Saturday, August 4, 2018

Chiefs Training Camp 2018

A few months back my brother called and asked what we were doing the first weekend of August. I didn't even need to ask which day because I already knew that I would be out of town on work--it happens pretty much every August for the last 6 years. I explained that I had a work event and he continued to explain how they were coming up for Chiefs Training Camp. I hated missing it. I hated the boys missing it but then LIGHT BULB! I needed someone to watch the kids and my MIL was out of the country--enter MOM! She said yes and they made plans to join Zack and Lindsey as well. My parents came up on Friday night-drove separately-and then early Saturday morning, like 6:30 a.m. they took off for St. Joe.

Justin was torn--he was excited to spend a few days with me in Vegas but he really wanted to be at the camp too. He did the only thing he could and decked the boys out in new jerseys. And just in case you were wondering, it's about a $25 jump from a kids large to a YOUTH small. Both boys picked out their numbers---Logan at first said Tyreek Hill but then changed when Justin and I both told him who #15 was. (Turns out, the kid may have known what he was talking about.) 

Zack and Lindsey had spent a few days at Great Wolf Lodge and on Friday night decided to stay in St. Joe so they were closer to the training camp & wouldn't have to get up so early. However, sleeping in a hotel room with two kiddos under 6 isn't the easiest so they got up and around, headed to the fields and claimed their spots for the next few hours. 

The kids were troopers but they still needed to move around a little so they found the Kids Zone & then a few cheerleaders & KC Wolf along the way. Madison was in heaven. 

Finally, it was time. Autograph time. The boys were hoping that they would be able to get a few autographs from any of their players. Top of their lists (everyone else's lists too) Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill. Well, one out of three, isn't too shabby. 

Tyreek Hill came over to Kaden, signed his hat and then asked to borrow his pen for a little while. Mom said Kaden's eyes got real big like, what if I need it, but Tyreek assured Kaden multiple times that he would bring his pen back. So Kaden agreed. He watched closely as Tyreek went down the line signing autographs, worried he'd forget BUT he didn't. He came back to Kaden, thanked Kaden for letting him use his pen and posed for a picture too. 


Maybe Logan was right, a #10 jersey signed would have been pretty sweet. 

They also managed to snag Demarcus Robinson's autograph too & get McDonald's on the way home. These two were starting their weekend off right--spoiled to the core.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

KidzBop 2018 -- Mother & Son Date Night

A few months back I saw a friend show interest in the KidzBop Live event that was coming to KC & so I clicked interested too not knowing if it was really something I wanted to venture out and do. However, the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea---the boys love singing along to KidsBop, it was on a Friday night so the boys could be up a little later, it was week 6 into Kaden's summer treatment program and this could act as a little reward for all his hard work and dedication and Logan would get a little reward for sticking out the summer all on his own. And although I was much closer to pulling the trigger, I didn't want to do it alone, I needed a partner in crime. I reached out to Jen & asked if her and Nathan would like to join us---Nathan is a dancing fool, he learned it from his dad. She was surprisingly in, so I bought tickets & we created a mother and son date night. 

We started off our evening with a little dinner -- at Chipotle. 

& then we made our way to the venue, Starlight. I wasn't sure what to expect, after all, it's KC and parents are freaking nuts when it comes to their kids so I was worried we would have to fight a large crowd and long lines--I couldn't have been further from the truth. We were so stinking early. No lines to get in. No lines for the snow-cones. No lines for concessions. No lines for the bathroom. 

We went ahead and found our seats anyways and sang along to the music they had playing prior to the show and then it happened...

Dummm. Dummm.Dummm. ARE YOU READY FOR IT?!

The music started the boys were singing...

The KidzBop kids were singing all their favorites--Believer, Thunder, My House, That's What I Like, Middle, Shake It Off...and so many more. They began with one set on stage and then halfway through took an intermission where we met up with some of our other friends. 

We picked up a few souvenirs and then back to the music it went. They played for about another 45 minutes before they walked off stage only to come back for an encore and to shoot thousands of pieces of confetti into the sky--which the boys all went nuts for. 

And I love how Jen summed up their outing...

KidzBop Ticket = $38.00
Pretzel = $6.00
Hot Dog = $7.00
Popcorn = $4.00
Cheese Tray = $8.00
Kona Ice = $7.00

Highlight of the evening, at least for Nathan, catching the ticker tape from the exploding cannons AFTER the show.

And yes, that says cheese tray and no that is not a mistake. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this but I honestly, enjoyed myself, like a LOT. I love singing along to popular songs--listening to karaoke or dueling piano bars are such fun and this was a LOT like that. I was totally that mom in the audience singing along--although the lyrics I sang, weren't the g-rated ones. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Happy Birthday Madison Eve!

Baseball was over--time to head back home to my mom and dad's for a weekend & celebrate a special little girl turning SIX!

We took it pretty easy Friday night because we knew that Saturday would be a day full of fun. We would start off with a quick little photo shoot of the birthday girl and a quick 18 month one of Mr. Trenton but after that, we were headed to Uncle Scott's and Aunt Kelly's for a little swim.

Mr. Trenton does not like to sit still. I mean, what 18 month old does BUT he will sit still for three things--Moana, Shrek & electronics. He's not picky on the electronic--iPad, non-working remote--just anything with buttons. 

After a quick swim, we went back to Grandma Sara's and Papa Tom's and rested because the whole Hartley clan was in town to celebrate Miss Madison. Even our favorite guy in the whole wide world came out to celebrate. 

Baseball was played. The South Boys vs. The Siebert Boys

"Treasures" were bargained for. Papa Tom told the boys that this red rock was a calming rock, that you just rub it and it makes you calm. Kaden debunked that theory relatively quickly. That coin you see there, well that was taken from a pirate ship---now this, they still believe. 

Every time we are home they leave with some sort of "treasure"-- Kaden even went home with hot dogs one time.

They played in the garden--barefoot, it's the only way to do when in the country. & then they stripped down to their skivvies and ran through the sprinkler--allowing Papa Tom to douse them at the end with the hose. They ate popcorn and push pops. They drank Pepsi and Fanta. Grandma fixed them donuts each morning. They were spoiled. And in the very best way possible.

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.