Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Birthday Perfection

Sooooooo, Saturday was my birthday and my husband did it yet again... I use to pride myself on being the most festive and "best present giver EVER" LOL.... He's learned a lot and quick and is now giving me a run for my money ;)

He went above (literally) and beyond! Let me give you a little background first... When I was Easton's age we lived in Dayton, Ohio. A park across the street from our neighborhood was a very popular place for hot air balloons to take off. There were a few that took off every Sunday and they would go up from there individually during the week. Over the years I became fascinated with a rainbow colored balloon that had a black stripe through the middle with "Houser Asphalt" printed on the side. Whenever we saw balloons taking off we would get in the car and "chase" them to try to find where they would land. Sometimes we would find them and watch them land and even help pack them up and other times we'd have to settle for defeat and go back and wait for the next time :) We found "Houser" several times and developed a "friendship" with the pilot and crew... I mean wouldn't you if a little girl were stalking you at such a young age? hehe

We moved to Florida for a few years because my dad was in the military. When we moved back to Ohio a local city had a small balloon fest every summer for a week. My mom, sister, brother and grandma would get up every morning around 5am and drive 45 minutes to watch them take off and chase them. Then go home and go back up every night and do it all over again.  One year they held the US Challenge and there were about 100 balloons. The Challenge lasted 2 weeks. It was AMAZING and one of the greatest things I had ever seen. They even had trading cards for each balloon so if we found where they landed we would get a small trophy for our achievement!!!!

Every once in awhile we would see Houser flying... he was our number 1 balloon to track down. No matter where we were or what we were doing if he traveled down wind from the Dayton area we dropped everything to chase him. The summer after 5th grade we tracked him down and the pilot remembered me. My parents planned for my mom and I to go up! It was a morning I will NEVER forget and a dream come true.

My grandma had a love for hot air balloons that was handed down to my mom and she has passed it on to us!!! I hope to keep it going with my little man! When my grandma passed several years ago - we kind of gave balloons up in a way. I would still get excited if I saw one but it was just too sad and too hard for us to chase them without her. But when Easton was born I think it changed things for us... We wanted so bad to share them with him and pass down all of our great memories! So, in July we headed back up to Middletown to see the balloons that still go up every summer. 30 balloons and just being there seemed right!

My mom and grandma always dreamed of going to Albuquerque, New Mexico in October for the International Balloon Fiesta. So in July on our way home from Middletown my sister threw it out there that maybe we should go. She researched and last month we made a dream of ours come true! It was unbelievable!!! 600 balloons of all shapes and sizes taking off at the same time is simply indescribable. And deep down I felt like my grandma was there with us. It was an unbelievable few days and we are already planning to go back. Plus after all these years they still make trading cards and Easton's collection is off to a wonderful start!!!

Okay.... so back to my birthday... I lost track of Houser in those years we didn't chase balloons and wasn't even sure if he was still out there... I mean it has been 20 years since I went up in him and around 8 since the last time I saw him. My husband surprised me the morning of my birthday with an "itinerary" for the day... It included a balloon ride. He waited to tell me that there was a very good possibility that it would be Houser. We couldn't go up that night due to wind but we were able to go up last night. Sadly the pilot passed within the last year but the balloon along with 6 other balloons belong to Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Rides. It's the 4th balloon in the Houser family! Words cannot describe how it felt to lift off into the air in a balloon that means so much to me, my family and my life!!! Just seeing those stripes brings love to my heart and tears to my eyes. Don't tell my husband... but he continues to make my dreams come true everyday!!!  Not the most festive or shortest of blogs but now you know about a VERY important part of my life! If you ever have an opportunity to go up --- take it!!! It is the most amazing experience and you will not be sorry!!!!

And I thought the fall leaves looked amazing when I was on the ground!!!

Our shadow!

Our reflection in the lake!

And then there's this.... how my love for balloons all began! I think he's already got it <3
Thanks for stopping by.... until next time!

P.S. Could these boots be any more perfect? Especially for my birthday adventure!!!! Thank you to my fabulous sister for getting them for me!!!

1 comment

  1. Hello, my name is Loren Wegh. My uncle was Dennis Deis, or as you referred to him, houser. My young son has a love of hot air balloons and so today I googled my uncle to see if there was anything online and I stumbled across your blog. I want to thank you for sharing this story. My family and I miss him terribly and this was such a cool story. I did choke up a little reading it and seeing the picture of you and your mom in the basket with him next to you. I plan on sharing this with my mom (his sister) and my cousins (his children). I Know they will just love it. Once again, thank you for sharing such great memories!