As luck would have it – Hallie turned 18 on one of the busiest Saturdays of the year! Between all the boys and their sports, I knew it was going to be hard to make her feel special on her big day. So I called in the best reinforcements. Hallie didn’t know it at the time, but we planned the best day for her.

She had friends surprise her by picking her up for lunch. They gave her the golden treatment complete with tiara and sash. I’m pretty sure if this had been the only birthday activity of the day – she would have been happy with the day. But I had more in store for her.

While she was out to lunch she had some little elves decorating her room. I was sitting at a soccer game giving Hunter directions to fill her room with balloons. He took that quite literally and he filled the room – no floor space visible. I was impressed to come home and find they didn’t just blow up balloons, they went through the party bin and found some banners and other decorations to add to the room.

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Hallie got home from lunch and didn’t immediately go to her room. So we just patiently waited until she felt the need to go upstairs and she was left speechless.

We had multiple soccer games that night so I worked with one of her friends to make sure she wouldn’t be stuck at home alone. Originally the plan was for them to use our ASU football tickets to take a group of friends. But I got a text two days before her birthday aborting the plan because the Diamondbacks were in the world series and had a game that night so they had a birthday/watch party. I figured a small group would gather and it would exceed her expectations. Later that night I received pictures from a sweet mother who spent some extra effort to make sure Hallie was celebrated. (Pazookies for everyone!) They had a large group (not all pictured) and hung out all night. Hallie’s wish for a Diamondbacks win was granted and she came home beaming. I couldn’t be more grateful for all these friends who spent the day showering her with love. Being tied up most the day, I was worried what her day would like and truth is it was better than I it would have been had I been home all day! They sure took care of her.

The next day we were all home and were able to open some presents and sing to her. I think she was most excited about the new Taylor Swift CD, 1989 Taylor’s Version. This was the very first CD Hallie owned and she played it over and over again in her karaoke machine. I couldn’t help but purchase the updated CD so she could jam out to it in her car old-school style. (She has since listened to it on repeat in her car and she’s raving about the convenience of CDs!)

I’m pretty sure she had the best birthday ever – it’s good to be 18!