Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On the Field

I got an e-mail from our FRG and at the end, it had information on a Military Appreciation Day at NC State's baseball game. It also said that about 20 military kids could have a chance to run out on the field with the players to be recognized as a group. I immediately e-mailed the information required and then got a confirmation e-mail a couple of weeks later. Austin was so excited!The night before the game, I found out that this was supposed to be much bigger than just the kids running out and the military getting in for free. There was a helicopter on site for people to see, free lunch for Soldiers and their Families and free camo shirts given out as you walked into the game.
The game ball was brought in by paratroopers and the first pitch was thrown by Col. Martin Schweitzer of Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. There were several military groups honored and it was just an all-around great thing done for our military!
I think Austin was a little nervous when the kids all lined up before leaving us parents and going down on the field. He looked nervous, but said he wasn't. They lined up and walked around the field waving to everyone, then they stood in a line and waited for things to happen. The team went down the line, giving high fives and then one of the paratroopers did the same.


Finally, it was time to run out to the pre-selected spot for his group.

Waiting for the National Anthem to play. He even took off his hat. This was right before he put his hand over his heart...I think they prepped them to make sure they did it right (hat off, quiet and hand over heart). He did great!

He was right behind 2nd base and afterwards said that he saw that he was on the "big screen." Luckily, I took a picture of it as well. :-)


We had great seats since I upgraded by paying a few dollars. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle the crowded seats in general seating with our 3 boys. It turned out to be a wise decision. We sat in our seats for a bit, but then Colten started getting antsy. I decided it was time to walk around and get something to eat. I went out and got the stroller, put Aiden in it and got the boys popcorn and ice cream. I decided that we should just stand behind the seats where the handicap spots were and asked if it was ok in one spot. The usher asked the older couple sitting in the seats if it was alright and they started talking to us and even offered Austin the seat next to them.
This spot worked GREAT and the boys watched the game so well from here. The couple was really nice, as was the usher, who talked to us quite a bit. I realized at some point that the older couple was the people the park was named after...they had given more than $3 million to help renovate. What wonderful people...seriously, they put up with my kids and seemed to enjoy it at that!


Colten with his ice cream! He did MUCH better in this spot!

We lasted until the 7th inning when a bee started flying around and freaking Austin out. Colten was starting to get a little rambunctious as well, so I said we'd go look at the helicopter and then go home. They really liked this part and were happy to be able to look at all the stuff in the helicopter!

A HUGE thanks to NC State Wolfpack Baseball team, the NC chapter of Operation: Military Kids, the NC State Army ROTC program, Curtis and Jaqueline Dail and anyone else who made this day possible! My boys had a blast and it was awesome to see them having a great day!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Colten has been LOVING gymnastics! He's been going for about a month now and is always SO happy to get there. Brian has been asking about his class and so I had our friend, Dianne, take some pictures one day. (Thanks, Dianne!)

Doing a little stretching before class! It's so funny that I caught this on camera while checking the settings on the camera. He really looks like he's getting ready for class!

At the beginning of class, we walk (and tip toe, skate, gallop and run) in a circle to warm up. The same song is played every class and tells us what action to do. Colten usually has a lot of fun doing the different things.

I think we were "skating" at the point.

"Mom, why is she taking my pictures so much?"

After the warm-up, they stretch. They go over gymnastic terms like "tuck," "pike," and "stradle." His coach makes stretching really fun for the kids. Colten usually listens really well and does as much as he can during this time.

Here he is "going under the wave." Apparently, a shark was coming around and was going to get him!

During this particular class, she had the kids do 5 forward rolls. These are Colten's favorite!

Sometimes he can get over by himself, and other times I have to nudge his bottom over just a tad.

After warm-up and stretches, we usually do an obstacle course. The kids go down a slide, hop through some hoops, do some cartwheels, hop over and crawl under some bars, do some forward and backward rolls. It's set up differently every time and the kids seem to really like doing it.

Going under so nicely!

This particular day, Colten was in a mood. He didn't want to do what he was supposed to do. He started grabbing the hoola hoops and playing with them instead of hopping through them. Then he started picking up the orange bars that he was crawling under and hopping over and throwing them. Believe me, I have it on video!

After the obstacle course, we did the balance beams. We used hoola hoops to give the kids something to hold onto, but still be balanacing for himself a bit.

The coach had some bean bags on the beams for them to step/hop over for a challenge.

After beams, the group got to go to the foam pit. This is usually where we end up at the end of the class. Colten loves being able to just jump in there, climb back out, and then jump in again.

After the foam pit, the kids line up for stamps. They get one on the back of each hand and one on top of both feet. He is always so proud of those stamps!

Colten's favorite part about gymnastics are the bars/rings. He really enjoys swinging on the rings. He can hang on those forever and that's all he wants to do when we do the bar area. He also really liked the parachute one day...all the kids loved that! I like the gym that we go to, but I really miss places like Gymboree where there's more socialization between the kids.
For now, this gymnastics class is perfect for Colten. He's having a lot of fun and that's the most important thing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

9 Years

Nine Years ago, I was married to the best man in the world. We had married just a year and 3 months after we met (ok, we had apparently met before we met, but seeing as how it was because some guy he knew was hounding me at work, I don't count that!).
Brian and I officially met in a short class during winter break at college. Our school called it J-Term and it was a 3 week course. We were taking a literature class and I walked in the first day and sat in front of him. I immediately pegged him as a baseball player. As an athletic trainer, I knew an athlete when I saw one. :-) The second day of class he came in after me and sat 2 seats behind me instead of sitting in the seat right behind me. Seeing as how I knew he was someone worth getting to know, I called him on it. :-) He joined our small group, we started going to lunch together, I started skipping track practice and the rest is history.


Brian was in ROTC and I knew what that meant. It didn't matter, though. In fact, I liked that he was going to be a "man in uniform." I think we both knew pretty quickly that this wasn't just a regular relationship. This was it. We met each others' parents, went on a Spring Break trip together, and then he took me to meet his brother and sister-in-law in Germany on a family vacation. Yeah, not just another girlfriend...I was in. :-)


September 11th happened and it shaped what our future was going to be like. The Army would be much different than what it was on September 10th.


Brian went to Officer Basic Course a few months after graduation. Luckily it was just 2 hours from the college I had yet to graduate from. I went down to visit him one night, expecting to go to a Christmas party and walked into his room to see Christmas lights, music playing, and roses. There was a stuffed reindeer that held a special ring on it's antlers and a wonderful man whose question was answered with a yes.
Our plan was to wait to get married until I had graduated college. His brother and his family would be stateside by then and they'd be able to attend.


When he was assigned to Fort Campbell, our plans changed. The unit he was assigned to was supposed to deploy to Afghanistan. We quickly set a date and started planning. At some point, we found out that the Army changed it's mind and sent a different unit. Relieved, we still moved on with the plans since you just never know when the Army is going to change its mind again. :-)
We were married in a small ceremony in my hometown and it was attended by a LOT of family and friends. It may not have been the most expensive or flashiest wedding and reception, but it was pretty and planned with love. Our family had a lot to do with it and I am forever grateful for all the work that was done to make our day special.


Now, 9 years, 7 houses, 3 deployments, 3 kids, a miscarriage, 2 dogs and a lost cat later, we are still going strong. We have had our ups and downs and sometimes it has been a lot of work. However, it is just WONDERFUL work and is totally worth it when I look over at my husband and my heart still skips a beat.


What were we thinking?
I know that we were thinking that the destination is totally worth the journey...bumps and all.