Birthday Fun and Giveaway

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 35 Comments

Willow tree kindness Chimes

Birthday. If you were to let your mind run free what is the first thing you think about when you say birthday? Cake? Candles? Getting older? Parties? Family time?

When I was a kid, I’m sure it was cake and the hope for presents. I had a wonderful aunt who made us cakes and brought us gifts. I don’t remember too many toys. Maybe a puzzle or books. But there was always a new dress she’d made for us. And always, a cake all decorated with candles. I can still remember running down our long lane to meet her car and how excited I was.

I don’t get that excited about my birthday these days. I’ve had a bunch. But I still get excited about getting to share my grandkids’ birthdays. One of them, my oldest grandson, is having a birthday today. He’s seventeen and has gone two hours from home to a magnet type high Austinschool that specializes in math and science for his junior year. We’re proud of him, but we miss him back here at home. He was and is the sweetest kid. He was my second grandchild and the one who proved that a grandmother’s love can keep expanding to cover more and more grandchildren.

I love this picture I found today. I did carry that kid around a lot when he was a toddler, but my first grandchild was the reason I set the rule that I wouldn’t pick her up anymore after she turned seven. She did like me to pack her home when she’d get tired taking a walk with me. Be careful about making those kind of rules. That one had to last through nine grandkids. Well, seven of them. The twin boys never really wanted me to carry them after they were two. They were too busy keeping me chasing after them. LOL. My youngest grandchild turned seven in the spring and I managed to stay strong enough to keep picking her up until then. Barely. By the time she turned seven, I was way older than when I made that original seven-years-old rule.

Birthdays Mean Gifts

But in my annual birthday giveaway, I reverse things a bit and give the gifts to you. Or at least let you have a chance to win a gift or two. It took me a while to decide what to give as prizes this year, but I settled on a 1st prize of the wind chimes since I love wind chimes myself. And the winner also gets his or her choice of one of my books. Second prize is the Willow Tree figurine with a cat. That’s to keep celebrating my cozy mysteries with those cats on the covers. That winner will also get a choice of one of my books. Third place gets the choice of one of my books and a grab bag book to sweeten the prize. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on one of my blog posts before the deadline of midnight EST on September 17, 2016 or send me a message from my contact page. You must be eighteen or over to enter and have a USA or Canadian mailing address. For fun, you can tell me something neat you’ve done on your birthday, but any comment will do.

A Few Fun Birthday Comments

Jennifer H made me smile when she wrote, “On my last birthday the funnest thing I did was absolutely nothing! As a stay at home mom of 3, nothing is awesome!”

Linda L had a great way of celebrating. She says, “I always called my mother on my birthday and thanked her for giving me a birthday.”

Ashley A knows how to have fun. She says, “I bought a really cool tiara that lights up in all kinds of cool colors and wore it everywhere just because it was my birthday.”

So what do you say? How have you had fun on a birthday?

I’ll have more stories on Sunday. Thanks for reading.

 

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Comments 35

  1. Betsy Fuzy

    Birthdays are special times!!! I remember when we were first married, my husband would bake me a cake – using the kitchen of a friend or a neighbor!!! It was such treat that he would go to all that trouble for me!!!
    I remember on my 8th birthday – could have been my 9th or 10th – my grandmother made me a red polka dotted dress!!! I felt so special!!!

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Fun memories, Betsy. I had a lavender dotted swiss (I think that’s what it was called) dress when I was a kid made for me by my aunt. I loved that dress so much that my aunt remade it three times so it would keep fitting me as I got older. It ended up a sundress with one shoulder open. I really liked it then. LOL. And what a great husband to go to all that trouble instead of just buying one at the supermarket. Those cakes were baked with love.

  2. Linda Walters

    I still have my parents who are now in their 80s, and 3 sisters and 4 brothers. I didn’t remind anyone of my birthday this year because I turned 60 and wanted a quiet day. It worked perfectly. I spent the day reading. My husband took me out for a nice dinner. I laughed when they found out they missed the birthday.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      You got to have more days to celebrate then when the family found out, Linda. Your quiet day and then the fun of talking about it all with your extended family.

  3. Karen Jones

    Happy Birthday, Ann! šŸŽ‚šŸŽˆšŸŽ‚
    The first thing I think about as a grandmother are the wonderful family get together that happen on our birthdays. A time to celebrate another year! šŸ˜Š

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      I love those family gatherings too, Karen. Always fun to celebrate a birthday with the grandkids.

      Thanks for the early birthday wishes.

  4. Sandi Keaton-Wilson

    Best wishes for the best birthday ever! Recently, I came across a newspaper clipping of when you came to our Pulaski Writers Alliance. We enjoyed your visit so much!

    As a child, I was always made to feel special on my birthday. I knew when it came that spring was just a week or two away. March flowers seemed to bloom just for me in celebration.

    I looked forward to my homemade dresses, family visits, and from scratch birthday cakes. Later, it was fun to have friends over, especially the three others who also had birthdays the same day as mine.

    Twice, I was given surprise parties! That’s fun! Seems I’ve been extra blessed the past few years, with birthday week good times!

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Your birthday celebrations sound something like mine, Sandi, except I didn’t have friends with the same birthday. That had to be fun. Of course my birthday signals fall coming instead of spring, but autumn is a good season too. Always fun to hear from you.

  5. Mallori

    My most memorable birthday was in 2010. It was my 21st, but it wasn’t memorable in the traditional way a 21st birthday is memorable. I was spending the summer in Senegal, West Africa, through Goshen College’s Study-Service Term. I spent the morning working at my service location, then a couple of other Goshen students and I went to a local cafe for cake and ice cream. When I arrived home that afternoon, our family’s maid took me and another student that lived with us around the town to visit some friends. For dinner that night, our family had spaghetti and meat (a rare meal there), and our maid had baked a special cake for the day. For being thousands of miles and an ocean away from my biological family and everything that was familiar, my host family still managed to make my 21st birthday special and made me feel so loved. That was an incredible feeling seeing as I had known this family for less than a month.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s a lovely story, Mallori. So good that you had people there who made you feel loved. I’m sure that’s because you were showing love to them. I know you must have many good memories from that summer.

  6. Susan A

    I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday and hope you get to feeling better from surgery soon . My birthday is the 30 th of this month. This is my favorite time of year. This year will be different because my father went to Heaven in January. He always called to wish me a Happy Birthday. I value the memories of my childhood and plan to spend as much time with my family while I am able. Hopefully I can go to the zoo with my grandkids for my birthday. I enjoy reading your posts & books. Take care.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      You’ll miss that happy birthday call this year, but you can imagine him sending the wishes down from heaven. Going to the zoo with the grandkids does sound fun. So happy birthday month, Susan. Enjoy.

      I appreciate you reading my posts and my books too. Thank you so much.

  7. Lane Hill House

    Candles! The hush as the recipient blows them out ~ the YaY! and the Happy Birthday song being sung…
    The year I left a year out and thought I was the next age instead. That likely was the same year my husband and I were out in the backyard planting our garden. A friend of ours came out of our house (which was strange in itself as living on a traveled street, we kept our door locked when we were outside), and asked my husband how many scoops of coffee went into the big pot. How odd. That took a long time to brew when the small coffee pot was on the counter if he wanted some. Going into the house after kneeling in the soil and dirt under your fingernails ~ you are right, a surprise birthday party for me. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s a fun story, Kathleen. Were you not suspicious after the neighbor came outside and asked that about the coffee? She wasn’t being very sneaky, was she? I think I would have just guessed and hoped the coffee was good. But a surprise party is great. Hope you had a good time. And you’re right about that hush as the candles are being blown out.

      At my age, I forget a year or two without a bit of bother. LOL.

  8. Karen G.

    When I was a kid, it was always about the presents. I love getting presents. Now, I don’t get any except from my mom. Hubby and I always seem to buy the things we want before birthdays and Christmas so we don’t exchange presents except maybe a little something on Christmas day. I am feeling very grateful about a special birthday coming in October. My mom will be 98 and she is feeling and doing great. She stopped driving several months ago and has slowed down a bit (bowling one day a week instead of two) but she still has her health and is happy where she is today.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s great, Karen, about your mom’s upcoming birthday. I hope I’ll still be doing that well if I’m fortunate to add on that many more years. Tough about only being able to bowl one day a week instead of two. I mean wow. šŸ™‚

      My sisters and I still exchange presents on our birthdays. That makes it fun even though it’s hard to think of something to give them sometimes and they say the same about me. But I do enjoy having my birthday giveaway and giving a few presents to some of you.

  9. peggy clayton

    In my foster home they didn’t celebrate any of the foster childrens birthdays so i tried to when i made everyones dinner i would serve them first after the real parents and children they ate in a diff room,. I would put something special in their dinner or i would save something a treat and sneak it out to them as i felt so bad for anyone who had a birthday. My first real birthday party was a few years ago the neighbor lady made me a cake my 1st and then she made us dinner and it was nice i celebrated with her son who is younger than me by a little but i still felt 60 no matter what i cried when i got home as it was a first and just so nice, I prayed and prayed and thanked the lord as now i know how it felt to have a real birthday like a kid

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thank you for sharing your story, Peggy. So glad you got that birthday party even if it was down the road a ways from when you were a kid. I know you were a blessing to the other children in the foster home with you. We want to think that everybody is sweet and good, but they’re not and you had to spend time with some of those. And 60 isn’t so bad. What do they say? That 50 is the new thirty? Then 60 must be the new 40. Sounds good anyway.

  10. Melissa

    Around our house, we have birthday “month”. We start celebrating the first day of the birthday month, with well wishes, special meals, laughter and sometimes even a small gift. I love each and every birthday.
    Today would have been my Daddy’s 96th birthday. He went to Heaven in 1998.
    Happy Birthday month, Ann! šŸ™‚

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Glad to hear from someone who knows how to celebrate the gift of a new year coming your way, Melissa. I’m right there with you that it takes a month to properly celebrate a birthday. šŸ™‚ Sounds as if you have such fun in your birthday month.

      Happy heavenly birthday to your daddy and many happy memories of him on this his birth date.

  11. Pat Merritt

    I turned 81 yesterday, August 30th. A couple of my friends took me to dinner and gave me gifts; 2 books, an adult coloring book and coloring pencils. I love
    all my gifts.
    The worst thing I got for my birthday was a “black eye”. I fell at a friend’s house and my face hit the ground! I had sun glasses on and have a black eye to prove it! My left eye looks like I got carried away with my mascara! I have bruises everywhere mentionable.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Black eyes don’t sound like a very good birthday gift, Pat. So sorry you fell, but at least you did get a good dinner out and some fun gifts. Books do make great gifts, don’t they?

      Hope all the bruises stop hurting and fade away soon. Sending you late birthday wishes!

  12. Nancy

    A fun thing I did on one of my birthdays was to ride a touring trolley around the city of St. Augustine with my husband. It was a pretty, sunny day, too.
    šŸ™‚

    Romans 10:9-13

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      I know I’d love visiting St. Augustine, Nancy. A lot of history there and it would be fun to ride a trolley around the city on a pretty day the way you did. Good memories or a good birthday.

  13. Sonja Nishimoto

    My greatest birthday was when my daughter made me a quilt with photos of my life on it. There was more significance on the quilt alone than I can easily explain. It touched me beyond words and perhaps only she and I will know exactly why that was. It was my best birthday by far.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That sounds wonderful, Sonja. Memories shared with a daughter are the best, especially when the daughter knows what means the most to you. It sounds as if your daughter is a blessing and a gift to you.

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      Author
  14. Margaret Nelson

    A very fun birthday memory I have is the first birthday after I got married. My husband took me to Hawaii… on the way to Taiwan, where he was stationed in the Air Force. We stopped long enough in Honolulu for us to walk over to the lei stand outside the airport, and he bought me a lei for my birthday!

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      What fun, Margaret. I’m guessing that lei made you smile big time while you were wearing it. I appreciate your husband’s service and you too as his family support. That had to be an exciting and maybe scary time for you going so far from home.

  15. Melanie Backus

    My daughter threw me a great 50th birthday party. Everyone dressed in 50’s clothes, poodle skirts, leather jackets,….the works! We enjoyed hamburgers, fries and coke floats. Hoopla hoop contests and well as bubble gum bubble blowing contests were loads of fun. Pictures of me over the years as well as treasures such as my old leather jacket and cheerleading uniform were part of the great decorations. And to top it off, oldies music played the whole night through from a wonderful juke box that my husband gave me for my birthday. A night to remember for sure! What a party!

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      All right, Melanie. I don’t think anybody can beat this party. That is a 50th birthday party to remember. I don’t have any trouble at all imagining how much fun you all must have had. And with a jukebox too. Indeed, what a party!! What a daughter to get all that together!

  16. Pat Brown Holland

    When I was in grade school I would get so excited the night before my birthday, I couldn’t sleep. I usually invited 3 or 4 friends over and we had birthday cake and ice cream and then talked that night forever. Funny, I don’t remember the presents so much just the partying with good friends! Great memories!

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Sleepovers were what my daughter loved to do on her birthdays. Lots of giggles on those nights. And you’re right about those presents. We try to come up with great things to give our kids when the experience is what’s the best. That’s coming across in all the messages I’ve been getting about birthdays. The ones best remembered are special or even ordinary events but something that made them feel loved and special.

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