Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Mother of My Mother

My Grandma is awesome. 

 I’ve always loved the woman, but the older I get, the more I realize how great she really is.   She’s not perfect, but we all know that nobody is.  When I was a little girl, I remember looking at the pictures in my great-grandmother’s house of her kids, and then running to my mother and announcing that “Grandma is the prettiest of all her sisters.”  My mother agreed.  My grandmother never would.  She sells herself short.  She always does, and looks is just the beginning.  She has a great sense of humor.  She doesn’t know it.  She’s a very intelligent and wise woman.  She doesn’t know it.  I hear stories about other people’s grandmothers, including my mother’s, and I know how blessed I’ve been that God gave me the two Grandmas that He did.  A few weekends ago, my Mom and I took my baby girl and visited my Grandma’s sister.  It was fine.  She is always pleasant to me.  But, I think back on her life, and I hear her stories, and I always leave there grateful that I am my Grandma’s granddaughter and not someone else’s. My Grandma may not be perfect, but she loves her family.  There’s never been a doubt that she loved me, or my brothers, or my parents or aunts and uncles, or my cousins. There’s no doubt that she loves my daughter either, or any of her other great-grandkids for that matter.  And she loves them and knows them all individually.  Now that I have a daughter, I realize how different she is from my own great-grandmother.  She’ll do anything for any of her kids, grandkids or great-grandkids.  She never thinks about what we can do for her, but rather what she can do to help us.  My other Grandma was like that too.  It’s only now that I’m older that I realize how rare that is.  I’ve written about my Grandma before, but she’s fresh on my mind, her birthday is coming up, and I’m so thankful to have her in my life. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spotlight on Family: Brother-in-Law

This little series of mine is coming to an end.  When I started it, I had my reservations.  I still kind of do.  Mostly because these people mean a great deal to me, and I want to do them justice.  I’ve come to realize, it just isn’t possible to convey in words what they mean to my life.  They’re family, after it all.  That kind of sums it up.  You doubt it as a teenager, but when you get older, you realize that nobody loves you like family.  There are certainly some families who, for some reason, don’t have that relationship.  They have relatives that are just not devoted, loyal, loving, caring family members.  I’ve seen it, and it breaks my heart.  I, however, have been lucky.  And, I still believe that I am not in the minority.  So, I will keep up the trend, and tell you about my second brother-in-law. 
His name is Pepper.  Well, it is now anyway.  Our sweet little niece unknowingly renamed him when she couldn’t say his name.  I feel like we have several similarities.  It stands to reason, being that our spouses are siblings, and the two of them have several similarities.  He’s kind of quiet at first, but he’s a lot of fun.  He loves to laugh, and he has a heart of gold.  My favorite thing about him, though, is the way he treats my sister (okay, technically sister-in-law, but try telling that to my heart).  He makes her happy, he treats her well, and he puts her first.  I can’t ask for more than that.  I love the way they complement each other.  The other thing about him is that he’s such a sweet uncle.  Besides my daughter, and our mutual niece, he has one other niece (who is also an absolute doll, by the way) and they all three think he’s pretty great.  He’s pretty laid back, but I have a feeling if anybody messed with his nieces, we’d see a whole different side of him emerge.  Good ol’ Uncle Pepper. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Sneaking Up on Me

This is my sweet baby the day after she was born.  It’s one of my favorite pictures of her. She was just so precious and peaceful (and, if you ask me, looking pretty darn cute for a newborn).  I wish she was still this size.  Except I don’t.  Except I do.  Oh, the conflict of a mother’s heart.  So happy to watch them grow, and yet so sad at the same time. 

This is the same sweet baby just last week.  She’s changed a bit.  Sigh. 
Where on earth did the time go? In a little over a month she’ll be turning ONE.  As in, ONE YEAR, a whole stinkin’ year!  Birthday plans are in the works.  I’m not good at planning events, but I’m doing what I can.  Dean wanted to have a cookout at our house, so that’s what we’re going to do.  He also wanted to have a yard full of grass.  That will not be happening.  With the month of July in our state being the hottest July on record of any state, and a dog who digs hole after hole after hole to try to keep cool, it’s been a losing battle to try and grow grass. Rain would do wonders, but we just haven’t had enough to work the magic we’d hope for.  It’s not going to be a huge party, but I think (and hope) it’ll be fun.  My goal is for everybody to come together and enjoy each other, and celebrate the first year of our sweet girl.  I want Dinah to be able to look back at pictures when she gets older, and feel how loved she was from the very beginning. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Five Observations on a Wednesday

1.       Rainbows warm my heart.  Especially when it’s a full rainbow. 
2.       My daughter is learning to communicate more and more.  When she wants someone or something, she claps & points at it.  I don’t know how she came up with that, but it’s worked quite nicely. 

3.       A 35 minute commute to work can be brutal.  I have a really hard time staying awake sometimes. 
4.       It feels good when you’re working at reaching a goal.  Another indication that I need to set some more specific ones.  I find that I’m most content when I’m striving toward something. 
5.       Singing makes me happy.  I went back to choir practice at church last week for the first time in almost a year, and it felt so good.  I always doubt myself whether it be singing or otherwise, so I was a little nervous.  I’m so glad to be starting back, though. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I’ve been very lax about writing this summer, haven’t I? Apparently, I posted once during the whole month of July.  Sheesh! I don’t have a good excuse, either.  It’s not like I’ve been traveling the world, or spending my days at the pool.  My days are pretty much the same week-to-week.  I guess I just haven’t been very inspired.  I need some inspiration in general, I think. 
Remember a couple months ago when I talked about making specific goals? Well, I have one.  It’s not much really, but it’s specific, and it’s a start.  I walked by a picture in our house of my husband and me on our honeymoon.  As I stopped to look at it, I found it ironic that I was so self-conscious about my body back then, and yet I’d love to look like that again.  So, right then, I picked up the picture and turned to my husband.  “We’ve talked about how I need more specific goals.” Holding up the picture, I said, “Here’s one.  I want to look like this by our anniversary next year.”  I love that my husband is so supportive of me.  He immediately jumped on board.  “Okay,” he said.  “I’ll do it with you.”  We sat down together, and determined that to get back to the shape we were in when we got married, which was about a week shy of four years when this conversation took place, we each needed to lose 25 pounds. 
We have a chart/calendar hanging on our fridge listing our starting weight and bi-weekly goals for the next year.  We need to lose about a pound every two weeks.  I felt better about myself from the start, because I realized although I feel like I’m in awful shape,  if I meet my goal my body fat percentage will fall in the athletic range.  It’s a start.  A goal that’s totally attainable.  And, so far, I’m ahead of my goal.  We’ve been doing it for about a month, and I’ve lost 5 lbs.  And, I have to give my husband credit.  He jumped on board with me, and has made it so much easier to stick to it.  He also got the idea to call some of our family and ask them to join us, so we have an even bigger support network.  Hooray for new goals!  Now, I just need to set some more. 
What are your goals?  How do you stay on track?