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Cat Watson

19 January 4:23 pm

Preseason is upon us once again. We are gearing up for a quieter-ish, more spacious, hopefully not rainy February without Dad. Preseason is preceded by off-season, it’s exact opposite. We go from loads of time together to next to none in a matter of days. It starts with physicals and team meetings and quickly goes full force to two-a-days and team trips that are two weeks long. While it’s exhausting for the guys and we see less of our men, it’s still something that I think everybody is ready for. You can only have so much time off before you start feeling antsy. And I don’t have to cook as much in February, so at least there’s a tradeoff.
 
It can be lonely, and long, especially as a newcomer. Last year that was me. In fact, tomorrow will mark one year since our arrival in Vancouver. It’s amazing the difference a year can make. Last year at this time I was packing frantically while getting ready to fly cross country with a 9 month old and a 2 year old. I had no idea what Vancouver would be like, or how it would work out for us. I didn’t know if I would find friends. I was optimistic though, and luckily my intuition proved to be true as Vancouver has treated us well. So thank you, Vancouver, because now this preseason will not be as lonely.
 
It won’t be as lonely due to the friends we’ve made, the church we go to, the other soccer wives who are in the same boat, house projects, Evelyn’s preschool days, the downtown library, apartment neighbors, trips to Whole Foods and walks outside. Some days I fee like my life is super hard and stressful, but then I read that list and realize I probably just complain too much. Our lives have been made full. There are good days and bad days, and there will surely be a mix of both during preseason, but who escapes that reality? What I’m realizing more and more is that contentment and joy are choices, and I can either choose to embrace this preseason and take advantage of all the fullness we’ve been blessed with, or I can choose to wallow that my husband is gone for a handful of days and I might have to take the trash out more. There are worse things.
 
Besides, if preseason goes as quickly as off-season did, it’ll be over in a snap and before I know it I’ll be back to cooking on a regular basis.

Cat Watson
Wifey to 'Caps player, Matt Watson. Mommy to Evelyn and Theo. Cook, maid and laundry lady to the aforementioned parties. Oh, and I take pictures. And blog. (www.catwatson.com.)
 
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07 January 1:30 pm

With a new year upon us, Cat Watson returns to take us off the pitch and into family life with 'Caps midfielder Matt Watson.
 
2012 was an extraordinary year. A year full of new. New city, new team, new friends, new apartment, new weather, new adventures. It went by too fast and now my baby girl is in preschool and Theo is nearly two. How did that happen? 
 
Still, there is a lot to be excited for in 2013. I’m excited to welcome back old friends and meet new ones. I’m excited to continue to watch my kids grow and explore and say funny things. I’m excited to watch my husband and his teammates play and win at BC Place. I’m excited for another beautiful, humidity free summer. I’m excited to visit the East Coast and my family and childhood friends, and hopefully show some of them the goods the West Coast has to offer as well. I’m excited for babies being born this year. I’m excited for growth and progress and yes, even more change, in whatever form it comes in, because it’s sure to come. 
 
But, as I think about excitement, I’m not sure that’s fully how I want to welcome 2013. Excitement is exhausting. The state of being in it is, at least. I’ll be sure to get burnt out, and disappointed when things that were supposed to be exciting, aren’t. Instead I want to enter this year hopeful. 
 
I’m hopeful that this year I will be joyful, creative, contented, thankful. And all this even when things don’t go as I plan, or when I feel discouraged and frustrated. Excitement easily varies based on circumstances, but hope is solid, and constant, based on what is true. 
 
I’m hopeful to live in the moment and not compare myself to others, to remember that these days pass quickly and snuggles won’t come so easily so soon. I’m hopeful to be excited for my friends when good things happen to them. I’m hopeful to remember I have much to be thankful for. I’m hopeful to focus on the positive, because it can be found in every situation. I’m hopeful to read and write and create and not limit myself this year. I’m hopeful to not feel defeated when I can’t because kitchens still need cleaning and little people still need loving. I’m hopeful for date nights and beach days and Spring walks and good food and music. I’m hopeful, simply, to focus on the good, and to remember that there is hope in the midst of the bad. 
 
A hopeful 2013.
 
 
21 October 9:00 am
The Playoff Hunter Mullet: you’ve all seen it and heard about it, complete with the power stripes. What I didn’t expect was for my one-year-old son to don the look himself.
 
A baby boy’s hair is not to be messed with unless the momma bear gives permission.  Especially when that hair is curly and blonde. Imagine my shock and, let’s be honest, heartbreak, when I walked in the door to find it strangely quiet in our apartment. Quiet doesn’t happen here much, so I knew something was up. I rounded the corner to our bathroom to find Matt going to town with the razor. I thought he was being nice to let me step out of the house alone, little did I know his plans to shave our son’s head. And the quiet? The kid has a thing for brushing his teeth, it’s like Disney World to him, so Theo happily brushed (also known as drooled) while Matt happily shaved. And I silently cried.
 
Funny thing has happened though -- Theo is slightly faster, nimbler, and not falling as much (big accomplishment for him). His head has less bruises from staying afoot. We even thought we heard him say “good” the other day when we asked him how his day was going. Could it possibly be? Could the Power of the Mullet be the cause for his advances? We like to think so.
 
I’ve now embraced his Mini Mullet. Not only is it probably enhancing his physical, as well as mental, capabilities, it looks pretty darn cool for a one-year-old.
 
To increase the Power, we joined a few of the ‘Caps at Sugar Skull Salon on Wednesday for one last shape up before today’s game. There were no tears this time, but just as much drool as Theo sat still for about three and a half minutes thanks to a lollipop and his rockstar stylist, Gracie. A few new power stripes in there, a snip or two off the top, and he was good to go. I tried to get a snapshot of Theo with the original mullet, but Theo didn’t want to share the spotlight. Clearly the Mini Mullet isn’t helping his manners.
 
Regardless, today, of all days, is really the day for the spotlight to be on our ‘Caps. So in light of this afternoon’s momentous match: here’s to faster feet and greater goals -- here’s to the Power of the Mullet.
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VIDEO: WHITECAPS FC VISIT SUGAR SKULL STUDIOS

08 September 7:49 pm

If, by now, you are getting tired of hearing about my kids, I get it. But, no matter how many times in a single day I’m tempted to scream, I still think they’re the best and their bums the cutest. Plus, they consume about 97% of my time, so what else would I write about? So, bear with me. I’ll get to soccer in a second… 

I had a girl first, so I didn’t know any different. I just figured her playful, energetic, on-the-go personality was normal. Not that she’s abnormal, but I know little girls who will sit still and read books for hours. Ha! Not mine. She’s not a boy, but she sure can keep up with the best of them. She wears me out, but that aspect of who she is is one of the things that I love the most about her. 

I thought that maybe because I had a girl with a boy’s disposition when it comes to sitting still, maybe my boy will be calm. Quiet. Gentle. Most of all, maybe he won’t be non-stop. Maybe he’ll give me a break every once in awhile. No such luck. While our Theo is most definitely sensitive, he gives Evelyn a run for her money. The kid is a little daredevil.

Essentially, I’ve got two monkeys on my hands. 

This makes game day interesting. 

It’s really all about timing. Those 8 p.m. games? Forget it. Half of the moms won’t even try. We want to be supportive WAGS, but in all honesty, will our attendance, accompanied by tired, cranky kids wearing our patience thin, affect the result? Hardly. If anything, the game will go smoother since our kids won’t be around to annoy the nearby fans. We are, after all, indebted to the fans. Our husbands wouldn’t have jobs and we wouldn’t be able to feed those screaming kids if the fans didn’t care enough, so the least we can do is let them watch in peace. Besides, those few precious hours after bedtime are hard to compete with. Fans watch in peace, mommy watches from the couch, everyone wins. And we always hope for a home win. 

But say we do luck out and get a 4 p.m. game. Everyone is fresh and just up from naps. The game occupies the whole afternoon, so it’s straight home and straight to bed, which, if you’re a mom and you’re honest, it’s your favorite part of the day. The afternoon is looking great, until every mom shows up with every kid in tow at the same time, and we realize we’ve now got a circus on our hands. Popcorn is flying, someone is crying, Theo fell down the stairs again, we’re screaming to say hello, God forbid the crowd goes wild - it’ll send at least two babies into hysterics, and our awesome suite host gets stuck with babysitting duties. It can get a little out of control sometimes, but that’s life with kids, eh? 

Game day can be crazy and exhausting, but one thing it never is – boring. At the end of the day, we love game day, screaming kids and all. And we love it even more when it ends with a big win.

19 July 10:54 am

No one really left much when I was younger. Or at least if they did, I didn’t notice. That small state on the East Coast was all I knew, and all I ever thought I would know. And at the time, I was fine with that. I didn’t know any different, anyways… 

What I knew was volleyball, basketball, swimming and school. But not soccer. Or boys. Not romantically at least. Soccer season interfered with volleyball, and instead of being liked by the guys, I was one of the guys. 

Imagine my surprise when I went off to college and it turned out that the big man on campus, that handsome soccer-playing English boy with the accent, liked me. Despite my outfit at our first meeting, duck slippers and red plaid pajama pants, I guess he saw something he liked. Or he just wanted me to keep writing his papers for him. Either way, 8 years, 2 kids, 1 ring, and many moves later, we’re still together. 

Through all the moves, however, Vancouver never even remotely entered my mind. Why would it? I just always assumed we’d stay relatively close to home. Raleigh was a mere 5 hour drive from Maryland, and even then I still shed more than one crocodile tear when saying my good byes. 

I should know by now not to assume. None of this was ever the plan, really.  Soccer, married with a kid by 23, 2 by 25, Canada, moving, leaving, changing constantly. It’s just not what I imagined, or where I imagined, or who I imagined I’d be. 

Maybe I need to broaden my thinking a little, because, it’s a lot better than what I imagined. It’s better than I imagined because of the people, the experiences, and the growth that’s been forced upon us with the constant change. It’s been a blessing in disguise.  

When I first walked into BC Place for the ‘Caps home opener versus Montreal Impact, I was at a loss for words. This was definitely not something I had envisioned being part of, even if in a small way, back in my volleyball days. It was too huge and I felt too small. Watching Matt over the years to that moment was surreal. And it’s that point in time that made me realize that I need to think bigger, because you never know what life holds and where you may end up. 

I was just a tomboy ready to live my life with no surprises. Then one day I put on my duck slippers, crossed the hall of my dorm to hang out with my best friend, and instead of just having a regular night I met a boy. It’s amazing to think that that started a series of events that led us here, two extra souls in tow, for soccer, to Vancouver. 

Dr. Seuss said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” Given that my life has ended up nowhere close to what I imagined, it can’t hurt to introduce a little bit of nonsense into my thinking. I’ll just be less surprised when the fantasy becomes a reality. 

Cat Watson
Wifey to 'Caps player, Matt Watson. Mommy to Evelyn and Theo. Cook, maid and laundry lady to the aforementioned parties. Oh, and I take pictures. And blog. (www.catwatson.com.)