So rollin along thru the pre-teen and teen years, life was good. We moved around a bit, but all was well. At this point she went from wanting to be a pro soccer player to a pro softball player at around 12 y/o I think. Our life revolved around school, homework, practice 3 nights a week and traveling on weekends to softball tournaments. And I mean travel. Back in those days I would put 25K miles a year on my suv's. We were all over the state of Florida and the whole southeast for that matter. Tampa one weekend, Miami the next, then Atlanta the next, then Birmingham after that. It never ended. One of the nice things about Florida and the southeast is that the kids can play outdoor sports year round. And boy did she!!
At the end of her Sophomore year of high school she was invited to play for a U18 Gold Glove Olympic Development team out of Jacksonville, 5+ hours North of Ft. Lauderdale - Stacey's Stars. 0_o Now that may not seem like such a big deal, but she was a young sophomore. Because her birthday is in July, she was always almost a year younger than most of her classmates. So she was 15 and playing with 18 year olds. And this team was sponsored/run by the then USA Olympic Softball Team Catcher Stacey Nuveman.
So anyway, this team meant, she practiced on her own during the week (batting cages & practice with her old team) and we'd Travel to Jacksonville to practice on off weeks (no tournaments) with the team. Tournament weeks we'd meet them in the city we'd be playing in. Most of her teamates went thru the same thing as only about 3 were actually from Jacksonville. What a great experience!! She grew up a lot and learned so much. It made her a definate contender to play ball for a Division 1 college. Every tournament there would be coaches there from Univ of Tx, Arizona State, Univ of Tenn, Ohio State, UCLA and all the biggies.
I loved our life. She did too! =) We had so much fun and she's made tons of friends that she has kept all through the years. I truly believe softball and the sports in general kept her on the straight and narrow. She never did drugs or got into any trouble. And she had friends outside of softball that were getting high...her response she used to tell them..."she was an athlete and couldnt chance messing up her pro career". lol Hey whatever it takes. Her friends didnt bug her to do it and she didnt have to keep telling them why she wasnt gonna do it.
Her grades were pretty good. She had to work for it as schoolwork didnt come easy to her. But she graduated HS with a 3.80 in all advanced classes. She could have graduated at the end of her Junior year as she had enough credits, but she wanted to stay and play her senior year of sports and do all the things seniors do. I'm glad she did that.
With Jake when he was under 50lbs!
Softball buddies (Lauren center). I still see these girls but instead of on the softball field, its now at the local bars. lmao. Good kids.
Gold Glove, Olympic Development Team
21 years ago at 12:43am tonight, I gave birth to my sunshine. =)
The last of it tomorrow.