Thursday, January 31, 2013

Champions!


Georgia's soccer team won their Futsal division last weekend... well, 1/2 of her soccer team, that is.  Futsal requires less players per team, so her usual team got divided into two.  And it was only one unlucky loss that kept the championship from being the two teams against each other.  

Georgia was happy that she didn't play her fellow teammates - she doesn't like to compete against her good friend, Ally.  Not that she would have had to worry, the game would probably have ended in a tie anyway.

I forgot to bring my telephoto lens to the game, so I didn't get any action shots.

The below photo was taken right after the bell rang and the game was over.


And I got photos of the girls waiting for the awards ceremony to begin.


This is a great group of girls.  They have been practicing  / playing together for two years and they've bonded nicely even though they come from different towns all over the Boston area.


The girls got tee-shirts and high-fives from the coach:


and there was a trophy that they will get to share.


Futsal is over for the winter and "spring" training begins momentarily.  Georgia loves Futsal but she's ready to get outside and play on a larger field.  

I'll miss Futsal.  I like watching the games in a warm gymnasium and I like the fast-pace of the game.  I like soccer, too, though.  I guess I'll still drive her to practice!  (wink, wink!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Lazy Two Weeks (For Me)


A little over a week and a half ago, I got a strange virus.  


I was exhausted and weak.  My ears were clogged and I felt like I had a fever, even though I didn't.  It wasn't the flu.  It wasn't a cold... it just was.

And it was miserable.

The first three days were over a long weekend, so I spent the time, indoors, resting.  

My children were not sick, however and so they spent the time outdoors, playing.


How did I get these photos, you ask?  The laziest way possible.  

I took them from the window and from the warm comfort of my home.


Georgia got an electric scooter for Christmas this year and Henry received one for Christmas last year.

Georgia put on the tunes and the girls sped around our driveway (without helmets... I guess I was too sickly to notice that, whoops!)


They spent the better part of my convalescence at 2 mph, singing Lady Gaga at the top of their lungs.

And I got photographic proof without leaving my sickbed.  It was a perfect win-win situation and it was (apparently) a learning experience.


Fast forward one week to yesterday.  It was snowing and Henry and Georgia were doing their homework in the kitchen.  Josie was finished with her school work and wanted to be outside.  She was determined to look at a snowflake up close and had her magnified glass ready.  I have a rule that the kids have to be together when they are outside, but Josie was so eager to get out while it was still light, that I compromised.

She could play outside as long as she stayed on our back deck.


I didn't tell Josie, but our back deck is rather like a play-pen.


And did I go outside to get my photos?  Once again, no.

I stayed inside - out of the cold, away from the snow  - and took photos of all the action.

I am no longer sick, so I had to admit that I was just being lazy.


I watched Josie through the window.  She made and threw some snowballs.


She made patterns in the snow.

And knocked on the door to ask when Georgia could join her outside:




And she looked at the snow with her magnified glass:




And I captured it all.  While still in my street clothes.  And with no hat, mittens, scarf, snowpants or boots.  

That's right, it's official:  I'm lazy.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stitch Fix Part 2


Ever since I wrote about Stitch fix back in September (click here to read that post), I've been receiving monthly packages of new clothes.  I haven't written about any of the other packages sent to me by Stitch Fix, because I had nothing nice to say.  

I was taught that if you had nothing nice to say, then it's polite to say nothing at all.

The first month was such a success... and the second month was such a disaster.  The third month was a little bit better than the second, but then the fourth month was so horrific, that it almost sent me over the edge.

I'm not sure what was wrong.  I filled out the forms, I answered the questions, I gave detailed notes about what I liked and didn't like about each shipment, and yet no one at Stitch Fix seemed to understand my taste.  

Or maybe they just didn't have the kind of clothes that I - or any of my peers here in the stylish 40 year category - wore.

Here, is an example of one of the better boxes.

Behold!  A pretty black dress:



Flattering, well-fitting... could have done without the cap sleeves, but at the time, I was so overjoyed to find something good in my Stitch Fix box, that I overlooked the sleeves and kept the dress.

I haven't worn it yet, though, so that's telling.

Can I pause for a moment and ask, 

Does anyone look good in a cap sleeve?!?!

And can I pause for another moment to apologize for my dirty mirror and my scrunched-up photo-taking face?

I'm sorry.

Next item in the box?

A black and hunter-green plaid, cropped, button-less jacket with a back peplem.


These photos are too dark to give you an idea of the ugliness of this coat.  I felt like a mixture between Calista Gingrich and a preppy grandmother wearing a boiled-wool jacket from Talbots.

No offense, Mom, boiled wool jackets suit you perfectly.

To give the jacket a chance, I tried it on with jeans and a tee-shirt.  


Oh!  That's right!  I'm a long-waisted, short person!!  I did mention that cropped things look strange on me in my Stitch Fix profile... and that I hate plaid... but I guess my personal stylist didn't read those parts of my bio.

And then I pulled out this:


A mud-green silk shirt.   It fit fine and I might have kept it, had it been in one of the bold, bright, fun colors that I requested!  But mud-green?  Really?  On a blond?  

And then there was this:


An enormous, sequined potato sack with three-quarter-length sleeves and a high-neck.


I had no words.  

I packed up the box that night and contemplated ending my subscription to the service.

While I did so, Josie tried on the jacket.


Long-sleeves aside, it was the perfect length for my seven year old.

I didn't part ways with Stitch Fix that month - or the month after.

I'm a sucker for the second (or third, fourth and fifth) chance and I REALLY like mail.

I stopped photographing each item, but over the months, I did keep a necklace, a pair of earrings and a scarf.  I wrote a pleading message on my profile site, begging for some color and some younger, hipper items.  I asked that all plaid and muddy earth tones be removed from my pile.  I wrote that I'm not a lumberjack and forty-one is really not that old. 

Last month, I really liked two of the items, but neither fit me well enough to keep.  The fact that I even thought about keeping something got my hopes up.  Maybe - just maybe - someone out there was starting to understand me.

I got my sixth (or maybe seventh?) box on Friday:


It was tied in a lovely pile and the top item looked remarkably like the tunic I had asked for:


I spread the items out on the floor:


That burgundy/white zig-zag thing is an infinity scarf, which I put right back into the box.  It just wasn't me.


The first glance was an optimistic one.  No plaid.  No old-lady jackets or duck-hunting colors.

I started with a black knit shirt which fit well and was very soft:


I liked it, but not enough to keep.  It reminded me too much of an exercise top or something one would wear under a wool sweater to ski.

And it dipped in the back.


Another pause - I am sorry - but what is it with Stitch Fix and the un-even shirt hem?  I never, ever see women walking around with shirts that are short in the front and long in the back, and yet this is at least the fifth one I've received from this company.

What gives?

Next item - the bird tunic:


Cute!  A keeper!

But I have to show you all this:


The $%^$% thing dips down in the back!

I tucked it in and rolled up the sleeves:


Still cute.

Josie came in to help me.  She wanted me to try on the paisley dress:


and while she waited, she tried it on herself and accidentally ripped off the tag.


That's not good news since I was undecided about the dress itself and I'm not sure how tag removal effects my return ability.


The dress is cute, but shapeless and way too short for my age.

I tried it with leggings but then my long-waisted / short leg ratio is highlighted and I try not to emphasize that part of my figure too often.


Last item:


Um.  No.

Perhaps if I was 19.

Or 12.

I'm still on the fence about Stitch Fix.  When I read about the service on another woman's blog, I saw her modelling beautiful sweaters and a gorgeous knit dress.  My lovely friend Tara tried the service and received a wonderful black dress and two fabulous bright-and-funky tops.  This month was a great improvement, but I'm only keeping one of the five items, so I could hardly call it a success.

I would love to learn more about what the stylists at Stitch Fix have to work with.  Do they just randomly select clothes for each shipment?  Do they have some strange fashion bias when it comes to Boston?  I know we aren't LA or New York, but believe it or not, there is fashion here.  And this is a blue state, so the Calista Gingrich look is not what we go for.

Is any one else out there trying Stitch Fix?  How have your fixes been?

Leave me a message and let me know!

And if you want to try Stitch Fix out yourself (which would be odd after this review, but good for me because I get some credit if you do!), then click below:


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Josie's First Bruins Game


The very-belated start of professional hockey did not go unrecognized by the Elliot Family.  Gordy had two tickets to the second Bruins game and we decided that it was the perfect moment for Josie to get a little daddy/daughter/Bruins time.

First stop on the agenda?  

A trip to the Bruins store for souvenirs:


Josie chose a warm hat (the jersey she is wearing was a hand-me-down from Henry)

Next stop?

A photo with the bear:


Costume changes, characters and photo-ops?


Josie says, yes please!

But wait!  There's more:


Soft Serve!!!!!  Wwoo-woo!


Gordy brought along my pocket camera and recorded as much as he could of Josie's first professional hockey game.  Not her debut, mind you, since she's still a few years away from playing on the Bruins herself.

My favorite photo was the action shot below:


I take it the Bruins scored and Gordy's hand was shaking from excitement.

The game was definitely an exciting one.  The Bruins won in a shoot-out and Josie stayed for the entire thing.  She watched all three periods, overtime and the shoot-out.... a pretty long time for a seven year old.  

I wasn't sure what to expect when Josie got home - exhaustion?  tears?  

Neither, it turned out.  Oh, if only I thought of getting a photo of Josie's face when they finally got back.  She was so excited and so happy.  We heard all about her adventure, we head all about the game and we heard ALL about the three times she was on the jumbo-tron!  

Three times!  

Don't believe her?  Gordy got footage:


video

Adorable, no?  



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Watch Out World!

Or at the very least... watch out tri-city hockey teams!


It's Josie's turn to play goalie next weekend!


We brought the goalie pads home with us from Josie's hockey game on Sunday.  Henry helped her put them on for a little basement practice.


Goalie pads are very, very awkward.


It is very hard to move in goalie pads and there's no way a seven year old could ever put them on by themselves.


I'm not even sure how a 12 year old does it.


Josie has not exactly been looking forward to this moment.  She has postponed her turn more than once and on Saturday night, as I was putting her to bed, she told me that she absolutely did not want to play goalie the following week.

And then at 2 am, I got woken up by Josie and told that she had changed her mind.

She DID want to be goalie but only to get her turn out the way.

Yes, you did read that correctly.  She changed her mind at 2 AM!

I guess that answers your question about how Josie's wretched sleeping patterns are progressing!


I don't blame her hesitation.  It's hard enough to skate with just your normal hockey equipment on.  

And who wants heavy hockey pucks flying towards your face?

Josie had to waddle over to the fall side of the basement:


And then Henry had to help her get lined up and ready to go:


She practiced her "butterfly"....


... only to get stuck in the down position and need more help getting back up:


The first shot went int the goal:



But she managed to stop the second:


Goalie practice lasted no longer than five minutes.  It reminded me of the snowy days long ago when I would spend 30 minutes bundling up the toddlers only to spend 10 minutes outside before they wanted to come back in.

I have a feeling that Josie will not make goalie her permanent hockey position!

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