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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In other news: On Botox, Thailand, and ALS

In other news: On Botox, Thailand, and ALS

In the first post I published here after returning from summer break, I shared a recap of some of the bigger changes that took place while I was away from the blog.

I didn’t tell you everything, though. A couple happenings just didn’t seem to fit in the bits I previously passed along. Those being the following…

BOTOX

I got Botox shots in June! In my …

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So much to say

So much to say

When I was growing up, my mom and I didn’t talk much. At least not about big things, important matters mothers and daughters should discuss. No talks about girl things, God things, goals, dreams, birds, bees, boys.

The reason our communication focused only on surface stuff is debatable. My introversion? Mom’s aversion to uncomfortable truths? Her (justified) preoccupation with raising seven kids mostly on her own?

Whatever the reason, I promised myself…

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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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Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin!

My long-awaited (local) grandson has arrived! Last Wednesday, in fact. As his entry into the world—and Mama Brianna’s arms—didn’t go quite as planned, I’ve followed Brianna’s and Patrick’s lead in delaying celebratory announcements online and otherwise.

Jim and I did get to meet the amazing bundle of joy while word was still under wraps, though. (A true perk of being local grandparents for the first time!)

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Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic!

James had his last regular season football game on Saturday and when Brianna came over before we all headed to the game—one determining whether James and his teammates make the league playoffs—I asked Brianna to pose for a final pre-baby pic.

With induction scheduled for Thursday, this is surely the peak of pregnancy for my girl, the final photo before baby arrives.

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And the little one said: ‘Lemme out!’

And the little one said: ‘Lemme out!’

Conditions are getting quite cramped for my youngest grandson. During yesterday’s ultrasound—photos for which are far more distinct than last week’s ultrasound—there was one hand nearing the little guy’s face… and (not visible in this printout) a foot pressed up against his forehead, according to the technician. Quite a feet, er, feat!

The limited space must be why Mama Brianna experienced such mighty movement from the nearly newborn contortionist on Monday…

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Grandbaby ETA draws near

Grandbaby ETA draws near

Brianna is officially at 37 weeks and two days today. Yesterday I had the privilege of attending one of her final ultrasound appointments—an exciting opportunity for me, considering my first three grandbabies were born 815 miles away, making this my first such experience.

I got to watch Brianna undergo a neonatal…

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Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real

My mom is struggling to survive stage 3 lung cancer. My firstborn will soon deliver her firstborn any day now. Somewhere in between my utter despair regarding the one end of life’s spectrum and my sheer delight related to the other is the space where I, a writer and blogger, should be writing and blogging.

But I don’t feel like…

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Baby shower, with Pinterest upgrades! Plus, GRAND Social No. 320 link party for grandparents

Baby shower, with Pinterest upgrades! Plus, GRAND Social No. 320 link party for grandparents

Baby shower… with Pinterest upgrades!

In the preamble to last week’s GRAND Social link party, I noted that I’d had a busy day the day before. The reason for the busy-ness was Brianna’s baby shower! It turned out to be a lovely baby shower—thanks in large part to all the pinning Brianna (and I, admittedly) had done pre-party planning.

I hosted Megan’s baby shower more than 10 years ago—long before Pinterest appeared and upped the ante on entertaining. Megan’s shower was nice. But, gee whiz, thanks to Pinterest, the bar has been raised since those long-gone days of simply serving up punch, cake, shower decor, and a few silly shower games.

Here are a few of the Pinterest-inspired creations I (with help from Andrea and Megan, who flew in for the weekend) managed to pull off for Brianna’s fall-themed affair…

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(Baby) things are getting real! Plus, GRAND Social No. 314 link party for grandparents

(Baby) things are getting real! Plus, GRAND Social No. 314 link party for grandparents

(Baby) things are getting real!

My daughter Brianna is well into her third trimester, and things are finally getting real in terms of it seeming like a baby really, truly will arrive soon. She and Patrick completed their birthing classes last week, and they worked diligently on the nursery over the weekend in preparation for their baby boy's October arrival.

On my end, there was this yesterday, which I posted on social media... and which I can't write much on now because it makes me tear up all over again.

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Gramma goes tubing

Gramma goes tubing

Despite having been born in Minnesota and living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes the first decade of my life, I'm not big on water sports. To any degree. I still don't know how to swim... even after having swim lessons as a child and again at 40 years old.

I'm not deathly afraid of water, but I certainly don't seek out splishy-splashy fun in water over my head. Not even water up to my chest, to be honest.

So it should come as no surprise that I've never whiled away hours in an inner tube on a lake. Nor have I engaged in tubing…

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