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July, 2010:

The Other Ball

April 2010
: Hey Princess. It’s time to sign up for a spring sport. Do you want to play Little League coach pitch or play YMCA soccer?
Princess: Totally soccer!

And so we did . . .

June 2010
Me: Hey Princess. It’s time to sing up for a summer sport. Do you want to play YMCA coach pitch or do gymnastics again?
Princess: I want to do whatever that game you play with the ball is.
Me: Baseball?
P: Yes.

And so we did. And I’m coaching her team.

August 2010
Me: Hey guys. This is our last week of YMCA baseball. I’ve had a lot of fun, but it’ll be nice for baseball to finally be over.
Dude: Ya. I like baseball, but I’m ready for a little break.
Princess: I don’t really like baseball.
Me: What?! But you said you wanted to play, and that you wanted me to coach your team!
P: Ya. But after I got to play, I remembered that’s not the game I wanted to play. I wanted to play that one that you do inside where you hit the ball up into the air.
Me: Volleyball?
P: Yes.

I just about died laughing! Seriously – she watched Dude play baseball 3 nights a week from April-June. I don’t believe she actually didn’t know what it was called 😉

I guess I’ll have to find a volleyball camp for her somewhere this fall/winter.

The Boy Drives

On an 11-day vacation, Dude got to drive . . . a lot!

He got to drive an airplane . . .


This is the exact same plane Hubby learned to fly in. Pretty cool!


Dude got to drive a golf cart . . . I have no picture of him in it because I was not yet in MN, and he and Grandpa went out to have fun by themselves.

Dude to got drive a 4-wheeler . . .


We spent an awesome day with Grandpa on the 4-wheeling trails in Black River Falls, WI. Dude technically isn’t supposed to be able to drive until he’s 16, but I was sitting right behind him, and it was Grandpa’s 4-wheeler – so we let him. He did awesome and had a great time plowing through the mud puddles getting us filthy!


Dude got to drive a canoe . . .


. . . and pull his sister along behind him in an inner tube! What a good brother :-)


Dude got to drive an inner tube . . .


He was quite resourceful if you ask me :-)


He got to drive a pontoon . . .


I don’t have a picture of him actually driving, but I promise once he got back on the boat he convinced Grandpa to relinquish the controls for a little while.


Dude got to drive a GINORMOUS remote control airplane . . .


That guy owns the plane, and many others. He spends his time going around the country and Canada flying his planes at model airplane shows. He was awesome and let the kids have a shot at it.


And last, Dude got to drive a fire truck . . .


He only got to drive it a couple inches . . . while it’s cool to have a Grandpa who was a fireman forever so he gets to take the fire trucks to the local parades, it would not be cool if they scratched the brand new fire truck that has never yet been to a fire 😉 After the couple inch drive, we all walked the parade with the truck and threw candy, which is always cool for the kids. And since the fire trucks are first, we got out at the end and sat on the curb to watch the rest of the parade and rake in candy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m 37 and I still haven’t driven all those things!

Lucky little turd, he is.

Serenity Lake

My vacation view for the past week…



900 – miles driven

12 – hours driven

1 – people in the car

5 – states entered

2 – stops for gas

1 – stop for a beer at a bar with my bro who lives on the route

1 – Hubby I was excited to see when I got here

2 – Kids I was excited to see when I got here

2 – inlaws I was excited to see when I got here

10 – minutes it took me to run a mile to start this morning

24 – hours before we get in the car to drive to our final destination

5 – hours we have yet to drive to our final destination

11 – people we’ll have in a cabin for our mini reunion

6 – days we’ll be in the cabin

countless – times we’ll laugh, cry, joke, play, eat, have a great time

What I Saw

After easily winning our first two games, my 7-8 year old Coach Pitch Cubs lost their first baseball game last Saturday. It was a tough loss – we played a REALLY good team thatwas stacked with all 8 year olds.

I’m not new to kid sports . . . I played them, my kids play them, and I coach them. Parents are amazing people. When things go right, the coach is great. When things go wrong, the coach needs all kinds of advice.

At the game last Saturday . . .

. . . the parents saw some of our kids get thrown out at first base because they didn’t run through the base.
. . . I saw those same kids so excited that they hit the ball for the very first time that all they wanted to do was stop at first so they could tell the 1st base coach all about it.

. . . the parents saw kids who didn’t know to throw the ball to 1st base.
. . . I saw kids who properly fielded a ground ball for the first time instead of letting it roll between their legs.

. . . the parents saw outfielders who didn’t know to throw the ball to 2nd base when they got it.
. . . I saw outfielders who remembered to back up the infielders when the ball was hit.

. . . the parents saw a kid who forgot to cover 1st base when the ball was hit.
. . . I saw a kid who was having way too much fun playing in a mud puddle to care if they ever covered first base.

. . . the parents saw some kids who struck out every time they were up to bat.
. . . I saw kids who came back to the dugout smiling the biggest smile ever because they actually hit the ball for the first time, even though it went foul.

. . . the parents saw a team that lost the game 7 runs to 18 runs.
. . . I saw 10 kids who had a great time out on the field on a beautiful Saturday, smiled as they shook the other team’s hand, congratulated them on a good game, and could have cared less what the score was.

. . . the parents saw a team who’s coach needed all kinds of advice on what we needed to work on at practice this week.
. . . I saw a coach who knows exactly what her team needs to work on, but can also see all the great little things that the kids improved on since week one and were absolutely ecstatic about.

It’s not always about the score . . . however, to the kids, it might actually be about the snack surprise after the game 😉

Two Tickets To Paradise

In the car with Princess and Dude . . . listening to the radio on the way to summer day camp . . .

“I’ve got, two tickets to paradiiiise! Won’t you pack your bags, we’ll leave tonight! I’ve got . . .”

Dude: Hey Mom. Where’s Paradise?
Me: What?
Dude: Where is Paradise? That guy said he has two tickets to Paradise?
Me: Well, paradise is wherever you think is a great place to be. Like my paradise is in a cabin on a lake in Northern MN. Or maybe on a beach . . . but that’s just a short-term paradise . . . my real paradise is that whole MN thing with my family. Where’s your paradise?
Dude: Oh totally in a cabin . . . but mine is in the mountains, where I have to drive a 4-wheeler to get there. And I’ll have a yellow lab dog that rides it with me. And someone brings me groceries once every month, and the rest of the time I’ll just fish and stuff and eat that kind of thing. Oh, and there has to be a stream through my yard, and maybe a small waterfall I can see off my back porch. So ya – that’s my paradise.
Me: I like that paradise! How about you, Princess? What’s your paradise?
Princess: Um. A cabin on a lake in Northern MN, with a stream and a 4-wheeler and a dog and a waterfall.
Me: That sounds a lot like mine and Dude’s put together. Is that really YOUR paradise?
Princess: No. My paradise is just in MN.
Me: All of MN?
Princess: No. Not all of it. Just wherever the grandmas and grandpas are.

Smart girl . . . I would have to agree that paradise is indeed wherever your family is!

The Two Princesses


At This Rate, Dude WILL Get It

I love my Jeep. We got it when I was 7 months pregnant with Dude. It’s taken the fam back to MN countless times – 1800 miles roundtrip, not counting the driving we do while we’re there. It’s got huge sentimental value to me. I drive the Highlander when Hubby takes the Jeep to the airport when he goes flying, but if the Jeep is here, I choose to drive it. In April, it turned over to quite a few miles . . .


No, Officer. I was not driving 35 mph down the road while taking this blurry picture of my odometer…

I keep telling Dude that I’m going to give him the Jeep when he turns 16 on August 1, 2016. I kid. He would love to get the Jeep. He loves it as much as I do “because it feels like an actual car you should drive into the mountains or go camping with.”

It’s now 2 1/2 months after this photo was taken, and I’ve only put 1,000 miles on the Jeep. Maybe I’m not driving it just because I don’t want it to “go away.” Or maybe I’m not driving it because there are always extra kids in my vehicle, so I need that 3rd seat of the Highlaner. Who knows, but at this rate, Dude might actually get the Jeep when he turns 16!!!


I did day 2 of the 30-day Shred this morning . . . ya ya, I know that Jillian says you’re supposed to do 30 days in a row, but seriously – I can’t imagine there is ANYBODY who purchases this DVD that can do that 30 days in a row. For one, we have lives outside of the TV. And second, after the 1st day, you’re so friggin’ sore that all you want to do is go to the store and get your $20 back because you don’t think you’ll ever be able to walk again!!!

So ya – I took a day off – and on that day off, I rode my bike in a parade with Dude and spent 4 hours helping out with a hit, pitch, and run contest – so I’m calling it good 😉

Anyhoo . . . Day 2 of the 30 Day Shred . . . MUCH better, which surprised me because my quads are still screaming at me from the 1st day. Maybe it was just that I knew what to expect today – but again I didn’t have to rest during it. I must say that woman is brilliant in some ways – just when you’re ready to give up and take a break, that part of the shred is over and you move on . . . to something equally as stressful and painful and wonderful all at the same time. I didn’t even want to move closer to the TV and punch Ms. Jillian in the face during the “punching” cardio this time – I think that’s progress :-)

And what did I do immediately after finishing Day 2 of my shred? I took Duma for a 2 mile walk – she needed a walk, it was nice out, nobody else was up yet, and I figured at least it would keep my legs moving so they might not hurt quite as badly today. So far, so good.

We’ll see when I make it around to doing day 3 . . . it couldn’t possibly be tomorrow . . . a day that Hubby leaves for work, the kids go to day camp, and I ended up only having 2 hours of work on my calendar . . . I couldn’t possibly find time in my busy schedule that day . . .

OK . . . I guess I’ll have to make myself do it tomorrow as well . . . sheesh . . .

The Third

With the 4th being on a Sunday, all the festivities in our little town were on the 3rd. We had a TON of fun! First, the kiddos each got to be in “The Biggest Small Town Parade In America.” Dude and I rode our bikes with his Little League group, and Hubby and Princess rode with the YMCA. Dude had a tough time deciding between the Boy Scout float and the Little League Float, but he ultimately chose Little League.

There weren’t as many kids with the Little League float this year as last, but it was still a lot of fun.


Dude and I decided to ride our bikes instead of walk. We had to drop Hubby and Princess off at their float, which was #95 and almost at the end of the parade; then we parked in the ice rink parking lot and rode the 2 miles to the Little League float, which was #50 – smack dab in the middle.



Hubby and Princess had a lot of fun, too! The YMCA didn’t send out the email asking the little baseballers to come join the float until a couple days before the parade, so there weren’t many little kids there.


My Princess waited for about 90 minutes before their float actually got to get moving. She was so patient! Here she is with a few of the other kids that showed up – and the giant Y :-)



She did a great job riding her decorated bike along with the float. Of course her favorite part was tossing candy to the kids that were watching the parade.



After the parade, we all loaded up the bikes and booked over to a neighboring small town where they have a street fair and vendors and bouncy houses and climbing walls and zip lines all day long. Only that wasn’t the reason we booked on over there . . . I had volunteered to help organize and run contest for the local Little League, so we had to hustle out there and help the others get set up for it. We had so much fun! There weren’t a ton of kids that showed up, but enough in each of the 4 age groups to have a good time and some competition.

Dude got to run, and he got to . . .



. . . and he got to . . .



. . . and he did well enough to end up with . . .


. . . one 2nd place trophy and one 3rd place trophy. He was so excited! Hubby and Princess went home after Princess helped hand out trophies to the first two age groups. Dude and I stayed to help with the rest of the contest – we had a great time!

And if all of that wasn’t enough fun for an entire day . . . we cruised home, got right in the other vehicle, and headed out to some friends’ house for a YUMMYLICOUS dinner of more peel and eat shrimp and homemade mint/chip ice cream than you could ever think of eating.

An awesome day . . . now to relax a bit before heading to the AFA for the fireworks show tonight!