“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
So far, it’s definitely been a different experience for us this fall. We are used to a busy football schedule, little family time, late dinners, and more. But since we are not with a team right now, we have had some extra free time to plan mini weekends away. We decided it was time for a trip back to Wisconsin. We are so blessed for the football family that we made and still have in Green Bay. Carter and I took a trip back to where it all began, while Jeff went hunting on the west side of Wisconsin. It was a great few days, with lots of emotions!
I’m not sure what the right word for this is, but I’m definitely a “memory hoarder” or an “emotional hoarder.” Maybe the word “hoarder” is a little dramatic but that’s the first thing that came to my mind. I hold onto memories (and sometimes things) very deep. I’ve always been like that. I still have notes that Jeff and I used to write each other back in high school, my first game ticket to Lambeau Field, a bottle of champagne from our wedding, tons of pictures not even in albums, but just old ones that I love, etc. Driving into Green Bay, pretty much felt like we never left, and all of the memories started to come back. I even took the exit for our old house on accident just because I was in a daze and it really felt like home still. We spent four years of our lives there. I think that’s the main thing that I kept thinking and holding on to. We had our first homes together there, started our family, had our first baby Carter, met SO many awesome people, I could go on and on. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t almost cry just because of the emotion overflow. They were good emotions though! I could feel God as I drove by all of the old memories. The memories we have there are priceless, and I’ll always feel like we are home when we visit.
I took a drive down Onieda street, it still looked the same to me with just a few more places to eat. I realize we’ve only been gone since March, but it feels like so much has happened in that short amount of time with us and our family. We were so excited to see our friends for a few days. I even attended the exciting game that Monday night vs. the 49ers with one of my best friends Katie, whose husband is on the coaching staff. We also stayed with her this past week. I remember when Katie asked me if I wanted to go to the game with her, and I said something like “Would that be weird if I went?” That probably sounds silly, but that’s honestly how I felt at the time. Words can’t express how happy I am that I went though! We left our little men with a babysitter, and headed to Lambeau Field.
HOLY EMOTIONS. I even felt nervous pulling in as if Jeff was playing there still? Football does some weird things to you. The energy at the stadium was loud and exciting, and it ended up being a really great game! I was able to see so many of our old friends, and catch up on the latest news. New pregnancies, new babies, new positions, I loved hearing about every bit of it. People have asked me questions like “Do you miss football?” It’s not football that I miss, it’s getting to see the incredible people that we have met along the journey. This business brings you a support system on a whole new level. I met all of these women four years ago, not knowing them at all growing up, and they feel exactly like family. We all come from different backgrounds and are a wide variety of ages, yet we all connect through our faith and through football. Some of us were pregnant together and had our babies together. We all attended games together, made it through tough times together and so much more. It’s a bond that will never change no matter where we live or what team any of us play for.
The year Carter was born, there were also about nine other babies born within about six months of him. We were able to have some play dates with some of Carter’s friends while we were there too. I truly cannot believe how grown up everyone looks! They used to be these tiny little babies and now they are chatty toddlers. It was so much fun seeing them together again.
We were only in town for four days, but I was able to get to some of my favorite places to eat. One of my favorite breakfast spots is The Creamery Downtown. I highly recommend the avocado toast, and their fresh coffee is amazing. We also had Rustique takeout one night for dinner and that was delicious as usual. Pesto fries and the Margarita Pizza is the way to go! I was so excited because I also was finally able to try Bonafide Juicery in De Pere. I had a Forever Young juice that day, and saved a Bonafide Lemonade for the ride home. Both were great! We always liked the restaurants and the places to eat when we lived in Green Bay. We plan on making a trip back so if you have any food suggestions for us, please message me or leave a comment on this post!
All in all, it was a really nice trip. Seeing most of our football family made my heart so happy, and seeing the little ones that Carter grew up with since he was a newborn was absolutely precious! God brought Green Bay to us for so many reasons, and we cannot wait to make our next trip back. Carter did really well on the long drive. I actually plan to make a blog post on how to help your toddler survive a long car ride sometime soon. Thanks again for catching up with the Next Play, check back again soon!
Lots of love and God Bless,