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Friday, July 16, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods

Or in this case, the song maybe should go something like "Away from the Ocean and Across Miles of Highway, to Grandmother's house we go!"

Last weekend, the girls took off to go visit my Grandmother for a couple of days. Auntie Anna, Momsey, Reagan and I loaded into the car and headed off for the almost 7-hour journey to get there. We had planned to stop along the way to have dinner at Shuler's BBQ, but we didn't plan on driving through a torrential downpour of a thunderstorm! The storm hit when we were only about 10 miles away from the restaurant, and it was the longest 10 mile stretch I have ever driven in my life! The storm had affected Shuler's as well, as they had no power due to the lightening that had struck and created a fire just a few blocks down the road. We still enjoyed a fabulous dinner, by candle light, and left with full bellies once the storm had passed.

We had planned the long ride for after dinner in the hope that Reagan would fall asleep soon after we got back on the road. WRONG! The child was wide awake, chatting non-stop while playing her DS, until we were only about 20 minutes from Great-Grans. It was at this point that she started asking,

"How much longer?"

"Only about 20 more minutes" I replied.

"I'm too tired. Can we just go back to Momsey & Pop's beach house, Mom?"

"No baby. That would take way longer. We just have a little further to go and we will be there."

"Well, can we please just stop right here and find a hotel?"

I couldn't help but laughing at that last comment from her, and then within only a couple of seconds, she had passed out sound asleep!

She woke up the next morning, and immediately went to find her Great-Gran and to get some cuddles and snuggles.
Around lunch time, Grandmother took us all up to the Senior's Center that is less than a football field's length from her house. We played a round of BINGO and enjoyed some delicious home made ice cream before we decided to head across the street to the new Veteran's Memorial in the downtown square. While we were admiring the new memorial, Reagan ventured over to the large water fountain. I wish I had had my camera with me, as what happened next was priceless.

She stood beside the fountain, then she decided to climb up and stand on the ledge. She turned to see if we were watching, and when none of us told her she had to get down, she decided to take a seat and let her feet dangle into the water. I decided "what the heck" at this point, and told her that if she wanted to get wet that it was fine by me. Well, that was all that it took! She jumped right into the fountain as if it were a swimming pool and started wading, swimming, and splashing around. Needless to say, we all had some good laughs while watching her have so much fun!

That evening, my mom's brother and his wife and youngest son, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Evelyn, and Joseph, all came down to Grandmother's house for a visit. We ate a delicious dinner of beef stew while catching up and just enjoying each other's company.

We had to get back on the road the next morning to get back to our boys at the beach, and we thankfully did not encounter any more thunderstorms on the trip back home!

It was a wonderful visit with Grandmother/Great-Gran that was LONG overdue. Hopefully we won't let as much time pass before the next visit!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Seven Year Wedding Anniversary

Seven years ago today, I married my best friend. Last year on this day, I made a blog post all about our wedding… today I want to tell you about how that day came to be.

There have been many times since then that I have been asked how did I meet my husband Ryan, with me being a Carolina Girl, and he being a Canuck from Vancouver. The short answer is that it was all due to HOCKEY. The full story is below...

It was a Friday night, February 18, 2000, and I was running late. I was on my way to a Pee Dee Pride Hockey game, an ECHL team that Ryan’s brother played for. I had once dated another of the guys on the team, and I still remained close to all of the other wives and girlfriends… I still even sat in the player’s family section at the games. This night, as I said, I was running late.

When I arrived at the rink, the National Anthem was already playing and the arena was dark. I made my way to my seat, but mistakenly sat one row behind my normal seat. When the lights came up, I realized my error, and also realized that I was sitting beside a guy that I had never met before. I immediately knew who he was, as he looked just like his brother! We introduced ourselves, and began chatting throughout the first period. I think I drove him crazy with my lack of hockey knowledge, plus I kept leaning over to socialize with the gals sitting in front of me, as he moved to the top of the bleachers for the final two periods of the game!

Two days later, on Sunday afternoon, we all gathered at the rink again for another game. This time, Ryan sat pretty close by throughout the entire game. I will admit that I may have started to flirt with him just a bit!

Later that evening, after a little bit of liquid courage at the neighborhood bar, Ryan began to flirt back. He even went as far at one point to use a really cheesy line on me about how he could get lost in my eyes. Yes, there had been a lot of liquid courage by this point!

The rest of the week that he was in town visiting his brother, he caught a ride with me to all of the games, both home and away. He flew back home to Vancouver the following weekend, and I figured that was it. Little did I know that this was only the beginning.

My phone rang that night, and I was a bit perplexed by the 604 area code on my caller id. I was shocked when I discovered that it was Ryan, especially since I had not given him my number! We talked for over an hour that night, and then we started talking a couple of nights a week. Before we knew it, we were talking for hours on the phone every single night.

A couple of months had gone by, and Ryan told me that he was coming back into town for the hockey playoffs. There was a game the night that he was flying in, so there was no way his brother could pick him up from the airport. I, of course, volunteered to pick him up and drive him to the game. I mentioned this to his brother a few days later when I saw him at a social function, and his brother looked at me like I was crazy… he didn’t even know that Ryan was coming back into town. Well, that was my first clue that Ryan was not coming to see his brother this visit… he was coming to see me!

After that visit, the phone calls increased drastically. We also started planning our visits with each other to become more frequent… about every 6 weeks. Looking back now, we would love to have the money that we spent back then on phone bills and plane tickets! But it was all worth it.

The long distance relationship continued for over two years, and then on April 30, 2002, Ryan proposed. He asked my parents for my hand in marriage before taking me to the park we would always go to when he was visiting. It was in that park that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I immediately said yes, and less than 3 months later I had packed up my car and my life and moved across and then into another country to live with him. A year after that, on July 12, 2003, we were married!

There are days when I can’t believe that my fairy tale wedding occurred seven years ago. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday, and yet some days it feels like I have been with Ryan a lifetime already. I love him even more today than I did seven years ago. I adore both the husband and father that he has become.

Today, I can only look forward to the lifetime we now have ahead of us together!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

With My Heart In My Throat

Reagan has developed a new favorite game while we are at the waterway in NC... it's called the "I Wanna Launch" game, and my heart is in my throat as I watch her with her Daddy and her Pops each time they play.

Back when Ryan and I were dating, he went to Mexico for a boy's weekend with his brother and a couple of other friends. He brought back presents for me and my parents, one of which was a hammock to sit in. That hammock has now turned into a swing for the small children in our family that come to enjoy the beach house.

However, I'm not quite sure that any of the other kids are quite as crazy in the swing as Reagan is!

A few times each day, Reagan will go up to her Pops in her sweetest little voice possible, bat her eyelashes, and ask if he will make her launch. Trust me when I tell you that the word launch is correct as there are times I think she is going to go into orbit!

Pops and Ryan stand strategically at opposite ends, and begin pushing Reagan back and forth between the two of them...
At first the swings are fairly gentle, but it doesn't take long for them to build momentum...
After only a few swings, Reagan is flying high above her Daddy's reach...
I still haven't decided what is my favorite part of this game... listening to Reagan's squeals of delight, or watching Pops as he makes crazy facial expressions and launching noises each time she swings back to him...
After about half an hour's worth of launching, Pops has been known to just run out of energy. Reagan has her own special fuel that she uses to get him going again... HUGS AND KISSES!
I've yet to decide if he really does get tired, or if he has just found a good excuse to get some Reagan loving!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Freedom Fun Run

We woke up Saturday morning and were out of the house by 5:45am. Why, you ask? For Reagan to run in her very first race, accompanied by her Daddy and her Pops.

We arrived at Landfall Country Club for the Fourth of July Freedom Run, and picked up the registration packages. Reagan declined to wear the t-shirt that was provided since she was already dressed in style in her running shorts/skirt!

Without even being prompted, Reagan began to do her warm-up routine so that she would be good and loose for the run. Of course, this may have had something to do with the hundreds of other people that were doing their own stretches!
The 10KM runners started first, then the 5KMers, and then it was time for the 2KM race. Pops, Ryan and Reagan were ready!
Momsey, Auntie Anna and I stood on the sidelines, cheering “GO REAGAN GO!” while waving the glitter sign that I had made the night before as we watched them run away.
About 18 minutes later, we could see them in sight as they rounded the corner to cross the finish line.
Reagan kicked it into high gear, and crossed the finish line with a big smile on her face. Little did we know at that time, but she had a good reason to be smiling… She won first place for her age division with a time of 18:39, and she also won an award for being the youngest runner in all three of the races that day!
Needless to say, I was and still am one very proud Momma! But I think her Pops may have been the proudest of all!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Name for Baby Boy Knopp

We landed in Fayetteville, NC yesterday morning, excited to see Momsey & Pops and to tell them our big news. We had planned it out perfectly… we were all dressed in blue!
Well, in the picture above, we were all looking a little fresher than I am sure we looked when we landed after flying all night long! We took the picture above once we found out about our new little boy as a belated Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift for my parents.

Reagan, Anna & I all even had our toenails painted bright blue, and I had bright blue fingernails! Now you would think that with all that blue, my parent’s would have immediately clued in that something was going on. Or that they would have asked if we needed “special” help identifying each other while traveling as a group! Nope, in all the excitement of just seeing us, they didn’t pay much attention to what we were wearing.

After a few minutes of hugs and kisses, we collected our luggage and then we made our announcement.

Reagan asked Momsey if she liked her blue dress. Then she asked Momsey if she liked all the blue that everyone else was wearing. We all just stood there, waiting for the moment…

Reagan then said, “We are all wearing blue because Mommy has a boy in her belly.”

My mom stood there speechless, almost dropping Reagan, and she asked Reagan to repeat herself.

“We are all wearing blue because Mommy has a boy in her belly, Momsey!”

Momsey started screaming while hugging Reagan and me, and Pops was fighting back tears as he shook Ryan’s hand. Needless to say, we surprised them for sure! Anna even started crying all over again too!

We had one more surprise to announce, so I then asked Reagan to tell Pops and Momsey what her baby brother’s name is going to be, and she proudly told them…

MYERS TYSON KNOPP

Myers is my maiden name, and Ryan and I made the decision 7 years ago when we got married that since I was giving up my maiden name, our first-born son would be named Myers. This was also the only way that I would be able to carry on the Myers name for our family since I don’t have any brothers myself to take care of that job! Tyson is my husband's middle name, so we thought it would be the perfect middle name for our son as well. We will call him Myers... unless he gets into typical boy kinds of trouble when I am sure his full name will be used!

My mom immediately said that she wished Poppy and Maw Dot, my daddy’s parents, were still alive to hear the news… something tells me they already know and are smiling above!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What We've All Been Waiting For...

This past Saturday afternoon, we FINALLY found out the precious information that we have been longing to know... the gender of this little baby inside my belly!

I couldn't tell y'all about it until now, because we wanted to surprise my parents with the news face-to-face first before sharing it with all the world.

(This post is scheduled as an auto-post to go live while we are traveling from the airport to my family's beach house with my parents. We are planning to tell them as soon as we land, so I will have to do a post about the big announcement to them... how we told them and how they reacted... for Friday!)

We were worried that we wouldn't know before time to leave for our trip to NC/SC because the health-care laws in our area are super strict about releasing this information until the mother has reached at least the 20th week of her pregnancy. This is due to the high rate of terminations if the gender of the baby is not what the parent's had desired. (The Vancouver area is a VERY multi-cultural area.)

I am not officially 20 weeks until this coming Sunday, July 4th.

We got lucky in that we found out the sex of this little bundle of joy when I was only at the end of my 18th week.

We've been keeping it a secret for the last 5 days! Trust me when I tell you that this was no easy thing for anyone in my family to do!

We arrived at the ultrasound clinic excited and anxious. This was a private ultrasound clinic that has no ties to the government health care of British Columbia. Of course, this meant that we had to pay to have this ultrasound done, but we didn't mind.

There was still a chance that the technician would not tell us the gender, even if she saw it clearly herself, if she realized that I was fibbing my dates by a little over a week. Luckily, she didn't pay much attention to my dates versus the size of the baby!

Reagan, Ryan, and Anna were all with me in the exam room. Reagan was the most excited of any of us I think... although I'm not sure if she was most excited about seeing her sibling for the first time, or if it was to watch the lady squirt the jelly all over my belly. Reagan couldn't stop laughing when I told her the night before that this was going to happen, so she was quite tickled to see it happen for real.

We were immediately able to see the baby...
And within only a few seconds, it was very easy to see the gender. We let the ultrasound technician make the official announcement as a whisper in Reagan's ear, and then Reagan made the announcement to us that...

WE ARE HAVING A BOY!

Needless to say, we were all a bit shocked! We were all convinced that this baby was a girl... even the silly IntelliGender test thought so. But it was clear to see, plain as day, that this baby is most definitely not a girl!
It only took a matter of moments for my brain to switch from pink to blue... I had already picked out the new nursery theme by the end of that afternoon! I'll be doing quite a bit of shopping over the next few months as we have no little boy clothes to pass down to this little munchkin... and I don't think Ryan would appreciate his son wearing cutie-pie little pink dresses!

I wonder how long it will take before Ryan puts a hockey stick or my dad puts a football in this boy's hands?!?!

PS... I plan to announce this baby boy's name in the post about my parent's reaction... we've known what our first little boy's name would be since before we even considered getting pregnant with Miss Reagan!