Even though July comes in the middle of the summer, filled with lots of hot temperatures and stops at many McDonald drive thoughts for glasses of iced tea, this month has been a great memory. Since July is one of my favorite months of the year, due to Randy’s and my birthday making it such a fun month, we had several things happen that just made this July a very special month. Jamin, my boy who travels for work constantly, had a job in Phoenix, so he came and spend a week with us, bringing along our 17 yr old granddaughter. He came bearing gifts from M&M world, for me, which just made my birthday that much more special. Before he and Ashland left, our daughter, Christi and our 5 yr old granddaughter, Kenley arrived and the celebration continued. We had a week of exploring Butterfly Wonderland and the Childrens museum. We got to see Christi have her first In & Out Burger and her first Ombre from Starbucks.
Since Randy and I married, we have had a tradition of having Trudyfest from July 3rd through the 11th, the day of my actual birthday. When we married, my mom told him that I was his responsibility now and he could take over Trudyfest. That meant that he was now responsible for giving me little gifts each day of July up until my birthday on the 11th. Since Randy’s birthday is July 2nd, I was kind to let him have July 1st and 2nd be about him before starting the grand festival of my birthday celebration, well…just because I’m nice like that. But come July 3rd, it’s all about me for 9 whole days. Did I mention that I’m an only child? Bet you couldn’t have guessed that.
This year was such a great day of birthday celebration. It began with Kenley and Christi presenting me with gifts and cards as soon as I got up. We planned our day around Kenley since we don’t get to see them as often as we want since they come all the way from Florida, so we wanted to focus on them. After all, it would have been a little embarrassing to tell a 5 year old that we couldn’t go to Butterfly world because her grandmother would rather go shopping at Hobby Lobby instead. So to butterfly world we went, where the air is hot and the hair style quickly disappears due to the 80% humidity so the butterflies are comfortable. We came out starved and headed to Portillos for hot dogs (where yes, we saw another first,;Christi had never had Portillos) before coming home. That evening we joined our kids which live here and took C & K to Rustler’s Roost for a birthday celebration. If you are in Phoenix and have little kids, you need to experience this place. Not only does it have spectacular views of the valley, but the kids love the giant slide which they use to enter the restaurant. Well, the kids and me. I love that silly slide. I have to tell you about last year when we went there with our other kids. I was headed down the slide when I look down in front of the slide where a man is standing, waiting for his kids to come down. It is such a long slide, you wonder if you are going to be able to stop or would I be sliding feet first right into this man’s belly, Apparently, he began to wonder that also, as he quickly moved to the side, right before my legs hit the end of the slide. That little episode made me realize that maybe I was a little to old to be going down, so this year, I left it to the younger kids.
This years birthday was so different from previous years, but it was one of my most favorite of birthday memories. No I didn’t have my 9 days of “glory” and little gifts each day from Randy, but the gifts I got were so special. The gifts of wonderful memories with family. The laughs of watching the butterflies only landing on Randy and watching a butterfly landing on Christi’s phone apparently trying to take a selfie. My 15 yr old grandson even took a picture with me, in public! The cotton candy that the “big kids” (Eric, Christi and Randy) used to make funny faces. All the cards and text and phone calls from friends added to the celebration and some unexpected little gifts from friends that arrived that day. This year showed me that it truly isn’t the gifts that bring us joy, but the times spend together with family and friends that bring us the treasured times of our lives. The birthday blues did come. But not because the day of getting gifts was over, it was because the kids had to leave to go home. Was just so thankful that this year I was so blessed to celebrate with more family than usual. It was truly the best birthday bash!