Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Riley family hosts a golf tournament for to raise money for the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo each year. It's a huge deal. We will continue to support the tournament, but Kevin's mother is retiring from "running the show." HOWEVER, I'm thinking we could raise more money if we hosted a "bowl-a-thon." You know took in pledges for the number of bowl games watched or touchdowns scored while being watched, or number of cumulative points scored during...the bowl games all the Rileys watch...myself included. So far, in the big scheme of things I'm 6-4 for my picks...not too shabby for a girl. Of course my way cool nephew Drewby is leading the pack with a perfect record...Way to go Drew! I don't know how he does it!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
We visited Elizabeth's hometown in TX last weekend and met her face-to-face for the first time. She is a wonderful, gentle, caring mother to the son she already has and seems to be satisfied with that role. She is about my height, round-faced, with long straight dark brown hair. She has really nice full lips and the biggest, most beautiful brown eyes I have ever seen. She seems to be quiet and soft-spoken, but not overly shy. Kevin and I really enjoyed meeting her. We are as comfortable with her as can be under the circumstances. We ate lunch with her twice and dinner once. She was our tourguide on a tour around Corpus Christi. She and I seem to have the same taste in food; we both love Italian food and cheese. She is a smart girl who also loves to read. She played basketball in high school and still loves the sport. Although she has one older sister, she has a younger brother and sister with the same age differences from her as mine. So, we also have that in common.
We enjoyed seeing her interact with Jayden. They share such a deep bond. It is obvious that everything she does is for him. Jayden is full of personality! He is such a sweety. I love the way he holds things between his index finger and thumb, very particular. We played chase. He likes to peek out from around the corner. Elizabeth's family is very involved with helping her take care of Jayden. His complexion is somewhat lighter that Elizabeth's, but of course he is younger. He is a handsome little boy, sparkling eyes, big smile, full of expression. He is very patient. He didn't cry any of the time we were around him. I noticed him watching Kevin a lot.
It's really neat to have a face to put with the idea of our son. I think that couples who give birth to their child picture a son like the father or a daughter like the mother. Kevin and I picture Jayden. I like that.
I think our meeting with Elizabeth went well in her eyes too. She has called us twice since we left Sunday. I think of her often. She and Jayden will always have a special place in our hearts. In a way, they are part of a greater family. Jack will complete it.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Ok...enough of the mushy stuff, I'm sure you're gagging by now. Back to the baby stuff...
Our birthmother sent us her ultrasound pictures, and yes...it's a boy! She also sent us a few pictures of her other child, he's a year old and absolutely precious. He looks like he could be Christian's little brother, and what a ham! I can't wait to meet him and play with him a little bit. Hopefully, our birthmother will see what wonderful parents we really will be and how much we truly love children. I'm a little nervous, but I know it will all work out. I have a great peace about it.
Amanda and I are loving our baby shopping excursions. She is doing well and is very healthy. I'll have to post more recent photos of her.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
We have picked out a name. I can honestly say there wasn't a lot of disagreement. When I bought my wedding dress I ended up coming back to the first one I tried on...thanks, Robin! When we ordered wedding invitations, we immediately agreed on one of the first sets we saw. With our son's name, we easily agreed again. His name is Jack Mitchell Riley. Jack after Kevin's father, Mitchell was my maiden name. We're gonna call him "Jack." Done deal...I didn't want to give him a first name that he wasn't going to be called by...I hate explaining that I'm Cynthia, but you can call me Cindy.
We have the room theme, Noah's Ark...light green and blue...I have been sick, so we haven't been crib shopping yet. It's such a big deal to go into town this time of year. Plus, Kevin's been out of town. We do know we want dark furniture in the nursery.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I can't wait to watch his daddy teach him to play golf. Kevin said I could tag along until he's big enough to walk on his own...funny, very funny...Really, I love it when Kevin's mother tells stories about how she learned to play golf so she could see her children.
Now I can officially get started decorating the nursery...
Saturday, November 26, 2005
I'm sure you can imagine how strange it is to become "phone-pals" with the woman who is carrying your child. It is...but I love talking to her. I want to know so much. I want to be able to answer questions about her as they arise, no lies. She's so open and honest. She's young, but strong and determined. We talked about cribs and names tonight. I think she liked the girls names better than the boy names. She's very easy to talk to and doesn't seem to have any reservations about the adoption.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Kevin and I have been officially matched with a new birthmom in Texas who is due on April 15th. We have talked to her on the phone quite a bit and are thrilled that she is going to give us a family. She is a very sweet and intelligent Hispanic girl. She'll be starting nursing school this summer. We enjoy talking to her and getting to know her. Her family is very supportive of her adoption plan. When we first got the news, I was very nervous and skeptical. So, I waited to share it this time. We do know that the baby is very healthy and is measuring "long." She will have a c-section on April 10th and has already asked me to be there for her. What a magical moment it will be! She will find out what the baby is Monday 11/28. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted. You'll be seeing lots more baby updates.
Monday, November 14, 2005
There is more baby news in our neighborhood, though. In addition to Baby Kate across the street, two little boys were born while we were in Las Vegas last week. Both live on the street behind us. There is one more pregnant mother down the street. She is due in May. Wow! They're going to need a new wing at the Kindergarten school in about five years. My lil sis is still doing well. She is one of four pregnant women on her street.
Kevin and I saw Celine in concert at Ceasar's Palace. I had heard that it was produced/directed by Franco Dragone, but I wasn't prepared for how much of a production it really was. I think there were about 50 dancers as part of her show. Franco Dragone was also the creator of such Cirque du Soleil productions as Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, and Saltimbanco. I loved it! Blue Man Group was still Kevin's favorite.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Do you remember the Blue Man Group from the Intel commercials? Kevin and I got to see them in Las Vegas. It was so cool! The web site really doesn't give them justice. If you happen to be out west, you should drop by the Venetian to see them.
Monday, November 07, 2005
There are actually two other Caucasian mothers who have our profile right now as well. Meanwhile, we are both staying very busy with work and travel. It's nice to have the freedom and flexibility to travel with Kevin and still do my own job.
- Tupelo, MS
- Memphis, TN
- New Orleans, LA
- St. Kitts, Brittish West Indies
- Williamsburg, VA
- Washington, DC
- Baltimore, MD
- New York City, NY
- Atlanta, GA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Philidelphia, PA
- Las Vegas, NV
It is all very exciting...until you figure in the money it costs to pay a "nanny" to stay with my dogs while we're gone.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
KJ and I went to his mother's house for the big golf tournament she hosts as a fundraiser for the Sanctuary Hospice House. We raised about $20,000 this year. This was the Fifth Annual Jack Riley Memorial Golf Tournament. Then on Saturday, Kevin enjoyed participating in the annual Riley Open "friendly" golf competition. I'm so proud...my KJ won this year. They even have a plaque with little brass name plates for the winners of the tournament each year. My Kev has won 6 of the last 12 competitions. Those Riley men are so competitive. I think the Riley women might have a team of their own next year...if I could just talk Erin into playing with Joyce, NancyAnne and me.
Then the day after returning home, I flew out to SLC, Utah for mentor training with the university. I have been sitting in the "Cityscape" conference room for several days now on the very top floor of the building on the left in the photo below. What a magnificent view! I saw a flock of birds fly by during our meetings today. How cool! I met my training mentor, Melanie, today. I think we'll get along very well.
There is a lot of information to digest, but I can't wait to get started. It's nice to be treated like a professional. Everyone has been really nice.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Share a common prayer,
Though different circumstances
Common is their care.
For these very different women
Will pray in one accord,
On bended-knee they ask these things
Their prayer begins "Dear Lord."
"Lord, be with this little child
Keep them close to you,
Guide them and direct them
In everything they do."
And even as I pray this
Another mother prays it, too,
May you always know her love-
To be genuine and true.
You'll forever have two mothers
Who share a single prayer,
One brought you to the world
Then placed you in the other's care.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
It's due on Valentine's Day...which was my first date with Kevin. We're so excited. We had a phone conference with the birthmother today. She was very nice, and we were all nervous. As usual, Kevin (and Tammy the Stork) did a wonderful job of buffering the tension. What a wonderful day! We're going to be parents in 4 1/2 months. Please pray that this mother will know what a fantastic, wonderful, magnificent, amazing gift she's giving us.
Monday, September 19, 2005
I dream of the day when I can hold our little baby and stare at it for hours. I love watching all the little children at church. Several of them run up to me afterward to visit. Our neighbors across the street, Chris and Lisa, just had a little girl, Kate. She’s beautiful. I’ve been over to visit a couple of times. Two other ladies in the neighborhood are expecting. I can’t wait to join the motherhood club.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
First of all, we have a 3rd opportunity for a baby that is due to be born Feb.10. She received our profile yesterday. We are waiting for a conference call to be set up with the birthmother. Based on the background knowledge we have of the mother and her family we feel a really strong connection to her. We know that God will send us the child he plans for us to parent in his time, whether this one is it or not.
Secondly, I have been searching for a job in the field of education that I can do from a home office. I sent in a vitae for one this week. The university I applied to has already called for a phone interview. If all goes well I'll be flying out to meet face-to-face with the Dean of Education in a week or two. It has really good benefits and pay. I'm really excited about it and will share more when I know more. Our phone interview lasted for almost an hour and a half.
I'm gearing up for a big day of football. All is great and wonderful today.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Kevin and I can't wait to enjoy the concert! If you haven't been to this local event before and you're a fan of the symphony, you're missing out.
Friday, September 09, 2005
We have to be fingerprinted by the ABI for background check and criminal clearance. One frustrating aspect of that is that my suitability has already been determined by the Alabama Dept. of Ed., but DHR doesn't accept their clearance and vice-verse. What a crock! I still have to pay another $75 to have my prints scanned, even though the same ABI just did it last January. Another aggravating aspect is that Kevin called the ABI yesterday and was passed around for twenty-minutes while he got four different versions of the proper procedure to be fingerprinted. In the end he left a message with a department head who never returned his call and a switchboard operator told him he could come in between 8 and 5. So, I rush in from school Thursday afternoon ready to drive to Montgomery. I called to get directions and after the same yo-yo experience Kevin got the day before (& his call still hasn't been returned...SHOCK) I was told that I couldn't come in without an appointment, plus more run-around. By now, I'm picturing some woman sitting behind her desk filing her nails like the one on Will & Grace. Long story short...we have an appointment for today. Government beaurocracy just kills me. That's another reason why I'm getting out of teaching.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Saturday, September 03, 2005
- my wonderful, ever-positive, loving and supportive soul-mate, KJ
- my two hairy mongrels who are always happy to lick my feet when the rest of the world thinks they're gross
- I have a safe, dry home, with all the modern conveniences, in a wonderful community
- I know where all of my family are and that they are safe and healthy
- my own health
- my sweaty little 8-year-old nephew climbed shamelessly into my lap in front of his football buddy at the Lion's game last night, after spending 7 hours each day with me in our classroom at school this week; When I said, "You mean you still love me?" He said, "Of course I do, Aunt Cindy. Who wouldn't love you?"
- kisses after school every afternoon from my neice who gets bused over from the Kindergarten school
- hugs and hellos from former students at high school football games
- my favorite season will be here soon
- I don't have to buy maternity clothes
- a long Labor Day weekend from school
- I'm not as terrible at golf as I once was
- Kev is fantastic at grilling
I told Kevin about my year old petition for annulment (He keeps calling it our, but I refuse to give him credit for my mistakes) this week, "We've been waiting for this thing through two popes and three major hurricanes. It'll come through eventually."
The terrible thing about it is that right now it's sitting on a Catholic judge's desk in Mobile of all places.
The good thing about it is it was next heading to the New Orleans area. At least it's not there yet. I wonder where it will go to now.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
When a couple is expecting to give birth to their child, they have most of nine months to prepare for it. You also know that as long as you continue to receive good reports from the doctor, you will be parents. When someone else is carrying your child, you don't have that luxery. You can't take that for granted. Things could happen to change the mother's mind. So, this is something we are trying to keep in perspective. At the same time though, we are thrilled. We just know that God is going to send us the baby he intends for us to raise. It will all work out in the end. I can't wait to decorate the room we have decided will be our nursery.
There are so many amazing emotions I'm feeling right now. Kevin will be a wonderful father. I can't wait to see him with our son or daughter. He's amazing with children. Christian and Katelyn absolutely adore him. His nephews and nieces who don't live nearby call regularly and check in, too.
Mom and Dad were thrilled when I told them. I knew they'd be happy for me, but I didn't realize just how excited they'd be. Amanda is expecting her first born, and Darrell already has two. They were as excited for us as if I were pregnant. You can't know how proud that makes me.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
me: K, how was kindergarten today?
K: It was HARD WORK, hard, hard, hard, hard work!
me: Oh yeah? What all did you learn about today?
K: Well, we didn't learn how to write anything. We cut, cut, cutted; and we colored, colored, colored...and it rained, rained, rained, and stormed and lightened, and I got scared!
me: Yep, your day sounds much harder than mine. We didn't color.
me: So, how's your teacher? What's she like?
K: Awww...she's just a real old lady with gray hair and arms that hurt all the time. (Boy, I wonder what my kids tell their parents about me.)
another random kindergartener thought from K: "Ya'll can't just hold hands all the whole day long!"
me: huh? What are you talking about?
K: That's what my teacher said to me and my friend when we held hands all day today.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
You know, kids are so interested in books when they can't read the words on the page. Are the words boring, or are the pictures just that much more interesting. I love this photo of Katelyn, because there are so many other things she could be doing and playing with in this room...but my very active niece chooses to sit down and "read" a book. 3rd graders, take note!
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Monday, June 13, 2005
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
Dude was getting ready to fly home from a business trip. He changed out of his "business attire" into his "casual wear" for the trip home. He's wearing a shirt with shorts and sandals. This mentally handicapped teenager was sitting in the front seat when the coworker boarded. When the teen saw the coworker he pointed very excitedly and shouted, "Look Mommy! He's wearing girl shoes!"
Cracks me up...Now I know why Kev won't wear sandals.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
My birthday was this month. I turned 31. Wow! It doesn't feel as old as thought it was when my mom turned 31. I had a wonderful birthday. KJ gave me 2 gifts when I got home from school, new golf shoes and ladies golf balls. For the 3rd gift he said he had a hard time narrowing it down, so I got to chose between new swing for the backyard and new golf clubs. I chose the golf clubs since we already have a hammock. We went to dinner at La Jolla (my favorite restaurant) and decided to skip out Taming of the Shrew at the Shakespeare Festival to get my new clubs. When we got home, Kev and I were both surprised to find Mom & Dad on the back porch putting together a swing they had gotten for mine and Kev's birthday. I was thrilled! Guess I made the right choice afterall.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Birdie went to the "salon" today. She is such a pretty little girl. Her hair is all shiny and she's got a colorful little bandana around her neck. Biscuit seems to like her new look. He's been smelling her all afternoon. Katelyn and Christian came over with BJ tonight. Katelyn loves petting Birdie. Of course Birdie-Mae would just lay there and let anyone pet her all day. She's much calmer than Roscoe (Biscuit). Poor thing, we always have to put Biscuit outside because he's so rambunctious when company is over. If we could just get him to stop jumping on everyone.
Kev and I got a new SUV this week. I love it! It's a Chevy TrailBlazer LT, Dark met grey with silver trim. It's pretty much got everything, Bose speakers, XM sat radio, sunroof, cd changer, Onstar. We traded the Buick in for it.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
We've got a really busy day ahead. I've got to finish straightening up the office; that's our next little home improvement project. We're gonna better organize it and hang some photos and certificates. I would like to put a different rug in there and add a ceiling fan...we'll see. Aunt Florence, a dear family friend is celebrating her 90th birthday today. We are going to a party for her at the Egan's house. She is so young at heart. Friends and relatives from all over the country have come in to help her celebrate. Then we're going to the Biscuits game tonight. Darrell and BJ are meeting us. Should be a great time.
I'm so excited, I think we're going to trade the Buick in for a new vehicle. We're looking at a trailblazer and an explorer. I thinking we're leaning more toward the trailblazer. I'm so excited! Can't wait to close the deal and drive it around. I've always wanted an SUV. Gotta go for now. House chores are waiting.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Kevin and I have been working in the yards this week. He has been working on the grass...edging, cutting, fertilizing, etc...and pressure washing the driveway and patio. He's so proud of his pressure washer. I've been planting some flowers. So far, I have planted petunias in the front beds, red geraniums in planters on the front porch, and hibiscus in planters on the back porch. I've got to finish planting yellow and orange marigolds in the window boxes. Then I've got just a few more things I want to plant. We're gonna redo the flowerbed in the backyard. We're working on a plan for that. Kevin found my weeding tool. It's my favorite toy. I love to pick the weeds out of the yard with it. We really don't have any weeds, but I like to pick them around the borders of the yard.
You know the commercial that goes..."Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!" I think I married State Farm. In the past 24 hours, literally, Kevin has loaned one neighbor our lawn mower and pressure washer and another neighbor our truck, pressure washer, and blower. We don't really mind it so much. We actually find it quite humorous. The first neighbor actually used the pressure washer while it was hooked up to our water spigot. The second neighbor brought the truck back in immaculate condition with a tank full of gas. We just keep looking at it as our social justice project.
We played nine holes of golf today. I still play horribly. Today I was not a good sport. I'm surprised that Kevin did not leave me on the course alone. I straightened up by about the 6th hole though. He's gonna be the most patient father. I just need to play more. I love it when I'm doing ok. I just put so much pressure on myself. Maybe I'll go play at the country club more often even when Kevin is out of town. That's the problem, I don't practice enough. I know I wasn't any fun for him today. I feel so bad about that. I promised him I'll do better next time.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Friday, March 04, 2005
Friday, February 25, 2005
Thursday, February 10, 2005
After the wedding Kev and I went to New Orleans. We had a wonderful time and were able to rest. My favorite part was the naps we took everyday. We went to St. Louis Cathedral twice, mass and a Christmas concert. If you have never been to N'awlins in the winter, especially during the holidays, you're missing out on a real treat. We shopped, wandered around the quarter, and enjoyed some wonderful cuisine. We ate at Mr. B's, Bourbon House, Emeril's (my favorite), Cafe du Monde and some really good pubs. I gained about five pounds from all the good food!
Then we came home for Christmas. We spent our first Christmas at home together...Christmas Eve at my parents' house and Christmas morn with my brother and his children. It was especially nice for my parents to have all of their children home and happy with their significant others.
New Year's Eve we went to the Egans' for a quaint little get together. The Countrymans, Flournoys, and Morrises were also there. That was the last time I drank too much. My family came over to our home for New Year's Day. Instead of cooking a big feast, we all agreed to eat finger foods and snacks while watching football. It was a new tradition that I enjoyed. I hope it continues. How many large meals can one eat this time of year.
January 7-12 Kevin and I went to St. Kitts in the West Indies again. We had a great time. The weather there is always perfect. It did rain the first two days, but it really gave us a good excuse to recover from our long flight going down there. We had an eight hour layover! The charter company, Planet Air, kept postponing our flight by ten or twenty minutes at a time. We went into the casino a couple of times, read by the pool, shopped in the capital city of Basseterre, and drank. It was so much fun. We were glad to get home though.
After returning to Dixieland, I hosted a bridal shower for my sister Amanda; she's getting married February 19. It was very successful I think. That same weekend my dad had a stroke. So, the next two weeks were spent with him going back and forth to the hospital. We're very blessed to still have him with us. Before the two weeks would end, he would have two strokes and two surgeries. When he came home from the hospital Kevin and I helped take care of him. It's all been very exhausting. We're so thankful he's doing better. He is doing physical therapy at home.
We had the Superbowl party last weekend. Kevin and I hosted the preparty dinner for the staff members and golf tournament participants at our house. I was really proud. I handled the snack foods and desserts. Everyone was so complementary. Donna Egan did potatoes, Teri Morris did salad. Joey manned the grill. It was BYOB (Bring your own BEEF). Then the big party with about 250 people was Sunday. You know, that's when Kevin and I met...at last year's Superbowl party. Everyone was excited to see us there together and married this year. It was pretty cool to be the Riley's.
So, this week I'm back to work full time, and Kevin started his travels again. We started a Renew Catholic class at the church Tuesday, and I'm loving it. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. So the Lent season has arrived. I am giving up all carbonated drinks and spending an extra 15 minutes daily in meditation with God. I had RCIA class tonight. I have my Rite of Election service Saturday night, and Valentine's Day is Monday (complete with 4th grade Valentine's Day parties). Amanda's wedding is next Saturday. We've got a family reunion coming up and I'm hoping to get to Tupelo to see Kevin's mother sometime soon.
Maybe in June I'll sleep late.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
All these years I've heard people talking about "part of California falling into the ocean." Has it already happened? I'm so disappointed. I was hoping it would make the front page one day, well not "hoping it would happen," but hoping I wouldn't miss it when it did...turns out it happened not only B.C. (Before Christ), but also B.C.(Before Cindy).