Friday, October 31, 2008

~my husband rocks! Friday

Happy Halloween!! This is going to be a short one, but I did want to take the opportunity to tell you why my hubby rocks this week : ) Earlier this week, I went and bought some pumpkins with the intentions of carving one to put out for tonight, of course. Well, last night came around and we still didn't have the pumpkin carved. After a long day of work, and still having to do all of my motherly and wifely duties last night, I told Ben that really we didn't have to carve a pumpkin. He quickly corrected me and said 'oh, yes we do!' So, off to the kitchen we go to clean out and carve that pumpkin. It's not the carving part that I dreaded, it was the cleaning it out part that got me (and it wasn't really all that bad after all). So, we scooted Riley's high chair over to where we were going to do the carving so that she could be a part of it and then Ben proceeded to get all of the goopy, nasty stuff out of the pumpkin. He then let me do the fun part - carving out the face. (I did let him help with the mouth.) I had bought one of those kits to do a cute little face on it, but Ben really wanted to stick with tradition and just do the usual triangle eyes and nose thing, so that's what we did. It actually turned out pretty good. I took some pictures last night, but forgot to get them off of the camera before I came to work, so those will have to wait until tonight. Make sure to check back for them. Thanks, Ben, for motivating me to go ahead and carve the pumpkin. It was so much fun and a great memory for Riley's first Halloween. YOU ROCK!!!!!

P.S. - didn't I say this was going to be a short one?! Oh well, anyone that knows me will say that there's no such thing as short when it comes to me talking : )

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where My Heart Is

*** Update: I have added the picture of Riley's first time eating chocolate syrup and biscuits. Scroll down to see it!

Riley and I went this past weekend to Huntsville to visit family. What a great time we had!! My main purpose for this trip was to watch my nephew, Eddie, play football. He's a senior this year and plays for Westminster Christian Academy and I had yet to see him play. I hadn't been to a high school football game in so long and it really was fun! I'm so glad that I got to see him play before the season is over. I really cannot believe that he is a senior. Where did all of those years go?! I also got to spend some rare, special time just me and him. I can't remember the last time that happened. (Kyla was too busy with her new boyfriend to come along with us.) I took him to eat at Rosie's, of course. You all know by now that I cannot make a trip to Huntsville without eating at Rosie's and this time was no exception. I had such a great time talking with Eddie and finding out what's going on with him. He and Kyla are such wonderful children and I am so proud of both of them.

Riley and I stayed at Nay Nay's house this weekend. While we were all at the beach a few weeks ago, my parents' house flooded due to a damaged pipe in the kitchen, so they are in a small apartment right now. Anyway, we really enjoyed staying there and getting to spend time with Nay Nay and Uncle Fred. Gran even came over and stayed with us so that we wouldn't miss out on our time with her. Riley really had fun playing with the toys that Nay Nay has for Sarah Grace and, also, learning new things. She learned to open drawers and kitchen cabinets and even said "Nay Nay" a few times. I'm not really sure why she hasn't opened drawers and cabinets at our house yet, but I'm sure she will now : ) Riley also got to spend a good bit of time playing with her cousin, Sarah Grace. They really had a good time and Sarah Grace was so good with Riley. As you can see, they even have a good, friendly Alabama/Auburn rivalry going:

Nay Nay made chocolate syrup and biscuits for us each morning and we even let Riley have some. I'm sure it won't be the last time. Here is a picture of her first adventure with our family tradition of chocolate syrup and biscuits. Notice the retro high chair. It was mine when I was little : )

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to visit with the "Huntsville Girls" this time, but I did get to see some other special people that I rarely get the chance to see. Since I was going to Eddie's game on Friday night, I took the day off of work and headed to Huntsville on Thursday night. Since I am never able to make it down during the week, I took the opportunity to go and see my Raytheon friends. It was so good to see them and show off my sweet angel, too! I miss that place! As I was heading back to Nay Nay's house after my visit, I was a little sad and Ben happened to call. He asked me what was wrong and I told him "You know that my heart is in Huntsville". I know it makes him feel a little bad that we can't live there, but he knows how I feel. Huntsville is my home. It's where I grew up and where my family lives. It's where my very best friends are. It's where I had the coolest job! Don't get me wrong, Birmingham is good and I am so thankful for the family that I have here and the friends that I have made. Without them, I don't know what I would do. Ben's family is so sweet and I love being with them. I have long time friends that live here, as well as new ones. I will always long to move back to Huntsville, though, and maybe one day we will. For now, I'll just have to visit and make the most of the time I have with my family and friends there.

We had to head back on Saturday to get Riley's one year and Christmas pictures taken with Bonnie of Blink Photography. She does such a great job and I can't wait to see the pictures. Riley did really well and was happy throughout the whole session and I know she got some great shots!

Oh! And I can't post this without mentioning that Riley is getting 2 more teeth - that makes 6 total! One is actually barely through the gums and the other one is on it's way through. Of course, this means that the nights have been a little difficult for us lately. OK - a lot difficult. I really need to figure this stuff out. (This is not an invitation for advice, but thanks!) I know I spoil her and I know I should probably not go in there every time she cries, but I can't help it : ) I was spoiled, so it's all I know. Blame my mom and dad ; )

So, needless to say, I had a GREAT weekend!! Hope you all did, too! Here's another picture of the most adorable Bama cheerleader I've ever seen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10 Years Living Strong!!

Today marks 10 years that my sweet husband has been "living strong" cancer free. 10 years ago Ben was diagnosed with Epithilioid Sarcoma. It is a rare form of sarcoma and is hard to detect in the early stages. Luckily, Ben found his tumor while it was still small and was able to be treated successfully. It wasn't easy - and he has a major battle scar to be proud of - but he has made it 10 years and I thank God every day for curing Ben and allowing us this wonderful life together. As the article I linked above states, recurrence after the initial diagnosis is very common, but Ben has made it this far without that and we are so thankful. Thank you, Lord, for blessing Ben with good health. We pray that he has many, many more cancer free years! The picture above is of Riley's hand on Ben's scar. It was taken when she was only 4 weeks old. How sweet!

Friday, October 17, 2008

~ my husband rocks! Friday

Seriously, people, are you tired yet of hearing about how my husband rocks? Actually, I think I have only about a handful of readers, so I don't think it really matters : ) Anyway, so it's Friday again - thank goodness - and time for another edition of "~ my husband rocks! Friday", so here goes...

I started work at a new building this week, so things have been a little different. Not bad, just different. I have to leave a little earlier for work for one thing. It's a totally different drive and I have to leave earlier to avoid all this crazy traffic "we" have here in Birmingham. I put the quotes around we because I tend to still say "they" for Birmingham and "we" for Huntsville. I will always be a Huntsville girl at heart and, hopefully, will be able to move back there one day. That's where my heart is and that's where I belong : ) Back to the subject at hand - Ben and I work on totally opposite ends of the city, so to speak, but yesterday he calls and wants to have a lunch date. Lunch dates are rare for us since we work so far apart, but in the past few months, he's been making the effort to come to where I am and take me to lunch. I really love it because it's just me and him and it's a "date". We don't get too many of those anymore. Sure, there are nights when one of the grandparents is keeping Riley, but it seems that usually all we want to do is go home and relax on those nights. So, these lunch dates are really nice. Such a simple thing, but I love it. Thanks, Ben, for date yesterday! You ROCK!

Oh, and we went to a place called Newk's. It was my first time eating there. Love it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lumpkin Family Photos

My family came to town last weekend to take some family photos. Nicole of B Photography - who happens to be my sister-in-law - took the pictures. I haven't seen all of them yet, but she was nice enough to send me a few preview pictures. Look at this one! It's my sweet niece and nephew with Riley.

Do you see Riley's lips? I'm not sure what this is all about, but she kept doing it that day and it was so cute. Here are a few more:

Nicole did a great job and I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures. These pictures are going to be so special to our family. Thanks, Nicole!

Friday, October 10, 2008

~my husband rocks! Friday

I missed last Friday since we were on vacation, but this week I'm back on track letting you know why Ben Rocks!

As you know, last week we were at the beach and took my parents along to enjoy it with us. Ben had a lot of together time with his in-laws and didn't complain once - and hasn't since, I might add. You've heard all of the jokes about in-laws and such, so I asked him the other night if he had gotten sick of them and he said "of course not! They are so easy to be around." I thought that was so sweet and it also makes things easier on me knowing that, anytime my parents want to come visit us, he will welcome them wholeheartedly. You rock, Ben, for enjoying time with my family!

Also, on the ride home, I guess I was kind of delirious and not wanting to end our vacation. I don't know what got into me, but I was being pretty silly. Instead of being annoyed, Ben was thoroughly entertained. Well, maybe that's taking it a bit too far, but he was laughing at me/with me. Just one more reason that he rocks : )

Another weekend is here and I'm SO glad. We really need more days in the week so that I can have more quality family time. The weekends are just way too short! Not much relaxing to be done this weekend. I've got my family coming from Huntsville and we're going to take some family pictures at the Botanical Gardens. Then, on Sunday, I've got a couple of Spring cleaning projects to do. I know it's not Spring, but I didn't get it done in the Spring, so now's the time. I know that Nicole of B Photography is going to take some great family photos and I'll make sure to post some of them here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pulling Up!

Riley is officially pulling up! Last night she did it like a pro. She even took one little step and moved her hands from her toy to the end table and stood there for a long while. I can't believe she is growing up so fast. I feel like I shouldn't be calling her a baby anymore : ( She is just so cute and totally entertains us all the time. She is really at a fun age right now. Sorry for the short post, but just wanted to write about her pulling up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vacation Recap and New Videos

Our vacation was great! Riley loved the beach and we all enjoyed spending so much time hanging out with Gran and Pop. The weather was great and the water was perfect. It actually looked more like a lake because it was so calm and it was very clear. Probably the most beautiful that we've seen the water in Gulf Shores. We really didn't want to come home. But, then again, who does when you're on vacation?! Our trip to the zoo was fun, but a lot of the animals seemed to be napping while we were there. Riley did get to see some monkeys, the tigers, Umba the Mandril, a peacock and a few others, though.

Riley has been doing some new, cute things lately. The night that we got home from the beach, she actually pulled up on her own. I haven't seen her do it since then, but she is learning. She also plays peek-a-boo, makes the cutest noises and has a great laugh. Tonight she just didn't want to go to sleep. We put her in her swing (I know, she's getting too big for it, but she loves it) and she started falling asleep while she was sitting forward. Of course, I videoed it and, of course, I'm uploading it here for you to see : ) I'm also uploading a video of her playing peek-a-boo with me. You'll have to ignore my annoying voice, though : ) I will post more pictures of our beach trip soon. For now, I'm exhausted, so I think I'll go to bed.

Not Wanting to Go to Sleep

Playing Peek-a-Boo

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vacation Time!

Finally, we're on vacation at our condo in Gulf Shores. Yay!!! Riley really loved the beach yesterday afternoon. We only went out for a few minutes after we got here, but she seemed to like it. The water is so beautiful! It's very calm and clear. We left yesterday morning around 8:00 and Riley did so great on the drive down. She slept some and played with Gran and Pop the rest of the time. We stopped once at a rest stop to feed and change her. When we got here, we went to eat at the Oyster House - one of our faves! We then headed out to the beach to let Riley see the beautiful ocean and beach. This place has finally recovered from the hurricanes. The beaches are almost back to normal. We are so looking forward to our time here and especially since Gran and Pop came with us. They are so excited about being here with Riley. Ben and I just love this place and can't wait to show Gran, Pop and Riley our favorite places to go. One of them is the Gulf Coast Zoo. If you've never been, you should check it out. We've really grown to love it since our first visit there about 4 years ago. They were even featured in their own series on the Animal Planet - The Little Zoo That Could. Very cool! Some of our other favorite places to go when we're here are: De Soto's Kitchen, LuLu's, The Wharf, and, of course, the Tanger Outlet Mall : ) Gran, Riley and I will go there on Saturday while the "guys" are watching football.

I've uploaded our first day's pictures to shutterfly. Click here to see them. I'll try to upload more, but I managed to forget the power cord for my computer, so we are limited on our computer time. Here's a little preview of the pictures.