Saturday, April 14, 2018

Royals Rumble Tournament

Baseball was finally here for the boys. At least they were crossing their fingers it was & that weather wouldn't be a factor once again. Their team had yet to play a regular season game but made the decision to enter into a couple tournaments this season, one at the beginning of the season and one towards the end of the season. They were guaranteed three games for the weekend...if the weather held out. Like I said, fingers crossed. 

Games were scheduled for Saturday at 11:30 & 1:15.

This was what I saw at 7:30 am. 

Fully dressed. & for this particular day that meant, 4 shirts, two pairs of pants & socks with FOUR hours to go until game time. They were really putting it out there to the universe.

Fun little fact. They got to pick their numbers this year. Kaden chose 87 because he loves Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots---could be Travis Kelce too but it's not. Logan chose 14, it not only was his basketball number, my number growing up but it was also right behind Matthew's number of 13. He looks up to Matthew and he's a good kid to look up to. 

Around 8 that morning the boys started sliding practice in the house. Their energy was off the chart & we needed them to conserve that so I suggested that we rent a movie. The Greatest Showman it was. Grandma Sara was super pumped as she had yet to see it and both boys love the movie so we all took to the couch and settled in for the next hour and forty minutes.

During which I snapped a few picture of the boys--I wasn't sure their jerseys would ever be this white again. We tried a few "game face on" poses but I prefer the smiles. 

Finally it was time to load up, games were on. We grabbed a quick picture with Grandma Sara and headed to the ball fields. 

This would be the first time the Aces would be hitting off the machine this year due to the fact so many practices have been canceled with weather issues. I mean, it's snowed for the first three Sundays in April--that's more than all winter! We honestly weren't sure how the team would do and I'll admit, I was a little nervous but we settled right in. We were the home team and after the first inning it was tied 2-2 and then the other teams bats went to work, at no fault to our boys. They got single after single with an occasional double and before we knew it the game was over. We lost that game 22-7 and they didn't even allow us to try and make up some kind of ground, which looking back, we should have been able to because scoring plays a role in the tournament seeding. On the bright side, we had our first game under our belt and had a few things that we knew we could work on. & that team had just slaughtered the team they played right before us, so we weren't out of it. On a different note, the wind was horrible. The boys were freezing but doing their best to hang in there. On one specific play, a pop fly went out to center field and Ben was right there, at the last minute the wind took it and changed the course of the ball and it hit him right above the eye. You could hear it from the stands and everyone went silent. He didn't go down. He kept with the ball & then the coaches ran to him. We got his mom packed up and off they went to the hospital. The boys were all so very worried, we were too. They sent us a picture from the hospital as they waited for the results stating they were following along on Game Changer--Ben is such a warrior. CT came back clean with no broken bones, he just would need to wait until he the swelling went down so he could see to play.

The boys missed him dearly.

We had a few minutes between game one and game two. The boys were FREEZING. We did our best to shield them from the wind and put up tarps around the dugout, blankets on the benches & handed out hand warmers galore. They were all able to grab a quick bite snack and a drink before taking the field again. This time, the outcome was more in our favor. We were at bat first and from swing number one the boys didn't look back. Our bats went to work and the boys played a very sound defensive game to come out on top 19-10. Now, mind you this was a 7U team, so mostly 7 year olds, I guess they may have the occasional 8 year old but mostly 7 year olds--but we have a few ourselves. Matthew, Caden, Drake, and Luke are all 7, Logan is still 6 but will turn 7 next month, so we've got ourselves a young little team too and they showed up. 

My favorite part--the South boys covering the middle at 2nd and short. & also Logan's never-ending smile (even in 20 degree weather) & Kaden's sportsmanship and encouragement he showed. These things meant more than any scoreboard. 

After the tournament was over we ditched the cold for some warmth of Johnny's and the kids continued to play -- Gold Tee though. While we were sitting down warming up, we got the message that Sunday's games had been canceled and there were mixed feelings for sure. Sad they weren't going to get to play the rest of the tournament but happy they weren't going to have to be out in the snow for which it did snow. Instead we stayed in our pjs all day watching movies and playing games. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Cheese Stands Alone

It was first grade musical time which meant one was Logan's turn. 

The kid LOVES signing, dancing and performing. At least for now. He'd been talking about his classes performance for sometime now & how he was going to be a ranch hand. It was code for a farmer which all the extra boys and girls who didn't get an animal costume filled the role. He didn't seem to mind one bit, he was going to be the best darn ranch hand there was. 

My mom came into town for a few days and was lucky enough to catch "opening night". (There's only one night of performance but Logan still referred to it as opening night.) The program was at 7. Doors opened at 6:30. We left the house at 6:10 for the 3 minute drive to the school. Now, I didn't grow up here in the Kansas City area but I do know how these school functions work up here which meant, we needed to be SUPER early if we wanted a decent parking spot or a seat in the gym. Mom just kind of chuckled at me, thought I was being crazy but when we arrived at 6:15, there was already a line at the door waiting to be let in. You'd have thought it was a Broadway musical, not just a 1st grade program---but on the other hand, it's pretty amazing to see all the love and support these 1st graders received from their family and friends. Before getting out of the car, Logan made sure that we both had a Kleenex with us, there was going to be a sad song and he wanted us to be prepared. He seriously has one of the kindest hearts I've met. So lucky he is ours. 

The performance was "The Cheese Stands Alone"

Logan did not have a speaking spot BUT he did have to hold up the letter "S" during one of the songs. Talk about pressure. He nailed it though--held it up just at the right time and not for too long. And let's hear it for his actions -- on top of it!

I do need to take a moment and give mad props to one of his friends, The Cheese. This young man had line after line that he had to memorize and sang an entire song all on his own. I know how proud I was of my own son but heck, he just came down and held up a sign when he was told to and then went back to his spot on the stage, serious responsibility but you know. The Cheese, well, he his responsibility was at a whole other level and he NAILED it. Every single part. And his parents were beaming with pride, I was beaming right alongside them.

The program lasted 22 minutes.

Twenty-two minutes of complete cuteness and smiles were planted across every student and every guest in the gym. As talented as those kiddos were, our music teacher is even more so--I mean, 99 first graders all on one stage with zero hiccups or miscues. It was one well oiled performance.

To note, big brother South wasn't in attendance for the evening performance, he caught the first performance during school hours and headed to baseball practice with his team. Although he wasn't there, he was Logan's biggest cheerleader and supporter.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

One Moment. Each Day

"Dear Momma, don't enjoy every moment, enjoy one." 
Click here for article.

A girlfriend of mine shared this article with a group of moms last week at work. It's just not any group of moms, this is "my" group of moms. I've been working with these ladies for more than a decade and we all became first time, and second time, moms together. They're my initial sounding board on all things kids -- the good, the bad, the ugly. They are as much a part of my village as anyone else. And the support they provide, I can't even begin to put it into words. Without them, I'd be beyond lost. So when one of them sends an article, you read it. And usually, it's just what you needed to read at that very moment in time. 

& thus, I included it here, so that I could find it and reread often. I can easily get caught up in trying to ensure everything goes perfectly, no matter the occasion--big or small--& it hardly ever lives up to my expectations. I wind up disappointed for no reason at all because in reality, whatever it was, had moments of perfection & those moments are what I need to focus on. This season of our life is busy and chaotic, constantly caught up in a whirlwind. So this is my reminder to find one moment. One moment a day to cherish and drink it all in. Bottle it up and save it in my heart forever.

So this past weekend, I tried just that. I tried to lose myself in the moments that were happening. If my phone was around and it wasn't a distraction, I tried capturing it. The pictures are mostly an afterthought but let's be honest, I love capturing our life and these moments may just be some of the most important ones that I will ever capture.

One. Moment.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

15 Seconds of Stardom

Justin and I have been HUGE Royals fans since we were little. We knew once we had kids that it would pretty much be forced upon them to love the Royals too. They do--on their own account too. We've taken them to countless games and have even traveled to a few different ballparks to catch them playing on road trips. The boys went to game 6 of the ALCS the year we won it all -- and took part in the Ticker Tape Parade downtown with 800k of our closest friends. 

Knowing how much we love the Royals, makes this sweet surprise even sweeter. 

2018 Opening Day.
I worked from home on Monday--Logan wasn't feeling well & thankfully, I have the flexibility to be home with him when I need to be. He was vegging on the beanbag next to me in the office when I got a text from my MIL. She had just received a text from one of her friends asking if the kid on her TV was Logan. She took a screenshot and sent it to Janet and it was definitely Logan smiling back at us.

Thankfully Janet's friend was able to rewind her TV and take a video of the entire commercial for us & I instantly went to our TV and turned on the game hoping to see it live but no such luck. I was able to record the replay of the game and even though the replays are often shortened due to TV time allotment, the commercial still aired. Without further ado...

The cool thing about this, it's a Sunday Family Funday at the K promo video so it should air ALL season long. The other cool thing, Logan isn't the only one in the video, our friends' daughter Kiley makes an appearance too. She's the little girl at the very end when the screen goes blue running behind Logan. I honestly thought this video coverage was from a few years back because Logan looks sooooo little but then I saw the back of his shirt - 17. Blue Crew 2017 and this just happened to be the day after his 6th birthday. We met the Griffiths out at the ballpark to celebrate Logan's and Mac's birthdays & since it was a Sunday, the kiddos ran the bases. Justin has the footage of us running the bases on his phone and sure as shit, there's a camera guy picking up Logan as he turns seconds base heading to third. 

Guess being in front of my camera all those times prepared him for this moment--zoning in on the camera for a few seconds and then jogging off every so cutely. So be on the lookout for a #RaisedRoyal blonde hair boy on a TV near you. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Extras

It's monthly round-up time---for all those pictures that I take who don't get a post for one reason or another, mainly because I just don't have the time. 

Late night Mizzou girls basketball game with my buddy.

Visiting one of my favorite people in the whole wide world-Papa Richard.

Trenton LOVED following Kaden around.

Cousin Lovin'

Date night included the season opener for Sporting KC--it was a tad cold so we had to make a few purchases.

Hitting lessons for Lil South --he's determined to get a few more doubles this year. 

2nd grade Market Day item -- the Kindness Fortune Cookie, with a twist.
Amy's Heart of Gold Dodgeball Tournament benefiting a few of the boys' school friends.

Sunday Funday with the Walshes
Cookie dough obsessed!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

SB2018 - Comes To An End

Our last day at sea was not only Breakfast with Dr. Suess and St. Patrick's Day, it was also Justin and I's 10 year anniversary. It's crazy to think that we've been married for 10 years and that the boys are 8 and 6, almost 9 and 7 but here we are. We're pretty blessed.

So, yeah, we ate breakfast with Thing 1 and Thing 2--Cat in the Hat and Sam I am came along too.

The boys enjoyed the slides for one last day -- even got Justin and I on them a couple more times. I played mini-golf one on one with each of the boys. They played more ping pong but we ended up calling it an early day at the pools -- it was hot and we were all pretty cranky and Logan got a bloody nose from not paying attention and hitting his head on a railing. We didn't want to force more sunshine so we didn't. We spent the afternoon resting & then took in dinner out by the pool where we watched Ferdinand--one of our favorite movies as of late. Oh and one last ice cream cone for Logan.

We were up Sunday before the sun even came up. We had a flight before noon which allowed us to be among the first to get off the ship. The catch, we had to carry all our luggage on our own. The boys were troopers-especially Kaden-and we stepped off the ship about 7:30 and we were on our way home. A quick layover in Dallas--where we got to see Derrick Johnson--and we were home by 5. The entire ride home the boys talked about how much they missed Gus and Stoli and how Stoli was going to be happiest to see Logan since she sleeps with him now. I'm not sure who was more excited, the dogs or us. As great of a time we had, it was still nice to be home.

Friday, March 16, 2018

SB2018 - Port Three - Cozumel

Buenos Dias Cozumel.

When we returned to our room after having been in Honduras we noticed there had been a piece of paper slipped under our door. CANCELED was written at the top of the paper. I scanned the rest of the document for more information -- the short story, due to safety concerns inland at Cozumel our Amazing River Cave excursion was canceled. The cruise line along with the US government did not want to take any chances when it came to local ferries being attacked due to recent drug cartel turmoil which I can respect so we needed a plan b. 

Plan B was Isla Pasion -- it was another beach day but we were all on board. The sand looked soft and the waters were crystal blue. We'd be okay with this and the boys, well, they'd get to use that bucket again and maybe build a real sand castle this time.

We were picked up at the port of Cozumel by another boat and found ourselves on about a 20 minute boat ride to this private island. The private island offered all you could eat and drink, carnival like games for the kids and soooo much sand. It was a beautiful island.

They played in the ocean.

We built sand castles--bigger and better than the day before.

We saw iguanas and swung in hammocks.

We took obligatory pictures.

 A little over 10 years ago we sat on a beach not too different from this and used a photo, not too different from this, as our Save the Dates. So much has changed but yet so much hasn't.

Photo Cred: Logan South

Our time on our little island of paradise had come to an end. We packed up our belongings, handed our bucket & shovels to a family who was arriving and boarded our boat taxi which would take us back to the port. We had hoped to sit on the back of the boat again and one of the crews said we could but the captain asked us and a few others to move inside, which we politely followed his request. It wasn't 5 minutes into the trip and I looked down to this. He's still little enough to crawl into my lap for a little nap. As if the trip wasn't already perfect.

We landed back at the port and decided to do a little shopping. The boys were still on the hunt for their little souvenir but Justin and I had a little something more planned for them. On the boat ride back we sat next to this wonderful family. We have ran into them multiple times while on the cruise. The boys watched them play ping pong and they event help teach the boys how to play -- they were a little older than Justin and I and then probably my mom and dad's age too. Anyways, as we were exiting the boat taxi, they stopped to tell Justin and I how wonderful the boys are. How they have been the most polite boys each and every time they have seen us. How they have given them a new found hope for the younger generations and that we should be proud as their parents. 

We were. Words like that mean the world.

We walked up to Del Sol & the boys minds were BLOWN by the magic. They both found a shirt that they wanted and then I suggested they get a hat too -- I may end up wearing the hat at some point, they are pretty freaking awesome. The excitement of the magic NEVER wore off. 

We were loving our time in Cozumel but sadly, it was up and it was time to board our ship and head back to New Orleans. We took one last picture with our ship behind us -- it's been a great ship to us these past few years and we look forward to future voyages, if not on the Dream, definitely with Carnival.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

SB2018 - Port Two - Belize

Good {very early} Morning Belize. 

Port two was our only beach day of the trip -- until our Cozumel excursion was canceled, more on that later -- the boys were super stoked. We were headed to a tiny island called Starfish Island. There was no "port" the ship had to "dock" 5 miles out to sea because the reefs are so fragile near the mainland so we were picked up by little boat taxis--it was a beautiful boat ride.

We arrived at Starfish Island first and had our pick of chairs. We found a couple chairs and then the boys saw it, the water trampoline, think Ninja Warrior course on water. They were all about it--thankfully there were a couple really great kiddos that would help Logan pull himself up on the course when he fell off.

Next thing I know, a mom is out playing with her kids. I look at Justin and say, I can't let her be out there as I sit here, I'm going in. So I joined the boys and let me tell you, I was SOOO sore for the next three days. I couldn't believe it--I hardly did anything, guess that just shows how out of shape I am.

After a good hour on the obstacle course we headed back to our chairs and the boys played on the beach which was more like a beach of shells than sand. Thankfully we all had our water shoes. As the boys played, I went exploring, it wasn't a huge island and I had been told there was a place where you could see and hold starfish. Once again, Kaden didn't want anything to do with it but Logan, he followed my lead. 

This picture is one of my favorite pictures of the boys from the trip. Here's why. We didn't have any sort of sand castle building materials and they were making the most of the plastic cups we had but come on we were on vacation. Logan asked to go to the gift shop and see if there was anything we could buy--we told them we would get them something at each of our stops, if it wasn't crazy expensive. So I agreed, we walked through it and there really just wasn't much there, except a bucket. I didn't check the price, I kind of just shook my head and said, we didn't need to get a bucket. He was sad. Disappointed. Even a little whiny. He threw a little fit and of course since it was vacation I gave in. I told him that I wasn't sure of the price but that if it was under $10 then he could have it but he would have to take his dad. If it was more than $10, then sorry, it wasn't meant to be. He and Justin went back to the store and he walked straight to it, held it up and asked the nice lady how much it was--he actually only had $8--she said it was $5. Justin said the biggest smile he has ever smiled instantly grew on his face. He whipped out $5 handed it to the lady but Justin quickly reminded him that there was a line. That didn't stop anything, everyone in the line was smiling after watching Logan light up over a bucket that they all just told him to go ahead. He handed over that money and to beach he marched. He was the proud new owner of a bucket. With a rake and shovel.

The boat that would take us from the island back to our ship left a little after 1 so we gathered near to ensure we weren't stuck in the bottom of the boat. We lucked out and were able to sit on the very back, it was hot but the view was worth it. Port two was a great success.