I interrupt Christmas musings again today because today is my dear daughter's birthday. I think this is the first year ever that I have not been able to celebrate it with her. She is my baby and she did not arrive until fifteen years after her older brother. With that age spread, many might think that she was a surprise. Not at all. In fact, the night before my younger son was born, I dreamed that I was going to have a red-haired girl. Obviously that was not the case that time. We just had to wait a little longer for that dream to come true. Like most mother-daughter relationships, we have had our "moments," but we have had so many more wonderfully memorable ones. We have enjoyed several trips together to Germany and Prague to the Christmas markets, to Ireland, and several times to France. She attended college in New York City, and we had several shared adventures there, too, including helping her to move into all three of her apartments there. I am in awe at the strong and talented woman she has become. A communications major in college, she had to create her own interest in that major because they did not yet have one related to the internet and web design. Her first jobs after graduation were specifically related to those areas. But after moving to California when her husband took a job with Bayer Pharmaceuticals in Berkley, Silicon Valley opportunities opened up for her. These days she works for a company called Workday, which is a company that creates cloud based "finance, HR, and planning systems for a changing world." She has done very well working for them and now manages a couple of teams. I have had the opportunity a few times to see her put on her "work hat," and am amazed at seeing her strong leadership and creative skills in action. She feels deeply, and while we have always been close, since her Dad died, she has made sure that she calls me several times a week so I won't feel too alone. These calls used to take place on her drive home from work, but, now working from home, she calls when she is out walking the dog. I am very thankful for my daughter, and I hope she has the most awesome birthday ever. I am sorry we can't be together this year to celebrate.