Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Little Cupcake Celebrates 1!

We had Riley's birthday party this past weekend and it was so much fun! We had a cupcake themed party with all kinds of great food, great friends, and yummy cupcakes!

I stole this flower cupcake idea from a book at Michael's...an never even bought the book! How bad is that? They were super cute and very easy...Jason even helped put them together...he took on the task of cutting the marshmallows and applying the sprinkles...here's a picture for proof!
Here's the scrumptous spread...thanks to DiDi for putting most of the food together!

Here's the decorations...

And the favors...chocolate covered pretzel sticks...I could have eaten all of these!

We never have to coax Riley to eat so there was no doubt she would eat up her cupcake but we weren't sure whether she would put on a show or eat daintily! Turns out she started out pretty dainty and Jason tried to get her to get dirty...she ended up getting pretty into the cupcake and icing towards the end and cried pitifully when we pulled the cupcake away! I made Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing and they were awesome! I have to come clean and tell you that while making the cupcakes I obviously left an ingredient out on one of the batches...I'm thinking it was the baking soda...they didn't rise and they were pitiful! Good thing they were super easy to make so we just threw another batch together! You've got to try these out! So here's Riley in her special birthday hat from Becky...she didn't like it at first but by the end she was totally fine with it!

Riley had more "boy" friends at her party than girls...nothin' wrong with that!

Ashley and Deacon

Jennifer and Chandler

Andrea and Reed...still cookin' in her belly, but we can't wait to meet him!

And of course Haylie...yeah for another girl...her and Riley are such cute friends!

Grammie and JoePa

Jason helped Riley open all of her presents...she did pretty well! She almost didn't make it through the last two...it seemed she had a sugar high and then a sugar low! We are so blessed to have such great friends and family...thank you all for the special gifts for Riley!

A girl can never have enough purses right...is she too young to understand this concept? Riley absolutely LOVES purses, backpacks, bags...anything she can hang on her arm or throw over her shoulder...what a little girl!

We love you so much Riley and hope you had a great first birthday! This first year has flown and you are changing every day, but we love having you in our life...what a blessing you are!

Yellow Ribbon...

Jason's family put a yellow ribbon in their tree when Jason left for Iraq and now there is no more yellow ribbon! He cut down the yellow ribbon this past weekend and was also greeted with a nice sign they had made for him wecoming him home and thanking him for his service!
Riley clapped in excitement! Yeah for Daddy being home!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Blessed Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Purcell Family!

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas...we sure did!

We started our Christmas celebration with the candlelight service at our church on Christmas Eve...this is one of my favorite services of the year! There's just something about seeing darkness turn to light as candles light up a room...and to top that everyone raised their candles and sang Silent Night...it was beautiful! It was particularly special this year as we remembered last year attending the same service with Riley being only 1 week old!

I am so thankful to have Jason home for Christmas and I have been thinking about the families who are seperated during such a special holiday. Thanksgiving was very hard and I imagine Christmas would be even harder.

Here's our family pic from this year...a goofy one and a good one!

After church we headed to Jason's parents house for some Spaghetti and Meatballs...this is a special family meal because Jason's grandma from New York made the meatballs and they are the BEST! Riley got to have Nani's meatballs for the first time and to say she loved them is an undertatement!

After a huge meal of meatballs Riley went to bed like a good little girl and she had no idea what the next morning would entail!

Christmas morning we all slept in until Riley woke up and then the wrapping paper started flying!

Riley did GREAT unwrapping her presents and she gave equal attention to each and every one. Jason would quickly run off into another room when she opened a present that required "assembly" so she could play with it!

She was especially cute to watch with her stocking...I think she thought it was a neverending supply of presents...she just kept sticking her hand in and finding something new to pull out!

Grammie and JoePa got Riley this little musical stage and she LOVES it...boy does this little girl have moves? As soon as the music comes on she is shaking her little booty...so cute!

After we opened all of our presents at home we discovered that Jason had added his own little decoration to the tree...a buzz bait and a worm...glad it had his touch!

We lounged around a bit and let Riley take a nap after all of her exhausting work at opening and playing with her presents! She did have her first real boo boo playing with one of her new presents...a cardboard puzzle if you can believe that! She fell on the corner of one of the puzzle pieces and got a pretty good scrape under her eye...she was pretty upset about it but it hasn't slowed her down a bit!

We then headed back to Jason's parents house for a WONDERFUL turkey meal...boy was it good! After dinner we had more presents (and stockings) to open!

It has become VERY obvious to us as of late that Riley loves bags...purses, handbags, giftbags, shopping bags...the type is not so important but the girl loves to have a bag and loves to throw it over her shoulder! Her DiDi got her a Dora backpack and she loves it...she looks way to old in this picture but she is so stinkin' cute with that little backpack on!

Jason got his share of putting toys together but he was great and he put them together quicker than I could turn around because he wanted his little girl to have a chance to get to those toys!

Jason got a special gift from Uncle Sam on Christmas Day...Captain's bars! Jason officially became Captain Purcell on Christmas Day...we are so proud of you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is Riley walking?

Well after many demands for Riley to wait to walk until her Daddy got home I'm afraid to say she did not wait...she took her first steps on her birthday. We were having dinner with my Bible study group and she had several moments where she would sneak one little tiny step in and we all convinced ourselves that we didn't see it, but by the end of the night she was going from sitting to standing and I could not stop the little girl! I finally faced reality and decided to capture it on video...here's Riley's first steps!

I talked to Jason later that evening as he was making his way home and I think I was more upset than he was....he was just so happy for her. I'm happy to say, however, that she has only taken one or two steps here and there since then so she is not just walking everywhere....and it is pretty cool that she took her first steps on her first birthday! She walks well with the stroller as evidenced in the previous post, but not on her own. She's still pretty wobbly.

Thanks to my Bible study ladies for sharing this special occasion with us and for having a mini party for Riley on her actual birthday!

On a side note...we have talked for over a year now about how Riley and Kaleb are boyfriend and girlfriend...well let me tell you that NO other child evokes as much happiness in Riley as Kaleb does. She just can't get enough of this little boy and is definitely pursuing him so we're going to have to have a talk about this. She just smiles and laughs at everything he does...they are so fun to watch together!

What life has been like...

Well we've had Jason home for four days and it has been great...there are definitely adjustments but we have enjoyed our time together and Riley has definitely taken to her Daddy! We captured some video from when Jason came home and after several technical difficulties I finally have it all put together so I'll share it with you here...


God's grace is good and if anyone knows Jason well you know that he and cold weather are NOT friends. Several days before Jason came home we were having an ice storm with temperatures barely reaching above freezing. When Jason came home, however, it was an absolutely beautiful day. It was a little windy but it was sunny and 70 degrees...doesn't get much better than that. God graced him with just one day of that weather because now we are back in the teens and twenties so it is ridiculously cold!

After 4 months in Iraq Jason wanted to celebrate with a meal at P.F. Chang's...we celebrated his homecoming and also Riley's birthday...she even got to open a few presents...Jason sampled just about everything on the menu and P.F. Chang's offered drinks on the house in appreciation of Jason's service...very nice of them! Here's Riley and her Daddy opening presents...
Riley received her first baby doll from her DiDi and PaPa and this was her way of saying "Thanks for my doll, but I'm tired...see ya'll later"

Our weekend was spent hanging out, playing with Riley, and just catching up and hearing all about his experiences...good family time. We feasted on several of the meals that I had frozen and watched some movies as well. It reminded me of the time we spent together for the first 3 weeks of Riley's life since Jason was off and we just got to hang out...just what we needed!

We went to church on Sunday and had lunch with our friends...mexican food this time! We then spent the afternoon with Jason's family and had dinner with them. One of Riley's birthday presents was her first doll and stroller and she is so fun to watch in action. At first she worried me with her maternal instinct as she would pull the baby out of the stroller, throw it on the ground, and just move along with the stroller. We have been working on hugging the baby, kissing the baby, and not throwing it on the ground! She is a girl on a mission with this stroller and sometimes she has her binky purse in one hand and her other hand on the stroller and she is OFF! She can't stear yet so she just goes straight in which ever direction you send her...it's just so fun to watch!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We are a family again...

Jason is HOME!!!

Here's a few pics...more to follow later!