Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My April Fool's at the Field of Dreams - 2007

In 2007 when we were first married Andy played his final year of baseball in the Seattle minor league system and I like a crazy gypsy woman followed him everywhere he went.  We drove all the way to Arizona to Spring Training in hopes he would be sent to California and of course he was sent to Wisconsin.  My mother in law who had spent her entire life chasing her own baseball husband offered to ride with her only favorite daughter in law back across the country to the cheese capital of the world.  After joking with my father in law about going up through Montana to get to Wisconsin he promptly went out and bought us the nicest atlas he could find.  It was an amazing one that helped me multiple times while lost during the season.  (Who would think Michigan City was in Indiana??)  I was excited to take this cross-country adventure with Sharon I had one concerned: it was rumored with all the traveling she had done in her day she was a sucker for those brown tourist signs.  I laid it down early, no stops along the way, except to see family in Texas.  We had to make it to Wisconsin before Andy, get settled in, find me a job and we had no time for detours.
 We had stayed in Perryton to see family and then took off for the second leg of our adventure.  It was April Fool's Day and we decided it would be hilarious to call people and tell them Andy got called up and they are sending him to California and we were turning around to drive back out west!  While we thought it was a great joke, Andy did not, since it shed light on his misfortune of being sent to low A instead of high A.  But people bought it and we all had a good laugh.  Sharon was studying the atlas while we were driving through Iowa,  "LORI!  Look we're close to the Field of Dreams!"  I could hardly believe it, having no idea it was a real place in Iowa.  Sure enough in the tiniest print possible next to little red triangle read, "Field of Dreams" in Dyersville.  Now this is a stop these two baseball wives had to make.  They did not make it easy, thank goodness we had our atlas, since there were no brown signs whatsoever.  

That smile was froze to my face
I had left my camera in Arizona and I had always laughed at Sharon's fun saver she kept in her purse at all times (But I did take one with me to New Orleans last year!), I was thrilled she had it with her for this trip.  April 1 was even the fields opening day!  We were the first visitors of the season, the person working the souvenir barn seemed surprised and confused to see us.  It was amazing, we sat on the bleachers, Sharon insisted I take the mound and we literally bought everything in the souvenir barn.  Of course with it being April there wasn't any corn and it was freezing, it still was one of the neatest things I have done and much to my surprise my mother in law agrees.  That coming from a woman that lived all over the country in 35 years of baseball I feel pretty special that she claims that to be one of her best trips!  They built it, we came and had the best April Fool's Day ever.               

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our Arizona / Spring Training Trip

3 generations of Grovers at Spring Training
A couple weeks ago we went to Arizona for vacation.  Not for any particular reason but we noticed we've been going out every 2 years.  With #2 due this fall and our Christmas trip looks like we are going to keep with this pattern.  Thanks to American Airlines new plane that had touch screens with Disney, it made one part of the flight much easier.  We arrived in Tucson at midnight (2am our time) D didn't sleep at ALL on the plane and was a delight, much to our surprise.  We excitedly forced him into his "#1 big brother" shirt to surprise his Nana and Papa when they came to pick us up.  They arrived and then he decided to act up!  As a friend pointed out grandparents are much more forgiving than co passengers on a plane.

Days were filled of Andy and his dad golfing while me and my mother-in-law laid out, playing catch with D on the patio.  Evenings filled with trips to the pool, the putting green and of course LOTS of delicious food.  We hit up all our favorites: Sunday brunch, In N Out for a family date night to give Nana and Papa a break (where D had to remove his fries from his father's reach), and date night at Lindy's on 4th.  Saturday I went for a walk with Sharon's friends (she's the youngest by a landslide).   They walk for a 1/2 hour then eat at the club for a hour - my kind of exercise.   After I was excited to tell them we ran into Havianna's!  Confusing everyone because Havianna's are sandals we sell at JCrew and what I actually saw were havalinas.  D was fearless in the pool.  Jumping, going under water, but don't dare put water wings on him, he screamed like crazy.  It wore us out having to hold him the entire time, we hope he'll be a better swimmer because of this!
Yan Gomes
Swisher, Brantley, & Bourn 

Spring Training - Goodyear, Arizona 
The best part was our day trip up to Spring Training.  It was their first game, we got up early to get there in time to see BP and hopefully meet some players.  Right off the bat he met Jason Kipnis, one of his many favorites.  With someone in the way and the quickness of it all, sadly I missed this photo opportunity.  When we got on the BP field D yelled out, "Look there's #10 Yan Gomes!"  Impressing the front office crowd that this 3 year old knew the names and numbers of his beloved Indians.  Papa grabbed Gomes so D could meet him.  D was shy and stood about 6 feet away from him, but answered most of his questions.  He went in the clubhouse with papa and daddy and met manager Mr. Terry.  We were then on the hunt for his FAVORITE player Nick Swisher.  We had to wait while they finished up practice.  When the guys came out and Mike called them over to meet D, it was one the most surreal moment I've had as a mother watching my baby get to meet his heroes.  I'm assuming its what Disney is like but so much better!  Michael Bourn wanted to see what kind of arm Grover's grandson had.  D sailed one right past him, the next he caught and D yelled, "Nice catch!"  He met Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, then came Swisher.  He talked as if we've known him for years, took pictures with D, even let him carry his bat into the clubhouse while yelling out, "Big guy coming through, he's coming for your spot!"  D will tell you that he, "threw him up in the sky!!"  We introduced D to Nick's dad, Steve Swisher and he very seriously told him, "I love him."  Mr. Swisher assured him Nick loves him too.  Fox Sports Ohio was filming a lot of D getting to meet these guys, I'm hopeful he makes the cut because I was too busy taking pictures.

For the game Papa got us seats right behind the dugout.  D loved being so close to the action!  He waved at Justin Masterson and yelled at all the players while they were on deck.  He got to chitchat with Charlie Nagy who played for Papa in-between innings.  Contrary to what Tom Hanks says there was a lot of crying in baseball when we made him leave before the game was over.  It was the most amazing experience not just for D but for Andy and I.  I don't know how any other vacation will top this one.  I cannot thank my in laws enough for giving D this opportunity.  D is so baseball obsessed and we are so blessed that he is able to have these amazing experiences in the world of baseball.  He'll remember this forever, he ask daily to see the pictures of him and Swisher.  I hope he remembers these sweet memories of the 3 of us even after we turn his world upside-down this fall with a brother or sister!  
Up in the Sky!
Not wanting to leave...
Dreams do come true!!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our Year in Review -2013

Jump into 2014 
Now that the holidays are over, I have a moment to look back on this quick very quick year!

Kisses at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario 
Winter -  We had a low key winter, I think in preparation for our crazy summer.  William-Sonoma sadly closed but my new judge took office and it was an amazing and easy transition.  Of course D's first Elmo Live was defiantly the highlight!

Spring - D attended his 3rd opening day.  Starting the season he was scared to go outside and cried whenever everyone cheered.  His fear quickly turned into love and he now cannot wait until Spring!  I turned 30, which was uneventful.  The wedding festivities began with  Shelly's shower, my big trip to New Orleans for Megan's bachelorette and our first wedding of the season.  I also started my new retail venture at J.Crew or as D calls it "Mama's store."

Summer - The highlight being Shelly and Patrick's wedding!  I find myself looking back through the photos reliving the day.  It was just so perfect, our family did the last wedding right!  The week after Andy was in his high school friend Tom's wedding.  They had a live band and it was the BEST.  If I could do it all over, I'd get a band all the way.  They also had the best food EVER, the short rib literally melted in my mouth.  Then we closed summer the best way possible with a road trip to Wilmington for Megan's wedding.  I loved meeting her friends in New Orleans, reuniting for the wedding was a blast.  Even though I am insanely jealous they get to see Megan all year long.

Fall - After such an exciting summer I thought fall would be boring, I was wrong!  I attended my first playoff game!  It was as amazing as Andy said it would be, he described it as Opening Day times 100.  Even though we didn't win, it was the experience of a lifetime and hope I get to do it again soon!  I sat on my first event committee for Child Guidance and Family Solutions.  My father-in-law was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame and I got to meet Bob Costas!  D turned 3 and we took him trick or treating for the first time in my brother-in-law's parents' neighborhood.  They do it up right and go all out, even jello shots for parents.  My cousin Luke brought his family up from Lancaster and stayed with us.  It was so fun to see these long distance cousins play.  On Thanksgiving we celebrated my parent's 40th year of marriage!  
Missy and I with playoff nails!
D's first laptop!  

Holidays - D was slightly confused about Santa and it being Jesus's birthday, at one point thinking they were BOTH coming to the house.  He kept things real simple by only asking for a map and a flashlight.  Christmas morning he did not disappoint, opening each gift and saying, "WOW!  What is it?"  He LOVED Christmas music, so I dusted off my "Santa's Toasty Tunes" I made in college.  By the end of the season he knew most the words and definitely had his favorites (All I Want for Christmas and Run Run Rudolph topping the list).  He loves all kinds of music.  At a Christmas party while my cousin played "Jingle Bells" on the piano while my nephew sang, D kept screaming, "Play John Deer Green!!"  New Years Eve was a blast with the annual theme party and my father-in-law made it even better by telling us he's taking us on vacation this year!  We are headed to Arizona next month, we received the save the date for our friends' July wedding and have multiple friends that will become parents this year.  Needless to say 2014 is looking to be pretty awesome!  Happy New Year!  
Santa brought D a shave kit, just like daddy.

A Christmas duel in matching jammies.

Another year another themed New Years party - SNL