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My hero.

Friday night was Elizabeth's last baseball game of the season. She plays for Rec and Ed, which is basically the local rec league run by the school district. She has been playing on the boys' team since first grade because she wants to play baseball, not softball, and there is no girls' baseball league. This summer is the first year that the kids actually pitch the ball. After first, second, and third grades the coaches were pitching to their own teams. The transition to kid pitch has been a little rough, both because kids are shitty pitchers when they're learning and because she is now one of only two girls on the team, and one of only six girls in the entire league.

Her first game of the season, her team (the Tigers) played a team called the Express. The Express WALLOPED the Tigers. They won something like 30-0. In addition to that, the coach was a GIANT DOUCHE BAG. He was cheating, even though they were running away with the game, and he was getting away with it because he was also bullying the umpire (most umpires in this league are young teenagers - 13, 14 years old.) It was a pretty awful experience.

Unluckily for us, the Tigers were also scheduled to play the Express as their last game of the season, this past Friday. We'd had a pretty mediocre season - out of a ten game season, we were going into Friday night with five losses, three wins, and a tie. All of the parents were fully expecting another blowout. Before the game, when the coach was talking to the team, he asked them who had not pitched at all this season yet. The kids who hadn't pitched raised their hands - except Elizabeth, and the coach then said "You too, Elizabeth, I know you haven't" and then she begrudgingly put her hand up. He then told them that if they hadn't pitched yet this season and wanted to, all they had to do was ask, and he would put them in, even if it was for just one batter. They could come off the mound whenever they wanted.

Elizabeth trotted over to me to get her batting helmet, because they were up to bat first and she was pretty early in the line up. I said to her "Are you going to pitch?" And she looked at me like I'd lost my mind and said "Uh, NO."
"Well, why?"
"Because I can't pitch. I'm no good at it."
"You've been practicing all summer!"
"I'm not going to do it, I don't want to."
"Just think about it, okay?"
And then she walked away from me and back to the dugout.

Nobody scored in the first inning. A kid named Karl, who hadn't been there most of the summer because they were traveling, was pitching. He was pretty good, and made me wish he'd been around, haha.
In the second inning, we somehow scored SEVEN RUNS, which is the mercy limit for an inning in this league. Karl pitched again and somehow managed to go three up three down. Suddenly we were up by seven against the Express.
In the third inning, we didn't score again. In the field, my friend Jennie's son Kimo was pitching. Elizabeth has been practicing with Kimo all summer, because Kimo's little brother Koa is on Jacob's baseball team, so between the two teams and the four kids, we saw each other almost every day in July. Kimo had a rough start - walked two batters and then hit two, which is an automatic walk. He gave up a couple of runs, but the Express was still behind.

Somewhere in here, the Express coach started bitching at the umpire about the strike zone. The umpire, who was NOT a young teenager, but a guy who looked to be close to my dad's age, basically growled at him to BACK OFF. All the parents on our team chuckled.

In the fourth inning, we didn't score at all again. Then the coach's daughter Hadley, who is a good friend of Elizabeth's, took the mound. She had never pitched. She walked a few kids, and then the coach pulled her, and put in Dyson, who pitched a lot for the team that summer. By the end of the fourth, the Express was still behind, but creeping up the score.
Dyson pitched the fifth inning, and gave up one run. The score was 7-6, Tigers.
The sixth is the last inning in this league. In the top of sixth, we managed to score, making it 8-6.

The bottom of the sixth was about to start. Elizabeth's coach was calling out positions. All of a sudden, I heard him say "Elizabeth, pitch." I turned to my friends and said "What did he just say? Did he just tell her to pitch?" And the next thing I knew, she was trotting out to the mound.

Watching your kid pitch - your kid who has never pitched, who is playing in a boys' league, in the bottom of the sixth, when her team is up against a team who handed them their asses - is insane.

Kimo was catching, which was perfect because Liz has been playing catch with Kimo literally all summer. She pitched a few balls, and the suddenly - the umpire was calling strikes. Everyone was screaming for her. First, a kid got a hit off her, and made it to first base because the first baseman bobbled the ball. Then she threw a few more balls and a strike, and the second batter hit a pop fly to right field, where the fielder caught it and got him out. On that play, the kid on first base ran all the way to third (even though that is against the rules in this league.) Then she struck a kid out! Two outs, and we were going crazy.

The coach went out to the mound, talked to her for a second, and sent her to right field to swap places with a boy named Zack, who also hadn't pitched at all this season. Zack is a really small kid, who had been having a lot of trouble this season. Most days he could barely make the throw from second to first, let alone get a pitch across the plate. But he wanted to pitch, and the coach kept his word.

Zack walked his first batter, so now there were runners on first and third, and the score was still 8-6, us. The second batter got a hit, and the runner on third made it home, making the score 8-7. Now there were runners on first and second. He walked the third batter, and now the bases were loaded.

And then Zack struck out the last batter. And they won, against the Express, 8-7, to end the season.

I have never been so proud of my girl in her life. Not because they won (although that was amazing and kind of like living in a real life kids' sports movie) but because she was so convinced she couldn't do it, and then she got out there and did it anyway and did it WELL.

I love her so much.

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All your dreams are on their way

I'm sitting in the living room listening to the kids fight in the basement, I'm not sure over what. Jacob is crying crocodile tears and Elizabeth is yelling at him.

And suddenly it's silent. A better mom than me would probably go investigate, but I'm comfortable and writing for the first time in too long, so unless I'm informed that there's blood or vomit, I'm staying right here.

This summer has been a mostly happy jumble of road trip, baseball games, day camps, and swimming. The kids and my mom and I drove to Florida and back and it was mostly really lovely. Both kids are on baseball teams so most nights we have either a practice or a game to go to. Elizabeth went back to Camp Maybury and had a great time as usual, and this week Jacob is actually at Camp Explorations for the morning session - the first time I've sent either of them to my old program. I love having a membership to the neighborhood pool. We go as often as possible, and usually the kids find friends there. Last weekend Dan and Jacob went to a Toledo Mud Hens game and then camped in the outfield with some of Jake's cub scout pack. Elizabeth leaves for resident girl scout camp for a few days at the end of the month, and then she and I go to troop camp in August. She'll go back to camp later in August with Dan for daddy-daughter Star Wars girl scout camp too. And then the week before school starts, Jacob is going to Pokemon day camp, which he is super geeked about.

We have come so far from the chaos of last summer, and I remain so grateful and humbled for the peace this home has brought to my heart. Nothing anywhere is ever perfect, but I'm learning to live with that too, and enjoy what we have without yearning for what we don't. Because we have so much, and keeping up with the Joneses is a game everyone loses.

A lot of friends from high school had their 20th reunion recently, which means mine will be sometime next year. That combined with transferring a bunch of old home videos to DVD has me in a strange headspace that I am trying to navigate with the grace of a 37 year old married mother of two, not the clumsiness of an awkward, jilted 17 year old. I think I'm mostly succeeding, but I still don't know that I am succeeding enough to actually employ that grace at my own reunion in a year. Time shall tell. Time shall tell if I even decide to go, honestly.

I hear feet pounding up the basement stairs. Bets on whether someone is coming to tattle?

Deep breaths

God, house hunting and selling is no joke. Yesterday we found a house we love, in our price range, in exactly the right location. But our financing is contingent on the sale of our condo and it doesn't go on the market until Friday. We can make an offer with that contingency but it won't be competitive, so we likely won't get the house. I think I am going to have a perpetual stomachache until our condo sells and we have someplace to go...

Jun. 4th, 2014

Summer is almost here and I'm so glad. I'm looking forward to the slight change of pace, although I'm sure the kids will be at each other's throats fairly quickly. Need to find plenty of ways to keep everyone occupied.

Tomorrow is our last girl scout meeting of the year, at least until troop camp in July. I'm looking forward to being done with meetings for a little while.

I'm pretty happy in this moment, and it's an odd feeling.

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It's just true

Dear Disney World,

I miss you and can't wait to be happily exhausted by you again.

Fondly,
Sarah

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Accentuate the Positive

Lately, I've only posted (when I've posted at all) to complain. And really, that's grossly unfair of me and not an accurate representation of how things generally are. I mean... It's true that I am generally overwhelmed, and that my depression and anxiety are barely under control, and those factors color my perception of everything. But there are so many reasons and situations for finding joy... Peace... Happiness.

Elizabeth is nearly eight years old. She is utterly fascinating to me in every way. I simply adore her. She is a wonderful student and a voracious reader. She will try almost anything. She has become particularly adventurous with food, she loves to travel, and she loves to write and draw. Her teacher describes her as a leader without being bossy. She loves Girl Scouts, and I love being her leader. She enjoys her dance classes and works hard at them, and has made significant progress despite not being a natural at it. She is eagerly looking forward to the start of her baseball season. She's about 50" tall now. Her hair falls almost to her waist, and though she usually wears it in two braids, it is so lovely when it's down. She made her first communion last weekend and addressed the entire congregation with such poise and grace that I barely recognized her. I wish I could capture this moment in time with her and save it forever; she is so perfectly centered between being "little" and "big."

Jacob is five, and last Thursday was his last day of preschool. In a few months I will have a kindergartener again!! Four was hard for Jake, but I can see him pulling out of it. He still REALLY wants his way, but his tantrums and outbursts are getting a little less regular. He loves being with Dan, and especially loves to play video games with him. Skylanders is his favorite. He plays soccer but mostly likes it because his friends are there. He just started t-ball and is so excited about it! We are together nearly all the time and I am going to miss him so much when he's in school all day next year. Jacob is, quite simply, the most sensitive part of my heart walking around outside my body.

I'm just about done being president of Triangle and I'm so relieved. I'm not sorry I did it, but I won't miss it. I will miss seeing all of our preschool friends regularly, though. I can't believe it's over already.

Girl scouts is really getting fun. We had our first overnight last weekend and it was a huge success. We spent the night at the Leslie Science and Nature Center, and earned both the Hiker and Letterboxer badges. We had a great time and the girls behaved so well! 16 out of 19 girls came on the trip. 14 out of 19 are signed up for troop camp this summer and I'm so excited to take them!

My mom is retiring! I'm so happy for her and so happy to have extra time with her, and for her to have more energy for the kids. My dad is still so sick. His congestive heart failure is seemingly irreversible at this point. Water pills keep it mostly under control but he has very little stamina. It's so hard to watch him struggle with things like walking into a restaurant, or going up three or four steps. I am grateful for every moment we have together. He bought front row tickets for himself, my mom, and the kids for the circus in November and you'd think he was the five year old, he's so excited. My fingers are crossed that it's not too much for him.

My sweet niece Veronica is two now, and smart as a whip. She especially loves Jacob, and he is so good with her! My new nephew Benjamin is four months old and perfect for snuggling. I am so lucky to be their auntie! I'm really excited too because my favorite cousin is expecting twins in September and I am just so thrilled for her.

Dan is patient, kind, and loving in just about every way. I am blessed beyond measure to be his partner. If nothing else, there is always always that.

There is so much to be thankful for. That's what I remind myself when darker thoughts threaten to consume me. And they do, more than I care to admit. But I'm learning to deal with it, slowly.

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This is Halloween

I am laying in bed listening to the pouring rain. I love the rain. But not so much on Halloween. At least it wasn't cold - high 50s is totally doable, even in a drizzle.


Elizabeth was Yoda, and Jake was Pikachu. This picture is from Mike and Dani's housewarming party last weekend - sweet little R2tutu is my niece, Veronica. She is seven layers of adorable sprinkled with sass. I love her to bits. <3

I am tired but mostly happy. I am feeling resigned about some things and guilty about others, but for the most part things are rolling right along.

Sleep calls.

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Aug. 29th, 2012

I want to write something about my continuing feeling that something is happening/is about to happen, but I don't know what it is, at all.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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I won't let you close enough to hurt me.

Next time I'll be braver
I'll be my own savior
When the thunder calls for me
Next time I'll be braver
I'll be my own savior
Standing on my own two feet

I won't let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won't rescue you to just desert me
I can't give you the heart you think you gave me
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables


~Adele

Friends Only


My heart is full and my door's always open
You can come anytime you want
~Maroon 5


Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

~John Mayer

This journal is friends only in order to protect the privacy of my family and friends. It actually used to be almost entirely public, until the birth of my daughter made me re-examine how much of myself I make available to the internet at large. This space is about me. I write a lot about my life both past and present, my family (especially my small children), my friends, my work, and my interests. You are welcome to add me, but I won't add you back unless you introduce yourself.

Peace,
Sarah