A Birthday Note For Sweets

RebekahRebekah is 15 today.

My Sweets.

The girl who started out at 5-lbs, 6-oz is now 5’6″ tall. She’s bright, smart, different, compassionate and loves to smile.  But I’m her Father, and am expected too say those things. (the picture to the left is from 2005)

On Friday she received a card from one of her girl friends from school and so that anonymity is preserved I will not name names.  However.  This was the writing on the inside:

Dear Rebekah,

You’re probably wondering why I’m giving your b-day card 2 days early, well silly I can’t give you your card Sunday. 🙂

Happy Happy 15th b-day beautiful!!  You are an amazing best friend, and sister.  I feel so happy talking to you.  Your beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  🙂 I’ll always be here for you even when times are tough! 🙂 You’re an amazing singer. We really should hang out soon!! 🙂 Even when times get tough, no matter how big or small the problem, I’ll be there for you to infinity and beyond. ❤ You’re amazing at so many things but my fav is just being yourself. 🙂

If I hadn’t met you back in elementary school, I’d probably be a weird girl with no friends. You gave me a sense of hope, love and always told me never to give up! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re my sister. 🙂 The two of us can be weird together but that’s okay because we don’t care what people think.

❤ ya more than this whole world!! 🙂


Happy Birthday Sweets.  You are indeed a very special girl, and you are loved.


My Black Friday 40th Birthday


 I’m not one for parties.

I didn’t have a big birthday party at 8, 16, 21 or 30 and I’d rather not have one for my 40th—which is quickly approaching on the 29th of November. However, I would like to celebrate it in my own way via social media, so here’s the deal…

I want to experience my 40th birthday through your eyes.

This year, my birthday falls on Black Friday. You read that right. Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. So in celebration, I would like you to take a picture of what you see. Maybe it’s the sunrise, November rain on your window, or the snow laden trees, a selfie of you drinking a frosty beverage after scoring great Black Friday Deals or your neighbors’ cropped mailbox that just shows the 40 of their address. Whatever sparks your fancy. Then, after my birthday, I will collect these photos and create one poster that I will frame and hang in my home to commemorate this day.

These pictures will become a social media snapshot of my birthday shown through the perspective of my friends and family all around the country. It will also let me know that you, on my 40th birthday, thought of me, and—sorry Black Friday— that’s better than any store-bought present out there.

So, on my birthday, Friday, November 29th, I’m asking that you take a picture and upload it to either Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or send me an email.

Tag me on Facebook: facebook.com/josephmayernik
Tag the photo on twitter: @guysm1ley
Tag me on instagram: @guysm1ley
Use the official hashtag: #Mayernik40 to ensure I get the picture so it makes the poster.

I’m quite surprised at how much interest there has been up to this point. I created a Facebook event at the top of the month and hoped for enough interest to get at least 40 photos. As of right now about 175 people, from 3 separate countries, have expressed interest in taking part in this somewhat odd social media experiment. Some I don’t even know—which is awesome. The more the merrier. The idea of collecting hundreds of photos from all over the world showcasing what people saw on my birthday encapsulated in one poster is pretty exhilarating. Since I am now anticipating way more photos than 40, I have decided to make the 40th photo I receive larger than the rest on the poster I will eventually create. This one photo will stand out from the rest and become the focal point for all the others to revolve. Since I have some very twisted friendships, that 40th photo may just be of an animals genitals, and won’t that be quite the conversation piece.

Help me celebrate. Take a picture. Send me the picture.
And make my Black Friday 40th a very special day.


The Picture Frame

Picture FrameThis picture sits on the side table located in my daughter Rebekah’s bedroom. It’s a picture of her and me at the hospital probably minutes after she was born. I love this photo of the two of us. It captures a moment in time that is burned in my memory forever. Rebekah was full term but tiny at birth. 5 lbs – 6 oz. For a bit of size perspective, all of her fingers could fit on my thumbnail. The reason I am writing this post is because I didn’t give Rebekah this photo for her picture frame. At some point she came across this picture on her own. She decided to hijack it from where ever it was, cut it to size, and place it inside this picture frame that at one time had her baby photo inside. Now this one of the two of us sits at her the bedside. When I asked her when she did this, she just smiled and raised her one eyebrow.

I love this girl like no other girl on the planet.

This once tiny little girl turns 13 today. A teenager. Happy Birthday Sweets.

The Cupcake Birthday

On May 5th, 2000 my oldest son Joey turned two and a half.  That was a big deal.  For me, two and a half symbolized the last of the baby age milestones.  For all those who have children, the early milestones of three, six, nine, and twelve months carry special meaning.  After two and a half, it’s all about the birthdays, three, four, five and so on.  So when Julie and I told Joey that he was turning two and a half, it was a special day.  Joey promptly replied with “If I get cake on my birfday… I should get cupcakes for my half birfday, because cupcakes are smaller that birfday cakes.”  Thus a new family tradition was born.

Now, every year on our half birthdays our family celebrates with cupcakes.  No presents.  Just a reason to eat the tasty treats, and make someone feel special with some extra attention for making it another 6 months. Over the years we have shared this story with friends who have inquired, and some now even celebrate them in their own households.  Pretty cool since this idea came from Joey. What would be your cupcake birthday?

Maybe that day back on May 5th was Joey’s ploy for extra sweets.  Probably so, but what Joey inadvertently gave us was a family tradition that will live on long after me, Julie and even he, is gone.