Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why am I posting this?  Because it's funny (and because it's bigger than a normal hat).  Some things never get old.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter 2015

Since it appears that this blog has adopted a "post about going to WWE and holidays only!" policy, I guess I'd better get this picture put up.
We happened to be in Des Moines running some errands when we stopped by Valley West Mall.  Maddux spotted the Easter Bunny from the upper level as soon as we got close and decided that it was hilarious to see a giant rabbit.  I wish we'd been able to get a picture of the huge grin that was on his face while observing Mr. Easter Bunny.  We knew we absolutely had to stop for this official picture:

It should be noted that we did see the fine folks at the WWE again when Raw made a two weeks before Wrestlemania stop in Des Moines on March 16th but there aren't a lot of pictures from that evening.  I had been diagnosed with pneumonia and two rib fractures five hours before the start of Raw so I wasn't feeling the "smile for the camera" thing that night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas 2014 - it's Santa time!

It's become a tradition for Santa to send the boys a video message each year around Christmas time.  Seeing Holden's expression of awe over "HOW DID HE KNOW THAT?!" the first time Santa sent him a message a number of years ago remains a Christmas memory that I will treasure forever.  I think Maddux was similarly amazed this year but seems to take things more in stride.

At any rate, here's Santa's message to Maddux this year:

And of course, Santa's message (yes, it's different....Santa wouldn't send the same message to two kids!)to Holden:

And what would Christmas be without paying a visit to Santa Claus himself?  We had planned to attend a Christmas kick-off at the Science Center but found that it had drawn enough people that, when we arrived, the line to get in was down the block to the street.  We quickly decided that wasn't a great option for us so we came up with plan B - a trip to Jordan Creek to make a couple of new friends at the Build-A-Bear Workshop and to see our favorite Santa.  It was a few weeks earlier than we have ever gone to visit Santa in the past and we were very pleasantly surprised to find no line to speak of which meant we had plenty of time to talk to the big man himself about what cookies are his favorites, if he gets tired when delivering toys, and various other important holiday topics.  After visiting Santa, we took our new friends from Build-A-Bear to tour the Jolly Holiday Lights display which was, as usual, fantastic.  Looking back now, I couldn't be happier that there were too many people at the Science Center that night as we ended up having way more fun by just playing it by ear.
Some years we dress up to visit Santa.  This year, since it was unplanned, we went with the casual every day look.  I like it just as much as I would if they were in "Christmas picture clothes".

Holden giving Rudolph (who plays the Star Wars theme when his ear is pressed) a bath while Maddux bathes Hulk (who is a Spiderman bear that plays "Let it Go" from Frozen when his paw is pressed.  He also wears sunglasses).  Bath time is a very important step in the creation of a new friend at Build-A-Bear.
The Christmas season in 2014 has been a very relaxed, happy, and enjoyable one.  I'm going to miss watching the ReindeerCam with the kids on the computer or my phone, having Jovie (our scout elf from the Elf on the Shelf) end up in a new place each night while we sleep, coming home to blue icicle lights on the house and garage, having Leah make amazing Christmas cookies, fudge, and caramels, and a hundred other things, but we've certainly added to the bank of good memories for the future.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lee Hieb for Iowa Governor

Leah and I had the opportunity to hear the Libertarian party candidate for governor of Iowa, Dr. Lee Hieb, speak last week in Madrid at an event sponsored by Boone County for Freedom.  I've been very impressed by Dr. Hieb in interviews I've heard on the Jan Mickelson and Simon Conway programs on WHO Radio and, after listening to her in person, have absolutely no doubt that she is the candidate for me in the upcoming election.
Perhaps even more enjoyable and impressive than her formal talk at the Madrid Library was that she joined several Liberty loving and freedom minded people that were in attendance, including Leah and I, afterwards at the Flat Tire Lounge for a couple of hours.  Leah and I sat with her and discussed everything from politics, to raising chickens, to her career as a surgeon, to gluten free diets.  It was an absolutely fantastic evening.
Iowans, I strongly encourage you to look past the two main party candidates in November and give Lee Hieb your vote.

Monday, August 18, 2014

First day of 2nd grade. Dear World...

Holden said farewell to summer this morning and began life as a 2nd grader.  Below the obligatory pictures is a fantastic piece of writing by a gentleman named Dan Valentine, who wrote a column for the Salt Lake Tribune for over 30 years before retiring in 1980 due to injuries suffered in a fall.  Mr. Valentine passed away in 1991 but the words he wrote about his young son starting school are simply perfect.

Ready for school and excited to be the second Davis child to have Mrs. Cook as a teacher
Maddux wanted in on the picture taking action.
The three Davis boys
This is how you make kids excited about going to school - take a bunch of pictures of them so that being somewhere else sounds great

Dear World
by Dan Valentine

My young son starts to school today . . . It's going to be sort of strange and new to him for awhile, and I wish you would sort of treat him gently. You see, up to now he's been king of the roost . . . He's been boss of the backyard . . . His mother has always been near to soothe his wounds and repair his feelings.

But now things are going to be different.

This morning he's going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start out on the great adventure . . . It is and adventure that might take him across continents, across oceans . . . It's an adventure that will probably include wars and tragedy and sorrow . . . To live his life in the world he will have to live in, will require faith and love and courage.

So, World, I wish you would sort of look after him . . . Take him by the hand and teach him things he will have to know.

But do it gently, if you can.

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero . . . that for every crooked politician there is a great and dedicated leader . . . Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend.
Steer him away from envy, if you can . . . and teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

In school, World, teach him it is far more honorable to fail that to cheat . . . Teach him to have faith in his own idea, even if everyone says they are wrong . . . Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough people.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon...Teach him to listen to all men--but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take just the good that siphons through.
Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he's sad . . . Teach him there is no shame in tears . . . Teach him there can be glory in failure and despair in success.

Treat him gently, World, if you can, but don't coddle him . . . Because only the test of fire makes fine steel . . . Let him have the courage to be impatient . . . Let him have the patience to be brave.
Let him be no other man's man . . . Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself.
Because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.

This is quite an order, World, but see what you can do . . . He's such a nice little fellow, my son!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Even now that I'm an adult, there are times I turn to Mr. Rogers

A staple of my childhood, and now as an adult he can still express things I feel perfectly.

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Nationals

The 2014 edition of Little League pictures are done.  It's kind of remarkable to see how much older Holden looks from just one year ago (and how they still insist on jamming his damn hat down to poke his ears out.  Mental note to watch that closer next year rather than running around getting the other kids lined up). 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nine years (and counting)

Top: Apr 20, 2005.  Bottom: Fall 2013
Pretend the bottom picture was taken on Easter Sunday this year instead of last fall.  I meant to have one taken, or even bust off a selfie (or an us-ie since there's two of us in it) but in the fog of eating a delicious Easter dinner with a side of Easter candy, I neglected to do so.  So instead of a picture showing Leah and I on April 20th, 2005 along with Leah and I exactly nine years later I'm going with what's just above this text.  Next year we're in double digits babe!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Post zoo stuffed animal cuddling

Nothing quite like retiring to your hotel room to cuddle up with stuffed animals after a busy day visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo followed by spending a few hours in an indoor waterpark!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WWE Smackdown in Des Moines on February 4th

Back in September, Holden and I went to see Monday Night Raw when the WWE stopped in Des Moines.  On the way out of the building that night Holden asked if we could go again when the WWE came back to town.  It had been several years since they'd made a Des Moines stop so we didn't know when that would be but I assured him that we would definitely go again (and that we'd take Maddux and Mom this time as he and I went by ourselves the first time).

Fast forwarding a couple of months to one morning in December on my drive to work, I heard a radio commercial advertising a WWE Smackdown stop in Des Moines in February.  It was a surprise hearing that but it was instantly clear that I was about to go to my second WWE event in only six months.

So, despite the snow storm that caused some schools to get out early and evening activities in the area to be canceled (I use the term "snow storm" loosely as the weather was not even close to being as bad as it was predicted to be) Leah, the boys, and I headed to the Iowa Events Center last night for an evening with WWE superstars.  There was one dark match, a taping of WWE Main Event that featured three matches, then the taping of Smackdown that will air this Friday that had seven matches (followed by a short dark match for the good guys to win and send the crowd home happy).

My overall impression was that the crowd was much smaller than the one at Raw and that last night's crowd seemed much more dead.  I don't know if it was because of the weather, because it wasn't for the flagship Raw show, or because WWE fans are kind of pissed at story line directions at the moment.  That said, it was still a great night and I'm glad we went.  Maddux was in absolute awe the first time real live WWE guys came out to the ring.  Despite it being over three hours, he did fantastic sitting and watching (and cheering, yelling, and screaming!) until the last half hour or so when it became clear that we'd reached the end of his being awake time.  Holden had a great time again as well.  Mom and Dad definitely had fun seeing the boys have that much fun.

The one thing I'd change?  Back in September I was kicking myself for not taking a camera.  I swore I'd remember the next time we went.  Guess what I didn't bring.  So once again, phone pictures only.  Next time though - seriously.  I mean it this time.  I'm taking a camera.
Mom and the boys ready to brave the snow and wind to see Smackdown

The boys and I before leaving. You're damn right that's a CM Punk shirt.

This was Maddux's expression for the first 15 minutes or so as he processed the fact that the ring and wrestlers he plays with all the time at home in our living room were life size and in front of him.

WWE superstars (or "guys" as Maddux calls them) AND nachos? Pretty good night for a two year old!

The picture doesn't show it but the memory of Summer Rae and her short skirt coming out will live in my mind forever.

Maddux does a damn good Alberto Del Rio introduction. Glad he saw him in person.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Leah is now the proud owner of a Daniel Bryan shirt just like the one he's wearing in this picture.

Daniel Bryan addresses the crowd.

Ceasaro and Bryan with Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger looking on.

Kane after choke slamming Daniel Bryan.  Holden was chanting "You Sold Out!" at Kane.

Sometimes I get irrationally jealous of the middle ring rope.  AJ's entrance (with Lillian Garcia, who looks amazing at age 47, in the ring getting ready to announce her opponent)

New hat and shirt

Goldust and Cody!

Daniel Bryan getting ready to kick Bray Wyatt's effing head off.

Daniel Bryan celebrating with the crowd at the end of the night.

They tear down quickly!

The boys with WWE championship belts (which Holden says are very heavy!).  Blame the dude taking the picture for Holden's  hat position.  He had it on normal until the photographer screwed with it.