Happy 80th birthday dad

My dad is now an octogenarian. At 80, there are not many physical things I could give him as a gift. However, I can give him my time. I made the trip across the ocean to spend a week with my parents. It is the first time in many years I have gotten to spend significant time with them just by myself. They love seeing Clare and their grandkids, but it is also a little hectic, and not so conducive to having good conversations.

Since I can work from anywhere, I scheduled my days to wake up early to work for several hours, then spend time hanging out. On Monday, my dad and I met one of his friends at the driving range and hit some balls. On Tuesday, I joined him for some rubber bridge. I hadn’t played in years, so we played through some practice hands before hand.

On Thursday, Erika and Sadie came over for a special German dinner. I helped my mom make Rouladen, which is thinly sliced beef wrapped around a pickle, with a beef gravy. Mom made a cucumber salad, and I made carrot apple salad. I brought pre-made red cabbage with me from Germany. I also made spaetzle from scratch, now that I have gotten used to making it from instructions from Thomas and Ulli. I did end up catching a potholder on fire by accident!

Erika got a variety of different tasty cakes from their favorite local bakery – Tony Cannoli’s. We forgot to get a candle, so we used an app on Erika’s phone.

Friday I spent time with Sadie, helping her set up her drum set. She is very musical.

Two of my friends recently lost parents, and it really impressed upon me how important it is to spend time with my parents while they are still around. I also decided to take a little bit of video of some every day things, like making dinner. I probably should have also gotten a little video of playing cards on Sunday with Erika and Sadie, but I was too busy enjoying the moment. It was a rare occasion in which grandpa was not winning.

I’m so glad I made the trip. I look forward to celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday later this year.

Happy 11th birthday Alice

The girls enjoying boba tea

Friday we had a little birthday celebration for Alice with her friends back in Germany. She wanted an Asian themed party. They had sushi, boba tea, and ice cream mocha for dessert. One of her favorite presents was a penny board (a small skateboard). Several of the friends in the group have them, so they can all ride together.

Singing happy birthday

Happy 11th birthday Meg

Meg cuts the cake

Last week we traveled to Arizona for Bret and Rachel’s wedding. The day after the wedding was Meg’s birthday, so we had a simple celebration for her in the courtyard of the hotel. John got a really tasty cake from Costco, and we got Papa John’s pizza. Spencer also got some presents, since his birthday was just a few days earlier.