Josie walking to ballet with her hair in pigtails or as she requested that morning, "Make me look like Piper!". Piper is Josie's friend who isn't even 2 years old yet, but she is cool enough to dictate Josie's hair fashion.
Mother's Day Meal - Rob made Doublebatch Chickpea Cutlets, mashed potatoes with gravy, and I made a our first salad from this year's garden (with walnuts, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, and pomegranate dressing)
A recent lunch: Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup from Appetite for Reduction, organic stuffed grape leaves, and cheater quesadillas (used Daiya shreds instead of wholesome )
Rob (right) kicking the soccer ball with Josie to warm up before her last game of the season.
Josie, Uncle Marc (Rob's brother - in white shirt and blue shorts), and Rob
Josie warming up.
Josie in action. The warming up must have worked because she ended up scoring three goals and made several goal saving stops. She was thrilled to have Uncle Marc and our awesome neighbor Vicky watching as well as her parents.
Rob's 50th birthday cake - a vegan carrot cake from Strawberry Fields. It was so nice to have all the food catered (we had to pick it all up, but they did the hard work of making it). Strawberry Fields' catering department was a delight to work with. We spent quite a bit of time on the phone discussing all the vegan options and they gave great suggestions. I can't wait to use them again after we've all come out of our sugar coma.
More vegan desserts from Strawberry Fields for Rob's birthday - orange creamsicle cupcakes on the top and strawberry lime below. Very yummy!
Can't order desserts from Strawberry Fields without vegan peanut butter brownies (I cut these up really small, they are soooo rich!)
Some of the guests hanging out on our porch; Katherine (our friend Todd's wife and owner of Building Blocks Toy Stores in Chicago), Mike (Rob's dad from NC), Dema holding Todd and Katherine's newest addition daughter Lihn, David (childhood friend of Rob's who flew in from Cali), Buzz (childhood friend of Rob's who flew in from Cali), Floyd (Buzz's dad who came up from NC)
The food spread - South Indian from Aroma Curry House. Everyone seemed to love the food and we had lots of questions about the restaurant. I hope locals try it out. They were a little bit more challenging to work with to get the vegan food going, but it was worth it and I appreciate them being happy to deal with us!
Rob and Josie post party passed out on the floor while I cleaned up. I love my sweet bookends. She is her daddy's daughter.
The kids have done some swimming at Vicky and Greg's this year, but it was pretty much polar bear craziness so we had an official start to pool season finally. Parker taking jumping off the diving board.
Josie and friend Andrew playing around.
Dema taking a dive.
Awesome neighbor Vicky with Josie and her friends W and A after swimming at her pool.
Mulberries from a neighborhood tree.
So much else that I didn't have time to capture (even lamely) on pixels. So much going on that I spent Rob's actual birthday (Monday) in bed so sick I could barely stand up (I didn't drink anything all weekend so no hangover). I can't remember feeling so bad (swollen glands, sore throat, achy all over, no appetite, etc.) in a while. Luckily, it was short lived and by Tuesday I was up and about and yesterday pretty much my normal self enjoying the entire day at our park with the kids (with some added neighbor kids off and on).
Rob, you never have to worry about me leaving you, but I couldn't think of another song with 50 in the title. It reminds me how listening to my brother's (8.5 years older than me) music when I was little prepared me well for singing with you on all of our car trips around the country. I think this one would be good to learn at your next guitar lesson.
Thanks for being an inspiration for what 50 year of life (around half of those years as an amazing vegan) can be like. You are always trying to be a better friend, father, husband, neighbor, and happier person. Always reassessing, growing, learning, and evolving. You retain that unique spark that made we adore you as a co-worker, enjoy you as a friend, and fall in love with you in a way that I've never loved anyone before. I'm so happy to have been a part of your life for the last 18 years.