Category Archives: the Mister

One-Word Wednesday

The boys and the Mister gave me lovely plants and a Chipotle gift card for Mother’s Day.

The boys and the Mister gave me lovely plants and a Chipotle gift card for Mother’s Day.

Mom!

Love my guys!

We saw “The Amazing Spiderman 2” and ate lunch at BJ’s. Love my guys!

Another Milestone Achieved

Why we’re in the Alamodome

Why we’re in the Alamodome

Something about “Pomp and Circumstance” makes me cry. Could be because of what it signifies.

You might think that after watching two emotional high school graduations that my eyes wouldn’t tear up when hearing that standard ceremonial march. But you would be very wrong.

Jake shows off his class ring Green Lantern style.

Jake shows off his class ring in Green Lantern style.

Of course, this time there was much more at stake, because it was Jake’s commencement ceremony from the University of Texas at San Antonio. After four years that seemed to be over in a minute and a half, my older son was set to graduate last Saturday afternoon in the immense Alamodome.

As I waited with the Mister and C.J. for about two hours (which did not fly by) before the start of the festivities, I reminisced about how far my beloved chubby, blue-eyed baby had come. I thought about when we got his acceptance letter from UTSA, orientation, and that painful moment when we moved him into his dorm. Talk about your emotional rides!

Jake seems to enjoy talking to a college official.

Jake seems to enjoy talking to a college official.

Even within a sea of graduates (Jake’s College of Business seniors joined those from the College of Architecture, which included his former roommate Ben, and the College of Public Policy), my eyes were focused only on my son. Watching him walk across the stage to accept his faux diploma (he has to wait a month or so for the real thing) was a moment of immense emotion for me. I couldn’t be prouder of Jake!

The smoke from indoor fireworks and streamers rain down on the graduates.

The smoke from indoor fireworks and streamers rain down on the graduates.

Plus our family added its third alma mater (after my University of Illinois and the Mister’s University of Houston). Go, Roadrunners!! We appreciate and value Jake’s college education.

We’re glad C.J. has long arms!

We’re glad C.J. has long arms!

Once Jake finally found us outside and we snapped a few photos, it was time to move on . . . literally in many ways (well, after we had spent about 20 minutes trying to get out of the parking lot). After dinner at Pei Wei, we put all of the graduate’s possessions in our cars and made the three-hour trek back to Sugar Land where we finally ended our long day’s journey into night and then into day again (we started at 9 a.m. Saturday and returned at 12:15 a.m. Sunday). Everyone was exhausted.

Definitely!

Definitely!

Now Jake gets to relax for a couple weeks before he becomes a working man. How will he handle the transition from school to the real world? All he has to do is remember the fortune he got!

Living Large

Big Sam up ahead!

Big Sam up ahead!

When we drive to visit our beloved baby boy at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, one landmark along Hwy. 45 lets us know that we’re almost there: The big, white statue of Sam Houston.

Every time we pass Big Sam, I say to the Mister, “That’s on my Sam Houston bucket list. I want to see the statue up close and personal.”

Our final chance to check out Texas’ former president (chiseled concrete version, of course) was last Saturday when we made our last trip of C.J.’s freshman year to pick up most of his assorted knickknacks, paddy whacks, and gaming systems and haul them home. C.J. will follow with the rest of his stuff, which should easily fit in his Ford Fusion, when he’s done with finals Wednesday.

It’s a tiny visitor center.

It’s a tiny visitor center.

Once we were back on the road after lunch at the Farmhouse Café and warm goodbye hugs, it was obvious that the Mister either was up to something or missed the turn to get on the interstate (both of which are equally likely).

Happily, he had listened to me (it does happen on occasion) and was headed for Big Sam!

Sam gets a-head. This could be for photo ops.

Sam gets a-head. This is on the ground for photo ops.

It seems ironic that the visitor center, gift shop, and grounds are so small, given that Super Sam is 67 feet tall (plus another 10 feet for the base). But the statue is bound to dwarf most large parks.

We snuck up on Sam from behind.

We snuck up on Sam from behind.

David Adickes sculpted and donated the mammoth monument in October of 1994. It took about two years to complete.

Look up!

Look up!

The dapper giant really is breathtaking, especially on a cloudless day. You can’t help but be impressed by its magnitude and Adickes’ skill.

Lots of helpful info

Lots of helpful info

It’s also nice that there’s a handy plaque listing Sam Houston’s many accomplishments for those of us who haven’t taken Texas history at least twice (fourth and seventh grades for our sons, as well as in college).

I’m glad I was able to cross another item off my Sam Houston bucket list. More importantly?

The Mister was a tad grumpy having to look into the sun.

The Mister was a tad grumpy having to look into the sun.

The Mister and I snapped a selfie with Big Sam! Smile, Sammy!!

One-Word Wednesday

The Mister and I celebrated our anniversary at Hungry’s Café, where we enjoyed our first dinner together in 1988.

The Mister and I celebrated our anniversary at Hungry’s Café, where we enjoyed our first dinner together when we started dating in late 1988.

Twenty-four!

Ahhhh! So young and innocent! Us on our wedding day 24 years ago.

A lot has changed in 24 years for both of us. I had no gray hairs!

Bottle Football

The kick is up . . . .

The kick is up . . . .

As has been well-documented many times in this blog, the guys in my house will throw or kick anything. Especially if there’s a potential breakage possibility.

Sidebar: C.J. once said to me, “Why do you have frames out when you know I’m just going to break them?” Sigh!

Last weekend the Mister finished off a one-liter bottle of Diet Coke and decided to have some fun with it. So, naturally, he placed it on the carpet and kicked it.

Walking sticks apparently make good goal posts.

Walking sticks apparently make good goalposts; the bottle goes wide left.

His somewhat-willing field-goal target? Our younger son, who was standing in our entryway near the front door holding up makeshift uprights.

Of course, I had them stop the action so I could grab my Nikon dSLR. This was too good not to document.

First, the Mister got in his attempts, which were at times woeful. But occasionally he was able to boost the bottle over C.J.’s head (when he wasn’t hitting him or the surrounding walls with it).

Rearing back for a mighty blow

Rearing back for a mighty blow

Then C.J. took over. And he got to see how difficult it was to kick a plastic bottle field goal within the narrow confines of the front hallway.

Three points!

Three points!

But eventually he was able to split the uprights and put points on our invisible scoreboard. After that, the father-son field goal-kicking team kept trading spots until they tired of the sport.

This was fun!

This was fun!

I’m happy to report that no photo frames were harmed while the bottle was bouncing all over the family room.

This time.

Saturday in the Park

Love the bright purple phlox.

Love the bright purple phlox.

Last Saturday was my kind of perfect day.

First, both boys came home for the weekend. That really would have been enough. Then Saturday morning, the Mister, Jake, and I enjoyed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” even though it’s extremely violent with an ammunition budget that had to be about a million bucks. Talk about your literal overkill!

But the icing on the cake? Our friends Jessica and Eric asked if we would be available for a play date at Imperial Park. Absolutely! All we had to do was switch out Jake (who drove to Houston to be with our “third son,” Chase, and honorary son, Josh) for C.J.

A pennant dragonfly poses.

A pennant dragonfly poses.

Being out in nature on a gorgeous spring day meant snapping pics of nature, of course.

The putt heads towards the basket.

The putt heads towards the basket.

And, naturally, discs were a-flying courtesy of Eric . . .

Note the Mister pushing a stroller.

Note the Mister pushing a stroller.

. . . and C.J.

Jessica and Ted

Jessica and Ted

But the highlight for me was seeing three-month-old Ted. I was in desperate need of an adorable baby fix.

Awwwww!

Awwwww! Such a cute toothless grin.

And now I can last another, oh, week or so!

A High-Flying Good Time

I posed with Rob and his special disc.

Posing with Rob and his special disc last Saturday.

Last year I blogged about having a photo in the “Guinness Book of World Records,” my mini claim to fame.

Know where the pic also is?

Very cool!

Very cool!

On this disc! Rob McLeod, Davy Whippet’s talented thrower, had the frisbee made to commemorate the world record (check out Davy’s “pawtograph!”). Last Saturday Rob e-mailed me that he would be in nearby Pearland that day and the next competing in a Quadruped, which features long-distance throw-and-catch events (there also were timed contests and freestyle). He wanted to get together so he could give me this gift.

I was so honored!

Naturally, I toted along my Nikon D610 and Nikon 70-200mm lens in anticipation of some good action photo ops.

Open wide!

Open wide!

There were plenty!

Bones, Rob’s other pup, lays out for the catch.

Bones, Rob’s other pup, is on his way back to the ground.

As with all good sports shots, the key is timing. However, there were several unknowns to consider:

Got it!

Got it!

Where are the disc and the dog going? Will the throw be good? Will the catch be made?

Got a bead on the disc

The disc is within reach.

All of which made it hard to keep the canine and frisbee in focus. What a challenge!

Caught!

Caught!

Fortunately, I had enough keepers to make it a worthwhile, fun shooting experience.

Davy makes the catch look easy.

Davy makes the catch look easy.

Plus I got to see Davy again. He’s an amazing athlete—so fast and so good at catching the disc. It helps that he and Rob are really in sync.

I’ll always remember this high-flying team whenever I look at my frisbee. Thanks again, Rob!