Icing On The Cake

Happy BirthdayMy mother-in-law celebrated a big milestone a couple of weeks ago and we joined her this week to make it official.  We lit the candles, sang the required song and clapped loudly when she blew them out all with one breath.

In the weeks leading up to the big party, Joan said something that I think warrants a place in the Words of Wisdom Hall of Fame.  As she discussed her 80th birthday she made the comment, “Every day after 80 years is just icing on the cake.”

This is truth, especially if you are turning 80.  But I would also say that the icing is good every day after your 30th birthday, 40th birthday or your 362nd day after your 49th birthday.  The icing is spread thickest when we celebrate each and every day, no matter the number of years that precede it.

Life is best when lived to its fullest without any regrets.  Happy Birthday, Joan and many, many more days of icing to you!

Birthday Girl

Anita takes this very seriously!
Anita takes this very seriously!

It happens every year.  We all celebrate it.  We light the candles, sing a song, eat a little cake, open some presents, eat a little more cake and then wait another 364 days until the next round.

And so, day 365 comes today for my lovely wife.  I won’t spill the beans about her age.  I won’t even hint at how young she is.  I don’t play those games.  Oh sure, when I was younger and dumber I might have ventured into this area and teased about age and change.  But I’ve celebrated a few birthdays of my own and

I’ve learned from experience…very painful experience…that you don’t do that.  You NEVER do that.

Instead, let’s say that Anita isn’t getting older, she’s getting better.

She did it!
She did it!

Let’s announce that she gets more beautiful with each passing day.

Let’s proclaim that she is my best friend and I can’t imagine life without her.

We’ll all agree that she is a fantastic mother, daughter and sister.

With her beads and a smile, Anita celebrates another year!
With her beads and a smile, Anita celebrates another year!

No one will question that her friendship is deep and sincere and cherished.

Everyone will unite behind the idea that she is committed to her faith journey and seeks God’s wisdom daily.

There isn’t a person out there who knows Anita who would hesitate to wish her a very happy birthday.  And many, many more!


Happy Birthday, Big Guy!

Always clean.
Always clean. Always goofy. 1994

Jonathan turns 23 years old today.

Our oldest is such a blessing to our lives.  From the first day he was born, he’s brought sunlight into our world.

And while he has changed in his height and weight over the past 23 years, there are some aspects of this gentleman that have never changed.

For instance, Jonathan has a good heart.  I’ve never known someone who is as compassionate and gentle as he.  He cares for the under-dog and is quick to help those in need.  He will go out of his way to make your life better, if it is at all possible.

A great shot in his brief baseball career.
A brief, but brilliant baseball career.

Jonathan is a fantastic big brother.  No one could ask for a better big brother.  He is protective of his sister, rough and tumble with his brother and always ready to help and guide them.  Early pictures of the three kids together always have Jonathan engaging his younger siblings on the floor, at eye level.  He came to them, engaged them and loved them in a way that they will always appreciate.

Jonathan is creative.  Whether cooking in the kitchen, splatter painting in the front yard, taking pictures or writing, Jonathan is always exploring new ways to express himself.  He is a master cook and takes pride in every dish, from the perfect scrambled eggs to Creme Brulee.

Jonathan and Joan get a hug on Christmas Day 2012.
Jonathan and Joan get a hug on Christmas Day 2012.

Jonathan is loving.  When he was young, there was nothing he enjoyed more than cuddling up beside you on the couch.  As he grew, this tendency didn’t change.  As a man, he is still the first in the room to reach out an hug you.  He is a teddy-bear-of-a-man who is not afraid to show affection.

My son is many things.  But most of all, he is a gift to those who know him and love him.

Happy Birthday, son!

Cupcakes are for Birthdays

We were invited to eat dinner and share cupcakes to help honor our friend on her birthday.  It was a wonderful evening and we ate well, sang in perfect pitch, and loved strong.  We’ve known Jen for twelve years now.  It’s been our honor to share a little bit of life with her and are so happy that we could be a part of the celebration.  Happy Birthday, my friend.

Sidney Turns 4

My dog, Sidney.

Born on October 1, 2008, this sweet dog got off to a hard beginning.  Social skills were not her strong suit.  Standing upright without flopping over was difficult.  Keeping her tongue in her mouth was impossible.

And then she came to live with us in August 2009.  Her problems became our problems.

Her lack of socialization, tendency to flop around at your feet and lick your bare legs meant that we couldn’t introduce her to more than one person at a time without sending a dozen roses and a hand-written apology the next day.

There have been times when we started to reconsider our decision.  We’ve asked the vet for drugs and even thought about giving them to the dog.  We’ve purchase correcting collars and many, MANY replacement batteries.  We’ve walked a thousand miles (per the Dog Whisperer’s advice).  And every few days we remind ourselves that she’s “gotten better.”

But most importantly, she’s survived to see another birthday.  In Lab Terms, she’s just getting out of that Terrible-Two-Stage.  I use to say, “When she turns 3 we’ll see a big improvement.”  But 3 came and went.

Let’s just hope 4 is the magic number.  Happy birthday, Sid.