Sunday, April 24, 2011

Big Birthday Bash...and Other Things!

My long awaited spring trip to the midwest began with an opportunity to visit Lydia's ballet class. Living in Texas means I miss all those special grandparent moments like recitals and special programs, so this was very important to me. Even little things like watching Shannon interact with her kids is valuable!

But the main reason for this trip was to celebrate my mom's 90th birthday. In addition to that celebration, we also recently found out she's engaged to be married again! We like Jack very much and wish them both the best!

Joan and Jim, my sister and brother, didn't arrive until late Friday night so we all met for breakfast at the Machine Shed early on Saturday, which happened to also be Stacey's birthday. After seating us, and telling the waitress that we were celebrating two birthdays, the staff showed up at our table with a huge cinnamon roll complete with birthday candles! They took it right to my mom and the whole gang sang the birthday my mother only! Stacey I think was feeling invisible...

We then began running errands all day in preparation for my mom's party, poor Stacey was feeling like her birthday was being completely neglected, but unbeknownst to her, I had been planning a surprise party of her own! While Jim and Joan went to see her apartment, I picked up the cake and decorations and met all her friends at a restaurant where we had reservations. When she walked in I could tell by her face that the surprise was successful!

Sunday was the BIG party for my mom's 90th birthday. We spent the morning decorating the room and the afternoon entertaining her guests. I was amazed at the friends she has...I can only hope I am as blessed at that age!

After all the excitement, we spent our last day with Joan and Jim celebrating my mom's real birthday by going to lunch at Culvers, compliments of Josh! Joan also got a chance to visit the Ryan Jury Center where Stacey works. That evening Jack took us all out to dinner where we took the opportunity to celebrate the last birthday of the week...Joan's (very low key compared to the rest)!

I had several visits with old friends while I was up there, including trips to Rockton Grade School where I read to first graders and then Prairie Hill School where I talked about the magic of reading to fourth graders. My favorite part of the trip, however, was when I got to go to Lydia's school on her "Superstar Day". I went in as the Reading Fairy with Rascal and we got to share our favorite story and do a fun art project. It loved getting to see Lydia in her own environment with all of her friends!

The only drawback to the whole trip was that Larry had to work and couldn't be there. Little Joshua called Grandpa to tell him that he missed him....what a cutie!

Just one week ago, I spent my last day with the kids doing some fun Easter egg hunt as well as some Easter crafts. A good way to end my visit.

But here it is one week later, Easter Sunday, and I'm already anxious for July to come so I can head back up north to see everyone!