Some things to always remember:
1) There's something wonderful about mom making homemade cream cheese frosting for the homemade carrot cake she made you for your birthday (which was in addition to the homemade apple pie bars she also made you).
2) It's even better when she calls you a few days before your birthday to say "I was cleaning up to throw you a party and I just wanted to call to tell you I love you. That's all."
3) Having your Grandma unexpectedly show up at your birthday party is almost as good as the previous two good-things-to-remember. (I hope she forgives me for only taking this one silly shot.)
3) Tortilla chips make completely appropriate photo subjects when you've just gotten a Canon Rebel XSi for your birthday!
4) Dads make the best hamburgers. Even if I ate hot dogs.
All this adds up to one wonderful birthday with (most of) my family, including the in-laws, Michelle, Gary, Marni, and Doug (no Joe or Jade, or my far-flung brother and his family).