Saturday, June 27, 2009

Father's Day Celebrations

We've already posted about what an amazing Daddy Bobby is, but we never posted any pictures from our Father's Day celebrations. Sorry for the delay! On Sunday we went to church as usual after fixing Bobby breakfast and giving him his Father's Day cards and goodies. Both kids had some great new shirts to wear to church in honor of Father's day.
Can't see it all in this picture but Bryleigh's shirt said I ♥ Dad....

...and she is definitely a Daddy's girl!

Brenden's shirt said "I Get My Muscles From My Dad"...

...and they definitely look a lot alike already!

After a great morning at church we went to lunch with Nana and Papa and then went to their house later that evening for a cook-out. This was how we celebrated Mother's Day so we figured it would also be a great way to celebrate Father's Day as well. The women did most of the cooking but the men did have to help with the grilling! :) We enjoyed a great dinner and a fun movie (Bedtime Stories) before honoring Daddy, Steve, and Papa with gifts, hugs, pictures, and lots of love...

Can you tell the kids love Daddy/Uncle Bobby?????
We can't leave out Papa!!!!
We're so blessed to have such amazing men to honor on Father's Day! Papa has not only been the absolute best Deddy in the world to Greg, Karen, and Brooke. He has also been a wonderful father-in law to Bobby and Steven and an outstanding Papa to all of the kids! On top of that we have Bobby and Steven who are great hubbies, great son-in-laws, great Daddy's, and great Uncles....our kids are blessed beyond belief!!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

JDRF Night at the Bulls

As many or most all of you know, our niece Hope has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and this has definitely opened our eyes to a whole new world since. One of our favorite discoveries after her diagnosis was of JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. JDRF works to raise money for an amazing cause - to provide the opportunity for further research to be conducted in finding the cure for Type 1 (also known as juvenile) Diabetes. What an amazing idea...that one day they WILL find a cure for juvenile diabetes and that they are predicting that this will happen during Hopie's lifetime. So, can you blame us for wanting to support such an amazing cause? :)

Our first event with this foundation occurred on Monday night....JDRF at the Durham Bulls! (We know that you're all going to be SICK of Durham Bulls games on our blog soon...sorry!) We were very excited about going to one of our favorite places during the summer to help one of favorite foundations and with one of our favorite girls....
It was a great night to say the least!

Here is Hopie girl cheering for the Bulls.

Brooke and Bryleigh --------Brenden and Bobby

Brenden telling us about his new helmet.

Nana and Bryleigh-------Bobby and Bryleigh

Brenden doing his favorite thing...watching a great game of baseball!

Bryleigh waving to Wool E. Bull -------Bobby and Brenden waving too

We look forward to doing even more with our family and JDRF in the future. Our next scheduled event at this time is a Walk for the Cure so if you're interested in joining/supporting our team, don't hesitate by clicking on the following link...

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Time Changes Everything"

We've always heard that saying and can honestly agree that there have been many moments in our life where this has been true. However, the idea that time changes everything could not more accurately describe our life recently. For the past 2 weeks Brenden has been at his MawMaw's house and we are amazed that the past 2 weeks have brought some MAJOR changes to both of our kids. After 2 weeks at MawMaw's check out Brenden....

That's right...our boy is now swimming with only water wings!!!!

This is amazing to us since we were trying to figure out what would be best to get him for our beach trip this summer and after two weeks of swimming with MawMaw, he has mastered this skill and can now run and jump in the water all by himself thanks to the independence of water wings. He loves this and was so proud of his progress when we picked him up! Here are a few more of him showing off this weekend...

While Brenden was away we would have assumed that things would have been much calmer and quieter at our house. Things were definitely different without him here, but we're not so sure about calmer and quieter! During the past 2 weeks Bryleigh has really found her voice. She was constantly squealing (all in good fun thank goodness) and "talking" most of the day. We were surprised by how loud she would get sometimes while she was playing. She also spent this time without her big brother mastering this...

That's right...Tinkerbell is now pulling up on EVERYTHING!

She is definitely showing more of an interest in things that are happening within her line of vision while standing than she is in what is happening on the floor at this point. She has still not mastered the grace and care that is needed to get down from this position successfully, but we're working on it daily. We knew that she would work hard to gain skills like this in the hopes of keeping up with her big brother, but we never would have guessed that she would master it while he was 2 1/2 hours away.

Regardless of how sad we are to watch them change and grow so quickly in front of our eyes. We're still proud of their hard work and all that they accomplish each day.

We feel like "bittersweet" sums it up nicely! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

As a little child many girls begin to dream about the man or prince that they will fall in love with and marry. For me (Brooke) I never really dreamed about that man but I did dream about the proposal, about the wedding, about the marriage, about the house, about the cars, about the kids, and about the life I would live once I grew-up and met the "man of my dreams".

As I got older my search for the "man of my dreams" changed to the search for "Mr. Right". I always wondered how I would know if I found the right would I know that I'm supposed to spend my entire life with this one would I know that he was just perfect for me? People always gave me advise based on their experiences but hearing "you'll just know" or "watch how he treats his mom" never provided me with the comfort or confidence that I felt I needed when making such a big decision.

For me...I decided to establish a criteria of what this "Mr. Right" would need to be like in order to get the stamp of approval to be my hubby. I wanted him to look a certain way, talk with a specific accent, graduate from a well-known college, attend a regular church, play in some admirable sports, and communicate with his close-knit family.

When I least expected it, I met Bobby. At first I thought he was "Mr. Right" for my friend and then as time passed my perspective changed drastically and I began to see this....

Did you see it? Let me clarify...I began to see Bobby...a good ol' boy from a small town that is loyal, loves his family, loves most sports, loves the heels, loves to laugh, loves to be outside, loves to serve, and LOVES his God!
(Yep all of that was pictured for it!)

I was very confused at first because even though I couldn't deny that this guy was a catch, I didn't understand how that was possible because he didn't meet many (if any) of the items on my checklist. After years of falling in love over and over again things became even clearer for me again. Ironically, I realized that my original checklist never left much room for me to day dream about this....

That's right! I managed to forget that this "Mr. Right" needed to be a match for me! He needed to be a man of God that would crack me up, support me in difficult times, stand strong when things go wrong, laugh in the face of fear, listen to me ramble for hours, dance with me daily, encourage me to grow spiritually, protect me from danger, and sit with me as we soak up life!
(Yep, all of that was pictured above as well!)

Now, after love and marriage over the years...after highs and lows, after births and deaths, after beginnings and viewpoint has changed yet again. I have realized that not only am I blessed to have such an amazing man and loving I know...I'm also blessed because of this....

God has given me and my kids THE BEST Daddy!
My kids have a daddy that plays with them in snow or sun, takes them to shows, protects them when they're scared, provides for them when they are in need, shows up when least expected, entertains them when they are bored, teaches them lessons about life, and shows them daily what it means to be a man of the Lord. My children have been blessed with a daddy that daily reminds me of the Deddy that I've had all my life!

For am so appreciative that now I'm at a point in my life where I absolutely LOVE this view and can't imagine it being any different!
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)

Happy Father's Day Bobby! We Love You!

Brenden's Home!

Brenden is finally home and we could not be happier!!!
He has been with his MawMaw for 2 weeks and that felt like forever to us! We have definitely enjoyed our simpler life while he was away, but we absolutely adore our busier and fun-filled life when he is home! Plus, while he was away we have missed this dearly....


Friday, June 19, 2009

Bulls with Bryleigh

We decided to try a Bulls game this week while Brenden was still at his MawMaw's house. It was sort of like a date with a bonus...
Bryleigh! ;)
She definitely is not as into baseball as her big bro but we still had a great time! Below are a few of the pictures from our night...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Date Night with Daddy!

Tonight Bryleigh enjoyed a date night with Daddy while Mommy went out to dinner with a friend. They enjoyed dinner at the local cafeteria and then they bought coffee and dessert (for Daddy not Bryleigh) before returning home to play before bed time.
She is so lucky to have such a handsome date!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quality Time with Bryleigh

Brenden has been gone to MawMaw's house for a week now which has given us a great opportunity to spend some quality time with Bryleigh. We've had a lot of fun playing with her, running errands with only one child, and just really getting to spend all of our energy on having a blast with her. Below are some pictures of the fun that she and Daddy had when she had to take a quick rinse in the sink.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Family" Reunion

Anyone remember these "kids"???? No!?
What about this "kid"????
Kind of?!

Maybe this will help you....

That's right...The Rivadeneyras!!!!!!
For those of you that don't know, we'll try to catch you up quickly on this very special family!
During the summer of '99 Brooke went home from college to work and earn some money before returning back to school. She met a family over her break that has a son that is autistic. They told her about a company where they use workers to come into their house and work with their son. This company had a satellite office in Gboro and Brooke was VERY interested in a job. She filled out her paperwork, completed her training and then went out for an interview. That's when she met this woman...
That's Mary, AKA Danny's mom!

Mary (and her husband, Richie) were looking for a worker that could help them with their son, Danny. They were a little hesitant about hiring such a young girl but Brooke was eager and willing and God was on her side so she got the job. At that time Danny was 11 years old, Angela (Angie) was 8 and Ryan was 6. Brooke's main job was to work with Danny but getting to babysit the other kids, travel with them to NY, and grow attached to this family was a bonus.

For some extra fun facts...Brooke was actually in town and spending the night at the Rivadeneyra's house when Bobby proposed to her. They had a bottle of champagne to celebrate the special event when they returned to their house that night. Brooke even lived with the Rivadeneyra's for one summer before moving back home to become a teacher. This family was her extended family in Gboro. This family was such a blessing to her during her college years. This family was amazing and we all grew VERY attached to them.

Last weekend we traveled to Greensboro to spend the day with this special family!

Danny is now 20 years old, Angela is now a high school graduate, and Ryan is way too tall! :)

We went to celebrate Angie's recent graduation and to spend some quality time with the entire Rivadeneyra/DiGennaro family! It could not have been a better day and we could not have had more fun! We are so excited that our kids got to meet them all!

More than that though, we loved getting to spend such a beautiful day with such a beautiful group of people that has not only been a HUGE part of our lives in the past but are still a huge part and will continue to be in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead! We are very proud of Ang and her accomplishments but eagerly watch her as she continues to blossom and grow as a UNCG Spartan...just like Brooke!

We love you Richie, Mary, Danny, Angie, and Ryan and we're so thankful for each one of you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Getting Old = Family Fun!

Some people hate getting older...getting older means that your life changes. To some people it means that your life becomes more boring. You feel limited in what you can do because it's harder to stay out late, you feel older around the younger crowds when you do go out, and if you have kids then that throws an even bigger monkey wrench into the mix.

For us, getting older has been a blast. We absolutely LOVE what our life has become and what our nights and weekends have turned out to now that we are older and have our 2 kids.

Last week we had a blast at the Tobacco District with the family. We went to Tyler's for dinner (one of our all time favorite restaurants) and then we went to the huge field to play. We were pleasantly surprised to see a band performing that night and they did a GREAT job! Brenden loved being able to run and play in the field after eating his favorite color chips from Tyler's. Bryleigh enjoyed hanging out too and spending some quality time in the grass with Daddy.

(Above - Brenden playing in the field after dinner, Bryleigh hanging out in her high chair, and Nana and Papa joining in on all of the fun.)

Above is a video of Brenden dancing to the music at the Tobacco District. Please note...he gets his dancing skills from his Daddy!

On Friday night we participated in KidsLife night at the Bulls game. This was a great night to hang out with some of our dear friends from church and to enjoy a game at the same time. Greg made it in town for this event so we were very excited to hang out with him as well. The Durham Bulls are definitely our favorite summer pass time and this night was just another example of why we love having the team right here in our backyard!

(Above: Kelly and Brooke "watching" the game. Nana and Hailey girl. Bobby and Brenden. Brenden celebrating a home run! The boys - Papa, Brenden, and Greg. Brenden and the field - he's such a big fan!)

Sure, being old definitely means that we can't stay up as late as we used to. It also means that sometimes our bones hurt us more than we think they should. It could also mean that we're a little more limited with getting to "go out and enjoy life". However, you should never hear us complain about this aspect of getting older. Spending time with our family is nothing to complain about and we feel blessed to get to do this regularly!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"For Sale"

We have not intentionally abandoned the blogging world over the past few weeks, things have just been that busy and crazy for our family. Are you wondering why we've been so busy?
Well, it's because of this...That's right, our house is officially on the market. We decided about a month ago that we would look into selling our house. We talked to our realtor and got some feedback from him and then decided that now was our time to go for it. After some cleaning, a lot of decluttering, and a little repairing...we put the house up for sell. I mean, who wouldn't want to buy this house????

We are looking to move our family a little more North into Durham and hopefully into a neighborhood where Brenden (and Bryleigh) might have children their age that they can play with. We have been working very hard over the past few years to get our house to a place where we felt like others would be willing to buy it. We absolutely love this house and the history that we have was Me-Ma's house, it was our first house after getting married, it was the home where we brought both of our children home from the hospital...needless to say this is a very bittersweet transition for us. We apologize for being so busy with this but hope that now things may have calmed down some so we can be more connected to each of you and our blog! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Soccer "MVP"

We are actually a little bummed that soccer season is officially over! Brenden had his last soccer game on Saturday and a little celebration at Chuck E Cheese tonight.

Overall, we feel that the season was a success for us! Brenden appeared to enjoy the season and has grown a little with each game. He is still not the top scorer on his team and he is definitely not the most aggressive with the ball...but...he plays, he runs, he smiles, he cheers, and he thinks he's awesome! Plus, he had the best coach in the world! What more could you ask for really? ;)

These are pictures of Brenden with his MVP trophy. He is very proud and so are we!