Monday, June 11, 2012

All We Know For Certain...

All throughout the week I will do something or hear something, or my kids will do something funny, and I think to myself "that will be my next blog."  Funny how when I sit down here to write, those things are never what come out.  My heart is so heavy this week.  Several years ago when we were first drafted into this baseball life an older and wiser baseball wife told me that if she had any advice for me at all it would be this, "The only thing you will ever know for certain is that you can never be certain of anything."

She was most definitely talking about the "baseball" side of life when she said this to me, but it is something that I have thought about in more aspects of my life than just baseball. If you are my facebook friend, you have seen this posted as my status more than once.  She probably does not remember meeting me, or remember my name, or my face.  At that time we were in Low A ball in Indiana and her husband had been in Triple A in Oregon.  (basically, she was a celebrity to me) Our husbands were rehabbing together in Phoenix, AZ.  She probably does not even remember sharing this bit of wisdom with me, but it is something I have passed on to other younger baseball wives any time I have had the chance because it is SO TRUE in this life.  Baseball does not always make sense.  The best man does not always get the promotion, your home, your team, your security, can all change in an instant!  And for the record, she shared much more with me than just this, but this is the one that I have come to live by.

As I was browsing my news feed in facebook a few days ago, I saw a picture of a familiar face, and read the post, and it broke my heart.  Lauren Startup's son's heart had suddenly stopped beating.  Copeland is almost 2 yrs old.  His mommy, Lauren, is the one who had graciously shared her wisdom with me almost 5 years ago now.  Copeland was with his grandma and she performed CPR on him until the ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital where he was airlifted to another hospital.  They were later told that Copeland had in fact died but had been miraculously resuscitated.  He is improving daily, although they are not sure yet if he will have any permanent brain damage.

Lauren's words to me all those years ago have just been blaring through my mind all week.  It has made every moment with my children sweeter.  "The only thing you will ever know for certain is that you can never be certain of anything." 

At the end of that heart wrenching facebook post was a comment made by the person writing it that stated that they wanted it to be mentioned that Will and Lauren were people of "rock solid and unwavering faith." In baseball and in general life, we may not ever be certain of anything, but I am so glad, and I know that Will and Lauren are too, that we do not have to be certain of anything but that GOD IS FAITHFUL.  Please pray for Copeland for a full and speedy recovery, for no brain damage, and for rest and strength for his Mom and Dad.  His sweet mama has encouraged me more times than she ever could have known.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


 Today during my run a song came on my Pandora that has been a real inspiration to me through the last year.  If you are not familiar with the progression of our family, Nick's career, our lives, over the last year....see two posts back :)  Anyways...the beginning of the song says "This is my prayer in the desert, when all that within me feels dry, this is my prayer in my hunger and need, my God is a God who provides." Funny how when you get hurt, they ship you to the desert (Arizona) so this song was very fitting. 

The song progresses through, from being in need, in flames, in battle, and in the harvest. Let me just take a minute to brag on my husband. Actually, let me brag on my God.  Nick is having an amazing season so far.  He pitched a no hitter into the 7th inning on Mother's Day (he did that for me) and went on to pitch 8 innings and only giving up one run. He is striking people out left and right.  It feels so good to see my husband see the success that we have been waiting so long for.  But if you told him that, he would so humbly say " God is good." There is an article about him in if you're interested.

So back to my point about the the end the lyrics are "This is my prayer in the harvest, when favor and providence flow, I know I'm filled to be emptied again, so this seed I've received I will sow." A year ago we felt totally in the desert, and now, such a short time later, here we are in the harvest.  It would be so easy to just sit back, relax, and feel like we've got it made. But in baseball, and in life, that is not how it works.  The point of the song is that although we are in the harvest now, we will not always be.  So why not start praying now for the difficulties that lie ahead? They are coming, no doubt....but as we have learned, they are also what shape who we are and what we stand for so we should be grateful for the opportunity to "refine ourselves through the flames."

"Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the HARVEST if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9

I have posted several times on here this season and not really talked about my two little men which could very easily be the only reason you are reading this. So here is an update on MJ and D-rake.

Mason is in full swing -I want to be exactly like my dad- mode. He wears his baseball uniform from the minute he wakes up until we make him take it off to go somewhere. He even pays enough attention that he is perfecting his pitching motion to be just like his daddy.  He is still into NASCAR but has decided that this season he is a Brad Keselowski fan.  It is way harder to find Brad Keselowski toys than Jeff Gordon. 

Drake is my so very cute, cuddly, funny, challenging child. He keeps me on my toes.  He wants to be just like his big brother. We only have one baseball uniform so he wears Masons soccer uniform from last year.  Mason wore it at age 4 and it fits Drake just as well at age 2. He still loves airplanes. He spends at least 2 or 3 innings of every baseball game watching airplanes on my phone. 

What a great Mother's Day I had.  Got to spend it with these handsome faces who reminded me all day long why I am so blessed to be their mommy. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asphalt Cowgirl

I have completely and totally underestimated how exhausting it is to do this whole "traveling" wife thing.  We thought how wonderful it is to be so close to home, we can just go to Tulsa when Nick's there and go home when he's not. And if he is on the road but still close to home, we will just travel there.  Excellent plan....and an emotional breakdown waiting to happen.

We furnished our own apartment this season.  Why not? We only live two hours away. Easy drive, easy to pack up my own belongings and take them along. But what I forgot to think about was that I'd have to take them BACK home every time I went home.  So as Nick left Thursday morning, I packed up the kids and the necessities (clothes, shoes, box fans, dog food, diapers, coffee pot, pillows, ect) and headed home. 

We met our St. Louis family (Schmidt side) in Springfield on Saturday to watch Nick pitch. He had a great game and 35 friends and family members on the list to be there. And my bubble is still somewhat in tact! That is a joke, please do not call or text me over that.  We headed home from Springfield late that night and the next morning we packed everything back up and headed back to Tulsa. 

I was tired. I was REALLY tired.  Just for the record though- I am not complaining. If you read my previous post you know that we do not take it lightly that we were given a second go round at this.  But, that does not change the fact that I do get tired.  That was my first "road trip" and I am now better prepared for the second....If I so choose to have a second. ha! Just kidding (but not really) 7 days and counting til we're at it again.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tis the Season

Baseball Season 2012. I cannot believe it is here already.  I guess time is flying because I'm having so much fun??

After a very relaxing, sunny, warm, spring training, Nick was assigned to the Double A affiliate of the Rockies, which is the Tulsa Drillers.  Praise the Lord for a season playing so close to home and family.  This has never happened before.  I usually feel like we go into our own little "bubble" during the season because we are so far away.  I am excited but also feel a little strange about letting people into my bubble.  No, that does not in any way mean I do not want my family coming to the games. I welcome anyone who wants to help with my kids and support my husband.

As this season gets started, I cannot help but remember what a different place Nick and I were in last year at this same time.  As we left Spring training, we left with his career at its end and I went home to wait for him to come home after his shoulder surgery.  This was the second major surgery since he started playing professionally.  We had prepared ourselves to move on into the next phase of our lives.  I think we were sad that it had ended so quickly and confused as to why God would allow us to come so far and bless Nick with such talent just to take it away so fast and not show any glimpse of what else he had planned for him.  And that's when we started to learn more about who God really was...

We joined a Bible study group while we were living in Arizona during Nick's stay in rehab.  Our Bible study leader said something one night that really stuck with me and I think of it often.  He said that one of the greatest perks to being a Christian is that we wake up everyday being a candidate for a miracle.  It's so easy to get to a place where we have heard about "miracles" but think that it would never happen to us.  That was me, exactly one year ago. On the Sunday before Nick's surgery I went after church and asked my pastor to just pray for Nick and his doctors who were doing his shoulder surgery.  The surgery was scheduled for the next morning.  I was crying, could barely get my words out to tell him what to pray for.  He said, "Jill, just stop.  We are praying for healing." I tried to explain that it was not healing that we needed.  We were beyond that.  We were done with baseball.  We just needed direction.

Fast forward to the next day.  Nick's surgery was supposed to take almost 2 hours.  They finished in thirty minutes.  Guess what was wrong with his shoulder? Nothing.

Nick went on to have the best season of his professional career yet in the High A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.  I'll also mention that he spent portions of 3 seasons there. More than once on the DL.  He was traded to the Rockies  in December and we were offered a new beginning.  It has been absolutely incredible the way the Lord has blessed us in the last year.  Nick prayed that if he was given the opportunity to play again that he would use every opportunity the Lord gave him to share what God had done for him.  You better believe that when you ask Him for opportunities, He will give them to you.  Around every corner Nick was offered the chance to share his story or to encourage someone.  (which he is really good at)

This year has been very different in the realm of the "wife" world.  There are facebook pages, blogs, ect that offer a resource for baseball wives to band together and share experiences and encouragement.  This time of the year there seems to be a lot of women asking for prayer, support, or encouragement because they maybe got released, or got sent to a team that was not the one they were hoping for.  Maybe their husband is injured or is in extended spring training.  It is such an uncertain time.  Exactly where I was last year.  BUT-"all things work together for good for those who love the Lord, out of ashes come beauty, and God does not intend to harm me, but to prosper me."

Here, one year later, I sit in my home for the next few months (rental number 8) looking back at what was so difficult at the time, but was the biggest blessing of my life.  A new outlook, a new trust in my Heavenly Father, a new team, a new city, and a new season. 

So, of the most exciting things about being a Christian is that EVERYDAY we wake up as a candidate for a miracle.  Believe it. 

Now if you are in the Tulsa area, just don't get too close to my bubble, ok? kidding!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Retirement time!

I do realize that you may have only clicked on this link because I just entitled this blog post "Retirement Time" and thought that maybe that meant Nick was going to retire from baseball.  That is not the case, but hey, thanks for stopping by my blog!

We are off to a great start to the 2012 baseball season! Lots of new things going team (Colorado Rockies), new city, new people. It has been an adjustment, but a welcome one for sure.  Nick is really enjoying his new organization and from what we hear everyone else who has ever played here has enjoyed it as well.  Along with the trade came a move to a new city for Spring Training....Scottsdale!

After 5 years of moving we have learned that if someone else is available to find housing for you, you let them do it! We got connected with a lady here in Scottsdale who helped us find our housing here since we pretty much knew nothing about this area.  She told us we would be in a safe, quiet area where Nick would be close to the fields.  She followed through with that. Not sure it could get much safer or quieter than.....a retirement village! On the day we arrived we were moving our stuff in and after looking around realized that we were the youngest people we had seen by about 40 years.  We both quickly agreed this was awesome because we would not have to worry about neighbors keeping us up at night! (that sounds so old, i know)

Every year it seems like something happens with our living situation that makes that particular place and time memorable.  It might not be really fun to go through at the time, but we almost always end up laughing in the end! This year will be NO exception. 

I typically only post on my blog during the baseball season, so hopefully I will get back at it again after this. Games start Wednesday and then we will be in full swing- non stop baseball until September!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hello friends and family! I am happy to report that Nick and I will be returning home in 10 days!!!! It came up kind of quick on us and we got really excited as we have all felt a little "blah" lately and decided it was because we were all just kind of ready for home.  We have accomplished so much while we have been here and still have a lot to do before we leave. 

I ran my first "official" 5k this weekend.  I have signed up for them before but for some reason or another haven't been able to run.  I had set a goal for myself to run a 10k by August, which I completed, but ran on a treadmill at Nick's team gym so that he could be there to watch when I did it. It's amazing how much different it is when you are actually running in a "real" race! Of course, it was on the coldest, rainiest morning we have had in Arizona since we have been here. There were only about 30 people who ran in it (half of which was a running club).  None the less-goal accomplished! Excited to run one in Arkansas.

Mason is coming up on his last week in teeball. They get to play their last game of the season on the Padres Spring Training field! This in itself is not overly exciting for him since he gets to spend countless hours there every week, BUT- they are going to give him a trophy and THAT is super exciting for him. He saw a picture of Nick standing next to the Cal League championship trophy and now everytime we drop Nick off at the field he yells "Strike em out and get a trophy!" If I know Mason, that trophy will be his prized possession and his little brother will be allowed nowhere near it!

Nick has been doing so well.  We continue to be nothing but grateful for the opportunity that we were given to be here. I think there is a great deal to be learned about yourself when you are placed on a team with guys you have never played with before and coaches you are not used to.  I have been so proud of Nick during this whole experience.  His team is made up of players from the Padres, Mariners, Brewers, Mets, and Cardinals organizations.  He is older than most of the guys on the team but knows that that gives him an opportunity to share his experiences with the younger guys and offer a little bit of wisdom and encouragement.  He knows that God puts him in every single situation for a reason and he is eager to see what he can learn from each different experience.  He will pitch again this Friday and then probably one more time before we leave.

Drake is just busy doing Drake things, as usual.  We made up this little song when we were potty training Mason.  I sing it to Drake every now and then when he has a dirty diaper and he has really picked up on it.  It is to the tune of the peanut, peanut butter, and jelly song.  But says "poo poo, in the potty, and pee pee." Not a good idea to teach your two year old a song unless you are cool with him screaming it at the top of his lungs in wal mart. Of course, we never had to worry about Mason doing that because he would have been too afraid someone would look at him. Drake, just LOVES for people to look at him! It is so funny how different they are.

Mason is getting to go on a fun trip with Daddy this weekend. For his 5th birthday, Nick is taking him to a NASCAR race. (If you dont know Mason well, he LOVES nascar, especially Jeff Gordon) I am sad I wont get to be there to see his face when he sees Jeff Gordon in person but am excited that they get this special time together.  Will post pictures soon!!! Can he seriously be 5 already???

Here's a pic of my handsome boys at the game yesterday. Had to run out and get them some cold weather clothes- didn't expect it to be this chilly in the desert!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The week in review

We did it.....broke down, gave in, and bought another vacuum. I wish I had a picture to show you the INCREDIBLE amount of dog hair that came up out of this house.  In itself, it could have been enough hair for another small black lab.  It was money well spent.

We actually have not been to a single baseball game this week.  Nick, of course, has been everyday, but me and the boys have opted to stay cool at home.  Nick will pitch tomorrow so we will be back at it again. It has been a nice little break but I know the boys enjoy hanging out at the ballpark.  Nick only pitches once every seven days so it kind of feels like a long time in between his starts. 

Mason has been playing tee ball and really enjoys it.  He wants to play morning, noon, and night.  He wants to wear his uniform everyday. I absolutely LOVE the feeling I get when he hits the ball and runs to first and then looks for me in the stands and smiles and sometimes gives me the "thumbs up."

Mason is also really into Transformers right now.  Before he even knew what they were he had a friend at school who had a Bumblebee backpack and he would talk about it all the time.  Without ever seeing a movie or a cartoon he decided he wanted to be Bumblebee for Halloween.  We decided to rent the movie for him and he loved it.....all 20 minutes of it before we realized it is NOT a kids movie and turned it off.

Drake...oh Drake. He is so silly. He loves to make funny faces and make us laugh.  Most of the time its at the dinner table. He will do absolutely anything that his big brother does.  He drinks milk like cows are going extinct and Bubble Guppies is his favorite show to watch on tv. 

I did my first mod podge photo canvas this week. (Another idea from pinterest) The picture in the tutorial was black and white so I decided to use a black and white photo I took a while back of my niece, Charlette.  It's a little rough but turned out pretty good for my first one. 
I also joined a gym out here.  I was initially just doing it because it has been too hot to run outside so I would just go and run on the treadmill.  Out of boredom I decided to take a step class last week.  I was easily the youngest person in there by 20 years.  I just kind of laughed at myself and went ahead and took the class anyways. It was a blast.  I went back this week :)

We realized this morning that we will be back in Arkansas in less than a month! The days have seemed pretty long but the trip as a whole has really gone by pretty quickly.  We are definitely looking forward to real "fall" weather.  One hundred degrees in October is not fall.  I am also looking forward to this upcoming week- a trip home for one of my very best friends' weddings. Cannot wait!

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