Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma!

September 3rd marks my Grandmother's 93rd birthday! Born on a farm into a family of 11, she and her sister were the second set of twins born into the family. She met Harold Lester Wenning (Todd), my Grandfather, at a steel plant were they worked. She in the cafeteria and he as a supervisor. They married on New Years Eve 1939 and moved into a house which they helped build. The little white house on Georgetown Road was home for 63 years. It was there they raised four children and built memories. I traveled to that house for 26 years and fondly remember the details that made it a home. The door knobs with large key holes below that allowed you to peak into the room, the basement that could be a little scary, the pink bathroom with the fun rhyme above the toilet, the yard with wooden figures, the garage that barely fit a car and the kitchen with the bread box on white the counter.

Grandma is a great cook, it legendary. I've tried follow her instructions but somehow it never tastes quite as good, "it's just not Grandma's". I wish I could tell you about all of my favorite dishes but there are too many to count. Her strawberry jelly, corn, sweet potatoes, puddings, cakes and cookies are just the tip of the iceberg and disappear before you can blink! Delish!

After her children were grown she continued to be a caregiver, cleaning other peoples homes and sewing. She is amazing. I am not sure I have ever known anyone to work so hard. Growing up I have memories of her sitting down for a few moments only to be up offering someone something to eat or drink, always saying "What can I get you?". She would come visit and would clean our home, washing windows, doing laundry, and dusting. I am not sure if Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is inherited but if it is I know where I got it. I am thrilled to have received such a quality trait from her!

She moved into her apartment six years ago and continues to live independently. She is a little slower but not by much. She reads everyday, plays bridge and visits with her friends over dinner. I can only hope to be as young as she is at 93!

To help her welcome another year we made our first long road trip to Canton Ohio this past weekend. Home to the Football Hall of Fame, cousins and Grandmother! Unfortunately, Brent was not able to go because he had to work so my parents and sister filled in!

I was a little nervous about how Thomas would do, sitting in a car for six hours but he did great! We stopped about half way and let T play on the playground. Of course, I had to wiped him down excessively after! He was so well behaved and was in awe of all the trucks on the road.

We had such a nice visit. I am so glad we went! I was trying to remember the last time I was there and I think it was about three years ago. Way too long! It was so great to see everyone enjoying T. It's funny how life comes full circle, I remember loving on Seth and Samantha as babies, going in to get them from their naps and chasing them around the yard. Now, I watch as they do that with my son.

Saturday morning we went to see Samantha (my cousin) run which is always a treat because she is so talented. She came in first and ran well. It was here first meet as a Senior and I was happy that we were there to see it. Go Sam!
Seth kept us entertained with his antics, wish I had a picture. There was a skunk outside Saturday night and I swore it was underneath the window. It was so close the whole house smelled. Despite the horrible stench he was out in the yard, cell phone in hand to provide light (ridiculous) and a broom. I can't say his witch hunt was a success, the smell was there the next morning.

Saturday night was topped off with a bbq in the backyard. The weather was beautiful. Thomas had a fabulous time. He played in the dirt for hours with our corn cobs. I know it's a bit gross but it kept him entertained. He has never been that dirty in his 13 months of life. Good times!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Life Lessons

Little things make me happy. I love watching Tori & Dean In Love. I never used to be a fan but I think she is fantastic! We could totally be friends. I love the weather today. It's fairly cool and cloudy with rain threatening. I love this time in my life, living with my parents watching them interact with T. It's is something I will always treasure. I love it when it's just the three of us, spending time together as a family. I love laughing with Brent when Thomas does something amazing. I love watching Micheal Phelps make history and listening to Brent's commentary. I love a cold beer on a Friday night,take out, the beach, working up a good sweat and having a long conversation with a good friend.

Oprah always encourages people to be "present". That's always been my goal but somehow I always seem to be enjoying myself so much that I forget to stop, take a breath and savor it. Lately, that has changed. I have discovered what it's like to be in the moment and truly appreciate it. I don't want to miss a second!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I can't believe it's already the middle of August! We have had a busy couple of weeks! Brent's Mom, Donna, was here in July to help us celebrate Thomas' birthday and see the sights! It was so nice to see her, we had a great time. We took a tour of the The White House, went to The National Zoo, had lunch at the Inner Harbor and did a car tour of Baltimore (saw Brent's office etc.). We even managed to get in some pool time!

The next week we were off to the beach! We spent two weeks on the shore! It was fantastic. Brent was able to take the entire time off of work so we got in some quality time with Daddy. We really enjoyed having him around twenty four seven, T just adores him. They have so much fun chasing each other around and rough housing. Brent even taught him to jump on the bed (well, as much as a one year old can jump).

The weather was perfect and Thomas became a regular beach baby! He loved the sand and played with his shovels and buckets everyday. He would see Brent and the rest of the family in the ocean and just screech and point. Dying to get out there. Brent would come get him and take him in. He thought he was so big! He loved it until the water touched his little toes, then he didn't think it was so fun anymore! I have to say it was awfully cold. I could hardly blame him. We just had to keep him above water :)

My Mom's family arrived the second week, 38 people packed into four different houses. It was fun to see my cousins, who I had not seen in a long time. Besides sitting under the sun on the beach we ate dinner together every night. Each sibling (there are 7) in my Mom's family took a night and made a huge meal for all the hungry swimmers. Feeding 40 people isn't easy but each night we had something delicious! There were two people missing plus spouses so it wasn't quite a complete family reunion but it was close!

Our first family vacation was full of activity but it was so much fun! Can't wait till next year!