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...

Friday, September 02, 2011

First day of School!

I guess it's required to do a first day of school post so here I go.
First day of school this year was a mixture of emotions. (mostly relief and happiness) We truly had the best summer ever. Lots of milestones this year. Luke turned 16 and became not such a chore for me to haul around. Love his new independence and maturity. He budgets his own time and money now. He is never late for curfew (unless getting pulled over by a suspicious copper). He always checks in when he gets home. He is oh-so-busy being a responsible, involved, teenager. Can't tell you how thankful I am that we have pushed him through life, and he has tons of his own drive, to get him to this point. High School, where he is busy 5 days a week with MMHS golf team (which is currently in 1st place in their region), and 3 days a week with super league soccer. My only problem with Luke is putting weight on him. He is lean and strong and so busy that he forgets to eat. He also gets all his homework done without being prodded, has recently gained a tolerability for reading, and is often seen helping his friends with their homework. Love him. Proud of him. Can't wait to see what his future holds.
Jake was apprehensive to start school this year which is new for him. He has always been my 'no fear' type kid. I think this new found shyness is linked to our fabulous summer and not wanting to let it go! Once there though, he quickly got involved in things that interest him (orchestra not being one of them). I think he digs being the oldest grade in the school. Having an A and B day just like Luke. He has mentioned several times that he wants to go in and meet with the principle and propose having 'Hat Day' more than once a year. I think this is a wonderful show of leadership. Being the smart Mom I am, I told him to go tell her she happens to look lovely in hats and he would like to see what else she can pull off! Baseball is still running his extra time slots, but not nearly as busy as in the spring. Wade has promised him if he can pitch a No Hitter this season he will take him to see a San Francisco Giants game this year. Lofty goal but totally reachable for this kid. Favorite day so far for Jake? Playing a team with kids 2 years older and 3 feet taller than him. Striking them out. Picking them off on first base. Making them cry. Stud.
Zac is a party animal at heart and hates being cooped up for long. He can still be heard at 9 PM yelling "I don't want to go to school tomorrow!" You can imagine how much sympathy that cry receives in this house. His teacher seems great though, and I'm sure will help him and I through another year. It's a wonderful thing when you can e-mail a teacher about a reading level error in the morning, and get a response and proper level reading material home that afternoon. Zac is also FINALLY on his own little super league baseball team. He has dreamed of this moment for a cagillion days and nights. His new team is the Spanish Fork Extreme, and as their colors are orange and blue, he has a new found love for anything and everything orange! As any 8U player, he has alot of work to do, but has already made a few great outs from third, and is battling at every at bat. My favorite part of the deal? Not having him pester me every 5 minutes at the ballpark! My other favorite part? Watching my baby boy belong to a group, work hard at something, make new friends, and learn to win and loose. Not so favorite part? Missing all of Jake's games because I'm in another time zone chaperoning Zac. So is the life of me.

The only pix allowed at my house on this First day of school...

A self portrait using the 'rule of 3's' for digital photography class...

goofing off with friends in digital photography class... (sorry about the teenage birdie finger)