Snapshot Saturday

Celebrating my birthday a week ago with the people I love best.

And don’t bother counting the candles. There’s 35 of those beauties. Age is a funny thing. When I was a young 19-year old, single college kid, I couldn’t even imagine life at 35. Would the world still be around then? Would I be sobbing incoherently because I would be nearing 40 which is basically the end of life? Now that I’m really, truly 35, I realize that life gets sweeter with time. At least for me. And to be honest, most days (except for when I’ve done too many squats trying to keep up with the youngsters on Turbo Jam), I still feel like I’m 19 and realistically probably act like a 19-year old more often than I should. I’ll take 35. It’s a good age.

My birthday was truly the best of all days. Church. Watching National Geographic specials on the couch snuggled with my kids (and gasping out loud together at the huge sharks). Eating a fabulous birthday meal Brian slaved over: skillet fish tacos, roasted cauliflower and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Now I get to dream all year of what meal I’ll request for my next birthday knowing full well it will probably change 1,452 times before I finally settle on The One (so grateful for a husband who refuses to let me cook on my birthday).

If you’d like to check out past Snapshot Saturdays, click HERE.

78 Responses to Snapshot Saturday

  1. Becky says:

    I’m glad you had a good birthday! I just turned 35, too, and it’s not bad…not bad at all :)

  2. Katie says:

    Happy Birthday, Mel!! I’m 35 too and it’s quite a nice age — looks like it suits you well!

  3. Teresa says:

    Happy Birthday, Mel! Beautiful picture of your family.

  4. StephenC says:

    Happy birthday and both you and your young charges are adorable. On the verge of being twice as old as you are, I can tell you that there is more to look forward to in the next 35 than to look back at. Enjoy.

  5. melissa duran says:

    Happy birthday Melanie. Sounds like the perfect day.

  6. Cotton says:

    A most Happy Birthday to you! The picture is beyond sweet and you do look 19…smile.

  7. Oh Mel, I´m so glad you had a perfect birthday! Looking back, 35 was one of my best years. And the husband that cooks for you on your b-day is eveyone´s dream. Have a great weekend!

  8. Charlotte Moore says:

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! How nice to have such a sweet family. A good husband is a treasure.

  9. Bex says:

    Mel – Happy Birthday. What a fabulous photo of you and the kids.

    You probably think now that 65 is ancient, but in 2 months that’s what I’ll be…65! I’ll be on Medicare, I’m already on Social Security now (retired a little early) but except for the stiff joints and muscles on a daily basis, I don’t feel THAT different from 35… I just need the oil can a little more!

  10. Deb says:

    Happy Birthday Mel! The kids are adorable and you look fantastic! I turned 40 last month and let me tell you, life is not over…it gets better :) Thank you so much for all that you do, you are such a blessing to me and so many people. Can’t wait to share your 35th year with you!!

  11. Jackie says:

    What a beautiful picture. I’m not sure why I felt a little weepy eyed looking at it. Maybe it’s because I’ll be 35 this year and am watching my two boys play right now…. Oh wait, they just started fighting and one is crying. There goes the weepiness!
    Happy Birthday to you!

  12. amber says:

    I turned 35 last week too! Happy Birthday Mel!

  13. Amy says:

    what a sweet sweet picture , you are blessed..happy birthday

  14. Nicole H. says:

    Sweet pic & post! Happy Birthday!

  15. Renee says:

    Happy belated bday! You have a beautiful family. Strawberry shortcake is my favorite dessert. :)

  16. Gosh, you have a cute family! Seriously Mel! I’m glad you had a happy birthday! It sounds perfect! I’m turning 29 in 2 weeks and the way you described your feelings about age in the first paragraph, is exactly how I feel. I would never have been able to picture my life the way it is and I just love growing and seeing what each new day brings! Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your life!

  17. Teresa Bell says:

    Happy Birthday, Mel! I’m so glad you had a wonderful birthday. My birthday is on the 24th, also on a Sunday this year, and I’m already looking forward to cheese fondue for dinner after church. Dessert will be white chocolate fondue. I lived in Switzerland for a summer during college and love cheese fondue so much. It’s not a favorite for my family, but they happily eat it every year for my birthday. Your birthday dinner sounds like it was fantastic. What a blessing to have such a wonderful family! Your daughter is darling, and your sons are all so handsome. You’re a beautiful woman. I don’t usually take photos on my birthday, but after seeing the beautiful one you posted, I’m going to this year! xoxo

  18. Nicole Hunn says:

    Happy birthday, Mel! If 35 seems like it suits you (and from the looks of it, it clearly does!), just wait until 40. It only gets better. This, my 41st year, is no doubt more satisfying than the one before that, and the one before that… I find I care more about better things and less about worse things. What a relief!

    xoxo Nicole

  19. Teresa R. says:

    Happy belated birthday! I loved my 30’s and 40’s. Believe me, the best time of life is when your children are young.

  20. Patricia says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Mel. You are blessed with a lovely family. I enjoy reading your blog and have been trying out some of your recipes. Have another great year.
    Best Wishes from Australia.

  21. Whitney says:

    Happy Birthday Mel!! You have a darling little family and you dont look a day over 20!! Have a great year filled with joy and wonderful food!!

  22. CChar Riippi says:

    Belated birthday wishes! I don’t care how old you get, I think you still feel much younger! (your body might not always feel that way.. ha..) I’ll be turning 68 in April but in my mind, I’m still much much younger! Enjoy your beautiful family and
    all the birthdays yet to come. Each one is special! AHH, what a sweet hubby! Blessings to you always. Char in Northern IL.

  23. Jamy says:

    Happy birthday! Glad you had such a wonderful day! You look FABULOUS by the way!!!!

  24. Andrea says:

    I’m so glad your birthday was great and that your hubby cooked for you! Your kiddos are adorable, and you look so young and darling. Isn’t it crazy how the older you get, the more you realize it’s not that old? I’m pushing 40 (two years away!), but most of the time I still feel like I’m 22.

    Hope this year is filled with joy for your sweet family!

  25. tanya says:

    Can I just say you look great!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m 31 and about to have our 4th baby. Our oldest is only 5.5 years old. Your kids look pretty close in age too. You don’t look tired or weary AT ALL!!!!!!!!!! I’m hoping I feel alot younger once I get rid of this 9 month baby belly. Happy Birthday!

  26. Abbie Butler says:

    Happy Birthday! You look so happy and your kids are so cute!!

  27. Lorie says:

    Okay Mel. This is the first time I’ve seen a picture of you. How is it that you’re not 300 lbs. with all the delicious recipes you test? And eat.

  28. Allyson says:

    Happy belated Birthday, Mel! I was lucky to have a variety of older women in my life throughout my teen and early adult years that helped me realize that growing older is wonderful … always something more to see, do, and learn. I have come to believe that age is whatever you make of it. I love birthdays. I’ll turn 38 this summer and feel no hesitation nearing 40. Bring it on! Life is a joy if you make it joyful … challenges are rough but refine you into a better, wiser, and stronger person (if you let them!) … and adventures (a.k.a. changes) ahead can be embraced as more opportunities to learn and improve. Have a wonderful year, my friend!

  29. Amy Weaver says:

    Love it! Happy Birthday Mel!!

  30. Jessica says:

    It’s easy to see where your beautiful kids get their looks from! Glad you’re enjoying 35. I turn 30 this year and I am NOT excited about it! LOL!

  31. Mia Phillips says:

    Wow, like the other lady said, this was the first time I had ever seen a picture of you and let me say, I pictured you quite differently! How in the world do you make food for a living (and a good portion of it sweet) and get away with that figure? You do look young too. I get away with a trim body too, just because of my good genes I think, and my set point being at a comfortable spot….anyway it’s trippy and fun to see what you really look like after following your blog for so long. Thanks for making my cooking life easy and fun.

  32. Martha says:

    Looking good Mel! You have a beautiful family!

  33. Skye says:

    Happy Birthday! I discovered your blog this past summer and have used several of your amazing recipes. Thanks for sharing! My Mom & mom-in-law now follow you too! We’re all big fans!

  34. Padnerual says:

    So happy you had an awesome birthday!!!

  35. Ruth says:

    That is absolutely a wonderful picture!! Thanks so much for sharing . It is such a joy to see all the love in those precious & beautiful faces………….all six of them!!

  36. Leslie says:

    Another Happy Birthday wish from a friend who just turned 60. Life keeps getting better and better. It was fun raising my sons — now it’s awesome having grandkids. Blessings for a wonderful year . . . and thank you for all the delicious meals you’ve shared. I’ve cooked for years (of course) but I take my hat off to your awesome skills.

  37. Dalila G. says:

    WooHoo!!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
    It’s only going to get better…..more laughs, more fun, more silliness and loads of more LOVE to share! *^_^*

  38. Janssen says:

    What a sweet picture! (And you are LOVELY!)

  39. Happy birthday! Beautiful family!

  40. Wendy says:

    Happy Birthday! I love love love the picture.

  41. Cathy says:

    Let me tell you having my birthday pushing 60—it does get sweeter…just think of all the fun times you get to have with all those grandchildren you’ll have!!! :)

  42. Happy Birthday! It looks to me like you’ve got quite the perfect life :) You are blessed :) xo

  43. Leisel Morris says:

    You are so dang cute! What a darling little family too! Keep up the great work!

  44. Kensi says:

    what a sweet picture and a sweet family! happy birthday to the best cook I know… be it through the internet or real life!

  45. Christy says:

    Happy birthday Mel! I love your recipe and your blog.

  46. Shannon says:

    I am just a year behind ya, and it seems like it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, how old you are, or what you have accomplished. I worry less and just enjoy life more. I think I am starting to get what life is all about. You look fabulous and your family is darling. Happy Birthday!

  47. Marissa says:

    Happy Birthday! I turned the same just a few weeks ago. It is amazing how perspective changes. I still act and think I am 20 and am always surprised to see an older woman in the mirror. By the way, you look fabulous! And with such a cute crew. Kudos to your husband, I am sure he is nervous the whole year leading up to your birthday :)

  48. Happy Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing your life with us! And your food!

  49. Heather says:

    Happy birthday! You sure look fantastic for 35! Also, thanks so much for your wonderful website that saves me most nights. My family absolutely loves all the meals I make from your site. Glad you had a great day!

  50. Bri says:

    Happy happy birthday sweet girl! What a beautiful family you have! Love this picture! By the way, I LOVE that roasted Cauliflower. We’ve had it twice in the last couple weeks! Glad your day went well, and I’m jealous that your hubby cooks for you!

  51. Leigh Anne says:

    Happy birthday, Mel! What a sweet pic of you and your brood! And you don’t look a day over 20 ;)

  52. Happy b-lated birthday! Looks like you had a wonderful day with your sweet family!

  53. Whitney says:

    Happy birthday Mel!!! I love you even though I don’t even know you. I hope this year brings you so much happiness with that cute family of yours.

  54. Gen says:

    What a beautiful family. =) Happy Birthday!

  55. Robyn says:

    This is my first time posting a comment, and I’m honored to do it for your birthday :) Thank you for sharing these delicious recipes and your life with us. Every single recipe I make is a winner. It has taken the frustration out of meal planning, and I hear a lot less whining when I serve dinner. Truly a life saver. I’ve shared your site with everyone that will listen to me.

    The picture of you with your family is precious. You are such a beautiful lady!!

  56. Traci says:

    Happy Birthday Mel!! You are such a wonderful mother and person! Thank you for being an inspiration to me and for all the amazing recipes. Love your website!

  57. Gwendolyn says:

    Happy Birthday wishes to you! I so enjoy the excellent meals you post, your great sense of humor, style, and your family is beautiful. Best wishes.
    ~Gwendolyn~

  58. Maryse says:

    Happy Birthday, Mel! What a sweet picture. You have a beautiful family and are truly blessed.

  59. Happy Birthday! Glad you had a good one! I don’t know how you are so skinny having five kids and baking all those cookies!

  60. Amanda R says:

    Well Happy Birthday to the author and creative genius of my favorite food blog. Ever.

  61. Amanda R says:

    AND your hair looks so good dark like that. I’m not sure what your normal color is, but you just look great, and so happy in that pic.

  62. Rebecca says:

    Blink a time or two and you will be turning 64 surrounded by 13 beautiful grandchildren(4 of them able to legally drive you to the drugstore for arthritis cream! Happy birthday! Life is good

  63. Mel, you are stunning! You make 35 look so good . . . I’m a year behind you, and a little afraid to be so close to 40. I hope by then I’ll have a few more things figured out. . . even if that just means coming up with a great gluten-free tortilla so I can make all your delicious Mexican-inspired dishes!
    I really try not to learn to much about you because each time I do, I just feel more depressed at my total inability to do even HALF as much as you do in a day. Alas!

  64. Lorie says:

    Happy Birthday and wow you could pass for 25, seriously! Your still so young but I would never have thought in your 30’s!

  65. Michelle says:

    Happy birthday Mel! We celebrated your birthday last night by making the skillet fish tacos and my son (who is incredibly picky and dislikes most of the non-standards I make) actually said “wow, mom. this is like something in a restaurant!” Wha????!!!! I about fell over and promptly listed it as my high for the weekend. I scaled the recipe for a pound and a half of fish so there were lots of left overs, which I am currently eating over a bed of brown rice (easier to pack than a tortilla) with some sliced avo on top. If you ever have any left overs, I highly recommend! Thanks so much for consistently providing me with inspiration and recipes and my family with yummy meals. You are my rock star go-to and I don’t know what I’d do without you. :-)

  66. lisa says:

    Happy birthday!!! I love the photo of you with your kids… priceless :)

  67. teresa says:

    aw, so sweet! i agree, it only gets better, i actually love being in my 30’s. happy happy birthday!

  68. happy birthday (belated) that photo is so precious with you and your kiddos…and that is so sweet your hubby cooks for you…mine does too and for the special meals it makes it that much more special.

  69. Rachel Russell says:

    Happy birthday Mel!!!

  70. Nathalie says:

    Happy be-lated birthday! What a sweet picture of you and your children! :)

  71. DEE says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Mel!

  72. Liz says:

    Happy Birthday Mel! I’m turning 35 in June!AHHH!

  73. Maria says:

    Well, Well, look who else has a February birthday. People born in Febuary are the coolest! Happy Birthday…looks like it was a fun!

  74. Stacie D. says:

    Happy belated birthday, Mel! So glad it was a great one. Love the pic of your adorable family!

  75. Annie says:

    Happy birthday, Mel! I’m totally with you. I think I’ll forever be about 19 at heart :)

  76. Rachel Bryan says:

    Happy belated birthday Mel!! I’m so grateful for your example to live in the present and serve my family!! You are so inspiring to me!!! I LOVE your blog and example! Thank you!

  77. April says:

    Wow… Just looking for a recipe and this popped up as a choice. I can’t believe how much Cam has changed since your birthday…

  78. elizabeth tierney says:

    I’m only seven months late to comment on this post, but I love that picture!! That is one that you should frame and hang proudly.

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