Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two Reasons to Celebrate

This Thursday, there is cause for celebration...celebration times two in fact!

First of all, we want to wish Armando a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We hope you have the happiest of birthdays and we love you very much...

Secondly, today marks the 2 year anniversary of Andrew being in remission. HOORAY!! He was declared "Cancer Free" two years ago today and we are all so grateful for God's healing power. He will go in next month for another round of scans and tests and we continue to pray for no signs of cancer. Andrew's cancer, from start to finish, was quite an ordeal so we are thankful for his health and new life.


We hope you find something to celebrate today - big or small, there is ALWAYS something!
Until we meet again...
John & Riley

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun in Fredericksburg

What a FANTASTIC weekend we had! Aside from wanting to stay in Fredericksburg longer, the weekend could not have been any better. It was such a great little getaway for us...we had a wonderful time. We got into Fredericksburg on Friday night and we left there about 9am on Monday.

The place we stayed was amazing - so quaint and beautful. It was a little cluster of cabins and houses nestled in a gorgeous, woodsy area in the hill country. The scenery and weather were perfect. The particular house we stayed in was called the "Mesquite Farm House". The man that owns the property (Daniel) is from Switzerland and it used to be his house. The inside of the house had so many neat touches that we really enjoyed and there were two huge glass back doors that looked out onto the deck, fire pit, rocking chairs and the great outdoors. What a sight...we even saw a few deer running across the area in the mornings.

The whole weekend was very relaxing...we did some shopping downtown, lots of eating and snacking, played games, caught up on some sleep, enjoyed the back porch area, made smores, watched football, sat outside by the fire, talked and laughed - bunches of fun indeed. John really enjoyed taking Calvin for walks while hunting for sticks and firewood for the fires he built for us. It was really nice to sit out there by the fire and visit, feel the warmth and enjoy the yummy marshmallows as well. On one of his walks, John came back holding a big bunch of mistletoe...how cute and sweet! We have been keeping it in water and hope to use it at Christmas as part of our decor. I'm sure I'll have to "Riley" it up with some red ribbon or other accents.

It's often cliche in marriages, but we truly are so happy together and make every moment of being together fun and enjoyable. God has been so good to us...SO GOOD. He has blessed us with an incredible marriage and it is our job to take care of it like the treasure that it is. We love each other so much and love our life together.

Here are a few pictures from our weekend...













Until we meet again...
John & Riley

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weekend Away

This is where John and I will be staying this weekend. It's the "Mesquite Farm House" in Fredericksburg, Texas. Oh how we love Fredericksburg! We went there for part of our honeymoon and we have been there every year since for either an overnight stay or for the weekend. It's such a wonderful little town that we enjoy so much.

We are driving down on Friday afternoon and coming home on Monday afternoon. Calvin will be coming along as well - yippee! We haven't really planned a lot for this trip...we just want to enjoy the easy pace. We want to do some shopping in the downtown area (great stores), eat, watch football, enjoy the great outdoors, play games and RELAX! We hope to sleep in and have leisurely days over the weekend. With the cabin having a little kitchen area, we plan to do some cooking there...but we will be enjoying the local bakery two of the mornings - DELISH! There's a fire pit in the back so we are going to take the stuff for Smores - mmmm.


We are looking forward to the weekend, just need to finish packing and gathering...then we can hit the road on Friday. HOORAY! We will share our pictures when we return - the weather is supposed to be great so that is a blessing.

Until we meet again...
Riley

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Touches of Halloween

In addition to the fall decor we already put out (click here), we added a few touches of Halloween last Sunday throughout the house. Nothing too much, but enough to highlight the occassion. Here are a few pictures...
A little jack-o-lantern cup holding our bucket of toothpicks...this is sitting on the recipe box I decorated
The matching jack-o-lantern cup sitting by our soap and sponges above the sink

This felt bag was once filled with goodies, but we just hung it on the coat closet this year
I ordered this from Avon a year or two ago for John...he's a huge "Peanuts" fan so this was a cute decor item to add to our collection

We added a plastic jack-o-lantern full of orange and black ribbon to the bench in the entry way with the other fall decorations

It's hard to tell, but this little pumpkin train lights up - bought it at a garage sale right after we were married

Here are a few things we've done outside...
This wreath is neat in that it has 12 different wooden decorations to change out each month and they are all super cute! Next month, I'll be changing the jack-o-lantern to a turkey. This wreath is very special to me as well. We had purchased this wreath for Grandma Stone for Christmas in 2007, but she passed away that Christmas so it went unwrapped and we were unable to give it to her. So to remember her, I decided to keep it for myself and know that it was a gift meant for her, but now would be used in memory of her.

We have various flags that we change out on this little holder throughout the year

This is hanging in our front window - in the dining room. It's actually filled with clear lights so we plug it in at night.

We have already started buying Halloween candy, a bag or two a week, because we have LOTS of trick-or-treaters. This way it won't be a huge purchase at the end of October, but a little at a time. The last two years we have had so much candy and still run out!

The last two years we have kept a tally of how many trick-or-treaters we have had. We just keep some paper by the front door and take turns recording as the other one of us gives out the candy. It's just for fun - we enjoy seeing how many we have. The thing is, like I mentioned above, we have run out of candy the past two years so these numbers are how many visitors we had at the point we ran out of candy and had to turn out the light. Had we not run out, we would have had MANY more - there are so many kids in our neighborhood. In 2007 we had 132 and last year we had 148.

We have so much fun on Halloween night and we will blog about that with pictures later this month. It's on a Saturday this year, hooray!! It's also the night to change the clocks (fall back) - an early reminder for you, hee hee!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CRAZY LOVE

Yes - I have CRAZY LOVE for John - everyone knows that! But this time I'm talking about Michael Buble's newest CD - "Crazy Love". I don't actually own the CD yet, but I listened to it online this morning at work and it is CRAZY GOOD.

Although I have to say that I have NEVER been disappointed with a Buble CD. I absolutely love him, his original music and his covers of old songs. If you aren't familiar with him and his music - it's in the jazz genre...he has a Frank Sinatra/Harry Connick Jr. sound. It's wonderful! He has a good mix of upbeat, dance songs and slow, romantic songs . I love this kind of music and have many cds by artists such as him.

My fabulous husband surprised me and treated me to a Michael Buble concert last fall. It was actually this time last October. I was OH SO EXCITED for this concert. I remember the shock and utter joy I had the day John sent me the e-mail with our tickets - he's always thinking of me. The concert was AMAZING...we had such a good time. Of course we went out for a lovely dinner beforehand and then just thoroughly enjoyed the concert together. He put on a great show. Thanks again John for that special night - a memory I'll never forget!

If you don't know Michael Buble - get to know him!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, October 9, 2009

Secret to Happiness - Grocery Shopping??


If you are familar with the TODAY show, you might know that occasionally Willard Scott will highlight people or couples who are over 100 years old and/or have been married for several decades. Last week, my Mom told me about a couple he showed who had been married for 80 years. Wow, can you imagine? That's incredible! (Only 73 more years to go for us - hah) Willard Scott said when asked, the couple said their secret to a happy marriage was buying groceries together.

The reason my Mom shared this with me was that she said it made her think of John and I! We are this couple in some regard because we buy groceries together all the time...well 99% of the time. Friday night is grocery night in the Ussery house. It may sound boring to some, but we make it fun and exciting...something we look forward to each Friday evening. It's our grocery store date! Unless we are sick, out of town or have something specific to go to on a Friday night - we don't miss grocery night.

Once I get home from work and John has finished his day in the office at home, we head out for a light dinner - usually Chick-fil-a or something along those lines and price range. Then we may hit a couple of stores if we have any shopping errands to run or things to buy that aren't grocery related...cards/gifts, items for the house, materials for projects, etc. After all that is done, we pop into Starbucks for some evening coffee and then it's grocery time. This is another blog post in itself, but we make monthly menus so are grocery list is very detailed along with coupons (who would have guessed coming from me?). We just greatly enjoy sipping our coffee, buying good food to cook over the weekend and the following week, getting everything we need to stock our shelves and fridge/freezer, looking at new products and yummy stuff to try...plus the whole time we are talking and that's the greatest part. Our Friday nights are full of good quality time together.

A bonus is that not a lot of people buy groceries on Friday night, so the store is nice and quiet and not crowded.

We don't feel that the secret to our marital bliss is buying groceries together, but it IS a lot of fun and a special part of our our relationship. Today is Friday...you know where we will be tonight.
Until we meet again...
Riley