Monday, November 18, 2013
Last week was my birthday and while it was not a big milestone number  (although I am getting old) and it was in the middle of the week, it was one of my best birthdays ever.  All I wanted was to go to my hole in the wall favorite Italian/Pizza joint and have my favorite manicotti (I saved all my gluten and carbs for a month for this night!)

So the night before my birthday, our little family went there for dinner.  During dinner Kate said that we should go around the table and say what we are thankful for about Mom.  This is a family tradition on birthdays...we either say what we love most or what we appreciate about the person.  I was touched though that Kate thought of it.  I want to share what each child said because it touched my heart so deeply.

Kate said that she was thankful that I did not have to work so much that I still have the time to walk them into school and pick them up and drive them to all of their activities.  She reminded us that lots of kids have to go to aftercare or the carpool line because their parents are working.  She was grateful that I am there to do that all for them.

I need to add here that I really needed to hear that because I DO work and I do have to take Kate to the carpool line sometimes.  And some nights, I rush out after dinner to see clients.  So, the fact that she sees it better than I do means a lot to me:)

Will was next.  He is 16 (and 1/2) and he is a boy.  He said that he was most grateful for all the good advice I give him.  That made me beam.  Will talks to me a lot.  He comes in my room most nights and we chat about school, sports, friends, girls, life etc.  He seeks my advice and he values it.  What more could a mother ask for? We have a fabulous relationship. He also said he appreciates how hard I work on his laundry.  That is kind of a family joke but Will generates more laundry than anyone else in our family and it is a part time job just keeping up with his laundry (and yes, sometimes I do have him do his own but he is really busy working and studying and doing swim team and preparing for confirmation etc).  I have more time than he does.

Harry was next and he said that he appreciates all the "behind the scenes" stuff Mom does that we probably don't even know about or take for the little things she does to make holidays and  occasions special or just the everyday little things.  Seriously, y'all?  What 12 (almost 13) year old boy thinks about that.  So sweet.  I am blessed.

Dave went last and he said that he appreciates how I keep the family going even when he is absorbed with work life.

I had tears in my eyes.  That was the greatest birthday present ever!  To hear that my husband and my children value what I do each day.  I felt so loved.

Then, Kate gave me a gift.  She saw this gift in Claire's over the summer and she thought it was so beautiful.  She kept telling Dave that he had to take her to Claire's. He kind of kept forgetting so the day before my birthday,  Dave signed Kate out of school for lunch and they went to lunch and to Claire's.

This is the darling necklace Kate gave me.  We each wear half.  She wears the red half and I wear the pink half.


Dave also gave me a very thoughtful gift.  I had seen these shoes and I loved them but I could not really justify the expense.  They are so soft and beautiful.  I mentioned them in passing one day while we were actually shopping for Dave on his birthday a few weeks ago but I had already forgotten about them.  I was so surprised when he gave them to me.  It showed that he really listened and really got something that would make me happy.  I love them.  They are soft as butter.


Someone told me my right (really my left) ankle looks swollen here.  
It is not.  It is just the angle of the shot.

On my actual birthday I worked in the school store with Harry (one of my favorite things to do), got 4 inches cut off my hair! and had lunch with some girlfriends and dinner with other girlfriends.  It was a GREAT day.


I love my shorter hair.  It lays so much nicer now.

(all iphone pics:)

The SO much more JOY happened yesterday.

Will spent the weekend away at his confirmation retreat.  We had been wanting to get him a car for a while (he turned 16 last June) but we were waiting.  We were waiting until we felt more comfortable with his driving.  Waiting until we felt he was mature enough and making good decisions.  Waiting until it was financially feasible and waiting until we found the right car.  But having 3 kids at 3 schools with lots of activities has made our life a little crazy. So, we wanted to get him a car to make life easier on us too!

Dave did a lot of research and we decided this new Kia would give us the most bang for our buck.  And we completely surprised Will...

It was such a wonderful feeling to give your child a once in a lifetime surprise like that.  And he was so full of gratitude and JOY!

Dave putting the bow on the car...


Will coming out the front door...



I love the big smiles on Harry and Dave in the background too:)





He went to hug each of us...

even Harry:)




And this is a favorite....Will and Harry in the front seat (Kate is in the back you just can't see her) looking at all the gadgets.


And I know there will probably be people out there who judge us for getting him a car. People have.  I don't really care what other people think. I care what God and my family thinks. We did what was right for us and our family at this time. Will is a great kid.  He works hard as a lifeguard and saves his money.  He helps us everyday however we need him. He is a great student and volunteer.  He is active in our church and he makes good decisions most of the time. He is not spoiled.  He is not perfect but he is about as good as it gets for a teenage boy. So, judge away.  I have learned that when people judge like that it usually has more to do with them than it does with us.  And I am fine with that.

I feel kinda bad for Will as he is really sick with the stomach bug so he could not even drive his new car to school today!  I think I am getting it too:(

Also, Minted has not let me know yet who the winner is.  As soon as I know, I will post it check back.


  1. What an awesome surprise! Hw looked so excited....I loved his expression! Congrats to all of you!

  2. Awww... I think that is awesome! I am sure the memory of that moment will never be forgotten! And, I love that he is such a mature and responsible young man and sincerely thanked you for it! I know you will really enjoy the freedom that comes from having some help in the transportation department in your family!! I know how liberating it was for me when my oldest got her first car and began driving herself to her 6 day per week athletic practices! I felt like I got a vacation!! LOL!

    Congratulations Will! What a nice looking car!

  3. What a lovely birthday! And the part about Will's car made me tear up - he looked thrilled and so did The rest Of The family :)

  4. What a great surprise! I'm glad you don't let others bother you, because I agree 100% it's more about them.

    Now what I really came to comment on...

    What a wonderful birthday! I love your tradition of gifting others with what you love about them...and then to have them say such thoughtful things, what a true gift! Love it :)

  5. My mom could NOT wait for me to get my license so I could cart Kate and Keegan around. So great that you were able to get Will a car! My parents always made sure we had a car as soon as we turned 16. They were always used, but it didn't matter. I know they would have gotten us new ones if they could. Such a great surprise for will!

    And happy late birthday! Your kids said such sweet, thoughtful things...Hope dinner was delicious :)

    1. manicotti was divine..Thank you!!!

  6. I am a long time follower of your blog. I love reading it and watching your family grow. I feel so bad that you have to explain why you got Will a car. It is obvious that he is a great kid and only you know what it is right for your family.
    Thanks again for sharing with us!!!

  7. Kim, you do what is right for your family. You go girl!!!!

  8. Great surprise for Will, we did the same thing for Land and surprised him. It helped so much once he started driving himself to and from practices! Happy belated birthday, glad it was a great one!!! You need to share the brand of those shoes!


  9. What a precious family! How blessed your sil and dil's will be one day to join the five of you!

    1. That is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said Angela. Thank you. I look forward to havind dil's and a sil someday:)

  10. I LOVE your new haircut ... very youthful and a perfect update for your birthday. I was so touched that Kate picked out that necklace - it make me teary eyed!! What a sweet girl you have.

  11. What a wonderful birthday!! So much goodness in one post, your closet, your hair, your fab dinner and sweet family and Will and his car!!

  12. How completely wonderful ... the birthday, the gratitude and the BIG surprise. Such a beautiful, blessed family!!

  13. So great! I had tears in my eyes reading about your birthday dinner and giving Will a car. You are blessed with great kids( I'm sure your parenting has A LOT to do with how great they are!!)
    Hope you and Will feel better soon-tummy bugs are the worst. :(

  14. What a special birthday. You really appreciate it all. Your kids do too. I agree w Kathleen's comments.

  15. Happy Belated Birthday! Wow! Will is very lucky that you bought him his own car! Your family is so blessed to have you!

  16. Happy Birthday! How wonderful for Will to have the blessing of caring parents, and how wonderful for you that you have the blessing of being able to give!! Enjoy these times!! xx

  17. Happy Birthday. How wonderful that Will is blessed with caring, loving parents and how blessed are you that you can be so caring and loving! Enjoy these times!!

  18. My dad got me a car (not that nice though- ha) when I turned 16. I was raised by my single dad who worked and traveled. I think he needed me to drive more than I did to be honest. 20 years later, I bet he would still say that was a great decision for him. It saved a lot of stress trying to get me from point A to point B. And going to a private school, taking the school bus wasn't an option. A car was a life-saver for all involved. I completely understand that a car for Will is as much about the family as it is him growing up. I love that he is so sincerely grateful. You've raised a good egg!!

    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

  19. I think you are the best! Feel better soon and I love the necklace that Kate gave you:-)



    GRACIAS por compartir parte e tu VIDA.



  21. What an amazing family you have cultivated. I love how they truly appreciate you! Your son DESERVES that car!

  22. Happy belated birthday! I'm a long time reader but I've never commented. I don't have children yet, but I wanted to let you know that you are such an inspiration to me! You are such a wonderful Mom to your kiddos, all three (and your husband too!) are so very lucky to have you!

  23. What a sweet post and birthday tradition! Mind if I be a copycat? Love Will's surprise about the new car! What fun! Enjoy having him drive YOU around for a change ! :)

  24. Yay for a great birthday for you, and yay for Will and his car! You definitely deserve all the happiness you've got in your lives! Hooray for you! :)

  25. so nice to be appreciated.. love his car..little does he know he will be driving 2 peanuts around alot and getting mom something she forgot at the grocery store!! I know he was thrilled!!

  26. What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing those special moments...made me smile and get teary! Don't think twice about what anyone else thinks. That is a lesson that I am still learning. You and your husband have wonderful kids who reflect the teachings and examples of their parents. Truly lovely.

  27. Happy Birthday! Your day sounds perfect, and you deserve it! Don't worry about people judging. What you do is none of their business and I think that you're right about people judging when the issues are more about them. Will seems like such an incredible young man and very deserving of such a fantastic surprise. How fun!

  28. Happy belated Birthday!! You really do have some amazing and thoughtful children, and lets not forget Dave. Will looks sooooo thrilled with his new wheels and he sounds like such a deserving young man. Enjoy having an extra driver to help with those little errands! Oh and how sweet is Kate's gift?!

    Gin =)

  29. Kim, Happy Belated Birthday! Congrats Will on your new ride! Awesome gift,,,love that big bow...I got a big bow on a car one time and it was the neatest present! You are raising such good kids!
    Hope this is your best year ever!!

  30. Kim,
    The video is so touching. What a GREAT boy Will is! Cute Kate giving the details as he gets in for the first time, Dave and Harry's smiles. You have so be so proud. At this special surprise he jumps out and thanks all of you. Thoughtful Boy!
    Love your birthday tradition of family sharing. Do not believe there is a better way to make the birthday girl/boy feel elated.
    Happy Birthday!
    Kathleen IG friend KCCOOKS

  31. Happy Birthday Kim!
    Thank you for sharing that idea of letting the Birthday celebrant know how they are loved. A wonderful feeling to be honored in that respect. Going to tuck that idea away and use it at the next family birthday.
    What an impressive young man you are raising. The joy on his face as Kate rattles off the details as he is hopping in his car, for the very first time. He is so appreciative and jumps out to give THANKS to all of you, certainly has to warms a Momma's heart. Harry and Dave's beaming faces share the joy they are feeling for Will. Wonderful family you have.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Kathleen/IG friend KCCOOKS

  32. Kim,
    I forgot.....Your birthday comment from me, your blog reader for many years,.....I appreciate your honesty and outpouring of love for your husband and children. You have been blessed and are truly thankful to God.
    Enjoy your family this week.

  33. Kim, Happy Birthday! What a beautiful birthday present you received from your family! What a fun surprise for Will! It's so interesting how some parishes do confirmation at different ages. My daughter will make her confirmation next year in 8th grade. Some Catholic churches do it when the child has first communion. I made mine in 8th grade. Is it different in TX? Your hair looks fab! Love, Catherine

  34. Kim, Happy Birthday! What a beautiful birthday present you received from your family! What a fun surprise for Will! It's so interesting how some parishes do confirmation at different ages. My daughter will make her confirmation next year in 8th grade. Some Catholic churches do it when the child has first communion. I made mine in 8th grade. Is it different in TX? Your hair looks fab! Love, Catherine


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