Usually when the baseball season is over for Elliot, I tend to shut out sports for a while.  Exhausted from the roller coaster that is our life during the season, I need a break.  Typically it's a couple weeks after he's done, I don't want to talk about it much, I don't want to hear about it much, I don't want to watch it.  

What kind of baseball fan am I?  I'm not actually a baseball fan.  I'm a fan of Elliot.  He loves to play baseball, and he plays it well, and I cheer for him because I love him and he's my husband.  I want for his career what he wants for his career because that's what makes him happy.  

I'm a fan of his friends and teammates that he's made along the way.  I get to know their families, their kids play with my kids, we celebrate holidays and birthdays together as a family all our own through the season.  I care about these people, I try to keep in touch in between chasing kids and preschool drop off and pick up line.  

This year's playoffs have piqued my interest the most since 2008 when the Rays went to the World Series.  That year, it was so fun to watch the team that Elliot had been part of earlier that season make it all the way to the final series because I knew those people and I knew their families.  

Many of the players on the field this World Series played with the Royals last year and they were Elliot's teammates.  Their families took us in as their own last year after our trade with Wade and James.  We enjoyed dinners and get togethers with the kids over the few months we were with that team last year.  I went to Bible study with the wives, and they were some of the first people to know that I was expecting twins.  

I feel that knowing the families of those on the field, seeing them as dads and husbands, as people I've hung out with, people who have hung out with my son in the clubhouse, I have a vested interest in how they do in this series.  When I was exhausted with my pregnancy, their wives offered me help and babysitters.  We all traveled together and often dined together.  

I have a love/hate relationship with the final game of a series.  I LOVE to watch the winning team celebrate.  I feel like I'm watching a bunch of 7 year olds celebrate.  This is their dream, and it's so fun to watch someone accomplish the dream they have had since they were children.  I hope to get to watch the husbands of my friends celebrate tonight.  I'll feel a little sad that Elliot isn't out there with them as he felt so much a part of that team last year, but I'll be happy for those that have worked hard for this.  

I HATE when the cameras turn to the losing team's dugout.  It breaks my heart.  As they sit there watching the other team celebrate, it's unbearable to see them.  It's even worse when they interview them after.  I wish that they wouldn't even show the losing team after, but I guess it's important to note how they feel as well.  It just bothers me that it doesn't seem to be in a manner that is sympathetic to what they are going through.  If this happens to Elliot's former team, I'll likely have to walk away from the TV as I won't want to watch this being taken away from them.  

Tonight will decide the champions of the 2014 season.  Crazy how it all comes down to one game.  Which team are you hoping to see win?  

The Baseball Wife

Happy Fall Y'all!  

I love that saying, and I love October in North Carolina.  October brings off season, fall colors, and Halloween.

I know the minute there is a chill in the air, many of my friends are rushing to get a taste of the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret.... I don't like the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I know!  The horror!  

It's just not my thing.

Neither is pumpkin pie, actually.  

I don't detest pumpkin, though.  I actually LOVE pumpkin cake.  

I started making pumpkin cake in the fall the first year that Elliot and I were married.  I started out with pumpkin cupcakes and expanded to the pumpkin cake you see here. 

My husband does not have much of a sweet tooth.  I have baked numerous things for him and our kids, and I honestly am surprised any time Elliot goes back for seconds.  When I make this cake, he always goes back for more.  

It's a pretty simple recipe, too.  This cake is so good, even people that don't like pumpkin pie will like it.  I hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Cake

1 package of cake mix (I usually use yellow cake mix or vanilla cake mix)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1/4 cup of water (preferable bottled or filtered)
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray pan with cooking spray or use liners if making cupcakes.
Mix together cake mix, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vegetable oil, pumpkin, water, and eggs until blended.  Transfer to pan.
Bake in oven for the amount specified on the box.  Check after the minimum amount of time by inserting a toothpick.  When toothpick comes out clean, cake is ready.  If toothpick doesn't come out clean, keep checking in 5 minute increments until ready.  
Let cool on a cooling rack in pan for 5 minutes then remove from pan.

For the bunt cake, I topped the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar.  When I make cupcakes, I top them with cream cheese frosting.  
The Baseball Wife

Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project?

It's awesome.

FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project this fall to encourage communities to start a new tradition of having non-food treats to offer at halloween for those with severe food allergies.

It's estimated that about 1 in 13 kids has food allergies, my son included.  There are two kids allergic to nuts on my street, and there are only 13 houses.  2 kids in my son's class have nut allergies and there are only 14 kids.  

What do all of us do about trick or treating?  It depends on the parent.  

The first year Blake trick or treated (to houses other than those we know on our street), we let him pick candy that was safe out of his treat pail after.  That ended in cleaning throw up off of him within minutes.  

Last year, we bought Blake two pails.  He trick or treated with one, and we switched it after for a pail we filled up with safe candy.

This year, we will probably do the same, although Blake has told me he'd rather stay home and hand out candy than actually go out and trick or treat.  

I first read about the Teal Pumpkin Project last week and I loved the idea and I wanted to get involved.  

I picked up some teal paint from our local michael's yesterday and told Blake all about it.  He reminded me that his grammy had gotten him some pumpkins a couple weeks ago that he had been playing with and selling at his play stand in the back yard.  We set out paper and got to painting.  

He loved it.  This is the most artistic I've ever seen my left-brained kid.  It was a joy to get to do something creative with him that he actually enjoyed.  

We picked up some non-food treats including bouncy balls, temporary tattoos and vampire teeth, and we're looking forward to sharing those treats with kiddos that come to our house at halloween.  

We are undecided as to whether we're going to get any candy to hand out as well, but the Teal Pumpkin Project isn't about asking you to not hand out any candy.  If you want to hand out candy, the idea is to just have some non candy items on hand, too.  

We placed the pumpkins outside and hung up a sign letting our visitors know we have food allergy friendly treats for trick or treating as well.  

Please check out more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project on FARE's website, where you can find printables, pictures for sharing, and flyers to hang up to promote the Teal Pumpkin Project.  

What a great way to make sure kids are safe on halloween.  
The Baseball Wife