Travis Stratford. A Birthday Quiz.

No one loves a birthday more than Travis. Not because of the presents... oh no. Although we did manage to surprise him this year with a few things. New towels and about 5 umbrellas (he's a big umbrella loser), and my mom got him a keypad for our garage door opener which will be very helpful since he refuses to carry a house key. No, Travis isn't in it for the gifts. He loves the attention. His grandma always had everyone go around and say something they like about the birthday boy or girl, and this is a tradition Travis has kept going strong on Dec. 27th, each and every year. Our friends now know what is expected of them, and they come over prepared to heap praise on Travis and try not to repeat anything that was said in years' past.

This year, the ante was upped by none other than Erin Wright, who delivered not one but THREE Travis haiku poems. I wish I had her reading them on camera... it was hilarious. First she gave us a bit of information about haiku poems. Of course we all know they should contain 17 syllables, but she also told us that they should mention the weather and have an abrupt ending. So she would read one, wait for the laughter to die down, and then pause and say, "I'll read it again." They all really did need a few readings so you could get the full meaning. Here is my favorite:

A Ride to the Train
I'm late, driving
Max singing hard behind me
look! there's Travis

Oh yes, it was awesome. I think next year we can expect our friends to walk in with powerpoint presentations and all kinds of stuff to proclaim their love for Travis. And he deserves it all!

In honor of his special day, I thought I'd do a Travis quiz. This way, you can test your knowledge of the man we sometimes call Trav-Ass. When we think we're being funny.

1. Trav's hair color is:

a. brown

b. blonde

answer-b. Regardless of the color it may appear in these photos, everyone knows that deep down, where it counts, Travis is a blonde.

2. Trav's favorite movie is:

a. First Knight

b. Twilight

c. Star Wars

answer-c. Please. Of course it's Star Wars. We have a Religious Only movie policy on Sundays, and this includes Star Wars. One afternoon Travis spent about an hour explaining the parallels between Star Wars and the gospel.

3. Travis's favorite food is:

a. candy

b. chocolate cupcakes

c. mac n cheese

answer-a. Candy, candy, and more candy.

4. Travis is addicted to:

a. candy

b. caffeine

c. Chinese massages

answer-c. He can't resist getting at least 1 Chinese massage per week.

5. Travis loves New York City, but if he could live anywhere else (and be an undercover agent for the CIA), he would live in:

a. Boulder, CO

b. anywhere in Sweden

c. Lake Arrowhead, CA

answer-b. You've never met anyone as devoted to Sweden. Except maybe Pippi Longstocking.

6. Travis has which of the following on his bedside table:

a. the Book of Mormon

b. biography of Ingemar Bergman

c. a box of kleenex

d. some chapstick

answer-none! Trick question. If you know anything at all about Travis, he's a minimalist to the core. He doesn't have ANYTHING on his bedside table... in fact, he doesn't even have one. But this doesn't stop him from asking me to fish out my chapstick from my bedside table so he can use it.

7. Travis just discovered he has a hidden talent for:

a. spelunking

b. playing the guitar in Rock Band 2

c. ballroom dance

answer-b. He rocks! We've been having so much fun with Rock Band, we're considering becoming the next Osmonds. Wish us luck.

8. Travis spent his birthday this year:

a. eating pomegranate with Scout

b. installing dimmers on our light switches

c. playing the Wii

d. taking down the Christmas tree, and painstakingly removing each and every pine needle from the living room

e. diagnosing himself with a sinus infection

answer-all of the above. He was a busy guy yesterday! Although he was able to successfully install the dimmer in Scout's room, we now don't have any light in the dining room and our bedroom. Luckily we have an electrician coming next week.

9. Travis is an excellent athlete. The one sport he's not good at is:

a. skating

b. snowboarding

c. volleyball

d. mountain bike riding

e. motorcross

f. baseball

g. bowling

h. long distance running

i. kickboxing

answer-h. Although really, he could be a great runner if he'd train. Really, there's no sport he can't do.

10. Travis is a closet:

a. grammar nazi

b. cross-dresser

c. thespian

answer-a. Thank goodness!

Hope you did well on your quiz, and maybe you learned something new about him. Like, maybe if you've met him in the last 12 years you didn't know he was blonde! If you were unable to tell Travis something you like about him, leave a comment here. He'll love it!


Sally DeFord said...

Great post Sara! I like all the Travis information. Travis, I hope you had a great birthday. I think it's so funny that you love candy so much. We missed you guys out here in utah, but I'm also happy you guys are having holiday family time at your new house. Happy Birthday Travis. I remember once at BYU when I was having a horrible relationship drama, I came to your apartment in the middle of the night and you gave me a blessing and tried to help me feel better. You may have also offered me some hot chocolate from your hot chocolate machine. you are a great brother.

darcie said...

what a fascinating man! but i'd expect no less from the husband of sara. although i barely know travis, i like to think of him as the silent puma-cunning and powerful, but i can count on one hand the number of times i've heard a peep out of him. (btw sara, he reminds me of adam. swedish, a minimalist, athletic...candy is where they part ways).

Sara's mom said...

Last year I didn't get a chance to sing Travis' praises, because we were ALL at our mountain house in the beautiful Colorado mountains, and I didn't have access to a computer.

1. He's a WHIZ on the computer.

2. Each year he takes Scout on a daddy- daughter camping trip and then will take Calder. They LOVE it!!

3. Sara is very frugal and Travis encourages her to have a cleaning lady.

4. He takes Scout and Calder on overmight trips to New York City and they do lots of fun things like FOA Swartz toys, Toys R Us, museums, Swedish festivals etc.

5. He watched the 2 big kids, while Sara and Oz and three cool fun lady friends, flew to Colorado for a ski/snowboard long weekend at the mountain house.

6. He's a great provider, so Sara can stay home and rear their children, a hard worker, perfectionist in his work and often works all night.

7. He tried a push lawn mower to be a non-polluter.

8. He is so good to take Scout and Calder for surgeries and procedures because he is calm and mellow.

9. He's a perfectionist about upkeep of their BMW. No eating in it.

10. He fulfills his Church callings, and has had some BIG TIME consuming ones like on the High Council, counselor in the Bishopric, Executive Secretary, etc.

11. The kids are so excited when he comes home from work. He introduced them to and plays Star Wars lego with them.

12. When he's home, he gets the big kids ready for and puts them to bed, their baths, reads to them, etc.

13. He's VERY friendly, nice, and welcoming to everyone (people he knows or doesn't know.)

14. Travis and Sara have created beautiful amazing children and they are nice, fun, and kind as well.

15. He made an amazing baptism video for Scout's baptism.

16. At Calder's Star Wars birthday party, each party guest got a chance to fight Travis who was dressed as a Star Wars character, with super fancy expensive light savers. Of course the party guest always won.

I hope you had a great Birthday, and this year is a super fantastic one in your new/old house in Mecca/Edgemont. May you never be locked out of your house again due to your new garage door opener key pad!!

Hilma Bellessa said...

Right before Trav's birth I was laying on my bed thinking of the perfect man..one who is quiet and humble but powerful and accomplished. I hoped for these qualities in the son soon to be born and yep..he was all of these and more.

It is hard for me to live so far away from Trav, Sara and the kids but he makes every effort to keep me in the loop by calling me each week and sending me photos and emails. I love coming to New York and observing him and Sara as they nurture and love their little family and each other.

Travis is a very, very busy man but never too busy to take the time to do work for almost anyone who asks. He is generous to a fault and always kind and uncomplaining.

I've always felt bad about his Christmas birthday since as hard as I tried...he was short changed on presents and attention. Thankfully that is being remedied in his later (ha, ha,) years. I remember once I gave him a 1/2 year party in June on the beach at Lake Arrowhead..one of the few he had.

I love reading what others think of him. All is well deserved. What a proud Mom I am.

Yah Yah said...

I have never seen Travis mad. He has a very calming presence and he is always the one in the room talking to the one in the room that no one else in the room wants or will talk to [in the room]. He is very patient and deliberate. He never makes a scene and treats people with respect. He is well read and has a keen interest in the world, politics, and what is going on in the world. He would do anything to help a friend and he has determined what he want in life and career and continues to suceed. I am sure that a large part of why he is so successful is because you just feel like he is honest and straightforward when you meet him.

Thanks for being a loving and kind husband and father to my sister and niece and nephews.

I love you

Design Mom said...

So great! I love this quiz about Travis. I don't think I knew the answer to a single question. (Blond? For reals?). But I guessed correctly on the movie and the sports question — word on the street is you can really rip it up on a wakeboard. And I think we've all seen your top-of-the-line light saber.

The best thing I learned is that you like candy. And I hope by candy you mostly mean not-chocolate. Me too! Right this minute I'm enjoying a bowl of Life Saver Wint-o-greens. Also. Ben Blair put a whole pound of Pear Jelly Bellys in my stocking — they didn't even make it till Boxing Day. Mmmmm. Candy.

Mostly, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday! Ben and I are both so glad to know you. We couldn't stop talking about how impressed we were with the Nativity video.

Hooray for Travis!

Brooke Reynolds said...

I miss Travis.. and I think John misses him even more than I do. I miss your sweet power point presentations in ward council (no kidding.. power point presentations... with a projector.. for ward council) and assigning each person action items as they left the room.

You've spoiled us.. We will never feel that another ward council can be as effective as the ones where Travis was involved. Sometimes I sit in church meetings and think "WWTD? What would Travis do?" He'd have this whole thing figured out in about 20 minutes, everything discussed and organized, jobs assigned, and we'd get to go home and eat.

We miss coming over for dinners and spending time with your amazing family. And I think John misses you even more than I do. Thank you for letting him come hang out with you guys at Case... if you ever get big enough to need a full-time IT guy, John is your man.

carrie said...

I did decently well on the quiz, but totally fell for the trick question.

We love you Travis - happy birthday!

Amy said...

I got everything right except the night stand question. I'm not surprised he doesn't have one. I'm a little late but I wanted to say Happy Birthday and I am glad you are my brother. Sometimes I miss the days at BYU when it was just you and me. You would ride your skateboard over to my apartment to hang out or bring a little treat. I'm also glad I got to experience Sweden with you. No one appreciates it like you do. I'll never forget that testimony meeting with the Visby branch. I sure love you!

Anonymous said...

This is a nice situational haiku. After all, haiku is based on nature, life and our own experiences as well