Saturday, October 6, 2012


My youngest granddaughter just started kindergarten, and though it's exciting, it's also bittersweet.  I have so much enjoyed being able to bring her to Nana's for sleepovers basically whenever it fits my schedule.  Now, I will have to work a little harder to find those special times.  She's grown up so fast!  As all of my grandchildren have.  My oldest granddaughter, sister to this little one, is now fifteen and driving.  My other two are nine and eleven.  Just doesn't seem possible!  As I've gotten older, it seems that time just speeds up.  I know that's not true, but it does seem to have gone fast!  What dreams do I have for these kids?  To grow up in a country that isn't as harsh as it seems right now!  To find someone to share their lives with that treasure them, support them, and always look out for their best interests.  For them to find work in their lives that fulfill them and engage their passion.  For them to develop faith and spirituality; not just find a religion, but truly something that engages their soul.  And I want them to find who they are and who they are meant to be; what their purpose in life is.  That's alot, I know.  But, they are my dreams!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Special Saturday

Saturday was one of those lazy, nice days where it was warm enough to spend time outside. I was at my daughter's for the weekend to help with the kids while dad was hunting and mom had previous commitments. So, between shuffling kids from place to place and having an extra friend there for my grandson, I got to spend a few solid hours outside with my youngest granddaughter. She is such a joy to me, young and sweet, and a natural outdoors kind of child. We drew with chalk on the sidewalk, played hopscotch, walked in the neighbors field picking up corn left behind when combined, shucked the corn because 'dad uses it for the birds', drew more pictures, played more hopscotch, and then walked down the driveway and got the mail. I was getting colder as it was colder outside, and I had to talk her in to going inside, but we both loved the outdoor time. I had wanted to take a run, but this by far exceeded anything a run might have done for me. I am so grateful to live close to my family and to have these days where I can simply enjoy the kids and spend quality time with them. What a gift!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Living Life

As a person who has worked in the health care system, I have always been aware of how vulnerable life is. I don't remember being as aware when I was a young mother with young children as I have become over the years. And now, when my grandchildren are sick or experiencing health issues, my knowledge isn't helpful - and neither is my imagination! But this year I have gotten a deeper insight into what I have always known about life being vulnerable. I am a cancer survivor. Wow, that is the first time I have written that - and it's been seven months since my diagnosis and surgery. It was a scary time and going into surgery I knew I could come out with either negative or positive news - fortunately for me, my cancer was caught at Stage 1A. For those familiar with staging, 1A is the best possible scenario if you have cancer! I have been working on diet, exercise, sleep and enjoying life. But, I am approaching my recheck with scans, blood tests, and doctors examination and I find that when I'm honest with myself I am scared. I really feel good and I really want to be cancer free, but it is a reality that life is vulnerable and we never know. And so, I have been enjoying my grandchildren in new ways and am even more committed to being in their lives and loving them unconditionally. As my Mayo expert in oncology told me, "As far as cancer goes, you have the best case scenario and there is no reason to think it will return. Having said that, we both know we could walk out of here and die tomorrow in a car accident. There are no guarantees." So - I am a cancer survivor - and a person committed to appreciating life and those I love, especially my grandchildren!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Littliest Granddaughter

My youngest granddaughter is four years old, and at times when I have her with me for overnights it seems like she's much older! This past week she came for a visit and stayed overnight. The next morning she was getting dressed and told me to close the door so our dog Izzy couldn't come in because, according to her, "it's not appropriate for Izzy to see me changing my clothes". She cracks me up! It is such a joy to watch her and share time with her. She says "comfty" instead of comfy and I love the way she says it. She uses words like appropriate, interrupting, and told me her dolly was sick and had 'erlichiosis' - which is something she had in July (from a tick bite) and I thought she had forgotten the word! She loves clothes and changes them at least two or three times a day! But what I love most is the way she hugs me - she puts her whole self into it. She will take my face between her little hands and tell me she loves me - it makes life so awesome to be a Nana!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Favorite Things

It's interesting what kids enjoy and what their focus is. This week I had my ten year old granddaughter for an overnight. After I picked her up we grabbed some dinner then went to my obedience class with our dog, Izzy. My granddaughter observed the class and asked if we could take Izzy for a walk the next day. That night we made chocolate chip cookies together, the next morning we went for breakfast to IHOP, went to TJMaxx, took Izzy for a walk, later made muffins together and played a card game (which she won!). After dinner I took her home. I have made a practice of asking the kids on the way home what their favorite thing we did was. Out of all the things we did my granddaughter said taking Izzy for a walk! She did the training as we had Izzy on her training leash and did really well with her. She loved it! It wasn't at all what I expected, but I love that she chose it - even over shopping - which she loves. It was wonderful to spend time with her and when I took her home I also got to see her two sisters and brother. I love them all and can't get enough of them!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Being A Beloved Nana

I haven't touched this blog for months, and today I realized I have not talked about being a "Nana" - despite the name of the blog! Being a beloved Nana for me has been something I have long aspired to - long before grandchildren were even a possibility. This deep seated desire came from the reality that I never knew my grandparents. My mother's parents and my father's mother all died long before I was born, and I never knew my father's father - I saw him only a few times during my childhood but he was cold and distant. I don't remember ever speaking to him. I had a very difficult and lonely childhood and beloved grandparents would have helped tremendously! So, through the years I learned about beloved grandparents by listening to the stories of my friends - and the love those friends with beloved grandparents had was not only spoken, but physically evident in how animated they became when they told their stories. I knew I wanted to be that kind of a Nana. When I went to meet my first granddaugther I began to cry as soon as I got out of the car at my daughter's home - I lived in another state and didn't meet her until a week after her birth, but I fell in love the first time I saw an ultrasound picture of her! I adore her; and now her two sisters and brother. I remember when my daughter was pregnant with her second child, who we knew was also a girl, and how worried I was that I wouldn't love her as much or feel the same as I did with my first granddaughter. The first time I held her I laughed out loud! How silly of me - love is expansive and I fell in love all over again! The two girls were with me when their brother was born and we were all thrilled and excited as we went to meet him. I was out of state for the birth of my youngest granddaughter, and when I got the call from her oldest sister I cried again! What a gift these children have been to me and how much joy they have brought to my life would be hard to describe. I will share some writings I have done over the years in future blogs. For now, since I am not currently employed in a parish, I am focusing on being a Nana!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring is coming!

50 degrees today and sunny - it is an amazing thing to happen in Minnesota at this time of year, but gives me the excitement I feel each year that Spring indeed is on it's way! It has been raining a lot and most of the snow has been washed away - making way for the greening of the world around us. Of course, other places are green right now - but it's been awhile here. It is only March, and this is teaser weather - getting our hopes up just to see snow usually in the next two weeks or so. But, somehow it's not so hard to bear anymore because you know it won't last. You know that Spring really is around the corner and that the coldest, snowiest, harshest part of winter is over. I wonder what it would be like without these extremes of weather? I just enjoyed San Diego for a week and I wonder what it might be like to live there year round. Do people get tired of nice weather? I know I get very weary of Minnesota winters, and yet I love it in Minnesota. I love spring and the feeling of new life - summer and the lush green - fall and the amazing colors and cool days, but winter isn't my favorite. However, I love how the cycle of the seasons reminds me of all the cycles of our lives. How things never stay the same no matter how good or bad it is in the moment. Would I miss this pattern of season changes? Would I forget the many spiritual lessons this pattern of season changes has taught me and reminded me of? Would I even miss winter if I didn't live here any longer?