Sunday, November 28, 2010


The week before the BYU-Utah game has become way too stressful.  So I decided to avoid all media or any conversations about the game. I cannot believe how fast the season has gone by.
With Thanksgiving just past, we had the family all in town for the game.  It was a very cold day for the game, I think in the 20's.  The game started at 1:30 and the skies were cloudy.   So we all came dressed warmly and had many blankets.
It was not the kind of game I enjoy.  Close games are way too stressful but I guess when you are the winner at the end, then the joy seems greater somehow.  Final Utah 17, BYU 16.
The game of football brings a lot of emotion to it, especially when you are a player, a coach, or family member of one of them.  When you are so involved with all of the hours, sweat, and heart put into a dream, it is hard to let go.  When this game ended, there was a player and a coach who had tears in their eyes, and not just from the joy of winning.  The player had to try to accept that he will never be able to play football again due to having too many concussions.  And a coach who is retiring will miss his associations with players and coaches, and the bonds that are made through all the time spent together.  It encompasses so much of your life in both joy and pain.  Every year there are players who graduate and move on that we will miss.
After the game, the family all went to PF Chang's then everyone came to our home.  We had dessert and re-watched parts of the game.  We watched the end and the celebration in slow-motion.  It was a great family time together.
Whittingham Family

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I spent the first few days before Thanksgiving watching and being wary of the various visiting family dogs trying to mark their territory in my home (I tried to keep it outside but they did not like the snow and cold).  Then on Thanksgiving the two girl visiting dogs entertained some and upset others with their jealousies and typical girl fighting.  They are such cute and well behaved dogs in their own homes.
Lucky, Cindy, and Max the peacemaker

Melissa was in San Francisco for a few days and arrived home at 4:15 on Thanksgiving Day.  So we scheduled the dinner for later than usual and I offered to have it at our home for the first time since I can remember.  There were 27 Whittingham's and my Dad and Matt came too.
Waiting to eat, Buffet Style, Thanksgiving Dinner
It was a cold, beautiful, sunny day all day on Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be grateful for.  It was good food and great to be together.  When the sun set on the day and the adults wanted to take naps.
Brady, Alex, and Ashley
The younger kids put on their snow clothes and went outside with the sleds.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kyle's Birthday

Well it is Kyle's birthday today and it is the usual 1st day that they start preparing for the BYU game that is this Saturday.  So no rest from the usual job, not even for a birthday dinner.  I wish for just a day I could take him away and visit our favorite place on the earth.  Happy Birthday Kyle, I love you!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

San Diego State

San Diego is always a fun place to visit.  Sara Hill came on this trip because she was unable to go on the official "wives trip" to Notre Dame.  So Sara, Helen, and members of Kyle's family were there also.  Kyle's brother, Brady, was already in California on business so he had a car.
Our group went to eat that night at Baja Fresh.  It is one of my favorite so I probably influenced that choice.  Then we just hung out at the hotel and visited with everyone.  The team was split between a movie in one room and football game playing in the room next to it.
The young cousins jumped in the hot tub fully clothed (of course).
The next morning we did not do much but relax around the hotel and prepare our rain gear, since it was supposed to rain the whole game (my favorite thing). Kyle's sister Julie, who used to live in the area, went and visited some her neighborhood friends and family before the game.

It did rain the whole game as predicted.  Our group just moved back under the over hang of seats that they have in that multilevel stadium. Grateful that no one came and kicked us out of them.
Eric and Chanel Weddle came to the game.  Eric went on the sidelines and Chanel came and sat by me.  They are so cute and still so supportive of their Utes.  It was great to see them
The game ended with Utah coming from being down to winning 38-34.
Kylie, Kristi, Kali's friend, Kali

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Notre Dame

The trip to Notre Dame was the "wives trip" (they get one free trip to go on a year).  My kids all decided to go since they had never been there.  So everyone was excited to go.  When we got there the team buses went straight to the stadium for a walk through.  The 3rd bus, which is the fan bus, went to Michigan City where everyone was going to stay in a hotel there.  This bus was for really anyone that was not part of the team, so that included all the wives, media people and administration that were there.  
Once we got there the wives went to lunch at the restaurant that was connected to the hotel.  Then those who wanted to went to the Outlet Mall that was 4 miles away.  The hotel shuttled us over, which was nice.  It was a very nice Outlet Mall and fun for those who like to shop (ie. me).
The team, coaches, and wives went to dinner at a restaurant called 'Hammers'.  They had so much food and a large variety of items that were served buffet style.  It was obviously good because I ate way to much!
Then we went to the movie 'Unstoppable' with Denzel Washington in it.  It was fast moving and I like Denzel so anything he is in I think is good.  The team is all required to go to the movie and all go to the same movie.  So it is kind of fun I think to be with everyone.
Dinner and a Movie with the Team (and Family)

On Saturday morning we left the hotel by 10:30 since we had the hour long bus ride.  It was interesting to me to find out that the teams always have police escorts to the stadium from whatever hotel they are at.  This was the first time I remember a helicopter escort along with the police cars.  The helicopter did not start in until we got into South Bend............. that I noticed anyway.   
The stadium holds 80,795 to be exact.  To keep with tradition they still have wooden benches and no Jumbo Tron.  I really missed the Jumbo Tron for replay purposes and since we were almost in the end zone it would have just helped in actually seeing the game.  It rained for most the game so the wooden seats were wet.  But other than that the stadium was impressive.
We took a tour of the campus and saw a short video on the history of the school before the game.  We saw the steeple of Scared Heart Basilica, the golden dome with its statue of the Virgin Mary, and we saw Touch down Jesus.  These are a few of the things that define Notre Dame.  There were a lot of people walking around touring the campus.  Many were wearing red but everyone was extremely nice.
Melissa and Kylie, Cancer Awareness and Survivor Tree
Notre Dame was very impressive and full of tradition.  It was a beautiful campus and a great experience going there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grandma Pat's Chili

My mother was a very excellent cook.  I don't know what makes someone a Gourmet Cook but she was that to me and many people called her that.  She was also good a doctoring up recipes she would find and making them better.  This chili recipe she made is simple and most excellent.

1-15 oz. can Hot Chili (Nalley's) with beans
1-15 oz. can regular Chili with beans
1 pound Hamburger browned and drained
1-8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
1-12 oz. can V-8 juice (Spicy is good or use original)
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Chili Powder
Garlic Salt, Onion Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown the meat, drain grease, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.  I taste it and add more seasonings if needed.  My kids eat it with bread and butter or cheese bread, or over burritos and sometime over rice with extra cheese.  It is good on anything. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Grandpa Phil's Birthday

Today is my wonderful Dad's birthday.  He is turning 82 and is as sharp as can be.  I drove down to Orem and we met at El Azteca restaurant.  We have met there quite a few times and we order and then just go in the corner and sit and eat and visit.  It is usually quiet and we talk and talk.  He is another great blessing in my life.  He is a wonderful father and was a great husband.  When my mom was diagnosed with Colon Cancer, he was so good to her and was constantly looking for ways to prolong her life.  For this I am very grateful.  His health is good and he can still quote poems and things he memorized 60 years ago. Happy Birthday Dad!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Today Kylie went to one of her final orthodontic appointments.  She is scheduled to get them off on December 3rd.  She can hardly wait.  I had braces 38 years ago and I remember it very well.  Tyler, Melissa, and Alex all had braces too.  I was always very grateful that I was able to have braces.  It would not have be pretty if I lived in a time when they were not invented yet or my parents could not afford them.  I have had 8 teeth pulled from my mouth (including wisdom teeth), and I can't begin to see how they could fit back in.  So braces are one of the many thing I am truly grateful for!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TCU Game Day

I don't feel much like writing anything, but someday I might want to look back on some of my various life experiences-the great ones and the hard ones and everything in between.  This whole week leading up to the TCU game had more stress than usual for me.  I certainly would not listen to sports radio-I don't know how they could think of what to say about Utah football for so many hours of the day.  Their job is to get reactions out of listeners, I don't need that! The newspaper, the TV, just everywhere I would turn.  Kyle had daily interviews from ESPN, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, etc.  So he definitely had a lot more things going on.
I went to Game Day with Kylie and Melissa.  Alex was there with his friends in the mass of people.  They camped in a tent somewhere up on campus.
It was my 2nd experience with game day, the first being at TCU last year.  They were very similar, except of course the fans!  You stand around a bit and cheer when the cameras come on.  We had a lot of fans there and they sounded great.  Kyle and his brother were a block or so away getting a work out in before the game and they said "the fans sounded like thunder" it was so loud!  It is a unique experience that does not come around often.
Leading up to the game was more stressful than usual with the increased ticket request on Kyle and I.  Well, he gets the requests mostly and I deliver them. So when the game finally starts and everyone has a seat it is a big relief!
I don't need to say much about the game except that it was a beautiful fall day with the temperature about 70.  We lost 47-7.  As difficult and disappointing as it is to the fans and players, no one can begin to understand what the head coach goes through in the privacy of his own mind.

Tyler and Kyle during TCU game

Friday, November 5, 2010

TCU Weekend

There was a great article in Sports Illustrated that talked about Kyle.  I thought the writer did a great job.

On Friday night Kylie and I went up and ate dinner at the hotel with Kyle, 2 Reps from Under Armour, and 3 of the military men for the Wounded Warrior project that was sponsored by UA.  The 3 men had been injured in a road bomb in Baghdad in 2005.  Several people with them died and they were critically injured.  Talking to them was heartbreaking.  It makes me so grateful for the sacrifices being made by all service men and their families.
Melissa came over to the hotel after the dinner. Kyle had an interview with Erin Andrews from College Game Day, who I am familiar with from watching Dancing with the Stars on TV last season.  So I wanted to meet her.  She was so incredibly nice and talked to Melissa and I for a while.  She showed us pictures on her iphone from Dancing with the Stars and told us a few stories from her experiences.  I asked her about different people on the show and she was so funny telling us different things.  She sent me a number from her cell phone of someone I could call Saturday morning if I needed any help at Game Day.  She said if I wanted tickets to DWTS (as she called it) then to call her. 

I don't know why I was not smiling more

Salsa Recipe

1 can or box diced tomatoes (this one was 26 oz.)
1 can diced fire roasted green chilies (7 oz.)
1/3 cup chopped Cilantro (give or take depending on how you like Cilantro)
Garlic Salt  (I never usually add salt to stuff so 1/2 tsp for me on this)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar (I have a sweet tooth)
1/4 to 1/2 diced onion

I had some really good salsa at a Mexican restaurant and thought it looked simple enough I could make a similar one.  So these are my ingredients.  I like using this boxed tomatoes because seems more tomato sauce to me with fewer big chunks.  I chopped up my green chilies a bit more so my kids don't say "what are those green things?"  Then I just seasoned to taste, added some onion and cilantro.  You can make it as chunky or runny as you like.  The ingredients will taste the same.  If you don't like it too sweet then don't add so much.  I just guess on the amounts every time but it is always good!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

TCU Week

It is Thursday before the big game and I am up at the stadium giving out Candy Bars.  It was unusual to see the opposing team's bus there already, but there it is.  Ashley Chapman and I decide to give it the thumbs down.  It is a lot bigger than our bus that brings the equipment across country.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life as a Coaches Wife

I was reading Sara Hill's blog (  She had a link to this article that I thought described so many familiar feelings and experiences that I can relate to.  So I wanted to include a link also.  Being a coaches wife is something that is hard to understand unless you live it. 

NY Times - Being a Coaches Wife