Parker’s Third Birthday in New Orleans

It’s been a whirlwind time lately of traveling and doing all sorts of fun things and at the top of the list was a couple of weekends ago when my family (my sister and brother-in-law) and I headed down to New Orleans to celebrate Parker’s 3rd birthday.  She is finally getting to the age that she is understanding birthdays and all the festiveness that goes with that event in  life and she had a grand ole’ time during her birthday weekend celebrations.  Her birthday also usually coincides with Mardi Gras and so we all got in on a parade day while we were there too, so that was extra fun as well.

It was two years ago that we took mom with us for Parker’s 1st birthday and we also went to Mardi Gras then too and that one was my first time going to it.  It’s a very festive time down there as you can imagine and for the people who grew up there, like Lauren’s husband’s family, they always celebrate and go to as many parades as possible for the grandkids to enjoy.  There’s lots of food and festiveness to enjoy during Mardi Gras, all family friendly where they go on St. Charles Avenue.  It’s nothing like I thought it would be based on my knowledge of what Mardi Gras was about, thankfully.  Very family friendly where they go.

Mom and dad are doing well and mom decided not to go on this trip, but stayed at home.  Neither of them like travel long distances much anymore, so she limits how many trips she goes on each year.  We may all go down to Florida in a few months to visit her relatives, so she will definitely go on that one.  Dad is doing well with his hearing aids and adjusting so well with it all, which makes us all really happy.  Success so far and so glad we finally got him to go and do it!

It’s a long drive to New Orleans from Atlanta, but always worth it when we see those cute faces of Parker and Iris.  We got to pick up Parker at her daycare that day and she was all smiles that we had come to see her.  It’s always fun to visit them and get to just hang out as family for a few days.  Parker’s birthday was stretched all weekend long.

We also love to eat lots of good food while we are down there, so I’ll highlight a few things we had. I didn’t get beignets this time, simply because there just wasn’t any time, but we did go and pick up Muffalattas at a local restaurant, R & O’s in Metairie one day for lunch.  We had them before and they are so delicious and we had to do it again.  They have olive spread no them and are so tasty!  A New Orleans treat for sure.  This one is 9″ in diameter and enough for 4 people.

Parker’s actual birthday is February 17th and that was on a Friday so Lauren scheduled a cute little girl’s tea at a local tea party place for Parker to experience.  She got all dressed up for her tea party and was excited to go.  Lauren dearly loves teas and all that goes with it and will no doubt pass that on to Parker all she can.

These two precious girls just steal our hearts, that’s for sure. Iris is 10 months and Parker 3.  Iris is so much more dainty and petite than Parker was at her age, so she is going to be a little different in the way she is built than Parker is.  We can definitely tell when we pick them up and how tiny and lightweight Iris seems compared to Parker at this age.  She was already a chunk to lug around and now at 3, she is a heavy girl to carry. Lauren was always on the small side when she was little too, so she will probably be more dainty like her mama was and is.  They are both very healthy girls though, so we are grateful for that.

Parker got into her tea party and enjoyed all the girly-girl things they did, like try on tutus and necklaces, feather boas and princess crowns.

She loves all this stuff and had a great time of it.

She’s showing us her newly painted sparkly nail polish that was just applied.

The girls who run the tea party brought out little tea sandwiches, fruit and tea (really lemonade) for all the little girls to enjoy.  It was really cute.

Real china teacups and saucers.

Parker had a wonderful time with her treats.

And enjoyed the heck out of those white cake donuts which she certainly doesn’t get at home.  It was cute to watch them.  Her older cousin, Elise and her other grandmother and aunt joined us for tea too.

One night all of us, including Philip’s family as well, went to a smoked chicken place called Pollos a las Brasas on Williams Blvd. in Kenner in case you are interested.  Just a very casual place, but oh my word, was the food delicious.  It’s sort of Latin influenced food and very, very good!  We loved every bite of it and devoured it all before I thought to take a picture of the actual food we ate.  But it’s highly recommended from me! We got 3 whole chickens (cut up) for all of us, including rice, beans, fried plantains, guacomole, and some appetizers that were delicious.

Another treat we enjoyed was this delicious Chantilly cake for the Mardi Gras parade we went to. They picked this up at a local bakery and it was fantastic too. That creamy middle is so tasty!

On Saturday, the Mardi Gras parades were in full force on St. Charles Avenue, so we headed there for a few hours of fun parades and some food to enjoy as well.  They camp out there for the day and have a place reserved for bathroom breaks and to keep the food inside, so it’s nice to have all that covered.  It’s been tradition for Philip’s family for many years and they know just how to do it up right.  You may have seen those ladders with wooden seat holders up on top with wheels that everyone down there has for Mardi Gras parades.  Lauren and Philip just made one for their girls and Parker and her cousin, Elise, tried it out for the first time.  Ladders are spread all down St. Charles Ave. for the kids to view the parade and I climbed up one of them to get a good view myself.  Selfie with the kids and Bruce!

Parker loves her cousin, Elise and they have a grand time together.  Lauren was up the night before stenciling the new box for the parade the next day. She’s a good mama!  Fox for Parker (Parker’s middle name, a family name from her dad’s side of the family) and Iris for the baby, named after our mama.

Parker got the hang of that throwing of the beads thing really well!  She had a blast!

Her grandmother bought them horns to blow and they loved that too. Beads and horns and all sorts of fun, a kid’s paradise. I caught a few beads myself, but didn’t bring any home.

As you can see, Parker got her share too and was sporting the bling!  Baby Iris was giddy sitting up there on the ladder for a family photo opp.

The parade is fun and loud to watch, from marching bands, to horses, and floats and more.

The big floats are level with the ladders so it’s a good vantage point at the top of them.

Horses and parades, a big Mardi Gras celebration.

The floats are all so colorful and big.

Iris enjoyed the day out and it was a really beautiful sunny day with perfect spring weather.  It’s definitely not hot down there yet, thank goodness.

As you can see, Parker thoroughly enjoyed her day at Mardi Gras.

And the birthday celebration wasn’t over yet.  On Sunday, Lauren had a birthday party scheduled at a local indoor playground, Palm Tree Playground and invited lots of Parker’s classmates and friends, so there were probably 15 to 20 kids running around playing.  Parker had a ball climbing to the top of the climbing areas.

There were plenty of things for the little ones to enjoy too.

Then it was time for pizza, cake and ice cream.  Lauren had it all decorated so cute, a memorable 3rd birthday party for Parker.

This beautiful cake came from a local bakery near them and turned out so adorable.  What a gorgeous cake with that cute Fox on top!

The birthday girl had a fantastic time at the party and enjoyed every minute of it and we all sang happy birthday to her.

One more family pic to commemorate the day with them and celebrating Parker’s 3rd birthday.  So glad we made the trip down and got to see her on her birthday.  It’s been such a blessing to watch these little girls grow up before our eyes and we love to see them every chance we get.  I’m sure Lauren will be bringing them home for Easter this year so that they can see mom and dad.  Mom loves these baby girls so much and wants to see them as often as she can!

That’s a little recap of our New Orleans adventure this time!  Thank you all for stopping by and checking out family time with me.  I do appreciate that you all take an interest in my family and I love sharing them with you!

- Rhoda


  1. Awesome- the girls are precious and all the fun festivities you captured through your lens thank you for the wonderful recap

  2. I so enjoyed this collage of your visit to your family, special memories in the making!

  3. Andrea G Corley says:

    How much fun was that!!! Parker looks like her mom and Iris looks like her dad. I know all those colors and the excitement was so much fun! I am glad you get to spend that time with them. Aunt Rody 🙂

    Look forward to seeing more.

  4. What a fun trip celebrating a precious little girl! Those little girls are adorable! I think I see some of your Daddy in Lauren. Thanks for sharing your family.

  5. I love seeing these wonderful family pics of Parker’s third birthday. So glad you got to spend time with your family. Both little girls are just adorable! These times are precious, for sure.

  6. Barbara Gantt says:

    They are just such beautiful little girls. I know they have your heart. I’m glad to hear about your’s fun to see it through your eyes. I have been to New Orleans once, but unless you really know where to go, you miss a lot.

  7. those are honestly the cutest children ever know you must love them so much – enjoy these years they fly by! my little niece is 18 now and I remember her little parties like yesterday 🙂

  8. Audra Taliaferro says:

    Such fun!!! Parker looks like she had a blast and I just giggle seeing little Iris’ smiles!!!!

  9. MaryAnn Tidmore says:

    What a wonderful time! I really enjoyed reading about the Mardi Gras celebration Rhoda! Always love reading these family stories of yours. I hope Lauren’s family can come at Easter. I love seeing the pictures of your mom and dad with the girls. What a wonderful family you have! Thank you for sharing them with us. On a side note, I am so amazed at how much Lauren favors YOU! She looks so much like you. When I first started reading your blog a few years ago, I often forgot that she was your niece and not your daughter. Parker looks just like her dad, and Iris definitely favors you, Lauren, and her namesake Mrs. Iris. ❤️

    • Hey, MaryAnn, thank you so much, so glad you all enjoy reading about my family. I love to share them with y’all!. It’s so fun to hear who everyone thinks we all favor. I’ve been told so many times that Lauren and I favor each other, but we really don’t see it. So many others do though! It’s fun to see what family traits are passed down to the next generation.

  10. Family memories are the best!!! Love Parker’s name as my youngest son (age 23) is Parker!!!
    I have a grand daughter that is three too and her name is Brynn. She has a younger sister Brystol 7 months old!!! Delightful!!!

  11. What a wonderful time you had I am sure! Those girls are really growing up. I think Iris looks like her dad and can’t figure out who Parker favors but they’re both pretty little girls. I think it’s funny how each person sees something different. One day I’m going to make it to NO and eat at all these wonderful places you suggest! lol

  12. Brenda Swindall says:

    Love seeing family time. When your children, grandchildren etc are small the time flies by. We cherish time with family and appreciate you sharing Rhoda. These girls are so precious.
    Best article of Mardi Grad I’ve read. Was always a little scary to me. You made it fun and festive. Thank you Rhoda keep sharing

  13. I always love these posts! You have such a beautiful family! Can’t believe Parker is already three years old!

  14. I love seeing and hearing about your wonderful family. Thanks for sharing with us

  15. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    Love to hear all about the festivities! Three is a big year – can’t believe Parker is already that age. We’ll blink and she’ll be in school. Slow down time!

  16. Beautiful, beautiful girls! Adorable cake!!!!

    Thank you for sharing!

  17. Looks like so much fun. Parker’s little birthday dress is precious.

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