Thursday, November 2, 2023

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Pumpkins, and Unicorns

1) They just kept winning throughout the season! Until it ended in heartbreak.

The championship match was fraught with steep competition and a bit of drama (often, those two go hand in hand, I'd imagine). Carson and Chandler played their hearts out on their own courts and did their best to help their team inch closer to holding that state championship trophy.

We cheered them on alllllllllllll day long.

But it wasn't to be.

Their team needed ten points to win. Carson and Chandler won two (out of three), the other two doubles teams collected a total of four, and the singles were shut out completely. 

And with a final score of 6, they were awarded the 2nd place trophy.

They all looked rather miserable, if you ask me. Hanging heads, slumped shoulders, downturned lips and eyes... 

Looking in from the outside no one would have known that they just took SECOND in STATE!!! I was thrilled for them. But I guess it's hard to be happy with even the moon when you were shooting for the stars.

After the team competition, Chandler and Carson competed for the individual title. At first, they were ecstatic to have simply qualified for state, and I don't think either of them were expecting to go far. But when they lost in their first match on a tie-break after fighting for two and a half solid hours, it was heartbreaking for both of them. It honestly could have gone the other way for them. They knew it, and it made the loss so much harder.

I, however, have never seen them play so fiercely before, and I was so proud of them both. They kept their heads in the game the whole time and never gave up their ground. It was inspiring to watch, and their kind, hard-working characters put them as champions in my book.

2) A Concert that should have been named: An Inspirational Product of Passion

Our friends, the Howards, offered us two extra tickets to go to the Ed Sheeran concert with them. And, let me tell you, we got some specialllllllllllll treatment. Jason was a mastermind behind the building of this Allegiant Stadium, so he gets VIP tickets to almost any event they host. I can't believe we didn't get a picture with them!

We dined on elegant appetizers of steak and pastries, shrimp cocktail, duck something-or-other, macaroni and cheese (the chef would probably die if he knew I was calling it 'macaroni and cheese' because it was so delicate and fancy and delicious - but I have no language for elegant foods), and then moved to our main course of I-don't-even-know-what because I was so full from all of the amazing appetizers I couldn't even try any of it. 

I wasn't too full for an entire piece of delicious red velvet cake the size of my head though. And Brian had no problem polishing off several boxes of buttery popcorn. Everything was included - and our eyes bulged at it all. They even had boxes of sour patch kids and m&m's sitting around so you could fill your purses and munch all night long. 

Brian and I had a great and serious conversation about the high risk of diabetes over our endless soft drinks and decided to reign in our sugar intake after the night was over.

All of that to say, we went to the Ed Sheeran concert.

It might have been one of my favorite things of the year so far. Ed Sheeran lives for his music. "If I'm not on stage, I'm in my music studio writing songs, and if I'm not in my studio, I'm sleeping." His passion for his music was contagious and watching him up on that stage was something akin to magic. Three quarters of his performance was spent with him entirely solo - no band, no backup - just a keyboard, a guitar, and a few well-placed audio loopers that were all linked together. 

That man created his music right in front of our eyes, layer by layer, and it was stunning. And true or not, he sure looked like he'd rather be nowhere else. Certainly a night to remember.

3) Other Creators:

Creators of Jack-o-lanterns. And, wouldn't you know, I didn't even get one picture of the final products. Sometimes balancing the needs of all the people in the house is a bit of a circus act - and I was grateful for Brian who stepped in to be the fun dad for the carvers while I had other things to attend to.

He blared spooky music and de-gutted all of those pumpkins with a smile.

4) Rock, Paper, Scissors and a Princess Riding a Unicorn

Timothy wanted something creative this year, and he found it in combining rock, paper, and scissors. The costume didn't turn out as obvious as he wanted it to, and I saw him eyeing a giant inflatable chicken that I'm sure will be a contender for next year, but he pulled off his idea well. 

Eliza was a princess riding a unicorn.

Originally, she was simply a girl riding a unicorn, but it turns out that riding unicorns gets rather tiring, so on Halloween day she didn't really want to ride it into the school.

I suggested that maybe she be a princess riding a unicorn so that she could be in a princess costume, and then offered to bring her unicorn to the class party later that day. 

The idea was a hit.

So we dug through our costumes and found a princess dress (that was literally 4 sizes too big for her), then dug through my sewing supplies to find juuuuuuuuuust enough safety pins, and pinned her into it for the day.

Her favorite part? The lipstick.

"Mom? Princesses need to carry their lipstick around with them and be able to put it on without their moms."

Good point.

So we put the lipstick into her backpack and she reapplied liberally throughout the day. This was clear when I got to her school several hours later for the party. It was quickly covered up with purple frosting from the cupcakes, however.

I got no pictures of Halloween night. Not one. I was too busy making a quadruple batch of white chili, two gallons of hot chocolate (one cocoa and one peppermint white), tidying the house just enough to receive the onslaught of people, setting out dishes and mugs, handing out candy to the 400+ kids who came to the door, and chatting with anyone who came to sit on my porch with me.

I didn't even get to eat the chili or drink the hot cocoa until 9pm when everything settled back down. Halloween is intensely fun around here in this neighborhood. People were in and out of the house all night long, and the porch was so crowded with trick-or-treaters from 5:30 until 8:30 (plus the stragglers for 30 minutes on either side of that window) that I'm pretty sure someone could have walked right past me with our big screen TV and I wouldn't have even noticed.

Halloween weekend always leaves me feeling blessed to live here.

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