Monday, July 27, 2009

seems like only yesterday...

Twenty-five years ago today, at exactly 8:44 pm ET, 20 days after my due date, after about 17 hours of labor, Regina Frances, my first born, made her grand entrance into this world, all 8 lbs. 5 oz and 19 inches of her!

It hardly seems like 25 years have gone by since that day. The years just flew by!

Gina at 8 months old

Gina was a smart little thing! She could do 3 10-piece puzzles at once when she was 16 months old. She could say her ABCs and identify any letter of the alphabet by the time she was 18 months. Reading at 4, going off the high dive at 4. Before she could talk very much, we'd wake the middle of the night to hear her singing in her crib!

Gina 6, Tim 3 1/2, Dani 1

Gina grudgingly shared me with her brother and sister. If you ask her, it was all my fault that we could never go to Disney World. Every time we talked about going, **I** had to go have another baby! LOL!! She said this at the ripe old age of 6 or 7! (to this day I still haven't gone to DW. She finally went on Spring break of her freshman year of college!)

Gina going off to Kindergarten without a backwards glance

Oh, how I cried the day I put her on the bus to Kindergarten, a mere week after moving back to PA from NJ. I didn't even know my way to the grocery store without getting lost and here I was, putting my baby on a school bus with a STRANGER!! One of the kids used to sit with her to make sure she woke up before getting off the bus at her stop on the way home!

Gina, as Dorothy Gale and the late great Sandra Dee as Toto
The Wizard of Oz, April 2001

Gina loves loves loves the stage! She used to sing at school Masses in grade school, with the choir and also cantoring the kids' Mass. But when she hit high school, she joined the Drama Club. When she got on the stage, and heard that applause, it was Baby, I'm home! Gina is a natural on stage! I absolutely love watching her perform! I'm happy to brag that she is the only girl in her school to have won the Best Actress Award at Bucks County Playhouse high school competition for her portrayal of Dorothy when she was a Junior. It is, by far, my favorite role that she has played (with a very close second going to her role as Dinah Lord in The Philadelphia Story when she was a Junior in college) I miss Gina performing. Whenever we would drive anywhere, it became a one woman show with Gina singing all the show tunes to her favorite musicals.

Gina (on the right) and her friend, Carli at St. Pius X graduation, June 2002

The years flew by and suddenly, 13 years had passed and she was graduating from high school and going off to college! Those 4 college years went even faster and before I knew it, she was living and working away from home, an adult, finally, in the truest sense of the word. Now Gina works in radio, writing commercials for the station and doing voice overs and last year, she got her own weekly radio show. Gina's with a terrific guy who I hope someday will become my favorite son-in-law.

Gina, at 24

So, Happy Birthday, Gina! You are one of the lights of my life. I love you!!!!
Love, Mom


Pastor Sharon said...

Happy Birthday to Gina!

Jim and Garret said...

Awwww, happy birthday!

Ice Queen said...

I love your birthday tributes for your kids. I wish you had more to write about!

darsden said...

Wow, how time flies huh..she's beautiful, congrats to you and Happy Birthday to Gina.

Alix said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GINA. She is just gorgeous, Joanie, but the Kindergarten photo is THE one. Boy, that captures some emotion, sistah.

And Gina makes a very convincing Dorothy Gale. In fact, I had to do a double take. She looked so genuinely Judy Garlandish.

You must be a very proud mama to have such beautiful kids. You done good, Joanie girl.

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

She's a beauty.
Time sure flies, huh?

RecoveringActor said...

WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT PICTURE FROM WIZARD OF OZ!??? I don't have ANY pictures from the show! I miss Sandra Dee. (That's the dog, who played Toto. She passed away right after Christmas from breast cancer.)

Sally's World said...

happy birthday gorgeous Gina xx

linlah said...

Oh they do grow up faster than you can ever imagine and the holding on and letting go is a delicate balance.

Joanie M said...

LOL Gina! You forgot about the photo CD we bought from Carmen! There are 300+ photos on that CD.

Queenie, oh it as hard not to keep going and going with stories! Not to mention choosing photos to add to the post!

Alix, when Gina was critiqued for her role as Dorothy in that competition, the critic told her he hadn't seen Dorothy done so well since Judy Garland herself played the part. I wish I could figure out how to get her singing Over The Rainbow from the CD to youtube, just so I could show you.

The Retired One said...

She is a beautiful and talented girl...and hopefully has the heart of gold that her Mom has too!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Happy Birthday, Gina!

Mary Ellen said...

Happy Birthday, Gina.

Joanie, what a beautiful and talented daughter you have!!