Tag Archives: birthday

Celebrate Good Times, Come On! (Birthday Gifts and Prizes)

Hey, it scans!  Try singing it yourself (“Celebration” (YouTube link, Kool & the Gang): gotta sing the bass part too, at least in your head).

As I mentioned yesterday, today is my birthday, which this year falls on Thanksgiving here in the United States, as it does, oh, an average of every seven years, I suppose.  (Though it’s not evenly distributed due to Leap Years. )

Which gives a special opportunity for me to indulge in Philosophical Musings.  I promise I’ll be brief in the musing part.  And there is a Birthday Blog Contest at the end, also!  After lots of pictures, admittedly.

Last year, my birthday wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it in an ideal world.  It’s not that I expect red carpets rolled out, paeans of laud where’er I go, and gifts rained down like manna from heaven (having children certainly cures you of any birthday-centric focus like that real soon).  BUT — I do like to spend my birthday with my family and with the gift of time to do a little of what I want, which is truly a gift because I rarely have that luxury, being a working mom with a busy family.  Last year, due to work craziness, I didn’t take my birthday off, which I usually do as a gift to myself.  Then it was a very busy day for the rest of the family with dance and Nutcracker etc, so we didn’t even have time to eat dinner together.  And I woke up with one of my 10/10 migraines. Wah, wah, wah.  We marked the occasion on a different day, but last year was just kind of a footnote.

Well, this year I automatically had my birthday off work!  There’s a good start.  And I and my family WILL be having dinner together!  EXCELLENT!  There are two of my birthday wishes already granted right there.  I may not have total leeway to do what I want, due to family stuff, but that’s OK (I have an evil plan related to that constraint).

Now, having your birthday on Thanksgiving makes you even more reflective.  I have been reading Nora‘s excellent series this week about thankfulness.  She and I are at very similar points in our lives.  (We need to meet up at some point, being at opposite sides of the same state, but the one time we could have — she ended up too busy with mom stuff.  I can totally resonate!)  Please go read her post from today, (it won’t take but a moment; then, if you have a bit of time, read the prior three entries in her “Week of Thanks”, partly because she expresses so well what I feel also).

We get gifts on our birthday, traditionally.

At Thanksgiving, we are encouraged to reflect on what we’re grateful for.

Well, it is so evident to me that the gifts that I am grateful for, on my birthday and always, are not primarily the tangible gifts that my family and friends give me (the love and affection behind those is what make them the most special, and how they put a lot of thought into picking out something they know I’d love and use).

I suppose that the first birthday gift is the gift of life, of being here to experience all of this wonder and joy, and to give back.

The second birthday gift that I am grateful for is the gift of family.  Here’s mine, this summer.  (I’d like to say that my husband was taking the picture, but he was off doing a music thing.  Imagine a guy in his early 50s with longish brown hair, sunglasses and a slightly sardonic expression, probably dressed in a black shirt and jeans.  Good-looking, oh, yes.)

favorite-family-pic-other-t

From left to right, The RockStar (my now 13-year-old daughter), me, the Gothlet (my 10-year-old daughter) in front with my brother behind her, his lovely wife at his side, my mother in front on the right, and my father on the far right.

This alone is so precious a gift.  And one I can’t keep shut away.   People change with every passing day, and our family will change too.  So I will cherish it, on my birthday and daily, and I will try to remember that when my teenager is testing me.

Oof.  I’m going to get maudlin.  And Nora said it all already, so well.  So let me just show-and-tell you quickly a sampling of the gifts that I already have, that I am especially, mindfully grateful for on my birthday:

Knitting

thanksgiving-noro-scarf

and Friends (Knitting and Non)

lee-and-karla

Learning New Things

corriedale-first-week-of

Kittens

somebody-woke-up

and Lap Cats

Music

rockstar

(The RockStar, of course)

and Dance

final-pose

(both of my daughters are in there with the Degas-style Dancers)

and the heedless, needless beauty that is all around us, earth,

county-road-b-mid-november

water,

and sky.

dusk-at-the-beach

chicago-skyline-from-the-ad

(Last winter’s lunar eclipse, reflecting my heart beating as the camera was steadied on my chest.)

So, with all this gratitude and giftiness going around, I’d like to share.

Announcing the second annual Words of Wisdom Birthday Blog Contest!

(Now, if you know me, the “Wisdom” part is somewhat tongue-in-cheek.)

Please leave, as a comment on this post (and if you accidentally leave it on another post, I’ll try to incorporate it too, but this is the Official Birthday Blog Contest Post):

A favorite quotation, poem, motto, song (with a message that you like), family saying, anything that is a personal favorite.  If it’s about gifts, birthdays, November, family, that’s wonderful — but it can be about ANYTHING.  Funny is great!

And, although I said yesterday “winner’ in the singular, “One is the Loneliest Number”,

(your Claymation for the day — are you thankful for Claymation?)

therefore the Random Number Generator will choose three winners (assuming at least three people enter) — because three is just a great number.  (And because my husband will consider it a gift if I share some of my lovely yarn.) ETA: Again, the winners win a skein of yarn in their choice of color.  If you remember, put your favorite color or colors in your comment, otherwise, I’ll ask you if you are a lucky winner.  The skein will be very cool and nice sock yarn, unless sock yarn is totally not your thing, in which case, I’ll find something else!  Contest deadline is midnight CDT on Monday, December 1st, 2008 – so that travelers can return home and still have time to enter.

*Lastly, we already have a winner!  Louise knows her knitting (well, I knew that already) and correctly answered with the detail I was looking for on yesterday’s warm-up contest.

birthday-knitting-bank-one

The style of sweater shown (on both cheery models above) is (a Mary Maxim adaptation of) a Cowichan sweater (fascinating history, check it out), and the perky blonde is modeling curling motifs, specifically brooms (aka brushes) and a rock (aka stone).  (Though I love Teyani‘s suggestion that it was a bomb.  Heh.)

Plus, I’d like to see that hairstyle hold up to a few ends of brisk sweeping, Aqua Net or no.  Not to mention the lipstick and the little ascot scarf.   SWEEP!  HURRYHURRYYHARDHARD HARD!  (Another YouTube video.  It’s amateur, because all the professional ones have voiceovers and you can’t hear the skips yelling.  Which they do.  It’s their job. YouTube, ’tis the theme today.)

And lastly, a short YouTube clip for all of those of you who think that curling is boring.  OK, OK, maybe it possibly could be less than exciting if you don’t curl and don’t understand what’s going on.  Other than when streakers with strategically placed rubber chickens interrupt the Olympic medal matches, that is. But if you still are bored, perhaps you’ll prefer this version of curling.

Yes, I have curled.  Why do you ask?

(Don’t forget to leave a Word of Wisdom or Amusement or What-Have-You!)

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Prelude to a Celebration (and to a Contest)

Not just Thanksgiving —

but tomorrow, we’ll be having a wonderful feast in celebration of another occasion as well.

Since my brother and his wife will be having Thanksgiving dinner with her family tomorrow, we went out for dinner tonight when they came down from the Twin Cities and started the celebrating early.

But my pre-birthday fun really started even earlier today when a friend of mine at work gave me a couple hilarious presents.  (It’s his birthday today — Happy Birthday, Ken!)

The first (slightly profane, I don’t think any children besides occasionally my teen read this blog, however):

birthday-memo-pad

(He knew I’d love it.  And I do!)

Second, even better, a knitting bank for stash money:

birthday-knitting-bank-one

birthday-bank-2

The pictures of the other sides didn’t turn out so well, but read:

Ever fantasized about knitting your own work clothes?  Or instantly whipping up some winter mitts and a matching scarf?  Don’t fool yourself.  It’s gonna take some serious money to learn how.

That’s where we come in with our easy-to-use Magic Wool Fund.™ We’ll have you savin’ up before you can holler, “Knit one, purl two!”

You love wool?  That’s your problem.  Our problem is helping you find the funds.

GOVERNMENT WARNING:  SHARING KNITTING NEEDLES CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH!

and on the other side, this knitter is calling her dealer:

birthday-bank-3

“I need a half gram of wool and quick!  I’m starting to come down…”

He knows me.  Too funny.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And then tonight we the family went out to an Italian restaurant where good times, good drinks, and good food were had by all, culminated by birthday cannoli courtesy of Ciatti’s.

birthday-cannoli

And some lovely gifts from my brother and sister-in-law.

So, tomorrow is the actual natal day, marking the midpoint of my 40s.  And I loved your comments last year, so I’ve decided to have a birthday blog contest with a similar theme.

Starting tomorrow, November 27, 2008, and going until midnight Monday, December 1st (because I know some people may be on vacation until then):

Please do leave a comment on tomorrow’s post with a favorite quote, poem, motto, saying, or a song with a message that you like (you don’t have to write down the whole song unless you’d like to).  Also, tell me your favorite color (or two colors, if you can’t decide).

The random number generator of Fortune will select a winner, who will receive a very nice (oh, I promise) skein of yarn in their favorite color.  Probably sock yarn, unless you have a preference otherwise (if you are the lucky wiener, I’ll check with you as to weight and fiber preferences).  (I have learned that I can’t decide based on merit.  You all are just too good, and too funny!)

PLUS: bonus contest today!  Here’s a non-random one.

The first person who can say in today’s comments the name of the style of sweater that the fashionable lady on my birthday knitting bank is wearing, and exactly what is depicted on her sweater, will win a small but fun knitting-related prize.

Go for it!

No Longer The Preteen

Someone’s 13th Birthday was today.

I was hoping for a young woman on the brink kind of picture, but I should know better.  I’m not finding any like that in the digital archives.

However, next best thing is a self portrait of the artist, taken just a couple weeks ago.

Tonight, though, it was all silliness!

When the Gothlet (my younger one, not pictured) put on my husband’s sunglasses, already having his black leather jacket on for warmth, it was decided she looked like a young John Lennon.  I think the no-longer-Preteen looks more like Michael Jackson in the picture above, though!  Or some other musician whose identity I can’t come up with right now.

Welcome to the teen years, my dear!  We’re all planning on hanging on for what might be a bumpy ride, but a fun one, I bet, with you around.

But first, you have some algebra homework to finish….