It’s like a heat wave

So far, we have been having a pretty manageable winter in this neck of the woods.  We had one decent snow storm right before Christmas, leaving everything glistening like a Hollywood movie, letting us enjoy a true White Christmas.

Since then, the weather has been average really, hanging in the 20s and 30s, allowing the snow to linger and the kids to get great usage out of their sleds, snowpants, and boots.

A miraculous thing happened a few weeks ago.  We had an unseasonable January warm up, melting the snow piles and bringing neighbors out of hiding.  A true Nebraskan knows that this is just a mirage and the harsh reality of a midwest winter can resurface at any moment, so we have to get, while the gettings good.  The temperature gauge hits 40 and people leave their coats at home, shorts replace pants, the bikes come out and runners clog the sidewalks.  We know these days are rare gems and to squeeze out all the enjoyment we can.

Then Mother Nature reminded us where we lived.  Winter snapped back into existence with a stretch of days where the high, yes the HIGH, was 9*.  When you wake up and the newstation graphic says 3*, it just puts you in a different mood.

And apparently the switch from unseasonably warm to polar plunge, sent my daughter into a tail spin.  She does not enjoy the cold weather, not at all.  When the mercury dropped, it effected her brain….

Yesterday’s my husband stepped in the front door of the house and exclaimed, “It feels gross in here.”  And he was right.  Despite the cold winter temps outside, the house was unusually warm.  Quickly, I went and checked the thermostat.


76*!!!!  Holy Crap!  My first thought was, ‘Great, the heater is broken!  How much is this going to cost us?’

I looked at the settings.




Paige looked up at me, “I did.”

“Um, why?”

“I was cold.  I don’t like being cold.”

“It’s January.  Put a sweatshirt on.  Changing the thermostat is above your pay grade.”

There is no second place

Kicking back on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, eating take-out Chinese, watching the latest Red Box release.  This is a typical Saturday evening in many a household.  Well not in the Soby household!

Our evening was spent at the St Joan of Arc 2nd Annual Dodgeball Tournament.  What, you’re kid’s school doesn’t hold an annual tournament where all the kids sit ideally by in the stands while their parents team up, trash talk, whip balls at each other?  Maybe you need a new school.

Last year, our team had a dismal showing.  Despite the mental prepping and enough bulletin board material released from my husband’s mouth to fill an NFL locker room, we lost both our matches and were quickly out of the tourney.  We came back bitter and hungry this year.

Now, the first step to a successful dodgeball showing, is the costume, um uniform.  A quick trip to Target, and we were ready to make our grand appearance. What do you think?

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I think the game faces really top it of!

Don’t let all the outfits and scowls fool you, I’m really not that strong of a player.  But the game is called dodgeball, so that is what I do.  With a three-minute match where the team with the most players at the buzzer wins the point, running around the court, dodging the balls to keep your team up in numbers is an effective strategy, one that Kara and I have mastered!

Johanna, Kara, and Me

Johanna, Kara, and Me

Time to get this party started!

Brian, Kara, Paulie, Eric, Johanna, and the infamous Peter

Brian, Kara, Paulie, Eric, Johanna, and the infamous Peter

We started out strong, winning our first match in the best of 5, double elimination contest, thanks in part to a round ending dodgeball catch by Johanna to win a crucial point.  That chic has mad skills, she’s my idol!  Match two pitted us against the defending champions from last year.  We lost a heart breaking round 2-3 and were relegated to the loser’s bracket.  Next up was a match against a scrappy crew who, despite their quick hands and good aim, were growing winded and two of their heavy hitters were hobbled.  Johanna to the rescue again.  At the beginning of round three, she announced, “I’ve got sweatpants!” and quickly took out their leader.  Winning that match placed up back against the defending champs in the Championship match.  Since they hadn’t lost yet (those #*&$@^ #*&$^#@!), we had to beat them twice if we wanted them dethroned.  Game on!

Back off ladies....He's all mine!

Back off ladies….He’s all mine!

Totally Sweet!…. And totally deadly with a dodgeball.  He won a one-on-one sudden death match point against our greatest foe in round one of the finals.  Then a little girl in the stands pointed to him and shouted, “Hey, I have that same shirt!”  I hope her parents have enough money to pay for her therapy…..and go home and burn her shirt.

A 3-1 win for us gave them their first loss, and set the stage for the final match.  We took a quick 2-0 lead heading into game three.  Game three began and, before I could blink, my worst fear came true, my whole team was out, sans me, and I was staring at 5 opponents on the opposite side, all holding balls, all pissed they were on the brink of defeat.  Despite my best efforts, and taking out their heavy hitter with one of my pathetic throws, (Sorry, Kevin, but taking you out made my evening complete!) we lost that point.  Point 4 went to them as well, setting up a 2-2 final match for all the marbles.

Twelve adults, 6 balls and 3 minutes to glory.  It was a grueling back and forth.  Great shots, heartbreaking hits, hard falls, and unbelievable catches.  As the final buzzer sounded, three, winded, sweaty, and bruised teammates of mine stood staring at their lowly two.  VICTORY WAS OURS!

Johanna, Brian, Paulie, Kara, Peter, Me, Eric, and Ann

Johanna, Brian, Paulie, Kara, Peter, Me, Eric, and Ann

From first out last year to holding the crown this year!!!  We did it!!!!  We won!!!!

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Now where’s the Tylenol?

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Mad Man

He’s at is again Ladies and Gentlemen….

My husband has begun watching Mad Men and has morphed into a Don Draper-eske persona, minus the cigarettes.  His shortsighted attempts at humor via this 60s, sexist back drop, sets the stage for this blog.

Peter – “Why can’t you been more like.  Mrs. Draper?”

Me – “What?”

Peter – “Don Draper’s wife from Mad Men.  That was when things were done right.  Women were there to serve their men.  They met them at the door with the paper and their slippers.  Dinner was hot, ready, and on the table.  After they served their men, they cleaned up and kept the kids quiet while the men relaxed on the couch, feet up, for some TV.”

Me – Blank stare

Peter (continuing) – “They knew their place.  They were there to serve their men, get them whatever they wanted.  They didn’t just do things.  They asked permission, ‘Let me ask my husband if this is ok.'”

Me – Jaw drops

Peter – “I’m to be treated like a king.  The minute I get home, you should be at my beckon call, to satisfy my every whim.”

Me – “Oh Darling, I would love to be your beckon call, serving your every whim, presenting you with a hot meal the minute you walk in the door, but I can’t because I at work earning the health insurance your going to need when you go to the ER for the broken leg you’re about to receive.”


Tis the season….still

By now, I’m sure most of you have undecked those halls.  I get it.  I understand.  It feels so good to clean up and put everything away, fresh start for a fresh year.  We have too, well…mostly.

Christmas spirit.  Spreading goodwill towards man.  Kindness, peace, and love to all.  Why should that be crammed into just one month a year?  Shouldn’t we be on our happiest and jolliest of behaviors all year round?

We get so focused on the list, the shopping, the baking, the wrapping, the traveling, that we all forget to sit back and enjoy the sparkle of the holiday.  Christmas is here and gone in the blink of an eye, making us wish it wasn’t over already.

Why does it have to end?  Does it have to?

Actually no, no it doesn’t.  The sparkle lives on in the Soby household.

This is what our house looks like tonight, as I type.

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No really is does, well except the lights blink and race each other, like they are on a serious caffeine high.

I’m sure the fact that our house still glows with joy on January 22, might be annoying to some, in particular, my neighbors, but I love it.  It makes me smile and chuckle each night when they kick on.  I’m not the only one…..  The snowmen are smiling too.

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Live while we’re young

As I’ve mentioned before, every month I go on a Girls Night Out with an incredible group of girls.  We all met over 20 years ago (that just made me feel old) back in our high school days.  Depending on the season or whatever mood strikes us, we try different and fun things on our evenings on the town.  Last night, Tina did the picking and we attempted to relive our youth by going ice skating.

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I like ice skating, of course, I would though.  I used to LOVE roller skating back in the day.  I would show up at Skateland, a local middle school hang out, before the doors opened, skates in hand, anxious to try to be the first one on the rink.  In those days, I used to try to stay on the rink all night, no breaks, never missing a song.  The real challenge came when it was time for the couples skate.  I was not much of a dater back then, so I never to go-to guy to guarantee myself a partner.  In the sixth grade, I accepted an ill-fated roll around the rink from Doug Hagemen and ended up with a broken wrist.  It wasn’t his fault someone fell behind me while I was backwards skating, but I never missed a chance to rub it in all through high school.  Anywho, ice skaing, to me, is just roller skating with your coat on, so I was all for it.

When we arrived at the rink, I felt like I was both reliving my youth….and ancient at the same time.  One this crisp January night, the rink was packed with 12 to 15 year olds, each trying to look cooler than the next.  The only other adults at the rink consisted of  a few random parents who, by the looks on their faces, had drawn the short straw and been forced stayed to supervise their children.  Most of the kids stood huddled in the center of the rink, attempting to make a dance floor on the ice, while staying upright on their skates.  The man who looked like he was having the least fun of the evening, was the police officer assigned to rink duty that night.  I don’t know if they covered “shooing a skate-less teenager off the ice rink” in the academy, but he was really good at it and called in repeatedly to perform this task.

Now me, I am not one of these “sit on the sidelines of life” type of people.  I’m only here once, so I’m going to go out and have a good time of it.  I don’t care if I embarrass myself or anyone else in the process.  I don’t know these people, and if I did, so what?  Plus, I work with owly, grumpy teenagers, I’m not scared off by their scowls.

So I did what I all those other parents should have, I jumped on that ice and OWNED it.  I skated.  I danced to the music.  I sang and made a fool of myself.

Gangnam Style anyone?

Who doesn’t want to live like we’re young?

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I got nothing.

You know those times when you engage in a conversation and, as it spirals out of control, you wish you had a board to smash against your head or a needle to poke in your eye, because self-mutilation would be a better decision than continuing this back and forth exchange.  Please grab a seat and enjoy my misery…..

Person – “Hey!  The Packers lost yesterday!  Ha!”

(Sidebar – I am a huge Green Bay Packers Fan..HUGE.  I have game day routines and gear.  I don’t take calls during games and was a raging bitch on wheels the second half as their imminent loss in the playoffs became apparent.  I engaged in a ranting, profanity-laced session and had one Facebook casualty in the process.  It was necessary…He’s a Bears Fan.)

Me – “It was Saturday.  And yes, I’m aware.”

Person – “Beat by my 49ers.”

Me – “Your 49ers?  You don’t even like them.  My favorite type of fan is one who comes out of the wood-work AFTER a win.”

Person – “I do like them.  I like lots of teams.  The Chargers.  The Yankees.  The Red Sox.”

Me – “Um.  1.  Those are different sports.  And 2. You can’t like the Yankees AND the Red Sox.  They’re rivals.”

Person – “Yes I can.  I’m between them.  I also like the Heat.”

Me – “Different sport…again.”

Person – “I’m really mad that they haven’t said who’s in the Super Bowl yet.”

Me – “That’s because the playoffs are still going on.”

Person – “I hope the Giants don’t make it.  I hate them.”

Me – “Well, they won’t because they didn’t make it into the playoffs.”

Person – “Or the Broncos.  They suck.”

Me – “Well they actually did make it into the playoffs, but they lost this last weekend.”

Person – “That’s because Eli sucks.”

Me – “Um, Eli doesn’t play for the Broncos, that’s Payton.”

Person – “Well, Tim Tebow never got them to the playoffs.”

Me – “Actually he did, last year, won a play-off game for them in overtime.”

Person – “No he didn’t”

Me – (Blank Stare) “I got nothing.”

Now where the hell did I put that board?????


More…Conversations from my Life

**** Disclaimer…. No spouses were harmed in the gathering of information for this blog ****

Welcome to the latest addition of….  CONVERSATIONS FROM MY LIFE


Peter – “Oh, I forgot.  You’re 37 and you have 2 kids.”

Me – “What does that mean?”

Peter – “You’re no fun anymore.”


Peter – “Remember that trip to Minnesota we took?”

Me – “Yes.”

Peter – “You were hot then!”

Peter’s 0 for 2 in this week.

For all of you who were wondering, I have not shoved him out into the doghouse, mostly because we do not own one, but he is currently checking all the couches in the house to see which one will hurt his back the least.  😉


Grocery Cart Confessionals

I go grocery shopping every Wednesday.  In my twisted logic, it’s the perfect day: the new ads are out, there’s no weekend crowd, it’s mid-week incase we need anything to get us to the weekend, plus, the weekend’s in sight, so you can stock up for it.  As an added bonus, I go at 3:30 when I get out of work before all the ‘normal’ people get their release.  (Before you ask, no, I do not consider myself normal.  I purposely work as a school social worker with behaviorally and emotionally disordered kids.  It’s crazy, but, then, so am I!)

Despite all my planning and list making, it never fails that the moment I get home my ridiculously over-priced haul, I am inundated with items I forgot to pick up.

And this is how you get a grocery cart confessional.

Yesterday after work, I ran back to Wally World to get the random 6 items that were left out.  I get the most entertainment out of watching the face of the cashier as she tries to figure out my life based on the hodge-podge of items I have decided to buy together.  This was yesterday’s purchase:

Pizza Crust

Italian Sausage (Admittedly, those first two items do go together.)

Light Bulbs


Dog Treats

A Prescription

What, your don’t have a dog with a low thyroid, who doesn’t like to knit in the dark while enjoying a slice of pizza????

Well I do!