Have you ever been living a moment and wish that it would go on forever? And while in that moment, you realize that this is the type of moments that life should be made up of every second of every single day? And if life was made up of those moments, all the nasty things of the world would cease to exist and everyone would be insanely happy? Imagine if you will... You on your first birthday -- with your grandparents, your parents and one of your dogs... All dancing together in celebration of your first year of life... It happened in our house... And I'll never, ever forget... Like, ever. (But for Finorah's sake, we do have it on video and a forewarning to those that choose to visit on her future birthdays -- it will be a yearly tradition.)
If you haven't already caught on to this fact, this past weekend was Finorah's first birthday. We celebrated with E's father and my parents coming out for the weekend. E's mother was invited to a wedding at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC. When she made a motion to skip the wedding to come to Ohio, we put the kabash on it. Had Finn been a little older and able to remember this birthday, it may have been different. Finorah knows that Grandma Mary loves her and there will be plenty more birthdays that Granny will attend.
Opa (E's father) came in on Thursday evening and we laid low until my parents came in late Friday evening. Finn was sleeping when my parents arrived and we all sat up and caught up until past my bedtime. Finorah woke up at 2:30am during her usual mid-night waking -- only an hour before her actual birthday. I had made the comment only hours earlier that I was going to wake her at 3:23am on every birthday, even in the midst of sleep. I was born at 7:11pm and my parents refused to let me open presents until it was my "birth" day. Being born in the wee hours of the morning, Miss Finorah has it a lot easier than I did.
I was lucky enough to be already awake on Saturday morning as she woke up with us. She was her beautiful morning self, all smiles & laughs. We woke E up with a birthday kiss and spent the morning re-getting to know Grammy & Grampy. We hit up our favorite little diner for breakfast where she ate sausages, toast, & blueberry pancakes. She fell asleep in the car after breakfast, so Grammy & I drove to Babies R Us to give her more time to sleep. She got a couple of pair of jammies that she needed and some diapers.
When we pulled into the driveway, the garage door was open and there parked her brand new Radio Flyer wagon! We took it around the driveway only once -- it is the middle of February after all. Once inside, the boys came back from a walk around the neighborhood and brought the wagon inside. Let's just say that the wagon was a HUGE hit! She adored it! She loved sitting in, standing beside it, and also trying to stand up inside it. We played with the wagon for a while and then it was off to her big birthday surprise.
We hit up B.A. Sweetie Candy Company, the largest candy store in the United States! It was so much fun walking through the aisles with my parents and them getting excited to see candy that they remembered as a kid (or as my brother and I were kids). They had just about every candy that you could think of. We spent a good hour and half in there, just walking the aisles. And no one left without buying something for themselves (even if E's only candy was a single box of candy cigarettes). I bought Finorah a container of marshmallow ice cream cones -- a favorite from when I was little.
Soon we left to drive home and were hit by some pretty heavy snow coming into the Eastside. We made it home safely and decided it was time to open gifts (her other grandmas (i.e. my mom's sisters) sent gifts along with my parents). She had so much fun opening up all her gifts. Everyone was way too generous. She got lots of clothes and books. She is going to be on styling girl.
Then came the moment that I personally think was the BEST moment of the weekend. I turned on the computer and started to play the song that I always played for my father when he arrived home from work on our birthday (we share the same birthday) and it's also the song that my mom always sends a link to on anyone that she knows birthday. Birthday by the Beatles. Eain had got out the video camera and all of us busted some serious moves. Each taking a turn to dance with the birthday girl. I won't bore you (or embarrass others) with the video, but watching everyone break out, shedding all embarrassment to dance with Finorah and watching everyone have huge smiles on their faces as they danced away in our living room was one of the greatest things ever. Being that our video recorder is also a projector, we project the video onto the wall -- I mean, come on, we HAD to watch it. After all my warm and fuzzy feelings watching the video, it's something that I'm going to try and make an annual tradition. It's a great way to see everyone together and seeing everyone's faces while dancing is 10,000 times better than a simple photo of their presence at her birthday.
We also then took a couple of moments to watch the video that E shot in the first couple hours of her life. That video is only a minute or so in length, but it is completely priceless. Watching as I'm holding her in her little blue & pink hat with her purple fingers, I lift up her hat to show E her teeny ears. They are about the third the length of my index finger and I imagine what was going through my mind in that moment. E & I were just beginners in that moment. And as the tears begin to shimmer in my eyes from remembering, the camera when quickly pans back and she begins to get ornery, giving tiny newborn grunts, starting her search for milk and I start talking about how he shouldn't get my double chin in the video. It's perfect -- perfectly real life.
After gifts were opened, toys were played with, and we had danced our hearts out, it was time for cake. Our neighbors, Bob & Anne and their daughter Alex came over to enjoy cake and beer. We sang "happy birthday" to her and she got scared of the candle, which I blew out for her. She ate a lot of frosting and was up way past her bedtime. I think if I asked her to rate her birthday (and she could talk to give an answer), she would rate it a "11" out of "10"! I know that I definitely would turn it up to "11", if I could.