T Time

On a warm Saturday morning, I had one of those fabulous “this is so much fun” parenting moments.

I was standing on a baseball field in the hot sun, watching friends pull into parking spaces. Each of them had the windows down and the Frozen soundtrack turned up. Little hands reached out of windows waving. Little hands waved back from the field. Suddenly the bleacher bench was filled with smiling faces and little legs clad in baseball pants. There were matching pink helmets, pink bat bags, pink and black gloves. Water bottles were compared and shared. Dads shook hands, took roll and divided into groups. And we were off! T-ball season has begun! And I think we’re off on the road of many years of practices, games, heartbreak and fun. Bring it on, we’re ready.

Do you love these guys?!

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Thank you Diamondbacks for the great uniforms! Yea White Diamondbacks! (slight issue when you donate the uniforms to the entire league an every team is the same mascot…hopefully there will be enough colors to make it less confusing….)

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This guy? Is having the time of his life. And thank goodness, because the other dads are terrified of taking the girls from the team. There was honest panic in their voices when he was in Montana. Herding cats would be far, far easier.

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This guy kills me. His only goal during practice is to get on the field. He generally settles for sitting on the bench. I can’t take the cuteness.

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Yelling at Cheering on his sister

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Run For Their Lives

We have had the pleasure of befriending the B family over the last year. Baylor and Ella have been in the same class for the last two years and Olivia, Ella’s older cool sister, is one of Baylor’s favorite people. Gretchen and Mike are their hilarious mom and dad and two people that Peter and I are always excited to spend time with.

This past January marked the end of TWO YEARS of chemotherapy for Olivia. She had been fighting leukemia for almost half her life and so we were excited to participate in all of the celebratory runs, luncheons and parties. We ran on Team Olivia in the Children’s Cancer Network 5 and 10k a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic event – there were games, obstetrical courses and tons of free food  and swag. We ran like crazy and had a ball and the kiddos did too. We were so excited to follow Olivia in the kid’s walk as this was the first time she would be doing so as a survivor.

I did not anticipate the kiddos cooperating so I told PW to run on and I would just get as far as the kids would allow. Apparently running in a large group was wildly entertaining because they were angels the entire time. We finished the 5k in 38 minutes…which when you’re pushing a jogger that weighs 75lbs (no joke, we added it up), isn’t too shabby!

Ready to run…errr, ride!

Auggie, Baylor, Ella, Olivia and Morgan

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Buddies

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Team Wand was snuggled and packing snacks

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Stephanie, Morgan’s mom and one of my favorite people. She also ran the 10k in 50 minutes. She is a freak.

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Team Olivia ready to run!

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The girls (and Augg) ready for the survivor walk ride

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Meet Matthew

I got a text from PW last weekend that said Matthew is here and he looks AWESOME. Before I could text back Who the hell is Matthew??  I realized he was talking about the damn deer he hunted in November. And by here he meant on our living room wall. And in our freezer. Yea…..

Meet Matthew

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Matthew is named after our friend and the guide of the hunt. It’s an homage to the great tracker that he is. Baylor is in love. She greets him when we walk in, pets him randomly throughout the day, says goodbye when we leave and is chowing down on the venison pepperoni sticks. She is, in a word, a traitor.

Planet Orange

When I was in 5th grade, the Phoenix Suns were it. They had a winning season and were going into the play offs. Ali and I knew all the players and we watched all the games. We had Suns cups, Suns basketball and painted our nails purple and orange. And it wasn’t just us, the whole town was energized by the team – walls were painted with “Go Suns!”. Our catholic school allowed Suns shirts on game days – picture that: a purple, orange or purple and orange shirt with a blue and red plaid skirt. It was awesome. Charles Barkley still holds a special place in my heart to this day.

When we went to see George Strait at US Airways Center (which will always be America West Arena to me, just sayin), I told Peter I wanted to go to a Suns game. I can’t remember the last time I went to one, but it was at least 15 years ago (at least). Which means it’s about time. It happened that two weeks later, Peter’s firm sent out an email asking if anyone would like the firm’s seats for Monday night. PW snatched those tickets up faster than me at the Nordstrom half year going for the last pair of cute size 11 shoes (ok, 12. That urban legend that your feet grow when you have babies is true).

As we expertly snaked through downtown traffic (it helps to have a hubby who drives it every day) we kept looking at our parking pass, sure that we had passed the garage. We couldn’t really be parking AT the arena, could we? We pulled in, certain they were going to turn us away and the parking attendant handed us a piece of paper with a number. Huh? She told us to just pull up the ramp and hand it to the attendant up there. When we did, he instructed us to back up two spots where he then took out a cone from a reserved spot and waved us in. Like whoa. THIS is how I like to attend sporting events!

We proceeded to walk maybe 50 feet to the entrance of the loge level where we were given all you can drink and all you can eat bracelets and then escorted to our seats. Which were at the very front of the loge level, maybe 20 rows back from the court. A.MA.ZING. Not to mention the food was great, a waitress kept a steady flow of drinks AND the other two tickets went to an associate at the firm and his wife who we love.

Oh, and him? Yeah, that’s Tom Chambers. Like 5 feet from us. THAT’S how good these seats were!!

It’s Coming…

Last night when I walked outside, I noticed something was….different. The air was cool, but not chilly. There was a hint of warmth in the breeze. And there was a scent of grass and tree blossoms and it was familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but then it hit me – it’s time for baseball.

I remember the same sensation when I played softball as a tween. It seemed night practices were always cold and then suddenly when we had a game, it was warmer, balmy and comfortable. There was a breeze blowing through the palm trees and there was an energy that seemed to signal the end of winter and the beginnings of spring.

Obviously I’m not playing a lot of softball these days, but it’s still the same feeling. And there is a sense that something is blowing in the breeze, something coming. That something? Is spring training. The happiest season of the year where we will spend many an afternoon playing hookie from work, drinking ice-cold beers in the hot sun and watching our favorite teams from mere feet away. It is, in a word, awesome.

Pitchers and catchers report in 9 days according to mycountdown.org. But all you really need is a walk outside and take a deep breath to know that it’s time.

Scottsdale Stadium

I spent so many nights here as a kiddo watching Firebird’s games with my dad. And now we get to take Bay to see the Giants. Preferably playing the Cubs. And preferably the Cubs are winning.

Rules Based on Fiction

One of the many benefits of living in Scottsdale Arizona is spring training. That magical time of year when the boys of summer practice America’s Favorite Past Time less than a mile from our house. There are few things that I think are close to what heaven is like – but sitting in the sun, watching a game and drinking a beer is one of them.

I’ve noticed the following occurance before, but never asked why until this season. At most spring training stadiums when a beer, soda or water is purchased, the consessions employee removes the top and then hands the customer the bottle. If asked for the cap, the employee will refuse to give it to the customer.

This may not seem like a big deal, but if I buy a beer and a bottle of water, I really want the water for later and without the cap I risk knocking over the bottle and spilling the water. Which is a very likely scenario. So this makes the whole no cap business pretty annoying. And if it possibly involves possibly spilling my beer, down right scarry.

I asked a concession worker who looked to be about twelve years old why I couldn’t have the cap. He launched into a tirade about how they can’t give the caps because people fill the empty or nearly empty bottles with dirt, seal them with a cap and then launch the dirt bottles at the players. And before I could say “couldn’t they do that anyway without the cap?!” he anticipated my question by saying “and no, it wouldn’t work without the cap so that’s why we don’t give the caps”.

Peter and I promptly decided this was crap and proceeded to the next beer stand – for research of course – and got the same response. As we sipped our beers we were flooded with questions; where do you get the dirt to put in the bottle? If you made a mud mixture, you wouldn’t really need a cap, right? Even if the bottle didn’t have a cap, wouldn’t it still hurt to get hit with a partially filled bottle? Couldn’t you use something other than a cap? Like gum to seal the bottle? And on and on. We were obsessed. Who and where had this horrible atrocity occured thus ruining the containment of liquids for everyone? And was the damage so bad that the entire major leauge got together to make this a rule? Should they ban bottles of every kind? What about peanut bags filled with dirt? Or peanuts? What about hotdogs filled with dirt? The last few may have been the beer talking.

As we walked into the Cubs v Dodgers game on Sunday, we were solicited by a man selling frozen water bottles outside the stadium. His sign said that if you leave the bottle caps sealed, you can take them into the stadium and they were a third of the price than those sold in the stadium. So we bought and sure enough, the ticket takers were more interested in my bag than anything else. So we had done it. We had gotten bottles WITH CAPS into the stadium.

Now, to find some dirt.