Legoland’s Brick-or-Treat – How Was Your Weekend?

Work is kicking my butt again this week, so a condensed version of How Was Your Weekend.

Friday

The twins and I delivered some Alberto’s to my brother-in-law and nephew, Liam, as my sister and niece, Claire, were out. We watched the Royals take a 2-1 lead over the Giants in the World Series. And I ate these colon-clogging carne asada fries.

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Saturday

We considered a night at the Legoland Hotel, but didn’t want to sell our minivan to afford it, so instead, we spent the day in Carlsbad at the theme park. Splash Battle, which Gray would’ve LOVED, was closed for seasonal maintenance. And there were three to four other rides which required the kid to be at least 4-years-old.

Splash_Battle_000With the price of our ticket we had access to Legoland’s Halloween event, Brick-or-Treat. The kids loved it. But it could’ve been better. My two biggest issues:

1. Half of the park was closed off. Instead, all of us were jammed in to the east part of the park, with 20-25 minute lines just to go trick-or-treating. If they opened up the park and had more stations, it’d give much-needed relief of congestion in the paths and lines, and offer a much more pleasant experience for the customer. As it is now, I don’t want to take my kids back.

Which stinks, because I think the potential for a great event is there.

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2. They didn’t have Halloween Legos in their stores for sale. I would have purchased pretty much any Halloween Lego I could find, but they weren’t selling any. Why not use this event to sell the seasonal, hard-to-find Halloween sets or pieces in the park, driving sales in the stores in addition to ticket sales for the Lego collectors.

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They did have a dance floor, and Ellie took full advantage. And you can see her and Gray have a little power struggle.

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We went back to Saddleback Church for the first time in a while. Rick Warren, the pastor, started a series on awesome relationships, entitled, obviously, “Awesome”. If you’re married and struggling at all with your relationship, this could offer some hope. Even if you’re not struggling, I think it’s worth checking out. At the very least, watch the last 40 minutes, where Rick and his wife, Kay, discuss the seasons of marriage and their very different views and personalities. It’s highly relatable, genuine and refreshing.

View video here.

That night I was at a bar watching the World Series when I received an alert on my phone that baseball prospect Oscar Taveras died in a car accident. His girlfriend also died. My stomach sank. My heart stopped for a few seconds and I forgot to breath. I knew him as a highly touted prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals who hit a big pinch-hit home run in the playoffs and who was going to be considered for a starting outfield spot in the majors next season. Instead, the families of this 22-year-old man and is girlfriend are preparing funeral arrangements in the Dominican Republic. Hold your loved ones a little longer today, people.

Pumpkin Patch (Photos)

Work is beyond hectic this week. In lieu of a How Was Your Weekend, enjoy these photos from our excursion to Tanaka Farms last week to pick some pumpkins. We’ve made it a tradition to pick a pumpkin for each of us in the family. While picking their own, I believe it was Grayson (I’m probably wrong) thought picking a white pumpkin for our family in heaven was a good idea. And he was right. They picked one for Presley, Jax, Addison and Harrison. I bit my lip at the patch to fight off tears. No 3-year-old should know any of this.

Click on a photo to enlarge the image

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(T)GIF – I Hate Rabbits

Rabbits freak me out. They always have. Their beady little eyes. Their beady little poop. Their propensity to procreate. Bunnicula. This GIF doesn’t help my hatred.

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(T)GIF is a regular Friday feature at Smiling Through Tearz. Know of an animated gif that makes you tinkle with laughter, cry or cringe that you think should be featured at STT? Let me know at seth@smilingthroughtearz.com.

Iron Jax Photos – CHOC Walk 2014

First of all, thank you to all the Iron Jax Walkers that joined us Sunday. It’s a pain to wake up so early in the morning, fight crowds and shuffle around like a herd of zombies, but Kristina and I are so happy you did!

We also want to thank everyone that helped us raise what is likely to be just under $7000 for our team. Officially, we’re at $6364, but that doesn’t include the Super Mex and Rubio’s funds. It is not too late to give! You can click here and donate until 10/31 and those funds will count towards Iron Jax’s 2014 total.

A big thanks to the talented Tim Willey for snapping photos Sunday, of which you’ll see below.

Let’s plan for 2015. Mark your calendar for the second Sunday of October. Hit me up with any fundraising ideas/suggestions/tips. Like marketing? We can use everyone’s help!

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(T)GIF – A Classic Horror Scene

This scene is more awesome/cool/rad to me than creepy, but there’s a hint of creep in it, because of the situation this young lass is in. I wish I had abs like Michael.

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(T)GIF is a regular Friday feature at Smiling Through Tearz. Know of an animated gif that makes you tinkle with laughter, cry or cringe that you think should be featured at STT? Let me know at seth@smilingthroughtearz.com.

CHOC Walk Specifics for Sunday

Iron

I tried writing a post last year entitled Why We Support CHOC to explain the importance giving back in Jax’s honor is to us. It started like this:

Jaxson died at 9:26 p.m. at Children’s Hospital of Orange County on June 24, 2012. He wasn’t born a preemie or cured for cancer at the hospital, much like many of the participants for Sunday’s CHOC Walk 2013. For about three hours, the hospital staff did everything they could to save our boy. But it was after he left us that the CHOC staff’s grace, compassion and solace left an overwhelming mark on my wife and I. We lost our boy, but it was if they lost him with us.

The rest of it is deeply intimate and I decided against posting it. I tried to figure out a way to make it less intimate, but to me, it loses the impact. Just know that for us, it’s a very meaningful cause that honors Jax’s very special spirit.

At the time of this post, team Iron Jax has raised $4924. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone that has donated, raised money and is walking with us on Sunday. Giving lasts until 10/31, so you still have time to donate if you wish. 

FOR THE WALKERS ON SUNDAY

Kristina and I are going to the CHOC Foundation offices tonight to pick up wristbands for Walkers we’ve already agreed to pick up for. If you need us to pick yours up, please let one of us know by 5 p.m.

Some of you we’ve already made arrangements about your wristband. For others, we will be at my parents’ house in Orange at 5 p.m. tomorrow night. You can pick up your wristbands there. If you need the address, please email/text/message me on Facebook and I’ll hook you up.

For those of you that will need to either turn in check/cash and/or pick up your wristband yourself, here’s the info:

CHOC Walk Office Hours & Location

505 South Main Street, Suite 175 (First Floor Lobby)

Orange, California 92868

Thursday, October 9, 2014

11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday, October 10, 2014

11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

On Sunday we’re meeting at the lockers at the left in front of the Disneyland entrance. It’s the same place we met last year. The even starts at 6:15, we’re meeting at 6, but I urge everyone to try to be there earlier. Traffic is going to succcccccckkkkkkkkkkk. Here’s a link to helpful information about that day (parking, strollers, wheelchairs, etc, THE PARKING TRAM DOES NOT RUN!).

Thanks again to EVERYONE. We love you all, and we feel your love in return. And it means so much to us.