Thursday, July 25, 2013

All Star Break

When baseball is such a huge part of your life, three words can mean so. so. much.  All Star Break.  Three whole days of family time ... something so simple, yet so amazing halfway through a busy season.  Last year when Jim was selected as an All Star, our break (or lack thereof) wasn't as relaxing as it usually is, but it was an incredible experience and I would love to do it again.  Hopefully his career will allow that to happen in the future!

The weekend before the break, Levi had been sick with a stomach bug.  I honestly thought that maybe he had just eaten too much the night the vomiting began, but later it seemed there was more to it.  After the game on Sunday we headed to my parents house for the first night of the break.  After dinner Abby started to complain that her tummy didn't feel good and before we knew it, we realized it was her turn.  Then the next morning, I started .... the stomach bug had officially taken over and it was NOT how I was hoping our break would begin.  :(

Thankfully everyone else kept the bug away and had a good time.  Baseball in the yard, sprinkler fun, and some slip-n-slide action.  I wish I had video of Jim sliding on this thing.... he was one, big kid out there!  

Later that afternoon, while I was laid up on the couch, Jim went on a boat ride with the kids, Heather and Emily.  Despite the heat, I think they all enjoyed it!  

Thankfully everyone was feeling better on Tuesday, so we were ready for some fun!  We headed out to Port Discovery with the kiddos and Sue and Nick joined in on the fun.  Abby always loves this place ...  the market, the gas station, the diner ... she can always find something to keep her busy.  This was the first time Levi was able to explore on his own and he enjoyed soccer, sitting in the car, and the toddler area.  Such a great place for kids ... and adults. :)

Tuesday evening was all about some adult time!  Some of the Branca gang joined us for a water taxi ride, dinner, and a relaxing night.  Jim and I picked a new restaurant based on some recommendations.  Food was yummy, wine was tasty, but the time spent together was much better than both of those combined!  :)

Our last day of break was spent relaxing .... some down time at the house and a small BBQ with friends.  So much fun and many wonderful memories made.

Baltimore has become such a special place for our family.  I hope we stay here for a long, long time!  Now let's get the second part of the season underway ... Go O's! :)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Pout Pout Face

Poor little guy just wanted to eat the paint ... sorry bud.
Still the cutest, even with a pout pout face :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Picture Overload, Chicago Style :)

Earlier this month, Abby and I went on our first roadtrip of the season.  We had debated taking both kiddos, but ultimately decided that Abby needed some one-on-one time with Mommy and Daddy and Chicago was the perfect city for that.  Chicago is not only a beautiful, clean city (one of my favorites), but it offers a lot of different things for children.  Abby was so excited for her "special" trip .....

And special it was.  We stayed at the Trump Tower, which of course I was super excited about.  The nicest hotel I've been so far.... and Abby was spoiled like a little princess during our stay.  Slippers, robe, stuffed animal, snack upon arrival, cookies and milk, coloring books .... She was in heaven!

The first day in Chicago was an off day so we spent the afternoon at Shedd Aquarium.  Wow, what a place!  Abby took her own pictures with her Daddy's phone ... so cute.  

The aquatic show was amazing... the best I've seen besides shows at Sea World.  We were able to see beluga whales, dolphins, and penguins in action.  Abby was really into it and didn't take her eyes off the show!

Even though the show was a favorite, Abby's favorite of all was the penguin exhibit.  We watched them for a long time.  Watched how fast they could swim and watched a Daddy penguin with his baby.  So sweet.  Then Abby dressed like a penguin (Mommy too) and had fun with all the other kids.  :)

The next day, Abby and I went on quite the adventure to the American Girl Store.  I was overwhelmed as soon as we entered this place, haha.  Girls of all sizes, from little to preteen, wanting this and that and everything else.  It was crazy!  Thankfully my girl was content just pushing her dollies around in the double stroller.  And thankfully she didn't throw a fit when I told her the stroller wouldn't fit on the plane ... sweet deal, birthday gift ordered! :)  Abby enjoyed watching her dollie "Maddie" get her hair done, along with a special facial treatment.  Then we took Maddie to dinner in the restaurant, where she was able to dine with us!

We were busy from sun up to sun down.  Aquarium, American Girl, movies, swimming, bowling, and baseball.  The hubs and I were even able to sneak in a Mommy/Daddy dinner date after a game.  

Abby felt special and she enjoyed having our full attention while on our trip ...

... and this little guy enjoyed his time away from his sister.  Levi had a little vacation of his own!  Full of playtime with the Branca gang! :)


Monday, July 8, 2013

Friendships & Surprises

Friendships & Surprises ... just two of my favorite things ...

Friendships in baseball can be something truly special.  You're lucky when you are surrounded by ladies who "get" what you're going through, understand why you may mope or complain during a long baseball season, and are there for you every step of the way.  I'm blessed with the baseball friendships I've made and held on to ... despite retirements, moves, and trades.

A couple of weeks ago, Jim and I were able to catch up with some good friends that we hadn't seen in a while.  It's hard to see guys get traded and I think even harder for us wives to see our "partners in crime" head to a new city.

Now that Abby is getting older, it's going to be hard on her too when friends come and go. She has been obsessed with Jacob for the past two seasons and has been asking where he is ... all. season. long.  Abby was on cloud nine to see him again.  True love ;)  It was great to catch up - but now I miss everyone even more.  Who knows, Cleveland trip soon?

Now for the surprise.  Jim's birthday was right in the middle of a long homestand, with NO off days and NO day games.  Seriously? How was I to plan anything special, especially for the big 3-0!  The kids and I got him the watch he had his eye on, but I just felt like something more was in order.  So I decided to plan a short, overnight getaway.  With the help of my family, I was able to pull off a surprise for the hubs, which usually doesn't happen.  :)  

After the game on his birthday (even though it was super late because of a rain delay - always our luck), we headed to Havre de Grace.  A small, historical town with honestly not a whole lot.  But that was kind of the point.  Getting out of the big city, away from the hustle and bustle ... a night and morning to ourselves without two littles needing our attention.  

We stayed at a little vintage bed and breakfast, decorated with antiques throughout the house.  Nothing fancy, but just perfect.  The owners were super nice and were honored to have a local "hero" stay at their place.

After checking out some shops, we had lunch, and then stopped into a local decoy carvers workshop.  It was neat to see how the decoy carving process works.  Being in the workshop brought back so many memories of me and my Dad visiting workshops when I was a little girl.  In fact, I had met this man's father when I was younger.  It's interesting to me that so much of my childhood is now coming back into my life, through my husband.  

Even though the trip was quick, it was worth it to have a little time away.  After all, surprises keep life fun and exciting, right?! 

I'd say it was a happy birthday for the hubs ... and even happier day for me.  I'm not the only one in the 30 club anymore - welcome, babe!