Straight from the June/July issue of Taste of Home – here’s the rest of Theresa’s birthday story and her favorite 4th of July menu.
My sister Theresa has the ultimate birthday. All over the country, people celebrate with parades, festivals, fireworks, and table after table laden with delicious American classics. What could be more perfect for a girl who burst into the world with as much fanfare and excitement as the 4th of July!
It was July 4th, 1990, one of those hot, sticky St. Louis days, the humidity so thick, you could cut it with a knife. My sister Annie and I were splashing in a wading pool, giggling with delight, two tots excited to be wearing brand new star-spangled red, white and blue swimsuits. The noise and bustle of the family gathering kept us from hearing our Aunt as she stepped out of the house and called our names, beckoning us inside. Dripping wet, we reluctantly grabbed our towels and ran into the house. “Your dad wants to talk to you,” she smiled as she handed me the phone. “He’s got a surprise for you!”
Shivering, I took the receiver. “Dad, we were playing in the pool!” I said, Annie’s face, cold and wet, pressed close against my own so she, too, could listen in. “And Aunt Linda said we could have ice cream later. When are you and Mommy coming over?”
“That’s great!” he said with a laugh, “but I have some news for you girls. You have a new baby sister. Her name is Theresa.” Jumping with joy, Annie and I ran from the house, and in Paul Revere-like fashion declared the news, “We have a new sister! We have a new sister!”
Thrilled with the notion of a new sibling, Annie and I were anxious to meet her, but our excitement and anticipation were dampened by unexpected complications. Born two months early, Theresa spent weeks in the hospital connected to tubes and wires, swaddled in a blue and white blanket, fighting to survive. All I wanted to do was hold her close, whisper hello, and sing lullabies; I took my role as Big Sister seriously and wanted to do everything I could to help her get better and come home. But despite being so small and premature, Theresa’s spunk and energy made her a star and helped her recover in record time. “She’s our little firework,” my Mom would say, as a smile would light up Theresa’s face, illuminating the entire room like fireworks brightening the night sky.
My sister Theresa is a real show-stealer, with an infectious personality, bubbly laugh and bright smile, she draws attention from everyone around her, like a 4th of July parade. Her bold nature and sparkling charisma require a celebration to match. Like Theresa, anyone who is born on the 4th of July deserves to have a cake with as much pizzazz, color, and pop, as this explosive holiday. A red, white and blue Jell-O Poke Cake with patriotic decorations is the perfect show-stopper for your own celebration. Layers of blueberry and strawberry-drenched white cake, moist and flavorful, capture the patriotic spirit of the holiday. Stunning red and blue candy stars shoot skyward like firecrackers bursting in a dazzling display. Make this the scintillating centerpiece of your own 4th of July birthday celebration!
What’s Theresa up to?
Theresa just recently graduated from Loyola University-Chicago with a degree in social work. She’s looking forward to celebrating her 22nd birthday at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Theresa’s Party Perfect July 4th Menu
“I love this classic American menu. It’s one that I request just about every year for my birthday. Everyone loves a good juicy burger, crispy fries and an ice cold beverage. When it comes to cake, this poke cake is a childhood favorite. Plus, it’s a cold treat on a hot St. Louis day.” – Theresa James, St. Louis, MO
Get this recipe: Greek Turkey Burgers
Get this recipe: Grilled Corn with Chive Butter
Get this recipe: Parmesan Potato Wedges
Get this recipe: Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake
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