Monday, October 31, 2011

The Awakening

Looking at the Post online this morning, I caught a glimpse of this photo and article, and for a second thought I was reading the Washington Post.  Nope, I was reading the St. Louis Post, just as I'd intended. 

I was confused.  The Awakening is a distinctive sculpture--why would I be seeing it in the St. Louis paper?  We often went to see it in DC when we were roaming around Hains Point (until they moved it to National Harbor in 2008).  When I first saw the photo, I wondered if the photo had been taken in DC and used for the article about the Executive Director.  I was half right.  When I looked at the Chesterfield Arts website I learned that Chesterfield Arts is home to the second casting from the original The Awakening mold. 

Who knew? 

Brought to life by J. Seward Johnson, The Awakening first came to DC in 1980.  It's enormous. 4,700 pounds.  5 pieces. 17 feet tall at its highest point.  70 feet long. And its a bit disturbing to see this figure seemingly rising up out of the earth.  

A visit to Chesterfield Arts is in order to introduce the boys to the Giant.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

World Series Victory Parade

In case you've missed the news, On Friday night the Cardinals won the World Series!  Yes folks, St. Louis has been living the dream all weekend.  At church today, the Pastor was careful to point out that the vestments on the altar were red, not for the Cardinals, but for Reformation Day. 

In 2006 when the Cardinals last won the World Series, we were living in Northern Virginia.  Christian was about six months old.  Because I had a colicky six-month old, I fell asleep during the game.  Darren kindly woke me up so I could see the win and beginnings of the celebration.

Christian is now five, Connor is three (really, only three?).  This post season has been so fun--not only are we back home in the best baseball town in the country, but this is the first year that Christian is really tuned into baseball. Every game, he did great with paying attention to the score, asking questions about what was happening, and getting to know and be a fan of the players.  It's been such fun to watch a young Cardinals fan experience a great World Series victory.  I hope he remembers some of this when he's older.

Probably within seconds of Game 7 ending, if not sooner, Darren and I decided that without a doubt, we were going to take the boys to the parade today.  We did.  And it was great. 

The parade was schedule to begin at 4, with the parade starting at Union Station, heading down Market Street, and around to Busch Stadium. We were late.  When we arrived downtown near Union Station at 2 pm, this is what the crowd looked like as far as the eye could see:

 Folks started arriving during the morning to stake their claim on prime viewing spots.  No worries.  We managed to squeeze into a spot with a good view.

Warning: There will be a lot of photos.  One, because I take a LOT of pictures, and two, it's the World Series victory parade!

Because we were there two hours early, the boys had time to play.  Why not throw some leaves?

Connor loves trees.

There were vendors selling t-shirts, pennants, noisemakers, beer, food, etc.
There was my husband.

Whew.  I need a break.  Squeeze applesauce, anyone?

These guys found a really good spot to see the parade.  Nearly every Cardinal that went by got a laugh from them.
  This was a great idea.

The Clydesdales are here!
Tony LaRussa!!
 The World Series Trophy

Here come the Cardinals!


He was constantly moving, waving to the folks on both sides of the street, but here's Pujols!

Ace! Say hi to Chris Carpenter.

Theriot is cool. 
Rally Squirrel is here.
  Mark Mcquire
Christian was wedged in between what must have been the two most unfriendly Cardinals fans.  No matter, he squeezed in and was completely focused on the entire parade.

 Jason Motte!!
Hey Yadi!

And of course Fredbird was there.

What a great day.  Thanks Cards, for creating great memories.  Let's do it again next year!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Soccer Saturday

After the excitement of the World Series, the energy level was a bit down this afternoon at the Charger's soccer game.  Today was a return visit to Holy Redeemer to take on their kindergarten team.

Despite not having had practices for the last few weeks, and the energy drain, the kids did pretty well.  They had 2 scored goals--3 if you count the goal that the Chargers ran off and scored before the ref blew the whistle and before the other team had gotten set on the field.  Oops.  But the kids didn't understand that the goal didn't count, and as far as they are concerned, they scored three goals today.

Christian had the 2nd (1st official) goal of the game.  He grabbed the ball past midfield and charged it all the way down to the goal.

Hey Coach, I just scored a goal!  (Will I get the game ball for this?  No.)

During the half, new positions were assigned.

"I get to play defense!"

Because the teams were switching goals, Coach worked to help the kids understand which goal they needed to defend, and which they were trying to score on.

We're defending which goal?
We're trying to score in which goal?
Christian tries to figure it out.

Oh, I've got it now.

But the real drama came after the game.  After the boys and I pulled into the driveway at home.

Connor brought Stompy to the game today. Stompy is one of Connor's stuffed elephants.  He used to be "baby elephant, but a few months ago got a name."

Connor wanted Stompy to come cheer for his big brother.  Connor and Stompy had a great time at the game. Eating pretzels, swinging on the swingset, cheering on the Chargers.

When we got home, as we were getting out of the car, we discovered that Stompy wasn't with us.  He must have been having so much fun that he wanted to stay and watch the next game of the afternoon.

Connor wasn't having any of it.  "Oh no.  Stompy misses me. Hurry, Hurry. Oh Stompy."

So we buckled up and back to Holy Redeemer we went.

As we got out of the car at the soccer field, I dashed over to the stands.  Sure enough, right there where he'd been most of the game, fourth row up, on the end, sat Stompy.


What a relief.

Not just for Connor, but me too.  Of the many, many stuffed animals that we have in the house, Stompy is one of my most favorites.  We got Stompy at a toy store in Amarillo, TX shortly before Christian was born.  He's cuddly and sweet.  Just like Connor, who early on fell in love with Stompy and the elephant family of stuffed animals.

Connor missed Stompy.  Stompy missed Connor.  They aren't letting each other out of sight.

A Happy Morning in Cardinals Nation

Good Morning St. Louis!

Is it possible that anyone actually got any sleep last night?  The last few nights for that matter?  Wow. What an incredible journey to winning the World Series! 

We may be bleary eyed, but this is one happy town. H.A.P.P.Y.  This team stuck together, believed, and worked their tails off to give the town a lot to be happy about.

We had such fun during the playoffs watching the games with the boys.  Christian in particular was very interested and excited about the games.  A couple of his memorable quotes:

"Do the Rangers have God in their hearts? I know the Cardinals do, but I'm not sure about the Rangers."

"Albert Pujols is a GREAT Cardinal.  But the first great Cardinal is Stan Musial." (He's learning very well!)

And the happiest "Mommy, I was awake to see the Cardinals win the World Series!"  Yep, while he fell asleep mid-way through the game, we made sure he was up to see the last out and the beginning of the celebration.

After staying up late to watch the game, Connor and I were up early this morning.  We decided to sneak out and head over to Busch Stadium.  Got to keep the party going, right?

Good morning Stan Musial.  The 2011 Cards did you proud.

We peeked inside the third base gate.  Connor was very upset that he wasn't going to see the team play.  They're tired I said.  I bet they're just now going to bed.  Then Connor saw all the trash on the floor.  "This place is a mess" he said.

On to the store.  Inside, Connor found the local Fox2 reporter doing interviews.  He seemed a bit startled when she said hello to him, so he backed up in search of Rally Squirrel.

Found him...and lots of his friends.

There were no Freese jerseys, shirts, or otherwise to be found in the store.  That's what I'm looking and everyone else in town!  In the meantime, we can thank Rally Squirrel for his contributions to team spirit this season.

There were Pujols shirts aplenty.  Please stay in St. Louis!
There were hats.

And Squirrel claws.

Congratulations to the 2011 World Series Champions!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Daily Stat

Because I subscribe to the Harvard Business Review newsletter, I get several emails of different types from HBR each day.  Some are management tips, some are ads, but the one I've come to enjoy receiving is "The Daily Stat."  You never know what seemingly random, but useful information will pop up.

In the last week, these are some of the stats that have been sent.

Today's stat was timely, given the excitement over the World Series in town.  Researchers found that younger brothers are 10.6 times more likely to try to steal bases in baseball and 3.2 times more likely to be successful at it.  Looking at Christian and Connor, Connor is definitely more willing to take risks than his big brother.

If a consumer is relaxed, they consider a paper shredder 39% more valuable than someone who is not is kind of relaxing (and fun) to shred and get rid of annoying paper clutter.

Did you shave today?  Pay attention to your personal hygiene and appearance?  I hope so, because good grooming generates a boost in wages of 4%-5% for young men.  It affects women too, but not as much. 

I don't really think this is surprising, but in politically liberal areas, "green" office buildings command a rental premium  of nearly 6%.  Anyone remember the "green" initiatives that Pelosi implemented when she was Speaker of the House...and which were scaled back with Speaker Boehner took the gavel?

What's up for next week, I wonder?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cardinal's World Series Quiz

Game 6 is about to start...test your knowledge of Card's World Series trivia.

St. Louis Cardinals’ World Championships Quiz

How'd you do?

Want to visit Congress in 2012?

Majority Leader Cantor released the 2012 Calendar for the House of Representatives yesterday.  2012 House Calendar.  This is the schedule that determines when your House Representative is in DC.  Like this year, there are regularly set "district work periods".  These used to be known as "Recess" periods--a chance for Members to spend time in their districts, away from DC, visiting constituents, traveling, and getting in touch with the real world. (Have I mentioned that I'm thrilled to be living back in the real world lately? I am.)

The difference with next years calendar, is that as the year gets closer to November, the "district work periods" will increase, and get longer.  Why?  Because it's an election year.  That means that very little work beyond the "must-pass"legislation (read: appropriations) will get done, because no one wants to rock the boat heading into November.  Any real accomplishments will happen early in the year, if at all.   The political silly season will be starting soon...

That said, if you want to go to the Hill to visit your Member of Congress (and to actually stand a chance of seeing your Member in person) you want to schedule your trip when Congress is in session. If you don't care about seeing your Member in person, and want to visit with their staff (the more productive option) or just want a slightly calmer time to visit, you'd want to plan your trip for those days that the Congress is back home for the district work period.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bud Bud's My First Hymnal

A few weeks ago, I brought home a copy of My First Hymnal for Bud Bud to give to his teacher.  He liked it so much that he was very upset that he had to give it away.  So I brought him home a copy of his own.  The first night he got it looked something like this:

I showed the picture to our music editor...he asked if they could use it for the poster that will be used for the hymnal.  Sure, I said.

Then, a few days ago, they asked if we would be willing to let Bud Bud be videoed for the promotional video that will be supporting the hymnal.  Sure, why not?

So today was the day.  Christian waited patiently....

Then, he was intrigued as Paula miked him up. (He was bribed liberally with Pez and gummy worms).

 And then, the camera started to roll.

He did great...he read some of his favorite hymns and talked about why he likes his My First Hymnal.
It is a beautiful hymnal for kids--just lovely.  The artwork is colorful, eye-catching, and interesting.  The hymns that are included are classic hymns that we know and love to sing.  It's wonderful to be able to have them in a book that we can not only share with our children, but use to help them become involved in worship and to learn about their faith heritage.  

And, because kids soak up everything they hear and read, it's a great resource.  In church recently, I leaned over at the start of a hymn and encouraged Bud Bud to sing along. "I don't know this song, Mommy.  It's not in my hymnal."  At least he's paying attention.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gold Mouse Awards

The winners of the Congressional Management Association's Gold Mouse Awards for the best congressional websites were announced over the weekend.  Taking the top awards were Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Mark Begich. 

Not surprisingly, many of the award winners are younger Members of Congress.  Having spent a great deal of time looking for information on Congressional websites, it's nice to have Members who are interested enough to provide a good, informative site.  There are any number of Congressional websites that seem to make you play "Where's Waldo" to find basic information like office address and phone number.

The only Member of the Missouri or Illinois delegation to land an award this year is Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).  He received the Bronze Mouse Award.  I've used his site a lot over the years looking for information and have to admit, it was helpful. 

View the complete list of award winners.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Places to Watch the World Series

Now that we know the World Series is coming back to STL for hopefully only a Game 6, here are some options for great places to watch the game (unless of course you have tickets). 

10 Places to Watch the World Series. 

There are some great options on the list--I'm particularly interesting in Three Sixty, after seeing them listed on the list of 25 Best New Restaurants in St. Louis.  But, realistically, I'll be watching from the comfort of my living room.  Nothing beats introducing my boys to the thrill of the Cardinals in the post-season.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Family Dinner, STL Edition

Katie and DrewB are in town this weekend, so we had the family over for dinner tonight.  Family dinner STL style involve us, Oma and Opa, and tonight, Katie and DrewB.  The family members involved might be different, but there are some common themes (we are family after all).
There was DrewB.

There was Mom/Oma taking pictures.

There was wine.

There were dinosaurs.


There was football.

Oma was still taking pictures.

There was food (and more wine).

There was DrewB pulling himself up for the very first time.
There were cousins.

There were tickles.

There were hugs.

And finally, there were "don't go's".