Do you have one month during the year that is crazier than any other? A month that you know, no matter how organized or time-managed or well-prepared you feel, will leave you gasping, breathless, at the end of it? August is this month for me. It rivals even December, that classic busier-than-busy month. What is it about August that always makes it so crazy? I think it's the combination of end-of-summer activities, back-to-school registration...and two very important birthdays: my son's and my mom's.
My oldest son's birthday is on 8/24 and my mom's is on 8/25. And because of a long-standing tradition that birthdays are (really, really) BIG in my family, there is a lot of preparation involved in making them just right. So what I've learned is, when you have two family birthdays back-to-back like this, it's very important to maintain your sense of humor.
Because of how busy we'd been, when my youngest son and I found ourselves at Costco on Saturday morning for some last minute shopping, we were in rather interesting moods. As I filled the cart:
Aidan thought he'd be helpful by testing out the $3,500 massage chair:
The blurriness of the photo is due to the fact that, by this time, I, too, had found my own massage chair directly across from him. (Mine was only $2999.) The wiggling and jiggling (and giggling) prevented me from holding the camera still.
The control panel on my chair, in addition to also being blurry, was very confusing and wouldn't stop talking to me:
Aidan, however, was completely relaxed:
The next morning was Teagan's birthday. From the earliest time I can remember, our family tradition has been to greet the birthday person with a festive morning birthday table. Here is Teagan's:
Of special significance is the single, white candle that is always placed in the center of the birthday table:
Per the family rules, this candle burns for, and is only to be blown out by, the birthday person. A wish is made and the candle is blown out...similar to the traditional candles on a cake ceremony, only waaaay more serious.
I've found that, no matter how big a boy you think you are, you still can't help but smile when you open your presents:
I thought this picture of Teagan thanking his girlfriend, Alana, was sweet:
What's one of the ways to a 20-year-old boy's heart? Zombie toys. This one walks and groans:
This one is small but was sufficiently creepy and gelatinous to make up for that:
Fresh blueberry pancakes are the another way to his heart, but I didn't get any pictures of those.
Amazingly, later that morning I found myself at Costco again, this time with my mom. We had shopping to do for her birthday open house later that day. My mom looks like a movie star to me in this picture:
We drove back to her house, got all the decorating and prep work finished, and the guests started to arrive. What's better than giant hugs from your grandchildren on your birthday?:
The party, which my sister and I hosted for our mom, was a huge success - and everyone seemed to have a great time. Teagan and my mom shared a birthday cake:
And with a little help from Gabriel, the youngest grandson, the candles didn't stand a chance:
Back outside later, I got some great candid shots.
Here's Andrew, 9 year-old grandson, pretending he's a turtle:
And this is Gabriel's very nice left ear. It made him laugh when I took this picture:
At the end of the day, everyone seemed tired and happy. And even though August still has a few days left, it's officially over for me now.
I can't believe I have a 20-year-old son. Where has the time gone?
Me and my boy, who will always be my baby: