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Happy Birthday Miss Emma!

Tomorrow our grand daughter Emma will be celebrating her 10th birthday! She is the oldest of our five grandchildren.

She lives ten hours away from us by car and and two hours by plane. But we are lucky to be able to make frequent visits out there. We talk by phone several times a week and she fills us in on what’s going on in her life.

I can still remember the night she was born. We had our bags packed for days so we would be ready to leave at a moments notice. Our son called us around 10PM on April 8, 2004. He told this was it! Our daughter-in-law Jen was in labor.

I called our son Mike who lives nearby to let him know we were on our way. My husband and I packed a few last minute items and we were on our way. We drove through the night. We only stopped for gas and a few coffee breaks.

Our son Brian called us frequently with status updates. Around 3AM he called us to let us know his daughter had arrived. She and her Mom were doing fine. I could hear the happiness in his voice.

We arrived around 8AM that morning. When I held her in my arms for the first time , it made me realize what a wonderful life this is. She was so perfect.

She is a smart, beautiful young lady. She is full of love, laughter and kindness.

Happy Birthday sweet Emma. Always stay as sweet as you are! Pop Pop and I love you very much!

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Zoey’s 2nd Birthday!

The meaning of the name Zoey is: Life.

Our beautiful granddaughter Zoey celebrated her 2nd birthday yesterday. Her name suits her. She is full of life.

Her giggles make you smile. When she wraps her little fingers around your hand it melts your heart. She is beginning to use her words more and more each day. It is so much fun watching her try to imitate her big brother.

She will get anything she wants from her Dad and Pop Pop in the coming years. That tilt of her head and little grin will serve her well.

As I watch her grow it makes me appreciate how precious and beautiful life is. We are truly blessed to have this little girl in our lives. Happy Birthday Zoey!

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Procedure Day!

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I blogged yesterday about my prep for my colonoscopy procedure which was scheduled for today.

I had to get up at the crack of dawn this morning for my 7:30am appointment. It wasn’t easy to do considering I was up half the night making bathroom runs from the previous days prep. Since I have diabetes, the doctor wanted me scheduled as early as possible this morning.

When we arrived at the office there were already a few people ahead of me. However, I was the first patient for my doctor so I went right in.

I was given a gown and socks to change into. A nurse named Valerie took my vitals and medical information. I was hooked up to a heart monitor and a cuff was placed on my arm to monitor my blood pressure. Soon after a line was placed in my arm for my anesthesia. I laughed with the nurses as they were all joking about the judges they liked and didn’t like on the T.V. show The Voice. My favorite judge is Blake Shelton of courseūüėč

It was finally my turn to go in the procedure room. A pretty nurse and a very handsome anesthesiologist wheeled me back to the room. A few more questions were asked before the doctor came in. When he came in, he asked me if I enjoyed the delicious prep! We both laughed. He told me if I didn’t have any questions for him then it was time for my nap. As I wandered off to sleep, I was facing a T.V. Monitor. The staff was talking about the news of the day and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Toward the end of the procedure I must have woken up prematurely. The anesthesiologist asked if I was okay and if I wanted more medication. I felt fine so I told him no. I then realized that on the T.V. monitor I saw before I fell asleep was now showing my procedure. I had the rare benefit of seeing my colon up close and personalūüė∑

Just like that, it was over. The doctor said everything looked good. Thankfully, no polyps. I don’t have to go back for another seven years.

Some of the patients around me weren’t as lucky. They had polyps and needed to have biopsies done. I pray for them.

The nurse that took care of me in recovery was very sweet. She had five grandchildren like me. We had a lot to talk about, compared notes as I sipped my apple juice and ate my cookies.

Although the prep isn’t pleasant, it is well worth getting it done. It could just save your life. Better yet, you could get a clean bill-of-health and go out and enjoy your life. If your over 50 and haven’t had it done yet, do it!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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The Wait is Over!

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Two weeks ago I went for my annual mammogram. For what ever the reason, I just had a feeling that something wasn’t right.¬† I hadn’t felt a lump or anything, just a feeling.¬† I left the radiology group glad the testing was over, but I had a nagging feeling that I was going to be called back.

Sure enough, last week my doctor called and told me that the mammogram I had was inconclusive and I would have to go back and have it repeated.  The appointment was scheduled for today.  I had a whole week to wait and wonder what the results might be.  Of course you always think the worst.

Having had a very good friend of mine diagnosed last year with breast cancer and seeing all she had gone through to get to where she is today (which is an extremely good outcome!) I couldn’t help but worry.

I have been diabetic now for over forty years and dealing with that is a full time job.  I have been very fortunate with my health thus far, with no complications. However, adding something like cancer to the mix might be a little tricky.

I say my prayers every night, I usually pray for my family and other people who I know need some help,¬†but I had to ask for God’s help with this one.¬† I just needed him to get me through the week leading up to¬†my test today.¬† I prayed that¬†the test would prove to be negative¬†so that I would be able to still do the things I do today with my grandkids. I wanted to make sure I would be able to travel to see my grandkids whom live¬†out-of-state and I wanted to be healthy when our new grandson is born in June.¬†You know, all the crazy things that run through your mind.

When I walked in and the technician told me that they needed to get a better picture, so she was using a smaller paddle for this test. She took a few pictures then said I could have a seat in the waiting area while she brought the pictures to the radiologist for review.¬† A short while later she came back and said I didn’t need any further mammogram pictures, but I needed an ultrasound.¬† The nerves really kicked up a notch.¬† My husband was out in the main waiting room and of course had no idea what was going on.

The ultrasound technician came and got me.  She took more pictures and said she would take them to show the radiologist and she would come in to talk to me.  I prayed really hard at that point.

The technician came back with the radiologist as promised.  She was very sweet and told me that the reason they brought me back was because they thought they saw a nodule.  She said what she saw is a small cyst and I had nothing to worry about.  Be sure to come back for your exam next year!  I was so happy at that moment and grateful for her explanation.  I thanked her and God for answering my prayers!

My husband could see my smile when I walked into the waiting area where he sat.¬† He knew I was okay and was relieved when I told him what the radiologist had said.¬† I let my Mom and my kids all know so they didn’t have to worry any longer.

I know that these tests are scary, but I know how important they are.¬† I guess I am sharing this so if there is anyone out there who is putting off going for their mammography…don’t put it off.¬† It’s better to know then not knowing.

Next appointment…scheduling my colonoscopy! Yippee!

 

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It’s A Boy!

We finally heard the news this week, after 20 weeks of anticipation, our family tree will be adding another grandson.

We are thrilled with the news. This will give us our sixth grandchild. Three boys and three girls.

Having had two sons, I was ecstatic when I learned we were having our granddaughters. I finally was able to shop for little girls; however, I love our two grandsons with all my heart and enjoy shopping for them too. I look forward to welcoming this new little guy into the family.

I want to thank our two sons for bringing us our two beautiful daughter-in-laws and for giving us six beautiful grandchildren. They all bring us so much joy, love and happiness.

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Happy New Year!

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I’ve always thought of New Years Eve as more of a sad time rather than a happy time.

If we had a special event during the year such as a wedding, moving into a new home or the birth of a child, I hated to see that year come to a close.

Becoming a grandparent has changed those feelings for me. Each year brings a new adventure. Watching our children and grandchildren experience new things is a joy to watch.

This new year will bring us a our sixth grandchild. Our oldest granddaughter will be turning ten years old and is becoming such a beautiful young lady and big sister. Our oldest grandson will be turning four and gets smarter everyday! The three youngest will be turning two. I look forward to hearing the funny conversations we will be having with them once they learn to “Use their words.”

The new year reminds us that nothing stays the same. We need to enjoy each day we are given and make the most of them. We need to cherish the memories we are making today.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and may all your memories be happy ones!

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Our Greatest Gifts

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Shortly after our youngest son got married ten years ago, he called one day. He lives out-of-state and since he is a police officer, when he calls it makes me a little nervous.

This particular day when he called we chatted about the usual things, such as the weather and what he had been doing. At the end of the conversation he said, “Mom, I think you better sit down.” I was panicked, I thought for sure something bad had happened to him. I sat on the side of my bed with my heart in my throat. Then he said, “Jen and I are expecting a baby!” I started jumping around like a crazy person and tears were rolling down my eyes. I yelled to my husband the good news. Then my son said, “You’re not upset?” Why on earth would I be upset I asked. He said, “We’ve only been married a few months.” I said, “What difference does that make?” He said, “We don’t have a lot of money, we just got married.” I said, “If you wait until you have enough money, you may wait your whole life. It will all work out.”

It did work out of course. They have a beautiful daughter and have since added twins to the mix a year and a half ago.

We just learned several weeks ago that our oldest son and his wife are now expecting their third child. It just never gets old. Knowing that you are going to be welcoming another baby into the family is one of God’s greatest blessings.

Overall this is the fifth time we’ve been given the news of a new baby joining our family and it is as exciting this time as it was the first.

My husband and I have been so blessed. We may not be rich in fortune, but we are rich in having a loving family.

This Christmas our greatest gifts won’t be the boxes under the tree, but the family that sits around the tree. That is truly our greatest gift.

Merry Christmas!

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“I Love You”

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Three simple words that can melt your heart, “I love you.”

This time of year we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that we often forget why we do all this in the first place. Of course we do it to celebrate the birth of Jesus and our love for him, but also to show our family and friends how much we love and care about them.

The other night I talked to my oldest granddaughter on the phone. We laughed and shared stories. Before we hung up she said, “Nana, I love you.” I didn’t have to buy her anything.

Last night I had dinner at my son and daughter-in-laws home. My little grandson asked me to sit beside him at the table. While sitting there he leaned his head on my shoulder and said, “I love you Nana!” Again, I didn’t have to buy him anything.

I think the greatest gift we can give anyone is our time. Especially children and our elderly parents. It means more than any gift we can buy, and the memories it creates last forever.

So, don’t wear yourself out this holiday season. Spend more time with your family and friends than you do at the mall. The gift you get back will be heartwarming.

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Making Memories

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This coming week my Dad would have celebrated his 85th birthday. Unfortunately we lost him in 1993. However, Thanksgiving was always his favorite holiday. He always enjoyed cooking and making the holiday special for family and friends. He and my Mom hosted Thanksgiving for many years. My kids and their cousins always looked forward to going over Nani Rose’s and Pop Pop Joe’s to celebrate. I remember the laughter as we all sat around the huge table setup for the entire family. The food that came out of the kitchen seemed never-ending. I remember the jokes and the giggles.

Now that mine and my brother and sisters children are grown and have families of their own, it is harder for us to all celebrate together. We will be headed out to Ohio to celebrate with our son and his family. Our son that lives in New Jersey will be celebrating Thanksgiving with his in-laws this year. My Mom and brother and sister and their families will be getting together at my brothers house.

It reminded me that whether we are together or apart, we will be making memories. Our grandkids and kids will remember this holiday for the rest of their lives. We will remember where we were and who they celebrated with. We will remember loved ones that are no with longer us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. I hope that you will take a moment to remember your past Thanksgivings and who you celebrated them with. Make the most of these memories for they will always be cherished forever.

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Stormy Weather

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It was a dreary day here in New Jersey today, but I had no idea that in the Midwest they were experiencing such devastating storms.

When my husband and I got home from doing some errands, we turned on the news only to see breaking news reports on what was happening in the states throughout the Midwest. Several people had already lost their lives and many were injured in Illinois and the surrounding area. The storms were heading towards Ohio where our son and his family live.

We called them immediately to see if they were in any danger. They were bunkered down in the basement. The tornado sirens had just gone off. However, they weren’t expected to have a tornado, just very heavy winds and rain. Their lights had flickered on and off several times. They were prepared with candles and flashlights just in case the lights went out.

The two youngest of our three grandchildren that live there thought it was fun. They were laughing and playing having no idea what could be happening outside. Their parents were playing with them and trying to make light of the situation. Our son works nights as a police officer, but thankfully tonight he was off and able to be with his family.

I remember how scary it was last year when we experienced hurricane Sandy. Although we were all nervous, we tried to keep things as normal as possible for our grandchildren here while we lived for a time with no power or water.

My heart goes out to the families here who have loved ones in the Philippines. It’s so hard to see what they are experiencing and not being close enough to help and provide support.

A few minutes ago our son and daughter-in-law sent us the “All Clear” message we were hoping for. I pray that the families here receive that same message soon from their loved ones in the Philippines.