Summer's end: Mark it with a B

Summer's end: Mark it with a B

As Labor Day weekend signified the end of summer for most folks — despite there being, technically, three more weeks of the sun-filled season — I must say my summer didn’t close with much of a bang. It did, though, end with a few other B words of note. A few of my favorite B words, in fact.

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School papers and similarly sentimental stuff

School papers and similarly sentimental stuff

During my daughters’ school years, I kept all the papers and projects they brought home from school. Everything. Spelling tests, stories, handwriting practice (they did that back then), certificates earned for field day and perfect attendance, report cards for each quarter of each year.

I kept it all. Times three. All in cardboard boxes in a storage space beneath the house we lived in for the duration of the girls’ school years. Lots of …

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In other news: On Botox, Thailand, and ALS

In other news: On Botox, Thailand, and ALS

In the first post I published here after returning from summer break, I shared a recap of some of the bigger changes that took place while I was away from the blog.

I didn’t tell you everything, though. A couple happenings just didn’t seem to fit in the bits I previously passed along. Those being the following…

BOTOX

I got Botox shots in June! In my …

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Long-distance grandsons: The 2018 highlight reel of our times together

Long-distance grandsons: The 2018 highlight reel of our times together

When grandparents and grandchildren live miles apart—815 miles it is for Brayden, Camden, Declan, and myself—every moment shared is one to be treasured.

Here, the highlight reel of our times together in 2018, including more from the birthday visit to the North Pole with the Colorado clan:

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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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Firsts: Declan and snow... snow... snow!

Firsts: Declan and snow... snow... snow!

Megan made the trek from the desert to Colorado last month, to meet newborn nephew Benjamin. Brayden and Camden stayed home with Dad so they wouldn’t miss school, but as Declan is obligated only to two mornings a week at preschool, he had the privilege of joining Mommy for the visit.

The first morning of their stay at my house, Declan woke me early, bounding into my bedroom exclaiming, “Gramma! It’s SNOWing!”

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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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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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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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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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