Sept. 1, 2014: I did my very first "selfie" in honor of my 60th birthday.
Dylan was cracking up while watching me!
Well, I did it. I made it to my 60th birthday! And it turned out to be one of my most favorite days ever!
I had a fairly quiet day at home. I did some laundry and answered a slew of wonderful birthday wishes on Facebook. I prepared some goodies for the evening. It was great that my birthday landed on Labor Day so I didn't have to go to work.
Dylan and Mary at El Rancho.
Then our family started to gather, and at 6:00 we headed over to El Rancho for a delicious Mexican dinner. I was good, I promise! I had a taco salad without the tortilla shell. Shredded beef, guacamole, sour cream, and lots of salad greens.
My dad, Myron, and step-mom Kathy.
Dinner at El Rancho has been a birthday tradition in our family for decades. We love it! (World's best house-made salsa, in my humble opinion!)
My daughter Sarah and son-in-law Chris.
We have tons of pictures since the early 1990's, wearing the El Rancho sombrero on our heads while the staff sang to us and served the birthday boy or girl a free dish of deep-fried ice cream.
My son Jacob and daughter-in-law Danielle.
Jacob and Dylan can never be serious for pictures!
It was a bit different this year, though. Instead of the staff singing to me, a guitarist came to our table and sang "Happy Birthday to You," and then he sang "Tequila Sunrise" by the Eagles to me! It was fun!
But they still brought out the sombrero and the deep-fried ice cream! They also took my picture and told me it would be on their Facebook page; however, it wasn't there yet when I checked tonight. Luckily, my motto is "Have camera, will travel," so we captured the moments on my trusty, battered little camera!
Mary and the deep-fried ice cream get photo-bombed by Dylan.
Again, but this time without Dylan.
Of course, I couldn't eat that sugary, honey-crusted ice cream nestled in a cinnamon-dusted tortilla shell and smothered in whipped cream, so I cut it into portions and passed it to those whose metabolisms could tolerate it. Sarah and I were both good and didn't even taste it.
Mary with Billie Acevedo.
Two tables over from ours, another birthday celebration was going on. A tiny, elderly lady named Billie Acevedo was dancing to the guitarist's tunes and living it up. I found out we were born on the same date, but she was celebrating her 86th birthday! She told me that she and her husband had been married for 64 years. She also told me she was once the mayor of Miami, Arizona (about 1.5 hours from here), where she served for two consecutive terms. I felt like I'd just met a celebrity!
I couldn't believe my kids found old "6" and "0" candles in my cupboard!
After the fun at El Rancho, we went back to my house to open gifts and enjoy cake and ice cream. I'd made a sugar-free chocolate chip cheesecake with sugar-free chocolate frosting, but Jacob decided we also needed a traditional birthday cake for those who like their sugar, so he picked this one up before the party.
Chocolaty, chocolaty cheesecake!
We also had homemade, sugar-free peach ice cream, which was well worth the wait! I'd never made peach ice cream before, but it turned out tasty. Although I will say, homemade strawberry is still my favorite.
Lots of pretty, sparkly cards!
My children were amazingly generous with gifts for me, as they always are. They know how to make me feel special! Sarah and Chris gave me a new Willow Tree figurine for my collection. I love those little figures, most of which are gifts from my lovely daughter! This new one is called "Thank you."
Jacob and Danielle gave me a beautiful sapphire-and-white-crystal necklace with matching earrings (Jacob has a tradition of giving me heart-shaped jewelry). They also gave me a pretty, butterfly-adorned heat-activated scented light that plugs into the wall, with a selection of delectable wax scents.
Finally, the kids went in together on the final gift and presented me with a gift certificate to Spa Estique, where I can have the full-body massage of my choice. I am so very excited!
Gifts from my children.
It was a wonderful day. Being with friends and family who help me celebrate my life is exactly what makes growing older well worth the ride!