Monday, February 28, 2011

How The Shortest Month Ended With The Longest Night

I cannot believe tomorrow is March!! Where did February go? It was so quiet and quick...until this weekend.

Today, I am feeling like the month of February has punched me in the gut! This weekend Colby had a baseball tournament about an hour from our house. His team won both games on Saturday and were seeded #1. A great way to start the Spring season!

Sunday's games went along just fine. They continued to win and made it to the Championship game. We had a two hour break so the two remaining teams could fight out who would join us in the " 'Ship" (as the boys call it!) The team loaded up and went to get re-energized on Taco Cabana tacos and quesadillas. We returned to the park at about 6:45 for our 7:30 game. The two teams should have been finishing up their game within fifteen or twenty minutes. Our boys started warming up. However, it became apparent that they should go sit back down when the game ended in a tie and an extra inning needed to be played to declare a winner.

The extra inning ended in a tie.

The extra-extra inning ended in a tie.

After 6 extra innings (which made it a twelve-inning game for those 10 year olds!), a team came out on top!

No one was happier than the moms on our team. We were cheering for any kid on third base from either team to PLEASE cross home plate! The Championship Game that should have started at 7:30 (which is late in my book) started at 9:45!

I got myself prepared with chocolate and caffeine!

The boys played their hearts out but in the end the other team won. Truth be told, they were the real winners anyway. It was so impressive that those nine boys could play 18 innings of straight baseball -- not to mention however many innings they had played earlier in the day to get there!

We got home at 12:50am. Here is my tired little champ with his Second Place trophy:
Here's hoping that March is filled with a little more sleep!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


We are doing a little renovating to our kitchen. New granite countertops led to some new appliances and backsplash. I can see the light at the end of the white-powdered tunnel; however, I have had to go for about four days without any appliances. I went without a sink for one day -- using the bathroom for my water supply. Luckily, Chris got the sink installed 24 hours later so that is a huge help! If I can't microwave a meal, we go out (and I am not complaining about THAT one!! :) )

Last night, Connor brought down some dishes from his snack and sat them in the sink.

"Mom, how do you wash dishes without the dishwasher?"

Hmmm.... "It's called washing them by hand."

After laughing about it, it occurred to me that in his 14 years, he has probably really never seen me have to hand wash dishes!

When we were first married and lived in old rental houses, I would get up and wash all the dishes from the day before. It was just a part of my day. We were lucky enough to build a house when Connor was a year old -- and I never have been without a dishwasher since.

It has always amazed me at what advances were made in my grandparents' day. They saw the invention of cars, TVs, microwave ovens, and cell phones. Life for my grandma went from living in a "house" dug out of dirt during the Depression to owning cars and microwaves AND dishwashers!

I am so thankful that God chose to put me in this day and time! After Connor made his comment, I immediately thought that I had such a spoiled boy! However, it seems to me that I am a spoiled girl!

Chris got my dishwasher hooked back up last night and I LOVED being able to load up the dirty dishes, close the door, push the button and walk away!

Now, if I could only find an oven and stove that I could load up an empty pot or pan, close the door, push the button and come back to an awesome gourmet meal!! But, that would be beyond spoiled, wouldn't it??

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ten Years In The Making

The first sport that Connor tried was soccer and he didn't like all the running. He was four years old and the only thing he cared about was halftime because they got to have a snack! We decided to try baseball that Spring and a passion was ignited in that boy like nothing else!

For the first few years, he played baseball like "normal" children do...playing in the Spring about fifteen games with one practice a week. We had the Wal-mart cleats, glove and bat. The uniform was a t-shirt provided by whoever was sponsoring the team that season and a pair of $9.99 baseball pants.

We moved to Texas and started playing in the Fall as well as the Spring. Practices ramped up to two a week and probably twenty games were played each season. We were "hard-core"!

When he was about eight, Connor began showing an interest in catching. The first few years all I remember is his coaches and his dad hollering at him to "Scoot up!" when he was behind the plate. He was a little timid but hard-headed enough to stay at it.

Due to some "baseball politics", Connor's 9-year-old team switched from the Little League organization to USSSA, which is now Nations Baseball. This resulted in playing for the Spring/Klein League. Little did we know that this move would change our lives.

Connor's best buddy down the street played tournament baseball, which meant that they traveled all over Texas playing baseball games most weekends until the late hours of Sunday nights. As I would pass their house on Monday mornings and see their coolers draining on the driveway, I would swear we would never become "that family"! We didn't need to travel all over to get better. Heck, Connor's 9-year-old team placed 1st in the Spring/Klein League! His team had talented boys who were passionate about baseball too! In fact, one of Connor's teammates would spend the night and bring his baseball glove because that is what he slept with every night!

It has been said: "Never say never" and it was only a few short months before I was eating my words! Connor tried out for and made the Spring/Klein Hooks baseball team...

...and then our lives changed...

...and we became "that family"!

The last four years, we have logged thousands of miles driving/flying to baseball tournaments. In addition to playing throughout Central and South Texas, we have played in Louisiana, Kansas and New York. We have gone from Fall and Spring Seasons to an All-Year Season only having about three weeks off a year. Seven days a week for weeks on end have been spent at a practice, game or lesson. And, I hate to say it, but, Wal-mart gear hasn't cut it for a long time and lots of dollars have been spent on what has turned into a family obsession!

Through all this, Connor has become an amazing baseball player. He is one of the smallest catchers but has been told by many coaches that he is one of the best. He has worked hard to improve over the years. It has always been his dream to play high school ball. When a child begins a sport at three or four-years-old, high school seems far away. However, before you know it, ten years have past and the opportunity to continue their passion is at their fingertips.

Chris and I were both involved in our high schools. Chris was on his school's baseball team and I was on Drill Team. High school holds a special place in my heart because of the extra-curricular activities that I was a part of. I can't tell you much about any particular class; but, I do remember performances, competitions, and practices. I remember the friendships that I made. Friendships that are still strong today. I so badly wanted the same for Connor.

When we moved to The Woodlands, Connor was starting first grade. We didn't realize that we had chosen to move to an area that has one of the most competitive baseball programs in Texas. We have heard rumors for years about the difficulty of getting on The Woodlands baseball team. This team is nationally-known. Players have gone on to play for the MLB from this team -- including last year's #2 pick Jameson Taillon.

This past Friday and Saturday were tryouts for the Sophomore team. The Sophomore team is made up of Freshman. There were about 55 kids competing for 12 spots. Connor was not feeling great about his performance on Friday; but, on Saturday, his talent was apparent.

(Let me add as a side note that I was a nervous wreck! It began about 2am Friday morning when sleep eluded me and I couldn't eat much all weekend either! I so badly wanted him to be a Highlander but was preparing myself to be strong and supportive if he didn't make it.)

Sunday was the day that the team was to be posted on the website. The kids were numbered during tryouts and their number would be listed on the website if they made the team. Connor was #3. Colby had a tournament about an hour from home early on Sunday so Connor chose to stay in bed. I really wanted to be with him when he found out. Throughout Colby's game, Chris and I kept checking the website (once again, I LOVE my I-Phone!!). As we were driving back home I kept checking. I had just checked about 11:27 but felt that maybe Coach Hill would post it at 11:30. I updated the site and the link started opening. I grabbed the dashboard and screamed, "It's coming up!"

(Another side know how the girls on Miss Universe will hear their name called as the winner and their eyes quickly fill up with tears and they bring their trembling hand to their mouth?? Well, that is a TRUE reaction! I never experienced that before -- I guess because I have never won Miss Universe -- but I always thought that was so fake. Nope!)

The page opens and the first number on the list is #3. I become the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant! Except I quickly get over it and grab Chris's arm and Chris starts hollering, "He made it!?!" "He made it!!" I will never forget that feeling! It was awesome!!

So, in the meantime, Connor doesn't know and I want to at least hear his reaction. I decide we should call him and tell him my phone is messed up, would he go check it for us. Chris calls him -- because I am still crying and would never be able to hide my emotions.

"Hey, go check the link again. Mom's phone is acting funny."

"I just checked it about 3 minutes ago, dad."

"Go check it again for me. It's weird how mom's phone is acting."

"It's coming up...I made it."

"Why aren't you jumping up and down and screaming?"

"Because I can't feel the lower half of my body right now!"

To say that the whole family is on Cloud 9 is an understatement! We are all so thrilled and excited.

As a parent, it has been such a reward for me to see my child work so hard for something and actually attain it -- all on his own. Sure, we drove him and sat with him and spent our money; but, it was HIS hard work and diligence and perseverance that paid off.

And, guess what? The buddy down the street who played tournament ball at age 9 and the other buddy who would sleep over at our house with his baseball glove -- they made the team too!! How much more of an awesome thing is it than to experience this with boys who have a history together!

Go Highlanders!!