Since I’ve received quite a few inquiries on how Gen liked her birthday, I’d thought I’d do a recap for you!
It was a pleasantly simple day; tailored for our new two-year-old (but enjoyed by all). As her “big” birthday present, Daddy decided to surprise her with a trip to the snow! (I’ll share the details of my homemade gifts tomorrow.)
So, he planned a day up at Timberline
A road trip with a two-year-old is not complete without a stop or two. Our first stop was at a tiny little public library, which we spotted from the highway. We stepped in, and Gen enjoyed browsing the children’s section with books and puzzles (as well as a successful potty trip!). She was disappointed when we decided to leave.
Calvin commented that he needed to keep reminding himself that this trip was about experiencing the day with Gen, and seeing it through her eyes. It is easy to get in “destination mode” while traveling, and get frustrated with “delays.” But for her, all of the stops were part of the adventure! For much of the trip, she had her nose buried in a book (my little bookworm!), but she did enjoy seeing some things out the window.
We had packed a lunch for the road, but decided that we “needed” more snacks, since the trip was taking longer than expected! So, we visited the little touristy grocery market, which Calvin’s family has visited on their trips for years. We scoured the place, looking for some special treats we would all enjoy (and would be gluten-free). Our final selections were a small chunk of Tillamook
Garlic White Cheddar Cheese and Gorge Delights JustFruit Bars
. We were pleased to find these two locally-produced (and delicious!) items. (I pulled my little Leatherman
out of my purse to slice the cheese; mamas always have to be prepared, you know.)
As Gen sighed in joyfulness at her garlicky cheese, we drove up through the trees into the snow. We are not a skiing family, but we do love the outdoors. So, it didn’t bother us a bit that the snow was barely over a few inches, and full of ice. We tromped around in the snow, climbing around on a hillside (while the skiers eyed us oddly). Gen discovered rocks, logs, grasses, and leaves, and we showed her the fun of tossing a snowball.
Once we were thoroughly frozen, we went into the lodge to warm up by the fire. There was not relaxing in front of the fireplace on this trip, though! Gen trucked through the lodge, saying “hello” to everyone we passed. We browsed through their “ski museum” displays, and caught the tail end of a “History of Timberline” video presentation (Gen danced to the theme music).
We headed back to the car, and enjoyed sipping our homemade kefir apple cider
(spiced with some cinnamon and cloves), which I had packed in a thermos. Gen wanted to stop at the library again, but we had to veto that request. (She fell asleep on the way home, anyway.)
When we got home, we had one of her favorite meals: Lentils and Green Beans!
(The green beans were out of the freezer, from this summer’s Farmer’s Market purchases.) I also baked the annual recipe of Cranberry Orange Muffins (the cranberries were also local berries from the freezer). Usually, to make them “cupcakes,” I top them with freshly whipped cream. But this year, we had ice cream, instead! I was thrilled to find that my gluten-free experimenting turned out a tasty batch. (I had extra ingredients on hand for the original recipe, in case that batch was a flop!)
In the end, it was a sweet day. No big parties, no large plastic toys, or a house overflowing with wrapping paper. Just a special day full of simple joys with our little girl! Gen went to bed that night saying, “Happy.” And we fell asleep thanking God for our incredible daughter.
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