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Jack's Big Birthday

Okay, I am a little behind in my bloggery— summer is a demanding taskmaster and leaves me little time for sitting at my computer. Jack's birthday was the end of June and it was a big one. He turned 18. He was born eleven days before our first anniversary and has literally been with us every step of the way over the past eighteen years. He was the first of so many things: grandchild, nephew and son. My youngest brother, Michael, started kindergarten as an uncle and his birth showed me the path I was meant to travel- motherhood. Those were sweet days, we were young, newly married and freshly minted parents. It is hard to believe he is getting ready to travel his own path now, independent of us.

We had a little 'surprise' get together for Jack at Bob and Kelly's shop and arrived home to find a plate of freshly made strawberry jam and biscuits from Julie. The amazing thing about that plate of biscuits (other than the fact that it was a lovely and thoughtful gesture from Julie) was that George didn't eat them. I am not sure what she said to him but it worked. She must have super hero dog training skills.

Lately, I can not get enough steamed edamame with olive oil, Maldon sea salt and chopped mint on them. It is the first completely healthy meal that I would (and do) choose to eat time and time again. We started with a huge bowl of them on the deck while I grilled the steaks. The dogs love the shells, they need to watch their waistlines as well.

Andy's had a whole beef rib roast on sale and I knew it would be a huge hit for dinner. There is definitely an art to cutting steaks from a whole rib roast and I don't have it. The steaks weren't totally mangled but they weren't pretty. If anyone noticed, they kept it to themselves. I cut a bunch of herbs from the garden, chopped garlic and mixed it all together with olive oil and sea salt. The steaks looked a little less mangled and a little more artisanal. The finished product was perfect— tender, medium rare and flavorful.

Jack was headed out with his friends and the cake portion of the evening was over before I knew it. Rest assured, he had a piece of pie (from the Candy Shoppe) on the 'You Are Special Today' plate— I just forgot to take his picture. I was distracted by this 6 foot 2 inch man who is getting ready to start a new chapter in his life and wondering where the years have gone. Talk about bittersweet— I am so proud of the man he has become but miss the little boy he was. The minute I held that ten pound baby in my arms, I fell head over heels in love. He was special from the beginning and has brought immense amounts of love, joy and pride into our lives. It's impossible to sum up what the past eighteen years have meant to me, suffice it to say, 'I love you right up to the moon- and back'.