Today marks 8 years married to my best friend.  

When I walked down the aisle at FireSky Resort in Scottsdale in January 2007, I knew I wanted to be with this man more than anything, although I wasn't really sure what I was jumping into with his career.  

I didn't know how long baseball would last.  I didn't actually think we would ever make it to the major leagues at the time.  Just a month later, we packed up everything in our apartments and our lives, and we drove across the country to our first spring training as a married couple.  I had no clue what I was in store for.

In the past 8 years I have celebrated his triumphs and cried for his setbacks.  
We have moved 21 times.
We had had 3 babies, 2 of which came at once.
I have flown with our son more times than I can count.
I have made countless friends on the 4 major league and 2 minor league teams we have been with.
We have spent entire seasons together, and we have spent time as a long-distance marriage.

And whenever it's come down to fight or flight, we have chosen to fight for our marriage every time.

If you're a new spouse, girlfriend, or fiancee to baseball.  I'm here to tell you that it's easy at times, and it's hard at times, but it's worth it.  

Happy Anniversary my Love!  I am beyond amazed at the life we have built together, and I look forward to what the rest has in store for us.  My favorite presents from you are Hazel, Skylar & Blake.  Marrying my best friend brought me even more love than I ever knew my heart could hold.  

The Baseball Wife

Recently, I opened my daughter's first barbies.  I found them sitting in their closet, just waiting to be played with after I bought them last Christmas because I was so excited to be shopping for girls.  

The girls each got one from the boxes and looked at their new dolls with curiosity.  

"This was mommy's favorite toy growing up."

I know there is a lot that people have to say about Barbies, and I'm not here to defend the way her body looks.  To be honest, I don't think I really thought about Barbie's body when I was a kid.  The most I noticed about her body was that her legs didn't bend all the way when she was sitting, and that some came with straight arms and some came with bent arms.  I didn't compare my body to hers.  I thought she was pretty, of course, and I also thought that princesses were pretty, beauty queens were pretty, girls going to prom were pretty, brides were pretty, and my mom was pretty.

I think that we as parents may put too much emphasis on things like bodies that our kids probably wouldn't even consider if we weren't pointing it out.  Why would I let a doll decide the way my daughters feel about themselves, anyway?  It's my job, as their mother, to help provide them with the strength they need to face the society we live in and to go out into it as strong young women that are confident in themselves and their bodies.  

I'll be ok with my daughters playing with Barbies as they grow up because Barbie helped create friendship for me that has lasted a lifetime.

My sister and I had a huge Barbie collection growing up.  My parents literally had to partition off part of the basement so that all our Barbies could live it up in their Malibu Dream House with their boyfriends, the New Kids on the Block.  Yeah, we didn't get the point of Ken, he was obviously too clean cut, and we needed boys with a little more grit.  Makes sense, now, that my sister is engaged to a guy that grew up in Boston.  

This is the version of the dream house we had.  We LOVED that house.

I remember my first Barbie.  She had a gown that was also a handbag.  And she could take the handbag part of the gown off and have a cute short dress underneath.  I loved dressing her, I loved all the barbie shoes.  I remember the Miss America barbies we got, and cowgirl barbie, and all the skippers, too.  Oh and let's not forget my favorite, totally hair barbie.  I think I had that one in every variety she came in.  

Totally Hair Barbie.  My fave.  

My sister and I played Barbies together daily.  When I think of the countless hours we spent playing barbies and being friends, I look forward to my daughters doing the same.  I can't wait until I hear them playing make believe with their dolls, creating memories that they will have when they have daughters of their own.  

What do you think of your daughters playing with Barbies?  Are you for or against it?  
The Baseball Wife

Here's a throwback originally written in 2012 as we were planning on heading to our 6th spring training as a married couple, and Elliot's 10th spring training.  It's hard to believe we've been at it this long.  I remember being asked by another girl that year if I had any advice as a "veteran" baseball wife for new wives.  I remember being baffled by the fact that she thought I was a veteran.  I still feel so new at this, like I'm learning more about this lifestyle every day.  

Here's a little throwback of Elliot and I circa 2007.  
This was taken the first week after we arrived in Durham, NC for the season.  

Written by Nicole Johnson, Wife to Elliot Johnson

I can't believe we're already almost to spring training again.  It seems that each year, the offseason flies by faster than it did the year before.  All over Facebook, by fellow baseball wives are discussing where they will be living during spring training and where they think they will be playing this year.  The stress is mounting as last-minute signings and trades are happening, and we're all thinking about either packing up our own lives, or packing up the life of the man we love.

But we're excited too.  With spring there is a new feel in the air.  With a new spring training comes hope for the year to come, and the chance for our men to get to go out there and show off what they've got.  They've been working hard all winter to prepare for this, they are healthy, and they are ready.

This year marks my 6th spring training married to Elliot.  My first year was his first invite to big league spring training, and I had absolutely no clue what that meant.  All I knew was that I was going with my new husband to Florida from Arizona.

We couldn't afford to keep our rental in Arizona and go to spring training, and then rent during the season in Durham, NC, so we packed up everything we had and sent it in a pod to Durham.  Let me just point out, right now, what faith we had in the idea that we were going to Durham.  As I have spent some time in baseball now, I realize that nothing is guaranteed, and we were crazy to just send our stuff ahead of us.  Crazy and lucky, because that is where we ended up.

So, in February of 2007, Elliot and I packed up our entire apartment, slept on an air mattress for a few days, and hopped into his (packed to the ceiling) Dodge Durango to make a trek across the US to Florida.  Oh, and we towed my Chevy Cavalier behind us. I don't recommend towing your own car.  Ever.  I'll tell you why.

As we drove along on the freeway through New Mexico, we hit a bump.... well, more like the pavement dropped off several inches.  It's enough that if you were driving your car (not towing another car behind), you'd probably have to pull over and get yourself together.  So here we are, driving, drop like 6 inches, and so does my car behind us.  BOOM BOOM!  "What was that?!?!"  Cue my car alarm.  Yep, flying down the freeway, towing my car, and my car alarm is going off, and I have no clue where my keys are.  I finally find them, we turn off the alarm, we pull off to the side to make sure my car is attached to the trailer we're towing it on.  Whew.

We continue on our 3 day trip, and sometime during day 2 (also day 2 in Texas, that state really is big), we head through San Antonio.  In rush hour.  In construction.  So here we are going like 15 over to stay with traffic, barriers on both sides (HAULING A CAR ON A TRAILER!) semi trucks passing us on the left.  Oh, and suddenly, the lane shifts.  There is a wall a few hundred feet in front of us.  Pretty sure we both saw our lives flash before our eyes at that point.

Somehow, the good Lord got us through this drive.  We have yet to ever make the drive across the country like that again (I'm good with never doing that again).  I have a lot of respect for you families that do that drive (or even further) every year.  Good luck in your travels, my baseball friends.  Hoping your trip is less eventful than ours, and we look forward to seeing you soon.