Marshmallow Mondays

07.27.15, 7:49 AM
Filed under: Family | Tags: , ,

For the first time in four years, we went on vacation! And we loved it! We spent five days at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida where we shared a four-bedroom suite with my mom and gang.





Throughout the week, we had all sorts of fun. We played in the sand…




We went in the ocean…




We enjoyed the swimming pool…

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We went to St. Augustine…



We went to the Wax Museum…




We went to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not…




We did a scavenger hunt at the Pirate & Treasure Museum…

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We went miniature golfing…

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We went to Sea World…










We had lunch with sharks…



We enjoyed an anniversary sushi dinner…


We collected seashells…



We drank slushies…


Lily worked on her split…

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Rydan went deep sea fishing…



As you can see, the kids enjoyed so many new experiences, and we made lots of memories together. What a fun week!

Help Us Pay It Forward

SYS Straight Cranberry LogoWe are less than two months away from the second annual Share Your Spare 5K Run/Walk!

This is our opportunity to pay forward all of the kindness and support that we received at last year’s race.  We have teamed up with the Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky (KHAKY) to host this year’s 5K at The Kentucky Horse Park on September 5th. Funds raised from Share Your Spare 5K will benefit KHAKY’S new program, “Get Healthy, Get Transplanted.” This program helps kidney disease patients overcome the obstacles that are keeping them from being approved for the transplant waiting list. When doctors determine that a patient is in need of a transplant, the patient must undergo medical testing and an evaluation to determine that he/she is healthy enough to receive a transplant. For many patients, meeting the testing criteria is challenging. Perhaps a patient is not a healthy weight, needs to quit smoking, or is unable to receive dental clearance. “Get Healthy, Get Transplanted” will provide these patients with a health coach, fitness center and/or dentist so that they can overcome their obstacles and get their name onto the transplant waiting list.

Here’s how you can help us pay it forward to these patients:

  • Register as a runner/walker and participate with us at The Kentucky Horse Park on September 5th. You can run “as a spare” ($25) or “as a pair” ($40). Kids 12 and under can participate in the One Mile Fun Run ($17). All registered participants will receive a t-shirt.


  • Register as a virtual runner/walker and participate from your own community ($30). Your t-shirt will be mailed to you prior to race day.


  • Make a donation to Share Your Spare 5K. Contributions of any amount are appreciated. Simply use the Donate tab on the registration page.
  • Facebook Users: Share our Facebook Page and encourage your friends and family to participate or make a donation.

Race Features:

  • Chip timing by 3 Way Racing
  • Overall & Age Group Awards – winners will receive a special gold, silver or bronze shaped kidney medal.
  • Sidney The Kidney will be in attendance to cheer you on and high-five you as you cross the Finish
  • Kids One Mile Fun Run Participants will receive a Sidney The Kidney tattoo; play “Guess How Many Kidneys” are in the jar for a chance to win the jar of kidneys (jellybeans); as well as play Sidney The Kidney Bean Bag Toss.
  • Granola Bars & Bananas post-race, donated by Costco. Costco representatives will also be present on race day for anyone who would like to learn more about their membership program.
  • Donuts, donated by Donut Days Bakery.
  • Kentucky American Water Hydration Station.


  • Lexington Runners/Walkers: To guarantee that you receive a shirt, please register by August 21st.
  • Virtual Runners/Walkers: To guarantee that we have enough time to mail your shirt to you, please register by August 17th.
  • Online Registration will close on September 4th at noon. Registration will be available on race day at The Kentucky Horse Park, beginning at 7:30am.

Independence Day
07.06.15, 8:15 AM
Filed under: Holidays | Tags: , , ,

We hope all of our readers had a fun Fourth of July!


My day began with a 10k in downtown Lexington, the Bluegrass 10,000. Since the kids had a busy week at camp, I let them (and Ryan) sleep in rather than tagging along to the 7:30am starting line with me.


This was a fun, well-organized race on a flat course with lots of spectator support. There were patriotic costumes, cowbells, motivating signs, cheering kids and adults, and an overall energy that you don’t always find on a race course. With close to 3,100 runners participating, it was quite a sight to see in downtown Lexington.


I love being part of local races like this one. The miles seemed to fly by and before I knew it, I had crossed the Finish Line and was on my way back home. It’s rare that I run a race more than once, but this is definitely one that I think I’d return to for years to come.

That afternoon, we ventured back downtown for the parade. It was quite crowded, but we were able to find a decent spot to watch.









Towards the end, we were hot and ready for a break from the crowd, so we left our spot and found the lemonade and Italian Ice concessions.

Back home, we enjoyed burgers on the grill, pasta salad and watermelon. Lily ended up falling asleep on the couch at 7:25pm, and Rydan was outside with friends, so it wasn’t until last evening that we finally did our sparklers. Lily still isn’t too sure about them, so she threw a few pop-its and then watched from a distance.




It was a fun camp-filled week for Rydan and Lily!

Rydan went to Winshape Camp for the third year in a row. I truly cannot say enough about how much we love this camp. Rydan always has an awesome time at Winshape, which is an adventure-filled Christian camp that provides campers with an unforgettable experience. Rydan’s activities throughout the week included lacrosse, archery and secret ops. This year’s theme was Hope In Troubletown, USA, where campers learned that “Hope sees God’s promises even in our troubles.”






For Lily, this was her first camp experience ever! She attended half-day Mermaid Dance Camp at The Lexington Dance Factory. On Day 1, she barely said goodbye to me because she was that excited, and when I picked her up she couldn’t wait to show me her jellyfish craft and mermaid picture. IMG_4632 Day 2 was no different. When I woke her at 8am, my sleeping mermaid sat up straight in bed, and said “Mommy, can I go back to Mermaid Camp now?”  Her excitement never went away as the week progressed. She danced, made crafts, got her nails painted, decorated cookies, and had so much fun doing it all.





On the last day, parents were invited for a special performance by all of the mermaids. ADORABLE.



And now… we are counting down to our Florida vacation!

Father’s Day Recap
06.22.15, 8:28 AM
Filed under: Holidays | Tags: ,

We hope all of our Daddy readers and their families had a wonderful Father’s Day!

Rydan and Lily each made a special gift for Ryan. While he was in Denver last month, I took the kids to Mad Potter and let them each pick out a Father’s Day gift to paint.

Rydan chose a jar that he wanted to decorate like a baseball and fill with snacks.

Rydan chose a jar that he wanted to decorate like a baseball and fill with snacks.

Lily chose an "I Love Dad" coffee mug.

Lily chose an “I Love Dad” coffee mug.



As you can see, they were quite proud of their work and very excited to give Ryan their gifts. I was rather impressed at how well they were able to keep our Mad Potter visit a secret.


Our Father’s Day was spent going for morning donuts before church, lunch at Firehouse Subs, an afternoon enjoyed at home, and ended with steak on the grill.

Ryan is returning to work today with a special jar of baseball-themed snacks and a very colorful coffee mug to always remind him how loved he is.


This is the first Father’s Day since Ryan’s transplant. Every holiday from this point forward is always an extra special reminder of how grateful we are for the organ donor who gave Ryan a second chance at life. Being able to celebrate fatherhood together without worrying about Ryan’s past health issues is a gift from above that has given our whole family new reasons to smile and appreciate life every single day. As always, we encourage all of our readers to please join the organ donor registry at

Run Club
06.15.15, 11:29 AM
Filed under: Events | Tags: ,

Run Club PhotoIf you plan on participating in the second annual Share Your Spare 5K Run/Walk at the Kentucky Horse Park on September 5th, you should know about the Horse Park’s Run Club.

The Run Club meets on Mondays from 5-8pm between now and September 28th. Run or walk their 2-mile route at your own pace or add on an extra 1.5 miles on the extended route. Kids, strollers and leashed dogs are welcome.

You’ll enjoy beautiful scenery in the heart of Kentucky, local food trucks, and of course, horses.

Today’s Run Club features Sweet Lily Frozen Yogurt, Red State BBQ and John’s Run/Walk Shop. For more info and to see a weekly schedule, click here.

And if you haven’t already registered for Share Your Spare 5K, we encourage you to do so today! Run or walk with us in Lexington or virtually from your own community. This is a great opportunity to exercise as a family while showing support for kidney disease patients. Help us pay forward all of the truly inspiring support we received at last year’s inaugural event. We hope to see you there!

06.08.15, 8:42 AM
Filed under: Things To Do/Places To See | Tags: ,

Summertime means strawberries. We visited Evan’s Orchard on Saturday for u-pick strawberries. With Rydan on vacation, Lily, Mommy and Daddy took two buckets into the strawberry patch.


We were pleasantly surprised to find that we didn’t have to strain our backs while picking. Evan’s has a really cool set up for their strawberries. They grow in tall clusters of cones, and each cluster actually spins so that you can conveniently pick from any cone. Whether you’re Lily-sized or Daddy-sized, picking was super easy and fun.


Lily celebrated every time she found a red berry to put in her bucket.



Between our two buckets, we came out with 4 pounds of strawberries.



After all that hard work, we headed to Evan’s play area for some fun. Lily loves to ride on the little pink tractor.




I lost count of how many times we went down that slide, but Lily’s high-pitched squeal was just as loud and strong the first time down as it was the last time down. After getting off the third or fourth time, Ryan told her she didn’t have to scream so loud and she said “But, Daddy, I’m just so excited!”

Yesterday, I took our four pounds of strawberries and made a strawberry pie. It is as tasty as it looks too! Lily has already requested a slice for breakfast.



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