would have been

Quinn was born a day after her dad’s 30th birthday. We solved the cake-two-days-in-a-row dilemma thusly:





Not always, though.


There’s this time.


And this. Feel free to laugh at my pathetic cakes. I certainly do!

After Paul stopped having birthdays it was a little hard for Quinn to celebrate hers. But she quickly figured out it would be okay to celebrate her dad’s birth—regardless. So every time May 1 comes around, Quinn and her gaggle of loved ones go eat a meal at Red Lobster. And she honors her dad by doing this other thing I can’t share (I’m sure she wouldn’t care, but I didn’t ask permission).

Paul would have been 70 years old today. I knew I’d be in Phoenix to look after the Anderson kiddos while their parents take some days away to celebrate Quinn’s 40th. I also knew they’d return today in time for a Red Lobster celebration. A lightbulb lit up in my brain as I pictured the confluence of those events.

Mauri always says, “Beware of a woman with a plan!” (He’s lived with me a long time now.) I dug into the project of putting together a book of memories for Paul’s three children. At his memorial service we passed out paper and pens, setting aside a segment of time for folks to write down what they would remember about Paul. So I started out by scanning many of those letters. My computer is full of pictures, but that just made it hard to narrow the choices. Not long into the project I realized the book wasn’t only for Ben, Quinn, and Taylor; it was for me too.

I had fun teaching myself digital scrapbooking. I won’t brag about my artistic prowess; that isn’t my gift. But I managed to cram a lot of Carlson life into 76 pages.

The inspiration to make a Shutterfly book came through this blog, and in particular this post. Scroll down to the visual of Nella’s first birthday book, and then a little more to the link to see it on Shutterfly. Now that’s the ideal!

Still, I’m happy with how my book turned out. However, as I revisited the book the day after I ordered four copies—I saw a mistake—two of the same picture on a two-page spread. Rats!

Here’s a link to the book if you care to take a look. I’d offer a prize for the first to find my mistake, but I’m still too bummed about it.

This entry was posted in family matters, nostalgia. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to would have been

  1. Cheryle Takacs says:

    Wonderful. Gad you are NOW into digital scrapbooking. Check my own website for more digitalk solutions and options. I celebrate your success.

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