Monthly Archives: January 2011

Bad Decisions

All bad decisions have consequences and sometimes those consequences are realized immediately. For instance, I decided to come home during my lunch hour yesterday to take a nap, but I had forgotten that our landlady had hired someone to paint the upstairs hall that afternoon. I was irritated when I saw the painting van but still determined to take a nap so I went upstairs, said hello to the strange, elderly man and headed to my room. I thought he was leaving and I didn’t want to wrinkle my slacks, so I stripped down to nap in my underwear. Bad decision. I didn’t close my bedroom door all the way because I thought elderly, Asian man had left. Another bad decision. You can see where this is going. Mid-nap, I was awakened to creepy old man’s voice calling down the hallway that he was bringing me his business card. “DON’T COME IN!!!” I yelled, just barely avoiding a very awkward, very vulnerable moment. Clearly, some bad decisions have immediate consequences.

Classroom Confessions Part 3

I wish that everyone could teach high school for one year. Not because I want you to lament with me about grading and understand how hard my job is and petition for higher salaries. (It’s actually not that hard.) Not because I want you to experience a kid writing “penis” on your white board in another language to see how you would react. Nor because I wish you could deal with freshman who love to make fake farting sounds during tests and will inevitably ask the same question 17 times. No, I wish everyone could teach high school for a year because I wish everyone could experience what we get to experience this next week: a new semester.

Trivial Highs and Lows

I do most of my writing while lying in my giant bed, propped up by several pillows and swimming in a sea of blankets. I write at night when I’ve guzzled Mountain Dew during the day and am consequently quite wired and unable to sleep. Or I write on Saturday and Sunday mornings, still lying in bed, eating cookies because I’m typically starving 5 minutes after I wake up. Or I write at Panera when I’m supposed to be grading but looking for ways to distract myself because I slightly abhor grading. Or I write because my blogging friend Kimberly asks her blogging buddies to write about different topics and I use it as an excuse to write about things that aren’t quite as trivial as “movie-going rules.” The latest I wrote for Kimberly was about a teacher who influenced me.

Jenny From Alaska

My dad taught me how to ride a bike on a big, blue, banana seat bike with streamers hanging from the wide-set handle bars. I don’t remember much about that day- who else was there or even how old I was, but I vividly remember what it felt like the first time he let go. He’d run beside me, grasping the banana seat, and then say, “Ready?” and even if I shook my head saying, “no,” he would grin and give me a push and then let go. Joy and fear and adrenaline mingled and rushed through my veins as I furiously pedaled, wanting to make my dad proud and really not wanting to fall or crash into a parked car.
This image came to mind when my parents dropped me off at Westmont my freshman year. Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces” was ironically crooning from the radio when we first drove through the gates and a few salty tears escaped and trickled down my cheeks; trickled because I saw that straggly-haired little girl on her banana seat, biting her lip, focused straight ahead as her dad ran beside her. And now, once again there was my dad saying, “Ready?” Again, the joy and the fear and the adrenaline. I wanted to make my parents proud and I really didn’t want to fall or crash into a parked car.
As a young girl learning to ride, I had pedaled unsure and wobbled terribly at first. I probably took some spills onto the sidewalk but I don’t really remember those. So too, that first week of college was a wobbly one. That first year, really. Because riding a bike on your own for the first time is both slightly dangerous and wildly thrilling. That potentional wipe-out lurked in the back of my mind and I missed the secure hand of my father on the banana seat. However, when I looked around that first week at Westmont, I saw lots of other potential friends pedaling by themselves for the first as well. Some feigned confidence but we all were wobbling. We were all figuring it out, some with smiles plastered on their faces and others with looks of terror because those first weeks riding solo were beautiful and freeing but slightly terrifying.
That first year of college was so bizarre because not a soul knew who I was. I was completely anonymous. Not that I was wildly popular before, but people knew who I was. The name “Katie Hardeman” used to communicate much. It used to say that I came from a well-respected family and was pretty good with a basketball. It used to communicate what I had accomplished and what I was about because the people who had watched me grow knew me. And being known brought security. They knew who Katie Hardeman was. And though they shouldn’t have, their perceptions of who I was had created part of my identity and shaped how I viewed myself. But now, now no one had any perceptions of me. So who was I if no one was there to tell me? The only perceptions these new folk had of me was that I was blonde, wore shirts that were embarrassingly too short for my long torso and that were occassionally bejeweled with rhinestones.
We all were struggling freshmen, desperate to answer the question, “Who am I?” without anyone from our past chiming in to tell us. We were all pedaling on our own, striving to find ourselves- who we we truly were and who we would become. And in the midst of this self-defining year, I clung to my God tighter than ever before but I also clung to my roommate Jenny like a barnacle on a ship.
Jenny, Amy and I were randomly assigned a dorm room together because we went to bed at similar times and considered ourselves to be the same level of messy. They later confessed that they had spoken on the phone before we all met and were not thrilled about sharing a room with a “basketball player.” They assumed that I would be a stereotypical jock and in some regards, I am, but then I think they relaxed when I showed up on the first day with rhinestones on my tank top.

I’ve since stood in both of their weddings and played with their cute and clever sons.

And I am truly baffled by our God because of these girls; baffled by a God who knew just what we’d need that freshman year. Or rather, just WHO we’d need as we were wobbling on our bikes, pedaling solo for the first time. Jenny and Amy were pedaling right beside me and their presence helped me enjoy the new-found freedom and forget about the fear- the fear of falling and of failure. We gained confidence and pedaled harder and faster and then they were right beside me when I’d wipe out, picking me up and pulling out the gravel from my skinned knees. Jenny and Amy both played major roles in my life during those four years. I shared a queen-sized bed with Amy for our entire senior year and got hours of free counseling from one of the wisest women I know. But since I just saw Jenny this past week, this post is mainly about her.
Jenny is one of those friends who, on paper, seems drastically different from me. She has zero interest in sports. I think she ran a mile once a few years ago. She called me from Grenada to tell me about it. She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen and stranger yet, she’s from Alaska. Alaska, where her parents have a pet ferret, moose wander through their backyard and they have this sign in their garage, I mean “airplane hanger.” Only in Alaska.

But I’ve mentioned before how I knew Jenny and I would be close when she suggested leaving our phone message in Russian accents. I knew right then that she was the right kind of weird and we were going to get along just fine. Because despite the cuteness oozing from her petite frame and her total lack of interest in sports, Jenny and I have a weird “soul connection.” We share a lot of similar personality traits and these are magnified when we’re together. We are both uncommonly quirky though not without our insecurities, and we often think on the same wave link, a wave few other people travel on. Her husband, Chris, noticed it this past week when we kept saying the same comments at the same time. We’d laugh and shrug our shoulders- it’s been happening for years. She thinks of me every time she gets the runs and calls or texts me from the pot every time, without fail. We have that kind of friendship. We’re admittedly a bit “different” or “odd” some might say, but our “unique” ways of thinking and living are oddly similar. We let down our walls quickly with each other because there was instant trust- like when our spirits first saw each other, they winked and grinned.
That first week of college, Jenny and I were like Siamese twins, undeniably attached at the hip. We arrived at every event together. Sometimes matching.

We climbed walls together and we went to events dressed in ridiculous get-ups together.

This was before the cell-phone era and yet, we always knew where the other was. We followed lots of routines. We’d walk to breakfast together every day singing, “ain’t no mountain high enough” complete with hand motions. Then we’d eat our cereal in silence because the mornings were too early for conversation. We’d ride the shuttle to the beach every Tuesday, even when it was cold and we had to wear sweats. Then we’d strap on our uber-cool roller blades and blade to the Farmer’s Market and buy flowers and then catch the shuttle back up. The first time we did this, I got a monster blister on my foot and Jenny insisted that she take care of it. (Years later she became a nurse. Go figure) So I let her pour hydrogen peroxide on my foot and poke it with a needle. Then, right as she leaned close to inspect the wound, I pressed down on the blister and squirted that nasty clear liquid right into her face and she screamed and then laughed. We were like Anne of Green Gables and Diana- bosom buddies and kindred spirits.
Jenny inspired me to live more intentionally. Freshman year, she wrote a “thesis statement” for her life which outlined how she would live and posted it above her bed. The next year she woke up every single morning and the first thing she said, without fail was, “I feel fantastic!” We lived together for four years- four marvelous, transforming, unforgettable years. She knows that I will pretend to melt if she turns on artificial lighting when it’s not needed and I know that she pees with the door open and likes to eat a bite of chocolate right before bed. We never played the game of trying to appear cooler than we were, or smarter or kinder or better in any way. We just were. And in this way we were each other’s confidants and teachers. I taught her not to wave at dirty men honking their horns at us and how to buy a 2 piece bathing suit while she taught me how to put others first, how to use an inhaler (though neither of us really needed one) and how to wear lipstick.

Lesley took the above picture in our sophomore dorm room and then she censored it. I have another censored picture of Lesley sporting only her underwear and cape but it seems mean to post it here although she did somehow allow the censored picture of Jenny and me to be be circulated on the boys floor. (We were horrified) Lesley joined us our sophomore year and was just as bizarre as Jenny and I; I mean, the girl wore capes on a regular basis. The three of us were once accused of travelling together like a pack of wolves. We were first offended since it was not meant kindly, but then honored because we did seem to move together like a pack and would kill for each other if it came to that. (Plus, we found it mildly ironic since the first thing my brother said to Jenny was, “You look like Wiley Coyote.”) Before Jenny and Lesley married their college sweethearts, our pack tromped around the woods of Alaska as pictured below:
During those years we cried hard but laughed harder. We went on ridiculous adventures few would believe and talked about ridiculous topics few would understand. Jenny saw through all my pretenses and walls and saw who I truly was. There is something wonderful in that; something beautiful and freeing to be known so well. She knows when I’m even slightly annoyed and then laughs at me for trying to hide it. She has this uncanny ability of picking up on when I’m peeved just by reading my body language or even my tone in a text message and though it sometimes drives me bonkers that she sees through me when I’m pretending not to be irritated, I love that about her. I love that I can’t pretend with her even if I want to.
Being with Jenny is like looking in a mirror- and not just because I like to buy us matching clothes. I see who I am more clearly when I’m with Jenny because she knows me so well and I can see myself through her eyes. I once caught her wearing my underwear. She was changing and suddenly looked so guilty but I didn’t realize why until she confessed that she had run out of clean underwear. I think it was at that moment that I realized we had really crossed a line in typical friendship levels.
Jenny and her husband Chris now live in Santa Barbara with their remarkably funny and sweet boy Asher and their newest addition: their precious daughter Lola. I have unbelievable amounts of fun when I am with this couple. Chris is just as random as Jenny; he oozes adventure and cracks me up with antics. Plus, he’ll play along when I teach them ugly face poses like this:

or this:

I spent one very memorable Thanksgiving with Chris and Jenny when they lived in Grenada:
and took a few “sick days” to hang out with them when they lived in Brooklyn.

Though I loved those long weekends of laughter and adventure, I have most loved these recent years having them live less than 2 hours away. When Jenny had her first baby, the wolf pack reconvened and brought Asher to the mission on his second day out of the womb:

Since they live so close, I can drive up for the day on Jenny’s birthday to gorge ourselves on the infamous omlets of Summerland Beach Cafe, where we had always gone during college since breakfast is free for the birthday girl.

And of course we ordered a large stack of pancakes for Asher because we can never decide if we want omlets or pancakes so we pretended like the baby was hungry and then ate 1.5 meals.

Whenever I am with Jenny, I am always eating good food and I am always laughing and I am always encouraged and always edified. We’ve embarked on countless adventures together but we’ve also spent years doing nothing together so we have a knack for just “existing.” My most recent visit to the Swanson household was no different. We ate giant burritos and scrumptious cupcakes and then downed some Famous Star burgers at Carl’s. We sat around their table for 2 hours engaging in some of the most random conversation I’ve ever been a part of. At one point Chris called WalMart in Anchorage, Alaska to ask if they sold Tiger Tails. That’s another thing I love about these two- you never know what to expect with them.
The purpose of my visit was to meet the tiny and beautiful Lola who was growing in the NICU but came home today!

Jenny is an amazing mother with amazing perspective- it was no easy task to have to leave her lil Lola in the hospital.

Lola is pretty incredible and though she is small, I fear my giant man-hands make her appear smaller than she actually is. As I held her, I was reminded of what a marvelous miracle each baby is. And Lola is one stinkin cute miracle.
After hanging out with Lola, we took Asher to the zoo where we imitated the smelly flamingos,

saw parrots doing some inappropriate things, and then hung out with the giraffes.

It was a fantastic day but here’s the sad part. The Swansons are moving to Alaska in a few months. This came as no surprise to me and I am genuinely thrilled about the opportunities for them. But selfishly, I’m sad. Sad because despite their efforts to convince me to move to Alaska, I most likely will never live near them again. Sad because I won’t be able to be “sick” for a day to drive up on Jenny’s birthday. Sad because I won’t be able to go to any more of Asher’s birthday parties or be at any of Lola’s. Sad because well, because my bosom buddy is moving to Alaska which feels as far as the moon.

During that first week of college, we were all quick to slap labels on each other. We did it for identification purposes since our names meant nothing. And we did it based on the little information we knew of one another. Jenny and I called one poor boy, “pensive Adam” for four years behind his back because we caught him looking into the distance on several occasions. I think I was “Katie who plays basketball” and Jenny was “Jenny from Alaska.” (Actually, Lesley and I secretly called her ‘Jenny with bangs’ because in 2000, she was one of the only girls still rockin bangs) Eventually these titles slipped away as we built identities for ourselves. Our names began to communicate more than just where we were from or what we did. They communicated who we were. Jenny Hultquist, aka “Jenny from Alaska” or “Jenny with bangs” later became “my roommate, Jenny” then “my bosom buddy, Jenny” and then she tied the knot and became “Jenny Swanson, my college roommate whom I love to visit because she is always living in exotic places.” And although now she returns to her “homeland” of Alaska, she will always be so much more to me than “Jenny from Alaska.”

Because Jenny is one of those “forever” friends. One of those friends I plan on laughing with as our hair turns grey. One those friends I trust completely. One of those friends who shows me who I am. One of those friends I can share all my secret fears with and my hopes and my heart and my underwear. And though I’m sad about her leaving, I now have a wonderful reason to frequent the great state of Alaska.


A few recent discoveries have changed my life and I feel it is my responsibility as a blogger and as a Christian to pass on these tips to improve your life as well.
1. TOMS shoes. I don’t mean to appear cool or trendy by promoting these shoes that are actually quite cool and trendy but they are marvelous. They make me dance and leap when I wear them. Literally. (But only when I’m in the teachers lounge or classroom or kitchen by myself) I don’t know if they have the same effect on all their users, but I can’t help but twirl and prance like a ballerina when I wear them. My parents got me a pair for Christmas and though some might consider them way too casual to teach in, I wear them about once or twice a week to school. My students think I’m cooler because I wear them but that’s not why I do it. I wear them because they are so comfortable. The tile in Hall A can be quite slippery, as I’ve discovered the hard way, but these shoes enable me to cross-country ski down the halls. I love it.
Oh and the company gives away a pair of shoes to a kid in a third-world nation when you buy a pair. Let’s be honest though, that’s not what motivated me. I just liked them. My brother, always the cynic, tells me that not only are they expensive and ugly and lacking in support, Sketchers now does the same thing and gives away TWO pairs of shoes to poor kids. To him I say, “Good grief, Charlie brown. Lay off my cute, comfy shoes that are making me cooler than I actually am. Plus, Sketchers are lame.”
2. Kindle. Another Christmas present and another discovery that has increased my happiness levels exponentially. I used to keep a book with me at all times (you never know when you’ll need one) but now I carry 10 with me and it is marvelous. I can read in traffic and long lines, in gyms and on long bus rides. Life is better with books and even better with a Kindle.
3. Flat bread at Subway. Kelsi, my assistant coach, introduced me to this hidden treasure and I’m never going back to regular Subway bread. Now I can actually taste the meat and cheese that previously were lost in my giant bites of pure carbs. Not that I was concerned about the carbs; I just wanted to taste the cheese. I added a new addition to my vegetable variety as well. Cilantro. So small and so delicious. Granted, I typically end up with it stuck in my teeth but that’s why I carry floss with me at all times. Floss and 10 books.
4. Power balance wristband. I’ll be honest. I’m not totally sure how well it works. Trent did tests to show me how when I wear it I am more flexible and stronger and have better balance. When scrimmaging against my girls, I have found myself a bit stronger and have been making some crazy left-handed hook shots but I’m not sure if I should credit those moves to the band or sheer luck. I’d like to believe it was the magic band. However, the first day I wore it, I did two, not one but TWO, face plants. One while I was explaining to someone why I was wearing it. I think that classifies as irony. The second time I was running from my nephews while playing “Go Hide n Seek” as Vander calls it. They tend to cheat and only count to five so I really have to boogie to get a good hiding spot. However, I tried to sprint through the kitchen in my new TOMS and ate it pretty hard. Hudson immediately tackled me while I lay on the kitchen floor laughing. I also confess, that I partly wear it because I think it’s cool. Can I admit that here? I will. Sometimes I want people to think I am cooler than I am. So I wear things like TOMS and power balance wristbands. I probably won’t admit that to your face, though.
5. Parks And Recreation. Not the actual places. The show. It just came back on and my Thursday nights of pure comedy are complete again. I never actually watch on Thursday nights but it is part of a pretty phenomenal line-up of laughter. (I use Hulu which you should probably know about. I won’t include it on my list of recommendations because I assume most people know about it and I don’t want to pull another, “Hey you guys, have you heard of Pandora?” when everyone knew about it for at least 3 years before me. But grandma, grandpa, if you don’t know about Hulu, look into it) On last night’s first episode Amy Poehler gives a motivational speech while she plays the theme song from Chariots of Fire in the background. Rob Lowe, who plays a ridiculously intense character, sobs. I laughed so hard I scared my cat. Plus, the “Swanson Pyramid of Greatness” was incredible. Dad, you will love this Bobby Knight/Johnny Wooden wanna be.
6. James Horner. He will change your life for the better. I promise it. Well, maybe not for everyone, but some of you will really like this. I discovered him when I bought the Avatar soundtrack (can you see why I need to wear things to increase my coolness factor?) He does the music for epic movies like Braveheart and Titanic and his station includes songs from such classics as The Gladiator and Dances with Wolves. I programmed him as a new Pandora station just today and have been thinking all day, “my life will never be the same.” Maybe I’m exaggerating but I LOVE this music. It is inspirational and makes grading essays kinda fun. I’ve been playing the game, “guess which movie that’s from?” with myself all afternoon. I confess that I usually cheat but I guessed one was from Pirates of the Caribbean and I cheered aloud for myself. (Only got one strange glance) Maybe you aren’t into inspirational music. Maybe you prefer music with words. Suit yourself. But if you’re looking for a fun game to play with your friends or want to be inspired and feel like your boring, banal existence is actually as adventurous and epic as the movies, create a James Horner Pandora station. He will not disappoint.
How about you? I’ve shared six of my life-altering recommendations. You have any for me?

Movie- Going Rules

I am a bit of a regular at the movie theaters. That may be putting it lightly. I’m the type who has a Regal card and is continually racking up points for free movies and free small drinks. I purposely go to the movies on Tuesdays for dollar popcorn days. (for card-carrying folk only) I’m the type who often goes to the movies by myself and sometimes even prefer to be alone. I love to feel like I’m actually IN the story and if my chatty Kathy friend is giving me her running commentary, I cannot fully engage. Plus, sometimes none of my friends or family will enjoy the weird movies I want to see. And there are the other times I’m just plain ashamed to admit I want to see a movie. (I saw The Hangover and laughed myself silly at very inappropriate jokes and felt no judgment from the strangers I was surrounded by) I’m also the type who usually sees a double feature and occasionally will hop to three or four movies in one day (like I did with my dad on Christmas day. Our goal is to one day see five).

I have countless fond memories inside these full-screen wonderlands. In high school, while other kids were dancing at cool parties, I donned my pajamas and brought a pillow to the theaters. In college, I found a group of fellow Westmont students who also loved Harry Potter and we all saw the first midnight showing together though we had never previously met. (It was a magical night until my coach found out I was at the movies until 3 AM the night before a game and ripped me a new one. Totally worth it.) I went to the movies in Mozambique by myself even when I didn’t understand a word and there were no subtitles. I planned my trip to visit Jenny in New York based on the weekend Eragon was first released in theaters. (don’t judge- those dragon books are delightful) I made Trent go to the movies with me when we were in Ireland and we missed the infamous match between Federer and Nadal that was supposedly “the best tennis match of all time.” He was beyond livid when he realized we missed it because we were at the movies and said, “Katie, we will admit this to no one. We will watch the replay and go to our graves claiming to have seen this match live.” Sorry sucker. Wasn’t Hancock worth it though?

I’ve sat in midnight showings and midday showings, waited in countless bathroom lines, and snack lines and of course the infamous Twilight premier lines. (We waited 8 hours. Worth every butt cramp and vampire-crazed, teeny bopper scream) I love everything about the theaters and clearly, I’ve spent a lot of time inside them. I feel this wealth of experience gives me some authority in matters pertaining to rules for the theaters.
Of course, the theaters have their own set of rules, several of which are made to be broken. However, there is a set of unwritten rules that is now, for the first time to my knowledge, being written. I confess, that I have broken several of these rules. However, I felt the necessary amout of guilt and shame that I fear many oblivious movie-goers do not feel when they break them. So here is my public service announcement, my attempt to make the world a better place….at least for the easily annoyed such as myself.
Movie-Going Rules

1) Make yourself invisible. I am not an anti-social hermit. I like people. I really do. I like people watching in long lines and I like packed theaters because of the ambiance it creates. However, for me to completely engage in a movie and reach maximum levels of movie-going enjoyment, there are several moments when I need to forget that you exist. I don’t mind hearing you laugh as long as it is in appropriate moments and isn’t too loud or obnoxious. I don’t mind hearing you gasp if the movie warrants a gasp. I don’t even mind hearing you cry softly or even sniffle- especially in movies like Marley and Me, but don’t get carried away. (All I remember about I Am Sam is my friend Lori sobbing uncontrollably. It was funny because she’s my friend and we all were crying but sobs are typically highly frowned upon. Sorry Lor) Basically, I want to forget that you are next to me. I need you to disappear. You’re in your bubble. I’m in mine. We’re all happy. Continue reading

Meg n Mere

I had the pleasure of introducing the chapel speaker on Wednesday. She needed no introduction since she’s a bit of a celebrity in these parts, but I consider her a dear friend and used my 2 minutes with the mic to let the kids know what kind of friend Megan is: the kind that has a love for Jesus that seeps out of her pores. And the kind who convinces you to prank someone by peeing in their water bottle.
Many of the teachers at Valley had Megan in class and her science teacher and I had lunch duty together the next day so we were swopping Megan stories and he said something that stuck with me.
“Friendships like that make life rich.”
I smiled when he said it because truly, I am one of the richest girls in the world. My life is full, overflowing really, because of the friendships I have. This journey has been immensly “rich” because of the girls who have walked beside me. Or run beside me, sat, skipped, and jumped beside me.
Everyone claims they have really great friends. The cool thing is, to us- they are just that: really great. Another’s group of friends might bore me to tears but my group is just right for me. It’s like they’re my own personal flavor at Cold Stone. Others might think Vanilla and Chocolate with Reeses and carmel isn’t perfect, that it’s too plain or simple, but it is the perfect amount of flavor and texture for me, the perfect amount of laughter and accountability.
These friends have not only gone through life by my side; not only have they laughed with me and danced with me and sang, pulled pranks, and pranced in rain with me. They’ve molded me. God fashioned my heart and created me and He continues to shape and recreate who I am, but He often uses the hands of several hilarious, God-fearing girls to do so.
Two such girls played crucial roles in the remolding process while in college. They were teammates but much more than teammates; they became sisters and pointed me to God and to the straight and narrow path time and time again by their words and the ways they lived. We were reunited for Megan’s wedding and though our time was brief rather than the concentrated days, weeks, and months we shared in college, I was reminded of they gift they have been to me. I was reminded of the years of laughter we shared but also how a bond was formed during those formative years that I doubt can be broken. Something about living so close, seeing each other every day, eating cafeteria food together and riding busses together; something about spending hours together in the gym or the weight room or airports or restaurants and experiencing life so closely together every day, seems to make that friendship bond infallibly strong.
The last time the three of us had been together was along with our quirky fellow teammate, Katie who I wrote about here, when we flew to Houston for Meredith’s wedding 5 years ago. Megan and I had been introduced as, “Meredith’s friends who can really eat.” We were flattered. Megan wrote a remarkable song for the bride and groom which she performed at the wedding and I did what I do best and caused a scene without meaning to. I left the bathroom completely unaware that abnormally long strips of toilet paper had attached to each of my heels. I walked past a large group of men with strange facial expressions and turned to find Megan and Katie both doubled over laughing so hard they couldn’t speak. We spent that weekend in Houston like we did in college, laughing and laughing and laughing some more. Now, five years later, Megan took her first steps on this same journey called “married life” and Mere and I sat side by side with mile-wide smiles and lots of giggles throughout the ceremony.
I had to leave early from the wedding to coach our game so sadly, I did not get pictures with the blushing bride, but if you are like me and enjoy seeing other people’s weddings, watch this video. It’s the best wedding video I think I’ve ever seen.
Today Megan speaks at high schools around the country. She is bold and fearless and filled with the Spirit. She is a gifted speaker and has an energy and passion that even Red Bull can’t fathom. Like Red Bull, hanging out with this girl will give you wings. She is crazy and hungry for life and for fun but more importantly, for God. And her hunger is contagious.
In college though, her faith was still being refined. I marvel at the work God has done when I consider the wild and silly girl from 2002 who has become the wild and silly yet wise and focused woman of 2011. I have zero normal pictures with Megan from college. If we were on the bus, we were making faces and playing rock-paper-scissors, best out of 50.

Or if the team was playing in an out-of-state tournament, were playing in the hotel room and putting on surprisingly painful, self-heating facial masks.

Mere and I are two years older than Meg so we played our first two years together and didn’t think we could possibly have any more fun or laugh any harder than we had. But then Megan joined the team. Megan is one of those girls who is known everywhere she goes because she is so bizarre and outragous and so dang funny. Mere and I got a glimpse however, that most of the crowds don’t get. We got to know Megan’s heart- to see her hurt and cry and struggle as she grappled to find her identity in those first years of college.
Megan was (and continues to be) a ball of raw energy in college. After hanging out with her it felt a bit like a tornado or the Tazmanian devil had swirled by: we were left exhausted, possibly injured, and with incredible memories. I already had a hunger for adventure in college but Megan fed that hunger. When I was tempted to hole myself up in the library and study, Megan pried my fingers off the books and convinced me to skateboard in the middle of the night or sneak into Steve Martin’s backyard where we discovered treasures you cannot even imagine. Need proof? We found a guillotine, giant slides, fences made out of bikes and this giant rubix cube:

Megan has a knack for making ordinary days memorable. She is searching for fun and adventure around every corner and when it doesn’t exist, she creates it. Her bachelorette weekend was as unconventional as she is and we got quite a few raised eye brows when we went to a fancy schmancy spa with our faces and clothes splattered in paint. She documented that little adventure here. She threw a second annual “Prom” for a New Year’s Eve party complete with balloon arches, punch, a DJ, and a prom king and queen. Here are some pictures from that memorable night:

Me with Megan and Rachel, the two phenomenal prom planners.

Jumping for joy with my brother Travis and sister-in-law Emma.

Emma and I had quite the afternoon shopping at thrift stores for our dresses since we don’t have our original prom dresses. We also had quite the time doing “shake face” pictures.

I also dragged my poor roommates to this random adventure. They might not appear thrilled about it here but they loved wearing these disgustingly poofy and sparkly dresses.

Every time I see Megan these days I am guaranteed two things: I will laugh and I will think. Yes, she is hilarious and wildly random, but she also is intentional and insightful and asks great questions, the kind that don’t allow you to be fake or surfacy. My last two years of college were made wilder and more memorable because of this wonderfully unique friend.
Then there’s Meredith.
Meredith and I have a friendship and a closenss that might confuse those who know us both. She is classy and lady-like, fasionable, and sophisticated with such a soft femininity that it truly is odd that she and I, a girl who wears sweatpants more often than jeans and makes “that’s what she said” jokes probably a little too often, would become such inseperable friends. She was offended when I told her brother’s girlfriend that she is high maintenance but she can’t deny it. (although high maintenance people always seem to do just that) Meredith brought out the “girly” inside of me. She taught me how to wear jewelry and convinced me to shower after our games and wear normal, cute clothes every once in awhile. (Normal and cute in 2000 ironically meant overalls)

I still remember the day we both accidentally dressed as twins and I refused to let her change because I found it so humorous. While she brought out my “softer” side, I brought out her wild and “inappropriate” side and made her laugh at things like horse poo:

We rubbed off on each other in beautiful ways and I see now how God was using the both of us to mold us into the women we would become. She taught me that joy is a choice and when I was angry or frustrated in a game and most people were terrified of me, she would call me out on it and tell me to choose joy. She is brave and bold and I hope a little of that rubbed off on me as well. She taught me about accountability and honesty in friendship and she freely shared her Texas-sized opinions with me when I was being foolish so I freely shared my own when she was dating the wrong guy. We connected on a spiritual level and though we talked about boys and basketball a lot, we talked about God much more. We were on similar spiritual journeys, both seeking more of Him and struggling with complacency and insecurities, and thus we became partners on our journeys to know and desire God more. We had a common love for basketball and getting tan but it was our common thirst for Him is what bonded us. We made countless memories together but it was our mutual love for Christ that differentiated our friendship from the other girls we’d laugh with.
I still remember the first time I ever heard the song, “I Can Only Imagine.” I was in her parent’s home in Houston when she played it for me and I cried and cried and we talked about our longing for heaven. Meredith was always doing that- she was always pointing me to heaven. When I had played terribly and was feeling discouraged, it only took a brief walk to the locker room with Mere to cheer me up. She would say something, just the right thing, to make me laugh and remind me why I’m on the planet. She was like my own personal compass, constantly pointing me back to God and my true purpose when I tried to search for my identity in basketball.
After college, despite my efforts to convince her to stay in sunny southern California, she moved back to Houston- that hot, sticky city full of big hair and big trucks, and well, big everything. She has two absolutely adorable kids, Jake and Olivia, who both have big eyes and big smiles and she has a third on the way. She is a marvelous mother and clearly is living in a VERY different stage of life than I am right now. I hadn’t seen Mere in about 2 years. However, when she came into town for Megan’s wedding, we curled our hair together and chatted and laughed and confessed and encouraged like we were still “bus buddies” travelling home from a basketball game together. (I have lots of matching pictures with Mere. This one was from Midnight Madness and Mere, always trying to be taller, was on her toes and me, always being a punk, went up on mine as well so she’d still look short)

We’ve both changed remarkably since our college years. We laugh about how if we had to do it all over we would have worn sun screen and hats and we wouldn’t have frequented the tanning beds. But as my wrinkles begin to emerge, I hope I don’t grow self-conscious. Rather, I hope I see them and remember all the hours I spent laying on the beach with Mere, or at the pool, or by the library. I hope I laugh about the time a girl hit on her while we sunning. I hope I smile as I think about how we were “burning off our zits” in the tanning beds. Because it wasn’t just the sun that left unchangable marks on us, we left marks on each other; we are permanently changed by our years together. And even now, 6 years after our graduation, we still tend to dress oddly similar.

Both Megan and Meredith played critical roles in the formation of who I’ve become. Both pointed me to adventure and fun but also to Jesus. Both have made my life rich. Deliciously rich, indeed.

Causing A Scene

I accomplished a life goal today. I got on the jumbo-tron. Granted, it was at a women’s USC game and there were only about two hundred people attending so chances were high that we’d get on the screen, but we made it up there nonetheless. I went with my team and we discussed before the game our strategy if we did make it on the giant screen. Ugly faces, of course. I convinced them that we all needed to make thee grossest faces possible if we made it up. They agreed.

Throughout the game we saw awkward fans dancing and cute kids dancing but then came our shinging moment near the end of the game. During a time out, suddenly, there were our faces, magnified and staring back at us from above. We screamed and I screamed, “Ugly faces!” and went to work distorting my faces in as many ways possible. I had a large repertoire to pull from: double chins, awkward tongue placements, lots of crossed eyes. I heard the gym erupt in laughter and I was so proud of my team. However, I couldn’t see what they were doing since my eyes were crossed. However, when I finally uncrossed my eyes, I realized that I was the only one playing the game. All the other girls were watching the screen, watching me and laughing. It gets worse.
Just so I wouldn’t miss out on how embarrassed I should have been in that moment, the cameramen, amused by my antics, showed an instant replay. I was able to watch the whole 10 second charade of me making really hideous faces while the team looked on and laughed. People turned and stared. I blushed. When we left the gym, several people gave me knowing looks and giggled at me. I felt a bit like a celebrity but not in a good way.

One of the joys of coaching is being able to pass on knowledge to the next generation. I taught the girls nothing about basketball today. However, I passed on much other valuable information. Not only did I teach them what to do when on the jumbo-tron, I also taught them how to distract a free throw shooter. They were yelling awkward words and I was doing Xena the Warrior Princess esq yells. We got quite a few looks at this game.
They also learned what to do when cheering for the visiting team. Some junior high girls sitting in front of us continually turned to “mad dog” us when we cheered for Oregon State. What did the mature coach do? I said loudly, “We’ll be cheering all game. Stop looking so surprised.” Basically, I was teaching them how to get in fights at sporting events.
They also learned what to do when bored. I made two of the girls play rock-paper-scissors and the loser had to ask a cheerleader to take a picture with her. They both ended up in the picture and made me proud with these faces:

After the game, I taught them how to walk awkwardly when in busy crosswalks and more importantly, I introduced them to Freebirds.

I frequented this burrito wonderland often while going to Westmont and another one finally opened closer to us. We ended our outing by stuffing our faces with giant, delicious, meaty burritos. Twas wonderful.
I rushed from one college game to the next and joined my family cheering for my Dad’s team. However, I caused another scene at this game. There was no jumbo-tron but my presence was felt more than I ever intended. First, Vander and Huddy went missing. I have a bit of my mom in me and we both freaked. Heidi was surprisingly calm and collected (she gets that from our dad) because she knew they had to be in the gym. I, on the other hand, was having visions of them being kidnapped and freaked out a tiny bit. Only strangers witnessed the freak out. I told 6 or 7 different security personel to be on the look out for two blonde boys. I might have run down a few halls. I was basically on the verge of tears by the time I discovered their hiding spot in an area that was locked but someone had held open for them. “Look, Katie, a miniature ladder just for me!” beamed Vander while I grabbed him and hugged him. I might have cried a little. I might have run and scooped up Huddy and ran to show them to my mom who was equally frantic.
Then during half time, the boys wanted to shoot on the main court. They grabbed volleyballs and started shooting but insisted that I come play with them. Then they insisted that I shoot. I realized that the whole crowd was bored and had nothing to watch but me playing with my nephews on the court. I was also aware that my shirt was tied too tight to give me full range of motion for a normal shot so I used every trick up my sleeve to distract Vander so I wouldn’t have to shoot and rip my shirt in front of the crowd. Out of excuses, I finally shot an akward looking shot and of course the ball landed right on Hudson’s head and I looked like the jerk aunt who instantly started laughing. Don’t worry- he got his revenge…
Later, we caused another scene when we were playing with volleyballs in the upper level. I wasn’t watching Huddy closely enough who decided to chuck his ball over the railing. It hit a person and bounced onto the floor. If you read a few posts ago, he threw his toy horse and lion on the floor when I was watching him. I fear a pattern is emerging. However, this time, instead of pointing at Huddy, I just turned and ran behind a wall so no one could see me. When the whole crowd looked to see where the flying volleyball had come from, they could only see the red-faced 2 year old beaming.
Today was a full one indeed. Full of funny and awkward and embarrassing moments. Full of basketball and burritos and the people I love. Maybe it was the clear skies and the tall palm trees; or maybe it was the bright sun and 80 degree weather; or maybe it was all the laughter but today was indeed a beautiful one.

Still Moments

The earth spins roughly 1,000 miles per hour. (Don’t think I knew that- I had to google it.) I knew it spun fast but not that fast. But some days, it does feel like the earth, like life is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour and I’m panting and exhausted by the end of the day because I’ve tried to keep up. But there are sweet moments in the day when it feels as if God has hit the pause button. I know the world continues to spin and life is rushing past, but for a moment, God puts His giant, cracked hand on my head and whispers, “wait.” And if I listen, if I stop in my tracks and just let myself BE in the moment, I am richly rewarded. I am rewarded with an outpouring of His peace. It feels as if I’m an empty cup and His sweet goodness is poured into me. But only when I stop and pause. In these quiet moments, a smile inevitably spreads across my face, a tear typically trickles, a grateful giggle escapes.
I’ve started looking for these moments, expecting them, yearning for them. They don’t come every day but I have found ways to position myself so that they’ll happen. I’ve actually learned this from Dotty. Yes, Dotty my cat. She’s pretty holy. I mean, look:

But she’s taught me about these still, quiet moments because of her love for the sun. A cat’s life is pretty simple: sleep, eat, sleep, use the litter box, sleep some more, get pet, and sleep. On stressful “my world is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour” days, I sometimes come home and collapse on my bed where Dotty has been sleeping all day and ask her to trade places. I don’t mean it. Her life is void of all adventure. (Except for the time I left the door to the balcony open and a giant bird flew in and was was trapped until my roommate put on gloves and grabbed it and threw it outside)
.That’s why she’s lived this long and will probably live to be like that 39 year old cat in the UK. But I am jealous of the time she has to just sit. She follows a strict daily routine which mainly involves finding the spots in the house where the sunlight breaks through the window and she sits in it. Sometimes she sleeps but I typically catch her awake, simply sitting or lounging in the sun. She sits on my bed frame in the early morning, moves to the hall in the late morning, stretches out on the bathroom rug in the afternoon and lays on the balcony in the late afternoon. I often wonder what is going on inside that tiny pea-size brain of hers. Does she just love the feel of the sun on her body? What possesses her to so diligently follow the sun? She always looks so peaceful, so content, in the sun, almost pensive. See:
I wonder if these moments in the sun are similar to my quiet, still moments. I wonder if I need to be more diligent and disciplined like Dotty and place myself in situations where I will be more susceptible to the still moments. Perhaps God has offered me more of this treasured time, but I’ve ignored it by continuing on with my to-do list or checking facebook. Perhaps I need to search for these moments like Dotty searches for the sun: with expectancy and longing.
Because the physical places aren’t hard to find. I know that if I’ll wake a bit earlier, hit snooze a few less times, I can bow on my knees beside my bed and enter a still moment. I know if I can pry my eyes open a few minutes earlier, I can sit on my bed and watch the sun rise and witness flocks of birds fluttering in formation and enter a still moment. I know if I get home from school and lay on the hammock and open His word and watch the clouds rather than checking my e-mail, I can enter a still moment.
And then there are the surprise still moments that catch me unaware and bring overwhelming delight. Like the moments right before my team plays a tough game- both teams are warming up, the crowd is chattering, the music is bumping, but I sometimes find myself giggling in the middle of a still moment. It’s like He’s sending a reminder: “don’t forget why you’re here, Katie. Treasure me.” And I’m filled up. Or it’s right after a game when my team played the worst they ever have. Seriously bad. I almost cried during the game. We won but I was still discouraged by how poorly we played. But then when I walked to the locker room I couldn’t get the door open so I dropped my bags and stopped. The 605 freeway was busy. Cars were zooming by. Life was zooming by. But the moon was bright and when I stopped and looked up, I stumbled into another surprise still moment. And I smiled. My assistant coach found me that way- standing right outside the door grinning gleefully up at the moon. Because my God is so good and so sweet and was reminding me that He doesn’t really care how well my team shoots. Or it’s while my students are working on vocabulary assignments and I turn on my George Winston Pandora station and simply walk up and down the aisles. They may think I’m monitoring their work but really I’m just marveling at God’s goodness for bringing me here- to room A1, to these kids, to this still moment.
I must learn the lesson from my cat of how to persistantly position myself for these moments but I also must “position” myself mentally. If I’m caught up in the whirlwind of my worries and stresses, I’ll miss out on these moments. If I’m distracted by trashy tv or real-life drama or gossip or to-do lists, I’ll miss out. It’s almost heart-breaking to consider the moments I’ve already passed up, walked by and denied because I was moving too fast, focused too hard on the wrong things.
So I’m trying to be more like Dotty and pause more often, seek these moments, seek my God with greater tenacity, greater discipline, and greater expectancy.

Coaching Confessions Part 2

My entire family is a collective bunch of ref-yellers. Clump us together in a gym with inadaquate refs and there is destined to be a mini-Hardeman riot. We’ll go nuts booing and screaming and berating and quite frankly, causing a bit of a scene. My brothers, sister and I show no mercy when a ref makes a bad call. Even my dear, sweet mother has been known to join in the jeering and tell a complete stranger to, “Get a new job cause you’re awful at this one.”
Growing up sitting in countless gyms watching countless games coached by my dad, all four of us learned at an early age the joy and wonder of yelling at a ref. This was the one time in life when we could spit insults at someone and not be punished. Any bottled up anger and frustrations with our teachers or siblings or parents or life in general were released on these innocent, black and white striped strangers. We never said anything too hurtful (except for Trent who has been kicked out of a few gyms for his particulary spiteful comments) but I see now the odd nature of the whole charade that some may say is not very “Christian.”
But hey, it is part of the game and Jesus yelled at the Pharisees who probably would have been better refs than some of the ones we’ve seen. In the last three years though, I’ve toned downed my chiding of refs as a spectator. This is in no way due to burgeoning maturity on my part. It’s actually because I have no bottled up frustrations to release. What’s my secret? The peace that surpasses all understanding? Nope. I’m working on that but truth be told, I’ve already released all the anger screaming at refs as a coach.
Tonight while I stomped my heel and furrowed my brow and got in the face of a sweet, elderly Asian man and screamed until my spittle hit his cheek, I had a funny realization. In the midst of moments like these, while I am jabbing my finger at his chest and yelling that, “You’re terrible! How could you miss that foul?” I am often simultaneously thinking, “Who am I and what on earth am I doing?” Screaming at refs as a spectator is kinda fun but they never can really hear you (unless you’re my brother and he’s yelling hilarious insults when it’s awkwardly quiet and the whole gym turns to us so my mom has to leave since she’s embarrassed) and even if they could, they don’t care what you, a spectator, think of their decisions. But one of the glories of being a coach is that they actually do listen to my chiding and answer to me. This was beyond strange when I first started coaching. I would fume and yell about bad calls and then they’d come and explain their decisions. They never did that when I was yelling from the stands. The power was intoxicating.
It seems only fitting that following this mention of me screaming at a sweet, old man when we were winning by 30, that I make a few other confessions.
coaching confessions part 2
1. I nearly made a grown man cry. I hesitate to admit this because I realize I’m painting myself to be a a bit of an unfeeling monster. But in our most recent game this poor, pony-tailed man in his thirties made the wrong call and had no idea who he was messing with. He clearly hadn’t heard from the refs from the previous game because they would have told him to be sure to run on the other side of the court and steer clear from me when they make the wrong call. Since he was standing right by our bench, I may have gotten in his face and I made have had some choice words for him. I ended my rant with, “What more do you want?” and his lip quivered. Literally quivered. And then he stammered, “Uh, I…I um didn’t think she went straight up.”
My thoughts: “Holy moly, he’s about to cry. What have I become?”
My response: “Well, you’re wrong,” and I stormed away.
My assistant and I later had a good laugh but I actually felt quite bestial.
2. I may have lost a game for us due to my drug-induced state. If you read this post, you know that I was a bit “out of it” last week. Kids are still telling me, “I keep hearing stories from your first period class about Monday. I wish I had seen you that morning.” On that morning I said everything that I usually only think. Turns out my thoughts are pretty bizarre- I always suspected this but Monday confirmed it. So the weekend BEFORE I lost all credibility as a teacher, I coached a game after genuisly taking Nyquil earlier that day. I was lost in a deep fog and it was not pretty. I mustered up some energy but I know I wasn’t completely lucid. I got in a disagreement with a ref and found myself saying over and over, “You’re wrong. Nope. You’re wrong.” I must’ve said it at least 7 times. Then we were losing with only 30 seconds so I called a time-out. I drew a sorry excuse for a play on the clipboard and said, “Um, Kari, you shoot it.” She saw my glassy, unfocused eyes and said, “Okay, but what should we do on defense right now? We should foul right?” “Uhhhh, yeah. Do that.” We lost by four.
3. I’ve taken my frustrations out on my girls. At times, these sweet girls are sadly the victims of my bad moods. I am not proud of this. It’s something I hope to change. Once I hadn’t eaten all day and ended up yelling at them during a casual shoot around. (The Hardemans do NOT function well without food.) The most recent occurrence happened when I received bad news right before practice began. My girls know me so well that judging by my tone and body language, they knew I had instantly gone from a great mood to a terrible one. One girl tried to hug me. I denied her hug. Maybe that was their first clue. (Yes, that’s the second time I’ve denied someone a hug this season.) Another girl told my assistant, “Uh-oh, she’s pissed.” Sure enough, I yelled at them before practice even offically started for not running to the huddle fast enough. In both cases I apologized the next day. In both cases we laughed about it the next day. My girls are kind and offer me much needed and much appreciated grace when I blow a gasket and take my frustrations out on them. (Despite this post, I’m typically quite joyful so please don’t think I have an anger problem.)
4. I turn everything into a competition. Who doesn’t love a little healthy competition? However, this past week I realized I may take it a bit to the extreme. Whenever my girls ride in my car we always play, “guess the song and artist” on the radio. I usually dominate on the Christian and country radio stations and get dominated when listening to that crazy hip-hop music. Answers are typically yelled as fast and as loud as you can. (I’ve caught myself a few occassions screaming the name of song when I’m alone in the car) Competition spices things up but I may have crossed the line of “healthy competition” when I gave some dental floss to a player after our pre-game meal and said, “Bet I can get a bigger chunk of food out of my teeth than you can.” For the record, I totally won. Thank you top left molar.
5. I read a book during the boys’ intense game. I thought I would trick people with my fancy new Kindle so they wouldn’t realize I was sneaking in a chapter from Cold Tangerines but a fellow English teacher sitting nearby said, “Katie, are you seriously reading a book right now?” Of course my players overheard and mocked me mercilessly. In my defense, A- it was a really good book and B- I was drained from the game we had just played and didn’t have the emotional energy to allow myself to get involved in a close game.
6. I’ve given some very mean, very awkwardly long dirty looks. (I repeat: I do not have an anger problem) When I was teaching in Mozambique, Ude, one of my sweet South African students interrupted a lecture to say, “Miss Katie, has anyone ever told you that you look like the White Witch from Narnia?” Since then I’ve been told that I resemble this infamous white witch on a number of occassions and when I coach, I think that, barring the weird armor and sword, I might actually look like my doppelganger:

I gave this exact piercing look to an opposing team and to a whole crowd when they yelled, “AIRBALL” when my shooter airballed a shot. It’s quite hypocritical of me since I used to love to chant that as a spectator but I am defensive of my girls and their feelings. It’s just not classy for another team to chant “airball” so when they did, I glared so long at their bench that they stopped and their coach gave me a very apologetic look. Then some boys from the opposing school were sitting close to our bench in another game and chanted airball so I turned and made direct eye contact with each of them until they stopped. I know no awkwardness when I’m mad. I heard snickering shortly thereafter but I had made my point: if you chant, “airball” I will shoot you a slightly terrifying look.
7. I embarrassed the “airballing” shooter in front of her fans. Just so you don’t think she airballs all the time, I must tell you how she earned quite a following at a neutral school. Students from this school would come to our tournament games just to watch her and cheer for her. After our last game they were singing her praises and had a camera out so I, being such a helpful coach, said, “Hey do you guys want a picture with her?” She shot me a very dirty look but her new fans loved it and all jumped in as I snapped the shot.
8. I told the girls, “Don’t try to win. Just have fun.” Great half-time pep talk, eh? We were getting demolished by a team that is significantly better than us. I ordered, yes ordered, the girls to have fun during the second half. “I don’t care how much we lose by. Let’s just make better decisions and enjoy the game. You have to laugh this half.”
“Coach, we HAVE to laugh?”
“That’s right. It’s an order. Now go enjoy yourself, or else.”
So I was quite proud when I saw the other team shooting a free throw and our team was in hysterics. I was confused why the other team was joining in the laughter as well, though. The reason for their laughter is one of my favorite stories of the season. One of my girls had gone to block a shot but fouled the girl hard and had let loose some gas while in the air. (She has infamously foul-smelling gas) The other team went to help up their teammate and unknowingly walked right into the sour cloud. They all started falsely accusing their own teammate while she shot the free throw but the poor girl knew it wasn’t her. She pointed her finger at my girl, but feeling quite embarrassed as all eyes were on her, she smiled innocently and denied it. The old saying proved to be true: “He who denied it, supplied it.” I can still picture the giggling girls bent over at the free throw line laughing uncontrollably about the horrible odor festering in the key and it makes me smile.
9. I used a unique strategy to get a man to move who was cramping my space. During our game, the ref for the following boys’ game sat a little too close to my area for my liking. I never sit while I coach, but if I had, I would have had to be right next to this intruder. He didn’t respond to my “why are sitting so close to me?” look and I couldn’t just ask him to leave because that would be weird. So I did what any problem-solver would do who had eaten something for lunch that was not sitting well. I stood directly in front of him and let out the SBD I had been holding which smelled similar to a dead animal. (I’m sorry, mom- I try not to be too crude on here but I was so impressed that my brilliant, albeit disgusting, strategy actually worked.) I held my nose and lingered and then paced away and when I returned, surprise surprise, intruding ref had disappeared.
This last confession has nothing to do with coaching but I have get to 10 so I can have a “10 on the 10th” post but it still involves basketball.
10. I didn’t do the best job supervising my nephews at my dad’s game. Two year old Huddy and four year old Vander were playing calmly with their animals when Huddy decided he wanted ALL the animals. Vander refused. Huddy fumed. Terrible twos. He looked at me, looked at the plastic horse clenched in his paw, glanced at the nearby court where the game was being played and then chucked it with all his force onto the court. I wish I could say I leaped into action. I didn’t. I yelled, “Heidi! Horse on the court!” and his mom sprang into action and retrieved the horse. But before she could return to scold Hudson, he looked at me again and the lion went flying. Again, my response was probably not the most mature but I noticed my dad’s team all looking my way so I put my head down and pointed my finger at the raging Hudson to clarify who the guilty party was. I later learned that basically the whole gym had been watching since the teams nearly tripped on the flying animals. Thanks for that Huddy.