Remember when I wrote about birthdays and how they made me feel?

I can honestly say that I didn’t cherish and celebrate like I thought I could. It just wasn’t in me.

But this year, seventeen, I don’t know what has happened. I have been looking forward to #CelebratingSeventeen for weeks now. I have been counting down the days. Reminding Giggles each and every day that her birthday was coming up soon. Preparing seventeen special surprises for her special day.

I am genuinely excited about a birthday and I can honestly say that this is the first time in seventeen years that it has happened. It was like seventeen was some huge hurdle that I needed to overcome and I sort of held my breath until I got us here.

She is surfing in uncharted waters right now. When I was seventeen I was expecting her and preparing to get married and move to Orlando to be with her dad. One of her biggest concerns right is the fact that colleges keep misspelling our last name when they send her stuff and for whatever reason it makes her really really mad.

It could be worse honey, you could be Bill Clinton, Jr….embrace that people will always misspell our last name

Soon I will leave to pick her up from work and we will open up 16 special gifts (as she opened her cheesecake from Aladdin’s right after school.) Thanks Stacy!! And you know what I can’t wait.

She and I have come a long way and I couldn’t be happier with the young woman she has become. Not only am I proud to call her my daughter, but also my friend.

Happy Birthday Giggles! May your head always be smaller than mine!

And if you want a good cry, you can check out this video I made two years ago for her 15th birthday. I bawl every.single.time.

Year Fifteen from Heather Durdil on Vimeo.

What’s your Super Power?

In order to use up stuff I have had forever and make things more sentimental and intentional I have been making more handmade gifts.

At first it was hard, but now I enjoy it. I look forward to that time in my craft room, being creative with what I have so that I don’t have to go out and buy more things.

Last month was my nephew’s 5th birthday, I made him a super hero cape and mask. My then three year old niece ran her fingers along the back of the cape and traced the letter A that I had sewn on the back.

“Aunt Heather, I will be four soon and I really like the cape you made for Bubbie.”

She continued on while I listened. “I would like if you could make me a cape like that for my birthday. Except if you could find the letter L instead of the A that would be good. Also instead of the red, could you make mine with purple and some sparkles, you know if it isn’t too much trouble.”

I chuckled and agreed that maybe, just maybe I could make her this special cape.

“Because when I am four I am sure to have my superpowers, Aunt Heather.”

So this Sunday we all met up for lunch at my mother’s house and the newly four year old girl ran up into my arms when she saw me in the dining room.

“Aunt Heather!!!”she exclaimed, “Did you know that today is my very special day. Today I am four years old and its my birthday! Don’t you want to say Happy Birthday to me?”

I wished her a happy birthday and took her over to her purple package that I had just for her.

I let her shake it and sniff it and she had a big smile on her face while telling me she didn’t know what was inside.

We opened the bag together and she exclaimed, “My Cape!!” before it was even out of the bag.

She asked to put it on and I happily tied it on her.

“My super powers are here and now I can jump and twirl so fast that the bad guys can’t get me!” She says as she is literally bouncing all over the place.

“You have super powers too, Aunt Heather,” she tells me.

“Really sweetie, what are they?”

“You don’t know?” she inquired.

“I am not sure sweets” I replied back.

“Love, Aunt Heather. Your super powers are love,” and she sped off to see her great uncle and the pretty package that he brought her for her special day.

Now that I know what my super powers are I need to use them more often, to not let things get me down and to remember that everything will be okay with Love.

And maybe, just maybe I will do some jumping and twirling too.

Jumping & Twirling

So what’s your Super Power?

The Nineteenth of May

This past week I have been thinking lots of my Grandma Billie.

Sitting in my neighbor’s backyard chatting with her the other day was bliss as the memories washed over me.

The metal patio chairs, the flowers, the dogs, and the bitter sweet smell of black coffee that was drank all day long.

Last week at the grocery store a jar of dried meat caught my eye.

Remembering Grandma

My grandmother had a whole set of these jars that we used as glasses.

Although I had no clue they were jars from meat she used to make us Shit on a Shingle.

I would trace my fingers along the rim of the glass, feeling those raised stars under my finger tips.

I found myself doing the same thing with it yesterday while I drank my tea from that glass. Its now my favorite.

Today is her birthday. My birthday is next week. We would always celebrate our birthdays by going to Higbee’s & getting me some new summer clothes and going to Woolworth’s for their Strawberry Shortcakes that were Fresh! and For a Limited Time Only! according to the banners in the mall.

I remember the yellowish lighting inside the cafe. The plastic seats that my little short clad legs stuck to. I remember feeling so special that she took me out all by myself.

I am not sure what today holds, but I will be sure to stop and smell the roses, as they were her favorite.