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

 The focus should be on the Birthday Girl.

The year Liyah turned 10, she made up her mind that she’d much rather travel than to receive Birthday gifts.
[what an awesome girl!?]
Ever since then – every birthday has been an adventure out of town.
When I say we have been BLESSED with the perfect teenager —— I honestly wish that she’d ask us to do more for her.
 [ I better be careful what I ask for? ]
We asked her if she has any birthday  requests this year  and she says, “I just want to bake brownies and watch a movie at home with you guys.” [ 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  N O T  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  EVER  top last year’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.❤
[ Can’t believe Sydney was able to keep such a big secret away from her sister for over a week! Lol. ]
Liyah’s actual birthday was on a Friday.  She told us she’d love to have dinner at a  Pho Restaurant and  Boba Tea for desert.  This was exactly what we did. She’s so easy to please.
 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 we’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 it’s “family day”, she thought we were going swimming at the  YMCA.
[ This is going to be great,  I couldn’t wait to see how she was going to respond to her birthday surprise.]
Sydney and I snuck and packed everyone’s clothes for the weekend and hid it in the trunk before we left the house.  We even stopped by Marshall’s to get her a new swimsuit and the big unicorn floaty that she’s been wanting:)
By this point I was wondering if she picked up on any clues.
She still thought it was going to be a typical Saturday-outing with the fam-bam! lol
As we pulled up to the Ballantyne Hotel – I noticed Sydney and Jason were STILL plucking her nerves! Lol.  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.
 Soon as he stopped the car I said, “okay Liyah, let’s go in!”
She looked around and thought,
“wait, this doesn’t look like the Y!”
We entered the lobby and went straight to the front desk to check in.  Once she realized we were staying for the weekend – and this is not one of “mommy’s boring meetings” – her face lit up with joy!
 Especially after we told her we are absolutely NOT baking brownies and we’ll be spending the weekend grocery shopping and running errands. Lol.
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You should’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”  when I saw how quickly that frown transformed into a big, happy  smile!
She turns to me and says, “wow, what a beautiful surprise! Thank you Mommy!”
 I looked at my baby and said,
“you deserve it darling. You are going to have the best birthday weekend ever!”

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Two  seconds later she says, “OMG Mommy, I don’t have any clothes or underwear with me!”
 I giggled and said, “I got’cha girl!”
See, it’s  the “little things” that makes the biggest deal!
 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 agreed  AS  A  FAMILY  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!
 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 what’s important to your child, parents shouldn’t have to break the bank and stress out about what birthday gift to get. Sure, it is a different world from  OUR  generation – but let’s not forget  WE  are the ones in control of our children’s lives. Let’s focus on making more memories!
Here’s a recap of our  staycation weekend celebrating Liyah. To read about last year’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.  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 Dad’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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