1. My Mom and sister have been in town visiting since Thursday night. They left this morning. Between Nancy, Mom, Kelsey, Sophie, and Phoebo, I was severely overwhelmed by Erickson women. We had a great time hanging out with them, and Sophie got a lot of valuable Grandma time.
2. As we had people staying at the house who were simply dying to have alone time with the baby, Nancy and I were able to actually get out and go on a date Friday night. Turns out that wife of mine is a nice lady who I really enjoy hanging out with. I think I’ll keep her. Anyway, we decided to start our date by visiting the UK Arboretum. In almost 7 years of living here, we had not only never gone there, but never even thought about going there. We definitely won’t wait 7 more years. At over 100 acres and 2 miles of walking trails, this shrine to Kentucky’s native plant life is probably the most beautiful place in Lexington (no small feat given how beautiful of a city we live in). The evening provided a much needed break from the heat & humidity we had been experiencing of late, so it was the perfect occasion for a walk through the flowers and trees. I don’t know anything about flowers or plant-life in general, but I do know that they are pretty and that girls like them, which is a plus on date night. So, if you are in Lexington on a beautiful summer night and are looking for a free and different romantic activity, I highly recommend the Arboretum. (Note to UK Arboretum: Make the check out to “Sophie Erickson college fund.”) After the Arboretum, we hung out at Barnes & Noble for a while and then the Half-Price bookstore. We then enjoyed a late dinner and movie. Since we were spending an evening out away from our own baby, it only made sense to see a movie about somebody else’s, so we saw Knocked Up. My one sentence review: As funny as it is inappropriate, and it is plenty of both. All in all, it was a wonderful night.
3. The free babysitting service also allowed Nancy to get out and do some work on her dissertation. We have actually been hiring a babysitter a couple of afternoons a week to help facilitate the research & writing process, but any additional help in that department is always welcome.
4. Kelsey visited IU on the way down to see us and UK while she was here. It has long been our hope that she picks UK. As she is my sister and I love her, we would very much like to have her nearby. I’m not going to lie though- it’s mostly about the babysitting.
5. I just finished The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis, who also wrote Moneyball, which I discussed here. Ostensibly, this is a book about how the economics of football have changed to emphasize the importance of the left tackle position. It discusses the history of how football has become increasingly reliant on the pass (and on offense in general) and how this has lead to a reprioritization of certain positions. This is all interesting enough, but the real value in the book comes from the story of Ole Miss left tackle Michael Oher. In fact, most of the book is concerned with Oher’s background and how he came to be a near sure-fire first round NFL draft pick. Oher was essentially discovered at 15 years old as if he had been dropped onto Earth from another planet altogether. He had no education (no exaggeration), no possessions of any kind, no food, only the clothes he was wearing, apparently no personal history, and a 6’5” 300+ lb freakishly athletic body. He was taken in by a rich white family, put into private school, and was essentially not allowed to fail. This story sounded only somewhat interesting to me before I read the book, but it is really fascinating. This book is an intriguing look into modern inner-city life, modern upper-class life, class & racial struggles, and what it takes to make a star athlete these days.
6. We are leaving for vacation after work on Friday and are very excited. We will be heading up to Indiana to visit family and friends and generally crash for a week. The pre-vacation vacation highlights include: Nancy and I going to Chicago for the weekend alone; going to a Cubs game on Sunday (birthday present from the Daytons); disc-golf with Dan Weiss on Monday (let the trash talk begin: You’re going down Dan!); visiting with Jason & Andrea Gingerich and their children; seeing Matt Peterson who will be in town for a wedding; Sophie’s first fireworks; my cousin Jason Bilbrey’s wedding; a Dad Dayton cheeseburger; the Transformers movie; & repeatedly losing to my brother Mike in disc golf. This should be a good time.
7. Just in case this post led to the impression that we are all about ditching Sophie, here are a few pictures of the cutest baby in the world. We sure do like her…