That Extra Special Visit

Have I told you about my Mom? Former beauty queen, best preschool teacher in all of Oklahoma (in the 1980’s), former dog breeder of champion bloodhounds, super fun and carefree (although very strict on politeness and respect). We had many fantastic trips and outings growing up. In fact, I am absolutely positive my love of adventure comes from her. And the only thing about Mom that wasn’t quite right is her struggle with alcohol. A silent killer which tried to take her life one too many times.

But she always prevailed in her battle of the bottle (with much help from her sons).

With great joy, she is with us today and although not on her own anymore, she has found a new meaning to life being the youngest, and hippest at her assisted living home in Ada.

Because of her short-term memory loss from alcoholism, I normally don’t call her to let her know we are visiting her (she doesn’t remember even if I do). It is actually very fun to surprise her and as long as you make it to the home before lunch, she adores a lunch out to her favorite restaurant (or ours).

This past weekend was no exception. I didn’t call, but I planned a visit. I wanted to bring Averey to see her while she is still a small nine-month-old. I wanted her to have that last visit before she turned one and hit the mobile stage.

We took off Saturday morning and just made it prior to lunch. This is a big accomplishment coming from Texas and a good three hours away. What I love most about visiting her with the baby is her pure joy at seeing her first great-granddaughter. It is as if they have never met before and today is the happiest day of her life (she has met Averey two times before this visit).

Upholding the tradition of meeting Averey for the first time, Mom squeals with delight and snatches her up. She takes her around to every table, and every resident proclaiming to them about how it is her first time to meet her great-granddaughter. They oooh and aaah and congratulate her. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Of course, I never have my camera, just my phone. But I did try to capture the moment.

Then, we go to lunch. Mom gets to sit by the baby. She laughs. She hugs. She can’t stop talking about how CUTE her great grand baby is. And we spend the afternoon watching her have the best day ever.

I know what it is like being Averey’s Grandmother. I can only imagine how delightful it is as her Great Grandma. The the love is undeniable and I am so glad we can gift her these moments.

Mom cuddled and rocked the afternoon away. Averey was not near as animated as usual. I could tell she wasn’t her crazy-baby self. And although, she didn’t have her normal energy. It didn’t bother Mom at all. She was able to hold her and get a big dose of cuddles.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

And I was able to get some extra special photos of an extra, extra special visit.

It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace.
Author: Christopher Morley

The Amazing Way Life Changes

I’m sure you can guess what is at the top of my Thankful list. The very top of a very long list (more on that below). I am thrilled to have so much to be thankful for this year. And being surrounded by the love of family. Many included as family are part of extended families and ex-families and almost families.

And that is not weird to me at all.

I grew up loving a Grandma that was not related to me by blood …I never knew until I fully grasped family trees….and she wasn’t on my branch or even my tree.

I had no clue.

She never acted like she wasn’t my Grandma. And you know what? She was. She was my Grandma. Blood relation or not. That is who I called Grandma and always will. I think of her most at this time of year. As children we made the trek from Oklahoma to Colorado to visit her every Thanksgiving. Most times it took the entire day to get there. She would cook and serve the big feast, then send us packing up the mountain to ski Monarch the next day. That was her Christmas present to us, always the same, a day together of snow, ski, and fun paid for by Grandma.

I will always treasure those Thanksgivings. I wrote about it on this blog in December of 2009 Timeless Treasures. She is my most special Grandma (that wasn’t my Grandma) who made our holidays joyful and bright. And she is who I look up to as a role model. Now that I am a grandma, I hope I can live up to her highest of standards.

I appreciate her these days more than I ever have. I hope I can give as much as my heart to my grandchildren as she did.

My most precious gift this year is my very own grandchild. She is growing so fast. Faster than I ever thought possible. I had no idea how much love a grandmothers soul could hold.

Oh man, is it a lot!

This little angel just turned three months old.

Three months in the blink of an eye. She now recognizes my face and voice. She smiles instantly when she sees me. She stares at me with those grey/blue eyes full of curiosity.

We talk and play and take lots and lots of pictures. She started cooing recently. It is not like the coo I have heard other babies say. Hers is like a musical note. It is so pretty! I swear it is not ooooo. This coo is like a note Snow White sings in the forest to all the wild animals that flock to her side. This music she strains to do by pursing her mouth just so and looking around with her big eyes (like…did I just do that?). Then, she smiles real big and kicks her legs because she knows she just did and it was awesome.

I wonder if she has inherited my mother and father’s musical talent. My mom toured singing Sound of Music as a teenager. She, also, won the crown of Miss Ada (the same Ada Blake Shelton is from). Her talent? Singing. My Dad toured with a 60’s garage band, they were invited to open for the Beach Boys. Musical talent gone wild in that pairing.

I didn’t get a smidge of musical talent. Sydney might have got just that, a smidge. But Averey. Wow. Looks like she may have got the full dose. I guess time will tell if she can carry a tune as a well as a coo. But dang if she isn’t cute doing it.

Three months.

© 2013 Angelia's PhotographyNewborn Averey

I am so thankful.

© 2013 Angelia's PhotographyNewborn Averey

To have this squishy little person as my musical serenader.


The way it changes?


Happy, HAPPY Thanksgiving to each and every one. May you be blessed beyond measure and treasured beyond time. And be so completely enamored by the life and love of a wonderful family (blood relations or not).

And thank-you for most for being part of my journey.