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!


The Big Summer of Small Adventures

Disclosure: This post is part of a yearly series in partnership with Netflix. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I’ll be sharing ideas throughout the year on some of the best Netflix titles to stream with your family. The content, as always, is whatever streams through my own mind! In addition, this post contains affiliate links. Hope you enjoy!

In just three weeks we’ll be swapping our lazy summer mornings for early morning breakfasts, backpacks and the bus stop. I honestly have no idea where this summer went. It seemed like yesterday I was preparing for an anti-boredom summer, fretting about how to fill the weeks that lay ahead of us. Now? I’m fretting that there isn’t enough time left to do all the things I wanted to do.

There was so much buildup to last summer’s big European adventure, followed by the trip itself, that we spent the last few weeks of summer at home simply enjoying home. We were adventured out. This summer was tricky in a different way: how to have a summer that feels adventurous, without going too far away from home? We all crave adventure in our lives, whether we realize it or not. For some of us, figuring out a new route to the grocery store is adventure enough. For others, it’s climbing Mt. Everest. While you’ll never catch me climbing a mountain or jumping out of an airplane, I need to seek out adventure by exploring and pushing myself just a little bit outside my comfort zone. As much as I love to travel, both near and far, I have to push myself to leave my summer comfort zone: bed, home, library, pool, home. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Two-thirds of the summer is behind us, and as I look back I realize we’ve had lots of small adventures that, when taken together, form one big, happy summer of adventure. I can save the fretting for something else. (I’m genetically wired to always be fretting over something. If nothing seems obviously fret-worthy, then I fret about that.)

What does a summer of small adventures look like?

When going out on a Friday night means pulling your chairs and grill into the street ... love my 'hood.

It looks like block parties that start in the late afternoon and last through the wee hours of the night. It looks like kickball, circles of camping chairs, fireworks, and kids running around with flashlights.

Summer Concerts

It looks like summer concerts, and rejoicing in the fact that you can now enjoy live shows with your kid that isn’t The Wiggles.

Youth baseball

It looks like trying a new sport, and realizing that you actually enjoy watching your kid play certain sports (sorry, soccer).

Michigan Blueberries

It looks like picking something other than strawberries for a change, and discovering that every single supermarket blueberry you’ve ever had has been an imposter.

Girls Rock! Indianapolis 2015

It looks like rock and roll, and coming to grips with the fact that you now share a home with an electric guitar and an amp.

Elena Six is 13

It looks like having a teenager in the house, and coming to grips with the fact that there will be eyeliner. Lots of eyeliner which adds an additional 20 minutes to the departure timeline of any other adventures.

Praying Mantis nymphs

It looks like hatching praying mantises. In your habitat, not theirs.

Pier Point Beach Michigan

It looks like swimming in Lake Michigan, and realizing you’ve been horribly misguided in your disdain for any and all bodies of water that aren’t oceans.

Nicey Treat

It looks like finally trying that popsicle place, the one you’ve been avoiding because you hate trying to park in the neighborhood it’s in.

Paper Towns Tour John Green

It looks like standing in line for hours in the blazing sun to meet your kid’s favorite author, and being secretly glad for the excuse to do so, because you love him to death, too.

Rocket 88 Doughnuts

It looks like coming up with an idea like the Doughnut Tour of Indy, just so you have an excuse to eat doughnuts all summer long. It’s for the kids!

DollyBrook Resort Michigan

It looks like taking in sunsets while roasting s’mores, because there’s nothing more adventurous than saying no to the dirty dishes and the laundry and saying yes to sitting outside.

Are your kids fans of How to Train Your Dragon’s Hiccup and Toothless? This summer, Netflix is sending them on a new adventure in the brand new original series Dragons: Race to the Edge. Available only on Netflix, your favorite characters are soaring beyond the borders of Berk in search of new dragons. Did you know that How to Train Your Dragon was a book series before it was a movie and TV show? It’s fantastic summer reading, perfect for going on adventures in your imagination.


If you have kids that aren’t into, or have moved beyond dragons, stream these adventure-filled movies instead. For the elementary set we love Hook, National Treasure, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. For teens (I still can’t believe we’re there), try Jumanji, Stand by Me, or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

What adventures, big or small, have you been on this summer?


The Short List: June

Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links.

I know I told you not to get too attached, but look what’s back! I wouldn’t go out and buy us monogrammed sheets or anything, but writing more than one post in a series is always a good step for me. Summer and blogging are always tricky for me. It’s when I seem have my best ideas and get the most fired up about topics … and yet it’s when I have the least amount of time to act upon those ideas and write about them. I think and write a lot of great stuff in my head … if only it automatically posted itself. I try to write ahead when I can, but that’s never been my best habit. And so I’ll have days like yesterday, when I tell myself I’ll get a few posts written. And then it’s 89 degrees outside, the sun is shining, and the kids are clamoring for the pool. The pool will almost always win.

Like May, June is a crazy month for us. We have two birthdays in June, and this year they happen to be milestone birthdays. Mike joined me in the 40 club. On Sunday, we’ll wake up with a teenager in the house. I can do the math, and it’s not like I don’t know what comes after 39 and 12, but it still blows my mind. In between, we celebrated Father’s Day. As much as we would love to be traveling the world again, it’s been nice spending June at home and filling it with our favorite summer activities: baseball, festivals, cookouts and strawberry picking. I hope your June has been equally as lovely. Now, feast your eyes on the Short List of things I’m into this month.

🎶 I always feel like some berry's watching me ... 🎶


Elena, Mike and I are still making our way through Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. From now on we just want to say “Beyonce” in a French accent instead of thank you. Eli has discovered American Ninja Warrior. As a result he can’t pass through a doorway without trying to spider climb it. Mike and I were all excited to watch the premier of the new HBO series Ballers, until we realized neither one of us DVR’d it. Not very baller of us.


In fiction, I just started Motherland by Maria Hummel . I’m a few chapters in, and while I’m glad to pick it up each night, I’m not dying to read more throughout the day. I snagged a free 2 month trial to Audible and picked up The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I really enjoyed The Namesake, but this one isn’t quite as good for me. Still, I enjoy having something to listen to while I do menial household tasks. I need a new non-fiction read, as I just finished The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Lieber yesterday. I tell you, the non-fiction books I’ve been reading lately are killing it. I’ll definitely be writing more about this book very soon. Eli and I are still reading through Masterpiece by Elise Broach. And Elena and I are still listening to All the Bright Places, and we are both loving it.


Two years ago we had the opportunity to participate in Camptown’s Camping for Rookies program. It’s genius for people like us, who had never been camping, but really wanted to try it out with the kids. The good people at Camptown know that lack of knowledge and access to camping equipment are a big barrier to getting families outdoors, so they started Camping for Rookies. For a very reasonable fee, they provide you with a location and a tent. Staffers are there to camp with you and show you the ropes, including the all-important setting up of the tent. They also provide meals and programming to share more knowledge of camping and the great outdoors. Camptown offers the program a few times over the summer at various locations in Indiana. I highly recommend it!

Chobani Flip Almond Coco Loco

I can’t get enough of these Chobani Flips right now. (Disclosure: I participated in a campaign with BzzAgent in which I received coupons for the product, but I’ve been obsessed with these long before now.) I’m sure all the flavors are fantastic, but once I tried the Almond Coco Loco that was all she wrote. If I have one in the fridge, it’s all I can think about.


We can worry about our kids (and we all do), but that worry doesn’t need to turn into a fear that holds them back. Love this essay “Worry Is Not Our Benchmark” from Life Your Way.

Jen Hatmaker explains the things she says yes and no to in parenting. And promptly advises that she wings it and second guesses 72% of her parenting, which gives me much comfort.

65% of kids entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t been invented yet. Isn’t that crazy? Eli will be happy to know that Minecraft and duct tape wallets can help him prepare for that yet-to-be-invented job.

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

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