Grand greetings! Plus, GRAND Social No. 331 link party for grandparents

Grand greetings! Plus, GRAND Social No. 331 link party for grandparents

Grand greetings!

When my daughter Megan sends out her annual Christmas cards, she typically catches up on sharing photos of Brayden, Camden, and Declan she’s not gotten around to sending earlier in the year. Sweet stuff like these school pictures and sports shots enclosed with this year’s card:

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12 days of sweet holiday treats! Plus, GRAND Social No. 330 link party for grandparents

12 days of sweet holiday treats! Plus, GRAND Social No. 330 link party for grandparents

12 days of sweet holiday treats!

Who could use some new ideas for sweet holiday treats? If you raised your hand (and even if you didn’t) you’re sure to find some sweet inspiration from Sweet’N Low’s “12 Days of Christmas” holiday baking campaign in which twelve bloggers were chosen to share recipes based on the verses of the holiday song.

Yours truly shared a recipe based on the verse for the third day of Christmas! I didn’t bake up any French hens, but I did share a yummy French Butter Cookie recipe—that has less sugar…

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Hosting wee holiday guests? 7 safety steps for grandparents

Hosting wee holiday guests? 7 safety steps for grandparents

Family gatherings at Grandma’s house are the stuff seasonal songs are made of. Grandparents delight in hosting extended family for festive events, no doubt. But for grandmothers and others who typically see far less toddler traffic the rest of the year, the increase in visitors can be a bit unsettling… and potentially unsafe.

If you’re one of the fortunate ones hosting a houseful of young’uns for festive fun, consider making the following alterations while putting out seasonal decorations to ensure holiday gatherings at Grandma’s are as merry and bright—and safe—as can be.

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Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom

Yesterday family and friends said a final farewell to my mom — Gramma to my girls, Nonnie to her younger grandkids, Sweet Ann to her sisters and friends, Goofy (or Obnoxious, Opinionated, Absolutely Off The Wall) Ann to others.

Regardless of the many monikers, Patricia Ann Kelly left an impression on all who knew her, an aching heart in those who loved her dearly and lost her too soon.

A mere sketch of my mama, i.e., her obituary:

PATRICIA ANN KELLY
August 25, 1941 ~ November 4, 2018

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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 we think kids grow fast! Plus, GRAND Social No. 323 link party for grandparents

And we think kids grow fast! Plus, GRAND Social No. 323 link party for grandparents

And we think kids grow fast!

My grandsons’ beloved Roxy past away a couple months ago. As home wasn’t the same without their best buddy, they soon adopted another golden girl and named her Emmy.

She’s adorable and Brayden, Camden, and Declan adore her—as Mommy and Daddy, too.

One thing about puppies is how well they put into perspective how quickly canine kids grow in comparison to how quickly our grandkiddos grow.

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Letting go plus GRAND Social No. 322 link party for grandparents

Letting go plus GRAND Social No. 322 link party for grandparents

Letting go

I saw this sentiment on Instagram Sunday and was immediately smitten. It’s bold and brief (my favorite sort of inspiration) and gorgeously displays the grandeur of fall (my favorite season).

It’s a lovely reminder of the need to let go. And I have a lot of letting go to do.

Much of what I need to let go is related to…

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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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