Heart Stories

James Hoyt Baseball, sure did make this cute lil special needs baseball player smile

If you don’t know who James Hoyt is, then you should…. but don’t feel too bad, because I didn’t know who he was either.  Let me tell you a fun little story of how James Hoyt in his first game as a MLB pitcher for the Astros, totally made my son smile!

A few weeks ago I was on an early morning flight to New York City (with a layover in Phoenix).  The night before we had just gotten home from a 2 week road trip with our kids, so I was running on only 4 hours of sleep and I was exhausted.   I had planned to try and sleep most of the plane ride.  My husband had the window, I always get the awkward middle seat.  That is when Marcia sat down next to me in the isle seat. I had never met her before, but after a little bit of “small talk” while others were loading. I could tell that she was just a bubbly, adorable woman. My plans to sleep were put aside and I found myself talking for almost 3 hours to Marcia.

Marcia told me all about her family, her dog, making her own almond milk, growing up in the big city then moving to the west and traveling with her kids.  But when she asked me questions about myself… I could tell she was not asking simply  to just fill our time while stuck on a plane. Instead she was asking about  my family because she was just a “good soul” and kind hearted.

Matthew baseball

She happened to be on that flight to Phoenix to watch her son James Hoyt play his first MLB baseball game.  He grew up here in Boise, and over the years has played for an independent league in Texas and even pitched in Mexico for some time. But he also cleaned boats to earn money… yes he was the guy you would hire to scrape the barnacles off your boat.  Time, and hard work paid off and at age 29 he finally got drafted ( I think that is what it is called, lol) by the Astros and now is a MLB pitcher.  She was so excited to go support her son, and cheer him on.

I then told her about my oldest son Matthew.  Matthew is 14 and has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  Long story short he was born missing half his heart and after 14 surgeries he is well enough to be a “normal boy”.  He still only has half a heart, but it is now routed in a way that allows him to stay alive.  Matthew also has seizures and significant learning delays.  He is 14, but is the size and tends to act more like a 6 year old.

Matthew has played special needs baseball the last two years. It is the highlight of his year and he just loves every minute of it.  When you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you, a baseball player.  I told Marcia that Matthew and I will have to look for James, and Matthew would love to watch him pitch.

A few days after I got back from my New York City trip, I get an email from Marcia;

Hi Sarah,

I hope you and your husband had a great time in NYC:-)  Houston was such a fun time!!!  Jimmy gave me a strike ball for Mathew that he pitched during his first outing with the Astros.  Maybe when Jimmy comes home for a visit maybe they can meet each other!!
Have a terrific day and let me know the best way I can get this ball to you all.  I am always running circles around town and could meet you anywhere.

Happy Wednesday!!


She went out of her way to bring my son,  my lil Matthew a ball back from a MLB game.  It was signed by James and even had dirt from the game on it.  From his first strike out in the Major League. Who does that…. who goes out of their way for a total stranger just to make a little boy smile? Marcia does, see I told you she was a good soul.  I was so touched by her generosity.   Matthew has the ball in a plastic bag on his dresser, and wants to get a special case so he can display it.  It was one of the first things he wanted to tell his classmates at school about, as he went back to school. He sure felt special that he has his very own ball from a MLB game.

So…. Mr. James Hoyt, I have never met you, I didn’t know your name till about 3 weeks ago, but it will now be a name I will never forget. THANK YOU for making my son smile,  thank you  for making him feel special!  And by the way, you have a pretty amazing Momma, but I am pretty sure you already know that!

Matthew baseball

Matthew at his special needs baseball game.

James Hoyt 

pic from MiLB.com


Pictures from his first game on Aug 3, 2016 in the 7th inning and the same day he gave us this ball from this game.

Aug 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher James Hoyt (51) pitches during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher James Hoyt (51) pitches during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Here it comes—-

james hoyt signed baseball houston astros

James Hoyt 7th inning Houston Astros

Pretty sure he’s telling the catcher that he needs that ball back to give to Matthew.

James Hoyt signed ball Houston Astros

Above three pictures credit from the Houston Chron

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On the one year death of Mia McDonald her family has asked that in her memory we do a service for another, I could think of no better service than to share her story and have you ASK YOURSELF the question… If the day came would I be able to give the ultimate gift and in my own grief save another?   Organ Donation changes and saves lives!

Mia your have touched our hearts in ways you will never know, we love you and your family!


Last October I shared a post with you called The Text That Made Me Think About Never Blogging Again.  I told you the story of sweet little Mia who’s heart stopped and she went to live with her Father In Heaven.  That was not just a fancy play on words and a way to grab your attention to read my post.  I really did think about never blogging again.

I have a confession to make, since that day my heart is still aching I have really been looking at my life and trying to put things in order.  Some days I am consumed with sadness that I can not shake off on those days I feel hopeless, sad, overwhelmed.  The days I feel that way are the days I feel like my life is out of balance, I feel like all my energy is going to the wrong thing.  I have been given this wonderful family, I have been given the gift of mother hood.  I have been given this special boy, in which each day is a truly a gift.  But I also have this amazing blog that I get to help people save money, I get to share our story, I get to connect with so many wonderful readers.

But there are not enough hours in the day to be the mother I want to be and be the blogger I once was.  Many of you have noticed I stopped posting my shopping trips, I am not at the store as much, I am not listing my menu plan, or my budget review.  I want to… but some times you need an event to SHAKE YOUR SOUL to remind you once again what you are here on this earth for.  As I have spent the last  year thinking about it.  I am once again trying to fit my life together as God would want it to be.  Putting my family first, not knowing how it will all work out?  But somehow it always does when you put the important things first all the other things fall into place.  This is not easy for me, but I have faith that I am doing the right thing.

I am still blogging don’t get me wrong but at some point I had to realize that I am NOT super woman and working 15 hours most days is not what is best for my family. But I did not know how to stop, and put my life in order.  I have amazing helpers on my blog and I need to let them do just that, and “help” me.

Trying to remember why I started this blog 4 years ago… it was help others.  But somehow on that journey I kind of felt like I lost myself.  I wondered if I was to die would people say ” She sure was a great coupon shopper”… I sure hope not!  That is the last thing I would want to be know for. Sure it is a great skill to have but not the title by which I strive to live my life.  I asked my friends on facebook to list one word that described me little did they know I was really struggling and I needed it as some sort pathetic validation that I was ok.  As I watched the replies I was pleased to see NOT ONE OF THEM listed anything to do with coupons.  I guess I am headed in the right direction.

But what if I asked that questions to you my readers… would you know the the heart behind the person on this blog?  Do you know that saving money is part of my life but SO MANY things are much more important?

So today I share with you one of the things that is on my top 10 most important things in life.

Give Life: Be an Organ Donor
Paul Cardall

Watch it on youtube here.

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