Tag Archives: UTSA

Finale Friday

I’ve been hiding behind a Nikon dSLR for years.

I’ve been hiding behind a Nikon dSLR for years.

Today marks the end of an (admittedly short) era: This is the final post of Random Snippets & Apertures, my fourth child.

After five and a half years, almost 1,400 blog posts (this is number 1,373, to be exact) and one name change (originally I called it “Get ’er Done,” not that I ever did), it’s time to move on to other writing and creative projects. I’ll miss posting in my tiny segment of the blogosphere, but it really is for the best.

Jake in 2009

Jake showed off his beautiful blue eyes in 2009.

I started Random Snippets & Apertures as a way of chronicling my family’s adventures. I wanted it to be a legacy for my sons. My first post was on January 5, 2009. At the beginning, Jake, my older son, turned 17, and was a high school junior.

Jake rocks a giveaway Houston Astros José Altuve jersey last Sunday.

He rocked a giveaway Houston Astros José Altuve jersey last Sunday.

Now he’s graduated from UTSA and is sharing an apartment in Houston with his best friend forever and our “third son,” Chase. He’s gone from student to working man.

C.J. in 2009 unhappy that I’m taking his photo.

C.J. in 2009 was unhappy that I snapped his photo.

Meanwhile, C.J., was a mere 13 and a half and in eighth grade way back when.

C.J. at Jake’s UTSA graduation. Some things never change!

The bearded one was annoyed at Jake’s UTSA graduation. Some things never change!

As I blogged earlier this week, he just celebrated his 19th birthday. He finished up his freshman year at Sam Houston State with all A’s and a B. What a great transition for him!

As you can see, with both boys out of the house for much if not all of the year, my blog’s purpose is over. It’s as much fun to look back as it is to look ahead, especially for this sentimental mom who adores her sons to the moon and back.

So now it’s on to the next chapter . . . whatever that will be. Thanks for coming along for the ride, dear readers! Hope you enjoy your summer!!

P.S. The blog will remain here on WordPress; I just won’t be adding any new content to it (probably!).

The Mister Hits a Homer

Jake holds his new prized possession.

Jake holds his new prized possession.

During spring break the Mister asked Jake a supposedly innocuous question: If you could have an autograph from any major league baseball player, who would it be?

Our older son, who boasts an encyclopedic amount of useless baseball information in his gray matter, didn’t hesitate one bit.

“Billy Martin,” he said. He’s always liked the fiery former player and manager.

After the boys returned to their respective college campuses, the Mister asked me what we were going to give Jake for his upcoming UTSA graduation. Naturally, I thought being debt-free should be enough. However, the doting dad had other ideas.

And that’s why the day after we returned from watching our pride and joy walk across the Alamodome stage, Jake opened one unique present from us.

So cool!

So cool!

Yep, it was a baseball autographed by the one and only Billy Martin, scored by the Mister on eBay.

Jake was thrilled! “Most people wouldn’t understand how meaningful this is to me,” he said, as he inspected the signature. “It will always be special to me.”

You’re special to us, sweet boy!

Then and Now

Looks like he’s happy to be home and back in his spot.

Looks like he’s happy to be home and back in his spot.

Now that my older son has returned from UTSA for his winter break (he drove home last Friday), our family is complete once again. My heart is full to the brim.

One of the first things that Jake does after he walks through the front door is set up his 2010 MacBook Pro in his spot at the far end of the dining room table. That’s been his computing comfort place since he first got his laptop after he graduated from high school three and a half years ago.

Looking at the above photo, I figured that I would check my archives to see how Jake looked with his MBP during his first collegiate winter break in 2010.

More of a baby face at the end of 2010

More of a baby face at the end of 2010

And here he is! What stands out most to me?

First, he’s staring down at the screen. He didn’t like having his photo snapped back then. Now he almost always looks at me and smiles. Love seeing those beautiful blue eyes!

Second, his face has changed so much! From the mere stubble of 2010 to the cute never-quite-filled-in beard, his features are more angular and adult. He’s definitely grown up.

Third, ironically, he’s wearing the exact same shirt in both photos! Yes, it does look faded now, but my Linkin Park fan continues to show his loyalty. As well as his penchant to wear the same t-shirts over and over and over again. How very male of him!

It makes me wonder what the photo of my sweet boy will be like next December. This is his final winter break, continuing his streak of “lasts” this senior year. Hopefully, Jake will be settled in an apartment (perhaps with his BFF, my “third son,” Chase) where he’ll have a new special computing spot.

One thing’s probably certain: I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still wearing that Linkin Park shirt then!

One Home . . .

My older son is back in his usual spot in the dining room.

My older son is back in his usual spot in the dining room.

. . . and one to go! I can’t wait until our family of four is reunited!!

Sidebar: Jake looks like he’s up to something, because he didn’t have his fake tooth (flipper) in (he gets the permanent one probably in March). He looks like a goober when he smiles without it!

Feathers A-Flying

The brothers (ages 4 and a half and almost 8)

The brothers (ages 4 and a half and almost 8)

Throwback Thursday has me thinking about life as an empty nester. It’s been almost 12 weeks since both of our sons flew the coop, the older one to finish his senior year at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the younger one to start his college journey at Sam Houston State.

So how has it been for dear, old mom, who is home alone during the day for the first time in almost 22 years? Lonely, my friends. Maytag man lonely. Oh, how I miss my sons!

The boys on their play cottage in 1999 with their  Pokémon collection

The boys on their backyard play cottage in 1999 with part of their Pokémon collection

What’s been hardest for me is that my younger son usually ignores me unless he needs homework help or someone to talk to while he drives through McDonald’s at night. Yes, my little sweetie who I’ve always been so close to! Before he left for SHSU, he told me straight out that he would not be like his older brother, who at least texts me good morning and good night every day (and usually quite a bit more).

I understand that he wants to assert his independence and become his own man, but, as I’ve told him many times this fall, caring is not a crime. There’s no off switch to your emotions when you’re a parent.

I hate the news blackout after 18 years of being in the loop. It stinks, and it hurts my heart.

Older brother helps his younger sibling with his homework 10 years ago.

Older brother helps his younger sibling with his homework 10 years ago.

My strategy has been to be patient and relish the communication opportunities that I do get. The kid does call and Skype more often than his older brother. Plus I listen intently while he and his father chat (he talks to him more), while throwing helpful suggestions for questions to ask (which the Mister usually fails to use . . . frustrating! Guys!!).

Fortunately for me, we’ve gotten to see our sons this semester, our younger son more often because he’s closer. My older son hasn’t returned home since he left in late August. That’s about to change, though, because he’s driving in from San Antonio tonight (he has no classes tomorrow)! When little bro heard about it, he also decided to come visit the old folks at home.

I’ll try not to make the grill too hot for him!

A Surprise in the Mail

Unbelievable!

Unbelievable!

Need proof that time does actually fly by? This was an envelope we received in the mail the other day.

Yep, my older son will graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio in May!

Very official

Very official-looking

When we dropped him off in late August of 2010, four years seemed like an eternity. It’s almost surreal that our older son will reach this important milestone in a matter of months.

One more semester. Only 12 more hours (four classes) left until he has his marketing degree. What a wonderful achievement for him!

The Mister and I would like to make one little change to the wording on that envelope, though:

“That day you’ve been waiting for . . . off your parents’ payroll!”

Hope that’s not just wishful thinking!

Fill ’Er Up 2!

That ceiling light is bad news for photography.

That ceiling light is bad news for photography.

My heart was filled to overflowing this weekend. It started by Skyping with my younger son Thursday night . . .

I live for that smile!

I live for that smile!

. . . and ended with some overdue, virtual face-to-face time with my older son last night.

My UTSA senior always prefers texting us, but every now and then it’s important to actually see that he’s doing fine instead of just reading about it.

Getting to look at those beautiful blue eyes, handsome face, and cute smile? Definitely a bonus!