Category Archives: college

Battling Expectations

Our tickets

Our tickets

The last time I wrote about Sam Houston State football, the Mister and I were not watching the SHSU Family Weekend game. The weather had conspired against us, unfortunately, and we opted to spend more time with our younger son instead of sitting on the wet bleachers after a long lightning and storm delay.

Still wanting to see the Kats in action as well as, hopefully, our beloved personal Bearkat, I bought two tickets to the annual Battle of the Piney Woods clash last Saturday at Reliant Stadium (home of the Houston Texans). This time any rain would be a moot point due to the retractable roof.

Tickets only were sold for the lower bowl (26,000 attended).

Reliant is an impressive stadium.

Fortunately, it was a spectacular fall day, and the roof was open. The Mister and I settled into our seats near the end zone and prepared for a shootout. Before this season, we didn’t know much about the intense rivalry between SHSU and nearby Stephen F. Austin State University, home of the Lumberjacks (as in “axe ’em, Jacks!”), now in its 88th year. We may be hicks from the sticks, but our sticks are bigger than Huntsville and Nacogdoches.

Big head or little hat? Or both?

Big head or little hat? Or both?

I had read that when these two teams meet, the scoreboard operator is busy. No kidding! SFA quarterback Brady Attaway (great last name!) is the nation’s second-best passer. In this game, his impressive stats included 505 passing yards and five touchdowns. Add about 240 rushing yards, and you’ve got a boatload of offense.

Brian Bell makes the handoff.

Brian Bell makes the handoff.

However, the Bearkats aren’t too shabby when they have the ball either. Quarterback Brian Bell accounted for 339 passing yards and four touchdowns. The team gained 218 yards, too.

Sammy dances for the crowd.

Sammy dances for the crowd.

In the end, the Jacks’ four turnovers in their first four possessions in the fourth quarter doomed them, despite an impressive, late rally. The Kats won 56-49 and lead the series 51-35-2. Way to eat ’em up, Kats!

Our son should be here somewhere.

The kid should be somewhere among the orange.

And what about our son? For some reason he decided he’d rather sleep late and stay on campus rather than root for his team and see his loving parents. He missed out on a thrilling victory, while the Mister and I didn’t get the chance to spend time with him.

Guess you can’t win them all.

Continuing Education

Comb needed STAT for two of us!

Comb needed STAT for two of us!

This is what I learned during a loooooong day-into-night trip to and from San Antonio yesterday to visit our older son:

1) A lot about Tommy James (and a little about the Shondells) on the way there (he hosted his own show) and back (Cousin Brucie talked to him) on Sirius XM’s Sixties on 6. It was fascinating! Children behave!!

2) We always always always love seeing our sons! It was such a boost to my heart to spend time with my sweet, blue-eyed boy for the first time in seven weeks. Skyping simply isn’t enough for this mama bear.

3) We’re looking forward to our UTSA collegian graduating in May and moving back to the Houston area, so we don’t have to endure those long car rides, though.

4) Despite all the fun the Mister and I had harmonizing (well, to our tin ears) to all that fab and groovy 1960s music, I did contemplate divorcing him when he ordered the St. Louis-style ribs at Tony Roma’s after I told him not to. He knows how this lifelong Cubs fan feels about the Cardinals!

5) Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger make a good team (it’s hard to understand both of them) in “Escape Plan,” the movie we saw with our son. Yes, there was plenty of bad language and a ridiculous amount of violence. But the story was good, and we loved the ending.

6) Finally, it’s very tough to take a selfie plus two on my iPhone 5S and properly center it (as the evidence above proves). As my clever son quipped, “That’s why they call it a ‘selfie’ and not a ‘triofie!'”

Miss you already, kiddo!

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!

Pooh Skypes

Check out the lower left corner!

Check out the lower left corner!

Look who decided to Skype my younger son the other evening.

This is our big Pooh Beanie Ball.

This is our big Pooh Beanie Ballz.

That silly, old bear—Winnie the Pooh! It made me laugh.

The kid? Not so much. Methinks he doesn’t miss my clever sense of humor.

Fortunately, I can continue to torture him with it online!

One-Word Wednesday

I snapped these pretty posies on SHSU’s campus with my Nikon 1 V1.

I snapped pics of these pretty posies on SHSU’s campus with my Nikon 1 V1 camera.

Coneflowers!

#1537-(yellow-coneflower)#1538-(purple-coneflower)#1540-(coneflowers)

Moving (and Spiking) on Up

I couldn’t resist think-bubbling this photo of Shelby from eighth grade.

Cool Shelby back in eighth grade

Putting the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae at last Saturday’s SHSU Family Weekend was the chance to watch college volleyball. The Bearkats’ schedule indicated that they would take on Houston Baptist University at 7:30 that evening.

Serving it up

Serving it up

Our main reason for staying late in Huntsville? The chance to see Shelby G. play.

The team is ready.

The team is ready.

My younger son and Shelby (and her twin brother, Sean) go waaaaaay back. They were in kindergarten together.

Spiking time

Spiking time

I’ve watched Shelby play volleyball at their middle school and high school. It’s been fun watching her skill level increase over the years. When we found out that she signed with SHSU, we knew we’d have to see her in action.

What goes up, must come down!

What goes up, must come down!

And we’re so glad we did! Shelby started at middle hitter, as she helped the ’Kats sweep HBU.

Eat ’em up, Shelby!

Sidebar: The SHSU photos were snapped with the Nikon 1 V1 and its 30-110mm lens. Fortunately, the lighting was great; ISO was 1600.

A Wet and Not-So-Wild Weekend

Avoiding eye contact with people, aliens, and cameras

Can you tell that the kid isn’t a morning person?

The best-laid plans of mice, men (dads), and moms too often can get waylaid by the weather. That’s what the Mister and I experienced as we tried to enjoy our first Sam Houston State Family Weekend with our younger son last Saturday.

Come along for the ride as I recap most of our unusual day.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

One of the highlights of our visit was checking out the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and grounds (the Mister and I are history buffs). 

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

Before we entered the building, our son got to test his skill with a tomahawk. Good athlete that he is, he hit the target twice and probably would’ve sliced off at least a toe with his third effort.

Sam lived a colorful life.

Sam lived a full and interesting life.

After the kid’s weapon wizardry, we went into the museum to learn more about his university’s namesake. All three rooms were packed with photos, paintings, artifacts, and information; it was fascinating!

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

What most intrigued our son, though, was a talking diorama of the injured General Sam Houston interrogating Mexican meanie Santa Anna after his defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.

Note the sword behind Sam

Check out the sword behind Sam.

More specifically, it was the sword behind Sudden Sam that sparked the kid’s interest. Oh, how he wanted to touch it! I told him to fight that urge, as I turned away. Next thing I heard was a loud, female, somewhat robotic voice saying, “Get out of the diorama!”

Yep, the kid had touched the sword, which set off a sensor. Embarrassing yet so funny that I’m sure we’ll be reliving that moment again and again and again. Hey, son, get out of the diorama!

Bowers Stadium

Bowers Stadium (note the ominous clouds)

After we ate a catered lunch and dropped the kid back at his dorm (supposedly to study), the Mister and I walked to Bowers Stadium to watch SHSU hopefully defeat rival Eastern Washington (they were nationally ranked #4 and #3, respectively, in the Football Conference Subdivision).

Along the way, it was drizzling a bit. Unbelievably (for me), I actually had not only found two ponchos (just in case) but also remembered to bring them with us! Really, folks, that’s pretty miraculous when you’re suffering from CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff) disease.

Again, note the clouds.

Again, note the clouds.

Once we got to our seats, that drizzle turned heavier. On went the ponchos just in time, as the dark skies opened up with torrential rain, thunder, and scary lightning. Naturally, we left our metal seats and looked for an overhang. All of them were packed with soaked people.

When the announcer said the game would be delayed for at least an hour, the Mister and I decided to bag it and spend time with our beloved baby boy at his dorm. Eventually, the storm moved out, and SHSU came away with a victory, by the way.

A crowded desk

A crowded desk

Although we would’ve loved watching the game, we enjoyed being with the kid more. He insisted we watch the first season of “Seinfeld” (he’s become addicted).

Father and son get the comfy digs.

Father and son get the comfy digs.

It was just like old times with our son . . . except for the cramped quarters and soggy shoes and socks. While the Mister napped, the kid and I had fun tossing around his Tigger ball. Later we threw a little football and mini discs. Just like home, except that the mess stayed while I left. I liked that part a lot!

After we had eaten dinner, made a Walmart stop, and enjoyed some great SHSU volleyball, it was time to bid adieu to our bearded boy and drive the 90 minutes back home. As I hugged him tightly, I was glad we got the chance to see how comfortable he is in his new environs, as well as enjoy some of what makes the campus unique (thanks to General Sam).

Next time we get the chance to see the Bearkats’ football team in action, at least it will be indoors against Stephen F. Austin State, the Battle of the Piney Woods, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

No ponchos necessary!

Battery Recharge

Back to his usual position on the supersofa.

Back to his usual position on the supersofa.

Look who brightened up our weekend!

When we Skyped with our younger son last Thursday night, we talked about him catching a ride with RJ’s dad, who was picking up his roommate the next day to bring home for a visit. The kid decided that he wanted to reconnect and recharge. It was great to get a hug in person!

Netflix streaming has led to addictions.

Netflix streaming has led to addictions.

The first thing he did was plop on the couch and queue up the final season of “Scrubs” on Netflix. The kid loves watching that show, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been caught up in his marathon viewing sessions. This was no exception.

Zzzzzzzz!

Zzzzzzzz!

Of course, he is a college student. Mainly, a tired one. After a couple episodes, he succumbed to the allure of soft pillows and snoozed for a few hours.

A crowded card: Hiral, Chris, Adam, Eric, the kid, Steve, the Mister, and Marcus

A crowded card: Hiral (hi!), Chris, Adam, Eric, the kid, Steve, the Mister, and Marcus

With the next day being Saturday, only one activity could fit the bill: Disc golf, of course.

The Mister putts.

The Mister putts.

The Mister and the kid joined bestie Eric and five others for a round of 18 at the nearby River Pointe Church’s course.

Easy-peasy!

Easy-peasy!

Even though he hadn’t played much since we moved him in at SHSU, my son managed to win by a stroke.

Talking strategy

Talking strategy

It was fun watching the collegian interact with his older buddies again. And it always tugs at my heartstrings to watch him and his devoted dad together. Those two are closerthanthis!

After that, he played a round at Tom Bass with his other disc golf bestie, Glen (the highlight was that the Mister and I got to visit with the ever-lovely Kelly and a snoozing baby Jonas; little Glen was napping in his room).

Until we meet again, this smile will have to do.

Until we meet again, this smile will have to last for awhile.

Before we knew it, we were taking RJ and our son back to Huntsville on Sunday afternoon (after watching a thrilling Houston Texans victory). The kid got a chance to relax, knock the rust off his disc golf game, and even do his homework and prepare for the week (yes, I actually witnessed him studying!).

And the Mister and I got to spend time with our beloved baby boy once again. Totally win-win!

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!

Fill ’Er Up!

Oh, how I miss seeing this face every day!

Oh, how I miss seeing this handsome face every day!

As a mom, my heart usually is filled to the brim with my warm feelings for my two precious sons. But with both of them at their respective colleges, sometimes I feel like I’m a quart or two low these days.

Enter technology. Last night our younger son Skyped us for the first time since he’s been away, and my spirits instantly lifted.

I can’t get enough of those twinkling green eyes!

I can’t get enough of that smile!

Even though this isn’t face to face, I’ll take all I can get of it. It makes me feel more at peace seeing how happy and content he is.

Hey, #1 son! Let’s Skype tonight!