Do you remember how old 40 seemed when you were 10? Literally, I thought my grandparents were 40. If you had asked me when I was a kid how old my grandparents were, I would have paused and thought for a moment and then said, "Ummm, I think they're 40." Forty even seemed old to me when I was 25. So how is it possible that I turned forty in July?
It's interesting, how these milestone birthdays are often met with a combination of fear and loathing. I've never felt that way about any particular birthday, but I am beginning to understand as I get older that the sand is running through the hourglass more quickly than it used to. It makes birthdays more special, I think. What a gift it is to have had another year of health and joy and friendship. It should be celebrated.
And celebrate I did! My awesome sister, whose firstborn son was born on my birthday, suggested an intimate gathering for dinner with a few friends after my nephew's trampoline and pizza party. I love this picture of three of my dearest friends.
Greg secretly asked his mother to come to Pittsburgh and watch the kids so we could have a night away. It was a fantastic surprise. We stayed at a new boutique hotel called Hotel Monaco in the city and had dinner in Point Breeze at our beloved Pino's, the setting for our first official date. We drank beers at a rooftop bar overlooking the city, slept in, and had a relaxing breakfast in the South Side before heading back home. It was nothing short of wonderful.
Monday one of my closest friends had asked me to head over to her pool for lunch and an afternoon of swimming. Still trying to figure out how to get around from the house we're renting, I got completely lost and walked in flustered, thirty minutes late, as I heard all my closest friends and their kids scream "SURPRISE!" It was such a shock, and such a blessing. They sang Happy Birthday to me, spoiled the kids and me with all kinds of great food, and forced me to blow out 40 big candles.
I am grateful for the privilege of the years God has given me, and filled with hope for the years to come.
"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes."
We spent the weekend of July 4th in Cincinnati. We took in a great parade, made s'mores in Grammy's new fire pit, watched fireworks, and terrorized a horde of lightning bugs with sparklers. The next day we woke up to more beautiful sunshine and Greg was hankering for an adventure, so we spent the day at Miami, his alma mater.
One of his all-time favorite eateries, the Bagel & Deli.
George Washington has become one of the heroes of my history-loving kids. We learned all about him last year, so they were thrilled to discover a statue of him in Alumni Hall, natch.
Sam has now declared himself a future Miami Redhawk.
A visit to Greg's hometown is never complete without a stop at the one-and-only Skyline Chili. We recommend the three-way, but you can't go wrong with the coneys either.
We parents dealt with quite a bit of complaining from one particular child throughout our visit. It would have tried the patience of Mother Theresa herself. And so it was no small relief when we emerged from Skyline, full-bellied and blinking in the sun, to discover a grassy square and running fountains. Though we did not have any spare clothes in the trunk, we let them jump and play to their hearts' content. So relieved were we that the grumpy Gus among us had finally raised the white flag in exhausted defeat, we didn't dare stand in the way of their joyful antics.
We spent Saturday at what my sister affectionately calls "the Farm," their property about an hour and a half north of Pittsburgh. They don't actually have animals, nor crops, nor tractors, nor barns, but they're surrounded by them so they adopted the name. We had two special boys to celebrate. Last year my darling nephew and the resident baby of our family, Benjamin David, was born on Charlie's birthday. My sis and I think it's pretty special that out of all 365 days in a year, God ordained that our baby boys would both be born on June 6th. As such, we have years of joyful family celebrations to look forward to now as the rainy Pittsburgh spring gives way to summer and our boys blow out ever more candles on their cakes.
There's a whole lotta love among these brothers, sisters, and cousins.
It poured all day but that did not stop our fun!
Sweet Baby Ben...
Happy First Birthday sweet boy!
Our favorite superhero blew out four candles! We love him so.
The best way to get anywhere? The back of Uncle Paul's pickup.