The Birthday Marathon

It’s been pretty quiet around here, and we are twiddling our thumbs trying to think of something tame to post about. But brace yourself, because Heather is probably going to cannonball back into the water shortly with another fun with politics post. But not until she has recovered from the birthday endurance test.

She has spent the last several days planning and executing a three-day birthday bash for her two girls, who are almost Irish twins, being one year and two days apart. So, Sunday was Lucy’s 5th bday with all the trimmings, today was the joint bday party with all the little-girl friends (more cake), and tomorrow is Ameera’s 4th birthday, and they will do it all over again, sparing no pains!

I believe the birthday liturgy involves pancakes in the morning followed by the great gift opening. Then in the evening is the family birthday dinner and birthday cake gala, followed by more presents. So not only did the parents have all this to manage, but they also decided to take the birthday opportunity to move the boys into their own room and surprise the bday girls with a newly painted pink bedroom with new sheets on the bunk beds. This of course involved some secrecy as well as many hours of painting, moving, organizing, and setting up. But it was a terrific surprise and major success, and now it is done. But there is still one more birthday party to go tomorrow. The last lap.

After this three-day cake and candle fest, I believe the parents are going to curl up into tight little balls and pull the blankets over their heads! Did you ever read the story about the little girl who wished it was Christmas every day and the fairy granted her wish? By a month into it people were throwing presents at each other and hating the sight of a stocking and sick to death of turkey. The birthday marathon is not nearly so bad, but tonight even the cousins were pretty wiped out from the afternoon festivities. By tomorrow night I’m afraid the smallest cousins will be confused. Are these birthday parties going to go on forever?

Meanwhile the birthday sisters are basking in their four and five-year-old glory, relishing every bit of it, and I say, hats off to the party parents!

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28 thoughts on “The Birthday Marathon

  1. Oh and how wonderful it was to have you all there at the Nuart today. And cupcakes in ice cream cones! Yes, quite clever, I must say. Kudos to you Heather.

  2. I read the story about ‘Christmas Every Day’! It was hilarious. Now our family reads it every year at Christmas.

  3. Hey, we can party along with you!
    We have a sweetie who was born 9/9/99….and today she is 9.
    So Happy Birthday to all these great girls!

  4. Yay for Irish twins! Mine are almost a month apart but their birthdays neatly span Christmas and the New Year…I’m not sure how I’ll manage in the coming years…

  5. But I have to mention one of my favorite blog posts ever. A friend walked past when his son was watching some TV show on which a song about “Every day is Earth Day” was playing. He stopped, got the boy’s attention, and said, “Son, that’s not true. Every day’s not Earth Day…every day is Christmas.” I wouldn’t want all the tinsel and trimming every day, but I sure do agree with that statement in that context!

  6. I’ve been doing recent birthday festivities too! My baby turned 9 on the 6th! I am so grateful for the strength the Lord gives! It just wouldn’t seem right not to go all out for birthdays like I did for my now older kids when I was a much younger mom! And we’re not done celebrating yet! Friday we’ll have about a dozen boys over and celebrate some more! Yippee!

  7. Heather,
    The party yesterday will be legendary! I especially loved the theatre reader board wishing them Happy Birthday!
    Kayte had such a great time she came home and wrote the girls a thank you note πŸ™‚
    Enjoy one more day of celebration! PC

  8. That sounds impressive.

    My thing is a special cake. If I can whip one up, then everything else is the icing on the icing on the cake. (We have people coming over tomorrow night for cake and ice cream for my just-turned-four year-old. Right now I’m agonizing over which icing from I want to use. Decisions…)

  9. I arrived for the birthday breakfast party, same traditions as Heather’s growing up years, and commented to Nate that I feel like I am in a birthday dream after 3 days of partying! Great fun with LOTS to celebrate! Nana G from California.

  10. How fun! My family has “birthday season”- we’ve got three birthdays in December, and the rest are mostly in the fall! My husband’s family also has birthday season, in the fall, so we have a busy few months where every week one of our siblings has a birthday. Busy but really fun!

    I love the ideas for celebrating two birthdays in a row… I’m tucking them away in a mental file for later, since our second is due exactly a week after our first will turn one!

  11. Natalie,
    My second was due five days after the first’s first birthday but was born five weeks early…just something to be prepared for. I wasn’t even close to being packed to go to the hospital!

  12. I’m not quite sure how moms do birthdays so faithfully. Two of us are nearly ‘Irish twins’… I was born 9 days before my brother had his first birthday! It was great to be ‘the same age’ once a year.

    There are 5 of us Janiary kids, and of course you don’t want to skip the celebration for any one, so you have cake at least 5 times. It pays off to be broad-minded and tasted. Pie has made it to a couple of our birthdays, and if you get really tired of cake, candles will stick into the top of a tub of ice cream and look almost as elegant in photos.

  13. Hi Nancy and ladies πŸ™‚ I’ve been visiting femina off and on for the last year, and just spend the last hour after my little guy’s bedtime perusing the most recent posts, and I felt so ensurged! I am so grateful for your commitment to building up women as wives and mothers and homemakers and disciples of Christ! Especially now that I am far from home (Japan) and away from the women’s ministries of our church.. I miss the mom-to-mom events especially — being with other young mothers who are pursuing Christ.

    I had a thought while I was finishing — I was wondering if one of you wouldn’t mind commenting or sharing your wisdom/thoughts/ideas in the area of being “in the home” as it relates to cross-cultural ministry, being missionaries, etc. Or maybe you can just speak to my heart issue. Mainly, I’ve been feeling a little torn as I seek to learn Japanese.. I’ve been struggling with guilt over the moments that I am not with my son. (I meet with a tutor in our home four times a week, for one hour each — my husband does twice that and spends the afternoons studying while I’m at home with our 17 month old son. My husband watches the little guy during my lessons and two other times each week — once for studying and once for an extended time of Bible reading, prayer, etc.) I think I struggle with this guilt because I have always felt so strongly about sacrificing so that my home and family receive the first fruits, and I wonder if I might be jeopardizing this because of my language study — at times, it feels like a part-time job, though my husband and tutor have always been very clear about their expectations for me and their desire to not overwhelm me. As I’ve been praying about it, my first thoughts have been that my guilt lies more in feeling such responsibility for my son and such a burden to be a stay-at-home mom that those things have grown and turned slightly off the path into a fear of not doing the job well, a fear of condemnation from God for not being with my son 24 hours of the day. I would welcome any thoughts or advice. Have you had any families from your church move overseas??

    This was a rather long introduction/question. Apologies πŸ™‚ I’ve just enjoyed your wisdom and your sharing from the Scriptures. Thank you!!

    Much love,
    (twenty-something in Japan)

  14. Jamie, I’m not one of the wise ladies who run this site, but that doesn’t stop me from having opinions to offer. πŸ˜‰ If your husband is called to ministry in Japan, then learning the language is part of your home-oriented responsibilities, not a distraction from them! You will need to know the language to be effective in your role as his helper, especially as hospitality will probably be a significant part of his outreach efforts. So feel free to tackle your lessons worry-free with the thought that you are serving your husband by doing so!

  15. Valerie,
    You always give the most appropriate nuggets of wisdom. So it is evidence of the grace of God in your life, and such a gift for us all.

  16. Jamie,

    I’m neither Nancy, nor one of the ladies. I’m a lurking male, but I too have opinions. And I couldn’t agree more with Valerie.

    It is God’s gracious gift to you to assist your husband in ministry, and part of that requires the most fluency that you can gain in the heart language of those to whom y’all minister. Not only that, despite your son needing a full-time momma, that does not quite mean 24/7. Your husband seems to clearly understand that, so you are not displeasing him.

    Summary: no need for guilt! You are doing right by pursuing language study. And even if you were doing wrong, the answer isn’t to fear God’s condemnation for not being with your little guy 24 hours a day, but rather, to work with your husband on how to best schedule your day for your responsibilities. Your Father’s grace, mercy, and love is like a mighty ocean that washes over you with refreshing forgiveness and abundant life, and I strongly suspect your husband’s love for you is in the same vein. Be refreshed by those loves, and don’t give way to fear.

  17. Way to go Heather, I’d love to see some pictures of your little ones. My girls are 13 months apart and such great friends, isn’t it fun?

  18. Oh, also, just wondering at what age you started doing friend parties for your kids? We (of course) do family birthdays but I haven’t been sure when to start the kid parties….mine will only be turning 3 and 4 this year.

  19. Could you offer advice surrounding birthday liturgy and family: specifically when extended (Christian) family attend your kids birthdays but don’t enjoy Psalm singing, or other such liturgy.

  20. Valerie and Jay —
    Thank you so much for the encouraging responses, I’ve been away from the computer these couple of days — but those were so helpful, reminding me of God’s and my husband’s love for me.

  21. Tracey,
    I’m afraid our birthday celebrations are just a lot of silliness, so I don’t think we would give any offense to non-Psalm-singing relatives.
    My parents had a lovely wooden cake stand they bought in Germany when I was a kid. You could wind it up like a music box, and it would play the “happy birthday” tune while it turned slowly around with the cake on it. I always wanted one of those, so I started looking for something like that for my grandkids’ bdays. Several years ago I found one on line that is not nearly as lovely as my Mom’s but quite funny! Not only does it turn around when you push the button, but it also lights up, and a lady actually sings “Happy Birthday to you…” My grandchildren adore it!
    So our birthday “liturgy” involves the cake singing, candle blowing, and gift opening, but no Psalm singing. Not that we are against it! We just have not incorporated that into our many bday bashes.
    My mom used to put money in the bday cake, so I did that for our kids when they were growing up. Mom always put one quarter, one dime, one nickle, one penny, and one button (wrapped in foil) in the cake. The time to insert the money is after the cake has cooled and before it is assembled and frosted. I remember my childhood friends eagerly asking for more cake so that they might get the money! Whoever got the button won a special prize. So there is one idea for you!

  22. Jamie,

    You are welcome. May the Father’s purpose to call his people from every tribe, nation, people, and tongue be effected in part by what he works in your family!


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