Relationships

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Lucy and Joanna

Happy birthday to my twin sister Lucy! I have loved spending the last 39 years on the planet with you.

Today, the boys picked out a cake from our neighborhood bakery. And Toby announced that he would clean all the bathrooms; he came up with the idea yesterday and is weirdly excited, haha. Later tonight, Alex and I are sneaking off for Roman cuisine at Maialino, which we’ve been dying to try.

Of course, I’ll also be calling my parents. Says a reader named Alice: “In China, on your birthday, first things first, you thank your mother for giving birth to you and raising you.” And years ago, Angela commented, “As a Filipino, I send my mom flowers on my birthday.” How sweet is that?

Hope you have a good one, and happy birthday to any other January babies out there! xoxo

Joanna Goddard Paris

P.S. Two birthday realizations, and thoughts on aging.

(Photo of Lucy and me at top, and the bottom photo of me as a baby.)

  1. These photos are so beautiful! I love old pictures.

  2. Alice says...

    Late to the party but happy birthday Jo, to you and your sister :)
    Hope you had a wonderful day x

    I’m the Alice that wrote about the Chinese custom, and I do it, and I’ll send flowers now too, that’s a lovely tradition. It doesn’t work between every mother and child relationship, but it just about about does for mine.

  3. Happy Birthday, Joana and Lucy! I hope you have a great and glorious year, tons of love and happiness. And sweet escapades here and there!
    btw, I am Aquarius, too !!! Same date even :D (Happy Birthday to me , too :)) That is why for so long I am reading your blog and it fits me just fine, even though I am single, no children, not from USA, not even living there, but I keep reading it and find it supernatural and interesting :)
    xoxoxoxox

  4. Nina says...

    Happy birthday to both of you. Hope its a lovely year filled with magical moments.

  5. Maywyn says...

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  6. Happy belated birthday Joanna! Hope this year brings you so much love and light! <3

  7. Karen says...

    Happy birthday! I have to say that the girl on the left looks exactly like Anton and the girl on the right looks exactly like Toby. :-)

    • Catherine Keene says...

      I agree completely. Came into the comments because I knew I couldn’t be alone!

  8. I love the comments from the women regarding honoring their mothers on their birthdays. My son’s birthday is upcoming, and I am always so emotional nostalgic when my kids celebrate another year. Mothers have so many memories of those days. I love the idea of honoring the entire family.

  9. Maelle says...

    I’m late to the party but happy birthday to you and Lucy!
    Also, i just wanted to comment to say that you mentionned sending flowers to your mother on your birthday a couple of years ago – or was it that i read Angela’s comment? i can’t really remember – and i thought that was so sweet that i started doing it as a family tradition :)

  10. Maria says...

    Happy birthday! Glad you could enjoy a nice celebration! 😊😊
    Bittersweet day for me, as it would be my dad’s 72nd birthday. He passed away 3 months ago. I liked knowing you share the date. Keep doing your awesome job 😊😊

  11. Happy birthday to you and Lucy! How sweet are those pictures?! Looks like your love of bread (and all pleasures Parisian) have not changed! Same here! Hope your dinner was wonderful and send us an update on those cleaned bathrooms. Ha ha

  12. Happy birthday to you and Lucy! I think it’s so lovely to share a birthday with a family member.

    I share a birthday with my mom and we always try and celebrate together (we live across the province). Last year I told her I had to work but flew in and surprised her for her 60th. It was so much fun! Funny story, as she was in labour giving birth my dad mentioned that it was her birthday and it turned out the be the delivery nurse’s birthday as well!

  13. Happy birthday to you and your sister! (I swear, 40 really is soooo much better than you think it’s going to be.)

    I sent flowers to my mom for one of my birthdays years ago (pretty sure I stole the idea from somewhere) and she still talks about it.

  14. Marta says...

    Happy birthday to you and your sister! Hope you both had an amazing day! :)

  15. chika says...

    Happy, happy belated birthday to you and your dear sis, Lucy!!

    Boy, it’d be amazing to think of how many thousands of people would show up to a birthday celebration for you if there were to be an open party where any of your readers/fans could attend…your incredible popularity is not to be underestimated! (I’d def be there ;))

  16. Nicole says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy! My birthday is January 31st too 😊 I celebrated with my husband by having dinner at Ava Gene’s. We’ve lived in Portland for 4 years now, but I’ve been dying to go there ever since you raved about it after your family visited out here. Last night I finally got the chance and it definitely lived up to the high expectations! I hope you and your sister had delightful birthday celebrations!

  17. karen says...

    Happy, Happy Birthday to you and Lucy!

  18. Claudia says...

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  19. Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy!!

  20. Katie says...

    Happy Birthday to my favorite “virtual buddy”! ;) P.S. I can totally see both Toby and Anton in you!

  21. Now making a note to buy my mom flowers on my birthday. What a great idea, thanks!

    • That is a lovely idea. I will do the same.

  22. In the top photo: Toby on the right, Anton on the left. Genetics are truly strong! Happy Birthday.

  23. Cynthia says...

    Happy Birthday to you, Joanna, and Lucy, too. The photos are adorable. Your coat and hat look very similar to one I made my oldest daughter and her younger sister wore it too.

  24. Lee Leroux says...

    Happy Birthday to my favorite blogger in the whole world, hope your birthday is as lovely and fun as you are

  25. Brie says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna!!! Thank you for all you do! Your blog and this community feeds my soul!! :) xxoo

  26. Brittany says...

    As a mom of 3 year old twin girls, I LOVE reading about your relationship with Lucy. I’m fascinated by adult twins (and am always the obnoxious lady who, when told that someone is a twin, asks “ooooh- are you and your twin close?!”) I hope that my girls grow up close yet with independent personalities, like you and Lucy have. Happy Birthday to you both!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how cool that you have twins! i love being a twin :)

  27. Meg says...

    Happy Birthday!

    Who was the photography enthusiast growing up? So many great shots and back in her day of film nonetheless.
    So sweet.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my dad was really into it. i’m so grateful to have such nice baby photos!

  28. Maggie says...

    Joanna, I’m also a Jan 31 birthday. My first few years of reading I forgot we shared the day until reading a post. But yesterday morning driving to work I thought to myself “Oh, Happy Birthday to Joanna and Lucy too!”
    (And Justin Timberlake, of course.)
    I hope your day was wonderful :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      happy birthday, maggie!!! hope you had a great day yesterday.

  29. yordanista says...

    Happy birthday! I loved learning about traditions around celebrating your mum on your birthday, especially since I was born on my mum’s birthday so she basically gave up her own birthday for my entire childhood. Now might be the time to return the favor =)

  30. Franzi says...

    Happy birthday!

  31. Lisa says...

    Happy birthday!

    As a mother, I love that idea of giving flowers to your mother on your birthday. As a child I’m less fond of it

  32. Allison says...

    Happy Birthday to you both! It is amazing how much your kids resemble you both – strong genes! From strong women! xo

  33. Lindsay says...

    Happy Birthday to you & Lucy🎂🎉

  34. Britney says...

    I cannot believe how much your boys look like you guys! I see both Anton and Toby up top and Anton in the bottom picture! CRAZY.

    PS- as a mom of a toddler boy that is my TWIN isn’t it THE BEST surprise that your boys look like you?! I never expected it. Idk why lol

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES!!!!!! i love it so much. and i was surprised too, haha (duh)

  35. Ana says...

    Such a sweet post and I love Toby’s helpful move, ahah :) Happy birthday Lucy and Joanna! Have a great one! xxx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      spoiler alert: he did not actually clean any bathrooms, hahahaha.

  36. Annie says...

    Happy birthday to both of you!

    (The comments about thanking mothers on your birthday are bittersweet – for some of us who had engulfing mothers and who are still trying to reclaim our right to exist as a separate person, this kind of gesture is hurtful and counterproductive. Being selfless can only be meaningful when it becomes a conscious choice, not a punishment for existing…)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thinking of you, today, annie xoxo

    • Annie says...

      Thank you Joanna, that’s kind of you :)
      It is a difficult subject as “bad mothers” are a bit of a taboo topic and often people assume it’s the children’s fault if the relationship is not warm and loving. But your blog is one of the few places where people open up about things like that, like the post a while back about people’s relationship with their parents as adults. I remember reading comments that made me feel less lonely, so thank you for letting people use this space to voice different opinions and experiences!

    • Stephanie says...

      Hugs to you ❤️

  37. Celine says...

    Happy birthday Joanna and Lucy!

    I read your post ‘thoughts On aging’ again, and it totally resonated with me!

    I live your blog. We can tell you write with your heart!

    • Celine says...

      *love*

  38. Chloé says...

    Happy birthday Joanna & Lucy ! You two were the cutest babies ❤️

  39. Nigerian Girl says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna and Lucy. Here’s to many more wonderful years. Sending love, light and tons of blessings to you two and your families.

  40. Marcela Makinen says...

    Happy Birthday! I have only recently in the last couple of years brought flowers to my mom at her workplace on my birthday and she absolutely loves it! In my opinion, my birthday is a celebration of not only my arrival but everything my mom went through to bring me here and I could not be more grateful to her!

  41. mihaela says...

    Happy birthday to you and your twin sister!!!

  42. Kanga says...

    Happy birthday Joanna!
    I was really interested in read the menu of that restaurant!!!
    What did you order?
    It all looked so delish!
    And as an Aussie I was interested to to see it said it was a ‘no tipping restaurant’!
    xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we really went for it and got the fried vegetables followed by cacio e pepe and carbonara. GUT BOMB but so worth it! :)

  43. Isa says...

    Happy birthday! It is so sweet how Lucy (?) Looks just like Anton in the first picture. Stunning!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      lucy is on the left, i’m on the right, curious to hear who you think looks like anton! :)

    • Molly says...

      I agree! My first thought as well!

    • Kellyn says...

      I agree that Lucy and Anton look so similar in that first photo!

  44. inbal says...

    happy birthday fabulous ladies!!

  45. Anna says...

    Happy birthday to Lucy and you, Jo! I’ve read your blog for years and it is a big slice of joy in my day. I love the community you’ve built and how reliably wonderful your articles are. I can’t tell you how many books, toys, parenting mantras, etc. I have and use because of you and how many times reading one of your posts has helped me think a little broader and kinder. Thank you for all you and the entire team does.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that means so much to me, anna, thank you so much for saying so. xoxo

  46. Lia says...

    Happy birthday! Celebrating my son’s first birthday today as well. He is also a twin but his sister was born 3 minutes after minutes after midnight, so she has her own birthday (and birth month!). We will celebrate her tomorrow…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is so cool, lia!!!!!!! i love that!!!!! i’ve never heard that before and that is really remarkable. you must have been excited when they were born at those exact times :)

    • Megan says...

      My younger brothers are twins with different birthdays – April 1st (11:56 pm) and April 2nd (12:01 am). We celebrated each of their birthdays with cake. It was so fun! Twin #2 claims it was his first April Fools’ joke :)

      Happy belated birthday, Joanna!

      Happy (belated) birthday to your twins, Lia!

  47. Morgan says...

    Happy Birthday!
    “I have loved spending the last 39 years on the planet with you.” *swoon*
    My fraternal twin daughters are two and a half and my heart flutters at the thought of them feeling this way at age 39. Twins are such a special gift. And yes! Thank you to your mama, too. Carrying, birthing, and raising twins is unique in and of itself.

  48. S says...

    Maialino is the BEST! A good friend launched her restaurant management career there, and the culture is good like the food. So jealous, enjoy!

  49. Yassy says...

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for creating this place of wonder, wisdom and fun on the internet.

  50. Katie says...

    Happy Birthday to you and Lucy from a fellow fraternal twin married to an identical twin!

    • W says...

      OMG! Did I write that? I’m a fraternal twin married to an identical twin! But here’s the kicker: my twin sister is married to a (fraternal) twin as well!

      Also: Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy!

  51. Lisa says...

    Happy birthday to both of you! I turned 39 last week and I have to say – I am loving this age! I feel more at ease in my own skin than I ever have.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      same!!!!

  52. Jody says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna & Lucy! Xo

  53. KimKay says...

    PS- Happy Birthday from another January birthday girl.

  54. KimKay says...

    I was displaying a book today at the library where I work.
    The Twins’ Blanket by Hyewon Yum
    It’s a sweet kids picture book that I think you would enjoy.

  55. Emily L says...

    Happy birthday, Jo! May this year be your best yet.

  56. Jaci says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy, Joanna! I so look forward to checking your blog every day. I don’t know how you manage to knock out such outstanding, well-rounded content again and again but I’m grateful that you do! I hope your birthday is as lovely as you are.

  57. Cynthia Miller says...

    Love the middle aged lady face in the deck chair!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahah

  58. Grace says...

    First, happy birthday!! And it’s similar in Korean culture to thank mothers. More accurately translated we say “thank you for being born,” but we also say that to our loved ones on their birthdays. I didn’t fully realize the gravity of the meaning until I got older, but I think it’s painfully sweet and so, so true.

  59. Katie H says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy! And happy birthday to my husband and my mother too. January 31st is definitely one of the good days. Enjoy your clean bathroom! ;-)

  60. And a very very happy birthday to you! Thank you for your sweet, kind, and original voice. Much appreciated.

  61. Barbara says...

    Happy birthday, to you and Lucy! I loved hearing those great traditions.

  62. Shannon says...

    Happy Birthday!

  63. Kate says...

    Adorable–HBD to both of you!

  64. Laura says...

    It’s my boyfriend’s birthday today too- and a blue moon/ lunar eclipse! Which is nuts because my birthday was on the solar eclipse in August last year.

  65. Stephanie says...

    This is sweet. Happy birthday and thank you both for the joy you bring.

  66. Christine says...

    Happy birthday Joanna and Lucy!
    Ever since having children I’ve realised how special their birthdays are to me so I make an effort to talk to my mum on my birthday too.

  67. Marcela says...

    Happy birthday!
    In Thailand I have met many people my age (late 20s) who have never had a birthday part or even a cake! Their Theravada Buddhism tradition is to do some act of kindness to others. Most of my Thai friends will go to a temple very early in the morning of their birth day to offer food to the monks and other donations to the temple. Sometimes people will have birthday dinners and the birthday boy/girl will pick up the check. A year ago I was dating a Thai man and he explained it to me saying they believed the day you were born was one of the most painful days in your mother’s life, and on your birthday you should be thanking her for giving you life and not make it about yourself. An act of kindness is a way of compensating the bad karma of causing your mother suffering at your birth.

    • Lia says...

      That is so cool! Thanks for sharing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, that’s really fascinating to hear, marcela. love that.

  68. Lara says...

    Happy birthday Joanna and Lucy! You are so lucky to share share life in this (ironically) unique way

    Thank you for sharing so much with us along the years.

    • Lara says...

      ops, ironic*

  69. Eliza says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna (and Lucy)!

    My mum’s birthday is two days after mine …is it cheating if I send her flowers on my birthday that also count as her own birthday flowers? (like getting married on valentines day?!)

  70. Bridget says...

    Happy Birthday! its my birthday too. Since I had my first kid I totally have called my parents to thank them. And today is no different.

  71. Sally says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna!

  72. Bel says...

    Happy birthday! And congratulating our mothers is the sweetest thing!

  73. Yulia says...

    Thank you for being YOU. You enrich our lives. Happy birthday!

  74. M says...

    Happy Birthday to both you and Lucy!

  75. ALI says...

    Happy Birthday Jo!

  76. Happiest birthday! Your “thoughts on aging” post was one of my favorites ever. Enjoy your clean bathrooms and Roman cuisine! :)

  77. Leah says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy. And a thank you to your mom for raising two wonderful women!

  78. Eva says...

    Happy birthday Joanna and Lucy!

  79. Nicole says...

    Happy birthday! You and your blog have been a bright spot in my day since the beginning…

  80. G says...

    Happy birthday from across the world. I am grateful for the day you were born.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these comments are all so sweet. thank you so much. feeling very touched right now xoxo

  81. Dana says...

    Happy birthday, decade twin! Today I’m 29, haha.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yeah! :)

  82. Em says...

    Happy Birthday, Jo! Thanks for being you!

  83. M says...

    Maialino is AMAZING! Enjoy!

  84. Ruth says...

    Happy birthday! Thank you for all the joy you bring, and community you create.

  85. zivar says...

    your youngest looks so much like your sister. it’s wild.

  86. Lauren says...

    Wishing you a very happy birthday! Thank you for this lovely, inspiring corner of the internet. ❤️

  87. Marie-Eve Bellavance says...

    Happy birthday to the both of you!! You both look so much the same in the pictures when you were toddlers and now!! Its amazing! You both haven’t changed!!

  88. Christine Hart says...

    Happy Birthday to you and Lucy!!

  89. Ally says...

    When my mum calls on my birthday I always say happy birthday to her, too, and I add “You did all the work!”, which is, ouch, true.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwwww

  90. Talya says...

    Happy Birthday to you both! You look so much like your kids in that top photo. Thank you for the joyful blog today and everyday.

  91. Rachael says...

    It’s crazy how much you two looked like Anton!! Happy Birthday to you both!

  92. Lindsey says...

    Happiest Birthday! Thank you for making world more beautiful. <3

  93. Matilda says...

    Happy birthday, Jo and Lucy!

    I’ve started sending my mom (and dad) flowers on my birthday. When I became a mom for the first time it made me realize everything that goes into being a parent – starting with pregnancy and labor (oofta!).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, same here! i have a HUGE newfound respect for them and all they did over the years.

  94. Ashley says...

    Happy birthday!

    (You or Anton in a wig? ;)

  95. Happy Birthday Jo and Lucy!!

  96. Happy Birthday, Joanna & Lucy! Thanks for spreading so much Joy to everyone whose lives you touch!

    Eva

  97. Katie A says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy! You both are inspiring! Xo

  98. Carolyn says...

    Happy Birthday Lucy and Joanna

  99. Lauren says...

    Happy Birthday Jo! So thankful for you and this blog that you have created.

  100. Jules says...

    I send flowers to my mother on my birthday too! It’s just one bit of thoughtfulness after receiving a lifetime of love and sacrifice from her.

  101. Happy Birthday! I’ve been getting my parents flowers on my birthday ever since reading Angela’s comment years ago. They’ll be getting a particularly big bouquet this year (next month!) for our 30 year anniversary :).

  102. Em says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy! In my family, we tell our mom “happy Labor Day!” on our birthdays. I don’t know when or how it started, but we like it :)

  103. Jill C. says...

    Happy happy birthday!!!

  104. Quinn says...

    Happy birthday Joanna and Lucy! I was born in the same year as you! (but in December. :)) Sending wishes for much love, light and joy for today and through the year ahead!

  105. Ann says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! It took me a minute to realize that it is also your birthday. “Why are they having cake, cleaning the bathroom, and dinner out for her sister’s birthday??” This is really bad because I am a twin sister myself! I love the idea of calling your parents instead of the other way around.

  106. Janna says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna! (And Lucy). Today is my grandfather’s birthday, my uncle’s birthday (his son), and my sweet nephew’s birthday. My grandfather passed away a few months after my nephew was born, but it meant a lot to him that he was born on his birthday. A special day, and special people, all around.

  107. Clare Agra says...

    I remember first reading that comment about sending flowers to your mom on your birthday & I loved it! I’ve done it every year since. Such a nice gesture!

  108. Abby says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy!! You both share this birthday with my 3-year-old too!

    I’m sure it fades over time, but I have to say that, while my kids are still young, I definitely spend a lot of their birthdays reflecting on how my life has changed so much in the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years. So I love the idea of recognizing the parent on a birthday!

    Hope you are having a wonderful time celebrating!

  109. J says...

    Lots of January birthdays here, my mom, my mother in law, and my daughter! Happy Birthday to you both!

  110. melissa says...

    Happy birthday. So glad you are out there!

  111. Taryn says...

    Mine too! Going to rock the heck out of 36 this year. Thanks for this space, Joanna. Happy Birthday!

  112. The real question is, are you going to get cacio e pepe at Maialino’s?? It’s the best!! Happy Birthday Joanna!! XO

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!!!! couldn’t resist!

  113. Jasna says...

    Happy birthday to you and your sister!!! How did your parents survive having twin aquariuses??? :-) Mine are still struggling although they say they adore my “unique, unstoppable energy” ;-). I just turned 39 as well, on January 22.

    Lots of love!

  114. sasha says...

    Happy happy birthday Joanna and Lucy!! I hope those bathrooms are sparkling and the food divine.
    Btw, my dad turned 79 years young yesterday and when I called to congratulate him he said, “oh really? My birthday? Nah. Stopped having those. I’m 39 and holding.” Love him.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwww hahahahah your dad sounds hilarious. happy birthday to him!

  115. Karen says...

    Happy birthday you beautiful human. Thank you.

  116. Ali says...

    Happy birthday!

  117. Hillary F. says...

    Happy Birthday Jo. I hope you get back today just a fraction of the love and light you put out into the world!

    • Lea says...

      Couldn’t have put it better. Happy birthday!!

  118. Laura C. says...

    Happy happy birthday to you and Lucy from another January baby! Wish you the best Always!!

  119. Rebecca says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! Hope it’s a special one! x

  120. Happy birthday to you an Lucy! Hope you have a good one :)
    PS. Anton looks exactly like you

  121. Happy Birthday! I love the idea of sending a thank you to your mother on your birthday. It really puts it all in perspective and makes the day more meaningful.