Mar 19, 2018

Me and My Boy

3/19/2018 — cori

I love this kid! He was the most hilarious little one and has remained true to who he is into his teenage years. We had THE BEST time this Spring Break. We were lucky enough to spend the whole week together hanging out while Chuck and Chloe were in Minnesota and Gavin was still in California.

The first order of business was to go shopping for dress clothes. We have a wedding to go to in a few months and he has no clothes for the event. He HATES shopping with a passion. And he only ever wears sports clothes. So I knew this was going to be a challenge at best, a nightmare at worst. But he shopped like a champ. We actually made record time. We finished shopping for his entire outfit: shoes, socks, belt, slacks, shirt, tie in under 2 hours. Even I was impressed. However, when I asked him to put the whole outfit on again once we got home so we could take a picture and send it to Dad, this is the face I got. Which harkens me back to my favorite comic: Calvin & Hobbes, of which, he impersonated perfectly.

Yup....that's Bennett alright.

Thank God it was the start of March Madness. We watched lots of the big upsets.

We did lots of basketball drills in the basement. We also played a ton of ping pong.

We took a tour of the University of Northern Colorado. Very cool school and the only school that actually offers what he wants to major in: Sports Coaching. 

However, we didn't plan our time well and were starving and cold throughout most of the tour.

Hands down the best day was skiing at Snowy Range in Wyoming. Believe it or not, even though we live in Colorado, it was much closer for us to drive 1 1/2 hours to Centennial, WY. And much cheaper too. There were hardly any people there on this gorgeous, sunny, high 40s day. We owned those slopes. We did at least 10 runs. 

The slopes were tree-lined and just breath-takingly beautiful. We were both in awe.

We also tried out a few restaurants in town, our favorite being a new pizza restaurant that reminds us of our favorite place in Minneapolis. Bennett even got to go hang out with his best friend a couple of days and watch March Madness together. I got a ton of lesson planning done and even enjoyed reading a couple of books. Time off is a nice gift. We absolutely loved our time together. There was so much laughing, my stomach hurt. It's times like these relationships and memories are made of. I'm reminded of something Rob Bell says (in Launching Rockets), "We're not meant to raise our kids, we're meant to enjoy them." (that one line taken out of context doesn't give you the complete picture - of course parents are supposed to teach and guide their kids - but too many parents forget to enjoy their kids b/c they get caught up in the dos/don'ts of parenthood). That has been our philosophy of parenting from day one until now and has seemed to work out pretty well for us. 

Mar 10, 2018

UCI Parents Weekend

3/10/2018 — cori

Seeing Gavin on his home turf this past weekend gave us so much joy! It is genius of universities to have these parents' weekends so that we can see how our kids are now thriving in their new environments. This wasn't for Gavin's benefit - it was all for ours.

We did all the cheesy parent stuff like take pictures next to balloons

and with Peter the Anteater

Gavin showed us his dorm (and the ping pong table he's never played a game on but has used to spread their Thanksgiving feast upon). We even got to meet friends and confirm that he has washed his sheets at least twice since moving in.

Every time we talk, Gavin says he's on his balcony. That sounds so absurd to me because most college freshman do not have the luxury of talking on a balcony while enjoying a Mediterraneanesque climate - just one of the many perks of living in SoCal.

He took us on a walk all over campus. The whole campus centers around a large circular park in the center. It's very beautifully landscaped and an atheistically appealing design.

There are gigantic Eucalyptus trees all over campus. They smell gorgeous. It is a very "green" college for being in a city. It has actually has received recognition as one of the top 10 Greenest Campuses in the country.

Just another view of the beautiful, incredibly tall Eucalyptus tree showcasing its smooth, white bark.

Being SoCal, you have many unique forms of flora. It becomes very apparent that Dr. Seuss got all of his inspiration for his artwork by just looking outside.

The only other place I've seen a 'flower' like this was in Horton Hears a Who.

Bright spots of color litter the grassy areas. Instead of buttercups, they grow these florescent wonders.

And the Hummingbirds were plentiful around these trumpet flowers. 

Unfortunately, it did rain most of our visit. But that just gave us a chance to see critters like this little guy that we never would have taken the time to stop and marvel at otherwise.

We did have one little SNAFU. Our rental car wouldn't start. Thankfully, we weren't in a hurry or late to an event. We had 2 hours to kill waiting for someone to come give us a jump, drive back to the airport and exchange our car for another

For all the hassle and wasted time, they let us pick out any car we wanted. We ended up with some pretty nice wheels for the rest of the day.

Everyone needs a picture next to an anteater bus at least once in their lives. On another random note, Gavin is letting his grow out. He doesn't like going to get it cut. He's done that only once. He'd rather wait it out every 2 or so months until he sees me so that I can cut it for him. Ever the practical one. It helps that he looks good with long hair. 

We ended our whirlwind 2 day trip by going to an NCAA Basketball game on our last night there. UCI played number one seed, UC Davis.  It was an enjoyable game to watch, even though we didn't get to sit next to Gavin. He was in the student section. He had to stand the entire game but he said the energy was fun and it turned out to be an awesome game to watch - even if they did loose in double overtime.

It was so wonderful to see Gavin thriving in his new home. Parents leave their kids after dropping them of for the first day of class with such trepidation and sadness. It gives us so much joy to see their positive adjustment to their new phase of life and excitement about what their new environment offers. We left him in excellent hands. He left the nest and is soaring...we couldn't ask for more as parents.

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