What lies behind us And what lies before us Are tiny matters compared To what lies within Us

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!

God Bless

Love

D.E.L

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

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You will be missed Johnie K… I’m forever grateful for what you were to me

I sit here in complete shock still. It was less then 24 hours ago when I woke up to a facebook status update that stated one of my beloved friends from college has sadly passed. My heart stopped. I didn’t believe it. I still don’t. I instantly felt sick to my stomache and tears started forming in my eyes. I honestly did not know what to do, and I still don’t. I thought to call my mom right away. She knew something was wrong, and asked and I just burstttt into tears. I was blabbering and I don’t even remember what I said. I just know that there was this deep deep hurt inside my heart that will never go away. For those of you that don’t know, this is the firth person in the past 2 years that has recently passed on me. I wish it would get easier but honestly it doesn’t. If anything, it just gets harder and harder. Its like I wake up and just pray I don’t get negative news about something from back home. It doesn’t help being over here because honestly your so helpless. You can’t run to your mom and dad and get a big hug. You need to face reality and suck it all up. You grow up so quickly over death. Its terribly scary.

Johnie Kirton was one of my best guy friends at the University of Washington. He befriended me my freshman year, and we were at times inseparable ever since then. We shared stories, we shared laughter, we shared nights out with friends, we had sleepovers, we had fights, but at the end of the day, we had each others back until the end. He came to pretty much every one of our home games, and he’d ALWAYS text me after the games just to let me know he was there supporting me. I would honestly consider him one of my close close guy friends. Women would admit it, its hard to have a guy as just a “friend” without either them or us wanting more, but Johnie and I were friends, we had this mutual love for each other and respect. His smile to me was contagious. His personality would light up a room, and when I was down, he was someone I KNEW I could count on to change my whole perspective on life. If there was one person I trusted in college it was him. We had SOO many amazing moments together. I know one of his best friends Desmond Davis, who I love dearly is hurting so badly right now, and I want him to know I love him deeply and I’ll always be here if he ever needs me. Johnie, me and Desmond, ALWAYS had so much fun together. I remember one fond moment Johnie and I had before we both finished up college. He seemed in a different mood one day, I approached him, and asked him what was going on. He was weird at first, but soon opened up and told me he had a daughter on the way. At first I was a little shocked, but it set it and I soon realized how friggin excited he was to bring another life into this world. There was no other man out there for the job, then J.K. He did have a beautiful baby girl! I see photos of her now and see so much of him. I would want her to know he was SO SO SO proud of her and was at times blown away with her beauty. Her mother was of course stunning, but the combination of them both made for a beautiful baby girl. If I would want Johnie to know anything it would be this, ” I’m so thankful for your friendship and everything that you were to me, when I think of you I only thing of amazing things, anytime I would see you, I would run as fast as I could and leap into your arms and catch you by surprise, your smile made my day at times, your sense of humor, well your a guy so you had your moments, you wouldn’t hurt a fly, your love for life was contagious and I promise you this, not a day will go by that I wont think of you….I love you for so many reasons, but I love you most for loving me for me.”

Like I said above, I’m still in compete shock. One of my best friends was taken, and there is not one thing I can do. I know in times like these it reallllllly reallllllllly makes you sit back and think, it gives you perspective and it allows for you to be thankful for certain people in your life. I wanted to post some pictures of influential people in my life. I’m sorry if I have missed some people, there are obviously a lot of people that have made my life a little bit better. One thing you really realize when someone so special has left this earth, is who cares the absolute MOST about your…. who makes that tiny effort to let you know they are thinking about you? Or many other different things. Thank you again to everyone out there that has my back. I appreciate you all. I lost an amazing friend today, and I don’t think I will ever be the same again. My heart is aching and my perspective on things are so much different.

Don’t take anything for granite people, love with all you have…. and know what you want out of life… if someone isn’t giving you that, let them go, be with people who fill your bucket to the fullest. Johnie K… I love you brother… your smile will forever be in my heart… say hello to my sister up there… let her know I can’t wait to see her again..

Thanks again to everyone that takes the time to read these…

Love

D.E.LImageImageImageImage

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T- Minus 8 days!

I can’t believe in 8 days I will be heading back to states! I’m so so so so excited!! It has been quite the journey this first half of the JSA season! A lot of alone time, its either a gooooooood thing or a badddddd thing! At times, its been bad because it leaves me to think so much, but at times its been good!

We’ve gone 2-2 over the past two weekends! Not everything we wanted, but there was small improvements in our game! I threw one of the games we lost last weekend, and one of the games we won! A lot of emotion for me in the loss. I don’t think I have ever been pushed to that limit. That one game took a lot of fun out for me and I was emotionally and physically drained for a week. It honestly allowed me to realize how much more work I need in the mental training of this game. There are so many things about this game that you cannot control. The only thing you can control is yourself. I was fully out of line. I know I’m in a different country, and so many things at times are stacked against us foreigners odds, but still I have a competitiveness about me.. that sometimes gets out of line. At times all I ask is that the game is officiated fairly. 

This is why we play this game, we play it to sculpt us into human beings. When I think I’m on top of the world, this game really finds a way to humbled me so quickly. I respect it so much and it really allows for me to week in and week out tap into my work out routines and always find a way to get better! We all get fired up in different situations, its how the game is played! For example, the Oregon vs Texas game. There was a lot going on there! Was it all right? Ah no, but its the game, your playing for an opportunity to play on one of the biggest stages in the game, in the heat of the moment, at times all that is on your mind is your teammates and winning! I respect the energy from both parties during that game. I bet they were all completely exhausted after the game because they seemed to leave it all on the field. To Oregons pitcher, I have MAD respect for her. She pitched her complete ASS off those three games. She battled a tough strike zone, and found a way to get it done. It doesn’t matter what school you go to, if you are a rock out there for your team, I respect the crap out of you! Its going to be an interesting world series! I really dont know who is going to win! It could go either way this year! My guess’s would be between Cal, Oklahoma and Alabama, but we shall see! 

Again, thank you to everyone that takes the time to read this. I appreciate you all! I can’t wait to get back in to the states and see familiar faces! Words of encouragement to leave you with, “Always find a way to get better, stare your worst enemy in the eye and NEVER BACK DOWN”, Its the only way to live your life. 

Love you guys

D.E.L

PS: My brother sure made me laugh last week with the helmet throwing! Just so you guys know… it was by NO means intended to hit him, it was the bounce! Hes still learning about his self and how much passion he has for this game! I’d want to go to war with that kid ANY day! Love you bro

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. – Winston Churchill2

First things first, It has been WAY to long since i’ve written! Sorry I have been so busy! There has been so many great things that has happened over the past couple weeks! We had what is called golden week over here, it is a whole week that people get off work. Kind of like our Christmas break back home! For golden week Megan and I decided to head to Tokyo to meet up with one of USSSA teammates and best friends Lauren Lappin and her girlfriend Shannon! We decided to head over for two nights and three days! 

 

What an amazing time we had! Megan and I left and took the bullet train Sunday morning! For those of you who don’t know, it is a train that pretty much gets you there faster than a plane! Or the same as a plane! Its a regular 6 hour drive to Tokyo, Megan and I got there in an hour and a half! We wanted to start out by site seeing right away so we dropped our bags off in the hotel and set sail! First stop was Shibuya. It happens to be the busiest intersection in the whole world, and that it was! It was crazy! There was already so many extra people there because it was golden week, but it was hard to walk without being bumped into. It was neat to see everything! We also decided to do a little shopping! Forever XI is the same size in all countries, thank goodness ha! American sizes, it felt nice to be able to try on clothes and them fit! Next stop was lunch! We found an outback and it was heaven! First time we have had American type food in quite sometime! We got margaritas, and burgers and sat and had a heart to heart! It was nice! After we ate we decided to head back and get ready for the night! We had showers and got ready and we were finally ready to see Lauren and Shannon! Lauren had already scouted out the area so she had everything already pin pointed out that we were going to do! It was gay pride week in Japan, so the streets of where we were were crazy! It awesome, we saw so many foreigners! Our first stop was this little restaurant to grab some beers. These guys were sitting next to us, and of course being some what rude in Japanese, so I talked back and said if they don’t cut it out, I was going to punch them in the face HA, note to self, people know English all over the world! This guy started yapping back, and was just being brutal! It was soon over and we finished our beers, and moved on to our dinner for the night! We went to this neat little Thai place and man was it good! The thing about food over here, is its unique and different! They have not only great Japanese food, but they have food types from all around the world! It was great to sit around and catch up! It felt great to be over here in Japan, and still be able to be surrounded by some of my close friends! After dinner we headed to a night club where I pretty much danced the night away! I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a dancer, but Megan Jo is rubbing off on me! I literally danced my face off for 3 hours! The beauty of this place was it was a gay bar, which mean me dancing like crazy did  not involve “grinding” from behind ! We stayed there for quite some time, and then decided to head back and get some rest! Note to self, when going out dancing, be more prepared when it comes to heels, or just have more experience in them… I had to change shoes with three of the girls to finally get a solid shoe that I could dance in! Thanks again to everyone that swapped ha!! 

Day 2

We got up around 11 and met up with Lauren and Shannon to site see for the day! We headed to Starbucks to get our daily fix in! We decided to head over to Harajuku Street! Not going to lie, there was way to many people all populated in one area! You couldn’t even move, I was walking around with “elbows up” and if someone bashed into me that was there problem! We had a fun day going around to different places, seeing unique things, it was awesome but I soon got burnt out from walking around so much! We stopped in at this neat little burger joint, that turned out to fantastic, we stayed there and had lunch and beers for a couple hours, it was a nice dose of home! After we ate, we decided to site see a little longer and make our final stop at Park Hyatt Tokyo! The views were outstanding, I think its like $2000 a night or something! It is where they filmed the movie “Lost in translation” It was neat to sit and have happy hour right where they did in the movie! Also, Megan bought a bottle of Champagne, so we all just sat and relaxed and thought about the day! I was so over walking, so when I heard we were taking a taxi back I was really stoked! Megan’s dad had told Megan that we needed to site see Roppongi, and that there was a lot of foreigners there! We met up with Lauren and Shannon for a drink and then made our way over there! We just did different bar hops, going around dancing and having a good time! We met this random foreigner in a cross walk that worked over in Japan, so he decided to be our tour guide that night, we didn’t mind that he wanted to pay for majority of drinks and stuff for the night to :) One thing we did do was dance the night away! We had a great time! After we finished up we headed to this small Ramen noodle place to grab bite to eat. It was a decent time to call home so I called my brother! He was just about to do the Victoria Secret thing in T.O, but it was nice to hear his voice and see how he was doing! After we ate, we headed back to the hotel and went to bed!

Day 3

We got up around 11 again and we were ready to take on the day! We decided to go shopping for the day and grab some lunch and by the time we finished up it would be time to head to the Tokyo Giants baseball game! Little did we know that Megan would find the Chanel bag she had been wanting forever, and she a GOT IT! Its gorgeous! So sleek and sexy, she looks no joke 5 inches taller in it, I think she could walk on water ha! After she made the big purchase we headed to the baseball game! Tickets compliments of Scott Mathieson! His dad used to coach my brother, small world that we got in touch over here and worked it out where we could go to one of there games! We were pretty exhausted after the 6th inning so we decided to head back to Kariya where we live! We got back in to Kariya around 11 that night, and I have not looked more forward to going to bed then that night! We really did have a wonderful time, great laughs, great memories and we took Tokyo by a storm! 

This past weekend, it sure felt GREAT to get back on the field! It has been two long weeks and they could not have gone by any slower! Our games where pretty close to Tokyo again, so we left Thursday after noon! It took about 5 hours to get there! The weekend went by really quick! We won both games, and like I said, it felt great to get back out there! We won both and its important to move forward, especially after what had happened out last game! One thing about softball over here, they get great crowds and the energy level is really high! It felt good to get back on the same page with Megan and throw pretty solid in both games! One pitch at a time! Also, it was mothers day sunday, so I wished my mom a very happy mothers day :)

Thanks again, for the people that take the time to ready this :) I appreciate you all ! Miss you guys!

-D.E.L

PS: Good luck to my Huskies, #16 seed means nothing, anything can happen in this game :) 

 

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Every time you win, it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it – ARTHUR ASHE

First things first, I’m going to talk about how the weekend went. It has taken me more than a couple days to be able to express it into words for you all. We had two pretty big games a head of us, the first team was against Maxell, and the second was against Uenos team. They had placed second in league last year. We lost 3-1 against Maxell, I went into the game in the third inning when we were already down 3-1. We were hitting the ball later on in the game but a lot of the time we were hitting it right at people. That loss was a tough one  because it felt like we carried the momentum the whole game! A loss is a loss, and we can only get better from it.

I was really mentally preparing myself for the next game against Ueno’s team. I have never had the opportunity to throw against her even while playing with Team Canada, so it was pretty cool getting my first start against her. If you all don’t know her, she was pretty much the heart for their 2008 Olympic team and helped them reach their goal of a gold medal. The game started out pretty good, we hit a first inning home run and I seemed to cruise through the first 4 innings throwing really well. Once that 5th inning hit, I seemed to feel like I was in a bit of a funk, I’ve never felt like this before and it was quite frankly a very ODD feeling. I could not throw a strike, I got behind the first hitter, and walked her and the next batter came up and I was not able to find the strike zone at all. I ended up walking the bases loaded. Its easier said then done to just “throw a strike” when your in those types of situations, because well, I was trying, I think I was trying to hard to throw one and it back fired. So there we were bases loaded, none outs with a 1-0 lead. I ended up striking the next girl out, and the next batter hit a fly ball to center which allowed the runner on third to score, thinking we were going to get out of there with a tie ball game, I threw a wild pitch and the second run of the ball game scored. Just not acceptable, that sort of stuff can’t happen on my end. We got out of the inning loosing 2-1. I came off still thinking we were going to be able score and win so I was trying to stay up beat. I ended coming out the next inning.

We lost that game, and I’ve never really felt like that. I’ve usually had great control over the strike zone. I sat in our dugout for 20 minutes after the game just thinking about what happened, analyzing the situation, trying to figure out what was going on in my mind. I was a stir of emotions there for a while. Only because I hate losing obviously, but I know how hard our team works and how much they care about this sport. I want them to know when I’m out their in the circle I’m giving everything I have to them any way I can. Losing is a disappointment to me and I ALWAYS feel like their is something I could have done. I could have thrown a better pitch to stop that passed ball and we would have been out of that inning. Woulda shoulda coulda, its all a mind game up in your dome. This game for me was a tough one to swallow. But I have got over it, I have learned from it and I promise to myself and to my teammates a situation like this will not happen again.

HIROSHIMA

This was our last league game leading up to a 3 day break for the team. It was a break for everyone to shut their minds off and just recharge. People had the option to either go and see family, travel, or head back to Kariya. Megan and I decided to go site seeing. We headed to Hiroshima on a day of adventure to soak it all up. Can I tell you guys how great it is having her here. She has been so helpful in so many ways, shes their for me to vent to, to talk to about softball, to talk to about boys, to talk to about life, and its nice to have someone to confide in when your a million miles away from everyone.

One word to describe Hiroshima and that is “Tragic”. I posted some pictures below, one of them is of the last building standing after the bomb, as well as pictures I took throughout the museum. One is of Hiroshima when  it had all the buildings and the other is how much the bomb took out. What a scary thing to think about. I was walking around the museum looking at real life photos and watching videos and I had this knot in my stomach thinking that this actually happened. What got me the most was when I was listening to this audio tape I bought to take around the tour and it talked about how many kids were left without families, and how many were burned so bad they died alone without even getting to see a family member. It brings me to tears even writing this. I could never imagine this happening, just a regular day as a child heading to school, kissing your mom and dad goodbye, knowing it was your last. Tragic. Its sad to think that their are places that still have those nuclear bombs. Why do we even need them? What do they accomplish really?

On a lighter note, after we checked out the museum we decided to go and check out the floating Shrine. We had to take a 40 minutes train ride, and a ferry over to the island, but it was worth it when it was all said and done. The ferry reminded me of heading over to Vancouver Island with our high school basketball team. Great memories. It was nice a warm day, feeling the wind hitting you. Their was the cutest little boy ever on the ferry that I kept waving at and he got the courage to come over and ask for a picture. I posted it, he is the one sitting right next to me in the photo of all the kids! So cute. Once we got over their I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but seeing over a hundred deer walking around was not in my vision. It was the weirdest thing ever. They were like  dogs running around for attention and food. Also they enjoyed biting your things. Not cool. You can pretty much tell from my faces in the photos that I was not overly fond of them, not to mention they were dirty. It was different to see though. Only thing  I would have changed was the tide, the shrine wasn’t really floating it was just sitting in sand. Megan bought some cute post cards so I could see what it was all about. It was a neat adventure over there.

After walking around for a bit longer we decided to head back towards our hotel and grab our bags to head back to Kariya. We were taking the bullet train and decided to grab some red wine from the international store in the train station since it was going to be a two hour and twenty minute train ride, and what a GREAT idea that was! Megan and I sat and drank and ate chips and salsa and talked about our life long goals! I’m sure some of you are like “BORING” but its a pretty neat thing to verbalize your future to a friend. It was a blast! We also planned our Vegas party for super bowl, exclusive invite only –sorrrry!! Once we headed back to Kariya we met up with one of our good girlfriends Simi for our wine/cheese and nut party. It was a fun little evening that entailed Megan putting feathers in our hair! That made the night! I haven’t had that much fun just sitting and drinking with girlfriends in a while. It felt nice!

The next couple days were pretty relaxing. We didn’t do much. Just shopped around a little bit and went to the beach for a couple days. It felt nice to just sit and feel the ocean breeze and put our feet in the water. The past couple days I have been in a bit of a funk. Its been kind of hard. I think its a combination of things. Missing home, missing my significant other, just missing the little things. Don’t get me wrong its been amazing here so far, but I think everyone goes through their emotional days, especially us females! So I apologize to Megan and to our translator Kuroki cause they are around me the most! Two things I’m really excited for, our inter-squad game tomorrow and then our trip to Tokyo this weekend! Its going to be me, Megan and Lauren and her girlfriend Shannon. Its going to be a great adventure on our own! After we get back we will have a couple days of practice and then time for league games again. I’m anxiously awaiting my next start and I can’t wait to take the mound again.

One of my fav quotes to leave you guys with…

How do you act when the pressures on, when the chance for victory is almost gone, when fortunes star has refused to shine, when the ball is on the five yard line?

How do you act when the goings rough, does your spirt lag when breaks are tough? Or, is there in you a flame that glows brighter as fiercer the battle grows?

How hard, how long will you fight the foe? Thats what the world would like to know!

Cowards can fight when they’re out ahead. The uphill grind shows a thoroughbred! You wish for success? Then tell me, how do you act when the pressure’s on?

Thanks again to you all who take the time to read this! I really appreciate it! I miss you guys and I’m so thankful for all of your support :)

Love,

D.E.L

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Some of my ALL-TIME favorite things

So I was sitting at a Seattle’s Best Coffee Shop here in Japan and it had me thinking about letting you guys in on some of my all time fav things! I thought I’d post pics of them all! 

1. First and foremost my family, they are my rock and I love them all so much.

2. My boyfriend, he is such a great influence on me and couldn’t be more supportive of me pursuing my dreams with softball.

3. James Taylor … got introduced to him by my dad, music that is I have yet to meet him but I would LOVE that!

4. Smarties, favorite canadian candy

5. Tattoos, I love them, they are so beautiful and really express people in different ways.

6. Mac Makeup is stunning

7. Babies, I love them, they are able to bring such life out of people and I can’t wait till I’m able to have one and give it the best life possible.

8. Marilyn Monroe- True stunner in all ways.

9. Camping, some of my best memories growing up are by the Shuswap lake with my family

10. Christmas time while watching “A christmas story” such a classic

11. Softball, it has allowed me to do so many things in life and I’m forever grateful for every opportunity

12. An amazing glass of merlot always does the heart good.

13. Nothing beats an amazing night out with red lipstick

14. My trip to hawaii with my girlfriends

15. The movie UP, makes me cry, laugh, and be so happy all at once

16. The disney princesses, they are beautiful!

17. Insanity workouts, you find how mentally tough you are by doing this challenge for 60 days straight

18. My ex boyfriend in the strip shirt, he passed away two years ago, July 4 2010 a VERY VERY VERY hard loss. He was one of the best human beings I’ve ever known. His smile lives on inside me. 

19. My Shokki team here in japan! They are all amazing. 

20. A house decorated with walls of family

21. Washington softball winning the national championship 

22. My old dog Thomas, so hard giving him up for adoption but I couldn’t give him the attention he needs

23. Winnie the pooh, my snuggle partner 

24. Pictures with friends from home, Carlee is one of my all time favorites! We’ve been friends since I was 15!

25. My brother, watching him pursue his dream is amazing and I’m so proud of him

26. Nordstom, favorite store on the planet

27. Dressing babies up in the cutest clothes possible! 

28. My grandparents! They are amazing individuals!

29. Ashley Aven, she passed away of cancer in 2010 but getting to know her made me a better person. She was a fighter and I miss her. 

30. The movie the Sandlot.. my brother pulled a Benny the Jet move trying to steal home a couple games ago! I think he got it from that movie ha! 

 

This about sums it up! All of these things bring the biggest smile to my face! Thanks again to you all that take the time to read this. 

 

Miss you guys

Love

D.E.L

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If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you’re going to have problems. You’ll be dead a lot. ~Dean Smith

What an AMAZING opening weekend! One of the best experiences ever! We opened up in Kyoto, where the championships usually are for the JSA league! All the teams were there competing and it was a really great first trip! We got in on wednesday night, and had a team dinner! We got to bed pretty early because we were the first team to practice on the game field of 12 teams! We had a 6:00 AM wake up call, and had to be at the field ready to practice for 7:30. I’m starting to get used to the hotel breakfast’s here. There is a lot of dinner type food here that I’m not used to that they eat at breakfast, but they do make a mean scrambled eggs with ketchup snuggling right beside it! Meal of champions! We practiced for a couple hours, which for me consists of throwing a mini bullpen prior to a game day and then I spend most of practicing running by myself or taking PFP’S ( pitchers fielding practice). After practice we headed back to the hotel and grabbed some lunch!

Megan is a HUGE fan of Kyoto so she dragged me out to check out some amazing things that convinced me that this place truly is wonderful! We went to a japanese shrine. It was stunning. It was about a 6 mile walk I’d say all and all which is a lot to just walk around but it was beautiful. I took some pictures so you guys can see how truly beautiful it was! Once we walked around a little bit more we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the team for dinner and prepare for game day.

GAME DAY!

I had so many different emotions running through me. I was nervous, I was excited, I was at times kind of sick to my stomach. I think more so just because I had not competed in anything this big in A LONG LONG time. Over here we only play 22 games total in the whole 6 months. You get a chance to play each team the first half and each team the second half, and only the top 4 teams advance to play offs, so EVERY game matters. I put added pressure on to myself as well which was not right. Once we headed to the field, I went through my every day game routine. Crank up the James Taylor tunes and get the mind right. Go through warm up the exact same way I do ALWAYS. We were playing Hitachi Software, they were ranked 4th overall last year so a pretty good team to get right off the bat! That first inning was nerve racking for me. Not to mention the first 2 hitters got on base, and the drummers were going and the fans were cheering like CRAZY. They had runners on first and second none out. I took a step off the mound and turned around to check out my focal point in the outfield. I took giant breaths and tried to calm myself down a bit. I said ” remember its still 43 feet, take your breaths and think one pitch at  time”. We ended up getting out of the inning 1-2-3 after that. So much adrenaline was running through me. The game felt like it was going by slow to me! All of a sudden it was the bottom of the 7 and we were down 1-0. We had the bulk of our line up up 3-4-5 so I was feeling pretty good about it. We ended up coming through in the clutch and scoring 2 to win the game! When that happened it felt like a million pounds was lifted off my shoulders! I couldn’t help but get teary eyed by how excited everyone was and how many hugs I was getting by teammates and our coaching staff! It was a very very great moment in my life and I haven’t been that excited while playing in a long time!

It felt great to get that game out of the way. It was our head coaches first WIN ever as a head coach so that was pretty special. That night honestly allowed me to realize WHY I love this game so much. The relationships you build with people even when you cant properly speak to them on a daily basis is amazing. You still gain that trust and respect and to me that is what is most important. I’m loving this experience so much so far. It is obviously hard being away from my family and my boyfriend but I feel like this experience is making my connection at home with them so much stronger! I’m so excited that every night I get to watch my brothers games, and my boyfriends about to start up real quick here as well!

I’m again so thankful for this opportunity and the people that are helping me throughout the way.

Thanks for taking the time to read this peeps! I appreciate it so much!!

Love,

D.E.L

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Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. — Muhammad Ali

All I can say is…. I’m so excited that we have an off day today! It has been a LONG couple of days! We finally finished off the Toyota Cup! That consisted of 4 straight days of double headers! It brings me back to my travel ball days! I haven’t done that in a long long time! The weather has been so extremely COLD! Wind blowing in your face! I give the girls on our team ALOT of credit for being able to rally and stay motivated! I was bundled up in pretty much everything and anything when I was not pitching! It was nice to see a consistent lineup out there! Everyone is getting their opportunities prior to the Season home opener on April 14. We ended up going 6-2 throughout the weekend! Not exactly what we wanted, but there IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. It gives us something to work on for the week! I threw one full game and a couple innings of another game. I have been throwing ok, change up is looking pretty good! Need to get better with location! Thats my goal for the week. Pin point spots in practice! We head to Kyoto on thursday afternoon! All of the league teams are going their to kick off the first game of the tournament! From what I heard it is a gorgeous little city! So I’m looking forward to that experience. Its funny, I’m kind of nervous prior to season opening up here. Not a bad nervous! The kind of nervous I would get while being at UW prior to the pac 10 opening up! I have a week here to really get set, mentally and physically! I always go back to the one and only Ken Ravizza! He has helped me SO much throughout the years! I started to work with him with the Olympic team in 2006 and I owe a lot of my success to him teaching me to stay present pitch to pitch. I highly suggest his book …. you can find it here http://www.amazon.com/Heads-Up-Baseball-Playing-Game-Pitch/dp/1570280215. The man has so much knowledge and I have really become a better athlete after believing and trusting in him.  After we finished up with our Toyota Cup, we went out for dinner as a team. We went with no translator either so it was neat to sit and really have to communicate with the girls. I really love our team. The vets are all so sweet and the rookies are adorable! I posted a pic below of my fav rookie! I call her Peanut! She has a  mask on here because she was starting to get sick, so they make you wear them so you can’t pass anything on to the team! Smart Idea. It felt good to go out and have a nice dinner, followed by some great company! And it has been even better on this off day today! Both Megan and I tried to sleep in! I was up at 8 AM, so I turned on the Blue Jays game from their final cleveland series! I thought they were going to go for the perfect Season! Guess not… KIDDING! Got a good workout in today as well! So now its time to just sit and lounge and rest!

I really have been enjoying my trip here in Japan! It has been above and BEYOND better then I ever expected! Our coaching staff is great! Our living accommodations are awesome as well. I’m really taking a liking to the food! It has not been as difficult to adjust as I thought it was! Being here reminds me of being back in college, the long practice days and game days! Its fun being back in a routine again.

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to read this, I appreciate you :)

Love

D.E.L

PS: The Blue Jays home opener is tonight, and I’m so excited for my brother! My dad and grandpa made the trip to Toronto! I’m so excited for my grandpa to see my brother play in T.O. What a special day it will be for him. Also, Jamie Campbell did a special on our family that will air prior to the game, it will start at 6! You guys should check it out and let me know what you think!

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I’m so excited for my baby brother!!

Tonight is opening night for the Blue Jays and I couldn’t be more excited for my brother! What an amazing spring training he had. It was so great getting down to Florida for a week and getting to watch him. He looked like he belonged and it was pretty cool! I’m so proud of him, and I’m really looking forward to watching him this season! My dad and grandpa and friends head down to Toronto to watch the Blue jays kick off their home opener against the Red Sox on sunday! I’m so jealous! Anyways… good luck to the Blue Jays this year and to my brosif! I’m so glad I got the MLB Premium package! I will be watching all your games! Thanks again to all the people that take the time to read this! I appreciate it :)

Miss you guys

-D.E.L

PS: Follow the blue jays this year either on twitter @bluejays or go to their web page for updates http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=tor

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A True Beauty

 
Marilyn Monroe
 
 
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Date of Birth: June 01, 1926 —- Date of Death: August 05, 1962
 
I will dedicate a room to her in my house one day! Stunning in all ways!