Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Heart of a Champion....

Okay, queue the Nelly music....

Ain't no way they can stop me now
Cause I'm on my way, I can feel my ring coming
It's the blood of a champion, pumping
Deep inside my veins, too much pride to be running
I'ma get what I can and more, even if
My blood, my sweat, and my tears don't mean nothing
It's the heart of a champion (it's the heart of me)
(It's the heart of a..) in me

We survived a week of World Series play in Dallas.... just barely.  We had a blast, and best of all...

Check it!  World Series Champions, Baby!  Correction - That's the UNDEFEATED World Champions!  Way to go Elite! 

Some things happened at the tournament this past week which I won't go into here.  Suffice it to say that our boys were really tested this past week, and could have shut down as a result.  Instead, they remained focused, adapted and achieved their goal!  You might be able to knock these boys down, but to keep 'em down you better have some back up because they're gonna come back fighting with all they have.  I'm so proud of these boys. 

Okay, so let's start at the beginning.... the banner.  UGH!  We found out last-minute-like that we were supposed to have a homemade banner for the opening ceremonies - nothing commercially produced.  So, a few of us moms that live here locally or relatively close, were the primary banner workers.  Others would have been there if they could, but we have some kids that live almost 3 hours away - working on the banner wasn't really feasible for these moms.  They contributed in other ways.  In fact, one of the out-of-town moms suggested we do a bus, and it snowballed from there.  After us moms did the creative stuff, we had to get a few of our hubbys involved to help us.
I really need to figure out how to make a photo collage.
This is what we ended up with, and it's pretty stinkin' awesome, if I do say so.  As soon as we lifted this bad boy upright in the parking lot, folks started gathering and taking pictures.

I owe a big "thank you" to my brother, Bill and his mad artist skilz, for bringing our vision of a Razorback bus driver to life.  BTW - The boys named the bus driver Easton.  I've mentioned before that our team is comprised of boys from several cities in the Central Arkansas area.  Oddly enough, we have 2 boys from each city, and we were able to group the boys into each window that way.  The city is listed under each window along with each boy's name and a pennant that they created.

Our boys won first place in the banner contest, and received 20 tickets to a luxury suite at the Texas Rangers game.  How awesome is that??   Also thanks to one of our Elite moms and her connections, the boys received baseball caps and autographed baseball cards from Ian Kinsler while at the game. Suh-weet!

There was supposed to be a parade on the Rangers' field of teams playing in the World Series, but because of a potential rain storm, it was decided to cancel the parade. 

Because we had only 20 tickets to the luxury suite, we parents decided to divide our time between our regular seats and the suite.  I really wanted my husband to have this experience with his baby boy, so I sent Ben up 1st with Gabe.
Ben and Gabe.  Aren't they handsome?
Here's the view from the suite.   
We had to really zoom in on them from our regular seats.
Here we were in the suite, and zoomed in on our dads and one mom in the regular seats.  Hi, Steph!

The regular seats weren't bad at all.  In fact, they were good seats.  We could see better there than we could in the suite.  Except.... it was like 900 degrees in the regular seats versus the a/c in the suite.  Lucky for us in the regular seats the beer and margarita men made fairly frequent rounds. 

That $13 margarita went down really well.  If it weren't $13, trust me, I would have had one or two more.  I really needed to cool off, and this margarita did the trick, at least temporarily. 

My favorite thing about the suite?  A private (and clean) restroom just steps away - especially after that giant margarita.  Eh hem.... Needless to say, a great time was had by all.

Thank you, Chasity, for most of these awesome photos. 

Not exactly sure what they're doing here, but sure looks like they're partying to me. LOL!

On July 4th, we played the Championship game.  Two of our boys, Ty and my son Gabe, hit their first over-the-fence homeruns during World Series play.  Gabe hit his first homerun in the Championship game to get us on the board.  Gabe's homerun was quickly followed by homeruns from River and Gage.  Gage (aka Fathead), pictured above with Gabe, actually hit 2 homeruns in the Championship game.

Following our win, we went through the usual award ceremonies on the field.  Unfortunately, our head coach and one of our assistant coaches weren't with us for the Championship game; however, they were waiting for us in the parking lot.  As soon as the boys saw their head coach, they dropped their bags and took off running to him.  It was one of the sweetest things I'd ever seen.  I know I had tears flowing, and I think if Jason, the head coach, hadn't been wearing glasses, I would've seen tears in his eyes too.  Once the hugs were over and pictures had been taken with the whole team intact, they had to pile in for one final "ELITE!" before leaving the park.

More celebration at the hotel would soon follow.  

I apologize for the picture-heavy post, but hey!  It was the World Series!   I'm sure the next few posts will contain quite a few pictures as well, so consider yourself warned. 

Following the Championship game, Gage's mom posted a facebook message which I think sums it up pretty well.  I hope she doesn't mind me copying it.  She said, "Feeling completely blessed to be surrounded with some wonderful people, but also realizing that today we closed the book on our 1st complete season together as the Easton Elite 8AAA having accomplished more than we could have ever imagined.  Tomorrow we start a new chapter with our Elite family ... Easton Elite 9 Majors!  With you guys at our side, we are ready for whatever comes our way!"  Well said, Chas, well said!