Monday, October 16, 2017

On Grandparenting

So I'm a grandmother. Well really a Nana or at least I'm trying to be. I quite often call myself Grandma so maybe I should just go with that. I need to figure it out before baby boy starts talking.

Oh he talks, just not in complete sentences yet-ha!

I'm so thankful for technology, and the way it allows me to watch him grow from so many miles away. And of course when his little face pops up on whatever screen we happen to be on I literally want to crawl through the glass and kiss his chubby cheeks in person.

Baby boy loves his chow and I can't wait to make all his favorite foods.

Once he's eating actual food of course, but let's not rush things because these early months are oh so precious. Babies whose age is still counted in weeks literally change before your very eyes. One minute they lack the muscle control needed for smiling and the next minute they're smiling. Life is an absolute miracle and grandparenting reminds you this is so.

Last week Daughter1 and her hubs took their lil' punkin to the pumpkin patch.


You know once upon a time hubs and I took our lil' punkin to the pumpkin patch too. This was back in the day before cell phones took over our lives so we didn't snap a picture until we'd already turned our find into a jack-o-lantern, but the memory is no less sweet.


This photo y'all! Here I'm young and naive about all the ways motherhood will change me, grow me, sanctify, and define me. All I knew for sure was I was head over heels in love with someone I'd met just four months prior.

Grandparenting is like that too, with a cherry on top. You lay eyes on this little person and your heart opens the door wide to a love that feels positively endless. But this new love is layered in all the best ways with your first love. Your child. The one you raised who is now the one raising.

Someone asked me recently what was my favorite thing about being a Nana, and it's many things but mostly it is this-


It's watching the girl who just yesterday sat atop my lap on a front porch stoop mother her very own son. It's watching her find the rhythm of her own life.

It's remembering the sweetness of all the firsts, and how every day I knew her just a little bit better than the day before. It's remembering the wonder I felt as love was multiplied and I'd say to myself, 'what a wonderful world'.  

Some things don't change.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Life And Stuff

My daughter and I were talking about how she had recently gone back and read a blog post written in 2006 by someone who went on to become a very popular blogger. This particular blogger had taken a trip somewhere my daughter plans to visit and she remembered this blogger writing about it.

She told me how much she loved reading the post and how it was written in the format of here's what I did on day one of my vacation and here's what I did on day two of my vacation and here's a picture of every single dessert we ate and here's the beach we walked on and how there wasn't a single link to anything commercial and it wasn't polished but it was oh so real.

And we both agreed this was why we became bloggers and it's the thing we miss when we don't blog.

I'm bringing it back. Here's some stuff from the past few weekends that I never got around to mentioning and that maybe isn't worth mentioning because it's just friends gathering and reminiscing and people coming and going and babies being adorable and isn't that the stuff life is made of?

Two weekends ago I was here-


Hilton Head Island.


It was a too quick weekend spent with girls I pledged a sorority with nearly four decades ago, but who are still eighteen in my head. We laughed until our sides hurt and remembered how good that feels. There was some beach sitting, some shop til you drop kind of fun, shared appetizers and stories and a brilliant sunny Saturday. There was birthday cake (pink of course) with too big candles and heartfelt wishes.


We chased down a sunset but were laughing too hard to run so almost missed it.


Almost.

The kind of weekend you want to tuck in your pocket and pull out from time to time when the world feels gray and your heart needs a pick-me-up. That kind of weekend. These girls. The stuff life is made of.


While I was away hubs drove over to Tennessee and picked up his mom and brought her to the lake to spend a few days with us here. The weather was glorious and we had a wonderful time showing her around tiny town. On Tuesday she visited Daughter2's classroom and read a book to her kindergarten students. So special!


We had an early dinner afterward and enjoyed hearing about her day, and then we spent most of the next day on the lake because it was too nice to do otherwise. This summer weather in October is something, isn't it?


We drove my mother-in-law back to Tennessee Thursday evening, then went on up to collegetown Friday morning for homecoming festivities. We had lunch at a little spot called White Duck Taco where we sat outside and caught up with some of our favorite people also in town for the homecoming shenanigans. White Duck does fancy tacos and I had one Thai chicken and one pork belly and both were scrumptious.

That evening we went to dinner with a big group of friends and then Saturday was game day. Let's just say it was warm. Have mercy! 



Still we tailgated and enjoyed seeing the brand new stadium, but by halftime we were melting so we called it a day and headed back to the hotel for a nap before the evening party.


I know this picture looks cloudy, but those clouds lasted just long enough for me to snap a picture. The rest of the time the hot hot sun was staring us down.

I love visiting campus even if they did take down 'our tree' and put the stadium in it's place. The grounds around the school are still so pretty and hubs and I always take a walk hand in hand and remember why we fell in love. It's good to remember.

Are you still in touch with your college friends? Do they still know how to make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings, say remember when, sense you need a hug or maybe lemon drops and a reality check (hi Amanda!)? Ours do, and for that we are truly grateful. Who knew thirty five+ years ago our lives would be so entwined still?

I really need to blog more because now here I am many paragraphs later and I haven't even mentioned baby boy being adorable. He needs his own post anyway, don't you think? No worries...he'll get one. Or ten. Or maybe a hundred. teehee.

Happy Thursday everyone!
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Roadtripping Through The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then hop over and leave a comment for the person linking before you. Or leave a comment for everyone if you've got the time.

As a reminder-I'm declaring next week Fall Break in the Hodgepodge so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on October 18th. The Hodgepodge will return the following week, October 25th. Thanks for understanding.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I will rate myself a 5, but that might be generous. Hubs will say it is most definitely very generous. Oh well, it's my blog. We're going to be doing some driving out west and I ordered paper maps because I like to see the big picture. Also, I've read some travel forums that say cell service is spotty in places so having a map is a good idea. I love a map, but rely on GPS to get me anywhere. 

I'm from back east, live down south, am headed out west, and can't wait to see my favorite tiny human up north later this month. 

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Yesterday was probably 50/50. Is that typical? Typically I think I lean more to the talking side of things, but I'm working on that. 

Yesterday (Monday) in one word? Productive

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

It's a toss up between time and opportunity. I think we're all guilty of wasting time now and then, but missed opportunity bugs me more. How often have I missed an opportunity because I'm wasting time? I've recently set some reasonable personal goals for myself in one area in particular that I'm hoping to improve. 

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

Not regular no. We always had a day or two at the shore in the summer, and we belonged to the swim club which is where my sister and I spent most afternoons. We always had a week or more at camp and that was a lot of fun. Some years we traveled out west as a family to visit grandparents in Colorado and New Mexico, and that felt like a vacation to us East Coasters. 

One road trip I remember from my childhood was taking my sister to college. We drove from NJ to TN and visited some other colleges along the way so my brother could tour and see if he might be interested in attending one of those. It might not sound like fun, but we had fun. The best part was I don't think my parents booked hotels ahead of time. We'd drive and decide where to stop and look for a hotel that way. And the criteria was always the same for us kids-what's the pool look like? 

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

Peonies. Because I love them. My next door neighbor in the UK grew peonies and had some very rare varieties. A stroll through his garden was such a treat. 

Actually I'd like a big English garden with peonies, lilacs, and other blooming things in shades of red, pink, peach, and purple. My English garden still ranks right up there as one of my favorite places on earth. I didn't plant it...just watched it grow and bloom and change and make me feel a whole lot of things that are hard to put into words. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

For anyone who relates to my answer in question #3 you might like a book I'm currently reading called Finish.  It's written by Jon Acuff and below the title is the tag line 'Give Yourself the Gift of Done' 

I'm about halfway through, and find myself nodding my head in agreement on nearly every page. He says the biggest obstacle to meeting a goal is not laziness, but perfectionism and boy do I understand that. This book is for chronic starters who want to become consistent finishers (anybody else raising their hand here?) and is full of strategies and practical advice, including specific actions to take listed at the end of each chapter. And he's funny too! 



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 325

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe.

One item of note-I'm declaring next week Fall Break in the Hodgepodge so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on October 18th. The Hodgepodge will return the following week, October 25th. Thanks for understanding that life is a little too full right now and I need a fall break somehow somewhere.

Okay, here we go-
1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Farming The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then go say howdy to your neighbor on the list. Happy October y'all!

From this Side of the Pond  

1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

My dad grew up on a farm near Denver, and growing up we spent some time visiting my grandparents there. I knew I'd written about it somewhere on my blog and when I searched discovered I'd asked the first part of this question just two years ago

I aim for no repeats here in the Hodgepodge, so oops. 

Also, I mentioned it here and here too which confirms what I already knew, and that is

-this blogger ain't what she used to be!


Anyway, a few things I loved about the farm were-playing with my cousins, following the farm cat around, swimming in the farm tub, climbing trees, and the feeling of freedom and wide open spaces the farm provided. Farming is a lot of hard work and not a job you can 'leave at the office' so I have great admiration for farmers.  
I've never grown my own pumpkin or driven a tractor, but I have milked a cow and been on many a hayride. 

2. What's something younger you would like about you now?

That I raised daughters who love to read, cook, talk, and take care of people. Daughters who are so much like me yet are also not like me in the most magical of ways.

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

More often? Hold my grandson, have a cup of tea with my mama, and hang out with my girls any old time I felt like it. 

Less often? Pay bills-pay taxes-watch what I eat

4. What's on your nachos?

Speaking of watching what I eat-ha! I can take or leave the chili on nachos, sometimes I think it makes them too messy, but definitely add plenty of cheese, chopped tomatoes, and jalapenos. And don't forget the guacamole. 

In fact you could skip the nachos and just bring me the chips and guac. 

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

I pared down my purse at the beginning of summer, so not a lot of extras in there right now. I am carrying around tickets to a fundraiser we're attending later this month and I definitely need to put them somewhere safe. Safe and in a location I'll remember when it comes time to attend the actual event. ahem. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

My mother-in-law has been here visiting this week so we've been out and about every day. Also, I'm getting PT three times a week for my ankle not my rib which, by the way, is better but not perfect and my smashed finger is also finally on the mend in case you were wondering. Did I mention my smashed finger? 

We're traveling this month, twice!!, and I still need hotel rooms for two different spots, a rental car reserved, and a rough itinerary. My house needs dusting, vacuuming, and sprucing and we likely need to purchase outerwear, rainwear, and footwear for one of those trips I just told you about, plus the zipper on our go-to suitcase is on the fritz so there's that to think about as well.  Also the world. The WORLD! 

And then of course way down the list there is this poor neglected blog that I sometimes wake up in the night thinking about all the thinks I want to tell you about but see above. October is not for sissies. 

Here's my happy thought-The dimple! The hair! The smile! 




Every little thing is gonna be alright.  



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 324

My October calendar is chock-a-block full of company, travels, events, and appointments but let's not worry about that today. Today let's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then jump back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there!


1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

2. What's something younger you would like about you now? 

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

4. What's on your nachos?

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.