Saturday, February 14, 2009

Grace goes to see Elmo's Green Thumb

Brenda and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and Valentine's Day on February 12th with a nice dinner out, just the 2 of us. You couldn't drag me into a restaurant on Valentine's Day night with a pack of wild horses, so we take advantage of having our anniversary so close. Plus, when I send flowers on the 12th, I get a 2 day head start on getting the freshest, most beautiful flowers delivered to Brenda and she gets a couple of days longer to enjoy them in her office. So what did we do today to celebrate Valentine's Day? We took Grace to see Elmo's Green Thumb! We didn't tell Grace until this morning that we were going, so it was a complete surprise. So, was it worth it to spend Valentine's Day at the Erwin Center surrounded by enough toddlers in diapers to make anyone nervous? Take a look at the grin in the first picture. It was definitely worth it.

I don't how to say this without making us sound incredibly pretentious, but Brenda and I decided after our last couple of shows we saw at the Erwin Center that floor seats is really the only way to go. If you are up in the arena seating, especially way up top, not only are so far away from the entertainers, but you often spend the whole show squinting from the bright stage lights that inevitably in up shining right in our eyes. This couldn't be more true if we are bringing Grace along. Brenda got advanced notice of the show months ago, and we bought tickets as soon as they were available. We ended up in the front, center section of the stage, 6 rows from the stage. The characters were larger than life, especially to Grace. They would occasionally wander off stage down the rows and were often in the aisles next to us. Grace "thinks" she wants to give them hugs and kisses, but truthfully, when we get close to anyone in one of these types of costumes, she gets so overwhelmed that she rarely even says "hi".
Elmo is one of her favorite characters. She also likes Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie and Grover. All of her favorites were there and she had so much fun. She didn't so much follow the story, but she was always concerned where Elmo went when he left the stage. She was so cute, she would call out for him when he would leave. Since the audience was made up entirely of families with small children, we didn't feel the need to try to keep her quiet and keep an inside voice. She laughed and clapped and yelled "hi" to all of her favorite characters.
Fortunately, Grace was young enough that we able to successfully avoid the shameless marketing in the arena. Have any of you been in a supermarket recently and seen the Mylar balloons shaped like Elmo? They cost what, a couple of bucks? Let's go out on a limb and say they cost $3. At the intermission, marketers entered the arena floor with tons of these balloons. Seriously, there were hundreds of these balloons, and of course, every kid in the arena wanted one. So how much were these lovely balloons? $10!!! OH MY NO! I promised Grace I would buy her one from HEB later, and this time, it worked. I am sure that one day, we won't be so lucky.
So, that's one way to spend Valentine's Day. I have to say that the number of these types of shows that I "need" to see in my lifetime is a relatively small number, but this was definitely worth every penny and every second. Grace was so excited. Her giggles and laughs brought countless smiles for Brenda and I. And when Gracie is smiling and Mommy is smiling, that makes Daddy smile... and that makes any day a wonderful day. Check out the photo album for more pictures!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunset landing

This past week my work travel took me to Lansing, Michigan. Before we began our descent into Lansing, I captured these pics of the sunset from above the clouds. I was pretty impressed considering these were taken with my iPhone!