Thursday, March 13, 2014

Slice of Life Challenge - Day 13 - Birthdays

In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are participating in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs.  I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge.  My new writing idea/goal is to write a younger intermediate book (this changed since I realized I didn't have an early chapter reader "voice") based around a character very much like me, so remembering my childhood stories is very important for that project.  I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.
                                            Celebrating my 8th birthday in 1974.  The girl in the forefront is Michele, whom I wrote about in a previous SOL post.  The brunette girl right behind her is Lisa.  We're still best friends today.  I have no idea who is to my left.  Ha.  The girls to my right are Libby and Chrissy Shorten.  I will do a future post on them.  They were a very big part of my life.

     I was born the day after Christmas, thus the name "Holly."  It's an unusual birthday, and not always the best since it's in the midst of a very busy season, but I was lucky.  My parents always made sure it was celebrated.  I always got to celebrate the day, and I always got separate presents - not combined with Christmas presents. ;-)  The other thing I loved was that I always got to have a party and could invite friends over to help me celebrate.  There was always a cake, maybe a sleepover, and wonderful presents.  I was so lucky to have a family who made me feel special.

My 1st birthday in 1967

     When I turned 16, my dad turned 40.  His birthday is two days before Christmas.  One night in early January, I was babysitting the Wolford children (I wrote about them in a previous SOL post), and when I got home, a combined surprise birthday party was in full swing, all arranged by my mom.  I was thrilled!  That was so much fun.  I was completely surprised, and we got to celebrate our birthdays together with our good family friends.  Way to go, Mom! 

     Fortunately, my husband has been instrumental in creating pretty wonderful birthdays for me, too.  When I turned 40, he arranged a trip to Las Vegas with some of our friends.  We had a blast!

                                                      We ate at P.F. Chang's on the Strip
     Because of all the fun I had on my birthdays, I wanted to create the same kind of special celebrations for my own daughters.  They've each had parties every year. We've had everything from princess and puppy parties to American Idol, Build-a-Bear, and bowling parties.  And of course,  everyone has to go to Chuck E. Cheese's at least once.  We've also ice skated, snow-tubed, and gone to fun restaurants.  Lots of memories have been made.  In February, Katie turned 18 (we took a group of her friends to Benihana's) and on Monday (St. Patrick's Day - that's a fun birthday!), Libby turns 21.  We'll be ordering pizza for her group of friends at Miami U tomorrow evening.   It's hard to believe we will be empty-nesters soon.  I've loved celebrating their birthdays and all kinds of other milestones.  Birthdays seem to mark the passage of time, and I've loved slowing it down a bit to celebrate along the way.

     Be sure to stop by my classroom blog if you have time.  My students are writing their memoirs and participating in the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge.  I'm really proud of their commitment to the challenge.  Some great writing is coming out of it, and they are enthusiastic about it. 


  1. And it all began with those marvelous parents, who made your day special no matter what. Loved he photographs, as usual, Holly - especially the sweet 16 one, where your smile says it all!

  2. These are some of the most precious moments in life. I enjoyed reading about all of the family birthday celebrations.....all are special and love that you shared them with us.....A wonderful slice:-)

  3. It is always funny for me to read about families that really make birthdays special. My family wasn't much into birthdays. A card, and maybe a cake with close family but no parties. I think I would have enjoyed parties as a child especially for the memories that they leave you with.