Twofer: Benj and Gabe Birthday Recap~ 2013 Edition

On July 28th, 2013, these fine boys :
who first met way back in 2000
turned                                     and                                         respectively
It seems like yesterday, and a lifetime ago, that I held each of their little bodies all bundled up and sweet smelling for the first time:
               (  7bs7oz worth  on July 28, 1998                 and                 8lbs worth on July 28,2000, respectively).
beautifulbenjgorgeous gabe
Today, one of them towers over me (even when I’m in heels) and the other one is getting pretty close…it’s crazy. Crazy! I tell you! How did this happen?
And now if you will indulge me in  a teary little walk down memory lane which I like to call…
Benj and Gabe’s Birthday Bedheads Through The Ages:
July 28, 1999: Benj turns 1. (His young, stupid and sentimental parents wake him from his nap in order to celebrate his birth on the moment it happened.  After which, they foist a mountain of presents upon him. Benj was about as delighted about the photo op on his 1st birthday as he was on the morning of his 15th birthday…some things never change..poor Benj. )
July 28, 2000-Benj turns 2, and gets this little car (which Ella still drives).  Gabe,  (pictured in bump form behind him) arrived approximately 5 hours after this photo was taken, and was definitely making his presence known at that party.  I remember that when this picture was taken, Benj had just insisted that people stop singing “happy birthday” to him because he thought it was the cause of my discomfort.  Oh he was the dearest little soul. So considerate. He also used to apologize to me when he would peek into my room to find me napping when I was pregnant. (Keep in mind that he wasn’t even two yet!) Sweetest little tyke ever to ride a little tykes car..
Benj and Karr-Mommy still preggie in background
Later, he got to unwrap the best birthday gift we’ll ever give him. Somebody to share the pain of the birthday bedhead photo tradition with. And so much more.As he walked into the hospital room and saw me on the bed nursing Gabe he exclaimed with great delight,
“Oh! Cutie Baby!” And a beautiful friendship began.
July 28, 2001- Gabe turns 1 and Benj turns 3. (the year no one could keep their eyes open.)
Oh and I can’t resist including the classic “Gabe murdering the Elmo cake” photo (but at least he had his eyes closed when he did it!) And ok fine…here’s another adorable pic of Benj to keep things even…his eyes are open but we won’t hold that against him.
‘Twas the first of many birthday pool parties and it was a blast.
July 28, 2002: 4 and 2 (the year Benj split his chin open. slipping as as he knelt up to blow out his candles. This is Take 2, Post- ER. Gabe looking wary, lest the same fate befall him. I believe he was more traumatized over the event than Benj was. He was so sad and worried for him. Selfless to core even back then. Oh that Gabey baby. What a sweetheart.)
July 28, 2003 :5 and 3  (and aww..they were so little and so angelic. My heart. It aches.)
July 28, 2004: 6 and 4  Their first birthday in Ohio. Sweetest boys. (Probably the greatest height differential other than this year.)
July 28, 2005-7 and 5 (ROCKSTARS!) Such a fun, fun age.
July 28, 2006-8 and 6. Giddy! (I still remember their adorable excitement. Sniff)
July 28, 2007-7 and 9 (Cool dudes! Gabe is kind of catching up in height..for a minute.)
July 28, 2008- 8 and 10 (the year we remembered to get their hair cut)
July 28, 2009: 9 and 11 (Benj starting to look pained by this tradition)
July 28, 2010: 10 and 12..(Gabe starting to look pained by this tradition)
July 28, 2011: 11 and 13 (both of them resigned to it)
July 28, 2012 : 12 and 14 ( Celebrating in Chicago and hamming it up..not just a little bit)
And back to the present day….
July 28, 2013: 15 and 13. Benj is…a young MAN. Gabe is a TEENAGER. Ackity Ack, (don’t look back!)
Gabe opted to open his presents before church. He got a book he really wanted and….an iphone! His first piece of (functioning) technology! Big day!
Benj  with great restraint, opted to hold out ‘til after church.  Gracie and I had been up until the wee hours conspiring to confuse  the boys, especially him. We padded his gift into a very random shape (and hid the game in an empty pancake mix box) . Much to our satisfaction he did admit that he had been pretty mystified.
But in the end….He got a Fifa video game…and the long awaited and pined for xbox to play it on. He was one happy 15 year old.
After a special birthday lunch, we watched the US v Panama Gold Cup final at a friends house and brought along some ice cream pie to share.(I love Benj’s face looking at Ella in this photo and Finny just chilling, center of attention at two other people’s birthday party. )
Later that evening sweet, sweet Gracie gifted them each with a very generous and thoughtfully assembled bundle of gifts, including coupons for chores, $5 each and one of her stuffed animals.  The boys were so sweet and grateful and gracious….ahhh I love these kids.
I’m so proud of these guys. They are good, smart, diligent, hard working, hilariously funny and entertaining, talented, responsible and kind (and handsome to boot).  They have integrity and maturity well beyond their years. They are awesome big brothers and good friends. They are incredible sons and I am a blessed mother to be able to call them mine.  I love them more than I can say. I just wish they whole growing process would slow down a bit..
Seriously, don’t blink.
Here’s how we celebrated last year, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008!

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