Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 17, 2010

Our Princess is 17!

I am the Princess of the World. Who are you? asks Paige in an early doodle (Below) Paige at nearly two, taken between tears; she was frightened by the department store's bearded lady photographer

Our Princess turns 17 today. Paige says it’s her Golden Birthday—something I thought was reserved for 50-year-olds (speaking of which—Happy Birthday Mary Lou!).

One of our 1.5 million pictures of Graham and Paige

Apparently, when one turns the age of their birth date it is a special, or “Golden Birthday.” So both kids have now had theirs–Paige is 17 on February 17 and Graham turned 21 on November 21.

My 25th on an April 25th was so long ago I don’t remember the details. I’m sure we have a snapshot of TJ’s 4th on March 4th way back when photos were black & white and square-shaped with a white, scalloped edged border.

Holy, Cow---Paige is 17 already! This is one in a series of photos of Paige with parade characters

We have a lot of those pictures in our archives. The basement is jam packed with shoeboxes full of photos, stacks of slides, crates of the kids’ art projects and their school work. Not every spelling test and math worksheet—just a sampling to show how they progressed through the years.

I love the way Paige's mind works: C is for rainbow because rainbows are color full.

And to see, through their drawings and stories, how their minds work.

I just came across Paige’s illustrated fairy tale about a girl named Mimi who had to walk through a spooky tunnel to visit her dear aunt. The gals were attacked by a giant, blood-sucking bat, but luckily a doctor heard their cries and was able to save Mimi and her aunt with a blood transfusion. Second grade was Paige’s bat and Batman phase.

Our ballerina

Our ballerina started dance school when she was 3, and it’s always been ballet only—she’s never wanted to try tap, jazz or hip hop. But she has played softball, volleyball, and the clarinet, and we have the certificates to prove it. As well as the ribbons she collected for State Fair projects and other contests she’s won.

Someday I’m going to make fabulous scrapbooks for the kids with all of the stuff I’ve been saving.  As soon as I can clear some space on the work table.

In the meantime, Happy Birthday to our precious Paige, self-declared Princess of the World! xoxoxoxoxooxoxoxox

Paige spreading her wings on a stroll through Central Park during our December trip to NYC



  1. Wow. Where does the time go. Paige has grown into such a beautiful young lady.

    I remember that picture of the kids on the beach!

  2. Seems like only yesterday.

  3. Paige is definitely THE Princess of our family. How lucky we are, what joy she’s been — she sure brings the sparkle and a smiling joie de vivre to all our family gatherings — not to mention a keen fashion sense. Happy Birthday to my favorite niece!!

    • She’s blushing as she reads this! Thanks 🙂

  4. Happy belated to your beautimous Paige! We have a princess in our family the same age – aren’t they a blessing! My favorite quote:
    “I am princess of the world. Who are you?” And I’d be scared of a bearded woman trying to take my picture, too!

    • Yes, Cindy Lou, this is a fun age. Although every phase has been a joy. Even those sleep-deprived days when she was a baby.

  5. What a great day Kath – Happy Birthday Paige – Of course she’s an unknown psuedo-MTWA-cousin-in-law to our Carleigh (turned 17 April 22) and Alex (21 Oct 26) — and to Sue’s great pair and Lori’s (lesser known to me) kids…My one regret?
    That we never got that “Family Fam” together that we always had discussed. But, maybe we can go for some other reunion later!! WI Dells anyone?!! They’re all now of an age where we can do the spa!

    • We can still plan that get-together. Let’s talk about it in KC!

      • I won’t be in KC…how about in Baton Rouge?

  6. Happy belated Birthday wishes, Paige.
    Oh to be seventeen…or maybe not, heehee

    • You should know, your lads are about that age, right? Oh joy.

  7. Happy Birthday, Paige! Remember our birthday get together for you and Jonathon at the McDonalds on Woodward? I know I have a picture somewhere in the photo archives. Jonathon turns 17 tomorrow on the 23rd. He has a few years to go for his extra special 23rd on the 23rd. Enjoy your extra special year!
    Jennifer Clarke ( Mom’s friend )

  8. Happy birthday, Paige! What a wonderful tribute to your 17th birthday from your mama. My baby is 24…oh those years keep flyin’ by…

  9. And how wonderful she was content to spend her birthday with her folks at Blue Skies…and to make the supreme sacrifice of missing school to add a day to our stay in the UP!

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