Monday, July 30, 2012

I Love The Olympics!

I LOVE the Olympics!

The excitement the Olympics generates in my mind is similar to the excitement around Christmas.  Don't worry, I don't spiritually put the same value on the Olympics that I do Christmas -- no real comparison between the miraculous birth of God's Son, the Savior of the World, and a World-Wide Sporting event... but I enjoy the Olympics.

I love that our entire country watches and adamantly cheers for Team USA in sports that get little to no public attention for the 3.5 years in between Olympic games.  Sports like archery, rowing, swimming, track and field, distance running, water polo, equestrian, ping-pong, volleyball, gymnastics, bad-mitten, etc. are not generally televised through mainstream media and followed by the public... but for two weeks, every four years, that changes and our whole nation cheers for Team USA regardless of what sport they're playing.

And, like Christmas, I LOVE the commercials that come with the Olympics.

I have SO much I want to blog about in the next few weeks -- more details and pictures of our summer travels, various jokes and stories I picked up on the way... but I think I will try to include a wonderful, heartwarming Olympic Commercial every day the Olympics are going on.

Hope you enjoy.  Let's GO TEAM USA!

image signature

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Introducing Lloyd, the Dock Dog...

We have a full-fledged competing Dock-Dog, and his name is Lloyd Carr Miller!

Chris, Lloyd and I spent yesterday afternoon at the St. Charles County Fair in Missouri at the Gateway Dock Dog Competition.  I want to share lots of details, but we got in really late last night, and were up very early this morning all in the name of Dock Dog Competition.

I will share that our little Lloyd, in his first ever competition jumped 18'3'', which was enough to win 3rd place in his heat and 6th place over all in the Sr. Jumpers Bracket.  We are going back tomorrow because Lloyd, as of last night, had made the finals.

Wish us luck!

image signature

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Fall More In Love...

I fall more in love with my husband...
  •  When he gets up early to let our puppy out and lets me sleep
  • When he spends his entire afternoon and evening helping his father on a construction job
  • When I spend more time with his mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and brother and the more a part of the family I feel with them
  • When I see him enjoy at a Cardinals game like a kid in a candy store
  • When I see him loving our puppy, our kitty, and only his wonderful self can

I am so in love with this man, who married me 13 months and 2 days ago!

image signature

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fun times at the Ballpark

Chris and I got in very late last night from a Cardinals extra-innings win at Busch Stadium, so I didn't really have the energy for a deep or detailed post today.

Here are some pictures from our game, a video from the game where Chris and I debate the definition of a "Walk-Off", and at the bottom, a great baseball clip from a few years ago.  Enjoy:

103* for a night game... today's game is at 1:00pm, Lord, help us!
Dad Miller gets us really great seats!
Cardinal's Win in Extra Innings!

Great Job, Guys!
Do you know the definition of a Walk-Off to end the game?  I thought a walk-off was a home run that ends the game.  That way, the batter WALKS OFF the field as he rounds the bases.  Chris (who is the person who taught me what a Walk-Off is) told me last night that a Walk-Off is any run that ends the game... hence the players walk off the field after that run is scored.  We had this conversation after the game, so this clip captures the victory in Busch Stadium and then Chris and my conversation about what we just saw...

This next clip is just beautiful - and hysterical!

image signature

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes and Always

Sometimes and Always with Mackey Madness...

Sometimes: I don't particularly like or want to clean or do laundry
Always: I like a clean house and clean linens

Sometimes: I understand that the NCAA had to take action against Penn State University regarding the horrible acts that happened on their campus and at the hand of one of their former assistant coaches
Always: I side with Joe Paterno and I believe the wrong people are being punished, and will be punished for years, for crimes committed years ago

Sometimes: I muster the patience to handle situations I do not understand
Always: Patience does not come easily
Source: via AKP on Pinterest
Sometimes: I lose my patience with the concept of patience
Always: I pray and pray and pray

Sometimes: People post on facebook/twitter/their blog/etc. ALL the things they have to get done in a short amount of time.  The write how much they have to do, how little time they have, and how it will never all get done in time.
Always: I find it hysterical that they wasted some of their precious time to tell the world via facebook/twitter/their blog/etc. how little time they have to spare

Sometimes: I post on facebook how much I have to accomplish in a short amount of time
Always: I find it funny that I waste some of my time doing that... maybe something about telling the world what you're going to do helps you zero in, focus, and get it done?

Sometimes: I forget to put on sunscreen once or twice a summer
Always: I regret it

What's happening Sometimes and Always in your world?

image signature

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When I'm in Baseball Parks...

When I'm in baseball parks throughout the summer months and see game after enjoyable game of America's favorite sport, I remember Lou Gehrig.

Lou Gehrig played for the New York Yankees from 1923-1939 and named "The Iron Horse" of Baseball when he set a record playing in 2130 consecutive games.

Lou Gehrig's life and career were cut shot due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, now called Lou Gehrig's Disease.  If memory serves, I first learned about Lou Gehrig when I was around seven years of age.  A friend's father died suddenly of ALS and I started asking questions -- especially when my parents told me his death was from Lou Gehrig's Disease.  I wanted to know the real name, which they told me, but they impressed upon me that Lou Gehrig's Disease really is the common name.

 I started asking questions about Lou Gehrig and fell in love with is story.  The son, and only surviving child (of four) of German immigrants.  Lou Gehrig's story is epic... the only man who gave Babe Ruth a run for his money in terms of a record number of home runs, RBIs, and batting averages.

I started crying several times as I read Wikipedia's account of his legendary baseball playing and then his rapid decline as his illness progressed.  Lou Gehrig actually benched himself "for the good of the team" and the Yankees manager respected his decision.  But Gehrig was told that the position was his whenever he wanted to return.  Can you imagine that?  He commanded such respect that his manager told him he could be back in the game whenever he felt ready.  Something like that between a manager and a player just wouldn't happen in this day and age.

When Gehrig's illness was made public and his formal retirement from baseball was announced on June 21, 1939, the Yankees organize a Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day to be held on July 4, 1939.  The ceremony was held in between the two games of a double header against the Washington Senators and players, managers, fans and dignitaries came out in droves to honor the man who achieved feats that, "For generations to come, boys who play baseball will point with pride to your record" (James Farley).  At this ceremony, Gehrig's Yankee jersey No. 4 was retired making Gehrig the first Major League Baseball player in history to be honored in this way.

Lou Gehrig was handed many trophies throughout the ceremony, and he set each of them immediately on the ground at his feet because his arm strength had diminished so much that he could not hold the trophies for any length of time.
When Lou Gehrig, himself, finally took the microphone, he had these words to say:

Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body — it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that's the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.
 — Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium, July 4, 1939

I have wanted to find a full recording of this entire speech for years, but the best one I could find was this one:

Lou Gehrig was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in December 1939.
Lou Gehrig passed away June 2, 1941.

When he died, the Mayor of New York instructed that all flags be flown at half-mast.  Baseball parks across the country followed suit.  The Yankees dedicated a monument to Gehrig in July 1941 that included the words, "A man, a gentleman and a great ballplayer whose amazing record of 2,130 consecutive games should stand for all time."

Sixty years after his farewell to baseball, Gehrig received the most votes of any baseball player on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, chosen by fan balloting in 1999.

And, Mr. Gehrig, not a baseball season passes, as my husband and I visit different parks and enjoy exciting ball games that I don't think of you playing for the Yankees back in the good old days when baseball was America's past time.  I remember your talent, but mostly, I remember your heart of gratitude in the face of unimaginable hardship.  Thank you, Mr. Gehrig, for your example.

Source for information of Lou Gehrig's life.

image signature

Monday, July 23, 2012

Never Long Enough in Sanden Land

Is there a place that, when you visit, you are never there long enough?

Or maybe there is a person that, when you visit them, you can never visit with them long enough?

Who could ever get enough of these two?
Nine times out of ten, that is how I feel about my parents and my childhood home.  I can never spend long enough there (especially in the summer time), and I can never spend enough time with my parents.

Okay, well, truth-be-told, there are times when I am ready to part ways with my parents and have a little break (come on, I'm still they're child and I'm 28 years old... there's a reason I don't live at home any more), but this past week at home, especially, one summer week in Michigan and one week with my parents did not feel long enough.

Momma, Daddy, Hubby and me, Tiger Stadium, Summer 2012
I will write more about our wonderful week in Michigan when I have more of the pictures to include, but the bottom line is that I think my parents are awesome.  Since I've been out of their house, I've learned there are different ways of doing things, but when I'm in their home with them, it's like sliding back into a hometown dialect -- I know how they want things done and why they do things a certain way.

Right, wrong, indifferent, or upside down, their way is the way I was raised, and it is such a comfort to spend time in a Sanden Land where everything is done a certain way -- the way its always been done, and the way I was taught to do it.

Momma, Daddy, Hubby and me, The Big House, Summer 2012
Remembering how comfortable I feel in Sanden Land helps me understand how my Hubby must feel when we spend time in Miller-ville with his family.  Remembering how much I cherish and treasure time with my three favorite people in the world (my Hubby and my parents) in my favorite place in the world (my childhood home in the summertime) helps me be more easy-going when we spend time at his parents' home when we're visiting his family.  I want him to have as enjoyable a time when we're with his family as I have when we're with my family.

It is hard for me to say goodbye to our week in Sanden Land, but I just have to cherish the memories we made, focus on how grateful I am to have such a loving, and respectful relationship with my parents, become excited about the next time I'll see them, and enjoy my time in Miller-ville while my Hubby gets to soak up time with his family.

We are so fortunate to have two such wonderful sides of our family.

image signature

Friday, July 20, 2012

1000 Words... and Go BLUE!

This picture was taken yesterday in... THE BIG HOUSE!

The University of Michigan Stadium where my parents, my hubby, and I took a tour before we headed to Detroit to see a Tigers Baseball game.  It as a day of Michigan sports.

Without further ago... 1000 words in The Big House:


image signature

Thursday, July 19, 2012

As of Late: July 2012

I'm not sure if Christy at CrittyJoy is having As of Late this month, but I have come to really like it on the third Thursday of every month.

  • Lately, I've been ENJOYING every minute of summer vacation!
  • Lately, I've been reflecting on the wonderful 13 day road trip my hubby and I took (Toronto, Baltimore, DC, Lexington, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Hickory, Lookout Mountain, Nashville)
  • Lately, I've been enjoying baseball games and exploring new baseball parks with my hubby :-D
  • Lately, I've been enjoying solid summer time with my parents, hubby and animals in Michigan, although the humidity and hot temperatures are not my favorite
  • Lately, I'm looking forward to solid summer time with Chris' family coming up next week in St. Louis
  • Lately, I'm getting excited about the fall and the new things coming up next year... but I'm not excited about another work year yet
  • Lately, I've been running with Lloyd and doing an exercise tape on alternating days trying to work off the great sea food and southern meals we ate on our 13 day trip
  • Lately, I've just been basking in every minute AT HOME -- the home where I grew up, the parents who raise me, the routines I know so well, the conversations I grew up having, the streets I could navigate blindfolded, the lakes and water I've come to love... this is home sweet home no matter where life takes me
Our 1st Anniversary
  • Lately, I've been pondering the virtues of patience and kindness and trying to love and serve my husband better through focusing on these two virtues
  • Lately, I'm making an effort to complain less
  • Lately, I'm making an effort to speak positively and laugh more
image signature

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Midweek Ramblings from Michigan

Chris and I are in Michigan this week, and I've got to say, I'm not sure which we're enjoying more -- time with my parents or being in the same location for more than two nights in a row.  :-D

Lloyd was SO excited to come with us to Michigan to see his Grammie and Papa!

We have been on the go and sleeping in the same bed no more than two nights in a row ever since June 23rd.  We are finally resting, relaxing, working on some summer projects and enjoying the summer.  The only negative is that Michigan has been really hot and humid and my parents don't have air conditioning.  My wonderful hubby is very miserable and our dog runs out of energy very quickly.  :-(

Our time in Michigan has included

 Lots of attention devoted to our animals
Papa gives Lloyd and Lexie a rub down at least once a day

Blueberry picking in beautiful and bountiful Michigan blueberry patches!

 Don't these just look delicious?  The problem is getting them from the bush to the bucket and not in my mouth on the way...

I found a white hair on our one-year-old puppy... is life with us really that stressful?

Isn't he a beautiful dog?

We have two big projects underway during this week at home...
  • Buy Mom and Daddy a new flat-screen television for the family room, which is Dad's 80th birthday present from my brother and his family and Chris and me
We had to take this family room television set up...

And create a 21st Century family room television set up...

Here's the side-by-side comparison.  How did we do?  My wonderful hubby did all the heavy-lifting, furniture/television assembling, and cable-attaching.  Dad and I helped as best we could, but Chris really did everything on his own.  I am so blessed to have him!

    • The next project was for Momma and me to tackle some of my storage boxes in Mom and Dad's basement.  When I moved to Colorado, some of my boxes from Nashville were put in my parents' basement and haven't been touched since them.  Time to find out what's in them, donate and trash much of what's there and re-organize what is worth saving
     We made the basement project more enjoyable by making it a "It's 5'o'clock somewhere" Project...

     The result was SIX BAGS of trash!!  YAY!  That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Progress!!!

    Something interesting I found in the cleaning process was my University's (W&L's) original "Facebook".  W&L had a facebook for years before the current Facebook Website was created.  As freshmen, we would receive a Freshman Facebook with pictures, hometowns, prospective majors, and hobbies of all the new freshmen.

    Our year of the freshman facebook included a "Dubyuhnell" (W&L) dictionary to help us, the clueless freshman, learn the terminology around campus.

    It was pretty fun to look through.

    We're loving our time in Michigan and with my parents, but we're hoping for some cooler weather to blow in.  More fun to come, I'm sure, before we leave.  :-D

    image signature