The End Of The Beginning

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 2, 2013

2013 is off to a great start.

Both Bobby and I woke up in the new year feeling nearly better and ready for a day of fun with my family that included watching the Northwestern Wildcats take on Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve likely seen my disappointment over many a past bowl game loss (wow, I can’t believe I’ve documented four of them). The Cats have had an 0-6 bowl record from the time we were freshmen until now, not to mention the fact that they haven’t won one at all since the 1949 Rose Bowl. While it’s amazing that they’ve made it to a bowl every year since we’ve been students, it’s always heartbreaking when they lose.

Still, with each new branded bowl (I’ve lost track of all the crazy names), we faithfully purchase our t-shirts and watch the game with renewed optimism, telling ourselves that this is going to be the one that will break the streak. The Gator Bowl was no different.

Gator Bowl Optimists

I’m a firm believer that with the Wildcats, the closer the game, the better. We have a tendency to blow big leads, and we didn’t earn the nickname Cardiac Cats for nothing – close games are our make-or-break specialty. So when we went into halftime up by only three points, I was happy. And when Mama Bender brought out her infamous Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies (similar recipe here), I was even happier. I highly suggest making these as soon as possible.


As you might have been able to guess from the way I’ve built up this post, the Wildcats were victorious! Our team played an amazing game, and our wonderful coach Pat Fitzgerald deserves all the praise he can get. The final score was 34-20, the perfect way to say Happy “NU” Year!

Gator Bowl Winners

We spent the rest of the day watching more football and hanging out with the Benders, as well as my Aunt Diane, Uncle Arnold and cousin Garrett, who are also in town this week. I couldn’t ask for a better way to kick off the year. Football and family are the best.

How did you spend your first day of 2013?

Be back soon with some nieces pieces adventures to share.

2013 Sunset



1 Lauren January 2, 2013 at 7:01 am

Sounds like a perfect way to spend your New Year (despite the sad losses of your teams!) Trust me, I’m a philly fan, so I know a depressing loss when I see one. :( Happy New Year hun!

2 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Happy New Year to you, Lauren!!

3 Erica January 2, 2013 at 7:02 am

Again- SO happy for you- whoop whoop! We spent the first day of the new year catching up around the house and I went for a run with Kay!
Erica recently posted..pv.body & Disney Sneak PeakMy Profile

4 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Sounds like a great way to spend the first day of 2013! Woohoo!

5 Cara (Twinthusiast) January 2, 2013 at 9:08 am

What a fun way to kick off the year! Now if only ND can follow suit…glad you’re feeling better – we’re still working on it.
Cara (Twinthusiast) recently posted..Winter Wonderland in MinnesotaMy Profile

6 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hope you all are finally feeling back to normal! Just stay away from the candy…YUCK! :)

7 Melissa @TryingtoHeal January 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I’m glad you’re feeling better Jenn! Stomach bugs are always the worst!
Melissa @TryingtoHeal recently posted..2012 for the ED Recovery WinMy Profile

8 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

You got that right, haha! Thanks, Melissa!

9 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian January 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

It was a great day to be a wildcat!
Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian recently posted..2013: New Year, New GoalsMy Profile

10 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

It really was, Kelly – I’m so proud of our team!

11 Katie @ Livehalffull January 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I’m a Michigan fan, so my football day was not great. But I did enjoy having brunch with friends who were visiting, got a good workout in and made an awesome dinner at home!
Katie @ Livehalffull recently posted..WIAW on the last day of 2012My Profile

12 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Sorry the Wolverines lost, but I’m glad you still had such a great day!

13 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Congrats to the Wildcats! My poor Huskers lost, but Stanford came out as Rose Bowl Champions, so one out of two isn’t so bad. :)

Happy New Year, Jenn!
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14 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I was bummed the Huskers lost, too, but glad you were able to get a Stanford win! :) Happy New Year to you, Courtney!

15 Joi January 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Hi Jenn! Happy New Year! I’m new to blogging. I discovered your blog months ago and have been following since. I especially like your bookclub, I’m an avid reader. Found a way to incorporate goodreads on my site as well. You also inspired me to take the NaNo challenge although I did not complete it. It’s cool though, I’ll finish my non-fiction work before March. Anywho, I spent my New Year working much like many health care professionals. Family is indeed the best.

16 Jenn (eating bender) January 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Hi Joi! So great to hear from you, and thanks for the kind comments about my blog. It makes me so happy to hear that I could inspire you to check out NaNoWriMo. It’s a tough one to see all the way through, but just thinking about taking it on is awesome if you ask me. :) Good luck with your non-fiction work. I look forward to checking out your blog!

17 Joi January 5, 2013 at 12:04 am

Awesome and Thank you for the well wish!
Joi recently posted..Hair Care 101: Permission to be a Black Female & Work OutMy Profile

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