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! :)
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!
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! #27
"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 www.jenniefinch27.com 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! #27
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!