Your Birthday: Then vs. Now

Your Birthday: Then vs. Now

The childhood drink was apple juice. Now, maybe hard apple cider?
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fAs you grow older, birthdays become less and less exciting. It's still cool to feel like you have a day dedicated to yourself, but when adult life and responsibilities get in the way, celebration may be the last thing on your mind. Each year you may realize that...maybe you're not actually excited for your "special day" like you would've been in elementary school. As I grow older I find that a few things about birthdays change dramatically as we age. Here are some things you might've forgotten about entirely.

1. A Cake

I can't tell you the last time I had an actual birthday cake. Now, this may sound sad (it sounded sad to me as I typed it), but it's not like I couldn't get one. I just never really thought to. Personally, I'm not a cake fan myself, but even still. I've never felt sad about not having icing to lick off a numbered candle on my birthday. Unless you're having a big party, a cake just seems extraneous, doesn't it?

2. The Party Itself

I think my last birthday party was when I was thirteen, no joke. Past then I would usually hang out with some friends, grab some pizza, and watch a movie or something. Nothing special. But as I've grown even more and transitioned into adulthood, it'd be a miracle if I even leave my house on my birthday. I've got schoolwork to do, cleaning to get done, not to mention all the time my usual procrastinating will take. Who has time to think about hanging out with friends? I've got a shift at work and a paper to write. I can age next year.

4. Presents

Happy birthday to me. From: me. The best part about birthdays as you get older is people find it more and more acceptable to just give you money for your special day, which means you get the best gift of all: online shopping spree. Anyone can tell you my addiction to online shopping, but it is unparalleled come my birthday. I've got $250 dollars to spend? That's $200 worth of stuff plus shipping. That plus the blessing that I don't have to fake liking gifts anymore makes it the best time of the year. I get whatever I want, and the only person that might be questioning it is my banker when I suddenly drop $300 in one weekend.

5. Friends

When I was three, I remember inviting the entirety of my daycare class to my birthday party at McDonald's. When I was thirteen, about five of my friends came over and we giggled over Twilight (yes, I was one of those kids). Now, I might invite one person over to eat pizza and complain about life. As you grow older, people get busier, and can't just have their moms drop them off at your house for a party. Schedules constantly conflict in adulthood, but in my opinion, it's a blessing in disguise. Parties can be a hassle to plan, and with only one or two other people, it's much cheaper and easier to celebrate aging. One large pizza: $7.99. Eight large pizzas: my wallet crying.

6. Excitement


As a kid, I thought my birthday was the absolute best day of the year. I couldn't wait to get presents, be showered with affection, and see all my friends at my party. Not to mention getting a year older. But as I grow older the years go by quicker and quicker; everyone tells me I'll blink and I'll be 40. Growing another year just isn't exciting anymore. It's just another year closer to more responsibilities: a year closer to having to begin my career, a year closer to being off my parents' insurance, a year closer to my car breaking down and me having to buy a new one. Aging has just become more and more stressful; is it time to retire yet?

7. The Myth of the Day Off


Birthdays used to be so special that celebration would consume the entirety of my day's activities. It was wake up, have an awesome breakfast, get calls from my family, get ready for my party, have my party, then enjoy a super-long sleepover with a select group of my friends. Now it's like, 'Yes, happy birthday to me, but I have a paper due in two hours that I've barely written a paragraph for. Then I have to go to work.' Life doesn't stop for your special day anymore. That means you can't stop either.


Don't worry, birthdays don't suddenly get sucky as we grow older. We just have to celebrate them in a different way. It's more fun to celebrate as an adult, but those celebrations come with more responsibilities and consequences. So we just have to party safely, and enjoy this weird stage of adultish-youth while we can. As I'm told later on into real adulthood birthdays do just sort of get sucky. Guess we will all find out. Happy birthday!


Cover Image Credit: http://healthquest-fitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/birthdayparty.jpg

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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