Filed under: Things To Do/Places To See | Tags: Newport Aquarium, Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Most of you know that Lily has a bit of a fascination with mermaids. On Saturday, she had the opportunity to meet one, and I’m sure it’s a day she won’t forget.
The world famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids are currently visiting The Newport Aquarium from their home in Tampa, so we ventured to Cincinnati so that Lily could see them swim and attend one of their meet and greets.
Since we had some time before the first meet and greet, we enjoyed walking through the Aquarium for a bit and eventually got in line to meet “Chelsea” the Mermaid.
Except for one time when she was four months old, Lily has never sat on Santa or the Easter Bunny’s lap, and she is terrified of mascots or dressed-up characters. She even gets anxiety on Christmas Eve because she’s worried that Santa is going to come into her bedroom. This is how I know that her love of mermaids is not only real, but it is a very deep love. As we were standing in line, Lily waited so patiently without taking her eyes off of Chelsea. As we got closer to the front of line she tapped my leg and said “Mama, do you think Chelsea will let me sit on her lap?”
So, in Lily’s eyes, Chelsea the Mermaid ranks higher than Santa Claus. I also have to commend Rydan for waiting patiently so that his sister could meet a mermaid. He easily could have complained, but he didn’t. Even when we reached the part of the Aquarium where the mermaids were swimming, and Lily stood in awe for quite some time watching, Rydan let her enjoy the moment. She probably would have stood there all day if we let her.
Obviously the mermaids were the highlight of Lily’s visit, but we also saw a lot of other cool creatures. Here are just a few…
The last part of the Aquarium is a Shark Bridge, which is the only suspension bridge in North America where you can walk just inches above nearly two dozen sharks. You literally have to walk one foot in front of the other as the bridge sways from side to side. Rydan was particularly looking forward to this experience, and it didn’t disappoint.
On the way home, we had two exhausted, sleeping kiddos, which is always evidence of a good time.
Mark your calendar! If you’re in our neck of the woods on October 11th, come join us at Lexington’s first Kidney Walk at Coldstream Park at 2pm. We’ve been invited by The National Kidney Foundation Of Kentucky to kick off/lead the walk, and we’ll have a VIP tent with beverages and popsicles for the kids. Why? Because October 11th just so happens to be Ryan’s ONE YEAR Transplant Anniversary!
We are truly honored to accept this invitation, and look forward to celebrating Ryan’s anniversary by bringing awareness to kidney disease. This is also a great opportunity for us to provide hope to those who are fighting against kidney disease and/or waiting on the transplant waiting list. Last year at this time, Ryan was a Type 1 Diabetic in Stage IV kidney failure, waiting for a kidney/pancreas transplant.
Today, he is living diabetes free, thanks to the organ donor who selflessly gave him the gift of life.
As we walk together on October 11th, surrounded by those whose lives have been affected by kidney disease, we will remember our donor family as they continue to be the inspiration behind our dedication to encouraging more registered organ donors.
If you would like to join our Match For Ryan Team and walk with us on October 11th, please contact me. We would love to have your company on such a special day.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: 5th Birthday, Donut Days Bakery, Ice cream party, Sweet Lily's Frozen Yogurt
On Saturday, we celebrated Lily’s 5th birthday with an ice cream party. Some of Lily’s closest friends came over for an ice cream themed afternoon of games, cake and a surprise frozen treat.
We kicked off the party by making ice cream cone headbands.
Next, we played “Pin The Cherry On The Ice Cream Cone.”
After that it was outside to see who could pull the magic string on our ice cream cone pinata.
By then everybody was ready for some cake. Lily wanted an “ice cream cake, but not with ice cream.” Donut Days Bakery created the perfect cake for her, complete with miniature ice cream cones filled with icing, and lots and lots of sprinkles. We absolutely loved it.
After cake, we headed outside for Lily to open up her gifts.
After gifts, the kids enjoyed playing in the backyard with Lily’s new toys. We then had them line up and come out front for a very special surprise…
These smiles say it all. Thank you, to all of Lily’s friends for celebrating with her, and a special thank you to Sweet Lily’s Frozen Yogurt for surprising OUR sweet Lily on her party day.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Delta, Lost Camera, Louisville Zoo
This post is overdue, but having thought that these photos were lost forever, I think it’s worth sharing.
As you all know, last month we went on vacation to Florida. We flew out of Louisville, and had decided to take the kids to the Louisville Zoo the day before our flight and then spend the night in a hotel close to the airport. We had a great time at the zoo, departed for Florida the next day, and were anxious to begin our vacation. We had one layover in Atlanta, which went smoothly, but when we arrived in Florida we realized we didn’t have our camera. It had made it to the zoo, where we took a ton of pictures, and I could remember going through security with it in Louisville, but beyond that, I had no memory of carrying it onto the plane. My best guess was that I had left it underneath my seat at the gate.
As we got into our rental car in Florida, I quickly called the Louisville airport to see if anyone had found it. After being transferred three different times, I was told that they had found our camera, and that we could pick it up on our return trip home in five days. Whew!
So, on Friday we arrived back in Louisville, and I went to Delta to pick up our camera. The lady I spoke to instantly knew who I was and was excited to return our lost item to us. She disappeared for only a minute and returned, smiling with a camera bag in her hand. The only problem was… it wasn’t our camera. I was devastated. Not only was this an expensive camera, but it held our memory card with all of our zoo pictures, which were now gone. I was shuffled around to various places in the airport to see if anyone else had found it, but no luck. We drove back to Lexington without our camera and without our photos. On the drive home, I filled out a Lost & Found form on Delta’s website, but had little hope that anything would come from it.
A week passed by, and I received an email from Delta saying that they had not yet found our camera. They would continue to search, but if it wasn’t found within another week, they would close the case. And that was that. We assumed that someone had stolen our camera, stolen memories that didn’t belong to them, and would replace those memories with their own.
After another week, I received a second email. Before reading it, I immediately assumed it was Delta notifying me that they were closing our case and no longer searching for our camera. To my pleasant surprise, the email read “We have located your lost item. Please follow the link below with instructions on how to retrieve your item.” At first I was slightly hesitant, but there was a sentence that read “We have verified that this lost item is indeed yours.” I followed the link, paid $30 to have it shipped overnight, and hoped for the best. The FedEx shipping notification came a few minutes later.
The next morning, FedEx delivered a box to our porch. Still hesitant, I opened the box with crossed fingers and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw it was indeed our camera bag. I unzipped it, checked for the memory card, took a picture to make sure it still worked, and quickly texted Ryan to let him know that they had found our camera.
Thank you, Delta, for returning our camera, and these photos to us…
Happy Birthday, Lily! Yesterday our little lady celebrated her 5th birthday. I’m not sure if she’s already adjusted to school time, or if she was just really excited, but she woke up at 6:45am ready to start her special day. After catching the early church service, we came home and let Lily open up all of the gifts that have been arriving in the mail from our family in Pennsylvania.
Later that afternoon, we met Lily’s friend, Reese, at Build A Bear for an extra birthday treat. The girls had so much fun choosing a bear and dress-up clothing. Meet “Bubbles” and “Twinkle”, Lily and Reese’s new stuffed friends.
After Build A Bear, we treated the girls to Dippin Dots. It was the perfect way to end Lily’s 5th birthday celebration.
Filed under: School Days | Tags: 6th Grade, First Day Of School, Kindergarten, Middle School
It’s official. Ryan and I are old. We have two kids in school now. On Wednesday Lily started Kindergarten, and Rydan started middle school. I’m not sure who will have the bigger adjustment – Rydan, Lily or Mommy? It is definitely strange having the house to myself. I find myself thinking about both kids and hoping that they are adjusting okay, asking questions without hesitation, making new friends, and feeling comfortable at their new schools.
Rydan has had mixed feelings about middle school, but after a few days he seems to really like it. The next few weeks will be a big transition for him as he tries to get used to having seven different teachers and classes, only four minutes between classes, learning to open his locker, and staying organized. His school has an awesome mentoring program, though, where 8th graders are assigned 6th graders to help and guide the new middle school students through the year. Having been a walker since we moved to Kentucky, Rydan is now enjoying the bus for the first time in almost three years. The middle school is just up the street from our house, so it’s a short ride, but he is enjoying the change.
Lily, on the other hand, has been very much looking forward to Kindergarten. She couldn’t get out of the door fast enough on Wednesday, and had a big smile on her face from the moment we left the house until the moment I said goodbye to her in her classroom. She absolutely adores her teacher, and has had nothing but good things to say about school. When I asked what her favorite part about Kindergarten is, she said “I love when my teacher reads stories.” Her biggest challenge will be eating breakfast before school and eating as much of her lunch as she can. Being more of a grazer than a meal person, this is a bit of a struggle at the moment.
Overall, it’s been a pretty good start to the school year for both of them!