I mentioned before that we kept Asher’s birthday simple this year. Elliot’s deployment began quite soon after the birthday, and at the time, we were trying to soak up every second of being together. We didn’t want to share our time or our children with anybody else, even for something like a party! Likewise, I opted not to cook a huge dinner. After giving birth to both Isla and Asher, we ate homemade (by my mom!) lasagna, with salad and hot bread and cupcakes from scratch. (Mom, Shawna, Elliot, remember my idea to bake during labor, to help pass the time??? Ha, ha, ha, little did I know…) The days Isla and Asher were born are 2 of my most favorite days ever, seriously transcendent experiences for me, and I love invoking all those memories. So we made a tradition of lasagna dinners for birthdays. Cooking is sometimes stressful for me, though, and Elliot and I were really handling pre-deployment stress with so much grace at the time. I didn’t want to tip the balance. So we opted for pizza (Asher’s choice!) and cake at home. Side note- Elliot boasted that it was the best chocolate icing he’s ever had, which is saying a lot, as my baking endeavors seem to always fall short, despite my pure love of baking! And with this particular icing, I was sure it was going to flop (they always do for some reason or another), because I used the vitamix to make powdered sugar and it didn’t work at all. But I didn’t have time to go to the store, so I just used the not-s0-powdered sugar anyway. But back to Asher’s birthday. We still decorated, we still put out party favors at the table, and in many ways, it was such a sweet celebration.
I can admit that I’ve felt guilty about Asher’s comparatively low key birthday, now that Isla’s festivities have come to an end. I recently found these pictures on my computer, though, and I feel much better. I had used Elliot’s phone to get these, and they somehow (I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, but to me, it’s just magic) appeared in my computer’s iPhoto. We try hard to keep love at the center of our lives, both for the everyday and for the special occasions. Fancy parties or not, we love these kids with a love that grows.
The last picture. Elliot had taken Isla to get a gift for Asher. In the car on the way to the store, Isla told Elliot she wanted to get Asher a Potty Time Elmo. Elliot only half-heard this, as he (nor I) had no clue what that was. Once at the store, Isla apparently walked right to the shelf full of Potty Time Elmos, and Elliot could do nothing but oblige! We’re still unclear how Isla knew what these toys were, and how to find them immediately. Anyway, Elliot also let Isla pick out a toy for herself. Smart move!