Happy Birthday to Mommy! …And this year, I’m enjoying it like I’m about to be 4!


This week is my birthday and I will be celebrating the milestone achievement of turning…drum roll, please… Thirty-two!

Yeah, I know, kinda anti-climactic!

Yep, birthdays have gotten so blah that sometimes I even forget how old I’m turning. I knew that as I aged, these special days would likely become somewhat less exciting, but the truth is, I’ve realized that I’m actually not a huge fan of getting old.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to be where I am at my age. I’m thrilled to be married to a wonderful man and we’re blessed with two healthy little boys. Additionally, as I’ve gotten older I think I have improved and learned some things along the way. Why just this week I learned that a rug burn on a baby brother’s scalp will heal up fine in a few days and that nail polish remover is excellent at getting rid of bubble gum that has melted to the dryer. These are things of which the 20-year-old version of me knew nothing.

But as I’ve gotten older, birthdays have become a little less fun and a little more of marker pointing how quickly the years are going by. I mean seriously, I am now old enough to say sentences like, “I bought that purse 15 years ago.” To top it off, my high school babysitters call me Mrs. Dunlap! I was just about to ask that high school girl where she got her cute top… but maybe I should go ask her mom where she shops instead! When did any of this happen? I still feel so young, but all evidence (presented in the form of forehead wrinkles) to the contrary.

However, since I still feel young, this year, rather than mourn the fact that I’m getting older, I am going to try to change my perspective. I decided I would, as I know I should do in so many things, look to the sweet innocence of my children, for tips on how to really approach my birthday. Therefore, I now present to you, my new and improved birthday attitude: in other words… “How I would celebrate my birthday if I were more like a three- year- old turning four.”


  • I would begin planning my birthday party months in advance.  But by “planning” I do not mean that I, myself, would be responsible for any of the actual prep work, organization, or, for that matter, clean-up.
  • Because it is my birthday after all, I would not concern myself with being polite. If overlapping social circles and mutual friendships mandated that I invite someone whose company I don’t truly enjoy, I would make it a point to tell them that they were just there because I had to invite them. I would reserve the seat next to me for my best friend.
  • Rather than just have a plain old birthday party, there would need to be a theme and it would most likely be based on my favorite television characters. I just don’t know if Baskin Robbins makes a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” ice cream cake. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen “Modern Family” paper hats at Party City.
  • Instead of selflessly insisting on “No Gifts Please!”, birthday gifts would be the first thing on my mind. The moment a friend walked in the door, I would rip their present out of their hand and tear off the wrapping paper. At that point I would either jump for joy, “YEAH! It’s the new fancy Vitamix I’ve been hinting at for months now!” Or, publically announce my great disappointment at their less than stellar gift, “NOOO!!! I said I wanted a Tory Burch Polo in NAVY!! NOT WHITE! ARGHHH!! I’m so mad I’m going to my room!”
  • Rather than quietly keep my special day to myself, I would announce that it was my birthday to every stranger I met. I would spend the day wearing a paper crown and a large colorful button on my shirt. I would offer family members the chance to sing to me and smile with glee every time I heard my name.
  • When anyone asked how old I was, which they obviously never do, rather than just give them the number I would tell them I was “this many” then would hold up my hands and open and close my fingers until… finally…I had signaled to them that I was now 32 years old!
  • I would use this opportunity of being a year older to go through my closet and remove the clothes that no longer fit that I no longer wear. Rather than be discouraged over the state of my post-baby figure, I would be thrilled that I had really grown and was now a “big girl.”
  • Along the same lines I would begin thinking about my birthday cupcakes several weeks before the big day. When my birthday arrived, I would feel no guilt in eating them, or in licking icing off of five or six additional cupcakes just to “try” them. I’d then leave them on the tray thinking the ones that were licked by the birthday girl were extra special.
  • I would give a hug to my mother. Because even though I really don’t know quite why my big day seems important to her, I will somehow understand that my growing up is a huge milestone in her life too.

So, what did I miss? How is a mom supposed to celebrate her birthday anyway?


  1. Oh, Kirsten, SO clever as always! I want to come to your RHONJ/Modern Family party. What I also love is the bigger parenting message (I know, I always have to find one), which is that it is good for our kids to see us celebrating ourselves – being cool with 32 (or 45, or 28), looking forward to a celebration, accepting gifts, and being comfortable with putting ourselves first once in a while. I will remember this on my next birthday (incidentally, my 32nd 🙂 )

  2. Wow and wow! I am turning 30 tomorrow and to be honest I have not been very excited about this particular milestone. I really needed to read your post. Thanks for this funny and oh so true post. I think I’m going to go and find myself a birthday button! LOL!

    Thanks for the smile!

  3. The last part made me cry! Thank you for sharing this! I depend on my husband to keep track of our ages. So badly so that once I told someone I was 3 years younger than I actually was. My only child just turned one a couple of weeks ago and it was a day I will never forget! We did nothing out of the ordinary on his actual birthday but after I cried I was on cloud nine all day. 🙂 A friend said to me, “Isn’t your child’s birthday the best day of the year?” I’ll never forget that b/c it really is. I will try to be a bit more enthusiastic about my birthdays from now on-for my mom’s sake! 🙂

  4. So cute, Kirsten!! I love birthdays and I love celebrating. I never have to make a big deal about my birthday. My hubby always does. I get an entire birthday month 🙂 and even my kids know that Daddy never works on Mommy’s birthday. With every gray hair, he tells me how much he loves growing old together. It makes each year awesome!!!!

  5. Fabulous job Kirsten. I was laughing out loud while reading the part about a RHONJ cake and then moments later was crying as I reflected on how poignant it was that my Birthday still means something monumental for my Mother. What a gift these words were, you are such a talent and I am so blessed to call you friend!

  6. Amazing, Kirsten! I was laughing out loud, and I LOVED the part at the end about hugging your mama. Happy Happy Birthday Week!!!

  7. I agree with all of the above comments. Loved the laughter this post brought as well as the tears! What a sweet reminder Kirsten of the importance of celebration in our homes!


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