Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#baseballwifelife: Another View- Lauren

With the last week of Spring Training upon us, this week's #baseballwifelife is live up on the blog.  Today I am so excited to introduce you to Lauren, baseball girlfriend to Mitch who was D.J.'s roommate last season! Hope you enjoy! Oh and I'm over on her blog answering questions about our baseball life! 

1. Tell us about yourself! How did you meet Mitch? Do you travel during the season? 

Hi Friends :) My name is Lauren and I am from Rochester, MN as is my Minor League Baseball-playing boyfriend, Mitch. Mitch and I met in 6th grade at school and had always been really close friends—up until junior year of high school when he asked me to Prom. That’s when it all started y’all. We’ve been together ever since and through all of the ups and downs and the roller-coaster ride of life and baseball, we are so happy to have been together (almost) five years now. 

2. Favorite froyo topping? Strawberries & Cocoa Pebbles!
3. Everything thinks baseball players and their families live glamorous lives - what would you say to that?

Although this may be true for some of the Big Leaguer’s, the reality of it all is that the minor league guys and their families live a difficult life. The majority of us wives and girlfriends have long distance relationships with our beau’s. You see, the guys don’t get paid diddly-squat in the minor leagues, so us girls often have to finish school and/or stay home and work to provide for ourselves and our families. There is also a lot of travel involved with this lifestyle—some people love it and some people don’t. 

It’s not all bad, but I wouldn’t say it’s glamorous either! There are some perks to living this lifestyle. One of the biggest perks for me has been the baseball community. The majority of the players and their wives and girlfriends have been wonderful. We’re all in the same boat and we can all relate to one another. We love our baseball fam!

4. Dating someone in the minor leagues can be hard. What would you say is the biggest challenge for you and Mitch?

Finding time to communicate! With Mitch's schedule at the field during Spring Training and during regular season games, and my school/work/sport schedule at school, it’s extremely difficult for us to simply sit down and find time to have a conversation. Not to mention his signal AND wifi at his hotel right now are beyond terrible! So, when I get a chance to chat I soak it all in because the opportunity is rare!

5. What is your favorite and worse part of the minor league lifestyle?

Favorite part: the baseball fam and the games. I love baseball and the entire environment. I also love meeting new people and discovering new places and cities—even if they aren’t the greatest places!

Worst part: The long distance that the baseball lifestyle requires of Mitch and I. Some ladies are fortunate enough to be able to travel with their men, but for right now that’s just not in the cards for Mitch and I (unless I am able to land a full-time remote position post-graduation—I’m taking recommendations!). 

    6. I know you spent time with Mitch during the season last year.  What would you say you learned about yourself and your relationship during that time?

    Last summer was a blessing. I knew that once I graduated I’d need to get a full-time job to prepare Mitch and I for our future, so I jumped on the opportunity to spend the summer with him in 2015. We learned A LOT about one another! We definitely felt pressure throughout the summer from our married roommates (there were seven of us total in a three bedroom apartment!) but they definitely helped us to question our relationship in a positive way—which helped us grow further into our relationship. Being in the same place at the same time helped us learn each other’s pet-peeves as well! Example: Mitch HATES the sound of people brushing his teeth! Who knew? I also learned that I am terrible at navigating, well technically Siri is. I like to blame her!

    7. What is the craziest or most memorable experience you've had on your baseball journey?

    Last summer was definitely the most memorable. There were about 5-10 girls in once place at one time all summer long—which is very rare with everyone’s schedules! Another favorite memory was having Mitch’s coach call me out of the stands to personally give me a reservation that he’d made for us at a local restaurant for the upcoming off-day. It was such a nice gesture!

    8. What does the ideal off day during the season look like for you and Mitch?

    For us, we typically just like to catch up on sleep seeing as the baseball lifestyle has you running on a very weird sleep schedule! We just like to relax and enjoy each other’s company since the guys only get a few days off ALL SUMMER!

    9. What kind of advice would you give to future baseball wives and girlfriends?
    For all you ladies out there, confide in one another! We all know what each other is going through because we’ve all been there and/or we can personally relate. We’re all sisters around here! Also, be patient and understanding. The long distance and miscommunication are definitely difficult at times, but it’s all worth it when you get to be with the love of your life in the end. 

    Saturday, March 26, 2016

    Baby Brown: Week 40

    How far along: 40 WEEKS!!! 

    Due date: YESTERDAY!!! 

    Baby Size: fully cooked and hopefully ready to come out any day down and I can update you all on his actual size! 

    Weight gain: too much to worry about. 

    Maternity Clothes: at this point, I'm wearing whatever fits. 

    Stretch Marks: oh yea, these babies popped out of no where underneath my big ole belly.  Can't complain though, it's all worth it! 

    Sleep: I physically have to lift my belly whenever I want to roll from one side to the other.  So sleep isn't the best, but every few nights I get a pretty good sleep in there.  

    Gender: BOY!!! 

    Name:  Harrison Cole Brown !

    Movement: Oh yea and boy, am I going to miss feeling this.  The movements come with some serious pressure these days, but it's such a surreal feeling that this child has grown in me for 39 weeks and now is officially ready to make his way into the world.  Women bodies are truly amazing! 

    Best moment this week: coloring Easter eggs, celebrating Easter, and knowing that our little man should be in our arms any minute now! 

    Looking forward to:  Celebrating Harrison's birthday!! and seeing where D.J. will start the season! 

    Husband is: still out it AZ and killing it.  He has played in three games so far and hoping to get at least one more game/bullpen in before Harrison arrives.  Of all the things that come with delivery, I am most nervous about D.J. getting back to Virginia in time for the birth. 

    Cravings: still the smell of cleaning supplies,  ice, and a hot shower! 

    Anything making you queasy or sick: nope.

    Labor Signs: As of this morning at my 40w1d appointment, I was 3cm and planning to be induced this week if nothing happens before then! 

    Missing Most: hopefully pretty soon I will be saying I miss being pregnant! 

    Symptoms: lower back pain that comes on suddenly....nurse said this was the stress on my body of carrying baby boy around. 

    Nursery: DONE -  check it out.

    Belly Button in or out? Still not 100% an outie.  It has it's moments though! When baby boy sits right behind it, its a full on volcano! 

    Wedding rings on or off? they still fit, but I don't want to push it. 

    Mood: anxious!! I can't wait for the labor process to begin so Harrison can be here in our arms and join our family on the outside! 

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    #baseballwifelife: The Questions

    Monday marked the halfway point of minor league Spring Training.  Maybe it's because I am counting days like a hawk, but it seems like this month is flying by.  D.J. has been having an amazing spring training so far and we cannot wait to see what this season holds for him. 

    This is the start of D.J.'s fourth full season in the minor leagues and the system still seems to confuse 99% of everyone that I try to explain it to.  We get questions about the minor league system in general, questions about his living arrangements, pay, and so much more.  When I started writing this post, I wanted to get some other ladies advice, so I posted on the Facebook group I'm a part of.  You would never believe how many responses I got! There had to be over a hundred suggestions of questions that people don't understand about our lifestyle.

    So after combing through them, here are some of the questions and hopefully answers to our crazy lifestyle that we live!

    Why did he choose to play with the Indians? Is he hoping to be drafted soon? Does he want to make it to the real team?

    OK, so what people don't seem to get is that D.J. has already been drafted.  By the Cleveland Indians.  Back in June of 2012.  Every June, the 30 Major League baseball clubs participate in the draft.  They choose roughly 40 players that they want on their teams - from high school kids, to junior college kids, to 4 year college kids.  4 year college kids are eligible for the draft their junior year of school and in some cases if they're 21 by a certain date. In D.J.'s case, teams scouted him in college and after his junior year in June of 2012, the Indians decided they would take a chance on him (since he was hurt at the time) and drafted him in the 39th round. Since he was drafted, he has been on multiple teams in the Indians organization.  So far, he has been on three different levels of teams and is hoping to continue to move up to the "real" team - the Cleveland Indians. So to answer the question above...he had no say in what team would draft him, he has already been drafted and he is already on the real team.  He is not in the major leagues, but he is an employee of the Cleveland Indians organization and is working his way up in the minor league system. 

    Why do you still work at Norfolk Collegiate? Doesn't he make enough for you to stay at home? Why don't you just travel with him? Since he plays baseball for a living, doesn't that mean y'all are rich?

    First off, I really enjoy my job.  I find that a woman with a career is very valuable in this world today.  That by no means do I dismiss the work that all the stay at home moms I know do.  They work their ass off every day in a different way than I do and I don't know if I would have enough patients to do that, so hats off to you ladies! Second off, no - D.J. does not make enough money for me to stay at home and travel with him every season.  We are fortunate enough to have a place we call home and during the season I man the house.  Last season, my job let me work remotely for the summer, but with my upcoming maternity leave, that is not happening this season.  As much as I would love to see every game D.J. plays and be with all the other baseball wives that are there for the season, that is not the baseball life that works for us.  Everyone has their own story and there is no judgement from any of the baseball ladies on that.  For the record, D.J. only gets paid during the months he is playing baseball.  So technically, he has no income from the months of September until April.  So having a steady income from my job is how we are fortunate enough to live the way we do.  I work because I like my job, we need a steady income and no, D.J. does not make millions (or even thousands) of dollars! 

    Why can't he just play for the team in Norfolk? He can't just take a day off to come to the wedding? They play everyday!?!?!

    Ah, these are some of the best questions.  Makes me realize how much I didn't know coming into this lifestyle.  It truly is a world of unknown until you experience it for yourself.  As great as it would be for D.J. to be on the Norfolk Tides, that is not possible...unless D.J. got traded to the Baltimore Orioles.  The Tides are the AAA team for the Orioles and he plays on the AA team for the Indians.  Completely different levels and organizations.  Bummer right?! Since they do play every day, off days are sacred.  Off days are spent traveling or sleeping for the most part.  Games are played hundreds of miles apart or an hour down the road.  So no, he can't just take a day off to come home or to your wedding or to the family reunion.  All of our summer holidays are spent traveling to whatever city D.J. is in that weekend! 

    What does he do all day if he doesn’t go to the field till like 5?

    You know how you go to sleep anywhere between 9-11 p.m. and wake up for work between 6-8 a.m.? Well they work from 1 p.m. till 11 p.m. on average.  So although he may not have to "go into work" until later than a normal 9-5 job, he also has a very different sleep schedule.  Then there are games at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. that are played after getting home at 11:30 p.m. the night before. Yes, he has to get up early to play baseball, but it's also his job that is based on performance. He can't just go to work and get through it. He has to perform the best way he can each and every time he pitches, or his career may end earlier than we want. 

    And a few more without long answers...

    How long do you think he’ll keep playing? Hopefully a long time.  Baseball is very unpredictable.  He could be "fired" any day at any time throughout the season. He also says how it would be very hard to walk away from the game he loves. 

    What is he going to do after baseball? No idea.  We will cross that bridge when we get there. 

    Do you buy a house where he lives or does the team pay for housing? Typically the minor leaguers bunk up with each other - two guys per room in a three bedroom apartment.  Not to mention their wives/girlfriends that come to visit.  Or they have host families that offer up a room in their house for the players. So no, we don't buy a house and the team does NOT pay for housing.  That is all on the responsibility of the player.

    If he plays for the Akron Rubberducks, how is he with the Cleveland Indians? The Akron Rubberducks is the AA team affiliate with the Cleveland Indians organization. The affiliates are basically rungs on a ladder with the Cleveland Indians being at the top. 

    When will he make it to the bigs? That's the big question.  No one knows.  Could be tomorrow for some players, could be never for others.  That's the risk you take playing professional baseball.  You are always working for the next job opening on the next team up!

    Don’t you get lonely when he is gone?! Obviously.  Thanks for rubbing it in.

    I really have learned so much since this journey in professional baseball has began and I am happy to answer more questions you may have about our lifestyle! It truly has been a rollercoaster ride since I started dating D.J. and I am thankful for such a level-headed man to be on the ride with.

    Oh, and if you want to know more specifically about D.J.'s season so far, check out this link! Heading into the season as the #66 prospect is an amazing accomplishment for someone drafted in the 39th round! 

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    26 things you didn't know about me

    Right around my 26th birthday, I decided to write this post.  However, pregnancy got the best of me and now I'm just getting around to posting it.  So, if you are new to the blog, welcome! If not, I hope you find some of these tidbits about me fun to think about!

    1. I was born in California.
      1. I used to be a habitual nail biter, but quit and became obsessed with having my nails painted.  
      2. Since I stopped biting my nails, I have a bad habit of biting the inside of my lip (and it's D.J.'s biggest pet peeve of mine!)
      3. One of our favorite things to do at night is compete in Jeopardy. 
      4. I can read music and play the piano - it was something I started when I was younger and took lessons until I was a senior in high school.
      5. I tend to leave the cabinet doors (and any door for that matter) open in our house - another one of D.J's pet peeves.
      6. I'm obsessed with pictures.  My high school friends have said that my adult house looks just like my childhood room, but more polished!
      7. I am terrible at making decisions and get stressed about making the right one.
      8. I like to be in control, but baseball has helped me loosen the reigns big time.
      9. In 2000, I moved to Japan for two years.
      10. Candles are my jam.  I love the smell and the little flicker that it puts off.
      11.  The Bachelor/ette gets me every season.  I try not to watch, but I just can't stop.
      12. I'm only 5'2.  D.J. is 6'6'.
      13. Growing up, I've always had a dog - Hawkeye, Skeeter, Silver, Hudson, Lucy and now our own baby pup, Stryker! 
      14. I am very low key.  I can wake up and be at work in 25 minutes if I have to (I shower the night before :) ).
      15. In high school I played volleyball, cheerleading and soccer. 
      16. My hidden talent is Super Mario Brothers 3.  I know probably 80-90% of all the secret tricks.  
      17. I love a good pun.  I think they are so punny! 
      18. At least 4 times a year my family all gets together and has an intense game of Monopoly. 
      19. In college I started as an Art major and quickly realized I had no artistic bone in my body.
      20. I tend to take my socks off and leave them in the bed.
      21. Heels are the death of me.  I will only wear them when necessary.  I like a good boot heel, but stilettos are not for me! 
      22. I knew very little about baseball before starting to date D.J.
      23. Becoming a mom is one of the things I have looked most forward to in life.
      24. I work at the high school I went to.
      25. I have a younger brother who is 24 and a younger sister who is 20.  And I live 10 houses down from my parents.

      Friday, March 18, 2016

      Card Mini Books

      Want something to do with all those wedding cards? Baby shower cards? Holiday cards? 

      Try making them into mini-books! Super easy, cheap, and takes less than 10-15 minutes. 

      What you will need:

      Hole puncher

      Step one: Organize the cards based off size.

      Step two: Hole punch the cards.  For the first two books I made, I hole punched in the middle of the cards because they were relatively all the same size.  For the books with lots of different cards sizes, I hole punched them all at the bottom of the cards, so they would be flush at the bottom.

      Step three: Choose the size of binder rings you want to use.  The more cards you have, the bigger ring you will need.  The target brand I linked above have four different size options in one packet.

      Step four: Put the cards on the rings and close the rings.

      And wha-lah - you have yourself a mini card book!

      Thursday, March 17, 2016

      Happy St. Patricks Day

      Today is the day that three people guessed baby Harrison would be born.  My boss, myself, and my mom! I don't know why, but I just felt the 17th.  It's still early in the day, but I hope you all have a fabulous day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

      Wednesday, March 16, 2016

      Baby Brown - Week 38

      *disclaimer - this is crazy that this could be my last bumpdate! Here's to hoping (and not hoping for D.J.'s sake) that baby boy will be here soon! *

      How far along: 38 weeks and 3 days! 

      Due date: March 27, 2016 - EASTER DAY!

      Baby Size: the size of a pumpkin and getting bigger and bigger by the day. 

      Weight gain: I know this is all a process, but still trying to picture how I'm ever going to get back to pre baby weight! 

      Maternity Clothes: if they even fit anymore.

      Stretch Marks: got some love marks under this big ole belly! 

      Sleep: not happening.  With the time change, I've had such a hard time falling asleep and then once I do, I feel like I wake up 20 minutes later having to pee. Ahhhh, the joys of pregnancy.

      Gender: BOY!!! 

      Name:  Harrison Cole Brown !

      Movement: Oh for sure.  Even though he is running out of space, he still manages to make some dramatic movements.  Check out my instagram for the latest video! 

      Best moment this week: paying my ER bill.  Just kidding.  That was probably the worst part.  However - silver lining is that this will make the delivery cheaper :) Seriously though, I'm just trying to embrace the last few kicks. AND finally got to catch up with one of the besties and got some great news from her! <3 

      Looking forward to: Baby's birth day! Lots of people at work have chosen days that have passed, and i think everyone has their day on the calendar.  Only two people put after the due date, so we will see! 

      Husband is: having a good Spring Training so far.  We are about a week and a half in and I'm just hoping Harrison holds out a little longer so daddy can get some more days in out there.  I feel confident that when the time comes, D.J. will make it back in time! 

      Cravings: nothing really.

      Anything making you queasy or sick: nope.

      Labor Signs: At my 38 week appointment on Monday, I was 1-2 cm, 50% effaced and baby was in the -3 position.  So things are moving along, but nothing changed from 37 to 38 weeks.  I still haven't figured out if I'm having contractions.  People say it's when your belly gets tight.  I'm not sure if I feel that.  I have lots of pressure since he is head down, some serious back pain every now and then, but nothing timeable. 

      Missing Most: being able to get comfortable. driving. sleep. D.J. and I'm sure more, but everything is so worth it!

      Symptoms: anything and everything at 38 weeks pregnant. 

      Nursery: DONE! Just waiting for Harrison to take his place in there! In case you missed it yesterday, check it out.

      Belly Button in or out? flouting.  I had a serious innie y'all.  

      Wedding rings on or off? they still fit, but I don't want to push it. 

      Mood: lots of emotions this week.  Happy, excited, nervous, anxious, wondering how it will all happen, embracing the unknown! 

      Workouts: walking around at school is a simple workout for me :) haha!

      Tuesday, March 15, 2016

      Harrison's Nursery Reveal

      When I thought we were having a girl, I knew exactly what I wanted the nursery to look like. I had lots of ideas on Pinterest and knew the direction I wanted to go right away.  Pink, gold, white, and light colors.

      Little did we know that Harrison would throw that for a loop.  My boy nursery Pinterest page was a hot mess.  I didn't have any idea of what way I wanted to go.  I didn't want a theme.  No sports, no animals, no cars.

      I found a few items along the way that shaped the direction we went with the nursery. The soft fishy blanket, the wood "HC" letters, and the fact that I knew we were going to have the chair from my cousins. Here's a look at the nursery!

      This is the view standing from the door.  We decided not to put blinds up for now because the windows have a frosting built into them.  Once baby boy starts taking naps in his room we will have to reevaluate the situation and see if we need to put them up!

      We have been so fortunate to have so many things passed down to us or things that we have refurbished. The chair, which rocks, glides, reclines and is in great condition, was given to us from my cousin.  The crib used to be one of the people I babysat for and when they moved, I snatched it up.  Yes - we had a crib and a mattress sitting in our attic 2+ years before we were even pregnant!
      The dresser was in my room growing up and I love the way it turned out once we painted it.

      The dresser is on the wall right inside the room.  We decided that the best way to have the dresser set up was with the changing table on top and some hand sanitizer and diapers in the top drawer. The knobs are from Hobby Lobby and I am obsessed with them! They have the gold/wood accent that I was looking for.

      We decided to paint the dresser with an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Old Antique - if I remember correctly. I will do another post later on the way I decided to organize the dresser.  We snatched the mirror up from Home Goods for a steal of $40! It's solid wood and looks PERFECT!

       The crib is the Kendall Crib from Pottery Barn Kids. However, we got it a while back and it's in great condition! Only thing I tried to replace was the teething rails, but they don't sell those individually. All the stuffed animals, pillow and light blue blanket were gifts.  I decided to purchase our own bedding from The Land of Nod and love the way the orange looks in the room.  The fish blanket was one of the first items I got for the nursery.  It's so soft and I love the colors.  It was the starting point for the room.  The hamper to the left of the crib was a shower gift as well.

      We scored the carpet at Home Goods the same day we got the mirror.  I was in LOVE with the soft feeling and bought it with the thought that we can always return it.  I'm not in love with the grey, but I think there is enough grey throughout the room that it all ties together with the colors.

      The side table next to the chair was $9 from Goodwill.  We painted it the same as the dresser and added the same arrow pulls on it.  Right now I have a basket with all the toys we received from showers in the space at the bottom.  I have some things stored behind the chair - tummy time mat and another storage big. The pillow was TJMAXX purchase that looked perfect with the wall color - which is Sherwin Williams "Tidewater".

      These awesome and easy to install shelves are from Target and these cute baby shoes are to die for! We decided to put the baby monitor on the shelves because we didn't want to mount it to the wall yet.  The two prints on the top shelf were made for Harrison by my friend, Kendall.  We orderer the "HARRSION" blocks from Little Sapling Toys on Etsy. 

      On the wall behind the door, we hopped on the Ikea spice rack band wagon and spray painted the wooden racks white and they are perfect for the books. 

      The closet is still an organizational work in progress, but my dad knocked it out the park with the shelves he installed.  After a long time of deciding what I wanted the closet to look like, he put the shelves up and now all I have to do is figure out how I want to organize it.  As of now, the blue bin on the bottom contains all of his books.  Orange bin is the next few clothe sizes up.  And the two orange metal bins have extra crib sheets and the baby carriers. 

      The other side of the closet has the diaper wreath that we will eventually use, the Boppy pillow and a bin full of blankets. In the shelves below are all the unopened diapers that we got from the shower.  

       And to top off the room, I made a little book of all the cards Harrison received from the showers!

       The nursery has been a labor of love and we love sitting in his room on the soft, cuddly carpet.  I cannot wait for him to make his arrival and rock him in that big comfy chair.  His room has such a special smell to it.  (Side note - even before pregnancy, I had a very strong sense of smell)  I love the way the smell of his nursery will always remind me of him and getting his room all ready.

      We are so thankful to all our friends and family that have helped us put this room together. He will be here before we know it and baby boy, we are ready for you!

      Curtains - Pottery Barn Kids 
      Dresser - Previously owned
      Chair - Previously owned
      Knobs on Dresser - Hobby Lobby 
      Crib - Pottery Barn Kids
      Bedding - The Land of Nod
      Changing pad cover - The Land of Nod
      Side Table - Good Will
      Wall Color - Sherwin Williams "Tidewater"
      Shelves - Target
      Book Holders - Ikea

      Monday, March 14, 2016

      Spring Break at 37 Weeks

      To say getting up for work this morning was hard is an understatement.  Having Spring Break during your 37th week of pregnancy is such a tease.  It was great to have the time at home nesting before baby boy turns our world upside down, but in the same breath, not being able to go to Arizona with D.J. for the first week of Spring Training was a major buzz kill.  So throughout the week, I had to find things to keep me occupied.  Here's what Spring Break looks like through the eyes (and iPhone camera) of a 37 week pregnant girl.

      Friday night we celebrated D.J.'s last supper at a local pizza place with a party of 24 people.  IT was overwhelming to say the least.  Saturday we did some last minute work around the house and then hit up the Lantern Asia at Norfolk Botanical Gardens that night, followed by DQ! 

      Sunday we spend the day relaxing and D.J. packed his things.  Monday morning D.J. left pretty early and I was back to the single life (until Harrison arrives!).  I got a massage that afternoon and just spent the day relaxing. 

      Tuesday I had my 37 week appointment.
      Wednesday I took a walk with my mom.  I pushed the stroller and she walked the dog.  We had great weather! 
      Thursday I did nothing.  

      Somewhere throughout the week I watched about 36295 episodes of Grey's Anatomy, watched all my TV shows that were recorded, mopped the kitchen floor, vacuumed the house, bleached the bathrooms, and dusted the entire house.  Needless to say the house is clean and will probably need one more cleaning before baby comes. 

      Friday I was supposed to head to Richmond with a friend to visit a friend, but her daughter got sick and going that far was questionable in the first place.  So Kate and I decided to run some errands.  Nordstroms Rack, Target, Michaels, Motherhood Maternity and Anthropologie.  I'm tired from typing that, let alone walking all those stores.  It was fine though - we topped it off with Chick-fil-A fries and milkshakes! 

      Saturday I went to my little cousins soccer game and snuggled up on the couch the rest of the day.  My sister got back from her Spring Break trip and we grabbed a late dinner.

      Then Sunday I got excited about my 38 week check up today and decided to get the process moving by racking all these pine needles.  Don't worry - my mom came over and bagged it all up! My yard is pretty much ready for spring and new flowers! There is already new growth coming from the flowers that were planted a few years ago! 

      Here's to what could be my last Monday until Harrison makes his big debut!