My Boy

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This kid.

He is the sweetest thing.

He’s smart and funny and creative and kind and all sorts of other things, but above all – to me, anyway – he is sweet.

Sam is so affectionate. He loves to hug and to be hugged, and if you ask him what his favorite thing to do is, he will say “snuggle.” Building Legos, playing baseball, watching super hero movies… It’s all good. But this kid enjoys nothing more than to be cuddled up on the couch with his mom or dad. Preferably both.

And his love language? It is, well, language. He’s constantly telling us how wonderful we are and how much he loves us. Like out loud and in front of people and everything. Constantly.

He is so sweet.

Sam is almost seven years old. (omg, I’m not sure how to even process that.) While I know that the odds are he will always love us (or, as Mr. Peabody would say, have a deep regard for us), I also know that this intensity will be short-lived.

Even when the moment has passed, I will forever be thankful for my darling baby boy. But I hope it lasts just a little longer.

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What. A. Week.

Oh, hi.

Since the inception of this blog in aught-seven, I’ve never gone this long without posting. I mean it’s been a WHOLE WEEK. I am sure you, our loyal stalkers, have noticed.

Umm, right?

We had a rough one around here. Sub-zero temps and snow had my kids out of school ALL WEEK. EVERY DAY. (Jonah went Tuesday. But to make up for that, more extreme cold has his school closed today. And Joshua went to school today but naturally, after 5 days off healthy as a horse, Sophie is home sick.)

And we had my Grandma Brads’ visitation Tuesday and funeral Wednesday in this really awesome weather. And it was good to be with family but it was hard to say goodbye, even knowing that she is so much better off, because I just miss her.

I spoke at her service and cried all the way through it, just like I did at my Grandpa’s funeral 4 years ago.

Gma treasures

I got to choose some of Grandma’s things to wear & remember her by.

And on Valentine’s Day we moved my other Grandma (Emily’s and my shared Grandma) into assisted living because she has Alzheimer’s and it’s so hard even though it’s what is absolutely 100% necessary, it’s hard. So two days after I lose one grandma, I lost another “Grandma’s House”. And I can’t even really elaborate on that yet because it’s too hard.

So that’s what’s up. And everything’s ok with my family and my kids, I’m just kinda sad and overwhelmed right now. But I’ll get back to making fun of Emily and people who name their kids Ya’Hyness as soon as humanly possible. On the regular.

 

 

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A Life Well-Loved

Mother-glamour-shot

This is my paternal grandmother, Della Victoria Higgins Brads. She passed away last Thursday at the age of 95. It wasn’t a surprise, I mean, she was 95. And, she had been in pretty ill health since late summer. Not wanting her to suffer, I had been anxious that, after having lived a long life full of love, she not suffer anymore but be in perfect, painless peace in heaven with Jesus (not to mention my Grandpa whom she was married to for 71 years).

GmaGpa Brads

And so, I thought I was prepared for a world without my Grandma Brads. And perhaps in my head, I was. But when I got the news Wednesday afternoon that she had taken a serious turn for the worse and that hospice was coming in, I discovered that my heart was not quite so prepared. I had a sitter at the house while I was working and so I had the luxury of crying by myself in my office for awhile. Lots of tears from a grown woman who loved her Grandma still with the heart of a little girl.

My Grandmas

Me in a Grandma sandwich

Grandma passed away almost exactly 24 hours later, and after I got the call, I had another good cry. I was still crying when the big kids got home from school and I told them. They were sad, they loved her too, but they took it well because I had prepared them for it over the last few weeks and days. I was relieved that they were able to move on to after-school activities pretty quickly; I wasn’t sure I would be able to be a comfort to them when I was still so sad.

I learned a lot from my Grandma Brads growing up and it’s nearly all from her example, from the way she lived her life. I don’t want to make it sound like she was perfect, but she was womderful. She was just a great lady. She was good at loving others, she was good at serving others with joy, and she was good at making me feel special and loved. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve sitting in between Grandma and Grandpa on the front seat of their car, of accompanying Grandma to the local IGA for groceries, of sitting down to her most wonderful mashed potatoes or mac & cheese. This was a woman who displayed love by cooking tasty things for her family.  She literally lived to serve.

One thing I loved about my Grandma was that she was ALWAYS delighted to see me – when I was a child, when I was a teen, a young adult, a newlywed, a new mom – she loved me well in every stage. I knew if I was going to be in the area and I called and asked if I could come by she would be overjoyed. She’d somehow manage to have a smorgasbord assembled even if she’d only had 20 minutes notice – she definitely had that hostess gift! And guess what else I got at Grandma’s house besides good food? It’s also where I got my love of MOUNTAIN DEW. Grandma nearly always had it out in the laundry room with all the soda. (It should be noted that my Grandpa gave me my love of Dairy Queen Dilly bars and butterscotch dipped cones. I am really glad those two had the staples covered!)

Grandma Baby Joshua 2

Grandma with newborn Joshua

My Grandma loved children and she babysat in her home for approximately a million years, retiring when she was 75. In the small town where she lives, you can’t walk down the sidewalk without tripping over someone who was fortunate enough to be in her care. I’ve absolutely LOVED watching her delight in my children, and watching them delight in her. Jonah was an especially big fan – here he is with her on her 95th birthday. She also made each of my babies a special blanket which I will keep FOREVER.

Jonah and Gma

Something else that I love about my Grandma is that she liked to look GOOD. I am very proud that I got my rampant vanity from her. I mean, what better source, right? Grandma had her hair set every week by the same stylist and though she went gray approximately 4 or 5 decades ago, I NEVER saw her with gray hair until this past couple months when she was too ill to get it dyed. And as you can see from the first picture in this post, she was very beautiful! When you got it, you got it! She always dressed so nicely and acessorized like a pro. And, she was religious about her skin care. :)

Grandma had a sharp wit that left us all laughing on many occasions…she was a preacher’s wife but she could still let loose with a zinger. Some of my cousins have shared some over the past few days that made me chuckle. My cousin Mackenzie, when she brought her fiance home to meet Grandma, was met with “He’s better looking than I thought he’d be!” and my cousin Rachel, headed out back for a smoke, got a “Rachel, are you in THAT big of a hurry to get to heaven before the rest of us?”

This was classic Grandma. She made us laugh and she loved to laugh. I loved the sound of her laugh…I wish I could hear it one more time.

The biggest, most important, most memorable thing about my Grandma was that she LOVED Jesus. She wasn’t shy about her love for her Savior and she wasn’t shy about letting you know that you might wanna get friendly with him, too. Grandma was concerned that everyone she met knew Jesus, from her hairdresser to the waiter or waitress that served her at a restaurant. And really, that’s the most important way that I can be like her. Her kids bought her a big box of tracts with a salvation message on them for her 95th birthday, to be distributed in her name, because at 95 she wasn’t going to be out and about “witnessing” but she still wanted to help others learn about Jesus. At the time I kind of giggled about those tracts. I mean, it’s kind of an antiquated method of sharing your faith. But now I’ve come to realize that it was such a sweet gift, a gift that spoke to the desire of Grandma’s heart – that everyone should know Jesus’ love, forgiveness, peace, and salvation.

May that be the desire of my heart as well.

Grandma, thank you for being a loving, caring, encouraging example my whole life. Thank you for making me feel like a special person, and for loving me so well. Thank you for teaching me that there can be great joy in meeting the needs of your family, and that the most important thing I can do in life is follow the Lord.

Oh, and as my cousin Mackenzie reminded me, thanks for teaching us to moisturize.

Hug Grandpa for me and have a dipped cone at heaven’s DQ together.

Gma Wedding

I’ll see you again soon. I love you.

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