Tag Archives: Cody

Friends Forever Side By Side

The kid oversmiles with Cody 10 years ago.

The kid oversmiles with Cody 10 years ago.

When we moved to our master-planned community near Houston almost 17 years ago, one goal the Mister and I had was for the boys to develop lifelong friendships.

Then we found out that many of our neighbors worked for oil companies. Which meant they could be here one day and quickly gone the next. Sigh!

Elementary school choir buddies

Elementary school choir buddies

Fortunately for us, our younger son met a boy, Cody, in kindergarten whose parents planned to stay put. In first grade, he and Cody bonded over a mutual love of sports. They played on several rec teams together during elementary school and always enjoyed each other’s company.

Cody was a conquistador to the kid's Sam Houston in the fourth-grade program.

Cody was a conquistador to the kid’s Sam Houston in the fourth-grade program.

Their friendship continued to blossom in middle school with both of them on the football team.

Cooling down after track practice freshman year

Cooling down after track practice freshman year

In high school, they shared tales of exhaustion and exhilaration on the cross-country and track teams for one-ish seasons. Cody also played football his freshman year, which was cut short when he suffered his first concussion.

Both boys’ high school journeys took unexpected and unwelcome detours during their sophomore and junior years, my son’s due to anxiety, and Cody’s because of his second concussion while on a Boy Scout trip. Both sets of parents worried and wondered if they would even walk across the stage at graduation.

Cody and the kid, as always, side by side

Cody and the kid, as always, side by side

Last Sunday we were privileged to watch Cody culminate his years of scouting and overcome his head traumas to become an Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor. What an awesome achievement! We’re so proud of him.

Cody and our son will graduate Saturday afternoon. After that, Cody will attend Texas A&M–Galveston.

Even though they won’t be at the same colleges, there’s no doubt in my mind that these two lifelong friends will always keep in touch. I’m sure that when they do get together during school breaks, that they’ll still be side by side.

Party Time!

A classic Nintendo 64 game from the big brother

The big brother gave the kid a classic Nintendo 64 game.

Let’s keep this short and sweet: My baby turned 18 years old last Saturday.

And now a moment of silence, as I ponder the end of his childhood and the beginning of his adulthood. Sigh times 18!

The emotional thumps on my heart are magnified with C.J., because not only was it just his birthday, but he also graduates from high school at 1 p.m. Saturday. Talk about your one-two punches! Guess I’d better stock up on Kleenex with college starting in late August.

My older son joins R.J., his little bro, Ricky, and Jared.

Jake poses with RJ, C.J., Ricky, and Jared.

To celebrate his birthday, my son wanted to go to Dave and Buster’s with his big brother, his Core 4 brethren (aka his future college roommate RJ, Ricky, and Jared), and Cody (who, unfortunately, was busy). However, I had a Groupon to Tilt Studio in nearby Katy, so that’s where we went for the first time ever.

The Core 4 plays quad air hockey.

The Core 4 plays quad air hockey.

Unfortunately, Tilt turned out to be a poor man’s Dave and Buster’s (sorry, kiddo!). But I reminded my newly minted adult that the fun is who you’re with, not so much what you do. Fortunately, I kept seeing smiles on those five handsome faces (whew!).

My older son tries his hand at basketball.

Jake tries his hand at basketball.

The guys seemed to enjoy playing all kinds of videogames and competing against each other in basketball and skeeball.

Almost France! Ricky showed off in mini golf.

Almost France! Ricky aims for a birdie in mini golf.

They also had fun playing mini golf and laser tag. After all of that, pizza, soda, and lots of talking finished off our Tilt adventure.

The kid guards his air hockey goal.

C.J. guards his air hockey goal.

Despite the weak-sauce surroundings, looks like it was a successful 18th birthday for my precious baby boy!

Mom Becomes a Footnote

The kid briefly allows an iPhone 5 photo.

The kid briefly allows a quick iPhone 5 photo.

This morning didn’t go as I had originally planned.

Today my younger son is on his senior trip to Six Flags in Arlington, about four hours away (on a bus, no less). I figured I would drive him to his high school at 5:30 a.m., and then the Mister and I would pick him up there at midnight. We’d enjoy the short, 10-minute drive home listening to his happy stories.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

But it wasn’t.

“Stop it, Mom!”

“Stop it, Mom!”

Yesterday the kid came home from school with a short announcement: “I’m going to see if Cody can give me a ride to and from school tomorrow.”

I was stunned. “But what about me?!?” I asked. “I was going to do that.”

“I’d prefer Cody.”

“What am I, an embarrassment?”

“Yes, you are, Mom.”

I blinked back a few tears, trying to recall when he used to think I was swell. Wasn’t that just yesterday?

I remembered back to when my dad would insist on wearing knee socks with his bermuda shorts in public during my teenage years. Now that was an embarrassment! Was I truly in that same category now?

Here’s Cody!

Here’s Cody!

As I watched the boys exit the driveway in Cody’s new truck, I tried to rationalize that it really was the vehicle that made the difference for my son. Isn’t riding in a pickup much cooler than an SUV?

I guess I’m just not ready to admit that I’m joining the Beanie babies, Hot Wheels, and Legos in the discard pile of my beloved baby boy’s youth.

Well, until he needs me to help him with his upcoming senior legacy project!

Film at 11 Once Again

Karan and my older son prepare to act out their scene for Chase to tape.

Oh, how I miss my older son . . . and his friends! Our house just isn’t the same when they’re away at their respective colleges (or overseas, as is the case with his former roommate Ben). When I think of all of them, I can’t help but remember the hours of work they used to do for those wacky videos that my son and my “third son,” Chase, produced.

Making the films—which involved filling the house and yard with laughter and purpose—was as much fun as viewing the finished product.

My younger son takes a turn behind the camcorder.

So you can well imagine how thrilled I was when the kid said he wanted to produce a short video for his U.S. Government project at our house. Bring out the camcorder!

Ricky and my #2 son spy on sleeping Cody.

My younger son and his partner in crime, Ricky, reported on U.S. privacy laws. After whipping up a PowerPoint (with classmate Austin B.), they gathered ideas and looked for willing actors. Fortunately, the kid’s lifelong pal Cody was available, as was Katherine, another friend from his elementary school days.

Katherine chats on her cellphone, as two goofs listen in.

Everyone looked like they were having waaaaaay too much fun as they videoed, considering that the question of whether or not our government has the right to listen in on our conversations and nose around in our everyday life is a serious one.

The kid and Ricky creep up on the Fuze (Cody is inside it).

Ah, the carefree world of high school seniors! Do they know how lucky they are?

Ricky is the spy who came in from the pool!

Watching these teens’ antics made me smile. The video, set to the apropos song “Somebody’s Watching Me,” was cute and helped present their point of view.

But then it hit me that these four young adults will be moving on to college in less than a year, and that saddened me. Good thing I’ll have this video to watch when I miss them, too.

The Rocket Rocks the Ballpark

Roger Clemens shares time in the dugout.

We enjoyed a bit of excitement in our small burg last weekend.

ESPN paid us a visit! Along with plenty of other national media. Little Sugar Land, 26 miles southwest of Houston, hit the big-time.

All because of our new minor-league baseball team. Oh, and some dude named Roger Clemens. Now all our opponents in the Atlantic League (as in the East Coast) actually know where in the world Sugar Land is.

Former all-star Scott Kazmir is about to deliver a pitch for the Skeeters.

When it was announced that the Rocket was going to pitch a few innings for the Skeeters last Saturday night, our community went wild. After all, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner and strikeout king posted a phenomenal major-league career.

Even though Clemens is 50 years old (a mere pup in my book), fans still believed he could deliver the goods and help our Skeeters win. Unfortunately, the game already was a sellout, thanks to the post-game performance of the Human Fireball (which actually used to be Clemens).

The Mister and I have an eight-game ticket plan. And, of course, with our luck, we had ducats for last Friday, the night before the Houston native’s appearance. But we knew we would at least see Clemens in the dugout, and that would have to suffice.

Sidebar: When I posted on Facebook that we had tried to get tickets for Saturday’s game for my younger son and a friend, one of my pals said she wasn’t going to use her pair. So the kid and Cody got to see an aging legend work three and a third innings, striking out two batters while allowing a mere hit. And the Skeeters won 1-0!

First baseman Aaron Bates starts to throw the ball around the horn after a putout.

Just as we expected, the Rocket was in the dugout during last Friday night’s game, watching what turned out to be an exciting contest with the Skeeters rallying for three runs in the eighth inning before dropping a 4-3 decision to the hated Bridgeport Bluefish. A cool breeze actually was blowing, and the Elvis-themed fireworks were much anticipated.

During the game I wondered what Clemens was thinking when he was faced with the reality that he was at a low-minors baseball game. Of course, there were lots of good plays made by both teams.

Those really are mighty big gloves!

But every half inning there’s some kind of fun and foolishness going on that’s never seen in the likes of Minute Maid Park or Yankee Stadium. Such as big-glove boxing.

Wonder who will win.

And the running lottery balls.

Play is about to start!

And, of course, my personal favorite, the race among the taco, pepper, and pitiful, always too-slow, never-winning cup.

Oh oh!

It’s enough to make a grown man who has pitched in the World Series and been an 11-time all-star ponder his place in the baseball universe.

Happy New Year, Texas Style

My younger son blows on a punk.

Here in Texas, people set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve. I don’t remember that being the tradition in Chicago when I was growing up—all that noise and beauty was reserved for the 4th of July.

Looks like fireworks on Mars.

But we look forward to seeing bursts of color in the air and on the ground twice a year, not that we buy and set them off, of course. We’d much rather sponge off someone who isn’t worried about setting half the neighborhood on fire.

Fireworks light up the ground and surrounding air.

Last Saturday night that “someone” was my friend Karen E. (aka, Cody’s mom). They live within walking distance in the next subdivision in our master-planned community.

The fireworks brighten the night.

It was 70 degrees at 10:30 p.m. as my younger son, the Mister, and I watched the kids light up the night. Love when our winters are so mild!

An eerie red glow

To document the fireworks show, I used my Nikon D700 and Nikon f/1.4 50mm lens. I upped the ISO from 1600 to 4000 in order to get a fast-enough shutter speed to stop the action.

A fast shutter speed (1/500th) gives the ground fireworks an interesting look.

And then I snapped, snapped, snapped! I was pleasantly surprised at the great bokeh (blurred lights) and clean results that I got without any planning (as in totally dumb luck).

What goes up . . . .

My favorite shots? The rockets! I was able to capture the action as they left the ground . . .

Makes us oooh and aaaah!

And burst high above us! Happy 2012!!

Hair-Raising Running

Derrick is easy to spot because of his hair.

When I was looking through my photos of last Friday’s high school cross-country meet, one thing really stood out and made me laugh. Or was it stood up?

Briana keeps her hair in the air.

Hair! It seems like running cross-country really is a hair-raising experience.

Elliott's hair stays out of his eyes.

Most of the boys sport short hair, while most of the girls corral their long locks in a ponytail.

Anita’s hair sails along with her towards the finish line.

But even when kept under control, the tresses of some of the girls fly behind them like a flag. Or a sail. Could that be a windstreaming advantage?

My #2 son keeps his hair under control.

As for my younger son, his hair tends to stay in place, because his mean, old mom makes him get it cut every month. But his good friend Cody’s hair?

Cody will need a comb when he finishes.

It’s the reason that hats were invented!

Moving On to Fall POTDs

The red-eyed dragonfly from behind (August 1)

From the first of three dragonfly photos . . .

A proud dad with his firstborn son (August 22)

to a handful of pix of my #1 son about to leave for college and finally being dropped off there . . .

My #2 son close up! (August 13)

to more pix of my #2 son, August has been a month of all kinds of photos of the day. As summer winds to a close, I’m left to wonder if I’ll be using fewer family shots for POTDs, especially since after Labor Day weekend, I won’t have my older son as a photo model for awhile.

Cody isn’t embarrassed by me. (August 30)

The thought of being the main subject for September’s POTDs probably strikes terror into my #2 son’s heart! Good thing I have Cody!!

Life Lessons Learned While Bowling

Who knew bowling could be so dangerous?

Every summer just before school starts, I take my sons and a friend or two bowling. Yes, it can be expensive and potentially dangerous apparently, but the air conditioning is great, and the kids always have a wonderful time.

The ball heads down the alley courtesy of my #1 son.

Plus I have the photo challenge of snapping decent photos when most of what I see are backsides!

My #2 son brings the bowling ball back as he approaches the pins.

Oh, how I wish I could put a remote camera above the pins so I could get pix of the guys’ faces! Of course, then I’d have to worry about it getting smashed by my #1 son, who throws the bowling ball so hard you’d think he envisions the pins as his enemies (nagging moms excluded, hopefully).

Cody sends the bowling ball flying.

This time my #2 son’s good friend (since first grade) Cody joined us. He’s easy-going with a good sense of humor, which all the guys need when they’re bowling without the security blanket of bumpers.

Could it be a strike for my #2 son?

Without those rubber rails there are far more gutter balls than strikes and spares. Good training for lives that hand us disappointment along with great times. Yes, there are life lessons to be learned along the well-oiled alley!

Cody and #1 celebrate strikes.

Such as be sure to enjoy your successes, big and small. Gutter balls often are followed by spares and even strikes if you work hard enough and enjoy what you’re doing.

#2 celebrates with Cody.

And never forget that it always lightens your load when you share good times and bad with your friends. The fun is taking the journey together . . . even if you barely break 100 while bowling.

This Is What I’ll Miss

The #1 son videos Cody and Chase.

I really don’t like to think about the upcoming school year. You know, the one where my #1 son won’t be living at home anymore and will be starting his college journey. Ignorance, after all, is bliss.

What could #1 be thinking about? How he rarely wears hats?

There’s so much I’ll miss when he’s at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His serious face featuring his stunningly beautiful blue eyes.

Is #1 happy he’s wearing a cap?

His wonderful smile and sense of humor.

Chase laughs.

And I’m going to miss Chase, my “third son,” too, when he’s at Rice University. He and #1 will be apart for the first time since kindergarten. Our dining room won’t be the same without him working on iMovie or GarageBand on the boys’ iMac.

Chase is about to catch a disc.

I’ll especially miss grabbing my Nikon and strolling down the block to take photos of #1 and Chase as they film their videos, as I did here the other day. They seem to have so much fun when it takes them 50 or so takes to get their lines right. I think they enjoy their bloopers as much as saying their lines correctly!

The #2 son seems ready to catch the disc (not that he does!).

If my #2 son is involved in the videoing, it’s a sure bet that he’ll have a disc or two ready to throw.

Chase throws the disc back to his little "brother."

It helps keep the mood light and lively . . . especially when #2 throws the disc at the actors during filming! That’s when he gets yelled at. He must cherish those moments, since he gets in trouble with his brothers so often!

Yes, there aren’t too many days left for me to enjoy documenting the carefree banter amid the somewhat serious nature of #1 and Chase as they video. Soon all I’ll have are the photos and their videos. And I know I’ll probably cry looking at them while my two young men are off at college.

Know what?

#2 smiles as he prepares to toss an acorn at his brothers.

The #2 son probably will miss his brothers as much as I will!