Fall favorites

Fall favorites

Fall has long been my hands-down, very most favorite season of the year.

I’m certainly not alone in my autumn adoration, as there are plenty of grandmothers and others who’d answer fall if asked what’s their favorite season of all.

We may not all give the same answer as to why fall is our favorite, though.

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School papers and similarly sentimental stuff

School papers and similarly sentimental stuff

During my daughters’ school years, I kept all the papers and projects they brought home from school. Everything. Spelling tests, stories, handwriting practice (they did that back then), certificates earned for field day and perfect attendance, report cards for each quarter of each year.

I kept it all. Times three. All in cardboard boxes in a storage space beneath the house we lived in for the duration of the girls’ school years. Lots of …

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Summer break ends: What changed while I was away

Summer break ends: What changed while I was away

Grandma’s Briefs is back! Yep, the summer break I announced at the start of June is officially over.

While I was away from the site, a few changes took place. Some big, some small. Here’s a (relatively) quick update:

For starters, one blog change is that Grandma’s Briefs hit the 10-year mark in July! Hard to believe but true, as you can see from my very first post, published a decade ago.

Another blog change is that you’ll see a few new faces in the Meet the Family section of the sidebar, those being of Andrea’s new …

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Grandma Christmas crafts matter

Grandma Christmas crafts matter

The year my husband and I were married, his stepmom, Diane, whom I had never met and Jim hadn’t seen in years, sent us a lovely joint Christmas stocking she had made for us. She also sent an adorable handmade one for baby Brianna, who was born soon after we married.

Diane sent another precious stocking the following year, when Megan was born. And another two years after that for our baby Andie.

When Megan and Preston married and…

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GRAND Social — Grandparent linky — July 9

As I wrote the date for today's GRAND Social linky event in the title above, I couldn't help but smile. July 9 is the day my life forever changed, the day the dynamics of my family forever changed, the day twenty-seven years ago my Andrea entered the world and made it a much brighter, much more interesting place to be. Happy birthday to my littlest of girls who is now the tallest of all. I love you, Andie, and hope your day is filled with joy and laughter, as well as a few oh-so-worth-it calories, too.

July 9—this July 9—is also, of course, time for another GRAND Social. If past link-ups here are any indication, our day, too, will be filled with joy and laughter (and more!) as together we read one another's linked posts. Please join me!

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog specifically about grandparenting, but you must be a grandparent who blogs.
  • Posts shared can be an old one or a recent one, your choice. I like to link up to older posts that current readers likely haven't seen.
  • To link up, copy the direct link to the specific post you want to share, not the link to your blog's home page. Then click the blue "Click here to enter" text below and follow the directions to add your post to the list.
  • You can add up to three posts, but no duplicates, please, and none you have promoted on a previous GRAND Social linky.
  • No contests, giveaways, or Etsy sites.
  • Adding a mention at the bottom of your linked posts, such as This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event, is appreciated. Or, you can post the GRAND Social button using the following code:


<a href="/" target="_blank"><img src="http://grandmasbriefs.squarespace.com/storage/GRANDsocialbutton.jpg " alt="Grandma’sBriefs.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>


  • The GRAND Social linky is open for new posts through Wednesday evening, so please come back to see those added after your first visit.
  • If you're not a blogger, you have the pleasure of being a reader. All bloggers who link up would be honored to have you click, visit, read and comment.

READERS and PARTICIPATING BLOGGERS: Please visit the posts others have linked to by clicking on the thumbnail photos. Comments are always appreciated by the bloggers whose links you visit, even if it's simply "Hey, stopping by from GRAND Social."

Thank you for participating in the GRAND Social grandparent linky!

Photo replay: Run, Andie, run

My youngest daughter, Andrea, set a personal record in her most recent five-mile run, yesterday's Frosty's Frozen 5 & 10 in Denver. With a final time of 42.32, she broke the 9-minute-mile barrier and averaged 8.5-minute miles. Woo-hoo!

Congratulations to Andie, not only for the PR but for finishing 171st out of 714 overall and 17 out of 82 in her division. (Plus, major props for picture-perfect posing for mom mere moments after crossing the finish line!)

Today's question:

If you could set a personal record in anything—sports-related or not—what would you like your record to be?


Brianna & Andrea, ready for Hugo in 3D."Our brightest blazes of gladness," Samuel Johnson once said, "are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks." I learned the truth of that this past Sunday.

Thanksgiving weekend was pleasant all the way around, but my favorite day of the long holiday wasn't the top-billed, highly planned for Thanksgiving Day. Nor was it the day after...or Saturday. It turned out to be Sunday. Unexpectedly. Unintentionally.

My youngest daughter, Andrea, was unable to join us for the Thanksgiving Day gathering because she had to work. We had talked about her possibly making the trek from Denver to home at some point over the long weekend if her schedule allowed, but there were no definite plans, not even as late as Saturday morning.

Then Sunday worked out for her, opened itself up for a visit. She headed home, Brianna headed over from her place, and Jim and I were fortunate to have two of our three daughters with us for the afternoon. And two out of three ain't bad at all.

We played the ABBA You Can Dance video game on the Wii. Andrea proved to be the true dancing queen, Brianna was the karaoke queen, I was the queen of busting moves to my own groove instead of those intended. And Jim...well, he just laughed while watching the rest of us, far too cool to grace us with ABBA moves of his own.

We ate the last of the Thanksgiving turkey and potatoes and more, not at the table in proper family dining fashion, but in front of the TV. We—okay, they—watched and talked about football. We ate pie. We conducted a mini chocolate taste-testing of Lindt Excellence chocolate bars for my Holiday Guide.

And we went to see Hugo, the 3D movie directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Johnny Depp, and crowned with an A+ rating by Roger Ebert. That's all we knew beforehand, as the trailer doesn't come close (thankfully) to truly revealing the tale...so we were all delightfully surprised by how magical, moving, and memorable Hugo turned out to be.

Just like our unplanned, unexpected day turned out to be: delightful, surprising, magical, moving, memorable.

Today I bask in that blaze of gladness, sparked by pure serendipity.

Today's question:

What leftovers from Thanksgiving still remain in your refrigerator?

Soc(cer) it to me, baby

My youngest daughter, Andrea, was a soccer player. She got a late start at the game, first playing in high school, and only then because she wanted a spring sport but didn't want to run track. Her position was goal keeper, a spot no one else wanted. But she was a dandy keeper and even ended up getting a scholarship for college based on her soccer involvement. Our little Andie did quite well on the college level, too.

Our oldest grandson, Bubby, is now a soccer player, starting at a far younger age than his Aunt Andie. The week he, Baby Mac, and Megan visited in October was the week of his first soccer practice. So he missed his very first official instruction. Andrea, being the sole soccer player on either side of Bubby's extended family, gave him a few preliminary pointers while he was here so he'd be ready to roll once he returned home.

At three years old, being ready to roll...or pass or dribble or kick the ball into the goal is, understandably, a foreign concept. Right up there with not being able to touch the ball with your hands in the game of soccer...unless you're throwing it in from the side to your teammates whenever the confusing gameplay requires such.

Bubby's giving it the ol' college, er, toddler try, though, and Jim and I were fortunate to attend one of his soccer games during our recent visit. Here's a sampling of the action (Bubby's in the hood):

Like I said, it's a confusing game, especially for toddlers, I think. Even more confusing when you're the tiniest (probably youngest, too) peanut on the team. He'll get it though, I'm sure. He's off to a good start.



The best part—at least to Bubby, I think—is when the game is done and it's time to collect snacks to replenish after the hard work of playing.

Did Bubby and his teammates win the game Jim and I saw? I honestly couldn't tell ya. Soccer's a confusing game—especially when you're a three-year-old...or the grandma who had eyes only for that three-year-old out on the field.

Today's question:

What is your favorite sport to watch?