Spring Birthday Celebration

Bethany's birthday celebration day was one of the first really lovely spring days that we've had. The skies were brilliantly blue with puffy, white clouds whooshing past, a lovely breeze, and the faint promise of warming temperatures ahead. Since she loves spring so much, I was very grateful the day was such a beautiful one!

A birthday party in the midst of illness is challenging, but we all pitched in together to make it happen. I did the easy tasks: marinating the chicken, arranging the flowers (click here for that post), and setting the table. This was a one-dish meal served in our wobbly-edged pasta bowls we love so much (click here), so we used dinner plates as chargers.

Tall goblets were for the adults and short glasses for the little ones. I kept the color palette very neutral, so the spring flowers would stand out as a bright pop of color. I assembled a vase full of the same blooms for the birthday girl to take home with her.

It felt wonderful to all be together again! Even though they don't live far away, their family went through one bout of illness after another all winter, people have traveled, and I've been sick, so it had been nearly three months since we've all been gathered at our home.

Carson and the kids were overjoyed to see each other again! I love it when kids and dogs are happily running and playing and everyone's chattering in the kitchen!

Julia and Dave did all the cooking. Bethany requested one of our family favorites, Half Baked Harvest's 20 Minute Grilled Jerk Chicken with Mango-Nectarine Salsa over Coconut Rice. It's a flavor explosion of sweet, savory, and spicy -- SO fresh! Click here for the chicken recipe. And click here for the rice recipe contained within a different chicken recipe. The rice recipe may, quite possibly, change your life!

We all feel like this is the "start of the season" for this meal. We'll enjoy it from now through the summer, and undoubtedly conclude its fresh, spring-summery goodness with it being requested for Julia's birthday celebration in September.

After dinner, it was present opening time. Bethany was thrilled with more white pieces for her kitchen from her sister.

And Dave, as a labor of love, made a "Little Free Library" for our author daughter. It was made to match their own home, and he spent many nights and weekends constructing it and cutting all the clapboards and shingles down to scale. Someday soon he will mount it in their yard, she'll register it with the "Little Free Library" (click here for more information), and she'll fill it with worthwhile books for other to enjoy.

Birthday cake time! Twenty-eight candles for our kindhearted, endlessly creative, nurturing daughter who blesses our family daily with her love and care!

If you missed the cake recipe, for our favorite, decadently rich, chocolate cake, click here.


  1. What a wonderful home made gift! We now have a little free library within walking distance to us. And I don't think I remember ever seeing your husbands' name before, don't you usually call him "techno-hubby?" !!
    And have you seen that there are now "little free food pantries" in some poor neighborhoods?

    1. I have called him that in the past, but we made a decision to switch to our actual names.
      Little free food pantries? That's a fabulous idea! Love it!

  2. I'm glad you are doing better! My father-in-law made me what I can an (almost) Little Free Library for Christmas a few years ago. I call it "almost" because I've never registered it.

    I LOVE seeing people stop by and take a peek, especially little children. We live on a cul-de-sac so it isn't the busiest place, but we do get visitors. I know there are a few sets of grandchildren who come to visit in the neighborhood and part of the fun of visiting grandpa and grandma is coming to get a book from the library.

    Here's a post with pictures of mine if you'd like to see it.


    Happy Easter!

    1. Oh, your library is adorable! I love it!

      And, yes, I think children stopping by to get a book will mean the most to her. It would to me!

      Stocking it must be half the fun!


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