Tag Archive for Illinois

This Family Had a Moment – One Year Ago.

IMG_0011

In honor of Miss Madison’s first birthday over the weekend, I wanted to share my story of how our family learned of her arrival here on planet earth.

Have you ever been together with your family and experienced some news together, collectively?  One of those moments when you all look at each other, and you know in your heart of hearts that you are experiencing a moment together, that you will all remember, and talk about for years to come.

My family had this experience just a little over a year ago now.  We were having dinner together on a Saturday night, actually it was an early Thanksgiving dinner for us.  My sister and her husband had planned to be with us for dinner on this particular night.  Unfortunately their plans had changed and they could not join us on this special occasion.

The other event taking place on this particular day was that my oldest daughter had gone into the hospital early on this Saturday morning to have her labor induced.  Remember awhile ago when I shared with all of you that Evan would be a big brother soon?   Well, this was the day.  Evan spent the night with us on Friday night, and his parents checked into the hospital early the next morning.

All day long we’re checking in with my son-in-law at the hospital getting updates on how Naomi was doing.  I’m sure we pestered him a little too much, but he graciously kept us informed all day long.

In the early afternoon the family members started to arrive, and we were preparing dinner, and getting the table set.  Our family loves to gather around my kitchen counter for all of the snacks and noshing.  It’s always a fun-filled time of eating and conversation.  Lots and lots and lots of conversation.  All in all I think we ended up with 12 of us or so at the dinner table that night.  And in between all of the conversing and eating we are still getting updates on my daughters progress from her husband, Brad.  At one point during dinnertime Brad had sent me a text that the baby would be delivered at 8:00pm.  So, we’re all thinking great!  The baby will be here tonight, and then Naomi will be a lot more comfortable.  She was quite uncomfortable during the last week of her pregnancy, and her mother needed to know that she was just a little bit more comfortable.  It’s a Mom thing.

So after our great turkey dinner we’re sitting around the table – some us drinking coffee, some having wine, some getting ready for pie.  And if I remember correctly this is how our moment happened.  I was on the house phone with my sister in Montana, who could not be with us.  We were giving her an update on Naomi.  My brother’s girlfriend, Elaine, looked at the clock and said, “Hey it’s 8 o’clock, I wonder if the baby’s arrived yet?”  My brother was looking at something on my cell phone, and we got a photo message from “Brad Dad”. It was a picture of the nursery scale with the babies weight, 9lbs. 15oz.  No words with the picture, just that cute little picture.  In that moment we all looked at each other, and I say to my brother, “Is the baby really here?  Text him back and find out!!”  We get the confirmation that it is indeed the babies’ weight, and she has arrived!  the moment we have all been anxiously awaiting.  The entire household is just elated, collectively, all in that same cherished moment.  Miss Madison Kay has arrived.  Woops, hollers, and woots reverberate through the house.  I’m still on the phone sharing this joyful moment with my sister.  My Dad is on the phone with my grandparents, Madison’s great-great-grandparents, and we are all sharing this moment.  From California to Montana to Illinois a poignant family moment.

And I remember Evan.  He was so cute.  He went running through the house cheering for his Mom and Dad.  He was an excited big brother.  As I am typing this right now I can picture this entire moment in my head.  This moment hung in the air for just a bit.  It reminded me of watching a feather float around in the sky.  Watching everyone, and seeing everyone’s reactions.  And my Mom, she had her own precious moment.  She was sitting at the table soaking everything in, and the emotions just overwhelmed her and she started to cry.  Travel Man came and got me and said, “You need to go and sit with your Mom.”  I sat with my Mom, we had a mother – daughter moment.  The day could not have ended more splendidly.

Madison meets her Great-Grandparents

Madison meets her Great-Grandparents

There are always moments in your life that become part of  your personal history, or your family’s history.  But nothing compares to having a family moment, surrounded by almost the entire family.  Savor these precious moments, cherish them, and keep them close to your heart.

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social linky

Some Thoughts from 30,000 Feet

1-IMG_0692This post was penned a few weeks ago, while I was on the plane with Travel Man going back to Illinois to see our family.  I wanted to share it with all of you because we were having so much fun together, and I always love sharing tales of my Travel Guy’s crazy work lifestyle.

June 20, 2013:  This weekend Travel Man and I are actually taking a little vacation trip together.  Yay!!  I’m writing this post from 30,000 feet somewhere between Denver and Milwaukee.  It is so nice to see Travel Man relaxed, laughing, and smiling.

He has had a harried three weeks.  He’s been through or in the airports in these cities:

Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Sacramento
Oklahoma City
Omaha
Denver
Philadelphia
Chicago Midway
Toronto

So needless to say he’s been making the “rounds” so to speak.  He’s been in a lot of airports, and had lots of rides in “tubes”.  That’s my new catch phrase for his airplane travel, or should I say where his office is located!!

He’s been getting a little burnt out on the airport/airplane routine.  He’ll ask me, “What day is it?, or Where was I last week?”.   Thank goodness for our electronic calendars.  That’s how we keep track of all of his travels.

Getting to take a trip just for family and fun is just plain good medicine for his soul right now. Plus we get to be together for a few days too!! Bonus!

Travel Man wanted me to write about our travel experiences on Southwest Airlines.  I’m saving that post for another day.  Today is about how great it is to be able to spend time with my husband.  Every trip we take no, matter how big or small becomes an adventure with him.  He’s a professional people watcher, because he’s in airports and amongst the crowds so much.  He loves to try to guess where people are going, or which person belongs with who, or what their life story is.  It can really be entertaining.

This weekend we are heading to Illinois to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.  We are looking forward to some big hugs, lots of gabbing, and then some more hugs.  My parents are there, and my brother and sister are joining us too.  I think it’s the first time we’ve all been in Illinois together since 1986.

This weekend I am determined to get the story of how my grandparents met committed to paper or some sort of electronic device.  A story that I want to have for posterity’s sake, and for all the grandkids to hear.

More on our weekend travels soon.  Memories will be made, pictures will be posted,  and then the long, goodbye hugs will be upon us.

Postscript: As you can probably tell I wrote this post prior to my Dad’s unexpected passing.  See my post from July 4, 2013.  Little did any of us know that fate brought us all together with my grandparents one last time.

An Unexpected Lunch Date

parental pictureMy parents are travelling across the country this week to visit my grandparents in Illinois.  Travel Man is working in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this week.  Ironically,  my parents happened to be driving right through Sioux Falls today, and were able to hook up with Travel Man for a quick-lunch.  What are the chances that the stars would align, and this would happen.  It’s a kismet, karma kind of thing.

I think it was all meant to be.  You see my siblings and I, and Travel Man were worried about our parentals taking this driving trip.  And to Mom and Dad, when you read this blog post, you have to know we were worrying about you.

 If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that my Dad is winning his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer!!  He’s been doing some alternative chemotherapy since last June, and he’s winning the fight.  His strength and endurance are not yet 100%, but his will and his attitude are at 150%  plus.

Never the less being the good kids that we are we were worried about them taking this drive.  We put our minds at ease knowing that if they had any trouble while they were on the road we were just a plane ride and a car drive away.  There was also this little thing of thinking that we could tell our Dad what to do. Ha!  That would definitely not be happening.

So, as of this writing they have already been on the road for ten days.  They visited my sister and her husband in Montana,  and stopped in South Dakota for a day of rest, and driver’s license renewals.  Next, they are on their way to Illinois to see the grandparents.  All in all a good trip for them so far.  Any worries that we all had we are just tucking under our chairs, and wishing them safe travels.  For me, my parents adventure is  a great lesson in perseverance.  Doing what you want to do, when you want to, and not letting anything stop you in your tracks.

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day.  And I want to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mom’s and Grandma’s out there.  I want to send an extra special package of love to my Grandma, my Mom, and my daughter Naomi.  All important Mom’s in our family circle.

cropped-1-mothers-day-blog-001.jpg

This post is all about when Naomi was born.  The pictures shown above were taken the first time Naomi met her Grandma Joan (Marma), and her Great-Grandma Nehls.  Naomi was about two weeks old.  We were living in Wisconsin at the time, and my parents travelled from California to see their newly born granddaughter (the first grandchild), and my Grandma came up to visit us from Illinois too.  Naomi was also the first great-grandchild in the family.  What a special, special memory.

That same weekend this five generation picture was taken.  We’re so lucky to have this memory.1-811017

From left to right this is my Great-Grandpa Quist, and myself holding Naomi. Standing behind us is my Grandma, and my Mom.  I love this picture.   It is a treasure.

I recently found this poem my Grandma penned to my Mom the day after Naomi was born.  It is such a sweet sentiment on becoming a Grandma I wanted to share it with you all.

On Being A Grandparent

Dear Joan,

I’m glad you were able

To sit at our table

Tho’ Lord knows the time was too short.

And while sleep we were lacking

T’was more fun just yakking

And sharing a generous snort.

 

I know it’s a trauma

For you to be gramma

As for me—at long last I am Great.

And I’m sure you’ll adjust

As all Grandparents must

For it’s really a wonderful fate.

 

When Renee gets to show me

Her precious Naomi

My pleasure will be overflowing

And I’m glad I will be there

When you and Jim see her

For I’m sure that you both will be glowing

 

I called Bobbi and Mother

But not any other.

Remember you told Dad you’d call

I know he’ll expect it

If you recollect it

Is really a first for us all.

 

I hope Grandma Nehls

Reconsiders, and feels

That the trip would be too long and taxing.

If she goes, I will drive

And I guess I’ll survive

But to ride with you would be relaxing.

 

I’ve written Loretta

And I hope they will get a

Day off and bring Dad as per plan.

Other wise I’ll be going

(Lord, I hope it’s not snowing)

To White Lake to get the old man.

 

So at this point it’s iffy.

Let me know in a jiffy

When your plans are all made and you’re due.

And I’ll have to see

Who is going with me

Or if I can ride up with you.

 

I’m glad that your visit

Was really exquisite.

Your reunion was joyous and hearty.

But it’s really outrageous

That girls of your ages

Indulge in a big slumber party

Now I’ve done what I said

With this rhyme you’ve just read

And I hope that you found it amusing.

But if I tried much more verse

It could only get worse

I’m afraid you would find it abusing.

 

With love,

Mom (and Harry)

Anne L. Nehls

On the birth of Naomi Carolyn

 This post has been linked to the GRAND Social linky

Our Christmas Tree Revamp

Yes we have an artificial tree. Yes, I can put up my tree whenever I choose.  Provided I have someone here to help me get it out of the rafters (thanks boys!). My artificial tree has (had) white lights Pre-wired to the branches.  Lots of white lights.  It’s a really pretty tree even of you don’t put any other decorations on it.

It would normally look like this-

IMG_3264

Last Christmas I was having some issues with the lights on the tree shorting out.  We bumbled along and made the lights work through the holiday time.  When the tree came out for its annual decorating this year Travel Man helped me check the lights as we were assembling the tree.  We figured out where there was a bad plug, got it repaired  and thought we were golden.  All of the lights were working, we were off to a good start.

Until……. the next morning.  The entire middle section of lights on the tree had shorted out-again!  Problem is once the tree is completely assembled , the branches are fluffed, and the tree is generally looking good it’s a total pain in the toukas to take it apart, and fix anything.

So, we made the executive decision to bypass the white lights all together.  The white lights were not going to co-operate, and I had no patience for them.  We were not going to take the tree apart, and we had two strings of colored lights to starts us off on the tree re-vamp.  That meant we only had to buy three more strings  to finish off all of the lights, and my budget could handle that expense.  The white lights  were unplugged and we put colored led lights on the tree, our collection of ornaments, and last but not least- the tinsel!  Yes that’s right we have tinsel on our tree.  I’m calling this our retro tree because the tinsel totally brings  back childhood memories for myself and Travel Man.

Of course ours kids are divided on the appearance of the tree.

1-IMG_0067

  • What happened to the white lights?  We changed them up decided to do something different.
  • Tinsel?  Really who uses tinsel?  We do.  Another change to our traditional Christmas.

Grandson Evan tells me last night, “Grandma, I like the tree this way.  It’s really pretty.”  Melt my heart.  I’ll put colored lights and tinsel on the tree every year just for Evan!

I have to admit I’m a huge fan of the all white lights on the tree.  I think it’s because it reminds me of snowy winters in Illinois in a strange round about way.  But going retro with this tree has been fun.  Colorful, tinsselly fun.  Is tinsselly really a word?

So for Christmas 2012, the decorations are complete, and my annual tree revamp is done, and I am happy.  Maybe I’ll start doing a different theme for the tree every year.  All Santa’s on the tree, or all angels on the tree.  Maybe next year we’ll add garland, or the kids favorite garland –  colored strings of beads!!

What your favorite Christmas tree theme?  And was that a real tree or an artificial tree you put up?

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,176 other subscribers

  • 2018 Stories – Back on the Blog!

    October 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « May    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
Skip to toolbar