July 31, 2012

take me out to the ball game

Sunday afternoon the boys dressed in green and navy blue, the colors of the local minor league baseball team, and headed out to enjoy America's pastime. The team was in town and we thought it was time to introduce Grant to a "real" game (versus watching baseball on television).

Within seconds of taking our seats, Grant was cheering and clapping very enthusiastically. His elation spilled over and he rewarded everyone around him with a hug.

If you asked me exactly when we discovered Grant passionately loved the sport of baseball, I would say I can hardly remember a time when he didn't love it. Grant was not quite a year old when a game on TV first caught his attention. His face lit up and he began to jump wildly in his jumperoo.

He has been baseball's biggest fan ever since.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon game, with few in attendance... making it a perfect time for the Mayes family to explore the stadium and watch the game.

Wesley enjoyed all the action as well. You can definitely say the Mayes family is a baseball family.

Aaron and Grandpa Mayes took the boys near the dugout to see the game up close for a few minutes. Soon the boys were proud owners of their very own baseballs, thanks to the team bat boy.

Grant and Wesley held their new prize possession very tightly the rest of the game (and for the rest of the day).

At the end of the game there was an invitation for children to run the bases. I wasn't sure how Grant would handle it, but after just a few paces onto the field, Grant broke away from Aaron and began to round the bases like a pro. He even gave Homer, the mascot, a big high five!

Baseball Is by Greg Hall

Baseball is grass, chalk, and dirt displayed the same yet differently
In every park that has ever heard the words play ball.

Baseball is a passion that bonds and divides all those who know it.

Baseball is a pair of hands stained with newsprint,
A set of eyes squinting to read a boxscore,
A brow creased in an attempt to recreate a three-hour game
From an inch square block of type.

Baseball is the hat I wear to mow the lawn.

Baseball is a simple game of catch
and the never-ending search for the perfect knuckleball.

Baseball is
Willie vs Mickey, Gibson vs Koufax, and Buddy Biancalana vs the odds.

Baseball links Kansan and Missourian, American and Japanese,
But most of all father and son.

Baseball is the scent of spring,
The unmistakable sound of a double down the line,
And the face of a 10-year-old emerging from a pile of bodies
With a worthless yet priceless foul ball.

Baseball is a language of very simple words that tell unbelievably magic tales.

Baseball is three brothers in the same uniform on the same team for one brief summer
Captured forever in a black and white photo on a table by the couch.

Baseball is a glove on a shelf, oiled and tightly wrapped,
Slumbering through the stark winter months.

Baseball is a breast pocket bulging with a transistor radio.

Baseball is the reason there are transistor radios.

Baseball is a voice in a box describing men you've never met,
In a place you've never been,
Doing things you'll never have the chance to do.

Baseball is a dream that you never really give up on.

Baseball is precious.
Baseball is timeless.
Baseball is forever.


July 26, 2012

the God who is

After a long phone conversation with my dad that covered a wide spectrum of issues but lingered on the topic of dry weather, we said our slow good-byes. I continued my daily tasks as I prayed, Please, Lord, send rain!

The prayer escaped my mouth like a groan as I thought about my family's farm and ached for all the farmers who are dealing with the drought.

While walking down a grocery store aisle, I noticed a woman sifting through the items in her cart and then put a product back on the shelf. I heard her murmur to herself, We just can't afford that right now.

It is a time of great struggle for many. Where does one turn for help? Rather, who does one turn to for hope? ...To the One who is greater than it all.

I love that God is the God of the past, present, and future. He has been there, is here, and will be there for me and all who trust in Him.

'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.' Revelation 1:8

In seasons of drought and fear... I AM your hope.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13  

In days of financial difficulties... I AM your provider.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34 

In days of sorrow and pain... I AM your comforter.

'For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 

In times of great struggle and hardship... I AM your stability.

The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure. Isaiah 33:5-6


July 24, 2012

sand between my toes

Once again my little car was packed to the brim as we made our way to the beach. Aaron had an out-of-town job working at a beach condo and the family who owns it was so sweet and gracious to allow the boys and I, along with Aaron's parents, to join him for the weekend.

We did all the fun beach activities and loved every minute we were able to savor the sun. It was such a joy to watch the boys play in the sand and get used to the big ocean.

While the boys had a blast spending time with Grandma & Grandpa, Aaron and I stole away for a few hours to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

{That's right! Ten years of marriage to the love of my life! *insert BIG smile*}

One last walk on the beach...


July 18, 2012


Family Time

O how I have missed you!

The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and family time. Between all the fun activities and late night "catch up" conversations, it was difficult to carve out enough time to be here and share my heart's joy with you all.

But I am back... and there is so much to share.

A couple weeks ago we packed up our little car and headed up to Washington D.C. where Aaron's family all got together for some much needed family time.

I enjoyed capturing some of the scenery during our journey north...

I absolutely love that my boys enjoy reading/looking at books (of course Grant was quite intrigued by a baseball magazine).

My imagination always takes off when I see old buildings... I wonder what they were like in their prime.

Hi! :)
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We arrived in D.C. the day after a major storm hit the city. Trees were down everywhere and many stoplights did not work. Thousands of people were without electricity but, thankfully, the only thing we did without was the Internet.

Wesley and my nephew are only three months apart in age and are two peas in a pod. It took them just a couple minutes before they were giggling and running around together.


My brother-in-law's family lives only a short walk away from a beautiful, quiet park - which we frequented. It was great to see the boys laugh together and amuse themselves with simple games like throwing and chasing tennis balls on the basketball court. {And  it always does my heart good to see Grant interact with other children.}

This plaque on a bench near the park entrance caught my gaze every time I walked by... so sweet.

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It seemed so fitting to visit Arlington National Cemetery during the Independence Day holiday. The sea of white tombstones humbled my heart and pulled every ounce of gratitude to the surface.

Our primary mission was to find the grave site of Samuel Mays, a Mayes family ancestor who died during the Civil War at age 20. We are unsure if Samuel spelled his last name without the "e" or if it was simply an oversight by the person who prepared the tombstone.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." ~ Ronald Reagan
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What's better than a cool popsicle during a heat wave?!?

I loved how the busy day gave way to quiet moments in the late afternoon and evening...

Aunt Lala (Lydia) reading to Wesley and Grant

Grandma and Grandpa Mayes with the {very squirmy} grandchildren

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Of course, I had to capture a couple sweet moments of my adorable niece and nephew:

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When we came home to North Carolina, we enjoyed even more family time with my parents, who flew in for a nice long visit.

If Grandpa wasn't working on a project, then he was spending time with Grant and Wesley. I'm pretty sure the boys got spoiled by all the special attention (and I was spoiled by all the household projects that were completed).

Wesley made sure Grandpa had one of his Tiggers whenever they sat on the couch together.

And nobody bakes bread or read books like Grandma...

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I am surrounded by those "little" things...

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