Paw Paw Ball’s Birthday

You are probably wondering who Paw Paw Ball is. Its my dad. Not some crazy man who runs the streets. My dad’s grandfather name is “Pops.” It fits him perfectly. A few months ago, my nephew said “ball” for the first time around us. He kept saying “ball, ball, ball, ball” over and over again throughout the weekend. Well, it sounded more like “ba, bal, ba, ba” but whatever. In some roundabout way… we started calling my dad Paw Paw Ball. Let’s hope it doesn’t stick.

Any way… I went up to Spartanburg this past weekend to celebrate my dad’s birthday (Happy Birthday Dad!) and got to spend some quality time with family. My sister-in-law, Cynthia, came up from Columbia. My sister Erin came up from Myrtle Beach and my Aunt Kim and Uncle Michael came down from Asheville. My grandfather came from down the street (just thought that I would mention him too). We got together for a little Saturday lunch and some baby staring.

My brother even joined us too from all the way in Kuwait.

Thank the lord for technology right?! Look who else was there.

Who is that teenager, right?!?! I had no idea how fast children grow. I saw him one month ago and he looked totally different now. I just can’t keep up.

I have to mention my parents’ dogs because where would we be without dogs, am I right?!

My mom and I adopted Ruby from the animal shelter last year and boy did we get lucky. What a good girl.

Buster is our old dog Lucy’s son. We still miss her everyday. Buster is 14 now and we are cherishing the moments that we have left with him. I think he still looks pretty good for 14. I can’t believe that I was in junior high when we got him.

Even though it was my dad’s birthday, he took it upon himself to man the grill (and to impress his starving family members).

Who doesn’t like a good hotdog? No one in my family, that’s for sure.

But, unfortunately not everyone could have a hotdog. Pureed chicken and plums anyone?

Growing up my mom did the cooking. As I got older and into high school and college, my dad took over and man does he know how to work a grill. You want some good grilled chicken? Well, head on over to Spartanburg and look for Robbie. He knows how to do it.

He also made some slider alla Ina Garten. Pretty fancy, eh?

They were delicious too. The benefits of the sliders are many, but one of my favorites is that you can eat a whole one and still have some room left over for a hotdog… or maybe just 1/2 a hotdog.

Afte our bellies were filled with treats from the grill, we were treated to some beautiful piano music… by my nephew.

Yes, at 14 months he is a prodigy.

He has even mastered the incredibly difficult foot-fingers strategy. Like I said, prodigy.

My dad got a little extra attention from the baby. He must have known it was his birthday.

Oh my gawd, I can’t wait until my birthday.

Eventually it was time to blow out the candles on his birthday cake. All 56. Nah… that would have burned the house down, we went with a conservative 12 or so. I made his cake and once I got home and opened my refrigerator, realized I left out milk and (more) butter from the icing recipe. I knew that it was weird but couldn’t figure out why. Now I know. No one complained too loudly.

Ok, back to the baby.

I die.

I die again.

He is getting his sea legs and with some assistance can walk a little…. until he sees Ruby and stops dead in his tracks.

But, once the coast is clear, he is off again (with assistance).

By the way, have you ever seen jean shorts so cute?

No, we don’t smother him at all.

I can’t believe how big he is.

And in another month he will just be bigger and my pictures will be even more outdated. Oh well, its totally worth it. Especially when you see this face.

What a great weekend in the burg. Sometimes you just need a little family weekend to get reset. In all honesty, I could probably do this every weekend and be content. We missed you Emily. 

Happy birthday Dad!

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