Thursday, January 3, 2013


We have spent every New Years eve since 2006 at Red Robin with our friends, Grey and Heather. We added a new, and very cute, member last year with the addition of Cole to our little group. We started the tradition randomly in Raleigh in 2006 with Dale's college friends and ironically we ate at that same Raleigh Red Robin this past year. It is funny how you can never picture which direction your life will turn. If you asked me in 2006 if I ever planned on living in Raleigh I would have said no. We had fun eating with all the early birds at 5:30pm on New Years Eve and let me tell you, that place was packed. We all knew exactly what we wanted to order, no menus needed. Cole even enjoyed some delicious Red Robin fries and I think my husband loved me a little bit more for wearing flannel with him.

Later that night we lost our poor little Golden, Rio. Cole was in bed and we were all sitting around playing a really nerdy new board game when I noticed that the back gate was open and Rio was gone. The search was on in less than 10 minutes. We all walked around the neighborhood, hung up signs, posted on craigslist, and informed facebook that little Rio was missing. Now Rio is not that outdoorsy type and we were so afraid that she was going to just keep running and running until she came across people. She is not the type to run away at all. We don't usually put her on a leash if we are running around the yard and she has never run off. Hence, she did not have a collar on when she actually ran away due to fireworks. Anything loud and with surprise element is Rio's arch nemesis. We hunted for her until around 3:00am and we had to give up even though we were all so sad without little Rio. My sister and brother in law drove from Greensboro as soon as they heard Rio was missing to help look for her and I will be forever grateful for their love. We went to bed with so much sadness and all I could think about was she is gone forever and that someone had snatched her up and was going to keep her. Dale and I slept on the couch in the living room just in case she came home in the middle of the night we could hear her. We left her blanket on the back deck and another on the front porch along with her favorite soccer ball at the back gate to entice her home. Around 4:30am, Dale heard a scratch at the back door and it was Rio! We were overjoyed and mad at her all at the same time for giving us a heart attack. Dale and I hugged Rio so tight and even let her sleep between us on the couch for a couple hours. In the morning Rio woke everyone up by jumping up on the beds and acting like nothing ever happened. Cole was happy to see his doggie the next morning and he never even knew she was missing. We will never forget the New Years where we lost our sweet Rio. She is a important part of our family and we are so glad that she is home. 
This is an old picture of Rio and Cole but I couldn't resist the sweetness and mushiness. Plus, it just goes to show that Rio's ball is never far. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

bittersweet birthday

This post is a little old considering our baby turned 1 almost a month ago. It has taken me awhile to come to terms that our little guy is growing up. I could not even sing the birthday song to Cole before his birthday because I would cry. I have officially turned in to my mother. No one tells you that you are going to be sad on your child's first birthday. We have so much to be thankful for and I am so happy to have a baby who is healthy and growing but there is something about that first year that really gets to you. Dale of course thought I was being too emotional (no surprise) and don't get me wrong, I do not want to rewind but that first birthday is the first part of letting go of your little baby. We are so proud of little Cole and we really can't wait to watch him grow, talk, and boss everyone around...I just want him to grow a little slower.

Carnival craziness should have been his birthday theme because it was definitely chaos. My family and I went a little overboard creating a theme that Cole will not even remember.  Our house was complete with a ball pit, big top tent, circus take, and too many banners to count. Cole loved having so many people he knows in one room and was jumping from person to person just being our little ring leader. Happy 1st Birthday!