Friday, February 28, 2014

NFL by the Numbers: 63

Sixty-three is the amount of time in minutes that Scott and I feigned cheerfulness and an “I got this” attitude while attending a private bowling party hosted by the Detroit Lions during alumni weekend. (Alumni weekend is basically like an annual homecoming of sorts for retired Lions players; other NFL teams do the same.) The Lions rented out the ever popular Garden Bowl in downtown Detroit for an evening of bowling and great food – and the event itself was a blast. Even though Scott and I aren’t bowlers, we decided to use the event as a night out, which we so desperately needed.

The problem is that we brought the kids, which totally defeated the purpose, and, in short, made the night a royal pain in the you-know-what.

The invitation characterized the event as family-friendly, yes; and I think the organizers wanted to attract the younger set. But by younger, in retrospect, I think they meant retirees like Scott who are under the age of 50 -- or perhaps their offspring who are approaching the teen years; not younger as in those who require diapers and/or pacifiers. But I was five weeks postpartum; and, dammit, I needed an excuse to leave the house. Any excuse. And I had a custom-made Honolulu blue tutu for Kennedy and everything.

Oh, yes. We were going to this party.

I encountered the night’s first speed bump when I realized Kennedy was hungry. I had my hooter hider at the ready, but trying to balance Kennedy on my knee and my backside on a bar stool? I’m a yoga instructor, not a contortionist, so I grabbed my Clorox wipes and headed for the restroom. For the next 15 or so minutes, I sat on the toilet and nursed Kennedy while reading obscure phone numbers and cryptic graffiti, both of which were juxtaposed with sentences like Jesus loves you and To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

When Kennedy and I rejoin Scott and Scotty at our table, we find ourselves a stone’s throw away from the right-hand man to this gentleman:
He is Roger Goodell. But he’s not a big deal or anything, though. Mr. Goodell is ONLY the COMMISSIONER of the NFL.

And, what do you know? It is now that Scotty grows tired of being cooped up in the stroller. It’s obvious that he’s trying to make a break for it so he can embarrass us by runing up and down the alley like a wild banshee. So I did the only thing I could: start doling out dum-dum suckers. I just wanted to keep the lid on a potentially explosive situation.

Thankfully, I evaded a Grade A meltdown, but I suffered the consequences in another way. Remember that Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode when Carlton Banks got high on speed and danced crazily at the prom? Well, after consuming 30 grams of sugar in mere seconds, Scotty became Carlton’s mini-me. (Look at his blurred face in the above photo; he couldn’t even sit still for one second.) I’m literally thanking my lucky stars that one of Scotty’s lollipops didn’t end up sticking to a party-goer's pant leg.

The final highlight of the evening involved my nostrils being accosted by the smell of poop during the car ride home. (Through the process of elimination – pun intended – I knew Scott and I weren’t to blame, so the offender had to be either Thing 1 or Thing 2 in the backseat (and Thing 2 is breastfed, so her poop doesn’t even stink yet).

I’m not going to call the night a total headache. (Cough, cough, but it was a total headache.) I mean, it was awesome reconnecting with Scott’s former teammates and mingling with NFL insiders, but those moments of reprieve were short-lived because it’s kind of hard to carry on an adult conversation when you’re flinging a burp cloth over your shoulder or trying to contain a man child in an umbrella stroller. Oh, sure, Scott and I can laugh about all this now, and I reckon it will become even funnier as time passes. But, to be clear, I’ve learned my lesson.

There ain’t no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks I’m going through that again...

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Monday, February 24, 2014

7 Misconceptions About NFL Wives, Players & Families

It’s a given that wives of current NFL players and wives of former NFL players have one thing in common: Our husbands have beaten incredible odds to play football at the professional level – only .218% of American men make it to the NFL. Beyond that, though, we’re all about as diverse as fish in the sea, even though others might think differently. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that plague us all…

We’re all wealthy.
Scott and I certainly aren’t living in the poorhouse, but we’re far from Park Avenue, too. It’s easy to see why people would think all NFL players (both former and current) are rolling in dough – what with images that the media presents and given NFL salaries these days. But looks can be deceiving. Let me break it down…Scott played nearly seven years in the NFL, but the average NFL career lasts only two years – Just two years! That means most players are done way before they hit thirty. So in order to never have to work again, players must make enough to live off of for the next sixty years, which, for many players, is impossible. Players in Scott’s era (the 90s) made damn good money, but they simply did not make what players make currently – and even now, not all current players are millionaires. The bottom line is that we are careful about how we spend our money so that we can maintain the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed, which includes – but is not limited to – providing a roof over our heads complete with heat, air conditioning, and high thread-count Egyptian cotton bed sheets, keeping our bathroom closet stocked with my arsenal of hair care products, supporting my addiction to Wheat Thins and Laughing Cow cheese, and fulfilling our son’s incessant requests for Chinese take-out.

We employ hired help.
I think the aforementioned answer covers this, but, to be clear, do we have a nanny, a chef, or a maid? No, no, and no.

We spend our days lunching, manicuring, and shopping.
If by lunching you mean slapping together a PB&J in between diaper changes, and if by manicuring you mean wrestling a 35-pound toddler to the floor so that you can cut his Edward-Scissorhand-fingernails, and if by shopping you mean trolling eBay while the kids are in bed…then, yes.

Our husbands have several kids…by other women.
Scott has fathered two kids…and they were both pushed out by yours truly. I have the pooch and saddlebags to prove it.

Our husbands are dumb jocks.
For starters, have you seen an NFL playbook? It is easier to read the formula for cold fusion. (Okay, I’m totally exaggerating, here to make a point.) But, seriously, Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Purdue University before getting drafted, and upon retirement, he earned a degree in culinary arts from the Arts Institute in New York City…after he received his teaching certification in the state of New Jersey. Nope, I didn’t just marry him for his brawn.

Our husbands are financially irresponsible.
This is my absolute favorite stereotype to debunk. Yes, Scott made good money during his playing days. Yes, he traveled a lot and lived a very comfortable lifestyle. But he never owned a Mercedes, never lived in a mansion, and never made it rain. He did, however, buy his mother a house, support his family financially, and fund a children’s foundation mostly out of his own pocket. He also paid his taxes, agents, and other dues that are part and parcel with being a professional football player. Ask Scott could he have done some things differently, and he’ll tell you yes. But does he have any regrets? No.

We groom our sons to play professional football.
I'm not going to lie: I would be proud if Scotty followed in Scott's footsteps. But I would also be proud if Scotty decided to pursue a career in medicine, science, or the arts. The bottom line is this: My son's future does not hinge on whether he becomes a professional athlete. Yeah, we’ll probably put him in pee-wee football within the next year or two, but as for setting our sights on the professional level? It’s not something I’m striving for – even though the chances of making it to the NFL nearly double for the sons of NFL players. Will Scotty feel pressure to become the third Conover to make it to the NFL? Perhaps. (Scott’s first cousin, Frank Conover, was also drafted to the NFL in the same year as Scott; more on that in an upcoming post.) But that pressure won’t come from Scott or me. First and foremost, Scott and I want Scotty to be nothing short of passionate about what he does for a living. If that means playing football, then, so be it. But this issue doesn’t just affect our sons: One of Scott’s former teammates has a daughter who played offensive line – just like her father – while she was in high school. (Now how’s that for girl power?) He had to beg her to stop for fear that she’d end up getting hurt.

Click here to read You know you’re an NFL wife when…  

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Remembering SATC + My sleep deprivation becomes scary

I’d like to start this post with a moment of silence for the masterpiece also known as the HBO series Sex and the City. Tomorrow marks ten years – Where has the time gone? – since the final episode, “An American Girl in Paris,” aired. (The episode, by the way, drew 10.6 million viewers, making it the highest rated of the series.) The void that the series created upon its exit still exists today, I think – and I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this way. (The only thing I was not wild about was the way the producers seemed to jump the shark with the second movie…but, still, damned if I wouldn’t put the kids to bed early so that I could park my butt on the couch and watch the whole damn second movie all over again.)

I love the series that much.

In loving memory of the fabulous four, I’d like to share a few of my favorite (well, the milder ones, anyway) quotes and conversations:

Charlotte: I mean even if you're still in a relationship you still have to play games.
Carrie: Big and I played games look where it got us.
Charlotte: But maybe the game is not really over, maybe it's just halftime.
Miranda: That kind of delusional thinking is why you should be in therapy too.

“It’s slim pickin’s out there – you can’t swing a Fendi purse without knocking over five losers.”
                                                                                                                           – Samantha

Carrie: Ancient man did not need a shrink to survive.
Miranda: Ancient man had a life expectancy of thirty.

Carrie: Now I’ve laid down a gauntlet He either has to say “I love you” back or I guess I’m going to have to break up with him.
Charlotte: Well, how long are you going to give him?
Carrie: Well, I didn’t put an expiration date on the sentiment, but I figure it’s got the shelf life of a dairy product. It’s going to start to curdle in about a week.

"You can stay here with your boxes of shit and your shoe-eating dog and knock yourself out putting on the Rogaine and the Speed Stick." – Carrie (in an argument with Aiden)

“The closest Charlotte had ever come to getting screwed on a plane was the time she'd lost all her luggage on a flight to Palm Beach.”  – Carrie

“People go to casinos for the same reason they go on blind dates - hoping to hit the jackpot. But mostly, you just wind up broke or alone in a bar.”    – Carrie

“Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you. Hallmark doesn't make a 'congratulations, you didn't marry the wrong guy' card. And where's the flatware for going on vacation alone?”   – Carrie

Are you going through Sex and the City withdrawal, too? Who was your favorite? Please share in the comments below! But, first…

We’re on Scary Mommy!

So a few weeks ago, I posted Five Signs You’re SleepDeprived. I had actually written the list on a whim, and it came to me without much effort because, well, when you’re the mother of an infant and a toddler, you are forced to get up close and personal with fatigue.

Well, nothing much has changed with regard to my sleep status. I’m still getting up three times a night; and when that’s over, I still wake up tired as hell. But on the writing front, something has changed: The sleep deprivation list has since been super-sized, picked up, and published by blogger extraordinaire, Jill Smokler, the genius behind the ever popular and oh-so-relatable Web site Scary Mommy, and you can find the new list here.

As always, I’d love to know what you think! Can you relate? Have a superb weekend, and thank you for reading.
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Monday, February 17, 2014


1.      Retreat to their bedroom closet with a bag of cookies so they don’t have to share.

2.      Pick up the spoon their toddler just dropped on the kitchen floor and give it right back. Five second rule.

3.      Curse under their breath when they get up 3:47 a.m. and trek down the hall to the nursery just to put the pacifier back into the baby’s mouth.

4.      Fetch the mail or morning paper in such ratty, deplorable loungewear that others would have to see to believe.

5.      Double-dip the spoon in the peanut butter jar, the kids’ macaroni and cheese, or whatever it is that we need to eat at the moment.

6.      Hide their child’s most annoying toy.

7.      Cry.

8.      Try on a flattering outfit and floss in front of the mirror. 

9.      Sing. Loudly. And not just in the shower or the car.

And this one is a given…

10.   Snoop.*

*I certainly don’t pass judgment on those who sleuth around on their spouse or significant others. (Hey, if you think something’s up, you do what you gotta do.) But in this instance, I’m talking about going through your children’s things. While there’s no need for me to do it now, trust me, when Scotty and Kennedy hit the teen years, I am going to be all up in their beeswax.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Naughty and Nice

I know it’s still technically the New Year. I know the ink is barely dry on your gym membership contract. I know, I know, I know. However.

It’s Valentine’s Day, our God-given right to indulge!

I have a question for you. Okay, two: Do you like chocolate?  Do you like Snicker’s? Then you’ll probably like my mom’s Snicker’s Cake. The following recipe is an ‘ol family favorite in these parts, something that my mother, Mama O, has made since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I’m telling you, everyone in my family goes crazy for this cake that doesn’t even need icing. Add some vanilla ice cream and you’ve got yourself a dessert that is downright splurge-worthy.
Here’s what to do:

1 package German chocolate cake mix
½ cup margarine
1 12-ounce package of caramels (Oh, how I used to love unwrapping these for my mom when she made this recipe!)
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of peanuts

Mix cake according to the package directions. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Melt caramels, margarine, and milk together in a small pan. Pour over the baked cake and top with chocolate chips and nuts. Pour remaining cake batter over top. Bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes, and then at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes.

In the photo above, the cake has been drizzled with extra caramel, which you don’t have to do; but it does make the cake look fancier. And after you’ve gone overboard eating that, you can redeem yourself with this… 

Quickie Quinoa

Lately, I’ve really tightened up my act in the dietary department. Gaining nearly fifty pounds during pregnancy will do that to you. But, calories notwithstanding, I have to like what I’m eating. It has to taste good. I don’t care if gnawing on a tree branch will melt my saddlebags, if it tastes like, well, a tree branch, I’m not eating it.

The following has been a tasty – and healthy – go-to meal I’ve been making for myself for years. And now that my dinnertime routine involves making a meal for a toddler, nursing an infant, and trying to eat myself, I need something quick and easy. In fact, this is so easy, there’s really no recipe to follow. Here’s what you do:

  1. Wash one cup of 100% whole grain quinoa according to the directions on the package. I prefer a brand exclusively sold at Kroger stores called Simple Truth – both their plain and red quinoa are delicious – but any brand will do.
  2. Combine quinoa with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Here is where I add a Wyler’s chicken flavor bouillon cube. If you prefer to go vegetarian on this step, substitute the chicken bouillon cube for a vegetable one by Knorr. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until grains are translucent and the germ has spiraled out from each grain. Approximate cooking time is 15 minutes, and when it’s all done, you’ll have about four cups of quinoa. I scoop into a bowl what I plan to eat right now, and then store the rest in a glass container in the fridge. (You can, of course, store it in a plastic container, but I prefer glass.) Now move on to the next and final step.
  3. Top quinoa with a handful of raw almonds and sprinkle with a few dried cranberries. Oh, and there’s one more step…
  4. Enjoy!

A note about the wonder grain that is quinoa (pronounced keen-wah): Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone looking for a healthy protein source, including, but not limited to, mothers who cannot seem to lose their postpartum baby weight fast enough. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) It's also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovely readers! (A friendly reminder that you have until 11:59 p.m. this evening to enter the Chicken Soup for the Soul Valentine’s Day book giveaway here.)
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My recent jean “splurge”

I haven’t really had a valid excuse to buy more jeans.

Until now.

Yes, I’m too small for my maternity jeans (thank you, Jesus!), but I’m not quite back to my pre-baby size. To squeeze into my old skinnies, I’d need a hope, a prayer, and a wire hanger, and even then it’s a longshot. So I needed a few temporary pairs to get me by; kind of like the sartorial equivalent of training wheels.

I love wearing used jeans. In fact, I haven’t purchased a pair of jeans brand new since 2009 when I bought a pair of Chip and Peppers from Marshalls for $60 (which I consider a steal because I love me some Chip and Peppers, but I digress.) I have a gazillion pairs of jeans – one, it seems, for every different look I want to create, depending on the day and my mood. I primarily buy used jeans for two reasons: One, I like my jeans a bit worn; broken in, if you will. And two, I have so many that, if I bought them all brand new, I’d go bankrupt. I’m funny about jeans: Every time I buy a new pair, I swear that I’ve found the holy grail of denim, only to grow tired of them weeks later. That’s when they are relegated to the back of my closet and will likely never see the light of day again. Then the process of searching for a new pair begins all over again.

I found just what I needed by way of a clothing Web site called Twice. The story of Twice is an interesting one, and you can read it here. But the short story is this: Twice is basically a higher-end online retail clothing consignment site that sells pristine used clothing for up to 80% off retail prices – and with free shipping. I’ve ordered from them many times, and their clothes – which arrive in pristine condition – and customer service are to die for. (And they’re selling handbags now!) Twice’s motto is “Find cash in your closet” and you can learn the details on how this works here

I recently bought the jeans pictured above (from left): a pair of The Gap Medium Blue Skinny Jeans for $17.95, a pair of Ann Taylor Loft Skinny White Jeans for $16.95, and a pair of Cheap Monday Medium Blue Skinny Jeans for $16.95. (Cheap Monday is a Swedish label that used to be available at Barney’s New York; they are known for their superior comfort.) This is what they looked like straight out of the box:

Unfortunately, the Cheap Mondays didn’t work out. They simply didn’t fit right. (Two out of three ain’t bad.) So Twice e-mailed me a free return shipping label, and back off to Twice they went. No muss no fuss. Turns out, I love the pair from The Gap so much that they are now my go-to jeans. I mean, really, this pair has true staring power.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

The unlikely placemat

Hell hath no fury like a kitchen table playing host to a toddler’s spaghetti dinner. The first time Scotty sat with us at the kitchen table – in his own booster seat, eating with his own set of utensils – we had spaghetti for dinner. What a poor, poor choice on my part. In hindsight, I had absolutely no idea what lie ahead for me in the clean-up department.

Our kitchen table is kind of nice. It is made of granite and polished cherry wood, and, yes, it was a purchase Scott and I made BC – Before Children. Even before we became parents, Scott and I never broke bread around here without unrolling a placemat. I know placemats are meant to get food on them…but they are not meant to withstand pounds of spaghetti sauce. I’m sorry, they’re just not. After Scotty finished dinner, Scott and I looked at what remained in horror. “I’m sorry, table,” Scott said, shaking his head. It was almost as if the table was suffocating under the onslaught of marinara and stray strands of angel hair. If Scott and I listened carefully, we could actually hear the table weeping.

A placemat would not be enough.

So guess what I’m using underneath Scotty’s kiddie placemat when he eats now? Yup, one of Scott’s old, holey Hanes undershirts. (I mean, the shirts are 3XL, after all, so they provide excellent coverage. I realize that not everyone has 3XL T-shirts lying around, but a ratty old towel works, too.)

Yes, it looks tacky. Yes, it looks uncivilized. But, damned if I care: It makes clean-up a cinch, because the shirt becomes the catch-all. I just sweep the whole thing up, shake off the excess pasta in the sink, and toss the shirt in the washer. Voila! I no longer throw out those ratty shirts. No, sir. They are keepers.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gifts that keep on giving...

I went a little overboard with buying wrapping paper this past Christmas. I stocked up at Dollar Tree, and since all the rolls were a dollar, I went all cray cray and started tossing it into the cart like there was going to be some sort of wrapping paper apocalypse. I actually bought more wrapping paper than I did gifts. Turns out, my wrapping paper hoarding ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Scotty’s got a penchant for drawing on, quite literally, everything. It was only a matter of time before our off-white walls became his blank canvas, so Scott and I Santa brought Scotty a two-sided drawing easel…and guess what we’re using in lieu of 11x17-inch drawing paper?

Have you priced large reams of drawing paper? Well, I have, and they’re not cheap. What in the hell goes into making that stuff? Diamonds? Since Scotty’s “artistic method” involves making-two-strokes-on-the-paper-before-asking-for-a-new-a-new-sheet, I very quickly learned that a far more cost effective alternative was for him to use the back side of wrapping paper. If he blows through a roll in an afternoon, no sweat – it was only a buck. If your child doesn’t have an easel, just cover your coffee or kitchen table with the white side of the wrapping paper and let him or her go to town. A sure-fire hit is when I line the coffee table with wrapping paper and then turn Scotty loose with these:
I got these from Walmart for less than four bucks. They’re washable and won’t stain. (Trust me, I know; our hardwood floors have already been put to the test.) They are just as good as the name brand Dot-A-Dot markers, which cost more than double these Paint Dab markers.

And the second gift that keeps on giving – and by “gift,” I mean torment – is… 

Plank Challenge Update

Today marks day 18 of my 30-Day Plank Challenge, so, as promised, here is my update:

It hurts. End of update.

Okay, I’ll be serious now. (Although the two sentences above pretty much sum it up.) I’ve learned that “Plank challenge” is basically code for How to make your core tremble in agony. I’ve hit a wall, you guys. This is no longer fun. It was giggles and grins until day 14. As you can see from the photo guide above, I’m now holding the plank for 2.5 minutes. Thankfully, tomorrow, day 19, is a day of rest, but trust me, the bottom is going to fall out very soon. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I collapse when the timer goes off, and my back is killing me (a sure-fire sign that I need this exercise more than ever because I have next to nothing in the way of core strength.) Sigh. But I’ll find a way to soldier through this.
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Monday, February 3, 2014

NFL by the Numbers: 12

I know everyone is likely hung over (literally or figuratively) from the Super Bowl, but I couldn’t resist sharing one more story from the 2006 Super Bowl, which was here in Detroit…

Twelve is the amount in dollars I paid for the dress I am wearing in the photos above. I bought it in a pinch from…wait for it…Value City, of all places. At the party to which I wore this dress, some of the guests had breath mints in their pockets that were worth more than $12.

The background: On the Friday night before the Super Bowl, Scott and I were set to attend the NFL Players Super Bowl Party (more on that in a minute), and the shoes that I was to wear that evening were being delivered to my condo that morning. So I take my lunch break at noon on the dot and drive home to collect the shoes off the porch. Well, once I get home, I can’t resist trying on the entire ensemble, which seemed like a pretty good idea…until my dress’s zipper became jammed and I had no one there to help. I tugged so hard that I busted a hole in the back of the dress. I needed to do something – and fast. I had to be back in the office in 17 minutes, and the best mall was a good 15 minutes away – one way.

But Value City was around the block. I LOVED this dress from the moment I laid eyes on it, and I found it on the junior’s clearance rack. The notion of such a bargain still sends a shiver down my spine.

Now, let me tell you more about this party. I may be dating myself here, as it has been quite a while since I’ve been Up In Da Club. I’m admittedly a little rusty in that department. But I do know a good party. Scott and I have frequented Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in Manhattan back when it was poppin’ (Is it still? I wouldn’t even know), and we even partied at the famed Miami club Mansion, back in the day. But the absolute best party I have ever – EVER – attended was this Super Bowl party.

The NFL Players Party is a private, invitation-only affair for active and former players, and it is, undeniably, the most exclusive party of Super Bowl weekend. Period. This party is everything you’d think an NFL party would be – and then some: Heated red carpet? Check. The best booze? Check. Celebrities? Check. LL Cool J and Ciara performed and Kid Capri held it down on the ones and twos. Diddy walked right by as I made my way to the lady’s room. Was I star-struck? Hell-to-the-yeah. But in parties like this one, rule number one is to not get all camera happy because your cool card would be revoked immediately. So I only took photos of players/guests in our inner circle. (There’s that two-shades-too-light-for-me blush again. The irony here is that the blush is by Lancome and cost double the dress!)

There was one glitch that night, though – at night’s end, we couldn’t find our car…but not in the way you might think: When everyone arrives in a black limo, it’s difficult to determine which one is yours. I know, I know: Waa, waa, Courtney, right? The difference is that some players roll like that everyday, but our limo was rented.

Because former NFL players who remain members of the NFL Players Association automatically receive two invitations (one for them; one for a guest) to this party for life, Scott and I plan to go to one of these again…someday. Not just while the Balls and Chains are still little – and especially not while one of them is still nursing. This is yet another thing to add to our Once-the-kids-get-older file folder.

Much to the contrary, we spent yesterday’s game simply hanging out, just the four of us – and we were armed with enough eats to feed a small nation (which did absolutely nothing to further my postpartum weight-loss efforts; have you tried the new birthday cake-flavored Oreos, by the way? Those things should be illegal). Food aside, my favorite part of last night’s game happened before kick-off: It was when the lady on the white bronco led Denver's players onto the field. Scotty and I must have rewound that five times. I also think Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers killed it during halftime.

How did you spend yesterday’s Super Bowl?  What was on the menu? What was your favorite game highlight? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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