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Farmington U10 Box Lacrosse

Dear Diary,
Landen kicked off 2017 Lacrosse with something new.

Box Lacrosse is a little more closely aligned with hockey. In fact, the boys play on a regulation-sized hockey rink that was covered with turf. The nets are much smaller than what is used for "regular" lacrosse, which served to help improve their shooting accuracy.

This year's team 

The Box Lacrosse season played simultaneously with their Spring practice schedule. They wrapped this past Sunday, better prepared to focus on their league play.

Here are some shots of the action last weekend:

1 ... 2 ... 3 ... TIGERS! 

This sequence of shots is incredible. You can see Landen take a couple of hits, get knocked to the ground but still manage to maintain possession. Then, he took the shot and scored. I don't know how this kid does it, but he does it!

This hit is completely legal, though yes, Landen does have the bruises to show for it. 

How does he manage to hold on to it?! 

Another legal hit - the opponent is trying to get Landen's bottom hand and tip the ball out of the net. 

Scoring a point for Farmington!

He then took a couple of face-offs.

Setting up the pass.

The Tigers took possession, and Landen is waiting for the whistle to begin play.

Let's go, #45!

Landen launched a long pass from his team's crease (the area surrounding the goal), and though he intended it for a teammate, he successfully managed to score a goal! He made a full rink shot! The Farmington cheering section was on their feet when it happened, it was so exciting.

At one of the last face-offs of the game, Landen took the mid-fielder attack position. Here, he cannot enter the center circle until possession is achieved, then he helps his teammate either fight for the ball or get it to the opponent's goal.

It is so much fun to watch him play. Ready for Spring/Summer!

An Evening At (Eric) Church - Milwaukee, WI

Dear Diary,
This past weekend, Nick and I were in Milwaukee (with the kids, of course; but we were able to secure a date night).

About 6 months ago we scored tickets to see Eric Church at the Bradley Center, and beforehand, I took Nick out to dinner at the Pfister Hotel.

I cashed in my reward points and received gift cards to pay for this indulgence. Mason Street Grill never disappoints.

We had some time to kill after our meal, so we walked around the hotel.

It’s historic, a Milwaukee icon, and quite luxurious. 

Blu, the hotel’s bar, was recently named one of the best in the city. We were treated to views of the Milwaukee skyline while we sipped on a cocktail and made friends with the bartender.

The concert was scheduled to start at 8. We had seats on the floor.

Growing up, we took in quite a few Milwaukee Bucks games here. It often meant sitting way the hell up in the back, eating popcorn and shouting something ridiculous because I don’t follow basketball much. In high school, I had the opportunity to perform on the court, and I remember feeling like the seats were about to fold in on top of me.

That same feeling rushed over me as we took our seats. The way the sections and rows of seats encircled us had a dizzying effect, and I wondered how professional basketball players managed it.

Our remedy, naturally, was to order a cocktail. The lights would soon shut off anyway.

Here’s a fun fact: when Nick and I first started dating (14 years ago!) I hated country music.

And now, though my tastes align with newer music in the genre, I’ve built quite the list of country artists I’ve seen live. Funny how sometimes the things we protest turn into our obsession. 

Tonight, Eric Church was added to the experience. And I enjoyed every second of it. Energetic, talented, charismatic and my favorite quality of his – he just doesn’t give a sh!t. He does things his way, stands up for what he believes in, and in his early days, this created quite a stir amongst the major players. He was snubbed for awards quite a few times, and his distaste over it was well-documented. In the end though, he persisted. Now he’s selling out stadiums and recording albums that could easily be the soundtrack of my life.

We danced off the calories we previously consumed, sang and cheered until we lost our voices, and all-around had a great time.

Next up: Chris Stapleton in October, to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary!

Ancestry DNA, Part II: I Know Who I Am

Dear Diary,

I had an assumption of what my pie chart would show.

I knew there would be a strong Eastern European representation, as we’ve previously traced my Grandpa’s lineage to Poland. In fact, the signatures of his grandparents are recorded in the pages of the Ellis Island intake logs.

I also heard my grandmother’s father was 100% Norwegian, so I believed Scandinavia would appear as well.

My maiden name has Irish roots. 

What I was curious about, was the potential for what lied within the unknown.

As I mentioned in this post, I received an Ancestry DNA kit last Christmas and didn’t waste much time sending it in for testing. Humanity’s quest to answer the existential question of WHO AM I, was as simple as spitting into a small tube.

My results were emailed to me on April 4, and even with my long held assumptions, I still managed to be surprised.

My DNA profile is of 100% European ethnicity, further confirmation that I am a descendent of immigrants. I swelled with pride by this, wondering if I was pursuing and achieving the kind of dreams my ancestors hoped for when they settled in America.

Seventy-percent of my profile is Eastern European. I was caught off guard by how large this representation was. When I clicked on the more detailed description of this result, Poland lit up like a Christmas tree. Most notably, the region where my Grandpa’s grandparents once lived. Seeing that connection confirmed, I couldn’t deny the tears that began to collect in the corners of my eye.

My pie chart showed I was 12% Scandinavian, and 11% Irish. 

Then I learned of the minor representations in my profile – 5% traced to Western Europe (the areas surrounding Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein), 1% to Great Britain and less than 1% to Finland/Northwest Russia. These were unexpected.

I kept coming back to my Polish ancestry though.

I’ve often expressed my intent to return to New York City and tour Ellis Island; to see their signatures in the logs and to tour where they may have once stood. And now more than ever, my goal of traveling through Poland at least once during my lifetime has been renewed with fresh vigor. It is no longer enough to see the results of a DNA test, though it is something I’m happy to know. Now I must experience it, and see for myself.

This has truly been one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.