Sarah Ballance: And So Begins Birthday Season

posted in: Sarah Ballance | 10

By sheer happenstance, our family year is divided into two distinct phases: holiday season and birthday season. Holiday season begins in October with Halloween and carries through Easter, which occasionally pushes past the April 7 start of birthday season. Our party season then stems from April through September, with our six children born in July, September, June, April, August, and May respectively. We also have a huge summer party (which I hope will translate into an annual family event as the kids grow up and out) as well as vacation, which tends to be a big ordeal that transcends thousands of miles.

But things are changing.

We still have birthday season, of course, but this year vacation will be a bit different. This year, instead of driving cross country, we’ll stay closer to home. Why? To build a new house. And why I can’t possible tell you how much we all want that brand new home with its eight bathrooms and my very own, very private office in a separate second story (ohyesplease) accessible only through the downstairs master suite, a small part of me will be kind of sad. You see, we’ve lived in this house for 14 years now. We’ve had 14 birthday seasons here. And when we move, the calendar won’t change, but the party won’t be in that same sunny room with the hardwood floors. The folding table won’t be set up to straddle the woodstove. The folding chairs won’t be needed. We won’t be waiting in line to use the ONE bathroom we have now. We’ll have all the room in the world, and I’ve wanted that so long. We all have. It’s hard to believe something we’ve scrimped and saved for so many years can come with any melancholy, but in moving on there’s letting go.

And when what you’ve got is already pretty wonderful, moving on is tough.

Not the worst problem to have, by a long shot. We have blessings upon blessings. Six kids, six months of celebrations, and a lifetime to build new memories. And that’s something we can take with us anywhere, but despite our cramped quarters here, I’m glad we have these memories. Birthday season started small. So did we.

And even with one bathroom between us, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Sign up for my monthly newsletter for exclusive paperback giveaways and for the scoop on new releases.


Sarah Ballance is a multi-published author of contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense. She’s been married to her own romantic hero for what he calls a “long, long time” (and no, he’ll never hear the end of saying that). Together they have six children … and clearly too much time on their hands. She currently writes for Entangled Publishing.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

10 Responses

    • Sarah Ballance

      I do, and I couldn’t ask for better chaos, LOL! Now that they’re getting older and we’re not having babies, the transition from a young family to a middle-to-teens family is fun. My youngest turns five next month and the oldest will be 17 in July. The chaos isn’t so exhausting now. 🙂

  1. Ally Broadfield

    I understand the bittersweet feelings of change. It’s funny because one bathroom used to be standard for everyone. I remember my mom telling stories about sharing one bathroom with her parents, grandparents, and four brothers. Hold on to your memories and enjoy the transition to the new house. 🙂

    • Sarah Ballance

      When we bought this house the agent told us it was “functionally obsolete.” It was also a disgusting mess. We stripped it down to the frame in some places and completely rebuilt it. We couldn’t add a bathroom b/c of zoning/permit stuff (long story, lol) but we spent months doing a total renovation. And then we raised a family here. Hard to let go of that, no matter how great the new stuff, but I’m definitely going to love the new space. 🙂

  2. Barbara Monajem

    I can relate. My kids were all born in the spring, and I’ve done the one bathroom for the whole family thing. But now I have my very own bathroom off the master bedroom, and I love it!! Enjoy the new house, Sarah. 🙂

    • sarahballance

      OMG I am SO looking forward to my own bathroom! I’ll have to share it with my husband, but that’s okay. It’s almost the size of the bedroom we share now, LOL!

    • sarahballance

      Thank you, Violetta. I’m SO glad these days can be reflected fondly upon. Because there are *moments* I wonder if we’ll make it through the day, LOL.

  3. dholcomb1

    My brothers and I are three months in a row–but there’s only three of us! My husband and our boys are a bit more spread out. Have fun during your “birthday season.”


    • sarahballance

      Birthday seasons are so convenient! 🙂 My birthday is in the middle of our birthday season, but my husband is jammed right in there with Christmas. I think he outdid us all, LOL!