Just Heather

The original Alphabet Dating project fizzled out last fall. After a phenomenally rough holiday season, Spencer and I decided to give it another try. When my brother and his wife gave us Pacer tickets for Christmas, coupled with an evening of free babysitting, we had the perfect opportunity to start again. Armed with Restaurant.com certificates for Blue Crew, we were prepared for an evening of athletics. A sports themed date is perfect for us. I love basketball; he loves the Colts.

View from Our Baseline Seats

View from Our Baseline Seats

It was a decent game, and I really enjoyed the baseline seats. We’ve been to several games over the years, but this was my first opportunity to have noisemakers behind the goal. I was stupidly excited about it! After the game, we headed out for appetizers at the Blue Crew. When we arrived at 10:05pm, though, we were told the kitchen closed at 10. Having missed dinner, we were hungry but I was determined to keep with the A-themed evening.

Majors Sports Cafe

Majors Sports Cafe

The next thing to pop in my mind was a sports cafe run by a friend of mine. Majors Sports Cafe has 47 television screens around the restaurant and a unique, eclectic menu including buffalo meatloaf! We enjoyed our dinner and conversation while we I kept an eye on hockey, soccer, a Peyton Manning documentary and an XBox competition—definitely more sports than even I was anticipating.

not from our baseline seats

Game 2: Club Level

We actually had the opportunity to revisit the Pacers (for free, I might add) before we got around to the next letter in our dating journey. That was a serendipitous evening with an even more serendipitous meeting. We bumped into our high school best friends as we were walking to the club level. Clearly the beginning of our new Alphabet Dating experience was steak sauce. Because that also starts with an A.

A Wordless Wednesday post for Spencer’s grandpa, because the love in a great grandpa’s eyes will convey the extent of our loss more than a thousand words:



Great Grandpa and Stacia

Stacia, 1998

Great Grandpa and Brenia

Brenia, 2002

Great Grandpa and Lorelai

Lorelai, 2005

School is out in just 3 short weeks. After that it will be me vs. 3 (maybe 4 and sometimes 5) kids. There will be no panic. There will be no fear. I have a plan! Because I learned that lesson years ago.

My first summer home with 2 kids was pretty much a disaster. Stacia had gotten used to the structure at school. Brenia and I had gotten into our own routine. The two didn’t mesh and, thus, chaos ensued. I tried different tactics week after week, summer after summer, until I finally figured it out. We needed a schedule in the summer just like we had through the school year.

Our yearly calendar is made up of school holidays, Girl Scouts, dance lessons, choir rehearsal and a number of other after school activities. We know that Tuesday is Scout day, Thursday is dance class and Friday is gym. The girls anticipate what is coming and respond accordingly.

All of those activities end around the same time that school does. It seems like it should be a relaxing summer, what with not having 3 places to be every day. Instead our summers were chaotic, with the 3 of us running around not knowing what to do or what was coming next. There was no time for the girls to prepare for each day because we had no idea where we would end up. There was nothing but instant reaction, often as a tantrum.

Starting with the Thursday park playdate that my church group had arranged, I landed on a summer schedule that works for us. It includes fun things to do, time to finish chores and a plan for each day. I think I’ve finally struck the right balance between enjoying a relaxed summer vacation and maintaining the structure my girls thrive on.

If you’re looking for ideas on free activities, check out my website. If you really want to know how my days will go all summer, read my ehow article on the subject.

When I was a child, I took dance and tumbling lessons for many years. In 3rd grade, I wanted to be a ballerina. In 5th grade, my Arts & Humanities Fair project was Ballet. In 7th grade, my dance studio was sold and the new owner/teacher walked in on our first day of classes, sight unseen and took us off pointe. I never went back.

For the last several years, I have been saying I should take a dance class. I loved it and need a fun way to exercise so I can lose the last few pounds for 40×40“>#4. Over the summer in 2008, I had finally decided to do it. My friend and I were planning to take a Friday night adult dance class at our daughter’s studio. Two weeks before it was to start, they canceled it for lack of interest. There goes crossing #1 off the 40×40 list.

God is funny, though, and always seems to know exactly how to get me on the right path. The very next weekend, my church celebrated the grand opening of its new worship auditorium with a huge kickoff service. The choir was there, of course, along with an actual marching drum corps (did I mention I love my church?). Then came the dancers! They looked so happy and serene. I just kept thinking, “I want that!”

When I left the service, I lingered a bit in the village-style area outside. There were booths for various missions, the upcoming women’s ministry and—ta-da—the dance ministry team. I signed up and started a week later. The ministry runs as a (free) weekly dance workshop. Each month, we study a different style of dance. The first week of each month, we are joined by guest choreographer who teaches a crash course in whatever we are planning to study. It’s basically a 6-week advanced workshop in 2 hours.

This is when I realized that while the ministry was open, I was the only person there who was not actually a professional dancer! I have spent the last 6 months making a total fool of myself—and having an absolute blast—trying out modern dance, lyrical, jazz, ballet and even tap & Irish step dancing. We are now taking a break until September. I will miss the dance and the exercise, but just when I was realizing that my Wednesdays would be free for the foreseeable future I got an email from church about the new women’s series that starts tonight:

Search for Significance Workshop — taking a look at our worth through God’s eyes and finding freedom from the pressure to perform and/or gain others approval.

Those who know me personally will see this course was designed for me. God knows exactly what he’s doing.

At age 17, I dyed my hair because it pissed my mom off.

At age 22, I dyed my hair because it was fun. And it pissed my mom off.

At age 27, I dyed my hair because the changing hues had become a part of my personality.  And it pissed my mom off.

At age 32, I dye my hair to cover the gray.  And my mom is completely supportive.


We moved to this city, an hour away from all my friends, nearly 10 years ago. In that time, I’ve made very little progress in making new friends and done a crappy job of keeping up with the old ones. Part of that was being a stay-at-home mom. Where was I supposed to meet people?

When Stacia started school, I thought I’d finally have the opportunity. I met plenty of other moms, but that’s when I realized something—I am was a young mom. Stacia came along in my early 20s. As in, I turned 21 when she was 2 months old. That put me at a disadvantage in the making friends department because there was such a divide between the other moms and me.

Now that Brenia is in school, I have met several moms like me (that’s moms who are like me, not MomsLikeMe, though I’ve met several of them too). There’s a connection between Montessori Moms and natural living that I was not aware of when I researched schools. This has been quite helpful in meeting people who share my interests and lifestyle. Plus, now that I’m an old mom the age gap has been erased.

One of the moms I met was Angie. Angie was smarter than I when she became a mother in a new area and she has what I’ve been craving. She inspired me in ways she could have never known (except she will now!). I set out to find it for myself. I started a Bunko group and invited all the women I kinda, sorta knew from school, Scouts and IndyMoms.

To be honest, we rarely play bunko. Mostly, it’s just a group of women who share cocktails once a month, laugh, share stories and commiserate. Our group is small, but I cling to our monthly girls’ nights like a lifeline. I didn’t realize how much it meant to me until last month, when our regular night fell on Good Friday and we failed at scheduling a new date.

Last Friday night, my friend and I decided to go out anyway. It was exactly what I needed. I wore a little black dress, but not the little black dress (that’s still 40×40“>on my list) and we hit the Indie Lounge theater to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past starring my fictional boyfriend. We thought the movie was hilarious, but were apparently in the minority. Did I mention this theater has a bar? Clearly the other attendees should have taken advantage of the fabulous concession stand.

A chick flick, cocktails and girl time—obviously a new necessity.