Category Archives: sports

Gold medal

I wanted to share some thoughts I posted yesterday on my Facebook page.

Driving to church this morning, I found myself thinking about last night’s game – AND BAWLING!

1. I was very tired.

2. I was thrilled with the outcome.

But more than anything:

3. Games like that, verses Canada, take me back to all the wonderful memories of college & dear friends that I am so incredibly grateful for.

While we had (have) a good natured rivalry, and I (15 years ago) had to give a nod to their 2 gold medal wins during my graduation speech, it’s mostly about friendship to me. Sibling love. Our closest ally.

From living there when 9-11 happened (and the fear of being stuck outside of your homeland when the borders closed) to the Salt Lake games or grieving the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, there’s no other Country and friend I want on my side more.

To the True North, see you in Beijing 2022 ❤️

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Filed under canada, friends, friendship, hockey, olympics

Disneyland Experiences

***I’ve intended to blog about this for years. If I ever write a book, you can bet some items I am about to touch on will play a significant part of my story. ***

When I was a little girl I had a reoccurring dream. Actually, I had a few. One involved camping in pueblos with my family when a buffalo stampede headed in our direction. Even though I could never get packed up and in the car on time, no one was ever injured or killed because I woke myself up before the buffalo arrived.

But I digress. This particular reoccurring dream was really more of a reoccurring motif. The specific details always varied, but the setting and outcome were completely consistent. In one fashion or another I was about to go to Disneyland. Tickets in hand, or perhaps in line purchasing tickets. It always ended the same. I woke up right before entering the park. Perhaps I woke up because I had to use the bathroom, or maybe my alarm went off.

But every. single. time.

I woke up. No Disneyland.

I’m in no way superstitious, except for maybe with sports. (Don’t call it a perfect game. It’s x number up, x number down until it’s 27 up, 27 down. Then feel free to call it what it is, perfect.)

I don’t think my dreams carry prophetic power. Expect for maybe that one time I dreamed an airplane was falling out of the sky, toward me, because it’s engines fell off. While the dream was intense and extremely scary, it didn’t strike me as unsual because it was only a few days after 9/11. But then this happened the day after my birthday that year : “The plane’s two engines also separated from the aircraft before it hit the ground.” (I DON’T think my dreams are prophetic. This was just a terrifying coincidence.)

Anyway – back to my Disneyland dreams.  The fact that I almost got to Disneyland but never got through the gates, that gut check of disappointment has stayed with me. When it comes to real life, I’ve had some major disappointments hit me pretty hard. A few of them, if I’m honest, rung up in my mind as “Disneyland experiences” when I was in the middle of them.

What I mean by that is as I was walking forward into a hopeful experience, something settled into my gut and my mind as “I don’t think this is really going to happen. I think this is surreal. I think this is a Disneyland experience.” and then sure enough, whatever it was fell through and didn’t happen.

A few of my more memorable Disneyland experiences are as follows:

*The time I expected to be in concert choir in 12th grade. It was something I worked for since 7th grade and I was hopeful, but something rang a little sour in my mind. It was something I wanted so bad, I thought it would not really happen. Sadly – my audition was not my best and I didn’t make it.

*I applied to Moody Bible Institute (twice).  Both times, my grades, my life experiences, my ability to write and communicate – all pointed to me be accepted no questions asked. And yet, in my mind, I had a hard time actually picturing myself in Chicago, going to college. Shocking everyone – except maybe me? – I was not accepted (twice).

*Going to China to teach English. I was on a team in college that was headed to China to teach English. We prepared all year. I was skeptical that little Debra would actually get to travel to over an ocean to China. When we had our printed tickets in had, I started to give into the idea that it was really happening. Then five days before we were to leave, the trip was cancelled (thanks SARS).

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been wrong. I’ve had the “Disneyland experience” gut feeling and the expected experience came to pass. I didn’t really believe I was going to Wheaton for graduate school until we were in the car driving there. I’m thankful to have been wrong. (Although, I was partly right – Mark Noll, the professor I wanted to learn from the most and the reason I applied to Wheaton, left Wheaton after 27 years. He took a position at Notre Dame. This took placy during the one year between my acceptance and attendance when I deferred so I could pay off my car before school. No Mark Noll. “Disneyland Experience” strikes again.)

And as odd as it may sound to say, I’m thankful I was right sometimes too.

Maybe this is why some think I’m pessimistic. I considered myself a realist. I don’t want to get my emotions involved on the front end of things too early. If something seems to good to be true, it often is. It’s ok that these “Disneyland experiences” fell through.

Some of my biggest disappointments are paramount in shaping me into the person I am today. If I went to Moody, I missed out on Edmonton & NABC/Taylor. And come on, who doesn’t want to have a school in their past that had two names, was so small it’s now closed, and played sports in the city league. 😉  I kid! I wouldn’t trade the friendships and growth as an intellectual Christian for the world. I LOVED my time in the True North. And as a bonus, I attended school in Chicago later anyway.

Honestly, because I know things can go terrible wrong, not as hoped and dreamed, but still be ok – if not better – in the long run, it helps me continue to have a concrete trust that God is good. That God loves me. That God loves my family. That his plans are better than I could imagine. Better than I can dream.

My son’s memory verse right now for church is Psalms 18:30. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.

Even if that means my ticket to Disneyland just got sucked up into a tornado. Who knows, it could. I do live in Tornado Alley after all.

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Filed under baseball, canada, chicago, theology

Good morning!

I’ve already walked down and gotten a chest x-Ray. Yes walked… Yesterday they wheeled me down and the day before, the came to me – so I’m making progress.

Just sitting here drinking an ensure, waiting for the kitchen to open (I’ll probably order a ham & cheese omelette), checking the results of the Mariners game. Seems fitting, last night they had their biggest come back in club history. Tonight the M’s play here – maybe I’ll watch some of the game.

Thanks for the continued prayers. I’ve been feeling better and walking more each day.

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Filed under baseball, cardiology, mariners

Free Baseball

I’m a baseball fan and when baseball goes into extra innings, it’s fondly referred to as “free baseball.”

This extra week pre-surgery feels like such with my family.

We weren’t planning on it (my empty fridge and lack of any fresh produce can attest to this), but we will enjoy it nonetheless.

A picture of my guys goofing around this evening.

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Filed under baby, baseball, family

Growing up

A few years after my open heart surgery, my family moved from Chicagoland to the Pacific Northwest. I was 6 and a half when we moved.

sidewalk

Around 5 or 6 years old in Chicago. I think this is a sweet, rare photo of me in a dress.

 

scissor

(L) My second year of 1st grade. (Yes, I took it twice. That’s what happen when you move and are really shy.) and (R) kindergarten. Please notice the amazing cutting work on these pictures. Done by yours truly, ages 5 & 7. I’m better at this now.

As I mentioned in my last post, there is no cure for CHD. I spent many days going to cardiology appointments. For a while, it was once a year, then twice a year. There was a period of time I got to go only once every two years, which was short lived as I hit puberty and my cardiologist knew I needed to be monitored more often.

fourkids

On a family vacation. This is a picture of my brothers and me. Unlike the photo above of me in a dress, this is much closer to my “normal” as a kid. And check out that mullet!

My “normal” has always been a little off from actual “normal.” For instance, I’ve always had restrictions on what sports I may participate in. When I was in 5th grade, I participated in track, only to be chastised by my cardiologist. “Don’t you know you aren’t supposed to run track?!? Don’t you hear the new stories of kids dropping dead on the running track!?!” Oops! (If you are wondering, I got the green light to play soft ball, and be in a bowling league.)

Because of these physical limitations, I was not allowed to participate in P.E.. That awkward, learn to shower at school with classmates situation – I never lived it. It also meant I got to take a ton of extra electives in High School. (Lots of Art!)

piano

Piano recital. I took around 5 years of lessons. I played ok, but I was terrible at actually putting in time to practice. That dress! :-/

 

dog

I have always loved reading. This was probably from my Jr. High years. Hanging out with our golden retriever.

Medically speaking, everything is always more complicated for me. In high school, when I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed, no one would touch me because I was such a risk. I had to have them out up at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

When I had a very unusual case of gall stones the summer before my senior year of college, I had to have extra tests just to make sure it was not being caused by my heart. Apparently my blood was breaking down faster than it was supposed to. This resulted in hard conversations about “What happens if they say I’m dying?” Thankfully, that was not the case and I was able to return to college and complete my degree.

As most of you likely know, more recently, my heart health made for some high risk pregnancies. (You can read more about that here.)

I’ve been blessed and am very fortunate to live what I call “bonus time.”  If you think about it, we are all in bonus time – I just happen to have tangible proof.

Thank you for reading my story. Come back soon to find out “What’s Next.”

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Filed under cardiology, chicago, moving, seattle, sports

Go Sports

I’ve blogged about sports quite a bit, since I love the Seattle Mariners along with several other Pacific North West teams (and a few Edmonton teams).

If you’ve read along, or know me at all, you know I’ve not had the best luck as a sports fan. You can read more about that here and here.

But I wanted to add something I wrote as a facebook post.  These were my thoughts the day after My Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl:

I realize for most of the US of A, yesterday’s game was incredibly boring. For the people of Seattle, and for those of us who grew up in Seattle and have always been Seattle sports fans… this was a long time in coming. The game was Incredible to watch. Seriously, that was the fasted the Super Bowl was ever played (or so it seemed to me).

The last time one of the “big 4” professional sports teams won for Seattle was before I was born.

To paraphrase something my brother told his young girls last night as the game ended – ‘Hey! Listen up. Enjoy this. It might never happen again.’ You see, he’s a Bears fan. We lived in Chicago when he was about 7 years old. We saw the Monsters of the Midway win…. It might only happen once in your life (or at least it can feel that way).

So to all the sports fans who don’t live in New York, or New England, or city with a dynasty team. To those that don’t see their team win all the time, or expect another championship is right around the corner – this entire year was pretty fun. Last night was just the celebration of a something we Seattle fans knew all along, our team was incredibly good. Keep rooting for your team. Someday, it might be you watching the Best Championship Game of your life, even if the rest of the country could care less.

Me? I’m going to enjoy this a bit. Let it sink in. I’ve rooted for teams for 33 years and the only time my Seattle boys have won was yesterday. Besides that… I still have about 2 weeks until pitchers and catchers report right?

Go Hawks!

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Filed under baseball, blog, football, mariners, seahawks, seattle, sports

Reverse the Curse

I’m a sports fan. Due to my health, I’ve never been much of an athlete – but ever since I was 14 and the 1995 Mariners pulled me in to a new world, I’ve been a sports fan.

Sometimes, this is awesome. As a teenager, all of a sudden, I had things I could talk about and really enjoy with my three brothers and dad, all of whom love sports.

Sometimes, this is not awesome.  Let me give you a quick summary of all the teams I’ve rooted for over the years:

*Seattle Mariners: In 1995, after beating the Yankees in a 5 game series (after being down 2-0) they couldn’t get past Cleveland. They lost Game 6 of the ALCS. To this day, have gotten to the ALCS one other time, but never made it to the World Series. (Even the year they won 116 games – tying the record for most wins in a season.)

*USA Hockey: In 2002, I was living in Canada for college. The Salt Lake City Olympics featured TWO gold metal hockey games (both Men’s & Women’s) where Canada beat the USA. It was miserable to watch with my Canadian friends.

*Edmonton Eskimos: I was still living in Edmonton Alberta in 2003.  The CFL team went to the Grey Cup. And Lost.

*Edmonton Oilers: 2006 – Since I went to school in Edmonton, I adopted the Oilers as my hockey team. They were the come from behind kids, only to get to the 7th game of the Stanley Cup finals, and lose.

*Seattle Seahawks: Lost the Superbowl in 2006

*Chicago Bears: They did win the Superbowl when I lived in Chicago, but I was only 5 years old and don’t remember the win.  In Grad School, it was 2007 and I lived in Chicago again. The Bears lost the Superbowl.

*Seattle Super Sonics: This one is so bad that the Sonics moved to OKC in 2008 and changed their name. I’ve been rooting against the Thunder ever since. (Maybe the one bright spot? I was forced to root for the Miami Heat to beat the Thunder in the finals. And the Heat won….Lesser of two evils.) I wrote off the NBA for a few years, until I was married to a Spurs fan.

*San Antonio Spurs: My adopted team, thanks to my husband, made it to the finals this year. As is the pattern of my life, they lost in the finals.

So there you go. And I’ll not even attempt to claim all the foibles of the Cubs as mine. They are my second favorite baseball team.  Since I was born in Chicago and have lived there a total of 8 years, the loveable losers have a special place in my heart as well.

All of that being said, I refuse to give up. I WILL cheer for my teams. And one year, one of them will WIN. I’m hoping this is the year. I’m banking on the curse being reversed. I’m ROOTING for the SEAHAWKS.  — And that’s all there is to it.

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Filed under baseball, basketball, canada, chicago, football, grad school, hockey, mariners, oilers, olympics, seahawks, seattle, sports