Sunday, March 30, 2014

What is a Mudcat?!

Here we come Zebulon, NC!

Well really, here comes D.J! But seeing how from my door to Five County Stadium its about 171 miles (to be exact) and about 3 hours, I will be making my fair share of trips to North Carolina! 
I am so proud of D.J. for making the jump from Low-A to High-A ball and I know he is so happy to be in a league that is close to family and friends!  If I am not able to travel with D.J. this season, the best possible situation for us was to have him in Carolina.  All the other affiliated teams with the Indians are in Ohio, so this is nice! Playing from locations like Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, Deleware, we are going to have so much fun making memories in new places as well as getting better at baseball! There is a pretty cool map that shows where all the teams in the Carolina League are located here.

I did a little prep work in case he would be in Carolina, and thank goodness I did! The apartment is all set and we have a plan to get his car down there next weekend! I am so excited to be able to make the trip down Thursday after work to see the opening game.  Being so close is going to be great! Although we are thrilled, I am a little sad to know that some of my girlfriends won't be in the same place as us.  I am just so thankful that all of D.J.'s friends are still able to chase their dream playing baseball no matter what level they are at. 
I cannot wait to see my man in #26 with the Carolina Mudcats! I am so proud and honored to be the woman standing by his side and traveling this crazy #baseballwifelife together. No matter what, we are so thankful for what baseball brings to our lives and the opportunity to make dreams come true is priceless. 
 For all my baseball ladies out there, the months ahead are sure to bring some ups and downs, but stay positive and have fun!  If any of you are in the Carolina League, please message me, I would love to meet up whenever I am in your team's stadium!

Happy End of Spring Training and Opening Day!

Friday, March 28, 2014

s.i.x. m.o.n.t.h.s.

Today is our six month anniversary.  I figure that if parents are allowed to track their kids by months, then I am allowed to track my marriage by months... at least till we hit the twelve month mark!

Since we partied the night away on September 28, 2013, D.J. and I have been busy with life, baseball, and everything in between.  We have bought a house, traveled to St. Lucia, visited friends and family, celebrated marriages, and spoiled Stryker rotten. The past six months have flown by but at the same time seem like we have done so many exciting things. Deciding to commit myself to D.J. for the rest of our lives has been the biggest decision of my life, but the easiest of all.  I had nerves about certain things, but I was the bride that was saying "LETS GO!" when I was about to walk down the aisle.  Just ask the groomsmen that were waiting in the back with me! We were pumped! Over the last six months, I know that we both have learned about about each other and our marriage as well as ourselves. So today's 5 on Friday goes out to my loving husband of six whole months! :) 

one. keep it funny. 
We both love to have fun and make each other laugh.  I feel like the key to a happy marriage is to at least make the other laugh once a day. 

two. be spontaneous
Everything is better when you don't plan things. Date nights, trips, or even something as simple as dinner.  We have found that just being together really makes things more special. This also rings true for our baseball life as well.  Even though I am a planner, it proves to be true that whenever we plan something, another thing happens. This upcoming baseball season (which I will have news about on Monday!!!) is going to be very spontaneous for me!

three. remember to make "us" time
Often we found ourselves having every weekend planned and no free time to just do whatever we wanted.  In the next few months, I plan to enjoy the time we have together and relax.  Even though it will be filled with trips and baseball, we are excited to spend us much quality time as husband and wife!

four. make memories
One day you will look back at the first six months of your marriage and think, "wow, that was so long ago!" Spend time now making memories that will last forever. 

five. spend time with family and friends
Since baseball seems to be married to my husband for half of the year, I am so thankful that we have such great friends and family.  So to everyone in the picture below, thank you for helping us make lots of memories, take lots of trips, and spend quality time with each and every one of you! We cannot wait to continue our friendship with you all and thank you again for standing by our sides while we made the best decision of our life!

Cheers to six. And many more fabulous months, year, and decades to come!

Happy Friday Y'all!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week 7: Baseball Vases + a few

Not too much has been going on in the Home Improvement section right now, but I did get a few things to spruce up the living room that I have been wanting to get for a while now.  I finally purchased two lamps for the side tables from TJ Maxx.  They worked perfect with the stand up lamp we have on the other side of the room.  

I also added a few touches to the mantel in honor of baseball season starting in 8 days!! I haven't decided what I am going to put in the smaller hurricane vase, but something will be coming soon!

And who doesn't love tulips! When I bought these, the weather was spring.  Tonight we are expecting snow.  Get it together mother nature!! I love that I was able to use these mason jars as vases! They were the perfect size for a single tulip and cannot wait to test out my flower skills and make some arrangements in them!

Happy Hump Day everyone!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#baseballwifelife: "that" time of the month

With the month winding down, tons of baseball ladies are saying to each other it’s that "time of the month".  Yes we are moody and we get headaches and although we are happy to see it come, we never look forward to it.  Most women (and even men) would assume that I am referring to starting my period.  Nope, not that time of the month- spring training camp is getting ready to end!  Talking to lots of other baseball wives, I can speak for all of us that we are excited the time is here, but it brings out so much anxiety and lots of not knowing in the next few days.  We knew coming into it that only God knows where the next move is going to be, so we try to be calm and let whatever comes our way hit us so we can take our base.
I am in this Facebook group titled "MiLB Wives and Girlfriends", and over the past few days there have been countless posts about living suggestions all across the country.  Even though I am not traveling with D.J. this season, whatever team he makes when ST breaks will make a big impact on our lives.  A 2.5 hour drive to North Carolina is a helluva (go UVA!) lot closer than driving up north to Ohio. 

We have all come to a time in our life when everyone

asks us "that" question.  When you are a senior in high school the question is "have you decided where you are going to college?" In college it turns to "have you chose a major yet?" Come senior year, it's "do you have a job lined up after graduation?" For baseball ladies the question throughout March is always "does he know where he is going to be playing this season?" We have a lot of those questions.  But to make the answer short, NO, we are not 100% sure where he will be. We have ideas and hopes of where, but that's the beauty of it all.  Fellow blogger and baseball wife Chelsea posted something that struck a chord with me a few days ago. Be joyful.  There are plenty of things in this situation that can bring us down.  Bad outings, the unknown, releases...lots of things can impact how the next 6 months pan out.  If you look too much into those things, you will lose precious moments that you will never get back.  As a wife that does not travel with my husband, I am going to focus this season on really being thankful for the opportunity and being joyful of what baseball has brought to our lives. 

Sending all my positive thoughts and prayers from Virginia to all the players and their families that are getting ready to break from Arizona and Florida this weekend.  In a few days we will all be able to answer that question and the month of March will officially be over. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

This weekend I....

.....gave all three dogs a bath (because they were bad and got on top of the pool cover!!!)
.....went to TJMAXX and did some retail therapy because the dogs pissed me off.  We got some of our tax money back so I figure I might as well get a few things that have been on the list for a while now. I got two lamps for the living room, a few dresses, a mirror for the wall in the living room, and a pretty vase that was on sale for the bedroom!
.....played with Liam, Caroline, and Ameila

.....watched Liam's soccer game.  Little kids running around attempting to play soccer is by far the cutest thing ever.
.....met up with some new friends that I met on the plane to Arizona and took our dogs to the beach.  Stryker was pretty good but was a little too frisky with her dog, Madden.  He loved getting in the water and chasing the ball.  There were tons of dogs out since it was so nice on Saturday. 

.....gave Stryker another bath
.....attempted to do some yard work.  Needless to say that was a huge fail.  I quit.  I need some guidance!!
.....mopped the kitchen.  Paw prints are going to be the death of me. 
..... went to dinner with Carolyn, Clare, Katie, and their friend.  They treated me to Catch 31 and it was delicious! We got The Atlantic, which was plenty of food for all 5 of us.  The wine was delicious.  I did feel a little guilty since I am in the middle of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  I went off track a little Saturday night, but got back on it Sunday morning!
.....worked out hard on Sunday
.....drove to Costco to get gas and dog food.  The 50 pound bag was $10 off so it was so worth it!
.....went to the mall to look for a new pair of tennis shoe, but no such luck.  I took my ring to Helzberg to be sent off and get re-dipped.  My finger feels so empty!
.....ordered a new vaccumm from Target.  Great way to spend money.  Not. I went with what I know works and got the Hoover Anniversary WindTunnel

.....purchased my first bath bomb from Lush! I was looking for something to relax my muscles after hard workouts and the lady suggested "Big Blue".  I cannot wait to test this baby out in the next few days.  If you haven't heard of Lush, I would check it out if I was you! Lots of cool bath and shower things!

.....watched basketball (of course, its March Madness)
.....ended the weekend by sitting on the couch reading the new Nicholas Sparks book, The Longest Yard.  The sooner I finish this, the sooner I can start Divergent!

Here's to the single digit countdown till I get to see D.J!

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 on Friday!

Excited to link up with the ladies this Friday! This weekend my family is heading up to Blacksburg to watch UGA LAX take on Pitt and Virginia Tech.  Since I already have committed to something on Sunday, I decided to stay home and take care of the dogs and I am so excited I did because the weather is going to be great! 

If you missed my post on the Top 10 Things to do in Hampton Roads, take a few minutes to check it out! Lots of great things to do if you are coming to the area soon!


one. essie "DJ play that song"
Something about this color really brings out the spring in me! I typically am an OPI lover, but some of the essie colors I just can't say no to. Especially if the title is DJ play that song!

two. taxes
HALLELUJAH! Our taxes are done! If it wasn't for my awesome co-worker Jon, D.J. and I would be screwed! Trying to file taxes in Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia with the purchase of a house and a new last name thrown into the mix got super tricky.  I am so thankful they are done and Jon was able to help us!  Thanks to his expertise, we will be getting a nice refund this year! Looks like I will be doing lots of babysitting for him!

three. catch 31 and new friends
When I was on the plane to AZ, the lady that was next to me asked where I was from because I said the word "y'all".  Long story short, her daughter who is 24 is moving to Virginia Beach this weekend! We have been and touch and they were so sweet to invite me to dinner at Catch 31 on Saturday! I am SO EXCITED to meet a new friend my age and introduce them to the area! 
four. march maddness
In case you care, here is my bracket! I have always loved college basketball and making a bracket is always a must! So far I am 13/16!

five. t-shirt quilt
My very talented Nana has put so many hours of love into this t-shirt quilt that she made me. I am so excited to have something that she hand made for me with so many great memories in every single t-shirt. She made sure to make the quilt long enough for D.J! How sweet! I will be doing a post next week on special shirts that are in the quilt!

Happy Friday everyone! Update- 13 days till MiLB Opening Day!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Top 10 Things to do in Hampton Roads

Recently when I traveled to Arizona, I sat next to a woman who has a daughter my age that is moving to Hampton Roads this weekend! I mentioned that my mom was Navy, but I grew up in Norfolk and know the area like the back of my hand.  She asked me what are some good things to do while she was helping her daughter move here and that really got me thinking and was the inspiration for this post! In no particular order, here are my

Top 10 things to do in hampton roads, blog with the browns

 Home to the first ice cream cone maker, Doumars is a Norfolk classic.  Featured on Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives, Doumars has been a family owned business for the past 100 years.  Their menu is not too big, but the BBQ is delicious and personally I love the salt box (grilled cheese)! Obviously dessert is a must when you grab any food here.  My go to is a classic two dip chocolate cone! You can either dine in or have curbside service to your car, but be sure to avoid the lunch rush!

Top 10 Things to do in Hampton Roads, Doumars

Even though the downtown tunnel is now tolled, I promise the Children's Museum in Portsmouth is worth it.  Even if you don't have kids, this is a perfect place to take your nieces, nephews, or even the kids you are babysitting.  From trains and cargo shipment education to bubbles that form around you, there is something for everyone.  The admission is extremely reasonable and they even do free admission for teachers! I grew up going to the museum and over the years it has gotten bigger and better.  It still has some of the classic attractions that I remember as a kid. One of the best parts about the museum is Dr. Forces Traveling Energy Extravaganza! In this area, you can explore the energy and physical sciences in a carnival sideshow.  You will learn about magnetism, electrical energy, waves, and more!

Children's Museum of Virginia, Top 10 Things to do in Hampton Roads

3. Boating

Nothing is better than spending a day on the water in Hampton Roads.  Whether you like to go tubing, skiing, fishing, or just go out on the boat for the day, there are different places on the water where you can do all of the above.  Growing up in this area, the beach and the bay have played a huge part in who we are as locals. The trick to tubing and skiing is to get in the water earlier enough in the season that the jellies are not in yet. Some of the best places to explore on the boat are the islands that just pop up when the tide is low and you can dock up for the day.  I would highly recommend spending a day on the water down here.

4. Naval Station Norfolk- World's Largest Navy Base

Until I was 16, my mother was an active duty Navy officer. I never really appreciated or realized what I had at my fingertips this whole time.  To me, the jets, helicopters, and ships were second nature and I didn't think anything of it. When I realized that not everyone was able to go on base and see what I saw, I was able to appreciate what we have in Norfolk more. With the worlds largest Navy base all around us, there are plenty of things to see and take in while you are in town.  Go downtown to see the USS Wisconsin and get a tour of the ship or get a day pass on base and drive around to see the carriers and jets that wait to leave for deployment.

5. The Norva

 Being named one of the Best Big Rooms in America by Rolling Stone magazine, The Norva is a special place to see a concert.  In the heart of downtown Norfolk, the Norva is close to tons of local eats and places to stay.  The Tide, the downtown Norfolk's light rail cars make it easy to get anywhere you need to be.  From bands like Modest Mouse to Corey Smith and even local bands like Major and the Monbacks, The Norva is a perfect venue to get up close and personal.  The earlier you arrive, the better seats you can get! I have seen some pretty awesome artists in this venue and will always remember the great concerts there!

6. Botanical Gardens
What is more beautiful than flowers? Something about them just cheers me up and brightens my day.  The Norfolk Botanical gardens has everything from rose and hydrangea gardens to the garden of lights they have during the holiday season! They have a fountain park for kids to play in during the hot summer heat as well as a butterfly garden! The facility also doubles as one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the Hampton Roads area.  Surrounded by any flower imaginable, your pictures would be sure to turn out fabulous here.  If you are looking for an outside activity for all ages, this is your place.

Rusella Photography, Botanical Gardens, Merryman
Rusella Photography 
Rusella Photography

7. Beaches
No one can complain when they have the salty air blowing in their hair and the sand stuck between their toes.  Some prefer the craziness of the beach at the Oceanfront Boarwalk while others prefer a more secluded area of relaxation.  Hampton Roads has something for everyone.  Below are a few of the areas finest:
  • Buckroe Beach which borders the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia is 8 acres of family-friendly (pets included!) beaches.  It also has a places for kids to play, and picnic shelters with tables and grills!
    Buckroe Beach, Top Beaches in Hampton Roads
  • Croaton Beach is one of the beaches that only the locals know about.  Starting at Rudee Inlet, this beach provides awesome surf for the board lovers in the area. It is open from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and has lifeguards on duty.
  • East Beach,which is located in the East Beach neighborhood in Norfolk, is a perfect quiet and relaxing area.  With the lack of big waves because of the jetties, this beach is perfect for little kids. This is my go-to after work when I just want to be in the sun for a few hours. 
    Eat Beach Norfolk, VA Top Beaches in Hampton Roads
Overall, this area has many options as to what beach you should go to. There is not an area in Hampton Roads that you cannot be at a beach in less than 15-20 minutes!

8. Williamsburg Winery

A little ways up the road in Williamsburg sits one of the best white wine I have ever had!Their Governor’s White is the best selling Virginia wine in the state. The 300 acre farm has won many awards for their wines and the tastings are delicious.  This is another great place for a wedding! 
Williamsburg Winery, Top 10 Things to do in Hampton Roads

9. Mount Trashmore 

Although it sounds gross, Mount Trashmore is actually a very fun place to take the little ones. A great place to go for the afternoon, Mount Trashmore has places to set up a picnic, play on the playground, or even take a walk (1.45 miles to be exact) around the pond. It was created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil and totals 165 acres, 60 feet high, and 800 feet long. The Kids Cove is great for kids and I would highly recommend Mount Trashmore for a fun summer activity for kids!

Top 10 things to do in Hampton Roads

If you are making a trip to this area, you MUST stop and get a Taste Unlimited sandwich.  My favorite is the Hilltop [all natural turkey, provolone, and house dressing on French bread].  The Hilltop has been their most popular sandwich for over 40 years.  What makes these sandwiches melt in your mouth is the house dressing.  Words can't even describe how delcious it is.  You simply must taste it yourself.  They have locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach! Make sure to add this to your lunch menu while you are in town!

Taste Unlimited Top 10 Things to do in Hampton Roads, Blog with the Browns

Visiting Hampton Roads anytime soon? What do you have planned for your trip? Let me know what I missed on the Top 10 list that I need to check out!

  Happy hump day everyone!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Recap

First weekend without D.J. was actually pretty boring.  I went home early sick on Friday from work and took about a 4 hour nap right when I got home.  Probably just the climate change from pretty much summer in Arizona back to winter in Virginia. Ugh! When is it going to be spring?! 
Saturday we went out to watch Liam play soccer and decided it was a smart idea to take all three dogs in the smallest truck possible.  The place they played at actually didn't allow dogs so we had to watch from the side.. but the kids loved all the dogs and Stryker was good!

I stayed the night at my parents house since we went to Surf Rider and I had a crab cake.  Lately I have been getting allergic reactions to crab and I didn't want to be home alone if that happened again.  We watched The Counselor and it was terrible.  I couldn't follow anything that was going on and it was just a bad movie.  I am glad I didn't waste money to see that in theaters.  I also did some Target shopping and scooped up these cute wedges! Even though its 35 degrees out and I can't even think about wearing them!

Sunday was pretty low key.  Woke up, worked out, and had dinner with my dad! This sweet pup really makes all the days better when D.J. is gone! 

I hope everyone has a fabulous week and Happy St. Patricks Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Fever. 5 on Friday!

Last week when I was in Arizona, all I could hope for was that when I got back to Virginia that it would be spring for good! So far Virginia has not lived up to my expectations with weather but I am hoping with the first day of spring next week that something will happen soon! So my 5 on Friday today is all about things I am looking forward to this spring!


one. yard work
I know this may seem weird, but I am really excited to start doing yard work outside again.  I am excited for my grass to start getting green and the trees to get leaves! Although I hate the pollen side effects, it will be ok! This will be our first spring in the house and I am looking forward to getting some flower planted, some fresh mulch and making the backyard somewhere that I want to go outside and hang out at. 

two. spring mantles
Lots of different ideas for this one.  I recently picked up a Happy Easter banner from Target and I am planning on building off of that for the rest of the mantle.  I love the way the tulips look as well as the peonies! This beautiful mantle is from Stacey at Not Just A Housewife.  I love the yellow napkin that folds off.  I obviously wouldn't have the chalkboard since our TV is about our mantle!

Spring Mantle ideas for Blog with the Browns

three. baseball games
With the season opener right around the corner, I am so excited for this season to start.  I plan to make many trips wherever D.J. is to see him play.  Lots of questions still need to be answered before April 3, but I know that there is a bigger plan and I cannot wait to find out what it is! 

four. outside projects
I have a few different things going on in my head for outside projects! My dad has an old pallet at their house that I want to turn into this.. I haven't decided where I would put it yet, but this is happening!

American Flag Pallet Art for Blog with the Browns

On Wednesday morning when I was dropping Stryker off at my parents, I saw our neighbor throwing away their bench.  It needs a little work, but I think I can fix this baby up to look perfect either outside or in the entryway of the house!

After going through Not Just a Housewife blog, I found so many more ideas that I would LOVE to do in our yard.  This may not be the most realistic for our yard, but it would be so cute!

Hanging mason jars with flowers in them

five. new blog design
I know I haven't had this one for too long, but I think I need to jazz up this blog.  If I really want it to grow and get more followers, it's time for an upgrade! Any blog designer suggestions would be appreciated!

Have a good weekend y'all!