Monday, August 7, 2017

A sign

So many posts I could do and talk about, but this one I have to get out there. Have you ever had a moment where it was so clear you were exactly where you were supposed to be? I don't think I have really ever had a moment of feeling like God was specifically talking to me. I mean I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and each chapter of our life is very important in each of our stories.. 

Jake met up for lunch with a mutual friend back in May. He couldn’t wait for me to get to Korea to meet him, and was going to help us be able to do outreach while we are in Korea.. Jake starts telling me about this guy, and his crazy story.. We went to lunch with him again last week (mid July)  to get to know him better before we spent the day with him the following Monday, and again wanted him to share his story with me. 

Jin Kang is one of those guys you're listening to, and you kind of find your mouth open and have to make sure you're not starring so awkwardly because your kind of speechless…Jin was born and raised in China in a small town named, Yanji, not far at all from North Korea pretty much almost the boarder. He is Korean, but raised in China… His Grandparents fled from the Japanese oppression. Millions of Koreans fled to China out of fear. A missionary lived in China for 5 years and never led anyone to christ  until Jin. The only person who was saved was Jin from this missionary in China. He met his wife in high school in china then 10 years later they run into each other in Seoul and are now married. She is brilliant. I still don't even understand what she does exactly.. She translate english medical science books into Korean. She can read english, but can’t speak it. They end up moving back to S. Korea only a few years ago! So Jin gets saved only person from this missionary, and is now heading up 9 countries for FCA (Fellowship Christian Athletes.) I think it’s safe to say he was worth working on and now the impact he has on the world literally! He is the first non American to work for FCA, and has been with them for 10 years. The fastest growing area for FCA is Singapore. 

When Jin was saved he was one of 4 people that started this church and none of them knew much about about that bible and 10 years later those 4 people became 100 churches. YOU READ THAT RIGHT….. 4 people turned into 100 churches! I had to have him repeat it 3 times because I didn’t think I was understanding it right, and also all underground churches in China. 

Jin then started asking a little about us, and we told him we have been at Lifebridge going on 8 years now, and gone through an adjustment period and right before we left got a new pastor… He asked what is his name? Jake and I both kind of laughed I mean why is he asking us that? lol We said Ralph….. Jin says “as in Ralph Howe” Jake and I both were so shocked, and come to find out he pulled up text messages, and they speak regularly and used to live in the same town in China at one point!! I had goosebumps all over and all of us couldn’t believe the connection from our small church to living in Seoul with 15 million JUST in Seoul not even S. Korea! I had to hold my tears back because we truly wanted to be in Japan and thought where we were supposed to be.. When Korea came about i’m sure most of you were aware what was going on at the time and our news media.. We were very frightened and are we crazy for bringing our 2 kids here?? Honestly since I have been here I have that about NK and everything maybe twice.. I feel a lot safer here than I do back home! 

Jin has so many connections here and understood what we were wanting to do with our free time when we get that which isn’t very often. FCA held a camp for local children and was a 3 day long camp. They played sports during the day, broke off in groups, had worship at night and speakers. Jake was the first speaker on day 1 which was really cool to listen to his testimony. I don't think I have ever heard Jake share it. He has been through a lot, and its amazing to see the person I met almost 10 years ago to the man he is today. He speaks so good too (must come from his dad from all those years of preaching!) I was very nervous I felt sick all morning because he didn’t want to practice with me… if that was me i would be practicing for weeks, but he is like no… I'm going to wing this and i was thinking that is a very bad idea! He really did speak amazing, and that night they had over 20 get saved!! Not from Jake’s testimony but from the day at camp, and all the speakers, but still was amazing to be apart of that.. 

The girls would not stop touching Cope and wouldn’t do any of the sports they were supposed to be doing they just wanted to touch him and play with Stella even the boys just wanted to touch Cope and try to make him laugh. When Cope is around everyone touches him EVERYWHERE WE GO.. yes i bring lots of wipes and have to take deep breaths knowing strangers are constantly wanting to touch him. 

The following Monday we had off and got to be apart of another special day and visit a disadvantage children’s home. This was really hard.. I’m not going to lie, I had to block out why they were there or I think I would’ve just cried the entire time and last thing any of them needed. I will never forget that day and was an honor for us to spend a day with them. Jake spoke there as well, and our main goal was just to play and bring some happiness. Again, Cope was a huge hit and made the kids so happy. Most of these children here are from alcoholic families, or mainly abused. The city will take them until the parents can get help or whatever situation it is and 60% will go back, and 40% will grow up in an orphanage… That was the hard part knowing some of these children will never go back home and will be raised not being loved… It killed both of us. The cool thing is the man who started it is a pastor, and being taught when they can about God. That’s huge! We are working right now and figuring out requirements.. laws,etc and hopefully are going to get them to come to a game next weekend and give them a night to just have fun and be kids! If it wasn’t for Jin none of these connections would have been possible. It’s kind of cool because Jake is one the first that has really done outreach (Josh and Aurielle Lindblom have done a great job in their town, Busan doing outreach too.) Jin was telling us they have tried to get many Korean professional athletes to volunteer, but just never have  and I don't think its because they don't want to, but not like the states because so many amazing guys on our team and Jake thinks if we came back they would do stuff with us who would be way bigger of an impact than us being Korean! 

I will close by saying this…Each year it seems like someone is always on that team or in that city who is exactly what we needed at each time, and have met some amazing people these last 10 years of baseball. Some of my favorite people are from this lifestyle like Dennis Brady in Frisco Texas who took such good care of me I needed him and he made such an impact on my life (Im staying out of that rocker Dennis.) I didn’t get why a complete stranger would be so kind to me and love me not because of what Jake did for a living. Darion Mellon for Jake the first year he signed and Jake was a mess! He never gave up trying and became a huge influence on Jake over the years playing in the states. Shu last year became one of our closest friends both Jake and I and don’t know what we would have done without him. Those are just a few and now Jin. I’m grateful for this crazy journey we call life and the people we have met all over the world who have taken good care of our family. 

Cope during Jake's interview he asked Jake to kiss him and Cope hates Jake's whiskers so lost it!! everyone died laughing 

Oh yea and baseball.. Jake has had an incredible year. He has pitched in 14 games, 7 wins, 3 losses and 9 quality starts. He had some rough ones in June, but overall has pitched very good! He has been MVP or Hero of the game 7 times I think or around there, and was player of the month for the team in July and will do a ceremony this homestand. I am so proud of him, and how hard he has worked to get adjusted to Korean baseball. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Japan & Korea

We have been in Korea a little over two weeks, and having a great time so far! My in laws just left and that was so hard saying goodbye! We all cried, and really hard on Stella. The older she gets the harder it is now that she is really understanding they live in Florida going home, and we are staying here. I know it will take a few days for her to stop asking if they are coming back. We had the best time with Robin and Earl. They were beyond helpful getting me out here, and the first time my mil has been out of the country!! She did the best of all with jet lag. They truly enjoyed Korea. They loved the people, and safety factor. Our kids really hit the jackpot with both grandparents because our parents will do anything to make this life a little easier for us, and I am so thankful for this time I got with them here, and to experience asian baseball/culture since they didn't get to last year in Japan! They start their 24 hour journey home. I'm so thankful to call them mine and all they do for our family! We will miss you both.

I wanted to post some differences and similarities of Japan and Korea. Our blog did get out there in Korea somehow, and just want to say this is my personal opinion.  We loved our time and chapter in Japan it was incredible, but some hard things like being pregnant and so sick. We are loving our time in Korea, and some challenging things as well. 

One of the biggest differences is Taxis!! Taxi rides are a huge difference in price! Korea is a lot cheaper. Its a lot harder to get a taxi here and for multiple reasons... we think first because two children, and don't want to deal with that, and I also think Americans sometimes. We have been loaded up stroller kids everything, and the driver will throw a big X up for us to get out.. really?? couldn't you tell us that before we did all of that? Like today you aren't supposed to have more than 4 people I guess and the guy yelled at us the entire way to the field...we tried getting out and he said no, and kept saying no and yelling at us.. lol that would never happen in Japan. 

Trains are very easy like Japan, but people are kind of rude. I had one old lady push me in the ribs on purpose the other day while I was trying to get the kids situated. You are supposed to fold the stroller up, but so sorry two kids young children not happening. Strollers are very challenging here like Japan. Not as bad as Japan my double side by side fits in most places, but so many escalators its tough. I will have to wear Cope a lot when I'm solo which is everyday. I have been looking at getting another stroller, but going to see how it works alone and how difficult it will be. 

I think some food is more expensive here, or cheaper depending on what it is. Watermelon was over $100 in Japan here it is maybe $20. Still expensive compared to states! We have a ton of grocery options in our building, or even a couple blocks away. I had to walk so far in Japan. They sell lunch meat here, they did not in Japan. Lunch meat for about 15 slices is around $20, but that is what I eat every single day so just part of living overseas. Both places you have to bring your own grocery bags, they do not have them. Korea does have shopping carts, and I found in Japan most did not they would have small baskets to carry. We are so spoiled in America with our huge SUVS target where you can get anything and everything and then some (talking about me) here you buy what you can carry home in the scorching heat. Great leg work out though! 

People will not move in the elevators if trying to get in with stroller, they literally just stand in your way.. so I just have to keep pushing slowly to get in. I will say I don't think they are being rude or anything I don't know why they do this, but overall a very kind country just small things I'm noticing like hoping on elevators first even if standing there for a few minutes, or not moving..

No tipping anywhere in both places, you do not tip waiters, cab, hair nothing! It's awesome! 

At restaurants they want you to order everything at once. The other night on our date they brought us 3 different bills, but we only wanted our appetizer, then meal, dessert..They will only give you 2 small paper napkins so use them wisely. lol thank you baby wipes

The grossest thing to date.. we found out the hard way with a plumber.. they do not flush toilet paper in the toilet!!!! He told us nothing in toilets at all! ummm sorry...not changing that.. 

We live in a 30 story building in Mokdong a very nice town and our apartment is for sale right now for $1.6 million... I can't wait to post pictures because it's insane the difference of living in a huge city such as Seoul, and what you get for the money. My mouth dropped when I heard the price. Our building is the largest residential building in South Korea.

The trash is a big deal here, same with Japan but we never got in trouble so never bothered splitting it up (sorry Shu if you're reading this lol) Here they don't mean maybe... You have to empty all food in one small green bag and we freeze it so doesn't smell... then another bag is plastic, paper, metal, glass, and then random bag of small things you can sort...It really was so challenging at first but we don't have garbage disposals and even that we have to put a cover in it and throw in food bag daily so it doesn't smell. There is a trash guy who stands down there to make sure you are sorting correctly in the garbage room at our building.  So mom and dad.... No cutting corners when you get here! I can't WAIT to see my dad's face when I explain you take the food off your plate and put it in this bag in the freezer. haha 

Everyone was obsessed with Stella in Japan. Her curly hair, and being American of course. Here they barely look at her and are crazy over Cope. They will stop to turn and talk to him or touch him and he always smiles so that makes them want to talk to him even more. I know its the baby factor too, but everyone wants to see him. 

Living is a lot easier in Korea. It's very americanized, and a ton to do right in our building alone or the next block over! Yes groceries are challenging finding things or if following a recipe, but night and day when it comes to food choices from Sendai. We didn't have one American restaurant. We have a couple right by our building here. 

We went to church on Sunday.. It was great until the last part of it, and unfortunately will not be going back, but it was so so difficult with the kids. I think I may end up giving up trying to visit since Jake can't go with me anymore (he came because off for all star) and just watch ours was quite the experience though! It was the closest and "only" 10 minutes away which took over 20-30 because of traffic.

I think with baseball it's pretty similar culture wise. The expectations are harder here I think because they do release so I think the pressure is a lot. The atmosphere is the same both die hard fans even if its 14-1 they will still cheer the entire game. We are in 4th spot as of right now and are going to the playoffs. That would be exciting first time since 2012 since Jake has been apart of a team to go to the playoffs. I love the baseball games! They are so exciting and love the fans! People come talk to me throughout the game, but I really love it and interacting with the people here. 

We got to go site see over all star break and explore Seoul. It is crazy hot here like Florida, but walking everywhere is something we have to get used to! We have really enjoyed Korea and trying to make the most of it while we are here. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Hello from Korea!! 

It has been the craziest month for me and finally July 2 came and went! I enjoyed our last month at home at the beach with my family and made some amazing memories since we missed last year (first time my entire life that I did not go to NSB) with my family! It was so fun to see Stella on the beach which she loved and came to korea a little tan baby! 

Anyone who has followed my blog for a bit knows how much I hate to fly so for weeks I have been sick over the flight to Korea. I used to love flying, but once I started baseball 9 years ago I really started to hate it, and ever since I try my best to drive everywhere if possible. This 24 hour 16 hour plane ride has been such a fear. My in laws flew with me and were a huge help! We left at 5 am to start our 24 hour travel day. We arrived in Atlanta and my brand new double stroller was sent to baggage claim thanks to delta ripping off the tags haha.. Thankfully everyone was very nice when I explained this was not our final destination, and had two small children as we had to go across the airport for international flight. An hour of waiting and we had my stroller in one piece (thanks 3 hour layover!) Woohoo! We got on our long flight at 12 and arrived in Seoul at 3 am. The kids did amazing!!!! We did fly business class, and that helped a lot having some space for them to play and lay. I'm so grateful because I needed all the room I could get with Stella. I did the same bedtime routine on EST changed them into pajamas and everything. It took her about an hour to fall asleep, but that was huge because half of our flight! Cope is the perfect baby... he really is and did incredible! He never cried once... as long as he is held and fed he is happy! So that is what we did and he did great! 

We arrived in Korea and it was chaotic getting through customs, then getting our 7 bags by ourselves and out the door to meet Jake! The kids were so exhausted as you can imagine and we had to drive an hour to our apartment! The first 3 days I slept a total of 8 hours thanks to jet lag and when Cope would get up back to bed Stella would wake up. Haha welcome to two and a 13 hour time difference! It was so good being back with Jake! Two months was way too long, and Stella was one happy girl when she saw him! It is so nice knowing we are together for a while minus a few road trips weekly! 

The first day Jake pitched which was crazy going to the game on so little sleep, but also good to keep the kids awake they both fell asleep there! Jake had a bad first inning thanks to a home run then after that pitched amazing and was the MVP of the game and Stella got to go on stage for his interview! She was so nervous and shy it was so cute! 

Just like Japan the people are obsessed over the kids! They will come up during the game and touch them, but not in a creepy way at all. I sat there the first night and was so happy being back in Asia. We truly missed it and over the politics that American baseball puts you through. You feel like cattle a lot of the time. We love the Asian culture and hospitality. We also love the experience we are getting as well as our children. It's so important for them to experience another culture and we are so spoiled in America everything we have! It is going to be very challenging with two here I'm grateful my in laws are here the first two weeks to help me adjust.  

Jet lag is soooo hard with the kids! They will fall asleep early then wake up at 1 am. I am running on fumes everyday and trying my best to keep them up during the day to adjust! It also didn't help us coming on the first road trip on day 3. Jake pitches Sunday and will be last time his parents see him before they leave so it was worth it, but not ideal! Our apartment is a disaster since didn't get settled yet and had to repack for the road. We head back today after the game and our train is at 11:30 pm (1:45 minutes yes PM) yikes... I may die when we arrive back in Seoul. 

Monday's are always off for us which is so nice to know and most days he usually is home sometimes it is a travel day to next city. I look forward to family time! At the end of the week is every baseball family favorite break: ALL STAR BREAK!! While it's a huge honor to be selected to play it's so nice being off for a few days and unplug from the crazy schedule. 

We traveled to Daegu and I have been so worn out the kids too we have yet to go to a game. Robin and Earl went the first night and so glad they did! It's not easy getting anywhere with no one speaking English or able to read anything. Everything is a task! My girlfriend who husband plays on this team text me yesterday with all these horrible pictures and her husband was woken up at 3:45 am with bed bugs!!!! I wanted to leave right then but unfortunately here one more day so I have been itchy ever since I found that out and checked our beds 5x.... ugh 😑 the guy brought up raid to his room... lol clearly they don't know the severity of this. 

It is HOTTTTT here.... like boiling hot! Our apartment is super hot too. Air conditioning is very expensive! Unfortunately we don't know how expensive just yet and the team used to cover this until one of the foreigners took advantage last year but maybe over a thousand we just aren't sure yet so we have two units in our apartment one in our master and one in the main. The kitchen is in front of the apartment and feels like you're stepping in a sauna! We had the team buy us more fans so we have 5 fans all over the place running. When we are there we keep the air on, but it still is so hot! It's crazy because not like that in Japan. I know we are living in Seoul and very expensive so probably part of it. I packed stupid I'm not sure what I was thinking when packing--well yes I do I wasn't thinking because I had packed for Toledo, then moved out of our house so I have a ton of winter clothes and no shirts. Haha 😂 same with Cope his entire wardrobe is long sleeves! whoops

Having two children here is veryyyy challenging. I am trying to figure out what works and what doesn't and I'm not sure how I will travel alone so probably won't be able to unfortunately to his away games with the ages of the kids, but going to try! I will post more soon but wanted to get this out there for now while it's fresh! 

We are loving Seoul and will talk about some differences we are seeing from living in both places soon! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Let's go!

Jake has been in korea for 5 weeks now! So hard to believe how fast it has gone (he might not agree on this.) I'm sorry I have never posted how to watch his games it has been so busy for me here with the kids! 

Jake has pitched the best he has ever pitched in his entire career! To God we give all the glory! Game after game has been so fun and exciting! It's also been great since he was the first foreigner to sign in Korea so the pressure was on! They either will love you or hate you quickly.... the first game he said it felt like he has never pitched before and playing a game of darts haha! He did good, but it definitely wasn't very pretty! 

He went 5 inning 0 runs 2 hit 2 strikeouts 4 walks (the ugly part lol) 

Game #2 game he went 6 inning 3 earned runs 5 strikeouts and got the loss. 

Game #3 7 innings 1 run 5 strikeouts and got the win! It was his first win in the majors and was so exciting to watch!!! He has been hero of the game twice as well which is really fun they pick two of the best players for the game and you get money too if you get it haha! Here is his one interview which broke my heart his almost lost it talking about us, but so exciting we got to watch live! 

This post will be short but I can't wait to tell you more about the differences between Japan and Korea and our experience! We loved Japan, but it was very challenging and challenges in Seoul but very westernized so really has been easy on Jake everyone speaks English, we live above a 8 story mall, outback, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, burger joint all in our one building! 

I just wanted to share how to watch and can actually rewatch him the next night if interested vs 4:30 am haha! 

Click here to watch : jake's first win interview

Here is the English version to keep track of Jake's stats and all his information I just saved this to my iPhone homescreen

Then there is an app called : NAVER it is green with an N that can actually watch the games! 

I hope this helps for those who are asking I will do a blog soon!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lets go to Korea?

ready for Korea
Hi!!! I just want to say I have a ton of people I added from my Facebook post, so welcome.. I have been doing this blog ever since I started traveling back in 2010. I have never made it public on any of my social media because this was more for our moms/family to know a little bit of detail in our life since we all know sometimes the details get left out from some people (Ahem Jake.) After baseball I plan on printing them all, and doing a book for our kids and the crazy adventure we call our life! Most of the time it's such a blur during the season I have a hard time remembering. I'm shocked at how many wanted to follow, and wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for caring, and praying for us and being our support system! It means so much to Jake and I! This blog is very casual so sorry to any teachers who may be reading this and my grammar! I do this for my family, and keep it as private as I can, but of course anyone can find it if they truly want to on google.  If you want to know more about us and how we met read here

if you ever want to comment or email us you cannot respond to the email being sent out... I am trying to get that fixed, but above the "contact us" on our blog is our email or if you ever want to shoot us a message <3

WOW this last month has been CRAZZZAYYYYY!!! Jake continued to be in extended in Lakeland waiting for a spot to open up. He pitched every Friday and did amazing. A couple weeks ago we heard a Korean team was interested in Jake. We didn't want to think much into it because we heard they were looking at 3 other pitchers, and I'm sure none in extended. We heard they were coming to watch him on Friday and of course I was a nervous wreck! Most of our family came to the game and I tried so hard not to say anything to Jake because he knew they were there and the pressure was on. We saw them walk in and I wanted to pass out. I watched them more than Jake. haha  Jake had a great game and it was so hard not to walk up to them and ask what did they think of him.. I held back... I did see them take pictures of us lol.. I would say a good week passed by before we heard anything! At this time we started to pack up our home because we rented it out to some of our best friends because we never imagined we would still be here. We wanted to keep our promise and my parents offered for us to move in with them until we figured out where we were going. This was not easy I'm not even going to lie.. It's not easy for anyone, but we felt like we wouldn't be here long. I then have to pack up our house I had already packed our crates for the season, and now I'm trying to put stuff aside incase we go to Korea, Ohio, OR PA, but felt like chances were so slim because of extended. I technically was packing for 3 different places. Asian teams really only want guys in AAA or big leagues. I am so grateful Jake was with me to help get moved to my parents, and we move in Saturday. SATURDAY night we get an offer from the team and hear they want us!! I think we both were shocked, scared, excited... I don't think you understand how hard it is to get overseas.. in Korea they don't do minor leagues unless you're hurt, but they release a lot there if you don't play well unlike Japan lots of times the first year guys will be in the minors most the year. Jake will be in the majors over there. They are only allowed 3 foreigners per team. THREE!!! I CAN'T believe they wanted Jake.. It was such a God thing! We had an out with Detroit for July, and never expected we would get an offer before then especially with current situation.

Detroit was very kind and gave us no issues to signing overseas. It was funny because we heard the same day Korea told us Jake was flying out that Saturday that a spot had opened up in Toledo. The timing of Jake days before he had to leave to move us out, and in to my parents was incredible and I could not have done it without him.. We didn't realize he would leave as quick as he did, but it is what it is. I have some obligations, and don't have anyone to fly out with me until the end of June so it will be about 8 weeks that we are apart. This part is tough... Friday night before Jake left Ryley our niece was saying goodbye to Jake, and we have been prepping Stella all week about him leaving. She didn't seem to care much until she saw Ryley saying goodbye it finally clicked to her that her daddy was leaving her. Her daddy has been home with her every single day for 6 months. She cried for 45 minutes straight begging him to stay with her or for her to go with him.. talk about questioning everything! We all were crying, and my heart was breaking for her and Jake! If only she knew he was doing this for her.. It has been a hard week adjusting to the single mom life (of course I have lots of help here.) I have tried to keep our usual routine, but for a 3 year old this little one has been through A LOT! 14 MOVES and now on her 3rd country... She is amazing, and such a go with the flow little girl for all she has been through! The older she will get I know the harder it will be, but that is why we try to be a family unit as much as we can and travel with him. I have seen a huge difference in her this week, and hoping as time goes on it will get easier...
day before he left

Jake arrived safely after a 24 hour travel day one 15 hour flight YUCKKK... Dreading this.. Seoul is compared a lot to NYC or Tokyo. It's ver americanized and something I am looking forward to. I think it will be a lot easier for me than it was in Sendai. The only American restaurant we had was McDonalds.. That made it so hard how sick I was, and not used to Japanese food. Seoul they have a ton, and so many speak English as well! They went to apply for his work visa and got denied! That made it very interesting so he had to leave the country fly to Japan for 48 hours apply for it there, sit, and wait.. He is flying back to Korea tomorrow and will pitch Friday morning (our time.) He is very anxious to get out there and never imagined it would take over a week for all of this! He hasn't even been able to practice or anything. He flies in from Japan tonight and will get to finally go to our apartment. He has been in a hotel the last 12 days. They do give us a fully furnished 3 bedroom apartment I think its on the 26th floor... I will post pictures once I get them!
our new normal

I will do in a post later this week how you can watch his game for any of you interested in keeping up with him!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life on the funny farm

This is Jake's 12th season playing and my 9th season apart of this rollercoaster we call our life. The last 9 weeks has been some of the hardest weeks of our life. We welcomed our sweet son into the world on January 25 weighing 7 lbs 3 oz. I had an amazing labor like Stella, and he is the sweetest little boy. We love him so much, and so grateful to get to experience a boy and girl. He has stolen my heart.  Everyone thinks it will be so easy after birth, but Cope got very sick around 3 weeks with strep b, croup, and another infection. Then the medical bills start coming in (we picked a horrible plan while in Japan) and Jake starts spring training two weeks after he is born now competing for a spot. It was a lot adjusting to two kids, being so spoiled having Jake with me 24/7 for 4 months, and a new team knowing the reality of the situation if he didn't pitch well.

My mom has told me more than I have wanted to hear, but it does make me laugh every single time that my life right now is "life on the funny farm".. I guess laughing is better than crying and have done more than I like to of that as well. I remember when Jake would pitch and I wouldn’t be allowed to mention money or anything that would stress him out. ha i feel like now everything happens the day he pitches including Stella taking off running up to him while warming up to show him her new lollipop as the entire front office is there and watching (oops) LIFE HAPPENS ON DAYS YOU PITCH.. This has been the hardest spring training of the 12 spring trainings he has had. We aren’t dumb, we are “old” in baseball and we knew we are one of the guys who easily could be released plus hearing they needed to release 20+ guys. We had negativity daily from players, and that got to Jake mentally big time. I book a place in AAA (Toledo, Ohio) weeks ago, and then know possibility of 7 different scenarios can happen. Monday we were told one thing and in another state so I started to look frantically for a place there (because Jake is leaving in 2 days) and then to Tuesday being told something completely different. I haven’t even been able to pack because i don't know what I'm packing for. I knew it would come down to 24 hours before we would leave we would find out where we would move to. We also have decided to rent our home out for the season, and they are supposed to be moving in the end of April but haven’t packed one thing for that either! So life on the funny farm.. 

 This past week i’m cross sided. I don't know what to think anymore or where to begin between therapy for Cope, and life. I am waving my white flag and giving it to the Lord. We don't understand the outcome of everything, but I know this Jake has worked so hard and continues to amaze me with his attitude, and spirit. I know wherever we end up this season is exactly where we are supposed to be. We definitely aren’t starting where we would like to, BUT it isn’t where we are finishing. We have so much to be thankful for and I have been reminded constantly on social media seeing so many friends getting released it could be worse! Jake was told that he has to stay in extended here. What this means is he doesn't have a spot on any team, and until unfortunately someone gets hurt he will just practice in Lakeland with the 18 year olds who just signed or guys who are rehabbing. Not going to lie we both were very upset at first, and still hurts. Its humbling to be this far in the game, and to be in extended with no spot?? I mean we thought we were going back to Japan to now extended at 29 years old.. I was so proud of Jake for accepting this assignment we looked at a lot of different options, but between our agent and us talking we all agreed this was the best option especially with two kids, and really like Detroit. We get to live at home, Cope can continue therapy for his neck to strengthen, and get older before we leave. I was so proud of Jake he said lots of times older guys aren't the nicest everyone is bitter in extended, but he plans on using this for good and to help the young players and to have the best attitude every day. Thats all you can do! We will take each day for what it is and keep pushing through to follow his dream of playing baseball! It could be a day or a month, but we are just on standby for AA or AAA. Our parents are amazing and both willing to do whatever to help transition us with with this move. My dad is on stand by to drive both places are about 17 hours with my car and trailer, and the Brighams have talked about driving Jake's car up because more than likely Jake will have to fly out quickly once we get the call. I'm grateful they haven't disowned us and our crazy life just yet... haha 

 I could not be prouder of Jake and how hard he has worked, and continues to work to pursue his dream! I believe this still is an exciting time for us and our family! Looking at these pictures I have to stop and smile knowing how blessed are we?? Our marriage is stronger than ever, we have two beautiful now healthy children, and an amazing support system from our friends and family! This is just one curveball in our journey and I know God has big plans for us whether its baseball or not I know HE ISN'T DONE with us! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hello 2017

This off season is flying by for us! I keep trying to blink harder to go back to October! We have less than 5 weeks to go before Cope arrives. Yes-Cope Ryan is his name. Jake and I always have loved really unique names (me more than him) and heard Cope before we had Stella. Ryan as many of you know is after my brother who passed away. We were very unsure on Cope until about a month or so ago, and Stella kept calling him Copey so it stuck.

We have really unplugged and have focused on enjoying our last few months with just Stella and craziness of the season. Jake and I have grown so much in our marriage in Japan realizing what our family needs during the off season because we always end up having the hardest off seasons. This has been my favorite so far and really trying to soak up all our blessings in Florida.

Baseball... oh baseball you're going to put me into labor.. it's been a very hard two months. We really really wanted to be in Japan, but I believe God is closing that door for us right now. I wish we could understand, but we don't. We just have to trust. I feel like it's for Cope and I. As much as I tried to put a brave face on that I  would be okay with Jake leaving a week after his son is born, and away from us for 2 months. It's not okay. I think we would do what we have to for our family, but that may have been my breaking point in this lifestyle. It has been sad and hard for me to watch Jake do everything he did this season embracing the culture, pitching well, amazing to the fans to not being wanted. Japan will be a very special place and memory for us and we will always be grateful for the friends we made and unbelievable experiences! We really hope to go back again to play, but for now trusting in God where He wants our family to be for 2017 and that's with a team in the states!

Jake became a free agent first week of December and now officially teams can reach out to him. It's exciting thinking about being in the states this year after last year nothing sounds far. I'm thankful to receive the help I will need from our family, and adjusting to traveling with two. That itself will be a challenge packing up for 6 months it doesn't matter if this is my 6th season of full time travel I am the worst packer ever....

We had the opportunity to go to PAO a few weeks back the Christian conference for baseball players. It always is a great time to reconnect with people who understand our lifestyle, and a few days of amazing worship and teaching. It was in Orlando so worked out perfectly! It was the first time I have ever been away from Stella for a day. I survived... we were group leaders and that was the scariest thing ever, but again I survived and had an amazing group!

We are now in January and right before Christmas agreed to terms with Detroit Tigers! We are very excited for this new opportunity and felt like God was making it clear as day basically putting it in the palm of our hands to sign with them. Jake will live at home for spring training since in Lakeland woohoo!! He will get an extra almost 2 months at home with us, and not have to disrupt our life a little longer. He was not invited to big league camp, but will hopefully get some good opportunity and be able to pitch to be seen some. We appreciate all the prayers and support and excited be play American baseball again!! Detroit seems like the perfect fit for our family right now.

I'm 36 weeks pregnant and ready to have him! We have a crazy next two weeks and Jake's little brother, Luke is getting married (WHATT AND HOW?!?) We are very excited to celebrate and gain a new sister in law. We have no idea what to expect the arrival with Cope since Stella was born at 38 weeks, and I'm already dilated with many contractions sporadically. The doctors think two weeks or less so that means I really need to get ready! Second child problems slacking on everything last minute but we have just enjoyed life and our off season doing what we wanted!

I will try to keep you posted if I know when Jake is pitching but he will be playing in Lakeland, Disney, etc for spring training so if you're able to let us know if you happen to go to a game always love seeing familiar faces! Happy new year and I hope everyone had a great Christmas!!