Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, today is my birthday!  As the picture shows, I was born with a ton of hair - as I'm only a couple days old in this shot.

My husband is out of town on my birthday for the third year in a row.   I admit I'm a bit sad about that.

The last 2 years it was for work, this year it's because his dad is getting married.  It was a bit of short notice, so we couldn't all head back to the Midwest (plus, it's COLD there), so he and Colin left last night to help his Dad celebrate. Before he left, he gave me an awesome birthday gift -- a new Canon Rebel camera. My old DSLR hasn't been working well, and while we've been a Nikon family for years, I'm excited to put the Canon through its paces.  It's important to me to take pictures to document our lives and cement memories, so a camera is very dear to me.

At least my parents and sister are here, so I can celebrate with them and 2/3 of my kids today. We'll make some memories of this birthday!

When I was very young, we lived in the same town as my mom's sister and I have one cousin that was born 3 years, minus a day after me.  When we were little, we often celebrated our birthdays together at my great-grandmother's home and I remember those days fondly.  I wish I could find a picture, as I know there are a few around!

Another birthday memory I have was when I was probably 11 or 12?  We lived far away from extended family by then, and my dad was out of town.  I expected him to be gone on my birthday, but he came home the evening of my birthday.  I can remember being so happy when he walked in the door!  I'm not sure if he cut his trip short, but I know that it was important in our family to spend our birthdays together.

I remember my 25th birthday because my grandfather passed away. I was in college and rented a limo and had planned to bar hop that night, but instead the hospital called me in the afternoon to ask me to come and be with my grandmother.  I remember thinking that they had argued with her again over my grandfather's care, but actually they didn't want to tell me over the phone that he had died.  I canceled the limo and spent the evening at a funeral home instead.

The first birthday I spent with Bo he bought me warm hiking-type boots because we lived in Milwaukee and I didn't wear appropriate shoes for the weather and he was worried about me.  I love those boots and still have them in my closet, even though I don't need them to tramp through snow anymore.

Then, there was my 33rd birthday when I was hugely pregnant and Bo took me to a steak house where I devoured a huge steak and baked potato.  I remember it was delicious and people commented on how hugely pregnant I was.  Colin was born 4 days later.

I remember last year's birthday because my sweet mom made me a cake that collapsed (her oven was faulty - she's really an excellent baker) and she tried to disguise it with a huge river of golden sugar.  It was also held together with skinny wooden dowels.  It has to be the ugliest cake I've ever seen, but it will never be forgotten!!

The important thing to me always are the people and the memories in my life.  What really matters is the experience of life - not the things of life.  Even the year that my grandfather died, while of course I was full of grief for losing him, it was important that I was there for my grandmother and able to help support her during that time (my mom & aunt both lived far away and arrived in the next couple days.)  And, even though Bo is 2000 miles away today, the memories that we build each and every day in our home build a life I love.

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