Sunday, May 9, 2010

All Good Things...

I don't want to talk about it...I don't even want to think about it really, but I know it will probably make me feel better so here it goes...softball season is over. And for the first time, looking forward to next season isn't an option for us or six other amazing young ladies. Getting put out at Regionals isn't what any of us wanted or expected. I can't tell you why it happened. I wish I knew, but so often I don't have the answers to questions like that. What I do know, however, is that I could not be more proud to be called a Kinston Bulldog. I would take being a fan of this team over whatever team wins the state championship. This year has been one filled with adversity, questions, and trying times, but the way this group of girls has fought through that and banded together to attempt to achieve a common goal has made me so thankful to be associated with them. For the Senior class, it is heart-breaking to end your career on a sour note, but I encourage you to remember all the fun times and awesome memories we have since your 7th grade year, which was my Senior year. Girls, that is the year that we put Kinston Softball on the map! We surprised everyone by beating Ariton on their home turf, then beating JU Blacksher in Kinston and making our first ever trip to Montgomery. You cannot begin to understand how much it meant to me that y'all did not quit on me after we got a disappointing second place trophy at the area tournament.
Be forever grateful that you had the opportunity to win a state championship ring. There aren't many people who can say that! I'd like to take a second to say something about each one of the Seniors, who will be greatly missed next year.

  • Tiffany Wingard #16-Tiff, you moved here after I graduated to join this team so I never really got the chance to know you that well. You have been moved ALL over the field, from SS to third to catcher to left field, but you never complained. Your hitting improved leaps and bounds from last year to this year, and I know you worked hard on it in the off-season. You are a sweet girl, Tiff. Never lose your team player attitude!
  • Amanda Crohn #2-Amanda, you also moved to Kinston after I graduated, but my family has grown to love you! You are such a good-hearted, sweet person. I remember when you first moved here and you were so intimidated by Ronnie and you just cried and cried and cried when he hurt your feelings :( But your skin thinkened and you have grown into an amazing softball player and I know you are gonna do great things in college. You are FULL OUT, WIDE OPEN all the time. I love that about you.
  • Tasha Jones #10-Tasha, you were a huge part of the success of my Senior year. You and I ruled the right side of the field over there. :) My mom and your mom are two of the loudest, craziest fans anyone from the other teams have ever seen with those megaphones and shakers. I will never forget in the state championship game against Pleasant Home I was sitting with Mr. Coale. We were down and you had a base hit to right field to score two runs. I thought Mr. Coale was going to tackle me. I just remember him screaming "It's DOWN. It's DOWN!" You have been a huge part of this program ever since your 7th grade year, and it's going to be very weird with you not being there next year.
  • Amber Jacobs #9-AJ, I'm so glad you decided to come back and play your Senior year. You did an awesome job in center field and I'm glad you finally got to get that homerun! You were also a member of the team when I played, and you have come such a long way since then. My favorite memory of your career is you catching that very last out against Pleasant Home in the championship game. The look on your face was shock and excitement. You slammed that ball into the ground and started jumping up and down. I will never forget that moment as long as I live!
  • Whitney Hercus #00-Whit, girl one day I hope you learn to run with both arms! HaHa, but seriously Whitney, you are one of the sweetest girls I know. You have the best heart, and we could always count on you to be there for Bethany, whether it was her nurse or her counselor in the dugout. You came through for us so many times when you were called on to hit in clutch situations! Your mom is right in there with my mom and Tina with those shakers and megaphones. It won't be the same next year and I know you and I have talked about that already. You have what it takes to succeed in life Whitney. Never settle for anything less than you deserve and keep your positive, cheerful attitude. It puts a smile on people's faces, and that is a hard thing to come by these days.
  • Erin Shaw #4-Ewin, my Dad and I were talking at the Elba tournament about how huge of a part you had played in the success of our softball program. You and Beth have come a long way from the old Liberty Belles days! I know that is only because of hard work and dedication. You are the kind of person who never goes at anything unless it's with your whole heart, and that is such a great quality to possess. I've already told you how much we appreciate the kind of friend you are to Bethany, but I don't know why we would ever doubt it for a second. I mean, you were wanting to bring her Kleenex to school in Kindergarten when she cried everyday. We should have known from that point that we could always count on you. I know that this is not the kind of season you and Beth had hoped for. As I said, I can't tell you why it had to turn out like this. Just know that the kind of person you are will be with you forever, while softball season had to end at some point. And the kind of person you are is going to take you anywhere you want to go in life! I know I will be seeing a lot of you since you and Beffy will be living together in college, so you won't be rid of me anytime soon. I love you, Erin!
  • Bethany Holley #3-Here's where it gets hard. Beth, I first and foremost want you to know that playing softball with you my Senior year is what brought us to be as close as we are today. It moved us from that fussy sibling rivalry stage to the I would do anything for you stage. If that were the only benefit I had ever gotten from Kinston Softball, it would be enough. I know that softball being over is on a totally different level for you than it was for me as a senior, and I loved softball. Beth, the number of hours you have put into softball are COUNTLESS. I don't think people really understand the sacrifices you have made to get better, for yourself and for your team. Anyone who has anything bad to say about you, your work ethic, or your team-player attitude should be ashamed of themselves. For people to question your motives, to think that for one second you are a selfish person, it makes me furious. We will never fully understand the things that have happened to you throughout your career, Beth. Tearing your ACL, the way this season has gone, losing to Waterloo that year in the semi-finals...I won't lie, sometimes I have questioned God's motives behind all those things. I know I shouldn't and that all things happen for a reason but sometimes I can't help it. But memories of your softball career, all the way back from the Enteprise Rec League days, are some of our families best memories. We have made so many great friends through your travel ball days--The Phillips (even if they ARE from Ariton), the Byrds (even if they ARE from Pleasant Home)...just kidding guys...The Rowlands...Ronnie and Dawn...the Smartts...Uncle Sammy...the list goes on and on. All those people will be our life-long friends, and those people know the kind of person you are and they have so much respect for you. I will never forget traveling all over the southeast to watch you play...from the days you were so little that all you could really do was watching you ripping balls to the fence in high school. I have watched you go from being scared senseless pitching against Vestavia Hills in the 7th grade, to being a strong, confident athlete who knew she could pitch against any team in this state. You have received some much deserved awards like All-State, State All-Tournament Team, the list goes on and on. The picture we have of you kissing that state championship trophy says it all. I have seen you do some very selfless things over your career, letting others be in the spotlight, taking yourself out of games when you knew your pitching wasn't going to cut it anymore. I know you ARE a team player Bethany, and anyone who has played with you could not argue with that. It's going to be a huge void in all of our lives not having that #3 on the field next's hard to imagine Bethany Holley not playing softball. Bethany Holley IS softball. But Bethany Holley is a lot of other things too. You remember how I told you that after softball was over, all your other great qualities would still be hanging around? I was right: You are still beautiful, you are still intelligent (most of the time), you still have a great personality, you are still a generous, loving person, and you are still my hero. I love you more than life itself Bethany. You are my sister, and you are my best friend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

VIP #3...Smalls

Very Important Person #3 in my partner-in-crime, Ashley Smallwood. Ashley and I met at Impact Orientation at Troy University. We immediately hit it off, and we have been friends ever since. We had several classes together and we even wound up living together my last semester in Troy. There's no way I could ever name all the memories we have together, but I will name a few of my favorite.
1. Pearl & Ruby--our kittens we had for a few weeks. Let's just say the potty training didn't go quite as well as we had hoped. Don't worry, we gave them to my grandparents, so they wound up in a good home. I guess we were unfit mothers.
2. Spring Break '09...Party of Five...Ashley "shaking what she got in those jeans"...all the guidos in Panama City...Candice's classic line "WHOA"...awkward seagull...Dirty Sexy Monday at Spinnaker...
3. The Front Porch--Enough Said.
4. On the way home from the Front Porch, or whereever we had been for the evening...decided whose bed we were going to sleep in that night. Don't get the wrong idea! I mean whether she and I were going to sleep in MY bed or HERS. If we slept on separate ends of the trailer we heard noises and got scared!
5. Us and Kirby making summer roadtrips to Tuscaloosa! SO much fun.
There are so so many more...Ashley and I are so alike in so many ways it is scary. However, it makes it great that we share the same taste in clothes and are the same size, because I know the clothes in Ash's closet as well as I know the ones in my own.
Ashley has been there for me through the ups and downs...and vice versa. We have listened to each other cry, and threatened to kill the person who was to blame. We were attached at the hip and when people saw one of us in Troy without the other, they were immediately concerned. We did everything but go to work and class together. We finished each other's sentences. We don't get to see each other as much now that our lives have taken separate paths and we are so busy all the time, but I know that if I need anything--whether it is to laugh or cry, or just talk--Ashley is just a phone call away. I was very upset Sunday night and when I called her it took 2 seconds for her to pick up on it and say, "Talk to me...what's wrong?" Friends like that don't come around that often...but I am very thankful to have Ash, because I know we will be friends forever!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Week in Review

So it's been awhile since I had a chance to's a little thing called Finals Week around these parts. I have been working on the "crying" blog for several days now and just finished it, but I figured I would catch everyone up in the goings-on of my life. My very last two finals are on Thursday! That is when freedom arrives! I have my Personal Finance and Mammalian Physiology finals on that day. I have been holed up in my room studying ALL. DAY. LONG, so I figured I deserved a little break to get my thoughts out.

This past weekend was a successful one on the softball diamond. The Kinston Lady Dawgs won the area tournament, sending them to the Regional tournament in Gulf Shores next weekend. If we place first or second there, we move on to the Elite 8 state tournament in Montgomery. Softball season is winding on down...which means graduation is upon us :(

After the big win for the Lady Dawgs, we headed south to Panama City for Baylee's first 10 & under tournament of the year. Although we have some talent on our team, I figured it might be a rough first weekend since a lot of them had never actually played together. However, they wound up winning the tournament! We were so excited for them, as they beat a team who had won a big 10 & under tournament in Troy a few weekends ago. Baylee has come SUCH a long way since last season. She has been practicing so hard in the off-season on her hitting, pitching, and fielding. She is pitching a little bit, playing third base, and batting clean-up. This weekend she had a double, two triples, and several RBIs. Congrats 10U Southern Extreme! We are expecting many more trophies this season!
I suppose my break time is over now. I think I'm going to get some shut-eye so I can start back strong studying in the morning. Oh, in case you missed "The Hills" tonight, catch it one of the million times it reruns on MTV this week. Spencer Pratt has officially lost his mind. He is worshiping crystals, giving them as house-warming gifts, and saying they have changed his life. Blonde Britney, Kendall, Kaitlyn, and I think maybe he is talking about crystal meth, from the looks of his crazy eyes in this episode. I won't tell you any more...just take my advice and watch it. :o) Thanks for reading...wish me luck on my finals!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letting the Tears Flow...

I'm not much of a crier...I never have been. I guess I should say, I'm not much of a crier compared to most girls. When all my friends were boo-hooing at "Titanic," I was laughing because I thought Leonardo Dicaprio looked like a rat sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Some things just don't hit that emotional chord for me like they do for other people. There are a few exceptions. When someone hurts my feelings, and I mean really hurts them, I cry. Whenever I think about Bethany graduating, I cry. But there are sometimes when I feel like crying, but I just tell myself to toughen up and not show my soft side. I'm so tired of that. Plus, it makes my throat hurt to hold back my crying. I don't like that either.

It's so funny that I have been thinking about crying, because in the book I'm reading, there is a chapter about it. It talks about how in our society, crying or showing emotion at all is a sign of weakness or vulnerability. But if we really feel emotionally attached to something, why should we hold back? Almost all of us know the shortest verse in the entire Bible..."Jesus wept." John 11:35. That verse, though short, says so much about the type of man Jesus was. He was human. He was not ashamed of his emotion, not ashamed of his tears. He did not try to hide from the crowd in order to cry...he didn't run to the bathroom or choke them back so his throat hurt...he let them out.

Blonde Britney and I often say we are a "package deal". We are always together, and we are so different in so many ways that we really balance each other out. Blonde Britney is the crier of the two of us. Sometimes she wishes she were more like me and let things roll off her back, but I wish I were more like her, not afraid to just LET IT OUT. I think I need to learn that I don't have to be so tough all the time. I guess I have a lot to learn from Jesus...and Blonde Britney.