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Rain has been pounding down off and on all day. This morning the rain was a torrential downpour as I drove kids to school, complete with thunder and lightning. Which is not normal for the Bay Area. The skies were gray as the rain took a short break for me to drop off Parker. Mother Nature was at it again with a fury by the time I took Gwen to school. Thick, heavy drops coming down with such speed and force it was as if the weather was trying to win a contest!

Gwen could not be happier about it. That girl loves rain. I felt content that my kids were finally outfitted for the weather thanks to a little shopping trip on Friday. It was the consolation prize for not being allowed to go to the BYU vs. San Jose State game Friday night. I’m not sure Gwen and Parker felt at all compensated with that shopping trip but I felt good about things with the weather we had today.

Months ago we found out this game would have an 8:30 kickoff. As soon as I heard that I told Heath I would stay home with the kids. He was bummed and so was I. It’s not that often we get to go to BYU football games here in the Bay Area. Unfortunately the timing was simply not going to work. In the end Heath bought four tickets. One for himself, one for Gavin, and two for our neighbors who are San Jose State fans. I would stay home with the “little kids” who can’t handle late games.

By game day our van was full of game goers. As much as it made sense for Heath to carpool that many people to the game I was bummed I wouldn’t be able to drive my car that night. Heath and company took off around 4:30 pm. Parker, Gwen, and I left for the mall soon after. I was completely uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone but I did it. I tried really hard to swallow my fears and make the most of the situation with my kids.

They were excited by the Christmas decorations in Sears. We stopped and took our time looking at everything. I wanted to race through the events of the evening just to have it over with, but I forced myself to stop and allow the kids to kids to enjoy things. It ended up being really fun. We had dinner at McDonald’s mostly because it was conveniently located and a place I was willing to navigate on my own with two kids. Even though it was only 5:00 on a Friday night at the mall, the restaurant was pretty busy. We had to eat at separate tables.

After dinner we found new Sunday shoes and then went next door to JC Penney for warmer coats. Parker found a three in one jacket that is weather proof. The inside liner can zip out and be worn separately or together for a super warm coat. He wore just the outside shell today and was quite satisfied with that. I talked him into getting a few long sleeved shirts. They were perfectly Parker and he was excited.

Gwen chose a snowboarding coat and a few long sleeved shirts. When we got home she asked if she could zip out the inside of her coat too! No honey, you chose a puffy winter coat meant for snow. With the cooler temperatures and all the rain this morning I think she did well with her choice after all. It will keep her warm and dry which was the whole point.

My favorite part of the evening was when we were driving home from the mall. The kids were playing with their new Peanuts toys in the backseat while I drove. Listening to them have so much fun with simple kids meal toys put smile on my face. I did my best to make the rest of the evening fun. We popped popcorn while we looked for Heath and Gavin on BYU’s Countdown to Kickoff show. I told the kids they could stay up and watch the game with me. If they got tired they could go to bed or they could attempt to watch the whole thing with me. I was fine either way.

Heath had gotten really good seats. They were on the 50 yard line in the 14th row. He said there was a chance they could be on TV with those seats. We watched for crowd shots more than we cared about any football in the first quarter! All the crowd shots were so wide it was impossible to identify faces. When there was a little less than a minute left in the first quarter a more intimate shot of the BYU crowd came on. The people were on for a few seconds which was how we realized we recognized them. All three of us said the same thing, “That looks like … wait! It is Dad! And there’s Gavin! And Ron and Margo!” We were thrilled. I skipped back so we could see it again. Then I skipped forward to get back to live TV.

Parker kept begging me to go back and take a picture. I was thinking that we would do that on Saturday when Heath watched the game again. But Parker was in my head and I decided to do it.

I skipped back and paused when Heath was finally looking forward. Ron and Margo had cute smiles too so I figured it was a great picture. Gavin had his hand up pretty much the whole time. I texted the picture to Heath and said, “Nice jerseys.” He had called earlier saying they were having fun at the tailgate party and he bought a couple of jerseys.

Heath showed the picture around the group he was sitting with. He texted it to Ron who posted it on Facebook. I think he said something like, “Two yellows in a sea of blue.” It was reposted several times. Later in the game a lady showed the picture to Heath. It showed up in her Facebook feed. That’s how small the world is I guess. She was a BYU fan from Sacramento who found the same picture in her Facebook feed that Ron had posted earlier. They have nothing else in common! He’s a non-Mormon San Jose State fan. I love that story.

Several people noticed Heath on TV. A lady in our ward was sitting at the top of the same section. Her son had texted her, “I just saw Brother W on TV!” Saturday morning Heath woke up to an email from his Adobe account manager. He had sent a similar picture that he took from his TV when he saw Heath! He is also a BYU fan. That’s the problem with a game that kicked off at 11:30 pm Eastern Time. Unless you’re a BYU fan, there isn’t much reason to watch a game that late. This crowd showed up again in the game. I learned to look for the two yellows in the sea of blue to see if I recognized anyone.

Parker wanted me to take this picture. He was hamming it up for the camera but the jealousy was still real. He couldn’t decide if he was more jealous that Gavin got a cool jersey or that Parker wasn’t on TV because he couldn’t go to the game. He was so upset. “I can’t believe Dad and Gavin are famous!” I have to admit, I was a little jealous too. That could have been me on TV. But no, I took one for the team and stayed home.

Not long after the family’s debut on TV, Parker fell asleep. It was 9:30. This is why I stayed home. Parker has always been an early riser which means he crashes hard pretty early at night. I know how much he wanted to go to the game but this was inevitable. At halftime I made him get up and go to bed. He was not awake and it was pretty funny. He stumbled all the way upstairs dropping one toy at a time. As soon as I retrieved it for him, he would drop another. Somehow he made it into bed!

Gwen saw that Parker was sleeping in the chair so she snuggled down with her blanket too. I don’t think she was actually asleep for this picture. She kept moving around as she tried to get comfortable. I told her to just go to bed. She popped right up with no argument.

The next morning Gavin disappeared for a while. We found him in front of the TV looking like this. It is worth noting that they got home after 1:00 am and that Gavin wanted to watch more TV before going to bed. Apparently he wasn’t tired yet. Oh how that changed! He claims he wasn’t sleeping. He says he was just thinking really hard. Uh huh. He had no idea I even took this picture! Silly boy.

Watching the game wasn’t very much fun without Heath. I didn’t even see much of the fourth quarter. I did wake up to see there were 39 seconds left. Who knew? The score surprised me too. BYU won by one point. The game was supposed to be a total blowout. Heath estimated there were about 10,000 people at the stadium and that about 9,000 were BYU fans. They did say on BYU Sports Nation that there would be a lot of BYU fans. “The Bay Area knows how to represent!” Yes we do. Go Cougars!

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