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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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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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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Risque rehab

Risque rehab

On Monday I visited my mom in the rehabilitation facility where she’s been staying since an especially difficult setback in her lung cancer journey a few weeks ago.

As I sat on the edge of the bed next to her, we perused the papers left by a CNA which listed various activities meant to get the patients up and about and socializing. I read the options for group entertainment to her.

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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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Flashback: Everyday inspiration

Flashback: Everyday inspiration

I'm not a world-traveler who finds inspiration in ancient ruins, artful masterpieces, or in architectural—or natural—wonders.

I'm also not one of the fortunate few privileged to find inspiration in luculent discourse with the likes of Maya Angelou or other great orators of our time. (Although I have heard in person the likes of Kurt Vonnegut. And David Sedaris. More than once.)

No, I don't get my inspiration from such high-brow—and high-cost—pleasures. Yet.

Instead, I find inspiration—the impetus to be bigger, better, and more than I am—in everyday things. Things such as…

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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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Happy birthday, baby! Plus, GRAND Social No. 310 link party for grandparents

Happy birthday, baby! Plus, GRAND Social No. 310 link party for grandparents

Happy birthday, baby!

My baby girl—Andrea—is 33 years old today!

Thankfully, considering Colorado’s current heat wave, a birthday cake isn't all that important at 33, and Andrea settled instead for a cookie. A cookie that, in fact, was one of those included in the recent Gramma in a Box package I received for review.

On Saturday, Andrea helped me review the July sample subscription box—meaning, she helped me decorate and create a trio of scrumptious sweets just as lucky grands would do were they on the receiving end of the subscription service—and was perfectly pleased with…

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Flashback: 9 things I've kept 'for the grandkids'

Flashback: 9 things I've kept 'for the grandkids'

Dear readers: This Flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs July 22, 2010. Thank you for reading this updated rerun!

My daughters have been grown and gone for quite some time now, but there are a few useful and/or enjoyable things from their childhood that I just can't throw away..

I'm pretty sure—or at least I'm bound and determined—that these items will one day come in handy, that they'll one day provide fun and frivolity for my grandkids.

9 THINGS I'VE KEPT 'FOR THE GRANDKIDS'

1. VHS tapes of children's movies and shows. Space Jam, Fluke, Casper and more. I can't see throwing away tapes I know kids love, but I sure don't plan on replacing them with DVDs or Blu-Ray discs (except for the…

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