The one that did it

It’s been a pretty amazing birthday.

Morning kisses from Bell

tucson 001

Birthday kicks from the little lady

Surprises from the baby daddy and love of my life


a crazyawesome Zumba class

and CAKE.


[GF chocolate with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles!]

I’m a happy kid, even though as I’ve gotten older, birthdays have become less and less of a big deal. I remember going to bed when I was young, and being so excited to wake up the next day. Mom would hang streamers on my door, gifts would be waiting on the table when I woke up, and my nana would bring over a pink-frosted birthday donut that they’d put a candle in and sing to me.

Now that I’m expecting our own little girl to create traditions with, it’s made me think differently about birthdays. On previous birthdays, I’ve told my mom “Happy Birthday to you, too! You’re the one that did it.” and sometimes have written her a birthday card, but feel especially grateful to her now that I know the magnitude of the situation.

When I was born, I was just along for the ride and she was the one who was likely extremely anxious about having her first child, who refused to come out. I was overdue –happy to stay bouncing around in my water bed- and she had toxemia. I ended up being brought into the world via emergency C-section, which had to have been traumatic for the madre. But still, she never has said “Happy day that I had to have major abdominal surgery to bring you into the world!” She’s never even mentioned it, along with the many other difficult things she had to do while raising me (including a divorce, remarriage, two more brothers and owning a business). She does everything with a smile on her face, always putting others first.

I’ve read a couple of things about couples bringing a small birthday cake with them to the hospital to sing “Happy Birthday” to the baby and enjoy the cake together after the baby is born. As much as I love cake, I have a feeling that it will be the last thing on my mind when she’s finally here. We will be bringing lots of chocolate and snacks for the nurses, though 😉

What birthday traditions did you have growing up? Have you ever written a card for your mom to say “Happy Birthday” to her, too?

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  1. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats on November 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I was actually born on Mother’s Day! 🙂 Some traditions in my family were always going to my grandma’s house for her scratch chocolate cake + brown sugar sour cream frosting and dinner. Once my little sister came into the world (our birthday’s are 5 days apart) we always had joint parties which was fun in a way but also took a bit of the attention off each of us as individuals!

  2. Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon on November 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
    Second, I love the idea of writing a birthday card to your mom on your birthday…I’ve never done that before but now I want to next year! It’s such a sweet idea! I don’t I’ll ever be able to thank my mom enough for all that she’s done for me, starting with bringing me into this world.

  3. Tami on November 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    we make a huge deal about our kids bdays, we decorate the house after they go to bed so when they wake up and all about them. we use the same decorations every here so they grow to expect it all. breakfast in bed for the birthday person sometimes too. i know of parents who threw a keg party when their child turn one, celebrating their first year of parenthood.

  4. Lauren on November 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Happy birthday!

    My baby was emergency csection too, I’ll be sure to be the same way your momma is! Sounds like a great lady!

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      she’s amazing <3 i'm very lucky

  5. Emily on November 12, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    The hospital I had my twins at gives you a small birthday cake and birthday card to celebrate the birth of your baby! And when they brought us the cake, all my hubby said was “we don’t get 2?” haha

  6. Stephanie on November 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I send flowers to my mom every year on my birthday! : )

  7. Army Amy* on November 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    My mom would always make yellow cake with chocolate frosting for my brothers and me on our birthdays. The birthday girl (or boy) would also get to pick where we’d eat for dinner on their b-day.

    I hope that you had a fantastic birthday and many more to come!*

  8. Suzanne on November 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Happy Birthday, Gina! 🙂

  9. Allison on November 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    my sister and i have a birthday in the same month, although we are 3 years apart, we did a lot of the birthday celebrations on the same day for the two of us. i always like it. now birthdays dont have the same excitement. My tradition for the last.. hm not sure how many years, has been my mom baking me a pie (instead of cake) for my birthday, i like that one

  10. Jessica on November 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I am a nurse (although not in OB) and think you two would be the sweetest.couple.ever to accompany on your baby’s birthday.
    That is very cool that you are your mom have such a great relationship.
    That cake looks awesome!
    Happy Birthday!!

  11. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on November 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I kind of have a similar tradition with my mom! She had to have a c-section as well and has a hernia because of it! I feel bad but she always reassures me that being a mother is the most important thing in her life….I am really lucky to have her.

  12. Amy on November 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I love hearing about birthday traditions! Growing up my Mom let us pick what we ate that day. Being the one in control of what we ate was great, with a huge family that only happened on, well your birthday.

    After having my first child I started getting my Mom a gift on my Birthday. Usually it’s something consumable. I sent an Edible Arrangement bouquet to her a few years ago after my Mom moved in with my sister and my sister called me to tell me that Mother’s Day wasn’t until the next weekend. I laughed and told her I know, but it is my birthday and since Mom did all the work giving birth to me I thought she should get something. It’s picking up in our family, more of the children are doing something nice for their mothers on their birthday.

  13. Ali on November 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    First off, FELICIDADES!!!!!! I’m loving the looks of that bunt cake–delish! I hope you have a great birthday week, cause lets face it, we all deserve to be celebrated for at least a week right? 😛

    I was basically my mom’s birthday present. I was supposed to be born on her birthday but the doctor decided he wanted to deliver me before his vacation, very convenient, so I came a day early 🙂 I can’t complain though, being a Cinco-de-Mayo baby has it’s serious perks. No one ever forgets that it’s my birthday. More importantly, I love the piñatas and all that comes along with the traditional holiday….which oddly enough is celebrated FAR more in the U.S. than in Mexico. Anywho, since as long as I can remember we would go out to Mexican food and return home for some rainbow chip cake with rainbow chip frosting (not to be confused with confetti cake and frosting) hehe.

  14. Emily on November 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    I’m always sure to thank my mom on my birthday. If it wasn’t for her, I would not be here today and I certainly would not be the person I am without her raising me!

  15. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on November 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    What a sweet post and lovely memories and thoughts about your mom. Emergency c-sec with toxemia…wow, that had to have been extremely stressful but it sounds like your mom is so very, very strong.

    Motherhood and parenthood changes us in so many ways and makes us remember, re-evaluate, and start new traditions, too. And you’re probably right that cake will be the last thing on your mind after giving birth but the one in the pics here looks….phenomenal!!

    Happy Bday, Gina!

  16. Jenn (eating bender) on November 12, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I was overdue and delivered via emergency C-section, as well – the day before Mother’s Day. 🙂 While it definitely adds to the “thankfulness” factor by being so close to a day that’s all about mom (especially when we share the holiday once every seven-ish years or so), I had never heard of writing a “Happy Birthday” card to her before….love the idea! Thank you for the inspiration!

  17. Jenn (eating bender) on November 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Um…by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! My mind does not work sometimes, I swear. 😉 It looks as though you have had the perfect day. Enjoy the rest of your evening, Gina!

  18. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on November 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Happy birthday Gina-I’m glad you’re having a great day! 🙂 Crazy-wonderful to think on your next birthday you’ll have a baby to celebrate it with!

  19. Mandy on November 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Happy Birthday! You’ll be hungry after delivery – though I can’t claim I cared about what food I was getting as long as I could quickly munch it down and stare at my son again. 😉

  20. Tiffany on November 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    A common tradition being started here in arkansas is to bring a cake when the baby is born, take the baby’s picture with the cake, then have a birthday cake each month (with a pic!) until the first birthday. It’s always so fun to see the changes month to month on friends blogs. The little ones go from tiny little newborns, to trying to eat the cake in a matter of months.

  21. Gina on November 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Hey, Gina from Gina! I am also a fellow pilot’s wife, but we are Army over here!

    I just want to wish you a Happy Birthday. I really enjoy your blog, and it is quite amazing to see how much you have grown over the years. I have been mostly a lurker with a few comments here and there. I have a 21 month old baby girl, so I was in your shoes not too long ago. I am so happy for your little family. I wish the best for you throughout the rest of your pregnancy. I am so incredibly happy for you guys and your blessing to come. I can’t wait to find out your baby girl’s name. I missed your little blooper. Well, just wanted to extend my congratulations. Take care!

  22. Ali on November 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    That cake looks amazing! I am glad you had such special times with your most special people. I always got a candle in my birthday breakfast, even if it was a fried egg sandwich. I loved that tradition!

  23. esmemerrie on November 12, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    happy birthday! as a registered nurse I would like to thank you on behalf of the nurses for the treats your future self will be bringing! 😉 Healthy treats are rare and definitely appreciated!

    • Fitnessista on November 13, 2011 at 12:38 am

      🙂 if you have any ideas, let me know! i was going to bake something, and also take chocolate pb pretzels and larabars

  24. Caitlin @ Cake with Love on November 13, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Happy Birthday!

  25. Brittany on November 13, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I’ve never written my mom a happy b-day card on my birthday, but that’s a sweet idea. I was born on Valentine’s Day and my mom had always said I was the best Valentine’s Day present she ever received. 🙂

    Happy birthday Gina! I hope it was wonderful.

  26. Kim on November 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Since my own mother was well, lets just say, not the best…I have done everything to make my daughter’s birthdays a very special celebration between her and I. She was not only a preemie, but a huge surprise (as I was told I would never have kids). So when she was about 3, I started a few traditions that we do yearly (she is now 9 1/2) that we do regardless if we are home or out of town for her birthday (again, another tradition). I get up early (like 4am early) and decorate the entire house with birthday balloons, streamers, signs, just over the top. When she wakes up, her and I have a “special” birthday cupcake, just the 2 of us, its like our little secret (my husband is already at work). Her eyes light up every year when she wakes up to see her birthday decorations, its very cool. One year, I surprised her and filled out entire family room up with balloons with long streamers.

    I even did this, this year when she wanted to go to Vegas to see LOVE for her birthday. My husband took her shopping and with some help, we made our condo magical for the birthday princess. It’s something I look forward to every year!

  27. Megan on November 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Thank you so much for this post. My Dad passed away a few years ago, at the ripe old age of 52. Obviously, I have had a hard time dealing with this, but it seems my mom and my relationship has become “strained”. I need to be reminded that she is going through a lot, too, and try to put myself in her shoes and think about how she felt while going through all of those milestones while my siblings and I were growing up. Now that I am a mother of three, I realize just how much she did for me and never once complained. I was a very difficult fetus/newborn, but tend to forget because she only speaks of the good stuff. So thanks again, and happy birthday, have a safe trip and all that good stuff! You are going to be a great mother!

  28. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Awww I love that you did that for your mom! So sweet! One of my birthday traditions growing up is that I had the day off from chores i always loved it!

  29. Jillian@ladolcevitavegan on November 14, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Ooohhh…I love birthdays so much! I hope you had an amazing day! That cakes looks delicious!!

  30. Carrie on November 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    This is belated, but….HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUU !!!!!! This will be your best year ever I bet ! 🙂 I’m not going to sing, no one deserves that. 😉

    It is so beautiful that you mention your own Mom, the love she has shown you and the appreciation you have for her. Your Madre sounds like a beautiful lady and she raised an amazing woman! Moms are the most important people in the world, with the world’s most important job. 🙂

    My best friend is an RN working in Pediatrics at a major hospital in Colorado. She has mentioned how nice it is when people bring snacks…Nurses need their energy, and love a snack break too!!! Larabars are a great idea, and homebaked goodies. They love things they can share at the station. 😉

    Hope you had the best bday ever Miss Gina !!!!! 🙂

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