Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Clare's 1/11/11 Birthday

The Bestie and the Birthday Girl

These are two of my three adorable granddaughters. They are so close, it's hard to talk about one without talking about the other one. The picture was taken about six years ago when they were first graders. My goodness, how they have changed. Clare is taller than me now. Izzy deplores the curls (that we all adore) and straightens her hair now.

What hasn't changed is this: they are still best friends forever. We're talking total and complete BFFs. To infinity and beyond. They are cousins, they are in the same grade, and they can't live without each other (unless they are having an argument) (but the BFF part is: they always make up. quickly. )

Blue-eyed Clare turns 12 today. And it's her magic birthday--the one where all the date numbers line up. (At 1:11 today, I am going to text her beautiful mom.) I say the magic is in her gentle heart. She's a compassionate, caring, kind, helpful, thankful, curious and creative little girl. A delight. She makes us all smile. Oh, and those sparkly blue eyes. They are pretty magical too, especially in a family of mostly hazels, greens and browns. She got 'em from her grandpa Mike, and they match his to a tee. When she was a baby, her mama used to sing "Pretty Blue Eyes" to her.

Here they are again. This was two years ago. Solid BFFs. They are lucky they have each other. We all need a friend who is this squeezably close.

Last night at Family Dinner, we celebrated Clare's birthday. I used blue plates cuz I thought it was her favorite color, only to find out her favorite color is purple. We found out so many new things about Clare last night when we played the Who Knows Clare Game. Of course, Izzy won. She knew almost everything about Clare.

Clare got to choose her birthday dinner, and she asked for ravioli. We also grilled some shrimp, but the kids said they tasted like hotdogs. (hmmm. I guess I need a new recipe.)

Here's the ravioli. It's got a creamy tomato-basil sauce. Clare liked it-- once she removed the tomatoes.
Obviously, the big challenge with family cooking is making something that everyone, young and old, likes to eat. Not too gourmet, not too "kiddie-food". Something in between that is still yummy.

And sauteed zucchini.
Everyone likes zucchini, but I found out last night that it is not Clare's favorite vegetable. That would be corn. It's hard to make a meal out of ravioli and corn, I think. But she did get her requested ice cream sundaes for dessert, and that put a smile on her face.

They are sitting together as usual, waiting to open Clare's pile of presents. They giggle a lot, and speak their own improvised language, and roll their eyes at the same things. Those little girls are getting sooo grown up. Right before my eyes.

My number one thought? I am SO glad I am here with them --that I am not missing these all-important moments. I feel so sorry for grammies who don't live next to their grandchildren. I would have been one of those, and I guess, in a silver-lining kind of way, I have my beloved son Joey to thank for the fact that I am here-- for this birthday party and all the others.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Clare, our little Bear. Blow out the candle on another year, and look forward to an exciting new one. We will watch you grow and be there beside you all the way.
You bring so much love and light to our lives. Your Nana and Papa love you more than words can say.

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Steve Finnell said...

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karen gerstenberger said...

I LOVE the fact that you are inviting us into your home, to join you in these priceless family gatherings. I love the food photos, the people photos and the games that you play at table. It's simply the best of family living. The fact that you all RECOGNIZE it, and make the effort to give it as your gift to one another, is just the greatest riches in the world, to my way of thinking. I wish Joey were there with you, but I think you may be right about his "hand" in it. You are there, because he is not, and he inspired you. God bless each and every precious member of your family! P.S. - I'm so glad that those girls are close - that's a lifetime-gift!

Beckypdj said...

What blessed girls to have each other!!! I enjoy reading about your family :)

Anonymous said...

Fun, fun, fun! The girls are growing up so fast. They are both so beautiful and their pictures just make me laugh! cuz I know they are doing something crazy together.


PS: If I were you - I would just cook hotdogs and save the money on the shrimp~ha!


Anonymous said...

I love that you share with us your weekly event. I feel so comforted by your family. Love the pictures of the food you make as well, looks yummy. Thinking of you all the time. Love Sharon

Elis said...

I love reading your blog. I can see the smille in your face when you were writing about the girls.
We miss you dearly here, but my heart feels with joy to know how much you have been enjoying your family. I wish I was close enough to be part of the family dinners!
Love you, give papa Joe a big hug and kiss.