I never expected to be so lucky as to have Grandma Ann in my life until I was 32. Most of my friends are lucky to have one grandparent left, while I have been blessed to share many special occasions with 3 of my grandparents. My grandmother was there for my wedding. I was able to be with her in Ohio a few years ago. She was delighted to hear that I was pregnant and share some maternity stories with me. Most recently, I was able to share photos of her great-grandson peacefully dosing in the crib that came from her.
I remember Grandma Ann as a happy woman. Her smile was infectious and she openly shared her excitement. And that enthusiasm often lead to a nice, swift punch in the arm. A loving one, but a punch no less. If you told a good story, or teased her a bit, she’d rear back and give you a solid jab. My husband joked that he was bruised by a woman more than twice his age the first time they met. If you thought the Seinfeld “Elaine push” was bad, you’d best stay two feet clear of grandma’s fist!
The other thing I loved about my grandmother, was her sense of style. She knew how to dress! My grandparents never had an exorbitant amount of money, but Ann knew how to pull an outfit together and wear a pair of heels! I always loved that about her. Even at an age when most women opt for flats, Ann would have stomped a runway in a pair of red heels.
Even though I wasn’t there all the time, it always felt homey and comfortable to visit. And maybe I have a more idyllic view because I wasn’t there for the day-to-day, but that small house in Garfield Heights was a home. Family picnics in the backyard. Chasing fireflies at night. Fresh baked applejack. Lunchmeat sandwiches on dark rye at the kitchen table. The classic basement bar with holes in the wall 3 feet from the dartboard.
I visited her for a family reunion in ’99. We disappeared and wound up drinking 7&7’s at Grandpa George’s old bar. Under the flickering golden glow of old Christmas lights that were up in July, Grandma told me childhood stories about growing up and raising a family in Cleveland. Family get-togethers, Sunday mass and Slovak cooking.
When I visited her a few years ago, we took her to Starbucks. It was her first time and of course I was elated to share with her my silly obsession with coffee. It wasn’t even about Starbucks. It was just such a wonderful morning. Getting to hangout with her, talking about I don’t even know what. It was a memory made of nothing and everything. A very simple hour or so, but a treasured memory that I’ll never forget.
Ann was a real firecracker. Full of love and spunk, and boy could she be stubborn. But more than that, she was loving and kind. She was a cheerleader to her grandchildren and loved her own daughter and two sons fiercely. Above all, there was her devotion to my grandfather whom she spoke of every time I saw her. I found inspiration in her love for my grandfather while I was miserably wading through the dating world until I found my true love. After he passed away, she never remarried. She loved George will all of her being and it never surprised me that she was simply waiting to be with him again. I believe they are reunited now and it makes my heart swell with happiness to think of him waiting to greet her on the other side. Theirs was a love that was greater than just a physical world. Two souls intertwined and forever connected.
Ann, you’ll be missed, but loved far more. Have a 7&7 with Grandpa for me and maybe I’ll hit a jackpot of you the next time I’m in a casino. Penny slots of course.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Last year, I took my mom to the art museum for a special Mothers Day celebration. I’ll admit, it was a bittersweet day because as happy as I was to celebrate my own mother, I still was not pregnant after almost 2 years of trying for a baby.
When we checked in at the front desk, my mom was presented with a sticker to wear signifying that she was a mom. It had a beautiful red gerbera daisy on it. When the docent turned to me and said, “Are you a mom too?”, I hesitated and started to fumble my words. My mom turned and said, “Yes, she will be soon. She needs a sticker too.” She smiled and handed me the sticker with confidence.
We smiled as we walked away and I put the sticker on. Each of us said something about how this year would be the year. It would be good luck.
I hoped. I wished. I thought, “just stay positive.” And when I got home, I carefully peeled the sticker off my cardigan and fixed it to the top left corner of my vanity mirror.
I looked at it every day for a month, and then it started to fade into my periphery. I’d notice it here and there. Sometimes I’d think, “oh just take it down”, but something made me leave it up there. That part of me that dares to hope when things seem completely dark. The part that my own mother helped to foster.
Fast forward 1 year:
Today is Mother’s Day. And by some not-so-small miracle, I will indeed be a mother before the summer is over.
About a month ago, I was getting out my prenatal vitamin in the morning and thought about how pretty the packaging was. It’s pink with a bright flower. I guess RX companies take a lot of time in designing pretty boxes for expectant mothers. Going about my make-up routine, I got to the part where you awkwardly try to stay perfectly still so that you can curl your eyelashes without blinking and ripping them out. And as I stared at the mirror, my eye wandered up to my mother’s day sticker from last year.
To my utter amazement, the same image that I had been admiring on the box of vitamins was almost exactly replicated on the sticker. A perfect, pink gerbera daisy.
Eyelashes be damned. Now I was crying off all of the foundation and concealer I’d spent the last 5 minutes on. Of all the images in the world, and all the pre-natal vitamins I could have chosen from the choices my doctor gave me, I ended up with matching twin images. Goosebumps at this point would be an understatement.
Last Sunday my parents threw us a lovely baby shower. Today, I’m taking my mom to see “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” for Mother’s Day. I think it only appropriate that we’re celebrating with a floral theme again considering it was so lucky last year. Marigolds are thought to resemble the resilience of the sun and loving affection.
And it is with just that, love and affection, that I dedicate this to my mother for believing in my dream, even on the days that I couldn’t and for loving me along the way. This year, we get to celebrate her legacy as a wonderful mother and the journey that I am about to begin which will no doubt lead me to appreciate her in ways I have not yet imagined.
I’ve been dreaming up costume ideas for family Halloween’s ever since we decided to start trying for a baby! Now that the little guy is on his way, I’ve got to get planning for October. I think this one will be a finalist on my list for sure!
Rainbow Brite and her trusty sidekick Twink”: A Halloween Story « pinksuedeshoe.
Did you dress up as a family for Halloween? Share your stories in the comments below
As a child I loved lying in the grass (yes, I did go outside once in a while) and daydreaming as I watched clouds go by. Imagining giant bunnies and whales floating along, imagining where that tiny airplane was going, and of course secretly hoping for rain.
I’m 15 weeks along anxiously waiting for Baby Thompson to arrive. Of course, we’re dying to find out whether it’s a boy or girl, but in the meantime, I have always dreamt of the nursery having a happy little sky for the baby to look up at.
We’ve been watching a lot of Bob Ross lately on 8 Create before we go to bed. On a side note, we’ve also decided due to his positive encouragement and soothing voice, that our child will watch 30 minutes of Bob Ross everyday, but I digress. On Saturday, feeling inspired by his encouragement to make happy little clouds and trees, I set about turning the ceiling of our nursery into a sunny little sky I think Bob would have liked.
Bobby applied a base coat of Valspar “Clear Blue Sky” last weekend. I started out first by drawing a diagram of the room and mapping out where the clouds would go. Mixing part bright white with some of my blue, I set about laying in the base of the clouds with a 4” chip brush and blending with a longer natural brush. Using 3”chip brushes, I added shadows with a mixture of “Lavender Escape” and blue and then highlights with pure white. Then everything was blended in a circular motion with the natural brush. 4 Hours later, we had clouds! I also think I have carpel tunnel, but I think it was worth it!
It’s been 74 days since I got my iPhone. I don’t know how I survived without it before as it has become completely woven into every moment of my day.
I’ve had an iPod Touch for years, which gave me a good excuse not to upgrade, but with a trip to NYC coming up and the looming fear of getting lost in the big bad city, I made the switch and never looked back.
Of course I have it hooked up to both my work and personal email accounts, I love the iPod, and I would be lost without the blue dot, but mostly I am in love with the way that it has helped me streamline and integrate my passions into my online life. I am able to interact with my company’s online fan base in a matter of seconds no matter what day it is. I can share the way I view the world with my photography. I can let off some steam by winning a few rounds of Angry Birds. I’m still after that last elusive golden egg!
For all of you apple users out there, here are some of my favorite apps of the moment! iTunes links to each app are included and most are available for the iPad as well.
Instagram: I am obsessed with this photo sharing application. It’s basically a photo blogging site that allows users from across the globe to connect through imagery. I have been so inspired by some of the images I’ve seen on here. And it’s so easy to use. Simply hit the share button, choose a photo filer and set a blur mode if you’re interested and post. Some of my favorite photographers are @bakerella, @ nejimeji, @fromlondonwithlove, @dailyinspiration, and @prettyshinysparkly.
Here are some of my favorite pics! You can follow me @omg_imsoexcited or CLICK HERE!
Ok this far from a new app, in fact I play with a few of you. Words with friends not only allows me to work my brain a bit but mostly, it allows me to feel a connection to friends who are spread out across the country. It actually brings such a smile to my face when I get a push notification that says, “Your move with Meredith!” And when you get into a round of play after play, it almost feels like you could be there together playing over coffee.
This app has the cutest logo and reminds me to be present and thankful! When things are going well, or when you’re in the middle of a pity party, it’s important to take a step back and be thankful for all of the blessings in your life. When you look back on all of your entries, you’ll realize you just have to look at things with the right perspective to get through each day.
Yes, this famous cupcake bakery now has it’s own app and it’s AWESOME! You can check the flavors of the day, check out upcoming specialty flavors, and even send your friends a cupcake of any kind, right from the app. Tell them happy birthday, or just send some frosted warm fuzzies! For a little extra fun, see how quickly to you can beat the fondant design memory game!
This recommendation is a little timely as it helps me coordinate all of my Christmas gifts as well as throughout the year. With a budget guide and best price finder for gift ideas, you’ll never have to try to remember a gift list again.
I just posted this cute blog about seeing a Claire Burke home spray used on stage in a production of Neil Simon’s, The Odd Couple. So cute. An audience member in front of me turned to his wife and said, “That smells really good!” It was too cute!