Tag Archives: Happy Birthday

My Baby turned 29 last week

She'll always be our baby

I haven’t written about it yet because it has taken me a week to come to terms with the fact that my baby turned 29 last week. How did this happen? Where did the time go? I swear I remember taking her to her first day of kindergarten like it JUST HAPPENED. I can tell you exactly what she was wearing – a pale turquoise jumper with pink buttons and little pink sneakers. She had her hair in pigtails with pink ribbons. But now our baby is 29, and I’m gonna need a minute. {insert long pause here}

At her request, I made rainbow cupcakes for the occasion. If you were a reader last spring, you’ll remember that my big sister led a baking session when she, my baby sister, and our mother came to visit. We had a blast and the rainbow tie-dyed cupcakes were a hit. At that time, we used Big Sis’s scratch-made white cake recipe and the expensive Wilton food colorings. This time, I used white cake mix. Guess what? It worked! Two cake mixes made one dozen regular cupcakes and six jumbo-size cupcakes. For the mixes, I used whole eggs instead of eggs whites and dialed the amount of water back just slightly so the cupcakes would have better structure. I also added a teaspoon of almond extract, which added great flavor. With a basic set of Wilton food colors from the grocery store, I divided the batter into 6 bowls and colored each. For the regular cupcakes, I swirled the colorful batter; for the jumbo cupcakes, I layered it. Here’s how they turned out:

Unfrosted in 2 Sizes - Jumbo = 5" and Regular = 2"

A jumbo rainbow cupcake - frosted with sprinkles

Look out! She's going in for a bite!

Too tall for a normal approach, she had to turn it sideways.

She did it! And apparently, she liked it.

Happy birthday, honey. I’m so happy you loved your cupcakes, but I’m especially happy that you are our girl. Your dad and I are so very proud of you. And now that 29 is behind you, we’ve got 12 months to plan for next year – when you turn 30 and I turn 50. I’m pretty sure that requires a big blow-out of some kind, don’t you? I’m thinking Vegas (with bail money, of course).

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Happy Birthday to my Baby Sister

My baby sister is a firecracker. Yes, she is a spunky little spitfire, but she was also born on the Fourth of July. She really is an all-American, red-white-and-blue firecracker. If I had to narrow down the field, I’d say she’s either a sparkler (for her extroverted personality) or she’s one of those ginormous multi-colored, layered ring, laced with gold sparkly stars ground shakers they use in fireworks finales (for her impact on the rest of our family). I’m not going to sugar coat this. When she was little, she used to say snotty things to us like, “Mom says you have to make my bed because I’m the baby” which was usually followed by her sticking out her tongue. She was THAT sister. If we heard “I don’t have to do it because I’m the baby” once, we heard it a million times. Luckily, she was cute so we didn’t kill her, rub her with honey and leave her for the fire ants, or sell her to traveling gypsies. Not that we didn’t consider it from time to time. When you grow up in a large family, random thoughts of leaving your siblings on the toy aisle in K-Mart do cross your mind. As she grew older, she became far less of a brat and more of the family comedian. Baby Sister was always the one that could make a face, pull a stunt or break out the slap-stick and make us laugh. She is our “most likely to tickle your funny bone.” She’s still cute, but she’s also smart, funny and thoughtful and can sing the full lyrics to just about any song (she was in choir). And while my own daughter is still my first pick for “crazy dance contest” partner, my baby sister will always be a top choice for family road-trip sing-along partner. She also makes an excellent trivia & board game partner, since she somehow retains random knowledge as well as she retains lyrics. She’s a weapon of mass instruction. She’s Rain Man.

Our baby sister on her wedding day - surrounded by nieces and nephews

Today, our baby sister turns 41. She’s all grown up with a child of her own (Gabe the Babe) and a rowdy, fun-loving husband (I’ll call J-Bird). She makes her own bed now. She may have settled down and created a family, but she’ll never really be tamed, and that’s what I love most about my Baby Sister. She is a free spirit. Her glass is always two-thirds full. She looks for the best in everyone. She rolls with the punches and makes the best of every situation. She’s not afraid to laugh at herself or others. She is the most like me. No wonder I love her. So today, I’m sure I speak for the rest of my sisters when I say, “Happy birthday, Baby Sis!” Now matter how old we all grow together, you’ll always be our baby.

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Happy Birthday Wishes to Sister #3

Happy Birthday, Sister #3

Today is my sister’s birthday. I have four of them, so I call her #3 in my blog. That’s to protect the innocent and her (hee hee hee). Since there are five of us, that makes her the middle child. When she was little, she was obsessively attached to a stuffed lion named Leo. She also suffered from an obsessive love of chocolate, even at a very young age. We used to hide our holiday candy from her. I’ve never met anyone who loves chocolate like Sister #3. Seriously. One year for my birthday, Mom made me a cake smothered in chocolate frosting. After dinner, we pulled the cake out of the fridge to light the candles and sing “Happy Birthday.” When we got it all the way out of the fridge, we discovered the entire back of the cake was naked. She even carved the frosting out from between the layers with her little fingers. She may not strip other people’s birthday cakes anymore (at least not that I’ve heard), but she still does love chocolate more than anyone else I know. Here’s something else you may not know about her – she bakes a seriously wicked cheesecake. Any flavor. Any time. It’s sinful and world-class. Sister #3 is also the mother of two unique and wonderful kids. Chris (her son and firstborn) is a tatoo artist by trade and a trained artist and musician. He played the cello growing up. How many people do you know who play the cello? He has long hair and lots of tattoos, and is the best example I know of not judging a book by its cover. He is a sweet, funny, gentle, thoughtful guy. Amanda, her baby, is a senior in college and a writer. Like me (her favorite aunt), she grew up playing the french horn. All the greatest people played the french horn.

It's your birthday...have some fun!

She is a literature major and hopes to go into the book business (publishing and editing) when she graduates. She is a bright, sarcastic (a family trait), outgoing kid who loves books. I think that will serve her well in the publishing world. So today I say “Happy Birthday, Number 3.” You have always marched to your own drummer and done things your own way. Keep on keepin’ on. I wish you joy and happiness and everything good in the world on this, your special day. Love ya’, Sis.

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Feliz cumpleaños, Numero Cuatro!

Sister #4 - Cute kid, huh?

Happy birthday, Sister #4! You’re another year older, but you’re still younger than me. That takes all the fun out of mocking you for getting older. Thanks for sucking the jelly out of my donut. That’s the curse of being #2 in our family. I’ll always be older than three of them. Sister #4 was such a cute kid – friendly and outgoing. She used to like to tag along on my dates from time to time. She was the gymnast and cheerleader of the family. She could walk across the top of any swing set and could put both feet behind her head when she was little. We used to drag that trick out during family gatherings and make her show off. She was also great at hide & seek because she could climb all the tall trees or dangle from the eaves of the roof with ease. She was fun to play with.

That's some awesome 80's hair, Sis

She’s a registered nurse, the mother of one grown son, and wife to Captain Fireman. She’s also a grandma like me. I became a grandmother at 43, which sort of traumatized me, but I quickly got over it. Sister #4 has me beat. She became a grandma at 40, but she’s a spry vegetarian yoga-posing grandma and proud of it! Her little Zoey is a cutie patootie. So happy birthday, Gigi! You’re like fine wine and French cheese…you just get better and better as you age.

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Happy Birthday to My Big Sister

The Birthday Girl

Big Sis is turning ## today. Ha! Bet I made her heart race a little. I would never divulge that she’s pushing hard against a big number and that next year’s party should be a big blow-out with lots of champagne. Besides…age is just a number, even if it starts with a 5 and ends with a 0. Sorry, #1. I couldn’t stop myself. Besides, you’ve got a year to get used to the idea that 50 is the new 20, or purple is the new black, or two wrongs don’t make a right. I’m not sure. Now I’m just confusing myself. Back to my point – happy birthday to my big sister. The one who ate dog food as a toddler. The one who convinced me to eat a mud pie when I was a toddler to make up for it. The one who was forced to share her stuff with me. The one who was my partner in matching outfits for most of our childhood.

Big Sis and Her Posse

The one who let me tag along when she cruised Fort Smith, Arkansas listening to Foghat in high school. The one who’s married to Saint David (love you, dude) with two teenagers at home and a freshman at West Point. The one who inspired our annual girls only Hoegarden weekends and hosts them every spring. Three cheers and a hip-hip hurray on your big day! I hope all your wishes come true. Now try not to burn down the house when you light all those candles.

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