Bryan's Sometimes Annual Badminton Tournament

This past Sunday, we spent more hours than I care to admit playing in and spectating at Bryan’s “Sometimes Annual” badminton tournament. My teammate this year (Hugh) was the reigning champ from last year, so the pressure was on. After going undefeated (2-0) in the round robin pre-tournament play, we entered the actual tournament with cautiously high hopes…

Don’t my friends look intensely athletic?

This is quite representative of our teamwork:

Where I lacked in hand-eye coordination, I made up for in the sportsmanlike conduct department — I handed out pre-game high fives to our opponents.

Jessie and Troy were the first team we beat, but I don’t think they’d gotten into this groove yet:

Benjamin was my teammate last year… we’re pretty sure we came in a close second to Hugh’s team, though our memories were a little foggy.

Naturally, I enjoyed the spectating part of the tournament. Only it got a little nerve-racking when the spectator became the player — so much pressure!

The second place trophy, engraved with the motivational message: “You should probably stick to cheering.”

And the coveted Brody Magody Trophy for the champion of the Sometimes Annual Badminton Tournament:

First Place:

Second Place:

I honestly can’t tell you how this happened, but you can probably tell that we did not win…

At least we’re the No. 3 ranked team going into next year’s tournament. Somehow.

Running Update: It's About Darn Time

It’s about darn time that I ran more than 4 miles in one attempt, considering our 10K is coming up this Sunday morning. Last night after scarfing down a particularly delicious dinner of gnocchi with tomato sauce, mozarella and goat cheese (inspired by this), I got a text from Hugh saying “Let’s run 6 miles tonight.”

Okay, sure. 6 miles. No big deal. The furthest I’ve run at one time is 4 miles, and that felt like such an achievement. I hadn’t run since last Wednesday thanks in part to a heat wave that’s been making it hard to even stand outside, let alone move. All things considered, I decided to change our goal from 6 miles to 5-6 miles.

Around mile two my dinner began revolting in the form of cramps and breathing problems. Two miles, Lauren? I thought to myself, two is not six. This math I am certain of.

Around mile three the recurring pain in my left knee started to throb. Thankfully the pain in my right knee (caused by an unfortunate fall on a metro escalator) has subsided so I took solace in that and continued on.

Around mile five Hugh was getting bored and my knee was growing less and less tolerable, so we decided to do a small loop or two in the parking lot and call it quits, knowing that pushing it now may jeopardize my ability to run Sunday.

So it turns out we ran 5.38 miles … at a snail’s pace. But, as usual, once I push through the initial discomforts of the run, I feel like I could keep running forever [within reason]. At least in last night’s lower temperature and less humidity. If it’s 100 degrees with 80% humidity Sunday morning, all bets are off.

 

The moment of truth is fast approaching…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Family Reunion Like No Other

My dad’s side of the family has a family reunion tradition that can’t be touched. Primarily because it’s called the FamiLEE Reunion (a play on our last name), but the food and incredibly good company doesn’t hurt.

Everyone brings something potluck-style, and sweet tea and lemonade are provided by the host family. Fried chicken is a staple. It can be homemade, from KFC or Popeye’s, it doesn’t matter. As long as there’s more than enough.

Deviled eggs are also a staple. Mom made spinach-and-something-deviled-eggs-with-something this year that were delicious and added a little interest to the normal recipe with paprika sprinkled on top.

Mom also made a key lime pound cake which sat proudly on its pedestal over the myriad other desserts.

Dad got called out by the elders for being first in line (which is probably why he was already done with lunch when I took this picture).

This photo is blurry, but you get the idea of the length and density of the food table.

After lunch, speeches and family updates, I tried to get Grandpa (the youngest of his siblings) to organize the rest of his siblings for a picture. Chaos, as usual, ensued.

Briscoe wandered away before we were done and begrudgingly wheeled back…

We added the spouses…

But Virginia and Marion Lee were cut off…

So we got to eat good food, visit with good family and got my Grandpa, his brothers Tom and Briscoe, his sisters Virginia and Lucy, and all their spouses in one photo. All in all, a very successful FamiLEE Reunion.

Next year it’s our family’s turn to host …

 

 

She Thinks We're Just Fishing

A few weeks ago I was blindsided by a song while driving to Jessie’s to help haul stuff to her new apartment. By the time I had parked, I had to rub the goosebumps off my arms, wipe the tears that had welled up under my eyes and collect myself before getting out of the car.

Sure, other songs make me nostalgic. I Saw the Sign brings back images ofdancing in Rebecca’s bedroom in 3rd grade. Hey Girl conjures up the summer Jessie and I spent in Blacksburg between junior and senior years of college. And of course Enter Sandman makes me jump uncontrollably every single time I hear it.

But this song (Just Fishing by Trace Adkins) makes me want desperately to be young, carefree, barefoot and completely dependent on my dad again. It makes me want to rewind and be 7 years old on the beach in North Carolina casting Dad’s giant surf fishing rod into the waves.

 

I can’t imagine how nostalgic it would make me if I didn’t still fish with my dad. If Dad didn’t still rummage in the garage to find me a suitable rod and make sure it’s rigged and that I have something to bait the hook with. I’m sure Dad feels the same way.

I have a terrible urge to go fishing with my Pops now. I also can’t help but wonder what little girls do with their dads if not go fishing. Make them play tag? I don’t know, fishing works for me. So does gearing up in wetsuits for a jetski ride on cold water.