Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Change Your Act Super Bowl

As a kid watching the Super Bowl was something we always did as a family.  My mom would make a spread of homemade delights that made you look forward to the evening even if you weren’t that into the game.  In our house my dad was never going to have the chance to root for his team, alas the struggles of a Cleveland Browns fan.  My mom had a love for America’s team, which she had inherited from her father.  Having been given the natural instinct to like being a winner it was clear which side I would land on.  The dynasty that Jimmy Johnson built in the 90’s and later passed along, to Switzer helped turn a young Barbie loving, tiara wearing princess, into a football fanatic.  I had the Aikmen poster, shirt, and other Cowboys paraphernalia.  I began learning the intricacies of the game as I watched each Sunday and a little sports fan was born.  All of that to say, The Super Bowl games of 1992, 1993, and 1995 cemented a deep admiration for that coveted trophy and all of the fanfare surrounding that last NFL Sunday of each season.  The halftime performances were always fun and exciting, and if I was lucky enough to stay up and watch that last play,  I would stare in awe at the sea of confetti, shiny trophy and an MVP announcing he “was going to Disney World!”  I remember it as a time to celebrate a great sport in our nation no matter what teams ran onto the field.  

That young little Cowboys fan grew up to marry a Washington Redskins fan.  The fun NFL rivalry between us and our enjoyment of watching the sport has all three of our kiddos interested in watching the game.  This Sunday I pulled out my moms playbook of making the Super Bowl a celebration as we watched with friends and our family.  With the knowledge of who was performing at half time, we all agreed it would be best not to have our children in the living room.  Both women who performed are extremely talented entertainers.  I doubt any of us in the room hadn’t sang or danced to their songs before, but we all concluded it was likely to be laced with content inappropriate for little eyes.  Clearly, we all felt we made the right decision.  

Since the internet is not lacking opinions on the choice of outfits or the use of a stripper pole to entertain America I won’t bore you with my thoughts on them either.  However, I spent last night feeling myself getting more and more worked up about the performance; not because of the SHOCK of what was shown (we kinda predicted it) but at the fact that this is acceptable.  It’s acceptable for a game filled with talented and inspiring men like Patrick Mahomes to be offset by a cloak of vulgarity and inappropriateness.  It’s acceptable for millions of people to sit in the comfort of their living rooms while we have overly sexualized scenes poured into our homes.  Maybe it is acceptable to a portion of the population but the rest of us would like to claim back some decency over our flat screens.  I’m asking us to let the guys at the top (and yes I’m assuming they’re males), to bring the Super Bowl back to a standard of which the NFL, Pepsi, and while I’m at it, even the President has seemed to forget.  

Some of you reading this may not have the same values and beliefs I do, and you know what, you don’t have to.  #America  But name that thing, the thing you wouldn’t appreciate having poured into your living room.  The sights or topics you try to keep your family's eyes and ears safe from.  Now imagine that being streamed right into your living room without invitation.  That’s precisely how millions of us feel about watching (or turning our heads)  while suggestive sex blazed from the screen on Sunday. The overly sexualized female can be seen everywhere from a Disney movie to, eh hmmmm well, the Super Bowl, and I’ve frankly had enough.   I’m not telling you that you can’t watch scantily clad women shake their practically bare butt, spread their legs wide, grab at their crotch or rithe up and down a stripper pole, because after all this is America you get to do you!  I’d just like to think you can take your lifestyle choices to the strip club instead of right smack in the middle of a prime time sporting event and inviting your choices into my living room.  Call me old fashioned but I feel the only appropriate “poles” to be actively used in the sports arena are a goal post and a basketball goal.  But hey, maybe the Kansas Jayhawks actually were on the cusp of a new and unprecedented sporting tradition last year?  Goodness, might the National Cheerleading Competition add a pole event to their floor routines?  It just would be nice not to have to repeatedly usher my sports loving son out of the room to protect him from what we deem unsafe content.  "Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little eyes what you hear" is getting harder and harder to fight for.  

While we’re at it can we also talk about the commercials?  Is it really acceptable for parents to have to hold the button with a steady hand, ready to hit pause or mute during the commercials?  I use to enjoy watching the commercials almost as much as the halftime performance.  Thousands of talented artists work hard to create funny, moving, beautifully written ads that evoke an emotion in the span of 30 seconds.  Yet, millions of parents can no longer just let the commercials play on but must actively be on guard with a remote to help little eyes and ears stay safe.  

So in the words of the very talented Jlo, “Let’s get loud. Let’s get LOUD!!!!!!  Turn the noise up, let’s do it come on people let’s get loud!”  Let’s ask, please, and plead, change your act Super Bowl.  Maybe they’ll listen, and maybe they won’t but you know it’s often very true that  the squeaky wheel really does get the oil.  So let’s ask for change, and hope that it comes.  If it doesn’t, you can bet I’ll be watching the ridiculously cute puppy bowl during the halftime show in 2021.    

Share this and use #ChangeYourActSuperBowl to express your thoughts on the matter.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Christmas, parties for hosting.

Excuse me internet for my transgressions.  It has been 10 months since my last blog post. :)  Life has obviously been full in 2019, and though 2020 may be no different I do plan to try and get back to doing things I want to a little bit more.  So for now let's start with a recap on our most lovely Christmas, and if I have time maybe I'll go back and plug in the wholes of our bigger moments from last year. 
Since I last wrote we have moved into a new house after almost a year of looking and hunting and praying God placed us right where he wanted us to be.  With this home he has given us the space to play host to the people he has lovingly placed in our life. 
We had the sweetest blessing of hosting our family for our annual Martin cookie party.  It was truly a day of miracles as we ALL got to be together, laugh, eat, and enjoy one another. 
My favorite night of the year has forever been Christmas Eve.  As a child we would drive from Berea, then Somerset up to my grandparents home in Lexington.  All 4 sets of my dad's siblings and their families would join for a warm night of bountiful food and love.  On the ride home I enjoyed falling asleep to Christmas carols, and believing I saw Rudolph's nose in the distance a time or two.  That tradition eventually moved to my aunt's and uncles trading off hosting the big night.  No matter where it was or what kind of year we had all endured you could always walk away with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. 
This year, we became the hosts of this very special event and all but 3 of our family members got to attend, including the addition of the Cooper's!  It was a night that went far too quickly and ended too early for my family loving heart but it was more memorable than I could have ever hoped for. 

 It was a noise filled night of the sweetest proportions, lots of laughter, conversations, little ones playing peekaboo and pin the granny with the antlers! 

There were treasure moments too, to many to count.  Little moments like watching Henry scoop "granny's punch" out of her famed punch bowl and knowing this was a tradition living on.  
As we listened to Henry recite Luke 2 I couldn't help but look around the room and tear up.  THIS is God's love come down, the gift of this precious family, and that our savior came for all of us to eternally share in His joy forever.  Let it be so!  

Why oh why does Christmas come but once a year?  

Monday, February 4, 2019

Daddy Daughter Dance 2019

This, is why I like to take pictures.  Sometimes the emotions of a moment can be captured far better in a photo than in words, allowing us to process and experience it in a slow and powerful way.  As I sat down to look through these pictures I saw so much that made my heart soar with delight.
This little girl is often selfless beyond measure.  On Saturday she had a day that was just for her, and she felt it.  The 2019 HerKnight dance brought excitement, confidence, and joy that couldn't be stopped and neither could her twirls.  Her first daddy daughter dance was talked about throughout the year and she still lovingly refers to her shoes she wore as "daddy daughter shoes".  As the date of this years HerKnight approached her anticipation built.

"Daddy, did you like my dress?  I picked it out of them cause I sought you'd problllly like it."
Rarely does Mallie Lynn enjoy attention;  so seeing her proudly show off her dress and sparkly bow to the boys for the first time made my heart leap.  She had confidently chosen "mommy's wipgloss" in a fun pink and told me she didn't want curls or a pony tail.  She knew exactly which dress she wanted and chose one that was her "perfect pink".  An ear to ear grin swept across her face as she admired her fancy look in the mirror and quickly skipped to the door to proudly show off to the boys when they walked in the door.  I won't forget the genuine joy she exuded as Barry lifted her into a big hug, and her brother's jaw dropped as he fell to the floor and told her she looked like Cinderella.  
She is strong and yet tender hearted and runs on happiness expressed through a contagious smile.  She loves big and hard, and is loyal to the core.  I see so many fruits of the spirit growing in her that I know God will prune, feed and nurture with the utmost care.  It is a gift to watch her grow but ohhhhhhh how I wish it would go just a bit more slow.  

See that girl?  She is confident in love and admiration.  It's important to take the time to slow down and give our kids a moment to shine on their own.  To give them undivided attention and just enjoy their company without the distraction of anyone or anything else.  I pray this girl knows her worth in Christ, that we can instill the truths of how fearfully and wonderfully made she is.  While that won't happen because daddy took her to a dance, I do think it's one building block of the many we hope to create for her and make that foundation in who she was made to be, firm in truth.   A father daughter relationship that points to her heavenly Fathers perfect love is what every little girl deserves.
She gets a lot from her daddy, from looks to the untaught selfish way she loves.  If there was ever a girl wrapped around her daddy's heart her name was Mallie Lynn.  She can always get him to agree with a middle of the night cuddle, one more snack, and one more piggy back ride.

 I wish I could have been a flower in vase as these two danced their hearts out.  Quite the turn around from last year, she gave high fives to the costumed characters, took pictures with princesses and danced until daddy was too sweaty for his jacket!
 What's a date without special dessert?  Daddy sure has fun with his darling girl!