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Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: Celebrity Crushes!

So sorry for the lack of posting last Friday...I ended up going Black Friday shopping for the first time ever and wasn't able to do a post ;) I'm back now though!!!

This week I kinda struggled with what to "flashback" to. My computer is literally on it's very last leg. I bought the thing in it's for sure lived a full life. I've ordered a new one (I'm going MAC...I hear that "once you go Mac you never go back" guess we'll find out!) but it won't be here until next week. So there is NO WAY I could scan pics and deal with editing and all. It would take HOURS for this beast to get that job done! 

Instead I decided to flashback to my celebrity crushes! Every girl has had at least one poster hung up in her room, right? Here are some of my crushes through the years! 

I was totally destined to be married to a man named Zach. The first crush I ever remember having was on Zach Morris. I mean didn't we all drool over him??? Saved by the Bell was the first show I was ever really into. Like I had to be home in time to watch it! I was NEVER an A.C Slater girl. I was hardcore Zach! Watching the show as an adult he was not the type of kid I'd want my daughter dating though haha. But the "bad boys" always are the cute ones ;)
Another tv show I watched regularly was Boys Meets World. Again, the "bad boy" crush on Sean. Wasn't his name Shawn? I have always thought of him as Ryder since that's his real name. I only ever remember owning one teeny bopper type magazine and that he was on the cover. I actually had this exact picture torn out and hung on my bulletin board. I wonder if the bowl cut hairstyle will ever be popular again? I remember like every single boy in middle school rocked this look. Then it was so cute. Now? I look at this picture and think "cut your hair" haha. I'm such a mom ;)

Who is PUMPED for the new series coming out based off Boys Meets World??? I heard both Corey and Topanga have signed on to play the parents! I'm for sure setting the DVR up for that one!
After Saved By The Bell my favorite show was Full House. I feel like I grew up with the Tanner's! I remember I first realized I needed glasses from watching the episode where Stephanie realized she needed them. Of course I had to have a cute guy to crush on while watching my favorite show. I mean our favorite shows are our favorites due in part to the guys on them, right? ;) 

I think the obvious crush would be Steve...the neighbor. Don't get me wrong, he was super cute. But he was so dumb. I remember even thinking that as an elementary school kid. I mean c'mon Steve! Little known fact...did you know Steve is actually the voice of Aladdin? Found that out while googling for this picture!
My REAL Full House crush was on Uncle Jesse. Duh. I mean if I went to school with DJ I'd be coming over to hang out everyday just so I could see him! He may have been rockin' a mullet when it was for sure no longer in style...but he wore it well ;)
And I must say that John Stamos is one celebrity who has gotten even BETTER with age. Anytime I see him pop up somewhere the little girl inside of me screams "UNCLE JESSE!" (Which, btw, is probably what majority of America thinks and it probably why he hasn't had a super crazy successful career after the show...).
Speaking of celebrities named John...I pretty much only had ONE movie crush. John Travolta. It all started when I saw Look Who's Talking. I adore that movie!!! How could you not??? I've seen pretty much every movie he's been in (not Battlefield Earth...I mean loyalty only goes so far...) and even watched Welcome Back Kotter on TV Land. I have always just loved him. I no longer have any kind of crush on him because, let's face it, he hasn't aged well. I also have purposely avoided knowing much about his recent drama. I don't want to think about all of that junk...I'd rather think of him as Danny Zuko from Grease. :) I have always loved that every movie he is in that they find a way to get a dance scene out of him! Seriously, watch all of his movies. I don't think I've seen one yet where he doesn't bust a move!
Why aren't there any shows like Friends??? Seriously, every show I watch seems like it's trying to be the "next Friends." I was a for sure fan and that was another show where I never missed an episode. It's one where you can watch the same episodes again and again and still laugh. I have laughed so hard I've cried while watching that show!!! Really I loved everyone on that show. But had my little crushy crush on Chandler Bing (pre-drug phase...). I never really found him ALL that attractive. It was more his personality than anything else. I love some sarcasm!
I remember in 7th grade Claire Hudlow and I would write notes back and forth ALL about our obsession with Dawson's Creek. The Dawson-Joey-Pacey love triangle was so intense. However, I never thought either Dawson or Pacey was all that cute. It was odd casting really. I think Pacey was supposed to be the "heartthrob?" But to me he just looked babyish. I am not a fan of a "baby face" type look. I always rooted for Joey and Dawson to end up together and I loved the final episode! The series ended my senior year of high school and it really was so fitting. I remember watching it with Michelle Mallory when I used to spend the night at her house once a week. Great memories!
While I was not a Dawson fan back in the day...I am loving some James Van Der Beek now!!! Have you watched him on Apartment 23??? He cracks me up! It's SUCH a different role from Dawson and he's improved in the looks department too! I think he MAKES that show worth watching and I'm glad he's back in the spotlight!
While I may not have had much of a crush from Dawson's Creek...I was madddddly in love with some Seth Cohen from The OC. He was so adorable!!! Yes, I know the beefy Ryan was the one most of the girls were drooling over. But the whole muscle thing wasn't for me. (Sidenote: He is GREAT on Southland though...if you don't watch it, it's an AWESOME show! Zach and I enjoy it together!). I loved the Seth and Summer storyline and loved that they dated in real life too. I always rooted for him and was envious of his family life. He had some awesome parents and Chrismukkah rocked!
As a pre-teen and early teen I totally rocked some movie posters in my room. My freshman year in high school I remember having this post of Ben Affleck above my bed. It was from Armageddon but it showed him in his pre-hero days when he was a construction worker or something? In like the beginning of the movie. I hunted and hunted for a copy of that poster online but couldn't find it! I pretty much only liked that picture of him. He has his cute moments...but the whole Jennifer Lopez phase just ruined him for me. He's tainted goods now in my book! Although I do love him and Jennifer Garner together and he does make some wonderful movies now too!!!
Like all teens in my generation I loved me some TRL in the afternoons!!! I'd get home from school and turn that junk on asap. I really do think it changed the entire music industry and that it has changed so much without the show being around anymore. I mean why do they even bother making music videos? I can't remember the last time I even saw one on MTV (wait...I'm old...when is the last time I even watched MTV?!?!). I think Carson Daly was so the perfect guy to host. I know he gets a lot of crap but really he did a great job. I don't watch The Voice...I'm not into tv shows that require talent haha. We don't watch any of the dancing ones or the singing ones. We watched one season of America's Got Talent and were SO BORED (it is awesome that an Aflac agent won the year we watched though!).
I remember the first time I saw Paul Walker. I went to the movie theater with Jenna Lawler to see Grease when they re-released it (told ya I was hardcore John Travolta!). When we got there it was sold out or we had the wrong time or something went wrong because we got stuck seeing Meet The Deedles. A movie which I'm not ashamed to say I ended up owning simply because I fell in total celebrity love with Paul Walker. He didn't have any brains but I didn't care haha. I had multiple pictures of him in my room and loved him in She's All That, Pleasantville, Varsity Blues, and The Skulls. After that I quit seeing his movies...I mean I have zero interest in the Fast and Furious franchise...

During my freshman year of high school I was introduced to the band Blink 182. Up until that point I'd been hardcore Alanis Morissette fan. I am still a fan of hers but Blink became my favorite. I was IN LOVE with Tom Delonge. I always had a disdain for Mark Hopper and considered him the "sell out" in the group. The first Blink concert I went to I cried haha. I was "that girl." I have seen them mulitple times and know every song. I even followed Tom when he branched out and did his own thing with the band Angels and Airwaves (and loved that Travis joined him without Mark!). I got the chance to meet them both at an Angels and Airwaves concert. Travis was SO NICE...Tom...notsomuch. It killed my crush :( I'm still a fan and will continue to be one, but he was ZERO percent friendly. I had multiple Blink posters up through the years and was excited when I actually found this one that used to hang in my room!
When I went to college I only had ONE poster in my dorm room. I had the top bunk in our room and on my ceiling hung THIS legit poster of Johnny Knoxville. I're thinking that it's a RANDOM celebrity crush. I am typically a pretty serious person (I say "haha" on here all the time yet I'm not actually laughing when I say it...haha) but his show made me laugh out loud. I just like it when people get hurt I guess? I laughed at all the movies too! Something about him was just hott to me and for YEARS if people asked my #1 celebrity crush I'd say Johnny Knoxville. I would have chosen him over Brad Pitt any day. Johnny...if you happen to read this I'm sure it makes your day b/c I'm probably THE ONLY girl to say that EVER haha
I also had this picture on my bulletin board when I moved to Valdosta!
While in college I had the chance to MEET (and MARRY!) my #1 celebrity crush EVER. THE Zach Parker. THE Mr. Espn who had the #1 play of the day on Sportscenter ;) Seriously..he's for sure better looking than Brad Pitt (right honey? haha). Zach jokes about why the heck I married him if guys like Johnny Knoxville were my's one thing to have a CRUSH on a certain type but that doesn't make them marriage material. I never pictured myself with a "jock" and I surely never thought I'd be considered attractive enough to get with an "all American" type guy. I mean Zach's the type of guy that all girls find attractive. I typically didn't bother going for that type of guy b/c I figured that type wouldn't be interested in me. Glad I was proven wrong ;)
Once I entered adulthood the crushes have been few and far between. I mean I'm married. To me, I just don't look at ANY men in any type of "crushy" or lustful way anymore. I have my husband. He's enough for me! We joke about the whole free pass thing but neither of us have one! You figure it's okay to have that type of deal b/c what are the chances in meeting the celebrity and having a chance to actually hook up with them?!?! Pretty slim...but Zach allegedly did meet Britney Spears (back when she was actually an item to be desired...) and had a shot with her but turned it down because he had a girl friend at the time. And there is actually video footage of this encounter. It's a debate around here if it's the real Britney or not...Anyways...since his "free pass" chance has kinda come and gone it doesn't make sense to have one now ;) 

I do think my celebrity crushes have evolved with time...the days of skinny skater boys are for sure behind me. I'd say that Mc Dreamy is on EVERY mama's crush list. Right??? I mean that hair! The fact that he is originally from Maine makes him one of my favorites because my family originates from there and all the times I've visited I've never seen a crush worthy guy in the whole state. So it's nice that one exists ;)

Another favorite of mine was Brad Womack when he was The Bachelor. I do think the MAIN attraction I have to Brad is that he resembles Zach can see the resemblance in this post. People often commented on how Zach looks like him during Brad's seasons, so much so that Zach even grew in a beard for a bit! I know most people aren't big fans of Brad's but he's still my favorite Bachelor to date (although Sean will be in the running...Zach and I are hoping he is as good of a guy as he seems to be!!!)
 As a mom I don't think I can help myself but to be attracted to MEN now instead of boys. I mean Justin Beiber? Wouldn't that be kinda gross if I had him as one of my celebrity crushes??? I am at a point now where I look at the teenage heartthrobs and think "he's adorable" and not "he's SO HOT OMG OMG OMG" haha Natural progression of life, right? Anyways if you're looking for a series to get into and want to watch THE BEST tv show of all time...I highly recommend hitting up some Friday Night Lights. Best show ever. Zach and I both loved it and while I do think Tim Riggins is cute (and lets be honest he's nowhere near true high school age) my big crush on that show HAD to be Coach Taylor. Awesome man, wonderful marriage, and pretty dang good looking!
Another favorite tv show of ours is The Office. I ADORE Jim!!! In real life...he's not attractive at all to me. But as Jim I think John Krasinski is adorable. It's 100% due to his personality on the show. His sarcastic humor reminds me of my Chandler crush from back in the day but he's even better. He's my new Seth Cohen ;) And the Pam romance has to be one of the best tv romances ever. Those early episodes where he was madly in love with her were just precious. We are still on Season 7 and I WILL shed tears when we get to the final episode of the show. I'm glad we own the dvds so we can keep reliving our love of all things The Office!!!
As you can tell from my list...I don't always have crushes on the most obvious celebrities. My only real crush now is on someone SO RANDOM that majority of y'all have never even heard of him. He totally took over the Johnny Knoxville title of my cutest celebrity! When Kye was born I was spending a lot of time nursing and got hooked on Big Brother. I would dvr the Showtime Big Brother After Dark episodes. It is three hours of live feed footage each night. I watched that non-stop while nursing. That's a lot of time and since it was live feeds I really did get to feel like I knew who the people all were on a personal level.

I really fell in love with the romance that season between Jordan (who went on to win) and Jeff. I just thought they were adorable and that fed over into a crush on Jeff too! What's great about this crush is that Zach and I watch Big Brother together and even he rooted for Jeff (Schroeder is his last know your dying to Google him haha). He's got a lot in common with Zach so I think it makes the crush more "husband approved" haha.
He and Jordan were both on The Amazing Race and came back on another season of Big Brother. I legit was JUMPING UP AND DOWN when I got the news that they were going back into the Big Brother house. I was SO PUMPED. He made it pretty far (stupid clown shoe!) and I really do hope that he'll have future opportunities. The sad thing about a celebrity crush on a reality star is that they don't tend to have actual acting careers so you don't really ever see them again. Haha. He did a couple online only things for CBS. I may have a crush...but it's not a big enough one to sit and watch junk on my computer for ;) When Katie and I went to The Vegas Bash I was sooo hoping Jeff and Jordan would make an appearance. Zach and I had the whole "we don't have any free passes" talk (Even though HELLO. There is no need for any such I was 27 WEEKS PREGNANT haha) but they didn't show up :( If by some chance they do go on the show again Katie and I totally want to be in the audience on finale night!!! I would love a chance to see them both in person :)

Congrats are my #1 Celebrity Crush ;)
Any thoughts on my celebrity crushes through the years??? Do we share any of the same ones???

Be sure to link-up to your Flashback Friday story today!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foot Issues

Back during the first week of October I noticed my foot was hurting. I don't consider myself clumsy but I do tend to hurt my feet a lot. I walk around barefoot all the time at home and bump into things, stub my big toe, etc. It's never really a big deal and I figured the pain would go away. 

Zach was out of town on business the whole first week of October. When he got home that Friday I mentioned my foot bugging me and he said maybe I had bruised it somehow and to keep walking on it as it'd probably help it heal quicker. Since I didn't even remember how I'd hurt it I assumed it wasn't a big deal.

That next day we went to the Honeybee Festival and that night I met up with Robyn for dinner. By the time I went to dinner my foot was killing me. Like I walked funny and everything. The pain was in my big toe and hurt especially when I bent it in the walking motion. I could also hear this popping sound with each step I took. That night I couldn't fall asleep because the pain was so bad. I ended up trying to sleep on the couch so I could keep it propped up but I legit couldn't sleep AT ALL.

It was embarrassing because I consider myself semi-tough. I mean I did give birth to my children without using drugs. I should be able to handle a little toe injury, right? I was crying in pain and couldn't walk at all. I crawled around the house on my tummy and tried to do different tricks to allow me to sleep. I ended up taking a prescription strength ibuprofen that I had leftover from when I had Brittlynn. It took the edge off enough for me to finally fall asleep at 5 am. Needless to say I didn't go to church the next morning!

I spent the whole day Sunday resting and Zach was SO sweet going above and beyond to take care of the kids and me! Monday morning I headed straight for a local walk-in clinic. They took x-rays and drew blood to check it for gout. It was swollen and red. When I looked up online about my symptoms they did all fit the description of gout but I don't fit the type of person who gets it. I was hoping it was broken. Get me a cast. Fix me up. Move on! 

My mom injured her foot several years ago and it never healed quite right so I wanted to MAKE SURE to do everything I could to help it heal correctly. The x-rays came back that it wasn't broken and they sent me home. It was frustrating to not have an answer and they took days to call me and tell me the results of my blood work. Which was negative for gout. The dr basically told me to treat it like a minor injury, do my best to stay off of it, and take ibuprofen as needed for the pain.

Like I said, all of that happened in early October. Since then it wasn't bothering me too badly. I'm at home majority of the time so it's not too big of an issue. Unless, of course, I actually WALK a decent bit. It won't hurt while walking (although I can still hear the popping sound) but it will hurt later on in the day or at night. I decided to call the dr again and go in for an appointment. I wanted answers and to know WHAT was going on! A minor injury should have healed after a month

I regret bothering with the second dr visit. It was a joke. They took the SAME x-ray again. And, again, it's NOT broken. Again, I was sent home and this time I was told to take 800 mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day for two solid weeks then check back in if the pain hadn't stopped. First of all, I don't want to take that much medication. Secondly, if I'm taking that much Ibuprofen of course it's not going to hurt! And lastly, we have met our deductible for the year (thanks to Kye's surgery and Zach's ER visit...) and I don't want to put off doing something to fix this. I want to get this junk handled before Jan 1st!!!

Today I went to an appointment at a specialists office. I decided to not listen to the other drs advice about the two week thing and went ahead and made my own appointment. With the holidays I've been walking on it a TON more and it's def an issue. I'm having a tough time sleeping due to the pain and who wants to live in pain? No thanks. 

The place I went this morning was AWESOME. They were all so nice and I had to get more x-rays haha. This time they did my hurt foot but then also my non-hurt one. I feel bad b/c I can tell you every detail about my children but get a little fuzzy when talking about myself. I have no clue how I hurt it, when I hurt it, when it hurts worse, etc etc. Who has time to pay attention to their bodies when you have kids, right????

Anyways when we compared the x-rays I could see for myself that my big toe is messed up. It is curving a different direction than the other big toe. He said he isn't for sure what is wrong but that we'll know more once I get an MRI. He think it's "turf toe" which is something Zach had from playing football. Guess I have a little bit of an athlete in me huh? He said he's really surprised that I don't remember a specific injury because often times people end up in the bed for awhile due to the pain. Guess I'm just a soldier ;) haha

He told me to have an MRI done (in Adel...on a may be a couple weeks before I can figure out when I can go!) and it will tell us for sure what's wrong. He said there are small bones he can't see on an xray and they could be broken, causing the issues. He also said I need to do physical therapy. I don't know much about that kind of thing so I said "like to learn to walk? because I can still walk..." HAHAHA I guess physical therapy isn't just for people who need to learn to walk...he said it'll be kinda like a chiropractor appointment where they will do different things to my toe to help it heal. I'll also be getting steroid shots and taking prednisone. Obviously neither of those are safe to do while nursing. I'm already in the weaning process and was kinda actually considering still nursing her once or twice a day past her 1st birthday for awhile (I'll explain my reasoning when I blog about the weaning process...) but it's probably better for our family as a whole for me to wean her fully so I can get this handled. Not only is it better financially for this to get done during 2012 but also physically for me to be able to fully be there for my children! 

I'm hoping to get the MRI done in a couple weeks. Until then I'm wearing a boot. I was PUMPED about it at first b/c I knew it would help my foot not hurt...but I've been wearing it for roughly 4 hours now and I already hate this junk. It's like wearing a ski boot around all the time. Yuck! I have to wear it until the MRI and then after the MRI while I do my physical therapy. He said I will do 4 weeks of the therapy and hopefully the combination of everything will heal it. However, the MRI may show a need for surgery and that WILL have to wait until the start of the year. I feel good about all of the other stuff working though and that surgery won't have to happen!
I was all happy about having some ANSWERS and feeling good until I started thinking about it more. MRI? Isn't that the thing where you have to go INSIDE A TUBE?!?!?! Um...I'm freaking out. I called Zach and told him I don't wanna do it and he said we'll talk about it when he gets home today. Hopefully they can like knock me out or something for it?!?! I do NOT do tight spaces. At. All. Maybe I can call that dr back and just do the other treatments first? I mean do I really need to have an MRI? Maybe all the other stuff will just work and we can move on...ugh!

I am so thankful that Mrs Charlotte hooked me up with the specialist today and that I do have some answers and a plan of action. I'm also thankful we've met our deductible for the year so this won't be as much of a financial burden on us. I'm thankful it happened when it did and not over Christmas or something. I would hate to start the new year with MORE medical debt!!! I'm also thankful for the's annoying but I know it will help. I'm thankful I am a stay at home mom so I won't have to really go and do too much on it, I can't imagine working an office job and being all dressed up nice every day with this junk on. At least it's winter time...I can rock it with some skinny jeans and a black boot on the other foot no problem! I'm also SO thankful it's my LEFT foot so I can keep driving and that the dr said it's okay for us to still go skiing in a few weeks ;) 

I'll be sure to keep everyone updated! Good thing I'm 100% DONE Christmas shopping already ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Words to Cherish

In writing my post yesterday I read back through all my birthday cards. What do you do with your birthday cards??? I stick them all in a box that goes under the bed never to be read again. Don't you? 

Anyways in my stack of cards was the printed pages Mrs. Charlotte typed out to read when they all went around the room saying what they love about me. I cried re-reading them and I want to cherish those words! So I thought I'd type them up and post them on my blog. That way I know I can easily find what she wrote so I can read it on days when I need a pick-me-up :) I also know that it will be printed in a blog book (someday...whenever I get around to making the dang things...) so I can cherish it forever! MUCH better than having to dig under the bed and through a bunch of shoeboxes full of cards right?

This is one of those posts that's 100% just for me. :)

What do I love about Emily?

Little boys are born every day. Mothers hold their newborn son, knowing that he is the most precious son ever born. She knows that the next 18 years are totally "on her." As he grows, that Mother's love grows larger than even imaginable.

That mom knows that she won't always be the #1 woman in his life and she prays daily for that new #1...whoever God sees fit for her to be. Emily had SO much pressure on her when she came into our lives. She was to be Zach's wife and she was the first Mrs. Parker of her generation.

Right away it was easy to see that Emily pours everything (sometimes too much!), all of herself, into what she loves. She was so excited to be with us. So, Emily's passion makes me love her!

She was determined to be the best wife Zach could ever dream of. Her heart is so full of love to be given. She helped me to see how I should have been a better wife - but even more precious is that she loved me enough to help me see that it's not too late to still be a better wife! So, Emily's heart makes me love her!

Then came Kye. I will never forget the moment Emily felt that feeling a mother feels when that little boy, the one we only have for 18 years, became her sunshine. She was all smiles from ear to ear but when those nurses brought Kye back from being circumcised she LOST it. She could not hold back the tears.

That loving heart of Emily's, so filled with love, grew bigger and began being filled with something that a lot of Mother's don't have...sacrificial, unconditional LOVE!!! So, Emily's unconditional love makes me love her - unconditionally!!!

I have only known Emily for a short 8 years but God has known her forever. She is the answer to the prayer. She is the little girl I began praying for the very day Zach was born. Emily's Christian light shines all around us. Her internet friends prove that. She makes her love of God known. Thank you God - for Emily! So, Emily's love for God makes me love her.

Emily loves God, Zach, Kye and Britt-Britt. But she also loves Me. She loves Rusty, Courtney, Brad, Colt, Payton, She loves Casey and Jordan. She loves Jolee, Trey, Mema, Little Mama, Big Daddy - she loves ALL of us and all those that are part of us. She loves her family very much, The family she grew up with and the family she grew into. We are so blessed, that God made her for us!!! I am blessed that God sent Emily to be Zach's #1!!!

We need Emily to know that, we love her! Emily you are worth of that love and more. You deserve it, you deserve all of us to love you!!!

Love, Mrs. Charlotte

I am SO thankful God lead me to Valdosta. I am so thankful for Zach (which you already know from this post!) but I'm also thankful for his our entire family. Especially, though, for Mrs. Charlotte. She really is a true living example of the kind of woman God calls us to be. She gives and gives to others with her entire heart. She IS that phone call you'd make at 2am when you need something and don't know who to call (and she'll NEVER complain about it!). We can always count on her and she is the woman I hope to someday be! I remember when we got married we had a roast for our rehearsal dinner (Yes, a ROAST. Why would someone as sensitive as me want to do a roast?!?! Haha) and someone (coughTRAVIScough) said that Zach was marrying a woman just like his mama. As a young bride you don't really think of that as a compliment but when you're mother-in-law is Mrs. Charlotte it is the ULTIMATE compliment!!! Sure, there are things she does that I hope to learn from and improve on...but overall I HOPE that people look at me and see her! I hope that I can grow in my walk to get to the level of selflessness that she is at. To be able to love people "in-spite of" (one of her favorite sayings haha) and to constantly "find the good" in others (another Charlotte-ism). 

Beyond just being a great example to me, she is also my best friend. We talk on the phone (I know...she is THE only person I actually TALK to on the phone haha) pretty much at least once a day. I love that I can go to her with anything and she is there to listen and that she has my back 100%. She's also the best person to vent to when needed about my husband.'s his mom. She knows him better than anyone since she raised him and is married to his Dad haha! Plus I know nothing I say will make her love for him change and that she will always give the BEST advice on how to handle things in a Christian way. 

I love this picture of us from our Blazer days ;)
Her kind words on my birthday and all the effort she put into making my day special really meant a lot to me. We have such similar backgrounds and really understand each other. I am thankful for our bond and that we only continue to grow closer and closer together. I know I'm in a minority of women who actually get along with their mother-in-law and I am so, so blessed to have her!!!

Would you please add Mrs. Charlotte to your prayers??? She doesn't EVER ask for them and doesn't ever want us to worry about her (heck, she's too busy worrying about everyone else to even worry about herself!) but she really does need to be lifted up. As many of you know she has rheumatoid arthritis and it has been getting worse with time. She's gone through several different medications to try to stop it's progression and is now starting a new one where she will get infusions each month. She had her first one yesterday and so far there are no negative side effects (praise the Lord!). Will you please pray that this medication will WORK??? She is such an amazing woman and to see her in pain and to watch the progression of her arthritis is truly heart breaking for all of us. The hope is that these infusions will STOP it from getting worse and will help her live her daily life in less pain!!! It could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months to know if it's working so prayers are greatly appreciated during this wait and see period :)

Hopefully this will be the last time she starts new meds b/c THIS one will be THE one!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My 28th Birthday!

My birthday was November 1st. I woke up as usual planning to get going to get Kye to school. Instead Zach surprised me with special birthday pancakes ;) His specialty! I haven't had them in ages. Let alone a glass of strawberry milk (I know...I'm like a 5 year old kid haha). It was a super tasty breakfast! And to top it off, Zach said he'd be able to pick Kye up from school for me later that morning. So Britt and I just had to drop him off!
Pancake Breakfast!
First time trying a pancake...she was a fan ;)
I seriously don't mind taking Kye to and from school but I do feel like it makes it even tougher to spend quality time with Brittlynn because it's rush-rush-rush. It was SUCH a blessing to me to get to have some fun with her after her morning nap while Zach picked up Kye and brought him home. We had SO much fun together. We just cuddled up on the kisses...playing chase. It sounds silly, but it was one of the highlights of my whole day :)
She kept crawling around where I couldn't see her then popping out to play peek-a-boo with me!
We may have played with some of Big Brother's stuff too ;)
At lunch Zach brought me all of my presents and told me to go ahead and open them then. It completely caught me off guard because we always wait until after dinner to do gifts! He was SO PUMPED which made me super excited :) Zach has actually been planning this birthday for two years. Two years ago he told me he knew what he was going to do for my next birthday (last year's) but then I was pretty mega pregnant so he waited to do it this year. Let's just say the anticipation was pretty huge. I had to keep reminding myself not to get overly crunk. Like I was coming up with these crazy ideas...a trip to Hawaii...haha
Ready for gifts!
Kye's eyes are closed but I wanted to make sure to include my sweet girl!
When I opened the first box it was a piece of paper with a lot of lines in it...looking like the old school Hang Man type games we'd make back in the day. There were also little cut out letters. I had a feeling I knew what the other boxes contained!
Kye helped me open
Zach was so excited that he accidentally opened one hahaha
Time to figure out what my present was!
Zach said the reason he had me open my present at lunch was to give me time to figure it out! I was totally at a loss for even how to begin. He knows me well because that kind of stuff frustrates me pretty quickly and I just give up (remember...I'm not competitive, athletic, etc...I'm not "game" driven). He helped me out and filled in one letter from each word. It's funny because right off the bat I put "ate" as the last three letters of the first word but then I took them off! 

I finally figured it out because I got the word "team" first. How in the heck did I not get the word trip first??? I mean DUH. Anyways I got team and it kinda confused me for a bit. To be honest...I kinda thought maybe he was taking me to Disney. So I kept thinking of Disney phrases and Disney property names etc and none of them have the word "team" in them. It FINALLY hit me!!!!!
In high school I was obsessed with outlet shopping. Like Dad and I would go ALL the time. I introduced that world to Zach when we started dating and we'd go to the outlets in St Augustine on the way to Melbourne quite often. We had a BIG outlet shopping trip for school clothes one year and came up with the name "Ultimate Outlet Team" (or UOT for short). I'm sure you can guess who came up with the name haha ;) Clue: It wasn't me!

Anyways we haven't been on a UOT trip in ages. It's SO sweet to me that Zach has been planning this for two years. What's even better is that I had literally JUST sat down with him a week or so prior to my birthday to talk about my wardrobe haha. Zach and the kids have waaaaay nicer clothes than I do. I only buy myself stuff when I'm shopping for them and see something on the clearance clearance rack then further discounted by a sale and a coupon I have ;) Since losing my baby weight I have been able to fit into all of my clothes again and I have realized how badly I'm in need of some new pieces. I haven't even stepped foot into a women's only clothing type store in at least 2 years. It's TIME!!!
Needless to say, I was JACKED about my birthday present :) Not only was I looking forward to new clothes (basically Zach was giving me the amount he would normally spend on presents and I'd get to spend it shopping for myself instead!) but I was REALLY looking forward to a couple days away with Zach. We haven't been on a trip alone together since May which is the longest we've gone without traveling just the two of us probably our entire relationship!!! We needed the quality time for sure ;)

Zach had the whole weekend planned out. He further surprised me by telling me we'd be driving to Atlanta to shop and would be eating at Medieval Times! I know what you're thinking....random. And it is, kinda. I have been to Medieval Times many times and really, really enjoy it. I love themed stuff!!! Zach has never been so I always talk it up and suggest we go. I was excited for him to get to experience it!!!

After naps that afternoon we headed out to dinner. But not before getting a couple pictures :) My birthday means lots of pictures since it's what I love most ;)

For dinner we went to Red Lobster (or as Kye calls it "the Lobster place!"). They sat us waaaay far away from anyone else. Does anyone else with multiple children notice that trend when eating out? When we just had Kye we would get seated like normal...but now that we have Britt it's like we get banished into a corner or something. I don't mind one bit though...saves me from having to apologize to random strangers for my loud baby girl haha. 

Crunk for the bread!
Britt loved it too!

We took breaks to go see the lobsters. Really it's a GREAT place to eat out with kids. One of us took them to see the lobsters while the other waited for the salads to come out. Then we switched while we waited for the main course. Gives the kids something to do to break up all the waiting!

Pretty much every time we eat there (which is not super often...I mean yall know how cheap cheap we are with the eating out haha) someone ends up offering to let us pet a lobster. We linger so much by them I think they realize we are hoping they will offer it haha. Kye was super excited and didn't even hesitate to pet it!
Shaking Claws
I'm hardcore about including Brittlynn in everything. The lady holding the lobster probably thought I was nuts saying that Brittlynn wanted to pet it too...
Cake time!!!
My man did it right and got me a DQ ice cream cake! And they spelled birthday correctly this year ;)
As you can tell, it was a pretty flawless day. It was made even more special though by an afternoon delivery! I got a phone call and could not for the life of me understand who the person was. They said they had a delivery for me for my birthday and wanted to make sure they knew where my house was. Of course after I get off the phone I call Zach because I assumed he hadn't sent anything. I mean he'd already gone above and beyond in the present department! I couldn't understand where they lady said the delivery was from but she said the driver was coming from Adel which totally threw me off. Adel???

Zach and I were both a little nervous. I mean I just told these people where I live. Haha. What if the birthday delivery was something creepy? He ended up coming home to be there when the delivery came just in case hahaha. Of course it wasn't anything shady...instead it was BEAUTIFUL flowers!!!!
As many of you know it's been a rougher time for me lately. Getting those flowers meant THE WORLD to me. Seriously. The card simply said "From Friends Who Love You!" I still have the card sitting by the sink in the kitchen so I can look at it often and be reminded of the many people who love me so much. It was SUCH a thoughtful, sweet thing to do. And I don't know who did it! I mean I have my ideas of who it was but it's an awkward thing. Like do I thank them? Then what if it's NOT them and they feel stupid like they should have done it? My friends doing this and not wanting me to know who sent them makes it even that much more special. I am so, so blessed to have true friendships and to have people in my life that are so giving and who do care about me in that unconditional sorta way ;)

It was SUCH a wonderfully perfect day for me...but not-so-much for Kye. Poor kid had like THE roughest time. He spilled his milk at lunch. He spilled his milk at the restaurant at dinner. Kid never spills his drinks. I guess all the excitement caused him to not be as careful? And trust me...everyone in the restaurant knew he had spilled it haha. He busted out crying. Anyways to top it all off he was being SO sweet to me and was so excited about all my birthday fun. He loved the flowers and asked to smell them. Bless his heart...I took this picture of him then WHACK. I have no clue what in the world happened but he slipped off the bench and fell to the floor with the flowers. Thankfully the glass vase didn't break but he was covered in water and had a nice big bruise under his chin (actually it's still there 3 weeks later...). I feel like a terrible mom for laughing out loud while typing this but he just really struggled that day!
Luckily Kye was okay from the fall...and so were my flowers ;)
The birthday fun didn't end with just my actual birthday. That Saturday (Nov 3rd) I went to Belk to hit up some big sale they had. So random but the night before Casey had texted me about it and I thought it'd be fun. We had SUCH a great time! Courtney, Casey and I all racked up on stuff. I even got a Shark Mop finally! I scored such a great deal (only $57!!!!) and I LOVE it. I'm glad I finally bit the bullet and bought one :)
After our shopping spree they took me to get my nails done at Nails by Chris. It was great to just sit and relax and enjoy myself. Completely worry free! Afterwards we headed back to my house where everyone came over to celebrate my birthday. We did a big lunch so we could all hang out and not have to rush. Mrs. Charlotte cooked one of my favorite meals (Cube steak with gravy and mashed potatoes. That meal was FIRE!) and we all enjoyed each other.

On Brad's birthday (a couple weeks before mine) Casey decided to start a new tradition where we each go around and say a fond memory or say something we love about the person celebrating their birthday. It's a REALLY great idea because in the Parker's hard to get a word in haha. It forces us to all listen to each other for a change ;) Mrs. Charlotte went ABOVE and BEYOND in preparing for my birthday celebration. She even called my dad ahead of time and arranged for him and Audrey to call me at the exact time they all started going around saying their favorite things about me. That phone call was so precious to me and hearing Audrey and Dad both say such nice things about me and how they are proud of me and what they love about me was very touching. Good thing everyone was there or I probably would have busted out crying big time!!!

It's a bit awkward to sit there while over 10 people talk about you...but every word was special and so thoughtful. Mr. Rusty said he's thankful I brought technology to the family hahaha. Zach and I still crack up thinking about him saying that! There were some funny things but overall it was all very touching. Mrs. Charlotte even typed up a three page long speech about why she loves me. I gave up trying to hold back the tears at that point ;)

Big Daddy and Little Mama!
That night Jolee came and sat with the kids while they slept so Zach and I could go on a birthday date. Which was totally unnecessary since we were going to Atlanta together for my birthday in a couple of weeks. But he just REALLY wanted to make this birthday special :) We went to eat at my favorite birthday spot...Charlie Trippers. But it's not Charlie Trippers anymore. I can't remember the name of it now but OMG. Its better than Charlie Tripper's was. Literally every single thing we ate was fabulous. We loved it!!! Afterwards we went downtown to get some dessert but our favorite dessert place no longer carries the dessert we love (and she said they stopped having like like over a year ago haha we don't get out much...) so we opted to drive through Dairy Queen instead. We each got an oreo brownie. Yes. My stomach was messed up for days after all this junk food!!!!

Me and my hot date!
That following weekend Katie came over for dinner to finish up my birthday celebrations for this year. She was so sweet to bring some party supplies! Princesses and Cars! Kye was pumped about it and it made our pizza feast so much classier ;)
Since all the family knew Zach was taking me on the shopping trip they all gave me money as gifts to go towards that. Which was AWESOME! But I'm glad Katie got me an actual present as it was nice to have one legit gift for my birthday ;) And I adore it. Such a cool serving platter and so my style! I have it out on my kitchen counter too alongside the note from my flowers :) Katie hung out for awhile and we caught up with each other. I'm thankful for her friendship and need to do a better job spending time together with her!
I'm not going to try to sugar coat it...pretty much the entire month of October was extremely difficult for me. I was struggling and was just really in a funk. When the stuff we're dealing with first came to a head I gave myself a week. A week to be sad. Veg out. Feel depressed. That following Monday though I decided to be okay. To move forward. Well...things don't work like that. Just because I said "move on" it didn't mean I could. I literally would just sit. Sit and sit and sit. I felt so lazy and unmotivated and just overcome with sadness. It's a beautiful thing to be a parent...because you can't stop. Having the kids really helped me to pull through everything. I had to nurse Britt. I had to take Kye to school. I had to put on a smile for my children. 

But it wasn't easy. I started to write lists. I would write down everything I HAD to accomplish that day and would focus on the list. As soon as I had free time I would find the list rather than allow myself to sulk. Legit...I went many days without showering at one point. I even wore a HAT in public!!!!
I was anticipating my birthday to be very difficult. That it would be the start of all the difficult holidays to come. But I was wrong. My birthday was WONDERFUL. But it also drew some lines for me that I needed to be made clear. I am the type of person who can deal with anything as long as I KNOW the situation. The unknown is super stressful for me. Really my birthday couldn't have come at a better time. It is THE only holiday that requires zero effort from you. Your birthday is a day where you sit back and others reach out. Send cards. Call. Text. Write on your FB wall. It gave me the clarity I needed. It allowed me to see what relationships I have and which ones I don't. Having that knowledge has made a drastic change in me. I feel SO much better. Lighter. Like a huge weight is off of my shoulders. Sure, the list of relationships I no longer have is super long...but at least I know that now. And I have moved forward. I may still have moments of sadness. Where I cry and just need to be sad. But I know where to turn. I have such an awesome husband, a family, and sweet friends. I'm truly blessed!!!!

I'm thankful to everyone who took the time to wish me a happy birthday. I read each and every message on Facebook and each one meant so much to me. More than you even know! Seriously, you never know who may need a kind word and how much a simple gesture will mean to them!  I also appreciate the thoughtful cards. The sweet texts. The phone calls. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of all of the Parker family, my family. I especially appreciate whoever sent the beautiful flowers. :) And I appreciate ALL the effort and thought that Zach put into making my day so special! I was SPOILED for SURE but most importantly, I was surrounded by LOVE and that is what matters the most :)
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