August is a busy month for us. In the midst of all the back-to-school preparations, we celebrate Erik’s birthday and our anniversary within days of each other. Plus, Sean and Djeryd are usually gone for an entire week in August at Scout Camp. It always feels rushed and chaotic, and it’s hard for me to carve out meaningful time for the important celebrations of our family.
Because of Seminary, no one got a birthday party this past year, so Erik was just fine to have a family dinner and family presents. He picked Red Robin for dinner (Yum! - I cannot get enough fries at the moment), and we enjoyed perfect weather dining al fresco. The thing I liked best about eating outside was that it was no big deal for the kids to get up and walk around so they could be with each other or share treats. I sat at one end of the table and just watched. They laughed and talked and had so much fun together. And considering we have spent the last two days in a constant state of contention, these pictures are helping me remember my kids do actually like each other. Erik also wanted to go to the library and the park before the night was over. We happily obliged.
The next morning was Erik’s actual birthday, so that is when he opened presents. Memorable moments include Daddy making the cake (an old family recipe featuring tomato soup and peanut butter frosting – seriously yummy!), and Djeryd’s insane wrapping job. Pretty much the only times we employ wrapping paper are Christmas and when a gift is leaving the house. Otherwise, we wrap presents in blankets and towels. It just kind of happened one year out of necessity and we like it so much we’ve never gone back. So Djeryd wrapped Erik’s present in about eight different layers of blankets and towels and then stuffed the entire thing into the bottom of a mummy bag. Erik just giggled and giggled and giggled as each layer was revealed.
We all love so many things about him. He is a bright, wonderful star in our family. I love his beautiful smile that he is happy to shine at a moment’s notice. He always knows when I need a love. He is very forgiving and kind and helpful. He has enough energy to power a small city and a ready laugh. He tries very hard to be a peacemaker, even when it’s difficult. He can play anything with anybody. He is a great lover of games, thus encouraging a lot of family time as we join in with him. His loving, welcoming heart is an example to all of us.
Happy 10th birthday, my sweet boy! I love you!