Meals, Mock Drills and the Monday Morning Quarterback

It’s been a busy week here, filled with some fun Indianapolis Colts related activities. I think we all need our spirits lifted after the last two weeks of less-than-fun Colts activity on the football field.

On Tuesday morning I gathered a group of friends to join me for the Million Meal Marathon at Lucas Oil Stadium. I participated last year and knew I had to do it again. Volunteers, including Colts players and cheerleaders, work in two hour shifts to pack one million meals destined for Hoosier families. I loved working with Thrive360 again, and I’m so proud of what they do in our community and around the world. Greg Toler stopped by our table for a bit, and we asked him about a million questions while we helped pack a million meals.

Indianapolis Colts Million Meal Marathon with Greg Toler

Later that evening I joined a couple of girlfriends for the Women’s 201 Clinic at the Colts practice facility. Women’s 101 is all about listening and asking questions. This clinic? It’s all about action. Participants spend a couple of hours on the turf, running plays and drills with Colts players, alumni and staff. It’s ridiculously fun, and I highly recommend it. If I can do it, so can you.

You have to read this article about the event over at, and not just because I’m quoted in it. No, you have to meet fellow participant, 82-year-old Nellie Sillanpa. I want to be her when I grow up. Even if you don’t read a single word, you have to click over just to see the photo of Nellie making a tackle.

This week, in lieu of my usual Colts recap, I’m going to send you over to Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback site. I was asked earlier this week if I would write something for their Voice of the Fan column about the bad vibes surrounding the team and head coach Chuck Pagano, just three short years removed from our inspiring #Chuckstrong rally. I hope you’ll take a few minutes and check it out. It’s an honor for me to share a space with some of the sportswriters I admire the most in the business. Maybe one day I’ll get to write about how it feels to see Andrew Luck and the gang win Indy a Super Bowl. That would be infinitely more fun.

We have a Monday night game coming up this week against the undefeated Carolina Panthers … at Carolina. And you thought Halloween was scary! I’ll check in on Tuesday. In the meantime, have a wonderful Halloween weekend, and save all your Heath bars for me to stress eat on Monday night.


The Short List: September

Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links.

Last pool day of summer.

Labor Day weekend was glorious here in Indiana, and we spent much of it soaking up the last days at the pool. We have a membership at a local pool, and it’s one of the best things about summer. We see people there that we never really see September through May, but over the summer they’re some of our best buddies. The kids can buy ice cream and candy for super cheap (we save up quarters all year long for our “Pool Treat Fund”), and the grownups can bring in adult beverages. Many a Friday or Saturday night are spent swimming, eating pizza, and having drinks with friends. We have a Labor Day tradition that if the weather is decent, we’re there, closing the pool down. It’s a good life, and I’m always a little sad on that very last day the pool is open for the season.

In that time between the start of school and Labor Day, the pool cuts back their hours during the week. They’re usually open for a few hours during the day while the kids are in school, though. Every year I say I’ll treat myself to a solo weekday afternoon at the pool, but I’ve never actually followed through. This year I promised myself I’d do it! And so on the very last afternoon the pool was open during the weekday, I took a stash of magazines, a giant Diet Coke, a bag of Twizzlers and myself to the pool. It was sunny, hot and gloriously devoid of children!

Pool, book and Twizzlers

A few days later I was checking over my Fitbit stats. I’m slightly obsessed with tracking my sleep, and as I was scrolling through my sleep cycles, I noticed something unusual. It appeared I’d been asleep for 2 hours on a Thursday afternoon. I couldn’t recall a recent nap, and was stumped. Then I remembered my lazy pool day! I was such a sloth during my grownup pool outing my Fitbit thought I was asleep! Mike wasn’t nearly as amused as I was.

I promise I’ve been doing much more than sleeping and sunning myself since the beginning of September! Here are a few things I’ve come across this month I think you’ll enjoy.


Football, of course! I joked on Twitter that I clearly didn’t train adequately in the off-season for these late night Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games. If you see me in person on Fridays, Mondays or Tuesdays you’ve probably seen the football-induced yawns and dark circles. I’m just so happy to have real games back on, even if my Colts have yet to actually show up for a game.

Other than that, I’m not watching much. I’ll share my Netflix pick for September later this week. Our favorites, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and The Good Wife are starting up. Do any of the new shows this season jump out at you? Not much is sparking my interest, but I do plan on recording the new Muppets show in hopes we can enjoy it as a family.


I’ve read some really fantastic books in the last couple of weeks that will surely make my Top 10 list for 2015. I’ll be doing another reading update post in early October (so far I’ve covered January-March and April-June). Stay tuned for my reviews very soon! Eli and I are about halfway through Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Some of the reviews say it’s too long and boring, but we’ve yet to feel that way about it. I imagine we’ll get through it faster as the days get darker and chillier. I just started Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper. Like yesterday. I’ve heard good things! I’m nearly finished with Katrina: After the Flood by Gary Rivlin. It’s everything I wanted my other Katrina book I read this year, Five Days at Memorial, to be. Well-written and gut-wrenching, it makes me both sad and angry at the unnecessary suffering and loss of life that could have been prevented.


Podcasts! Why did it take me so long to get into them? Other than my binge listen of Serial last winter, I haven’t really jumped on the podcast band wagon. But then I started listening to an audio book that just wasn’t working for me. I had lots to do that day and didn’t have time to research which audio book to listen to next, so I decided to subscribe to a few podcasts instead. My favorites right now are The MMQB podcast with Andy Benoit and Robert Klemko (of course!), Invisiblia from NPR, and Gretchen Rubin’s Happier. They might just replace audio books for me for the time being. Do you have any favorites I should be listening to?

Spark: Monument Circle Indy

If you live in or near Indianapolis, you MUST check out Spark: Monument Circle. Seven days a week through October 16 you can experience fun and free programming in the heart of Indy on Monument Circle. Spark is a partnership between the City of Indianapolis, Downtown Indy and Big Car Collaborative, and it’s fantastic. Eli and I visited last Sunday and spent a couple of hours on the Circle. We checked out the free lending library, built a giant ball track with foam building blocks, played ping-pong and foosball, and decorated Indianapolis-themed postcards to send to friends. Each day has a special theme, and there’s something for everyone. It was so fun to feel like a tourist in our own beautiful city, and the sight of so many people relaxing, playing and having a good time brought back the feeling of the Spanish plazas we loved so much! Definitely check it out if you can.

Spark: Monument Circle Indy


Very timely and wonderful for back-to-school, this piece from Momastary on the conversation we should have with our kids about being kind and brave in school is fantastic.

A hipster Barbie Instagram account. I don’t even want to know how much time this person is putting into this thing, but I’m SO glad they’re doing it. Hilarious.

Thanks to the terrible influence of my friend Katy, summer means drinking rosé. Lots of rosé. I was reading a piece about the rise of rosé and it was referenced as “the Hamptons’ Gatorade.” Between that and the hashtag I discovered (#roseallday), I’m on the bandwagon. Before I switch to all things pumpkin, I’m definitely using one of last bottles for this rosé lemonade.

What’s on your short list of favorite things right now?


Feels Like Home: Indianapolis Colts Football is Back

Angie Six Colts Horseshoe

While it’s never been formally declared, not on this blog, not in a computer file taking up space on my desktop, not even hastily written on the back of grocery receipt, I have a Sports Bucket List. I keep it in the least secure place possible – my head – and it changes with the wind, but there are some things that have remained on the list for years.

A few have lingered on the list in hopes that one day I’ll be able to check them off: going to a Super Bowl, tailgating before an Ole Miss football game, and watching a game at Lambeau Field. Believe it or not, some are even non-football related. I’ve never been to a Cubs game at Wrigley. I want to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I’d love to go to the Frozen Four (especially when Miami hockey plays in it again).

I’ve been lucky enough to cross a few things off the list as well. I’ve been to the Olympics (Atlanta, 1996). I’ve seen both the Lombardi Trophy and the Stanley Cup up close and personal. (Although I wouldn’t touch the Stanley Cup with a 10-foot-pole. I’ve heard the stories of where it’s been.) I’ve been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. More recently, I got to cross a biggie off my list when I attended the NFL Draft in Chicago.


Earlier this summer I was asked to partner with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Soybean Alliance as an ambassador for the Indiana Corn and Soybean Tailgate of the Year. They’re searching for the best Colts Tailgates around. Of course I said yes, because – hello! – Colts and football food. We’re doing some fun stuff together that I’m so excited to share with you. To kick off the campaign they invited a few bloggers to the Indianapolis Colts preseason game against the Chicago Bears, giving us a unique look at parts of the game most fans don’t get to see.

View from the Colts 20

Thanks to them, I was able to cross two things off my Sports Bucket List in one evening. One was something that I’d been dreaming about for years: to have an opportunity to photograph players on the field. Thanks to our Colts host, we were able to spend time on the field during warmups, player introductions, and the National Anthem.

Indianapolis Colts 4th Down Army

NFL Referee

Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts Frank Gore

Vontae Davis Indianapolis Colts

Now, I’m the kind of person that likes to write things I’ve done on lists just for the pure pleasure of checking them off. That’s exactly what I did next with my mental Sports Bucket List. We spent the first half of the game watching the action from the Press Box.

View from the Lucas Oil Stadium Press Box

I’m sure a few of my sports writer friends are rolling their jaded eyes at me right now. But when I walked into the press area my head exploded and my heart said “This is home.” Also, there was pie and unlimited Diet Coke. That might’ve had some influence on my head and heart.

The first thing I noticed (after the pie) was how incredibly quiet it is in the Press Box. It’s not a fan’s game up there, it’s a job. There’s no cheering in the press box, just stats and names and eyes on the field. Watching a game from this point of view, I could almost see the Xs and Os as the players moved down the field.

When we lived in Nashville and made attending Predators games a habit, I used to take a portable radio and headphones with me. I enjoyed the entertainment and antics in between plays for the first couple of games, but soon realized I preferred to focus on the game with the crowd noise erased. I wanted to watch the game with my own two eyes and with Pete Weber and Terry Crisp’s play-by-play directly in my ears. Until that evening in the Press Box, I hadn’t felt that focused on game since my early 2000 NHL days. I loved it.

As I left, I couldn’t help taking a quick photo of this fantastic sign. Can I have one to put on my bedroom door at nap time?

Instant Replay Warning

We also had the opportunity to spend a few minutes pre-game chatting with Kalen Irsay, daughter of team owner Jim Irsay and  Vice Chair/Owner along with her sisters of the Colts. I had no idea what to expect, but I walked away from our conversation thoroughly impressed and excited that the team I love has great leadership and vision through female representation. We talked about what it’s like being a female in a traditionally male-dominated League, and how exciting this year in particular is, with both the first female NFL official, Sarah Thomas, and the first female NFL coach, Jen Welter.

Angie Six and Kalen Irsay

I love the start of the NFL season so much – there’s the buildup of the off-season, the anticipation of what’s in store, of who will be the best story. I hope that whether it’s through food, stories, photography, or all of them together, I can bring some of that football excitement to you this season. Go Colts!

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