I decree that the birthday festivities were a success!

Will had fun, and so did all of the other kids that showed up. There was a decent turnout: lots of kids running around. The youngest was 6 months and the oldest was 8 years. There were three 5-to-6 year-old boys – they ran around like crazy, played pirates, and dropped a bomb in Will’s playroom. I mean no poop reference by that last figure of speech, but rather that the room looked afterwards like a bomb had gone off. Will’s toys were all out and scattered and strewn across the floor with some splash damage in the living room. Luckily for us, it was all easy to tidy up that night.

Last year I made the “Willetini” – essentially a blueberry martini. It was popular enough that I decided to make another drink for this party. Since it was a pirate party, I decided on something with rum in it – something caribbean… sort of. I made an Orange Caribbean (basically a Blue Hawaiian, but with Orange Curacao instead of Blue Curacao). I actually dubbed the beverage “Aaaarrrggh!-etini” to make it sound more piratey. Anyhow, I made the mistake of aquiring only one can of coconut cream, meaning only enough ingredients for one pitcher. It disappeared quickly, and I had no way of making more. At least everyone enjoyed the first pitcher, eh?

Malin went above-and-beyond the call of duty. She prepared lots of great food – roast beef tenderloin, hummus, macaroni & cheese, baked potato fingers (basically like French fries, except baked instead of fried), and roasted chicken fingers (also baked instead of fried). I helped some with the hummus – including my own special concoction: mole hummus (as in “moe-lay”, the Mexican dish made from smoked peppers and cocoa). She also made a pirate cake (looked like a pirate ship at sea) and cup-cakes for dessert.

Several jokes in poor taste were made about some of the beer I selected – particularly regarding “Old Chub” (an excellent Scotch ale made by Oskar Blues). Oskar Blues happens to be the first microbrewery to can their beers (and the only canned microbrew available here in Georgia).

This year Malin put nothing to the effect of “no gifts, please” on the invitations. This was in part because several people brought gifts anyway last year, and in part because she was harassed about it last year by people who really wanted to bring gifts. So there were a truckload of gifts. We’ll be sending out thank you cards later this week to all of our wonderful friends and family who brought stuff. Most of it was for Will, but there were also some gifts laying in wait for me. I certainly wasn’t expecting any – I don’t usually trade birthday gifts with anyone except my immediate family. So I owe tremendous thanks to everyone that came and brought gifts. And so does Will.

Several of my co-workers conspired to bring a single gift. The plot, master-minded by my friend and co-worker Rob Homer, involved giving to me some equipment to be used for kegging my homebrew and being able to serve my homebrew as draft beer instead of as bottled beer. This was a great gift – and I was pretty overwhelmed. Just awesome. I hope to bring in some growlers of homebrew to these assorted persons very soon. It’s the least I can do to say thanks, right?