Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beautiful Biltmore

All I can say is "WOW!"
Ryan and I in front of our wanna be home!
And a kiss for good luck!
Amanda in the gardens.
Ryan under some sort of cabana thing. It was so breezy and cool under there!
So I've lived in SC all my life, and I can't believe I've never taken the 1 1/2 hour trip to Biltmore. Now I know what I've been missing! Ryan and I continued our celebration weekend with a trip today to see this magnificent place. I was blown away! So apparently, George Vanderbilt built this house, later married, and he and his wife had one child....ONE CHILD....and this big house!!! The house has 250 rooms, but the tour only takes you to about 65 or so. There are 40-something bathrooms, all of which cannot be used. There's about as many fireplaces as bathrooms. What they call their "small pantry" is about the size of my living room! What I thought was a bit funny is how George and his wife, Edith, had separate bedrooms! Very interesting! I wonder which one their baby girl was conceived in? Okay, that was out of line..haha! Their basement was wild! They had an inground swimming pool, their own bowling alley, everything! It's a house where if you lived there, you'd never have to, or want to leave. I think my favorite room was the main dining room. The dining table was 40 feet long. It was absolutely amazing! Words cannot describe the beauty of this house. If you're ever up that way, I highly recommend a trip! We left the house and went to the gardens. I love flowers, but I don't have the patience to deal with them, but there were more flowers than you can imagine in the gardens. I highly respect whoever takes care of them all....that would be one heck of a job! We visited the winery when we left the gardens, and got to see how the wine was made, and we did our first wine tasting! I'm not a big fan of wine, but I think I could be after today! LOL! We got some Christmas presents bought today for the wine lovers in our family! One thing I forgot to mention earlier was that George and Edith's only daughter, Cornelia, was born on August 22, 1900. There was a quote on the wall made by her mother the day after she was born, August 23, 1900. It was ironic that exactly 108 years later to the day, we were standing in the room where baby Cornelia was born! So needless to say, we had a wonderful day, and now I'm headed to bed...with aching feet! Enjoy the pictures..they speak for themself.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ten years?! Really? WOW!

It started with a kiss and wound up like this....and the rest is in the making!

Ten years ago I met a wonderful man, who later became my husband! It's so hard to believe it's been 10 years. Yes, I know that's cliche, but it's so true! So, this is the story of how we met, and how it took a really funny turn.

Ryan sent me an IM on AOL on August 20th, 1998. I was in the process of signing off AOL, and had already gotten the "sign off" confirmation when all of a sudden an IM pops up, because he was in the process of sending it as I was signing off. Normally, I'd get those idiots IMing me saying, "Hey, got a pic?" or "18 year old male here, what's your stats?" But for some reason this one seemed sincere. It said, "Hey, wanna chat?" It was from a person who identified himself at CUSaxMan. Something was telling me to sign on again and talk to this person, so I did. I gave him my number, and he called me that night. We talked for 4 hours, and decided to meet the next day. All I knew was that his name was Ryan, he was 21, and was finishing his senior year at Clemson, and he was a saxophonist. So somewhere around 6 that next night, 8/21/98, this man I didn't know pulled into the driveway. He came in, and we talked for a bit while my mom sat on the couch with her skeptical face! Ha!

Then we went to Pizza Hut for supper. We had a mushroom and green peppers pizza with extra cheese : ) Now here's where the funny part comes into play. Ryan assumed that Pizza Hut took a card, so when he went up to pay, he gave him his card. Well, Pizza Hut didn't take a card back then..only cash! I saw the sweat forming on his forehead..haha! He turned to me and asked if I had 20 dollars. Normally I wouldn't have carried cash with me, but it was a good thing I did that night! So, needless to say, I paid for our first meal. That's something that I'll never let him out-live. I still nag him from time to time about it : ) Everytime I ask him where my 20 dollars is that he owes me, he laughs and says, "I think you've been more than paid back." Haha!

So after supper, and after I paid (((Hint hint, honey!!))), we went to Blockbuster and rented "The Ghost In The Darkness". It wasn't a movie that I would have rented myself, but it was alright. The best part was sitting next to this man and cuddling with him. Yes, we cuddled. I barely even knew him, but something about it just felt right. I didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable, despite what friends and family warned me about "Internet Lovers".

He took me back home that night and was a perfect gentleman! He leaned into me and before he kissed me he said, "May I?" So, he kissed me! LOL! I'm normally not much of a kiss and tell kinda girl, but I'm not ashamed..hehe!

We really hit it off and never broke up, well, not for more than 30 minutes anyway! We were engaged 14 1/2 months later, and married almost 8 months after that. We've had some great times, and some really bad times together, but that's what makes us stronger. So, on our 10 year meeting anniversary, I want to tell you, Ryan, that I do love you more than life itself and thank you so much for 10 short years!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Blog

I've created a blog about our homeschooling journey through K5! Check it out!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Maddy through the years

When my friend's kids throw tantrums, I just bow my head and say a prayer for them..LOL! It's hard for them to imagine Maddy throwing a fit, because they know her now, but here is living proof that "I've been there!"
5 weeks old and adoring her daddy!
8 weeks old, and already a Ham!
15 months old in her favorite chair
This was her sneaky grin! I could always tell she was up to no good when she made this face!
First hair cut. She was born with barely peach fuzz, so she didn't get her first trim till she was 2!
I realized that most of my friends that I have now only know Maddy as she is...a cute, busy little 5 year old girl. I thought I would add a few pictures of Maddy from a baby until now. There are so many more I want to add, but not enough time to go through every set. We were very much into snapping her picture round the clock. She got so used to it she would start smiling as soon as she saw the camera.

She was born on December 12th, 2002 at 7:58 weighing in at 8 lbs 15 oz, and 21 inches long. People said her cheeks were so rosy, so my mom called her "Rose Bud". Ryan and I were crazy and clueless and gave her applesauce at 2 months, which she loved, but her tummy didn't. She celebrated her first Christmas when she was only 12 days old. She went to her first Church service at 10 days old. She was Eeyore for her first Halloween, a lady bug for her 2nd, Dora for her 3rd, a "fancy witch" for her 4th, and Dorothy for her 5th. She got her first tooth, crawled, and pulled up all in the same week. When she was first starting to walk, she would hold her hands up in the air like a mummy! She started taking gymnastics when she was 13 months old, and has become a great gymnast, if I say so myself. ; ) When I took her to her 1st class, they sat in a circle and rolled a big ball around, and Maddy clapped and screamed out "BALL!" She's always been such a great sleeper. She started sleeping through the night about 9 weeks, and until she was 3, she would sleep 12-14 hours at night, plus take a 3-4 hour nap during the day! I started missing her after a while! Two weeks before she turned 14 months old, she morphed into a monkey and climbed out of her crib. I put her in the crib, and shortly after started hearing a bunch of commotion coming from her room. When I opened her door, I saw her standing in the middle of her room, everything dumped off her changing table, and she had two Q-tips hanging out of her mouth like a walrus, and was clapping her hands..wanting praise for her "great accomplishment!" She took her first cruise in 2006, and loved it! She was known as "Monkey Maddy" around the boat. She got her hair put in braids and beads by a lady that lived on the island in the Bahamas. She still asks me when can she get her hair braided like that again! Her birthday themes were 1st: Dragonflies and butterflies, 2nd: Elmo, 3rd: Chuck E Cheese, 4th:Ariel, 5th: Belle, and she is forever changing her mind about her 6th birthday theme! She has never been much of a baby doll lover, but instead she adores stuffed animals. She had two old ragged bunnies that she used to drag around from place to place. Their real name was Peaches, but when she was learning how to talk, she called them "Chi-Chi". Both Chi-Chi's became a valuable part of our family. It was like having three kids, because where ever Maddy went, two Chi Chi's would follow. She drug them when she was learning how to crawl, carried them when she started walking, and she finally quit carrying them when she turned 3 1/2. They were horrible looking by then, but I cried because, like I said, they were part of our little family! We still have those Chi-Chi's packed away somewhere, and as long as there is breath in me, we'll be holding onto those things! So, if you've read this far, God bless you! Maddy is such a special little girl that we just can't seem to get enough of! Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it feels like such a dream, that God would allow me the un-deserving priviledge to be this little girl's mommy! I love you, Maddy Bugg!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

~*Pretty as a Princess*~

Getting ready to leave for the tea party!
My little *brown-haired* Cinderella!
Looking at the other girls card to make sure they "really did have Bingo!"
The yummy food and punch!

Maddy went to a Princess Tea Party at Chick Fil A tonight. This was her 2nd tea party there. The host actually laughed a little when we walked up, because she knew we would be there. If it involves a princess, we're there! Maddy won a tea party a few months ago from a raffle at gymnastics, so the lady will be coming to do her very own Princess tea party in December! They played Princess Bingo, got their nails painted, had an etiquite class, ate chicken mini's and cake, and had punch. There were lots of little princesses there. Maddy's favorite was the little girl dressed just like Cinderella. She had her blonde hair balled up and everything! My favorite princess was the cutie pie in the white dress! : )

Saturday, August 9, 2008

First Trip To The Riverbanks Zoo

Baby Flamingos in the Bird Nursery!
For some reason this one reminds me of the kids song "Matilda Gorilla"
"I've got my eye on you!"
The Penguin exhibit was great!

Maddy and her mommy standing in front of the penguins.
" Surfs Up, Dude!"
My Two Tigers....on a Tiger!
Maddy holding a stuffed giraffe, and standing near a *real* giraffe!
"I'm gonna eat you up!!!"

We took Maddy to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia today. It was her first trip. We all had a good time, but it was so HOT! The sea lion was being lazy and sleeping, the gorilla was hiding, and they were all sold out of giraffe food, but we did get to see some great animals, including a grizzly bear!!! We're planning on taking another trip there, but it's gonna have to drop below 70 degrees first!