Yesterday we celebrated the seventeenth birthday of my baby boy. Okay, so he's a really tall baby boy these days, but Dylan will always be my baby!
Mary and Dylan: He loves to ask me,
"Mom, why are you so small?"
This is the week for birthdays in our family. The kids' dad, Mark, was born on June 21. Five days later is Jacob's birthday on June 26. And five days after that is Dylan's birthday on July 1st. Now October will be a busy time, too. Sarah was born on October 27. My new daughter-in-law's birthday is just one day later, on October 28!
Dylan with his Uncle Darryl, Aunt Tamera, and cousin Brittany.
His cousin Savannah could not be enticed to appear in the picture!
Dylan's party turned out to be quite a celebration. My brother Darryl and his wife Tamera came to town unexpectedly, arriving from their home in Missouri on Friday. Darryl's two daughters, Brittany (age 25) and Savannah (age 22) drove up from Mesa on Monday to join us for three days. We've had a joyous reunion!
Dylan with his grandparents, Myron and Kathy, and his sister-in-law Shera.
Almost the entire family joined us for a cookout of burgers, hot dogs, potato chips and dip, green salad, and punch. Unfortunately, Chris got called in to work at the last minute, and Ryan was out of town.
Dylan with his siblings, Sarah (age 24) and Jacob (age 23).
It was especially fun to throw a big party for Dylan because he's felt a little cheated on the whole birthday thing for the past several years. On July 1, 2010, when he turned 13, his mom was far away in Alaska, on a honeymoon cruise. We had taken him out to eat and exchanged gifts before we left, and Sarah and Jacob took him out to dinner on his actual birthday, but he still missed his mom on his special day.
When he turned 14, Ed and I planned to take him to his first rodeo. Then there was a big argument and it ended up being just Dylan and me. It put a little damper on things, but Dylan and I still had fun together.
Dylan's 15th birthday was sandwiched between his cousin Brianna's wedding in Mesa on Saturday and our departure for our very long cross-country trip to New York on Monday. We had an Oreo ice cream cake and some gifts for him, but it was undeniably rushed as we hurried to prepare everything for our trip.
Dylan with his friends, Cameron and Mary.
And then, last year on his 16th birthday, things were very strained at home. Ed had left angry the previous day and didn't return for 3 days. Six days after Dylan's birthday, Ed moved out for good. Not a terribly happy time, but we had a small party with family and Dylan's friend Mary.
Admittedly, not the best happy birthday memories. So it was fun to have a big blow out for him this year!
We made two freezers full of homemade strawberry ice cream!
Dylan got a lot of cards!
After lunch, we watched Dylan open his presents while we waited for our digestive systems to make room for cake and ice cream.
Sarah wrapped her gifts in several layers of Walmart bags.
Ahhh, Walmart humor.
Sarah got him two polo shirts in his favorite color: red. He loves them.
I gave him an Xbox game called Titanfall. Then he used his gift money
from Jacob and Danielle and Uncle Darryl and Aunt Tamera to buy
the Xbox hard drive we didn't know was required in order to play Titanfall!
Happy birthday to my very tall son!
We ended the party with homemade ice cream and an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. Therefore, no lighting and blowing out of the candles, since flames could be very bad news on an ice cream cake!
Later that afternoon, all the cousins (except Sarah and Chris, who had to work) went to Show Low Lake and had a great time swimming until dark. It was a wonderfully busy day filled with fun, family, and friends. And let us not forget, food!