Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Birthdays by Amy Vastine

January is one of my favorite months. It always has been, and much of that probably has to do with the fact that my birthday is in January - the 18th to be exact! Both my parents also were born in January, one of my sister-in-laws just celebrate her 43rd on Monday (happy birthday, Wendy!!), my best bud Carol Ross is a Jan. 1 birthday girl along with our very own Muriel Jensen! I have a couple other friends with birthdays in January and am happy to share this fabulous month with so many amazing people.

One of the coolest things about becoming an author is that I now get to celebrate book birthdays, too. Which reminds me that I should give a shout out to the January Heartwarming authors - Cynthia, Amie, Kate, and Pam! Happy belated book birthday, ladies :)

To be totally honest, I simply love birthdays. I don't know about you, but I can't think of anything better than gathering with people you love, eating cake, and opening presents. I probably love throwing birthday parties just as much as I love being thrown one.

I am in the midst of planning my mother-in-law's 80th birthday party. I think she deserves a huge bash to celebrate the fact that she's hit this milestone. She was married for over 40 years, brought 8 children into this world, and has 20 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Her life has been full of ups and downs, but I hope that a party will remind her of all the good she has done in this life of hers.

Birthdays bring back some fantastic memories. I'll never forget the one when I was 12 and my parents set up a huge scavenger hunt at the local mall for me and my friends. They enlisted the help of several people who worked in various stores to provide us with clues to get from place to place, ending in the food court where there was cake (of course!)

One of the best parties I've thrown was my son's third birthday, which included a visit from Spider-Man himself. Okay, so it might have been my brother dressed up as the web-slinger, but it was one of my son's favorite birthdays ever. We still talk about how his three-year-old self believed that Spider-Man had flown over the fence by shooting his web at the neighboring houses when he left. He knows that's not what happened but still sees it that way in his memories!


My niece, on the other hand,
was in love with Spider-Man!
Here's Jake giving Spidey a high five, but check
out the neighbor girl in the back, scared to death!
We had a couple kids a bit freaked out by our masked guest!
Another favorite was my 40th birthday, which doubled as my very first book birthday as well! THE WEATHER GIRL came out on January 1, 2014, the same year I turned the big 4-0. There was more cake, this time with a delicious version of my book right on top! My husband sure did an incredible job with everything.


This year, we're going low-key for my birthday. I am excited that I have the day off work (Happy birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!) and plan to relax with my family. Maybe I'll take in a movie with my girlfriends and let them treat me to dinner. My dad has already promised to buy me a cake (he knows me so well). I'm definitely going to enjoy the fact that I have another year under my belt and another one waiting for me to do something amazing. 

Do you have a favorite birthday? What was the best party you've ever thrown or been thrown? I can't wait to hear because nothing makes me happier than a good birthday!! 

33 comments:

  1. The 18th is my daughter's birthday, too, so it's a favorite day for me. Happy birthday, Amy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Liz! Happy birthday to your daughter. What a great day the 18th is :)

      Delete
  2. I love your birthdays too!
    We had a pretty great one this summer for my daughter's 16th - went to Clearwater beach and the weather was perfecto. Happy almost b'day woman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are one of those amazing January birthday girls! Hope you had a great day. Your daughter's 16th sound perfect. A little beach, lots of sunshine, and being with the ones we love. It does sound perfect :)

      Delete
  3. Amy, happy upcoming birthday. Is it hard when so many memorable things happen in the same month? My birthday is May 30--when I was growing up it was always Memorial Day, and my family took care of family grave sites in what seemed to me as too many cemeteries. I was happy when they put Memorial Day on a Monday and it wasn't always on my birthday. However, I recall the year I was ten. I got a brand new bicycle I longed for but was sure my folks couldn't afford. I wasn't so grumpy from then on about going to visit the cemeteries

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Roz. My dad's birthday is January 2, so I always wondered if he hated being so close to a holiday. At least he didn't have to go to cemeteries! I love that they got you a bike when you were 10 and even then you could see the significance. xoxo

      Delete
  4. Great post, Amy! I'm with you, birthdays rock. My favorite so far was my 50th. Less than a month later, I received my first book contract. I loved the pictures from your son's party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear all the time that 50 is nifty! I think you can make birthdays fun at any age - it's all about perspective. And I love that your first contract came right after. Anything is possible at any age. I love that, too!

      Delete
  5. Amy, I love this post! Sounds like you and your family know how to do birthdays right. Believe it or not, I've never had a "real" birthday party. If I lived closer I'd let you throw me one( : I am cracking up at that poor little girl in the background at your son's party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are all about birthdays. And now I feel like it is my mission in life to throw you a birthday party. OMG. You need one. STAT.

      Delete
  6. Happy birthday, Amy! The most memorable birthday I can think of is when I took my husband on week-long trip along the California cost from LA to San Francisco for a milestone birthday. :-)

    Thank you for mentioning our books birthday, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kate. A trip along the California coast sounds very fun. What a great idea!

      Delete
  7. Happy Birthday, Amy. That scavenger hunt party sounds amazing. My mother is hitting a milestone this year, too -- ninety. We're planning a surprise party for her in her hometown so all her friends can come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth. The scavenger hunt was so fun. Congrats and happy birthday to your mom! 90 - WOW! She definitely deserves a party.

      Delete
  8. I'm with you...I love birthdays! And almost happy birthday to you. Spiderman?! Best. Mom. Ever! Your son's going to remember that forever!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spiderman was epic. It's so funny how my son will say he knew it was my brother and then say he remembers him shooting web and flying over the fence. LOL I think we had him fooled but he will never admit it!

      Delete
  9. Birthdays are great! Especially for Carol and me when the whole world celebrates with us. My very first book birthday was the best party ever. I had never had $3500. (half of my first advance) all at once before. It was October, 1984. Our favorite place for lunch opened up for us at night and served prime rib with the fixins for 32 of our friends and family. (At $10 a plate! God bless the 80s.) I thought they all should celebrate with us because they'd supported my efforts forever. It was wonderful. One of the waiters was in the local cast of Cats and sang "Memories." Ah. Yes. The memories. Wish I could invite all of you over for a party. Maybe one day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely memory, Muriel! Book birthdays should all be celebrated like that :)

      Delete
  10. Girl, you must be the funnest birthday mom ever! You deserved that awesome 1st book b-day celebration!

    Happy Birthday to you and to all our January b-days!!! :)

    I think the one I'll never forget was my 16th. I had missed two weeks of school because of the flu from hell and was at that point where I was no longer contagious but still feeling superbly weak and sluggish and plain miserable. I looked bad too. Unwashed, tangled hair. Rumpled pj's. Pale faced. Birthdays were the last thing on my mind.

    My mom kept telling me to go take a shower so that I'd feel a little better. Little did I know, she had planned a small surprise party to cheer me up. My mom didn't do surprise parties or big birthdays, so this was really unexpected. Well, I didn't shower. Nope. I remember letting out a big moan and dropping my head against her chest with a pathetic moan (I was in need of mommy comfort). I heard a chuckled behind me and turned around. A group of my closest girlfriends had slipped in the back door (left unlocked by my mom on purpose) and were standing there witnessing my sad state. They yelled surprise and I really did start to feel better after that ;). I'll never forget it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, I love that story! What a great memory even though you were sick. Thanks for the birthday wishes :)

      Delete
  11. Happy Birthday Amy!! My husband is also a January baby as are several close friends. I love that book/actual birthday your husband threw you. I'll be sending it as a big hint to my hubby :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sophia. Definitely hint away!!

      Delete
  12. I do believe you like birthdays, Amy! Happy Birthday to you. Eleven more days and you would have been born on my birthday. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another January birthday! We're quite the group!

      Delete
  13. Wow, are HW authors like the 'January Baby Boomers'? LOL. All your parents were feeling mighty romantic when spring rolled around ;).

    This makes January the perfect month to be celebrating our print Heartwarming in Walmart and Amazon/BN online birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Bitrhday, Amy! Super post! I love birthdays. Mine and anybody else's! I love giving the parties more than going so Carol, I would love to give you a real birthday party! Wouldn't that be fun? I agree having our book birthdays gives us all more to look forward to. How about book birthday parties in the Walmarts? Think of it. They have cake, balloons, cards--even champagne. What do you say Heartwarmers?? We could kick it up a notch!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Catherine! I love hosting, too. I am all over this birthday bash at Walmart - let's go!! xoxo

      Delete
  15. Happy Birthday, Amy! Whatever you do, I hope it's a great day. And thanks for the birthday wishes for my January book, A BOY TO REMEMBER. The best birthday gift I ever got was from my son. It was a five-year off coupon with no expiration date. I use it every year, and I'm now twelve. Fun to think about. Cynthia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I love that idea of five years off coupons. So hilarious. Although I don't think I want to ever do 12 years old over again!! 21, yes. 12, no thanks (I work in a middle school. I know how bad it is!)

      Delete
  16. Wishing you the happiest of happy birthdays, Amy! LOTS of great people born during January: My hubby, his sister, my sister, my twin grandorables...and YOU! Loved the blog post, and hope this was your best birthday, ever!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hope you had a wonderful birthday.

    ReplyDelete