Happy Birthday!

Today is my father’s birthday. He is 60! The architect & I were talking the other day about relative age. When I was younger than I am now, sixty was ancient. It was so hard to believe that people who had achieved that most venerable age didn’t just drop dead from the exhaustion of living. OLD.

Now that I am less young, and have friends in their 40s (and soon, husbands in their 40s), sixty isn’t really that old. Also, it’s been a VERY long time since my parents have been old, and honestly, I think they keep getting relatively younger.

So – happy birthday, very not-old father!

As you know, I flew into South Dakota last weekend to surprise my dad. My co-conspirator mother managed to keep the secret until the very end, although he was pretty suspicious when they got to the airport.  It was a really quick trip – I was in about 1:30 PM on Friday & was dropped off at the airport a little after 5 PM on Sunday. It was, however, a really GOOD trip.

Friday we had a birthday dinner – my mom made a zucchini lasagna & birthday cake, and it was just me, my parents & my sister. Saturday morning, I had a great run (although I was stared at by the largest buck I’ve ever seen in close proximity – 5-pointer not even five feet away from me) and then a fantastic lunch with a good friend from college and her family (and some local microbrews).

Saturday afternoon mom & I headed out east to their second home (my parents are FANCY, y’all) and we went out to dinner at this steak house where I had some of the best wall-eye I’ve had in ages. YUM!

Sunday morning was church, and then I got the opportunity to play the piano a little – something that I miss a LOT! I think a piano purchase is on the docket for the next year. I’m not very good anymore, and after making their ears bleed for a while, my mother got revenge by flinging chicken blood all over me. She claims it was an accident, but I don’t know….

Pretty soon, it was time to head out, and although the flights home weren’t quite as good as the flights out, I made it home in one piece.

I am so glad that I got to go spend a little time with my parents – it’d been almost a year since I’d seen them & almost THREE years since I’d been to South Dakota. I think I’ll be making another trip there in the spring or early summer to see all those other people that need seeing (although any of you are certainly welcome to come visit me, too, you know).

So – I leave you with the pictures:

Okay – so in my parents’ second home (which I’m sure they would like me to tell you they did NOT decorate), the kitchen has the above border. People, it is straw and pictures of chickens & eggs held to the wall with chicken wire. FOR REAL! Someone did this on purpose (there are also chicken curtains in the kitchen window). I am planning on trying to convince the architect to do this in our own kitchen. This is beyond awesome.

This last photo is of the kids’ placemat at the microbrewery/restaurant where I met my friend Steph & her family. I sat next to her son (who is almost seven) and he insisted that I help him color. About half of the above is my work (I’ll let you guess which half). He gifted me with the placemat when it was time to go & added the note you can read above (it says, “I like your coloring.”) He told me that he liked my coloring because, and I quote, he “doesn’t like people who color very good.” There you have it folks. The first grader admires my coloring because it is not as good as his own. Obviously that whole story is full of win. Other than the egregious insult, he seems like a pretty good kid, though! We did get to have an interesting debate on the merits of flying to South Dakota in the winter (pro=better flying weather; con=COLD) and the summer (pro=not cold; con=flying through summer storms is turbulent) and didn’t reach a conclusion as to which was better.

Overall – a great trip! I am so glad I went.

In conclusion – happy birthday dad! I love you!

And, for those of you who AREN’T my father, go here for your last chance to enter the holiday gift basket give-away.

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