Bits of Celebration

celebrate new

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

What do taxes, writing workshop, words on classroom walls, and Allie (my daughter-in-law) have in common? They are bits of celebrations I noticed this week.

Taxes seem like an odd celebration, and for many years it was a time of pulling hair and gnashing of teeth. That is no longer true.  Mine are finished and sent away, but I did not have to labor over the language of the tax code. I know Turbo Tax says it’s simple, but they always asked me for something I don’t understand. I celebrate that someone took my data and turned it into a refund. One day, I will have a surprise increase in my bank statement. I love those kinds of surprises.

The past two weeks I’ve been visiting classes to observe writing workshop. It is so lovely to see workshop happening. Students happily, eagerly engaged in writing. Teachers teaching writing and loving it.

Several of these classrooms have some sayings on their walls I want to remember. One classroom announces “Mistakes are proof you are trying.” So when I make a mistake, I will remind myself, that at least I’m trying.  “You can never have too much happy” is written on the radiator under the windows. Saturday celebrations are proof that there is always room for happy.

My final celebration is that my daughter-in-law, Allie sends me photos and videos of my granddaughter, Clara. Living 1,500 miles away from them makes us miss a lot of milestones in the granddaughters’ lives. Fortunately, Allie sends me bits, whether it’s a photo or video, of their everyday lives. This week they discovered a new natural park. Apparently Clara loves digging in the mud and exploring the earth. She does have genes of a geologist. One of the most recent videos shows off Clara’s swimming skills, when wearing massive water wings. One evening she began spinning like a top until she was so dizzy she fell down. What a joy these photos and videos bring me!Image (11)

Think about your week. Look for the celebrations that might go unnoticed and take a few seconds to savor in the joy.

What a Week!

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

How do I pluck a slice of life from the past seven days? It just can’t be done. Busy every moment, people in and out of the house, food prepared, eaten, cleaned up only to repeat again and again. So instead I will share several photo collages of the time spent with those who are nearest and dearest to my heart.

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IMG_1631IMG_1630As you can see, the cute factor ran high this past week. But my favorite moments were below.IMG_1609These photo memories will have to hold us until we are able to be together again. Sigh!

Text Messages Bring Smiles

The text tone on my phone is listed as glass. It sings a high pitched “Ding, ding” whenever a text comes in.

Previously, that sound did not raise my heartbeat or send me scurrying to locate my phone. But that’s all changed. Now, anticipation runs high whenever the high pitched ding plays. It could be a picture sent half way across the country bringing my granddaughter into the palm of my hand.

Clara was born January 3. We arrived to meet and greet her January 5. We spent the next four days holding her and savoring every moment with our family in California. Ever since then we have only had photos and videos sent via the phone. I am eternally grateful that we have the technology to bring family closer.

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Great grandfather meets his great granddaughter.

Great grandfather meets his great granddaughter.

 

 

 

Staying Connected

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

My phone dings. A text message waits. I glance at the message. I smile.

There is one message that always brings a smile to my face. I bet you can guess what the message might be. Here’s an example:

Clara is growing up fast, already at 9 pounds!

Clara is growing up fast, already at 9 pounds!

Now didn’t you smile too? Let me help you smile a bit longer.

Daddy said it's hard being a baby during the Super Bowl.

Daddy said it’s hard being a baby during the Super Bowl.

Yeah! Football is over!

Yeah! Football is over!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being 1,600 miles away from my son and his family is difficult, but thankfully technology makes it easier to stay connected.

 

She’s Here!

Finally! Sweet baby Clara arrived January 3. January 4, we were in the car by 5 a.m., heading west to meet this precious bundle. Late in the afternoon of January 5, she was in my arms. Words cannot describe the joy my husband and I felt.

She was 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 20 inches long. Hair color is still questionable. There could be some blonde (from her mom), but there is a hint of red (from her grandfather). We will have to wait and see. She was simply perfect. Of course you can’t just take my word for it, her doctor confirmed it a few days later.

We were able to spend several days with the newest family member, lots of cuddling time. Why put this baby in a bassinet when there are arms ready, willing, and able to hold her.

It was tough to leave, but we had to return to our daily life and the new family needed time to create their new normal. I know she will be so different every time we return. I can’t wait to go back!

Isn't she the sweetest?

Isn’t she the sweetest?

Waiting Is Not Easy

Mo Willems has the perfect title for my life right now.

waitingI feel a lot like Gerald. In this book, as he continually exclaims waiting is too hard. I feel the same way, waiting for a baby to make her appearance.

Every day I wake up and think, maybe this is the day Clara will be born. Then as I go to bed at night, I sigh and think, maybe tomorrow will be the day.

Waiting is hard, especially when you are 1,500 miles away. I know that each day brings us one day closer to this birthday. I move through the motions of daily life in anticipation of a sudden departure. My refrigerator is not stocked. Food preparation is whatever we have on hand or in the pantry. My bag is packed, the gifts are collected and ready to be loaded in the car. All I need is a phone call.

I’m a bit worried that the weather will prevent us from leaving to meet this granddaughter. My husband has been watching the route we take, it doesn’t look like pleasant weather in a few days. So we wait, and wait, and wait a bit longer.

I agree with Gerald, waiting is HARD!

The Best Surprise

The last few months, I get this panicked feeling every Monday evening. I sift through the events of my week looking for a nugget that might be of interest to someone. Thinking, how can I expand a moment into a blog worthy post? I don’t know what has happened, but my life seems to have slowed down. I work at my desk. I fix dinner. I watch TV while reading on-line and interacting via games on the internet in the evening. I go to bed. Repeat, day after day.

Where will my slice come from, I worry. Maybe I will skip this week, I think. But then I read slices and I find myself at the computer tapping out my thoughts. So once again, no thought of a slice until I read an email from Oprah titled 11 Things Every Woman Should Write Down Before the Year Ends. I clicked on the link, curious as to what every woman should write down and found my nugget for today. It was #8 The Best Surprise You’ve Ever Had. The caption under the title said, “There’s no better way to celebrate the rich, full life you’ve lived so far—and the big, bright future ahead—than telling your story.”

An example was given, a 40th birthday party. That brought back memories. I did have a fabulous 40th birthday party. It was a party that included a pina colada in a pineapple with a paper umbrella and hula dancing men wearing coconut bras. But that was not the best surprise ever.

Here is the best surprise, ever:

Mike, my husband, and I were on our way to a Ben Folds concert in June. We had purchased these tickets months before. We only knew Ben Folds from his role on the TV show The Sing-Off. Since we enjoyed his humor and comments, we decided to see what he would do in a live performance.

It was a Sunday, late afternoon, a time when my son might place his weekly call to me. Just as we were parallel parking, my phone rang with the unique ringtone indicating it was David. Since we were in the car, the phone went right to bluetooth, so we could both chat with David.

After a few minutes of chatting, catching up on everyday happenings David said, “I have something to tell you.” My heart dropped, those words often indicated that something was not right in his world. But the next two words were the best surprise ever. Words I didn’t ever think I would hear. “Allie’s pregnant.”

The feeling of worry and dread exploded into joy that cannot be described. We had a baby coming into our life! I cannot wait for this baby girl to arrive! (due date: Jan. 1) So here’s to the big, bright future ahead as our family grows.:-)