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March Madness Indeed

August 25, 2010

When Matt and I got engaged, we sat down and had a real heart to heart.

It stemmed from a mutual friend’s wedding date woes. She was set on a particular date. It conflicted with a major sporting event. At a “couples” dinner, they both presented their arguments to us…and, as sports fans, we were inclined to agree with our male friend — who said, poignantly, “You realize that I might have to dig deep on groomsmen…like rent non-sports fans as doubles…if you go through with this.” (An idea that predated Jason Segel/Paul Rudd’s “I Love You Man.”) Our female friend eventually relented and they picked a new date, right smack dab in the middle of a slow-sports-summer.

But shortly after witnessing this disagreement, Matt called to my attention a need to discuss our own black out dates. These were times — not just when setting a wedding date, but for the course of entire relationship — where nothing important can happen. We wouldn’t take vacations, attend other people’s weddings, or purposefully plan any major life event around these dates. The top of the list? March Madness.

March Madness is sacred in my home. Readers of this blog from the beginning will remember my March Madness posts…my husband’s and my ridiculous podcast, making Elliott fill out a bracket, and our annual beach trip. There are some things I’ve done for the love of March Madness and our beach trip that I can’t even write about here — it’s a serious endeavor. In this heart-to-heart that Matt and I had pre-marriage, Matt was perfectly clear, “Nothing. Absolutely nothing happens during the NCAA basketball tournament. And if it does…don’t expect me to be there.”

He was joking.

Kind of.

And we’ve done a fantastic job so far of keeping March Madness event-free.

Until now.

March Madness 2011 is gonna be interesting. We’re still planning on going to the beach. Brackets will be filled out (conversations about how to get Elliott to choose his teams this year started a few weeks ago). But it’s a good thing that Kaiser hospital is only an hour and a half away from my parent’s beach house because this year…right smack dab in the middle of our holy basketball week:

I’ll be having another baby.


The jokes have already started. “You know I won’t be there. It was written in our vows.” And, “I don’t care what stage of labor you’re in…the TV will be on and basketball will be playing.” And, “So help me God if we have some prissy girl who hates basketball and ruins March Madness weekend for the rest of my life!” And, “Elliott’s birthday is horribly close to Christmas. My other sacred time of the year. And this baby will be a March Madness baby. My first sacred time of the year. Why? Why?”

Anyway, we didn’t really plan for a March Madness baby. But Matt’s said for years that he plans to take his kids out of school for the opening days of the tournament and let them have three straight days of donuts, pizza, and TV in their pajamas. And you know what? That sounds like a fantastic birthday to me!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    August 25, 2010 1:53 pm

    Congrats! My brother was born during a World Series game and everything turned out just fine.

  2. Stephanie permalink
    August 25, 2010 2:54 pm

    My husband watched snippets of the USC opener between contractions with our first baby. She’s 12 and we’re still married, so I guess it’s all good. And yes, she gets to enjoy Trojan Football for pretty much every birthday.

  3. Stephanie permalink
    August 25, 2010 2:54 pm

    Oh yes – and super excited congratulations!

  4. Leslie-Anne permalink
    August 25, 2010 4:10 pm

    Congratulations!!! πŸ™‚

  5. Rosie permalink
    August 25, 2010 7:14 pm


    You know, you could always argue that if Matt was truly as devout as he claims to be, he’d have “blacked out” exactly when 9 months before March Madness is, and not come near you with a 10 foot pole each year for those dates. So there. πŸ™‚

  6. sara permalink
    August 26, 2010 9:14 am

    I’m sure when you explain the situation to your doctor they will understand and could just schedule a c section before the tournament begins.;-)

  7. August 27, 2010 6:27 pm

    i am so excited for you shelbi!!!! i also miss you very very much πŸ™‚

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