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  • Writer's picture Jana

Garin Celebrates his 14th Birthday, Hawaiian-Style. Can we Come Back for my Birthday Please?

Fourteen years ago today, on 4-18-08, my beloved, oldest son came into this world. I went from being a single girl (okay perhaps woman) to a mom, in an instant. And from that moment on my life changed forever and unequivocally, for the better.

What better to way commemorate this special day than to celebrate Garin in this beautiful place. When we planned this trip, months ago, I was so excited that his birthday would be falling perfectly during our time here. Easter and Garin's birthday both in one trip? What good fortune!

I asked Garin if he wanted to do anything special for his big day like parasail, zip-line, attend an overpriced Hawaiian luau, or peer over the rim of the Mt. Kilauea volcano. The answer was "no" to all of the above, although I think he later regretted saying no the the last option of peering over the edge of the volcano. He said he was happy to have an average island day, splitting our time between the pool and the beach. Great, done!

After a delightful breakfast on our lanai, we headed to the beach in the morning. We all swam together in the glorious Hawaiian water. I even went on the boogie board (very uncharacteristic for me), which was lots of fun and amused the kids to no end (not to mention onlookers on the beach as well, no doubt). We headed home for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the pool. The perfect relaxing day.

In evening, I made another "fancy" dinner (not really fancy, but fancy by vacation standards) and we all celebrated Garin, beloved son and mostly beloved brother. Graham summed it up in his card, "Happy Birthday Garin. Even though you get on my nerves sometimes, I will always love you, no matter what." I couldn't have said it better myself, Graham.

Breakfast in our PJs on the lanai with palm trees and the ocean as a backdrop.

Lots of fun in the water today. It is no accident that there are no photos nor videos of me boogie boarding.

Lots of digging in the sand too. We even brought our own heavy duty, Home Depot, construction-grade shovels from LA. I have some serious diggers who won't stand for anything less than best when it comes to their beach digging equipment.

After many hours swimming in the ocean, Catherine warmed up in sunshine while Garin and Graham took pre-lunch naps, side-by-side.

There's nothing like coming back from the beach only to head to the pool. Now that's the good life!

Everyone indulges me for the matchy-matchy birthday celebration portraits, which I subject them to every time someone's birthday rolls around. Oh Mom, how many more times are you going to make us do this? Garin's going to be 18 in 4 years, after all.

Garin's going to be 18? I better get a few more photos in, while I can!

Now I need everyone to pose individually. Really?

I forgot to pack the infamous gold frame that's featured in every birthday portrait, so Catherine made this sign on the fly with a piece of printer paper and the only pen we could find.

Garin's Surf's up Dude-themed party. These decorations too came in my suitcase (along with the ones for Easter) from the mainland, in preparation for this celebration. After packing all holiday tableware and the beach shovels, I had a little room left in my suitcase for a few swimsuits, shorts and tee shirts, wedged in between.

The birthday feast: Ribeye steak and orange marinated chicken grilled on the barbecue, Greek salad, baked potatoes and chocolate birthday cake for dessert. If this dinner looks vaguely familiar, it's because it's virtually the same dinner I served the previous night for Easter. Hey we're on vacation, what do you expect from me?

We lost two guests between courses. Eventually they woke up and rejoined the party.

It's cake time! The moment everyone's been waiting for all day. No one slept through that part, I can assure you.

Happy Birthday to You, Garin!

More to come soon from our wonderful Hawaiian vacation.....

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I can't believe he's 14! Happy Birthday Garin!! : )

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