Relationships

The Crazy Thing We Did at My 40th Birthday Party

YOU GUYS IT’S HAPPENING!!!!!! Today, my twin sister, Lucy, and I turn forty. It feels so nuts to say that. (I keep thinking about what my childhood self would think!) Anyway, this past weekend, I had a party at home, and the weirdest thing went down…

The party started at 6:30 p.m., so the boys were still awake. They tried their hardest to sneak upstairs to join!

And it worked ;)

We’ve never hired a caterer before, but for this milestone, I really wanted to soak it all up and be present with my friends, so we decided to go for it. My food-writer friend recommended the wonderful Ana Ortiz, a former restaurant pastry chef. Here, she was preparing a winter salad with fennel and citrus, and she made everything feel so effortless.

Toby made the placecards!

This year, the guests were all women. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt such a strong kinship with women and wanted to be surrounded by that magical energy of book-loving, joke-telling, lipstick-wearing ladies.

(A selfie with the soup group!)

For dinner, we had delicious roast chicken, creamy mashed potatoes and “schmaltzy onions.” Sometimes the best meals are the simplest, don’t you think?

Alex had planned to go to a friend’s house while we had our ladies’ dinner. “I’m not here,” he said to the first few people who arrived, as he gathered his shoes and jacket. “I’m a ghost.” Fifteen minutes later, he was mixing everyone martinis — and of course he stayed all night. I was so glad he did! Here he is, giving a toast, which was extra sweet because he hates public speaking.

Some friends — including Gemma! — also gave toasts and brought down the house.

But the craziest part of the night was seeing mentalist Ryan Oakes. YOU GUYS IT WAS BANANAS.

Look at the expressions! It was MINDBLOWING. We were trying to reverse-engineer his tricks, but we couldn’t. He guessed people’s phone numbers, figured out words they were thinking, and made a shot of tequila come out of nowhere.

At first, we were SUCH moms. I kept thinking, ‘I’m so nervous for him! I’ll clap no matter what!’ My friend Alex said, “I was rooting so hard for him, imagining him as a seven-year-old working on his tricks.” But when he killed at every single one, our amazement took over. “More like sleight of hand-SOME,” joked my friend Lucy. “Should I quit my job and be a mentalist?!”

Finally, we had flourless chocolate cake, and as I blew out the candles, I teared up, feeling so lucky to be in a world with such amazing women — these friends and neighbors, this Cup of Jo community, and the people out there who are raising kind children, sharing their light, and doing such good work in the world.

Thank you so much for reading. xoxo

P.S. Two birthday realizations, and a foolproof present for $1.

(Photos by the lovely Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Jessica says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! This website and your stories and your life have brought meaning and joy to me for nearly a decade now. I have a milestone birthday in just a few months (30!! AH!), and I hope to enter my next decade with half as much grace and wonder as you. Thanks for letting us be a part of it all <3

  2. Jo says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! I have been reading your blog for so many years (before you got married!) and feel like we are old friends? Haha! Your best days are ahead of you!

  3. Sarah says...

    Happy happy birthday!! I turn 40 next Thursday – I hadn’t realized that we are a week apart. I read your blog every day and am startled all the time when you cover an issue I’ve been thinking about. You inspire me and so many others, and I love the community you’ve nurtured here. You rock! Don’t change a thing. Keep on rocking!!

  4. Eleena says...

    happy 40th birthday to you and your sister.Thank you for making my motherhood journey more colourful.

  5. Mandy says...

    Thank you for being a pioneer for me all these years. I’m the oldest and so I’ve always had to be the first to do everything. In a way you’re my secret older sister and I’ve learned so much about marriage, motherhood and aging from you. Happy birthday!

  6. Deborah Wichern says...

    Happy Happy Birthday Girls !!! So happy for the both of you!!! I have been reading this blog for 2 years now everyday always with tears or a smile on my face the best of all I used to live in the neighborhood where you live now Joanna so this is so special for me !!! Your children play where I played wishing both of you blessings love and happiness always 💝🎂🎉💋💋💋

  7. Lucy says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! I am a faithful reader every day and was so honored to contribute (to your thoughtful post about miscarriage) several years ago. I’m going to turn 40 soon too. Let’s do this!! xoxo

  8. Esther says...

    Happiest Birthday!! Your blog has been bringing me joy on a DAILY BASIS for years!

  9. Happy Birthday to you and Lucy. Looks like such a wonderful way to celebrate. My husband and I celebrate ours next week.. he too is turning 40 this year.

  10. Heather says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna! Thank you for creating such a beautiful community on your blog and for inviting all of your readers to be a part of it. I hope that you and your sister both had a wonderful 40th birthday! Sending you both – and the COJ Team – lots of love and hugs on your special day!

  11. Vanessa says...

    What a wonderful idea for a milestone birthday party! I’m totally doing this for my 40th.

  12. Mel says...

    Happiest birthday to you, Joanna & Lucy. Wishing you every happiness <3

  13. Amy says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! I’ve been reading your blog since 2009 & feel so fortunate to be part of this community. Thank you for sharing your life with your readers. I’m glad you had happy tears. :)

  14. Sunnysusan says...

    I have never commented before, but I am reading your blog every day. I want to wish you the most wonderful Happy Birthday! I celebrated at exactly the same Saturday night my 50th birthday. I had decided to embrace it, go bold, and throw a party.
    Needless to say, on the day I was really nervous and would have cancelled if possible. But then it was just fantastic being surrounded by all the love.
    Looking at your pictures it creates the same kind of warmth. Thank you for sharing and for your blog. Such a wonderful ray of light. All the best for your new decade.

  15. nadine says...

    Wishing you a happy happy birthday Joanna!! It’s beatiful to read the happiness behind your words! And this party looks fantastic!

  16. Alex says...

    Happy birthday beautiful soul! Thank you so much for bringing me, my sister, my mother and my friends so much inspiration and joy for so many years. Love you! xx

  17. Carly says...

    Alex always looks so effortlessly stylish whenever he makes an appearance on the blog! It would be the coolest to see a week of outfits from him!

  18. jade lees says...

    Happy Birthday!
    Sending you nothing but love for whatever comes next.

    P.S – It is wonderful to realise that you have been a part of each day of my 20’s. I can’t help but hope that at 40 I could surround myself with incredible women to celebrate.

  19. Bernadette says...

    happy~happy birthday Joanna and Lucy! from your friend in northern new mexico~bernadette

  20. Brielle says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna! This blog has been my comfort food of the internet for the past few years. Thank you so much for all that you do and this space that you have created. xoxoxo

  21. Barbara says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy!

  22. ANA says...

    Happy Birthday, and thank you for this. ALL of this.

  23. Marie says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! The world is a better, brighter place with you in it!

  24. Misha says...

    On your birthday we are all the ones who are being gifted. What a treasure you are to the world!

    Happiest Birthday… may the celebrating last all year!

  25. Josie says...

    Never commented, but read everyday. As someone who also turned 40 this year (and had my own two little boys right along side yours), I wish you everything. Let’s both crush 40, in our own ways, from our own little corners of the country. Cheers, Joanna!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, let’s!! happy birthday josie xoxo

    • Josie Reeves says...

      gosh, I think it’s every day, not everyday. right? seems like something you should try to nail when writing to a writer. either way, enjoy that cake!

  26. Carla says...

    I’ll be turning 35 this month and days before I told my friend that as compared to my 20’s, I am happier now. My 20’s was all about going out on weekends, how many places I’d visit in a year and so on and so forth. And if one of those would not happen, I’d feel really hollow. I’d be really sad and bored for days. But now, I’m just happy with our Friday potluck with my friends. Eating under the moon while our kids are playing inside, sharing stories, joking and consulting with our day to day dilemmas. Looking back it’s just a different world for me now. And if I have to stay at home for days I’d still be really happy.

    On our way home yesterday, I also told the Carpool Club about this. One of them told me, “That happiness will be escalated when you see your children go on stage and receive their college diplomas.” My friends and I, we belong to the middle class and we have no inheritance to pass to our children except to work really hard and make sacrifices here and there so we could afford to send our children to college. Their education is the inheritance that we can provide. How happy my parents must have felt when all 3 of us had finally finished college.

  27. Kopi-susu says...

    happy birthday!

    And….!!!! Is that really your kitchen!?!?! With a real, proper, restaurant-sryle hood and filter system!?!?!! I’m beyond jealous! Thought I was cool putting in a dishroom and Hobart dishwasher (2, 4, and 6 minute cycles FTW) but dang! your space is tricked out!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! It’s nuts — the former owners put it in, they were big cooks. It’s definitely more kitchen than we need but it came in handy with the birthday chef! :)

  28. Kelly Voyce says...

    Happy Birthday!!

  29. Aya Costantino says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna!
    You are, and have been for many years, a bright spot in my life.
    Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a beautiful note, aya. thank you, that made my night xoxo

  30. Casey says...

    Happy 40th birthday, Joanna! You make 40 look like the place to be! I’m almost there,,,

  31. Natalie says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna!! I think you are lovely xo

  32. adrienne says...

    A very Happy Birthday to you and your sister. I’ve enjoyed your blog for years now and am grateful to you and all the readers for it!

  33. Susan says...

    Happy Birthday!!!! What a lovely celebration. I am celebrating 50 this summer and it all seems impossible. What a gift to have so much time, good health and love!
    Cheers.

  34. Happy birthday dear – from one Aquarian to another! May your year/decade/life be filled with all you wished for and more! Been following you for yonks – I think before you had any kids!!! (and I was still living in South Africa, with a toddler & a new born. I’m now Stateside, and happy to still be following along on your journey! Much love, Adel

  35. Liz C says...

    Happy BIrthday Joanna, you make the world a better place. So grateful you were born into it. You are my favorite!

  36. Azlin says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna!! You deserve it and enjoy your 40s. You have a beautiful family and it was so sweet that Alex hung around. Love your blog and the community. I look forward to it every morning :) Keep up the excellent work and keep coming with the wonderful articles and issues ❤️

  37. B says...

    Happy birthday, from a daily reader of many years! You have put a lot of light and laughter into the lives of many readers through this blog. What a terrific way to have spent your thirties! Wishing you all the best in the years to come.

  38. Claire says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna (and Lucy)! As a reader of Cup of Jo since 2007 — back when I was in middle school (ack!) — I come to think of you as my wise big sister. Day after day, Cup of Jo has been a respite of consistency, calm, and support all these years. I’ve come here for reassurance on my career, love life, and anxiety about moving to a new place. I’ve discovered more things that I can count, and subsequently shared them with all my friends. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to my best friend, “oh, I found it on Cup of Jo.”) Most importantly, I’ve watched you navigate dating, marriage, and kids or going from freelance blogging to running your own team. You’ve been such a role model as you’ve shared your life with us such openness, honesty, and kindness.

    So happy birthday, Joanna, and thank you for giving us the gift of Cup of Jo. After all this time, I still squeal with excitement any time you respond to a comment answering my question or offering your friendly advice.

    Much love, Claire

    • Alexandra says...

      Claire, I second everything you’ve said! I’ve been reading Cup of Jo since 2007 (when I was in middle school as well!) and have found this site to be a constant source of community, inspiration, and hope. Thank you Jo for changing the lives of so many people all around the world by bringing us together in such a special way!

  39. CB says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna and Lucy

  40. Sadie says...

    Happy Birthday to you and your sister Joanna!! Your blog is the best place on the internet. Long time reader here, I’ve had 2 kids since being in your community. I came for the travel and style sections and ended up staying for the motherhood and the comments section. Your love and admiration for women is why we are ALL here I think! xx

    • Tabitha says...

      It is the best place on the internet!! Happy happy birthday and thank you for bringing joy to the world every day.

  41. Iris Fugate says...

    Happiest of Happy Birthdays, Joanna! What a fabulous party, it sounds like a total dream. Thank you for being so giving of your experiences and your creativity, and for helping to cultivate such an engaging, diverse, honest and brilliant community of people here on the blog. It has led to so much happiness, insight and crucial advice for myself and I’m sure many many more. Many happy returns!

  42. Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy!! Please know how much joy and community and reassurance and enhancement you’ve brought to the lives of SO many women through this blog. I turned 40 in December (and had my second son two days later!) and am so happy to be in the same “incoming class” with you in life.

  43. Happy birthday! Thank you for bringing us all together on this wonderful site! ❤️

  44. rachel says...

    happy happy joanna!!!

  45. Claire says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna. And Lucy! Thank you for this wonderful community. And for making 40 look like it is not a milestone to fear, but one to welcome.

  46. Ingrid says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna and Lucy! What a lovely party….

  47. Naomi Fyffe says...

    Happy Birthday! 40 is fabulous and it keeps getting better after that. I read your blog all the way from Melbourne, Australia. Waking up to your weekend lists on a Saturday is the best – thank you!

  48. Vero says...

    Happy birthday Jo!

    P.S. I aspire to have the level of confidence Anton has walking into that party.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha same!!

  49. Rebecca B. says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna!
    It’s nice to see all the love that surrounded you last weekend — you deserve it! As a loyal reader, I’m grateful for all that you’ve shared and given to the world.
    I’ve been following your journey since right around the time you introduced your readers to Alex, and since then I married my love and had two kids of my own! I even met you once at a Cup of Jo x Sezane event, and let me say: you are the real deal! You were just as honest, open, and kind in person as your written words appear. Wishing you 40+ more happy and healthy years.

  50. nancyone says...

    wait, wait, wait…is that really your kitchen! WOOOW. Happy, happy birthday!

  51. ES says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! I’ve been reading your blog a long time and it’s brought so much inspiration and pleasure to my life, cheers to you and your sister!

  52. JoLynn says...

    Happiest of birthdays are wished for you Joanna! Thank you for giving US a gift with each blog posting! It’s the treat I give myself and then pour over every word and picture. I am addicted to the home tours! Totally addicted! Wishing you abundant blessings!

  53. Tara says...

    Happy happy birthday Joanna (and Lucy!)! I turned 40 a few weeks back – so cheers to January babies!

  54. Melissa says...

    Happy Birthday!

    I’m also turning 40 this year, and will be celebrating on an airplane, flying from Tokyo to Hong Kong! We are spending a week in each city and my birthday marks the midpoint of our trip. It wasn’t planned that way, but it feels like an appropriate transition to mark this year!

  55. mj says...

    happiest birthday! i turned 40 6 months ago and i too had something catered because i wanted to be fully present and not preoccupied by such things. and you know i came away with such a similar sentiment…i’m so grateful for these relationships i have. i feel so grounded, enriched, happy in away i hadn’t felt when i turned 20 or 30. it was weird turning “40!” but so good!!

  56. What a lovely party! Wishing you and Lucy the Happiest of Birthdays.

  57. happiest of birthdays! Thank you for sharing all your heart, thoughts, and laughter with this website!

  58. Stephanie says...

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy! Thank you for all you do and for being a wonderful role model (even though I’m older than you)! I almost didn’t comment because so many others have already said what I feel—but then I wanted you to have a zillion glowy comments, like a whole bunch of stars twinkling in the night sky. Happy happy birthday!!

  59. Happy birthday, Joanna! All the love in the world from afar!

  60. Joyce says...

    Happiest of Birthdays to you, thank you for all the wonderful content. I’ve been following since I had my first baby nine years ago!

  61. Jackie says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! I rarely comment but you I am so happy you had a good birthday and wanted to wish you well. Thank you for giving yourself to us. You are such a great friend and I appreciate you. I am not a mother yet but you inspire me with your kind, gentle mothering.

  62. Jennifer in KS says...

    Celebrating my birthday today, too. I always knew there was JUST something special about you. ☺️ Many happy returns of this day to you!

  63. Emily says...

    Happy 40th to you and Lucy! I’ve loved following along on CoJ for years now. Thanks for all of the hard work and for sharing your talents with us. I love your blog and your writing. Welcome to 40! I joined the club this past 4th of July! xoxo

  64. lindsay says...

    Happiest of birthdays to a true light!

  65. Elise says...

    What a marvelous group of women. And who is that in photo number 8? She certainly looks familiar to me way out here in Colorado.

  66. Happy Birthday Joanna and Lucy! I started reading your blog in 2009, and it just keeps getting better! Best wishes to you and you family.

  67. Kristie says...

    Growing up a fun birthday tradition my family maintained was to make up an acrostic poem for the birthday-haver based on their name. Here’s a bit of a cheat, but I do think it speaks to who you are:
    Community
    Of
    Joy

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, kristie!! i want to frame this comment :) :) :)

    • agnes says...

      So true ! You should totally frame it Joanna! and print all of these comments, put them in a large jar and whenever you’re feeling down you can pick a piece of paper and feel fantastic!

  68. NM says...

    Happy 40th to you and Lucy! Your party sounds awesome! Such a fun way to celebrate!

  69. Katia Bloom says...

    My youngest daughter shares a birthday with you, and that gives me the warmest of fuzzies – if she turns out to bring the world half as much joy as you do, that would be great. Happiest of birthdays to you and your sister!

  70. Jacquelene says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! I recently turned 37 with a feeling of dread, but you make 40 sound so cool and fun- I can’t wait! The countdown is on for my big 4-0!

  71. Happy birthday, Joanna! You deserve all of the wonderful this year and in those to come :) Thank you for sharing your party pictures!

  72. Kim says...

    Happy Birthday! I started reading your blog in 2007 during my first job out of college. Many jobs, multistate moves, a husband and a son later, I still love reading every post. I’ve loved seeing your family grow and your team and business takeoff. I can’t believe you’re 40 but I can’t believe I’ll be 35. WHAT IS TIME!? Happiest of days and best milestones yet ahead. Cheers!

  73. Cailin says...

    Happy, happy birthday! My twin and I turn 29 this weekend, and we are going to be able to celebrate together for the first time in 7 years.

    I hope this is your best decade yet!! <3

  74. Kristie says...

    How delightful are those little faces peering around the corner! And those grins as they waltz in! I remember that breathless excitement of being let into the mystical cosy hum of an grown up dinner party as a child, Toby and Anton will too I’m sure. Enjoy your birthday!

  75. Allison says...

    Happy Birthday! its my 40th this year too, and i’m really looking forward to it in a weird way!

  76. Cristina says...

    Happy birthday from a reader from Spain. I also celebrate my birthday today !! I love January 31st and I love your blog !!

  77. Carrington says...

    Happy Birthday you beautiful person!

  78. Shayna says...

    Oh my goodness. We have the same birthday!!! Definitely the coolest, chicest, most Wonder Woman-y birthday twin I’ve ever had! Triplets with Lucy? Lol.

    Seriously look forward to every single post you and your team come up with. Thank you so much for guiding me through my younger years. I’m 27 today!

  79. Kim Janzen says...

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy a fantastic, wonderful, and rewarding year.
    Cheers,

  80. Elspeth says...

    Happy birthday Lucy and Joanna! Grateful for you both. Looks like a wonderful party! xx

  81. Susan says...

    Happy Birthday! Love you and your blog! Enjoy your 40’s! They go by fast…I’ll be 50 in July. Woot! Woot!

  82. Happy birthday JG!

  83. Glenda says...

    Happy 40th to you and Lucy.
    Was she at the party?
    May you both share much love, health and happiness in the next 40!

  84. Amy says...

    OMG, I love Ryan Oakes! I’ve hired him for many corporate events and he’s just amazing, and such a nice person too, and then he’ll send you these holiday cards every year that will totally blow your mind.
    Happy Birthday!!!! So nice to see you surrounded by such great friends. Your 40’s are the best, welcome to the decade.

  85. Chandra says...

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for being you and creating this space for all of us to share!

  86. KatieSue says...

    I was just thinking of your birthday the other day, which sounds weird but has a funny explanation. I’ve been reading your blog forEVER, I think in your wedding planning stage, and at one point years ago I realized we were the same age, you just a few months older. There was one post you wrote about your brother wishing you a happy 1 billionth birth second. When I read it I knew that meant mine was soon. I threw myself my first and only huge birthday party, but it was my 1 billionth birth second party! It was so much fun. Facebook just brought up the memory for it the other day and I thought, “Oh, I bet Joanne will be turning 40 any day now.” So happy birthday and another quarter billion birth seconds too.

  87. Quinn says...

    Looks like an amazing celebration! Happy Birthday Joanna and Lucy! Sending you wishes for much joy, love and laughter in your 40’s! (I turn 40 at the end of this year — I’ve been a loyal reader for years but don’t think I realized we were born the same year until recently. :))

  88. M says...

    Happiest Birthday! You are ever so very very fortunate to have that many friends to surround you and support you. A true gift. x

  89. Elizabeth says...

    Happy birthday Joanna!

  90. Anna says...

    happy birthday! curious-what did the invitation look like?

  91. Lindsey Joy Fox says...

    Happiest of birthdays to you and Lucy!

    Grateful for you regularly. As my dad would say, “you’re a force for good.” To many more years!

    Xoxo

  92. Sarah I says...

    #1 Love love love Alex’s shaggy look. He looks really great and sort of like a brawny Ben Folds
    #2 You are HOLLYWOOD GLAM in that last photo!
    #3 Happy Birthday. I’m sure we will never meet but I hope you know how much you mean to me. You inspire me to grow and challenge myself, but more importantly to LOVE myself. I don’t know how I’ll repay you for what your blog has taught me over the years, but I’ll try to pay it forward.

    • h says...

      yes yes! yes to every word. happy birthday, joanna!

  93. Laura says...

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for being so fun and inspiring! Love to you and your dear family!

    Laura

  94. Jenny says...

    Happy Happy Birthday to you and Lucy! I am so so glad you two were born. You bring such light and warmth into this world!

  95. Paula says...

    Happy birthday, Jo!!!! This post made me tear up. It looks and sounds like such a happy night. Thanks for sharing <3

  96. Mina says...

    Happy birthday!!

    I love your caterer’s work look!! You should do a style piece with her!

  97. MariaE. says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna! The best is yet to come!! 40s are great. You are like a friend only that we haven’t met personally and you are like a mentalist, too. Sometimes, I am thinking about certain topic and I wonder what Cup of Jo’s approach/opinion/insight would be about such topic and there you go, next time I open Cup of Jo, there’s a blog about it! It’s like magic!!

  98. Daria says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! May the next 10 years be just as wondrous as the last ones! I’m really happy I found your blog years ago, it has become one of my happy places, so a big thank you for creating it and for being you!

  99. Yulia says...

    Happiest of birthdays to the dearest person. Thank you so much for being YOU. Cup of Jo is a gift to all of us.

  100. Joanie O says...

    The happiest of birthdays to you! My 40th is this year too, as is that of my oldest and dearest friend- her budget is significantly more than mine (week long party in a French chateau anyone?!) and the whole idea of how to mark this occasion has had me overwhelmed. Your party seems so delightful and what it should all be about- the people around you who have enriched these 40 years. Bravo.
    Here’s to the next 40!

  101. Martha says...

    Happy Birthday! I hope this blog is around so I can read about your 50th ;)

  102. sarah says...

    Happy big birthday to my favourite blog creator Xx

  103. Sasha L says...

    Happy birthday Joanna!! I hope this is your best year (decade, HALF!!) ever. You bring so much joy into the world and help all of us be better people. And happy birthday to Lucy as well! I hope she had a wonderful celebration.

    I’m driving three hours with my daughter tomorrow, with a chocolate birthday cake, and homemade quilt (red flannel plaid, like his favorite Western shirt), and dinner and flowers and a lot of love, to help my dad celebrate his 80th. He’s going to show us his new horses and I can’t wait to smell them and get a nuzzle.

  104. amy says...

    Happy happy birthday! I am so glad you were born!

  105. Sónia says...

    Happy, happy birthday to you and your sister! Xxx

  106. Happy 40th birthday! What a milestone. :) I feel so honored that you’ve chosen to share so many beautiful moments with us over the years and this one is no different. Many joyous returns of the day! Thank you for all that you do and all that you share. xoxo

  107. Emma says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! I just had to add my name to the chorus of readers telling you what a huge impact you’ve had on all of our lives. Thank you for building and shepherding this beautiful community! Here’s to 40 more great years!

  108. Liz says...

    Joanna, you are a goddess of all that is warm and welcoming. This celebration of you only further proves that! Thank you for how you have blessed so many our our lives with your authentic, warm self- many of us consider you a dear friend and kindred soul.

    Happy, happy birthday!

    XO!

  109. Carolyn H. says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna and Lucy! Even though I am your mother’s age, A Cup of Jo has been my favorite blog for years now. I look forward to keeping in the know about all the topics you cover. It makes me feel young. And I do love hearing about your darling sons and husband! Forty is a wonderful age! I hope you live it to it’s fullest!

  110. Katie says...

    Absolutely crushed not to have received an invite.
    Sure, I live across the country and we have never met but I feel like I know you so well…and well, what a delightful evening it looked ;)

    Wishing the most magical birthday celebration to you and your lovely sister! May the next 40 bring countless laughs, smiles, adventures and special moments. xo

    • Kile says...

      Haha! Love this! Me, too! Happy Birthday to one of my favorite strangers!

  111. Kim says...

    I spent my 40th with my girlfriends as well. Happiest of birthdays to you! I’m glad you had such a beautiful celebration.

  112. Jess says...

    Happy birthday!! I am so thankful for you and for all the work you put into this community!!

  113. Claire says...

    This was so sweet to read! Love all your faces watching the mentalist, hah!
    And a very Happy Birthday! :)

    C

  114. L says...

    Well I have to chime in and send you and Lucy some major love! I don’t comment often but I’ve been reading daily forever and it really is such an amazing thing you’ve created here that means so much to so many people. I’m your age (just turned 40 in November!) and while it felt a little surreal (like how???) it is also feeling amazing! Aging is really such a privilege. So I just want echo everyone and say congratulations, thank you for all the hard work you do that creates and sustains this amazing community and Happy Birthday!!!!

  115. AJ says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna! What a lovely party. Congratulations on turning 40 – and for everything you’ve created, you are all awesome 🙌

  116. Natasha says...

    Happy birthday, Johanna!!! Thank you for letting us being part of your world, we adore you & COJ. I’m also celebrating 40 later this year and it crossed my mind the other day that the first round birthday from my mum that I remember vividly was exactly 40….. and she was quite old back then in my 18 yo eyes. Aging is a fun process!!

  117. Maria says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna!!! :)
    I randomly arrived to this blog thanks to this post three years ago (https://cupofjo.com/2013/03/offbeat-wedding-shoes/) and I am so gratefull for it. This site is such a beautiful, honest and cool place!
    I hope you enjoy jour day and, as we say in Barcelona, per molts anys!

  118. Happiest birthday to you! Been reading you since you started going out with Alex and I feel so close to this blog! :) I could feel your excitement just reading this post! Ha! Glad your night was an awesome one. Sending love xx

  119. Joanna says...

    Happy birthday (fellow) Joanna. Thank you so much for creating this space. I was recommended to your blog when I was pregnant with my first child. Your birth story was so comforting and also so authentically accurate it was scary! I’ve been a fan ever since.

  120. Jess says...

    Happy happy birthday Joanna! It’s your day but we’re the ones who have received a gift – this incredible space on the internet. When I enter your site it’s like opening a door to a room filled with fabulous, encouraging, empathetic, dreaming smart, badass women! A place where we can all be ourselves. Sending love and wishing you the best year yet <3

  121. Happy Birthday!!!!
    I love this idea. I turn 40 soon and I just want to skip it but a gathering of all my favorite people in my home sounds amazing. This feels so special

  122. Katherine says...

    Happy birthday!! May this be the best decade yet. Also, love how you celebrated yourself. What a wonderful thing, to surround yourself with such lovely ladies on your birthday. And hiring a chef!!!! Game changer.

  123. Kay says...

    Happy birthday. This looks like such a beautiful evening. When I turned 40 I went into mourning for my lost youth and word black from head to toes all day. x

  124. Christina says...

    Happy birthday, Joanne! Your blog soothes, makes us happy, makes us think, lifts us up with other people’s stories, informs us of what other people’s journeys are all around the world – grateful you started it and continue it today! Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating!

  125. Jean says...

    The happiest of birthdays to you Joanna, and your sister of course xx

  126. Elizabeth says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! Many happy returns! Thank you for all that you do.

  127. Katrina says...

    Happy birthday to you. I’m so happy you exist.

  128. Happy Birthday Joanna and Lucy! What a fabulous way to celebrate, well done! Thank you for putting your heart into this site, we’re all better for it. Rooting for you and your family, always, and may this next decade bring you much love and laughter. xo

  129. Cynthia says...

    Happy Birthday, Joanna and Lucy! What a fabulous party! Love the picture of Anton wearing his cowboy boots and cowboy hat.

  130. Jacqueline says...

    Happy birthday Joanna! Thanks for being in this world and creating this community. It’s not always easy to share your life with your world, as a longtime reader, I am so glad you continue to choose to.

  131. Beth says...

    Happy happy birthday to you Joanna! We readers are all so blessed for the light and authenticity you put into the world. It may sound far-fetched and corny but this thing you have built has truly helped me ease into adulthood and womanhood with more grace than I would’ve mustered alone. Cheers to 40!

  132. Amanda says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna! Thank you for creating this wonderful space.

  133. LK says...

    What an incredible birthday. Happy birthday, to our favorite Jo!

    In March, I’m turning 30, and booked flights to leave on my birthday for Amsterdam for a long weekend! I’m so excited.

  134. What a perfect and special party, to celebrate you! Happy 40th birthday!! 💙

  135. Oh my, this sounds so amazing, now i wanna be 40 asap!
    Happy birthday to both of you!

  136. Emily says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna! Thank you for bringing so much joy to so many people.

  137. June says...

    Happy birthday, Joanna!! I enjoy reading your blog so much, thank you for gathering us here and sharing your life with us. 😘

  138. Ellyn says...

    I’m pregnant with twins and imagining them sharing their 40th birthday makes me teary in a very joyful way… happiest birthday to you and Lucy!

  139. TanjaK says...

    Happy happy birthday! What a wonderful party and group of people. It speaks volumes of your ability to connect to people and bring them together. It seems you are doing this on all fronts, online as well. That is a wonderful gift you’ve been able to give yourself. Well done.
    And thank you for sharing it wth us.

  140. virginie says...

    happy happy 40 Joanna!
    it seemed a great party.
    Also… is this you on the right on the 1st picture? Exactly Anton’s face !how crazy is that?!

  141. grace says...

    happy birthday!!

  142. Happy birthday to you and your sister! What a wonderful way to celebrate a milestone birthday. I have gifted myself a piece of jewelry or handbag for milestone birthdays. While I love each piece that represents a period of time in my life, to be surrounded by women you admire is timeless!

  143. Ceridwen says...

    This made me tear up! How wonderful. What an incredible night for you and friends. Thank you for creating this space and so many connections. I can’t express how it feels to have my coffe in the morning, see what posts await and they are always, always valuable. A secret…when I get dressed in the morning, I something’s think if the outfit would be part of my week of outfits and imagine what I’d say about it. So, to sound hopelessly needy…cup of jo helps me get dressed. Ha! Cup of Jo does help women feel proud of who we are, what we do, what contribute, enables us to talk about things that are important and fun and connects us. Thank you! Happy Birthday to you and your sister!

  144. Abbey says...

    I can feel the joy and love and friendship oozing out of these photos and this post. Made me tear up. Happy birthday, Joanna!!!

  145. Emily says...

    So funny about the mentalist- before I finished reading I was thinking “If I was there I would be petrified that his tricks wouldn’t work” but I guess I’m not alone!

  146. Hanna says...

    Happy 40th Birthday, Joanna and Lucy! Thank you x100000 for the joy you’ve added to all of our lives via Cup of Jo. You’ve built an incredible community and I’m happy to call this corner of the internet home. Here’s to you and the next 40 years! xoxoxo

  147. Lauren E. says...

    Happy 40th! What a phenomenal room to ring in 40 with. So grateful for all of the strong, creative, brilliant women in this world.

  148. Marie-Eve says...

    Happy Birthday Joanna and Lucy! I have been following Cup of Jo for years! You are such a wonderful and inspiring woman! Wishing you an amazing 40th! You are so lucky to have amazing friends to celebrate with! I wish I had such an amazing group of friends to celebrate my 40th with! Enjoy the amazing year and decade ahead!!

  149. Marcella says...

    happy birthday!! I’m 25 and definitely look up to you, i hope i’m as cool as you are when i’m 40 :)

  150. Laura says...

    40 goals. Happy birthday to you!