Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthday Blessings

Birthdays are fun. I woke up the morning of my birthday and the first thought I felt was sadness - I missed my Mom. Our birthdays were always very special to her. Fortunately, the sadness was fleeting. I've had some pretty special birthday celebrations.

At work, I got beautiful PINK roses tucked in a PINK vase from one of the gals in my office. She had my favorite candies and PINK balloons. Beautiful PINK flowers from my friend Lynn. One gal also photgraphed PINK flowers and framed them for me. Then, my wonderful husband sent me flowers for the first time. They're gorgeous and took me right back to Fiji!

At lunch, Evelyn and Lisa took me to my favorite birthday jaunt.
Most drive by this place a hundred times, but I like it. My favorite is the owner. She kills me. She knows it is my birthday when I come in. I come every year just bringing new friends.

My staff thank Evelyn and Lisa for taking me (if you get my drift).

That night, Bill and I had reservations at Indochine. This is, by far, the best Thai I've ever had. My mouth does a happy dance with each bite. Brad and Deana had called to wish me a happy birthday. We invited them last minute and they came along. It was their first time and they LOVED it.

Next day, the gals from work and I had a lovely lunch at Ricardo's. We had a fun time - lots of laughs. Pretend Nikki is in this photo.

That evening, Grandma Jo had taco dinner at her house. The whole gang came. Cousins Zach & Lolita, Grandma Jo and my cousin Velvet (and baby). Zach is my ultimate fighter cousin. He is the one that turned me from - Go to a fight? What? I don't think I'd like that. To "Kick some a---, Zach!" Wow. I've frightened myself.

Velvet is five and a half months along. She's having a girl! Doesn't she look cute?

Velvet was a premature baby herself. She was a beautiful, tiny little girl. Her esophagus was damaged after she was born so she has a very soft, sweet voice. Fitting of her name. She's a special girl. We're so excited she's having a little one.

Cousins Robbie and Sofia. Ask Robbie about the time I was babysitting him and he decided to paint an art project with blue model paint. Yeah, he was pretty much a Smurf for a week. I was mortified.

Cousins Marshelle and Mariah (and little Alex). Mariah is a sweet girl. When she was little, she'd always help me clean up. She'd put away my dishes, but sort them all in color order. Some might be frightened, but I loved that! That's my girl!

She was my special helper when we bought our house. She did the walk-thru with us and was great about pointing out all the little problems - smudge of paint here, missing trim there. This girl has an eye for detail!

Here's a better shot of Alex. I wish you could sniff him through this picture. Lolita always makes sure he smells sooooo good.

Me and my bro. It is cool when we are together at Grandma's house. We used to live in this trailer park just down the street from Grandma. We were at her house ALL the time. We drove our first cars in that trailer park. Played on the slip-n-slide in Grandma's yard and had many, many dinners there around her kitchen table. Sweet memories.
Sister-in-law Keri and nephew, Carson. Did I mention I LOVE this boy? I'm sure I have a time or two.

Sorry gratuitous shots of my nephew. Can't help it. Notice him checking out his cousin's pink boots. Love it!

Aunt and Uncle - Harry and Vickie. Harry and Vickie have hosted our family Christmas for many years. They are so good at coming up with themes and making it special. One year we had a Mexican theme with enchiladas and pinatas. They are always great hosts.

Dad and Mattie. Mattie was my Mom's everything. I mean, she loved us. But, her dog? Oh boy. Dad loves Mattie so much. It is a great connection for him to Mom.

Gramps. Grandpa is doing pretty well with his chemo. He doesn't love not having hair, but I think he looks great!

The boys. Enough said. Can you see why we don't wear Nike around here. It is all Adidas. All the time.

Somehow I didn't get a picture of my Uncle Robert and Jeri. Dang.

Thanks to Grandma for putting together such a great dinner. I LOVED IT! I loved the food and having everyone together. For those that know Grandma Jo - does this picture not just sum her up?

Oh wait. Maybe this one is better.

Molli called and said the kids wanted to see me and they had something for me for my birthday. We stopped by on our way home. Tom was out of town and the three were having a slumber party in the basement.

Tanner excitedly showed off his new haircut "Just like Daddy's!"

Then there's Maggie. She looks so grown up in these pictures!

There you have it. Here's to 35 more and counting! Thanks, family and friends!

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