Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We hope you had a joyous Christmas and a so very sweet holiday season! We enjoyed! We are still enjoying! Soaking up family, fun, and lots of food. We have been pretty lazy! Casey has been working out, but for Ace and I nothing but fun! We have enjoyed this off season so very much and are continuing to do so. I am now spending time with my dear grandmother's! Playing cards, games, food, and just enjoying their presence! Enjoying each day, everyday is a gift! This is our plan to bring in the New Years and I can't think of a better way. With family, food and lots of games!
Big news! Casey signed with the Texas Rangers! We are so thrilled about the incredible opportunity! We thank God for opening another door, we are looking forward to see what He has in store for us as Rangers. Casey is super stoked to be close to his family, it will be so very nice having family near. We even had a country Christmas all getting cowboy boots! Ace too, so cute. I love mine, Casey did so good! They have crosses and crystals on them! Casey has really good taste, he is a great shopper! Too good! :) Adorable! We are so grateful and very excited about 2009!
On Christmas Eve! A family shot!

Ace enjoying his four wheeler Santa brought for him! He has been a good boy!

The family with Santa's gift, Ace's own little four wheeler!

Much love & joy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We hope this Holiday brings you many memorable moments and lots of love! This has been an exciting year, full of unforgettable moments. We are so grateful for all the love and support we received this year as we were living our dreams out on the playing fields. Ace was just a trooper along for the ride, spoiled by his USA Aunt's and hanging in the clubhouse with the boys. Ace continues to bring us so much joy and laughter. He is such a goofy, loving child! We are so grateful and blessed. We are soaking up all the time we can together as a family with our families this off season! We look forward to what this next year brings, while we savor every minute as Ace is growing up so quickly!

Lots of love, thanks, & joy,
The Daigle's

We are enjoying this holiday season. I just want to freeze time! Ace is loving the lights and all the decorations. I am reminded of the reason for the season, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. This is my favorite time of year! My hope is the spirit of the holidays continues throughout the entire year. Casey and I have really escaped the craziness of the holidays, the shopping and etc. I highly recommend it!!! Its been so nice just to enjoy and be thankful! We are able to be with our loved ones and celebrate!

I'm constantly thinking, praying, and grateful for all our troops over seas this holiday season. Moms, Dads, Uncles, Aunts, Children, so many courageous people are sacrificing so much for us.
I think and pray for all the people that will spend this holiday without a loved one or in a hospital somewhere. On my hearts this season especially are 3 young girls battling horrible diseases Ms. Audra, Ms. Peyton, and Ms Amber Koonce. I want to ask you to please pray for them and their families and the many more who are facing the same battles.

The day after Thanksgiving, I was honored to visit children in a hospital in Chicago. It just broke my heart to see these kids and their families, little kids in hospital gowns connected to machines. Some children alone, little babies curled up on their parents chest escaping the hospital bed and cribs. I just wanted to share a little bit of what hit my heart like a ton of bricks. Thinking and praying for each of these families makes it really easy to escape the presents and scurry of the holidays. Just enjoy, each day is a present, this is why its is called "the present"!

Wishing you lots of warm spirit, love, joy, peace, and the lots celebration in the birth of our Savior the light of our world! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Dreaming & Believing in the season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Boy Week!

We've had a great week enjoying our few days in one spot. On Sunday one of our dear friends/teammate threw a Wildcat Party! Bear Down! It was a mini reunion that was overdue.
It was so fun seeing each other, our families, and catching up. I miss my Cats! It was so good to see their smiles and get updated on our so called grown up lives. Ha! We are so not grown up! Its fun seeing us all pretend. Ace even has a new buddy, Tanner. He is 1. This was our first time meeting him, what a doll! So fun, being teammates, becoming friends, now even moms! Pretty amazing. I am so proud of these girls and blessed to call them friends. I only wish we lived closer and saw each other more. Here some shots of our fun!

Look at our little ham!
The Cats!
My mama, Ace, and I!

We had a big boy moment! Ace 2 days ago pooed in the potty!!! So out the door we went to go get Ace big boy underwear, he chose Diego. Oh, and a toy in celebration, power tools! Here we go... another chapter. We took Ace to the zoo today, he had a blast. His favorite was the horse, of all things. I am trying to freeze time as the holidays are coming so quickly. It is my favorite time of the year. Sweats, slippers, and hot chocolate. I love it! I love the lights, I love the decorations, I just want it to be Christmas forever! I love the sound, taste, and smell of it, I don't want it to end.

Please don't let the craziness of the holidays put a damper on this special time of year! Try to sit back, sip the warmth, be cozy, and enjoy! I'm trying, let's try together. I'm looking for some good recipes too, it would be fun if you all would share your favorite holiday recipe! I will come up with one too!

Blessings, love, & holiday cheer!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chicago Thanksgiving!

We had a blast in Chicago for Thanksgiving! Luckily the weather wasn't too cold. The parade was a lot of fun, the streets were packed with people all bundled up. Casey's sister Dee Dee and our nephew Brock from Louisiana met us for the fun! Ace loved it which made our Thanksgiving and trip well worth it. He was in awe of all the floats, horses, balloons, bands, and even the Poo crew that followed the horses and donkeys. It was great to be back in Bandit Country. We enjoyed Italian Beef Sandwiches, my favorite.

Flying back I looked down at Ace while he was napping on the plane and was blown away how big he has gotten. He took up 2 whole seats as he was stretched out in comfort. It was just yesterday as we were jetting around on planes and he fit in my lap and on my chest. Remembering our trip back from China in 2006 with my mom as he fit perfectly across the seat in the plane. Now he is reaching into his third seat. My little baby is a little boy. As I look over he is slurping up his fruit loops holding over all by himself. He is becoming more and more independent. I am still reminded he is still little at times. I walked into the family room the other day as he had went to the fridge got a gallon of milk out and filled his cup and overflowed making a puddle on the coffee table. He replied, I wanted some milk, mommy with a concerned grin! My dad then replied, at least he made it into his cup he was right on! I couldn't help but smile. We are enjoying this ride! He is such a goofy kid, he is so much fun! The other night we were rocking out to Dancing With the Stars. He was going crazy, dancing like a wild man. It was so fun. When we got home from Chicago he was telling Grandma and Grandpa he rode in a lemon, too cute. A limo, his lemon! :)
Enjoying and thankful for every minute!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

OK... Here are a few!

You caught me being lazy, you asked for some pictures and here they are! We are headed out to Chicago! Wishing we were with our families... but grateful to be with our unit Casey, Ace and I!
Honored to be a part of the parade this holiday season!
I wish you all a Happy Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for all the many blessings we have been blessed with. We thank the Lord, our families, friends and so many more! May you enjoy this so very sweet holiday with yours!
Forever grateful, beyond explanation!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Awe!

Well I have to start by telling of our fantasy experience at the CMA's! Amazing! Amazing! We were so blessed, lucky, happy, grateful, and so much more. In Awe! Growing up with my mom being a huge Country music fan, I too am a huge fan! Even married a southern man, with an accent too! :) Casey and I were really just in awe with big grins as though we were back in Jr. High!
Trace Adkins and his wife Rhonda were so very generous and beyond, incredible hosts! We are indebted to them for this incredible experience. We were able to hang on Trace's tour bus for the night, met his management and band. Trace and Rhonda let us follow along like their puppy dogs. They took us everywhere, it was too sweet! We went to rehearsals and watched Kenny Chesney and Trace perform! Wow! Even able to snag some pictures with Taylor Swift and many more backstage. They took such great care of us, grubbed on TGIFridays appetizers before the big show, enjoying the company! Trace is so very humble, a good ole country boy! Casey and I went over right before the show... no idea where our tickets were. Trace's Manager escorted us closer and closer to the stage, yes to the 5Th row! In Awe! Randy Travis was seated in front of us (I'm a big fan of his!), and right behind us was Kidd Rock. Pretty incredible. One amazing performance after another! I'm not going to lie when we sat down I was filled with just complete joy and gratefulness, tears started to overflow. Casey was so sweet, he just grabbed my leg and kissed my forehead. He completely understood me with no words spoken. We were in awe! Trace and Rhonda, of course grabbed us to go backstage with them before Trace performed. They were so very kind and thoughtful! Here we were hanging out with Kenny Chesney, Kidd Rock, and more backstage. Everyone was so so sweet! Kenny's dad along with Kidd Rock, admitted they were softball fans! Who would've ever imagined. They were legit too, going back to my Wildcat days and talking baseball with Casey. We had a blast! It was so refreshing to see how laid back the Country scene is. Everyone was so sweet and really just chill. It made me even that much more of a fan. We ended the night with a few parties, of course right behind the Adkins! I can not thank them enough for their graciousness! Casey and I woke up the next morning laughing, saying to each other, "No way, no stinkin' way!" In Awe!

The next night I had the honor of attending a charity event honoring the Quincy Jones Foundation in NY hosted by Audemars Piguet. Another incredible night! In awe! They honored Dr. Jos Antonio Abreu and Maestro Gustavo Dudamel of Venezuelas El Sistema Program with the Q prize for this year. It is an outreach program that uses Classical Music to promote health and well-being in Venezuela. So many kids, thousands, have been touched and given an opportunity through this program. Siedah Garrett rocked the house with, "Man In the Mirror", Goldie Hawn was dancing up a storm! Michael McDonald performed along with an incredible closing jam session with Wycleaf Jean, again in awe! It was a great evening, closed with an intimate dinner with Audemars Piguets Francois-Henry Bennahmias, Quincy and their guests. So very inspiring, just in awe.

Slept for about an hour, and headed out on a 5 o'clock am flight out to Louisiana! Landed and headed straight out to the softball field for a day of setting up for camp. We had a great turnout for camp, its always nice to do in your "backyard"! Sulphur has been so supportive of softball and our camps. Its great to be able to do events locally. We enjoyed Boudain Balls, Deer Jerky, Pickled Quail eggs, and all the other yummy local food we are spoiled while we set up! Yes, I am a southern girl at heart. I enjoy it all! We had a great crew out to help Bustos, Kelly K, Mac V, Toni M, Jaime Clark, and Caitlin Lowe. I'm so grateful they make it happen. Along with McNeese University who helped, Thank you!
I was introduced and honored to meet Amber Kuntz on Saturday at camp, a local young lady who is 23. Amber is battling Lou Gehrig's Disease. Amber was a state champ softball pitcher for Sulphur High School just a couple of years ago. I heard about Amber a couple of months ago through our Aunt and was so happy to get to meet her. I immediately was drawn to her, she had this glow, this incredible spirit! I was so honored to be able to chat with her during our quick lunch at camp. She was and is God sent. She spoke of such peace and confidence. As my eyes just filled with tears hearing her so humbly speak. I was, In Awe. In awe, doesn't even do it justice. Just a few of her comments, "I have never been happier in my whole life!" "God has blessed me in so many ways!" "This is a gift, it is all a gift." Here is Amber a beautiful 23 year old girl now accepting the help of a wheel chair, focusing, and working hard to get out each sentence she speaks. We shared a few softball childhood memories, our dads coaching us, and how softball is so much more than a sport. She left down the stairs with the help of her parents mom on one side and her dad on the other. I couldn't hold myself together, I just bawled. Amber blew me away with her courage, strength, and most importantly her faith! She inspired me to be more, give more, and do more. I invited her back on Sunday and asked her to speak if she wouldn't mind. Well sure enough, with her mom her rock, pushing her wheel chair out to home plate she spoke to all 340 campers and their families. She was full of grace, passion, and spoke so eloquently. She touched everyone. Many tears, her faith and spirit are overwhelming. It's so hard not to fill with anger, Lord, why? Then you see her, her faith and peace that just blows you away. She is living it, she is such an example, shes allowing this/Him to touch so many lives. She spoke of making the most of it, appreciating your parents, the lessons that softball teaches you and how it will help you prepare for life, and so much more. She is a gift, and what a gift it was to get to know her and have her speak at camp. Thank you Amber!
I was again honored to have lunch with Amber again this week on Wednesday. She is the real deal, walking the walk, talking the talk. She continued to blow me away. She even said, "I am unworthy to have this disease." "He chose me, me to use." I'm so grateful I got the opportunity to meet Amber and to hear and see her faith. Since our first introduction she has been in my heart and on my mind. She gave me a bracelet from her wrist that was given to her with the serenity prayer on it, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage (in bold) to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." I was so honored and humbled to accept her bracelet. Here, Amber is giving me courage and sharing her faith and strength. She just continues to give. Her mom replies with, "That's Amber." I have worn it since... Courage. I want Amber's courage, her faith, she is such a great example for all. I felt compelled to share Amber with you and maybe you too can be touched by Amber. Her reply would be, its not me its Him! It is indeed Him living in her. She has touched my life in a very special way. In Complete Awe!

Yesterday I was in Chicago, I flew out for a signing. It was fun being back in Bandits colors and seeing Bandit fans. I'm looking forward to the summer and getting back on the field.

I am honored to be the Grand Marshal of the McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago this Thursday! Wow! I have to admit, I really like parades. One of my favorite childhood memories is watching them with my mom lying on the couch. I can't wait to experience it with Ace and our family this Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful! It will air on WGN if you are up that early to catch the start! :)

Dreaming & Believing,

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Still going!

Thanks for sharing your Halloween stories! Its fun to hear how your day was, along with family traditions and such. Please keep sharing!

We had a fun one. Ace ended up as a USA Basketball player. He was not having the idea of a costume, my hope was him seeing his cousins to maybe get him motivated to indulge in a costume. He was a baseball head guy for about a total of 2 minutes! My dad has this mask that is a baseball head, he wore it but it didn't last long. Then he moved onto or into a mask and cape which was an extra/spare from his cousins car. Maybe 4 minutes he was a super hero with of course his blankie which added more character to his super heroness! So before we headed out on our trick or treating adventure I rummaged through his suitcase looking for his USA Finch replica jersey, at least he could be a baseball/softball player, I was thinking in my head. As Casey was yelling, "NO" into the room, he read my mind! I then pulled out this little All-American basketball jersey set! Perfect! I found some high socks managed to put on, some shoes and we were out the door chasing bat man and a little chili pepper (his cousins)!
Not too creative but it did the trick! We scored lots of candy, a popcorn ball, an otter pop, playdoh, and even a king size bag of skittles from Grandma! We did it! Halloween ended on a sugar high!

We had a great but busy last week! Its nice to know that for a few days we are in one place. Last weekend I flew out to DC for a public signing. As I headed out of the hotel the driver handed me the flier for the event. There was Pete Rose, Cal Ripken Jr, and many many more hall of famers from baseball and football also attending the signing. I was in awe! How in the world did I get here? There was my picture along side Cal's. Just crazy, a softball player. I had a little bit of a moment, on the way there. My dad had looked up to and watched many of these guys! I looked up to them, now I am sitting beside them as people line up ever so long for our autographs. A softball player, little sister, dreaming of being a Dodger one day, just amazing. It brought tears to my eyes. Just thinking how far women in sport have come, thanks to the many before us. We had a great turn out. I had to pinch myself as I look to my right and then my left, as Pete Rose leaned over and sent me a wave! This is more than I possibly ever could of imagined, let alone dreamt of! The sky is truly the limit. Very empowering, overfilled with gratitude, humbling, and an incredible day. The Lord continues to amaze!

I was able to squeeze in a pitching demonstration and Q&A for about 25 girls a couple minutes from the signing. A sweet softball family owns it, it was a great indoor facility! I had a good time hanging out talking pitching and softball. It was a fun short but long trip!

Headed back to see Casey and Ace for a day I tried to soak in as much as possible of them. Then headed out to Indianapolis for a Play Ball Indiana Luncheon for RBI, Reviving Baseball in the Inner cities. I love social events and having the opportunity to interact with different people from all over. This program creates opportunity and gives kids the ability to play baseball and softball. They don't have to pay to play. They have games and tournaments, even an opportunity to go the championships! Quite fun! It was awesome to hear stories of how RBI has touched so many young boys and girls across the nation. I was the speaker for the luncheon... the not so fun part. I am getting a little better or used to it. To be honest, I still get nervous speaking in front of crowds, I guess its a good nervousness. I've got to the point where a few words are OK but still the key note speaking part, honestly it still makes my heart race. Its like I'm back at the Olympics trying to get those first pitch nerves out, and after usually that first pitch it goes away. This is a little different, it doesn't go away. I enjoy it in a weird way, its living out of my comfort zone. Its good to live outside your box every once in awhile, even if your heart does race. So I keep telling myself.

After the luncheon, I bagged up my stilettos and exchanged them for my cleats, pulled up my hair, and headed out to the field. My comfort zone. We put together a little clinic/demo/Q&A for RBI/Play Ball Indianapolis. We had a great group. We were a little rushed but it was great to get out on the field and share our passion and love for the game with the girls! It was a fun day, ending in comfort!

Thursday, I was able to sneak in dinner with a friend, her son, and her mom! Ace and my mom went too! It was such a great night! We were roommates in college, it felt like we were still living as Wildcats! It was fun to catch up, laugh, eat, shop, and let the boys play. These are the things I wish we could do more of.

Friday, I had a photo shoot with Gogie! Gogie is a hat company, dedicated to and for women. They are out of this world. Short billed, they carry petite, light weight, super cute styles, just right for us ladies. I'm so incredibly ecstatic, they are designing 3 maybe 4 "Finch" hats and headbands with my logo and all. I just received some prototypes, I was smiling from ear to ear. Absolutely awesome. We are so excited about the partnership, they are a great company and great to work with. We will hopefully have the hats online soon. For those of you going to Louisiana Camp you will have first dibs! They will be at in our gift shop this weekend!

We are relaxing enjoying family and one another. Ace is just too stinkin' adorable, full of it but adorable. I am having so much fun with him, his little personality is so goofy! I can't get enough!

We are so honored and excited to go the CMA's!!! Yes, the CMA's!!! We are huge country music fans and really stoked. I'm filled with that 12 year old excitement, just giddy! Anxiously awaiting so much talent, Nashville, the night, it all! I found a cute black dress, its sweetheart cut on top, on the shorter side, with ruffles on the skirt. I was able to borrow an incredible belt buckle from a family friend that I will be sporting with great pride. I will post a picture from the night, maybe a few. Casey is going to look gorgeous! Boots, suit, tall, dark, and of course handsome! Trace and his wife have so graciously invited Casey and I! I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Living a dreamy life no doubt about it!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a very safe and happy Halloween! We'll see if we can get Ace to dress up? Who knows? Its not looking to good as of now! He has the "Trick or Treat" down though!

First, I have to comment on being a "trouble maker," my inbox, voice mail, and text messaging has been blowing up with messages regarding the list that China came out with calling it the "troublemaker watch list." There were 9 of us on in from the US for the Olympics. The reason I believe for being on this list is because we are members of "Team Darfur." A great movement supporting human rights and a betterment of life! I think its a bit odd for it to be coming out now. Not much trouble was caused obviously. I wish my right arm could've caused a little more trouble on the playing field but that was it for us and trouble while we were in China.

Lots of frequent flier miles registering here.
Its been a crazy week! 2 trips to NY! The first was for Foot Locker's Sneakerball, supporting the Negro Scholarship Fund. It was a blast! Natasha Watley and I went, we had a great time! Yep, we sported our Mizuno's with our formal dresses! It was a bit odd feeling, and we sure got some looks heading out of the hotel! We had fun earlier in the day shopping, brunch, hair, & make up. We made the most out of our 20 hours in NYC. I even scored 2 auction items, a Nolan Ryan autographed picture for Casey (he's a big fan) and airline tickets! We laughed the night away in our sneaks, yes I had some pink in mine!From there we headed to LA for the Breeder's Cup. Another fun weekend! We went to the kick off party in LA the night before and saw Maroon 5 perform. It was nice getting our feet wet into the horse racing scene before the actual races. It was nice to have a night out for Casey and I. We learned a lot about the equestrian world and enjoyed the ambiance & entertainment. We had a blast at the races! Ace was in Awe! He even fed a horse a peppermint! My family and friends enjoyed a day at Santa Anita, it was beautiful! We were grateful for the invite.

The next day I had the honor of dunking Hulk Hogan and Warren Sapp on Ellen. We had a blast, they were troopers. We helped Ellen raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness month. A great cause and one close to my heart. The guys were so fun, Warren was on cloud 9 dancing away! He says he absolutely loves it! The Hulk let me in on his days at the ball park! He actually pitched in the Little League World Series, bet you didn't know that. A fun fact!

I headed out to Chicago after the weekend for an appearance with Dermabond. It was a National Convention for Emergency Rescue & EMT's. I had a good time, meeting new people, in not quite the usual place for an appearance from a softballer. It was interesting to see all the vendors and mingle! The highlight was meeting a military Sgt, who was so very excited to see and hold the Olympic Medals. His reaction was really great! I was in awe of his badges and full of gratitude for his service.

Came back to LA to meet up with Ace and Casey for a couple of hours before heading out to NY. I attended an event for Weplay, an online social network. (You guys should check it out its amazing!) I was in good company with investors, Summer Sanders & Shawn Alexander. It was a very cozy yet elegant evening.

I just got back from a short trip out to Tucson. Finally, I was able to swap out some clothes. My winter jacket was a hoodie and quite pathetic in NY! I was able to grab some boots, warmer clothes, and a few jackets! I attended the grand opening of a Cinemark Theatre in Oro Valley. It was a great event, the Theatre is beautiful, it was nice to be among the Arizona community and be home!

I hope you have a great Halloween!!! I would love to hear what you dressed up as!

Dream & Believe!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ellen & Breeders Cup!

Check out Ellen today and Monday!!! More dunking! :)

We are heading out to the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita Race Track today! It will air on ESPN 2! Check it out today! I can't wait! Bustos and I and other female Olympians have the honor of being in the winners circle! Ace is going to love it! I will let you know how it goes!

Dream & Believe!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Little Rock was Rockin'!!!!

Little Rock, Arkansas
Our Incredible Coaches
Mac Vandergeest, Toni Mascarenas, Caitlin Lowe, Andrea Duran, Kelly Kretchmen, Bustos

We had a blast in Little Rock, Arkansas! What a great time! The girls were such a great group! We were hosted by the "Battin' Babes" and the "Arkansas Batbusters"! What a fun time we had with them! We have grown relationships with them, being our third camp that they have either attended or hosted! We had a great dinner on Friday packed with over 500 people and finger lickin' BBQ! I love the south! Such sweet people & always great food! Bustos even had her own bat boy for the entire weekend! His dad dared the little brother and sure enough Bustos excepted. I don't think he left her side, it was really cute!

The University of Arkansas at Monticello helped us out this weekend for camp!

Bustos dropping Bombs!

Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, it did! Mr. Trace Atkins stopped by on Sunday during the camp! What a special treat for the girls!!! And us too of course! I was a fan before the Apprentice and even more so now after getting to know him and his sweet generous family! He made 400 girls giddy getting on the mike and I think all of their parents too! We were so delighted to have him! We auctioned off the glove I wore for the pitching demo, we both signed it and was able to donate to his charity! FAAN! Helping young kids with severe allergies! What an incredible day! Thank you Trace!

On cloud 9, we floated up to New York for the Women's Sports Foundation Dinner. They were gracious enough to invite our entire team to the event! It was so fun being a team together! I miss my girls! Monday we were able to continue floating, around NY on a dinner cruise. Tuesday we attended the Gala at the Waldorf, as always an inspiring amazing night. It always seems surreal to be in the presence of Billy Jean King and all the other amazing female athletes past and present! Its pretty incredible to see the past athletes and how they continue to succeed off the court and in the real world. The fun just continued! I want to thank all the many sponsors who came out and supported the Women's Sports Foundation, it continues to open doors and empower women and young girls!

We are now back on the bayou in Louisiana! Enjoying our southern roots, family, and friends. Casey has been non stop working the cows, fishing, clearing up the pond, and more. He is trying to soak it up as much as possible. Ace is loving the open air, animals, and rice & gravy! I'm along for the fun, soaking it all up too! Enjoying the golf cart rides and watching the boys have a blast!
Enjoying our family we don't get to see too much of! It's so cute to see the excitement of Sulphur, La for the camp coming up! The Sheriff's Department are so sweet, ready for our arrival. Its really fun being part of a small town and all the excitement for the football games and local news!

Enjoying a few days of down time!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ohio to Ellen!

Hey! We had a blast in Ohio! We were able to meet so many great people. It was a good weekend, Berg even came out and joined us for Sunday. Crystl has her own travel ball organization out here the Bustos Ultimates. How cool is that? They were really sweet, we had a good time. They even took us out to play Cornhole. Oh my! What a game. We had so much fun. Its huge out here. Its a slanted box with a hole on top. You have to throw a bag of corn in it for 3 points or 1 point if it lands on top. We dominated! Jenny, Aimee, and Military Mary introduced us to this fun game. Im so stinkin competitive, we were challenging everyone. It even led to me throwing them at Bustos! We had fun. We were spoiled with cookies, deer jerky, and even hometown hero hall of famer George Foster stopped by to say hello. Its a lot of fun traveling and meeting so many great people. Bustos extended family is out here and it was fun to finlly meet them and experience her Ohio group! Thanks for having me!

Tomorrow tune in to Ellen, a change of plans I am headed to LA to appear on Ellen! So much fun! She is so funny, I am really excited to meet her.

I was informed today Ace now has a football stance! Too cute. He says hike and runs! He is growing up so fast. I miss my guys! They are fishing & hunting having a ball in cajun country! I can't wait to join them!

Dreaming & Believing

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On the go!

We hopped on a plane and headed out to Arizona for 36 hours. Just crazy. We basically came here to catch our next flights out! We are unpacking, dropping stuff off, and repacking! The story of our life. Yes, we wear the same things pretty much over and over. Why pack anything other than your favorite outfits, right? Its hilarious, I really have no idea what my closet consists of I do know that there is no more room in it however. Many times I look to the suitcase only to find non matching stuff, what are you going to do? This is my excuse for my lack of style at times and some times non matching shoes! :) Casey constantly is asking if I'm wearing holes in the armpits of my clothes. We did try to go to shopping last week in LA, it was the usual! Leaving with nothing but a good lunch and Ace a few items! I did get a T-shirt, just what I needed another T-shirt. However, I am quite excited to swap out my wardrobe. I even packed my cowboy boots this time, look out. We'll see if I actually wear them. I tend to avoid the dressy clothes even though they are in my bag! Yes, cowboy boots are dressy, for me! Last night I was scattering through trying to find a dress for the Women's Sports Foundation Dinner. I was excited to find one, we'll see if it's still the one when I get there. We have quite a bit coming up.

I'm headed out to Ohio to do a clinic with Crystl Bustos for the weekend. I owed her at least this, she helps me out with all of our camps. I'm excited to get to meet more future champions and hang out with Crystl. Then from there to DC! I will be joining other Olympians visiting our veteran troops on Monday and then joining a larger group of the 08' Olympians for a celebration at the White House. It should be a fun couple of days!

We are gearing up for our Arkansas camp, we just closed it today. We are full unfortunately and fortunately!

Fun stuff ahead!

I hope you all are enjoying baseball playoffs! I am! I am a huge baseball fan, even Casey makes fun of me. I'm so sad when baseball season is over! I just enjoy the game and having the option to watch it and the highlights. I'm excited to see the Angels and Dodgers both playing in October! I have to admit I was born and raised a Dodger fan, but I do still cheer for the Angels being from so cal! Its so fun to see grown men so excited to compete and the intensity of post season. Watching the Angels, Red Sox game last night, I was in awe of the crowd and atmosphere! The pitching dominated. How about Jason Bay? I love it. Casey is somewhat tuned in, he says he's watched over 100 games this season, its really the last thing he wants to do. I completely understand. As you can tell I rarely win control of the remote. I am however enjoying postseason baseball, when I get the chance. Go LA!

Well better get back to packing!

Dream & Believe!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sac Camp Photos!

I'm such a blessed girl!
My dad Doug doing a Finch Windmill Demo.

Heading into the racing dive!
All the campers! Thanks for a great weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I did it!

Today I did it! I put my running shoes on and made it out for a run! Only after trying to get on my parents elliptical and not knowing how to start it up! Yes, I did petal but there was no power! Checked the plug. I smiled and thought see its not time yet! Thank you Lord!... No, it really is time and I did it! My pants are getting a little more snug, my shirts a little too tight around the mid section, and well I'm finding myself just a bit uncomfortable! So its time! Especially after the Pink's chili hot dog and chili cheese fries from the fair yesterday! Yep, I might have well eaten a bucket of lard! A churro, icee, and then the Pink's stop! Ugh, its time!

It was a struggle! My ipod made it a little bit easier pushing through. I left the house at 2:24 and purposely went a long way with no short cuts! A one way jog, knowing I couldn't just say, "oh that's enough"! I have to admit, I felt way out of shape and a bit old! I know 28 is not old but I felt old! That is what taking a month off has made me feel. I can't help but check myself out as I ran past a house with an enormous window. Come on we all do it! Well only to laugh hysterically at myself, watching me run! Its proven, I'm old! I don't have the young spurt of energy, the strut, you know what I'm talking about! I was dragging, dragging bad! Well its gone! The only thing athletic about my jog was well my out fit! So I continued jogging giggling inside about how I am old and my running proves it! Hopefully it will come back in a couple of weeks! I'm praying! Before I had my teammates, opponents, coaches, and the Olympics! Now its just me against ??? Well myself! Or the music! Britney?

I walked in after my run and my mom looked at me so very oddly and even chuckled a bit. I was the color of a tomato! Thinking I had ran at least 50 minutes and 5 miles, trying to count the number of songs trying to figure out how long I had been running. Well I had myself convinced it was at least 50 minutes! Falling to the ground in exhaustion then again busting up looking at the clock and seeing it had only been 30 minutes! I'm still laughing at myself!

So baby steps! Baby steps! I will get there! I miss sweating and being exhausted! Its sad when you are trying to convince yourself that taking Ace to the fair is a workout! Come on Olympian, competitor, #27, lets go! So today was a start!

We did take Ace to the fair yesterday, and it did count as my workout! Thanks very much! :)
It was a warm one! Its enormous! So much fun! We were overwhelmed! Rides, food, life size stuffed animals everywhere, cows, pig races, pony ride, monster truck rides, petting zoo, and yes we did it all! Everything! We were that family that left the fair with 3 helicopters, a stuffed car, 2 turkey legs the size of monster trucks, a lemonade or 4, our stroller was overflowing! Oh, and 2 candied apples! And left $50 dollars at the motorcycle shoot out! Casey was convinced he could win it! Well at least it was one thing we did leave with out, a motorcycle! And for the record he doesn't even like motorcycles! We were had, but its the fair right! We lived it up! We had a blast! It was a fun day, and not too shabby of a workout! :)

Dreaming & Believing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We had a great weekend in Sacramento! Camp weekends are always completely nuts for us and for the host but we did it! It was a huge success! The girls were so excited and looked like they had a blast! Close to 400 campers! It just proves how much our sport has grown! Completely awesome! The Monarch's who hosted us were superb! They put so much time and hard work into making it such a great weekend! The field was pretty spectacular, we were the first to use it! It was at Vista Del Lago High School. Crystl Bustos hit the first home run out the park, she signed the ball and the school is going to put it in their hall of fame! The girls went crazy to see Bustos hit, and boy did she put on a show! I'm so blessed to have such great crew come in to help us out. Plus its fun seeing them all and catching up, a little reunion for us. We met so many sweet people this weekend, we truly enjoyed it and the environment. Its pretty funny how I'm unable to sleep before our camps, like its the night before a game day or something! Its a good nervous, we want it to go just perfectly for the girls! So the last two days have been recovery days. When we left there were lots of young girls smiling wishing for a day 3, so it was a success.

A few highlights of the weekend were heading over to a young softballer's elementary school on friday and joining her for lunch! She had a dream and it was pretty neat to make it a reality for her! She was so very sweet, with an amazing family. Another being a young girl walking up to me before taking a photo with me anxiously letting me know how she couldn't sleep at all last night! Another camper arrived on Sunday and let Coach Toni know how she used what she learned in the infield at her game last night and was so very excited! She was able to make the play! Another a young girl coming all the way from Illinois to join us in Sacramento, our furthest camper. At pitching, seeing a girls face light up so very bright she got it, she understood it and could feel it! Another young girl coming up to me and telling me to remember her because one day she will be on Team USA! Another camper asked if she could catch for me, we were able to pull that one off too! All these many highlights of an incredible weekend. This makes all the sleepless nights well worth it! This is what it is all about! We can't wait to do it again! Next stop, Little Rock, Arkansas!

Oh and one more... its the cutest thing to see all these young girls just as excited to see Ace! Oooing & Aweing! So very cute! Oh and for Casey too! :) Just adorable hearing how hot my husband is from 12 year olds!

We are going to be spending some time here in So Cal, this off season. It figures just as we get ourselves unpacked in AZ, right? The Lord is working and we are trying to follow! The Lord has opened an incredible opportunity for Casey to train down here with one of the best in baseball. I'm so very happy for Casey to be doing this. He really has never spent an off season training and preparing fully! This will be so very good for him to have complete coaching & training heading into next season. Its pretty amazing, by the grace of God how far Casey has gotten with just raw talent, to the Big Leagues! I've never seen Casey so excited about pitching as he was when he came back from his first day training. He said they were able to do things that he has been trying to do for years. Thank you Lord, for giving us this opportunity! From a golf tournament, to generous golf pros, to this Coach in a matter of 3 days. Amen! Obviously first and foremost I am thrilled for Casey and at the same time I have to admit it will fun being "home"!

I was able to catch up with a BFF Toni and her adorable little, big boy! Really big! He's six, a big six! Ace and Easton her son had so much fun running around playing hard! Who would've thought, both moms! From high school travelball, to roommates at Arizona, now moms! So very fun! Yet we are still the same as we were 12 years ago running around the mall but this time chasing mostly Ace but both our boys. It was a fun day.

I'm still trying to get to the gym, haven't made it yet. This is my week though, I'm feeling it!

Ace is great, he is in this running mode. He tells me he is running the bases and just runs and runs. Every once is a while he will drop in a slide and yell safe! It's quite adorable. He is bull legged, like his daddy was, and I hear that means he will be a good runner. A track coach told me that at the Olympic Training Center when he saw Ace, he said he will be a good runner! I reply a 6' 6" white boy, a good runner? Only time will tell! :) Thank the Lord they are straightening out quite well. My fear was he would have to have them set like Casey had to do. It looks like that Coach knew what he was saying because he is running everywhere and running good!

I was able to keep my cooking going, last night vegetable soup! Casey has been requesting it since we got here from my mom! Second best, Casey was happy! Ace too as he kept shouting, "soup, soup, Ace wants some soup!" Smiles all around!

Still dreaming & believing!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home sweet home!

We headed out west for some rest, relaxation, family time, golf, and fun! We have camp this weekend in Sacramento so we decided to come to LA for the week prior! Coming home to LA is an indescribable feeling for me! When the wheels hit on the runway I am filled with a sense of home! I love it! I love LAX which seems odd, but for me it means home! Yes, you would think I would've moved on, onto Arizona but I think and hope it will never change! This is where my roots are. Yes, some in Iowa having both parents and brothers that were born there, along with grandparents and so on, but for me this is home! We have just multiplied "homes"! Yes, Tucson and of course Louisiana being a Daigle. But LA is my home and its good to be here!

I tied in Louisiana, getting a recipe from Paula Dean for some good ole mac & cheese! To die for! 3 hours in the slow cooker but well worth it! Trying to keep my cooking streak alive!

We had a crazy week! We had a family get together on Friday, it was so much fun! A cousin of ours was down from Washington and we were able to meet her new baby girl, Ana. She is precious! My brother and his family of 4 came over! We have our first baby Finch girl! Her name is Malaya and she is absolutely gorgeous! I think I held her practically the whole night! Staring in awe of her unbelievably long eyelashes and adorable soft plump pink lips! I could not get enough of her! Her big brother Reshly is so very proud! Ace and Reshly had a blast chasing each other all night, running wild around the house! Uncle Elmer came over too along with my cousin Brandon. Ace had so much fun and continues to ask for Reshly!

On Saturday, Casey and I headed down south to Del Mar to our dear friends Sari and Brian's house! They invited us to play in a golf tournament, at The Bridges!!! Casey was so stoked, like a little kid heading down! He kept reminding me we were going to "The Bridges!" One of the best courses in the US! And yes, it did live up and more to all of his hype! Beautiful & Stunning!!! It was so good to see them and spend a couple of days with them. They are so very sweet, a true blessing to us! Sari was such a rock for Casey while I was in Beijing, we are so grateful for them! We enjoyed staying up late night playing Wii, I need lots of practice to hang! Their community is quite amazing to say the least! Great fun, company, food, golf, we had a blast!

We took Ace to Knott's Berry Farm on Monday. He was in awe! What a little trooper we have. He went on pretty much all the rides his height allowed him too. Camp Snoopy is the cutest thing! We were able to walk onto any and all rides with no lines, Ace even drove the big Riggs 8 times in a row! He loved the log ride too! A bit scary, they allow such little kids on these rides but he enjoyed the risk! It was a fun family day! Oh yeah and I forgot Ace isn't a little boy he's a "big boy"! :)

Yesterday I was able to catch up with my best friends!!! I was reminded reading one of their blogs we have known each other for 15 years and Bri and I for just about 20! Crazy! Crazy! It was so much fun! There is nothing like being in their company, they know me inside and out. I have struggled with being the friend I should be over the years. Yes, I can make excuses but they would just be excuses. Yet, these amazing women continue to be there and a huge part of my life even though we are miles apart and have all ventured off in our own journeys. We are all well traveled which is crazy, from little La Mirada High to all over the world each one of us! Its pretty remarkable! I continue to strive to be like them in so many ways, they are first and foremost all courageous women of faith, perfectionists, fierce, so very intelligent, so very beautiful inside which transcends outwardly, and have continued to amaze me over the years! I am so very blessed and grateful for them and all they are! Our lunch turned out to be 4 hours long and still wasn't enough. I had to confess they were all there with me in China, on the walls of the Bank of America House! Some way a picture of us on nerd day in high school made the collage of athletes in their younger days! To say the least we got a good laugh out of it. My mom took the blame for picking the photos out and shipping them off for use. They couldn't get mad at my mama Bev! As much as I would like to say maybe a prom photo would've been better of us, probably not! ;) Sadly our lunch came to an end, til next time.

As much as its so great to be home, we are never here long enough! We never can fit in seeing all our family and friends we wish too! Too funny I will never forget my grandmother Ada telling me that, "college breaks up families!" Too funny coming from a woman almost 90 years old! I was sadly expressing to her how we are all spread out all over the US, and we never see enough of each other! This is how she replied, "Yep, that's what college will do, break up families!" She knows her stuff, God bless her! I just adore her.

I was listening to a sermon the other day on the radio and it really touched me. The main message was, "Its not what people have done TO you, its what God has done FOR you." We often walk around with maybe bitterness or we allow others to ruin our day, it reminded me we shouldn't. It's what God has done for us and we should rejoice in it and share that love with others! I thought it was pretty amazing and was compelled to share.

Next up Camp... Its so funny I'm already in my no sleeping mode. I'm already trying to rehearse my words and get ready for an incredible weekend! I hope you enjoy yours!

Monday, September 8, 2008

"O" Off season!

"O" yes, today was the Oprah day! I'm still on my "O" high! Isn't she just so fun! I love her! If we could just go around screaming like her, so happy and excited! I love it! It was so fun watching the Olympic moments, many of them for us for the first time. We were able to get live feeds of the events without commentating in the village, but nothing like on NBC... so fun!

Well not much going on here compared to what we've been through but a lot at the same time. Mainly we are enjoying each other and enjoying having a home! We are gearing up for our Sacramento camp. Making sure all is in order, paper work, Coach's, the set up. and etc. Lots of work goes into making it run and being the best possible! Its such a blessing to have Mrs. Daigle really step up to the plate and run our camps! So much for her retirement, she has been going just about 24/7 getting campers registered! This has been a dream of mine since after College to do this and do it the right way. Finally with her help and many others this dream is a reality. Registration, facility, coordinating with the host, and so much more! This has allowed us to have camps and make sure the campers are getting the most out of it. Olympians & Professional Coaches teaching what we believe in, I'm grateful to them for allowing this to happen too. We can be and give the most in this environment, I truly enjoy putting on these camps. Its kind of like a mini wedding day. You want it to be perfect! I have really really tried hard to believe in everything I endorse and the products/brands. I take a lot of pride in things that have my name involved. Having our families and friends run the camp, insures this. I believe this is the best camp possible! We do a lot of this, for my teammates and I this is a large part of how we make a living. I have done many camps ran by others, including helped Cal Ripken with some softball camps. I have taken the best from all the camps/clinics that I have done and have tried to incorporate it all, make it affordable, and to provide the most for our campers. Its an incredible experience for these girls, the future of our sport! I absolutely love getting to meet each camper and getting the opportunity to interact with them throughout the weekend. Even show them our medals! This is one of my favorite times! Not showing them off, but seeing young girls faces light up touching, holding, even wearing them! Its the best part about having these medals! (Weird saying these... quite fun!) Its crazy, girls walk up to us in tears so excited to be at camp. We usually have campers there at 6 am pitching in the parking lot anxiously awaiting camp! Both our families the Finch-Daigle's have so much invested in this and we take great pride in them! We are grateful for our sponsors that allow the kids to get so much out of the experience. Yes, swag bags, autographs, pictures, getting the game taught to them by the best, hanging with Olympians, but more importantly life skills that carry over way beyond the playing field. Its about inspiring young women to set goals, learn leadership skills, learn teamwork, learn discipline, self-esteem, have fun, and to "O"f course to "Dream & Believe!"

As you can tell I'm quite passionate about our camps and look forward to all four of them this fall! You can check out the locations and register on my website if your interested.

Other than gearing up for camp we've been getting things straight around the house. A daily chore! Every single day. Don't know if I will ever accomplish this but I will continue to try! I don't hate many things, hate is just not good, but I hate junk mail! It takes an extra 15-30 minutes out of my day shredding and filtering through. Not that my time is that valuable its just one of those things that drives me crazy. My mom has had this chore of mine for the year, on top of her own, where would I be without her (scary to think). I wish I could still fwd all of my mail to her. Wouldn't that be dream!

Lately around the house for the boys its been lots of otter pops & ice cream bowls. I did make steak, rice, gravy, with smothered potatoes 2 nights ago! Not as good as mamaw's but it did put duplicate grins on Casey's face for the night! He said, he still might make a southern girl out of me. And I'm still soaking the pan! :) Maybe so cal girl my own mixed version! I'm trying. And I topped it off with Casey's favorite, yellow cake with chocolate icing! Look "O"ut! The kitchen is covered at least. Meanwhile my dryer is full of clean clothes, my floors are filthy, and my bags are still packed from Chicago... trying! Still adjusting to home life.

We knew our road ahead was going to be a tough one, us both being the youngest in our families. Now having a little one we are forced to be adults, somewhat. One of the greatest blessings from having a child is the youth it brings into our lives, our parents, and grandparents. Ace is keeping us all young, don't know if its a good thing for Casey and I but we are managing, managing quite well we think for the most part. It's so funny because yes at times we are forced to be adults and act like them but for the most part I feel like I'm still in college. It amazes me daily to look at Ace knowing he's our child that we created, with the hands of God. We are still young at heart, playing the game we love, living as so called adults/parents enjoying our beautiful journey. Its crazy to think I am still playing softball. Yes, I dreamed of playing forever... maybe even slow pitch one day as hard as that is to admit. But really to be still playing, having the opportunity that we have today is absolutely remarkable! I think its awesome, a true gift! To be able to say, I'm a wife, a mom, and a softball player. What a complete blessing! It's so fun as we run into friends from high school and college and see how we've grown. For as much as we've grown some things don't change, we remain somewhat the same, young or young at heart. So many old friends just laugh and tell me, I can't believe your a mom. I just reply, "me either!" And they say somewhat making fun, "and still playing softball." I laugh again, "yes, somethings don't change, at least not yet." Its been amazing, we love it!

Ace is talking up a storm keeping us busy. He asked Casey, "Why?" for the first time tonight. Here we go! It was about cutting the pineapple skin off, "O" my little boy! I just want to tackle him and squeeze him, a mother's love is indescribable. People often have said about the stages in which children grow, "oh that's my favorite stage". To be honest, it just keeps getting better. I think everyday it continues to get better. Yes, at times it can be quite difficult but this love is so unconditional, through tears, spills, running late, even in the tough times our love is unconditional.

As Ace is shouting, "mommy, have sucker please" at the top of his lungs. At least a please is in there. After some convincing he's eating dinner not a sucker, with not much of a battle! He just said, "wheels are circles!" ...Hold on have to go dance and shout hooray! We were talking about that yesterday, he remembered! He just sits there with a half grin watching me dance and shout, yes I'm a bit looney at times, I convince myself its being a fun mom. We'll see how long Ace agrees with this? See it does just gets better! To think God loves us and them even more is mind boggling, but true!

Ace loves spending time in the garage fixing things, anything. He loves his baths too. Its been so fun, bath time is for Ace and Daddy now. So cute. Bath time at night during the season is not the easiest getting home at 11pm on an early night. This off season has been such a blast. Yes, I miss my girls, I can't deny it but we are enjoying it. Here are some pictures from the other day. It started out on the lake fishing! So fun. Ace was soaking it all up with his daddy. My right arm was sore the next day, not the usual pitching sore, worse. I held an umbrella for just about the whole boat ride, the soreness was well worth it! My boys on the boat!
Our captain, literally!
Fishing with dad!

Below is a pictures of our new glitter headband colors, this is how are day ended! Not so climatic, but have to do some so called work. Yes, more glitter headbands! We had a mini photo shoot of the new colors. I love them! We added silver, purple, and lime green. Quite fun! Below is the purple. On the elastic on the back it reads "Dream & Believe" ! "O"f course!

Well thanks for hanging in there reading my madness. Its a bit difficult staying on track while running around the house. This took me just about half a day. Better go, Ace is dropping green beans in his mouth saying, "missed missed" as they are now all over the floor. "O" what a day!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"O" Happy Birthday to me!

What a birthday!!! I was able to spend my 28th birthday with Oprah! How do you top that? Well I did, I was able to spend it with Oprah, my teammates, and come home to my Aces! What a day.
Here we are excitingly loading up on the buses in downtown Chicago anxiously waiting are arrival to Oprah. We kept shouting we are going to be on Oprah, this is the day! This has been a big want of mine for a long time, to meet Oprah and it was finally happening. Better yet we were able to do it as a team and with many other medalists from the Games. Oprah was having a welcome home celebration and invited the Olympic medalists to Chicago.

Here is our one and only Laura Berg, our Michael Phelps! The only USA softball player to have 4 medals! We added a few for fun. This is how giddy we were to see Oprah. We arrived and had a lovely spread of food and waited for the show! I did an interview with Gale, yes Oprah's BFF! It was becoming more real. We were introduced and ran up on stage through the audience. There she was... glowing with a halo. Oprah! Tash and I were off the ground floating up to see her. We are both huge fans! Shouting the whole way we love Oprah!!! It was early but no excuses we were like little girls going to Disneyland! Stomach in knots and all. It was so fun, confetti, Oprah, a huge crowd, we watched and relived Beijing all over again, oh, and was on stage with Oprah. It was a lot of fun. We all moved up on stage and listened to many of the Olympians speak about their Olympic experience.

We were able to meet her and get a team picture with her! Look how cute she was in her red and blue! Bergy put her medal on her for the picture! We were so excited! We were warned not to "Bergy Punk" Oprah, plus there wasn't any chalk around! It did cross Bergy's mind of course. Oprah, is just really fun and outgoing the whole time! Make sure to watch the show... Monday the 8th! Monday the 8th! She has so much energy and passion it exudes her!

Here we are after the picture letting Oprah know that we need her help. We need Oprah on our side to get softball back. Hey anything can help, right? Oprah can do anything. She was very interested and willing to help. She wanted to know why and hear our story. She's behind us! Fingers crossed if Chicago gets the bid what better city to have softball reinstated than Chicago!

After the show we loaded up on the buses and returned to the hotel. It was like a parade for us. People were lining the streets cheering for us as we drove through the city. What a birthday! I was able to catch an earlier flight out and head home to my Aces! The day even got better. I pulled up the street was greeted by pack of coyotes, crazy! Pulled into the driveway, got out and I hear, "Happy Birthday!" I look up and there is Ace on the steps holding a card shouting, "Happy Birthday Mommy, card!" It was so cute and once again my heart did melt! What a day! We just hung around the house enjoyed each other! Thanks so much for all of your birthday wishes and kind words. I don't know how all of this came about but I'm amazed each day by all of this love and this amazing life!

Dreaming & Believing! (I met Oprah!) :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Being a Daigle!

The last couple of days I have truly enjoyed being Ms. Daigle and Ace Daigle's mommy! Its been so much fun not having a schedule, having to find a catcher to go out and pitch too, and having a to do list! We are unpacking, organizing, and I'm still trying to adjust to the time. Ace is back in his house, on cloud 9. He is a bit confused about having a "home", or even what a "home" is. His home is with mom and dad where ever that may be in this world. We have created him a play room which he adores. He has been running around our house shouting, "Ace's play room, Ace's play room." He has rediscovered all of his toys. His favorite being his tractor and trailer. Any time he mentions his tractor he says, pull the trailer. He is obsessed with construction trucks! He has fallen for Sponge Bob. I'm not so sure how to feel about it. It wouldn't be my choice at all but he is already fallen. I'm still trying to figure out why? He is getting so big! He eats at his little bar all by himself. Wipes his mouth and all. Its adorable. We've converted his crib into a toddler bed. Yes, my baby is gone. Now a toddler quickly growing into a little boy if not already. He is 37 inches tall. We started a growth chart! We've truly enjoyed being a family. Ace will randomly when we are all together point to me and say, mommy then point to Casey and say, daddy! He is realizing we are actually all together. The first couple of days he kept saying, "Mommy all done in China, nope, no more China"! So cute! He constantly said it as we watched the closing ceremony. Casey can't wait to get out on his boat. I think today might be the day for him. He is so excited! Last night we had our first Mexican Dinner back in Az. It was so good. We left miserable, filled to the top. I practically rolled out. Its been so much fun having us all together as one. Casey is such a good dad and has to have everything as perfect as can be for his little guy. Its so cute! Tonight we are thinking about taking Ace to the Monster Truck Rally here in town. I think he'll go nuts.

Its so nice to be back in our house. Oh, how cactus have grown on me! The warmth, the sunsets, familiarity with the area, friends, so very much! We will actually get to attend church on Sunday too! Good times! As I write, I'm looking out our window admiring many birds eating away. I feel a bit like the lady in Home Alone in central park. One of mine, and now Aces favorite things to do, is fill the bird feeders and watch the birds go to town! We even get a Cardinal every once once in awhile! Casey and Ace went out last night for a ride and saw Javalinas, Casey said Ace was in awe. I actually cooked too! My mom's vegetable beef soup! I'm trying to cook a little more, we are a bit tired of restaurants and eating out. Who knows if it will really happen but I'm going to try! It was refreshing.

Travel is coming a bit quicker than I thought, but worth it. We will be going to Chicago to appear on Oprah. She is honoring Olympians! I've always wanted to meet her and hopefully I will get the chance! It will air on the 8Th, I believe. It will be fun seeing my teammates again! I have to admit I miss them! We've been texting here and there. We've spent the last year together its weird not having them around. I took Ace on a walk/jog yesterday that was the first physical exercise I've had since getting back. I need to get it going again. We are gearing up for our Sacramento Camp, the first of four for the fall. They are filling up fast. It will be a blast. I have to admit selfishly I look forward to them too because it's a little bit of a reunion to see friends/teammates!

I have to congratulate the Chicago Bandits, the NPF Champs! Great job ladies!!! We are so proud! I'm looking forward to next season. Exciting stuff! Way to go!

Thank you all for your kind words and support. Your comments are inspiring and I'm very appreciative. It seems as though its hard to escape, everyone lets us know how sorry they are. I was walking down the isle in Lowe's the other day and this guy turns around and says, "Sorry". I replied, "Excuse me." Again he says, "Sorry." So caught off guard I return, "Sorry for what?" He said, "Sorry about the silver." So I'm constantly reminded whether its by others or in my own head. Many hearts were broke along with ours. Life continues to go on and we will be faced with many more challenges to face. We know there will be many bigger obstacles down the road and much more severe than a loss.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Olympic Journey

Well as you can see its took me a while to face the computer and start reading and writing. First, I want to send out a heartfelt thanks from deep inside me to all our gracious and supportive fans! Thank you for all your unconditional love and support! We are so very blessed!

I'm with my family now!!! My heart is elated with joy to be reunited! Oh, if you would of seen me bawling all the way out of the airplane to them. Knowing my little and big guy were standing out there. I was a mess, I couldn't hold it together. It truly was the longest trip of my life getting home. I think I was race walking an Olympic Record in a bee line to the door! There he was, grinning from ear to ear running towards me with a bouquet of flowers bigger than him, in a shirt that said Mommy, with a heart around it. Awe, you could see his joy beaming outside of him to have me back. For five minutes I just held him, staring into his incredible blue eyes, and he just kept staring back in disbelief that I was actually home. He kept touching my face as I was melting! For myself I just continued to bawl like a 2 year old myself. I can not express how happy I was to be back and have my husband and son surrounding me! Knowing my next trips are a ways away and we are in our off season is a feeling we have looked forward to all year. Its what kept us going and able to go through this past year a part. Ace is talking so much more, reciting us like a little parrot. He is filling out, getting thicker and bigger. I'm still in awe and so incredibly happy to be home. As soon as I put him down he grabbed my hand and shouted, "Come on Mommy!" Its what I had been waiting to hear!

Its time to talk about the game, I will try to be brief as it still hurts. It's why we play the game, there is a chance involved. It wouldn't be any fun if there wasn't a chance to win or lose. Yes, we love it as you very well know and please don't take this the wrong way. Someone has to win and lose. It was Japan's day, we have to tip our hat to Team Japan and Ueno who had a performance of a lifetime over those last few days. Coach always says it does take a little luck to win championships and on any given day anyone can win. This is why we trained so hard and sacrificed so much we knew the difficulty. We are very proud of our team and who we are. We will always hold our heads up high and be very proud and honored to be able to have the opportunity to wear USA across our chests and because we are the people we are.

Leaving to the field I prayed, Lord let Your will be done. I have given all I have, my trust is in You, may Your will be done. This is win or lose, pitching, or not pitching, what ever color medal. I've been asked a lot why weren't you in there? My answer is it was Coach's decision and he made the best one he could. Yes, as a fierce competitor you always want the ball in your hands, I was dying to get in and was as ready as I could been to be in there. As a team player first, I will continue to back Coach and we as a pitching staff Cat and Monica. We have complete faith in one another and we will stand together as one.

Its hard, yes no doubt. Does it still hurt yes, I'm sure it will for a long time. People keep telling me how I am the face of USA Softball and I've done so much for the game, which I truly appreciate and am very very grateful for but its still hard for me to swallow the loss. It doesn't make losing any easier. I don't want to be known for that, at least not yet. I train to be an athlete not a face. I have dedicated part of my life to be the best pitcher I could be because I love to compete. I am best when I am competing not posing for pictures or on the red carpet or in the board room. I'm a competitor. I am grateful for all I've been able to do, I would've and could never dreamed of it all! I'm just a girl that loves to compete and have the ball in my hands. I love the challenge of facing hitters! I've never tried or trained or even thought about being the face of USA softball just being the best pitcher I could be.

Ultimately what brings me peace is knowing that it was the Lord's will. It's all part of His plan. The Big Man up stairs already knows and has already written His plan. All we can do is give all we have and if we have done that we are winners, winners in Him.

There are constant things that continue to go through my head and I'm sure they will for a long long time. I always have said what drives me is my fear of failure. Its a good fear. As a competitor you don't want to be a good loser, you don't want to get used to the feeling, it burns and it should. As an athlete you always want to have class and lose with grace but that doesn't mean you have to be a good loser. Wearing the USA Softball uniform is such a treasured honor especially knowing the tradition of it and the program. You are expected to win. Yes, there is pressure but what better pressure could you dream of. It has been created by many incredible women before us and knowing them and that every time you put it on, you are reminded. I feel terrible we didn't keep that tradition going. My mind continues to race what could we have done more or better of different.

Standing on that podium it hurt. Please don't think I am not grateful or honored to be a Silver Medalist I am! But we did lose the game. On top of the loss, we lost the entire game from the Olympics for 2012. We said good bye to many of our games greats, the one and only Laura Berg, my Ponytailed Powerhouse roommate and dear friend Crystl Bustos, many more of my amazing teammates, and many more from other countries. These women have given their lives to the sport and the sport will forever be changed because of them! Thinking this could be the last time softball players could have the opportunity to stand in the Olympic arena. The many young and old girls that have dreamed of this moment and weren't able or will not be able to experience it. And I can't deny, my heart was aching for Ace and Casey up there too.

I can remember in Greece standing on the podium looking down at Coach hugging his son and daughter so tightly filled with emotion. They were missing their mom and wife, this really put things in perspective for me. Life isn't about medals or what color medals, it is how you play the game of life. Enjoying everyday that the Lord has blessed us with, knowing that it could be our last. We never know. It really hit me hard on that podium in Athens. As much as we have made our lives about our sport and medals, there is so much more. There in Athens it was supposed to be the most magical moment of my entire life which it was up there for sure on my list... but the Lord spoke to me in that magical moment different from what I thought and expected.

I have been trying to get myself to write this, my mind has been racing the last few days. I really wanted to be able to organize my thoughts and truly tell how I was feeling. I have tried. Thank you for your patience and understanding! I woke up this morning at 5 am knowing it was time. It was time to face it. I can not thank you enough for all your prayers, kind words, and thoughts!

I've been faced with questions regarding retirement too. Lord willing I feel I have some more pitches in this right arm, I still have that fire in me, and I can't imagine walking away as of now. I love my teammates so very much and would go to battle with them and for them any day. I look forward to getting back on the field with them again! I look forward to getting back up to Chicago being a Bandit, and still wearing USA across my chest!

As of right now I can't get enough of my little man and my husband. I have smiled so much in the last 24 hours being home with them. I look forward for the next few months being the mom, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, I haven't been able to be this last year!

Always dreaming & believing!