Well Practiced Love

They circle each other among the ribbons. Shades of blue and silver light their path.

“He’s here!” They yell, hearing the familiar sounds of our puzzle completing.

Garage door opening, door slamming, slick toed footsteps clicking behind just one more door.

They still shoulder to shoulder. Rosy chins tilt up, damp hair grazes shoulders, fingers edge fuzzy pajamas.

Eight years into mothering, and there’s still nothing quite like this just-out-of-the bath-ness.

“Happy birthday!” The girls harmonize.

Their tiny fingers count to three before this well practiced love escapes their lips.

“We got balloons for you!” Brody yells, unable to contain his three-year-old version of the same. “Thirty three of them!” He adds. “And that’s a lot.”

“But not as many as Mommy!” Jason quips. Our eyes meet. A dozen years of this joke told, and it’s not old yet. (for one of us)

We hold this gaze, this smile, this moment. “Thank you,” He mouths, before they pull him back.

He sheds his suit and his slick and, just for this moment, his tired, and settles beside them.

“We wrote our memories.” Brody explains.

Jason raises his cheeks, crinkles his eyes, furrows his brow. “You did what?” He asks.

They puzzle piece around him, splay their hearts.

“This one’s my favorite,” Kayli shows. I loved when you coached my soccer and softball teams.

“And this one’s mine.” Chloe steps in, lacing her arms around him. Remember when you taught me how to play “Hot Dog Cross Buns?”

Brody side-steps them both, plants himself in Jason’s lap, the center once again. The right of the littlest. I like going to Chili’s with just you.

One by one he reads each of their heartstrings out loud. We breathe in each of these memories, and create this one.

“Best. Birthday. Ever.” Jason announces. They overflow with giggles, I overflow, too.

iPhone Photo Phun

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  1. What a beautiful idea! You have such a wonderful loving family Galit xoxo

  2. Oh my word how beautiful. Happy Birthday to your young man. Such the cradle-robber you are. 😉 xo

  3. Awww so sweet. I love the idea of writing their memories. I may steal that next year. My husband and I also have birthdays very close together. We love to share the joy with each other.

  4. I love that you attaches those favorite things to the balloons. Such an amazing and memorable idea. As for 33 balloons, I am surprised Brody didn’t burst with excitement!!
    Oh and I am 2 months older than my husband and he has been calling me a cougar and thinking it is funny for longer than I can remember…me however, not so much 😉
    Looks like Jason had an amazing birthday!!

  5. OOOOOOOH! I love this idea. And what a special moment for your beautiful family :)

  6. I love the idea of writing down memories. What a gorgeous, sweet, real family you have there Galit.

  7. Beautiful celebration, and so much love in this fantastic write! Your photos are awesome!

  8. That is *such* a great idea. I am totally stealing it.

  9. LOVE that last photo!

  10. this love, this gratitude…I feel it. beautiful words. Love the writing down the memories part. Something I want to do for everyone’s birthday!

  11. I ADORE this idea…this is simply lovely and so touching. And I’m totally stealing it.

  12. Life As Wife says:

    Your kiddos have the sweetest memories of their dad. I’m sure he loved them as gifts!

  13. Oh yes, the daddy’s home moment, but even better. What a sweet memory.

  14. You are so stinkin’ creative! And loving, too. Obviously. But the balloons with the memories?! That’s quality, Galit!

  15. Y’all are just the sweetest! Will you adopt me? 😉 I’m SO stealing the memories idea for Tim’s next b-day, just FYI.

    Love this, love you. xo

    Happy BIrthday Jason!!!

  16. After becoming a dad, every birthday seems to become the best. birthday. ever. You have a lovely family!

  17. What a gorgeous way to celebrate a birthday and to make your husband feel so loved.

  18. I have tears in my eyes! So beautiful! I love the way you kept my attention and emotion. Beautiful!

  19. What a lovely idea!

  20. Oh, be still my heart. This is the most fantastic idea ever. I can not imagine how happy he was.

  21. Awww, love this! Wonderful and beautiful!

  22. So, so sweet! And I love that idea. I might have to do it in my own house sometime!

  23. Dear Galit, You are such an amazing memory maker! Living vicariously through your celebrations of everyday and big life events is so much fun. There is an aura of love around you. XO

  24. I am totally stealing this idea! Oh and “shedding tired” is oh so true…

  25. A beloved teacher is moving on from my daughter’s school at the end of this year. Thanks to you, guess how the parents association is going to make her bawl at the end of the year? Bwahaha. Hope the art teacher gets on board. Can’t imagine she wouldn’t, but that’s how we’ll collect the little handwritten notes.

  26. What an awesome way to celebrate his birthday. I love that they wrote their memories for him.

  27. Aw! Happy Birthday to him! Such a sweet way to shower him with love.

  28. This sounds like the perfect birthday celebration. I love the sweet idea of writing down their memories!

  29. My goodness. I might have to steal this idea. Beautiful. Joyful. Perfect.

  30. I have tears. It is the best birthday ever. And I like, no I love that idea of the balloons with heartstrings. I will use it next year for my darling who is not yet “au courant” (in the know).

  31. So sweet! I love that they were so excited and what a precious moment for you all! A beautiful memory captured. Thank you for sharing!

  32. You are simply awesome! What a great birthday surprise!

  33. What a wonderful way to share memories! I bet they loved being part of the surprise for dad.

  34. Do you allow stealing???!!!! Such a great idea. I’m all about copyright, but I just might have to steal it. Under the radar of course. Love the smiles.

  35. Hooray for daddy love. Brought to you, courtesy of mommy love. So beautiful.

  36. Beautiful story and fabulous idea!

  37. Aww! That’s so sweet! The writing of the memories and their excitement over it, not to mention the reaction, it’s a good thing! =)

  38. What an absolutely fabulous idea. May I borrow it?
    I just celebrated my bday and my gift. A day off, in the middle of the week. :)

  39. I love the heart strings idea! I did something similar on canvas one year for father’s day – capturing those memories straight from the mouths of babes is awesome.

  40. Oh the cuteness! Great idea and fantastic photos! Happy birthday to him.

  41. Genius, genius idea. Just beautiful.

  42. My heart is melting! This is just awesome! So awesome! Such an adorable family, Galit. You guys are blessed to have each other.

  43. What a heart-warming way to say “Happy Birthday” and “I love you”!

    And you, Friend, retell the story so beautifully! Thank you for sharing.

  44. Such a sweet idea. And you know the kids enjoyed it just as much to as their daddy.

  45. You’ve been pinned my friend! Just so I don’t forget this way awesome idea!!!

  46. I love it. I’m also stealing the idea for Ray’s next birthday. What an amazing gift….. and a great window into a beautiful love.

  47. Yours is a happy family. I really enjoy visiting.

  48. Happy birthday to him! precious moments captured here. love the imagery of the damp hair and fingering their jammies—same here and i love it!

    the balloons are such a unique idea. xoxox

  49. This is so beautiful. Must’ve been one his best birthday ever. Love the pictures :)

  50. Love Love Love! Swoon Swoon Swoon!

    Just out of the bath-ness will forever reign supreme. FOR-EVERRRR.

  51. Galit I can’t think you enough because while I have written my memories for my husband’s birthday next week, I have not helped the kids write theirs and that would be all the more wonderful!


    And I love just out the bath I just don’t love giving baths,

  52. JamieAnne says:

    What a wonderful birthday you planned!

    You’re not alone being the older spouse. My husband is 4 years younger than me. :)

  53. So sweet, and I love the memory sharing idea. I may have to steal that one. I also love those matching pajamas your girls are wearing :)

  54. Oooh, I’m stealing that memory idea. Ken turns 40 in a few weeks. But he works at home, it’s gonna be tricky hiding the balloons.

  55. Sigh. Perfect. And why are you guys so young? 😉

  56. hot dog cross buns! love it!
    and what an awesome idea…one I may have to steal

  57. Overflowing is good. What a great, memorable and special way to make best-birthday-ever idea!

  58. That is one loved Daddy!

  59. Oooh, I love that!

  60. What a sweet thing to do for daddy. Is that a tradition for everyone’s birthday in your house? I love it!

  61. You know what I love about things you do for your family? They are so heart-felt and sincere. And then you write so beautifully about the experience. Lovely.

  62. Oh, my… This is so beautiful, Galit, you got me all verklempt. Love this. Love your family. Love the memories you create together.

    Excuse me. I have to find my box of tissues.

  63. Incredible idea!!!!!!! Might have to steal it. I think knowing that our kids (and spouse) recognize the things we’ve done (now memories) means more than anything.

  64. What a nice surprise and a great birthday gift for your husband! Love the little ‘traditions’ your family celebrate, Galit. Writing down good memories was a brilliant idea!

    Happy birthday to your hubbs!

  65. I want to turn back time and have a do over … my virtual influencers would do much to improve my very real life 😉

  66. (sigh) Beautiful, tug at heartstrings moment ….best birthday ever, indeed!!! (tears & sniffles)

  67. dammit Galit – now *I’M* overflowing. how sweet, and perfect, and lovely. love love love it. xoxo

  68. oh I can’t even write ..I’m just crying…little sniffling sobs of happy.
    What a beautiful birthday you gave him…and those picutres just touched me and gave me the good chills.

    you’re right, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that “just out of the bath” smell and wet hair and soft of the boys. SIGH, it’s soooo good to be a mom somedays. xoxoxo

    Happy Belated Birthday Jason! (John’s birthday is March 8th!)