Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hoops for Hope

Tonight the youth at our church hosted an activity at the Y to raise money for orphans in Africa. The fundraiser, Hoops for Hope, was a huge success. There were so many people from our church who came out in support.

Since it was at the Y, Wesley had to get there early to help set-up. Jackson and I headed over around 7:00. He was able to run around and shoot a few hoops. He loves basketball! We left at 8 to get Jackson in bed, but Wesley is staying the entire night.

Wesley is such a trooper. He had a very stressful week at work, is leaving this Thursday for a 10 day trip to India, and still has the energy to help out all night long at this youth event. I hope the kids call it a night early so he is able to get some sleep :)

Jackson was more interested in shooting than posing for a picture with me!
Jackson has so much fun with his Daddy!

Slam Dunk!

Future B-Baller!

It's Great to be a Tennessee VOL fan

How do you like Jackson's new hat? We got it dirt cheap with a coupon at Hallmark. I wish the VOLS were still in the tournament so he could cheer on his team, but I guess there is always next year!

My Y Week

At the beginning of the year, my friend Cory and I volunteered to help the Forsyth YMCA with their 2009 fundraising campaign. Every year, they dedicate a week to the Partner with Youth Campaign and ask members to contribute. This past week was "My Y Week."

Part of our volunteering duty was to stand in the foyer and talk to members about the campaign. They really wanted the lobby atmosphere to be fun so in addition to the informational table we set up, Chick-fil-a was invited to come out; they put up Jump Houses; and Buddy "The Clown of Friendship " (a.k.a. Wesley) was asked to make an appearance.

Wesley did such a great job. He came out on Monday and Wednesday and was a huge hit! Everyone loved seeing him and all the kids were requesting a balloon animal.

The entire week was such a success. We raised over $8000 and hope that more money will be turned in over the next few weeks.

Buddy The Clown of Friendship

Friday, Wesley decided not to put on all his make-up. I thought he still looked great with all his colorful accessories!

Jackson was not a fan of the Chick-fil-a Cow. His mommy and daddy were though. Both Monday and Friday they let us spin the wheel for free lunch!

We were able to get this picture of the cow and Jackson by distracting Jackson with the spinning wheel. He loved to spin!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blue Ridge Georgia

This past weekend, my sister Emily and her husband Ryan came to town. This was the weekend we were traveling to Blue Ridge so Emily and I could relax at the spa and use the massage Wesley gave me for my birthday.

They got in Friday night around 9:00. After Jackson headed to bed, Ryan set up his Wii Fit. I had never played with one of these before, and it was so much fun. I loved the games but didn't like it when they calculated my Fitness Age. Let's just say it wasn't pretty! I guess I need to work on my balance.

Saturday morning, Emily and I woke up to go for a run. Those of you who know us, know we don't just run for fun. It was to practice for the 5K we will be doing on April 11! Emily and Ryan decided to train for a 5K in January, and I tagged along since I would be in Nashville that weekend. I have been running at the Y for the past few months and Saturday, Emily and I did 4.1 miles!!! We were so proud of ourselves!!! YEAH us!

After the run, we packed up and headed to Blue Ridge. We made it in around 1:00 and enjoyed lunch at a cute little restaurant in the downtown area. After lunch, Emily and I headed to the spa. Our appointment wasn't until 6:00 but we got there at 2!

I wanted to take advantage of the steam room, sauna, and most importantly...the quiet! It was so nice! We both relaxed so much we feel asleep in the "Woman's Relaxation Room." After our massages - which felt great after the morning run - the boys picked us up and we headed to the cabin.

After saying "Night-Night" to Jackson, the four of us enjoyed a delicious steak dinner. Ryan even treated us to homemade Strawberry Shortcake - delicious! Thanks to Mr. Jackson, we all woke up early on Sunday morning and enjoyed breakfast. Again Ryan treated us: homemade coffee cake! We cleaned up a bit and then headed out for a hike. Ryan found a path that lead to a beautiful cascade. Even Flash was able to join us for the adventure.

After the hike we packed up and headed home. Unfortunately, Emily and Ryan had to leave pretty soon after we got back to Cumming. It was a great weekend! We love spending time with Emily and Ryan and hope they come back to visit soon!
The Benders

Ryan and Emily

Jackson hiking in the woods - can you see his souvenir, a pine cone in his left hand. He loved examining everything in the woods!

Too precious!

Emily will not be happy with me for posting a picture of just her, but it was too pretty not to share. Doesn't she look beautiful!

My new favorite "look" of Jackson. What do you think he is thinking?!

The delicious Strawberry Shortcake Ryan made for us.
We definitely weren't roughing it on this trip to the mountains!

Smile! The crew at breakfast Sunday morning.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday! She and the rest of the family are heading out to dinner tonight. We hated not being there to celebrate with her, but Jackson and I are looking forward to celebrating when we are up in Nashville in April.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Hope you had a great one!

This is my favorite picture of my mom.
Here she is with her mom (My Mimi), her daughter (my sister Susan) and her granddaughter (Susan's daughter Rebekah)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quinlyn and the Carousel

This afternoon, Wesley, Jackson and I went to lunch with one of our favorite people. Quinlyn was one of the first teenagers we met when we moved to Atlanta. She graduated back in May and went off to college in Oregon. How sad :(

When she comes back to the South to visit, we love to grab time on her schedule to go out. Our favorite thing to do is lunch at Chick-fil-a at Northpoint mall. It is great for us because Jackson is entertained by the carousel and she loves to dine at CFA since they don't have one close to her out west (Can you image that?!)

Our visit with her was, as always, great. I just love spending time with her! Jackson was not wanting to be still for a picture but I did grab this cute one of the two of them.

We always treat Jackson to a ride on the carousel while we are there. Usually, he loves it. This time, he was unsure. When he was on the outside looking in, he was very excited and anxious to get on and ride. Once Wesley got him onto the ride, he became scared...very scarred.

First, he would only calm down if he and Wesley were on the stationary seat.

Since they had a while before the ride began, Wesley was finally able to convince him to stand up by a horse...he just couldn't put him on the horse.

Finally, Wesley got him on the animal, but Jackson would not let go of Daddy!

The ride started with Jackson hanging onto Wesley for dear life. One trip around though and he was fine - more than fine! He was entertaining all those in the food court by waving the entire way around!

At least he enjoyed the ride!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Visitor

Wesley and his mom

Friday afternoon, my mother-in-law, Lynne, called to see what we were up to this weekend. Wesley had some prior commitments, but Jackson and I had absolutely nothing to do. I told her we would just be hanging out and she asked if she could come hang with us. ABSOLUTELY!!

She arrived around 3:00 on Saturday and Jackson entertained her until Wesley came home from a weekend work meeting. As soon as he pulled into the driveway, we all piled into the new truck and went for a Starbucks run. Lynne loved Wesley's new ride! We came back home to watch the end of the Tennessee basketball game (we won!) and then headed to Red Robin's for dinner. It was such a treat!

This morning, we all went to church and then skipped Sunday school to come home and grab a quick bite before Wesley had to leave for a meeting. Once Wesley left, we put Jackson down for a nap and now the two of us are watching the Volunteers play Miss. State for the SEC championship. What a great and relaxing Sunday afternoon!

I love spending time with my in-laws. I am truly blessed to have such a great extended family and LOVE it when they come to visit! Thanks, Lynne, for making the last minute trip down here! We loved every minute!

Jackson and Mommy at Red Robin's

Look at those onion rings!

Jackson with his Dad and Grammy
Jackson loved the fries
Jackson and his daddy
Jackson was so intrigued by the TV in the floor at Red Robin's
A happy Boy with his balloon
This is how Jackson spent most of the weekend -
In Grammy's lap reading and saying new words!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Birthday Fun!

I love birthdays! I love having a day when it's truly all about me :) I love the cards, the phone calls from family and friends, and the endless "Happy Birthday" posts on Facebook. I was spoiled with fun gifts from my family and in-laws.

When Wesley asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for a homemade dinner, time to watch Dancing with the Stars together and to go do something as a family.

Wesley got home early from work yesterday so we could go as a family to Catch Air. It was so much fun! I loved watching Jackson have fun with his dad, and secretly, I really enjoyed the giant slides too :) We had a great time.

Mommy and Jackson on the slide

Dad and Jackson on the slide

After a few times down with Mom and Dad, we decided to see if Jackson would like going down by himself. He loved it!! After a few solo runs, I tried to get him to go back down with him. He looked up at me and said "No No No No No" I guess he was having more fun without me!

After Catch Air, I opened a present from Jackson and Wesley. SURPRISE! Wesley arranged for a special weekend get-away. We had plans for Emily and Ryan to come visit in a couple of weeks. Though I thought we would spend the weekend at the house, Wesley had a different idea.

He worked it out for the five of us to go up to Blue Ridge, GA! We will go up on Saturday for a day of shopping, eating, and...another surprise for Emily and me: a massage!!! YEAH! It will be a fun weekend. I can't wait!

Thanks Wesley for making my birthday extra special! I loved the time with you and Jackson, the delicious dinner, and the wonderful surprise!

Wesley and his wonderful dinner!

Next year: The Big 3-0!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

This has been the greatest birthday ever! I will go into more detail later about the fun Wesley, Jackson and I had, but I had to give a shout out tonight to ABC for giving me a birthday treat! 

A few weeks ago, we realized that Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars started tonight!! Yeah!! So all I asked for my birthday was dinner (Wesley made tacos) and to watch Dancing with the Stars. Who would have known that an even bigger present was to come.

I am not ashamed to admit that last week, I was suckered into all the insane drama of the Bachelor. I watched for three hours as Jason (the bachelor) professed his unending love to Melissa at 9:55 and then at 10:25, on national television, he broke up with her to "have a chance" with the runner up - Molly. 

The infatuation with this storyline didn't end there. I proceeded to watch the Ellen show for three days for the full report of what happened. Very interesting but really...why should I care? Anyways, I was hooked into the lives of Melissa, Jason, and Molly and last night received word - via Yahoo News - that Melissa would be filling a spot on DWTS for an injured Nancy O'Dell.

You would have thought my best friend was asked to dance in the show. I was so excited and watched in anticipation tonight to see if she would be decent or a train never know! Turns out, she is pretty good!! Yeah! I am glad she gets a second shot! Who would have thought an embarrassing public break-up would result in a slot in the best reality show of all - Dancing with the Stars!

It was a great show tonight and a wonderful way to end a fabulous birthday! 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not to be left out...

Ever since Daddy brought home his new toy, Jackson has taken on a new appreciation for his car. It's nothing fancy, but it gets him from point A to point B. Today, he even decided that Flash could join him for a Sunday afternoon drive around the yard!

Boys and their toys

What is it about men and cars? I have never met a man who didn't love a fast sports car or a big 'ole truck. Wesley is all about the trucks. When we first started dating, he had a two door Ford Ranger. Soon after moving to Georgia, he traded it in for a more practical Ford Taurus. Ever since making the tradition from truck to sedan, a little piece of Wesley has been missing. He longed for his manly truck. 

A few years ago, Dodge introduced the MegaCab. This truck is huge! Wesley has been lusting after this vehicle ever since he first saw it. Every week, Wesley would drive through the car lot to take a peek at their inventory. Back in September, Wesley noticed a 2008 Silver Mega Cab on the lot. It was love at first sight. Wesley made friends with the car salesman and has been watching as the price slowly has dropped. 

At the beginning of February, the price took an unheard of plunge and all of a sudden it was within Wesley's reach. After days and days of negotiating, Wesley wore them out :) He made an offer they couldn't refuse and he became the proud owner of a 2008 MegaCab. 

I don't know who has been more excited about this vehicle - Wesley or Jackson. They have spent many hours playing out in it. I have never seen two people smile so much! Today, they even invited Flash to join in on the fun!

Jackson's driving

Just chillin'

Boys and their toys

Friday, March 6, 2009

A post for Mimi, Grammy, and Net

We are a traveling family. I calculated that out of the 19 months Jackson has been alive, we have been out of the town for 12 of them. Though we love seeing our friends and family in Tennessee, that's a lot of time on the road.

I decided that February and March would be no-travel months for Jackson and me. With Jackson's swim lessons it was a great time to stay in. We have had a great time being with GA friends and spending time at home. I know though that it is hard for my mom, grandmother, and Wesley's mom to be away from Jackson so I thought I would share a couple of pictures and a little video that only a grandmother (and great-grandmother) would love .

We love you, Mimi, Grammy, and Net! See you soon!

Jackson enjoying a Do-Si-Do after dinner tonight!

Boys will be boys!

Jackson loves playing with this puppy dog. When you push his paw, he plays music, and Jackson loves to dance! Check out his moves.

Watch closely. As he dances his way to the fireplace, he makes sure to point out that it is "hot."