Tag Archives: birthdays


Jillian here.. I was in a dilemma about what to post this month. While I don’t want to ignore what’s happening here in the USA, I don’t want to make this post a political one. Suffice it to say, I am sad and disappointed about the way things have been going here. I am also sad about how my UK friends have gone back into lockdown. It’s just a weird time to be alive. Praying for us all world-wide.

I thought I’d share a couple of photos from Christmas. I don’t like pics of myself so I’m posing my sister, my mom, my dad, and my son. All with the grandson. I am also posting pics of my December 28th big day. 🙂 Some of the photos are taken at my parents’ house on Christmas and some at my house where we celebrated my big one! The one with Benjamin and his dad (my son) was taken at the park.

Hope everyone has a blessed January. Stay warm. It’s supposed to be in the 20s here tonight- that’s minus 4 for you in Celsius land. 🙂 BRRR!

Mantle of Memories

I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about family lately and should probably branch out into other topics, but these are the things I’m passionate about, so they will probably keep coming. 🙂

P1100955Here’s the straight ahead view from where I sit on our couch. I love that, when my day is done and I sit down to relax for the evening, the first thing I see is the pictures of our eight grandchildren and our godchildren. It’s a diverse group, since they range in age from 22 to 1, and in interests from cars and the outdoors, to basketball, Barbies, and Mega-blocs. Whew! I change out their pictures each year until they graduate from high school. So eventually, we’ll have all their graduation pictures on this mantle.

It’s a still-changing, very satisfying visage to end my day on. Both hubby and I regularly look at these pictures and realize how lucky we are to have each of them in our lives, and to watch them grow and become adults in their own right.

Also, I’m focused on family today because one of them, our daughter Michal, who keeps an eye on this blog, is having a birthday today! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR MICHAL! Wish we were there to celebrate with you in person!

Happy President’s Day in the USA, Valentine’s Day, AND Mardi Gras

Today is President’s Day here in the USA- a day where we honor our presidents. When I was in elementary school, we had two holidays out of school in the early part of the new year – one was George Washington’s Birthday and one was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. I always thought it was cool that “Honest Abe” and “Cannot Tell a Lie George” were celebrated so close together.

When Martin Luther King day came along, the powers that be combined George and Abe’s birthdays into one day- kind of like two kids having to share a birthday cake, huh? As the years went on, it seemed more and more companies didn’t take this day off any longer. I still take the day and allow my office to be closed. These men did a lot for our country- not least of which was one serving as the general in chief in the fight to establish this country and the other actually saving the young union when it was torn asunder by the Civil War. I, for one, honor them on this day and every day.

This past weekend was Valentines Day and I would be remiss as a romance writer if I didn’t wish that you all had a wonderful day. Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras. It’s the last day of feasting before Lent so if you give up something for Lent, better eat your fill today and tomorrow.

Happy various holidays this week! Enjoy!

The Birthday Saga

My birthday is in June. My husband’s is in December. There’s something to be said on behalf of summer birthdays. Seems like less chance of being sick, which is the story for this birthday tale.

My husband hit a milestone birthday on December 29th. It had been a year of dealing with our first major illness, which he’s happily pretty much recovered from. However, I think it scared the heck out of all of us, especially the kids. So we planned to whoop it up and make the birthday something special.


Our plan was an open house style gathering here at our place. It was during the Seattle Seahawks football game (Go, Seahawks!!!!) and we could watch the game, visit, and celebrate Mark’s birthday. Over 50 people were coming. Food was planned out, the cake ordered.

Then I got sick with a cold (that lasted more than 3 weeks). And the day before the party, hubby caught that cold. With this being prime cold and flu season, the right thing to do was put the word out. Neither of us wanted to pass on these germs.

So we did just that and scaled the party back to minimal food. We still had 8 hardy souls who said they’d already had this cold come by, and we’re grateful for that, but also very, very glad most didn’t come. Being sick is NOT fun.

Hubby, with his wonderful sense of humor, put caution tape up to keep folks from getting too close. 🙂

2014-12-28 14.11.34

Anyhow, it was still a fun birthday. Lots of cards and emailed and phoned birthday wishes came in. The Seahawks won! And our children spent the two months prior putting together a special video and picture montage of greetings for Dad. Eighteen minutes of love we’ve watched several times now. It was, and still is, the highlight of our December.

So big birthday plans became small because of illness, but it ended up being a larger than life birthday, with lots of good memories to kick off a new decade with. The only major drawback? All that leftover cake. Lol.

A Diamond Birthday

My Christening

My Christening Day

You may not be aware of it, but on this day 60 years ago something unique and wonderful happened – I was bought screaming and kicking into this world! Obviously, I can’t remember that day although I can remember much from a very young age. Unfortunately, my mother cannot remember precisely the time I was born, so I have never been able to obtain a full horoscope reading, not that I believe in the stars and astrology, but I do find the whole thing fascinating, especially when it comes down to character traits. I’m an Aries, and many of the qualities associated with that star sign is me; contrary, many other traits are definitely not! An Aries is supposed to be independent, generous, optimistic, enthusiastic, courageous ­– yup, that’s me all right. Aries people are also supposed to be moody, short tempered, self-involved, impulsive, impatient – I’m none of these things! In fact, quite the opposite. Well, may be a little impulsive if the clothes and shoes in my wardrobe are anything to go by…

So, am I doing anything special on this, my Diamond Birthday? No, apart from wearing my best evening dress all day and being lazy. (So, what’s new? my husband might ask!) I’ve never really celebrated any birthdays, let alone milestone ones; I’ve only once ever had a birthday cake presented to me, and never had a birthday party, not even as a child; we just didn’t do birthday parties in my house. Yet I never felt or feel deprived. As a child I was always at parties, not holding one never seemed to stop friends inviting me to theirs. They were fun, full of games like pass the parcel and blind man’s bluff and the food: jelly and blancmange, sugar sandwiches, a piece of cake and a goodie bag to take home, often carrying a balloon or two. Happy, innocent days of childhood that seem so far away now.

Meeting up with a friend on Saturday, she asked me what it felt like to be 60. I told her it felt no different to any other day as it wasn’t my birthday quite yet. Now that day has arrived, I have begun to question where the years have gone, what I have achieved, not achieved and looking inwardly as to how I do feel. In my head I still think and feel the same as I did at 16, the brain certainly no different. Nor do I feel old, even if the hair is rapidly turning grey, a few wrinkles appearing; sadly but the body does feel its age, but then again, it has for years due to various medical conditions but not enough to prevent me from doing anything I want to do. I’m a fighter, nothing will stop me doing something if I set my mind to it (another Aries trait!).

Yet I do feel melancholy, almost afraid that my life is rushing by and yet there is still so much I want to do and see. I spent last weekend with my mother celebrating her 88th birthday, and I wonder if she felt this way 28 years ago when she retired from work – in limbo. For that’s how I feel at the moment. Is it normal to suddenly start thinking about how much longer I have, and to worry about what the next 10, 20 or (hopefully) 30 years will bring? How did you feel at this age? (If you’ve reached this milestone yet, that is.)

As an Aries, these self-doubts moments do not last long, and already I’m bouncing back, ready to crack open the champagne and start living. As I was reminded this morning written in a birthday card – 60 is the new 40. I’m hoping that is true, because if so, I’ve got a long way to go yet. Yippee! So perhaps there is still time to open that little art shop I hanker to have, one selling art supplies and paintings with a workshop and space to hold art classes and host writing groups. After all, it is the first day of the rest of my life and I plan to continue making it a good one. Cheers.

Cards, flowers, champers, crystal vase with sparkly inset, candle for the cake and mug with picture of my garden - a diamond day!

Cards, flowers, champers, crystal vase with sparkly inset, candle for the cake and mug with picture of my garden – a diamond day! Thanks everyone.

March = Birthdays Galore!

The merry month of March. which is coming in like a lion for sure here in the south, is full of birthdays in my world. My son’s best friend’s birthday is the 5th; his other best friend from back in high school has a March 6th birthday which is also the 100th birthday of the Oreo cookie (what an awesome thing, right?). My older son’s birthday is the 12th- he will be *gasp* 25. Soon, he will be older than me.

March 7th is my former law partner’s birthday and even though we are no longer affiliated, I still think of him on that day. Of course, St. Patrick’s birthday is really not March 17, but that’s a fun celebration here (green beer, anyone?).

Then we gallop on toward the end of the month to find the 27th for one great-nephew, the 28th for another great nephew and the marvelous 29th is my younger son’s birthday. I’ve been teasing him that this one is the “kick to the curb” one. If he acts up, I can boot his merry rear-end out since he will be the big 18- officially an adult. (Of course, I’d never do that and he knows it, so it’s an empty threat).

Happy March! I’ll be the one in the corner who overdosed on birthday cake. Sugar coma and all that jazz.


Today seemed like a good day to talk about birthdays.  Does anyone have any fun stories you’d like to share? I’ll kick it off with one of my all time favorites – my mother’s 80th birthday party. I’ve celebrated a lot of birthdays. My own, children’s, grandchildren’s, family and friends. But this one tops the list for special heart memories.

We decided to surprise her. It turned out to be a year of surprises, as our children were planning a surprise anniversary party for us during the same time. I understand, from folks who knew about both parties, that making sure you were emailing the right person was pivotal. In fact, after this, we set a moratorium on surprise parties…at least for a while.

After much planning, the day finally arrived. The lawn was manicured, the chairs and tables set out, and the food was in various stages of preparation. It was time. As people arrived, we helped them park on the side of the house we thought would be hidden from our mother.  As it turned out, that’s the side she wanted to walk around. My brother had to exclaim about the wonderful flowers our neighbor (on the other side) had in order to orchestrate her appearance.

And it was worth it. As she rounded the corner, there were sixty or so family members and friends all ready to wish her a happy birthday. Mom was astonished, to say the least. I’ve got to give her credit, though. She re-grouped quickly. Right up until my sister moved to the front of the crowd. As it turned out, she, with the help of our other sister, surprised us all by showing up, since she lives about a 5 hour plane flight away.

It was an amazing day, filled with family, friends, and wonderful stories. And it was fun to relive it for this blog today. 

I’d love to hear your favorite birthday story. And, while we’re on the subject, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday this week to my friend, Lavada. 🙂

by Laurie Ryan