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Belated Birthday Wishes

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I started out this year writing a blog for each member of our families birthdays. However, last week I missed writing a blog for our daughter-in-law Jennifer! I didn’t mean to not recognize her day, I simply forgot. Can I blame it on old age?

Jennifer is a beautiful person. She is a wonderful wife and mother. But to me, she is so much more. She is a daughter and a friend. We live several hundred miles away so we don’t see each other as often as I’d like, but we talk on the phone a lot! We laugh a lot and share stories about the grand kids.

Our son met Jennifer on Spring Break many years ago. They hit it off right away. Their relationship was a long distance one for awhile, but it wasn’t long before she moved here from Ohio so they could be together. We got very close while she lived here.

Unfortunately for me and my husband, jobs sent them both back to Ohio. Theirs is a love story I truly admire. Although they live so far away, they always keep their family ties with us close.

They have a tradition with their kids each night before bed to show them pictures of their New Jersey family so that they don’t forget us between visits. It makes us feel special. Jennifer loves family and it shows in all she does.

As I have said many times before, we are so blessed with two wonderful sons and two beautiful “daughters.”

Family is Gods greatest gift and we have been blessed with a great one.

You are very special to us Jennifer! Sorry I’m late with this blog, but always know I love you with all my heart.

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The Little Things

I have seen and heard the saying, “It’s always the small things that take your breath away.” Today my breath was taken away.

It was a beautiful afternoon here so we decided to play outside with our grandchildren, Garrett and Zoey.

While I pushed Zoey on the swing in our backyard, my husband took Garrett for a ride around the block in the wagon. Garrett took the Etch-a-sketch along for the ride.

When my husband and Garrett returned home, Garrett came running in the backyard calling for me. I asked what he wanted? He said, “Nana, I drew this for you!” I wasn’t quite sure what it was so I asked him if it was a pirate? He said, “No Nana, it’s love!” And thus, he took my breath away❤️

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Labor of Love

As we enjoy the last “official” weekend of summer, I began thinking about the fun times we had this summer with our grandchildren.

We were fortunate enough to spend a week on Long Beach Island, NJ with our oldest son Mike, his wife Kim and their three children. Besides how impressed I was with all the rebuilding that had been done since hurricane Sandy, I was impressed by how much our grandchildren enjoyed the beach and the ocean. It was our youngest grandson Evan’s first visit to the beach. At a month and a half old, he handled it like a trooper.

After we returned home, our son Brian, his wife Jen and their three children came from Ohio to spend a week with us. Having all six grandchildren together can be crazy but it fills the hole in my heart that’s there when we’re not all together.

We got to spend another day at the beach with five of our six grandchildren and close friends of our families two boys. It was such a beautiful day. The water was perfect and the kids had a great time jumping waves with their parents and their PopPop. Unfortunately for me I had eye surgery that week and couldn’t get water in my eye. But, I was able to get my feet wet and watch them play.

It was fun watching the grandkids interact. Our four year old grandson Garrett was thrilled to be able to play games on the iPad with his cousin Emma. She is our oldest granddaughter (10 years old). She seemed to enjoy spending time with Garrett too.

Our three younger grandchildren, Zoey, Oliver and Olivia ( all 2 years old) had their good times and bad. Sharing toys is still a little touch-and-go with them. But, they seemed to have fun together.

Baby Evan slept and ate through it all. Don’t worry Evan, you’ll be running around with them next summer!

It won’t be long before we’re all together again…Christmas! It’s right around the corner.

After our time together and everyone went home, the house was quiet again. It always takes me a few days to adjust to the silence.

Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope you get to spend the day with your loved ones.

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Happy Birthday Kimberly!

 

Today we will celebrate our daughter-in-law Kim’s birthday.

My husband and I were blessed with our two sons. We watched them grow into fine young men. I never expected that we would have daughters; however, we have been blessed with two beautiful daughter-in-laws who are as close to us as any daughter could be.

Kim has always been warm, caring and thoughtful. I remember the first time I was introduced to her.  We were at a friends wedding.  My husband was unable to attend, so Kim took it upon herself to make sure I had a good time.  She kept me on the dance floor all night. Sore feet and all,  I knew then that she would be a great addition to our family.

She is pregnant now with her third child and our sixth grandchild.  She also cares for her Mom who has been ill for some time now. She always makes time for my husband and I.  To her family comes first. She is a wonderful wife, mother and daughter. We always feel welcome at her home and never like an outsider.

I know that often daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law don’t have the best of relationships. I believe it’s partly because as a Mom you don’t believe anyone can care for your son the way that you did. It’s very hard to cut the apron strings.  However, as I get older, I realize that the most important thing is that your son is happy. I am fortunate to have an amazing relationship with both of my “daughters.” And, I know our sons are happy.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday Kim. Thank you for all you do each and every day.

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Happy 2nd Birthday Oliver & Olivia

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Today is our grand babies Ollie Bear & Livy Sue’s second birthday. It’s times like this that makes the distance between New Jersey and Ohio really stink! We can’t just get together whenever we’d like. I know for some families they may think that’s a good thing…but not us! We actually enjoy spending time together! We try to get together as much as possible.

After our son Brian and his wife Jen had our grand daughter Emma, we didn’t think they were going to have any more children. Emma was nine when they surprised us with the news that they were expecting. When they had their twenty week ultrasound they called us to tell us the sex of their little one! Brian said, “We’re having another girl.” In the background Emma yelled out, “And a boy!” I said, “Okay, which is it!” They all yelled out, “It’s both!”

They were born prematurely which is not unusual for twins. Olivia was so tiny compared to her brother. However, they seem to have a bond that is adorable to watch.

It was such an exciting time. Both our daughter-in-laws were expecting at the same time with their second pregnancies and due within a couple months of each other. It’s a time I will never forget.

These babies are the light of our lives. We are having such fun with all of them. Making memories with this bunch of kids is so much fun😊

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I Believe in Angels

Yesterday our daughter-in-law Jen,who lives in Ohio, went off to work like she normally does on Monday. She dropped her two babies at the babysitter and was on her way.

Shortly after she dropped the kids off she noticed a car crossing the double line on the highway and it was coming toward her. It was raining, so the road was slick. She noticed a ditch on the side of the road so in attempting to avoid it her Van did a 180. The next thing she knew, her Van was rolling over down the ditch she was trying to avoid. She heard glass breaking and metal bending. All she could think of was that she was going to die.

The amazing thing was that when the Van stopped, she was able to get out without any serious injuries. She was covered in broken glass and her morning smoothie, but not a scratch! She was disoriented and trying to find her phone when I believe an Angel here on earth came along at that moment. She witnessed the accident and went over to make sure Jen was okay. Jen told her she was trying to find her phone, but the woman told her not to worry, she had already called 911. She stayed and comforted Jen until the police arrived. She gave her statement to the police which backed up Jen’s recollection of the events.

On Mother’s Day my daughter-in-law wrote a moving tribute to her Grandmother on Facebook. Her Grandmother had passed away several years ago. They were very close. I commented how I knew she was always looking down on Jen and smiling.

I truly believe her Grandmother was with her yesterday. She was watching over her beautiful granddaughter and kept her safe for all of us.

I know that God can’t be everywhere. That is why he sends his Angels down to help us out! I pray to God every night to keep my family safe. Thank you God for answering my prayers and for sending us your Angels.

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How Did I Get Here?

As I have mentioned before, many of my family members celebrate birthdays in April and May. I celebrated my 60th birthday on Easter Sunday.

To my surprise I was honored by my wonderful husband and my wonderful kids with a beautiful party. I was amazed at how many people took time from their busy lives to celebrate with me the night before Easter. My husband said it was a tribute to me because I have touched their lives in some way.

My uncle who is 100 years old was there to celebrate with me as was my beautiful 83 year old mother. That is truly something I will never forget.

Birthdays never bothered me before. In fact, I’ve always looked forward to them. However, this year…not so much! It made me wonder, where did the time go? It seems like yesterday that my kids were small. Now they both have families of their own. Soon we will welcome our sixth grandchild! How did I get here?

I’m sure my Uncle and my Mom wonder the same thing. But they keep going through good times and bad.

I am very fortunate, because despite having had diabetes for more than 40 years, I am still in good shape. I can still get down on the floor and play without having difficulty getting up (thanks to Yoga and Pilates). I can still run around in the backyard and chase those little ones.

I received a lot of “joke” gifts for my birthday. Two people gave me lollipops that said “60 Sucks.” But it got me thinking, does it really? I look at my Mom and Uncle with admiration and hope that I still have many more happy years ahead.

At this age I have experienced so many things. I have seen many places in and outside of our beautiful country. I have met some awesome people who have taught me about life and love. My experiences are all things that I can share with my kids and grandkids. Hopefully the things they learn from me they can use throughout their lives.

One of my cousins who joined me in the 60’s club in April made an excellent point, he said, “It’s better to be over the hill then under it!” He is so right!

There is still a lot of life to live and I plan on living it. Age really doesn’t matter. It’s the lives you touch and the love you share along the way that matters the most.❤

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