Monday, August 20, 2012

One more week of "my summer"

I say "my summer" because my boys will
actually start school in 2 days but I won't
be home for another week.  I am very
sad I won't be there, but Tommy is doing
an exceptional job picking up what I am
not there to do.  He has completely risen
to the occasion and then some!  He took
the boys out for all their new school
supplies, he's taken Jake to his ortho
appointment "again", he took Luke to
get signed up for Kindergarten and he
went to orientation for the new school

This year will be a little different in
our school situation.  The boys will
go to school 3 days a week and I will
help them with their work the other
two days each week.  It will be a
little bit of a break for me, but will
still give me time to help teach each
of my boys and have them home
with me.  I am excited to see how the
boys all do in their new classes with
their new teachers.  I have homeshooled
Jake for the past 5 years and Drew for
Kindergarten last year.

The summer has been a whirlwind.
I have traveled all over the US and
even to Italy.  It has been fun coaching
some of the best softball players in
the world on the USSSA Pride.
I am still so impressed with the
amazing careers that my former
Olympic teammates have had.  They
are now the veterans on the field
and still stand out in how they
play the game. I also have loved
watching the younger talent and
players just out of college compete
at this level.  I wish there was more
media coverage and visibility for
this league.

I have made some new friends on
the coaching staff (Beth Torina;
LSU Head Coach; & Matt
Meuchel; Univ. Nevada Reno)
and our "Medic" as Drew would
call her, Sonya.  It has brought
up so many  memories of my
playing days and our travel
schedules but I haven't been on
the road like this or been around
this much softball since the 2004
Olympics!  I am thankful for the
opportunities I have had.
At the Cubs game this summer

I am really looking forward to
some things when I get home:
sleeping in my OWN bed
& seeing my husband, hugging
my boys, hanging out with
my whole family &my girlfriends,
going to my group Bible study,
going to my home church, feeding
the homeless and watching the kids
in some new hobbies we are signing
them up for.  I also can't wait to
see my baby niece who turns 1 in
Sept. and my best friend's baby
boy who was born last month!
I will be home the majority of
the time but  will still be traveling
some this fall with Jennie Finch
Camps, Sports World, and another
God & Country Event with FCA
Softball vs Wounded Warriors in
TX in September.

I am in Ohio as I type.  We finished
our last league game today and
we have the Championships this
Thur-Sun in Chicago.  Last year I
was commentating for the televised
game and this year I'm on the field
coaching.  I have always taken one
year at a time and I am always
amazed at some of the opportunities
God has brought into my life.  I
am beyond grateful for how much
support I get from my family, and
especially from my husband.  He
knows I like to give him a hard time
but he is my biggest supporter!

We are hoping to finish strong
and bring home the championship!
Go Pride!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diamond Nation

Back in May, Jennie Finch,
Laura Berg, Mac, & I
shot video segments teaching
softball skills for Diamond
Nation.  We shot the video in
Lousiana near where Jennie lives.

 It was fun to be able to teach
with some of the games best
athletes and also to hang out
with friends!
 Jennie does so much for our
sport!  She is always in the
media and is such a great
example to all people.
 After shooting video, we went
to Jennie's place and had dinner.
It was shark and king mackerel
that Jennie's husband, Casey,
caught earlier that day and
prepared for us.  This summer
I have realized that I like fish
as long as it doesn't taste
real "fishy".  haha  I liked
the shark, but the mackerel
was my favorite!

 Then we went riding on her
land and we even fished in her
pond!  Too bad we didn't catch
 Jennie's pond

I always have a good time when I'm with these girls!

a few highlights

Through our travels this summer,
I was able to go to some
new places and meet some
new people.

We played at LSU and
I met head football coach,
Les Miles, and his
daughter, Macy

I also met Nolan Ryan's
granddaughter, Victoria.
She was our bat girl when
we played at a Minor League
ballpark in Corpus Christi, TX

 At the beginning of my summer
journey, I stopped by Texas to
speak at a VBS- the kids were
 One kid told me how cool
I was because I had gold
medals and that he wished
his mom was cool like me

The best story that I heard is
about the photo below.  The dad
of a girl I met at VBS wrote to
me on facebook and said that
after hearing me share, she
went to her softball team and
lead them in a prayer!
I love the hearts of young

I was a color analyst again for ESPN
for College Softball Super Regionals.
Softball is it's own little world!
I did the game at Univ. of South
Florida where my 2004 Olympic
Asst. Coach, Ken Eriksen, is
the head coach.  It was fun to
see his family and visit with them

 I also did the Radio Broadcast
again this year for the Women's
College World Series Championship
Games.  I love the staff with
Westwood One!  I was even
more bummed that softball
wasn't into the Olympics
this year when they told
me they wished it was in
the Olympics and they would
have taken me to London if
it was to be the analyst for

I'm grateful for all my opportunities!
I'm mostly thankful for the people
I get to meet along the way.  I want
to live out God's plan for my life. . .
no more than that, no less than that!

Celebrating Jake's 11th Birthday

We celebrated Jake's 11th Birthday
in Florida
at the USSSA Pride
Owner's House (Don Dedonatis)
in July

The kids swam all day

 They ate lots of food, cake & ice cream

 They hit the pinata (we celebrated
Don's grandson's Birthday, which
is why it was such a fun party, but
it just happened to be Jake's B-day
too, so we had lots of fun!)

 The got lots of candy!
 Jake got some presents and
he got a Nook from Tommy
and me.
And we ended the night with
the biggest and best home
firework show ever!  It
was like a professional
show right in the back yard!
The kids loved it and so did
the adults.

One thing I forgot to mention,
we went on an alligator hunt,
but came up empty.  But we
did see tons of creatures this
summer in Florida.  That was
definitely different than
being in CA!

Happy 11th Birthday Jake.
I love you so much!