Marshmallow Mondays

Snowed In
02.23.15, 7:46 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

In case you haven’t heard, it snowed in Kentucky last week… a lot.  This was the Pennsylvania type of snow that we are used to, and we loved it. A whopping twelve inches of snow arrived on President’s Day, with a few more inches falling throughout the rest of the week. This was historic, record-breaking snow for Kentucky, but having lived in Pennsylvania for so long, this wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen before. Still, it was the first time in three years that we’ve been able to enjoy significant snow like this.

I have lost count on how many times we went outside throughout the past week, but if I added up the time it took to get all of us dressed and undressed, it would probably equal or surpass the amount of time we spent outside. However, I truly enjoyed spending that time with Rydan and Lily. We took a ton of photos, which I’m excited to share with all of you.

Here is a look at our 2015 Southern Snowstorm.  (FYI, Rydan spent three nights throughout the week at a friend’s house down the street, which is why he is absent from many of the photos).

Snow Day #1, February 16th.


One of my favorite pictures from the entire week.

We shoveled.

Working hard.

We took a snow selfie.

Snow selfie!

We were thankful that we  never got rid of our snowblower. Not too people have these in Kentucky.

We were thankful that we never got rid of our snowblower. Not too people have these in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, just down the street, these two friends weren't exactly thrilled about taking a break from their warm, indoor fun.

Meanwhile, just down the street, these two friends weren’t exactly thrilled about taking a break from their warm, indoor fun.

We played with friends.

But as you can see, they ended up having a great time.

"Mommy, I think there's snow in my boots."

“Mommy, I think there’s snow in my boots.”

Snow Day #2, February 17th.

Standing in record-breaking snow.

Standing in record-breaking snow.

My little snow bunny.

My little snow bunny.

Snow selfie!

Snow selfie!

A winter to remember.

A winter to remember.

Why not?

Why not?

Lily's first ever snow angel.

Lily’s first ever snow angel.


Checking out the view.

Snow Day #3, February 18th.

Building a fort...

Building a fort…

Building a fort.

…and a tunnel.


Crawling through the tunnel.


Icicle lollipops.

Snowboarding/Sledding. We don't have a sled, so we took turns sitting on Rydan's snowboard to go down the hill. This was a big highlight of the week. Rydan hadn't been sledding in a few years, and Lily had never been sledding at all. Listening to their giggles as they flew down the hill is a sound I will treasure forever.

Snowboarding/Sledding. We don’t have a sled, so we took turns sitting on Rydan’s snowboard to go down the hill. This was a big highlight of the week. Rydan hadn’t been sledding in a few years, and Lily had never been sledding at all. Listening to their giggles as they flew down the hill was the best.


“Hurry up, Rydan! It’s my turn!”

Snow selfie!

Snow selfie!

Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.

Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.

Day #4, February 19th.

The arctic blast arrived, so we stayed indoors and made chicken soup.

FullSizeRender (14)

Snow Day #5, February 20th.

By Day 5, the view hadn't really changed.

By Day 5, the view hadn’t really changed.


Snow selfie!

Snow selfie!

Lily's way of warming up... marshmallows with a pinch of hot chocolate.

Lily’s way of warming up… marshmallows with a pinch of hot chocolate.

The weekend brought round two of winter weather, but it was mostly rain this time. We are now left with a slushy, sloppy mess, but Rydan has returned to school and our schedules will go back to normal. Our Southern Snowstorm was fun while it lasted, and it created some great memories for us.

V-Day Recap
02.16.15, 8:49 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

We hope all of our readers had a very Happy Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love!

Here’s a recap of our day, which began with a very cold, windy 10-mile run for me. I returned to find a beautiful bouquet of roses, a dozen of the biggest chocolate-covered strawberries I’ve ever seen, and a package of red velvet Oreo’s. Yum!



I gave Ryan three boxes of funnel cake mix, a heart box full of Kit Kats and a special orange tie to wear at the Gift Of Life Gala that’s coming up on March 14th. (Guests are encouraged to incorporate orange into their attire to show support for kidney disease awareness).

For Rydan and Lily, Valentine’s Day looked more like Christmas. I suppose that’s one perk of living 600 miles away from your grandparents, who sent lots of sweet treats through the mail.


That afternoon, Rydan and Lily skyped with Lola (my mom) while opening up the gifts she sent.


Night Vision Goggles for Rydan and some Juggle Bubbles for Lily.


Plus, a new FourSquare ball for Rydan and a pink dance skirt for Lily.

They also opened up some chocolate from Papoose (my dad), straight from Hershey, PA.



Even Brooks got a Valentine… his very own devil (how fitting).



Break It For Ryan Results

So sorry for the delay in this week’s post, friends. I was having a bit of writer’s block, but today I have something very impressive to share. Check out the results of Break It For Ryan!


These Taekwondo students deserve a big round of applause for their hard work and dedication towards this special fundraiser. I collected our last donation today, which gave us a grand total of $3,304 for A Match For Ryan and The National Kidney Foundation Of Kentucky. We are so proud of these students, and we very much appreciate their participation in Break It For Ryan. By using their wood-breaking skills, they raised awareness for kidney disease and made a difference. Way to go, TKD kids! You are truly an outstanding group of individuals.

Winter In Kentucky
02.02.15, 11:27 AM
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: ,

Six more weeks of winter according to Punxsutawney Phil.  I don’t know how accurate this little guy is, but I have to admit that I don’t exactly miss the mounds of snow that fall in Pennsylvania. It does snow in Kentucky, but rarely do we get any accumulation. If we do, it doesn’t stick around very long, just long enough to enjoy. About a week ago, we had a few inches, enough to get the kids excited.

So, in honor of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction, I thought I would share some pretty winter photos, proving to all of our Pennsylvania friends and family that it really does snow in Kentucky.

This first one was taken two Friday’s ago, which just so happened to be the first real date that Ryan and I were on in over a year. We enjoyed dinner at Bonefish Grill and then snapped this photo outside as the snow began to fall. The snowflakes were huge, so it made for a really peaceful, beautiful evening.


The next morning, Brooks had me up early, so I put on my boots and had some fun with him in the backyard while everyone else was sleeping. He absolutely loved playing and running around in the snow.





Later that morning, I enjoyed a beautiful snowy 7-mile run, and then spent what felt like an eternity getting the kids dressed so that they could go play outside. Rydan ended up down the street with his friend, Carson, and Lily helped Ryan shovel our driveway.



All of that is now melted, but as I sit here typing this, I am enjoying watching snowflakes swirl around outside in the bitter cold air. It’s nothing that is coating the ground, but it still looks like a winter snow globe. Kentucky is indeed beautiful.

Break It For Ryan Success

Break It For Ryan was a huge success!

From Monday through Friday of last week, students at Sid Nelson’s Taekwondo America used their board-breaking skills to raise awareness for kidney disease. Students each set a goal of performing 25 board breaks, and asked friends and family members to sponsor them at a per kick dollar amount or flat donation in support of their participation. Many of them went above and beyond those 25 kicks, which was quite impressive.

We are still gathering and counting donations, but collectively, these students have raised close to $3,000 for A Match For Ryan and The National Kidney Foundation of Kentucky.




There truly aren’t words to express our appreciation to these students. Our Taekwondo Family has been so supportive since the very beginning of Ryan’s transplant journey. If you recall, Rydan actually tested for his First Degree Black Belt on the same day as Ryan’s transplant, and was surrounded by fellow students, parents and instructors who cheered him on while giving him the support he needed at such a critical time. That support never stopped, and last week as I stood and watched Rydan participate in this special fundraiser, I was reminded what a blessing our Taekwondo Family has been to us. Taekwondo taught Rydan the perseverance he needed to earn his Black Belt, but it also taught him how to persevere through a tough life situation like his dad’s transplant.

Thank you, TKD students, for your continuous love and support!  You are the toughest, kindest, most determined group of kids I’ve ever met, and I’m so proud to know you.

Break It For Ryan

Break It For Ryan Color LogoBreak It For Ryan is happening this week!

Rydan and his fellow Taekwondo students at Sid Nelson’s Taekwondo America, are all very excited about participating in this event. Each student has set a goal of performing 25 board breaks. For the past two months, they’ve been asking friends, family members, neighbors and other supporters to sponsor them at $1 per kick. This week, they will be working very hard to meet their goal of 25 breaks.

Next week’s post will include lots of photos from this special event, so please check back! In the meantime, we would like to thank all of our t-shirt sponsors for their support. (In no particular order.)

Hinkle Contracting



K3 Kreations



Glen-Gery Brick




Kut-Up Fitwear



TV Little League Baseball

For anyone who would like to sponsor Rydan or another Taekwondo student, you may do so through our GoFundMe site.  Simply make your donation by using the orange “Donate Now” button and be sure to type “Break It For Ryan” in the comment section. Funds raised from this event will support A Match For Ryan as well as The National Kidney Foundation of KY.

Mark Your Calendar

Ryan and I have been invited to share our transplant story at the annual Gift Of Life Gala on March 14, 2015 in Louisville. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to raise awareness for kidney disease and offer hope to those who are suffering from it. 

Save The Date Front

Ryan has passed the microphone onto me, so I’ll be on my own speaking to 400 people (yikes!) and would LOVE to see some familiar faces in the audience. The evening includes both a silent and live auction, cocktails, three-course meal, and entertainment. Ticket information can be found on the save-the-date image below.

Save The Date Back

We are truly honored to be part of such a special evening, and proud to support The National Kidney Foundation’s mission.  Won’t you join us?

To learn more about the important work that the NKF dedicates to kidney disease awareness, prevention and treatment, please visit


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