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Look back, but only to see how far you've come

To be honest, this is the first time I've ever thought to look back over a decade. I mean I've looked back over the last ten years of my life, but there is something special about ending a decade and beginning a new one - and being aware of it. Maybe it never really dawned on me because I didn't used to care about a whole lot, or maybe it's because from your 20s to your 30s you actually become an adult. Its exciting to think about the next decade and how much more I will learn, grow and evolve.

Looking back to 2010, I was 24 years old and thought I had my life together. I was "confident" and in complete denial that I was living my life in toxic chaos. Of course I had lots of highs, but I had some very dark lows. I lived in a adorable "village" with my best friend (we're talking childhood friend, a sister from another mister). I was also in complete puppy love with a drug addict and fell hard into the depths of my co-dependant relationship with …


Take It Back Astros

(Photo Credit: Brad Kyle, The Runner Sports)

What is a girl to do when her old baseball team plays her new baseball team? Cheer for both of course! I am a pretty competitive person, but let me tell you it's a totally different feeling when you are fine if either team wins AND to cheer on both teams from inside the ball park. Baseball is a sport our whole family enjoys, and we always have a blast when we go catch the Houston Astros at Minute Maid park.

Living in the East End of Downtown Houston means we are super close to downtown. Houston has a pretty decent public transportation system that makes it easy for us to get around without driving, we can also just walk to a lot of places. Now we did walk to Minute Maid park once, it is doable, but it's a pretty far walk. What we usually do is park our car, hit up 8th wonder brewery, and then walk to the ball park. It's just far enough to get a pretty good walk in, but not too far that our feet are aching. When we can, we like to walk places or use public transportation. It's one less car on the road!

Let's face it, going to any event at a big venue is expensive - add kids to the mix and it's even MORE costly. We live that frugal life, and we are pretty picky about what we spend our money on at the ballpark. If we go to the fan store we keep it under $20. There's pop dolls, baseballs, pins, key chains, foam fingers, stickers, patches, and shoelaces that fall into this price range. You still get the experience and excitement from shopping at the fan store without burning a hole in your pocket. Because we are vegan we don't usually eat their food outside of peanuts, french fries and cotton candy...and even then that can add up. Although I will give the Astros credit, they did have a beyond burger that we discovered at one of their grill food spots. But for $15, and no side we wont buy it again. Not only the price was a turn off. We could tell our burger sat, it was barely warm and was a bit tough to chew. We are happy they FINALLY have a vegan sandwich option, if I did get it again I would ask them to make it fresh.

What helps keep the cost low is we bring in our own food. You read that correctly, we make our own food and bring it in! Check your venue's policy, but I would think a lot of baseball parks offer this option. Each ticket holder can bring in their own clear one-gallon zip top bag at minute maid. As long as they can see what's inside you're good. We like to do sandwiches, but hot dogs have been our go to the last few times. Side note we just tried Field Roast Frankfurters for the first time and they were super tasty! Each of us got two hot dogs, a bag of chips, and a bag of peanuts. The bonus about the hot dogs is you can still use the toppings at the condiment stands. It keeps your bag less messy, and everyone can customize their own hot dog with the several topping options that these stands have to offer. Since the only beverage you can bring in is a unopened bottle of water we pass on that and buy a drink inside. It saves us room in our bag, and it makes the beverage feel like a treat = happy son, happy husband. The other night was a bonus for us because it was half off beer night. My husband and I got to drink craft beer for only $5.75. That's the cheapest beer we have ever bought at ANY event venue.

Since both my boys have a difficult time sitting for a long period of time we usually walk around for a little bit around the 5th inning. Minute Maid park just update a "Hall of Fame" section of the main concourse, and there's tons of artwork to look at as well. Rudy was excited when we found a Virtual Reality simulation of Minute Maid park. Because it was during the game there was barely a line. It was pretty fun! Thank you Wells Fargo for the free game.

A baseball game is a great time with the family. If you go during the week, and especially during the day the prices tend to be a bit cheaper. You can also get package deals with 4 or more people. Bonus if you go on a Friday, they shoot off fireworks. Don't forget to check out your local baseball parks website, do some digging. I guarantee you'll find some ways to save your family some money. Don't be discouraged by the price, the memories and fun you'll have as a family is worth it. When Jeremy said he could get tickets to Tigers vs. Astros I knew we had to go. I have been waiting to see them play together since I moved here almost 5 years ago. I also thought it would be a nice way to end summer vacation.


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