“Home boundward, home boundward, home boundward…” That’s our Finny, smiling and singing from the backseat of the van on the way home from swim lessons earlier this week. He’s a little mixed up, a lot happy, very funny, and entirely lovable. He says his favorite places are HOME, the library, and Jupiter’s (local pizza place). His favorite things to do? Read, EAT, play video games, watch TV and movies, wrestle with his dad, play catch, kick around the soccer ball. Finn’s also mentioned recently how he really likes to visit other towns on trips (where he also enjoys eating at new places!), and he’s developing an interest in golf. He doesn’t care for shopping at all and does not like large crowds, unless they are part of the scene at an amusement park. Mostly, he is content being at home with family and doing low-key things. Finny’s our kind of guy… And this past Wednesday, his 11th birthday, we honored him all day long with festivities and affection.

We started the day with apple puff pancakes — Finn’s special birthday request — then headed out to Sholem Pool for his and Molly’s swim lesson. Finn caught a couple episodes of “Johnny Test” and played with Shane and Molly while I went to the Illinois Radio Reader. We went to Jupiter’s for lunch and arcade games. Then we began a serious session in the kitchen, making shrimp & veggie wontons, marinating vegetables to grill, and baking Swedish mud cake. I popped beef brisket in the oven, and we awaited the arrival of beloved family — grandparents & their new puppy, Teddy Bear; plus two uncles, two aunts, and a cousin. We shared dinner & dessert before watching Uncles Austin & Nathan play in a softball game.

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Accompanying the card was a coupon for “3 favors from Molly”

These are the best days… when we all are together, the mood is happy, and we hold at bay most of our outside obligations. I think we’re especially lucky that our kids have summer birthdays, so we don’t have to think about school and can do lots of outdoor activities! I know we won’t always be able to spend the day with our kids when it’s their birthday, but I hope they’ll always recall these celebrations with great fondness. 


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