Jax Remembrance 2017 – Cars 3 at El Capitan Theatre

jaxremembrancegraphicWe’re finally able to share the details the Jax Remembrance. We will be watching Cars 3 on Saturday, June 24 at 10 a.m. at the legendary El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.  Walt Disney Studios is reserving a bunch of seats for us at this show time. Tickets are $11 per person.

The past three years we’ve been fortunate enough to all gather at Angel Stadium and celebrate our sweet boy. This year, however, the Angels will be in Boston. But Disney (and maybe a higher power than The Mouse) scheduled Cars 3 to release the weekend of June 17, providing us a fantastic alternative to celebrate Jax and things he was passionate about. Which, no doubt, includes Cars.

Also, in the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up category, Cars 3 features the debut of Jackson Storm, a rookie to the Piston Cup race scene, and beloved Lightning McQueen’s new rival. How cool is that?!?


Jackson Storm

Please let us know by June 8 if you would like tickets.

Note about parking:  El Capitan will partially validate if you park at Hollywood and Highland. Bring your parking ticket with you to get validation, and then parking will cost you just $2 for up to 4 hours. 

It’s A…

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Today we unveiled to the kids the sex of Baby Tearz, and now, we share it with you. As you can imagine, Ellie wanted a girl, Gray wanted a boy, but they both really just want a baby, whatever gender it is.

Coming to you July 29, 2016. We’re open to name suggestions.


Happy 7th Birthday, Jax

Jax turns 7 today. I just got home from dropping the kids off at preschool, along with dinosaur cupcakes my wife made last night for their classroom. It’s a tradition she’s developed, bringing Jax’s preschool teacher cupcakes on his birthday for her class. Ellie and Gray have the same, awesome teacher.

dinosaur cupcakes

On the way home, Warrant’s “Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away” came on the radio. I LOVED it was a kid. I was 12 when it released and I MIGHT of danced to hit at a junior high dance. That part is foggy (too much aspartame). I thought about the lyrics, because anything with heaven in it makes me think of Jax. It’s cheesy as hell. But then “closer to it every day” hits. A moment later, I get this overwhelming feeling on repeat:

“I’ll see you soon, Dad,” Jax tells me. Three times. My eyes swell and the tears run down my poofy cheeks. He’s trying to make me feel better. Assure me that all will be okay. But I just feel more sad because I can’t squeeze him today. It’s his fucking birthday and I can’t hold him or kiss his round cheek. My stomach aches in despair thinking about it. A feeling of hopelessness sweeps over me. I’d really prefer to get drunk and fall asleep until today’s over. But then I think about that dead pigeon.

Actually death is typically a good sign showing us that an end to turmoil or pain is ending. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical death, just a metaphorical death. Perhaps you’re going through heartache of a break-up, perhaps you are struggling to find a job…this dead bird marks the end to your search and struggle. A new beginning is just around the corner.

I think about Jax trying to lift me up. Trying to make me feel better. I need to make today a good day. For my wife, for my kids. For me. I’ll wipe off these tears, jump in the shower and get ready to pick the kids up from preschool. As we did last year, we’ll visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, which is where we took Jax on his fourth and final birthday. And then we’re going to meet family at Ruby’s at the train station in Orange, just as we did on his final birthday. And we’ll bring some dinosaur cupcakes and sing to him.

It’s a day to celebrate him, right? Not to lay/lie (I can never get those right) in bed with a belly full of scotch.

I reread my birthday post from last year. Really, most of what I wrote is what I still feel today. So you should go read it. Because it’s really good. And, obviously, there’s no new pictures for me to post of him. And there are good pictures there, so you should go look at them.

And think of him today for us. Talk to him. Send him some positive vibes. Because it’s still his birthday.

And as a guy that sometimes writes once wrote:

My love for you knows no limits. My heart aches beyond comprehension. And my soul longs to be with you again.

Love you,


Happy Birthday, Jaxson William.

(T)GIF – In Memory of Hank Conger

The Angels traded catcher Hank Conger on Wednesday to the Houston Astros in exchange for a young pitcher and minor league catcher. This gif is for him.

Conger, the Angels first-round pick in 2006, is a local boy. He attended Huntington Beach High School and grew up an Angels fan. I’m pretty sure he’s going to go to Houston and find the bat that made him a top pick now that he’s out Mike Scioscia’s “catchers only catch” grip (see Mike Napoli).

Also, this happened last year…

Good luck in Houston, Conger. I wish the Angels gave you the at-bats to succeed offensively in Anaheim.

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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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Card Counting, Final Angel Game and Corona Turns in to Charming – How Was Your Weekend?


On Thursday our Whirlpool washing machine, just eight years old, decided to piss all over our laundry room floor. It leaked from the bottom of it. I don’t know if it’s a hose, or a pump, or giggled its way through Gray Has a Girlfriend. And we won’t know until Friday when a service professional will finally check it out.

So I took some laundry over to my parents with the twins.

My dad’s teaching the twins to count cards. Or at least practice their number recognition. But they totally know the difference between a spade and a club.

elliecountingcardsIn this game, the twins decided that the joker was the Holy Grail. They beg my dad, the dealer, to dish out the card and flip out with excitement when they get it. 

jokerI imagine they’ll both be missing their thumbs before they’re 30. Thanks for the life lessons, dad. 


Gray has a huge imagination. Just look at his girlfriend Hayley. He’s either scripted this detailed back story of a character in his head, or he sees dead people. Some of you may think the latter (Hi, Janell).

Oh shit, check this out. Total swerve here, but follow along. On Wednesday I was digging for info on Hayley when Gray told me she died and went to heaven. I asked when she died, but he couldn’t answer. He did tell me he’s going to get a rope and climb up to heaven, though. He also said he wasn’t sad. However, Jax and Hayley don’t know each other. Weird shit, eh?

Anyway, Gray’s imagination. It’s big. I often catch him playing out some crazy scene with his food. He talks quietly and it also seems to involve intense action. I caught him on Saturday morning.

The night before, Kristina and her friends from work got all artsy at Painting with a Twist. The next morning the twins saw her canvas (you can find it on her Facebook page) and wanted to paint themselves. Here are some photos along with Gray’s spooky-ass masterpiece. Ellie pretty much mixed a bunch of colors and filled the entire space, so I didn’t snap a photo of it.

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Kristina and her mom made some treats for an ongoing sale of goods at her mom’s work to raise money for Iron Jax for the 2014 CHOC Walk. So I took the kids, along with my dad to their last Angel game of the season. I only have two season ticket seats, so I bought four from the Angel Ticket Exchange.

Feeling cheap, we sat in the first row of the upper deck. If you haven’t held a 35-pound toddler in one hand and a tall boy Modelo can in another while trekking down those steep steps to your seats in the very front row, just imagine jumping off the edge of the Grand Canyon. Because that’s pretty much what I imagine it to be.

Ellie, blinged out to the bling with her Angel blinging bracelet, called Mike Trout’s home run before he hit it.


And the Angels won 8-5. Gray shook off some social anxiety jitters (large group of people making a lot of noise) and we all had a super fun night.


A kid behind us, maybe about 9-years-old, replaced Angels with Dodgers in the “Let’s go Angels” chant towards the end of the game. Gray wasn’t having any of that crap. He let it go the first time, but when round two started, Gray turned around and said “ANGELS” firmly and directly to the kid. His dad laughed that this 3-year-old was sticking up for his team. But I think he was just correcting the kid. He’s got that part of Jax in him.

I updated my iPhone with iOS8, which now has a time-lapse feature for the stock Camera app. So I tried it out during the fireworks show. Obviously, find a flat surface when you decide to use it. I’m sorry if you puked all over your work computer watching this.

During the game, at 7:51, I got a text from Kristina to find out why there was traffic on the 15 freeway. Oh, it’s just because the Hells Angels and Mongols turned Corona in to Charming five minutes from our house at the El Cerrito Road exit of the 15.


There’s a rumor flying around town that earlier that day, a truck operated by a Hells Angels member ran over one Mongol on a bike, then backed over another. Where’s Wayne Unser when ya need him?


Sunday I took the twins over to my sister’s house to visit their new cousin. I had the pleasure of holding her for about an hour while she slept on my cozy man boobs. Ellie, so anxious to hold baby Claire, backed off a bit once reality set in. She had no idea what to do with her hands.

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How was your weekend?