Friday, May 30, 2014

The Video Diaries: Closet Relics – Part One

I love me a good closet purge. (And I blogged about one here.)

Despite being somewhat of  a self-professed pack rat, I do see the virtue in not having piles of indistinguishable articles of clothing cluttering up one’s sartorial domain (i.e. Is that a pair of pajama pants or a caftan hanging off the top shelf?)

That said, there are things in my closet that I will never, EVER part with. No matter what. I’ve taken to calling them relics because everything featured in this series is 10 years old – if not older.

Here is Part One of Relics I’ll Never Throw Out of My Closet:


Okay, so now you know a few of the things I will always keep, but I’d like to know the things that you are quick to toss when cleaning out your own closet: What, in your opinion, must go?

But before you share your comments below,  have you entered to win your very own 100% silk charmeuse pillowcase today? You can enter here everyday through June 1. Good luck! #GoodHairDays #BeautySleep

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MY TOP TWO STYLING AIDS

While I’ve been an open book with regard to my hair’s wash routine (which you can see here), it’s only fair that I disclose the products I use to style my hair between washes…

But the truth is, on an average, run-of-the-mill day, I use absolutely nothing on my hair, and it is not unusual for me not to put anything on my hair between washes.

I totally subscribe to the aphorism that less is more.

To be brutally honest, I learned this the hard way because, generally speaking, I haven’t had very good success with a lot of styling aids.

I avoid anything with alcohol like the plague because it dries my hair out like the dickens.

Similarly, I eschew any product that contains water as the first ingredient because, as anyone with curly hair knows, water is kryptonite to a sleek and smooth blow-out.

After much trial and error, I’ve learned that I do best with products that contain some variance of an ingredient called dimethicone, as well as products that contain a top-grade hair oil, such as oil of almond, sesame, or sunflower, but not too much oil because then my hair becomes weighed down. Bonus points are given for anything made with rosemary – I not only love the smell, but the herb contains properties that tend to soothe a flaky scalp.

So when I do need help in the styling department, here are the only two products I ever use:

I’ve used this since my college days, a time when I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on anything, much less a styling aid that costs 18 bucks a pop. I’m not going to lie: I used to eat Ramen noodles for nights on end so that I could afford this. (Do you know how much $18 is to a broke college student? Hell, even now, $18 is nothing to sneeze at: It can buy a case of diapers and a few containers of wipes.) Anyhow, I’ve used Kiehl's Silk Groom Serum ever since. Here’s this product’s low-down, taken from the Kiehl’s web site:

“A unique, ultra-light, and non-greasy hair serum, smooths frizz, conditions dry ends, and controls hair without weighing it down. Protects hair from humidity and boosts shine, leaving hair clean, soft, and silky.
Infused with a blend of natural oils derived from Sunflower Seeds [which contains phospholipids, ceramides, and also nurtures sun-exposed and aging skin as a result of environmental aggression], Sesame Seeds [which absorbs easily and softens the skin], and Soy Beans, and enriched with Vitamin E. For styles ranging from smooth and straight to curly and wavy.”

And here’s what’s inside: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Fragrance, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Vitamin E, Linalool, Limonene.

I don’t have to use much – one or two pumps, max – and I generally only use Kiehl's Silk Groom Serum when I’m in hotter-than-hot temperatures and in the presence of oppressive humidity.

Next up is this Silicone Finishing Mist by Giovanni. I bought this product on a whim nearly eight years ago while shopping at a local store called Zerbo’s Health, which is a like a Mom and Pop version of Whole Foods. This spray is, in a word, amazing. I spray a few pumps into the palm of my hand and smooth over my hair. This spray delivers shine like no other, and it’s environmentally friendly, to boot: It’s enriched with certified organic botanicals, contains no animal by-products, and is cruelty free. The ingredients are as follows: Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phentrimethicone, Dimethicone, Soybean (Glycine Soja) Protein, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary). I tend to use this product more during the winter months. A four-ounce bottle is under $10 and will last a very long time.

So there you have it. The two styling aids I cannot – and will not – live without.



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Monday, May 26, 2014

5 Annoying Things I Do as a Mom

I don’t have to wait for Scotty and Kennedy to morph into know-it-all teenagers and pronounce me a social pariah.

Nope.

I can call out my own annoying behavior right now.

Here are five things I do daily that must annoy the s#%t out of them:

1.       When I was little and got something on my face, my dad would lick his finger and remove said crud by swiping my face. (I know: Ewwwww.) I remember thinking Isn’t this what WetNap packets are for? I HATED this. (I hate to use the word hate, but, sorry, no other word applies here.) But, what do ya know? Who’s putting a wet finger to their kids’ faces now?

2.       I go through periods when I don’t shower nearly as often as I should. I am not proud of this. I’ve also been known to wear the same nursing tank two (okay, three) days in a row. My children don’t mind their mama’s funk, but, still, that is no excuse.

3.       I add the letter y to the end of 75% of nouns in my vocabulary. Foot becomes footy; teeth becomes teethy; snack becomes snacky. “Awww, did Scotty bump his heady?” or “Mama’s gonna tickle that arm pity,” I say to Kennedy every night when I’m dressing her for bed. Hopefully I’ll be able to undo this grammatical damage before my children enter Kindergarten.

4.       I sing along to Scotty’s favorite children’s tunes. Loudly. And badly. You can find a few of my greatest (offending) hits here, here, and here. Oh, and my perennial favorite, here. I sing along to Every. Single. Word. Ain’t no shame in my game.

5.       Whenever I’m breaking bread with Scotty at the dinner table, I’m either asking him to stop playing with his food, or, worse, I’m asking if he finds his meal delicious. “Is it delicious, Scotty? Is it delicious? Is it?” Mind you, I can’t cook worth a damn, so most of the time his food is just edible, at best, unless my husband made it. (I admit that I ask Scotty this mostly so I can hear him repeat the word delicious, which he pronounces, “dishes.”)

C’mon, join in on the annoyance fun! What are some of your behaviors that your children must find less than charming? Share yours in the comment section below!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

NFL’s Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame Dinner

Finally…I’m posting this!

On Friday, May 16, Scott and I attended the Gridiron Great’sHall of Fame Dinner at Ford Field (the home of the Detroit Lions), and the event celebrated deserving players not only for their careers on the field but for their continued investment in the community. Proceeds of ticket sales benefitted the Gridiron Great’s Assistance Fund, a nonprofit which assists retired NFL players – the true pioneers of the game –with hardships they face after football.

I have so many things I want to share with you about that night that my mind is swirling right now. Let me jump right in and begin with a quote by former Canadian Football League Hall of Fame inductee Matt Dunigan, who arguably muttered the most powerful words of the evening: “This game…takes so much from us. It takes bones, it takes pints of blood…but we keep giving back to the game we love so much.”

Seriousness aside, the dinner was rather celebratory, and Scott and I had a fabulous time from beginning to end. Here is the evening in pictures…

The Arrival
As soon as Scott and I arrived, we were summoned to stop for pics on the step and repeat. A step and repeat is a wall that has an event sponsor's logos on it for the purpose of having guests "step" onto the red carpet, pose for the photographers and leave, while the next person follows and "repeats" the process. And I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Ann of Big Lyle’s Party and Event Services who provided this photo. My dress is a BCBG Max Azria number that dates back to 2008, and I wholeheartedly credit my undergarments for getting the job done that night. And, no, the shoes weren’t shown in this pic, but not to worry…


The Gold Standard
I am honored to take a picture with this gentleman: Former Detroit Lions Cornerback Lem Barney, who was the first of three Detroit Lions NFL Hall of Fame inductees to wear the famous #20 jersey. I had wanted his beautiful wife to join us for this photo, but, unbeknownst to me, she had already taken a seat at their table. “Lem,” I said, “Where’s Jacci? Is she here tonight?” Lem replied, “Of course. She’s like American Express: I don’t leave home without her.” Smart man, that Lem.


Draft Day Revisited
Here is Scott with Ron Hughes, the Detroit Lions’ former Director of Player Personnel, which makes him a pretty big deal: You are looking at the man who recommended that the Detroit Lions draft Scott. Ron is currently the College Scouting Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he has won two Super Bowl Rings. When a team wins the Super Bowl, every single member of that team’s staff – not just the players – get a ring…


Ice
…And this is Ron’s on my finger. If not for my four-inch glitter pumps, I may have tried to make a break for it while it was still on. Looking at the photo through the viewfinder, we thought it was clear. Well, turns out, it’s kind of blurry, and I contemplated not using it…but it’s a SUPER BOWL RING: I HAD to show it. (Please excuse the condition of my skin, which makes my hand look like the weathered claw of a wild bird.)


The Linemen
(From left) Former NFL defensive tackle and defensive end Marc Spindler, who was drafted to the Detroit Lions, then played for the New York Jets, and then returned to the Lions, where he retired, Marc’s son, and Scott.

The Linemen Part II
Here’s Scott with his former teammate, offensive tackle Ken Dallafior, who played eight seasons in the NFL, half with the Lions, and half with the San Diego Chargers.


The Voice of Michigan Football
Few people bleed maize and blue (the colors of my college alma mater, the University of Michigan) and Honolulu blue and silver (the colors of the Detroit Lions) like Jim Brandstatter, the gentleman in this photo, who is pictured here with his lovely wife, former ABC WXYZ-TV news anchor Robbie Temmons, whom I grew up watching. Jim is the radio color commentator for the Detroit Lions and does play-by-play for Michigan football. (He also played college football at Michigan.)


The Honoree
Here I am with this year’s recipient of the Ron Kramer Unsung Hero of the Detroit Lions Award, Dominic Raiola, the current center for the Detroit Lions (#51). Like Scott, Dominic has played his entire career with the Detroit Lions.


Don’t Step on Our Blue Suede (and Glittered) Shoes
…Dominic apparently got the memo that Honolulu blue shoes are always in style.


The Hero
In the Video Diary I recorded in preparation of tonight’s event, I briefly spoke of Scott's former teammate, former Detroit Lion offensive lineman Mike Utley, who became paralyzed from the chest down during a 1991 Detroit Lions contest against the LA Rams. To say that his life changed in an instant would be a gross understatement, but his unyielding zest for life has remained a constant. Mike is this year’s recipient of the Tim Pendell Community Service Award. (In 2011 Tim retired as the Detroit Lions’ Senior Director of Affairs after 26 seasons.) Tim was on hand to present Mike with the award, and when introducing Mike, said the following: “I remember how Mike used to arrive at the Silverdome everyday on his motorcycle, with heavy metal blaring so loudly it was deafening. I didn’t know if we’d drafted an offensive lineman or a member of Guns N’ Roses.” This photo of Scott, Mike, and me was taken by Mike’s awesome wife Dani, a nurse whom Mike met while lifting weights as part of his rehabilitation. (How beautiful is that story?)


Silence
I love this picture: It is the football field at Ford Field, completely dark and empty, with nary a person in sight – the polar opposite of game day. This is what we passed by at night’s end.

Guess what? Scott and I went out again days later to the Detroit Lions’ Taste of the Lions. Yeah, you could say that we've been making up for lost time...


Thank you, as always, for reading.

xo,


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Torn…but not forgotten

If you’ve stopped by to check out the photo recap of Friday’s NFL Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame dinner, please know that I had every intention of posting that today.

But forty minutes before Scott and I left for the dinner – as I was squeezing into my Spanx, Scott summoned me to the computer to show me this:

And this…



And, finally, this:



And suddenly, a jovial post about Mommy and Daddy’s night out didn’t seem so appropriate.

The pics above are of the Pontiac Silverdome, the former home of the Detroit Lions, where Scott played his entire NFL career. What made this stadium so unique is that the roof was comprised of fiberglass panels that were supported by air pressure inside the stadium. Although the roof has always looked white to the naked eye, the stadium obtained the name Silverdome due to a silver-like reflection caused by the sun.

The quick and dirty is this: A 2012 storm shredded the roof, and then, on January 3 of this year, the roof was deflated after city officials said there was a small tear. Everyone knew that there was damage, but because the Silverdome had been closed for years, no one knew just how bad it was. These just-released, never-before-seen photos document what remains.

Make no mistake, Friday’s dinner was fun, and we were all in good spirits because, ultimately, the night raised much-needed funds for former NFL players who will now be helped by the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. But as Scott and I mingled in the event’s VIP lounge, there was an eerie undercurrent of melancholy among Scott’s former teammates: “Hey, Scott…did you see them? Did you see the pictures of the Silverdome?” asked one former player.

Everyone was shocked.

There is so much history at the Silverdome. So much. It was the site of the last Detroit Lions playoff win (a game that Scott played in); it hosted a Super Bowl, a World Cup, and Led Zeppelin’s then record-breaking concert.  It was also where I cheered on my high school alma mater, John Glenn, during the football state finals when I was a junior back in 1994.

Scott’s response to all of this has been remarkably calm. I mean, I didn’t expect him to curl up into the fetal position and cry. But I just thought he would react differently. But then he told me this: “I still remember how loud it was in there on game day – I’ll never forget what the crowd sounded like. No matter what happens to that building, it can’t erase the memories…nothing can erase the memories.”

So it got me to thinking: Have you ever experienced the loss of something – an item, a home, anything tangible – that you felt was so significant and great? How did you deal?

Before you comment, please know that come hell or high water (which is a poor choice of words right now, I know), I will post my recap of the Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame dinner this Friday. I promise. I can’t post it Wednesday because I’m launching a giveaway for a hair product that I’ve been using since 2005, and I gave my word to the vendor several weeks ago that the giveaway would commence on that date. Trust me, if you care at all about what your hair looks like when you get up in the morning, then you’ll love this product.

But back to the question at hand: How do you cope with the loss of something great?

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Friday, May 16, 2014

The Video Diaries: NFL's Hall of Fame Dinner

While Scott and I recently attended one of his NFL Alumni meetings together (please click here to see why it was hilariously funny), it has been way too long since he and I had a bona fide Mommy and Daddy night out. But I am pleased to tell you that the time has finally come: Tonight Scott and I are headed to Ford Field – where the Detroit Lions play – to attend the Gridiron Greats of Michigan's Sixth Annual Hall of Fame Dinner.

You’ve heard the phrase It takes a village? Well, it’s going to take a village of spandex to get me into my dress tonight. Yeah, I’ve been keeping with my morning smoothies, watching my portion seizes as well as diligently taking the kids on fast-paced afternoon walks, but I’m still depending on a hope, a prayer, a brand new girdle, and Spanx to pull my ensemble together.

Here, in my first ever The Brown Girl with Long Hair Video Diary, I’m breaking down tonight's look – as well as what will be underneath...


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How do you curb your enthusiasm?

Have you ever been struck by an involuntary bout of raucous laughter during a time when said laughter was socially unacceptable?

Of course you have.

The more appropriate question is this: How did you manage to keep a straight face and maintain at least a modicum of maturity?

This was me recently. Well, I don’t know about the maturity part – I failed miserably at that. No, I’m referring solely to the laughing part.

A few nights ago, I accompanied Scott to one of his NFL alumni meetings. And this one was a bit more formal in nature: The evening began with a strolling dinner and drinks and ended with a series of semi-formal presentations by an array of football folk, including Detroit Lions team doctors who spoke about the latest innovations in the way of pain management, which certainly isn’t a laughing matter. What in the hell could possibly be funny about sitting among 300-pound former NFL players who live with an unfathomable level of pain every day and sometimes rely on painkillers just to make it down a flight of stairs?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

One doctor was describing how nerves can still serve as a pathway for pain long after a joint has been removed when, all of a sudden, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing began blaring from somewhere. More specifically, it was a ringtone, and it was coming from the cellphone that was tucked inside the pocket of the former player (Dan), who was sitting directly next to me.

I seemed to have heard it before Dan did. I looked at him as if to say Aren’t you going to silence your phone? Only then did it dawn on him that the sound was indeed coming from him, and he immediately began rooting through his pocket for his phone.

And that’s when it happened.

Dan produced his phone, which I was able to see was the exact same Samsung model I own, and tried repeatedly in vain to silence the phone to no avail. All he had to do was slide his finger in the direction of the red X on the phone’s screen, but apparently, he didn’t know how to do that. Instead, Dan had commenced to stabbing the phone with index finger in a desperate attempt to make Journey stop believing.

And it was hilarious. Here I was in the front row, listening to a doctor regale us on the plight of living with a torn Achilles tendon, and I was on the cusp of coming undone because the man next to me was having a conniption.

This. Went. On. For. Minutes.

Hotter than a Roman candle, Dan is stifling curse words at this point and is ready to chuck his phone clear across the room. I am pursing my lips, sitting on my hands, and holding my breath – all in a pitiful attempt to stave off laughter that I know is imminent. Scott nudges my thigh and shoots me a stern look as if to say, Cut it out. Meanwhile, the doctor is aware of all of this – as is everyone else who is sitting behind us, I’m sure.

How ironic: I spend a good portion of my days drilling into my son the importance of proper etiquette, yet here I am going off the rails.

It was purely by the grace of God that I got through this.

The gross irony, of course, is that this would not have been a laughing matter if it were happening to me, if I were the one who was holding a phone that I couldn’t stop from ringing. Hell, if this had happened to me, I wouldn’t show my face at another NFL event for the next 35 years. 

So how would you have fared in a situation like this? What would you have done?

UPDATE: This post was published months before the unfortunate passing of Robin Williams. I remember when I chose the photo above as a graphic for this post, it made me laugh so hard -- much like the way he made all of us laugh -- for decades...
RIP, Mr. Williams. You are missed.
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Monday, May 12, 2014

MY GROCERY SHOPPING STRATEGY

Grocery shopping is yet another one of life’s activities that has since changed since the arrival of Baby Kennedy. Running to the store to pick up a few things – or a lot – used to be a little easier when it was only Scotty and me. I’d pop him into the seat at the front of the cart, and off we’d go through the store.

But Kennedy has since put a kink in my system because when she tags along, I can’t load up the cart the way I used to. Her baby carrier/car seat is now where Scotty used to sit…which means Scotty is now, well, look: 

This pic was taken 6 months ago when Scotty was 25 months old.

Of course, he has grown a ton since then, and a 35-pound toddler really takes a bite out of a cart’s available space. (I’m lucky to fit Scotty and a case of water back there.)

And, no, he cannot walk beside me like a big boy. He simply cannot resist taking off running like a pint-sized maniac, so it’s either keep him in the cart or risk him getting run over in the parking lot.

I still go shopping with the two of them, yes, but not very often, and only for bare-bone necessities, like Eggo waffles and frozen French fries – Heaven forbid we run out of those – and perishables such as milk, eggs, and yogurt.

I now order the vast majority of my grocery items via Walmart.com.

Did you know that Walmart orders over 50 bucks ship for free?

So the things we can’t live without in this house, like Lysol anti-bacterial wipes, Tide powdered detergent, Scotty’s GoGo squeeZ fruit pouches, diaper wipes, vitamins, cereal, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, toilet paper, paper towel, etc. all now arrive to my doorstep within three days of my order.

I’m telling you, folks, this is awesome.

When ordering your products, just look for the “Free shipping available on orders over $50” notification near the Add to Cart button. Your sales tax will be factored in before you check out – but make sure the “free shipping” tab is selected because, sometimes it defaults to the economy shipping.

It’s that simple.

Thanks to this genius invention, I may never load my grocery cart down like a pack mule again!

This is not a sponsored post – not that I have anything at all against sponsored posts, of course. I simply wanted to pass along something that has truly revolutionized the way Mama Conover gets her groceries.

Although…um, Walmart, if you’re reading this, feel free to toss a gift card our way!

Shifting gears, my first Mother's Day as a mother of two was low-key yet fabulous.

Scott treated the four of us as well as my mother to brunch at Doubletree Hotel, and then we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the deck in the backyard.

Now, if you read this blog regularly, you'll remember that I stated in a recent post that – due to my inability to get around to giving myself my usual salon-grade blow-out this weekend – I would be wearing the commemorative 2014 NFL Draft cap Scott received at his draft party until I could rightfully tend to this mop on my head.

And while I did rock that sucker for pretty much the entire weekend, I couldn't wear it to the brunch for obvious reasons. So I wore a beautiful Cynthia Rowley derby hat instead. Here are a few pics from yesterday's brunch:


I hope you and your family had a wonderful Mother's Day as well.


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Friday, May 9, 2014

The Day My Husband Was Drafted into the NFL

From an overall national perspective, one might think that the Super Bowl is the NFL’s coming out party. But to the NFL (and its die-hard fanatics) the big dance is really the NFL draft. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting, and it is football’s answer to the Academy Awards. Moves are made, teams are built, and dreams are realized. Seemingly with one phone call.

Quite simply, lives change. And, yeah, money’s got a lot to do with it. But it’s more than that. Imagine if your heart’s – no, life’s – desire was to do a particular thing, something that less than 1% of the American population got to experience. And imagine if you were chosen. There is a tremendous amount of passion here. And responsibility. And expectation. And, of course, pressure.  
Scott was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL draft. He was 118th out of a total of 334 players drafted that year. He went on to experience a six-year career in the NFL, playing exclusively for the Detroit Lions and blocking for Hall of fame Running back Barry Sanders.

Ordinarily, I would write this post from my perspective, but I wasn’t married to Scott when he was drafted – hell, I wasn’t even legal then. (I did attend two Lions football games during his career, though, and little did I know that I was watching my future husband in action.) So I thought it’d be fun for me to do a Q&A so that you can hear (er– read) everything straight from the horse’s mouth. Oh, and here’s even more info: While Scott is actually the first member of his family to make it to the NFL, he wasn’t the last. His first cousin, Frank Conover, was also drafted to the NFL (Cleveland Browns)…in the eighth round of the very same draft! More on that in a minute…


1.     In the countless conversations we’ve had about the NFL draft, you say that you didn’t expect to be drafted. But you had to have had some idea that this was coming
No, I really didn’t. You can’t assume anything. I did have an agent, and I worked out at the NFL Combine – and I also completed a work-out in front of 18-20 teams. But you never know.

2.     Briefly explain the NFL Combine.
It’s like an audition that’s sponsored by the NFL and held a few months before the draft. Only 1,500 players total are invited to attend.

3.     Most people first became aware of sports agents through the film Jerry McGuire, but can you further explain the role an agent plays in the draft? Also, how did you find your agent?
My agent found me, so I didn’t have to look for one. An agent showcases a player in the same way that an agent would help actors, models, and writers get work. They get your resume in front NFL team scouts and coaches.

4.     Take me back to the day of the draft. What did you do? What was going through your head?
I sat in the living room with my family and friends, uncertain and anxious, and watched the draft in real time on television. My agent informed me that the Cleveland Browns had the first pick in the second round of the draft, and they were eying me and two other players. That’s when I got my hopes up. Even though that didn’t materialize, I remained hopeful because my agent told me that the way the draft was shaking out, I could expect to be drafted between the third and fifth rounds. So I detached myself from the draft until the third round. But because the 1991 draft was running so long, it ended for the day at the end of the third round. And I still wasn’t drafted.

5.     And what happened then?
I got up that morning because I had to get ready to catch a flight back to Purdue University (in Indiana). I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of cereal when the phone rang. I wasn’t even thinking that the call could be for me – it caught me completely off guard. At this point in the draft, it was no longer televised. I was still half asleep. My mom hands me the phone, and it was a coach from the Detroit Lions. 

6.     How did that conversation go?
He introduced himself and told me that they had the seventh pick in the fifth round and they were going to make me their selection. Then they put me on hold for a couple of minutes. When they returned, they informed me that they had made it official and welcomed me to the Detroit Lions family.

7.     Your life changed with that phone call. When did it all sink in?
It really sank in when I flew out to the Lions training facility the next week to participate in mini-camp. They picked me up in a limo and drove me to the Pontiac Silverdome, where the Lions practiced and played at the time. Head coach Wayne Fontes and his staff greeted me at the door. And then I went into the locker room to find a locker with my name on it. I thought to myself, Damn. This is real.

8.     How cool was it to have your closest cousin play in the NFL with you? How did you guys keep from being too competitive with each other?
It was easy: We played two different positions, in different NFL conferences, and never actually played against each other.

9.     As an NFL veteran who has gone through this process before, what would you tell members of this year’s draft class?
This is only the beginning. You have to work hard to win a spot on your team. Being drafted doesn’t guarantee anything – only an opportunity. Good luck.

10. Football has been very kind to you, but in a lot of ways, it has also been cruel: I know your body aches…A LOT. Would you do it all again?
Yes. Absolutely.

The NFL draft began last night at 8 p.m. on the NFL Network and ends tomorrow, May 10. Scott spent last night watching the draft at a private party at Detroit’s GEM theater, which is a stone’s throw away from Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions. The party was hosted by the Detroit Lions and Bud Light and thrown for Detroit Lions club seat members, long-term suite holders, and corporate partners, so, of course, both current and former Detroit Lions players were in attendance. Here are some photos from last night, but please keep in mind that I had no part in taking these photos because while Scott was whooping it up, eating good food, and drinking even better drinks, I was at home with the kids taking one for the team:

The outside:   


On the blue carpet: (You wouldn’t expect the event to have a red carpet when the team colors are Honolulu blue and silver, right?) Here’s Rory, the Lion’s mascot, with ESPN First Take analyst Lomas Brown, a former teammate of Scott’s who played eleven seasons with the Lions before retiring as a player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he won a Super Bowl Ring: 

In the thick of it: When everybody was wondering what would become of Johnny Football, who is pictured here on the big screen:

The boys are back in town: Here's Scott with a few of his former teammates, many of whom flew in just for the party. (From left): Robert Porcher, Bennie Blades, Luther Elliss, Larry Lee, George Jamison, Lomas Brown, Kevin Glover, and Scott.

And, finally, my consolation prize for holding down the fort last night, for making chicken fingers and homemade applesauce, and surviving “bathy time” with a rambunctious two year-old and a teething infant: This limited edition Bud Light 2014 NFL Draft baseball cap, which, trust me, I will be rocking for the next day or so until I can find the time to give myself a proper blow-out:

...that is, if I can pry it off of Kennedy's head first. (Scotty's not into caps.) This is her playing dress up this morning at Daddy's urging:

If you have any questions about the draft – or Scott’s experience with the draft – please post them in the comment section below and I’ll reply with his unfiltered response.


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5 THINGS I'D RATHER DO THAN LAUNDRY

I wish it would go away, but it just keeps staring at me from the basket in the corner.

What?

That.

The laundry.

It’d be great if it would fold itself, but it can’t; it doesn’t have arms. I can think of nearly a million and one things I’d rather do than put it away. Here are five:

Nap.
This one tops the list and goes without saying. These days, I’d pretty much rather nap than, well, be awake, period. But, alas the kids always stand in the way of this one. I can’t very well expect Scotty to change his own diaper or boil his dinner pasta on the stove. (Not without Child Protective Services being called, anyway.) And what about Kennedy? She’s got excellent upper body strength for a seven-month-old, but I don’t think she’s got the necessary motor skills to hook me up to the breast pump, extract the milk, and feed herself all while I remain comatose and curled up in a ball.

Drink champagne.
Now, this one is right up there with a nap. In fact, I don’t know which one I’d love to seduce more – my Egyptian cotton bed sheets or a crisp, cool sparkling glass of champs, my libation of choice. But just like I don’t sleep while my kids are awake and under my care, I don’t drink, either. Rather, this savory treat is reserved for when the kids are in bed and have been asleep for a while. And by a while, I mean at least one minute: I put them down at 7:57 p.m., and have my glass in hand by, oh, 8:01 p.m.

Blow up Scott’s bevy of game day footballs.
You can’t shake a stick around here without knocking over a commemorative football (i.e. the footballs that were used during both college and NFL games Scott has played in; when a player is awarded the title of MVP for that particular game, then said player is given the ball to keep). These balls are like crabgrass; they’re on display everywhere this house. And they often lose air, which makes them the opposite of display-worthy. (Look at the one on the bottom right in the photo above.) Yeah, I could hook them up to one of those inflation-tube-thinga-ma-jiggies. But I could also go the extra mile and try and blow them up myself. What with all the effort that would exert, wouldn’t that burn a few hundred calories? Come to think of it, wouldn’t this exercise count as cardio?

Watch Barney with Scotty.
Heck, you know I really don’t want to fold the laundry when I’d voluntarily watch a human dressed in a dinosaur costume lip sync to one of the most annoying songs in the history of children’s television – and as luck would have it, the “I love you, you love me” theme song is among Scotty’s favorites. Lucky me.

Clean out my lingerie drawer.
It’s bad in there. And by bad, I mean horribly embarrassing. Where else can you find too-small thong underwear, pregnancy granny panties, expired coupons, and my favorite childhood stuffed animal, simply named “Monkey,” whose ear is hanging by a thread? My lingerie drawer is where useless things come to die. I haven’t cleaned it out in years, but the idea of doing so suddenly seems mildly appealing when contemplating folding the wash.

But since I don’t have the freedom to nap, the lung capacity to blow up twenty footballs, the will to let go of pitiful stuffed relics from my childhood, the patience to allow the Barney theme song to weave its way back and forth through my ear canal all day, or the poor judgment to enjoy my Special K with alcohol while the kids are underfoot, then I guess I may as well just fold the damn laundry.

C'mon. I know I'm not alone on this one...


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