Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Birthday Dinner - Remixing Tradition

Howdy, Islanders!

Yesterday, I shared some pics in honor of Hubbs' birthday; it was a great day!  Normally, I start planning pretty early on.  This year, however, I found the perfect gift (totally NOT like me) and I set the wheels in motion to get it.  He's going to love it (it needs to be built).  I was so focused on and distracted by the gift that I almost let the day slip by.

Our family has a number of traditions and our birthday tradition includes a family spaghetti dinner.  I picked Munch up from school.  We were off to pick up things for the dinner but Munch was fed up with spaghetti and wanted to try something different.

"Daddy always wants spaghetti! Can't we try something different?"

We brainstormed for a few minutes then we decided on spaghetti pizza!

Yes.  You read correctly.  No, seriously.

Taken November 2014

On one of their daddy-daughter dates, Hubbs and Munch tried the pizza and came home bragging about it.  They CLAIMED they brought some home for me but, after about 30 minutes, the two piglets gobbled up "my" leftovers.

Because I'd never tried it, I had to rely solely on Munch's taste buds' memory.  I tried to Google a recipe as we walked into the grocery store but none of them involved a crust so, we were really forced to wing it.

I picked up all of the ingredients, we picked up last-minute decor supplies and we headed home for cooking, baking and set-up.

We taped up the wall mural and Munch slid on the guest of honor's chair cover.  She set the table and placed his cards on his plate.

Oh, and have I told you that she has become quite the drink server?  Well, she made a fancy drink for Memorial Day and it was a hit among our guests.  I'll share more on that later. For now, check out her awesome set-up.

She even cut that strawberry on that cup all by herself!!!  I pulled out some platters and we set-up a birthday spread fit for the Birthday King of the Keese castle.

Did you see it?  No, not the gummies, the spaghetti pizza!

We weren't sure how it would taste but it smelled awesome and we were certain it would be a pleasant surprise for Hubbs when he arrived home. 

He was excited to dig in and gave me an obligatory smile just before he said grace.

I was sure the pizza would taste okay but, when I decided to remix his favorite meal of all time, I was nervous it wouldn't measure up no matter how good it was.  We cut it, we served it, we started to eat and...

HE LOVED IT! He actually said our version was BETTER than the big fancy restaurant's!!!!

We also made his favorite cake (strawberry cake with strawberry icing) and surprised him with the birthday song when he and Nuke returned from their evening walk.  It was a great evening and an awesome birthday for Hubbs.

I know this family dinner is nothing like the events we talk about here on the island.  There was no fancy sweets table or fun games to talk about.  There was no two-tier cake custom-designed or any table linen or time-consuming hand-made decor.  

Not because I don't love a good party or because I don't appreciate what those events require but because I'm reminded of the time I threw Brian a low-key surprise birthday party.

There was a cake.

There were friends.

There were video games.

There was also a moment, after everyone left, when Hubbs pulled me into the room and got emotional.  REALLY emotional.  He said he was so grateful for the party because he knew I put a lot into it and it reminded him of the last party he had when he turned five years old.  His grandmother called all of the neighborhood kids over to share in some of the cake she made him.  Hubbs recalled how special he felt with everyone surrounding him and wishing him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  He recalled how much he enjoyed sharing in his favorite flavor of birthday cake and he recalled longing for that feeling ever since.

As my obsession with event planning and crafting grew, I wanted to host more extravagant events for Hubbs.  Every time I'd begin the conversation, he'd shut down.  All he wants every year for his birthday is his favorite dinner with his favorite cake.  I appreciate him for that.  He keeps me grounded and, in his own jerkface-butthead way, he serves as the balance I need.

I love that he knows our family traditions and reminds me to place more value on time together than capturing the fabulosity during holidays and milestones.  This little ol' dinner may not be anything special to you but for us this work of heart was MAJOR!

Here's hoping you remember to make milestones more than picture-worthy posts on so-called social media!

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