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Jenny Trout: Celebrating 35 Years of Excellence

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In case you didn’t see news accounts of the dramatic full arc quadruple rainbow appearing over the hospital where I was born, or you didn’t witness one of the tremendous parades held in my honor, today is my birthday. Or as it’s known in my head every morning, my personal best record for consecutive days alive. Since it’s a nice number that’s easily divisible by five (my favorite kind of number), I thought I’d take you on a walk down memory lane.

Join me, won’t you, for Jenny Trout: 35 Years of Excellence.

[This is an image heavy post. Click the “read more” with caution]

From my earliest years, I was an exhibitionist:

Picture of me, a very fat baby, in the kitchen sink

But also a fashion-forward style icon:

Me, as a toddler, looking panicked in a bunny suit.

So I guess I could have been born into the Kardashian clan. Instead, I was born to some Irish people:

A photo of me, my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother, and my great-great grandmother at my first communion.

(That’s five generations, with me in the middle, swathed in the itchiest lace Jo-Anne Fabrics can supply, fully assuming a lifetime of Catholic guilt).

And some people as Russian as Vladimir Putin shirtless and riding a bear while complaining about how nobody has it as rough as he does:

Me, my cousins, and my paternal grandparents, standing in front of the iconostas at their Orthodox church.

(I’m the teenager on the far left.) (If you follow me on twitter, the man on the far right is the Russian gentleman known as the grandfather who routinely lets himself into my house to yell, “Jenny! I’m having a donut!” before taking said donut and leaving.)

As a child, I enjoyed nature:

Four year old me playing in a leaf pile

but now I’m more of a “you absolutely can’t make me go outside and if you ask I will scream so loud and so long that a whole nation will hear me and rise up in force to drive back your evil and also allergies and mosquitos.”

I love dogs:

Me as a child with a nursing dog and way too many puppies

Cats are okay.

Me as a toddler, holding a cat by the neck.

(Why didn’t anyone help that poor cat?!)

As I grew into a teenager, I began to develop my eccentric sense of humor:

Teen me wearing a rubber velociraptor mask and picking the nostril hole.

I thought Beavis and Butthead was the pinnacle of hilarity:

Teen me doing an impression of Cornholio.

I’ve been through a hippie phase:

Teen me in a Gunne Sax dress. BeatlesJill79 is to my right.

A musical theatre phase (I’m the nun in the middle):

Teen me in a nun's habit, singing.

A goth mom phase:

Me with long black hair, long black coat, and a very small child.

A successful author phase:

Me at a book signing, surrounded by tons of copies of my series that sold absolutely shit.

and a not-so-successful, incredibly jaded, sad author phase:

Me looking very tired.

But my amazing husband has been with me through the good and the bad:

My handsome husband and I making goofy faces.

I’ve got an awesome family, who don’t mind that I ruin all our vacation photos by blinking:

Me, with my family, on Mackinac Island.

And I have a whole bunch of friends and you amazing people on the internet who get me through every single day just by being there, looking at my silly blogs, reading my smutty books, reading my not-as-smutty books, and generally being amazing. So thank you guys for that.

Now here’s to me, in my 35th year of awesomeness:

Me drinking a coke from a glass bottle, looking retro as hell and adorable.
Photo credit: Rinda Elliot

May I have 135 more. Or more than that. I mean, with medial science the way it is. Also, I’m scared of death. Like, terrified. Oh god, I don’t want to be thirty-five. IT’S NOT MY TIME! I HAVE SO MUCH MORE I WANT TO DO WITH MY THIRTIES! I’M MARCHING TOWARD DEATH WITH EVERY BREATH I TAKE AND THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT! AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH BIRTHDAAAAAAY WHYYYYYYYYYY

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73 Comments

  1. I really need to figure out how to change my icon pic on here, because when I say I want to deeply congratulate you on your personal best days existing on this planet I do want you to know I say that very seriously and my icon looks so disenchanted with everything (it works out really well for Jealous Haters posts though). Three cheers for Jenny Trout may the Joel bless her, and hey at least you have plenty of time until forty! *throws out lots of celebratory, perfectly safe internet confetti*

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  2. Jill
    Jill

    Happy year 35! It’s going to be awesome because you are awesome. Much love. <3

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  3. Kate
    Kate

    TINA SHIRT!
    Happy bday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  4. Petra (Merlinslaugh)
    Petra (Merlinslaugh)

    Happy birthday Jen. Aside from the whole “I’m 35 years of awesomeness” going on in this post (which I loved) I finally had confirmation that bathing kids in the sink is universal. I have three generations of pictures of kids in my family (including myself and my kid) taking a dunk where you’re supposed to dishes. So hurrah for that and big birthday hugs from across the pond from one sink baby to another.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  5. Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK
    Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

    Happy Birthday, Queen of reeling and writhing!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  6. Pansy Petal
    Pansy Petal

    I am sorry to say I missed the “dramatic full arc quadruple rainbow appearing over the hospital where I was born, or you didn’t witness one of the tremendous parades held in my honor, today is my birthday.” Being a new mom, my daughter was born earlier in the year – March, I was either napping or taking care of that rather demanding bundle of joy at my house. She too had those “in the sink” moments. Really rather universal.

    I wish you the very happiest of birthdays. Please! Do not despair! 35 is not the beginning of the end as we were always taught to that point. Take it from someone facing an even scarier birthday – 60 – you are actually entering to the best part of life. You are now old enough to actually know a few important things in life, but still young enough to really enjoy them. Go out and enjoy it!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  7. Cherry
    Cherry

    WOO! Happy Birthday! All these picture just prove your awesomeness!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  8. Nim
    Nim

    Happy Birthday Jen!
    Love the blog post and how it ended on a rather frantic note. I have a birthday coming up this month as well and I feel the same… 135 more years to us both either through medical science for vampirism!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  9. ifYouEverComeBack
    ifYouEverComeBack

    Happy Birthday Jenny! Hope it is all kinds of awesome.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  10. Mandi Rei Serra
    Mandi Rei Serra

    Happy birthday, Jenny! And may this year kick ass and be one of the best ever.

    PS– you and my bestie since 3rd grade are a day apart 🙂

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  11. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    Happy birthday, may you have many more 🙂

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  12. Carolina
    Carolina

    Happy birthday Jenny!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  13. Person
    Person

    Happy birthday, Jenny! This was an awesome retrospective! 😀

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  14. xebi
    xebi

    Happy birthday! *puts Billy Joel album on*

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  15. Becca M
    Becca M

    Once your paincked breathing comes down to normal, I’d so happy to wish you a fantastic birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  16. Lieke
    Lieke

    Happy birthday, Jenny! I’m glad that you’ve successfully made the tradition from cute kid to awesome adult.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      transition. Dammit, I should not write stuff when I’m barely awake.

      July 15, 2015
      |Reply
  17. Chris
    Chris

    Happy birthday to one of the best bloggers out there! Also it looks like a piece of ur soul died in the pic with the bunny suit. Lol

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  18. Leigh
    Leigh

    Happy Birthday. You are freaking awesome!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  19. Shana Powers
    Shana Powers

    Happy birthday! Love the post. Love all your posts. So glad I found your blog.

    That is all.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  20. Sarah
    Sarah

    Happy birthday x

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
    • Sarah
      Sarah

      I think it might be weird to put an x at the end of a post to someone I don’t actually know so sorry about that. Entirely uncreepy birthday wishes to you.

      July 15, 2015
      |Reply
  21. Happy birthday!

    Also, you have an incredibly beautiful smile!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  22. Nellie
    Nellie

    Happy Birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  23. Anna
    Anna

    Happy Birthday Jenny <3 I'm so glad you're with us. Modern science shall let you remain young and beautiful throughout the next 100 years. After that it's all going downhill anyways.
    I hope you enjoy your special day!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  24. Jan
    Jan

    Happy Birthday! I *love* all of the pictures, every single one.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  25. earthed angel
    earthed angel

    Happy Birthday!! I love all the pics and I think you’re so great. And you’re only a month and a half younger than me! Here’s to 35 and beyond; we’re gonna rock it!!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  26. Barb
    Barb

    happy birthday! you are awesome, this post is awesome, and i also hope that you have many more years of happiness with your loving family, writing your blog and books and whatever else works for you. i know i’ll be following along!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  27. Teresa B
    Teresa B

    Love all the pictures. Here’s to many more years of awesomeness. Happy birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  28. Ilex
    Ilex

    Happy Birthday, Jen! And wishing you many, many more!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  29. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    Happy Birthday! Love the pictures!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  30. LaurieF
    LaurieF

    Happy Birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  31. Lyn Never
    Lyn Never

    Happy birthday, Jen!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  32. Betty
    Betty

    Happy Birthday Jenny. Here’s to 135 more.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  33. Noma9
    Noma9

    Happy birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  34. Christabel
    Christabel

    Happy, happy birthday! Hugs from Italy!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  35. Sammie
    Sammie

    Happy Birthday! Love the pics!
    Hope your day if full of awesome ☺

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  36. Candy Apple
    Candy Apple

    Happy Birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  37. Rebecca
    Rebecca

    That five generation picture…holy fucking genetics, Batman. Also, nice matching perms. *grin*

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  38. maggie
    maggie

    Happy birthday! I think you’re just awesome, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas and so on! Your family is also ridiculously adorable, and I want my little family of four to be able to hang out with youse guys, but that’s a fangirl too far. To sum up, happy birthday! Your first communion bride dress is the first I’ve seen to rival mine in volume and discomfort!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  39. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon

    Happy Birthday! Your blog is one of the very few that I read regularly that does not belong to someone I’m actually friends with. And I tell anyone who is curious about THAT trilogy to read your recaps. 😉
    That is the most over the top first communion dress I have ever seen, and I’ve lived in Poland!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  40. Christine
    Christine

    Hope your birthday is truly epic!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  41. Artemis
    Artemis

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    I love your polka dot dress in the final picture. And I’m kind of in awe of your epic Communion veil. We were not allowed to have veils that epic at my school. The nuns did not approve.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  42. VegasJellyFiSH
    VegasJellyFiSH

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  43. Heather
    Heather

    Such an epic post!

    I learned that you’re a fellow Cancer and I like you ever more! My birthday was on 7/11. You’re automatically THAT much cooler. Sorry, fellow astrological signs, but Cancers just plain rock. You’re all okay too.

    As others have stated, you’re one of the few bloggers/writers that I follow and I always appreciate your insights. I’m an aspiring author still plugging away at my first novels and your story gives me hope.

    Also, you’ve probably heard this before, but you remind me of Molly Ringwald in your Book Signing Event photo. Oh! And thanks for continuing the Apollonia Jealous Book Haters Club! I’ve been looking forward to those posts.

    I hope you had an utterly fantastic birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  44. fraenzey
    fraenzey

    Happy birthday, Jenny, and may the next year of your life be absolutely awesome!
    Although I’m a shy person I think that on this occasion this needed to be said 🙂
    Have an especially great day!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  45. Mirja
    Mirja

    Many heartfelt congrats from Germany! Hope you have a good one!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  46. Jenn
    Jenn

    As a long time lurker, I have to comment on this epic post!!
    Happy Birthday Jen!! So happy and proud of you to have made this far! You are too awesome not to be here with us. 😀

    As an aside, my sister has fought (and continues to fight) the darkness and she sent me this link. She’s design in a semi colon tattoo for herself and I’m going to get one to demonstrate my love and support of her. I thought you might be interested to see the page too.
    http://www.projectsemicolon.com

    Enjoy your day! Mmmm cake!
    Jenn

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  47. Tanya
    Tanya

    Oh my god your family is the cutest and your youngest is THE CUTEST. Aitch bee dee!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  48. Happy happy birthday from all of us to you. Happy happy birthday (pretend we are at Chili’s or Ruby Tuesdays or some other chain restaurant where the staff has to get together and sing you a happy birthday song. But please don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu, I’m a bit short this week.

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  49. Alison
    Alison

    I’m around your age and I also had Beavis and Butthead, hippy, goth, and musical theatre phases, although not in the same order as you. Happy birthday, Jenny!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  50. Happy birthday, Jenny!! 😀

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  51. Happy Birthday! Mine was 12 days ago. I’m two years away from forty. I feel like, where’d my thirties go?

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  52. Suzy
    Suzy

    Breakdown for Birthdays:
    20-Imma do some stupid shit!
    25-I’m still in my 20’s…I can do stupid shit.
    30-Christ, why did I do that stupid shit?
    35-Am I ever going to stop doing stupid shit?
    40-I’m always going to do stupid shit…and I don’t care.

    I’ll let you know where it goes from there. I know people say it all the time, but it really does just keep getting better.
    Happy Birthday!

    July 15, 2015
    |Reply
  53. Anon123
    Anon123

    Happy birthday!

    P.S. Thanks for inadvertently solving the mystery of whether you ever got tattoos of those cartoons of you in your bikini or not. 😛

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  54. Alisha
    Alisha

    Happy birthday Jen! You’re awesome!

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  55. AndiNZ
    AndiNZ

    Happy birthday Jenny. It’s true, you *are* awesome.

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  56. Tenko
    Tenko

    Happy birthday! This is awesome.

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  57. Rachel
    Rachel

    Happy Belated Birthday!! Thank you for being an inspiration and for all your wonderful posts, recaps and books (really looking forward to reading more about Sophie and Neal in the future)!

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  58. Happy birthday, Jenny! I hope you have lots of fun celebrating. 🙂

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  59. Summer
    Summer

    Good grief, you’re so Young! Hope you have a fabulous birthday and looking forward to reading many more years of your awesome blog.

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  60. Tonedeaf
    Tonedeaf

    Happy Birthday! The thirties are an amazing time! I hope your day brings you a spot of brightness and joy.

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  61. Rin
    Rin

    Happy Birthday!

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  62. Ange
    Ange

    Happy birthday! I have my own 35th coming up soon, I’m glad the capsy thoughts aren’t unique to me – indulge the capsiness as long as you need to. 🙂

    July 16, 2015
    |Reply
  63. Happy Birthday awesome lady! I <3 everything about you XD (and Beavis and Butthead is still the funniest shit out there). Wait until you hit 40. No really, I'm not even being sarcastic. It's awesome! You can only go up from here 😉

    July 17, 2015
    |Reply
  64. Kristen
    Kristen

    A belated but hearty HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am eternally grateful for the day someone sent me a link to your blog. I don’t comment a ton, but I read regularly, even saving your posts as rewards for myself when I finish a piece of writing or an undesirable chore. You are awesome, and I am glad you’re out in the world being you.

    I hope this year is wonderful!

    July 17, 2015
    |Reply
  65. Happy birthday! You have achieved so many awesome things already in just 35 years!! You are definitely one of my heroes!

    July 17, 2015
    |Reply
  66. Emerald
    Emerald

    Happy birthday Jenny!!

    July 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • bunny
      bunny

      Happy Bithday Jenny!

      July 17, 2015
      |Reply
  67. Seren
    Seren

    Wait, were you in Nunsense? We JUST did that play at the theatre where I work.

    Congratulations on 35 years of excellence! ^^ <3 Your blog really brightens my day. :3

    July 20, 2015
    |Reply
  68. This is belated, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I just turned 30 so my goal is to be as awesome and fearless as you are by the time I’m 35…tell me, do you EVER feel like a grown-up? Because I sure as hell don’t!

    July 21, 2015
    |Reply

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