Marshmallow Mondays


Ice Cream Party

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.

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We kicked off the party by making ice cream cone headbands.

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Next, we played “Pin The Cherry On The Ice Cream Cone.”

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After that it was outside to see who could pull the magic string on our ice cream cone pinata.

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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.

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After cake, we headed outside for Lily to open up her gifts.

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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…

Sweet Lily's Frozen Yogurt!

Sweet Lily’s Frozen Yogurt!

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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.



Lost & Found
08.24.15, 8:34 AM
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: , ,

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…

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5 Years Old
08.17.15, 7:32 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

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.

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Perfect gift from Nana & Pap Buff for our Kentucky girl.

Perfect gift from Nana & Pap Buff for our Kentucky girl.

"It's the Glam Convertible!" Thank you, Papoose!

“It’s the Glam Convertible!” Thank you, Papoose!

Paddington! (from Mommy, Daddy & Rydan)

Paddington! (from Mommy, Daddy & Rydan)

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New horse boots from Lola for our horse-lovin’ fashionista.

Papoose always keeps her well-dressed too.

Papoose always keeps her well-dressed too.

Ever since Mermaid Dance Camp in June, Lily has become quite the mermaid fan.

Ever since Mermaid Dance Camp in June, Lily has become quite the mermaid fan.

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This was one of her favorite gifts. The doll’s legs actually pedal and it plays music.

One lucky girl.

One happy, loved birthday girl.

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.

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After Build A Bear, we treated the girls to Dippin Dots. It was the perfect way to end Lily’s 5th birthday celebration.

lily4Today, she is off to school with 24 cupcakes to share with her classmates, and in two weeks, we’ll have a party with some of her friends.



Back To School
08.14.15, 7:45 AM
Filed under: School Days | Tags: , , ,

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.

Rydan's first day of middle school. He said

Rydan’s first day of middle school. He said “only one picture, Mom.” So this is it.

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.

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Overall, it’s been a pretty good start to the school year for both of them!



Birthday, Ballet & an ER Visit in Between

What a weekend! It began with Rydan’s 11th birthday party on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, perfect for playing yard games with eight of your closest friends. In our backyard, we set up a lacrosse target goal, bocce ball, ladder ball, and corn hole for the kids to enjoy.

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Halfway through the party, we took a break for cake and ice cream.

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Next, Rydan opened up his gifts from everybody.

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After that, it was back outside for three rounds of a water balloon battle to end the party.

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Rydan and his friends had a great time together, and we spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun and just relaxing.

Until.. Lily slipped and fell in the bath tub at 9pm. With blood rapidly pouring from her chin, we quickly jumped in the car and headed for the ER. We arrived a few minutes later to a room filled with patients and were told that due to a few EMS arrivals with serious trauma, our wait would be a long one. Thankfully, were we able to stop the bleeding and just tried to comfort Lily until it was her turn.

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Patience is something we are no stranger to, especially after waiting for Ryan’s life-saving organs, but it never gets any easier. When your child is in a lot of pain and requires medical attention, it’s really difficult to have patience. It was well after midnight when we finally were called to a room. By that time, Lily was very uncomfortable and so exhausted, but she cooperated like a champ. The doctor was able to glue her chin rather than stitch it, thanks to Lily’s own ability to be patient and remain still for close to 20 minutes for the glue to set and dry. By 1:30am we were back home with our brave, tough little lady.

On Sunday morning, she woke up without any pain and cared more about getting the iodine off of her face. Within a few hours of being awake, she was riding her bike, baking with her Easy Bake Oven, and playing like usual. By the evening, we were off to Ballet Under The Stars to meet her sweet friend Reese for a Princess Tea Party before the show.

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The Princess Tea consisted of face-painting, dancing, a craft, pictures with some of the Little Mermaid performers, and snacks. (FYI, many of you have seen photos of Lily post-ER and wondered where her wound is. Since it is underneath her chin, it is well hidden in photos, but trust me, she’s got quite a gash. I won’t be sharing any of the before pictures because it’s hard to look at.)

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This was so much fun for these two sweet friends, and after such a horrible ordeal at the ER, it warmed my heart to see Lily smiling again. After the tea, we watched the Little Mermaid Show, which was absolutely beautiful and filled with lots of talented young girls.

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Now, it’s time to enjoy the last week of summer break before school starts!



Vacation
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.

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

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We went in the ocean…

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We enjoyed the swimming pool…

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We went to St. Augustine…

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We went to the Wax Museum…

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We went to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not…

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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…

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We had lunch with sharks…

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We enjoyed an anniversary sushi dinner…

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We collected seashells…

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We drank slushies…

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Lily worked on her split…

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Rydan went deep sea fishing…

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 Line.ki
  • 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.

Deadlines:

  • 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.



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