You only get one birthday a year, Mimi - but if you wait a whole month to share the pictures it almost like you get to have it all over again! The lovely Mimi - oh so dear to the kiddos, celebrated her birthday on May 5 - and while we did a little coconut cream pie to acknowledge her special day - we waited until the real party that weekend for the full celebration. It wasn't easy planning a party for Mimmers - as she appears to be much more comfortable in the role of party giver rather than party receiver. Moreover Mimi goes all out on our birthdays - cooking favorite foods, making individual birthday treats, and finding just the gift you were hoping for. She's pretty amazing, which is why we all wanted to be sure she had a special day as well.Mimi's birthday party just happened to coincide with the Kentucky Derby and because we all love a theme - we went in that general direction with our food (and hats). Appetizers were the official cucumber sandwiches, drinks? Mint Juleps of course. We had a watermelon salad, fresh coleslaw, grilled new potatoes, fried chicken, and Mimi's second favorite dessert: homemade chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. Emma and Belle helped make the cake and they were very earnest in their correct measurements, mixing, and counting the appropriate minutes until the next ingredient could be added. (I follow every step for baking to a t - sift for 30 seconds? check - beat on high for 2 minutes in between each egg addition - you gotcha. The result was a highly mediocre cake with "casual" frosting that held it's shape but tasted much better paired with Tony's homemade ice-cream. Mimi was very polite and said it was delicious - but really, it was just pretty much okay. Looks nice though - eh?
Mimi's gifts were out of character a bit this year - but we were all happy to oblige, and the girls cheerfully announced most of the items before Mimi had a change to break the tape seal: "Mimi we got you a surprise! It's a secret - I'll tell you what it is, it's a plant!" In addition to the super shocking plants, The lady of the day/week/month also received beads for her bracelet, and - wait for it - golf lessons! This would be all the more shocking if you had met Mimi anytime before, oh say - this birthday - and even doubly shocking if you knew that she USED the lessons LOVED the lessons and she and PopPop go golfing regularly now and are just about as cute as two newly weds with their matching pastimes. I draw the line at matching gear though you two - be warned. Oh who am I kidding - I HEART matching gear, you should totally do it, Dad would look great in pink.
GG always does the cutest thing on her girls birthdays each year - she brings over one of her photo albums of them for everyone to look through. I think it's a great way for her to reconnect with the past a bit, but it is so much fun for everyone else to peak through and see your Mom (or Mimi) grow up. The girls got a kick out of it, and I even caught PopPop shaking his head while taking a stroll down memory lane in-between potato turning duty. "Who's that guy?" he chuckled... while motioning to a most excellent beach pose from his pre-children days... They were a handsome couple then and a handsome couple now - and some pretty fabulous parents in between.
At some point during the festivities we turned on the coverage of the derby - the girls and I donned our hats and we all randomly selected a horse based on the only proven way to pick a winner - the name. I can only recall that Auntie chose "I'll have another" - who I do believe did quite well! We all yelled and cheered for the only action event that matches a child's - and my - attention span and then moved to dessert and the crowd pleasing singing of the birthday song.
It always boggles my mind that 10 people (5 of whom played instruments) can pull off such a basic song with such disastrous results. I had no idea just how bad our singing was until I was at another families home for a party - I swear to the birthday gods that they harmonized up in that piece - We kind of harmonize too. In a tone deaf but totally enthusiastic kind of way. Mimi's face was adorable though the singing, but my crazy camera turned her face into a blur and sadly I have nothing to show for it. It's in my mind though and it makes me smile. Mimi, Jack, and Alex applauded loudly at the end of the song - perhaps because it was over - perhaps because it was lovingly delivered - but definately because this was - I hope - a fitting celebration for the person who gives so much to all of us and has turned out to be not only an extraordinary mother, wife, and mimi, but an amazing friend as well.
Happy Birthday, Mimi - one month late... here are some of your birthday memories I was able to capture before my camera finked out. May your year be filled with enthusiastic singing, random surprises, lots of love, and copious amounts of color coordinated golf outings... and a couple Mint Juleps now and again too...