BOUNTIFUL — While Tuesday may have seemed like any other day for most people, it was anything but ordinary for three West Bountiful teenagers.
The three friends each turned 14 on 11/12/13.
Isabella Wilcox, Bryan Nielsen and C.J. King were surprised by their families with a big birthday celebration during lunch at Bountiful Junior High School on Tuesday.
To celebrate the fact that on 11/12/13 they turned 14, their parents brought 15 dozen doughnuts to share with the other students, 16 slices of pizza and 17 pieces of crazy bread.
Isabella was the first to arrive and walked into the cafeteria saying, “Is this for my birthday? Just for me?”
She was quickly joined by Bryan and C.J., who were also surprised to see the posters and doughnuts and family members.
“I was awestruck,” Bryan said. “I was amazed. I thought I was just going to get pizza, that was all I knew. I think it’s awesome.”
Isabella thought she was going to be checked out of school to go to lunch with her sister and niece.
“It’s really cool. I wish every birthday was like this,” she said, adding that she’s been looking forward to the celebration for six months.
After an enthusiastic and echoing rendition of “Happy Birthday,” fellow students snatched up the 15 dozen doughnuts in just 1 minute and 46 seconds, according to C.J.’s father, who timed the spectacle.
C.J. was sporting a new shirt he had just received for his birthday. He couldn’t say that he’d ever had a more special birthday.
“This is a nice birthday!” he said with a mouthful of pizza. “I’m really shocked with it, very shocked. I knew my mom was going to bring pizza today but I didn’t plan on this.”
The three eighth-graders sat at a table together eating pizza while many of their classmates crowded around. They have attended classes together and have always been the “triplets,” C.J. said.
“We’ve gone to every school together, so I’ve known them since kindergarten,” Isabella said. “So we’ve had the same birthday forever, so it’s been way fun.”
The idea to make this birthday extra special came to Jenn Nielsen and Lisa Wilcox while they were talking at work one night a few weeks ago. It dawned on them it would be a special date for their children, so they called Amy King and started planning.
Isabella, Bryan and C.J. said they’ve been thinking about the importance of this birthday for a while. C.J. seemed to be the most jazzed about it.
“He woke up this morning and all he could talk about was the significance of 11/12/13, 14 (years old),” said his father, Lon King. “He wanted everyone in the house to know that. He went from room to room, ‘Do you know what’s cool about today?’”
He and Bryan are in orchestra together and have been on the same basketball team multiple times.
“Bryan is the youngest of the three of them,” Jenn Nielsen said. “They’re all born within four hours of each other. So C.J.’s the oldest, around the 11 o’clock hour, Bella was around 1:30-2 p.m. and Bryan was at 3:30 p.m., so they’re all very similar in a lot of ways.”
Bryan and Isabella live in the same neighborhood, and Jenn Nielsen said their families are all interconnected through school and church.
As for next year’s celebration? “I don’t know if we could ever top this. This was pretty big,” she said.