Well hello again!! I know it has been WAY to long since my last blog! I just never found the time over the summer to do it! So for all my friends that follow this… I really appreciate you guys for being patient!! I thought I would just give you guys a blurb of the whole summer and just word vomit on my first blog back!! So here it goes!!
First things first… I had an amazing SUMMER! I was so excited to get back in the US. The plane ride home was a little bumpy.. and I found myself almost in tears and holding Megan’s hand majority of the time… but we did in fact make it!! It was so amazing to see my teammates and friends. Being in there presence is absolutely amazing. Each year, Florida starts to seem more and more like home. Once Megan and I got back, we only had a couple days until we started playing. It felt good getting back on the practice field with everyone! Easing back into east coast time actually was not that bad… Our first series was against Chicago and we were going on the road! Before we started playing I was going to get to see Andrew that night. I can honestly say, I have not been that excited to see someone in my whole life. He was waiting for me when I got off the plane in Chicago, right outside our gate. I had butterflies… and I felt speechless for a little bit. I tried to act tough like it was no big deal, but not seeing the love of your life for 3 months straight and having a relationship via Skype and the “whats app” is no way to live ha! He looked amazing and I think I held on to him for 6 solid minutes in front of everyone. It was one of the best moments of my life. I was also lucky enough to have my mom and grandma come into Chicago to spend that weekend with me. I flew my mom in for her birthday! It was an amazing time. It made me so homesick. I had a couple hard days after they left and after Andrew left.
This summer seemed to FLY by. I can’t believe I’m already in Japan. It sure was an outstanding summer. I have not been a part of a team yet where we worked this hard over the summer. When we were not playing games, we were ALWAYS finding a way to get better. Rain or shine we always were out on the field. I would even wear a shower cap and throw to the girls in the cages on the field where we practiced. It really was a lot of work this summer. But we did it for each other. We always strived to get better for the people around us, and it really showed. We struggled the first couple weekends out, but once we found out we needed to get on the field more as a team and work harder, thing all really fell into place. We started scoring more runs, playing better defence and as a pitching staff we found a way to have the best ERA in the league. Very impressive. We really put hay in the barn and found a way to always hold each other accountable. Its truly amazing getting to play with the women I play with. Whether it is watching them practice, or going out for dinner, or just hanging out, you always find a way to learn something from them. There work ethic is incredible. There was not a day that went by that I did not notice it. I found myself pushing myself harder even when I was at my lowest of lows. I’m thankful for my teammates and everything they were to me, through shitty games and great games, they were always the same to me and that is hard to find. It truly was special to get back out on the field with Nikki Williams again. What a true beauty and a great friend till the end. I missed our times and adventures from Washington, so it was pretty cool to reconnect and have a great summer together. Its a great feeling being able to continue the professional career with 4 people you wont a national championship, Ashley Charters, Nikki Williams and Jenn Salling. It was also really cool getting Heather Tarr and JT out to Florida to visit and check on us. Washington sure does value family and its pretty noticeable even 3 years after graduating. It truly was a brilliant summer. We are treated like gold. Don Dedonatis is honestly one of a kind. We are so lucky to have him on our team. USSSA has some incredible people that will go above and beyond for you all the time and like I continue to express, we are very lucky to be a part of such a exquisite organization.
I want to address something briefly. As you all know, there was not a winner at the end of the 2012 summer. It is extremely upsetting of course, because we worked so incredibly hard, but that by no means equals a WASTE OF A SUMMER. I’m tired of seeing posts about such negativity. Yes we are all upset of course, but some things are just out of your control. I had a blast with my teammates this summer. We got better as a unit. We worked our friggin ass off and it paid off for us. Seeing and meeting young softballers growing up and coming to your games wearing your jersey almost in tears to meet leaves you leaves me speechless. I don’t forget those moments. Down the road you remember big wins and your teammates, but you really remember those smiles on young girls faces wanting your autograph. I mean how cool, never did I think one day I could be someone that they idolized. We as the USSSA Pride take that very seriously, and its our job to put on a good show for them and make them feel appreciated. All those young fans mean more to me then they will ever know. They keep me going and continuing my journey playing the game I love, so for them, I’m truly thankful :)
One thing I did struggle with this summer was missing my family and missing my boyfriend. I’m extremely lucky to have the support system that I have. My parents have been with me EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. My mom is always there for positive words of wisdom when times are tough and my dad is there to speak the honest truth to me. I remember calling him one time from Chicago the second time we were there. I was struggling throwing and felt like I was going to have a melt down. What I love so much about him is that he does not candy coat things for me. Ya he has his moments because I’m a daddys girl, but when its time to be honest and to get my shit together, hes there. He really helped me and I don’t know if I would have been able to make it through this summer if it was not for that conversation him and I had that day in Chicago. I’m so incredibly lucky to have parents like them, not only for there gene pool ha but for there unconditional love and support my whole life. Another supporter who at times I do not give enough credit to is my other half… Andrew. What a stud. That guy has gone through so much with me since I left on my journey in March. At times I feel sorry for him ha. I’ll be honest, I’m not the easiest person in the world to deal with. He has found a way to help me through this whole adventure I took on. Hes helped me through the unstoppable tears, and hes helped me through some of my highest moments. I have seen him a total of 5 times since March 17, so you guys do the math. That is close to six and a half months of only seeing someone 5 times. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do is be away from him. He has stuck with me through some of my un-proudest moments ever… and for that I’am grateful…. like the tattoo I have on my back “I’m selfish, impatient, and insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control and at times, hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.”
– Marilyn Monroe
This guy deserves me. He has put up with so much, and all you women out there know… we sure are crazy, the guys that still stand by your side during those crazy times sure are keepers. He is one of the most amazing guys I have ever met in my life. His smile keeps me going, his attempts at being funny actually make me laugh, his work ethic is out of this world, his striving to get better is unique, his bum is the cutest I have ever seen, his love is unconditional and there has not been a day I have EVER doubted that. I feel like when you get this vision of your boyfriend or finance being a father and it makes your heart beat a little quicker and gives you goosebumps it means he is the real deal. I couldn’t be more lucky. Hes headed to Japan in 8 sleeps and it sure will be an adventure. I just can’t wait to wake up next to him for longer then 2 days at a time :)
Another person I’m so thankful for in my life is the one and only Brett Lawrie. What a battler huh? I was lucky enough to be able to make it down to Miami for one game this summer to watch him. We got BP tickets and got to go out on the field, and as soon as he walked over to me, the tears started flowing and I think I cried for a solid 5 minutes. Family is family and it always will be. We’ve been through so much as a family and as a brother and sister team. We ALWAYS have each others backs. Watching him do his thing has brought tears to my eyes at times. Hes been through some of the worst times in baseball last year to breaking his hand and being out for months, but still finding it in himself to grind and find a way to get back. His love for his teammates is endless and you see that when he interacts with them. His love and respect for his family does not go unnoticed, I will say it has got better the older he has gotten ha, but he truly is a family man. I still remember this summer when I was having a really tough time, I sent him a text just saying I was struggling, he wrote me back a huge paragraph just on how to keep grinding and that nothing is ever easy and that he loves me, and it honestly touched my heart.. it was so sweet. His heart is so good.
I’m sitting here staring into this beautiful ocean, viewing a pretty amazing sunset, with this church nearly 10 feet away from me. This cross stands high in the air and its breathtaking. God sure is good. He puts you through different trials and tribulations in life, but at the end of the day, he makes you realize who is truly important in your life. Who means the most? Who will be there when everything is crumbling down? Those are the people you want in your life. I’m so incredibly thankful for every opportunity I have been given on this planet. I’ve been able to tour the world and play competitively since I was 16 years old. I’ve been able to go to China 3 times, Australia, Brazil, Bangkok, Japan, Venezuela, and all over the US, just to play softball. I’ve also been fortunate enough to compete in the olympics with my brother. Nothing will ever beat that. Having him there kept me sane. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not thankful for each and every opportunity that I’am given. I want to be able to give everything back to this game that I can. From my competitive nature, to my mindset and to how I approach this game called life.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this. I’m appreciative of you all!
PS: Not a day goes by that I do not think of you Johnie. I love and miss you so much. Losing one of your best friends means having a sore heart for the rest of your life. Miss you incredibly. Until we meet again <3