Today is Céline's birthday.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart.

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  • Sarah

    Sarah on May 22, 2013, 2:07 p.m.

    Happy Birthday Céline! You are beautiful on the outside... and I'm sure on the inside, too. I hope you have a wonderful day! xo from San Francisco


  • Kim G.

    Kim G. on May 22, 2013, 2:08 p.m.

    Happy Birthday Celine!  Have a super great day and celebration!!!  What a beautiful young woman you are!


  • Lori C.

    Lori C. on May 22, 2013, 3:25 p.m.

    Such a Beautiful Young Lady!

    Isn't it just amazing? Seeing your sweet babe turning into a woman, right before your eyes? I am in constant awe of the young women I am guiding to adulthood, & birthdays put me right over the top. Serious emotions...I get a bit weepy looking at these photos, knowing what a gift these images are, knowing that these moments are all so fleeting.

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful kids with us.


    • renee

      renee on May 22, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

      I know Lori. Right before my eyes, and the moments are so fleeting. Which is why I stop to take photos. So I won't forget. In this case, Celine asked me to take photos of her. She wanted some self portraits for a project she was working on. And then I asked if I could share my favorites on the blog (smile).


  • Elizabeth Q

    Elizabeth Q on May 22, 2013, 4:22 p.m.

    Hi Renee,

    Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter. It is refreshing to see a 14 year old look like a 14 year old. I live in a big city and the girls here look so grown up at 14. I feel it is sad. We need to allow our children to be children.

    You inspire me with your honesty. I love coming here to visit you.


    Elizabeth Q


    • renee

      renee on May 22, 2013, 4:33 p.m.

      Thank you Elizabeth for coming to visit and wishing Celine a happy birthday. It's funny, I look at these photos and think how grown up she looks! But I know what you mean. Growing up too fast is such a shame. You have your whole life to be a grown up, but just a few short years to have the innocence and freedom of a child. 


      • Alaina

        Alaina on May 23, 2013, 4:09 p.m.

        I agree- so nice to see 14 look 14!  Glad to see you're able to do this- have a daughter that hasn't rushed through her childhood too fast- because then it shows me that I, too can have that for my own daughters despite what I see around me.


        • Lori

          Lori on May 25, 2013, 1:54 a.m.

          It's funny; when talking about homeschooling with a someone recently, my husband said that we have a daughter who is 11..and she's going on 12....not 14 or 16 or 18.

          There are times to be those ages, and it falls along chronologically with your birthday.

          Your daughter is beautiful.  I hope her 14th year is wonderful for her.


  • Donna Dorsey

    Donna Dorsey on May 23, 2013, 1:55 a.m.

    I usually am a quiet observer when it comes to blogs, but I didn't want to pass up the chance to say Happy Birthday Celine!  What a beautiful young lady you've grown into.  I wish you much joy and happiness on this special day, and for all the days yet to come!


  • Alaina

    Alaina on May 23, 2013, 4:06 p.m.

    Happy Birthday!  

    Renee, its so nice to see and read about your kids, especially because you have older ones than mine.  I get so much of the "just you wait until they are teens" (especially about girls it seems) and other comments of that nature. It is really discouraging if I let it be (which I try not to) but to see a family whose kids have turned out so nicely is wonderful to see.  You've obviously put a lot of effort into your kids and it shows.  I hope that the effort I put in will also pay off- you know, sow and reap.  I hope you are enjoying the benefits of "reaping the harvest" now!  Its nice to see that indeed it does pay off in the end, despite all the comments I get.  


    • Sarah

      Sarah on May 23, 2013, 5:19 p.m.

      Hello Alaina,

      I am sorry you get comments of that type... I wanted to say how sad that makes me... Because what I see in my generation is beauty, promise, hope, generosity, determination.... At 17, I know that "teenagers" are often viewed negatively, and my generation, particularly. But I truly believe (from all of the teens I am exposed to) that we are an incredible bunch :) 

      I am sure that if you are parenting with love, empathy, and thoughtfulness (and I'm sure you are) you will reap those qualities which you are sewing. 


    • renee

      renee on May 23, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

      Nothing raises my ire quite so much as the phrase "just you wait". I think this response comes from the same place as most naysayer attitudes and negativity. Which I addressed quite thoroughly in this article at Outsideways. 

      People have said "you'll see" or "just you wait" to many decisions our family has made and dreams we've had for our family life. Dreams that include enjoying our kids' teen years. 

      People said this more often to us when we were younger and newly married and new parents, like we were too naive to know any better. They said this about being a homemaker (just you wait, you won't be able to live on one income), about homebirth (just you wait, it will be too painful, you'll have to go to the hospital), about health (just you wait, when you're 40 you'll feel old and you'll be overweight and tired just like us), about homeschooling (just you wait, you're not going to want to spend all day with your kids, you'll go crazy), and hiking (just you wait, kids won't hike that far) and more. It got tiring and I learned to ignore it and determined with each negative comment to work harder at building what I wanted (smile).

      Now, they may think it but don't say it. Our lofty ideas now are to thru-hike the AT next year for 6 months, maybe live in a yurt or do some serious travel when our kids are all teens, to build community with our grown children (a family living complex), to rethink and live the notion of retirement completely different than our society, and to seriously downscale our lives and live super-small as a couple once our children set up homes of their own (we'll come visit them, in between our world travels). 

      "Just you wait" lacks imagination, hope, and courage.


      • Alaina

        Alaina on May 24, 2013, midnight

        Glad I am not alone then in believing that the "just you wait" comment is terrible.  Any ideas for a good way to respond to this when people say it?  I've had it many times for other reasons too like the ones you've mentioned.  So far I've done things people said that I'd never be able to do so I am becoming more confident that I can enjoy my kids in ALL their ages and stages just the same as the other things I was never supposed to be able to do.


        • Alaina

          Alaina on May 24, 2013, 12:06 a.m.

          I like that- what you said- that "just you wait" lacks imagination, hope and courage.  I think the next time someone says this to me I think that might just be my reply.  


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