My husband, Ryan, and his buddies are gathering today for their annual bromance party – more commonly referred to as Fantasy Football League.

The transformation that takes place in both Ryan and our home is astounding.

I’ve never seen Ryan so organized (outside of coaching). Like…he actually plots stuff out on poster board. I recall stumbling upon labeled ping pong balls in years past. He coordinates the shindig to take place prior to the Nebraska Cornhuskers home opener. I picture men at the bromance party having their own tunnel walk music that they play when they approach the sacred poster board to claim their picks.

 

I know this guy has never used poster board for educational purposed outside of the football season.

I know this guy has never used poster board for educational purposed outside of the football season.

 

The poster board containing last year's picks.

The poster board containing last year’s picks.

 

Ryan passing along his "wisdom" to our oldest.

Ryan passing along his “wisdom” to our oldest.

Our house, which normally looks like the inside of a hamster wheel that hasn’t been tended to in over a month, is clutter free. There’s more than one bathroom that is presentable to the outside public. The 22 pairs of shoes normally sprawled in our entry way are put away. Guys…I have a wood floor I forgot about!

It’s like I’m standing on Mars with an over-hyped martian waiting for his countrymen to arrive to plot out world domination.

So many things I don’t understand because I am basically banished from the house every year. He always says, “You don’t HAVE to leave.” But then his eyes dart from me to our two youngest children and back to me. There’s this unspoken understanding that he would occupy them for me if I had an annual bash that I was in charge of throwing.

What I want to know is what exactly happens at these super secret parties while I’m away?

I mean, I know there’s the whole everybody pick your players and then subsequently earn or lose points based on how your players do throughout the season set of rules…but what else goes down?

I imagine a lot of this.

 

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And this.

 

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And probably this.

 

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If anyone who participates in these Fantasy Football Leagues can either confirm or deny my assumptions, I would appreciate it.

Written by Heidi Woodard

Hide Pug

This is the first in a series of installments where I broadcast the crazier status posts that appear on my wall from the collective dynamic known as my Facebook friends and family.

Let’s get at it.

The mom who’s not too impressed with the local playground:

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Needless to say, we’ve had a lot of rain recently. If you didn’t already notice the hashtag she included, you better look again.

 

My dad who still doesn’t quite understand that I’m not looking at the same wall that he is just because we both have Facebook.

 

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This is how I imagine his thought process working as I try to explain to him why I haven’t seen that one video on Facebook yet.

FB walls are hard

 

The constant reminder that I live in Nebraska.

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Oddly enough, this is from a guy I graduated high school with who now lives in California.

 

The constant reminder that we’re not the only state who takes their college football seriously.

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Another high school friend, but she bleeds black and gold…and is set on making sure her kid does too.

 

The mom who doesn’t give a crap about what other moms think of her.

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Because she needs a drink. And she needs it now.

 

The friend who thinks I desperately want to know this.

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I’m going to go out on a limb and guess my hippie name is still Heidi.

 

The person who assumes everyone is going to read more than just the headline.

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I kinda feel like she should know more than that.

 

I freaking love Jimmy Fallon’s Hashtags segments on The Tonight Show. I only hope that Hide Your Face(book) becomes a worldwide trending topic in the coming weeks. If I’m being realistic, I hope this post generates double digit likes.

Written by Heidi Woodard

 

I read the headline of Dr. Travis Bradberry’s piece on LinkedIn, 9 Things Successful People Won’t Do and my gut reaction was, They probably aren’t reading this stuff like I (routinely) do because they, unlike me, are a more finished product. At least that’s how I perceive successful people to be.

Me? My personal motto is: Enjoy the journey of finding out who you want to be when you grow up.

I know I’m not there yet, but I refuse not to have fun on the ride.

Allow me to slide you my business card in a non-intrusive, non-salesy way.

Allow me to slide you my business card in a non-intrusive, non-salesy way. You don’t even have to suffer through small talk, elevator speeches, or general awkwardness.

I thought Dr. Bradberry’s article was very insightful. It affirmed some things that I believe I already personally practice. An example is that I’ve learned to say no when I know my plate is full. Well, the majority of time I do.

It also brought to light some areas where I need more work. I tend to prioritize perfection, for one, at the risk of not giving adequate attention to what I should be prioritizing in life. The first is an unreachable ideal; the second are people.

Unlike other articles I’ve read about the same topic, this one didn’t assume that everyone’s definition of success is the same.

That unique viewpoint is refreshing.

My definition of success doesn’t involve a fixed dollar amount. While I don’t want to live entirely on ramen noodles, I also don’t mind driving an older car, shopping the clearance rack every now and then, and not reaching the top of the corporate ladder.

My definition of success is knowing, without a doubt, that I’m growing.

If you would describe yourself in much the same way, allow me to offer up this follow-up list: 9 Things People Who Continually Want to Grow Won’t Do.

  • They won’t remain the same and expect to change at the same time.
  • They won’t let mole hills become mountains.
  • They won’t use their mouths more than they use their ears.
  • They won’t be intimidated by or jealous of the experts (in whatever field); instead, they choose to learn from them.
  • They won’t be obsessed with how others perceive them. They know their greatest strengths lie within.
  • They won’t allow naysayers to minimize their efforts. The take real and palpable pride in a job well done.
  • They won’t check Twitter, Facebook, email, and watch TV simultaneously if they need to focus. Have I mentioned it took me over four hours to write this post? #fail
  • They won’t be grouchy. It’s impossible to grow if you’re too busy sucking energy out from everything around you.
  • They won’t take life for granted.

It’s worth repeating that last bullet. I’ve had the chance to watch one of my son’s baseball coaches fight cancer and win, only to have the cancer return. His strength and determination astound me. I asked him what piece of advice he would give on this topic and he replied with a (modified) Yogi Berra quote.

Baseball Cancer is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

In my mind, he is successful for making a lasting imprint on me and countless others. He refuses to feel defeated in lieu of everything he’s going through. He is growing, moving forward, kicking ass, and taking names.

So I ask you this: What’s your excuse?

Written by Heidi Woodard

Considering I’ve been writing a lot of unsolicited advice columns that have resonated with so many (and by “so many,” I clearly mean a half a dozen), I thought I’d toss this one into the mix.

The way I see it, every young, old, and somewhere-in-the-middle guy who’s interested in snagging a wife has to make a decision.

Do I want a girly-girl who will spend countless hours moisturizing, primping, styling, pedicuring, manicuring, and taking great strides to stay in optimal viewing condition? One who will make my friends do a double-take and extend me high fives when she walks by?

Or do I want a gal who I think is hot as-is, who takes no more than 30 minutes to get ready, and who actually enjoys hanging out in sports bars with me? One who doesn’t really care about labels, latest trends, or the pages of Vogue? Or the fact that I pass gas from time to time?

I realize there is a middle ground, but for the sake of argument, let’s just assume these are the two main choices.

If you’ve seen me or read any of my ramblings, you know I fit into the latter (well, minus the whole farting thing…gross). I would also classify myself as an ex-jock…a highly-competitive one at that.

For all the fellas stumbling upon this post, I’m here to tell you something: you need to be able to accept the bad with the good if you’re married to someone like me.

Rewind to earlier today: I agreed to play a double-header softball game because, why not? Sports like slow pitch, after all, are where all former ball players eventually end up just to feel like they’re still in the game, right?

Before heading to the field, I made a quick stop at Walmart (the closest place to hell on Earth any of us mere mortals will ever experience) because I am completely out of contacts. I quickly realize that, although the store itself is open, the optical center isn’t. So, yay me. I’m in make-shift rec specs from that point forward.

In spite of looking like a washed-up female version of Ricky Vaughn, I played a pretty solid first game. We won by a small margin. I was on a winner’s high heading into game two.

I can’t even be mad that I’m a lot jigglier than I used to be when I was in prime playing shape. With a guy who looked like Santa in the summer time umpiring the field, I assumed things couldn’t possibly get any better.

We were barely into the second game when a girl came up to the plate whom I personally know. She’s a good hitter who can pick out which field (left, center, or right) she wants to target and rarely misses her mark. So you can imagine my surprise when she got under one and popped up into foul territory, but within my general vicinity at third base.

Have I mentioned I’m slightly competitive?

I instinctively sprinted took off in a semi-fast jog backwards and extended my throwing hand to find the fence while attempting to simultaneously reach over my head with my glove hand. The fence creeped up on me a little faster than I expected.

I bounced off it.

The ball dropped.

I felt some pain on my ring finger and reassured everyone I was ok.

Without looking at my hand, I trudged back to third base and prepared for the next pitch, which OF COURSE she smashed into the outfield.

As I was mentally retracing what I could have done differently, I looked down at my hand to make sure it wasn’t bleeding.

That’s when I saw the remnants of the ring my husband bought for me as an anniversary gift. It was bent so badly that the blue topaz stone had completely popped out of it and was so misshapened that I knew I wouldn’t be getting it off my finger until some swelling went down.

For the next several innings, anytime our team was up at bat, I retraced both the inside and the outside of the fence I smashed into. I cursed myself for being so dumb to wear my anniversary ring while playing softball.

When the game ended due to the mercy rule in the opposite team’s favor, my entire team searched for the stone…as did the girl who hit the foul ball in the first place. I never did regain it…or my dignity.

How does this story apply to my advice to all the guys who share their lives with ex-jock wives?

Don’t get mad at us for breaking sentimental jewelry (luckily my husband understands). Because when a foul ball taunts us into believing that we have a chance to catch it, no matter what obstacle stands in our way, we will go after it every time.

The top picture shows my anniversary ring the day I received it. The bottom pictures shows what's left of it after today's outing.

The top picture shows my anniversary ring the day I received it. The bottom pictures shows what’s left of it after today’s outing.

My jacked up finger. My sliced up leg. No one can accuse me of not trying.

My jacked up finger. My sliced up leg. No one can accuse me of not going all out.

I’d give you more helpful pointers, but I’m off to watch the Atlanta Braves game on TV with my husband.

Written by Heidi Woodard