The very definition of heaven


Room service.


In bed.


Chasing a weird rabbit


All this time, it's been me with that knowing smile.

"Where are you? Which chapter?"

I'd know what's coming next, what surprises were in store for her, and smile.

Now it's her turn.

It feels odd.

I'm always late to every phenomenon, so by the time the Harry Potter craze came and went, I figured I might as well hold off a few more years until Emme and I can read them together. I waited and waited. She tried once a few years ago and just didn't feel ready.

She tried again this week and has been pushing her butt into the middle of the couch each morning and afternoon, refusing to move.

"Dad, you should read them," she said, "They're so good."

Yeah, I had heard people like them, that they were popular. I guess.

So I picked up book 1, or year 1, and have been engrossed myself.

But nothing is quite as amusing as her knowing smiles.

"So ... where are you? Which chapter?"

I tell her where I am with the Dursley family and that dreaded Dudley and she smiles.

"Oh keep going, keep going."

I ask her what the hell is wrong with that family anyway?

"Oh keep going, keep going."

She is overjoyed, knowing what's to come.

It's weird to be on this side of the equation. Things are backward. Looking glass. White rabbit. All that.

They'll come a time in the not too distant future when her maths will outpace my own. I'm frankly surprised I've been able to keep up with third grade. I'm positive I'll hold my own with history, but math, chemistry, Spanish, old classics I have always ignored -- I've seen these diligent middle and high schoolers, heads bent into a book or scribbling some foreign-looking scratch. She'll absorb them all and this knowing smile may yet become a smirk at times -- I well remember the appalling feeling I had to learn my mom had actually taken French in college and forgotten it all, whereas now, years later, I can barely order a croissant myself  -- but I imagine things will even out someday, and there we'll be on the couch again. New lines on the face. New stories to read.

I share books with my mom and mother-in-law all the time now, and I can see a glimpse of that ahead.

So I read another chapter and she asks where I am, and this time we both offer these secret, knowing smiles of what's to come.

It can be a great year for women's soccer


Credit: US Soccer


Despite all my moaning and groaning about the lack of support for the best national soccer team we have, I am incredibly optimistic about this year and what it can do for the future of the sport.

In previous World Cup years, there was a palpable excitement. People watched and tweeted about the games in record numbers. Players and techniques became media and household discussions across the country. The impact this has to have on young girls who are told day in and day out that their bodies are about appearance, not ability, has to be huge.

But also ... bottom line, the games are fun!

Fox Sports has already announced they will broadcast a record number of Women's World Cup games, not just on their sports-only channels but on the main Fox channel as well.

Then, on Monday, it was announced that all the run-up games to the Women's World Cup will be televised as well, and I thought it was important to give Fox Sports a big shout out. This sort of coverage is as it should be, and it's nice to see it finally happening.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the women's national team through crappy, fuzzy foreign broadcast streams knows the play has been shaky. We haven't been at the top of our game, as evidenced by our drop from #1 to #2. So it's incredibly important to work out the kinks before the Cup begins and now, thankfully, we get to see that happening.

I can already feel the excitement building as the tournament approaches.

Dog gone runner


Best running partner ever!

Usually her mother's job


Emme asked if I could help with the bridle, because she just can't reach that high, especially when the pony rears her head.

"You just have to put the bit in her mouth like this. See? Your fingers don't even get near the teeth."

It was about this time she realized her dad is not as brave as he pretends to be.

Except for the horses, this place is so beautiful.