Happy Birthday dear Kirk!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you!  Happy Birthday dear Kirk, Happy Birthday to you!

Ian and I sang that to Kirk this morning and he enjoyed it.  We both love Kirk very much.  “Happy Birthday Dad,” Ian said.

Kirk is the love of my life, my partner, an amazing father to our son, and such fun to be with. I enjoy our family moments and special times. I love our family traditions.

I love how Kirk makes me laugh, and I so appreciate when he comforts me and supports me. He is wonderful.

Happy Birthday to you dear Kirk!  Have a great one.

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Happy 8th Birthday to Ian!

n539281610_366595_2660Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Ian, Happy birthday to you!  Kirk and I sang that song for him this morning during his breakfast.

Right before we did, Ian asked me, “Mom, can this be a birthday breakfast?.”  I said,   “Sure Ian.”  We then got the lighter and his candle. He blew out his 8 candle, ate his breakfast, and then opened his birthday presents.

He was happy to open them and have us talk about the day he was born.  However, he said he wasn’t 8 years old yet since it wasn’t yet the time that he was born.  This comment made me smile.

Last night, Ian helped me make cupcakes for his class for snack time.  He was thrilled about that. Tonight we will celebrate some more.  Then tomorrow will be parties and more fun.

On this rainy Friday morning, Ian went to school and was happy to be there.  I think he will have fun celebrating with his classmates.

Today I am thankful for:

  • A child who smiles as he opens his gifts
  • A boy who reads pages from his new book before school starts
  • Morning hugs and cuddles
  • Birthday fun and celebrations
  • Time with dear friends and family
  • Watching Ian as he looks at baby pictures and sees information about his birth
  • The blessing of motherhood
  • My husband and son
  • Hot coffee with creamer
  • Raincoats on a messy morning
  • A garage door opener
  • Socks and rain boots
  • The start of fall break
  • 8 birthdays with Ian

I wonder how our birthday weekend will be?  I think it will be fun and very special.  And, I cannot wait to enjoy it!

The Blessing of My Brother

SRP.33.Patti_Richmond.1990Today is my brother Richmond’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to you Dear Richmond!!!  I love you and am so proud of you.  You truly are a blessing to me. (Here we are in our matching tans and hairdos in the early 1990s.)

Today we had planned to celebrate with you and I was so bummed that we couldn’t.  Being sick with bronchitis certainly put a damper on those plans.  We are, however, with you in spirit.  And hope to see you again soon.

3 kidsMy brother always makes me laugh, and he makes me smile.  He is fun to watch movies with, like “Clue” or TV shows like “Psych.”  He can quote from both of these almost verbatim.

He also is smart, a great husband and father, and a hard worker.  He works at a really nice men’s clothing store and is a terrific salesman.  He is in charge of the windows and displays.  He has a great eye for style and color.

Richmond is a great singer, likes sushi, pasta, good wine, iced sweet tea, movies, football games, comedies on television, well-made dramas, and Padres baseball.  And many other things as well.

We have had fun camping, shopping, riding in the car together, strolling at the beach, eating yummy meals together, watching our kids play, eating pizza at our town’s best pizzeria, and singing with the family. I have so many fond memories of Richmond and our sister Cindy.  We are pictured above (left to right: Cindy, Richmond, and me).

I am five years older than Richmond.  As kids, we didn’t always get along and had the usual sibling rivalry.  I love, however, that when we became adults, we decided to let that sibling stuff go.  Now we are great friends and love to be together.  We have inside jokes and funny stories.  Indeed, our relationship is a blessing.

Richmond, have a blast at your party tonight!  I will be thinking of you and smiling.  Love you and hope to see you really soon.

Happy Birthday To You Mom!

1596SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday is my mother’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Mom!  Hope you have a wonderful day!

I thought an assortment of photos would be nice.  One is of me with Mom and Ian.  We took that on Mother’s Day of 2013. Another  is of the two of us at a yummy Mexican Restaurant in California.  The last one is when I was very young.  It was taken at my grandparents’ house, I think.  I love our hairdo, clothing, and smiles.   We have been smiling and posing ever since!

Tonight we are having my mom and dad over for dinner, cake and ice cream, and then all of us will go to a Cub Scout meeting when Ian will get his first patch.  The fact that they will be there is awesome!  I love that she is sharing her birthday with Ian and his accomplishments!  Should be a fun evening!

My mother loves to be with her children and now her grandchildren!  She loves spending time with all of us and making amazing memories.  She has taught me so much over the years of the importance of family and spending quality time together.

For many years, Mom worked as a teacher.  She was fantastic, did an amazing job of teaching, and loved those kids.  And, they loved her.  Last year, she helped in Ian’s class and that was also great.  She is now retired but still loves teaching and helping children learn to read.

Mom is one of the best singers I know.  I always love hearing her sing Bali Hai from “South Pacific” as well as O Holy Night during the Christmas season.  She is now the choir director at church after having done that years ago.

She also loves to read, sew, make jewelry, travel to the beach house, and is our family genealogist.  When I was a teenager, we worked on a family book.  This was the era before computers.  So we traveled to many libraries and looked up in many card catalogs with actual cards.  Now, she is doing an update and finding a lot of things online.

Mom, until I became a mother, I didn’t appreciate all that you have done for me.  I cannot thank you enough for always being there for me throughout my life.  You have taught me love, the blessings of family, the love of music, family history, reading, and so much more.

Here are a few quotes about mothers:

  • “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont
  • “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” ~ Jane Sellman
  • “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~ Rajneesh
  • “Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you’re the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

I love you very much Mom!  I wish you a very special day!  Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Happy 7th Birthday Ian!!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASeven years ago at this time, I held a newborn baby boy in my arms. That morning, we met Ian Cates for the first time. So much has changed from that day to now. It is truly amazing. I have loved seeing Ian learn how to do things, discover the fun of reading, and share his own thoughts and ideas.

He is a sweet soul who cares about others, enjoys playing and having fun, enjoys special time with Mom and Dad, and time with his grandparents and other family, and loves to play and tell stories. It is hard to believe our boy is 7 years old today. My how those years have flown.

This morning before school, we put candles on his biscuit for breakfast. He enjoyed blowing them out and loved hearing me sing Happy Birthday to him. Tonight we are having a birthday dinner with family. He is excited about that as well.

He enjoys his birthday and enjoys making a big deal about it. He was appreciative about the gift we gave him this morning as well. “Thanks, Mom and Dad,” he said with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

This picture was taken several months ago. It is amazing that now he looks more like a little man than a little boy. I am not exactly sure when that happened, but it certainly did.

Today I am thankful for:

  • A boy with dimples and a wonderful smile
  • Big blue eyes that are full of wonder and love
  • October 2 for that is the day we met this amazing boy
  • Hugs and hearing, “I love you Mom”
  • Ian appreciating a special gift
  • Making meals and sweet treats with a boy wearing an apron that is a little too big
  • Reading a hand-written note that says, “Mommy, I will love you forever”
  • Hearing Ian pray at meal time
  • Watching him play, discover, and learn

I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my hubby and our son. They are two amazing blessings who I am very thankful for. Today I will enjoy looking back on all the phases of our sweet birthday boy.

I wonder if I can savor each moment of Ian’s birthday?!  I plan to do just that and look forward to him getting out of school today.

Happy Birthday Dear Karen!

Karen-2Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Karen, Happy Birthday to you!!!

Happy birthday to my friend Karen.  Hope you have been having a fantastic birthday!

Karen has been a friend for many, many years!  We met at work and have stayed friends long after leaving those jobs.

Here we are many years ago at the beach with her wonderful hubby.  These two have always been like my big brother and sister.  We always got along really well and for that I am truly thankful.

I knew them for several years before meeting Kirk.  When Kirk and I started dating, it was fun to have a great couple to do things with.  The four of us have always had a great time together.

Karen is a friend who I enjoy being with and spending many hours together talking, shopping, eating, or spending time at the beach.  We have always had a great time together!  We always like to smile and laugh.

When I think of a happy and cheerful person, Karen is who comes to mind.  She loves her family, her friends, is passionate about several hobbies, is a hard worker, and is quite smart.  I have learned many things from her over the years and continue to do so.

I decided to post these old photos of us. (hope you don’t mind)  At the end of the post, the photo on the left was taken at a luncheon with colleagues from work and the second one was taken at my old apartment.

May you have a wonderful day as special as you are my dear friend!  Hope to see you again soon.Karen-3 Karen.1

Birthday Wishes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AIDEN AND PAUL!!!!!!!

Today, June 29, is my nephew Aiden’s Birthday.  He is 12 years old today.  To him, I want to say Happy Birthday and hope you are having a great day!

Tomorrow is my cousin Paul’s birthday.  He is six months older than me and so much fun.  Happy birthday to you too Paul. Love ya cuz!

I hope that both of these great guys have fun days.  Love you both so much!  I wish I could be with both of you!

(I am not on my usual computer so I can’t post any graphics with this post, but hope to soon.  Take care!)

Happy Birthday Cindy!!

DSC06098Tomorrow, June 8, is my sister’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Cindy!  Here we are with our brother.  Cindy is the one on the right.

We are 2 1/2 years apart so we have always spent lots of time together.  We have always had fun and have been close. She is a true blessing.  I am glad to call her my sister.

We were each other’s maid/ matron of honor at our weddings. We have always been there for one another.  When we had children, we were there to see the new gifts of life and celebrate together.

I don’t know where I’d be without Cindy.  She has blessed me beyond measure!  I am truly thankful for all that she has taught me and shared with me.  Many stories I won’t share because they should stay between sisters.

girls at beachHowever, I do want to share some of my favorite memories with Cindy:

  • Camping with our family
  • Playing pounce
  • Singing songs at Camp Tiyani
  • Sleep-overs at our grandparent’s house
  • Listening to Grandpa’s stories
  • Watching favorite movies and singing along with them — The Sound of Music, Grease, and White Christmas
  • Family sing-alongs
  • Her amazing ability to learn a part in a play in one week and perform it masterfully
  • Fun times at the Playhouse and drama club
  • Our family cross-country trip in the car
  • Sharing a room for many years
  • Learning the importance of laughter at a young age
  • Sharing precious friendships for many, many years
  • Standing up for each other at our weddings
  • Seeing each other’s newborn children
  • Fun times with cousins and friends at the beach
  • Sharing our beach adventures with our spouses and children

Among all of the fun, there have been sad times too.  We have been there for each other through those.  She has always had my back and that means the world to me.

Cindy.Patti.on.slideFrom one of our favorite movies, a great song, “Sisters, sisters, there never were such devoted sisters.  …Caring, sharing, every little thing that we are wearing…”

Here are a few quotes about sisters:

  • “Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.” ~Louisa May Alcott
  • “Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” ~Margaret Mead
  • “A sister smiles when one tells one’s stories — for she knows where the decoration has been added.” ~Chris Montaigne
  • “More than Santa Claus, your sister knows when you’ve been bad and good.” ~Linda Sunshine
  • “In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A sister is a forever friend.” ~Author Unknown

Cindy, I hope and pray that you have a wonderful birthday and can celebrate!  May you be pampered and have a great day.  Hope to see you soon.  Love you!!!

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Jen.1Happy Birthday to you dear Jennifer!!!  Today is my friend Jennifer’s birthday.  And, since it is also Throwback Thursday, I decided to include some photos of the two of us from many years ago.

Jennifer is a friend who I met in high school.  We were in chorus and show choir together and had a ball.  We went on a few trips with the chorus our senior year with many other friends.  I have such fond memories of this time in our lives.

This first picture was just after we graduated.  We were ready to take on the world and both went off to separate colleges.  We still stayed in touch and remained tight. For that I am truly thankful.

Jen.2This next picture was taken at the back of Jen’s car while we were both home from school.  We loved riding around town in this Z28.  I love our big late-80s hair!

Through the years, we have remained dear friends and have been there for each other through good times and bad.  I love having Jen in my life and always have.

A few times, we were more distant than others but always found our way back to spending regular time together.   We still often see each other and always have a great time.  We still can talk about almost anything.

As Bette Midler said in the movie “Beaches,” my memory of Jen is very long.  And wonderful and full of happiness, some sadness and all of life’s experiences.  It is a true blessing to have Jen as my dear friend.

To Jen, I want to say thanks so much for being you and for being such a great friend to me over all of these years.  How many again?  Many wonderful years!  Thanks for inspiring me, teaching me about being a mother, and for being you.

For my dear friend, a few quotes about friendship:

  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” ~Sicilian Proverb
  • “A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad.” ~Arnold H. Glasgow
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” ~Elbert Hubbard
  • “A good friend is cheaper than therapy.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”~Donna Roberts
  • “Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.” ~Author Unknown

Jen, may you have a wonderful and truly blessed day!  Happy Birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday Dawn!

Dawn_bdayTomorrow is my friend Dawn’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to you dear Dawn!   She wrote a great blog today about it.  Please see the link at the bottom of the posting.  It is a fun read.

Here are some fun pictures from the era we met — when we were in college.  We met our freshman year and have been friends ever since.

The black and white photos were taken on a trip we took to Ocean City, MD.  We had a blast and were real hams for the camera as you can see. The color photo is from our college graduation!  YEAH, we made it.  We celebrated with our families and had a lot of fun.

Dawn is a forever friend, which is a rare gift!  I am so happy that I have known her for all of these years. Now we are in our mid-40s, which is truly amazing to think about.  Where did the time go?  It seems to have flown by.

I like that for many years, we lived near each other after college.  We stayed in touch and saw each other regularly.  Now, we no longer live close in distance, but do still keep in touch.

I just miss spending time in person with her over a glass of sweet iced tea, a tasty meal, and a shared memory.  I would love to go dancing with her, go to a chick flick movie, or on a long walk with my friend.  Another trip to the beach would also be fun.

We have always had differences but also quite a few similarities.  I like that about our friendship.  I continue to learn things from her and am inspired by her life, her career, her relationships, and those things that are important to her.  We clicked from the moment we met during freshman year and I am very thankful for her being in my life.

Dawn, may you have a wonderful birthday!  May your time with family and friends be blessed!  Hope to see you again soon.   Happy Birthday to you!  Welcome to the 46th year of life.  Can you believe we are that age?  I sure can’t!!!  Love ya!

You can read Dawn’s great birthday blog at http://gibsongirl247.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/a-rich-life/