Weekly Recap: Surprise Party, Dream Job, & Baby Turns 9 Months Old

Welcome back, everyone! Glad you have you on my little corner of the internet again. Last week, it felt like nothing interesting happened. However, this week was a WHOLE other experience! I had a lot of fun and had some wonderful things happen to me!

Where to start? How about here: I GOT MY DREAM JOB!

I am now working as a professional blogger! I get to work from home and take care of my son while working part time…WRITING FOR A LIVING! I mean, come on! That’s the dream! I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity. My boss is a very kind person and I think we’re going to work well together. It’s really one of those moments where you can’t believe that something is happening to you. I’m just so grateful- I can’t stop saying that over and over again to myself. I almost didn’t apply for this job because there were so many applicants, but something inside me said I should go for it. And I’m so glad that I did!

In other news, my baby turned 9 MONTHS OLD THIS WEEK! Can you believe it? I certainly can’t! So far, getting these monthly pictures has been a breeze. This month, well…it was a different story. These were the best one we could get (still love them!)

Isn’t he just the cutest? I could just eat that little nugget up!

Also, I love how he’s like, “Holy crap, mom! It’s a bear!”

Not only did he turn nine months old, he also got his first tooth! It’s bothering him so much but we’ve found a product that really works for him. I’ll share that with you in my nine month update post for baby Flynn!

One of my favorite things that happened this week was that my husband had his 29th birthday! He says he feels old now. 😛

My husband, Zack, is a professor at a college where we live and his students and I planned a little surprise for him AT 5:00 right outside his office. We had a secret Facebook group and everything, you guys! STEALTHY!!!

Everyone dressed just like Zack, backward baseball caps and flannel shirts. It was adorable and it meant so much to Zack! You can just see it on his face!


It was a really great moment when he realized just how many of his students were there to celebrate with him! I brought cake but I didn’t get a picture of it because I’m a bad blogger and all I could think was, “CAKE IN BELLY!!!”

The kids also made him a “Dr. Pepper Cake” since it basically runs in his veins.


I surprised him by giving him the game “Horizon Zero Dawn” that everyone’s been talking about lately. He was really excited…in fact…guess what he’s doing right now as I type this blog…

Flynn saw him playing it earlier and wanted in the action.


Is that not the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen?! I love my boys.

That night, I made garlic butter and herb spaghetti, brown sugar brussel sprouts, and roasted veggies. The pasta is his favorite and we always have it on his birthday!


YUUUUM! And, honestly, so so so so so bad for you. 😛 But it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, right?

Here are some other yummy/healthier foods we had to eat this week:

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I loved that skinny caramel macchiato. It was the perfect pick me up!

This week I also had a girl’s craft time with one of my besties, Morgan! She’s that adorable little redhead in the birthday pictures above! We’re in the progress of paining our Disney shoes! I’m doing snow white shoes and she’s making her shoes look like Belle! I’ll post the final picture when I finish them and link you to my Etsy store if you’re interested in purchasing some!

Morgan is such a sincere person and I’m so glad that we have become friends. She had a rough day yesterday and I’m glad that we could do some crafting to de-stress a little. Everyone send her some love! She’s such a sweetheart! <3

I also did a little early Valentine’s day craft for Zack to put in his office.

I had a seriously wonderful week. Everything went so well and was so lovely. Like I said, I’m just so grateful!

I even got some fresh flowers this week! They make everything better, don’t they?


Thanks for visiting my blog today! I hope you enjoyed reading this recap post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I’ll see you all on Wednesday. Oh! Make sure to follow me on social media and let me know you came from the blog! I’d love to hear from you!

Instagram & Twitter: ellenvandever

Facebook: Millennial Mama Bird

Etsy: Quirky Girl Giftshop

Ellen 🙂


The Girl With The Sunflower Tattoo

Have you ever met someone who you instantly clicked with? Sometimes you meet a person and the conversation is so effortless, and it seems like you’ve known them forever.

That’s how I met mine and my husband’s best friend, Rada.

The three of us hit it off right away and we were inseparable…

That sounds like someone died or something. Let me explain.

We lived in Tallahassee for three years while my husband attended FSU for Grad School. Soon after we moved there, we met Rada and our friendship began. Now, my husband and I live in the North Georgia mountains and Rada lived in Rhode Island for his work.

It’s hard being away from each other, but technology makes it a lot easier. I can’t tell you the number of texts, phone calls, skype sessions, and facebook tags we’ve had all together. We even have a secret facebook group for things we think the others will find funny. Shoot…guess the secrets out now. Sorry guys.

The point is: there are people that come into your life to change it for the better- that’s definitely what Rada has done for us. Some friendships follow you forever and rock you to your very core- those friendships are important.

Anyway, this story is one that I’ve wanted to write down for a long time. The story of our friendship tattoos.

Our time in Tallahassee was coming to an end and I was really feeling the time ticking down. The three of us were seriously insperatable for three years and that special time was about to end. IT’S THE END OF AN ERA!!!! I never doubted that our friendship would extend beyond Tallahassee- I wasn’t worried about that at all. But when you’re living your life, happy and content, and then you know things are going to change- well, that’s enough the make anyone anxious. Well, maybe not anyone…but me…definitely.

I remember the day well, actually. Zack and I were sitting on the couch watching tv, and Rada walked in (he had his own garage door opener, of course). Rada immediately headed to the fridge and started searching for a snack.

Side note: that’s how you know you have real friendship. When the other person searches through your fridge without having to ask for your permission. Who knew refrigerators were the true test of friendship? 😛

Before this day, I had only dabbled with the idea of getting a tattoo. My husband, Zack, always says that you should have your idea for a tattoo and be thinking about it for at least a year before you get it done. Well…I had at least been thinking that I might want one…but I wasn’t sure what.

All the sudden, the idea struck me- friendship tattoos! Sure, it’s a little cheesy but who cares, right?!

I brought it up to the boys and they looked at me like I was crazy. I’m pretty sure they thought I had been abducted by aliens and was replaced with an Ellen bot. I’m notoriously scared of needles and blood so they had every right to give me that look.

When I described what I wanted, though, they knew I was serious.

We all bonded over Doctor Who and the three of us have always identified with Matt Smith’s doctor, Amy, and Rory. I knew I wanted something to represent our friendship and this seemed like the perfect way to do it!

The idea of being able to look down at my wrist and see my tattoo when I was missing Rada (or my husband if he’s ever away) was a lovely thought. I knew I could get through the pain for that. Plus, sunflowers are my favorite flower and hold another special meaning for me- maybe I’ll write more on that at a later time.

We did a lot of research about places in the area and found somewhere with really good reviews. We settled on “The Iron Inkwell”. That ended up being a great choice because Lacy was really nice and talented. She listened to everything we wanted and made it a reality!


So, what do our tattoos symbolize?

Mine: Amy’s Sunflowers that Vincent paints for her

Zack: Rory’s centurion helmet (he did wait for her all that time…so romantic just like my hubby!)


Rada: A tardis and around his wrist it says, “Come along Ponds”


I hope any Doctor Who fans are geeking out right now…just like we did!

The boys made me go first in case I was going to wimp out on them. I don’t blame them at all for that! And honestly, I’m glad I went first- less time to freak myself out.


Strangely, I don’t think there are any pictures of me getting my tattoo. There is, however, a video of me cursing a lot…and I mean…A LOT!

I remember being scared to tell people I got a tattoo. I knew my family would be shocked and I was worried they would think it was a terrible idea.

My husband reminded me that sometimes you just have to do what you feel is right for you, and I’m so glad that I did!

After all was said and done, my friends and family thought it was pretty badass of me and I even inspired my mother to get a tattoo that she had wanted.

In the past few years, I’ve really learned how important it is to do what you think is right for you- as long as you aren’t hurting anyone else. Chances are, people will be impressed with your bravery and a little jealous that they don’t have the guts to go out on a line themselves. I truly hope that’s something you take away from this blog post.

Now, I have this beautiful reminder of friendship that I constantly carry around with me. Sometimes, when I’m writing, typing, working out, I’ll see my wrist and smile thinking about all the good times we had and will have in the future.

Friendships are so important and when you find one as pure and real as the one I have with these two boys, you hold onto it for dear life. I love my boys and I love our tattoos.

Rada even got a tattoo on his leg that I designed! I’ll have to get that picture from him and post it sometime.

Question for you:

1.) Who’s your best friend and how did you meet?

2.) Do you have any tattoos? What do they symbolize to you?

3.) Does your best friend raid your fridge?

More on Sunday!

Ellen 🙂