Tag Archives: birthday

She’s 17, But I Haven’t Aged a Bit.

How is it that December is almost over? It felt like I blinked on Halloween and now suddenly it’s almost the New Year. Crazy.

December included a birthday celebration for my oldest daughter. OMG Becky turned 17 years old. Ugh. I don’t want her to be so close to being an adult. To me it seems such a short time ago that she was my little girl wearing everything pink and wanting me to do her hair.

birthday girl

On second thought, she’s probably right to not let me do her hair anymore.

I took Christmas Eve off from work to get ready for our Christmas festivities. I started out at 6:30 AM with a quick stop at Starbucks for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Then it was off to store after store… after store. It might not sound like a lot of fun, but I really enjoyed it. There was no traffic, no crowds, no lines. I hit eight stores in two cities and was back home before 11AM. It.was.awesome!

Later was our Christmas Eve traditional candlelight church service with family. Then back to my parents’ house for dinner and gifts.

Eleven of the fifteen grandkids were there. (And a short Christmas tree that is my mom’s absolute favorite ever and she would like to keep up forever. Too bad it’s getting drier and drier by the minute.)

Christmas morning was great! My girls both wanted footie pajamas. Their wish was granted. And they look ridiculous in them, but they love them and that’s all that matters, right.

Sassy loved the sweater I got her with a picture of a boxer on it. Not sure Stella appreciated it.

Sidenote: I discovered the key to keeping Stella out of all the craziness that is Christmas morning package opening… I gave her the first gift of the morning! She got a new squeaky pig and was so excited. She immediately took it to her bed to chew on and had zero interest in what we were doing. Note to self: Make this a tradition!

Today, after all of the busyness that the last week involved, I needed to be outside. OMG Becky and I took Stella to the dog park where we tromped along the muddy trails.

sunset over lake

It was fantastic!

How were your holidays?


My Cake is on Fire

Remember how I told you yesterday that fall foliage is lacking in color here? Take a look…

trail in woods

Yep, that’s as colorful as it gets at the moment.

But don’t think that stopped us from hitting the trails again on Sunday. It did not. Sassy and I were only minutes into our run when she suddenly stopped and turned around to tell me she had just jumped over a snake that she thought was a stick.

snake on trail

A snake! Yuck. I think she startled it as much as it startled her because it was frozen. It’s head was on the left side of the picture. That meant Stella and I had to take it off trail to go around its tail to get past it. Please hold still snake. Please hold still.

I probably don’t have to tell you Sassy was a bit spooked after that. Maybe two minutes later a squirreled jumped off the side of the trail and made her screech. Ha! I couldn’t help but laugh. Bad mom.

I wish I could tell you that was the last only snake we saw on the trial. Nope. Maybe 10 minutes Sassy almost stepped on another one.


Luckily, that one was a bit smaller than the first snake.

baby snake

Such a cute little baby! Not that I tried to cuddle it or anything. Or even try to touch it. That thing could be venomous for all I knew!

After our run, we had to get cleaned up quickly. My parents took us out to dinner for my birthday a day early. We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant. And it was just awesome! Chips, salsa, spinach cheese dip, spinach enchiladas, rice, and beans. All my favorites! Only thing better would have been a margarita, but those make me want to sleep all day. Monday mornings don’t allow that.

Then it was back to my parents’ house for birthday cake and gifts. These two headed for the leftover frosting as soon as we walked in the door! Ridiculous.

Also ridiculous was the amount of smoke these candles put off. I am not kidding when I say I was worried about the smoke alarming being set off.

homemade cookie cake

That homemade cookie cake put me over the edge. So very full. I’m glad my birthday only comes once a year.

Pick your birthday meal! What kind of cake do you want? What restaurant would you eat at?

The Cake That Wasn’t

Today is a big day for somebody! It’s my dad’s birthday!


We celebrated with a barbecue yesterday at my youngest brother’s house. I was in charge of the dessert and had plans for a traditional round, 2-layer cake. Unfortunately, the cake was too moist and crumbled coming out of the pans. No problem! With a few additions, I re-purposed the cake into a scrumptious trifle.

We also had party hats. It’s not a party in this family with out party hats.

Oh my, Myo. She wears it well, don’t you think?

Friday night, I met up with a few co-workers for pedicures and dinner. For the first time ever, I got a little design on my big toe. Verdict? I don’t like it and it’s driving me nuts. And now I know better.

Saturday was the usual half day of work at my parent’s office. Then I had to drop Sassy off at my oldest brother’s house to spend the night. We were surprised to see a boat out on his lake.

boat on lake

It was not the warmest of days.

And then the girls and I started this week out with a hike tonight. Stella insisted on rolling in the leaves often.

And OMG Becky insisted on brushing her off every single time.

Those two are a lot of fun to hike with. If you don’t mind stopping every few yards…

This little scene below freaked non-bird-loving OMG Becky out.

Birds, birds everywhere! Ha!

Tell me about your weekend!


Helpful Competitors

Last night we went to my youngest brother’s house to celebrate his wife’s birthday. And I discovered how helpful my family members are!

There was cake and candles. So many candles, my sister-in-law needed help blowing them out!  ;)

blow out candles

My niece was happy to help her.

There was assistance cleaning the dishes.

lick the spoon

Thanks, Dad!

I spent some time snuggling with my youngest niece and taking pictures of her. Look how good she is at posing for the camera! So helpful!

OMG Becky helped me out and took this picture.

And then things got ugly. We tried to play a little, friendly game of Apples to Apples.

apples to apples

Some of us are much too competitive even at this. And loud. Good night, I am never sitting next to my brother during a game again. I think I lose partial hearing last night!

What’s your favorite board game? 

Bon-fire Birthday

Friday night we celebrated OMG Becky’s 16th Birthday.  Her birthday isn’t actually for another month (December 23), but we usually have to celebrate it a couple of weeks early due to the busy holiday/travel season.  This year she and my mom came up with the idea of a bonfire and hayride at my uncle’s ranch.

We gathered at my parent’s house at the start of the party to carpool the 30 minutes to the ranch.


The past three Fridays have been just fantastic weather.  We were hoping this Friday would follow that trend.  It did not.  It was freezing.  Actually below freezing.  As we headed to the ranch it was only 28 degrees!  Most of them came prepared for the temps and even brought blankets.  Some of them?  Not so much.  :-/

Once we reached the ranch, we parked at the house and had to walk down the road a bit to one of the barns.  The tractor and trailer were all set up and ready to roll!  We received our instructions, such as if you fall off the trailer, roll away from it so you don’t get run over.  Good to know!


Our original plan was to ride into town and get hot chocolate at Sonic.  The problem with that plan?  It was a 40-minute ride one way.  Brrrr!  We thought it would be best to cut the ride a bit shorter.  Instead, we did and out and back to my cousin’s house.  It was maybe 45 minutes total.  Overall, it wasn’t as cold on the ride as I thought it would be.  The only time I really felt too cold was at the end when the tractor sped up for some reason.  Then the wind hurt my face a bit.

Once back at the ranch, it was bon-fire time!  It took awhile to get the fire going, but once we did it was awesome.  The heat felt so good!



There was a lot of pairing up trying to keep warm.


My girls and I had put together s’more packets two graham crackers, one marshmallow & a piece of chocolate in a baggie) to make it a bit easier.  And then Sassy and my dad made some awesome marshmallows roasting sticks!  They took paint roller extensions poles and used duct tape to attach parts of metal clothes hangers on the end.  Brilliant!



Our bon-fire was in the middle of a pasture.  A pasture with yearlings in it.  At one point I heard someone walking behind me.  I knew all the kids were accounting for (my goal at a kid party is to never lose a kid!), so I had a brief moment of terror.  I turned around to find several sets of eyes looking at me!



Seven calves had somehow snuck up on us!  My uncle said they were pretty tame and we could pet them.  A few of the kids tried, but the cows wouldn’t let them get any closer than two feet.  It was fun to watch!  Ha!

Sassy also made a new friend.


This barn cat fell in love with her.  Who could blame him?

After the bon-fire, we went back home for cupcakes, hot chocolate and presents.

birthday party

I wish I had gotten a better picture of the cupcakes!  They were hombre fall colors with a sugar paste leaf on each one.

OMG Becky wasn’t sure what to tell people she wanted for her birthday.  She had told two friends she wanted scarfs.  That turned into four scarves gifted!  I cannot wait to wear them all.  Not even joking one bit!  :-)


Her little friend had fun trying them all on.  Ha!

Such a fun night!  I hope it lived up to all of OMG Becky’s expectations and made her 16th birthday extra special.

What did you do for your 16th birthday?

Do you like hayrides and bonfires?

Cheesy Birthday

Sunday was my birthday.  My parents had us over for dinner to celebrate.  Since my niece thinks a party is not a party without party hats, we had to improvise.

birthday hats

birthday hats

birthday hats

My mom made spinach, cheese and onion enchiladas.  So good!  She also made creamy, cheesy, green chili rice.  Because more cheese was needed!  Always more cheese.


There was also guacamole and chips that Sassy and my dad had pretty much demolished before OMG Becky and I even arrived.

I had asked for some sort of chocolaty cheesecake for dessert.  My mom did not disappoint!



She bought a plain Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and then melted chocolate to pour on top.  Scrumptious!

The cake was just perfect, except for maybe that birthday candle.  “I’ve lost count!”  Mean, mean candle.  I don’t think 29 is so many one would lose count.  Do you?  ;-)

It’s your birthday!  What dessert are you having?

My Birthday Wish List

My birthday is less than two weeks away!  My mom has requested a birthday wish list.  I thought it would be fun to share it here as well.  This list is subject to change as my mood does.  ;-)

  • Running capris and tights.  Must have a drawstring waist.  Am I the only one that has to have a drawstring?  Other pants just do not stay up on me when running.  They tend to slide right off my hips.  Maybe I’m build oddly.  Couple of examples of capris:

C9 by Champion Women’s Fashion Run Knee Tight Capri

C9 by Champion Women's Fashion Run Knee Tight Capri


Women’s Active by Old Navy Cropped Compression Pants (16″).

Women's Active by Old Navy Cropped Compression Pants (16")


  • Ultimate Sherpa Throw by Life Comfort at Costco.  I heard these are a must and I need a new throw to match my living room.  It’s required here in the Midwest to avoid freezing to death in the winter while not going broke trying to heat the house.
  • Gift card to my favorite pedicure spa.  My toes would be forever thankful.
  • Running shoes!  Must be Asics Gel-Cumulus and the brighter, the better!

asics cumulus 15


  • I would also love a lightweight, moisture-wicking, water-resistant, windproof jacket.  No pastels.  Pastels are blah.
  • Jillian Michael’s workout videos.

jillian michaels(source)

  • I may have to add flat dress shoes and boots to this list.  I only have one pair of closed-toe flats and I don’t even really like them.  If I can’t wear heels this winter due to my ankle, I am going to need more shoes options.  I will have to try  my heels again later today to see if I need to ask for the flats.  If you see this post updated to include pictures of flats, you will know the heel test did not go so well.

Any lightweight, moisture-wicking, water-resistant, windproof jacket suggestions?

 What else should I consider adding to my wish list?

What is on your current wish list?