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Where Dreams Come True: A Reunion at Disney

Where Dreams Come True: A Reunion at Disney

I have been MIA the last few weeks, and I am sorry.  My life has been sequestered by important life-altering decisions and commitments. Fortunately, I have surfaced on the other side of the mountain where light is everpresent and now I can focus my energies on following my bliss!

I haven’t had time to share much online since I spent all of last week at Saint Leo University, immersed in my writing program.  Because I decided to go back to school to get my Master of Arts degree in a low-residency program, I have one week per year where I actually need to go to campus; the rest of the program is done via long-distance learning. As a mom, this has been the best arrangement for my family and it is the primary reason I chose to study at Saint Leo. Anyway, I was given the gift of time spent on campus with peers and professors, all while learning how to become more mature writers and readers, and ultimately better literary citizens. I have one year of studies left before I graduate and I am hoping I will be able to make the very best of it given my primary commitments as a mom and wife.

Because I have been in school and working two part-time jobs, our family has been blessed to have David living at home. Due to the fact that he started his coaching career with the Yankees’ Gulf Coast League, he is home every evening and has Sundays off. For a baseball wife, this is huge!! I have grown accustomed to him working 24/7 with a sporadic off-day during the regular season. This change in trajectory means that he is home to support me while I find time to study and write, and he never misses a chance to celebrate milestones, including birthdays with us. As a summer baby, I considered myself lucky when my birthday fell in the middle of a homestand. So cheers to this! YAY.

Since we knew David would be around more, we bought annual passes to Disney World this year.  As an introvert and someone who rather stay home reading or watching a movie, I wasn’t in a rush to take the boys to Disney, but at David’s insistence and since we live so close, we bit the bullet.  We bought the passes the last week of 2017 and have already taken several trips, often leaving after a game on Saturday and returning on Sunday.  The drive to Orlando is less than two hours from our house, so we can drive over just for the day, which we did on Father’s Day.  It has worked out incredibly well and the boys are super happy – and spoiled. Although we have had a lot of fun visiting Disney every few weeks, I am not sure if we will buy annual passes every year. Because of David’s schedule, the only option that makes sense for us is to buy the Platinum Passes with no blockout dates, which is why they end up being quite a lot of moola.  Nevertheless, if you can afford it, they are worth every penny.

Bringing this around full circle, since the last day of my writing residency fell on Brooks’ 3rd birthday, July 21st, I asked the director of the program, Steve Kistulentz, if it would be okay to miss the day, allowing me to spend it with the family. Since we already had passes –  and because what three-year-old doesn’t want to spend their birthday at Disney World –  David and I made plans to celebrate this occasion at The Happiest Place on Earth. We invited our parents and my sister to join us. Not only was this an opportunity for birthday fun, the boys were going to meet their baby cousin – as they love to call him – for the first time.

My sister and I hardly see each other since I moved to Tampa and my boys still had not met their baby cousin, so what better time than the present?! My mother has been speaking endlessly about getting us together so that the boys can finally meet. My greatest dream, she says. Nothing would make her happier than seeing us all united as a family, setting aside any differences we may have, for the sake of peace and the boys. As I have learned this past month, life is short, and it is important to make time for the things that truly matter.

Looking back now, I can say with certainty that I spent the past week following dreams and spending time in the Happiest Places on Earth, the classroom, and Disney. Although I am not sure it would be in that order. Depends on who you talk to. 😉

 

 

Why Thirty-One is More and Less Than I Imagined

Why Thirty-One is More and Less Than I Imagined

Today, I am thirty-one.  Is life in my thirties exactly how I imagined it? Not, exactly.

Time has flown by, our perception moving upward and onward with every passing year. I have become wiser with age, this is true for everyone, but there is still so much to learn.  When we are young, opportunities are all around us, but without the wisdom we gain from years of “learning the hard way”, how are we to know what to do with them?  Even today, I am at a crossroads; I have been given choices to make, but now, the decisions I settle on will affect my entire family – my husband, my children, even my parents.  Despite being older and somewhat wiser, I still struggle with what to do. Do I listen to my heart or logic? I try to silence my mind, but there is so much noise. (My screaming boys surely don’t help with this.)

So as I vacillate back and forth, trying to figure out what path to take, and because it is my birthday, after all, I wanted to reflect on how my life has played out – pun intended.  These are a few of the ways that my life has not turned out as I imagined and a few more ways that it has surprised me…

What My Life is Not

It is 2018 and David isn’t playing Major League baseball or professional baseball for that matter. In our hearts, we believed that he would be playing in the big leagues well into our thirties.  He was born to play baseball, we always thought, and he had many wonderful years of doing just that, but what we expected to be his predetermined destiny, just wasn’t so.  There are so many factors that go into succeeding in the big leagues, and the cards just didn’t fall into place the way we hoped.

As is to be expected, we aren’t where we thought we would be financially speaking, which falls in line with things not going as planned for David professionally. After years of struggling through the minor leagues, I thought we had jumped over a big hurdle when David made his MLB debut on his twenty-sixth birthday – what a good omen?! Yet things just didn’t pan out that way, and the obstacles just kept coming.

After years of jumping around from organization to organization, David hung up his cleats – an expression that we use in baseball.  Since his retirement, I also retired from being a stay-at-home-mom.  Being at home with the boys day-in and day-out just wasn’t working for me.  I was going crazy stuck at home with two toddlers who couldn’t, and still can’t, find a way to keep their hands to themselves.  So I put the kids in school full-time, and I went back to work at twenty-nine.

Even though I had tried to work real estate for a while, I always knew a career path as a realtor wasn’t for me. I could give you a list of reasons why, but I will spare you. Nevertheless, since real estate didn’t work out, and my life as a baseball wife was in transition, it was time for me to find work.  Work that would bring in a steady income, and that is precisely what I did – just shy of the thirtieth birthday.

What My Life IS

My life is full of blessings.  Even though David’s career took a detour earlier than we had planned, I can confidently say that our family is right where it is meant to be.  Since he started coaching, I have seen David come to life.  He is thrilled with his job, and I have seen him evolve and mature as a man, husband, and father exponentially from it.  If I didn’t know better, I would say coaching was his calling from the start. 😉

Somehow, without putting too much thought into when would be the right moment to have children, we had our babies at the perfect time for our family. David and I have two beautiful, healthy boys and I really can’t ask for more than this.  Above all, I am grateful for our health and the all the blessings that have been bestowed upon our little family.

Soon after David retired from playing, and right after we both turned thirty, I went back to school to pursue my career as a writer.  I have always been passionate about writing, and publishing a book has been in my purview for years. Few things make me as happy as being able to sit and write, but in my twenties, I was preoccupied with other things, and my writing took a backseat.

The biggest lesson I have learned in the last thirty-one years is that time is a gift. It has a way of healing wounds and allowing you to see the beauty in the challenges life throws you. It is in precious time that I have come to realize that if everything were precisely how we had planned, my aspirations would have gone unattended and life would look very different. If things had played out any differently, I highly doubt I would have had the initiative to go back to graduate school and find the drive to write a book, regardless of whether it ever gets published.

My reasons for living and thriving have changed, and my boys have become my why; they are the reason I aspire to do everything I do.  David’s change in career was a blessing in disguise, not only has it been wonderful for him, it has also helped me to realize that I need to work on me, too.  Focusing solely on his career and my boys’ lives isn’t healthy – there needs to be a balance.

Now suddenly I am thirty-one.  I didn’t arrive at my current destination by chance, I am where I am after many years and many more falls, but when I look at everything objectively, I can honestly say my life is exactly how it should be. 

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

Hi, ya’ll!

Today is one of my favorite holidays of the year, America’s birthday! The fourth of July is sandwiched perfectly in the middle of the year and it is the ideal time to reflect on all we have to be grateful for, including the beauty and freedoms America affords us.  Per usual, David is at a baseball game as I write this.  There is always baseball on the fourth, and pretty much every holiday that takes place during the season, for that matter.

Truthfully though, we have been so fortunate the last two years because he has coached with the Gulf Coast League and been able to live at home. Even better, his game started at ten this morning, so he will be home early enough that we can go light some fireworks with the kids – or preferably, watch them.  The boys keep asking about buying fireworks, but I can’t help but worry that someone may accidentally catch on fire!

Note: I am not a fan of anything hot or sharp! I am about as risk-averse as they come.

Regardless of your plans today, I hope you get the chance to enjoy the beauty around us on this special day. This is a great time to have fun with your friends and family, and to remember that we have so much to be grateful for!

xoxo,

Camille

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Hi everyone! For a while now, I have considered My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife a retired blog.  But the truth is, I never stopped being a baseball wife.  David retired from playing baseball after the 2016 season with the Blue Jays and he jumped in head first to coaching.  He is in his second season as a coach with New York Yankees’ Player Development and WOW, are there a lot of differences between playing and coaching!  To say that the last few years have been an adjustment would be an understatement.  That being said, I think David is exactly where he is supposed to be.  I have decided that I want to pick up where I left off and continue blogging about our life in baseball and I hope that you will join me.

Since I have been silent for the last few years, I will have to reminisce a bit and give you some backstory until I can catch up fully to where we are in our current experiences.  I really do hope that you will stick with us through our evolution.  In order to grow this blog, however, I have decided to branch away from WordPress.com and create my own self-hosted blog which you can follow at www.MyLifeAsABaseballWife.com.

If you will notice, I dropped Serendipitousfrom the title.  Although I love the word serendipity, it just doesn’t align with my beliefs anymore. I believe a lot more in fate than I do serendipity and so it seems appropriate to drop the word altogether and stick to My Life As A Baseball Wife.

If you found your way here, please sign-up to receive updates moving forward on the top right of the page.  Thank you!

xoxo

Camille

The "Cinderella" Story as Written by Courtney Johnson

The "Cinderella" Story as Written by Courtney Johnson

I am so excited to share this post with all of you today. Yesterday I had the pleasure of connecting with a wonderful baseball wife who felt led to share her deepest thoughts and emotions with our baseball family.  Courtney very bravely posted the piece below on a private group we have for baseball wives and girlfriends and the response she received was heartwarming.  So many women, including myself, were incredibly moved by what she had to say.

Even though we are all at different points in our journey, the baseball community shares many of the same emotional, psychological and lastly, physical struggles. This very special life we lead is one of many blessings, but it also comes with many hardships that most will never see or understand.  Many wives commented that they were in tears after reading Courtney’s post and I can say that I had a hard time reading it myself.  I was overwhelmed with emotions that run deep despite my pregnancy hormones. I urge you to take a moment to read the beautifully written piece below;  It will give many a little insight into our baseball lives. Without further ado…

“There’s no Cinderella’s in baseball. Who you are and what you are will show itself sooner or later.” The past week has been one of the toughest for me emotionally. Of course it doesn’t help that I have the hormones of a typhoon raging within, either. But if I were a betting lady I’d be willing to bet that these emotions would be here regardless of the growth of little one. If there is one thing I have come to respect about my husband, it’s that he has the determination of a mule. When you take something from him that he is passionate about, you better get strapped in and buckle down for the ride. Because he’s about to prove himself in ways you didn’t even know existed. Baseball is his first love. The feel of the ball between his fingers, the smell of the grass on the field, the feel of the dirt on the mound, the rush of a setup and the motion of the pitch. All of this is second nature to him. It’s in his blood. In his soul. He has worked harder than I ever contemplated working in his 26 years on this earth. He has sacrificed more sweat and tears than I can count. In 2010 he was drafted into affiliated ball. A dream come true. A dream that suddenly went from one of pure love to one of pure agony. Most people have no idea what a minor leaguer goes through. Believe me, I know there are people out there that literally give up their lives for another. I respect that completely. But there’s something to be said for a guy who puts his life on pause for a game he loves. He packs his stuff, drives off with his family behind, stays in hotels that you wouldn’t even think about stopping at, sleeps on busses for 10-18 hours while traveling to the next field, grinds day in and day out working his body to maximum potentials and fights to keep a job every day because there are others out there hunting for it. Then turns to the fans, smiles, waves and signs balls or cards with a smile on his face and a pep in his step; hiding the strain and tiredness that the 5th cup of coffee he just poured himself is trying to hide. His bank account gets the $7-850 deposit every two weeks and his bills slowly pile because there is no such thing as a paycheck in the offseason. All for a dream. A dream to get to where every ball player wants to be. Then one day you find yourself sitting on the couch, almost 6 years later, baseball-less. I always wondered what this day would feel like and I must say, it feels a lot like an unexpected breakup with a first love. After all, that’s basically what it is. The “my feelings have changed” emptiness of questions that you have at the moment you are no longer in a relationship take over. And like all of our first breakups, the first days are hard. Emotional. Aggravating. As each day passes, the numbness fades and things get better. That’s what the initial seconds of the “I’ve been released” moment feels like. Gut wrenching, sword in the stomach pain. That was almost 2 weeks ago. What I love about my husband is that he hasn’t crawled into a dark space and felt sorry for himself. He hasn’t even gotten so angry that he made irrationally destructive decisions. Nope. He takes it to the mound. He continues to work hard and train. We may be crazy, but we are Noah. I’m sure most people thought he was insane, literally, when he began constructing the ark. I mean who builds a boat for animals, when you’ve never even seen rain? I’ll tell you who. A man who heard His God speak. A man who listened. A man who prepared his field, no matter the cost. Last season, this same time, we were walking through a miscarriage. Now, we are anxiously waiting the birth of our precious Addelyn. No matter what comes, her tiny life will not be taken for granted because we know what it feels like to lose one. Now, a year later, we walk through a release. A death in some sense. We learned last year that the beauty of it is new life always comes next. We have no idea what tomorrow brings. We really don’t even know what the next minute brings. But the one thing we do know is that baseball is not over. And when he gets the opportunity he has worked so hard for, it will not be taken for granted. All that He requires of us is faith as tiny as a mustard seed. Even if what He has called you to do seems so incredibly out of reach, if you believe He can and will provide what you need to fulfill your calling, that He has given, He will give it. So just as the farmer prepared his field for rain, believing His God would bring it, we too prepare our field for the next step. We must always be ready for the opportunity to fulfill The Divine Calling to come. Because if we aren’t, it will never be as powerful as it was intended to be and we might even miss it. One day we will look back on this and see how all of those grungy nights on a bus or sleeping in a bed that most wouldn’t even sit on, the strain, the stress, the pay that seems like nothing and every second of the struggle, the preparation and the wait will all be worth it. Not because he made the show. No, because he obeyed the calling.

This Time Around

This Time Around

I can’t believe it is already February.  Yesterday David and I celebrated another wonderful year of marriage and I subtly announced that we will be welcoming baby #2 into this world before the end of the year.

The beginning of this pregnancy was challenging because I was ALWAYS exhausted.  I felt like I couldn’t keep up with Jet and all I had the energy to do was lay on the couch.  Now that I am in my second trimester I feel A LOT better and I am having to simply cope with minor morning sickness and heartburn.  Given that I had terrible morning sickness the first time around I would say this pregnancy has been a lot easier.  It is still early, however, so I’ll let you know how I am holding up when I am big as a globe and carrying around another 30LBS of toddler on a daily.  🙂

Throughout my last pregnancy, I was completely inactive.  I didn’t workout at all and other than walking all over NYC to get around for a few months, I was relatively sedentary.  A couple of months before Jet turned 1, I decided to get back into a workout routine and subsequently started feeling amazing shortly after.  But fast forward three months and I was now pregnant and lacked the major energy I needed to keep up with life, let alone my workouts. This is the time when my workouts came to a complete halt and my diet became filled with starchy carbs that would serve to soothe my nausea. Needless to say, I started feeling like junk pretty quickly.

My goal this time around is to be active throughout this pregnancy.  I want to get back to working out now that I have more energy and hopefully cut out all the terrible foods I have been eating.  If my nausea sticks around all 9 months like it did the first time, I am certain my diet will be the biggest challenge. I am writing this in hopes it will help me stay accountable as I plan to document my journey along the way.
Wish me luck! 🙂

– C