Happy 21st Birthday Miss Claire!!!

Once upon a time
there was a wee little girl
with a button nose and a beautiful halo
of tumbledown curls.
We called her Miss Claire.

Miss Claire and me…when she was a wee little girl.

Her mother (that's me) loved
the times she was able to put her in a dress
and tie a ribbon to her cute little curls.

Miss Claire in search of worms

It was clear from an early age that 
those occasions were going to be far and few between.
Every attempt ended up in a dirty dusty mess.
Miss Claire was far to busy doing other things.
She declared to me that dresses were not for her.
So...I gave in and let her take the lead.
and this is what I got…a little girl
who shouted out "I just gotta be me!"
So I let her be…

Miss Claire..doing her thing

Back in the day..she had one song,
 that she loved, and memorized every word. 
One song that she would sing with all her might.
She took the words to heart and has never given up.
You can listen to the song here.

Wherever she goes…
she believes she can fly…just like 
Michael Jordan in the movie Space Jam.

The following is a photo collage of Miss Claire,
taking flight…around the world.
She turns 21 today and is still shouting
"I just gotta be me!"

Miss Claire…flying around the world.

It has been a wonderful 21 years
and I can only imagine what is to come!
To our "Original" Miss Claire,
Happy Birthday!!!

Miss Claire
Partial lyrics to I Believe I Can Fly

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
spread wings and fly away

I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

Hey, 'cause I believe in you
If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it
I believe I can fly….

Song: I Believe I Can Fly
(partial lyrics)
(Space Jam Soundtrack)

Miss Claire taking flight in Vietnam.


  1. She sounds wonderful and EVER so much more fabulous than a little girl with ribbons and curls!! happy birthday to her and congratulations to you.

  2. Happy Birthday, Miss Claire!
    You are blessed and so is she,

  3. Wonderful happy post
    Happy Birthday Miss Claire!

  4. This gave me goose bumps...

    Happy birthday and all the very best, Miss Claire!!!

  5. happy birthday!!!!!!! angie from germany

  6. What a lovely post...Happy Birthdqy to Miss Claire...my "baby boy" turns 21 today also!! Where does the time go??? xoxo

    1. Too fast Sandy! I hope your son had a wonderful day.. ;) xx

  7. happy birthday to Ms.Claire...but actually it's your day...21 yrs of joy and fears, console and give hope, empathize, nag at her and give hugs and so much more....21 yrs. together ...and now she is not a wee little girl anymore but an independent young women which you have to let fly.

  8. Hello Jeanne
    Wishing Miss Claire a very Happy 21st. Birthday and continued joy as she does it "her way"
    The collage of photos are excellent and show a life being well lived


    1. Thank you Helen…I think her photos will be cherished..especially the ability to jump that high. :) xx

  9. Happy Birthday ms. Claire.
    It seems only the other day Jan, when you were looking for a college for her.
    She looks so happy.
    Great photos. lots of memories for you to keep.

    1. I was thinking the same thing Val. I went book to look at previous posts and that was one of them. I wanted to this blog to be a place they could go back to and remember…it has been a great space for me to remember as well. :)

  10. Happy Birthday to Claire. And good wishes to you as well... You were the one who allowed her to spread those wings! Hugs! B

    1. Thank you Bonnie, that is a nice way to look at it... :) xx

  11. Happy Birthday Miss Claire and to your mommy who birthed you 21 years ago!
    You can fly, you can fly!

  12. Miss Claire must have been an eagle in her previous life, and just can't give up those wings in this one! Isn't it wonderful to be able to spread your wings and fly. She is a very lucky girl to have you and Mr. H as her parents and all of the opportunities in life that that entails. Happy Birthday, Miss Claire!

    1. Thank you Judy, I think this is one of the perks of expat life, the ability to see parts of the world you might not have had a chance to see on the regular travel circuit. I imagine she will keep it up, she definetly has the travel bug. As you do too..Paris is almost here. :) xx

  13. Happy Birthday Claire.

  14. Happy Birthday Miss Claire! What a beautiful girl with a beautiful attitude. I love her motto, "i believe I can fly." And how wonderful to have you and Mr. H to nurture and and the same time all her to spread her wings and take in all that you have to offer her.

    I wish her many, many more birthdays and many happy days!

  15. How sweet. Happy birthday Claire. I like that song too :) xo, N.G.

  16. Happy, Happy, Happy!
    Long may she fly.

  17. Happy birthday to Miss Claire, and three cheers for daughters who know what they want!

  18. Sending lovely, charismatic Miss Claire many happy wishes on her special birthday. And congrats to proud Mama on this sentimental anniversary of a life-changing day. Oh how quickly it all happens...

    1. As you well know too Leslie, it is life-changing for us as well. We could all write a book on this one…the Empty Nester Chapters… :) xx

  19. Gorgeous both of YOU!
    I am not getting your posts via email......so am behind JEANNE so sorry!THis Bloglovin isNOT my favorite because I do not finish reading all my Blogs and then is disappears from my sight!!

    1. SO sorry Elizabeth, I still have to sort that email business out. It will be a good procrastionation project for me this summer as I contemplate packing. Will be sure to let you know when I do. I only lasted about a month with Bloglovin…too many places to check on blogs! xx

  20. A belated Happy Birthday Miss Claire! Independent women rule!!

    1. That we do Jennifer…we certainly do ( you and your daughter included) :) xx


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