Holidays on the Prairie {Conner Prairie Ticket Giveaway}

One of the greatest perks of living where I do is that I’m just minutes away from Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. It’s been a part of my life since I was a girl, and it’s such a joy for me to make new memories there with my kids all year long.

I have to admit, though, that of all the seasons of wonderful things to do at Conner Prairie, the holidays are my favorite time of year to visit. There’s just something about it around Christmas that makes it super special. I love the feeling of going back to a time when the holidays were simpler, and feeling that simplicity in my bones – even if it’s just for a few hours.

Holidays at Conner Prairie

I love the snow falling softly on the historic grounds.

Holiday Adventure Conner Prairie3

I love the sound of real sleigh bells.

Gingerbread Cookies Conner Prairie

I love the smell of gingerbread, from a recipe that’s stood the test of time.

Gingerbread Village Conner Prairie

There are so many wonderful activities you can participate in over the holidays, including Outdoor Holiday Adventure, Conner Prairie by Candlelight, Breakfast or Dinner with Santa, Winter Fun Days, and (our favorite) Gingerbread Village. We make good use of our membership all year long, but it gets a lot of use in December and January!

Because I want you to make your own Conner Prairie holiday memories with your family, I’m giving away a Family 4-pack of tickets to Conner Prairie that are good for either the Outdoor Holiday Adventure (December 7, 14 and 21) or Winter Fun Days (December 27- January 5). Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me either what you’re most excited to do at Conner Prairie or your favorite holiday Conner Prairie memory.
  2. For additional entries, tweet and/or share this giveaway on Twitter and/or Facebook.  Leave a comment below telling me you did so.  Please note, a tweet or Facebook share counts as one entry.  If you choose to do both, leave 2 separate comments so both of your shares count as an entry!

The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.  Winner will be notified via email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  Winner will receive 4 tickets to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, good for admission to either the Outdoor Holiday Adventure or Winter Fun Days.  Good luck and thanks for reading!

This post is not sponsored by Conner Prairie.  I received complimentary tickets for attending an event and wanted to share them with you!

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Hittin’ the Turf: Indianapolis Colts Women’s 201

angiecoltsfieldYou may recall a post I did last year recapping my experience at the Indianapolis Colts Women’s 101 workshop. I had such a good time at the event that I knew I couldn’t let this year go by without attending Women’s 201.

This year I convinced my sister to go with me. She’s a big Colts fan as well and I knew she’d have a blast. Where Women’s 101 is geared toward learning the basic rules and plays of the game, Women’s 201 is all about getting sweaty on the same field where the Colts practice.

Indianapolis Colts Practice Field Angie Six

After they fatten you up and slow you down with a big spread from Abuelo’s, they lead you into the practice facility. We were divided into smaller groups where we rotated through five stations, each manned by current Colts staff and players as well as alumni players. We tried our hands and feet at speed drills, running routes, sacking the quarterback, snapping the ball, and playing quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts Practice Facility

Just a few things I learned about myself in Women’s 201:

Agility dummies are dumb. Or I’m not agile. One of the two. I nearly tripped, tripped, and/or rolled my ankle on them several times. If I were an NFL player I’d be the guy who broke his ankle on the first workout of training camp.

Don’t make fun of Darrius Heyward-Bey just before you attempt to run a route and catch a ball yourself. You will catch a ball right in your windpipe and feel like a dork in front of the Colts staff guy who suddenly has a laser-rocket arm.

It’s really hard to think of a sack dance on the fly. I wonder how much time these defensive players spend in front of a mirror perfecting their signature moves?

I couldn’t snap a ball if my life depended on it.

I couldn’t line up to receive a snap without giggling inappropriately if my life depended on it.

Khaled Holmes has absolutely no faith in me to follow directions, nor should he. But he was still game for a photo.

Indianapolis Colts Khaled Holmes

It’s been a long time since I laughed that hard or had so much fun.

What I love about the 101 and 201 workshops is the group it brings together. The players and staff are so enthusiastic and fun to work with. They’ll answer any questions, no matter how silly you (or they) think they are. The women who attend come from all different backgrounds, ages and athletic ability, but they’re all there because they love football.

Indianapolis Colts Daniel Adongo

Daniel Adongo, who up until July was a professional rugby player from Kenya. He joked that he was learning how to play football right along with us.

The sessions are over this year, but I can’t encourage you enough to look into them next year. Look for information on colts.com in late summer of 2014. If you love football as much as I do, it will be the best $70 you ever spend. Just don’t forget to invest in some ice packs and Aleve for the day after!

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Broccoli, Chocolate, Tweens and an Evening With John Green

What do you say?

Much is made of the drama and headaches that come with raising tween and teen girls. Much is made because there is much to vent about. We are just in the beginning of it with Elena, and already I can tell we have some stormy days ahead.

But there is also much to be excited about. I don’t know if it’s quite the same with moms and sons, but there is something magical about the relationship that can evolve with moms and daughters.  Our interests, like our shoe sizes, are starting to overlap. What does this mean for me? It means that beyond my girlfriends, I have a new companion to share these interests with. Take the other day, for instance.

Elena and I have both always enjoyed reading. Recently, we’ve enjoyed reading many of the same books. From that shared interest, the Mother-Daughter Book Club was born. Hands down our favorite book that we’ve both read is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. John is a local author, and Elena is a Super Fan. My friend Sacha let me know a couple of weeks ago that John would be participating in the Butler University Writers Harvest. It was the perfect excuse for a mother-daughter date.

The cone of shame.

There were several authors and a poet there, reading their work aloud. Although it’s the kind of thing I enjoy immensely, it’s been years since I’ve been to a reading of any type. Elena had never been to anything like it. We both sat there, entranced by the words. Finally, it was John Green’s turn. Elena practically levitated from her seat, seal-clapping and bouncing with joy. The last time I saw her in that kind of fangirl mode? The One Direction concert. I just love that she holds an author on that kind of pedestal. And I love that we love him together.

Angie & Elena

He read from The Fault in Our Stars and it was awesome. We would’ve been over the moon with just that. He then proceeded to pull out an iPad and read some new, not-yet-published work. Words that he’d created as recently as that morning. Elena leaned her head on my shoulder and we both hoped it would never end – she his words and me this fleeting moment of affection. We were both on cloud nine for the rest of the evening. The next morning, in our tired, foggy 6:30 a.m. haze, she hugged me again.

“Last night was one of the coolest, most amazing things I’ve ever gotten to see,” she said.

I can’t change the fact that there will be rough days ahead. It’s how it’s done, how our kids learn to break away from us and become who they are meant to be. But I can focus on what I gain in this new relationship instead of the little girl I’m losing.

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

The door-slamming, the eye-rolling, the tears, the fights, the exasperation, all of the broccoli we suffer through during the teen years? I wish it didn’t exist, that we could just drive around it.  But it doesn’t affect the heart swells I feel in these kind of moments, sweet and wonderful as chocolate.

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