Sunday, October 2, 2011

blow out your candles

birthdays are a big deal in our family. i like it that way. for as long as i can remember, my mom has made us each feel special on our birthday. we have a birthday dinner tradition and it is a good time every time. depending on what day our birthday falls, we all meet at my parents for dinner either on the actual birthday or on a weekend close to it. the birthday person gets to pick their choice for dinner and my mom chefs up an awesome dinner like she always does. the birthday person also gets to pick their dessert which my mom (bless her heart) also chefs up. my dad is also very instrumental in the birthday dinners as he is the grocery store runner/chopper/slicer/dicer/wine-pop-beer stocker and chiller/glass filler-upper, etc. through all of these years and all of our birthdays, my mom has made probably just about everything once. the routine is thankfully always the same. snacks/appetizers first. dinner next. we all sit around my parents dining room table and squeeze in. we all get a little quieter when the food is on the table and we start to eat, but then the converation picks up again and so do the laughs. one of the things that i love about our birthday dinners is that there is always, always laughter. laughing with my family is one of my most favorite things to do. after dinner, it is time for opening presents - we need that time to let our stomachs rest in order to make room for dessert. dessert comes next, including the candles being lit and the birthday song being sung by everyone (and that is quite a sound since none of us are really blessed with great singing voices;)) the dinner ends with hugs all around as everyone heads their separate ways, usually atleast an hour or two after the last bite of dessert.

last night we gathered for a shared birthday dinner for my brother steve (i have always called him as stevie, but he tells me steve is his actual name;)) and my neice taylor. my nephews zach and tyler, my neice jess, and barrett weren't with us due to college (keep up the studying jess and zach) and boot camp (we are so proud of you tyler) and work (the current 6 day work routine really sucks) and we missed them all. we had chicken fajitas that rocked, gluten free apple crisp (thank you mom for making a dessert for me to have), and chocolate cake and ice cream. a good time was had by all as usual.

every year, i pick the same dessert. white cake with red velvet frosting. when i was diagnosed with celiac disease, my mom figured out how to make it for me gluten free and it tastes just as good as it always did. you know that i love you if i share some of my birthay cake with you. it is very special since i only get to eat it once a year and i seriously love every single bite and crumb. yes, i even savor the crumbs. you wouldn't even know a cake was on the plate by the time i am done. yum yum for my tum tum. this year malena took this picture of my birthday cake, she is inheriting her aunt denise's awesome photography skills.

i love the tradition of being together to celebrate. i love that each birthday - whether milestone or not - deserves a celebration. after the last year, i couldn't agree more. a birthday means one more year, that is a worthy milestone in itself.

the next birthday in the clan is my mom's, her turn to take her pick of dinner and dessert. it is a well deserved turn. thank you mom for all of the dinners. cakes. memories. love.

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