My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Memories’

My Summer in Milwaukee (in pictures)

My last night in Wisconsin is most definitely bittersweet. I had SUCH an amazing time; I learned so much working at the library, met some incredible people, got to reconnect with old friends and even landed a pretty darn amazing job out of the whole thing–the sprinkles on top of the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the hot fudge sundae that has been the last few months.

The summer here may be over, but these pictures, and memories, with last forever!

Let the summer begin! ROAD TRIP!!

Let the summer begin! ROAD TRIP!!

HEELLLLLOOOO MILWAUKEE!!

HEELLLLLOOOO MILWAUKEE!!

You can't NOT have a great day when you get to drive by this beauty every morning on your way to work ;)

You can’t NOT have a great day when you get to drive by this beauty every morning on your way to work 😉

Oh hey, Jim Gaffigan. Whay's up?

Oh hey, Jim Gaffigan. What’s up?

His hero. HIS HERO! That's what's up ;)

His hero. HIS HERO! That’s what’s up 😉

Heaven on a spoon. You know you have a problem when the staff at Kopp's begins to call you by your first name, Norm from Cheers style. SO GOOD!

Heaven on a spoon. You know you have a problem when the staff at Kopp’s begins to call you by your first name, Norm from Cheers style. SO GOOD!

My trip to the windy city started off with a license plate show-down. It's BRWRGRL for the win!

My trip to the windy city started off with a license plate show-down. It’s BRWRGRL for the win!

First time American Library Association Conference exhibitor and attendee. What an experience! A bookworm's mecca!

First time American Library Association Conference exhibitor and attendee. What an experience! A bookworm’s mecca!

This is what happens when you let librarians out of their cages: sheer chaos.

This is what happens when you let librarians out of their cages: sheer chaos.

Free pre-release Nick Sparks book? Why I don't mind if I do ;)

Free pre-release Nick Sparks book? Why I don’t mind if I do 😉

Just my BFF Giada and I hanging out, swapping lasagna recipes. You know, the usual.

Just my BFF Giada and I hanging out, swapping lasagna recipes. You know, the usual.

A visit to Chicago is not complete without a pit stop (or two) to Giordano's Pizza. Heaven on a plate.

A visit to Chicago is not complete without a pit stop (or two) to Giordano’s Pizza. Heaven on a plate.

Don't worry. I got this.

Don’t worry. I got this.

Fourth of July sparklies :)

Fourth of July sparklies 🙂

Just another day on the job as a children's librarian: story time prep.

Just another day on the job as a children’s librarian: story time prep.

Bastille Day = all you can eat beignets = one happy Wendi!

Bastille Day = all you can eat beignets = one happy Wendi!

18

"Don't worry about a thing, 'cause everything little thing is gonna be all right."

“Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause everything little thing is gonna be all right.”

Zoo trip with the lovely Mary S! Ignore how incredibly pale I am next to this tanner than tan beauty.

Zoo trip with the lovely Mary S! Ignore how incredibly pale I am next to this tanner than tan beauty.

I think my girl Stephanie has got this staring contest in the bag. What do you think?

I think my girl Stephanie has got this staring contest in the bag. What do you think?

 

My fellow librarian rock stars. I owe so much to these guys!

My fellow librarian rock stars. I owe so much to these guys!

My summer mom, miss Arlyne Becker. I love her like no other and am so thankful for everything that she has done for me. One of the biggest hearts of anyone, right there ;)

My summer mom, miss Arlyne Becker. I love her like no other and am so thankful for everything that she has done for me. One of the biggest hearts of anyone, right there 😉

Did a lot of this. And a lot of that.

Did a lot of this. And a lot of that.

I cannot for the life of me get this expression off of my face. And I am pretty alright with that fact.

I cannot for the life of me get this expression off of my face. And I am pretty alright with that fact.

The most beautiful ending to the most amazing summer in Wisconsin ever!

The most beautiful ending to the most amazing summer in Wisconsin ever!

A huge thank you and virtual bear hug to my amazing friends and family! Your well wishes and thoughtful messages truly mean the world to me. A permanently affixed smile on my face is a pretty darn good problem to have 😉

Pond de Replay

Hey guys!

Let’s talk music. One of the things that I am most passionate about it music; sing or play an instrument I cannot do but that doesn’t stop me from belting out my favorite songs at the drop of a hat or rocking a pretty wicked air guitar every now and then. I have been known to break into song in the shower, in the car, on the bus or even the airplane — that crazy girl you heard singing a more than slighty off-key version of Journey‘s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, yeah…that was probably yours truly. You see, I have a terribly hard time trying not to sing out loud when jamming to my favorite tunes that it can cause some serious stares and thoughts of “oh-my-stars-she-is-SO-not-American-Idol-material from onlookers–it’s gotten to the point where I almost considered no longer listening to my i-pod in public…almost.

I love almost all types of music (my pod is loaded with everything from classic rock go-tos like Queen, Chicago, Journey and Styxx, rap and hard metal crooners like Eminem, Jay-Z, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, current pop idols like Rihanna, The Fray and even, I will admit, a little Britney, to even a melting pot of country, jazz, hip-hop and alternative). One of the things that make music so great is that it is ever-changing, ever evolving and growing. It is so much fun discovering new bands, songs, and genres of tunage to rock out to.

One of the other things I like about music is how it can evoke emotion; it can pump you up for a run or the big game (think the Rocky theme song ‘Eye of the Tiger’…gets me every time), it can calm and relax you after a crazy day in the office or school (a bit of Enya or Five For Fighting perhaps?), it can set the mood for date night (guys, just in case you are wondering, a little Barry White never hurts) and can make scary movies even more scarier (try watching a horror movie without the sound–it’s the freaky soundtrack that totally makes the film, acting as a precursor to what is about to happen that will make you scream like a little girl and cover your eyes–when you take the music out, the scary goes right along with it).

Have you ever noticed too how music can sort of act as a scrapbook, a record of songs and lyrics, guitar strums and drum beats that take you back to certain key moments in your life?

As I was jamming to my i-pod the other day, I seemed to have pulled a Marty McFly, stepping into my time-machine of a Dalorian (such an awesome care by the way!). Each song that came blaring through my headphones took me back to a different point in my life, a memory of time and place. I was no longer kicking back on my Popason chair in my bedroom…

  • Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)-I was 2, at my Grandma and Grandpa Hansen’s house, wearing just a pair of Huggies and shaking my groove thang like nobody’s business (sadly, there is video-taped proof of such occurrences).
  • Surfin’ USA (The Beach Boys)-I was 5, couch surfing with my cousin Aaron as we listened to the Beach Boys record, vinyl that is.
  • You’re the Inspiration (Chicago), I Would Do Anything For Love (Meatloaf), Mr. Roboto (Styxx), Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd), Don’t Stop Believing (Journey), We are the Champions (Queen)- I was in the car at the wee age of 6, road tripping to South Dakota with the rest of my family. One of my dad’s favorite bands was Chicago (side note: his former bosses brother is the sax player! How cool is that?!) and he played that cassette tape over and over and over. I am surprised that the tape didn’t combust. I started out earplugging myself, trying to ignore the sounds omitting from the stereo that my dad called ‘music’ but after over 20 hours in the car, I actually was  jamming along with him, hairbrush microphone and everything. I really want to thank my parents for opening up such a great world of musical tastes to me because without their fondness of amazing artists like Journey, Styxx, Queen, Chicago, Meatloaf and Pink Floyd, I wouldn’t have them in my amazing musical library!
  • I Belive I Can Fly (R. Kelly)-I was 10. My best friends Jillian and Jana, along with my sister Lindsay were leaping from chair to chair, couch to couch, spreading our wings and ‘flying’. Space Jam was a movie that was so underrated in my opinion.
  • My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)-I was twelve, rollerblading hand-in-hand with my first crush of all crushes…one Mr. Jason Kopp. It was our class’ end-of-the-year party at the coolest place in all of Wausau…High Roller. When the lights went down and the music slowed, the girls got in the center of the rink and the guys skated around, looking for a partner. He rolled right on over to me, took my hand and said, “Will you skate with me?” Celine Dion, you really know how to make a girl’s heart flutter.
  • Hallelujah (Canadian Tenors)-I was 14, sitting in a church pew alongside my family and friends, celebrating the life of my best friend, my hero, my late Grandma Hansen. She was a women who lived each day to the fullest, who always had a smile on her face no matter how terrible she felt because of her cancer or arthritis. She was strong and passionate and funny and caring (and knew how to make on heck of a chocolate chip cookie).
  • Kiss the Rain (Billie Myers)-I was 15, laying in bed listening to 95.5’s Top 9 at 9. This was the number one sing for eight straight weeks. I. Loved. It!
  • Tubthumpin’ (Chumba Womba), Sk8r Boi (Avril Levigne), All Star (Smash Mouth), Where’s the Love (Hanson)-I was 16 and just got my driver’s license, going out on my first solo ride in my pimped out mini-van (and when I say pimped out, I mean pimped out!). There is nothing like the freedom of the road, just you, the wind and your hair (made possible from the roll-down windows) and the am/fam radio blasting!
  • Gold Digger (Kanye West and Jamie Foxx), Lose Control (Missy Eliot and Ciara), Sugar We’re Going Down (Fallout Boy), Since You’ve Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)-I was 18 and off on my own for the very first, starting the next chapter of my life in…college. Scary? A little bit. Exciting? You bet your peanut butter and jelly sandwich it was! Those four years were some of the  best years of my life!
  • Say it Ain’t So (Blink 182)-I was 21…and LEGAL! Go  on with my bad self (if bad self means hitting up the bar with my aunt and mom, only to order a margarita, take a sip and spit it right out because it was so nasty…I am just not an alcohol fan. I instead chose to proceed to get ‘drunk’ on ice cream).
  • New York (Jay-Z and Alica Keyes), Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Cast of Lion King on Broadway)-I was 22 and in the BIG APPLE with my mom and sister for the Christmas holiday. It was amazing to see the city full of lights and cheer, packages and decorated trees. It was also my first time seeing a Broadway PLay (The Lion King = SOOOOO GOOD!!!!) on Broadway. That trip will go down in the books as one of the best trips I have ever taken!
  • Have a Nice Day (Bon Jovi)-I was 23 and had landed my first big-girl job. I was moving to Milwaukee. I was embarking on a crazy but exciting new adventure and I was over-the-moon thrilled at what opportunities lay before me (not to mention, I was back in Brewer territory).
  • Better Days (Goo Goo Dolls)-I was 24 and was unexpectedly let go from my first big-girl job. I was heart-broken but not giving up. I decided to take a different path on the road I was traveling, head on back to school and finally do what I had always wanted to do…TEACH!

And that was just a snippet of my first play list!

Music really is so much more than lyrics and instruments, vocals and the beat. It can bring people together. It can set a mood and feeling and it can even take you on a hop-skip-and-jump down memory lane, encompassing experiences and emotions from the past, almost as if you were really looking at a photograph. If that’s not powerful, I don’t know what is.

On that (musical) note…

Pond de replay Mr. DJ 🙂

Things I Miss About Being 13

Ahh to be 13 again…

A time when you’ve graduated from being a kid, but not quite a bonified adult yet. An age of innocence, of awkwardness, of discovery and excitement. When I was 13, I remember thinking that 20, or  being in my 20’s, was soooo old, ancient even. Now, I can’t help but laugh at that fact. I still feel so young, despite where I am in my life and everything that I have accomplished thus far. I think maybe the reason I feel so young is because there is still so much that I want to see and do and experience. I love being an adult, I really do, but there are still a lot of things about being a kid, or teenager, that were pretty darn great.

1. The magical deliciousness that was Pop Rocks.

2.TGIF: When Friday night TV was actually good! Who could forget Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Step By Step, Dinosaurs (not the baby! Not the baby!), Family Matters and Full House?

3. Flare Jeans, Chuck Taylors, butterfly hair clips and hot pink nail polish (I have no fashion sense now and apparently, I didn’t back then haha)

4. Being oblivious to the weather.

5. Looking forward, not looking back.

6. Blanket forts. Tree forts. Leaf forts. Snow forts

7. Spending summer nights catching fireflies in my backyard.

8. Gel Pens.

9. Still being considered a ‘kid’ when getting tickets to the movies, theme parks, zoos, etc. (discounted prices, baby!)

10. Being clueless about being clueless.

11. When going ‘out’ meant eating lunch with my said ‘boyfriend’, holding his hand, and having my parents drive us to the movies or roller skating rink (can I get a WHAT-WHAT for High Roller!?)

12. Still being naive to think that the world was a great place, full of many adventures and possibilities, and that nothing bad could ever happen. Not to say that the world isn’t a great place, it just is a little more complicated than I once thought.

13. Fishing trips with my dad.

14. Mad baking sessions with my mom.

15. LiveStrong bracelets.

16. Lisa Frank trapper keepers.

17. Being able to eat anything I wanted without feeling an ounce of guilt (although I try to not let that stop me now).

18. Just at the cut-off mark for being able to order off the kids’ menu–which by the way, I have a dino-sized bone to pick. I mean, how else am I going to get a coloring sheet, free cookie and my chicken nugget fix from time to time? I seriously think restaurants need to start rethinking their adult menus and make a few adjustments…at least the free cookie.

19. Life staring me boldly in the face…and me staring right  back.

20. My Grandma Hansen–one of the best ladies I knew and will ever know

21. Epic Super Soaker battles

22. Car pooling to school with one miss Britney Doyle (and the endless amounts of Big Apple Bagels we would devour)

23. Thinking that going to bed at midnight was late.

24. Being attached to the hip by my best friends Keri and Jenna…my sistas from anotha mista, then and forever!

25. Endless possibilities.

Even though I may not be 13 anymore, doesn’t mean I can’t live like I’m 13 every once in a while, nor should it prevent you from doing the same. I believe that there is an inner 13-year-old dork inside of all of us and from time to time, it is quite all right to let him or her out. Have a water gun fight with your friends, make a date to bake some cookies with your mom, check out old reruns of Boy Meets WOrld on YouTube and gosh darn it, go and buy yourself an ice cream sundae…and eat every last bite. It is important to not take life too seriously and remember to have fun every once in a while. Make sure that twenty years from now when you look back at this time in your life, you have a giant list of things you ‘miss about being…’, just like I have right now.

Have a great Friday guys!

Question of the day? What do you miss most about being 13?

The Only Birthday Blizzard I Want is From DQ!

Happy birthday to me 🙂

Goodness gracious, me oh my how time flies! I can’t believe that I am already the big 2-4! First and foremost, I want to thank all of my friends and family (the best in the world, I might add) for making it such a great day. All of your messages and kind words couldn’t have made for a better present (although…throwing in some chocolate wouldn’t have hurt…just saying). It was extra special because I woke up to this lovely sight….

Can you believe it? Sadly, I can. This beautiful spring day got me thinking about past birthdays of yesteryear where other weird weather happenings occurred (and believe you me, it runs the full spectrum!). The last time it snowed (yes…today wasn’t the only time this has happened) was when I turned six. My little heart was crushed when my all-out mini-golf extravaganza (complete with Pink Power Ranger cupcakes and goody bags) had to be swapped at the last-minute to the bowling ally due to six inches of the fluffy white stuff haven fallen. I still to this day haven’t attempted another putt-putt party for fear of another disastrous cancellation (oh, the scars!).

On my 12th birthday, there was record April heat…98 degree record heat! This was the year I was fascinated by pirates and treasure maps (and can you blame me? Who didn’t or still doesn’t want to be a pirate, especially if you get to hang out with swash-buckling cohorts like one mister Johnny dep and Orlando Bloom?). I had a balls-to-the-wall scavenger hunt planned at one of the local parks. It wasn’t too terribly bad except for the fact that most of the ‘buried treasure’ consisted of mini Snickers, Kit Kats, and Peanut Butter Cups which all turned into mush under the hot, hot sun. And don’t even remind me of the ice cream cake snafu. The poor thing didn’t stand a chance.When I turned 18, there was a freak tornado outbreak. We were at my little sister’s spring musical at her elementary school when the sky turned a nasty shade of green and we were subjected to the blaring wales of the tornado sirens. I felt so bad for the violinists and flutists on stage at the time who were no match for the ear-numbing noise (but they were the biggest little troopers that I ever did see–they played their hearts out, going down with the ship if you will–that is until we were all told to take precautionary safety measures and head to a ‘safe place’). We ended up spending about two hours in the crowded boys locker room, waiting out the storm. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a deathly fear of tornadoes. DEATHLY! I have never actually been in one (thank goodness), but have come pretty close a number of times. That night, I think I was more scared than the third graders who sat beside me in the sweaty, smelly locker cubicle. I remember there was the cutest little boy that you ever did meet who crouched next to me on the cold, tile floor. I think he could sense how scared I really was (the fact that my head was in my hands and I was shaking like a salt shaker probably was a straight giveaway). He looked up at me with the sweetest eyes and said to me with a sincerity that I will never forget, “Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be okay. Wanna play tic-tac-toe?” We proceeded to play six rousing games, he kicking my bum in all of them (err…letting him win was the least I could do after what he did for me).When I turned 21, there was another weird weather event, probably one of the most strange because it is something that never, ever happens in this neck of the woods. I was heading down to Milwaukee (I was going to school up in Menomonie at the time) to meet  my mom and aunt for a girls’ weekend. My mom was driving up from GA and stayed the night in northern IL. The morning she was set to leave for Miltown, she was awoken by an earthquake. Yes, an earthquake. Thankfully it wasn’t very big and no one was hurt, but it shook up everyone who was involved(pun intended). It also made for quite the story to tell.

Oh yes, I have had some very interesting birthdays. But you know what, no matter how crazy or ridiculous they got, they were great and I wouldn’t have traded them for anything in the world.  I was lucky enough to be surrounded by great friends and family who were right there beside me in all of the craziness. Sometimes, you just have to laugh, take hold of the little things that make you smile and appreciate what is  happening before you. My putt-putt party may have been snowed out but I went on that day to bowl the game of my life, with a pretty, glittery ball no less. We fought against the beaming sun that day in the park but we ended up having an epic water balloon fight that will go down in the history books. Tornados come and go but making lasting friendships with a tic-tac-toe novis last forever. An earthquake might shake you up a bit, but it’s got nothing on the shaking that went into my very first legal martini (which I so graciously took one sip of and declared alcohol to be DISGUSTING! Blech!).

I guess the point of all of this is to not focus on what may be going wrong with a situation, but on what is going right instead. I sincerely look forward to another 24, 48, 80 years of note-worthy and epic birthdays, no matter what the weatherman’s forecasts may  be.

Now if you excuse me, I am going to sink my teeth into an unmelted and too-good-for-words piece of ice cream cake (the positive side to it being cold out…solid cake preservation 🙂 )

Question of the day: What is one of your more memorable crazy birthdays?

Spin City

“I want to ride my BICYCLE, I want to ride my bike…”

Seemed only fitting  😉

Have any of you ever taken a spin class? If not, let me tell you, it’s an experience…

Yesterday, I decided to wake up at the crack of dawn, albeit, before the crack of dawn, to join some of my friends for a spin class. I had received a free weeks pass at a gym a few blocks from work. I had always wanted to try it out; I thought it would be a lot of fun and really challenging–something I’m always up for. If Kelly Ripa can do it, so can I, right? Plus, we were all going  to grab breakfast afterwards and anyone who knows me knows that I could never turn down free food.

When we got there, we were told that we could either buy spin shoes (who knew that there were special shoes just for spin class) or rent them. I decided to rent them because I didn’t want to fork over $40 (even though they were so cute…think bowling shoes on acid…that can serve as moon shoes too…oh yeah baby, they were that hot!). Speaking of bowling and shoes and bowling and all matters of rented footwear, I never understood the whole concept of ‘renting’ shoes. I try not to think about it too much because the actual idea of wearing a pair of sneakers that someone else had just had their smelly, nasty, grody toes in is so terribly gross. I wonder what people from other countries think when they go bowling for the first time here. “They have shoes, yet they choose to pay to wear another pair that others have worn/sweated in, are usually too big or two small for their feet resulting in major slippage or blisters, and are so bright, they could direct air traffic.” Yupp, that’s about it.After we got decked out in our spiffy shoes, we were asked if we brought water with us. I usually bring a water bottle with me to the gym, but it must have slipped my mind this morning (I had a hard enough time remembering to put on matching socks let alone remember to grab aqua for myself–come to think of it, I wore one Nike sock and one Adidas…oops). The lady recommend we buy a certain water bottle that was sold there at the gym. I wanted to go for the el-cheapo $.99 plastic bottle per usual but she highly suggested the nippled bottle for a staggering $2.99 (yes I said $2.99 for water and yes I said nippled). I followed suit with the rest of my cohorts and bought the fancy bottle (I was so glad I did because when you are riding, it is almost impossible to lift your hands off the bike handles, let alone try to raise and tip back a bottle of water–nippled water bottles–I think I’m a fan).We got there just in time to grab our bikes and get ready for the class to start. The reason why we had to get special shoes was because we actually got strapped onto our bike. Strapped. As in can’t get off-stuck-glued-help me Lord-here we go strapped. This in itself made me kind of  nervous. Now if you’ve never been to a spinning class  before, let me set the scene for you…

Imagine a whole bunch of exercise bikes lined up inside a studio. Riders are on each one, spinning the pedals at a rapid pace. The lights are turned down, pumped up music fills the air, and a way-too peppy instructor with a headset sits atop a lead bike, calling out commands.

“Climb out of the saddle,” she barks at the class. “Big hill coming!” I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to smack that lady (which could constitute as part of  my workout I suppose).

The riders rise as one, pedals spinning faster as they grimace with exertion, sweat dripping off their bodies.

This is what I was witnessing. In all fairness, I was having a pretty good time through most of the class. I LOVED the tunage that they played (and am considering going back just to get the list to put on my i-tunes) and the flashing lights and real scene graphics were so cool–it looked like you were actually riding in San Fransisco up the winding hills or through the streets of New York. About 2/3 of the way through the 45 minute class however, that all changed. First of all, I was sweating like a pig. Seriously, it was not pretty. I was sweating in places I didn’t think people could sweat. Sweat tears were dripping down my face and into my eyes, making it hard to see. To add to this loveliness, I had to pee. Bad. I guess that water rent right through  me because I couldn’t peddle another step. I trid getting off the bike but forgot I was strapped in. I was trying my darndest to get free from the bike but couldn’t for the life of me figure out how it was done. I must have looked like I was in need of some assistance because Drill Sergant Sue, the class instructor/cheerleader Barbie actually got off her bike and came over to help. How embarrassing. And to make matter worse, all she did was simply lift my feet back and up an inch and I was off the bike. I acted very cool and collected on my way out of the studio, but once I hit the hallway, I ran like the wind to the nearest bathroom (which was clear across the gym…have you ever tried running when your bladder is about to explode? Not an easy task or a graceful one at that).

Once I got back, I was lighter and ready to tackle the last few minutes of riding (which was a doosy…up down, up down, peddle peddle peddle, up down, up down, SPRINT! I thought my legs and butt were literally going to fall off, right then and there). I finished strong though and actually had a pretty good time. Take that, miss Ripa! I too am a spin masta…okay,  maybe that’s going too far, but I did have fun and survived…my goals for the class). 

In the end, I think I will give spinning another shot (once I regain feeling in my legs and butt that is). If I were to offer any words of advice for those who are considering trying out a class for yourself:

Wear light and loose clothing.

Get to class a bit early so you can get settled.

Go with the nipple.

And for goodness sakes…pee beforehand!

But the best part of the class by far…

Now this I would do again (and again and again and again)  🙂

Question of the day? Did you ever have an embarrassing gym incident happen to you?

I’ve Got the Brewers in My Blood

Only 4 days, 14 hours, 28 minutes, and 32, 31, 30…seconds until the greatest day in the world….opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers!!! And only 8 more days until I am sitting at Miller park, hot dog in one hand, glove on the other, ready to cheer on my team to their first home game victory of the season. But it’s not like I am counting or anything.

To say that I am an uber Brewers fan would be an uber understatement as seen by the somewhat outlandish amounts of paraphernalia I have (speaking of which, I could use another hat).You see, I basically grew up loving the team, having seen my very first game at the wee age of 5. It was such a special and ground-breaking day. I had seen many a game on tv before, but this was my first time taking it all in live, in person, and I was sooooo excited! Back then, the Brewers played at County Stadium–it didn’t have all the bells and whistles like Miller Park does today, but it definitely had charm and character. I remember walking hand-in-hand with my dad so as not to get lost in the hustle and bustle of fans that were there as well to take in the magic that is the game of baseball.

Upon entering the stadium seats and taking my first view of the magnificent ball field that lay before me, I was in awe. The outfield was so green, the infield perfectly raked and ready for the players to make their mark. I had an overwhelming feeling of sensory overload: the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, fresh-cut grass and leather mits filled the air, the sounds of fans cheering, yelling and clapping played like music to my ears and there was a general feeling of togetherness and fortitude among the people surrounding me. It was then that I fell in love with the Brewers–I guess you could say it was love at first bat. It wasn’t just the Brewers though that I fell in love with, but the game of baseball itself. There is a reason why it is called America’s favorite pastime; why for generations, people young and old flock to baseball stadiums everywhere to take in a game, to see the excitement, to feel the thrill of competition, the joy of winning and the disappoint of defeat. There are no words to describe the first time you see a home run, a grand slam, a strikeout or a no-hitter. It may be just a game, but it is a game that will  leave you breathless with anticipation, of excitement, of loyalty and hope. If you have never been to a game, I strongly urge you to go; there really is nothing quite like it. One thing I have always wanted to take a summer and travel around the country, following the Crew, taking in a game at every stadium and field in the U.S. There is so much history and character found in these stadiums, not to mention the food–hot dogs aren’t the only things they are serving up these days. From gourmet steaks and sushi to delectable bananas foster and cheesecake, stadiums everywhere are now offering fans a first-class dining experience to go with their game. How crazy is that? If you ask me, I still prefer a good ‘ol tube steak smothered in ketchup 🙂 

So as another season draws upon us and we get ready to lace up our cleats, dust off our old gloves, and practice our bat swings, I ask you to have fun. Baseball is a game that brings together people from all different backgrounds, ages, race, ethnicities and beliefs. For one game, a mere 9 innings, 3 hours, we are all the same. We are bonded by a team, by a hope and a faith that they will be victorious. Have fun. Grab your mom, your dad, your sister or brother. Grab your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or girlfriend. Grab your best friend or roommate. One of the things that makes this game so much fun, so meaningful is not just the game, but who you watch it with. The season is upon us my friends.

Go Brewers!

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