This Season Of Life

The bad news is – it was 319 degrees today with about 98% humidity.

The good news is, the visitor side of the baseball field we were playing at this evening was completely shaded.

I remember the first season the boys signed up to play baseball. The evening of our first practice was cold and muddy and I remember remarking to McDaddy that we shouldn’t have ever allowed the boys to sign up for baseball because holy crap! there was a lot of mud and I would never ever be able to get our shoes clean, and both boys would probably end up on nebulizer treatments after spending hours out in the cold, wet air because it happens EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

No, I am not exaggerating.

And yes! I am a joy to live with.

After each practice I scrubbed cleats with a toothbrush because I couldn’t stand the thought of ALL THAT MUD.

And when I found out BOTH boys would be wearing white baseball pants, I was shaking my head at the stupidity of it all.

I knew absolutely nothing about baseball except that there was an umpire and eventually we’d be singing about peanuts and cracker jacks.

We received a schedule for both boys and I almost swallowed my tongue when I realized that between the two of them they had 51 games scheduled.

IN EIGHT WEEKS.

With 51 games on our schedule, I had no idea when I’d see my next nap or even if I’d be able to catch The Bachelor. What had we gotten ourselves into?

And then it came time for our first game.

Y’all.

The first time my boy got up to bat, I screamed like a lunatic. He cracked that ball, I stood up, and before I knew what was happening, I dribbled on myself.

Not my proudest moment, for sure. But all the moms sitting around me understood my excitement. We whooped and hollered all afternoon. I was new to this whole baseball thing, and surprisingly, I thought it might be something I could eventually enjoy because there was lots of time to sit and talk!

And so began, a new season in my life.

Baseball Season.

It is precisely the reason I bought a fancy DSLR Canon Rebel.

It is the reason, my left calf is scratched and scabbed over.

And it is also the reason I am constantly behind on the laundry.

After that first season, Stevie’s coach asked if I might like to learn how to keep the baseball book. (I feel certain he asked me this because I was so loud in the stands he thought I might be quieter if I had to actually SHUT UP and PAY ATTENTION.)

I told him if he needed me, I’d give it a shot, and so I went to YouTube and taught myself the absolute basics about keeping the book. I remember being so afraid I would miss something, or screw up the batting order. I was a nervous wreck, mostly because that’s how I operate. During our first game one of the dads stood with me to help me catch and record each play. By the end of that first season, I felt pretty comfortable with keeping the book even though I was only keeping basic stats.

Stevie has been blessed to have the same three coaches throughout three (or is it six?) seasons of fall and spring ball. That means that we are a pretty tight-knit group of parents. I absolutely LOVE our baseball family. Both of our boys have been blessed with wonderful coaches who are wonderful examples on and off of the baseball field. (And for that, we are thankful!)

I’m in my third year of keeping the book, and I now e-mail stats after each game to our three coaches that includes pitch counts, batting averages, season stats, and positions played. Tonight, I sat and talked leisurely with my friend Missy as I kept the book AND the batting order rolling. I’ve come a long way since that first game.

I get a lot of flack about our book. It is neat, it is orderly, and it is often recopied if I consider it to be too messy.

These days, there’s very few places I’d rather be than the ball field. I have Baseball Mom shirts, baseball bling flip-flops, baseball jewelry, and baseball visors. I never ever dreamed in a million years I’d be a baseball mom.

Yet, here I sit tonight wearing a baseball mom t-shirt with my last name on the back of it.

When I’m watching Alex’s game, I have to keep track of the score because I can’t stand sitting in the bleachers and having no earthly idea what the score is.

Our boys don’t know it yet, but they are learning life lessons that will help them throughout life. And we are all forging friendships that will last a lifetime.

We have met some wonderful friends on the baseball field. When I look back on this journey of motherhood, I feel certain, our time spent on the baseball field will be among my fondest memories.

Love At First Sight

Love at first sight…

Some people will tell you there is no such thing.

And I used to agree.

But my opinion on that has changed.

That first moment when my eyes twinkled and my heart fluttered, I knew this was serious.

The beauty of loving something. Of not being able to get it out of your mind. It is a force to be reckoned with.

My heart skips a beat. My eyes light up.

And it is clear this feeling isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

I am NOW a firm believer in love at first sight.

And why shouldn’t I be?

Just look at this thing.

Isn’t she lovely?

Six years ago, on an Applebee’s parking lot, I fell head over heels in love with this thing.

It has been true love ever since.

What I Learned This Week

We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend. As MUCH as I love baseball, we’ve had a full three days without needing to wash uniforms, be at the ball field, or look at a rain forecast.

PLUS, school is out, which means NO MORE STINKING ALARM CLOCK FOR ME!

Just in case you missed that, I said NO. MORE. ALARM. CLOCK.

No more O’Dark Thirty for the better part of ten weeks.

And I say, “Praise Ye The Lord!”

But enough about that.

Here’s what I learned this week…

1. This,

looks way better than this,

2. Adding about 1/4 cup of sugar to any macaroni salad makes it better.

3. I learned this is what your leg looks like three days after you slide into home plate WEARING SHORTS.

4. I also learned that – that up there – BURNS LIKE FIRE!

5. You should not play this game at a party if you are easily embarrassed.

It is however, a great game to play if you love to laugh!

6. The last week of Elementary School is pretty emotional for a dramatic momma.

7. The constant (and by constant, I mean every second, even a second after you pee!) urge to pee probably means you have a bladder infection.

8. A bladder infection, while painless, is a nuisance. (Especially while trying to “do the book” at the baseball game!)

9. A bladder infection can quickly lead to a kidney infection.

10. It is possible to have blood in your urine and not even know it.

And now you know about my latest medical drama.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Minted Giveaway

*THIS IS A SPONSORED POST*

One of the perks of having a blog (besides getting corporate attention for complaints) is that occasionally I receive offers to review some great products. I especially appreciate offers to review any kind of product I can personalize – like the ones featured on www.minted.com. The only problem is, it takes me a sweet forever to make choices, because I get all excited whenever I am faced with fonts, and fancy paper and deciding between formal, fancy and funny. I spent a good hour (no kidding!) looking at wedding invitations at Minted, which is crazy because, well, I’m already happily married. But it sure is fun to look.

Minted is a community of thousands of independent designers & an online boutique that sells their designs. There is something for everyone – including holiday cards, art prints, thank-you cards, wedding invitations, party decor & MUCH, MUCH, more.

Here are some of my favorite wedding invitations.

If its birthday invitations you’re looking for, they have them. HUNDREDS of them! If it’s graduation cards or thank-you cards you’re looking for, they have those, too! You can see even more of their fun designs on Pinterest, or one of their inspiration boards.

I am pleased to announce that the kind folks at Minted.com are offering one lucky reader $50 towards any product on their website www.minted.com. To enter, simply leave a comment sharing what you would purchase if you win this giveaway. Do you need wedding invitations? Grad announcements? Or do you want to save it for the holidays?

For additional entries, like Minted or From Inmates to Playdates on Facebook, then come back to the comments and let me know. Random dot org will choose a winner on June 1, 2013.

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In the interest of full disclosure: I was given a $75.00 credit to use on the Minted site. As always, the opinions expressed within this post are my own.

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EDITED TO INCLUDE WINNER

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

16

Timestamp: 2013-06-04 03:06:50 UTC

Congratulations to Commenter #16 – Hannah.

A Perfect Pair

  • He orders water. I order coke.
  • He loves cars. I love ONE car.
  • He is quiet. I am loud.
  • He flosses daily. I? Have a place of honor on the Need To Floss Wall of Shame.
  • He is brilliant. I am a crazy person.
  • He is quiet. I am loud.
  • He doesn’t understand the hash tag. I’ve explained it lots of times.
  • He is methodical. I am anything, but.
  • He doesn’t waste time making lists. I make lists of my lists.
  • He enjoys being outside. I enjoy being comfortable.
  • He doesn’t wear a wedding ring. I feel naked without mine.
  • He is patient. I AM NOT.
  • He sees no reason to make a bed. I make it as soon as I get out of it.
  • He orders ranch. I order blue cheese.
  • He is an optimist. I am a pessimist.
  • He prefers chocolate chip cookies. I prefer cake.
  • He is a saver. I am a spender.
  • He always sees the best in people. I tell him he is wrong about people.
  • He turns off lights. I turn every light in the house on.
  • He doesn’t have a Facebook. I wish he did.
  • He can fix about anything. I tear stuff up.
  • He is shy. I rarely meet a stranger.
  • He likes to trick me. I fall for it every time.
  • He is probably adding to this list right now. I am up way too late writing the list.
  • He sees only black and white. I live in Grayville.

Different as night and day, though perfect for each other.

Happy 15th Anniversary, McDaddy

You make me laugh and smile and I love you more than anything in this world!

I Couldn’t kuWAIT To Share This News

I have been wanting to write this post for the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, due to safety and security reasons, I felt like I should wait.

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you may recall a post I wrote back in October announcing that McDaddy had been tasked with another deployment. As I sat on our couch and wrote that post, I had tears streaming down my face, and enough emotion in my head and heart to fill a dump truck. Tonight, as I re-read the post, I cried like a baby all over again.

Unless you’ve lived through deployment, it’s hard to imagine how difficult it is.

Since we first learned of the news in September, we have been planning and plotting our lives around the six-month window from August – February, 2014 when he would be gone. We had begun making plans about camper storage, planned a pre-deployment cruise to Cozumel, automobile registrations, snow removal and grass cutting. Because he would be gone for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, both of our 40th birthdays, and both of the boy’s birthdays, I had myself convinced I would never make it this time around.

We recently attended pre-deployment meetings at the Guard Base that advised us on everything from financial benefits to medical insurance options to available services available for our family while he is gone. The Family Support Group even sent two Build-A-Bears home with recordable devices so that McDaddy could record a message for them to listen to after he is gone. I cried on and off that whole day.

Just look at these two. This picture makes me want to sob.

And I’ve cried almost everyday since then.

All of that emotional pre-deployment craziness came just two months after a life-changing, month-long stay in the hospital that rendered my mom dependent on a wheel-chair. This miserable, medically difficult condition has left us navigating a new path and finding a new normal. I am very close to my mom and daddy and so I have tried to help as much as possible. With two young children and a husband, I can’t help nearly as much as I’d like, but my mind is rarely far from thinking, researching, praying, wishing and hoping that things get better for her.

Throw in a bad case of the FLU in March and a kidney stone one week later, and holy hallelujah, well… lets just say I’ve been on emotional over-load for the past eight months.

I cried out here on the blog and asked if you’d commit to praying for us as we prepared our hearts and our minds for this time of separation. I haven’t said a great deal about my mom because I know that most of you have plenty of your own “stuff” to deal with (and plus, not everybody is a big fan of broadcasting their business on the WWW). In fact, I’ve not blogged very much at all since my mom’s first hospitalization in February because my heart just hasn’t been in it. The blog is a great place for me to dump my stuff. I can get something off my chest, ask for advice, share what works for me, post pictures of my boys for my family, laugh at what I’ve learned this week, and write letters to crazy people who are much crazier than I. But lately, my heart and all of its heaviness have taken over and I’ve found that I’d much rather sit and watch re-runs of Duck Dynasty then try and come up with something interesting to blog about.

But then this thing with Stevie’s medicine happened two weeks ago, and B-A-M! all of a sudden I have something interesting to write about.

Without going into too much detail (because y’all know how I love a good story!) I can finally report that your prayers (and ours!) have been answered. To make a LONG story short… A guy in McDaddy’s squadron was tasked for deployment in August to Afghanistan (not where McDaddy was going, but close).  The Afghanistan deployment was cancelled. This wonderful fella (who is not married and does not have children) volunteered to take McDaddy’s deployment.

Y’all.

When I learned of this news I felt like I had hit the lottery.

McDaddy didn’t tell me right away, because he’s been in this thing long enough to know that things can change in an instant.

When our military insurance wouldn’t pay for one of our medications, I just assumed that we were victims of the latest round of insurance cuts and that we’d have to pay for the medicine out-of-pocket. When I called McDaddy to tell him about the insurance crap, he knew the insurance had refused to pay because his deployment orders had been cancelled, which in turn kicked us out of the insurance system. At that point, he knew it was official.

That’s when he told me the news.

At first, we were hesitant to tell the boys because what if something happened to change all of this?

Or what if the other guy broke his leg?

So, we waited a few days to make sure before we told anyone except our parents. (And a few close friends.)

And now. Here we are two weeks later, and I’m still marveling at how God worked this all out.

So, I guess what I learned this week, is NEVER, EVER underestimate God.

And that’s a lesson that I never get tired of learning.

Now, what did YOU learn this week?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



American Idol – Final 2

So, here we are in this last night of competition.

I was shocked that Angie Miller went home last week. Not necessarily because Kree isn’t an awesome performer, I just thought Angie’s versatility behind the piano would put her a tad bit ahead of Kree.

But lo, I was wrong.

It’s happened a time or ten.

Tonight, we’ll hear the contestants sing three different songs. The first, chosen by Simon Fuller. The next, the first single the contestants will release if they win. And a third song, their favorite from the season.

ROUND 1

Kree Harrison – (Angel by Sarah McLachlan) – Kree is singing well, but I can think of so many other songs that would have been a better choice for her. WHY, oh why are we singing such a s-l-0-w depressing song? Simon Fuller didn’t do Kree any favors by choosing this song.

Candice Glover – (Chasing Pavements – by Adele) – First of all, it’s hard to beat a good Adele song. But Chasing Pavement, really? Why not, “Someone Like You” or even better, “One and Only“. I think Candice woulda knocked either one of those out-the-park with her big pipes. She is singing this one well, it just isn’t giving her much of an opportunity to shine. Simon didn’t really do Candice any favors, either.

Wait. WHAT?

The Dawg is leaving Idol next year?

Y’all.

I just did what I do when I NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW.

I went to Google. Sadly, I confirmed that Randy Jackson will not return next year.

Dang. Idol needs The Dawg.

BUT.

WAIT.

THERE’S.

MORE.

Nicki Friggin’ Minaj IS OUT TOO!

Sweeter words have never been typed.

Ok, back to business.

ROUND 2

Kree Harrison – (All Cried Out) – This song has the makings of a great country song. It’s country, it’s slow, and it involves a breakup. In certain spots, it sounds like Kree is straining to hit the high notes. Maybe it’s me. Or her nerves. Or my ears. But I’ve heard it more than once. Not Kree’s best performance, in my humble opinion.

Candice Glover – (I Am Beautiful) – Y’all. Now that right there? Do you see what Candice just did? SHE SHINED! That song was a great fit for her and her voice. A great vocal. You could almost feel it way down deep in her soul.

ROUND 3

Kree Harrison – (Up To The Mountain) – Kree turned it up a notch this time around. Her best performance of the night BY A MILE. Probably had something to do with the fact that she picked this one herself, but still! She made a great choice. And she sang it very well!

Candice Glover – (I Who Have Nothing) – If the winner was chosen based on tonight’s performances, Candice woulda just won this thing. She was singing’ like she meant it. It was her best performance this season and in my opinion, she just sealed the deal. I’m gonna go ahead and call it right now.

WINNER: Candice

RUNNER UP: Kree

Am I right?

What I Learned This Week

I have sneezed approximately 5,148 times today.

My nose feels like it might explode.

And my eyes?

I came *this close* to poking them out today.

With a fork.

In other words, MY ALLERGIES ARE FRIGGIN KILLING ME.

I’m suspect spending the weekend with the scouts on a campout – IN A MONSOON – didn’t help matters. But, for the sake of the blog, I’m gonna push through the watery eyes and the runny nose and share what I learned this week.

1. When packing for a scout campout – and the weather channel is predicting a 90% chance of rain – it is best to leave your new tennis shoes at home.

2. It is hard to beat an ice-cold Coca Cola straight from a plastic bottle.

3. When the matriarch of the soap-opera that you’ve watched for 25 years passes away IRL, it will feel as though you have lost a member of your family.

Crazy, I know.

4. God answers prayer in ways I could never imagine.

5. An entire week long MONSOON without a ballgame makes for a l-o-n-g-e-r- week.

6. I am the most organized-unorganized person I know.

7. Before rushing into town to make a 3:30 orthodontist appointment, you should probably make sure you’re looking at the “right” Monday on your calendar.

DUH.

8. The new Facebook upgrade is an iPhone battery drainer. Which is unfortunate because, well, it’s not like the iPhone battery needs any help.

9. There are no white Euro size sham pillow cases within a 30-mile radius of my home.

10. It is so easy to get side-tracked when surfing the web. MUST. STAY. FOCUSED.

11. Starting Thursday, the forecast is predicting seven more days of rain.

Heaven help me!

And these stupid allergies!

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



American Idol – Top 3

THIS! Is American Idol.

The Grand finale takes place in one week and the race is tighter than its ever been.

Three ladies.

Three different styles.

Three different voices.

This week, the contestants will perform three songs that they did not choose for themselves. First round will be Jimmy Iovine’s pick. Second round will be chosen by the Judges, and the third round will be chosen by American Idol’s production team – whoever they are.

ROUND 1

Kree Harrison –  Perfect by Pink: Kree is doing a good job on this song, but I think it lacks any sort of POW!!! that she will need to make it into the next round. It was just so-so if you ask me.

OH MY WORD, please SHUT Nikki Friggin’ Minaj UP. She is yammering on about flat boots. THIS IS A SINGING COMPETITION, not America’s next top model.

Candice Glover – One by U2 – I’m not sure what Jimmy Iovine was thinking when he made these song choices, but I will say that Candice’s performance had a lot more excitement than Kree’s did. She sang it well, but I was really hoping for some Adele from Candice. I think she could knock Adele out-the-park.

Angie Miller – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word by Elton John – As always, Angie is singing like a songbird. Still, I’m not necessarily blown away by the performance.

These home visits always make me cry.

ROUND 2

Candice Glover – Next To Me by Emile Sande – I don’t have a point of reference for this song because I’ve never heard of it or even the singer. Still, I think this song suits Candice much better than the first.

Angie MillerTry by Pink – Maybe I’m just not in the mood tonight, but I have yet to be wowed by any of these performances. Still, I think Angie and Candice will be battling it out in the finale.

Kree Harrison – Here Comes Goodbye by Rascal Flatts – Well, I’ll say it one more time… Good vocal. Not a lot of WOW.

ROUND 3

Angie Miller Maybe by Emile Sande – Angie made a good choice by being behind the piano, because it sets her apart from the other two.

Kree Harrison – Better Dig Two by The Band PerryUgh. I think I’m over this. If you ask me tomorrow which one of these performances stood out, I would say NONE OF EM.

Candice Glover – Somewhere by Barbara Streisand – Ok. So I lied. If you ask me tomorrow which one of these performances stood out, I will tell you IT WAS THIS ONE. Thank you Candice Glover, for WOWING us. Finally. That performance was phenomenal. She just sung her way into the final.

Best of the Night: Candice Glover

Going Home: Kree Harrison

What did YOU think?

Letters To Crazy People

Y’all.

It is W-A-Y past time for another edition of letters to crazy people. I was about *thisdarnclose* to getting cold-cocked at the ball field by a crazy redneck mom who needed the you-know-what smacked out of her.

At that very moment, I had a clear understanding of how Little League fights start.

I am not the fighting type. But had ol girl socked me in my jaw, it woulda been ON.

Or, I might have peed down my leg.

Either way, it would not have been pretty.

So, to kick this thing off… we might as well start here….

Dear Crazy Loud Mouth Witch At The Ball-Field,

Last Saturday, I approached you at the ball-field to speak to you privately after you shouted some nastiness at my family. Shame on you for being so insensitive and rude to my handicapped family member. As bad as I wanted to pop you right square in your jaw, I refrained myself because 1. You are not worth going to jail over and 2. There were kids there. With parents like you, it is no wonder kids act the way they do in today’s world.

May you never find yourself in a wheelchair.

But if you do, I hope there’s no one around to push you in it.

Sincerely,

#5’s Mom

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Dear Saturn Sky,

What is up with your seatbelt? When your seatbelt decides to lay down and play dead, I have no other choice but to leave your shiny butt sitting in the garage because, um, I can’t stand the thought of being splayed out all over the interstate if by chance I would have a wreck.

Please cooperate so we can play together again.

Yours Truly,

The Gal That Drives You 98% of the Time

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Dear McDaddy,

Our 15th Anniversary is right around the corner. Let’s do go somewhere fun!

After all, I’m worth it.

Love,

Your Lovely Wife

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Dear Blog Readers,

If you are not watching / have never watched Duck Dynasty, what in the heck is wrong with ya? THAT is one of the funniest shows on television, and you are missing out.

Signed,

A New DD Fan

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Dear Kanawha County Board Of Education,

Last week, I attended an open house at our local Middle School. I will never EVER, so long as I live agree with your decision to move our ten-year old, 5th grade babies to the MIDDLE SCHOOL. No amount of statistics, facts, or rhetoric will EVER convince me that this is what is best for our children. It burns me up to think about it.

Still disgusted – even after two years,

An Unhappy Mommy

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Dear Guy In McDaddy’s Squadron,

I can never thank you enough for what you are doing for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,

One Happy Lady

—–

Dear Circuit Court Clerk,

Thank you for excusing me from jury service. Normally, I would love to do my civic duty and serve on a jury (especially if I could be the foreman), but right now, I am needed on the home front. Maybe next time my number comes up, I’ll be available.

Thanks Again,

Prospective Juror #51084

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Dear A & E,

Shame on your for cutting out the words, “In Jesus’ name” from Phil Robertson’s prayer at the end of each episode of Duck Dynasty. If I didn’t enjoy the show so much, I’d boycott your station.

Please reconsider,

A Loyal DD Fan aka Princess Julie

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What would your letter to a crazy person say today?