David and I kicked off our weekend when our friends Ben and Kate Hutchison came to town. Kate was my roommate last year and a bridesmaid in my wedding this summer. We have walked through many things together, and I'm so thankful for our friendship. And it's really neat to both be married now and share so many new life experiences!
Kate and Ben were in town from New Orleans for FBC Starkville's college retreat this weekend. They stayed with us, and after the boys went to bed, we stayed up late catching up. Nothing is more encouraging to my spirit then friends that God puts in my path to remind me of His faithfulness. Kate and I can catch up on the phone all day, but there is SOMETHING to be said about looking each other in the eye and pouring out our hearts! It is evident to me that God crossed our paths so many years ago simply because He knew what we were going to walk through individually, and it is such a blessing to have a friend who understands. I seriously had no idea what He had in mind for our friendship when I heard that name come up during rush when I was a junior in college. Or when we met for the first time in Montgomery Hall. We were two screwed up crippled kids. I think Kate would agree with me when I say Satan had us both captive in different and similar areas. Not that Satan doesn't still attack us today. I'd just say we're better equipped in our fight against him. We still mess up, but thank goodness for the grace of God!
God truly had a sense of humor when He chose us to be friends. We seriously couldn't be more different. Seriously. When we lived together, Kate was the clean one. I was messy. Kate woke up early in the mornings. I rarely woke up early unless there was something I had to be at. Kate left most of the wedding planning to others. I wanted to be smack dab in the middle of wedding planning! I would be gluing labels on water bottles or tying ribbons on cowbells and crafting it perfectly (aren't y'all sad I didn't have a blog then--or else you would have had to listen to those random ramblings!), and Kate would be laughing. Not just laughing, laughing hysterically. I am a perfectionist, and Kate doesn't care. I don't mean that in a bad way!!! I mean that I
*I have many more great friends! This blog post just happens to be about Kate because she came to see us. Come see us, and this could be you! :) *
We all woke up early for breakfast. It's fun sitting around a table just two couples eating breakfast and catching up. I'm pretty sure that was the first time we all ate breakfast together and for sure the first time we ALL slept in the same house together. After Kate and Ben left Saturday morning, David and I had a very relaxing day. We watched a little football during the day and just enjoyed having nothing to do. Until that evening when I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I am positive that when I have a heart attack at forty, it will not be from all of the bad food I ate. It will most certainly be attributed to the fact I was an MSU fan all of my life. "Sorry doc, I know you know how my Bulldogs are!" Not to relive that wonderfully awful game, but let me just say, when it was 10-7, I started reading a 125 years of Mississippi State book that was on the coffee table. I thought David Adams was going to KILL me if I pointed out one more random fact or asked him if he'd ever seen a picture of the library in 1974. Let me explain my MSU philosophy:
In all MSU sports, it should be assumed that at the end of regulation, a loss shall be recorded. I know I may get some comments on this one, but go with me here for a second. It is far easier on your body, mind, and soul if you just assume that the Bulldogs will lose all of their games. (Note...this is Sara's opinion--not David's so don't fault him for it because I know some don't agree--him being one of them). That way, when we do win, you are pleasantly surprised. And you can throw a celebration like none other. I have found that if you follow this philosophy, you can:
1. Tailgate before the game and not be concerned with the game. Instead, use it as social hour to see all of your friends. Make sure you put aside all desire to discuss the upcoming game. You really will have a better pre-game experience.
2. Yell like H - E - L - L just like the fight song says during the game. Ring your cowbell at the correct time (don't even get me started on people that refuse to respect the bell--on second thought, I may blame my heart attack on that topic one day). And cheer for the boys even when interceptions are thrown, TDs are made, and pick sixes happen for the other team. All the while following the philosophy that we will lose.
3. Post game experience will be rather enjoyable due to the fact that if we lose there is no let down. You were already expecting the loss. You can move on and finish that last cookie left at the tailgate, hug friends until next time, and go about your week. If we win, a celebration like nothing ever seen can happen. Because you weren't expecting it.
In the past 24 years of my life, this has worked for me. I did not choose my university based on their football, basketball, or baseball team. (yes, I follow this philosophy in all MSU sports---I was SO overwhelmed when the baseball team got to go to the College World Series in 2007). Basically, I just assume the worst. Way more fun that way!
So...why am I going to have a heart attack at forty and blame it on MSU sports? Well, that Florida game would be a good example. I finally put the book down on Florida's last drive. I thought I was going to throw up. MSU doesn't usually start a game on top and stay on top unless we're playing a no name team. And TRUST ME, I've been around to see MSU blow a few (or more) games to no name teams! The fact that we were 10-0 headed into the locker room at the half against a ranked team got my hopes up. I tried to suppress my hopes by reading a book about the university I love and call home. It didn't work. I was going to be heart sick if we lost this game. Yelling at the TV every time Florida completed a pass to stop the clock or ran out of bounds to stop the clock spooked the puppy were we were housesitting. I just wanted to win! And thank goodness that kicker missed the field goal! After watching Kentucky pick off South Carolina in the end zone to lose earlier that day, we all knew nothing was impossible. But seriously, what were the odds of us winning at Florida? In the swamp?! Excitement ensued! (thank you MSU philosophy--even if you did fail me in the 4th quarter).
For those of you who don't know, I married a man who loves, loves, loves sports. And that's fine with me. I've been raised in a family who loves all things sports...especially MSU all my life. However, I like sleep almost as much. 8 hours a night is a prerequisite to a good day. For that reason, when I looked at him right after the game and said "let's go meet the team when they come home," he said, "seriously?" Now, I love MSU, but I also love my sleep. The thought of staying up till 1am he knew was something that I wasn't likely to do. However, him being the sports fan he is, didn't question me again after I told him I was sure. After thirty minutes of being awake, I gave in to sleep. I told him to wake me up at 12:30am and we'd go. So you can imagine what I said at 12:20 when he woke me up. That smart hubby...he knew I wouldn't get up so he started ten minutes early. We finally left the house at 12:40am. And I'm SO glad we went!
I took some pictures, but they didn't turn out very well. Plus the one of David and I looks like I just rolled out of bed...probably because I did. But it's an experience I'll never forget. First, Dan Mullen arrived and was surrounded by a sea of fans ringing cowbells, throwing high fives, and handshakes. Then a sea of students, alumni, and I even saw a few children/parents, walked to meet the buses. As the players got off the buses, they walked through the sea of fans. Throwing high fives to the team, ringing cowbells, chanting "We just beat the hell out of you. maroon, white, fight fight fight, Mississippi State," and listening to many chant "Go to hell carebears!" Oh what a sight it was. It was obvious that this was not something Mississippi State fans typically did! In my seven years as a student at MSU, we've never had this opportunity. But it was so much fun! So excited to see what the Dawgs can do with the rest of this season. While it was fun to win, I think I'll hang on to my philosophy. Even though Mississippi State is ranked for the first time since September 29, 2001. Do you realize the last time MSU was ranked was right after 9/11. Think of all that has changed. And how long ago that was! Wow.
So, I'll end with some of my favorite comments that have been said about our rival's decision to adopt the Black Bears as their mascot. Needless to say, our fans have had a hay day with this topic.
Top Five List in Random Order
1. Hotty Teddy!
2. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide yo picnic baskets
3. Care Bears
4. The Grove = Yellowstone = Yogi Bears
5. The bears are hibernating in the fall and winter (football and bowl game season)
And finally, be sure to visit here: http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=5685344 to see how great Ole Miss is at math.
I know, I know....I have Ole Miss friends who read this. Rest assured, I love you! I really do! I just think you picked the wrong school. We all make mistakes. I'm just glad I didn't make that mistake. Go Rebel Black Bears. Hope you have fun in December. Love my Ole Miss friends though. Clarifying that one!