Saturday, June 27, 2015

The All-Star Classic

After a loooooong 12 day road series (during which I went to Alaska to meet my perfect new godson, more on that later!) and an awesome game at Miller Park, Cy finally came home just in time for us to head to Peoria, Illinois for the Midwest League All-Star Classic this week!

It is SUCH an exciting honor for Cy to be named to the All Star team. Basically, the managers (coaches) across the league vote on players who have performed well in the first half of the season to be selected for the team (voting happens differently in different leagues/levels- in some places player and fans get a portion of the vote too). Then the selected players from the East and West divisions of the league get together and play a game. Two players from the Timber Rattlers were selected, Cy and Carlos Leal, one of our catchers.

Each year a different team in the league host the Classic, and this year the Peoria Chiefs took their turn. Peoria is about a 5 hour trip from Appleton, so Monday morning we hit the road. A big group of the staff from our front office went, so we had a nice little caravan of rental minivans cruising down the highway ;)

via TRats marketing directer @hilarybauer7 on twitter

We arrived late in the afternoon and got checked in. Boy oh boy was it a great change of pace to stay in a nice hotel! Most of the time on the road, Cy's team stays in some pretty...interesting... places (think bedbugs) MiLB glam, y'all. So we were absolutely thrilled to stay somewhere nice, clean, and comfortable!!

That evening we headed to the CAT Museum for a pre-dinner cocktail hour. It was so cool to see all the Cat equipment and dozers and motors and stuff. If you know how much of a gear head Cy is, you know he was in absolute heaven. From there, we were shuttled over to the ballpark for dinner. The original plan was to have dinner at a restaurant on the riverwalk, but the rover was flooding so the riverwalk was shut down. The Chiefs did a good job of pulling together a plan B at the last minute! We ate and hung out for a while, then headed back to the hotel for the night.

Tuesday morning we slept in and walked to a little cafe for breakfast. Cy had to head to the field at noon, so I basically spent the rest of my afternoon doing pretty much nothing. It was really relaxing though! I met up with Carolina (Carlos' girlfriend- love her!) at the field at about 5 for the home run derby.

The derby was interesting. They decided to have the hitters hit in towards the fans instead of out like normal. Great idea in theory, but in practice it was kinda boring because there weren't a lot of home runs hit into the stands AND the players were way out in the outfield and hard to see. The game started after that, and it was different than your typical game because they switched pitchers at least every inning so that everyone got a chance to play. This made it kiiiinda drag out a bit haha! Cy threw the first 2 outs of the 6th inning with 5 quick pitches. After the game there was an awesome fireworks show, and then we headed to the post-game street party at a nearby pub. By the time the day finally ended we were exhausted! The next morning we headed back home to Appleton and enjoyed the day off.

It was a whirlwind of a trip, but a very cool experience! All in all though, Cy and I are boring creatures of habit, so we are glad to be back to our "normal" after over 2 weeks of crazy ;) We are playing at home pretty much until the 7th (with just a quick 1 night trip in the first week of July) and I am so glad. Right now 2 more girlfriends are in town visiting (along with the now THREE of us who are here full time!!) so our little group is having a blast.

Hope your week has been wonderful!!

xo, Han

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Baseball Wives - Meet Cayte!

Today we're mixing things up, I'm doing a blog swap with another baseball wife! Cayte is introducing herself and sharing about her baseball adventure here, and I am doing the same over at her blog, so make sure to head over Cayte's blog to read my interview when you finish here!

Hey y'all! Thanks for letting me take over your daily readings from Hannah today.  My name is Cayte and I blog over at about everything from home DIY projects to the crazy minor league baseball life my husband and I live.  My husband got drafted with the Cleveland Indians back in 2012 and is currently playing in the Carolina League Advanced-A level with the Lynchburg Hillcats.  This is the first season I have been some-what able to travel with him, as my job is allowing me to work remotely for the summer! It's only been a week since I started working from home, but it has seriously been the best thing for both of us.  Being able to still work and see my husband everyday during the season is such a blessing. 

Some of my friends think its so weird that I have blog friends and that we have never met in person, but I truly think that Hannah and I would be two peas in a pod together at a baseball field! Before Cy got drafted, Hannah and I connected and I have enjoyed seeing their life change over the past year and a half! I hope y'all stop my my little blog and check out our crazy MiLB life!

1. How many seasons have you been in baseball, college and pro ball?

D.J. has been playing baseball forever, but I have been around since 2010, when I met D.J. as I was hauling his dorm room bedding into his room on the first day of his freshman year! We started dating in 2011, got engaged in 2012 at married in 2013! So in total, I have been with D.J. and baseball for about five years- college and professional ball.

2. How did you and your hubs meet, and when did you realize that he was “the one”? 

Pretty funny story actually... My sophomore year in college, I was chosen to be an orientation guide for the incoming freshman.  Of over 25 dorms at James Madison University, the school paired me with good ole' Ikenberry - which just so happened to be D.J.'s dorm.  JMU is known for its friendly people and exceptional move-in experience, so as I was dragging in loads of his baseball stuff from his parents car, we met each other.  Now, at the time I had a boyfriend and thought "oh great, I have the athletes and they are going to be a pain in my back." But - it was just the opposite.  D.J. was so sweet and participated in all the freshman activities.  Long story short - we started dating the end of my junior year in 2011 and the rest is history! The story on how he proposed to me is quite hilarious also. Check it out here.

3. How do you make the time pass when yall are apart?

D.J. and I spent the last three seasons apart.  I have a full time job in Norfolk, VA where we own a house and live in the off season.  So keeping busy during that time may seem hard, but between work, exercising, hanging out with family and friends and listening to the games on the radio, the seasons went by pretty quick actually!

4. What is one thing you have learned about yourself through life in baseball?

I will admit- I am a "long-term" thinker.  When I knew D.J. was "the one" I was mentally planning our wedding.  When we got engaged, I was mentally thinking about our wedding day.  On our wedding day, I was mentally thinking about having kids.  You get the point. With baseball, I have realized that living in the moment is the only way you will be able to enjoy the experience.  I have learned to be happy with where we are in the organization and to not compare our relationship or baseball experience to anyone else.  This is our journey and it may be different than someone else's, and I am fully embracing that.  I have also let go of planning things because I have learned the hard way (read more about that here.)

5. You recently were given the opportunity to travel with DJ in the summers. What has that been like so far?

So far traveling with D.J. has been great! I love being able to see him every morning when I wake up and give him a big kiss before he leaves for the field.  I have a great little set up in the apartment as my work station and I've been so productive every day.  One of my favorite things about living with him this summer has also been the experience I have had with the ladies here.  Right now, there are eight wives or girlfriends here full time and it is so awesome having girls around to balance out all that testosterone the boys bring home! 

6.  Baseball certainly has its’ highs and lows, but what is one of your favorite game-related memories?

Oh, yes it does.  I would say one thing that D.J. is incredibly good at is maintaining a healthy balance between the highs and lows.  He's big on having a positive mental attitude, so that really helps in times of lows.  The top two moments of D.J.'s career for me is when (one) his college team one the CAA Championship in 2011 and (two) when he struck out his first major leaguer, Jayson Werth earlier this season! Talk about a high!

7. What has been the most fun place you have traveled to see DJ play?

Hmm, most fun place...I would have to say Myrtle Beach, SC.  The stadium is beautiful, the hotel we stayed at was within walking distance of great restaurants and the field, and who doesn't love a beach town?! We have been so blessed to live so close to all of the teams that D.J. has played on the past two years.  Being from Virginia, all of the teams he plays right now are within five hours from both of our parents homes.

8. When and why did you start blogging?

Before I worked at the job I am currently at, I traveled the country as an Educational Consultant for my sorority, so I started my first blog when I was working for them.  When I stopped, I needed a new blog, so I began Blog With The Browns.  I love being able to connect with other bloggers, near and far, and to keep everyone updated on the insane life that D.J. and I live day-to-day.

9. When you go to starbucks, what is your order?

Confession: I'm not a coffee drinker. But a girl can always find a way to become a gold member at Starbucks right?! I'm either a Mocha Frap with skim milk (keep the whip ;)) or a peppermint mocha in the winter months!

10. If you had to describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be?

Outgoing, driven, affectionate, talkative and friendly. 


I hope you enjoyed getting a look into another baseball life! Head on over to Cayte's blog to read my interview and more adventures with the Brown fam :)

XO, Han

Monday, June 15, 2015

Happy Birthday, Little Blog!

I published my first blog post on June 12th of 2014, which means that a few days ago this blog turned 1! When I started, I really didn't know if I would stick with this for more than a few posts. But 30 posts and a year later, here we are, just truckin right along.

I started this blog for two reasons- 1) To keep our sweet friends and family up to date on what's going on in our lives and Cy's career, and 2) to be a resource for other girls in the baseball life. Before Cy got drafted, I had a lot of questions and concerns about what our life would look like as a married couple in minor league baseball. I came across a few blogs written by baseball wives that really helped me get a grasp on what to expect, and it was a huge relief. I decided that if even one girl saw my blog and was encouraged by it, that's all that mattered, and I took the leap. And now a year later, I have made connections with so many girls who have read what I've shared here! It is really an honor to enjoy friendships with other women in baseball, and to share experiences through this online space. The internet is pretty cool sometimes.

In the past year, I married my favorite person in the whole entire world, we have lived in 4 states and traveled over 17,000 miles (collectively), I have made some amazing friends, we survived our first season and a half of professional baseball, I've seen some of my best friends get engaged (next year will be FILLED with weddings!), my very best friend had a beautiful baby boy, and we've had many more adventures along the way. It's been a big year!

Here on the blog I've written about being engaged, married life in minor league baseball, putting together our first home, some products I have enjoyed, shared some struggles, and just talked about life in general. Close to 20,000 page views later, I am blown away by the fact that people are enjoying what I share. It means so much to me that someone takes time out of their day to interact with what I put out here in internet land. Thank you for giving me a place to share my (sometimes rambling) thoughts and interact!

Big shoutout to Aubrey , whose blog I have followed for close to 4 years, for being so genuine and showing the positives of doing this crazy thing, and to my fellow baseball wife Cayte for encouraging me to take the leap and helping me figure this thing out along the way! It has been so much more fun than I expected. If you're reading this and thinking about blogging, holler at me. It's been a great way for me to stay busy, process some of my thoughts, chronicle our adventure in baseball, and make some really great friends.

So to wrap it all up, thank you. I love writing and sharing part of our lives here. Thanks for following along, sharing comments, and being my friend along the way. Baseball is crazy, but having a place to share and interact with y'all has been a great point of stability. Hopefully the next year brings some more wonderful adventures that I can blog about along the way ;)

Xo, Hannah

Thursday, June 11, 2015

If Your Heart is Hurting

During Spring Training, I had the privilege of attending a luncheon put on by Baseball Chapel and Pro Athletes Outreach for players wives. It was a fantastic, refreshing time. I learned a lot and had some great fellowship with other gals in this lifestyle! They also gave away tons of great goodies, one of which was a book! There were a few to choose from, and I ended up with "Every Reason to Leave: And Why We Chose to Stay Together" By Vicki Rose. Her book chronicles her story of how God restored her broken marriage, when she really did have every reason to leave, and shows that the effort is worth it.

I learned a lot from this book. Don't get me wrong, our marriage is great right now! But the principles Vicki shares for married couples to follow, along with the lessons she learned throughout her 35+ years of marriage, are so great to understand and prioritize. 

The Biblical truths she shares don't just apply to marriages, they apply to everyones life. I have a friend going through something really difficult right now. It sucks. It doesn't make sense. But that is life, we are thrown curveballs and have to do the best we can to handle it and persevere. Fortunately, we have a God who cares and doesn't abandon us in our darkest hours. The trials and struggles we face in life can be a beautiful opportunity for growth. If you are hurting, take some time to look up these verses and consider how they can apply to your life. 

Draw near to the Lord in your day to day life
- Pray in earnest amidst your spiritual battle (1 C
hronicles 5:20)
- Pray constantly  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Spend time in Gods word daily (Matthew 6:33, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:97)

- Pray Gods word (1 John 5:14-15)

God has promised his children:
- Righteousness and His kingdom (Matt 6:33)
- The desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)
- Overwhelming blessings (Malachi 3:10)
- A future (Jeremiah 29:11)
- He will be near you (Psalm 145:8, James 4:8, 1 John 5:14)
- With God, all things are possible (Matthew 10:26)
- He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)
- He will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40)
- When you trust Him, He will make your path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If you are hurting, going through something hard, you are not alone. You are not abandoned. Take heart, you are loved. If you need some encouragement, shoot me a text or email, I would love to chat.


Note: Obviously I am a Christian. I know not all everyone who reads my blog holds the same beliefs as me. My faith is important to me though, so I don't hesitate to share it.