Once upon a time, there was a family of 4, a father, mother, daughter and son. This family of 4 always spent lots of quality time with family. The mother’s family was from Evansville and the father’s family was from West Virginia. Growing up, this family had many traditions, including many Easters spent in West Virginia and many Thanksgivings in Evansville and a few Christmases when the kids were babies. As the kids grew up, the daughter ended up loathing travel for the holidays. After all, that was the time that all her friends had plans and wanted her to be a part of them, that was a week or more out of school that she should be spending with her friends. The brother never seemed to mind spending the holidays away as much as the social butterfly daughter with a friends only agenda. He enjoyed the “nothing to do” country scene and spent his time hunting or fishing with the father and grandpa.

Every trip to Evansville seemed to cause more boredom than the previous trip for the daughter. It was the 90’s and her grandparents lived in front of a cow pasture in the middle of nowhere with no VHS player or cable. No call waiting and no long distance either. The daughter finally started bringing her own VHS player and hooking it up in the basement of her grandparents house and spent her days watching every movie imaginable and writing scripts for movies because there was nothing else to do. She and her brother spent time feeding the cows and playing with the neighbor’s husky pups and the neighborhood basset hound Buford. The only thing enjoyable about the trips to Evansville was when A League of Their Own was filmed there and the daughter was able to visit all the sites and see first hand for herself how awesome the magic of movies was; not that she didn’t already know.

The family became busier and busier as the kids got older. FINALLY Christmases and Thanksgivings were spent in town, at the family’s house and the grandparents would drive up from Evansville for a week or two at a time to visit. This made the daughter happy and the son was happy too, even though he still scheduled mini trips to Evansville to hunt with family from time to time. The grandparents would come up for 2 weeks at Christmastime. They would bring Little Debbie Dunkin Stiks and cinnamon pin wheels. They would also bring Christmas happy meal toys from McDonalds along with our present of cash in a bright red envelope, sometimes with a $2 bill included for fun. The parents enjoyed having a built in babysitter so they could finish Christmas shopping and the daughter enjoyed not having to miss time with her friends. The mother and grandmother were very close. Secretly, I think the mother loved that the grandmother did dishes every night and laundry too. Oh and speaking of laundry, it was always folded in the living room during All My Children or General Hospital and the washcloths were always folded diagonally, not in a square. The mother hated the drama of soap opera’s but the daughter always enjoyed the “green light” to watch them when the grandparents visited.

The grandparents also started visiting for a few weeks at a time during the summer. They would help with the mother’s annual yard sale and visit with the family. As the kids got older and their lives got busier, they realized it was a good thing that the grandparents came to visit so they could spend some family time with them.

Years passed, and the grandmother became sick. The mother invited her to come live with her family so that she could take of the grandmother. The grandmother agreed and came to live with the family. Under the mother’s care, the grandmother improved and was able to move back home. After a few rough winters with several bouts of pneumonia and congestive heart failure, the grandmother passed away. Life changed, and the grandfather had a double knee replacement surgery and was wheelchair bound for over a year. He was no longer able to drive, so the visits to the family ended. No more Christmases with dunkin stiks and pin wheels, no more summer visits with General Hospital and diagonally folded washcloths. No more stories from the grandfather about how he met someone at the local Dairy Queen that was “looking for her”. The daughter thought she was tired of the story after hearing it for 15 years, until it was no longer told to her. The grandfather started showing signs of dementia and was placed in a nursing home a few years later.

Visits were made to the nursing home by the mother and father and sometimes the son and daughter. It was sad. It was lonely and the grandfather wasn’t the same. The mother would send Christmas gifts and decorations for his room and the uncles would visit and take photos of the grandfather’s progress. The grandfather had his good days and bad and many ups and downs. He passed away in his sleep on January 18th, 2016 at 86 years of age.

There is a piece that will never be filled quite like it once was. The annoying trips to the middle of nowhere with no VHS player, the many hours conquering boredom by writing pages and pages of scripts, the staying home on a Friday night because the parents said the grandparents were coming to visit, the long visits during Christmas breaks and the long visits in the summer.

The daughter is this girl writing this, and this girl will miss all of those things.

My heart hurts a little around Christmas every year, thinking about the feelings of pure excitement my brother and I had when our grandparents would come up during our Christmas breaks. Excitement because their arrival signaled the start of Christmas break. Excitement because grandparents always brought the best candies and goodies, excitement that Christmas was just weeks away. A few months ago I spoke to my cousin about this and she felt the same way. If only we would have appreciated it more back when it was happening. But, that’s how things go….hindsight, you know?

This chapter has ended but we will forever have our memories. My only hope is that our own kids have fond memories to look back upon. That they will be able to tell stories about their parents taking them on annoying, boring trips to visit family. Though it may seem like the craziest thing in the world during those younger years, those memories will be the ones they treasure when they are parents themselves.

Rest in Heaven Grandpa, I wish you eternal life with Grandma, that includes plenty of bingo, sweets, story telling, vegetable soup (with the corn picked out) and music.

~~~~

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Christmas, around 2 years old. Sitting on my grandparents old green striped couch.

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My Uncle Randy and Aunt Brenda’s wedding. I was upset because I decided at the last minute I didn’t want to be the flower girl, but I wanted to wear the dress.

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My grandma and grandpa at my Uncle Randy and Aunt Brenda’s wedding. I’m sure it was my mom taking the picture since everyone’s heads are cut off and my grandma’s eyes are closed. 😉

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Thanksgiving at my grandparents house. I have no idea why my brother looks like he’s auditioning for a Coke commercial.

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Such a great picture!

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Buford, the basset hound

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My grandpa, my mom and my Uncle Randy at Brock and I’s wedding

https://modmommymk.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/939/

New Year! New Outlook!

What will the New Year bring for you?The New Year is always fun for me. I think it just kind of gives everyone the clean slate they need. Usually December is crazy busy and stressful and then you get to sleep in a few days and wake up with a new outlook.  

Also, I always find myself doing the same two things on New Years Day; watching Clueless and getting on the treadmill while watching Friends….but only the episodes from the first 3 seasons. Apparently something happened to me in 8th grade over Christmas break that was magical because I seem to do these 2 things every year and Clueless came out on VHS on Christmas break my 8th grade year and Friends was in Season 2 that year. Strange how memories like that can make my stress melt away, even just for 2 hours or so.

I was able to be home for about a week and it was just me and the boys, all day, everyday. It was so nice to be able to get up, make them breakfast, play a game with them, read to them, get on the treadmill for 45 minutes during nap time and have dinner fixed. I felt like I actually had “ME” in my life again. Even though I only spent about 45 minutes actually on me with treadmill time, I was able to truly accomplish a few things everyday and it brought such a sense of relief. I mean, BIG relief. That should be a sign. That should tell me something. I need to slow down and spend more time with my kids, I need to be able to fix dinner even though I hate being in the kitchen, I need to have a bit of time for me and get on the treadmill. 

I’m trying this new concept out…..when anxious (which is a lot) or nervous (which is a lot) jump on the treadmill (if I am at home and if the kids are safely occupied) and see where it gets me. I want to escape to the Friends world, even if it’s just for 30 minutes; most likely letting my mind get caught up in my favorite TV show will ease some of my tension.

Aside from trying to spend more quality time at home with the family and fixing meals, I would love to go to a professional makeup artist….and learn makeup tips and tricks specifically for my face. I’m not talking about someone who works part time at the MAC counter on weekends…..I’m talking about someone local that works on television sets or on actual talent that has done makeup their entire life. I also want to be a lipstick wearer! I have always been a bronzer and eye makeup type of girl, but I feel like I want to give lipstick a shot. Nothing like Gwen Stefani red or anything, but just a hint of color with a gloss over it.

Speaking of makeup, another goal of mine this year is to transition to natural makeup. I use organic brushes (most of the time) and organic skin care (most of the time-but for the most part I haven’t found a skin care system I like and trust) and I’ve tried organic mascara with no luck, but now that Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty line has launched, I’m so excited about transitioning to natural makeup! I’m ordering the “everything primer” and eye pencils this weekend. I’ve noticed eyeliner runs by the end of the day and makes my eyes burn. At first I thought it was my mascara, so I went about 3 days without wearing mascara to test this theory and it was still happening and the only thing I was wearing around my eyes was a 3.00 cover girl eye pencil. After I integrate the primer and eye pencils into my everyday routine, then I’m moving onto the powder in a darker color for a bronzer and a luminizer. I’m not sure whether I will switch my eye shadows and lip color yet. As mentioned before, I don’t really wear a lot of lip stick and I’m REALLY set on my MAC lip glass since it’s basically been my favorite lip gloss since I was 19. But, regardless, I feel like I’m doing a great thing by switching to organic products that cover 95% of my face and right around my eyes. The primer will be on my eyelids before applying eye shadow anyways, so there is an organic barrier there. Or, at least that’s what I tell myself.  Seriously though, check out http://www.honestbeauty.com

 They have everything from skin care to foundation, lip crayons, eye shadows, eye plumper and lots of other fun finds. Have questions? The staff is AMAZING at answering any question and they will pack it full of stats and helpful information.  

I also want to spend a little time decorating our house a bit and my husband is planning on building a built in shelving system in our playroom and living room. So that’s really exciting too!

What are some things you plan to get done this year? Please share!

 

 

 

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Mommy in the modern world!

Inspired, Natural and Creative

Inspiration is Natural.

ModMommyMK

Mommy in the modern world!

queenjarrell

Journey to Better Health and Living

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

Happily Oiled After

Journey into healthier living and essential oils

mandy odle

stories from a mommy + makeup artist

Little Miss Momma

Mommy in the modern world!

Living in Yellow

Mommy in the modern world!

Eat Yourself Skinny

Mommy in the modern world!

Skinnytaste

Mommy in the modern world!

a is for abs

Mommy in the modern world!

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