Thoughts on Thursday

Reading: A couple of novellas this week, probably because it has been a busy one. My fave:

"Blonde Date" was light and fun and featured an adorably nerdy love interest. I know that the "alpha male" is a popular type in contemporary novels but sometimes what passes for a love interest in a novel would be red flag creeper with anger management problems in real life. Andy was endearingly normal. And it was written by the Sarina Bowen, who wrote one of my all-time favorite books, "The Year We Fell Down."

Writing: My stories for the looming Armed Forces Celebration Week. With Memorial Day this week it is a busy time at the newspaper. Patriotic holidays are our jam. I am taking several days off next week to have some teeth repaired -- you know you are a little frayed at the edges when you start looking forward to major dental work as a vacation.

Planning: Next year's vacation. Yes, we are those people. I love to have something to look forward to and The Engineer loves to plan vacations. Win/win. We are cruising to the Bahamas again with Disney, but this time will be on a different boat. I view the Disney cruise ships like their park counterparts. Each one is unique and has something exciting to offer.

Listening to: "Dare" by Gorillaz.

Working on: Big Kid's birthday weekend. The big 1-1 is almost here!

Joining up with:

Thoughts for Thursday


Field of Dreams

It has been a season of ups and downs for the 10U Diamondbacks. Due to an especially rainy spring, all of the teams had very few practices before game time. The Dbacks lost a lot of games and struggled at times -- and ended the regular season second to last in the standings.

Last week, they went into the end-of-the-season tournament as the sixth seed out of eight teams. Tuesday night, they played a good team that has beaten them by one point in the regular season. But riding an upswing that started in the last few weeks of the season, they emerged the winners, 18-2. Two nights later, they were the winners against a team they had beaten -- but as I always tell Big Kid, a team that also has the motivation to come back and even the score.  Final score: Dbacks: 16-7. That win put them playing for the championship against a team they tied in the first game of the season and lost to in a painful Saturday double header, 9-2 -- the game that prompted my earlier post: There's Still No Crying in Baseball.

Friday night, the whole family headed to the ballpark to watch Big Kid's very first championship game. In both of the first two tourney games Big did fine, but they were not his best showing. He made some plays at short but he was not hitting like he wanted to. This season he has rotated between short and pitching and while he is a good pitcher, it is a lot of pressure and when it does not go his way he has a hard time letting it roll off his shoulders. I about squeezed the The Engineer's hand off when I saw him warming up to pitch the championship game.

Photos courtesy of iPhone. I wish I had not accidentally left my good camera at home.

It turned out that I had no reason to worry because the kid was cold as ice on the mound and played one of his best games ever as pitcher, with only two runs scored for his three innings.

My nerves again got the best of me when he bat first on the lineup. I might have closed my eyes on two strikes.

Again the baseball gods were smiling down on him as he walked his first bat, stole a couple of bases and then ran home on a hit (pictured). Second time at bat, on two outs he hit it down the middle to roll to the fence for a double that started a rally, and third at bat, he hit it to the outfield for a single with bases loaded, bringing in an RBI. Although he came close a few times -- the kid's love of stealing bases has taken years off my like -- he was never tagged out.

After moving to short, the relief pitcher threw another excellent inning and the umps called the game, Diamondbacks 16-2.

It was definitely a dream game for these young men. The best part of the tournament was watching every kid on the team shine. Every player contributed, every boy had his moment and that it was a team that had struggled through the season made it all the sweeter. Big Kid floated through the rest of the evening. Two days later, he is still floating.

One of my favorite parts of the award ceremony was when Coach David called over both teams. These kids were the sixth and the eighth seeds and he congratulated the other team for playing hard and making it all the way to the championship. Both teams had a lot of reasons to be proud. That moment is why I love the game. More than learning how to steal a base or throw a pitch, I hope Big Kid takes away that this is how you lose with class and are a gracious winner -- both valuable lessons. Baseball is about strategy, teamwork and as this team showed time and again, never giving up.

Although fierce competitors on the field, at the end of the day they are still ten-year-old boys.

We are so proud of you, son. Not for winning but for how you won.


Another Year in the Books!

Well, we did it. Fifth and First Grade: Done.

And because you know how much I love comparison shots:

Everyone always looks a little more rumpled in the last day picture. I know I feel more rumpled. We gasped to the finish line this year but I don't think we could have asked for a better school year. Both kids flourished and I am relieved because to be honest, I think I would flail helplessly as a parent if they had not. Both The Engineer and I really liked school. I was that weird child who did not want summer to come and anxiously counted down to Back to School time. That lessened over the years but I still left for college a week after graduating high school. I liked school a lot. Luckily, they do too.

Now is the time in the blog post that I turn into That Parent. That parent who talks about their kids' accomplishments. Because if you listen to my mom, my children are the smartest, cutest kids ever. Remind me of that in an hour when they are fighting over the last bag of fruit chews.

Big was accepted into the gifted program this year and won the math award for his class!

Little had a speaking part in the first grade play and was quoted in the yearbook! 

They both played a lot of sports (her: soccer; him: basketball and baseball) and Big is coming along nicely on the guitar. Although Little sang in the church talent show, I have not been able to interest her in music yet. She is starting gymnastics in June and very excited. She enjoyed Girl Scouts and said she was sad to see it end but I don't think she will continue on. She is a tad fickle, but my thoughts on the matter are that she is seven and will try many activities before she finds the perfect fit. They both started the year in our church's kids group but our schedule got pretty crazy in the middle of the year and that fell by the wayside. We hope to get back to that in the fall.

There were many important milestones for Little this year. She learned to read, tie her shoes and ride a bike without training wheels. We are definitely a reading family. Big, his dad and I all use our reading apps daily, but Little is old school. She likes to actually have a book in her hand.

Their teachers were all amazing and we are so grateful to them for their caring and dedication this past year. 

Summer, here we come!