Happy 17th to Susanne, our youngest, the herder of cows, the keeper of ducks, and the whisperer of dogs.

Known as Contrary Mary since she was old enough to express opposition and beat her head on the floor (until she discovered tile), she continues to blaze her own trail.

When I need someone unwavering, she’s my girl.

When I want to know who took my hairbrush/shoes/tweezers/towel/soft drink/wallet/Boston terrier, she’s the one.

When I need humbling, she does it for me.

When I forget why she was given an Avert Thine Eyes t-shirt, she reminds me (yikes).

She’s the teenager who comes home from school and curls up beside me with Petey in her arms (“Pet him, Mom. He wants you to. Pet him now. Do it again.”) and picks at me like I’m her own personal monkey for hours while I try to write, the one who understands my PMS-crazies, the one who backs into a moving UPS truck the day she gets her license and accidentally buys a herd of cows online, the one who rolls her eyes at everything I say, but trusts me, always, to have the answer.

She loves me best when she’s finally upset me.

The expression she’s most afraid I’ll see is her smile.

She’s secretly proud that she’s “just like her mother,” and I’m not-so-secretly appalled.

When I need to remember what’s important, she shows me.

And just when I think I can’t possibly love her one bit more than I do, she makes it happen.

I am very proud of you, Susanne, and I love you, even more when you make it oh so challenging.

In honor of her birthday, here are the top Susanne pieces, with the VERY top in red:

Poetic Justice

Our Dog Whisperer and the Big Yellow TALKING Dog

Refrigerated child porn.

Dear Tim Tebow: Only You Can Save My Daughter.


And this explains why our daughter ends up an exotic dancer who tells her therapist, “It’s all my mother’s fault.”

Sweet fifteen and never been kissed.

You’re making me eat WHAT on Mother’s Day?

Mistaken Identity

Crack or cupcakes. They’re practically the same thing.

In the blink of one blue eye.

Anaphylaxis Attacks Us

I guess I always loved her after all.

Girls Gone Wild

If this doesn’t make you laugh until you pee, you have the sense of humor of a rock. And I mean that in the best possible way.

More Tugs, Less Hugs

And that’s all I got.


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