Tag Archives: birthday

This is 31

This is my girl in her natural habitat. I love everything about this shot. Her husband in the background. The glow from the stage. The wristband. Those curls. Her smiling eyes. And yes, of course her signature concert tiny hand.

Birthday 31 came crashing into us today. That is the lovely thing about birthdays, they don’t give a flying F that the world is upside down, they just show up, give us a nice little dose of normal and make us adjust, be grateful and enjoy the moment.

Which got me to thinking that those exact qualities are the essence of Jana.

She shows up… always. It is one of her best qualities. She shows up when you need her and even when you didn’t realize that you did. She works her butt off, helps those in need, volunteers, raises money, gets the job done… whatever it takes.

She doesn’t care that the world is upside down, she still finds a way to be close, give support and make me laugh. Every day. Her normal.

When I start to go down a road of crazy, she makes me adjust, take a breath, keep my eye on my own ball, consider the endgame and enjoy the moment.

You have both learned well and taught me even better, Petunes. Could not love you more if I tried.

Happy Bizarro birthday, my sweet. Promise to make it up to you on the other side of all this. With music. And funfetti!

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Filed under birthday, daughters, family

This is 24 (not 23)!

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This guy! I adore pretty much everything about him (ok, except for mornings).

That sweet face on the right stares out at me from those big brown eyes, with a little hint of a smile that always said, hey, I really know who I am. I’ve got this. And there he is again on the left – over two decades later – same sort of expression, telling me that he will always be cool with it. Whatever ‘it’ is.

DLev. Baco boy. Oneida for life. Badger. The king of sucking it up and moving on. Always gives 100% and never complains. Sometimes to a fault.

I will refrain from the ‘my-little-boy-is-gone-my-son-is-perfect’ drivel and just simply say that if on this day in 1992 I could have written my hopes for who you would become, you have exceeded my expectations. You make me laugh, call me out, challenge me, make me think and most of all let me lean when I have to. (ok, a little bit of my-son-is-perfect, but it’s your birthday)

Raising you has been a joy, buckaroo. (oh, except for that incident with the inside of my windshield, but hey, this is not about embarrassing you ; ).

To the moon and back.

Happy 24, Danny-boy. All you can.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under birthday, childhood, danny, parenting, sons, Uncategorized

This is 21!

danny21

There are countless milestones and rites of passage in the lives of our children, but none have quite the impact of turning 21. We can heave that great sigh of relief that they are now ‘legal’. Don’t get me (or my newly 21-year-old) started on the legal drinking age, but let’s just say I am thrilled to announce my offspring have kept the track record of not getting ticketed (or worse) for underage drinking or fake/borrowed IDs. Quite the feat in a Big 10 college town.

All that nonsense aside, becoming an adult has little to do with chronological age. My boy has done me proud in the grown-up department way before he crossed this legal threshold, without ever losing the lightness of heart of the child he once was. His 4th grade teacher called him a happy go lucky deep thinker, and that description still fits him perfectly.

This past year our family has learned a boatload about what it means to be there for each other, and young Dan has risen to that occasion every time. All while still finding a way to make me laugh no matter what the circumstances.

 

Happy 21st Birthday, Danny boy, may you always keep your sense of self. And may you stay forever young. We love you.

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Two dozen years of parenting

love-child

How can that be? One minute you are obsessing over nursery school and then you turn around and you have been at this for 24 years. And by some miracle you haven’t messed them up.

Yes, kiddies, today marks the 24th birthday of my girl. And oh what a difference a year makes. Since 23 she has found her dream job, moved into her own apartment and learned to balance a tight budget.

There is so much I can say about her, but mostly I want to thank her for being such a good sport about posing, for always being there to make me laugh and most of all for constantly reminding me why I was put on this earth.

To be a mom.

I love you Petuney; and I could not be any prouder of who you have become. May this be your best year ever!

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Filed under carry a camera, fashion, Jana, moms

Happy Birthday to the World’s Best Mom

No, not me! I would never be that self-serving. I am talking about MY mom.

This weekend we celebrated a very special birthday with my mother. Through some miracle and lots of corralling of 3 generations of cats, we were able to get the entire family together. Even Danny made it – fresh off the camp bus.

A huge thank you and hugs forever to the Chef love of my life, Don, for making this meal over the top amazing. Big plug for Valentino’s on the Green (might I highly recommend EVERYTHING on the menu)

As my mom put it so eloquently in her little speech after dins, having everyone all together in one place made turning this rather strange number worth it.

Here’s to my mom, the bravest woman I know. Wishing you the best birthday ever. May you always feel the love that surrounded you tonight, and know that we are all blessed to have you in our lives.

Now, if all you readers would be so kind as to come out of the woodwork, please wish mom a happy birthday.

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Filed under aging parents, family, holidays

Happy 22 @Janabelle25

Twenty-two years ago on April 25th I packed a bag and went to the hospital for what I like to call natural childbirth; no jewelry/no makeup. Due to her famous determined disposition, my sweet little girl was frank breech and a C-section was in order. In an archaic and barbaric procedure effort to turn her, the doc convinced us to try a procedure called external version. She basically flipped him the bird and turned right back to the position she had chosen in utero – head up.

That’s my girl! I am happy to report, 22 years later the very personality trait that forced a C-section is one of the most wonderful things about her. If she puts her mind to it… it’s hers. Three weeks shy of college graduation this will certainly come in handy.

When you give birth you don’t think much past babyhood, maybe a shade into toddlerhood. But you surely do not think that 22 years would fly by this fast (yes, I sound like a corny song) or that the infant that scared the hell out of you when you first brought her home would turn into one of your favorite people on earth to go shoe shopping with. Or watch a movie with. Or go to a concert with. Or, or, or… you get what I mean.

So, to the girl who makes me laugh when I don’t think I have it in me, who is my biggest fan, my number one focus group and the very light of our lives (with her brother of course), we wish you the very happiest of birthdays and we thank you for making us a family 22 years ago.

Comments on this post will be forwarded to her so please excuse the shameless mommy promotion and fire away. And for all of you on twitter, if you could wish her a Happy Birthday and fill her stream I would be very grateful. She is @janabelle25 and I guarantee if you follow her you will find her tweets are always pretty clever and fun. She might kill me but here are but a few of my faves:

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Filed under holidays, Jana

Eighteen!

There is nothing like the wonder of a 5th birthday party when the birthday boy gets to open his presents after the festivities. What I would not give to know what gift prompted that perfect little thrilled face on my boy. And the equally impressed face of my other little boy to his left. Of course, his sister – the Boss, was on hand to make sure he opened his gifts correctly.

Fast forward 15 years that flew by so quickly I am suffering from a little mommy whiplash today just thinking about it. And there is my boy, firmly planted in his new college life, most probably still fast asleep right now.

But waiting for him in the package room in the dorm would be the ever famous box of…

you guessed it: 18 presents. This idea came from my friend Karen and I copied her for Jana’s 21st. Of course sending it to Spain cost more than the contents but it was surely worth it.

So, to my 18 year old ‘baby’, may this day and your new life be as filled with wonder and excitement as your 5-year-old face in the picture above. And know that no matter how old you get, you will always be a little bit of that bowl hair cut sporting, basketball jersey and t-shirt wearing, lego building little guy in this mom’s heart.

Happy Birthday Danny Boy. Be all you can be and…

be careful.

Love you, man!

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Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, moms

Time to Cry Tuesday – Best package ever!

If you read on Sunday you knew that it was my daughter’s 21st birthday. Due to circumstances beyond Fed Ex’s control (volcano, cough, cough, bullshit, cough cough) they did not deliver her birthday package in time. She did, however, receive it today.

And I received this BBM right back:

Priceless.

She even laid out all the unwrapped gifts and took a picture to send me. (yeh, she is my kid for sure)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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The Big Two Oh!

jana_forever-young

I know I have already blogged about this once this week, but this is monumental.

Today is the 20th birthday of the fabulous Miss Jana. All you lurkers out there, the pressure is on to throw a comment in to wish my not so little girl a very happy birthday. Keep in mind she is in the home stretch of the semester and life is not all that much fun so she could really use a shout out from all of you.

In celebration of her birthday I will share my top ten most favorite things about Jana (in no particular order)

1. her hair (Dr. Jimmy is with me on this one)

2. her smile (thanks to the orthodontist who gave her the straightest teeth in the zip code)

3. her ability to suck it up in tough situations.

4. the fact that she will always be the one to tell me when it is time to get my hair colored (this could be one of the things I miss the most with her gone)

5. her kind heart

6. the way she taught me that it really doesn’t matter if a teenager’s room is a mess.

7. the way she treats her brother 

8. her love for music (her dad made sure of that)

9. the way she hates to shop (where could that come from)

10. the fact that my behavior rarely embarrasses her 

For the second time this week, but on the actual date you popped out, happy birthday Janny girl!

Now come on, let’s see some comments here…

 

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under family, holidays, Jana, parenting, teenagers, top ten lists

Don’t worry, I am still alive


Ok, so here is another really cool thing about blogging.

People miss you when you don’t post. You become a regular part of someone’s day and you leave a void when you are gone. I kind of love that!

This morning I received an email from a blog friend making sure I was OK because she did not find a new post from me. How cool is that? AND, when doing a little IM session with my daughter, she asked about it too.

Who said the internet was impersonal?

For reasons I will not disclose here (alright because frankly I drank too much both Saturday and Sunday night celebrating with friends) I did not post yesterday. And also because it is my birthday and I did not want to obnoxiously solicit birthday wishes (yeh, well, decided I would anyway).

For those who are interested… 49. (haha, when I went to type that the first time it came out as 40, Freudian fingers). Really. 49. Not 50 lying about my age, really 49. And proud(ish).

Thanks for missing me, even those of you who did not mention it (or did not miss me and frankly welcomed the break from my insane ramblings).

Uh oh, tomorrow is Time to Cry Tuesday and it is a killer…

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Filed under blogging, friendship, humor, Jana