Surprise, I am 30

For the first time, I have not made a big deal about my Birthday. Every year, I announce on November 1st that “Birthday Month” has officially begun. A few weeks later I make an even bigger deal that “Birthday Week” has started. But, this year, I said nothing. Why? I’m not quite sure… 30 just didn’t excite me. Or, maybe I’ve just been too busy to think about it. Whatever it was didn’t matter, because why I failed to make a big deal about turning 30, my family and friends did not.

On my actual birthday me and a few close friends ran a Holiday themed 5k together and everyone dressed in a theme…”Hilarie’s Nerdy 30!” Even Luna was sporting suspenders and a homemade onesie. We were adorable. I ran my fastest 5k (which isn’t very fast, 27 minutes) and every one of us got 1st place in our age group! Plus, we won for “most spirited team”!

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Btw, my parents do not have wifi so all blogging and photo editing is done only with my phone this week! Bare with me.

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After the race, we had brunch with more friends and family. The food was great and the company was better. I got showered with gifts which was totally unnecessary but a nice surprise. And, of course, we topped it off with some holiday lattes from Starbucks.

My birthday ended with an overnight drive to Texas. When we arrived early the next morning I was then spoiled by my Texas family! I truly thought it couldn’t get any better, but the next day I received the biggest surprise yet.

The next day was my Mom’s birthday and she decided she wanted to celebrate that night by going to a local Mexican restaurant that I also happen to love. When we got there the waitress said my sister was already there and walked us back to a big dark room. My first thought was, “why on Earth would Natalie want to eat in this dark room”. Then, I spotted my Uncle and thought, “oh, that’s so nice that he came to celebrate my Mom’s birthday!” At that moment the lights turned on and everyone shouted “SURPRISE!”

I looked at my Mom to see if she was surprised and then thought, “why wouldn’t my sister tell me she planned a surprise party for our Mom?” I started looking for her for some answers and she began putting a sash on me and I then realized everyone was saying “Hilarie, it’s for you.” Oooohhhh

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I was seriously shocked. Not only was I surprised about the party, but I could not believe how many people were there! There must have been about 40 people. It was really the nicest surprise. I got to see so many people I love, many who were meeting Luna for the first time. I felt very special and so loved.

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I actually bought a sash for my Mom too!

Now, that it’s here, I guess 30 isn’t so bad. In fact, it has started off way better than I ever expected.

Thank you so much to everyone for making 30 such a great birthday and Happy Hilarie’s Birthday to all of you!

Cheers!

oh and P.S. the winner of the Dr. Who shoes was chosen and is in the comments of the Practically Perfect Shoes post!

Our Least Glamorous Valentine’s

Okay, if you’ve followed Positively Panicked for a while you surely know that I LOVE ALL holidays. I have head-to-toe outfits (shoes and accessories included) for every holiday, throw parties, make themed food and celebrate to the fullest extent. Valentine’s Day is one my all-time favorites. I just love the expressions of love that go out. Seriously, even the ridiculous amount of corny Facebook posts don’t bother me. It’s nice to see so much love being expressed. Typically, I send cards to all my friends, bake/buy something delicious for work, wear hearts all week and do something extra special for Husband. This year is clearly a lot different.

Husband and mine’s dating anniversary is on February 17th, so we typically celebrate Valentine’s and our anniversary together, making a week/weekend out of it. Our favorite tradition is buying each other funny cards, but we also plan special surprises for each other. Last year, Husband surprised me with a trip to Disneyland California (completing our “visit every Disney park in the world” goal). Another year, I surprised him with a trip to Berlin, Germany. Our very first Valentine/Anniversary, he surprised me with a trip to NYC (my first time to visit NY) and tickets to see Wicked and tour backstage. We have celebrated at Disney World, fancy restaurants, the movies, etc. One year, Husband took me to a little Italian restaurant in the middle of a small town in Nowhere, Tennessee. As we walked in they were actually playing “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”, the owner waited on us and prepared a special meal and we ate our meal by candle light..it was right out of a movie.

As you can see, we tend to go all out, a little overboard even, when it comes to this holiday. In fact, our very first date (sometime around February 17th) was probably the most romantic of all. We ate together at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We talked so long that we closed the restaurant without even realizing we were the last ones there. Then, as we left, a security guard met us at the restaurant door and began following us towards the gates. A little worried, we asked if we were in trouble. He said, “No. You are just the last two people in the park so I have to escort you out.” We had no idea we’d been hanging out for so long. Even now, I’m certain we could close the park just sitting and enjoying each other’s company.

This year, at 11am, Husband was still in bed and I was nursing our baby for hours on end on the couch while watching Disney movies. The house is a mess. The dishwasher just broke again. I am surrounded by pill bottles and there are zero plans for the weekend…no surprise trips, no reservations and I wasn’t even able to shop for a funny card. (We did go to a friend’s house last night… just no romantic plans.) It’s the least glamorous Valentine/Anniversary we have had together, but I have never felt more loved.

During our extra long hospital stay Husband managed to fulfill every single wedding vow, including putting up with my high anxiety and panic attacks. The three of us cuddled in the hospital bed together as we watched movies to keep our minds off of everything else happening. Husband held my hand and told me how strong I was during the moments I felt weakest. When I couldn’t get out of bed, he brought me Luna to feed, then he would change her, swaddle her and love on her before putting her to bed and taking care of me. Now, that we are home and finally able to share some of the load I can enjoy watching Husband become a Father… it’s the best thing ever. I never doubted his ability to be an awesome Dad, but seeing in action is incredible.

And, the best Valentine is of course our perfect little Luna (everybody say “awww”).

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Last night, for the first time since Luna was born, I was able to get ready and feel like a real person before going to our friend’s Valentine party. In fact, we all got dressed up which called for a family picture.

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Happy Valentine’s to each of you and Happy 9 years to Husband!

xoxo Cheers!

 

We are having a baby!!!

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FINALLY, I get to tell everyone my super big secret that I never really kept. I suck at keeping any secrets so you can imagine how hard it has been for me to keep this a secret. We have told way more people than originally planned, but whatever, we’re just so excited! This is a huge reason why my blogs have been so sporadic lately. Every day, as I sit at my laptop, I just stare at the screen thinking “OMG, I’m pregnant!” and that’s it. Leaving this little detail out has made it very challenging to write about my daily life.

I am officially 10 weeks and a couple of days pregnant. Everything has gone really well, we have heard it’s heartbeat, seen its little hands and feet wiggle and we are so very excited.

I’ve been thinking of ways to “announce” the pregnancy for months now, and never came up with a super creative idea. We decided to take some photos at our recent Hilton Head vacation, and these are my favorites of the 5 thousand photos we took…

Husband's expression of "what the hell?" here is priceless
Husband’s expression of “what the hell?” here is priceless
I like this one because it looks so similar to our wedding invites
I like this one because it looks so similar to our wedding invites

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And of course, Zoey had to sneak into a couple
And of course, Zoey had to sneak into a couple
Awww, Husband is pregnant!
Awww, Husband is pregnant!

When I first found out I was pregnant we decided to tell our parent’s first. We had a big family dinner with my in-laws and I stood up to take a group picture of everyone. I set my camera on “record” and said “on the count of 3, say Hilarie is pregnant!” The idea was to record everyone’s reactions instead of snapping a photo, but I recently got a new phone and that video is now gone…woops.

We Facetime’d with my family in Texas and sent photos to my closest friends.

Sent to my sister, our babies will be just 11 months apart!
Sent to my sister, our babies will be just 11 months apart!
Sent to some friends to announce the baby.
Sent to some friends to announce the baby.

Belle is probably our biggest concern at the moment. This dog is so incredibly spoiled. She can’t even handle me holding someone else’s child for a minute. Here’s hoping she likes our kid more than she likes everyone else’s.

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You have probably realized now that the baby is due February 17th, approximately, which also happens to be mine and Husband’s 9-year dating anniversary! I know it’s unlikely that the baby will be born on its actual due date, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I could not be any happier right now, life is really good.

Cheers!

A Really Bad Day That Was Actually The Best Day

Alright, let me give you the reader’s digest of my day yesterday, Thursday, March 14th to be exact….

I slept for exactly zero hours. That’s right after a dose of  hydrocodone and NyQuil I NEVER went to sleep. Instead of sleeping I coughed all night, coughed until I had to puke. At 6am, our landlord called to say there was water leaking in the apartment below us and it was probably coming from our apartment.

6:30am, the super came up to check our pipes.

7am, the plumber came over, and left, and came back, and left, came back, left, etc.

7:30am, groceries were delivered.

8am, I called in sick.

Around 1pm, I decided I felt better enough and stir crazy enough to go to work. (I was obviously delirious.)

After teaching a few classes I felt sick enough to leave and go straight to the doctor (and you know I must have felt really sick to go to the doctor!)

Then, my obnoxious Aunt Flow decided to make a surprise appearance at the most inappropriate time possible. She’s famous for surprise visits. Just lovely.

This day appears bad, but it’s missing one very important detail. I will remember absolutely none of the bad details from this day. Nope, the one thing that I will remember is that my very first nephew was born. That’s right, yesterday morning Micah Liam graced us with his presence. Turns out that being sick and up all night was a blessing in disguise. I got to FaceTime with my sister while she was in labor at 5am, and tell her how much I love and miss her! Once he was born, I was able to watch as he lay on her chest and looked straight into the iPhone as if to say “Hey there Aunt Hilarie!” .

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I saw my parents become the most adorable and proudest Grandparents ever. Seriously, at 2 hours old they were already bragging about how smart he is! They are so in love with this little man. I saw my Brother-in-law hold his son for the very first time, and I saw my sister become a Mother! It was magical, and thanks to the flu and FaceTime Husband and I got to be a part of it all!

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Congratulations Sis, Bro, Mom and Dad! Our world will never ever be the same! I’m just a big ball of cheese and love today!!!

Cheers!

My Wild Imagination Teamed up With Xanax

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While watching Fantasmic at Disneyland recently we sat quietly during the pre-show to hear the famous speech that introduces the show every night….

….Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment you can experience a beautiful or an exciting adventure…

At this point I whispered to Husband, “My imagination is a bit scarier”.

…But BEWARE nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare…”

I lean into Husband, “That sounds about right”.

…Are the powers of Mickey’s incredible imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey’s dream”?

“If Mickey had Xanax this wouldn’t be a problem”, at this point Husband gave me the stop talking and watch the show glare.

I am no expert, and I haven’t done the research, but from my experiences I would say the majority of people on anxiety medications have two prescriptions. One is a daily medicine. This one is typically an SSRI (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and helps keep the constant daily anxiety at bay.

The second is an “in case of emergency medicine”. Most people are prescribed a Benzodiazepine. You’ve probably heard of Klonopin and Xanax.  These drugs act as sedatives on the nervous system, can become addictive and should not be taken everyday.

I have both prescriptions. My daily one is a lifesaver! Oh my, I was terrified to take the medication (part of having an anxiety disorder), but soon after starting I realized I felt like myself again. Like I can make it through one day without sweating profusely, digestion problems and chest pains. The difference of being on the medicine and off the medicine is night and day, life and death, caffeine and decaf.

My “in case of emergency” medicine scares me. It has more side effects; it’s stronger, more serious and completely foreign to me. Over the last month there were times that I needed it. Times when I couldn’t breathe, my chest hurt and my pulse raced, but I refused to take a pill. What if I have a bad reaction? What if it knocks me out? What if I become addicted?

Our first day at Disneyland I became “excitedly overwhelmed”. I don’t know if it was the crowds, the excitement or the rush I felt to do it all, but something got to me. I had to sit and focus on breathing….in and out.

Husband suggested taking my medication, but I resisted with the normal excuses. After a half hour of being miserable in the “happiest place on Earth”, I decided it’s worth a try, and I took my first “emergency pill”.

It worked, it made me sleepy, but it worked. My fear of taking it isn’t gone, but it isn’t as prominent.

Like Mickey, I have a big imagination. I also have evil villains trying to turn my dreams into nightmares. Mickey needs Peter Pan, Princesses and fireworks to protect his positive thoughts. I need Xanax, and thanks to Xanax I was able to sit and enjoy all of Fantasmic without stress or fear.

It’s getting better. Next step: find a therapist.

Cheers!

Some Left Over Magic

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There’s still a little bit of Disney magic and romance left to share from my surprise vacation. I never even got to the food we ate, and this may have been the best Disney food we’ve experienced….except maybe our meal at the Beast’s Castle. Did you know that Disney now has Starbucks?! And not the “we serve Starbucks’s coffee” here Starbucks, but an actual Starbucks, with frappacino’s lattes, soy milk and everything!

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We ate lots of snacks and goodies all day, but that did not keep us from indulging in the famous Disney Dole Whips! This dairy free ice cream-like pineapple flavored desserts are little cups of heaven.

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We didn’t just eat junk though, in fact, we had two really nice meals. Our first fancy meal was at the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square. This restaurant is actually part of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! We sat at a table right by the water and watched the boats float past as we ate dinner…amazing. The restaurant is inside, but is designed to look like you are eating outside under the light of paper lanterns next to a southern bayou. I grew up next to real bayous and I must say this bore no resemblance….no, it was much better. Big plus: no mosquitos.

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We got to enjoy the sounds of the Royal Street Bachelor’s as they serenaded the streets with jazz music. We were their number one fans so they tossed me some Mardi Gras beads as a thank you! Muah! Love you Bachelors!

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Our second fancy dinner was at the Carthay Circle Restaurant on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. This restaurant is a replica of the theatre where Snow White premiered. It is very snazzy, so snazzy that they do not give you a buzzer or yell out your name when your table is ready…. When we checked in we were told to have a seat in the lounge, order a drink, and someone will find us when our table is ready.

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As we sipped our cocktails we wondered how the hell the waiters know who to find for each table. We watched as they walked up to certain people (some standing, some sitting, some at the bar) and then took them to their table. When our waiter eventually found us we had to ask, “How do you do it?!?! Is there some sort of secret code?? Were you told to find the most attractive couple in the room??? The ugliest couple?!?!”

Nope turns out he was told to find “the gentlemen in the black and orange jacket”.

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If you haven’t heard, Disney’s theme this year is “limited time magic”. This means that throughout the year there will be special events that last a short amount of time…pretty self explanatory I guess. For the week of Valentine’s they had “True Love Week”. There were several special events happening at every Disney park, but the coolest being that the princes were out doing meet-and-greets with their princesses!

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Alright I know they aren't exactly royalty, but gosh I love Mary and Burt!
Alright I know they aren’t exactly royalty, but gosh I love Mary and Burt!

One of my favorite memories from this weekend is Husband’s new sweatshirt. Our first night at Disneyland got unexpectedly cold. So cold they we had to splurge and buy ourselves some sweatshirts. Apparently, every single person in the park had the same idea. By the time we started shopping they were sold out of almost every sweatshirt. After a half hour of searching I found one I was willing to buy and wear….Husband wasn’t so lucky.

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Oh man, “Turkey Leg”. hahaha This shirt is so terrible and yet so great.

Husband will never wear it again.

That brings me to the end of our Anniversary Disney weekend. We have officially been to each and every Disney park! Next will have to be a Disney cruise!

Cheers!

 

 

Cars Land!

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Husband’s favorite part of our trip, by far, was the new Cars Land at California Adventure. Not to be stereotypical, but it is a very boy-friendly land. Lots of cars, trucks, tires, gas stations, neon signs, junk food and Lightning McQueen of course. Cars was not my favorite Pixar movie, in fact it’s at the bottom of my list, but I must say…I LOVED the land almost as much as Husband.

Disney is the “theming” master, but they outdid themselves in Cars Land. It felt like we were actually in Radiator Springs. The road appeared driven on, every store and station featured in the movie were there, and Tow Mater himself was hanging out in front of the Cozy Cone.

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Our first goal in Cars Land was to ride the Radiator Springs Racers. This ride is similar to Test Track in Disneyworld’s EPCOT, but so much better! We got to ride in a car through Ornament Valley with the Cadillac Range Mountains as our backdrop. All the famous characters from Cars meet us along the way, and we even got a touch up at Ramóne’s, tires at Luigi’s, and then sent off to race another car through the hills and caverns! Luckily, they offer a “single rider’s” line because the fast passes ran out in about an hour and the “stand-by” line was a 2-hour wait!

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The next ride was Luigi’s Flying Tires. This ride was not near as exciting as the Racers, but the floating tires that acted as bumper cars were pretty cool.

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The food in Cars Land is reason enough to visit. The Cozy Cone has Frito Pies served in a bread cone, ice cream cones, pretzel bites in cones, popcorn in cones (pop-cone) and some delicious frozen drinks. We got Red’s apple freeze, but I’d like to go back and try the pomegranate limeade with berry foam. I’d get it “high-octane” style….(vodka added).

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The best part of Cars Land is how the appearance changes once the sun goes down. That’s when the Neon lights up! I loved comparing our daytime photos to the ones we shot at night.

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I suggest seeing this park a few times throughout the day to view the changes, listen to the music and grab a few snacks. It was definitely the highlight of our day!

Cheers!