My Dad turns 60

Growing up, and even in the recent past, my mom has told me, “You are just like your Dad….”

Man, what a compliment.

My Dad is one of my heroes.  It’s no secret that I adore him.  I’m proud of his accomplishments throughout his career, but I’m even more proud of the man he is personally.  Here’s a few things that I love about him:

He takes things as they come.  He has more patience than any person I have ever met….even Garen and that’s saying a lot.  He’s generous and truly believes in doing what’s right, even if it’s not the popular thing to do.  He’s got faith in what he believes in, even when others around him may doubt.  He loves my mom, his soulmate, with all his heart.  He taught me to get up early and to become a lover of all things breakfast-related.  He treats everyone with respect….and I truly mean everyone.  He can and will talk to anyone.  He is so very smart but also has common sense, which doesn’t always come packaged.  He loves a great debate.  He is passionate about whatever he sets his mind to.  He is a perfectionist and he goes further than measuring twice to cut once.  He can rock a sweater or turtleneck like nobody else I know.  He always wants to find better, more efficient ways to do things.  When he gets on a kick- whether it’s making bread, buying classic wool shirts on Ebay, or designing a custom anchoring system- he focuses in and perfects each process.  He admits when he’s wrong, quickly apologizes, and, on the flip side, also forgives quickly.  I believe him when he says he can fix anything but a broken heart.  And he can build just about anything too.  He believes in good shoes.  He’s an Eagle Scout.  He loves to read, listen to books, go to classes, and is a true life-long learner.  He is not afraid of change.  He’s hilarious and can find a way to make almost anyone laugh….or at least shake their head and grin.  He is an excellent friend to many.  And he truly is an amazing father and now also a wonderful YaYa to five grandkids and four grand-fur-babies, plus a grand-cat.

I could go on and on.  Really.

I’m sure, if you know him, you’d be able to add a few things too.

If you’re reading this, Happy 60th Birthday, Dad.  I hope you know how much I love you and how proud I am to be your daughter, employee, & friend.  I’m so glad for my kids to get to call you YaYa.  

To everyone else– enjoy the photos.  There’s nothing like looking at old photos to provide a bit of entertainment.  Genes run strong in our family, both on the Odom (Dad) and Bottlinger (Mom) sides, right?!?  Most of these photos were from the slideshow that Joe put together for Dad’s 50th surprise party that we pulled off, plus a few since then.  Yes, Mom, that means that I have found the video.  Hallelujah!

The above photo is from Mom and Dad’s 60th Birthday trip.  They climbed Machu Picchu.  Yes, I know they’re awesome!

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Thanks also to Joe for putting the man hours into getting these photos together.

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Photo Friday: A girl and her doll

We got Anna her first American Doll for her birthday. She loves it. Garen got this photo of us “doing hair.”

I love it. So real. So special.

Here’s another great one that Garen took.

Happy Photo Friday!

Photo Friday: Will’s Spooktacular Costume Birthday Party

A few weeks ago we had Will’s VERY belated birthday party. His birthday is always the first week of school, meaning there’s really not enough time to invite any of his classmates besides the ones we already had addresses or parents’ phone numbers.

As we got closer and closer to Halloween, we all settled on having a Costume Party. It was fun and REALLY crazy!

Here was his Spooktacular invitation by Holly at Denleys Design Shop on Etsy. She did a great job, don’t you think? She was super fast at getting it to me and priced very reasonably!

Spooktacular Birthday Bash Costume Party Invitation

Spooktacular Birthday Bash Costume Party Invitation

Obviously, my I tried to plan a few games to keep the boys entertained. I think the easiest and most exciting game was the donut eating contest. We also did the spider throwing contest, glow ring toss, and the pumpkin racing contest….none of which I recommend for 3rd graders. They didn’t keep their attention long enough. But, hey, I tried. I get points for that, right?!?

Donut Game NinjaDonut Game WinnerDonut Game Full MouthDonut Game Cleopatra and Sleeping BeautyDonut Game MomEveryone had a great time I️ think…even Mammy (my mom) enjoyed the fun!

Garen didn’t get as many photos as I had hoped due to our little monsters (Clara and Kate) running around as well. I think the ones he got turned out good though.

Halloween Snacks Brain Cream Cheese Mold

I did try to do some spooky food. Can you tell that’s a brain??? I️t was super easy. Cream cheese and red pepper jelly molded into a brain mold from the Dollar Tree.

We had a great time but, like after all kid parties I’ve had at our house, I’m now pondering where we want to have it next year that I can just show up with cupcakes.

Happy Photo Friday!

Happy (Second) Birthday/Halloween!!!

Halloween is a big holiday in our household- it’s Clara and Kate’s birthday.  Today they turn two.  I sound like a broken record every single birthday for the kids but, man, how time flies!

It seems like just yesterday that this was happening!

Or this:

And now, here we are:  Two Two-Year-Olds.  Double, Double Trouble.

Maybe there’s a reason we chose dragons (or maybe I really just wanted to buy the “Mother of Dragons” shirt). I guess you’ll never know.

They’re a blast.  Every day we are watching them learn something new.  And almost always something different.

Kate prefers savory stuff (hence the sausage roll for birthday breakfast- she wasn’t happy about having her photo taken this morning)…

While Clara is all over anything slightly sweet.

Happy Birthday Little Pumpkins/Dragons.  We love you!!! 

And Happy Halloween to all of you fine folks from Cleopatra, Scary Jester, and Dragon A and Dragon B!

Spooky Saturday

We love Halloween in our family….and not just because Clara and Kate’s birthday is on October 31st. Although it does make for an easy party theme.

We like to decorate the house with lots of spooky stuff. We didn’t go all out this year because we’ve been so busy lately but here’s a few highlights from the decor.

Our skeleton is affectionately named Bob. The girls really have enjoyed playing with him. Plus, he’s a great listener.

Have a spook Saturday everyone!!!

Photo Friday: Mom’s 60th

My sweet Momma is 60 today! I know, I know…she totally doesn’t look (or act) that old. Last Saturday night we managed to pull off a major surprise Fiesta for her. I’m still not quite sure how we did it without someone spoiling the surprise but somehow we did…and it was GREAT!

Here’s a few pictures Garen got (while not chasing kids around):

It took so long to make the piñata that I named him. Meet Spike!

I have to admit that I had a blast planning the party. My big craft projects that you can (kinda) see above kept me entertained for at least a month. They included:

  • Spike, the cactus piñata
  • 60 marquee lights
  • Pom poms for the lights
  • Piñata cake pop stands
  • Spray painting multiple cake stands from goodwill
  • Flower arrangements
  • Menu design

We also had a photo booth. I didn’t get the Pinterest background done that I had planned but thankfully our friend, Debbi, let us use her beautiful blankets. I think it was a hit. Here’s a few that I thought were cute:

Special thanks to: