Archive for Family

A Fond Farewell

10847257_10154864705160401_3281772053450910475_oToday while I was driving I was trying to remember the last time that I talked to my Grandma.  I am fairly certain that it was Thanksgiving Day.  I called her to wish her and my Grandpa a Happy Thanksgiving.  They were bustling around the kitchen together getting their Thanksgiving dinner ready so we did not talk for very long.  I wished them a “Happy Thanksgiving” and told my Grandma that I loved her.  A week later to the day, she was gone.  Our dear, sweet, loving Grandma was no longer with us.

My Grandma was one of the kindest people I have ever known.  You know on her 90th birthday we all pitched in and got her a Mac Book which she loved learning how to use. Her love of learning never faltered.  She was a voracious reader, and loved learning how to use Google to find the information she needed. As a matter of fact at one point in her life she wrote a letter to The Encyclopedia Britannica correcting them, and they listened!

Some of my fondest memories of my Grandma include-

Her stories and memories of times gone by.  Especially the stories of how she met my Grandpa, and how their favorite place to go for their anniversary dinner was the Dog-n-Suds.

The fact that she drove a red convertible VW bug, and then a gorgeous blue Mustang. I thought she was so cool, and so hip!

We would always talk about gardening, composting and how her fruit trees were doing.  She would always ask how my garden was doing, or what I was planning on planting.

A couple of my conversations around her birthday centered around granddaughter Madison.  We were discussing the fact that Madison’s zodiac sign was the same as hers (Madison’s great-great grandma).  My Grandma kept telling me she’s going to be stubborn and independent just like me.  Remember my recent story about “Madditude”?

My memories of my Grandma are always surrounded by her love of her family.  She would always stay in touch with everyone on birthdays, anniversaries, and at Christmas time.  To me she was like the glue holding all of the extended family together.

I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been included in these five generation pictures over the years:

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4-Naomi's

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Is still amazes me to this day that my Grandma, my Mom and I are in all three of these pictures.  Such priceless history, and such precious memories.   I will miss my Grandma dearly, and hold my memories of her close to my heart.

Sometimes life can be overwhelming.  The week before my Grandma passed away is when our daughter suffered a serious epileptic seizure.  I remember saying to myself I cannot handle anymore, my plate is overflowing.  But minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day we get through life.  My Mom and I have a new saying we share with each other when life is overwhelming us.  We just tell each other or remind each other that “Life is Life”.

We’ve had a Hiccup, It’s Time for a Reset

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Epilepsy has been consuming us for the past few months.  Or should I say momentarily consuming us.  Our daughter Hilary had a grand mal seizure at our home the day after Thanksgiving. This was her 4th seizure in the past twelve months, and only the second time she’s had an injury that required stitches/staples. Oh my!  She injured the top of her head when she fell, and probably hit it on a small step.  Hilary has had a history with epilepsy since she was 4 years old.  You can read about her journey here.

When your kids have chronic conditions that require medication management, and doctor visits for maintenance of those meds, you expect to have a few bumps in the road on occasion.  However,  with Hilary, her bumps in the road have caught us off guard and thrown a wrench in the matrix of our world that was completely unexpected.

Before February of 2013 Hilary had gone 10, count them 10 years seizure free.  That means her meds were working, doing their job, and keeping her seizures at bay.  The seizure the day after Thanksgiving put Hilary on a 4-6 month no-driving restriction. That one fact alone has turned her world upside down and inside out.  The no-driving restriction has taken a big bite from her independence.  And to Hilary’s credit she has handled that fact like a trooper. Staying positive, taking the help where she needs to, and just getting through one day at a time.

The other hiccup Hilary had shortly after her seizure was the medications that were being added to her regimen started to give her problems.  One med made her get the uncontrollable chills, and then the next one a terrible allergic reaction.  Hilary got a fever and then broke out in hives within 12 hours.  This prompted a second visit to the ER in less than two weeks.  Not the way Hilly had been planning to start her holiday season. The allergic reaction was quickly brought under control, and she was able to come back home.

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As of this writing Hilary is coming up on four months seizure free.  Can you see me doing my best cheer-leading impression?  She is hoping to get back to driving soon, and then she will not have to have her parentals carting her everywhere.  We have had a lot of bonding time recently.

There are so many things we are thankful for through this hiccup of life-

> Hilary was getting ready for work the morning of her seizure. Thankfully she hadn’t gone out the door yet.

> Her employer is gracious and flexible with her job assignment and duties.

> The care and compassion from family and friends helping Hilary deal with her seizure, and the changes to her meds.

>The never-ending love and selfless-ness of her family and friends surrounding her and getting her where she needs to be everyday.

> The love of her very special grandparents and great-grandparents.  She’s a lucky girl to be blessed with their presence in her life.

It is times like these when life gives you a friendly reminder to never take things for granted. Be thankful for each and every moment that is good, that brings you happiness, and allows you to tell your loved ones how important they are in your world.

Hilary’s journey with epilepsy is ongoing, and not always smooth sailing.  But, if our story touches one person or family dealing with epilepsy and lets them know that they are not alone, then our story is 100% worth sharing.

Photo credits: T.Spindle

Capturing “Madditude”

A few weeks ago I shared a story with you about my granddaughter, Madison, and her attitude.  Madison + Attitude = Madditude

Well since that post we have tried unsuccessfully to capture Madditude in a picture that would show you all what I am talking about.  My daughter, Naomi, was finally able to capture Madison in action with attitude this week.  I present to you all the very face of “Madditude”.    I just love her oh so serious smirk.  I imagine she’s thinking, “Does my Mom really need to take anymore pictures of me today?,  Such a bother.”

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Now imagine this face with hands on hips professing her knowledge of the world.  Oh and if there is finger pointing involved take cover or run in the opposite direction.  She is probably not a happy camper.

It just amazes me that at the ripe old age of 2-1/2 Madison is able to convey so many emotions and expressions.  My photography goal for the rest of this year is to try and capture as many Madison expressions as I possibly can.  The family calendar will be amazing for 2016!  Happy Sunday to everyone.  Enjoy your time with family.

How’s Your Madditude?

Maddy has attitude.  That equals “Madditude”!

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Photo Credit-Erica B. (Maddy’s Auntie)

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2 years old + Mind of her own + Independent spirit + Solo flyer

I have recently coined a new phrase to start off the beginning of this year.  My granddaughter Madison, is just about to turn 28 months old.  She stays here at Camp Grandma two days a week.  We have fun together blowing bubbles or getting creative with the play dough.  She loves to go outside, and just dig in the dirt.  Oh the life of a two- year old.

Madison is probably the most  independent spirit that I have ever known.  She definitely has a mind all her own, and loves to be a solo flyer doing things.  And of course I have to watch her like a hawk since there’s so many intriguing things to look at or get into here.

So, now to explain my new phrase; you see when the little person in your house who is only 28 months does not get her way, or has to be emphatically told, NO, that’s when the “Madditude” bubbles to the surface.  It mostly comes across in the form of a scream, or instantaneous crying, very loud crying.

So the next time your favorite toddler gets in trouble, and their “Madditiude”” bubbles to the surface, just picture Madison yelling, or crying, or standing in front of you with arms crossed glaring (I’ve been trying to capture a picture of this with no success yet).  And if that favorite toddler is your grandchild you have to study them carefully because all their little mannerisms will remind you of your own kids at that age.  Precious and priceless!!

Our 2015 Calendar Project Success

The Family Calendar for 2015 has been polished, published and placed in the hands of all of the family members near and far.  This project turned out to be way more stressful for me than I realized it would be.  Setting deadlines for submissions and my Mom helping with getting the month’s assigned to each particular submitter.  Then the calendar pages with all the family members birthdays had to be edited and updated.  This was quite an adventure to say the least!  This is one of those projects that my Mom (or my parents) just always made happen every year, and it never seemed like a big deal, but it most certainly is.

One of my goals for each picture page of the calendar was to peruse the months and check to see that there were no duplicate pictures.  I looked intently at all of the picture months 10 or 50 times.  In the end and after all was said and done there was only one duplicate.  In my editorial opinion I consider that a great feat, and would take on the task again in a heartbeat.

This calendar brings back such great memories.  When all of the kids were younger, and my Mom was doing the calendar all on her own, they would each count how many times their picture appeared in the calendar.  Then they would make a contest out of who was in the calendar the most.  That in turn put extra pressure on Grandma to try and get a good balance of pictures for each grandchild.  Our Family Calendar is almost a 20 year family tradition, and I love traditions.  You can read all about the history of our family calendar here.

Nowadays, quite a few of the kids are contributors to the calendar, and it has made the project quite an annual event.  Not to mention the fact that  when we are taking pictures at family gatherings during the year someone will inevitably exclaim, “That’s a calendar shot!” This is one of those timeless family traditions that I hope will be passed from one generation to the next for many years to come.

Without further ado, these are the pictures pages gracing the 12 months of 2015.  Enjoy!

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