Friends, Family, BBQ and Beer

First and foremost, I need it to be known that the most amazing and wonderful human being on the planet has asked me to marry him!  I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve such a caring, selfless and loving man but boy do I thank my lucky stars EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for him.  That being said…..

I’m getting’ married, bitches!

Ok ok ok….. I might be a little over the moon excited about marrying Jason.  Just a tad bit anyways.

This is a second marriage for both of us.  We have both been divorced over 8 years (our divorces were finalized exactly 2 months apart).  We have two separate households, routines, bills, kids, responsibilities, etc.  So, having a wedding isn’t necessarily something important to either of us.  Don’t get me wrong, we are incredibly excited and cannot wait to get married.  We just aren’t flashy people. My parents spent a small fortune on my first wedding.  That was a huge waste of money.  But I was young and wanted to feel like a princess even though I didn’t feel like one in my relationship.  Well, that is definitely not the case this time around.  Jason treats me like a queen.  And because of that, all I care about in this wedding planning business is becoming Mrs. Van and spending my life with him.  And basically, you can do that at the justice of the peace.

The day Jason and I say “I do” it will be about our two families coming together as one. That is what is truly important to us. Our kids are the only people who will be standing up for us. Akela (my future daughter) is my only bridesmaid (and coincidentally will be spoiled the rest of her life because I will finally have a daughter – I digress). Landon and Brayden will stand next to Jason. In fact, Landon is walking me down the ‘aisle’ and giving me away. (I write ‘aisle’ because it’s not much of an aisle as it is more of a graveled area of approximately 10-15 steps) The only reason we are having a wedding ceremony is for the kids. They deserve to be a part of our special day. It’s tough being a kid raised by your single parent without a lot of help from the other side. (And by help, I mean guidance, mentoring, communication, etc.) So, they deserve the party.

Our wedding isn’t going to flashy or lavish.  It isn’t going to be expensive.  But it is going to be filled with friends, family, bbq and beer.

Family, Beer and Baseball

Landon pitching during fall ball season

Believe it or not, there was a time when I would see a baseball game on the television and think to myself, “OMG, how boring.” Many years ago, I was even asked to go to a Major League Baseball game and I declined because I didn’t want to sit in the stands and be bored. I mean, come on, there is like ZERO action. Or, so I thought.

Thanks to Landon, I was able to stop that idiotic thinking of baseball being a boring sport and I actually began to not only understand, but love the game.

Landon played baseball for 7 seasons. I watched him grow from T-ball to Babe Ruth. We even traveled all the way up to Aberdeen, Maryland, for the Cal Ripken Baseball Camp one summer. We’ve gone to many Washington Nationals games and we’ve even seen the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Short-Season classification affiliate team for the Baltimore Orioles) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class A – Advanced affiliate team for the Chicago Cubs). After a good run, Landon decided he didn’t want to play anymore, and that was OK.

Summer of 2016, our first Morehead City Marlins game.

The summer of 2018 I became a host family for the Morehead City Marlins. Even though Landon wasn’t playing, we still had a summer filled with baseball (and obviously beer). But better yet, we also walked away from that summer experience with a new family. And if you’ve never had a baseball family before, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Anne, Dawson, Landon

Well, here we are, with the start of the 2019 season for the Morehead City Marlins just days away, Landon and I have opened up our house again for the second year. But this year, we are hosting two players. Due to the devastation of Hurricane Florence this past September, Eastern North Carolina is still trying to pick up the pieces. Many host families were unable to help out this year. We knew it would be tight, but we would make it work. So, this week we’re welcoming Ryan and Connor to the family.

So, if you’re in the area this summer, come join us at the Big Rock Stadium for some baseball and beer. And before you know it, you just might become family.