Category Archives: birthdays

Now we are twelve

We have this lovely little book of poems by A. A. Milne called Now We Are Six. It was a gift for Fletcher’s 6th birthday. I’m sorry to say I have no idea who gave it to him, but I adore the book. It’s full of sweet little gems like this one:

“When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”

But NOW, we are twice six. Now we are twelve. No one writes poems about twelve. Maybe they should. Because from what I can see so far, twelve is awesome.

Twelve seems to forget about schoolwork more often than I would like (and, let’s be honest, it forgets about things like bathing and wearing clean socks more often than I would like too.) Twelve can be sassy, and is pretty sure it knows everything. (Or at least more than you.) Twelve really wants to use swear words, but always asks permission first. Twelve is loud and frustrating a more than a little stinky, but it hasn’t outgrown morning hugs and bedtime kisses. Twelve has a wicked sense of humor and it’s friends can carry on hilarious conversations (you learn a lot driving carpool.) Twelve likes the same movies as you do, and is totally up for a Netflix binge. Twelve drinks coffee and sleeps in late and sends you emails from school. Twelve has its own YouTube channel. Twelve has seen some struggles – it knows it doesn’t always win, that there aren’t always happy endings. But it is still endlessly enthusiastic and eager and ready. For anything. For everything.

I miss sweet little six year old cheeks and that sweet little six year old voice and the simplicity of those long and lazy six year old afternoons. Twelve is complicated. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


T – E – N

I don’t even know how exactly it happened, but my baby girl is ten. Double digits! This child amazes me every day. She is sweet and kind and brave and still very much a child, but with ooooooooohhhhhhh so many opinions. The tween drama is already rearing it’s ugly head, and I fear for us all when it hits for real. But when she snuggles in my lap, she is still my sweet baby with those incredible, kissable cheeks. I melt every time.

Lola Gray has been wanting to go to New York City for years, but the timing (and money) just hasn’t seemed right. But this year, finally, we were determined to make it happen. She’s been patient for so long. She knew that we had bought plane tickets and were flying up to the Big Apple the weekend after her birthday, but what she didn’t know was that we surprised her with tickets to the Statue of Liberty and to see both the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes and Matilda the Musical. I wish I had made a video when she opened the presents – her squeals were unbelievable. It is going to be the trip of a lifetime, and I’m so happy I get to share it with my favorite girl in the whole wide world!


March is my month, and not just because it is my birthday month (which helps.) March is full-on spring in Savannah. Grapefruit blossoms and azaleas and yellow-green pollen coating every surface. Windows open. Sweaters off. The end of the school year finally in sight. March is good.

This March was even better than most. First, my incredible, amazing, wonderful and very sneaky husband planned a surprise birthday party for me. Which he told me about – leading me to believe he wasn’t so sneaky after all . . . until the doorbell rang on the day of the party and I opened it to find my very dearest friend in the entire world flown in from northern Virginia for a whirlwind visit! I cried. I might cry again right now thinking about it. It was the best birthday ever.

The rest of the month breezed by in a flurry of activity: St. Patrick’s Day festivities, visits from NayNay and Grandaddy, and a conference trip to chilly Indianapolis (including a very memorable dinner with artist Wayne White in the back room of a bakery) during which the stomach bug took down first Lola Gray and then Fletcher – thank goodness Grandmama Frankie was in Savannah to take care of everyone!







I still can’t believe another year has come and gone, but suddenly my baby boy is eleven. And what a spectacular eleven year old he is! While our trip to LEGOland over the winter break was his official birthday celebration, we also had two fun-filled weekends to bookend his actual birthday.

First there were sleepovers with best buddy Ben and Lola Gray’s friend Sofia. We all headed downtown for pizza at Screamin’ Mimi’s followed by two amazing documentaries at the Gray’s Reef Ocean Film Festival. After watching Mission Blue, and despite the fact that it was way past bedtime, the kids wanted to stay and get autographs from the amazing Sylvia Earle.

Schools were closed on Fletcher’s birthday, so we had a lazy morning with birthday pancakes and gifts, then cake and lots of playing with neighborhood friends.

The next day, I took treats to school and got to visit with Fletcher’s class for a while. First I sat in on the tail end of a math lesson, and realized that 5th grade math is way above my level. Then I ate donuts with the kids and listened while they told me all about their field trip to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.

The next weekend, Grandaddy Mike came for a visit. Fletcher was still so excited about his visit to the Mighty Eighth, he wanted to take us all back on Saturday. I’m so glad he did, and so sorry we had not been out there before! It’s a really impressive museum, but what was more impressive yet was Fletcher’s skill as our tour guide. He took us through the entire museum, recounting interesting facts and stories and leading us through the history of WWII and the role that Savannah and the Mighty Eighth played in the story. This is one incredibly sharp kid we have on our hands here.

Saturday evening, Grandaddy treated us to box seats for the Ringling Brothers circus! There’s nothing like a clown nose and cotton candy to bring out the kids in everyone. Plus, listening to Fletcher laugh at the clowns is the greatest thing in the world. Seriously. I love the way that kid laughs.

To cap off the weekend, Sunday morning was Youth Sunday at church. Both Fletcher and Lola Gray sang in the choir, and Fletcher played an incredible violin solo of Simple Gifts. He was super nervous, but he didn’t let the nerves stop him. Despite a few slips towards the end he did an amazing job – and even got a round of applause from the congregation! That’s something you don’t see in a Presbyterian church every day!

I am so blown away by this crazy kid every. single. day. His curiosity, his compassion, his playfulness and his creativity, not to mention his smile and his incredible hugs, have made the world a brighter and more interesting place for the past eleven years – I can’t wait to see what the next eleven will bring for him!



Nine Candles

Nine candles on my baby girl’s cake this year. Nine amazing years! She is absolutely the light of my life, and she is growing into such a kind and amazing person. I’m one lucky Mama.

I was able to eat birthday lunch at school with my best girl and 3 of her sweet friends, followed by Coke floats with salted carmel ice cream at the Five Spot after school.

On Saturday my brave girl conquered her fear of heights and ran the Savannah Bridge Run over the Talmadge Bridge! Daddy helped get her to the top of the bridge, and Fletcher was a sweet big brother who stayed by her side for the entire run. When it was over, she said it was terrifying and she hated it, but she wants to do it again next year! That right there says a lot about my brave girl!

After the race, Lola’s friends came over for a Frozen themed celebration to wrap up the birthday weekend.

birthday weekend continued

We rounded out Fletcher’s birthday weekend with dinner out, a sleepover with best bud Benjamin, and a 4 mile bike ride followed by treats at Starbucks. Purely lovely.


Somehow, in the blink of an eye my baby girl is 8! Her birthday was the Monday after Thanksgiving, and we celebrated with cupcakes at school, buying our Christmas tree (which has somehow become a birthday tradition) and her favorite sushi dinner. And then, a weekend slumber party for 8 little friends while Raymond and Fletcher were away at a Cub Scout camping trip!