Sunday, September 28, 2014

Once a Yankee

Always a Yankee...Thanks Grandpa!
September 2014 

This year marked the end of baseball and Yankee great Derek Jeter's career and as I watched his last home game in Yankee stadium I was very emotional remembering why I LOVE baseball and the Yankees in the first place. My grandfather, sister and I share a true love for Yankees baseball and Derek Jeter is more than likely the last Yankee my grandfather would have known so closing this season and this player out, as Jeter retires, has been emotionally difficult for me. Derek Jeter and Yankees baseball have developed so many memories for me.

Grandpa and Grandma Pat

My Family Sharing Baseball with ME
I grew up loving baseball and I owe that to my dad who was the definition of a true baseball fan. In fact, before I was even born there was talk of naming me "Homer" (Can you imagine that now with all the Homer Simpson references?) because my dad liked baseball so much. Luckily, I was a girl and that name seemed inappropriate but I literally came out of the womb with baseball shaped heart. There is a famous picture of my dad holding me as a 2-3 week old wearing matching Kansas City Royals t-shirts and it remains one of my favorite pictures of all time. 

One of the greatest pictures of all time! 

It all Began with Grandpa Sharing Baseball with ME
When I was a young girl and my sister and I would visit my grandfather in Wichita, KS during the summer we would go downstairs to find him sitting in his chair watch a Yankees game and filling out his baseball score card. He loved baseball and always had a heart for the Yankees. During his lifetime the Yankees were really good and America's team. He told me once "I grew up watching the Yankees play because they were the only team on TV or radio. I watched Babe Ruth and wanted to be just like him. I wanted to grow up and play baseball for the Yankees." I remember sitting in his lap or in the chair right beside him and just dreaming of playing for the Yankees too, despite being a girl. He had Yankees shirts, jackets and other memorabilia all around his house and he literally was a TRUE fan.

I remember learning all about Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, Clemens as so many more as they came out. They were no-name baseball players back in 1995-1996 but Grandpa already knew about them and their potential and he had high hopes. You were right Grandpa... They turned out to be truly GREAT PLAYERS! Grandpa would spout off statistics about their batting average or home runs for the season before we could get out of the car when we came to his house. The great Yankee legacy team of the late 1990's and early 2000's was practically all we talked about.

These are "my boys" and the topic of many discussions with my Grandpa.
As Derek Jeter tips his hat at his final home game, I can't help but think of all the
memories these Yankee greats have created for my sister and I. And all of these memories are based around my Grandpa! 

In addition to sharing Yankee knowledge with Grandpa, he also shared his Yankee memorabilia with us too. As Allison and I got older, him and Grandma Pat would give us Christmas and Birthday gifts based around Yankees baseball. My parents have followed in this tradition to this day!

Once a Yankee... Always a Yankee!
Christmas 2011.
Grandpa was a true Yankee fan... my dad on the other hand was NOT a fan of the Yankees and still isn't. He has always been a St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals (the "home" team for Wichita, I guess) and Texas Rangers fan since we moved to Texas in 1994. He has always thought there was too much money in the Yankees club, which he has a point and I agree with but I will never waiver from my Yankees and that is because of Grandpa.

Dad has proclaim from the very beginning that he will raise THIS little girl a Cardinals fan! 
The jury is still out on that! 

My Grandfather was a true sport fanatic and passed this trait on to most of his 4 boys, but especially my dad. My Grandpa loved the Yankees but also loved the OU Sooners and ended up playing football for the OU Sooners when he attended OU from 1947-1950. He played on the 1947 Sooner Team until he hurt his shoulder in 1948. He graduated from OU in 1950 and that is one of the main reasons I went to OU... to follow in one of my hero's footsteps. Of course this is in addition to the SOONER BORN AND SOONER BRED philosophy which was also true since my dad was a die-hard Sooner fan as well!  That too is something I personally shared with my Grandpa.

Sisters Sharing Baseball
However, Yankees baseball was something that me, Grandpa and MY SISTER shared together every time we were together no matter the time of year. We would talk about the standings, post season or even off season training and the such. I swear Allison and I learned at least 50% of our overall baseball knowledge from Grandpa who would spout off statistics about Yankees while we were visiting. I remember a long 4 hour long drive home from Wichita to Ulysses one time that involved a lot of questions for my dad about what Grandpa talked about and told us that weekend. Allison and I are real baseball and Yankees fans but is about more than just the game... It is about sharing the game with your sister!

Impromptu Rangers game in 2006

Born and Raised... Yankees!

Ballpark in Arlington- Texas Rangers Ballpark Tour 2011

Sitting in the Texas Rangers Dugout- 2011

Opening Day 2014- Astro's vs Yankees and stop
#1 on Derek Jeter's Farewell Tour

Baseball... A Klingsick Tradition
In 1996 my family made our 1st trip to New York City to see Yankee Stadium for the first time and this made my love for the Yankees grow even more. As a 13 year old kid, I thought I was in heaven. My returning trips to Yankee stadium have only increased the love I have for not only this team but baseball in general as the Yankees truly are America's team. I hope to be able to one day take Chris and my kids to Yankee stadium to share this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with them as well.

Baseball... A Klingsick Family Tradition
Our very first Post Season Game- 2010.

Our very first Yankees Post Season game- 2010!

Despite being a Yankees fan... I wanted the Rangers to win the ALCS
that year so we could go to the World Series!

The tradition continues and now include Chris and 2 grand-kids!

The Tradition Continues to the Next Generation
My dad was such a huge baseball fan that he had a dream of visiting all of the Major League Baseball stadiums in the United States before he died. I was so fortunate to be able to travel alongside him and my mom while he tried to achieve this dream each summer. We traveled all over, near and far, watching baseball games. In fact, we would plan our annual summer vacation not around the Southern Baptist Convention schedule (my dad is a Baptist pastor in case you didn't know) or my mom's vacation time but rather on when our teams were in town. I clearly remember sitting down each November or December and viewing all of the recently posted yearly baseball schedules and choosing where we would go. By the time I was a teenager we had already created a list of the destinations, teams and stadiums we had to see and we knew where the following vacation would take us. This is one of the best memories of my entire life and I owe it all to my parents and my dad's love of the game. Now my mom and dad, otherwise known as Gigi Shirley and Poppy, travel around the US visiting baseball stadiums as GRANDPARENTS! They say it is even more fun!

Poppy and Natalie on Adventure #1 in St. Louis- 2011. 

St. Louis 2011- Adventure #1.
And so the adventures begin! 

Gigi Shirley and Poppy taking Natalie and Luke to their first Astro's game in 2013.

Dad has waited his whole life to have a little boy to share baseball with! 

Family Astro's game in June 2014

June 2014: Baseball- The Gigi Shirley and Poppy TRADITION!

Me Sharing Baseball with MY Family

Sharing Baseball with Chris 
When Chris and I started dating and really getting serious, he discovered my real passion for baseball. He was a 'FOOTBALL ALL THE TIME" type of guy and didn't like or follow baseball much. But like all marriages, there was some give and take and he has done a lot of giving in regards to this. I, too, have developed MORE of a love for college football (Boomer Sooner) but he has really come around from the "dark side" and grown to like baseball more and more. He even coached a High School JV team in 2012.

Chris took me 1/2 way across America to watch baseball!
2007- Washington Nationals game

Birthday Weekend at the Rangers 2008. 

Chris even took me to Minute Maid Park for the 1st time in 2010.
I was able to cross a stadium off my Bucket List with Chris! 

June 2014- I've trained him to like baseball but NOT the Yankees!
Unfortunately, he will remain an Astro's fan

Sharing Baseball with Natalie Grace
I have already shared this passion for baseball with my little girl Natalie Grace and she has traveled to downtown Houston with Allison and I to see a Yankees game. She loves baseball and traveling all of the United States with my parents, Gigi Shirley and Poppy, as they continued their baseball tradition with a new generation.

4.5 month old Natalie sporting her First Yankees Tee!

15 month old Natalie in the Texas Rangers dugout!

Mommy and Natalie at Minute Maid Park on Opening Day 2012!

Opening Day 2012

Opening Day 2012

Natalie- My little baseball DIVA! 

Yankees vs. Astro's closing weekend 2013
This one is for YOU Grandpa!

Sharing Baseball with Mr. Luke
However, I always dreamed of having a little boy and being able to pass on this love for the Yankees and passing on the many memories Grandpa, Allison and I shared. Unfortunately, Grandpa didn't make it to see this happen but I named my son David Luke Davis after not only his own father (David Christopher Davis) and Grandfather (Davis Daniel Davis) but also MY grandfather and Luke's Great-Grandfather (Gareld David Klingsick) of whom he will never be able to meet. Grandpa was and still remains one of my heroes and had such a huge impact on my life.

2012- 6 month old Luke got his 1st Yankees hat! 

David Luke Davis- June 2014
My little Yankee

June 2014-"Raise a child in the way they should go and
when they are old they will not depart from it" 

June 2014- One of my favorites! 

June 2014- This just melts my heart! 

June 2014- Auntie Allie is going to make sure he is a YANKEE! 

Our Legacy
I know my Grandpa is looking down from heaven and seeing his great-grandchildren have the same passion for sports, OU Football and baseball that his own boys and grandchildren did and is smiling. I love and miss you, Grandpa and now more than ever in the past 9 years, I just want to call and talk to you about the Yankees, baseball and life in general. I wish you could meet Mr. David Luke Davis who already, at only 2 years old, has your passion for baseball. I think you would be so proud! I love you Grandpa and I will see you soon! 

One of the very last pictures I have of my grandpa and I.
November 2004... Just short of a year before he died!
I love and miss you Grandpa! 

I've been a Yankee fan my entire life and I have never seen a better Yankee than Derek Jeter. There will never be another player quite like #2. Thanks for the memories Captain!

I love baseball.. And I owe that to my Dad and my Grandpa!
I love you guys! 

God is good.. All the time! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Concerts, Recitals and Games... Where do you find time?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

So it is that time of year again… Fall is upon us and school is just rolling right along. Natalie is in kindergarten and enjoying almost every minute. She is doing so much better than a few weeks ago and I attribute this ALL to her teacher. She was out on maternity leave for the first 2 weeks of school and since has returned and her class has done almost a complete 180* turn. All of my teacher friends told me she was the best and this just proves it!
Since school is now more under way and all of us are more confident in the rituals and routines, it is time to start thinking about the extra-curricular events for Natalie. In the past she has done dance or gymnastics 1 day a week during the evening time but this year I am just struggling to find the time for this. I realize that in order for this to work I will have to MAKE time but just looking at my schedule I do not think it is possible. 

I am feeling like a terrible mother right now because I want her to be in all of these events and activities but I just do not see the time. Not to mention what we would do with little Luke. We ARE IN AWANA at our church which is a large time commitment in and of itself. That means our Wednesday is full and only leaves us 3 more weekdays. And of course Chris has tutoring every Thursday and alternating Wednesdays so that is out of the question really because that means I would have to take Natalie to her event and have Luke tag along with us. This is possible but a real headache on me. So I ask you, where do my mom friends find time for all of this without going insane or being unbelievably tired.

Fortunately, for the time being, dance and gymnastics at the Rec Center do not start for another 3-4 weeks so that gives us some time to think about our options as well as rest up for what might be a crazy busy fall!

God is good… All the time!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beep Beep.. Doubled

September 4, 2014
Happy 32nd Birthday... To ME!

Another year came and went and I am now 365 days older. I am going to be honest, I am beginning to feel older but not in a physical way but more of a "brain fart". I have found myself lately thinking "wait, didn't I already do that?" or "Where are my keys/ phone? Wait a minute, I am holding them". I used to think these types of things were happening because I was the mother of an infant but my "baby" boy is now 2 years old and my oldest is 5. I guess it's true what they say... "It's all down hill from here". 

September 4, 2014
The day started bright and early as my romantic husband brought me breakfast in bed at 5:15 AM. This was one of my old favorites Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Hot and fresh out the oven and the aroma that was being put off throughout my house was incredible. It was nice to be able to enjoy these and not feel completely guilty for breaking my diet! A girl can have sweets on her birthday, even if they are for breakfast. (I paid for it the following day and week honestly, but it was worth it)!

I also had a great time waking Natalie up as she screamed "Mommy, it's YOUR birthday. Can we open presents?". I had to explain to her that Daddy had already left for work so we would have to wait until after school to open gifts! She so desperately wanted me to open hers first. This was a gift she could not wait for me to open as she talked about it in the car and then told several people at school about how "awesome" her gift was. I have to admit, I was getting intrigued; especially since Chris texted me as she purchased it with him saying it was "interesting". 

As soon as we got to school my team-teacher, "Coach" Tammy Schneider, came in to my room and gave me a Happy Birthday balloon and a large bowl of strawberries and kiwis. These were incredible and so ripe and tasted so sweet as a mid-morning snack before my 1st class showed up at 9:15 AM. Tammy has such a sweet giving heart and I love her so much! 

As I was giving my "Meet Mrs. Davis" speech throughout the day I told my classes it was my birthday and so many of them gave me hugs and even cards by the end of the day! During lunch time I got several hugs and even gifts from some of my older students who were told by Tammy it was my birthday! After my lunch duty was over I returned to my room to find Tammy and the rest of the SPECIALS team with Chick-fil-A lunch waiting for me. This was so nice and unexpected and I am so appreciative! Once again, Tammy is such a great friend and teaching partner! 

Once Natalie and I got home I found the most beautiful arrangement of flowers waiting on my bar from the kids! Gigi Jackie (My MIL) is so thoughtful and these were perfect! 
The flowers Luke picked out for me! 

These were perfect!

We then ate my birthday dinner of sushi which was a perfect way to end the day. After that we opened the rest of the gifts from Natalie and Chris. Chris got me an amazing and gigantic Texas Star to put on the front of our house. I have been wanting one of these since we moved down here and despite having lived in our house for 2 years, I am now officially a TEXAS HOME OWNER because of this star! I will post pictures once it is hung up! Natalie's gift was interesting indeed as it was a large lawn ornament of a beagle at a fire hydrant. She told me it was a smaller "Abbey" that I could look at all the time! Yeah, I have no idea where I will keep it but it was in fact, the most unique gift I have ever gotten and so special since Natalie chose it all by herself. 

Natalie's "Abbey" she got for me! It is in fact INTERESTING!

My Texas Star... Thank you honey! I LOVE it!

August 23, 2014
The previous weekend after Natalie's birthday party my parents and sister took me shopping for a new wardrobe since none of the clothes currently in my closet fit anymore (WooHoo... Thank you Plexus; 80 pounds and 53 inches gone). This was awesome because despite the lack of time we had to shop, I was able to get 5 different outfits within a matter of minutes and all in smaller sizes; much smaller sizes. In fact, the smallest sizes I have ever worn or purchased. I have NEVER been able to wear a size 10! Next, it is SINGLE DIGITS! Just 15 more pounds to go! It was such a wonderful feeling to find things right off the rack and not have to order from the Plus Size catalog! My sister even completed the look of these outfits with fancy jewelry. I have worn these outfits all week and got so many compliments! Thank you mom, dad and Allison for making me look fancy and feel pretty again! 

September 5, 2014
On Friday evening after school Dan and Jackie took us all out to my favorite restaurant Chuy's for yet another birthday celebration! This, too, was special because we very rarely visit this restaurant anymore because of our changed lifestyle so once again, I was splurging and breaking the diet! Let me tell you, it felt good! Well at least while at Chuy's... I paid for it later in the evening! 

We then went back to Dan and Jackie's house to open their gifts and eat Cookie Cake. Little did Chris and I know that Dan and Jackie got cupcakes for us to eat as well! Talk about a sugar overload! Jackie then had me open their gift which she prefaced by saying "This is part 1 of 2... well if you want part 2." Once again, I was intrigued and opened the gift immediately. It was a glass/ crystal bird bath with OU on it! Very unique and special! The 2nd part is a cast iron stand to have it sit on if I choose to put it outside. This is a very fancy glass dish so I am unsure about putting it outside but I am still debating it! It is gorgeous nonetheless! 

I have never seen anything like this! It is gorgeous! Thanks y'all!

The Cookie Cake Chris picked out for me! It was a M&M cookie! Pretty cool.. .and tasty! 

Here is the MASSIVE cupcake Dan and Jackie got me! It was the best cupcake I have EVER had! Thanks y'all!

Overall, it was an EXCELLENT day and sandwich weekends! I am so grateful to my husband, parents, sister, in-laws and kids for helping spoil me with gifts and for sharing this day with me! Y'all are amazing! 

It is crazy to think that I have double my life since my 16th birthday, which was a monumental birthday in and of itself. As a 16 year old I would imagine what my life would be like when I got "older" but I never imagined it to be this good! I truly am BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE! Thank you, Lord for Your continued blessings! 

God is good... ALL the time!  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

It's The End of an Era

Monday, August 25, 2014 
"Happy 5th Birthday Nattie Grace and First Day of Kindergarten" 

It was 6:15 AM and I opened the door to Natalie's bedroom to find her sound asleep and sprawled out across her bed. I started singing "Happy Birthday" to help her wake up and to remind her that while today was a very BIG day, being her 1st day of kindergarten and all, it was still her birthday. She was 5 and going on 15. She finally got up after a few hugs and snuggles and we got ready for the long day ahead of us. 

We came downstairs to start taking the numerous amount of pictures to document this glorious occasion. I will never forget her reaction as I told her we had to take lots of pictures "Oh my goodness, not again"! We had spent the entire previous weekend taking pictures at her birthday party and at church during promotion Sunday. Finally, about 30-40 pictures later we got our bags and headed out the door towards school.

Happy Birthday Natalie! 

1st Day of Kindergarten!

It was so hard to take pictures as the tears were rolling down my face!

Class of 2027!

1st Day of School 2014-2015 

Once we arrived at school we started to pass out the "First Day of School" treats we got for the administration and other teachers on my team. Natalie loved being Santa Claus and delivering these morning treats to everyone. 

Welcome to our "family" Natalie! 

But inevitably, the time had come for mommy to drop her baby off in her classroom. We walked from my classroom to hers where she immediately walked right in and put her backpack on her chair. She went over and gave her teacher, who was a long term sub until her real teacher returns from maternity leave, a hug and said good morning. She also made sure he knew it was her birthday. I in the meantime was taking more and more pictures and wiping away my tears the massive cart full of school supply tissues.

Natalie walking to her class! 

Class of 2027!

My music All-Star! I cannot wait to have her in class!

Natalie opened her orange juice and chocolate milk and began drinking them as I was greeted by returning student asking why I was crying. Natalie started talking to some students in her class as I began to creep closer and closer to the door to leave and go back to my "day job" which was greeting the rest of the school as they arrived for the 1st day.

Her area of the kidney table! 

She was so excited to just be in class!

She is ready... I am NOT!

I eventually left her in her classroom and so began the rest of her life. The era of "my little girl" came to a screeching halt and she started her new chapter in life as a student. I knew it was going to be a rough transition for me as I did not want my little girl to grow up at all but I had no idea it would be this hard. 

The rest of her 1st week of school was an unusual one to say the least and NOT AT ALL how I would have pictured it. I am writing a separate blog about this week and will have sequential posts about her 6 weeks academic journeys throughout this year. But this is a lesson in trust for both her and I as she starts this new chapter. Who knew letting go would be this difficult! 

I love you Natalie Grace and no matter what you will ALWAYS BE my little girl! 

God is good... all the time!