Birthday No.9 | Soaking It All Up

photo taken by Kim Ackerman

Number nine was a good one.

The celebration began with a visit to Simon's classroom on Friday.

Simon's teacher had him introduce all his guests to his classmates. He starts off with "This is Grandpa." and then moves on to "This is Chris." He goes around all the rest of us including me, "This is Ali." After he finished his teacher asked him if Chris and I had other names. He said "Dad" and "Mom" and then explained that the other kids wouldn't be calling us Dad and Mom so he was telling them our real names.

I also got a couple great shots of Simon at the front of the class while everyone was singing Happy Birthday.

After our school visit we headed back home to do some prep work for the party on Saturday: decorations, goody bags, wrapping, etc.

Grandpa and Anna looked at photos on Grandpa's computer.

When Simon came home he opened up a few of his gifts.

On Friday night we had dinner with all the Grandparents at a local Mexican restaurant. The waiters all sang Happy Birthday to Simon.

And on Saturday, from noon to 2pm our house was full.

It was so fun to have six of Simon's friends and some of their parents here for a couple hours. Pizza, cake, playing outside, chase, building lego mini-figures, opening gifts, chatting, etc. Some of my favorite photos are a line of kids along the kitchen counter all building lego mini-figures that were included in their goody bags.

When asked what his favorite part of his birthday was this year he said, "having my friends here."

Happy Birthday Simon - we love you so much and are so excited that you are nine!

79 thoughts

  1. Liz

    2011-01-24 18:30:57 -0500

    Here's to Simon and Friends and Grandparents. Nine is going to be a good year.

  2. Lauren

    2011-01-24 18:42:00 -0500

    The photo of Simon blowing out the candles took my breath away when I scrolled down and saw it. I literally gasped, causing my son to say, "What??" Please share the specifics of how you captured such a beautifully focused and lit shot!

  3. Carrie/scrapchick

    2011-01-24 18:49:17 -0500

    Happy Birthday to Simon! Looks like a GREAT Birthday weekend!

  4. Anthea

    2011-01-24 19:42:51 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon. Your cakes look really yummy. Sounds like you had a great day. I love looking at your birthday through your mum's eyes.

  5. Deb

    2011-01-24 19:45:31 -0500

    Love all those fabulous pics. Happy birthday, Simon! I had tears when I read Simon's comment about his friends. Take care, Deb xx

  6. Chrystie DeSmet

    2011-01-24 19:46:44 -0500

    Wow! What a lucky boy! Looks like SO much fun! I love the picture of him blowing out his candles! What setting did you have the camera on? Any tricks to getting that picture with that great lighting?

  7. Kerry

    2011-01-24 19:56:13 -0500

    Oh it looks like a fantastic birthday. xx

  8. josephine

    2011-01-24 21:19:35 -0500

    My daughter will be 9 in 2 weeks. Sigh. It seems like it took forever for her to start kindergarten but since then it has all flown by!

  9. Melissa

    2011-01-24 22:57:47 -0500

    Oh Ali! The photo of Simon blowing out his candles completely took my breath away. What a special, special photo to be treasured forever. So beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, once again, for sharing Simon ... and your wonderful talent ... with all of us.

  10. Emily Zhang

    2011-01-24 23:42:07 -0500

    Happy Birthday to Simon! It's amazing how long has it been since I started to read your blog, Ali! Thank you for sharing your story here with us, I truly love the way you present the daily life which gives me inspiration constantly.

  11. Liz Ness

    2011-01-25 01:04:36 -0500

    What a wonderful collection of memories -- makes me happy to see them (love the photos of your dad and mom, too)!

  12. Tracey

    2011-01-25 01:09:54 -0500

    That last photo brngs tears to my eyes too - it's absolutely beautiful to see the love between Mum and Son. What a fabulous 9th birthday - yay, for Simon. What a wonderful family :-)

  13. Joy

    2011-01-25 01:20:08 -0500

    Such great memories of when my son turned nine. A great age! Enjoy every minute and thanks for sharing your celebration!

  14. Claire

    2011-01-25 01:46:01 -0500

    Happy birthday Simon, and great photos as always Ali. Doesn't he look like his dad in the picture where he is blowing out the candles. Very handsome!

  15. Lara

    2011-01-25 07:24:27 -0500

    Happy Birthday, Simon!!! Your birthday weekend looked awesome!!!!

  16. Carol

    2011-01-25 13:20:25 -0500

    Thanks for sharing. Always fun to see kids with friends and all the interactions. 9 is a good year!

  17. Stefanie

    2011-01-25 13:30:28 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon.

  18. Mary-Ann

    2011-01-25 13:47:24 -0500

    Looks like he had such a great birthday! Love all the pictures :)

  19. Gypsy Chaos

    2011-01-25 13:48:20 -0500

    Oh Ali, what a wonderful post.
    It looks like your Christmas tree is still up -- wooo-hooo.

    I am thrilled that you had an unstructured, low-key 'old-style' party. So often these days parents book their parties at the place that does gymnastics, or bowling, or whatever. I loved home parties; my kids and their friends enjoyed them too.

  20. Paula G

    2011-01-25 14:56:51 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon from Florida! My family is Italian, and the way we say Happy Birthday is "Buon Compleano!" I can tell your party was awesome, just like YOU!!

  21. kat-in-texas

    2011-01-25 18:42:52 -0500


  22. Maureen

    2011-01-25 19:33:08 -0500

    Belated Birthday wished to Simon. I'm so glad to see that Grandpa is a Mac user too! Anna looks enthralled. Thank you for sharing Simon's milestones and your family with us Ali.

  23. Teresa Lynn Cotterman

    2011-01-25 21:00:19 -0500

    Not sure what it was about this post, but I seriously cried when I finished reading it. So proud of Simon. He has come through a lot and is a testament to what loving and nurturing family can do. May God bless all of you.

  24. jamie

    2011-01-25 21:17:17 -0500


    First off happy birthday to Simon!

    I tried to look for a way to email you, but got tired of clicking. I know this might sound lame, but as a follower i am going to speak out. I not so sure the set up of the blog is all that user friendly. I find it stressful to have to click "continue reading" on EVERY POST. especially the ones where there is only one more picture and one more sentence OR the ones where there is just a few more words.

    I am sure it brings up the quota for page clicks but, I feel like I cannot enjoy your blog because i am alwayssss clicking away. I would rather see all post on one page and arrow down. I know it is a choice as to how much you show before the "continue reading" marker. So as a follower, please change it. It will take me less time to read and make it so i will want to come back for more.


  25. brandy m.

    2011-01-27 10:29:26 -0500

    love the pics...especially the one with Simon blowing out his candles! any tips on what the settings were to get such beautiful, crisp image??

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