February Birthday Extravaganza … featuring pasta and kids!

Today was my Dad’s, sister’s and Aunt’s birthday. How it ended up that way … well … God only knows. Maybe there was a glitch with the scheduler when God was sending down babies? I don’t know? Either way, it’s always a special day in the family because we all start our diets the next day because of all of the game. Gotta love those family traditions, right?

The Poorman’s Lemonade. Ask for the FREE water (that’s the key here) and a bowl of lemon wedges. Then squeeze the lemons in the water, add Splenda, stir and drink. It’s basically lemonade. FREE lemonade. That means it tastes better.
Then if you want to have fun, give the closest kid to you a lemon wedge and enjoy the show.

This year was even just as special. This was the second birthday without my Aunt Diane who passed away last January. We still celebrated it as if she was here. We sang to her and before the family dinner we put flowers on her grave. Sometimes it’s strange thinking she’s been gone now just over a year. She is still very much a part of the family.

Anyways, we went out to dinner as is customary in the family. We go to one of two places generally. The Olive Garden or Sizzler. We used to have Chili’s on the rotation, but once we realized that the Olive Garden is pretty much an Italian Chili’s we decided to drop it. We’ll take Italian food over Mexican any day. Unless it’s Cafe Rio or Costa Vida, but that’s a whole other story for another day. Needless to say we picked Italian Chili’s for dinner.

These two kids are two of my 5 favorites (note there are 5 nieces and nephews … this includes c’nieces (cousin nieces)).

Knowing that I would be running 14 miles the next day I pretty much knew what I wanted. The marinara and spaghetti with no butter … oh … and of course salad and breadsticks (what’s the point of going to the Olive Garden if you don’t get salad and breadsticks? It’s like going to Disneyland and not going on any rides). They must of just changed their menu because they had an option to make your own pasta dish. So I ordered the tri-colored vegetable penne with fresh tomato pomodoro. It started off as a wonderful vegetarian dish, but that ended after I ordered two chicken meatballs to top it off.

A very sexy picture of my food. Oddly, this never made it’s way onto Instagram. #idisappointmyself

The verdict on my decision? It was good. It did everything you would hope from a carb-loading dish. The chicken meatballs were good. The sauce, slightly spicy, but all together delightful. How come all of the sudden I feel like a food critic? I love pasta before long runs so I was happy. There was definitely a party in my tummy. Uh huh, uh huh (that is one song I never mind getting stuck in my head).


Get that pasta in your mouth.
Make sure you got it all.
Ponder on how awesome that pasta tastes.
Notice you’ve been caught on camera.
Put on some of that charm you are well known for.

After much eating, digesting, thinking about eating cake, getting the cake, singing birthday songs over cake and then eating cake the party was pretty much over. If there is anything that Italians don’t like it’s loud Greek families. Which we’re totally guilty of. I shouldn’t classify us all as just Greeks. We’ve got some Mexicans, Russians and Brits. The only thing that remotely neutralizes it all is that portion of us that is Swiss. Needless to say, we were loud and probably not the best behaved. If I could have only reminded those rolling their eyes we were at the Italian Chili’s maybe they wouldn’t have seemed too annoyed. Meh.

What’s a birthday without a selfie of you and the birthday boy? Good one Jen!
I guess when you get older your lungs get weaker and you need to hire out help. I’m pretty sure that’s why I got cake at their age?!
The best kind of Costco cake is cake aged at least two days. Just buy your cake two days before your party and by the party you’ll have the best cake on the block!

It was a fun birthday. My Dad and sister enjoyed the day. We enjoyed eating pasta in their honors followed by Costco cake and many food regrets. But, it was another memory made that I’ll remember fondly.

Cousin Charity with Princess Foofei (I gave all Princess names … long story).
Koko trying to show off her Piglet socks she got for her upcoming trip to Disneyland. Feet on the table? This is how we help to keep the Italian Chili’s classy.
If you are wondering what my brother is doing in this picture. He is singing some ridiculous made up song about the children’s menu. I think this is what kid’s do to your mental health?

Happy Birthday you three!

And I’ll leave on this picture …

The Sugar Monster attacks his helpless pray. Frosting.



  1. First of all, a party in your tummy sounds like a euphemism for GI issues while running. I’m going to start using it as such.

    Second of all, Italian food over Mexican? That’s messed up. Mexican is the best. I guess in the end it’s really similar. Mexican is rice, beans, meat and guac either inside the tortilla or on top of the tortilla or on fried tortilla pieces (aka chips). Italian is just various shapes of pasta with the meat inside or outside with different sauces. Wait, what was the point of this comment? Now I’m just hungry.

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