Marshmallow Mondays


Help Us Fight Kidney Disease
09.12.16, 7:28 AM
Filed under: Events, Family | Tags: , ,

October 11th will mark 2 YEARS since Ryan received his kidney/pancreas transplant.

It will be 2 years since another family made the most selfless decision and gave Ryan the gift of life in the midst of their own tragic loss. For us, that has meant 2 years without a scary low sugar episode or the need to call 911. 2 years without hospital stays. 2 years since time felt as though it was standing still. 2 years since a heavy weight was lifted from our shoulders. 2 years of health, happiness and special memories that our family of four have been able to cherish because another family said “yes” to organ donation. 2 years of living diabetes and kidney disease free.

IMG_5724To honor our donor family, to celebrate Ryan’s health, and to show our support for those who are fighting against kidney disease every day, we will once again participate in Lexington’s Kidney Walk on October 9th at Coldstream Park.

This is an opportunity to show our support and provide hope to the 26 million Americans who are living with kidney disease, and the 73 million who are at risk.

We invite all of our friends and family members, near and far, to help us make a difference. There are numerous ways that you can participate:

  • Walk with us. Join our Match For Ryan Team and walk with us on October 9th.
  • Donate to our team. Help us reach our fundraising goal by making a donation, which will help The National Kidney Foundation make a difference in the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.
  • Visit our Lemonade Stand! On Saturday, September 17th, from 1-4pm Rydan and Lily will have a lemonade stand set up in our front yard. lemonadeoverview100 percent of their sales will support our fundraising goal for the walk. Stop by for some fresh lemonade, sweet treats, and to see two smiling faces trying to make a positive difference because they understand what it’s like when someone you love suffers from kidney disease.

Many thanks in advance for any support you can give!



Barbie Birthday

Every year, we let the kids choose the theme for their birthday. And every year, we host a big party at our home. This was the first year that Rydan asked if he could have his party outside of the house, which made me a little bit sad. However, he and his friends had a ton of fun at his SkyZone party, and I have to admit that only having to bring the cake was a nice change. No planning, no details, no decorating, no cleaning up, no entertaining… just jump, eat pizza (that I didn’t have to provide), eat cake, and go home.

Thankfully for the event planner inside of me, Lily is still young enough to enjoy parties at home. This year, she chose a Barbie theme, which I was quite excited to plan. Without having to worry about a ton of details for Rydan’s party, I had even more time this year to work on a Barbie-themed birthday party. We kept things girly and classy, going with a black, white and pink color scheme.

My first project was a life-size Barbie box that Lily and her friends could pose inside of for photos. After one Sunday of work, we had a finished project.

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We kept our decorations fairly simple. Many of them I found as free printables online, and then added my own touch with things I already had. The rest I picked up at Party City and Walmart.

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Since we held the party in the afternoon, snacks were pretty easy as well. Anything pink or Barbie-themed! (I put out some strawberries too to somewhat balance out all of the sugar.)

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Our cake came from our favorite donut shop, Donut Days Bakery. They’ve been doing our cakes for quite a few years now, and they never disappoint. No matter what design or theme we come up with, they always come through with something even better than what we imagined. And they taste just as delicious as they look! This year, Donut Days also made a few sugar cookies as an extra take home treat for the girls.

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To look like a real Barbie fashionista, our dear friend and neighbor, Mary, who owns K3 Kreations Monograms & More , created a fun shirt for Lily. We completed her look with some sequined hot pink shorts and a matching black hair bow.

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Before the party even began, we had a big surprise for Lily. Her best friend, Reese, who sadly moved to Missouri earlier this summer, came to surprise Lily. Lily had absolutely no idea that Reese was coming, and actually told me that morning how much she wished Reese could be here. It took a little scheming, but we managed to get Lily out of the house for a few minutes while Reese and her parents arrived. Ryan told Lily they needed to go pick up some candles for her cake. After they left, Reese stood inside of the Barbie box and waited.

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Ryan “forgot his wallet” and turned around to come home. The funny part was that Lily wouldn’t get out of the car while Ryan “came inside for his wallet.” After a bit of convincing, Lily reluctantly strolled into the house. I casually asked her to come help me with something, and then let her stumble onto her surprise. It was a truly priceless moment to see these two friends reunited on such special day. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out on my Facebook page. It will melt your heart.

Lily had a total of 11 girls who came to her party. These are friends from Kindergarten last year, dance class, our old neighborhood, swimming lessons, and even a new friend from First Grade. When the girls arrived, they found a seat and started coloring a Barbie (downloaded and printed from Barbie.com).

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After all of the girls had arrived, we played a few Barbie-themed games. The first – Barbie Bingo. This was an easy DIY game – Google Barbie images, print, cut and glue onto construction paper. The girls loved it.

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We also played “Barbie Says” (just like Simon Says) and a variation of Red Light Green Light, where the girls held their Barbie and took a step forward every time I said “if your Barbie is wearing a dress” or “if your Barbie has a crown,” etc. The first girl to reach me won. Prizes were pink glow sticks/necklaces, pink lip gloss, pink necklaces, and pink nail polish. We played lots of rounds, so there were lots of winners.

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After games, it was time for cake and ice cream.

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Then came the gifts. These girls were so patient, so sweet, and it was so much fun to watch their excitement as they took turns sitting with Lily while she opened up each gift. There were handmade cards, new Barbies, crafts, games, a new dance bag, doll clothing/accessories, and all sorts of fun, thoughtful things for Lily to enjoy.

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With fifteen minutes to spare, Lily handed out her treat box favors, which were filled with a pair of sparkly hot pink Barbie shades, a pink lollipop, sugar cookie, a ring, a pink beaded necklace, Barbie candy, and Barbie glitter glob.

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Before saying goodbye, we took one last picture with the girls all wearing their new pink shades. When I bought these Barbie sunglasses, I remember thinking to myself how cute it would be to get a group photo like this. This might be my favorite picture from the whole party. Adorable!

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A huge thank you to all of Lily’s friends for coming to her Barbie party to celebrate her 6th birthday! It makes me so very happy to see Lily making so many wonderful friends. The girls you see above are some of the sweetest little girls I’ve ever met. Lily sure is lucky to know each one of them. I can’t wait to watch these friendships grow!

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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!



*SPECIAL & URGENT NEWS*
03.05.14, 7:13 PM
Filed under: Family | Tags: , , , ,

_17D4027This is my husband, Ryan.  He’s an amazing, proud father.  He’s extremely hard-working.  He’s confident.  He’s comical.  He’s very sarcastic. He’s great with numbers.  He loves the Phillies.  He’s an all-around good guy.  He’s truthful.  He’s loving.

He’s also diabetic.  To some, that simply means that he pricks his finger a lot and can’t eat sugar.  To Ryan, it means much more. Blood sugar management has been a big challenge for the past two years.  Nothing scares me more than watching my husband have a low sugar episode.  It is terrifying.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen him sweat, shake, and not be able to process what I’m saying because his sugar has dropped dangerously low.  My kids have seen their dad on a hospital bed more times than any child should.  Our 3-year-old daughter sees orange juice and says “Daddy drinks that when his sugar is low.”

So, what happens when your sugar fluctuates as much as Ryan’s?  Your kidneys become overworked.  When kidneys are overworked, they fail.  When they fail, you need a new one.

My husband needs a kidney transplant.  

Here’s where we are at right now.  We’ve already met with doctors from the University of Cincinnati, and have an all-day appointment on March 19th to learn even more.  We will share that information with you as soon as we can, which will most likely include timelines, the transplant surgery, the recovery process, and much more.

In the meantime, I encourage you to share this post with your friends, family, church, etc. so that we can get the word out that Ryan is in need of a living kidney donor.  Due to his age and current health status, a living donor is his best option.  Being a match for Ryan first starts with blood type.  Ryan does not yet know his blood type, but we will find out very soon and share it with you.  Here is the chart of blood type matching.

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There will be various tests conducted beyond just a blood type match to determine if someone is a desirable match for Ryan, but it all starts with blood type.

If you or anyone you know would like to consider being a potential kidney donor for Ryan, please use the Contact Bridgit button on the left side of the page, or send an email directly to bwmarie@hotmail.com.  If you happen to know your blood type, please include that information in your email.  It doesn’t matter where you live.  For those of you in Pennsylvania, we can set you up with a coordinator to take a blood sample and have it sent to Cincinnati.

I understand that you all probably have a zillion questions.  This is very sudden news.  We have known for a few months that this would be a very likely possibility due to the gradual decline of Ryan’s kidney function, and therefore we did take some time to digest everything ourselves and become more educated so that when we did share the news with all of you, we could be as informative as possible.  It has been a difficult and emotional time, but please know that we felt so much more hopeful after our initial appointment with the Cincinnati team of doctors and coordinators.  The National Kidney Foundation has a TON of great information on its website, so I encourage you to visit their site and browse around a bit.

And, of course please pray for Ryan and my family.  Pray for a match, pray for patience, strength, and endurance as we begin this process.  Ryan is in the best hands possible, and his team of doctors have made us feel very hopeful and confident about the success of kidney donation.  Our hearts are filled with hope for better days ahead where Ryan feels healthy again and can live life without struggling the way he is now.



Three

Lily turned 3 years old on Friday.  Three!

My little girl has turned into a beautiful little lady, inside and out.  Those baby blue eyes melt my heart every single day.  I have yet to get tired of hearing the words “hold you me.”  She’s the perfect combination of girly girl and tom boy – loves to have her nails painted but can dribble a basketball like it’s no big deal.  Books continue to fascinate her, and I am continually impressed by her ability to entertain herself by reading.   She is overjoyed at the sight of horses.  She loves to “run four miles” just like mommy.  She is always up for a shopping trip, whether it’s to buy a gallon of milk or a new pair of shoes.  Her imagination reminds me of her big brother, creative and at times, unexpected.  She loves a visit to “Bucks” (Starbucks) and can spot one from a mile away.  Every day she experiences life, and every day I am thankful to be right there with her, witnessing it all.  This sweet little girl is so smart, so determined, and so loving, which makes me even prouder to call her my daughter.

Since we already had our birthday bash for Lily and Rydan, Lily’s actual birthday was spent at home simply enjoying the day and celebrating that evening with Mommy, Daddy and “Ra-Ra.”

Helping Mommy bake banana birthday cupcakes.

Helping Mommy bake banana birthday cupcakes.

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"I got two monies!"

“I got two monies!”

Showing off her new horse necklace from Nana & Pappy.

Showing off her new horse necklace from Nana & Pappy.

Horses....

Can you tell she likes horses?

It was definitely a horse kind of birthday.

She even got a remote control pony car from "Papoose" (aka Pap Wiest).

She even got a remote control pony car from “Papoose” (aka Pap Wiest).

and her big surprise... her very own pink Kazam balance bike!

and her big surprise… her very own pink Kazam balance bike!

She'd been borrowing our neighbor's blue Kazam all summer long, she's quite a pro at this bike already.  We're all amazed how fast she learned to balance.  No training wheels for this lady!

She’d been borrowing our neighbor’s blue Kazam all summer long, so she’s quite a pro at this bike already. We’re all amazed at how fast she learned to balance. No training wheels for this lady!

Singing Happy Birthday.

Singing Happy Birthday.

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Pennsylvania: Part III
06.24.13, 9:43 AM
Filed under: Family | Tags: , ,

We’re back.  It’s our second trip to Pennsylvania this month, and though this visit is much shorter than our first, we’ve been making the most of it.  I haven’t done such a great job of taking pictures this time, but I will say that this second trip has been very productive and of course enjoyable.  Highlights include:

  • Visiting with two dear friends who are each 7 months pregnant.  I LOVED seeing their baby bellies and talking about their new journey into motherhood.
  • A playground date with another high school friend and her two beautiful children.  There’s nothing like reminiscing on old times and watching our kids play together. I was lucky enough to overhear this conversation between our daughters as they were swinging –  MYLEIGH:  “My brother’s so crazy.”  LILY:  “My brother’s so crazy too.”  MYLEIGH:  “My brother is more crazy than yours.”  LILY:  “No, my brother is very crazy.”
  • Sharing a Kentucky bottle of wine with my favorite aunt.
  • Having the opportunity to work a wedding in Hershey for two dear friends.  Definitely made me miss wedding planning.
  • Taking Rydan and Lily to the Hegins carnival, where Lily enjoyed her first ever sno cone, and Rydan nearly ate an entire funnel cake all by himself.
  • Visiting my grandfather’s grave site at Fort Indiantown Gap.  13 years have gone by, and I still think of him every day.
  • Watching my kids interact and enjoy themselves with all of their grandparents.  We love you all so much, and appreciate all of the kindness and generosity you show us every time we visit.  We truly are so blessed.
  • Enjoying some good old Hegins cooking.

Tomorrow, it’s back to Kentucky.  Back to Taekwondo, swimming, library visits, and neighborhood friends.  Time to enjoy the rest of our summer and plan a birthday bash for two marshmallows.



Pennsylvania: Part I
06.03.13, 7:37 AM
Filed under: Family | Tags: , ,

The Buffingtons (minus Daddy), are in Pennsylvania!  We arrived last Thursday and have been enjoying ourselves ever since.  The hospitality at Hotel 550 on East Main Street (aka Nana & Pap’s house), has been phenomenal.  It’s been so great to be in the presence of family again after not seeing them since Christmas.

Here are a few photos from our stay so far.

First night in Hegins.  Prima pizza and a game of Go Fish with Nana.

First night in Hegins. Prima pizza and a game of Go Fish with Nana.

Hanging out with Julius at Papoose's house (aka Pap Wiest).

Hanging out with Julius at Papoose’s house (aka Pap Wiest).

Boy do I miss this view from my dad's backyard.

Boy do I miss this view from my dad’s backyard.

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Piggy-back ride with Papoose to watch Uncle Bronson graduate High School.

Piggy-back ride with Papoose to watch Uncle Bronson graduate High School.

Congratulations, little brother!

Congratulations, little brother!

Cooling off.

Cooling off.

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More Go Fish with the bride-to-be and cousin Beth.

More Go Fish with the bride-to-be and cousin Beth

Rey Mysterio decided to join the game too.

Rey Mysterio decided to join the game too.

With the whole week still ahead of us, don’t miss next week’s post for Part II of our Pennsylvania Vacation!  Ryan, we miss you so much and can’t wait to see you on Friday!




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