Category Archives: birthday

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Amanda

dcp_0089-1.JPGMy eldest niece has just celebrated her 20th birthday! She’s currently in her third year at Cornell University, although this picture is from her high school graduation. I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I’m enjoying (with some trepidation) her becoming an independent adult and exploring what she wants to do with her life.

To my giddy delight, she has just completed her 2nd trip out of the country. In general, my family doesn’t do a lot of travel out of the US, and so I encourage this sort of behavior as much as I can. She’s the first of my nieces and nephews to follow through.

Of course, she doesn’t take the usual route of a hedonistic, $1 a day tour of European hostels, No, she has to go do a Ropes Course in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of her hanging from the canopy of trees in Central America (I’ve seen them, so I know it’s true).

7-we-are-so-cool.jpgAh well, it’s all in keeping with her athletic tendencies. In elementary school she was into gymnastics, high school was swimming, and now in college – rugby (ack!), camping/backpacking, and ropes courses. Above is a picture of her with some group hiking in Texas (second from the left). She claims it’s fun. Texas?

img_22.JPGamandaprom2004.jpgNow the embarrassing photos! Her mother sends me these prom photos to freak me out, since I (of course) try to keep her in my mind at about 10 years old. The nice thing about digital photos is that I can clip out the irrelevant guys and focus on the important part of the image. Embarrassing her is just a perk.

dcp_0434.JPGSo, I’m basically just “braggin’ on” Amanda being smart (accepted into Cornell with something like a 5.9 GPA, and is studying International Agricultural Labor Relational Managerial Something or Other), athletic (gymnast, swimmer, rugby maniac, backpacker, ropes instructor, and I think Olympic Biathlon athlete), and beautiful (rats, my Protective Uncle Society oath prevents me from expounding on or joking about this topic).

And more importantly, I just like her. She’s fun to be around.

Happy Birthday, kiddo.

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Geneva

img_2842.jpgMy long suffering family is aware of – if not appreciative of – my failings as a timely birthday observer. This translates to the fact that I tend to forget people’s birthdays, and am lucky to send a belated something. In this case, I am only now getting to posting about my niece’s birthday from December.

Geneva just turned 16, and this first picture is from our recent visit. Geneva is one of my most talented nieces, being a wonderful artist and really good writer – as well as being smart, beautiful, and funny. Recently (at least from my perspective) she’s discovered journalism, and I had the privilege of reading some of her articles in the school paper. Look out Washington Post.

dcp_0328.JPGThis picture is from the Solstice parade of 2004, and she had just joined in behind the main parade along with her Aunt Harriet. Her sister Eloise and I were there, also. You can see the confetti is still in her hair. Everyone had a great time, and I think her enthusiasm was best expressed by all the ideas she had about the entries she’d like to create. I think coming to Santa Barbara before the parade would be just the ticket for turning some of those ideas into reality.

dcp_0061.JPGGoing further back in time (and she was a very cute kid), my favorite activity with my nieces are the surrey rides along the beach. I’m usually pretty worn out afterwards, because I think they enjoy it the most when they are the smallest. As they get older (and could be more help powering the darn thing) we don’t get out there are much. Aw well, as they get older there are other activities, and the memories are all good.

dcp_0074.JPGOkay, I’m sure this picture will just embarrass her, but I had to include it. Just look at the joy and abandon on that face. It’s one of my favorite pictures of Geneva, and its a part of what I love about having my nieces and nephews coming to visit.

Nowadays, Geneva runs track and field, so she can now add athletics to her list of accomplishments. Oh, and she’s part of the school debate team. I was looking forward to seeing a meet when we visited, but it got canceled, so I’m still looking forward to seeing her first competition.

dcp_0338.JPGAnd finally, a picture with her uncle and our (now deceased) dog, Gilda. Gilda was one of the dogs that showed her that not all dogs are scary.

Happy 16th Birthday, Geneva!

Happy Birthday, Kimber!

Kimber DogsMy middle niece, Kimber, celebrated her 14th birthday on Wednesday. I sometimes refer to Kimber as my stealth niece, because the first impression you get is “cute and quiet”.

Wrong! She’s both gorgeous and really funny. The first time she came down to visit us on her own, I was surprised at how hard I laughed. When she happened to be visiting while I had an improv show, she took money at the door, but she did it wearing a wig and playing a character so well that you couldn’t tell how old she was. I was in stitches.

Kimber BallLast year, her school had a civil war era re-enactment event called the Blue and Grey Ball. She, her mother (my sister), and grandmother (my mother) made the dress in this picture. When the picture popped up on my screen in the email they sent, my jaw dropped to the floor. And now, even though it’s over a year old, this is my favorite picture of her. She still had braces on at the time, so it may not be hers.

I bet she played the part of the southern belle perfectly. That would have been something to see.

I should also point out that she’s no slouch, either. She’s an active soccer player, and has recently been getting more and more involved with swimming. Frankly, I don’t even remember which athletic teams she’s involved with.

Yup, she’s a talented, brainy stud.
The final picture I’ll post here is from Kimber’s most recent trip to Santa Barbara. We arranged the timing so she could be here for the Solstice Parade, which was its usual wacky goodness. And, she baked cookies: chocolate chip cookies. Oh man, how perfect is that.

Kimber Uncle