Happy Birthday (tomorrow) Mum!

Hey hey! Grace here.

I hope everyone is having a solid week, regardless of our external circumstances around the world. It’s my dear Mums birthday tomorrow! 🙂

Friday the 13th.

Unlike so many, 13 is a lucky number for me. In fact, Friday the 13th is a lucky DATE for our family, thanks to my Mum and her timing. We also had two black cats in the family for 15+ years, so clearly us Grays laugh in the face of superstition.

Spring is a big birthday period for me. My Mum is March 13th, my boyfriend is March 18th, my birthday is March 23rd and my younger brother is April 1st (and my dear Granddad is May 6th, so lots of us bunched together!). As we all get a year older around the same time, I hold on to a quote that has always made me feel better about how quickly birthdays come around these days.

I hope you like it too.

Ain’t that the truth?

A few years ago I found myself stupidly panicking (in the lead up to a birthday) that I had wasted ‘the best years of my life’ and everything was moving too quickly. I found this quote online and it changed my entire outlook.

We often complain that we are yet another year older and that life is flying by. But how lucky are we to be able to share yet another birthday and another year?! Not everyone is so lucky! I say the older, the luckier!

We got to celebrate my Mums 60th last summer in Hawaii! Oh it was FANTASTIC. We don’t get to see each other YET this year for her 61st or my 30th, but I have all these wonderful Hawaii memories…which in reality was only about 7 months ago.

Here is the lady herself, at one of her favourite spots! Ghiradelli’s in San Francisco. I know this face. Yeah, she’s excited about her ice cream, sure. But this is not an ‘ice cream glow’. This is a ‘it’s my birthday and I’m going on holiday with my kids’ glow. We were arriving that evening.

But also, look at that ice cream! ^^^ Phwoaaar.
Quick visit to the Cheesecake Factory above Macys! Another favourite of hers.

We spent a fun-filled day in San Francisco; food, shopping, bus tours across the Golden Gate Bridge (windy!) and ended with a birthday party at my brothers house! The next morning we all flew to Hawaii!

Guess who was sat directly in front of me 🙂
Here some of us are, just landed in Maui & picking up our cars!

One of the coolest ideas we had was to have TWO cars for the trip! Mum, Dave, Uncle Steve and Sheila in a nice big SUV. And then both Marks, Alex and I in what was named the ‘Kids Car’. A convertible jeep (we may or may not have broken the roof by the end of the trip!) that served us well on our ‘kids car’ trip to Costco and to do day trips that the ‘grown ups’ didn’t fancy!

Here we are, happily celebrating my Mum on our first night!

Months before, we had decided to throw my Mum a surprise party at the Maui house during our trip, and so I’d pre-ordered and packed 8 lei (garlands of flowers) and lots of Hawaiian themed party pieces…

And we asked lovely Dave to take Mum for a walk down the beach, to distract her!

Meanwhile, my Mark got to work on the grill and the rest of us prepped food and decorated!

All ready for her! Burgers and all!

Happy faces!

She was pretty surprised. And pretty chuffed. The weather was perfect. The company was even better. And it was SO MUCH FUN.

The Happy Couple

We also booked a snorkeling trip (sans Dave, I tried!) and though my Uncle Steve got 2nd degree burns on the backs of his legs, we had fun doing that together too!

So… not every year gets to be like this. But I’m feeling grateful that we were all able to gather together, from England, California and New York to celebrate her not too long ago!

We all agreed that we had never seen sunsets like it! And everyday they got more and more beautiful.

This year, my Mums birthday won’t be so fun. She just finished the SEC, has to move offices and the NEC has just been cancelled, so she’ll have to change gears to make up for that. Work work work! And in the meantime, in-between time, is taking care of her Mum post hip surgery. That’s life though isn’t it? Sometimes it’s absolutely wonderful, and then other times you just have to get your head down and try to stay as calm and happy as possible.

I find that in those times, it’s often helpful to focus on the better birthdays and memories… and gosh, we have lots. This is probably one of my favourite photos of my Mum ever.

Happy Barb x

Time to plan another trip for the future methinks (once everything has settled down). I’ve been trying to get Mum and Dave to New Orleans, I think they’d LOVE it. But we might just have to go back to Maui instead 😉

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUM! Here’s to you!

Lotsa Love, Grace xoxo

Clarity – The Home of Art, Craft and Well-being.

17 thoughts on “Happy Birthday (tomorrow) Mum!

  • 12th March 2020 at 3:48 pm

    What lovely memories you have created as a family. Definitely to be treasured. Your next get together might have to wait a wee bit, the way things are at the moment, but this crisis will pass in time and it will make your next family celebration all the more precious. 13th March was lucky for me, too, as it was also my mum’s birthday so not a date I will forget in a hurry! Love the Happy Barb, photo. Stay safe, Grace. Hx

  • 12th March 2020 at 5:06 pm

    I’m lucky enough to be spending my birthday tomorrow with my daughter, wedding dress looking for her, so happy birthday Barbara

  • 12th March 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Hello Grace,
    I love your photos and memories. Wonderful. I also agree with your quote. Having lost our lovely daughter-in-law, aged 47 (nearly six years ago) to a brain tumour, I get very cross when people complain about getting older!
    Enjoy all the birthdays.

  • 12th March 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Grace, this id duvh s heartfelt post. I loved reading all about your family memories.
    Msny hsppy returnd to Barbara and loads more to come. xx

  • 12th March 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Happy birthday Barbara enjoy x

  • 12th March 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Grace, it’s a birthday month for us too, my Mum was 90 on Weds and nephew, 35, the same day and my hubby will be 73 on Sunday. I think it’s Mother’s Day the following Sunday ! I was born on 13th too, and was 13 on Friday 13th ! Oct is my month. We’ve also had black cats, completely black or black and white, only because they’re the ones that get left at the rescue centres. I was thankful to turn 60 last 13 Oct as we lost one of our extended family on 1 Oct at age 59, he would have been 60 at the start of this month, so I agree with your sentiments. Thanks for showing us the lovely pics of you all, I remember the celebrations you had, a great way to make some memories. X

  • 12th March 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Wonderful memories. Fabulous time for you all. It is my daughter-in-law’s birthday as well tomorrow. Just finished decorating her cake. Will make millionaire’s shortbread tomorrow then all our family will get together tomorrow evening. It is hard at the moment, I am having to pull out of workshops which saddens me but need to protect my husband. Never mind I sure will make up for it later. X

  • 12th March 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Happy memories to cherish. Family is so precious.
    Seeing these photos remind me of the trip I took to Honalu with my family when I was 16 on the way to New Zealand and Australia. Happy Times in deed.
    I totally agree about being thankful to reach another birthday each year as I have lost a couple of special people too early, and I wish that they were granted more birthdays to celebrate, but I do treasure the times I have had with them.

  • 12th March 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Good evening Gracie!
    I do love reading your blogs. I think you have such a lovely way of expressing yourself…. You can tell you’re your mum’s daughter!
    It’s amazing how fast this year has gone and I know just how special that trip was to you all. But those happy memories will never go away and its good to look back on things that made you happy especially when you are having a more difficult time.
    I’m sure your mum will still have a lovely day tomorrow and knowing your mum she’ll have a very philosophical view on what her day brings.
    Its funny how family’s do get a bunching of birthdays. My bundle is November… My brother’s oldest 3 girls all have November birthdays.and Amy’s hubby is December so not good just before Christmas.
    Then September it’s my oldest nephew, me and my sister in law. April, it’s Amy and my hubby Colin.
    Your birthday is actually the date I should have had Amy but she arrived late! Wouldn’t it have been funny if you and her shared a birthday.
    Anyway life here is head down and get on with things at the moment. I’m hoping that the clouds will lift and that we see a light very soon.
    You look after yourself Grace. Stay safe.
    Love and hugs Xxxx

  • 12th March 2020 at 7:59 pm

    A wonderful post, as ever, Grace. And I completely agree with everything, including New Orleans. They. Will. Love. It! xoxo

  • 12th March 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Wonderful photos and such happy memories.
    Yes, sometimes getting old sucks but just think of the alternative!!!!! For all the aches and pains I have at this advanced age I wouldn’t change things, I love my life with my lovely hubby.
    Wondered when Barbs birthday was – now I know.
    Keep well Grace.

  • 12th March 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Lovely pictures & memories for you all. Thank goodness for technology in that at least you can speak via Skype or Facetime these days when you are all so far apart.

  • 13th March 2020 at 2:07 am

    That’s a really powerful quote. I’ve put it into my art journal. I’m a year older than your Mum, and sometimes get a little cranky about my years. I need to remember how lucky I am.

    Thanks for all the pictures. Your Mum is one of my favorite people. Her blog is the first thing I check when I get home from work. It’s always uplifting. No matter what my day has been like, her blog seems to put everything into the proper perspective.

  • 13th March 2020 at 7:31 am

    Hello Grace, such a lovely blog post with plenty of fun memories. Love the Pics shared. Take care all. Bx

  • 13th March 2020 at 9:41 am

    I have so enjoyed reading this blog! My favourite pic is the one of your mum on her own and you can see she has caught the sun x

    Lovely, special memories.

  • 13th March 2020 at 2:07 pm

    I so love the feeling I get after reading your lovely posts. You are fortunate indeed, but you already know that.

  • 13th March 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Hello again, I seem to have missed a few of your blogs. Will have to rewind. Have only met your lovely Mum once, and that started me off on the groovi trail. Lovely photos of you all, I love that part of San Francisco and the chocolate and ice cream .
    I grumble about age, but have been very lucky to get to 87, especially as I had a bad time when young with asthma. Then found out after my 21st. I it had been caused by an allergy to Cats, which I loved, and we always had one. Found out when my brother brought home a beautiful Siamese kitten.
    Hope you keep safe, our families abroad are telling me to stay in. More time to make cards . Xxxxxxx
    We have lots of birthdays in March, then April, and May


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