Category Archives: birthday

The Mountain Birthday Party

Song Lyric of the Day:

High on a mountain top / We live, we love, and we laugh a lot / Folks up here know what they got / High on a mountain top

Loretta Lynn / “High On a Mountain Top

Last summer our friends hosted a party at their family’s mountain house, and since then Coraline has been obsessed with the idea of a “mountain party.” So you can imagine her delight when Rich decided to rent that same house for his 40th birthday party this past weekend. Friday night we hosted family, and Saturday night we hosted friends. We were running late both nights (maybe my fault as I put the pro in procrastination), but we managed to pull off a pretty great party each time.

Friday I made herb-crusted pork tenderloin, roasted garlic-ranch potatoes, salad, and my patented garlic rolls for a sit-down family dinner. Saturday night I made some of my better appetizers/finger foods (per Rich’s special request), while friends brought some sides and sweets. I stayed primarily indoors Saturday night instead of hanging outside by the bonfire since I was having too much fun gabbing with friends (while keeping an eye on Coraline) to head out into the cold.

Sunday turned out to be an unusually warm day, so for our last day at the cabin we enjoyed a nice bike ride, then walked to a nearby family-style restaurant for breakfast. I am still kicking myself for not grabbing my camera like I planned, since I thought, “Oh, it’s such a short walk and it’s only breakfast.” Which is why when we saw the bald eagle that had just flown over our cabin perched in a tree on the way to the restaurant I only had my phone handy to take pictures. Always take your camera, Pattie: I KNOW this. Ugh.

The best shot of the wild bald eagle I could get with my camera phone.

The best shot of the wild bald eagle I could get with my camera phone.

What I loved most about staying at the cabin was the quiet. Even though we were close to the main drag, it was so quiet most of the time that you could hear a pin drop. It was glorious. And it was a perfect setting in which to host family and friends. It means a lot to us that so many people took the time to head out there to celebrate my old man getting officially older.

All in all, I think Rich had a great time celebrating the big 4-0 this year. I know I (and Coraline) certainly enjoyed helping him usher in a new year.

Coraline helps Rich finish off the mandarin orange cake I made for his birthday.

Coraline helps Rich finish off the mandarin orange cake I made for his birthday.

You can see some pictures from Rich’s long birthday weekend here.

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The Birthday Boy and the Ballerina

Song Lyric of the Day:

I just want you to dance with me tonight / So come on, oh baby / I just want you to dance with me tonight

Olly Murs / “Dance With Me Tonight

Tuesday night Rich, Coraline, and I celebrated Rich’s 40th birthday. It was a tiny celebration, just our little family, with a bigger celebration planned for the weekend. But we had to mark Rich’s big day on the day of. I made sure to preorder a German chocolate (Rich’s favorite) torte, since birthday cake at a birthday party is sacrosanct to Coraline, and we couldn’t have a devastated 3-year-old bringing down Rich’s birthday. And did I mention that German chocolate is Rich’s favorite? Coraline also insisted on having themed plates because, again, those are absolutely necessary for a birthday. I managed to find some Justice League plates to satisfy Rich’s request for Superman (he politely passed on Coraline’s suggestions of Woody or Buzz plates) and mismatched Avengers napkins since that was what was in stock. When Coraline and I picked up the cake, we also got a Mylar balloon that said “Happy Birthday” on it (she wanted to be traditional), a balloon which is now being moved around our upstairs by one very happy, oddball tabby cat. Coraline and I sang the birthday song, we tore into that cake, and Rich opened his presents.  All in all, I think it was a nice little celebration with just the three of us.

Can you tell who was most excited to be celebrating Rich's birthday?

Can you tell who was most excited to be celebrating Rich’s birthday?

Rich and Coraline pose for a birthday photo.

Rich and Coraline pose for a birthday photo.

Last night was a big night for Coraline (and us as well): her first ballet class. Technically it was a tap/ballet/creative movement/gymnastic class, since dance studios’ ballet season doesn’t begin until August. But to Coraline, it was all about the ballet; she’s been asking to take classes for months and now she’s finally old enough.

Ready to head to her first ballet class

Ready to head to her first ballet class

Of course, being old enough to take ballet doesn’t guarantee her paying attention to the teacher, which was a given. Despite her squirrelly attention span, though, she gave it her enthusiastic all. Plus, she was absolutely adorable to watch, as were her classmates — bright tutus everywhere.

Tap shoes on and ready to dance

Tap shoes on and ready to dance

Coraline enjoyed the class so much that she was actually pissed off when it ended and we told her it was time to leave. She sat down with her back to us, crossed her arms, and sulked. She brightened considerably when we told her she could go again. Now Rich and I just need to figure out which class schedule will work best for us.

Practicing making some noise with her tap shoes

Practicing making some noise with her tap shoes

At the end of each day, I ask Coraline what her favorite part of her day was. Some days it’s playing outside at daycare, others it’s hanging out with her grandma, doing artwork, or riding the train at the mall. Last night when I asked her that question, she smiled and said simply, “Ballet.”


Filed under birthday, birthday party, coraline, family, family time, personal, rich

Smack My Rich Up: Happy Birthday to My Blue-Eyed Boy

Today is Rich’s birthday, but we celebrated yesterday with brunch and a nice walk around downtown Knoxville. It’s hard to believe this is the sixteenth birthday of his I’ve celebrated with him, 13 as his wife. We’ve run the gamut of birthdays, from surprise parties to restaurant dinners with family and friends to quiet evenings at home with just the two of us (pre-Coraline) and everything in between. Through them all, I’ve witnessed the evolution of newlywed husband to trusted partner to best friend and, lastly, to amazing father. So it is with boundless love that I wish Rich all the happiness in the world and that his birthday wishes come true. I love you to the moon and back, honey. And so does our wonderful little girl. Happy birthday!

Laughing With Poppa

Sharing a joke with Poppa (2/21/13)

Smiling With Poppa

Smiling for Mommy (2/21/13)

Swinging Poppa

At the park after his birthday brunch (2/24/13)

*Rich — TOLD you I’d use “Smack My Rich Up” someday. Bwahahahaha! 🙂


Filed under birthday, marriage, personal, rich

Flying High on My Birthday

Song Lyric of the Day:

My thoughts are with you / Holding hands with your heart to see you

Earth, Wind & Fire / “September

It’s 2:56AM and I’m wrapping up the last of my packing before I go wait for the car that’s going to take me to the airport. My last movie here at TIFF was the fun, scary, exciting Solomon Kane. Definitely one worth seeing on the big screen, in no small part because of the lovely James Purefoy. Me: Hi. I loved the movie. It was great. JP (smiling): Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Me: Can I trouble you for a photo? Today’s my birthday. JP: Oh, I bet you say that to all the boys.

Me (jokingly): I can show you my license if you don’t believe me.

JP (laughing): That’s not necessary. Of course you can. And happy birthday to you.*

James Purefoy and yours truly. And notice I don’t look like the Puerto Rican Casper.

And as lovely, talented, and friendly as Mr. Purefoy is, today the boy I’m most excited to see is the blue-eyed one waiting for me at home. And I can’t wait.

I’m home. And, lord, is it nice to be back. I’d forgotten how wonderfully soft my slippers are, and it was great sleeping in my own bed again. I got into bed approximately 23 1/2 hours after I woke up for the last time in my hotel yesterday. To say I was tired was an understatement. Sure, I didn’t need to pull an all-nighter to squeeze in one more Midnight Madness film, but it was absolutely worth it to see my new friends one last time, enjoy a fun fantasy movie, and, well, look at that picture above of me with James Purefoy. When’s that going to happen again, right?

Now I’m upstairs, watching my puppy chewing on a bone. I think he’s a bit ticked off at me, which is to be expected. I suspect Troubadour will forgive me later tonight, though, when I sit in his favorite corner of the couch with him. And when I bribe him with the new squeaky, stretchy gecko toy I brought him as a souvenir.

I’ll try to post my rundown of all the movies I saw in the next day or so. I saw so many movies that I’ll have to pull out all my ticket stubs to refresh my memory. That’s the way it should be after your first film festival, right?

And before I forget, thanks so very much to everyone who left birthday wishes on my Facebook wall. It’s been a great birthday so far, indeed.

*OMG, James Purefoy wished me a happy birthday!

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My Favorite Birthday Boy

Song Lyric of the Day:

Every time I kiss your lips my mind starts to wander / And if all my dreams come true / I’ll be spending time with you /Oh, I love you more today than yesterday / But not as much as tomorrow

Spiral Starecase / “More Today Than Yesterday

Today is my favorite blue-eyed boy‘s 35th birthday. In honor of that milestone, we splurged on a fantastic dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where our amazing servers Roland and Johnathan helped make an extra-special meal extraordinary. The delicious food and desserts didn’t hurt, either. Roland was even nice enough to take a picture for us to commemorate the evening.

Being that turning 35 is a big deal (particularly according to the Book of Pattie), I’m hosting a birthday party for Rich this Saturday. Our house will be hopping with family and friends, just as it should be for any special occasion.

So here’s wishing Rich the happiest of birthdays today. He’s not only my husband, he’s still the best friend I’ve ever had. Or ever will.

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Happy Birthday to Papa Doug

Song Lyric of the Day:

And the girl in the corner said / Boy, I wanna warn ya it’ll turn into a ballroom blitz

The Sweet / “Ballroom Blitz

Today is my awesome father-in-law, Papa Doug’s, birthday. So I’d like to take a moment to wish him a wonderful birthday and to thank him for everything he’s done for me (and, of course, Rich) over the years.

Aside from his legendary awesomeness in the home improvement realm (and his willingness to share it), he’s an all-around fantastic man with a fun sense of humor, a generous nature, and, most important, a wonderful heart. Here’s hoping all your birthday wishes come true, Papa Doug.

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Happy Birthday to My Blue-Eyed Boy

Song Lyric of the Day:

Got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill / Eyes that shine burning red / Dreams of you all through my head

Led Zeppelin / “Black Dog


Today is Rich’s birthday. I did my best to make his big day special in that I ambushed him at work to decorate (desecrate, if you ask him) his cubicle, made dinner reservations for 15 for a family/friends celebration this weekend, and treated him to dinner at his favorite sushi restaurant, Nama. I even went as far as eating sushi tonight — something I haven’t done in several years. After a delicious appetizer of Wasabi Hummus with naan bread (Caren’s awesome recommendation), I ordered the Crunchy Shrimp rolls (Stacy’s awesome recommendation). Realizing very quickly that I don’t like seaweed, I used my chopsticks to gouge the shrimp and avocado out of the rolls, eating the filling that way and then finishing it off by eating the rice and tempura crispies on the outside of the roll. Impressive, I know. But I at least gave it a go and did in fact eat the majority of the rolls that way.

While at the restaurant, I presented Rich with his birthday present, the Led Zeppelin Complete Studio Recordings box set. I like to think he had a pretty good birthday. I certainly enjoyed helping him celebrate, and I look forward to more big days spent together. I love you, boy.


Filed under birthday, knoxville, nama, rich

Today, I Am a Palindrome

Song Lyric of the Day:

See the hands of my offspring making windmills / (Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age)

They Might Be Giants / “I Palindrome I

Well, today is the big day. I’m now 33. And the crowd goes wild. I enjoyed a great birthday celebration last night with my nearest and dearest. We had dinner at Altruda’s, my restaurant of choice (I’ve been craving Italian lately like you wouldn’t believe). I got gift cards to Kohl’s, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Target, and Best Buy, as well as Supernatural season two on DVD (Vanessa and Ken rock) and Grey’s Anatomy season three on DVD (Mom rocks, too). So many, many thanks to my mom and dad, Momma Carol and Papa Doug, B, Tamara, Vanessa, Ken, Samantha, and, of course, Rich, for coming. I’d like to make a special mention that Mom and Dad not only showed, but managed to enjoy themselves, despite their poor kitty, Winnie, having passed away unexpectedly in the wee hours yesterday morning.

As it is, my birthday got off to a sad start this morning when I took Mom to bury Winnie at the local pet cemetery. (I’d already scheduled my day off from work today, having declared my birthday as Pattie Day.) She felt awful that I was the one to take her, but I quickly pointed out that I’ve had far worse birthdays. At least I got to say hi to my beloved, still-missed dog, Spot, while we were there.

Tonight, Caren came over, with Willow in tow (much to Snoops and Caleb’s delight), to bring me my present: a gift card to Pottery Barn. She’s now earned enough points to have secured a spot on my shortlist of People I Would Donate a Kidney To. The gift card is particularly meaningful since she knows how much I’ve been lusting after the small black Bedford desk. I decided to focus on getting this particular desk since (1) my new desk will still reside in the same slanted wall/fixed ladder corner of the office, with its limited space; (2) I’ve been trying to find the perfect desk forever; and (3) you’d be surprised how hard it is to find a black desk with drawers. Turns out it’s like the holy grail of home office furniture. Rich has promised to pay the remainder of the desk’s cost if I write a couple of good chapters for my book. Emphasis on “good.” He’s a crafty con man, that one.

So now I’m another year older. I don’t feel any different, probably because I can still check the same age-range box on forms. I’ll start feeling different (in an old way) when I graduate to the next box. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the next couple of years until I do.

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