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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 floor…laughing…giving kisses…playing chase. It sounds silly, but it was one of the highlights of my whole day πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ My birthday means lots of pictures since it’s what I love most πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

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 family…it’s hard to get a word in haha. It forces us to all listen to each other for a change πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚


  1. Katie Roberts
    November 27, 2012 / 8:24 pm

    What a fun and special birthday! I am hoping you are going to blog about the outlet trip….I want to see what all you got!

  2. Crissy
    November 27, 2012 / 9:21 pm

    dang Katie! that platter screams Emily Parker,,,great job!

  3. beccasoles
    November 28, 2012 / 3:49 am

    Did I miss what was in the other boxes in the beginning. I'm curious to know… Lol

  4. Alycia Crowley
    November 28, 2012 / 5:53 pm

    Looks like such a perfect birthday! Your kiddos are adorable by the way πŸ™‚

  5. ChelleyN
    November 28, 2012 / 6:49 pm

    What a great birthday! I'm a November bday too and this year was exceptional for me as well! Oh, and now that we have two littles, we often get sat back in a corner all alone at restaurants, too. Glad to know it's not just us πŸ™‚

  6. Robyn Mullican
    December 1, 2012 / 9:56 pm

    I'm SO GLAD you ended up having a fantastic bday – you deserve it! I'm super bummed that our awesome girl date didn't end up on this list, though. πŸ˜‰

  7. Danielle
    December 4, 2012 / 8:39 pm

    So glad you had such a grat birthday!!! I know it was perfect timing in helping to pull you out of the funk and letting people celebrate YOU. Z always does such a good job! Love how y'all make birthdays so special!

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