Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Birthday Traditions

Yesterday was my 54th birthday.  In the last week we have celebrated both of my daughters' birthdays and Christmas.  It goes without saying that this is a busy time in our family!  Interestingly, all of the men in our family--husband, ex-husband, daughter's boyfriend--all have summer birthdays, an they are months apart rather than days.

Despite being packed in around Christmas, I have always made a point to keep my girls' birthdays separate from Christmas and separate from each other.  Everyone gets her own birthday dinner of choice.  Sometimes it a home cooked meal and sometimes it is a meal out.  This year everyone chose to eat out.  We had an evening of Ethiopian, Upscale Americana, and Thai cuisine.  Good food and good company made for happy celebrations!

When the girls were eight and eleven, we gave them a one dollar lottery ticket for each year of their ages just for something fun and a little different.  At that point it was an under twenty dollar investment, my limit on spending when it comes to gambling.  Little did I know that the lottery tickets would become a tradition that has lasted fifteen years!  At ages 23 and 26 this year, the cost now exceeds my $20 rule, but we continue to play on.  And if that's not bad enough, the tradition has expanded to include the adults as well!

As silly as it is, we all look forward to scratching off all of our tickets and seeing who gets the most bang for their buck...literally.  It used to be that Offspring No. 1 always did quite well.  Her winnings would exceed those of us who had MANY more tickets.  This year, however, that was not the case.  With her 26 tickets, she won $10.  Offspring No. 2 won $16 with her 23 tickets.  For once, I was the big winner with $69 from my 54 tickets.  That is a 24% gain.  Pretty good for the most unlucky member of the family!  Maybe I should reconsider my investment strategies for 2016. :-)

Another December tradition that started three years ago when I began taking a photo a day is that Offspring No. 2 has collected my photos and organized them into a printed book.  The past two years I received the book as a Christmas gift.  This year I didn't.  I started thinking about putting the book together myself, but thankfully that was not necessary.  I received the book for my birthday!

There is something satisfying about seeing the year's photos in print.  And an added bonus for me is that I now know which photos are Erin's favorites.  They get more room on the page.  Yeah, the book doesn't include quite the whole year, but that is perfectly OK.  Having 2015''s book done and printed before January 1st is exactly the motivation that I need to commit to a photo a day again in 2016.  That right there is a huge gift!

So here I ago...another year of fun and photos!  I am grateful to my entire family for all of their support as models, assistants,  lens cap finders, and most importantly, for their unconditional love!

Ironically, these are all unedited phone photos. :-)