Rise Up!

This month, we took Lucy to her first professional football game. And, it was MY first football game as well! I was psyched. We had tickets (that were FREE, I might add!) in the end zone in the 11th row. Seriously. We had awesome seats.

The Falcons were playing the Ravens, my hometown team. I didn’t know who to cheer for! I ended up rooting for the Falcons, but I will say that I LOVED hearing the few Ravens fans in attendance shout the “O” during the National Anthem. It’s something that’s always done at Orioles games.

When the Falcons run out, they shoot off fireworks. Lucy LOVED that.

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We stayed until the third quarter, and by then we had been there for more than two hours. I heard on the radio later that it took longer than normal to get through the first half. We were getting tired and, even though she didn’t want to leave, Lucy was tired as well. She had fun cheering and waving to the Falcon, though.

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She also had a blast dancing and entertaining everyone sitting around us, though.

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And, of course, I took a video of her dancing. The pictures don’t do her justice. You have to see this girl in action. You’re welcome.


It was only a pre-season game, but it was still a lot of fun. And, I know a regular season will have even more energy. We’re hoping to go to again this season, and we’ll probably leave Lucy at home so we can really focus and enjoy the game. I can’t wait!

Meeting a Legend

Fourteen years ago today, Cal Ripken, Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive baseball game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s long-standing record. I remember that day like it was yesterday, and I was proud to call myself a Baltimoran.

Since it’s the anniversary of the record being broken, I thought I’d share my experience meeting Cal Ripken, Jr. In 2001, the Orioles came to Atlanta to play the Braves during Ripken’s farewell tour. I was working for a small daily newspaper outside of Atlanta, and I was determined to go. I found a way to write a story for our sports section out of it, got it approved by my editor, secured press passes for me and my photographer, and we were on our way.

We arrived several hours before gametime for Ripken’s press conference, and we joined the throngs of reporters and photographers in the visiting team’s dugout. I squeezed my way up in the front row, sitting right in front of the man who had been my favorite baseball player and one of my heroes since childhood. It was awesome.

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After the press conference, I had a brief moment to try to meet him. I introduced myself to his press secretary, and told him I’m a native of Baltimore and grew up watching the Orioles play at Camden Yards. He said that Ripken would love to meet me, and took me over to introduce me. Ripken and I talked for several minutes, and my photographer snapped pictures the entire time. I gave him a copy of a column I had written about him for our sports section, and he told me he would read it while he ate his pre-game pizza. Cool!

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He spent quite a while before the game signing autographs for fans, which I thought was awesome. He was always a player to stand out on the field and sign autographs while the other players relaxed in the clubhouses before games, which is one reason I really respect him.

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Our press passes gave us field and press room access, so I spent time going back and forth, spending some time in the press room but hanging out on the field for the majority of the game. The dugouts have a separate section attached to them where photographers can stand, and that’s where I sat in the visiting team’s dugout. In fact, Ripken was sitting just a few feet away from me for most of the game, which was awesome.

That was definitely a day I will never, ever forget, and I have a binder full of pictures to show for it. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually get them scanned in. 🙂

Playoff Bound

falcons logo When football season started a few months ago, most were predicting the Atlanta Falcons would win two games.

Today, they won the final game of the season, heading into the playoffs with an 11-5 record and coming just shy of winning the division. The Carolina Panthers won their game by scoring a field goal with one second to go, securing the division championship and locking the Falcons into the 5th seed spot.

The Falcons have had a rough few years. The last time the team went to the playoffs was in 2004 when they won their division. The last two seasons were abismal with records of 7-9 and 4-12 in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Last year also saw the abrupt resignation of head coach Bobby Petrino with three games to go in the season. Petrino left a note in the team’s locker room informing his players that he had taken a position at the University of Arkansas.

Last year also saw former quarterback Michael Vick indicted on federal dog fighting charges and sentenced to time in prison. No one thought the Falcons could come back, at least not one season after finishing 4-12, but rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, and running backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood helped lead the team to a winning season.

This is what Atlanta needed after not-so-stellar seasons for the Braves, Thrashers and Hawks. The Falcons, though, have never had back-to-back winning seasons. Maybe next year will bring a first for the team. For now, I’ll be wearing red and black on Sunday afternoons and cheering our team on in the playoffs. Go Falcons!

Ohio Weekend, Part 1: The Colonel and the Cincinnati Reds

Good afternoon! We pulled into the driveway at 6 a.m. and were up 5 hours later to head to Emory for my ultrasound. Needless to say, we are exhausted. Joe’s taking a quick power nap but, since we have to be up around 5 anyway to get ready to head to Kiwanis, I probably won’t join him. Quick, hour-long naps make me even more tired!

Since we had *such* a full weekend and took about 700 pictures, I thought I’d break up our trip into several posts. We left Wednesday after work and headed up to Collegedale to watch my brother’s softball game and meet his new girlfriend. We like her a lot!

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We headed out of town Thursday morning, and what should have taken us about 6 hours to get to Cincinnati took about 8 with the various stops we made. It’s ok, though, because we got to go to the original KFC and see where it all began.

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And, of course, we had to pose for pictures with Col. Sanders himself.

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We decided that Kentucky is one state we would *never* want to live in. We didn’t think anywhere could be as bad as south Georgia, but Kentucky proved us wrong. There was absolutely nothing there. It was a very boring drive. And, we discovered that Kentucky is quite proud of being southern.

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We arrived in Cincinnati with just enough time to check in at our hotel, drop off our bags and head to the stadium. It was very difficult to find The Great American Ball Park because, well, the signs were all faded. And, they told you to turn when you really needed to go straight. It was all very confusing. But, we made it, and we fell in love with the stadium. It is so much more open than Turner Field.

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The stadium is about two blocks from the Cincinnati Bengals stadium, so we we walked down there before the game to take a few pictures.

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The Reds lost that game, but we still had a blast. Coming up next: our stay in Warren (oh the stories I have to share) and the wedding!

The Weekend that Was

I had a very lazy weekend, and I really enjoyed it. We slept in *really* late yesterday because Callie kept us up all night, and then after a quick lunch, Joe got ready and headed to Atlanta for Jon’s bachelor party. I settled on the couch with a yummy haystack and my dvr’d episodes of Swingtown and One Tree Hill. It was a nice, relaxing “me” night, but I did miss Joe a lot.

Today, we slept in again, though not as late, because Callie was playing from 12-6:45 a.m. I had even kept her up last night until I went to bed at midnight, and yet she still wouldn’t sleep. I have no idea how to change her sleeping/playing patterns, but I think we’re going to keep her in the bathroom tonight because we just really need a good night of uninterrupted sleep. We throw her out and shut the bedroom door, but then Dizzy beats at the door and AJ scratches at the door frames. Sigh. It’s a lose-lose situation with our cats. I don’t remember Julius and AJ acting like this when they were kittens, so I really don’t know what Callie’s deal is. Any suggestions??

This afternoon, we hung out and watched the Falcons defeat the Lions, and what a surprise that was. I don’t think anyone (especially the sports writer who predicted a big loss) thought the Falcons would win. They’ve had a couple bad seasons, and this season wasn’t supposed to be much better. But, their new quarterback and runningback are awesome.

Then, we watched the Braves lose after 14 innings (no surprise there), and now I’m watching the Browns get crushed by the Cowboys. Boo.

And, of course, I’m still analyzing every little thing I’m feeling. I definitely have not had cramps (and I know why my stomach was hurting yesterday), and now my boobs are hurting. Of course, that could all be in my head again. I really hope not.

Now, Joe is off to pick up our free pizza from Little Caesars since, when I got pizza there last week, they gave me two pepperonis instead of one pepperoni and one cheese. Yay for free food!

Football Tickets

I really want to go to an Atlanta Falcons game this year. Yes, I know the Falcons suck. According to a recent story on Yahoo!, Atlanta is the worst city for sports. But, despite the fact that will most likely lose the game, I still want to go sometime during the season. I have never been to a professional football game before. I never even went to a Washington Redskins game in the 14 years I lived outside Washington D.C.

We figure Falcons tickets will be easy to come by this year. Besides the fact that the team is *really* bad, they also have the Michael Vick debacle working against them. I still think that is going to hurt their ticket sales this season, despite their die-hard fans.

There are several sites that I look at for tickets for concerts and sports games. One that I just started browsing is www.stubpass.com. You can get tickets for any sporting event, from Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees tickets to Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers tickets as well as tickets to live shows, like Wicked, and concerts. I always prefer to buy my tickets from sites like this rather than Ticketmaster because you can usually get a *much* better deal, and I am all about saving money wherever I can. It’s hard to compare ticket sites because ticket availability and pricing can change daily, but Stubpass has a lot of tickets listed. I found 100 just for the Cleveland Indians game we’re going to in September.

So when we start to look for Falcons tickets in a month or so, Stubpass will join the list of ticket sites that I browse to find the best deal. What about you? What sites do you like to use when you are purchasing tickets?