Wednesday, December 14, 2022

a few things that make me happy- a birthday post


Happy Wednesday, friends! Since it's my 46th birthday, I thought I'd share a few things that have brought a smile to my face recently, including this image above. 

You may or may not know that the one thing I want for my birthday every year is something with no price tag. It's the gift of time with my family. This has worked out for us so far, even if it took place on a night that's not my birthday. I don't care about the date, it's the time that matters. So, this year Drew threw me for a loop when he told me was working on the night I'd planned to do this, which was on a Monday night two days before my birthday. (He's off every Monday.) I was so surprised that I don't think I responded very well, but I called him back and just told him I'd still like to see him, even if it was just me and him, so he offered to take me to lunch on my birthday. I think it may be something I like better than what I'd wanted to do in the first place! I love quality time. This was us on the square last year for my birthday. 

Sometimes I look at them and have so much love for them in my heart that it feels like I'm going to burst. I feel so blessed to be a mom to all these handsome guys. They're pretty great, even if they do things that make me cringe a lot and roll my eyes at them. I adore them! They all have such great qualities about them that make them unique, but they're also very much alike in that they are gentlemen, they're responsible, they're friendly and they're kind. In the top picture, from left to right are Graham, Drew, Noah and Jonah. Noah is the youngest, but he's the tallest! The rest of us are together pretty often, so we're not doing anything special for my birthday since Drew can't be with us. I made a good dinner for them on Monday night, though and I think Todd may take me out on Thursday night to celebrate with just the two of us. I want to go look at Christmas lights! 

Something really sweet that Jonah did for me yesterday was that he went ahead and sent me some birthday money on Venmo to treat myself to something special for my birthday. I appreciate that so much, especially that he thought of it beforehand and that he knows me so well. He told me he figured I would want to get my nails done with the money, or maybe get a pedicure. I may do that, but I also may buy something special that I'll have to keep forever. (If you were gifted some money like that, what is something you would purchase with it? I want something I'll keep.) They always give me cards and something I love on my birthday and for Mother's day. I usually get a combined gift from all of them for Christmas, but I usually pick something out and haven't done that this year. So, I may or may not get something then. 🤣 I just love and appreciate the thought. 

I know that I've already shared this picture, but please bear with me for a minute. I don't know that I've ever had a picture made with my mom and dad. They got divorced when I was a little girl, but they did remain friends through the years and they never once spoke bad about the other. I feel like I need to print and frame this picture that my stepmom took of me with them Sunday night! I almost cried when she told for me to get with the two of them.

Don't they look amazing? Neither one of them looks their age! (Mom is 78 and Dad is 91.) Looking at this picture of Dad in his blue blazer makes me smile because it reminds me of when the boys all graduated from high school. Dad was adamant about buying them all a blue blazer with brass buttons for a graduation gift. When we couldn't find two with brass buttons for Jonah and Noah, he and Sandy bought the buttons and had a tailor add them. They will have those blue blazers forever if I have anything to say about it!

I've been going down a rabbit trail reading old blog posts lately. I would occasionally have a great idea for a blog topic and I plan on bringing some of those back in 2023! I'm excited to share them with you and you can always do the same thing on your own blog, especially since I got the idea from another blogger that I get emails from. (Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy.) I talked about my blog yesterday and how I do things kind of behind the scenes here, and know that I've written down some of these ideas in the pages I've already filled for 2023. I love coming up with different topics for my blog. It feels wonderful having ideas written down on paper. I look at them often when I can't think of what to say. 

Friends, I am reading a physical book right now! It's the first I've read since the summer I got my Kindle, and it's a great book. Have you read this?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I went to the library, which really is my happy place. I am going to start doing that every so often and read the occasional handheld book. I've missed them! I'm actually reading two books right now in the hopes of finishing them on time before they're due back. One is an e-version, so it'll be whisked away automatically if I don't hurry. 

Thinking back on our Christmas program Sunday night makes my heart happy. It was such a great night and there were so many people there. It's always encouraging to see that, after putting so many hours into getting ready for something big like that. I always appreciate a large crowd on those nights! The program itself was beautiful and worshipful, but my favorite moment of the night by far was when we sang What A Beautiful Name with Agnus Dei at the end. I could hardly sing for the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat.

This was the scene that played out before us as we sang behind them. Have you ever heard that song? It's beautiful! 

We're having a worship ministry appreciation dinner tonight in celebration of having made it through all those rehearsals and a successful night. It's so sweet of him to hold it on my birthday! I kid...this was planned months before. 

I'll wrap it up with one last thing, which is that a fancy night out with friends for dinner is so much fun to look forward to! I'll share about it on Friday, but I love the prospect of a new restaurant and being with three of my favorite people in the world, otherwise known as the writing team that I'm a part of. We always have a blast together and I am excited about going out with them! 

We usually do this twice a year to celebrate our accomplishments! With me is my friend Lynn, and the top ones are Barbee (on the left) and Amy. We are the writing team for our church and I feel so honored to be a part of this group. We've changed some in the years we've been writing, and went from six down to the four of us, but we're sticking with our plan to continue writing studies for women in our church and anywhere else to encourage and teach them how to dig deeper into God's word. I'm writing this on Tuesday afternoon, so I'm off to get dressed. 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. ❤ 


  1. Happy Birthday! You are YOUNG!! I hope you have the best time celebrating. Your parents look amazing. How great they were able to see you on your performance night and that you got to be photographed with them. I'm glad that your boys always make you feel special especially on special occasions like your birthday and spoil you. I hope you have the best day ;).

  2. Happy, happy birthday friend! I can understand that all you want it all of you together. I would've been upset about Monday night, too. One thing I try to remember is how bad they can be about communication and planning ahead. I am sure it was just an innocent oversight on his part. I hope you enjoyed the one on one lunch. I think I would use the money for what he suggested because that means he knows you so well. I love when someone gives me a gift that says they really listen and know me well. The pandemic Christmas - 2020 - Mason designed logos for my blog. It was such a special gift to me.
    I hope you feel so loved this week. Definitely print that picture out and put it in a frame!

  3. Happy Happy Birthday Sweet Jennifer! So glad I found your blog- you deserve the best! Love the pic of you and your hubby with your four boys- that is truly what life is all about- hope you find all the JOY today XO

  4. Thank you, Maria! That's what people keep saying when they find out I'm younger than them. 🤣 I loved that they were all there, but this one moment with Mom and Dad literally just about had me in tears. I don't know why I've never thought of that! They definitely spoil me and make me feel loved- I woke up to all my favorite treats this morning.

  5. Thanks, Amy! It definitely had me floored for a minute, because I could tell he felt bad that he'd forgotten to mention it to me. I recovered well by the time I called him back ten minutes later. You're so right- they don't think to communicate things like that to us. I get that, I'm sure I was the exact same way. That's great advice about his present- thank you! I hadn't thought of that. That is the sweetest thing that Mason did for you that year! Thoughtful gifts are the very best.

  6. Thank you, Holly! You are the sweetest. I feel the same way about you and your blog! You are so is everything!

  7. Happy Birthday Jennifer! I hope you get to spend time with all of your boys (at some point). I love quality time too and get pretty sad when we go too long without it.

    The one thing I always asked my boys for, for Christmas, birthday, or Mother's Day was a handwritten note. I have kept every single one of them :)

    I can't believe your dad is 91!! He looks amazing.

    Have a great day and a fun week!

  8. Happy, Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy Birthday and I hope you have a wonderful day!

  10. Happy birthday!! I love QT with my family too and every year on (or near!) my birthday my mom and I head out shopping and to lunch. In the last couple of years now that the boys are older my husband and I have been planning a little weekend away for birthday celebrations that's always so much fun too. I still see my boys each night at dinner so I don't feel like I have to schedule family time (yet!!)

    Both your parents look fabulous and I just love that family photo of you three! I have vowed that this is the year (coming up!) that I'm going to get better about taking photos WITH my family instead of just of my family. I always think of it before we get together or go somewhere and then sort of chicken out of asking to actually take said photo.

  11. I love the gift of family time and so special to have that picture with your parents. Enjoy the dinner tonight and glad you will be served tonight without cooking!

  12. Happy Birthday blessings to you!!!!!!

  13. Well, just sat down to catch up on your posts and decided to start with the newest one...and wow what a treat! Your birthday post...hooray! Happiest wishes my dear (blogging) friend! So nice to hear that your men are spoiling you and loving you exactly the way you enjoy it!! This was one of my favorite posts - so much to enjoy! The picture with your mom and dad is precious (and not they do not look their age - well, neither do you!!) and needs to be framed! And your Christmas program looks amazing. How special it must be to have a part in that!! Thanks for sharing so much joy today! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the posts I've missed and catching up with you!! Hugs and happy birthday! Eat a second piece of cake!!!

  14. Thanks, Debbie! I love that idea of a handwritten note. I do get cards and have kept every one they've ever given me. Those are priceless treasures and in a box I would consider "grab in case of fire". I have kept so many of their little love notes to me over the years, and all the haikus and poems they used to write for me.

    I hope you've had a good week too! Mine has been fun, once I started feeling better.

  15. Thank you, Joanne! Weekends away are definitely fun as well. I love that idea! I am glad to hear you have plans of being in more pictures. I had someone tell me that a long time ago- to be in the pictures with them, no matter what I thought I looked like. ❤

  16. Thank you so much, Jennifer! I appreciate that greatly. And that extra dessert today was definitely delicious! ❤

  17. Happy Birthday! (Maybe a day belated!) And yes, your parents really do look great for their age. So special to have that picture with both of them.

  18. Happy Birthday! You definitely need to print that picture with your parents. Maybe a tabletop canvas or metal print?

  19. Lucy- thank you! Both of those are great ideas. Thanks for that and for stopping by my blog!


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