Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Each birthday only happens once. Which is why we celebrate and make a big deal out of it. But certain milestones deserve certain recognition. Usually the ones that add another full decade to your numerical value.

Well, my mom turned 70. And I don't think she would mind me telling you that's how old she is because she looks like this:

Yeah, she does not look like 70. So as is appropriate, we planned a family bash. Unbeknownst to her, Maile and I were feverishly working on a quilt that we had been planning for a while. My mom is an amazing quilter, and so for some reason we thought we should make her a quilt for her birthday. I've never made a quilt before. Just so you know.

We knew we had until Sunday to finish, so my sister came over on Thursday and we worked on it. Then my brother Keno calls. He currently lives in Colorado. "Hey", he says. "I have to come to Washington for business and I will be there tomorrow. Can we change Mom's party to Friday night so that I can be there?"

Maile and I looked at each other, looked at our as yet not sewn together quilt and said, "Sure!"

And my mom, in her easy going-ness didn't bat an eye when we asked if we could change it to Friday because we had "things to do" on Sunday now.

My mom had no idea Keno was coming. But he called her on her birthday, as he was driving up to my parents' house.

He stayed talking to her as he walked around the back to where we all were.

He's laughing at this point because he's standing right across from her and she hasn't realized yet he is there.

She sees him.

Yes, that is my son with a butterfly net over his head. *sigh*

Well done son, well done.

Then it's time for presents. Needless to say, Maile and I were just a tad nervous to give her this quilt. We knew she would love it no matter what, but you see your own mistakes so much easier than other people do.

We collected letters, drawings and pictures from all her children, grandchildren, my dad and my aunt-my mom's sister. Maile printed them onto transfer paper and then ironed them onto white fabric and cut them out.

I was in charge of the cutting of the color blocks. I screwed up royally, so instead of Maile arriving on Thursday to immediately start sewing blocks together, we had to go and buy more fabric.

Thursday afternoon, when we realized our sudden time crunch to get it done by Friday, I decided to go home with her and spend the night and the next day quilting. (Thanks Jeffy for making that possible!!!)

We were up late. Then got up the next day and worked our little tails off until an hour and a half before the party. There was no tagging home plate. This was a full on frantic face first slide into home. But we did it.

I'm happier about her response than I look. I just was REALLY tired by this point.

And here is my solid, reliable, good father who always, ALWAYS can be found in the kitchen cleaning up. No matter what. We  have to force him to sit down on Father's Day. Not that it works, but we try.

I love my family. And I am so grateful for a mother that has blessed my life in more ways than I can ever possibly list. Happy Birthday mom. You're the best.


  1. I hope you know that this was my absolute-without-a-doubt BEST BEST BEST birthday EVER EVER EVER!!!!!! What an awesome family I have!!! Thank you all!!! The quilt is absolutely awesome. Lots of creative, loving expressions and great pictures.

  2. Your mom seriously doesn't look a day over 60! That is so awesome you were able to surprise her how fun. The quilt turned out amazing great job!

  3. Thanks for sharing the photos! I had no idea you guys were under such pressure to get it done! You did a great looks awesome! I didn't know some of you wrote a long 'letter' to your mom or I would have had my kids put more effort into it. Either way it is great!!


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