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Notre Dame, 17 ~ BYU, 14

Touchdown Jesus

 

They went. They conquered. Touchdown Jesus prevailed.

Mission Accomplished.

More Than a Game

Notre Dame Fighting IrishTo say that the man in my house is a Notre Dame fan would be an understatement. Mr. G, as we’ll call him, was born to a man born and raised in Indianapolis. My father-in-law grew up listening to Irish games on the radio, always cheering for the green and gold. His team, afterall, who to this day put points on the board under the famed ‘Touchdown Jesus‘, calls South Bend, Indiana, home. For those who are map-illiterate, South Bend is exactly 130 miles due north of Indianapolis. My father-in-law comes from a family that didn’t have a lot of money, but they had each other. And together, with their Fighting Irish, they had it all. Saturday afternoons were spent with each other, all huddled around the portable radio, cheering for the boys and yelling at the announcer. The thought of going to a game in person… now that was nothing more than a fairytale. But through the little kitchen radio my father-in-law could dream, and dream he did.

There was no questioning who my husband would be raised to cheer for. No question what his favorite color would be (green). No question what his favorite movie would be (Rudy). And to be fair, guys, my husband did not cry when we got married. He did not cry when we had our firstborn. But he did cry when we watched Rudy together. Oh. And that firstborn I mentioned? She came out wearing a Notre Dame hat. I’m not kidding. And when we smiled at each other and said ‘I do’ I also made a promise that day – a promise to my husband that our children would be raised Notre Dame fans. Forget the fact that we both graduated from a great school out west… I had made a promise and that promise is one that can’t be broke.

“Hello divorce lawyer? Are you there?” Yah. It’s that bad. If I even think about cheering for anyone else my butt will be kicked to the curb.

So when the leaves start to change and a small chill rises in the air, I know one thing: hibernation season is over, the man in my house is ready to watch football. Folks, he couldn’t even tell you what channel ESPN is, (lucky for him the Notre Dame games all air on NBC), but come football season a side that I’m not entirely familiar with emerges and he goes full Chuck Norris in the living room while watching his team on the flatscreen.

Since we said ‘I do’ I’ve learned a lot about Notre Dame. We watched a lot of Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn in the early days. This year we think Manti Te’o is great… and really, who wouldn’t? His family story is a Cinderella story in and of itself. Girlfriend and Grandma die hours apart… Te’o finds therapy in returning to the grid iron and having what many call ‘the best game of his life’ against Michigan State four days later. Fast forward three weeks later and Notre Dame is undefeated at 6-0.

This week the Fighting Irish take on the Mormon Cougars out of BYU. Being from Utah myself, this game is big. You see, I grew up going to BYU games. While my husband was a little boy in the Midwest cheering for the Irish, I was the little girl who went to games at Cougar Stadium with my mom and dad. (That’s where they met. Then again, it seems as though that’s where most young Mormon couples meet.) Although I didn’t go to BYU, it’s still the team my family cheers for. My extended family. Not my family… you remember that clause I signed at the alter. “I will raise our children to be Notre Dame fans.”

Now we live in Milwaukee. And BYU is headed east. They’re taking on the Irish at Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday. For us, there couldn’t be a bigger game. And you know what? We have tickets. You hear that? We have tickets! But I’m not going. I’m not. I’m going to sit with our little ones while my husband enjoys the game. For him, this is more than a game; this is more than a fall afternoon in little old South Bend. This is about my husband inviting his father to the game. It’s about memories that have been 30+ years in the making. It’s about my father-in-law seeing his dream to watch his favorite team in person, come true. It’s about my husband doing something with his father that his father enjoys (because Mr. G never did like fishing with his dad anyways).

My husband is a simple man; his father even more so. But when I drop them off at the stadium Saturday afternoon, it will be hard to hold the tears back as I watch them enter the stands together, for the first time.

Fall in Wisconsin

I had to drop something off at the church this morning. The church is about 25 minutes away. Along the way I kept thinking how bad I felt for not taking my camera along. On the way back I finally gave in, pulled over and started snapping pictures with my 3.2 megapixel cell phone camera. The colors here are amazing. And if you think they look great in the photos – you can only imagine what they look like in person.
Can’t get over how beautiful and red these guys are!
Beautiful golden drive
I felt like I was driving into a fairy tale.
I told my 4-year-old we were driving through the forest. (but not really! In fact, believe it or not, there are houses only 10 feet behind these trees!)
Beautiful colors lining the side of the road
How would you like to pull into this neighborhood every afternoon after a long, hard day at work?
After 30+ years out west I’ve seen my share of red rocks, desert landscapes and wide open spaces. But the fall leaves in the midwest are simply something else!

Ten days ago the guys in charge over at Facebook announced that users can now promote posts for a one-time fee of $7. It comes a little more than a year after the guys at FB responded to a viral hoax, alleging that Facebook would start charging users to use the social site’s new platform.

“A rumor on the Internet caught our attention. We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It’s free and always will be.”

Guess they changed their minds.

facebook promoteWhen you update your status you now have the option to promote your post. By doing so, your post will appear at the top of your friend’s feeds, helping it to gain more visibility.

facebook promote termsBut be warned. As soon as you click that 7-letter word your credit card info is called for.

I actually read about this announcement the day it was made. I’ve spent the past week and a half pondering the news, and in the end I’ve decided it’s a good thing. This is why:

top storiesSome time ago Facebook changed the way the Newsfeed scrolls by giving users the option to view Newsfeed posts one of two ways ~ “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”. Being the FB junkie that I am, I prefer to read my posts in chronological order. But FB nearly always defaults to “Most Recent”, so after I log in I have to click the “Sort” button and change my settings. That’s common sense for me. But again, a lot of my friends don’t get online as often as I do, therefore they don’t catch every post that has been listed.

On that note, a promoted post will gain more visibility as it will have the opportunity to loiter at the top of a friend’s feed – hopefully long enough that those who only log on once or twice a week will have a chance to see the big news. It will also be beneficial for those who have a lot of Facebook friends. I happen to keep my Facebook circle tight, only some 200-300 friends are connected. But there are those who chose to become friends with anyone and everyone they’ve ever met. So, for all the high school kids who have some 700-800 Facebook friends, they too will now have the opportunity to see the big news when Johnny pays $7 to promote the news that he’s now ‘in a relationship’.

This is why Facebook drives me nuts. Not all of my friend’s status updates show up in my newsfeed. FB filters posts and only publishes the ones that are most relevant to me. Maybe my friend Jared’s posts don’t show because we don’t often interact. My friend Julie’s posts might not show because I have her flagged as an acquaintance. So right off the bat, even though I scan my Newsfeed several times a day, there are still posts I miss.

Facebook clearly recognizes the problem, and now they are choosing to ‘help’ users by charging a fee. So much for being free, right?

Let me share a personal example that demonstrates how a post could have benefited from being promoted.

Earlier this year I found out I was going to have a baby. I think that’s worth announcing on Facebook. In fact, in my opinion, not many other things trump an addition to the family. It was Valentine’s Day, so I chose to share a family photo from a recent vacation to Las Vegas. Under the photo I wrote that we were taking ‘bets’ to find out whether baby #2 would be a girl or a boy.

Within minutes of posting my news the comments started rolling in. Lots of ‘woohoos’ and several more ‘Congratulations’. One or two even told me they had been speculating, because my growing stomach was already starting to show. (To be fair, I was already 20 weeks along. In fact, I already knew it was a girl). When the excitement slowed down I had some 50-60 comments and/or likes, a ranking of roughly 25% of my friends. To be honest, I was a little hurt that more of my ‘friends’ didn’t congratulate me on the news. So I followed the big announcement post with this one:

cleaning houseOh boy. That did it. If I hadn’t woken the sleeping giant before, he was wide awake and coming after me now. People begged me to keep them around (funny how people take a clean up so seriously). They got defensive. They explained why they hadn’t commented the day before. Some were supportive. Others… well, take a look for yourself (Last names have been removed so I don’t lose the rest of my friends):

Jenny: In the words of Frank, tell those non-commenters/non-likers to “Get out of here!”

Sondra: I can’t remember if I liked or not, but I did see your big announcement (Congrats!) but I am also 36 weeks pregnant sick with the flu and every time I get a second to sit the computer my kids distract me and I forget what I am doing. Just don’t get rid of us totally overwhelmed people….

Christie: You sound a tiny bit hormonal here!? LoL I change my guess to a girl

Krachel Greenwood Not hormonal – just keepin it real.

Cami: Congrats! Missed it yesterday but I say another girl.

Christie: Its true there’s a lot of non commenting lurkers out there… I don’t like the ones to just read the gossip but never post anything of their own!

Geoff: DO IT!!

Cindy: I saw all the comments and you have a lot of fb friends that commented. You mean you have even more than those who didn’t comment. Excited about the announcement. I’m thinking another girl!

Jill: I missed it yesterday too. Congrats! I don’t get on Facebook everyday. Sometimes only about once a week. Probably alot of the non commenters out there just don’t get on all the time, so maybe they missed the big announcement? I would have if I didn’t get on tonight. Anyway, congrats! I’m so excited for you. I say boy to help Matt out a little. Have to balance the hormones out you know!

Kandis: Don’t delete me!! And I think you’ll have a boy.

Krachel Greenwood I know there’s a lot who don’t get on daily. But there’s also a lot who do… Yet try to stay anonymous. Chances are if we’ve chatted in the past – you’re probably safe.

Terri: Great, I am safe. I can sleep better tonight.

DiAnne: Oh…good thing I just got back from Nashville and Yellowstone and Big Sky MT……don’t make me go away! I understand how you feel, however. I had to “unfriend” a few a couple weeks ago. I kind of like a R.I.P. message to them. JOKING! Maybe send them a private msg that you are wondering how they are doing?…if nothing….push the red button. Just thinking. XO

Angela: Hey, I LOVED your post yesterday

DiAnne: Remember…life is too short to feel emotionally bogged down by issues. If it doesn’t feel good for your life, then make a change…whatever that may be. Emotional or physical….having internal peace is key. Do what is right for you. XO

Dana: I missed it… Sorry! that’s awesome! I always miss the good stuff. many congrats!

Wendi: I get it everyday…oh, but you are talking about fb. I am going to say boy. They are the ones that makes us feel bad and unloved.

Brad: I’m still mad you jinxed the pats………..again!!! Damn you and Matt’s love making patterns

Angela: What if I was too busy gettin busy to see your announcement yesterday?

Angela: Congrats btw!

Frank: PHEW! so glad i commented yesterday!!

Robert: As someone who used to work in the news business, I hope you’ll understand and forgive me for having a rather hectic couple of days at my station, and failed to comment on your photo.

Now, that being said…Congratulations! Are you guys hoping for a boy or a girl? One of each?

Mindy: Uh oh. I just commented. Hope I make the cut. If I could triple like your announcement, I would. Such exciting news!

Hugh: As a father of eight, two of them boys, I must guess it will be a girl. Mood swings considered?

Kristin: You opened a can of worms here lol I didn’t comment either but am so thrilled for you. I’m guessing a girl so your older one can have can have a little sister. I say you can never have to many friends to love and support you. You never know when you may need them.

Jeana: Wow missed the announcement but just checked it out. Congrats! What a cute way to announce! My vote is another girl…

Jeremy: umm. congrats.

Aaron: Missed the announcement. Congrats are in order.

John: Your updates don’t always appear on my feed.

That said, Jaqueline and I DID congratulate you in our own conversations, just not on your page. Love to hear you guys are making another baby. Or MADE another baby as this case may be. Atta girl. Or boy.
February 16 at 5:05am · Unlike · 1

Timothy: Congrats Krachel. I guess Matt helped a little…well maybe not a little. Mom told me last Saturday you were expecting in July. Sounds like a road trip out west is in the future.

Nika: I liked it. I’m happy for you, please don’t break up with me. PS how are you feeling?

Tricia: Congratulations to you and your family! I don’t always see or comment on every post but love to check in and see how everyone is doing. I’ll say twins – a boy and a girl!

Brittany: ahhhh I just saw your post. CONGRATULATIONS! please don’t delete me

Melissa: i didn’t even see the announcement!!!! congrats! how far along are you?

Travis: Congrats krach

Krachel Greenwood Hey – to be fair – we all clean house here and there – I just chose to give a heads up!

Heather: I agree with jill. Some of us may have missed it because our feeds turn over quickly or we don’t check fb every day. Congrats btw!

Mindy: Must have missed but after reading other comments you must be expecting. Congratulations!! I say boy since that’s what your sister is having so the cousins will play together

Katie: And everyone who loves you and checks Facebook regularly deserves to stay. Please keep me, as I commented from Germany!

Rebekah: It’s good to clean house every once in awhile!

Joy: I agree!!!

Michael: I’m coming in late to the conversation….Keep me!!! And congratulations!!!

Jami: Sheesh, glad I got on FB yesterday!!!

Sandy: Hey, congratulations. So exciting. I guess this means you wont be able to catch for softball. im sad about that, but so excited your 3-yr-old will be a big sis. good luck !

Shauna: Oh my…..i guess I’m TOTALLY OUT!! congrats krachel and matt!! How fun to be having another baby! Oh how I hope he wears the kilt to bless new baby greenwood!!! I’m so excited for you guys!!

The truth is – I had to take a step back and realize that not everyone gets on Facebook as much as I do. Then again, most people don’t get PAID to be on Facebook (like I do). So to sum it up, sadly, I believe that promoted posts are a good idea. Who knows? You might just see me pay to announce baby #3.

Happy Birthday Instagram

This month Instagram turns 2.

In only 24 months time the photo sharing app has taken the internet by storm. With an average of 7.3 million daily active users the company was “gobbled up by Facebook for $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock… Other applications who offered the same services as Instagram have shut its doors earlier this year (see: PicPlz) while others have found themselves laying off practically entire staffs. Instagram is literally killing their competition!”*

I think it’s safe to say the fine folks at Instagram aren’t sittin’ in Gramma’s rockin’ chair watching time pass by; rather looking forward and making plans for the future.

While they go ahead and look forward, I take time to look back.

Presenting… my Top 5 All Time Favorite (Personal) Instagram Photos:

Slurpee

5. Oh Thank Heaven! My first Slurpee in Wisconsin – and boy did it hit the spot! Looking at this Instagram pic still makes my mouth water.

gourds4. My husband added three real gourds to the jar of fake ones in the kitchen. Any guesses which is which?

peaches n' cream3. Ummm. Peaches n’ cream. There’s nothing quite like fresh peaches in a bowl of cold milk with sugar sprinkled on top.

fridaynightlights2. This Instagram pic definitely makes my Top 5! It’s the very first Instagram I ever sent. Friday Night Lights live from Salt Lake City, Utah. I took this photo at the Cottonwood High School home opener in 2011. Boy do I miss that view of the Wasatch Front!

Pepsi Woodstock1. There are no words. Actually, I take that back. If this was a post on Twitter I’d add this photo and use one of the following hashtags: #wasteoftime #goingretro #husbandsaveseverything #pieceofjunk? #youtellme #howmuchwouldyoupay? #whyimgoinggray

To follow me on Instagram – search for @krachelw.

*courtesy Vibe.com

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?

[Chorus]
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.*

It was one of those weeks. Actually, not even one of ‘those’ weeks. Something entirely different. It has instead been a week that has been emotionally-taxing on my soul.

A dear friend from high school left for the trip of a lifetime with her sweet family. It was something they talked about for the past six months. The anticipation and excitement grew. And then, in the blink of an eye, it was time to board the plane and go. We exchanged notes of thanks and good luck over Facebook and went about our separate ways. But only hours later – Wednesday morning – she mentioned that they were at the hospital; her 4-year-old Mia, a heart transplant recipient, wasn’t feeling well and appeared to have pneumonia. Only a few short hours later the devastating news was shared: her heart was in rejection and she needed the support of a heart and lung machine (ECMO) in order to survive.

Loved ones began to rally. Prayers were offered by friends. Little ones dressed in red, Mia’s favorite color. Mamas showed signs of support by sharing heart photos. An online donation page was even established. Talk about an outpouring of love and support! And for the next 48 hours I watched as people across the nation held tight to their faith in God that 4-year-old Mia would turn around and a miracle would come.

Today, sadly, we learn that Mia’s time on earth is running short. And while a mere four days ago she was dreaming of a trip to the happiest place on earth, tonight her family sits at her bedside in a hospital far, far from home as they prepare for the dreaded task of saying good-bye.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a loved one. I don’t know how parents survive after placing a child in the ground. But during my time working with children facing life-threatening medical conditions I met many, many parents who have done just that. Each and every one of them is a hero to me. They have done the unthinkable, yet find it in their hearts to not turn on God, but rather find strength in Him. They smile. They share their story with others. They know that God is good.

Perhaps that is why I needed to lose myself in service. I was feeling, well, you know. Yucky. Slimy. Guilty that my own children are strong and healthy. So when the opportunity arose to prepare a meal for guests currently staying at the local Ronald McDonald House, I jumped at the chance to serve. And you know what they say about service – those who serve get just as much out of the service as those who receive. After watching the heartbreaking situation my friend is going through, going out and serving is the LEAST I could do for my fellowman.

Ronald McDonald HouseThe home itself is beautiful. Located on Watertown Plank Road, the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern Wisconsin has the ability to house 38 families a night. Families are only asked to pay $10 per night, but no family is ever turned away for their ability to pay. More than 1,000 families stayed at the home in 2011, but another 806 were turned away, due to high occupancy.

RMH heartOutside the home, a giant heart with the initials ‘RMH’ sits on the front lawn.

“How fitting,” I thought – as my week has become consumed with thoughts of little Mia and her failing heart.

Once inside I immediately felt a spirit of love. I believe in heaven, and that’s the only way I can think of to describe the feeling in the RMH. It felt like heaven.

RMH volunteerRMH crock potsA wonderful volunteer showed us the ropes. We were to set up our crock pots and salads and then help the house guests with any dinner-related questions they may have.

At six o’clock prompt the families began to file in to the dining room. One woman sat alone, off to the side of the hall. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind my company and we started talking about the one thing we have in common – being moms. The evening began to quickly pass as I found myself serving those in need.

There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.
’Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.

Perspective. Now instead of sitting on the couch and feeling sorry for myself, I find myself getting lost – lost in service.

*Text and music: Will L. Thompson, 1847–1909, alt.

There’s one – and only one – reason why I can tolerate live tv.

Twitter.

It allows me to multi-task. It allows me to ‘talk’ with millions of people who know nothing about me yet agree with everything I say. And so I tweet. I and all of my friends find happiness and lots of laughter as we converse with one another during live tv shows.

Such is the case for tonight’s live presidential debates. I chuckle at what either the President or Mr. Romney says – and then realize that my friends on Twitter feel the same way.

What? Mitt doesn’t like Big Bird?

What do you mean when you say ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’???

Honestly – watching a live debate becomes a whole new world of comedy when Twitter gets involved. So a short recap, my friends, of some of my favorite tweets from the night:

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