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Somebody’s Turning 10

Special Birthday Right Around the Corner

August 8, 2008—the date Greg and I became grandparents.

Nearly ten years ago, we were given the privilege to be with our daughter and son-in-law as our first grandchild was born.

I remember the thrill of finding out we were going to become grandparents the prior Christmas when we opened gifts of infant clothing that had a checklist of favorite things “Grandma, Hugs, Kisses.” The instant realization that a new life had begun, followed by tears of joy. Those same joy-filled tears flowed again eight months later when Konnor arrived.

And the joy just continues.

And as sweet as the anticipation was of Konnor’s impending birth, nothing compares to the increased sweetness of life once he arrived. Each grandchild brings more joy, more fun, more awe, more noise, more good times than you think anyone should be allowed to enjoy. And we enjoy and love it all!

Who is Konnor Finn?

Until a child is born, you have no idea what they will look like or what kind of personality they will have. Part of our joy is simply to watch as that child grows and develops over time.

We’ve loved watching Konnor experience life. He is curious, intelligent, funny, loving. He is determined and will spend hours figuring something out. He’s inventive as well, able to figure out a work-around if something isn’t going as planned. Konnor is also musical. And it brought great happiness to this Mimi when she first realized he could definitely carry a tune and stay on pitch.

Konnor began talking early. As a Mimi who babysat Konnor every week, one of the highlights of time spent in the car was having all sorts of conversations about absolutely everything as we drove around. Those conversations with him back then and now continue to be treasured.

Double Digits

So, what’s the significance of recognizing the 10th birthday as something special? To me, it’s just a realization that the child is growing up. He or she is starting to leave behind his young childhood and enter into a new phase of growth. Physical growth for sure. But growth in other important areas as well.

A ten-year-old begins to see themselves as a separate entity. An individual. Still very much dependent on parents and other important people in his or her life, but able to form opinions and learn to make wise choices. Able to recognize their value. Able to begin forward-thinking and planning.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s in the works.

But besides the child starting to figure out these things, the adults in that child’s life begin seeing it as well.

So, turning 10 to me is very important; indeed, something to be celebrated.

The Big Celebration

With Konnor, Greg and I began the tradition of taking each 10-year old grandchild on a mini-vaca to someplace we know they will love. For Konnor that was easy: the beach and Kennedy Space Center. And neither disappointed!

We had great fun at Cocoa Beach where the water was 85 degrees—the same as the air! There was an afternoon swim and beach play, but even better was the evening swim as twilight approached. Gorgeous hues of pink and orange filled the sky as Konnor enjoyed the waves. It was so peaceful and quiet. And my heart was at rest watching my “first” as he frolicked.

Day 2 found us at the Kennedy Space Center. What a wonderful place to visit. There’s something for everyone. And so much of it is hands-on and interactive. Not only will you learn a thing or two, but you’ll have great fun, too.

Happy Birthday My Sweet Grandson

To Konnor: your Mimi and PopPop love you to heaven and back! We love you more than you will ever know. We love you fully and completely. You bring such happiness to our lives and fill us with joy unspeakable. Our hearts burst with love for you. And we delight in who you are right now and who you are becoming.

So glad we got to celebrate this very important, very special “turning double digits” day with you. Happy, happy 10th birthday, Konnor!

Mimi

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A little rain doesn’t bother this family.

A little rain doesn’t bother this family.

This Memorial Weekend was predicted to be nothing more than rain, rain, and more rain from Tropical Storm Alberto. But we were pleasantly surprised that other than a few passing showers, it was basically a non-event.

The Lynch-Turner-Dougherty family was able to get together and enjoy a combo birthday party for my dad as well as a Memorial Day celebration.

While the kids played with bubbles out on the lanai, the adults toasted the family’s patriarch with their own delicious Proseco bubbles.

The rain held off while Greg grilled some chicken and after lunch the men, boys, and Addison hit the pool while the ladies and Addie stayed behind to play wiffle ball. Of course, that’s just about the time it decided to finally begin raining so swimming and ball playing were both done in the drizzle. No matter to any of us; it was still great fun.

Then it was time for the birthday celebration but instead of cake, it was homemade ice cream sandwiches for everyone. Ah, chocolate chip mint sandwiched between two homemade chocolate chip cookies. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a muggy, hot day.

But even better than ice cream, was hanging in the garage. Since we were unsure if the rain would get heavier, we had set up cornhole in there and provided a table for the kids to play games. Gathered together for the big cornhole championship, we watched Tim beat player after player while the kids enjoyed some screen time.

Simple and easy. And not letting the rain dictate our fun. It was a wonderful day wrapped in the joy of being with family. Happy 92nd Dad! And Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Mimi

Now that was some party!

Ever heard of a game truck? It’s a mobile gaming center that comes to you. Check out those pictures.

For Callan’s 7th birthday, a game truck came for the afternoon offering all sorts of fun for a bunch of his friends as they duked it out for a few hours playing the latest and greatest video games.

Back in the day…

Birthday parties are so different today, aren’t they? Back in the day, when I was a wee one, birthday parties were spent in a blow-up pool in someone’s backyard, or by playing games such as dropping clothespins into a bottle or pin the tail on the donkey. And we thought it was a blast.

Things began changing.

When my kids were young, things began to change. Themed parties and destination parties began. We would go to Burger King or perhaps the park. Kate had an aerobics party one year and when she was 10 she and her friends went to the salon to have their nails done. For me, these were a bit easier because I never quite felt creative enough to host a really fun party at home.

Today’s parties offer even more choices.

Now the party can come to you. Bounce houses, fun water slides, game trucks…you name it, and I bet it’s available. This is such a help for today’s busy parents. I have a feeling the kids at Callan’s party today will be talking about this for a long time. (I almost wish I was there…but then, I don’t do very well with today’s gaming. However, a great game of Pong or Pac Man would be enticing indeed!)

What are some of the fun birthday parties you remember as a kid or that you threw for your own children?

Mimi

A Birthday Interview With Callan

Callan Turns 7

Callan turned 7 last week and this little guy has brought us so much joy, I thought I’d interview him for this week’s Mondays With Mimi story so you can see what fun boy he is.

Questions asked, in no particular order.

  1. What is your whole name? Callan Reid Dougherty.
  2. What is interesting about your middle name? Some of my family members have the same middle name: my daddy, my cousin Addison, and my new baby cousin Liam. Addison spells her name R-E-E-D.
  3. What city do you live in? Brandywine Drive…Florida…my house…and finally…Orlando.
  4. What is Orlando known for? Huh? Oh, Orlando City soccer. It’s hot here. Mimi’s house is here. Also: Universal, Fun Spot, Disney, SeaWorld, the beaches, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, Legoland, and the Orlando Eye. Oh and fun elevators.
  5. Have you ever been afraid of something? Yes, creepy clowns and elevators.
  6. Have you ever been brave? Yes, when shooting arrows (I’m shaking my head no…he’s never shot arrows) and going in elevators now.
  7. What is your favorite subject in school? Math
  8. What is your least favorite subject? Reading (Mommy shaking her head on this one as Callan loves to read).
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A “universal builder” including building roller coasters and amusement parks.
  10. What is your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing else to do? Play with my phone and watch YouTube videos about fishing for sharks.
  11. What is your favorite food? Pizza.
  12. What is a yucky food? Cooked carrots. He actually said carrots in liquid, but I knew what he meant.
  13. What is something you would like others to know about you? I have a big noggin. My head is huge because it accommodates my big brain. Mommy says that means I’m smart.
  14. Anything else you want people to know? God is very nice. He makes it rain. And…one of my bottom teeth is very loose and I can put my top teeth behind it…and…I’m cool.

To sum it all up.

I’m sure you can all see right now why I think Callan is a lot of fun to be with and yes, cool, just like he said. Today, after church, his PopPop and I took him to Firehouse Subs for lunch,to Twistee Treat for ice cream, and then to Target so he could ride the elevator with us like he used to when he was small. For some reason, a few years ago he became scared of all elevators and has been afraid to ride them until two weeks ago while on vacation decided he was now brave enough to ride them. So, he did. Just like that.

And finally we wrapped up the day with a walk by a culvert looking for fish, turtles, ducks and other treasures such as a a plant “puff” to blow apart.

Thanks for reading. Would love to hear about your precious grands. Feel free to comment below or send me a note. Having grandchildren brings wonder back into our lives in so many unexpected ways. What a blessing.

Mimi

 

Time to stop and smell the roses.

April 2, 2018

Birthdays galore.

In our family, we experience many birthdays close to each other: Christmas time…Greg and me. Late Jan-early Feb: son and son-in-law, March: daughter, sister-in-law, Mom, daughter-in-law, brother followed by early April: grandson Callan and sister-in-law.

Whew! If you’re not careful, you’ll completely miss one in the busyness of life.

Life can get crazy busy.

In order to NOT miss a birthday or appointment or something on my to-do list, I rely heavily on all my calendars being in sync. This means my Outlook calendar must match my phone’s calendar because I’ll be printing it and placing it on the refrigerator. And if that paper calendar doesn’t match with my phone, something is sure to get missed.

First thing every morning, Greg gets up and looks at the paper calendar. I, on the other hand, rely mostly on the iPhone calendar and its reminder system, counting on a ding to alert me each time I need to do something. To be sure it all gets done, I also keep a handwritten list on my kitchen counter that glares at me until the last item is checked off and the list can be crumpled and thrown away.

Take time to smell the roses.

We all understand the meaning of the expression and encouragement to take time to smell the roses. But many times, we do the exact opposite. I certainly do. I can get completely caught up in the to-do list and can miss the small moments, the wonderful moments that surround us all the time…the smell-the-roses moments presented throughout our days.

In being sure I buy cards, find the perfect gift, arrange a visit to the birthday person, prepare a special cake, etc., I can lose the joy of the occasion which is to honor and celebrate someone I care for deeply.

In fact, we can do that with anything: holidays meant for family and fun can become a chore because of the enormous amount of preparation needed to ensure a perfect event; having friends or family visit in your home can lose it’s joy when you pressure yourself to have it spotlessly clean; vacations filled with wonder and discovery can get bogged down by endless research to be sure you visit all the best places.

What to do?

S-l-o-w  d-o-w-n. That’s it. Or at least, it’s part of it. And it’s so very hard to do. While on our hamster wheels of life, we need to slow down to appreciate people important to us, to enjoy the things and people God has placed in our lives and in our care, to marvel at His amazing creation.

Remember…happiness is often found in the little things, in the everyday things, in the ordinary things of life.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of not wanting to lose the moment. To-do lists are a part of my nature and being organized enables me to function better. But I’m more determined than ever to slow down and finally start smelling those beautiful roses God has grown all around me.

Mimi

Happy Birthday Katie Leigh

A Letter to my Daughter

Dear Katie,

As you know, today is a very special day…it’s the anniversary of the day you came into our world and immediately doubled the joy of being a parent.

Your brother Tim had come just 13 months prior and though a little unexpected, here you came right on his heels. I often think if the timing of conception had been any different, that baby would certainly have been welcomed and loved, but he or she wouldn’t have been our sweet Kate. And I can’t imagine my life without you.

A Life Filled With Joy

From the beginning, you have filled our lives with joy beyond measure. Energetic from the get-go and with a smile that lights up the room, you found joy in just about everything. Skipping was often your preferred mode of transportation which to this mom showed me a youngster who was absolutely full of delight.

And though you certainly would dress up in purple and pink outfits and wear hair ribbons, you were most often in the dirt, climbing trees, digging under rocks, playing sports all out, fishing off the dock, and hanging with her brother. You shared the same friends so it’s no surprise that if the boys were doing it, so were you!

The Future

When you and your brother were little, I would often try to imagine you in your 20s or 30s. Wondering about your future schooling, your chosen careers, if you would marry and have children. So, while I didn’t have a clear picture of who you would become, as I look back now and look over the thousands of pictures we took of you, I can see the glimpses of who you became: an independent, strong woman; a goal-setter; an achiever; a caregiver; someone who always lands on their feet; a person able to reinvent herself; someone who refuses to give up or back down; a person who generally sees the good and not the bad; an encourager; a leader; a woman who can be full of sunshine; a daughter who loves her mom and continues to provide me with joy beyond measure.

To This Day

Kate, you captivated ours hearts while growing up and continue to do so to this very day. God chose you just for us; and we are so very, very thankful.

Love you, Sweet One. Happy Birthday.

Cookie (and Dad)

Zoe turns 4!

Just recently we spent the weekend with our son and his family to celebrate our granddaughter Zoe’s fourth birthday.

After our encounter with Hurricane Irma and Greg’s recent hospitalization for blood clots, it was wonderful to get to experience such an enjoyable occasion.

Like all our grands, Zoe has her own unique God-given personality. She is a giggle-filled bundle of non-stop joy. We know a picture paints a thousand words so I wish I had a picture of every mood, expression, and reaction Zoe exhibited because those pictures would be a fantastic way to share with you the pure delight she brings. But the composite above will have to do.

We watched Zoe and her sister perform Disney tunes for us from their make-shift stage. Zoe acted out every nuance using her whole body and face to fully express each song’s meaning. Here’s a 10-second clip of our energetic granddaughter for your viewing pleasure. (The background laugh is her Mimi who was tickled pink watching her!)

Zoe is creative in her play time, enjoys school, is loving to all her stuffed animals and dolls, and wants to do everything her big sister Addison does. She adores her parents and often can be found using her daddy as her personal jungle gym!

Time moves along so quickly; I don’t want to miss a single minute of this precious life. I want to see everything through her eyes of wide-eyed wonder. I want to experience her kind of joy that knows no bounds. I also want to protect her from the world and have her keep her innocence as long as possible.

Who knew when she was born just how appropriate her name would be. In the Greek, Zoe means life. And our little Zoe is completely filled and overflowing with life!

Happy 4th birthday sweet girl. Your Mimi loves you to Heaven and back!

Mimi