Claiming my status as an honorary Korean

In Korea one of the first things that people ask a new acquaintance is their age. In Korea, you see, even the way you address someone is dependent on whether they are older or younger than you. I’ve been thinking about that custom today. It seems that I am turning 41. I’m not sure I’m so comfy with that. After all, 40 is just on the edge of 39. But 41? That puts me solidly into my 40’s, right?

That got me wondering about y’all. My perception is that most of my readers are younger than me…some 20’s and mostly 30’s, with a few 40’s and up here and there. But for my birthday I’m going to be a Korean mom (I’ve got 2 Korean boys, after all) and ask you how old you are.

If you want, you can just tell me if you’re older or younger than me. Or you can comment anonymously and tell me your actual age. If you are into full disclosure like mw, you can boldly shout your age attached to your real name. Or if you’re not into talking about birth certificate info, which I totally understand, just give me a birthday shout out. I’d especially love to hear from you if you’ve never commented here before. Let’s make it a party, OK?


  1. Happy Birthday, Mary! 38 here but will be 39 in October. I read your blog everyday and enjoy it very much!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Happy Birthday Mary! I am 23 and single mommy to one amazing little 2.5 year old! I enjoy stopping by everyday for a great little laugh and some amazing tips! Thanks for everything you do!!!!

  3. Happy, Happy Birthday to you, dear Mary.

    I felt the same way about 41 about seven months ago when I did it myself.

    Yet I am lovin’ my 40’s, and I am finding freedom I didn’t know I could have before this decade rounded the corner and embraced me.

    Enjoy your 40’s with a passion you’ve heretofore only read about . . . especially since you look nowhere near 40 at all, let alone that big 41.

    Again, many blessings on this special day God chose for you to be born!

  4. Happy Birthday! I’m 34 and a mother of 1.

  5. I’m 25. 🙂

  6. Happy Birthday, Mary!

    Amblin (turned 38 recently)

  7. Happy, Happy Birthday, Mary!

    I felt the same way you did when I turned 41 seven months ago, so I guess I am a bit older than you.

    I say embrace your 40’s with a passion you heretofore have only read about. May the freedom of being older leave you feeling relieved, not tired, and may the fact that you look far younger on any given day give you cause to rejoice.

    Many blessings on this special day God chose for you to be born, dear Mary!

  8. Happy Birthday!
    Looks like there is a nice range of ages happening. I’m 22.

  9. Happy Birthday. I’ve read your blog for quite some time now, but fall into that category of “never before commented”. I am also a homeschooler, and I currently have 6 children. I’m 29, and have found great encouragement and strength and just plain like-minded-ness (which is nice because in my neck of the woods families like mine are not only extremely uncommon, but misunderstood). My precious babies are bio and adopted, and range in ages from 10 down to 7 weeks. 4 of them are actually ages 4 and under. Wild days at this house! 😉 Thanks for sharing your life. It makes a difference not only to the children under your roof, but changes families everywhere.

  10. Happy Birthday Mary! I’m 36 for a couple of more months!

  11. I’m 43 and proud of it. I don’t feel any older than I did at 25 but I do have more responsibilities now than I did then and I’d like to think I’m wiser. My DH just turned 40 last week; he says it’s the “new 20.”

    Enjoy your birthday.

  12. Happy Birthday Mary! I’ve been reading your website for many years and have always been encouraged, blessed, and tickled by the adventures and family stories you have shared. Myself i’ve just turned 25 last week :).

  13. I’ll be 27 in September. I’m a mom to 2 with a third on the way. Someday, I hope to adopt too 🙂 Love your blog. Happy Birthday!

  14. trixiefan says:

    I’m 45, but my mind only thinks as far as 43. I can’t remember ever thinking, I’m 44, and now if you ask how old I am, my first incliniation is to say 43. I don’t know why!
    Anyway, Happy Birthday!!

  15. Happy birthday, Mary!! I’m 49 and lovin’ it. Deb Mazur, I’d love to talk to ya. Sounds like we have a lot in common. We have 10 children and are in the process of adopting a couple more. Nothing is a sure thing yet, but we have located a sibling set in Africa that we are crazy about. I have a grandbaby and one soon to come. Becky

  16. I’m a 34 year old home schooling mama of two. Happy Birthday, Mary.


  17. Allison says:

    Happy Birthday!! I’ll be 37 in a few weeks.

  18. Happy Birthday! 26 for me!

  19. 31 last I checked.

    Happy Birthday, Mary!!

    And Lenae it could be worse! I look pretty much much age with a few nice people who insist I look 25 or so…but DH who is only 4 days younger than me looks all of 14. People assume he’s my little brother. If we both looked 14 at least I wouldn’t get people looking at me like I’m sort of cradle robber! 😉

  20. Almost 45. I’m the mom of two girls adopted from China – ages 7 and 4, in the process of adopting a 10 yo girl from China. Happy birthday!

  21. Happy Birthday! I’m 32. I remember when 41 sounded old…only 9 years from me….yeah, that’s not old!

  22. I’ve been a lurker for quite awhile now. Happy Birthday!! Me – almost 45!

  23. Happy birthday! I’m 32…..

  24. Happy Birthday, Mary.
    I’m 31… for a few more months.

  25. I turned 30 last Friday! Happy birthday!

  26. Happy birthday Mary!!

    I’m 33 and absolutely love your blog!!

  27. I’m a 30 year old mother of 3 biological children. Trying to convince my husband to adopt from Ethiopia.
    Happy birthday!

  28. Hope that your birthday is wonderful Mary!

    I’ll be turning 40 in August.

  29. Happy Birthday, Mary! That is so interesting about addressing people in Korea.
    Looks like you were right about the age range of your readers.
    Oh, I’m 35… my Birthday is 10/10/72.


  30. Erin in SC says:

    Happy early birthday, Mary! I’m a first-time commenter too, and I’m 22. I found your blog from a CNN link (something about tomatoes I think?) and have been reading all the archives over the past week. And I think you, and your family, are terrific! My favorite parts have been the pictures, the recipes, and the hilarious things your babies say. But all of it has been inspiring and adorable and so much fun to read. You and your family and your stories make me look forward to being a mom (eventually), and your blog has taught me a lot about what makes a mom really great. So thank you for that! : )

  31. I am 27. Today is also my mom’s birthday, so Happy Birthday to you both!!

  32. Melissa says:

    Happy Birthday! And I’m 23…and I’m suprised to see I’m not the youngest, but I’m not, barely 🙂

  33. Happy Birthday, Mary!!

    I am almost 27 but I feel like I’m at least in my 30’s since I am about to have my fourth baby! 🙂

  34. Proud to say I’m 48 and lovin’ it. 3 kids–I’m a China Mom today:) 2 of my kids were born in China and we adopted them in 2003 and 2005:)

    Found your link from CNN as well . . . .still can’t figure out how you seem to do it all:) I can’t ever seem to get my “to do” list done:)

    Happy Birthday . . .Mary . . .40’s isn’t bad–life is just beginning:), at least until the “hot flashes” start:)

  35. Demarie says:

    Happy Happy, Birthday! Thank you for sharing your stories with us all! I’m 26.


  36. I’m 37….really?! Hmmm….still seems strange coming out of my mouth…..

  37. Hi there,
    Happy Birthday!
    I just turned 37 about a month ago. I think I feel about 27 though.
    Thanks for sharing your full and blessed life!!

  38. Happy Birthday, ma’am! (hee, hee)

    I’m 33.

  39. Happy birthday, Mary! This is my first comment on your blog even though I read it religiously. I found your blog when I was living in LA when my husband studied for his masters. He is done with that and now we are back home in Singapore. I am 31, have two biological children, and am currently in the process of adopting our youngest from the Philippines.

    Blessings to you!

  40. caliphoenix says:

    wheeeeeeeeeee….37 here….with my son being 18, and in the marines and my girls (Twins) being 5. there are days when I wish I were older and then there are the days that I refuse to grow “old” gracefully. For the most part, I am happy to be the age that I am. It means I probably have actually learned some life lessons….

  41. Happy Birthday Mary! I’m 45.

  42. Happy Birthday, Mary!!
    I’m 30

  43. I will be turning 36 on Saturday! Happy Birthday!


  44. I’m 28! Have a super birthday!

  45. Happy birthday!!!
    Kim (I’m 26)

  46. Jeanne A says:

    I feel like the oldest person here at 55.

    No wonder I can only deal with 5 kids and not 10!

    Happy Birthday and keep sending us reports from your sister in Soddo.

  47. Ok so I think I am the oldest here so far… I am 54. I loved my 40s and my 50s are proving to be a bit of an adventure too!
    You only get one crack at this life, so enjoy every moment of it! I am a long time reader and have commented many times before. I love visiting, Mary, and I still learn new things all the time!

  48. And I completely forgot to say Happy Birthday!!!

  49. Hi Mary. I am 71 but feel that I am still 45. When I was 45, I felt like I was 23. I enjoy your blog. Happy Birthday.

  50. I’m 35. Happy Birthday! Hope it’s wonderful!