My 36th Birthday

My 36th Birthday

This year my birthday, November 1st, fell on a Sunday which meant we got the whole day together as a family πŸ™‚

I slept in and Zach and the kids made my favs – pancakes and strawberry milk! Another favorite for me? Having time in the morning to use my ice roller on my face. I LOVE IT but RARELY have time to use it!

I was nice taking time to get ready for church and snapping some pics with my babies before we left. On the way home we stopped by to get my birthday Starbucks!

I had so many sweet messages from friends – it made me feel so loved and really meant the world to me! I think so often we don’t take the time to really tell people how we feel about them and birthdays are such a good opportunity to do that. I’m so blessed in the friend department!

I really wanted to DO something for my birthday! I’m not a huge fan of hanging out at the house but struggled to find something to do.

We decided to let the kids skip nap and go out to Nashville to visit A-Maze-N-Cane. We’d never been and it was a very family-fun type activity which are my favorite kinds πŸ™‚

If you’re local here’s more info about A-Maze-N-Cane!

On the way we stopped by and gave some hugs to some of my favorite people πŸ™‚ We got to say hey to Big Daddy and Little Mama and Aunt Karen too.

If yall would please pray for Aunt Karen. She’s been diagnosed with breast cancer and will have 18 months of chemo. We’ve been praying hard and are thankful that she’s responding well to chemo so far!

It was THE most perfectly gorgeous day! 75 degrees and LOOK AT THAT SKY! It seriously couldn’t have been more beautiful and the kids were all excited to explore somewhere new and get to skip out on rest time too πŸ˜‰

I knew very little about the place until we got there and had no clue what to expect or what all there would be to do. So we were all happily surprised that they had a LOT of activities and it was truly an opportunity for ALL of the kids to have FUN!

Kye and Zach played a round of Jenga and Spear was in HEAVEN in the sand play pit area with tons of trucks and sand toys. I knew we’d have a hard time pulling him away when it was time to go.

Britt quickly declared “This is even better than GREAT WOLF LODGE!”

We split into two teams for the corn maze – Zach took Tess and Spear and I took Britt and Kye. Of course Britt and Kye bickered about which way was the “right way” and little Zach Jr won us over to follow his lead πŸ˜‰

And, also not shocking, Zach’s team got out before ours. Never a surprise there!

There was a really fun obstacle course set up which quickly became competitive and Britt and Kye were facing off having us time them to see who could complete it the fastest. The first time through? Britt beat Kye by TWO SECONDS and I don’t think he’ll ever live that down!

Kye wanted a rematch to make sure he had that victory πŸ™‚

One of the coolest things was the zipline! They had two and both of the girls were so quick to climb up the hay bale to go for the taller one. Other kids showed up and Tessie was adorable showing them how it was done.

How HANDSOME and GROWN does Kye look? Cannot. Handle. It.

Spear took a break from the sand to tend to his farm. I swear Spear would LOVE a job on a farm. He was all about some WORK.

He put leaves in a bucket and said it was to “feed the chickens” and used a rake to clean up around the fences and then pulled a chair over to “watch the chickens.” I love watching him in his element!

I loved that all the kids had SO MUCH fun! We stayed for a few hours and all left so happy and it was just the perfect Mommy Birthday kinda day πŸ˜‰

Zach was even sweet enough to pull over to take some pics in some cotton for me on my bday! That kinda thing isn’t typically Zach’s jam so it meant a lot that he took the time out to allow us to take a few pictures.

I used to try to find cotton every year for pics but cotton is always so RANDOM with when it gets picked that it’s tricky to know when to go so it worked out perfectly as part of my bday!

Each of the kids made me a card and gave me a little “gift card” for special time spent with them. I have the sweetest babies!

They also bought me a big picture frame for us to make a Disney collage of photos to look at. I’m thinking I’ll keep it in my little office for now and eventually take it down to the Disney house!

I had more outpouring of love this birthday more than any other one I can remember before and it really meant the WORLD to me. October was a tough month in the middle of a tough year and it was such a blessing to have people show up and make sure I felt loved and appreciated.

From sweet cards to beyond thoughtful gift cards to sweet gifts to the beautiful flowers my dad and step mom sent. I was SPOILED!

On top of my day being super special Zach really wanted to have some quality fun time together too so his mom was so sweet to watch Spear the next day for us to go to Thomasville together.

My FAV dates on The Bachelor are the “explore the town” dates and I was super excited to explore Thomasville. We live only 45 minutes away yet I’ve NEVER been!

It is an adddddorable town and I instantly fell in love with it. We got some coffee and hit up the boutique shops for some birthday shopping.

I was the most excited to have lunch at Jonas as I’ve heard about it FOREVER and shrimp and grits is one of my favorite meals. It opened at 11 and already had a line down the street of people waiting to get in.

It did not disappoint. SO GOOD!

We browsed through shops and walked hand and hand down the cute streets and just had fun together. Quality time with my favorite person!

When Zach took the kids shopping to buy my birthday gift all three of the big kids expressed disappointment about not having a one on one date with me so he let them plan a little something too!

It worked out because I had a TON of birthday deals so I just used ’em up to have that quality time with my big kids without breaking the budget πŸ˜‰

Kye and I hit up Arby’s and Steak and Shake and just hung out in the car talking about friendships. I love his confidence and how he doesn’t sacrifice his values in order to gain friends. He keeps his standards high and I pray that’s always the case for him!

Britt loves to get coffee together so we used up some gift cards I’d been hoarding to get Starbucks! We got all excited when we drove up because we saw people going inside. We went in and ordered and stood there waiting and realized there were no chairs. Oops!

Guess they are open for pick up only haha So we made the best of it and sat outside on the sidewalk. I think Britt is more of a physical touch person than a quality time person. I used to always think she needed more quality time but when I tuck her in at night or go on outings like these she doesn’t seem to have a lot of talking she wants to do but is more content just being together and being close!

On another day Tess and I went back to Steak and Shake to get milkshakes and french fries (they had a deal going where you could get free French fries every day!).

Out of all of my kids Tess benefits from (and needs) quality time THE MOST. She just blossoms as soon as it’s just her and I and I’m able to give her that full, undivided attention.

I love listening to her silly stories and she loves telling them. She spent our whole time together telling me stories she “made up” that were more of a combination of several well known fables πŸ™‚

I truly cannot get over the ways in which my tribe showed up for me this year! Tiffany and I went to lunch to use my free bday Chicken Salad Chick and she got me the cutest Disney water bottle!

Katie, Zach and I always celebrate each others birthdays together and we kicked off our annual movie watching to prep for the upcoming Oscar Season by making popcorn (we WILL perfect the recipe!) and she made THE most amazing chocolate chip cookies EVER plus got me the cutest pineapple earrings and Alanis pin (our concert was canceled but crossing fingers the 2021 date happens!).

Katie even got us a new pet cat hahaha just kidding. I was walking her out and this cat decided to be my new bestie. I brought him inside and was considering putting him in the bed with Zach to scare the fool out of him but decided against it πŸ˜‰

Casey and I were on a free birthday food mission and failed at Einstein’s AND IHop ha! I’ve found that the best deal around town for a cheap lunch is def Panera b/c I can get a bagel with cream cheese for under $3!

Robyn gave me the sweetest card and a gift card to get a massage (SO PUMPED) and then Tiffany, Katie and Robyn PLANNED a birthday dinner out! I’m the “planner” of the group and it meant THE WORLD to have them plan something and to put that thought into a night out together.

We tried Katie’s uncle’s new restaurant and it’s totally our new go-to place. SO good and, duh, we’re family πŸ˜‰

I am just so blessed. Blessed with an incredible husband who always makes me feel so loved and so special. Blessed with amazing children who fill my heart with joy every single day. Blessed with phenomenal friends who are always there for me through everything life brings and who always show up!

It was a birthday that will be hard to ever top!

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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