Thursday, October 20, 2011


(I think this one turned out pretty cute if I do say so)

I feel like such a dud when it comes to coming up with birthday gifts for my husband. Now that we aren't students anymore (and still by no means wealthy mind you) we mostly can afford to buy what we need, so we mostly have what we need. And my husband works a lot so he doesn't have much time for hobbies, and I hate buying stuff just for the sake of buying know what I mean?

Every year I plan on trying to do something creative and meaningful, but I never quite pull it off in time. I'd love to surprise him with a fun trip, but he can barely make it home for dinner most nights so stealing him away (even for a weekend) seems out of reach. Now that we have kids I usually try and give him a current photo of the kids, but even that is getting a little predictable.

I feel like since the point of birthdays is to celebrate the person, gifts should kind of reflect that... and I don't think that means you have to buy something--in fact made gifts or gifts of service often are much more meaningful. But I am out of ideas! And I don't want to be like, "Glad you were's some new socks."

Here's what we ended up doing:
I took that photo above (thank you pinterest for the idea) and framed it along with shots of each kid (which were blurrry-ish and not great because I did them in a big hurry the morning of his birthday).
I made this lasagna (a tradition carried over from Trav's mom) It really is good.
We got balloons (at Avery insistence)
We got a cheesecake from Costco (I usually bake a cake but Avery really wanted that one)
And I got him a pizza stone, which seems thoughtful because we have been trying to recreate our favorite pizza (minus the 2000 lb stone pizza oven) at home. But really we already had a Terracotta tile we had been using that cost a few bucks at Home Depot, so we really didn't need a pizza stone.

(Avery "decorated" this one)

Also...I had planned on cleaning the whole house so it was sparkly, because frankly that is the thing that would make him the happiest, but I just couldn't get it done. Dud.

So there you go. I think he was perfectly happy with the festivities. He gets way more joy out of watching the kids be excited about the whole thing. Avery painted him a picture and waited all day for the "party".

But with Christmas on the horizon I am determined to give a gift I am proud of!
(And for the reccord...because we were spending so much money on the house last year we agreed to just skip gifts for each other on our birthdays and Christmas and it was just sad so I want to make up for it this year.)


How do you celebrate your spouse on their birthday? What are you getting them for Christmas?

Please and Thanks!


  1. holy darling! I'm going to have to steal this idea too for the great picture, thanks! :)

  2. That top picture is darling! I bet he loved it. And I am glad you posted makes me realize how much I love your blog!

  3. LOVE your pictures - such a cute idea. I love how thoughtful you are with so many things!! I love you and miss you!!!! So about gift ideas ... Mark loves concerts so I try to find favorite bands or his and buy tickets. But I think an "event" of some sort is always nice because it's making memories and doing something like that always reminds me of when we were dating and that is fun. But with that said, Marks getting tennis shoes for Christmas ;). Good luck.

  4. i already gave you all my gift ideas, but that sounds like a pretty cute party to me! wish i could have come help you clean up like the old days! ollie looks almost as big as avery in that first picture, and avery's face is looking so different to me - it's been too long since i saw her! anyway, love the pictures they turned out so cute. helps that you have such darling babes! xo

  5. That is so cute! I've seen that on pinterest too.. I've been wanting to do it. We may have to copy you for Joe's upcoming birthday! Stella still talks about Avery and her "little chicks". I showed her a picture of your chikens on your blog and she refuses to believe they are the same baby chicks. We miss you guys!

  6. You're not a dud, Trav is just one of the hardest people possible to shop for!

    It's those practical, tidy people of the world who don't like accumulating a lot of things, don't have a lot of free time, and don't want "junk" in the house that are SO HARD to think of gifts for. (Add my dad to that list. Pretty sure he's been on a steady rotation of books, golf balls and golf shirts for the past 10 yrs of Christmases. I have no idea if he hates it, because he never asks for anything else!)

    And hey, don't sell yourself short--you digged a hole for that maple tree!! :)

    P.S. Love the photos--already downloaded one for a new desktop background at work. (The balloon one. Not "We heart daddy." ha haa)

  7. 1) Looks like a fun party!

    2) I was disturbed to see Oliver wearing what appear to be Avery's ballet slippers. First no football, and now this.

    3) Socks are what I was going to ask for (for Christmas).

    4) Colleen: eyecon=Loren

  8. Wish I could help you with an idea, but the husband and I do not exchange gifts. Well, that's not true... he bought me a Kindle for Christmas, but other than that gift we haven't exchanged Christmas or birthday gifts in about 10 years. It's mostly because if it's in the budget we buy what we want for ourselves. Extravagant jewelry or trips is not in the budget (but would be cool to give/receive). I like the idea of concert tickets and I've been considering it for the big birthday this year.

  9. that is the cutest picture ever! is oliver walking already?

    if it makes you feel better, a couple of birthdays ago i just told shawn that we were going to go pick out a birthday gift for him when he got home from work. talk about lazy. and not thoughtful at all. he was totally let down and i have learned my lesson! we usually just go out to dinner and get a small gift, like a record or kitchen utensil :)

  10. I know the worry about gift giving. Trav's dad likes to pick out his own gifts, and I figure that just makes it easier for me. I had to adjust to that though.

    I love the photos. Absolutely love them. Love, love love.

  11. So lovely! I'll share it in muy blog. Thanks.

  12. Shared it!



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