Happy Labor Day to all of our readers!
If you were hoping for a post today that was filled with lots of fun pictures and a recap of all the great things we did on our holiday weekend, I apologize. It’s been stormy here, and we have been bums. Highlights from the past two days include a 10-mile run for me, fantasy football draft for Ryan, our usual evening church service, various paint projects around the house, and lots of time stuck indoors for the kids.
No complaints, but unfortunately I just don’t have anything too exciting to share at the moment. Next Monday will be different, since we are taking Rydan and Lily to see the circus on Friday evening. This is a first for both of them, so check back next week to read about it!
Until then, enjoy the rest of your holiday, friends!
Filed under: Events | Tags: Celebrate Life, Fundraiser, Kentucky, Legacy Of Life 5K, Louisville, Organ Donors
Today’s post is to bring some attention to the Legacy Of Life 5K, which will take place in Louisville on Saturday, September 13th. This event will recognize and celebrate the lives of donor patients and those they have helped save through donation. Funds raised will assist in establishing a donor memorial to honor those life-saving heroes, provide community outreach, and continuing education for our caregivers.
I do hope to participate in this 5K, pending Ryan’s transplant of course. In case I can’t, I’ve set up a fundraising page to offer our support towards this celebration of life and hope.
As we wait for our phone to ring, it is important that we continue to show support towards others like us, as well as events like this one that call attention to the importance of being an organ donor. If just ten of you donate $5 each, I will reach my fundraising goal.
Thank you for your consideration and your support! Simply click on the link below to visit my fundraising page and make a donation.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: 4th Birthday, Birthday Party, Doc McStuffins
Lily celebrated her 4th birthday on Saturday (her actual birthday). I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen her so excited, and it lasted all day long. Her excitement made us smile, laugh, and it touched our hearts all at once while reminding us what a truly sweet, amazing little girl we have been blessed with.
Doc McStuffins style, her birthday was a mix of bouncing with friends, eating some of her favorite foods, opening gifts, enjoying cake and ice cream, and lots and lots of laughter and smiles.
Lily received so many new Doc McStuffins toys, ones that she’s never seen in stores, which was very exciting for her. Just look at that face!
Since she had insisted on practicing how to blow her candles out before going to sleep on Friday, Lily was very prepared for her Doc McStuffins birthday cake.
After a nice afternoon nap, Lily’s friends at church made her feel even more special by letting her talk about her day. Together, they all said a big “Happy Birthday, Lily” on the count of three. When we arrived back home, Lily opened up more gifts from Mommy, Daddy, and Rydan, as well as gifts from family members in Pennsylvania.
All day, Lily enjoyed phone calls and skype sessions with lots of special people, including Papoose, Lola, Nana, Aunt Neese and Cousin Kip. Thank you everyone for showing Lily how very loved she is. She truly had a wonderful day and soaked up every single moment. I loved seeing her so happy and watching her excitement throughout her special day. To everyone who wished her Happy Birthday on the phone or left a birthday wish for her on Facebook, Lily says “Thank you SO much. That was SO nice of you!”
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Belt Test, Black Belt, Breaking Wood, Sid Nelson's Taekwondo America, Taekwondo
On Saturday, Rydan tested for his Recommended Black Belt. As usual, the test consisted of form and sparring. Rydan’s form includes 42 moves, and requires a great amount of focus and precise movements. As a Probationary Black Belt, he was also required to perform two breaks, one on each leg using two different types of kicks. This is the first time that he has been required to break wood with his left leg, which has not been an easy skill for him to master. He has spent the past week practicing, and at times, really struggling. It’s the first time that I’ve seen him really get frustrated over wood breaking. In his mind, he is well aware that he has never failed a belt test, and he very much wants to continue that streak. As proud as we are of him for being so successful, we have also been reassuring him that a failed belt test is simply part of the journey.
Going into this test, Rydan knew that if he passed, he could potentially be just eight weeks away from receiving his First Degree Black Belt. Even though he shed some tears of frustration last week, it didn’t stop him from continuing to work hard to prepare for this test. Every time his leg bounced off of that board instead of going through it, it definitely shook him, but it never broke his spirit. He simply kept trying, and on belt test day, he showed up ready to give it his all, and boy did he ever!
Here he is doing his form. As a black belt, you have two chances to correctly do your form. Rydan needed just one.
Here he is sparring. He continues to gain confidence at sparring and becomes a little more intense with every belt test.
And here he is getting ready to perform those two breaks.
When I heard the snap of the wood on his very first try of the first kick (right leg front kick), my heart raced. I quickly got up out of my seat and stepped across other parents so that I could get a closer view of him. Rydan was just one more kick away from knowing that he’d done everything asked of him to pass this test. Without hesitation, he set himself up for the left leg side kick and plowed through that piece of wood like it was no big deal. There is nothing like watching your child experience personal success, especially when I had seen so many tears of frustration just days before. Some of you may have already seen this video on my Facebook page, but in case you haven’t, here is Rydan breaking his second piece of wood and completing his test. Simply click here to watch.
Official results will be announced at Wednesday’s awards ceremony.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Dance Class, Dancer, Gymnastics, Hip Hop, The Little Gym
This afternoon Lily had her summer dance show at The Little Gym, where she and her classmates showed off their hip hop moves that they’ve learned over the past few weeks. This is Lily’s second hip hop show, so she was even more excited and more comfortable dancing in front of all the parents than the first time.
Since beginning this class almost a year ago, Lily has grown so much. She has gone from being the shy, very unsure little girl who often teared up during class, to the outgoing, confident, smiling little girl who can’t wait to go to dance class every week. She truly loves being in dance, and I absolutely love watching her learn different steps. She has such strong determination and focus for a 3-year-old. Never once have I seen her get frustrated, and it warms my heart every time she looks at me through the glass to make sure I’m watching. Her favorite hip hop moves are the “criss cross” and making her knees “wobble.”
Check her out in the photos below.
After an entire year of hip hop and gymnastics, Lily said she would now like to do ballet and tap, so starting next week, we’ll have a little ballerina. I can’t wait to go shopping for tap shoes and ballet slippers! If only I still had mine.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: 10th Birthday, Birthday Party, First Haircut, Minion Showdown, Taekwondo, Tournament, WWE Backyard Games, WWE Backyard Ring, WWE Birthday
We had a big weekend! It kicked off on Friday with “Rydanmania,” Rydan’s 10th birthday celebration. It was an evening of WWE style fun, complete with six rounds of WWE-inspired games inside of a ring we created in our own backyard.
When the boys arrived, they each had to come up with their own WWE Superstar name (either made up or borrowed from a real wrestler). In attendance we had Jeff Hardy, The Flash, Rey Mysterio, The Rex, Steve The Third, The Freak, Bob, and Shining Warrior. The boys were divided into two teams and then came up with team names. It was “The People” vs “The Un-Named.” Round One began with some good ole thumb-wrestling.
Round Two: The Royal Rumble – a race against your opponent to grab a water balloon placed in the center of the ring. If you were able to grab it without it popping, and hit your opponent with it, you received an extra point.
Round Three: Extreme War – tug of war on top of milk crates. First person to fall off or let go of the rope loses.
Round Four: The Battleground – to win, remove the clothespin from the bottom of your opponent’s shirt.
Round Five: SummerSlam – each boy was given a single water balloon. To win, be the first to successfully hit your opponent with it.
Round Six: The Main Event – each team had five minutes to come up with their own WWE performance.
Regardless of who won, I think they all had a pretty fun time. This is my favorite picture from the entire evening.
After all of the games, the boys ate hot dogs, Rydan opened gifts, and they ended the night with some cake and ice cream, and one last water balloon fight.
The next morning, it was off to the hair salon for Lily’s first ever haircut. She was very adamant about wanting to keep her hair long, so she only got her ends trimmed. I love the look on her face in this first picture. I kept reassuring her that she was fine and nothing was going to hurt, but no matter what I said, that’s the look she continued to give me.
I think what got her through was the basket of Dum-Dum Lollipops she spotted when we walked in the door. The only words she uttered the entire time were when we first arrived – “Mommy, can I have one of those when I done?” And then when the haircut was over – “Mommy, can I have one of those pops now?”
By lunch time, we were on our way to Independence, Kentucky for the Minion Showdown Taekwondo Tournament. This is a tournament with just two Taekwondo schools, so it’s good practice for the upcoming national tournament in September. As with all tournaments, students compete in forms and sparring.
Rydan just recently learned his Probationary Black Belt form, which consists of 42 moves, so he was very excited about earning a Bronze Medal in something that he was still learning to perfect.
For Rydan, the highlight of this tournament was being awarded his very first Gold Medal, which he received in sparring.
And yesterday… we rested.