Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter falls late this year. But all of a sudden it seemed to come upon us quickly. I am sure the stint out in AZ had a lot to do with it. It left a short week to prepare. I say prepare like I had a lot to do with it. But not really. A big cleaning effort for a cleaning crew to come in and do a long over due scrub down. Cleaning is something that I can be of good use and requires little direction. The boys can help too. And they did. But all the organization, decorating, preparation and cooking is Demi of course. She always does such a great job with that.
This has become a great family gathering. My family came of course. But Linda's sister is so good about making the effort to come. Actually both her sisters are good about visiting. But Jinx is really great about making this one each year. As usual we had way too much to eat. I was full after appetizers. Well, almost.
The boys had a great time. They played games with their older cousin. They doted on their younger cousin. The had an excellent time shepparing her around the Easter Egg Hunt. It's good practice ground for the boys to learn proper behavior in social settings. What better practice than with family. You can screw up royally and be forgiven. Tough on Mom & Dad sometimes but we will live.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pat's Run

Pat's Run. Tempe, AZ. 4.2 miles. Finish line - 42 yard line of Sun Devil Stadium. For the Pat Tillman Foundation. 28,000 + runners. What an amazing event. It is really something to be a part of. So many runners are staying in our hotel. The atmosphere is just amazing. Everyone is just happy and nice. Being there for a common cause has that feeling of unity and camaraderie. Just hanging out at the pool is something else. Sure there is sun and drinks. But the talk and laughter with military and law enforcement personnel is electric. Just a good group of folks talking about everything under the sun - Pat, patriotism, family, fun, etc. It's truly a feel good experience.
Coming into the parking lots where the starting corrals and Exp are, is just amazing. A sea of people come to run or watch the event. We start in the shadow of the peaks abutting Sun Devil Stadium. Just a quick jaunt over the river and back, right? It was perfect running weather. The a cool desert morning was the perfect back drop. The adrenaline rush definitely got to me. I probably wasn't in the running shape I was hoping. I finished. My time was not what I was hoping it to be. But that was not a concern. Crossing the finish line on that field, with people in the stand, the scoreboard lit up, the ASU football team lining the finish alley, and Demi waiting at the finish line (she stayed with me most of the race, toyed with me, and then dusted me to "take pictures" - she was great) was something that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Just milling around after the race was something else. Lots of runners were sticking around to see others finish. Military units were running in full gear. ASU players were signing autographs for kids. The Expo was full of booths and activities. I went to Sparky's to buy a Pat Tillman College Football Hall of Fame T-shirt for Demi and me. Demi had gone back for the camera. We met back up in Reunion Square (a meeting place the Race Committee set up with Alphabet cards for people to meet up after the race), took some pictures, and then hike up the preserve overlooking the stadium. Go run a race and then for a hike right? On top of the preserve, someone was erecting a light up cross. I don't know if it was coincidence or not but seemed interesting.
There was some well deserved pool time afterward. Back with the other runners. I could definitely see myself doing it again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy 12th - Zac

Happy 12th Birthday to my oldest son. The last year before the dreaded "Teens" take effect. That happened way to quickly. I have a little man on my hands. It certainly hasn't been easy. On either of us. These things don't come with an instruction manual. But I think he has made it to pre-adolescence in relatively good shape. He's a well adjusted kid, with a kind heart and good karma.
I hope you have a wonderful day, son.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Tillman Story

I had the kids and Demi watch the DVD of The Tillman Story about Pat Tillman. I want the boys to see a bit about him and maybe understand why I was going to AZ to run in Pat's Run. Pat's Run is a charity fund raising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which supports military personnel and their families through education and community service. Leadership is a main focus which is important to communicate to the kids.
The Tillman Story is not easy to watch even as an adult. It is yet another opportunity for a family discussion. Family. That is a major them throughout the movie. It is not just about Pat. The Tillman family had to deal with so much adversity, yet they stayed strong and true to themselves. That was compelling factor in wanting to participate in Pat's Run. You just wanted to do something for the family, even in some small way. You appreciate the family strength as a unit and hope yours is just as strong.
The boys asked some well thought out questions. The got that the story was more than just a football player that enlisted in the Army Rangers. I know it had an impact on Caz. He was tearing up during the movie. Coco was locked in too. I think they got that one has to question what one is told. Conspiracy theorist designation and condemnation be damned. You have to ask questions, do your own research, and come to one's own conclusions. I get the sense from reading about Pat, that that is how he looked at life. I have no way of knowing of course, but the excerpts of his personal journals in Where Men Win Glory, seem to suggest that he always wanted information and to learn. I would surmise that is where he military scholarships from the Pat Tillman Foundations started from.
I think the boys got a lot out of watching the documentary. They certainly asked good questions. It generated a good family discussion. And I think we all benefited from having seen it. I think they understand why it is important to me to go out to AZ and participate in Pat's Run.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day 2011

April Fools! No really, it's opening day. The boys of summer really are starting today. It's a good thing the Sox are starting out of town because it's darn cold here in MA. It certainly does not feel like spring.
My boys are excited to see some baseball. Coco especially, was ready to see the newest edition of the Sox. Beltre and V-Mart are out. Saltelamacchia, Crawford, and Gonzalez are in. Expectations are sky high. World Series or bust, right? Who knows? Everyone looks good on paper this time of year. Talk about your hope for new beginnings at this time of year. Forget your spring flowers and Easter eggs. Bring on your stitched round balls, lumber, and leather. The Sox represent the Jedis and Evil Empire is around to be hated. All is right in the world.