Why Every American is Now a “Football” Fan

As the World Cup continues, and the US Men’s National Team plays for a chance to move on tonight against Germany, I’ve continually been asked, “Do Americans really like football?” As seen on TV (no, this is not an infomercial!) and the internet, Americans are actively watching the matches, engaging on social media sites and actually acting as though they care about what happens! So where did all of these “fans” come from? In my opinion, there are two kinds of football/soccer fans in the US:

1. The real fans: These are the people who played soccer growing up, follow the MLS and/or actually understand what’s going on. They have an appreciation for the sport outside of the World Cup. Believe me, there ARE real fans in the US.

2. The “I love America” fans: This is where the majority of Americans fall into, myself included. We all sort of understand the rules since we played it in gym class, know yellow and red cards aren’t good and the point of the match is to get the ball in the goal. But that’s pretty much it. Ok, I might be exaggerating a little but not too much. For the most part, you’ll never see soccer on our TVs unless the US is playing.

But the point I’m trying to make…No matter what the sport or event, we’re Americans. We’re known for showing our patriotism. Most of us have something in our closets that has the American flag on it and if we don’t, we’ll get something! We love where we’re from and want to make that known, especially to our athletes playing. Today, it’s soccer. Tomorrow, who knows?! It could be figure skating or archery or whatever. The point is if there are Americans positively representing the country, we stand behind them.

To be honest, I do have a better appreciation for football since living in England. I’ve probably watched more matches in the 9 months I’ve been here than my whole life combined. But that’s the fun part of living in another country. I get to experience different things and gain better appreciations that I wouldn’t have been able to if I’d never left home.

So there you have it! We might not love soccer all year long, but we love our country. Alas, we love the World Cup. With that, good luck to the USA tonight and remember, One Nation One Team.

California Baby Shower

As the wind howls and the rain pours day after day here in England, I am reminded of a weekend that seems like an eternity ago…even though I just returned Tuesday!  Somehow, I had the privilege of flying to California on February 6 for a weekend of celebrations.  The first: a baby shower.

IMG_1959 IMG_1953As much as we could, we tried to keep my attendance a secret for my beautiful, pregnant cousin, Laura.  Unfortunately, when she picked me up at the airport, she was only a little surprised, but I think happy to see me.  The two of us and two of my other cousins, Katie and Susie, left LAX and headed for Agoura Hills.  With more family arriving through the day and Friday, it was the perfect mini-reunion.

IMG_1964Friday was preparation day.  We chopped, sliced and assembled food for Saturday’s party while laughing, joking and catching up on one another’s lives.  After that, mani/pedis and Mexican food were in order to relax and keep chatting.  If you have the chance to meet my family, you’ll quickly learn that we’re talkers, so when we’re together, we always have a lot of catching up to do!

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Then, came Saturday, where the entire house was awake and in the kitchen by 7:30am.  Grant it, coffee came first for most of us, but we were rolling bright and early.  Without knowing the sex of the baby, and knowing my cousin’s forever love for dinosaurs, my Aunt Deb and cousin Katie decided on a dino-themed shower.  Orange and green filled the house along with dinosaur books, toys and decorations.

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Though we had hoped for a sunnier day, it didn’t rain, allowing us to be outside.  Tables were setup and decorated – we even made the napkins look like tiny diapers (adorable is you ask me!).

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To go with the orange theme, we made an orange punch which contained: 2 litres Sprite, 2 litres Ginger Ale, 1 Sparkling Cider and a frozen container of orange juice.  Delicious!  Add a little white wine and presto – Mason Jar Spritzers.

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Once the guests started to arrive we put out the appetisers: cheese platter, antipasti skewers, mini spinach artichoke dip cups and tiddly winks (or, pigs in the blankets) that looked like swaddled babies.

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Then came the games: guess the price of the baby items, Baby Pictionary, and “My Water Broke!”, a game where you freeze mini plastic babies in ice cubes, put one ice cube in each guests’ glass and the first person whose ice cube melts completely yells, “My Water Broke!”.

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Lunch was served between the games and consisted of lettuce salads, sandwiches and a fruit salad.

IMG_2016 IMG_2006Next, and my favourite part, dessert!  Tiered platters were served to each table with mini French Silk Pies, Petite Bundt’s and “Dirt” in a Jar.

IMG_2026 IMG_2022Finally, it was time to open presents.  They sure do make some interesting things for kids these days.  From organic diapers and wipes to the “poop closet” and enough Packers/49ers gear to go around, this little bundle of joy will be well taken care of.

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Though I’m already missing the warm, California sun, I couldn’t be more grateful to have had the opportunity to go back to the US for this event.  Can’t wait for this little lovely to be born.  Congratulations Laura and Chandler!

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