The Classic

Our world is full of amazing traditions:

Christmas

The Classic

Free Slurpee Day at 7/11

The Classic2

The Kreider-McCormick Classic.

The what?!?

The Kreider-McCormick Classic.

Kreider-McCormick ClassicThe Kreider-McCormick Classic started in 1996. However, it wasn’t a Classic then. It was just a dozen kids playing baseball in a park during the last week of school. We were in the seventh grade. None of us had cellphones, flat screen TVs, or the internet. “Macarena” was the number one song that year.

We just happened to play another game of baseball, in that same neighborhood park, during the last week of school the next year too. It then became a tradition. The following year, we went off to high school and met some new friends. One of those friends, Matt H., gave our pickup game of baseball a name:

The Kreider-McCormick Classic.

1999 Classic

(Due to technological and budgetary restraints, this is the only picture in existence from the first ten Classics.)

The world has changed a lot since that first Classic in 1996.  Much of it for the better, some of it for the worse. However, one thing remains the same:

Every summer, twenty or so old friends gather together at the high school we once called home. We play baseball, meet all the new husbands, wives, and babies, and laugh about the priceless memories of our youth. Two strangers met at the 2009 Classic. They got married and had a baby a few years later.

It seems like we were sixteen-year-olds rocking our Jansports, Discmans, and fresh Tommy Hilfiger shirts just a few heartbeats ago. Now, we’re rocking mortgages, baby strollers, and a few extra pounds.

2013 Classic

(The 2013 Classic)

This year’s Kreider-McCormick Classic, the eighteenth version of this esteemed game, so esteemed that the Virginia Beach newspaper wrote about it once, is taking place on August 16, 2014 at 2:00pm at Tallwood High School.

We’re trying to use this year’s Classic to raise money for a good cause. One of our friends and classmates passed away recently. To raise money for a suicide prevention charity, one of the Classic legends, Justin G., designed some t-shirts. You can buy one of those t-shirts for $20 here. All the money goes to the charity. The catch is that we have to buy 20 t-shirts for this to happen. We’re far from that goal. So consider buying some epic Classic memorabilia and supporting a good cause all at the same time.

This event is one of my favorite days of the year. It reminds me that something that may seem small and inconsequential can grow into something beautiful. It gets a little harder to run around the bases each year, but those strained gasps for air and leg cramps remind me there is no place like home and a community of childhood friends.

All-Stars

Hi.

Tonight is Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Unfortunately, I fell a few million votes short of making one of the teams. Maybe next year.

In the interim, I’ve put together a list of some of the All-Stars in my life. This list isn’t exclusive, but just some of the names I could think up at midnight. I just want to say thanks to these people for being awesome.

Amanda M.: I’m really glad I married this lady. She makes me laugh every single day.

Steve Ellis: I’m guessing none of y’all know Steve. I don’t know Steve. However, Steve founded Chipotle. Thank you, Steve.

Paul M. and Eddie W.: These guys are some of our BFFs. They make us laugh, they are always there to help, and they are incredible cooks.

Paul and I as (unintentionally creepy) Bert and Ernie, Halloween 2013:

All Stars

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Hannah M.Hannah inspired me to start this blog. She also loves the same kind of terrible music that I enjoy.

Tom Brady: He’s won “5” Super Bowls for my beloved New England Patriots. Thank you, Tom. We should hang out again:

My mom and Amanda’s mom: Both of them have stayed with us a bunch over the first few months of our kids’ lives. Their love, support, and help have been priceless. We would not have survived without them.

Joe S.We send a lot of snarky texts. Most of them are about baseball and the horrible grammar we see people use on Facebook. It is healthy to vent somewhere.

Steve F.: More snarky texts. Most are about crazy stuff our kids do, the highs and lows of being a lawyer, and how amazing our wives are at everything. Steve also makes me feel young when we hang out because he’s much older than me.

Josh O.: I look up to this guy more than I do any of my other friends. Josh is 6’6″.

Howard and Kelly A.: Howard has been one of my BFFs for 20+ years. They are the nicest people in the world. Kelly is also really short.

Kelly and Josh:

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Terrence C.This guy drives like a thousand miles to church on Sunday. He’s a wonderful, insightful, and funny guy who I am honored to know. He also likes Mexican food.

Kim and Matt H.These two model the love of Jesus in such incredible ways. Plus, their son is absurdly cute.

Vanilla Ice: Thank you for the inspiration and the greatest work of art ever created.

Dennis and Donna P: They are such incredible pastors, mentors, and inspirations.

Ryan Zimmermann: You’ve followed me from Virginia Beach, to UVA, to DC. Thank you for the support. You are also my favorite baseball player.

Joy and Hunter W.These two are crazy. Crazy because they are willing to do whatever it takes to build an incredible church community.

Andy DunnThis guy is the reason I wear pink, yellow, green, orange, and purple pants. He founded Bonobos.

“Wear the Rainbow.”

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Chris D. and Alissa K.: These two are hilarious. They are getting married in October. I can’t wait to celebrate their lives. However, I’ve been told that I have to stay at least 20 feet away from the microphone.

Charles C.This guy constantly challenges me to be a better man, husband, and father. He is from Texas. I am too.

Brian WilliamsHe is my favorite newscaster. He is also my baseball BFF and such a wise and thoughtful friend.

Chad and Kaci C.: Their lives are crazy, but they live them out with incredible grace, composure, and humor. We want to be parents like them.

Ben I.: This guy came to church one time and was volunteering the next week. He has been such an inspiration to so many people at our church.

Ron M.Amazing man. Amazing life story. Amazing musician. Amazing beard.

John C.Very few of my guy friends love shoes as much as I do. John does. #solidarity

Jen S. and David W.I could not live the thug life without them.

My grandparents: I would not be here without them. Literally. Plus, all four are magnificent human beings.

My kids: They have changed everything. For the better.

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Okay, time to go to bed. Bye.

 

Changing the Game

Life has changed a little bit since the twins arrived in March. For example, going to a baseball game has become quite the chaotic adventure.

Changing the Game

We’ve been to about sixty Nationals games during our time in the DC area. We like to get to the games two hours early to watch batting practice, get some sun, and chat with the players. We have watched hundreds of games on TV. Witnessing Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS in person, when Jayson Werth hit a walk off home run on the 13th pitch of an at bat to break a 1-1 tie, is one of the ten greatest moments of my life. Watching the Nationals blow a 6-0 lead in Game 5 the next night, and give up three runs with two outs in the ninth, to lose 9-7 was one of the worst ten moments of my life.

In short, our family takes baseball very seriously.

Changing the Game - 2On Friday, it was finally time to introduce the kids to one of our favorite traditions.

It was exhausting.

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Unlike prior years, when we’d just buy tickets and show up, I checked the weather report dozens of times before we decided to go to the game. We had to Goldilocks that sucker: it couldn’t be too hot or too cold. Thankfully, the weather was perfect this weekend in DC. We also weren’t going to risk the insanity of the pre and post-game Metro rides, so we reserved a parking spot for $16 in advance.

Game on.

Almost.

We got into the stadium just before the first pitch. It then took us 20 minutes to find the stroller check-in, get all our junk unloaded, and awkwardly put the kids into the baby Ergo/Bjorn/backpack things. They felt so nice and swampy. We finally got to our seats in the lower level in left field. Ten seconds later, a foul ball landed ten feet away from us. That helped with the paranoia that the kids might get hit with a ball. The kids were pretty chill for five minutes, but then the stirring began, then the crying, and then the screaming.

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The whole experience was a bit of a circus. Thankfully, our dear friends, Brian and Caroline, were there to help us out. Occasionally, we were able to talk and sometimes we even got to watch the baseball game. Amanda had to pump some milk in a bathroom stall, which probably prompted some funny looks due to the unmistakable sound that little machine makes. The six of us spent about ten minutes sitting together, the other two-and-a-half hours were spent with one of us walking/bouncing/swaying the babies somewhere in the stadium.

It was awesome.

Yup, it was different. Yup, it was tiring. Yup, it was a hassle. Nope, our family isn’t going to a game again anytime soon. But, you know what, we got to do something we love with two little babies we desperately love. That’s a win. Plus, the Nationals won too.

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Da Beard

Fashion accessories are fun.  I really love shoes, ties, and pocket squares.  They can add some extra life to an outfit and allow you to bring a little craziness to the business world.  Well, I’m now rocking a new fashion accessory every single day…and night.

Da beard.

Da Beard

It wasn’t planned.  Rather, it was born out of laziness.  I usually pull the plug on beard growth after a week.  It doesn’t really mesh with teal pants and a neon shirt.  Plus, my beard turns red, and no offense to my red-headed friends, but that weirds me out a little.

But I’m not shaving this beard.  I’m not sure if it can be scientifically proven, but I’m pretty sure it is a Gandalf magic beard.  Two weeks ago, my beloved Nationals were dead.  The season was essentially over.  But then I stopped shaving.  Since that fateful evening, the Nationals are 10-1.  Our chances of making the playoffs are still incredibly small, but I’ve got faith!  More importantly, I’ve got a beard.  A magic beard.

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Cursed

Some combinations are awesome:

-chicken and waffles;

Queen and David Bowie;

-Chuck Taylors and suits; and

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-Me and Britney.

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Others combinations are lame:

-Joey Lawrence and the 21st Century;

-Christina Aguilera and everything;

-DC tourists and Metro escalators; and

-Me and my friend Brian.

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You see, we’re good friends.  We hang out a lot.  We go to the same church.  We’re even working together to launch a new Capital City Church location in Virginia.  One problem: we’re bad luck.  Really bad luck.

Over the past two years, we’ve been to six Nationals games together.  We’re 0-6.  In non-Brian games, I’m probably 15-6.  You do the math.

We’re cursed.

We went to a huge game last night against the Braves.  Unsurprisngly, the Nationals lost in spectacular fashion.  This was partly due to the fact that the Nationals are a bad baseball team, but it was mainly our fault.

In short, do not invite us both to your wedding.  Or any important medical procedures.

You’ll probably die.

First playoff baseball game in DC in 70+ years.  Went with Brian.

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We lost.

Won sweet field passes.

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Still lost.

Met Bryce Harper.

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#lost

Brian’s 25th Birthday!

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Lost again.  (Duh.)

Maybe we’ll have better luck on $1 hot dog night?

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Nope. Like a weird island full of polar bears and smoke monsters, we LOST.

So instead of blaming our inept coach, underperforming players, or questionable management for the Nationals’ disappointing 2013 season, now you know the real culprit:

Brian.

Lessons Learned

I’m not brilliant.  Thus, any time I can learn something new, that’s a good thing.  Bonus points if it’s not some useless pop trivia fact. (Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. And she has a dog named Fozzi.)

Thankfully, I learned a lot of new stuff this weekend.

I learned that it is possible to eat 30 brownies in 48 hours.

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  #grandma’s

I learned that idiot high school guys just grow up to be idiot older guys.  And they play baseball in a thunderstorm.

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No one died.  Thanks, God.

I learned that I-95 is the worst place in the world.  Other than Blacksburg.

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Sat in traffic for six hours.  At least Amanda got a nice nap.

I learned that DC has a lot of problems.  The lack of a Cookout is the worst of them all.

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I crushed a huge burger, fries, hushpuppies, and a milkshake for $6.  SIX DOLLARS.  My salads in DC cost $11.  Fix this, Obama.

I learned that Chubbies shorts are the perfect baseball attire.

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Right? RIGHT?!

I learned that the Wave Church is pretty dope.  Gorgeous building, incredible pastors, ridiculous conference, and music so fly that it makes Superman jealous.  Plus, guys in pink pants and Biggie shirts are welcome there.

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…and Steelers fans too (unfortunately).

Just like the lustful sirens called for Odysseus, I learned that Virginia Beach will always beckon me to return.

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We’ll see.

Finally, I learned that no matter how many years pass by, how many pounds we gain, or how many wives or kids we have, nothing really changes between me and my old high school buds. We always pick up where we left off.  We’re not old friends, just friends. And idiots.

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The survivors of the 17th Annual Kreider-McCormick Classic.  Team McCormick “won” a 5-0 rain-soaked 4-inning throwdown.  Amazingly, no injuries.  Many thanks to the thousands who attended and to Christi H. for all the amazing pictures!

Thankful Thursday

Life can be rough sometimes.

Your job might be stressful.  Your family might be crazy.  Your baseball team might be the most disappointing thing since Jurassic Park 2.

Despite all that, life is still pretty awesome and there are always plenty of things to be thankful about.  Here’s what I’m especially thankful for this week:

I’m thankful for Katy Perry

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Katy just announced that she is releasing a new album in October.

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Rejoice, world.

I’m thankful for bike rides that add excitement to a day spent staring at Microsoft Word.  Or Excel if I go really crazy.

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(I’m thankful I didn’t die.)

I’m thankful I get to bike past pretty things twice a day.

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I’m thankful for this Bible verse:

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After working 853 hours this week, I needed that.

I’m thankful for Paul. 

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He planned an epic community service day.  Thanks, Paul.

I’m thankful that I have had a lot of the same friends for 15-20 years.

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 I’m thankful that I get to see a lot of those friends in Virginia Beach this weekend.

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Speaking of Va Breezy, I’m thankful that I get to go home, hang with family, and see lots of my Cap City Church friends at Wave Conference 2013.

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(even if I missed the first 95% of the conference)

Most importantly, I’m thankful that I didn’t have to take the bar exam this week.  That test is the only thing worse than The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

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(P.S. – Call me, Katy!)

(P.P.S. – Team Edward for Life)