Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good-bye 2008 !!!!

Hello 2009 !!

"...Last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." ~T.S. Eliot

Here's to new beginnings....unforeseen possibilities....endless dreams.....unlimited joy.....strength and foresight to deal with challenges....appreciation of life's blessings....optimism and hope for peace....compassion for those less fortunate....good, love, love.....

...and, hugs galore.

These things...and so much more I wish to you all as 2009 begins.



"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." ~Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Missing Celia already...

How cute is she???? : )

I am back home from my ten days feels like I was gone for a month!

I have a lot of blogging catching up to do....reading as well as writing.

Dave and I had a variety of experiences on this trip....Atlantic City was a step back in time for me as I lived there with relatives every summer for many years and worked in my uncle's grocery store.

I went back into the seemed much smaller to me now than when I was younger! The bakery was where I had worked most of the is now self serve. I have so many memories of standing behind that counter while shoppers would point to the items that they wanted by tapping on the glass front and pointing to the delicacies behind it. I also remember the smells of the warm sticky buns as they came out of the ovens. They would almost be too hot to handle at first with that warm syrup running down the doughy buns topped with walnuts or raisins. MMmmmm...sweet remembrances.


We stayed at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in A.C. and had a good time there...although no jackpots were hit while we were gambling! I mostly played the penny and nickel slot machines while Dave lost played at black jack.The highlight of that part of the trip was the incredible dinner that we had at a restaurant called "Phillip's" at Caesar's. We shared a steamed seafood pot full of lobsters, crab legs, clams, shrimp, mussels, sweet Jersey corn and red potatoes. Oh was so good.... and Dave and I finished up every bit of it with the exception of two little potatoes. *burp*


The ending of our 10 day odyssey was a weekend visit in Maryland with my youngest son, Jeffrey and his wife, Janet...and three month old (adorable!!) Celia. I tried to teach her how to say "Grammie"...but, unfortunately, she isn't into speaking yet. But, she smiled at me countless times!!!! : ) Those smiles were worth the whole trip!

It was wonderful being with them....


The trip back to Birmingham yesterday had a pretty special moment.

While standing in the line to board our Southwest flight an announcement was made signaling "Jim and Sally Brown" (fake names used here in that I can't remember their real names of course!) asking them to come forward. After a few moments a young couple strolling a child approached. The flight captain shook "Jim's" hand and welcomed him back home from Iraq. He said that he wanted to personally escort them onto the plane...The people waiting in line all began to applaud. The captain then let us know that "Jim" has been overseas for a year and a half and was getting to see his new baby daughter for the first time. He also let us know that "Jim's" family was on the plane awaiting their arrival for a little family reunion.

At this point, there wasn't a dry eye in the was quite a moment.

Dave and I took the seats directly in front of where this family was sitting and we were very touched as people walked by and personally thanked the soldier for his service to our country.

I had a smile on my face the rest of the way home...

Friday, December 26, 2008

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The day after....

Christmas with Dave's family took on a whole different feeling this year.

There have been so many changes in one short year...

Everyone senses a big hole with the passing of Kaye, Dave's sister. She always handled all of the Christmas 'festivities' including the meals. Everything was held at her home in year's past...this year we gathered in Dave's mom's condominium even though she is currently living in the rehab home down the street. She said that it was so strange to be 'visiting' her own home on Christmas...Her depressed feelings were so evident to all of us as she used her walker with our assistance and got situated in her chair.

Eventually, the house began to fill with the grandchildren and great grandchildren...You could feel the mood changing a bit as the quiet was interrupted by sounds of the children's delight at this magical time.

Suddenly the newest great grandchild was in Grandma's arms cooing. "Isn't she beautiful?" she said to me with a look of pride on her slightly weary face.

Dave's sister-in-law gathered everyone together to say grace before the Christmas meal was going to be served. I looked around at the beautiful faces of this family that was having to face some new challenges this year...and I smiled as I hoped that they were temporarily forgetting the many things that lie ahead...(especially moving the Matriarch of the family into an assisted living home)...and enjoying this delicious meal before them: Turkey with dressing and gravy, creamed onions, string bean casserole, yum yum salad, a green salad this sugared walnuts and feta cheese, potato casserole with cheese topping, cranberry sauce and warm dinner rolls.

After dessert we all adjoined to the living room where the children began to enthusiastically tear apart the wrapping on their gifts and began to play with their newest treasures!

Then it was time for the adults to play Secret Santa. Laughter dominated the room as gifts were opened and exchanged or "stolen" from one another.

Soon tiredness set in...and everyone began to pack their babies and supplies and gifts, etc. and head for their homes.

But, before they left, we all gathered for a family group picture. Arms went around each other, moms held their babies...and Grandma sat right in the middle of her beautiful family.

So, while it might not have been the 'traditional' Christmas here in Delaware this year...the spirit and the love was there...and the family was together...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Quickie

Here in Delaware with Dave's family...having to deal with the issues of aging and a move to assisted living for his mom. Tough situation.

Atlantic City was great fun...icy conditions as we drove jackpots hit...but a good time nonetheless.

Christmas dinner tomorrow with the whole family...we have tried to keep the traditions alive even though the family has gone through many changes...

The main thing be together...and, that is what we are trying to cling to as they face challenges ahead.

Happy Holidays to you all...I hope that you are surrounding yourselves with those you love.


Friday, December 19, 2008

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"Ya gotta do what ya gotta do." Sylvester Stallone

I thought of that quote this morning as I began my craziness of getting ready to leave town first thing in the morning.

Suddenly, there are a million things left to do....

So, with that being said....

Today's post will have to be short and quick.... I will try and get a post or two in while I am away for the next ten days....

But, I didn't want to leave without telling all of you that whatever it is that you will be celebrating this month...Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza....make it safe and joyous and full of love!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Avenue Q and other goings on....

Avenue Q, the Musical....I saw it last night....It is like a bawdy Sesame Street! The talent was great....the puppetry was so clever! Such fun to sit back, relax and get a good laugh at some of the truths that are exposed on a song list that includes: "It Sucks To Be Me", "The Internet is for Porn", "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", and "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today". Got the point?

Fun, fun, fun.....


Heading out of town always entails so much preparation! I have a neverending list: stop newspapers, stop mail delivery, fill bird feeders, chemicalize pool outside, set up timers on inside lamps, update all bill payments, water plants, print out mapquest directions, let neighbors know that I am leaving, and, oh yeah, do my PACKING!

I have checked the 10 day weather reports for the three cities that we will be visiting....and in one chilly is going to be "cold". So, that means gloves, scarves, heavy sweaters, boots, jackets, etc. etc...and it all has to be under 50 lb limit per suitcase. It looks like I have a challenging day ahead of me.


Mom continues to keep me laughing with her stories from the "Home". The latest one is with a gentleman named George. It seems that every night when Mom is heading to dinner (always the same time), there is George always getting on the elevator as she is getting off.

"He must be eating during the early shift" she said. That means that he is probably eating dinner around 4 in the afternoon! For Mom this is a ridiculously early time to she has slowly and begrudgingly gotten used to going a little before 5. She says that now that she has to eat so early she is starving by around 8 o'clock and ends up having another "dinner" then. (Then she is surprised when none of her pants fit her anymore!)

Anyway, as she told me of these little two-minute encounters with George, she said that she thinks that he is trying to flirt with her.

I told her to just enjoy this little rendezvous and to feel flattered! Now, I do believe that I heard a faint groan on her end of the phone after that comment...


The baby shower that I was planning to be a hostess for unfortunately had to be cancelled due to a death in the family of the girl being honored. We were all so sorry about the family's, and the community's loss. There is always something so spiritual about a new baby entering a family after they have suffered a loss of a loved one. I know that the arrival of Stacy's baby in a few weeks will be such a special time...

I had already baked about 80 unfrosted cupcakes for the planned Shower and these were staring me in the face every time that I went to my freezer. Every now and then I would sneak one out, defrost it, and devour it quickly...(my willpower went right out the window)....However, tomorrow I am going to ice the rest of them and send them with a friend to take to a homeless shelter next week while I am away. That will be a good thing, not only for the people at the shelter, but for my ever expanding waistline.... : )


Off to (ugh) pack....!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The day didn't start out very well.

I was awakened by a phone call early in the morning. It was my dentist's receptionist letting me know that there was an opening for a teeth cleaning... an hour!

I stumbled out of bed and got myself as presentable as I could in my 'just awakened' haze. (If I had known then what I know now....I would have stayed in bed!) : 0

After cleaning my teeth, the hygienist asked me if my diet had changed since my last cleaning 6 months earlier. She was concerned by some spots that seemed like cavities...and, I hadn't had a cavity in many, many years.

After some discussion, it seems that the one thing that had changed was the gum that I was chewing. Some of the meds that I am on cause me to have a very dry mouth....and I find that frequently chewing gum helps that situation. I had switched from a sugarless gum to Juicy Fruit since my last cleaning.

Not a good idea!

What I learned today was that I had actually been "bathing" my teeth in sugar every day...and this had caused cavities to form under some of my crowns...a susceptible area for this to occur.

I also learned that sugarless gum with Xylitol as an ingredient was actually great for your teeth. My dentist recommends it.

Who knew?

Anyway, I left there with another appointment for when I return back home in January...and lots of costly dental work ahead for me. **aagh**

I decided to pass this info on to my readers in hopes that it might be helpful and money-saving for some of you out there.

Go out and buy some sugarless gum with Xylitol and start chewing!

And, who said that blogs couldn't be educational??? : )

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle?

Owen attempted to sing while busily playing with magnetic snowmen at the MN library! I couldn't resist getting a quick video... : )

Monday, December 15, 2008

Car chases, chicken casserole and Clementines....

As Dave and I were heading to pay our respects to our friend who recently lost his father, a car whizzed by us in the middle of a small neighborhood street zigzagging to avoid hitting the other cars. In this 30mph zone, it was probably traveling at over 70 mph. It was immediately being followed by a police car with its sirens blaring. A half a block up the road we saw that the car being chased had crashed into a stone wall at a residence nearby. The police car was right there at the scene.

Dave thought that it was kind of 'cool' being witnesses to such a thing..... I thought that it was much more excitement than what I needed right now!


Dave cooked a 'secret' casserole the other day at his house and snuck it into my refrigerator yesterday. It was to be our Sunday supper. All I could tell from it was that it had a cheese and panko crumb topping...but, that was hiding the rest of the ingredients inside.

After baking in the oven for 30 minutes, out came this creamy, delicious casserole named: 'Chicken Confetti Spaghetti' (try saying that 10 times!)

Underneath the crispy topping was a blend of chicken, pasta, onions, bell peppers, celery, Cream of Mushroom soup, and chicken broth. It was yummy....and my ever-thoughtful man 'healthified' the recipe for me and made it low sodium and low fat.

What a guy.


Speaking of Dave, the two of us are heading out of town this Saturday for 10 days. Our first stop will be Wilmington, DE, where his family is....then on to Atlantic City where we will stay at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino for two nights (my belated birthday celebration!)...see some of my family that lives there...then, back to Delaward for Christmas with Dave's family....and ending the whole trip with a visit to Maryland and Jeffrey, Janet, and Celia!

All good things.....



Along with my other already mentioned addictions-- (Raisinettes, M & M's, Reality Shows, etc.) I have a new one to add to my list: Clementines! These wonderfully sweet cousins to the mandarin orange are plentiful right now and I can eat several a day! I love them....especially the fact that they are so sweet and have no seeds. I throw a couple of them in the car when I head out to do errands....great snack.

Did I just sound like a commercial?!?!


I watched the Survivor finale last night. The physics professor won. They kept calling him 'old' and he is three years younger than me! What is with that???

He has the distinction of being the oldest winner on the Show...and, I might add, the only contestant to ever wear a bowtie the entire time on the island! Way to go professor...think of all of the bowties you can now purchase with your newly won million dollars....


I am off to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes....take a shower and then take on the stores for some errands today. Wish me luck as I fight the holiday crowds! : 0

: )

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My conversation with Mom this morning

Mom: "Regina and I had a talk yesterday out in the hallway. [Regina is the 97 year old woman who lives across the hall from Mom at the 'Home'). The conversation got around to being widowed and whether there was a need for male companionship in our lives. Regina decided that we needed to meet some men."

Regina: "You know, we really need to begin to look for some available men, Bette."

Having already seen most of the 'eligible' men around the 'Home', Mom says: "Well, we aren't going to find any around here, Regina!"

Regina: "What we really need are some younger men." (Now considering that Regina is 97, a younger man could be someone in their late 80's or early 90's!) : )

Mom: "OH?" (skeptically, I'm sure!)

Regina: "Yes, that's what we should do. We can both find a younger man and then we can double date."

Mom: (beginning to laugh)"Double date? Why would we do that?".

Regina: "For protection."

They both walked back into their own apartments hysterically laughing...

Friday, December 12, 2008

My "boys" and their "girls"...

"Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives, there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express." Joseph Addison

Out of all of the many pictures that the boys sent me from their recent visit....this one really touched me so deeply.

It is certainly not the 'best' photograph of the bunch by any means...but, seeing my two boys sitting on the couch together being dads to their daughters really got to me.

Wasn't it just the other day that they were my babies...sitting on my lap?

Then, before I knew it, they became toddlers full of energy and mischief...but, always so dear.

I turned around and suddenly there were two young teenagers trying to find their identity as they went through those awkward years. I wasn't quite as popular with my boys during some of those years...but we made it through with patience and love.

College, marriage....and then.....

...they both brought precious lives into this world. First, Owen, an incredible son for Adam and Jenny....followed by beautiful Audrey. A few months later came Celia, an adorable daughter for Jeffrey and Janet. They all found their way into our lives...and our hearts.

So, today, as I looked through the pictures of their 'father and daughter weekend' in Maryland I was overwhelmed with emotion. I had tears in my eyes when I looked closely at this beautiful picture of two dads and their daughters caught in a moment in time.

I saw that my two little boys had grown into remarkable young men who are happily falling in love with their two little girls...proudly nurturing them as they are watching them grow...delighting in their little triumphs...soothing them when they are crying....taking care of them through all of lifes ups and downs....being sensitive and gentle men learning about being daddies...

As I thought about the amazing experiences that they are yet to have together....I suddenly found myself smiling knowingly...

Maybe it is because I already can sense the beautiful journey they are now embarking on as parents...and I know that the joy that they have brought into my life will now be passed on to their children....

....and I feel complete.

: )

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Craziness abounds...

Dear President-elect Obama,

I have a request.

Could you please make the standard 24 hour day-- 28 hours?

There just isn't enough time to do all that I need to do in one day.

I believe that I speak for most Americans when I express this.

Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter.

Happy Holidays to you and your family... Good luck with the new dog hunt and the giving-up-smoking attempt!


an Alabama Grammie

**Oh, and while I have your attention...could you throw in a little World Peace while you are at it? Thanks...

: )

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Audrey goes to visit her cousin, Celia in Maryland

"Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden." Author: Unknown

"Daddy and I headed to Maryland and he got me this first class seat on the plane!"

"I like it."

: )

We played, we shopped and we read "Goodnight Moon"

We had such a good time together!

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But, soon it was time for me to go home....

Bye, Celia!

I will miss her very much.

"Bye, Celia, I had so much fun with you!"
"Bye Audrey.... I wish that we lived closer!"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Lights Out!

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Chinese Proverb

After a full day of shopping and gumdrop searching yesterday, I arrived back home tired, hungry, and a bit grumpy.... but ready to get some much-needed things done at my house.

Suddenly there was a loud explosion and all of my power went out! (This occurs around this wooded neighborhood every once in while when an unsuspecting squirrel finds its demise in a power station!)

What to do now?

After calling the power company to report the outage, I began to collect some flashlights, batteries, and candles in preparation for the darkness that was just an hour or so away.

The house began to feel quite chilly, so I turned on my gas fireplace in hopes of warming things up a bit and slipped on another sweatshirt.

None of this was making me very happy in that I was on a mission to get so many things accomplished. In my frustration, I began to realize how much we depend on our electricity and don't really appreciate it until it is gone.

Deciding that I might as well give in to the situation, I went into the kitchen pantry to see what I could eat without having to open the refrigerator....and settled on some peanut butter that I spread on some slightly stale crackers. I was so hungry at this point that it tasted like a delicious feast to me! I then got a stack of magazines and catalogs that I hadn't had time to read, put new batteries into my flashlights, and settled in near the fireplace.

As I sat there on the floor trying to read by flashlight, I found myself taking some deep breaths as I began to relax...

Suddenly, the light went out on the flashlight and I was surrounded by darkness- only partly illuminated by my flickering candles.

I got up off of the floor near the fireplace and cuddled up on my couch, stretched out...and, enjoyed the peace and quiet. It was actually quite nice lying there watching the fireplace flames dancing around and seeing the room in the glow of the many candles that were lit nearby.

I tried to move my racing mind away from all of the hubbub of the holiday season...and, instead began to smile as I thought about all of the good things in my life. Trips to visit family coming up...beautiful and healthy grandbabies....dear friends....a home that I love....etc. etc. etc.

It was really a 'forced' respite for me....and I found myself feeling conflicted when the power came back on over four hours later.........

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars." Og Mandino

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Great Gumdrop Search

Strange title, eh?

I was on a quest to find some large gumdrops today. These are for the cupcake rattles that I am making for a baby shower this weekend.

I went to store after store searching for these chewy little morsels...only to be disappointed time and time again. They had miniature gumdrops (aka 'spice'drops)...but, these would be way too small to fit onto the lollipop sticks that I had purchased.

They also had a myriad of gummy, gooey things in all shapes and sizes...but these were too sticky to use on the cupcake 'rattles'. I've never seen such a large collection of "gummy" things..

But, where are all of the large gumdrops hiding out????

I called my friend, Sharon, to vent my frustration and she said to me: "I sense a blog post coming on about gumdrops."

She was right.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Well, the lump is still in my throat as I feel moved to write something on the blog tonight before going to bed.

I thought that the movie about Brad Cohen was so tastefully done and beautifully produced.

I almost gasped during the scene in the Junior High because-- as the actor who played Brad as a child was walking to the stage--there were the real Brad and his wife standing over on the side! I guess that he wanted to have a little cameo in the movie about his life... : ) ...and, deservedly so.

I'm so proud that he is a good friend of Adam and Jenny's. I still remember him sitting near the back of the room 10 years ago when the two of them got married. Yes, he made his noises...and, yes, maybe some people there didn't understand...but, we were all so glad that he was there....and Adam and Jenny wouldn't have had it any other way....

I hope that you were all able to see the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie tonight.

What a guy....what a story....what an inspiration to us all.....

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Dave and I braved the shopping crowd this afternoon as we headed to Costco. (Crazy, eh?)There was an incredible sale on a plasma, flat screen tv, and we wanted to check it out before the sale was over.

We have been talking about replacing my dinosaur of a tv in my great room for some time now and have been looking out for good deals. Dave had done some we were ready to go.

The old tv in there now is starting to look like it is 'raining' on certain channels. It is one of those ancient televisions that is deeper than it is wide. It probably weighs 300 lbs. as compared with the newer flat screens that are nice and lightweight.

Well, we ended up getting it... and, then the 'fun' began. Between the box and the fact that it was a 42 inch was quite awkward maneuvering it into the car. And, getting it into the house was even more challenging.

But, we did it...and got it working just in time to see the Alabama vs. Florida game. Dave was giddy with delight watching football in the HD mode...

Now, if we could just figure out what to do with the dinosaur...


Talking about that game....having graduated from the University of Florida but having lived in Alabama for the last 30 some years of my life....I was in a bit of a quandary. Which team to root for? I chose Alabama....

They lost.... : (


Why is it that whenever I return from being out of town the first thing that I do is rush to the grocery store and stock up on every vegetable in the place? Maybe it is because while I am away I tend to not eat as healthily (is that a word?) as I do at to make up for it....I go a little crazy.

I also bought a turkey breast...came home, made cornbread stuffing (MMMmmmmm) and cooked it. I know, you are saying, "Didn't you just have a huge turkey dinner while in Minneapolis?". Yes, I did....but, there is something about making it in your own home and filling the house with that wonderful turkey fragrance. Dave and I enjoyed it Thursday night....and we will be enjoying it again tomorrow night. Ah, Thanksgiving...the holiday that just keeps on going...


My sons, Jeffrey and Adam decided to get their baby girls together for a, this weekend, Adam and Audrey (Owen was home with Mommy Jenny!) flew in to MD to visit. The earlier reports say that they like each other....but, haven't really 'done' much yet. Since they are both under 6 months of age, I guess that is to be expected! I can't wait to take the two of them shopping and for manicures one day. After all, I am a mom to two boys....girls have become a bit of a rarity between me and my sisters! (They have promised me pictures of the two cousins together...and I can't wait!)


Watching the American Music Awards last week, I realized that I am older than dirt. The kids are 16 years old and they have incredible singing careers already.

Dave and I watched a little of the red carpet show before the awards and learned two new words: "fly" and "stellar"...both of which mean very good. What happened to "cool" and "groovy"???

Dating myself, aren't I?


Mom is really becoming quite the 'angel of the home' down in Florida. It seems that she continues to rescue people who have lost their way...steering them in the right direction. You see, the 'home' has several numbered buildings...but, once inside, the apartments are numbered the same in each building. This causes a lot of confusion amongst the residents as you can imagine.

She told me that the other day there was a loud knock at her door. She looked out the peephole but didn't see anyone there. The knock occurred again so she slowly opened the door to find a very jovial gentleman in a wheelchair looking at her with a puzzled look on his face.

"What are you doing in my apartment?" he said.

She explained that it wasn't his apartment and then found out that he was in the apartment with the same number...BUT, in a different building. She is determined to get this confusing situation worked out with the bigwigs in the 'home' when she goes to her next "Welcome Committee" meeting.

Watch out world! Mom is on a mission!! : )


I am drowning in catalogs these days! Anyone else having this issue? I get about 5-8 a day. I enjoy looking through some of them...but, this is getting a bit out of hand. They must have a secret club where the word gets out if you purchase something from one of them....I may have to go into a witness protection program if this gets any worse.


Have a nice rest of the weekend everyone! XOXO

Celia at Thanksgiving .... Princeton with her other grandparents! I will be seeing her at the end of this month....can't wait! xoxo
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Front of the Class

Adam and Jenny have a good friend named Brad Cohen.

Adam was one of the groomsmen in Brad's wedding a couple of years ago.

Brad is an Elementary school teacher in Atlanta and a motivational speaker all over the U.S..

None of this would be out of the ordinary...except that Brad has Tourette's syndrome and never dreamt that these things would be a possibility in his lifetime. All of his life he has had to deal with people's ignorance of what Tourette's is all about with it's tics and loud uncontrollable outbursts.

With unbelievable motivation and drive, this young man has succeeded in ways that many of us could only dream about!

It is with great pride that I invite all of my fellow bloggers to tune in this Sunday night, December 7, on CBS, for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie about Brad's journey.

It will be time well spent.

...I promise.

To read more about Brad go here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A few more pictures from T'giving week in Minnie

Walking in his Daddy's shoes while wearing his "Roll Tide" Alabama shirt from Grammie!

Why is Papa Dave giving Audrey a beer?

...she's teething and the cold bottle felt good! Not to worry...she didn't drink any! : )

Bertha, the Butterball

Before and After!
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and, finally....some SNOW to play in....

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A wonderful ending to a beautiful week.


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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What was he thinking?

It's hovering around 30 degrees outside one morning in Minneapolis.

Even though we are inside, all of us are dressed sweatshirts and such.

Adam comes walking out with Audrey and we are hysterical.

She is wearing jeans and a TANK TOP!

He thought that it was a cute was how he decided to dress her that day.

(I have to admit, that with those chubby little arms of hers [oooooooo!], she really did look adorable. )

Cold, but adorable.

Dressed like that, I had to get a beer out of the refrigerator and snap this next picture....

Somehow it just seemed to go with the outfit....
: )

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Arms full of love.....

Dearest Audrey and Owen,

As I looked through all of the pictures (150 in all!) that I took while with you last week, I couldn't help but smile.

It was such a wonderful time....mostly doing "nothing" but just watching the two of you being adorable.

Owen, you are talking so much more than the last time that we were together (September)...and, you are such fun to be around! You remind me so much of your daddy when he was your age. Always smiling and happy...AND, full of energy! You are beginning to act like a two year old is supposed to act....and trying to find your "independent" spirit...(another word for saying "no" a lot)!

I loved watching you sit and play...You especially enjoy building things...your Thomas, the Train track and your Leggos (and, later, tearing them apart with unabashed delight!). We decided that you might be an engineer (or a train conductor!) one day!

Your determination is impressive to watch. You will stick with something for quite a while before giving up on it or asking for help. And, you gleefully proclaim, "I did it! I did it" when the mission is accomplished.

Sometimes, even when you are "misbehaving"...I have to hide my grin....because you are so darn cute and lovable!

Your mind seems so full of possibilities....and I look forward to following you every step of the way on your journey to being "grown-up".

Audrey, Audrey, Audrey! What can a Grammie say about you? You are not only beautiful (those blue eyes!)...but, such a sweetheart. You take everything in that is going on around you and you don't want to miss a thing. I found that the only way to successfully feed you your bottle was to take you to a quiet place where nothing was going on at the time. You are an observer right now as you watch your brother play...but, it won't be long before you will be joining in. You adore him and give him a big smile whenever he comes around you and gives you lots of hugs.

You are so joyous as you sit in your bouncy chair kicking those little legs of yours. Oh, did I say "little" legs? Actually, you are filling out quite nicely (!) and have the most squeezable legs around!!! They are so strong and hold you up quite well when I have you in an upright position. They are also helping you roll over from your back to your belly! I have a feeling that you are going to be an early crawler/walker!

You are exploring your voice right now as you squeal with delight to anyone who will listen. Like your mom and dad, you are a very social creature and you have a big smile for anyone who approaches you. I can tell that you like the attention...You go, girl! : )

You seem to have a wonderful disposition, my sweet Audrey...and, with those looks, the boys just better watch out when you grow up....that's all I can say!

Again, I left you all with a heavy, but filled, heart. I have my 150 pictures to look at whenever I need an Audrey and Owen "fix"....and then there are those wonderful pictures that remain in my heart always.

I love you both more than I can put into words.

See you again soon, I hope.

Your Grammie

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Grammie's Home....

This was the view from my window on my flight out of Minneapolis this morning...The beautiful fluffy clouds covered up some of the landscape below that was still dusted with white from the Sunday snow.

It is always an emotional time for me when I have to leave my children and grandchildren...and, this time wasn't any easier than any of the previous times.

On my final night in MN, I got the pleasure of doing the nighttime ritual with Owen all on my own. First the bathtime...then the reading of two books that he picked out for "Gammie" to read. (He absolutely adores books and I credit Adam and Jenny for this love and appreciation that they have instilled in him. Going to the local library seems to be one of Owen's favorite places to go and he even knows how to scan each book at the check out area before taking them home! [Hey, I'm a grandmother, aren't I supposed to think that my grandkids are absolutely brilliant and do things that no other child has ever done before???!]--ha ha)

Of course, as soon as I would get near the end of one book, he would immediately look at me with those soulful eyes of his and say: "Read book again, Gammie". ...I absolutely read the books again and again, of course! I would have read him "War and Peace" if it would have given me more time to spend with him on this, my last night. : )

As I finally tucked precious Owen into bed I told him that "Papa Dave" and I would be leaving very early in the morning to head back to Birmingham. I wasn't sure if he could really grasp the complete context what I was saying to him...but, again, he looked up at me and asked: "Mommy and Daddy stay home?". "Of course," I answered....realizing that he did understand exactly what I said, and just need some reassurance that Mom and Dad would still be hanging around!

Sweet Audrey, at 5 months old, really has no idea about the people who come to visit, give her hugs and love and then leave...but, at 5:45 this morning, as Dave and I were heading upstairs to wait for our cab to head to the airport...she decided that she was hungry and began to cry. While Mommy Jenny was warming the bottle, I got to change her diaper one more time before I left. As I talked to her....I swear to you....she stared at me with those huge, gorgeous blue eyes of hers and knowingly.....


: )

(Pictures coming tomorrow....and in the days to come....too tired tonight to do anything more. xoxo )