The Teenager Turns 20…and a Fabulous Giveaway to Celebrate!

This is not a recipe today, but it’s just as important!  So, the teenager turns twenty tomorrow.  My baby, my girl, who just yesterday was a toddler cuddled up in my lap while I read her Goodnight Moon for the one millionth time, is turning twenty.  I’m not really sure how this happened, but here it is, and along with trying to wrap my head around being the mother of a twenty-year-old, it also dawned on me that I can’t call her “the teenager” on this here blog anymore.  I’ve been wracking my brain for a good thing to call her, and…I just can’t come up with anything.  So I’m opening it up to you, my wonderful readers, and man, do I have a great prize for the one who comes up with the perfect name.

First, let me give you a little background on the teenager (I still get to call her that until midnight) to help you along.  She’s a redhead with big brown eyes, but she insists she is really strawberry blond. She wants to be a teacher.  She’s already a black belt, a camp counselor, a devoted Yankees fan, and a Kappa Alpha Theta. She refuses to wear a coat, even when it is freezing outside.   She goes to Clemson University (go Tigers!) and she has written a book (for which she appeared on the Today Show in the most nerve-wracking 3 minutes of my life.  She was totally calm).

Just as importantly, she the kind of girl who will turn on Aerosmith really loud and dance on the roof of a car when her mama is taking too long taking pictures on the side of the road.

She hates to get up early, and she loves Harry Potter, Taylor Swift and re-runs of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Her favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, and macaroni and cheese.   Her room is a disaster area.    For her sweet sixteen party, she asked for donations to the dog rescue shelter where she got her puppy instead of presents.  She is stubborn as a mule and smart as a whip, and still calls me Mommy, which makes my heart melt a little bit every time she does it.

And so I ask you – help me to figure out the best thing to call her on this blog, now that I can’t call her the teenager.  Leave me your best suggestion in the comments below, and next Saturday she and I will pick our favorite, and then send the one who came up with the name a set of twenty of the best children’s books we know.  Most of them are books that we loved reading together when she was small (sniffle!), along with a few new ones.  Here they all are…including Goodnight Moon.  (All brand-new…she won’t part with anything in her room.  Books, stuffed animals, ratty old sneakers….you know.)

(In the event that more than one person suggests the perfect name, the books will go to the first one who comments with that name.)  And just in case you were wondering, we’re not going to use her real name, otherwise known as the one I holler every time I find a wet towel on the floor again, so no suggesting that option, sensible as it may seem!

And with that….Goodnight teenagers everywhere.


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  1. Rachel A says

    What about “the young twenty-something?” I can see the spin off blog now… “Adventures of the Young Twenty-Something!” Hope she has the happiest of birthday’s!

  2. Joe says

    Are Family eligible? :) My southern wife calls our 22 year old son “My Baby Boy.” She will most likely to do this for the rest of her life. May I suggest, “My Baby Girl.”

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. Say hello to your Mom & Dad for me.


  3. Lynne Day says

    Seems to me, from your description & the pics you posted, that she spreads “sunshine & light” wherever she goes.
    Happy birthday to your beautiful ray of sunshine, may her year be filled with blessings & laughter.

  4. Amy says

    Lola – for LOvely LAdy! And for a girl who seems to be able to do anything she sets her mind to – we know whatever Lola wants, Lola gets!

  5. says

    …I just watched the video…amazing . the beautiful light in her heart comes through,
    in her eyes, and smile, she is definitely her Mother’s daughter. My Granddaughter (13) is an Emma…and she sparkles and shines as well, even through her handicaps…so I nicknamed her…EmmaLu… Lu Lu for short…it’s hard to re think a child’s name to fit their “age”…your Emma seems ageless, I think she will always remain like this ‘sparkling and bright and loving & giving…a tender heart. Whatever you/she decides, I’m sure it will be perfect for just her!
    her still calling you Mommy thrills your heart, i’m sure, if i was you I’d call her “My daughter-E ‘ also, i just retired from 49 years of hairdressing where i won awards for colouring and taught colour (as mentioned on my Pinterest -Judith Q Stewart)…so i wanted all to know in my ‘professional accuracy…Emma ‘is’ a strawberry Blonde, so you could call her “strawberry” which seems to fit her…bright and sweet !
    Happy birthday Sweet Emma. (also we live in NC, and my best friend is in Anderson…and we come to Clemson (great school)all the time…love the ice cream !

  6. Shel F. says

    I call my daughter “The Daughter-Type Person”. (She’s 23). I’m not entirely sure why I started it, but I did, and it stuck.

    Happy birthday, Emma!

  7. Theresa Murphy says

    Well now, I propose you use Darling Daughter, or The DD for short. Aren’t all daughters darling to us their entire lives? All 3 of mine certainly are at ages 10, 11, and 27.

  8. Dawn says

    I loved this post! It made me miss my momma & I’m 43! So happy I get to fly home on Christmas Day…
    My momma has always referred to my sister & me as her “girls.” Perhaps “the teenager” could now be known as your “girl?”
    Whatever y’all choose, I’m sure it will be lovely–just like your blog!
    Merry Christmas from Texas!

  9. Trinity says

    Happy birthday to your daughter! She’s so accomplished and mature, I’m totally jealous. May her twenties be as filled with wonders as her teens.

    I was thinking Young’en, as suggested above, too. Other ones I’ve thought up are:

    Lil’ Miss or Little Miss
    Young Miss or Young Missy
    The Young Adult, abbr. The YA
    The Gal or The Gel
    Miss Lady (Miss Ladidah? lol)
    Miss Young and Restless, abbr. MYAR
    (The) Miss Ace or Lady Ace (for her accomplishments)
    (The) Miss Crackerjack or Lady Crackerjack (same as above but this one makes me laugh)
    The Mademoiselle, abbr. The Mlle. (it add some sass to my ear)
    The Chérie (French for dear, darling, sweetheart; I’m not French but I think it adds a nice, rounded something something to a normal endearment).

    Personally I’ve been called Granny Shorty since I was 7… That one will follow me until I turn into an actual granny. I doubt it applies to your daughter, though. :)

  10. Sarah says

    Our baby girl just turned 32 and also went to Clemson. Today she is a lawyer and an MBA. I like to refer to her as Tiger Lady or Tiger Woman..

    Go Tigers!

  11. Nancy A. says

    She is such a lovely young lady, I would say Miss Lovely. But, you say she is intellegent, so maybe Brains. She is gorgeous– Happy Birthday to her!! I know how you feel as they grow up, it happens too fast!!! I like “Beauty”, though, because she is!!

  12. Jori says

    How about Clemson KAT (Kappa Alpha Theta) or CKAT for short. Or R.E.D. ( R=red for her hair and random love of people,objects…, E=educated, and D= daughter.)

  13. Babs says

    Piece of Work…Taken in part from Will Shakespeare. ” What a piece of work is a man!
    How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties!
    In form and moving, how express and admirable!
    In action how like an angel!” My husband and I have always called our (now) 30 something daughter …Piece of Work, because, in part, she has achieved so much in her short life. Your birthday girl has also achieved much in her short life. Enjoy many more birthdays!

  14. says

    I really enjoy your blog and recipes. Please be aware there are some bad people out in cyberspace. Don’t show your license plate or other identifying objects in photos, and turn of geotag on photos taken in personal locations. Be safe for you and your family. I’m not trying to frighten you, but just to make you aware of today’s reality.

    • Kate says

      Fair comment – license plate removed, and grateful for all the good people in cyberspace. But thanks for looking out for me. :)

  15. nilu jayasuriya says

    she is so sweet!! how about strawberry shortcake?? Can you tell I have 2 and 3 year old girls:)…. or shortcake for short…

  16. Jan R says

    Young Miss…Teenager PLUS…Miss Adult…Miss Young Adult…Teenager Beyond…Beyond Teenager…Almost Adult Child…Adult Child.

  17. Debi Miller says

    I think she needs to be adored as the woman she has grown into. Accomplished in her own right and powerful to push forward with many more feats of courage. Christen her as: “She Who is Fearless” or “My Pride” or “The Pride of My LIfe” or “Woman Who Goes Forward” or “”I am Woman”.

  18. Anne Simpson says

    First, congratulations to the new young adult and Happiest of Days. I have 3 Sweet Girls – that’s what I call all my Angel Babies – My Sweet Girl.

  19. Wendy Blue says

    My oldest daugther Emma (also a redhead!) turned 13 on December 10th.

    I love your blog and your recipes. That creamy chicken stew was a big hit with my 3 kids (all redheads!).

    How about The Southern Belle? Or The Southern Daughter?


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