Tag Archives: baseball

Winning in October

Can we just start this post with a big old Hip Hip Hooray Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Hakuna matata for the Cardinals heading to the World Series? October is so much more fun when playoff baseball includes your favorite team. Even more so when they clinch with a 9-0 score. Whew!

I’m especially excited because I completely forgot that back in February I placed a bet for the birds to win the pennant while in Vegas.

I’ve only placed a few legit bets in my life (with my own money) and they have all been on sports teams while visiting Vegas. My Dad gets credit because he usually asks me to do it and coaches me through the process. Completely overwhelming by the way. Anywho, as the old saying goes, if you place it, you will win. Not really. Sorry Kevin Costner. I do know it is if you build it, they will come but that doesn’t work for this blog post. Please note that I am not advocating gambling as it relates to your favorite sports team. Mine just so happened to have pretty decent odds. If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER. 


And let the record show that I purposely did not bet on them to win the World Series. I don’t want any money riding on that series. Just good ol’ fashioned watching each game through my hands because I get so nervous baseball. Please win. Please win. Please win. 

Speaking of ol’ fashioned, I traveled home this weekend to celebrate the birthday of one of my very best friends. I’m still on the mend from the marathon madness so I had time last week to whip up a batch of spooky pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies to bring with me.

pumpkin toffee chocolate chip cookies simply social blog

Per usual, Finn decided to photo bomb them. Kid loves him some pumpkin. I’ll share the recipe with you later this week. Don’t worry I was sure not to deliver the puppy-versions to my friend.

On Saturday morning, Finn and I went on a nature walk. He gathered sticks and I took pictures of pretty leaves. It was lovely.

autumn fall changing leaves springfield illinois simply social blog

greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, fall leaves, gsmd, simply social blog

I did a little morning crafting in an effort to represent a few friends who couldn’t make the party. It’s sort of a tradition we have that when someone can’t make it we put them on a stick. And by we I mean I. Only for big occasions of course. And since our pseudo-theme for this thing was harvest party, I figured a pair of scarecrows were as good a representation as any. And let me tell you, those scarecrow girls had fun on Saturday.

fall birthday party simply social blog

We had fun too. Starting at a local spot for lunch then riding the party school bus to a winery where we were treated with musical entertainment from the birthday girl’s brother-in-law, cake and later, a family strongman competition.

oakford winery birthday party simply social blog

The pictures don’t do it justice. Let’s just say my stomach still hurts from all the laughter. I can’t speak for the birthday girl but I’d say we all had a pretty nice weekend.

Here’s hoping you did too. If so, let me know in the comments. I get tired of talking to myself all the time.

Have a great week!

The perks of a long weekend

Bet you didn’t think Tuesday could feel like a Monday, did ya? Neither did I but here it is. The dreaded post-Labor Day Tuesday that feels like a Monday. At least we’re all in it together. Well, except for those smart people who took the whole week off. But they’ll be right there with us next Monday. You can trust that.

I’ve decided that all weekends should be four days long. And yes, I realize that this would then make my Tuesday feels like Monday situation a regular thing but I’m OK with that.

If not all weekends at least one per month. Let’s consider the benefits:

  • You would be able to visit your family more often (this is assuming you like spending time with your family. If not please skip to bullet #5)


  • And while visiting your family you would have time to pick up your nephews from school. And within minutes one would open the car door into the other one’s forehead. Aunt of the year material right there. I can’t make this stuff up.

baskin robbins ice cream

  • You could eat ice cream at 3:00 in the afternoon. Mostly because you planned to do it, but also because it’s 100 degrees and you feel bad that you are returning a damaged child.

springfield illinois running trail baseball game

  • You get to spend more time outside. Enjoying a hot and humid nice long run along a water-less beautiful trail and enjoying an even hotter lovely baseball game.

incredibly delicious vanilla strawberry cake, thumbprint cookies, young house love book, blueberry lemon poppyseed scones

  • A chance to celebrate with presents, birthday cake and thumbprint cookies. And if a holiday is not cause for the weekend, you can justify the cake because a 4-day weekend is a holiday in itself. You’re welcome.

greater swiss mountain dog finn

  • Naps.

sunset country roads illinois

  • More time to experience sunsets like this. A chance to roll the windows down (if your 4-day weekend occurs from May-October) and find beauty in the place you were raised.

So now that I’ve made you hot, hungry, tired and reconsidering children with my Tuesday that feels like a Monday post I’d like to remind you that tomorrow is….

And we can all find humor in that. Have a great week!

On new beginnings…

I was going to write this post about chicken tostadas. About making the most of the awesome weather we’ve finally been having here in Chicago and using your grill for a whole meal. Chicken tostadas with grilled corn, fresh guacamole, and homemade salsa based off of this Cooking Light recipe. 

grilled chicken tostadas guacamole and salsa

But I got too hungry and rushed through taking photos of the finished product. Photo FAIL.

So then I thought about giving you a recap of my long run this weekend, complete with a breathtaking sunrise, personal distance record (PDR) of 15 miles and a new group of friends. It’s amazing how much you can learn about a stranger in just over two hours. It’s also pretty cool to transition from fear and doubt to relief and excitement over a 15 mile span.

sunrise lake michigan chicago running

But let’s get serious, most of you could probably care less about running. Perhaps you like pictures of the beach though?

There’s always the topic of long-lasting rivalries. Like the Cubs and the Cardinals. Dividing families and Illinoisans each year from March to October.

cubs cardinals baseball wrigley field chicago

And this weekend was no exception. As a cardinals fan I was impressed. As a Chicagoan I was disgusted to see more red than blue on a perfect day in the friendly confines. Kudos to you cards fans for making the trip, but shame on you Chicago. The beer was cold and the sun was warm. No excuses. Play like a champion. oh wait, only the Cardinals seem to do that. (ba-dum-ching!)

Moving on.

The meaningful portion of this post came to me at the baptism of one of my little nieces (friend’s kids count as nieces, right?). As the priest spoke, I realized something about new beginnings. They don’t just come once a year. Not just once a season or even once a month. New beginnings are happening every day.

For those babies, yesterday was their formal welcome into the church.

baptism old st. pats chicago

For many children and young adults (nephew Owen included), today marks their first day of school.

first day of school second grade

And for the rest of us, new beginnings of our own. New jobs. New relationships. New challenges. New hope.

All to often, we let the holidays or seasons determine our need for change. If we recognize that each day comes with new opportunity, we are more likely to make a difference. Try to notice the new beginnings in your life this week.

As for me, I’m off to buy a trapper keeper and a 64-count box of crayons.

crayola crayons 64 count box

I hope they have mac n’ cheese yellow!

Have a good week!

Take me out to the ball game

So I missed What I ate Wednesday but I have a good excuse. I took the afternoon off and headed up to Wrigley for a cubs/cards match-up. I always try to save my luck for when they are in town and it came through this week with 4th row seats and gorgeous weather. There’s just something about being at Wrigley in the middle of the day that makes you  feel like your cheating the system. And it’s awesome.

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Beautiful day for a ball game! Go cards!

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What did I eat Wednesday?

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Baseball season.

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Peanuts. Salted in-shell peanuts. And lots of them. Welcome to baseball season folks! Growing up my dad and I used to head to Lanphier Park to watch the minor league cardinals affiliate, a bag or two of salted in shell peanuts in tow. After all, a good game is determined as much by the layer of shells under your feet as the runs scored.

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And lucky for me the Cardinals pulled out a win. I forget how much better  it is to watch live baseball than on television. The crack of the bat, the smell of hot dogs and the look of a meticulously-groomed field. And if that weren’t enough, the Duck Dynasty lookalikes seated next to us were pretty entertaining as well.

greater swiss mountain dog puppy

What Finn ate Wednesday Tuesday. A tennis ball. Nearly a whole one. Swallowed it in one full gulp before I could get my hand down his throat to remove it.

We interrupt this blog post for a dog owner rant:

I was thoroughly annoyed at the owner who was letting his dog lay in the middle of the dog park shredding tennis balls into giant chunks Tuesday night. He wasn’t playing with any dogs. Just laying there letting the rubber fly. Finn of course trotted right over to the destruction and snatched up a piece within seconds. I managed to get the first piece away from him but before I knew it he had another (larger) one and down the hatch it went. I equate situations like this to dropping a bag of marbles in front of a group of babies. Of course some of the kids will play nicely with the marbles, but it’s only a matter of time before one or all plop those suckers right in their mouth.

The moral of the story is that some weeks you’re on track and some weeks you’re not. And that’s OK.  Unless you’re eating foreign objects and in that case it’s not.

And so I add tennis ball to the unique list of non-food items my puppy has ingested in the past 10 months:

  • Fully intact pressed rawhide bone
  • 5-7 wooden letter stamps (This is why your Christmas gift tags said “To and “Fro”)
  • Cookbook covers (who needs ’em)
  • 1/3 stuffing from bed he was obviously done with
  • Enough bark to wood-chip a small garden
  • Half of an entry mat-unwoven
  • NEW ENTRY: Tennis Ball

To read more about the fun things my dog eats click here. Otherwise enjoy the weekend and I’ll hopefully have some real food to share for Mother’s Day.