Summer break ends: What changed while I was away

Summer break ends: What changed while I was away

Grandma’s Briefs is back! Yep, the summer break I announced at the start of June is officially over.

While I was away from the site, a few changes took place. Some big, some small. Here’s a (relatively) quick update:

For starters, one blog change is that Grandma’s Briefs hit the 10-year mark in July! Hard to believe but true, as you can see from my very first post, published a decade ago.

Another blog change is that you’ll see a few new faces in the Meet the Family section of the sidebar, those being of Andrea’s new …

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Doing it! Plus, GRAND Social No. 348 link party for grandparents

Doing it! Plus, GRAND Social No. 348 link party for grandparents

Doing it!

Jim and I are doing it. Finally. We have finally accepted the fact the home we love and have lived in for nearly 12 years is too big for us, has too many stairs, too large of a yard, too much space for two. Especially two with trouble walking about.

Which means we are doing it: We are moving to a smaller place… somewhere (TBD) in the same city. Yes, we are downsizing. Though I prefer to think of it as my most recent Silver Sneakers newsletter called it, rightsizing. Our current home is 3,600 square feet. The homes we’re considering…

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How Benjamin rolls! Plus, GRAND Social No. 342 link party for grandparents

How Benjamin rolls! Plus, GRAND Social No. 342 link party for grandparents

How Benjamin rolls!

Saturday was Jim’s birthday, and Brianna and Patrick arranged a family gathering at a new burger spot in town in recognition of burgers being Jim’s forever favorite food.

It was great to have all our local immediate family in attendance.

Kudos to Tyler for managing to get a shot that included everyone at the table!

While we were all gathered together to celebrate Jim, we soon were raucously regaling Benjamin for a milestone move made right before our eyes.

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Friday Flashback: 30 grandchild firsts only grandparents celebrate

Friday Flashback: 30 grandchild firsts only grandparents celebrate

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs April 8, 2014. Thank you for reading my rerun.

There are numerous firsts in a child's life worth celebrating. The milestones Mom and Dad celebrate, though, may be a wee bit different than those Grandma and Grandpa celebrate.

Here are 30 firsts in the life of a grandchild that warm a grandparent's heart and warrant a happy dance:

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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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BTS 2018: School boys and other stuff

BTS 2018: School boys and other stuff

My three desert-dwelling grandsons started school on Tuesday. Declan delighted in taking part in first-day photos for the first time as he began half-day preschool the same morning his brothers headed to big-boy school. This year Camden is a first-grader, and Brayden—believe it or not …

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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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Grandma's word of the day: Local

Grandma's word of the day: Local

Today's word is... LOCAL

Definition of local (per Dictionary.com):

[loh-kuh l] adjective

1. pertaining to or characterized by place or position in space; spatial.

2. pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or particular places.

3. pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country.

4. pertaining to or affecting a particular part or particular parts, as of a physical system or organism.

Local example:

A recent social media post shared...

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OT for Tooth Fairy plus GRAND Social No. 294 link party for grandparents

OT for Tooth Fairy plus GRAND Social No. 294 link party for grandparents

OT for Tooth Fairy

Last week I shared a precious pic of Brayden displaying his first missing molar. Mere days after that post, Megan shared on social media a photo of Brayden and Camden, who both lost another tooth.

One day later, Megan posted yet another photo, this one showing Camden lost yet another tooth.

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Camping on the Arkansas River: The truth about our 35th anniversary adventure

Arkansas River

My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary over Father's Day weekend. Because 35 years together seemed quite a milestone, especially considering I was a week shy of 18 when we wed and he was just 21 — plus marital, financial, and medical BS throughout the entire year of 2016 that threatened us surviving to the milestone — we wanted to mark the occasion in some extra special way.

So for months we considered this and that, here and there, seeking sites and such we'd never experienced before. Then reality set in. Limited finances and limited paid time off for Jim — who started a new job not long ago — limited our options. Being residents of Colorado, though, a state folks come from around the world to see, there were plenty of touristy things nearby to choose from.

None felt right, none felt celebratory and special enough.

We soon found ourselves on deadline for making a decision and reservations. For some crazy reason, I suggested camping. In the wild. In a tent. Like we used to when our daughters were young. We hadn't gone in and we had never camped just the two of us, sans kids.

The idea of setting up camp for two, spending evenings under the stars, making s'mores for us — and sharing a marshmallow or two with Mickey (our dog) who we'd bring along, too — immediately felt right. Felt fun.

It was settled. I sought a site, made reservations. We pulled camping gear from the garage rafters, all stored since camping adventures with our kids. We added to the pile to pack in the car assorted leisurely pursuits. Games to play, the telescope for stargazing, binoculars for Big Horn Sheep searching, Jim's guitar for him to play, a couple books for me to read. We were stoked!

So my husband and I marked our milestone wedding anniversary by camping. And we hated it. Worst. Time. Ever...

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