Thirty-Nine 34

Today’s my birthday. Well, not really since I’m writing this on Thursday so I can have the weekend and my birthday off. So let’s be more accurate here:

If you’re reading this, then I’ve turned thirty-nine.


That fits my mood about the whole thing a bit better. I’m not a very graceful ager. I am jealous of those of you who are comfortable with who you are and where you are. My brain is still fairly convinced that I’m 26 or so (and my sense of humor is still firmly at around age 5), although my body is starting to win the reality debate. It always freaks my brain out a little bit when I realize I’m about to leave my 30s and I never even felt like I was in them in the first place.


Probably the biggest part of the “wall” that is 40 that is speeding at me is that everyone has been telling me for years that if I am going to have kids, I need to have them before I turn 40. So I feel like I’ve got this major deadline but am in no place financially or emotionally to feel comfortable having a child. Heck, I still don’t even know what I want to be when *I* grow up, let alone how to help someone else grow up.

Maybe at 40 I will have my sh*t together.Β What? It could happen!


One thing that is really helping me ease into this whole 39 business is that Eli coordinated with my whole family, and they all pitched in to get me a new Juki TL2010Q! I am so beyond thrilled! I still love my Pfaff, but I’ve definitely been trying to do things with it that is outside its realm of expertise.


I’ve spent some time with my new Juki and my current challenge is mastering a good scant 1/4″ seam. Other than that I’m loving the knee lift and it turns out the threader is easy if you’re a leftie. And I am already completely spoiled by the thread cutter! I did a little playing around with quilting to figure out the tension settings, and I love how it quilts. Bring on the doodle stitching!



P.S. Please feel free to share stories about people successfully and happily having children at 40 or after. My grandma had twins at 46, but my brother tells me that I probably shouldn’t hold out for that myself.

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34 thoughts on “Thirty-Nine

    • daisyaschehoug

      I’m curious about that, too! It looks roomy.

      As for happy birth-a-baby-over-forty stories, my 40 year-old sister had a little girl last August. She’s precious (both my sister and my niece, actually). My best friend from college lives in a neighborhood full of women having children between 39 and 45 – everything from natural to in vitro to surrogate to adoption. It’s pretty spectacular how her little four block neighborhood represents every possible option out there (at least all that I’ve heard of). Do your own thing on your own time!

    • anne Post author

      I’ve been answering everyone privately but I’ve gotten enough questions about this that I thought I’d answer it publicly for future reference. πŸ™‚

      The Juki harp size is 8.5″ x 6″. The extra height makes it feel really roomy, even though it’s not as big as some of the higher end Janome and Berninas. πŸ™‚

  • eveline

    hqppy birthday!!!! My bad number was 30. I have no idea why, but i was weepy for weeks. Now that i am 51 i wonder what all thefuss was about. Contrary to popular Belief you do not need kids to have a loving full fullfilled life. I had my third child at 36 and was a gestational diabetc, third kid, late pregnancy. Everybodys experience is different. I have a few single friends that are in their 50s and have no children and no real regrets. We have the odd conversations about it. I believe if you have children you do one thing and if you dont, you do another. so dont fret…everything usually works out the way it should. And kids really are expensive…

    • Carmit

      Happy birthday, Anne! I’m delighted to have found your blog this year and hope to be along for the ride at 40 and beyond!

      And well said, Eveline, about not needing to have kids for a loving, full, and fulfilled life!

  • PennyDog

    I’m on the same thought path about kids, I just can’t get my head around why I would actually want any,thing is we’re getting married soon so it’s the inevitable next question. I’ve always adopted animals so I reckon if I change my mind later in life I can adopt a kid!

  • sarahschraw

    This is what I do: when I get stressed out by the realities of the world, I push those thoughts out of my head and fill it with quilt stuff instead. That’s probably terrible advice, but it’s honestly what I do.

  • Kelsey @ Everyday Fray

    Anne you are are so sweet. I feel like life just happens the way it happens and you shouldn’t feel pressured to fit someone else’s idea of what path life should follow. You are a spectacular woman with one heck of a new machine and you’ll figure it all out in due time… or you’ll just sew ALL the things and everyone will be ridiculously jealous. I kind of feel like most of us fall in that second category πŸ˜‰ Happy belated birthday!

  • Vera

    Congrats on your new machine and happy Bday! I wanted my first child before I hit 30. Now that I have two I can can finally understand why some people don’t want to have kids. There really is no obligation to have kids and I do wonder from time to time what my life would be if I didn’t have any. I guess I never know πŸ™‚

  • Becca

    I think you’ve accomplished a ton of things, just from reading your posts. I admire and look up to you, really. Human kids, or fur kids, I think you’re pretty amazing.

  • JoAnn W

    You are going to love your new machine! I have had a Brother 1500 for about 10 years now, and will always own it…perfect stitching, perfect quilter. (I use the generic 1/4″ foot and that works for me).

  • Melissa

    I’m a few years behind you but I have the “omg must have babies… Can’t have babies now!” freakout a few times a year. I have no advice other than to tell you that you are not alone! I got a Babylock Jane while Black Friday shopping. It’s pretty similar to your juki and I loooooove it! It is my baby for now πŸ™‚

  • The Sassy Quilter

    Happy Birthday! I’m right behind you and in the same boat:) Who knows what the future holds, but I know I am pretty happy and am just going to enjoy it and try not to worry about what could have been. I practically raised my little brother so I’m counting him as mine. I have already told him he will have to take care of me…I asked my niece and she said no:) She’s 6 and she said it very politely…”no thank you”.

  • Erin

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! So glad to see you got spoilt. I can’t wait to see all the beautiful things you’re going to make on your new baby. Although, I will be insanely jealous when you can’t help yourself but to rave about how wonderful it is :-P.
    Babies is such a hard topic (for lots of reasons). One the one hand, you do have think about what you want and make some conscious choices, because you don’t want to turn around in 10 years and regret what you didn’t do ( because babies at. 50 is A LOT harder than babies at 40). But, you can’t live a life that somene else is writing for you. Some people are supposed to have bubbies and some people are supposed to be amazing aunties or fabulous friends. You have to do what makes you happy, not because someone else says “you’re getting old, you should do this now” Pssht to that!!
    I hope you had a glorious weekend of birthday shenanigans. E xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Elsie

    Happy birthday and congrats on the machine! FWIW, I’m 36 and not planning to have kids. Occasionally seeing some cute little ones will tug at my heartstrings, but if I’m around them for more than a couple of hours I want to give them back! Plus, my husband and I have more time and more financial freedom this way. All that said, if it is your heart’s desire to have children, I sincerely wish you all the best.

  • Jayne

    Happy birthday! Age is so over rated! I never had a problem with birthdays…they come and go. Like you my mind says I’m 30-ish, but this damn body says otherwise! I do believe you have time for children! Don’t stress about it!!!

  • Dora, the quilter

    Oh, my!! I’m in my sixties and am still shocked when I look in the mirror and realize I’m no longer in my twenties. Fortunately, most of us gain wisdom as we age, so it’s usually a good trade-off.
    Happy birthday!

  • Alyce

    Happy birthday, Anne!! What a fabulous birthday present πŸ™‚

    As for babies, well, Laura Linney just had her first at 46?! Sorry, I’m the wrong person to give any “older mother” advice, considering I had my 2 babies by the time I was 23!

  • Charlotte

    Happy birthday, my friend! For me, 39 was worse than 40. Weird, but there you go. Also, I know loads of people (ok, more like several) who have given birth to/adopted kids past 40. It’s totally doable, if you want to do it. Or you could have mine for a week and realise what a bad idea it would be πŸ˜‰

  • Adrianne

    Happy Birthday Anne! Woohoo – what a fab gift, and the fact that Eli co-ordinated with your family is just the icing on the cake! Also, you absolutely do not look your age – personally I think that’s one of the (many) upsides of not having kids… (but also I understand the kids panic – I’m about 10 years behind you and starting to feel it as my friends start breeding en masse!).

  • Paula

    Happy birthday. Hope you had a great one and that you are enjoying your birthday present lots. Forget this age business it’s just a number. I’ve moved into my forties and still feel as if I’m in my 30s. Years ago 40 might have meant middle age for many but nowadays I think it’s a completely different matter and I, like all of my similarly aged friends, am living the young life and am even off to learn how to ski for the first time ever next season. This season I’ll still be whizzing down the slopes on a sled if I get the chance.
    As for kids well I swore I would never have children past 40. Ever. Yeah, like that’s what happened. Had my first at 38, my 41st birthday present was finding out I was pregnant with my second little monkey and I’m not quite ready to call it a day just yet. Still time for one more (and my doctor more than agrees) so who knows. My grandmother was an older mum, my mum had my youngest sister when she was in her mid 40s. So if children are in your future then you’re by no means out of time just yet.

  • Jessica

    Happy Birthday! You’re going to love your new machine, I’m so spoiled with the knee lift and thread cutter, really missed it doing a few things on my old machine. As for babies, it’s all up to you, forget what anyone else says. Having just turned 30 I’m starting to be surrounded by little ones who I adore and I’m pretty sure one day it will be my turn but I’ll do it when we’re ready (as much as you can be ready for such a life altering experience anyway).

  • Joanna

    Happy Birthday! I’m feeling a lot like you are, though I’m 10 years younger. I’ll be 29 in a couple of weeks, and I’m starting to freak out about having kids, and being stuck in “low level” jobs when I know other people my age or younger who have families, or who have a decent career! I’m trying to not let it bother me, because it seem like the “age to be” is getting higher and higher (or maybe as I get older, I just push it higher lol!) but I’d like to think there’s still plenty of time…

  • Lorna McMahon

    Congrats on the lovely birthday gift! I just know you are going to LOVE IT! Happy belated wishes. I really enjoyed your post, Anne. It all makes sew much sense now, why I feel like we are sisters!

  • Leane

    Happy Birthday Anne. In my head I have never gotten older than 29. I would suggest that if you want kids have them and if you don’t, don’t have them. You have a long while yet before it is too late, but I could point out that there is usually never a perfect time either, life just sort of comes together around them anyway.

  • Am L

    Happy Birthday (again)! I showed my hubby your new Juki, and between you and Molli raving about it, it is on my list. As for the kid thing, well, I have almost four years on you, and I suspect I could still get pregnant if I wasn’t careful. We have three kids, and can honestly say you are never really “ready” for children. No, having children isn’t an easy job, but nothing worthwhile is easy. It is just another relationship, and like all relationships, requires patience, love and acceptance. Based on your posts about your furry kids, you will be a wonderful mother, if that is what you want. Your grandmother having babies at 46 is a good sign of your chances at motherhood in your 40s. The 40s are not bad, and you look fantastic!

    Have fun with your new toy!

  • Cheryl

    OMG! Happy Juki Birthday! I had my daughter at 36 and she was not a planned kid, so it could happen (so be careful!). As others have said, you’re never “ready” for kids anyway. And they are wonderful and a lot of work. It’s not for everyone- don’t feel obligated! The world needs great aunties too! And really, no one out there is keeping score of our accomplishments. Enjoy being you!! You’re good at it.

  • Ruthann

    Happy Birthday… you’ll love your Juki! By the way, my mom had me at age 40 and that was 58 years ago. Enjoy the journey you are on.

    • susan clayton

      I have had my Juki for over ten years, and I love it more every year. It quilts like a dream, never causes any mechanical problems and is my work horse.It’s so easy to service that I do it myslef. And is it ever fast! I can quilt a baby quilt in no time. Love the scissors, and the knee lift! There is no computer, so when it’s on, it’s on and the needle doesn’t jump when you start or stop doing free motion. I’ve quilted king size quilts in it easily.
      That said here are my issues (are you listening Juki?)
      the feet that come with it suck. I bought a Janome high shank 1/4″ piecing foot and a generic high shank open toe darning foot. I think I bought both of them from sewingpartsonline. Those feet and the walking foot are the only ones I use.
      the walking foot doesn’t have a hole for attaching a guide. I do a lot of straight line quilting, and I have adapted, but sheesh, how hard would it be for Juki to drill a hole in the thing.
      Lastly, mine does not like spools, it likes cones. I did rig up a horizontal spool pin, but I have never found a commercial horizontal spool pin that delivers. Don’t even think of investing in the Superior thread holder, If you insist, I’ll send you mine to keep it from going to the landfill.
      I envy that the new ones have speed control. One of my friends sat down to sew with mine, and said, how the heck do you slow this baby down?
      I just use Organ needles in mine, the Schmetz needles didn’t work in this machine for me. It sounds like I am complaining, but honestly, I love this machine. I hope you grow to love yours too.

  • Amanda

    Happy birthday Anne! Glad to see that your Mister spoiled you proper!! Love that he coordinated with your family to make it happen. In terms of age, babies, etc. I think that is a conversation most women have with themselves at least a few times per year. Most of the anxiety around it comes from comparing ourselves to others. We’ve all chosen different life paths and as long as we make decisions that make us happy along the way we’ll end up exactly where we need to be. Also the switch between “there’s no way I could possibly imagine having a kid” to “buying pre-natal vitamins” happens faster than you’d think. You’ll know what’s right when you know. Until then, enjoy the ride! Best wishes for another wonderful year.