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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Grandparents’

13 Days of Peace and Love

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Blogging News, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl…

To read more, click here and check out my entry in PAXbaby.com’s 13 Days of Peace and Love.

What I love: two very special ladies

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl.

Our precious baby girl was born that afternoon and immediately stole our hearts, just as her older sister (3 1/2 years old) and brother (21 months old) had upon their births. My parents made the three hour trip from Nashville to be with our older children while I was in the hospital. The news they brought of Mema seemed to be good; everyone thought she was improving and that with time and a change in medication she would be able to go home.

The next twelve days were pretty much a blur of newborn care, mom recovery, tending to the older children, and attempting to get as much sleep as possible. And then, on Saturday, January 23, my whole world shifted as I learned that my Mema had left this earth and gone to be with Jesus. As I spoke with my Mom on the phone that morning, I struggled with many things: holding back the tears well enough to carry on a conversation, guilt at not having been able to visit Mema in the last few months, and a profound sadness that my tiny baby had not been able to meet her great-grandmother.

I immediately made the decision that I had to be at the funeral; there was just no way that I could miss it. Even though that meant loading up all the little people, making the three hour trip, and exposing my two week old baby to all of the people who would be coming and going during the visitation and funeral. For me, this was really a no brainer, the choice between the temporary hardships of a 24 hour trip to Nashville or a lifetime of regret for not being there.

Mema was a very special lady. She poured her love into my life from my very earliest moments. She set an amazing example of what a wife should be as she cared for my grandfather during his years of battling muscular dystrophy. She demonstrated the love of a grandmother in every way. She influenced my life in many ways. Her death is felt by many and by me every day.

Our baby girl is a very special little lady. Right now because she is ours and, hopefully, in years to come because she grows and matures into the very special lady God has created her to be. I feel blessed to be her mother and pray that she is as good a woman as my Mema was.

I did get to introduce these two ladies who mean so much to me, although not in the way I had hoped. Instead of a cheerful welcome into the arms of her great-grandmother it was a tearful, one-sided conversation.

And now it is my privilege and obligation to make sure that this tiny girl knows how much her Mema loved her even though she never met her. It is my privilege and obligation to make sure she knows that in her final days Mema was very concerned about the well being of this tiny girl. It is my privilege and obligation to make sure that I pass along the legacy that Mema left.

Mema, you are loved and missed, but a part of you lives on in each of your daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. Including this tiny bundle of baby girl that I hold in my arms.

Also published at PAXbaby

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New (old) Furnishings

Thoughtfully penned on October 7th, 2009 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, House

Several weeks ago we learned that my grandmother-in-law (heretofore known as Grandma) was once again waging war on the cancer that has plagued her for the last four years. As a result of this most recent diagnosis, she and Papa John have decided to put their house on the market and plan to move in with Matt’s aunt. As they prepare the house for sale they are clearing out some of the furniture and sifting through all of the layers of stuff that you accumulate throughout a lifetime.

Many of the furnishings and accessories in their home hold generations worth of family history and Grandma knows the story behind each and every piece. It has always amazed me the memory she has for such things; she is a wealth of oral history for both her side of the family and Papa John’s. At various times throughout our marriage Matt and I have been blessed by their generosity in sharing these items with us, and, thus, have several pieces in our home that have long family histories that we hope will one day be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Last weekend Grandma called Matt and asked if we would be interested in having a few more pieces of their furniture. The only catch was that we needed to get it quickly in order for them to clear out and stage the house by the time it is scheduled to go on the market. So, this weekend we made a whirlwind trip (approximately 24 hours) to Nashville.

We came home with three new (to us) pieces – a beautiful cupboard/china cabinet that has been in the family for several generations, a lovely marble-top chest that dates to the early 1900s, and a comfy couch (it isn’t an antique, but it is a great addition to our living room!). We also were gifted a wonderful set of white dinnerware and various other bits and pieces that have value to us because we remember them from visits and associate them with Grandma and Papa John.

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful in-laws (Matt’s parents, his siblings, all of his grandparents, aunts, etc), and we, as a family, have been truly blessed by the love and generosity of Grandma and Papa John. I just hope we can remember all of the family stories to pass on to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren like Grandma has.


Thoughtfully penned on August 25th, 2009 and generally concerning E, Grandparents, Plagues and Pestilence

It has been an interesting few days around here.

All last week Little had a kind of random cough. She would have coughing “fits” where she would cough a lot for a few minutes and then would go hours without coughing again. It was a bit strange, but I didn’t really think much of it; I thought it was just allergies or a cold coming on or something. She didn’t show any other symptoms until this weekend when she started running a low-grade fever. Her fever has gotten up to 101.5, but she still doesn’t really have any symptoms other than the cough and fever. She is a little lethargic and whiney, but for the most part she’s just Little.

And speaking of this weekend…my parents (Bebe and Grandad) came to visit. It was Little’s “birthday” weekend (a few weeks past her actual birthday, but more on the birthday in another post) and she had a big day planned to spend with Bebe and Grandad on Friday. Friday morning came, and when my dad woke up his leg was bright red and swollen up really big. Instead of our intended outing he started his day in the minor med clinic getting an antibiotic shot and oral meds for the infection. Over the next couple of days the leg didn’t get any better, and Dad ended up in the hospital on Sunday for IV antibiotics and observation. Fortunately, now his leg seems to be doing better. Hopefully, he’ll be able to head home in the next day or so.

I’ve also been trying to fight the cough thing that Little has going on, but now I seem to have developed an icky sinus-y thing. I’m all congested and coughing and headache-y and such.

We did have a good day on Friday for Little’s big day (minus Grandad); I’ll try to post more on that later. But overall, this weekend and early part of the week certainly hasn’t turned out quite like I thought it would.

This time last week I was at the beach

Thoughtfully penned on October 13th, 2008 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, Life with littles, Of games and good things

Last Sunday we got up early, like 3:30 early, loaded up the car and headed to the airport.  By seven o’clock we were checked in, through security, and awaiting the arrival of our airplane at the gate.  We were meeting my brother and his boys at the gate (they flew into town from another part of the state) then flying to Tampa.  Everyone was excited, even though the kids really didn’t have a clue what was going on.

When we landed in Tampa we were off to meet my parents (who drove down) at the condo so our vacation could really begin.  We spent the week relaxing at the beach, having fun at Busch Gardens, and generally enjoying our time together.

It was great to be with my brother and my nephews.  It was great for my kiddos to spend lots of quality time with us, their uncle, their cousins, and their grandparents.  It was an adventure involving sand, water, roller coasters, and lots of good seafood.

And I’ll be back to tell you more about it later.  Right now I’m off to take a nap; I’m having a tough time switching from “vacation” mode back into “real life” mode. 



Thoughtfully penned on September 24th, 2008 and generally concerning E, Grandparents, Meme, Motherhood, Pregnancy

I saw this meme on my SIL’s blog the other day.  I haven’t yet written out the kids’ birth stories, so I thought this would be a good way to record some of that information.

Were you married at the time? Yes, for 5 years.

What were your reactions when you found out that you were pregnant? We were so excited; we knew we were ready to add a little one to our family.  I was also a bit nervous as I think all first time moms are.

How old were you? 27 when she was born.

How did you find out that you were pregnant? I had been charting my temps (using FAM), so I knew that having a higher temp for more than 16 days probably meant I was pregnant.  I tried to wait 21 days before I took a test but only made it 18.  The first test must have been defective because it only made part of a plus, the second test registered positive almost immediately.  We found out on Nana’s (Matt’s mom) birthday.

Who did you tell first? I called Matt at work and then my best friend, Nicole.

Did you find out the sex? Yes, I think it would have driven both Matt and me crazy not to know.

Due date? August 7.

Did you deliver early or late? a week early.

Did you have morning sickness? that would be a yes.  I threw up every morning and felt terrible the rest of the day for 8 weeks.

What did you crave? pineapple pizza from Papa John’s during the first trimester, anything spicy the rest of the time.  I went through 2-3 jars of salsa per week.  I also had a major aversion to the smell of coffee until about 17 weeks; I almost threw up one night in the cereal/coffee aisle of Target.

Who irritated you most? I can’t recall one person in particular that irritated me, but I’m sure everyone irritated me at one point or another.

What was your first child’s sex? she’s a girl.

How many pounds did you gain throughout your first pregnancy? 24.

Did you have any complications during your pregnancy? not a single one, thank God.  I didn’t even have any swelling until the very end.

Where did you give birth? in a hospital.

How many hours were you in labor? my water broke at 1:45 p.m. and I hadn’t had a noticeable contraction yet.  They started a pitocin drip about 4:00 p.m. and she was born at 10:33 p.m.  So labor was just under 9 hours.

Who drove you to the hospital? Matt.  When I called him at work to tell him my water broke and he needed to come home he didn’t believe me at first; I think he was in shock.

Who watched? Matt was there the whole time and my mom made it into town about the time I started pushing, so she got to see her first granddaughter come into the world.

Was it vaginal or c-section? she came out the old fashioned way.

Did you take medicine to ease the pain? I had an amazing epidural when I got to 7cm; I didn’t feel a thing after that.

How much did your baby weigh? she was 7 pounds 1/2 ounce.

What did you name your first born baby? she has a beautiful name that I love, but we call her Little around here.

How old is your first born today? she’s two years old.

Little was born on her Pops’s birthday.  Matt called Nana and Pops while we drove to the hospital to let them know that Little’s arrival was imminent.  They were at Nana’s college registering for her Fall semester classes, so Pops had to call us back when they got somewhere quieter so he could hear Matt.  I think he thought we were calling to wish him a happy birthday; he was quite surprised to hear that his granddaughter was on her way on his birthday.  It’s pretty neat that she shares a birthday with her Pops.

Memories of Granny and Papa’s farm

Thoughtfully penned on July 9th, 2008 and generally concerning childhood, Family, Grandparents, Of games and good things, Us

As I was writing the posts last week about our trip to Granny and Papa’s house, memories kept surfacing of the times we’ve spent there.

The memories for Matt go back to the beginning.  He remembers when the land was just that, land, filled with trees and potential.  He remembers the steps along the way to completing the house and Granny and Papa making the move out there.  He has fond childhood memories of summer visits, playing in the creek, fishing in the pond, and walking in the woods.  He always said he wished he could spend the whole summer at Granny and Papa’s instead of only a week.

There are also lots of memories that we’ve made there together.  My first visit was just over 10 years ago.  Matt and I had only been dating a few months, and he took me to meet his grandparents while we were in town for Spring Break from college.  I fell in love with his grandparents and their place immediately and am very thankful that I’m still visiting a decade later and have so many good times to reflect on.

This was the place we were married.  In the kitchen we ate chicken salad sandwiches as we waited for time for the ceremony.  In Granny’s huge garden we were photographed with our families.  Under a rose arbor we pledged our love for each other as we said our vows.

This was the place we made our first home.  The first two months of our married life we lived in the little house on Granny and Papa’s property (originally built for Matt’s great-grandmother).  We would come home in the evenings to find fresh picked tomatoes sitting on our back porch railing; we would go into the garden to pick corn from the stalk and blueberries straight from the bush.  We would go down the driveway every Thursday evening to sit on the screened porch and chat.  It was a special season in our life for many reasons, not the least of which was Matt finally getting to spend the whole summer at Granny and Papa’s house.

And now we have memories there with our children.  Little standing beside the Christmas tree.  A trip to play in the creek with her Daddy.  Boo in Papa’s lap.  Granny and Papa loving our children like they’ve always loved Matt.

I am thankful for all the memories we’ve created on the farm and especially with Granny and Papa.  It is sad to see it go, but it will always hold a special place in our hearts.

A weekend to remember

Thoughtfully penned on July 2nd, 2008 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, Summer Fun

For the last 20 or so years, Matt’s grandparents have lived on about 50 acres of land outside of Nashville.  Several months ago, they decided that the house and land were too much for them to handle any longer and put the place up for sale.  This is bittersweet for all of us.  We understand that this is the right thing for them to do, but we will miss the place; it holds lots of memories for everyone.

Fast forward to last weekend.  Matt and I wanted to take the kids and visit his grandparent’s again before they move.  Matt’s brother and sister-in-law wanted to visit too, so we decided to try to be there at the same time.  As it ended up, Lu and her family were able to come to town as well, so we had a bit of a family reunion.

We spent the weekend relaxing, chatting, and laughing. Sitting on the screened porch (in the comfy swing, of course) was bliss.  Catching up with family that we don’t get to see nearly as often as we would like was wonderful.  Having the opportunity to meet our newest nephew before he’s a year old was great.  And, of course, it was nice to make a few more memories (and pictures) at the “old homestead”.

A big slumber party in our living room

Thoughtfully penned on June 4th, 2008 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents

Rewinding to Memorial Day weekend (uh, yeah, I’m a bit behind here)…

Matt and I talked about going to Nashville to spend Memorial Day weekend with family but decided we weren’t ready to tackle a road trip and multiple visits with a not quite six weeks old baby and an active 22 month old.  So, my family decided they would come visit us.

Saturday morning my parents, brother, and two nephews arrived to spend about 24 hours with us.  I was quite excited to see my brother and the boys; October was the last time I saw them for any length of time (we are separated by about an 8 hour drive).  And I think they were pretty excited to see Little and The Boy.

Soon after they arrived we headed out to eat ribs and then came home to visit and hang out.  The guys threw baseball in the backyard (my oldest nephew is big into baseball and quite good at it from what I hear), we passed around the baby, everyone played around with Little.  And with Matt, my brother, and the two boys in a house together, quite a bit of rough housing took place.

Saturday evening Matt and I were able to go out for dinner and coffee.  It was quite refreshing to step out of the hustle and bustle of our life with the kiddos and enjoy some time together.  Thanks to Daddy and Momma for keeping the little ones so we could celebrate our anniversary.

Saturday night all of our visitors piled into the living room on the couch, an air mattress, various pallets.  It was quite a site to behold; one big family slumber party.  When Little got up Sunday morning she decided it was her job to wake everyone else.  She didn’t have any trouble waking Grandmommie and Grandad, but the boys took a little more work.  She climbed up on the air mattress between them and started saying “wake up, wake up” until they roused and looked at her.  It was too cute watching her try to get the big boys out of bed to play.

It would have been nice to have a little more time together, but it was great to see everyone.  Little thoroughly enjoyed the attention of her uncle and cousins!  And now we are all looking forward to the next time we’ll be together, during our family vacation in the fall.

Giving Thanks, Day 9: Family

Thoughtfully penned on November 9th, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Family, Giving Thanks, Grandparents

I am thankful for our parents, siblings, and extended families.  I am thankful that Matt and I can still spend time with 7 of our 8 grandparents.  I am thankful that we enjoy being with our parents and siblings.  I am very grateful that I have wonderful in-laws whom I love and who welcomed me into the family with open arms.

I am thankful that Matt and I were both raised in Christian homes.  I am thankful for the legacy we’ve received from our parents and grandparents and that we are trying to pass on to our children.

I am thankful that our family is supportive, encouraging, and  loving.  I am thankful that we know we can turn to them any time we need them.  I am thankful that they love our child(ren) so much.

Today I am thankful for our family and the time we will get to spend with them in the coming weeks.