Background Switcher (Hidden)

Hey 19!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In this house, kid birthdays are stretched out over days and days. Celebration is something we like to do, especially when we're celebrating such singular beings. For instance, Phoebe's rolling birthday celebration involved two trips to Pittsburgh (two Pittsburgh Pirates' games and a shopping spree for new clothes at a Francesca's outlet), and the day described here.

On Phoebe's actual birthday, she wanted to let it unfold as it would, because she, like her mother, is a creature of the moment. So we woke her up and asked her if she'd like to come into town for a bike ride. Yes! It was a rare sunny day.

Chet Baker has to be there when Phoebe wakes up every morning that she's home, but this time he had on a party hat! And there were streamers floating from the tower!

I do not mind wearing a hat if it is lightweight, has elastic and does not unduly affect my ears. It helps if everyone laughs a lot.

Good morning, Phoebe! Happeh happeh birfday! I will kiss you nineteen times!!
Phoebe: mrrfff

All right. Are we done with the party hats? We're done with the party hats. First yours. 

Next, a clever paw-swipe, and I will destroy mine!
Go ahead. Put a hat on me. Then start the countdown.

Phoebe went out on the deck to feed the birds and found her first birthday present: a black rat snake over 5' long. It disappeared down into the Fak Crack.

Finally we got the bikes thrown in the cars and headed for town.
Liam and I went first to run errands and get his hairs cut.

Bill was setting up a family bike selfie when Liam pressed the shutter.

The bike ride quickly became a crazy tour, led by Bill, of the back alleys of Marietta. He could charge for doing this. Behind him you see one of the historic carriage houses that occupy the back lots of most of Marietta's grander homes. This was where the horses lived.
The skylights tell that this one has been made into a loft apartment.

The pavement in the back alleys is an amazing mix of centuries. It's a pastiche of old brick, ancient pebble-studded concrete, asphalt, potholes and newer patches. I get lost in the textures. Having a mountain bike helps navigate it, as the alleys get pretty hairy in some places. But oh do we love seeing the back side of our streets!

OK. There's the proper family biking portrait. We were excited because our fabulous tour would end at Whit's Frozen Custard down on Second Street. We are being healthy in this picture. 

We didn't get home until 5:30, and then we still had to start the birthday dinner Phoebe had requested, which was Mama's meatloaf, Daddy's mashed tataters, green beans from the garden, and confetti cake with seafoam buttercream icing and fresh flower decorations. 

Oh, and the meatloaf needed to look like Guy Fieri.


The cake was finally cooled and iced at 10:30 pm. I gathered the flowers by flashlight beam, picking the earwigs out of them as I went. Eeew. Nobody wants an earwig in their birthday cake. 
Liam and I decorated the cake.

He got to carry it to her in the dark.

I love the candles with different colored flames. Brava!! Beautiful!
Chet Baker tries to lick the icing.

Phoebe loves her cake.

We loved our day with the kids, every minute of it. You can buy stuff (the clothes she's wearing were part of her present) but what you remember is the hours you've spent together, laughing and goofing off. You remember the Guy Fieri meatloaf head. That's the love, coming through.

Having our girl home for the summer is a dream come true. I absolutely love letting her sleep in as long as she wants, on the days she's not working. I love seeing her wander out into the gardens, cutting flowers for a bouquet. I know that someone's going to snap her up to work for them next summer, and she'll end up in some wonderful place doing wonderful things. But this summer, she's home. That is a gift. Just like her.


Hysterical! (& clearly Chet is the rocking-est Party Animal of all!)
...and 19 is a great number (pssst... for all the guys out there, it was Lance Alworth's number with the San Diego Chargers).

Now that's a day-long, love-fest birthday party! It's been a joy watching beautiful Phoebe grow up here on the blog.

Beautiful family. Happy Birthday to a most loved young woman. Thank you for sharing your pride and joys with us Julie.

Love it!

I just discovered your blog yesterday. I love it. What a beautiful and fun family. What a cute dog (and that name! You obviously are music lovers.)! How many exclamation marks can I use?!

Happy Birthday! Wonderful day. Would like the meatloaf recipe! One can never have too many meatloaf recipes.

Happy birthday, Phoebe. As your mama has documented for us over the years, you are a remarkable young woman--and you have a remarkable family. Long live the entire Thompson/Zickefoose/Bird Watcher's Digest tribe.

How wise you are, Julie, to savor every moment with your branching fledgling Phoebe. Happy 19th to you, beautiful girl Phoebe!

Posted by Gail Spratley July 23, 2015 at 6:04 AM
[Back to Top]