Yessa had quite a birthday.
I have to remark on her kind, generous willingness to be flexible about any and all celebrations around her big day.
We had been up at Grandma Iowa’s house for a quick visit, and we weren’t sure if we would need to stay until Saturday, Yessa’s actual birthday. If we had, it would have meant a 10 hour drive on her birthday, which would have been nearly equal to the year we made her sit on a train for 11 hours on her birthday.
At least that train ride was in Italy. The car ride would have been through Iowa.
The timing worked out and we were able to drive home on Friday, getting home early enough to unpack the car, enjoy some time settling in with Dad and Buster, and then mustering ourselves to head out to eat at one of Yessa’s favorite restaurants; Sushi Train!
It was busy on a Friday, so we enjoyed some time laughing and visiting in the waiting booth.
Monkey had picked out a new game while we were up north, which Yessa and I brought back home with us.
I Dissent, is a game of questions and discussion, and we have had a great time with it. We took along a pack of the questions to talk through as we waited for dinner, and I missed Monkey being there to be part of the back and forth. (She’s still up visiting Grandma.)
Once we were seated we enjoyed our dinner, Buster getting a little chopsticks practice in with Dad.
We settled back in at home for the night, and when Yessa woke up bright and early the next morning, she was 13 years old!
She was born at around 3 a.m., so she truly was 13 when she woke up.
She and I headed off on the blue trail for a hike and were thrilled that deer came out to tell her Happy Birthday. Up close. Really, really close.
We agreed we’d try to take her picture by this tree on her birthday each year.
She sprained her ankle as we neared the end of the hike. She fought through the discomfort so we got her home and settled with an ice pack.
Shortly after that, the doorbell rang with a surprise delivery.
Flowers from Kate, Bets, Kel, and Paula. What a beautiful surprise.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying time together in various ways:
Games, movies, laughter, and love.
Then, in the evening, Yessa got a call from her grandmother in Vermont. They had chosen to give her the opportunity to donate to Heifer International as her gift. She chose a share of a goat, a flock of geese, chickens, and ducks. Those animals will find their way to folks in other parts of the world who will use them to improve their lives. A great choice of gift for our animal lover.
Yessa shares her birthday with 3 of the 10 cousins on Buddie’s side of the family, so it’s always a big day for that side of the family. And it’s just another example of how magical this youngest kiddo is.
We’re so glad you were born, Dearest Yessa. You make our life and world a better place.