Aug 15

Thirty-four years ago I was born.

(It was August, and crazy hot–and I was late.  Late as in I missed my due date and then some.  Sorry Mom!)

(I was born 3 weeks late — medical professionals don’t even let you do that any more.)

(My grandparents had flown in from Australia to be present for the birth of their first grandchild two weeks before the due date.  This means that they all waited 5 weeks for my birth after their arrival.  Can you imagine?  That is a LOT of thumb-twiddling.  Sorry Mom & Dad and Ma & Boppa!  I like to think I was worth the wait???)

I am notoriously pretty worthless when it comes to acknowledging the birthday (and anniversaries, etc.) of the people in my life, so to all of you who took time to shout out to me today and make me feel special, thank you.  I am humbled by your love.

This is my first cancer-free birthday; last year my birthday fell during the 3 week break between chemo (ended 8/8) and surgery (8/30).  Last year my toes were in the ocean, and I was hopeful, oh so hopeful, of a No Evidence of Disease status after surgery.  Today I kept smiling as I remembered those memories and coveted those answered prayers.  I was wanting a fun activity to share with the girls, so the girls and I painted our toe nails to celebrate my birthday.

I painted Greta’s toes for the first time ever.  She chose pale pink for her size 9 (she’s 2!) feet.  She chose a pale pink, and I painted them.

I decided to leap into the fad and I tried blue nail polish for the first time.  It’s a nice blue, but every time I see my feet I just think they look cold more than anything else.  Fashionista, I am not.

Then, I started on Maren’s toes until Maren starts yelling “Mom!  Mom!  What is Greta doing?!”

With my back to Greta, I’m like “What, huh?”

“Oh no.”  I see Greta bent over her feet with her Pretty in Pink nail polish all over her entire right foot.  And her pants.  And the patio.  And the chair.

Mother of the Year, right here people.  Right here.

We cleaned up the Greta debacle, and carried on.  Because that’s what I do.

I painted Maren’s toes in an alternating pattern: green-blue-green-blue.  She’s six, and pulls it off with flair.  As I paint Maren’s friend’s toes (pink-green-pink-green), I hear another “Oh no!”

I turn around to see that Greta has opened Blueberry Blue nail polish and has splashed it all over her pants and her right foot.

Mother. Of. The. Year.  (I’m not making this up–it really happened.)  ::Face palm.::

I then declared nail-painting festivities to be over and done, and we moved on.  I’m still calling it a successful endeavor.  All I can do is laugh…


This story, these days with my girls are some of my most celebrated days.

This is what I want to be doing.

This is my answered prayer: to love and honor and cherish my family.

This is my dream-come-true.

This matters; every little thing I do with them matters.

This is, indeed, a very happy birthday to me.



  1. Brwynn /

    Happy Birthday Jen!!!!!!

  2. Patty Wheeler /

    Happy Birthday Sunshine! You are a gift to us…

  3. Happy happy birthday!! 🙂

  4. Colorful toes for the ladies sounds like a fun birthday celebration. Happy, Healthy Birthday!! No photos of toes?? 😉

  5. Rita O'Brien /

    Happy Birthday Jen and many more. Love your stories.

  6. Peggy /

    You were born on my mother’s birthday…no wonder you’re so special! Jen, we all have “mother of the year stories” like yours. That’s what makes Thanksgiving Dinner years from now so special…those crazy stories of our youth! One year my son buried his new school shoes in a sand pile at Beckett’s pool. Despite me sitting right there watching him do it, we could never find those shoes! Those memories are the very fabric of parenthood. Smile…you’re a great mommy 🙂

  7. Newbyfriend /

    Thisis an extra special birthday, so so happy for all of you!!!! And many more……!

  8. Julie /

    Happy 34….I celebrate you…miss you!

  9. Happy Birthday and congrats on the NED diagnosis. May that be the case for decades to come.