2016 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop: 13 things I loved plus a few me-loved-nots

Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop 2016 recap

I've long dreamed of attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop presented by the University of Dayton every two years. The revered place writers of various formats — books, blogs, screenplays and more — gather to glean insider tips and load up on laughter and love from folks in their field. Attendance is capped at 200 each year, and I've never made the cut at registration... nor, to be honest, had the money for travel and hotel if I had.

This year, though, I clicked the Register button in time to obtain a coveted Golden Ticket for the event that sold out in six hours, and I eeked out the funds to make attendance at my dream conference a reality.

Unlike many dreams that eventually come true yet pale in comparison to one's expectations, the Erma...

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Laughing Baby... and laughing babies

As a little girl, Megan — my middle daughter and mother to my grandsons — had a baby doll named Laughing Baby. Throughout most of her third year, Megan kept Laughing Baby in her arms or cuddled up close to her wherever she went, whatever she was doing.

toddler and baby doll

Laughing Baby was named such because she laughed and laughed when her...

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Snickers, smiles, and laughing out loud

I'm not one to laugh out loud a whole heck of a lot. I'm a fairly happy person, I've got a pretty active funny bone, but I tend to snicker or chuckle or just plain smile at things that might make others literally LOL.

Except, of course, when it comes to my kids and grandkids.

My daughters make me laugh out loud. Often. Once, when Megan and Andrea (my youngest two) were away at college, they came home for the weekend. The Monday they left, I spent a good while trying to figure out why I had such pains in my ribs, as we'd definitely not done a whole lot of physical activity while they were home. We did, though, laugh and laugh and laugh, and I eventually realized my ribs hurt so much because I'd been laughing so hard all weekend long.

My grandsons make me laugh out loud, too. I think grandchildren make most grandparents laugh out loud on a fairly regular basis. Which is why I ask the Grilled Grandmas, "Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud." I love the stories the grandmas relate.

Because my grandsons live so far away and I only see them every couple months, my grandchild-induced LOLing happens only every couple months as well.

For the most part.

A few days ago, despite the 815 miles between us, my grandsons made me laugh. Out loud. By myself. And then again as I shared the story with Jim.

Megan texted me pictures of Baby Mac and Bubby on Monday, each preceded by her caption for the photo. The first two were certainly cute. It was the third, though, that elicited the elusive LOL from Gramma.




Baby Mac seems to have gotten quite a kick out of Mommy's poolside fashion. Such a silly, silly boy.

Turns out, though, it was Mommy who was silly. Megan admitted in a later phone call that her attire wasn't really the reason Baby Mac was laughing so hard; she just thought it would make a cute caption.

And it did.

And it made me laugh.

Out loud.

Like I said, my grandsons and my daughters are the ones most capable of making me laugh out loud.

Even if one particular daughter is a big ol' liar.

(Or maybe just a mom who would rather be considered a liar than a swimsuit-clad laughing stock to her sons.)

Today's question:

Who makes you laugh out loud the most often?

Can't help but grin

Baby Mac didn't feel well during most of my recent visit, thanks to teething, a cold, and what turned out to be an ear infection.

That didn't stop my youngest grandson from giggling and grinning more often than not, though, even when feeling his very worst.

Yeah, I still have some work to do in mastering that new camera of mine. But you get the picture...for the most (precious) part.

Today's question:

When and why did you most recently laugh out loud (for real; no "LOL" funny business)?