Showing posts with label Birthdays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birthdays. Show all posts

31 October 2012

Patching It Up

We traveled down state on Saturday to celebrate Halloween and my birthday with Ryan’s brother and his family. Their neighborhood blocks off a few streets every year to ensure safe nighttime trick or treating for kids. Roaming the streets in the dark does All Hallows Eve more justice than walking around in broad daylight, don’t you think?

On the way back up, we stopped at the pumpkin patch in Allenton where we petted and admired alpaca’s, goats, emus, and turkeys, and picked out a nice big pumpkin to carve.

18 April 2012

A Week Of Festivities - Part II

Last Friday was Lola's very first ballet recital. It was held in the auditorium of her school. Four groups of girls from the Anne Renier Dance Academy danced their hearts out. Each group showed off their talents twice with a ballet performance and a tap dance performance. Unfortunately the stage at Lola's school is carpeted and the tapping was mostly muffled. It's been so long since I have been to a dance recital, I can barely remember it. I am fairly certain I didn't cry at that one though. It was a little embarrassing, to be honest.

Today was a reprise of the recital during All Arts Day at Lola's school. And Miss Anne announced at the end that they will be performing again at the Fourth of July Parade right here in town. Some grandparents will be mighty pleased to hear this. Others will have to do with the video footage I shot today. If you're reading this in an email or a reader, you'll have to come over to the blog to play the videos.

(Ryan taped Friday's performance which is of a much better quality and will be made available on DVD for those interested. However, if you have to wait until I figure out how to edit that footage and upload it, DVD players will be obsolete. My crappy camera work will have to do for now.

Lola starts both dances in the back left corner. She is also the one you hear over everyone else in "High Hopes.")

Cute, huh? I am so proud of Lola.

16 April 2012

A Week Of Festivities - Part I

It's nasty outside. Rain, wind, dark skies, even a little snow is predicted. The kind of weather that makes you happy you don't have to go out today. Unfortunately I do. There's mail to pick up, groceries to shop, and library books to return. I am waiting until Lola comes home from school. She loves going to the library.

In the meantime I have downloaded a few dozen pictures from my camera. We have just ended a week filled with festivities. Easter on Sunday, Lola's fifth birthday on Tuesday, her first ballet recital on Friday, and finally her friends birthday party on Saturday.

Easter morning was lovely. The Easter Bunny surprised Lola with a beautiful dress, a handmade basket, a blue play silk, and fifteen colorful eggs scattered about in the yard. (I am fairly certain I supplied the Easter Bunny with sixteen eggs though. I wonder when we will find the last one...)

While Lola played with her new treasures, Ryan painted the first of our living room walls and I worked on opening my Etsy shop Dutch Girl Originals. It was important to me to open it on Easter and even though I had only one finished product to sell, I made my deadline. Every now and then I interrupted my work to search for eggs that Lola had hidden for me or hide some for her.

Lola's fifth birthday started early. Very early. Ryan had to leave for work no later than 5:30 AM and we didn't want to tantalize Lola with a big pile of gifts that she couldn't open until he came home again. When I was setting up the breakfast table the night before, hanging streamers, and arranging presents, I felt a little sad. The nearly five feet tall pile of boxes that had come in the mail for her was awesome of course, but there would be no people to celebrate with her. Just her parents.

I never had a stack of presents like hers but every single birthday my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and local friends would be there. That is not possible for Lola, simply because of distance. I know Lola doesn't know any different and was mighty pleased with her gifts, but I remember from my past the visitors, and not the gifts (with exception of the red bicycle I received for my sixth birthday). I wonder what Lola will remember about her birthdays forty years from now.

Lola had no school on her birthday so we played with her presents all day long. She was happiest with the horses my dad and his wife sent her and the little toy broom she got from us. The internet was down which made for a very peaceful Tuesday once I got passed the initial withdrawal symptoms. Lola requested pizza for dinner and a strawberry birthday cake for dessert. She got both. Happy Birthday, my lovely Lola! I am more in love with you every day.

16 April 2011

A Mother's Heartbreak

Lola's birthday party was today. For the first time she invited her own friends to celebrate turning four with. I wanted to do the Waldorf thing and invite the same number of friends as her age, four. Turns out I was wrong. The total number of the party should have been four, according to Rudolf Steiner. Lola on the other hand, invited all of her friends.

In the end it didn't matter because only one friend showed up.

Lola was disappointed, of course, but I am downright heartbroken. And angry. I am very upset with the mothers of three of her friends (one mother had called and canceled because they were going out of town for a family visit). How can they do this to a little girl? Just this morning we ran into one of her friends and her mother at the Y. That mom had called to let me know both she and her daughter were coming, sending me into a frenzy to purchase some adult snacks in addition to the toddler stuff. And then she doesn't show or call.

I just don't understand. Nor do I know what to do about it. I will most likely end up ignoring it. But truth be told, I would really like to give these people a piece of my mind. Ryan is ready to take the day off and wait for them outside Lola's daycare. I'll tell you one thing. I feel a lot less sad about leaving Rhinelander and sending Lola to yet another daycare/preschool.

And if anyone wants to come over this week, we have plenty of cake, snacks, beverages, and homemade party favors left over. If you don't mind lending a hand because we are in the midst of moving...

10 April 2011


Happy birthday to my beautiful, funny, charming, mischievous, smart, outgoing, cool, imaginative, creative, and loving daughter. This day is a very special day. Because this is the day you were given to me to care for. You are, and always will be, my favorite little person in the whole wide world! Even though you told me you're officially a big girl now.

I love you Lola, with all of my heart!

10 April 2010

Cake For Breakfast

When I came home from my business trip in the wee hours of this morning I tiptoed upstairs to wish my sleeping baby a Happy Birthday. Lola did not wake up when I softly whispered "I love you" in her ear. When she sleeps she is still my baby. But when she's awake, not anymore. She's three. A big girl.

This morning at 7:00 AM, I was awakened by my now three year old, proudly proclaiming "It's MY birthday." Still half asleep, I stumbled out of bed to decorate the kitchen and her chair, and do some last minute gift wrapping. And then we had cake. For breakfast!

Three years ago today I met this creature for the first time, after nurturing her in my womb for nine months. It's hard to imagine how tiny she was, how helpless. Today Lola stands three feet something tall, and grows more independent by the minute. She is definitely not a baby anymore.

She's a biker chick...

Happy Birthday, Lola! I love you. A little bit more every day.

03 March 2010

Find Your Way

May you always find your way, wherever it leads you. And then find your way back home again. That is not where we live, it is where I am.

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

p.s. I got him a GPS...

03 November 2009

A Midwest Adventure

I was in Wisconsin the past few days, visiting with my in-laws, and interviewing for the position of marketing manager with a casino in the Northwoods. My interview went well, after a bit of a rough start. Rather than opening with the standard "So Johanna, tell us a little bit about yourself..." the first question posed to me was: "Please tell us about one of our promotions and what you would do to improve it?" It felt like I was taking a test I hadn't studied for. "Eh..."

The next question was also a good one: "Tell us about your past experience in gaming." I have none. Things improved after that, fortunately, and I left with a good feeling. I had made a portfolio of marketing materials I have made for my previous employers and it was very well received. I am absolutely convinced they like me as a person, but more importantly, they must like as a marketeer as well. I really hope so, I want to move to Wisconsin. I want to live within driving distance of family and friends, and make a fresh start. It will be a major transition with some very serious consequences, but I am so ready to take that step.

On Friday, the day of my birthday, my parents-in-law and I drove south again. We took the scenic route along the river, through the woods and the rolling hills of America's Dairyland. I have this fantasy of one day living in an old farmhouse on a couple of acres in the middle of nowhere. My dream was almost tangible as we were making our way down state. At one point we saw a young couple parked by the side of the road. They had removed the back seats from their car and simply sat there, looking out over the river.

"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." - Elizabeth Lawrence

I celebrated my birthday and Halloween with my brother and sister-in-law. The afternoon was spent carving pumpkins. It was fun watching my nieces work on their creations. E. meticulously carving an intricate design she had downloaded off the internet. M. confidently drawing a face on her pumpkin in one go and carving it out. And L. insisting on scooping out all the goop and seeds herself.

They live in a neighborhood with plenty of children. Every year at Halloween three streets are blocked off to all traffic and one street is converted into a Haunted Street with a haunted house and more spookiness. Huddled around a fire pit in the driveway we watched hundreds of creatures great and small walk by. At one point one of the neighbors remarked he had already handed out 1700 pieces of candy. And he needed more! Since this was Wisconsin, plenty of parents accompanying their kids sported a beer. Something you would NOT see in Washington. A Starbucks coffee maybe, but alcohol? Never!

As I was watching the little ones trot by, I really missed Ryan and Lola. Her first official trick or treating, and I wasn't there. That is the only thing I did not like about my trip: having to celebrate my birthday and Halloween without them. Next year it will be different! I think I'll go as a witch...

10 April 2009

The Day My World Changed Forever

I cannot recall what the weather was like on the day Lola was born. Yesterday I looked at pictures of my boss' daughter giving birth. It was a beautiful series of a beautiful event. The soon-to-be mother had her eyes closed for the duration of the birth. She probably won't remember what the weather was like either.

I caught myself looking at the clock frequently yesterday, counting the hours until 9:00 PM. That was the hour my water broke two years previous, announcing Lola's arrival. Two years ago at this very moment I was still huffing and puffing away. And counting my way through contractions. I counted for 23 hours straight.

Lola is not yet aware of the significance of her birthday. I am. It is more than the day she was born. For me it is the anniversary of The Day A Mother Was Born. I know in time, when Lola gets older, this day will be all about her. And that is as it should be. But for now, it is very much about me, too.

Happy Birthday, Lolalief. I love you. I am deeply honored, grateful, and blessed to be your mother. And Happy Birth Day, me!

03 March 2009

Happy Birthday, Love

Advice from a Tree
By Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,

Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots deeply into the earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The energy and birth of spring
The growth and contentment of summer
The wisdom to let go of leaves in the fall
The rest and quiet renewal of winter

Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light

Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots

Enjoy the view!