After Blake's birthday, I whisked away to my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana for a long weekend to celebrate a dear, dear friend of mine, Lisa.  I met Lisa when I was just 15 years old on our high school tennis team.  We became fast friends and got into more than our fair share of trouble together.  Yep, lots of trouble, and lots of fun.

We lived in neighboring subdivisions, just a walk away, which worked out really well the time I got grounded from my car and my dad disconnected the battery.  Seeing that I have no clue about cars or how to reconnect batteries, I walked to Lisa's house and rode in her car.  I know I was was little $hit, wasn't I?  If it's true that your kids give it back to you, I've got double trouble on my hands with Hazel and Skylar.

Anyway, Lisa was one of the first people I told when I found out I was pregnant with Blake.  She's seen me through my pregnancies, and she helped my mom and sister throw my baby shower when I was expecting Blake.  I was overjoyed when I found out she was pregnant this spring, and I knew I wanted to get to throw her a shower, too.  

I got in touch with our awesome friend Angela, and we got the party started.  


Lisa is having a boy, the name is yet to be determined.  She has some ideas, but she's not set, and I'm not going to be the one to announce it to the world, anyway.  That's her news to share when she's ready.  :)  She and her husband Corey are so excited to be expecting a boy, though.  

We had many of her friends and family come to my parents' house and we celebrated with yummy food and lots of presents!  The empty chafing dishes later held pizza dip that we pulled out of the oven right after our guests arrived.  


My awesome bestie, Maddie, came along with me to check out Fort Wayne and spend a girls weekend since I was traveling without Elliot and the kiddos.  She made the amazing pizza dip and this Apple Cider Sangria, for which you can find the recipe (and other amazzzing recipes) on her blog, The Whimsy One.  


Be careful with her drinks, though, she's super sneaky with her alcohol and you won't know how much you're drinking until it's too late.  Because of this, it's great to people watch at her get-togethers.

We also had yummy chocolate dipped pretzel sticks and oreos made by Lisa's sister-in-law, Kim.  I may have had 7 or 8 of those.  


We had a great time hosting Lisa's party, and I just love her and Angela.  They are family to me, and I'm so lucky to have known them longer in my life than I haven't.  


And what shower would be complete without knowing what some of the gifts were?  My mom, my sister and I threw down on a great set of gifts.  We went with a woodland animal theme, mostly because Lisa's husband Corey loves to hunt.  We got their little man these awesome gifts:

  

I personally love the Jellycat stuffed animals.  All three of my kids have the bashful bunny in a different color.  I love hooded towels, too, especially the ones that PBK makes.  They are super soft and maintain good condition even when washed.  I also know that our life would be a mess without sound machines, and we have them blaring wherever we go.  If you're a parent that travels, there are free apps you can download now as well for hotel room stays like the White Noise App.  We use that one whenever we're on the road.  

What are your favorite gifts to give at baby showers?  What are you go-to decorations?

The Baseball Wife


I wrote this post during the season in 2013 while we were with the Royals.  I'm so excited to share it again, because yesterday was actually my first day working for Headbands of Hope.  That's right!  I'm a working girl again, and I couldn't be happier to have the opportunity I have before me.  I love this organization, and I hope you'll enjoy hearing about it.  I'm so excited to be part of something that I think is going to be so big, and I really love working with Jess and her company.  

Enjoy today's throwback!

Written by Nicole Johnson, Wife to Elliot Johnson

Last fall, I started running in races, and I started out with the Get Heeled 5k in Chapel Hill, NC.  Before the run, I came across this table with a ton of glittery headbands.  They looked like this:


So cute huh?  I stopped over at the table and happened to meet the CEO of the company, Jessica.  She is the sweetest thing, and she proceeded to explain to me that they were Headbands of Hope.  For each headband her company sells, a headband is donated to a little girl with cancer.  How awesome is that?!  

I checked out her website, and I really felt moved to become a part of this awesome organization.  I talked with Jessica more, and told her I wanted to help how I could, and since Elliot works in baseball, I could drop off headbands with kids where he was playing.  

Through my time planning a hospital visit here in Kansas City, I got to know Jessica and what she stood for, which only further committed me to this organization.  She has a background working with the Make a Wish foundation, and has wanted to be an entrepreneur since she was a kid.  She loves being able to do something for the greater good of human kind, and I just love her drive.  

In July, I got to set up a visit to the University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center, and meet some of the great kids that were there receiving treatment.  Some of the Royals wives came along to show their support, and the team even let us bring Sluggerrr along to entertain the kids and hand out Royals hats.  Here are a couple pictures from our visits with some of the kids.  





It was beyond amazing to get to brighten the day of the kids at the center, and so fun to talk to them about their weekend plans and favorite colors.  Getting to help them take a break from their day didn't just bring smiles to their faces, but to ours as well.  I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to make kids, especially those near my son's age, smile when they may not be having the best day.  

It was also so awesome to have the support of the Royals and the wives, the smiles and laughter could be seen and heard throughout the whole floor.


If you would like to learn more about Headbands of Hope, you can check out their website at www.headbandsofhope.org 


Photobucket


In our house, Mexican food is cooked all the time.  

My husband grew up in a small town (Thatcher) 3 hours east of Phoenix.  As a kid, he ate burros and salsa daily.  

When I met him, he was actually kind of a Mexican food snob, stating that anything that tasted different from the food he grew up with wasn't authentic.  After traveling to Mexico for winter ball, his thoughts on that changed, but it didn't change the fact that he still thought the food he grew up eating was the best.  I will attest to the fact that it's good stuff.  When we visit his hometown, it's rare that we eat anything except La Casita, Mechie's, and Casa Mañana.  

When I was pregnant with Blake, I ate Mexican food like it was my job.  I literally wanted it so often that even Elliot was sick of eating it.  It was during this time that Elliot's brother, Luke, shared with us their salsa recipe.  

Since starting to make this recipe, we have tweaked it to our liking, and we are always happy with our results.  Without further adieu, I give you the recipe for Johnson Family Salsa.  


Ingredients:
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed (Elliot likes to add a few seeds to the mixture to heat it up more)
1 green onion- just the white part, throw the green end away
1/4 cup white onion
10 cilantro leaves
1 28 oz can Hunts whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Throw all this in a blender, cover it up, and chop it up til it's the consistency you like.  This is not meant to be a chunky salsa, so I usually hit the button a few times.  

I usually stir it up and taste it with a chip after.  And then another, and then another.... and so on.  ;)


This salsa has a nice bite to it, and it's best when eaten the same day.  After about a week, it tends to get too spicy.  Elliot and I differ on whether it should be chilled or not, he likes it cold, I enjoy it at room temperature.  

If you find it has too much heat, add a little sugar until it's good for you.  If you want it more spicy, add a couple more jalapeño seeds or another 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper.  

I hope you enjoy!  I'm looking forward to hearing what your favorite variations of our family salsa are!  

The Baseball Wife