Birthdays Family Photography

Now we are 36


Space for the Butterflies - now we are 36

On our first birthday together he claimed he’d forgotten to buy me a present, and then as the day went on little packages and parcels kept appearing from here there and everywhere; the glove box of the car, or behind a cushion on the sofa, culminating with a watch in a little wrapped box sat at my place at the dinner table.

Space for the Butterflies - now we are 36

On our second birthday together we were still in term time, and my family came down to Oxford to help us celebrate. Mum baked me a chocolate cake in the shape of a 20, but I suspect it was mostly for him.

Space for the Butterflies - now we are 36

On our third birthday together he gave me a sewing machine; an unusual 21st birthday present I grant you, but one that spoke all the words a proper Yorkshireman would never say about how much he understood me and valued me and loved me.

We’re university sweethearts rather than childhood sweethearts; we started dating when we were 18 and we’ve not quite reached the point where we have been together longer than we were ever apart, but this year our birthdays draw level. Today I have spent as many birthdays with H as without.  It made for some interesting logistics at times, and some of those early birthdays did seem to be largely spent in thrall to railway timetables, but for some part of every 21st June since we met, we have been together.

Space for the Butterflies - now we are 36


I can remember when we first found out, sat in my tiny little college room with the tiny window and the giant evergreen tree right outside; me sat at my desk, finishing something or other, and he perched on the edge of my bed.  We weren’t dating then I think, just friends hurtling headlong to becoming much more, though neither of us knew it then, and talking about summers turned into talking about birthdays.  He didn’t believe me at first, though I’ve no idea what sort of joke he thought I’d be planning by pretending to share a birthday.  I contemplated pulling out my birth certificate to prove it, but settled for chucking a hole punch at him, which either convinced him of my good faith, or put him in fear of more flying stationery.

And thus began years of confusing people with official forms (“I just need to double check – is your date of birth really…?”) and answering “Happy Birthday” with “Happy Birthday!”, rather than the possibly more traditional “thank you”, and probably really befuddling our children just as we did our families.

And now we are 36.  It means that today, instead of marking the milestone of having been an adult as long as I was a child (which is optimistic anyway because while the 18 year old me was absolutely adamant that she was all grown up, the 36 year old me is equally certain that I was not.  Very much not), I’m celebrating again with my best friend.

Space for the Butterflies - now we are 36

Eighteen birthdays together, and many many more to come.

I’m working today, and Kitty is going on a school trip, and H and the little ones will still go to the supermarket and probably still do some laundry, just like any other day.  But we’ll have cake for pudding, and possibly steak for tea (yes, please if you’re reading this my love), and it will be in every respects both extraordinary and terribly ordinary. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday to us!

Space for the Butterflies - now we are 36

(with thanks to Kitty for the brilliant pictures, and Elma for starting that tickle fight)





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  • Ellen Boylin 21/06/2016 at 7:23 am

    I love your blog and have been meaning to leave a comment for ages, so what better day than today to wish you both a very Happy Birthday!
    Many birthday blessings,

  • Mary 21/06/2016 at 7:28 am

    Yay! Happy birthday to you both.

  • Katy (What Katy Said) 21/06/2016 at 7:44 am

    Awwwww Carie this is so special!!!! Happy birthday!!!!!! xxx

    • Lark 12/10/2016 at 2:47 am

      That’s a genuinely imvpessire answer.

    • bank notleidende kredit volksbank 22/10/2016 at 4:02 pm

      AWESOME!! I also have been reading everyday to hear the updates. So glad you finally made it:). Its sounds dreamy. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading more.Dani

  • ShivieP 21/06/2016 at 8:11 am

    Amazing blog &I haven’t commented in ages! Happy Birthday to you both! Wonderful photos that capture your love & friendship. How fabulous to share your birthday with your best friend. Have a great day. Xx

  • Claire 21/06/2016 at 8:12 am

    I love this! I met my husband on the very first day of university and I too can’t quite get my head around the fact we have been together almost half our lives (I turned 36 a couple of weeks ago). Happy birthday to you both!

    • Easter 12/10/2016 at 2:11 am

      Heckuva good job. I sure aptriceape it.

  • Mandycharlie 21/06/2016 at 8:25 am

    Happy Birthday & Happy Birthday!

  • Notmyyearoff 21/06/2016 at 8:43 am

    A big Happy Birthday to both of you, sounds like such a lovely journey. We’ve been together 16 years and known each other 18. It really doesn’t feel like it sometimes, it feels like time can’t have gone by that quickly at all!

  • Winwick Mum 21/06/2016 at 10:05 am

    Happy birthday to you both! You’re the second couple that I have heard of this who share June birthdays – isn’t that funny? Perhaps there’s something in the water somewhere 🙂 xx

  • Kim 21/06/2016 at 10:55 am

    Happy birthday, to the two of you!!!! xo

  • Tam 21/06/2016 at 12:31 pm

    Lovely words, happy birthday to you both! Xx

  • ailsa 21/06/2016 at 7:36 pm

    Happy Birthday to you both! Here’s to the next 36!

  • Doris 21/06/2016 at 9:06 pm

    Happy birthday to both of you. And compliments for the pictures Kitty took!

  • Donna 21/06/2016 at 11:13 pm

    I love that you have the same Birthday, it’s fitting somehow. Happy birthday to both of you x

  • Jenny Benton 21/06/2016 at 11:48 pm

    How sweet – I loved reading this! Happy birthday to you both from a Kiwi reader in New Zealand – where I’m trying to get the washing dry between showers of rain!

  • Olivia 22/06/2016 at 8:51 am

    Happy Birthday to you both. Stay happy and blessed always 🙂

  • sustainablemum 23/06/2016 at 12:39 pm

    Happy Birthday to you both! There was me thinking that six days apart was close for me and my husband!

  • Tracy 24/06/2016 at 10:22 pm

    The pictures are just fabulous. Happy birthday to you both!!

  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 29/06/2016 at 8:58 pm

    Just catching up on all my blog reading. Happy belated birthday to the both of you. I hope you had a fantastic time. It’s my husband’s tomorrow … we have a five week gap between ours and I revel in calling him old for that short time 🙂 x

  • sally 09/08/2016 at 6:24 pm

    A very late Happy Birthday to you both XXX