Throwback Thursday : Birthday Edition


Hello Thursday!

I've had a lot of birthdays. There are pictures from most of them, and I thought I'd throwback Thursday you a little bit with a few.


I started out as a baby, like most of you. My mom was around a lot to help me out at the beginning.


After being a baby, then a toddler, I turned into a kid for a while.


By the time I hit double digits I had the birthday thing down.


And then I was grown up, or at least I thought I was. But I always loved my birthday!!


And yes, that is Paul Williams in the picture above, just before he kissed me on my 10th birthday. It's ok to be jealous.
And yes I'm in Times Square in that one.
And yes, I do still have that shirt and that camera, but not all those bracelets anymore.
I have the same shirt on in the bottom left, 4  years ago. It's still hanging in my closet and I try to wear it at least once every year around my birthday. 



The quality of these is not good, I know. I was trying to do them in a free collage making app. I tried it twice and the images still looked bad, but I'm tired so this will have to do. 


Related posts:

Other Lists from 50

50 Favorite Songs
5 Favorite TV Shows
5 Best Movies
5 Favorite Museums


Tomorrow is Party Day


Tomorrow I'm having a party day with my mom, sisters #1 and 2, and 3 baby nieces.
Sister #1 let me pick what she'll make for dinner AND she's making me a jello cake!!

I can not even wait.

When the 5 year old niece was littler she was in love with some videos on YouTube. I shared her love for one called "Party Day" and requested it as the theme for our party. I hope all the girls will sing along with me.

I knew you'd want to see it --





So far 50 is pretty great.

Hey guys. Guess what. I am 50 now.
So far it feels a lot like 49, except more fun.

On the first I celebrated that it was July. Just by myself in my house, but it was fun just knowing. I love July. It’s the most fun month. On the second I had a necessary day of watching YouTube and playing Sim City. Sometimes after I’ve been busy my brain needs time to air out and rev up. (Rev doesn’t seem like it should be a word all on it’s own, but it is).


On the 3rd I decided I wanted to clean everything. I discovered the food saver machine (my most beloved kitchen gadget) also works as a tablet stand for watching things while working. I also sent this text to one of my favorite friends with the caption “Spreading my life too thin.” Absolutely tell me if you know what I’m talking about.


The 4th was Independence Day. I went to my auntie’s farm for birthday celebrations, and a cookout, and pretty cool fireworks. Sister #1 and sister #3 were there with their kids and I had the best time just relaxing and talking with them. I also had some chill time with some of my cousins and the aunt who owns the farm and was once again reminded how much I love them and how much they make me feel loved. The fireworks were impressive! Even to a girl who lived at Disney World and considers Wishes and sacred experience. I also got to stand in the mostly dark and beautiful evening while one of my cousins and his new fiance told me the story of how he recently proposed. 

These are the things that make life beautiful despite all the tragic ugliness that goes on all around us.


On the 5th I stood back and was just the helper as Hannah made tacos. On the 6th I started setting up my gopro outside to catch some bird action. The 7th was full of errands and on the 8th I spent an hour and a half waiting to get my driver’s license renewed.


I started Saturday morning at the farmer’s market. My favorite band was there, the flowers at my favorite flower stand were gorgeous (and still some peonies) and I bought a lot of tomatoes. That afternoon around lunchtime I thought an adventure to Don Chilitos in Kansas City would be a good idea, so I rounded up Danny and Alan and we went. Don Chilitos is an experience. It’s like destination dining. We all loved it.



Sunday was the actual day of my birth. I did a bunch of silly stuff I wanted to do at home and when I felt ready Alan drove me to the Nelson to check out the special exhibit called “Luxury; The Treasures of the Roman Empire”. They had some jewelry and dinner ware from around the BC/AD changeover in the ancient Roman Empire. Which pretty much means all over Europe. There were some impressive silver cups from a town in France, and a perfume bottle from my boyfriend Julius Caesar’s day in Rome. We checked out our other favorites even though a bunch of stuff is out on load right now.


Dinner was at The Cheesecake Factory (it’s become a tradition) on the Plaza and then back home to get my free Starbucks before my birthday was over!


Over the weekend I managed to watch a little bit of all my favorite TV shows, which is brilliant. Of course! I love my favorite TV shows. We watched several episodes of the HBO show Rome. I picked the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. I picked the first episode of the 10th Doctor and the Unicorn and The Wasp ( which I often call ‘the last happy episode’). And of course there was some vintage General Hospital! Circa 1979 Luke and Laura stuff. Thank you YouTube.


Yesterday was Monday. I cleaned up a lot of mess in the day, but at night I drove in to have Hibachi dinner with 11 of my cousins. How fun was that?! Way fun. I love them all so much. They always make me feel lucky.


Today was relax and refill all day long. Expect when I was shredding 3 years of papers and cleaning the kitchen and tending the plants… When Danny got home, and H got back from hunting Pokemon we went out to dinner at a new to us Mexican restaurant. Afterwards I got to open a couple of presents from Danny. The presents were fun and the wrapping was perfect!


Tomorrow is mostly playing taxi to Hannah, although we are going to try a new Indian place for lunch so that’s exciting. Thursday has some appointments for me but looks to be mostly nice, and Friday I drive to my mom’s where I’ll celebrate with my mom and sisters and nieces. I am super looking forward to that. We’re going to have a party day Friday!

Plenty of things are coming up after that and I’m looking forward to those as well. July is living up to its reputation and I am loving 50. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I am positive they helped.

I've had lots of birthdays.

Once upon a time, on a Sunday night, just after dinner, I was born.
My parents sent sent out an announcement and had my picture taken. 

Birthdays 1


They were babies themselves.

Scanned Image 4

And since that time, every year right around this time, I have a birthday. There weren't usually announcements after that first time, but there were still pictures. I found a few of them this morning.

First I was 1, of course. First I was 1, of course. This party is at my grandma's house.


Next, two. We went to the zoo.


My mom took me on the pony. My auntie took me up into the shoe (where the old woman lived with her too many children).


I wanted to be a nurse on my third birthday. I had a book about a girl who wanted to be a nurse, and I liked it. This party is also at my grandma's house.

Scanned Image 3

My forth birthday party was at our mansion house. 


I got a lot of dolls.

Scanned Image 5

For my 10th birthday, two of my aunties took me to Starlight to see Paul Williams, and then backstage to meet him. I was in love with him. Don't judge.

Scanned Image 7

See me in the background? I'm showing my aunts his autograph! The best part came after the crowd thinned. My aunt yelled out "It's her birthday, and she loves you." So he turned around and kissed me. On the mouth. I used to have a picture of that in a frame. I hope I still have it somewhere.


I was quite a little lady when I turned 11. I think that's the same hair cut I have now.


I am not sure, but I think this was the same birthday at a different party. I could be wrong and this could be 12, but no one wrote on it so the world will never know.


I had a slumber party on my 12th birthday. 



By my 13th birthday, I had an attitude. But I sat at the same desk for opening presents. It was my dad's desk forever. Now my baby brother Jared has it. That was my favorite outfit in the whole world.

Birthdays 6

Let's skip to 19. I loved this haircut. I LOVED that shirt and oh my goodness I loved wearing all those braceletts!

Scanned Image 8

My friends were absolutely insane.


Before I knew it I was 46. That's me with my friend Jen last year, the night before my birthday. And check it out - it's the same shirt from the 19th birthday party!


And now it's now. I don't have a picture of today's birthday yet, but I took this Last Day of 46 picture yesterday.


46 was my best year so far. I'm not afraid to leave it behind though. I think 47 is going to be even better.




1982 KansasCity St Patrick's Day Parade

When I was in High School, I skipped school a couple times to go to Kansas City's St Patrick's day parade. It was one of the biggest St Pat's parade in the country, and since I was entirely in love with Ireland at the time, there was no way I could miss it.

I found some pictures I took in 1982 and thought I'd share them with you.

Scan 4

Scan 3

Scan 8

Scan 5

My friend Connie marched in the parade.

Scan 1

Scan 6

Scan 2

Scan 7

The sheriff.

Scan 9

KCK mayor Jack Reardon.


I think this was the KCK police float.

I'm pretty sure I took more pictures than this - I had just gotten a Nikon EM and I loved to use it as much as possible - but these are what I found. I hope you enjoyed them, and I hope you enjoy your St Patrick's day today!

New Baby's First Birthday Party

Last month, baby niece number 2, also known as New Baby, turned 1. Not so new anymore! We planned a rainbow themed birthday party for her and scheduled it for last weekend. Because of the nasty blizzard, we had to reschedule it for this weekend. It was small, and a lot of our family was mysteriously missing but those of us who made it had a very nice time. Fantastic food, lovely decorations and sweet, sweet babies. What else could you ask for? 


Baby niece number one was ready to start the part!



I told my brother I didn't think I had any pictures of him without a drink. So he hid it behind his back. "Take one now."


My sister Megan has been making roll ups for parties for years and has them so perfected! Super delish! And so cute this time when she rainbowed them up! 


Adriane made these adorable (and tasty) rainbow cookies, along with a special cookie each for Mady and Addy.


Apparently, some people thought it was a pants optional kind of party. I was a good or bad auntie (depending on your point of view) by telling her I didn't care if she wore pants or not, I thought she was adorable either way.


Megan is fantastic with the party decorations. She made that table cloth herself!


The goodies: rainbow cookies, rainbow veggies with dip, cheese dip with salsa and chips, rainbow fruit with dip, rainbow roll ups and rainbow cupcakes!


DJ Mady-Madz used to run the parties, but looks like she has some competition!


The happy birthday family.


Time to raise the roof!


Cousins: My nephew and 2 of the 3 nieces.




Cranking up the volume.


Dig the birthday girl party hat...


or not. 


As with many one year olds, Addy found the paper much more fascinating than the presents.


She did take some time to read the cards, however.


Addy and her daddy.


The proud momma.


The boys were all a little bored, and as boys usually do they turned to technology.



This really has nothing to do with the party. It's a ring Hannah made a couple years ago. I love it and wanted to show it off.


Look how happy my sister looks! I love to see her look like that.


I made the rainbow cupcakes. They're messy, but they tasted good.



And they're rainbowy.



Fantastic party everyone. Big thanks to everyone who showed up! And most of all, Happy Birthday Addison! I'm so glad you were born into my family and can't wait to get to know you and watch you grow up!!

Birthday Dining Report

When some Disney obsessed fanatics like myself get home from a trip to the parks, one of the things they do is write a Dining Report. They talk about where they ate and what they ate, and they often show pictures of their plates full of Disney food. I haven't written one yet (although I am considering making a Better Late Than Never report from my last trip), but love reading them and fully intend to write a great one when I get back from our trip this December.

In the midst of celebrating my birthday this year, I realized I was doing a lot of eating out. I thought it would be a fun idea to make a dining report of my birthday celebrations, and here it is.

Birthday Dining Report, 2012

My first birthday date was with the eternal BFF on Friday. We decided to return to El Potro, my favorite restaurant in town. I didn't take any pictures of this evening. I don't know why I always forget to take pictures when i'm with Deb. Maybe because we're too busy talking. Maybe because I think she hates having her picture taken.

I did take a picture of the temperature sign outside the bank on the way there though. It was crazy hot.

it can't really be 108?!

If you've been reading this blog long, you've probably seen pictures of their food before however, and this time it tasted just the same. Oh, and you'll see more in this very report, near the end.

The first time I tried El Potro was with Deb. I think someone else was with us as well. It may have been Hannah but i kind of think it was Alan. It's somewhat new, on 31st street between Kasold and Iowa. It's next to Sonic in the building that used to House Backyard Burgers.

This restaurant kicks ass.
I've read a lot of mediocre reviews of this place and some of them have valid points. It is a bit noisy, and they don't play any music so there's nothing to drown things out. The menu is huge, but since I always get the same thing it's always good. Maybe some of the dishes aren't as tasty.

Of course they bring you chips and salsa. The chips are light and crunchy. The sauce isn't the best in town, but it's not bad and you can occasionally notice a taste of cilantro. They give each person their own little bowl, and they bring a bowl of white cheese sauce for the table. I am not really a big fan of cheese dip, but I mix a tiny little bit into my sauce and that's pretty good.

I got the El Vaquero Tacos, which I always get. It's 3 tacos in soft corn tortillas filled with chicken, chorizo and a slice of avocado. Oh my goodness it's delicious. It comes with your choice of black, refried or barrachos beans and some mediocre seasoned rice with vegetables in it. The serving size is pretty big, even without the rice and beans it was more than enough.


Sunday I went to lunch at Free State Brewery with a couple of friends I went to Ottawa University with, way back in the 80s. Kevin and Michele were some of my best friends there. They met and fell in love while we were students, and several years later I went to their wedding. All these years later they are still married, and in fact seem happier than ever. Keven let me know that was because he had finally grown up, stopped being stupid, and realized Michele was always right. He said he knows now the key to being happy is to make sure Michele is happy. Go Kevin. You may remember last summer Michele took me to see Styx at Starlight for my birthday.


kevin and michele at free state

Kevin and Michele ordered some delicious bruschetta for appetizers; Smoked Salmon and Peach Brie. I skipped the salmon of course ("nothing from the sea"), but the peach and brie bruschetta was amazing. Peaches and onions and brie and basalmic vinegar. Oh my. I kept thinking about if for days. I still want some now.

I tried a Brewery Burger for lunch, substituting their amazing onion rings for fries. I thought I remembered this burger being really tasty, but this time not so much. The texture of the meat was way too smooth, and I wasn't sure it was all beef. There was only lettuce and a pickle to dress it up, no onion or tomato so it was really kind of sad little burger. The onion rings were amazing. We had to wait quite a while for the side of ranch I asked for when we ordered. Kevin was on his way to get up and ask for it when the waiter came by with it. I was glad to have it because I ended up only eating half the burger and filling up on the tasty rings.

We walked around downtown after that but eventually I needed to head back to the homestead. It started with the lightening and thunder. I was worried because it was so hot I had left my car's windows down, but I still decided to rush into Java Break for an iced White Cow since my car was conveniently right next to the coffee shop.


Sunday I met my girl Jen at Zen Zero for a very early dinner ("old lady dinner" Jen called it). When Zen Zero is not out of long beans, I usually get the Asian Long Beans; with onions, ginger, and mushrooms in a hoisin sauce. That night, however, there was an asparagus stir fry on the specials board and I decided to try it. It was pretty good, but I wasn't entirely in love with the sauce. I saved about half of it and an entire strip of chicken to eat later, but then I ended up leaving it all in Jen's fridge, where it may or may not still be today.

our table when we were done

We stayed a long time talking and no one there tried to rush us out or acted annoyed. That was good. Then we hung out at her pad where all kinds of things happened. It was a great time.

me and jen, just before it turned into my birthday


Tuesday was my actual birthday.
Alan came over in the afternoon and when I couldn't think of where I'd like to lunch, he suggested Wheatfields, which was perfect.

Alan had the Roasted Chicken Breast sandwich with some veg on a baguette. He liked it just fine. I had my most favorite #9. Turkey & Cranberry Relish "Turkey breast roasted daily, accented with garden greens, fresh mayonnaise on Walnut Sage bread". I'm telling you that bread is magnificent, but every part of it was good. Turkey, mayo, lettuce, cranberries too. It was supremely delicious and I was so glad he had suggested it.

incredibly good sandwich

We walked around downtown for a bit after that and decided to stop in at Silas & Maddy's for some home made birthday ice cream in a home made waffle cone. That's hard to beat. I had something called Rock Chocolate Jayhawk. Here's a look:

i love a waffle cone soaked with ice cream

When it came to dinner ideas, I was out again. I asked Alan to decide that too, since he'd done such a great job with lunch. He suggested we try Genovese. It's run buy a guy who runs some other Lawrence restaurants I dig (notably Zen Zero, previously mentioned), and it's Italian so it seemed like an brilliant choice.

It's in a huge space downtown. It's split up so there are 3 floors without ceilings, which is nice and open and airy. But that combined with the stone walls makes it one noisy place to eat. At first we were seated on the enclosed patio, but it was crazy loud out there so we asked to move. It wasn't very full so that was no problem. Even at our new table it wasn't exactly cozy or private or romantic. I could hear just about every conversation around us clearly. Alan had to keep asking me to speak up because he couldn't hear me, but I didn't really want to shout and have everyone know my business. So that was frustrating and certainly detracted from the feeling of the evening.

The food was great though. My favorite part was our appetizer. Fried baby artichoke with shaved parmesan and a lemon caper aioli. They were super yum. I want them all the time.

appetizers are often my favorite part of a meal

I enjoyed the peach bruschetta so much at Free State the other day I decided to try to pear pizza. Pizza Bianca it's called, with grilled pears, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, gorgonzola and truffle oil. Very nice as well. Tart and cheesy, and heavy on the onions.


Since I knew we were going to celebrate it up with the tiramisu for desert, I boxed up a few artichoke hearts and half the pizza. I loved that they wrote their name and the date on the box. My birthday, right there in black and white.


The tiramisu was pretty good, although not as good as my favorite. It could have used some more Kahlua I think. It came in it's own little glass, which made it weird to share. It was rich and cold and tasty, and I was happy to have it.

a cup of tiramisu


Wow. That's a lot of celebrating!
But it didn't even stop there.

The next day for lunch, Alan and I stopped by my favorite Mexican place El Potro. Yes I had just been there on Friday, but that was almost a week before!

chips, cheese and salsa

Lunch specials were in action so I decided to branch out and try the Pollo Ixtapa. "Chicken breast slices sautéed with wine, onions, poblano peppers, pico de gallo, mushrooms and topped with white sauce."

too much greasy sauce

The white sauce was really just like the free cheese sauce they give you; way too thick and dense. It was so very heavy and not ideal for lunch on such a hot day. There were hardly any mushrooms, which had been a big selling point to me. The chicken was good though. If I were to get it again, I'd ask them to leave the white sauce off. More likely I'll just stay with my known favorite.

alan's salad

Alan got the taco salad which looked really good. I might try that some time if I'm looking for something different.


There was one more birthday dinner before the whole thing was through. My mom came to town to see me Thursday morning. By that point I had eaten about everything I like in Lawrence, so I let my mom and Danny pick where we'd have dinner.

my mom and danny outside the restaurant

We ended up at Hibachi Grill, which is a big Asian buffet. I don't really love it, but it's agot a lot of choices and I'm never sad to go there. They have 10 tables of food (although 4 are salad and dessert), a sushi station (which I skip because "nothing from the sea"), and a grill area with a limited number of raw items to hand to the grill master. I went with my usual: lots of green beans, egg drop soup, low main with added sweet and sour chicken, green beans and mushrooms. For my final birthday desert I had some red jello.


And then I was so full that I never ate again.

So hooray for my birthday, and all the people that helped me celebrate it. And hooray for Lawrence restaurants, who probably wondered what their spike in sales that week was.

oh brother!

my hands are freezing.
i know it's not cold or anything, but i liked it better when it was in the 80s.
just saying.

so it was easter this weekend. we went to my mom's for spring celebration. there was lots of food and lots of candy and lots of babies. ok only two babies, but they're really good babies so they get most of the attention.

oh brother!

we took a picture of the three grand-daughters to frame for part of our mom's easter basket. this isn't the one we used, but it's my favorite because of the look on ady's face, and her had beside her head. like oh brother, not pictures again!

16 Pictures from the Weekend

We went to Pittsburg this weekend to celebrate birthdays and throw a baby shower.
Friday night we had dinner and then redboxed a movie. I love this picture, and that we drug in the matress from the guest room so Lindsay could get comfortable.

watching movies

baby girl

I swear this baby is not drunk. Just way too tired, I promise.

When the Joplin Humane Society has a pregnant dog to be fostered, one of the people they call for help is my momma. Right now she has a scared but sweet momma dog, named Sophie. She is Weimereiner and Lab. She just had 6 babies. They were too little to really hold or play with so I just took some pictures for my mom to post. Here's a couple. If you'd like one, or the needy yet loving Sophie, contact the Joplin Humane Society.

brown puppy

stripe puppy

baby girl

This shirt says "I still live with my parents." I love it. I bought it for my nephew Matthew when he was a baby and it was fun to see my little baby girl in it.

granny's tattoo

For my mom's birthday, she got a tattoo of 3 paw prints.
My brother dropped in to surprise her, bringing his girlfriend and our cousin Tyler. We all went out to eat at my mom's favorite restaurant.


me and my mommy

Today we threw another shower for our baby sister's baby.

chopping veg

I love this one of Lindsay, cutting up veggies for her own shower.
Megan did a Fantastic job with the decorating.






me and lindsay

Me and my baby sister.

me and addison

Me and my baby niece! The next time I go to Pittsburg it will be to meet her! I can't wait.


Well, the long holiday weekend is coming to it's sad close. I for one am unhappy to see it end. Although in my life as a stay at home mom or home maker or unemployed slacker or whatever I am, it doesn't really make that much difference. But it was a nice long time of everyone being around and free and enjoying downtime, and I like that.

heart potato
Hannah found this heart potato in the bag she was peeling. We saved it.

crazy family
I love this picture. My mom is making a crazy face and the wreath behind my brother's head makes it look like he has a giant afro.

Baby girl and the Pregnant One.

baby girl

Baby girl rejected the turkey.


Megan is obsessed with "Chopped", so this was part of her appetizer entry.

caged baby
Baby girl has taken to walking into the dog's kennel and closing herself in. Silly girl.


Thanksgiving seems so long ago. We went to my mom's on Wednesday, but were back on Thursday night. It seemed so short and quick. We didn't even have any leftover turkey. Sad but true. And although the weather was amazing for the holiday, we've quickly moved  into temps closer to freezing and I don't like that one bit.


I'm starting to adjust to life with one dog. I like more than one better, but Danny is very against getting another dog so we'll see. Daisy seemed sad for a while, but I think she's adjusting too. I know she likes the spoiling and special privliges of being an only dog. For example tonight she rode along with Danny and Hannah to pick up dinner, and got a dog treat of some frozen custard from the drive through. Not that she needs any treats. Have you seen her? I swear she weighs 50 pounds. Or maybe 40. Maybe only 30. But whatever it is, it's way more than  a Lhasa Apso should weigh. She was always a chunker but while we were trying to get Henry to gain some weight, we inadvertently packed some pounds on the Daisy as well. So in addition to the good spoily bits, she's also coping with the shift back to dry food and she's certainly not so happy about that.