Today’s my birthday. I will get back to writing about writing in the next couple of days, but today I get to drink coffee, eat whatever I want, and open presents. My favorite thus far is from Christopher: a doll with pins to shove into it, part of a coping-with-stress kit (“An anger management program you can really stick with!”)

And my favorite page in the accompanying booklet: a curse to put on your critics.

I thought I might post just a few old photos today, since I’m 39 (for real) and it seems like a good day to mull over the past. If you’re interested, scroll down and watch the children multiply while my hair grows shorter.

Circa 1970:

Two impossibly young people getting married in 1990:

Christopher’s first Christmas:

Here I am with baby Ben, son number #2; he’s happy, I’ve got the flu.

OK, promise to be nice over this one. This is the first advance I ever got, for my very first book, when we only had two children. And yes, that IS a denim jumper. Enjoy your chuckle.

Son #3, about a week old:

And then we added Emily. I’m not in this picture, but I’m posting it because it’s my favorite. She’s about three here; she put baby carrots in a sock, tied it closed, and carried it around for days. No, we don’t know why.

Four children and five books later, here are Pete and I, going off to someone else’s wedding and looking considerably more mature.

And here I am, buried in children.

That’s it for the self-indulgent photos. Except for this one: the birthday man, responsible for the fact that I get to have a wonderful day. (Also responsible for most of the presents, if Emily’s “I didn’t know I got you that!” upon my unwrapping her present is any indicator.)

Showing 27 comments
  • Staci

    Enjoy your day! Happy Birthday!

  • kelli

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy the luv and coffee!

  • Lori

    Awww! Happy happy birthday and the wish for many more happy years to come!

  • Heather in Virginia

    Happy Birthday!

    We won’t mention the denim jumper unless it is still lurking in a closet, in which case, I feel it is fair game!

  • Suzanne B in CA

    That is a wonderful post. 🙂 Have an excellent birthday!

  • Trish

    Happy birthday! Have a great one! Mine was last Friday (I turned 33), and I still say August birthdays are the best!

    Love the pin doll. Great idea about the critics curse. Great pics.

  • Jennifer

    Happy Birthday, Susan! From your fan and ardent admirer in Cincinnati…

  • A Circle of Quiet

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That picture from your wedding is really beautiful. The girls both declared you to be worthy of a Jane Austen movie — high praise indeed.

    I lift my coffee mug in your general direction,


  • Colleen in NS

    Happy Birthday, Susan!! Thanks for sharing the pics – I was ROTFL at the denim jumper comment! And Emily looks a lot like your baby pic.


  • Sandy

    I went through a denim jumper phase too- they lend themselves well to toddlers and nursing babies, I suppose. Now I’m in a denim overalls phase which, admittedly, isn’t much of an improvement. I’d really like to just ditch my entire wardrobe and dress in scrubs, but I just don’t have the guts to do it…
    Anyway, Happy happy birthday!

  • Suzanne

    Happy birthday to you! The family pictures are so sweet. 🙂

  • angela

    Happy Birthday:o)

  • melissa in va

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!! (But, seriously… more denim jumpers…..where are your priorities, woman?!)

    Have a wonderful day!

  • Heather

    Happy Birthday!

    LOL about the jumper. Too funny that an item of clothing has so many connotations in our homeschooling world.

    I love the picture where you are holding your third son.


  • Christina

    Happy Birthday!!!

  • e

    Happy Birthday!

    Can you please wear that denim jumper the next time we’re in Europe? I think I’ve got my old denim overall shorts somewhere….

    And that’s only half snarky. People in Germany were actually wearing those things as part of the 80s revival (very close to spelling “revile” there), and we’d fit right in.

  • Henry Cate

    Congratulations on surviving another year in this crazy world. Best wishes for many more years.

  • ThoughtfulMom

    Happy birthday, and many more!

    And you aren’t alone on the hair thing – mine gets shorter with every baby. We’ve had four, and I’m now to a chin-length bob. We’d like two more kids, so their may be baldness in my future. 🙂

  • PariSarah

    Happy Birthday, Susan!!

  • Robin A.

    Popping in a couple of days late, here… happy belated birthday, Susan! Thanks for sharing those sweet, sweet pictures. Forget the denim jumper – I noticed you wore black on your wedding day! You never fail to raise my eyebrows, Susan .

  • Robin A.

    Ack… where did my grin go? Of course, I meant “raise my eyebrows” in a good sense – the way I always find you interesting and original.

  • Nicole

    Your pictures are wonderful! But c’mon, show us the rest of your wedding photos (or at least the full-length version of the one above). Everything looks really nice…and congratulations on your 38th.

  • Nicole

    Also, don’t forget that Laura Ingalls Wilder (and a lot of other women) were also married in black.

  • ChristineMM

    Happy Birthday Susan!
    I loved seeing all the photos, thanks for posting them. And thank you for all the inspiration you give me through your publications and lectures.

  • Sherrill Fink

    Happy Birthday! So I am just a tiny bit older than you are after all. I will leave my 30s in February! And your pics were great. I think posting the one where you have the flu was braver than the denim jumper! (Although you know I’m fond of those stereotypical things.)


  • Occidental Girl

    Aw, that’s sweet. Happy Birthday!

  • Kate CA

    Aww, I loved those pictures! Sorry I missed your birthday but the fond wishes are there just the same.

    See you in September!


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