Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday, Ben!

This past week has been uncharacteristically busy.  Ben has been swamped at work (as is usual during the summer "road construction" months), causing him to be away from home a lot more.  Between his normal job responsibilities, conferences to attend, and the occasional golf outing, he seems to barely have enough time to breathe during the summer months. 

However, in between Ben's late nights at work and my impromptu decision to hit the road early Wednesday morning with the kids to introduce them to their very first cousin, we made sure to take time out on Monday evening to celebrate Ben's 31st birthday!  Birthdays are always a big deal in my book and there was NO WAY we were going to let a little busy-ness or a road trip keep us from celebrating Ben on his special day. 

The kids and I began the day with a trip to the grocery store to collect the necessities we would need for Ben's Mexican Fiesta dinner and a double batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Because, seriously, a birthday isn't a birthday without chips and queso and homemade chocolate chip cookies (or at least according to Ben!).  We followed the grocery store with a trip to the dollar store where we picked out birthday balloons.  The kids had a grand time choosing enough balloons to make our kitchen look birthday-worthy:

Before heading home, we also made a stop by DQ to pick up another one of Ben's all-time favorites to make his birthday complete:  ice cream cake!

While Olivia was napping, the big kids and I spent the afternoon whipping up those chocolate chip cookies.  The kids were great helpers...well, that is until the licking of the beaters was complete and then they vacated the kitchen to pursue their own interests while I baked the cookie dough. 

We were pretty excited to welcome Ben home and wish him Happy Birthday in person (we had given him a call earlier in the morning at breakfast).  The tacos, refried beans (I recently discovered how to make my own homemade refried beans in the crockpot and they are DELICIOUS), and queso was a hit with everyone!

After dinner, we took a walk to the park and played on the toys until we couldn't wait any longer to dig into the ice cream cake.  We came home and promptly sang Happy Birthday, watched Ben blow out all 31 candles, and cut that cake!

Happy Birthday, Ben!  We love you and couldn't ask for a better husband and daddy! 

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