Monthly Archives: February 2012

NFL Scouting Combine #49: My experience.

Imagine interviewing for 32 potential employers at one time. All 32 companies in one room at one time.

Next, imagine that every other top candidate for this job has been invited to interview at the same time. Every single one, in the same room with you, vying for the same position.

Next, imagine 250 spectators in the same room, watching, for fun.

You’re up first. You get ready to tackle your first task with all 32 potential employers watching you, with all the other candidates watching you as well. You complete the first of many tasks and then you have to watch all the other candidates complete the same task, while you wait for your next assignment.

Oh yes, these employers know your name. This isn’t the first time they’ve seen you in action. In fact, they’ve been watching you prep for this exact moment your entire college career. Shoot, probably even longer than that. But this is probably your last chance to prove you are the best person for the job.

Sounds stressful, doesn’t it? Almost unfair, if you ask me. If you answer a question wrong, you don’t have another chance to think about it after the interview and change your answer for a different potential employer. You are on the spot. In front of your whole future.

What a burden.

Well this is what I experienced at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday morning. The Combine is an invitation-only camp that puts college football players through medical examinations, a variety of psychological and physical tests, as well as formal and informal interviews with top executives, coaches and scouts from all 32 NFL teams. The combine “is the ultimate four day job interview for the top college football players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft” according to the Combine’s website.

Historically, the Combine was closed to the public. Only NFL execs and media were allowed to attend. Until this year. For the first time ever, the NFL decided to open its doors to 250 guests to trial this type of “insider experience.” We were selected to receive free tickets to the event through 1iota.com, which was also the company from which we received free tickets to the NFL Honors Awards ceremony during the Super Bowl festivities here in Indy.

We had to arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium at 6:15 on Sunday morning. We were ushered into the stadium and given t-shirts, portable radios and binoculars and then fed a wonderful breakfast. Company execs from 1iota and the NFL spoke to us about the importance of this experiment and therefore our behavior. No cell phones, cameras or recording devices were allowed. We were instructed to behave as if in a library, no loud noises, whispering, etc. We were there to watch young men in the most important interview of their lives. And if we screwed that up, the execs’ jobs might be on the line. Serious stuff.

We were then led into the stadium, where we were sat on the 40-yard line in the 400-level seating. Before we walked in, we were thinking it would be too high to really enjoy watching the activities, but seriously, the seats were great and the risk of us not “behaving” was too great to seat us any lower.

We proceeded to watch the top quarterbacks and wide receivers compete for a job for the next 3 hours. We were able to watch them run the 40 yard sprint, complete throwing and receiving drills and other activities as well. We saw RG3 and Andrew Luck run the 40, but they didn’t do any throwing, so we were disappointed at that. I guess when you’re that good, you get to choose what you do during interviews. Must be nice.

I was most impressed by RG3 and Mike Floyd (a WR from Notre Dame). RG3 is an athlete, through and through. He ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds, faster than the majority of wide receivers. It was amazing. (On a side note, I sure wish the Colts would entertain the idea of drafting him over Luck. He would be so fun to watch.)

Floyd came to win. He was fast, only dropped one pass the entire receiving drill set and worked his butt off the entire morning we were there. He was so impressive. Must have been because he played at ND. 🙂

At noon, we were taken back to the lounge area to eat (an amazing) lunch. They also did a bunch of raffle prizes (none of which we won). And we didn’t pay a dime for these tickets. The NFL treated us like definite insiders. Like people they needed to impress.

And impressed we were. To be able to watch these young men prove their talents; to be treated like important people who were supposed to be there rather than fans who were a burden; truly, it was a wonderful experience.

One I’ll never forget. And one I hope to have again next year.

Inspiration: Got some?

I need some inspiration.

I’m feeling stuck in a rut.

In my life and in my writing.

I just feel like every day brings the exact same thing. Which does have a positive side, yes, I know this.

But the negative side is that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. looks just like the one before and I start getting bored. And when I’m bored, I don’t do things to make myself un-bored. I sink in it. I don’t clean. I don’t plan good dinners. I stay home.

I think this is why I always worked 25-30 hours a week after I had the girls. I just didn’t know what I’d do with myself if I stayed at home with them. Work left me with just enough variety that it kept me on my toes at home also.

And the last month has not been kind. Our oven, dishwasher and dryer have broken. And Lucas has been a sick mess. (Hopefully on the mend now with a dose of antibiotics.)

I need a spark.

Something.

Something that will get my head back in the game. (You know, like in High School Musical.)

I’m not sure what that is, but I think it’s around the corner. I feel my heart being pulled back to urban ministry. Maybe it’s that? Or maybe it’s being on my new FAVORITE show Smash. You know, whatever works.

Wanna help? Tell me what gives you a spark in times like this. At least let me live through your spark if I can’t find my own.

(Excuse me now while I pick up the raisins Lucas just poured out of his bowl onto the couch.)

Get a jump on your garden.

Why, you ask, are you already thinking about your garden?! I know, it’s only mid-February (though with this Indiana weather you’d think it was late March).

But it’s just 12 weeks until May 15th which is when it’s almost always safe to plant your garden. Which means it’s time to start planning and seeding.

We start almost all of our veggie plants from seed, indoors, 8-12 weeks prior to planting. And that’s now. So besides planning what you want to plant, here are a few other things to keep in mind as spring closes in on us:

First, start composting if you aren’t already. We just started composting and I’m super excited about it. You don’t have to have a big old composting bin out in the yard. You can start small – one idea is to compost your used coffee grounds, which are considered a “green” or nitrogen source. If you don’t drink coffee, you could ask friends, your local coffee shop or Starbucks for their used coffee grounds. Another easy thing to do is to save 2-liter plastic bottles. They make great baby greenhouses so that when you transfer plants to the garden,  you can slowly acclimate them to the outside temperature and elements. All you have to do is cut off the bottom of the bottle and you have an instant greenhouse. (You can either keep the top on or twist off as it gets warmer.)

The final thing I would suggest is to plan on keeping seeds from your upcoming crop for starts the following season. I always forget to do this at the beginning of the season. It’s best to let seeds dry out and then store in a paper envelope of some kind (not plastic, since it keeps moisture in and could cause moldy seeds). Last year, I accidentally left out a bunch of pepper tops with seeds attached. This was actually a great thing, because now, I know exactly what color pepper the seeds are without mislabeling envelopes. I’ll store them this way at the end of this season too. Purposely.

I posted some additional gardening tips last spring you should check out as well. Happy gardening!!

Who I am.

I feel like I’m all over the place. Personally. Not emotionally, really. I’m feeling pretty stable emotionally. Having bright sunny warm days in the middle of Indiana winter has helped immensely.

I sang nearly every word of “Ice Ice Baby” tonight after watching Mr. Popper’s Penguins with the fam. Feeling the groove, I stood up and did some good ole dance moves from my middle/high school days. Man I love Vanilla Ice and dancing.

I’m knitting an infinity scarf. I just started it yesterday and I cannot WAIT until it’s done. This is the first thing I’ve made for myself since learning to knit in the fall.

I bought the yarn for my scarf with a Mass Ave Knit Shop gift card (which might be my new favorite place to go) that I got for my birthday. My other gift? A Value World gift card.

I worked today. In the office for over 3 hours. And then picked up Baby Jedi from ghetto daycare (really, it’s not ghetto, it’s just *in* the ghetto, but it’s a LOVELY place, I promise) and became stay-at-home-mommy until Tuesday morning.

I really think I have the best of both worlds. I love both of my jobs – both of my “real” jobs.

Cami loves 106.7 fm. She’s definitely my child. I especially love 106.7 during The Quiet Storm with The Loverman, Jerry Wade. You should dial in.

I’m so happy to be watching IU basketball again, with a renewed sense of love for my team. It never left, it was just dormant. Like the team. It’s nice to be back.

I miss Super Bowl Village. I miss stalking TO on Twitter trying to find out where he was so I could go there and get a glimpse of him. It never did happen in the 4 times we were downtown. I even miss stalking Drew Brees for my dear friend Sarah. Looking at strangers’ tweets with pictures trying to tell her what he’s wearing so it was easier for her to find him.

I met Brandon Mychal Smith at the NFL Honors awards. You know, the kid from Disney’s Starstruck and So Random. He hugged me. He shook Adam’s hand. He was so kind and genuine. Really. When I gushed over how excited my girls would be that I was talking to him right then, he took a picture with me for them. Adam and I are still talking about how impressed we were with him. (Do you know he’s 22 years old?!? I just saw that on Wikipedia when I was seeing how to spell his name.)

I could have stayed at the NFL Honors awards all night, staring at those beautiful NFL men. Wow. They are even more handsome in person. Double WOW.

It’s odd having your birthday on the Super Bowl. Especially when it’s in your city. Just saying.

Sometimes I really want this blog to take off. Mostly I don’t really care.

I saw a really fun felt heart garland on Pinterest. I think maybe we might try to make it this weekend. But I think I want to give it away once we make it. That would be fun.

I go back and forth about whether I want another baby. I really do, but I also feel the urge to move on with my life. My career. But, oh, that baby draw…

I’m exercising. I know, get back, but I am. I took last week off because Baby Jedi was so sick, but I got back into it today. Felt good. I’ve lost 3 pounds so that’s fun. 12 more to go.

It’s interesting when your 2nd child starts school. There’s a new level of calmness. Of not freaking out when you feel unneeded pressure from a teacher. I feel like I can stick up for my kids more now. That I know what to be worried about and not. Like Cami struggling with pronouncing her “r” sound. I don’t think not saying one letter correctly at 5 years old is worth a speech evaluation. She also couldn’t say “l” or “th” and now can just fine.

It’s so crazy how my life might change drastically tomorrow, in the blink of an eye. My mom has had breast cancer twice. TWICE. A friend’s daughter is battling a horrible disease. I took them dinner last night. She looks better. Better than the last time I took dinner over. Her daughter (who is Cami’s age) was a healthy, happy little girl and then one day, a year ago, was diagnosed with a tumor in her brain stem. It’s nuts at how life can just change. Just like that.

I am so thankful for my life. And who it has made me. I wonder who it will make me in the future. And who it will make my kids. I pray it makes them strong, loving, independent, Godly people. I pray it makes me the same.

 

Linking up with Just Write.