Why It Isn’t Just Another #WorldSeries to Me

worldseries

Many years ago, I was born in Ohio. My dad was a die-hard Indians fan. No matter how bad they were losing, he never stopped rooting them on. He’d make me watch the games with him, and I grew up loving baseball.

When I was 11, we moved to Chicago. That’s where I really “grew up,” where I became a teenager, and where everything around me helped mold me into the woman I am today.

cubslogoWe went to Cubs games. A lot. Daddy loved Wrigley Field. When I think about all the Cubs games we went to, I think about the fun we had. We would go to watch Mark Grace and Ryne Sandberg play. And we would laugh. Oh, how we would laugh. I remember sitting in pouring down rain having the absolute best time. Or the nights when we would freeze under our blankets, but we weren’t giving up on our Cubbies. I remember singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” under the sound of Harry Caray’s voice during the 7th Inning Stretch.

indianslogoBut, we didn’t just go to Cubs games growing up in Chicago. Whenever the Indians came to play the White Sox, we would be there. In the South Side of Chicago, dressed in full Indians garb, we would be there. Daddy probably knew that alone could have gotten us killed, but he persevered. We’d walk proudly into the stadium and be the only ones rooting for the Indians. Oh, the memories that were made. As I became a teenager, I thought my Daddy was crazy for going into White Sox territory in Indians gear, but I went with it, even when I protested.

In 1997, my Daddy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and that fall, the Indians made it to the World Series. We thought they were going to do it. We cheered and we hoped and we held our breath. But, they fell to the Florida Marlins in the 11th inning of Game 7. Our hopes we dashed, but we never gave up. There was always next season.

In 1998, my Daddy passed away halfway through the baseball season. My world was crushed. I had lost all my hope in the Indians and in everything else.

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As time went on, I continued to love baseball, and I would cheer for both the Indians and the Cubs. It was my way of holding onto my Daddy. I passed my love for baseball, the Indians, and the Cubs onto my kids, and baseball is the favorite sport in our house.

So, this year, when we found out the Cubs AND the Indians were going to the World Series, it became so much more to me than just another game. This was what Daddy and I talked about. This is what we dreamed of. All those years ago, we decided that Daddy would root for the Indians and I would root for the Cubs, but we’d really be happy no matter who won.

Y’all, for these few games, it’s not just baseball. I’ve got my Daddy here with me again. I can watch these games with my kids and relive my childhood. I can share my Daddy with my kids in a way that I never could before.

This isn’t just another World Series for me. This is everything I’ve ever dreamed of, wrapped in a best of 7 series of games. I can’t pick a favorite. I don’t care who wins. I just want to enjoy every game that comes on and make memories with my kids so that some day when my kids are grown and have families of their own, a baseball game will come on and they’ll know I’m still watching it, cheering right beside them.

Black Friday at My House

Black Friday holds many traditions in my house – and not one of them includes shopping. In fact, I don’t remember ever shopping on Black Friday, even as a child.

Around here, Black Friday is Family Day. The Christmas tree and decorations go up. There’s cookie baking, eggnog drinking, and lots of singing along with the Christmas CDs.

Black Friday is my favorite day of the year. Not for the deals I can score in the stores, but for the memories I create with my children.

our christmas treeOur Christmas tree is so special to me. Yes, it’s a fake tree. And it’s pre-lit. I did the real tree thing a couple of years ago and learned several valuable lessons:

  • The Boy Scouts will screw you over. I paid for one tree, tagged it, and sent my husband after it in his truck. {I had no way to get it home and hubby wasn’t with me.} Someone switched the tag and gave my husband a Charlie Brown-looking  tree, complete with gaping holes.
  • Do not leave your real tree in the front yard while you wait for your husband to bring it in – especially if you have cats. We brought the tree in and the entire house smelled like cat pee. That tree went back outside and a new real tree was put in its place. At least the tree that smelled like cat pee wasn’t the pretty tree I had originally picked out.
  • Real trees shed, and it’s not good if you have little ones. I spent more hours pulling pine needles out of Parker’s hands, hair, and clothes than I ever care to again.
  • Stringing lights on a tree is a divorce-worthy activity. My husband and I almost never fight, but putting lights on the tree about did us in.
  • Cut trees cause you to throw your money away. At the end of the season – which for us was the day after Christmas that year – you toss the tree with the rest of the trash. Money down the drain if you ask me.

So, there will be no more real trees in the Vinez household. I’ll stick with the beautiful pre-lit tree we got from Hayneedle for as long as I can.

Anyway, back to my story… years ago, I had a very fancy tree: beautiful ornaments, lots of sparkles. It was the perfect grown-up girl’s tree.

Then, I started having kids. When Ashley was a baby, I started the tradition that I would buy her a “special” ornament every year. When she’s all grown up and moves out, she’ll have a box of ornaments to take with her and start her tree.

Through the years, hubby and I have continued the tradition with each of our kids. Only now, there are no fancy decorations left. The “special” ornaments make up the entire tree, and I just love it. The ribbons and bows are no longer purple and silver, and now we’ve switched to red and green. I even made a new bow to top the tree:

christmas bow tree topper
I just love everything about our Christmas tree.

For the first time in years, my husband was home to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Black Friday with us. It was awesome. Being in the grocery business – and at a store that’s open every day of the year except Christmas Day – it’s rare for him to get any time off. But, he was off by 11 on Thanksgiving morning and didn’t have to go back until Saturday morning. Made me that much more thankful that our Black Friday festivities included him again.

Because he was home, we got to do something else that we’ve been wanting to do for a very long time…..

{Get your mind out of the gutter!}

We took a family photo! On our mantle, we have a family photo. The last one taken of us. The youngest child in the photo is Lucy, and she was just barely over a year old. {And she had NO hair!} It’s needed updated for the longest time, but finding someone to snap the photo can prove quite difficult. But, we did it! And all thanks to my wonderful niece Samantha!

Here’s the picture that will now grace the top of our mantle:

our family picture

All in all, Black Friday was the perfect day around here.

Things will start to get a little more festive here on the blog, too. Be watching for a new design very soon. 🙂 {By the way – if you want a new Christmas design for your blog, I’d love to help you. Just contact me.}

How did you spend your Black Friday?