Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Strong Finish for the Aces

The Aces' baseball season was winding down and the only thing left was the end of the season tournament. This particular season, it didn't go as well as we would have hoped. Due to certain circumstances in Spring of 2017 we were placed in a pretty hard division, probably a step up from where we should have been. We finished the season with a losing record, we went 1-9 in division play. However, we managed to win a few games the tournament we played midway through the season and took home 2nd place. I don't hate that we lost more games than we won because with the losses came some very valuable lessons. The boys learned how to never give up. They learned how to pick one another up and lean on one another. They learned how to shake off plays and that the next batter was a new opportunity. They learned how to lose graciously & when the wins came around, they learned how to win graciously. Did the hurting sting? Absolutely, more games than others, but we continued to see them working hard and improving and saw it to. More importantly, they knew there was more to this team than just baseball. It's a family now.

Going into the tournament there weren't a lot of high hopes but the boys were still excited to play. They always are. They can almost always be found coming off the field with smiles on their faces, they just love the game and each other. The blind draw was made and we drew the one team that we had beat during regular season -- game time, Saturday night at 7. I wasn't super stoked that it was that late at night, yes, the weather was better BUT we couldn't spend anytime at the pool that day--boys need to rest. They came with their A game that night and walked away with a win.

Next up, the Spartans, 6:30 on Sunday evening. A team which had beat us pretty handily so we knew we needed another GREAT game We had a few family members in the cheering section for this one--Cousin Colton, Aunt Becky, Uncle Adam and then of course, Grammy and Craigster. We arrived at 6 for warm-ups but soon learned the game ahead of us not only started late but they were going into extra innings---we ended up starting our game about 50 minutes late. We were just keeping our fingers crossed that we had enough daylight to get it in...

Cousin Colton must have been our good luck charm as the Aces came out on top! We were the visiting team so that meant we had to come out swinging and then hold them on defense. The boys (and their coaches) did just that. It was a back and forth game the entire time, 4-4 after the first inning. 10-11 them after two. 15-15 after 3, 17-17 after 4 and as daylight started to fade we entered extra innings. They were giving us one inning to decide a winner or else we would need to move to a field with lights. Kaden had made the last out the inning before so they put him on second to start the inning and we also started with one out--it's their way of speeding up the game while also hopefully breaking the tie. We scored 4, heading into the bottom of the inning 21-17 and that's where the game ended too! The boys got the first two batters out and the game was over--onto the championship game the Aces marched.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, the championship game. We had a 7:30 start time and this time we were on fields with lights so no worries about daylight fading. 

As soon as the boys stepped out of the car, up walked a surprise--Grandma Sara had drove up to watch them play. They were so excited to see her. She wasn't the only one to come out and watch, one of Kaden's and Luke's friends stopped by and then Logan and Little C's friend, Jackson, came to watch too. I love how sweet their little friends are, not to mention their parents too.

The game started off tight, 2-1 Cure of Ars Cougars but sadly in the 2nd inning we let it get away from us (we typically have at least one inning where things just don't go our way) and after 2 innings of play the score was 9-2. We mounted a come back in the third inning and closed the gap to 9-6 but after 5 innings they still had the edge 15-11. We went ahead and started a 6th inning because time allowed but we didn't get to bat since they scored 4 runs making it out of our reach to catch up. (You can only score 7 runs per inning). The boys were upset. They wanted that trophy and I don't blame them, they had come so far this season but 2nd place was nothing to hang their heads about.

We couldn't be more proud of Kaden, Logan and the whole team. They showed up every game to play. They worked hard at each practice to get better and you could see the friendships continue to grow between them all. This team isn't like most other teams--we have three boys (Logan being one) who are a full year younger than everyone else, who we gave the challenge of playing up this past year to. We have two, soon to be three boys going into third grade at CCE, we have two boys from CWC and then 3 kiddos who attend separate schools or are home-schooled. This is a team that was pulled together over the course of a few years who in the end have become more like brothers than anything else. They support each other, they challenge each other, they argue and annoy one another but they're each other's best friends. And it's not just these boys that make this team a family---the coaches are next to none. They are teaching our boys valuable lessons on and off the field. They hold them accountable, challenge them, help them overcome obstacles and most importantly, they celebrate them. The parents, siblings, grandparents are all so wonderfully amazing & just good people to be around. There are a lot of days in a baseball season, especially when you play spring and fall, I couldn't imagine spending it with another team. Like I said, it's more than just baseball.

It's family.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday America! 

This year, you turned a year older in the middle of the week--which isn't cool but we made the most out of it. We started off your birthday just like we have the past few years with a visit to our neighborhood pool. The last couple of years it has been beyond quiet BUT not this year, it was packed. We invited Grammy, Uncle Adam and Aunt Becky and Cousin Colton out & we ordered pizza to the pool so we could enjoy the water a little longer--you were a hot one this year.

Grammy continued with her 4th of July t-shirt tradition for the boys and made them all throw on their shirts before we left the pool. Kaden and Logan loved that the flag was also a peace sign.

Once we got home we all quickly got changed, sang Happy Birthday to you, America & then loaded up our things so we could head out early to the Walshes for their 4th of July party. It's one of our favorite yearly holiday celebrations--fireworks, food, friends, drinks.

Logan is our little firecracker LOVER and had his eyes on this bad boy BUT dad had other plans that included smoke bombs & tanks--maybe next year buddy.

Jake and Jennifer go all out for the 4th--they live in Lee's Summit so fireworks are allowed & Jake is one of the biggest kids I know, especially when it comes to fire and things blowing up. However, they take safety very seriously---which I love---and not only purchased but required every kiddo who was lighting off fireworks to wear a pair. They also provided them with some festive bandannas. 

It wasn't long and the rest of the party goers started to arrive---aren't they not just the cutest.

One of the kiddos' favorite things to do is chase after the parachutes. Jake and I easily set off 100+ parachutes and they ran after each and every one of them.

She was a little bit easier to get a picture with last year, this year shes a LOT more mobile.

The old F150 is still going. A few years back we gave this little guy to Nathan and Nathan is still rocking it---needs a new battery but that wasn't stopping him or any of the other kids. However, I'd say, Kaden has officially outgrown the sucker.

When the sun finally sat the real show began. I wasn't sure if Jake would be able to outdo his show last year but I should have never doubted him. He put on a wonderful display of fireworks which filled the nighttime sky with lots of sparkle and color. The kids sat in amazement. The parents sat in amazement -- it was the perfect way to end a wonderful evening with some of our dearest friends.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June Extras

We celebrated Brodi's heavenly birthday this month. 

Taking it old school.

Baseball and Bubbles

Homemade Popsicles.

A little one on one time at the pool.

Gus has a thing for shadows.

They've missed each other so much during the daytime.

Office progress.

Gus turns ONE!

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Another Newman wedding. 

This time the youngest Newman son was getting married, Zach. Zach is Justin's 2nd cousin, he's first cousins with Zach's dad Mark but we are closer in age with their boys. Chad and Morgan got married last August -- Logie was the ring bearer -- and then Corey and Jordan got married last September. 

Zach and Bethany were getting married in Warrensburg, MO -- about an hour or so drive from our house--the only catch, I was riding solo with my boys. Justin was in the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle & sadly would not be able to attend the wedding but the boys and I could, so we did. I think they secretly loved being my dates for the wedding--I mean, how handsome are they?! & they both picked out their outfits, from head to toe. Kaden even picked out my shoes.

The wedding was gorgeous but we all know the reception is where all the fun is had. And this wedding reception site was just perfect for the boys -- they love to dance, they love playing games, LOVE photo booths, and they love the Newman boys--all three of them. 

And when I say they love to dance, I mean, can't-drag-them-off-the-dance-floor-loves-to-dance. Kaden and Grammy danced to Cupid's Shuffle. Kaden danced the Mother/Son dance with me after first giving me the Heisman and me forcing Logan to the dance floor with me but before the song was over, Kaden was asking to step in & he danced with me not only for the remainder of that song, but the next one too. By far the highlight of my evening. 

Logan tried to cut in on Craig but instead they just welcomed him to the party.

And then their song played, 24k Magic by Bruno Mars -- they had been waiting all evening, well, Logan had. Kaden wasn't so certain he'd dance to it but when the time came, he was ALL IN. 

And though they only danced for the first 2:30 seconds of the song, after I stopped recording they just kept going and so did the screams! It was the perfect way to end our time at the wedding-we said our goodbyes to the family & to the bride and groom -- who seem like they couldn't be more perfect for one another--and headed back home. Not always fun going to a family wedding without your husband--especially one you marry into BUT this family--well, there's never a dull moment and they've always made me feel like family from day one and now they'll do the same for Bethany.