Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jog

We returned home (from Odessa) yesterday afternoon about 4pm. Once the car was unloaded, we laid down for a quick nap and ended up sleeping for an hour and a half...man it felt nice. We spent the evening starting laundry and doing some unpacking as we watched the last Monday Night Football game of the season - sniff sniff.

We had a wonderful Christmas and a great time spent in Odessa with the family. It was very relaxing and enjoyable from start to finish. We also got all sorts of great stuff!!

We are looking forward to having our Christmas together over the New Year's holiday and also getting the house back in order...lots of cleaning to do, items to put up and decorations to take down.

We will share a few pictures once we have them all uploaded and many more to come with the exchanging our gifts from each other and still John's family to visit in Arkansas.

We hope your Christmas was a very merry one - here's to 2010!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heading Home for Christmas

The bags are packed, the presents are gathered and the loading will begin very soon. This is our year to go to Odessa for Christmas. We alternate spending Christmas with John's family in Arkansas and my family in Odessa from year to year. Last year we were in Arkansas, so to Odessa we go. We will be leaving here this morning and will get into Odessa later this afternoon. Hooray!!! We will be coming back home on Monday morning. I'm not sure how much blogging I will do while we are away, but I will be back with updates and pictures galore, I'm sure!
John and I wish you and your loved ones a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! Enjoy celebrating the birth of our Lord - God Bless!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Monday, December 21, 2009

Update on Noah


Before I start, I would just like to thank you for your prayers - they are MUCH appreciated!

Today, Noah had and MRI and an EEG as well as more blood work at the hospital in Lubbock. Thankfully, all the tests were able to be done today. There are lots of details, but the short of it is they diagnosed Noah with a seizure disorder. The name of the disorder is one that I could not pronounce or spell (my apologies) - it's not epilepsy. The solution is for him to take an anti-seizure medication at this time. So, not great news, but it could have been so MUCH worse so we thank God for all blessings. It could be that he takes the medication and never has a seizure again...only time will tell. Hopefully this will help though! This is the first one he's had in 15 months so it hasn't been a problem until now. Once they figure out what dosage he should take, they will prescribe some to him and they can be on their way back home. He just needs to be monitored closely as he gets used to taking this medicine and he may have a few follow-up appointments.

They did also find a quarter size hole/place/space on his brain, but it's basically just a spot that didn't fully develop and it should simply mean that it may take him a bit longer in his development. He may just need a little extra time and therapy to be where he needs to be, but he should be fine overall. They will monitor that as well, I'm sure.

The good news is, he will get to go home later tonight and be home for Christmas - Hooray! He did really well at the hospital and was just a sweet, happy baby. They will take him back for a follow-up appointment in Lubbock on January 12th.

Again, we greatly appreciate your prayers! We give ALL thanks, praise and glory to our mighty God.

Uncle John and I cannot wait to see, hug and kiss this adorable one at Christmas!
Until we meet again...
Aunt Riley

Please Pray for Noah!

This sweet, precious little boy needs our prayers! This is our 15 month old nephew, Noah...
Isn't he just the cutest?

While at home yesterday afternoon, Noah had a seizure! He was taken to the hosptial in Odessa by ambulance. In the Emergency Room, they did a CT scan as well as a blood and urine test. After those tests and a couple of things they saw, they decided he needed an MRI and some other tests run. They decided to send him to Lubbock for further testing and evaluation. They took him to Lubbock by ambulance last night and he's now in the Pedatric ICU at University Medical Center. The doctor will come in sometime today to see Noah and then they will run various tests. Luckily, Noah is stable and doing well. He's alert and seems like his normal self, so that is a huge blessing.

Hopefully, the tests will go smoothly, they will get results quickly and he can be released to go home in time for Christmas (and anything that might need to be taken care of can be done so after Christmas).

John and I are asking for your prayers for our sweet nephew that we love so much! It is so hard for a child to go through this and we pray for good test results and that this is something minor and easily treatable. We hate this is is happening the week of Christmas, but we trust in our Lord that good things will come and he will be home to spend Christmas with everyone. We are leaving for Odessa Wednesday afternoon to spend Christmas there.

God is the divine physician and we will fully rely on Him through this. As always, we are putting our complete faith in Him that everything will be okay and He will place His healing hands upon Noah. As human nature, we are worried and nervous, but all we can do is pray and trust our awesome God.

We have 10 nieces and nephews (6 nephews and 4 nieces) and we adore them all so very much. One of our favorite jobs is being an Aunt and Uncle to these sweet children. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for Noah.

I will post updates as often as I can when I have news to share. Enjoy this week of Christmas!
Until we meet again...
Aunt Riley

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Last night, after dinner and I wrapped a few more gifts, we watched a true classic..."A Charlie Brown Christmas" on DVD. We've been trying to watch some of our favorite Christmas shows and movies as we have had time this season. If you know us well, you know that John loves the PEANUTS gang (I of course love them too!). We even have a little set of Peanuts characters out with our Christmas decorations...
The best part of the entire show is when Linus tells Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas as Charlie Brown is struggling with all of the commercialism of Christmas. Each and every time it warms our heart as we hear Linus' sweet voice...

We hope you are not loosing sight of the TRUE meaning of Christmas - the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Card ~ 2009

I am participating in the "Christmas Card Carousel" hosted by Faith. How fun!

This is our Christmas Card...
We tried to choose pictures that were highlights from our year. On the strip on the left, the top picture was taken in May at Andrew's (my brother) wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony and we are so happy to have Heidi in our family. The middle picture is of our precious beagle, Calvin. You can read more about him on the right side bar. He'll be turning 7 next month and we just adore him! The bottom picture is of us heading out to a Texas Rangers baseball game. We love the Rangers and really enjoyed following them this season. Living in the Dallas area, it's nice to go to a few games throughout the year. All of the other games we watched on TV and enjoyed a pretty good season. The large picture on the right was taken in Fredericksburg, Texas. It's such a fun little town and special to us. John and I spent part of our honeymoon there and try to make a trip there once a year. We enjoyed a weekend getaway in October.

Our first Chistmas together (and our first card) was in 2002. So this is our 8th Christmas together! We have a copy of each one of our photo cards in with our Christmas decorations. It's so fun to look back and the past year's pictures and reflect on wonderful memories.

Enjoy the Christmas Card Carousel and may you have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, December 11, 2009

High Kickin' Holiday Fun

GUESS WHERE MY SWEET, HANDSOME HUSBAND IS TAKING ME SATURDAY NIGHT??

The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular - hip hip hooray! He bought us tickets a couple of months ago. Since he surprised me with the tickets, I've had it written on the calendar in red and green pen and have been anticipating this night for a while. I am super duper excited!! My Mom and I went to this show 3 years ago and it was FANTASTIC. I completely enjoyed it and could not to wait to go back when they came again.

I have always loved the Rockettes! They are my favorite part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Hence this picture on Thanksgiving this year... It will be lots of fun to get all dressed up tomorrow night. We are going out for a nice seafood dinner at Pappadeux (John's favorite restaurant) before and then to the big show. I don't know how many pictures (if any) I'll be able to take, but I am hoping to at least get a good one of John and I in front of our Christmas tree.

This week has been non-stop and action packed so it will be so nice to enjoy this evening with my husband - what a fun holiday date!

Have a wonderful weekend! Two weeks from today is Christmas - WOW!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Below is a slide show, with about 40 pictures, of us decorating the inside of our house for Christmas. For just two people, we sure have A LOT of Christmas decorations. We didn't even put everything out OR take pictures of everything - these are just a few glimpses. We said goodbye to all of our fall decorations and brought out the red and green Christmas tubs to "Deck the Halls".

We have two Christmas trees - one in the dining room and one in the living room. The one in the dining room is decorated to match the dining room with burgundy, olive green, cream and gold colors. This tree is more for show and it's in the front window of the house, so when people drive by, they can see a tree in our window to go along with the outside lights. The tree in our living room is much bigger and taller and every ornament on it has a special meaning....seriously! There are ornaments we had separately or that we've gotten together. We also have several we've received as gifts or given each other plus we buy an ornament every time we go on a trip or vacation. Every ornament is unique and special and we could tell you story or something neat about it. It makes it so nice to look at everything each year and reflect on memories.

We enjoyed some snacks and toasting to the Christmas season with sparkling grape juice. We watched football and listened to Christmas music as we decorated. Except for a few malfunctioning strands of lights - hee hee, it was a wonderful day!

I also set up a wrapping station in my office. I put out all the rolls of wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, tags, tape, scissors, ribbons, bows - you name it! I LOVE to wrap presents and we really like having a central location to do all our wrapping. We only have seven under the tree, but there are many more to wrap - fun times!

On the slide show - all the pictures will spin around in a circle once, but then they will stop one at a time for viewing.






We have such a full week and into next...lots of activities keeping us busy, but it's all part of the fun of the season. Have a great week!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lots O' Pictures - Thanksgiving Weekend

Below is a little slide show of our Thanksgiving weekend. We had such a great time. You can read about it all HERE.

I think over the course of five days, we took about 200 pictures! No worries, there's only about 40-50 in this slide show - just the highlights. We took lots of pictures of our Chrismas decorating last Saturday, but I'll put those pictures in a separate post in a few days.


Hope you enjoyed a look at our Thanksgiving. Have a great weekend!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eight Years Ago today...and the rest is history

Eight years ago today, December 3, 2001, John and I met each other. Well, electronically anyway!

Here's the story...

For Thanksgiving in 2001 I went with my Mom, Armando and Andrew to spend it with Armando's family in Pearsall, Texas and also celebrate Grandma's (Armando's Mom) 70th Birthday over the weekend. During the evening of Thanksgiving, a few of us were sitting around visiting and John's sister-in-law, Angela (who is also Armando's niece), asked me if I was dating anyone. At that time, I was a few weeks away from my college graduation. I was not dating anyone at the time, but was focused on finishing school and looking for a post-college job. So I proceeded to tell Angela that I was currently single. Well, she got all excited and said that I should meet Jason's brother (Jason is her husband - John's brother). Are you confused? Hee Hee!

Anwho, Angela went on to tell me a little bit about John and what I heard sounded really good. I obviously had specific things in mind regarding guys I wanted to date and from the little that she told me, John sounded great. Keep in mind at this time John was living in Arkansas and I was living in Odessa...about 12-13 hours apart. So Angela asked me to give her my e-mail address (that she would give to John) and she gave me John's e-mail address and suggested that maybe we could e-mail each other and see what happened.

After the Thanksgiving weekend was over and we all went back home, I waited a couple of days to hopefully hear from this John guy :), but several days passed and I never did. Therefore, I decided to go ahead an e-mail him myself. I had his e-mail address afterall. So, on December 3, 2001 I e-mailed John and then he e-mailed me back later that day. Come to find out, John HAD actually e-mailed me before I decided to e-mail him, but he was sending it to the wrong e-mail address. He was probably wondering why I wasn't e-mailing him back, but it's a good thing I decided to reach out to him. So we made our connection on December 3rd - hooray!

We continued to e-mail each other back and forth through the month of December just getting to know each other, asking questions and sharing about various topics. We then eventually made the step to call one another and talk over the phone.

In January of 2002, I flew to Arkansas to meet John face to face (January 8th to be exact)...and the rest, as the say, is history!

We still have those first two e-mails we exchanged. John actually forwarded them to me this morning with "Remember..." as the subject of his e-mail. I certainly do remember how it all began and I thank God. Only He could bring two people that lived miles apart together in the way He did.

I love you, John! Eight years ago today, my life was changed in wonderful ways!
Until we meet again...
Riley