Thursday, February 9, 2012

When One Door Closes another Door Opens

*** I wrote this out and pasted it in here so sorry it's formatted weird :) If you are here to see pictures of the kids i'll have some up soon!***
I’m not going to lie. The last five months since Derrik’s
release have not been easy. I debated whether to write about how we felt and
dealt with it for a while now, and wasn’t sure if it was meant for public eyes.
This blog is our family journal though. I look back at past posts all the time
and smile at how far we have come. Although we are far from recovering
post-release, we have come such a long way! I think every minor league player
and there family have to think “what if we got released?”, “what’s our Plan
B?”, or “What would life be like without baseball?” We always discussed it, and
tried to keep an open mind, especially when Derrik went under the knife for
Tommy John #2. I guess we just never thought it would come so soon. We knew he
might not ever come back after the surgeries, but we definitely always thought
he’d be given a fair chance. And I truly believe the chance he was given was
NOT fair by any means!! A month and a half after rehab for two years is not
sufficient, especially since Derrik was playing very decent and felt great last
summer. Unfortunately no matter how many times I run everything that happened
that day through my head the outcome isn’t going to change. Derrik was released
and from that day forward nothing having to do with the Cincinnati Reds had
anything to do with us. It was a weird feeling. I questioned whether to take
our Reds blanket off the couch and burn it, whether I should put the Reds
ornament we have on our Christmas tree this year, and whether or not I should
remove myself from the baseball wives groups that are blowing up my Facebook
page with girls excited to be heading to spring training in the coming weeks.
It all hurts because so much of our lives were baseball and the Reds ever since
I’ve known Derrik. I can say we still proudly cuddle under the Reds blanket
every night, the ornament was still hanging on our tree, and I just simply made
it so all those pesky notifications don’t come to me on Facebook, but I can’t
bring myself to delete myself from those groups because a part of me still
longs to belong to them. Not to mention we still wear their clothes as well. I
mean we honestly have fifty pairs of Reds gym shorts and probably twice as many
shirts. We’d have to walk around in the nude at home if we boycotted their
clothes! I actually have a Sarasota Reds shirt on as I type this. My feeling is
that when I think of the Reds I shouldn’t think of some business man who had to
make a decision to cut Derrik as a business transaction. I instead look at is
as an amazing time period in our lives. One we will always look back on with a
ton of great memories. We traveled to so many amazing places, met some of our
best friends, had both of our babies while away from home because of baseball,
and spent our first few years of marriage on the road traveling. I wouldn’t
have had it any other way, but that door is closed for us now.

Our goal when
Derrik was released was to just get him back home to us, get settled, find him
a job that paid our bills for the time being, and take a deep breath. Then
after that we would evaluate things. And evaluate we did. Over and over and
over again! We have gone back and forth on so many things this off season (I
should probably stop referring to our lives in terms of baseball seasons at
some point?), and luckily have managed to stay on the same page for the most
part through it all. There were some not so great days, and I’m sure we have
plenty more to come. The bottom line for us though is we love each other, and
to always do what is best for our family and the boys. We have tried to look at the positives in our
lives as well. We do have two amazingly sweet boys that can put a smile on our
face even when the world might feel like it is crumbling down at points. With
all the negative things in this thing we call life going on around us, we were
enjoying the smaller things in life. Ryder started school this year, played on
his first t-ball team, has so many friends at school and through my friends,
got to enjoy the holidays with family around, and is now doing amazing on his
basketball team. Landon changes every single day, and is the sweetest little
baby in the world. When we look back on this time in our lives a few years from
now that is what we will truly remember.

So where does that leave us now? Well the phone is not
ringing when it comes to baseball. We had said if the opportunity presented
itself with baseball that Derrik would give it one last shot and give it all he
had. Unfortunately though, it looks as though that opportunity isn’t going to
present itself to him. I think it silently is breaking both mine and Derrik’s
hearts, and we do discuss it, but we are also really excited about some new
opportunities we have coming our way.

So without further ado, what have we been up to? We got
our own place! Yes, we moved over the weekend. Nothing spectacular, but we are
SO excited to have our own home. It’s a three bedroom condo in Fort Myers.
Living with my parents has been great, and we would have never made it without
their generosity to put us up for the past five months (seven with the boys and
me). It is so nice to see my family every single day, to have their help around
the house, to share laundry chores, and never have to cook haha, but we felt it
was time for us to get our own place. It makes my parents and sisters sad, and
me as well, but I think it will be good for all of us. I look forward to
actually living in the same town as my family, but not having to share a
bathroom with them. We weighed our
options over and over and over again with this decision. It will make things
tight for us financially, but there are some positives as well. Landon
desperately needed his own room, it cuts down on some driving for us, and it’ll
be good for us to live as our own family of four. Hailey was telling me how
this made her sad the other morning. I told her that this is the normal way
families do things. We aren’t supposed to live on the other side of the country
or across the hall, and she told me, “but Sissy our family isn’t normal!” Of
course that broke my heart, but little does she know one of my reasons to move
out is so she begs me for the boys to spend the night so I can have a night to
myself!! They watch the boys all the time, and I am so grateful for this, but
if I do get a night out I still have to wake up in the morning with them. This
way the girls have to get up with them! It’s my plan behind this all! We got
the keys last Wednesday, moved all the big furniture on Friday, and I have been
doing my best to get unpacked all week. I’d say we are 90% settled. We still
have a few things at my parents, a few of those leftover boxes you sort of just
wish would disappear to unpack, and need to hang the pictures and TV’s. The
boys have adjusted amazing! They both have slept great in their rooms, and have
even been sleeping later than normal.

What’s next? Oh yeah, I got a job! Not only did I get a
job, but I am beyond thrilled about it!! We had discussed our options as far as
me working. It is hard to find a job that I would actually make money after
putting the boys in daycare so we had pretty much decided against it for a
while. Of course this leaves Derrik working around 70 hours a week and
exhausted. I’ve offered to find a night time job, and he can stay home with the
boys. Luckily he would rather work, and I of course would rather be watching
after my little guys. Derrik had been pushing me to try to do some photography
on the side with friends and family, or maybe a Craigslist ad offering
photography services for cheap, but I just wasn’t confident enough in what I
know. I was on Craigslist the other day and saw a photography company is
looking for an amateur that they can train. I put together a cover letter, a
resume, and a photography slide show with some of my shots of the boys, and
submitted it. I wasn’t expecting anything out of it, but, to my surprise, was
asked to go in for an interview after just a day. I mean really? Was it that
simple? I looked for one day? If you don’t believe in divine intervention I’m
pretty sure you should! I went to the interview, and went to a wedding with the
owner that Saturday to follow her around to see what she does. I even got to
shoot quite a bit throughout the night! The owner, Krista, told me that my
pictures came out great. She had told me she would work on the composition of
the pictures first and how to get a great shot. To my surprise, she had nothing
at all to correct me on, and now we will start working on how to get the camera
to do what I want it to do. What a dream come true! I have tried to self-teach
myself the camera quite a few times and usually quit ten minutes in because I
get so confused and frustrated. Last night I went and observed an engagement
session, and I have quite a few more things over the next week. I am beyond
excited about this opportunity. Not only are the hours simple and I’ll be
contributing a little financially to the family, but I am looking forward to
doing it! How fun to go to weddings all the time and takes pictures!! There are
quite a few different levels I can progress to with significant pay raises as
each level. I am truly hoping this opportunity works out because doing
photography has been a dream of mine for quite some time. After my first night
and five hours of non-stop taking pictures Krista asked me if I was exhausted.
I told her, “No way! I feel like I just got a night out!”

As for Derrik, he is doing well. He wraps up his
basketball officiating season Friday night doing the boys district finals game.
He officiated 90+ games this high school basketball season! He had his first
baseball game last night. He hates doing baseball, and I wish basketball season
could just keep going. He’d much rather be on the pitching mound then behind
the plate making the calls at baseball games. It is what it is though. Luckily
he absolutely loves doing football and basketball. He stills works at the golf
course as well, but that job is boring to talk about. As for Derrik’s future,
we talk about it a lot. It was a big focus for us for the last couple of
months, but we realized finding a career instead of just a job takes some time
which lead us to this decision for us to move and for me to pursue work. We
have been actively pursuing the idea of Derrik enrolling into a police academy,
and have serious talks about him trying to advance his officiating career to
the college level. I haven’t not mentioned it on the blog for any reason other
than the fact that our thought process on all of this seems to change almost
daily. What I tell you one day could be the complete opposite the next day. We
are trying to stay open minded with it all, and try not to get too frustrated
or our hopes up to high on one single thing. I promise when anything does happen
though it’ll be on here!

For now it feels really amazing to be settled, to have
unpacked boxes I haven’t seen in three years, and to know all of our stuff in
in one place while being used. I feel normal… it’s good. We’ll see how long it
takes for us to get antsy and need some change. For now though it’s just good!


~Rachel said...

I am so proud of you guys! I ALWAYS wonder what the next phase of life will be when baseball comes to an end. It is such a crazy hectic lifestyle and moving on seems daunting. The fact is, you have God and He will always provide.
Your photography job is a dream! I am very jealous! Remember us little people when you become a big shot photographer!

Connor & Mama said...

You're doing amazing adjusting to everything as a family. Everything will fall into place as it should. Now I know a good photographer when I need shots of Connor :). Best of luck with everything you guys have on your plate!! You rock :)