Easter

Another holiday has come and gone. Frances had a great time searching for Easter Eggs for the first time. Here is a little video I put together in iMovie of her foraging for jellybean-containing eggs.

Passion

This is going to be a slightly egocentric post. I know the site is supposed to be about Frances and the new girl coming in July. And yes, it’s been confirmed by another ultrasound as a definite girl. As I’ve said before, I’m extremely proud to be a parent and can’t wait for the new arrival. Hopefully I’ll pick up the pace and write more about the upcoming birth and how we think Frances will deal with it. We have lots to do to prepare, and Annie has definitely shifted into the “nesting” phase, and wants to clean EVERYTHING.

Frances playing in the snow
Frances playing in the snow

There are stories to be told that I haven’t gotten around to yet. Like the time we took her to the snow a few weeks ago. It was just like going to the ocean in Florida. She was fascinated with the falling white stuff, and had a blast trying to sleigh ride. And not to mention that her vocabulary is becoming vast, and that she is beginning to string words together. It’s really funny, but we can totally have full on conversations back and forth now.

But now it’s April and there are important things to talk about… Like basketball.

Those that know me well, know that I’m a die-hard Kentucky basketball fan. I practically have a UK shirt for every day of the week, and wear them with pride here in California. I live less than 20 minutes from the town that gave us Michael Porter and Chuck Hayes, and those that see my t-shirt or hat always have great things to say about Hayes. But other than that, most people don’t understand my obsession. California is too diverse with just too many teams here to really form a die-hard allegiance to. There are 49er fans, Giants fans, & Lakers fans, but more often than not they are fair-weather and only root when their team is doing well. Well, except for the Raiders fans… those people are just nuts. Annie never really understood until I took her to a home game at Rupp Arena in Lexington. For those of you outside the state of Kentucky, you’ll never know what it’s like, and probably never understand unless you experience it for yourself.

Frances showing us her game face.
Frances showing us her game face.

Kentucky basketball is a culture. It begins at birth and never waivers. You don’t switch sides, and you don’t stop wearing your Kentucky blue even when your coach is a drunken buffoon. Through thick and thin, you stick with it and hope for a day like today. UK is playing for a national championship tonight. They are favored to win, and I fully expect them to. But I’m OK if they don’t. It will be heartbreaking, and I’ll probably be in a bad mood for a bit, but you have to celebrate the ride, and enjoy the journey they got them there. Win or lose, I’m happy to be a part of it.

Another reason why I write this post is that I hope that this passion I have rubs off on my children. Frances already enjoys watching with me and throws up her hands when I do when they hit a three (I just need to teach her how to throw up the 3 goggles). Sometimes my language gets a bit salty, and I have to try to reign it in, but I can’t not get excited or angry when I watch. It’s just what fans do. Not to mention all referees are horrible and deserve my vitriol… hehe

I remember with great joy growing up watching the games with my parents. I remember playing against Wimp Sanderson’s crimson plaid suits, Alan Houston of Tennessee game winning free throws, and I remember THE SHOT Christian Laettner hit 20 years ago to keep UK out of the final 4 in 92. They all happened with us huddling around our TVs, or even radio when UK had their TV rights taken away by the NCAA in the late 80s early 90s. I was there in 1996 as a student when they won the national championship, and one of the several thousand on the streets near campus celebrating. I was NOT one the few burning couches or turning over cars, but I was there watching them. Even the stupid are passionate.

People want to put importance on being a family and doing things like eating dinner together, etc, etc… But things like this bring families together. I call my mom after every important win and we break down the plays like we are coaches watching game tape. It’s what ALL Kentucky fans do. It brings us together and makes us all a family. It’s such a treat to run into fellow random fans out here and spend 20 minutes talking to a perfect stranger about how this player or that player is playing and what they could do to get better. It’s a bit strange to an outsider, but it’s perfectly natural to us. The best example was hiking in the middle of a dense California forest, and we were passed by a couple that saw my UK hat, and he was an alumni and we talked for 10 minutes about an upcoming game. Annie and our friend Byron were amazed. But it happens… We are everywhere!

So tonight, win or lose, I’ll be watching it with Frances and we will celebrate a win or we won’t, but at the end of the day, she’ll still get story time, and a hug and a kiss from me before bed time.

Passion is a great thing, and I hope everyone has at least one. I like to think I have several. Whether it’s basketball, playing guitar, cooking… whatever… It’s important, and I hope my kids can share in at least a few of ours.

Go Cats!

UPDATE: Cat’s Win!!!!!!!!!!