It’s my birthday, and I’m giving you a present. (You can drop off yours in the comment box.)

birthday_candlesIt always bugged me that my mom would never tell us her age.  So I’ll be honest, I’m old.  For the first time in my life, I feel old.  I figure maybe I shouldn’t say my actual age because then all you internet information predators could do the math and steal my identity and walk away with my amazing credit potential.  So let’s just say that I am now a lot closer to 40 than I am to 30, and that is INsane.  I am the “old people” in young people’s minds.  I have been out of high school for longer than it took me to complete elementary school, junior high and high school combined.  I have been through so many different stages of life that I have a bra drawer with about 12 different sizes in it.  (I should really get rid of them, because truth be told, I only need a very small drawer now.)

I’ll concede that older does mean wiser.  I now get it that all those boys that took up volumes of pages in my journals never liked me.  I was a dork.  I also know that a person cannot live on Pringles and bubble gum alone.  Plus, life has taught me many other important lessons like what not to do if you are a) mugged in China, b) cat-called in Argentina, or c) going outside too often in your pajamas in your own hometown.  So, yeah, one year older and wiser too…

old ladySo, I’ve got this whole blog birthday party thing worked out in my mind.  First a present for you.  

What do mommy bloggers need and appreciate the most?  Quiet time.  I’d like to introduce you to JumpStart computer games to shut up educate your children while they have fun at the same time.  My boys love the JumpStart computer games, and we actually owned two of them before the company contacted me about doing a giveaway on my blog.  Just today they played the 3D Virtual 1st Grade game while I blogged did laundry and lots of important things.  They really are very clever games that incorporate math, reading and critical thinking skills into fun arcade-like games and activities.  And now they have an on-line version of their games at where your child can create a “Jumpee” (kind of like an avatar) and travel all around in a virtual world of learning adventures.  My boys have spent a little time playing around on it and they were quite smitten by some of the fun things they can do there.  Anyway, without further ado… you can win a three-month subscription to the JumpStart online world! (In other words, three months of built-in, guilt-free quiet time for you.)  You’re welcome.


Now, for my present.  I want to know who my readers are.  There are many of you who are regular commenters and I absolutely adore you, but there are so many strangers that pass through that I never get the chance to meet, except as random IP addresses on my statistics tracker.  I average about 1,000 hits a week on this little ol’ blog (which I know is small potatoes to some folks), and I’d like to thank those of you who really just reload my page over and over again every day to make me feel good when I look at my stats, but there are so many of you I don’t know.  I think Ordinary Mom made this request on her birthday, and I filed it away in my brain as a good way to satisfy my own curiosity.

So here are your birthday party instructions (I’m old; I can be demanding and crabby if I want to be.):

1.  Leave me a comment and tell me something about yourself.  If you don’t want me to know your name, that’s okay.  You can be “anonymous,” but still tell me something about you.  (Where you live, what you do, etc.)  If you’re a regular commenter, tell me something about you anyway– I’d love to know you better.

2.  If you want to be entered in the computer game giveaway, just stick the word “(Giveaway)” at the end of your comment.  Or the beginning.  Or the middle.  I’m not picky.

3.  If you haven’t voted for your favorite entry in the Diapers and Divinity Summer Poetry Contest, go do that here.  The haikus are worth reading.

4.  Pretend that you’re really at my party and that I’m giving you a hug at the door and saying “Thanks for coming!”  Really.  All joking aside,

I believe true friends not only make life more enjoyable, but they help each other become worthy of the greatest friendship of all [with the Savior]… —to bring out the best in each other and help each other live righteous lives.”  (Monte G. Brough)

Happy Birthday, indeed.


48 thoughts on “It’s my birthday, and I’m giving you a present. (You can drop off yours in the comment box.)

  1. Happy birthday! And at least your aren’t 50. Look what’s happening to all the famous 50 year-olds! Dead!

    I love celebrity gossip. Most people don’t know that about me.

  2. Happy Birthday. This website looks great. I am always looking for a new place for SweetFace to play. Something about me is my blog lurking has gone up and my leaving comments has gone down. sad. Sorry. I do enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for all the smiles, laughs, and things to think about. Hope all is well! 🙂 Big hug back.

  3. I would love to enter you giveaway. Now let’s see, something about myself. I really like to find interesting recipes and cook for other people, but only about once a week. Most of the time mac and cheese is the best meal!

  4. Happy birthday! May the candles on your cake burn slowly while you get them all lit. Don’t knock the 40s! For the year and a half I’ve been in them, they have been much more enjoyable than my 20s or 30s. All that accumulated wisdom makes living life much easier.

    My secret is that I actually LIKE to do laundry. Shhh! Don’t tell my family. Folding laundry, especially, because then I can watch TV without feeling guilty.

  5. GIVEWAY!!!!!!

    All you need to know about me – is I am the kind of friend that would help you clean out that bra drawer without laughing. AT you. With you – is an entirely different thing. Trust me.

  6. Okay. Giveaway please.

    Something about me… I don’t go into labor. Without c-sections, I would gestate my children until we were both dead. The puzzle piece that says, “body… get this baby out of here, already…” I don’t have that one. Makes me grateful for modern medical technology.

  7. Happy Birthday! You guilted me into making a comment and revealing myself (I have been visiting regularly for a couple of months now). It’s great to find an old (it’s all relative) college roommate and learn they are happy, healthy and enjoying life. You look great! A good laugh or some inspiring thoughts – I know there will be one or the other whenever I stop by your blog. Thanks!

  8. Happy Birthday! Mine was last week when I crossed the line to “mid to late 30’s”! I am officially closer in age to a 50 year old than to a 20 year old…how did that happen? I feel old, too.
    I live in New Mexico and have 4 children that run me ragged and make me feel older. However, I had a little late start to the mother game (by mormon standards, anyway) so my kids are the same ages as younger friends’ kids. I don’t know for sure if that makes me feel like I’m younger or older…oh well, it’s just a number right?!? I love your blog and I wish you were my neighbor…any chance you’ll be moving to New Mexico anytime soon? I hope you have a great birthday. Thanks for all the inspiration.
    GiveAway!!! (I could use the quiet time!)

  9. Happy giveaway Birthday.

    I would also like to know what not to do if cat-called in Argentina. I’m in Kansas City, and we have a 3 yr old, 2 yr old and a baby due sept 1. All boys.

  10. Happy Birthday!! I hope all your birthday wishes come true and your children leave you be for a day!

    Something you may not know about me is, I will be traveling to Arizona from Australia for a month this Sunday evening. I am very excited!

    “You are welcome. Hope you like the present.”

  11. Happy Birthday!
    And please pick me for the GiveAway. I NEED it. Seriously. My three children are all 4 and under, and they’ll still be 4 and under when this baby arrives in November. At which point I’ll have 4 under 4.

    Don’t feel so bad about your 1000 hits a week — I’m feeling pretty good about myself if I get 200!

    What don’t you know about me? A lot! Here’s one, though: I’m a professional musician. And it gives me great joy to be able to say that, considering the aforementioned children.

  12. Happy Birthday! My mom used to let me pick out a treat if I was good when she took me grocery shopping. I always picked one of the fruit roll-ups in the baskets in the produce section. Usually apricot. Sometimes green apple. Every time I go shopping, I get myself a fruit roll-up as a treat. Still usually apricot.

  13. I hope today is a Happy Birthday for you! 🙂

    I’ve always wanted to live in a small town in the South. The accent, the Baptists and Presbyterians and Methodists with their churches everywhere, small town politics… And you can’t forget about the good cooking. I’ve probably romanticized it all too much in my head, which is why I’d only live there until my kids reach middle school or something, and then move back by my family. Of course this all depends on jobs, which means it will probably always only be a dream.

  14. Happy Birthday! I would be one of your regular stalkers. Sorry about that. You just have so much insight and so many other comment that say what I would say, and I don’t want to be redundant, so I just stalk. Something about me… I have recently developed a l.o.v.e. for aprons. I just can’t get enough of them. I don’t really own any, but I like to pretend I do, and that I look very domestic and cute in them. Maybe one day I will find just the right one, and then my dream will come true. Who knows.

  15. Happy Birthday! I’m closer to forty than 35 as well. It’s kind of freaky. Um… I really don’t like red vines and don’t understand the people that do. The same goes for black licorice.

  16. Happy Birthday! I have been following your blog ever since you (and everyone else nominated for the MMB spotlight) spanked my trash. 🙂
    But thanks for this post. I am getting awfully close to 30 and was feeling old.

    When I was only posting book reviews at my blog, I was getting a few thousand hits a week. Now that I’ve decided to talk about other things too, that number has gone WAY WAY down, but I’m having more fun anyway.

  17. Happy Birthday! You share your birthday with my mom – she’s 60 today! Feel lucky you are not THAT old! Hahaha!

    I am a first time commenter on your blog! By the way…giveaway! I am a stay-at-home mother of two kiddos! I am learning I really do not like the tantrum 3’s thanks to my son! Wow is all I can say. He loves riding his bike, and being around people. My one year old daughter loves shoes and typing on the keyboard when I am on the computer! Both love sitting on my lap! I enjoy running, and am training for a half marathon and am just getting into riding my bike. Most days you can find me peddling around with a trailer in tow, heading to the park for lunch! It keeps me sane!

    I love reading your blog! Thanks for writing!

  18. Happy Birthday Steph! Something about me, is that next month when I have my birthday I will also be closer to 40 than I am to 30. I think that I might skip this birthday. I can also stick my fist in my mouth.

  19. Happy Birthday Steph! I am the same age as you–but I won’t give you away! I remember hanging out at youth dances with you and plotting to sneak away for frozen yogurt. Why didn’t we ever do that??

    Something about me…I make a killer chocolate molten lava cake that is guaranteed to win friends and influence people!

    I hope you have a great, chocolately birthday! Thanks for a blog that manages to make me laugh and inspires me to be better. You rock!

  20. Happy Birthday, darling Stephanie! And I do not need to be enrolled in the *G-word* contest; my babies, well, aren’t any more.

    Something about me that you don’t already know? Hmmm…you’ve been reading my blog long enough that there aren’t many secrets left.

    Here’s one: If Hel doesn’t start commenting on my blog again, I’m meeting her at the airport in Arizona and punching her in her cute little Australian nose.

    Oh, and like Melanie J, I’ve had all of my babies C-section.

    AND… I know exactly how old you are but I’ll never, ever tell.

  21. Happy Birthday Steph! Hope it is a great one with many chocolates involved :). Hmm, something that you don’t know about me. I really want to be the perfect mom with all the kids dressed perfectly and hair done just right. With them behaving the way they should, but then reality slaps me in the face and laughs at me. I would love to have 3 months of quiet time, so enter me into your GIVE-A-WAY!

  22. Happy Birthday!!!

    Let’s see… I wish I could read your blog more often than I have the time to. Is that a good enough “something about me”?? 🙂

    Here’s one – I’ve been playing the piano since I was 6. And I get a little annoyed/jealous when the “piano geniuses” of my ward always get to accompany the choir. I miss that. Accompanying is my favorite.

  23. Happy Birthday To You!

    Well, ummm, let’s see…something about me? I’ve been sky-diving. Adventurous you might think and well yes a little but it gets a lot more interesting when you add that I lost my cookies several times on the venture down. Good times…good times. Motion sickness and I are quite good friends. It is just too bad that I didn’t think about the fact that spiraling down and swaying back and forth time after time on a parachute might stir up those good tummy feelings. Oh well, it is an adventure I will always remember.

    I’d love to be entered into the giveaway. We love educational sites. is my sons favorite at the moment, a very long moment. Great site!


    I’m an anonymous IP blip, but love your writing! I grew up where you live now, so we could probably play “do you know…” and it wouldn’t take very long to find a church member in common:) Where we now live, we have traded stuck inside all winter for stuck inside all summer. So put me in the hat for that giveaway!

  25. Happy Birthday! (Except I think I’m a day late) And that’s something I should probably disclose about myself. I run late. Oh, yeah, and I disappear from Planet Blog randomly and unexpectedly whenever the need arrives.

  26. Hey Stephanie, happy birthday! A little about me? I live in blistering hot Phoenix where summer doesn’t mean you let your kids out, you actually have to stay IN to avoid heat stroke and reading your blog helps with a little of the accompanying insanity. I sure would love to be entered in the drawing and hope you have a great day!

  27. Happy birthday. Something about me? My toddler once pulled my skirt down in the middle of the church foyer and that isn’t even my most embarrassing moment. I’ve bought and liked Jumpstart games before. I wouldn’t mind trying their subscription service so Giveaway.

  28. I’M OLD TOO!!!! 🙂


    People really should speak up, just sayin…I mean, it’s not hard. It’s safe. And it lets someone else know you stopped by, rather than just dinging and ditching 🙂

    Really…I hope your birthday has been really GOOD.


  29. Like I said on FB, July birthdays are the best! I’ve got 24 more sleeps ’til I’m even older than you! And I really, REALLY, wanted to finish your ladybug blankie in time to send it to you for the 4th of July, not knowing that your birthday was today, so keep your fingers crossed and expect that baby on your front porch step ANY DAY NOW!!!

    And something about me… hmmm…. well, I have a singular addiction to Broadway musicals, anything produced by BBC, and everything plaid.

    Hope you had an awesome day! And I love JumpStart, too — we have a few CD’s handed down from sister to sister, but most of them are scratched up over fourteen years of use, so go ahead and make Sophie’s day and enter us in the Giveaway!

  30. Happy Birthday! Hope it was a fabulous, memory-making day for you!

    Something about me is that I screen phone calls regularly. I hate answering the phone as I never know what might get thrown at me, so I avoid it as often as possible. Which causes quite a few problems, actually…shooting self in foot as it were.

    Hope it was a happy day!

  31. Hey, happy birthday! And whatever you’re not old! Thirty-something is the new twenty-something. Stretch marks are the new cleavage. And I’m starting a movement to claim varicose veins as the new sexy. I hope your day is a really great one.

    Something about me . . . I love eating chocolate chips straight from the bag because I’m too lazy/impatient to make them into anything. I also love black licorice. I never paint my tiniest toenails because they’re too small and curled up to make it worth it.

  32. Happy Birthday!! You and my son almost have the same birthday (his is tomorrow). Enter me in the giveaway please! Something about me – I grew up in Germany, so I speak German with my kids at home – and I served a mission to Madagascar, so I also speak French. (Because I’m old too and when I was there, the misson was French speaking, not Malagasy speaking as it is now.)

  33. Happy Bday Estefania!


    We live so far away from each other and it has been so long since we haven´t seen each other that I could write lots of things you don´t know about me but…the one I have chosen:
    Last summer, I decided that I would start blogging in Sep 08 (it was around July, I gave myself a couple of months to work on the idea)…and, I haven´t still gotten around to do so, I guess you could blame it on time management problems along with little patience.
    I do love reading all my friends´ blogs daily…and I am ashamed to say that I get annoyed when there is not a new posting, what can I say….”I am addicted”, I feel closer to them when I read about their lives…now, if they could feel closer to me too….

    Did I mention Giveaway? I love giveaways.

    Enjoy reading all the comments!

  34. Mom of four, three boys (6,5, and 2) and one little girl (11 months) and one more little girl on her way (due in two months). I stay home during the day and work about 15 hours each week outside the home. Life is full of chaos and lots of loading in and out of carseats each day! I read your blog everyday and I LOVE the thoughts and insights that I come away with. It has made me look at the little things in my life a little bit differently. Anyway thanks! and Happy Birthday! Oh and Giveaway!

  35. Happy Birthday…I am soon approaching my last year in my 30’s. How did that happen so fast anyway? Something you don’t know…4 kids…1 husband…1 dog…live in Ohio…church members for 10 years.

  36. Coming (late) out of lurk-dom. I read your blog with every update. I have 2 boys … one similar in age to one of your boys, so I enjoy hearing stories that give me some reassurance that I’m not doing something terribly wrong with him … there are others like him! :O) Oh, and I went to school with your hubby and like reading his blog, too.
    Oh, and if not too late … since I just worked up the nerve to actually post … giveaway.

  37. Ah, Steph. Happy Birthday. I do so admire you, and all that you are and do. 🙂

    Something about me… hm… I positively, absolutely adore dirty, grimy little boys with skinned knees because it means they’ve had FUN that day. Love them.

    Oh, and it might be too late, but if it isn’t then “giveaway” enter me, please! 😉

    Happy Birthday!!

  38. Well, I’m a bit late for your birthday party but would like to leave you a “gift” anyway. I’m a bit shy; I often visit your blog but never leave a comment. I’m an LDS mother of 3 who spends most of her time feeling like I lost my mind at 25 (my first pregnancy). I’m an “army wife” whose husband will soon be leaving for a year in lovely Afghanistan, to take care of his Company’s teeth (he’s a dentist). I LOVE your blog. THANK YOU for sharing your experiences and testimony. I always feel edified after reading your posts. Happy Birthday!

  39. Happy late Birthday! I’ve been at a family reunion this week, so I missed your actual birthday. 🙂 If I can still enter the giveaway I’d like to. 🙂

    About me: My favorite Disney movie would have to be Sleeping Beauty. I would love one of those wands that make it so the bowls and spoons cook for me and the brooms and mops clean for me. Sigh. That would be AWESOME.

    And I really admire you and your spiritual-ness. 🙂 I love that you can find ways to apply gospel principles to motherhood and that you take the time to blog about it and share it with me! I have a harder time with that and it really helps to have someone with your spiritual gifts to help me see the spiritual in the mundane! THANK YOU!

  40. Hope you had a nice birthday. You know I’m a faithful follower, although a sporadic one lately. Being on vacation for a month is hard work! 😉

    Here’s a little something about myself: I am secretly happy to be allergic to all kinds of house pets. I’ve tried to like cats and dogs, but I can’t. I do realize this makes me evil to many people. Sorry people. I do allow my girls to have cute kitty calendars and stuffed animal puppies. I’m not completely heartless. Yet. I do have three pre-teen daughters, so things could change quite dramatically in the next few years….

  41. Happy (belated) birthday! I’m exceedingly late to the party–but that’s okay, since I don’t really do parties. I thoroughly enjoy blogland, though, and I’m slowly working my way through your blog posts. I left several comments back in the March and April posts–so maybe that can be my redeeming quality. I’m saving the General Conference ones until the end. Thank you for all the inspiring and humorous posts I’ve read so far! 🙂

    Here’s something about me: My husband is 6’6″ and I’m 5′ 4″. We met as missionaries in the same mission and came home to the same town on the same transfer. We got married a year later. Then had our daughter 9 months and 6 days after that. 🙂 She’s now 13 and our son will be turning 11 in a few months. We do things a little differently at our house: I do the yard work, take out the trash, and do the finances. And I enjoy shooting hoops with the kids out on the driveway. My husband works from home and does most of the cooking–I love the yummy food he makes. I tend to be quite open and honest. And I like to assume that people are doing the best they can. 🙂

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