Friday, September 23, 2011

Daddy & His Daughters

 The girls have been missing Daddy a lot while he's been away in Iowa. I was perusing some old pictures the other day and I thought that maybe I could grab some of just Mike with the girls. That way, I could create a little slideshow for not only the girls, but Mike as well. Enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Root, root, root for the TIGERS!

When it comes to sports, I grew up with a father who is addicted to them. Golf, hockey, bowling, name it, my dad is knowledgeable enough about just about any sport to amaze the socks off of me. There is no way I would ever consider myself a "sports person"...

However, watching football and baseball, along with many other sporting contests on TV, with my dad, afforded me the opportunity to learn about the games, the rules, the players, etc. If I had to pick only one thing to take away from that experience, it would be my love of the Detroit Tigers.

I can remember my parents taking me to my very first game at Tiger Stadium. Seeing the field for the first time live and being enveloped by thousands of fans all there to share in the excitement of the game. We went several times while I was a kid and it had such a lasting impression on me. I can still remember one game where we were sitting out in right field, in the upper box seats, and the Tigers were playing the Oakland A's. Jose Canseco was standing on the field right below us and my Dad yells out, "Hey Jose!" and he turned around and looked up at us! I also remember going to have Alan Trammell autograph one of his baseball cards for me when he was in town for a special appearance and thinking it was the coolest thing ever...

So....Friday night the Tigers were on TV and Verlander was pitching, so I wanted to watch the game. The girls decided to watch it with me and were really into the game. Lauren asked me when they were going to get to see the Tigers play "for real" and I thought, why not? Tickets were still available for Saturday's game @ 4pm, and with a quick check-in with Mike, I bought us tickets and parking. I was over-the-moon thinking about taking my children to see the Tigers play for the first time....

The drive was uneventful, the parking a breeze and getting into Comerica Park was trouble free. We got drinks, found our seats, and settled into them for a great game of ball. Did I mention it was 95 degrees out? In Michigan? In September? We were a little warm but kept cool with plenty of drinks, several well placed clouds and a light breeze. The Tigers evidently forgot that we were coming though, because they were down 8-1 by the 5th inning. It was so bad that at one point, I yelled at Tigers Pitcher, Brad Penny, that his pitching was pathetic. Lauren then politely leaned over and asked, "Mom, what does it mean to be "pathetic"?"...oh boy. 

The Tigers rallied a bit but by the 7th inning, things weren't looking good. Not the team, but the weather. All the stadium lights were on and the sky was black. Lightning was flashing all around us and the wind started to really smash us. Trash was flying everywhere and hitting us in the face and eyes, sheets of rain were falling and they forced us out of the stands and onto the concourse level to wait out the crazy weather. Most people left. Like, over 90% of the people, but Mike said that we were sticking it out and I was secretly very proud of him for making that decision. We stood there with the other die-hards, dripping and disheveled.

After about 30 min, they allowed us to go back to our seats but since almost everyone had left, we grabbed the front row in our section, straddling 3rd base. Great seats, especially for the amazing plays that were to come. Needless to say, after 2 home runs in the 9th inning, the Tigers made a huge comeback and beat the Chicago White Sox in a game that I will never forget. It was AWESOME! And seeing the girls jumping up and down, cheering for the home team...PRICELESS!


Friday, September 2, 2011

A time of transition...

In my short 34 years, I have never even once thought of living in Iowa. Iowa? No. What's in Iowa? Corn, of course, and not much else. At least, that's what I've always thought. When aviation giant Rockwell Collins came calling though, we couldn't help but answer...

I have never lived anywhere but Michigan. Mike has the same story. Although we have both been through the state, I know that I have never personally gone to Iowa just for the sake of visiting. We'll now be calling Cedar Rapids home, which sounds odd to my ears, mostly because it's so similar to "Grand" Rapids.

 Grand Rapids Panorama

Like my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, Cedar Rapids is the 2nd largest city in Iowa. It sits on the banks of the Cedar River and is a manufacturing hub, not only for the state, but the United States in general. While Grand Rapids is known as the "Furniture Capital", Cedar Rapids is the largest corn-processing city in the world. They are also:
  • The second largest producer of wind energy in the United States
  • One of the leading manufacturing regions in the United States
  • One of the leading bio-processing and food ingredient centers in North America 
 Cedar Rapids, IA

Cedar Rapids is home to Rockwell Collins (one of the largest providers of aviation and information systems & services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers), General Mills, Quaker Oats, Cargill and Nordstroms. They value technology and Midwestern values such as a strong work ethic, quality family time and an honest life. The schools are top notch and their parks and recreation options are pretty great too!

Like Grand Rapids, Cedar Rapids is a city with that small-town feel. And compared to the city of my birth, it is small. In the 2010 Census, the city population of Grand Rapids, MI was 188,040, the metropolitan area had a population of 774,160 and a combined statistical area, (Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland) population of 1,321,557. Compare that to Cedar Rapids, IA where the city population was to 126,326 and the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor had an estimated population of 423,353. It's a big difference but not big enough that I feel like I'll be living in the boonies.

 Grand Rapids

It will certainly take some getting used to and some major adjustments in my mind, but I think that this new adventure will be good for our family and help us to appreciate what we have now and what could be in the future. I plan on writing here much more frequently to keep everyone updated! Stay tuned!

Cedar Rapids