Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mom’s birthday (thirtieth, probably, although I haven’t done the math).

She is pretty fabulous. I mentioned several months ago how she always sends me little gifts and cards; what I didn’t mention is that usually they’re addressed from “TGM” which stands for “The Good Mom.” It’s one of my favorite little jokes of hers.

Perhaps my other favorite little thing she does: whenever she buys one of us some article of clothing or accessory that we like, she says “I’ve still got it!”

My Mom is a fun person; she likes to have a good time and to make sure anyone with her has a good time. All my life, she’s always been one to say “let’s stop for lunch at this cool place” or “let’s go ride this roller coaster one more time.” I think the excitement that I feel for weeks before a trip or big event is something I’ve inherited from her.

My Mom loves a good chick flick and whenever I watch Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, or Anne of Green Gables, I think of her, watching those movies many times while she ironed.

My Mom loves to read (another thing I’ve inherited from her) and I have a whole lifetime of memories of reading together. When I was five and six, she read me the whole Little House on the Prairie series, the two of us scrunched together in my little twin bed, while Merrick snoozed in her bed in the same room. I learned to french braid my sisters’ hair while she read us a chapter a night of The Wind in the Willow, Rascal, Hitty: Her First Hundred Years, Caddie Woodlawn and A Little Princess. We painted our toenails every night while she read us Harry Potter and we could usually talk her into reading us an extra chapter if we’d paint her toenails too. She bought me Beauty one year for my birthday and was reading it aloud to us; I woke up in the middle of the night to see her sitting in the hallway outside my bedroom with the bathroom light on, finishing it by herself. Practically every classic I’ve read was with her in middle school and junior high, when she would buy two identical copies of a book and we’d trade off reading aloud, a page at a time. Now she sends me books in the mail. We send little emails back and forth about how far we are in a book and how we’re liking it. Sometimes it’s only a single sentence (my favorite being the one that read simply “Stupid shiny Volvo driver”).

Yes, my Mom is just fantastic. And now, pictures! (I don’t know why I’ve suddenly gotten all into the loading of pictures, but I have).

This is a terrible picture, but I like it because it’s all three of us girls and Mom.

Disneyland this Spring

More Disneyland. You can kind of tell in this picture that both of us have the same tiny space in the top section between our front teeth.

Merrick’s wedding last Christmas where we all (except Merrick, of course) rocked the black dresses.


Mom as Mary for the Christmas pagent


This is us at dinner for my birthday last year (behold the fabulous creme brulee). We picked this restaurant primarily because it was named “Louie’s” which has been my mom’s nickname for me almost since I was born.

Greatest picture ever of us in London; my parents came out to see us a few days before we went home. Then they went to France without us.

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  1. I loved this post–I am especially glad that you found a spot in London with four red phone booths in a row! Perfect! I also smiled when I read the line that your mom included in her email to you…I just finished that book last night. 🙂

  2. yJanssen’s Mom, I have to say that from what I have heard from Janssen you are amazing! Hearing about how you read to all of your children really inspired me to want to do the same for mine. I hope my relationship with my children can be as amazing as yours is with your own. Your influence is spreading. . .

  3. As your mom’s older sister, I agree that she’s pretty great! Happy birthday sis. (And I got the Twilight reference too!)

  4. Sweetie, thanks for all the fun memories and photos! Really topped off a great birthday. Who knew that turning 45 could be so FANTASTIC?? You should try it sometime 🙂 Dad took royal care of me and I heard from so many friends and family — and almost as good — I didn’t cook one meal. YES! Even got a pedicure. Does life get better than this?? Thanks for being such a wonderful daughter. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!!!! Love, TGM

  5. My mother and I are very close, too! And do we ever share books! I was thinking your Mom did not look much older than me but then saw her comment. (You did say thirtieth, afterall.)

  6. My mom posted the last comment, if you didnt realize! As much as I would love carole to my my big sis, for now she is just my aunt. SO be it! Happy Birthday however!

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