What a Birthday Week it’s been with my dear wife Karen

Every mid-October, the Birthday Week celebration for my dear wife Karen kicks in.

I’m a fan for the extended celebration, for her. (My December birthday as the older of our pair, I tend to want to mark on just that day.)

The night before, at the Red Lobster.

The night before, at the Red Lobster.

Yee-hah 2015 started before the birthday proper. It included a requested trip to the Red Lobster.

Yes, I did.

Yes, I did.

Karen judiciously ordered the Four Course Dinner, much enjoying her salad and New England Clam Chowder and fried shrimp entrΓ©e. She even wisely asked our friendly waiter to pack the brownie, sans the Γ  la mode portion of the listed dessert, in a to-go box for enjoyment at less full moment in the Little Bitty.

Me, though, went whole Bubba on the endless shrimp feature. They tell you to order two to start, and I went with the new-fangled Pineapple Coconut Habanero and fried shrimp. The first version had a kick to go with its sweetness. I liked it less and less as I ate, leaving a few in the serving bowl. The fried shrimp was delish, as expected, and all of them were gone. Next up came garlic scampi and fettucine alfredo. I devoured those, too, to become one stuffed celebrator.

For our Colorado memories.

For our Colorado memories.

Come a few minutes after midnight, I had to bring out my wrapped gift. (Well, in a nice silver gift bag with red tissue paper, actually.) Karen really liked the picture from that will display photos I took this summer during Colorado trip for her First Family Reunion.

Good friend Diane Monthie celebrates with Karen at bowling night.

Good friend Diane Monthie celebrates with Karen at bowling night.

Another Birthday Night included a visit to my bowling league. We ate Stromboli from The Pies Guys beforehand. Karen brought a box of donuts and cookies that friends had delivered at work. And good friend Diane Monthie brought her a gift bag of a candle and handle lotion. They obviously had a good time chatting as we rolled.

Made by Bruce Thomas.

Made by Bruce Thomas.

The first gifts, though, were purchased the Saturday that kicked off Birthday Week, up at Forest Hollow.

We’ve placed the pottery dish made lovingly by Bruce Thomas next to our stove, for busy spoons to rest during cooking.

My beautiful dear wife Karen models the opal earrings.

My beautiful dear wife Karen models the opal earrings.

The earrings, complete with birth stone opal, were made by good friend Cathy Thomas. Karen put them on for me before heading out to work. The big reveal shows why I bought them, in every way.

And it’s not over yet. Today we meet my terrific daughter Elisabeth and great boyfriend George Three for brunch at the local Cracker Barrel.

What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever received, and why? What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever given, and why? How long do you celebrate your birthday, and what’s your best story about getting that year added on?

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64 thoughts on “What a Birthday Week it’s been with my dear wife Karen

  1. Wow! Awesome celebration. And you got to eat your fill at Red Lobster too – bonus Mark. Mt regards to Karen and may the new year bring you both great health and prosperity.

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  2. Best Birthday wishes to Karen! The best celebrations are extended ones and the best gifts are those created specially for you by friends. The picture frame for the family reunion photos is a perfect choice. I do enjoy reading about your meals out – making my mouth water. A bit curl when I have two hours to wait before the bread is done and the soup is ready. (Slow cookers make lovely meals but sometimes you just want it NOW) . My dear friend Gail approached her recent birthday (a BIG one – i’m not saying how big but…) by having a series of birthday celebrations throughout the whole year. Sounds a perfect way to celebrate the passing of time and sharing with the people who have helped us make it thus far. Have a great year Karen (and Mike). Looking forward to reading about the next part of the celebration

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  3. You definitely know how to celebrate, Mark! My best belated birthday wishes to Karen!
    My husband tends to pamper me as well, despite my being two years his senior. I usually get a nice short trip, be it to Boston, Manchester, Dublin (or wherever the mood takes us). I can still taste this year’s birthday pint of O’Hara’s stout at my favourite pub in Dublin (Peter’s Pub). πŸ™‚
    One of the best birthday gifts I received: My daughter copied all my short stories from my (In a Small Compass) blog, had them bound, telling me to start looking for a publisher. This was last year and she is getting impatient. Seems like I need to get started and at least publish my first flash fiction series… My daughter is pretty convincing and doesn’t accept “no” for an answer.
    As my motto is “I get older one day at a time.”, there are no difficulties in accepting my birthdays.

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  4. Happy Day to Karen, Mark, you did the celebration well ! ☺ I would have opted for the scampi too. My best birthday gift is when my children show up; we love the adults they have become. Doesn’t get better than sharing their company. πŸ’•

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  5. What a great birthday time. We have my youngest granddaughter’s 19th
    on Oct. 19, at our house on the 24th. (We have holidays and birthday bashes when we have most of the family available, which isn’t easy.) I’m very glad to meet Karen, what a lovely woman…lucky guy Mark.

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  6. We’re big on the birthday week thing around here … not just the one day …
    As our schedules permit, there’s usually a festive breakfast for the honoree. Eggs Benedict with homemade mayonnaise will highlight mine.
    Somehow, we’ve developed a tradition of having prime rib once a year, as my birthday present, served at home. The roast, I’m told, costs less than a full dinner for one person at a good restaurant, and the leftovers delight us for many days after, even when we’ve invited close friends to join us. Once my wife got past being intimidated by the price of the cut of meat, she found herself anticipating what she claims is an easy dish to prepare. She looks forward to ordering from a grocer downtown who knows just how she wants it cut. And Yorkshire pudding’s part of the menu. (After that, we’re quickly into Lent, with no complaints — spiritually, feasting and fasting go together.)

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    • Your wife is a delight to stare down that prime rib to prepare your yearly birthday feast. What a great way to celebrate another year, and prep for the Lenten season as well. Thanks, Jnana, for sharing your tale here. πŸ™‚

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  7. i am a huge fan of the extended celebration, as is karen.it looks like it was a wonderful week in every way, and the earrings look beautiful. happy birthday to karen )

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  8. Aw, she looks so happy (and beautiful!)
    My birthday is around Thanksgiving, so it pretty much sucks, lol. No one has time to celebrate me for a week in the midst of turkey time — not even me πŸ™‚ This year it’s directly on the holiday, so meh, I’ll be cooking, but at least I’ll be with my family.
    I think my favorite birthday was probably 24.
    Favorite present for me…probably when my parents took me Disney world for the day and my dad let me over-shop, lol!
    The Mister would say he got Moo for his birthday, so she might be the best gift I ever gave anyone.

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    • Great timing on the Moo delivery, Joey. I like the double-dipper birthday in your family thereafter. But I’m not thrilled to hear how you get short-changed, with this year falling on Thanksgiving proper. Humbug! Over-shopping allowance by Dad at Disney is pretty good though. And of course now you have me wondering what happened for you at 24. πŸ˜‰

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  9. Oh yes, they are quite lovely. My son is also an October baby so I’ve come to really enjoy the opal stone. Happy Birthday Karen! You are a good husband to make her birthday so special for her.

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  10. Karen is so beautiful!!! Please tell her Happy Birthday from me. Looks like you had quite a delicious birthday dinner. Love the gifts – especially the one of the photos in Colorado.
    I think the best birthday gift I ever received, was from my youngest. He went to the fancy cake shop down the street and designed a cake and had them make it for me. It was gorgeous and scrumptious and it cost him a fortune (he was about 12 at the time). The other favorite gift, was a laptop from my family on which I wrote my first book.

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  11. Wishing Karen the happiest of birthdays!!!
    I hope all the celebrations were amazing.
    I love how she’s giving you that I-don’t-want-my-picture-taken-or-put-on-your-blog-but-go-ahead-just-make-it-quick look.
    All the best to all. πŸ™‚

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  12. I’m horrible at gift giving. I think. Though I’ve given bikes, and trips, etc….

    The best I’ve gotten? My friends printed some things I had written, in a book, for me. That was sweet. The kids paying ANY attention to me for my birthday is wonderful. And David always pays attention to what I want, or do not want, for my birthday. So I’m pretty lucky. πŸ™‚

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  13. Happy Birthday dear Karen! Looks like you were a fabulous husband. I missed out on your Colrado Vacation. I need to scroll back and look at your beautiful photos!
    As for me and Birthdays… they are all wonderful and I welcome each one with open arms!
    Stay tuned… my birthday is coming soon and I will be doing something very special. Hee hee hee!!!

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  14. love how you celebrate your wife’s birthday! Always good to celebrate. All sorts of answers to your questions, which we can chat over another time. Curious what your answers would be as well.

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  15. I love shrimp of every ilk and don’t need a special occasion to enjoy it… except that every day is a special occasion! I like to celebrate my birthday all year long! One ends and the next one begins… but I don’t really like celebrating it on the day. Now I just say every day is my birthday. Okay, so I’m just weird… and old enough that I can be!

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  16. Lucky Karen, to have such a loving hubby bro Mark. Yesterday was my big brother’s birthday, and of course, since that was the one thing I wanted to remember—I forgot. I do wish everyone would forget mine, but unfortunately mine is a unique day. As for my best gift? It has to be the crayon art from my kids and then the grandkids that changed to pencil drawings, notes, and all that beautiful stuff they bring in with so much love and excitement in their eyes. After that it would be an ongoing gift of a cleaning lady, every year for the last 12 years, and hopefully for as long as each of us lives.
    Please wish Karen a happy birthday from her Kentucky sis.

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