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The Dance

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I came across a card today which was tucked away in a drawer. It was from my Dad on Valentine’s Day many years ago. He never forgot my Mom or my sister, brother and I on that special day each year.

Finding that card today reminded me how special the relationship is between a daughter and her Dad. He is her first hero and her first Valentine.

We can see how our granddaughter’s melt our son’s and their Pop Pop’s hearts. You can say, “They are wrapped around their fingers.” (However, I must admit our grandson’s have me wrapped around their fingers!)

Our son and many Dad’s across the Country will be taking their daughters to Father-Daughter dances this weekend. I know our granddaughter’s are so excited to be going to the dance tonight with their “Daddy.” They have their pretty dresses picked out and are ready to go. They will be making memories that they will keep in their hearts forever.

They didn’t have those dances in school when I was growing up. But it seems like such a beautiful thing to do and gives Dad’s and their daughters a special memory. It also gives Mom’s and their son’s a special time to share:-)

Happy Valentine’s Day to all Mom’s and Dad’s, son’s and daughter’s husband’s and wives, and lovers all over the world. Enjoy the dance, it will be a memory that will live on forever.

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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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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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Happy 4th Birthday Garrett!

Four years ago we welcomed this little guy into our lives. He is the second oldest of our five grandchildren.

From the moment we saw him we knew he was going to be something special. He was trying to roll over in his bassinet a few hours after he was born.

At two and a half he taught his Pop Pop and I how to use our new iPhones! Of course he knew exactly which App’s to download to our phones. The App’s that would benefit him while we were cooped up in the house on those cold nasty days.

He is a wiz at all the Lego games for the Wii. If we can’t keep up with him, he simply drops us out. He loves to sit next to me on the couch and watch the gamers play the Lego games on You Tube. He gently takes my arm and puts it around him so he can sit as close to me as possible. He knows how to melt my heart.

This little boy is so full of love and life. He can be so silly and loves to make us laugh. He puts a smile on my face each time I see him. He loves his little sister and is excited about his baby brother who will join their family this summer.

It’s funny how different each one of our grandchildren are. They all have something about them that make them so special and oh so easy to love.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.

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Happy Birthday Son!

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As you may have realized, our family celebrates a lot of birthdays this time of year.

Today we celebrated our son Mike’s birthday. He is the oldest of our two sons. He is a kind soul, an awesome son, husband and father.

Mike was born on Holy Thursday 38 years ago. His birth was truly a miracle for his Dad and I. We had a difficult time conceiving him. One day after confiding to my Mom, she suggested I begin a Novena to St. Theresa. She told me that if my prayer was to be answered I would receive a rose.

I began the Novena several days later. I told no one about it, not even my husband. A short time after I completed the Novena, a young girl whom neither my husband nor I knew came skipping down our sidewalk. She had a rose in her hand and tossed it in our yard. My husband picked up the rose and brought it to me. He asked me if I knew who the girl was. We hadn’t recognized her as being one of the neighborhood children.

A few weeks later we learned that we were expecting! It was a joyous but scary time. Being pregnant thirty-eight years ago with diabetes was a little complicated. I had several hospital visits due to highs and lows. Fortunately I was blessed with great doctors who followed me closely and were proactive with my care.

Six weeks prior to my May due date, I was admitted back into the hospital. It was getting harder to control my blood sugar. The c-section was scheduled the day after I was admitted. We had a healthy baby boy and I suffered no further complications.

The fact that our son was born during Holy Week spoke volumes to me. I still pray to St. Theresa every day. Our son was a gift from God and a true blessing to us. He was the start of our beautiful family. Happy Birthday Son!

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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 course😋

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 personal😷

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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My New Sofa

Last week we had a new sofa delivered. After months of waiting it finally arrived.

My friend and fellow blogger Lily, @lookinginwardwithlily,convinced me I should write about my old sofa. At first I thought that was silly but then I decided she may be right.

Although furniture, houses, cars, etc. don’t have feelings, they hold a lot of memories for us. I remember how sad I was when we sold our old Chevy Astro van because we had so many good times with our boys with that van. Camping trips, vacations, shopping trips, sporting events. The list goes on.

I remember all the relatives and friends who have made themselves comfortable on that old sofa. I remember all the laughs and tears that have been shed on that sofa. I remember sitting on that sofa with my husband talking about our future and about how blessed we are in our lives.

I thought about how our granddaughter Emma always enjoyed standing on the sofa to play with the knick knacks I have on the shelf behind it when she was a toddler. Her brother, sister and cousins do the same thing.

Our grandson Garrett and Granddaughter Zoey spent many hours on that sofa playing with our iPhones and iPads. And course it was always the perfect spot for them (and their Pop Pop) to take their afternoon naps together.

Yes, that old sofa holds a lot of memories for us. I hope the new sofa will give us a new set of memories.

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