Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mystery Flowers

There have been so many wonderful things about buying our house.  We have been able to make it our home, share memories, and fill it with lots of stuff already! Over the past month or so, I have noticed these random "weeds" coming out in the flower bed next to the front porch.  When I realized that they were actually annual flowers coming up, I got so excited!
Except they literally too like 3-4 weeks to bloom! Finally I started to notice that they were budding and this is what I have gotten so far!

I have no idea what type of flowers these are, but I do know that they are making lots of buds on each bush! There is another flower blooming with a longer stem that I don't know what they are either.  They haven't blossomed yet, so when they do I will post more pictures!

If you have any idea of what these flowers are please let me know!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday after graduation I drove down to Carolina for the long weekend.  I got to the game around the 4th inning and met up with all the girls! Since it was holiday weekend, there was a good amount of girlfriends in town!
Saturday we soaked up the sun by the pool from 12-4 and then went over to the field.  It was a pretty good game, but they lost.

Sunday we laid at the pool for a little bit, did laundry and they went to the game.  Everyone came in town for D.J.'s start and it was good to have the family there. D.J. did pretty well.  He went 5 innings with 2 hits, no runs, 4 walks, and 6 strike outs.  The team they were playing, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, is leading the division and has some crazy good players. 


Mondays game was at 12 so I was able to stay and drive home after the game.  After taking a few pics, we said bye to all the girls and I got on the road!

 Mailey, Me, Kaela, Ashley, Ashley, and Alexa!

Next weekend- Myrtle Beach!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Me·mo·ri·al Day
  1. A day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Thank you to all of the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom.  You will forever be remembered as hero's. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

6 Year Ago Today

This week clearly has been themed on graduation. Earlier this week I posted about JMU so today lets go back six years ago.  Six years ago today I graduated from one of the best Independent schools in the Hampton Roads area, Norfolk Collegiate. Today will be my first graduation as a Norfolk Collegiate employee! I went to Norfolk Collegiate from 1st grade - 4th grade, then moved to Japan (story for another time), then came back from 7th grade - 12th grade.  I was one of those people that absolutely LOVED high school.  I loved my teachers, friends, experiences, and everything else high school brought.  I was named Class Friendliest and I like to sum up my high school experience on that note!

Going back looking through pictures to put in this post really took me back to so many memories.  It's crazy to think how fast time flies. So today's 5 on Friday will be dedicated to some of my favorite memories from high school.

one. homecoming

I loved homecoming! Clearly I went a little over board this year!

two. sports
I was a three sport athlete all four years in high school.  I also played travel soccer outside of school so to say I was busy was an understatement. Although some people (you know who you are!) like to think that Cheerleading is not a sport, it most definitely is.

three. think pink fashion show - senior project

At Norfolk Collegiate, every senior is responsible for completing a senior project.  Ryan, Mary, and I carried on the tradition of the Think Pink Fashion Show.  We gathered donations from stores and companies, managed models and fittings, and raised over $5,000 for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation!

four. spring breaks

We went on so many awesome vacations as a family in high school.  We went to Key Largo, Sanibel Island, and Orlando!

five. graduation

And to wrap everything up, graduation was one of the best times of high school.  It was the last time we were together as a class and the pictures I look through bring me back to so many memories.
Norfolk Collegiate Class of 2008- Happy 6 year graduation day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Colleen Moves In!

When I get home from work today I will have a new roommate! I am so excited for Colleen, one of my little sister in AST, is moving in with me for the summer!! 

Up until I took a little, the "Blue Eyed Family" was simple and always had a freshman with blue eye as the youngest in the family.  Well that all changed when I decided to take twins! Kelly (left) and Colleen (right) were lucky enough to have me to share :) HEHE! Then after they took littles everything just got confusing and I'm not even going to bother trying to explain because I mess it up every time! 

Anyways, Colleen will be living with me this summer while she does her Physical Therapy Grad School intern with the Norfolk Tides! What better way to spend your summer getting class credit to work on baseball players every day?! 

I am so excited to have Colleen with me for the summer and can't wait for all the great memories we will make this summer little!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Love My University

Two years ago this May I graduated from one of the best universities in the United States.  It may not be the best education or best athletics, but it was by far the best experience. [thanks to my awesome parents for allowing me to come out debt free] 

 James Madison University is not just an institute of higher education.  It's a spirit.  It's an atmosphere. It's a way of life.  

When I was applying to colleges, I knew I wanted to go to JMU.  I guess I knew from a young age that I would always end up there.  I had in my mind that I would drive a white Toyota 4runner like my cousin and go to JMU and live by the train tracks.  Our family doesn't have a strong tie to JMU like many of my friends from college, but I just knew that this school was the best fit for me.  

When I went to visit for the first time, it was an experience that I will never forget.  I stayed in White Hall with my childhood best friend, Zoe and we had the best time.  The campus was beautiful and the people were friendly.  I felt like I fit in automatically.

I had some of the best time in my life at JMU.  I made so many friends and memories that will forever be a part of me.  From running the tunnels, having the band as an alarm clock in Eagle Hall, being able to see the end zone from our room in the AST house, living in Forrest Hills, and so much more, I am proud to say that I lived the Madison Experience.  I did so many of the "bucket list" items that everyone at JMU talks about doing.  Hiking Old Rag, check.  Swim at Blue Hole, check. Snowboard at Massanutten, check.

So like Jason Aldean says "It sure left its mark on us, we sure left our mark on it.  We let the world know we were here with everything we did.  We laid a lot of memories down like tattoos on this town."

If I was going to live away from home for four years, I wanted to make sure that it would bring out the best in me and make me a better person.  James Madison and Harrisonburg really made me feel at home and allowed me to be the best person I could be.  I feel like JMU allowed my personality to shine through in so many different aspects.  From being a First Year Orientation Guide, joining Alpha Sigma Tau, and interning with the JMU Sports Marketing department, I truly believe that I am the woman I am today because of these experiences.  I mean, lets look at it.  I wouldn't have met my husband if I wasn't a FROG,  I wouldn't have met my friends, bridesmaids, and roommates if it wasn't for AST, not to mention my first job, and I wouldn't have had the experience of doing in game promotions for sports if it wasn't for the internship.  I really think that down the road I will end up back in that area of work with all the baseball I am being exposed to now.

So to all you undergrads still living the life in Harrisonburg, enjoy ever moment that the university provides you.  Take full advantage of the movies at Grafton, the 4 beautiful seasons that valley shows us, and always remember to hold the door for those after you.  And as much as everyone says "the real world isn't like JMU", I have to disagree.  I think JMU lives in me everyday and I believe that I left a little piece of myself in Harrisonburg, but I 100% took a piece of JMU and Harrisonburg with me when I left.  So if you choose to believe that the real world will be like JMU, it will be.  You just have to let it shine through you!

Happy Graduation Class of 2014 and welcome to the best 4 years of your life Class of 2018!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

When In Myrtle Beach...

Hmm. So in 10 days, I am heading down to Myrtle Beach with D.J. and the boys to watch them play the Myrtle Beach Pelicans! This will be my first time to Myrtle and I am super excited.  When I got to college, everyone seemed to always do Beach Week trips to Myrtle but we never did that because we live at the beach.  There is no point to drive 6 hours south to sit at the same beach and (pretty much) the same boardwalk.  I could be completely wrong, but I am expecting it to be pretty similar to VB minus the huge ferris wheel.  

Anyways, I need y'alls help.  While D.J. is at the field, I obviously will need something to do.  Besides get super tan, which I plan to do, I need some suggestions on restaurants, shopping, outdoor adventures, and whatever else you think I need to do while I am visiting!

READY.... GO! Any suggestions are good suggestions :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Carolina Weekend

I consider this weekend a success for many reasons.  One- I made it down to Carolina with Stryker without getting a flat tire (HALLELUIAH!) Two- I got to see two of the roomies pitch. Three- I met new friends!  Friday night was a double header so Ryan Merritt pitched first...

...and Michael Peoples pitches second.  Ashley, his girlfriend is visiting for a few weeks so I finally got to meet her.  It's so awesome having another girl around in the house when the boy's leave for the game. 

 After the game on Friday we went back to the apartments and I went to sleep.  My allergies were in serious overdrive so I took a Benadryl and didn't wake up till 11:30 the next morning! We had all hopes of going to the mall, but opted for Target and the pool instead.  Saturday I left Stryker at the apartment, so I went to the game later with P.J. and her little boy Kingston.  P.J. is D.J.'s pitching coach's girlfriend.  It worked out perfect since Kingston was napping and we got to the game around the 4th inning.  The game ended around 8:30 so we went back to the apartment, ordered pizza, and played cards.  Life of a baseball player right?!

Sunday I packed up the car and had everything ready to go when the game ended.  Mailey, Elivs Arajo's wife is here for the next two months from Venezuela. 

I have realized that traveling to another country where they don't speak English could really be a challenge.  Mailey doesn't speak a bit of English, so communicating is pretty hard.  And for anyone that knows me, my lips don't stop moving! What can I say, a girls gotta talk right!? Anyways, I have been racking my memory for all that Spanish I learned in high school and surprisingly I remember a lot more than I thought I would.  She is catching on really quick and I think by the end of the season, she will have it down pretty well! At least the words she needs to know!

Then before I hit the road, we did a little family photo shoot :) We love our pup and I am so glad I get to bring Strkyer down to see his daddy!

Any suggestions on good restraunts in Raleigh?! I am trying to think of a yummy place for us to go during Memorial Day Weekend! 

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 on Friday: MiLB Myths

After reading this article, I felt the need to share with you all some myths about the minor league baseball lifestyle.  This article has been flying around my social media because of all the baseball people I am friends with, but I wanted to share this with you ladies to give you more of a perspective into this life!

one.  high salaries
Yea right.  I can tell you first hand that the salaries are nothing.  I don't think you can even consider it a salary because they don't get paid all year.  After taxes, insurance, and clubhouse fees are taken out, its enough to cover food and the rent for the apartment.  

two. nice cars
Ha. Some of the minor league guys ride in a van every day to the field.  And if they actually do have a car, it cost them so much to ship it there that it wasn't worth it.  It's probably sitting in the sun in Arizona or Florida.

three. eat great meals every day
That never happens.  When I am not there, D.J. eats fast food and PBJ like it's his job.  And when I am there, I either eat at the field or after at a drive thru.  Unless its an off day, you can probably bet we won't get to sit down together and eat.

four. your job isn't really a job
People don't understand that baseball is just like any other job.  You can be fired, you can be promoted, you have projects, you have to live up to an expectation.  Just because these guys are "living the dream" by playing baseball, doesn't mean life is easy.  They still have to find a way to provide for their families.

five. beautiful houses
If you are lucky enough to own a house, you probably don't get to see it much since you are away for 7 months out of the year.  Most of these guys are trying to find a place to stay during the season just to have a place to rest their head.  Couches, floors, sleeping bags, air mattresses... you name it, they've tried it.

I hope you all read the article because it give a much better reality check when looking at the lifestyle of a minor league baseball player! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Venus Trapped in Mars

Today I am joining in on the first ever #totalsocial with Sarah and Helene. The point of the link-up is to find new bloggers via the hashtag #totalsocial.  This month the prompt is "firsts" so I am going to go ahead and tell you about my first time working on a Habitat for Humanity build!

When I was working as an Educational Consultant for AST, I was fortunate enough to travel the country and see some amazing places while meeting some awesome women.  Most of the fall semester in 2012 I spent with the women at University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, IN.  As an EC, we were responsible for running the chapter's business meetings, planning socials, and doing volunteer work.  Evansville has a pretty well-established H4H and even had its own H4H section of a neighborhood. When the women of the chapter told me they wanted to do a build, I was more than happy to set something up for them.

 [now that I am writing this blog post, this is my second time doing a H4H build!...oops]

The summer I started working for AST, we helped with a build in Indianapolis, but honestly, it was one of the worst experiences.  We had already had a long day, it was hot, and we were all just not really into it. The house we were working on was in the final stages of being finished so they really didn't need that many volunteers.

Blog with the Browns

The house that we were working on in Evansville was bare bones.  We were putting up walls, nailing the roof together, and really involved in the process of making wood turn into a house. I was so excited to be able to work on this house with the women who was going to be moving into this exact house.  Habitat for Humanity has a specific list of who can apply and receive a Habitat house.  This women had put in over 100 hours on her house.  It had to be so rewarding to be so hands on in the building of a place she will share so many memories with her family.

Blog with the Browns

I haven't done a big volunteer job like this since we worked on this house and I am feeling the itch. I would love to help on another H4H house around here, but just haven't done the research yet.
After we finished working on this house, we had the opportunity to put together a "welcome home" basket for another family that was moving into a house down the street.  It was so rewarding to be able to welcome this family into their new home that was built just for them with everything you need for an empty house.  Laundry detergent, soap, towels, dish soap, and so much more was loaded into a laundry basket for this sweet family.

If you ever have a chance to do a Habitat for Humanity build, do it!

Blog with the Browns

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DIY: Home is where Baseball Sends Us Part 2

Last week I showed y'all the preview of a project I was working on, and here is the final product!
Thanks to my awesome father-in-law, I had the wood pre-made for me by him and the eye hooks installed in the wood.  

First things first- I had to go to the store and get some supplies.  I knew I was going to spray paint the wood and paint pen the letters so I knew what I needed.  The person that helped me at The Home Depot was by far the best customer service experience I have ever experienced.  Lee was so helpful and stuck by my side the whole time.  He even helped me get the stuff I needed for the next project I am going to work on!
So after getting the spray paint, paint pens, and a few other items that I will tell you about later, I was ready to start! 

Next thing I did was tape off the metal hooks because I didn't want them to get spray painted.  I just used some painters tape, but any tape would work.

I knew going into this project that if I spray painted them, it would go much faster, but if I do it again, I would make sure I spray painted in the garage.  When I left it out to dry, I could tell some dust got in it so it's a little grainy.  Lesson learned.

I ended up doing two-ish coats of spray paint.  While I was doing this, I found a few fonts that I like on the computer and did a mock up of the design so I had the right spacing. 

And after about and hour of doing the writing, I had the finished product!

I wanted to put the miles from Norfolk to the team's home stadium so we will remember how far we were from each other during these times!

I ended up putting the sign on the wall right when you walk in the front door.  It's a perfect location and there is plenty of room to add on as we get moved around!  Another things I learned making this one is that the eye hooks need to be even or else the "location" boards will not fall evenly down when placed against the wall.  This is something that probably only I would notice though!

The size of the top board is 17 in x 9 in and the "location" board are 12 in x 3.5 in.  For all of my baseball ladies out there, or any other sports for that matter (or military!!) I am taking custom orders if you are interested! Please email me at merrymce [at] gmail [dot] com. You can customize the color of the wood, certain colors of the lettering, and I don't mind adding or removing things that you see or don't see! 

I look forward to hearing from you all about making your family something special! This would make a great Father's Day gift :)! Afraid that you may have too many locations for one of these?! Don't worry we can figure out a way to make it work!

Have a good Tuesday y'all!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was great.  Although it didn't entail baseball, this weekend was relaxing, fun-filled, and full of sunshine!
After work Friday, my mom, dad, and sister went to the Varsity Girls Soccer game as they played in the conference tournament title game.  As an alumnus that played girls soccer, it was pretty cool to see them play for the title. Something we never had a chance to do! They ended up loosing the game but it was great to see them play.  We went to Chipotle for dinner and topped the night off with some Skinny Dip (frozen yogurt for the non-locals). 

Saturday morning I was up bright and early for the Girls On the Run 5K in Downtown Norfolk! This was the first time I didn't have a runny buddy because I was running to win.  My dad and I have been going on and on about who would win a 5K and this was the time to prove it! I will be the first to say that I was shocked on how well he did! I ran my best race I have run yet and he was right by my side majority of the race.  When we got to the final turn of the course I didn't think I had the final sprint in me so I told him to push as hard as he could.  But when he said "this is for bragging right!" I kicked it into over drive and pushed as hard as I could the last .2 miles.  I ended up finishing with a time of 29:19 and dad finished at 29:33!!! Not a blow out at all!! I was very surprised at how well I did, but more so I was impressed by how awesome my dad did! YOU ROCK DAD :)

The rest of the day was super busy.  I went straight to babysit for the Waidelich's and was there to help out with the kids as they hosted a yard sale.  They are heading across the world to Sugi, Japan!! I hope during their tour there I will have a chance to visit them.  Anyways, the big kids had a birthday party to attend and baby D was down for a nap so I was helping with clean up.  When I realized that no one had bought their Pottery Barn crib, my mind started to turn.  NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT.  I did however, buy the crib.  Yep,  I scored such a good deal that I bought a crib.  How can you pass up such a good deal!?! I'm pretty sure everyone I told has looked at me like "ummmm are you trying to tell me something?!" but nope, just couldn't say no to a good deal.  Even if I end up not liking it when the time comes to need it, I have something to use! And if Mrs. Waidelich used it, I'm sure it's probably perfect.  Needless to say the yard sale was a success for me.  And to top it off, instead of paying me, they are going to give me their extra queen bed for the guest room!

After I left, I went home and took a quick shower before I went to the next babysitting job! It was super fun to watch Erin's boys.  And that is what they are- TRUE BOYS THRU AND THRU!! Dressed like spider man, running around the house, and being risky it reminded me of my brother when he was that age! Always taking chances.

Saturday night I took it easy and watched The Delivery Man at my parents.  I came home and took some allergy pills.  I guess I was only supposed to take one, but I took two.  I didn't figure out I was wrong till I woke up the next day at 11 am!!! I never sleep that late! It was great though, I needed that catch up.

Sunday we celebrated the most awesome mom in the world! We had lunch at my aunts house with everyone and then caught some rays by the pool and gave Stryker a bath! Stinken dog got all dirty about an hour later though so it doesn't even matter.

Anyways, the weekend was eventful and great! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! 

Tomorrow I will show y'all the final product of my "Home is Where Baseball Sends Us"!

Friday, May 9, 2014

5 on Friday: Rock or not??!

As always, linking up with the baby mama's today for the Friday link up!  

Lately I have seen a few things that people are rocking that I am not sure I could pull off even if I tried.  Remember when the peplum tops just hit the racks and EVERYONE was buying them? Yea, well this girl looked all over for the perfect peplum and nothing seems to fit the girls right. Makes things difficult when ya got big tata's and a small torso!  Anyways, I never really got into the peplums but I did eventually find a few classic dressed from JCrew that you can find me wearing for Christmas Eve Mass!

I want to know what y'all think on these 5 "hot" items right now.  Should I try them? Or just don't even bother?! Any advice would be appreciated! 
*let it be known that this is the first of any kind of fashion post I have done, so lets not jump down my throat!*

one. palazzo pants 
Although super cute, I just have a feeling these would literally make me look like a balloon.  Super comfy looking, cute, and perfect for summer though! Anyone have success with these?! 

two. crop tops that look like bras
I am just gonna go out and say it now- some ladies should probably choose not to wear these crop tops.  They aren't cute on everyone, y'all. Personally, I love me a crop top that is reasonably cropped, but when it looks like a bra or a cheerleading uniform, its a little too much for me. 
This is an example of what I am looking for..

...and this is not.

three. high wasited shorts
I think these are just something that you have to be built for.  My short soccer player legs are not made to be put in high waisted shorts.  If anyone would like to prove me wrong, I am willing to take all bets!

four. black/nude wedges
Ok- so tell me honest opinions.  What do y'all think about these wedges with a full cover on the top?! I have been trying to find a good wedge and would love some suggestions! :)

five. baseball uniforms
And since today's starting pitcher is the one and only, D.J. Brown, I just wanted y'all to see how great guys look in a baseball uniform!!
Good luck tonight D.J.!

Happy Friday Y'all! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

#baseballwifelife: The Ladies

I think that one of the best parts about D.J. being a professional baseball player is meeting all the girlfriends/fiances/wives that have guys in the minors! When we first got drafted with the Indians, I had no idea how many new friends I would be making; I just assumed D.J. would be making all the new friends! When D.J. got to Lake County last year and I met Maria (who is expecting their first little boy soon!) and Mikaela, it was so great to have some girlfriends to hang out with while the boys went to the field.  I can only imagine how awesome it was for them to have each other the whole season while the boys were on road trips! Unfortunately, Maria and Eric are still in East Lake and Mikaela is living in Alaska working, so I don't see them a whole lot.  Besides the two of them, there were a few other girlfriends that showed up from time to time when I would visit D.J. last season, but none that stuck around!

During the off season, I met a few more ladies that I have gotten to know pretty well over the last few months.  Crazy how technology can bring so many people into your life.  I met these ladies on Facebook, Twitter, and the Blog! Now my family and D.J. think its weird/crazy that I just start talking to these random people, but that's just how I am! I wanted to introduce you to a few of the ladies that I have met that share a similar lifestyle as we do!

martha kate @ seasons with the strattons and her husband are with the San Francisco Giants and currently in High A (same as us) ball in California.  Martha Kate and I have been following each other's blogs for a while now. I really appreciate the insight she brings to the wife role as someone that gets to travel to almost all of her husbands games. She is also a wife to a pitcher so when I read about her experiences, I can relate pretty well to almost everything! I wish our boy's played closer to each other so we would be able to actually meet! The good thing with baseball is that ya never know! If both of our boys move up, they will play against each other! The Giant's AA team is Richmond Flying Squirrels and our AA team plays against them!

chelsea @ the minor league picture and her husband actually knew D.J. before Chelsea and I had a chance to figure it out! One day, I was talking to D.J. about "this girl" that I follow on twitter and surprisingly enough, D.J. knew her name when I said it! Long story short, he played summer ball in college with Daniel, her husband.  So when we both realized that we would be in Arizona at the time, we decided it was crucial that we meet up! It was so great to meet Daniel and Chelsea and although their story has taken some turns this season, I am so happy to have met this sweet couple and continue to talk baseball every now and then with her! Chelsea is also the whole reason I started to sell Advocare.  Here is the post about my story with Advocare if you are interested in knowing more!

This season has been great because I have been able to meet a lot more ladies in the stands during games then I have in the past.  Obviously I am there a lot more than I was last year so it makes sense.  Kaela, Rachel, Alexa, Ashley, and I know there will be more in the next few months! I am so excited to have met all these awesome ladies and cannot wait to see them all again soon!

A few other blogs that I read are Emily @ Freckles and Fastballs, Susan @ The Johnson Jumble, Nicole @The Life of a Baseball Wife (whose hubby happens to be the Indians!), and Kendall @ Know Better Love. I love the way Kendall documents their days on her blog! It really puts it into perspective what every day life looks like for the wives!

Ladies- who knows when our paths may cross, but if you are ever at a Carolina Mudcats game or I am in your town, please let me know! I love the bond that ties us together and so happy we have each other to talk to!

Happy Thursday y'all!! Only one more day till the weekend!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

DIY: Home is Where Baseball Sends Us

Have y'all seen these before?

If not, then you are missing out.  These beauties have been made typically for families in the Armed Services. But this baseball wife is bringing them to the baseball world!
So my awesome father-in-law made this wood sign for me and I am going to make it into the first (that I have seen) "Home is Where Baseball Sends Us" sign!
My awesome father-in-law, Dennis (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!) is so talented. I showed him a picture, gave him some measurements and next week I had this all ready to be painted!

After going back and forth on a few things, I decided to go with the layout below. I like to see the miles of all the locations that D.J. goes and how far they are from Norfolk.  I also am going to leave some space next to the years in case he goes back to a certain place again.  For example, Spring Training will have 2013, 2014 and will leave space for the years to come! 

This is a weekend project, so hopefully next week I will have an update on the finished product!

-Baseball ladies- if you are interested in something like this, I am more than happy to make one for you! Just shoot me an email at merrymce [at] gmail [dot] com and we can talk details! Can't wait to show ya'll the finished product!