We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

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Monday, June 29, 2009

It RUNS in the Family

Sorry, no NOT ME MONDAY post today. Instead, I thought I'd fill you in on another "first" for Cate-- her first race. On Saturday, Cate "ran" the Hyde Park Blast kids' fun run for toddlers. Every child was given race number 1.
There was definitely a crowd and Cate was definitely one of the smallest ones there (she also got a t-shirt, but it probably won't fit her until next summer as it's a kids' XS and she's still in babies 18 months).
Nevertheless, Cate still had fun. It took her awhile to go the full 25 meters (she was last in her heat), but she had fun doing it. She stopped to clap and wave along with all of the spectators.
Thankfully, Daddy was able to help her to the finish line while Mommy took pictures of course.
And at the finish line Cate got her very own medal-- which she didn't take off except for her nap and a bath.
We had a "blast" with her at the Hyde Park Blast and think next year will be even more fun when she understands what she's doing a little better.

~Melody :-)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Worn Out

Cate has been going to bed with at least two hours of daylight left for the past week or so (that's at about 7/7:15). The picture was taken after she fell asleep in the car last night at 7:30! All of this swimming, playing outside, reading lots of books, chalking the driveway, and enjoying summer at home with mommy in general is wearing her out.
Yesterday Cate was especially worn out by going to Gymboree class with her two friends, Anna and Tessa (daughters of my friends Mikala and Laura, both of with whom I teach).
Cate shot baskets (Aunt Catherine, a basketball player herself, would be especially proud). We may have to get her a small hoop for outside and for the basement (once we get it carpeted and it becomes our big indoor playspace).
But mostly she just ran around and got into everything.She was a big fan of this rocker. Here are the girls: Anna, Cate, and Tessa. It is impossible to get three toddlers to look at the camera at the same time.
Cate came home and napped for about 2 hours after this play date. We went swimming later on in the evening at Eric's parents' neighborhood pool. Clearly Miss Cate was just plain worn out last night.

~Melody :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009


Congratulations "Jewels of Hope"! You were commenter #5 and our winner! A copy of Velvet Elvis will be mailed to you tomorrow (provided you get your address to us). Enjoy the book!
This giveaway was so much fun! We might have to do another one this summer. I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle right now and am really enjoying it. Hmmm....we'll have to wait and see.

~Melody :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Reading and a Giveaway!

I just finished book #3 for the summer while Cate was napping (and still is or I wouldn't be writing this). The book: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I loved it!
Eric read this book last fall and couldn't stop raving about it. He wanted me to read it, but I was caught up in a few other books and just now got around to it.

Sidenote: Being married to an English teacher can be a challenge for him as usually I'm the one talking about books I think he would enjoy and not the other way around.

Anyway, Velvet Elvis is about the church. I know, scary word for some people. The thing is, I'm friends with Christians and atheists and a whole bunch of people that fall somewhere in between. Bell wants us to rethink our idea of church. I think a lot of us, Christian or not, have been "burned" or "turned off" by church at some point in our lives or another. But when we typically think of church, we think of a physical building...and that's not what the early church was. The early church was simply a community of believers in Christ who shared life with one another (okay, it's not completely that simple, but Bell uses this idea throughout his book).

You see, Bell argues that we can be close to God when we're experiencing things outside of a physical building. Really the "church" is anywhere that believers are to be found. It exists in community where truly both believers and nonbelievers can wrestle with faith and truth, build into one another, and experience life together.

I won't go on and on and on...though I could. You'll just have to read the book. And because Eric and I are both so much in love with this book, we're doing our first blog giveaway. Tonight we'll be heading out to one of our local bookstores and buying another copy of this book (ours is all marked up and highlighted anyway). This copy will be given to one random person who leaves a comment on this post sometime between now and tomorrow evening (we're going to mail the book out on Saturday so you'll have it next week).

According to our stat counter on site meter, a decent amount of people visit our site to make this worth our while. And hey, if only one person participates, then they're the big winner.

So all you have to do is leave a comment in the comment field of this post for a chance to win. Make sure that you include an email address in your comment so that I can get a hold of you to mail you the book. And I know that our blog posts automatically import to both of our Facebook profiles, so if you're reading this on Facebook, you need to actually come to our blog (http://growingupriggs.blogspot.com) and leave a comment (which can be as simple as saying "hi" in the comment field). We'll draw numbers from a hat or use an online random number generator to pick the winner sometime tomorrow night.

Whatever your thoughts on faith or Christianity, I think you should give the book a chance. And even if we know you, you can still win. This giveaway is open to anyone. :-)

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes. Cate is waking up and we're off to the library. She's earned another prize (hopefully she won't pick a third monkey cup) and mommy has finally earned hers too (my coupon for the library book sale...woo hoo!!).

~Melody :-)

"It is possible for music to be labeled Christian and be terrible music. It could lack creativity and inspiration. The lyrics could be recycled cliches. That "Christian" band could actually be giving Jesus a bad name because they aren't a great band. It is possible for a movie to be a "Christian" movie and to be a terrible movie. It may actually desecrate the art form in its quality and storytelling and craft. Just because it is a Christian book by a Christian author and it was purchased in a Christian bookstore doesn't mean it is all true or good or beautiful. A Christian political group puts me in an awkward position: What if I disagree with them? Am I less of a Christian? What if I am convinced the "Christian" thing to do is to vote the exact opposite? Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective."

"It is impossible for a Christian to have a secular job. If you follow Jesus and you are doing what you do in his name, then it is no longer secular work; it's sacred. You are there; God is there. The difference is our awareness."

"Jesus is God's way of refusing to give up on his dream for the world."

"The church doesn't exist for itself; it exists to serve the world. It is not ultimately about the church; it's about all the people God wants to bless through the church."

"Time spent around the table with each other is time spent with God."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just Swingin'

I love that we have a front porch-- with a swing. I love that a lot of houses around here, being that they are close to 100 years old, have front porches. Even though it's been in the 90's and humid around here this week, we've still managed some front porch swingin' time.
PS...Cate is teething...hence the awkward mouth position...hang in there sweetie, those incisors will be in soon!

~Melody :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lazy Summer Day

Today was one of those days when I didn't put on makeup or dry my hair. Today was one of those days when I put on a pair of athletic shorts circa 2002-- my favorites! And no, you don't get to see a picture of that.

Today was one of those days where Cate decided to take an early nap and I finished this book:
I loved it! If you have a daughter, you should read it. If you are a daughter, you should read it. It's 34 fantastic essays about mothers and daughters. Some made me laugh, some were heartbreaking, and yes, there were a couple I could've done without.

Today was a day when we applied sunscreen liberally and played outside A LOT!
By the pool in the backyard!
With chalk!
Mommy played around with the "antique" effect on iPhoto.
And we added a truck to our Automoblox collection.

Today was a pretty lazy summer day for us. It couldn't have been more perfect (well, okay, a breeze would've been much appreciated).

~Melody :-)

PS...Yesterday, Cate got another prize at the library. You'll never guess what she picked, out of that whole bin of toys? Yup, another monkey cup. The girl knows what she wants.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not Me Monday

My weekly confessional-- there is something oddly therapeutic about this. Read more by clicking here.

I did NOT finally earn enough Pampers Gifts to Grow points to get 200 free Shutterfly prints. I am now NOT faced with the decision of which picture frames in the house to update with the new prints.

We did NOT finally renew our zoo passes this weekend (they expired in April). This was NOT largely in part to the virus I had that pretty much consumed all of May, when I barely left the house, except for work (and even then I missed about 10 days total).

I did NOT leave my camera at home simply because I wanted to hang out with Cate and Eric and not be behind the lens. So when Cate got to feed a giraffe, I did NOT have to settle for a cell phone picture.
I did NOT have a blast catching up with college friends at a baby shower for my friend, Jenny. She did NOT look adorable in her summery, pink maternity dress.
I am NOT looking forward to a summer full of this with Cate:
And I will NOT wear jewelry next time we go to the pool. See this post if you're wondering why.

Cate did NOT pretty much sleep through her entire first teenage-babysitter experience on Saturday night. She has NOT gone to bed at 7 the last two nights because playing outside has exhausted her. Eric and I did NOT get to spend an evening going to see Cirque du Soleil's Journey of Man at the Omnimax Theater (it's only playing for one more Saturday and is amazing if you want to go). I did NOT spend the entire 45 minutes of the show thinking I need to see if there is a DVD of this because it would be perfect for teaching symbolism (there is and I will be purchasing it this summer to use next school year). After the show, we did NOT splurge on books to take on vacation with. Eric did NOT pick Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He is NOT absolutely loving it (yes, he already started it, no, we're not on vacation).

We will NOT be heading to the library today for another prize as Cate has read another 5 library books. In fact, Cate is NOT so into books with pictures of other babies. She is NOT bringing them to us all of the time and crawling into our laps to read them to her. I am NOT slightly worried that we've already checked out all of the board books with pictures of babies in them.

Feel free to add your own weekly confessions. :-)

~Melody :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Watching Eric settle into his role as a daddy has been one of the most amazing blessings of our marriage. I won't belabor this point as I summed a lot of it up with this post of the same title last year.
He is really is a wonderful father and husband. I could not have asked for, prayed for, or hoped for a better man.
Yesterday we went swimming at one of the local pools (I blogged about our local pools with $10/family member membership in this post last year) with my friend, Emily. On the way home, I noticed that one of my new freshwater pearl earrings (which I stupidly wore to the pool) was missing. They are from this amazing jewelry maker and I got them to go along with the pearl studs that Eric got me for my birthday.
Not only did Eric go back to the pool as soon as we got home to look for the earring (he didn't find it), but he also left a phone number with the pool in case someone turned it in, and he called the jewelry designer's business number and left a message asking if she would make just one earring to replace the missing one. He then went back to the pool again today to look one more time, and lo and behold, he found it! That's the kind of guy he is. Relentless. Passionate. Going to the ends of the earth (or the pool) for his girls.

So to Eric, my dad, Eric's father and stepfather, and all the daddies out there...enjoy your day. I know I couldn't be the mother or wife I am without Eric.

Happy Father's Day!

~Melody :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Busy Week in Review

On Monday, Cate found a new reading spot. The only chair she can successfully climb in and out of by herself. I think she feels like a big girl sitting in that chair, even if she only stays there for a minute or two.
That night, we had a cookout and bonfire with our small group. It was fun. It was messy. And I can't wait to do it again.
Tuesday, Cate and I took off with my grandma (mom's mom) and headed to Hudson for a visit. We wasted no time going to the park up the street from my parents' house, where Cate walked across a bunch of soccer fields with my cousin and her boyfriend, and then played on the slide with Nana.
Wednesday it rained. I didn't take any pictures. I just ran errands during Cate's two naps (she normally only takes one, but her cold and the rain must have made her extra sleepy).

Thursday we headed out to Lake Farmpark with my friend Melisa, and her son, Logan, who is only a week or so older than Cate.
Lake Farmpark is part of the Cleveland Metroparks and is a real working farm that is very hands-on for kids. They enjoyed petting the animals and milking/petting a cow.

Cate and Logan both enjoyed having the freedom to walk around too. We had a picnic lunch before we headed home. Cate and I can't wait to take Eric there when we go back up for a visit in July.

Thursday night I had a wonderful dinner with two other high school friends. It was fun to catch up. All three of us have blogs and I think it's interesting (and fun) that we've been able to reconnect that way as we all live in different places.

Our drive home was uneventful and we stopped in at a neighbor's (who is also one of my fellow teachers) house for a party. Cate passed out early and it looks like mommy is going to follow suit very soon.

~Melody :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me Monday

My weekly confessional-- there is something oddly therapeutic about this. Read more by clicking here.

This week I did NOT "fix" the bathroom curtain with a very wobbly seam (they are the curtains that came with the house and the previous owners just used steam-a-seam to shorten the curtain, which was wearing off and therefore the bottom of the curtain was a horrible mess). This is NOT because I am finally learning how to sew.

I did NOT take a ton of pictures of Cate and various family members this weekend who were in town for my grandmother's surprise 80th birthday (see previous post).
I did NOT sneak into one of the photographs while my husband had the camera.
My brother is NOT trying to sneak in in this picture as well.

My friend Emily did NOT launch the coolest online business ever, Stop Traffick Fashion, to help people rescued from human trafficking. You should NOT visit that site often and buy lots of cool handbags and jewelry for a good cause.

And speaking of Emily, we did NOT go to the pool yesterday only to end up getting rained on by the beginnings of a thunderstorm. So we settled for coffee instead. :-)

I am NOT traveling sans husband to Hudson this week (I will have my mom's mom with me) to visit more family (well, more of the same, but we were so busy this weekend, we didn't have a ton of time to visit) and some friends. I am NOT having a reunion with some friends I've known since junior high and with whom I've reconnected via our blogs.

I will probably NOT go see "The Hangover" with my sister and/or brother even though it looks like a pretty raunchy and wrong movie. C'mon, Nard Dog from The Office is in it!

I am NOT counting down the days until our 5th anniversary trip to Santa Barbara.

I think that's it for now. :-)

~Melody :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Relatives Came...

...From Arizona, other parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky to celebrate my grandmother's (dad's mom) 80th birthday. It was a surprise party. I think she was surprised, don't you?
It was fun to see so many family and friends. My Aunt Lisa made this amazing cake.
Cate got to play with her cousin Aubrey (pictured below with my mom, my Aunt Lisa is holding Cate).
Aubrey later sported one of the hair clips I made. She actually has hair and leaves hers in. Aubrey is my Aunt Lisa's granddaughter (my cousin, Melissa's daughter).
Cate also got to see her grandpa. He was actually her "babysitter" on Friday night while we went to A Prairie Home Companion. I couldn't tell my grandma this though, because she didn't know he was coming to town.
Nana and Aunt Catherine are also always happy to see Miss Cate (so is Uncle Jeff, but I don't have any pictures of him with Cate--they were always in motion when they were together).
One of the coolest things about this weekend, was that Cate got to meet my Uncle Dave and Aunt Rae (who live in Arizona) for the first time. My Uncle Dave was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003 and wasn't given a good prognosis. Miraculously, he's still here 6 years later and doing great! He and my aunt adored Cate!

It was a busy, busy, busy weekend, but we've been enjoying some quiet, family time tonight. Okay, maybe not so quiet since we're laughing a lot and banging on the wooden latch board.
~Melody :-)

PS...the title of this post is also the title of an adorable children's book. It's one of my favorites and reminds me of the family reunions my mom's side of the family has just about every year in the heart of Kentucky.