Posts Tagged With: happy birthday

IWotB 2021 edition ~ day four

When YBW asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I made a list.
I mean of course I made a list…

On that list was three things.
1. Meadowlark
2. kebabs
3. 2 Silos

Even though it was cloudy and cool, we spent about two and a half hours at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.
Here are a few of my favorite shots.

This is lily of the valley, birthday flower of May babies

At the pond

This right here is some Dr Seuss looking tree

Peonies are starting to bloom (big ol’ SQUEE!)

We just came up this path – last shot of the day

Before we left Vienna we stopped in at my favorite bookshop, Bards Alley.
And I ordered kebabs from the Afgan joint we love the most to be picked up on our way home. The sun finally came out so we ate late lunch on the porch.
Then we had beers with Nora and Dale at our local brewery.

It was a VERY Roby sort of day!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IWotB 2021 edition ~ day three

Today is the day!
I’ve been alive and in this world for fifty years. (well, not till 9:13 tonight, but, you know…)
I continue to waffle between something that feels like, “Wow! Fifty!” and “How is this even possible?”

I don’t know what fifty is ‘supposed’ to feel like.
Like, should I feel more ‘grown up’ than I do most days? Because there are some days I find it hard to believe I’m any sort of grown up at all. Then some days I feel one hundred and fifty, so there is that.

Our neighbors hosted an intimate gathering Saturday evening to celebrate YBW’s and my birthdays.
We shared a delicious dinner. Bubbly flowed. As did red wine. Beer made by our friend too. Later in the evening some of us sipped on some pretty rare bourbon.
It was chilly out but we sat by the fire pit and talked into the wee hours.
I can assure you I felt celebrated, y’all. I love these people and they are the sole reason I’m sad to leave this neighborhood.

One couple is already in their fifties, the other in their late thirties.
Our fifty-something friend asked me what I thought about being fifty. What had I learned? What was I anticipating? That sort of thing…

What do I think about being fifty?
First and foremost, it’s simply a number. When I say it’s a number, I mean two things: Woot! I’ve made it to fifty! and Fifty is neither old nor young, it simply is.
I’ve made fifty revolutions around the sun. I gratefully choose to celebrate this. I’ve been here ‘getting along just singing my song’ long enough to learn a thing or two about myself and my place in the world.

What do I think about being fifty?
I think I’m finally at home in my own skin.
I know I’m smarter and more capable than I was told or taught to believe.
I feel strong and confident in my skills as a human.
I am clearly aware of my worth.
I can see value in my strengths, and possibly even more importantly, in my vulnerabilities.
I am as much as, yet also more than, the sum of my parts.

What do I think about being fifty?
I’ve done the hard work of being a mother and now I get to rest on my laurels and joyfully watch my daughters navigate their own lives.
I’ve done the hard work to learn and heal from childhood wounds and now I get to apply that to my daily life.
I accept the choices I made that helped and hindered me becoming the human I am today and I am grateful for all I’ve learned.

What do I think about being fifty?
I’m at an age where I am comfortable with the number of people I choose to have in my life. Some of these people have been with me for more than thirty years, some just in the last ten. But each one is in my world because they bring something beautiful. Each one of them is a part of my heart in real and invaluable ways.
I’m content to let relationships rest. I don’t have to be in constant contact with someone to know the value and power of the relationship. Friendships that pick right up where they left off as though no time passed are sacred and precious. Love is love is love. And the strength and power of that love can survive time apart.

What do I think about being fifty?
I am looking forward to being in a new home with my precious husband! A home we built together, and for each other. The physical manifestation of how our daily life together has become just we two.
I’m eager to explore more opportunities to learn and grow as a human. As a writer. As a photographer. As a mother. As a grandmother. As a wife. As a teacher.

I look at my life on either side of this number and more than anything I feel gratitude. I feel love. I feel empowered.

I’m grateful that every decision I’ve made, good, bad, indifferent, has brought me to this point in my life. I’m grateful to have the ability to make new decisions as I move forward. I’m grateful to have just the right number, but even more importantly, just the right sort of people in my world as I continue my life journey. I’m grateful to honor from where I come as I move forward and continue becoming.

Love is the watchword. Everything I do comes from a place of love. I strive to receive everything in love. Without love I would be nothing. Love is truly the greatest gift.

Empowered. This is a word I’ve used a decent amount in my lifetime, but I’ve not always felt it. I feel it keenly now. I am empowered by the culmination of all my experience, by the enthusiasm with which I look at my future.
I know I can do what I need to do. I know I can do what I want to do.
I know I can.
I can and I will.

Fifty sounds cool.
Like, some sort of leveling up.
My sass and smarts. My joy and pain. My love and gratitude. All sort of becoming more solid somehow.
For what more could I ask on my birthday?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

IWotB 2021 edition ~ day two

My darling friend and mentor Jessica sent me the loveliest gift to celebrate my birthday.

The concept of these wishbeads is right up my alley. Something Jessica knows intuitively.
When I called to thank her for this precious and thoughtful gift, I asked her if she knew how much I loved tigers eye.

She assured me she did know, her choice reinforced based on their meaning and her wish for me.
Her wish is contained in the little brass cylinder. A wish that spoke to finding my fierceness.
A wish filled with love from a woman with whom I share a fierce love.

My life would be not only different without Jessica in it, it would be absolutely lacking.
The word gratitude is simply not enough to express the depth and breadth of my feelings surrounding this woman. But currently it’s the only one I have, therefore I will say I’m grateful for Jessica.
And thankful for the lovely gift she sent as I celebrate my International Week of the Birthday.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IWotB 2021 edition ~ day one

The first day of International Week of the Birthday was also Mother’s Day.

We met Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K at Naked Mountain for a ‘picnic on the mountain’. Lunch of salad, paninis, chips and assorted macarons served with our favorite Naked Mountain wines.
When deciding if we would spend mother’s day together, I asked Thing 1 if she just wanted to be with her little family. She replied, “I have the rest of my life to spend mother’s day with my family. I might not have the rest of my life to spend mother’s day with my Momma.”
Watching my daughter be her daughter’s mother is one of the great joys of my life.

Thing 2 was working hard all day but sent a quick message in our group chat: Happy mother’s day ladies, work is crazy right now but I will find the time to call each of you.

YBW and I were early for our 11:30 lunch reservations after leaving the new house, so we turned right on Leeds Manor and got to (route) 55 just as a train was coming. We went to the same crossing in the tracks where we took some of our wedding photos and I counted the cars as the train went past.
(three engines in front, thirty-eight cars, with an engine in the middle)

On our mini-adventure, we discovered the old Markham station.

I love these eaves!

Across the tracks from the station are these two buildings.

They are obviously currently inhabited, but I suspect during the time in which Markham was an active whistle stop, these were hotels.
(will actively begin research when I finish this post)

I stood on the tracks for a moment after taking this photo. My intention to find a spike. As I moved my head to look down, I said to YBW, “Do you see…” and I trailed off as he gently elbowed me and pointed to a spot about six inches from my left foot.
And there it was just waiting for me, ready to be plucked from where it laid on the tie. As straight as the day it was made, the perfect amount of rust discoloration.
I bent down and picked it up and leaned into my husband as I stood. He put his arm around me and held my close for a moment. I pressed my face to his chest and said, “Thank you for supporting my weird.” He chuckled and kissed the top of my head.

International Week of the Birthday is off to an excellent start!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Baby K is two!

Monday was the second anniversary of Baby K coming into our world.
Y’all, I’m just as awestruck, just as joyful, just as SQUEE as I was that day.
This little girl is more than I could ever hope for!

YBW and I went out to their house in the early afternoon timing our arrival with her waking from her nap.
Three things happened all at once: Baby K woke kind of grouchy, Aunt Gaga (Thing 2) called, and Papa pulled M&M’s out of his pocket.

When she heard her Auntie’s voice, Baby K was all smiles even though she was grouchy. Then suddenly, she climbed out of her mommy’s lap and ran to her Papa.
I was over there like WTF?
That’s when I realized he bribed her with candy.
Classic grandfather move. (imagine me shaking my fist, while also being slightly amused)

Well, it turns out talking to your Aunt and sharing chocolate with your Papa is just what a grouchy-wake-up birthday girl needs.

Presents were tricky, as she really didn’t understand exactly what was going on, but she loves to rip paper, so it evens out. However, she does rip the teeniest little pieces of paper off stuff, so it takes about forty-seven-thousand (possible exaggeration) separate rips to actually unwrap a gift.
Papa and I solved that problem with gift bags, though she pulls out each piece of tissue one at a time so it’s a similar process. (oh, that girl!)

This backpack was a hit.
She said, “A clue! A clue!”
The moment she got it on her back, she waved and said, “Bye!” before turning and walking to the front door.

That girl was ready to go!
Um…peace out, chicken.

My offspring are notorious for their ambivalence toward cake, and it seems to have carried on to the next generation too. So, instead of cake Baby K had ice cream as her birthday treat! A chocolate shake to be exact. From this delicious little frozen custard place not too far from their house.

How it started:

Where we finally put a stop to it:

Birdie took her straight to the tubby while her Daddy and Papa cleaned the mess, and her Mommy started a load of laundry.

Y’all it was spectacular!
She became one with that ice cream and it was an absolute joy to watch. Even when she splashed it all over the rest of us, we couldn’t help but laugh!

This was Baby K’s second birthday in the time of covid. Even though she didn’t get a big ol’ party, we had big ol’ fun!

My daughter’s daughter is precious and beloved.
I’m grateful she was born.
I’m grateful to celebrate her birthday with her.
I’m grateful to be her Birdie.

Categories: love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 71

This tune for Tuesday is an International Week of the Birthday day three special.
AND(!!) it’s vol 71 which is kind of cool because I was born in 1971. (I do love the significance of numbers in daily life.)

Since it’s my birthday and I make the rules, I’m going to share two songs!
This is Paolo Nutini.
If you don’t know him, for the love of all things holy look him up and listen to his music!

New Shoes from his debut record These Streets.
I have loved this song since the first time I heard it.
I’m a firm believer that new shoes bring every good thing.

Please listen responsibly.

Scream (Funk My Life Up) is from the record Caustic Love.
The studio version is excellent, and I love it. But this version, oh, this version is everything!
My favorite lyric: Lips like they’ve been singing sexed up strawberry songs.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Birthday, Baby K!

Today this little girl celebrates her first go around the sun.

We’re not celebrating it the way her parents planned.
No party.
No (extended) family.
No friends.
No bumble bee themed ‘Happy Bee-Day’.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not celebrating her wherever we are!
We’re celebrating her joining our family.
We’re celebrating her milestones.
We’re celebrating her life.

But I am reminded of the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas…

“And the Birdie, with her Birdie-feet ice cold in the snow room temperature on the floor, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And she puzzled and puzzled ’till her puzzler was sore.
Then the Birdie thought of something she hadn’t before.
What if Baby K’s birthday, she thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Baby K’s birthday, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

This precious baby girl has brought so much into our world.
The love, joy, and gratitude are enormous, and they are real!

Won’t you join me in celebrating Baby K’s birthday by sending love, good vibes, prayers, cheers, (or your favorite way to celebrate) to her today.
Please and thank you!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Baby K and her mommy’s birthday pie

Thing 1 and Baby K were here for two weeks!
It was the loveliest (albeit exhausting-est) two weeks in many moons.
Y’all, I absolutely adore watching my daughter be her daughter’s mom!

I love seeing their closeness. I’m amused when they get frustrated with each other. I love the way Baby K says “mum-mum-mum-mum” for her mommy.
To witness and share in their relationship is an absolute delight!

Baby K learned to clap while she was here.
She even (sort of) learned to say clap while she was here.
She pulled up so much and began cruising around the sofa and coffee table while she was here.
She even crawled up two (non-sequential) steps while she was here!
She says “Papa” for YBW and she said “Ba-Da” when referring to me. Ba-Da for Birdie? I’ll take it.

They were here in time for Thing 1’s birthday!
It’s the first time I’ve hugged her on her actual birthday since she was eighteen! She just turned twenty six!
So! Much! Joy!

Neither of my girls actually like cake, so we celebrated with a delicious apple pie!

I miss them.
I mean, I’m glad to have my ‘baby duty’ scaled back, but I miss conversations with Thing 1 and special moments with Baby K.
We drank so much wine.
Thing 1 said “Get out of my head” more times than I can count. It’s nice to be on the same page. It’s lovely to feel so close and connected to her.
We talked plans of what it will look like when they’re here for however many months starting this summer.
I enjoyed meal planning and grocery shopping with Thing 1. I look forward to that when they’re here.

Baby K played with Meredith and Beau.

They have a cousin who’s only a couple of months older than Baby K, so they love being in baby mode. These kids are nine and seven, and their mom could barely drag them away from the baby toys!
I love that my friends-as-family and actual family are such a big part of and have such love for each other!

I was with Thing 1 for six weeks when Baby K was born and we vowed then to make sure we could see each other as often as possible. You know, we’ve seen each other pretty much every other month since then. And soon, they’ll be right here whenever I turn around, then as close as their own house nearby.

I am truly grateful for the blessing of being able to witness and be a part of my granddaughter’s growing up.
My cup runneth over!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

sweet birthday baby

Today I’m celebrating twenty-two years of Thing 2!
Even though she’s all grown up, she’s still my sweet baby.
Y’all, she’s only sweet a portion of the time, and she’s not at all a baby. But she is mine, and I love her more than the moon and the stars!

Thing 2 is doing the hard work of figuring out how to be an adult in this world. And however much she feels like she’s getting her ass handed to her, she’s actually making more progress than she realizes.
She’s one of those stubborn sort of girls, the ones who sometimes can’t seem to get out of their own way. (I wonder where she gets that…?) She is sometimes crippled by her own inability to make and trust a decision. She sometimes feels overwhelmed and defeated. But she’s tenacious. She keeps at it. She’s doing the day to day and eventually that will make a dent in the large and looming future.
I worry for her.
But I have faith in her.
She can do it! This thing called life.
She can do it because she’s chock full of muchness.

It seems strange to think of her as my sweet little baby, she hasn’t been that for so long. She’s her, you know? She’s a girl doing her best to live her life. She’s the daughter to two people who haven’t made her life terribly easy. She’s a sister. She’s a friend. She’s a lover. Now she’s an auntie!
In addition to her being all those things, she’s simply herself. I sometimes wonder if she feels like being herself is enough.
I believe it is. I hope she does too!

I won’t be able to smother her with hugs and kisses today, but I will twelve days from now when I collect her at the airport!
The idea of celebrating her in person brings me such joy!

Here’s a photo I absolutely adore.
Thing 2 deep in thought where the sea kisses the shore.
Can you see her muchness?

circa 2003 on the pier at Folly

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

twenty five years of Thing 1

When each of my girls turned 13 I created a book. This book was filled with photographs from their first moments until as close as I could get to the deadline before their birthday that year.
For this day twelve years ago I made Thirteen Years of Thing 1.

I honestly don’t know what the significance of my daughters becoming teenagers was, but when Thing 1 was closing in on that title, it hit me in a way I didn’t expect. And going through the photographic evidence of her lifetime brought me great comfort when I was so anxious about that anniversary of her birth.

Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Thing 1’s birthday.
My first daughter has been in our world for a quarter century. I am awestruck!

I was on the phone with her one day last week, we were talking about her birthday. I remarked “quarter century of Thing 1”, that gave her pause. She hadn’t considered it like that. And then she rallied and said, “Sounds like it should be a book year.”
D’oh!
I did not make her a book. Part of me wishes I had, especially since this is her last birthday before becoming a mom.

I’ve called her twice already this morning. Her phone is turned off. Part of me is pleased she’s getting to sleep late, the other part of me wants to hear her voice.

I’m feeling my joy in the back of my throat and bubbling up into my eyes this morning.

Sally commented on a birthday social media post, “If she only knew how special she was to all of us! She’ll always be 3 in hearts!”
It’s true!
She was the first kid in my friend group. The first kid so many people ever loved. And even though we always tease that Sally is really my first daughter, Thing 1 changed the world for all of us.

Twenty five years ago I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Truth is, I still don’t know what I’m doing some of the time.
I don’t think I mommied her the best possible way. I think I mommied her based on the way I was mommied.
BIG MISTAKE!
But, I learned better over time.
I grew up with her. I learned to be a woman the same time I was learning to be a mom. She paid a bit of the price for that. But she also experienced the maddest kind of love! More fun than she can possibly remember. And somewhere down deep in her I believe she holds the nugget of truth that she is the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had.
I know I failed at being her mom sometimes, but I also know that I far exceeded any mom expectations.
She is who she is because I am her mom.
I am who I am because she is my daughter.
She made me a mom twenty five years ago. In May she’ll make me a grandmother.
Still awestruck!

This is one of my all time favorite Thing 1 photos.

Age ten, November 2004 on the dock in Charleston.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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