Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rain Delay

The game was rained out, so we had practice instead!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Farewell, Four-Wheeled Friend

A car is just a car. We've had this 2000 Nissan Altima since 2004. It's not flashy or fast or even very interesting. But it's been through a lot.

It was the first car Traci and I bought together.

It's the car that we drove to the hospital when we went from being newly(ish) weds to parents. (When we first put Paige in the car seat, I was so incredibly nervous that I don't think I drove more than 15 mph the whole way home.)

It was the car we drove to buy our first house (and our second) and to bring Curtis home from the hospital.

Though we bought a minivan before Tate was born, he's the one who's most attached to what he calls "the black car." Whenever there's a choice of vehicle, he wants to ride with me in the Altima. (When we showed the kids the new car, Tate refused to get in.)

It's been a good 12 years, black car. Thanks for the ride.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tate: Catching a Foul Ball is "Not that Epic"

Tate's a sports guy. We spend a lot of time shooting hoops in the basement, and talking about division rivals, and practicing hand signals for false starts and incomplete passes. The other day he sat and watched a hockey game on TV by himself for like two hours. What five-year-old does that?

Right now, he's really into baseball. He just started his first season of coach-pitch and he wants to play catch every second of the day.

So what better time to go to a Bees game? (Big thanks to Chase for the invitation.)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Why I'll have Bleached Blonde Hair in Heaven

Moving is the worst. But in the process of moving, sometimes you unearth some gems. Like this one. 

I'm guessing this was taken in 1997 in Traci's basement, shortly after we started dating. Nearly 20 years later, it now lives in our basement. 

It's one of my favorite pictures of us. 

I posted it on Facebook and it went bananas. Likes were plentiful and comments were flying everywhere. Things like: 
"What's on your head, Spencer?"
"Wow." "Bleach! Yesssss."
"Collaborate and listen. Spence in back with a brand new edition..."
"OMG! Is that Lance Bass?"
"Backstreet's back ALRIGHT!"
I couldn't help but feel like I was being teased a bit. So...

First of all. That was not Vanilla Ice hair. (Though I did have Vanilla Ice hair in the sixth grade.) It was not Lance Bass hair. (Though I've obviously had some run ins with Lance Bass.)

It was punk rock hair. (See Billie Joe Armstrong, circa Dookie.)

Second of all. It was cool.

Sure. This picture makes people giggle. I'm sure my kids will look at it and laugh the way we laugh about Traci's dad's baby blue wedding tuxedo. But if you went to high school in the late '90s, I'm sure it makes sense.

There's this piece of Mormon doctrine (or maybe a Mormon myth) that says after we die we'll be resurrected to our perfect state. I'm pretty sure this is it for Traci and me. (When Traci saw this on Facebook, the first thing she said was, "I was having a great hair day.)

Even though I'm now old and bald (Traci is young and beautiful), this is still how I picture us. Me with the bleached hair and long sideburns and Traci with the tight curls and the denim shirt. I picture us watching the MTV music awards and old episodes of The Young Ones and having big, big plans for the future.

If this is how we're going to look in heaven, I'll die a happy man.  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Curtis of the Future

This came home from class the other day. 

Looks like Curtis' memory of the past includes his crib and a stuffed monkey that he's since handed down to Tate. (It's now Tate's favorite toy. He's named Onkey and he goes everywhere that Tate goes.)

In his present, Curtis looks to be quite the attentive student. 

Traci asked him what he was he was doing in the future. 

"Going to work, like dad."

"What does Dad do at his work?" Traci asked. 

"I dunno."

Future looks bright. 

Friday, April 08, 2016

Turning the Big 0-5

Turning five is a pretty big deal. Tate's been counting down the days for weeks. And why not. He's had pretty much the best day(s) ever. 

The night before his birthday, he got to go out with his grandma and grandpa. Dinner at Popeyes, followed by a trip to Target to pick out some TeenyMates and some hockey cards. Yeah, pretty sweet. 

On his actual birthday, he got to have his favorite breakfast (scrambled eggs) and his favorite dinner (bacon and nacho cheese -- seriously). 

And, of course, some presents. 

(For a boy who spends 20 hours a day in pajamas, this was the perfect gift.) 

During the day, he took full advantage of the kindness of his mother. 

After dinner, the plan was to go to Tate's favorite place, Nickelcade. But right before we were about to leave, we had this conversation:

Tate: Can we go to the tennis court and use my new racket?

Me: Let's go to Nickelcade tonight and then we can play tennis on Saturday. 

(I would have been fine to just play tennis, but Paige and Curtis would have flipped out if we didn't go to the arcade.)

Tate: Can we go to Nickelcade on Saturday? 

Me: Sorry, buddy. We can't. 

Tate: (Clutching his racket) That's okay. We can just go to Nickelcade for my birthday next year.

(Ah, what a sweet little guy.)

Me: How 'bout we go play tennis for just a few minutes and then we go to the Nickelcade. 

(The perfect compromise.)

A pretty happy five-year-old. 

We're lucky to have him. 

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Sutherland Spring Break

Like every other family in the state, we headed south for the kids' spring break. Though we've been to St. George a million times, we've never taken the kids to Zion National Park. 

That fact that fourth graders get into national parks for free was just the kick in the pants we needed. 

The park was crowdddddded. That meant finding a parking spot it Springdale, taking a shuttle bus to the park and then another one up the canyon. Luckily, our kids liked taking the bus as much, if not more fun, than visiting the park itself. (Our hikes are always filled with lots of grumbling.) 

After all of the bus shuttling, we only did one short hike before the kids were complaining and wanting to go to the condo. Still a success by our standards. 

The weather was perfect for hiking in the sun, but pretty chilly for swimming. Luckily, kids never seem care. 

It was a good weekend for Easter egg hunting, bowling, rollerskating, hiking, tennis, and Go Fish. 

And we even ran into some people we know. Sixty percent of the Sutherland clan happened to cross through St. George on Easter Sunday. 

School was out Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday so we took advantage of the cheap Monday night hotel rates in Las Vegas. 

The kids were excited to go to the Hersey's store, but the highlight was supposed to be mega pool at the Mandalay Bay. There was just one problem: it was freezing outside. 

Actually, it wasn't really the cold, it was the wind. With gusts of 40-50 mph, bark was flying off the palm trees like missiles into the pool. The sand from the fake beach was whipping around and pelting us in the head. We withstood the wind, but when it started raining, too, the entire pool emptied out. By the time we made it to our pool chairs, our towels and clothes were completely covered by sand. It was a muddy mess. 

But vacation is vacation. We still had a great time lounging around the hotel and visiting the Lego Store so Curtis could spend the Easter money that he had gotten from Great Grandma. 

And even some wind and rain in Las Vegas was better than the snow back home. 

It's always tough to come back. 

Saturday, April 02, 2016


The day Curtis discovered poetry...and Old English font.