Monday, July 31, 2006

Volleyball pictures from the weekend

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A wonderful weekend because of no children

Ok, if we had children we could not have enjoyed this past weekend like we did. Now for all you people out there who have children don't be offended and make comments like "oh, but if you had children you could have still had fun.......etc." Yeah, yeah, yeah I know. But guess what? We don't and so we enjoyed it like this:

Friday night after dinner my husband and I took a stroll down to the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee for Gallery Night. First we had to stop at this new clothes boutique called Fred. Ladies, if you haven't been there yet, go now. Cute, classy, trendy yet affordable clothes. Unique and fun. My husband even agreed to go in and was happy he did after they offered us a glass of wine to enjoy while we shopped.

Next we stopped at the Milwaukee Public Market to pick up a spice box from The Spice House for a gift for my mother in law. Note to all, mother-in-law's love gifts from The Spice House.

Our final stop was New World Wine Company. We really did have every intention of going into some galleries since it was Gallery Night but after this stop, that wasn't going to happen. First we sampled some great wine from Spain and New Zealand. The wine from Spain was very good and on sale for $9.99 so we decided to buy a bottle. Then my husband thought it would be a great idea to get a 6 pack of The Lakefront Brewery Cattail Ale and drink it down by the river. We found a nice grassy spot on the Riverwalk and each enjoyed a bottle of the hometown favorite beer. And another bottle and then another. We watched the boats go by, talked about the new condos going up, had fun people watching, talked about the new boat we were going to buy (this on our third beer) and just enjoyed the night. We then strolled home along the Riverwalk. By the time we got to our condo the Germanfest Fireworks began and we sat in the MSOE baseball bleachers and watched the beautiful display light up the sky. What a perfect way to end the night.

Saturday morning after my run we packed up our jeep and headed down to Bradford Beach for the AVP Bradford Beach Jam Volleyball Tournament. Volleyball, soccer, dodgeball, rugby, BMX bikes and windsurfing all going on. We went to watch volleyball tournament. Set up our chairs between the center courts, had some beers and watched some fantastic volleyball all day. I'll post pictures soon. I really got some great shots.

Our Sunday consisted of Church and a family visit followed by playing some volleyball ourselves. As stated in a early post, I need to practice!

We had a wonderful weekend and it was so nice to enjoy the freedom we have. Not there is anything wrong with children and I'm sure they are great but right now we are taking advantage of not having children and enjoy each other.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ozaukee little brother

Ok, sorry to use this as a plug for my brother. But I'm sorry, he rocks. Please check him out on this webite. Joshua Pope. He is amazing, please vote for him Thank you!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This is my blood y'all

Um, yeah, me, my mom and my brother. ... I guess I haven't even blogged about my family. Posted by Picasa


I can't play it. I love it, can't play it.

I never played in grade school or high school. I was too involved with running, basketball, cheerleading, softball, band, choir, drama, art fair, science fair, and forensics so I had to give something up. I couldn't get a serve over the net so volleyball got dumped. I still loved watching it and I went to as many games as possible.

So I meet my husband and volleyball is one of his passions. He plays indoor and beach. I decide that I want to learn how to play again. My plate isn't full like it was in school so what the heck? I really love to watch the game. I search for the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tournaments on TV every weekend. I love watching Misty May and Kerri Walsh. They are amazing women athletes and they make the game look so easy.

My patient husband teaches me the fundamentals again and works with me when we have time. After he is done playing on the beach he'll work with me and my skills. We decide to play indoor with our church league this past winter. That went ok. Not too competitive but enough for me to get use to a game situation again. We are asked to play in the summer league and I got very excited because I felt my skills were getting better and I love playing in the sand.

Last night was humiliating. I couldn't set the ball to save my life. My poor husband was all over trying to hit the ball. I couldn't pass and I couldn't hit. I knew what I was doing wrong but I couldn't correct it. I was so frustrated and I'm sure that made it worse. I left last night never wanting to play again. But my husband reminded me, "that is just sports." This is true. But in running I didn't have to work so hard. Yes, I would have to run 60 miles a week, but that came easy to me. Sure, running repeat miles under race pace in the heat is hard, but again, it was easy to me. I guess that is why I'm so frustrated. I want it to be as easy as running. I have to understand that I can't perfect something overnight.

Speaking of volleyball. There is an AVP tournament down at Bradford Beach this weekend. The Bradford Beach Jam starts at 8:00 a.m. and will end with a concert on the Beach by King Solomon at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Next Project

The last couple of weeks I have been trying to think of a new project for myself. I need something to work towards, a goal, an activity of some sort. My whole life I have been working on something.........graduating from high school, being a competitive runner in college, graduating from college, running the Chicago Marathon, getting married, graduating from grad school....... so what's next. I get up, go to work, go home, run, eat dinner, watch reruns of Friends and go to bed. Hmmmmm. Do I want to take more classes? Do another marathon? How about a trithlon? Start my own business? So these are some things I will be seriously exploring the next couple days.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Morning Run

The nice thing about not having kids right now is my freedom. Like this morning for example. I woke up at 6:30 (an hour earlier than I need to) and I decided to just get up and go for my run. I didn't have to worry about anyone but myself. Well, my husband freaked out a little bit when he heard the door close and didn't see me in bed. It took him awhile to realize that I was out running.

It was beautiful this morning. The thing I love about Milwaukee is one minute you are running in the middle of the city. Cars, sirens, people and tall buildings. Then in a half mile I'm out by the lake and I feel like I am far away from the city life. There are trails I can take where I am greeted by bunnies, tons of birds, squirrels and chipmunks.

It's nice to start your morning with a 5 mile run. I feel like I have already accomplished a lot. And I don't feel guilty about the donut I just ate.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yes, this was me......

Yes, I was the Tracey in Mike Nichols column in the Journal Sentinel.
Thong wearers at the beach? Ewwwwwwwww

Come on, are you going to disagree with me?

Would you give up your job to follow a dream?

I just got done reading "So you wanna be a bouncer" on Have you ever thought of leaving your 9-5 job for something else you would really enjoy even if it meant a significant pay cut? Would you consider going back to school for a completely different career path? Have you thought about starting your own business?

These are questions that run through my mind when I read about people in the above article. What are your thoughts?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Afghan Women Soccer Players

An American woman in their 30's probably has never worried about women's rights. I know that I have gone through my life feeling pretty equal to men. Sure, we still have some things we need to fight but overall we are pretty lucky. We can vote, have a full-time career and participate in sports. Overall we have a good life in America. So good we probably forget about other countries.

Last night my husband and I enjoyed our relaxing Sunday evening by watching the ESPY's.
"The ESPY's gather the top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year's best sports stories by recognizing major achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances" hosted by ESPN. Yes, I love ESPN and look forward to the ESPY's every year.

At one point in the show they brought on Ashley Judd to present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Within 1 minute my husband and I sat in silence and disbelief as they did a short documentary on Afghanistan and the Taliban's rule over the country and what it meant for women. I'm sure many of you know the history of Afghanistan and the Taliban's rule but if you need a reminder please see the Human Rights Website. Women had to cover themselves completely while out in public, they were not allowed to have jobs, go to school, teach their children, forced to marry, raped, beaten and executed if they did not follow these rules.

In November 2001 the U.S.-led alliance toppled the Taliban and women and girls in Afghanistan have gained some freedom to participate in public life and access to education, health care, and employment. While there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in regards to women's rights Ashley began speak of these new found freedoms including the Women's Soccer. Presently fifteen teams made up of girls ranging in age from 12 to 18 play soccer in Kabul, their country's capital. The leagues were formed after a handful of girls from Afghanistan traveled to the U.S. in the summer of 2004 to attend soccer clinics as part of a organization, the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange. When they returned home they wanted to share with other young women what they learned. Two of the girls who visited the U.S. that summer and still play soccer, 18-year old Shamila Kohestani and 16-year old Roia Ahmad accepted the award on stage at the ESPYS. They received a standing ovation and were dressed in beautiful traditional Afghanistann clothes.

2006 ESPY's Press Room

Not much to say after that. Lots of thoughts have been running through my head.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A highlight of the weekend - The Air Show

After spending a couple hours at Bradford Beach playing volleyball, we decided to head down to Veterans park to see the last day of the Air Show.
I love those planes.

Bastille Days

Bastille Days will end tonight. My husband and I ventured down there Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Overall we had a great time except for Saturday.....

Thursday was the run. I reported on that already. We had fun that night. Ran into a lot of our thirtysomething year old friends.

Friday we ended up spending the night with Stormin Sasha and her best friend J. We found the deals on beer ($3.50 for one, $2.50 refills). We had fun. It was nice to be outside, drinking cheap beer and catching up with a great friend.

Now Saturday got a little scary. My parents met us at our condo for some wine and then we walked down to Bastille Days together. They left and we met up with some friends to watch the fire show. It was about 10 pm and My husband whispered in my ear, "I don't have a good feeling about tonight. We should get out of here soon." The crowd got to be sketchy and was not a typical downtown Milwaukee crowd. Fights were starting and tensions were rising. We did end up leaving after someone lit off fireworks in a crowd. Next morning headlines, "Two people killed at downtown club."
Now this might not have had anything to do with Bastille Days. But we knew things were not right.
We should not have to worry about these kind of episodes. The shooting was at club that was already under violation of their license. Why were they still open? Why weren't the police there at closing?
These are just some questions that I have for our city leaders and I will be writing a letter with more. Very disturbing.

A 3 year old and drums

So my 3 year old nephew got drums for his birthday. That's right, drums. My head started hurting as he was banging away on the drums..... and my head hurt for about two more hours afterwards. But it didn't matter. he loved it. He could not stop smiling.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Weekend plans

The 5k run was fun last night. A little crazy with runners who cram to the front that should not be at the front but that's a different story. The course was short so my time of 18:58 was not a real 5k time. Oh well.

This weekend my husband and I plan to head back to Bastille Days and hope to run into some of our other thirtysomething friends.

Tomorrow is the obligatory nephew birthday party. My sister's son turns 3. Birthday party tomorrow afternoon. For some reason I end up hyperventilating at these parties. Partially because I get the "when are you having kids" question but mainly because there ends up being 20 other kids there running around and it is just very overwhelming for me. Doesn't phase my sister who has to clean up after the they destroy her house. I guess she has the "meant to be a mother" genes. Not me, no way. I could not handle all those kids in my house spilling soda and throwing cake. But anyway, it ends up being a good time and we get to pick up Grammie. Ahhhhh Grandma, that's a new story.

All right, its quitting time. This place is a ghost town, time for me to get a glass of red wine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Today starts "Bastille Days" here in downtown Milwaukee. This is usually a fun festival. First of all, it's free. You can't get any better than that. Labeled as a street festival, the event is known for the 5k run, street performers, musical entertainment, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, lots of food and alcohol and a signature 43-foot Eiffel Tower replica.

My husband and I enjoy this festival. It is in our backyard which makes it very convenient. Its a nice change of pace from the bar scene that we are getting too old for. It's nice to be outside, as long as it's warm, and enjoy good music, good food and good wine.

I will be participating in the 5k run this evening. It is crazy. Starts at 9pm and goes through the streets of downtown and the Third Ward. The finish ends right in the festival where most runners are handed a beer.

Ok, cause Sasha says.....

My friends, the click. An amazing group of crazy individuals. CH (Bobs), MK (Stormin Sasha), JD (JJ), RT (Chicken), SG, and EB. How we became friends and have remained friends is beyond me. We are such different individuals. What brought us together was the fact that we were all planning our weddings at one point in the last 2 years and visited a local chat board, The Knot, for wedding ideas and advice. Well, some of us..... Chicken was out to make girls cry. JUST KIDDING, kinda. Long story short, we became friends. We have had gatherings at our houses, attended wine tastings, gone to movies, went to Summerfest and we even had a cabin weekend.

I have only known these girls for a short period of time but yet I feel like it has been so much longer. We have come from entirely different walks of life. Different political beliefs, different religious beliefs, different views on children and pretty different careers. Some of us love sports and some of us can't tell you the difference between a touchdown and a homerun.

They are so strong and supportive. They have such unique personalities. They are beautiful inside and out. And I have learned so much from these amazing women. I have learned that it's ok to have different opinions and you can have healthy disagreements off these opinions. They have taught me that I should think outside the box once in awhile. I have also learned how to embrace our differences walking away from discussions learning something.

These beautiful women make me feel special and I am thrilled to be part of this girlfriend group. I treasure our past year and look forward to what our future brings.

Save these dogs

I am now sitting here at work with tears in my eyes. If you want a dog please visit this website:
Charlie Sykes - Save these Dogs

And while you are looking there, please visit this website too:
Wisconsin Humane Society

I will now go home and hug my cat that I got from the Humane Society.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tonight at volleyball

First of all let me say I love this weather. JUST LOVE IT! I know, I know, I'm in the wrong state. Ok, working on that. So my husband and I play volleyball with our church league on Wednesdays. Nice night, having fun..... 3rd game, we're up 2-0..... all of a sudden there is this terrible screaming. A little girl got her leg stuck on some playground thing. Parents running, kid screaming, volleyball game paused..... someone got her leg "unstuck" without injury. Whew......but let me tell you, kids scare the crap out of me. Ok, honestly, we are trying, we want a family, but I don't know if it's the fact that I'm getting older and more comfortable in my lifestyle but all of a sudden kids scare me.

Yes I'm still working on the stories of my friends, what can I say, they are special and need extra time.

Good night.

My friends

Ok, let me talk about my friends. My girlfriends that is. Yes I have guy friends too, even though some people believe that a male and a female cannot be friends without feelings. But we will save that topic for another day.
I have friends from college that I am still close to. I have also been fortunate to meet other girlfriends from other life situations. But this past year I was fortunate to meet a group of wonderful ladies off the internet. Yes, you read that right, the internet. We were all members of a wedding planning website, The Knot, and attended a gathering to meet the other Wisconsin area brides. Crazy hey? A group of 7 of us clicked and we call ourselves the click. Yes, we know, it's suppose to be clique but again, another story for later. With exception of one, we are all recently married, have careers, we are beautiful (well of course) and come from very different walks of life. Let me just note that the one that is not married broke off an engagement and let me just say how much I respect her for doing so. I consider her a very strong and amazing woman.
So let me begin. Hmmm, let me think, I think I will do separate posts for each one as they will and could get long............

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

First Post

Ok so let's see how this goes. Why am I writing this blog? I think it's because I told my husband I was bored. I'm 33, married, I have a graduate degree, I live in a fabulous condo in downtown Milwaukee, I've run a marathon, I have a cat and I don't have any kids. So, what's next in life? Volunteer? Sit on a board? Join some clubs? Do mission work? Go back to school, again? I guess it's time to explore my options. Through this thought process (and some red wine) I figured why not share my experiences. There has to be other women in the same boat.

Hello, my name is Tracey, I'm 33, married and I don't have any kids. Why do I mention that? Let's face it, kids take up a lot of time. I have none so my life is pretty free. What do I do to stay busy? I work full time in public relations, I'm a competitive runner (well, I try to be), I play volleyball, I love spending time with my husband and I love girl nights. So what is my problem?

I guess I look around and see these other women accomplishing so much. Maybe it's because I have always been doing something, involved in activities, had goals to accomplish. High school, undergrad, graduate school, competitive running races etc. And now I really don't have to do anything expect wake up, feed my cat and go to work. But what do I want to do? What do I want to be involved it? What is there to do?

Well, I'm going to dive into what is out there. Join me......