Monday, March 11, 2013

It's My Birthday

 photo d0541c60-7840-4c4f-97b7-95f0abaf1e81_zpsb7fc93bd.jpg

Would it be ok for me to ask something of you today for my birthday?

I want to hear from you. Who are you? What is your story? What is making your life terrifying or blissful or both right now? What are your wishes or dreams or prayers? Are you in love? Out of love? With what? (Or with whom?) And what is circulating in your mind right now? What's your truth? What's making you laugh?

Write to me in the comments here, or in my inbox (cjanekendrick @ or on facebook, or twitter (if you can do it in 140 characters), or send me a photo on Instagram: cjanekendrick, or whatever you want to do. It means a lot to me.

Thank you. I'm thirty-six today. It feels old.


Katy Knight said...

I'll tell you today in person :)

Alicia said...

Hi. I'm Alicia and I found you through your sister. (you probably get that a lot.) I like reading your thoughts and following you on twitter. Makes me smile. You can find out more about me at my blog - but the best thing about me right now is that I'm getting married in 17 days. :o) In other news your kids are adorable and your month long posts on pornography were amazing. Having been in a relationship where that was a huge issue I related to a lot of the thoughts. Thanks for not shying away from the deep, hard things that so many people ignore. That's one of my favorite things about you.

Just Jaime said...

I'm sending you my story, since you inspired me to write it down and share it on my blog (it's private). I'll email you.

Kait said...

My life is terrifying and blissful because I am finally admitting that maybe, just maybe, my calling is to motherhood. And not traditional motherhood. Not pretty, creative, clean, sweet motherhood. I'm not the best mother in the world. But I am nurturing the little souls God has brought in to our home through adoption and foster care.

So maybe, just maybe, this is my calling. And this is all I'll ever be, just someone's mom, even if it's only for a short while.

And that is both blissful and terrifying to recognize and own at age 26.

Happy birthday CJane. You have challenged, stretched, angered, and healed me in ways you will never know. I'm thankful that you're following your own calling to blog.

Mel said...

Happy Birthday!!!

I would love to share my story - best way is to take a trip over to my blog - shares my journey of life, infertility, and my little life that I love!

Have a great day and HBD again!

Sandra said...

Fun :) Nothing like spilling your guts for the whole interwebs to hear.
I am 6 months pregnant with baby #4. I am tired. I broke my toes last week. And I spend all my time chasing around a 15 month old weapon of mass destruction (AKA the second of what will be 3 sons in a row). Church yesterday was an adventure, as it will continue to be until I can plant that boy in nursery!
But we are all healthy, and happy, and busy! I am slightly afraid (every day!) that my mothering abilities may not be able to withstand the insanity of 4 children under 6...(WHAT HAVE I DONE???) But somehow we will make it through alive, even if my kitchen floor never gets washed again.
As an aside, how is it that kitchen floors get so dirty, so quickly??? I'm talking a blissful 90 seconds of clean before someone spills their yogurt or their diaper leaks. LOL. :)

Krystal said...

I am a mom of eight, with only 7 actually here. Our life is both blissful and terrifying at the same time. I have a constant reminder of having to stay on the straight and narrow path to make it back to my son. We lost him at age 4 to stage IV Neuroblastoma. I miss him terribly and ache every day, but also smile and laugh at my beautiful seven children that god has so graciously blessed us with. Life is a little terrifying right now because I'm trying to pull off a fundraising event that is much bigger than I had in mind at first. It is in our son's memory so I will just run with it and hope it is pulled off magnificently. I am in awe at your ability to produce such wonderful public events and only hope to be able to some day do our event as well as I have read/seen your events you do. I, too, am turning 36 in a couple of months and looking at my kids and how much they have grown makes me feel old, but, 36 is just a number. Happy Birthday and hopefully you get loved and squished on by all your friends and family.

Michelle said...

I am a long time reader but rarely comment but since you asked I thought I would share.

I am a mother, a psychologist, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a friend, and a woman. Each of these roles define who I am but also dictate what I do. But something I fear that I am not myself. My biggest fear is that I cannot do it all or that I am doing it wrong.

I want to inspire, encourage growth, foster acceptance and increase tolerance in my home and community. However, I get caught up in my own world and need to do it right that I know I offend others. I am sorry for that.

I want to be more confident in myself across all settings. I can teach classrooms full of college student yet tremble with fear at teaching relief society. I can write scholarly articles (translation boring things) all the time but get caught up writing comments on blogs or facebook I delete them more often than push submit. I am a paradox and am trying to embrace my multidimensionality. It is ok to do what feels right and not always make sense.

Happy birthday! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am grateful for the opportunity to watch your growth as you find your voice and know that we all are evolving.

Katrine said...

Happy Birthday! I am a wife to a brilliant man. I am blessed mom with 4 children, they are in college, junior high, elementary, and kindergarten, so I am all over the place! I am a creative person who finds her inspiration in great writing, art, and all things handmade. I am a daughter of a mom who passed away from breast cancer, the grief still causes me to lose my breath 16 years later. I am the power of attorney for my mentally ill father. As most women, I wear many hats, but I like it that way!

Karan said...

Happy Happy Birthday Courtney, I am a mum to 3 children who are the love of my life, along with my amazing husband. After a pretty hard childhood ( step father abuse ) I am now lucky to have a happy life sharing it with a family who,I love with all my heart.. Nothing remarkable about my life ... I a mum and that it orally fulfills me:) my name is Karan and I am a mum:) xxxxxxxxx

Andrea said...

Happy Birthday!

I am 29 and work in my husband's family's business. What is terrifying me right now? I have twins due in a few months. What is blissful right now? I have twins due in a few months. It is equal parts scary and amazing.

Keep on keepin' on Cjane.

Amanda said...

I'm Amanda, and I've been reading your blog for....3 years now? Maybe more? I live outside of Annapolis with my husband (of almost 10 years! 5/31!), our animal kingdom (2 dogs, 3 cats), and our little girl. She's 6 months old, and she is making my life both terrifying and blissful right now. I have no idea what I'm doing. LOL. Both my husband and I work full time in DC, and since our munchkin is going to be an only child, I'm actually kind of happy she gets to spend the day with kids at daycare. Except for the colds. She skipped sitting and went directly to crawling, which makes me laugh hysterically in an "oh crap" kind of way.
I love your writing style, your openness, and your sense of humor. Your kids are too cute for words, and the love you have for them and for Chup is totally infectious. I follow you on Twitter and Facebook, too.
My truth right now is that I've finally admitted I have post-partum depression and anxiety and I'm getting help with it. I'm a Type A, so it's tough to acknowledge when you aren't in control anymore.
I will be 36 on March 16th. You are in good company.
I posted on FB already, I think - but Happiest of Birthdays AGAIN!

Jennifer said...

Happy birthday C Jane!

Mrs.Dr.Shot said...

Happy Birthday!

I am in love with my second husband (the first being a dud) and we are happily expecting a little boy in July. That will make #5 between us. Our children and families are thrilled.

I also struggle. I'm 42, so if you think 36 feels old - wait 6 years and then get pregnant. As a child of abuse, it's been a long weird road to get to this very good point - but it has come. Now if I can just keep from screwing it up.


Paige said...

Happy Birthday!
I am a wife of 8 years.
I am a mother to 4.
I lost my mom 2 years ago to cancer, it changed everything in my little world.
I gave birth to my 4th just 2 weeks after my mom died. I was only 26 weeks along.
Lucy was just 1 pound 8 ounces when she was born.
She has flipped my life upside down and brought me back to life.
I live for music.
I live in Sunny southern cali and would never live anywhere else.
I write very randomly at my blog,
Have a wonderful day with your adorable family!!!

Shelly Cunningham said...

Hi! I'm Shelly, and I am, at thirty, finally LIVING my life. My husband and I have four year old twin sons and a one year old boy as well, and we just made the move of a lifetime-- to rural Alaska.

My husband is an elementary school teacher (who was my high school sweetheart, and whom, after thirteen years, I still adore) and moving here meant I could (finally!) be a stay-at-home mom.

It's strange to me, but our life has never been happier. We live in a tiny village on the Yukon river, have no grocery store, no hospital nearby and I am 3000 miles from everyone I know... yet our life feels so rich and full out here together. We know this is the adventure of a lifetime, so we are making the most of it.

Happy happy birthday!!!

Holly Decker said...

well, i am egotistical enough to LOVE writing you something, darling. and i definately want to give you a birthday gift... so its a win, win.

you and i have met, though there is no way on God's great earth you would remember it. you and Stephanie were coming out of a temple session and about to change in the dressing room and i straight up ran up to you and proclaimed my love for the both of you. and you were even PRETTIER in person. you exceeded all my expectations. and its my claim to fame that i got to meet the two of you at the provo temple. what what.

anyways, i am just a silly arizona girl who grew up with no dad (he died when i was six) and all sisters, an imaginative girl and very silly, struggled with weight all my life along with many other issues... but i digress. served in Boston Mass, and loved sharing the gospel with my bros and sistahs on the east coast... it opened my EYES! and then i returned home and married a dashingly handsome (i was first attracted to his rear-end) and perfect-for-me guy named Jeffrey who is my polar opposite but my balance and comfort. and we had big dreams and big plans. but then a miscarriage changed EVERYTHING. and we went off birth control and feared we would never have children. and then i magically got pregnant. and now we have four kids under four. and its utter madness. and i am struggling to stay alive but blessed beyond words. and i love your blog because it helps me think and dream and create. and i am BFF's with your pal Geo. and... i love you. and i went to the beatles rooftop and it was AMAZING. i miss provo.
and this is lengthy so i will now stop.
and... i'm flashin' gangsta signs and you don't know what i mean.

Natasha said...

My name is Natasha, I live in Canada, I am almost 41 years old. I got married when I was 36 and had my first baby (a boy) nine months and one day later :) I had my second child (a girl) at 39. I also had two (unplanned) unassisted home births!

My hopes and dreams right now are to buy our first home and to keep raising my kids as best as I can. And to keep blogging as best as I can too.

Oh, and my husband is Jewish and I am Christian and so we are raising our children in both faiths, as if parenting on its own isn't enough of a challenge.

I love your blog and have read all of your posts (most of them, more than once). Thank you for writing in the way that you do and for challenging and supporting all of us as women, mothers, lovers of God and bloggers.

Oh and, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! It is also my best friend's birthday today so it's a great day to celebrate!

Carol said...

Hi Courtney -

Happy Birthday Courtney!

My name is Carol - I found you thru your sister Stephanie - I LOVE reading your blog each day and I follow you on FB. You inspire me. You make me smile and are a source of joy for me.

I lost my Dad a year ago and have been struggling with the loss - he was my hero. I still wake up each morning hoping to hear his voice, see his smile, I yearn to hug him one more time. I just want you to know that your blog has helped me thru a difficult year - I know that my Dad is safely home in Heaven - he was a man of faith.

I just want you to know that I appreciate your blog - your honesty - I start my mornings with you each day. Thank you Courtney! Have a wonderful birthday!


Cheryl said...

I am Cheryl
I have 5 kidlets who keep me busy and on my toes everyday. (4 of them boys...oy!)
I have an amazing, loving,sweet husband.
I love writing and reading.
I am terrified of something happening to my children or husband.
I live with chronic health problems.
I love to laugh and have fun with my kids.
I am passionate about Motherhood and protecting families.

Chrissy said...

Happy Birthday! I am also 36. I thought 36 was easy, not so sure about 37? I still feel like I'm in my 20's most days. :) I read your blog everday and enjoy it immensely. Thank you for being you. Enjoy your day!

Cheryl said...

Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 36 is YOUNG (I'm 6 years older)! Enjoy and celebrate!

Kristin said...

I am a 43 year old mother of three, married for almost 22 years to my best friend. Stay at home mom, whatever that means, trying my best to not be a helicopter parent (though my heart aches when I can't spare my kids disappointments and failures). Freaking out because my oldest is about to embark on everything that it means to be 17 (college prep, mission prep, LIFE prep), yet still in the trenches with my other two kids. Raising one daughter that is nothing like me, except for all the ways she is! Stressed because I am doing too much, and simultaneously guilty because I could be doing so much more. Still trying to figure out how not to be weary in well doing and faint not.

And I absolutely love and admire you for your willingness to share your heart on your sleeve (since I don't). Happy Birthday!

Meghan Meier said...

I'm Meghan. I live in Greenville, SC and am a lover of the arts, my puppy, my husband and chocolate. I have the best career ever. I'm a Pure Romance consultant. I empower women to take ownership of their bodies and sex lives while educating them about how their bodies work. My passion is helping cancer survivors regain their sexuality after diagnosis & treatment. I'm also crazy passionate about making my home a warm, safe haven where all our friends are welcome at the drop of a hat.

thedirtyknitter said...

Happy Birthday! I'm Lyn & I live in Kansas. I've been reading your blog for at least 5 years & find your vine videos hilarious. Especially when you give French lessons! I'm turning 39 this year. My husband has Lyme disease & it's been a difficult 2 years. He's doing well but it's still hard. I left my job as a graphic artist 2 years agi to stay home with our kids (a 4 & an almost 2 year old). I take photos & sell some at a gallery in Iowa ( I wish I could do more, but am overwhelmed everyday with my little munchkins & helping my husband through this disease. I am thankful for everything good in this world & hope you have a fabulous day! Thanks!

Wonder Woman said...

Happy Birthday, beautiful. When I saw Adele at the Grammy's a few weeks ago, she reminded me of you.

I'm Alyssa. I met my husband when I was 15 years old at a stake dance in Kansas. We dated, he went on a mission, I got engaged to a possessive and manipulative man, but luckily broke it off before the wedding. We've been married for 9 1/2 years and we have 3.5 children. he is my Superman and I love him more each day.

My life is terrifying and blissful right now because I'm 11 weeks pregnant. I've been very blessed when it comes to fertility, and I'm worried that my luck won't hold out.

To be completely honest, I don't think about my dreams much. I'm living the life I always thought I'd live, though I didn't picture it in Happy Valley. I dream of sending my sons and daughters on missions. Sometimes I dream about going back to school. I often dream of a clean house and obedient children. Now as for what I'm doing to make those dreams come true...... ask me another day. :)

My truth is that I have so many interests. I watch the Bachelor and read FMH. I scrapbook and have conversations about gay marriage. I'm a people-pleaser who just said no to puppy-sitting. I used to blog, now I'm on Pinterest. I crave spontaneity but thrive when I make a check list. I watch the Big Bang Theory and Smash. I love the Beatles and Matchbox 20 and Pink. And Adele. :) What makes me laugh right now is my 3-year-old daughter. She is absolutely the light of my day, every day.

I absolutely love your blog. I love every single post, especially the "controversial" ones. The thing I love the most is that they aren't meant to be controversial. You are simply sharing what is in your soul. Your bravery that leaves me in awe. Like you, I am just barely comfortable with calling myself a feminist. Even that sentence feels too bold. Mostly, I see inequalities and am very bothered by them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing yourself with us in such a beautiful and bare way. You are truly an inspiration. Have the most wonderful of birthdays, Courtney Jane.

Jaana said...

I’m almost 40. As in, my birthday is on the sixteenth and I will no longer be thirty-anything. 40. Unmarried. No kids. I’ve always loved my birthday but this year I’m approaching it with a lot of anxiety, despite best efforts to tamp it down. Even as I’m typing this my face is getting hot and my palms sweaty. Is there any way I can rewind the last 20 years? I have never felt as much regret as I do right now and I HATE it. I always thought I had a great life… I love being an auntie, I love my independence… but right now, in this moment, I’ve never been so dissatisfied with my life. This feeling must be a precursor to a lot of (likely painful) personal growth. My friends tell me that the next decade will be my best. Please tell me how to believe them…

Jaana said...

How could I not say Happy Birthday? Hope your day is wonderful and filled with love. :)

fancystephanie said...

I’m a 25 year old Lutheran feminist in Los Angeles. I was raised independent fundamental Baptist, so I see a lot of similarities in my upbringing and in conservative Mormonism. I have a pretty interesting story. I gave a baby up for adoption at 18, I’ve done sex work, I’ve survived domestic abuse twice, and this is my second marriage. Throughout all that, I got a bachelor’s, traveled a bit by myself, moved about 7 times in 5 years (I’m terrific at packing!), and met the love of my life (we’ve been married 15 months!). I have a good job, but I’m getting ready to take the LSAT in October to – hopefully – fulfill my decade-long dream of becoming a bankruptcy attorney. I want babies, someday, maybe in 10 years. Probably one, maybe two. I want to travel to Europe for a summer and just explore. I want financial security, which I’ve never experienced. I love reading your blog. Your life is so much different from mine, but it’s awesome to read about other feminists and their life stories.

Fractured Fairytales said...

My story- wife of a sex addict, mother of adorable 3 year old. The terrifying part is easy- husband served me with divorce papers last Wednesday. I know he is running away so that he can indulge in some catastrophic relapse, our famiy will be his casualty. The blissful- knowing that I did everything I could to support him. That while his fall will be great and he will probably blame me, not one little bit of this entire mess is my fault. That I can love him and let him go. That I will no longer be held hostage by his addict.

mylifeasiknowit said...

well first off happy birthday cjane!
I'm Maria Agustina, from Argentina. I'll be turning 25 next month. I'm a licensed Psychologist, I've had bulimia for 5 1/2 years now, I've been dating a guy for a year but he's just a butt and I can't seem to be able to free myself from this relationship, I go to the gym 10 hours a week just to clear my head, I've lost 20 pounds in 5 months and I'm always wondering about my future. Tomorrow I'll start therapy for the 6th time in my life (I always quit within a month) and my new year's resolution was to start going to church but still didn't get around to it.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday!! I'm a DC/VA native living in Salt Lake. I'm a wife of 4.5 years, and going to be a first time mom in June. I'm a film student at the U, and I simply adore you. I'm a worrier - trying to balance baby/husband/school/work is going to be tough. At times I consider giving up on school, then I remember what you think of that, and I press onward, ever onward. You inspire me!

Enjoying Our Journey said...

I'm Laura, I'm 30...... I am in love with 3 people. My dashing husband, my 5 yr old daughter and 2 yr old daughter. I have a life I never knew I could have. I have overcome heartache to get here. Life is beautiful. I do have fear, I fear the future, I fear the country I live in is failing my children. But they are strong, stronger than me. I know this.

I hope you have a very happy Birthday.

Aimee said...

Happy birthday CJane!!!

I am not sure how I found your blog. Probably through NieNie. I can’t remember, but I am SO glad I did! I’ve enjoyed reading your words.

It’s my birthday this week also, although I strongly dislike my birthday for many reasons. I’ll be 31 though. I’m not too sad. I’ve enjoyed my 30’s way more than my 20’s!

Exciting things in my life? Hmmmm… In the last two years, my husband and I have lost a combined total of 350 lbs!! We have enjoyed gaining self-confidence and finally figuring out who we really are. (Which has also lead us to taking a step back from the LDS church.) I got my first tattoo last year! (An infinity love symbol on my wrist.) I also have decided that maybe parenthood ISN’T for us. Parenting two kitties is actually quite fulfilling!

Well, that is me. Quite boring and I LOVE IT!

LH said...

Hello CJane and Happy Birthday!

I'm a strong woman, wife and mother of a toddler son. I'm a daughter of God but my mortal parents are pretty good too.

I'm a professional with a master's degree on hiatus from my career and an artist at heart. I crave intellectual stimulation and wish I had more.

I'm a food addict and have recently gone into recovery.

Stephanie Confer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie Confer said...

Happy Birthday Courtney! My name is Stephanie, I live in a very small town in Kansas. I am married to my highschool sweetheart. We have two amazing and highly energetic sons ages 6 and 4. I have an office job, but daydream about working from home doing something artistic and creative. I love the spring/summer and can't wait for the warmer weather. (Boo to snow and freezing temps!) I blog when I have time (I wish I had a little more time for it.), I really enjoy reading your blog, you are funny, honest and tell it like it is. Have an awesome day!

Marvia said...

Me? I'm a daughter of God that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit but struggle to always understand what it is that I'm to do. That process of figuring out life has led me to put school off for a mission. Return home to begin school again, move to ND from CA, and have the Lord tell me to marry a Fargo boy. I love him deeply but our marriage isn't easy by any stretch. We are very different but thankfully are committed to each other. The Lord wanted us to start a family. So we did shortly after getting married. He told me to hold off on my formal education (frustrating to me). Now I have 4 little ones ages 5 and under. I struggle to be a good homemaker but I love my children. I'm not the perfect mother. I lose my cool a lot. Which is foreign to me. I always considered myself patient until I became a mother.
I do Joy School with my children and am praying to know if homeschooling is the path for us to take or public education.

My family is my passion. Holistic health and healing is my other love. All my books are about alternative medicine, energy work, nutrition, herbs, essential oils, bodywork (I'm a massage therapist). I've been blessed with the gift to help others heal. A power that I feel blessed to feel transcend through me.

I'm a quirky girl and the older I get the more I realize that I'm not everyone's cup of tea but I sure like being me. I'm grateful for the ups and downs in life. I'm grateful for the knowledge that we are all capable to receiving personal revelation for our lives and our Father in Heaven wants to show Himself to us in our everyday lives.

At this moment, I'm trying to conquer my food addiction and allow my body to heal and return to a place of health and wellbeing. Having four children close together was hard on this body of mine.

Alright, Courtney, I've shared way too much. But I'm grateful for you and sense a kindred spirit in you. I'm sure you get that a lot.

Deborah said...

Happy Birthday, Little One! You are still young. Once upon a time, when I was 26, my Knight in Shining Armor rode into my life and rescued me from an abusive relationship. The years passed in a night . . . we lost babies, had babies, and now have grandbabies. We lived. We loved. I just celebrated turning Sexy Sixty. I like my age and my life. I do not like the fact that my husband is dying from Stage IV cancer. Just before his diagnosis, I had a revelation that they hype about living this One Life as full and perfectly as we can, was just that; hype. Our perfect life is yet to come; this is our Human Experience. I am in the depths of my Human Experience. Life IS worth living, all of it, the joy, the loss. Live splendidly. In the end, only love remains. **blows kisses** Deborah

brandidandy said...

My name is Brandi. I'm a 32-yr-old West Texan. I've been reading since the infertility days, but have RARELY commented. I converted with my ex-husband in late 2009, but strangely didn't realize you were LDS until after.

Anyway, I'm trying to return to the church after distancing myself during the divorce. I'm afraid of never having the family I so desperately crave. I'm struggling with some aspects of the gospel. But mostly I'm really happy and feel blessed to be given another chance in life.

I'm dreaming of my own organic farm with chickens and goats. Currently working to make that dream a reality! Justin Timberlake on SNL makes me laugh. And music makes my world go 'round! :)

Rixa Freeze said...

Hi, it's Rixa here. I'm waiting for baby #4, feeling good because I got several rooms painted and decorated, frustrated at how few 6-7 passenger cars there are out there. Happy 36th! I turned 35 in April. That sounds Old. But I don't feel old.

Ben and Taryn said...

Happy Birthday sweet CJane!
I'm Taryn and I turn 30 at the end of this month and that thought is kind of freaking me a lot.
I have 3 beautiful kids and have been trying for another one for almost three years and that has been rough. It's an all consuming battle that is defining me these days.
I have a huge crush on Hugh Jackman and love diet dr. pepper.

Laura said...

Hello Cjane and Happy Birthday! My name is Laura and I am 27. I just got married back in November to the man of my dreams and right now I am working at a plastic fabrication company/hair stylist while I put my husband through school. We live in Las Vegas, Nevada- both born and raised:)I found your blog through a friend and now I just love reading your blog along with Stephanie's. You both are seriously my favorite. I love reading about how you had children a little bit later on versus in your early twenties because at 27 I sometimes feel like I'm a little past due. We won't be able to have kids for another year or two because I have to work until my husband gets a job and is out of school. Reading about your experiences really comforts me:)I don't feel so alone!:) Something that terrifies me is my constant worry of something bad happening to someone I love. I tend to be a worrier. Other than that life is really amazing. I have a great family that I am sealed to and I am surrounded by wonderful people who love me and I them. I serve as a Beehive advisor in my ward and my husband teaches Sunday School for the 12-13 year olds. Life isn't easy but with the gospel it can make the hard things seem lighter. Love ya Birthday girl! I feel like we are buddies! haha.

Tina said...

Mom 2 6. Wife 2 1. Loves: God, audiobooks, decorating, school, sunshine, puppies, blogs. Hates: Haters, housework(but I DO it), hotflashes, pain, cold-weather.

Lillie Mae Acres said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am blessed. I am blessed beyond measure with good health, a great hubby, and a wonderful grown son. Healthy and happy. Life does have it's ups and downs. I am currently trying to get my career started back to a full-time basis w/ benefits (nobody seems to be hiring) and if I let myself I'll get discouraged fast. That's me today! Have a wonderful day and I do love your blog.

BeeBelle said...

Happy birthday! I am 47 and feel... 11 years older than you do. Let me tell you how 47 is different from 36 (for me). My baby is now 12 and my older two are out of the house. My father has seen a drastic decline in the past year, so he's now a big part of my time. I am more confident, happier, and take less guff, but every so often I still find I have buttons that can be pushed. I embrace the journey of life rather than constantly seeking a destination where I can "arrive." I value my women friends more, and cultivate many, many relationships like a wonderfully wild garden.

Jaelle Kaylor said...

Well, I told you happy birthday ( i even sang the birthday song) to you on fb... but I will tell you again here, just because I like you :) Happy Happy Birthday Courtney dear, happy days will come to you all year... if I had a wish then it would be.. a happy happy birthday to you from me :)
OK... I'm gonna be 32 next month. Life isn't exactly what I pictured it when I made collages in young women. I'm married, and love him, but he's inactive. I have adorable children, but two out of three of them have major health issues. I am a mommy, but I was slammed by a disease and injury that has made it so I can't jump on the trampoline or skateboard and sometimes i'm to tired to make supper. I own my own home, but it's tiny. So as you can see, it may seem like life isn't what I pictured as a teenager.... but it's just so much better. :) I am blessed beyond measure, I have grown spiritually thru the trials I have endured, and I think that I'm a way better person then I ever thought I could become, because I have learned true love, charity, and peace. I'm so much more blessed then I ever imagined. So it's good. :) Oh yeah, I am a blogger too, and I am working on a revision and updated version of a book I wrote on LDS Homeschooling. So yeah... i have some "me" things too which is good. Wow, this is a long comment. Happy Birthday Cjane... wish we were best buddies :)

Rachael said...

Happy birthday! I'm married to an engineer who is so close to finishing his Ph.D., but I'm struggling to survive this last year of grad school (it's truly awful). We've been married for 10 years (in school the entire time!) and I'm expecting my fifth baby in 6 weeks. I teach at my husband's university (but I'm quitting as soon as he graduates because it's too much with our children), and I'm turning 30 this summer. I'm a Mormon, an extremely avid long-distance runner, and I'm thrilled because I just got word of the acceptance of my first non-academic publication (because seriously, there are about 10 people on this planet who are interested in all the academic gabble I've published up to this point).

Tambra Coons said...

Hi cjane, My name is Tambra. 33 years old (also feels old). I'm a mommy, two kids 3 and 10. My son has Autism. I guess you could consider me a single mom. About 7 months ago I ditched a really bad realtionship with my sons father and 4 months ago found the love of my life. Pretty sure he's my soul mate if those are real. I'm the happiest I've ever been at 33 years old and am very excited about the future. Things aren't perfect, but I'm genuinely happy for once and it feels great.

Whimcees said...


Happy, happy day today birthday girl! You are in the prime of your life - enjoy! You are now half my age - I am 72 and a loyal fan! Thank you for sharing your life and your writings and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!


Barbara Diane

perfectyellowyolk said...

I wanted to wish you a happy birthday and a very silly post I wrote today called the Curly Hair Manifesto:

Catherine said...

After being introduced to Jennifer Finlayson-Fife on your blog, my husband and I are 5 classes into her online Improving Relationships course and loving it. I learned this week that although I don't hen-peck my husband (good!) I do sometimes Lord over him in my rightness (bad!). We don't have any serious troubles in our relationship, but through her we are learning a little more about ourselves and each other, which gives us a richer, more fulfilling intimacy.
Last weekend I was delivered two glorious packages full of beautiful family pictures taken by none other than Mr. Justin Hackworth. As my daughter and I opened the pretty boxes, she kept saying "It's Cwismas!" Indeed it was.
In two weeks my husband and I have tickets to see Imagine Dragons, a band we love that we first heard of on your blog.

So, although you and I often differ in many ways, there are things about you that enrich my life. Thanks for sharing, and happy birthday.

Lydia said...

I am a mother of four...the last of which is very strong willed. I struggle everyday with keeping my patience, eating right, and self confidence. I dream of being a famous authoress. Watching my children participate in their activities makes me happy.

Happy birthday Cjane!!!

Shan said...

Here are my most recent thoughts:

There's more on the blog about my story. Married at 28 (old in Utah right). Infertility and 5 miscarriages. Slowly, starting to learn how to be at peace with myself, who I am, and how to be grateful for my challenges. Someday I'll get brave and write down all of my thoughts about all of this for public eyes. For now, it's hidden.

blackbird said...

Happy Birthday.

I'm a blogger and the executive assistant to the CEO of a publishing company and I am in love with my husband and have three grown up sons...a tattoo artist, a videographer and a student in art college.

I've just read my horoscope for March and am presently terrified about what's going to happen on the 26th.
Also, I seem to have a cold.

Becca said...

My life is terrifying right now because I am suddenly a single mom. I was married 15 years and discovered infidelity last fall. So i am not where I thought I was or ever would be. Some days it's blissful and other days it's overwhelming. Today is an overwhelming day. Send me some of your birthday love.

Alexa said...

Happy happy birthday! I'm a March baby myself, and I couldn't agree more about your statement that we are peaceful warriors. :) I had the opportunity to meet you and get a quick hug at the BYU conference you spoke at last Friday. Thank you for everything you said!!

Who am I? I'm a recent college graduate, single and trying to figure out the next few steps of my life. Your blog and other blogs written by powerful, strong women like yourself have inspired me to write my own story. Even if my mom and I are the only ones who read it, I've learned from you and others that it's so important to write it down. While my life is still a work in progress, I've loved looking back on what I've written and seeing how I've changed and evolved, hopefully for the better. Thank you for inspiring me!

marnee said...

I'll be 43 in a couple of weeks, and I feel . . . very young, in a way. I've been teaching Primary Singing Time, so the kids have been learning, If the Savior Stood Beside Me. I admitted to them that I didn't learn that principle as a kid; "And because he loves me dearly I am in his watchful care."
At least, it is one of those things that I am constantly wrestling with, and having to relearn in different contexts, I guess.

So at present, with two kids experiencing life through the lens of autism and bipolar disorder, and being in the process of a divorce, I find it strangely anchoring that these are the moments in which I am most surrounded with awareness that He is taking the trouble to teach me in (apparently) the only way I understand; that it has nothing to do with my obedience, my worth-iness of his watchful care. And I sort of wonder at it, in awe - how I got to be 42 - and am still
learning this (and other, simple, things). Eternal Progression must be (is) a marvelous thing.

Thank you so much for your writing. I find, discover, and see myself (and others) there.

Sarah Schwieger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
darcyeatsfood said...

Hi, I'm Suzy. I am 28 I am a first time mom of my 3 month old adorable little girl, who stole my my heart and apparently my mind the second she was born. I am in love with her and so in love with my husband for giving me this beautiful little girl to love when he's at work. I never thought I could love him more, and then we had a baby and I felt like my capacity to love, quadrupled and now my emotions and love are so near the surface. We are currently in the process of buying our own house but our lease is up in 6 weeks so I don't know how well that is going to work out. I just know that I am tired of moving from apartment to apartment. I know we could just stay in one but by the time the lease is up I am always tired of living in someone else's space. I love to read your blog it always fills me with thought. I hope you have a fabulous birthday. You look fantastic!

Sarah Schwieger said...

Happy Birthday wonderful C. Jane! I am a woman (I still call myself a girl though) who is about to have her first two babies, two boys! My husband—who I am desperately in love with—and I are thrilled to be having them both at once and we are very humbled to think about how we might like to raise them. That is pretty scary. Raising babies. But since we found out they were on their way, I have been the happiest in my entire life! I have been thinking a lot about the purpose of life recently, about my potential to be with and like Heavenly Father one day. That thought has been giving me so much direction and hope for the future. It helps me remember that some of the goings on of my day are monumental while other things just don't really matter.

Rochelle said...

Happy Birthday Courtney! I am a 54 year old reader living in Alaska. I went back to college when I was 50 and have Master's degree in Elementary Education. I got a teaching job in January that will be over at the end of the school year. It is exciting and scary to be the new kid in the building at my age! I've been married 34 years, 4 kids, 3 grandkids and though challenging LIFE IS GOOD!

Ruth said...

Hipp 73 dy ay Bae veythhday! You don't know me and I've only just started reading your blog so I don't really know you. But here's the thing... I reckon you can handle this... I am feeling hurt today. Yesterday was Mothering Sunday. My eldest son hasn't been in touch at all sice a text last week asking me for something. My youngest was going to come and take me for lunch yesterday but here was work on the rail track and he couldn't be bothered getting the bus cos it would take so long. They are 35 and 37 and I'm a single parent who has given so much to them but they've grown up really quite selfish. There. That feels better. Thanks.

Jessica said...

I'm Jessica, 33, wife of Bart who has MS and mom of 3 boys. I swore there would not be a fourth, yet my husband, dreams, and promptings are now telling me "yes there is", 5 years after the last, we will see.

itsregardless said...

i had a hard time with turning 35. 36 is no biggie for me this year. i think i'll be okay with it.

i got my AARP card in the mail last week? really annoying. but that's nice. i'll take my friends out for a nice denny's dinner around 2pm for my birthday.

Barbie said...

Happy Birthday Courtney! I read your blog to have a sense of what is happening with the world of young mothers. Your posts have given me great insight into many subjects and I find your writing inspiring. I’m 52 and still feel young in my soul though my body is giving me some trouble. I have three great kids who are now becoming parents themselves. I am continually learning about everything from cow health to world affairs. I manage a family run farm and try to keep animals, plants and people happy and healthy. The down economy the past 4-5 years has been rough for us financially (terrifying!) but we have learned many survival skills that have become a way of life. I love my husband of 33 years and the peaceful animals we share our lives with (the blissful!)

Jenn said...

Hi :) I'm Jenn, 35, wife (completely in love with my hubby), stay-at-home mom to 3. Life is busy but good. My wishes/dreams/prayers are centered around my family. So much always going on. My favorite thing right now is the HILARIOUS things that come out of my 5 year olds mouth. Seriously, when did she become so smart and have a solution for everything that happens around her? It's awesome to see life through my youngest's eyes. It truly makes me appreciate more around me and the incredible blessings that I have.

Jenn said...

Happy Birthday! Hope that it's a great one :)

Cailey & Brady Boren said...

Happiest Birthday!! We almost share the same birthday(mines tomorrow ill be 23) I am married to my best friend and greatest person in the whole world! March 11th is the hardest day out of the whole year for our family. We lost my oldest brother to suicide 4 years ago today. This day is full of plenty of tears, but also joy knowing we have a merciful Father in Heaven who takes everything into consideration, and for Eternal families. We are truly so lucky! Your blog always has just what I need to hear! Thanks for sharing your amazing talent of writing with the world!!

Amber said...

Happy birthday! I'm a wife, mother of 4, budding photographer, amateur interior designer and pretty good chef. I choose to have a happy life and enjoy the little things.

Heather said...

I'm Heather. I live in Santa Monica in a tiny apartment, but just a few blocks from the beach and I love it here. I have a kind and good husband and 2 kids--both conceived through IVF. I am grateful every day to be a mom. Thanks for all you do here on your blog--your honesty and courage always inspire.

Barb said...

Wow, reading through these comments is so powerful. No one is spared from heartache or joy, it seems.

I have met you a few times in my life, and I feel lucky in that, as I really admire you!

I am mom to two boys, one of whom is struggling with some yet-to-be-determined special need of some sort. Yet, struggling is not the right word, because he is full of joy and we have felt such love and support and community from our families, his school and teachers, and our ward and neighbors. God is good and He puts people in our life for a reason!

My husband is brilliant and kind and hard working, but also has clinical depression. I turned 30 this year and feel really good about it- I am so blessed, even though things are not perfect.

Jennifer Lee said...

My name is Jennifer, I am 36 and I live in Chicago with my husband and three children under 8. I am originally from California and served in the Utah Provo Mission (yes, that's a real mission) in the year 2000. That was my first experience in Utah and was an eye-opener. I could honestly write a book about my experiences with the members and non-members just in those 18 months that would make your head spin, but I'll probably just write it on my blog. On a related note, never refer to anywhere outside of Utah as the "mission field", especially if you're standing in front of a missionary who was called to serve in Utah. (happened all the time) Anyway, my sister told me about your blog and I've been furiously reading for about 6 months. I think you are brave and beautiful. I feel a sense of strength, almost like adrenaline, when I read about your experiences. It helps that you're a great writer. I think women, especially Mormon women, have a hard time reconciling themselves with who they are and who they think they are expected to be. This damages our self-esteem and limits our happiness. I am drawn to blogs like yours because I feel like it contributes to a much needed conversation about self-acceptance. Anyway, this is long. I'm happy to oblige your request and hope that you have a fantastic birthday!

Dawn said...

Happy Happy Birthday Courtney! I am a happily married wife to Steve (for 24 years ~ 25 on 3/26). I am the GRATEFUL mother to 3 wonderful Godly sons ~ ^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, & Seth. Brandon lives in Heaven now, and is "JUST A HEARTBEAT AWAY". We have had a hard journey to follow after Brandon went to be with Jesus on 8/3/04, but God is still just as BIG and just as FAITHFUL. We continue daily to to follow God "up that hill". Some day's are easier than others, but PRAISE God he is always there to remind us to not let this "Temporary View" cloud our ETERNAL VIEW. I want to keep Growing in God and be the best wife and mom that God created me to be. I LOVE MY FAMILY!!! A new addition since we started this blog....On August 15th 2011, we OFFICIALLY grew our family by 2! We are the FOREVER Mommy & Daddy to Jedidiah (now 7), and Desi (4)! WOW WHAT A RIDE THIS LIFE HAS BEEN!

Jewels said...

Happy birthday!!! I adore your blog and your family.

Since you asked... I am married to the man of my dreams who also happens to a world traveler and a captain in the army. I'm from small town Tetonia, I'D so all this traveling is new to me, but I absolutely LOVE it! We have spent the last year in England learning the British way. ;)

We have three children that are adorable and energrtic and exhausting all at the same time and I love them to pieces. We are trying for number four, because after three you just might as well have another one right? ;)

My husband just returned home from his second deployment to Afghanistan (like last week) and we are currently getting used to having dad home and we are loving every minute of it.

We have no idea what our future holds after the next month- we could end up anywhere- we are just enjoying this time together as a family.

brainvomitbyjean said...

I’m not very good at bowling. I like to crawl around in caves for fun and excitement. Somehow, the dryer shrinks all my pants. I’m freaked out by birds. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. I’m lazy. (Hence the reason I’m not a doctor.) I’m not living up to my full potential. Next year I’m going to Ireland. I really don’t like Conan O’Brien. My name was supposed to be Rhonda. Last night, I found a few gray hairs on my head. I still think I’m 22. I still think my mom’s 40. I met a guy in a bar in Colorado who looked just like Molly Hatchett. I bite my fingernails. I’ll probably never be out of debt, but that’s OK. My favorite kind of straws are bendy one. Every single second of my life terrified me, but I've had a lifetime of learning to deal with it. That is all. said...

Happy Birthday, Beautiful! Thirty-six is a fabulous age and you are wise beyond your years. I like to pretend I'm 36 and a lot of people believe it. Truth is, I'm a late-bloomer. So I'm actually a 26 year-old running around with a lot of extra experience.

Have a fabulous day, and year, and decade!

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

Happy birthday to you, Courtney! I've just finished reading all of the comments that have been left so far and wanted to say what a wonderful opportunity you've given to your readers to not only share a bit of themselves but also for us to see that we're all in the trenches of life together and have so much in common with one another. Thank you for that. I also wanted to say that I'm 46 and the 40's are fabulous. Enjoy the rest of your 30's, one day at a time!! :-)

Lesley said...

Happy Birthday! I am a busy mom of two and wife of a teacher who wants to get his PhD in the fall at a university outside of Utah. I find it exciting and terrifying. I have never lived away from my family, but have always wanted to embark on a little adventure with my husband and two sons. I will most likely be returning to full time teaching myself to support the family while my hubby gets his doctorate. I feel so grateful knowing I can do that for my family because of my degree and work experience. It will be challenging to do it with kids, but knowing I am not alone in this gives me courage. Thank you for being such an inspiration to women. Love you!!

Allison said...

Dear C. Jane,
I'm Allie. I'm a writer and musician. I am finishing up studying family studies at BYU. I'm interning with DCFS right now, and would be ok going into social work, but if I can make creativity my career, I would do it in a second. When I entered my 24th year, there seemed to be a sort of shift that I don't remember ever happening with any other year-- and the awareness of a void that could no longer be filled by casual relationships and meaningless affection. A desire to truly be adored. But a sort of hesitation as well. And that's where I'm at. Kind of floating here until someone brings me down.

Happy birthday!

Amanda said...

Hi - my name is Amanda. I am twenty-two years old and live in Spokane, WA. I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in May with a B.A. in political science and minors in econ and Chinese. I studied abroad in Beijing fall of my senior year of college and last night I stayed up way past my bedtime reading through the emails I sent while I was in China. They made me miss my host mother something awful and every day I get a little sadder because the language is slipping away from me.

My dream is to join the military and be a JAG attorney. That wasn't always my dream, but the older I get the more sure I feel about it. Last week I took my officer qualifying exam. I didn't do so great on it, so I am re-taking it in April. While I am grateful I get another shot at it, I have never been good at giving myself the grace to fail. I think that is the biggest lesson I have been learning in recent months: how to fail gracefully, learn from the trials you are given, and chart your own course, independent of your peers.

I don't remember how I came across your blog, but it is one of my favorites. Thank you for letting me share a little about myself, and happy birthday!

Stefanie said...

Happy Happy Birthday Courtney! I absolutely love your blog. I love how honest and real you are. It's refreshing and inspiring.

I am Stefanie. Mom, photographer, and retired dental assisant. I am married to my high school sweetheart and feel so blessed to call him mine for eternity. He is my best friend and the greatest man, husband and father I could ever ask for. I have three wonderful kids that make me smile and laugh every day. I am constantly exhausted by them .. but it is worth every single minute.

They say 40 is the new 30 and 30 is the new 20 .. I say "whatever". Just own it. It's your age. It's what you are. We all get old and the gray hair and wrinkles that come our way are our badges of honor to surviving this world. We should be proud that we have each and every day to learn and grow and become who our Heavenly Father wants us to become. It's a wonderful thing. So Happy Happy Birthday .. One year older and wiser too! =o)

1-in-10000 said...

Happy Birthday CJane!

I'm apparently an unusual follower of yours as I'm very nearly 30 and single with no kids! I work for my local church, and have a huge passion for social justice and improving the lives of those in the community around me, so I volunteer for 10-15 hours each week with our local foodbank project.

I also have a wonderful friend, whom I'm at least a little in love with and we are currently working out how our relationship will develop, as we come from totally different points in our lives and have to work out how to mesh our personal circumstances together in a way that will work! Which is very exciting but rather confusing at times :)

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday! Today, I know that no matter how much extra weight I carry, if my roots are showing, or if any scraggly grey hairs sprout up today, my kids and my husband think I am the most beautiful woman in the world!

I have been reading your blog for many years now. Come learn a little about me at

Chris and Erin said...

I am mainly a mom and today I am taking a much needed break from putting in a brand new bathroom downstairs. I love a good project a little DYI and this one was doosie. I just finsihed individual laying 9000 pennies. I just covered it with 2 part epoxy and now it is as smooth as my babies bottom. By the way she turns one tomorrow. Anyway just thought I would share. Love your blog, love your sense of humor, love your sister! Happy Birthday I will turn 34 on Sunday that sounds old, but I still feel 20 something.

Jewels said...

Happy Birthday, Courtney!
The terrifying and blissful occasion in my life right now is my daughter's wedding in 10 days. She became my daughter just two years ago, but I love her like my other seven children. She has asked me to be her escort in the temple and to help her get ready the day she gets married. These two things give me unspeakable joy.

JenD said...

I love that you are so interested in people! Happy, Happy Birthday to you. 36 years young. I hit the 4-0 last year. Ouch.

The things occupying the main portion of my head space right now are mostly anxious in nature………anxious over pressures to move into a position at work that I secretly feel I am not at all cut out to do, despite supportive feedback to the contrary. My 14 year old daughter’s feelings of being alone and with out friends and having her heart crushed by peer females over and over – it’s a horrible feeling to see your child’s sadness so out of your hands. These are the two main things that wake me at 4am, heart pounding.

And then I feel…. ungrateful? .... spoiled?...because really – I have it pretty good. Love the hubs, my daughters are good, good girls. Wide ranging friendships. A small, but perfectly fine house.

So why is it the anxiety gets to take over the happiness???

Chantel said...

Happy Birthday! I am a podiatrist (foot doctor), which I love but I only work a few hours a week because I'm home with my kids, who I love as well and never thought I would get. We spent many years on infertility treatments only to be told we'd never have children. We had two failed adoption attempts, and four Foster kids that returned home and are now happily raising three kids (6,4, and 15 months) with our fourth little one on the way in July. I think life is pretty good. Oh, and 36 isn't old. I just turned 37!

lawdy said...

I am turning 40 this month. Leaving for a trip to Canada tomorrow, so busily vacuuming the dust under my bed since my parents are coming to stay. I am a bit dismayed at the small wrinkles that are just now becoming visible on my face. I run at least 30 miles a week and you would never know it to look at me. I love my children--the oldest leaving on a mission soon. I wonder why I am so tired each day, keep trying to figure it out, but making little if any progress. I love you Cjane and wish you a happy bday!

Terri S said...

Happy Birthday!!
I'm probably not your typical reader. I'm 60 years old, married to the love of my life for almost 40 years. We have three grown boys, who I consider to be my life's work, two of whom are married (to girls with the same first name), and one of which has made me the grandmother of the most beautiful red-head I've ever known!

Life is terrifying because as we enter what should be our golden years, we have lost our business, our home, our health insurance, went bankrupt, and still struggle daily to meet basic needs.

I don't know why God has decided that we should struggle so at this point in our lives, but I have faith in His purpose and in our resourcefulness and know that we will somehow be okay.

I enjoy reading your blog as you explore and discover what it means to be a wife, mother, daughter, friend. It's a journey we all take. My birthday wish for you is that you come to that place where you have a confidence, calmness and contentment with your role as a woman, where you know in your heart that you have nothing to prove, that you are just where and what God intended you to be, and that while it may not be exactly the life you thought it would, it is your life, and it is good.

Allison said...

Hi! I'm Allison and I'm a 40 year old stay at home mother of four. My oldest is mildly autistic, my four year old is significantly delayed and my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor last spring. Despite all of that I feel extremely blessed and love reading things that lift me up and remind me to appreciate each day. I discovered your blog when you were a guest for Design Mom. Happy Birthday!

Lauri said...

My name is Lauri Wells Stewart. Jed is my cousin. I'm turning 30 this year and it freaks me out just a little bit because my husband is turning 25. I have two adorable girls. I have struggled constantly with my weight and body image and I actually started reading your blog because of a post you did on that subject. I make the most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever. (Jed and Jane can tell you about that). Happy Birthday!

Cair said...

Hi cjane. Happy Birthday! I don't remember how I found your site, but I've been reading it for a while. I share a specialness for this day with you as it was 17 years ago today that I became a mom, when I was handed my daughter in a hotel hallway in China. She's off in her first year of college now and it has struck me that we're likely never to live together again, only to have (hopefully) frequent visits. I lost my mom to cancer after thanksgiving this year so I'm really figuring out how to not be caregiving to mom or daughter and do something different in my life. I hope all these tidbits of our lives are sweet little birthday gifts.

Pol said...

Happy Birthday! I'm Ruth and I'm 42 (the meaning of life - and you share a birthday with dear Douglas Adams) I'm a wife to Al. He lost his mum in January to a horrible lung disease after 6 tough months. I'm supporting him - this last Sunday was Mothers Day here - and that was difficult. I'm mother to Megan and Ben. She's nearly 15 and this weekend her "not boyfriend" who she walks home from school with everyday asked her out on a date. So that's new and scary. Ben is 11 and is autistic - with ADHD and severe dylexia. I'm micromanaging his school support services - which is exhausting. I'm a teacher in an Infant School - and I adore my class of 5/6 year olds because they make me laugh and smile daily. I'm a Worship Leader in my Church - I love God and know that he gets me through each and every day. I repeat Isaiah 40:31 as often as required!

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday! I love your blog and my story is I am 59 years old and just celebrated 40 years of marital bliss (except for those times when I wanted to kill him!). We have 7 children and 16 grandchildren.

Life most people our life took an unexpected turn when my husband lost his job in 2007 and I have been the primary breadwinner ever since. Now he asks me when am coming home for dinner! Sweet justice...

happy cori said...

Happy Birthday! I'm also a March birthday and looking forward to celebrating it at the end of the month. I'll be turning 32 or 33- I honestly can't remember because I look and feel 51. The last few years have aged me quickly. My husband tried to end his life almost two years ago. He moved from the hospital to his parents house. We are still married but now I live 3000 miles away with our three kids. I love him more today than I did when we were married. Mental illness can be such hell. I have so much to be grateful for- awesome kids, my needs being met, and a beautiful view every night as the sun sets. Life is still good event though most of my hair is prematurely grey. :)

Jill B. said...

I'll be turning 46 this year. Life is good, even great after 40! If there is one birthday wish I could grant for you, it's to look in the mirror at your 36 year old self and relish it! Be in this moment, don't long for the body or face of your 26 year old self, and don't fear the wrinkles and sagging skin of your 46 year old future! I promise you, you'll look back and think 'why didn't I recognize how beautiful, fit, smooth I was at 36!'

arajane said...

happy birthday, courtney! (my autocorrect wanted to change your name to corny... hmmm.) i'm ara jane, i'm 38, i'm 7 weeks pregnant so i'm not telling anyone yet, aside from you and anyone else who reads your comments (whoops), and i have freaking awesome 20-month-old daughter. oh, and i love parentheticals. my husband got new glasses a few weeks ago (i swear this is going somewhere), and my daughter noticed so we pointed out that they are "new glasses." so now she points to his face and says "new glasses! or just "new!" and then she points to my face (i also wear glasses) and shouts "old!" which is obviously hilarious, but also reminds me that, yes, i am actually old. sigh.

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

Happy Birthday! I am grateful for people like you who help me to learn. I have learned so much from your blog and my mind has been opened lots and lots of times and I'm grateful to you for sharing everything that you share. Thanks, and happy birthday!

Lisa B. said...

cJane, my wish for you on your birthday is that you can always return, as to a steady state, to what makes you feel like you're living your life at full power. Last week, I went to a writer's conference and listened to other writers talk and talk, read their work. I listened to essayists and novelists and poets, which is what I am, and I went to the art museum, and I thought: I need to be writing more, and I need to take better care of my body.

I will be 56 this summer. Feeling young or old is like being submerged in a big ocean wave. You just ride it out. Thank you for being you, and thanks for being so open-hearted. Happy birthday!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday Courtney Kendrick! Since you asked, I am an agnostic New England librarian who is enjoying the pre-kid years with my husband. Currently I'm a tiny bit freaked out about the money part of buying a house, and thrilled about finally having a home to call our own. I've enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the differences and similarities that ring true to every woman's life journey. Thanks for sharing CJane!

Amy said...

I will be 38 in May. That feels REALLY old. Right now, I am watching my youth and fertility slip away as I worry that I may never have the second child I dream of.

Julie McHood said...

Happy Birthday CJane!

Let's see...My name is Julie, but that is really not WHO I am. I am a 42 year old single Mormon, Interior Designer (of the commercial variety), an Aunt (best one EVER), a fantastic friend, recent exercise convert, who LOVES her life. :) Hard to pinpoint one thing that makes my life terrifying or blissful...its a combination of all of the elements of my life. (I'm so busy most days between my full time job, my church calling, my volunteer causes - of which there are several - and just helping out friends and neighbors, oh and of course family, that I rarely have time just breathe.) In general I really do LOVE everything about my life. I'm not really bothered by being single, although I have plenty of single friends who are.
Circulating in my brain today is how much I really dislike Daylight Savings, and how I really need to be more focused when I am at work. Not "in love" with anyone but certainly open to the possibility of falling in love if anyone worthy ever came along.

Susan said...

I'm a 49 year old school teacher in southern Nevada. I work with struggling readers, and even though they suck the life out of me everyday it's the best job on the planet. I'm single and pretty much inactive in the church. There just isn't much room for single people in the church. According to my doctor I'm morbidly obese and I hate myself everyday over my addition to food. My life is my job, I come to school and work seven days a week. I love to sew and do craft projects of all kinds. I'm getting to the point that I can't stand TV so I watch a lot of documentaries online. My students ask why I'm not married and I tell them that I'm too grumpy. I've never been on a date in my life and I'm okay with that. I do what I want when I want. My money is my own and no one messes up my house. I'm happiest when I am helping others, but I detest having someone help me. I love it when telemarketers call. My goal is to keep them on the phone for as long as possible talking about anything under the sun. I can tell a funny story and I enjoy a funny joke. My only hope for getting into heaven is that God will enjoy my sense of humor and let me in. My back up plan is to have enough people that owe me favors that they dig a tunnel under the walls surrounding heaven and I crawl through. Who knows maybe I'll be skinny then and it won't have to be such a big hole!

Jayne said...

Hi! I'm 36 too:) But not today, last July actually. Happy Birthday! We are moving into our own place after living with family for the past three years! Quintessential Recession Story and so much love and light grew out of that journey! We are so amped to be in our own place. I've been unpacking boxes with things I haven't seen in 3 years! I have three little girls and am trying to rear them right:) I don't want them to ever have body issues. So I love your posts about body image, etc.
I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Love checking in on you and your family! You always make me laugh!

Jill Mansfield said...

I am Jill.
I love my husband, my two daughters and my fluffy puppy, Paisley.

I'm taking on some new adventures and stepping WAY outside my comfort zone. And it's terrifying. But I'm glad I'm doing it.

Happiest of birthdays to you.

lynsey said...

Hey Courtney, happy birthday! You know a little of my story, living with some mentally unstable teenagers for a year with my husband, but here is more:

I am a woman, born from a long line of broken women. I have clawed my way out of being broken to stop the cycle and 'purge the bloodlines,' as my friend and I half-jokingly call it. I have had to lose my own mother in the process of loving myself, which has proved to be one of the most layered forms of rejection I can think of --one that has provided guilt and peace, in almost equal parts.

The terrifying in my life is the thought that she is walking around, living life without being able to feel just how loved she is by the three children who cannot have relationships with her. The terrifying is knowing I have been given the gift of my own three beautiful children, and I fight every day to not succumb to the lie that what I do right now may not be enough for them.

The blissful is that I've married a man who has allowed me to heal inside of our relationship, and knowing I've done the same for him. 10 years in, and our love runs deeper than I could have imagined, and our laughter is still as constant. Our growing pains are not over, I'm sure, but I no longer fear them the way I used to.

The blissful is that I am actually happy, and my happiness is no longer built on a house of cards--but instead is a happiness full of substance, knowing and loving who I am. A happiness with a firm foundation, built from a rock bottom, with roots that can withstand strong winds. Roots that will no longer break, but just bend as each wind comes.

On a lighter note, we're in Arizona, finishing out my husband's psychology doctoral program while I sweat away {what feels like} the endlessly hot summers. Our children and spunky, beautiful and hilarious, and a daily reminder of the goodness of God. We work hard, and Sallie Mae is one of our sister wives for another year and a half until she divorces us and then we get to start paying her alimony. {ha!}

I've said it before and I'll say it again, thank you again for writing vulnerably, especially this past year. I admire your ability to be real, to write about your pain, to speak your truth, and to lay it all out there for strangers to relate to and love you through.

I have a feeling this year is going to be your best yet. :)


Naomi said...

I'm Naomi from Devon, England. About this time last year when I was visiting Provo, I left some Hob Nobs with Lisa and Topher to pass on to you for your such luck this year!

My first love is my husband and four children, my second is going to hear live music.

I am a little scared at the speed in which my children are growing up, and what will become of me when they are fully grown and gone into the world. I throw myself into voluneering at the school and at church to avoid feeling alone when all the children are at school.

I love where I live and I find joy walking the moors, where I often commune with God.

Happy birthday!

Mrs. Mari said...

Who are you? I am Mari and I've been reading your blog since forever and love it and you!!

What is your story? Right now my story is drowning in cancer.

What is making your life terrifying or blissful or both right now? My husband is my all. Two years after we were married he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and given a 5% survial. 8 years later he's still here and still fighting to beat it. Cancer is smart and it lives to kill it's host and it certainly is trying to take my husband, but he refuses to let it win. So for me, the caner is terrifying but it's also shown me how strong this man I married is. He is amazing.

What are your wishes or dreams or prayers? That there is no cancer and no one has to live with it. That i can go sit on a beach for a few weeks and regroup.

Are you in love? oh yes!!!

And what is circulating in your mind right now? Coming to terms and decisions about what to do now that I've retired.

What's your truth? Living life to it's fullest and never taking anything or anyone for granted.

What's making you laugh? Sitting with my husband and watching our dogs watching us. (you do find humor in the little things when you're too sick to move.)

You are a dear and I have so enjoyed getting to know you through your blog--I do hope to meet you one of these days. I wish yyou the happiest birthday!!!!

Jacki said...

I'm going to be thirty six this year as well. It's strange for me to see people on the internet that I admire as writers that are my age. Are we getting old? Or are we just getting older?

colbyjay said...

Happy Birthday Courtney! I'm celebrating you today because you've been brave and loving enough to leave out the pursuit of appearances and sugar-coating on this blog to truly and deeply touch the intricate and often painful parts of people's reality. I can't think of anything more important, really, and most especially in our culture where it's very hard to come by. I love you!
-S. Banner

Carol said...

I am in love. The one I love so achingly is not here. There was not a fix to be had for him on this earth. God took him home so he could be whole and well and complete. Two weeks to the day from the terrifying diagnosis to his homegoing. Not enough time to say everything there was to say..Not enough time to gaze into his green eyes and examine the hands that made such sweet music on the guitar. To turn them over and kiss the palms, to trace his long fingers. It's been a month now. I still find myself thinking.."I can't wait to tell him about the drama at work, or that a blizzard is coming in,.. I'll make ice cream and we'll snuggle together under the electric blanket..." I am happy that he is in a place where there are no tears..a beautiful place that is not fallen creation, but a reflection of God's glory. I believe he is riding his horse in Heaven, and playing his guitar, and questioning his Heavenly Father. And the one he had to leave behind for a little while?...Well, I am wistful and sad; grieving, but not despairing. I am learning what it means to understand '...the fellowship of His suffering'. Job said it best; "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" I am in love but my Love is not here.

Caitlyn Osterhout said...

Hello, my names Cait. I am 23 years young and not where I thought I'd be. That is something that use to be completely terrifying to me. Over my last year I've come to realize that not knowing exactly where you're suppose to be isn't a necessarily a bad thing, in fact it can be the complete opposite. I often think of a line from a poem I read in college,
"Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't."

So here's to getting older, no matter what you're age I hope you find bliss in everything that you do, I know I have.

elwayjohnbroncos said...

Happy B-day.
I think I'm 42 or 43
I was adopted, with my sister from Seoul S. Korea
We grew up in the midwest amongst bigots, child abusers, uneducated angry poor people, & faux christians.
We ended up in foster care.
My life is filled with "what ifs" but am trying to focus on what I have now.
Sometimes I feel that I haven't done much with my life then I remind myself that raising my 2 girls in spite of my poor beginning is a big success in itself.
I still feel sad though for the childhood my sister & I missed out on.
I'm a nerd.
I love to read.
When I was 9yrs. old I looked for answers to why my sister & I had to suffer so much.
I found my answer in the library-it was in the books about the Holocaust, WW 1 & 2, the Vietnam war, the killing fields of Cambodia, the streets of Bombay, & more. Our suffering was shared by people past & present. We were not alone.
I find your blog & Nie's inspiring.
Somewhere in the past I lost my childhood faith & love for God so I like reading about other people's relationship with him. Maybe someday I will find him again.
Thank you.

elka said...

I am Katherine Ronachert. Current fears are the little milk dandruff that is around milk cartons and taking the meds my neurologist prescribed. Shhh though. Nobody knows but my dear love, and i prefer to keep it that way. Which is why im stating it on one of the Lesser known blogs? ;) What's to tell when there's nothing to tell? Boy it does feel good to say it out loud. Happy birthday cjane!(automatic spell check makes you crane?) you are beautiful. 36 is nothing to be scared of, now halfway to 72... That's how my hubs calculates his age. Embrace it, 30's are the new 20's, or so I've heard.

Amanda Cherry said...

I'm Amanda. I found you through another blog that mentioned Stephanie and Christian's crash back when it happened.

I'm a forensic engineer, I'm 29 and pregnant with our first baby, and I'm struggling with loving my job but wondering if I should/want to/can stay home with our kid(s). I'm pretty sure that even though I love my job, I'll love my kid a lot more, and I can't get that time back so if there is any way we can swing it financially I should just make the leap. BUT. I love my job. And engineering is a hard field to drop and then pick back up later.

But this might force me to do other things, be more creative, dream up my own job. Which is of course terrifying because what if I fail? Or, what if I succeed?

My wishes/dreams/prayers: to be able to make and enjoy a large family with my wonderful husband for many many years while we grow old together. And YES I'm madly in love with him.

So that's what all is in my mind right now.

I laugh daily, at my animals, my funny sarcastic husband, and at the baby inside my belly who likes to have conversations with me via kicking. :)

Michelle said...

Wow! My life is amazing, exciting, and a tiny bit terrifying right now. My husband and I have decided to take a huge leap of faith and dedicate our time and energy to educating and mentoring couples (and individuals) who are looking to recover from the devastation of pornography addiction. We have lived through this ourselves, and have found great tools that have turned things around for us, and as we discovered hope and real recovery we thought hey...why not try to make a living giving hope to others who have struggled as we have? Why not just move away from a steady job and trust that God will provide for us as we try to do what He is leading us to do? Taking the "leap" can be tough, but there are so many people out there who need help. They need love and direction that will transform their lives. Hopefully we can provide that help for even just a few.

78aca72e-1f98-11e2-a4e1-000bcdcb2996 said...

Mom, wife for 33 years, mom for 26, non Mormon Christian, M.Ed., teacher, friend and believer in the power of imagination and unconditional love.
I so appreciate your love of family, love of thoughtful and deep inquiry, your lack of fear, your bravery in sharing what you are learning, your lovely loyalty to those you to whom you belong.
You have given me, really all of us, a peek into such an interesting and rich world. Your writing is powerful!
Happy, happy birthday dear sister.

Mariella said...

Hi! Happy Birthday! I don't remember how I found your blog.

I will soon be 50. I live in the Boston area.

I am a working mother to three kids, the oldest is in college.

I love my life now. It is stressful and hectic, but I am in a good place - loved and accepted for who I am.

Married for 15 years to my second husband, my soul mate.

I spent most of my life getting to this point. So even though I don't want to be getting old, I would not want to be my younger self. She was anxious, self doubting, abused.

Now, I am all about the journey, and enjoying every moment of it. Best wishes on your journey, too.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday! Today I read through 96 pages of seminar descriptions for an upcoming homeschool convention that I am going to attend. It will be my little boy will be in 1st grade next year. We did Kindergarten at home and loved it!

Shasta said...

Happy Birthday Court! I loved your.waffle birthday sandwich. My cup runneth over. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 13 years ago, and for that my parents disowned me. But the Savior, through His
Atonement showed his tender mercies and healing power and now my family has a fabulous relationship with my parents! I call Texas home, in the Bible Belt where there is a lot of love for everyone and Christianity abounding. Thanks for sharing and come to visit anytime!

Amanda Becker said...

Happy Birthday Miss CJane. Today I am falling more in love with my husband, who I will be celebrating one year of marriage on the 17. I celebrate our 28wks in the womb little man, and fall head over heels with each kick. I celebrate you and all you've done for me and others through your blog. I started following you about four years ago through Nie Nie, who I was introduced to by my cousin Nicole who was friends with Christian in High School. I was quickly addicted to the blogging world thanks to you. I've learned so much about myself because of women like you. I'm not Mormon but because if your connection to your faith, my desire and actions have changed and I am slowing growing in my own faith. I appreciate everything you have done for us ladies. You truly are an inspiration, just by being you. Thank you

Brooke said...

Happy birthday! I'm 29 and I am thrilled my husband has had a steady job for the past seven months. We just went through a three year mostly unemployment period that was incredibly hard having jobs, getting fired and/or laid off, and job searching in the worst economy ever and not feeling stability until now. So I feel grateful every single day my husband goes to work and that is bliss to me. I teach a few music classes from my home but mainly I get to help nurture and raise three energetic and fun kids under 4. My kids and husband make me laugh, especially my three year old daughter who says the most off the wall things all day long. I love it. Thanks for your blog and your words, they help me think of life and people in ways I generally don't, and I am a better person because of them. Happy birthday!

All8 said...

Well, hello there, CJane. It's nice to meet you, I'm Lorinda.

The most intense bit of my life is that 3 weeks ago we discovered that my husband has a T-cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma mass in his chest. Thankfully it's only stage 2 and I hope that I have the faith to believe the beautiful blessing that was given to him the day we found out. In these past 3 weeks he has gone through surgery for his biopsy and port placement, his first week of chemo in the hospital and brain surgery.

Blessings that have come so far during this experience, so many people have been in contact with DH, thanking him for the effect that he has had on their lives for good. How many people believe in Christ and the role of prayer in everyday miracles. I am so grateful for those who have stepped up to help our family. We couldn't have made it through these past 3 weeks without their love, support and prayers. There is much good in the world.

I like your writing style. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us out in the web.

All8 said...

Whoops! Happy Birthday! Enjoy life, who cares what year it brings.

Sarah said...

I found your blog probably 5 or 6 years ago. Avid reader ever since, but I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've commented. Even though your writing inspires and amazes me, I just never have anything to say :)

Anyway, since you asked so nicely, and since it's your day (Happy Day of Birth!) I will oblige.

I am deeply in love with my husband of 10.5 years. I am a mother of 5 kiddos, ages 2 1/2- 9 1/2, 2 girls, 3 boys. They are my world and keep me pretty busy right now. I adore being a mom, which is pretty ironic considering I never really wanted children. I have some interesting health problems, but I don't let them hold me back. My husband just lost his 4th job in the past 2 years. We've had a rough go of it financially and just lost our house. Despite our trials, I am truly blessed and happy, because I choose to be. My husband and I are both starting back to school in May, him for business, me to be a nurse. I am both excited and terrified. I am a cosmetologist and love to excercise. I recently lost 30 pounds (courtesy of those 5 little darlings) and am so thrilled that some of my favorite clothes fit again. I am obsessed with shoes (72 pairs currently reside in my closet right now, most of them purchased by my generous mother :) and I love to write. I am a Mormon, and I truly love the gospel. That's me, in a little bitty nutshell :)

PS I love you CJane!

Jane said...

Happy Birthday! 36 isn't old. I was scared to turn 40! I freaked out for a full year. However, I'm happy to tell you that 46 feels wildly liberating...YAY!

I'm in love with my hubby of 18 years, my 4 boys (all canine) and I sort of like our cat.

I'm excited right now for spring and not terrified of anything at the moment, probably because my amazing husband is a superstar and is a rock. He makes life feel safe and sound.

I've never commented here, but I love reading your blog and I thought...since you asked...there you go!

Enjoy 36 and look forward, it only gets better! Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

Alisha said...

Happy birthday!

My life right now is mix of overwhelming sadness and hope. It's a strange combination. I turned 30 in January and learned I was pregnant with our first child- finally- after 9 years of marriage. One week after my birthday, when I was 8 1/2 weeks, we learned we'd lost the baby. I know without a doubt that everything happens for a reason, but it's really hard. It's been 5 weeks since my D&C. I'm so excited that we can get pregnant, but I will always mourn this baby.

But. I have the best husband in the world. We had a good talk tonight about the miscarriage and he told me how proud he is of me. That felt pretty good.

Aubrey said...

Happy Birthday! What a lovely way to celebrate. I love your natural hair and simply radiant new look.

Thank you for sharing your gift of beautiful writing. The last few years were more difficult than I ever imagined when I started out with a good man and our plans for a loving, happy big family.

Being able to connect with others online has helped me through those years.

My biggest challenge now is my health. I am at my heaviest weight and I need to make changes to feel good physically. I want my physical presence to match the inner happiness I feel. I never give up hope in a better life.

Megan said...

I am Megan. I live with my husband, seven children, and almost 13-year-old dog. I will turn 35 in May. Oldest child 14, youngest 1. Every two years like clockwork.

I am terrified of not being good enough, even though I know better. I wish to live a beautiful life. I am in love with my husband. I have willed myself into labor the last three births to get my favorite midwife who was on call. I have birthed all of my children in the hospital, midwife-assisted with no pain medication. Your birth stories are the closest description I can find to express my own spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional experiences with birth, for which I am grateful.

I laugh at things that most people find not to be amusing. It's probably a healing thing. I have a testimony. I graduated from BYU in English but could only wish to be able to write my experience as well as you have someday. I don't have the language or perspective for it yet. Have a wonderful birthday.

Write to Simplicity said...

Happy Birthday!! My name is Kerin. I've been reading your blog for maybe four years now. Is that possible? I keep coming back because you are funny and are a talented writer. I am also a writer. I am married and pregnant with my first. My blog is

amber kumar said...

Happy Birthday!

My name is Amber, and I only recently discovered your blog. Reading about your afternoon baths with your babies was like medicine for my soul. I have been struggling with the changes in my body that resulted from giving birth to my first baby a little over a year ago. His name is Vincent, and he is beautiful. The second I became a mother was like an "ah-hah" slap to the face, and so much of the world that didn't make sense suddenly clicked for me.

I've also loved reading the posts on pornography. I grew up in a home with an addicted father, and reading other people's stories has helped me make sense of my own.

I am from Oregon, went on a mission to Ecuador, and got my Bachelors Degree in Hawaii. It was there I met and fell in love with my husband who is from Fiji. His beautiful brown face makes me happy :) I now live in Provo! My husband is in the Masters program at BYU for Choral Conducting. I stay home with our munchkin. While I wouldn't have it any other way and I am very happy, I was surprised to find that motherhood is a lot more boring than I expected. My husband is gone most of the day, and the house is very quiet. But Vincent is a very happy, silly boy and his smiles make up for all the silence. I often wonder if there is more I should be doing with my life, but most of the time I feel like Heavenly Father is proud of my choice to stay home. My mom stayed home with us, and even though our family had its fair share of problems, I feel like I had a happy childhood because of all the time she spent at home making us feel special.

Thank you for what you are doing on your blog. You're amazing!

Whitney said...

Happy Birthday Courtney!

My name is Whitney and I am from Sandy,Utah. I'm 29 years old, single, and couldn't be more happy about my life. I work as a Designer and Project Manager for a local event and expo company, specializing in Special Events. I have a Degree from Utah State University in Interior Design, Sales and Marketing with an Art Minor. I am so grateful for my education! It has opened many doors of opportunities and experiences that have been invaluable to my life.

I was given the opportunity to serve a mission in the Illinois Peoria Mission, 2005-2007. It was hard, wonderful, and terrifying ALL the time. Ha! But I do value my mission like I value my education, in some ways more so. While in the Midwest I was introduced to tornados, inches of freezing rain, toothless children of God, and Jesus. I wouldn't trade those 18 months for anything!

Lately this passage of scripture has been circulating my mind:

2 Nephi 4:18-20
"18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath lead me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep."

It literally blows my mind that God is willing to protect, love, teach, and support me even though I always fall short. You are never too far from His love and protection. This is my truth.

Thank you Courtney for always keeping it real! You are my favorite Sister in Zion!


Annalise Shumway said...

Happy birthday. Today is my sister's birthday too, but she is 26.

I saw your mother last week at church. I love her smile and laugh.

My thoughts--enjoy the journey. 36 isn't old unless you think it is. The destination (our Heavenly home) is going to be wonderful, but enjoy today and everyday. It isn't always easy. Sometime I wish 2013 would fly by--I would be done with my masters, leave St. Louis, and move to a city with a singles WARD! But today is good, the gospel is true, and spring is coming. Enjoy the journey.

Happy birthday! I hope it is full of sprinkles, sunshine, glitter, and confetti.


Nadia said...

Happy Birthday. I'm Nadia, a fellow 36 year old, mother of three. Two weeks ago we made the life altering move from Utah to India. My past fears and anxieties have given way to more mundane things; clean water, mosquitoes, language barriers, heat and fitting ourselves into a new world. Our mountain home seems far away indeed, but your blog gives me a little glimpse of home, the springtime and like-minded folk. Thank you for that.

Kelley Shinn said...

Tired of yourself? On your birthday? So writerly. I am a no-legged, single mother of two, a writer and an English professor in Akron, Ohio. Those are the adjectives. I am a sucker for a moment, a heartbreaker, and open-armed to grief and all its counterparts. Been checking in on your blog since your sister's accident, enjoying the evolution--as mother and writer. Thirty-six isn't so bad, enjoy it.

Best to you, and yours. Kelley Shinn

Amelia said...

Happy Birthday!
Thank you for being the most authentic you. It helps us all. Every day I try to do a little bitter. A little more ready with my patience and try and tuck my hasty sharp words away. I love living in Scotland. After 11 years it truly feels like home.

Kel said...

Hi CJane
I am 38, mother of two daughters, feminist and living in Tasmania, Australia. It is a small world though because last time I was approached by a Mormon missionary here I assured him that I read your blog and he was from Provo so knew your family - he clearly considered me to be in safe hands! Blissful right now is that the summer is lingering here on our island so tonight we spent the night at the beach as the sun went down. In love with my husband who works part-time as a teacher so we can share the parenting. Nearly done with my masters after 6 part-time years. Wishing you a gorgeous birthday. I love your writing, your courage your care, your spice.

Jen Reil said...

Happy Belated! My twins just celebrated their 11th birthday last week, so we had a big Harry Potter bash for them. March babies rock! Anyway, I'm Jennifer. I'm in love with my husband and have been since I was 18 years old. We have 5 kids, 1 girl and 4 boys. I would secretly love Love LOVE to have 3 more girls, but that's not exactly in my control. I must tell you that 36 is young- I'll be 38 this year (the age my mom was when my husband met her for the first time- scary!). My little family is what makes life blissful. Being away from our extended families is what makes life hard and lonely sometimes. We have great friends here, but our families are our best friends. My husband is a diplomat, so we never get to live close to the ones we love the most. I guess that's me in a paragraph. Again, happy belated!

Stacie said...

I'm 45, and I am in Business School...for the first time. I'm in a constant state of gratitude that I am alive, and vibrant and have learned not to spend much time at all looking backward or forward...unless it directly relates to what is happening now. Can I pull what I learned in the past to help me in the present? Can I pull my as yet unrealized dreams about the future to help me form my INTENTIONAL present?
Hells yeah...I've got almost 10 years on you, and from where I am sitting, I feel like I'm given the gift of the re-do, the do-over and the do-again every minute I get the opportunity to breathe, if I choose's a sweet place to be and I'm very happy!
Happy Birthday!

Sheri said...

I found your blog first and then went back and read Nie's while she was recovering from her crash. I am 31 having my 4th baby. My husband is a dentist and just got called to be in the high counsel. He and I were shocked because we are still young, having a baby and buying his Dad's practice. A crazy time. I only have one parent living and one grandparent. I have 4 younger brothers and did a lot of 'mothering' growing up. So much that I didn't look forward to motherhood at all. I always wanted to be a nurse but it didn't work out that way, I became a mother instead. I feel like motherhood has made me more of the person HF has wanted me to be, making me let go of my dreams of being a nurse and finishing my education until later in life.
I appreciate your blog, its realness is truth. Not a lot of people speak their truth all of the time. Thank you.

Betsy said...

Happy Birthday! I don't usually comment, but since you asked us to, I will. I am a 31 year old academic advisor with no kids but a dog that I love like a child. :) I am originally from Indiana but spent the past 5 years in South Carolina while my husband earned his Ph.D. We just moved to Missouri this past year because he got a job as a professor here. My life is terrifying because we moved across country to a place that I had never even visited. We do not live around our family, and now we are making major life decisions like buying a house and deciding when to start a family while juggling things like earning time off so I can still have a salary(and hopefully being able to start one!) My life is also wonderful because we have jobs, I love my husband, and I have wonderful family, friends,and nieces and nephews even if they are not in the same town or state currently. I am a blog and book reader, animal lover, sports fanatic, education supporter who appreciates kindness.

Melissa said...

I am 33 and a very happy mother of five boys and one hubby, who is the kindest person I know. Even kinder than my mother and that is saying something. I have never been happier in all of my life and I have lived a very blessed life. All my dreams have and are coming true. I got to finish two degress, travel, etc before marrying my love. I get to stay home being mommy to these boys who are so much fun, though very boyish and loud and busy. I wonder what a girl is like, but don't mind one bit that I may never know. I finally am at a place where I don't feel like someone is waiting to come to our family. Like if we do try for another it will be our choice. I believe strongly in personal inspiration and that your life is well planned and nothing happens for a reason. I've had so many experiences of things working out too perfectly. Things always work out, always. I have many different opinions than you do and don't question things like you. I always feel the spirit confirming the true and right way of doing things, that I don't get riled up. I guess I'm a different type of feminist. Reading your words does give me a different perspective and makes me realize everyone feels differently. We do agree on the nursing in the hall at church and not hidden in some old mother's room. That is such a bizarre thing. Also, I have the same struggles and joys balancing me with my children that you do. And I no longer clean up toys. I make the boys do it, as the oldest two are now almost 8 and 6, so they do not need and will not get my help. Anyway, happy birthday. You are an inspiration.

Pam said...

Hi Courtney. I've been reading your blog for a few years now. I first learned of you and Stephanie through your Grandpa Jones, who lived in my ward in Gig Harbor, WA. He was a great man and very loved in our ward! I've seen you at several "Provo" things (rooftop concernt series, Velour, and most recently the "Superwoman" conference at BYU on Friday) and always feel a little giddy because I respect and admire your point of view and your ability to share it with all of us. What's terrifying me right now is my teenage boys. They are so, so good, but they've both struggled with issues I wouldn't have imagined for them and I've found myself having to really, really be their MOM in the fullest sense of the word. I have two younger children who will also someday become teenagers! Being a stay-at-home-mom isn't always as fulfilling as I'd like it to be (I'm working on that!), but I fully realize that if I wasn't at home for my teen boys, I would have missed the clues to thier problems and wouldn't have been as able to provide them with the help they needed.
The most fantastic thing happening in my life right now is my relationship with my husband. There have been ups and downs, but 20 years later, we are loving our relationship with each other!
Thanks for letting me share. And a very, very Happy Birthday to you!

Rob Allen said...

Happy birthday!

Missionaries! and the blessings they are bringing to our home. My oldest son returns from Japan Friday and my next son leaves for Mexico the following Wednesday. They are both speaking in church this Sunday. Life is full and good.

Jen said...

Hi, I'm Jennifer. Long time reader, but never a commenter. I am sure enjoying reading about all your readers here.. Loving how everything I find here is so very "real" and now.. I like how your blog always makes me think.

I'm 34 and live in Nevada. I love photography, scrapbooking, and writing. I try to regularly keep up with my own little bitty blog.

Too bad I never had a clue about my true callings anytime during my four years in college, but I am lucky to have a "boring" yet challenging job that is stable and well-paying.

I have an 11 year old son. My first marriage was a life lesson. That relationship lasted 2 yrs total, with the marriage only lasting 1 yr. What a waste, and an embarrassing failure. But I wouldn't trade my son for anything. Will I get married again? Maybe.. I've been with a wonderful guy for about 7yrs now and we just bought a beautiful home together and I feel very lucky, blessed and.. happy.. Finally.

What terrifies me the most is my parents, who, despite my successes, were quite miserable parents. I am terrified what will happen to them when they become old, sick or need my help. (only child). I can relate to the part in Forest Gump where Jenny throws rocks at her childhood home..except I think I'll use a bulldozer!

Thank you for writing, and for inspiring us all to be "real". Oh, and Happy Birthday to you!

Marty & Meghan Rich said...

I am 28, wife of 7 years, one son who is 10 months. I am a stay at home mom with just a year left for my BA in English which I will get done someday. I have a simple and happy life. I have fears and trials like everyone else but would feel ungrateful to complain as they are minor compared to some. I just started reading your blog and I have been reading nie nie for about 5 years. Your family is amazing and your writing is inspiring. I am a fellow writer but lack the bravery to share my work as you have. My goals for the end of my twenties ( and I am hanging on to them for dear life ) : share the gospel more, even though pregnancy gives me hyperemisis, keep doing it, those little ones are worth it, give up what I want in the moment for what I want forever. --- Thanks for your amazing blog, u got yourself a new reader. MEG

Rachel Knecht said...

I love California more than any other place on earth. I once fell off a camel in the Sahara. I've seen Wayne Newton in concert at an Indian casino. I was the youngest one there by decades. If someone offered me a free trip to space I'd take it. During a bout of unemployment I decided I was becoming dumb and to remedy it I memorized all the world capitals. It turns out that sort of trivia doesn't make you any smarter but it's a pretty fun party trick. I make funny things out of felt, like once I made felt bride and groom dinosaurs to put on top of a friend's wedding cake. I teach early morning seminary to 24 freshmen so I know a lot about One Direction. I'm 37 and have never been to Yosemite. Can you believe that? I cry nearly every day. Sometimes sad tears, but more often than not they are happy tears or tears of sympathy or gratitude. Or maybe I'm laughing so hard I cry. I used to think this was a character flaw - welling up at the drop of a hankie - but now I see it as a byproduct of feeling things deeply. And I think it's a signal to others that they can cry around me. I always have tissue. Just the other day I was thinking that I needed to start collecting other people's stories. We all need the chance to share them. What a lovely gift to ask for. I hope you had really yummy dessert on your birthday.

ellen said...

I'm a single woman living in Boston (I grew up in LA). I'm a blogger, baker, photographer, sewer, quilter, reader, movie watcher, letter writer and antiquer. I work at MIT and I'm the RSP in my ward. I wish I had more spare time but I love my life.

Sharon said...

Happy Birthday Courtney!

I have been one of your blog stalkers for years, I have no idea how I found you because I read a lot of blogs. That's what I am, a reader (not a writer). I am 46, single - never married, no kids. I am from a big family but now live alone – which is very weird. My story is about surviving as a single girl in this “having a family/being married is the only thing” world. I graduated from BYU with a degree in Psychology. Currently I work at the Utah State Hospital. I did not serve a full-time mission but I have had the privilege of being a cast member for the Hill Cumorah Pageant for the last two years and will be going again this year. I am a sports nut and love March Madness! I spend time with my extended family and try to spoil my 29 nieces and nephews and my 5.5 great nieces and nephews. When I’m not watching sports or my favorite t.v. shows I am reading. I read a variety from all genres. Currently I am serving in my ward Relief Society Presidency, but my favorite is to serve with the young woman – I love girls camp!

Cheryl said...

Hi....I'm 54 years old...I've lived all my life in Missouri....married 34 years to my hubby, two grown children, one married, one getting married this summer....lovingly and impatiently waiting for grandchildren..I'm Catholic...worked at a bank for years, recently retired...have cats and dogs, love to read, craft, do simple DIY, cook, trying some new things in the kitchen now that I have more reading blogs....always enjoy yours...the blogs I read always open up my world to so many different life experiences and viewpoints.....haven't been able to travel very much so I'm interested in different places, different outlooks......that's me.....thanks for asking!!!

Rachymaree said...

So many comments. I want to come back (when I have more than a few minutes) and read them all!

Happy Birthday! Remember, (as you skim past this comment because it is so lengthy) that you asked for this... so you really brought this on yourself. Here goes:

I am a wife to 1 man, a mommy to 3 hooligans, and a 31 year old woman who is beginning to be quite comfortable in her own skin.
I am, like many things in life, a complex being, yet simultaneously (surprisingly) simple.

I have been married 10 years (this June) and boy has it been . . . "educational". We have dealt with each hot mess as it is discovered. I think this makes me an almost grown-up now. Marriage is wonderful if you both work at it. I am lucky to have a man who I didn't give up on and who didn't give up on me.

I love people. I just do. Yes, everyone. There are good things in everyone, sometimes you just have to look a little harder. I think everyone should be able to get along, but I like almost everyone I come across so it's easy for me. I get attached to most people I meet, and have learned that sadly not everyone gains the same attachment. I often find myself attached to fictional characters as well... a good book is a marvelous thing. I love reading, but mothering comes 1st so I have read fewer books over the years.

I am learning to be present in the moment and trying to find joy in all situations.

I have been to a little over a handful of countries, and about half the states, and have some very strong desires to continue learning and traveling and meeting people. One day I will give into those desires. I love different cultures and places. I fill that void for now by watching foreign films and documentaries, living vicariously through others (people I know and strangers on Instagram... you can travel the world for a few minutes a day by viewing their pictures), eating curried chicken with my fingers and asian noodles with chopsticks, and listening to music from various places.

I have had family members with mental illness, and those I have never met who died of cancer. I have struggled with multiple issues including depression. I am learning to love me for me. I am a little bit (okay probably more than a little bit) of a feminist...but not everyone has heard me use that term. Maybe you should keep that to yourself.

I am a spiritual person by nature. I am a Latter-Day Saint by choice, and I find so much peace in my practices of faith.

I hide candy from my children so I can eat it in peace when they are in bed. I have a son, a daughter, and another son. The oldest is 8 this month. They are one of my larger refiner's fires. I find that I compare parenthood to the first paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....etc."

There is much more to me than this, but this is your little peek into my world. Thank you for asking. I haven't done something like this in a long time, and now I have a much belated journal entry. See, you gave me a gift and it was your birthday.

Thanks for your posts. I am a relatively new reader to your blog, but enjoying getting to know you.
I hope you had a great birthday.

Katie Aldrich said...

Happy birthday:). I'm a mom of 4, a convert to the church, and a recent California transplant. I really miss where I used to live, and my wish right now is for this new place to start to really feel like home for me and my kids.

I love your writing, and I especially loved that you blogged about your homebirths- and doing what felt right to you as a mother and a woman. I wish for all mother's to have access to the strength inside them.

Butternutsage said...

Hi Courtney Happy Birthday! I will be 60 in 6 weeks and feel like a stalker reading your blog because I am so old, but I have learned so much from you Ms. Cjane. Because of you, I wrote my own painful story this year and hope to publish it soon. Anyway you my sweet are a blessing to ALL WOMEN young and old and I have told you that for a long time in notes, and art and flowers. You validate us Courtney through your words, so do not stop writing...except for when you take your month long vacation in summertime. Hugs~Donna from Massachusetts

flowtops said...

Happy birthday!

I occassionally read your blog, as your life is so foreign to me (being European, all things American are).

There is no end to the bad parts of my life, but at the same time, there is no end to the good parts. I am not saying there is balance in day to day life, but over a period of perhaps ten, twenty years time, there is. Or perhaps I am just hoping there is.

I've just about finished a novel which will be published later this year. I think you might've liked reading it (it is not in English, sorry) - though none of it touches on any issues you've discussed on your blog.

I aim to inspire people, though at the same time this scares me. My message is not clean-cut. There is no white without black. *I* am not clean-cut. I am not a mommy blogger, a loveable person to all and sundry. (You, on the other hand, are all of that and more. Not that I am gushing, but you do come across rather blessed with a nice family, a loving husband who is able to provide for you, etcetera.)

I admire your honesty and have found it strikes a cord in me, a cord that I needed to tune into a lot for the novel.

PS 36 is not old. I've been old a long time, but now, at 40, I am younger than I ever was. It's all in the mind, really.

doro said...

During the winter of 2011, I discovered this blog when Nie’s blog was recommended via the’s blogs of note. I adore your writing style and the way you translate your thoughts on life and family and everything else. I admire how open you are and absolutely prolific with interesting things to say. Also, the super cute photos of you and your family are always incentive to check in as well.

Just after college in the late 90s, my friends and I scattered all over the world. Rather than send a daily/weekly/monthly mass email, we all used the same journaling site to communicate. Because the very concept of blogging has always been a communication tool to reach to a small group of people I likely over share disjointed thoughts as a result. When I read your blog, I always make a silent vow to myself to clean up my blog, save the really good entries, and open it up to a broader audience but work prevents me from the time needed to dedicate to such an undertaking (I have a very Silicon Valley job that can require 60-70 hours a week).

My partner owns a business, invests in other businesses, is in the process of starting yet another business, and plays in a band so my work life is precariously balanced with both charity work and picking up the slack at home. I keep a clean house (unless you look under the furniture or open closet doors), make dinner most nights (but the pizza and Chinese food delivery drivers know me by first name), and try to take care of everything else that falls into that stereotypical female chart of responsibility division. Despite spending my life fighting for women’s issues, I comfortably fell into this role when the right man came along and I have spent years trying to reconcile that with my inner Feminist.

Unknown said...

watching this today and thinking, thought you might enjoy as well - from one English major to another...

blessings on your bday!

Betina said...

Hello Courtney, I'm Betina. I read your blog and love it. Your work last year inspired me to write a life story.... This is the second installment (link). I am behind a month, but I will keep going, as I loved watching yours progressed. Happy Birthday. 36 is perfect.

Sydnee said...

Happy Belated Birthday! My name is Sydnee. Even though we haven’t met, I like you. I love reading your blog. I saw you speak at the Women’s Conference on Friday (my 31st birthday) and was happy to find out that I like you in person too. I want to be a writer. Not necessarily of anything that others will read before I die. If I would just make the time to do it, I feel like it would help me sort out my feelings about everything. I am terrified to be graduating from law school without a job lined up. I am also terrified to leave my 8 month old with someone else so I can take a job. My baby is bliss. I’m still trying to figure out my marriage after 5 years. I really hate traditional depictions of gender roles and the fact that I still buy into them too. This feels very silly to write but I thought I’d quit being simply a voyeur of your blog and participate for once.

SewSara said...

Wow. You are a popular gal! If I did this on my blog on my birthday, it might just depress me. haha.

We have talked a couple times, I think at the Rooftop Concerts. I was the one who sent the name blanket for Ever (do you want one for Erin?)

I live in Provo and my 4th baby Greta Jane (G.Jane? lol) turns one tomorrow. *sniff*
I;m a mom and I sew and stuff.

I'll be 35 this year ... *gulp.

Annie said...

Hi, I'm Annie. I've been following your blog for a few years now, but this is my first time commenting. I'm a Utah County transplant, (from Salt Lake County) and though it's not far, it feels so different! I'm also a new mom (8 months, that's still new right?), so my world is all about figuring out how to get my baby to nap and trying to figure out solid foods. Thanks for your blog. I love it.

mj said...

I am Melissa and I am taking a break from trying to thread my sewing machine. First try was a failure and I don't have the heart to try again right now. I am NOT a mistress of crafts, but I thought I would be all ambitious and make a present for someone. Alas, we shall see.

Also, I wrote a children's book recently and my little brother is illustrating it. I always used to be annoyed when people assumed when I called myself a writer that I wrote children's books, but now I have children and it doesn't seem like such a small occupation after all.

Through the vent I can hear my lovely husband tapping out a drumbeat in the basement. He is recording a drum track for one of my songs (I recorded vocals and guitar). What a wonderful man he is. He wants me to be proud of my work. That dude loves nothing so much as being useful. Well, maybe music.

And my baby son's (first) birthday is just a few days after yours (pi day). I love him and his sister. I have had my challenges with raising them so far, chiefly post-partum depression, though I would never trade them in for a million zillion dollars and an untainted mind. I am focusing on enjoying my life this year, since it is so very blessed. I am getting there.

Daisha said...

I'm a 30 year old wife and mother of 5 kids, with one on the way. This pregnancy was supposed to be filled with the challenges of carrying identical twins, but instead it is now carrying the challenge of losing one twin and the surviving baby getting a fetal blood transfusion to live. He's ok for the time being but I wish July would get here soon. I know that we will see and live with the 4 babies we have lost (over the past 8 yrs) in the eternities. Although life has handed us a few curve balls this past month we are happy! Happy Birthday to you!

Becca and Kent said...

I just got back from my very first Zumba class (held by an awesome sister in my ward). I loved moving my body and feeling the life in me. I am also loving the new friends I'm slowly making in my new home here. We moved back here from Texas to Utah a year and a half ago. I grew up in Utah, and I loved it. We moved to Texas after college (BYU-Idaho) and I fell in love with living not-in-Utah. Coming back has been wonderful (grandparents closeby again!) and surprisingly difficult.

I have been married to my best friend for five years. My husband is an android developer, writes apps for a living, owns four computers and three tablets, and I don't even have a smartphone.

We have a three-year-old boy who likes to pretend that he is a dog, does not like loud noises, and would prefer to only eat toast for the rest of his life, and we have a 16-month-old daughter who is way smarter than I realize, is always hungry, and gives the best squishy hugs.

What scares me? Realizing how fast time goes and how focused I need to be on the most important things in life as I mother my children. Strange things I notice about my body-I am a worrier and struggle to have faith in the promise I have received that I will have the health I need to accomplish my goals in this life. Scary things my kids do, like my boy momentarily disappearing today while he was playing outside. (I found him against the wall in the garden, watering the mud where I couldn't see him).

What is blissful? So much more than I feel I deserve. I have love, the sweetest, most tender, loving, and devoted husband. I have happy, healthy children. I have a body that can move and dance and clean and play. I have a beautiful home and a view of the mountains. I have a Father in Heaven who is trying to help me realize the potential I have for doing good and amazing things.

the letter e said...

I am ten years older than you. I have been married 27 years to the best man in the world. My worry is that when we get old, he will die first, and I don't know how I will live without him. I enjoy every day that we are together. We had a rocky start to our marriage with him developing severe arthritis. Three months after we were married, I was waking up to a husband who resembled an old man. He shuffled around, he was in so much pain. Years later, due to the side effects of arthritis medications, he had to have his hip replaced at age 32. He had this major surgery exactly one month after we had our 2nd child and first son. Wow, that was a hard time in our lives. The surgery was a turning point (before surgery/after surgery) and his body 'righted' itself and his arthritis has been in remission since that time. (crossing fingers daily)

I love to ramble (obviously), read, play the piano, thrift shop, and avoid cleaning the bathrooms. We have three children: married daughter, son on a LDS mission, and teenage son. They are my joy and the thing I stew and fuss over the most. Did I mention I have a granddaughter who is 3? Yep, she is my joy as well. And she is getting a baby brother in two months.

This is THE longest comment I've ever left on any blog. Thank you for your writings and for sharing yourself with the world. YOU are making a difference. WOMEN are making a difference. I really have enjoyed reading all the comments on this post. It is amazing to me how many joys and hardships women have to go through. Luckily, we can support one another during our trials and joys.

Happy Belated Birthday!

p.s. I have the best job (teaching children) in the world and the best church calling (organist) in the world!

Erin said...

Happy 36th Birthday!!!

I've enjoyed your blog for years now! Our boys are very close in age, and I love watching your family grow.

My life is terrifying right now. After over a year of trying for Baby #2, fertility treatments and surgery, and all, we were blissfully happy to announce our second pregnancy to our families for valentine's day - it's all about Love, right?
We went in for our first ultrasound last week and discovered that our tiny baby had left us about 3 weeks prior. Since my body loves being pregnant and refused to give this baby up, I had a D&C on Monday. and it's all hitting me today. I've read your miscarriage story and it helps. But now I am also trying to help my husband. It's hard on the Dads... and there are so few resources. I'm at work... and I haven no idea why. I'd rather be at home crying in bed. but I am grateful for my makeup holding up so well today.
Sorry to be such a downer on your birthday week. I hope you have a great 36th year!

Susan said...

Happy Birthday! Don't let 36 get you down, said by an newish 40 year old. My story overall is great: mom, wife, daughter, friend. But I am struggling a bit in adjusting to a recent move across the country and an unfulfilled job search. A bit down on myself, but I know I am so blessed and happier is right around the corner.

Katie said...

Things I'm currently thinking about (since you asked--ha ha).
1. I am so in love with my baby right now. Of course I always love him, but lately I just want to love on him and hold him and snuggle him all the time.
2. I really want my mom to get remarried. My parents divorced about 10 years ago. It is hard to find a good single man in his 40's, 50's, 60's who is active in the LDS church. She really wants to remarry, too. I've made this a matter of prayer. I have for awhile, but this year I am really fasting and praying for her to marry again.
3. Should I be the PTO president next year? I feel like I should, but so much work. Hmmm.
4. I love spring. It makes me feel so happy inside.
Happy Birthday!!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing the deep deep parts of your soul. You life story, your misscarriage story, your birth experiences, your stories of your children, they all resonated with me. You make me feel deeply. You are an amazing woman. I applaude you for all you do for Provo. You do so much for humanity. I didn't articulate that before. So, thank you.

Tracie Carter said...

I am one of your biggest fans that precedes you by only a few months to age 36. I love each birthday that shows I've been given more time here. I'm a mother of four youngins', transplanted from/to WA-BYU-NYC-DC-Germany. We live in a tiny apt so we can travel and pay for our upside down stateside mortgage. I want to own who I am more, connect with the divine within me and live in that space. I get crazy excited and energized about sharing stories and giving history context to anyone who will listen. Sometimes I wish I felt that for shopping, decorating, and crafting but it quickly passes. I'm embarking on a new journey to find my husband's German grandmother's living descendants because when she died in her early 40s, her 8 children never heard another thing of her or her German family. That needs to be rectified and is with help from beyond the veil. Life is such an adventure, but mostly in my mind while doing the mundane tasks of motherhood. I sure love me some baby cheeks to smooch! Love you and your space here!

Lynda said...

Hi C. Jane,
The day you were born I had just turned 17 and felt like Janis Ian had written that song just for me. Now I am an older mom of 3 girls, 15, 13, 11. They keep me young and in touch with my years as a teenage girl. I am intrigued with your blog as you are the first LDS blogger I've seen who has a broader perspective (yay!), asks hard questions, and remains faithful to the faith of her up-bringing. I am not LDS. I have faith in the omnipotence and mystery of God...and that it's his/her job to sort out some of the denominational details that we seem hung up on. My biggest hang up about LDS is Joseph Smith, so I guess that's why I'm not LDS. Regardless, I enjoy your writing, your honesty, your bravery in asking hard questions, your love for your husband, children, and extended family & friends. Happy Birthday, and keep writing!

Steph Thomas said...

I'm a 40 year old and the most fertile infertile person you will ever meet. After struggling with infertility, we were blessed with triplets (13) twins (9) and a singleton (5). Did you know they are called singletons? I'm a wife to one amazing jr. high administrator. A cub scout leader. A returned missionary. An "x" school teacher. I've been paragliding off the Swiss Alps. And I traveled from Utah to Ireland to visit my parents who were serving a mission there when I had 6 kids under 7. Ya. Good times. Hope you're birthday was fabulous and this year proves to be the best one yet!

Caitlin said...

Happy Birthday!
My name is Caitlin, and I live in Oregon. (by way of Seattle, Idaho, and New Jersey)
I am a mom to three boys aged 5 and under. And I'm not sure how that happened. (I mean I know HOW it happened, but not really how I got here. Where is their real mother and when is she coming to pick them up so I can nap?)
I love my family and my husband. My fear is that I am failing. That I am trying my hardest, but somehow lacking/too lazy/too selfish to do this whole motherhood thing right.
And I love having a calling that scares me like that.
Here is my truth:

Every day, I feel like I have given SO MUCH, and have nothing more to give.
Somehow, I always find more.
And at the end of the day, it never feels like enough.

Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring writing. You are a treat to read amid the chaos of my day!

justine said...

Happy Birthday Courtney. How lovely to write to you about Me!
I have read your and your sisters Blogs for about 4 years now. Im not sure how i found you (i think through a friends blog here in New Zealand where i live}
I am not Mormon but i adore reading about how your family comes first and how birthing your babies was an important part of your life.
I am a Mother of 3 gorgeous children. Leila is 11 years old ( she was 9th march) Yasmeen is 8years old and my son is Carlo who is 4 and a half. Becoming a mum has been such a rewarding , hard but truly glorious job for me. It took me by suprise and i think i found my calling. !! I work partime now as a makeup artist for fashion magazines and tv commericals. How ever i am in the process of starting up a 'botique makeup school' teaching you plus 5 of your friends at a time. Exciting to be moving away from the fashion industry into something i adore doing = talking sharing and making women feel beautiful. Life is busy but fabulous for me. I am surrounded by wonderful true friends. I have 3 sisters also.
My husband David is currently on a work business trip to Barcelona, spain and also Isreal. I miss him but boy oh boy do i love having the bed to myself !! ha ha. We met in high school (16 years old) and have been together 24 years. this Easter.
I am an avid reader, love to walk and play tennis { i started 2 years ago and cant get enough} . My gulity pleasure is watching New york housewives and the house wives of Beverly hills. So bad its good.
Thank you for sharing all your love wisdom vuneralbilty and honesty with me [us]. You are a kind, giving and wonderful lady. xxxx

Erin L said...

I am a Mormon mother of 3. I like to think and talk about what I am thinking. My husband is a medical student. I like to write and run and sew and read, but I don't do any of them well or as often as I would like. I don't like to clean house. I am blissful because I really am blessed to have such a wonderful family. I am terrified that I will not ever change and become the woman I want to be.

You inspire me to figure out what I think and feel about certain things. I really appreciate that. Happy Birthday.

Mandie said...

I have been following your blog since August 2008. That is the month that I lost my dearest friend--my mom. While checking the news online later that month, I came upon the story of your sister's plane crash. I was drawn to your blog and your amazing, selfless gift to take in her children and provide what Stephanie could not give them at that moment. Your story was balm to my heartache, sadness, and loss. It was what I needed. I continue to follow yours and Stephanie's blog--it is my daily inspiration. I am also turning 36 this year, have 3 daughters and enjoy your posts, your vlogs, and seeing the sweet relationship you have with your husband and kids. You have inspired me, made me laugh, and made me really think. Thank you. May 36 be the best year yet.

2busy said...

I have been following your blog for quite a while. I would love for you to come and visit and get to know me. I am often referred to as 2busy, but you can call me Lisa. I am a mother of an Air Force son, a Missionary and a 15 year old daughter. I try to find the humor and beauty in the ordinary. You can visit my blog at otherwise known as That's What She Said...

Melessa said...

My name is Melessa, I am an LDS adult convert/returned missionary. I've been married 16 years and have 5 kids ranging in ages 3-15 (the only boy is almost 13, second child, the rest are girls). My joy and terror is raising them while simultaneously running a small historic house museum in Oklahoma City. I'm told my politics and sense of humor are both "entirely inappropriate" for a member of the church. But the gospel is still true and I'm pretty sure God still lovey me anyway.

Morgan said...

A belated happy birthday to you! The scariest thing in my life right now is that I'm trying to figure out how to be a feminist and a faithful member of the LDS church. I've always been a feminist, but have "shelved" many of my concerns and issues, thinking I would just deal with them at another time (or in another life)...but that isn't working for me anymore. So I'm trying to sort through my questions while still holding my faith close to my heart...this blog is helping me with that process...many, many thanks to you!

YES Gallery + Studio said...

Happy birthday, fellow Pisces! You are a delight. Thanks for asking about us. I'm Leigh. I live in Rhode Island in a small tax-free arts town with a historic downtown. It's very communal and grassrootsy here. I love my neighbors. I don't know any Mormons, and neither do any of my friends. That's okay, because I'm guessing there aren't a ton of intentionally-childless, live-with-their-boyfriend liberal New Agers in Provo (but I could be wrong!)That's just what I look like on paper compared to what you look like on paper. But in my heart, you are a sister and you speak a spiritual truth and with a great amount of heart and honesty (not to mention good humor). The rest is semantics. Right now I'm excited about the possibility of taking my work as a screenwriter and freelance writer to the next level. I'm kind of terrified (but mostly excited) to start a program called "FasterEFT" that is, according to testimonials by trustworthy friends, going to help heal 20+ years of anxiety disorder. Life in a nutshell! xo

There is Beauty all Around said...

Hey I'm 36 too! I am a mother of four boys and expecting my first girl this summer. I wanted another baby so bad I lied to my husband about taking my birth control pills. We have had a struggling marriage since the beginning. This year for my new years resolution I am searching for ways to establish Zion between me and my husband. My stake president says before you can Zion in the neighborhood, you have to have it in the home and before you can have it in the home you have to have it between husband and wife. That would be a miracle, but that's what I need to figure out.

In the meantime I am very happy as a homemaker and mother. I do have my talents of piano and sewing that get left on the back burner too often. I was so impressed when I heard you speak last week - what you can accomplish in two hours a day when you stay focused. Thanks.

melissasavage said...

This week I blogged about the difficulty my husband and I faced trying to make our atheist-Christian relationship work. It was exhausting and amazing as I worked through these things that had been in my head for so long.

I had my highest ever numbers of visitors on my (very new) blog this week and wonderful feedback from everywhere. I got a text from a cousin I haven't seen in a couple of years, a beautiful facebook note from a friend who was also struggling to negotiate early marriage and just so much love from people.

So modelling my blog after yours (personal stories well told with an open heart) has been one of the best things I've ever done. It doesn't matter that I only have a hundred readers; it matters that I'm doing it at all.

Love you. Keep up the amazing work xx

Sue K. said...

I am Sue, a 60 year old preschool teacher in AZ and mother of 3 grown children. I found your blog by accident and have been reading it for several years. I am not Mormon, but attend a Bible church. Regardless of the differences there, I have learned a great deal from you: your honesty is so refreshing, your humor is uplifting, your writing is amazing and touches something deep inside. You are not afraid to speak/write the truth and I hope that I can find that someday. I have lived much of my life in fear: of hurting others, confrontations, etc. I want to be a loving, but real and honest person. I'm working on it. Keep on writing and touching the lives of others! God Bless...

Kelibby's Mom said...

We met in Costco yesterday and thanks for being so lovely and gracious to a perfect stranger. I turned 36 in November. The third decade has been good to me, good for me. Shedding the insecurities that plagued my teens and twenties. The same body I nitpicked is healthy and strong. The women I sized up are sisters in solidarity. The religious faith that gave me checklists gives me grace. A baby, seven years after my last, is an unfrenzied meditation of motherhood (except between 4:00-6:00 p.m.).
I hope you enjoy 36.


P.S. My green jeans...Talbots. 70% off lowest marked price. Yes.

One Fish said...

Here is the story of my family-

Emily Foley said...

I'm Emily. Today is MY birthday. I'm 33, and that feels old too. I know Katy Knight because she was my sister's mission companion in Texas and I worked for her dad in the Physics office. I live in Gallup, NM--yesterday was our 2 year anniversary of the move--and I have grown to love it here despite hating it here. I have wonderful friends, but our house was broken into on Valentine's Day and I don't feel safe here. I see people passed out in the middle of the street or sidewalk, completely intoxicated, every. single. day. I worry about what the does to my children, seeing that. I struggle that I was released as Primary President when my husband was called into the Bishopric. I loved that calling, and I was good at it, and I think I resent it a little that his calling took precedence over mine. Because I know mine was inspired--but his was too. I am not a feminist. I voted for Mitt Romney and was devastated when he lost. I worry about my kids and I wish I could make my middle son wear underwear and take away his sensory issues. I wish my oldest son could focus better and ate healthier food. I wish I was skinnier.

That's me.

Lindsey said...

Happy birthday! I am always fascinated by who is reading. My name is Lindsey and I live in Boston with my two children, 10 and 8. I work full time and try to be with them as much as I can. I read a lot. I write a lot about how fast it's all going, and about my inability to quite get over this stubborn reality. Everything flows around that truth. xoxo

Megan said...

Hey CJane. Don't know if you are still reading these. I love reading them as well. I love blogging about my struggles although it scares my husband a little bit how honest and open I am. I think it's hard for him to admit as a man that we struggle financially and in the baby department. For me, it helps me connect to others that feel the same way.

I am 29, live in Kansas now. Our struggles are that neither my husband and I are where we thought we would be in life. He thought he would have a better job, better boss, better opportunities, better pay, be able to pay off student loans.

I thought we would own a home, have children, be settled. I am learning to be at peace with the Lord's plan. 29 is still young, but we've struggled for 3 years to have children, and I'm just now finding that I am okay with not having children, if that's what the Lord has in store (and I'm willing to wait....I guess!). I don't know what the future will hold, but my bliss is my husband. I don't know how I got so lucky. With him and the Lord with me, I know I can do anything (although some days are still hard, that's life).

I love the honesty of your blog. I appreciated your thoughts about infertility, although I am saddened my struggle continues. I can't help but be jealous of all of the happy mothers who have commented. I'm learning to be happy in my own sphere :)

Happy birthday!

anna belle said...

You're probably tired of reading everyone else's stories by now. But I wanted to let you know you've inspired me to start writing (your life story series). It has been therapeutic. I'm no artist with words, but I'm proud to let my voice be heard anyway, even if somewhat anonymously.