Lavender Pear Oatmeal
Chocolate Mayo Cake

Happy 18


Well, my baby, my first born, is 18 today. I have tried all year to gear up for this and not freak out, did not happen. It is like the end of an ere or something. It is silly really because it is not like Auberne` is any different today then yesterday, nor is our relationship. She is still the most kind, generous, creative, loving sweetie she was before. I suppose my freaking out is more about me then my sweet girl (for she will always be my sweet girl)

I try to be positive and only talk about happy things on my blog. You do not want to read my grips, but I really want to take a minute and recognize what a miracle it is we are celebrating Auberne`s birthday. Auberne` was born with a heart defect. She had open-heart surgery at five months. I will spare you the details of  her seizures, how I had to breast-feed her every 45 minutes around the clock, how it is hand your baby over to a surgery nurse, to have a doctor look you in the eye and tell you your daughter's heart can just up and give out.

I have been thinking of this and all the challenges that Auberne` will be facing the rest of her life (she will need more surgeries and so forth). There is one memory that for some reason really stands out. It was a month before Auberne`s surgery. I do not know why, but in my weird little brain, I could not handle the idea of my baby dying and never tasting chocolate. Being the true foodie I am, it seemed like the biggest tragedy and I could not handle her going to heaven and missing out. I felt like I was some bad mother if I let this happen. Now, I did not think about how a four month old could have a reaction to chocolate and that could kill her ;-o

No, I was on a mission, to be a good and loving mother. Of course my daughter would have to have the best chocolate I could get. In Los Gatos, was Cocolat. You can not get much better then Alice Medrich.

So stroller in hand, I took Auberne' for her chocolate experience. I decide on a three chocolate mouse cake (one dark layer, one milk layer, one white layer). It was soft and she could taste all three chocolates. I will ALWAY remember picking out the right dessert, her sitting in her stroller, me spooning her little amounts of mousse. Which by the way, she loved. I was smart enough to just give her a small amount. Enough for her to have had a taste and then safely go to heaven.

I did noticed how the two women who worked there we giving me very disproving looks. So I decided to just be honest and I told them the whole thing. Of course they were kind, gave me hugs and would pray for Auberne`. 

There have been numerous times in my daughters life, when I did not know if she would see 18. If I would be able to cook her a yummy meal, give her hug and tell her how much I love her. I am happy to say, I am able to do that today. Today is monumental day, full of thankfulness, hope, dreams and love.

So happy 18th Auberne`. This is just the beginning of amazing, wonderful things for you. Love mom


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It's been a long time between visits...

Dearest Auberne ~ Happy 18th (belated) Birthday Wishes to you!
You are beautiful both on the inside and out and I wish for you a lifetime of happiness and love!

Dearest Clarice ~ I wept as I read this beautiful post, from a wonderful Mother!
Indeed both your irls are testament to you, and you deserve to be so proud.

xoxoxo Kali


Dear Clarice,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! It breaks my heart for all that you and Auberne` have gone through, but it is a real testimony to God and His care and love for her, and your care and love for her. It is truly a miracle she is celebrating her 18th birthday! Auberne` is a special, beautiful, caring, and unselfish young lady and I feel so blessed to know her. I praise God for this celebration of her life and I know the Lord will bless her with many more very happy birthdays and lots of good chocolate to enjoy. Rest in the Lord, Clarice and know your Auberne` is in God's hands and He will keep her. You are truly a very good mother and your love has strengthened her heart. I admire you both so very much.
Love, Paula


I've been so busy, I just saw this! What a sweet story. Happy Belated Birthday to your beautiful Auberne.



I am going to find some chocolate and 'toast' your beautiful daughter's 18th with you. Blessings to both of you!

Jennifer Paganellli

Happy Birthday Auberne , What a blessing you are !! xoxox Jennifer

Sweet Cottage Dreams

Heavy Sigh! I am sitting here typing with misty eyes and sniffles after reading this beautiful story of Auberne. How wonderful of you to be so thoughtful to share her story with us and I love that you gave her Chocolate Mousse. How so very, very sweet. I got a picture in my head of this sweet and loving mother reaching down and ever so gently spooning the gooey sweet treat into her daughter's mouth. You ARE a PERFECT mother!

Happy Birthday, Auberne! Wishing you a life time full of happiness and good health.




Happy "Belated" Birthday!!! What an extra special day it was.
A mothers love for their little ones is something that never changes no matter what age. I think it grows stronger with each day we are blessed with.
Hugs to you both!


Oh Clarice... you are the sweetest thing ever. I love the chocolate story so much. Thanks for sharing... and happy birthday to your daughter. Blessings, Debra


What a wonderful celebration. One of many to come. Very best wishes to your lovely 18-year old daughter! (Yum, can I have a slice of her cake if there's any left?) xo

Mari at Once Upon a Plate

Happy, Happy Birthday Auberne, and to you, too Clarice. It's the anniversary of YOUR "Birth" day, too. :)



Belated happy birthday wishes for our dear friend, Auberne'! What a moving story. Blessings to you (both) as you continue to celebrate!


Happy Birthday Auberne!

Wendy and Caroline


A very Happy Birthday to her!

Thank you for also posting just a little bit of her story :)


Happy 18th Miss Auberne!

chloe. Auberne's sister.

I love the picture of my sister, she looks soooo pretty:) love chloe.

Claudia HIll

What a wonderful and touching story. It truly is a miracle and I thank you for sharing it with us. Happy Blessed Birthday to Auberne!


Happy 18th Birthday, Auberne! What a beautiful, touching story. My daughter is only 2, but I had to go and give her a big hug and tell her how much I love her after reading your post. We all too often forget how precious our lives are, and how honoured we are to spend them with the ones we love. :) Thank you. x x


Beautiful, just beautiful! I am so glad you shared that with all of us.
Meeting you this summer and sharing your Kindred Spirit around your table (not to mention the awesome food), you'd never know of Auberne`'s problems. She's delighful and such a young lady! You've done well, mom!
So, what did you feed her today? Did she get chocolate? I am sure you made her just what she wanted and it was grand! Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!


Hi Clarice, you have shared Auburne's story with me, once before, so I often stop to think about you both, and to send good wishes your way. I wish you both such happiness, and I hope for Auburne's health to see her through a long and fulfilling life, and I think it will, for her spirit comes from such a strong place.

Happy Birthday to your sweet young lady, and a hug to you both.


Sherri McDermitt

Clarice, Happy 18th Birthday to your daughter. I have 2 daughters who are now married (Megan 27 and Jenny 25). When they turned 18 it was hard but I knew there would be so many wonderful times ahead for them. That made me dealing with that day a little better! Good Luck!


awwwww Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! Wow 18! She is truly a beautiful young lady. Thank-you so much on your comment on my mantle. cherry

Mica Garbarino

Happy birthday to your daughter. We are right there behind you...My boy will be 15 this year... it goes too fast. Hope she had a wonderful day !! Hugs, Mica


I LOVE this story...such a blessed milestone!


Happy Birthday Auberne! My 18th year was an amazing year! I just want to say thank you for stopping by my blog and wishing me a happy birthday!
Have a great weekend,


What a precious memory, Clarice. And it is so true - our children's lives, and our own, are so fragile. We really need these kind of reminders to enjoy every minute we have with the ones we love. Life is a beautiful gift.


Birthday greetings to beautiful Auberne.


Happy 18th Auberne!
Thank you Clarice for the story. Sniff. It was so beautiful.
My son, my first baby, turned 18 in the summer. It's amazing how fast time fly by.


I've always known how special Auberne is...and your story confirms it!
Happy happy birthday to Auberne!
Clarice, your chocolate story is priceless..thanks for sharing it.


Happy Birthday to a beautiful, gifted, and precious young woman! Turning 18 is a huge deal! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

I'm so happy we were able to meet in person, Auberne'. Sharing afternoon tea together was a sweet experience that I will never forget.



Happy Birthday Auberne!


Michelle Gregory

wow, my mom heart goes out to you. i know that would not be an easy thing for any mom to go through. God bless you both.

country mouse

Omigosh--Clarice, this post made me both laugh and cry!

Happy birthday, Aubern'e! Your mom is so right, you are so kind and thoughtful and creative! Wishing you all the best!!!

Cathy Santarsiero

Dear Clarice and Auberne,
Wishing you both a happy day! Auberne, you are completely lovely as is your mom. You could not have turned out any other way! Sending you love and fond wishes for a year filled with joy and many blessings.

Dee (

Oh I didn't know any of this about Auberne! Thank you for sharing such a sweet and heartfelt story. From one January 9th baby to another, happy happy birthday!!!
Dee (

Susan P.

Oh my goodness, Clarice, I'm sobbing right now ~ the chocolate story about did me in! That was truly one of the most touching things I have ever read. Auberne is an absolutely lovely young lady and I can only imagine how proud you are of her. I had never really thought about what I would want my child to experience if I knew they wouldn't be on this earth long. Since you are a "foodie" as you call yourself, you wanted her to experience some delicous chocolate. For the artist perhaps a famous painting in an art gallery. The gardener a prized orchid or beautiful rose, and a musician a concert or opera and so on and so on!! I think it's so true about how we want our children to experience the things we love. Sorry for the book, your post just really touched me. Happy 18 Birthday, dear Auberne!

Debbie Grothe

Oh Auberne, Happy, Happy Birthday dear girl! I'm crying too. What a wonderful blessing you are to your mom! Clarice, you are a doll! {{{{HUGS}}}} your way! I pray one day I will treat my future daughter-in-law well. God Bless you both!

Enjoy the journey Auberne!

LuAnn Briggs

Happy 18th Birthday dear Auberne!...I am new to your Mother's blog and it has brought me such happiness...What a wonderful Mother you have!...God has shined down His Love and Grace upon you both...May you have many more years of chocolate together...:)Sincerely, LuAnn


What a touching story! I was already missing MY daughter, and now I miss her even more! It's been over a year since I've seen her, and it's hard on a mom's heart!

Happy birthday to Auberne`...and many, many more!



Happy Birthday Auberne. I love you. Grandma


What a lovely story- worth writing down in a little journal of memories for Auberne` on her birthday!
HAPPY Birthday Auberne`!


What I a beautiful story with a happy ending! I am so glad you have had 18 wonderful years with your daughter and hope you have many, many more. I looooove your blog!


Selia Renzetti

Dear Clarice,

Tell your beautiful daughter "Happy Birthday"!!!! I love your story and am so touched by it. What a wonderful mother you are! Here's to a most wonderful day to both of you!

Love and Blessings,

Gumbo Lily

Happy Birthday Auberne' and you too, Mom. (After all, it is the mother who gives the birth-day) This is a very sweet, sweet story in many ways..... a child born, a mother's love, life, and chocolate.



Clarice, I did not know that story and I'm crying of course. I know Aubrane' and all the gang and they are truly wonderful people. I feel blessed to have them in my life and am richer for it. I love you. Christy

Junie Moon

What a beautiful birthday tribute to Auberne`. I wish her a full life of love and happiness as she certainly deserves.

You are to be commended for your nuturing and loving mothering of your precious daughter.

I can honestly say I understand your heart about all this. My daughter was born with cerebral palsy and had horrid seizures. Today she is a happy and productive married woman of 28. We hope for the best for our children, but my head and heart always insisted that she IS the best. And so is your Auberne`.

Happy 18th birthday, dear Auberne`!



This was your most beautiful post!

Happy Birthday Auberne!


Jill xoo


Oh.... well....
Now it decides to show up for me...enjoy the wishes twice!


WOW! Sniff, sniff, sniff......REJOICE!!!!!
What a beautiful testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness in Auberne's life! What a thrill to read and to see how far Auberne has come!
She has such a look of wisdom and maturity....beyond her years and I am sure that some of that must come from her personal life journey!
Praying that God will bless her with many more years of health and joy and that she will always be able to call her mother....Mommy! You are never too old for such sentiments.
Enjoy some chocolate delights in memory of a special/moving experience!
Happy Birthday Auberne!
love from,
Joanne in Ontario who will think of you as I leave now for the library, and hope that you are still enjoying your job at your library!:)

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