Happy Birthday to Ellie and Jenna!
12 years ago today, I heard the most precious sounds I will ever hear… the sound of your lungs screaming “hello” to the world. And although it did not quite sound like “hello” (more like “eeeeeeeeeeh eeeeeeeeeh”), it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I can say that each day since has been filled with love, fun, and joy. I love you so much.
As I watch you grow, I am in awe. I am so proud of you. You share a special bond with each other and you share that love and kindness with everyone you meet. While you enjoy getting gifts, you appreciate the act of giving to others even more. That is a rare quality in someone just 12 years of age. Ellie and Jenna, here are a few of the many words I’d use to describe you: kind, smart, creative, artistic, helpful, witty, funny, loving, clever, and giving. And while you are so different than each other in some ways, and similar in others, you share the most important thing – you both have “hearts of gold” – and I am so lucky to have you as my children.
For something fun for you, as well as my blog readers, I wanted to share some of the technology that was in our home when you were born, 12 years ago on December 19th, 2001.
This is tweaked from the 10th birthday (and expanded on a bit – as things have changed in the past two years).
- Our computer was connected to the Internet for dial-up. We had a separate phone line just to get online.
- We only had one computer in our house the day you were born. Dad and I shared a computer at home. Imagine that now. We did have separate email through AOL.com.
- We had a fax machine hooked up in our home office. Do you even know what that is?
- All friends or family who wanted to call us after work hours called our home phone number.
The first two Apple stores had just opened that year in Virginia and California
Amazon.com was just an online bookstore that also sold CDs.
- We watched movies on a VCR. We didn’t get a DVD player until soon after you were born.
- Not only did we not have “digital” cable, there was no Netflix, no “On Demand” and no Instant Streaming. In fact there were only a few channels compared to now.
- HDTV was something we had seen in California on vacation a few years before, but we wouldn’t get it at home for a few more years.
- We listened to music on CDs. There were no iPods yet.
- You couldn’t get email on cell phones. There were Blackberries, but they didn’t have phones in them yet.
- The iPhone (Jenna) and Samsung Galaxy (Ellie) that you just got for your 12th birthday have far more memory and are significantly faster that the computers we had the day you were born.
- Most cell phones did not have cameras.
- There was no such thing as sending a text message.
- We had no idea what “Social Media” could possibly mean.
- Sharing photos was done by going to someone’s home and looking through albums, not pulling up Instagram and seeing photos taken a second prior.
- There was no YouTube. If we tried to watch a video online, it would probably crash the computer.
- The only way to share video footage was to record to a tape and get it to that person via the mail or in person. No LIVE views via podcasts, Facetime, uploads or video chatrooms.
- Photoshop 7 was the latest way to edit pictures.
- The word “blog” did not exist.
- I photographed you with a film point and shoot for the first year of your life.
- And no MCP Actions either.
I hope you enjoyed reading what it was like before you were born.
Ellie and Jenna, you inspire me, motivate me and are everything to me. Always remember how much I love you.
To the readers of this blog, think back ten years. What has changed in your world? Join me in wishing Ellie and Jenna a happy birthday by sharing interesting things you have seen happen since the day they were born.
Here’s quick Blog It Boards with a photo from each year of their life. And yes, I will be doing a birthday “shout out” on Instagram for them – as I’m told “that’s what you do for people’s birthdays” in 2013.