Sunday, April 28, 2013


If you know me well, you know I'm not a huge celebrator of my birthday.  Yes, I love cake and it's nice to receive cards, calls, texts and FB messages on my birthday.  But I don't take off my birthday, and I don't celebrate all month or for even a week...just the day or maybe delayed a bit to the weekend.

I had no intent to celebrate as many times as I did, but I surely enjoyed every minute because I was able to spend it with special people. However, unlike most years, I knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday, and I'll get to that shortly.

So the first celebration was with my family.  My siblings and parents came together to celebrate all three birthdays since our brother was so busy back in January that we didn't all get a chance to Okay, maybe that wasn't the best part, but Publix makes some great baked goods...
celebrate with him.  We grilled out at my house, watched crazy Aidan get in and out of his pool, and played yard games.  The best part - we each had our own cake, yum!

The next time I celebrated my birthday was going shopping with my mom.  Just mom and me, which is a very rare occurrence.  We shopped for Aidan and Baby Boy #2 and maternity clothes for me.  We also had lunch - pepperoni pizza from my favorite mall restaurant, Sbarro. In addition, we had a wonderful, brisk walk at a riverside park.  Normally, it's a stop and go walk because Aidan wants to walk, push his stroller, or pull his wagon.  So it was nice to enjoy a good walk.  Mom also bought me cupcakes Monday night so I had some for my birthday since AJ had to be at our property in the evening on my birthday.

So my actual birthday, you can imagine I was bombarded with many birthday wishes, though no one at work knew...I try to keep it that way.  Yes, I'm weird like that.  I had a great day at work and was excited to pick up Aidan and go home to sneak a cupcake.  Surprisingly, I was greeted by a cookie cake that AJ picked up from Publix.  I resisted temptation to eat the cake before AJ arrived home, so Aidan and I went outside to play.

Thirty candles sure look like a fire hazard when lit.  Aidan kept saying hot, and he tried to help me blow out the candles.  I loved celebrating my birthday with my little family.  I thought if nothing else, if I could always celebrate my birthday with my little family, I would always be blessed.  I was even nice enough to share a piece of cake with Aidan.

The goofball would rather play with his cookie cake than actually eat it.  I think Bo received more cake than Aidan consumed...thanks to Aidan.

All these celebrations were wonderful and special to me, but I was extremely excited for the gift my mom gave me.  Like I stated earlier, I rarely have an idea in mind of what I want for my birthday when asked.  But I remember writing my mom a detailed message explaining what I really wanted for my birthday.  The gift I wanted was a plane ticket to go see a friend and support her.

Surely you know my friend, Jen.  You seen some blogs and facebook posts, and you have heard their story from my mouth.  The March of Dimes walk in Jen's town, Milwaukee, WI, was on April 27th.  Perfect timing since Aiken moved its walk, it was near my birthday, and hopefully the weather would be nice.

So my mom said yes, she would give me the gift I wanted.  I must say, this is probably the best gift I have ever been given. Thanks mom! I was extremely excited, and it was hard to keep the secret from Jen.  In fact, I had to lie to her in order to receive my Devoted to Dylan shirt in time for the Milwaukee, WI.  Also, with the help of some wonderful friends in Milwaukee, I was able to arrange transportation to and from the airport and lodging. Thanks Kim, without you, it would have been very difficult to surprise Jen!

I flew out on Friday - the walk was Saturday morning.  I woke multiple times through out the night - I'm not sure if it was the excitement or that the sun rises so much earlier in Milwaukee.  Seriously, it was light out at 5:30 AM, and I swore it was much later since I am use to sun rise at 6:30 AM or later.

I headed out with Kim's family to the walk.  It was actually a beautiful day, and while I packed my lovely penguin long john's, they were not needed.  Though I did wear my long orange socks and a long sleeve orange shirt...never leave the house without some orange!

When time finally came for Kim to reveal to Jen that she brought a friend to the walk, Jen instantly screamed happily and gave me the biggest, longest bear hug I have ever had in my life.  And you know, I'm not a big hugger, but I looked forward to this hug the day I booked my flight.  To see Jen smile and to be at her walk for Patrick, Jen and their boys meant the world to me.  Not only was the Devoted to Dylan team the number one family fundraiser for MOD in Milwaukee, Jen and Patrick were also chosen as this event's ambassador's.  They were to tell their story to all those that showed up to the walk.  I know their story, I've watched our fundraising video for J&P many times, but to hear their story live just brought tears to my eyes all over again.  Thank goodness for those long sleeves because I forgot my tissues.

Jen and Patrick's Speech
I was proud and happy to be in Milwaukee to walk amongst Jen and Patrick along with the rest of the Devoted to Dylan team.  I was amazed at the turn out since the walk I attended in Aiken last year was small in comparison.  So many people came out to support those who have suffered so much - there were success stories and devastating stories, but they were all here to raise awareness for moms and babies.

I will always treasure my 30th birthday.  Never did I dream of celebrating a milestone birthday, or thinking that it would hold such importance to me.  As I walked, I thought this is 30! This is a reason to celebrate.  And I know I smiled the whole day.   So thank you, thank you to everyone involved who made this day possible - I am forever grateful.

Jen and I after the walk!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful memory! So glad that you were able to share in that with them.

    Oh, and now I want cake :)