I Messed Up and Forgot My Father’s 70th Birthday

nicubunu-Chocolate-birthday-cake-300pxWell, I messed up big-time. Recently, life has been very hectic. I’ve been juggling a lot of things at once. Between work, Jewish holidays, my novel getting published, and other plans (that I can’t blog about at the moment), I was bound to drop something. Unfortunately, that something was my dad’s birthday.

In the days leading up to the birthday, I knew it was approaching. I made a mental note to call him. Unfortunately, said mental note got buried under a stack of mental paperwork. I didn’t remember it, until the day afterwards. I tried calling him, but it was too late. By then, my father, understandably upset, had e-mailed me to let me know that I was the only one not to call him.

As much as I wish that I could go back in time and correct this, I can’t. I can only apologize, take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again and move forward. So I want to publicly apologize to my dad. I messed up. I didn’t call you when I should have. I feel horrible about this and am so very sorry.

How do I make sure this doesn’t happen in the future? Well, I keep all important events in Google Calendar so that my phone will remind me of them. My phone is a lot less prone to “mental paperwork overload” than I am. Unfortunately, my dad’s birthday was listed in a secondary Google Calendar, not my primary one. So while it would show up in my calendar listing, it apparently wasn’t set to notify me of events. I’ve added his birthday into my primary Google Calendar so that next year my phone will help me remember. (I also took the opportunity to double-check that all of my relative’s birthdays are set up properly in Google Calendar and have notifications enabled.)

Again, I messed up and am very sorry. Happy birthday, dad!

NOTE: The image above is “Chocolate Birthday Cake” by nicubunu and is available from OpenClipArt.org.

To Do List Prioritization

To-Do_List_smallOn Sunday, I had so many things that I needed to do that I couldn’t keep track of them all.  Out came my trusty To Do list app of choice (Out Of Milk) and before long I had a list of 10 things I needed to get done.  By the end of the day, all but 2 were done.  Those remaining two were put off for another day since they involved shopping and we feared the pre-Christmas crowds.

After dinner, I sat on the couch with my boys and watched some television.  I only managed to get in a half hour before duty called again.  This wasn’t on my To Do list, but it should have been.

There are so many things that I "have" to do that it all-too-often seems like I have no time for the things I want to do: Like spend time with my boys or go on date nights with my wife.  Real life has a habit of butting in and pushing the things I want to do off the list.

I realized that I always want to have "spend time with my family" on my to do list.  Even if it’s just watching TV for a half hour.  The "need to get done" items can wait until this "want to do item" is checked off my list!

Taking A Family Time Day Off

Happy_familyPlease excuse the short blog post, but today is a rarity.  Usually, Monday morning means heading off to work after a weekend with my family.  While I love my job, I also miss not being able to stay home with B and the boys every day.  If I could have my fondest desire, it would be to have every day be like Saturdays usually are.  Therefore, when I get a day off, I want to make the most of it.  Our plans for the day aren’t fully set in stone, but we might have a lazy morning, go out to lunch and even see The Secret World of Arrietty.

What do you do when you have a day to spend with family?

Disclaimer: The "Family" image above comes from OpenClipArt.org.

Parental Visit Highlights

My parents came for a visit this weekend.  Unfortunately, given economic circumstances (on both ends) and the distance between us, we don’t get to see each other as often as I’d like.  The boys kept getting more and more excited as “Bubbe-and-Grandpa day” drew nearer.  Finally, the day arrived and the boys couldn’t have been happier.  Here are a few highlights from their visit (in no particular order):

Wii Bowling

While enjoying some downtime at our house, we started up the Nintendo Wii.  My mother, who I never think of as a gamer, opted to play a game of Wii Bowling with the boys and me.  The end score was quite impressive.  (As usual, click on the photo to enlarge.)


“Snoopy” was my mother.  That 121 score?  That was JSL!  He was rocking the virtual bowling alley with two strikes and three spares.  He even beat his older brother (who came in with a not-too-shabby 113).

Beating Up My Dad

Ok, this sounds bad, but it really isn’t.  After Wii Bowling was done, we loaded Wii Boxing and I handed the Wiimote to my dad.  Then, he and I duked it out.  I won, but he got some good punches in.  I don’t think he expected a simple video game to give his arms such a workout.

Toy Story Mania

After coming back from lunch (and some shopping), we went back to my house.  Killing time before I had to start dinner, I put Toy Story Mania into the Wii.  This time, NHL, my father and I played.  We all had fun playing the various Toy Story-based carnival games.  For the record, I won easily.  Got nearly my father’s and NHL’s score combined.  Part of that was probably because, due to a quirk in the game, I got to play solo in a lot of games.  This gave me exclusive access to the point generating activities instead of sharing them with another player.

Knitting Bonding

My mother mentioned that she wanted to learn how to knit a scarf.  I pointed out that B has knitted a few.  At the time, she was in the middle of two scarf-knitting projects.  While the boys, my dad and I occupied ourselves with other activities, my wife and mother bonded over knit-pearl.

“Cooking” Dinner

I wanted to show my parents my cooking skills.  I didn’t actually wind up getting the chance to do this.  Instead, we went to BJ’s and bought frozen/refrigerated dishes to heat up and serve.  Still, eating dinner at home with my parents versus in a restaurant was a nice experience.

Cake Wrecks

I showed my parents the Cake Wrecks book and they kept laughing.  When I left it on the table to check on dinner, I saw them flipping through the pages laughing at all of the mangled cakes.  I need to remember to e-mail them the URL for the Cake Wrecks blog.


We stopped by the new Fluffalicious store and got some delicious cupcakes for dessert.  It was quite the yummy stop to make (and one I think we’ll be making quite a few more times in the near future).

The whole weekend was so much fun that I (*gasp*) forgot to take photos!  We got photos of cupcakes and the like, but realized that we didn’t get a picture of my parents with the boys.  Luckily, just before my parents left to go home, we were able to snag this photo of us.  (B’s manning the camera – and trying to avoid cars in the parking lot it was taken in.)


I miss my parents already and hope we get to see them again sometime soon.

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