The difference one hundred ninety-nine days makes

The difference one hundred ninety-nine days makes

Up until this past weekend, my husband and I last saw our three desert-dwelling grandsons one hundred and ninety-nine days ago. At that time, we flew to their house to celebrate their birthdays — all of which are in June — a few weeks early. At that time, they looked like this:

Last weekend Jim and I flew to their house to celebrate Christmas with them — a few weeks early. In the one hundred and ninety-nine days since our visit in May, Brayden, Camden, and Declan have grown by leaps and bounds — in stature, maturity, conversational prowess, game-playing ability, and more.

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7 benefits of being a long-distance grandparent

I am a long-distance grandma. Have been from the beginning of my grandma gig.

The first few years I moaned and groaned ceaselessly about the miles separating me and my sweeties.

I'm now nearly nine years into grandmahood. In that time I've thankfully learned there is indeed — unbelievable as I first thought it might be — a bright side to my grandbabies living so far from me.

Following are a few such perks on which fellow long-distance grandparents just might agree.

long-distance grandparent 


Bathroom breaks at my house are a breeze.
I never need straddle a step stool when using the toilet. Nor do I have to question who left the seat up as only two...

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Phantom pains, er, plans

grandparents and grandsons

My oldest grandson, the kiddo in orange above, the one who converted me from mother to grandmother, is eight years old. Every January since Bubby was born, from his very first January to the one last year, I've flown to the desert to visit him — and eventually his brothers Mac and Jak, too, as they expanded the family in perfectly timed three-year increments one after the other.

Most often, I made the 800 plus-mile trek from the mountains to the desert to care for the boys while Daddy attended an annual out-of-town conference and Mommy went along with. (Though last January's visit was related to our Disney GRAND Adventure.)

I've gotten used to those January visits. Grew to expect those January...

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An award for Mac, plus GRAND Social No. 156 link party for grandparents

An award for Mac

As long-distance grandparents, Jim and I rarely get to see our grandsons' games, school performances, or award ceremonies. Which is why we were especially pleased to be a guest of Mac's at his end-of-season pizza party for his T-ball team on Saturday where Mac (like all the mini players) received an award for his season-long efforts.

t-ball award 

We never had the chance to see Mac play a game, but...

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When grandchildren move away: 10 things to send with them

Sometimes, regardless of how much we wish things could be different, grandchildren and their parents move away from Grandma and Grandpa. Perhaps there's a better financial situation for Mom or Dad farther away, or maybe it's a marital split that results in beloved grandbabies being relocated farther from grandparents than ever before.

I have always been a long-distance grandma—my grandsons have never lived near me. So I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to learn grandchildren who lived nearby will soon live miles and miles away. Such a transition is surely hurtful not only for the grandparents, but for the grandchildren, too.

when grandchildren move away

As a longtime long-distance grandma, though, I do know there...

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After my grandchildren leave

grandparents and grandsons

My three grandsons and daughter surprised me with a visit, filling my nest with the magical mayhem that accompanies young boys.

For seven soul-satisfying days, love and laughter — along with loud toys and joyful noise — mark the days in spectacular, unforgettable ways.

Then, in what seems a blink of the eye, the...

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6 topics on which I could speak with ease... even if drunk


I belong to several online writing groups. As a freelance writer, the gathering spots of like-minded wordsmiths are where I most often find support, advice, inspiration.

One tidbit I recently gleaned from such a group was instruction on how to determine the topics that one might determine — and promote to publishers — as his or her areas of expertise. The simple solution offered was to consider...

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Three cheers for three years

My second grandson will turn three years old in a couple weeks.

Because I'm unable to attend Mac's birthday party or see him that day — par for the course for a long-distance grandma — I was delighted to have a chance to throw a mini celebration after dinner last night in honor of his birthday No. 3.

three year old

Even PawDad joined us from more than 800 miles away, thanks to Skype.

Three cheers for unexpected desert visits — and technology — for making it possible for PawDad and me to mark the milestone with Mac.

Today's question:

Whose birthday is next on the calendar in your family?