Note from Steph: It’s become an almost always tradition over the years that I don’t work on my Birthday, and sometimes, someone else writes this blog while I take the day off. Ken’s done itMy Mum did it.  My daughters did it. (I like that one a lot.) Then we hit a long dry patch, and then whammo, out of the blue my sister Erin offered to take a turn. Here’s her post. 

Dear Stephie,

Happy 44th Birthday! Sadly, we are celebrating your birthday by going to a Bike Rally meeting, but I’m sure it’s still going to be really special.

A few weeks ago you wrote a really beautiful birthday blog for Amanda. You talked a lot about all the firsts she’s had, and honestly, it made me cry. As your little sister, almost all of my firsts were counseled, guided or sometimes just patiently explained to me by you. (Remember when I thought men had three testicles?) You’re my big sister, so you have done almost everything at least once before I have. 

I can think of a lot of the big ones. Like when my first boyfriend was a psycho freak who treated me like crap, you explained how many more boyfriends I would have, and how they would just keep getting better. You were right. I’ve had TONS of boyfriends, and they do keep getting better. Or when I started my business. You had already run a few small businesses. I was tired and broke all the time, and you said it would just take time and hard work. You were right, 14 years later I still have my business, and it was just time and hard work. Or, here’s the biggie, when I was pregnant with Hank. You had already had 3 children, and you knew everything.  From breastfeeding, to diaper rash, to chicken pox, you had done it all.  Just by birth order, you got to do everything first, and then explain it to me. You make the mistakes, and then save me from them.  Mostly, it’s been a gift,  but sometimes though,  I wish I could teach you something, help clear your path, or just give a little sisterly advice on something, but it’s hard, because you do everything first.
Until now. Until the Bike Rally.

I have done the Bike Rally!! I have ridden my bike to Montreal! Once! Before you did! And now, you’re riding your bike to Montreal, and you’re scared out of your mind! This is great for me!

So here goes my try at giving you some advice on something you are so completely and utterly frightened of. (Rightfully so, by the way)

Here’s the thing. Montreal is really far, and the Bike Rally is really hard. You and I don’t even like long car trips, and now we’re riding our bikes there. It’s going to be hot. It might even rain on us. We’ll probably fall at least once, and I anticipate some tears on Day 2. That’s the longest day. That day alone you are going to ride 126 km -but this is what I know.

I know you are super strong and super stubborn. These are great things when embarking on a 660 km journey. I know you have been training. Squeezing in big and little rides whenever you can, before work, after work, riding stationary bikes in hotel gyms.  I know your dedication to PWA, you were fundraising for them long before you agreed to ride.  I know how proud of us you were last year, and I know how scared you are this year.

This year, I am proud of you.  I’m proud of your dedication to training and fundraising. Your ability to fall off your bike – like 100 times, you look like someone attacked you with a hammer –  and then get back up again. You can laugh at yourself in spandex. (That makes sense. We look ridiculous.) This year, I’m going to be riding beside you,  I’ll dust you off when you fall, I’ll encourage you, and I’ll freak out with you when we finally get there. I’m not doing all that with a smile on my face though, that’s asking too much.

I know you can do it.
How do I know?
Because I did it first.

Happy Birthday, please don’t fall off your bike.



PS from Steph:  Erin would never ask, but I will. If you’d like to spread a little birthday cheer, you can sponsor Erin for the rally by clicking her name.  (The rest of our brave little team is here: Me, Ken, Amanda, Samantha, Amanda’s friend Katie, and our family friend Pato.  We’re going to start giving out Karmic Balancing gifts on Monday, and anyone who donates to anyone on that list is eligible.  Today, I’m partial to me and Erin.)

190 thoughts on “First

  1. Steph!!
    Happy, happy birthday. Hope the meeting doesn’t go too long, and you get to have some cake and beer at some point today! Cheers!

  2. Happy birthday! I, too, believe you can finish (and survive) this ride. During my years of reading your blog, I don’t really recall anything that you’ve truly wanted to do and haven’t been able to whip! Soon, this bike ride will be on the list of things you stuck with until mastered!

  3. Happy Birthday Steph! You share birthdays with my mother who, along with my grandmother, instilled a love of knitting in me:)
    I have greatly enjoyed reading your posts (and books) over the years. Thank you so much. May you have a wonderfully blessed day today.

  4. Happy Birthday Stephanie.
    Hope your day is filled with happy memories to last a lifetime 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday! I’d write something slightly snarky about coming to I-O-W-A to celebrate it with wool, microbrew, and organic vegs – all from local farms, but I’ll resist. 😉

  6. Will be donating a small bit (tomorrow, it’s payday) to Erin’s total for the hammer comment. Brill. Happy birthday.

  7. Happy Birthday. I wish the bike path could have been yarn boombed for you. Falling on an angora, yak down, marino blend would not have been so bad.
    Good luck in the rally.

  8. Happy birthday!!! I donated a little something to everyone on your team, can’t do much more but any little bit counts. Ride strong and hard, you’ll get there in the end! 🙂

  9. that is one beautiful birthday gift. best wishes of the day!

  10. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! One of the best parts of my day is reading your blog. I wish you very much success on your bike ride even though I think you are more than crazy to do it, but as your sister says, you are one determined person.
    Good luck!

  11. Happiest of Birthdays, Steph. Having been the big sister for a lot more years than you are old, I can relate. I’ve also learned a lot from my own little sister about trust, working hard, keeping on and encouragement. Thanks, Erin for a great blog and ride on!

  12. Happy Birthday!
    Aren’t sisters wonderful? I am knitting my older sister a lace shawl for her 50th this year but having a sister who’ll ride all the way to Montreal with you- fantastic!
    Good luck in the Rally. May your seat remain soft and the hills easy.

  13. Now that post made ME cry! As a baby sister to a super-accomplished older sister, I totally get how Erin feels…. Happy birthday, Steph!

  14. Happy Birthday Yarn Harlot! And what a fun, touching post from your sister – I truly enjoyed reading that. Thank you so much.

  15. Happy birthday, Steph! Aren’t sisters the greatest! Have a wonderful year ahead and best of luck with the Bike Rally! May your falls be soft ones!

  16. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! I hope my younger sister thinks as much of me as your sister does of you. My sister and I share the same birthday–with 4 years between us. We always thought that made us a bit unique.

  17. Happy Birthday. Thank you for the joy you share through your love of yarn, knitting, family and friends.

  18. Happy Birthday Stephanie !! Thank you for all the caring and sharing, you have made this world a better place for everyone.

  19. Happy birthday, Steph! I’m so happy to have had you “in my life” (as much as internet strangers can be) for a year. ^_~

  20. Happy birthday Steph! Many happy returns and I wish you as little falling off your bike as possible!

  21. Happy, happy birthday! I wish I had a sister like you two. I got to 44 first – a few years ago.

  22. Happy Birthday, Stephanie. Keep on biking. Remember the secret to success—fall down 7 times, get up 8! Wish I had a sis like yours.

  23. Is it true that wool is good for sports apparel? If so, will you knit your own bike rally socks? How about some for the whole team? (LOL!)
    Happy Birthday!

  24. Happy Birthday. Congratulations on finally getting the number of years correct (and if you still are calculating incorrectly, Erin is there to set you right). Thanks to your Mum for giving us this awesome person.
    Now to the important question: which one are you in the first photo? I assume Erin is the baby, but one of the other two has very dark hair (not you) and the other one, although adorable, has STRAIGHT hair – that can’t possibly be you. 😉

  25. Happiest of days to you, Miss Stephanie! Hope everything you do today goes smoothly with laughter and joy!

  26. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! I hope you have a fantastic birthday equal to all the laughs and smiles you have given me over the years.
    Erin? Fantastic post. Brought tears to my eyes. I hope when my girls are grown that they love, respect, and encourage each other as much as the two of you do.

  27. Happy birthday, fellow June birthday girl. What Erin said. You can do it! Have a wonderful day today!

  28. Happy birthday!
    I just wanted to say, you are not stubborn, you are determined. Stubborn is negative, determined is positive.

  29. Many happy returns of the day! Have a great ride today, followed by cake and beer and good friends.

  30. We share a birthday. I know this. I find myself telling people this occasionally if I’m introducing your blog to them… “I don’t know how to explain it, but we see the world in very similar ways. We have the same birthday!” (As if that explains everything. I may be the only one that thinks this.)
    Anyway, I dropped by this morning and was utterly surpised and delighted that it was both your birthday and mine, all over again. Simple.
    Happy birthday!

  31. Wonderful post! I am the youngest of 3 sisters, so I totally get the “done it first” benefit of advice/experience (and also not being able to get away with anything the older 2 tried first 😉
    Happy Birthday Steph, and best of luck with the bike ride.

  32. Happy birthday, Stephanie. Enjoy the wisdom from your smart little sister. Wishing you all a really safe, great ride to Montreal.

  33. Happy birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day and best of luck on the bike adventure.

  34. HAPPY…HAPPY…HAPPY birthday Stephanie!!!!! I hope that someday…down the road….’today’ will be one of your favourite memories to recall. Take care…stay safe…God speed….(:

  35. Happy Birthday Stephanie! You are blessed with a wonderful sister! I wish you well on your trip and will be sending some $$ your way.

  36. Erin: Thank you for such a marvellous and touching post! I envy the relationship you and Stephanie have shared all your lives – my sister and I were separated by adoption when she was 4 and I was 6 in England; my ‘new family’ immediately immigrated to Canada, and Janet and I missed out on so much. A lovely, lovely tribute!
    Stephanie: Happiest of Birthdays, and many blessings thereof!! May you knit long and prosper! (If anyone steals that line, I’ll be wanting royalties LOL – there’s even a hand-sign that goes with it!)

  37. happy birthday dear harlot! i’m a little sister like erin and i can tell you there is a good deal of joy when a little sister can share experiences with a big sister! i’ve made a little donation to your team – good luck on the ride. i second all the wishes for cakes and ale after tonight’s meeting! cheers! molly

  38. I love this, wonderful post Erin! Happy Birthday Stephanie. Good luck. You’ll have certainly earned that birthday cake and beer when you are finished.

  39. Happy, happy birthday, dear Stephanie.
    Thanks for all your blog has taught me about knitting, and about life.

  40. Did no one else notice that Stephanie’s hands in that picture (I assume you’re the one holding the baby) seem to be waiting for someone to put knitting needles in them?
    Happy Birthday! And good luck on your bike ride!

    My current lack of job prohibits me from donating, but I’ll be saying a prayer for you and the team that the ride goes well, that the team doesn’t sustain any major injuries, and that you all manage to smile at multiple points during the ride.
    Baring your teeth in agony on hard stretches doesn’t count as a smile. Just sayin’

  42. Ditto what Collette said, and;
    Beware people who smile on bikes, they have bugs in their teeth.

  43. Man, anytime you write about your family or your family writes about you I end up in tears. Happy birthday and good luck on the ride!

  44. Have a wonderful birthday! 🙂 I love how close you and your family are. Their birthday letters are so sweet. I wish you a day of knitting, cake, beer, relaxation, and NO falling off your bike!

  45. Brought me to tears! I hope any one of my family loves me that much!
    Happy Birthday, and Happy Ride!!!

  46. I’m a big sister. Every week I’m growing closer to my little sister because our middle sister died last year. I’m not sure I’ve helped either of them very much, but Erin should know that this made me cry too. Happy Birthday Stephanie!

  47. Happy Birthday! I think you’ll look stunning in your spandex, just like I think everyone looks sleek and graceful in a neoprene wetsuit. I’ll think of you as I pedal my cruiser, old-lady bike down the (mostly flat) river trail this weekend. Great post, Erin!

  48. Happy Birthday Stephanie! I turn 44 in 11hrs. 43 almost killed me, so here’s hoping we both have a great year to come.
    Erin, great post!

  49. Happy birthday, Stephanie. Happy trails, and may the weather gods smile upon you as you venture forth. And may gravity take a small vacation from your vicinity.

  50. Goodness – your sister is pretty talented and engaging writer as well. What did your mom feed you ladies growing up?
    oh, and happy birthday!!

  51. Happy birthday and many best wishes for today and for all the days. Also for the Rally!

  52. Happy Birthday to you and to me! It’s Flag Day here in the U.S., so they’ve put flags all over the place. Quite colorful and patriotic! (When I was young, I thought they put them out for my birthday….oh well!) Hope your day is so very special!!

  53. Happy Birthday Stephamie! Lovely post Erin. I’m also a younger sister and likewise am waiting to do something ‘first’. Um Stephanie, though, that’s you holding Erin in the photo? How come your hair’s so straight??? 🙂

  54. Happy birthday!
    I hope your ride goes smoothly, and if you do fall, the landing is soft (perhaps that’s where your sister could help out?) and you don’t end up with more bruises. I hope to be able to donate to one of your team members soon!

  55. Happy birthday, Steph! As the youngest of three girls, I can completely relate to Erin’s position, and you (usually) say exactly what I am thinking. Nothing pays back like preparation. Ride strong.

  56. Happy Birthday, Stephanie. Looks like you have a great “little” sister. I know, because she has the same qualities as my “little” sister, and mine is the best!

  57. Happy Birthday, Stephanie, and wow, the writing gene is clearly strong in your family. If she doesn’t already, maybe your sister should have a blog of her own. Her message made me both laugh and almost cry and I loved the picture. Good luck on the ride. For what it’s worth, I have faith in you.

  58. Happy Birthday Stephanie!
    If today brings you even 1% of the joy that you give to your fans everyday, I know you’ll have a terribly joyous birthday. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

  59. Happy Birthday Lady! I owe you a debt of gratitude for introducing me many moons ago to the knitting blogger world. You were my first! Thank you! Good luck on the ride! I hope you don’t fall down and if you do may it be on squishy plants (always aim for the soft leafy stuff, I know I do)

  60. Wow. That was a tear jerker! Happy Birthday! I hope you realize how awesome it is to continue to do new things every year you can- congratulations on this new and terrifying experience. Be proud of yourself!

  61. That was a wonderful message Erin sent for your birthday. I hope that everyone in your family had a great bday. I know June is a busy one. I wish great success to everyone on the bike rally. It sounds amazing.

  62. As both a big and little sister (middle of 5 girls, and 1 brother), this post was really touching. Thanks Erin! And happy birthday Steph! Good luck on your ride. Just think of how wonderful it will feel when you cross the finish line.

  63. Happy Birthday Stephanie!
    Thanks for all the laughs. I’m always smiling and or nodding along to your blog.
    My husband cycles too and I traditionally say “don’t crash” before he leaves on a ride. It’s working so far.
    Stephanie – don’t crash.
    have a great ride.

  64. Happy, Happy Birthday, Steph! Have a fantastic day and a safe trip to Montreal (my hometown! – enjoy!)

  65. All the best on your birthday. Finances won’t let me donate, but my thoughts are with you.

  66. Happy Birthday to the women that brightens my day every day…(ok, I get a little grumpy on the days you don’t post, but no hard feelings!) I agree with Roggey and I won’t say anything scarky about coming to K-A-N-S-A-S, which is really close to I-O-W-A, for the afore mentioned goodies, but I will give a shout out to the universe to protect you are your tremendious ride ahead. Good Luck and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  67. It must be a gene you both have: writing humorous little bits that make my day…Even if I end up with tears in my eyes while in public!
    Happy Birtthday, Stephanie and happy trails to the cycling team.

  68. Happy Birthday!
    I donated to Katie as she hadn’t made it over the top yet.
    Thank you for making me smile/laugh/cry.
    Best of luck on the ride but I know you don’t need luck, you have determination and an incredible support group.

  69. Happy Birthday Steph! We loved being there when you shared you day with us a WWKIP day at Lettuce Knit.
    Donation made to Erin though – loved the hammer comment, somethign only a little sister can get away with.

  70. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! We share a birth year and a first name (yay for 1968!) Have a great year, and thanks for brightening up every day with the blog, the books and knitting. Good luck in the bike race to you and your team.
    Great post, Erin!

  71. Happy Birthday, Steph!
    I just sponsored Erin. Good luck on the ride, you are braver than I.

  72. Happy Birthday, Stephanie!!
    Good luck on your (long) bike ride. You’ll do great. BTW, you look like you’re having fun posing for your Amiga sweater shots – love!!

  73. Erin speaks true for all ‘little sisters’ . I am number 4 girl and my 3 older sisters did everything first, even wore my clothes first. But as we are now older, they are cherished and still give wonderful advise. However I love to be the first at anything, like knitting. I’m trying to teach one of them to knit…she’s a difficult student but the time together is precious. Enjoy the bike rally….together. Have a wonderful birthday.

  74. Happy birthday, Stephanie!
    The posts from your fambly get me every time. I understand the nerves about the Bike Rally, but we all know you, and we know that you are nothing if not determined. The accomplishments of which we are most proud are never the easy ones. (Easy for me to say.)

  75. Happy Birthday, dear Stephanie.
    The world would be a much sadder place without you.
    Be strong, ride on, bravely forward.

  76. Four years ago when I was 57 I participated in the RAGBRAI (Des Moine Register’s Great Annual Ride Across Iowa.) Although I had done weeks long biking trips from Detroit to Montreal and all around England, those were more than 25 years in the past. I had hardly done more than round the block rides since then. My son wanted me to go and accompany him and his Dad (my ex.)The ride sponsors suggested 600 ridden before the RAGBRAI – I managed 160. I was overweight, and I have sleep apnea but wouldn’t be able to bring my CPAP machine. We averaged 72 miles a day – our longest day was 78 in the 88-92 degree temps of an Iowa summer. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. Well, I did 4 days, and had to leave because I was scheduled to teach in a summer camp. However I did the four longest days. So take heart, you are way ahead of me in training, level of fitness, etc. And as much as I worried, as exhausted as I was at the end, (Some days it took me 10 hours – I am not a fast cyclist)it was one of the best experiences of my life. You will do it; it may not be pretty, but you will do it.

  77. I am the little sister to a very cool big sister, so I know what Erin is talkin about! Happy birthday! May the wind be at your back and someone in front of you to draft behind!

  78. Another little sister here with tears in my eyes. Erin, you totally nailed the Birthday Blog! Happy Birthday to Steph!

  79. Happy Birthday, Steph! And “Woot!” to Ellen on being The First. I can only imagine the kind of ride this rally is going to be for your whole team. Wear sunscreen.

  80. Happy Birthday! I don’t have a sister, but your sister’s post brought tears to my eyes. I wish you a wonderful day and a joyful ride together. Obviously you both have a fantastic sister.

  81. Steph … HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You share it with my mom’s best friend and second most amazing woman I know (mom is always first). You are in great but well deserved company – your blog posts never disappoint.
    Erin … Beautiful post! Lovely tribute to your big sister and so well written. Off to throw some sponsorship love your way.
    The best of luck and weather to you both and your team on the ride!

  82. Happy Birthday! and good luck, and may the fates grant you a comfortable bottom.

  83. Have a happy happy day, I will meet you at the gourmet retreat next week, can’t wait.

  84. Happy birthday! We’re almost the same age (I turn 44 in November). Hope you enjoy your day, and I’m sure you’ll do great on the bike ride. Plus it will give you a lot of blogging material 🙂

  85. Well, it’s here again, my birthday and yours. I hope yours is as happy as mine has been! 🙂 Happy birthday, Stephanie. Hugs from me!

  86. Because I am anal and like to be fair, I donated a little bit to each of you (except for the last two, who had already reached their goal — yay for them!). Go Team Steph!

  87. Happy Birthday, Stephanie; and well done, Erin. I’m a little sister, who lost her big (and only) sister five years ago to cancer. Tears in my eyes and a definite sense of recognition, as my sis also did everything first and explained the world to me as we were growing up. Occasionally I still catch myself quoting her to younger women I mentor. Good luck with the bike ride, and my hat is off to you because not in a million years would I even dream of doing such a thing!

  88. How awesome!! Happy birthday Steph. Your sister sounds so great too…..I didn’t realize that talent of the written word is so genetic. Good luck to both of you on that bike ride.

  89. Happy birthday Steph! From one oldest child to another, I’ve donated to your oldest daughter’s fund raising effort because we’re all oldest children and female! (and I’m so totally impressed with your girls doing this year after year) 🙂

  90. Happy Birthday Stephanie! Good luck on your bike trek. What a lovely little sis you have! I was hoping for her to post some embarrassing stories about you, but no such luck. Falling off the bike and getting back on for more isn’t embarrassing, it’s inspiring…

  91. Well done, Erin. You made me cry with this one. Steph’ll tell you I’m kind of like that, and she’s not wrong, but still. Well done.
    And Happy Birthday Steph. Love you.

  92. A very happy birthday, Stephanie.
    I am donating to Erin because of her beautiful letter, and because I, too, am a little sister of my capable older sister, Sheila, who, if she didn’t do it all first, was a very convincing advisor and liar.

  93. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! It looks like you have quite a few people who love and care for you. Glad Erin could help out on this day. ( I gave a little to you both to help with your fundraising)

  94. Happy Birthday Stephanie, and many more happy returns!! Good job on the blog, Erin. 660 km is a very long way, especially on a bike, and I can’t think of a good reason why you are doing it. Support is one thing. 660 km on a bike is another. Good luck and take care!

  95. From one big sister to another: happy birthday! Thanks for a beautiful blog, Erin. You made me cry.

  96. Have a wonderful birthday! I sent a donation for your daughter – a great cause, and I really love giving where someone is willing to put themselves on the line with that kind of physical commitment. I hope you all enjoy triumphant rides!

  97. The post was so beautiful, it got me off my but and over to Erin’s page for a pledge. Happy Happy Birthday!

  98. Although I am cash poor, I am yarn rich. I will happily donate a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in a random colorway as a karmic balancing gift.

  99. Happy Birthday from a fellow June baby! I sent my donation to Ken because, without him, where would the blog be? Looking SO forward to Port Ludlow.

  100. Happy Birthday! In honor of your birthday, I pledged money to your PAW fund. It might not be much, especially when they tell you how much goes for what (treatments, etc.), but I hope that it will help a little bit.

  101. Huge hugs,happy riding that bike and may all your friends and bring you tons of love.

  102. What a wonderful post! I know my sisters couldn’t resist being very, very, snarky. . .c’mon Erin, spill the beans!
    Seriously, you have my best wishes on your birthday. The Blog hopes you have many, many more.
    And may you have perfect balance, the wind at your back, and a warp drive hidden under your bike seat when you make the big trip to Montreal!

  103. Happy birthday, Stephanie, and best of luck to you on your bike ride! I’m still rather wobbly on a regular bike for regular reasons, so I am in awe.

  104. Woot My hustband and I just put Erin at 100%.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Steph.. I was lucky I convinced my hubby to use his credit card and make a donation. It’s via the Yarn Harlot.
    You can tell your sister loves you alot, your very lucky. Almost as lucky as we are cause you share yourself with us, thank you! Wishing you the best on your bike ride and health, wealth and happiness in the coming year.

  105. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! Will buy you birthday pint if you make it to Chicago in October. Hoping the bike training progresses to the point that you can knit while you ride, after all, it is sort of like driving, and we all knit while we drive, right?
    Best on the Montreal ride:-)

  106. #1-happy birthday to you
    #2- no way are you going to fall off your bike once you get going on the real ride. Training stinks, like doing a gauge swatch. Riding to Montreal is Cool, and your reasons are even better.
    #3-once you start the real ride your job is to have fun, stay hydrated and eat whether you want to or not.

  107. Happy Birthday Steph! I love that picture because it looks like a tiny version of Steph holding a baby version of Hank!

  108. Stephanie, Happy Birthday! My sister-in law shares your birthday and is 44 today too! The world got lucky that day.
    Erin, great post. Just shows you love your sister as much as I love both of mine. And that you appreciate your family.

  109. Very Happy Birthday Stephanie !
    You are always on the move whether on bicycle, airplanes or car. Now you have completed 44 trips around the Sun at 67,000 mph, at the same time spinning around this world at about 500 mph,(Northern geography), and now on your way across part of Canada. Happy cycling. Love, Paul

  110. Hi. I donated for you, since it’s your birthday. But then I saw that Ken is the furthest from meeting his goal, so I threw some change his way. I had to stop there (small donations, really) but I notice that Sam and Amanda could still use help. But I also saw that you and Erin have both now met your goals! As have Pato and Katie!! We have a month to go… more blog posts to follow, I’m sure. 🙂

  111. Happy birthday, Stephanie. I am constantly awed by all you set out to do and manage to accomplish, not to mention being thoroughly entertained by your wit in the blog, in your books, and in your classes and talks. I was happy to donate to your team and wanted to donate to all of you, but had to select one to get my meagre donation – Pato won, but only because I thought he was farthest away from his goal. Ride on!

  112. Happy Happy Birthday Stephanie!! Not only are you an awesome person, but your whole family seems to be just as awesome! What an amazing post by your sister!
    I’m on my way to donate now. I’ll donate for whoever has not reached their goal yet since it all goes for the same cause and I’m sure you’ve reached your goal a few times over with all of your wonderful blog readers.
    Hope your birthday was wonderful. I’m excited to see you in a little over a week.

  113. I split what I could give between Pato and Ken. Wish I could give to all of you!!

  114. Happy happy happy to you, Steph! It’s such a joy to share in your life via The Blog. I hope this birthday was as wonderful as you are. Happy Birthday!
    (Note to Erin: What a lovely post! As the youngest of 5 children, it’s nice to read this bit from you. I’m glad I’m not alone in these feelings about someone else always being/doing first. Like you, though, i feel pretty damn blessed to have my older siblings!) 🙂
    I can’t imagine undertaking such a massive race mysel but it’s an honor to be able to support y’all!

  115. Happy Birthday Stephanie! and many happy returns of the day!
    with so many people pulling for you on your ride, i am sure it will go well! I cycle myself, but the distances you will do sound so very brave and adventurous. and to use the clipons? i still don’t, wonder if i ever will.
    It was nice to see that you and many of your team have reached their goals already. Pato seemed to need the most “help” so that’s where i put my effort. Very best wishes on that day too!

  116. Happy Birthday Stephanie! Great post, thanks Erin. Have a great and safe bike rally.

  117. Lovely post. My husband and I will be in Montreal just before you arrive. International Fireworks Festival. It would be nice to see the end of this ride. Good luck on your ride.

  118. Happy birthday to my birthday twin! Late because it was a busy day for me too. But a good one.
    You have a wonderful sister! Love this post!

  119. Happy Birthday! I agree, I do not work on my birthday either, if I can get out of it!

  120. Happy birthday late! Personally, my birthdays have been stretching to at least one-week affairs. You should try it. 😉

  121. Happy belated birthday! I have to tell you that reading stories like this makes me wish that I wasn’t an only child. You have a lovely family.

  122. What an awesome baby sister, you are lucky, all I got was 3 brothers.
    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Stephie, Happy Birthday to you !
    Sheep, Sheep, Hooray !!!

  123. Happy birthday! I hope it was wonderful. And thank you for the hilarious sweater-posing post…it totally made my day! (and reminded me of many an awkward photo-shoot…) And kudos to Erin, too, for a great post.

  124. Happy Birthday. You can totally do this. Remember chocolate is a great snack to keep from bonking.

  125. Happy Birthday to Queen of all us Knitters. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat at my computer with or without my knitting and feeling kind of depressed and then read your blog–suddenly the sun is out, I feel like I’ve just run or could run 10 miles and the day gets off to a great start. You are amazing! You give to us all and I hope we can all somehow reciprocate. Happiest of Birthdays.

  126. Happy Birthday! I donated to Pato, because A) I love how wonderful a friend he is to your family, and B) he has more to go than the rest of you. Folks, Pato and Ken need some donations. Share the love, people!

  127. Ride well and keep Steph upright on the bike. You’ll be the best little sister ever.
    Happy birthday Stephanie. I have 4 little sisters who keep me upright. Couldn’t make it through the day without them.
    Linda in Oregon

  128. Oh, Erin is Hank’s Mom! I love Hank!
    Oh yeah – happy b-day Stephanie! You can do it! Bring tylenol!

  129. Happy Birthday (late by now)!
    I’ve sent an email in order to donate but have not heard back yet.

  130. Happy Birthday Stephanie! Erin’s post warmed my heart! I know these birthday wishes are late . . . but they ARE heartfelt. Now I must go read about the ride . . . . hope you didn’t fall!

  131. Oh, what a beautiful post- love the sisterly bond here!! Both of you (everyone) be safe on the ride.

  132. Happy Birthday Steph! We share the same birthday 🙂 and in honouor of that, I’ve sent along a donation to Pato. Have a wonderful ride, and for the love of wool, be careful!

  133. Happy Birthday Girlie!!! Hope you had a great day, I’ve been away all week and couldn’t follow the blog! Hope all is well and good luck on the ride!! I’ve sent a donation to Erin to help her on her way.

  134. Happy Belated Birthday Stephanie! Sorry I’m late wishing you a Happy Birthday, but I just got home from visiting my oldest son and his wife in Indiana where I was spoiling my newest grandchild…a baby girl named Aurora (so I just read this post!). Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  135. Hi
    Heard your talk at the DKC and loved it.
    Would very much appreciate your sources for your comments about serotonin and dopamine if you have the time to send it along.
    Many thanks.

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