Favorite Game-Day Gear

Favorite Game Day Gear

Game-day gear questions seem to come up every season. Which are the best things, the most affordable and the necessary items? This year is a little different as some of our games are in the evening and others are in the morning, but a few strategic choices are helping me prepare for every game without storing a lot of extra stuff.

Here’s this Year’s List of my Favorite Game-Day Gear:

Thinsulate

Now that we’re back North and games are in the evening I’ve pulled the Thinsulate back out. This extra layer is thin but very helpful at keeping me warm on the chilly days.

Stadium Seat

We’re not using these this year as we’re on the sidelines with various roles, but if you haven’t purchased a stadium seat yet it’s worth considering. Mine has a pouch to hold things meaning it’s one less bag to carry.

Tervis

I know many love their Yeti’s, but I’m loyal to Tervis. Regardless of your mug of choice, it’s helpful to find a travel mug that keeps your cold drink cold, hot drink hot, has a spill-proof lid and doesn’t sweat.

A Great Shirt

I’ve always been a one outfit person. Kind of like a uniform for Game Days, but this year I’ve branched out and I’m loving having options to wear each weekend. Friday Night Wives has an adorable collection of shirts that are high-quality and true to size. I love my collection and find that it’s great to have options.

As with many things I’m keeping it simple this year even when it comes to game-day gear. There aren’t any affiliate links here, I’m just a fan offering an opinion!

Pre-Season Camp Curse

Pre-Season Camp Curse

 

If you have ever been around a coaching family as their season begins you may have noticed a pattern. As soon as players report disaster strikes. While many assume this is coincidence, seasoned coaches’ wives know better. This scenario has what I have titled The Pre-Season Camp Curse. Lest you think I am being overly dramatic I’ve inventoried the past 17 Augusts and I’ll highlight a few of my favorite camp memories below.

Past August Disasters:

  • Three years in a row Ordell and I both broke our cell phones in August once accidentally emerging them in water on the same night while in different states.
  • One year a “quick roof repair” ended with on coach falling off our roof and Ordell in the ER after stepping on a nail (through work boots) that was likely 50 years old.
  • My favorite year was the one where both cars picked up nails in the tires on the same day and after returning from the second tire patch repair I discovered a “helpful” neighbor had called to have our water turned off due to a water puddle on the driveway.
  • That same home in August had a collapsed pipe which took 2.5 weeks to repair, causing our family to move onto campus for camp and live in a tiny guest house. Then upon returning home, we discovered the pipe repair had invited mice.
  • August is the month we accidentally leave the car lights on all night and awake to dead batteries.
  • It’s the month appliances break down.
  • The bank has messed up check deposits and then applied fees for overdrawn accounts.
  • Levi ended up in the ER one year for a massive poison ivy exposure where he ended up with a steroid shot and week of meds.
  • We had a major storm come through and a dying tree limb fell tearing the electrical box off our home and a neighbor’s and I awoke to a blocked in car and four men in the driveway arguing about who was going to pay for the tree removal…none of which was my husband.

 

Ahh…memories

Here’s How I Handle the Curse

While I can chuckle now at the insanity of past August disasters, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to avoid the crazy. What will happen will happen so instead, I’ve learned to implement a few strategic August boundaries to minimize the effects of the Pre-season Camp Curse.

Prep Ahead

Each summer I spend a little time adding meals to the freezer in anticipation of the days when dinner time is hectic in August. By preparing the basics ahead of time the expense of a “disaster” is reduced. For example, when the oven breaks we don’t need to eat out. Dinner is in the freezer. When the car breaks and we’re stuck at home we don’t need to order pizza, because dinner is ready.

I also prep ahead by using August to turn over clothing wardrobes, gathering school supplies and purging the house. These tasks keep my kids busy in those last days before school which minimizes fighting. These things also set us up to cost a bit through the fall. The yearly routines are necessary so it’s not seen as busy work.

Simplify

Much of August is spent on the football field, so there isn’t much time for fancy meals. Fresh veggies and grilled meat are enough to keep everyone running and reduces the grocery store stops as well.

The calendar is also simplified. We have one commitment at the beginning of August. Football. This doesn’t mean we don’t spend time with friends, but we do eliminate many things from our calendar. We don’t travel (we’ll do enough of that September-December), we don’t have overnight visitors (everyone sleeps in their own beds), and we don’t overschedule our days.

Ask for Help

When I awoke to zero electricity and a bunch of strange men in my driveway I couldn’t call Ordell, but I could call my friend Sharon. Her husband, a lineman was likely to have some idea of what I needed to do and say. Turns out Sharon did too and she also knew the men so she could put my mind at ease and help me ask the right questions.

When the pipe collapsed I asked friends if we could crash at their homes until on-campus housing was available instead of dealing with a home without water. This may seem silly, but I know plenty of coaches’ wives who would rather go it alone than ask for help…and it’s completely unnecessary.

When the boys were little I found babysitters in August so I could get a break from being alone with my boys all day. Simple things like running errands were no longer stressful and we were all happier in the end.

While the camp curse is frustrating, it doesn’t need to completely derail you! Take a breath, ask for help and head to the football field. All will even out once pre-season camp ends. And until then…may the odds be ever in your favor. 😉

Lessons from a Great Surprise

Lessons from a Great Surprise

A few weekends ago Ordell and I celebrated our 17th Wedding Anniversary. We’ve never had expectations around gifts, and we celebrated our early anniversaries at FCA family camp, so we haven’t always paid attention to the exact date.

I decided that I’d take advantage of a Saturday anniversary and plan an atypical date. Date night as a coach’s wife is often atypical, but rarely a surprise.

We’ve been together close to two decades at this point, and that makes surprises a bit more challenging to execute, but it also makes it that much more fun when it’s successful.

Here’s where a little background will be helpful, my husband grew up in a family that hunted with father who was a police officer. Guns were always a part of his life whereas they were not a part of mine. I’m not comfortable around guns, and all the happenings in the news haven’t changed my mind. So when Ordell mentioned at the end of May that the local shooting range offers a date night package, I knew he wasn’t doing so expecting me to join him eagerly.

This is why suggesting our anniversary dinner begin at the shooting range was a perfect surprise. The great thing about a surprise is that you never know the outcome, and in this case, I was surprised too.

Lessons from a Great Surprise

1- Preparation is Key

I knew there would be a little prep that had to happen before our date, so I made sure to communicate that the offer for shooting range date night was good for today or the near future. My man is wise and knew the chances of me chickening out were strong, so we spent a little time practicing shooting fundamentals before we headed out.

2- Having an Open Mind is Helpful

Beyond the instructions Ordell gave me I had no idea what to expect when we entered the range. I’m so glad I chose not to overthink things. Had I walked into our date with any assumptions I could have set a negative tone or expectations that I couldn’t meet. Instead, I knew I would need to prove I could safely shoot a gun to have a successful date. I took my requirements seriously and passed with flying colors(check out that target above, I hit my mark straight on).

3- There is Always an Opportunity to Impress Your Loved Ones

My husband and sons were all impressed with my results and honestly, so was I. My instructor explained that my attention to detail with applying the fundamentals was what allowed me success. This new experience was one I was on high alert for, and I did not rush through things. Even though I wasn’t sure if it was a one time experience or something I would do again in the future taking things seriously was important.

This choice also showed my husband that I respect his hobby. Had I gone in with an attitude of anything other than respect, I may not have passed the qualification and that would have ruined the whole date.

4- New Experiences Bond a Couple

My willingness to engage with Ordell’s semi-regular hobby created a whole new area of memories that are just ours. It also opened a window to entire areas of conversation we previously couldn’t have. There are some things you just need to experience in person and for me, the shooting range was one of them.

5- Quality Time Doesn’t Mean Always Doing Things One Way

One of my love languages is quality time. In the past I’ve assumed this has meant that we need to do something we both enjoy but it turns out that’s not the case! Choosing to step out of my comfort zone and engage in something my husband enjoys was fun because happiness is contagious when we allow it be so. Spending time together, just us always has the potential to be fun, but it’s a choice to embrace an experience and classify it as quality time.

6- It’s Never too Late to Learn Something New

While I was pretty tired from adrenaline by the end of our outing, but I was also pleased with my shots and feeling more comfortable in my surroundings. I didn’t hate our date, likely because I decided to have an open mind combined with a love for the company. Knowing I can successfully attend a shooting range date night is great, it also means I have a new experience, potential skill and future date nights available.

Planning excursions often falls to us wives during the season. What I loved most about our adventure is that it was completely outside of a typical date expectation and it had nothing to do with football. Our sport takes up a significant amount of our conversation and calendar. It was great to spend date night as a coach’s wife without anyone associating that title with our adventure.

So go ahead and plan a surprise for your favorite coach, you may just surprise yourself too and hit a bullseye on the target at the same time.