The simplest birthday


Lupine turned eight yesterday.

And her day was so sweet, so simple, so mellow.

So Lupine.

She decided to skip the party this year in exchange for a day in town last week with one dear friend. We went for sushi, to the children's museum and the thrift store. Simple. Easy. Fun.


That left yesterday wide open. We made art together ("This is like a whole extra birthday present, mama!"), played games, read books, and ate some lots of her favorite foods.


The gifts she received were unwrapped slowly throughout the day and appreciated deeply.

A bag of tulip bulbs from her papa and the muscle behind tilling her a new flower garden.

A fancy ceiling light from my dad, hung in her room before the day's end.

A replacement pair of Lupine's favorite earrings from Sage, one of which was lost this summer.

A rad t-shirt and sweet stationary kit from my mom.

And a pair of mittens and cozy vest from me that I knitted up during the past few weeks from yarn in my stash.


No toys, no clutter, just things she will use and treasure.

It was lovely.


And then we made a cake together, ate Paleo samosas and dal for dinner (whoa. so good.), found her worn wool birthday crown, and lit the candles on our wooden spiral as we read her story, year by year.

Stories of her birth, her growth, her unfolding.

Stories of this strong spirit, where she has been, and the promise of all that is before her.

And truly, I can't wait to see where she goes from here.


Happy Birthday, Lupine. You're made of magic.




If you'd like suggestions of how to keep birthdays simple and meaningful, do let me know. I'd be happy to write a post to share some ideas!


10 thoughts on “The simplest birthday

  1. Michelle says:

    I love the story idea. Do you have these written down or do you just remember them. Also, do you repeat these same stories every year? This is just great!! We do simple birthdays with Athena but nothing as meaningful as that. I for one would love a post about birthdays. Athena will be 11 in a few months.

  2. Jenny says:

    Oh yes! I would love a birthday tradition post. I face a struggle (internal and external) with keeping birthdays and holidays (timely posts today!) simple. We have an only child, who is an only grandchild of loving and doting grandparents.

  3. KC says:

    So Beautiful! I would love to have suggestions forgetting the grandparents of board with simplicity. Our birthday’s tend to be much like this one except my mom gets out of hand with wanting to give lots of gifts. I’m not sure how to tell her gently to stop.

  4. Sarah N says:

    I love your thoughts and words! They offer the example I need and the support that is hard to find. Thank you for sharing! I would also love to read a post about birthdays, especially the stories you spoke about. 🙂

  5. Yanic says:

    Happy belated birthday to your lovely little miss. I love how your day was spent. We have slowly started transitioning to “experience” birthdays instead of “object” birthdays. We took a week-end trip to a big wild life reserve and zoo this year. Our little Miss was thrilled. She still got a very mellow birthday, few friends ans family. Next year, I’m thinking asking her what her choice would be… Bigger “experience” or birthday party. I guess we will see. 🙂

  6. Christina says:

    Yes, please share how you do your stories & more on simple, meaningful birthdays. Looking forward to hearing more details! Happy Birthday Lupine! 🙂

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