Chicago Cubs, humor, motherhood

Best Friends, Baseball and 17 Straight Innings of Awesome

I don’t know about you, but the fact that baseball season has commenced has brought a spring to my step and a joy to my soul.  I can’t explain it, I think it has to do with my genetic code or how I was raised on WGN, but when I’m watching baseball, the world feels right to me.  If I am lucky enough to watch it in person, well then, it’s just next level awesome.  Throw in hanging with my three guys and honestly life could not get any better at Marlins Park in the heart of Miami, but then, it did!  It totally did!

As the first inning of game two of the four game series of Marlins vs. Cubs got under way, Mad Dog exited our row in search of a soft pretzel.  Being opening weekend, there still were some kinks with customer service, so I knew he would be gone for a while.  This didn’t faze me because I was at a baseball game!  Life was good!  Then, out of the corner of my eye, who strolls on in and sits right in front of me?

Theo Epstein!

RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

I can’t really explain it to a non-baseball fan, but as the President of Cubs Baseball Operations, Theo literally transformed the Cubs into World Series Champions.

Click below to learn more about this legend of baseball statistics and trades:

How Theo
Worked His Magic

Theo Epstein took over the Cubs in 2011 after a 71-win season. This year, they won 103 games — and their first World Series in 108 years. How did it happen? We examine all his moves, big and small.

 

Naturally, I about fell out of my seat.  I was absolutely frantic.  I couldn’t communicate to Full Speed that Theo was sitting in front of us. I didn’t want Theo to hear me talking about him because he WAS RIGHT THERE!  And, then, Mad Dog took FOREVER to get back from the pretzel situation and this whole time I WAS DYING inside from excitement.

Eventually, Mad Dog returned and I had finally communicated to Full Speed who was in front of us.  I had him write a note to Mad Dog on a score card we had so again, I wouldn’t have to say Theo’s name out loud.  From there at about inning 5, Mad Dog politely asked Theo to take a picture with me.  I was so excited that’s why I look like a big cheeseball, and weirdly, Theo looks unaffected.

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Still, the picture is awesome!  It kind of is more awesome because Theo looks so ‘overjoyed’.

It is totally going to be this year’s Christmas card.

And wouldn’t you know, this game ended up going 17 innings!

The boys turned on us at about inning 13.  They were so MAD.

At about inning sixteen, I started to maybe wonder if it was time to call it, but I had to stay.  I mean, I couldn’t leave my new best friend alone to shoulder the fate of our team.

Sadly, we lost.

Theo’s face says it all:

 

It doesn’t matter, once a World Series Champion, always a World Series Champion!

Go Cubs!

 

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Truth!

In addition to cleaning out my closets, I have been cleaning up my blog.  I have a newly updated About page which you can read here:

ABOUT

I went through my first year of posts to edit the boys’ names.  I originally referred to them as Frick and Frack.  These were the nicknames my mom gave them when they were very little.  You could see how this could become confusing to a reader so I went back through and updated their names to Full Speed and T.Puzzle.  There are a lot of posts in that first year that made me laugh out loud and made my heart swell with love.  There are touching posts, posts about the loss of my mother and posts about how Mad Dog is always right (not really!) and as a married couple we never fight (no comment!).  There are some posts I read through where I cringed and broke out in a cold sweat.  It was like I was right back in it.  Reliving those vivid details of some of the epic power struggles I endured with my boys (especially T.Puzzle at the onset of his terrible threes) was not for the faint of heart.  After reading these I fully understand why I never felt compelled to expand my brood.  However, I am deeply grateful for the two that I have.  One of the biggest takeaways in terms of my parenting abilities is NEVER ASK ME HOW TO POTTY TRAIN!  I failed repeatedly and miserably not once but twice.  There was a point in time that I wondered if I should buy stock in Pull-Ups as I was fairly certain my boys would be wearing them FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!  Again, I could not do that again.  Two is my absolute limit.  I heard the Pull-Ups people were really bummed to hear that.

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T.Puzzle is stunned that he actually learned to use the potty.

There were some stand-out posts and there were some where I was clearly phoning it in.  However, there was one in particular that floored me.  It is the one I wrote on the year anniversary of Writes for All Mommies’ inception date.  Here is my favorite passage from it:

I think the biggest change for me has been coming to terms with motherhood. I think sometimes when we are unhappy with who we are, we blame our choices and our circumstances. I will admit, especially in the newborn years, I struggled with my all-consuming role as a mother. I thought that maybe if I had made some different choices, like continuing to work or if I was somehow parenting better, I would feel happier. Turns out, it wasn’t my boys or motherhood, it was me. It doesn’t matter what I accomplish outside of motherhood that determines my value, it is ultimately up to me to determine that. Whether I become a world-famous author or if all I manage is to raise two, well-adjusted boys, my value remains constant. I get that now.

Truth is timeless.  That is for sure.

You can read the post in its entirety here:

HAPPY BLOG-A-VERSARY TO ME!

From this I would like to take it one step further.  What if I actually don’t have to do a thing to prove my value?  What if our value is actually tied to who we are and not what we do?  Is it possible my value was already locked down before I even decided to have kids or pour my heart out on my laptop keyboard?

I now know this is not only possible, it is absolute truth.

It’s true for all of us.

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Sending love to you all.

children, family, gratitude, motherhood, Ohio State Football

The Story of a girl and her Buckeye

This is the story of a midwestern girl. She grew up in a rural town and never thought much beyond the outskirts of the farmlands that surrounded her. On a whim post-graduate school, she moved to Chicago. There, she met a Northwestern matriculating Buckeye. She didn’t think much of football but she did think much of the Buckeye. Quickly, she fell in love. Not so quickly, he did too.

Their romance wasn’t always a fairytale. No matter, the girl followed her heart again and again. On her convoluted path to finding everlasting love with this most handsomest of Buckeyes, she journeyed to Arizona with him to her first Ohio State National Championship game. As fate would have it, they won in a spectacular double overtime fashion.

January 3, 2002  Final Score:  Buckeyes 31, Hurricanes 24 (the girl still has the sweatshirt which she stole from her Buckeye)
January 3, 2002
Final Score: Buckeyes 31, Hurricanes 24
(the girl still has the sweatshirt which she stole from her Buckeye)

 

This prompted the Buckeye to believe in miracles.

He got over himself finally and proposed to the girl.

She said yes.

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She married her Buckeye at Disney World that same year.

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She didn’t even mind when Mickey had to show some Buckeye spirit.  I mean, she was finally married after all.  She was in a generous mood.

O-H-I-O

O-H-I-O

 

Two, awesome little Buckeyes soon followed. Understanding that her Beloved bled scarlet and gray, the girl agreed to raise their family strictly Buckeye.

the girl, her Buckeye and their first baby Buckeye
the girl, her Buckeye and their first baby Buckeye

 

Little Buckeye #2
Little Buckeye #2

 

Two more National Championships followed. The girl didn’t attend either as she had her little Buckeyes to care for and tickets for such events are a rarity. Both of these ended in heartbreaking losses. Her Buckeye made it to both of these. He likes to pretend he never went as both games stir painful memories for him.

Flash forward to present day and the Buckeyes had done it again. They were ready to take on the Oregon Ducks for the National Title. The girl hoped and prayed that somehow her Buckeye would get to go.

The Wednesday before the game the Buckeye called the girl.

“Are you sitting down?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“We have four tickets to the game.”

“What! FOUR?”

And, that’s when this story starts getting really, really good.

The Buckeye and the girl packed up their little Buckeyes and hit the road. So what if it was 30 hours round trip? This was the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

As the weekend unfolded, the anxiety of the pending game was almost too much for the girl to take. She tried to keep her focus on being grateful to spend this adventure with her 3 favorite boys regardless of the game’s outcome. It wasn’t always easy.

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Finally, game day arrived. As this little family made their way into the enormous stadium, nerves were at an all-time high. There were Buckeyes EVERYWHERE. It was like they were attending a home game at the ‘Shoe.  The band was impeccable, the crowd was electric, the jumbotron was massive,….it was AWESOME.

As the game commenced and the Ducks methodically marched down the field and scored on their first possession, the littlest Buckeye burst into tears. As the waterworks flowed, his heart lost its ability to believe in a Buckeye victory.

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The Buckeyes quickly answered and spirits were lifted instantly but remained precarious until solidly into the second half.

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As the fourth quarter began to dwindle, the girl couldn’t believe that she was there. That the Buckeyes were going to win. Her Buckeye was joyous. Her little Buckeyes rejoiced. The whole stadium erupted as the final seconds ticked away.

She was there.

With them.

Celebrating a victory.

Wow.

A once in a lifetime moment.

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And, yes, she’d marry her Buckeye all over again.

 

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See you next year!

 

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THE END

children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

The Two Mouseketeers

Posing in front of the Disney Dream

There comes a time in your life when you finally understand that while you may not always get what you think you want, you end up with exactly what you need.

This blog about motherhood has always been my attempt to make sense of what it means to raise two active and highly spirited boys.  I have learned that while I may never totally understand their temperaments, they are pretty amazing exactly the way they are.  There is great freedom and beauty in this acceptance.

I have never appreciated their personalites more than I did on our Disney Cruise over the Labor Day weekend.  It was an absolute blast.  The boys and their phenomenal energy and spirit only enhanced the experience.  Well, except for the few times we were confined to our cabin.  At these points, I may have appreciated considerably less energy as would any rational human being.  Despite the slightly cramped quarters, the whole cruise was fantastic.  And best of all?  I got to bring home two of the best Mouseketeers any Mom could hope for.

children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Pinch Me

More often than not, Mad Dog and I have these surreal moments, especially as a weekend draws to a close, where we look at each other in disbelief and say, ‘the boys were really well behaved, weren’t they?”  It’s almost like we need someone to pinch us or that we need to thumbprint our kids to make sure that they are really, truly ours.

When public outings for so long have been a battle ground, it’s refreshing when they simply become enjoyable.

I didn’t see that coming at all.

And, for those who read this blog regularly, I bet you didn’t either.

Fun at the Alligator Farm.