Grilled Grandma: Grandma Holly


How many children do you have? 
Two daughters and two sons-in-law, who are really sons

How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
Five. Three girls and two boys
From oldest daughter: Scott age 7 and Charlotte age 5
From younger daughter: Peyton age 8, Brendan age 3, and Cameron age 20 months

What do your grandchildren call you?

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother?
That my daughter and granddaughter would both be ok, as my daughter had recently suffered a pulmonary embolism.


How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
At least once a week, usually twice.

What is the best thing about being a grandma?
When they run to you with arms outstretched, exclaiming, “Grandma!!!”

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
Keeping up with five little people under the age of 8. Stamina is required!

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. 
My 3-year-old grandson likes to play the “tickle” game; he tickles me, I tickle him and he erupts into belly laugh giggles. You just can’t help laughing out loud. It’s the simple things.


What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? 
Pasta Wednesday. Twice a month, I have all five for dinner (no parents invited). We do crafts, make dinner, have movie nights, learn geography and culture of other countries, go on picnics and have special holiday celebrations. I’ve suspended it for a couple of months because I have been in the middle of two moves, and the kids all miss it. We’ll be starting up again soon.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
Playing with them, reading to them, swimming (we live in Arizona): and listening to their adventures.

What/where has been your favorite family vacation?
There are two. We took everyone on a cruise when the two oldest grandkids were just toddlers, and 2 years later rented a beach house in California and visited Legoland, Sea World and of course the Mouse!
My husband has since passed away so everything needs to be scaled back now. But as each grandchild turns 8, I will take them on a special trip, just the two of us. This spring, my granddaughter and I are going on a four-day cruise; next fall I plan on taking my grandson to the Houston Space Center.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?
It’s not really an issue, since I see them often.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
Resiliency. It seems to come naturally to kids, but you have to work at it when you get older. The other thing would be the love of travel. One can learn so much about the world and others by traveling as much as possible.


What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?
To enjoy every moment and write things down. They grow up too fast.

What is one thing (or more) you're proud to say you do right as a grandma?
They all know I give them unconditional love, and I am happy that I am involved in their every day lives.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
Cuddle and rock them. There is no better feeling than a new baby on your shoulder.

Is there anything else you would you like to add about being a grandmother?
After my husband passed away unexpectedly last year, my five grandkids, as young as they were, seemed to sense the hard time I was going through. Their total, unconditional love literally saved my life and gave me reason to get up every morning.


Do you have a website or blog? What is the URL and what is it about?
It’s about my journey since becoming a widow last year, and focuses on all aspects of being a baby boomer, from travel to grand-parenting to nostalgia to humor to coping with the challenges that come with the death of a spouse.
Do you have other works you'd like to share (published pieces, charitable causes to promote, home biz, etc)?
I am the owner of a travel agency franchise (Cruiseplanners) specializing in land and cruise vacations for individuals and groups: