Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Bitter {sweet} End

Another season comes to an end for the Aces. 

It was their first kid pitch season & the last season the South boys would be playing on the same team for at least the foreseeable future. I had mix feelings about splitting them up but in the end, they were mostly selfish reasons and we knew what was best for Logan. It wasn't that he couldn't compete but he just wasn't as strong as the others. He was still on the small side and it's pretty noticeable when you are playing with kids that are two years older than you---at least some are. And by Logan dropping down to his own age group it allows for him a great opportunity to play a few other positions, which he has been begging to play for some time. So, the decision was made and we were going to soak it all in while we still could.

The Aces signed up to play in a tournament towards the end of the season which besides no sunshine, brought pretty decent weather. We would also get to see some new teams & would get to stick around in between games to watch others play. This was the first time they got the "tournament" feel and they were all digging being with their buddies all day. 

That Saturday they went 1-1 in pool play & they had some special fans in the stands, Grandma Sara and Papa Tom -- this was Papa Tom's first game he'd been able to see in person.

My Instagram Post that day: Proud of this kid. He’s been dynamite in the field this season but has been struggling at the plate. The unknown is not something that comes easily and once he gets in his head, it’s hard to overcome. We’ve told him just to try his best, that’s all we ask and he does, but he also knows deep down, he’s a hitter. Today I moved to telling him that HE’S ENOUGH. ALWAYS. As our second game started he found that he was moved down a few spots in the batting order and he wasn’t happy with that. 

He decided it was time. 

He blocked out the doubts and stepped into the batter’s box. And on the second pitch, he took a big swing and bat met ball.

And although he got out, he made contact. He overcame the unknown. 

His dad and I were instantly at our feet, cheering more now than we would have before on a hit. We weren’t the only ones cheering either. Coach Justin stopped him at first and got down to his level and gave him a fist bump and a pat on the shoulder. As he come off and continued to make his way back to the dugout, mind you it was the third out, a smile broke out on his face as he noticed the Aces family on their feet cheering loudly. He entered the dugout to high fives all around. Spirits higher than ever. 

We may have lost a close one this afternoon, 9-8, but that team also beat us yesterday 9-1 and had us down 7-4 after the first inning today. These boys battled their hearts out and even though in the game of baseball we may not have won, they won in so many other ways. After all this game is so much more than a game. It’s about not giving up. It’s about picking up your teammates when they’re down. It’s about cheering for EACH. AND. EVERY. small victory along the way.

Sunday brought bracket play, we were seeded 4th and would be taking on the 5th seeded team with the chance of knocking off the top seed if we won. The team that we were playing though had annihilated the team that we had played the day before way worse than we did. They were huge but in the end, David won and the Aces moved on. 

Next up was the same team that we played the day before and lost to. They took an early lead and had us down 7-4 but the boys kept with it and fought back. The Aces took the lead 8-7 and all they had to do was get one more out and the game was over -- we couldn't get that out and in a controversial no call one of their plays slid across home plate head first for the win and beat us 9-8. I say controversial because they had been warned the game prior that there was no sliding into home head first. That would have been the last out and the game would have continued on with the score 8-8. However, that wasn't how the cookie crumbled that day and the Aces left bummed out but held their head high as that team beat us the day before 9-1. 

 These boys finished this first season of Kid Pitch with a winning record. They grew closer together as a team and as friends. It's been such a fun ride and I've enjoyed watching every second of it. Win or lose, these kids know what it's about. We celebrated not only them but the coaches too this past weekend with pizza and a driveway movie--Rookie of the Year.

It wasn't long until a game of touch football broke out. The smiles, the laughs. It was everything. And although it will look much different come spring season for the Aces, the friendships will most certainly not be effected. Not with these boys and their hearts!

Watching these two cheer for each other, encourage one another, pick each other up when the other is down has been one of the highlights of the past three baseball seasons. Kaden become known as South. Logan was Lil South. Together they were the South Boys. When they were younger I always dreamed of seeing my boys play on the field together and well, that came true. 21 months apart and only one school grade separating them allowed it to happen. I love that they had this special experience of playing together but now it's time to let them both go their own separate ways again and shine on their own, not just as brothers. 

I you South Boys and I am so very proud of you.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fall at the Lake

So, we bought a boat. Well, kind of. The whole South family bought a boat. & we didn't buy it until after we had already had our final hurrah of the summer so Justin wanted to find a fall weekend to take the boys down and head out on the water for some exploring. 

Now, we had a boat before but it was an older one. One that we really didn't trust a whole lot so we only took it out in our cove & maybe the cove over but we never went on any lengthy boat ride. 

I was also of the mindset that maybe we didn't really need anything more because we have an awesome dock in a quiet cove. Why would we want to be on a boat all day and take it out to swim when we have the perfect area right at our house to enjoy. But Justin got it. & he got me on board.

We headed down after the boys got out of school on Friday with three dogs in tow---Stoli, Gus and Schultz. Janet and Craig would be arriving late into the night as they had tickets to Billy Joel. For the most part, it was a simple ride. For the most part, the dogs did great, actually, one dog didn't move for the entire trip. Once we arrived we got to work on setting up the cabin. I made beds. The boys fed the dogs & took them on a walk. Justin got the water turned on. The one thing that we didn't have to do was unpack a weekend's worth of food. We decided that we would eat lunch out on the water and then dinner in town. We wouldn't be sticking around too long on Sunday since we had baseball practice and a Chiefs game to watch so we barely packed any food--it was amazing.

As soon as the boys woke up we got them fed and headed down to the dock to check out the boat. They were super excited as Craig and Justin started uncovering it. We bundled up and headed out for the morning. There was so much room and the radio actually worked. We had cup holders and lounge chairs. It was so nice. The boys were loving life & so was the captain. 

I saw more of LOTO that day than I have in the last 16 years that I have been going down there & probably spent more time in this new boat than I ever did in the old boat too. Justin navigated his way to the toll bridge & of course we had to take a picture & then it was my turn to give driving the boat a try. I never wanted to drive the old boat because technically it wasn't ours, it was Justin's aunt and uncle's boat and well, if something happened, I didn't want to be blamed. This boat is different. It's our boat & although I doubt I spend much time driving it because that's Justin's gig, I want to at least know how to do it. You know for safety reasons.

Once we reached the bridged the headed back towards are section of the lake and stopped in at Jolly Roger's for some lunch. This is where Logan met a new friend, Corona. 

After lunch we made the short drive back to the cabin where the boys got to fish and the dogs got to run. Well, Gus ran as Stoli and Schultz slowly walked around. & for this being Gus' first time at the lake, he did amazing, sure he wouldn't lay down and go to sleep until the house was quiet and dark but outside of the first time taking him to the bathroom, he was never on a leash. He stayed right next to us the entire time. Was a little skiddish about the dock but eventually found his way out there. Helping the boys fish was what he loved the most.

The boys fished for awhile and then they were ready to go back out on the boat. So were we. We packed up a little cooler and headed a different direction, this time ending up at the dam. & then we found a quiet little cove where the boys jumped into the water and then got their fishing poles back in the water. It was a perfect afternoon to be on the water & once we got back home it was already dinner time. We loaded up, headed into town, had dinner and then spent the evening with the Walshes who were down at Scott's house. It didn't take long before this one's head it the pillow and his eyes were shut. Summers at the lake are a favorite of ours but fall at the lake, well, it's pretty awesome too.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Bunks Are Gone

For awhile now I have been contemplating taking down Kaden's bunk beds and bringing back in his old bed from when he was 3. In the last few weeks, Kaden, himself, has started requesting getting rid of the the bunk beds. I loved that they provide more room for him to play in his room but that stage sadly, has come and gone. He doesn't need as much room to play now because play comes in the form of Legos or baseball cards or Nerf wars that the boys use the whole house for. 

And if you know me at all, you know that when I get an idea, I kind of just run with it. So step one was getting rid of the bunk beds. I figured I would put a little feeler out there on Facebook and if anyone was interested then great. If not, then we could wait a little while longer until I figured out what we would do with them --- and the mattresses that go with them.

So, we went for it. I snapped a picture & posted it. Stated that they were free to a good home but the only catch, you had to come and break them down and haul them off on your own. This not only made sure that people were interested before they reached out but also allowed for them to know how to put it back together since they took part in the disassembling process.

It didn't take long and messages were coming in. I got two message about what size they were -- they were twin and both individuals needed full -- and then message three showed up asking if they were still available and that she was just confirming with her husband. They were and he was in. Bunks were sold -- well, spoken for in this case. 

On Sunday morning they showed up & we started planning how we would take them apart. Two minutes later and bolts were being removed. Twenty minutes later and we had the bunks pulled apart in four pieces and loaded into their truck with the mattresses. 

Twenty minutes after that, I had Kaden's old bed back in his room and ready to go.

And twenty minutes after that, I got the cutest pictures of the sweetest girls just LOVING LIFE. I quote, "this is the best day of my entire life."

These bunks were a labor of love over 5 years ago. I spent most of the 2014 World Series run paining every single board grey. The boys would have sleep overs with each other, they would build forts and I was even known to fall asleep with Kaden a few times on the bottom bunk. And as much love as I put into them, I think it is pretty safe to say that not only was it time for us to part ways with the bunks, we also found the best home for them. I can see lots of slumber parties and forts in these girls' near future.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Funday

On this particular Sunday my goal was to have no electronics or to turn the TV on until the Chiefs game, which was at three. It took a little creativity but we did it & you know what, the boys actually continued playing with one another in a make believe format even after the Chiefs game started.

We had lazer tag wars. Kaden received a set of lazer tag guns for his birthday and they are incredibly fun. They came in a pack of 4 from Amazon - and sometimes you can even find them for $25.00 on a blue light special. We've played as a family with these. Inside and outside. This particular day I sat up a few barriers for Kaden to hide behind and caught Logan jumping/falling through the air as he shot.

Then it was off to ride bikes. We started out with just riding on our street but then I suggested heading to the lake and seeing if our buddy, Jax, would want to join & he did. They rode their bikes around the lake twice as I walked one way and then back tracked to keep my eyes on them at all times. 

It was then home for lunch and off to baseball practice. Logan even got his first shot at pitching in practice -- not too shabby when it comes to form. 

If you ask me, this is the best kind of Sunday there is. A little down time using imaginations and getting outdoors with friends. So ready for fall.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Reputation - MNO

 Taylor Swift. Enough said.

Literally the BEST. CONCERT. EVER.

Better than Justin Timberlake. Better than Maroon 5. Better than Sugar Ray.

It was about a year ago that Taylor Swift announced her Reputation Tour, I am not even sure if her album was even out yet BUT as soon as the album dropped, I bought it. & listened to it on repeat all damn day. As soon as it was time to purchase tickets for her stop in KC, I bought two. I wasn't sure who was going to go with me, all I knew was that it had to be someone who would rock out to Taylor Swift and be good company--enter Jenn. She didn't bat an eyelash when I told her I had two tickets and one had her name on it - she was 100% game. Moms' Night Out was happening but not for another 9 months...

It was a long wait. A long wait of reading all the AMAZING reviews & then watching all the rain we were expecting during her time in KC. On Monday it was rain all weekend. By Wednesday it had cleared up a little and rain was only expected on Saturday. Fingers were crossed but I was determined to go rain or shine. Saturday came and the rain held off. It started out pretty cool but then righ before we left the sun came out and the weather was perfect. 

Dined on some sushi beforehand and then headed to the stadium about an hour before the concert was scheduled to begin. I pride myself in knowing how to get in and out of a packed stadium. I know all the good shortcuts and where to park---thanks to my mom. However, traffic was worse getting to Arrowhead for the Reputation Tour than it was for the 2015 World Series Game 1 or Game 2. 

Taylor Swift or Bust. 

Jenn was aggressive--that's my girl. And we found parking right next to the stadium, right in front of the 50 semi's that transport the set. Jenn backed right in so when it was over, we could get right out!

We found our seats just as the first act was hitting stage. She was good. Camilla Cabello was better. Neither held a candle to Taylor & I don't mean that in a negative way, just that Taylor was FREAKING AMAZING. 

From the moment she stepped out on stage we didn't take a seat. Or stop signing.

The production Taylor and her team put on was unbelievable and if she would have played the following night, I would have found a way to get tickets to it too. This time I would have taken the boys. Although, when they learned that I brought them home some TSwift socks, they were happy campers. They love socks! 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Another Holiday, A Different Lake.

It was his birthday and although I wanted to take him out of school a little early, he wanted to stay and celebrate with his classmates, who could blame him. 

However, as soon as the boys were off the school bus we ushered them right into the Yukon and we began our adventure south. We were headed to my sister's house for a weekend on the lake with the cousins. We were all very excited for a nice relaxing weekend. 

A little over 3 hours later we pulled into her driveway and as we walked in they had a "cake" ready to go for the birthday boy. The whole Siebert crew was there and we even had three special guests to help us sing to the newly 9 year old.

We settled in. The boys went off to bed fairly easy & the adults stayed up and chatted. And laughed. A lot. 

The first thing the boys wanted to do was head down to the water on Saturday but we also had a few things to get done first because the rest of the family was arriving around lunchtime. We were going to celebrate all three birthdays -- Aunt Jennifer's, Kaden's and Grandma Sara's. 

Nothing makes me happier than being with family. I just wish we got to be around them more often.

The Hartley crew stayed for a couple of hours and then it was Trenton's nap time which meant it was the perfect opportunity to head back to Carthage. After they took off we loaded up a cooler and headed out on the boat. Both Blake and Evan did a little knee boarding while the South boys looked on. They were both interested in doing it, I just wasn't interested in teaching it. Thankfully they manned the ropes and the ladder and all was good. 

Sunday was our day to head back to KC but not before visiting the Blue Watering Hole where we were told you would find the best crawdads for fishing bait. Logan was dead set on fishing before we left. So we all loaded up and headed to the Blue Watering Hole and we started our hunt. Before you knew it, we were catching them left and right. Except for Kaden. He was a little timid. He knew these guys were small. He knew they wouldn't hurt him. BUT they were unpredictable when it came their movement and the unknown just doesn't go over well with Kaden. 

But he was determined and did not want to leave there without catching at least one. He crouched down, gently lowered his hands into the water and then he saw it. It was his time and you could see him take a deep breath as he pulled his hands together, lifted them out of the water and took a peek. And there it was, pinchers and all, his first crawdad. 

We headed back to Aunt Jennifer's house where we fixed a quick lunch and then it was fishing time. Logan loaded up his pole with bait, well Eric did, and in the water it went. Two minutes later he had his first fish. & then 3.5 seconds after he put his pole back into the water he had his second fish.

We loved our time with my sister and the kiddos. We loved getting to meet Eric and his son, Evan. We loved being able to relax and just enjoy some family time at the lake. We said our goodbyes and we headed back to KC so that on Monday we could say our goodbyes to summer and to our neighborhood pool---which lasted about 20 minutes with the boys. It was cold!