Tag Archives: grandparents

Say Hello To My Little Friend

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There is something really wonderful that happens when your daughter becomes a mother. You get smarter. Really!

For 5 years past their expiration date I heard “If you had just let me go to this party” and “well you should have let me do that instead” and now that Ms. Presley Layne has hit her not-so-terrible two’s, it’s all “I’m so glad you didn’t let me do that” and “how did you know I’d go there?”

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The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

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The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

When I was 9 years old I remember going to our beach house with my grandfather. It was a special place- built by my Great Grandfather. He called it a fishing shack- a place to spend the day out on the bay on a boat named “The Finnegan Jethro” stringing together enough fish for a feast. (I just realized I’ve always wanted to know where that name came from, and the person I would most like to ask is no longer here). It was a bit musty with paint peeling from the boards that fastened together a two room cabin- but that simple little house could somehow sleep 40 people. Fancy furnishings of the 1960s scattered here and there showed that my grandmother had once tried to put her upper-class decorating spin on the place, and hence the shack was transformed into “the beach house”. Still, it was decorated with little people made out of seashells and googly eyes and strings of coke tabs folded into chains to hold back curtains and hang plants. I can picture my great-grandmother gluing those funny little eyes on her seashell finds of the day.

There’s a story in here somewhere that I really wanted to tell, but the more I type about my great-grandparents (Daddy ‘O and Mama Jimmie) and my grandparents (Softy and Robbie Doll), the more I’m overwhelmed by memories of just how special these people were and how lucky I was to be raised in such a family of jokesters, fishermen, poker players, magicians and fancy decorators.

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Going Under

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Yesterday my son went under the knife. Again. As I sat there in the waiting room, I couldn’t help but go back in time. It was almost exactly 16 years ago the first time we did this.

February had brought me a bouncing baby boy a few weeks early, but by March he had a collection of prescriptions. Acid reflux was the first diagnosis. Then there was the asthma and the breathing treatments and the questions of other possible problems, but it was the vomiting I was most worried about.
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Welcome to the World

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The other day was my birthday…. and I’ll tell you, I’m officially 38 years old! I hear a lady doesn’t tell her age, but I’m proud to be this old. When I turn 40, there will be no black balloons, no tombstones, no sad faces… Sure, I’d love to go back to the 15 year old figure I once sported that lacked gray hair or fine lines, but where’s the character in that?  I earned every single one of these gray hairs, including the three I plucked out last week.

Getting older doesn’t bother me, but another year without my birthday buddy, that makes me sad. This year, instead of the flood of tears, I tried to hear his jokes in everything I said or did. It kind of helped. OK, there were still some tears. I believe some people touch our lives so deeply and there is no real recovery from that loss. The hole never heals, you just learn to function with a gaping wound in your heart. My grandfather was that man.

Our last dinner at Loma Linda's

Our last dinner at Loma Linda’s

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite

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An old friend stopped by today. I used to babysit his kids when they were little. Now they’re all big, almost done with high school, and he actually said “I remember looking at this and wondering how I was gonna do it, and now, it’s done!” Yes my friend, it’s done. For you anyway, I still have a few more to go. It had me thinking again, about life and how fast it changes. Read the rest of this entry

Bonus Mom

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“BONUS MOM.” That’s what my step-sister has always called my mom.  I never gave it much thought really but today I’m thinking I really like that way of looking at it.

I’m one of those people with a family tree so tangled you could know me ten years and all not have it figured out but basically I have 5 sisters. I have two “real” sisters, two step-sisters from my dad’s house and one from my mom’s house. Yep, pretty much all girls.

As a child I wasn’t too happy that my parents were divorced.  I was even more unhappy that they entertained thoughts of get remarried.  It’s hard to believe how long ago that was.

What can I say, it was the 80s!

What can I say, it was the 80s!

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3 Legged Luck

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So it’s midnight, and I’m folding clothes because, as usual, I am mountains behind on the laundry. I keep praying for the laundry fairy to show up and get it all done for me, but the only laundry fairy I can dream of is my sister, and she is facing her 16th brain surgery in two weeks, so I doubt she’s up for conquering my mountain. She does, however, iron so nicely…

Sometimes when I’m climbing the mountain of stinky smelly little boy clothes piled in my laundry room, I catch myself daydreaming about this commercial they had when I was a kid. I think it was ALL detergent, but the clothes flew through the house, into the washer, and came out clean! Why can’t my clothes take flight? I’d love that. Laundry is such my nemesis that the other day my mother posted this on Facebook: Read the rest of this entry

It’s been one year…

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I was just staring at my Facebook page, thinking how glad I am to have my internet up and running, wondering ‘what could I post today?’ when suddenly it occurred to me, it’s our Adopt-iversary! Exactly one year ago today we stood in front of a judge and he said that we were officially a family!

Our first family vacation!

Our first family vacation!

I can’t lie, it’s not all sunshine and roses! There are moments when everyone is crying and I have no idea why or how to get even one of them to stop. There are times when the big boys are beating up the little boys just for the thrill of seeing someone try to hide under the bed. The biggest challenge has got to be pure logistics! We used to be spontaneous! We would jump in the car, pop up and visit old friends, take a spur-of-the-moment road-trip, and just spend our days with no plans! Read the rest of this entry

In my dreams…

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My grandpa always promised that he would visit me in my dreams when he died, so I can’t help but think every time I dream of him that he’s here for a little visit. I find it strangely comforting. It doesn’t happen as often as I wish it would, but the other morning I was feeling bad and after I took the kids to school I laid back down in my bed and pulled my down comforter up over my head. Before long, he was standing there.

This dream was pretty strange though, because I had two grandpa’s growing up. I guess most people have two grandpa’s, but usually it’s Mom’s dad and Dad’s dad. I had my mom’s dad and my step-mom’s dad because my dad lost his parents when he was really young. So I was lucky that I got an extra grandpa in there somewhere. Both of them were very charismatic people, well-loved by all who knew them. I was really close to my mom’s dad. I named him “Softy” when I was 8-years-old and that turned into the name everyone called him, and I was born on his birthday, which was really special. My other grandpa, Grandpa Smith, owned the Salado Dairy Queen and he spoiled us with ice cream all the time. They both died within about a year of one another, so I haven’t had a grandpa in a long time. In this dream, my mom wanted a drink from Salado Dairy Queen, but she didn’t want to get out of her car, so I went in to get it and when I came back out, I told my mom “we can get a free drink, this is still my grandpa’s Dairy Queen”. The mention of that grandpa reminded me how much I missed Softy, and then all of a sudden he was there, but here’s the strange part. He was holding a brochure. In it the question was asked “How much are you still here?” Read the rest of this entry

Manic Madness

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The past few weeks I’ve been buried alive. Between the kids, the house, football season, going back to work and completing a few monumental tasks, I’ve barely had time to breathe, but I try to remind myself to take a few deep breaths anyway!

Take last Tuesday for instance. My younger son had a dr’s appointment in Temple (about an hour’s drive). Dropping off a shirt to my middle child sent me on a detour when I found out he had been given 2 days detention for HELPING another student! No, he wasn’t helping him fall into a toilet, he actually helped him by removing the drum stick from a tuba mouthpiece during band class. And no, he wasn’t the kid who shoved the drumstick in the mouthpiece. So I paid a little visit to the teacher and the principal. The teacher didn’t know the reason my son was out of his seat, and he didn’t apologize for his mistake either. Nor did he remove the detention. Since when do grown-ups think that they are perfect? And why does a child never deserve an apology? Hey, I’ve falsely accused a child or two in my time, but dang, I do know how to say “my bad”… Read the rest of this entry