When the Atlanta Braves sent out an email blast with $18 tickets and I found seats on the right-field warning track, it was too good to pass up. School was still out and a 7pm EST start time meant we’d probably get home about Midnight – plenty of time for me to get some shuteye and make it to work the next day. Little did we know that what we were really going to see was the LONGEST GAME in ATLANTA BRAVES Franchise history.

Yep. The game lasted 19 innings for 6 hours and 39 minutes. Yes, we made it home and yes I made it to work — only about 2 hours late. It was all worth it because the Braves won – even if it was a controversial call.

Plus, we made it on TV – twice. You can see the clips above. Carter, Riley and I are walking the plaza at about 20-seconds on the pre-game show. At about 40 seconds, look below the SportSouth logo and you can see us all for a second and Carter for a few more as he walks down to the right-field wall.

There’s no doubt that we like the Atlanta Braves. Everyone has their own favorite player. Carter likes Schafer or Heyward, Jill likes Chipper (and so do I). But, just like the Braves themselves, we all like Martin. It was a little disappointing to see him move to the outfield this year and we’ve missed him with his recent stint on the DL. If there was any doubt how important his is to the Braves franchise, their promotional materials for this year should let you know.

The Atlanta Braves filmed several commercials for this season during Spring Training. They debuted one featuring Jason Heyward first and it was especially funny since it dealt with a partially true Spring Training story. Chipper’s commercial was next and the content and attitude embodies Chipper (it’s also one of Jill’s favorites). The third commercial released featured Huddy and Lowe showing off their new pitches – which look like they were developed by Bugs Bunny. The fourth commercial featured Brian McCann in a deadpan performance in his catcher’s gear. I had heard the final commercial featured Prado and was the best of the bunch. After we saw it the first time, there was no denying that it was the best.

Although Chipper is having an outstanding year and I hope he returns for the 2012 season, I would love to see Prado take over 3rd base when Chipper retires. Various outlets have stated that Prado is the heart of the team, so I can’t wait to see how they perform when he returns (hopefully after the All-Star break).

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.

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Appropriately enough for May 4th, TomTom has announced that Star Wars voices for their GPS products will be available (only in Europe, right now). Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. Just watch the video for Darth Vader recording his voice. It ends as you’d expect, but it’s still hilarious.