Wednesday, April 29, 2015

MiLB Married Life: Why I Travel

If I'm the only baseball wife you know, you might not know that there are a good amount of baseball wives who don't travel with their husbands during the season. For various reasons, for some couples the best choice is for the wife to stay at home and hold down the fort. For some it's for their career, others it's to provide stability for their kids. Every marriage is different, and there's really no one size fits all choice for everyone.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin. If I stayed home, I could have a full time job and help contribute to our financial stability. We could actually have a permanent address. I wouldn't have to be away from my friends and family, alone in a new city. But I would have a really hard time being away from my husband for half the year- no wife who stays home will ever say it's easy. Being here allows me to be present to support Cy in his ups and downs. I get to explore different cities all over the US. We get to experience new things together. I do spend a lot of time alone, but that gives me the chance to really grow and learn more about myself.

For us, the choice was easy. In fact, me staying home just wasn't an option. We spent 2 summers apart before we got married, and while we definitely did grow a lot as a couple through the extended periods of distance, they were really hard. Especially last summer when we were engaged. Long distance just doesn't work for us. Last year, I read this book by Julianna and Ben Zobrist (who plays for Oakland, and is the brother-in-law of Cy's college coach) and they shared the challenges they faced in their marriage in minor league baseball. They shared that for them, making their marriage the #1 priority was crucial, to the point that they made a rule that they would never be apart for longer than 6 days. We decided to adopt that rule for ourselves, because we know that being apart is really hard on us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

More importantly than anything else, we believe that Cy is able to play baseball because God has a purpose in him doing so. It's not about Cy's success, it's about being obedient to the calling God has placed on his life. As his wife, my role is to help and encourage him. I can do that best when we are physically together. Cy is very vocal about how great of a help it is to him that he has me here, and I don't take that lightly. I also feel very strongly that God is showing me that I have a unique opportunity to show His love to the people around me wherever we are because of my role as a players wife, just by making friends and getting to know people. We are more effective together than we could be apart.  

Baseball life is anything but normal, so each couple has to figure out what is best for them. For us, home is wherever we are together. I am thankful that we have the ability to be together. 


All photos are by the incredibly talented Hannah and Preston of Cottonwood Road Photography

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The First Road Trip

Hello from Copper Rock Coffee (North) in Appleton. I am sitting in a cozy corner chair, sipping a lavender latte, and listening to "Marry Me" by Train over the speakers. How cliche am I? Haha! Really though they make great coffee here (for my Alaska friends, it's a lot like Kaladi's) and it's conveniently close to the field, so I have been coming here once or twice a week before games to do homework and whatnot.

It's a pretty dreary day here in Appleton. It's cold, cloudy, and rainy. Accordingly, the coffee shop is packed, which makes for great people watching. There's a cute little high school aged couple in a booth across the room from me, she's studying and he is looking quite bored of studying. They're sitting on the same side of the booth, which is supposedly super cheesy but Cy and I do that all the time, oops. Have I mentioned I love people watching?

Cy got back late last night from a short 3 day road trip to Peoria, Illinois. Their Sunday game got rained out, so yesterday they played a double header. Cy pitched the 2nd game and did pretty well, they lost the game but he did have 6 strikeouts! I love that even when the game doesn't turn out the way he wants it to, he works hard and has a positive attitude about moving forward and focusing on the next game. I sure am proud to be his girl.

Everyone says the first road trip of the season is the hardest as a wife, while staying back alone. I do plan to go on several of the road trips with Cy, but this one was quick and kinda a far drive, so I stayed. Honestly, it wasn't bad at all for me though! Thankfully it was a super short trip, and I stayed plenty busy. Saturday morning I dropped Cy off at the bus, came home and grocery shopped with Christie (our host mom), went for a run, and then chilled with my host family until dinner. We really like our host family, it feels like hanging out with older siblings or something, we get along so well! They decided to take me out for sushi for the first time in my life. My oh my, what an experience! I'm still not sure if I actually liked it or not but it sure was fun trying so many new flavors and textures!

Far East Sushi 

Sweet Miss Belle, the 4mo. puppy we live with. We call this a "Bellfie"
 Sunday morning I went to visit Appleton Alliance Church with another host family from the team, John and Linda. They are such sweet people! We heard a great message about the biblical implications and doctrine of believers baptism. Afterwards, I came home and had brunch with our host parents and then took a fabulous nap. For dinner we had grilled turkey burgers, then got ice cream and watched "A League of Their Own"- classic. Monday, I met up with Emily (she works at the ballpark and we hit it off right away) for brunch at SAP, a great little place here in town that really strives to source it's food locally, and then we headed to Oshkosh to hit the outlet mall. We had a really leisurely day browsing the shops and returned right around dinnertime. Cy got home just in time for us to go to sleep, perfect :) All in all, it was a really great weekend!

Brunch at SAP: Eggs Benedict- my favorite meal ever.
Exciting news, I won't be the only baseball girlie here anymore for a while! This week, Chandler (whose boyfriend is Cy's roommate on road trips) is coming to visit for a few days. Then for close to the whole month of May, Ashton (who is engaged to one of our infielders) will be visiting! I am so looking forward to getting to know these sweet girls. I love the community and friendships that come from the game.

Also, I just looked out the window and it's snowing. What the heck! Good thing I dressed warm for this ballgame tonight!

Well, to wrap this up I just want to share this song with you, I have been loving it lately. These words are something I am praying for in our lives, especially in the crazy world of baseball.

Thanks for following along, I so appreciate y'all giving me a place to share my (sometimes rambling) thoughts :)


Monday, April 13, 2015

Welcome to Wisconsin!

What a week it has been! If you don't follow me on twitter or instagram, 1) you should, and 2) you probably don't know that we are in Wisconsin! Cy was assigned to play for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Brewers Low A team, located in Appleton. If you need a refresher on how the minor league system works, click here for a previous post :)

Last Monday Cy flew out of Phoenix with the team and my sweet dad flew down from Alaska to make the drive to Appleton with me, with a couple quick stops to visit my grandparents and brother and sister in law along the way. We covered 9 states in 5 days- Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.....Crazy! It was a lot of fun (but I can't lie, I am disappointed we didn't see any Amish people in Iowa, apparently they have several Amish and Mennonite communities there) and I am super thankful my dad could make the trip with me!!

Cy had hist first outing last Friday in Burlington against the Bees, the Angels low A team. He did really well, you can check his stats here. He will pitch every 5th game, and alternate between starting and long relief. All home games will have video if you want to watch!

Appleton is SO FUN!! The Timber Rattlers game day atmosphere is awesome, there is tons of in-game entertainment, great food options, and soo many fans come to games. Yesterday was the home opener and it was such a blast! There are all kinds of great promo nights coming up, including a Frozen night with an Ana and Elsa sing a long- I AM PUMPED for that one! 

The team is really young, most of the guys were high school draft picks so Cy is basically an old man at age 22, he says he feels like the dad sometimes haha. Subsequently, Cy is also the only married guy on the team, but hopefully some girlfriends will be coming to visit me soon ;) 

We are living with a host family, Bob and Christie. They are SO sweet and funny, and have two wonderful, playful labs! We are really thankful to be living with them for the season.  

If you know me in real life, you won't be at all surprised to know that I have already made friends with several of the front office staff, they are super nice and so welcoming. All in all, we are really excited to be playing here! 

image via Timber Rattlers facebook page

As always, I am SO thankful for all of the support of you sweet friends who take the time to read this blog and follow along with our baseball journey. It means so much!! 

xo, Hannah

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Training Wrap Up

We only have 3 more days in Phoenix... WHAT?! Our first Spring Training is just about over, and it has been a blast. Cy has one last outing on Sunday and on Monday everyone will head out to their team for the season.

I have had such a great time going to games and making new friends here. I finally got to visit with my "blog friend" Aubrey after 3 years of following each other online (she also designed our wedding invites!). We got together for lunch one of my first days here and a couple days later she invited me to hang out at her house while Cy was at work. I am so thankful for how she reached out and was so welcoming! Meeting other baseball wives has been SO great also! It's really fun to meet people in real life that I have been "online friends" with for the last year. The second week of ST, I had breakfast and saw Cinderella with Angie and Laura. Angie's husband Storm played in the big leagues for over a decade and is now a pitching coach with the Cubs, and Laura's fiance is an infielder with the Cubs as well. This week I also got to have some girl time with Mandy, whose boyfriend plays for the Dodgers! So fun. 

Angie brought us princess crowns to wear to Cinderella- too fun!
One of my fellow Brewers wives Jackie spent a week visiting and we hit it off right away. We are first born, Jesus loving, communication majors and it felt like we had been friends our whole lives! I was so sad when she went home, but hopefully our guys will end up on the same team this season (we managed to not take a single picture together either, oops). While Jackie was here, we went to a Wives Luncheon hosted by Baseball Chapel and Pro Athlete Outreach. It was so refreshing to get together with a group of women who live this life and hear biblical truth to keep us grounded. At the luncheon, I finally got to meet Bess (A's) and Martha Kate (Giants), as well as many other wonderful ladies! I am so thankful for that opportunity to build relationships and community. 

Photo by Alyssa Bajenaru, wife of DBacks coach

This week we had a blissful and oh-so-rare OFF DAY!!! If you didn't know, baseball players have games every single day in season. Yes, Monday through Sunday. They get an off day about once a month, but sometimes they're actually traveling on their day off. So we decided to do it big and spend our day racing go karts and eating great food! Cy had to get something done on the truck in the morning and I went for a run, then we had lunch at the best hole in the wall BBQ place ever, Texas BBQ House. Seriously the best brisket I have ever eaten! 

Then we headed to K1 Speed and did 3 races. It was a BLAST!! I even got a little bit of road rage when some punk kept cutting me off and not letting me pass- which is illegal! But seriously it was really fun. After that, we headed to the mall so I could get a new pair of running shoes (I ended up with the Brooks Launch 2). Then we ended the day by meeting up with our sweet friend Michael Smith, who played at DBU with Cy and is now with the Angels, for dinner at Texas Roadhouse (yeah, lots of Texas haha). It was a fantastic, fun-filled day.

Now the million dollar question... Where will we go next?! Well the good news is, we found out yesterday!! The bad news is, rosters haven't been made public yet (and things could still change) so I can't say anything until it's official on Monday (I know, I'm the worst.) I promise to share all about it then :) Cy will fly out early Monday morning, and my dad is planning to fly down to PHX sometime Monday to hit the road with me early Tuesday morning. I am SO thankful he is coming to drive with me, 30+ hours of driving alone was not the most exciting prospect haha. 

The last week of Spring Training is the most stressful for families. As I have mentioned before, there are 5 levels in the minor league system, and the roster assignments aren't made until pretty much the last minute. We had a good idea of where we might end up, but anything can happen in baseball. It was pretty hectic not knowing where we would be moving in less than a week! My friend Cayte still doesn't know where they're going, and they leave Sunday.. yeah, thats in 2 days. Crazy. Someone shared this on the wives and girlfriends page and it is so hilarious and accurate.


It's crazy and can be stressful at times, but it sure is a fun adventure. I am so thankful that this baseball life is where God has called us to be!

Thanks for following along, I love sharing updates here!
See ya Monday ;)
xo, Hannah