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.

Breaking News!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  I really hope that you’re doing a better job than me at not gaining 10 pounds this week from eating too much junk food.

We had a wonderful week spending time with my wife’s family (we even made a “music” video!) and I’ve been having a blast hanging at my grandparents’ house in Virginia Beach this weekend.  Of course, I’ve spent most of my time down here eating cookies and pies.

In other news, I’m not sure why, but “CNN” decided to do a story about me and my wife.

Breaking News

Enjoy!

Christmas Conflict

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday.  We had a great time hanging with Amanda’s family:

Christmas Conflict

We laughed.

Christmas Conflict 2

We cried.   Baby gifts are emotional.

Baby Pants

We ate too much.

We got a lot of wonderful presents.  Amanda even got a Twinmobile.

Christmas Conflict 3

We watched home videos.  They made me feel old.  The 1990s were a long time ago.

We ate some more.

Despite all those awesome moments, I always have a tough time with Christmas.  I think about the mistakes I made over the past year, the dumb things I did, and my own selfishness.  Those memories and images are in stark contrast to the story of Jesus.  He was born amid great fanfare and cow poop, but He later selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice so that a severed relationship between God and His second-favorite creation (after Chihuahuas) could be restored.  On Christmas, I repeatedly think that I am unworthy of such a gift and that I’ve screwed up way too many times for such incredible grace.

But then I remember that is exactly why Jesus came.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. XVII) – Mariah Carey

You hear a lot about the night Jesus was born, but what about the next day?  Did Jesus and Mary hang out in the stable with the cows?  Were the three wise men awkward “house” guests and overstay their welcome?  What did Joseph do with all that myrrh?

Although I’m not certain, I think Jesus and his parents made a rap video to celebrate such an incredible moment in history.

Awkward White Guy Rap - Mariah Carey

In keeping with tradition, I did the same.  I apologize to Mariah Carey for disgracing her epic Christmas jam.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Christmas in the Capital

Christmas is pretty cool (other than non-rap Christmas carols).  I like Baby Jesus, weather that gives me an excuse to wear cardigans, and people buying me presents.  However, other than watching “Home Alone,” one of my favorite Christmas traditions is our annual “Christmas in the Capital” dinner.

Christmas in the Capital

Here’s how it usually goes down:

(1)  We ask some good friends or family to go out to dinner at a nice-ish DC restaurant the week before Christmas.

(2)  We eat dinner.

(3)  We laugh a lot.

(4)  I try to get a friend to pay the bill.

(5)  He or she declines.

(6)  I eat way too much.

(7)  I later regret those decisions.

(8)  We walk over to the National Christmas Tree.

(9)  Sometimes the tree is still lit.

(10)  We laugh some more.

(11)  We take pictures in front of the tree.

(12)  We make fun of each other.

That’s how it went down last Thursday.  A group of 15 of us hit up Chef Geoff’s Downtown.  I ate five pieces of bread before we ordered our food.  I’m classy.  After a three-hour dinner full of calories and laughs, we hustled over to the National Christmas Tree.  For the second year in a row, it was closed when we arrived and the lights were turned off.  We asked our friends Barack and Michelle to flip the lights back on, but they didn’t respond to our text messages.  Oh well, we still took this fun picture:

Christmas in the Capital - 2

…and here’s some photos from past “Christmas in the Capital” dinners:

2012:

2012

2011:

2011

2010:

2010

2009:

2009

2008:

2008

Okay, all those old pictures make me feel depressed for being old.

In more exciting news, the first ever “Awkward White Guy Christmas Rap” is dropping tomorrow.

Holla.

Name of Thrones

I’ve been writing, thinking, and praying about these two little babies for the past few months:

Name of Thrones

I’m biased, but they are pretty awesome.

Although I’ve made a few trips to baby stores and glanced at the cover of a baby book, this whole thing just got real.  These babies have names now:

Name of Thrones - 2

These names have been our favorites for a few years, but we still wasted $10 on a baby name book to look at other options.  None of them felt right.  We wanted unique, but not weird.  We didn’t want to be super cheesy and have 4 “A” names, but referring to ourselves as The A-Team was still kind of appealing.  I also like the fact that my musical jam for these little rockstars over the past few months has been “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities.  In case you skipped fourth grade, Austin and Madison are the capital cities of Texas and Wisconsin.  As a native Texan, the name Austin has some significance for me.  I’ve never been to Wisconsin, so now I have a good excuse to head up there and take a picture of Madison (the human) in front of a Madison (the city) sign.  We did like the name Jackson for the dude, but 37 of our friends picked that name before us and we didn’t want to have to fight y’all.  Amanda wouldn’t let me name our girl Britney or Spears.  

Thus, Austin and Madison were born.  Well, not yet, but we did buy them Christmas stockings.  We’re not sure about middle names, but we are sure that this dynamic duo is going to do some big things in this world.