Since we started going and watching the Atlanta Braves play, Carter has managed to get a nice collection of autographed baseballs. It’s not too hard to get an autograph at a game if you know where to go and when to get there. We’ve managed to pick up a few at meet-and-greets and got six at the 2011 Family Field Day. He’s met all the players below – with the exception of Chipper. We got that ball in a brown paper bag in a fund raiser for the Braves Foundation. We’re hoping to go to Spring Training in 2012 a get a few of the harder players then.

Anthony Varvaro

Anthony Varvaro

Bobby Dews

Bobby Dews

Brandon Beachy

Brandon Beachy

Brooks Conrad

Brooks Conrad

Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones

Cristhian Martinez #50 and Cory Gearrin #53

Cristhian Martinez #50 and Cory Gearrin #53

Cristhian Marti­nez

Cristhian Marti­nez

Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla

David Ross

David Ross

Eric Hinske

Eric Hinske

Eric O'Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty

Johnny Venters

Johnny Venters

Jose Constanza

Jose Constanza

Kris Medlen

Kris Medlen

Martin Prado

Martin Prado

Mike Minor

Mike Minor

Peter Moylan

Peter Moylan

Stephen Marek

Stephen Marek

Wilkin Ramirez #30

Wilkin Ramirez #30

Anthony Varvarro
Bobby Dewes
Brandon Beachy
Brian Snitker
Brooks Conrad
Chipper Jones
Cory Gearrin
Cristhian Martinez
Dan Uggla
David Ross
Eric Hinske
Eric O’flaherty
Frank Wren
Jason Heyward
Jonny Venters
Jose Constanza
Kris Medlen
Martin Prado
Mike Minor
Peter Moylan
Scott Proctor
Stephen Marek
Wilken Rameriz

Seven years ago today (tonight), you arrived in our world changed it forever. It’s true what everyone says, the birth of your child will change you. There’s no way to describe the feeling in a way that will make someone understand the relevance of the experience.

It’s been an amazing and crazy seven years. As I looked back at the photos in the video above, I not only wonder where that baby went, I wonder what you will look and be like in another seven years. Everyday is an adventure with you. I love seeing all the things in you that you have picked up from your mother, from me and the others around you every day.

I look at this young man who can name every dinosaur and recite every detail about them and see myself 30 years ago. I watch you read an entire book in a day’s time and remember when I used to do the same. I look at your face and see the beauty of your mother’s features transformed into a handsome young man. Watching you play baseball, I see “grandma’s” enthusiasm for the game transferred onto the field, having picked up a love and understanding of the game after spending summers watching it with her. I see “grandpa’s” engineering mind in your amazingly complex Lego and Lincoln Log creations. I see you holding “Granny Pete” to her promise to go looking for the Crystal Skull when you turn 16. I look at you now and see all that and more.

My mind cannot fathom what I will see in another seven years.

As we celebrate your birthday this year, I hope the Braves won the game against the Cardinals that we went to see. I hope they make to the World Series, so we can see Game 2 together. I hope you have added another autographed baseball to your collection. I hope we found the pack of Braves Logo Bandz that you wanted so badly. I hope you have enjoyed every minute of this weekend and the things we did together as a family. Most of all, I hope you know how much your father, your mother, your brother (yes, even Riley) and the rest of your family love you.

Happy 7th Birthday son.

Babies Trailer

The trailer for the documentary Babies looks absolutely fascinating. I’m not one on seeing documentaries in the theater, but I’d actually look for this one on April 16, 2010 when it’s released. Unfortunately, I’m sure it will only play in Nashville (which isn’t too far away), but having two kids, it might as well be a state away.

Still, the idea of following four newborns from four different cultures for a year is such a cool concept. You see the differences right away in the trailer as a goat casually drinks from the bath of the Mongolian baby. It will be interesting to see how different cultures treat their newborns.

I know that when Riley was born (our second son), our parenting approach was vastly different than it was with our first son Carter. I’ll admit, that we were too protective of Carter. As first time parents, I think that’s only natural. You don’t know what to expect, so you tend to be too cautious.

Because of this, Riley is a much more adventurous toddler than Carter. He’s absolutely not afraid of anything or any situation and will plow headfirst into any obstacle – and we let him. He can already climb by himself into the playhouse in the yard and slide down the slide. Mind you, this playhouse is on top of 4 foot posts, so it’s a good climb and a tall slide. Riley gets dirtier, plays rougher, and even eats things we wouldn’t let Carter touch until he was older (carrot sticks). A lot of this has to do with Carter as well. Having a brother that’s 4 years older, Riley thinks he can do whatever Carter can – and most times he does.

Just this past week we visited my sister’s house and Carter and his 4-year old cousin were having a pillow fight. Right in the middle, slinging his own pillow, was Riley. I wouldn’t change anything we’ve done – because we’ve got two wonderful boys.