Monday, January 21, 2013

Game On

I bought new workout pants and a matching top at Costco yesterday. We were there to pick up a new box of 12 cans of organic tomato sauce (a necessary part of my pantry floor) and walked right by a display flat with workout pants that came in Small Talls. Talls! Do you know how hard it is to find workout pants that aren't too short for me?! Very exciting and requiring of the $19.99 indulgence.

And so this morning I greeted the day, clad in my new pants, coordinating shirt, and running shoes and digital watch (from JP, for Christmas- because my 9 year old digital Target watch finally broke and I'm not supposed to wear my fancy wedding day watch when I do things like contemplate exercise) and decided to actually use my clothes for their intended purpose, rather than as an excuse to wear cute pants with a stretchy waistband. We walked our 2.6 mile walk. I used my free weights (with help from Optimus Prime). And then, when the kids were up from their nap and I was embarking on a 3.0 hour dinner-making odyssey, I joined JP and Landon outside for a game of soccer.


First, a story. I played one season of soccer when I was six years old. It was disastrous. My dad is an incredible athlete, and my mom is quite athletic herself, and they both came to my first game naively expecting their firstborn child to be the star of the team. I was not. I was terrible. I wanted nothing to do with the ball and I followed my coach's instruction to stay in a general position on the field so seriously that I absolutely refused to take a step in any direction, yelling at my poor father who tried to encourage me to move toward the ball when it was kicked past me that, "The Coach told me to stand RIGHT HERE." I think we lost every game.

And so, I had a lot of history up against me when I stepped up to the field in my front yard this evening while my beef burgundy stew braised. I think I looked pretty good. Landon found me hilarious and Claire just cried because I wasn't "holding you."


The rules of keep-away were a little murky to me at first, but I think I figured it out. It involves keeping the ball away from the person who keeps running at you and trying to kick your ball.


JP took pictures because it is rare that I (1) run or (2) engage in any game involving a ball.


I'm pretty sure I won, but it's hard to say, because I think all three of us were playing by different rules.


Claire, as usual, played by her own set of rules entirely.


And by "played" I mean, she would occasionally grab the ball and run away with it, glaring at anyone who dared approach her. She's totally my daughter.


I learned about 5 minutes in that running around in circles while laughing and yelling is really hard work. In the past few years I've attended a few random exercise classes and done a lot of walking and hiking and I'd completely forgotten how fit I must have been as a 10-year-old kid running around for hours behind my house. I'm an avid cheerleader and photographer for JP and Landon's front yard games, but I need to join in more often.


JP has no idea how to operate my camera.


When he had the ball I jumped on his back and tried to tickle him before remembering he isn't ticklish and he's big and strong enough to simply keep running after my stealth attack and eventually I had to give up and drop off. It is admittedly cavemanish of me, but I found that very attractive. But then he didn't let me win when I had the ball, so my attraction fizzled.

I retired early from my resurging soccer career to finish making our dinner. Tonight's menu featured turnips, our "new vegetable of the week" (a 2013 Lag Liv family initiative), in this recipe for beef stew, to which I added a bunch of red wine and removed half the beef broth. I made mashed potatoes with the potato ricer I gifted to myself for Christmas, bought a loaf of my favorite bread from the store bakery, and made this pear crisp with steeled oats instead of pecans because nuts ruin everything and you can't let them win. And even though I had to youtube how to cut and peel turnips and I peeled more produce than I ever have in one evening, it was worth it because everything was SO GOOD.

The night ended with tired kids in bed and JP and me on the couch watching last night's Downton Abbey. I love federal holidays. I love my new pants. I might like turnips. It was a good day.


  1. I made that stew one night last week... delicious! Substituted the turnips with parsnips and served over buttered egg noodles. While I love me some mashed potatoes, it was a weeknight and I couldn't bring myself to deal with all that peeling! Just a thought if you wanted to try this during the week :)

  2. My daughter will say, "Hold you?" while holding her arms up to me. Unless I am in the middle of cooking dinner I just cannot resist it! It's the sweetest thing!

    Target also sells tall workout pants, usually for about the same price. I've heard Old Navy does as well. Whenever I find any place that sells even a small selection of TALL stuff I am thrilled. One thing I haven't found are tall pajama pants!