Of all my childhood birthdays, there are two that stand out from the others in my memory. The first is my fifth birthday, for which I had a treasure troll cake and a big birthday party complete with an elaborate scavenger hunt. I remember that scene at our Layton home, with our beautiful golden retriever Schatzi playing in the backyard as the treasure was brought down from its hiding place on the roof. I'm guessing it was the totally-cool-for-a-five-year-old hiding place that ingrained that birthday in my memory.
The other memorable birthday was the one that I spent away from home. It was my seventh birthday, and it was extra special because I spent it at my grandparents' home in Southern Utah. I wore my Aunt Lisa's long black t-shirt as a dress with a belt around my waist (oh yeah, I was way ahead on that trend) and jumped on the trampoline with my cousins. My Grandma had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Barney come to the party. It was awesome to have the fake Donatello there (yes, I knew he was fake), but sort of embarrassing to have the big purple dinosaur in attendance (didn't Grandma know that I was 7 and far too mature for such things?). Despite the Barney appearance, the fact that my Grandma and everyone went out of their way to make sure I had a fun birthday obviously wasn't lost on me. I remember feeling really loved and special.
So when we figured out that Kaleb would be spending his ninth birthday at our home in California, we wanted to make sure he felt special, too.
We decorated the house with streamers, balloons and birthday signs, woke Kaleb up for reveille, taught him how to drive on the dry lake bed (because he is, after all, nine whole years old), ordered a few sonic booms, let him help Matt grill a special birthday dinner, bought his favorite ice cream, and made a delicious feathery fudge airplane cake from scratch. It was a success.
Joshie and Gabey added a nice touch by becoming sound managers for the cake and presents extravaganza. They added Star Wars sound effects for Kaleb's entrance, blowing out of the candles, and each presents. It was classic.