Happy Birthday Mom!

I’ve got birthday on the brain today, probably because it is the first of March, my favorite month of the year. My birthday (for those of you playing the home game) is exactly two weeks from today. The plans are set, the details are finalized, the new outfit has been bought (thanks Lanie!) and I am raring to go.

But, before we cruise toward my favorite day of the year, we need to pause for a moment and look back. Let’s talk about the fabulous birthday of my mother, February 25.

This could be a very long story, but I will try to tone it down. In order to honor mom on her day, my sister and I came up with a plan to cook dinner for the family at mom’s house. Relaxed, at home, no work for mom.

I decided to go get Simon and bring him along. THAT did not go as planned. He was overtired and out of sorts and did not want to go anywhere with me. After a fierce battle that left him frustrated and me upset, we were on our way. We were an hour behind schedule. We did not get to stop and do the surprises I had planned. (Not telling, I will save them for next year). We arrived at my mother’s house and he calmed down. I couldn’t sit and visit, I had to cook. I wasn’t there when one of her surprises came in. I had arranged for the band, Train, whom she likes, to call and sing her Happy Birthday. I’m sad I wasn’t there to witness it.

But then, things started to improve. We got the dinner underway. I made an Herb Rubbed Pork Loin and Parmesan Garlic Roasted potatoes. My sister did the veg, asparagus (my whole family loves it) and bought many desserts. Seriously, we had birthday cupcakes, M&M cookies, Birthday cake Oreos, and a cheesecake sampler. I was nervous about the food, because I had the main dishes and I had never made either of these recipes.  Plus, I rarely cook for other people. However, they were both outstanding! The pork was juicy, tender, and incredibly flavorful. The website (my favorite cooking website) said, “Okay, if you haven’t quite honed your kitchen skills yet but you still need a recipe to impress, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is super easy and pretty much fool proof.” as its opening lines introducing the food.  It was easy and it was fool proof. The only real prep is chopping up the spices, which was so easy I let Simon do it, so he helped cook, too! Arionna helped by hollering at me from the living room because she wanted me to come and play.  The potatoes were chosen because my mom is a parmesan nut. She’ll buy shredded parmesan and eat it out of the container with a spoon. They were awesome, great flavor.

The dinner was a rousing success. We had exactly enough (because I’m not good at judging portions) which is nice, no leftovers to put away.

My only screwup? Foil lining the pans I used to roast the potatoes. They got all stuck to it. Whoops.

After dinner, we played and hung out and talked. We had birthday cupcakes. Simon ate all the frosting off the top of his then took his sad, crumpled, soggy cake and reached over and placed it on Uncle Chad’s plate, “that’s for you” he said. How sweet.

It’s possible Arionna enjoyed the cupcakes more than anyone. That little girl has a sweet tooth!

Grandma wanted one single picture of her with her grandkids. I tried. This was the best I got.

Admittedly, it is pretty good, but Arionna is about 2 seconds from crying, I guess it was in the nick of time.

Opening my gift (a gift certificate for a pedicure – for us to go together).

Simon was down with helping. He thinks grandma unwraps too slow.

He and Arionna got her:

finger paint for the bathtub. She opened and said, “I’m sure I’ll use this all the time…”

In my favorite picture of the night. She is opening her cards. Her friend, Kathy, sent her a card–something about jiggly underarms and she cracked up. Laughing until tears. I love it when she laughs.

At this point, Simon borrowed the camera. He sure does love to take pictures. He captured this one of Arionna and me laughing.

He somehow manages to capture my favorite pictures of us. Even though she’s not looking, look how hard she’s laughing. It’s delightful.

He also grabbed a little self portrait:


He also caught this cute photo of Grandma and her girl.

It’s a shade blurry, but oh-so-cute.

Of course, whatever Simon is doing, Arionna wants to be doing. “I want the camera” became her mantra. I tried to let her, but she had her fingers all over the lens in about 2 seconds. Grandma finally went and got her old camera, which has become the children’s camera.

I don’t know if it is the crossed legs or what, but somebody looks very grown up here:

She’s taking a picture of me, taking a picture of her. Hers did not turn out.

Meanwhile, Simon had lost interest and went out in the garage with Pa and Uncle Zack. I went out with Arionna to check on them only to find:

He had given Simon a handsaw and a carboard box. He drew a line on the box and let him sit there and cut it. With a sharp tool. Okay….

But Simon loved it.

Later, after they were both jammied up, they turned to their very favorite pastime, jumping on grandma’s couch. Why she allows this I will never know, but they do it all the time.

I love that I caught them both in motion!

And a cute one!

Once they were off to bed, sleeping together in the same room (yeah, nearly two hours for them both to fall asleep) for the first time in their lives. Actually, the first time in either life that they’ve slept with another person in their room. The adults headed out to the garage for some gaming.

We played Taboo, which was fun for most of us. Emmy didn’t enjoy it–she said, but it seemed like she was into it:

I love candids. Mom’s turn, Em’s on the buzzer and Zack is just watching for the hell of it.

But the one thing I wanted, and managed, was to get a family photo. Mom said, “why did you wait for the kids to be asleep?” Well, because, the kids are not the center of the family, we’ve got tons of pictures of them. Plus, kids make pictures harder. Well, kids and my dad.


Could ya smile, just once? (I’m ignoring Zack who said, “I was smiling” even though that is NOT a smile–smirk at best).

But I do love this little family snapshot. We do not do that often enough.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother! You kickoff birthday season and I’m happy that it is here.

If you want to read my past tributes to my mom (I think she is the only person I’ve consistently blogged every birthday)





Mother’s day (that is my favorite post of her, ever, so I wanted to repost it here if you haven’t read it.)

Also, tomorrow is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, another wonderful one to celebrate!

Welcome, birthday season!