Today’s my mom’s birthday.
The last birthday my mom celebrated she turned fifty-one and we celebrated with chocolate on chocolate cupcakes at her house. And I remember we had fun and it was late and dark and cold that night but we had fun celebrating what would be her last birthday.
Earlier in the week I had a moment where I decided that we would make today’s visit a celebratory one with chocolate on chocolate cupcakes. Establishing a tradition of sorts to remember this day and to help our kids {especially our littles} remember this day.

Three cupcakes. One for grandma Nan, one for God and one for Jesus. {According to H.}
Auntie Adrianne was there too.

It would not be hard to find reasons to be sad today. Sad my mom never turned fifty-four. Sad my mom never got to meet miss E. Sad that almost a month to the day after she turned fifty-one, she passed away and here we are struggling to explain heaven and death and life to kids that shouldn’t even know these things yet.

But you know what? We are not sad today because I firmly believe that my mom’s life is worth celebration!

And I want my kids to grow up remembering grandma Nan and hearing stories and laughing and eating cupcakes, not just visiting and seeing sadness around those dates that are stuck in all of our adult minds.

They deserve to remember my mom the way she deserves to be remembered; a remarkably, wonderful woman who lived a life full of love in so many ways.
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well friends, we made cupcakes instead.

Happy Birthday Mumsy! You are loved, missed and so appreciated today for who you were and the life you lived.


  1. This was our first time celebrating Arlene's birthday without her, and though we did it in top form (flying to Paris!) and probably won't celebrate quite so grandly every year, it was quite the way to mark this first year. It's healing to know others mark their moms' special days, too. Happy birthday, Nan!

  2. Jon, Sara, Tyler, and Sophie says:

    What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing!

    We celebrate my grandpa's birthday too, by visiting the cemetery, singing "Happy Birthday" and sending him a balloon in heaven. It's nice to be able to share those moments with the kids, and have it be full of celebration of a great life – instead of sadness because it ended too soon.

    Happy 54th Birthday, Nan!

  3. Beautiful post, and I especially love the picture of E at the end…

  4. What a wonderful way to honor your mom by celebrating her life with your littles. I think it's the perfect tradition!

  5. The Bishops says:

    Samara –
    What a beautiful way to celebrate your mom! Happy 54th birthday Nan!

  6. Dadio/Boppa says:

    Very glad you made it positive. Thats how Mom would want it.Remember the good times, share the crazt stories. Love to all.


  7. Happy Birthday Mom. What a beautiful way to celebrate.

  8. I love your chocolate on chocolate cupcake celebration! Mark would love this, and I can imagine that some day when we have kiddos he'll want to celebrate his Mom's life and give them a way to get to know her on her own special day. Happy Birthday, Nan!

  9. That memorial is really cool. Where is that?

    And how funny is it that I called my mom Mumsy too? I thought that was unique to us. Glad to hear that term of endearment somewhere else.

  10. What a wonderful way to Celebrate Nan's birthday she wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I love the picture's. I see Nan in E today. Happy Birthday my sweet beautiful Sister.

    Love And hugs to you all
    Auntie Laurie

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