Friday, May 26, 2017

A sad goodbye

So, literally a few days after I got home from my trip for my Grandma's 96th birthday, I got the unfortunate call that my other Grandma had passed away. She had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer a few months earlier, so it wasn't like it was unexpected, but obviously it is always heartbreaking to get that phone call. So back on a plane I went, this time to Casper, Wyoming. I promised my Dad years ago that when the time came I would come out and help him with the house and everything else, plus I of course wanted to attend the funeral.

The truth is, my Grandma has been missing my Grandpa since he passed away fifteen years ago. Seriously, never in my life have I met a couple more in love. They lived for each other, adored each other, and living without him I think was pretty torturous for her. So I feel better knowing that they are together again, but it's never easy saying goodbye.

Grandma was one hell of a lady. She was undeniable proper, always a lady, and stubborn and hardheaded as anything. I like to think I get a lot of my strength from her. And about a week before she passed I had an urge to call her on a random Sunday morning. She sounded so good and we talked, and I later found out that that was her last good day. I'm not super religious, but I'm thankful for whatever prompted me to call her that day.

The Funeral was sad and small. I suppose when you reach a certain age there are not as many people around to attend. And it was sadder then I expected. I think when you know something is coming you expect that it will be easier, but at the end of the day it's not. It's still saying goodbye, and that always kind of sucks.

And then there was the house. The adorable, eclectic, old Hollywood glam, house that my Grandma and Grandpa bought all the way back in the 70's. Going through a house that has been lived in for 50 years is no easy task. And neither is deciding what to do with everything. Obviously we kept things that were sentimental, but at the end of the day you can't keep everything and you feel kind of awful giving and throwing away things that you know made up the life of people you love. But we managed to do it. It took a good solid five days of work and there was an estate sale, multiple trips to the Salvation Army, an antiques dealer, consignment store, and eventually the trash people.

So that's it. It was sad and a lot of work, but I"m glad I could be there to help my dad. The rest of this post is just picture of the house, because I've been going to that house since I was a baby and I don't want to forget it.

 (these wing chairs. I love them. So glam. And i think we found them a good home.)

 (So much art in the house. A lot of it painted by my Great Grandmother Miggie.)

 (The sun room)

 (The Patio)

 (My Grandma. She must have been around R's age)

 (The family room)

 (The entry way. I love the gold wallpaper!)

 (the living room)

 (The dining room)

 (The guest room)

 (Grandma and Grandpa's room)

So that's it. All we have left now are the memories. I love you Grandma. I know you are with Grandpa, wearing a fabulous fur coat, smoking a cigarette and having a cocktail. Tell him I say hi and I love him too.

Grandma turns 96!

A few weeks ago I flew to Minnesota with my parents, and then proceeded to get in a rental car and drive to the middle of nowhere Minnesota, to celebrate my Grandmother's 96th birthday. This party has been about a year in the making, and even though I ended up leaving my family at home (there was just too much going on and it was too close to the end of the school year) all of the grand kids, except for my brother since he just moved back from France, managed to make it.

 (This is what is looks like when your whole crazy family is rolling up to the only bar in town to celebrate a 96th birthday!)

I had some nerves about this trip, because like all families, ours has it's far of crazy issues and fighting. But every time we get together I'm always reminded that, despite the crazy and the differences, at the end of the day we are family and we love each other and we are a hell of a lot of fun.

We all originally hail from Wyoming, and although no one is left there and we have all scattered to separate corners over the years, we still drink and party like the true Wyoming-ites we are.

 (My lovely Grandma, still taking selfies and drinking bloody mary's!)

It was a quick trip, but ended up being even more fun than I expected, and I love getting to spend time with my cousins.

 (And my sister!!)

And I know Grandma was thankful to be surrounded by her three daughters.

And..... almost all of her Great Grandchildren. (L, L2 and R were the only ones missing. I got a lot of shit for that! They definitely have to come next time!)

I guess, at the end of the day, even when they drive you crazy sometimes, family are you people.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Happy number nine!

A few weeks ago, and April 26th, S and I celebrated our ninth year of marriage. We still had some family in town, and work, and the kids school, and everything else that life has going on right now, so we didn't do a big celebration. But we did manage to sneak away for a nice lunch with two of our three kids, and then had a nice night at home where we drank wine, watched a movie and just relaxed.

You all know, I am a celebration girl. whatever the holiday, whatever the occasion, I like to go big or go home. That didn't happen this year because of everything we have going on. but you know what? I'm totally OK with that this year. Because, with some drama going on around us, I felt so aware of just how lucky I am to be married to this man of mine. I don't want to get to sappy, but he is truly my rock. He is solid and steady an when I start to panic and spiral and get overwhelmed he is always there to make sure I know I am loved and everything is going be OK. And at the end of the day, that is truly all that matters.

I grabbed a few pictures from our day. It's not much, it wasn't big this year, but man, I love this guy and our life and our family with all of my heart.

Family Visit Part 3

***I started this post almost a month ago, but life has been super crazy lately and I never finished it. I'm going to finish it and publish it as is, but I know it's coming in super late. Be prepared for more "after the fact" posts, because like i said life+insane these days.

OK, I'm here to wrap up the last part of our family visit, two weeks (or a month, whatever!) after the fact of course. I swear, I don't know how the days get away from me these days but we are just so busy!

To finish up our amazing family visit we had our Easter. Our family is not religious at all, but we are all about dying some Easter eggs, hiding and hunting for them, and eating lots of yummy food in the name of any holiday!

The night before Easter, as we dyed Easter Eggs and got ready, my dad, Brother-in-law, and wonderful husband did a big paella cookout. This has become quiet the tradition in our family, ever since our family because close friends with a family who had moved from Spain. At this point it's basically a 20 year tradition, and I love that my husband is now taking part in it!

And it was delicious, of course. And some of my absolute  most favorite moments are having all of our family together, pulling up a bunch of mismatched tables on the patio, and laughing and eating and drinking together.

Anyway, after we were all done eating the kids got down to dying all the Easter Eggs. This is always more of an ordeal for the adults than I expect, but I know the kids will look back and remember nothing but fun. Once we were done we set them aside and hoped that the Easter Bunny would come that night and hide them for the kids!

And, thankfully, the Easter Bunny did not disappoint. He/She his all the eggs, plus some extras that had chocolate/candy/coins in them. They also brought the kids some fun stuff in Easter Baskets.

And after all the food and the Easter Egg hunt we tried to get a picture of all seven kids together. Ask me how well that went. The answer would be not well. At least two were crying, one hid in the back and wouldn't show his face and the rest were just pissed off that they had to pause their fun to pose for a picture. I"m sure one day they will thank us, but that day was not today.