Katie Turns 3

Today is my eldest daughter Katie's 3rd birthday.

Today is my eldest daughter Katie’s 3rd birthday. Here she is with her new Thomas starter set:

Her first birthday without her mother is also the first one she remotely cares about. She’s still only vaguely aware of the significance of Christmas, birthdays, and other milestone events but now she enjoys and anticipates the surrounding pageantry.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Peabody says:

    Happy Birthday, Katie! *hugs*. Hey, cool train!

  2. steve says:

    Happy Birthday and Happy New Year. You and yours remain in our thoughts and prayers.


  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Happy B’day, and many more.

  4. Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year!

  5. MaggieMama says:

    I was born just a few days after Christmas and people often ask about how horrible that must have been with my birthday invariably taking a backseat to the holiday. However, the very opposite was true. Family and friends always took such extra care to insure I felt loved and remembered on my special day that I always received more attention than do most children on their birthdays.

    Growing up I always felt special that the house, the neighborhood, nay, the whole world was covered in bright lights and filled with great joy for MY BIRTHDAY. What other kid had that?

    So rather than feeling deprived I’ve always felt blessed to have a Christmas birthday.


  6. Brian says:

    Happy Birthday Ms. Katie!

  7. KansasMom says:

    Happy Birthday Katie. Love her crazy curls! Wishing you and yours a Peaceful New Year James.

  8. How are you holding up, James?

  9. Boyd says:

    Happy Birthday, K!

  10. Allie says:

    Happy Birthday, Katie!

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Happy Birthday.

  12. Anonne says:

    Happy birthday, Katie! God bless you this year and always.

  13. Fiona says:

    She’s adorable! Happy Birthday to your darling daughter.

  14. Moderate Mom says:

    Happy Birthday to Katie! Oh, and I am completely jealous of those beautiful curls.

  15. Rick Almeida says:

    Happy birthday, Katie!

  16. pcbedamned says:

    Happy Birthday Beautiful Little Lady!!!!!! >.<


    My husbands birthday was Jan.1st. In our house we never celebrated New Year’s – it was always HIS day. And the kids and I always went out after Christmas day to buy his gifts so that there was no “holding back” a gift like he faced when a kid. Last Christmas was our first without him, so rather than celebrate on the 25th, we celebrated Jan 1st for everything. This year it was easier and we are back to ‘normal’.

    May peace be with you and your girls James. Always in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Janis Gore says:

    She is in for the best birthday parties around.

    Happy birthday, Katie.

  18. markm says:

    HA…seems like day one for Katie was just a short time ago. Hang in there and you and the crew will be fine.

  19. Don Baker says:

    Happy Birthday, Katie!

  20. Anderson says:

    Was thinking about you and yours this holiday, JJ. God bless.

    … Is that plastic track with wooden engines?

  21. James Joyner says:

    @Anderson: Thanks, and yes. I didn’t realize that there were two variations on the sets, which I find inexplicable. I bought a starter set with a motorized Thomas engine plus a set of wooden trains. While the latter are probably a third smaller and don’t connect to the former, inexplicably using different coupling systems, they’re at least the same gauge. Katie seems to prefer the wooden ones, preferring to push them than to watch them. Also, she finds the motor too loud.

  22. Rob in CT says:

    Happy B-day to your daughter! I hope you’re all doing well. This: Her first birthday without her mother is also the first one she remotely cares about. made me sad, and I don’t even know you.

    My daughter, Amelia, turns 2 on 1/8. Our family’s holiday time looks like this:

    12/18 – Daddy’s birthday
    12/25 – Christmas
    1/1 – New Year
    1/8 – Amelia’s birthday

    Back-to-back-to-back-to-back weekends of cool stuff.

    She “got” Christmas this year. She is aware that she has a birthday coming up and that she will be “two.”

    She’s been my excuse for breaking out my train set on Christmas (which I always did as a kid). I have LGBs, which are G-scale (basically the biggest toy trains you can get). This year she actually enjoyed them, though just to watch. We don’t touch daddy’s trains… 😉