they're just a couple of smarty-kins and I value their opinion so much.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow a relationship with Joe. He has been there to listen to me cry and allowed me to just be a little grumpy this past week without making me feel judged for it. He also has this calming way about him that I feel pretty grateful to have in my life right now. I am grateful for the quality time that our relationship forces me to set aside - we got to spend a beautiful San Francisco afternoon together yesterday drinking some yummy tea at Samovar (where you should definitely go if you haven't already been) and eating some deelish sushi in the city.

I am so grateful for girls nights with Kat, Lindsey and Laura to help take my mind off of everything and lunch time walk and talks with Lindsey to help me put life back in perspective.

I am grateful for the volunteer instructors who put on a self - defense clinic that I attended yesterday at Stanford. It helped me feel proactiv and empowered in dealing with the tragedy of last week.

I am so grateful for the fearless energy that the young women I am lucky enough to coach exude. It's contagious :). I hope I have many more opportunities to work with young women on the basketball floor.

Here's to a week of deep breathing, slowing down, giving a bit more up to the universe and remembering that it's okay if I don't get out for an hour run every single day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simple Pleasures...

I have been moving so fast through my days lately that I have really abandoned my simple pleasure lists and I miss 'em.....

here's a few simple pleasures as of late...

1) peanut butter pretzels.
2) seeing/hearing one of my 8th grade girls talk a teammate through a teary moment.
3) kat's extra eyes on craigslist
4) the youtube video on Jeffrey Foucault's webpage
5) sweet text messages at random times during the day from loverboy
6) my bosses's homemade chocolate tea cookies
7) pigeon pose
8) earlier morning light
9) purple pashmina scarves
10) having time to try a new recipe
Indianish chicken with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, some turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic. Thank you Sunset :).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Busy-ness is the norm these days...

Here is my weekend laundry list from Friday at 5pm to Sunday at 10pm...

1) Post work grocery shopping so I have food this week

2) Fabulous girls night with Kat, Laura and Lindsey - complete with clothing exchanges, cocktails, yummy thai food and coupa hot cocoa.

3) Saturday morning Yoga/Spin

4) TAXES...blah, but they are done :)

5) Saw EIGHT...yes EIGHT apartments...oh dream apartment please find me :).

6) Thai Dinner and a movie with loverboy.

7) Sunday Morning Run

8) Basketball practice with the girls

9) 1 more apartment

10) Salad making for...

11) Kat and Erik's fabulous Oscar Party.
Kat won the rice crispy Oscar (made by Julian and Laura) for getting the best score on the Oscar's quiz!

Whew, I need a weekend now :).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quote of the day...

" To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly...to listen to stars and buds, to babes and sages, with open heart; await occasions, hurry never...this is my symphony."

--William Henry Channing