A Happy 15th Birthday

by | Apr 23, 2020 | Happy Birthday, Idaho, Irish Dancing, Precious Moments: 04 | 16 comments

I have always loved trying to make our children’s birthdays extra special.

It’s been much harder to do the last few years due to our last two babies (sleepless nights/babies in your late 30s and 40s is HARD), our big out-of-state move, and just way less energy than I had when I was younger… Last year one of our daughters’ birthdays fell on Holy Saturday and I said “next year I’ll throw you a big party with friends!” That next birthday was this past Monday.

Between the quarantine and Easter I had not made any plans, other than the gifts that I had bought previously and tucked away in my closet.. I was too tired to even stay up and wrap them on Sunday night let alone bake a cake or pull together any other decorations. When I woke up in the morning it brought tears to my eyes when I walked out to the kitchen and discovered beautiful thank you cards scattered on the counter for every member of the family from the birthday girl. Each card had a sweet and personalized message on the back. I love her so much! She is so beautiful both inside and out and I’m grateful for the gift of being her mother!


I was still determined, despite the circumstances, to still make her day as special as possible! As our children have gotten older it’s become more about spending quality time with them instead of fun and creative birthday themes. The birthday girl had a Latin Exam to complete for her online class first thing on Monday morning, but after that we took the rest of the day off! While she was getting her exam done I wrapped her birthday gifts, made cake decorations, and came up with a fun plan for the day. 
The birthday girl loved the Cookies & Creamery Ice Cream cake that “Rose” had for her birthday last December, so I was going to try and pick one up while we were out. 
I wasn’t sure what size I’d be able to get so I made two toppers just in case. That ended up being a good thing since we arrived back home to the two year old covered saying “I ATE CHOT-LIT!!!” with the remnants all over her mouth… At least she only ate one of them and the bigger design just fit on the smaller cake size I had brought home! 
Anyway, it had been over five weeks since our girls had left the home with the exception of enjoying our property or neighborhood walks! (In fact we shut off the liability insurance a month ago, keeping comprehensive only to cover parked cars, on all except my husband’s car in order to save as much as possible while I’ve been laid off work.) We joked that this year she was going to get an “ESCAPE… the Little House on the Prairie” themed birthday. (She had a Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party four years ago.) Sean and the boys agreed to watch the little ones while the three older girls and I got OUT of the house for the afternoon! 
Armed with hand sanitizer, and handkerchiefs to use as face masks if needed, we got in the car and everyone held their breath to see if  Mom could still remember how to drive. 😉 

The last place the girls had been was to Sunday Mass on March 15th. Our parish actually continued to have Mass through that following Friday, but between a virus that hit some more of the children on Monday morning and then our college boys flying home on the 17th (after spending their spring break and then “second spring break” with a friend in NJ/NYC) our quarantine started early… We still don’t have public Mass yet, but as of last week the church is now open for visits so that was our first stop. 
Next up was Dutch Bros! We drove through for her birthday drink. Blended Chai is her favorite! 
The girls in the back shared a Snickers Freeze. I stuck with a small breve, no flavor but still a treat. 

Idaho currently allows hiking as long as we “recreate responsibly” and maintain social distancing from those who are not immediate family/household members. I ran in to a store to pick up lunch (Arugula Balsamic Grass-Fed Burgers from Pilgrims!!!) and then we headed to Tubbs Hill to hike. 


Last spring we hiked Tubbs with friends every week and WE MISS THAT SO MUCH!

Next we headed over to walk the boardwalk. At 3,300 feet (nearly 3/4 mile) long and 12 ft wide, the Coeur d’Alene Resort Floating Boardwalk is the longest floating boardwalk in the world and encircles the marina on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

This was actually the first time we’ve walked the full length of the boardwalk! We started to during the road trip I took these three girls on back in 2014, but it was so windy we stopped at the bridge. 
Look at them!!! 

I actually took Sean back yesterday and he and I walked it again. So peaceful!  

On the way home I ran into Cold Stone and thankfully had just enough charge left on my cellphone to order cake(s). They didn’t have a huge selection and I wasn’t able to get the large Cookies & Creamery Cake we were hoping for. The large cakes were all chocolate glazed, which wouldn’t exactly work with my homemade decoration… sooo, I got two! A large Peanut Butter Playground with “Happy 15th Birthday” written on top and a small Cookies & Creamery that I was able to scrape the decorations off and decorate myself.

With everyone home, the cakes didn’t last long! Everyone had a small piece of each on her birthday and then they finished the second half of the large cake after dinner last night. Such a treat! 
For starting the day without any plans it all came together beautifully. 
I guess the nearly 20 years of practice… and boxes of past decorations… is paying off! 
After I dropped the girls (and frozen cakes) off at home I ran over to Papa Murphy’s to pick up our pizza order, along with some roses and a gallon of milk (which we had been out of for over a week) at the grocery store. There wasn’t much to choose from in the floral section, but when I saw this bouquet of roses I knew they were perfect for her. 

Birthday gifts were next and included a new swimsuit, a beautiful Tolkien throw blanket from Tea with Tolkien, an Oregon sweatshirt, ChromaCat, and a new backpack style purse… She was recently diagnosed with scoliosis and her doctor recommended backpacks over totes. The one we picked out is technically a “mini diaper bag” but super cute and filled with lots of awesome pockets. It’s the same platinum color as her favorite tote/purse and I have a membership to Freshly Picked so was able to get it at a great price. 
Happy Birthday to our beautiful girl! We love you dearly! 


  1. Karen

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a beautiful and lovely young lady with a heart of gold. What a joyous and delightful birthday celebration. And kudos to you, Jessica, you never cease to amaze, and the way you describe how "without any plans it all came together beautifully", I have a feeling Someone was behind that 😉 You all are blessed indeed!

    2020-04-23 22:10:54

  2. jbc2789

    Wonderful pictures! You made her day extra special!

    2020-04-23 23:53:35

  3. Rocio

    God always provides…we are a family of 6 I wonder what the future would look like with more children and how it impacts the older ones (the teens). Glad it all worked out and that you had a special day together.

    2020-04-23 23:57:10

  4. Tienne McKenzie

    Love the pictures of you and your beautiful girls celebrating together!

    2020-04-24 04:01:25

  5. Melanie

    Happy birthday! We have a few quarantine birthdays going on too. 🙂 your girls are just lovely. <3

    2020-04-24 12:53:19

  6. stampingpeace

    Happy Birthday wishes from Maine to your beautiful Clare. Her thank you cards are precious! May God bless her and your family always.

    2020-04-24 12:54:15

  7. Christine M.

    Beautifully done! God bless to all of you!

    2020-04-24 14:08:52

  8. Joy

    Wow she is so blessed to have such a loving caring family surrounding her. God Bless you for all that you do for your children. Hopefully God-Willing things will get back to normal for everybody very soon. I'm thinking and hopefully praying here in Louisiana we might start opening by the very beginning of May and then Mass and Sacraments maybe by the second week of May but we shall see. God's will be done.

    2020-04-24 16:16:58

  9. Joan

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Wishing you all good things. You are a lovely young lady. Jessica you made a beautiful day for your special girl. God Bless Joan

    2020-04-24 20:27:46

  10. Marion

    A lovely birthday celebration for a lovely young lady. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Wishing you a year of happiness and blessings. Marion

    2020-04-24 21:17:16

  11. Chelsea Clary

    Every time I see posts form you all I can think is, "I just love this family" You are very inspiring for me as a new Catholic to try to incorporate the faith more in my every day life. Thank you!

    2020-04-24 22:23:56

  12. Marilyn

    Wishing her a year of happiness and blessings. Glad you had a nice birthday. You are a beautiful young lady. Thank You Jessica for sharing her special day. You always make everything so joyous with memories your children will cherish. God Bless you and yours. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Marilyn

    2020-04-24 23:11:58

  13. Bernadette Osborne

    Happy 15th birthday! I'm glad was able to celebrate her special day outdoors. 😉

    2020-04-26 17:51:05

  14. Karen

    Happy birthday! How beautiful that she gifted everyone with special messages on her birthday. Looks like she had a wonderful day and enjoyed some mom and sister time! Many blessings to all of you!

    2020-04-27 06:32:00

  15. Nancy

    Your children are blessed!

    2020-04-28 18:45:39

  16. Debbie

    Oh my Jessica you and your husband have nurtured such a lovely caring daughter. She is every mother's dream with her dear and thoughtful affection for all of her family. This looked like a very special Birth Day for a very special young lady. Her birthday outing with Mom and her sisters looked like such fun and I love the chocolate Irish dancing shoes topper that you made for her cake. So perfectly done. A festive party with her family topped off her special day. Each of your children always look so happy to share in their siblings birthdays. Your daughter is a very pretty girl and she has such beautiful long hair. I know you must be so proud of the delightful young lady she is becoming. Your birthday posts are always such a treat to read. Thank you so much for taking the time in your busy life to share these special moments with your followers. You and your family are such an inspiration!

    2020-06-01 22:59:47


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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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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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