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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Wonderful Tradition

I talked about Grammy here.  She is one of the best women there is.  I'm so lucky to have her as a role model.  Grammy has a tradition of making a quilt for each of her grandbabies.
Yes, she's also the kind of mom that makes clam chowder on snow days and will drop everything and drive in her car 4 hours if you need her.  She's just that kind of gal.  The kind of woman I want to be when I grow up.

When she came for Thanksgiving this year, she came bearing gifts, Tess and Jujube's quilts.
This one is Jujube's, complete with matching throw pillow!  I think Grammy got sick of looking at the Asian Pezz people black fabric that I picked out, but she never let on.  I love the bright colors, but it's still kinda macho-ish for a studly boy like Jujube.

Grammy says this is all you get to see of her before she's had time for makeup!  I tried to bribe her with soft-focus, but she wouldn't budge!  Gotta love how Jujube followed suit.

And this is Tess's quilt.  The main fabric is so retro and so sweet!

It's a wonderful tradition, and as the kiddos grow, and their quilt shows the effects of years of love, the kiddos start to appreciate them.  16 years later, Sunny's quilt is quite tattered around the edges.  That's a lot of lovin'.  Hopefully I will have many years yet before I will have to make a quilt for my grandbaby.  Cause I don't know nothin' bout quilting!

From the bottom up are each of their quilts double folded to see the fabrics better,  Sunny's in bold colors with turquoise and hot pink, Livy's in muted tones of reds and beiges 'cause I was probalby sick on the bold colors, Patch's with a sun and moon theme cause it was all about "themes" in the late 90's, Boo's with cowboys and Indians, Jude's and lastly Tess's.

Thank you, Grammy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am thankful...

...for my life as a mother and wife  ('member when I was talking about making sure that all you mama's should be sure and get lots of pictures of yourself, for you kiddos?  It's here.  Look!  I didn't want to, but I did it!  But I still insisted on soft focus!  My aunt took this picture and several of the ones below.)

...and my parents surrounded by all their grandchildren at once, and they can still be silly.

...and Uncle Paddy, who is probably my favorite.  But he's probably everyone's favorite!  Some people are just like that.  He inspires me to feel the world with more depth and breath.

...and Aunt Sugar, whose laugh fills a room with joy.  And Uncle John who is Tess's new BFF.

...and a father and his daughter.  My brother and his daughter.

... for my Papa that can tell a story like no one else can.

He is Grandpapa to Jujube. He used to make me laugh with the world's best mustache and now does the same with Jujube!

...And June Bug, my neice.  Who giggled and squealed and wonderfully fit right in with the crazy kiddos.

... and for them.

... and him

... and her.  The eyelashes made me do it!  These eyelashes can make anyone do anything!

...and her.

...and him. brother and his family.  How cute are they in front of their VW bus?  That's the kind of car I could call home.  Wait a minute... that's the kind of car I did call home!

... and for them and that they have each other and will always know that there is one more person right there that knows just what's it's like, and where you come from.

...for my grandparents who aren't with us this year.  We got out of the boxes of my grandmother's Christmas decorations, spread them out, and divvied them up among family.  See that Mr. and Mrs. Clause?  For decades they sat in my Grandmother's kitchen each Christmas season. Now they are in my kitchen.  It is hard for me to imagine these treasures not all together in one place anymore.  I am thankful for all the Thanksgivings and Easters and Christmases that I did have with my Grandmother.

And this is my GrandDaddy's 70-year-old navy uniform.   Petty Officer 3rd Class, WWII Navigator.  It now fits Patch.   I am thankful for my GrandDaddy's dedication to his country when he was so very young himself.

So many things to be thankful for.  I'm a very lucky girl!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunny's Sweet 16

I won't joke around with you.  It's Monday and that would just be cruel.  I know exactly where I live.  God saw me fit to be born in the land of milk 'n honey.  And if that weren't bad enough, I chose to live in Scottsdale, Arizona, a land of privilege and sometimes, regrettably, a land of entitlement.  I don't need my iced venti soy latte to know that.  It's painfully obviously when I go to the bank and try to squeeze my french-fry laden SUV between a double parked Mercedes E-class and a Hummer with shiny chrome bumper big enough to take out a rhinocerous.  I don't see many rhinoceros in Scottsdale.

It's been hard for this small town girl to raise reality-based children in this environment.  So as Sunny's 16th birthday approached, my heart was sinking.  I worried how hard it would be to live up to her celebration expectations.  The sushi bar, live-band, new car birthday party just isn't the kind of mama I want to be.  Financially it's not even the kind of mama I can be.

Enter Granna. The best Granna ever.  She volunteered to be the hostess with the mostest.  She planned and shopped, and she and Sunny talked on the phone and Sunny beamed.

Sunny's birthday is Wednesday, but the party was this weekend.  There was night swimming and a scary movie and boys of course.  I mean where you're 16 what's a party without boys!

And a giggling slumber party for the girls afterwards that didn't get quiet till 5am.  Surprisingly, I didn't find any bras in the freezer.  There were s'mores and popcorn and soda and balloons.

And my sweet baby girl.  My wrinked-up nose, ever so confident, first born.
And no sushi bar.
Now that wasn't so hard was it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The last of fall

Papa and I grew up in an ideallic Norman-Rockwell small town.  It is about 5300' and has four seasons with a mild winter but an occasional snow.  It's only 90 minutes away, and I miss it.  Not sure I was cut out for this city life.  More on that later.  Maybe much more.

This week, we pulled our big girls out of school and drove up there to visit my mom among various other things.  Again, more on that later.

Grammy had raked the last of the leaves into a pile and the little ones got to play in the fall. Here in the desert, the leaves turn in Janurary.  We wear shorts and flip-flops year round.  It's odd.  So the excursion was just what we needed to enjoy the crispness of the season.

Going home is always a little Freudian for me.  You know how you walk in the door of the home you grew up in, and everything seems a bit smaller.  Yet you feel so comfortable and at ease.  So home.  Does that happen to anyone else?

Anyway, my papa, (not to be confused with my husband, Papa) is a collector of many things... old things, things with stories, things under appreciated, pretty things and dirty things. And just wandering around my childhood home, perusing all the things made me reflect on how quickly time passes, yet stay the same all at the same time.

Bonus points for anyone who can tell me where the license plate is from!  And a free trip for two to the Grand Caymans for the first person who can correctly identify to make and model of the car, (...a car that was kinda intertwined with my childhood, and NO!  Once you figure out how old the car is, I'm not THAT old!) Air fare included!  Not really.  Just a brownie point which my kiddos still eagerly compete for!

I'm a Pepper!  He's a Pepper!  She's a Pepper!  Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

The trip left me nostalgic, knowing that "snow days" were just around the corner and my big girls had no idea what a "snow day" even was.
"You mean to tell me they might just CANCEL school if it snows?"
Suddenly, this small town didn't seem half bad!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Photo Gallery--self portrait (parenting in the fall)

If I have to call my parents or Papa's parents for advice on parenting teenage girls one more time, I'm really going to start doubting my worth as a mother!

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