Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vegas for Veterans Day

I realize that I do waaaay to many baseball posts. I really do try to even it out with other things, I promise. Jake has been living and breathing this sport since he was 7 years old. He has played on a few different teams but eventually settled comfortably into the 'Rebels' when Wade took the leap and decided to coach. They have steadily improved as a team, dropping and picking up players when necessary, and basically practicing their butts off year round.

They play in about 1 tournament a month. We have traveled all throughout the state of Utah, into Arizona and Nevada. For some reason unbeknown to us that elusive First place has been frustratingly out of our reach. Always going home with 2nd or 3rd place. Until now that is....

We decided earlier in the year it would be fun to go to Vegas in the Fall to play at the Big League Dream Park. We paid our $500 registration fees, rented a house, packed up the truck and hit the road. 4 Pool play games were challenging but our boys played flawless defense, and our deep pitching bench held up. On to championship day with a 1 seed. We were excited, but had been here so many times before that we were also carefully optimistic.

Well, the old saying 'Hard work pays off' finally came true. The Rebels went to war with a Nevada team and a California team. They won both games by a margin of 1. They were both immensely intense games. I was a pacing, nail biting, photo taking, nightmare bundle of nerves. I wanted it so bad for them I could taste it. When that final run was scored to end the game I literally dropped to my knees and cried. Have you ever wanted something so bad for your kids and you finally see them achieve it and it brings you to your knees? Incredible feeling.

I'm glad it didn't come easy. I'm glad they had to work hard for it. It makes victory so much sweeter when there is blood, sweat and tears to back it up. Way to go Rebels. This Rebel mom is Proud as a Peacock!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Utes & Us in San Fran

Wade & I took our annual road trip to watch the Utes play an away game a few weeks ago. We pulled out the football schedule months ago and decided that San Francisco in October sounded grand. Here is our Hotel Monaco in the heart of the city. Notable quote from the concierge. "When you leave the Hotel, always go right. Never go left, left is bad very bad."

Upon our arrival we hit the Fisherman's Wharf. First stop... Boudin Bakery for the original sourdough bread. Holy shitake it was delicious.

We wandered the waterfront, stumbled into the nickel arcade with all it's refurbished puppet shows, peep shows, and games. Here's Wade trying to get a peep at the Triple XXX show. Sorry kid, built around 1950 the only skin was a bit of knee.

When the hunger pangs returned, we stepped up to the crab bar and got us some fresh Dungeness. Fresh off the boat and dropped in the steamer just for us.

The next morning we caught the morning boat to Alcatraz. A lifelong dream of Wade's! It was creepy, historic, and fascinating. We took the audio tour, and then spent some time wandering around the Island.

Amazingly there is a very active botanical group that nourishes several indigenous plants and flowers. A strange backdrop for such beauty.

It was also game day so we caught the F-train to Bart to Giants Stadium.

As has become tradition, the Utes took a beating. I'm starting to think we're a jinx. We had a great time at a beautiful stadium though and It was nice to be around some friendlies.

Customarily a day of Football is followed by a day of shopping. Give and take. We had fun exploring Chinatown and Union Square. Found a few treasures and trinkets. My fav? $35 silk robe and pajamas.

Rode a trolley car.

We were in need of a real adventure. The next day we rented some mountain bikes and unknowingly set off on a 14 mile bike ride. Almost got hit by a bus, Almost died of exhaustion, Almost didn't find one of the biggest bridges in the world! We had peddled for hours. Saw a lot of beautiful things....

The painted ladies

The Observatory in the Golden Gate Park...

The Japanese Tea Garden...

Floral Delight in the form of my favorite, Hydrangeas...

Glorious Redwood...

and then finally there it was... sneaking out of the fog... like a magnificent sunset...

It is 1.7 miles across the bridge and the wind speed had to be about 50 mph.

We gorged ourselves on lunch in a little seaside town called Sausalito then found the nearest Boat back to the mainland. Look out baby, that birdie might just poop on you!

Some leftover photos from the trip that made my short list of favorites!

Until next year....

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Luke 3.0

Since I seem to be blogging all about Luke today here is a final post. We talked him into playing club soccer this Fall to keep his skills alive through the High School off season. It was indeed a struggle and he was a very busy boy trying to juggle Golf Team and Shooter Soccer at the same time. Needless to say he didn't make it to many practices and about half the matches. I did manage to snap a quick pic with my phone at the end of the year though...

Luke is bottom center... the good looking one. ;-)

In contrast here is a pic of one of his early shooter years.


To say that I'm a controlling, Type A, Pushy Mom is for lack of a better word, an understatement. Luke has not been too excited about the High School 'Dance' life. He managed to completely avoid it his Sophomore year. I was not having any of that his Junior year. The kid is handsome. Has a job. Has a car. What could be more datable? Well, I bullied him into getting a date and going to Homecoming this year. Of course I dragged his BFF into the mix. I picked his outfit. Ordered his corsage (with a custom silver band from Austin Texas of course), made dinner reservations, planned his day date, and planned his after dance activity. It was going to be a fabulous day! Duh!

Well he last minute changed my day date activity, and threw my dinner reservations in the G-file and went with a large group of 10. The more the merrier. I'm just glad he finally showed a little initiative. They had a great time. He looked absolutely studly. On to the next bullying. Christmas Ball!

Luke and Lexi, Lewis and Nicole

Grandma Patsy pinning on the boutineer.

Third in State!

Well, another year of High School Golf has come and gone. The Maple Mountain High School golf team did really well this year. The school is only 3 years old, and they have already managed to put together a winning program. The team took Third in 4A state competition this year. Beaten only by powerhouses with a long standing reputation for fine golfers. First was Woods Cross High School and Second was Highland High School. We were fortunate enough to sneak away from our busy days and go watch for a few hours each day. I was astounded at the mental toughness and control of the game these young men displayed. They put many of the 'Adult Golfers' I know to shame. I was a very proud Mom to have my Luke included in this group of athletes. Golf is the game he loves. Golf is the game he lives for. Golf is the game which will hopefully pay for college?

Wade and Luke after his final day of competition.

Luke, Nick, and Kendrick watching Logan finish up his final 18.

The Varsity team celebrating and stopping for photos after the scores were all posted.

Great job guys. Proud of you.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jake's Giant Dream

About 3 months ago, Wade and I, trying to motivate Jake into being a better more consistent pitcher, made a deal with him. We promised that if he ever pitched a no-hitter Wade would take him to San Francisco to see a Giants home game. Parents make these far fetched promises all the time right? Well, about 3 weeks ago he did it. Wade tried his best to argue himself out of a potentially very costly bet.
Wade: That wasn't a no hitter, kids got on base, runs were scored!
Jake: Those weren't my fault. Those were fielding errors Dad.
Wade: I still don't think that counts as a no hitter Jake.
Jake: Oh yes it does. Look it up. You didn't bet me that I would pitch a perfect game. You bet me that I would pitch a no hitter and that's what I did so pay up Dad.

As you can see, Jake is a very persuasive arguer. Future in politics? Well, Wade finally acquiesced and booked the trip. It had to be done in a very quick fashion as the Giants were on their last home stretch of the season the following week and were not going to make it to the playoffs. Plane tickets were booked. Game tickets were bought. Game on!

Jake in his 'First Class Southwest seat'. This was an early wake-up time even for him. Up at 4:30, out the door by 5:15, Flight left at 7:15.

After a quick flight, shuttle ride, Bart subway ride, and short walk they were there. AT&T Park, home of the Giants.

They were a bit early for the 12:15 game time so they spent an hour, and a Benjamin Franklin in the Gift shop gathering up souvenirs for the trip. Then it was on to the entrance gate. Open, Open, Open....
Wade does not do nose bleed seats when he has to fly to a game. He found these seats on EBay. Front row. Right by the dugout, right in front of the Bull Pen. Heaven.

Jake, along with being a persuasive arguer, is a very persuasive beggar. His goal was to get a game ball. He started early. He started loudly. He started pathetically. Voila. A very nice Field Umpire came over a chatted with them and gave him a game ball. Score #1.

This game happened to be the last game for Pat Burell who sadly has contracted a career ending foot disease. Here's a distant pic of Jake's hero Tim Lincecum giving Pat a high five after his retirement ceremony.

It was a great game even though the Giants succumbed to a loss. Weather was beautiful. Father and Son had oodles of bonding time. Jake was frequently heard saying "This is the best day of my life" Way to be a hero Wade.

Well, you had to know that my persuasive little beggar walked away with not 1, not 2, but 3 game balls, One signed by Pat Burell himself.

Jake is a hardworking ball player that we hope has a fun future ahead of him. He is driven, dedicated, and determined to succeed and we have no doubt that he will. This was truly a 'Giant Dream Come True' for him. Funny thing is... I think Dad had just as much, if not more fun!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The game of Golf

Ahhh, finally a sports post about something other than Baseball.

Luke is my golfer. I love that he is a golfer. The game of golf teaches so many valuable lessons applicable to everyday life. Stress management, how to work as a team, how to work alone, how to be a leader, how to power through when you've really screwed something up, competition, physical fitness to the extreme (did you know walking 18 holes is usually 6 miles!), inner calmness, and a myriad of other things that I don't even know about because I don't golf often enough.

I love golfing with Luke. He is a patient and kind teacher even though his pupil may be less than desirable. I truly believe that golf courses are the most beautiful places on this earth (next to beaches). It's quiet, green, and lovely. Until someone drops an f-bomb and a hybrid club comes flying through the tree line towards your head.

It's been a challenge to get pictures of Luke golfing in tournaments.
1. Because of that 6 miles mentioned above.
2. Because every dang tournament happens to fall on a day I work.
3. Because the sound of camera's and mom yelling 'Cheese' are very unwelcome in this serene backdrop.

Finally I made it happen though. He had a High School tournament at Hobble Creek Golf Course a few weeks ago so I planned accordingly and followed him for the 6 miles and 6 hours of entertainment. My Dad joined me for this sojourn because he has been a huge part in Luke's golf education. They have spent countless hours together learning the in's and out's of this sport. They often sneak away to St. George for a weekend of nothing but.

Currently his team is in second place in their region, behind by 15 strokes. They have one more regular season match at Soldier Hollow next week, then it's on to State

Keep up the good work bud. Someday I'll be coming to watch you play in Ireland or Hawaii or something.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sister Trouble in Texas

One of the great things about having kids a little older, more independent, and mature, is that it frees up time for Mom to do her own thing once in a while. One of these rare, beautiful instances occurred just last weekend. I was able to take my 5 days off and go stay with my little Sister in her new home town of Austin TX. This is my third trip to Austin. The first was mostly busy with bridal fittings, remodeling her newly purchased home, and some quick fun with a girlfriend I had dragged along. The second was completely consumed with Wedding Hoopla. This time was total fun, relaxation, and bonding time.

We started our trip with a lazy evening at home. I cooked. She ate. Lots of leftovers to keep her nourished. We stayed up late catching up and watching a movie in our jammies, and eating ice cream out of the containers. What better way to spend an evening?

On Saturday we decided to spend the 103 degree day at Barton Creek. This is a local swimming hole where musician's can be heard, nudists are sometimes spotted, weird guys do Yogalates on the pool deck, and co-eds try their hardest to be seen. What an eclectic group. Count on Austin for that! We laughed often.

Later that night I am ashamed to admit was used up watching college football. I know, I know. This was a girls trip! We should be at the spa or something, right? I couldn't miss my beloved Utes vs USC game, and University of Texas just happened to be hosting BYU while I was there so I wanted to watch that too! Pathetic. I am truly a product of my house full of men. We found a quiet local sports bar, watched both games at the same time while sampling about 5 different types of appetizers and beverages. I think we left a permanent imprint of our butts on their leather sofa.

Sunday dawned a new day. After a lazy sleep-in morning and coffee on the deck, we managed to shower and went to Magnolia Cafe for breakfast. Delish as always. It's become a tradition. We spent the remainder of the afternoon cruising shops and vintage stores on South Congress. I fulfilled a dream of hunting down the 'perfect' cowboy boots in Texas. It was pretty dang easy. LOTS to choose from. Just looked for the ones in my price range and color palette. And yes, in case your wondering, they did 'speak to me'. Love them already. Have worn them 4 times since I've returned home. Great investment.

Lynsey snagged her first pair also as you can see in the pic.

We also sampled some delicacies from the local 'trailer food lot'. We had carrot cake cupcakes, and sno-cones flavored with Iced Tea!

Went to the Oasis on Lake Travis that evening for Margaritas with a side of Guacamole and Pico De Gallo. This was supposed to be a pre-dinner festivity, but of course we stuffed ourselves and had no room for more!

That night we went to an outdoor showing of 'Ferris Beullers Day Off' in downtown Austin. Parked our car, walked a few short blocks to the venue, watched the movie, walked back to the not there. Walked a 2 mile radius adjacent to where we remembered parking. Car still not there. Saw other dumb-founded people holding camping chairs. Discovered that the area that we had parked had been recently re-signed for Austin Police Dept. from the hours of 10 PM - 2 AM. Shiz. Called the police. Caught a cab to the impound lot. Laughed nervously. Sprung the car from car jail. Finally made it home. Laughed a lot more the next morning. Total damage... $225.00 for not properly acknowledging the new sign.
Lynsey's Mug Shot

Lynsey had to work Monday morning so I spend the day making more food to stock her cupboard just like a big sister should. Later that day we went for a walk along the lake to see where Austin City Limits (huge music festival) would be held the following weekend. I don't know how people in Texas manage to exercise in that heat! I was melting just going for a leisurely walk and people were doing hard core running and biking around us. Crazies! Had to find air conditioning quick so went to Abels on the Lake for cocktails and Oysters... yum!

Grabbed a quick dinner at P Terrys (Austins answer for In n Out) then went back to South Congress bridge to watch the bats fly...(google it). After schlepping home we watched a little Monday Night Football so I could see how my Fantasy team was doing (beat-ya Luke), looked at miles and miles of wedding photography negatives, and watched another movie!

Sisters are like no-one else. You can laugh with them & cry with them. Get into trouble with them. I love my sister like no other. Even though we are 11 years apart in age, we are painfully alike in spirit. I loved having this special time with my sister, and hope to repeat it annually. Prepare yourself APD.

Love your guts Lynsey Lou...