November 26, 2018

Memorable Moment: It Never Was About The Game

Thanksgiving 2018 came and went. It was an amazing experience to spend it with Lady Hiva and our two muggles. We were literally together from Wednesday afternoon until I went to work this morning (good thing we really like each other!). We ate delicious food, shopped in Black Friday sales, watched movies, played games, read books, made snowmen and went sledding. So it was full of memorable moments.

He kept hugging the " 'no man" 

One of those came unexpectedly. Beau-D called late Saturday night to say that he was on his way up to Salt Lake City with tickets for the UofU and BYU rival football game. For those of you unfamiliar with Utah and its culture these are the two of the largest universities in Utah and have had a long standing rivalry. Beau-D sides with Madre and Kell and is a true blue BYU fan. I, of course, have always been a Ute! Actually, now I think of it, Beau-D cheers blue in many areas that I cheer red. He is a Yankee fan, I am a Red Sox fan... So Lucky Dragon and I put on our warm clothes, grabbed some blankets and joined Beau-D for the game.

It was so much fun. At the beginning of the game BYU seemed like the only team that showed up and scored several times with no Ute scores at all. I was glad that the second half was far more fun as the UofU rallied from being behind 27 points for a win! When I was sitting there, snuggled up in a blanket with my little (not so little anymore) Lucky Dragon I could not help but enjoy myself. He was reading the large screens as they told us to "Make Noise!" or to "Cheer Loud!" and would elbow me that we were not following orders. So we would yell! It may very well been the two of us yelling, but we yelled anyway! It brought back memories of when Kell would take me to Jazz games when I was younger. He would yell and yell--I could not believe that my normally proper dad would lose all pretense and yell in excitement. Now the roles were reversed, I could see that it is not about the game at all. It was about sharing a moment with my son. A moment that years from now, like me, he may never remember who played the team or what the ending score was, but he will remember that we spent time together and it is all that matters.

So we yelled so much my throat hurt, we stomped our cold numb feet on each 3rd down and Lucky Dragon waved his UofU flag he was given during halftime. In fact, when the UofU scored the first time I jumped up and started yelling and it wasn't until after that I realized I had jumped up when Lucky Dragon was in my lap and still holding on to him he was bouncing up and down in my arms too--he was also yelling, but that could have been from shock and surprise more than cheering for our team! It was so fun to see all the people around him turn around to give him "fives" or fist bumps when the Utes did something good or cheer with him as he waved his flag. He was even able to get his Uncle Beau-D, whom was wearing BYU clothes--to give him "fives."

He has been telling everyone, including his BYU-loving-50-yard-line-season-ticket-owning-won't-wear-red grandparents that the reason BYU was ahead and then the Utes won is because he started waving his "Go Utes Flag" after halftime. He also adds in that his favorite part was when the marching bands played separately but he "wished they would play together..AND THEN THEY DID!!!" As if it was his wishing that was the sole catalyst for that decision. His detailed drawings of the game complete with numbers on jerseys and end zones tells me that he enjoyed the time together as much as I did.

As I think back to this moment, I realize as much as it is fun to tease Beau-D and my parents about being BYU fans, it really is not about the game and who wins at all. It is about the relationships that I can build around those moments. I then also realized I was thankful for all the people that made the moment happen:

  • For Beau-D and his daring to bring up a controversial topic like a BYU and UofU football game while teaching a lesson in church (something I am not brave enough to do) that lead to a fellow congregation member offering tickets to, what I would call, the biggest game of the year in Utah when they had extra. Then for Beau-D being willing to invite us when he could have taken anyone. 
  • For those wonderful people that gave their extra tickets. 
  • For Heather for sewing me a "Levi Blanket" quilt over 15 years ago when I left for my mission because it kept us warm on a cold night so we could enjoy the game instead of being cold. 
  • For Lady Hiva being willing to let us go on a last minute plans during a holiday weekend. 
  • For Ginger and her influence on my to love the color red from the time I was a little kid, it started me on my track to loving the Utes! (she will gasp when she reads this because she too is a BYU only fan) haha. 
  • For CoBurn who wanted us all to wear jumpers/hoodies in matching colors at the NFR one year because my red jumper became UofU red at the game! 
  • For Madre and Kell and their example of making time with us as kids a priority. 
  • And for Lucky Dragon for being there with me. Because, at least for now, he thinks I am cool enough to hang out with. I will take that for as long as I can have it. 

November 20, 2018

Perfect Boy-Cave

In our house in Provo I built a tree in Lucky Dragon's room. It was an amazing addition, but alas, it stayed when we sold the house. We have been in our house for going on two years and off and on Lucky Dragon has asked for a tree. I did not want to do the same thing...think I conquered that so bigger and better is I designed in my head a tree house.

Lady Hiva, as with all my projects did not agree--even after all these years and renovating a home together, she does not trust my work will look like a "bad DIY job!" Faithless I say! Faithless! haha. So for the last year and a half I would bring it up and push a little bit, then let it go for a while. You know, wear her down a bit. Well, this weekend I had some extra time and with no yard work to do it became a great time to go to Home Depot and "just look at what I need" so $70 worth of wood and materials later I was equipped to go! She was still not happy about it, telling me she did not want holes in the walls. I told her not to worry, she would not even see the holes! (they will be covered by wood--out of sight, out of mind, right?)

We still had to negotiate some details, I wanted the tree to be right in the middle of the room, she chose to voice her disagreeing opinion on that subject in front of our good friend and neighbor (whom thought it was hilarious to see us disagree). She wanted it in the corner....I conceded. I have a fort now build in the room, where the tree is, is just a detail.

It is a rather simple design, two 2x6s, six 2x4s, three 1x2s, a sheet of plywood, 2 joist hangers and screws! It was so much fun to build. I love to take something and make something new. When it gets to creativity, whether writing, painting, baking, building or any other crafts, I design it all in my head and it gets stuck there in cycles until I complete it. I think through all the details, the potential pitfalls and how to overcome them. Then it is all up to making changes as I actually execute it. For example the birthday cake that overflowed and collapsed like an amazing episode of "Nailed it!" This time, however, there were very few of those.
The materials: before picture

When you go shop at Home Depot with Dad and he fills the car with wood and you are tired...get a truck Dad! 

The room: before picture

I was so pleased to have Lucky Dragon willing to help. He loves to use the tools and be part of the plan. His favorite job is to be the "weight" while I cut or drill. He practiced cutting, drilling, leveling and painting during the process. It gives me time to talk with him as we work. Koala Bear did not want to be left out and she tails me as I work. The only time it was scary is when I was carrying th plywood up the stairs and she was right behind me and I was afraid I was going to knock her off the stairs or drop the wood on her. She could not understand why I was yelling at her--not something I normally do. Poor girl has a scary dad! HAHA

I can see why my parents had us do projects like this so we could spend time together. I learned to work and to build things. I learned to understand the basics, which means I can do anything I put my mind to. I would like to find more projects to do, so we can have more experiences like this. That way my two little muggles can look back and know they, too, can build or do anything they put their minds to.

The last tree I made was wood, chicken wire and paper mache. I wanted to make something stronger. So I devised this plan and hoped it worked. I took buckets and cut them to have a 90 degree angle then screwed them to the wall. I then sanded them to make the sides rough and used foam crack filler to make the "bark" of the tree. Then Lucky Dragon and I painted it. We were lucky our neighbors had an extra fake tree they did not want, and that became the tree top. The tree is complete with a squirrel hole (supported by the bottom of the buckets). Last night I looked it and he had all his fake food from the play fridge it was fun to see that he is already tapping into his squirrel like tendencies and storing up!

She wanted to be in the photo too. 

Chopping the decorative tree apart

Overall it turned out well, I think. Lady Hiva even seems to approve. I love that it has become the ultimate boy-cave for Lucky Dragon. I asked him if we wanted to make a sign for his tree house and thought he would want it to stay "Lucky Dragon's Tree house" or "Friends Only" or something similar, but showing his true colors he said he wanted it to say "Welcome." I can learn so much from this little guy.

Now onto the next project...maybe a castle in Koala Bear's room? I wonder how long it will take to convince Lady Hiva that is a good idea? ...oh and by the way, she was right, the tree in the corner was a better idea.
Mom wanted it white, so white it is!

The room and the materials: After photo