So this title is a bit too Christmas-y for what it's about...but I think it fits.
I started out this post with the intent to focus on things.
But the thing is...my happy happy birth month not only brought me some of my latest and greatest most favorite things, it also brought me a few of my most favorite fall memories (which my good 'ol dad would say trump things any day).
(not to worry future present-buyers...because I'm a girl I can still appreciate both :) ).
With that said...
here are a few of my favorite fall things!
I LOVE my new Versace purse.
It makes me feel so classy and put together, even on those days when I look like a total bum.
On a shallower note...it's drawn quite a bit of attention too (causing even the best of people to lend it a covetous glance and/or outrightly threaten to steal it).
Pair it with my snazzy new glasses and I am one of the Jones-es. Good luck trying to keep up :)
Thank you thank you Kristy for taking a risk to give me my first real taste of the New York high life!
My new COOKBOOK!
Poor Parker's been such a good sport to suffer through my sporadic and very simple cooking regime. Luckily our veggie fight and ravenous Sunday appetites cued his sister into this little problem and
I am now the proud owner of this family favorite recipe book. I'm so looking forward to trying these babies out! Thank you Lara for this little gem! I'm planning on faking it 'til I make it as a DeMille super-wife :)
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this!
Goodbye love chubb!
Thank you so much MiKell for giving me hope for a healthier, happier second-six months of marriage!
I can't wait to lose my jell-O -esque jiggle that wiggles when I walk :)
I used to think you were the sign of a snob...of superfluous excess...an overpriced piece of plastic people buy to be trendy.
But now I love you.
You make me feel like I have the whole world at my fingertips.
When our internet was out over the weekend you saved the day!
When we needed the number to every Blockbuster in the valley, you called up your buddy Google and had them for us at a moment's notice.
When I needed help falling to sleep at night without a light to read by, you brought me digital Sudoku (then sold out your three highest scores to Tiffany...I'm disappointed, but I won't give up on you just yet. I'm sure there's a way to erase your memories of that sordid affair).
I owe Mom & Dad the world for finding you (and buying all sorts of accessories to protect you from my gravity problem)!
Looking forward to many happy, scratch-free days ahead.
My brand-spankin' new sparkly black flats.
I've said it a million times before and I'll say it again--my husband's got style. And he's super thoughtful too!
He noticed my threadbare, faded, tattered black flats and thought...my wifey deserves better. I'm going out to buy her something nice!
And what does he do?
He spends his one boys'-night-out-Friday window shopping at the mall for these babies.
bejeweled, satiny, sparkly ballet slippers.
When I opened his gift at my surprise dinner, squealed with delight and slipped my new slippers onto my feet, my dad stared at Parker wide-eyed.
"Wow...I don't think I've ever bought Robbi clothes or shoes...or really anything fashion-y. I wouldn't even know where to start!"
He was quite impressed. But me...it didn't surprise me one bit!
Lov-a my baby...
The only downside (for him)...he's got big shoes to fill for Christmas now that he's exposed his shopping skills.
I can't wait to see what he finds!
My beautiful bouquet of flowers!
Every year I'd wait anxiously for my dad to come home for work so I could
A. open my presents (I was a little kid...don't judge me), and
B. help him load the beautiful birthday bouquet he'd be bringing home into the vase I'd already eagerly prepared for its arrival.
Dad brought home about every kind of flower you can imagine for any and every special occasion he could think to use as an excuse to buy his girls something beautiful. While he appreciated diversity in flowers, he most often brought home roses...and seeing these pretty pink buds on my birthday just about made my day.
I'm still his little girl. I really always will be. And I love that something as simple and sweet as flowers can remind me of that fact.
I love you Daddy!
(And yes...Parker did spend a good 20 minutes arranging these for me. I will be forever grateful for that floral design class! He's so stinkin' cute when he plays florist!)
And last but certainly not least...
Thank you to my Mom for the mountain of gifts she sent with my dad earlier in the month (and added to with their latest visit).
It never ceases to amaze me how much effort she puts into birthdays, Christmas, and really every other special occasion.
(Weddings, vacations, visits home...she's always sending us off with a care package. The funny thing is, my mother-in-law is exactly the same way! Not sure how I hit the "mother-load" when it comes to my mommy dearests. It's a beautiful thing!).
ANYWAY, she basically helped me stock up on all the hair-care products I can no longer afford, outfitted me with three new Reed High School soccer tees to lounge around in, helped me flesh out my "professional" wardrobe with a few gift cards, searched high and low for "chunky" jewelry she thought might fit the vague description I'd given over the phone, added "Dicecapades" to our growing game collection, and bundled it all with a fluffy wrap-around towel to keep me warm while getting ready on these ever-brisker early mornings (Parker says thank you too...he loves the soft towel! ).
But while I am the kind of girl who appreciates things, I am also quite a sucker for the sentimental.
I cried quite a few tears this birthday. A few sad, it's true. But the overwhelming majority were happy...
...the kind of tears you cry when something touches your heart and so overwhelms you with emotion that you need a release.
I never used to understand happy tears, but in recent years they've started to make so much sense. Tears stream down my face when my broadest smile just isn't enough to express exactly how I'm feeling.
It's actually really sweet...
ANYWAY, this year my Mom sent me a birthday gift that triggered one of these misty-eyed moments. Parker seemed confused as to why something so sweet would make me so sad.
But I wasn't really sad...
I'd just been hit with a heavy dose of nostalgia.
Mom sifted through all of our old pictures, dug out dozens of her favorites of me, then wrote on the back of each one everything she could remember about that moment. She tied on a final picture of the two of us hugging on my wedding day with a note that read:
"I SO love this photo of us because it's one of a precious few where we are in a shot together...I sorted through the piles of pictures and found that I was usually behind the camera.
Makes me sad that I didn't take more photos with you.
Mostly I love this shot because it's so telling of the amazing woman you have become and the wonderful new beginning your life as Parker's wife. As you walked out of the temple that day it was so evident how much you love each other.
You'd stepped into the next phase of your life.
I can't tell you how proud I am of you and how happy I am for the continual good choices you've made in your life that so enhance who you are. I love you!"
It's nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing any other mother might think to write.
But it just hit me.
I've moved to the next phase in my life.
I'm no longer the little girl in Disneyland clinging to my dad's hand to stay safe from the crowds.
I'm no longer the chubby baby in those photos smiling brightly at my mom.
And I can't rewind back to those days so she can take another picture with her little daughter.
I'm all grown up now and at the start of that phase of life where I might soon have a little girl of my own.
And as exciting as that is, it's so sad to me too.
It's hard to think I'll never get to go back to those days.
Hard to think of what it's like for my parents to see all their little ones grow so big so quickly.
Hard to think of what it might be like to ever say goodbye to them for good.
But luckily, that's not something I have to or want to think about for a good long while.
And I know, no matter how many birthdays come,
I'll always be their little girl.
And that's a happy thing!
So thank you thank you to everyone for all my sweet things.
I think this last gift makes for a good segway into my happy birth-month memories...
I'm going to try, for once, to let the pictures do most of the talking.
So without further ado...
My Top 5 Favorite Fall Memories (thus far...)
1. Broadway's "The Lion King"
My in-laws have this wonderful habit of absolutely spoiling me! Not only did they outfit me with the finest fashion New York has to offer, but they were also sweet enough to treat Parker and I to a night at the Capitol Theater to see Disney's "The Lion King" LIVE! We loved every minute!
2. Nights out on the town
Both my parents and parents-in-law decided to treat us to dinner. It's been so fun going out on fancy dates with my husband and, while my love-chubb-loathing self isn't too happy, my food-loving side is LOVING the fact that we've been able to have so much gelato. Yum!!!!! I'm so hooked.
3. LOTS of nights spent with friends in Provo
I think I used my birthday as an excuse to plan something nearly every weekend...my poor amigos. When will I learn to stop expecting people to eat, drink, and breathe the social life like I do? Probably never :) Between heated hand-and-foot competitions, scary movies at Nat's cabin (which I so love because of the way it totally creeps Bennett out), Sparks reunions and around-the-world ping-pong competitions at the Lovelands, and peppermint ice cream with my mom's homemade fudge....I'd venture to guess that, even when I go overboard with my party-planning, everyone comes away having had a least a little fun.
4. A little birthday bash at Lara & Kirk's!
They will always be some of my favorite fellow gamers. The fact that we're all so competitive makes it such a fun dynamic! Not to mention the fact that Lara helped me finally ditch my hand-and-foot losing streak by leading us to a solid win over the guys. Such a fun time! We're so blessed to have family willing to entertain us on Sundays. It's really making Utah start to feel like home :)
So I'm a total sucker for all things Halloween and figured...what better way to celebrate my birthday than a corn maze!
My bestie Nicole and her boy Kip partied the night away with us.
From losing ourselves in acres of corn...
...to the boys & Nicole chucking corn husks into the black abyss (with the intention of nailing other innocent maze-goers)...
...to obstacle course competitions on the kiddie playground...
...to quarrels over who could and couldn't see the Magic Eye pictures...
PLEASE tell me someone else can see the 3-D kite in this picture! Everyone thought I was CRAZY for being able to "see" the real Magic Eye pictures. They think it's impossible. I know it's not. Back me up...
Also, if you'd like to try out more Magic Eye images search "magic eye" on Google Images. It's super fun!
...to forcing the guys into Cinderella's pumpkin carriage for one final picture...
...we had loads of good 'ol corny fun.
Thank you thank you to everyone for making this my happiest 21st birth month ever!