CHARLOTTEAN FAMILY TRAVEL

BREAKING BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS

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Breaking Birthday traditions… because who wants to plan a big birthday bash for a teenager and their friends anyway?!

ย The focus should be on the Birthday Girl.

The year Liyah turned 10, she made up her mind that sheโ€™d much rather travel than to receive Birthday gifts.
[what an awesome girl!๐Ÿ˜Š]
Ever since then – every birthday has been an adventure out of town.
When I say we have been BLESSED with the perfect teenager โ€”โ€” I honestly wish that sheโ€™d ask us to do more for her.
ย [ I better be careful what I ask for๐Ÿ˜‰ ]
We asked her if she has any birthday ย requests this yearย  and she says, โ€œI just want to bake brownies and watch a movie at home with you guys.โ€ [ tear ]
This teenager has made it so easy for us! She’s an innocent teenage girl who simply values her family.

How can a mama ย N O T ย do something EXTRA SPECIAL for her daughter after hearing such sweet words??!!!

Makes me want to give her the world!

Not sure if anything can ย EVER ย top last yearโ€™s week long vacation exploring Cali – but I figured it out… We are going to surprise her with a few of her faves – family, resort, and French toast.โค
[ Canโ€™t believe Sydney was able to keep such a big secret away from her sister for over a week! Lol. ]
Liyahโ€™s actual birthday was on a Friday.ย  She told us sheโ€™d love to have dinner at aย  Pho Restaurant andย  Boba Tea for desert.ย  This was exactly what we did. She’s so easy to please.
ย We were too tired afterwards to end the night with brownies and a movie, so we told her we can try again the next day.
She knew weโ€™d be celebrating her birthday the entire weekend, but had NO clue what was on the agenda.
Saturday morning was a typical morning – big breakfast with the fam and lots of laughs at the table.
Assuming itโ€™s โ€œfamily dayโ€, she thought we were going swimming at theย  YMCA.
[ This is going to be great,ย ย I couldnโ€™t wait to see how she was going to respond to her birthday surprise.]
Sydney and I snuck and packed everyoneโ€™s clothes for the weekend and hid it in the trunk before we left the house. ย We even stopped by Marshallโ€™s to get her a new swimsuit and the big unicorn floaty that sheโ€™s been wanting:)
By this point I was wondering if she picked up on any clues.
Nope.
She still thought it was going to be a typical Saturday-outing with the fam-bam! lol
As we pulled up to the Ballantyne Hotelย – I noticed Sydney and Jason were STILL plucking her nerves! Lol. ย She was too busy fussing at them and was distracted when we pulled up.

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Jeremy pulled up to the front so it kind of looks like it main entrance at the Y.
ย Soon as he stopped the car I said, โ€œokay Liyah, letโ€™s go in!โ€
She looked around and thought,
โ€œwait, this doesnโ€™t look like the Y!โ€
We entered the lobby and went straight to the front desk to check in. ย Once she realized we were staying for the weekend – and this is not one of โ€œmommyโ€™s boring meetingsโ€ – her face lit up with joy!
ย Especially after we told her we are absolutely NOT baking brownies and weโ€™ll be spending the weekend grocery shopping and running errands. Lol.
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You shouldโ€™ve seen it.
The excitement on her face was priceless –
considering how aggravated she was by her siblings the whole ride there.
[poor thing]
I seriously felt like the hero who ” came to her rescue”ย  when I saw how quickly that frown transformed into a big, happyย  smile!
She turns to me and says, โ€œwow, what a beautiful surprise! Thank you Mommy!โ€
ย I looked at my baby and said,
โ€œyou deserve it darling. You are going to have the best birthday weekend ever!โ€

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Two ย seconds later she says, โ€œOMG Mommy, I donโ€™t have any clothes or underwear with me!โ€
ย I giggled and said, โ€œI gotโ€™cha girl!โ€
See, it’sย  the “little things” that makes the biggest deal!
ย Birthday parties are fun. But we’ve realized it can be a bit overrated.
To us, the emotional and monetary stress isn’t worth the energy.
We’ve agreedย  ASย  Aย  FAMILYย  to spend our hard-earning money on experiences and not “things”.
These babies are going to need money for college and weddings in the future!
And let’s be honest… everyone doesn’t qualify for full ride scholarships to college!
ย Liyah loved her surprise guys!
Happy 15th Birthday to our biggest baby!
We are VERY fortunate to have a teenager who listens, understands and highly values respect for her family. Depending on whatโ€™s important to your child, parents shouldnโ€™t have to break the bank and stress out about what birthday gift to get. Sure, it is a different world from ย OUR ย generation – but letโ€™s not forget ย WE ย are the ones in control of our childrenโ€™s lives. Letโ€™s focus on making more memories!
Here’s a recap of ourย  staycation weekend celebrating Liyah. To read about last yearโ€™s birthday surprise click here.
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Balcony view from our suite

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But first… let’s take a selfie:)

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Family over everything.

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All about Liyah Day

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Breakfast served by little sis. ย Oh how a mama love moments like this.

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French Toast “fave – crave”

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Father-Daughter moments are the best. Especially when Dadโ€™s current view is overlooking the greenery of a golf course.

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A photo of her parents captured by the birthday girl herself.

Topping the Birthday weekend with an Oreo Ice Cream Cake.

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