Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Bill's birthday celebration


Happy Tuesday, friends! 

Bill, if you're reading this—and I know you are—this post is for you.

I thought I'd share a little about our birthday dinner for Big Daddy last night. (Big Daddy is also Bill, that is mentioned in today's blog title.) In our family, we celebrate birthdays big—we always have and probably always will. His actual birthday is December 6, but we had to celebrate a day late because of the wedding we went to Sunday afternoon/early evening. 

(I love this picture right above, notice how Bill and Noah are looking at Drew. He was being so goofy!)

I don't know what it was about last night that made it so much fun, but it was really the most fun night ever. I had been out most of the day doing some Christmas shopping and knew I'd be tired, so I came up with an easy and quick dinner menu: a pasta bar! We had pasta, marinara sauce with meat, alfredo sauce, ceasar salad and garlic bread. Mom brought the dessert—a yummy cake from Costco. It was delicious and very easy and inexpensive. I bought some of the stuff from Trader Joe's when I was there—I love their marinara, but I also got the pasta and ciabiatta bread to use for garlic bread from there. 

(Thankfully, I had the thought to do all the prep work for that night early yesterday morning, so before I left to go Christmas shopping, I had gotten out the plates, napkins and all the utensils we would need and set them aside. I had the food ready to start making and that way when I got home, I didn't have much prepping to do before I got started cooking. I think of my husband as I write this, one thing he always tells the boys is to work smart. I felt like Monday morning was like that for me—I worked smart all morning and got a lot accomplished, including dusting, cleaning a bathroom and vacuuming. Organization is my favorite.)

Usually my sister Trish would have been here as well, but she had a very long and tiring day at work, so she didn't come. We missed her, but I certainly understood being tired from a hard day. 

I love these guys so much. Left to right are Jonah, Graham, Bill, Drew and Noah.

They were laughing so hard, as you can see from Drew's smile—he NEVER smiles for pictures. They were all pinching each other to make them laugh.

Sometimes the funny pictures like these above are my favorites. 

So let me tell you about Bill. He is the sweetest man and the older he gets, the more sentimental he becomes. He was the best Big Daddy for my boys when they were young—he was always ready to teach them how to do something. He taught Graham how to cook from a young age and used to refer to him as his little sous chef. Two things he taught Graham how to make were a roux from scratch and Italian spinach. (My mouth just watered as I wrote that.)

Bill taught Drew to appreciate good food. When Drew was young, Bill would always share his nachos with him from McAlister's. He was also the first one to introduce my boys to seafood, but Drew is the one who fell in love with shrimp scampi and all the other expensive things like crab legs. One of my favorite memories that Bill always loves to tell is the time he, Mom, Graham and Drew were at McAlister's and Bill was eating a French dip sandwich. Bill offered Drew a bite of it and a few minutes after Drew tasted it, he said to him: "Big Daddy, dip that sandwich in that sauce and give me another bite." So Bill, thanks for being the one to make Drew run up our grocery bill. I blame you for his eating habits. 

Bill taught Jonah how to drive a tractor, so since Jonah was about eight or nine years old, he would get on his tractor and ride it around and around on their five acres.

I don't really remember what he taught Noah, but I'm sure he taught him something. When Jonah and Noah were babies, Mom and Bill had taken them to Walmart to have their pictures made (they were around three months of age) and someone stopped Bill and told him on how much Noah looked like him—which is really funny, because Bill is my stepdad. To this day, I still think Noah resembles Bill! Noah always wanted to sit in Bill's lap as a little boy and I thought for sure he would still be asking to sit in Big Daddy's lap when he was fourteen. (That would be weird, though, plus he did eventually outgrow sitting in laps.) Noah loves to climb and swim and he got to do lots of both of those out at Big Daddy's house. (They had one of those above ground pools that the boys swam in for several summers in a row and they had a swing set that Noah loved to sit on top of.) 

Bill was always ready for a trip to the park or a trip to the zoo and we did lots of both. One of my favorite memories is the year that he and I took the boys to Shiloh National park that is a couple of hours away from where we live now. We went in the spring on a Friday morning and had one of the best days we have ever had together. That day included lots of history for their "school day", a picnic lunch that was delicious that Bill made for us, eagle watching, Noah "accidentally" falling into a creek (he asked if he could swim and when we told him no, that happened), and ended with me screaming over an ant as big as my hand on the dash of my Suburban.

Another favorite memory is the year we went to Eureka Springs with Bill and Mom. It was in December and freezing cold, but it was a trip we will never forget. It was also when Drew almost fell off a mountain—he had been running on a hill and tripped and seriously almost could not stop. Todd had to run after him to catch him and I almost died from heart failure.

Bill is the man we call when we have projects to do, and he is the one who was the master mind behind the deck we just built in the spring of this year. He, Jonah and Noah built the roof over our front porch for us last fall and after the new year, he's going to teach the boys how to tile a wall for my kitchen backsplash. He is a super talented carpenter. 

Bill, we love you so much. Thank you for being such a loving example to all of us over the years. Words could never express what you mean to us, but know that you are loved, cherished and much appreciated. Happy 69th birthday.

(If you're still here, thanks for reading my blog! Love to all.)


  1. What a sweet tribute of memories and glad y'all could celebrate well!

  2. Thanks, Marilyn! I am always thankful for a fun night with family.


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