{pretty, happy, funny, real} :: 35th Birthday Edition

by | Jan 18, 2013 | {phfr}, Cake Decorating, Happy Birthday | 21 comments

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life. ~
Pretty birthday flowers from my husband, who is still in Arizona on training… Only one more week until he will be home again!
Despite Sean being out of town, he and my family made sure I had a very happy birthday!  The kids decorated a cake and even took pictures of the process.   My Mom came over the day before with a gift card to my favorite coffee drive through, a new book I’ve been wanting to read, and a Cobb Salad from my favorite restaurant, since she was leaving for Hawaii  early on the 16th to go help my sister for a few weeks.  (My sister has been really sick and spent some time in ICU recently.  Please keep her in your prayers!) 

Instagram Photo taken by my sister Julianna
My Aunt came over and made dinner and drinks for everyone, including my Dad, brother Brian and his family (who surprised me with a gift card to our new Trader Joe’s!), my sister Julianna, my brother Kevin, and my youngest brother David (who turned 17 the day before my birthday, which was the age I still was the day he was born!).  It was such a fun night!  
Me and My Seven Sweeties
David, My Dad, My Niece, and My Kiddos
Way too many candles… 
Of course, the kids made me wait until after I had blown out all the candles to open the gifts that Sean had left in their care.   The girls had helped him pick out some new perfume, and the boys helped pick out a gift at Best Buy!  I’m so excited!!  I’ve been balancing the laptop on top of the treadmill to help me get through all the time I’ve been spending on there, and this will be so much better!  Yes, they really did spoil me this year!
So tired, but very happy and very blessed! 
No, I’m not going to show you the picture of my blowing out all those candles! 😉
On Tuesday night, the girls and I stopped at a few different stores to look for a special cake pan I wanted to try and find at the last minute.  I had thought that I would make myself a gluten free persimmon spice cake, and this was a good excuse to buy that beautiful cathedral bunt pan I mentioned  wanting to purchase for the next feast of St. Thomas Becket!  We didn’t have any luck finding the pan locally and I ended up just asking the girls if they would like to pick out decorations to decorate their own cake for me instead!   They had so much fun making their selections, and then I couldn’t believe it when we got home to find the very pan we were looking for sitting on the porch, sent as a gift from a very sweet friend!   So, I had two birthday cakes this year!  And it was a good thing too, with all the family that ended up coming over… We only had a couple pieces left! 
A couple days before my birthday my sister Julianna asked what I wanted “if money wasn’t an option…”  I told her, “to not be turning Advanced Maternal Age!” 😉   In an effort to help me feel younger, she filled a box with healthy treats including Organic fair for life Dark Chocolate, Coconut Water, Rain Water, Trident Vitality Gum, and Refreshing Burt’s Bee’s Lip Balm!  

My sister, sister-in-law, and Twinkle Toes took more pictures, but the rest just make me want to go climb back on the treadmill!  Yikes!  Instead I am going to show you a picture from my 1st birthday.  (You can see more childhood birthday memories here.)

I showed this picture to the kids the other night and they all thought that Bud looks just like me as a baby, if you ignore the dress and the bow!  What do you think?

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.


  1. Lena

    praise God for your beautiful and blessed birthday. sean was with you all the way!!!

    you have much to thankful for (including your body – wink).

    may He continue to shower you with His abundant grace as you continuing to live a life worth living – all for Him!

    pax, Lena

  2. Karen

    It looks like you had a lovely birthday despite your hubby being away. Happy belated birthday! I'll be joining you in the "advanced maternal age" department in a few more months, of course The Scooter Store and AARP think I'm already well past that based on the amount of mail I get from them!

    I think Bud bears a pretty strong resemblance to your baby picture.

  3. Kari

    It always a blessing to get older, even though it doesn't always feel like one. Looks like you had a very happy and blessed birthday!

  4. Anonymous

    LOVE your 1st bday photo. Your parents barely looked old enough to have kids in that photo. You were a cutie (dress and bow add to the cuteness) & I agree Bud does look just like you! Happy Birthday. May God Bless you abundantly this year!

  5. Anonymous

    So wonderful that family stepped in to make your day special! I really enjoyed this birthday version of {pretty, happy, funny, real}!! Yes, Bud does look just like you minus the yellow dress and bow!

  6. Jamie Jo

    Oh, my goodness!! Bud looks exactly like you did!! (MINUS THE BOW!)

    so happy you had such a wonderful birthday–you deserve it! God bless you!

  7. Jacqui

    So happy you had a great birthday – you deserve it! And yes, Bud looks like you or you like Bud 😉

  8. Nadja

    Happy birthday! You are one exceptional mama, Jessica; God bless you! Yes,Bud looks like you as a baby…and your brother David looks a lot like your sons–there's some strong genetics going there!

  9. Kerry

    Happy birthday! Love the photo of you as a baby! That bean bag dolly in the background–I had one just like it! And don't worry, "advanced maternal age" isn't the worst thing the Ob-gyn's call you when you get to your mid 30's–try "elderly grand multipara", lol!

  10. Julie

    Happy birthday!

  11. Marie-Alice

    Hello !

    Happy birthday from a french reader who likes your blog 🙂 🙂 I'm born january 19, 1996, and I think that january is the best month of the year !

    PS : Sorry for the mistake, I don't speak english, thanks to Google translate !


  12. Gwen Marbach

    Do you really struggle with depression?You are always so smiley and upbeat.If its any comfort, Jessica, I think every mom out there [especially with the isolation involved in homeschooling] struggles with sadness. I TRULY believe its the devil's tool these days. I'm your age..mom of 9…its my nature to be a smiley, happy person..but the ''sadness struggle'' does lurk. [I don't call it depression..its sadness….a smoldering gray sadness that tries to enter my soul…] I would recommend a little booklet which helps me..''QUADRUPANI, LIGHT AND PEACE'' SOLD BY TAN BOOKS. Saint Francis De Sales has really good advice in ''INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE'' ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT, ALSO. Heart-to-heart talk with Jesus and His Blessed Mother are my weapons..plus Mass, sacraments. Thank God for the Catholic Faith!! I notice my moods GREATLY affect my family..so I really try to stay cheerful,positive and calm the best I can. I'm in my last 2 weeks of pregnancy here…trust me, it takes a lot to keep a smiley face in these last days of waiting…but God always supplies the grace.When I'm happy, my kids are happy. My husband is a doll…I've got lots to be grateful for.
    You were a DOLLBABY!..Bud looks like you!
    I'm praying for you, Jessica..I know you miss your husband!Hang in there: )
    Gwen..mom from Pa

  13. Gwen Marbach

    woops..I'm 37…not 35

  14. Sara

    Happy birthday, Jessica! It looks like it was a lot of fun, even without your hubby. Bud does look just like you!

  15. mel

    I was looking at your old pics…your oldest girl looks an awful lot like your mom! 🙂 I have a few years on you. My last two have been "AMA" babies. My doc doesnt care, but the techs and nurses make me feel like a pregnant dinosaur,ha!

  16. Mom2Seven

    Happy birthday, sweet Jessica! You have a wonderful family and a beautiful life! You are blessed! +JMJ+

  17. Christine

    Happy Birthday! 35 now seems so young to me!!! I am old.

    Looks like you had a good time! Love the kids around you. Best pic evah.

  18. Unknown

    Happy birthday to you Jessica, from me Jessica. I just got and iPad gift too. It's soo nice. Enjoy!

  19. Leila

    Your birthday looks so joy-filled and happy! What a caring family you have!

  20. Michele

    Glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday!

  21. Anonymous

    Oh what a wonderful birthday! God bless you Jessica!!


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Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-18, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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