Tag Archive | happy birthday

Fun in Safety Harbor along with a “Happy Birthday” to Linda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow is a very special day. Two of my precious loved ones share a birthday: daughter Kate and sister-in-law Linda.

In celebration of Linda’s birthday, the hubster and I drove to St. Pete this past weekend where she and her hubby (Greg’s brother) have a winter residence. And part of our fun time together was spent in beautiful Safety Harbor.

This sweet little community sits right on the water. It hosts a giant oak tree estimated to be 300-500 years old as well as a very beautiful water feature. If you zoom in, you’ll see several large Florida water birds made of metal. It’s really something in person!

Walking past the fountain, we encountered a fishing pier where we watched a cormorant (snake fish) wrangling a fish for an afternoon snack.

And it got even better…

…because after our walking tour of charming Safety Harbor, we found a nearby Dairy Queen and enjoyed some of their yummy blizzards!

And this was one of those times where I didn’t think at all about carbs, sugar, calories, or the fact that it was close to supper time. Instead, I just went with it and thoroughly enjoyed my DQ visit.

Family is everything.

The older I get, the more I appreciate family time. Jim and Linda live most of the year in Ohio, so while they are here in Florida, we plan on taking full advantage of spending as much time with them as possible.

Even though Safety Harbor and Dairy Queen were great fun, it really isn’t about what we do as a family; instead it’s about who we do it with. Time with Jim and Linda is a joy. It’s a God-gift of love to us both. And it’s always a reminder of how blessed we are to be able to see each other as often as we do.

So, happy birthday sweet Sis. We sure do love you.

Mimi

p.s. As an added bonus (and surprise to Greg and me) Uncle Jim called up our Kate and invited her and the family to meet in Tampa for a fun-filled Fossil Fest. So that’s the whole gang in the photo above.

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Happy 40th to my first born.

This week I’m writing my story on Sunday because today is my son’s 40th birthday. We got to spend a wonderful weekend with him and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness to God for this precious gift to Greg and I. So, I thought I’d share a little about him with you.

Tim made me a mom.

Tim came along when I was 25. I thought I remembered how I felt during his pregnancy and birth, but after finding my handwritten journal notes from that time, I realize my memory had faded quite a bit.

Tim was our first. My only childcare experience came from having a much younger brother and doing a little babysitting as a teenager. So, I guess I felt ready and prepared. After all, back in those days, you took classes in “prepared childbirth.” Since I took the classes, I must have been ready. But it turns out I wasn’t at all prepared.

One journal entry a month before his birth mentions we had a crib and one or two onesies but that was it. There hadn’t yet been a baby shower and I hadn’t bought anything else including diapers. My notes mention wanting to meet this little one (didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl in those days until out they came!), but they also mentioned we weren’t exactly set up for the new arrival.

And once he did arrive, the notes talk about being depressed and feeling inadequate. My heart aches for the 1979 me. I can’t remember how it was, but it must have been lonely. I know I was thoroughly in love with my new baby, but I also read about how much of a failure I felt.

Thankfully, the depression lifted and Greg and I fell into our new parental roles with great, great joy.

About Tim

Timmy, as we called him, was adventurous, fun-loving, a sweet friend and protector to his little sister, and a delight. He had his own sense of style and on any given day his over the knee sox were either pulled completely up or rolled perfectly down to his ankles.

As a man, he takes amazing care of his family, loves them fiercely, continues to enjoy a great sense of style (though his knee sox gave way to black no-see-um ones), thrives on workouts at the gym, probably knows the songs to every Disney movie as his own little princesses watch them over and over again, and all in all makes this mama very proud.

Don’t blink.

Really, don’t blink. The growing up years are so hard at times. You want to do everything right but often do it all wrong. As a mom, you lament your mistakes and hope and pray your kids will forgive you and turn out ok. Sometimes you wish ahead, wondering what they will be like in their teens or 20s. You imagine them finding a special someone to love, having a great job they like, and then having children of their own. But if you do too much of that, you can miss the special every day moments that are precious gifts from God.

So, to other young parents, be careful about wishing time away. Treasure “the now” each day. Love hard on your kids. Forgive yourself, knowing your kids have a great capacity to forgive, too. Enjoy their sticky hands and artwork…even on the walls. Be understanding and sympathetic. Enjoy silly times with them dancing like no one’s watching, telling stories in bed at night or making shadow shapes on the ceiling.

Go to their ball games and listen to them make music, even when they choose drums and play loudly! Smile at first dates and give plenty of limits when they learn to drive. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and have high expectations. But don’t let those expectations keep you from enjoying the smaller successes along the way.

There are no do-overs.

This mother, at times, wishes she could have raised her kids with the knowledge and experience she now possesses. But there are no do-overs…until you have grandkids. Then you have that opportunity to shower all your “I-love-you-no-matter-what” kind of love on them and on your adult kids as they navigate parenting.

Tim is one of my great joys in life and I’m cherishing the opportunity to spend his 40th birthday weekend with him. To hear about one of my other great joys, stay tuned…because my No. 2 turns 40 next year!

Love to all,

Mimi

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

 

Somebody just turned 9 last week.

I became a grandma on August 8, 2008 when Konnor Finn was born. But when he started talking I became Mimi…a name I love to be called.

Last week was Konnor’s 9th birthday and what a day it was. He awoke to birthday love notes throughout the house, decorations galore, and a table filled with gifts and cards (one especially “sweet” gift was his Skittles shirt created for him by his brother Callan). His day began with a sprinkle donut, included an early stop to Toys R Us to spend that birthday money, then a trip to the wax museum, and a colossal “ice cream sandwich” that was enough for everyone to share. The fun continued all day as he enjoyed each gift and being the honored Birthday Boy.

     

I know you can all relate in how quickly those 9 years flew by. He was just a tiny little baby. And while we could see family resemblances, beyond that we all wondered about his future: what kind of personality he would have, what talents and tendencies he would display, his interests, whether he would be tall like his dad, if he would have an interest in sports or music, etc.

Nine years later we have a really good idea. Konnor is a high energy kid who loves to learn. Give him a fact and he’ll remember it forever. He is very mechanically inclined and most of his toys center on mechanics in one form or another: Legos, anything you can build, magnets, science experiments, RC cars. He can be extremely focused when something draws his attention such as his recent 6-hour “build” of a Lego pinball machine. Gathering his Legos, he found a video, followed it and figured out not only how the outside should look, but how the inside needed to function so the pinball machine would actually work. And it does; beautifully!

Not being mechanically inclined myself, I find this trait in Konnor amazing. I can follow a recipe or a set of directions, but to take the time to figure out how something works and spend the untold hours putting it together, sometimes doing things over and over again to make that happen…well, that is just about beyond me. But it’s not beyond our Konnor Finn.

That determination and ability to dig in to accomplish something you put your mind to will serve Konnor well and this Mimi is excited to see where it will lead in Konnor’s future.

Being a mom to my two wonderful kids was fulfilling and fun. I loved watching them learn each day and discover who they were, what they could accomplish and all about our amazing world. As a grandma, I get to enjoy it all over again, and I find I love it just as much…maybe more. Because this time I get to watch my adult kids have the same sense of wonder as they raise their children and observe them grow and change as they become who God created them to be.

Happy birthday, my precious Konnor. I love you to Heaven and back!

Mimi

Happy 91st Dad

Ready to Go (Dad is on the right)

So…as you already know, since moving to Clermont nearly a year ago, my dad has enjoyed many adventures. River tubing and flying in a biplane to name two. Dad has recently added one more item to his Thrill List: he went zip lining! Oh yes he did.

On a visit to Gatorland, he and a few others decided to give the zip line a go. I guess being 91 has nothing to do with whether or not you try something new.

Look, up in the sky, it’s Dad!

Dad continues to set such a great example of living life to the fullest. He’s been a lifelong volunteer extraordinaire: singing in choirs and glee clubs, serving on the planning board and condo board, volunteering through AARP to do taxes (up until last year), working the polls for most elections. In his new residence, he helps lead the worship team and often is the stand-in leader for daily devotions.

Add to that his many adventures and trying new things—gee, he makes my life look dull!

In the midst of all this he celebrated his 91st birthday two weeks ago. And since he had two commemorative bricks in his honor in Juno Beach, we thought he deserved one in his new hometown.

At this point I have no idea what pictures I’ll be posting of my dad’s next birthday. At the rate he’s going it could be of him jumping out of an airplane! (Just kidding Dad.)

In any case, I’m proud to call this man my dad and delighted that after many years we now live so close together. Love you, Dad.

 

 

Mimi

Callan Turns 6

This week it’s my delight to talk about my sweet grandson, Callan, who just turned 6 a few days ago.

This little fellow has brought joy since he was born. He’s just so amiable. So sweet. So happy.

Case in point. I offered to make him cupcakes for his birthday party. He chose the flavors and then we talked about the decorations. At first he mentioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I said that sounds difficult, I’m not sure I can do that. He replied OK. Then he made another suggestion and I stated that also sounded a bit difficult. He came up with a third option for me which I also felt too hard to do. And at that point, still happy, he said, “Just do what you want Mimi.” And he meant it. He would be content no matter what I designed.

As most of you know, I watched the boys one day a week from the time they were born until they went to school. What a delight! One of the things that fascinated me was how they each saw the world. Konnor began talking early and had no problem sharing his observations about…well, about everything. Callan, on the other hand, was on the quiet side, like his PopPop. Content to let others do the talking while he listened and observed. Oh, he talked, but lengthy conversations were not his thing.

This went on for a while and I grew to enjoy our time together even without long conversations. Then one day, he just started talking…and talking…and talking. And singing, too. Loudly. Car rides became noisy and entertaining. The house seemed to be filled with twice as much activity and fun. His enthusiasm was contagious as it continues to be today.

Callan seems to find great delight in life and wants to share that with the world. And I think the world needs more people like Callan. Enough with the Debby Downers and Sour Susans. Give me a parcel full of Happy Callans and life will be very good indeed.

One of Callan’s big thrills this year (the biggest being getting an X-Box from Santa) has been in learning. He seems to really enjoy discovering new things and takes great pride in his academic accomplishments. Often, for fun, he just gets out a math workbook and completes page after page. (Yup, I said he does math for fun!)

His sense of humor is also expanding. When I ask occasionally about his homework, he states “Mimi, I’m in Kindergarten; I don’t have homework.” Then he rolls his eyes as if to say “Gee Mimi, you should know that.”

It’s also fun to watch him work the controls of that coveted X-Box. It doesn’t seem that long ago when he was content to push buttons and pull levers that had nothing to do with the on-screen action. Now, he’s like all the other big kids. Without needing instruction, he pushes and pulls, breezes through menus and just figures things out for himself.

Like his cousin Addie, he’s growing up. Much too fast. But I’m trying hard not to rush things and to just enjoy him for today. It’s easy to find myself wondering about his future endeavors but for now, this Mimi is content watching T-ball games, seeing him play in the rain with his brother, enjoying his interactions with his cousins (my sweet granddaughters). In short, I’m completely happy just watching him as he grows up. And I’m completely blessed.

My friend Karen recently posted a picture of her blessing wall…a wall with photos of her grandkids. Isn’t that perfect! My grandkids are my blessings as well. And I thank the Lord daily for the joy they bring to my life.

Happy 6th birthday, dear Callan. I love you…to Heaven and back!

Mimi