29 September 2013

Thirty Years of Troy

In addition to Troy's 30th birthday surprise trip to San Francisco to watch the Red Sox game, I had one more present for him to open on our sunrise flight.

I made him a hardbound book full of pictures from his life and messages from people he loves. It was a lot of work to gather all the messages, sort through thousands of pictures, and compile each page, but it was so worth it. Even if I had to stay up till 2am the whole first week we were in Michigan to finish it on time for printing.



I went deep into his life and had his close friends, co-workers, extended family members, and even childhood friends write messages. He couldn't believe the range of people I contacted.


My favorite part of the messages flooding in to my inbox was the realization that Troy is so loved. Of course I love him and think he's great in a biased wife sort of way, but having this book full of evidence that he has touched countless lives makes me so happy. 

Without revealing the gushy parts of messages (Troy would not appreciate that), here are a few of my favorite excerpts from friends and family:
  • What is the size limitation? Because 5 years of 11+ hour days is a lot of material. Besides our weddings, I think we have experienced all major adult life events on these desks.
  • I often joke with one of our cousins about how he taught me to be nerdy. You taught me how to be cool!
  • I look up to your incredible determination and conviction in life. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you set your mind to doing something.
  • One of my favorite memories of you was actually when you were hundreds of miles away and I was putting in a "good word" for you with Lindsey.
  • I enjoy our movie nights together, watching fights, discussing world economic conditions, dinner dates with our wives, and, of course, trying to invent the next big money maker with you. Someday we will do it.
  • Who else in our family can find excitement or entertainment in a progressing beat, a sweet treble line, and an epic drop? These are what are most important in life and no one seems to get it but us!
  • We always have so much fun getting together with you guys. I always know that there will be lot of laughs and it will just be a fun, relaxing good time.
  • So, let me get this right. You are now 30 with 3 kids and a house, a respectable professional, and a high priest. You might as well retire since not much more will change during the rest of your life.
  • I'm looking forward to more fight nights, movie nights, cabin lounging, lunching and all-night partying that lasts until at least 10pm, even if it is a work night.
  • I will forever and always cherish the friendship I have with you and Lindsey and can't wait to keep sharing in the joys and tears of raising our crazy three boys together. 
  • In general, our favorite thing about you is your quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor. In recent years, as we have gotten older, we have come to appreciate your enthusiasm for business. We can't so much as eat at a fast food restaurant without an animated discussion on the franchise.
  • I love how your mind works and how you are a random wealth of information.
  • Still don't have the million dollar idea for us. Hopefully I'll have it for your 40th.
  • I remember vividly the day, I think you were five, that you were not pleased about being tucked in for a much needed nap. As I was leaning over to give you a kiss I was astonished when you announced, "I don't want to be a man!" Well, you are a man and how things have changed! Now you LIKE naps and look forward to the opportunity to have one, though they surely don't come often enough.
  • In your life you have danced in knee socks and knickers, put chopsticks up your nose in Taiwan, got paid for seeing a moose, and spoke to the congregation with an apostle (Elder Uchtdorf) on the stand. You've eaten several Parker Maple Barn specials, been to Girls' Camp, sung with the "boat people" en route to the Bahamas, had all-you-can-eat ice cream at Harvard, danced at a gubernatorial ball, cut a CD with a solo in Spanish and lived to see the Red Sox break "The Curse." All of this and a myriad of other activities and you're only 30! What's left? 
  • You have lots of cousins—79 of them with all but two on the Tanner side. One of the unique things about you is that you relate extremely well with everyone of every age and walk of life including all these cousins and of course your many uncles and aunts. It could be said of you; “nobody doesn’t like Troy Tanner!” You have an uncanny ability to connect with others. Many have commented on how genuine you are, both funny and fun to talk to, and a good friend.
  • Did we mention that the best gift you have given us is three perfect grandsons?
The book reconfirmed to me how lucky I was to snag him up. I am honored to be the one who gets to call him "mine." Even if he's my old man now.

One of our friends said it best when describing his advancement in age:

"Living life on the divide between naive youth and responsibility-ridden middle agedness is a fine balance between rocking the world twenties style and attending to mounting pressures and responsibilities of mid-life. I wish you all the success you can find at the former without forsaking the latter."


24 September 2013

I Left My Heart In...

We only had one full day in San Francisco, so we tried to fit in as much as we could with a baby in tow. Both Troy and I visited the city as children, but neither of us remembered very much.

I was blown away by the little that we saw in the time that we had.

Our morning started out foggy and blustery as most mornings in San Francisco do. 

We hiked up to the Coit Tower for a view of the whole city (yes, Troy pushed the stroller up this and many other steep streets).



As we made our way down towards the pier, the clouds began to part. I don't think I could ever get enough of photographing wall-to-wall houses on steep streets.

We stopped for a Pier 39 lunch at Boudin Sourdough. That bread was out of this world amazing. We picked up several loaves at another location the next morning to bring back home for everyone that helped out with the boys.







Our next stop was Ghirardelli Square.

We picked up a chocolate shake at a smaller location the day before, on the way home from the ballgame, and we couldn't resist another opportunity for rich creamy goodness.



We continued on our way with a grand walking tour. And when I say walking, I mean walking...

We gazed at Alcatraz, isolated out in the bay.

We could see the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance, and figured that if we could see it, we could certainly walk to it.

Besides, we saw all these bikers following a trail that led them right there.

We realized as we got going that biking the trail was much different than walking. We made a little pit stop at the marina half way there. Those arches peeking through the sailboats still seemed far off in the distance.

I didn't mind the walk too much because not only did the bridge keep getting closer and more grandeur, but I loved seeing the houses that lined the shore.

We stopped by the Palace of Fine Arts while we were enroute.

By the end of the day, we racked up over 10 miles of walking, but it was worth every step for views like this.




After we sufficiently soaked up the Golden Gate, we walked a mile back to civility. Our feet gave out. We jumped on a bus at the famous Lombard street.

There was one last view we had to see before we called it a day. The Painted Ladies at Alamo Square. It was a spectacular view and I couldn't get the Full House theme song out of my head. 



Our flight home left the next morning, but first, we had to make one last stop at Pinkberry. There was a location dangerously close to our hotel, which I enjoyed daily. I have a slight Pinkberry addiction. I always get the original flavor and load it up with fresh fruit. There is no other frozen yogurt that compares.

It was delightful to have this little guy along with us. I love that we've been able to take trips alone with each of our babies. Crew was the exact same age on our trip to San Francisco that Nash was on our trip to New York a few years ago. It was so special to give him our undivided attention, even if it was only for a few days.


We flew back home to two eager boys who were waiting with a cake and candles to celebrate their dad's big birthday. We really only got a taste of beautiful San Francisco in our short time there. We have 27 more restaurant recommendations from bay area friends that we'll have to squeeze in next time.


23 September 2013

iPhoneography: Epic 30th Birthday Surprise

Twelve hours after we arrived home from our trip to Michigan, I whisked Troy away on a surprise sunrise flight.

It was his 30th birthday and I wanted to make it epic.

I found out a month or so in advance that he took a few days off work and I immediately began scheming. After playing around with a couple of different ideas, I checked the Red Sox schedule on a whim. When I found out they were playing on the west coast and it wouldn't be too far to travel, it was a no brainer. I lined up some relatives to watch the older boys and woke Troy up at 4:45am on his birthday to begin the festivities.

On our way to the airport, I had him open his first present which was plane tickets to San Francisco. 

Once we boarded the airplane, I handed him a second present; tickets to the Giants vs. Red Sox game. He admitted that he thought San Francisco was a random destination until the baseball tickets were revealed and it all made sense.

And he also admitted that seeing the Red Sox play on his 30th birthday was very, very cool.

We brought the baby with us, of course. Troy's first question upon opening the tickets was, "Did you pack Crew some Red Sox clothes?"


Immediately after stepping off the subway, we ran into some of Troy's fellow Bostonian friends. What are the chances? We made plans to meet up with them pre-game. It was an afternoon game, so we quickly dropped off our bags at the hotel and began the mile walk through downtown San Fran towards the stadium.


Crew (and my shoulders) got a little tuckered out from all the excitement.


AT&T Park was the most amazing stadium I've ever been to. There was a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge as we walked up the ramp. Once we were in our seats, we overlooked the entire bay. Seeing sailboats and yachts and ferries pass by while simultaneously watching the game seemed surreal. It was truly breathtaking.


Nothing makes Troy prouder than initiating our sons into the Red Sox nation.


We were actually shocked at how many Red Sox fans were in attendance at an away game, on the opposite side on the country. Everywhere we looked we saw red and blue.


The Red Sox won 12-1 to boot. A happy birthday indeed.